This week I read “Triumph” by Carolyn Jessop, the woman who left the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS). I wish women would read this book and her previous book “Escape.”
Baptists and other fundamental Christians would not recognize themselves in this book and would declare it to be an extreme sect. It is that. But there are things in this book that should give every fundamental Baptist woman pause.
We have been discussing the submission mandate that many believe is required for marriages and the belief that submission is the bedrock and foundation of a marriage as set forth by God and enlarged upon by the apostle Paul.
Few would see the FDLS as living out the same belief that they themselves find appealing and, to various extents, adhere to. But there are many degrees of submission as we discovered in “Husbands Handy Reference Guide as to When a Wife Must Submit,” and these women have accepted some of those degrees of submission.
The following has been used previously in one of my posts, but it fits here and I want to share it with you. This is an email I received two years ago from a member of my former church when I began this ministry on January 15, 2009. This church is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) church, and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
I received your letter regarding women pastors and deacons and would like to respond to several points in your letter. I completely agree with your mission statement until you get to the phrase, “and will put up no barriers to women serving God in the same capacity as men do.” I have a big problem with this. God does value women! He puts men and women on the same plain, breaking down barriers. However, He has also made us different and clearly knows how we can complement each other. I have witnessed a breakdown in families and society stemming from individuals being basically self-centered and insisting on their rights. There is balance and harmony in the body of Christ and in the home when individuals accept their roles in an humble, submissive manner to the Lord. I have observed God honoring marriages that are a picture of Christ and the church. This harmony comes through submission, not demanding our rights. We have two daughters that have been married for a number of years. One of our daughters has always been very head strong. She has chosen to trust her husband in matters of leadership and management. He responds to her in love and a desire to provide for their family. Our other daughter is married to a very strong-willed man. Her marriage has sometimes been difficult, but I can see the fruit of her submission.”
She is quoting from The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood which says in Rationale #3: “the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives.”
Carolyn Jessop tells of a time while she was one of six wives of Merril Jessop: “Merril scolded me again and again, insisting that Patrick (their ill 6 month baby) would be all right if his mother would get herself in harmony with his father.” (Page 181)
Baptists won’t recognize themselves in the extremes of complementarianism, just as Carolyn Jessop did not recognize herself in the extremes of FLDS. “Most FLDS women do not perceive themselves as victims.” (page 183).
I was starting a ministry for women’s equality and that letter was the first time I ever heard the complementarian view. It was almost year later before I fully realized what was going on. That is how Baptists can be ignorant of this subject.