A Gothard Girl testifies about the “root of bitterness” (guest post by Lauren Rose)

A while back when I (Rebecca) was talking with some former ATI members (Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute), I thought about the devastation, confusion, and even anti-Christianity that has resulted from this homeschooling program. I said aloud to myself, “Bill Gothard certainly has left a tremendous amount of destruction in his wake.” Then I added …

The good news about Biblical bitterness (a short talk)

In March I was privileged to speak at the Awaken Network’s conference on abuse. My topic was Biblical bitterness, showing how in the Bible “bitterness” refers to one who has been poisoned and is grieving, and “bitterness” also refers to one who is doing the poisoning. Both are called “bitter,” but only one is sinful. …

Maybe your bitterness isn’t really sinful: a video interview

It sounds radical, doesn’t it? And as a solid Christian, why would I want to convince anyone that something we’ve always thought of as “sinful” isn’t really sinful? To be clear, I’m extremely opposed to sin! But I believe many in the church of Jesus Christ can end up putting “heavy burdens and grievous to …

Bitterness in the Bible? It’s not what you thought it was

This post is Part Three of a larger series on the Biblical concept of bitterness. Parts One and Two were published earlier this month, covering the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews and the “gall of bitterness” in Acts. Update October 2016: The topic of bitterness is addressed at length in the new book Untwisting Scriptures that …

The “gall of bitterness” in Acts — it isn’t resentment

In this series, I’m addressing the concept of bitterness in the Bible, how it is used to shame and blame victims of abuse who are seeking help from their churches. The first post in this series addressed the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews, explaining how it isn’t unforgiveness, as it’s often presented to be, but is …

The best counsel I ever received—it’s not what you’d expect (guest post by Ruth Harris)

I love it when friends of mine find their voices and speak. I love providing them with a safe space to speak about what God has done in their lives.  This one is from my friend Ruth. ***** I’ve not ever been in what is considered formal therapy. Sadly the “biblical counsel” my church leaders …

Have you been Philippians 4:8’d?

It’s actually a beautiful verse. But sometimes it’s used as a cudgel. After I had heard two different people refer to this Bible verse as a verb (as a cudgel that had been used against them), I knew it was time to write about it. Here it is:

To All the Christian Friends I Could Not Keep (guest post by Ryan Ashton)

Inspired by Andre Henry’s powerful post “To All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep,” I wrote about the impact of losing friendships in the Christian community.  All of us have a journey that brought us to where we are today. Many of us left a wake of blood and tears, people we had to leave …