God hates chivalry

I alluded to this in my previous post on free will that God hates chivalry.

Chivalry is a societal expectation imputed upon men and women to act in a certain manner, often in a polite and exaggerated manner, in order to impress or attract the opposite sex.

What happens when there is “chivalry” in a society, there becomes an expectation of men and women to follow and act in such a code. This places a coercive force on both men and women to act in a certain way.

When such expectations are unmet, the ones with the expectations have their image of what is “supposed to be” shattered and with thus become angry about it. This is the same thing that I discussed in the free will post where women expect that men hold doors open for them, carry luggage, or other favors for free or just because they are a women. This is why men assume that women should act like ladies and when they don’t they get angry at them.

The interesting part of the concept of chivalry is that it is more of an implied social contract rather than a law. Much of this societal based thinking is imputed as Christian because they may be good things to do, but that doesn’t make them good when it’s a coercive force rather than an act of someone wanting to help out someone else. Ballista has written on this a bit, and chivalry was some random concept that came out of the 1700s or knights if I’m not mistaken.

I’m not averse to conforming to such a standard because I want to help people, but guilt tripping someone into doing what is right is not the answer either. They’ll hear from me on that.

Brief post. I’m still working on a longer one as I get more time.

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20 Responses to God hates chivalry

  1. donalgraeme says:

    I am interested in seeing what your final argument is. Part of me is inclined to disagree with your initial (ultimate) conclusion, but we’ll see.

  2. ballista74 says:

    To complete the discussion on chivalry on my blog (which is really traditional feminism), see also:

    Men, You Are A Husband To All Women
    The One Ring To Rule Over Him

  3. @ Donal

    Actually, this is a stand alone. The longer post is on a different topic.

    I think that the intention is good. For example, that children should be taught to want to desire to help others. But it shouldn’t be passed off as some societal function (chivalry) or in terms of treatment of a particular sex but rather on Jesus’ commandment “love one another as I have loved you.”

  4. Looking Glass says:

    Christian discipleship should lead the Christian to “operating within” their Culture, but the Christian has removed most of the deep-seated aspects of the Culture from within themselves.

    Social decorum has its place, but don’t agree to one-sided stupidity when it’s not needed. That’s the trap they like to get us into.

  5. Looking Glass says:

    Oh, and the “courtly love” part of the Codes, which was actually a small part of them, is pretty much the only part that survived. It’s also, most directly, the part that’s anti-Christian. A wonder, that.

  6. donalgraeme says:

    @ Deep Strength

    I read your post again, and see what you were saying. Yes, I agree. Guilt tripping people to do good is an ineffective strategy, not to mention morally questionable.

  7. Ichaelmae says:

    I thought that chivalry is what one does to impress, or placate, their elders (the way one behaves around towards women when the older generation are watching)

  8. @ lchaelmae

    It should be noted that the chivalry I am discussing here is not part of the Knight code (which was more general in nature), but the “courtly love” that arose from it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtly_love

  9. Mrs. C says:

    Compete agreement with you about your ideas of the Courtly love chivalry.

    If you look at wiki, as I had to do because I didn’t know my history, chivalry began as a military code of honor, especially with horse soldiers, with the following principles having grown out of a way to Christianize them. Nothing for God to hate in that.

    Believe the Church’s teachings and observe all the Church’s directions.
    Defend the Church.
    Respect and defend all weaknesses.
    Love your country.
    Show no mercy to the Infidel. Do not hesitate to make war with them.
    Perform all your feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God.
    Never lie or go back on one’s word.
    Be generous to everyone.
    Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice.

    It seems upper class people began adopting the codes for societal behavior and the “respect and defend all weaknesses” part of the code morphed into a gentleman’s code to respect women. (Respect in the modern day sense which means to honor)

    It also says this:
    The medieval development of chivalry, with the concept of the honour of a lady and the ensuing knightly devotion to it, not only derived from the thinking about the Virgin Mary, but also contributed to it. The medieval veneration of the Virgin Mary was contrasted by the fact that ordinary women, especially those outside aristocratic circles, were looked down upon. Although women were at times viewed as the source of evil, it was Mary who as mediator to God was a source of refuge for man. The development of medieval Mariology and the changing attitudes towards women paralleled each other and can best be understood in a common context.

    Courtly love seemed to have morphed out of these more honorable beginnings. I like the C.S. Lewis quote in the wiki article you linked to.

    “The Allegory of Love further solidifying courtly love as a “love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love”.

    I wouldn’t say God hates Chivalry. I would say he hates courtly love which idolizes romantic love.

    Of course, the early suffragettes hated the masculine components of chivalry as stated here:

    The pronouncedly masculine virtues of chivalry came under attack on the parts of the upper-class suffragettes campaigning for gender equality in the early 20th century…. As a material reflection of this process, the dress sword lost its position as an indispensable part of a gentleman’s wardrobe, a development described as an “archaeological terminus” by Ewart Oakeshott, as it concluded the long period during which the sword had been a visible attribute of the free man, beginning as early as three millennia ago with the Bronze Age sword.[16]

    During the 20th century, the chivalrous ideal of protecting women came to be seen as a trope of melodrama (“damsel in distress”).

  10. Peter says:

    Hmmmmm…

    Scripture says that for lack of vision, a people perish.

    “A people” is an ethnic or cultural group. A tribe or nation. This is referring to society, not just individuals in plural.

    One of the results that we are seeing more and more these days is that when parts of modern society fail to articulate a vision of society as morally and culturally cohesive, members of that society will search out a culture that is. That is why we see young men adopting Islam to the point that they are willing to travel to the middle -east and fight for ISIS. Or carry on the Jihad within their own culture.
    We have not given them a vision of a strong, virtuous culture that will support them in their own desire for virtue and commitment, so they seek one that does and have no compunction in attempting to apply it here.

    Do you realise that America – with its emphasis on patriotism and integration – has produced far fewer recruits to ISIS , on a per capita basis, than post-modern Europe or multi-culti Australia?

    As the body of Christ we are called upon to edify our members. We do that by encouragement and example. By “discipleship”. Part of that process has always involved pressure to comply in one form or another. Jesus did not treat his disciples’ foolishness and sinfulness as abstractions or something that only mattered between each individual and God. Rather he rebuked them roundly, placing pressure on them to meet expectations. Paul did the same thing in writing to the churches. Both exhibited considerable anger at times and used emotional pressure. Social pressure need not be more than this repeated many times over. That it is often done poorly does not mean that it should not be done at all.

  11. Kirk Lewis says:

    The modern interpretation/application of chivalry, performed with expectations, is not chivalrous. It is ‘game’ on a different level, creating expectations of response based on actions instead of words.

    To say that GOD hates chivalry is presumptuous.

    I understand GOD judges my heart above my actions.

    I open the door for anyone, because I can. I go out of my way to do it for people who are handicapped, aged, or simply who have their hands full. I don’t expect a thank you. I do what I know to be the right thing to do as a Christian and move on.

    Chivalry with expectations is merely ‘game’.

    Chivalry without expectations is Christ-like behavior, and I will not stop.

  12. Kirk Lewis says:

    One more point.

    Our society needs codes of conduct. The abolition of codes of conduct have contributed significantly to the cesspool we find ourselves lamenting now.

    The further we blurr the lines between men and women and break down the codes of conduct, the further western civilization will fall.

    When you have an “anything goes” society, you can’t really wonder when anything happens.

  13. @ Peter

    As the body of Christ we are called upon to edify our members. We do that by encouragement and example. By “discipleship”. Part of that process has always involved pressure to comply in one form or another. Jesus did not treat his disciples’ foolishness and sinfulness as abstractions or something that only mattered between each individual and God. Rather he rebuked them roundly, placing pressure on them to meet expectations. Paul did the same thing in writing to the churches. Both exhibited considerable anger at times and used emotional pressure. Social pressure need not be more than this repeated many times over. That it is often done poorly does not mean that it should not be done at all.

    I agree; however, the one part I disagree with here is that we’re talking about discipleship here.

    The fact that the disciples are there to be disciples — which means that they’re already following Jesus — means that the desire is already present. They are willing to be admonished and rebuked in order to become refined by Jesus to learn His ways.

    That makes all of the difference in the world.

  14. @ Kirk Lewis

    Yep, to know the difference and to act in a kind manner is indeed good and Christ-like.

    Regarding your last point is that codes of conduct are needed. This is a complex and difficult question. Obviously, the most ideal form of government is theocracy which Israel had with Moses/Joshua and a church-like/priesthood structure in relationship to God and consultation with the elders.

    When you don’t have such a structure, any laws that are implemented become like religion. The law is more used to judge — when you don’t meet its expectations — rather than the promote desire of developing relationships.

    I personally don’t think there is a way to fix the current society because a republic and/or democracy is outside of God. The change needs to come within the Church, Christian families, and Christians.

  15. Kirk Lewis says:

    @Deep Strength

    We are in the world, not of the world.

    We cannot ignore Paul’s example and exhortation to do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do: Glory to God.

    We must lead by example. Non-Christians should look at us and wonder how we have peace and joy in times of sorrow and stress.

    We’re not perfect, just forgiven.

    The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.

    We aren’t exempt from life; we simply have a different mindset to deal with it.

  16. @ Kirk Lewis

    Agreed, although I think our implementation is different.

    Change is supposed to come as Christians act in one accord and love one another. John 17 outlines it pretty clear. I don’t think engaging worldly political structures as most of the current Church does will work. The Church must start its own initiatives to transform communities on a local level.

  17. Kirk Lewis says:

    @Deep Strength

    “I don’t think engaging worldly political structures as most of the current Church does will work. The Church must start its own initiatives to transform communities on a local level.”

    ^This I totally agree with.

    The Church should stop moving its position to try and get the world’s attention.

    It is past time, if not nearly too late, for individuals to demonstrate by example, to help churches lead by example, to show communities the merits of a Christian life.

    I believe we are within one ore two generations of the end times. The birth pangs of the earth are ever more obvious.

    We are no longer talking about changing the world for the better.

    I believe we are approaching emergency mode; a rescue operation to save as many souls as possible.

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  19. Peter says:

    DS….

    I know many people in the Church who do not really want to be disciples….. in the sense that they only want to be like the kind of Jesus that they feel comfortable with.

    Now do we set them an example in the expectation that they follow?
    Do we rebuke them – if they are persistent sinners – in the presence of other members of the Body, as Paul recommends?

    Scripture does consider behaviour to be a matter of conscience, but not JUST a matter of conscience.

    If not, why not?

    Regards….. Peter.

  20. @ Peter

    This is a tough question, and I think depends on a case by case basis.

    Romans 16 and Titus 3 talk about divisive people specifically. They are a case where “giving them a forum” in the church is going to cause more division and strife and thus it should be handled by those circumstances.

    With sinners unwilling to repent and given over to wickedness Matthew 18 and 1 Cor 5 outline that thoroughly if they are unwilling to repent.However, if they are willing to repent then they should be accepted in love.

    I would say this is at minimum the way it should be handled in church. Now, as it says in James 2 mercy triumphs over judgment and thus we should judge according to the law of liberty rather than the law (which brings forth condemnation).

    I’d rather error on being too inclusive overall as if you remember the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. There are going to be some people in the Church who are tares among the wheat, and we don’t know which ones. However, we can love on them such that God uses that to help them come to an understanding (to become wheat instead of tares). At the end of the age, everyone will be judged according to Christ anyway.

    I’d very much rather be caught on the side of too much grace and mercy rather than too much judgment and condemnation. Of course, like I said before it seems to be best handled on an individual bases… but this is the type of framework I would use since it’s based thoroughly in the Scriptures.

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