Saturday, February 24, 2024

The "Taking God's Name in Vain" Diversion

 A few Sundays ago, I was at church. The pastor was away and ended up being away one Sunday longer than he planned. So the children's pastor was presenting with the help of her children's church, They were talking about the Ten Commandments at one point and was asking the adult congregation what each one meant. When they came to what "Taking God's Name in Vain" meant, I raised my hand. She called on me and I said it means, "Saying that God said something when God had not actually said it." She was taken aback and responded, "Oh, that's good."

Why was she taken aback and responded thus? Well, I believe that it is because it has been beaten into our heads from the pulpit that the actual meaning of "Don't take God's name in vain" means don't use God's name as an expletive or swear word. I think most preachers, teachers, and authors do this innocently enough because they don't know any better. But I am sure that some preachers, teachers, and authors teach this on purpose to distract from the real meaning of the command. They want to make sure that this is what people think when, "Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy GOD in vain" comes up. They want people to think that this is referring to Joe Blow who hit his thumb with a hammer and is JCing and GDing all over his garage holding his injured digit. These unscrupulous preachers don't want people to realize that the greater sin of taking God's name in vain is saying that God agrees with them on some wonky doctrine, opinion, or idea that they claim is "biblical".

That Sunday mornings presentation along with the Bare Marriage's podcast on "The Problems With Lies Women Believe" put together with a quote a friend put on Facebook from Mark Driscoll has made me think again about this diversionary tactic concerning taking God's Name in vain.

First, let's look at the Bare Marriage podcast on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemoth's book concerning what Nancy refers to as lies women believe. Sheila and her guests come to the conclusion that it is Nancy who believes lies about God's attitude towards women and marriage. They did not go so far as to say that Nancy was using God's name in vain to convince women that God agrees with Nancy. But that's where my mind went. Does Nancy take God's name in vain when she wrongly uses scripture to warp God's love and nature against His daughters? When she uses the Bible to support her beliefs in a false narrative that the Bible does not actually support is she breaking that commandment? If she truly believes her lies to be true, is she then not held accountable for supporting her lies about God? I don't know. She may use these lies against herself just as much as against other women.  So this is between her and her Lord. He loves her. She is in His hands.

Now let's turn to what, in my view, is closer to taking God's name in vain. It is something Mark Driscoll said back in 2007.

The only reason I'm thinking of this now is because a friend and co-worker recently put a Mark Driscoll quote up on Facebook. It was very triggering for me to see this sold-out-for-Jesus, Celebrate Recovery Christian quote Driscoll. In order to help her understand why Driscoll is not a good person to quote, I laid out for her an abbreviated list of reasons in chronological order (that I may post later on this blog). Going through that list of things, I dealt again with the 2007 quote from Mark Driscoll's infamous sermon in Scotland where he claimed that Jesus commanded women to sexually service their husbands in a certain way. He was taking God's name in vain, issuing as command to women something that God never commanded. The bad part of that sermon is also mentioned in the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill episode entitled The Things We Do To the 34 minute mark.

People were appalled at what Mark said in that sermon. But it never came up that he was taking God's name in vain. It never came up that when Mark told those women in Scotland that Jesus commanded them to service their husbands that he was breaking one of the Ten Commandments. And I don't know why people are so squeamish about calling out this sin and naming it for what it is.

I guess I'm just tired of Christians getting all up in arms about people using God's Name in Vain when they don't actually realize that preachers do it all the time, passing off their own opinion or interpretation as the very oracles of God.

So why am I so ready to say that Driscoll uses God's name in vain over Nancy DeMoss. Well, it has to do with what each gets out of their lies. Nancy's lies hurt herself along with other women. Driscoll's lies are all about propping himself up, serving him, and putting women down. He also labels his opinion of Bible interpretation as a literal "Command" from Jesus. So, yes, I would not be surprised if the judgement against Driscoll would be stronger.

But long and short, they both hurt women and lie about Who God is and how He feels about His daughters. I would not want to be in either one of their shoes come Judgement Day.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Let Women Tell Their Stories part 4

As my memory goes backwards in time to the ways my husband expected me to do everything while he gets the benefit, I think of something that happened while I was a stay at home mom, homeschool mom, and a pastor's wife.

That's right. Early on in our relationship, my husband pastored. Another situation where I did most of the work concerning Sunday mornings. I might get into that later, but I have another story to tell about that time

Because we rented a building on Sunday Mornings, we held our Wednesday night Bible study at our house. Since the husband had another job besides pastoring, it was up to me to whip the house into shape for Bible Study that night while also homeschooling and caring for four children.

After time, my older sons started hanging around a group of friends and we opened out home to a Thursday night youth group where we showed a movie, gave them popcorn and soda then discussed the movie afterwards. There was a lot of cleaning up after that.

Then some time after that, the husband decide that he wanted to invite people over for supper on Friday Night.

That finally broke me. I explained to him that I was already maxed out and that I couldn't possibly host another thing. Homeschooling was already suffering because of all the extra burden I was carrying.

He fought me on this a little bit, but I wouldn't budge on this one.

Shortly after this, at a family gathering, his sister came to me and started lecturing me on the importance of being hospitable. She was gently trying to point out to me about how Biblical this was and that I needed to step up and be more hospitable.

This blindsided me, and I did not have a good response to her. Looking back on it a little later, I realized that the husband complained to her about how unreasonable I was about not letting him invite people over on Friday nights.

If I had not been blindsided I would have asked her if the husband had bothered to mention that I was already opening my home two nights a week. And I would have asked why those two nights did not count as being Biblically Hospitable. But, alas, I did not have my wits about me enough to make my case. I just shrugged her off. I knew I was already overextended. I didn't have it in me to lay things out for her. I was too exhausted..

And there were no teachings out there that I was exposed to about mental load and distribution of household labor. Just teachings on wives submit and respect and be oh so careful about ever telling him "no."

All I knew was that in order to support my husband's ministry and make him look good, I had to lay my life and sanity down and be his mother/servant/savior, making all things work for him.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Let Women Tell Their Stories part 3

As I relay my story of my ex forcing me into a mother/servant/savior mode over the years, I seem to be going backwards in time.

Early in our marriage, I was able to stay home and homeschool our children. I also did all the housework and household chores including mowing.

But then there came a point where I had to go back to work. And when I went to work, it became completely impossible to keep up with the continual mess making by Captain Chaos and his rambunctious offspring. So I had to pick and chose what was important to me as far as cleaning was concerned. There were some things that I just had to let go. There wasn't enough time in the day.

We went along this way for a few years. Then suddenly, one day, my husband decided to be mad at me about that state of the house and started yelling at me about it. One of the things he said was that I was a "terrible homemaker." 

And with this intended insult, I had a clearer understanding of his insanely unrealistic expectations.

Proverbs 26:2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying. so a curse without cause does not rest.

It was impossible for me to feel insulted or shamed by his remark. What was clear was that he had no clue what a homemaker even was. Instead of defending myself, I explained to him that the day I went back to work fulltime was the day I stopped being a homemaker.

But he wasn't having it. I was a wife and mother. I lived in a house. Therefore that made me a homemaker. Thus he was demanding that I be his mother/servant/savior.

But neither was I having it. There was no way on God's green earth that I was going to let him get by with misusing that word without a fight. Because he was a volatile man, I carefully chose my battles. And this battle was very much chosen. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You either have a homemaker you support or a fellow breadwinner you partner with.

He showed that he couldn't partner with me. He could only be demanding, demeaning, and incapable of understanding basic time constraints. In other words, he can only understand life in terms of his needs and whether or not I was meeting them to his satisfaction.

One time, I was trying to go back to school to get a new degree in my field and this really put a cramp in his style. Even though he initially agreed to me going to school, when it took away time from me taking care of him he started to really complain. One of my responses was, "I need for you to not be so helpless." This just made him angrier and he yelled louder.

I learned a long time ago that I wasn't allowed to have needs. And because I was low-maintenance anyway, I could live that narrative for a little while. But it was not a healthy or sustainable narrative for either of us. I was never designed to be his mother/servant/savior.

Edited to add this link: Narcissists use WEAPONIZED INCOMPETENCE

She just posted this today which I thought was fitting. I didn't have the phrase to use then. I only saw it as helplessness.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

A Late Link about "The Rise and Fall..."

Taking a short break from my "Let Women Tell Their Stories" Series. 

Somehow, back in 2021, amidst all the "Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" mishmash, I missed an article calling out a misunderstanding that Cosper has concerning victims of religious hierarchal abuse.

But in an effort to be kind to myself and my own healing, that was the year my divorce was finalized. In addition, I had a whole host of other things going on.

Anyway, there is an article in the Baptist News Global concerning Cosper's interview with Josh Harris and how he and Christianity Today "used its conversation with Harris to further push a false narrative about the hurting people conservative evangelicals have abused."

Sorry if you have seen this. But I haven't until just recently. And I want it be able to find this article quickly so I'm linking it here:

I lived in the culture of 'The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill' and there's one part of the story that's wrong.

Now, hopefully I can finish my series "Let Women Tell Their Stories" where I'm telling the story of how my ex used me and made me his mother/servant/savior.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Let Women Tell Their Stories part 2

 I thought about going in and editing last week's post to add this little snippet. But I didn't want to make that post any longer than it already was.

Also. Just writing that much out last week has opened a floodgate of more ways the ex expected me to hold things together to make him look good without him having to lift a finger. Since I can't afford therapy right now, perhaps I can offload some of the damage he did to me here and work through the different ways he used me.

The one I want to address today is not really about me, so much, but rather illustrates how the ex sought and found another woman to use to hold things together.

Anyway, if you read part 1 of this series, you would have found out about the girlfriend that the ex asked me to leave because of. Well, the following year the ex hosted Christmas for our grown children with the help of his girlfriend. My children were still mad at him and her and decided that they weren't going to even acknowledge her existence at the house I used to share with my ex.

But I did something right in raising my daughter. She saw the girlfriend hiding in the kitchen doing the dishes. And she saw that she was being used by the ex just like I was. So she went in and made conversation with her out of empathy. 

I had made peace a long time ago concerning whatever females my ex decided to carry on with. They didn't know what he was or what they were getting themselves into. Initially, he can present pretty well. And they probably believed his lies that I was an awful person. 

Needless to say, the ex's relationship with that girlfriend didn't last long. And he has had many other girlfriends since then, including a long distance relationship with a female from Russia.

He still truly believes that his "soulmate" is out there somewhere waiting for him.

I saw the following quote on the internet somewhere. It said:

"I'm not sure what a soulmate is. But I'm pretty sure that it isn't someone who sucks your soul right out of you."

And I have to agree. The ex says and truly believes he is searching for a soulmate. But what he's really looking for is a mother/workhorse/savior/porn star. That's what he thinks a soulmate is.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

"Let Women Tell Their Stories" And Col. 1:17

 The title of the post is a quote from Ngina's blog post "Do Pastors Ask Women To Be Saviors and Mothers of Their Husbands?"

Originally she posted on Instagram: "Culture and Christianity often ask women to be moms and saviors of their husbands." She said this amidst a few other things.

A man responded and said "“Nowhere in Christianity are women taught to be saviors or mothers to their husband. Secondly, dysfunctional behaviors is a human problem, not a gender problem. Both men and women bring dysfunctional traits to a marriage.”"

The above linked post is in response to his comment on Instagram. She says a lot of good things in that post and I encourage you to read the entire thing. But her main point is that women are called upon by society and the church to continually go the extra mile without rest while giving the man a pass to be a big, self-centered baby. Not her words. Just my paraphrase.

So, anyway, I am now going to tell a very abbreviated version of my story. I'm leaving out a lot of details, so if something doesn't make sense, ask. I can elaborate.

I divorced the man-child back in February of 2021. We had both agreed that the marriage was unsustainable. But we had also agreed that, just like I was with him through the deaths of his parents, we would hold off on the divorce until I got my mother situated in a way where she didn't need as much care from me. He couldn't hold out. He asked me to leave because he had a girlfriend he wanted to go public with in the small town where we lived (he had been unfaithful with many different women for years,) They felt they couldn't go public as long as I was still hanging around. The girlfriend had a reputable business in town and didn't want to be considered a home wrecker. If I could have spoken to her, I would have assured her that the man-child aka "Captain Chaos" wrecked our home years ago.

Anyway, I digress. I finally was able to get my mother moved to an assisted living and that very week, I found an apartment and moved out. Suddenly, my life became a whole lot easier. The ex was a walking mess maker. When he cooked, he usually dirtied every dish in the house. If I cleared a flat surface like a counter or table top, he would clutter it up again instantaneously when he was home. If he was at work or sleeping, I could enjoy that clear space until he got home or woke up. He was always wanting to do things then left the clean up for me. Like camping. He dumped everything on the living room floor when we got back and never touched it again. He would want to do an Octoberfest on some land we own. But once the partying was done, he didn't lift a finger to clean up, letting trash blow around all winter if I didn't go do something about it.

If I ever complained about the messes he made he would accuse me of "raining on his parade." My only response was, "Well at least you get a parade because I sure don't." But I wish I had a response that I heard later from a friend who was in a similar situation. She said that in her previous marriage, she felt like the person who followed the parade with a pooper scooper to clean up all the trash and horse crap.

Anyway, recently it got back to me the my ex was claiming that our divorce was traumatic for him. I was incredulous. He was the one who told me to move out. He was the one who was chronically unfaithful. So how did this divorce traumatize him?

But then I realized, I was no longer there to clean up after him and the house he lives in is in terrible shape. I held everything together when I lived there. When I left, it fell apart. Completely

So here is how he demanded that I be his savior/servant/mother. This verse speaks of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:17 He [b]is before all things, and in Him all things [c]hold together.

The ex was the first part of the verse. He made sure he was the most important person in all things. But the second part of the verse was all me. I held everything together. When I left, it fell apart and he had to live with the consequences of his entitled, self-centered, inconsiderate mess making. And he found it to be traumatizing.

What the heck did he think living with him was like for me? He never thought twice about what he was doing to me. It was all about him. And the church agreed with him. They said over and over again that if I just submitted enough and respected him enough, that would save the marriage.

Because for a long time, that is all the church cared about. Saving marriages. If it was destroying someone in the marriage, that didn't matter a hill of beans. Glad this is starting to change. But it's taking way too long. And it's way too late for me.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

No Quarter November Numbskull

 Stupid title. I know. But I'll get to the reason for it later.

The main reason for this post is to link a secular article about Wilson's No Quarter November Fiasco.

That Moscow Mood: How much culture war is too much, for American Evangelicals?

Linking the above because I found that it summarized the crazy events on Twitter/X that dogged Wilson's No Quarter November antics this year.

WenatcheTheHatchet was the first to draw my attention to the fact that Driscoll was influenced by Doug Wilson early on. And I can really see that. If I knew where to find that post, I'd link it. May go back and do this eventually.

Anyway, why did I use the term "Numbskull" to describe Wilson? Because it starts with an "N" like No and November. Numbskull means stupid or foolish person. Wilson is not stupid. He is very intelligent. However, Wilson is not wise. He is quite foolish, and not in a good way. He is foolish in his words and thoughts and in the way he causes "The Little Ones to Stumble". He is foolish because he is oblivious to the millstone that he has been attaching to his own neck over that last few decades of his life.

It is true that I am angry with him for his abuses and for covering up the abuses of other privileged white men. But more than that, I pity him for his foolishness and misunderstanding of the heart of God for His children.

Friday, November 24, 2023

The Downward Spiral to a Wife Spanking Cult

 There's a lot going on in the Twitterverse, or X.

Doug Wilson is in a negative spotlight, again. No surprise.

But, anyway as I'm watching this unfold, I came across a link to these two Podcasts from a woman who escaped from a wife spanking/domestic discipline cult. I am listening to Part 1.

Shiny Happy Wife: Tia Levings on Christian Fundamentalism (Part 1)

Shiny Happy Wife: Tia Levings on Christian Fundamentalism (Part 2)

I'm leaving this here so I can refer back to these.

Also, this Podcast channel has a lot of other cool things to look at and I'll be able to get back there through this post.

A Little Bit Culty.

I hope Doug Wilson is exposed for what he is. He's awful and Evangelicals need to stop taking him seriously.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Abusers Are Going to Abuse

 Narcissist are going to love bomb to build their kingdoms then devalue and discard the people they have used when their usefulness is deemed over.

Mark Driscoll is a Narcissist, a User, and Abuser. And he's not going to stop. He's just going to make a safe place for himself so that he can continue to build his kingdom and stoke his ego.

Mark Driscoll's Safe Space: How the Embattled Pastor Built a New Church and Became an Online Influencer

I don't want to wish him ill. I just want him to stop using and hurting people. Is that asking for too much?

There are too many narcissistic pastors in places of influence and Driscoll is one of the worst.

I found out from reading the article linked above that there is a closed forum where Driscoll's victims from both Mars Hill in Seattle and Trinity in Scottsdale meet, share their stories and support one another.

From the linked article:

"Former members of both churches have formed a private online forum to share their stories and support one another. They gather and discuss regularly on a locked Facebook group called “The Sound and Valley Connect,” named after the Puget Sound area that was home to Mars Hill and the Trinity’s location in the Arizona valley."

This is Mark Driscoll's legacy. These are the multitude of sacrifices that have been made and continue to be made on the altar of Driscoll's massive ego.

I've said it before many times. And will continue to say it for as long as it takes.

This man is NOT a pastor. This man is NOT a Bible teacher. He plays at teaching the Bible with great, fleshly charisma and pizzazz. But whatever he "teaches", it must prop up HIS massive ego.

No, Driscoll doesn't teach God's Word. He uses the Bible as a sock puppet that always agrees with him.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Driscoll's Delusional. Thinks He's Elijah

 I wanted to title this post, "Driscoll is selling War again" as a sort of part two or companion post to my 
"Driscoll is selling Sex again" post. But it just wasn't as explosive sounding as, "Driscoll is Delusional."

Because Driscoll works so hard to be so explosive, controversial, and cutting edge, I went for the more bombastic title in honor of the bombastic and attention-seeking drama queen who is the subject of this post.

First off, I guess selling sex didn't work out for Driscoll as well as he had hoped. Book sales for his "Real Romance" book must not be anywhere near what his old "Peasant Princess" series was back in the good old days of Mars Hill. If they were, then perhaps Driscoll wouldn't be so quick to try to sell war. He might not have jumped into trying to be a god of war, declaring himself to be Elijah, and saying he's a weapon if his "Real Romance" had done better in book sales. And his Real Romance book might have done better if Driscoll actually knew what 'real' meant. (No Driscoll, your thoughts and opinions are not real while everyone who disagrees with you is fake. You are not the standard for reality. You are so delusional that it is getting comical. Yes, I said it. You are becoming a big joke.)

How I wish that Driscoll could have a real encounter with Elijah and find out how far out of touch he is with reality and how far out of touch with the Bible he is. He might find that he has more in common with the prophets of Baal than he'd like. He might find out that he has more in common with the controlling spirit in Jezebel than with the Holy Ghost working through Elijah.

Poor delusional man. And poor deceived, delusional people who are following him off the rails of the crazy train.

Maybe he'll make a few bucks selling his shtick. Maybe not.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Deconstructing from the Sin of Patriarchy

 The title above is a shortened version of what I wanted to have.

I wanted the title to be more along the lines of this. "The Evangelical Church needs to deconstruct itself away from its sin of Patriarchy before it completely dies. Because the Evangelical leaders have already made themselves quite irrelevant by clinging to this idol that they worship in vain."

Someone: "That's a bold move, Cotton, calling patriarchy a sin."

Me: "It's not nearly as bold now as it used to be. Now Evangelical Patriarchy is being exposed on many fronts for the sham it is and how it has lied to everyone including itself."

I've been deconstructing from the Evangelical's claim that Patriarchy is biblical for years and will link two posts about the two main lies (of many) that it has told it's women.

Lie number one id from June 2011: "I Heard It Said Once"

Lie number two is from September 2015: "The Patriarchs' Second Lie to Women"

Those familiar with my blog and the above two links won't need to follow them.

But I've said all of this to lead up to a way more important link. It is a discussion of how patriarchy works and how it truly hates women. The treatment of Beth Moore is used as evidence for the rotten fruit of patriarchy.

"Misogyny, the SBC, and Beth Moore"

Along with this link, I'll make another link to my friend, Cindy Kunsman. She will continue her exposure of a Bruce Ware's message eventually. But for now, she is enjoying a much needed respite as she meditates on how the leaders of the toxic patriarchy movement are passing away.

A Pause for Respite and Recollection

She was one who paid dearly for speaking out against men like Ware back in the day. Now, others are taking on the fight. But there are more of them and there is more support for them. Though people like Sheila Gregoire have also suffered, she has more support and there is more momentum carrying her and her message beyond some isolated area of the internet.

Patriarchy, your mountain top alter will soon be made low. And the women and children you thrusted down into the valley of abuse shall be raised up.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Connection Between Shiny Happy People (SHP) and CBMW, Danvers, and the SBC

 I am so excited that my long time blogging friend is starting a new series on her blog.

She is like me, She used to blog like gangbusters back in the day. But more recently her posts have been few and far between.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was not triggered by SHP like a lot of my internet friends. I was never really influenced by Gothard or the IBLP. I was more involved with raising the alarm concerning Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Bruce Ware, Paige Patterson and the like who were pushing such horrible and misogynistic doctrine and causing such doctrine to become more mainstream.

And in those days, I was so glad that I had friends like Cindy Kunsman showing the links between Gothard/Quiverfull and CBMW, the Southern Baptists, and other things that were making me mad.

Anyway, SHP has affected Cindy deeply which she talks about here:

Concerning Shiny Happy People Two Weeks Later

She is now processing through the triggers, emotions and the deep personal cost she experienced for speaking out against Bruce Ware and Russel Moore. SHP has shown a bit of a spotlight on these terrible doctrines that are troubling the church and she, like so many of us, doesn't want the church to think it was just limited to Gothard and the IBLP

Following Bruce Ware's Primrose Path to Domestic Violence (Part 1: Ideas that fed those Shiny Happy People)

Cindy is good at what she does. Please go read what she had to say.