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Friendly Friday

T his week has gone by super fast with lots of excellent material in the blogosphere. Whether you are a newlywed, hope to be married one day, or are celebrating your 25th anniversary, you will love Darcy's hilarious, yet seriously helpful article, "10 Truths About the Man You Marry." If you are a homeschooler or plan to homeschool, Luke Holzmann wants to tell you why "Sonlight Won't Take a Stand" and invites discussion regarding his curriculum's choice to "educate, not indoctrinate." Lewis writes about "Word Games" ~ special, internal language familiar to those within fundamentalism and patriocentric households. For those who love photography, especially when adorable children are involved, visit Adeena's "Life by the Creek." If you or someone you know is caught up within domestic violence, "The Dorcas Network" by Jocelyn Anderson seeks to respond "compassionately, effectively, and Biblically to the sin and trauma of domestic violence."
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Fridays at Quivering Daughters are dedicated to my blogger friends...the ones who take the time to follow this blog or who pen words that inspire, challenge, or encourage me throughout the week. What have you found particularly intriguing or inspiring? Please feel free to leave a link in the comments so others can visit, too! God bless you.

18 comments:

  1. Having read the Lewis definitions, and your own view of Patriarchal "abuse," how should an "abused" daughter also understand how sin nature and selfishness work within her so that she 1)does not become part of the 1Tim.3:2-4 crowd, and 2)does not ignore the sovereignty of God in placing her in that particular home for a higher, divine purpose, as with the unnamed, most probably abused, overworked, underappreciated, under-affirmed (yet sharp and committed to God) Jewess girl who was a slave in Naaman's house 2Kings5:2-4? Is there still such a thing as rebellion? How would you/Lewis define submit, obey, and rebel, etc. so that such definitions are both operative and consistent with Scripture?

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  2. Rebellion is a human thing, not limited to daughters, parents, sons, grandparents, or anyone. We all must seek the Lord and submit to Him and walk obediently, having the Holy Spirit's guidance.

    I can't answer for Lewis.

    1Tim.3:2-4 references children. I address adults and believe there is a difference btw honor and obey: adults can honor parents but this doesn't equal obedience. This also doesn't mean it won't be 'obedience' in some cases, but it does mean that a woman seeking to follow the Lord will seek His will and leading for every situation.

    The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and selfishness. As brothers and sisters in Christ we can encourage one another to righteousness. Some times this means addressing the effects of others on us.

    Absolutely God is sovereign and I believe He does place us where we are...He will reveal His purposes and His will in time. Our responsibility is to seek Him and obey, regardless of the cost. This requires copious amounts of faith, especially when those we love, at the very least don't understand.

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  3. "Having read the Lewis definitions, and your own view of Patriarchal "abuse," how should an "abused" daughter also understand how sin nature and selfishness work within her so that she 1)does not become part of the 1Tim.3:2-4 crowd, and 2)does not ignore the sovereignty of God in placing her in that particular home for a higher, divine purpose, as with the unnamed, most probably abused, overworked, underappreciated, under-affirmed (yet sharp and committed to God) Jewess girl who was a slave in Naaman's house 2Kings5:2-4?"

    First, we have to differentiate between children and adults. If we don't, we place the people being referenced into something of a perpetual childhood. God most certainly wants His children to grow up, learn to discern, and stop having to revisit the elementals. Why wouldn't His children want the same for their children?

    If you continually remind someone of their sin-nature and selfishness, it would seem to me that you're pointing them back toward themselves, making grace into something performance based, and taking the focus off of the sacrifice of Christ. Tell someone they're a failure long enough and convincingly enough, and funny thing, they start to believe it.

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and so can any daughter from a patriocentric family.

    "Is there still such a thing as rebellion?"

    Sure there is. Hillary's answer was awesome.

    "How would you/Lewis define submit, obey, and rebel, etc. so that such definitions are both operative and consistent with Scripture?"

    Regarding adults, the only need for these words to be defined would be so one person could rule over another, ultimately turning our focus away from Christ and toward humans. No man has replaced Christ as our mediator and High Priest. Also regarding adults, these words can't be defined in the context of scripture, because the scripture is explicitly speaking to children of young age, "teknon" and "talitha" when it instructs on obedience.

    God is sovereign, but He's not a puppet-master, nor does He use a cookie-cutter to create us. I don't pretend to know all of His thoughts, ways, and purposes. I do know, however, that I never want to teach a person in such a way as to place their emphasis on obeying and submitting to me at His expense, or that when God speaks to them, they come to me to see if God was right and if it's OK to obey Him.

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  4. In Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, he reiterates the Fifth Commandment (forth for some Christian traditions), but when this passage is preached, people rarely note what Paul said very clearly:

    "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

    Many children have been brought up in something other than the nurture and admonition of the Lord, what some have called an "Evangelical Talmud" which seems to be Biblical but is actually a mentality of fear and sanctification that is earned through works. Paul says here that it is possible to provoke a child to wrath, so he admits that there is a "wrong way" to raise a child, though it seems that the parent believes it to be the "right way."

    Parents bear a heavy burden of responsibility, and they have a duty to their children and to the Lord. That does not absolve children or believers in Christ of their own responsibility to honor the Lord. These are two different issues, and each party does bear a burden of responsibility. But it is wrong to place all duty on the child, stating that the parent is absolved of duty to the child.

    The child's responsibility to a parent also changes when they come of age, and when adult children marry, they are called to leave their parents and cleave to their spouse. This also changes the terms of obedience to parents, because the parental role changes. And to be technical, a married daughter cleaves to her husband, and challenge of this violates a creation mandate. Many parents try to interfere with marriages in this way, another way of provoking wrath from children.

    If a grown child has an opportunity to be freed from their oppression, Paul also teaches that slaves should seek opportunities to free themselves (1 Cor 7:21). Sometimes it is God's higher plan and purpose to liberate adult children from oppressive situations by way of leaving their families, particularly if the homes are oppressive and interfere with that individual's relationship with God and the calling of God on their life.

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  5. "If a grown child has an opportunity to be freed from their oppression, Paul also teaches that slaves should seek opportunities to free themselves (1 Cor 7:21)."

    Cindy...That's such an important point you make.

    No one should willingly submit themselves to a situation of bondage or slavery. Christ didn't desire for His followers to be slaves, but friends. The scriptures tell us explicitly that we are NO LONGER slaves to our sin-nature, but the Son has set us free...indeed. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. So many scriptures that compel us to move past the slavery of our old nature and grow in the liberty and freedom of Christ's sacrifice and the companionship of the Comforter.

    A man, or authority figure, who would stand in the way of that freedom and companionship operating to the fullest extent would seem to be putting himself, or themselves, at odds with the Lord.

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  6. Please, Cindy, define "oppression" as you are using it, and such that an unmarried daughter living under her father's roof and being supported by his bread, and being watched over and protected by his prayerful and loving desire for her sucess, would not find opportunity in every whim of the enemy to say that she is oppressed just because she is not getting expressly what she wants, when she wants it, regardless of the issues involved.
    Lewis, apparently you are not familiar with Heb. 13:17?

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  7. "Lewis, apparently you are not familiar with Heb. 13:17?"

    I'm very familiar with it. It's one of the first scriptures that is generally dished out to me when I've dealt with patriocentric people in the last two years.

    I'm genuinely not sure how it applies. It isn't a license for those in authority to lord it over their flock. It also, in no way whatsoever, applies to a father concerning adult children. I don't like to use the bible as an oppressive weapon, or throw out certain verses with the intention of bringing the listener/reader under subjection. When I do so, I'm attempting to circumvent the genuine authority of God and control others through His word.

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  8. I'll let Cindy speak for herself, but if I may answer your comments, anonymous, as if they were directed toward me...

    According to the Random House dictionary...

    oppression: the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner/an act or instance of oppressing/the state of being oppressed/the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc

    When a father exercises authority over an adult child (or a pastor/deacon/elder over the flock) that the bible doesn't give him and society certainly doesn't give him, and does so in the name of the Lord, I think this definition works.

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  9. Anonymous said...

    Please, Cindy, define "oppression" as you are using it, and such that an unmarried daughter living under her father's roof and being supported by his bread, and being watched over and protected by his prayerful and loving desire for her sucess, would not find opportunity in every whim of the enemy to say that she is oppressed just because she is not getting expressly what she wants, when she wants it, regardless of the issues involved.

    June 22, 2010 8:41 PM


    Anonymous,

    I'm almost reluctant to answer here as, from the way you've phrased things, I don't think that you will likely find any of my responses to be satisfactory. I don't wish to promote antagonism, and if we disagree, I would ask that we do so agreeably.

    Oppression can mean a host of things, and that is up to the individual to decide. In the broadest sense, it is the opposite of liberty. Individuals who wish to investigate that further can pull open a lexicon and study liberty on their own.

    I see two other issues at play in your question.

    First, does a child or even individual believers have any rights at all? There are religious traditions such as the one Bill Gothard teaches wherein he maintains that no believer has any rights. Therefore, in the absence of rights, that which determines what is "right" in terms of overstepping someone else's "right" falls to hierarchy and authority. I wholeheartedly disagree with this interpretation of Scripture, so this might be a point upon which we can agree to disagree.

    Second, your question also seems to imply that an unmarried daughter (one who I assume is an adult) who is supported by a father has no rights because his general intentions toward his daughter are good, the daughter would then have no cause to complain about anything? You've also framed the question out as though no young woman could have a legitimate complaint, but could only be expressing rebellion or selfish desire.

    I don't believe that there are any static answers here, as each family and relationship would be unique. I believe that providing financial support for an adult daughter does not absolve that daughter of all rights, and she is entitled to as much liberty in Christ as her father is. Support does not absolve a parent of duty to a child or to a fellow believer in Christ, as an adult daughter certainly does become a fellow believer. The father does not have liberty to mistreat his daughter. The definition of what constitutes mistreatment is an individual matter within that relationship and with the Lord. I certainly believe that fathers can intend well and may not realize that he has truly offended his child, and that child could certainly have legitimate complaints against him. But in many families, the daughter is forbidden to voice them.

    I hope that this clarifies matters a bit for you. If you have concerns about what constitutes mistreatment, abuse. or oppression, I would suggest that you take the matter up with a local mentor or pastor to further explore the questions.

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  10. Oopps! Forgot the best part:


    Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    2Cor. 3:17

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  11. Sometimes, this situation explains why it can be so difficult to be very honest with ourselves, a strategy that many people learn to use to avoid rejection by those they love. People can learn to pretend that the conflict does not exist.

    From The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulations Other People Use to Control your Life by Dr. Robin Stern:

    So why are we so attracted to this idea of unconditional love? Well, many of us have found love a disappointing experience. Our family members, friends, and lovers haven't always treated us so well. We may have grown up with parents who failed us. . . We may come to feel, consciously or unconsciously, that love really isn't an option for us, that we'll never meet anyone who's actually capable of giving to us generously and caring for us with empathy and support.

    Out of this painful fear, we may try to solve the problem all on our own by re-creating ourselves as strong, self-sufficient, and all-powerful. In effect, we try to short-circuit our loved ones' shortcomings by becoming better people ourselves. Instead of looking clearly at a parent, lover, or friend and asking ourselves what this person is really capable of, we hold on to a fantasy of what the relationship could be, with all the focus on our own part in it. Instead of looking at how we actually feel in a relationship -- satisfied or empty? loved or neglected? -- we cling to a fantasy of how we would feel if only we were less selfish, more giving, more loving. And so we leave ourselves wide open to gaslighting. As long as there is any part of us that believes we need our gaslighter to feel better about ourselves, to boost our confidence, or to bolster our sense of who we are in the world, we're gaslightees just waiting for our gaslighters.

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  12. Lewis said,"Regarding adults, the only need for these words to be defined would be so one person could rule over another, ultimately turning our focus away from Christ and toward humans." Then, I point you to Scripture which uses 'those words' (submit and obey) in a very powerful and clear way, and all you do is 1)"I'm genuinely not sure how it applies," and 2)tell what you think it doesn't mean. At least Hillary tries to give respect to Scripture in her posts/responses.

    The text, and context, make a few points very plain. 1)There are people (adults) who God says are "watching the souls" of other adults; 2)The adults being watched are told to obey and submit to these 'soul-watchers', with the end being that the watchers can give a good report of how they "watched" = giving direction, rebuking, reproving, exhorting, etc. 3)hence, I should be obeying and submitting to at least someone, if not maybe a few - maybe, as an adult, since God has a)commanded it in this Scripture, b)is holding someone else accountable for what I end up doing. You, Lewis, said that the ONLY way those words are used is to turn people AWAY from Christ. I pointed out the passage to you, and you still come out defensive, defensive, defensive. However, the passage is quite clear that God does use other humans to direct and lead us, and that we are to be "OBEDIENT" and SUBMISSIVE" to them. Hence, since God DOES have such people, why could not my father, who loves me and prays for me, and is conscious day and night about my welfare and success as an ADULT child, not be one of those humans?
    Cindy, I have heard Gothard teach the section on rights that you refer to,(4x at basic seminars) but never did he imply or suggest to apply it the way you have. I suggest you are very much missing the point of his lesson, as well as the balance that exists between "yeilding our personal rights to Christ" (as per Gal.2:20, Col.3:30) and the high respect and regard which is commanded all believers to show to others -as per the 2nd greatest commandment. You may also not appreciate how that parents who are aware of that issue, can see how we adult children still struggle in that area, and can benefit from the teachings and reminders that we each need to die to self, deny self, remember that we are not our own-we have been bought with a price. We adult children would be wise to take advantage of such instruction, for our own sakes, regardless of where the rebuke comes from. As proverbs teachs, a wise man receives a rebuke!

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  13. Cindy, that one reference should be Col.3:3. I mistakenly typed an extra "0". There is no verse 30 in Col. 3. Mea culpa.

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  14. Anonymous...

    I didn't devalue the scripture in any fashion. I merely made it clear that it's a favorite of authoritarians. I covered it very in-depth on my blog.

    Hebrews 13:17 has to be read with the presupposition that these authority figures are diligent in pointing people to Christ and relying on the entire counsel of His word, or else the scripture loses any and all meaning. It isn't referencing those who assume and exercise authority that God hasn't given them, straying from scripture into their own ideas and the ideas of other men.

    I respect my pastor and his authority within our fellowship. If he strays beyond his God given authority, I'll cease to respect it, and it would be foolish for me to respect it. His obligation is to exhort, encourage, teach, and point to Christ. Not to micro-manage the lives of the flock or rule over their life decisions.

    The same is true of fathers and adult children. A father has NO God given right, whatsoever, to meddle in the lives of his adult children, or to replace Christ as their High Priest and Mediator.

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  15. "Hence, since God DOES have such people, why could not my father, who loves me and prays for me, and is conscious day and night about my welfare and success as an ADULT child, not be one of those humans?"

    I guess he could. That's between you and him. He'd just have no scriptural basis for doing it or instruction to do it, so it wouldn't be fair to the Lord to place His signature on it.

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  16. "You, Lewis, said that the ONLY way those words are used is to turn people AWAY from Christ. I pointed out the passage to you, and you still come out defensive, defensive, defensive."

    My exact quote was...

    "Regarding adults, the only need for these words to be defined would be so one person could rule over another, ultimately turning our focus away from Christ and toward humans."

    There's a big difference in what I said and the way you've represented what I said.

    If a pastor/authority figure is going out of his way to make sure I know what submit and obey mean in Hebrews 13:17 in relation to his authority, we're already in a dysfunctional dynamic and he's probably not an authority that's gonna have my respect, as he's trying to make me focus on him, my role in relation to his, his own power over me, et cetera, and my personal relationship with God through Christ, and the intimate, personal work of the Holy Spirit within my life, neither of which are dependent on any human authority, get left behind in the rabble.

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  17. Anonymous,

    As previously stated, I do not ascribe to Gothard's doctrine, specifically concerning sanctification and his subtle redefinition of grace. I've discussed several aspects of these topics on my blog, if you want explore the specific issues that I take with his teachings. In short, I reject his system as I believe it favors sacerdotalism. I believe that Hebrews 10 in particular indicates that every individual presents his or herself directly before Our High Priest, and that an individual answers only for for their own sins. Our Righteous Judge considers our culpability individually, not looking to the outward things but also judges the intent of the heart as only He can. When I answer before God for my life and every idle word, no earthly authority will be there to make intercession for me, only Christ. My sanctification process is governed by the indwelling Holy Spirit as the Word works in me to transform me into the Image of Christ.

    I'm not interested in exploring this at this time or in this venue after having already devoted much attention to these doctrines, as you clearly have as well. That stated, I don't believe I've missed any points Gothard has taught, in theory or in practice.

    However, I am troubled by the implication that if I do not share your doctrine, I'm esteemed as though I have no consideration for particular Scriptures or have glibly overlooked them. I believe instead that I hold a different interpretation concerning "saving" or "intramural" doctrine within the pale of orthodoxy. For example, I believe that an adult can certainly both show due and appropriate respect and mutual submission in the faith to a parent as both a parent and fellow believer, yet still disagree with that parent and choose their own course. I believe that this same adult can make such a choice and still be within the range of the good, perfect, and/or the acceptable will of God at the same time.

    I think that we do share agreement on the essentials, but concerning these matters related to sanctification and authority, we will have to respectfully agree to disagree. I look forward to the day when the Spirit brings us together in the knowledge of the truth.

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