We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.
When any professing church body says to the LORD, "Give us a king to rule over us", this is his reply: "Do everything the people request of you (speaking to Samuel). For it is not you that they have rejected as their king, but it is me that they have rejected as their king....but carefully warn them and make them aware of the policies of the king who will rule over them...he will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run out in front of his chariot. He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plough his ground, reap his harvest and make his weapons of war............He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be HIS servants......." 1 Sam.8: 6-18 ("his" is used approx. 13 times in 7 verses - pretty evident who the LORD says this king is about.)
I was thinking about this last night, and yes, it's kind of a conspiracy theory type thing...maybe I watch too much tv. I am wondering who (pastors at MH) took the IV supplements. Because if they are all the same pastors that stood up to Driscoll recently...why did they do that (open their eyes) after they stopped going to this quack? Seems like something out of the Manchurian candidate...or...I am way over thinking this. But I must say, it wouldn't surprise me at this point.
Only one of the 9 pastors who signed that letter was a lead pastor... Drew Hensley, U District.
What does that mean to you? Does it suggest that the further "in" you get the more silenced and subservient you become?
The more I see, the less I can understand the silence and the subservience. Where is the fear of God in any of it?
I can only conclude it's either a love of power and money, or the reality of living under abuse... as others have said, like a woman who stays in an abusive relationship. If we weren't talking about a church, there might be other options. Maybe others can point out other possible reasons, but nothing else makes sense to me.
It's crushing to me that the men we trusted as godly leaders were completely embroiled in this godless mess and continued to hold it up to us as "all about Jesus."
I have seen quite a few abused women struggling to survive in abusive relationships (especially during my very short time as a therapist - M.Ed in counseling at-risk-youth). Who knows all the ins and outs of how they/we got there? However, all are naïve; often projecting their own dream onto another reality. In getting to know them, they are compliant outwardly (not inwardly), weary, sweet, forbearing, wounded, yet trapped and disabled from taking action except to continue in the abusive cycle of rewards and punishment. They try so hard to hold things together but the fog is often too dense for them to see clearly enough to get themselves or others dependent upon them out. It seems a similar thing is happening w/ the men/women leading at M.H. who are at the local level we are privy to. Glory to God - He leads some out.
edited for punctuation.
Thank you, Denise, for your compassionate responses here and elsewhere. As grievous as the situation is with the church as a whole, I am most concerned and heartbroken for Mark's wife and kids. Controllers are typically charming and present a good face to the world but are very different in the privacy of their own homes. With his behavior and attitudes so public and his empire spiraling out of his control, I can only imagine that the pressure on many fronts for Grace is incredible. Although I doubt Grace is at a place to see the dynamics involved, she and the kids need our prayers and support.
amen Joan. Have you ever read the autobiography of Jeanne Guyon? She lived w/ a hard, cold man yet God used her so powerfully throughout France at the time. I think of her often when I think of Christian women in spiritually and or emotionally abusive relationships. It's a powerful book of God pouring out his sweetness, power, and courage upon the weak and minimized. http://www.amazon.com/Madam... Thanks for the encouragement to pray for Grace and their children more.
I have not heard about Jeanne Guyon but she looks like an amazing woman. I will check out her books. I love learning about women like her - we have such a rich legacy that we are not nearly familiar enough with. Thanks! :))
I've had the same concern, Joan, for Grace and the kids. Without anyone else around to take Mark's abuse, I fear they may be taking the full brunt of it. I hope I'm wrong.
Here is an open letter to Grace that my friend wrote over a year ago. More people need to be concerned over Grace. I won't get into the reasons that I think people decide that there is nothing to be concerned about.
Thanks for the link, Mara. It is a good letter and great to read from Charis again. She used to post a lot on CBE's blog where I have seen her.
I miss Charis. I don't see much of her anymore. But we were good support buddies back in the day.
We used to hashed things out concerning what men said about women verses what God said about women.
Here is her old blog where we and a few others used to hang out.
It is no longer active. But it is a good record of past conversations and iron sharpening iron among women.
Thanks for the link. Soo glad you had the support you needed.
Thank you for that, Mara.
The blog also led me to a great blog post by Rachel Held Evans, someone I am coming to admire more and more, about Esther and Vashti: the real story.
I sense a mighty pushback against these so-called complimentarian false teachings as powerful women of God in America find their voices and discover the true value of who they are in Christ.
Insecure, machismo, Neanderthal men beware. This may be worse for you than was feminism.
Jesus came to set people free.
Those who use the Gospel to enslave others don't represent Jesus. They are walking on thin ice and in danger of entertaining the spirit of Anti-Christ, or the opposite of what Jesus taught. Strong words, I know. Perhaps wrong and misplaced.
But at the very least, the Compism that Driscoll and all push is based on masculine fear and insecurity. It is an instrument used to protect men against the "evil feminine" or "Jezebel" that somehow has the power to suck the testosterone right out of them. Those men are wrong and the message they preach represent their own fears, not God's heart.
http://frombitterwaterstosw...Yes, Neanderthal men, beware. People are seeing through your false gospel and getting free in spite of you, not because of you.
Thank you for the link. Jock strap religion indeed, so false. And that's exactly what I was attempting to express, calling it "so-called complimentarian" because it really isn't "complimentary," it's insecure men twisting scripture to keep women in bondage, to the detriment of both men and women! And then they can cry, "feminazi!" or worse, "liberal!" to silence dissent and remain stunted in their own insecurities. God forbid they'd ever try some introspection and let God reveal why they feel so intimidated by strong women.
I have no doubt that some people, like the ones at my old church, sincerely believe this interpretation of Ephesians and are trying to be obedient. And I saw no chest thumping or demeaning attempts to silence women, and did see a respect for women and the gifts they brought to ministry. But there was definitely an understanding that women had certain roles and men had others. Our pastor's wife only taught during women-only gatherings, never the church as a whole. And of course praise and worship included women musicians and singers. I always feel God's presence most strongly at church during praise and worship, maybe cause we're all doing it together or perhaps because I have always been moved by music.
In any case, thanks again for the links. Looking forward to new experiences and growth in Christ!
"Roles" is just another word for legalism. And the "laws" for what defines each role are a million and one and keep shifting.
It is so weird to hear this discussed as all I've ever been taught is complimentarianism. I've been brought up in it from my first days in Christ 8 years ago. Every church I've attended has embraced it enthusiastically. Those are the circles the LORD placed me in. To wonder outside that box is interesting. The journey with Him is a path. It's a way....when we are finally outside the M.H. box It will be interesting to study it. Of course, in my reading of scripture I have agreed with the interpretation of the pastors I've been under ... until M.D.
There are many places in christianity where what is weird is this gender role/complementarianism bs. it is completely foreign and odd, seen as totally unnecessary.
It IS totally unnecessary. A hindrance to the Gospel. Yet those who push it make it a salvation issue.
I started my Christian walk in the Bible belt, where conservatism in theology and politics reigns. Although I'd never heard of the word "complimentarianism," I can look back and see how this was the understanding of Ephesians 5:21-27 in observing the roles the pastors and elders and their wives played in the church and in their personal lives.
I was never really troubled by the sermons my pastor gave on the subject, as he was a very humble man and was careful to acknowledge the controversial nature of this section of scripture. He also emphasized the rest of Ephesians 5 that follows verse 27 just as much as the "wives be submissive to your husbands" part.
Mars Hill and other advocates of conservative complimentarianism have taken this way too far, imo. They're taking a couple verses and using them to justify misogyny, sexism, and treatment of women that stifles spiritual growth and makes cowering, timid creatures out of women who should be rejoicing in their freedom in Jesus Christ! And proclaiming the Good News to ALL!
Plus, as we have seen in this case, churches that completely discount and stifle one half of the church's Body are unhealthy breeding grounds for all sorts of "shenanigans." Women of God have special gifts too, including wisdom!
I'm now willing to rethink the entire section of Ephesians as it has been taught to me, starting by examining the verses in their historical context.
If you don't mind a little encouragement, my husband (pastor/teacher) suggested a book: Woman in the Bible by Mary Evans. Very good exegesis. Another simple thing you can do while waiting for a book to arrive is to read Ephesians with no breaks or titles. Just one long document. You might be able to do this by cutting and pasting from a bible program into a word document. That step alone will make a huge difference.
I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion about reading Ephesians in its totality!! Too many people ignore the theology/Christology that Paul talks about in the first half of the letter when they read Eph 5.
Clay and Denise, if you are up for it, I would also recommend that you look up the Greek words as well, since a lot of meaning is lost when translated into English. It does make a difference. Here is a good place http://www.perseus.tufts.ed...
Click on each word to go to the lexicon.
Additionally, Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) has tons of free articles and other resources to explore. http://www.cbeinternational...
God's Word to Women is also a good site with free articles http://godswordtowomen.org/...
How cool!! Thank you!
Oh my gosh. I just started playing around with the Tufts Greek word study tool. I think I've died and gone to heaven.
LOL!!! Yay nerds and etymology!
Nerds, nerds, nerds, nerds! ;)
Yes absolutely up for it. I love learning about the original Greek (and Hebrew) words used in the Bible. So many more layers of meaning under the imperfect, imo, English translations. Studied linguistics as an undergrad as part of my major- they were some of my favorite classes.
Thanks for the links, much appreciated!
Deleted, accidentally responded to myself.
With your background you should have a lot of fun with this! :)) I enjoy it too. Yes I am a "nerd."I forgot to mention that the small words (1 2- 3- 4-letters) should not be overlooked. They can be significant.
Thanks for the tip. Yes, fellow nerd here. Have had my nose in books ever since I can remember. I used to read the dictionary and our set of encyclopedias for fun when I was young. Think you have to be some sort of nerd to enjoy etymology. :)
Thank you (and your husband) for the suggestion. I read a review of the book and it sounds really good. The author's credentials are impressive as well. Just ordered a used copy from Amazon- had another book just sitting in my cart anyway.
And thank you for the suggestion re: reading the whole of Ephesians without titles or breaks. Probably best to do that first anyway, praying for God's guidance as I do so. Thank you!
I might order "the readers bible" that I saw a CCEF this past weekend in San Diego. No verse distinctions. Thank you for that tip. What a revolutionary rebellious person you must be to suggest such a thing!!
Also, Gilbert Bilezikian has 2 good books:
How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership and
Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman's Place in Church and Family
"How I Changed My Mind..." is by Alan Johnson and Dallas Willard not Bilezikian, but yes it is very good.
I have not read "Beyond Sex Roles" but I have read other articles by Bilezikian and he is amazing.
Well, that entirely makes sense, as you can see from the discussion I was bringing my husband in as one who suggests fabulous books on any theological subject. When we saw on Wikipedia that Bilezikian authored "How I Changed my Mind ....", R. was surprised, noting that was news to him.
Now we see that Wikipedia was wrong *gasp* and since this is the second time I've messed up on an author, I'd better go on notice! (His own website was the next link, why didn't I just go there?) And just discussing it makes me want to go digging through the bookshelves and start reading these again.
Thanks for fixing it.
Thank you. The idea is both terrifying and wonderfully liberating...wonder which one is Jesus??? :)
Jesus is both :))
I was just responding to Gracie's comment which seemed to say that the men who signed the letter had likely been participants of the wellness program. Most of those who signed the letter were not lead pastors, so they would not have been invited into the wellness program which was only offered to lead pastors and the EE.
that "lead pastor" word is beginning to grate on me like gravel in my shoe.
Respectfully, I'd have to say that sounds like the insomnia talking. Also, that would suggest that the problems with the money dealings aren't that big of a deal. But, for all the issues facing Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill, the financial misdeeds are probably the most provable, with real evidence.
I know...it just seems so...coincidental to me.
So Justin Dean is saying the cost (100k) was overstated by 85%. Wouldn't that mean that the cost was $15k, not $54k?
No. Using y as the actual amount, the formula is y + .85 times y = 100000.
Y then equals $100000 divided by 1.85 or $54,054.
Thank you for showing the actual math. It makes sense, looking at it that way. I would have been one of those who looked at it and came up with $15k.
Me too, and honestly it still doesn't make sense to me which is what I believe he was banking on. This compounds the issue of how non-transparent and deceptive the leaders can be in this church.