Council for Biblical Manhood and Woman: Will the Real Gospel Please Stand?

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Is Complementarianism the Gospel? Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) Seems to Confuse the Gospel with Their Agenda

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Today, Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) President, Owen Strachan announced three recent hires in their operations team: a director of operations, assistant operations director, and an intern. All three are men – as in, male. None are female. All three are students at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Three men, no women, all in seminary. Interesting.

I tweeted the announcement and here are some of the funny responses:

 

Additionally, on February 18, 2015, it was announced that Gavin Peacock was joining the ranks at CBMW as the new Director of International Outreach at the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.

If you’re doing the math, we’re up to four (4) men and zero (0) women recently hired. I’ve been doing statistics lately at school. Let me throw in a probability question for your amusement (and mine):

If a sampling of four men were hired in the last few months at CBMW, what is the probability that a woman will be hired in the next few months? In the next year?

Gavin seems to be the perfect fit for the organization  – one who makes “complementarianism” a primary doctrinal issue.  It almost seems as if their brand of complementarian marriage is the Gospel.  hat a shame for all you singles who can’t spread the Gospel with your Gospel Marriage.

Here are excerpts from Gavin Peacock (bolding is mine):

No one has spoken more clearly or passionately than John Piper on the issue of biblical sexuality over the past thirty years. He, along with Wayne Grudem and other pastors and scholars, formed the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 1987. Owen Strachan, who is the current president, now spearheads the movement. For a while now, I have admired Owen’s conviction, passion and bravery in accepting the leadership of CBMW and taking them forward in a time where complementarianism is being attacked on all fronts. In fact, as I have said previously, this issue is the bite point where the gospel is confronting culture today.

And more:

I will work within the existing framework and ethos of CBMW to expand our reach to other countries and nations through preaching, teaching and writing. God’s plan is outward looking. It is to spread the fame of Christ’s name through the conversion of the lost and the establishment and growth of healthy churches. And key to a healthy church is a healthy vision of complementarianism. There are plenty of complementarian churches that need strengthening and there are plenty of others who don’t know what they believe, so conferences designed to set forth the teaching of Scripture on manhood, womanhood, and marriage will be high on the agenda. (Thoughts on Expanding and Establishing with CBMW)

Conferences? Did he say conferences? Yes, we need more conferences telling us what they believe Scripture says on manhood, womanhood, and marriage. Evidently the Bible is not enough for us.

From another article by Peacock in January entitled, The Battle for Biblical Marriage is a Mission Moment That Will Define the Church, he says:

Just look at the cross. Marriage being redefined in culture is the perfect opportunity to confront the culture with real marriage and the gospel it pictures. It’s a mission moment. 

The battle is for the truth of complementarian marriage

To be more specific, complementarity is the biblical and historically Christian position on marriage. So the church must articulate a complementarian understanding of manhood and womanhood and must embody a complementarian picture of manhood and womanhood. (Source)

The church must conserve biblical gospel displaying marriage even as it commends biblical gospel displaying marriage to a watching world.  (Source)

Now, just for kicks, I looked up a few places online in which “gospel” is defined, even from people who hold complementarian views of marriage. For instance, here’s Matt Slick of CARM on the Gospel. Nowhere in this article do you find anything on marriage as he describes the Gospel:

Do you want to be saved from the righteous judgment of God? If so, if you want to become a Christian and follow God, then you must realize that you have sinned against God and are under his judgment. You must look to Jesus who died on the cross and trust what he did in order for you to be forgiven of your sentence and be saved from the judgment of God. This is accomplished by faith alone in what Jesus has done. You cannot add any human works to what Jesus has done.

Let’s see what R.C. Sproul has to say about the Gospel. He’s a well-known and respected Christian leader. The following is taken from Sproul’s article, What Is the Gospel?:

The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.

Did you see any mention of marriage in his article explaining the Gospel? Neither did I.

Marriage isn’t referenced in John MacArthur’s article on Getting the Gospel Right, and you can be sure that he is complementarian.

Here’s more MacArthur in an older video with Kirk Cameron. There’s no marriage message noted here, either:

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So, this should tell you something. The folks at CBMW sure seem to be going overboard with this marriage-as-Gospel thing. I’m pretty sure CBMW is taking the following verse as their reference of a Christian marriage being a picture of Christ and His church:

CBMW marriage battle gospel 3918317592_cf270b188f25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

The battle that I’m reading about at CBMW seems to be more focused on what they describe as a cultural battle – keeping marriage between one woman and one man, not a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman.

But are they twisting scripture for their “battle” agenda? I think so. Marriage can be a picture of Christ and the church when marriage is done well, but to make complementarianism as the Gospel, in my opinion, is a distortion of the real Gospel. This is just more of CBMW’s agenda hype.

210 comments on “Council for Biblical Manhood and Woman: Will the Real Gospel Please Stand?

  1. Wilson’s devaluing women for their breast size is beyond disturbing. What does he think about women that are too short, too tall, overweight, are disfigured in some way? Is a woman’s value based on her looks and not what is in her heart? Does he realize what came from the overflow of his own heart? Some people need to cease the opportunity to shut up.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. @Michaela:

    In short, ‘complementarianism’ is a ‘nice’ sounding word for patriarchy.

    Which is itself a ‘nice’ sounding word for Male Supremacy.

    That wives/women are to be treated like little children, and the husband/father is to have the ‘final say’ or ‘the say’ about everything and she is to ‘obey’ and ‘to submit’.

    “ME MAN! ME SAY FILL-IN-THE-BLANK! YOU WOMAN! YOU! SHUT! UP!”

    P.S. And as I’ve also learned, all of the big names in the patriarchy movement are being sued or accused of what else…sex crimes!

    Rank Hath Its Privileges, and Sexual Privileges over all their inferiors has always been one of the perqs for being a Patriarch. In pre-Christian Rome, the Paterfamilias (clan Patriarch) had power of life and death (and sexual demands) over all his Gens, limited only by incest taboos. And Thomas Jefferson wasn’t the only southern planter who took advantage of Animate Property with Benefits.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brenda and Headless,

    Based on the writings here it is my estimation that many Men and Women that embrace Complementarianism (and even those that don’t) do not understand that “Intimacy is all about the woman”.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    This is not complicated,,when a man puts his wife’s needs ahead of his immediate wants, the reward for him is far more intense and rewarding for him.

    I don’t hear too much about “Emotional Connection” on any of these threads.

    Like

  4. In agreement with Brenda R.

    So then, since Doug Wilson chooses to single out women with certain breast sizes, then are we to assume that he is buff, in shape, well groomed, without one single blemish on his fleshly being? Or does he appear to look like a slob. My Bible doesn’t state anything with regards to my faith in Christ as a direct result of my breast size….circumcision is of the heart. No more flesh involved here.

    Why is it that in today’s western church, the minute you walk in the door, you are bombarded with name dropping, book dropping, cd dropping, dvd dropping, get a free mug with “our church’s name on it” dropping, movie dropping, music dropping, etc. It is almost as if “the organized church” has created a subculture within our culture and if one deviates away from the lordship of the religious overseers, one is labeled by the dominant religious forces as “unsaved.” For example, if I don’t attend a “John MacArthur or Andrew Womack” Bible study, I am not a committed Christian. Or if I do not attend that Benny Hinn or Joyce Meyer conference for “big bucks”, I am labeled as “unspiritual”, or if I choose not to buy the pastor’s cd’s after each Sunday sermon or grab the latest “devotional by the front door”, am in direct rebellion against the church…….for god’s police force is a watching you! Why all of this religious insanity?

    And yet, I have yet to attend a Bible Study where the Bible stands alone…..no modern penned books, no videos, no extra Biblical materials involved, simply the moving of the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus offends the religious minds and hearts here in America, does He not? And was not “the Gospel” the primary preaching and teaching of the Apostles as well?

    And if one politely says “no thank-you” and declines to follow any of the names promoted under these heavy authoritarian church systems, they become offended.

    And you are called out as a “worm or a swine” for not engaging in their human idolatry. As stated earlier…..”I was a human idolater, the worst, and promoted this big name Christian leader and that one to those around me,” instead of discussing Jesus and His Redemptive work on that blood stained cross. Doug Wilson’s statement referring to breast size is the fruit of a church falling away from Jesus, for his system now becomes all about power, control, and usually money is involved as well. What a sorrowful picture of Christ’s Ekklesia.

    And HUG, interesting comments. Interesting indeed. The later reminds me of George Washington’s approach to his slaves, for he was a brutal taskmaster. A woman slave, upon escaping from her plantation master, was ordered by Washington to be “killed” once she was found. She desired freedom, he desired obedience through ownership, and immediate death for her rebellion. Funny thing…..it seems to me he really didn’t like to be ruled over by the British empire either…..pot, kettle, pot, kettle. Which is blacker?

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  5. @ Julie Anne & others upthread:

    I could never understand the obsession with breast size which seems to be so common in large segments of the American male population. On the one hand it’s disturbing as Julie Anne has pointed out. But on the other hand? It’s just plain stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Muff,

    What I think is stupid is those exposing their obsessions not realizing when they isolate their narrowness of preference they are demeaning and really fail to understand and really appreciate God’s beautiful creation of all female breasts’

    And to those that have had life saving breast surgeries, this doesn’t compromise your beauty…Real Intimacy (Godly) is a passionate mutual surrender that really creates such a strong emotional rush of those in Love which is what I believe is what God had intended.

    Like I suggested “emotional connection” is what is lacking in the teachings of many.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Keith, things are better and worse. Women now have rights concerning domestic violence, they can divorce abusers more readily and seek shelter in some cases. Children no longer work in sweat shops at age 7 but instead are educated. When you think about things being worse for the family today keep in mind that many families stayed together who probably should not have because there were no options.

    Things have gotten worse in that we have made it much easier for people not to work who are quite able to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Julie Anne wrote~

    “I am so disturbed by Wilson devaluing the shape of specific women – women who were created in God’s image. It’s unbelievable.”

    While I agree it is disgusting behavior, I just smh and remember who he is and that what’s in his heart will be on full display. I posted this on your FB entry…remember when he did this? (NSA = New Saint Andrews, Wilson’s school)

    “The NSA faculty celebrated April Fools of 1999 by stealing letterhead from the University of Idaho (UI) provost’s office to distribute an announcement of visiting feminist scholars who would give their presentations topless. There is nothing wrong with a good joke, but one usually tries to avoid criminal activity in pulling stunts such as this. Shamelessly, Wilson defended this action in his blog: “By the time you receive this, our local police will probably have forgotten all about it, so a little bragging is now safe. . . . [My son-in-law], encouraged by some winks and nudges from me, made up a flyer which announced a topless and proud lecture series by topless feminist scholars.”” http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/WilsonEmpire.htm

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  9. The obsession by a lot of men about a woman’s breast size certainly affects how women view themselves. How many women have had breast augmentation surgery because they don’t measure up to these ridiculous standards? It makes me sick. This topic has come up when I volunteer at local high school choirs – especially around the time we measure for choir dresses. They are so self-conscious and many times discuss their body shape negatively. I try to encourage, but when they are trying to be attractive to men, the words of men speak louder than my words. Sadly, they are listening to the wrong men.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think that the fruit of Wilson’s spirit consists of three raisins, one of which is his heart.

    His book on marriage is taught in some Baptist churches, and that should frighten some parents of single women in those churches. Piper says he is AOK which tells us all we need to know about Piper’s judgment.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Julie Anne,

    “Wrong men” is an understatement.

    Sadly the hurry of getting into relationships by both men and women is really the catalyst of self doubt that plague both men and women.

    In my view women have the ability to hold all the the cards, but some of them allow their emotions to run away prematurely causing them to hook up with guys they shouldn’t have in the first place as they have an unhealthy view of Intimacy.

    If women (of any shape) didn’t avail themselves to these jerks then these jerks may do some serious re-evaluating why they can’t get the girl. And realize how beautiful the female body (and mind) of any shape, really is.

    What is not happening in society (and in and out of churches) is women and men are failing to surrender their minds to each other, which is a powerful aphrodisiac and that is what drives couples to be attracted to any body type their partner possesses.

    I draw the line on personal hygiene.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Why Biblical Womanhood theology is even worse news for single women than for married women | Biblical Personhood

  13. I wont give details but I am also a survivor of spiritual abuse and earlier in my life sexual abuse. I do understand what it means to have very little or no trust in authority figures etc. I realize some of my comments here may appear dismissive or even misunderstanding of this particular article. I understand that both spiritual and sexual abuse are in some ways much more damaging for women than they are for men such as myself. For each of us that experience is different and the level of damage to each person cannot be compared with others except in the sense where we share a common experience. To what level we recover from these experiences is also different for each person.

    I was admonished for using the word bitter by someone else on this forum as a word not to be used in relation to this subject. Why not? I have met many people who have been or obviously are embittered by their experience. the question is what do we do with this nasty little emotion and can we admit that it sometimes skews our intentions or reasons for doing some things. Much earlier in my life I pretty much vented my spleen that was full of bitterness and anger to the point I became very ill both physically and mentally. Was that bitterness worth it? No! My redemption came through understanding Who was in control not why did it all happen. My redemption came in understanding that I was never alone, that Christ had endured much more than me in being completely alone on that cross bearing the sin of the world for a fault that wasn’t His. If anyone had a reason to be bitter and angry it would be Christ who died out of love for an ungracious, undeserving world. Instead that is a story of victory and joy because He knew what the outcome would be and the end that awaits is triumphant. I have no reason to be bitter at my abusers because they don’t control the outcome they only contrived the circumstances that is all.

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  14. @cmonds65,

    Why not use the term “bitter” you ask?
    In experience it’s usually men who use the word “bitter” to shut down women, their experiences, and their valid concerns.

    It’s a loaded word that shuts her down again and she can just be marginalized, blamed, ridiculed and admonished.

    At my former conservative, authoritarian, patriarcsl church, women weren’t supposed to have healthy boundaries and were to put up with a litany of abuses from whomever the abuse came from.

    The pastors/elders said that the women who objected were “bitter”. The pastors/elders expected women to be happy to be treated like garbage!

    Next, healing takes various forms and periods of time for various people. Shutting people down from that healing process – “just get over it” – is meanspirited and non-empathetic.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Michaela,

    Never really considered the word “Bitter” as a negative label that really creates a diversion to place blame avoid responsibility. .

    The biggest diversion is that most of the spiritual, mental and physical abuse occurring is a result of bad relationships whether it is stimulated through bad doctrine, not embracing the same doctrine that leads to bad marriages that shouldn’t have even occurred in the first place and spiritual and mental abuse in churches. (even sexual abuse)

    How we conduct ourselves toward others or in the case of matrimony involves humility and surrendering not force feeding or retaliation.

    As good as this thread is at exposing abuse and providing a sanctuary for those that have been abused, (that actually is lucky enough to stumble across this blog) I hope it will expand to the root of abuse and that is bad relationships in general that people have with each other.

    Like

  16. I explained why the word bitter should not be used. In fact if you use it on some survivor blogs, your post won’t even appear.

    Survivors have a right to righteous anger and a right to recover at their own pace. I have seen survivors post their stories around the Internet and call for justice denied by churches and other organizations who covered up crimes of abuse for the sake of reputation. Repeatedly defenders of the organization and sin-levelers pop by to call them ‘bitter’ and tell them that bitterness is a sin. It is heinous to equate the sins of sexual and physical abuse to a victim’s righteous anger and sense of betrayal at not being protected.

    When someone is prosecuted for murder, rape, theft, or other crimes, no one dismisses the case on the grounds that the victim, the judge, and the entire jury are all sinners. And it is not going to happen here. Julie Anne won’t let that happen.

    When you concluded that it was time to put aside your anger, that was your own choice. No one else gets to decide that for an abuse survivor. No one gets to try to make an abuse survivor feel guilty.

    Anger is a normal and necessary emotion. Many victims wonder what they did wrong and blame themselves for being abused. They need to understand that nothing they did caused the abuse and nothing excuses it. They need to get angry as part of the healing process.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Marsha

    I think you couldn’t have said it better,,,,,,,,,,,

    ,,,,”When someone is prosecuted for murder, rape, theft, or other crimes, no one dismisses the case on the grounds that the victim, the judge, and the entire jury are all sinners.”

    Of course, I think we both conclude the same can be said toward those that practice spiritual and mental abuse who imply victims as “bitter” as a way to divert attention away from their own sin and focus on the victim’s,,,what they refer as “rebellion” when the victim cry foul against the abuser..

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  18. The word “bitter” is sometimes used by women towards other women.

    It’s a term that a lot of Christians use to shut other Christians up. It’s like in some circles, if a person expresses anger or sadness over anything, another Christian will come along to tell her (or him) that she is bitter.

    I’ve had the word bitter lobbed at me on other blogs, when I was expressing disagreement, I find it a very condescending thing to do.

    The person who uses the word “bitter” often tries to make YOU or your reaction the focus off attention, rather than whatever it is you are talking or complaining about.

    I’ve even had Christians call me “bitter” on blogs when I was no such thing, and I was not even angry whenever I was typing what I was typing. I think Christians might want to ban the word “bitter” from their vocabulary since it’s over-used and used incorrectly.

    In my entire life, I’ve met very few people who I would actually categorize as “bitter.”

    I’ve seen some Christians write some very insulting or incendiary things on their blogs or forums, and when they are understandably challenged on their rude views, they shoot back, “You sound bitter.”
    They set up the very conditions to make people angry then knock them down when they do get angry by calling them “bitter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ah, that favorite ploy of abusers. Mistreat ’em until they are angry, as anybody would be. Then discredit and shut ’em both up and down with accusations of bitterness. Unfortunately, in a church setting it’s not just abusive pastors who end up using the ploy. Perfectly gentle, well meaning, wouldn’t-hurt-a-flea congregants, having learned by example, end up engaging in this destructive ploy. Here’s how it recently happened to me:

    Several months ago one of the people who does my hair was encouraging me to attend her church. She does this regularly. Well, on this occasion I shared my views on why I think organized church may well be the Great Whore who sits on many waters and who is the mother of prostitutes. You know, arrogant and narcissistic pastors, recurring demands that congregants pony up a tithe even though no such demand is made of believers anywhere in the New Testament, that unassailable wall between clergy and laity so that laity are not allowed to use their gifts, talents, training and experience, and so on.

    Well, this gentle, well meaning soul just sort of automatically blurted out that I was bitter. I proceeded to explain that I was angry, not bitter. I made sure she now has a working knowledge regarding the necessity of working through anger. She is no doubt possessed of a firm conviction that if one, in the interests of “just getting over it,” represses or stuffs anger, it will at some point come out sideways (we repress to express). Whether she retained the lesson or not, she was availed of the opportunity to gain a working knowledge of the righteous means by which anger may be resolved.

    When I got home, my wife observed that it was not one of the better haircuts I had ever received. 🙂

    Anyhow, two points: 1) Because entire congregations will tend to mimic their pastors’ manipulative tendencies to falsely accuse others (especially women) of bitterness, church attenders who are suffering actual abuse have nowhere to turn–not even to their friends. 2) Actual bitterness, which is akin to unforgiveness, can be destructive to the one who harbors it. However, because so many have learned to automatically judge and attack the one who is suffering, there often is nobody we fellowship with who can with empathy and love nurture the one who suffers back to wholeness.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. In case anybody cares, my story has a happy ending. When I went back for another haircut just a few days ago, I was *not* invited to church again. The topic of forgiveness did come up, although I’m sure it had nothing to do with the “enthusiasm” with which I had previously addressed the differences between bitterness and righteous anger. This time I got a really good haircut.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Well, on this occasion I shared my views on why I think organized church may well be the Great Whore who sits on many waters and who is the mother of prostitutes”

    BWAHAHA! Ok, back to reading.

    Like

  22. “However, because so many have learned to automatically judge and attack the one who is suffering…”

    And there is the answer we all wished we had had to those accusations of bitterness. Because nobody wants to be “judgmental”, right? Turn it around and make them think.

    Oh and I always love their definition of forgiveness: Pretend it never happened and shut up. Sorry, no can do. Have a duty to warn others. It is up to them whether they listen or not. But perhaps there might be some red flags in the future they actually see.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Gary W said

    She is no doubt possessed of a firm conviction that if one, in the interests of “just getting over it,” represses or stuffs anger, it will at some point come out sideways (we repress to express).

    This is about my entire family.

    My mother brought me up to believe that nice Christian women are supposed to be nice at all times, which includes repressing all anger. You’re supposed to allow people to use and abuse you and don’t do or say anything to defend yourself.

    More recently (I’m trying to skip over a fairly long story), I was chewed out by my father because I was seeking emotional support (over feeling sad over things, which I shall not get into) from some extended family.

    The extended family (all of whom are Christian, many are regular church goers) told my father about it (he is a Christian also), and he seems to feel I should not trouble anyone with any of these things.
    According to my father, I’m supposed to take my sadness and other negative emotions, keep them to myself, don’t expect others to listen or care, and take my mind off it by volunteering to help other people.

    It’s not that I am opposed to people helping other people (at soup kitchens) and so forth, but it seems to me that the popular American and Christian idea of getting over your own problems by helping other people is a form of repression – ignore your problems and negative feelings.

    The biggest take away I get from my family and other Christians in general is that 1.) it is wrong to have needs and 2.) it is wrong (or selfish) to try to get those needs met.

    I just re-read a book I have by a Christian psychologist who says all that is backwards… you should try to have your needs met, don’t stuff down your feelings, etc.
    If you want to really be healed of things that bother you (especially things from the past), you need to confront them, work through them, and talk them over with a supportive person NOT deny those things or feelings, ignore them, busy yourself with volunteer work to take your mind off them, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “he seems to feel I should not trouble anyone with any of these things.”

    Well, what about “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”(Galatians 6:2 ESV)

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Gary W said,
    Well, what about “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”(Galatians 6:2 ESV)

    I know. That Bible verse has often gone through my mind the last few years since my mother has died, but my family -and they profess to be Christians- apparently don’t know about that verse or do not care. I’ve run into similar views by Christians I’ve bumped into the last few years, including at my father’s church (I went to his church for awhile and stopped going).

    Other people deserve care and compassion, but not me, is the message I get… I should just move on, volunteer at soup kitchens, and stop expecting or hoping they (or any Christian person) will care.

    Like

  26. Daisy, Jesus cares, our Father Who art in Heaven cares, and we care. So grateful you shared your experiences here with all of us for it leaves stains of tears and yet such hope for as the song goes, “You’re only human.” You are not a transhuman, Praise our LORD.

    For some reason, your post prompted several verses that I held in high regard during a time of testing in my life….if I may share:

    1 Peter 2:4-5 “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” NKJV

    Are we to be living stones to a fallen world? Was not Jesus a living stone who became the Cornerstone of His Ekklesia? Or did He have a “heart of stone” as witnessed today who say they are Christians, yet are not living nor abiding in Him?

    You stated, “If you really want to be healed of things that bother you (especially things from the past), you need to confront them, work through them, and talk them over with a supportive person NOT deny these things or ignore them, busy yourself with volunteer work to take your mind off them, etc.”

    You stated truth here and my heart and eyes cry with you. It is becoming increasingly sadder and sadder to see the internet used as a good resource for sharing our trials and tribulations with one another, due in fact, to the very nature of man’s heart in not bearing one another’s burdens so as to edify Christ. The internet has provided also, a safer forum in which to discuss real life issues in anonymity and in truth, two aspects of which most churches cannot handle. Have you ever confided in a “church member” or one who holds their “leadership office” in high esteem, only to discover the confidential information confessed has been made “public” to the rest of the pew sitters? No respect, no love, and even in the churches, NO PRAYER. Perhaps this is why many know in their heart, if they truly need help in the form of a tender listening ear, wise and sound council, helping hands, and real, Holy Spirit led prayer, they find these precious attributes in the many who have come out of the church system. Some of the most abusive people sit in those pews every Sunday or Saturday evening making a “pony show” of their religion, and yet Jesus has not pierced their hearts and minds with His Ways or His Teachings. This is why the ministry of God, the Holy Spirit, is required to be a born again Christian for without Him, one is not a true Christian. Circumcision is of the heart and there is absolutely nothing of the flesh that we can do any longer. It is a precious gift from God.

    With that said, precious Daisy, a rare and true living stone,

    If I may once again share….before my scare with cancer and surgery to remove a tumor, I was told by a faithful Baptist church member, the reason I was suffering was because of “my own sin.” With eyes wide, wide open, I was literally rendered speechless by this church member, who is occasionally asked to “preach God’s Word from the pulpit.” I wonder if this individual spoke those same words to all of the other pew people who were struggling with health issues, including his own father?

    Also, I began to share my health issues with a woman who was the leader of the “prayer chain (who incidentally was forward and direct in sharing her health issues with anyone who would listen in church),” for she immediately waved her arms in the air stating, and I quote, “Oh, we don’t confess our sickness into the air for there are power in our words!” She shut me down right then and there. Please know, dear public, that this response is one of the fruits of following heretics such as Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin…….or any other false teacher that preaches a health, wealth, and prosperity religion. It is a religion of abuse and contrary to what these wolves teach, we are not “a god, a little god, or little gods” as they quote.

    When people do not care nor listen, I run, not walk, jog, or trot…..I run, run, run to the Scriptures and God’s Word, for it is there that I am humbled and know that I am loved by the King, Jesus.

    Sorry Daisy….this is getting wordy again……regarding feelings and emotion……

    Liked by 1 person

  27. And so I sprinted to the Word of God, seeking comfort, strength and peace…..and mostly, love.

    Luke 22: 39-44 The Prayer in the Garden
    “Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me, nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly, then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

    Similar accounts can be found in Matthew 26 and Mark 14.

    Matthew 26: 38-39 “And He said to them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “Oh my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

    Or how about that wonderful verse in Scripture where Jesus, Son of God, Son of man, literally……”Jesus wept.” John 11:35

    Daisy, are not these verses wonderful and beautiful to the point of Jesus understanding the suffering, struggles, and the humanness of all humanity? I love these Scriptures, fully knowing that Jesus understands more than we do, so much, much more than any human being. Praise Him! What comfort, what peace, what joy!

    Amazingly, I did confess the incidents that transpired with so called church people, my concerns and hurts, my fears, and the verses in my Bible that portrayed Jesus’ feelings and emotions. And I asked her point blank, “Why am I not allowed to have any feelings when Jesus in fact, exhibited such raw emotion?” I was a mess, in tears, and felt so incredibly unloved by the religious. So UNLOVED!

    Do you know what she did? This surgeon, this woman, this self professed born again Christian, lifted her hands, enveloped my face with her palms, and drew close, her tender eyes meeting mine, and said, “You are so precious.” As our check up drew to a close, she left me sitting there with tears of joy, feeling loved. Yes loved. Jesus knows, Jesus understands, Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
    Jesus speaks truth.

    I am sorry, for I still get “emotional” over knowing at that moment, I was sitting “in church,” for “the church” has no walls with which to separate itself. The Ekklesia, called out ones, are living and alive through the power of His Holy Spirit, drawing human souls to our Savior. My surgeon said that I was precious……

    Daisy……I/we say, “You are precious.”

    And when this woman of God said that word, “precious,” that wonderful verse in 1 Peter 2:4 where it says, “……but chosen by God and precious” became alive and active within my soul…..emotions and feelings and all……yes, Alleluia and Amen.

    God’s Word is still alive and active. Jesus be with you, Daisy.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “Good evening Lydia. I believe I stumbled toward the end of my 5:24 PM post. Do you see it?”

    No, I don’t. Can you share elaborate? I thought it was darn good.

    Like

  29. “Other people deserve care and compassion, but not me, is the message I get… I should just move on, volunteer at soup kitchens, and stop expecting or hoping they (or any Christian person) will care.”

    Once you come to the realization that they aren’t going to care or agree and work through the grief it can be very freeing. You view them as unhealthy and untrustworthy and can have a sort of superficial civil relationship when they are family and harder to avoid completely. I know, sounds dumb but we are to live at peace as much as we can. In my case, we are just really busy all the time and tend to travel on Holidays. We have been down the road of trying to get them to understand and it is a waste of time to go over it again and again. There are always new twists and narratives they trot out to excuse behavior –so what is the point? The bottom line is we do not know the same Jesus so why keep going down the same roads?

    I have a term for the Christian types you describe: Christian Social Darwinists. They have a survival of the fittest mentality that Christians are to suppress their grief, fear, and rise above any abuse immediately…especially if it came from a Christian leader.. A lot of people go along because they think it either biblical or they want to be accepted by the group/family. It is a pack/tribe mentality. And it is all over evangelicalism.

    They are not healthy or safe when it comes to any sort of emotional problem due to spiritual abuse or any sort of abuse. Forge a new life. Easier said than done but doable.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Lydia,

    I stumbled when I spoke of a target of abuse “harboring” bitterness. To say that one “harbors” bitterness is church-speak for “your bitterness is an active choice you have made, so get over it.” It would have been much better had I spoken of “experiencing” bitterness, or some such.

    Like

  31. We are created to be connected—connected to each other and connected to God. Although the following articles by Brenda Ratcliff do not directly address the issue of the loneliness that seems to be so inherent in evangelical doctrine and practice, I suggest that they provide helpful insight:

    http://goo.gl/h9gjNA (“An Emotionally Unavailable God”)

    http://goo.gl/U89PO6 (“Connection as the Remedy for Addiction”)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Lydia,

    “Christian Social Darwinists.” That’s one I have not heard before, but a truth in the rough. It’s like dead stones stoning the living stones with gigantic boulders. Love your reply.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Lydia, I have noticed this too. I was a member of an evangelical church when my father died. The next Sunday I arrived at church and received condolences from various people. One woman noticed my eyes well up with tears and admonished me that Christians have no reason to cry at death since we will be reunited in Heaven. In less than ONE WEEK, I was expected to be over my grief!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Marsha,

    I understand the harsh realities of heavy handed toxic Doctrines and the sinful Methodologies they apply on their Congregations.

    When I think of the word “admonish” words like reprimand, rebuke or rake/haul over the coals.

    If that is what happened to you and it wouldn’t surprise that it did I find it appalling that it is being tolerated.

    The consoling side of me would like to think the woman was admonishing in a gentle and comforting way to encourage you, but my hunch is she embraced a reckless methodology and simply ignored that God gives us the ability to mourn in our own unique way.

    I’m not sure if I’ll really get over the death of both my father and mother because of my own unique situation.

    Like

  35. “One woman noticed my eyes well up with tears and admonished me that Christians have no reason to cry at death since we will be reunited in Heaven. In less than ONE WEEK, I was expected to be over my grief!”

    And Marsha, they can be like this at the funeral home when they come to pay respects!

    I think we can learn from the Jews on this one. There is a point to sitting Shiva. I came across it right out of college when one of my Jewish friends had a parent die. The mirrors were covered and people came and sat and cried with the mourners. It was bizarre to me at the time but it is a real bonafide grieving period where crying and sorrow is allowed in full. I realize there are differing variations of this but the overall point is valid.

    I did not attend church for several months after my mom died. Everything made me cry because she spent her life as a musician and so much of the music triggered my loss of her. It is a shame to think one has to worry about making others uncomfortable at church because of their grief. the shallow platitudes of Christians can get old. It is perfectly ok for us to grieve our loss even when we know we will see them again. I still well up with tears often because I miss my mom so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. “I stumbled when I spoke of a target of abuse “harboring” bitterness. To say that one “harbors” bitterness is church-speak for “your bitterness is an active choice you have made, so get over it.” It would have been much better had I spoken of “experiencing” bitterness, or some such.”

    Darn! I left you a comment about this but now see it did not post. You are being a bit too hard on yourself but I see your point.

    After years of hearing this when I dare say any even remotely related to spiritual abuse I now stop and ask what they mean by being bitter. I get them talking about it and eventually it really boils down to: “you should not talk about it at all. You should pretend it never happened” So I go there with them. Why not? Why is talking about my personal experience or others experiences being bitter. Would it be bitter if it was a murder or a rape? It happened. And so on. It is funny how THEY are offended by your speaking of your own injustice. You are offending them because they like the abuser! It is uncanny. To find a way to go there with them without being defensive has been a major change in how they view the situation. At the very least they might have some more radar on. which was my goal.

    Warning: This ONLY works with pew sitters who are ignorant of what is really going on. It does NOT work with the ministry charlatans who make their living off Jesus.

    People really get uncomfortable when they think they are “censoring” someone from telling their story even if they hate the story and want to only think good of the church/pastor or whatever. One thing I never do is “defend”. Never. I never try to convince them I am not bitter. Not going there. It is meant to be a convo stopper so I make it a convo starter and ask their opinions about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Thank you Katy for your words of encouragement.

    I’ve found a few blogs or forums on the internet more helpful to me since my mother passed away than Christians I’ve met or known in real life, including some family members.

    I’ve had some other problems the last few years, but my mother’s passing was a big one. I tried turning to other Christians I know in real life for emotional support, but they act like spending an hour on the phone with me once every two or three months where I can discuss some of these things (which is all I was seeking) it too great an imposition.

    Both sides of my family (most are Christians) seem to believe strongly that you should not talk about problems or sad feelings you are having. You are supposed to ignore those negative feelings and bury yourself in a career or volunteer work. I see that attitude pop up on a lot of Christian TV shows, pod casts, and other blogs too.

    I am not knocking helping other people or volunteer work (I have in fact volunteered at charities since my mother died), but I don’t find that helpful personally. I feel the need to talk through problems I’m having but most people don’t want to listen, not even the people I’ve listened to for years, when they were upset.

    You said,

    If I may once again share….before my scare with cancer and surgery to remove a tumor, I was told by a faithful Baptist church member, the reason I was suffering was because of “my own sin.”

    I’m so very sorry. (I hope your health is better now.)

    That attitude, that scenario is familiar. I’ve come across a similar attitude from Christians in my own life regarding situations I’ve faced. I’m sorry you did not get the compassion you needed or wanted but were lectured and scolded.

    I sometimes wonder if other Christians have not bothered reading the Bible they profess to believe in? The Bible makes it plain in some passages that when bad things happen to a person it’s not always due to the person’s sin or it’s not always their fault.

    The book of Job, for example, is one big example of how NOT to comfort someone who is hurting physically or emotionally. When God allowed Satan to ruin Job’s life, and Job’s friends told him his calamity was due to his own sin, God had to make an appearance at the end of the story to correct that thinking!

    Your example here

    Also, I began to share my health issues with a woman who was the leader of the “prayer chain (who incidentally was forward and direct in sharing her health issues with anyone who would listen in church),” for she immediately waved her arms in the air stating, and I quote, “Oh, we don’t confess our sickness into the air for there are power in our words!” She shut me down right then and there

    Reminds me of something similar that happened to me. I won’t go into details, but a woman at my father’s church, who I had confided in about some painful things in my life, got rather short or nasty with me in Sunday School one week and a few months later did something hypocritical related to it. So I can relate.

    Christians – at least the ones I’ve seen in real life and a few other blogs (not this one) I’ve seen – don’t seem to want to weep along with the one who is weeping. They act like a hurting person is an inconvenience.

    They want you to hurry up out of your emotional pain or grief and never talk about it with them. They can’t be bothered to take phone calls from you and listen, or meet you over a cup of coffee. They want you to shove all the negativity down, plant a fake smile on your face, and don’t trouble them with your troubles.

    I keep running into that behavior and attitude a lot, including with my own family(again, many of whom are Christians) – and my mother used to tell me all the time that my family would “always be there for me, no matter what.” That has turned out to be so very un-true, I wonder now if my mother was in deep denial about how her family (and my father’s side) really are.

    Like

  38. Thank you Katy for your other post.
    I am barely holding on to the Christian faith anymore, in part because of how Christian family (and some church people) were not there for me when I needed them (or still need them). One of the only things that has kept me drifting away totally is Jesus Himself, what I read of him in the New Testament.

    There have been several Bible verses or passages that have stuck with me the most the last few years, or that come to mind first, and one of them is one you cited, this one:

    Matthew 26: 38-39 “And He said to them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.”

    That has been one of the verses/passages that has resonated with me the last few years, among a few others.

    Like

  39. Lydia,
    yes I’ve come to several realizations the last few years, including the one you mentioned about them never caring. I’ve had to let that go. It’s been hard and was like experiencing another death, so I had to grieve that.

    It’s been very hard, because for one, my mother raised me that family will always be there for me, anytime I need help or anything, I can always count on these people. My mother passed away a few years ago, it was a huge blow to me.

    So, I’ve tried reaching out for emotional support to some of the very family she always told me would be there for me, and they either ignore me, brush me off, or tell my father I’ve tried contacting them, he gets upset and sort of chews me out and advises me to throw myself into volunteer work.

    I’ve tried the volunteer work, by the way, but it does not alleviate my emotional issues. I don’t see how stuffing my issues down, ignoring them, and throwing myself into busy work helps anything.

    Most of my family is very codependent, my mother very much so. They all think that having needs and trying to get them met (or even admitting to have needs) is a form of selfishness and is shameful, but I have learned in the last few years none of that is true.

    I have tried to get past all that, but it’s been very hard. I’m still stuck in a position where I don’t have anyone I can talk to in person or over the phone.

    Part of me still remains in shock that these Christian relatives (and a few church people I’ve met) have blown me off, or refuse to help me in a crisis or just to be a friend to me.

    Really, all I was asking or looking for from any of these people was a chat on the phone for maybe an hour about a month every 2 to 4 months, but they act like that is just asking too dang much (and these people are retired and have good health. They don’t have busy schedules).
    There’s also this attitude that you are supposed to just suck things up and live life. Don’t fact problems head on.

    Lydia said,

    I have a term for the Christian types you describe: Christian Social Darwinists. They have a survival of the fittest mentality that Christians are to suppress their grief, fear, and rise above any abuse immediately…especially if it came from a Christian leader.. A lot of people go along because they think it either biblical or they want to be accepted by the group/family. It is a pack/tribe mentality. And it is all over evangelicalism.

    Christian Social Darwinism is a good term for it, and it sounds like it describes my family and many Christians I’ve come across in person or on other sites.

    Lydia said,

    They are not healthy or safe when it comes to any sort of emotional problem due to spiritual abuse or any sort of abuse.

    One thing that drives me nuts about the people I’ve described (mostly family) is that they are hypocrites about this.

    I have listened to my father, sister, and occasionally brother, complain or cry about their problems for hours over many years, and I’ve been a support to them. I have listened to them complain endlessly and vent, and I’ve not judged or criticized them or told them to repress it all and go volunteer.

    I also had a long time internet friend pull this on me. She says she is a Christian. We’ve only known each other over the internet, we’ve never spoken on the phone or met in person.

    She’s complained to me for many years about her job, health problems, etc, and I’ve been very compassionate to her. I’ve been empathetic. I’ve not yelled at her, I’ve not blamed her for her own problems, I’ve not judged her.

    In the last few years, I’ve shared with her some of my struggles with her (a few which are similar to hers), and she blew up at me a few weeks ago, screamed at me, said she does not “give a f–k” anymore about me. I’ve never exploded at her like that or used that sort of language with her.

    I’ve been a sympathetic sounding board to these people for many years, but they refuse to do so for me. They want me to listen to them with compassion and console them when they are sad, frustrated, or angry, and I have been.

    However, when I go to them under those circumstances, I get shamed or scolded for having negative feelings, for having problems, for having needs, and am told to shut up and get over it and go help some homeless guy at a soup kitchen. The double standard has been breath taking.

    Can you guess who won’t be a sympathetic sounding board to these people anymore?
    (Me, that’s who. They’re going to have to find a new person to complain or cry to, I am not providing them that service any longer.)

    Anyway, I have been trying to do some of the things you suggested. It’s a process, though. I’m still on the journey of accepting I cannot count on my family (and many church people) for support.

    Like

  40. Gary W said,

    I stumbled when I spoke of a target of abuse “harboring” bitterness. To say that one “harbors” bitterness is church-speak for “your bitterness is an active choice you have made, so get over it.” It would have been much better had I spoken of “experiencing” bitterness, or some such.

    I have come across a small number of people who IMO are truly bitter, who are choosing to stay where they are and not move through or past their problems and hurt.

    However, I’ve seen too many Christians use the “you are bitter” accusation as a tool to shut down people who are sincerely hurting.

    I think a lot of evangelical Christians think people should be able to get over grief, heartache, and disappointment instantly – when the fact is, getting over hurt and pain is a process. I

    t’s a process that might take weeks or years, and it will involve a lot of crying, expressing anger, and may mean seeing a therapist or taking medications.
    But so many Christians think you should get over problems and hurt in two seconds, never talk about the pain, stuff the pain and anger down, and that seeing a psychologist is wrong or “worldly.”

    You’re supposed to just tough it out alone, just you, and Jesus and Bible reading. And that never worked for me.

    Here lately, I’ve been in a position of having to go through things alone because I don’t have a choice (thanks to a selfish family who think it’s normal to repress negative feelings and /or bury them by volunteering at charities).

    Like

  41. Marsha said,

    One woman noticed my eyes well up with tears and admonished me that Christians have no reason to cry at death since we will be reunited in Heaven. In less than ONE WEEK, I was expected to be over my grief!

    Yep. Yep. Yep. I can so relate.

    I keep running into that over and over from Christian family, Christians I’ve met in churches the last few years, and sometimes on other web sites.

    In my family though, they not only expect you to get over any hurt, grief or pain instantly, but they also keep hitting me over the head with the concept of helping other people, as in, go volunteer at a soup kitchen. “Go help someone else, it will take your mind off you, and you are thinking too much of yourself.”

    I have volunteered at soup kitchens. It didn’t do anything to make the pain go away. I also don’t think it’s healthy to bury negative feelings under the guise of “helping those less fortunate.”

    I suspect that Christians who advise the “go work at a soup kitchen!” route to hurting people are ashamed by their own negative feelings (such as sadness) and that they feel ashamed, or weak, to admit to others or to themselves that they have needs.

    Like

  42. Lydia said,

    It is a shame to think one has to worry about making others uncomfortable at church because of their grief. the shallow platitudes of Christians can get old. It is perfectly ok for us to grieve our loss even when we know we will see them again. I still well up with tears often because I miss my mom so much.

    I’m sorry for your loss and that your mom being gone still hurts.

    (It’s been several years since my mother died, and I still miss her. It’s not as bad as it was the first few years after she died. My grief would have been cut down in years substantially if any of my family had bothered to be there for me after she died, but I had to go through it alone.)

    The platitudes. I hate those.

    Depending on when and how Christians quote Bible verses at me, I’m okay with it (like with Katy above, her quoting verses didn’t bother me, because she was sincerely trying to help), but sometimes, Bible verses quoted can rub me the wrong way.
    Romans 8:28 in particular is over-used to the point it’s become a cliche’, and I do not like that verse anymore.

    I had one Christian friend who made his condolence e-mail about my mother’s death all about himself. He did this in reply to an e-mail I sent out announcing that my mother had just passed away the week before and the funeral was coming up.

    In response, this friend wrote me a peppy, happy e-mail about his new car, his great trip to Hawaii, etc. I was beyond appalled.

    I wrote him later and told him how tacky and self absorbed his e-mail in response to mine about my mother’s death was.

    He wrote back and scolded and lectured me. He said I should be able to laugh and joke even in the hours and days after her death because he was once able to laugh and joke at the funeral of his 86 year old Aunt Becky (who he didn’t even know that well).

    I was stunned at the lack of sensitivity and that the felt he got to dictate how I felt about my mother’s death, and how I should act and feel. I wrote him back and totally ripped his head off and to this day I’ve not had anything to do with him.

    I am amazed at the lack of sensitivity Christians have towards people who are in grief or under-going other types of problems and pain.

    Like

  43. Daisy,

    Mar 1 at 5:44 PM I am barely holding on to the Christian faith anymore, in part because of how Christian family (and some church people) were not there for me when I needed them (or still need them).

    You hold on girl!! Jesus comes to you right where you are. He comes before family, friends or acquaintances. It took me years and a lot of prayer to find just a couple of good friends that are there for me. One is my own age and has gone through similar experiences so we talk a lot, the other is a 75 year old lady who was never married and not saved until age 40, we have great conversations and are right there for one another when we are most in need. The third one has dementia and was put in assisted living last year. I came to believe that Jesus wanted to be my go to first friend before allowing others to come into my life. It literally took 3 years before meeting the first of the 3. Jesus is still my first go to friend. He is who quiets my soul.

    Now that I am through most of the hurt with some triggers here and there I can see how he was working and answering prayer even when I didn’t see it at the time. When I was grieving I didn’t want people spouting off scripture or telling me to pray. I was doing those things on my own. I wanted people to listen, to have empathy and perhaps a shoulder to cry on. No one has a right to tell us how long our grief should last.

    Like

  44. @Michaela:

    Why not use the term “bitter” you ask?
    In experience it’s usually men who use the word “bitter” to shut down women, their experiences, and their valid concerns.

    And it isn’t bitterness at all.
    I’ve seen REAL bitterness close up.
    It seems to run in my family if you’re female and over 60 or so. Especially if you’re a domineering sort who’s aging out of being in control.
    And REAL bitterness devours all around it.

    Like

  45. @JulieAnne:

    The obsession by a lot of men about a woman’s breast size certainly affects how women view themselves. How many women have had breast augmentation surgery because they don’t measure up to these ridiculous standards?

    Probably too many.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a story about a boob job that ended well.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. @Mark:

    In my view women have the ability to hold all the the cards, but some of them allow their emotions to run away prematurely causing them to hook up with guys they shouldn’t have in the first place as they have an unhealthy view of Intimacy.

    This touches on something that’s really bugged me for literally decades:
    Why so many girls/women fall for Users & Abusers. Why User & Abuser triggers an “OOOOO! MY SOULMATE!” reaction in so many. Is Harley Quinn Syndrome that widespread or something? Or has 50 Shades of Anastasia become the norm?

    Like

  47. I wrote an article for my blog about the word, bitter, and its misuses.

    Bitter is almost exclusively an attack against a woman, usually an older woman.

    The patriarchy doesn’t seem to know what to do with older women, we crones might just resent being pushed aside by life’s cruel circumstances that leave us with no power and little reason. We are no longer, um, er, what was that word, captivating, that’s right and we are no longer able to bear children for our husbands so we sit in the shadows properly quiet but burning on the inside; bitter.
    So that lovely fate is brought on by the same people that then go and insult the people they injured.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. opinemine,
    I don’t know how old you are, but I’m not 60 quite yet so according to Paul I should get married again so I won’t become a gossip. Now up thread a couple of the gentlemen were discussing why women fall for users/abusers. I can think of numerous reasons. Deceit of who they really are, 4 men to ever 1 woman ratio, pressure from church and family for girls to get married so they will have someone to “take care” of them when in reality it could turn out to be the other way around. I personally thought I was marrying a Christian. Wrong!!!

    I’m not popping out anymore children, much too close to 60 for that, there are very few men my age or even a little older than are single and worth a nickel. Most of them were abusing someone in the past that ditched them and no thank you I’m not going down that road again. I don’t consider that bitter, I consider it consciously aware of my surroundings. Oh yes, and most men my age are looking for someone who is 25. That is certainly not me.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Thank you, so much, Brenda, for the words of encouragement.

    Some of the only encouragement and words of compassion I have received from Christians – or anyone – has been online.

    My real life family members (and a few Christians I met at churches I’ve gone to) get angry when I try to talk to them about things I’m going through.

    They think me feeling sad and admitting to it is a form of selfishness. I don’t agree with that. I don’t see why or how someone feeling depressed or discouraged and reaching out for help to talk about it is “selfish,” but it’s depicted that way by many Christians I see.

    The Christians I’ve gone to expect me to repress or ignore the negative feelings and only help other people. I’m supposed to only care about other people but not myself – I don’t understand that.

    This is very foreign to me. My mother was my best friend, and I could talk to her at any time about anything, and she did not scold me or shame me or judge me.
    I assumed other people were like my mother in that regard, but I’ve been mostly wrong about that. Most people have been the total opposite of my mother.

    I too did not like people quoting Scripture at me, giving advice, or giving me platitudes when I was under going grief the first few years after my mother died, or giving advice.

    Some people actually scolded me for being in grief at the time (these were Christians who did this).

    I really do think that a lot of people, including Christians, are disturbed or annoyed by people who are hurting and who are open about the fact they are hurting.

    My experience has been most Christians want you to stuff down or ignore your pain, swallow it, pretend you are okay, and get on with life pronto.

    They do not make allowances or give you time to cry and mourn.
    You are expected to get over your pain quickly and while you are in pain, do not cry openly or admit to struggling – stay quiet about it.

    The thing that still burns me up and upset me now (yes, I’m trying to get over this, but it’s hard) is that these same people phone me up, or e-mail me, complaining or crying for hours about THEIR pain and sorrow over their relationships, health problems, or whatever they are going through.

    And for years, I have been there for them, a source of comfort and encouragement when they phoned me or wrote me about their problems.

    They don’t want to listen to me cry or complain, but they expect me to listen to them cry or complain.

    If they do listen to me at all, they are not patient or sympathetic.
    They act impatient with me, and they often turn around and judge me, tell me to get over it, move on already, go work in a soup kitchen, etc.

    I have never acted that way when they phone or e-mail me to complain or cry or vent about issues in their lives. I don’t say much; but when I do, I have only offered words of comfort.

    It’s infuriating to me these people I know apply one standard to me and another for themselves.

    I’m glad you have a friend or two you can talk to in person or on the phone.

    Like

  50. HUG said,

    This touches on something that’s really bugged me for literally decades:
    Why so many girls/women fall for Users & Abusers. Why User & Abuser triggers an “OOOOO! MY SOULMATE!” reaction in so many.

    There are many books out there that explain why, if you want to read them to understand why.

    One book is called The Gift of Fear. Another: Why Does He Do That. Another: No More Christian Nice Girl. Another: The Nice Girl Syndrome. These books will help you understand why women date and marry jerks.

    In a nutshell: Most American women are socialized (Christian ones doubly so, ones who are raised by conservative Christian parents who attend traditional, gender comp churches) to have traits that appeal to men who are abusive.

    The flip side, is that most American women (Christian women especially) are taught to find men who have abusive traits attractive.

    Not that women want to marry a man who treats them like dirt or who beat them up, but women are taught that the same qualities they should want in a man are often some of the very same ones that abusive jerks happen to have.

    That is why I find the Christian hand wringing over “50 Shades of Grey” movie and book totally hypocritical, because some types of Christians (such as Southern Baptists and gender complementarians) tell girls that they are to be in a domineering relationship where the man is in charge, just like the one Ana in the book has with Christian Grey in “50 Shades of Grey.”

    Christian culture sets women up to be in abusive relationships then blames them when they get in one, then tells them they are STUCK staying married to those abusive clowns, because God supposedly hates divorce and is against it for any and all reasons.

    Please understand: women do NOT want to be abused. Women do not want to date or marry jerks. That is not what I am saying. But secular culture and Christian culture teaches women it is the best they can hope for, or that it’s their lot in life, etc., and it raises them so that they are irrestible to abusive men

    Abusive men usually choose women who lack boundaries, who are meek, sweet, who are compliant, etc, and those are the same qualities Christians tell women they should have, to be a “biblical woman.”

    Secular culture also promotes the same qualities… according to secular culture, women are supposed to be passive, sweet, defer to men, never put themselves first.
    Women who have boundaries who are assertive are dubbed “b_tches,” but men who have those qualities are admired for them.

    Women are brainwashed into thinking it is normal to be dating or married to a man where the man makes all the choices, is always in control, and women are told by many conservative churches that God wants women to be meek, weak, and ultra-dependent on a man.

    One book I read was by a woman psychologist. She had a chapter about dating.

    She told the women reading it, if you want to stop attracting abusive men, you need to change how you react and behave, stop sending out the signals that are appealing to abusers. Abusers are attracted to women who lack boundaries.

    (Women in our culture are conditioned to NOT have boundaries. They are discouraged from having boundaries.)

    The reason jerks and abusers get dates – this is something that escapes the PUAs and Men’s Rights doofuses on the internet who complain all the time that they cannot get dates – is because such men are willing to risk rejection. They will ask women out on dates.

    If you want to get a girlfriend, you have to ask women out on dates. Sometimes women will say “no” if you ask them out, but the Alpha Males (I hate that term), do not let that deter them.

    The Men’s Rights and PUA doof-wads are too afraid of rejection to ask a woman out. They would rather sit on their computers all day spouting sexist drivel against women and complaining that women don’t want them.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Re Julie Anne’s quote,

    How many women have had breast augmentation surgery because they don’t measure up to these ridiculous standards?

    In one or two of the books I read – one by a psychiatrist, one by a psychologist – they had case studies in their books about women who date men who are controlling, down to the types of dresses they wear, how they style their hair, etc.

    One book had a rather long example of a 20 or 30 something woman who naively fell for a 50 something guy. The guy picked out all her dresses, ordered her to exercise X hours a day, he got her breast surgery, he got her a permanent eye liner cosmetic procedure, etc. (There was nothing wrong with what she looked like before all this exercise and surgery.)

    After all this, after she went through all the cosmetic surgeries etc, the guy dumped her anyway.
    She said her looks had so changed, she barely recognized herself in the mirror anymore. She said she was staring back at the reflection of who that guy wanted her to be, not who she was.

    The doctor who wrote the book said this is actually rather common.

    The doctor said these men are controlling and are trying to make you (the woman they are dating) into a mirror of themselves – and that these men may not realize it, but that is what they are doing, and so, when the woman jumps through all these hoops and goes through all the changes, the man then finds her boring. He no longer finds her interesting or a challenge.

    Like

  52. Daisy,
    Now that is sad. A young woman changing her entire body to please an older man or any man for that matter!! My daughter is in her mid 30’s and would like to have breast reduction surgery. She got a double whammy from both of her grandmother’s. She didn’t get it from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. opine mine said,

    Bitter is almost exclusively an attack against a woman, usually an older woman.

    They will also lob the “bitter” word at any person who is angry, sad, and who is admitting to such on a blog or over the phone.

    I’ve found that a lot of Christian culture is fixated on youth – just like secular culture is. Churches will ignore most anyone who is past the age of 35 or 40, and this is doubly so for never-married, childless adults.

    I’ve seen some empty nest, married, 40- somethings who said they feel excluded in their churches now. They have noticed that their churches are fixated on anyone under the age of 35, who is married, who has kids living at home.

    Anyway, I’ve been on threads at Christian sites where they are discussing being single.

    I’ve seen the forum hosts or authors use the word “bitter” at almost anyone, regardless of age, who expresses any discontent what-so-ever with being single on those sites.

    If you are anything less than happy clappy at being single, if you are less than thrilled with how the majority of Baptists, Reformed, and evangelicals ignore adult singles (or insulting them on the few times they’re not ignoring singles), the blog or forum host will cal you “bitter,” even if you are 27 or 32 years old. I’ve seen it happen before.

    Some of the authors of these sites make me livid.

    They will sit there and make all sorts of unfounded, negative assumptions explaining to you why you are single at whatever age, like (and yes, I’ve seen this on Christian blogs),
    “You must be single because you are stupid, boring, ugly and fat. You should get a gym membership, lose those extra 124 pounds you’re carrying, attend charm school, learn some funny jokes, get your green moldy teeth fixed at the dentist office, then maybe you will get a date.”

    They’ve never laid eyes on you, but make all these assumptions about you, that you are still single because you are horribly flawed.

    So when you leave a comment disagreeing and telling them how insulting and hurtful their dating advice is, the author will often jump in under your post to call you “bitter.”

    They sit there and write the most insulting, obnoxious garbage about singles, and when they obviously get push back from singles – who are understandably insulted or hurt by their content – they have the nerve to put it back on the singles by calling them bitter. And I’ve seen them do this even on blog pages with a mix of ages, where the singles may range from 25 to 65 years old.

    I guess when they sit there and insult us and tell us what big losers we are, we’re supposed to clap in joy and say, “Whee, thank you so much for putting me down!”

    When you basically tell people they are a bunch of losers (even though they are not), what kind of reaction do you think you are going to get? But the people who write this stuff act like you should agree with their assessment that you are single because you must be a big, stinky loser.

    Like

  54. reply to Brenda R MARCH 3, 2015 @ 12:47 PM

    I wouldn’t fall for it myself, not anymore.

    I grew up with a very critical, negative, perfectionist father who shamed us (my siblings and myself) when we were kids, for what we looked like, or for mistakes we made.

    I realized a few years ago (and the books I read by doctors confirmed this) that you should stop trying to bend yourself backwards to please other people, because no matter how hard you try, they will not be pleased.

    That is true with my father. I busted my rear end in teen years, 20s and most of my 30s to please him. I would bring home straight A report cards, I kept my nose clean (unlike my two older siblings who dabbled in drugs as teens, skipped classes, etc), but even though I was super good and studied hard, my dad was just as negtive and grumpy towards me as he was to the two mis behaving siblings.

    Nothing I ever did was good enough for him, so in my late 30s, I stopped trying to win his approval, as I realized I will never get it. It’s a waste of my time.

    The books I read after that said the same thing. You will never be able to please an overly critical person, so don’t even try. Just life your life and make choices that make you happy.

    In my younger years, I did buy into society’s messages about looks, though. I dieted all the time to stay skinny, etc, because culture kept telling me in movies and books and magazines that I couldn’t get dates unless I looked perfect, so I tried looking like a model all the time.

    Like

  55. Daisy,
    My daughter who was recently married and now pregnant is over weight. She was over weight when she met her husband who is tall and thin. He loves her for who she is, not for her looks. Men like him are the ones worth giving more than 2 minutes of your time. When she was younger she had men ogling over her and didn’t like it.(Big Breasted, which certain clergy that will remain nameless would like) Most of them wanted the one thing that many young men want and she wasn’t having any of that. She gained a lot of weight during her first marriage. Having PCOS makes it difficult to keep weight off no matter what you do. He left her–very superficial guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. I’m glad your daughter is doing better now – that she has a husband who cares about her.

    There’s a lot I could say about this topic, but I’ll try not to get into it all.

    I was picked on a lot when younger, and I was already shy, so I never had boyfriends or dates as a teenager. I went through a chubby phase, nerdy era in junior high but got thin in high school. I started jogging and got in shape.

    By my senior year, I wore make-up to school each day, fixed my hair, and looked really nice, so the boys flirted with me… but by this time, I did not trust the opposite gender, though, so I never let boys get close to me, so I never went on dates.

    It also annoyed me how suddenly, because I was pretty on the outside, the boys wanted me then, but not before, when I was chubby and nerdy. The hypocrisy was a total turn off.

    My ex fiance always told me how pretty I was. After a few years, I asked him to stop telling me that, It bothered me, it hurt me and annoyed me that he was always telling me “you are pretty,” but never complimented me on my talents or anything else. I explained to him my value is not in my looks, please compliment me on my talent or intellect, anything but my looks.

    He never did. It made me feel like a “trophy” girlfriend, that he wanted to be with me only because I was pretty eye candy on his arm, not that he cared about me as a person.

    To this day, it bugs me when all men will notice is my body and face. I have profiles on dating sites, and most men only go by my photo, not by my profile content (like where I list what my hobbies are etc), I can tell by the stuff they write to me, and it makes me hopping angry.

    I don’t mean to sound snobby here – but another thing that annoys me and makes me seethe- Even men who are totally unattractive contact me on these dating sites.

    Looks wise, I am out of their league (again, sorry if I sound egotistical about that, I really am not a stuck up person), but these Elmer Fudd look-alikes, and/ or men 20 or more years my age (I am in my 40s), think they have a shot with me. To me this is kind of sexist that men do this.

    Men, even really ugly ones, or ones way too old for me, all feel entitled to a pretty woman and/or one who is much younger than they are (I have zippo interest in dating men more than five, six years my age).

    Women (single ones) are often told not to be picky – not about the man’s looks, his income (I even see such advice in many Christian sermons or books about singleness and dating)… we ladies are supposed to be non-picky and just “settle”. I hardly ever see men get this advice.

    I do not like being judged on my looks, even if they think I am pretty, but it is a habit of many men to compliment a woman on her looks – never her humor, intellect, career or accomplishments, it’s always how hot she is, or how great she looks in a skirt.

    I want to be liked for who I am. If a guy finds me attractive, that is all well and good, but he should have other reasons he likes me.

    Now that I know about boundaries, there is no way I am jumping through hoops to get or keep a man. If I date a guy who demands I lose weight, or change my hair color, I will tell him to get bent.

    Your daughter’s story reminds me of a woman I worked with years ago (she and I still stay in touch over the internet). She used to have a weight problem. She was single and on dating sites.

    She had a guy or two meet her for dates and tell her “if you want to stay with me, you will have to lose weight.” – She had tears in her eyes when she told me this. I told her how sorry I was. I wanted to slug those guys as hard as I could.

    She had posted current photos of herself on the dating site. If you’re a man who is picky about a woman’s weight, you should not meet a woman with a weight issue for a date and then demand she change for you.

    I now suspect that those men were controllers and abusive. Had she got skinny for them, they would’ve made her jump through hoops in other areas of life.

    Like

  57. Daisy,
    I agree whole heartedly. Anyone who is only looking at a person’s physical appearance is shallow and who needs ’em. Unnecessarily hurting someone’s feelings is abusive and disrespectful. What happens when they find out the good looking person that looks like Barbie or Ken only have marbles between the ears.

    Liked by 1 person

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