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An Unnecessary Jesus?

T he day I began to write about domestic spiritual abuse and the abusive aspect of modern patriarchy, especially within the Christian homeschooling movement, initiated a response I've heard repeatedly since: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." It hasn't always been clear whether people mean to say "Don't throw Jesus away just because some Christians misrepresent the gospel" or "Don't throw away patriarchy because of patriocentrists" or "Just because there might be some bad, there's good too" or "Don't have a knee-jerk reaction to something that has a lot of good, just because some people may do it wrong." I would like to humbly state that my entire goal is to actually get to that baby ~ at least, the One born of the virgin Mary who became for us the water of life. Not that He needs rescuing, but because He's being pushed away until we're left with a murky sludge, poisonous, thick, and served with God's name in a 'biblical' chalice.

The water of death.   
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-8)
Patriocentricity is spiritual abuse. It is a false gospel. It preaches a different Jesus and renders the Way, Truth, and Life, who is our only Priest and Sacrifice and Mediator, unnecessary. In his latest article, my friend Lewis  reminds us that the veil in the temple was ripped by God at the crucifixion of Jesus, and then writes of patriocentricity:
...Sewing up the veil, stitch after stitch, until soon, their wives and children are once again separated from a loving, caring, forgiving, and readily accessible (through Christ) God. Men defying scripture to become "high priest of the home". Unfortunately for this methodology, the Spirit of God doesn't reside in a temple made by man (Acts 17:24) and doesn't dwell in the "home". This negates the need for any "high priest of the home", as the high priest, literally defined, is one who deals with God on behalf of the people. WE are the temple. I repeat...WE are the temple. WE, through the completed work of Christ, house the Spirit of God within us. There is ONE who deals with God on our behalf: Jesus Christ (1st Timothy 2:5). All of the scripture speaks against the notion of "the high priest of the home". It's a dangerous, destructive, and spiritually abusive idea. No more need for a high priest. We have a perfect and eternal High Priest who doesn't need our help. His work is complete.
Lewis calls this, rightly, "Patriarchal Apostasy."
If you take Jesus out of the equation, their authoritarian culture doesn't change. If you take the authoritarian culture out of the equation, they have no Jesus. It IS their Jesus.
Dear friends, this is serious! In the true Jesus and His gospel there is simplicity.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:13-15)
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Gal. 3:1-4)
Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 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. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Cor. 3:12-16)
God Himself ripped the veil. The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands. He has poured out His Spirit on all who believe ~

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:16-18,emphasis added)

Prophets are, in part, servants of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit, speaking truth. But, "Do not quench the Spirit," Paul warns. "Do not despise prophecies. Test all things, hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." Those who work to repair the veil and who quench the Spirit in the lives of those seeking to follow the true Christ serve the worst kind of evil...it is evil bathed in light.

This isn't about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
It's about spiritual warfare. 

39 comments:

  1. Fruit speaks louder than words.
    Matt. 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

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  2. Awesome.
    I just read Lewis's article too and he said it so well.

    I never thought of "Don't throw the baby out of the bathwater" as anything but, "Keep Jesus and lose the 'extras' others try to add to Him."

    Glad you pointed out to me that there are other versions. I won't throw this statement around lightly. Will probably quit using it at all.

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  3. True about the fruits. You know the legalists love to use this verse to prove that if you don't have "fruit" like them, then you aren't a true follower of Christ.

    However, these verses are directly speaking to the *TEACHERS*...not the disciples. False teachers, false prophets. We are to look at the teachers and "prophets" fruits. Let's measure up their fruit to what the Word of God really does say. ♥

    Heather ♥

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  4. "I would like to humbly state that my entire goal is to actually get to that baby ~ at least, the One born of the virgin Mary who became for us the water of life."

    Amen and amen. I love that line in response to "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

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  5. Love it!

    I think it was Tozer who asked, "If the Holy Spirit didn't show up where you worship, what would be different?" (Words to that effect, probably better ones.) If the answer is nothing, you're doing it wrong.

    Also, 2 Cor 11:3-4: "But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ [one of my favorite phrases ever, right there]. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully."

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  6. Ha! I did throw out the baby when I left organized religion and i kept the bathwater of rigid, ritual adherence to rules: just rules for all the back to the land, home birthing, getting away from Big Pharma and other corporate oligarchs. I got there through completely non-Christian non-religious paths but I ended up in the same unloving, unspiritual, place preaching loudly to the not-quite-as-holy.

    My journey this last year has been about actually throwing out ALL the bathwater by whatever name it is called and refocusing my energy on the Source. Even though my family is happy not to have to try to live up to my standards anymore, even they are confusing my efforts as just another trade in addictions.

    I try to explain that I traded addictions before--became a "dry Christian" as it were--but that this time I'm actually trying to "do the Steps". I suppose they feel as though they've heard all this before. And it really will come down to what Fruit they see in me over time: will I actually become more loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, gentle, kind, ....

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  7. Hillary, I read this to my husband. He, too, loved your opening paragraph. Well put!

    When I got down to the scripture from Acts 2, he said...in his typical tongue in cheek fashion..."aww...what does he know? I mean...hey...he only wrote part of the bible, right?"

    Getting back to the baby. You go, girl!

    Sorry you have all the spam. :-( Sometimes people just cannot accept that there just might be another side to something that they don't see. It is even harder to accept it when to do so may cause them to lose their circle of friends and community.

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  8. "Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up." (John 15:13; ESV)

    If something doesn't come from our Father in Heaven, He will "root it up" from our lives, rather we like it or not. This is slowly happening to me, and it's quite a painful and confusing undertaking.

    I'm still slowly reading your book and learning so much from it.

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  9. "Those who work to repair the veil and who quench the Spirit in the lives of those seeking to follow the true Christ serve the worst kind of evil...it is evil bathed in light."


    Another great point. Sometimes that which wears the uniform of virtue and purity is the nothing more than evil, even when those involved are blind to it. Very symptomatic of patriarchy.

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  10. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments and patience with moderation...truthfully I don't like having it enabled and will hopefully remove it successfully after spambots realize its hopeless. :-) So please continue to leave your thoughts. :-)
    ____

    Queen ~ great to see you, and I agree that the uprooting can be very painful. And yet, there is hope:
    Jer. 17:7,8 7 “ Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
    And whose hope is the LORD.
    8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
    Which spreads out its roots by the river,
    And will not fear when heat comes;
    But its leaf will be green,
    And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
    Nor will cease from yielding fruit."

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  11. And speaking of fruit ~ that is GOOD fruit. :-)

    Sandra, your family will see it. Stay steadfast and strong. Bless you as you sort through all of the lies and cling to your Source. {{hugs}}

    Abigail, Eric, Lewis, Heather, and Mara ~ thanks for the encouragement. Please pray, for these things are serious, and prevalent, and so many are left aching. :-(

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  12. Hillary, I love your words. I was thinking of the scripture today that says when the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    Praying for your life and work to keep bearing good fruit, fruit that lasts and brings honor to God.

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  13. I appreciate the point of the veil being sewn back up. This is what happens, and Lewis writes it so well. I had never thought of it in word pictures that way.

    I also completely agree with your last statement, Hillary. It is about "spiritual warfare".

    The religious spirit, in my opinion, is found across the entire Body of Christ in varying degrees. It is fueled by pride of Christian human beings who need to humble themselves in the sight of God. This precious promise is spoken in Hebrews.

    It is only when we repent that we can then be lifted up by God, only then. Humility is the one lethal human choice against pride and the subsequent demonic invasion which comes into our Christian borders through strongholds like the religious spirit.

    I hope and pray those in the Patriarch Movement and Quiverfull Movement whom have strayed from the grace of God through Jesus Christ will come back into the fold. All it takes is humility.

    I internally weep and pray for Quivering Daughters. May there be healing and restoration for them through our Precious Lord Jesus Christ. May they know the beauty of the light burden and yoke and the marvelous fellowship of our Comforter Holy Spirit each day as they are delivered from the evil. May they be able to turn, and forgive the sin of movements which have afflicted them with arrogance of false doctrine, and may they pray for revival too. In Jesus' Name...

    It IS very simple, thank you for saying so Hillary. It is equally very serious. When our Lord Jesus Christ returns, (and He does so at times in history though this is not the time of His coming in the clouds as spoken in Revelation) it is a blessed and fearful thing. Your book and the other authors surrounding you are reaching out to the broken in spirit. I say I hope those who are in arrogance take note unto repentance and change.

    I am praying for you daily, and I scan read much of your book last night.

    Love and blessings,
    Cara

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  14. I appreciate Lewis' point of the veil being sewn back up. What a vivid word picture this is.

    I agree completely that it IS about a spiritual war, Hillary. I feel the Religious spirit (demonic) is fueled by the pride of human beings. This IS serious.

    I read a lot of your book last night, Hillary, and I am thankful to God that you as well as the other authors whom you are using on your blog and in your book are doing what you are. I am blessed and encouraged by your balance.

    I pray for you and Quivering Daughters. I equally pray for those whom need to repent. It is only when we humble ourselves in the sight of God that we can be lifted up.

    Blessing to you today...Cara

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  15. AMEN. My husband and I came out of a less sever environment ('church') but it nearly destroyed our family nevertheless. They called it Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Give me Jesus anday! So glad we're free in him now and so much happier. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  16. I, too, just want to be able to get to the baby - to Jesus. I put sooo many things ahead of Him. I'm so glad He is patient with me!

    Thanks, Hillary, for putting this so well.

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  17. Sorry about the spam. :-( Thanks for being willing to do the extra work!

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  18. Thank you for stopping by, Jul, and welcome to my blog!

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  19. I suggest that the "baby with the bathwater" idiom means that there is an aspect of a situation being dealt with which has truth and/or value, and that the surrounding aspects which may be undesireable should not be allowed to obliterate that true and valueable thing which is in the midst of the undesireable.
    Relative to your message and posts (which I have and do read) it is quite obvious that the great and wonderful truth of Ex.20:12 is regularly and carelessly discarded with the bathwater of parental failure to affirm their children. It is obvious that the choice of a great and loving, all-knowing God to put you, Hillary, and Lewis - and Lewis' former 'interest', and other such "abused" and "oppressed" daughters, into such abusive and oppressive homes was not a good thing and was not done by Him to build in you(all) the character of Christ and to demonstrate that Christlike character first in that family where He put you. I could paste quotes from many of the posts and comments that show the Truth-Jesus working thru the parents He chose-being thrown out with the weak understanding of "liberty" and "freedom" and -sadly defiled understandings of "grace." "There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother."Pr.30:11. "Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." Pr.23:22. The "baby" of Bethlehem, whom you discuss your attempts to find, are equally the Word of these Scriptures also. Find Him there.

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  20. Hillary, this is so right on! I have been studying just the last few days about the veil being torn again and love this part, but it is resonating again in a new and deep way in regards to oppression and guilt... letting it all go for freedom and the generous healing light! I definitely do not like seeing the shadow in the door between me and God.. so it is divine timing that I am here again.

    So much sludge is wanting to come back again in my life for that final cleansing to be free of my overly authoritative past..and bathed, fully immersed in not just clear water as I did for my baptism 5 years ago ... but now to be bathed in this pure Love knowing what it has done in depth for me...

    I actually wondered how you can do this ministry task just the last few days, and this post answers it for me.. because just working through this all in segments is so painful, but God has truly given you strength, and extra healing for your wings. I thank God for you, and pray his blessing over you as you continue to touch so many wounded hearts!

    It has been so tough and yet comforting to be here and share in these topics and connect to small aha's and try not to be overwhelmed by the fear and guilt that wants to take over again. I want that root out and to truly experience the glory and the light, and the full blossoms! A lot of tug-of-war right now.. against old programmed thoughts, and now, trusting my own inner process.. completely, and standing against the other calling it out as untruthful.

    Thank you, thank you for all that you are doing.. I absolutely love the part you shared that We are the Temple and the beginning about saving the Baby (the hope, and peace of the world).. this portion below really is so beautiful and resonates with where I am at with connecting more intimately with Mary's role to make her Son shine.

    "I would like to humbly state that my entire goal is to actually get to that baby ~ at least, the One born of the virgin Mary who became for us the water of life. Not that He needs rescuing, but because He's being pushed away until we're left with a murky sludge, poisonous, thick, and served with God's name in a 'biblical' chalice."

    hugs, all the best and I hope this isn't too lengthy!

    xx
    Jenn

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  21. "It is obvious that the choice of a great and loving, all-knowing God to put you, Hillary, and Lewis - and Lewis' former 'interest', and other such "abused" and "oppressed" daughters, into such abusive and oppressive homes was not a good thing and was not done by Him to build in you(all) the character of Christ and to demonstrate that Christlike character first in that family where He put you."

    Anonymous...Why on earth would you blame God for the abuse that goes on in patriocentric homes? God may have chosen our families, but he didn't choose their idolatrous practices or abusive behaviors. They did. Please do Him a favor and stop laying the blame at His feet.

    The scriptures you quote are used with your presupposition that the fathers and mothers inferred are genuinely following Christ. In using these scriptures, and telling us to find Jesus in them when they aren't speaking of Jesus, but rather of fathers and mothers, aren't you making our point for is?

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  22. It is obvious that the choice of a great and loving, all-knowing God to put you, Hillary, and Lewis - and Lewis' former 'interest', and other such "abused" and "oppressed" daughters, into such abusive and oppressive homes was not a good thing and was not done by Him to build in you(all) the character of Christ and to demonstrate that Christlike character first in that family where He put you...."There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother."Pr.30:11. "Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." Pr.23:22.

    I would greatly like to find where it is on this blog that this message has been presented, because it certainly isn't what I've written...if there is something I need to correct, I truly want to know. I definitely don't wish to mis-communicate. I realize, with a humble heart, that there will be times others will disagree with me but I prefer it to be with something I've actually written.

    This will come out more strongly than I usually respond, but in humility I say that I mean this with gentleness and love to whom I hope is a brother or sister in Christ. I don't care about myself, but I completely object to your insinuation that those who have lived this lifestyle and experienced these struggles do not or have not understood the importance of Christ-like character or of demonstrating it, first, in their family of origin. I submit that in most cases, such things rarely if ever left their minds, especially as they advanced in years. The desire to please God and parents over all else (and being constantly faced with the reality of their own flesh, wickedness, failure, and lack of measuring up) is a message I hear constantly and a reason many give for resorting to self-injury, suicidal ideation, etc.

    If you were addressing me privately or asking an honest question about something, I would not venture to defend in this way but your comments are not edifying on behalf of my audience and I will stand with Jesus for the brokenhearted, for the oppressed, for the blind, for the captives, for the lost, for the hurting, for the hungry, and for those who only need a cup of Living Water.

    Your inclusion of the Scriptures you chose suggests that you find them to be applicable in this context, which only serves to accuse those who read and relate to this blog of:

    1)cursing fathers,
    2)not blessing mothers
    3)not listening to fathers,
    4)and despising mothers.

    Those are some serious accusations! I can't pretend to know the hearts of all my readers.......which also means that neither can you. Prooftexting Scripture is serious...and such accusations are also! If you believe someone has actually cursed their father or who actually despises their mother then let us go to them in the love and humility and passion of Christ and show them where they have erred and endeavor to restore them.

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  23. Jenn....it's never too long. :-) Keep listening to the Holy Spirit as you sort through the conflicting messages...He, the Spirit of Truth, has come to guide us into all truth. I'm glad that you find comfort and encouragement here! <3

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  24. Lewis, When do I get to hear you opine on the first commandment with promise (also repeated clearly in the NT), with all the ferocity ("idolatrous," "abusive," etc.) you express against parents? Do you acknowledge the prensence of Ex.20:12? Does it teach that God is going to affect the future days of children in relation to their honoring of their parents? Do you really believe that these parents are under some oath to intentionally hurt and deny God to their daughters? That they are out to cause pain and sadness, and keep their daughters from God's best for their lives? That there is some intentional alliance to imprision the souls of children for selfish reasons?
    They are, in reality, fathers (and mothers) born with the same sinful heart that you have, and trying their best to do what they understand is best for their children. And where there is insensitivity and failure, it is rarely due to intentional plans of a parent to cause hurt to their children. Hence the commandment doesn't come with all the explanation and exception clauses that you are so so so quick to patch on there.
    Hillary, your post was about the accusations you received re. the "baby being thrown out with the bathwater." I tried to bring that back out of the allegorical confusion you turned it into. You noted a week or so back that you were going to write some about "the things my parents did right," and yet the very context of noting your intent was to provide the balance of how clearly you express how much your parents did wrong! Did I misread your first chapter? Your mom -kerosene- it didn't work- we were burned? And your use of the word "burned" was intended to express more than just the kerosene incident, no? How do I then find respect and honor for parents, and an attitude that I/you - as an adult believer - will do all that I can to a)show God that I am the best possible daughter/sister I can be in Christ in the home that God chose for me, and b)that no one will be able to accuse me and my actions of being dishonorable to my parents. God turns the hearts of kings whereever He wills. If God so turned your fathers heart to say, "It's a bad idea," then you clearly don't honor God by rejecting your father's opinion.
    Again, the baby of the idiom is a sovereign God working THRU parents to build the character of Christ in children, not independent minded young adults allegorizing idolatry to justify their independent natures. And hence, many daughters are being turned away from their fathers, and hence away from the promise of the commandment. Your first read in the "new, start here" tab, Hillary, is very balanced and well presented. THAT is what needs to emphasized more than the Lewis brand of bashing all the "babies" in his blog heading. And you, also, could try explaining what the Truth means when it says that "blessed is the man whose quiver is full." Isn't that verse Truth? Lewis - can you even attempt to support the teaching of that Scripture without a rash of "buts" and exceptions? Hillary, your very title is intended to cast disrespect on the biblical concept of a blessed man who has all the children he can for the glory of God, i.e. a full quiver. So I don't think my accusations are in error. And again, try and deal aggressively with the "baby" -Ex.20:12!

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  25. Anonymous, are you saying that abuse is ok as long as the abuser says they don't mean to hurt a child? Are you saying that parents are perfect? Are you saying that adults should obey every whim of their parents?

    If that is true, then why was it ok for our parents to homeschool us when their parents didn't agree with it? Why was it ok for our parents to go against their parents' wishes as long as it was something they felt God wanted them to do?

    In no way are we saying that we should not honor our parents. But sometimes honor is not obeying their every whim. Honor is obeying GOD.

    My parents raised me to follow God. My dad told us numerous times that he wanted us to continue on the journey they had begun toward God - he wanted us to go beyond where he and mom had been able to go. He wanted us to continue to make progress in the next generation.

    Following God means acknowledging wrong that was done so we can forsake that in the next generation. Following God means holding on to what was good and taking that with us to the next generation. Both of these mean discerning, figuring out, making judgement calls on what is right and what is wrong.

    The men of Israel, from 20 years old and up, were accountable to God for their actions in the wilderness. No young man could claim, when they chose not to go into the promised land, that he was "just honoring his father" by refusing to go in. God's command had been clear. And each man had to decide for himself. God judged each man for his own decision, not the decision of his father or grandfather.

    Anonymous, have you read the stories of some of us? Do you really agree that making a child work beyond their strength is ok? Do you agree that ignoring major depression and self-abuse issues in a child is ok? Do you agree that beating a child until he can't breathe is ok? Do you believe that rarely praising your child for good behavior and attitudes is ok?

    All we are saying is that this type of thing is not ok. That a child should be cared for and made to feel special to God and his parents.

    We are not saying that children (especially young children) shouldn't be made to obey. Of course they should. But as a child enters their teens, more and more decisions should be handed over to them. They need to learn in a safe, gradual way how to make decisions on their own. Otherwise, there is no way they will be ready to be an adult, to be a husband or wife, to be a father or mother.

    Every parent will make mistakes. Every child, therefore every person on this earth, will have emotional and perhaps physical scars from their parents. We are not saying that we are the only ones on the earth hurting. Our parents have scars too. What we are saying is let's seek healing together where possible. But if our parents refuse to seek God's healing, does that mean we should refuse to seek Him as well?

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  26. "Lewis, When do I get to hear you opine on the first commandment with promise (also repeated clearly in the NT), with all the ferocity ("idolatrous," "abusive," etc.) you express against parents?"

    In Jewish society, at age 12 a girl (and 13 for a boy) was considered a "legal" adult, no longer religiously, morally, socially, or legally bound to obey her parents - free to make her own choices without the interference of her parents. In the NT, the scriptures dealing with children obeying their parents are translated from teknon and talitha, which means "little child".

    "Do you acknowledge the prensence of Ex.20:12?"

    Sure I do.

    "Does it teach that God is going to affect the future days of children in relation to their honoring of their parents?"

    Sure it does. Honor and obey have little in common besides the letter "O", however. A child honors a parent by living a life pleasing to the Lord...not a life pleasing to their parents. Ideally, those would be the same thing, but they're not always so.

    "Do you really believe that these parents are under some oath to intentionally hurt and deny God to their daughters? That they are out to cause pain and sadness, and keep their daughters from God's best for their lives? That there is some intentional alliance to imprision the souls of children for selfish reasons?"

    I don't think many of them started out with the intention of hurting their children, but along the way, to make the system work, it required full-blown devotion that made the system the god of their lives. Intentions matter little at this point, as they've hurt their daughters, placed obstacles between them and the Lord, caused pain and sadness, and interfered with God's plan for the lives of their children. When people start talking intention, it's usually a smokescreen for very, very, very bad results.

    "They are, in reality, fathers (and mothers) born with the same sinful heart that you have,"

    The Spirit of God dwells in my heart through Christ Jesus. I try not to dwell on the old sin-nature or be a slave to it.

    "and trying their best to do what they understand is best for their children."

    This is what I have the most difficulty understanding about the patriarchal movement. Christ made clear His thoughts and distaste for the commandments of men. Why would parents believe the commandments of men are best for their children if they're truly following Christ and not man?

    "And where there is insensitivity and failure, it is rarely due to intentional plans of a parent to cause hurt to their children. Hence the commandment doesn't come with all the explanation and exception clauses that you are so so so quick to patch on there."

    The commandment doesn't instruct adult children to obey their parents. That's an exception clause that the patriarchal movement has patched on there.

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  27. "How do I then find respect and honor for parents, and an attitude that I/you - as an adult believer - will do all that I can to a)show God that I am the best possible daughter/sister I can be in Christ in the home that God chose for me, and b)that no one will be able to accuse me and my actions of being dishonorable to my parents."

    This was addressed to Hillary, but I'd like to comment on it...The patriarchal movement has transfered honor and respect to the same definition as "obey", "submit", and "support wholeheartedly". Before the conversation can really move forward, it needs to be established whether your views are processed through that filter and if you consider those words to all mean the same thing.


    "God turns the hearts of kings whereever He wills. If God so turned your fathers heart to say, "It's a bad idea," then you clearly don't honor God by rejecting your father's opinion."

    Again, addressed to Hillary, but I'd like to comment...There's usually a pretty definitive way to see of it's actually God turning the heart: measure with scripture. What if a father's opinion disagrees with God's? Not everything that happens is the work and will of a sovereign God. In fact, I'd dare to say that MOST of the things happening in the world aren't the work and will of God...but they happen nonetheless, despite the scope of His sovereignty.

    "Again, the baby of the idiom is a sovereign God working THRU parents to build the character of Christ in children, not independent minded young adults allegorizing idolatry to justify their independent natures."

    It isn't a sin to be independent minded. God doesn't demand or instruct that adult children share or further any particular family unit's vision. They have no need, whatsoever, to justify something that isn't an offense. Independence isn't rebellion. It's independence.

    "And hence, many daughters are being turned away from their fathers, and hence away from the promise of the commandment."

    This isn't accurate on any level, nor is it a responsible handling of the scripture.

    "Your first read in the "new, start here" tab, Hillary, is very balanced and well presented. THAT is what needs to emphasized more than the Lewis brand of bashing all the "babies" in his blog heading."

    My blog heading merely tells my readers what my blog is about. There's very little editorial nature to it. If you consider Christ to be the baby in question, I'd be careful in putting patriarchy, quiverfull, courtship, and the like on an equal level with Him.

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  28. "And you, also, could try explaining what the Truth means when it says that "blessed is the man whose quiver is full.""

    A quiver generally holds 6 arrows (seems I heard that somewhere recently). So is it sinful and gluttonous to have 7 children? What equates to full, and is it gluttony to surpass it and a curse to not reach it? Regardless of how one interprets the meaning of that verse, I don't think God ever intended it to become a foundational element of the gospel. It would be a shame if an entire faith and Christian way of life was constructed around that one very, very, very ancillary verse.

    "Isn't that verse Truth? Lewis - can you even attempt to support the teaching of that Scripture without a rash of "buts" and exceptions?"

    Probably not, if I'm going to be held at the disadvantage of any disagreement equating to a "but" or an "exception".

    "Hillary, your very title is intended to cast disrespect on the biblical concept of a blessed man who has all the children he can for the glory of God, i.e. a full quiver. So I don't think my accusations are in error."

    This is another needless and baseless accusation.

    "And again, try and deal aggressively with the "baby" -Ex.20:12!"

    Please don't make Jesus unnecessary by placing all emphasis and loyalty on parents or a system of patriarchal belief...which is exactly the point Hillary was trying to make in her post, and the point I've tried to make in my recent posts. Until Jesus is given precedent, until Jesus still upholds one's faith when all else is taken away, including the human authority structure, Jesus has been rendered unnecessary.

    Please consider this.

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  29. Anon -
    My answer to your general question about these bloggers and commenters "ignoring" the command to honor their parents is this - for more than a decade I tried, REALLY REALLY HARD, to honor my father by forgiving and submitting. I tried constantly to adjust myself (though not with anywhere near complete success) and often blamed myself for the fact that he never seemed to get better.

    When I finally admitted to myself that he was abusive, that even though he had tried extremely hard to do better than had been done to him in childhood (and he was better, just still not healthy), when I finally admitted that I had been living with abuse, THAT is when I started being able to honor my dad. It's a long story, but almost immediately after I accepted that fact I started feeling all those things I tried to beat into myself for years - love, affection, forgiveness, an oh well that's not a big deal attitude - all of those things seemed to surge in when I started living by what was true.

    Admitting to myself and to a couple other people that my parents had done some very messed up things has been completely changing my family. My dad is making progress like we have NEVER seen before and so is the rest of the family.

    So, in my case, beginning to speak openly and with love but also boldly about things that were wrong has turned out to be the true honor. My parents always told us they wanted us to be better Christians than them and I am finally taking them at their word. I NEVER thought my parents wanted to cause me harm, but trying to relate to them by what their intentions were made everything much worse. Relating based on what was really happening is making everything tons better!

    Also, God may turn the hearts of kings, but where does that verse say it also means fathers? Just wondering...

    To finish my rambling thoughts, I've tried the "honor = obey." For adults relating to adults, it can become hell on earth. Relating to my parents as another adult now is making life for THEM much happier as it is bringing THEM closer to God, not just me.

    L

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  30. Dear Anonymous,

    I will try to address the concerns you raised in your second comment, but I’m sure you can understand that I don’t have unlimited time to continue responding to baiting comments that discuss material which can be found by searching the archives of this blog. I’ve tried to remain open and willing to discuss opposing viewpoints, and to do so in a respectful manner. My purpose and calling has been made clear in several places and I’m sure you can understand that I am more interested in trying to fulfill what I believe God has asked of me than by using my time on this blog for other reasons. If you have genuine concerns that you would like me to consider and pray over and seek God about, I invite you to compose an email that I can read as I have time. I simply can’t guarantee that I will be able to keep replying to these comments.

    The others have made very good points in what they’ve shared. You’ve brought up Exodus 20:12 several times. It seems we have adopted different interpretations of what it means to honor parents. I don’t believe that honor is synonymous with obedience, and believe that Paul also makes that distinction in Eph. 6:1-2. In verse 4, when he mentions children again, he talks about “bringing them up.” Adults are already brought up, so the assertions he makes to fathers here don’t apply to them. I write to adults so do not believe I need to constantly add reminders such as, “But if you are a child, be sure to obey them.”
    (con't below)

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  31. Since you are familiar with the first article in my “Start Here” section, let me quote from it regarding my own stance on honor:

    Regardless of your living situation, remember that a parent is honored when you obey the Lord, even if it isn't in a manner they wish. A parent is honored when you love the Lord and stand up for righteousness. A parent is honored when you seek truth. When you put the Lord first in your life, your parents are honored, which means that when you take your eyes off your parents and place them on Jesus, this brings them honor.


    Let me add here (as I’ve stated elsewhere) that sometimes honor will be obeying, if you mean by obey that an adult child hears a parent’s request, considers it prayerfully, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit chooses to make the decision their parent hopes they make. But other times, God might lead them differently. I think where you and I will continue to disagree is that I believe adult children who claim to be followers of Christ must always put Holy God above earthly parents. Sometimes God will lead us to “obey” our parents. Sometimes He will lead us in a direction our parents question, fear, and sometimes even downright disapprove of. But I also believe that obedience to God over parents does not equal disobedience to parents.
    (con't below)

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  32. If our parents are Christians then they are our brothers and sisters in Christ...yes, we should honor, respect, and care for them, but ultimately, they are equal with us before God. Consider if as adults, your own brother or sister asked you to do something. If you did what they asked, would that be you “obeying”? Or simply you doing a favor? Or what if your adult brother or sister commanded you to do something? What if it were a friend of yours? You can give thought and prayer to their demand, seek God’s direction and Scripture, maybe even seek the counsel of others, and decide if it is a healthy or righteous step for you to take. But that still doesn’t mean you’re “obeying” them if you do it or “disobeying” if you’re not. The fact that you even consider their command, suggestion, or request gives them honor.

    You wrote,
    “You noted a week or so back that you were going to write some about "the things my parents did right”. I wrote 5 weeks ago:

    Someone asked me recently, point blank, if I still loved my parents. As in currently, now, today. Honestly? I love them more than I ever have.
    Perhaps this seems incongruous with writing about the hurtful effects of spiritual and emotional abuse in the family structure. Although there have been many repercussions (fruits) spiritually, emotionally, and in other ways that I've encountered and had to work my way through, hand in hand with the Lord, it is because of this that I can sit here today in obedience to His calling. Additionally, it is understood that not every family will practice the same things in the same manner. (For example, when I was growing up, Vision Forum didn't even exist ~ although I have many readers who now experience the teachings and beliefs that are promoted by them. And for another example, in their wisdom, my parents did not get into Gothard like many of our homeschooling friends did. And yet I have many readers who were part of ATI. And the fruits of those teachings ~ some of the effects on the daughters of patriarchy ~ are some of what I address in this blog. ) Does this mean that any of our families were all wrong? No, and I don't know how else to state that I'm not saying they are. I hope and pray that where I lack in my communication the Lord will help me.
    In the next few weeks I hope to post What My Family Did Right.

    (con't below...........)

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  33. It still is on my list of articles to write (there are many). The true context of writing what I did was actually a response to something that someone had asked me recently “Do you still love your parents?” To be honest, the question was asked by someone who didn’t even read this blog, so they wouldn’t know how much or how little I wrote about certain things. I didn’t think that point was necessary to make because it is irrelevant ~ it just made me start thinking about how much I actually DO love them, which is “more so now than I ever have”. I then continued with “Perhaps this seems incongruous with...” But, anonymous, the truth is, those things...”the hurtful effects of spiritual and emotional abuse in the family structure”... ARE what I write about and my context is very clear throughout my blog (and book). It’s not a fun or light topic. Sometimes posting lighter things is for my own benefit. I believe God HAS called me to address these issues, and I consider it a “blessed burden.” But sometimes talking about happier stuff helps me personally to “come up for air” so to speak. I’m sorry that you were looking forward to that post and that it still remains only my list. Shortly after that post where I mentioned I planned to write it, my book came out (earlier than expected at that point) and other things came up that I needed to address. I also went out of town and took a much needed writing break. (Like I said, I don’t have unlimited time. *smile*) It certainly wasn’t an intentional oversight.
    (con't below)

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  34. You wrote: “And you, also, could try explaining what the Truth means when it says that "blessed is the man whose quiver is full." Isn't that verse Truth? Lewis - can you even attempt to support the teaching of that Scripture without a rash of "buts" and exceptions? Hillary, your very title is intended to cast disrespect on the biblical concept of a blessed man who has all the children he can for the glory of God, i.e. a full quiver.”

    I think it means what it says: that blessed is the man whose quiver is full. Let’s not read into it what isn’t there, for example: “Cursed is the man whose quiver is empty or small.” (Hezekiah 4:18)

    As far as the statement “Your very title is intended to cast disrespect on the biblical concept of a blessed man who has all the children he can for the glory of God, i.e. a full quiver.”...if you’ve read much of my blog as you say, you will realize that this isn’t true at all. I state in my FAQ that while Quivering is a twist on the word Quiverfull, (giving an idea of what this book and blog are about and who it addresses) it also denotes fear...which can be taken as fear of God (good) or fear of man (bad). Fear is a topic I write about often, as well as authoritarianism which utilizes fear, even unwittingly. I’ve repeatedly stated that I have no objection to people having a “full quiver”, in and of itself. Sometimes daughters from Quiverfull families encounter things that then fit into the scope of my calling, hence this website and my book (which goes into greater detail regarding what I’ve written here tonight).

    Additionally, the Bible speaks of many things as blessings, especially if they come from the Lord. A good wife is a blessing. The Lord blessed Isaac with growth and possessions (Gen. 26:12-14). Those who obey, trust, follow, and love the Lord are blessed. I agree that children are blessings! However, your statement: “biblical concept of a blessed man who has all the children he can for the glory of God” I don’t agree is biblical because as written here, the concept is backwards. Rather, God, who is the author of life, creates children for the man and his wife, who are then blessed in this way (again, doesn’t mean that the man without children isn’t a blessed man in other ways...there are different blessings, just as there are different callings) ~ God does the work here, which brings Him glory. However, there is also Scripture which proclaims, “Rejoice, o barren!” So I don’t believe that not being with child means that a couple is not blessed of God, since God opens and closes the womb (which Quiverfull adherents believe. True Quiverfull families accept however many children God sends them, even if its 1, which paints a different picture, IMHO, than the man who has all the children he can.)

    (con't below)

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  35. Anonymous, I don’t know what compelled you to write here; perhaps this is a raw subject for you in a personal way or maybe you simply believe differently. You are certainly entitled to disagree with me and I hope that from all those who believe differently, I might learn something so that the time and engagement was profitable. I try to take Eph. 4 and 2 Tim. 2:23-25 to heart when writing and especially dialoguing about these hard and controversial topics. I hope I have done so today. God bless you.

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  36. Regarding your last post, Hillary, I do agree with you, and agree that it is evident, that you attempt to respond and express your points in a very sincere and humble matter. You "have done so today," imho.

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  37. High five! I am so with you on this. I have finally come to the place where I can disagree with how a 'pastor' misrepresents God and not want to go rip his tongue out. In the OT he says "if the false prophet is deceived, it is I who have deceived him and I will judge him accordingly" then in Job it says "the deceived and the deceiver are His." sigh** what a relief! I felt like it was my 'duty' and 'reponsibility' to expose those 'leaders', but not anymore. I just share the truth and as He guides me to. All the pressure is gone and my trust in Him has increased. He can handle them all. He has a plan for them.

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