Proud To Be A “Broken Wolf”

On April 21, Joe Carter, of The Gospel Coalition, posted an article he’d written entitled, “Beware of Broken Wolves”.

He was vague enough to allow himself room to deny that it was directed at anyone in particular, however he did show his hand:

“Many of us men—including elders called to protect their flock—remain silent hoping that one of our sisters in Christ will speak up before the popular and prominent female Broken Wolves in our midst devours another one of our own. But if not, we probably won’t speak up. The brokenness of Broken Wolves often act as a shield that protects them from any legitimate criticism because we fear being viewed as harsh or unloving towards women. The result is in failing to speak out we leave the women (and men) in our churches vulnerable to be ravaged. ” – Beware of Broken Wolves, The Gospel Coalition

It is hard to believe that such an article is a coincidence of timing when it was published immediately after Sarah Bessey’s hashtag, “#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear” caught fire on twitter with women sharing stories of suppression and abuse they’d suffered in the name of God.

Today, feminism is catching on within Christendom, much to the chagrin of Joe Carter and his people at The Gospel Coalition where Feminism is viewed with suspicion as an enemy of Christianity. Full articles have been published on their site advocating the idea of women submitting to their husbands, equating submission to the gospel.

The irony in all of this is how all of us, who have grown up in the church, have been taught to pray for brokenness in order to be more like Christ. Indeed, The Gospel Coalition has taught this very idea:

” Everyone was always asking for food, health, political success, favor, etc. But Jesus came to break people down to make humble servants not compliment self-righteous folks who want worship.” – Why It May Be Better To Pray For Brokenness Than Whistle For A Genie, The Gospel Coalition

“We teach our children many things. We teach them to be strong, brave, and swift, yet patient, kind, and gentle. Rarely do we teach them how to be broken. Yet brokenness before the Lord is the fount of these very blessings. Courage and meekness flows most generously from a broken and contrite heart.”

“Yahweh remembers his children. He rescues sinners not because we said a prayer or quoted a few Bible verses. He saves us because of his steadfast love and abundant mercy. Yahweh delights not in empty promises of sacrifices, but in truth in the inward being. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; he will not despise a broken and a contrite heart.” – Jonah and The Art Of Being Broken, The Gospel Coalition

And yet those who have been broken, women specifically, are then attacked for their brokenness. They are called wolves. Those who are supposed to be ministering to them in their brokenness are told to “beware” them.

What if we actually listened to people who are hurting? What if we allowed ourselves the humility to think, for even a second, that we may be failing those who need us most because their hurt and brokenness? What if we stopped running from or alienating people just because their brokenness comes in a form that may be frightening or uncomfortable? A kind of brokenness that calls us to examine ourselves and our church communities to see if others could actually be spared the kind of pain we are hearing described to us?

What if the broken wolves have the clarity on issues that is badly needed in the church so that those who claim to be of Christ can better minister in His name?

If we teach others to pray for brokenness , and indeed pray for it ourselves, then we sure as hell better be ready to minister when the broken come to us. Alienating the broken in the name of Christ, and twisting scripture to achieve this purpose, because they might challenge our beliefs is nothing short of blasphemy.

4 thoughts on “Proud To Be A “Broken Wolf”

  1. I think you missed the distinction between being broken and being a broken wolf. Joe’s article does not condemn the broken. He distinguishes that some broken people turn their brokenness into a platform and take truths and twist them into lies which are contrary to God’s truth presented in scripture. For example: Truth(Biblical)-God accepts you as you are. Lie(Broken wolf)- Since God accepts you as you are, you don’t have to change. However scripture is quite clear that we do need to ask for forgiveness and repent (turn away from that which is wrong-stop doing it!=change required).
    I don’t follow twitter and have no idea about the reference in this article, but I suspect that personal feelings tainted honest assessment of the Broken wolf article. It is certainly an issue to be aware of. And BTW, here are several scriptures which state that the wife should be submissive to her husband so to argue against that is to argue with God not men. However, I believe submission is grossly understood in our culture. It most certainly does not mean that women are lesser than! It’s really more about relationships and how to make them work. Remember, if the husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church, submission will come naturally. The problem comes in tat very few men know how to live like that. They will only learn how if they have learned to be submissive to Christ. And that’s what all of this leafs to. Ultimately, we all need to be submissive to Jesus Christ, broken or not, male or female – it really doesn’t matter who we are, submission to Christ is an imperative.


  2. God through Paul in Ephesians 5:21 teaches that every believer is to submit to other believers, the submission of a wife to her husband is an example of that, but so is the submission of a husband to his wife. Jesus taught his followers to be servants, serving one another.


  3. This is what I thought he meant by broken wolves. He was condemning those who are coming forward to say they have been treated wrong. He is condemning sites that help victims of spiritual and patriarchal abuse. Or maybe he is not. God is not the author of confusion. And his article was vague and confusing. Some people who agree with me on how abusive people like TGC and Ware and Piper and Desiring God say they didn’t read the article that way. But I think you saw what I saw. He is condemning the broken and calling them wolves for confronting the abusive. He would maybe be one of those who say that “we” read what we want into the Bible. No, you sir, don’t ever go back to the original texts, languages and cultures to find out if you have been led to believe something that isn’t true all these years and decades. Ephesians starts with submit to each other. Verse 21. The verse with wife in it does not have the word submit in the original language. But it is taken apart from the preceding verse and had the word submit put in, leaving out “to each other”. And getting a verse that is quoted ad nauseum, over and over and over. No reading in context, no reading the entire passage to see what is about, no comparing Bible with Bible, no finding out about the culture of the day…..just saying this is what I’ve been taught it says….so that’s what is says and means. I Timothy 6:1 tells salves to respect their masters to not bring shame on God. Hmmmm……was there a time that masters would have quoted that verse to slaves? Yes…..except that salves were not free to even speak, like women are today. At least we don’t have to worry about it being against the law. But if slaves could have, that verse would have been used to keep them under bondage, for sure. And is that what God meant when He inspired those words to be written? No, we need to look at culture, language, text. We know that the situation meant these slaves would probably be in that situation their entire lives and there was nothing Paul could do about it. Jesus example led to hundreds and thousands of years of some societies realizing slavery is wrong. But meanwhile, back then, salves honored God by being respectful. They would only be killed if they rose up at that time. Husbands were told by Paul to love their wives, mutually submit to their wives and in case they had no idea how to do this….use Christ’s example. He who did not use His equality with God to say He wouldn’t submit and die. Husbands were not used to this new way of doing things. Wives already knew what it was like to submit totally….they needed no description no explanation. But men did.


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