Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board has a scathing (and hilarious) analysis of part one of a marriage series Tim and David Bayly posted back in 2007 (based entirely on a misreading of Proverbs 30:18-19). Here’s an excerpt from the Baylys’ own post, which they entitle Wooing as Warfare*:
The young man who pursues marriage enters a foreign land where he wages war. On the hinges of that battle lie happiness or shame.
But though a potential bride may be deeply loved, she’s also at some level the foe. To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home. There’s little that’s tender about it.
It’s a simple message for those seeking a wife: if you don’t get it right, men, you face nothing but shame; defeat your wife and you get happiness!
What a marriage that would make.
Just in case you think that goofy advice is a fluke, here’s an excerpt from the fifth installment in the Bayly series, this time relying on Exodus 22:16-17:
Scripture reveals certain fatherly privileges that apply only to daughters. A father can veto his daughter’s vows and God will hold her guiltless.
Yes, that’s what father’s could do … if they lived under the Old Covenant in ancient Israel, that is. And notice what the Baylys call it: a privilege.
That’s not the way we live now, though. Father’s are not the rulers of their grown daughters. We’re under a New Covenant where every person in God’s family is indwelled by the Spirit of Christ. Each person is ruled by Christ alone.
More Fatherly Courtship Nonsense
Usually I wouldn’t bother commenting on a seven year old blog post from some people who apparently don’t know how to read wisdom literature like Proverbs and have no idea that the New Covenant has superseded the laws of the Old Covenant. But it piqued my interest since I’d recently come across a similarly misguided take on a father’s prerogatives and powers.
Voddie Baucham wrote the book What He Must Be: …If He Wants to Marry My Daughter**. One chapter is called “Don’t Send a Woman to Do a Man’s Job”***, and it is all about the father’s responsibility to do the thinking for his daughter when it comes to choosing a husband, in presenting his daughter to the man as if she were some sort of prize.
Quite simply, our jobs as fathers is to present our daughters to their husbands as virgin brides (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
Somewhat like the Baylys’ talk of a father’s “privilege”, Baucham writes of a father “presenting” his daughter to another man.
That sounds creepy.
It’s also unsupported in Scripture. Where in any New Testament passage do we read of a father’s duty to a daughter’s future husband to make sure she’s a virgin?
Baucham’s teaching leads to only one conclusion: Fathers, if you can’t guarantee that your daughter is a virgin on her wedding night then you’re a failure!
(Here’s a bonus, though: mothers are off the hook. There’s nothing in Baucham’s book about this presenting-the-daughters-as-virgins being in a mother’s job description. As Baucham says, that’s “our jobs as fathers.” Yay for moms.)
Voddie Baucham, the Bayly Brothers and Modern Pharisaism
Jesus warned us about people who create unbiblical burdens, people like Voddie Baucham and Tim and David Bayly:
They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. …
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. (Matthew 23:4, 15.)
Baucham and the Baylys preach burdensome legalism, and they would do well to heed Jesus’ warning.
The Unburdensome Gospel of Rest and Peace
Here’s what the gospel is really like for those who follow Jesus:
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30.)
Compare the teachings from Baucham and the Baylys with Jesus’ description of his own teachings. Their ways lead to one heavy burden after another. Jesus’ teachings give our souls rest. He offers rest even to Baucham and the Bayly brothers. They should take it.
The way of Christ is not a burden.
It’s a blessing. For you and your family.
*Wooing as Warfare? I can’t make this stuff up, folks.
**Seriously, I’m not making these titles up.
***Still not making them up.