Saturday, July 26, 2008

Feeling Sick

I have been puzzling about why I felt that our church had such a terrible influence on us. It was an Anglican church and at one time women spoke from the pulpit. It seems to be full of normal people. There are a lot of really painful thoughts for me right now. I thought that the Bruce Ware thing was distant from me and that his writing had somehow influenced my former pastor by distance through literature.

But this evening I finally realized that Bruce Ware had come to Vancouver and a group had been established to refocus on biblical authority and my former pastor is one of the group. I found the conference agenda and he was in the lineup right beside Bruce Ware.

The poison of knowing that a man that I thought talked to women as equals really believes that women are only in the image of God if they live under male headship is making me ill. I feel betrayed. I knew there was a connection but I did not realize how close it was.

It is just one more stage in the journey of total disillusionment. They are a group that have demonized the TNIV, removed women from the pulpit, preached the submission of women, and denied outright that a church with 1000 people in it would have any cases of spousal abuse. What business have they calling themselves Christian!


Lynne said...

Suzanne, I'm so sorry. I've done my time in patriarchal churches, and still struggle with my denomination. I know that awful feeling of having the ground pulled out from under your feet.
tonight my prayers are with you

Don B. Johnson said...

When faced with the idea of egalitarianism, the response can be to repent or retrench. Unfortunately, some retrench and deception increases.

I was in a half-egal church and eventually found I could not stomach even that, I gave it my best shot for years.

believer333 said...

This is so disheartening. Surely at some point your pastor has to perceive that Ware's form of patriarchy is hugely excessive in its demeaning of women. :(

I often wonder why men especially get caught up in this. Perhaps fear. Fear that women really are equal and thus they will lose some of their privileges if they acknowledge women are truly equal in being, rather than a patronizing honorary title as such.

Praying that God will do something to shift this or else use it to expose the deceptions of patriarchists.

Lin said...

In some respects this is like a new religious cult that is trying like mad to spread it's false doctrine. It is as if people (even pastors) believe if they uphold this Patriarchal doctrine, all the others will fall in line.

I knew there was lots of money and celebrity involved with this issue because I used to be involved in some of the aspects of marketing these types of 'comp' conferences and books. It most definitely sells well. People do love formulas and rules.

My question: Out of all the doctrines of scripture, why is it that this one, which is not clear at all, has become the hill to die on for so many? Why all the time, money and resources given to it in lieu of the true Gospel message?

Lin said...

One more thing. I was a bit shocked to see this post:

...From someone who normally agrees with most everything coming from Ware and Moore. She does not mention Ware or Moore but the meaning is clear...any man who abuses cannot be a Christian. It could very well be that more than we thought are seeing through Ware's teaching.

believer333 said...

Good question Lin. Reminds me of the Israelites strong desire to be like the rest of the world and have a king to worship and adore. And also thinking that Christ was come to be a ruler and king instead of coming to die for the souls of those who would place their trust in Him.

Learning to trust in God and step out of our comfort zone is more difficult I guess than worshipping someone else so they can do it. Giving them lots of praise and adulation may seem a fair trade. ???? And those who like it that way must trod down anyone who might jeopardize that system. ???

Rachel said...

I will pray for you too. I have had a similar experience. There are a good few of us blogging about our ways to healing.

God Bless
Rachel at Re vis.e Re form

Kate J said...

I have been asking the same question for a long time and asking others also... die on the hill of the Trinity, yes, because it is clear! Die on the hill of patriarchy when it is NOT clear (even though for many they would say it is clear). But if it were clear, there would not be such division... of course I think it is perfectly clear.. equality!!!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks everyone. I have looked at all your websites for encouragement. Rachel I enjoyed reading the recent exchange on your blog.

I am now attending an Anglican church nearby which accepts women priests and bishops. I do think that the former (now retired) minister would be dismayed at the recent turn of events in my former church.

Gem said...


Oh, have I been there!

Sue, can you forgive them?
for your own healing and well being...

(please don't reply. the question is to pray over, and I'll pray for you too.)

tc robinson said...

Thanks for sharing this piece, Sue. As you know, I'm somewhat complementarian but not overly zealous.

I wish we'd use women more in our churches (1 Cor 11:5).

Also, you know that I'm pro-TNIV to the bone.

I read your comment on John Hobbins blog. I replied.

God bless,