Saturday, December 19, 2009

Declaration of Independence from Complementarian Church and Husband Tyranny

Complementarians insist on roles; subjection for wives and authority for husbands. Church leaders like Bruce Ware, John Piper, and Wayne Grudem, among others, offer little recourse when husbands view their role as one of absolute authority over their wives. They claim that a husband chooses to physically assault his wife BECAUSE she is not submitting, when the opposite is true, and they deny that a husband should be held accountable for non-physical abuse.

This is absolute tyranny.

In 1776, the King of England chose to usurp a similar authority over colonized people in the Americas, denying them the right to govern themselves or address their concerns in a timely fashion. The result was the Declaration of Independence.

The tyranny of church leaders and abusive husbands has reached a similar intolerable level. It is time women put forth their own Declaration of Independence. I offer an abridged and edited version of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men {and women} are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness …{W}hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over {women}.
(see for entire original declaration.)

Indeed, many Christian women and their children have never experienced the freedom the Declaration of Independence seeks to guarantee. The church has stripped from them the right to pursue life, liberty, happiness, and safety. Instead, they live in a culture of death, danger, and destruction and many church leaders minimize the problem, deny it exists, or blame the women.

When are church leaders going to stop denying women the right to liberty and freedom from tyranny that males have enjoyed for over 200 years?

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit


  1. Thanks for your courage to speak out.


  2. Don,

    Thanks for your encouragement!


  3. Waneta--

    I believe God made each one of us, male and female, to enjoy the freedom of knowing Him and relating to one another in the same way the Creation Story shows God relating to the crowning creature:

    Man was made from dust and woman from man's rib. If you analyse that imagery, God started with dirt and made a male creature--then he took the improvement over dirt as a part of man was used to create woman. In other words, woman was made from a higher part of nature to start with!

    I love to fish. The best fish seldom eat from the bottom of the pond. Bream are eating bugs, flys, worms, anything that attracts them. Actually, they will eat smaller minnows, but seldom do. The very best fish in my pond is the Crappie--a small mouth bass which has been described as "the ambrosia of bass." You have never tasted a better fresh water fish than a Crappie because it eats exclusively on other fish. You will never catch one with a worm or anything other than an immitation minnow!

    I, personally, am about to conclude men corrupted the entire transmission of Scripture to try and make the case for men being superior to women. The recently found Gospel of Mary is the case in point. It can be found under a google for Gnostic Gospels or its own name above.

    It is attributed to Mary Magdaline and depicts her special relationship to Jesus. It even records that he kissed her on the _________--that missing word is because that part of the manuscript page has been deteriorated and lost. Most scholars conject that the word should be "lips."

    "ISN'T THAT INTERESTING," said the Saturday Night Live Church Lady played by Dana Carvey!!!

    There has long been the claim of the Church Fathers that Mary Magdaline was a prostitute! What if that was another "name call" by men to put down a woman who was more important than any of the disciples to Jesus! It is entirely possible that male jealousy took Jesus' earthly female confidant, called her a whore, and declared her writing "Gnostic and not to be included in the Canon" ----but, now it has been rediscovered and there is some "splanin'" to do as Ricky Ricardo put it!

    The conclusion is still out on all of this. It has been studied intensely since the Gnostic Gospel manuscripts have been rediscovered in the late 50-early 60's. Like most truth, it can stay hidden only for so long! Of course, it was met with total derision when first discovered. Almost 2,000 years of church tradition, with the assumption men were superior, is hard to beat when seeking truth.

    I think what you said is just the tip of the iceberg as to what we will discover in the next 20 years of manuscript research. Men just may have to take it all back.

    Emory University, my alma mata, had an interesting Egyptian display some years ago in the Carlos Museum on campus which showed the woman's place in Egyptian society. When the Jews were their slaves, women had property rights / marital rights to seek divorce / more position in society than any other culture of the day! Many of them were highly educated.

    Need I say more than, "Go, ladies, GO-O-O-O-O!!!

    I like intelligent women--except when my smart wife gets me in her special way for being an arrogant man. If she weren't so beautiful and smart at the same time, I would have walked all over her a long time ago--instead of enjoying a growing partnership as we both try to become more wise with age.

  4. Gene,

    Did you know that some speculate that Hebrews may have actually been penned by a female.

    There is no proof that I am aware of.
    But, if you look at it, its greeting has been severed off. Its closing is completely intacted. If it had belonged to Paul, or pretty much any other man, such a severing would be unneeded.

    I'm going to have to seriously check into the gospel of Mary.

    Funny thing is that in working so hard to suppress her contributions and make light of her as a person had made fertile ground for such off-the-wall works of fiction as The De Vinci Code. In other words, supressing her has come back and bitten the Catholic church on the hiney.

  5. I googled the Gospel of Mary, and question whether Jesus would have said some of those things. "For the Son of Man is within you." for example, sounds more New Age than Christian. It is my understanding that people didn't have the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost, with the exception of prophets who had a special gift from God. However, don't the other gospels say something about the Kingdom of God being within us?

    Also the fact that it refers to "matter" which is a fairly current term. This, however, could have to do with how this was translated.

    I have no problem with Jesus having said special things to a woman. It is likely that He did. My hesitation is that so many people could have written this and falsely attributed it to Mary for whatever reason--like to discredit Christianity altogether.

    I am already aware of the translators making some biased decisions, saying wives should guide the house rather than the more accurate "rule the house" for example.

    I have a book called "The Lost Books of the Bible" and frankly quite a number of them sound like a Catholic wrote them. This collection has "The Gospel of the Birth of Mary," "The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ,"
    which refers to Mary as the "Lady St. Mary," "The Gospel of Nicodemus," "The General Epistle of Barnabas" which says that the meaning of creation is that "in six thousand yerars the Lord God will bring all things to an end." Each of the six days represents 1000 years, and the 7th day represents 1000 years of rest, which includes the judgment scene. "Lastly he saith unto them: Your new moons and your sabbaths I cannot bear them. Consider what he meansby it; the sabbaths, says he, which ye now keep are not acceptable unto me, but those which I have made; when resting from all things I shall begin the eighth day, that is, the beginning of the other world. For which cause we observe the eighth day with gladness, in which Jesus rose from the dead; and having manifested himself to his disciples, ascended into heaven." There are many other books, but I'll stop with these.

    You do put forth an interesting possibility. We do know Deborah led her people, and that current male leaders would like to quash that.

  6. Mara,
    Are you saying you suspect the Catholic church should esteem Mary Magdalene as highly as they esteem Mary, the mother of Jesus?

    I have skimmed over the Gospel of Mary and don't see anything that adds to my walk with God, but I do see some questionable things, like:

    "25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

    26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

    27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

    28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you."

    I doubt Jesus, who said "Go and sin no more," would have said "There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin." That just doesn't ring right with me. He wasn't one to quibble over words.

    However, the statement about getting sick and dying because of not being connected to Jesus is consistent with Paul's statement concerning the Lord's supper.

  7. Boy, I have you ladies going now!!! I think Waneta's "New Age sounding translation" is just a reflection of language used in that world being an accurate modern rendition of the Greek (I think) used in the Gospel of Mary.

    When I first read Dan Brown, I was not surprised in the least with what he said about non-Canonical writings. I had a course on the Gnostic Gospels years ago at Southeastern which allowed me to become acquainted with "things not spoken" in the organized church from Catholic to Baptist.

    On our main topic also--this is the day Oral Roberts will be laid to rest. I looked up Carl Sandburg's (NC mountain resident) "To A Contemporary Bunkshooter:"


    You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
    Where do you get that stuff?
    What do you know about Jesus?
    Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few
    bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem
    everybody liked to have this Jesus around because
    he never made any fake passes and everything
    he said went and he helped the sick and gave the
    people hope.

    You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist
    and calling us all damn fools so fierce the froth slobbers
    over your lips. . . always blabbing we're all
    going to hell straight off and you know all about it.

    I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't
    throw any scare into me. I've got your number. I
    know how much you know about Jesus.
    He never came near clean people or dirty people but
    they felt cleaner because he came along. It was your
    crowd of bankers and business men and lawyers
    hired the sluggers and murderers who put Jesus out
    of the running.

    I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into
    the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined
    up against him the same crooks and strong-arm men
    now lined up with you paying your way.

    This Jesus was good to look at, smelled good, listened
    good. He threw out something fresh and beautiful
    from the skin of his body and the touch of his hands
    wherever he passed along.
    You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
    blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
    about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
    lived a clean life in Galilee.

    When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
    emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
    crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
    Jesus--I put it to you again: Where do you get that
    stuff; what do you know about Jesus?

  8. (cont.) To a Contemporary Bunkshooter:

    Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash
    a whole wagon load of furniture at every performance.
    Turn sixty somersaults and stand on your
    nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
    women and kids I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.
    I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when
    he starts people puking and calling for the doctors.
    I like a man that's got nerve and can pull off a great
    original performance, but you--you're only a bug-
    house peddler of second-hand gospel--you're only
    shoving out a phoney imitation of the goods this
    Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.

    You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it
    up all right with them by giving them mansions in
    the skies after they're dead and the worms have
    eaten 'em.
    You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need
    is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without
    having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of
    age, and you tell him to look at Jesus on the cross
    and he'll be all right.
    You tell poor people they don't need any more money
    on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job,
    Jesus'll fix that up all right, all right--all they gotta
    do is take Jesus the way you say.
    I'm telling you Jesus wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
    handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers
    and lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
    murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus
    wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with
    the big thieves.

    I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.
    I won't take my religion from any man who never works
    except with his mouth and never cherishes any memory
    except the face of the woman on the American
    silver dollar.

    I ask you to come through and show me where you're
    pouring out the blood of your life.

    I've been to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha,
    where they nailed Him, and I know if the story is
    straight it was real blood ran from His hands and
    the nail-holes, and it was real blood spurted in red
    drops where the spear of the Roman soldier rammed
    in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

  9. I don't really have anything to say about the gospel of Mary because I have not read it.

    But I do say that even what we know about her from the gospels...
    Men have tried to reduce her to a prostitute and have tried to reduce her as a disciple of Christ. No, she was not one of the twelve, by any means. But she was definitly a disciple. Just as Mary, of the Mary and Martha team, wanted to sit at Jesus's feet and was defended by Jesus for this desire and taking the action and place of a disciple. It is ignored by men who want to send women away from theology and into the kitchen. Mary Magdelene and her position as a disciple and the first one Jesus appeared to is also ignored.

    Mary was a more prominent figure than what tradition wants to give her.

    Actually, she may not have written that gospel. And if I ever were to read it, I WOULD DEFINITLY weigh it against the rest of the Bible and see if it was in harmony with it.

    What I'm saying about her and the Catholic church is that...
    History is proving that she was more than what tradition allows. This is what has made fertile ground for such heresy as the fiction in the De Vinci Code.
    NO! Mary and Jesus didn't have a romantic relationship that produced a child. But all some people can think about any woman getting close to Him other than His mother is... It HAD to be romantic because they cannot allow her to be an actual disciple. Only men could do it. Therefore all that's left in their minds is the romantic. This is the result of not allowing women disciples to be recognized as disciples.
    It would have been much better for all of us if the traditions of men had not tried to stamp out or warp our understanding of person of Mary Magdelene.

    Mary the Mother of Jesus was the most blessed of women. But the other Marys and Martha and the other women mentioned should not be slander, ignored, reduced, or whatever in order to fit the boxes of small minded men.
    The truth always comes out and it can bite.
    Jesus appeared to Mary Magdelene first. Everything He did had a purpose. Just because men don't want to see it doesn't mean there was no purpose.
    There was a special relationship there that had nothing to do with romance and everything to do with the ushering in of the church age.

  10. "I, personally, am about to conclude men corrupted the entire transmission of Scripture to try and make the case for men being superior to women."


    I have been suspecting the same thing. Part of it is in the choice of words at translation. Part of it is in interpretation.

    I have become so disillusioned with "fundamentalist" doctrine, that I no longer feel free to trust what any of the popular pastors say. I find a lot of their preaching and writing is laced with male-superior, female-inferior ideology that has poisoned the whole church. I wonder if I can even call it the church. Does God's Spirit dwell in those who believe, preach, and practice such non-biblical doctrine?

    When I wrote the itching ears series, I wrote as I found the information. I didn't do my research before deciding which passage to study. I was actually concerned that I would find the word study would reveal that God really wanted women to be second class citizens.

    I was surprised to find a definite support for the notion of equality for women across the board. A recent post of Cheryl Schatz's on her WWmen in Ministry blog, points out that the comp view says women are equal in the eyes of God, but doesn't mention that they are inferior in the eyes of church men.

    I have a very hard time believing that these church men, some of them pastors who attended seminaries where many study helps were at their disposal, were deep into the scriptures all this time and never discovered the bodily freedom and equality that God grants to wives and women in general. I feel betrayed by men, that they would tell us we are spiritually equal, while they dishonor us with the subjection of physical slavery.

    I am convinced that male pastors have discovered this truth many times over, and have hidden it from their congregations--especially from women.

    Through the use of human reasoning, they have inserted such horrid lies into the interpretation of scripture, that those who want to obey the Lord, believe that refusing to obey the lies is rebellion against God.

    I find it inconceivable that none of these pastors would have realized that Paul, with his refusal to speak in tongues publicly, so that there is no question of what is being said, would have used a mere metaphor, that has a questionable meaning, to establish a doctrine that is so central to Christian living.

    I find it inconceivable that they did not notice that their meaning for the metaphor "head" does not agree with Paul's description of what a husband is to do and be.

    I agree, Gene, it looks like it was done with the intent to enslave women, to entrap them into a life where there is a major loss of freedom for women, including the loss of freedom to serve as God has called and as God has gifted each individual woman to serve.

    Every young man joins in the deception, leading his girlfriend to believe he will be a loving, sacrificial husband. Then as soon as the marriage vows are spoken and the wedding guests go home, each young man sheds his sheepskin and his bride discovers her husband is a power-hungry wolf. The males get by with it, because the church teaches that divorce is not an option.

    Then the female writers step forward and write books that tell wives to give their wolf-husbands the benefit of the doubt. Trust God to change the wolves into sheep. Stop feeling sorry for yourself; thank God for all the good things your husband does. And on into gag and vomititious ad-infinitum.

    I wonder where God is taking me with all this. I truly did not expect to find such freedom in Christ both spiritually and in actual material living.

  11. Waneta--

    As a Southern Baptist, I can assure you there is not a seminary left which is anything like what I had the priviledge of attending in 1967-70. It all changed after the fundamentalist takeover in 1979. It took about 6 years to complete, but EVERY Seminary president took early retirement or moved before his neck got chopped--along with many faculty--especially female.

    Most professors now are graduated from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, or that wonderful institute in Virginia Beach run by Pat Robertson, or W.A. Criswell's (now deceased) institute in Dallas, TX, as well as other similar institutions. Where, once, faculties were diverse and offered a variety of viewpoints, now they walk in lock step conformity to the fundamentalist drummer beating the tune: "Women must be submissive!"

    The most interesting thing is that Paige Patterson, one of the initiators and corrupt politicians whose reward has been the presidency of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (my alma mata), moving on to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary {Fort Worth, TX} (because it is bigger and pays more), wrote the most fascinating President's article while at SEBTS.

    It seems, he loved an old hound dog and invited it into "Magnolia Hill," the President's home. Mrs. Patterson (who claims to be a submissive wife) immediately took exception to paw prints on the fine carpet. As soon as she made her dislikes known to Paige, guess whose dog went to the pen outside!!!

    I suspect she told him either the dog or him goes to the house out back!!! So much for a submissive wife claimed by "DR" Patterson whose wife is also a "DR."

    What is most laughable is the "new" name chosen for the President's home as soon as the fundies took it over--Magnolia Hill. All the old timers in Wake County know that was the name of the last whore house active in the county!!!

    You ladies can figure it all out without further input from me!!! You ain't stupid after all!

  12. "Man was made from dust and woman from man's rib. If you analyse that imagery, God started with dirt and made a male creature--then he took the improvement over dirt as a part of man was used to create woman. In other words, woman was made from a higher part of nature to start with!

    I love to fish. The best fish seldom eat from the bottom of the pond. Bream are eating bugs, flys, worms, anything that attracts them. Actually, they will eat smaller minnows, but seldom do. The very best fish in my pond is the Crappie--a small mouth bass which has been described as "the ambrosia of bass." You have never tasted a better fresh water fish than a Crappie because it eats exclusively on other fish. You will never catch one with a worm or anything other than an immitation minnow!"

    Your analysis of the importance of being formed from dirt vs flesh "clicks" with me. It especially makes sense considering that any time I eat catfish I get ill. My daughter is the same about eating dirt-slurping fish.

    I find it interesting that we say that woman was made from Adam's rib, yet Adam declared, "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman." According to Adam's exclamation, the woman was also made from Adam's flesh.

    Also, on another blog (Cheryl Schatz's, I think) someone suggested that Eve may have already been in Adam from the beginning, with hearing ability intact, and that she heard God's prohibition about the tree at the same time Adam did.

    That comment started me thinking. The scripture says the rib was taken from Adam's side. Yet, the way ribs are arranged, they are mostly on the front or back side. What if the side Eve was taken from was Adam's front side?

    I have often pondered how the male and female parts fit into one another. Could it be that Adam was human, and neither male nor female when God first formed him? And when he separated Eve from Adam, he also separated them into sexual parts at the same time?

    I'm not sure what it has to do with it, but recently a woman told me that scientific studies of aborted babies (before such studies were banned during Reagan's presidency) found that all babies were girl babies complete with wombs,ovaries, etc at the beginning of gestation. It isn't until later development--I forget, was it 3-4 months?--that the males develop male parts. Adult males have dormant wombs and breasts. This would make it possible for God to have brought Jesus into the world through Joseph. After all, if God can impregnate a virgin, what would stop Him from adding a vagina onto a man's body and awakening a dormant womb?

    This makes it all the more noteworthy that God chose a woman to carry His son. Especially in light of CBMW teaching that God does not call women to important public service roles.

  13. Gene,
    I'm still mulling over the Bunkshooter poem. It holds so much truth--go your way, be ye warmed and filled.

    May I add, "Send us your money, plant a seed, and God will bless you with 7 times what you gave." "Do what we say, or you are rebelling against God." Yet what they say is contrary to scripture.

    I've become disgusted with organized "Christianity," but not with Christ. They chew on the wounds of the wounded, like hogs and chickens do, until the wounded bleed to death. They ostracize or even punish those who defend themselves from their attackers. They set up rules and teachings that create rebellious oppressors and trapped victims, and then accuse the victims of rebelling against God. They claim their twisting of scripture is the clear will of God, yet they have to write statement after explanation to clarify the "clear will of God."

    My sense is that the authentic church has indeed dwindled to a remnant. perhaps they are even those who do not affiliate with an organized "church" group. There seems to be more focus on the rules of men than the real teaching of scripture.

    "I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth."

    Ouch! Yet I have said the same thing in different words. Jesus said "by their fruit ye shall know them" and "inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me." When they pound proverbial nails into the hands of wives, they are doing it unto Jesus. As the writer of Hebrews calls it, they are crucifying the Lord of glory afresh. He (or she) adds, "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversairies." Hebrews 10:26-27

    What remains to be seen is whether they are doing it in ignorance or willfully. I think men like Piper and Ware HAVE heard info about the power and control that is the basis for both physical and non-physical abuse. Have they truly considered it, or did they automatically dismiss it as feminist drivel? Does it matter to God? If they received the knowledge of the truth of domestic violence, but rejected it, does God see that as them having "received that knowledge?"

  14. "As a Southern Baptist, I can assure you there is not a seminary left which is anything like what I had the priviledge of attending in 1967-70."

    Have you checked the seminaries of other denominations? I am a Mennonite, and although the more conservative Mennonites uphold rigid woman submit teaching, I think the more liberal groups are less so. When I hear it in our more liberal church, it is usually through a video that someone brought in, not from the pulpit.
    (However, my family is still Conservative mennonite and holds rigidly to "must ask husband's permission" and "husband is the leader/authority."

    I googled Mennonite seminaries and found
    "Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary" located in Elkhart, IN.
    "Eastern Mennonite Seminary" in Harrisonburg, VA.
    "MB Biblical Seminary" in Fresno, CA
    MB stands for Mennonite Brethren, which I assume means it is the two denominations together. They are closely related.

    Some "liberal" Mennonite churches do have female pastors. The one I attend was open to finding a female pastor, and the another one in this area has a husband/wife team, and the wife does all or nearly all the preaching, while her husband does more of the visitation work.

    Interestingly, the more conservative groups are more supportive of Israel, while the liberal groups favor the palestinians. The conservative groups are more likely to vote Republican, and the liberal groups are more likely to vote Democrat.

    The conservative Mennonite groups have zero, or nearly zero divorce, and absolutely no remarriage if the former spouse is still living. The liberal groups are more likely to allow divorce and remarriage, but there is only a handful of divorced persons in an entire congregation. A fairly recent survey said around 10$ of Mennonites are divorced.

    Conservative Mennonites absolutely believe homosexuality is sin. While some liberal Mennonite groups are beginning to permit homosexuality.

    Both liberal and conservative Mennonites practice adult baptism. I think most of them use the pouring method. At least a few are open to emersion, but special arrangements would need to be made, which makes it more likely an individual would go along with the pouring method. (There may be more openness to emersion than I am aware of.)

    Some of the Mennonites around here came from the Amish--the ones who drive horse and buggy and don't have electricity in their houses. (but battery and generator power are ok.)

    So the Amish wear very somber clothing, while the conservative Mennonites are less strict, but the women still wear head coverings and do not cut their hair nor wear pants (except under their skirts if it is really cold and they are choring or going skating.) The liberal Mennonites look like secular society. Recently, more of the liberal Mennonite women have begun to ware chest-baring clothing, which I think is bringing focus where it ought not be.

  15. Sadly, everyone is trying so hard to be Politically Correct these days. Most have forgotten Jesus was anything but PC!!

    He challenged preconceptions. He told people when they were worshiping themselves rather than God. He ministered to the poor and needy in the same fashion he ministered to the rich young ruler. In every instance he saw what kept them from God and gave them a chance to eliminate it and follow him. Some did, and others did not have the guts to lay it all down.

    He put up with a bunch of egos among his disciples. Sometimes, I am sure, his pronouncements were preceeded with a sigh and thought: "Holy cow, I've been with you idiots for 3 years and you still don't get it, but I will tell you one more time--the Kingdom of God is in you, and I'm not here to wipe your diapers forever--grow up!!!"

    We all get exaspirated as was Jesus, but the true followers just keep on trucking in the hopes that someday and somehow people will worship God rather than society and what is popular. Seldom is true God worship popular!!! It requires too much sacrifice and authenticity without earthly reward to ever be popular.

    I like your take. I'm not sure any organized religion ever keeps serving and worshiping the God it started out with. It's just too easy to go for popularity and power. Like Jesus, Satan is whispering: "Just worship me and I will make you popular!" Beware that little voice that sounds like God, but calls for being popular---Satan has a marvelous way of disguising his voice as God's and getting us with the popularity card!!!!!

  16. "I'm not sure any organized religion ever keeps serving and worshiping the God it started out with. It's just too easy to go for popularity and power."

    This morning in my Bible reading a verse I normally skim over stuck out to me. Jesus told his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Harod.

    Just now I was using a different Bible to find chapter and verse for the above, and instead found Mark 12:38-40 where Jesus says, "Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation."

    As I was reading that, a comment someone made about John Piper, that he enjoys having people fawn over him, fit into the verse. Only, today, Jesus may say, "Which oppress abused wives, and devour abused divorcee's support systems.

    The sobering part of Jesus's statement, "these shall receive greater damnation," drives me to keep teaching, to keep pointing to the truth of the Word, so that none of those pastors, none of the abusers, none of the abused will be damned, but that all will repent and be saved.

  17. Try this paraphrase of Matthew 23 I did with Baptist personalities in mind as you substitute the name from your particular denomination:

    The Pattersonites and Presslerites control the SBC so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They make many rules and narrow theologies, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not live personal lives under them.

    They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their designer ties bright and their expensive tailored suits sharp, and they love the place of honor at all Pastor’s Conferences. They love being recognized and called “Dr.” by their subservient masses. But you are all the same as Baptists: you have one master, Jesus, and one Father who is God in heaven. Neither be called President or Vice-President, for you have one master, the Christ... But woe to you, dictators to Baptists, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who follow you to go in.

    You go on glorious and expensive overseas mission trips to make a single proselyte and then corrupt him. You make all kinds of Resolutions and use Robert’s Rules of Order in any way to get your way. You don’t care what promises you make or public statements as long as you sound politically correct. Your sermons are slick and designed to please men. You neglect the Gospels and the ideas of God’s love and forgiveness, replacing them with legalisms and judgmentalism to make sinful men feel worse.

    You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! Woe to you dictator pastors! You are like dishes and cups cleaned only on the outside while the inside is full of rotting food and disease. First cleanse the inside and the outside will clean itself. You take statements out of context from Baptist forefathers and act as if they applaud your mindless theology. You say you would love what the forefathers died for, but you take away the freedoms for which they would give their life. They went to jail and endured punishment so we could live in a land of freedom of religion and conscience. You would have been in the mobs which booed them and threw them in prison. You would have shot them rather than listen to their cries for freedom of individual churches and believers.

    Many Baptists are saying we have deserted our heritage of freedom in recent years, but you call them “skunks” and “liberals” to anyone who doesn’t know what being free and Baptist means. The hottest fires of Hell wait for those who do not live in love and allow their brothers in the faith to be free. Anyone who claims to serve a God of love, but cannot love his brother who is different or uses different words, is a liar and a hypocrite destined for God’s harshest judgment.

  18. Gene,

    Great current paraphrase!
    The bottom line: "Your sermons are slick and designed to please men."

    This brought a number of reviews of "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" to mind.

    "The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (1982), which was drawn up under the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, contains guidelines of principles of interpretation to which most scholars, who hold a high view of Scripture, adhere.

    As evangelicals, I believe Piper and Grudem would agree to these principles. What is unfortunate is that they have not applied a very basic one in their own book, thus undermining the study from the word 'go'. They fail to apply an inductive approach to Bible study where one gathers all evidence on a subject before formulating a thesis.

    Instead, Piper and Grudem state in Chapter One that the essence of masculinity is to lead women and the essence of feminity is to submit to men. The rest of the book consists then of gathering the support of like minded people. The danger of such an approach is that the authors' culture or their personnal preference becomes the starting point rather than the Word of God . The question of this book's approach to Scriptures is thus, by no means, a secondary one!"

    To see more of these reviews go to
    This should take you to all the one-star reviews, which have well reasoned arguments as to the foundational flaws in the book.

  19. Oops! It the link goes to the general page for "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood." Go to the rating section, where they have 1-5 stars, and click on "1 star." You can then see all 16 1-star reviews.

  20. Waneta--

    Bunkshooting has become an art these days in religion / politics / FOX News / etc.!!!!!