What Does Responding Biblically Really Mean?

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This will be short and sweet. I’m in the final crunch of school with only 2-1/2 weeks until graduation (woohoo!!).

Responding Biblically seems to be thrown around a lot. I just tweeted this because I was thinking about a recent debate on Twitter (which I will write about when I get more time).

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I think this phrase can be used in bad ways. I’d like to open this up for discussion.  Who gets to decide what is Biblical or not? Can you see how this phrase can be used to exert power over another?  Do you have any examples of this you would like to share? Does a pastor saying something is more biblical carry more weight? 

69 comments on “What Does Responding Biblically Really Mean?

  1. I won’t take “biblical” without context. For example, pastors think they are being biblical when they use “touch not the Lord’s anointed” when they are refusing any attempts at criticism. However, they quote the verse totally out of its original context: God instructing David not to harm King Saul. So, when people say they are being “biblical”, it’s important to make sure they are being contextual, and not just spouting off proof texts. I think Christ-like words and deeds are so much more important. Those open the door to share the truth of God’s Word with others, and, possibly, to real, Word-based solutions for problems..

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  2. Julie Anne

    What a silly question…
    “What Does Responding Biblically Really Mean?”

    When Julie Anne is “Responding Biblically”

    That means you are agreeing with me. 🙂
    xxxxxxx

    Congratulations… wow only 2 – 1/2 weeks to go. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. In Acts Peter preached: Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

    We are all sinners saved by grace through faith, let us deal with each others burdens in love.

    Acts 2:36-47 New International Version (NIV)

    36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

    37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

    38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

    40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

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  4. To me, “respond biblically” should express the end-point/application of what a person’s conscience leads them to do/say/think, etc. Obviously, the “biblically” part of the phrase demands some interaction with the bible itself–such as through reading/hearing/studying/meditating, etc., and also gaining insight and perspective from trusted sources (prayer, friends, preaching, commentaries, counselors, etc.). That last part “gaining insight” is the vulnerable part of the deal, because it is possible for “friends, preachers, counselors…” to exercise influence through less than honest and deceitful, manipulative ways that violate our consciousness. I find a lot of insight into Paul’s statement that he preached and taught so as to commend himself “to every man’s conscience,” instead of seeking to persuade by means of craftiness and manipulation. (2 Cor 4:2 . . . but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”)
    Great topic! Good luck with your studies, JA!

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  5. A key verse is Ephesians 4:29, which seems to be a work in progress for me, and for everyone, but there is always more to learn. “Let no unwholesome words come from your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up in the Lord”. Another key is to think about what is best for the other person. What’s best for Ravi Zacharias, Tullian, Bill Gothard, and others who have been discussed, it’s the hardest thing, right? 1 Corinthians 13 is another key; to think about how to love one another as brothers and sisters. And how, then, to love others in a way that attracts them to the gospel without compromising it. Looking forward to more discussion on it, but real Biblical Christians should continually learning how to do this.

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  6. For some, it means to shower another with verses to prove your point.

    I really hate when people just spit out verses without discussing themes. Usually they are just being jerky or unwilling (unable?) to have an actual logical conversation about what things mean. I think the way people argue certainly tells you something about them as a person.

    I won’t take “biblical” without context.

    I double check all references (bible verses). Half the time, they are not about what the person says they are about or they don’t say what they think they said.

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  7. Julie Anne,

    I prefer the latter as well.

    We’ve seen a lot of different doctrines who uses scriptures as the basis to their beliefs. The reason why there are so many doctrines in my view, is biblical interpretations differ.

    Some interpretations are more law and sin centered than Christ centered.

    Whether someone is authentically using certain scripture (while ignoring others) as the basis of their belief, or using it as a tool to abuse or control someone they need to see verses that expose that God doesn’t allow abuse.

    This site does have an unusual balancing act to tend to. The basis of this site is Spiritual abuse. You are a Christian mainly exposing abuse in Christian Churches though some of the abuse is a mix of secular intermixing with Spiritual.

    Some of the atheist that respond here, whether they have been abused or not, could care less about the bible, Some turned away from Christianity because of the abuse they suffered.
    This can create an impossible balancing act for you, because you want to reach out to all who have been abused and even those that haven’t.

    When I shared verses for biblical justification for divorce and abuse, one atheist was very critical of me pointing it out suggesting that there doesn’t need biblical justification.. Not sure if she would’ve been as critical if you or Kathi referenced a verse to justify divorce.

    If I had been as harsh with the atheist, I may have been given a time out, at least I hope I would’ve.

    I think most of us are ok exchanging views with both believers and non-believers here, as long as it is civilized and not as rude. My heart aches to hear abuse drove someone from Christianity.

    I found myself writing “if I have been rude, I apologize” who have proclaimed that I haven’t been rude. I made the apologies in the first place for some of the rude aggressive pushback by non-Christians for suggesting we can share a verse of two, when those being written about are using scriptures.

    If this wasn’t a Christian Site, then I would’ve never made the suggestion to share a verse on justifying Divorce when abuse is occuring, when none was given.

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  8. I will throw a kicker into your question. I think Jesus responded Biblically with all of his teachings and actions in that all that he did was in concord with the Tanakh/OT. This is because of the claim that he was without sin. I believe that and since sin is first defined in the Tanakh that is the only thing I think it could mean.

    My point is that I think you are really asking the same question with your two questions. But, of course, this comes with some big caveats. I think Jesus perfectly interpreted Tanakh/OT, but we cannot claim such ability, at least I do not claim such ability and most others I know do not. Also, not matter what, we remain the “nut behind the wheel” as there is still a dependency on us for our interpretations of the texts we have.

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  9. I think, unfortunately, “Biblical” is a codeword for people who claim a corner on the interpretation of the Bible.

    I would say JPU said a lot of it: “Another key is to think about what is best for the other person.”

    Jesus responded to the religious leaders by quoting chapter and verse. Jesus responded to the rest by appealing to logic and common sense. I would say that was “responding biblically”.

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  10. Donald, I think Jesus’ responses were intentional. He knew the motives of people’s hearts, when they were trying to challenge them, or when they were trying to learn.

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  11. Overarching through all of Scripture:
    Do justice
    Love mercy
    Walk humbly
    Truth
    If a response of the church to what is going on in the church or society doesn’t start and end with these then it isn’t Biblical, no matter what some so called scholar or spiritual leader says.
    **Hint: when the Lord was giving instructions such as these he was not encouraging these things be extended toward the wicked or the wolves. He was indicating they should be extended and used for the benefit of the harmed, downtrodden etc. Almost no church is “Biblical” as defined by the simple teaching of the Bible.

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  12. My first thought with the phrase “responding Biblically” is that it’s used to shut down conversation. If someone says this then how does it make others look when they are challenging what was said? Do you dare to challenge what the Bible says? While I work hard at giving people the benefit of doubt, this phrase has never sat well with me.

    Good luck finishing out the end of school crunch time. I don’t know if I can be as excited as you are for finishing, but I’m giving it my best. Woohoo!! I’m so happy and excited for you!!

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  13. When I shared verses for biblical justification for divorce and abuse, one atheist was very critical of me pointing it out suggesting that there doesn’t need biblical justification.. Not sure if she would’ve been as critical if you or Kathi referenced a verse to justify divorce.

    Correction: You weren’t called out because you quoted scripture, but because you insisted that other commenters do so as well. It makes no sense to demand that people base their opinions on the Bible when (a) it isn’t necessary, and (b) those people don’t believe in the Bible.

    If this wasn’t a Christian Site, then I would’ve never made the suggestion to share a verse on justifying Divorce when abuse is occuring, when none was given.

    Again, this is not a Christian site, D. Julie Anne is a Christian. So am I, and so are others. That doesn’t make it a “Christian” blog, and it doesn’t require anyone to refer to the Bible when presenting facts or opinions. Please understand that.

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  14. Correction: You weren’t called out because you quoted scripture, but because you insisted that other commenters do so as well.

    Yes, SKIJ. I believe people tried to tell him this, he wasn’t apparently hearing them.

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  15. Kathi,

    When someone isolates one verse to be the only option for a woman to escape abuse while ignoring others to justify others , this creates more opportunities to expose more of God’s word not shutting it down,, at least in my view.

    But Kathi, I know you are also reaching out to atheist who have endured abuse and they could care less about biblical justifications to do anything. So you have a balancing act.

    If anything, I got shut down in a rather harsh and retaliatory way, for sharing biblical justifications to escape abuse, by an atheist who contribute their opinions. So who knows, they may do the same to you.

    Typically on Christian sites if the Christian writer is exposing biblical misinterpretations from another blogger and doesn’t use available scriptures at her disposal then the argument becomes a secular one, instead of a spiritual one.

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  16. Typically on Christian sites if the Christian writer is exposing biblical misinterpretations from another blogger and doesn’t use available scriptures at her disposal then the argument becomes a secular one, instead of a spiritual one.

    This is where your whole approach went wrong I think. You are likely used to this kind of ‘discussion’, where someone spits out verses and expects you to buy their interpretation. That’s not really the way most discussions go around here. Someone might mention Easter, or Deborah, or a parable of Jesus, without quoting chapter and verse. Because most of this board is very familiar already. The discussion flows on biblical principles, except where as you mention someone might chime in who has rejected them. And that too, is ok.

    You seem to have been deeply offended at getting pushback, but there is nothing ‘retaliatory’ about that. What on earth would anyone hear even do to ‘retaliate’? They are arguing with you, disagreeing with you, and occasionally someone might use rough language to do so. But even when they did neither, you seemed offended. Maybe don’t take pushback so personally?

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  17. I might add, there is nothing wrong with a secular argument. Jesus was concerned with nuts and bolts and real hurting people as much if not more than he was concerned about people getting their theology correct. Many have mentioned it, but it is telling that the people he was most harsh with were religious leaders, who carefully parsed every little word without giving a **** about people.

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  18. Lea,

    My response to Kathi is based on her suggesting that using biblical verses as a counter for those who biblically mis-interpret reasons to flee from abuse, is to shut down the conversation.

    I think it expands the conversations in a Christian site when we are talking about spiritual abuse.

    On a secular site , it doesn’t make any difference whether we give secular or biblical justification.

    But to an atheist who doesn’t believe in the Bible, I can see it being a problem.

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  19. Serving Kids in Japan,

    You wrote : “Again, this is not a Christian site”

    I had no idea this wasn’t a Christian site. That would explain why most of what I’m writing is getting push back.

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  20. “What Does Responding Biblically Really Mean?”

    I guess it depends on what each person feels or thinks. Some may mean “responding biblically” means citing BCV (Book, Chapter, Verse) to back up every single claim made in a theological dispute (and can that get very tiresome).

    While others may mean be kind and polite, even in the midst of a disagreement.

    Or maybe to others, it’s some combination of both those points.

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  21. D writes just like Mark, from a previous thread. Mark also kept insisting this should be a Christian site.

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  22. Linn,

    I’m not going to insist this a Christian thread, I actually mistakenly thought this was already a Christian thread.

    My mistake.

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  23. Linn,

    I certainly don’t have any intention of turning a non-Christian site into a Christian one.

    I have more clarity now.

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  24. “Mark also kept insisting this should be a Christian site.”

    I just thought it WAS a Christian site. Julie Anne set me straight on that.

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  25. Even if it were a ‘Christian site’ in whatever way you would think, that doesn’t mean the only way to talk about things is just to cite bible verses.

    You’re not really listening d.

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  26. Lea,

    If a Christian Blog strictly gives secular responses to a different Christian Blog that is misinterpreting what scripture says about abuse, it won’t carry as much weight to the Christian Blog, they will think they are right.

    There are Christians that are trapped, thinking they don’t have biblical justification to get out of an abusive marriage, which a violation of vows.

    Like I said, I made a mistake, I didn’t know this wasn’t a Christian Blog.

    I apologize.

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  27. D, “If a Christian Blog strictly gives secular responses to a different Christian Blog…”

    I went to blogs armed to the teeth with Bible verses and logical arguments. I doubt I convinced a single person that their view was mistaken.

    I think the real purpose of this blog isn’t to try and hash out Biblical arguments as much as it is giving victims of spiritual abuse a place to come and heal. That healing, in part, has forced me to reconcile verses that were used to justify abuse and to keep me in my place, and that took some amount of debate, but this isn’t a place for those who want to justify a spiritually abusive system to debate those who were victims of that system.

    Some victims have remained complementarian. Some victims changed to egalitarianism, some decided that the Bible wasn’t inerrant and some left Christianity altogether. What ties us together, I think, is that we are all struggling to understand why we were victims, what theological and cultural errors led to our victimization, how not to pass that victimization to those we influence, and how to reach out to other victims.

    I was on a Gothard survivor blog, although I wasn’t a Gothard survivor, and when I told a bit of my story, a few people said that I needed to try this blog out, and it really has been a much better fit.

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  28. Kathi said,

    My first thought with the phrase “responding Biblically” is that it’s used to shut down conversation.

    I agree.

    Mark said,

    I think, unfortunately, “Biblical” is a codeword for people who claim a corner on the interpretation of the Bible.

    I agree with that too – I think it’s similar to the quote by Kathi right above.

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  29. Mark,

    I would’ve never considered offering a verse for justification of Divorce or suggested that contributors do the same, when physical abuse is occuring after reading Kathi’s writing about Beth Alexander.

    Like I have said, I didn’t know this wasn’t a Christian site.

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  30. I guess I sort of thought of this as a Christian site, since Julie Anne is a Christian, and it seems to mainly attract other Christians, but…

    It’s a site that is also open to people with other backgrounds or experiences with Christianity – even if that means atheists.

    I do view it primarily as a place for victim advocates to post, or for those who have been hurt by churches or Christians to post, not to be debated with so much, but to just talk through their experiences and receive support.

    Which isn’t to say I’m against any sort of debate going on here, but I think it would depend on the timing, topic, how sensitively the person is arguing (if it’s a topic that’s sensitive to some of the readers), etc.

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  31. Daisy,

    I won’t be offering any more verses on this thread again nor will I suggested others to do the same.

    It doesn’t matter to me who contributes their views on this thread.

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  32. Like I have said, I didn’t know this wasn’t a Christian site.

    I think it is, in the sense that JA and Kathi and many if not most contributors are Christians, but it isn’t in the sense that D is using…which seems to mean that JA should police the comments for ‘anti-christian’ things. It isn’t exclusionary really. And that’s a good thing.

    You will never learn anything if you only listen to people like you, who agree with you.

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  33. Lea,

    Serving Kids from Japan, aggressively emphasized to me that even though Julie Anne and Kathi are Christians, that this isn’t a Christian Site, which all makes sense to me.

    The verses in question that I shared widen the biblical justification for getting out of an abusive marriage, not narrow it.

    I realize now that there is no need on a non-Christian site to offer a verse or think it to be necessary that any in this thread should be offering verses to back up what they are writing about. (or even this was an actual Christian Site that verses aren’t welcomed unless it fits the mold of the reader)

    It never did matter to me from the very beginning, who contributed their views on this thread as I find it educational what is going on inside the minds of others.

    We are all unique. I accept your opinions. I haven’t walked in your shoes nor have you walked in mine, so I don’t know what else to say.

    I have repeatedly have said I made a mistake for being presumptuous to think that this was an actual Christian Site and that the verses I offered in that instance would matter to you or to others.

    I originally found this thread, because my wife and i experienced spiritual abuse that extended into the work place for my own wife because her and I didn’t embrace one of the grossest form of Reformed Theology.

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  34. D, I don’t know if you can hear it, but the way you talk about this site not being a ‘Christian’ site is very put upon, and a bit rude actually, because it appears that you think less of it for not being so. Most people on here are Christians. A few are not. But the point is that you don’t get to dictate that they all respond in the way you find most ‘Christian’ which apparently means citing verses incessantly.

    I wish you would actually listen to SKIJ, when he tells you no one was angry you used a verse or two, simply that you INSISTED that other people weren’t being proper, or accepting your verses, or your conclusions. I do not believe SKIJ was aggressive, he was merely direct. There is a difference.

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  35. Lea,

    I’m not putting words in your mouth, I don’t think any less of this site. I have been polite, not rude to you.

    I know there are a lot of Christians on this site, but Serving Japan, was rather aggressive to set me straight.

    I have repeatedly have said, I made a mistake to suggest that an author on this thread should’ve used a verse or two to counter Beth Alexander’s ideology.

    I’m sorry if me acknowledging my mistake or apology isn’t enough as it appears that you don’t think I’m being sincere as it seems you aren’t accepting an apology I made to you awhile back uness you skimmed through my words and didn’t see it, I understand so I will say it again.

    I’m sorry that I have offended you and anybody else and I’m also sorry for expecting biblical verses to counter Beth’s views when it is up to the discretion of the writer to do so.

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  36. Sigh.

    D, bro. I’m not mad at you.

    But. Do you hear yourself?

    Also

    an author on this thread should’ve used a verse or two to counter Beth Alexander’s ideology.

    That’s not this thread. that’s about 8 threads ago. But it bothers you so you keep bringing it up.
    It’s “Lori” Alexander.
    Lots of people used bible verses. “should’ve used” is your problem here. You were trying to DICTATE to other people the way they should respond. That is why you got push back.
    Kathi DID use a bible verse. You just didn’t like it.

    She is correct in that literally, the Bible does not address divorce due to physical abuse. The problem is that Lori’s literal interpretation does not allow any room for growth in the word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

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  37. D: I’m not putting words in your mouth

    Not sure why you said this.

    D: I have been polite, not rude to you.

    And I have been the same to you? If I were trying to be rude, I would be saying very different things. I honestly think you are just not used to pushback.

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  38. Lea,,

    You for some reason didn’t include in your copy and paste “I made a mistake”

    You only isolated “to suggest that an author on this thread should’ve used a verse or two to counter Beth Alexander’s ideology”

    “I made a mistake to think” the author should’ve used a bible verse and I even agree it is up to her discretion to write whatever she wants,

    I didn’t see Kathi use a verse to counter Beth’s narrow biblical interpretation justification of Divorce and escaping abuse. It is Kathi’s discretion, I totally get it.

    I do think you are upset with me, because you think I’m appear to being rude to you.

    I’m not missing your point.

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  39. D,

    I didn’t mean to be aggressive, merely direct. I wanted to make sure that you understand what this blog is about. I (and possibly others) had already mentioned to you that the focus here is on spiritual abuse, not necessarily on Jesus. It exists primarily to provide space for all who’ve suffered abuse to tell their stories, and make sense of what was done to them. The conversation is not always going to be centred on the Bible. You didn’t quite seem to understand that, so I tried to make it as clear as possible. I’m sorry if I came on too strongly.

    Also, I accept your apology, and I hope that you’ll stay around, since you have a story of your own to tell. There’s no rule (that I know of) against backing up your opinions with Scripture. But if we do, we need to be aware that not everyone else will, and that some might possibly be triggered by it.

    I hope that you and your wife are doing better now.

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  40. It is dependent upon HOW the bible is interpreted.

    For example, Jesus showed people how to PROPERLY interpret the law quite often in his own “exegesis” of the scripture. (Confronting the Hypocrites when dealing with the woman caught in Adultery)

    People (especially Christians) fear the law portion of the bible, making it seem as if we are fallen from Grace when we use ANYTHING and EVERYTHING from the law to help overcome abuse……. THIS IS A MISTAKE…..I repeat…..THIS IS A MISTAKE.

    A Jewish man (yes a man)….pointed out that the New Testament says clearly…..”the law is good if it is used LAWFULLY”…..

    What types of “good things” can a person learn from study of “the law” portion of the bible:

    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
    Don’t commit acts of sexual impurity.
    Don’t false-accuse people. (They had cities of refuge for those who were falsely accused)
    Make sure you are GOOD to your employees and slaves. Especially if they are of the Hebrew heritage of the day.
    Take some time to REST folks. Yes, it does the body good. We CANNOT on our own terms find ways to resolve every evil in this world in one day. God doesn’t think you should either.
    Dietary laws??? Well, if a person is eating differently than you, don’t ask him to force you to go without “pork” just think “lightly” about what a person does and doesn’t eat. Vegetarian diets are not an evil thing……and prevent abuse of the body……cure the body of diseases sometimes.

    Just reading through those 600+ laws every now and then will get a person to realize the law is NOT in favor of extreme patriarchy (like ruthless sexual entitlement) and it is NOT in favor of ill treatment of men (like a woman who wants to run her nice mega-million business and eliminate all the men who don’t act and believe like her……Byoncee style church cults are not mentioned on this website…..for a reason perhaps???)…….

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  41. “Byoncee style church cults are not mentioned on this website…..for a reason perhaps???)…….”

    What does this mean?

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  42. Lea,

    It is You and I (both) that aren’t understanding each other. And I’m ok with it.

    I have repeatedly suggested many times the error of my ways. I have meditated on and have dissected my mistake inside and out.

    My eyes are open and I shouldn’t have critiqued the way the Beth Alexander was written. whether this is a Christian site or not.

    I completely get it as you have driven it home.

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  43. Thanks Linn! That does sound SFish.

    BTW, it seems it’s less a ‘cult’ than one specific mass dedicated to her works or something. And it’s already one that uses pop music. Interesting!

    The Vine, a contemporary worship service that combines progressive theology and pop music, has announced it will be holding a special mass devoted to Beyoncé’s music and accomplishments on Wednesday, April 25.

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  44. Lea said,

    I think it is, in the sense that JA and Kathi and many if not most contributors are Christians, but it isn’t in the sense that D is using…which seems to mean that JA should police the comments for ‘anti-christian’ things. It isn’t exclusionary really. And that’s a good thing.

    I think it’s good that sites like this are open to Non-Christians or Christian doubters, such as myself.

    I was raised Christian, I have not rejected all of the Christian faith, but the last few years I’ve been having doubts, questioning how much of the faith is true, relevant, etc, and it’s helpful to have blogs such as this one (and T-W-W blog) to talk though this stuff.

    I’m no longer living in the super sweet, G-Rated Christian bubble that so many prim and proper Christians are still living in, and so it’s really nice to be on blogs by Christians who are understanding – you don’t have to use G-Rated language at all times, you can express anger pretty openly, and so on.

    On a standard Christian blog, you would be blocked, lectured, or shamed for using any off-color language, for showing anger, etc.

    Sometimes, especially on the other blog, there can at times be a pressure to self censor because there can be a culture of Nicey-Nice in the comment box, but if you do slip and get angry or cuss a little, some of the readers understand.

    Anyhow, my overall point being it’s good for ex-Christians, Doubting Christians who are in a Faith Crisis, to be able to post to blog such as this one, where we’re not policed on, or shamed into, sounding like a Bible-thumping, G-rated Christian 100% of the time.

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  45. “Is there a beyonce church cult? #socurious!”

    Did someone mention Beyonce church on this thread? I must have missed it.

    I think it refers to this:
    _Beyoncé Bought a Church, a Church of Beyoncé_

    There was also a story in the news a few weeks ago about a church holding a Beyonce Mass, or something. I didn’t stop to read those links, I just saw the headlines, so I don’t know what that was about.

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  46. Daisy,

    I do think if contributors are cussing and swearing, whether it is a little or a lot, is inappropriate in a site like this. But if Julie Anne and Kathi are ok with it, who am I?

    I grew up around it. It was abusive. It is essentially a way for people to verbally attack someone.

    I was hurt by the amount of swearing I was surrounded by growing up. My wife also grew up around it and doesn’t tolerate it.

    We don’t want negative flow of energy in our home, nor do we like to verbally retaliate.

    But it is my view which I now know I shouldn’t have shared on this thread and furthermore I don’t think less of someone if a swear word pops out of their mouth, provided it isn’t directed at me or my wife, especially my wife.

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  47. @ D

    In my experience most Christians are confrontational and aggressive about religion.
    My grandfather and great-grandfather use to get in heated debates about what the same Bible verse meant; they were both Southern Baptists. They would get angry with each other over the Bible at children’s birthday parties and on holidays.

    I would get banned if I repeated the things my Southern Baptist preacher grandfather use to say about Catholics and banned if I repeated what my grandmother (wife of Southern Baptist preacher) use to say about Pentecostals and Mormons.

    Muslims and Atheist are also aggressive and confrontational about religion. It seems everyone is and always have been.

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  48. @CH, that reminds me The Second Coming

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all convictions while the worst are full or passionate intensity.

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  49. CH,

    It looks as if both of us grew up around negative energy, though I know you endured abuse I can’t even imagine.

    Everything you have written indicates to me that you hate negative energy. When you or I were to swear at someone, aren’t we spreading more negative energy?

    Trust me, I’m no saint, when I’m verbally attacked or especially my wife I’m not a pleasant person to be around and yet I know I could’ve handle it better.

    When people (who have endured abuse) are swearing at each other they are verbally spreading some (or venting out) the abuse they suffered or are suffering at present and that makes things worse.

    I’m only sharing what makes me tick,, it has been a turbulent journey for me, I know it doesn’t compare to your journey,, so maybe venting (swearing) is the release you need.

    I have a lot of compassion for you.

    Like

  50. D said,

    “I do think if contributors are cussing and swearing, whether it is a little or a lot, is inappropriate in a site like this. But if Julie Anne and Kathi are ok with it, who am I?

    I grew up around it. It was abusive. It is essentially a way for people to verbally attack someone.”

    I grew up in a verbally abusive family – my dad and big sister in particular were / are verbally abusive.

    My father was/is mildly- to- moderately verbally abusive (but did not usually use vulgar words when he chewed me out), while my sister is generally severely verbally abusive.

    My sister uses cuss words all the time.

    I used to never used obscenities myself, until a few years ago. I usually try not to cuss a lot on blogs like this because I am aware that there are still Christians who are living in a G-Rated, mamby-pamby, goody-goody world who cringe when they see a dirty word.

    At this point in time, I think too many Christians are overly sensitive to vulgar words, which hinders them from sharing the Gospel with ex-Christians or Non-Christians.

    A lot of non-Christians cuss a lot. That is just a fact of life.

    If you ever visit an ex- Christian, liberal Christian, or atheist forum, you’re going to see the “F” word a lot, and if you try to correct them on their language, they will rip you to shreds.

    It’s usually a waste of time. Better to ignore the salty language and just talk to them about whatever the topics are.

    There used to be one guy on this blog who cussed a lot, and Julie Anne allowed him, because it was coming from a place of hurt and anger. His Christian parents had abused him under Bill Gothard’s teachings.

    There was another guy at another blog like this one(T-WW blog) who did the same thing for a year or more, as he was going through a faith crisis. The blog owners understood it was coming from a place of hurt, so they permitted it.

    I agree with that blog owner of that other blog that Christians need to ignore the cuss words and look at the substance of the posts.

    Also, if you have an atheist cussing, I’m not sure that it’s okay or realistic for a Christian to hold an atheist to Christian standards of conduct.

    Like

  51. Hi All!

    Sorry I haven’t joined in until now. I’m hoping this will set straight where I come from when I write.

    I was involved in church my entire life until 10 years ago. I call myself a “done,” though I’m open to going back to church at some point in life. I still believe in God and think Jesus’s teachings and actions are a model for how Chrisitians should strive to live. That being said, the hardest posts for me to write are the Sunday morning ones because I have seen how the Bible is used in a spiritually abusive way by people who try to maintain power. (Thus, why and how I responded to the topic of this post.)

    When I see people such as Lori Alexander use the Bible as a way to keep people in abusive relationships I will call out their teachings as spiritual abuse. It is this narrow, literal view which is dangerous to victims. I struggle with how to apply ancient texts in today’s world. I often wonder how the Bible would read differently if Jesus had come to earth within the last 50 years. I wonder why some Christians view the Bible in a tiny box and are not able to see it as a story that should continue to grow. Writing the Sunday morning posts and recalling verses for other posts is pretty much the only times that I do read the Bible. Yes, I struggle that much.

    If you read the “About” section of this blog you will see that Julie Anne started it as a place for people to share experiences. The topics focus generally on abuse and the church’s contribution or response to abuse. This is a place to connect with people. We have people from Christians to non-Christians. There are times where we may disagree with each other, and that’s okay. As long as people are willing to listen and try to understand each other, this community can work.

    Is this a “Christian” blog? This is a blog that exposes abuse within the Christian world. Do we need to use a verse on every single post to get our point across? If yes, then we wouldn’t be any different than those who cherry-pick verses to support their arguments. Must we provide a verse to bring darkness to light or are Jesus’s commands to love God and love others sufficient enough? I would hope that my thoughts are not viewed as lesser than because I did not provide a verse to back it up.

    Like

  52. Daisy,

    It also sounds as if you grew up in the same type of potty mouth environment. I did it myself.

    But fortunately my wife exposed a gentler approach in how I needed to communicate with others.

    She opened my eyes. When we swear at each other, we are spreading negative energy. We are essentially acting the same way we were brought up. To those of us that are parents, we are mentoring our kids to do the same, certainly.making them more numb and calloused.

    I do regret expressing concern about the level of swearing on this thread. This is a free country and no laws are being broken.

    I’m actually embarrassed about mentioning it. I won’t do it again

    Like

  53. Kathi,

    I’m sorry that I even mentioned the desire to see existing verses in the bible to counter Beth Alexander’s narrow interpretation of scriptures to justify divorce when abuse is occurring.

    I didn’t think it through.

    I had no idea this wasn’t a Christian Blog, but rather a blog that strictly exposes Spiritual Abuse or exposes those that embrace reckless interpretations of scriptures.

    I hope you can forgive me.

    .

    Like

  54. I would venture to say that most people who post here are Christians. Those who are not Christians are here because they were hurt by the church, or they are tired of seeing abuse in the church. Their voices are important to me, too. Let’s not make a big deal about whether the site is Christian or not. It’s a blog. I didn’t have any boxes to click on to let people know if this is a Christian blog or not. Every Sunday, Kathi posts scripture and Christian songs. This was intended for those who aren’t quite ready to go back to church again, but who still would like to have some sort of worship/scripture reading time. Would a non-Christian blog do that? Probably not. If you are wondering who is Christian or not, just ask.

    One thing to be aware of is that people who have been spiritually abused may not appreciate having verses given to them.

    I don’t know if this helps any, but there it is.

    Like

  55. Thanks Julie Anne,

    I had a lot of “helpers” on this thread that have already set me straight what this blog is all about.

    I do know there are a number of non-Christians who express themselves here and that part never bothered me,

    Though verses may appear in future postings, I don’t see myself offering scriptures nor will I look or expect scripture verses to be exchanged on this blog.

    I’m sure I’ve tainted myself, so it is best I avoid expressing an opinion as I’m at a place in my life, that I don’t need to put anymore negative energy on myself.

    Like

  56. D – I don’t have any issues with you here. All is well. Thank you for coming on, joining the discussion, and listening. If you continue on with a different opinion than mine, I am fine with that. That is the beauty of God giving us brains to think and come to our own conclusions.

    There are some on here who provide scripture in their responses, so please do not feel like you can’t do that here. Know that there are some who have been battered down by the Bible, so at times use of scripture is challenged.

    Like

  57. Kathi,

    Thank you.

    I’m not sure where we differ in opinion.

    You know there are scriptures that address spousal abuse and connecting it to breaking marriage vows, but you use a certain amount of discretion so you can reach out to all whether they are non-Christians and Christians alike who have endured abuse or know someone that has.

    I simply made an untrue assumption that this was in fact a Christian site.

    I have embarrassed myself somewhat, as I went as far as suggesting that swearing at one another or using curse words seem appropriate for a Christian site and even a site where a victim can find healing needing to get away from negative energy..

    I grew up around it, even practiced it myself embracing a negative energy lifestyle ready to chew out injustices and verbally spar with any abuser. Then I met my wife, who grew up around it just as much, if not more than me. She was the only sober one in a family of drunks and drug addicts, being a middle child.

    The calming affect she had on me, also made it more contagious as I spread some positive energy enough to calm the spirits of my passionate “yelly” mom before she died.

    It seems to me that swearing is a byproduct of being surrounded by abuse or an aggressive lifestyle, whereas not swearing can lead someone who has suffered abuse into a calmer place.

    I realize this is a concept that won’t work for everybody, or maybe haven’t thought of before. But it works for my wife and I and we are passing it onto our own kids, who are also surrounded by it at schools and out in the real world.

    Like

  58. D – I mentioned on one of the other threads that I don’t think we differ in opinion. At first I thought we might have, but after reading more of your thoughts I saw that we do not. I stated that because I don’t mind if you and I differ in opinion on any topic.

    It’s great that you and your wife have found what works for you. Stick with it! I grew up with a people pleaser personality, which lead me to be more cautious in my speech. The older I become the more freeing it is for me to use a swear word here or there. Though, I only use them in company that doesn’t mind hearing it. Believe me, there I times when I write that I would love to use those words.

    Like

  59. Kathi,

    One of the things I realize is abusers for the most part don’t always care what comes out of their mouth, whether they are cursing or being mean. Abusers in my view don’t consider that how we communicate to one another matters. If it didn’t matter, then we have lost respect.

    For me It can be habit forming even among friends and then carry over. I don’t want me kids or grand kids to see words popping out of my mouth, that my wife (or I) don’t want them saying.

    To some maybe cursing isn’t spreading negative energy. But for me there is a negative tag that my wife exposed to me and I totally get it. She pointed out, that when people are swearing, that it sometimes can make it harder for the recipient to focus, even if the message the cursor is sending makes sense.

    I have grown to believe (thanks to my wife) that cursing sends a negative vibe. To the one who has endured abuse, that isn’t the message I want to send, but instead be more soothing, even if ideologies aren’t the same.

    Like

  60. D – I understand what you are saying. You show respect and compassion by being mindful of others. This where I think some get lost when theology trumps grace and mercy.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. D, “I’m sorry that I even mentioned the desire to see existing verses in the bible to counter Beth Alexander’s narrow interpretation of scriptures to justify divorce when abuse is occurring.”

    Honestly, what’s the point? People take their own preconceived notions to the Bible when they read it for themselves. I just slogged through Corinthians and who knows, maybe it’s a slog because I don’t really understand how to interpret the verses aside from what my former churches taught. I’m sure you know that patriarchal and legalistic churches just LOVE to preach from Corinthians.

    But, someone like Alexander is going to sift through scripture and take the verses to heart that give her warm fuzzies and ignore the ones she doesn’t understand. What gives her warm fuzzies, apparently, is telling broken, abused wives that God wants them to suffer and sacrifice themselves for the good of their husband and the church.

    If you remember the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus says that even if Lazarus came back from the dead to warn the rich man’s brothers, they still would not believe and turn from their ways. Some people have simply closed their eyes and plugged their ears to the voice of God. Ironically, some of these people are pastors and elders and other influential spiritual leaders – the same kinds of people that Jesus had so much conflict with.

    My former church was very Pharisaical, yet they preached against the Pharisees. They just carved such a narrow definition of being a Pharisee that you probably couldn’t find one today, but once my eyes were opened, they were everywhere in the church.

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