“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

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

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 was coincidentally 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

Nothing like The Sheep Sermon to make you feel stupid, disgusting, and useless

Not long ago I visited a church where I got to hear The Sheep Sermon again. It had been quite a while, years I guess.

But The Sheep Sermon hadn’t changed a whole lot over the years. It even still had the part about the broken leg. Continue reading

In which I have a small argument with a Puritan about suffering

Recently someone asked me to comment on Facebook on a quotation from a Puritan. I told her I found the quotation troubling enough to make a blog post out of it. Here, finally, is the promised post.

My friend said, “When I read this quote, I thought it was true and couldn’t refute it, which is why I posted it – I thought it was okay. At the same time I had doubts, and that’s why I asked you about it. It’s typical of the preaching I heard in my old church. For many years I primarily read Puritan books like this.”

So what was it? It was a paragraph from a piece called “Seven Inferences from the Great Suffering of Jesus Christ,” by Puritan Thomas Brooks. But before I offer commentary on his work, I’d like to ask you to read it without commentary. Continue reading

Reflections on my sixtieth birthday: reframing my name

Sixty years is one of those zero milestones, you know. So I’m remembering.

I remember when I was about 30, standing in the large auditorium of my fundamentalist church holding my baby, looking around at the people and thinking, “Where are all those older women who are supposed to be helping me?” They appeared to all be so busy with their own lives and activities. Continue reading

Maybe it’s time to stop praying for God to “use” you

Hang on. This is not to say that’s never a good thing to pray. I’ve prayed it, and I don’t regret praying it. It’s not unbiblical.

But it’s also not Biblical. That is, it’s not in the Bible anywhere—no one ever prayed for God to use anyone, and the readers of the Bible were never told Continue reading

“Jesus as Intercessor”: barely restraining God’s wrath?

That was the feeling I got all through the years when preachers would explain that term “intercessor,” from Hebrews 7:25.

. . . he [Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him,

since he always lives to make intercession for them.

This “intercession,” I was told throughout my growing-up years, was Jesus’ prayer to his Father not to slaughter His people, since He had taken the punishment.

It was an unsettling picture in my mind. The Father, angry and eager to destroy. The Son, who stood between Him and us, uttering prayers night and day, holding Him off. Continue reading

The problem of excommunication – a response to Desiring God

A couple of weeks ago someone forwarded to me a post from Desiring God that hit me like a punch in the stomach.

In an article called “Kicked Out of Church: How God Brought Me Home” (link), author Scarlett Clay begins her story right after her church had excommunicated her, showing the indignation of her friends at such an injustice, and her own appreciation of their indignation.

But that’s only the first paragraph, and the reason for the excommunication hasn’t yet been divulged. Continue reading

Mr. Charming and Miss Target (a guest post at A Cry for Justice)

This is one I submitted to ACFJ months ago. To my surprise it popped up this morning! 

***

Mr. Charming and Miss Target are sitting together on the grass looking out at the starlit sky. Miss Target is a new Christian and Mr. Charming is an old hand at religion, so they’re not making out; instead they’re getting to know each other in a deep and intimate way through conversation.

They’re holding hands, and Miss Target sits with her head on Mr. Charming’s shoulder. Conversation lags a bit. Mr. Charming introduces a new topic, almost in a whisper.

“So, what are you afraid of?”

“Huh?” Miss Target raises her head. “Why do you want to know?”

“Well,” he replies, gently putting his arm around her, “we’re getting to know each other, you know, in a deep and intimate way through conversation. If you tell me what you’re afraid of, I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of.”

Read the rest at A Cry for Justice, here.