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.