Societies all over the globe have a powerful rule that is foundational to all other rules: each person should contribute to society as much as they are able to contribute, and according to their talents. Those who refuse to contribute are considered bums, lowlifes, thieves. If one cannot contribute money, he or she ought to contribute labor, creativity, brainpower, or prayer. Jesus, himself, taught this principle: each of us are to use the talents God has given us and through them develop even more talents.
Here in the United States, our culture agrees with Jesus's teaching. Even the elderly and disabled are expected to contribute to the best of their ability. Nursing home directors instruct nurses and aides to refrain from doing things for elderly and disabled residents that they can do for themselves. Through experience they know if those with limited ability are not allowed to practice what they can do, they will lose that ability as well and become totally dependent. Thus, they hire activity directors to help keep their residents learning, developing, and as active as possible.
Similarly, parents are advised to encourage their children to do things for themselves. If a child can button his own shirt, a parent is to refrain from doing it for him and praise him for his accomplishment. If a child can feed herself, the parent is to let her do it, even though she makes a mess. After all, it is through practice that a child develops motor skills, and adds skills that require more dexterity, more strength and coordination.
Parents are also advised to increasingly turn more and more decision-making over to their children. From what clothing to wear, to what food to eat, to what item to buy, to what schooling to pursue and what job to take, to how to handle money, children must develop decision-making muscles, too. Through practice and experience, children develop the skills to make good decisions. Thus each generation equips the next generation to make a positive difference through their development of decision-making skills and through their development of mental, physical, and/or financial labors to contribute to the good of society.
But one group does not follow this principle. That group demands that certain members within the group must remain as labor-class children. These members are prohibited from developing and practicing their talents—unless those talents are part of a very limited list of allowable talents. If these certain members have the non-allowed talents as part of their inherent beings, or if the talents developed due to life circumstances, they are to bury their talents in the ground.
This group claims to follow the teachings of Jesus, yet pays no attention to Jesus's teaching that the person who buries his or her talents in the ground is wicked and God will punish that person by taking away the other talents that he or she has.
These select members are also commanded to give up any decision-making skills they may have developed, and are to become dependent on other members in the group to make decisions for them. Because they are allowed no goals, no right to make decisions of their own, these members that are selected to remain as children often are drained of the energy required to do the menial, labor-intensive tasks that have been assigned to them. They are denied the liberty and pursuit of happiness that our country was founded upon. There is a high degree of mental depression among these child-ordered members. Therapy is usually aimed at getting these members to accept and embrace their perpetual dependent, child-labor filled lives, to get them to focus on helping the other members in the group to reach their dreams and goals, to make their backs like a street to be walked on, (Isaiah 51:21-23) while denying they are doing so. Rather, they are taught to joyfully make their backs like a street to be walked on, that if the members they are dependent on choose to beat and abuse them, it is because they have not made their backs flat enough. Indeed, becoming a part of the street for others to walk on is to be considered their God-decreed role in life. But if they call it anything other than wonderful, a blessing, satisfying, and fulfilling, they are labeled as selfish, rebellious toward God and the roles He established.
If these members who have been chosen for perpetual child labor were part of a small hidden group of several thousand people, this group would be outraged. But since these disadvantaged mudmats are more than half the adult population of the group, their plight goes largely unnoticed. Those who do notice and speak out, are vilified, and many books, some of them slender, some of them fat, are written to deny what these courageous folks are saying, to deny that half of their members are being forced to bring punishment on themselves by burying their God-given talents in the ground.
Indeed, the mudmats do lose their talents and their ability to make good decisions, and many of them believe they have no value apart from the person who is stomping across their backs, leaving layer after layer of mud as a show of his absolute authority over and ownership of his human mudmat.
Isaiah 51:21-23 tells us what our Sovereign God will do about this:
21 Therefore hear this, you afflicted one,
made drunk, but not with wine.
22 This is what your Sovereign LORD says,
your God, who defends his people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger;
from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
who said to you,
‘Fall prostrate that we may walk on you.’
And you made your back like the ground,
like a street to be walked on.”
According to this passage, God will defend his afflicted ones, in this case, his daughters. He will take that cup, the goblet of his wrath, and put it into the hands of their tormentors. Husbands, are you sure you want God to put the goblet of his wrath into your hands and force you to drink it? If not, isn't it time you stop insisting that the Bible commands you to take authority over your wives? Isn't it time you stop commanding women to fall prostrate so that you can walk on them? Isn't it time you stop setting yourselves up as higher than God with your husband authority teaching and practice and your demand that wives practice husbandolotry by obeying you rather than God? And isn't it time you live lives of non-authoritarian, sacrificial service as God commands?
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See www.wanetadawn.com A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.
Neo-Reform Leaders Need to Man-Up - At least that is what one commenter said on the Wartburg Watch. In fact I liked Dana's comment so well, I think I'll post it here. Hope Dana doesn't mind. ...
5 hours ago