Sunday, December 26, 2010


I know Christmas is over.
But I leave Christmas decorations up until at least after the first of the year and dwell in the afterglow of Christmas for a bit after the 25th.

The Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah gets a lot of airplay this time of year. But I love his piece, "For Unto Us a Child Is Give" just as much as the famous chorus.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here is a Christmas light show to my daughter's favorite Christmas song.
Nothing spiritual about it. Just plain fun and amazement and wondering if some people have just a little too much spare time on their hands. :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wounded Healer in Early Myth

We're not finished with the Strength and Safety series, at least I hope not. But I wanted to take a break from it and direct your attention to a post by my friend Eleanor concerning the Wounded Healer in myth and earliest records.

Since I'm a baby in understanding the fullness of the Wounded Healer, I appreciate gleaning understanding from Eleanor's studies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Strength and Safety, Part 3

My son and I watch a movie called Invictus.
Now, understand, this is not our usual fair. We generally like Science fiction, Action/Adventure, and even Post Apocalyptic films.
But we had just watched another film directed by Clint Eastwood and loved it. That, along with the fact that my son loves Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, influenced our decision to watch Invictus. It was not because we were interested in social justice and had never heard of sacred activism. We strictly watched it for entertainment reasons.
And we were not disappointed.
The film was well done and beautiful to watch.
But I sure did learn something.

Invictus, in case you didn't know, is about one aspect of the challenge Nelson Mandela faced when he became president of South Africa. He worked to balance "black aspirations with white fears."

The beauty of this film is it's portrayal of President Mandela's grace toward 'white fears'. From his place of strength and safety, he discouraged the 'scraping' of South Africa's Rugby team, which represented prejudice and Apartheid in the minds of blacks. He said something along the lines that doing so would prove to the whites that they had much to fear.
He invited the Rugby team captain over for "tea" which he described as one of the best things the English ever brought with them to South Africa. Then President Mandela shared a poem during that tea called "Invictus" which he used to think about when he was in prison. The word invictus translates as 'undefeated' or 'unconquered'.
It was a poem of victory in great odds. It was a poem of strength.
And from his place of safety, as president of South Africa, He shared this poem of strength, sharing his strength and support to those in the weakened position. The whites of South Africa and more specifically, the Rugby team.

I recommend the film to get the full impact of its message.
But I had to mention it here as another example of the power of grace and forgiveness when given from a place of strength and safety, once justice and equality has been reached.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Strength and Safety, Part 2

God has called us to a place of Strength and Safety. Even though there is much abuse in this world that undermines this, God's will is to set us securely on high. He says so several places in His Word.
David speaks specifically about God bringing him out of destruction and into a place of Strength and Safety.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
vs 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay (mud of mire); And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

It is out of the place of Strength and Safety that we are to function and operate. And it is in the place of Strength and Safety that we are best able to heal. It is very difficult for an individual to heal if they are still being wounded. It is also very difficult for a person to heal if they are not allowed to deal with the wounds. If they are not in a safe place where they can be honest about hurt and must always keep them under the cover of a 'holy' or 'perfect' facade then they cannot heal.
And if they feel that God requires them to keep their wounds buried, there is not hope for their healing at all.
Any teaching that refuses to deal with the wounding of the heart is a destructive teaching and opposed to the will of God.
God wants our hearts, all of our hearts, including aches, pains, and traumas. And He can be trusted with it even if no one else can.

Here is another verse that deals with God's heart concerning the broken, wounded, and captive. It is from Isaiah 61 and is what Jesus read in the temple at the start of His ministry declaring His heart for all people, male and female, for all time.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners;
Vs 2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
Vs 3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of the spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

God wants to bring us to the place of Strength and Safety, like mighty oaks, planted and secure, that will not be moved. The following also speaks of what God wants for those who belong to Him.

Psalm 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

There are forces at work to keep this from happening both within and outside the church. And much of those forces are so 'in your face' it is easy to lose sight of God's heart on the matter.

There are more verse concerning this, and some specifically dealing with God's heart towards the feminine. But this has gotten long and we're not done dealing with examples like the elderly black woman in the last post who was able to act graciously from her place of strength. We will not be able to get to those in this post due to length. It will have to wait until the next one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Strength and Safety

My new friend Eleanor found my blog because of her studies of the Wounded Healer motif. She has come and commented here and was surprised by the reaction of one of my regulars, an old friend, Jane.
Since I value the wisdom of both women, the natural thing for me to do is to reevaluate my own position and make sense of what each is saying. Because both make sense even though they appear to contradict at face value.

Eleanor has written a review on Amazon for a book she likes by Andrew Harvey. You can read it here:

When you click onto the main page of this book the first review there is by a Brad Laughlin. The third paragraph into the review tells a story of a elderly black woman from South Africa. During Apartheid she witnessed the brutal murder of her husband and son by a white police officer. When this officer was being brought to justice, She hugged him as she was being led across the courtroom. The man fainted.

This is used as an example of sacred activism. It is a touching and powerful story, but I am compelled to point out something about it.

The reason this woman's act of forgiveness is so powerful and profound is because it took place when she was in the position of Strength and Safety. In that courtroom there was no chance that the former police officer could hurt her without serious repercussions. The man was caught, imprisoned, and being brought to justice. He could no longer control her, oppress her, or intimidate her in anyway. Granted, she suffered great loss, trauma, and grief. But this man could, in no way, continue his evil against her.

He was in the weak position. And she was in the strong position.
Yet she didn't use her strong position against him.

It is a very different circumstance from a situation where a victim is still being victimized and she kisses the feet of her oppressor because that is the only way to survive.
There is no power in that. None. Just more oppression and destroying of her spirit, soul, and body.

Now I understand that people like author Andrew Harvey and reviewer Brad Laughlin assume that these powerful actions of forgiveness come from a place of strength and safety. But to those still in the place of oppression and abuse, their words sound like further abuse. To those who have never had a position of strength and safety all it sounds like is letting the oppressor free to continue to oppress at will.

So how do those still in positions of oppression and abuse get out? Some are able to flee on their own to places of safety. But many of those that are able to flee don't know that they are able because of the mind control and indoctrination. And many who are trapped have no way of escape on their own at all. Those being trafficked come to mind. And my friend Jane has a heart for those.

So what do we expect of those still trapped?
Do we expect them to embrace their abusers who are still abusing them?
Absolutely not. That is just plain sick and smells like Stockholm Syndrome.
If people are trapped, how can we expect them to do anything except to survive until they are rescued?

But the real question is, what obligation do we have to the trapped, oppressed, and abused?

We are obligated to sound the alarm and to speak up for those who have no voice. We are to look for ways to rescue the downtrodden and find ways to stop the oppressor from oppressing and bring him to justice. Because only when he is brought to justice and to a place of weakness where he is no longer in control, only then will the forgiveness of those he oppressed have a chance to mean anything.

Remember the priest who was beaten by the man molested by him as a boy. That priest was never brought to justice. So there was never a real chance for him to face his sin and be forgiven. The Catholic Church protected him. And in so doing, robbed him of his chance for any redemption of any value.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tina Anderson Foundation

Thanks for the heads up from Lewis for this one.

I link it for two reasons.
One, for awareness of this going on. There are church groups actively teaching their daughters learned helplessness and false guilt and shame all under the guise of "Christianity". They are also covering for sex offenders in their churches.

The second reason is to raise awareness that there ARE groups out there wanting to combat this deep evil among fundamentalist groups.

Knowing the evil exists is heart rending.
Knowing individual and groups are rising up to combat the evil gives cause for some hope in the face of so much evil.

Thanks Lewis.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Wounded Healer

I wanted to get to this post a long time ago. But before I did, I felt the need to lay some groundwork in my previous three posts.
Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks; for it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes.

I wanted to get to the point, "Stumbling blocks come." But I wanted to make sure that I made it clear that this does not give any of us an excuse to overlook our duties as parents because "woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes."

I do not take this admonition lightly. I keep in tune with my children and try to make sure that if I inadvertently offend them through either action or lack of action that we can deal with it.

Still. This world is not perfect. Stumbling blocks come. Even well-meaning parents with the best intentions can inadvertently wound their children through misunderstanding or because someone else has misguided them in the ways of truth.

And so the child is wounded.
Bless the child who turns to God, to Jesus the Healer of souls.
And bless the child who travels the road of healing holding the hand of her Savior.

Let us return to Herbert Gravitz book that I mentioned in the November 14th post, "The Hero's Journey."

Gravitz on page107:

"The motif of the 'wounded healer' is universal and appears in every culture. Recovering alcoholics and other addicts serve as wounded healers, calling others to a life of serenity. Those who face illness, catastrophe, and even death often report that the experience gave them renewed meaning and purpose."

When the wounded child grows up and receives healing from the Lord, she is able to turn and heal others. Because of her wounding and the healing that follows she can become a healer, a wounded healer.
I believe in children facing their heartaches head on and dealing with it rather than burying it. Burying it only causes the wound to fester and become putrid.

Woe to those who stand in the way of healing and woe to those who want to shame the child into keeping quiet and not facing her dragons. They don't know what they are doing. They don't understand how they heap insult on top of injury and the danger of sealing the lid shut on a pressure cooker that is ready to blow.

Here is a tragic example of an offended little one all grown up who never found the road to healing.

Word of advice to Patriarchy and Quiverfull.
Let the children heal. Don't stand in their way.
And further yet, start to face up to the fact that Patriarchy may, in fact, be wounding and offending your little ones.

And dare I suggest?
Those still involved in Patriarchy and Quiverfull, consider leaving this hurtful movement and become agents of healing, that is, part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Repenting from Husbandolatry

My friend Charis (a.k.a Gem who comments here) has two posts I'd like to direct you to.
She, at one time, embraced the Patriarchy/Quiverfull teaching completely, submitting to it to her own hurt and the hurt of her children.

She has since repented and her blog, among other things, are her musings about the shift from patriarchy (husband/father worship) and back to a Christ-centered faith.

The first of the two posts of hers that I am linking addresses her response to the steadfast daughters site. She admonishes women to obey God rather than men.

The second link to her post is where she thanks God for her Quiverfull. She's proud of all her children and I believe their success can be attributed to their mother's humble willingness to repent of Patriarchy and to be conformed to the image of Christ. Her children will rise up and bless her because a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Charis has been a good friend as we have worked out our salvations with fear and trembling and tried to make sense of a world that often makes not sense, including portions of so called "Christianity".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Offending the Little Ones, part 2

Hello, my name is Mara and I'm an imperfect parent of four beautiful children.
In the past I have offended each one of them more than once and will most likely continue to do so until the day I die.

So how could I be so harsh, in my last post, against the teaching of Patriarchy when I'm an admitted child offender myself?
Well, let me tell you.

I used to home school. I never got involved with the Patriarchy or Quiverfull bunch because I already knew that getting my husband involved in homeschooling by putting him in charge was a bad idea. He already had problems with patience and thinking of himself as "chairman of the board" who liked to bark orders and complain about everything I did wrong concerning the house and the children. I didn't need any more of that than I already had.

But during those home school years, one lady gave me some really good insight. I already did it to a point, intuitively and due to past influences.
Anyway, she said that in order to teach your child, you need to be a 'student' of your child. I know something like that would make the Patriarchy crowd howl. How could I teach if I made myself the student? Well, here is what she meant. I needed to study my child and see what made him/her tick. I needed to find out what was important to each one. What were ways I could motivate them that was unique to their own person. And I needed to be flexible enough to use "teachable moments" catered to the child and the circumstance that they were going through at that time. The best time to learn something and retain it forever is when you need the information for your personal life.

Anyway, I said all this to set up one of my darkest moments as a parent.
I had mentioned my son before that I had concerns over in this post.

Well, this boy had a knack for pushing my buttons at the wrong time. Even though I am mostly a patience person, he found a way, whether he meant to or not, to push me past the edge.
One of our darkest moments was when he acted up royal on a day when I was still grieving the death of my in-laws and was wearing thin over my husband's unemployment and lack of motivation to get a new job. And I blew up at him and said some not very nice things to him.

The minute those things were out of my mouth I regretted it.
He fled the living room and hid in his bed.
I followed him, laid down next to him an apologized up one side and down the other trying as best I could to assure him that what I said and what I blamed on him was wrong, wrong, wrong. And I asked him, could he please forgive me?

What he said to me broke my heart.

He said, "I can forgive you. I can't forgive myself."

So I told him to please forgive himself and wouldn't leave him alone until he said he would try.
I still felt bad about the situation for days afterward.

But you know what?
My son learned from my imperfection and my owning up to sin. As I mentioned in the off-topic post about him. He has a temper. But he also knows how to walk away when he's angry and how to apologize when the wrong things come out of his mouth. He's twenty years old now, and a fine young man. Even though I have offended him on more than one occasion, I have always tried to stay in tune with him and his feelings and to try to go back and correct my errors and mistakes and to gently guide him on how to correct his errors and mistakes. I never needed to use the word sin. He knew when he did wrong and didn't need someone to rub his nose in it. He needed an example of how to correct it. I never felt compelled to view his outbursts as sinful attention seeking. He had emotional needs. And I, as his mother and primary caregiver, needed to assess the situation and meet those needs just as much as his physical needs like hunger and thirst.

Children don't come into this world knowing how to handle their emotions.
That is what parents are for. A parent who expects their child to respond as a grown-up before they have had the chance to develop emotionally fails to understand their job as a parent. And not understanding their job as a parent, they in turn fail as a parent.

Patriarchy and Quiverfull have forgotten what parenting is all about. In their zeal to produce as many children as possible, they fail the children they produce by not being available to guide the child along the difficult road to adulthood.
What good are all these children if their growth has been stunted due to emotional neglect?
God still loves them. And God wants to step in and Parent them where their own parents have failed. We are hearing of God doing this in many quivering daughters who have come out of the movement.
But what a sad testimony and state of affairs regarding the fruit of Patriarchy. Emotionally neglected and stunted children must escape patriarchy in order to mature to true adulthood.
Patriarchy and Quiverfull offends the little ones and refuses to admit and apologize for its sins against their own children

Monday, November 22, 2010

Offending the Little Ones

Matthew 18:6 (KJV) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Vs 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offence come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 18:6 (NAS) but whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone (turned by a donkey) be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Vs 7 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

You know, sometimes I think Matthew 18:6&7 are the most ignored verses in the Bible. This probably isn't true. But sometimes it just feels like it.
What with the pedophile scandal being exposed in the Catholic Church and the things being revealed about the ugly underbelly of the Southern Baptist church?

And now the recent controversy over Hillary McFarland's book, "Quivering Daughters".
The doctrine of Patriarchy/Quiverful is offending little ones. And those little ones are growing up and telling how. The fruit of patriarchy is misery for children and the little ones are finding their voices and telling how Patriarchy has hurt them, some to the point of wanting to kill themselves.

Yet now, where these voices are crying out, the promoters of patriarchy don't respond with repentance, they respond with more offending, more shaming, more asserting of their own authority over those abused by the authority to begin with.

There is a scripture in Proverbs that states, "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind" (Pr 11:29a)

Patriarchy is troubling houses. Patriarchy is offending little ones. Yet Patriarchy is stubbornly defending its right to rule. Then it's wondering why it is inheriting the wind.

Patriarchy ignores the words of Jesus about the little ones and institutes its own rules on how to treat children, how to ignore and sweep under the rug their fears, concerns, and even needs. And the crazy thing is, these words of Jesus in Matthew 18 show how much of God's judgement is on people who offend the little ones.

It is a heavy judgment. One that shouldn't be so easily ignored. The footnote in my Bible which I put in parentheses says the it's the type of millstone that takes the strength of a donkey to operate.

Now in case anyone thinks I'm being snarky about this, I'm not. Actually I'm very concerned for those who ignore Matthew 18:6&7. I fear that they do not have a proper fear of God. And not letting the fear of God adjust their understanding of what is right and wrong puts them in a place I would not like to be.

Now, instead of going into my understand of the fear of God, let me direct you to an old series on the topic. The Fear of God:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Excellent Post by my Friend Hannah

Those of you not familiar with my friend Hannah's blog, "Emotional Abuse and Your Faith," you should become familiar with it.

Hannah, an abuse survivor herself, has been dealing with the issue of emotional abuse in her blog for nearly six years. That's a long time in blog years.

Anyway, her most recent post, "Someone has to be in Charge" speaks to this common argument.

If you have never been to Hannah's blog, you ought to visit sometime soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Hero's Journey

I read a book that helped me understand the hero's journey and the wounded healer.
The book is called Obsessive-compulsive Disorder:New Help for the Family and is written by Herbert L. Gravitz.

Now before anyone says, "We aren't dealing with OCD so this post isn't for me," Let me explain a couple of things.

I don't have anyone with OCD in my life either. But the book was recommended because much of the advice given would apply to anyone dealing with someone else's psychological or emotional issues. It is help for the family. My spouse has ADHD. He's a good man with a bad disorder. This book helped me to understand the road to healing by helping me understand the Hero's Journey.

Also, what is Patriarchy if it is not an obsession to impose rigid order on those trapped in the system.

Now, I'm not recommending this book, so to speak. Though it wouldn't hurt to read it, especially if you deal with anyone with any issues like OCD, ADHD, RAD, NPD, or any other disorder I haven't mentioned. But I bring this book up in order to refer to a section of it that speaks about another book that I haven't read.

I wanted to reference both books since I'll be quoting from Gravitz book while he is referring back to Campbell's book.

Gravitz starts by saying on page 106:
"The hero's journey always begins with the hero leaving home and separating from the powerful pull or trance of the family. Destiny is summoning us...If we refuse the call we remain stuck."

One of the evils of patriarchy is that it refuses to allow little girls to grow up and become heroes.
Little girls, because of their gender, must remain helpless maidens, always needing to be rescued by 'true' heroes, who are only 'true' in patriarchy because they are male. In addition, the only real hero that is allowed is their father. Instead of growing past the trance of the family, little girls become big girls, stuck in the muck and mire of family enmeshment.

More of Gravitz:
"In mythic terms, heroes and heroines enter the cave of their core issues and dispel the false truth of childhood, slay inner dragons, fight demons, find the treasure, or receive a blessing or gift."

Patriarchy does not allow little girls to grow up and deal with their core issues nor does it allow them to dispel the false truths of childhood. Patriarchy insists that the false truths it teaches its children concerning the roles of men and women are The Truth of the Everliving God. But they are wrong. And Patriarchy, by taking on this role, makes itself the dragon the little girls must slay in order to receive the blessing of God.

I like the word used in Gravitz quote, "dispel". It reminds me of Chandra's blog called, "Dispelled".

More from Gravitz:
"In the completion, heroes form a new relationship with truth, courage, love, and pain."

And later he says on page 107:
"The hero/heroine dares to love because he or she knows love is the ultimate and highest goal to which we can aspire. The hero/heroine knows each one of use was created to love and be loved. Daring to love is in itself an act of heroism."

I had read this book a few years ago and had to take my own journey. So when I read Sierra's post on the No Longer Qivering (linked and quoted two posts ago), it resonated with my heart and reminded me of the Hero's Journey and helped me articulate my feelings for these girls breaking the spell of Patriarchy in their own lives and then slaying the dragon of Patriarchy before the eyes of others still entranced by the spell.

These girls and women are heroes on a quest against a great force of evil that threatens to devour more and more innocent blood.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hillary is (one of) my Hero(s) Part 2

In part one I mentioned my friends Lewis and Darcy and their blogs taking the big name Patriarchy peddler to task for attacking a survivor of the misguided Patriarchy movement.

This survivor is named Hillary McFarland and she has written a book from a daughter's point of view exposing the fact that Patriarchy often sets up systems that are bad for the health of women, especially little women, the daughters of patriarchy. Her book is called "Quivering daughters" and can be viewed here:

In this book Hillary opens up for all to see what the Patriarchy/Quiverful movement has done to her. But rather than being a bitter book of resentments, it's a book of hope and healing, pointing daughters back to God, the real God who loves them and wants to heal them. And it points them away from the god of patriarchy who prefers sons and only made daughters to stand on the sidelines and serve men.

Hillary has nearly 200 followers for her blog. And quivering daughters are finding hope and healing in her words both in the book and on the blog.

Hillary is following her Lord Jesus and doing the work of His ministry as laid out in Isaiah 61:1 under His anointing.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Quivering daughters are bound. They are bound up by oppressive doctrines that deny them their personhood. Hillary's book calls to those daughters telling them that God has not called them to this bondage. This bondage is made by men.

She knows. She lived it herself. And she escaped.

But not without cost.

And her book is also about the cost, about the wounding and the rejecting, along with the healing.

You see, the reason I look upon Hillary as a hero is because I recognize her journey to healing. It is the journey of a wounded hero.

The wounded hero is the one who takes the journey of healing, in the face of great odds, then, not satisfied with keeping the healing to her/himself, turns and lends a healing hand to those who are not through it yet. Often it is the wounded hero that can speak with more authority and clarity into the lives of those with similar woundings.

Another thing that makes Hillary and girls like her heroes is that they take this journey with no support from their family.

Quoting Sierra again, who I mentioned in Part 1:

"Stories about valor and courage never tell you that the hero feels like the villain most of the time. There is no doublespeak in heroic tales. ..... Valorous persons never feel like they’re the ungrateful, hard-hearted, demon-possessed, selfish, bitter, angry, defensive ones."

These girls are heroes because of the tenacity of their own hearts and with support (if they can find it) OUTSIDE their family. Because their own families view heroic behavior in women as demonic. Their families call good evil and evil good.

Now I want to explain why I used the confusing title "Hillary is (one of) my Hero(s)".

It's because I wanted to point out my approval and admiration of not only Hillary, who is facing public persecution, but all the others who have come and are still coming through their own private hell. They are all wounded heroes on the journey towards Life and Light.

All quivering daughters who are throwing off human tyranny are my heroes.

And not just them, but also my friends like Lewis and Shadow and Charis and Jane and Suzanne who have all been hurt one way or another by either Patriarchy or some other aberrant doctrine.

These are my heroes because they are speaking out and healing. And even more than that, they are not turning against God but pursuing Him and His gifts and calling others to see the One, True, Just, God. They are pointing to the Everliving and Everloving God Who holds Healing in His hands and is generous to give it out to anyone who calls upon His name. They are fighting the false god of patriarchy and the idol of quiverful, working to open the eyes of the blind who have been led astray by this false teaching.

I also admire all the lurking, walking, wounded from this movement, who are only at the beginning of their healing journey. They are my heroes too.

All I can say to you refugees from the ghost town is this, "You go, girl (or boy in some cases)! You've got what it takes for this journey. I'm confident in this very thing. That He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)."

I thank God when I think of you (Ephesians 1:15-23).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hillary is (one of) my hero(s) Part 1

If you haven't notice, there has been quite a stir over Hillary McFarland's book "Quivering Daughters".

You can get a bit of an idea about it at these two locations:

Both of the above links will give you the link to the blog that has put up a very negative review of Hillary's book by one of the big promoters of the Patriarchy movement in Christian and home school circles.

Now, before I get into why Hillary is my hero, or at least one of my heroes, I want to direct your attention toward a post on No Longer Qivering by Sierra:

If you have the chance, read the whole post by Sierra. It's very good.
It draws the parallel between the Patriarchy/Quiver full community and a ghost town, once you decide not to follow their formula of Christianity.

But there were a few lines from Sierra's awesome post that I want to draw attention to.

Sierra: "Stories about valor and courage never tell you that the hero feels like the villain most of the time. There is no doublespeak in heroic tales. Heroes don’t feel like if they’d sit down, shut up, cover up, hide, give birth, nod, smile, listen, clean, serve, serve, serve, obey, worship, then none of this would have happened. Valorous persons never feel like they’re the ungrateful, hard-hearted, demon-possessed, selfish, bitter, angry, defensive ones, right?"


"Living with disapproval means only those who have left burning buildings themselves, or those who come to love their new found survivor, will admire the resolve it took to survive. "

I am one of those who sees what it took to survive, to come out of the Patriarchy movement and deal with the disapproval those in the movement are experts as heaping on their victims.

Now if you will humor me one more quote from Sierra's post on No Longer Qivering, I want to point out a little more.
Concerning the ghosts left in the rubble and destruction of the ghost town she says:

Sierra: "The ghosts will never forgive you – their hearts run with spirit, not blood, and they need no walls to protect their vital organs. They can run right through you with accusations, day after night after day, and never tire. But you tire, because you’re still alive."

Well, there is one really big ghost, a champion of the Patriarchy movement who has taken on Hillary. It's a queen bee, big mama ghost who has started an entire blog just to attack Hillary's book. And that's the blog my friends Lewis and Darcy link to in their blogs, the two blogs I linked to at the very first.

I want to get more into why Hillary is my hero. But I will reserve that for another post.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Female Teacher Mentioned in the Bible

Sorry I've been AWOL again.
Having children active in school and band and sports and other things just sort of absorbs all of my time.

But here's a link to my friend Marg's Blog on a much disputed topic.
Can women teach men the Bible?
Here is her take:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Off Topic, My Son

I'm not done dealing with Ephesians 5 and related topics. And hope to get back to them.
Also, we've had computer trouble and been real busy around both my home and my work so I haven't been able to keep up with much around here.

But I want to stop for a moment and appreciate my son.

He didn't start off so good.
As a boy, he had difficulty relating to his world and managed to get into more trouble than his brother and sisters.
He was the one I worried about the most, afraid he'd end up in jail, or who knows what.

But whatever troubled him when he was younger, he has, for the most part, overcome.
At the age of 19, he still has a bit of a temper and can get very impatient from time to time.

But I love talking to him.
He's deep thinker.
I talk to him about God and the Bible probably more than with my other children.

We had one such conversation last night.
He asks good questions, like, "How can we know who is right about God? Everyone believes that they are right."
And yes, my son has given his heart to Jesus in the past, on more than one occasion.

Yet, this bunch of Christians claim one thing, and that bunch of Christians claim something else. Who is right? He wants to know.

Awesome questions.

My standard answer, one that he's accustomed to is that, I, being female, have a unique perspective. I can see through much of "man made" religion. And I hold up the Muslim 40 virgins waiting in heaven as a blatantly male-centered fantasy. I haven't had a chance to point out how the reincarnation religions say that women have to be reincarnated as men before they can go onto the next step. We never get that far.

And last night, he pointed out to me the male-favoring teachings of the Bible.
To which I could confidently speak to.

I pointed out that Jesus never set up a male/female hierarchy while He walked on the earth. I also pointed out that His allowing Mary to sit at His feet an learn along with the men defied the culture He lived in.
Then I pointed out how the writers of the epistles never set up a hierarchy either. They spoke to the hierarchies that already existed. But they never told men to lead their wives. All they were interested in was trying to help people already in these structures to live as Christ-like as possible in the culture they were subject to.

This made all the sense in the world to my son.
And he said so, plainly. He really appreciated this being pointed out to him because he really does want to believe in Jesus and the God of the Bible. But some of these unfair teachings, like women can't be ordained, really bother him. They are a real stumbling block to him.

Our conversation was brought to an abrupt end by something neither of us could control.
But I can't wait for the opportunity to point out Junia and Phoebe to him at a later time, the Lord permitting.

He's the kind of young man that I don't want to push. When he's ready for information, he comes to me. And when he's ready, they he can receive what I have to say. If he's pushed, he resists.

But I'm very proud of him for his sense of fairness and justice towards women and his need for his God (and yes he believes in God and Jesus incarnate) to be fair and just to all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Phariseeism, Wealth, and Prestige, III

Paul would be appalled if he knew that men used his letters to undermine the words of Jesus and the Kingdom of God on earth. Paul knew the cultures he wrote to and did his best to say what was needed to help people transfer their understanding from the darkness of the world into the Light of God's Kingdom. Never, in his wildest dreams, would he have thought that men would use his letters to lord it over women


Yet this is what some men do because, like the Pharisees of old, they love places of honor and authority. These men look for any excuse, any scripture that might support their doctrines of men and ignore the scriptures that disprove their doctrine. These modern day Pharisees descend on Ephesians 5 where Paul talks about men being the head and assume, out right, without looking at the whole, or any of Paul's other words, that Paul was establishing men as authorities of their homes.

But funny, they are quick to look upon Ephesians 5 as commands carved in stone by the finger of God yet ignore the heart of the writer of those words.

Here is the heart of Paul. Read it carefully and honestly, and see if this is a man hung up on rigid authority structures.

Philippians 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Whereas the men who use Paul's words in Ephesians to set themselves up as little kings and priests in their home, Paul, himself, counts such things as position, birth, even his circumcised manhood, as rubbish. He says plainly that he is willing to lose it all, for the sake of Christ.

The heart of Paul is so directly opposite the hearts of those who use his words for setting up structures and authorities, it is amazing.

So one wonders.

If what Jesus, Isaiah, Luke, Mary, and Paul in Philippians 3 are saying is the opposite of what men say Ephesians 5 says, are these men defining Ephesians 5 getting it right?

Or have they taken the words of Paul and turned them into Commandmentzilla that sucks the life out of people and destroys the message of the good news of Jesus Christ?

Well. We'll look at Ephesians 5 next and see if it really can be used as something that establishes 'authority' in the home.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Phariseeism, Wealth, and Prestige, II

The words of Jesus absolutely in no way support the notion of patriarchy or any form of male rule over female. On the contrary, the words of Jesus knock the feet out from under any claim of anyone to lord it over, or even to entertain the thought of authority over another.

This challenging of human authority was predicted by Isaiah hundreds of years before.

Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

Then Luke, in his gospel, confirms this prophesy noting that John the Baptist, the prophet, that voice in the wilderness, is declaring this challenge to human constructs of authority.

Luke 3:4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
6 And all mankind will see God's salvation."

And again, in Luke's gospel we see Mary, the mother of Jesus, prophesy about God's shake up of human understanding of Authority. The Holy Spirit comes upon her while she's pregnant with the Messiah and she speaks about how God brings down rulers and lifts up the humble.

Luke 1:51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

God turns things on their heads. He brings down those who are exalted and raises up all those who have been put down. Jesus wants to set up His kingdom in a manner unheard of before Him.

Matthew 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—
28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

But what do men do? They labor to exhaustion to re-establish the old order. They sweat and reconfigure with all their worth to set up authorities in people's lives. They make great strides in 'biblical' discourse to undo what Jesus did on the cross. They again, raise up mountains that Jesus brought down and dig out valleys that Jesus filled to divide the body of Christ into 'leaders' and 'followers' just as they were before Jesus came. And the straight paths Jesus ordained, men make them crooked because their crooked hearts could not tolerate the straight and narrow, a kingdom build without hands nor ruled by carnal men.

And they do this by misconstruing the words of one of Christ's most devoted followers. A follower who would disagree with them to their faces, if he were alive to tell. We will look at the words of this follower and see where his heart lies in the next post.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Phariseeism, Wealth, and Prestige, I

Another problem with Phariseeism is the need for men to be in charge and have a places of honor. Phariseeism seeks to bring into the Kingdom of God what is important to men. Instead of changing their center from worldly/fleshly priorities to what God considers important, they try to change God by representing their own preferences as God's Divine order or Creation Order.

I mentioned in the previous post the importance of the Top Ten and Top Two (commandments from Old and New Testaments respectively) and the Golden Rule. And how men are undermining those rules and commands by their interpretation of the words of Paul.

I want to look further into the words of Jesus and how they support His commands and rules.

Most are familiar with the following passage.

Matthew 19:23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Vs 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Vs 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Vs 26Jesus looked at them and said,
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Most people know that the eye of a needle is actually the name of a gate in Jerusalem. A gal in my church actually has been there and walked through it. She said she had to duck a bit to get through. A child could walk through it easily, and upright.

But a camel is a different story.

In order for a camel to get through. all the packs on its back have to be removed and it has to get on it's knees.

Most people know that this means you can't take earthly, material treasures into heaven when we die.

But what most people miss is that you cannot take your earthly prestige and place of honor that men give to each other on earth into the Kingdom of God on earth and expect God to honor it.

Yet this is what entire groups are trying to do. Instead of knowing people by the Spirit they look upon the flesh and decide who is deserving of the places of honor in the Kingdom.

Instead of taking the words of Jesus and making them the foundation of all other words that follow and precede His coming, instead of using the words of Jesus to define or keep in balance the words of His apostles, they use the words of the apostles to completely IGNORE the words of Jesus on how He wants to build His kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force by doing violence to the text of scripture and conforming it to the preferences of men.

Men who do this are Pharisees.
And here is what Jesus has to say about them.

Matthew 23:6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
Vs 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
Vs 8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. Vs 9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
Vs 10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
Vs 11The greatest among you will be your servant.
Vs 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Matthew 23:23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Vs 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

The Pharisees strain at roles and human made restrictions over people yet swallow the false doctrine of human hierarchy within the Kingdom of God.
Pharisees love the places of honor and raising up some and lowering others by their own hand/teaching then hiding behind 'thus saith the Lord' if anyone calls them on it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Phariseeism and Western Thinking

One thing that I think is completely lost on our way of thinking is that the Bible was written in an ancient Oriental Culture, not in our modern Western Culture.

Case in point. I've had a computer programmer compare the Bible to and owner's manual or a programmer's manual. This is scary, since there were no computers or owner's manuals back when the Bible was written.

What happens with this view is that it makes the Bible into step-by-step instructions for every detail of life. And certain groups have done this. And have become very legalistic.

One of the best example of this is the huge 'roles' debate going on. Instead of allowing people to walk in their own skin and be the personality God created them into, strict gender roles are taught because of some instructions Paul gave to the Ephesians who lived in a highly patriarchal culture.

Paul never speaks of roles or defines them in any way. He just encourages the people in Ephesus to take on attitudes to help the cause of Christ.

Yet when people read Paul's words, they take them like step-by-step or trouble-shooting instructions.

For example, when a women feels her husband is not treating her right and goes to the pastor for advice, the pastor turns to the "marriage trouble-shooting" section of the Bible and determines that if A.) the wife would just submit, then B.) the husband would shape up and fulfill his portion, as though he were a machine or computer or something. Or the other way around if the husband comes in and complains. He just needs to love more. Because that's all the instructions Ephesians five gives concerning marriage.

This "owner's manual" method of Bible reading has caused tremendous turmoil among Christians. It has broken families and hurt individuals.

Now in case anyone thinks I'm saying we don't have to pay attention to what the Bible says, I'm not. I'm only saying we need to be careful about how we read it.

God is very clear on what His commands are. I still believe in the Top Ten from the Old Testament, better known as the Ten Commandments. I also believe in the Top Two, Jesus gave in the New Testament, better known as the Two Greatest Commandments. Jesus also gives us the Golden Rule which, when coupled with the Top Two, sums up the whole law.

The whole Bible is NOT just one big list of dos and don'ts. It is the story of the fall of the human race, God's work to redeem us, and then God working together with us to let others know of the opportunity to get in on the blessings of God. It's not line after line of rules. All we need to know about treating each other is summed up in the Top Ten, the Top Two, and the Golden Rule.

Guess what I'm trying to say is this. Be careful about making rules, law, parameters where there may not be any. Making rules about hair, dress, or roles from instructions an apostle sent to a certain city, a long time ago, for a certain time may actually undermine the Gospel and the words that Jesus spoke for all times.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Blogs on Blog Roll

The greatest concern of mine, for the body of Christ, is the walking wounded.

I care about doctrine and fighting doctrine that hurts people and have several blogs already listed that deal specifically with the doctrines. And this fight, to right wrong doctrines, will always be my concern.

But even more than the doctrines, I'm concerned over the ones wounded by the doctrines. Therefore I have added two blogs to my blog roll.

Commandments of men, by Lewis, who I linked to in my July 27th post. He deals with the wounding and the doctrines that wound, both.


Quivering Daughters, by Hillary, who has a book out that is helping so many who have been damaged by the horrid patriarchy/Quiverful cancer that is eating away at the hearts and souls of families, men, women, and children.

Both these blogs also have really great blog rolls so you can get to other blogs through them.
I do it all the time dahrling (Said in a Zsa Zsa Gabor accent).

Note: I also wanted to link Elizabeth Esther who I linked to in my July 22 post. But my computer wouldn't go to her site this morning.
But don't worry. She's on the blog rolls of BOTH Lewis and Hillary.

I thank God, with all of my heart, for these young warriors He is raising up to combat the dragon of the doctrines of men. The fight is fierce. The battle is long. It is a good time for young voices to rise up and speak of hope and healing.

They encourage me.

(link to a 70s Commercial starring Zsa Zsa for the younger bunch. So you will know who I'm talking about: )

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Phariseeism and Making Up Sins

Mark 7:1The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and
vs 2saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed.
Vs 3(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.
Vs 4When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)
Vs 5So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"
Vs 6He replied,
"Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Vs 7They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'
Vs 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

The Pharisees had new commands which in turn creates new sins. So beyond the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses, they had new commandments concerning washing your hands and cups and pitchers and kettles. And since there are these new commands, the disciples were committing sins that Moses hadn't thought of and that God didn't recognize as sin.

Well, these days, just as in the days of Jesus, there are men making up commandments and creating new sins to scare people with. This one involves the new doctrine of "Creation Order"

Bayly blog:" in other words, churches that do everything possible to hide the Creation Order God has ordained (without taking the final step of having a woman as a senior pastor) are placing stumbling blocks before women, denying them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How so?
Well, if the Law is our schoolmaster to Christ; and if the constant theme of Scripture when it addresses the sins of woman is a clear note calling her to submit to the Creation Order, not teaching or exercising authority over man but submitting to her husband; when this Creation Order is hidden, it is one of the principal sins of woman that we are hiding, and thereby denying woman the call to repentance that would lead her to the Cross.
Put bluntly, churches that hide Scripture's doctrine of sexuality are obscuring the Law and obstructing woman's entry to repentance and faith..."

Did you see that. By hiding the doctrine and commands concerning "Creation Order" people are causing women to sin. But I always wonder. If these commands concerning Creation Order are so important that women will lose their salvation over it, where are these commands mentioned in the Ten Commandments or the two commandments Jesus gave? God and Jesus are strangely silent on something so important. The quote mentions the writings of Paul and his instructions to specific churches. But none of these "creation order" commands can be backed up by anything spoken by God in the OT or Jesus in the NT.

Thusly, as these men read the Bible and read into it commands that they place on higher footing than the words of God/Jesus Himself, they create new sins for women to be afraid of and work to avoid.

If you'd like to read the blog for yourself, cut and paste this link into your browser, then replace the "DOT"s with actual '"."s. I do not want these men tracing the link back here. They have no business on a blog I started as a safe house for the walking wounded.

And I warn you. Comment there at your own risk. These men, who know ALL the verses that they think limit women by heart, they haven't a clue about I Corinthians 13 or Galatians 5. They can be extremely rude and hateful.


It is unfortunate that men like the Baylys are not content to work toward the goals laid out by Jesus concerning reaching the whole world for Christ. They'd rather figure out new sins for women to worry about and new twistings of Scriptures to figure out new ways to put women in their places, as defined by them.
And men like these are far more dangerous to the cause of Christ than any feminist who ever walked the face of the earth. imho.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Phariseeism and False Balance

Phariseeism involves off-balanced thinking. It is off-balanced from what God considers just.
Here are a few Old Testament verses concerning false balances (scales that give false info) and false weights (weights that say they weigh a certain amount but actually weigh something different.)

Leviticus 19:35 You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity.
Leviticus 19:36'You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.
Proverbs 16:11 A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; All the weights of the bag are His concern.
Proverbs 20:10 Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.
Proverbs 20:23 Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.
Micah 6:11"Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?

As you can see, God commands weights and measures to be true and just. And it is seen that those who uses false measures and have false balances, those weights and balances are not only undesirable, they are an abomination.
Now, lets look at how the Pharisees applied a false balance to a certain woman. And see how utterly blind they were to their false weights and measures.

John 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
4they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
5"Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"

Note: The Law of Moses commanded that anyone, male and female, caught in adultery should be stoned. There was only one conditions where one of the two offending parties, was not stoned. And it was the woman who was not stoned. Not the man. The man was ALWAYS stoned, in the case of adultery. There was just a chance that, out in the country, the woman was being raped, cried out and wasn't heard. In that case, they let the woman go.

But here, these Pharisees, using a false balance and false weights concerning the Law of Moses have turned the entire thing on it's head and as a way to punish wayward women while allowing wayward men to go their merry way and continue to be wayward. This is an abomination. And God's blessing is not on this. As He spoke through the Prophet Micah I quoted above, "Can I justify wicked scales and a bag of deceptive weights?"

The answer, of course, is that He cannot. God is just and is not subject to the false balances of men. He is not subject to it, nor can He bless it. But often, those who hold to the false balances are unaware that their balances are not blessed. They fully believe that God blesses their false balances and faulty weights and teach that their balances are God's commands and God's parameters. But what they teach is an abomination. And the fruit of their teaching is producing injustice worse than against the woman caught in adultery.
It is also producing abuse as witnessed by a blogger named Cindy. She does not use the terms, balance, weights, or measures. But she is witness the result of faulty teaching.

I appreciate Cindy's work among the abused as she walks among those suffering from the fallout of an off-balanced teaching.

The promoters of the Danver's Statement are as blind to their off-balance teaching as the Pharisees who threw the adulterous woman at the feet of Jesus. They do not know that they promote a false, off-balanced gospel that is no gospel at all, at least not the women and children that have been and are still being destroyed by it.
It is well past time for Christians to call into account those who perpetuate this false gospel. It is one of the most dangerous heresies to ever trouble the church.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Blog to Look At

He's a fellow who is blogging on how the false priorities and structure of phariseeism has hurt him and is continuing to hurt others.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Example: Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure.

Just found a new blogger. Or at least a blogger new to me.

I feel her July 19th post is an excellent, modern day example of how having false priorities and structure produces phariseeism.

I will let her words speak for themselves.

No. The most dangerous force to the Church is not Feminism but Phariseeism which hides behind a cloak of righteousness. But its righteousness is filthy rages.

I appreciate Elizabeth Esther's devotion to God, even as she works to get past the damage done by those within the church who meant well, but were more important in following the rules than knowing the God of the rules and following Him.
Not all coming out of the fog of Phariseeism continue to hold onto God. It is easier for them to just chuck the whole thing, throw the baby out with the bath water rather than go back and try to extract the truth from the lies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure, II

In the previous posts I gave scriptures from Matthew and Jeremiah dealing with a serious issue I see within the Body of Christ. I see a preoccupation with the outward form to the neglect of the heart and concerning the things of the heart, including both the heart of God and the heart of men (human beings).

I call it priority and structure issues because I see that this is where the problem lies. Just as the Pharisees of old neglected some part of God's law and over emphasized other parts, so I see this happening today. It is causing off-balanced teaching that is wreaking havoc on individual Christians and Christian families. I will get into this in a later post, but for now want to focus on the verses in Matthew and Jeremiah and the issues of priority and structure.

The Pharisees had their priorities all out of whack. They were so concerned with certain rules and the outward form of godliness that they neglected the God of the rules and the issues of their hearts. In Matthew 23:25 quoted in the post below Jesus nails these religious leaders for their greed and self-indulgence. Jesus warns the people of these men, focused on keeping up appearances to the neglect of their own hearts and the destruction of other people.

Luke 20:46"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

These men are proud and greedy, taking away from others to indulge themselves rather than giving.

Their priorities are all out of kilter. Their structure is completely faulty. As Jesus said in Matthew 23:26 they needed to focus on the inner rather than the outer. They needed to see to it that the inside of their dish was clean, then the natural flow, what comes out of the man, would make the outside of the man clean. Then they wouldn't have to rely on false righteousness and hypocrisy to keep the outer delusion going.

They needed to build their righteousness on the inner workings of the heart. They needed to circumcise their hearts and allow God to place His laws within their hearts rather than try to obey God's rules without knowing the heart of the God who made the rules.

As a mammal has its skeletal structure on the inside rather than the outside, Christians also need their structure on the inside. But instead, they walk around like a crab or a lobster with their structure outside of them, rather than inside.

And walking around as a lobster/crab, with this outside structure is turning many Christians into blind guides leading the blind, robbers who steal from other Christians their divine birth right, trampling over the boundaries of still others in order to indulge themselves, and reserving the best parts of the gospel message for themselves, denying full access to others.

And THIS is what is turning people away from the gospel. Not Feminism, but thievery done in the name of God. It is a crime, this devouring of the gifts and freedoms of fellow Christians, this trampling of the innocents. These are crimes every bit as bad as devouring widow's houses.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Phariseeism, Priorities, and Structure, I

There's a lot of scripture in this post, but I do it to make a point. People are obsessed with following rules to the point that they miss the heart of God, as explained in scripture, for the sake of following the rules. First a review of Matthew 15:7-9 that we touched on in the July 8th post.

Matthew 15:7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,Vs 8 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.Vs 9 But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."

As mentioned before, people were missing God altogether, giving lip service to Him but missing what is important to Him.

Next scripture is also from Matthew. Here Jesus is speaking to the teachers of the day and bringing special attention to the emptiness of their religion. He points out that these teachers are more interested in the outward form and how things look than anything pertaining to the heart, either God's heart, or man's.

Matthew 23:25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

One sort of an outward display that should reflect what is going on inwardly is circumcision. But instead it became only an outward display. Though they circumcised the outside of the dish, the inside remained uncircumcised. And God has no patience with this false circumcision.

Jeremiah 4:3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

Our last selection, also from Jeremiah, God again is speaking to the heart of the matter. In the Old Testament, the law was something outside the person, to monitor and govern the person from the outside. Here God is giving the promise that He will put the law on the inside of the person, to govern them from the inside.

Jeremiah 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

I have more to say on this but I shot a lot of scripture at you all at once. So for now we will simply close this post, unfinished and reflect on these scriptures in a later post.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Note on Comments

I know of at least one person who has left a comment here, but it didn't take and was not available for me to let go through. The only comments I haven't let through, so far, are the ones written in Chinese that I can't understand.
If anyone left a valid comment here that was not spam and I didn't let it through, it's because I never saw it. I want to assure you, I'm not keeping legitimate comments from appearing.
If you tried commenting and it didn't come through, please try again.
Thanks for understanding

Monday, July 12, 2010

Phariseeism and Redefining Sin, II

This post could also be entitled, "Commandmentzilla!" Let's read the first scripture selection and I'll explain myself.

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grain fields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick heads of grain and eat.
Vs 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Behold, Yours disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.
Vs 3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions;
Vs 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him but for priests alone?
Vs 5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?Vs 6 But I say to you, that something greater than the temple is here.
Vs 7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire compassion (mercy), and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.
Vs 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Whereas the Pharisees made a loophole for the "honor your parents" commandment, they treated the "Remember the Sabbath day" completely different. They changed if from a commandment that brings life to Commandmentzilla, a commandment capable of sucking the life out of you. It became the commandment used to prevent people from taking care of themselves if they have a need, like the disciples being hungry and eating a bit of grain. And not only this, there's more. I repeat vs 8 but continue on with the story.

Vs 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Vs 9 And departing from there, He went into their synagogue.
Vs 10 And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" -- in order that they might accuse Him.

Vs 11 And He said to them, "What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into the pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out?

Vs 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

Vs 13 Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand!" And he stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.

Vs 14 But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

Commandmentzilla strikes again. Where Jesus would bring healing, Pharisees using Commandmentzilla would try to stop Him. And if they can't stop Him from healing on the Sabbath, then they will figure a way to destroy Him. Because commandmentzilla does not bring life, but death.

Mark 2:27 Then He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

And this is the problem. People believe that they need to worship the rules, instead of the God of the rules who made the rule for the sake of His children.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Phariseeism and Redefining Sin, I

Before anyone freaks out over this title and thinks I'm going to get all weird, philosophical and turn all morally relevant, let me assure you that I'm not. Sin is sin. The Ten Commandments still apply today.
We'll start with a couple verses that, I think, will help you understand where I'm coming from.

Matthew 16:11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Vs 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducess.

Note, Jesus did not say, "Beware of Pilate, the Romans, Herod, Herod's wife, the daughter of Herod's wife..." or anyone else 'outside the camp' that one might fear. His concern was with those within the camp and their teachings. This post and the next will be dealing with some of those teachings and pointing out how the teachers of the day were redefining sin and how Jesus confronted it.

Matthew 15:1 Then some Pharisees and scribes (teachers) came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,
Vs 2 Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
Vs 3 And He answered and said to them. "And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of you tradition?
Vs 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Vs 5 But you say, 'Whoever shall say to his father or mother, "Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God."
Vs 6 he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
Vs 7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Vs 8 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.
Vs 9 But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."

I really only needed to post verses 1-6, but 7-9 are so good that I had to include them. Sorry if my posts get a little long. But scripture is very clear on many things if you take the whole, in nice big chunks, and don't just pick and choose bits and piece them together.

Anyway, the Pharisees had become excellent 'rule keepers' and thought their salvation rested in keeping these rules. But their rules had become too extensive. They had evolved from what God originally said into a tyrannical mountain of dos and don'ts that became a cage rather than a place of freedom. We'll see more of that in the next post.

The Pharisees redefined sin, and in the case above, they even provided loop-holes for bad behavior, disobeying God's direct commands for the sake of the traditions of the elders.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sin in the Camp

Joshua 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.

The above verse occurs right after the fall of Jericho and before the devastating defeat of Israel at Ai (vss 2-5).
Then Joshua falls on his face in prayer over their defeat and loss of life (vss 6-9).
But God answers in vss 10-15. Note verse 11 and 12.

Joshua 7:11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.
Vs 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you any more unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

The rest of the story is the process of removing sin from the camp and the resulting victory over Ai after that.

The thing to note is that only one man sinned and stole from God. Only one. But God calls the entire nation into account for it. And if you read the story, Achan was put to death. Not just him, but his entire family. Not only did Achan suffer from the result of his own sin, but the entire nation of Israel. And Israel could not go on to any more victories until the sin among them was dealt with. On a side note, Achan's family paid for his sin with their lives, right along with him.

I've been on a blog where I have pointed out the sins of the church. The host and many of the men there have seen it as a personal attack on them and look upon me as someone who just wants to beat up Christians and the church. They have misunderstood my desire to bring Christians out of denial concerning sin in the camp as an attack on that camp. Because I strongly feel that it is the sins of Christians and the apathy of others concerning such sin that is robbing us of our victory.

The men at the other blog have looked upon the stories and issues that I bring up and said, in effect, "Yeah, it's bad. Stuff like that happens. So what? What's your point? You hate God, the Bible, and the Church now because of a few bad eggs?"

They completely miss the principle I bring up here concerning sin in the camp and "Judgement begins with the house of the LORD" (1 Pet 4:17).

But what these men don't realize is that when sin is overlooked, not taken seriously, and not dealt with, the church will not see victory. It is not the enemies outside the camp that have the power to stop the church and her move forward. It's the sin within the camp, and that alone, robs us of our victory.

Also know that I understand that the times and situations are different. Joshua put to death Achan. But we have different methods, as outlined by the New Testament, to deal with those who sin against God. Yet we are not applying them, therefore we will continue to stumble about in defeat as we point the finger of accusation everywhere but where it belongs.

It is not the third wave feminist, the militant homosexual, or even the sick minded, child pornographer (the one I despise the most) that stops the church from victory. It's the sin within the church herself that will destroy us and render us an impotent has-been within our nation.

Next post is on the 'redefining of sin' that occurs within the church.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Restoring Five Times

I went through a time where it seemed that I was losing relationships right and left. It was during this time that I lost the friendship of the couple I mentioned in my April 12th post.

I had lost my in-laws to death within 5 weeks of each other. And in the event of losing my mother-in-law, whom I was very attached to, I realized that she had filled a void left by my sister several years back. Because, you see, I didn't lose my sister to death. She is still very much alive as far as I know. But she had become estranged to the family and refuses contact. Any contact we tried to make, she accused us of stalking her. Even if we left her alone for a few years and just wanted to pass on information to her.

Losing her, because, it was so strange, I never fully grieved or recovered from it. Death would have been easier to deal with than the flat out rejection she handed us. Anyway, when my mother-in-law died, I also had to face the fact that I had truly lost my sister, maybe forever. I almost got rid of the coffee mug she gave me once that said "Sister - a life time friend." But I kept it anyway as a memorial to the good times we had before things went weird.

So in all of this loss and rejection, I wanted to curl up in a little ball and just go through the motions of life.

Once , when I was trying to make a come back to something like normal, this song from tree63 came on the radio:

And while the chorus was playing, "You give and take away. You give and take away. My heart will chose to say, blessed be Your glorious name." I broke down and openly grieved on my bed saying, "You give and take away, you give and take away." (Job 1:21) I was able to push through to a little bit of peace.

Then I had a dream.

I dreamt the kids and I went to a nearby town in our van. On the way back, just outside the city limits of that town, my van broke down. I didn't know what to do so I just took my kids out of the van and we started walking home, four towns away.

The dream made no sense until I found in a dream book that a van can represent family. Then it hit me. I was losing family and friends and just walking away rather than fighting for them. Granted, there wasn't a lot I could do about my in-laws. And it wasn't like I never prayed for my sister because I did. But I didn't pray with the law concerning thieves in mind.

And anger rose up inside of me and I prayed to God. I reminded Him that He was the righteous judge and that His law said that if the thief is caught, that he is to pay back twice, four times, or five times, depending on the situation.

Then through a series of events that are too long to relate, I came back into contact with five cousins that I had lost track of from and early age. To make a long story short, after a road trip to visit two of them, the song from tree63 came on the radio and I remembered the dream and the promise and the prayer. And then I knew that God had restored back to me five times what the enemy had stolen.