Friday, October 15, 2010

Dagon! Dagon! Why hast thou forsaken me?!

A couple of months back, I wrote what could be considered a sister article to this one, found here, and I'd also encourage you to read this excellent article about the snare of formulaic Christian living.

I ask all three of you who read here to bear with me, cause this one covers a lot of ground, and may not cover it very well.

Everytime I think of formulaic Christian living, the stuff which forms the framework of fundamentalism (built on a foundation of authoritarianism), stuff like courtship, I can't help but think of the Mike Tyson/Michael Spinks Heavyweight championship bout that took place back in 1988. I'll explain...

This was back at the time that Tyson was entering his physical prime as a boxer. He was a ferocious ball of chiseled muscle, aggressive, quick with his hands, incredibly powerful as a puncher, defensively stout. Spinks was also a great fighter, even if lacking Tyson's physical skills. The Heavyweight title wasn't unified at the time, as both fighters held various belts, and this fight would unify the title and leave no dispute. Lots of hype. Lots of anticipation. Many reputable people in the boxing world actually considered Spinks the true champion, feeling Tyson hadn't yet truly earned the title. At the same time, they didn't have the same confidence that Spinks would emerge from this fight as the champion. Tyson was such a physical freak. So dominant. So intimidating.

In the days and weeks leading up to the fight, reporters were curious how Spinks was prepping for the fight, curious how he'd approach such a menacing, seemingly invincible opponent. Spinks went on and on about having a "plan" and a "system" that he had come up with, something Tyson wouldn't be able to deal with, something that would guarantee a victory.

It took Mike Tyson all of 91 seconds to beat Michael Spinks every which way but stupid, knocking him to the canvas twice (the second time being the KO), the ONLY two times in Spinks' career that he'd ever been so much as knocked down. Spinks would never fight again.

After the fight, reporters were curious, given the outcome, what Tyson thought of Spinks' "plan". Tyson's answer?...

"Everybody's got a plan until you hit 'em in the mouth."

You'd never expect such wisdom to come from a guy like Mike Tyson, but give some serious thought to those words.

A few days ago, I wrote the following in an article here...

"You might tell me that you practice "biblical" patriarchy, but nothing like what I write about. Your family is thriving, your children are happy and well-adjusted (trust me - they aren't), they aren't being brainwashed with indoctrination that reaches into every area of their lives and such. Save it. Get back to me when little Sissie Sue becomes a grown woman and resists the notion that she needs you to sign off on and oversee her life decisions - which she'll be in no way prepared to make, thanks to your choice to raise her in "biblical" patriarchy. Your little micro-managed patriarchal world will crumble, your family will crumble, relationships will be damaged very likely beyond repair short of the miraculous intervention of God."

I couldn't help but think about that, and think about the Tyson quote, during an exchange that I had on another blog this week with several patriocentrics/dominionists/fundamentalists. To the blog author's credit, she did publish several of my comments, at least until I started to ask the right wrong questions, questions to which the answers would crack the veneer, questions which, if answered, would serve as a punch in the mouth to the plan. Those questions went unanswered. Those of whom they were asked don't really want to face the answers.

The questions centered around parental authority and courtship as an alternative to "modern dating". Among them were, paraphrased, "If your adult child chooses a method other than courtship, will he/she be considered rebellious, in sin, out of God's will, et cetera? Will he/she be shunned, cut-off, and estranged, or threatened with as much?"

Then, the backpedaling and defensive passive-aggressive stuff kicked in. And sadly, not a single person that I interacted with seems to understand that every single formula, system, plan, what have you, that they were espousing was entirely cultural. Not spiritual. Not biblical. Cultural. They can't begin to realize that what they call a "worldview" (ugh...that word makes me feel like I need a shower) is actually a culture. (Yes, fundamentalists, you have your own culture! What you worship is a culture!) They can only mentally process the word "culture" in conjuction with "worldly" things, like that mean ole dating and feminism stuff. But, in their defense, I admit that they believe what they've been indoctrinated to believe. When my questions put a bit of pressure on the "plan", well...

Integrity can only be measured by pressure. 

Courtship, under parental oversight, is seen as so virtuous, so emotionally pure, so righteous, so loving, such a measure of the family's heart, so "godly", until...little Sissie Sue, all grown up, says thanks but no thanks...and then the wheels come off, the loving servant/leader of "father-rule" that they like to brag about becomes the domineering lord of patriocentricity that I write about. "But the human authority structure and its plan said this would work!!! Dagon! Dagon! Why???!!!" The fundamentalist culture, and all of its human resources, all of its human formulas, all of its human plans, can't save you.

“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD,
   “Who take counsel, but not of Me,
      And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
      That they may add sin to sin;
      Who walk to go down to Egypt,
      And have not asked My advice,
      To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
      And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
      Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
      Shall be your shame,
      And trust in the shadow of Egypt
      Shall be 
your humiliation. 

Even in light of what these questions, answered, would reveal, those in the conversation wouldn't forsake their worship of and allegiance to their patriocentric, authority-based culture. With me now out of the conversation, they began to justify their beliefs by saying it all depended on the the difference between accountability and autonomy with an adult child. Ok then. They decided that if an adult child was still dependent on parents, living under their roof, et cetera, that child would have to submit to the wishes of his/her father if the parents didn't allow "serial dating". Oh my. Talk about a bear trap for the poor daughters of patriarchy. So, if the poor daughter, who has been indoctrinated raised to stay at home and be co-dependent until marriage, moves out and supports herself on TOP of rejecting the courtship formula, bless her heart, she's sinned TWICE against patriarchy! Damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. What a wonderful, works-based culture. What a wonderful twist on the freedom and liberty of Christ - and His simple gospel. Talk about creating a demand and then demanding to meet the demand.

These people are true-blue believers. Doesn't matter that their belief is cultural, not spiritual, and certainly not bible-based. Doesn't matter that it has the integrity of the French army or that you can punch holes in it easier that Tyson punching Spinks in the mouth. They have consumed the Kool-aid handed to them, and done so happily, because they took counsel with men, and not of God's Spirit. They've put their faith in a cultural system of Christian living, not in Christ. You only have to press against it ever so slightly to see as much. Frankly, they aren't far removed mentally, in many ways, from the followers of Jim Jones. Think that's extreme? Consider...

The People's Temple started very much as a Christian undertaking (even if in name only as far as Jones was concerned). Peace and love and happy, clean living. Then, over time, as the result of government pressures and to avoid scrutiny, Jones headed down to South America and created Jonestown. By this time, there was no pretense of Christianity, as Jones had now announced himself an athiest, and the focus was on a Communist culture, with the ultimate goal of living, as a self-sufficient agrarian commune, in the Soviet Union. And through all of this, through the transformation from Christianity to Communism to Atheism, his followers stayed with him - and happily so. Nothing, whatsoever, about their lives changed when Christ was taken out of the equation. They were, by all measurements, happy and content with the culture

In November 1978, on the day of Congressman Leo Ryan's visit to Jonestown (the same day as the mass suicide), only about 15 of the roughly 1000 inhabitants of Jonestown desired to leave with the Congressman's delegation. These people were happy. Even Congressman Ryan, who had visited out of concern of relatives, not support of Jones, intended to report upon his return to the US that the people in Jonestown were happy, self-sufficient, and apparently free to come and go as they please. Of course, some of Jones' people murdered him before he could board an airplane to leave.

When Jones issued the call to commit "revolutionary suicide", only one single person offered any resistance to the command, and it was only in the form of a couple of questions before offering compliance. They all drank the Flavor-aid with "purpose" and "vision", laid down carefully and neatly, and died. Almost a thousand men, women, and children. All because Jesus left their culture...and they never noticed, because nothing changed. Their culture became their Jesus.

A few weeks back, in this article, I made the following statement...

"If you take Jesus out of the equation, their authoritarian culture doesn't change. If you take the authoritarian culture out of the equation, they have no Jesus. It IS their Jesus." 

To those practicing "biblical" patriarchy and other forms of hyper-fundamentalism, I ask you to seriously consider, if your Jesus hung on a cross, would he cry out, "Dagon! Dagon! Why hast thou forsaken me?!" Is your God made from human hands, a culture, with it's web of human formulas and plans? Will you even notice if the real Jesus leaves?

Have you seriously examined to see if Jesus has been replaced in your life? Can you separate the spiritual from the cultural well enough to even make this examination?

You can't measure integrity without applying pressure.


  1. And a frightening parallel...Do you know what Jim Jones' followers called him? "Father" or "dad".

    From Matthew 23...the words of Christ...

    "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven."

    Becoming father-centered, and not FATHER-centered, is dangerous business. You end up drinking the Kool-aid.

  2. For those unfamiliar with Dagon...

  3. Just wanted to let you know that there are more than three who read your blog. :)
    I grew up in the ATIA culture. :) PTL I had parents who didn't go all the way with the Patriarchy bit, and wanted a real education for their children. But, there were still bits of brain washing that I totally took in and had to deal with as an adult. I went for some counseling to help deal with the stress of a works based mentality, etc. Even though I knew I was saved by "faith alone", so much emphasis was put on works, and I wanted to do it just right.
    I am so grateful for my husband's support and love during that time. It was refreshing and unique to discover that one could love God with all thine heart, and desire to grow close in relationship to Him without having done family worship times for years, and growing up in a public school without pages of Scripture memory.
    I discovered your site this summer, and have thoroughly enjoyed the clear reminders of what are commandments of men. My 18 yr old daughter reads your site. She has not been raised in a Patriarchal or Matriarchal home, but has seen enough and been close enough to families to realize what it is.
    I hadn't thought of the word "commandments of men" in regards to the culture that I participated in, but if the title fits - then wear it! It has become a word we use in conversation around here.
    I have prayed for you as you shine a ray of light and hope of Jesus' truth into the foggy world of religion. I keep reminding my kids - It's not a religion, it's a relationship.
    Thanks so much!
    Daisy at daisycrazyliving dot blogspot dot com
    PS. My husband's and my blog got mixed up, so the comment will post with his name, which is why I included my blog at the end. Daisy :)

  4. I've told people I was raised in the conservative homeschool culture for years now. Those who were raised in it with me know exactly what I'm talking about. We have our own leaders, our own language and lingo, our own churches, school curriculum, manner of dress, etc. People on the outside study us in fascination, like they would an African tribe. It's a culture that we carry with us, for better or for worse, no matter where we go. To call it anything else than what it is, is ridiculous and dishonest.

  5. Since I was one of the people you had a run-in with over at GC, I thought I'd emerege from my lurker position and comment.

    My problem with your comments there was based on the fact that you accused the hostess of saying something she did not say.

    Our family doesn't fit nicely in to any box. We're only "fundamemtalist" if by that you mean we believe that the Bible is fundamental to living and is the inerrant word of God.

    We have children in public school, and we homeschool. We have every intention of obtaining a college education for our daughters and anticipate that they will live at home while obtaining it, but do not belive that they need to remain at home until marriage, and will not object when and if they leave home.

    We have a large family (6 children) but are not "quiverfull." We do belive that couples being open to the blessing of children is Scriptural and God's design, but that couples can prayerfully make these decisions considering factors important to them.

    Even with my seemingly divergent perspectives, I really enjoy Kelly's blog. Just like I agree with you about the dangers of extra-biblical rules as a condition of salvation, I agree with Kelly that embracing any and every wordly trend and putting a "christian" stamp and twist on it is dangerous and unbiblical.

    Maybe I'm wierd, or maybe I'm just far enough outside of all of this to be balanced. After all, in my opinion, there is a fine line to walk between embracing sound doctrine and walking circumspecty while being careful not to preach a legalistic gospel based on rules and works. But find it we must, and learn how to love one another in the process.

    John 13:35

  6. Terry...You're giving Kelly waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much credit regarding what she "didn't" say. Did she have to say it to say it? I'd be really careful about what's presented over there, cause most of it is rooted in the commandments of men.

    And just so you'll know, this post wasn't directed at you, but rather at those I engaged over there consumed by formulas, like courtship, founded in an authority structure. The authority structure crumbles, and so does the formula, and so does the faith.

    Anything, ANYTHING, connected to the McDonalds or Vision Forum (or any other patrio group/teachers) should be treated with caution.

    By the way, I appreciate that you're extending opportunities to your daughters that many aren't.

  7. @Terry you are an outsider among this group and you should be glad. Your oldest four are in public school and always have been and your youngest two are not school age yet. Technically you have not homeschooled at all although I know you are doing "school" with your preschooler. I say all that to say that I don't think you fully understand what we are all talking about. You have not lived it, been in churches with it, gone to conferences. You have raised your children in a mainstream culture not in the patriarchal culture we are speaking of. You have not watched family after family just about disown or actually disown any adult child who does not buy into stay-at-home daughter, courtship, girls not getting a full education in high school, etc.

    I appreciate you willingness to enter into conversations about patriarchy, etc. But might I suggest that all of this patriarchy stuff looks really good on paper and from far away? Having dealt with years and years of public schooling for you children I can understand how some of the patriarchy stuff must appear to be a breath of fresh air to you. What you need to understand is it is smoke and mirrors. If one of Kelly's girls upon reaching adulthood chose to go to a university and not practice courtship she would be looked upon as someone who has fallen away. Her faith would be in question. What does that say about what they believe? Is it about Christ or is it worship of a culture and a lifestyle?

    I have lived this for ten years, I know the answer. This belief system is apostasy! There is no Jesus in it and most of the folks involved don't even realize it. It is not the acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior that to them defines salvation, it is the acceptance or not of the lifestyle.

    Be very careful this is a dangerous and slippery slope that leads to despair and destruction of the family. I saw on your blog that you are considering a secular homeschool coop when the time comes. Good move, don't let your precious little ones idea of who Jesus is become warped by what they will get in a fundamentalist homeschool group. If you ever want to talk to me about this you know where to find me. After ten years of homeschool I am now doing MAJOR damage control to undo what has been done to my girls, esp. my high schooler. Be careful, don't be taken in by a pretty package and make sure that you don't jump from the frying pan (public school) into the fire (patriocentric/fundamentalist/ homeschool apostasy).

    Sorry for the diatribe my friend but if I can help anyone avoid the mistakes we made I will!!!

  8. Again... wow. You can so tell when you're asking the right/wrong questions... they CANT answer, or their whole world will fall apart!! Thanks to everyone who expressed themselves with the wonderful comments here! Most people who haven't lived this lifestyle can't understand what's being talked about here.

  9. Your comment is eye-opening Taunya. I had no idea that a young woman who decides to make a life decision outside of the prescribed formula would be considered as "fallen away" from the faith for making such a choice. I truly had no idea! I am dumbfounded because whatever theology I may have wrong, the Bible is clear that salvation is in Christ and Him alone. Further, I'm far too imperfect to try to stand on my own merits. I thank God for His mercy.

    I appreciate your concern and you know that there is plenty within the so-called patriocentric teachings that I don't buy at all. The idea that there is a lifestyle formula that is more Christian than another is one you know that I don't believe in. How often have I said on my own blog that for something to be Biblically true, it has to be true for all people at all times, not just in middle class America? You know me a little better than to think I'm attempting to go all patriocentric. Besides, my husband would never stand for it, lol!

    I don't see how saying I enjoy Kelly's blog is any different from saying I enjoy reading this one. I appreciate it when people can passionately express what they believe. Yes, I agree with Kelly on some issues, but I don't think that means I am in danger of falling headfirst into a legalistic, patriocentric lifestyle.

  10. "They have consumed the Kool-aid handed to them, and done so happily, because they took counsel with men, and not of God's Spirit. They've put their faith in a cultural system of Christian living, not in Christ."

    This totally sums it up the system and totally sums up the upbringing I was subjected to.

  11. "The questions centered around parental authority and courtship as an alternative to "modern dating". Among them were, paraphrased, "If your adult child chooses a method other than courtship, will he/she be considered rebellious, in sin, out of God's will, et cetera? Will he/she be shunned, cut-off, and estranged, or threatened with as much?""

    In my experience (not from my own family, thank God), yes. All of those things.

  12. "Your comment is eye-opening Taunya. I had no idea that a young woman who decides to make a life decision outside of the prescribed formula would be considered as "fallen away" from the faith for making such a choice. I truly had no idea! I am dumbfounded because whatever theology I may have wrong, the Bible is clear that salvation is in Christ and Him alone. Further, I'm far too imperfect to try to stand on my own merits. I thank God for His mercy."

    Terry...Yeah, it's one of the stealth things about their "gospel". They'll say all the right and ooey-gooey Christiany sounding things and assure you that it's not true, that people like me are misrepresenting them and their beliefs...but I've tasted the fruit. It's rotten.

    This is why trouble-making Lewis had to go away when he started asking the wrong questions. It's like I said above, everybody's got a plan until you hit 'em in the mouth.

    Courtship is seemless and smooth sailing - as long as the man and woman concerned are like-minded, patriarchal, Calvinist, dedicated to the culture war and formula driven, willing to give everyone in their sphere a say in their relationship, and give others the say so to speak to them on behalf of God to bless it or end it, and - as long as these same things apply to both families, and not to mention ALL of the people within the spiritual/church community of the couple. In other words, when everything is absolutely perfect before the courtship, courtship is a foolproof method.


    Spurn the mother and father of a daughter (and as I've seen lately, even a son) of patriarchy and you've got hell on steriods. Heartless, callous, viewing the hearts and lives of the couple as expendable for the greater good of the culture war.

    I know. I've lived it. Their denials have the value of confederate money in my book. If you'll notice, they excel at the non-denial denial, but when my questions got too close to the authority structure, and true answers wouldn't look good, I became the enemy.

    They promote an entirely apostate gospel that has about a million more layers than the goody-happy-godly exterior displays. This is why I urge caution.

    A LARGE, LARGE portion of my audience here is comprised of young adult women in their 20s and 30s who have in no shape, form, or fashion rejected Christ, but rather, rejected the patriarchal authority structure, many of them choosing to marry men that their parents disapproved of and refused to bless...and their reward has been ostracization. Disowned by parents and cut-off from siblings they love dearly.

    My ex was threatened, CONTINUOUSLY, with these good, godly, "Christian", biblical patriarchy parents.

    The culture IS their Jesus.

  13. The title of this post is wonderfully startling. Stand fast, stand strong. I am really appreciating all of the comments here, especially yours, Taunya. For what it's worth, I am so encouraged when believers stand up for what is right and true, even when it isn't popular in the world. For some, this is the world of patriocentricity.

    What better way for the enemy to lure someone away from the simplicity that is in Christ than to beckon them with something that looks even more godly, more holy? He is crafty and knows that conscientious Christians won't fall for hideousness, outright blatant evil...

  14. Thanks Hillary it is hard to stand up, it is hard to talk about, it is hard to admit that my sincere desire to protect my children and bring them up to love and serve God took a wrong turn. Some days I want to forget it ever happened other days I want to warn everyone. I really wish I could just walk away from it all but the Lord has not allowed me to do that yet.

    Terry, my friend I pray the absolute best for you and your daughters as you begin this homeschooling choice. I still believe homeschooling can produce excellent results. I still homeschool and plan to do so all the way through for both my girls but I now do so with open eyes.

    All that glitters is not gold, that is all I can say. May God guide you as you begin this journey!!

  15. You nailed it again, Lewis. I'm a former homeschool mom who imbibed a bit of the Kool-Aid before my husband and I wised up. We never subjected our kids to the worst of the craziness, but there are still a number of decisions that we regret now. If we'd had discussions like this, twenty years ago, we might have made better decisions. Thanks for refusing to keep quiet, Lewis.

  16. Terry, I appreciate your desire for balance and truth that is reflected in your comments here and elsewhere on the Blogosphere. But you have to know that the reason some of us speak so passionately against "Biblical Patriarcy" (as defined by Vision Forum, the McDonalds, the Botkins, etc.) is because we know the ugly truth that none of those people are willing to talk about. I can list the names of over a dozen friends I have, some I've met in real life, who decided that the system was wrong and unbiblical and their parents kicked them out of the house, never letting them see their family until they come home and "repent". Their siblings have been told that they are "apostate", "in sin", and have abandoned them for a sinful lifestyle. I wish I could say they are the exception but they're not. This system that looks so good on the outside is rotteness on the inside. The fruits of it are only bad...broken relationships, broken hearts.

    My own parents started down this path, via Bill Gothard/ATI, and my mother questioned my salvation because I didn't agree with their ideas of courtship and authority. Thankfully, my family got out before we were in too deep, but not before all of our hearts and relationships were damaged.

    I wish for once one of those who promote this would honestly answer the hard questions like Lewis started asking. But then, if they did, people would see this for what is really is and the facade would be over.

  17. Oh my word.....ain't this the truth: Heartless, callous, viewing the hearts and lives of the couple as expendable for the greater good of the culture war

    This is exactly how my sister and I felt at the ages of 20 and 21 when my parents decided that the two young men my parents approved were no longer "marriage material" and told us to cut off all contact with them. By this time, we had already fallen in love and were deeply committed to each other. We felt like pawns in a chess game. It didn't matter that we were in our 20s. We were fully expected to obey.

    A month later, we took matters into our own hands, left home without telling anyone and headed out to marry these boys (they are brothers). We were treated like "the fallen," communication with our younger brothers was cut off for a year, our parents didn't come to our weddings and wouldn't even acknowledge our marriages due to adhering to some obscure Mosaic law that my father clung to, thinking that he had the full right to disallow our vows.

    This system is nothing by pure evil.

  18. Oh, I understand now, much better than I did before, Darcy. I didn't know daughters were being disowned for going to college and things like that. This kind of thing is foreign to me because I am a firm believer in young people developing a faith of their own, and a relationship with God of their own, and it is impossible for them to do that on my terms. The Holy Spirit can not work.

    It is truly shocking to me that young adults are discouraged from seeking God for direction in their lives and are forced to squeeze into a mold of their parents' choosing, predetermined from birth by the community of people with whom they worship. It seems that is what you are describing. It flies in the face of each of us being fearfully and wonderfully made.

    For those of you who have lived through such terrible legalistic oppression, I am truly sorry.

  19. "I am a firm believer in young people developing a faith of their own, and a relationship with God of their own, and it is impossible for them to do that on my terms. The Holy Spirit can not work."

    Truer words never spoken, Terry. I wish all Christian parents shared that perspective.

    I'd never even heard of the Patriarchal movement, VF, or any of this stuff, until 3 years ago (and here I am shaking hands with middle-age), so you can imagine how often my mouth hung wide open in what I experienced with my former future in-laws.

    I wasn't raised in this kind of thing. I was very fortunate in that my parents pointed to Jesus and never stood in the way of the relationship between me and Jesus developing. There was no "Jesus, and this, this, this, and this, and oh yeah, your daddy's your high priest. God speaks to you through him."

  20. Terry I, just like you, found a lot that the patrio's were saying that I agreed with. I have pictures of my children (when they were younger) at Vision Forum conferences with Scott Brown's and Voddie B's arms around them, we were skirts only for years and we wore head coverings while worshiping for a year or so. It was not until my husband decided to co-pastor a Family-Integrated Church with another man that I truly began to understand what all the buzz words and pretty talk REALLY meant.

    If an adult child strays from this way of life they are not deemed to be of the faith. If the parents don't take serious action to basically disown the adult child then the whole family will be quasi-shunned by their church/homeschool community. The other families will no longer allow their children to play with the "tainted" family's children and other families will not allow their adult children to marry the children of the "tainted" family. The only way out is to disown the adult child who did not conform and ask that all your friends pray for them as they have gone astray. This may even occur if the adult child simply decides to attend a "worldly" (read non family-integrated church) even though the adult child will still consent to engaging in courtship. They must adopt the total package.

    If you ask a patrio family if they would consider their adult child to have fallen if they don't adopt the "lifestyle" they usually won't answer you directly. They fully believe that if the "do" everything right that their children will adopt the lifestyle because to them every "real" Christian would. Therefore to them it is a non-issue and your question would only apply to some weaker, less mature family who raised their kids in the "world" for a time. Not to mention most greatly shelter their kids. I don't mean good sheltering like you and I, I mean really weird sheltering, therefore many aren't even aware that other Christians don't live like they do. They think any other lifestyle choice is chosen because those doing the choosing are unbelievers. Again most would not say it, but they do believe it.

    One family in our church would not ever let any child alone in the bathroom. If you showered you showered with your sister with you. Also no child could sleep alone. I am not sure what the reasoning behind this was but I think it had something to do with Gothard/ATI as this family was ATI before becoming more Vision Forum minded.

    This is a cult Terry, plain and simple and Kelly and the rest will talk a good game and avoid answering the questions that really matter. Think about cults like Jim Jones as Lewis mentioned above. Most cults have wonderful ways of pulling people in. They never display their true agenda for all to see. It is subversive, there are buzz words, if this were not the case they would not draw so many in.

    You are wise Terry and you have a strong faith. I am sure you will see the truth. I went over to Kelly's blog tonight to read the interaction between you and Lewis. At one point Lewis said that while Kelly did not mention courtship it was definitely implied. You took issue with that but Lewis is right. Kelly was,of course talking about courtship, it is what she believes every Christian should do. It is what she has already decided her GROWN children must do, and she does believe she has the right to make decisions for her ADULT children before they even get in her womb. It will not be okay in their circles if any of the children decide that courtship is not for them. It does not occur to Kelly that you are to raise your children up to love the Lord when they are children and let the Holy Spirit guide once they become adults. They actually believe adult children must continue to obey their parents.

    This is not Christ, this is not Christian it is an apostate sect loosely based on Old Testament Scripture with Jesus' name painted on for good measure.

  21. I've tried to comment three times so if you get multiples, that's why. :)

    Long story short: You're right. Patriarchy is evil. You don't know til you've lived it.

    I had too much to say so I blogged it:

  22. "We felt like pawns in a chess game."

    That's exactly what it is, Erika. Exactly. The phrase I once used with my ex was "pawns in a controlled environment". Of course, that and other comments like it were eventually used to prove how miserably I'd failed at 1st Corinthians 13.

  23. Oh my Gosh Lewis,

    yesterday, was having one of those off days, in transition, Long story, but I was Thinking of YOU, ok, like talking to Jesus and asking/chatting with him about Who in the Bible YOU reminded me of [there is reason for this, there have been several people that for one reason or another have been links for one reason or another to those in OT and in NT, like one woman I know who fights prostitution, her name is Rebecca, well there are similarities, I can't explain this ok because it would take a long time BUT,

    for some reason YOU kept coming up and then it was Samson, for some reason, Samuel and then I asked God why, his situ not similar to Delilah, then the Dagon came to me...when Samson was used to confront/take down the Philistines and then I asked God are the fundies [in this situ] like the Philistines and yesterday we were going through the women and What message God used in each case and like there is a THREAD to each one OK, and well anyhow,

    Rebecca, ok and that king Ambli? something or another and the Philistines Then ok were like Religious because remember when they told Isaac that IF they had touched her they would have had guilt--well that was last night but anyway I thought Yea Lewis is kind of like Samson in that way...

    and then I forgot about it right, went to zoo with my son today, came home, browsing and See this,

    and like WOW, LOL, like WOW,

    just Too Cool. Amazing when God does that, cuzz I've never met you and don't know you from Adam but like, WOW,

    well Anyway, just a confirmation, just Too cool.

    :) Jane

  24. sorry about that, that should be Samson not Samuel, lol, but anyhow, just a lot of Cool things happened to day and then this, lol, cuzz I was Thinking about you yesterday, Samson and the Philistines and Dagon,

    then you write this, ROFL, oh man, Love it when God does that...because right now [of late] it's been touch and go with me, with believing, etc., and well anyway, LOL, just laughing at just how like so awesome this is because you know This is one of those things that People can't control you know, like the Spirit is doing this and like can't Explain these things away as coincidence or logic or any of that,

    LOL, like just Wow. So yea I mean God is Using you Lewis, so Just be encouraged.

    Jane [in addition to reply above]

  25. [in addition to above two replies] OK Lewis it was about yesterday morning I think...when I was thinking about you, anyhow Samson came up, ok so like I was putting that together like Why God, what is it about Lewis, just you know when you get those like nudgings like that...well anyway then last night, having a 'dark' time OK and Jesus is just talking to me about a lot of the doubts [when I get into those abyss times] about God and women, etc., and so like I am going through all the women because there is a Thread, like hidden [well not hidden but many I think don't see them because they aren't focused on] with all the women and What the message is, etc., and well when I came to Rebekkah I couldn't remember, OK God what was it with her,

    so then I go to the Word, and see the story and it's Genesis 26:6-, and in 8 where it talks about Abimelech king of the Philistines, well Anyway, at That time it appears the Philistines were a tad religious, because Abimelech was Very concerned [or fearful] when he saw Rebekkah with Isaac, and I remember thinking well I remember that show Samson, didn't see Philistines that religious then, but you know this movie [one of the TCM classics] was one that brought the story Samson alive to me a lot because especially at the end, where they made sport of Samson, well Anyway,

    that one girl Before Delilah, remember her, she was engaged to Samson and then she was killed, I think that is why You and Samson to my mind were connected...but I remember thinking Dagon,

    well anyway, then I browse and see Dagon Dagon on your post today. So like,

    yea, you know I wouldn't have tied in Philistines with the Fundie issue today but yea...I mean, Dagon, it makes sense. Well anyway,

    maybe this is something for you to encourage or I don't know, but it is really encouraging to see the Spirit move that way...because it Confirms a lot that God has been showing me too, about some other areas that well, are just so helpful,

    God really IS alive ya know, LOL, you know it's One thing to like know scriptures and all that, but it's like So much more to actually SEE GOD move, especially when HE does it through complete strangers, and confirms that way, it's really like seeing the Red Sea part, that's one of the things I've been throwing up a lot late, like OK Jesus where's all these Signs and Wonders, etc., pushing the logic compared to the reality,

    well WOW, guess yea God shows us reality...HE really is Real and really Does exist and still Moves today, it is REAL,

    not just doctrine, and yea...with so much death and negativity and lack of love in our world [and in ourselves often sad to say] when GOD shows Himself, it changes how you see, all of it, but those things can be Hard to hang onto, in this day especially, we see and focus So much on the negative,

    but you know, GOD is still in control and well WE need to remember and encourage each other IN that fact, so I hope this encourages All who read here today,

    sometimes focusing too much on the downsides can tear us down, ya know...we need to see the Miracles too.



  26. Jane...I appreciate your words of encouragement, and the study, thought, and prayer you put into these issues. Thank you.

  27. ...and Kelly continues to delete my comments.

  28. Hey Lewis, I know I'm coming to this discussion late, but I wanted to mention that while I shy away from controversy and have never managed to change minds by debating (something I was taught to do my whole childhood), I'm glad that you're standing strong for an unpopular truth. It's refreshing to read well-thought arguments without disclaimers or concessions.

    And for anyone doubting the reality of what goes on in these authoritarian/patriocentric/fundamentalist-culture homes, please take it from yet another child of that movement that the descriptions you read here are right-on.

  29. The other families will no longer allow their children to play with the "tainted" family's children and other families will not allow their adult children to marry the children of the "tainted" family.

    Ostracization is one of the ugliest things religion has ever produced.

    Paul said we have been "accepted in the beloved". In Roman we are told to "accept one another then as Christ has accepted you, and not to argue about disputable matters".

    To my great shame I admit that when I was a younger home school parent, I shunned people who let their children participate in Halloween, read Harry Potter, etc. I, in my turn, was shunned by others for not wearing only dresses, head coverings, etc.

    It's a nasty business, ostracization and shunning. To me it is a clear sign that the Holy Spirit isn't in control of that person/group.

    I belong to a secular home school group now. I have been doing damage control in our family for two years. I would still choose home schooling again, but oh would I do it differently!

    I too have met daughters of patriarchy, and yes, it is exactly as bad as Lewis describes. Be very careful, new home school mom, not to overdose on the religiosity. If you are in a Christian home school support group you may not be able to keep from it! Best wishes, SS

  30. Hi Lewis,

    Can you tell me where the infamous thread is that everyone keeps mentioning?


  31. Sallie...It was at Generation Cedar...The post there was about polygamy. It may still be on the front page there.

  32. This is very late but I do want to add something. In Jonestown, contrary to popular opinion many people refused to poison themselves and were forced to( maybe not the majority but still). At least one survivor attested to this.