I guess others on Blogger are also dealing with this paragraph crunching monster. I've had several suggestions and am going to try one today.
One of the overviews of the Order vs Chaos thinking within the church that I want to look at is the Puritan view. The Puritans and other like groups are rigid and structured and lean heavily on the need for order and light. They shun any disorder and unorthodox creativity as devious and dangerous. The witch trials would be and extreme example.
There is a reason the term Puritanical was coined. This way of thinking is so rigid and so oppressive that people wilted under it until they could handle it no more, then they rebelled, either internally or externally. Those that rebel are looked upon as evil, dark.
The order and structure becomes the god and is cemented as God's divine order.
Women are particularly feared in these systems by the men in charge because women often approach things differently. And instead of being given space for this, the men of these systems are threatened by this because it doesn't line up with their view of God's order. So anything different than the rigid structure is viewed as apostate. Any form of freedom, even freedom inspired by the Holy Spirit, is squashed.
I heard the story of a Mennonite woman who began to seek God and find freedom in her own home. She did nothing out of order concerning her sect, she just started getting happy in the Spirit and in the knowledge of Jesus. After a while the elders of the church became uncomfortable and went to the woman's husband and ordered him to bring his wife back into submission.
The good news to this story was that it was too late. The husband could see that what his wife was pursuing was of God and in fact had benefited from this freedom himself. He left that Mennonite church and took his family to one that was experiencing a revival.
Here is a post on No Longer Quivering about a gal who suffered from a marriage to a mentally unstable, rigid-structure thinker. The paragraph I'd like people to note is tenth from the bottom (believe me, it was easier to count that way).
[Also note that the husband in this story, with all his rigid structuring upon structure was really hiding a dark secret that he ultimately would not be able to hide or defeat with all his complicated structures.]
Mark Driscoll’s Glaring Omission on His New Church Website
27 minutes ago