Should you love yourself? A response to Desiring God

Before the Rachael Denhollander news stories, before the Turpin family tragedy broke,  I received a letter from a young woman, Lyndall Cave,  sending me a Desiring God article called “Do You Love Yourself Enough?” (link).

She said,

[One book I’m reading] talks a lot about loving yourself. Every time I read that phrase, I flinch, because my theology in the past has been based on the idea that I’m sinful and thus there’s nothing about myself to love. This article from Desiring God [“Do You Love Yourself Enough?”] sums up the viewpoint perfectly.  

 But what about God’s grace? What about the work of Jesus on the cross, that purifies us, and our new natures now that we’re in Christ? I’m conflicted at the moment. Where does self-love fit with the Gospel? Am I sinful? Am I a worthless worm? Is there really nothing good in me? What about “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”?  

Continue reading “Should you love yourself? A response to Desiring God”

Untwisting “you should surrender your rights” (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)

My faithful readers have seen some of my blog posts about rights before, and know that two chapters of Untwisting Scriptures are devoted to understanding rights. I’m glad to say that author and speaker Leslie Vernick is giving an opportunity to interact on this important topic to a wider audience. Here is the first part of the article being published at www.leslievernick.com today. Continue reading “Untwisting “you should surrender your rights” (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)”

It’s unBiblical to surrender your rights

Next week I’ll be privileged to guest post again for Leslie Vernick at www.leslievernick.com, about how you actually do have rights and you shouldn’t surrender or yield them and it’s actually impossible to surrender many of them. That will be a brief outline of the talk about rights that I gave last weekend at the Called to Peace Ministries Conference “Developing a Church-Wide Response to Domestic Abuse.” (That talk, in turn, was based on two chapters in my book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind.)

But today I want to mention a couple of points, really a couple of Scriptures, that I didn’t have time to fully discuss in my talk. (Both of them are addressed in the book.) Continue reading “It’s unBiblical to surrender your rights”

Does God crush you like a rose to make perfume?

Someone wrote to me recently about songs that ask God to “crush me,” “wreck me,” and “consume me,” saying,

If God can abuse his bride, yet tell her that it is for her good, of course a husband can do that to his. And both blame her for not trusting.

This reminded me of the popular teaching that just as the sweetest perfume comes out of crushed roses, God wants to crush us like a rose so He can make perfume like that. Continue reading “Does God crush you like a rose to make perfume?”

“(Adult) children obey your parents”? Part Two, for adults raised in Patriarchy

Yesterday’s post presented the question from a reader and the first part of my answer, about wicked parents and how we as the body of Christ need to be teaching children to obey God rather than man. You can read Part One here.

But what about controlling parents of adults , especially those whose parents espouse some form of Patriarchal beliefs? A few months ago I made a plea to these adults in the post “To those in ‘Biblical’ Patriarchy: return to God” (link), pleading with them not to let their parents take the place of God. (This was in the section “A call to young adults under the system . . . to listen to His voice” which I hope you’ll read if you haven’t.)

So now some of these adults are looking at the “Children obey your parents” Scriptures and asking if there is any Biblical justification to do anything other than comply with everything their parents command. Continue reading ““(Adult) children obey your parents”? Part Two, for adults raised in Patriarchy”

“Children obey your parents”? Part One

Here’s a letter I received last week:

I have a long back story but to simplify for my question, I am in my early 50s, so raised my kids in the era of the home school conference you mentioned [in the post “Christian patriarchy: Here’s how you replaced God”].  Unfortunately I idolized the “perfect” family while covering for my emotionally abusive husband.  I raised 5 children and spoon-fed them a hypocritical life, all the while making sure they learned the most important Scriptures….like children obey your parents.  Continue reading ““Children obey your parents”? Part One”

Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic “Biblical” counseling

Yesterday I published a synopsis of and response to “Helping Women with Child Sexual Abuse in Their Past,” by Zondra Scott, a teacher of nouthetic counselors (going by the name “Biblical counselors”) whose husband Stuart taught “Biblical counseling” at  John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary and who currently teaches it at Southern Seminary (SBC) in Louisville, KY. I wrote this in light of the way “Jane” from The Master’s University says she was counseled after having been raped.

I emphasized that their style of counseling is one that they called “Biblical” but I’m calling “nouthetic” since that was its original name and there are other styles of counseling that are equally Biblical and arguably more so.

Though the details of “Jane’s” so-called counseling experience were of course unique, the overall picture looked eerily familiar to me. Continue reading “Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic “Biblical” counseling”

If “Jane” from TMU were to seek “Biblical counseling”

As Providence would have it, when “Jane’s” account of rape in the environment of The Master’s University went viral last week (link), I was barely aware, because I was cleaning bathrooms and listening to lectures on abuse. One of them was “Helping Women with Child Sexual Abuse in Their Past,” by Zondra Scott, whose husband Stuart coincidentally was formerly on the faculty of the Masters College and Seminary in the area of “Biblical counseling.” Her lecture can be heard here (link).

As I then read the original post about Jane with its many comments and then read a number of follow-up posts about Jane, I thought about Jane’s situation Continue reading “If “Jane” from TMU were to seek “Biblical counseling””