Women warriors and the Church...

(Tim) On the subject of Joel Northrup forfeiting his state tournament wrestling match out of deference to a woman, one reader of this Baylyblog post called our readers' attention to a comment by a California high school wrestling coach on another web site. The coach's comment (No. 16) ended with this:

The Israeli army did extensive experiments in the 1960′s and 70′s trying to incorporate women into combat roles along side males, at a time when the survival of Israel was hanging in the balance. But the results were so disastrous, that they were soon abandoned. They found that men would routinely risk themselves and the units safety, and even abandon mission completion, whenever a female member of their combat unit was captured, or even injured. This protective role seemed to be so hardwired into these young men, that it was deemed impossible to “train out” of them. The Israelis determined that a boy would have to be trained from birth to disregard a foundational understanding (call it God given, or evolved) concerning the importance of women, as THE essential element in the continuum of human existence. To try and remove that understanding from the thought process of young men would result, I feel, in a world not worth occupying.

Few things are more indicative of these United States' moral and military bankruptcy than our ideological promotion of women in combat (of which women wrestlers are a sub-species), and few things are more indicative of the Reformed world's weakening commitment to the doctrines of Scripture than the PCA General Assembly AISCOWIM's split down the middle on whether or not to condemn women in combat (as well as the arguments made on the floor of GA when AISCOWIM presented its two reports). While it's true committee members talked much about the spirituality of the church, during internal debate it was always clear that...

the spirituality of the church position simply provided the best loss-leader while members turned almost immediately to more culturally predictable and sub-scriptural pleas along the lines of "A woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do."

The only thing our liberalizing committee members were willing to keep distinct between the sexes was the draft: it was OK for men to be drafted but they didn't want their daughters to be forced into military service. "A woman should be allowed to make her own choice," they said.

So now, our movies and comic books and idiotbox shows have sexy women warriors and our high schools have women wrestlers and our deacons have women deacons as well as a woman director of the diaconate and our session meetings have women with voice but no vote and our home-schooled daughters go to law school and train to be legal warriors and we are stopped by women traffic cops and the work is nearly complete: from cradle to grave, we have systematically removed the protective calling God gave us for the blessing of women and children. So our sisters, daughters, mothers, and wives are training to protect their own children.

In the PCA's hip churches, it's a truism that a woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do. The world follows Redeemer and the people love it this way. But what will they do in the end?

This is not a story about Iowa wrestling. It's the story of the the PC(USA), the RCA, the CRC, and the PCA.

"But we only ordain men!"

Yes, yes, of course. You only ordain men.


Looking for the Israeli experiment that comment #16 talks about, I found this: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZIy50rpOLbgC&lpg=PA166&ots=0bc7jAHRuu&pg=PA166#v=onepage&q&f=false

(The second paragraph, which starts out "It is true that women have fought in combat in the past.")

I'm surprised Carolyn Custis James hasn't published something calling this girl an "Ezer-Warrior" and calling for shame to be heaped upon young Mr. Northrup for failing to recognize her place in the warrior-ranks.

Mr. Bayly,

Thank you for your comments about Joel Northrup and about women in combat. I am in full and hearty agreement.

I am wondering if you could address whether and how any of these principles apply to the realm of intellectual "wresting." I'm thinking in particular of online discussion in settings such as this blog or a theological discussion forum or a Facebook conversation or the like. What do godly masculinity and femininity look like in this context? How should godly women engage with men with whom they disagree? And how should godly men engage with women with whom they disagree? How should each respond when the other's approach is not appropriate?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Personally, I think the young man was afraid of losing to a woman. Saying he wouldn't wrestle a girl was just a cover. The idea of losing to a girl was just too humiliating.

Nice post!


Could you please elaborate how you managed to see into Joel's soul or this is a case of merely lacking a biblical counter-argument to Tim's well reasoned post?

Kip' Chelashaw

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