So I guess there was something of a debate over at Dalrock because of this post. Scott wrote his own thoughts about it over here. I’ve got a few thoughts of my own, but they are tied to scripture- hence why they are in this post. Reading through Dalrock’s post, I immediately saw the apparent “shallowness” of Mrs. Stone’s approach. At the same time, I was reminded of this:
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ 3 And the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence; for the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.
I also got to thinking of this passage from First Timothy:
8 Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
(1 Timothy 1:8-11)
The way I look at it is this:
Those who are truly good – or at least aspiring towards it- won’t need the kind of admonishment that Heidi provides. They will want to honor their vows, they will want to be loyal and faithful, etc. However, not everyone is like that. Some wives will not be like that- either because they never truly were, or because they are going through a time of personal weakness. Whatever the cause, they are not necessarily inclined to seek righteousness at that point. However, those who weak in that way might be persuaded by Heidi. She will appeal to their lesser nature- their cunning. And that is something that we as Christians should understand, and acknowledge as perhaps helpful. After all, that is the point of the first passage above- cunning has its use. And we as Christians should recognize it. Even if “lowly” methods are what is needed at the time, we can always appeal to the higher nature later.