Whatever makes me need God is a blessing. [Cualquier cosa que me haga necesitar a Dios es una bendición.]
— Nancy Leigh DeMoss (@NancyDeMoss) December 27, 2013
In a sad display of how the blind lead the blind in complementarianism and the gross biblical illiteracy of many Christians, that tweet is being enthusiastically retweeted and favorited by DeMoss' followers.
Is DeMoss missing the point altogether that we all need God, anyway--even without difficult circumstances that may highlight that need? Nowhere in scripture do we read of such a concept, that anything that makes us more aware of our need for God is a blessing.
Thankfully, Waneta Dawn, author and victim's advocate, recognized the danger in that statement when applied to high risk situations that would no doubt cause a person to become more aware of their need for God.
In response to DeMoss' remark, Dawn tweeted a few extreme examples of situations that might cause a person to become more aware of their need for God, but that no one in their right mind would call a blessing:
According to Nancy Leigh Demoss getting #beaten by your #husband is a blessing, since it causes you to need God. #domesticViolence
— Waneta Dawn (@wanetadawn) January 1, 2014
According to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, your husband sexually assaulting your child is a blessing, because it makes you need God. #complementarian
— Waneta Dawn (@wanetadawn) January 1, 2014
The blind acceptance of DeMoss' tweet and the enthusiastic sharing of it just goes to show that when a complementarian leader says nonsensical things, people are pressured to think they are some sage, so they decide that it's so profound that they just go along with it. Often they do more than just go along with it, they laud it as deep and insightful when, in reality, it makes no sense whatsoever.
Where are the critical thinkers? Where are the Christians who know their Bibles? DeMoss' remark is a dangerous corruption of the verse in Romans where Christians are told that all things work together for good to those who love God and to those who are the called according to his purpose. She may also have had the verse in mind where Christians are commanded to praise God in all things. But in neither of these verses are Christians told the curse is a blessing nor are we commanded to praise God for the things that may, because they are horrible things, draw us closer to him. Or, the other option is, that she had no scripture in mind at all but was just speaking out of her own mind. Regardless of where the comment came from, it is wrong.
Dawn cited wife-beating as a situation that would make a woman more aware of her need for God. Following DeMoss' reasoning, being battered could be considered a blessing because it could cause the battered wife to know she needs God.
This is not only ludicrous, but a dangerous line of reasoning--especially when coming from a complementarian leader like DeMoss who advises wives in abusive situations to leave if they have to, but to never, under any circumstances, consider divorce. If a separation must take place, she counsels that during the separation, the abused wife is to maintain an attitude of reverence towards her abuser’s divinely mandated position of authority over her (Lies Women Believe, Moody Publishers, 2006).
Complementarian leaders rarely show too much concern for victims in their risky paradigm of authority and submission based on gender. Wayne Grudem, whose teachings DeMoss admires and promotes, blames wives just as much as husbands for abuse in Christian marriages. Below is a 2012 quote from Wayne Grudem.
“There is an error of passivity on the wife’s part. Day after day, month after month, year after year in their marriage, “Yes dear, whatever you say . . . yes dear, whatever you say.” ...She has no preferences, no desires. She’s a doormat... If a tyrant gets married to a doormat you get all sorts of abuse....”
When complementarian leaders throw out platitudes such as the one DeMoss tweeted on December 27, 2013, we have good cause for concern.
Whatever makes us more aware of our constant need for God, can indeed work for good in our lives, but to call tragedy and misery a blessing simply because it makes us more aware of our need for God, comes neither from a heart of love nor understanding ... nor does it come from scripture.