Showing posts from November, 2009

The Church of Christ and Marriage

The COC is obsessed with heterosexual marriage. In all my years in the COC, I lost count of all the sermons and classes we had on "the family." Typically, such classes and sermons were just a rehashing and reinforcement of the strict gender roles described by Paul's letters: the husband is the head of the wife, and she's supposed to be obedient to him, and the kids in turn are supposed to obey the parents. If it was a ladies only class, you can bet we studied the "godly woman" described in Proverbs chapter 31, ad nauseum.

The COC's doctrine about the family isn't complicated, but we had to go over it again and again and again. I wondered why at the time, but now I realize that the church and its patriarchal structure were threatened by the rise of feminism in the 1970s. Thus, they felt compelled to harp on this one subject endlessly, to prop up their gender hierarchy.

This emphasis on strict gender roles means that the ideal in the COC is that every…