A word to church planters about the danger of adultery...

(Tim, w/thanks to Kamilla who gave me a heads-up and has done several good posts on the subject) Here's the setup. Mrs. Frank James (who prefers to be known as Carolyn Custis James), was teaching a group of pastors how better to utilize women in positions of authority when one pastor asked her, "If we work with women, won't we be tempted?"

Mrs. James wasn't pleased with the question or what followed. She writes:

What followed (the question was) a laundry list of precautions to safeguard oneself from moral hazards when working or dealing with women. Women find this kind of thinking offensive, and rightly so. This low view of women conflicts with the Bible's high redemptive view of us.

So now, a word for church planters and new pastors. When I took my first call, Dad forwarded an article about a youth pastor who had given a young woman a ride home after youth group. Later, he was sued by the young woman's parents for some sort of sexually predatory behavior--which he denied. At the top of the article, Dad had scrawled, "This is a warning. Never give a woman a ride in your car, alone. Never counsel a woman, alone. Have a woman present or keep your door open and stay within sight of your secretary."

When we built our church-house a couple years ago, we put lights (windows) in every door as protection for everyone, everywhere...

And this is just one of many precautions we take against temptation.

But the voluble Mrs. James sees such precautions as one more proof of that which she sees all the time, everywhere: a "low view of women."

When I first began the work of ministry, I was involved in a small group with my wife, three singles, and several other couples. During dinner one night, we were discussing whether it was OK for those of us who were married to spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex. One married women was disgusted I'd said it wasn't OK, and she challenged me: "Do you mean you wouldn't be willing to have lunch on campus with me?"

Knowing I was looking like an insecure young man with a monstrous view of women, I plowed ahead and responded, "No. I'm sorry, but I wouldn't have lunch with you."

She was furious.

I was humiliated.

But, the truth?

Later that evening as we were clearing the dinner dishes, that young married woman made a point of pressing certain parts of her anatomy against my body. From then on, I gave her the widest berth, possible. Through my shirt, I'd felt the fires of Hell.

A year or so later while her husband was out of town, this young wife committed adultery. Her husband stayed with her, gentle and compliant to the end. Within five years, they were divorced and this young wife was living with one of her art professors.

In the pastorate, temptations to adultery are constant and require us to take the most inflexible precautions. Sadly, though, such precautions will meet with the disapproval of a certain kind of woman like Mrs. James. Being foolish, they think such precautions are demeaning to women, perpetuating a view of women as temptresses.

Truth is, women often tempt men--just as men often tempt women. And truth is, not one of us is beyond committing adultery if we remember King David was "a man after God's Own heart."

Fear God and you won't fear what the Mrs. Frank James of the world think of you. When you're older, you'll be so grateful the Lord gave you had a wise father who warned you to be on guard, taking concrete, rigid precautions.

Comments

"Mrs. Frank James (who prefers to be known as Carolyn Custis James), was teaching a group of pastors how better to utilize women in positions of authority..."

We're all catching both points of irony here, right? Right, moving right along...

Dear Tim,

Thank you for this reminder.

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” - Matthew 11:19

Love,

Why wasn't she angry that they had a low view of men?

Because everybody knows men are sex-crazed pigs.

I have groaned out loud a number of times since I first read this post yesterday. I cannot help but think of the required training to become a RA at Vanderbilt. One session was given over to the feminists from the women's studies department to teach. There are so many similarities it isn't even funny.

They were informing us that we were not allowed to warn girls of the dangers of going running alone at 2 a.m. We were not allowed to warn them not to get drunk, naked and in bed with a man they didn't want to have sex with.

If we did that, we had a low view of women, who should be able to do anything that a man does, without fear. Women would find our thinking offensive if we did that.

And yet they are wrong. The real women—the ones who actually cared about the other college girls they were going to be living with—found the thinking of the feminists offensive. In fact, I've never seen so many women so angry. They pointed out two things:

1. the insanity of pretending to care for women while refusing to warn them of danger

2. the obvious hatred of men that leads us to deny what they actually are

Mrs. Frank James is preaching the same lies that the women's studies department was. And to make abundantly clear what I'm saying: She hates men, and she doesn't care for women. The outcome of her teaching will be women being taken advantage of by men who are supposed to protect them. When it happens, she will be quick to point at the men and say, "How dare you!? Women have a *right* to walk alone at night without fear of being kidnapped and raped!" And if anybody dares to say, "We tried to tell you it wasn't safe for women to do that. We tried to warn you against sending them out like that. We would have warned her ourselves, but you wouldn't let us." She will respond, "So, it's her fault she got attacked? Oh nice. Blame the victim why don't you?"

It is not blaming the victim to warn them of danger, and to protect them from harm. Nor is it a low view of women to admonish men to protect them.

Joseph,

My how times have changed! When I spent my first year at DU in the dorm, we had something called, "The Bod Squad". If you were leaving the library late, you could call the dorm and they would send one of the guys to meet you at the door of the library to walk you home.

You're absolutely right though about feminists like Mrs. James hating women. It drips from every word they write.

Kamilla

Why isn't it a "low view of men," rather than women? Biblically, both are justified, no? In many situations in the secular world, men cannot avoid being alone with women. So they need to develop disciplines and habits that help them keep their distance emotionally and physically when it isn't possible to do it geographically. E.G. I had a govt. job in which I occasionally was required to go to out-of-town (not overnight) meetings with a woman employee. I made it a point never to spend the entire lunch break with her. We had to eat together because I had to pay, but I then would make some excuse for absenting myself. Distance became a precious thing to nurture and conserve. This particular woman wasn't dumb: I suspect that she understood.

"Biblically, both are justified, no?"

Yes. But I was just thinking about their thought process. Someone describes weakness, thinking of men and women, and maybe even having men in mind as the weaker. The feminist hears the caution about weakness, and immediately connects it with women. Shouldn't women thinking this way be mad at themselves for such a low view of women?

And Ms James is fooling herself if she thinks that more women in positions of church authority *isn't* going to lead to a corresponding increase in the number of women caught abusing that authority. Even sexually. Especially sexually.

if you don't believe me, google the name "Iris Robinson". Until recently, she was a UK MP; and is wife of the man who is First Minister (=Governor) of Northern Ireland. Then remind yourself that she is an actively committed Presbyterian Christian, and do some math.

"My how times have changed! When I spent my first year at DU in the dorm, we had something called, "The Bod Squad".

Vanderbilt used to have something like that, maybe it changed after 1995. They had a series of rapes on campus back then and were very concerned - having a ton of required date rape seminars etc.

The clear and present danger required them to forgo PC.

Regarding Church Planting and infidelity...

When I was in Acts 29 I as told by an A29 Administrator that they were having more cases of the church planters' wives committing adultery than the church planters themselves.

People are actually arguing the point that there are predatory men and women out there, and for that reason, one ought to be careful to do one's ministry in public?

OK, I shouldn't be surprised that people are arguing this by saying that's a "low view of women," but I've got to counter with the comment that the speakress has a "low view of reality."

This good advice isn't just for pastors. One of the problems in the church is that many Christians think the best way to deal with temptation is to be strong.

The best way to deal with many temptations is to not be there.

Like Joseph who ran, leaving his cloak in her hands.

Hmmm, funny thing that -- Mrs. James has yet to write a book about Potiphar's wife.

Kamilla

Excellent advice that we all need to hear. Many an industry is built on teaching women how to best attract the attention of men. But none of them teach us how to keep the attention of a man.

Upon marriage, many of us realize we've spent the last twenty years of life developing a skill-set we will (Lord-willing) never use again. I am not surprised at Michael Foster's revelation that young ministry wives with distracted husbands find it tempting to dust off that skill-set for other attentive young men often spending hours upon hours in their homes.

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