Monday, September 13, 2010

Hiding Legalism Behind Christianese

Another disturbing article - from the same source. It strikes me as largely being smoke and mirrors which allows one to sidestep tough questions by throwing guilt on those doing the questioning.

This particular section struck me as odd...

If you say that modesty is important, and that tight, revealing clothes draw the eye to things we shouldn’t, as Christians, bring attention to, there will be someone who will want you to describe exactly what you think is too short; exactly how tight is too tight; and exactly how much skin they can show before “you” call it a sin.
In some cases, it’s a trap; they don’t really care what you think. Their questions are meant to corner you. If they can push you up against a wall by coercing you to be overly specific with your version of how to live out a random truth – then they can cry, “Aha, legalism!” (Psalm 35:19-21) Don’t fall for it.

Psalm 35:19-21? Really?

19 Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies;
         Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
         But they devise deceitful matters
         Against the quiet ones in the land.
21 They also opened their mouth wide against me,
         And said, “Aha, aha!
         Our eyes have seen it.” 

The use of this scripture strikes me as self-serving and less than honest, attempting to cast the pall of victimization in attempt to skirt the issue.

I have the sneaking suspicion that some of the comments I left on this article, including some which she wouldn't publish, have much to do with her desire to publish, or re-publish, the newer article. I suppose my question to her regarding whether she and her husband would emotionally punish, even estrange, an adult daughter if the daughter chose a path other than courtship and submission to her parents in finding a mate, and whether the relationship would be in NO way hindered or damaged, qualifies as an "Ah Ha", Psalm 35 trap in her eyes. It would seem to me to actually be an easy way to escape from the label of legalism, what with an unqualified "no" being sufficient to put that label to rest concerning the issue of courtship.

But, I strongly suspect an unqualified "no" was impossible. In fact, I suspect that ANY form of "no" is impossible.

I didn't really do anything in my comments there that I don't do here. I asked hard questions and made observations. I attempt to get to the core of an issue by cutting through the bull. My beef was this: Don't claim to not be legalistic unless the facts can back up that claim, and no better way to uncover the facts and motivations than by asking (and answering) a few piercing and probing questions. It isn't my fault that she didn't like what her answers might reveal, and I can't help but notice that she didn't really answer any of the biggies. Her responses, and an email exchange that followed, look a lot like my former future father-in-law and his flawed logic back when he bothered to at least try to keep up appearances - and that's not a good thing, because I know the detestable deviance that followed.

I, too, believe, as a follower of Christ, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about things. I also know that ANY way is futile if and when all parties aren't committed to truth. A lack of commitment to truth can't be glossed over by pointing to the other guy and saying, "He's going about it the wrong way!" Even if/when this is true, does it make a lie the truth? Does it make me less "bad" if I can make the other guy look even worse?

It's unfortunate to see legalism wrapped up in a cloak of ooey, gooey Christianese and misappropriated scripture. It's also unfortunate that many well-meaning Christians are influenced by the Christianese, strongly trusting in the mouthpiece speaking it, resting in the sense of it "sounding" biblical and wholesome, even if it doesn't have a biblical base at all and there's nothing but bondage to be found in it.


  1. Oh my word.....did you see what she wrote in her original article (Legalism, Yours, Mine and Ours):
    "We all struggle with legalism to some degree. I do; and, worse than that, you do too!"

    So, her legalism isn't as bad as everyone else's??? What the heck???? Everyone else's legalism is worse than hers? Is she for real? Does she even read the stuff she writes?

    The irony of legalism isn't lost here at all!

  2. good thoughts! man oh man, have I dealt w/ this in my own life, people I know using Scripture meant for a different purpose, to back their "list" of appropriate behavior. its one of the biggest joy-stealers of the Christian life.

  3. I won't read anything by Stacy McDonald. In my opinion, that woman has so much guilt on her head.

    She has led many a wife and mother astray, and made shipwreck of the faith of many- both by her own lust for acclaim and profit, and her refusal to humble herself and see that she has built a religion out of "traditional values".

    Her manmade religion may be cloaked in Christianese, but Jesus Christ is not being honored. All the honor in her world goes to those who swallow Stacy's vision of the "Christian woman". She is a blind guide leading the blind, and both she and her followers will fall in the ditch.

    Many are in fact fallen already. Thank you Jesus for keeping me from that particular source of poison!

  4. shadowspring...Like so many others in patriarchy/patriocentricity, my fear is that the authority-laden lifestyle is the Jesus of the movement.

    You could take THE Jesus out of the picture (which patriocentricity does), and they'd still have their Jesus.

  5. Not to mention the other obvious point-- if you know "exactly how much skin they can show before 'you' call it a sin" then you're a legalist by definition, no matter what your answer is or isn't, since you're using your own standard to define something as sin.

  6. Wow Lewis! You sure put wrinkles on her skirt! Good job. I think you caused some agitation that I NEVER knew could happen. I know she is human, but I just never thought the legendary Stacy Mcdonald would get offended. That was just TOO easy and I'm very surprised.

    Her daughter Tiffany is in her mid 20's. WHY did this "grown woman" consent to a chaperon? Was it because she still lived under her parent's roof? I just wonder if she had lived outside the home would she have "courted" at all. Did you guys see her brother sitting between them in the photo!? I think it is absolutely RIDICULOUS for an ADULT couple to have a chaperon...whether it was their idea or not.

    Mrs. Mcdonald also stated her son is engaged to a "Godly" lady...but didn't choose the courtship route. I find this very interesting since she is always bragging about her 2 oldest daughter's courtships and them being happily married to Godly men. be fair she did mention that courtship does not always lead to marriage. She also believes every courtship should be considered...successful one. Huh??

    Courtship is suppose to protect the heart. It sounds like to me folks could still get disappointed and heart broken. So what are they "really" protecting? Because I don't think it's the heart.

    Sorry for the rambling Lewis. :)

  7. maybe a three part reply here, not sure Where the Spirit is taking me with this, I don't know who this Stacy is or these teachings in the full detail, they sound very strange and weird to me...but what bothered me about this last night, was the use of Psalms here, this scripture was one of many that God used to minister to me, last month, He has had me reading Psalms for reasons not that important here,

    so anyway I wasn't sure if I was really to comment trying to be not AS impulsive with that, here of late, area God is working in me in, but Then after reading the comments, I went to the whole chapter Psalms 34 and then BOOM,

    it happened---the 'kerchiefs' the women used to 'hunt for souls' in I believe Isaiah, let me check, no sorry it's Ezekiel,

    'And say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs on the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that come to you?' KJV, Ezekiel 13:18

    ok, now in the same Psalms, I remembered that one because of the Ah ha but it doesn't mean what it was construed to here, with this clothing thing...

    and well so I looked it up, sure enough, there it is, in Full context, Psalm 35:3-4

    Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I AM THY SALVATION. Let THEM be confounded and put to shame THAT SEEK AFTER 'MY SOUL': let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

    then verse 7, For WITHOUT CAUSE have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have dig for my soul. THEY HAVE DIG FOR MY SOUL.


  8. What troubles me is this, which appears to be an underlying assumption:

    "I want to urge people in these best things that we have been convicted of without saying, “You are sinning if you don’t do these things.”

    Stacy is right that we can't both be right, and that truth is truth. But I think the above statement is based on a fundamental falsehood: that what I see as the "best" way to live out my Christian walk, is therefore the "best" way for everyone else. I believe it's a falsehood to say to someone, "You are not sinning if you don't live the way I do, but you are also not living in God's best." This is the heart and soul of legalism-- not that I have decided how I'm going to live out my faith in a way that you disagree with, but that what I have decided to do is also best for YOU. This goes against the truth of freedom of conscience before Christ, as set forth in Romans 14.

    The truth is not that there's a "best" way that we can find, but that we should let others disagree and let God work on their hearts until they all find it too. The truth is that there is no one best way. Each person is an individual with individual circumstances and needs, and our relationship is supposed to be to the living God, not the dead letter.

    Courtship is fundamentally flawed because it violates this truth. It is not based on a man and woman deciding how God would have them seek a mate. It's the PARENTS deciding how their grown son or daughter is to seek a mate.

    Stacy sees you as legalistic, Lewis, because she's looking at you from her paradigm of "there is one best way." Therefore, what she hears you saying is, "I have found the best way and courtship isn't it; therefore I am condemning your choices." She can't even hear what you're really saying, "Courtship cannot be the truth because by its very nature it violates individual freedom of conscience in the practice of faith."

    It's sad. She is right that truth is not relative. But the truth here is that individual practice IS relative-- and that is something she's missing altogether.

  9. That bugged the petunias out of me too, Kristen. It's a stealth and subliminal form of persuasion, something the leaders in the patriocentric movements are adept at.

    They do this with the word "called", too. If something's in the scripture, suddenly you're "called" to do it. I hope no one reads about Onan and decides that's their "calling".

  10. this is something that has to do with the use of 'dark sentences', in how they [or whoever these people are] using these scriptures, because one of the reasons God led me to Psalms was to break the mind forces or Strongholds rather that were preventing me from seeing Jesus for who HE really is, etc., referring here to the RA abuse/occultism, etc. Masons 33 degree, so forth,

    so, I'm reading over and in verses 10-13, it's about poverty, and in verse 13, the Only reference to 'clothes' is this one, which is interesting,

    But as for me, when they were sick my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into my own bosom. in verse 12, They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul...

    this is about clothing of Love, empathy, humility, empathy for those impoverished [spiritual and physical] and those sick/diseased, frail and broken. And the ah ha, is in reference to the POWERFUL, the mighty, the rich, and it says right here,

    verses 20, For they [the powerful] speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are QUIET IN THE LAND. Yea they opened up their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. [verse 21]

    seen what? seen the destruction of the 'soul' through their attacks, planned devises, in a way this whole chapter 35 is also about Jesus, how the religious pharisees were always trying to trip Him up, to devise evil against Him,

    the other reference, to clothing here, is when those POWERFUL after King David says Judge me Oh Lord my God, according to THY RIGHTEOUSNESS; and let them not rejoice over me [verse 24]

    in verse 26, Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that MAGNIFY THEMSELVES against me...


    the whole 'pious I'm more holier than you because blah blah blah',

    this whole verse is about the abuse of power, religious power [remember King David is referring to other Jews and so forth] and the humility and the GARMENT, THAT IS GOD,

    not the false garment of religion/righteousness that is false.

    What bothered me about this use of Psalms I think is that it triggered something related to how the occult worked in my life/through the masonry/or works or me this is Very serious, the using scripture in this way because it IS a form of SORCERY,

    and the thing is, whatever in the world this Sarah or whoever is talking about, is not even near what Psalms 35 is about...not even close, David is talking here about the poor, defenseless in a society/or kingdom rather, better term of it, that is all about power and violence, because in that era That is what they were about...strength, violence, conquest, the poor Shepard farmer had no recourse, the poor peasant had no recourse, the Mighty looked down upon the peasant masses and especially through that false 'moral lens' of the so called we're arrived look at our garments, our successes, etc., and then the way the Powerful laugh at the plight of the poor defenseless weak ones,

    who can't fight back, who are aware of their sins, their weakness, lack of power, and their Only hope IS GOD,

    so I guess what is agitating my Spirit here [and last night when I read this, use of Psalms by these people] is that GOD is the garment, clothing,

  11. last reply, sorry bout the delay

    here in Psalms 35, it has Nothing to do with this ridiculous showing of skin, in fact Peasants of that era Including David prior to his being king wore

    SACKCLOTH, which guess what Virginia [like to use that, yea I'm a smart ass], left one bum ass Naked...Oh yea,

    ain't no parading around in high neck pious little house on the prairie with sackcloth bare legs and bare breasts broken back humbled look, not even,





    and don't we Ever forget DARE any [ok now I'm on a roll] Trample, the Blood of Jesus, the Cross, HIS GARMENT, BLOOD COVERING, OVER US,




    GOD covers us and HE is OUR SALVATION, and ONLY HE,

    HE covered Adam and Eve with the animal skin, these teachings, these false garments,

    are the WAY OF CAIN...

    and like Cain, they should be expunged, thrown out, they are a slap in the face to Jesus Christ, OUR LORD,

    I'll take being naked, shaven, baring skin and all, in Dirt,

    if that is what God wants...over being dressed in a false garment that is moth ridden, worm eaten and dung smelling

    ANY DAY.

    OK, well, guess that's it...

    LOL, yea, guess that was it...oh, BTW, the thing too with the sackcloth God has been showing me, that Also refers to, going through those periods that are Very uncomfortable, the pebbles of life--man I hate those, but HE showed me, that those with their agitation and you know when you feel like a volcano inside about to blow, LOL,

    those are the Sackcloth moments of life, LOL, like the virgin, being made ready for the Bridegroom, she is buffed, stripped, bathed, oiled, buffed some more, ROFL,

    for months, that is what those rituals were back in B.C., same with the body of Christ,

    she is buffed [ouch], oiled, stripped [ouch] and buffed some more, in that nice Sackcloth that God lovingly

    adorns her with.

    And yep, it shows a LOT of skin...



  12. And ironically, her reply about my "legalism" in the comment string of that thread would certainly qualify as an "Aha!" moment by her own definition.

  13. oops, typo, in first reply, that Should be Psalms 35, btw, I was replying to the whole clothing/too tight thing

    and then the use of Psalms, just I don't know, it just ate at me a lot last night--then it made sense when I began to write,

    anyway just the twisting of scripture like that, and not just a 'slight' twisting but this HUGE taking it and using it for things that aren't even About the scripture,

    and then this lie of false holiness that just leaves out the true Gospel message, it really just infuriating to say the least,

    but what really got me, was the clothing thing--and then the skin tight/revealing skin reference,

    uh, guess they didn't GET the part, where Jesus was stripped naked and beaten,

    yea that crap, is just Satan and it does piss me off, a lot, Jesus can be stripped naked and beaten,

    yet we're too 'good' to show skin????? Too good to be humiliated, too good to be humbled, I mean, geesh,

    it wreaks worse than Pharisee, the Whole thing about Salvation, is getting naked,

    Jesus says, they'll come and say Didn't We do this, that, and he'll say, I didn't KNOW YOU,

    Bible, to KNOW, means intimate, one gets naked, before the light, to be Intimate,

    Jesus did for us, to us, the most beautiful expression of His love, God's love to us,

    and to just read, this gibberish about clothing and tying that in with piety and then accusing those who question of being persecutors,

    oh my gosh, and then using Psalms, it's just like this completely wiping OUT Jesus from the whole Salvation,

    it's worse than just false doctrine, this garbage, teachings/cults, Seriously,

    is from the PITS OF HELL.



  14. Thank you for linking the courtship article. I notice her article did say that the daughter would be deciding if she married the fellow or not.....I would find the questions (which she carefully said you should, even heavily, edit depending on your family) helpful in our family when we get to the place of helping our daughters navigate this important decision.

    I personally thought "betrothal" was the doctrine where the parents controlled the decision making process. So, I wonder about that part. I don't think "courtship" people assume the decision is the parents' to make.

    As to chaperones, goodness, I think that's a bit overrated. But on the other hand, I don't think it is overrated to have specific curfews and guidelines for touching in courtship. I speak from the personal experience of having dated my husband and wishing for such boundaries. But I was not good at voicing my opinions at the age of 21.

    I understand why Mrs. McDonald used the Psalm she did, but I cannot say whether I feel she used it out of context. She is feeling attacked, and she is likely well aware of the controversy surrounding the Patriarch Movement and the Quiverfull Movement. I would imagine she must be very careful right now.....for the sake of her own family and husband.

    To be clear...I am not defending her. I am trying to understand what she is doing right now. I think it helpful in times of controversy to put the shoes on of the other party so that I do not error myself in misunderstanding.

    I will not buy any of Mrs. McDonald's books or etc, but I am going to follow her blog so I can understand "that crowd" a little better.

    For the record about me, I walked off the Body of Christ (with the exception of church-going) in 2006. I haven't come back yet, and I do not trust any of it. I am actively in love with the Bride of Christ, and I equally weep inside as I begin to read blogs and develop my own. I have read one or two of her articles, and my husband and I went to a homeschool convention workshop where her husband spoke. It made me sick inside because I am very sensitive to the religious spirit which is what they have. It is, as I said, very sad.

    But I will say I would personally like to endeavor to stay in the faith, hope, and love of I Corinthians 13, even with Stacy McDonald whose books I will not buy or whose husband I cannot listen to.

    I will answer your question submitted to Stacy McDonald, Lewis: No, I would not emotionally control or estrange any of my 7 daughters if they broke with their dad and me and decided to cut us out of the decision of marriage. No, I would not do it, either, if they decided to come out from under the authority of their father as children over 18. We have one such daughter, and she is still under her daddy's authority. She is also fully adult and we actively encourage her to hear the Lord for herself. But if she chose to go her own way, we would let her go. FYI, we actively talk about what she will do if she does not marry, and we also talk about her transitioning to living with another single lady some day if that need arises. In other words, we do not assume she should live under our roof if she does not marry, and we are learning (being this is our first child) how to work together since she is now an adult.

    And I would bleed inside for the rest of my life if things heated up to where she had to leave in any way other than peacefully and lovingly.

    But to answer questions such as these black and white like this is dangerous in my opinion, and it leaves a lot out which should be discussed.

    Thank you, again.

  15. Cara...Glad to have you here.

    I guess where our opinion would differ on this is in whether or not a parent should have a significant role in the process of a child finding a mate. I believe that parents should make themselves available when sought...and that should be the end of it. I believe that going beyond that dynamic gets into meddling and officiousness, which the McDonalds certainly do.

    I think courtship is an unhealthy process because it works on the assumption that the son or daughter is incapable, and on the assumption that they will fail in certain situations. All families who practice courtship make the claim that the daughter makes the choices, but more often than not, this isn't true at all.

    There's a reason that she avoided my questions and rejected my comments.

  16. "Courtship is suppose to protect the heart. It sounds like to me folks could still get disappointed and heart broken. So what are they "really" protecting? Because I don't think it's the heart."

    You're right, Angie. Those who promote courtship cause the process to write checks it can't cover. Courtship absolutely, unequivocally ISN'T able to protect ANYONE's heart...except the parents officiating it.

    People that are going to fall in love are going to do so no matter what boundaries or parameters courtship establishes. It's a human idea that operates on human power, and generally produces very human results.

  17. Cara...I left this comment for Stacy after her response to your comment...

    "If that’s true of “abuse”, is it also true of “rebellion”, “biblical patriarchy”, “submit”, and “calling”? I mean, those are words that stop well-meaning, but heavily indoctrinated, Christians in their tracks, usually producing a level of fear. Misused and over-used. It would seem to me they’re very spiritually manipulative and coercive words which aren’t a major part (barely even a minor part) of the bible’s vernacular."

    I've every confidence that it won't be published. If it miraculously is, it would only be because she's read THIS one and published it for spite.

    I urge you to be cautious and not over-estimate these people. The lifestyle is their Jesus.

  18. Cara, "courtship" covers a broad spectrum of belief, with some leaning more toward the betrothal side while for others it just means dating with some boundaries. So I can't speak for everyone who claims to use the courtship method.

    However, as a woman who came out of the patriocentric movement, most of the people I know who believed in courtship did believe the parents had the power to either give their permission or veto the entire process. They didn't specifically choose their childrens' mates, but if the parents declined or withdrew their blessing at any point, the relationship was over. Some parents I heard of halted their child's courtship temporarily (although the child did not know it was temporary) just to test their child's willingness to submit. Not even kidding. An adult child who chose to continue in the relationship after the parents expressed disapproval was branded a rebel, even if the parents were completely wrong.

    I myself followed a courtship model and my parents had complete control over every boundary set (no touching whatsoever, chaperon at all times, etc.) and they also had total veto power. Now I'm horrified that I gave that kind of power to someone else when I was making the most important decision of my life. I was welcome to end the relationship if I chose, but I was not welcome to continue it if they decided I should not.

    The main difference I know of between courtship and betrothal is that in betrothal there is no "get to know you" time. You go from being acquaintances (sometimes even strangers) to being betrothed (supposedly as the Spirit leads) with no in-between. This is often something very close to an arranged marriage.

    Hope that sheds some light on my understanding of the differences.

  19. Thank you all so much for helping me understand the "courtship" vs."betrothal" issue. I had it wrong from the perspective of the Patriarch Movement.

    Courtship to me is just having the parents involved. It is not dating, because dating (to me) is something which happens as "fun" and doesn't have anything to do with possible marriage. goodness, thank you so much for educating me on the differences. I am so sorry for your pain in the process, as I am Lewis'. This is difficult indeed.

    Lewis, I am not sure we disagree. Our children are taught to let the family be involved. But when I say "taught", please also keep in mind that I answered your question to Stacy above, and my answer is "no" I would not emotionally manipulate or estrange my daughters if they went against our help in this important decision making process. It is a balance, and my husband and I as well as our older children are trying to learn the balance. The single biggest point on all things Christian living for women (modest dress, choosing a mate, submission, silence, obedience, etc)is understanding how much Jesus loves us. Out of that love comes our salvation through Him by faith, and then comes the precious relationship with the Comforter Holy Spirit. We can then turn and live a Love life with Jesus. It is precious and it is freedom from sin.

    The teaching is not balanced in the U.S. in Christianity concerning women, sadly. Until large ministry machines begin to see the devastation (to which I pointed on Stacy McDonald's blog) then this will not change for Christian women. My only issue of what I posted yesterday is if I in any way caused harm to Hillary by pointing to her book. Now, if I did that then I need to know so I don't do it again. I won't cause any of you hurt in what I do and I will publicly apologize to you all if I do it. I may need to check with Hillary about it.

    Lewis.....Would you pray for me, please? I agree that I need to be cautious, but I also have reasons to understand the situation in those movements. I am getting used to saying what I feel needs to be said regardless of the replies. I at least have the satisfaction (in my relationship with the Lord and my husband alone) to have stated what I feel is the truth of the matter. And the truth of the matter is Stacy McDonald, in that particular post where I commented, is making light of the pain of other Christians. This is wrong, and this is a common ploy to avoid repentance. Since she posted my reply, perhaps the Lord can do a work on some who navigate her blog. I will be honest with you and say I was sick to my stomach last night because I began to post on different blogs. I am afraid. The perfect love of Jesus Christ casts out my fear.

    I am naive in many ways, but not so much that I haven't already understood the strength of the belief systems. I sincerely hope Stacy McDonald allowed your reply if she allowed mine.....I have not been over there to read what she said. I may very well pass. If she wants further contact, she has my e-mail.

    Thank you all again for your kindness. It means a lot to me personally.

  20. "Our children are taught to let the family be involved."

    If one teaches their children that parents should "be involved" in their adult lives, is that not teaching them that as adults they are not competent on their own to make decisions for themselves? 0.0

    I am not saying this to be argumentative, but to inspire you to really do some deep soul-searching on this, Cara.

    You say that you wish someone had made decisions for you as a young adult, as you do not feel you were mature enough to make those decisions for yourself.

    Why not teach your daughter to make good decisions? Why assume that the only other way your life would have been better is if someone else were making decisions for you/with you? Why not that you could have been better prepared to make wise decisions for yourself?

    You are making decisions for your children.

    You have already decided for your daughter(s) that she can't spend time with a young man just for fun, to learn more about life from a perspective outside of your family, to merely get to know someone as a human being with no permanent relationship in mind- i.e. dating.

    I also wonder why you see your learning experiences as compete negatives. I went through many negative experiences in my life, yet ultimately they helped shape who I am today, including my love for the Lord. I would not know Jesus like I do today without experiencing my personal need for him, not because I was taught this but because I experienced it.

    I ask you the same questions I have had to ask myself. It once sounded so perfect to me too, that I could spare my children all of the pain I went through. If I parented them right, they would learn from my experiences and never have to go through pain like I did.

    But the problem is that none of that is true. We all experience heartache in life. We don't learn to trust in Jesus by living comfy lives where others make all our choices for us and care for all of our needs.

    So you try to eliminate certain kinds of heartache from your children's lives by limiting their choices. It makes me think of the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. You know, he parents banned spinning wheels so she could never prick her finger on one.

    The point of that part of the fairy tale is that even if we are kings and queens we can't control life. Life is not ours to mandate. If we try to hold onto power that is not ours, that brings a different kind of pain into our daughters lives.

    You may not agree, but I spent a lot of time thinking about these things, and these are my thoughts about parents being (what I came to believe was) overprotective.

  21. Hi shadowspring,

    If you refer to one of my posts above, some of your thoughts show very well why I said that to answer Lewis' questions to Stacy McDonald is dangerous. We are doing the best we can to release our children into adulthood, and I can say at the moment from experience that it is something which both child and parent can seek the Lord to do in love and unity, together. But I cannot say much else because our oldest is only 20. If we are failing, (and I as a parent am making plenty of mistakes and yes, sinning too), then I can only say I rest assured Jesus is our Lord and He brings about all things in our lives for which we are very thankful to Him. My daughter does the same. Due to the fellowship (read teaching) which we have done together, of common consent we are trying to support her in any way we can. I personally will not call anything to do with my children finding a mate dating, courting, or (goodness gracious NO) betrothal. Just like, I have 10 children but I am not Quiverfull, and I make sure anyone who needs to know, does know I am not. There are so many "buzz" words, and courtship is one of them.

    We as parents have been overprotective. We have been in fear. We have repented, too, and I know we will continue to do so. My hope (and yours, I can tell by what you shared) is built on nothing less but Jesus' blood and righteousness.

    Thank you so much for your caring thoughts.

    I agree the hard things shape our lives and draw us closer to the Lord. But I apologize if my post seemed negative concerning my own experiences. Perhaps if you visit my blog and read a bit, you may can understand why. Very recently I have gone through enough to have written a book myself. And God saved me miraculously, but at the moment I am still coming out of the going through of it, lol. (o;

    Blessings and again thank you for the thoughts,

  22. Hi shadowspring,

    If you refer to one of my posts above, some of your thoughts show very well why I said that to answer Lewis' questions to Stacy McDonald is dangerous. We are doing the best we can to release our children into adulthood, and I can say at the moment from experience that it is something which both child and parent can seek the Lord to do in love and unity, together. But I cannot say much else because our oldest is only 20. If we are failing, (and I as a parent am making plenty of mistakes and yes, sinning too), then I can only say I rest assured Jesus is our Lord and He brings about all things in our lives for which we are very thankful to Him. My daughter does the same. Due to the fellowship (read teaching) which we have done together, of common consent we are trying to support her in any way we can. I personally will not call anything to do with my children finding a mate dating, courting, or (goodness gracious NO) betrothal. Just like, I have 10 children but I am not Quiverfull, and I make sure anyone who needs to know, does know I am not. There are so many "buzz" words, and courtship is one of them.

    We as parents have been overprotective. We have been in fear. We have repented, too, and I know we will continue to do so. My hope (and yours, I can tell by what you shared) is built on nothing less but Jesus' blood and righteousness.

    Thank you so much for your caring thoughts.

    I agree the hard things shape our lives and draw us closer to the Lord. But I apologize if my post seemed negative concerning my own experiences. Perhaps if you visit my blog and read a bit, you may can understand why. Very recently I have gone through enough to have written a book myself. And God saved me miraculously, but at the moment I am still coming out of the going through of it, lol. (o;

    Blessings and again thank you for the thoughts,

  23. We as parents have been overprotective. We have been in fear. We have repented, too, and I know we will continue to do so. My hope (and yours, I can tell by what you shared) is built on nothing less but Jesus' blood and righteousness.

    This paragraph is true of my life too, in every way. Thank you for taking the time to reply. And I'm very glad that you were able to see my humility in my post. Any wisdom I have about letting go is hard-won and was not, I confess, eagerly embraced on my part at the beginning!

    And yes, the Good Shepherd is working all things out for the good of those who love Him...

  24. Cara wrote:
    My only issue of what I posted yesterday is if I in any way caused harm to Hillary by pointing to her book. Now, if I did that then I need to know so I don't do it again. I won't cause any of you hurt in what I do and I will publicly apologize to you all if I do it. I may need to check with Hillary about it.

    Thank you for your consideration, Cara, but just to let you know, there is no cause for concern. My book will not be accepted by or acceptable to everyone, but that's okay...we are free to disagree with others within our eternal family while still loving them. I have a niche audience and the Lord knows who needs the message in the book, while I know in whom I have believed and who has called me. It was written in obedience and He is my defense and shield. I rest in Him. Hugs!

  25. Hello Hillary,

    Thank you for taking the time to address my concern and I truly appreciate your understanding.

    I realize there are disagreements among Christians. Usually, it is surrounding doctrines but too, it is equally within personal situations. I agree we must not be concerned about others' freedom to disagree with our point of view, testimony, or doctrinal opinions on any matter. You are right, it does not hamper our faith walk with Jesus unto eternity with Him.

    However, I personally want to be a Christian who does not disagree with any of my brothers or sisters in Christ. In my estimation the freedom to disagree one with another amongst Christianity is greatly overrated. I think Frist Corinthians 13 outlines the more excellent way.

    I do not point this out to you personally because I understand you know this. I say this to make a point which loosely has to do with this conversation on this particular blog post, particularly since I am a participant in the discussion and I have had to make some observations about Stacy McDonald's blog.

    I love Lewis...he is my brother in Christ.
    I love Hillary...she is my sister in Christ.
    I love Stacy McDonald... she is my sister in Christ.
    I love Mr. Botkin...he is my brother in Christ.

    I actually did go back and read Stacy McDonald's reply to my post on her blog. She is very kind, and I am very sad.

    It is particularly painful for anyone represented by your book, Hillary. I think two things about this: First, all of you who come up out of "disagreements" with other Christians concerning doctrines such as are discussed here are giving purest worship to our Lord Jesus Christ by forgiving the sin involved which is being perpetuated by other Christians though the sinning in the midst of Us is not being repented. Second, my heart aches every time I see the cycle of Christians loving, forgiving, and repenting before one another in the bond of Jesus Christ broken. My heart aches for all involved because, quite frankly, it doesn't have to be this way. Oh what a Savior we have.

    But I know deeply God's grace is sufficient through it all for all called according to His purpose. It is simply hard to see it sometimes, as the "disagreements" continue.

    There will come a day when we must not protect ourselves from Ourselves. Oh Lord Jesus, Come!

  26. ah, OK well I can do this the 'honest' street to the point blunt and not so tact way [and as usual offends the over sensitive] OR I can do something Totally different, because been praying about this--and Without compromising Truth or Who I, let's see, beginning with,

    for one, all this to disagree or to not disagree, and the Plastic Christianese, so yawn yawn Boring and So sugar coated syrupy B.S. and it ain't naked, in other words, God sees through it, Jesus sees through it, so WHY DO WE DO IT? Like Seriously--the whole thing with getting to KNOW and to LOVE in spite is to just get flat out naked and drop the whole pretense of 'oh but I do this godly blah blah blah' yea So what--guess what,

    I and you take our pants off the same way, puke the same way and bleed the same way--so, let's get real here,

    when I use to be Frustrated ok with those who I thought didn't like, arrive as I have, LOL, or who were not into the same issues, I remember and not too long ago I was so Sure of my 'right' self...and I remember, on one forum, they gave me all these bad 'karma' I know some of that Was because I was yes controversial and did bring up Class, oh yea one of those 'touchy' subjects, but then some of that too was my not being able to just

    let people be.

    and that's what God showed me...and it's Really about CONTROL, we want to CONTROL others or HOW others grow or perceive either because 1. they want to control us and it's a threat or 2. we feel threatened and as humans are Insecure or 3. we are not sure where we 'fit' into the whole scale of things...

    so we compare, we measure, and then we wind up, ourselves measured by the same ruler, you know...and well it's like this,

    a Huge garden, and God just planted a lot of different flowers and vegies, and well He planted a group of lettuce. Now this lettuce was in various spots, some in more shade than others, some were older varieties...and so when they began to grow, they began to measure to each other,

    and lo and behold some were like really Shooting on up there and others well, they were kind of rough and stunted. So the ones shooting up decided they would help boost the short stunted ones to overcome their uh, deficiencies...[cont]

  27. con't And so, these shooting lettuces well they pulled out their doctrines and nice polite language and all the right protocols, rules of order and they began to teach and train the little ones,

    the little ones of course, well they thought to themselves, why look at those shooting lettuces, now Who in the hell wants to eat those lankly thin fugly things anyway, so why don't we show them by Our expertise in fluffing out to reach the sun, etc., and so they pulled out their doctrines and protocols and well,

    they all were trying to teach each other but no one was listening...and they sure polished their leaves very nicely, why so nice that the earwigs could see them from a mile off and so could the while the lettuce's were busy with their displaying their nice Godly manners and theology and protocol, polishing up those pretty leaves, the grasshoppers were prepaying for battle while the earwigs tunneled their way through...then it happened, one night,

    while the lettuce experts were dozing, the earwigs began to gnaw at the roots and the grasshoppers attacked first thing in the morning without warning, and by that evening, why All those lettuces,

    why, THEY WERE NAKED AND BARE! And why the short ones had their big fat stalks and the tall ones had their skinny stalks but neither had any leaves...only a few bits of strangely residue that showed at one time, they were Lettuce.

    So much for the pretty leaves, the niceties and all the other b.s. they threw out to each other, why if they would have just enjoyed each other in the bed they were in, soaking up the sun, the water and listening to the wind, why they May have heard the silent footsteps and conspiracies of the earwigs/grasshoppers and been able to cry out to the Gardener to pull out some pest control...

    but nope, they chose to flaunt their pretty leaves instead. Yep, food for thought,

    and the thing is, when the Gardner, God came out to see the damage, He said, Why, didn't you know, I AM the gardener, I AM the one who does the planting and caring...IF I needed each plant to 'grow the other plant' then well, I would have just left you to plant yourselves and grow yourselves, but Ah ha,

    now you learn...and oh, btw, next time just let them be, they'll grow when I AM ready and remember, I control the Grasshoppers and Earwigs too.




  28. Jane,

    That was your BEST POST EVER!

    Amazing. I have to go think now. Thank you.

  29. yea God is cool like that, He showed this to me the other day [it's important that I relay this, because it is totally from Him],

    not from book knowledge [what I often pull from, though that Too is from God] but these jewels from His lessons in nature are totally Him and so it's important that I make that known.



  30. I agree with Shadowspring, Jane. Love your garden analogy. Creates a vivid and relatable word picture for us.

  31. thank you both, Hillary and Shadowspring,

    yea I've been spending a lot of time meditating finally 'got' that it's Meditating on the Word rather than literal reading to where you Get what the Holy Spirit is saying and I now see how that's because of the way the Word grows, it's kind of like that way in nature too, seed planted in Darkness, they grow on their own, food, manna, etc., yea for Long time I was Afraid of this because I thought, due to religion that is was sorcery...but I now understand that God has those powers, what is wrong with sorcery is for People to use those powers [or attempt to] because if all were 'gods' and had those powers then we'd have five zillion universes/forces all working and that produces Chaos and when HE showed me the Difference,

    then I was free to see things in the unconventional 'man's doctrine's types of way' and through nature especially,

    I just started seeing whole different worlds and ways of looking at things but the COOL THING IS,

    then I saw these things all over the Word, I never got them before because I was reading with that material matter lens, and That was what Jesus meant,

    to become as little children, as Such is the Kingdom of God,

    what does that mean? Well little children don't sit there and think hmmm is this of God or is this of the Devil, they just see and believe, they don't struggle with that fear and doubts and so they can see the magic like qualities of God and His creation, where WE the cynics and legalists we become [like pharisees] due to our lack of love and seeing lack of love in the world,

    we use that measuring stick--to analyze everything to death, literally. No wonder we can be so miserable...

    and like now I see things in the Spirit all the time, in nature, in the elements, and like they've Always BEEN there, but I just never saw them--I did as a child but you know adult Wisdom, lol, especially through vain philosophies including theology which is the WORST VAIN KAKA OUT THERE, more and more my 'eye' was dark...

    and it's So freeing, scary at first but freeing to let go of the chains and see through the eye of child likeness and love, to see the magic [it's the word I use because I simply cannot find a word to describe the amazing worlds I see that God creates],

    give you an example, one day, me wrestling with God over several things, I decided to lay down under the squash patch....[con't]

  32. and hide from God, lol so I thought, so I'm laying under this HUGE squash leaf and I turn and look and I could see this whole universe, with the little bugs, and it looked like a rain forest, and then the scriptures from Jonah came to me,

    and so I meditated on that and wondered, OK what is God telling me here, and then it hit me, God grew that gourd for shade for Jonah when he was depressed/angry that God didn't wipe out those Nineveh folks, probably they hurt him in past, etc., and so God wrapped Jonah up in His love through that--then the next day, of course we know what happened, the canker-worm, came and ate that gourd down.

    sure enough, I look into this world of rain forest squash gourds where ants and beetles and bees and some birds take refuge in as well as hide from predator bugs, etc., and I see this little worm. In plant time, which is a slower time than we have, they too strive for Light, it's really amazing and you get a real understanding of God's time and what eternal is--there are numerous time universes within our very own [get into some way out thought here],

    but the Cool thing is, God controls the minute micro to the largest in the I believe God is a being with many forces within, energy, atoms, nutrenos? from space, in the physics but this more in Spiritual, remember Jesus changed form after resurrected why many didn't recognize Him at first--matter changes form, esp when Heated, Oh, [see matter molecules, it's really cool, they can go from gas to water to matter to back, in space they found water with electricity, type of plasma] but anyway,

    this squash patch, God showed me, forgiveness, how we hold on to things not really grasping Who God is, and well just a lot of other things,

    and more and more I see things like this in Nature and it's just out of this world..I now LOVE being in the wilderness so to speak, and losing all that conventional prison chains,

    again it was Very hard at first because we are So 'programmed' to think/see a certain way, and the thing is, we Lose love, except for 'eros' kind, because we are So disconnected from the Spirit, God, Nature, LIFE...tree of life,

    you know our veins, are like trees/branches, also like electricity/lightening--those trees, they ARE alive, they breathe, fact, they mate, fact, our veins carry electric messages from brain/spine [our internal tree of good evil, pain and pleasure/base of spine] just like in nature,

    made in the image of God, the Native Indians believed the earth was Mother sky was Father, the Bible says earth is she, Revelations, God will destroy Those who destroy the earth,

    like Wow--when you see it, it changes EVERYTHING, and Jesus you know,

    healed the blind man, how? With mud [earth and spit, water] and Him, Lord God.

    think about's all over the Word of God, including Paul's letters, works of hands, Should be producing LIFE, just like those veins on trees, that produce leaves/food for birds, animals, etc., Fruit--corrupt tree is non-producing of LIFE, good tree is the LIFE producer for others, all things in nature produce life/food for others and when consumed They become [through cells] a Part of the larger--we do too,

    Jesus is coming, looking for fruit, sweet fruit...the blind man, sees people as 'trees', at first...

    to clothe, feed, water, nourish, love, care for,


    religion, does the exact opposite--the focus on good, evil, and misses it entirely.



  33. Oh, the cool thing about Jonah too, was the end, where God says, that Nineveh had many people AND cows, etc., God even cares for the animals,

    Nineveh you see was that Squash patch...what Jonah couldn't see, God could, to the tiniest detail,

    it Isn't God's judging harshly, it's Us, ourselves, our lens is what is distorted, when God Does judge,

    its AFTER we, in our distorted measuring loveless lens Destroy ourselves/each other and then God has to Intervene, to save us [or others] from destroying all things,

    see it's like, we got it 'backwards', scripture backing of this, when the apostles asked Jesus if HE was going to send fire down to that village that refused to assist Jesus and Jesus says, you do not know what spirit you ask of here...[the destroyer],

    and what is Cool Hilary, I read your blog post on the rain, that confirmed So much of what God has been showing me of late, another element, you know Water,

    and it really is OUR lens of everything, that's what sin does, HE knows our frame, they knew good and evil [in Genesis, they NOW know good and evil LIKE 'US'] when Adam left the garden,

    in Nature, evil if you look at interesting parallel, is decay, but the decay doesn't die but is turned into another life breaks down gives life, now what WE don't see is the cells and atoms and all that,

    the two trees, now if that tree [knowledge] is taken out of it's proper Use, then we get what we have, sin,

    lack of love, lack of life, corrupt, defiled, distorted lens of our selves/and others, of God, etc., well yea this goes into a lot of things but anyway,

    the awesome thing about all of this, seeing in nature with the Word is seeing what Life is really suppose to be, our fruits, in the Spirit, and it really is So different from that measuring stick of good/evil in human mind terms,

    if That makes any sense--I can See it but can't explain it, now it's One thing to see it, now the thing I am learning,

    is how to Walk in this, to Live it, in Faith and well That's an entirely different thing in altogether, spirit verses flesh [the carnal not the body here] LOL. [though I cry more through this than laugh]



  34. Scripture misuse like that just makes me sick. I looked up those verses as soon as I read that section, and I was just thinking, "Uhhhh...really?" Wowsers. How absurd.