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Sparrows Flutter



Sparrows flutter, falling
And the King of Heaven sees.

 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, 
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
  He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading
of it?”
  So he answered and said, “
‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”  

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” Luke 10

We cover our heads according to first Corinthians eleven.”

I gazed at this solemn young woman, who eyed my bare locks with mournful conviction. She shifted the baby on her hip and spoke again. “I have a book you can read if you want to. It explains why people who are obedient to God cover, and God blesses them.”

I hesitated. At 12, I had only a vague concept of head-covering; most of what I'd seen was pictured in our Mennonite home-schooling curriculum. But the veiling on this new friend was very different; it reminded me of the illustrations of Mary in my mother’s King James Bible.

“Okay . . .” I said.

She sensed my hesitation. “I didn’t want to at first either.” Her voice gained strength. “But then I realized it was only my flesh, and we are called to deny ourselves. I promise you—it's worth it. I feel so much closer to God now, knowing that I am in His will and following the Bible. And knowing I'm protected helps even more.”

We stopped going to traditional church when I was eleven or so, for even they were rampant with worldliness and error. We began meeting with other families at home, and gradually moved from Sunday to Saturday as our Sabbath fellowship grew increasingly conservative.

During these gatherings, forty or fifty people milled about our modest house—not hard with all of the little ones in attendance—or ran around the farmyard. Early in the morning, my sisters and I gathered our biggest pots, monstrous cauldrons capable of bathing small children, and tediously picked through gallons of dried pinto beans to boil with onions, garlic, and spices. As people arrived, gigantic yellow bags of chips and huge blocks of cheese piled on the table. Over time, other families appeared and the studies, topics, and discussions centered more and more around Mosaic requirements, the keeping of feasts, or other traditions which encouraged biblical living. This time of fellowship was fun and enlightening, providing a break from routine; but looking back reveals how easily roots of legalism become twisted around vulnerable elements of the heart.

I both admired and envied that gentle, quiet, covered young woman. She'd married young, and secretly I wondered if she truly did have God’s special blessing for her simple dress and hidden curls. Surely He must love her more, I reasoned, since she faithfully demonstrated self-denial and unworldliness—the absolute pinnacle of virtue.

Godly—everything she was . . .
. . . and it seemed to me, everything I was not.


Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2

Within any type of family, dysfunction casts painful inflictions upon its daughters. But there are many good, homeschooled, conservative Christian girls who bear struggles not witnessed or understood by some of their more mainstream sisters. Whenever humans are involved, sin and frailty slash marks upon the soul—but it is my belief that unbiblical fundamentalism casts unique pain which affects the entire incarnation of womanhood—heart, body, mind, and soul.

Within conservative Christianity, religious subcultures from time to time receive national or world-wide attention from media, secular society, and from curious or skeptical professionals and laypersons, and those who grow alarmed at the increasing immorality of our time. Extreme fundamentalism is largely characterized by those who feel a calling to withdraw from “the world” and to become a “peculiar people” as outlined in Titus 2 and 1 Peter 2, KJV. Made up almost exclusively by large, homeschooling families, those who subscribe to this way of living generally feature most—if not all—of the following traits and practices:

· Patriocentricity

· Quiverfull lifestyle—also known as Militant Fecundity; based on Psalm 127:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. 
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.
Proponents of militant fecundity reject family planning and frequently have six, ten, or more children. Many believe they are bearing children as an army of the Lord, to win the culture war through sheer numbers.
· Adherence to Mosaic Law and Biblical Patriarchy
· Strict, literal interpretation of the Bible, especially of Old Testament precepts
· Promotion of their interpretation as “The Godly Way” or “The Biblical Way” of living
· Focus on religious works, such as manner of dress and keeping of Biblical and man-made traditions
· Family Integrated Church or home fellowship
· Preferring faith and prayer over medical intervention
· Authoritarian Parenting
· Isolationism and agrarianism, “back to the land”
· Extreme sheltering of children from the influence of society and modern culture
· Supporting theology such as Dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism, Theonomy
Dominion theology refers to a line of theological interpretation and thought with regard to the role of the Church in contemporary society. Dominion theology is also known as Christian Reconstructionism and Theonomy. Dominion theology states that biblical Christianity will rule all areas of society, personal and corporate. Christian Reconstructionism reasons that society will be reconstructed by the Law of God as preached in the Gospel and the Great Commission. Theonomy is a post-millennial view believing that all of the moral laws contained in the Old Testament are yet binding today. Although these might sound somewhat disparate, they have all been closely linked together to the point that people often use the terms interchangeably.

Those who hold these views believe that it is the duty of Christians to create a world-wide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law. They believe that Christ will not return to earth until such a kingdom has been established. The principal goal, then, of dominion theology and Christian Reconstructionism is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws, and subsequent punishments, of the Old Testament (the sacrificial and ceremonial laws having been fulfilled in the New Testament). This is not a government system ruled by the Church, but rather a government conformed to the Law of God.

Dominion theology / Christian Reconstructionism is largely based upon a post-millennial view of covenantalism. Post-millennial refers to the belief that Christ will return to earth after the thousand year reign of God's kingdom, and covenantalism refers to the belief that biblical history is divided into three major covenants supposedly described in Scriptureof redemption, of works, and of grace. Adherents believe that we currently exist under the covenant of grace, and that the Church has replaced the nation Israel, and are now in the millennial Kingdom of God. Man, under the covenant of grace, is responsible to rule the world, to hold dominion over it, in obedience to the Laws of God. —From Got Questions?
Fruits of a devastating lifestyle

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part
You will make me to know wisdom. Psalm 51:6 

While some of these elements may have good points within certain parameters, many wreak havoc upon young women—daughters, wives, and mothers who in all practicality, become the “least of these” within such systems. How many of us are troubled by vague aching which cannot be explained? It is like seeing a trail of blood trickling down your arm, yet finding neither a cut nor scrape—no apparent source of wound. This is a very disconcerting phenomenon. Our pain can be like this, and we spend years seeking healing that never truly heals—that never truly makes us whole. We pray and pour effort into religious discipline, hoping that one day God will miraculously eliminate our suffering and agony. But as mentioned in previous articles, the practical, daily practice of these beliefs can result in many of the following symptoms:
· Shame
· Fear
· Overwhelming guilt
· Inadequate or non-existent love, attention, time, affirmation, or affection from parents—in  addition, feeling guilty for needing these things
· Confusion
· Faulty, errant concepts of God and His love
· Exhaustion and lack of motivation
· Neglect
· Sadness and depression
· Perfectionism
· Emotional abuse
· Spiritual Abuse
· Low self-esteem
· Sexual issues
· Codependency
· Lack of boundaries
· Health issues

Deep Calling Deep 

God wants us to know the truth of our pain. Truth is essential to growth, for the healing of hurts and abuses sustained throughout our lives. Acknowledging truth invites lasting wholeness, for it is a turning away from denial perpetuated by the father of lies.

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives 
and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,” Luke 4.
_____
Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths,
where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls . . .” Jer. 6:16

Jesus echoed these words, spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. “Come to Me," says the Son of God, "all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Any requirement from the true God will pass the test of Jesus’ words. He invites us to rest. His heart is gentle and humble; His burden is light. If this does not illustrate your religious path, your daily walk, your theology or lifestyle, then it is possible that you are trapped upon the old way. Not only is your burden inappropriate and unwarranted, it may be holding you back—a stumbling block—from truth, freedom, and grace through Christ.

And the symptoms, the pain, the fruits of legalism and law, will continue until you come, rest.

Yes; I still have struggles which are deep and ache from time to time, but it's different now. He brought me from darkness and death into the light of His presence, mercy, and grace. At last I know what it is to have joy—not the Christian-pop-culture concept of “joy in my heart”, but a deep, resonating element of serenity, shaped by sorrow and refined by the hand of God. He released me from oppressive shadows and birthed me into new life, vibrant life.

I pray the same for you.

He who sees a sparrow fall does not pass by a daughter’s tears.

4 comments:

  1. "sparrows Flutter?" Should be called "Brains lie fallow."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I asked my Pastor about the chapter in Corinthians and this is what he wrote me back:

    Paul's comments in Corinthians concerns a local issue we do not have all the information about.
    Paul is dealing with a number of different conflicts which includes a woman or two who are acting in a manner which is not helpful to the community as a whole. When Paul wrote his letters he did not expect them to become "Sacred Texts". What Paul wrote to the Corinthians was not what he might write to other communities. Without the women, Paul would not have accomplished much in his missionary work.

    A very interesting interpretation of the passage,eh?

    ReplyDelete
  3. amulbunny ~ yes very interesting! I've always found it to be a fascinating study.

    Thy Peace ~
    God bless you.

    ReplyDelete

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