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Thread: The Psychological Impact of Complementarian/Patriarchal Theology

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    The Psychological Impact of Complementarian/Patriarchal Theology

    This article puts forth the idea that gender based discrimination against woman such as in Complementarianism (which is actually Patriarchy) can actually negatively change a woman's brain and yield an unhealthy self-concept. I've never posted in this forum before and I don't know if there are any psychologists who would like to give input.

    As for me, the psychological impact of "Complementarianism"/Patriarchy on me personally is my life right now. I experientially agree that the gender discriminative theology of Complementarianism "changes the way the brain processes information, disrupting, for example, the regions involved in planning and decision-making. Discrimination actually changes women’s brains". Do you agree with the article and do you think it can be reversed?

    After 30 years of Christ-devotion, studying and ministering to individuals and groups through Bible studies, I've recently stepped out of all ministry that is related to "church" to try and stop the impact I've felt has been happening to me. I've gone from a confident woman, organizing Bible studies, writing curriculum for teens and adults, leading at women's retreats to now struggling everyday with a broken heart over a church that keeps rejecting me over and over in various ways due to my gender. I felt I had to put up boundaries, to finally stop.

    And yet...I cannot leave the relationships, the people who look up to me (and my family) in my church. To leave would cause more damage. So I go to church...a shell of the person I used to be, at this point I don't even know if I could return to the "planning and decision-making" processes that used to function effortlessly. I'm so torn...and now I wonder if the changes to my brain can be reversed. And what would that look like. I just don't know.

    If you have knowledge in psychology, what do you think?

    https://www.cbeinternational.org/blo...-womens-health

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/dis...-mental-health
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Your problem isn't patriarchy. Your problem is pride.

    There are two things you need to do:

    1) Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

    2) Love your neighbor as yourself.

    All else is immaterial; stop fixating on it.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Your problem isn't patriarchy. Your problem is pride.

    There are two things you need to do:

    1) Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

    2) Love your neighbor as yourself.

    All else is immaterial; stop fixating on it.
    Are you saying that I am disobeying God by having these questions? Are you saying that the suffering I am experiencing is a result of my own sin? Is my suffering due to the effects of patriarchy or due to my own sin or do you deny that I am even suffering at all? How can you tell?

    Do you deny that anyone can actually suffer from a theology that tells them that they are permanently incapable and comprehensively forbidden from being trusted with important responsibilities and decisions in the church and home (even if they concern her directly) and that they CANNOT fully contribute their gifts of leadership no matter how much education or Spirit-leading they have? Patriarchy robs me from fully living out my call. Do you deny that this can be depressing? How can you say that wanting to fulfill the call I hear from God is actually pride? Are you saying that I couldn't possibly be hearing God's call because I am a woman? And you don't think this would be depressing?????

    You have thrown some serious personal charges at me and I'd like it if you will explain them. I am amazed that you can think you know so much about me personally to lob these personal charges against my Christianity.

    Do you make these accusations against me as someone trained in psychology? Or as someone dedicated to patriarchy who denies that the theology can actually have a negative psychological impact? What do you think of the article? Does that therapist who wrote the article have pride, too? Do you believe egalitarians suffer from pride by default of their theology?
    Last edited by Wildflower; 09-16-2017 at 07:04 PM.
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    OBP, how is "telling me what my problem is" not a disruption to this thread? Since you have personally attacked me and unsubstantially accused me of sinful conduct (pride + not following the two greatest commandments) instead of answering the OP in any way, perhaps this part of the thread that has been derailed by you should be placed in the Poop Deck or Padded Room.
    Last edited by Wildflower; 09-16-2017 at 07:45 PM.
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    Are you saying that I am disobeying God by having these questions? Are you saying that the suffering I am experiencing is a result of my own sin?
    All suffering is a direct result of our sin.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    All suffering is a direct result of our sin.
    Are you an advocate of victim blaming/shaming? Or are you saying there are no real victims because everyone is equally to blame for their suffering? I've heard of this approach before. It happened in my past Sovreign Grace Church. Victims of pedophiles and their perpetrators were put in the same room and the victim told they are just as much a sinner and they need to forgive the perpetrator. They were advised not to call the police. And the perpetrator kept on abusing. Same with domestic violence with the women being advised not to call the police but to keep on trying to win their husbands by submitting to the abuse. I guess if everyone is to blame for their own suffering and there is no difference in degree or type of sinful conduct perpetrated against another individual, why even call for help? I guess we all deserve our suffering because of our sin so there's no sense calling it out and standing up to it.

    Is that the best way to also counsel rape victims, too, do you think? Or victims of clergy sex scandals?
    Last edited by Wildflower; 09-16-2017 at 08:18 PM.
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    Jedidiah, I noticed you clicked "amen" on OBP's post that told me my "problem" was pride and a lack of following the two greatest commandments. I'd like to know in what way my OP was pridefully sinful showing a lack of following the two great commandments. These are serious charges, you must know. I think such a claim should be substantiated, don't you? It's not even trying to get the speck out of my eye, its just making an unsubstantiated observation and then leaving. Which is quite irresponsible especially considering the weight of yours and OBP's presence here as moderators on Tweb.
    Last edited by Wildflower; 09-16-2017 at 10:35 PM.
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    Are you saying that I am disobeying God by having these questions?
    Not specifically, no.
    Are you saying that the suffering I am experiencing is a result of my own sin?
    That you consider not being in a position of leadership 'suffering' is an indication of your own sin.
    Is my suffering due to the effects of patriarchy or due to my own sin or do you deny that I am even suffering at all? How can you tell?
    Oh, I don't doubt that you're suffering; your anguished posts are indicative of that.
    Do you deny that anyone can actually suffer from a theology that tells them that they are permanently incapable and comprehensively forbidden from being trusted with important responsibilities and decisions in the church and home (even if they concern her directly) and that they CANNOT fully contribute their gifts of leadership no matter how much education or Spirit-leading they have? Patriarchy robs me from fully living out my call. Do you deny that this can be depressing? How can you say that wanting to fulfill the call I hear from God is actually pride? Are you saying that I couldn't possibly be hearing God's call because I am a woman? And you don't think this would be depressing?????
    I'm saying that you resent not being in a position of leadership, because your pride says you should be in one. That your resentment leads to depression is not surprising. You may well be hearing a call, but it's possible you're mistaking its source.
    You have thrown some serious personal charges at me and I'd like it if you will explain them. I am amazed that you can think you know so much about me personally to lob these personal charges against my Christianity.
    The only charge I have leveled is that of pride. Your indignant response shows I seem to have scored a bullseye.
    Do you make these accusations against me as someone trained in psychology?
    Nope. Simply as one who has some experience in observing the human condition.
    Or as someone dedicated to patriarchy who denies that the theology can actually have a negative psychological impact?
    Patriarchy is neither here nor there. Your problem with it is, at most, a symptom of your true issue.
    What do you think of the article? Does that therapist who wrote the article have pride, too?
    I think that the focus on self-esteem is disastrously mis-guided. It is wholly self-centered, when we should be wholly focused on others (that's the point, after all, of the "greatest commandments" upon which all others hang).
    Do you believe egalitarians suffer from pride by default of their theology?
    No.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  9. Amen JB DoulosChristou amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Not specifically, no.

    That you consider not being in a position of leadership 'suffering' is an indication of your own sin.


    Oh, I don't doubt that you're suffering; your anguished posts are indicative of that.

    I'm saying that you resent not being in a position of leadership, because your pride says you should be in one. That your resentment leads to depression is not surprising. You may well be hearing a call, but it's possible you're mistaking its source.
    So no woman could hear a call to leadership? And if they do they are not hearing from God? So Deborah....

    Would you have so easily judged a man if he heard a call to leadership? No, you would have encouraged him to get the education and work for it. But, because I am a woman, you have automatically dismissed me and called me prideful. In a man its called "obeying your call" for a woman its called, "pride". Yeah, I've heard it before, its nothing new.

    The only charge I have leveled is that of pride. Your indignant response shows I seem to have scored a bullseye.
    I resisted your accusation because you essentially accused me of pride because I am a woman who hears a call and is sad that she is not accepted by fellow Christians and cannot fulfill her call even though there are several examples in Scripture of women leaders. You were wrong to do so, so I spoke up. Or, do you think all women should just remain silent when they are accused of pride because they are not accepted by the predominantly patriarchal church to fulfill their call in Christ? I could have a Ph.D. in Theology and still not be accepted to teach a Bible study at the local church, all the while surrounded by a cloud of female leader witnesses from Scripture encouraging me on.

    Nope. Simply as one who has some experience in observing the human condition.
    Your observations are abusive to someone you don't even know, prejudiced based on your complementarian (sexist) theology. This is very wrong.


    I think that the focus on self-esteem is disastrously mis-guided. It is wholly self-centered, when we should be wholly focused on others (that's the point, after all, of the "greatest commandments" upon which all others hang).
    No.
    You have so much to learn but, as a woman, I'm obviously not the one to teach you.
    Last edited by Wildflower; 09-17-2017 at 12:26 AM.
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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    tWebber Wildflower's Avatar
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    A dictionary definition of "sexist" to hopefully head off any objections to my usage of the word:

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of sexism

    1 :prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women
    2 :behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
    Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

    Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

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