• How The Bible Can Be Damaging to People with Depression via Patheos Blog

How The Bible Can Be Damaging to People with Depression via Patheos Blog

This is a very good article, but I do have one minor disagreement with it (very minor). I’d like to discuss my area of disagreement, but I’ll do so below the link and excerpts.

How The Bible Can Be Damaging to People with Depression via Patheos Blog by Guest Contributor

Snippets:

As a teen, I read the entire Bible. Twice. Deuteronomy, with rules about weird sores on the body, 1 Chonicles and the list of who “begat” whom, and all. Not one verse helped.

I clung to verses of encouragement as I lay sobbing and screaming into pillows, wracked with internal pain. Hopeless. Pleading for God to help me, to deliver me. I could find only one verse that I identified with: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46).

…“Just have a little more faith,” coach these verses and those who deliver them. “Just think more positively; just hope.” That’s the thing about depression, though: there is no hope.

Depression is characterized by a lack of hope. …

That’s where the verses can get dangerous, in the following three ways.

1) Bible verses keep us from seeking treatment.

When we believe that depression can be overcome by thought changes, we ignore the fact that clinical depression is a medical issue, an imbalance in brain chemistry.

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• Selective Focus, Selective Outrage in Abuse Coverage – Andy Savage Vs. Clayton Jennings

Selective Focus, Selective Outrage in Abuse Coverage – Andy Savage Vs. Clayton Jennings

Among other blogs and news sources, I am referencing these blog posts at The Wartburg Watch blog (I don’t want to link to the posts themselves, as they will create ping backs, and I don’t want to create ping backs):

Post 1. Dated Jan 5, 2018, title:
I Thought He Was Taking Me for Ice Cream: One Woman’s #MeToo Story of Molestation By Her Former Youth Pastor, Andy Savage

Post 2. Dated Jan 8, 2018, title:
More Developments As Well As the Drop the Mic Moments in the Andy Savage/Highpoint Memphis #metoo Situation

This story of Andy Savage and Jules has been covered in national papers and on national television, such as by CBS News.

The story got started on TWW and on the Watchkeep blog.

I want to make it very, very clear I am not criticizing abuse survivor blogs or secular news stations or Twitterverse for calling out pastor Andy Savage for his sexual assault of Jules.  I think it is good and right that this story receive attention.

One thing I find puzzling is that the cases of alleged abuse by evangelist to youth, Clayton Jennings, did not receive any where near the attention as did the abuse story of Jules by Andy Savage.

Andy Savage is a carbon copy of Clayton Jennings.

Jennings is KNOWN to have more than one alleged victim. (Though I believe Jenning’s father denied in one interview that there is more than one – but there is more than one, the women gave statements about their experiences with Jennings.)

(Edit: I added the word alleged in there for legal purposes – I don’t think they are “alleged” victims, I believe them to be actual victims based on the news stories I’ve seen about Jennings and their statements to blogs.)

At this point, we only know of one victim of Savage’s. Savage swears up and down in his publicly released apology that Jules was his first and only victim, but I am betting there are more – but at this point, Jules is the one and only confirmed victim we have on record.

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• Complementarianism As One Basis For Sexual Harassment Against Women by C. C. James

A commentary about the “Me Too” and “Church Too” twitter trends, which highlighted sexual harassment against women by men.

The author here basically says in a much shorter format what I said in an older post comparing Christian Gender Complementarianism to Codependency:

The Silence Breakers: A Kairos Moment for the Church

Snippets:

by Carolyn Custis James

….But without investigating and addressing the sources of the problem, our efforts will fall short and the epidemic will persist.

In good conscience, we cannot adequately address this epidemic without exploring causative factors that increase female vulnerability and allow for such violations against women to occur in the first place. Otherwise, we are fighting a losing battle. We must take preventative action too.

Those Ubiquitous S-Words
Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is, put her finger on a major contributing factor when she wrote,

Women have been taught, by every cultural force imaginable, that we must be ‘nice’ and quiet’ and ‘polite,’ that we must protect others’ feelings before our own. That we are there for other’s pleasure.

The same kind of social messaging for women intensifies in the church, reinforced by the claim that the Bible supports it.

We are not taught to be strong and courageous (even though that is the Apostle Paul’s message for us). We aren’t urged to develop the kind of backbone needed in awkward situations with the opposite sex. We aren’t conditioned to be decisive and proactive.

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• Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 1)

Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 1)

Many Christians teach that Christians should only marry other Christians. This is at least an expectation or belief in Baptist churches, and I think some Protestant ones.

This view point is referred to as ‘being equally yoked.’

It was a view I used to believe in, and I was taught it as I was growing up in a Christian environment, but I rejected this view point a few years ago.

I occasionally run across still-hopeful, yet very naive, single Christian women ages 35 and older, who have yelled at me online on other blogs (such as this lady), that I am so very, very wrong to say that singles should not abide by the Equally Yoked proposition, and they, I guess, are still clinging to some hope that God will supernaturally send them a Christian Mr. Right to marry.

The sad truth is, I’m afraid, that there may not be a God, but if there is a God, if my lived experience and observation has taught me anything, it’s that this God is most likely not going to send most single Christian women who’d like to marry a single Christian man to marry.

For every single Christian woman who likes to think God specially sent her a Christian man on a romantic walk on the beach, there are full- to- partially- Christian women such as myself, who, in spite of years of praying and waiting on a spouse from God, never got one.

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• Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 2)

 Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 2)

Some Christians – normally the married ones, but occasionally the single ones – maintain a stubborn adherence to the “equally yoked” rule, although it acts as an impediment to any single, Christian woman who’d like to marry.

(It’s so easy for Christians who have been married for decades to preach to women single today that they should only “marry another Christian” when they already have theirs.)

Not only is there a severe man shortage in Christianity, but women of other conservative branches of faith are unable to marry, because there are more women than men in their religions.

See:

What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis

How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women

Are single Mormon women “screwed”?

Similar material, secular vantage:

Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates

“Marriageable Men” Are No Longer a Hot Economic Commodity, New Study Says

Christians set up too many, and too high or unrealistic obstacles for singles, especially single women, who desire to marry (here is one example – believe me, there are many other Christian-penned “here’s a list of the type of qualities you should insist upon when marrying” lists on the internet; you can do the googling for more).

Complementarians add yet another unnecessary layer of standards they feel a woman should adhere to in order to marry (such as telling Christian women to not only marry another Christian – the ‘equally yoked’ view – but to marry a  Christian who is her “spiritual head” or “spiritual leader”), which makes getting married for single women impossible.

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 • Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 3)

Equally Yoked Teaching, Complementarianism, Christianity, and Singleness (part 3)

What is the use of the equally yoked rule for Christian single women if it affords no protection for women? (Because “Equally Yoked” does not protect Christian single women from marrying abusive men, or men who are serial adulterers or insensitive jerks.)

Some of these Christian women I’ve mentioned in the previous post, and in this one, were judging these self-professing Christian men by their “fruit,” as Jesus says to do in the Gospels.

These men showed the outward signs of being “true” believers, but they were actually rapists, physical abusers, or sleazy operators.

Look at this guy. He gave all the signs of being an honest to goodness, real, Christian (I mentioned him in a previous, separate post):

Christian volunteer charged with killing wife and daughters, 7 and 8

December 23, 2017

A man described as a devout Christian who volunteered at a local church was charged this week with killing his wife and two young daughters after their bodies were found in a home in western Canada.

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• Misinterpreting “Head” Can Perpetuate Abuse by B. C. Miller

Misinterpreting “Head” Can Perpetuate Abuse by B. C. Miller

Snippets:

Instead of lovingly following the example of Christ, these men used the Bible as a weapon to control their wives. One specific way they did this was by interpreting the word “head” in Ephesians 5:23 and 1 Corinthians 11:3 to mean “authority” or “overlord.”

In the kingdom of God, all people are equal in worth and in opportunity—women are not under the power of men, nor are wives specifically under the one-way authority of their husbands. Understanding this principle helps eliminate abuse.

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