Thursday, December 27, 2012

John Piper, and his 7 clarifying Justifications on Domestic Violence

11 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:53 AM

Crying Out For Justice had noted on their blog that John Piper wrote an article (after how long?) to ‘clarify’ his position on Wife Abuse.  I had written a piece called, John Piper’s Ignorance is killing Children.  I had taken a video from John Piper when he spoke about wife abuse, and what submission to your husband looks like in such cases.  I uploaded his video to youtube, because his website stated you could ‘share’ their content.
I never in a million years would have expected them to take the video down off their site (Desiring God), and never say a word about WHY they removed it.  Most people that I have noticed feel they wanted to pretend it didn’t happen. 
I had no idea the firestorm that would start over this video, and when I check my youtube account?  It tells me it has been shared all over the place, and is quoted quite often.  To this day I still received comments on youtube under the video itself.
John Piper made some awful comments about domestic violence in the church in 2009.   This is 2012 – almost 2013.  It took John Piper almost 4 years to ‘clarify’ his position on domestic violence in the church.  Most people that feel they are misunderstood tend to correct the misunderstanding within weeks.  John Piper decided that years was appropriate in this case.   

We don’t need clarification – you need to repent!

Clarifying Words on Wife Abuse

by John Piper | December 19, 2012
Several years ago, I was asked in an online Q&A, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?”
One of the criticisms of my answer has been that I did not mention the recourse that a wife has to law enforcement for protection. So let me clarify with seven biblical observations.
Sadly, he didn’t clarify anything.  He basically gave another confusing message, and maybe its time he shuts up completely on this subject.  It’s clear the man has no clue what type of dynamics are involved within an abusive relationship, and all he seems to be doing is pandering to different sides of his following.
We will look at his seven biblical justifications (ahem – I mean observations), and compare them to what he said the first time.
He isn’t showing the humility he asks from others – per scripture. He doesn’t offer to repent of his errors, or even offer an apology for some misunderstanding. No. He wants to clarify.
He feels his ignorance towards this issue and its realities for many families was awesome, but misunderstood. People just didn’t understand him. In truth its not his communication skills that are lacking but comprehension of the issue he speaks of. 
He knows people feel this, and takes the coward’s way out. Repentance is what is needed – not clarification.

Its very saddening to me personally.  We can assume his viewpoint has not changed. That’s scary! The lack of police wasn’t the only error he made.  Notice also he placed this in writing, because last time he caught it over giggling at the question. Lets look at a portion of what was said last time:
A woman’s submission to her husband is rooted in the word of God, calling her to be—for the Lord’s sake, for the Lord’s sake—submissive to him. Which means she always has a higher allegiance, namely to Christ.
Therefore Christ’s word governs her life. And Christ has many words besides “Be submissive.” “Be submissive” is not an absolute, because her Lord has other things to tell her, so that if the husband tells her something that contradicts what the Lord tells her, then she’s got a crisis of, “To whom do I submit now?” And clearly she submits to Jesus above her husband. The reason she is submitting to her husband is because of her prior superior submission to the Lord.
So if this man, for example, is calling her to engage in abusive acts willingly (group sex or something really weird, bizarre, harmful, that clearly would be sin), then the way she submits—I really think this is possible, though it’s kind of paradoxical—is that she’s not going to go there. I’m saying, “No, she’s not going to do what Jesus would disapprove even though the husband is asking her to do it.” – From John Piper’s video 4 years ago
This time he decides he needs to remind her of all the people, offices, etc. that she is in submission to. Once again, he is asking her to call on her church with his comment, ‘is a call to humble, Bible-Saturated, spiritual wisdom’. Yes, he hints at the source all through his piece. This is just your first taste of it.
1. Every Christian is called to submit to various authorities and to each other: children to parents (Ephesians 6:1), citizens to government (Romans 13:1), wives to husbands (Ephesians 5:22), employees to employers (2 Thessalonians 3:10), church members to elders (Hebrews 13:17), all Christians to each other (Ephesians 5:21), all believers to Christ (Luke 6:46).
This puts the submission of wives and husbands into the wider context of submission to Jesus, to the civil authorities, to each other, and to the church. This means that the rightness or wrongness of any act of submission is discerned by taking into account all the relevant relationships. We are all responsible to Jesus first, and then, under him, to various other persons and offices. Discerning the path of love and obedience when two or more of these submissive relationships collide is a call to humble, Bible-saturated, spiritual wisdom.
His second statement on domestic violence is a bit more complicated than his first.  The first time we heard his speech on the wife’s submission to her husband ‘for the Lord’s sake’, and then he goes into some strange speech about ‘group sex’.  Now he reminds her (and others) of all the authorities people are to submit to, and how it takes discernment in order to juggle all of them.
Why he can’t just tell her that it is OKAY to call the civil authorities when she feels she is in danger?  He is over doing this WAY too much.  Honestly, he is confusing the issue more than it needs to be.  Its wise to call the authorities if you feel threatened in this way.  During this period you don’t have time to juggle of this stuff he rambles about.  That wasted time could cost lifes.
2. Husbands are commanded, “Love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). They are told to “love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (Ephesians 5:28–29). The focus of a husband’s Christlikeness in loving his wife is “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
Christian husbands are not Christ. They are finite, fallible, forgiven sinners. They do not stand in the place of Christ. Their wives relate directly to Christ (Hebrews 4:16; 11:6), not merely through their husbands. Husbands do not have the wisdom or the power or the rights of Christ. Their likeness to Christ in leading their wives is limited and focused by these words: He gave himself up for her . . . nourishing and cherishing . . . not harsh with them.
Therefore, an abusive husband is breaking God’s law. He is disobeying Christ. He is not to be indulged but disciplined by the church. The wife is not insubordinate to ask the church for help. A Christian woman should not feel that the only help available to her is the police. That would be a biblical failure of her church.
Sadly, an abusive man does not love his own body.  He can’t grasp the concept of nourishing and cherishing in the way that John Piper speaks of.  He is not capable of being what God commanded, and when you understand that part?  The rest of what John Piper states here doesn’t make any sense.
No one can relate to Christ ‘through’ an abusive person the way he means it.  Sadly, they are too broken.   They can’t ‘lead’ their wives in the way he speaks of either.  This assumption alone shows how disconnected he is from this circumstance.  The way he is presenting this?  The husband is a good, honorable Christian Husband – that failed miserably in some fashion.  It goes much further than that.
The biblical failure of the church is why these articles are needed to begin with.  The way submission is taught is confusing most of the time as well.  When you write books, and you tell women that if a man stops by your house to ask for directions – you need to do it in an submissive way in order to honor his gender is just a bit over the top.  This is why he has to tell woman its not ‘insubordinate’ to ask for help  in the first place.  That alone should tell you there is a failure within the church.
What's the Difference – By John Piper, Page 60
appropriate ways. there are ways for a woman to interact even with a male subordinate that signal to him and others her endorsement of his mature manhood in relationship to her as a woman. i do not have in mind anything like sexual sugges- tiveness or innuendo. rather, i have in mind culturally appro- priate expressions of respect for his kind of strength, and glad acceptance of his gentlemanly courtesies. her demeanor—the tone and style and disposition and discourse of her ranking position—can signal clearly her affirmation of the unique role that men should play in relationship to women owing to their sense of responsibility to protect and lead.
it is obvious at this point that we are on the brink of contradiction—suggesting that a woman may hold a position of leadership and fulfill it in a way that signals to men her endorsement of their sense of responsibility to lead. But the complexities of life require of us this risk. to illustrate: it is simply impossible that from time to time a woman not be put in a position of influencing or guiding men. for example, a housewife in her backyard may be asked by a man how to get to the freeway. at that point she is giving a kind of leadership. she has superior knowledge that the man needs and he sub- mits himself to her guidance. But we all know that there is a way for that housewife to direct the man that neither of them feels their mature femininity or masculinity compromised. it is not a contradiction to speak of certain kinds of influence
I have wonder if they don’t make these teachings confusing on purpose so that people have to constantly come back, and ask how to do something right.  They are made to be dependent on them for even the most simple tasks in life.  Why in heaven’s name do you seriously need to instruct a grown woman on how to give driving directions when asked?  It should be common sense – Be nice and offer them!
Sorry but when you get these types of confusing messages?  Yes, you are better off going to the police.  You don’t time to juggle the colliding submission levels, and all that jazz.  You end up being busy double thinking things to make sure you doing it as your pastor would wish, and the protection of the family comes second.  This should not be!
So the short answer, I think, is that the church is really crucial here to step in, be her strength, say to this man, “You can’t do this. You cannot do this! That’s not what we allow. That’s not what Christ calls you to be.”
I can’t go in to all the details, but I would say to the woman, “Come to a church that you feel safe in. Tell them the case. Let the leaders step in and help you navigate the difficulties. -John Piper’s Video on Abuse from 4 years ago.
An abusive man needs to hear more than what is offered here, and an understanding of his mindset is essential.  It’s a pattern of behavior, and most of the time you find that the woman (or man) that is being abused doesn’t recognize it for what it is. 
Anyone can have a good day, and be nice.  Yes, even abusive personalities.  Too often we use that simplistic example to avoid looking at his core being.  That core doesn’t change with a session of church discipline – or even a number of them.  We also need to acknowledge that humans have a choice to see their sin, and turn from it – or refuse to.  That part is something John Piper ‘refuses’ to acknowledge or in fact deal with at all here.
If you can’t deal with that part? You need to stay silent. It’s a reality for so many people, and has been inside and outside the church.
3. But recourse to civil authorities may be the right thing for an abused wife to do. Threatening or intentionally inflicting bodily harm against a spouse (or other family members) is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, punishable by fines, short-term imprisonment, or both. Which means that a husband who threatens and intentionally injures his wife is not only breaking God’s moral law, but also the state’s civil law. In expecting his wife to quietly accept his threats and injuries, he is asking her to participate in his breaking of both God’s moral law and the state’s civil law.
God himself has put law enforcement officers in place for the protection of the innocent. “If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). A wife’s submission to the authority of civil law, for Christ’s sake, may, therefore, overrule her submission to a husband’s demand that she endure his injuries. This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husband’s repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.
Once again John Piper assumes he is capable of ‘nurturing leadership’.    Sadly, he is not.  He never addresses or goes NEAR this issue.  This is a problem, because if you can’t acknowledge it?  You can’t fix  it either.
Most that call the authorities do this out of fear for their safety.  The speech about where her heart maybe be at that point?  It shows how completely gone he is with the realities of these circumstances. 
Do people call the police when someone breaks into their homes out of a heavy and humble heart that wishes their repentance and restoration?  NO!  They call because they are scared, and maybe harmed..and want help and protection!  The rest?  Granted could come later.
The way he presents this will make the family feel badly about calling for help.  Their terror wasn’t enough, because they were not thinking of love and submission.  Seriously, what a dumb statement!  The picture I submitted here is showing how to do this the WRONG way.  Bleck!
John Piper needs to understand the systematic breakdown of her personhood over time by her abuser’s words.   They way he presents this places DOUBT in their MINDS!
John Piper’s added extras don’t help, but render things.  Romans 13:4 is all you need.

Here is a partial look at the relationship…
Some repeated comments include:  She will never make it without him, and the children will be homeless.  No one will want her, or believe her.  She is crazy, and everyone knows it. 
An Abuser once told his children, ‘Without me?  You will be living under a bush, and eating BUGS!” 
He builds a dependency on him, and any anxiety in his life no matter how small?  Its spilled over all this family, and you can bet he has them scared to death.
The family sadly already has an unhealthy sense of responsibility towards him, and his abusive behavior. 
When John Piper speaks of domestic violence in the church, and he uses phases like:  ‘maybe the right the thing to do’ or ‘may, therefore, overrule her submission to a husband’s demand’ leaves doubt in her mind.   That is the LAST thing she needs!
The abusive person has already brainwashed her into thinking she can’t make a plausible decision to SAVE her life, and the church is going to believe HIM.  Remember she is crazy, and everyone knows it. She already feels incapable of making decisions due to his treatment of her (ie: verbal and emotional abuse – or in Piper’s words verbal unkindness), and may not feel capable of the biblical gymnastics he was asking of her.  Remember this is a time of terror and trauma.  Not the TIME to think and feel all the junk Piper has in mind.  She needs to hear someone that can be blunt, and Piper isn’t doing that.
Calling the police is taking every OUNCE of energy, and bravery she has.  She doesn’t need some speech about where her heart should be – or maybe.  It just confuses things for her.  She needs to hear support. 
She knows the church will ask her to look her sin, and what they don’t understand is she may not be able to balance that in a rational way.  The family has already been trained to owe sins that are NOT their’s to own anyway.  Their approach needs to show appreciation to this concept.  John Piper does not do this. 
All the family will feel is shame – it’s a normal environment for them.  The abuser’s words of how awful they are, and how life is their fault?  It’s a normal mindset for them, and they feel they are already condemned.  She already FEELS like a piece of dirt on the bottom on his shoe.  The abusive person LIKES IT THAT WAY, and Piper doesn’t seem to grasp that either.  Its his form of control, and its  full of entitlement for HIM – not God.  He is too broken to grasp God’s moral law, because all he sees is how people wronged him.
Does this SOUND like a person that LOVES his body, and is capable of cherishing and nourishing others when he can’t do that for himself?
When you can’t get to point A – understanding the mindset of the abuser or family – you will not help the abusive person or the family get to be point B.  All the silly spiritual pixie dust you place in between doesn’t change that fact.
4. The church should not harbor an abusive man or woman whom the civil authorities would punish if they knew what the church knows. We are called to mercy. “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). But there are times when mercy to one demands justice for another. This is often the case with criminal abuse. Moreover, there are many ways to show mercy toward a guilty person who must pay fines or go to jail. We are seldom in a position where the choice is simply mercy or no mercy.
I have to be honest that this partial comment about ‘would punish if they knew what the church knows’?  It makes me very uncomfortable, because YES the church does have a reputation of covering up. John Piper knows this.  They feel they can do a better job – in house.  It also tells you she has gone to them first, and they are wrestling with calling the authorities.
Unfortunately,  when you have people in a church that tend to feel they know better than anyone else?  People get hurt.  John Piper has not shown his discernment on this issue yet.  You need the law, and you also need people in faith behind you – full of support and encouragement.
Most of the time the church tends to look for the ‘accident’ instead of the ‘pattern of behavior’.  Churches HAVE used the excuse that being a card carrying Christian means abusers won’t manipulate the circumstance.  They won’t wail at the alter in repentance when their fingers are crossed behind their backs.  Abusive personalities didn’t get that way because of martial issues.  Its been a long journey for them, and they know how to play their cards. 
The church gives out to much benefit of the doubt – or feel they will see right through them.  It never dawns on them that is the other way around.  The abuser will play them as well.  Sadly, Piper are too focused on the Disneyland Happily ever after.   They never wish to look at the core issues, because it may not turn out ‘biblical’ enough for them.  That’s a problem!
In most cases – they couldn’t discern the proper type of justice or mercy in these cases if their life depended on it.  Instead of being FIRM, and letting the family know they WILL be their support system the way they need it?  They go down rabbit trails.  This needs to be a time of encouragement, and so far?  It hasn’t been.  I agree we are seldom in a position where choice is simply mercy or no mercy.  We also need to allow natural consequences to happen, and at times allow God to take the wheel.
Problem is you give the wrong type of mercy if you don’t have a good grasp on whom you are dealing with. 
5. For many women, the thought of a husband going to jail and losing his job and being publicly shamed is so undesirable that they often endure much sin before becoming desperate enough to turn to the authorities. What I want to stress is that long before they reach a point of desperation — or harm — the women of the church should know that there are spiritual men and women in the church that they can turn to for help. By way of caution and lament, I cannot promise that every church has such spiritual, gifted, and compassionate men and women available for help. But many do. The intervention of these mature brothers and sisters may bring the husband to repentance and reconciliation. Or they may determine that laws have been broken and the civil authorities should or must be notified. In either case, no Christian woman (or man) should have to face abuse alone.
No doubt women do think about jail, job, and being shamed publically.  The church needs to make her feel that the shame of the circumstance is not her’s to bear.  Shame should be felt by the one whom harmed others.  Why does that message NOT come out of the church’s clearly enough for all to see?  Will that red flag be enough to seek changes, or will we make excuses and simplistic comments about it?
Now that’s one kind of situation. Just a word on the other kind. If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church. – Piper’s comments from 4 years ago
He confuses people because prior he told the women to take things for a season, or wait until you are hit.   There was no clarification as to how this changed since his more recent statement (or Ahem – clarification). 
Are they going to asked if they waited a season, or asked WHY they waited until harm came?   
Could those past statements be part of the reason WHY families become ‘desperate enough to turn to the authorities’.
Yes, of course they can.  You see John Piper some of the statements and attitudes towards domestic violence within the church need to owned and repented of.  Your list of the 7 justifications doesn’t cut it.
People can be mature believers, and still not know HOW to handle this type of circumstances.  It’s not a putdown at all.  You need a special type of help with experience in these matters.  Once again, there is no clarification on this either.  He leaves this damning statement out there for people to wonder about.
Since he can’t make up his mind – due to NOT clarifying police action or not…how do they determine if they will contact civil authorities?  You see, he didn’t clarify anything here.  This was to be the WHOLE purpose of his new article.  There is no mention of separation during this ‘intervention’ either – just intervention of the abuser.  Would separation even be on their minds?  Still no comment.
The bible does speak of those that do not choose to repent, and turn from their sin.  The actions towards that person – if they happen to be a spouse – is ignored they feel ‘biblically’.  Quite honestly even if he did repent instantly (which we love to look at, and yet we are to see if they can live it also)?  Do they forget the family is still scared?  Will he be allowed to live and marinate with that reality he left his family in?  I’m sorry – forgive me shouldn’t be enough for anyone yet. 
Their only true focus it seems is reconciliation.  The reality of the marriage not working out the way they feel it must makes the church wiggle with anxiety.  Now we switch from the abusers' anxieties to the churches.  That doesn’t help the terrified family, and you have to wonder when their time comes….
The churches focus is on the future – with hopefully no divorce or remarriage. 
The family wants to feel safe, and is wondering what type of attack the abuser will attempt now that they are outed.  Where does their future lie?  How will they get by?  Where will they live?  Will they ever be safe?  Those questions are NOT due to thinking of divorce or remarriage – its out of personal safety and well being.  Something most are used to, and they have not had the luxury of.  They are scared to death! 
The church worries about reminding the family that they need to think of income from the husband.  How children can get screwed up if they don’t grow up in a two parent home.  The shattered family makes the church nervous, and although some maybe well intended PUSH the repentance and reconciliation way before its even a healthy time to embark on that journey.  
The family may feel at this point that their fear is frivolous to the church – due to their reaction.  The church will say it is NOT, but they won’t put their own anxieties to the side long enough to make that family feel safe.  They feel steamrolled without options this time, and if you listen to most family members?  They hear manipulative comments coming from these compassionate brothers and sisters.  “How will you live if your husband is in jail?”
6. When Jesus commands his disciples, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39), he is describing one way of love: the testimony that Jesus is so sufficient to me that I do not need revenge. This was the way Christ loved us at the end: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22–23).
But this is not the only path of love open to those who are persecuted. The Bible warrants fleeing. John Bunyan wrestled with these two strands in the Bible of how to deal with persecution:
He that flies, has warrant to do so; he that stands, has warrant to do so. Yea, the same man may both fly and stand, as the call and working of God with his heart may be. Moses fled, Ex. 2:15; Moses stood, Heb. 11:27. David fled, 1 Sam. 19:12; David stood, 24:8. Jeremiah fled, Jer. 37:11–12; Jeremiah stood, 38:17. Christ withdrew himself, Luke 19:10; Christ stood, John 18:1–8. Paul fled, 2 Cor. 11:33; Paul stood, Acts 20:22–23. . . .
Do not fly out of a slavish fear, but rather because flying is an ordinance of God, opening a door for the escape of some, which door is opened by God’s providence, and the escape countenanced by God’s Word, Matt. 10:23. (Seasonable Counsels, or Advice to Sufferers, in The Works of John Bunyan, volume 2, page 726)
‘I do not need revenge’,  is again NOT on the list of priorities for the family during this period of time.  John Piper doesn’t understand this, and I guess has ignored proven concepts like it’s the most dangerous time for them is when they escape.  They will be reviled and threatened – NOT the abuser!  They want to hide – not get back at him.   Anger may come WAY later, but its more over the treatment they had to endure  and are finally able to allow it to safety surface.   That is called righteous anger, and not the sinful type he is hinting towards here.
When you can’t wrap you head around this additional concept, it also shows how completely disconnected he is to their reality. 
He seems to be looking at the family within a different environment.  One in which someone attacks the family, and the family – as a unit – wants to lash back at them.  We aren’t speaking of an outsider coming to harm the family.  We are speaking of an insider that they live with that has been harming them, and is going to be royally ticked off that he has been exposed. 
If they separate from him?  He is going to go nuts over that aspect alone.  Granted the church maybe able to calm him down at the moment, but its not something that will stick completely within him.  His resentment and contempt for them is still firmly seeded.  John Piper can’t seem to even conceive of this at all.  He is barking up the wrong tree here! 
The only ‘stood’ parts you see hinted at here is the reconciliation of the family.  Its not time to deal with this yet!  STOP rushing!  I realize its unreasonable to ask for him to look at the fact that the abuser may not wish to change due to choice.  So life without him is not something he will ever speak about.
My closing plea is to all Christian men, and in particular to the leaders of churches: Herald a beautiful vision of complementarian marriage that calls men to bear the responsibility not only for their own courage and gentleness but also for the gentleness of the other men as well. Make it part of the culture of manhood in the church that the men will not tolerate the abuse of any of its women.
So, in other words:  being complementarian, and living HIS version of it is the answer.  We have seen plenty of churches that can speak a good game, but you find they also ‘tolerate’ quite a bit.  Saying you won’t tolerate something is just words.  Showing compassion, and following up with the right type of action is what is needed.  

You need to be responsible with speaking about abuse.  You haven’t been, and this little piece still shows the ignorance that you held on to all this time.  John Piper you didn’t clarify anything.  You just cemented in what you said the first time.  Your courage was lacking in correcting your errors, and there was no gentle humbleness.  Lead by example!  Its time to repent – NOT CLARIFY!

We don’t need your 7 biblical justifications.  That’s all you did here.  You justified what you said last time, and it shows who your ignorance is killing children, and their families.

Open Letter to John Piper about Divorce – Written by a man
Domestic Violence, Christmas, John Piper, SGM and TGC
Double Standards in the true Confusion – Video shows how John Piper approaches those that suffered abuse – other than spouses.  HUGE difference!
John Piper, and Domestic Violence in the Church

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Newtown: Mental Health, Gun Control Or God in Schools?

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:09 AM

do not pick up hitch hikers
All across the world right now we see people struggling with the Newtown shootings.  Theories pop up for the why’s and how’s.  The President calling for change, because we can’t tolerate it anymore.

I know I’m not the only person that has been left in tears over what happened.  No doubt I’m hardly the only one struggling with WHY this happened as well.  Honestly, I have to wonder if we will ever know all the answers.  I somehow doubt it.

In our extremely polarized society the in fighting began almost immediately.   Its similar to the same type of polarization that has also spread to churches as we see people fighting over doctrine, etc. as well.  We will never get anything accomplished if our hearts do not change, and we can’t stop looking at others with different opinions as almost the devil in person.  I realize in history you always had fighting of some sort, but I don’t remember a time when it has been so bad.

There are compassionate views on gun control in the United States.  I doubt very many people would NOT agree with some common sense practices that need to be put in place.  Yes, that includes the individuals that do have guns as well.  Although from some viewpoints you would have to wonder if they (gun owners) can possibly be included in the discussion at all.  Our polarization is showing there as well.  If you look in the opposite direction – gun owners towards the gun control parties?  You see the same thing.  Then you have those that feel this is what happens when you leave God out of schools.  Others want armed guards at school.  Both sides towards any angle hate on the same level – about the only thing they have in common.

Our tunnel vision seems to be an issue to me.  We seem to only see one factor that could be contributing to these horrors, and we seem blind almost all the others.  All you have to do is see commentaries on televisions, facebook, comments on news articles to realize it.  We tend to place band aids on things when the stronger view wins in the end, and wonder WHY it keeps happening.  The attacks start again, and we may even go down another path.  Most of the time nothing of value ever happens.

I hope we find a combination plan to help ease things, but I doubt we will ever stop it completely.  Ugly things like this have happened since time began.  If we could stop the polarization MAYBE we could slow it down.

When stories started to surface about the killer Adam Lanza the first thing that popped into my mind was a sign off a main road in a town near our house.  Its not the only answer, but it seems to be a universal issue for the world.  We all bring our personal vantage points to the table, and for some reason this SIGN kept popping up in my head.

Keep in mind its just ONE factor of many….

Don’t Pick Up Hitch Hikers

There is a large town here nearby, and off one of the main roads is a mental hospital.

States all across this nation cut funding to the mentally ill, and the facilities that patients called home are closed.   We aren’t speaking of criminals here, but those that aren’t able to live in society due to all kinds of different circumstances.

When those cuts happened here they released most of the patients at their front entrance, and they didn’t have any place to go.  The state decided to put up signs like the one I have pictured warning people NOT to pick up hitch hikers.  I remember the newspapers have a field day over this, because they knew that mentally ill people would be wandering the streets.

I had a number of clients during this time that worked with charities, homeless shelters, police organizations.  Most of them had very little state funding, and most of it came from fund raising.  They were completely overrun with new clients, and didn’t know what they could do for all of them.

Most patients didn’t have families, and other’s had families with no way to help them.  Most ended up homeless, and stayed homeless to this day.  The homeless shelters are full each and every night to capacity.  Others didn’t know how to deal with life beyond the mental hospital, and ended up in jail for breaking the law.  Then you have others that end up in emergency rooms for their temporary fix for their current episode.

To me it was a very inhumane way of dealing with these people.  Most will never be able function in society on any level, and more and more end up in jail instead.  Our jail systems are not set up to deal with them, and very few have areas for them to reside in safety.  The prison personnel know they don’t belong there, but we have closed every other place else they could go.

Mentally Ill Living At Home

Then you look at the families that have members with these disabilities, and you can see how completely overwhelmed they are.  I worked with a woman that had an adult son at that point, and he lived with her.  He was not capable of living anywhere else, and if I remember correctly he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. 

He was a decent man when he wasn’t having an episode, and during one he was downright scary.   Funding for him had pretty much dried up – per the resources you could get for him.   She was a widow,  and he was adult man.  She was in no position to handle him when he got violent.  He would be placed in a hospital for a short period of time, or the police could arrest him.  She always had to check to be sure he was taking his medicine, and that could be fight as well.  There was nothing else they could do, except to keep repeating this cycle.

He was one of the lucky ones, because his mother would ‘put up with him’ I guess you could say.  Most of the time she was overwhelmed, and what I called fried to a crisp.  There was no other place for him to go, and she could have chosen to allow him to live on the streets.  Police could have arrested him, and placed him in prison.   There wasn’t too many options for him.  For his mother there was no relief services, and she needed them badly.

The plights of the mental ill tear me up when I hear about them.  I have been helping with organizations for them, and have heard all kinds of awful stories.  The mental hospital in that nearby town has dozens of empty buildings, and you can still see the fences around them with basketball courts, etc.  We have retirees here in our town that used to work there, and the stories they tell about the patients could scare you to death.  They used the buildings for the last time when had housed people after Katrina hit.  Otherwise most of them lay empty except for the ones that house the criminally insane.

What Happens to those Towns

The nearby town that the hospital resides in has a gang problem, and sadly the patients that were released are targeted.  No doubt out of fear of them, but in others just due to cruelty.  The patients themselves have become afraid to come to the shelters at night, or the food pantries to eat.  Instead they get themselves into other types of trouble.  A number of years ago they went under a bridge to burn a sofa for warmth from the winter wind.  The fire spread to the bridge itself, and then to the infrastructure for electricity, telephone lines, etc.   People were hurt, and the homeless scattered.  It took weeks to fix everything.

I have no doubt in my mind that families cut them loose after a while as well.  They get so overwhelmed, and when I think of the woman I worked with?  She have no life outside the world of schizophrenia.  Work was her only time off, and she scooted home during lunch breaks to check on him.  She had to work.  She had no vacations.  No time off.  He could be dangerous if you didn’t keep an eye on him.  Her son passed away, and she had a chance to have a life of her own.  You have to wonder what would have happened to both of them in her aging years.

The resources for charities, homeless shelters, etc. have always been hard.  Its just a reality.  It gets harder still when you are faced with hundreds of mentally challenged people that were cut loose from a state mental hospital.  The state doesn’t figure out WHAT to do with these people, and claims the resources aren’t there and allow them to walk out the front door instead.  Alone.  Scared, and having no place to go.  Then you have the charities, local police, hospitals with even LESS resources trying scramble to find ways of keeping everyone safe.  Its irresponsible plain and simple.

I think of the mother of the shooter.  I think of others I know that have family members with challenges, and you do get tired after a while.  When you get tired or burned out things will happen.  Your viewpoint starts to change, and at times you let your guard down.  You allow them time to themselves unsupervised, because you just can’t seem to keep up with them ALL the time.  Its not an excuse!  Don’t get me wrong…its reality.  It doesn’t matter how strong you are, because we all need help at one time or another.  Problem is the support systems are just not there.  Our Grade for dealing with the mentally ill is a D-! 

We had a man in our town that landed in the mental hospital near by.  He had insurance for this trip, but once those funds ran out?  He was cut loose.  It was plain to everyone that he needed to stay longer.  It just wasn’t possible.  You can imagine the reactions when he proudly announced that they had offered him a FREE electroshock therapy session, because his insurance had already paid for the others.  I didn’t even know they did that anymore.  He was so excited about this GREAT offer he was presented with, and he was puffed up like a peacock.   To him it was an awesome buy one get one free deal!  Disturbing isn’t even a term that describes our reactions properly.

We deal with these people with signs that say Don’t pick up Hitch Hikers.  We know some are a danger, but that’s about it.  Most will never be a danger to society like this shooter was, but they will be a nuisance.   Its not on purpose, because they don’t have the tools to live. 

We closed up everyone avenue they had for help, and I have to wonder if this also is just one aspect that we overlook.

In the coming weeks we will find out more of how this started to unravel, and we should all pray for the victims and their families.  I highly doubt we will find just one aspect, and not hints of others in this awful murderous spree.  Pray that we address them all in some way, so we can slow down this type of crimes.  Pray that we season our decisions with facts, and not emotions completely.

Does God Avoid American Schools?

God Control and the Tragedy at Sandy Hook

Monday, November 12, 2012

Differing Applications of Home and Church - So why is Mary Kassian upset when you write a book about it?

11 comments Posted by Hannah at 4:46 PM

things christians fight aboutMary Kassian wrote a review of Rachel Held Evans new book, and it seems she is taking things a bit too personally.  First I want to point out one GREAT comment she wrote, and show you how she sadly doesn’t apply it there after.
I pointed out that though complementarians agree on the principle of complementarity, we often differ as to its application in the home and the church. I emphasized that even those involved in CBMW have a divergence of opinion as to the specifics of how to apply the principles of manhood and womanhood. – Mary Kassian
So why OH why is she getting so upset about Rachel Evans mentioning  the different groups that call themselves complementarian?

Can she not see that maybe it was not her personally that the book represented entirely, but those that use applications differently?  I mean she already admitted even her and Nancy Leigh DeMoss don’t agree on all fronts.  Note:  there is nothing wrong with disagreement, but the way you disagree?  That is where the trouble begins.

She starts by playing games with quotes from the book itself:
A few sentences later, I had my first and best laugh of the whole book. “Evangelical complementarianism,” claims Rachel, “[is] a movement that began as a reaction to second-wave feminism and found some of its first expressions in the writings of Edith Schaeffer (The Hidden Art of Homemaking, 1971) and Elisabeth Elliot (Let Me Be a Woman, 1976).” Rachel goes on to explain that complementarianism rests on the “uncompromising conviction [that] the virtuous woman serves primarily from the home as a submissive wife, diligent homemaker, and loving mother.” (p. xix).

Seriously? “The Hidden Art of Homemaking???!!” I just about fell off my chair. That book was written seventeen years before the inception of CBMW and about twenty years before we adopted the term “complementarian.” I have never even heard of it. I highly doubt whether John Piper and Wayne Grudem—the founders of CBMW—have read it.
Just for a giggle here…The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidman (1963).  Notice Mary loves to reference this 50 year old book ALL the TIME in her presentations.  What does that say?  Moving on…….

Now Mary Kassian just as Denny Burk both used sections of whole paragraphs out of context to make their point.  We can all admit they are both educated people, and that is why I assume they know what they are doing.  I don’t think they are counting on others to check the entirety of the quotes they write about.  If they did?  They may have a number of comments and questions.

I think they are counting on people NOT checking the sources…lets be honest here!

I don’t view either of them as dumb, so what else can I possibly assume?  Well people that tend to do this – take things out of context – maybe don’t have such a strong point after all.  That is what most people feel when others take on this tactic.

Mary took parts of the introduction in the Rachel Held Evan’s book.  Now, lets look at the statement in its entirety.
Over the next few years, I found myself drawn into more and more of these conversations, especially as my girlfriends and I began getting married and starting families of our own.  Many were influenced by evangelical complementarianism, a movement that began as a reaction to second-wave feminism and found some of its first expressions in the writings of Edith Schaeffer (The Hidden Art of Homemaking, 1971), and Elisabeth Elliot (Let Me Be A Woman, 1976). Hailed as the model wives and homemakers, these women are highly esteemed in the Reformed tradition, where the oft-repeated saying is, 'As many people were brought to the Lord through Mrs. Schaeffer's cinnamon buns as through Dr. Schaeffer's sermons."  But behind the winsome prose lies an uncompromising conviction:  the virtuous woman serves primarily from the home as a submissive wife, diligent homemaker, and loving mother. 
Now, CBMW may not have been started out of the expressions or writings of the author’s (that Mary never heard about) mentioned, but the ‘winsome prose’?  Ahh.  Yeah – its in THERE! I realize she wants to ignore that point.  Anyway…

Monday, November 05, 2012

Women In Ministry: The Feminine Feel..and the World of Church

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:24 AM

I read an interesting article this morning about women in ministry.  To me it could also be women in leadership.  When you run a ministry – that is leadership.  It could be Sunday School teacher right over to Top Coffee Server!  Preacher to Janitor!  The leadership is in the serving of God and others.

A well rounded couple decided to take on their youth ministry together.  They trained together, studied together, and worked together.  He took the high school students, and she took the junior high.  Together it was THEIR ministry. 

In the world of ‘church’ its more like his ministry, and she helps…as a proper ‘help meet’ should.  Yes, she does the same job in a different age group.  She is a woman in ministry, and lets face facts here…in leadership as well.  I know.  I know.  How usurping of me huh?!

Why is that so hard to admit?  I’m sorry but it seems so childish to me.  Her husband is okay with it, but the ‘world of church’ doesn’t seem to be.

What stuck me was the paragraph:
I was also raised as a missionary kid, and had a front-row seat to the full-throttle partnership missionary couples brought to their ministry.
Yes, it was usually the man’s name on the paycheck. But the women worked too, often at great cost. Until recently, it was not uncommon for mission agencies to require children to be sent to boarding school, freeing the women up for full-time service. It was/is a crappy policy. But those women? They got the job done, paycheck, title, status, or not.
So I get a little prickly when people criticize, belittle, or get affectionately patronizing about the contributions of the "helpers": the hyper-involved homeschooling moms, the "controlling" church matrons, the ministry wives who seem to live at the church. I mean, I’d like to see a church try to run without those powerhouse women, women who have dedicated their whole lives to the service of God and others.
I’ll see your hot-shot pastor and raise you my grandma.
No kidding!
She made this comment after she told of a story of an encounter with one of the youth’s fathers.  He wanted to know basically what she does.  This was after she mentioned all that THEY have done.  Her husband appeared, and it seemed all was well with the world.  The father was able to speak with someone in ‘guard’ finally.
For some reason it seems women should be okay with a concept that is familiar in the business world.  We have all hear about it.  The lower status person comes up with a great idea, or does a great job at something.  The boss or the one in charge takes the credit.  The person responsible for the achievement is to be okay with basically keeping their mouth shut.  It’s a game in business, but it shouldn’t be the same game in our places of worship.  God sees the truth, and do we forget that matters? 
This type of ‘ouch’ approach is what hinders the church’s image, and makes women feel stepped on.   Its is seen as sexist, and lets face facts here – it is.  Preachers can parrot that women are equal in the eyes of God, but have differing roles all they wish.  How that statement should satisfy everyone.  When they see this attitude that is prevalent in the ‘world of church’…clue one that is why they don’t take you seriously!   Its not because they a feminist.  Men wouldn’t appreciate this attitude either.  This attitude is why you have to constantly back up and justify your beliefs.  The spin you place on how it isn’t wrong…isn’t working.  Your attitude – not beliefs – doesn’t line up with common sense and rational thinking.  It just doesn’t.   I mean lets face facts here if it was done in reverse?  It wouldn’t feel very honoring would it?  Would it help you ‘feel’ your role?
Yes, God is proud of the women that seem to take the backseat.  He knows.  Its not the back seat to him, and he sees the selfishness in it.  They know they will get the reward later on when it really counts.  If you mention appreciation of same sort towards these women of God presently?  Well, lets just say I’m glad SOME men and women know the real truth and don’t project this ‘religious’ brand of politically correct junk to heart.  If acknowledgement of sorts is somewhat pride for women – it’s the same for the male gender as well.  Yet we all know its not….

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pastor or Politician? Strange reviews of Rachel Held Evan's New Book

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:57 PM

long island medium
You can’t have faith and fear, because they don’t go together!  You have to release the fear and embrace the faith! – Long Island Medium
As you can tell at times I like to watch some ‘fluff’ shows.  It helps me relax, and YES giggle at times.  I was flipping around on the television, and caught a small segment of this show.  She was speaking to a young girl who had lost her grandmother, and the grandchild was falling deeper into the pit of depression to the point of attempted suicide.

Anyway, this child was told to go back to her faith.  She couldn’t live with fear and faith at the same time.  The fear was overwhelming her life, and was taking up to much space in her head and in her heart.  She needed to embrace some changes so she could live the life that her grandmother wanted for her.  She told her to go back to her faith, because during this period of her she had left that behind. 

I think we all realize there is so much MORE work to do with this child besides the simplistic advice she was given.  Its good advice, but she may need counseling, etc. as well.  I remember a time when most people just realized this, and it didn’t need to be discussed.  You didn’t have to touch on all the bases, because they were just a given. 

Today you have to be careful, because people will wish to add and subtract to what you are saying just because it seems they don’t like the discussion to begin with.  I’m sure we all do it in some fashion, but today it seems so over the top. 

Its almost as if we live with fear constantly, and different viewpoints are looked upon with fear.

When I saw some reactions to Rachel Held Evan’s new book about ‘biblical womanhood’ I saw some faith circles that need to let go of the fear, and embrace the faith!   They seem so afraid of questions, and people that find doing life a bit different than what they had in mind is a threat.

They remind me of politics and the media twisting and turning facts to encourage viewers/supporters to think as they do, and those that can’t?  WHOOP up your base with all kinds of strange ways of looking at things, and YES its even okay to be downright dishonest about it – to attack the opponent.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christianity and domestic violence

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:20 PM

In Recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:  Articles of Domestic Violence in the ChurchDomestic violence and the Church Links and the World


As we all know abuse is not a gender issue, but a human one.


Family + False Religion = Violence

The very agent that was designed to bring healing and comfort--the church--must then reexamine its teachings, traditions, and practices that support the baser passions and drives for greed of power and control. The church can be and should be the most reliable agent for healing and restoration. The church must be a loud voice against family violence. – Sounds of Encouragement



Domestic Violence Documentary

Sin By Silence

is a documentary of women in prison in California.   

Sin by Silence is a domestic violence documentary film by Olivia Klaus that offers a unique gateway into the lives of women who are the tragedies living worst-case scenarios and survivors - women who have killed their abusive husbands. Based on the first inmate-initiated and led support group in the entire United States prison system, the film reveals the history and stories of the members of the group Convicted Women Against Abuse created by inmate Brenda Clubine in 1989. By following five women's abusive experiences that led to their incarceration, the film take viewers on their journeys from victim to survivors, reveals the history of the Battered Women Syndrome in the state of California, and shatters misconceptions. This documentary is a production of Quiet Little Place Productions.

In 2011, the film had its television premiere on Investigation Discovery to over 2.2 million viewers.

Within the last couple of months Governer Brown signed the “Sin By Silence’ bills into law.

Investigation Discovery Channel is now reairing this program on October 24, 2012.  You can check out their website to see clips, and check which channel and time it will be available in your area.


No Way Out But One 

In 1994 Holly Collins became an international fugitive when she grabbed her three children and went on the run. It all happened because a family court had ignored Holly’s charges, the children’s pleas, Holly’s broken nose, Zackary’s fractured skull, and other medical evidence of domestic violence. The family court in Minnesota gave full custody of Zackary and Jennifer to Holly’s ex-husband. It was at that point that Holly came to believe she and the children had No Way Out But One.

In September of 2011, Holly and her children returned to North America.  All Charges were dropped, except for the ‘contempt of court’.

Documentary Channel is airing this program on 10/29/12, and you can check to see if your TV provider is available on the site.

Here and Now have an interview with this family, and what they are doing presently.


Domestic Violence and the Church

Video I found that interviews a woman, and a reformed man. The husband in this case stated that the Christian counseling wasn’t what they needed, because they were more concentrated on authority of the husband. He speaks of how he wasn’t served well by the church counseling, although I’m sure it was well intended.


Domestic Violence Facebook Pages


Break The Silence Facebook Page presents stories of people that are effected by domestic violence.  It also has resources for victims and their families.


Church Survivors Facebook Page


New Book on Domestic Violence

Should I Stay or Should I Go? New Book by Lundy Bancroft.

Here are two sample chapters for Lundy’s new Book.

Resources for the man that is serious about his change

and Chapter Two as well. What’s it All About


Domestic Violence and the Church articles

A open letter to John Piper about his view on divorce is written from a man’s prospective regarding the domestic violence he lived with, and how John Piper’s love of powerteachings on abuse, marriage, and divorced effected his life.


Your teaching has dangerous consequences: people like me read your words and take what you say very seriously. When you leave no room in your church for abused and broken divorcees, that has real world effects. I am such a broken person, and I do not know where I’ll end up. I am fighting the guilt and shame of divorcing my wife and I have to remind myself every day that my guilt and shame are not real – that there is no condemnation because I am in Christ. What I feel is based on how men like you view me, not how God views me. I hope that I can find believers with whom I can some day open up and have a trusting  relationship again. Right now I am scared to talk to any believers at all, for judgement is just a few words away. I know for certain I will never end up in your church and I will cringe every time you are quoted. It is difficult to respect a man who would call me to endure torture in a situation he does not understand.


Abuse and God’s Mercy: Martin’s Story is written by another man – also a victim of domestic violence in the church.  He was divorced, and remarried to a wonderful wife.  He speaks of his journey that God has place him on, and the rejection of him in ministry due to his remarriage.  Its an inspiring story of how faith helped him overcome, and learn to do God’s will for his life.


To the best of my knowledge, no church exists that would ordain a pastor with my background.  I rejoice in my service at the Mission and will wait on the Lord for the next opportunity.  At least now there’s no quit left in me.  God has given me enough trial to know – there’s no option besides perseverance for me.

There is a God in heaven that is more powerful than the nastiest group of Deacons, Elders, or Pastors.  He will show each of us His path for us to go, and He loves each of us no more than the other, that is without limit.

Less important than a pair of socks

Biblical Personhood writes a short story of over the top submission, and leaves everyone in the dust besides the father.

I was a teenager at the time. I was crying as I told my mother of my problem.

Then he bursts in. He does not await his turn to speak. He bellows: “There should be eight pairs of socks in my drawer and there are only seven!” My very submissive mother leaves me in the middle of my sob story, to go and find my father’s 8th pair of socks.

It is not like he needs those socks right now, mind you. He is not on his way somewhere and desperately need the black socks to match his clothes. He simply dislikes the thought that not all his things are in the right places.

Silence and violence in the church is an article by Theological Curves

For five years I asked the seminary where I was teaching if we could have a chapel service that addressed family violence and abuse. I was dreaming of a service that offered hope for survivors and solidarity from those who had been impacted by violence directly or indirectly. For five years I was told in a variety of ways that abuse was not our concern nor an appropriate issue within a seminary. Some years it was a direct verbal message, other years I would be politely listened to and then would never hear a follow up or was told after the fact that all chapel times were already scheduled.

All of this despite the fact that recently one of the graduates from this seminary was convicted of murdering his wife and that every semester I had students in my office discussing their own past and current abuse.

The Issue at the Heart of Domestic Violence By Danni Moss – a friend of mine that has passed away.  I’m blessed that her family decided to keep her blog up, and her ministry alive by her words even after she passed.  We still miss you Danni!


Domestic Violence and Fundamentalist Christianity

The religion they practiced tended to focus on the darker aspects of Christianity. They focused on the sufferings of Christ on the cross, His torments. They focused on the torments of hell for unrepentant sinners. They focused on how BAD people were, how we were all born in sin and would die in sin, did we not repent, and suffer the torments of hell in the lake of fire forever!

There was no carrot in front of the donkey's nose: it was the devil with a pitchfork prodding the donkey from behind, all the way.

They also blamed EVE, for letting sin into the world. We were all children of Eve. They also had a peculiar relish in eschewing the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Whore of Babylon, and the adulterous woman that Jesus saved from stoning. It was impressed on us as girl children that any immodesty on our part, the least bit of natural human curiosity about the opposite sex, was shamefully our fault and could lead to dire consequences here on earth in addition to damning us to hell forevermore. My mother was excessively modest, appearing to be frightened of and uncomfortable inside her own body. I think she wished not to have a body at all, and wished no one else did, either.


The Girl Effect, part 4  On this blog (Yeshua, Hineni!)there is a series of articles, and they are all worth reading!  I wanted to link to this one, and to point out the resources at the end.

I Want you to know, if you know someone, or if you are currently experiencing domestic violence - This is not what G-d calls you to. Find HOPE.  G-d wants you to have health and healing. He wants you to thrive. YOU ARE NOT CALLED TO BE "submissive" to abuse. This is not at all what G-d designed when the mandate after the Fall was given.  This is not what was given to us at Sinai. This is not the freedom that Y'shua brings, and that Paul heralds. It simply is not.

John MacArthur discounts the seriousness of abuse 

Barbara writes about YET another pastor that claims he ‘gets it’, but YET AGAIN clearly has noPastor has his head in the sand clue what he is talking about.


She starts her article off by quoting John MacArthur:

“If a violence-prone husband becomes agitated and abusive, the wife should remove herself from danger, by leaving the home if necessary. God has promised that He will not test us beyond our ability to endure, but will always make a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes escape is the only way. If you have children and they are in danger, take them someplace where you will be secure until you feel you may safely come back.
If you are not truly in any physical danger, but are merely a weary wife who is fed up with a cantankerous or disagreeable husband–even if he is an unbeliever who is hostile to the things of God–God’s desire is that you stay and pray and sanctify that husband by your presence as a beloved child of God (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). The Lord will protect you and teach you in the midst of the difficult time.

Just as John Piper, and many other pastors they never tell you to call the police.  They tell you to stay away until you feel it is safe to return.    The ‘deal with it’ attitude is what is killing the trust between Christ Followers, and the so called ‘leaders’ of the church.  Its irresponsible for pastor’s to speak of domestic violence in the church when it is clear they have NOT educated themselves on the issues, dangers, and damage.


Poems and Prose about domestic violence


The Last Straw lists poems about domestic violence. 

Poetry about children and domestic violence


What It Means To Be A Victim


Will you love me to death?




You Can't




These are just some of the awesome sources that I have found within the last week, and I honestly can’t remember them all.  There has been so many good articles that cover this topic, and I know I’m missing SOME!


I also have many other resources on my Emotional Abuse and Your Faith resource links page that I try to add to regularly.


If you have any articles, facebook pages, videos, poems or prose about domestic violence and the church…or the world?  I would love for you  to share them here in the comment section!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jack Schaap Scandal and Heresy

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:16 PM

Nice Try JackI wrote an article a little while back called, Jack Schaap Fired and then Exposed.  Since that time loyal IFB’ers (Independent Fundamental Baptist) have followed their pattern of the 4 steps of denial that Bruce Gerencser described very well in his article,  The IFB River Called Denial.  They must learn to deal better with this Jack Schaap’s Scandal. 


Independent Fundamental Baptist’s Behavioral Steps after Jack Schaap Scandal

First, they deny.  When the Schaap scandal first became public, IFB commenters on blogs and news sites were quick to deny that Schaap had done anything wrong. The accusations were lies and they were certain that Schaap was completely innocent. (IFB pastors are often worshiped like a god)

Second, they marginalize. When they could no longer deny the reality of the Schaap scandal, they turned to letting everyone know that Schaap was a “sinner” just like everyone else and, while his “fall” was regrettable, people should not judge the IFB church movement or First Baptist Church negatively. One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bushel. (actually it can)

Third, attack the critics. Instead of owning the scandal, many IFB defenders decided to attack those who reported the scandal or wrote negative things about Schaap, Jack Hyles, First Baptist Church in Hammond, and the IFB.  You can read about one such attack here.

Across the blogosphere, in discussion forums, in blog comments, and emails, the defenders of the IFB have attempted to ameliorate  the scandal by attacking people like me. They can’t dismiss my impeccable IFB credentials so they attack me personally or they dismiss me out of hand because I am an atheist. Why should anyone listen to what I have say, they write. I am a God-hater. I am bitter, angry, have an axe to grind.

They try and discredit the messenger so they won’t have to deal with his/her message. The goal is direct attention away from the facts.

Fourth, if all else fails, attack the victim. Let’s not forget that there is a victim in the Jack Schaap scandal. Schaap’s “sin” was not a victimless one. He had sexual relations with a minor in the church. Some media sites are reporting that the girl was being counseled by Schaap. (in Ohio, such a relationship is illegal)

He isn’t kidding either.  I had over 8000 hits on that article in less than 24 hours, and I received some strange comments – good comments – comments from hurt.  At the time of the Jack Schaap scandal they made comments about how they were NOT going to cover things up like the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.  Its to be expected that people were reeling over this, and at first WISH To be in denial because it HURTS!  How they handled things afterwards?  There truly is no comparison. 


One group (Penn State) seemed to own the sin with growing maturity, and the other reminds me of young teenagers. 


The type that is shocked they got caught, and deny everything.  Then they move on to how it is NOT that bad, and how others ‘made’ them do it.  They get mad and defensive at the circumstance, and everyone in connection with it.  I have seen this type of behavior time and time again in YOUNG teenagers, and then they come to a fork in the road for their life.  Do they continue such behavior when caught doing something, or do the own their actions. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Poem about Emotional Abuse

20 comments Posted by Hannah at 6:23 PM

Poem about Emotional Abuse
In light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month I went back to a poem on emotional abuse, sexual abuse that I wrote one night.  I look at the date of the post - 11/15/07 - and realize how far my life has come.

I wrote it from personal experiences, and those that you hear about often from others.  I have goggle hits on this poem about domestic violence since that date.  It was time of great hurt, frustration, and feelings of being lost.  Why am I the only one that doesn't get it type of thing.

From what I remember about that time I was struggling with how to deal with rages, and then later the push for closeness afterwards.  There was never any discussion, remorse, repentance.  It was the old - forgive and forget.  Act like nothing happened, and lets just go to bed.  If we have to do it another way?  The rage would start again.

I was on a faith board, and a abuse board at the time.  I had been ripped to shreds at the faith board.  I had be told to forgive 7 x 70, and yet the habitual behavior couldn't addressed because it made him mad.  The fact it angered him was enough for them to feel it needs to be left alone.

People too often try to combine trust and forgiveness.  That combination is not a God thing, but a human one.  Its used when they don't know how to deal with evil, and quite frankly don't wish to either.  The result may not fill their formula for a 'happy ending', and fill their testimony wall.

Forgiveness is for the person, and it can bring so much healing.  Trust may never return for a number of reasons.  The two aren't connected no matter how much people want them to be.

There are circumstances in which parties can earn their trust back, but there has to be much humility.  Its not on their time line after all - if there is pressure it takes you back to square one.  It can happen of course.

Then there are times in which trust may never be a good option in certain circumstances.  You can forgive a pedophile, but you wouldn't have them babysit. Its also acceptable to NOT have them in your life anymore as well.  That is just one example of course - you I'm sure can think of others.

Life is full of custom parts and pieces.  God's word is able to work with that. God created our world full of custom parts and pieces after all.

Yes, change can happen when two people are committed and willing to do the work.  Its hard for both parties, but honestly at times I think it is harder for the abusive party.

They have a hard time seeing 'what is in it for them' when they are pretty much get everything now (as they see it anyway) their way.  They have a strange way of not dealing with the pain they are in, and the pain they cause others.  They see no incentive.  When there is no incentive?  Think of the mindset here .... why would they bother?

The one line in the poem, 'You can’t intimidate into intimacy with someone you love' was mentioned to me at the time.  It struck me right between the eyes.  So often you see that happen - be it in churches, or marriages.  You don't have intimacy with intimidation, fear, guilt, manipulation.  They are polar opposites, and yet are encouraged way to often to make things work.

Domestic violence, emotional abuse, sexual abuse are soul crushing experiences.  When I finally had the courage to ask for help?  I told the counselor I wanted my "ME" back.  I lost myself completely, and I would NOT be able to help anything or anyone until 'SHE' returned.  (giggles) Of course a new and improved ME that is!

When you read you can see how people can be completely lost within the realm of abuse.

Thank you Lord for being with me all these years, and helping me find that NEW me!  Thank you for helping me see things more clear, and for giving me the courage to step out
despite my fear.  Thank you for helping me see that I'm not a 'bad' person in anyway, because I see error when others refuse too.  If that makes me a rebel?  THANK YOU For helping me a REBEL!  My journey is not done, and I know you will be there with me for the rest of it.  Thank you for making me feel loved...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Do They Think They Are?

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:58 PM

God-is-here-advertising Picture of arrow pointing to a certain church, and people running to itI’m getting so sick and tired of these church leaders telling others that they are hurting Christ in some way by doing what they can define as some ‘sin’.  Notice these ‘sins’ might not be in the bible – nor even hinted at – but they make up some pet sin anyway.

Their words are sweet, and the tone is so mellow as they chant their poison to others.  They basically are preaching hate, and this should be non existent in our places of worship.

Did you ever notice that some circles ALWAYS see the ‘worse’ in everyone except themselves?  It seems taking the speck out of their own eye prior to dealing with the log in someone else’s ONLY applies when they feel it does. 

Who do they think they are?

Should I leave my church?

What a personal question, and I’m sorry I feel is a personal answer as well.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?  by Albert Mohler

I will admit that some reasons people leave a church are rather baffling, but everyone needs to find a church (if they feel draw to belong to one) that feeds them in a profitable way.  What I mean by that is DO THEY bring you closer to Christ, and feed your soul to live for him?!    If they can’t reach you?  They can’t feed you or teach you either. 

If you think about it’s a rather ‘dahhhhh’ moment.   Isn’t serving, worship, teaching, learning, etc important aspects of your faith journey?   Sure it is!  I guess you can robotically do your share, and stay…but why?  Find a place of worship that is able to reach you and your family.  That is SO important!

One of Mohler’s side notes is about people leaving over the worship music.

One person maybe more receptive to the older hymns that I grew up on, and others may need the more contemporary theme.  For myself?  I enjoy both at times. 

Some hymns seem to drone on and on and put me to sleep.  Some contemporary music seems to lack the substance I feel is needed.   Neither are perfect.

I will say most of the churches that I have attended play more than one song, and if I don’t enjoy one – I may enjoy another.    No church will ever give you 100% of your taste in music 100% of the time.  That’s okay as well!  It happens.  I may enjoy the music one week, and not the other.  Big deal. 

I love music myself, and it does effect my mood and receptiveness at times.  NOT always, but sometimes! So if all I hear is long droning hymns?  I maybe snoring during the sermon as they have already put me to sleep. 

If all I hear is no substance contemporary music – that repeats one line over and OVER again all the time – I feel like they want me to be in some hypnotic state, and you will lose me once again.

That is just me, and my reactions maybe different from others.  Its okay.  God made us all custom, and we all are different.  Don’t tell me I’m BAD because I don’t react as you do. 

If you can’t go along with SOME program YOU are hurting the cause of Christ.   I’m sorry, but that is SO dumb and out of touch with most of mankind.

Just as a side note I have never left a church over their music myself.  I would also offer up that most people that mention the ‘music’ will also have other issues as well.  I don’t think they pay attention to that part, because telling others they left the church over music?  WELL it helps their ego a bit! Calling people ‘church shoppers’, and making them sound selfish for leaving?  Sigh.

I mean WHO do they think THEY ARE?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What The Extremists Have In Common

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:00 AM

man holding sign that says - USA we are sorry We are sad in response to riots over anti muslim filmFrom time to time we have all seen different types of Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc.  By that I mean some are more extreme than others.  Then of course you have different grades of extreme. 

We will show you what the average Joe Believes compared to US – the FAITHFUL!

I think most Christians would point out Westboro Church as one extreme for Christianity, and we don’t need to go into how evil they portray themselves as.  I truly think they have some major screws loose.

Then of course more recently we have had our experiences of seeing what extremists over in the middle east can do over what they CLAIM was an insult to their faith due to some stupid film.  I say stupid, because even if most people actually had seen the trailer (which I had not)not FILM as they claim on Youtube?  I doubt very much they would have stayed to watch the entire thing.  Most people wouldn’t have got past the first 2 minutes without exiting the video.  It was that badly done, and they wouldn’t have bothered wasting brain cells on it.  That’s the reality of it. 

Both of these examples are extreme to the point of dangerous, and quite frankly claim they are protesting against something ‘awful and evil’.  If you look past the surface?  Westboro Church shows you a God that pretty much hates everyone, and anyone.  The militants in the middle east are playing out revenge, and using their own people under the guise of ‘lack of respect and honor’ towards their faith.

Most extreme groups like this use propaganda, and they point out some fringe group as their examples of ‘the average everyday joe’.   This of course is to be used to show how ‘evil’ most people are, and how ‘faithful’ they are in comparison. 

The extreme complementarians do this as well.   They use the most extreme models to ratchet up their ‘us against them’ game. 

Most can see how some groups are more successful at their lies and deceit than others.  I feel sorry badly for their victims, and pray for them as well.  I don’t think they realize they are being used.

The Extreme Feminist beliefs BACKFIRE!

Recently, Elizabeth Esther had an article that represents the extreme case you hear about towards feminism.  The old tired speech about how they only think of themselves, and hate children, etc.  She pointed out a poster child article of just that.  Disappearing Mothers was the title of the article, and quite frankly the author seems so out of touch with reality its not even funny. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

An Open Letter from a Pastor to Pastors

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:04 AM

There are so many people living in desperation and isolation, looking at the church being silent, and hearing that silence as even coming from God himself.  It’s time that they at least have an acknowledgment that what has happened to them has been soul-altering and life-changing.
– Pastor Gary Morgan (Cowboy Church of Ellis County – Texas)

Light of God

Its been one hell of day.  Can I say that?  Why not – its my blog right?

I have been recovering from pneumonia recently, and so I have been so worn down it isn’t even funny.  It sure does take so much out of you.

Anyway, I received an email that just rocked my world. 

Abuse and Pastors: An Open Letter from a Pastor to Pastors

The following letter is a tool that I have written.  My desire is that it be sent to pastors to help open their eyes to the misuse of power and control in their churches, and to caution them regarding how very easily any of us can become guilty of lording it over our people.
In particular, I want to assist pastors and church leaders to understand that one extremely common scenario which is occurring in our conservative, Bible-believing churches with alarming regularity, concerns how we are mishandling cases of abuse (both domestic and sexual) that are brought to our attention and/or occurring right under our noses within our own congregations.
Readers are freely granted permission to reproduce this letter and use it to good ends.  Please do not alter or change the wording.  We would be very interested in hearing from anyone who uses this as a tool to call the body of Christ to justice and wisdom in dealing with the oppressed.
To the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Pastor Jeff Crippen,
Tillamook, Oregon
This is Pastor Jeff’s introduction, and I encourage you to go and read it.  He also has given you the permission to share it word for word.  You may also share it with your pastor or church as well.  It’s a letter FROM a pastor to other PASTORS!

If you like to hear sermons on domestic violence?  Jeff Crippen is on sermon audio with a nice series you can listen too.

In the letter he speaks of a journey he and his church went on.  How they had to take certain traditions of the church, and place them on their heads.  I highly doubt most churches or clergy mean to come across with the wrong type of message, but I have to admit they do seem to hard headed at times to go against a tradition that seriously needs to be looked at.  I call it tradition, because quite frankly that is all it is.  They feel it is truth, but when their truth oppresses so many people?  They seriously need to take a closer glance don’t you think?

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