Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Bitter Waters

Taking another break from SOS for a second.

I found another blog with an example of women spitting bitter religion out of their mouths.
These women, Laura and Vyckie, were a part of a Christian subgroup that promotes "Biblical Patriarchy" and the "Quiverfull" movement. It is a very hard teaching that can sap the very life out of a woman. I have friends not associated with that blog who are still recovering from the bad doctrine and oppressive teaching of this movement.

The women who own this blog are so turned off to Christianity because of this legalistic group that one or both of them is considering Atheism. And Atheists are stopping by to to congratulate them for escaping such a toxic religion as "Christianity"

The blog is called No Longer Quivering and is located at:

Jesus said, "Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."

If anyone is finding no rest in their Christian faith, perhaps it is time to re-examine it.

God calls us all to a Sabbath rest.

Edit made 3/25/09
After reading this again I realized that I could be misunderstood.
Those following my blog who have read the earliest posts would have known that I meant that the bitter waters being spit out by these recovering women did not originate within them. I don't think that they are just a couple of bitter vindictive women.
What I mean is that Patriarchy and Quiverfull teaching can be very bitter. I mean that these women are spitting out the bitter waters of this teaching. And rightly so.
Patriarchy and Quiverfull have both morphed into a works-based religion that doesn't bring life.
My hat's off to them for their strength and courage to escape and recover and speak out against such bitter waters being held up as sweet "Biblical" waters. They are not sweet waters. Too much man-made religion has been stirred into it making it toxic.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Failure to Attach

I have a coworker who has adopted boys who were neglected and abused in their early years (ages 0-three years). As a result of the abuse they have developed Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

Wikipedia says that, "RAD arises from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. Such a failure could result from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers, or a lack of caregiver responsiveness to a child's communicative efforts."

In other words, the child has not properly bonded with a caregiver.

Wikipedia goes on to say that not all children suffering from abuse and neglect at an early age develops RAD. It is actually "relatively uncommon".

Bonding is an extremely important time of development in a baby. God made us to be socially attached to one another. This is why Adam's "aloneness" in Genesis 2:18 is "not good."

God made Eve so that Adam was not alone anymore. He needed to bond with someone.

The Bible calls it cleaving in Genesis 2:24.

Interestingly, the same Hebrew word translated cleave in Gen 2:4 is used in Deuteronomy 10:20 & 13:4. My version translates it as cling.

Deut. 10:20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.

Deut. 13:4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him, and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

The word in Hebrew for cleave/cling also meant adhere, to catch by pursuit, fast together, follow close or hard after, be joined (together), pursue hard, stick.

So the children of Israel were encouraged to attach themselves, bond with, and even chase after God. And men are encouraged to do the same with their wives.

To become one with their wives? To become one with God?

Is such a thing possible?

Here are the words of Jesus.

John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.

Vs 22 And the glory Thou has given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one.

Vs 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity (into a unit), that the world may know (continually) that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

We are called to be one with God. Whatever that means exactly, I don't know. But it must be possible or God wouldn't ask it of us.

But when the Beloved in Song of Solomon 1:2 longs for the Lover to kiss (fasten, touch, attach, etc) her, she is longing for attachment. She is longing for a bond between herself and Him.

This is what we are called to do. To cling to God. To reach out for attachment and bonding. To let Him know we long for a touch, a look, a word from Him.

This is our highest calling.

Meditating on SOS can prepare our hearts to pursue this calling and open up to a healthy attachment to our God.

But distracted by the many worries, riches, and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14) some Christians suffer a failure to attach.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh, My Goodness (a break from SOS)

Something strange has happened.

I finally decided my life is stable enough that I can teach a Sunday School quarter in my church.
I'm teaching the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.
That's not the strange thing.
The strange thing is that the first unit in this quarter is about turning the tide of emotions.
The first lesson yesterday was on anger and the lesson next week is on...

Wait for it...



Can you believe it?

And just for the record, I'm honored that it fell this way. I'm honored that God would trust me with these lessons on emotions and with this Sunday School class. The lesson yesterday went well even though I went in a bit of a different direction than the lesson.
I handled it differently in part because of a discussion I had with Molly and others on her blog:
Adventures in Mercy

It is important to me to stress to these children that anger, itself, is not the enemy.
The Bible says to be angry yet do not sin.
It doesn't say do not be angry. And yet I've heard enough cautions over the years from teachings that stress the evils of anger that it left the impression on me that I was not allowed to be angry.
I eventually learned that suppressing anger is worse than the anger itself.
I had to learn to take my anger to God and let Him teach me, even release me, that it is okay to be angry.
So in my class we learned about appropriate anger, anger as a symptom of something else, anger addiction, and anger used to control.
The last two mentioned above, I stressed, were inappropriate anger. We called it sin.
The second one could go either way.
Though the curriculum touched on appropriate anger, it really stressed the dangers of inappropriate or unhealthy anger to the point that I feared my students would think that they needed to repress their anger. And I didn't want that. I wanted them to understand symptom anger.

Cain had symptom anger when God rejected his offering. (Genesis 4:1-8)
But the beautiful thing about this story is that God, Himself, was right there to direct Cain on what to do with this symptom. Unfortunately, Cain didn't listen to God and he ended up killing his brother.
This story was not included in the lesson curriculum. But I had to include it because so much of the time we don't recognize our anger for what it is. -- a symptom of something else.
Cain felt rejection and expressed it in anger.
It was actually good because it revealed that he really did care about what God thought about him.
And God provided a way for him to do what he needed to do to not be rejected. But Cain gave himself over to anger and sin instead of mastering the sin.

This story made an impression on my students. They seemed interested in the four expression of anger.

So anyway, I'm quite pleased that I get to teach this unit to my students.
They are in a very important time in their lives. I pray that God will give me what I need to teach this unit in a way that helps them along in healthy emotional growth and development.
I hope I can help them avoid some of the pitfalls that I have had.