" . . . unless the church treats all individuals as image bearers of Christ, we will not be the Body of Christ as the church was intended to be."
Today is my birthday. This morning I woke up happy, smiling, and very excited to be alive and well with a great home, a great job, and great family and friends. But I’d like to give you a window into what it was like this time last year. I was not well.
So . . . how are you doing with this pandemic? How is it affecting you emotionally and spiritually? Are you staying connected with people? What kinds of things are you doing at home? Are you doing anything differently?
Requesting stories for a training opportunity for victim advocates.
I hope this encourages everyone to really think about self-care. What does that look like to you? Do you find it hard to take care of yourself? What are the barriers? What is one small change you can make toward self-care? How can you encourage someone else to practice self-care?
So, then the question I'm learning to ask myself is: what pain am I avoiding, and why am I avoiding it? Isn’t numbing pain simply prolonging it? Why would I want to prolong pain? What would happen if I moved toward the pain and wrestled with it? What would that look like?
But what I missed in listening to the stories is that sometimes those stories resonated personally for me. Sometimes after listening to or reading someone's personal story, their story elicited a personal response for me. It reminded me of my own journey. My own unfinished business.
"I hope this can be a cautionary tale for those interested. Beware of CC. They have no interest in anything but their bottom line."
Predestination and Children My friend, Ryan Stollar, posted this on his Facebook wall, and I was struck at how damaging Predestination can be to children, especially vulnerable children. Shoot, I think it could scare adults, too! Special thanks to Ryan for writing about this and giving me permission to share it. ~ja First off, what… Continue reading Caution: Children and Predestination
This story is not over yet, but I figure I better check in before people start wondering what's happening with me. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about my pastor and church. It's a long story, and one I hope to tell one day, but for now, I am grieving… Continue reading Another Sad Church Story
*** NOTE: This is part of a series that began with these earlier posts: Classical Conversations #1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Classical Conversations #2: What Led You to Join a Classical Conversations Homeschool Community? #ClassicalConvMadeKnown Classical Conversations #3: Leaders Delete Comments and Block Commenters Who Don’t Toe the Line Classical Conversations #4: A CC… Continue reading Classical Conversations #7: Business or a Non-Profit; Cult or a Christian Homeschool Group?
I found Ann's comment (below) in moderation, but felt it deserved a wider audience than where it was intended to be posted. Ann's story most certainly is not unique. Her struggle goes along with the previous two posts on abuse in marriage, but is compounded with a childhood of teachings that have been harmful to… Continue reading Woman Feels Spiritually Trapped after Having Grown up in a Conservative Reformed Christian Homeschool Family
*** I ran across a post on Facebook that a friend wrote. Flo Fromer-Wedding posted about the spiritual tug-of-war process she went through while she was in an abusive marriage. Unfortunately, the church is often a volatile place for abused women to get help, especially when there is greater emphasis on the "covenant of marriage,"… Continue reading An Abusive Marriage, Well-Meaning Christians, and God’s Word
*** Both Jeff Owens and his wife Sarah recently sent out a thread of tweets regarding a recent experience they had at their former (unidentified) Sovereign Grace church. I think these tweets deserve a wider audience. What you will read is not healthy at all, and people need to understand the dismissive and bullying behavior… Continue reading Sovereign Grace Church Leaders Remove Wife from Women’s Small Group Leader Position after Couple Asks Questions
Spiritual abuse, sex abuse, patriarchy, domestic violence, Sovereign Grace, Desiring God, CJ Mahaney, John Piper, Mental Health *** *** Part of recovery from abusive churches is coming to grips with what you were taught and how it affected you. Sometimes, and very appropriately, the ability to see this clearly results in anger. Jennifer Michelle posted… Continue reading Personal Story: What Did the Church Teach You about Yourself?
Bill Gothard, IBLP, ATI, Institutes in Basic Life Principles, Spiritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse *** The following was written by David Shere, who has been reading here for some time. He wanted to share his thoughts and advice as a Bill Gothard survivor. This was written after the news that the plaintiffs had dismissed the lawsuit… Continue reading From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors: Free Yourselves
Bill Gothard, sex abuse, cults, lawsuit, Emily Jaeger, freedom, IBLP *** A note of introduction from Julie Anne: Emily Jaeger is one of the sexual abuse survivors and plaintiffs in the Bill Gothard/IBLP sex abuse lawsuit. Her official statement about the lawsuit was posted on Spiritual Sounding Board a few days ago. Then someone close… Continue reading Survivor Emily Jaeger Responds to Bill Gothard’s Reactions to Her Revealing She is “Jane Doe III”
Domestic violence, Church response, Rob Porter *** You may have heard in the news recently about Rob Porter who worked for President Trump in the White House. Porter recently resigned his position as White House Staff Secretary after allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives surfaced in the media. It was disheartening to hear… Continue reading A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence
Mike Lawyer, Counseling, Abuse in Marriage, Abuse of Authority I have been in contact with a woman named Gen, who has agreed to let me post this letter she received from Mike Lawyer, "on behalf of Christ Church Session." Christ Church is Doug Wilson's church in Moscow, Idaho. If you would like to learn more… Continue reading BREAKING: Leaders at Doug Wilson’s Christ Church Put Woman in Abusive Marriage Under Church Discipline
*** I am posting a comment that came in on yesterday's post Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Stuffing Feelings and Pretending to Be Joyful by someone who used the name, Auislucky. Auislucky mentioned at the bottom of her comment that she didn't want me to post her comment if it would hurt someone.… Continue reading Trite, Unhelpful, and Demoralizing Responses to Wives in Harmful Marriages