Judgment, Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Spiritual Abuse, Transforming Society

Character Counts!

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”
(Mark 13:31 NIV).
Picture by ba1969 (Billy Frank Alexander)

Poor Excuse for Choosing Bad Character

In 2016, highly influential evangelical leader, Jerry Falwell Jr., endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy despite the candidates gross shortcomings in character. He said, “We’re not choosing the pastor-in-chief, we’re choosing the President of the United States.” In doing this he broke rank with God, for this is not how the Almighty taught us when He chose David to be king. For, in choosing David, God found a man after His own heart.

Trump, “the best doctor”

The irony is that Falwell said that he saw in Trump a man who loved people and went on to say, “if you had a young child who was ill you would want to choose the best doctor.” With 250 000 Americans dead, largely because of Trump’s politicking and despite his confessed early knowledge of the danger of the coronavirus, it seems that he has loved himself, power, and the dollar more than the American people.

Church Leaders Follow Evil and the People Follow Suit

If America is in a mess today, it’s because evangelicals sidestepped serious character flaws in Trump and then went on to excuse his behavior throughout his term of office. In their blind zeal for God, they endorsed a “fox” rather than a man after God’s own heart or even just a good man like God found in king Cyrus of Persia.

Consequently, America’s evangelical leaders are not unlike the prophets and priests in the days of Judah. For Jeremiah writes, “The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. ‘Both prophet and priest…I find their wickedness,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 23:10-11 NIV).

Repent!

Church leaders like Falwell, Franklin Graham, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, and countless others must repent of endorsing evil and for helping to lead the church and the nation into the idolatry of Trumpism. Furthermore, the church must repent of making super-gurus out of church leaders, for this idolatry causes Christians to be led by people rather than God.

Jesus does not take kindly to false teaching and idolatry. For, to the church of Pergamum, He says, “I have a few things against you: There are some among you…who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (Rev. 2:14-16 NIV).

Your brother in Christ,

Rob Morley

Family, Leadership, Marriage, Spiritual Abuse, Transforming Society, Women in Ministry

The Endgame of Complementarianism is the Suppression of Women

Women in Workplace
Picture by Dez Pain

The Logical Outcome of Complementarianism

The sad reality that many of my good Christian brothers and sisters don’t realise is that, in the end, their supposed scripture-tight homey Complementarian view toward women plays out in the suppression of women in society at large. Many may scoff and think that I am exaggerating the reach of this doctrine. However, consider the words of John Piper, a foremost champion of Complementarianism and one of the most influential and well respected Christian leaders and teachers of our time. He says, “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.” He goes on to say, “For example, a drill sergeant might epitomize directive influence over the privates in the platoon. And it would be hard for me to see how a woman could be a drill sergeant — hut two, right face, left face, keep your mouth shut, private — over men without violating their sense of manhood and her sense of womanhood.”

Though many Complementarians wouldn’t take it that far, Piper’s view is the sum logical outcome from their interpretations of certain key texts in the Scriptures. And, to the degree that this view is held by men who hold sway (and also by women), and to the extent that they have influence, false notions are imposed upon women, families and churches, and even onto society. The end result is a distortion of God’s creative and redemptive purposes for women, which is a loss to everyone, even to men.

Creation Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

The loss to men is especially ironic considering that Eve was meant to be a gift to Adam and, by extension, women to all of humanity. While this loss is to be expected in humanity’s fallen state, it is sad when it gets perpetuated by those who are in Christ. This leads to the other sad irony of Complementarianism, which is that the world, rather than those who hold Christ’s redemptive message, often benefits by not impeding the potential in women. For example, women are in the senate, in congress and in parliaments, and others successfully lead very significant countries and corporations, not to mention past queens and prime ministers. Creation doesn’t lie, because, like Deborah in the Bible, women have proven to be very good and capable leaders over men.

Scripture Testifies That Women Can Lead Men

Now, to be fair, our faith is based on Scripture alone. And, in this regard, we thankfully have many churches that interpret and teach a better message concerning women by using the very methods of interpretation that Complementarians use, yet with outcomes that are more consistent with Scripture as a whole and with God’s intentions for women specifically. In this regard, Women as Leaders is a link to several posts where I give alternative historical-grammatical interpretations to those of Complementarianism. I believe that you will see them ring true to the rest of Scripture and unintentionally, yet unsurprisingly, to what we see evidenced in life around us.

Just as we have evidenced that the earth is a sphere and are, therefore, not surprised to find that the Bible says the same thing, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Bible teaches that women can be leaders of men. Perhaps culturally and religiously indoctrinated men, and insecure men in particular, will battle with this outcome, but that God’s word. I, for one, would be grateful to be like Barak. He submitted himself to Deborah who commanded him in accomplishing God’s will. Nevertheless, even in the face of excellent alternative biblical interpretations that don’t compromise the Scriptures in any way (as some suppose), we still have Christians who doggedly hold to their interpretations and who teach that the Bible instructs otherwise. And, this despite both biblical and natural evidences of women unshackled.

Finally, I would like to end by recommending this TED Talk that highlights the sad reality of male leadership and women suppression found in varying degrees in many homes and churches and, as a result, in society too: Why I Left an Evangelical Cult | Dawn Smith | TEDxNatick

Rob Morley

Spiritual Abuse

Been Spiritually Abused?

by mokra (Marcelo Mokrejs) http://www.rgbstock.com/user/mokra
by mokra (Marcelo Mokrejs) http://www.rgbstock.com/user/mokra

Dear Reader,

If you have been spiritually abused in any way, I would like to invite you to take a few moments to read the following invitation by a fellow Christian worker, Dr. Barb Orlowski (D.Min.), whose research and life’s work is focused on helping the spiritually abused find recovery. 

Thanks,

Rob Morley

Greetings Everyone!

January has been designated, for the past number of years, as: *Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month*

Many bloggers have joined in to raise the awareness about spiritual abuse.

Some of you may be new to this negative church life experience and how devastating it can be.  Finding others online, who have experienced spiritual abuse and hearing how they have slowly recovered, provides hope and help for those who have wondered what exactly has happened to them.

You may not be aware of my ongoing invitation for people who have suffered from spiritual abuse and who have recovered sufficiently–to fill out my online questionnaire.

This initial survey was designed for participants in my doctoral research project regarding spiritual abuse and how people eventually recovered from it.

Out of that project came my website:  www.ChurchExiters.com and my book, entitled: “Spiritual Abuse Recovery:  Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.”

Bloggers have been a huge help in getting the word out for people to know about this opportunity to tell their stories and have these accounts added to the growing statistics of those wounded by spiritual abuse in their local churches.

A few years ago I was asked by a researcher in Australia if I could point them to statistics regarding how widespread spiritual abuse was.  At this time, there still does not appear to be very many studies that I can point people to, apart from my own.  This is a motivator to request that people–who were not involved in the original study–take the time in order to be a part of this new research project.

Please carefully consider the following criteria for participation in this opportunity to ‘Add Your Voice’ on my website ChurchExiters.com

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

  1. Carefully read through the criteria.
  2. If you have considered the criteria and feel that you fit and that you will not be harmed by answering the questions, please proceed.
  3. If you feel that this exercise could be therapeutic as well as help to bring you closure, please proceed.
  4. Then Click on PLEASE CLICK HERE for Participant Questionnaire.
  • Your completed questionnaire will be added to my ongoing file.
  • Your comments will be kept completely confidential.

Thank You for being willing to share your story!

Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as convenient.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at this email address: info@churchexiters.com

All the best!

Barb Orlowski, D.Min.