These are prayers to the God who is made known to us through Jesus Christ.
When you’re beginning to connect with God for the first time in a long time, just say it straight. He already knows anyway, so lay it out there, describing your situation Continue reading “Prayers for those who haven’t prayed in a long time”
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?”
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”
When our Lord Jesus went to the cross with His mouth closed like a lamb to the slaughter, it was for our salvation.
But have you considered that the reason that happened–in human terms—is because there had been plenty of times before that when He didn’t keep His mouth closed, when He called out evil among God’s people exactly for what it was?
This was why He was forced to go to the cross. He made enemies because He called out evil for what it was.
Our Lord Jesus was never complicit with evil propagated by the religious leaders, covering evil “so He wouldn’t give God a bad reputation.” He solidly stood against it.
God’s people will suffer at the hands of evildoers. But let it never be while we’re pretending that evil is good.
For those of us who have looked for hope in the homeschooling movement, the patriarchy movement, the neo-Calvinist movement, or any other movement. Continue reading “Our only hope: a poster”
The other day I was helping a friend who was moving under extremely difficult circumstances. As she and I lifted a plastic bin onto a shelf, I saw this plaque inside and recognized it as mine. “Is that yours?” I politely asked. “No, it’s yours!” she said. “You lent it to me 4 or 5 years ago, remember?” (I didn’t remember.)
Continue reading “If you know someone who can’t hold onto hope . . . yet”
This post is also being published today at the blog of Give Her Wings, an organization that helps and supports women leaving abusive spouses. Please visit their site.
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
Last September for my Birthday Reflections post (an annual tradition), I wrote about going down into the dark valley called The Valley of Weeping.
Today, though, I want to express my boundless praise for the gift God has given me in that valley, the people I’ve been privileged to get to know there. I want to shout out my thanksgiving to God for the faithful trauma survivors He has put in my life. Most of them were traumatized by people who claimed to be Christians, even Christian leaders. But in spite of that, these women are still following God, or longing to follow Him, in faith.
My heart swells in even thinking about them. I would far rather sit at their feet than at the feet of the most popular speaker.
Many of them will never stand before a microphone and speak. Many of them will never write a book. Many of them will not have any sort of following at all, because they are simply trying to live their lives. If we take David Platt’s Radical as a mantra, Continue reading “The other kind of radical (a guest post for Give Her Wings)”
This post is being simultaneously published at the website of Leslie Vernick.
I’ve been urged to watch 13 Reasons Why to see the 13 reasons [why] a friend hates it so much. (Though I’ve read and heard enough about it to understand it, so far I’ve been able to get through only the first episode). The bullying she personally experienced at her Christian school, she said, was pretty much everything that happened in this Netflix series, and more.
One of the most important things she described to me about her school was the dynamic of bullying. Some students there were genuinely nice people, but they lived in such an environment of fear that whenever the main bullies were around, they remained silent or even participated in the bullying if necessary, so they wouldn’t become a target. (You may wonder why no one tried to alert teachers or administrators about this massive problem, but someone did and it wasn’t believed, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog post.)
So while I was pondering the dynamics of a bullying school environment that went stratospherically beyond anything I had experienced in my own high school days of mild bullying, we heard a sermon on Galatians 2.
“Well, what do you know,” says I to myself, “there it is again!”
The story goes that the apostle Peter and the other Jewish Christians were actually welcoming the Gentile Christians and even eating with them (a truly big deal in those days) . . . until the bullies came.
The bullies weren’t swaggering studs or prima donna divas; they were Continue reading “The other kind of hypocrisy (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)”
I don’t know you, but I’d like to reply to the letter you wrote asking for counsel, which was published on this blog post, with a troubling reply. Here is your letter:
You’ll never believe the terrible state of my marriage. I was raised in a Christian family. My father and mother never fought. I wasn’t rebellious as a teen and my husband and I went through all the “proper” courtship process before getting married. Now, five years later, everything has fallen apart.
Roy, my husband, who was so loving and kind in the beginning has become rude, surly, and angry all the time. The good thing is that he doesn’t hit me or the children (one boy and two girls), but he gets really quiet and spends a lot of time in the basement. Every once in a while, he does blow up and wowser, what a blow-up. He curses, yells, calls us all kinds of names, and throws things.
We never know when he’s going to blow and what is going to cause it. We’re all walking on egg shells all the time.
Can you fix him? Can you help us?
Here is my reply:
First, I want to tell you that I get being hurt and confused. I’ve never been in your situation, but because of many friends of mine that I’ve listened to at length, I’ve tried to imagine what it must be like to think you were getting a loving and kind husband, but then realize he’s a completely different person, a scary person, and you don’t even know who he is. Hurt and confusion are appropriate responses.
You may have counselors giving you unhelpful advice along the lines of “What were you expecting, a bed of roses?” But Continue reading “Dear sister I read about on the CBCMoscow blog post”