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Spiritual Abuse and the Gospel

by Hillary McFarland

What is good news?

Good news brings joy.
Good news brings relief.
Good news gives us something to anticipate, to talk about and plan for. It gives us hope. If you are in jail and receive word that you are to be released, that is good news! If you are hungry and someone announces, "Dinner is served," that is good news! Good news addresses the heart of your need. It is the answer your soul craves...even, sometimes, when you don't know you crave it. 

Good news transforms you.

The word gospel means good news. Glad tidings. Good message. This is what Jesus came to preach to the poor. He came to preach a good message to those in need of a good message! (Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:19-19) He came to meet needs, to proclaim salvation! And He came in grace and truth.

Recently I talked about the good news of grace. While reflecting on life, the gospel, my purpose to not take sides but to be at Jesus' side as He ministers to those He gives me in need of glad tidings, grace, healing, and liberty, I came across the following passage which reveals so clearly to me the heart of issues that arise through speaking and writing about spiritual abuse, authoritarianism, and patriocentricity. I cannot emphasize the following words enough:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel [good news!] contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal.1:6-10, ESV) (emphasis added)
In Christ is simplicity. Do not be deceived by those who would distort the gospel! 

I shared this on Facebook last night but it is an important reminder for all those who are passionate against spiritual abuse:

One feature of spiritual abuse is the often-unintentional quenching of the Spirit in the lives of those within one's care. Author Frank Viola (Pagan Christianity, The Jesus Manifesto) has compiled a list of what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. This shows why quenching the Spirit, and ultimately, spiritual abuse, are such grave matters. See 50 Things the Holy Spirit Does.

Rejoice!

May you be blessed today, friends. Thankful for God's healing, mercy, and forgiveness, and for you...


What are you thankful for?

Daughters-in-Waiting

by Hillary McFarland

Note: Recently I asked my readers on facebook what topics would be helpful for where you are right now in your life, in your faith, and your walk with the Lord as you sort through the sensitive issues addressed here at Quivering Daughters. I received excellent feedback and will be working on articles based on those suggestions for the future, but want to extend that request here, too. What topics would you find helpful, encouraging, or pertinent? Please leave a comment or email me at hillary @ quiveringdaughters dot com. 

Within the conservative homeschooling movement, women who stay at home until marriage are often considered “daughters-in-waiting,” while those who do not are sometimes considered rebellious or worldly. I know and respect many who are stay-at-home daughters and wrote an article entitled Daughters in Waiting: Adult Daughters at Home which is included in my book.

This Beautiful Crushing

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through 
Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel 
that has crushed it.
~ Mark Twain 


by Hillary McFarland

An intriguing story in the Old Testament recounts the life of a young orphaned girl named Hadassah. Initially chosen to become the Queen of Persia because of her beauty, a perspective of this calling offered by her cousin Mordecai also bears wisdom for us. He said,
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4)
Queen Esther's brave reply, with her own life on the line, bore the fruit of life for her Jewish brothers and sisters. 
“...I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
If I perish, I perish. This resolve and commitment is required of us, sometimes, too. Actually, it's something Jesus talked about as a requirement for discipleship.
     Occasionally people ask why I didn't focus more on the sins of quivering daughters in my book.

God's Prescription for Your Discouragement

by Eric Pazdziora

     I've been saving this for a rainy day, and I think it's gotten sufficiently damp. This got its start a few years ago as a comment on someone else's blog post and quickly gained a life of its own.
     The blog post in question was written by a person who had recently become a Christian and felt guilt and remorse over their past sins. "At the time," they wrote, "I thought nothing of it, but now I feel dirty and ashamed. I feel I have let God down and that my relationship with Him will never be at its best because of my indiscretion."

A Broken Hallelujah

There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah...

Jeff Buckley composed a haunting cover, but I prefer the original lyrics of Leonard Cohen's praise entitled Hallelujah. Along with other biblical references Cohen shares, I picture ancient Job, sitting in ashes and sorrow and ridiculed by his wife, lifting his arms and with tear-streaked face, echoing the faithful, grief-born cry of those who set their love upon the Most High:
 
...She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah...

Saturday Evening Blog Post

Visit Elizabeth Esther's blog for a weekend-ful of reading material! Be sure to choose a post of your own from October and link, too. :-) I've chosen The Alluring God (although I almost chose I Love Homeschooling, Quiverfull Families! because it covers a topic very important to me).

May your weekend bring lovely surprises of grace, and much joy. 

The Unabandoned Cross

One of my favorite books is “The Cost of Discipleship” written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It's been a while, but while recently musing the calling of God I read the following passage:
. . . Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
     On two separate occasions Peter received the call, “Follow me.” It was the first and last word Jesus spoke to his disciple (Mark 1.17; John 21.22). A whole life lies between these two calls. The first occasion was by the lake of Gennesareth, when Peter left his nets and his craft and followed Jesus at his word. The second occasion is when the Risen Lord finds him back again at his old trade. Once again it is by the lake of Gennesareth, and once again the call is: “Follow me.” Between the two calls lay a whole life of discipleship in the following of Christ. Half-way between them comes Peter's confession, when he acknowledged Jesus as the Christ of God. ~ The Cost of Discipleship, Costly Grace
He who is called the Man of Sorrows had a calling of His own.