Today I had the pleasure of reading a review by Tim Challies on a book by Debbie Pearl entitled “Created to be His Helpmeet.” I very much appreciate his perspective on this disturbing little book. My wife received the book a few years ago from a lady at our church who was handing them out at a retreat. Reading it caused her great distress and it’s content has long since been the source of conflict and controversy in our community.
I was personaly amazed to see the level of acceptance this book has enjoyed in the Calvary Chapel realm. I would expect to see those who actually read the Bible and seek to correctly exegete the Scripture to be rejecting this book and speaking out against it. Its view of men and woman is clearly antithetical to the biblical view. I think many want to defend the book because it claims to promote a complementarian view of men and women’s rolls in marriage (a view I would tend to agree with). Actually it gives the complementarian view a big black eye. It really promotes a (religious) cult-like authoritarianism that is dangerous. Complimentarianists should run from this thing but I think what often happens is that a group of people react emotionally to a trend or worldview by sprinting to the opposite end of the spectrum. What is needed, I believe, is for us to respond to such things prayerfully, thoughtfully and biblically rather than chasing bad doctrine and counsel for its starkness.
I think another reason for its widespread acceptance is the apathy of those who are aware of the errors. They can see that it is not so great but they don’t really feel like its worth geting into. At best they would rather promote what they think is good about it and avoid stepping on toes. “Eat the meat and leave the bones” they say. Sometimes this is a good approach but in this case all it accomplishes is the preservation and proliferation of an unbiblical system of thought. It has been said by some one that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I think that those who know better and can speak out should do so; which is why I am writing this particular blog.
It seems to me that the authors many errors rest heavily on her asserted (and anti-biblical) premise that woman are not made in God’s image but in the image of man and the only purpose they have is to please men in a marriage relationship; thus they should be conformed to his image and desire. This is essential authoritarianism. The strong must consume the weak. Any reservoir of viable refreshment contained within the book is swallowed up in the pearls sea of toxic doctrine. There are far better books out there on the topic that do not subject you or your family to the author’s (and her husband’s) malicious manipulation and emotional abuse. Well now you know I didn’t care for the book and I’ve gone and written too much again. I highly recommend all three of these links if you or someone you know has read this book and failed to see its many serious errors, lest you or they be led astray by the pearls.
This third link is an even kinder and more detailed evaluation of the book by an unnamed couple that wrestled with the book when it first came out. I don’t know who they are but their argument is sound and biblical.
Created to be His Helpmeet