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

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

Speaking at a DV conference in Raleigh, NC, in November

Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC

On November 3-4 at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC, Joy Forrest of Called to Peace (www.calledtopeace.org) will be holding a conference called “Developing a Church-Wide Response to Domestic Abuse.”

Chris Moles (www.chrismoles.org), author of The Heart of Domestic Abuse, will be the primary speaker. But a few others will also be speaking, and I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked to do one session. Continue reading

Righteous anger or sinful? A response to the Women’s Study Bible

Last Friday morning I wrote and posted a response (link) to Michael Pearl’s blog post in which he answered the questions of a woman who, with her children, was living with an abusive husband (link).

The title of my post, “Dear Michael Pearl, this is what righteous anger looks like seemed self-evident. This is because, as it so happened, the previous morning someone else had written to ask me a question that in God’s providence prepared me for Friday morning.

She asked for my thoughts on a short lesson about anger from the Thomas Nelson Women’s Study Bible (WSB), edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Kelley. (There appear to be dozens of editions of this Bible available, but I’m linking to one of the most recent ones.)

Here is the lesson, found at Ecclesiastes 7:9. (in this edition it’s on page 982.)  Continue reading

Why do they tell you to “surrender rights” that aren’t even rights at all?

One way abuse victims are taught to give up their rights in Christian circles is by teaching them to give up things that are presented as rights but aren’t really rights at all. (So then they’ll say, “Oh, well, yes it’s obvious I should give that up,”  and then the conclusion is drawn that they should give up RIGHTS. But that’s wrong.) This is from Untwisting Scriptures, a few bits in the middle of the section about NOT surrendering your rights.

– Don’t call them rights when they’re really just desires

Revive our Hearts founder Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth says,

All too often, I find myself annoyed and perturbed when things don’t go my way. A decision someone makes at the office, a rude driver on the freeway, a long line at the checkout counter, a thoughtless word spoken by a family member, a minor offense (real or perceived) by a friend, someone who fails to come through on a commitment, a phone call that wakes me when I have just fallen off to sleep—if I am staking out my rights, even the smallest violation of those rights can leave me feeling and acting moody, uptight, and angry.[1]

Nancy talks about “wanting things to go my way.” But that’s not rights. That’s desires. The relatively insignificant desires she names were never her rights to begin with. And she never even tries to grapple with the issue of Continue reading

Replying to one who says Christians should have no rights

I didn’t know, back when I passively accepted some of these false teachings—it didn’t even occur to me what the grim outworking, the rotten fruit, would be. But now . . . I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in the lives of people I love.

In some Christian circles people are taught, “When you get angry, it’s because you thought you had rights, and you thought those rights were violated, but that just shows your pride and self-centeredness. Everything you have belongs to God, so if you’re unhappy, you’re claiming a right you should have given up, Continue reading