Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Single Story and Religion

If you recall from the talk Chimananda Adichie gave that was linked here Friday, May 2oth, she spoke of being relegated to a Single Story by her American University roommate. The roommate kept thinking certain things about Chimananda because she came from Africa. Chimananda kept surprising her roommate with the many stories that Chimananda really had.

It was difficult for the roommate to see past the Single Story in her mind, but eventually she had to come to terms with Chimananda's many stories. Fortunately for them both, the "African" Single Story that Americans tend to believe is not backed up by religion and "Thus saith the Lord." So adjustments can be made to accommodate Chimananda's many stories.

Women oppressed by "Biblical Womanhood" have a much harder row to hoe because the Single Story that is written there comes along with, "And if you don't accept this as Gospel and God's Divine Order, you are displeasing to God."

Opposing the Single Story of Biblical Womanhood is considered the same as opposing God. Those in power have written this into the Story. Some even back up the Story with hellfire and brimstone holding a woman's very salvation hostage to the Story.

This is why it is so difficult to get women trapped in the Single Story to see the freedom that lies outside that story and in the many stories of God, the Bible, and what is written concerning His dealings with women.

But more people are talking. More men and women are telling their stories. Hopefully God will bless those still trapped in the Single story with ears to hear more stories from the Bible.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Single Story and Big Hearted Men

The beauty of big hearted men is that they DON'T reduce their women down to the Single Story or work to take away their voices.

Big hearted men create a place where a woman can speak freely from her heart of pain and bitterness and not be chided for not holding to the Single Story that CBMW and Patriarchy has written for her.

A good example of this, of course, is Lewis Wells and his drive to set the daughters of Patriarchy free from the Single Story that Patriarchy has written for them. He sees the need to give them space to heal and be delivered from the oppression of that Single Story.

Here is a link to a particularly good post from him on healing those wounded and destroyed by Patriarchy. In it, he emphasized the need for young women to find out who they are and to be given the freedom to say or not say what the want, when they want to, because they have never has that right before and don't even know how to walk in it.


Lewis doesn't use terms like "Single Story" or phrases like "Find their voice". But the road he recommends for healing will help women to break from the Single Story and find their own, authentic voice.

In contrast, Tina Anderson's pastor, Chuck Phelps, did what he could to control and squash Tina's authentic voice. He reassigned her a fake voice and gave her a Single Story concerning what happened to her. Instead of the true and many stories of betrayal, broken trust, the strong oppressing the vulnerable, etc. he gave her the story of 'temptress', 'strange woman', and needing to be held responsible for her share of the blame. He held her responsible for things she couldn't control and decided that Tina was not a wounded and exploited lamb. Rather, he assigned her the position of scapegoat, bearing the brunt of the guilt and sending her away from the camp to bear her shame with strangers. Then those strangers forced Tina to write a letter of apology to the wife of her alleged rapist for betraying her.


I am glad, after all these years, that Tina has found her voice and has the chance to bring to light more stories concerning her life and the dark times she was forced to walk in by others.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Single Story and Small Minded Men

The small minded men in Church leadership that we covered between April 22nd through May 2nd are not confined to the Single Story. Since all three of them have huge platforms and far reaching ministries, they are able to tell many, many stories that make up their lives and their understanding of God and the universe.

I am aware of their many stories and am not capable of reducing them down to a single story if I ever wanted to.

But these men have taken their large ministries and influence and have used their clout (power) to reduce me and other women down to a Single Story.

They have also tried to take away the true voices of women and replaced them with a fake, plastic, CBMW approved voice that doesn't let on that there is anything more than the Single Story of Womanhood.

Voice and the Single Story are not the same things, but they are related. Having a voice is having the ability to speak for yourself and tell your many stories. The small minded men of Piper, Driscoll, and Grudem have big voices and tell many stories all the while using their pulpit and their platform to rob women of authentic voice and to reduce women down to different versions of the same story.

If you recall Driscoll feels very free to define a woman's voice and feels free to be the author of her story as we noted earlier. When talking about how women should be "...his voice becomes soft and gentle as he says that the woman who is quiet and non-assertive, who wouldn’t even ask for that position, she is the one that would be best in that position [of leadership]." (From April 29th post and Freedom4Captives blog)

Piper, if you recall, is the one who, in the book, "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood," cautions women on how to address men so that their 'Manhood' isn't threatened. He tells women that when a man asks a woman for directions, she must alter her voice so that she appears submissive to him while giving him those directions.

Piper is also the guy the wants to define sweet for women and how a woman should respond to her husband when he is pressuring her to join him in gross sin. He gives her a fake, non-authentic voice and he writes a Single Story for her when he says she should respond with:
"Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. God calls me to do that and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership. But if you ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can't. I can't go there." (quoted from 2/21/11 post "Men Defining Sweet for Women". )

Small minded men have the privilege of speaking in their own, authentic voice and telling many many stories about themselves, relationships, life, God, and the universe. But rather than allow women to have their own voice and their own stories, they use their power and influence to take away the woman's true voice and reduce her down to a Single Story.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Single Story and 'Biblical' Womanhood

You knew this was coming.

Much has been said about Biblical Womanhood and much teaching has been handed down by those in power concerning their Single Story of Womanhood.

Much also has been said concerning the short list of scriptures telling the same version of the Single Story. Many have pointed out how the pushers of Biblical Womanhood ignore or explain away scriptures that add more stories to what Biblical Womanhood actually is.

Those who focus on the Single Story of Biblical Womanhood ignore or explain away or redefine the stories of Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Priscilla, the Proverbs Woman, II John's Elect Lady, Mary and Martha, just to mention a few.

The definers and story tellers of "Biblical Womanhood" have told one story. They have have shown Biblical Womanhood to be one thing and only one thing, over and over until that is what it has become to the neglect of so many other stories concerning women in the Bible.

They have also taken books of the Bible that might mention women in particular or have instructions for women or marriage and have so over focused on those few verses that they have neglected dozens of other verses within that book that tell other stories that include women.

We are not obligated to live within the restrictive structure of CBMW/Biblical Womanhood's Single Story. Doing so only brings deep sorrow and denies how big God really is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Single Story and Christian Marriage

Years ago I heard a lady speak of a time when she and her husband were going through marriage problems. When she went for counseling, the pastoral staff told her that she needed to go back and submit and that would somehow solve the problem.

So she did. But things didn't get better.

Then she prayed, which she should have done in the first place. When she prayed, she felt an impression concerning the problem which she had not thought of which led to a different solution. When she applied the solution, it worked.

The lady telling the story had no issue with submission, she didn't even have an attitude toward the pastoral staff and their single Story Solution. She was simply expressing the importance of going to God rather than men when looking for help because men can't see the whole story but God can.

Just the other day I was on a blog talking about something anonymously, mentioning difficulty in an area of my marriage. Some guy who knew that I leaned egal felt the need to tell me the reason for our issues. He suggest that the reason there was difficulty in my marriage was because I had 'wrestled' my husband's rightful position of 'authority' away from him in the family order which set all thing askew and topsy turvy. He recommended that I needed to set aside my egal views and submit as the Bible prescribed so that all things would re-align and come into a proper and divine order.

Her again is the Single Story cropping up where it doesn't belong.

Marriage is complicated and has many stories. Yet some people reduce it down to hierarchy, order, and a certain structure and make it all about who is the boss. They miss the fact that perhaps the advice they give may be wrong because it has nothing to do with the original problem. And they cannot even fathom that the advice they give may actually make a bad situation worse. The reason they cannot see it is because they cannot see pass the Single Story they have written or have been taught that marriage is.

And herein lies the danger of the Single Story. People and relationships cannot be reduced down to roles and rules, yet this is what is done in many Christian circles.

They reduce marriage and all the problems in marriage to different versions of the Single Story. And since it is the men who traditionally have been in power over scripture, translation, and dividing the Word, these men have written a certain story that that best suits them. If something is wrong in a marriage it must somehow be the woman's fault. Once she has tried everything to be perfect to the satisfaction of the men in power, then perhaps they might consider that submission isn't the solution.

And this is why women need to wise up and go directly to the Source concerning their story. God is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not men. Men don't see the many stories involved. They focus in on the one they like or is most important to them. Their view is finite. God's is infinite and He sees the end from the beginning and all the stories involved in the person of you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Off Topic and Completely Spontaneous

Retha made a comment under one of the strong men posts about one of the guys bringing again to my remembrance what he's made of.

As I was composing a response I remembered an old CD by Rich Mullins called "Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth" and I thought of these guys and what motivated them. And part of this title came to me. Actually the words, "Stuff of Heaven" popped into my mind and the thought, "These guys are motivated by the stuff of Heaven." Then I thought of Rich's CD. It's the one that had the song, "Awesome God" on it.

And on a whim I wanted to share the lesser known music (than Awesome God) on "Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth" with people who may never have heard it. This is that Quaker boy from the Heartland who wrote the song about the plains that blessed me so much that I wrote about it back on April 9th.
So if you have time, especially if you haven't heard it before, it's old, but good stuff.




Reflections on the Single Story, part 2

Chimananda Adichie said other interesting things about the Single Story in the youtube video that was linked here Friday. She said at the 9:23 mark that it was "impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power."

She said, in effect, that it is the powerful who are able to control to story, not just to tell it but to make it definitive. It is the powerful that have the control to make the single story the defining and conclusive story.

She gave the example of herself stating that she had many stories of America and knew that America was not limited to a single story like her own country and continent.

She also stated at the 13:10 mark that "The single story creates stereotypes, not that they are untrue but they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."
Chimananda listed three things that the single story does:
~It robs people of dignity
~It makes recognition of equal humanity difficult
~It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we similar.

Near her conclusion, Chimananda said that stories have been used to dispossess and malign. but that they can also be used to empower and humanize. She said that stories can break the dignity of a people and also to repair broken dignity.

If it sounds like I'm just rehashing what she has said, forgive me. I simply wanted Chimananda's words in print to refer back to for when we explore her concept of the single story and how it relates to the powerful and how they disempower and marginalize those that they want to control using religion and other means.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reflections on the Single Story

Nigerian Novelist, Chimananda Adichie, in the youtube video I linked Friday, spoke about something she calls "The Single Story."
As Hannah commented, Chimananda spoke a mouthful.

I love the way she displayed how much stories affect us and how important stories are to our lives. I also appreciate her caution to us concerning "The danger of the single story".

The story she told about the house boy from a poor family illustrates the impact of hearing only one story over and over again. When she was eight, her mother always spoke of how poor this family to the point that Chimananda couldn't think of him in any other way. How poor this family was became "the single story" of her understanding of them. That single story became so embedded in her that when they went to visit that family, she was shocked at the beautiful basket the houseboy's brother had made. And she learned that poverty was not their only story. They were also hardworking. And as she told the story, I could see that they were also handy, artistic, and creative. There was so much more to their story than being poor.

Chimananda said, at the 9:25 mark that the way you create a single story about a person, family, or people group it that you show them "as one thing and only one thing over and over again and that is what they become."
Chimananda warns us of the danger of the single story. And as she spoke I saw and understood the truth and wisdom of her words and began seeing the danger she spoke about and some of it related to the things I've been trying to get across.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Single Story

I saw this video the other day and was going to hold off and show it at a later date because I wanted to pursue the comparisons and contrasts of small minded men vs big hearted men.
But something Kay said in a comment made me want to go ahead and link this so we can talk about it later.

The video is 20 minutes long so view it when you have time.
But I believe it would be well worth your time.
The speaker is a Nigerian author who also happens to be a good speaker. She deals with an old topic from a new and fresh perspective that I think applies to some of the things we discuss here. So I'm linking it this morning and hopefully, all 15 of you that come by from time to time will get to view it over the weekend before I begin to refer back to it next week.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two New Blogs Added to Blog List

I have been visiting two blogs that I want to add to my Blog Roll.

Retha is a new friend from South Africa. I love the name of her blog, "Biblical Personhood". When one sees the over emphasis by so many on the differences between men and women and how important men and women follow different rules for life, it's nice to see another voice reminding everyone in their name that we are all human first. When the differences are over emphasised and extra rules are made up to divide the human race into two different species with different rules pertaining to each (something the Bible doesn't do) it's good to see someone questioning all the ranting and raving about cultural decline due to not following blue and pink roles for humans.

Kay on "Happy Surprise" is exploring the implications of gender roles, among other things, and asking the hard questions about what she believes and what she should believe. I find her honesty and journey inspiring. She has both egal and comps commenting on her blog, and it has been, for the most part, friendly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Support Tina Anderson

Okay, all my friends know that my computer and Internet abilities are severely lacking. And my friends just accept me the way I am.

Even so, I want to show my solidarity with Tina Anderson and all the women and girls who have been damaged by the male-superiority leadership machine within portions of the church.

I tried and tried to copy the display that Cindy has on her blog to show my support for Tina but I failed. So instead, to show my support and solidarity and to show my agreement that pedophiles within the church need to be brought to justice, I'm simply linking Cindy's blog.

So if you want to add your support, go to Cindy's blog and hopefully you will have more success copying the button onto your blog (if you have one, otherwise, just be aware of this situation and add your prayers of support for Tina).


Lost Comments

When Blogger hit its most recent hiccup, I lost at least two already approved comments. One from Waneta and one from Hannah.

I don't know how many unapproved comments were lost that I never saw.

Also, that hiccup kind of threw me. I was on a roll but due to not being able to post and having the posts I had made being scrambled and otherwise mistreated my roll was thrown off.

I hope to get into comparing and contrasting true brothers of women to the false brethren who don't want to be brothers, but rather lords, masters, high priests, and little Christs to their women.

True brothers inspire their sisters onto godliness.
The false ones push down, push back, reduce, and weaken their women. And though the false brothers may be brothers in the sense that they call upon the name of Christ, they undermine their position of brothers in the lives of women by trying to be more than what they are called to, by thinking more highly of themselves than they ought.

And I wanted to get into comparing and contrasting the True with the false because women need to be careful of whose voices we listen to. Not all men who claim to love God know how to love and encourage their sisters.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Houses of Healing

There is a scene from Lord of the Rings that didn't appear in the theatrical version. I've shared it elsewhere. But because it seems to go with this series on strong men and men who have the heart of true brothers towards women, I've decided to link it here for those of my friends who haven't seen it yet.

Jesus taught us to treat one another as brothers and sisters. And this view is so lost when you start dividing things up into boxes and roles and giving one gender the lesser role. When in fact we are all called (male and female) to be warriors and brothers of light. The chapter that immediately follows Ephesians 5 is Ephesians 6 which tells us, regardless of gender, to take up the full armor of God. Yet the role pushers want to make only men warriors and relegate women to helpless damsels in distress, or victims. And such a set up sets women up for failure. Then when failure comes, the woman is relegated to the level of strange women and her humanity, brother/sisterhood is lost and she becomes even lesser still and a thing to be mocked, warned against, and even further used.

More about that later.

This scene opens up with a heart wrenching cry from a warrior brother who has discovered his sister's body on the battle field and shows his anguish over her. Then it quickly moves to the following scene in the houses of healing and what follows there.

The reason I like this scene is because it shows a couple things. One, the love of a brother for his sister (who refused the box of her culture and went into battle thus fulfilling an ancient prophecy and gaining a huge victory). And, two, the healing of this sister by another man who is not her biological brother, but is most definitely her brother in arms and in heart.

There is a third man shown who becomes a love interest later, but in this scene it shows his attraction and admiration for her heroic actions on the battlefield.


True brothers want to make the church into a house of healing for all, including women, no matter where the women come from or how they are wounded. True brothers believe that the name of God, "The Lord our Healer" still applies today and is more important than their own 'advancement' and authority in the Kingdom of God.
False brothers are only concerned with their own authority, controlling women and making extra rules for them that men don't have to obey, and extra sins that men can't be guilty of.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strong Men, Jon Zens

Jon Zens has worked since 2001 to help women out of the sex trade and has seen the destruction that patriarchy has wrecked on the lives of women and girls in the Christianity and noted the parallels between them.

He is disturbed by the trend of Neo-Patriarchy that is laying siege against the truth of freedom in Christ. And he has raised his voice along with other men against the abuses he has seen perpetrated in the name of Jesus Christ.

Besides speaking out and having an Internet presence, Jon Zens has written a book called, "No Will of My Own (How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity and Personhood)".

There is an article at the link below concerning Jon Zens and his book. And linked in the article is an interview with Cindy and Jocelyn about the book on Blog Talk Radio.

Thank you, Jon Zens, for being my brother and a brother to those in the sex trade and those oppressed by patriarchy in the 21st century church.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Strong Men, P.C.

Here is another fellow that I'm unsure what his name is. But he has a video on youtube where he is talking about men using the Bible to hurt women. The video is listed under Prophecy Channel, Hence, for this post, the man speaking is dubbed P.C.

Where as I.C. demonstrated his view through anger, you can hear the catch in P.C. voice as he goes through Ephesians 5 and talks about how it has been abused to hurt women. He's imploring men, and a certain man in particular, to not look upon headship the way the present world looks upon headship, but rather look at it from a Roman culture stand point.

P.C. also carries the heart of Jesus for his sisters, being brought to tears over the abuses that his sisters have faced in the name of God. He wants to bring comfort to hurt women and correction to men who don't know how to be brothers and uplift women.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Strong Men, I.C.

Yep, you read it right. I.C. because I don't know his name. But he has a blog and I was made aware of it through Lewis's blog.

A certain fellow by the name of Spencer came to Lewis's blog one day, and was determined to set us all straight on the clear Biblical teaching of female subordination and the need for tactics for fathers to control their rebellious daughters.

I.C. wrote an open letter to Spencer on his own blog, and I'll tell ya. I.C.'s anger and indignation was not unlike Jesus going into the temple with a whip and chasing out the money changers. Jesus said that God's house was to be a house of prayer but men were making it a den of thieves.
This is what is going on in sections of Christianity. There a thieves who are stealing freedom from others. Jesus said that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. But the thieves have exchanged the truth for a lie, labeled it 'biblical' and even called it 'clearly scriptural'. And the lie has brought deep bondage into the lives of women.

With the same zeal that Jesus drove out the money changers, I.C. set about to boldly confront a truth exchanger who is seduced by the lies of patriarchy.

The truth exchangers pretend to be brothers, and even in a sense may be Christian brothers. But they are very misled brothers like my sister-in-law's bio brother who didn't know how to be an actual brother. (May 9th post)

I.C.. along with Lewis, knows how to be a true brother, a defender of women against the thieves who are out to steal freedom in Jesus. It's exciting for me to see men who are strong and love women with the love of the Lord rather than with the love of gaining seats of honor for themselves.

You can read I.C.'s open response to Spencer here and take comfort in his zeal for our freedom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strong Men, Lewis

Most of my readers are familiar with the blog "The Commandments of Men".

The host of this blog is Lewis Wells who had a close encounter with Neo-Patriarchy that has left him shattered. He relates this encounter in his, "The Joke was on Me" Series.

He has received a severe wounding at the hands of supposed 'brothers' in the 'Church' but instead of turning around and wounding others, he has found strength in Jesus Christ and has become a watchman on the wall, warning others against the false doctrines and commandments of men being held up as gospel.

I could say a great deal more but would like to quote one of his commenter's on his "Steadfast Daughters Leaves Me Quivering Once Again" thread.

DoaHF said to him at 12:16 pm on November 22, 2010: "Three cheers, Lewis. Thanks for standing up for us. You didn't have to, and you sure didn't have to care at all after what they did to you, but here you are. You keep us laughing, make us think, and bring us through the hard days. Much love."

Lewis is being a true brother who sees his sisters as valuable and worth defending against men who conspire to use religion to control their women. He wants people, including women, to be free in the love of God and Spirit of Christian brotherhood.

As DoaHF said, he doesn't have to care or stand up for the downtrodden, but he does.

And here is a quote of his that explains his motivation that he has a the top of his blog: "When we become unwilling to risk everything for the sake of the right thing, our salt has lost its savor, and we no longer season our world."

Thank you Lewis, for being salt and a light in the darkness. The light you shine for your brothers and sisters showing them the way out of the darkness of patriarchy is much appreciated.

You are a strong secure man that I can honor and am proud to call brother.

http://thecommandmentsofmen.blogspot.com/ (link for anyone visiting who hasn't been to his blog yet)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strong Men, My Brother

I'm proud of my younger brother and could make a very long list of the reasons why.

But for the sake of my strong man series, I want to relate one, on-going story, that makes me know what sort of man he is and how he views women.

My brother's wife, Tracy, also has a brother. But her brother isn't nearly as decent as my brother. In fact, some of the stories of her growing up that she has told me have rather been upsetting.

Tracy is an awesome person and has many friends. Her brother hasn't been able to keep good friends, and has been jealous of Tracy and her friends. But as Tracy puts it, he's always been jealous of her but never wanted to be her friend. She has male cousins who have been far better 'brothers' to her than her biological brother ever was.

Tracy's family, her mother and father, herself, and my brother, have put up with a lot of bad behavior from Tracy's brother over the years.

Until finally my brother had enough and put his foot down. Tracy's brother had insulted one of Tracy's dear friends and was even lying about her in front of 'the guys'. My brother stood up to him, called him on the lies and told Tracy's brother that he would not stand by and let this man slander this woman unchallenged.

Tracy's brother didn't like it that my brother didn't play along with the he-man woman haters club game.

There is much more history that follows than I can't relate here. But one thing led to another and my brother finally told Tracy's brother that he's not welcome in their house until he learns how to treat people .

My sister-in-law, Tracy, feels loved and well protected from her brother that doesn't know how to be a brother to any woman.

So my hat is off to my brother, one of my heroes. And I figured he would be a good one to start off this series.

My strong men series is about men who I'm proud to call brothers because they are real brothers as opposed the the small, insecure men who are more concerned with making themselves overlords of women than being brothers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Really Don't Hate Men

Just in case anyone was wondering. No, I don't hate men.

I'm sure it probably looked like it while I was dealing with three small minded men in high places. And truth be known, I don't even hate those men. They frustrate me. Their attitude towards women is so far the polar opposite of inspiring that they make me want to beat my head against the wall. But I don't hate them. I see that they are bound up by sin and woundedness and are so insecure they cannot be honest with themselves over that fact. They have to hide behind mistranslation of Biblical text and wrongly dividing the word of truth in order to protect the deep places of their heart against the 'evil feminine' that wants to suck their manhood down a black hole. The problem is, that black hole doesn't exist outside themselves. And it certainly doesn't exist within any woman. It exists within themselves. They just want to transfer the blame elsewhere. They just want to follow in the foot steps of the first Adam rather than in the footsteps of the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

My attitude toward such men is best summed up in the words of Buzz Lightyear that were quoted and linked to in the April 26th post: "You are a sad, strange, little man and you have my pity."

I'm sure insecure men who might stumble on my small men series would be convinced that I was abused and mistreated as a child and such.

But, in fact, the opposite was true.

The men in my life, my grandfathers, my father, my uncles, my brother, my male cousins... They were/are all strong, good, secure men. And the family I married into, my father-in-law, my brother-in-laws, my husband's uncles and cousins, They are all strong, good, secure men.

In fact I was so surrounded by them that I had a hard time understanding women who were not blessed this way. It took a long time for me to discern and gain empathy for women who had been used and abused by men. But I did get there.

And in gaining understanding of the wounded women of the world, as a Christian, I became concerned with the doctrine that perpetuates an imbalance between the sexes and protects abusers while blaming victims. The more I learned about this false and imbalanced doctrine and the men who push it, the more appalled I became.

But for me, it's not about hating men.

It's about standing against false gospel, a false religion parading around as the gospel, that favors men over women.

So, to balance out my little tirade against the three little men (who might or might not be considered male-chauvinist pigs) I plan to point out strong, secure men, either in my life or on the Internet plus at least one in fiction that more closely represent the true heart of Jesus toward women than anything that comes out of the mouth of Mark Driscoll.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Off Topic, My Son part 2

My three most popular posts are in this order: "The Wounded Healer" written December 6, 2010, "Sin in the Camp" written June 6, 2010, and "Off Topic, My Son" Written September 13, 2010.

And in honor of the next series I'm going to write on strong, secure men, I'd like to revisit the young man that I'm proud of.

My boys like to watch zombie movies. They are kind of zombie experts. And sometimes my son likes to share those movies with me. I'm not so crazy about them. But for mother son time, I will sit down and watch one of the milder ones, or one with an actual plot that is somewhat intriguing, that my son thinks I can handle since I hate slasher, gory movies.

Well, we watched 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later. And no, I'm NOT recommending it. I kind of wished I hadn't watched it.
But funny thing, in the opening scene my son warned me that there is a guy who was a real, uhm, well, I'll use his words... douche. Turns out this guy abandons his wife rather than going back to save her, which most certainly would have lead to his own death or infection to the rage virus.

When I saw the scene, I came at it from a cold, objective, body count position and said that there was little point in him going back because she would be dead or infected before he got back to her and then he'd be dead too.

He looked at me funny and said, "Of all the people I've talked to, you're the only one who hasn't agreed 100% that he was a total douche."

I laughed, because all the people he talks to about these movies are Christian, guys his age, and maybe a few girls. He and his friends have a good, strong idea of what real men are in spite of the dire warnings given by the pushers of male hierarchy. My son's growth, person hood, and yes, even his manhood, is progressing beautifully. He knows right from wrong. He understands sacrifice for family, women, and children (there was a child involved in the movie as well, though not their child, long story.).

So I praised my son on his attitude of love and self-sacrifice and I took heart in the fact that the young, Christian, American male is not in danger of losing his manhood as much as the noisy gong preachers keep saying.

So the next few posts on strong, secure, Christian men will be dedicated to him and my brother in honor of the fact that I'm proud of them and consider them both my brothers in Christ because neither of them promote a jock strap religion.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jock Strap Religion

The problem with jock strap religion is not just the fact that it protects small and insecure men by reducing and hurting women, though that's a big enough reason to reject it, in itself. Jock strap religion avoids the real issues in men. It protects and justifies the insecure and threatened places within men rather than encouraging them to find out why they feel insecure and threatened. It also causes them to blame their problems on women by determining that it is the feminization of church and society that is doing all the damage to men.

Understand something. I totally get that there are bitter women in this world who need to open up their hearts and let God in to do surgery. And I would encourage any woman who feels bitter or angry or depressed or whatever, to turn to God again and again until God performs the needed work in her heart and to trust Him until the work is completed.

The problem is that jock strap religion continues to hurt women and distracts both men and women from the real issues so that whatever good God is able to perform in a woman's heart, a woman can't ever get to it because she's too busy contorting herself into a smaller shape so as not to ruffle the wounded male egos around her.

AND jock strap religion continues to protect men from dealing with the bitterness and insecurity within their own hearts.

Instead of men asking themselves, "Why do I feel threatened by women?" "Why does a woman who is able to teach with authority scare me?" "Why do I feel the need to reduce her down in size?" "Why do I twist scripture in order to make God submit rather than accept the strength of the helper God gave me?" "Why do I want them to speak in a tiny, little, mouse voice?" "Why do I feel compelled to warn people against the dangers of a strong woman?"...

Instead of men asking themselves honest questions, they strengthen the power of protection over their private hurts and claim that if a woman is abused, it's because she didn't submit. If a woman teaches men, she's defying God's creation order (something God never says). If she gives directions she must do so in a manner that makes sure that the Manhood of the man is never, ever compromise (as if she ever really had that power.)

Jock strap religion is a false gospel that elevates the structures of men over and above the liberating love of Jesus who was never threatened by a woman.

The solution to uneasy Manhood is not to reduce Womanhood down to a more manageable size. The solution is for the men to remove their spiritual jock strap and let God heal the broken places in a man's heart.

There is no shame in having broken places. We all have them. We live in a broken world. The shame is in hiding the broken places, in covering them up and blaming someone else for your insecurities and twisting scripture to support your sinful postition. The shame is holding someone else responsible for your insecurities and telling them that God agrees with you. This is the sin of using the Lord's name in vain.

Men need to get healed and stop forcing women into boxes that make men feel less threaten. My goodness. If a women can scare you so bad, what the heck would you do if you had to face a real enemy?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Save Men from the Evil Feminine"

This is a quote from a blog post that critiques "Wild at Heart".

The author has listened to interviews of John Eldredge, read both WAH, and Captivating and has come away with a bad taste in her mouth.


As I mentioned, I enjoyed Wild At Heart. But I never really thought about the side of it that said that the problem with men is feminizition.

If that really was his message, then all I can say is that I'm glad I missed that part. Also, if Eldredge really thinks that, all I can wonder is, how did women become so powerful that they were able to destroy the masculine in men? How many women would even want to if they had the power?

Women never were that powerful. And most women have no desire to destroy the masculine in men. There is something else going on. I want men healed and delivered. But I know you don't have to blame women in order to get there. In fact, blaming women for it only confuses the problem and makes it harder to get to a real solution.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Why Talk About Small Men in High Places

There is much abuse being exposed in various places in the church, Catholic, Baptist, IFB etc and much is being written about it in the blog circles I visit. It needs to be written and the abuse exposed so it can stop and the church can heal. I applaud those who are writing on it.

So why am I talking about three small minded men in high places? Simple. Because their collective influence over Christianity is huge. And while abuse goes on in the extreme sectors of Christianity, the main movers and shakers continue to teach doctrine concerning gender that is filtered through their own fear and insecurity.

These little men say that the Bible teaches certain things about gender and authority that is extremely limiting and constricting to women. And these teachings are quite damaging. The far reach of their words create more wide spread damage than the little sections of abuse done in secret.

Driscoll is considered one of the top 50 most influential pastors in the U.S. His attitude toward women and what to do with them is being heard by many young, insecure, and impressionable pastors who want only to imitate him, their hero.

Driscoll, Piper, and Grudem (among many other men involve with CBMW) have taken the gospel and added to it protections for themselves changing it from the pure gospel to a jockstrap religion for men, that protects the insecure and sensitive places of men to the hurt of women.

So the gospel becomes a means by which insecure men can control other men and a means by which all men can control all women. And anytime the gospel is used to control others, it is a misuse and, in fact, it becomes a false gospel.