Why "Together for the Gospel" Embraces a Complementarian Gospel

Why "Together for the Gospel" Embraces a Complementarian Gospel

t4g2010 on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

The 2010 Together for the Gospel conference is on right now as I write this article. The conference this year is called The Unadjusted Gospel and according to J. Ligon Duncan III’s blog post on CBMW’s blog, complementarianism is a necessary testimony of the Gospel that cannot be denied or the witness of the Gospel is damaged.  While the T4G conference is affirming The Unadjusted Gospel, at the same time they are continuing in their pattern to adjust the Gospel to add in complementarianism.

Instead of seeing Christians united on the Gospel while having charity and grace on the non-essentials, the T4G conference has once again chosen to separate from other Christians over non-essentials and made complementarianism such a necessity that it is introduced as the fulfillment of Biblical teachings that make this doctrine essential as a witness to the Gospel. 

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The path of the Last Adam

The path of the Last Adam

he Path of the Last Adam/ Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The path of the last Adam was a path that took Him from Heaven to earth, from the earth to the grave and from the grave to resurrection power on display as our  Lord, Savior and King.  But a study in contrast with the first Adam shows us the stark contrast to the faithfulness that the last Adam offers us in the place of the failure that we have experienced with our first earthly father.

1.  Sinner vs Sinless 

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John Piper takes leave of ministry to work on his marriage

John Piper takes leave of ministry to work on his marriage

 

john-piper on Women in Ministry blog

On March 28, 2010 complementarian John Piper announced that he is leaving ministry for a time because of several issues of pride that were affecting his soul and had taken a toll on his relationship with his wife Noël .  Below is what Piper has written about his issues and his next steps.  It would be a good time to pray for John Piper.  It appears that being a rock solid complementarian is not a guarantee that a happy and fulfilling marriage will ensue. 

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Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

St. John's Lutheran school on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

On Sunday March 21, 2010 a meeting was held to determine the fate of principal John Hartwig who had been suspended  earlier for engaging in conduct “unbecoming a called worker”.  The Baraboo News Republic in Baraboo, Wisconsin documents the letter that was sent to school parents that announced Hartwig’s suspension: 

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Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Hung out to dry on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The question has come up on this blog whether Adam had a sin nature at the fall that would have been passed on to all of us and if this is an issue that is important regarding women in ministry.  After all we need to know why it is that only Adam would bring sin into the world and if all of us have something “hanging” onto us from just on man, why is that? We need to know why sin didn’t come into the world through the woman.  Is this because she was “under” the man so that anything she did was not placed on her account but on his account?  These questions and more will be answered in this post. 

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Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

man's authority on Women in Ministry Blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our continued topic of common objections to women in ministry, we come to the claim that Eve usurped Adam’s authority when she spoke to the serpent. To deal with this claim, we will be looking at both the claim that Eve rebelled against Adam in the garden and the claim that God gave Adam a responsibility to lead that He clearly denied to Eve.

In chapter 3 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr headship is defined as a right that the man possesses to lead women in a God-glorifying direction. Ortlund writes

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Have men taken away women's "good portion"?

Have men taken away women's "good portion"?

taken-away on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

“…Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42

In the complementarian Christian community there is a lot of pressure to keep women away from a place that doesn’t belong to them.  Because of the teaching that there is a “biblical manhood” and “biblical womanhood”, and the way we follow Jesus depends on our gender, many have been focused on dividing and protecting the man’s portion as if something has been given to men alone.  Is this really biblical?  Is there really something that belongs to men alone that needs to be held back from women? 

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Puzzling question: Why was Eve "punished" when she was deceived?

Puzzling question: Why was Eve "punished" when she was deceived?

punish2 on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In our discussions on Genesis there has been one puzzling question.  If Adam alone sinned willfully and the woman fell into sin through deception, then why did God punish Eve so severely for her sin?

I would like to propose that we have misunderstood what happened when God dealt with Adam, the woman and the serpent.  There are only two acts by God that deal with guilt and curses and not three as tradition has taught us.  Let’s look carefully at the passage.  First of all let’s look at how God dealt with the serpent: 

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Common objections: women are more easily deceived

Common objections: women are more easily deceived

Easily deceived graphic on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Another reason some complementarians claim for denying women opportunities to minister in the church is that it is said that women are more easily deceived than men so men alone are permitted to minister in the church.  A good example of this kind of rationale is found here with this excerpt: 

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Common Objections to Women in Ministry: Adam names Eve

Common Objections to Women in Ministry: Adam names Eve

name on Women in Ministry Blog by Cheryl Schatz

One of the positions that complementarians commonly hold is that male and female were created with distinct roles so that one (the male) is said to have been given the authority over the other (the female) and the fact that Adam names Eve is used as proof of the man’s authority.  CMBW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) records it this way:

Male and female were created by God as equal in dignity, value, essence and human nature, but also distinct in role whereby the male was given the responsibility of loving authority over the female, and the female was to offer willing, glad-hearted and submissive assistance to the man. Gen. 1:26-27 makes clear that male and female are equally created as God’s image, and so are, by God’s created design, equally and fully human. But, as Gen. 2 bears out (as seen in its own context and as understood by Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2), their humanity would find expression differently, in a relationship of complementarity, with the female functioning in a submissive role under the leadership and authority of the male.

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Neopatriarch's once again claims to refute the Greek grammar and Cheryl Schatz's view of 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Neopatriarch's once again claims to refute the Greek grammar and Cheryl Schatz's view of 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Neopatriarch tries to refute Cheryl Schatz

According to those who have been followed a trail left by our old friend Neopatriarch (who many of you may recall was the young complementarian who used to post challenges on this blog until he left in exasperation when his arguments didn’t make the grade),  he has apparently been presently himself recently on several discussion boards as the one who has refuted my exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. How interesting that he has been refuted time and time again and is still claiming victory.  Also how interesting that he has picked me as the one who has the exegesis that has to be refuted.  Well, I am quite flattered by all of his attention, and even though he is undoubtedly a very intelligent young man, his attempts to refute my sound argument have only called attention to my argument.  I guess I should say thanks. 

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Common objections to women in ministry: God's design in Genesis

Common objections to women in ministry: God's design in Genesis

designed on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

How is it that there are millions of Christians who all look to the same Genesis account yet find themselves with different and contradictory truth claims from the same account?  While many conclude that man was designed in a special way that sets him above the woman with special God-given privileges, there are still many others who conclude that God created both man and woman as equal rulers over creation. We all need to be careful that we don’t just see what we want to see because there is a tendency for each one of us to read our own position into the account. But as Christians we should desire to value truth above all else  for it is God’s design that we want to discover, not mankind’s aberration of God’s design.

As we search diligently in the creation account in Genesis, we look for how God conveyed His design differences to the attention of the first man and woman. Did the man know that he had been designed differently? Did he know that his design gave him special privileges that were withheld from his wife because she did not have the same design? And was it conveyed to Eve that she was not on the same level as Adam?  According to Ray Ortlund, God gave the man a special mission and a special “call” to accomplish and the woman had a special mission to please him. 

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Common objections: women's speaking and leading dishonors men

Common objections: women's speaking and leading dishonors men

shame on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Another common objection to women in ministry is the claim that when women speak and lead publicly it dishonors men.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) speaks of this as dishonoring the “calling” of men:

We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching and leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore we think it is God’s will that only men bear the responsibility for this office. (pg 64 online version)

One thing that we can notice from the quote above is that CBMW says “we think it is God’s will…”.  The fact that they don’t know for sure is telling.

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Common objections to women in ministry

Common objections to women in ministry

Witness on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

One of the first objections to women in ministry is the fact that Jesus chose only males as his twelve apostles. If Jesus only chose men for this special “class” of people who were to be His witnesses of the resurrection, then didn’t Jesus show by this act that He does not allow women to minister in the church as men alone are to have a special position of authority?

I would like to suggest that Jesus deliberately chose men as part of the group of 12 who were to be witnesses to the resurrection since these men were to be witnesses to the world while Jesus assigned women to be the first witnesses to the church

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Two gifts or one? Pastors and Teachers

Two gifts or one? Pastors and Teachers

Two gifts pastor and teach on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The bride of Christ has been given gifts but are teacher and pastor two gifts or one?

God has given many gifts to the church and the main purpose of the gifts is to edify the body of Christ so that God will ultimately be glorified.  Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 14:12 that we are to strive to excel in the gifts that will build up the church.

1 Cor 14:12  So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. ESV

While Paul encourages Christians to excel in building up the church, most complementarians do not believe that women are allowed to build up the church by being gifted as teachers.  How can they disallow the Holy Spirit’s ability to Sovereignly decide who receives the gifts?

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Another Christian organization in Canada has charity status removed

Another Christian organization in Canada has charity status removed

The following article was sent to me this morning by Mabel, a follower of this blog.  The pastor of the church that had its charity status removed in Canada also contacted our ministry as we went through the same kind of persecution from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) regarding their disallowing as “charitable” the work of ministering Jesus to the cults.  They allow people to preach Jesus in their own congregations, but if one is persuasively bringing Jesus to those who are lost in the world of the cults, the government of Canada see this as an “uncharitable” work and will actively move to withdraw one’s charitable status. The consequences of the removal of charitable status means that all ministry money and equipment must be given away or the government taxes it at 100% rate. It was a very difficult time for us as we had to purchase back our own equipment and stock just to continue in ministry.

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Spiritual abuse recovery

Spiritual abuse recovery

Barb Orlowski Spiritual Abuse Recovery on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

Last year I blogged about Dr. Barb Orlowski’s research on spiritual abuse.  Barb contacted me during a time when I was going through a very difficult period in my own life and she was very helpful to me in both her active listening and in her own decision to contact the District church leaders that she knew personally to act on our behalf.  Her intervention resulted in an investigation that dealt with the abusive situation.  While the cause of the abuse was ultimately removed, I had to privately go through my own grief and deep sorrow. I was raised as a preacher’s kid and had always seen the church as a place of safety. As a result of the spiritual abuse, the idea of church as a safe place was no longer that same place of safety to me.  Time does a great job of helping us heal, but I am not yet sure when I will come full circle and be back to where I started. Spiritual abuse is that devastating. I have never made any of the details public although I am currently working on a DVD project that is a result of the things I have learned as a direct result of the abusive situation I endured.  God certainly is able to work all things out for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose. What seemed like evil to us can and will be used for good by God who holds us in His hands. 

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WIM blog picked as one of the top 55 Pastor Bloggers

WIM blog picked as one of the top 55 Pastor Bloggers

Top 55 pastor blogs on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

I have been notified that my Women in Ministry blog has been picked as one of the top 55 pastor bloggers on the online Christian Colleges web site here.  My blog is listed up women pastors.  Also my blog has been picked up as a bibiloblog by biblioblogtop50.wordpress.com and this biblio blog site.  It is nice to see that the issue of women in ministry has received notice.

biblical-blog on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Pastor and team in Haiti during earthquake

Pastor and team in Haiti during earthquake

Haiti on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

I have a great concern tonight for my Pastor. Pastor Jim Reimer and two of our worship team along with a group of teens from our local high school flew into Haiti around noon today.  They were intending a two week ministry trip. The devastating earthquake struck Haiti around 5 pm.

pastorjim on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

We are praying for pastor Jim and the team not knowing what has happened to them and whether they are safe or not.  Please join with me to pray for God’s protection on these members of the body of Christ during this very difficult time.

Kootenay Christian Fellowship team and High School youth

**Update Jan 13th 2010**The news media has reported that the team made it two hours away from the airport before the earthquake hit and everyone is safe.  We will continue to pray for our pastor and the team that they will be greatly used in their mission and will make it home safely.

**Update January 15, 2010** An email from Pastor Jim came through. 

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Using Paul's authority

Using Paul's authority

Using Paul's authority on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

Paul’s use of “I am not allowing” in 1 Timothy 2:12 has caused a lot of speculation regarding his reasons for disallowing certain activities. In this post we are going to look at this phrase very carefully.

The first thing that we can note is that Paul is not appealing to an existing law.  Paul does not say “God’s law is not allowing” as if God had already set up a law that restrained women from using their spiritual gifts.  Paul also does not say “God does not allow you to let a woman… ” as if Timothy is under a law that he may have been disobeying.  What Paul clearly says is “I am not allowing…”

What is even more curious is that there is no other verse in the entire Scripture like this one.  Nowhere does a man of God state that he doesn’t allow something. God’s prohibitions are never put in the personal will of the man of God. They are always by God’s authority. So why did Paul use his own authority in 1 Timothy 2:12? 

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At the first Christmas, God was pleased to come through a woman

At the first Christmas, God was pleased to come through a woman

God came into the world through a woman, Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

While there are many who say that women cannot receive from God that which will benefit men as they believe that all wisdom that God has for mankind must come through the agency of a man, may I remind us today that the Wisdom of God – God Himself came into the world through a woman. The vessel that He used that was meant to bring benefit to all of mankind through the good news of the gospel in the face of the Savior, was a lowly servant who was a woman.

There are some today who refuse to accept God’s gift that comes through a woman. Their pride will not allow them to benefit from anything that they believe is beneath them.  They practice hardening their hearts because they do not want to see and do not want to hear what originates from a woman. God cannot use a woman to preach and teach the gospel to the church, they say, because God is pleased to limit Himself to only men who by virtue of their maleness are fit to receive God’s special gifts that equip only males as teachers and gentle shepherds of God’s people. To them God’s best is always a man. God’s best is the wisdom of a man. God’s best is the strength of a man. To them God cannot and will not use what is foolish or weak or insignificant, inferior, common or despised.   God limits His work through the chosen gender who are the physically and spiritually “strong” ones and God surely sanctions male pride because He created them as first class citizens of the kingdom.  Is it not the complementarian message that it is through males alone that God can fully express Himself in wisdom, power and leadership?

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Equal in value and worth = in whose eyes?

Equal in value and worth = in whose eyes?

Equal in whose eyes? on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

 

One of the problems with complementarian definitions is that they aren’t complete enough on the surface to reveal the underlying nature of their hierarchical disposition.  However when one pushes to get the answers to some difficult questions, the picture becomes a lot clearer that actually shows the complementarian stand to be male bias in the pretty package of complementarian wording.  However when the veil is pulled back, a contradictory view is shown which reviews an inequality in God’s design of humanity, but also a man-made restriction placed on God Himself in how He is allowed to express Himself through half of humanity.  Let me give a few of examples of the pretty package and then we will dissect the statements.  The examples are all from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).

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Putting women in their place

Putting women in their place

The woman's place, from Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

The November 17, 2009 CBMW blog post by John Starke that we started to evaluate last post, is an amazing “piece of work” that exalts the 17th century writings of a Puritan named Richard Baxter who attempts to put women in their place.  Starke continues to summarize Baxter’s writings:

2. Discontentment. There is something about the sinful heart that is always wanting something other than the place in which God has placed him or her. When something other than God is the desire of the heart, it begins to desire more than the portion granted. The sinful cravings of the heart are deceitful and can justify sin or can explain away divine instruction. Baxter’s appeal to wives is to find your contentment and treasure in Christ and you will recognize the joy in resting in his purposes. (emphasis is mine).

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How a passion for ministry almost cost C. Michael Patton his marriage

How a passion for ministry almost cost C. Michael Patton his marriage

Today I read a blog post that really touched my heart because it showed the importance of mutual decision-making instead of unilateral decisions by the husband (the male trump card).  I have asked and received permission from Michael Patton to post this on my blog.  I think that this story puts a human face to the issues of a one-flesh union that we have talked much about on this blog.  This testimony by Michael Patton and his willingness to listen to the wisdom of a godly woman really raised my respect for Michael.  I think that you will be touched by his story as well.  This is a fine example of how real complementary marriage works rather than a hierarchy model.

 

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Couple on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Wade Burleson has an interesting post about marital authority and the only time that the Bible uses the word authority in the context of marriage.  Burleson writes:

The often quoted book complementarian book Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanwood (1991), devotes entire chapters to passages like Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Colossians 3:18-18, and 1 Peter 3:1-7. But the ONLY text in the Bible that actually uses the word “authority” in the context of marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, is given no consideration. Likewise, in John Piper’s book What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined by the Bible (2001) there are two lists of verses dealing with marriage provided, but 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 is not even included (see pages 21,66).

It is certainly interesting that the only place were the Bible gives the husband and wife authority over the other is missing in the sections dealing with authority and submission in  Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

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Examining the complementarian view: Does God like to torment women?

Examining the complementarian view: Does God like to torment women?

Does God torment Women?  Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

There is a hot debate in the church today regarding whether a woman is in “sin” for teaching the Bible to men.  While some say that a godly woman’s teaching of the Bible is okay for use with women and children, but all teaching by women to men is considered sinful.  Others state that a woman may teach the Bible to men as long as it is in her home or perhaps outside on the lawn, but if she were to teach men inside a church building, she would immediately be involved in committing a sin.

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Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

Thanks to one of the followers of my blog, I received a link to some excellent clips about Julie Pennington-Russell’s talks about the Georgian State Convention and issue of the church being kicked out of the GBC.  The clips were record before the official word came through about the removal of her church from association.

julie_pennington-russell

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Does God prefer men?

Does God prefer men?

Does God Prefer Men? Women in Ministry blog Cheryl Schatz

Recently I had a woman write me who was troubled by some Bible texts that seemed to indicate that God preferred men.  I felt that the questions she posed and the answers I provided would be good to put on line in case there are other women out there who also have been troubled by these same questions.

Question: I have been struggling with a question for the past several weeks.  Do I as a woman, have less worth in God’s eyes than a man does?  Given that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law…I was (and still am) struggling with several scriptures where women are concerned and the seemingly “double-standard.” I could not fathom why in Leviticus there is a law that states that women who give birth to male children would only be unclean for 33 days, but if they give birth to female children they would be unclean for 66 days.

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Guest post: Does head mean authority over?

Guest post: Does head mean authority over?

Man as Sovereign on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

 

This post is the second part in a “first” for Women in Ministry blog.  I have never before taken the writing of a complementarian and posted it on my blog.   However in order to facilitate dialog, I have agreed to post Mark’s articles so that we can have a jolly good discussion/debate with those who care to participate on the issue of what “head” means.  The first part of Mark’s article dealing with the context of 1 Corinthians 11 is here.   These posts are actually a carry forward from a previous post that had a lot of good discussion regarding my youtube videos on the issue of women in ministry.  If you would like to get a good idea of where this discussion comes from, I refer you back to the post called Women on Trial.

Mark is a complementarian from Australia.  

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A complementarian view of 1 Corinthians 11 and the meaning of head

A complementarian view of 1 Corinthians 11 and the meaning of head

Debate on Women in Ministry - Cheryl Schatz blog

This post is a first.  I have never before taken the writing of a complementarian and posted it on my blog.   However in order to facilitate dialog, I have agreed to post Mark’s article so that we can have a jolly good discussion/debate with those who care to participate on the issue of what “head” means in the context of 1 Corinthians 11.  This post is actually a carry forward from a previous post that had a lot of good discussion regarding my youtube videos on the issue of women in ministry.  If you would like to get a good idea of where this discussion comes from, I refer you back to the post called Women on Trial.

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The dark side of submission

The dark side of submission

The Dark Side of Submission

The following is a very eye opening article by Lee Grady.  From Fire in My Bones online, November, 2009. Copyright 2009 Strang Communications; all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Submission and abuse on Women in Ministry blog

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Christian teaching on male headship is often used as a weapon against women. This abuse must be confronted.

Last week during a ministry trip to Hungary I heard a painfully familiar story. Through a translator, a tearful young woman living near Budapest explained that her Christian husband was angrily demanding her absolute submission. This included, among other things, that she clean their house according to his strict standards and that she engage in sexual acts with him that made her feel uncomfortable and dirty.

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