Monday, November 29, 2010

Bewitched Americans

Americans have been so badly bewitched they have been driven off course, and Christ has become of no effect. Although they may have been saved by grace at one point in their lives, they attempt to maintain their salvation by works; women through “submission” that is actually obedience to males, and males through taking authority over women.

Consider this: for years we were taught that Genesis 3:16 COMMANDED husbands to rule their wives, and commanded wives to allow their husbands to rule them. It was made into a church law that had as much weight as the ten commandments. In recent years, since the husband-authority crowd has had to admit God is telling Eve what will happen rather than commanding her, they have latched onto the teaching that the verse is saying wives want to rule their husbands. By putting the focus elsewhere in the verse, they dredged up a false reason for the husband-authority law. But they still have made it into a law.

By making it into a law, they put themselves under the curse of the law, thus obligating themselves to keep the whole law.
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10

Indeed, even as in Paul's time, people continue to seek to put the Children of God in bondage.
Galatians 2:4 “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.”
By teaching wives total subjection to their husbands and teaching husbands to take authority over their wives, they have put both men and women in bondage. And the result is unhappy marriages, domestic abuse, domestic violence, divorce, and women leaving Christianity altogether.

Galatians 5:3-4 “For I testify again to every man that (takes authority over his wife, and every woman that obeys her husband) is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
The word fallen is #1601 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and means “to drop away; specially, to be driven out of one's course.” In other words, “whosoever of you are justified by the law, are driven off the course of grace.” This lawish doctrine of authority/subjection is driving couples off course and away from grace and liberty in Christ. Instead, they add marriage roles to their requirement for entrance into heaven. If you doubt this, notice how wives who leave their abusive husbands are ostracized, and how husbands who do not take authority over their wives are called names thought to indicate they are feminine and thus ungodly.

I experienced this misbelief myself. When I finally realized something was not correct about the wife submit law, that it was resulting in my husband sinning against me repeatedly, and I stopped obeying when my husband's commandments were illogical or simply would not work for me, and started applying boundaries, I went through a time of questioning if I would go to heaven. That alerted me that somehow my faith in Christ's atonement had lost its strength and had been replaced by faith in my works of obedience to my husband. I had indeed been driven off course by the husband-authority/wife subjection doctrine.

Considering the many pastors, teachers, & writers who put so much emphasis on husband authority and wife subjection, it is likely the majority of Evangelical and conservative Christians have been driven off course. Many husbands are neither loving their wives, nor submitting to their wives, even though they are commanded to in Ephesians 5:21 & 25-28. Many wives are putting their husbands ahead of God, and practicing husbandolatry. Husbands and wives who do these things are not loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, nor are they loving their neighbor as themselves. Instead, they end up encouraging their spouses to sin against God and neighbor, and this sin-leaven has spread to the whole lump, causing the church, which is supposed to be salt to the world, to lose its savor.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. O foolish (Americans), who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith. Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 2:21-3:3

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Effective Domestic Abuse Prevention in Church

In the 8th comment on my “Church Lies” post,, I bring up the question, “What can pastors do differently to be more effective at freeing women from their abusers and at stopping abuse.” Some of my own suggestions are that congregations should have at least 5-6 people per a 200 member group speak to the group about domestic abuse. That would give those who are mistreated by their spouses some choices. Instead of going to the pastor, they could go to someone they feel comfortable around, with whom they may have a closer relationship. In addition, instead of speaking on marriage twice a year and focusing on wife submission, pastors should speak on marriage six times a year, teaching against one-way submission, and instead teaching how a couple can submit one to another.

Especially important is the teaching of attitude. A spouse could keep the letter of the law, but if they are doing the bare minimum, their spouse will likely be unhappy and feel slighted. It is important that each spouse is as concerned about the happiness and satisfaction of their partner (provided that satisfaction is not gained by abusing and controlling the spouse.) as well as their own.

These are suggested because the wives who stay with their abusers, seem to think it will get better; that they must stay married, and/or refuse to report it because they think no one will understand, or think that since they are NOT perfect, the pastor will blame them, or that reporting is too nasty, or some combination of these. These are in addition to the concerns secular wives face. Some women think they ought not go to secular society for advice. So if their church doesn't teach about this issue, they think there is no one to go to. In addition, many Christian counselors are not trained concerning domestic abuse, and would be likely to push for couples counseling, which is extremely damaging to the powerless wife and her children.

I would like ideas and comments from others. What can our churches do differently to be more effective in getting the message about domestic violence and domestic abuse to women who need help in recognizing abuse and in getting themselves and their children free from their abuser? I'd like to save discussion for how to be there for abused wives for a different post. For this post, I want to address how the church can help abused wives get educated and unstuck before the damage to themselves and their children becomes severe. After all, the sooner the abuser is confronted and reeducated, the more chance he has of making permanent change, and the more likely the marriage can become a union of equals who respect and value one another for who they really are, instead of for some role they have been pushed to play.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Someone has to be in Charge--by Hannah

Hannah, @ Emotional Abuse and your Faith" makes excellent points in her recent article “Someone has to be in Charge.” She points out that men tend to think when there is mutuality between themselves and their wives that the man is a doormat. However, that is their male perspective, not the truth. They twist their perspective to say that women feel like doormats if they are not in charge. They seem to have no comprehension that mutuality means no one is a doormat and no human is in charge. Instead, Jesus is in charge.

She points out that we all are commanded to be humble, and that the husbands who insist they are in charge are lacking in humility. They are demanding to be “recognized properly.”

Hannah points out that both women and Honorable Men see this lack of humility as arrogance. “When others call them on this 'attitude' that is seen as arrogance?  They seem to try to justify themselves.” They claim their behavior and attitude lines up with God's word. However, “Male domination is in their own interest, and they tend to try to downplay that.  I mean how often do you see humble servants reminding everyone else they get the last word? The contradiction comes when they have to remind others WHO the top dog is!”

Hannah compares the authority that these men display with the authority of Jesus. Jesus didn't have to remind people to obey him or to treat him as top dog. People followed his leadership voluntarily because he taught as one who had authority, not as the scribes and pharisees. It seems the husband authorities of this age teach like the scribes and pharisees did, lifting themselves up instead of lifting our Triune God up. They lack love, mercy and compassion, just like the scribes and pharisees did.
But read the article for yourselves @

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Broken Homes

What makes a home “broken?” Traditionally, the term “broken” has been reserved for divorced couples. We see ripped photos of the couple torn from one another. But are these the only broken homes?

Are homes where dad beats mom intact and non-broken? Are homes where the husband takes authority over his wife and demands that she subject herself to him non-broken? Are homes where dad justifies his nasty treatment of mom non-broken? Are homes where children are sexually assaulted by a member of their immediate family non-broken? Are homes where one spouse is sexually active outside the marriage non-broken? Why hasn't the church come up with a name for these types of homes? If they aren't broken, what are they?

They certainly are NOT intact. We could call them dysfunctional, but the damage done in those homes is worse than dysfunction. We could call them bruised, but that understates and minimizes the truth. What about calling these homes battered homes? Kind of like battered shrimp, right? Shelled, skinned, covered up and deep fried. Or battered fish fillet. Gutted, sliced up, covered up, and deep fried. But to call it a battered home, when one person is not being battered, doesn't seem right. A home should not be labeled according to the behavior of ONE of the members.

Troubled home. Now that's a minimizer! Kind of like being troubled by a division problem, right? But it isn't a broken home, so how can it have a division problem? How about divided home? Take your chainsaw and split it, giving the batterer the house and his victims the door—and maybe a window.

Abusive home. Ah, now we're getting close. Problem is, not everyone in that home is abusive. In fact, usually only ONE person is abusive. Although he may be training the younger generation to do the same, we can't call the whole home abusive.

Could it be we ought to be calling a home where this type of abuse is the norm a Destroyed Home? Isn't one person in the home destroying the others? The brain cells of the abused wife and children are getting destroyed, their trust is destroyed, their self-esteem is destroyed, and often their health is destroyed. In fact, the direction of the family has been destroyed, because the abusive husband is rowing the family boat in a circle around himself with his one oar.

Could it be if we called a home where one person is abusing, devaluing, and controlling another a “Destroyed Home,” we would start acknowledging the truth of what is causing Broken Homes and the high divorce rate? And when we admit the truth, is it possible we would also find solutions that heal instead of “solutions” that keep women and children imprisoned with their destroyers, forcing them to participate in the training of the next generation of wife & child destroyers?

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.