As I walked the streets of my small midwest town praying for the people and the churches of the town, the words came to me, "Make bitter waters sweet." Those words made no sense at the time. Surely if those words actually came from God they weren't about me. I, the pastor's wife, had a life that other women in my church envied. Shortly after that, my life fell apart and the bitterness that lurked beneath the surface came to the top. But God did not leave me there. Just as He can make crooked paths straight, raise valleys, and lower mountains, so also could He make bitter waters sweet. This blog contains bits and pieces and large chunks of my ongoing journey from bitter waters to sweet.
Two months ago, a comment was left on the 2012 post, Voddie Baucham Is Sexist, by Ship Wreck. Ship Wreck sounds like a little Reformer who is fit to be tied. This Reformer is angry with me concerning my assessment of Voddie. I find the comment hilarious. Ship Wreck makes the most outlandish assumptions possible.
Ship Wreck assumes that I "as a female" am single with no intention of getting married or having kids.
That's funny. Because I've been married for over 30 years and have had four children, all grown now.
Ship Wreck assumes that I have had at least one abortion and have slept with at least ten men.
Wow, Ship Wreck. Way off. I've only ever slept with one man. Didn't sleep with him until after we were married. And I've had zero abortions.
Ship Wreck assumes that I am on birth control, like that is evil or something.
Sorry, Ship Wreck. Don't need birth control. Ever heard of menopause?
Ship Wreck assumes that my parents are divorced and I was never disciplined.
Well, Shippy. I gotta tell ya. I lost my father two years ago. If he were still alive, he and my mother would be celebrating their 60 year anniversary in August. Also, my dad was one of those fathers that told me that spanking me was going to hurt him more than me. I fully believed him because I was very much a daddy's girl. I miss him a great deal. There is nothing you can say that will diminish him in my eyes or in the eyes of God whom he served. The board of directors for the home for pregnant girls seeking to avoid abortions (that he once served on) would agree.
Ship Wreck assumes that I'm addicted to something. If coffee counts, then Shippy is correct on at least this one.
Ship Wreck assumes that I suffer from anxiety, depression, or ADD.
Well, as far as I know, I don't. But in my job, I do work with young people suffering these things. I work closely with them to help them overcome so they can grow up to live fulfilling lives. I prefer to work with people to help them overcome such obstacles. Shippy wants to accuse people of having these maladies and uses such accusation as bludgeoning weapons against people that disagree with Voddie. Nice, Shippy. Perhaps now you might understand why I have no respect for your comment and little respect for you. However, I'm not going to lower myself to your way-less-than-Christlike level because Jesus does love you no matter how misguided you are in trying to serve Him.
Then Ship Wreck instructs me to read the book of Ephesians in one sitting, which I have done before. I probably will again, sometime. But it isn't coming up right away in my scheduled Bible reading time. Right now I am in John, Romans, Psalms, and Isaiah. There is a lot of Bible to read and a lot of context to get. Context is key.
Speaking of Ephesians, I have, on more that one occasion, instructed women to read this book. But I have told them to go ahead and skip the part where Paul addresses the Aristotle Household Code. Not because that part is wrong. It is right as rain. Paul does an amazing job turning that old code on it's head using the grace and love of God. But Paul's response to Aristotle's Household Code has been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and used as a bludgeoning tool against women by abusive husbands and pastors for hundreds of years causing bitterness and severe PTSD.
As mentioned in the previous post, I am heart-sick over all the bitterness caused by the errant teachings of men like Voddie. I've said it before. I will say it again. Voddie is sexist and interprets the Bible in a way that raises men and fathers up as idols and oppresses women and mothers down to doormats making both ineffective and unable to produce spiritual fruit.
Ship Wreck is in agreement with Voddie. Ship Wreck is wrong on all assumptions concerning me (except about coffee). Ship Wreck and Voddie have a broken and bitter understanding of scripture that leads to shipwrecked faith. May God lead them out of the darkness that has defiled and devastated countless lives.
Suddenly life started pouring way more on top of me than I could handle at once and I had to let a few things go. One of those things was this blog.
Though I had to let go of blogging, I have not let go of my understanding of and concern over the bitter things than are still being inflicted in God's Name by those who are using God's Word for personal gain.
I am in a brand new chapter in my life. Perhaps I might be able to go into this and what I have come through. Perhaps I might be able to begin blogging again. It is hard to say. Things are so new and so different for me, I am still settling into my new routine. Perhaps my new routine will allow me to blog again. We will see.
I am highlighting these two posts in particular because they expose the hypocrisy of the church concerning women. They expose how the needs of women do not concern the men in charge. Even though preachers teach on the Bible verses that would tell them to heal the wounded, somehow when it involves a woman married to an abusive man suddenly these verses fall away and the only verses the preachers care about are the submission and God hates divorce verses. These preachers lose sight of the fact that God cares for women and is concerned over their healing.
In combination with these posts I want to throw in an old one of mine.
And here is a quote from it concerning God's concern for the hearts of women:
It is also about the wounded female heart that many men don't want to see and gloss over as though such a thing doesn't exist. Or if a woman's heart really is wounded, it is somehow the woman's own fault and she just needs to shape up, all the while serving the man with a sweet disposition.
Yes, I've heard messages from preachers about bitter women. I've heard the rebukes and criticisms, and blaming that these senseless preachers freely pour out on already wounded hearts. I've heard about the merciless shaming of pastor's wives who "let themselves go". What do these men know about a woman's heart? Nothing.
They know nothing because they do not care. The heart of a woman is of little value to them. They care about the outward rather than the inward. If the outward is not seemly enough, then let the ridicule fly. If the outward attitude is not sweet, then run her off and call her Jezebel since she is of no use to the man and not worth his trouble.
Thank God, He knows everything about women. Thank God, He cares deeply about every wound. Thank God, He sees past the sometimes prickly self-defenses of a wounded woman and seeks after her heart. He poured Himself out generously to heal and comfort every woman cursed and spoken against by self-righteous preachers, supposed brothers, false shepherds who attack the ewes to garner favor with the rams.
Thank you Natalie for you courage in exposing foolish men who elevate rams over ewes and themselves over everyone.
The title above is a quote from a comment stream over at The Wartburg Watch.
It was said by a commenter identified as Gram3.
Then a second commenter said further.
Gram3 wrote: The god of Authority must have sacrifices.
Max continues along those lines: New Calvinist young women are lining up across America like robots to offer themselves to their god. I don’t think Paul meant that when he wrote “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship” (Rom 12:1). These poor girls cannot exercise their spiritual gifts, offering them back to the Father as a sacrifice, in a patriarchal system of belief and practice. Sad.
They even add the word 'Dangerous' which I didn't include in my title.
Am I smiling over here?
You bet I am.
I am sick to death of entitled, little men in their holier-than-thou towers using God and the Bible as bashing tools to amass power and authority unto themselves.
It is long past time that they be called out by bigger and more far-reaching publications.