How I Became a Two-Fold Son of Hell

And How God Bestowed His Grace Upon a Pharisee Like Me

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matt. 23:15

The word “Pharisee” means one who is separated for a life of purity. Oh, that described my intentions to the fullest as a believer. I wanted to be pure and holy. The Pharisees probably began with pure motives and good intentions. They so desired to please God. They wanted to love God with all their heart. They wanted to obey Him in everything they did. But even though the Law of Moses was rather stringent, there were still many areas of freedom, such as what it meant not to do any work on the Sabbath. So the Pharisees began to add to the Law, to make it even stricter than what God had intended, even going so far as to prescribe where one could spit on the Sabbath, for example: It was fine to spit on a rock because the spittle just sat there, but if you spat on the dirt, the dirt had to absorb the liquid, so that was considered work. Oh, we look at that now and laugh, but do we do the same things in our desire to be pure and holy? I know I do.

When we are truly sold out for Christ, it is a wonderful thing. It is a goal worth obtaining to be everything that God wants us to be. But in so doing, sometimes we lose our first love. Sometimes the pursuit of holiness begins to take precedence over our relationship with Christ. Sometimes the rules begin to rule in our own hearts. Sometimes we forget the grace of God toward us while we were yet sinners and we “work” to please the Lord. We don’t even realize it is “work.” We think that we are pleasing the Lord by living a life of holiness and obedience to him. And we may be. If our motives are right.

When we see a pattern or principle in Scripture, that can be a good thing, if we understand how to properly use it. There is much to be learned from these biblical principles. But there is a world of difference between using a biblical principle as a guide and using the principle to define sin. Some Christians have falsely elevated principles in Scripture to make them the equivalent of commands. When we see a principle in Scripture, I think it is intended to help us make wise decisions. Often people will call them guiding principles, and that they should be. They should be there to guide us in life, but they are not there as a rule of law for us. We get into trouble when we elevate even Scripturally-based guiding principles into a rule of law for our life.

When we discover principles in Scripture, we make our own preferences in life based upon these principles. After a while of living out these preferences, they may start to become convictions for us. After having our own convictions for a while, they can then be falsely elevated into convictions that we put upon others, often without ever meaning to do so. When we expect others to follow these same convictions, we elevate what started out as merely a guiding principle for life to the status of a command or law for us. To violate this “law” now becomes a sin. Sometimes these violations are even then elevated to the level of being an excommunicable offense. How did we get from a basic guiding biblical principle all the way to an excommunicable offense? I saw this happen in my own life.

These last few months were excruciatingly painful for me as I realized what I had bought into all these years. Until very recently, I was bound by legalism, but I didn’t know it. I have just recently had many “convictions” stripped away from me as I saw that God does not give us explicit commands in His Word regarding these areas. I am not advocating antinomianism in any way whatsoever; we are under the Law of Christ, and as such, there are plenty of commands for us to obey. We just need to be very cautious not to elevate principles to the place of a direct command.

Having been a part of the Patriarchy movement for seven years, even after our excommunication, I was surprised when some here started challenging this movement. These were not egalitarians or feminists, and they appeared to believe in biblical roles, so I didn’t understand what they had against patriarchy. I was suddenly faced with the realization that Patriarchy may not be as biblical as I’d always believed it to be. I loved the lifestyle of Patriarchy, in spite of my story.

When I first set about to write about patriarchy, my thoughts were that I would start by listing everything in patriarchy that I found to be biblical. The second part of that series was going to focus on what seemed to be hyper-patriarchy, or extra-biblical. As I read through the “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy,” I thought that, overall, they sounded fine. There were a few minor areas of concern, however, so I decided to look up those verses to see why that tenet was stated in that particular way. Expecting to find biblical language being used in the tenets, I was surprised to find that the first few Scriptures I looked up did not provide the biblical support I anticipated. As I looked into the Scriptural support further and further, I began to see a pattern emerge, a pattern of tenets without the requisite biblical support. Still, I reasoned to myself, these tenets aren’t really that bad in and of themselves. They just need a little more Scriptural support. Even after writing out all the lack of biblical basis found in the “Tenets,” I was blind to what it all meant.

I believe these tenets were originally written in 2001, which was a time when I found Patriarchy to be much more loving and not nearly as extreme as it is currently. While I am sure that many patriarchists still believe these Tenets as written, how they play out in real life has become a huge concern to me.

When it comes to God’s Word, truth is all important. I am sold out for the truth of God’s Word, even if it means that I have to make changes in life in order to line up with the truth of God’s Word. We naturally gravitate toward positions that favor our personal inclinations. Sometimes we do so without searching the Scriptures for ourselves. But a diligent search for the truth of God’s Word demands that we be willing to let God rip away our emotional attachments.

When we first attended a patriarchy church, I was attracted to the like-mindedness of the other families there. I had always had a strong desire to live in a Christian community with other people who believed the same things I did, who lived a similar lifestyle, and who worked and lived and fellowshipped together on a regular basis. I wanted more, so much more, than what a normal church has to offer. I wanted that New Testament church where they had all things in common, where they broke bread together daily, where they met together in homes to study and fellowship. I wanted to be with people who believed in following the roles for men and women that God laid out for us in His Word. I desired to be with families who wanted to stay together as a family and weren’t separated every time we walked through the doors of a church. I really wanted to meet other families who believed in a reasonable amount of training and discipline for their children, so that children are a pleasure to be around, and not terrors.

I also crave structure. I’d been in churches where they just “let the Holy Spirit lead,” and we never knew what was going to happen from week to week. That was too touchy-feely for me and I created my own boundaries instead. Although I don’t need liturgies, I enjoy a highly-structured format to the service. I like predictability. I thrived under the discipline of military life and was drawn to memorizing all the rules and regulations. I carried that desire over into real life as well, feeling safe inside my man-made boundaries. As long as I could see a solid reason for them, I was willing to submit to all kinds of rules, and delighted in having that same kind of structure at home. I never felt I was too extreme in all this, as I didn’t lay out a schedule for every adult and child in my family for every fifteen minutes of the day, as did some of my friends. But I still advocated basic time management.

So I didn’t know anything about Patriarchy when we first started attending this church, but I was so desperate for a “godly” church that I was willing to follow just about any set of rules in order to be a part of one. In fact, had we not gone here, I was ready to go to the Mennonite church the following week. I told my daughter that I was willing to give up my wardrobe of normal clothes and wear plain, drab dresses, no make-up or jewelry, and I would even wear a head-covering, if I could just find a godly church. When the elders started preaching on different aspects of Patriarchy and these different tenets would come up in everyday conversation, I thought this was what was necessary in order to be holy. I had previously thought that maybe I was the only person in the world who was concerned with holiness, but once I started attending this patriarchy church, I realized that I didn’t even begin to meet their standards of holiness. I arrived there full of pride at my own holiness, but I soon had that pride dashed, as I suddenly felt myself fall to the bottom of the barrel, spiritually, in comparison to these other godly families there.

I worked real hard to make the necessary changes to fit in. I wasn’t about to change just to fit in, though, so I set about to pray and asked God to reveal to me all the sin in my life. My husband did the same. Together, we began to listen to dozens of sermons by various speakers about this new kind of lifestyle. After each tape, we would discuss the message as a family, evaluating whether it lined up with Scripture or not. If we agreed that it was biblical, we would cry and repent and make major changes in our family. Looking back now, I can see that nearly all these messages were based on biblical principles, often taken out of context, rather than on direct commands of Scripture. We listened to most of these on a 6,000 mile cross-country trip, so we sometimes listened to three or four sermons a day. That meant three or four major changes in our family a day. That was pure hell for our thirteen year old daughter and she hated all the changes, but she eventually just got used to them, since everyone else at church lived the same lifestyle. So, it wasn’t too long before we were on par with the rest of the families at church regarding Patriarchy or, at least, as much as we could figure out without having it demonstrated to us. I did have some concerns about the level of submission that was taught and the emphasis on not allowing girls to attend college and some of the extremes for the women, such as not being allowed to introduce my own parents at church, but for the most part, they were small differences that I could live with. Or so I thought.

Years later, I told my story. And I was still dedicated to Patriarchy. In fact, I said as much in many of my comments here. I wasn’t even ready to give it up when I posted that series of three articles exposing how extra-biblical “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” really are. But God was ready for me to nail that coffin shut on that part of my life, so I believe that He led Corrie to post some articles here by Jonathan Lindvall. I said I didn’t want any off-topic comments on the “Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” exposés, so I had some complaints about letting those comments stand. But as I read through those comments by Jonathan Lindvall, I suddenly realized that while the words on “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” sounded polished and full of vision, what Jonathan Lindvall was talking about was what my real life was like in Patriarchy. That hit me like a ton of bricks and I was forced to examine the fruit of Patriarchy in my life.

But something really significant happened along the way, something that made me willing to examine Patriarchy. The more I think about this particular experience in my life, the more I am able to empathize with those who are still caught up in Patriarchy, especially hyper-Patriarchy, and the more I understand why they just don’t see what we are talking about. As I share a really personal part of my heart with you now, I hope that this will help us to be able to pray for those who are still blinded to extra-biblical teachings of hyper-patriarchy.

As many of you know, Mike is my Bible study teacher. But we did not get off to a very good start last March when I argued incessantly with him about the definition of the words “observe” and “keep.” I don’t know why Mike gave me a second chance, but he began to systematically teach me about the Law of Moses in the Bible. I didn’t get it. I liked being under the Law, all the while insisting that I wasn’t actually under the Law, but was merely following the Law. We spent hours and hours and hours going through Galatians, but I just didn’t understand what Mike was trying to say. At one point, in exasperation, I said, “Do you know how many times I’ve read Galatians in the last several days?” Mike merely responded, “Not enough,” so we went back to the drawing board. I averaged 8-12 hours of Bible study a day for weeks, trying to find the truth. I knew my position was wrong by this point, but I wasn’t ready to concede. I had to be convinced of the truth; I had to see it for myself. So we studied many, many passages on the Law. And I still didn’t get it.

I woke up on March 25 this year at 3 in the morning with two words racing through my mind: authority and jurisdiction. All of a sudden, I realized that the Law has no authority over me because I am not under its jurisdiction. (I realize that this is a very simplified version of hundreds of pages of teaching. Mike also taught me later which law I am under.) Mike had been saying that all along, but my mind was blinded. As Mike encouraged me to go back over all the previous lessons again, I suddenly realized that I understood them all clearly. They were as obvious now as the nose on my face. What changed? Why did those two words keep my stomach in knots for weeks? Why did this Bible study consume my whole life? Why was I so driven to study about the Law of Moses, of all things?

I didn’t understand why then, but as I recently studied II Corinthians 3 again, a passage that Mike taught me in great detail previously, I saw something that explained the radical change in my life from that day I woke up shouting “Authority! Jurisdiction!” This passage is talking about the veil that Moses wore over his face, even as the glory was passing away, the glory that came from the Old Covenant, also called the ministry of death or the ministry of condemnation. Then it talks about how much more glorious the New Covenant is. Now look at verses 14-16:

But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

When I saw this two weeks ago, I noticed something new to me. Both thoughts are repeated twice, which gives meaning to the context. Before we look at that, though, we need to understand what the veil does. Verse 14 states that their minds were blinded and then goes on to show why. The veil over the heart represents a blind mind, one that cannot understand the Scriptures. The first idea expressed here is “the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament” and “when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.” Obviously God is not telling us that just reading the Old Testament causes a veil to remain unlifted. That wouldn’t make sense. The second part tells us that it is specifically when Moses, or the Law of Moses, is read. But does reading the Old Testament or even the Law of Moses cause a veil to be over our hearts? Let’s look at the other thought here to find out. Now we see that “the veil is taken away in Christ” and “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” When we turn to the Lord, when we are in Christ, the veil is taken away and our minds are no longer blind. Would it mean that when we became a Christian that we would still have a veil over our heart when we read the Law of Moses? No. Of course not. So, it seems to me that since the whole chapter is talking about comparing and contrasting the Old Covenant, that ministry of death and condemnation, with the New Covenant, the ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness, that that contrast is continued in these verses. When we turn to Christ, we are under the New Covenant; we are no longer under the Old Covenant. The veil of the Old Covenant is taken away in Christ. The veil of the ministry of death and condemnation is lifted when one turns to the Lord of the New Covenant.

So what am I saying? I now know that I lived under the Law of Moses. I tried to keep that Law. Even though that Law had no authority over me, no jurisdiction over me, I wanted to obey that Law of Moses anyway. I put myself under the Law of Moses and that is what this passage is referring to when it says “when Moses is read.” And so my mind was blinded. I could not understand the Scriptures. I thought I understood them, but Mike kept assuring me that I did not. And then, all of a sudden, that veil was lifted and my mind was no longer blind. I could see! I could understand! When? When I turned to the Lord. The passage tells us that the veil is lifted when we turn to the Lord, that our minds are no longer blind when we are in Christ.

Was I truly saved before that day? Maybe. Maybe not. I thought I was. I loved God with all my heart and I desired to please him. But I know of another Pharisee who loved God with all his heart and desired to obey God also — Saul, before he became Paul. And after his conversion, it was as if scales fell from his eyes and his mind was no longer blinded. He, too, was living under that old Law, the ministry of death and condemnation.

Legalism brings a lot of condemnation. Legalism is adding to what God has told us to do. Legalism places heavy burdens on us that God never intended us to carry. Legalism is the burden of the Pharisees. Just as Saul was a Pharisee before he came to Christ, so I was a Pharisee. The verse I began with in this article says that Pharisees make their converts into two-fold sons of hell. That simply means that the new Pharisees are twice as fit for judgment as those who taught them to be so legalistic. Why am I so dedicated to exposing extra-biblical Patriarchy? Because I am concerned about all the two-fold sons of hell that are being converted along the way. And sometimes, when we overcome particular sins of our past, we become zealous with a zeal against what we ourselves were bound up in. I was bound up in Patriarchy and I was bound up in legalism, and now God is birthing a zealousness in me to help free those who are bound, but don’t even realize it. I don’t have all the answers for those who are in bondage, but I’m willing to share what I know so far. Liberty is too sweet to keep it all to myself!

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51 Responses to “How I Became a Two-Fold Son of Hell”

  1. Lynn Says:

    A word to the Gentiles turning to the Lord during the time of the Acts:

    “And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.””

    The Pharisees:
    “But certain ones of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.””

    Peter:
    “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

    Their final answer:
    “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

    Lynn:
    Acts 15 and its verdict is about as far away from Theonomy and Phariseeism and Gothardism as you can get.

    But Jen, did you see how the Pharisees WHO HAD BELIEVED were arguing? Take comfort — they were considered believers, but had to learn, the same way we all do.

  2. Lynn Says:

    Jen, from the truewomanhood site I went to the link where the Botkin sisters advertised their materials, and saw them on video for the first time today. They present a beautiful picture of what they consider to be biblical womanhood with their “Return of the Daughters” materials. The problem isn’t what they are advocating per se. It is the claims that any other options are less than biblical that is the problem. Single women missionaries are unbiblical. College educations are a waste. It is unbiblical for an unmarried woman to move away. It is, as Sandlin says, defining sin where God has not defined sin, and creating more restrictive boundaries than God has given. This is similar to your article here, which just went up. They are trying to do what they believe is right, and good, but they are adding restrictions that God hasn’t laid down in Scripture.

  3. Corrie Says:

    “They present a beautiful picture of what they consider to be biblical womanhood with their “Return of the Daughters” materials. ”

    But, is it a realistic picture based in reality? How many people live in opulent homes and live a life of luxury? What I see from the clips, it is a life that only a privileged few are able to live. Why did they rent (I think that is what it says) a Texas ranch-house/mansion to shoot these clips? It is also seems artificial and overdone and theatrical and that kind of thing might turn a lot of people off. I, myself, would probably get more out of it if people would just talk in a normal diction without all the stagy mannerisms.

    What daughter wouldn’t want to come home and live in the lap of luxury and wealth? For many young women, this film will just be another sanitized Harlequin romance novel. Their fathers are not like the doting fathers pictured in this film and their homes are nothing like what is pictured. It is going to cause discontentment and a grasping at what is not possible.

    Also, what about the fathers who will never be able to provide this for their families?

    While I watched this film, I wondered how all of this fit in with the gospel and what it really had to do with the gospel.

    I am sure it is going to be a beautiful film and it appears that all the “maidens” being featured in the film are very beautiful young women but it seems it only portrays life among the rich and beautiful and the possibilities in that lifestyle for a young woman are far DIFFERENT than the possibilities for a young woman in circumstances that couldn’t compare to anything portrayed on that film. That is why I would rather stick to the scripture where the emphasis isn’t on luxurious beauty but on feeding the poor and ministering to the oppressed.

    “The problem isn’t what they are advocating per se. It is the claims that any other options are less than biblical that is the problem. Single women missionaries are unbiblical. College educations are a waste. It is unbiblical for an unmarried woman to move away. It is, as Sandlin says, defining sin where God has not defined sin, and creating more restrictive boundaries than God has given. ”

    Exactly. This IS the issue, Lynn.

    Now that James McDonald put up an article on his blog about being tolerant and inviting people to share their convictions and to back them up with scripture, I am hopeful that all the mud-slinging and ad hominem attacks will stop and people will now start actually engaging one another in the issues. The ad hominem has been going on for far too long.

    I hope, along with James, that all the ministeries born out of tearing down those who don’t do it just like they do it get a hold of this message and start living it out and treating others as full-fledged members of the body of Christ.

    http://familyreformation.wordpress.com/2007/09/17/living-in-unity%E2%80%A6/

  4. CynthiaGee Says:

    “Their fathers are not like the doting fathers pictured in this film and their homes are nothing like what is pictured. It is going to cause discontentment and a grasping at what is not possible. Also, what about the fathers who will never be able to provide this for their families? ”

    Exactly, Corrie.
    And I ask, what about fathers who make about $30,000 a year?
    The average housepayment where I live is about $750 a month, utilities come to about $450, and food for a family of five runs about $500. Add in health insurance, auto insurance, gasoline, car maintainance and taxes and you’re already in the red (and you will note that I haven’t even included a car payment or retirement savings in this.)
    Then, if you’re homeschooling, you need to add in the price of books and materials, and this is just for a family of three. The patriarchal crowd promotes families of “upwards of six children”, and you just can’t do that on an average man’s paycheck in most parts of this country (unless the wife works or you get foodstamps, which are both BIG no-no’s.)

    Yet, if you can’t “do it all”– have as many children as possible, and feed and clothe and homeschool them without relying on Government help or relief, the patriarchal movement makes you feel like a second-class Christian.

    Now, imagine THIS scenario: Mr. $30,000-per-year Average Guy becomes disabled. He has six daughters. How is he going to support them on Social Security Disability payments until they marry?
    This happened to my dad — he was in a wheelchair for the last 17 years of his life, and my parents had only ME! We lived in a big old farmhouse (it was pretty, but it had no furnace, air conditioning, or running water) that we rented for a pittance, and we grew a lot of our own food. We heated the house (kind of) with stoves, but oil and wood were very expensive, and it got so cold in the kitchen in the wintertime that the water in the bucket on the washstand froze at night.
    I was working by the time I was 16, and by my junior year of college, I had my own place. I don’t know what would have become of us if I had had half a dozen siblings.

    This whole homeschooling/patriarchal movement is rich man’s religion, and they have no way to make their ideology work for poor families. If a religious movement is of God, it ought to work for everybody, ESPECIALLY the poor, because the poor are very close to God’s heart.

  5. Corrie Says:

    “This whole homeschooling/patriarchal movement is rich man’s religion, and they have no way to make their ideology work for poor families. If a religious movement is of God, it ought to work for everybody, ESPECIALLY the poor, because the poor are very close to God’s heart.”

    You are correcty, Cynthia Gee. It should work for everyone, noexceptions.com.

    In your case, and I know a LOT of cases like your case, what were you supposed to do? They would have told you to start a home business to bring in income for the family. They would have told your mom and dad to rely on the Lord and keep on having children even though they can’t hardly support themselves.

    The more and more I look at this stuff and the more I examine it, I believe this is no different than fictionalized romance novels where all the stories have the same beginning, same plot, same hero and heroine and end the same. I also believe it will cause people, especially those who are poor, to become discontent and frustrated.

  6. Jen Says:

    Corrie: “The more and more I look at this stuff and the more I examine it, I believe this is no different than fictionalized romance novels where all the stories have the same beginning, same plot, same hero and heroine and end the same. I also believe it will cause people, especially those who are poor, to become discontent and frustrated.”

    I think you have really hit the nail on the head with the romance stuff, though, Corrie. The image that is being portrayed is that of the white knight in shining armor coming to rescue the beautiful maiden who sits around and does needlework all day. I’m obviously exaggerating, but I see very few marriages taking place considering the number of eligible singles in our community. The bar is set too high, the expectations are unrealistic, and the lists of what each person is looking for in a mate are too detailed.

    For those that are already married and have a family, discontent can be incredibly high as well. If your spouse or your kids or even you yourself don’t measure up to what you see being portrayed on the outside, you can easily become discouraged. And from my vantage point, no matter what I did, I could NEVER measure up.

  7. CD-Host Says:

    The bar is set too high, the expectations are unrealistic, and the lists of what each person is looking for in a mate are too detailed.

    What are the expectations that each sex is looking for?

  8. CynthiaGee Says:

    “They would have told you to start a home business to bring in income for the family. They would have told your mom and dad to rely on the Lord and keep on having children even though they can’t hardly support themselves. ”

    Yeah, that’s what they would have said, and, lacking other options, we did our best to start a “home business” — we sold eggs and homemade baked goods in town — but a home business that’s a REAL business takes capitol to get off the ground and still more capitol to keep going until it begins to make a profit, and even so, its a crapshoot: most home businesses still end up failing.

    Home businesses are a pipe-dream, or at best a pin-money vanity job for rich yuppie SAHMs. Unless you have rich relatives backing your venture, you have a better chance of striking it rich in Vegas than you do of starting up a home business that will actually support you and your family.

  9. CD-Host Says:

    Home businesses are a pipe-dream, or at best a pin-money vanity job for rich yuppie SAHMs. Unless you have rich relatives backing your venture, you have a better chance of striking it rich in Vegas than you do of starting up a home business that will actually support you and your family.

    Not to disagree, but I think it depends what you want in terms of income. But I can think of a bunch of $50k / yr type home businesses. With virtually no risk and variable hours there are $15-20 / hr opportunities.

  10. Jean Says:

    CynthiaGee,

    You observe that “This whole homeschooling/patriarchal movement is rich man’s religion…” and you are exactly correct. I would consider our family very fortunate in that we are able to homeschool comfortably on one income. However, MOST homeschool families that I know are strapped more often than not, and Patriarchy’s brand of Christianity, along with his books and retreats, are way out of reach…but, come to think of it, maybe that’s a good thing! HA!

    You are also right in pointing out that if something is OF the Lord, it will be do-able for the least among us.

    Corrie,

    You observed that the Botkin video seemed “artificial and overdone.” I would venture to say that everything revolving around Patriarchy is artificial and overdone. The recent photo of families on a certain blog is a perfect case in point. It just doesn’t look real. Except for the rebel little girl in the front row in a BLUE dress. GASP! Someone needs to get her a standard-issue-hyper-patriarchy-visionary-daughter-uniform.

    Good observations ladies!

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  11. Jen Says:

    CD-Host: “What are the expectations that each sex is looking for?”

    CD, pretty much what you see being discussed here. Both sexes want not only purity, but someone who has never kissed another, never touched someone of the opposite sex, never had a crush on someone of the opposite sex.

    The young men want ladies who will do whatever they say, who will believe whatever they believe, and who will not have any opinions of their own. At the same time, they are to be pretty, modest (meaning wearing long, full dresses), excellent cooks and homemakers, hospitable, good with children, want at least a dozen children, willing to homeschool, and most of all, serve her husband.

    The young ladies want men who are strong leaders, who love children and want a large family, who lead family worship daily, who aren’t afraid to make decisions, who have a home business or family-friendly business, who spend lots of time with the children, and often, who aspire to be an elder someday. They should be extremely conservative in their looks and manner as well.

    They want each other to come from strong Christian, homeschool families. They want each other to have strong convictions in theology and doctrine, as long as their convictions are identical. And, of course, they must both love patriarchy!

  12. charismania Says:

    Jen, is it possible that another reason (besides overly high expectations) that there are so few marriages in this group is because the young people have been raised to be so cemented in to their own families?

    The more I read about the “Family Integrated Church” movement and patriarchy, the more it seems to me that the parents in these families raise their kids to be totally and completely dependent upon THEM, even into adulthood. If both a young man and a young woman have been trained to be part of their respective family’s “vision,” how could either of them leave their family and take on the other family’s “vision”?

    An environment so centered around your mom and dad doesn’t seem very conducive to deciding to pursue marriage for yourself.

  13. Jen Says:

    Charismania, there are probably many different factors involved in why so few marriages are taking place within patriarchy. You have a very good point about not trading one family’s vision for another. That could be a possibility in some cases, certainly. However, I doubt if it is so much the fact that it isn’t conducive to them pursuing marriage for themselves so much as the fathers not approving of potential mates.

    I probably didn’t mention this enough, but the fathers really are so heavily involved in the whole courtship process that the young people themselves seem to have very little to do with it. Yes, they are allowed to decide for themselves, but they are also conditioned to trust their fathers to make these choices for them. This applies more to the young ladies than the men, but the young men are strongly encouraged to seek the blessing of their father and are told that it will not go well with them if their father does not approve.

  14. charismania Says:

    By the way, Jen, I thought that this article was incredible. You did such a good job of explaining what must have been a painful process for you. Thanks for your honesty.

  15. WOW Says:

    I agree with you all that if what you are preaching cannot be preached to everyone (such as the poor), then don’t preach it to me, as it is not the Gospel.

    I would add that my I come from a long line of missionaries, and so I have always thought of this a slightly different way. If you cannot go to a Believer in a Communist prison, a persecuted family in the Muslim world, or a new Christian living a stone age existence in a jungle in Guatemala and preach your sermon to them and have it apply, then you are NOT preaching the Gospel.

    You are right, In letters to the early church Paul laid it down … God has few rules. Love God, love your brother, abstain from fornication and food sacrificed to idols (as a cultural taboo that may cause others to stumble, a principle elucidated many times in scripture). We have all quoted on here many times that anything else is Pharisaical as it places burdens on others too grievous to be borne. But why do people fall for this legalism?

    Fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted by God first and by believers second. Fear if bit not pleasing God. Fear of going to hell. Fear of being wrong, of not being “right”. To be sure we are complying and we are in the right, we invent a list of rules to be checked off for verification. And we can still never be sure that we have adequately complied. So we operate in fear towards God. We can all quote plenty of verses about God being our Abba, of perfect love casting out fear, and on and on. But we don’t really get it. Because if we ever do “have the veil lifted”, and see the truth, we would be free. And we in the reformed faith are not free.

  16. Morgan Farmer Says:

    WOW ends by saying: “And we in the reformed faith are not free”.

    Morgan adds: I agree and disagree.

    First I disagree personally:
    Hearing the gospel removes the ‘veil’. I am finally hearing the gospel. I am free. I have chosen to be free in Christ, I made a conscious decision that the christian right or any other christian group was NOT going to speak for me nor compel me to act/decide in a certain way that was contrary to the pure gospel of Christ. The refomed faith of which I am a part does not speak for me…Jesus does..that is my standard.

    Secondly I agree corporately:
    The reformed churches of today have made the dead theologians the gods of the church today. They make the new things (like patriarchy) the gods to be strived for in the future. They make what Calvin or Luther said the standard rather than what Jesus said and what these COMMENTED ON. The voluminious works produced by the dead theologians are called commentariesand are not the word of God. But one would not know that for in many groups the ‘words’ of the dead and living theolgians alike are treasured and revered. Phooey.

    If and when in my group, I become anathema because of my freedom in Christ to NOT vote republican; to be nice to athiests and homosexual people and to not follow the political agenda of the christian right ..thats the day that I will be out of there.

    This is America and by Gods’ grace I will have my personal freedom and my religious freedom despite the ‘demands that the visible church puts on me’. I hardly think that many people in the ‘reformed church’ would lay down their lives fro me as Jesus did.

  17. CynthiaGee Says:

    “I probably didn’t mention this enough, but the fathers really are so heavily involved in the whole courtship process that the young people themselves seem to have very little to do with it. Yes, they are allowed to decide for themselves, but they are also conditioned to trust their fathers to make these choices for them. This applies more to the young ladies than the men, but the young men are strongly encouraged to seek the blessing of their father and are told that it will not go well with them if their father does not approve.”

    That’s it in a nutshell… the fathers are doing it FOR them, and the young people are never really encouraged to grow up and have a “vision” of their own –even their marriages are all about their parents. Young men who remain satellites of their fathers seldom become strong men, and thus are less that ideal fathers themselves.

    This movement will be self-limiting, I think, because it’s all about the generation of men who produced it. Their children may buy into it, being loyal sons, but their grandchildren (assuming they have any) probably will not, since many will have spent their formative years with fathers who never became “patriarchs” in their own right, but remained satellites of THIER fathers, at least into middle age.

  18. charismania Says:

    One thing I’m sort of curious about –

    Does Doug seem at all concerned about the lack of marriages among the young people raised in his church? And if not, why would that be? It seems like a major contradiction to me, that you would narrow your Christian focus to promoting all things Patriarchy, but then you wouldn’t be worried about the next generation (especially because as I understand it, he advocates early marriage and unlimited babies).

    The first time I ever read Doug’s blog, it was from a link that someone else had posted, and it took me to his blog entry where he had put up about a hundred photos of some young man’s wedding. The wedding was pretty enough, but wow, Mr. Phillips seemed almost beside himself in how he wrote it up. I felt a little embarrassed for him. I remember thinking then that he seemed odd.

    Since he loves weddings more than your typical old granny, I’m surprised he’s not exerting pressure on his church members to get on the stick and arrange more marriages.

    Or is he?

  19. Mike Says:

    “If and when in my group, I become anathema because of my freedom in Christ to NOT vote republican”

    From what Jen tells us — you would be anathema at BCA if you DID vote Republican!

  20. CynthiaGee Says:

    Heck, Mike… she would be anathema if she VOTED!

  21. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Jen wrote: “Yes, they are allowed to decide for themselves, but they are also conditioned to trust their fathers to make these choices for them.”

    This is a huge, very difficult element of Spiritual Abuse. It’s one of those perspectives that you can barely understand without having a larger vantage or better perspective. Also, because you fail to realize that you’ve been duped, you do not recognize (and are usually reluctant) to acknolwedge that a part of you has been bound and gagged by fear or by the “unthinkable.” Personal choices become organizational choices, and those belong to authorities. (This differs from living in submission to the Word and the Spirit because even God does not ask of us what these groups and relationships ask.)

    In “Take Back Your Life,” Lalich describes this as “bounded choice” of urgent and/or moral imperatives. It defines a closed social system wherein one only appears to have a choice. She says that there are several elements required.

    Bounded Choice of True Believers (pg 48)
    Charismatic Authority
    (root cause of a cult; imbalanced power structure)

    Transcendent Belief System
    (impossible or very difficult to achieve ideals which includes the moral imperatives/standards)

    Systems of Control
    (demand for transformation)

    Systems of Influence
    (formula for salvation which is the root cause of ideology)

    Praise God that He works in us without fear or coersion. He transforms our will and does not crush us with His power. He loves us and transforms us without exerting and forcing His authority as He desires us to yield ourselves in love, freedom and liberty. He gives us THE only formula for salvation through his Grace and Sacrifice. He also bears the penalty for inability to every meet the demands of the transcendent system of belief. He is our transcendence, not a list of ideals.

  22. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Here’s a quote that may make things a bit more clear:

    (pg 50 from “Take Back Your Life”)
    “In other words, neither the charismatic leader nor others in the group need to be present to tell a follower what to do; rather, having internalized the lessons and adapted her outlook, the loyal and true believer knows precisely what she needs to do to stay in the good graces of the all-knowing and all powerful leader. The true believer need only ‘imagine’ what actions to take, knowing full well that she will act within the bounds of the cult reality, for in a sense her self has merged with the leader and the group. What other reality is there? The one thing the devoted adherents cannot imagine is life outside the group. In other words, the cult member is constrained by both external (real or imagined) and internal sanctions. At this point, whatever choices remain are “bounded” ones. They are choices, yes, but not free ones. They are choices of life or death — figuratively, and, in some cases, literally.

  23. Patty Says:

    And for those who might not really understand what is meant by “shepherding movement” just replace father with pastor and the dynamics are the same or husband in place of father in DV.

  24. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Mike: From what Jen tells us — you would be anathema at BCA if you DID vote Republican!

    Morgan: OOOOH forgot about THAT ONE ;). In our group there are several ladies that particpate in the republican womens’ club in our area. So thats what WE have instead of the constitutional party…some peer pressure but nothing that is coming from the leadership about what party to vote for. I guess we are more fortunate than most…the leadership would not be inclined to have the pulpit turned into a political forum.

    Then Cynthia Gee reminds us: Heck, Mike… she would be anathema if she VOTED!

    Morgan: Oh my I am just the face of anathema..I wonder if BCA would want to make me the ‘anathema poster girl’?

  25. Mike Says:

    Morgan: Oh my I am just the face of anathema..I wonder if BCA would want to make me the ‘anathema poster girl’?

    You’ll have to wait till the current one is retired.

  26. Morgan Farmer Says:

    BWA HA HA HA !!!!

  27. Alisa Says:

    Way up the thread someone wrote: “…the fathers are doing it FOR them, and the young people are never really encouraged to grow up and have a “vision” of their own –even their marriages are all about their parents.”

    Jen wrote: “Yes, they are allowed to decide for themselves, but they are also conditioned to trust their fathers to make these choices for them.”

    Cindy Kunsman wrote: “This is a huge, very difficult element of Spiritual Abuse. It’s one of those perspectives that you can barely understand without having a larger vantage or better perspective. Also, because you fail to realize that you’ve been duped, you do not recognize (and are usually reluctant) to acknolwedge that a part of you has been bound and gagged by fear or by the “unthinkable.””

    Cindy’s observations about a “bounded choice” are right on.

    There is such a heavy expectation on the adult child to make the choice that the parent’s wish for them to make that should they choose otherwise, or even voice opinions or reluctance towards their favored decision, that that adult child is then considered disobedient and rebellious. They have lost the good graces of their parents. So unless the child is willing and able to take that on, chances are they will be willing to give the “parent’s pick” a chance… especially having no alternatives to fall back on, since they have no means of supporting themselves if their room-and-board-providers turn on them.

  28. Lin Says:

    “The reformed churches of today have made the dead theologians the gods of the church today”

    Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!

    As Paul Washer said, ‘I would rather have 1 Leonard Ravenhill than 20 dead Calvinists’. (Dead meaning …not on fire for Christ)

  29. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Alisa wrote: Cindy’s observations about a “bounded choice” are right on.

    Well, there was a time when I knew something was desperately wrong with my relationship with my church, especially after the leadership violated good standards of conduct. A dear, concerned person saw this for me and loved me enough to bring me this very painful message when I was too blind to have much perspective at all. God bless her.

    This patriocentricity would have us blind ourselves to all that competes against it. God would have us see all and know the truth.

  30. CD-Host Says:

    And for those who might not really understand what is meant by “shepherding movement” just replace father with pastor and the dynamics are the same or husband in place of father in DV.

    Patty –

    You might like Blueboy, Every Nation / Morning Star International on my blog.

  31. Jen Says:

    WOW: “If you cannot go to a Believer in a Communist prison, a persecuted family in the Muslim world, or a new Christian living a stone age existence in a jungle in Guatemala and preach your sermon to them and have it apply, then you are NOT preaching the Gospel.”

    Yes, I would agree with this regarding the gospel, but we also preach to our culture as well. Preaching should be relevant and practical for everyday life as well as teaching the gospel.

    WOW: “Because if we ever do “have the veil lifted”, and see the truth, we would be free. And we in the reformed faith are not free.”

    I don’t understand this. Reformed Christians believe in the doctrines of GRACE. Have we all forgotten what that grace is? In my case, I never knew what grace was, but now that I am learning about it, this heavy bondage that is being taught in some Reformed circles just baffles me. How do we reconcile teaching bondage under grace?

    Cynthia: “This movement will be self-limiting, I think, because it’s all about the generation of men who produced it. Their children may buy into it, being loyal sons, but their grandchildren (assuming they have any) probably will not, since many will have spent their formative years with fathers who never became “patriarchs” in their own right, but remained satellites of THIER fathers, at least into middle age.”

    I hope you’re right, Cynthia, but just in case, I’d like to help keep as many people as possible in this generation from being under the bondage of patriarchy and legalism. Everyone who has come together to speak out against this is having an impact. People’s lives are being changed now and we don’t have to wait for the next generation to simply have burn-out.

  32. WOW Says:

    Morgan:

    Thanks for clarifying. I was most definitely meaning that we are not free in the corporate sense, as a church. Of course, as individuals we “see Jesus” and with veil removed, we can walk in freedom. However, even as Christians, we are prone to lose even that freedom. “Stand fast in that liberty, wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”. We are not usually tangled again dramatically and all at once. Instead, too often by tiny bites we have our liberty and joy eaten away until again we find ourselves beaten down and defeated … and the cycle repeats.

    We have three enemies: the world, our flesh, and the devil. Of these three, our own unendingly proud minds in concert with our fallen flesh must surely be the enemy most likely to ruin everything.

  33. WOW Says:

    Jen, you are so right. You CAN’T reconcile the two. You have to choose one or the other. Legalism or grace. Exclusively. No mixture, says God. Period.

    Each of us must decide, what do you believe? What is a saving faith? Are you trusting in God’s grace through the Blood, and NOTHING else, or is something else enhancing your salvation? Do you believe that in keeping the law, that even one jot or tittle kept (or patriarchal tenet followed or denim jumper worn or Constitution party ballot cast) is improving your standing with God? Is a pair of pants worn by a girl, or makeup, or a Republican vote cast harming it?

    It’s pretty scary, isn’t it, which you really start to understand Grace. Our human mind almost cannot grasp what Grace really is, what it cost God, and what it will cost us if we really start to move in it. It is really almost scarier than Legalism, because instead of having a safe, comfy list of rules to follow to keep yourself boxed in and in line, you are flying free, maybe even soaring as an Eagle. You may be thinking, you are free, but to do what? Exhilarating and scary at the same time. That’s ok, God can handle it. : )

    Jen, you climbed out of the box. : ) You are testing your wings and that makes some still in the box nervous. They want to maintain control of you, so that they can maintain control of all those watching you also. They want safety and predictability! They may love God, but they made one fatal error … they want to understand God more than they want to know Him. But they are not in control. God is! Stand fast in that liberty … and keep extending what you are learning to others.

  34. Patty Says:

    Jen,
    Don’t give up. I’m thinking of another christian mission agency ( well several ) that are high demand with their training and dscipleship and after you leave…. ‘regular’ churches seem rather dull.
    Something that helped me I attended a pretty good seminary in my area and took a few classes . I also got involved with a parachurch, intervarsity christian fellowship which also helped until I found a church. It took about 3 years though. (ICF is egalitarian though and CBMW has issues with them.. .. sigh sometimes ya just can’t win.)
    But I am praying for you and your family. Don’t give up. You would be great in pursuing or teaching in the area of apologetics someday.!!

  35. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Jen,
    I still struggle witth this unspoken sense of “paradise lost” emotionally, although it continues to lessen over time. Coming out of the era of Christian activism in the ’90’s and my zeal for missions and my complete departure from the Pentecostal environment, it was a tremendous let-down. Couple all of that with my departure from the cultic church which really did receive me as a part of the group (through unhealthy merger with the cult personality however), and I was left with a great weight of tremendous existential despair. It’s all a part of the process of emerging from any special group or happy bubble of idealism of some type. There is a great deal of grief because the intesity comes to an end. I appreciate the Matrix films for this aspect of a type of allegory of emerging from the “hyper-real” when Morpheus/Lawerence Fishburn quotes Bauldrillard (a postmodern theorist) saying, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real.”

    But consider the hope that every prophet spent precious time with God in the “backside of the desert.” This is an old Pentecostal buzz phrase in some circles, but this one was one of the true gems to me. After the desert comes the land of plenty and promise. And it does come in time.
    Here’s one of many such references (this was one of the first, Scripture-packed references to pop up on a search engine), representative of a message that helped me tremendously.
    http://www.jimfeeney.org/desertspiritualretreat.html

    Let the desert and patience have it’s perfect work in your life that you may emerge from it with the power of the Holy Spirit, prepared and ready for every good work.

  36. Jen Says:

    WOW: “We are not usually tangled again dramatically and all at once. Instead, too often by tiny bites we have our liberty and joy eaten away until again we find ourselves beaten down and defeated … and the cycle repeats.”

    You are so right. At least, this is how it happened to me. It was so gradual, we never saw it coming.

    In fact, patriarchists don’t see it yet. They see all these gradual changes as becoming more like Christ. That’s what I thought about myself, too. And then we WERE better than all those “normal” Christians. We were further along in our sanctification. We had overcome so many sins that other Christians struggle with.

    We had washed the outside of the cup and totally forgot to look on the inside.

  37. WOW Says:

    Jen

    Thank you for still having a heart of understanding towards Doug. I am constantly blown away by your real concern for him and his family, in stark contrast to his constant vicious slandering of you and your family. Your attitude keeps reminding me that God really loves this man and that He truly desires for Doug to repent and be restored to full fellowship with Him and His church.

    The longer this goes on, and the more fruit evidenced by both of you, the more obvious it becomes that one of you is being transformed from glory to glory by the Grace of Jesus Christ the Righteous, and the other is becoming more delusional, hysterically afraid and illogical by the minute.

  38. RefCal Says:

    Jen wrote:
    “We thought about leaving for over 18 months. Do you know why we didn’t? Because there was no place else to go. We were so indoctrinated by that point that we could not conceive of ever going to another church again.”

    This was so much my experience, except my wife and I thought about leaving for at least twice that long. We finally did leave only when we found somewhere else to go. And we attended both places for over 6 months before we felt free to complete the switch.

    Now that I’m finally free of my former patriarchal church (I quit going back to visit just this month) I wonder why I stayed in so long when I didn’t agree with what was being taught. Partly it was because they were ‘trying to help us,’ which I now see as spiritual abuse.

    I’d love to be reconciled with those dear people we left behind but that would involve them having to admit that the ‘help’ they were giving us (trying to mold us into a perfect family that wasn’t an embarrassment to the rest of the church) actually amounted to spiritual abuse.

    I don’t think that is going to happen.

  39. Del Washburn Says:

    Dear Jen:
    Tonight I did an in depth study on the subject of Patriarchy. I read and studied your three pages on the subject, as well as other articles you had written. I was greatly edified and blessed by the conclusions that you came to. A number of my close friends had become involved a number of years in the cult of Bill Gothard, i.e. “Gothardism.” While Gothard teaches many good things, much of his stuff is way over the line. His understanding of the grace of God is severly defective. As you correctly observe, people fish from the Bible all sorts of stuff and then try to bind Christians to rules ~ obscure principles become commands that must be obeyed unwaveringly. Much of it is derived from the Old Testament. Supposedly, if people follow a list of this many steps here, or that many steps over there, then they will achieve “success” and find “favor” with God. These rules can only lead to blind faith in the “teacher” (who usually sits at the top of the chain of authoritative command), and eventually leads to an Armenian/palagial gospel of salvation by works. Your insights on patriarichy have been so well thought out. Again, I have been greatly edified by your honest study and correct analysis of scripture in this area. Blessings in Christ, Del Washburn

  40. Jen Says:

    Hi Del! Welcome. I’m glad this was beneficial to you.

    I find it interesting that you see that these things eventually lead to Arminianism, as I have found that most Christians I know involved in patriarchy are Calvinists. Perhaps this system just leads to the extremes, both of Arminianists and Calvinists. My thoughts are that this is a works-based sanctification rather than a works-based justification. Looking back now, I was definitely trying to be the “perfect” Christian, although I understood that my salvation was all of God.

  41. Lynn Says:

    Jen, that second to the last sentence you wrote in sums up what many think about Gothard and IBLP — that it is a works based sanctification.

    I know, because I called and asked, btw, that Gothard believes in eternal security . . . I say this because you brought up Calvinism and Arminianism.

  42. Jen Says:

    Lynn, not to get WAY off topic here, but eternal security is different than the perseverance of the saints. Did you ask for a definition? I was brought up to believe in “eternal security,” but I firmly reject the definition of that now.

  43. Marsena Cook Says:

    Wow! Glad I came back to post when I did!

    Corrie and Cynthia, you couldn’t have said it better! This patriarchal way of living simply is not in touch with today’s reality. Under this system, husbands and fathers would have to make a TON of money to support grown daughters living at home with them. And as an African-American homemaking wife and mother, I can tell you that the vast majority of our husbands do NOT have the income of Dr. Voddie Baucham to pay for that way of living.

    The truth is that real-life homemakers choose to do so after having made tremendous sacrifices. I’m not a homemaker because I want an easy life. I’m a homemaker because I don’t want to miss time cuddling with our son; because I no longer want an employer other than myself deciding when I work, when I get paid, etc; because time with my family is more important. That is a choice that both my husband and I have made. And with him studying full-time online for a 2nd Master’s degree, it’s not always easy. But we do our best with the money we do receive, and when we get our driver’s licenses, Tracy will have more part-time job options open to him. But we are by NO means living in the lap of luxury!

    I wish these patriarchal wives/daughters would tell the real story. It’s nice for them to be able to have this ideal life. But everybody can’t do it that way. Every woman is NOT called to be a homemaker. And in this day and age, single women do NOT need to be in dependence mode with their parents. How does relying on Daddy and Mommy to provide for you when you’re an adult prepare you for marriage and family? It’s a crock!

    I do think that home-based businesses can work (I’ve started two of them this year), but they take time to build up to the point where you can live off of the income (haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m trying!). And again, what about women who are not led in that direction?

  44. Lynn Says:

    I’m aware that they are different; Arminians don’t believe in either; Gothard does in one of them and that was my point.

  45. RefCal Says:

    To be even more specific, Gothard believes in unconditional eternal security (i.e. ‘once saved always saved’); Arminians believe in conditional eternal security (‘he who endures to the end shall be saved’).

  46. Corrie Says:

    Marsena,

    I think you DID say it better! 😉 I absolutely love to hear your perspective.

  47. Jen Says:

    The problem I have found with “once saved, always saved” is that there was often not a true salvation to begin with and the person is seriously misled into believing that he is a Christian because he “prayed the prayer.” I am most concerned about people being deceived that they are truly saved when there is no evidence of any fruit in their life — and I’m not talking about Gothard-type fruit!

    Marsena, you have some good points. Not all home-based businesses are very successful either. In fact, the majority are not. That does not mean that I am at all opposed to them, but that how you make a living is an area of freedom! More later.

  48. Lin Says:

    “The problem I have found with “once saved, always saved” is that there was often not a true salvation to begin with and the person is seriously misled into believing that he is a Christian because he “prayed the prayer.” I am most concerned about people being deceived that they are truly saved when there is no evidence of any fruit in their life ”

    This is so true. The problem is the lack of teaching about sanctification or regeneration. People do not know what being saved would ‘look like’ at all.

    They do not even understand that sanctification can look like a curse from God in some people/. They think in terms of material and physical ‘blessings’ when one is saved.

    It is NOT true that Arminians do not believe in both eternal security and perseverence of the saints. Historically, they most certainly have in the SBC. The problem is that the doctrines were married years ago and few understand they are different things yet always go together. There is no sanctification w/out justification or visa versa.

  49. Anne Says:

    http://www.wickedshepherds.com

    New website with spiritual abuse resources.

  50. JJ Says:

    Wow:

    I actually have a few things from DP ministry and I really didn’t get deep into some of the things they had. The Botkins sisters seem interesting.

    I was convinced of courtship and I do not have a homeschooled, patriarchy background. I take what I can and leave the rest. I come from a matriarchy background. Most of the stuff in some homeschooling circles look unrealistic to me. I do agree with honoring my father and my mother, yet one is cultivate a dependence of the Lord, and in loving your parents, you serve them . That means helping out economically as you are able to under their roof. I am under my parent’s roof and I am grateful for that. Most of the women are on their own. I am an exception instead of the rule. Some cultures actually believe in the women being in the home. Nothing is wrong with that, as long as the young lady is worknig and getting her education and helping out in the family. Now, no where in the Bible did you see lazy daughters. The daughters were out their tending livestock, going to the wells to get water, etc. etc. A lot of the women in the Bible did manul labor work in the fields and so forth. It was a far cry from the European appeal shown in the romanticism of what it meant to be a stay at home mother. None of that stuff is in the Bible. Luxury? Only if you were married to the king and in those times the king had concubines and wives. Life is not easy, anything worth it is not easy. Plus, as a man’s helpmeet, a man will not choose a woman sitting around eating bon-bons. But, I actually do think it is Biblical for a woman to be a stay at home mom. The women in my family are working women and I think that children benefit with their mothers being at home with them during the developmental years as much as possible. I don’t like the idea of someone else with the chilldren during those precious times. I also think that college or technical or trate school are good things depending on what you are studying for. The way things are college is more of a money making thing that giving a proper college education. You need to have an education around here, even for agriculture with the technology out there. Plus, $30,000 a year will not work where I live at all. You have to make at least $50,000 single income to survive. Most SAHM in my area are due to husbands making six figure incomes or are CEOs, working Wall Street, Drs or Lawyers or Truckers. To own a home you need 2 income families. Now, a determined man who wants his wife to be home to take care of the children, will have to work hard and really, really sacrifice and just be frugal. And also what about unmarried women who wanted to be married, yet the husand never came? Or if one’s parents’ died? What then? Plus, I actually think children are blessings and the Lord is one who determines how many you have. I am not married and I am not even sure if I am able to conceive a child. I admire women who have more than 2 children. You are looked at funny if you have more than 3 around here. But I live in a typical working middle class area and believe me , it is God’s grace my family and I are not poor. Yet I do get annoyed with the lack of grace towards the poor and/or working middle class. Cause others to covet what you have is not right. Even a godly rich Christian woman is not to have her home in a way to make others covet. There is that consideration for others. Also, Jen I longed for a lot of what you wanted, but guess what? I was basically saying that what God provided for me wasn’t enough. I had to deal with discontentment with where I am and where I was placed. I always struggled with not being good enough in any church. But I have had to rethink about whether what I wanted was becoming an idol. And that wanting good things can become an idol. Where Christ is not enough. I had enough with not having an ideal background. Never feeling up to par with others that had godly families. Wondering if I would be the troublemake disrupting Christian fellowship due to constantly put to death besetting sins that pop up.

  51. Michelle Says:

    Jen, I have been reading your story throughout the day and just finished reading, “How I Became a Two-Fold Son of Hell”. After all you have been through, I’m just excited to read you still believe in God and believe in Jesus as our Savior!!! What happened that made me do a search on Vision Forum and come across your website is, I have just recently been introduced to this sect of Christians because some friends of my husband and I left our church and then immediately started telling us about Vision Forum and giving us some of their materials to listen to. For several months we didn’t think much about it, but then all of the sudden they didn’t want to have much to do with us. My husband and I really felt judged and shunned by them at first, but after giving it a rest, I started wondering what this Vision Forum and the Quiverful Movement was all about. I don’t know, but it all seems borderline Cult, at least to me! I’m such a New Testament Gal though and love God’s grace so much – it truly is AMAZING – and the thought of being under that type of authority in a church sounds like bondage to me!


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