Saturday, March 26, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Part 77 - December on Facebook, 2}

Been a while, I know.  Lots going on in real life here. I am again.

Some elaborations on some of the things I've posted on Facebook...

Dec. 12th -

Dec. 15th - 
So often when people demand that you 'keep peace,' what is really happening is that the side with the control and power is telling the side without the control and power to be quiet in order to keep the lopsided power structure in place. Telling the dissenter to keep quiet and keep the peace is always beneficial only to the party in power that calls all the shots. The one with power wants all the peace for themselves.                                            
Dec. 15th - I posted these words with a link to this article, called "A New Era Of Peace-Making Feminists."
good stuff... 
~We need to dwell on the injustice we faced and continue to face due to our gender. We need to vent. We need to speak up, write out, cut our hair short, get a job, and whatever else. 
We need to distance ourselves from friends, family, churches, and really all environments or people that are not in support of the “new us.” WE ARE FREE! WE ARE FREE! WE ARE FREE! We need to shout it from the rooftops or steeples. 
Complementarianism has not had a good year and it is becoming increasingly clear that the theology is not fair, and perhaps even dangerous, towards girls and women. 
Further, more and more Christian men are standing up against complementarianism and opening up about the condescending pressure that they have felt to “man up” and change their personalities to fit a human-made *American* doctrine that is only about 25 years old.~

Dec. 15th - I posted these words with a link to this article (written by one of Billly Graham's grandsons), called "Rebuking the Abused in the Name of Jesus."
this is the truth. it happens over and over and over again. in churches, in counseling sessions, in friendships and families. i sadly know this from experience. please believe what this is saying...and work to turn the tide. 
~Rebuke was the method the disciples used in attempting to keep the children away from Jesus. To rebuke means to criticize sharply or to turn back or keep down. When church leaders, or anyone else for that matter, criticize, turn away, or keep down abuse survivors, they are attempting to keep these brave souls away from the unconditional love of Jesus. Though such rebuke takes various forms, it is often justified by piously placing greater value upon the work of the church or its leaders than those who have been abused and traumatized. I have stopped counting the number of times survivors have shared with me about how they were rebuked after stepping out of the shadows to disclose being abused. In fact, many have experienced what I would call a progression of rebuke. The progression usually begins with a gentle admonishment not to talk too much about it, coupled with a rationale that the admonishment is for the “well being” of the survivor. When a gentle admonishment fails to do the trick, the next step is often a strongly worded admonishment intended to intimidate the survivor into silence. If the strongly worded admonishment doesn’t work, the abuse survivor will often be criticized and shamed by those who demand their silence. When all else fails, leaders may attempt to marginalize or ostracize the survivor hoping they will simply walk away into a silent abyss. The few who survive this toxic process find themselves re-traumatized and faced with the realization that the church is not the place to see Jesus or experience his love. What a grave tragedy on so many levels. 
Sometimes the rebuking of those who have been abused is more subtle, but no less damaging. For example, it’s not uncommon for church members to rally around perpetrators who claim innocence or express a hollow repentance as the victim is ignored or even sometimes vilified. I remember being at a conference years ago where hundreds of child sexual abuse prosecutors were asked about their observations of pastors who came to court in a supportive role. Sadly, over two-thirds of the audience reported that pastors appeared in court to support perpetrators, not victims. This type of rebuke is illustrated by a friend of mine who was sexually abused as a child by a well-known member of her church. Years later and after much counseling, my friend took the brave step forward and reported these crimes to the police. The perpetrator was eventually charged and convicted. When my friend arrived at the courthouse for the sentencing hearing, the pastor of the church whom she had known for years was sitting with the family of the perpetrator and never said a word to her the entire time. In fact, he never even acknowledged her. My friend was devastated. She found herself being rebuked by her pastor’s public support of the person who had been the source of so much deep pain in her life.~

Dec. 17th - I wrote these words with a link to this article, called "Fatherhood is a Call to Advocacy for Women."
i think most fathers love their daughters. but sadly, i think that most see them as 'less than' males. less rational, less wise, less capable, less steady, less strong. they see them as 'more' of the things that make people untrustworthy...more driven by emotions, more demanding, more controlling, more manipulative. 
and these ways that they see their daughters (and women in general) don't have to be based on any concrete evidence from that individual is just based simply upon the fact that they were born female. sometimes they don't even realize it's there...yet when put to the test, there those beliefs are. 
what can Christian fathers (husbands/brothers/sons/friends) do about this? first this treatment has to be seen and acknowledged. then prayerfully empathy will form...and then they will be moved beyond empathy into action. 
~My dad wasn’t always an advocate for gender equality. He didn’t necessarily oppose it. Like many Christian fathers, he was raised in a family where male leadership was assumed and gender roles were at least loosely observed. A father of three daughters, my dad has always believed that I am the equal of men. But until a few years ago, he hadn’t yet stepped into my shoes as a woman in a world where that often means less than. 
When I laid my broken heart for women before my dad, he began to see the world through the eyes of women. He became an advocate. He made gender equality his fight too. 
Now, he speaks up when someone makes a gender-based joke or assumption. He pushes back at theology that diminishes women’s humanity and ability. He is eager to talk about women’s experiences around the world. And he leverages his privilege and position on women’s behalf. 
Your daughter will fight for a voice where yours is exercised freely. She will be silenced where you are celebrated for speaking up. She will have to argue for her dignity and her humanity where yours is assumed. She will long for permission to lead and teach where your same gifts have been welcomed and sought after for centuries. She will seek what you already have: a seat at the table. 
Being a father means recognizing that your daughter was born into a world that undermines her dignity, and then intentionally doing something about it.~

Dec. 18th -
"The truth is that no one can keep you captive. No one can keep you unhappy. No one can keep you abused. Our lives rise to the level we accept. I do believe we can rise from the screaming blood of our losses, of extreme pain, physically debilitating emotion, psychological neglect, and apathy, and not merely survive, but thrive. We do not need to let our histories or our losses define us except in the way we choose. We can use them as fuel to create real depth, beauty, connectedness, and compassion in our lives. Our stories can make us exceptional people, not damaged ones. If we choose to be truthful with ourselves. And if we choose to digest and release the pain rather than avoid it." —Jewel
Dec. 18th -
i can't get this out of my head. i've posted this...but i'm posting it again. it's just so powerful. and so very true. 
it's the consistent 'little' 'harmless,' 'silly' 'jokes' that she mentions that actually make the real impact in our lives. most of us have seen that Christmas picture that got so much attention (the women with duct tape on their mouths). those seemingly harmless things in reality are the things that train us up and teach us about ourselves. that teach us *who we are.* 
for instance, joking around about women being nags or talking too much teaches little boys that they can dismiss women...and teaches little girls that they might not be listened to or respected when she does talk. 
it's all fun and games until it's you that is hurt by it...or your daughter. don't be confused...i'm not talking about physical or sexual violence here...although obviously that is a danger. but...we should always only build each other more tearing down. even in 'silly' 'jokes.' ‪#‎letsturnthetide‬

Dec. 20th - These words with this image...
That Oscar Wilde quote that says that women are meant to be loved, not understood...that's such rubbish. People are people, y'all...whether you're a male or female. This is the quote that needs to take over. And we should all strive for this with the people in our lives. Thank you, Ellen.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Part 76 - December on Facebook, 1}

Some elaborations on some of the things I've posted on Facebook...

Dec. 1st -
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Dec. 1st -
my friend, cleveland brown (yes, that's his real name), just posted this. so sad but true. 
"Some people aren't loyal to you. They are loyal to their need of you. Once their needs change so does their loyalty."
Dec. 1st - 

Dec. 2nd -
this is SO RIGHT ON!! 27 seconds, y'all. take less than 30 seconds and listen to this.
Vulnerability is...
"Being willing to express the truth, no matter what......" 
Love the rest of what she says too.

Dec. 2nd -
guilt vs. shame. we simply must learn the difference, y'all. 
i’ve caught SOOOO much flack over the past year about telling my story. so much. and so often, even when Joel has been *so* drowning in sin and i was *still* there forgiving him and giving him more chances…even then, i was being vilified. *even when joel himself* was speaking his heart about how he’d done wrong and voicing his regrets, still it was me that was targeted…and so many spoke out on his behalf, arguing with him and telling him not to give in to shame. 
HUGE difference between guilt and shame. HUGE. i’ve spoken out about it many times before in the past few months. 
how do i know this stuff when VERY seasoned Christians…pastors and leaders and counselors and missionaries…*don’t* know this?!?!? they are so very confused on this issue!! sweet dear JESUS!! 
if pastors and leaders and counselors and missionaries don’t know this stuff, no WONDER the church is in such a horrible state! 
help us, Lord! 

Dec. 3rd - I posted this because 1) we are swifties in this house from way back, and 2) I love what she had to say speaks to what females are fed and taught.  Only one minute long.

Dec. 8th - I posted this article, called "Not All Comps," and these words.
that tagline ("At what point does defense of an idea become complicity in the abuses inherent to that ideology?")!! this man's words nail it. 
someone commented: "Thank you for saying it so well. The biggest Christian need today is not to feed the hungry or send somebody else on a missionary trip. The biggest and most ignored need today is to free Christian women from complementarianism, and to allow her the freedom in Christ that all Christians should have." 
the reply to that comment: "Which will empower them to do the very work you described above in a way that can actually change the world, speak into its brokenness."
funny he should say that. we *were* on the mission field. why are we no longer? **because of the abusive ideology of complementarianism.** 
this is a great article...and really tackles the whole 'but, not every complementarian is like that' argument. 
~Why does this keep happening? How can people hear the horror stories, see the damage, and still defend these men? 
The answer is fear. Fear of losing their grounding, fear of admitting complicity. Most importantly, fear that questioning the status quo will bring a quick descent into post-modernity and relativism. Fear that to question these teachings is to question the Gospel itself. 
Of course, they insist complementarianism is the clear teaching of Scripture and anyone who rejects this clear teaching is rejecting Scripture itself. When you question the inerrant teachings they put forth you cannot truly have a moral compass or come to God salvifically. After all, Jesus taught Inerrancy! 
As Christians, we are not called to defend the ideas of men. Paul confronts the Corinthian church because they had become disciples of men instead of disciples of Christ (1 Cor 1:10-17). They allowed certain persons to have primacy and privilege over others (1 Cor 8, 11:17-22). 
We must remember Jesus, in his death as the humble, emptied, crucified God exposes the plight of those oppressed, defies the power which denigrates, and opposes systems of discrimination and separation (1 Cor 1:18-31; Gal 3). The crucified cross of God calls us to take up his cause to uplift the oppressed and love all persons above ourselves (Phil 2:1-12; Luke 9:21-27; Matt 20:20-28, 25:31-46). 
Thus, when confronted by the hurt of others at the hands of abusive or discriminatory ideologies our response should not be to insert our own narrative by declaring “Not All Comps”. Instead, like the God who became human, we must immerse ourselves in the narrative of their suffering (Isa 52:13-53:12).~
Dec. 10th - I posted this article, called "Exorcism at Mars Hill:  One Woman's Story of Sex, Demons, and Mark Driscoll," and these words...
this is something that i've said several times before, but it bears repeating...things like this that i post, Joel and i have discussed thoroughly already. this is nothing that i'm saying 'against' him or anything. he sees things very differently now...because we've learned a lot about the belief system that we grew up with and how it is so detrimental. "not always" people may say. but, as an article i posted a couple of days ago asked... 
**At what point does defense of an idea become complicity in the abuses inherent to that ideology?** 
and it's true...abuse *is* inherent. if there are abuses that *regularly* happen within an ideology or theology, and from even the *leaders* of that ideology/theology...something is clearly wrong. 
and i share these things because there are many others that are in the same boat as we were...prescribing to a theology that has major potential to be, or already is in their lives, very destructive and detrimental...and are looking for a way out. they can relate to and learn from these things that i share. 
this interview hit SO close to home. some of the things she went through just exactly describe some of the things i went through. and all because i'm female. 
~“My husband was always pretty stubborn,” says Amy, “but Mark’s preaching made that part of his personality worse. He most definitely felt empowered by Mark to rule over me. I experienced that more and more the longer we were married. The church encouraged it.~ --> my husband isn't the stubborn type, but i could always tell when he had been 'advised' by his mentors...because he would step up the intensity and confidence that he was 'the boss' and he was 'in charge' and 'the head of the family'...and i just needed to follow. 
~During those talks (mini-counseling sessions) Amy often felt invisible. “Mostly because I was the wife,” she says, “a woman, the ‘weaker vessel.’ Because I was a woman, my opinions and complaints fell on deaf ears. But my husband’s opinions and complaints, however, were always heard. Any complaint he’d make, I was told that I needed to repent. Often I’d leave those sessions feeling depressed and angry, feeling like a child because I’d been reprimanded for not being an obedient wife.”~ 
this happened to me constantly!! you can read about one example of this in Part 39 of our story here…. i can so relate to this...this was my life. 
again, this is sadly a very, very common story. this is a picture of complementarianism. it, more often than not, leads to abuse in some form eventually. thank God we are done with that...and i pray that God continues to use me to help others see the reality of this damaging theology.