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Violence Against Women
The Church and Violence Against Women
By Russell Moore     l     Christianity
Male violence against women is a  real problem in our culture, one the church  must address. Our responsibility here is  not simply at the level of social justice but  at the level of ecclesical justice as well. We must teach from our pulpits, our  Sunday school classes, and our Vacation  Bible Schools that women are to be  cherished, honored, and protected by men.  This means we teach men to reject  American playboy consumerism in light of  a Judgment Seat at which they will give  account for their care for their families. It  means we explicitly tell the women in our  congregations, “A man who hits you has  surrendered his headship, and that is the  business both of the civil state in enacting  public justice and of this church in enacting  church discipline.” Church discipline against wife-  beaters must be clear and consistent. We must stand with women  against predatory men in all areas of abandonment, divorce, and  neglect. We must train up men, through godly mentoring as well as  through biblical instruction, who will know that the model of a husband  is a man who crucifies his selfish materialism, his libidinal fantasies, and  his wrathful temper tantrums in order to care lovingly for a wife. We  must also remind these young men that every idle word, and every  hateful act, will be laid out in judgment before the eyes of the One to  whom we must give an answer.  In the public arena, Christians as citizens should be the most  insistent on legal protections for women. We should oppose a  therapeutic redefinition of wife abuse as merely a psychological  condition. And we should call on the powers-that-be to prosecute  abusers of women and children in ways that will deter others and make  clear society’s repugnance at such abuse. Whatever our views on specific economic policies, we must  recognize that much economic hardship of women in our age is the  result of men who abandon their commitments. We should eschew  obnoxious “welfare queen” rhetoric and work with others of goodwill to  seek economic and social measures to provide a safety net for single  mothers and abused women in jeopardy. We should join with others,  including secular feminists, in seeking legal protections against such  manifestations of a rape culture as sexual harassment, prostitution, and  sex slavery. An abusive man is not an over-enthusiastic complementarian. He  is not a complementarian at all. He is rejecting male headship because  he is rejecting his role as provider and protector. As the culture grows  more violent, more consumerist, more sexualized and more  misogynistic, the answer is not a church more attenuated to the ambient  culture, whether through a hyper-masculine paganism or through a  gender-neutral feminism.  Instead, the answer is a truly counter-cultural church, a church  that calls men to account for leadership, a leadership that cherishes and  protects women and girls. 
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