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.
There are a lot of Biblical Womanhood people who have their bloomers in a twist over Rachel Held Evans book exploring the Bible and Womanhood. I mentioned one rebuttal to a negative review in a previous post. Here, my friend, Hannah is exploring and exposing the hypocrisy in another negative review.
There is lots of controversy over just exactly what Biblical Womanhood is. It seems there is no shortage of people who feel compelled to tell women what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do. And there is no shortage of people who want to tell women what they are supposed to be, what God's intention is for them and what creation order and natural order means concerning limitations and restrictions concerning women.
I have this memory of watching some informative show either on PBS or a National Geographic special or something. It was many years ago before there was satellite TV and over a hundred channels to choose from. This program was observing an African culture and in particular the marriage of a young woman. After the ceremony, the girl's uncles and other male family members were in her face lecturing her soundly concerning her duties as a woman. I couldn't understand their language, but the intensity of their speech could not be missed. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some shaming and chiding going on. The girl's head was bowed submissively and she nodded in agreement with them over whatever they were demanding of her.
The visual of that girl, head bowed, being berated by those grown and angry sounding men is the visual that I often get when I see certain preachers go on and on about "Biblical" Womanhood and how a woman is displeasing to God if she doesn't follow his interpretation of what it might be. And they all have their own version of it.
It's all so frustrating and confusing.
Now there is a lot of controversy over Rachel Held Evans's book, "A Year of Biblical Womanhood". This book is really rattling the cages of the powers that be who want to get into the faces of women and demand that they obey their version of Biblical Womanhood.
I've not read the book, nor do I plan to very soon due to time constraints. But this doesn't keep me from watching the controversy this book has stirred with a sad amusement as I remember that poor little African girl getting lectured within and inch of her life over her duty and position in the world by big, self-important men, standing over her on a mission to preserve their culture by keeping that girl in her place.
Also, someone new that I haven't met yet has written a rebuttal to a negative critique. He has written it in response to a supposedly kind and objective review from a "Biblical" womanhood pusher with a bee in her bonnet: Biblical Womanhood:What Kathy Keller Missed
As is evidence by how he describes evil. Men and masculine as he defines them, are good, right, true, Biblical etc. Those who disagree with him, male or female, are cast as worshiping the "bitch goddess of __________ (fill in the blank)". So now he is casting all that he believes to be evil as feminine.
Mike and Debi Pearl put out this terrible book "To Train Up a Child" (TTUAC). Debi is the one who wrote the horrible "Created To Be His Doormat" book that I have mentioned before as I link other people's thoughts on its damaging and marraige destroying message. Both books have made the circuit where I live. I've read them both. I have family members who still think one or the other book (or both) is helpful.
Elizabeth Esther, who I've had in my blog list from nearly the beginning, is open and honest about her recent break down over what being a child brought up in a TTUAC home is like. And she is a full grown adult who left her cult home before she ever had children. Yet the result of the book has carried over into raising her children, something she had to confront and overcome.
I always love a good metaphor. Even bad ones hold a certain amount of entertainment value if you can get past the automatic gag reflex.
* WTH is short for "Wenatchee the Hatchet", not "What the h*!!", something I've said more than once watching the Mars Hill machine lurch forward toward its doom. Speaking of machine, I've always thought of Mars Hill as being a train speeding down the track toward the gorge where the bridge is out. How many metaphors can we come up with in one short post?
Not one of my best titles, I agree. I wanted to go with "Driscoll Is Easily Deceived" as sort of a spin on his view of women as being easily deceived when really he's the one who is deceived concerning his own infallibility. But then you get into, "Is Driscoll deceived, or is he the deceiver?"
Yes, I know. Those sound like pretty strong accusations, so that's why I backed off of the "Deceived/r" way to look at things and went with Desperate instead.
Sorry, John Piper, "Ministry should have a masculine feel" promoter. But you are dead wrong. And if men continue to push the masculine model of ministry, the men leading and pushing it will end up dead last in the Kingdom of God if I understand the words of Jesus properly. "The first shall be last and the last shall be first."
Here is a blog post by Jenny Rae Armstrong that discusses how she has done ministry both by the feminine model AND the masculine model and how they compare.