• Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

If you are a Christian person, you should base your life decisions on what you believe and know to be best or right for you and your particular circumstances, rather than-

Relying on what you think God wants and prefers, or on what your church’s pastor thinks the Bible is conveying, or on what your interpretation of the Bible is, or on what your favorite Christian author is telling you on about any given topic.

Christians – even those whom say they adhere to Sola scriptura or Prima scriptura – do not agree with each other, or with other Christians, or with other Christian denominations, on many subjects.

Why would you subject major life choices, such as if to marry, whom to marry, when to marry, or whether to divorce or not, based on what you think the Bible (or your church) says on these issues, when your interpretation, or theirs, could be incorrect?

And when your church’s understanding conflicts with that of another ten churches on the same subject?

Your church or pastor or favorite preacher may say God never allows divorce for any reason at all, but at the same time, there are 500,000 other preachers, churches, and denominations which do say that it’s “biblical,” moral, fine, and acceptable, for one person to divorce another in cases of physical abuse-

And / or, in cases of adultery, and/or or perhaps in cases of neglect, emotional or verbal abuse, or in other scenarios.

So, does it really make sense to base your choice of what to do in life on what one church, one denomination, one flavor of theology, or one Christian says, when Christians themselves are not in consensus on what God thinks or prefers on these matters?

White American Christians at one time used to use the Bible to justify and defend the practice of 19th century whites owning black people as slaves.

Most of us today recognize slavery as being immoral, even though the Bible does contain passages addressing the treatment of slaves in the New Testament, and I believe in the Old, as well.

(That the Bible mentions something, or establishes rules for something already in place in a culture, such as slavery or polygamy, does not necessarily mean that the Bible, or the God of the Bible, agreed with whatever that practice was, or that it was ever God’s intent for humanity in the first place. This is a point that is often lost on critics of the Bible or of Christianity.)

If Christians misused the Bible to perpetuate the evil that was slavery – and they did in fact do so – that goes to show that Christians can misuse and misunderstand the Bible concerning other issues today, such as divorce or gender complementarianism (women’s roles).

Who says your church’s preacher’s interpretation is correct?

Or that John Piper’s is correct? or Al Mohler’s or J. D. Greear’s or Russell Moore’s? Or Mark Driscoll’s? Or that the Roman Catholic Pope’s  or Magisterium’s is correct?

Or who says the interpretation of the Bible by other Christian authors, theologians, or preachers, on these and other topics, is correct?

They could be absolutely and terribly and thoroughly in error on whatever topic they are addressing, whether they are appealing to biblical passages or not.

Continue reading

Advertisements

• Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

There are several reasons why a Christian woman might become a complementarian.

I will present a link much farther below (from Cult News site) that discusses how and why some Christian women pressure other Christian women to conform to sexist complementarian teachings.

I am an ex-complementarian.

Some women, such as myself, were born into complementarianism.

I was brought up in a Christian family that attended Southern Baptist churches, Southern Baptist churches endorse complementarianism, and my mother was always bringing in Christian-based magazines and other literature into the home, which stressed very traditional gender roles.

(When I was a kid growing up Southern Baptist, I don’t recall the Southern Baptists of the 1970s, or even the 1980s, being as nearly obsessed and insistent upon traditional gender roles as they started to become in the 1990s and later.)

If you become a Christian, and you love God, and you believe that God is your BFF (your bestie), you naturally want to live in such a way that is pleasing to God.

Your church and your parents are telling you that complementarianism is pleasing to God.

Furthermore, complementarianism is conflated with codependent attitudes and behavior by its adherents.

When you are a complementarian, you are taught by complementarians that your only alternative to complementarianism is to become an evil, icky, un-biblical, liberal secular feminist.

Continue reading

• Southern Baptists Are Having To Defend Themselves Against the Accusation That They’re Becoming Feminists

Southern Baptists Are Having To Defend Themselves Against the Accusation That They’re Becoming Feminists

One of the mis-givings I have with being a conservative is sitting back and watching other conservatives automatically reject any and all grievances raised by secular or Christian feminists (and doing so without honestly weighing if the feminist points have merit or not), or to associate seeking justice and equality for women with extreme, militant feminism, and therefore rejecting it out-right.

There is nothing anti- conservative, or un-biblical, with conservatives, Republicans, Christians, or with anyone, noticing that sexism exists and seeking to rectify the situation and to ensure that girls and women are treated with respect, and given equality of opportunity.

The Southern Baptists Dumped a Predator or Two, but Let’s Hold Off on the F-word

Jul 16, 2018, 1:54pm Anne Linstatter

The #metoo and #churchtoo movements have put SBC leaders on the defensive, as earlier revelations of widespread child sexual abuse by priests did to the all-male Roman Catholic hierarchy. Yet both groups continue to deny that there could be any connection between all-male power and the sexual abuse of women and children.

What a hoot! Southern Baptists are having to defend themselves against the accusation that they’re becoming feminists.

What have they done to deserve this F-word? They’ve kicked out the president of a seminary for counseling victims of domestic violence to keep quiet, and for telling at least one rape victim to forgive her assailant and not report to police. They dethroned a few other predator pastors and confessed to past failures to protect the weak.

This counts as feminism?

I’d simply call it justice regardless of gender—which, by the way, actually is the definition of feminism.

Continue reading

• Conquering Shame and Codependency – book by Darlene Lancer

Conquering Shame and Codependency – book by Darlene Lancer

I’ve only read excerpts from the book Conquering Shame and Codependency by Darlene Lancer, but it looks to be an interesting and maybe helpful read.

I come from a family that was heavily shame-based. My father in particular was very much into shaming my mother, siblings, and myself.

And I come from a devout Christian family – being devout Christians who regularly attended church – did nothing to halt that shaming, the hyper-criticism, the negativity.

The following material also touches on other subject matter in the midst of discussing shame and codependency, such as domestic violence and introversion.

Here are links about the book by Lancer, or links to interviews with Lancer:

Darlene Lancer’s site (with a lot of material about codependency)

Podcast: Darlene Lancer Talks Autonomy and Codependency on Mental Health News Radio

In new book, expert on codependency traces its roots in shame

Podcasts of Interviews with Lancer on Sound Cloud

Lancer Sound Cloud Podcasts

Topics on that page:

Symptoms of Codependency – Coping with Emptiness

Overcoming Codependent Guilt

Interview about Shame and Codependency

Toxic Shame | Guest Author Darlene Lancer

Snippets:

Martha Rosenberg: What are some of the ways children experience and incorporate shame during their childhoods?

Darlene Lancer:  Parents can shame their children’s needs, feelings and even interests. For example, if a child is told not to cry and “you’re a big boy now,” his need for comfort when he is in distress will be shamed.

A PBS program showed how different mothers of distressed 2-year-olds reacted. Some did not hold or even look at their children, probably because they were not comforted themselves as children.

If a child displays an interest in sports or culture or music and the parents do not approve of it, his interests can be shamed.

… Martha Rosenberg: You have also said that codependency is a progressive disease like alcoholism that leads to physical symptoms including chronic pain and final feelings of being “dead” inside. Can you describe some of your clients’ recoveries from shame and codependency?

Darlene Lancer: One of my clients was married to someone who was very verbally abusive to her. He was clever, manipulative and kept her in a “one down” position.

She tolerated the abuse because it resonated with feelings of worthlessness and weakness she had formed about herself when she was growing up.

Under a barrage of criticism, she would just freeze and not be able to find words to defend herself. She believed her own needs were selfish.

Continue reading

• Traditional Gender Roles Associated with Domestic Abuse – Gender Complementarianism Is Not Counter-Cultural

Traditional Gender Roles Associated with Domestic Abuse – Gender Complementarianism Is Not Counter-Cultural

There are secular articles and studies pointing out that in secular culture, acceptance or agreement with traditional gender roles is associated with domestic abuse.

Christian gender complementarians sometimes peddle their views about women and gender roles by insisting that complementarianism is “counter cultural.”

Christian complementarians seem to think that the entire culture completely buys into secular, liberal feminism – which it does not – and they seem to feel that they are standing alone to defend people or culture against feminism.

Complementarianism, which believes in traditional gender roles, mirrors secular culture on some points; it does not stand in distinction or opposition to it, despite the many complementarian books, sermons, and blog posts to the contrary.

Continue reading

• This Is Not About All Men. Don’t Make It About You.

This Is Not About All Men. Don’t Make It About You.

I’ve noticed any time a woman (or women collectively) step forward to openly discuss their struggles – especially against “male on female” sexism – immediately, many men, or their female anti-feminists allies, hop into “defense mode” to either insist loudly and often that “not all men” are sexists (or are not sexual abusers), or, they like to try to derail a topic by arguing that (some) women are just as bad as men.

It’s repulsive to me that even situations that are of concern to women, that largely impact women more harshly, more often, or more severely than men, are always distorted and twisted to be turned into how these topics affect men.

Because as a society, I suppose we’re all supposed to care far, far more about men and the needs and feelings and jobs of men – than we are of women and women’s jobs, feelings, and needs.

I quite frankly do not care how the “Me Too” movement, or other women-centric causes, impact men, negatively or otherwise.

My level of concern is about confined only to the area that men who are currently sexist, or who sit around denying how rampant sexism is, will have their eyes opened to how common-place sexism is, even in a wonderful nation such as the United States.

Talkback caller’s heartfelt poem about violence against women resonates with listeners

by Nicole Mills

[Below audio sample on the page:

“Do not usurp my story / don’t tell me what to do / This is not about all men / Don’t make it about you”

Carmel shared this powerful poem about violence against women. Turn your sound on and take a moment for this.]

… But one caller to ABC Radio Melbourne has done an amazing job of uniting a huge number of women and men, who agreed her poem about society’s response to violence against women summed up their own feelings.

Carmel is a psychologist who works in the domestic violence field. She said she was fascinated by how “good, decent men often jump in to defend men, rather than listen to what women are saying”.

(By Carmel):

When I say I’m afraid of men who mean me harm,

You tell me not to make a fuss, there’s no need for alarm.

That not all men are like that, not to stress my pretty head,

Or talk about those other men just look at you instead.

But what of women suffering, a slap, a punch, a shove,

A life of menacing oppression from a man they love.

Not all men are sexist, not all men disrespect,

Not all men are the man who harms what he should protect.

Continue reading

• The Pain Wrought by Complementarian Theology by Elesha Coffman

The Pain Wrought by Complementarian Theology by Elesha Coffman

Yes, complementarian theology has real-life, usually negative, consequences upon the lives of girls and women, but do complementarians care? Nope.

Defending their particular interpretation of the Bible – which entails complementarianism – takes precedence over the welfare of actual people.

The Pain Wrought by Complementarian Theology

Snippets:

First off, let me say that I agree with everything Emily Hunter McGowin wrote about the gas-lighting of evangelical women long before, and far beyond, what has recently been exposed about Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptist Convention.

I heard all of the same messages she did as I grew up in evangelical churches, conditioning me to believe that it was my constant responsibility to manage men’s sexual temptation while deferring to their authority.

The specific contours of evangelical gender ideology, especially as defined by the Religious Right from the 1970s onward, place crushing burdens on women. I ultimately had to leave evangelicalism in order not to lose my faith and my sanity.

But it’s not just evangelicalism.

Continue reading