40 shades of stupidity

Family Life is at it again, today with a list, written (yawn) by men for men, called 40 Things husbands should stop doing.

Here are 40 of the best ideas.  Of course, not all of these items apply to all men.  But perhaps something here will hit home for you.  

1. Stop acting like the battle is won in pursuing and getting to know your wife. Have fun together, just like you used to do before you walked down the aisle.

Myth: The reason there is so much fun in the beginning of the relationship is because the two are learning about one another. Each morsel is an interesting new thing to behold. Like a new board game, musical CD, movie, even friendship, the fun that results from the newness CANNOT last. We feel this type of fun because it boosts our egos. It tells us that someone is interested in us.

Let me illustrate this by offering something I heard in an interview with eclectic songwriter Sam Beam, who has a unique ability to tease nostalgia and feelings from mundane events. He says if we tell someone we feel great, or bad, or in love, they will say that’s very nice, and move along. There is little feedback in life that says anyone truly cares. Not necessarily relevant to the point here but he goes on to explain that’s why he writes as he does because it conveys things better than just stating them.

So, when we meet someone, we are both literally hanging on each others words, we are experiencing them in sensory overload , new and fresh big and small things, we chase those things from them as they do us. That makes us feel happy, heard, understood, and as if we are fascinating to someone else. We pursue that sensation and that is the so called pursuing the list here is getting at.

Sorry folks, It will not and cannot happen, and those people who do have great relationships after years of marriage DO NOT have them because they are able to “keep it new and fresh” in the sense of like when they were a new couple. This is a crippling myth that feeds a woman’s expectations emotionally.

Look here. In the Article Confession: Why I Cheated on my Husband, the writer states this plainly:

I was still living in the illusive notion that happiness was something that I could acquire from an external source, so I bought into a fantasy. It’s a fantasy that I see a lot of my clients buy into, which is that there is a fairy tale, one-sided man that exists to bring happiness to them. This is just not true.

and

According to the UK Adultery Survey 2012 by undercoverlovers.com, cheating women are more likely to stray as they are seeking emotional fulfillment, an improvement to their self-esteem and romance. When women cheat will depend on how fulfilled they feel in their marriages

 

In the meantime the other aspect of marriage, in fact the one that is supposed to be unique to marriage, sex, is possible to keep interesting. But the wife must be the willing partner to accomplish this in most cases.

I found a brutal comment following another article at the same place.

Commenter Cash Mccall says :

Nonsense: Marriages end with female biological death. Just like the salmon swimming upstream, once menopause sets in, a woman ceases to exist in the biological sense. She has died biologically speaking. It is estimated that 75% of woman in menopause are frigid. This is a medical study. Men on the other hand have no biological death until actual death.

Women are not really humans. They are hormonally driven robots with a very limited cycle of service. Women will get pregnant without marriage because that’s what they do. Then when they get pregnant the body dysmorphia sets in and they start to realize that life is an empty shell for them. They become depressed and then they hide away from males which is a good thing because at that point they will just bore everyone to tears with their inane personal depression issues and body dysmorphia. This gives new meaning to the words self-loathing.

Some women become Cougars and end up having their lives dashed on the rocks by some beta male with zits on his face. That is like taking an elevator to the bottom floor of the Depression lockdown.

Regardless whether the biological process leads to the destruction he cites (and indeed it does in many cases) it is not a satisfactory excuse.

I leave this myth at that.

There is too much here to myth bust each and every one in one log bentry. I chose the one I did because it is bigger in scope, and as taught, a one way street to family court.

Most of the rest are embarrassing male self-effacement and stupid.

2. If your wife is a stay-at-home mom, stop treating her like her work during the day is somehow less strenuous or less important than yours.

3. Stop coming home from work and plopping in front of the television for the night, leaving your wife to bear the responsibility for everything else going on in the home.

4. Stop working so much. Find a healthy balance between work and family.  Your wife would rather have you than a big house, nice car, etc.

5. Stop acting like you’re listening when you’re really watching TV.

6. Stop allowing the spiritual leadership of the family to default to your wife.

7. Stop being passive when it comes to disciplining and training your kids.

8. Stop saying you know and understand what your wife is saying or feeling when you haven’t even listened to what she has to say.

9. Stop being a closed book.  Open up to your wife.  Don’t be afraid to show emotion.

10. Stop allowing your role as leader in the home to be an excuse for selfish behavior.  Don’t forget that a true leader also serves.

11. Stop dishonoring your wife by criticizing her in front of your children or in public.

12. When you wife irritates you, don’t answer right away. Instead count to 10 and remember that she is a gift from God.

13. Stop using your size and strength and anger to intimidate your wife and children.

14. Stop using the word “divorce” in your vocabulary.

15. Don’t shy away from difficult conversations with your wife.

16. Stop saying you’ll do something and then procrastinating.

17. Don’t purchase any major item without first discussing it with your wife.

18. It’s impossible not to notice beautiful women who pass by.  But don’t allow your eyes to linger.  (And if your wife is with you, don’t lie to her and say you didn’t see that woman.  Just admit you looked.)

19. Stop thinking, I know more than my wife. You and your wife will each have more knowledge than the other in certain areas.

20. Don’t assume you know what your wife is thinking. Ask her how she is feeling and why.

21. When your wife tells you about a problem she’s having, don’t immediately try to solve it. She may just need you to listen to her.

22. Stop the sarcasm.  You may be trying to sound funny, but you’re only cutting down your wife.

23. Stop treating your wife like a child. Remember that God has given her a wealth of experience and information that you need.

24. Stop acting like God and trying to control your wife.

25. Stop pointing out her mistakes and asking for explanations. Doing these things can make her feel like a failure.

26. Never casually or disrespectfully talk to other guys about sex with your wife.

27. Stop telling your wife that she is supposed to “submit” to you.  If she is not following you, that means you’re not leading her as Christ loves the church.

28. Stop feeding your sexual desires from any source other than your wife.

29. Don’t be alone with any woman who is not your wife or related to you.

30. Stop discussing deep-level issues with a woman who is not your wife or related to you.

31. Stop deceiving your wife about your finances.

32. Don’t look up old girlfriends on Facebook.

33. Stop putting a number on how often you should enjoy sexual intimacy.

34. Stop acting as if you have a GPS programmed into your brain.  Before you go somewhere with your wife, get the right address and find out how to get there.  If you are lost, don’t hesitate to get directions—from your smartphone map, even from a person.

35. Don’t make fun of your wife to other guys.

36. Don’t allow guy-only activities (like playing golf, basketball, etc.) to rob you of leisure time with your wife and kids.

37. Stop expecting your wife to do all the housework.

38. Stop saying, “Honey … can you get the kids to be quiet?” when the kids are being monsters. Get up and go quiet them down yourself!

39. Stop putting all your stuff in the laundry basket and then acting as if you “did the laundry.”

40. Stop acting like picking up a gallon of milk is equal to the martyrdom of St. Stephen.

Christian men and women, please go to Family Life’s site and comment on this inane list.

http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/staying-married/husbands/40-things-husbands-should-stop-doing#.ULtCzGcqjyI

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56 thoughts on “40 shades of stupidity

  1. Sorry, what I was trying to say previously was that most of those 40 points on the list seem to bestereotyping of men’s behavior and that’s what galling. There has been no effort to understand men but heap blame on us as usual. Sad the way churchianity is going…time to get out of the corrupted church.

  2. I agree completely. I posted this on the Family Life comment section, and they need a firestorm of comments. Nevermind it will not change FL, it may reach a reader or two.

  3. I scanned through the 7 pages of comments and except for you and another guy, all the commenter’s were pathetic. Of course the gal’s were all cheering on with the list except for one took issue with #18 on the a fore mentioned list. The days I had a TV, I used to sometimes tune into TBN and watch some of the program’s and realized how feminism, entertainment and religion have fused together and focused solely on gynocentrism and glitz. Even the Hour of Power by Rev.Schuller ended up being 90% entertainment and 10% religion, much like the Osteen circus in Dallas.

  4. “Broken Paul” has it right, his comments are sage. The majority though just love the be corrected by male evangelical feminists like Dennis Rainy.
    Family Life, and now Focus on the Family are sold out and useless as far as promoting family unity and strength. The new guy that replaced Dobson is even worse than Dobson, who accidentally got things right some of the time.

  5. Although I agree a good chunk of the list is inane, not all of it is horrible advice, although all the parts that aren’t kind of silly are advice that cuts both ways.

    4 isn’t awful advice at all I don’t think. Good general advic.

    What is wrong with 6? Wouldn’t you advocate this?

    28, 29 & 30 are all basically varieties of the same advice, but also not awful general advice for either spouse. Doing those things is a recipe for adultery.

    27 is horrible, and ironic in light of 4 though.

    Alright most of it is pablum and much of it is silly, but some of the list was not horrible, I’d even go so far As to say good advice that I would give myself.

    Perhaps there is a context to what is meant that I am missing here, and perhaps that context is the observation that wives would never be given such a list, but that doesn’t make all the advice bad it.

    That men are told to “man up” in church today isn’t necessarily bad, the problem is that omen are given a pass on being called to account. The solution to the problem isn’t to stop calling me to account though, the solution is to call women to account as well.

  6. The advice is as good as don’t run with scissors and wait 30 minutes after eating before going swimming, like that. Or, if relational, sort of, then how about don’t break wind at the table and keep your oral hygiene up.

    I wrote in detail why the first one is bad advice, because its a myth. Several others are mythical based, or simplistic stereotypes.

    I have to disagree that it is not bad that men are told to man up. In a vacuum, that’s true. But its like telling a morbidly obese person that an extra slice of pizza ‘isn’t necessarily bad”, when actually the problem requires an absence of pizza and the presence of ONLY healthy food. Men could stand to be let alone, women could stand to be bludgeoned (verbally, blunt talk) for some time, even a crack in the “man up” door will have femdom wedging itself in.

    Bringing balance requires a period of imbalance.

  7. Fair enough,

    I agree much of it should be obvious, but at least for the “don’t do stupid shit with other women”, you’d be surprised how even pointing out something this obvious is something that needs to be done. Especially in our “guys and girls are basically the same” culture. Although the advice I liked best from the list is not really “advice to men” it is “advice to people that wish to avoid adultery” and applies both ways.

    I see your point about men being told to man up in the absence of criticism of women is a bad thing, and I think I even agree with your point about lessening up on the men and starting in on the girls would be a welcome and necessary change.

    In fairness, at least where I go to Church her in Oz, it doesn’t seem to be as bad as the picture painted of the US Church by you guys. It isn’t perfect, but I’m not sure we are quite so far gone.

  8. Wait .. light bulb. Alright this obvious I guess, but after rereading the list, your issue isn’t so much with all of the advice (although I can see your point about 1 being mythical) but with how so much of it sounds like the advice you would give a child and comes across as such. Right? 39 & 40 made that one jump out at me.

    Sorry for being a little slow!

  9. You are fine Jason, not the least bit slow….thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Yes its a bit juvenile. Its out of date, and its comprised of a level of stereotype that, well, just imagine if a list for women said

    1. do not cry about things
    2. do not talk too much
    3. do not try and talk about scientific stuff

    like that…..

  10. I read through both this and that….seems like men who are offended with this have perhaps not lived very long as adults and have not made the first commandment their first concern to learn from God’s WORD what is commanded to all and then to specific people in various positions of responsibility and influences….keep reading and desiring to learn from the Lord from your humbleness to HIS words …all of them ..not selective reception of only parts of the Word…this is the problem with many of us who may read with only ‘itching ears ‘ to be told what appeals to our fleshly desire to be ‘right’ and to be ‘comforted’ that we are “OK’ it is all about ‘them ‘ whomever the ‘them ‘ de jour is of the day and time.

    Follow the LORD ….period

  11. Unfortunately some people need to training wheels advice though. I bet for some husbands aspects of the list would make them go “really”? But so would a properly written similarly low ball list for women. If the worst thing they did was hand out of a lot of relatively simple minded and slightly demeaning advice I’m pretty sure that would be an improvement.

    Not sure what that says about how low the bar is though.

  12. Some of these would not be so well received if turned toward women. Like #37 – “Stop expecting your husband to do all the car, lawn, and home repairs and maintenance.”

  13. …or # 27 -“Stop telling your husband that he is supposed to “love” you. If he is not you, that means you’re not submitting to him as the Church does to Christ.”

  14. Not so.
    Its not about being offended. Its about wasting precious moments of already strained attention span on rerererererere redundancy. This is 40 times rerererere redundant, worse than the rerererere redundant rererere-committing men do each and every Fathers Day after a few of the things on this list, plus some anecdotes from the self effacing pastor, show that men are dunderheaded dads and husbands and they blubber and cry while wifey rubs circles on theor backs

    Also, the women who , follow the Lord, well, The Personal Jesus (TM) is lord, and he seems to tell them they are released from their marriages in large numbers, and that he wants them to be haaaapy.

  15. The comments at FL need you guys…..I am certain there are Christian men sitting up late at night, alone in their studio flat because they have been jettisoned from the home, insomnia, crying, seeking some way to supplicate more….more….efface, lower himself, beg, cry, slither…..and those men need to not find the fecal matter that is spread across those comments, the cold comfort and faux encouragement from men and women. Its precisely how I got unplugged 10 years ago, sitting up reading that kind of bilge.

    Seriously, go there, scan the menu bar, and comment in the marriage related article threads regularly…..please…..a man’s life can be dramatically changed regardless if he remains married or not.

  16. In a vacuum the list as a whole is not terribly bad advice. Definitely a little juvenile in places but not altogether bad advice. The problem is within the context of churchianity’s and society’s overall tone of “it’s all the man’s fault.” The list is presented in the context of being the only things needed to make one’s marriage better. If you really want to see the problem go try to find a similar list anywhere directed toward women. Most any such list you find will be all about things that she does for herself or things to make her stronger and more empowered.

  17. No men don’t have any problem at all being reminded to follow the lord. The problem is that there’s nothing new in this list, nothing that hasn’t been said a thousand times before and it also doesn’t really point anyone toward the Lord. Any adult male who hasn’t heard the basic gist of this list a thousand times has been living under a rock his entire life. The problem that some of us have, besides the fact that this list is a re re re statement of the obvious, is that there is nothing similar for women. If men need to be reminded of the obvious ten thousand times why do women not need similar reminding?

  18. Some? I’d dare say that all of them would not be at all well received if directed the other way.

    On a different note #27 is a really clear illustration of the real problem. While I’d agree that harping on how she is supposed to submit is rarely going to be productive, the number of men who actually do that is so small as to be virtually invisible. But the bigger problem is the second part. The idea that the only reason a woman wouldn’t follow is that the man isn’t leading correctly. If that’s the case,then why are there women who don’t follow Jesus? His leadership, His example is perfect, and yet some still choose not to follow. So if a woman has the free will choice to not follow Christ in His perfect leadership, then how would she not have the same choice to not follow her husband’s leadership?
    The entire point is just another manifestation of “it’s all the man’s fault.”

  19. Yeah in reading through the list in a little more detail I see that too. The huge majority of them seem to me to be aimed at the stereotypical TV sitcom dad. A man who, for the most part, doesn’t really exist in any great numbers.

  20. In studies published on the various ways male and females operate in relationship …it has been offered that it seems the WOMEN are the ones that buy the most RELATIONSHIP books….why do you suppose that is ?

  21. That’s exactly the point and exactly the objection to this list and similar advice. Everything about today’s church is that men are primarily the wicked ones and that anything that a woman might do that is wrong is simply a response to some prior wrongdoing by the man.

  22. One reason is because by and large most such books criticize and attack and blame men and affirm and empower women. It’s absolutely 100% NOT, as popular opinion would have you believe, that men are uninterested in their relationships, or are unwilling to be challenged to do better.

  23. FL is a joke. I am embarrassed to admit that I used to listen to them up until about 5 years ago. Fortunately, and thanks to my husband, I could read between the lines and see how anti-Biblical marriage most of what of what is presented there really is.

  24. Exactly Chaz. #27 makes God’s command to the wife conditional. Where is that in Scripture? And who decides if the husband is loving enough to submit to? On the contrary, 1 PETER 3 commands the wife to submit even to an unbelieving husband. #27 puts a burden on men that they cannot and were never created to carry. Unfortunately, it is all too common.

  25. If only it were just FL. But it’s not. Focus on the Family and pretty much any other nationally known ministry as well as a majority of local Churches all spew the same nonsense, sometimes disguised a little better than others but still un-Biblical nonsense none the less.

  26. Pingback: A Pep(e) talk for men: Churchianity on balance; back to basics | Feminism is Empathological

  27. First I have read some of the books women read and they do NOT bash men …they offer MANY ways women are to treat men with respect..how to relate to them …how to please….women invest TONS of money to try to stay fit, look good to men …learn skills that please men….at least many women who are concerned about following the Lord

    Also have any of you actually read what is offered to women?

    Admittedly there are many women who have become hard hearted , self centered…etc…..are they who you are referring to among those who are churched?

    Who says the various churches are paying close attention to all that is addressed to all …then to specific gender areas of responsiblity

    The world has been working hard to pit people against one another …men , women,….the formation of a ‘space ‘ of time called ‘ adolescence’ ….so age , gender …so called ‘race’ which is not supported in scripture as all nations of ‘one blood’ ….the enemy of GOD is working overtime these days and seems to have plenty of people willing to join his ‘army’ against humanity in the ‘name of humanity’ ….an interesting deception working both in and out of the system ‘church’ that is now what I see as a ‘mixture’

    Just wondering how broad the group here is in their experience and study of some of these issues that seems to be painting women with a broad brush.

    I also have seen in the word that man was not told to know ALL women but to live with his WIFE in an ‘UNDERSTANDING WAY” or ‘ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE” about HER …specific

    I feel like our world has made a pretty successful effort to neuturalize the uniqueness of individuals while claiming to try to make all
    ‘equal’….”equal’ has rendered many to think ‘same’ …which is counterproductive to our appreciating our spouses….

    One thing is true …anyone who is not caring to learn what GOD is pleased with in terms of our learning and doing what HE has told us …is not going to be too concerned when loving their spouse runs against their selfish concerns…..it is going to be a tug o war between doing what the LORD says and doing what WE might want ….that seems to be what I have experienced anyway

  28. First I have read some of the books women read and they do NOT bash men

    It was not alleged that the books bash men. And I am quite aware that there are things in the books and teachings about how to respect men, etc etc. But you lack a point of reference, a frame. And this may upset you to hear, but just as a fish doesn’t dwell on the fact that it is wet because it is immersed fully in water all the time, you are immersed in the churchian conventional wisdom to an extent that you see balance in the mention of how women are to comport with men. What you do not see is the big picture, and generally that is not something women do very well anyway because of solipsism and even some narcissism. All the things that may seem to be instructions on how to treat men, if looked at in full context, are framed in how IF you do those things, here will be the benefit TO WOMEN.

    Forgive me but I suspect my attempt to explain this will be futile because like the fish, until its yanked from the water it had no clue the water was there. You are comfortable swimming in and breathing the essence of churchianity.

    Just wondering how broad the group here is in their experience and study of some of these issues that seems to be painting women with a broad brush.

    Personally, I claim expert status on the study of the issues and I will not recount it in detail, but I’ve been nearly 10 years driven, even called, to these issues, almost like a ministry. You will make a big error to read these remarks and, like women are wont to do, dismiss them as either just noise in a petty gender squabble, or the product of bitter angry divorced men, or any number of pedestrian assumptions women make to avoid realizing they are in this water. There are overwhelming statistics that back these claims, yet women for the most part reject statistics with cliches and prefer to measure only their immediate environment for evidences, then reject anything that doesn’t fit. Even when it does fit, the same women will not see cause and effect when its boldly proven. Some can…..not many.

    I also have seen in the word that man was not told to know ALL women but to live with his WIFE in an ‘UNDERSTANDING WAY” or ‘ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE” about HER …specific

    Two things here. It is solipsism and narcissism that even makes a woman see “all” in any comments about women. Its a silly diversion from what is being said, and a very basic defense mechanism to prevent being hauled out of the water. Fact is most women fit these things, and that combined with the fact that women simply do not generally hold women to account, and men/the church absolutely do not hold women to account, makes the status quo a comfy chair you’d rather stay in thanks very much.
    As to the understanding way, that is a horrible misunderstood interpretation of the scripture that has set an impossible set of expectations on men, and afforded women yet another metric with which to judge their husbands performance and go rushing out to get those books where they will read ways to treat their husbands that will do what? get the husbands to more willingly and easily behave in the way that will provoke feelings in her that she craves based on what she has been taught this scripture means. It seems to her that the man should be hanging on her every utterance, feeds the illusion about keeping the relationship new like it once was. No, this is just not what that scripture is saying. its what a feminized church full of evangelical feminists worshiping the Personal Jesus through boyfriend metaphor praise songs is selling.

    Its all fine to cite what God may want, but the church has led women to The Personal Jesus, which is in reality a reflection back of their emotions, which they can read in the Bible are deceptive but cannot seem to rationally grasp that they must be tempered greatly.

    The evidence of the truth of what I say is easy to see. You just have to stop putting YOU into every scenario written, then rejecting it with things like NAWALT or “Im not like that and I don’t know anyone like that”

    I hope you keep reading and posting, I hope more so that you open your mind to some facts. The more the church moves in the direction it is, and that you support based on what you have written….(understand way…etc) the worse our familial destruction gets. We have spent 40 years telling men to man up, be the servant leader, learn to speak to the wife’s heart, on and on. Things still fall apart

  29. actually I did say that relationship books tend to bash men, and to a lage degree they do in the same way that the list in this OP does. By over generalizing and painting with a very broad brush. And by blaming nearly every problematic marriage dynamic on the man.

  30. Funny I can’t find the comment where I said that but in response to Pepe’s citing of the fact that women buy most relationship books in a failed attempt to assert that women care more about their marriage, I said that one reason that men don’t buy such books as often is that they tend to bash men.

  31. Thank you for your lengthy and revealing reply post. As for churchianity I too have spent a good deal of my daily research of scripture outside the church party line complex. Some 40 + years. For me the various efforts of those I have occasioned to meet in and outside of the ‘water’ of said ‘form of godliness’ have been women who …like men of the same interest ….seek to learn what the Lord has said and desires for ALL who are interested in pleasing him and living ‘as unto the Lord ‘ which is good for all …at least that is the premise I took away from his original intent for offering mankind any kind of instruction in righteousness.

    Hope we can all continue to look and listen unto HIM for our daily bread . I appreciate your effort to share your candid point of view on this subject.

  32. What exactly is it that you think his reply post reveals?

    Also, while I obviously can’t deny that women who truly seek God exist, the issue that Empath and many of the rest of us are bothered by is that my and large the church in America today is full of women who are doing anything but that. The ones you say you encounter are very definitely a very small minority.

    Your statement earlier that women are the ones that buy all the relationship books and therefore are the ones that really care about the relationship as well as your putting everything on men, really only serves to illustrate that despite what you say above, you are actually completely steeped in the problematic attitudes of current American churchianity.

  33. What do you mean?

    Like with any large shift in the thinking and actions of a large group, the first step, the one we’re still at the very beginning stages of getting people to see and acknowledge the problem. Ironically, if you look at the objections and disagreements raised when this problem is discussed, they are remarkably similar to those raised by the “status quo” folks at the very beginning of the feminist movement.

    And I hope it goes without saying that anything and everything must be done in the context of doing things God’s way to the greatest degree humanly possible. If you think that anyone has objected to that then you are very much mistaken. What’s objected to is this notion that anything and everything will be solved if only men would do a better job at stepping up.

  34. Yes….so I am still allowing the Lord to work on the beam in my own eye….seeing it ….I can then see whatever obstructions of the like appear in the life of others…and perhaps bring it to the attention…

    Still as you have pointed out …people tend to ‘see’ when they are in need of it. Then instruction can be useful toward the purpose intended by the Lord …which is good for us ..and works for His GLORY …..:>)

  35. We’re not talking about the individual going around and pointing out what they see wrong in the lives of other individuals though. The problem is bigger than that. The entire framework from which we operate is completely skewed. On the whole, church in America is about encouraging and building up women and about correcting men. Look at the typical Mother’s Day sermon versus the typical Father’s Day one. Mother’s Day is about about celebrating motherhood and about how great women and mothers are. And that’s all good and is something we should do. But come Father’s day and the sermon is usually about how huge a problem fatherlessness is, or about how men need to “step up” more or something similarly corrective in nature. The problem is not that mother’s are celebrated, or that men are corrected. The problem is that fathers/men aren’t celebrated and women are, for the most part not corrected.

  36. Hmmmm Have you discovered why this appears to be so ?

    Have not attended a ‘church’ for a very long time…spent most of my time searching scripture and trying to apply it to my various areas…

    What do you see as would be useful to correct the bulk of what is seen as the ‘church’ or do you view the ‘building ‘ paradigm as one that is more like a “bundle of tares ‘…maybe those outside the ‘bundle’ may be ‘called out’ to the body of the church that is more in line with what the Lord was talking about ….????

  37. Things are the way they are because the church has bought into and empowers and enables the brand of feminism that seeks something other than simply equality for both genders. The church has, on this point like so many others, allowed itself to be shaped by society rather than the other way around.

    But the problem is not just within the church. It’s our society as a whole. I don’t see any way to specifically address the problem within the church, but approaching it from outside the church but from within a Biblical framework doesn’t change things because even outside the church people are so steeped in the problematic thinking and attitudes. In other words the problematic attitudes are not exclusive to the organized church. In terms of sticking to a Biblical framework and teaching gender issues from God’s point of view, older more traditional/conservative denominations do a much better job than many others.

  38. I concluded that the church as seen for the most part are secular humanist in it’s teaching for some time now …generations….subtle slide used by the social engineer agendas….indeed..

    Jesus spoke of the FEW who even ‘enter in’ to the ‘strait gate….is it is not a popular easy way …following Him …and it is not as far as I have been able to see any kind of a ‘corporate’ action…but following him has always been the individual and personal relationship with him….how that plays out with relationships formed with other peoole is also something each person will either work through as they follow HIM or be ‘shaped’ as you have pointed out by whatever programing is going on that they accept rather than examine by way of the scriptures testimony regarding whatever aspect of relationship they are engaged with .

    Hmmm….what is your view of how this works….?

  39. I’m going to be very honest here and I truly hope you don’t take what I’m about to say as any sort of personal affront but it’s something that needs to be put out there.

    First off let me say that I definitely recognize that the organized church, especially in Western developed societies, has definite problems. But, and here’s where I’m hoping you won’t take things personally, without exception, every time I’ve encountered someone who has rejected organized church and decided that it is ONLY one’s personal relationship with Jesus that matters, it’s been not because they had an experience with the Church being objectively un-Biblical but rather because they had an experience where the Church was telling them something about themself that they didn’t want to hear. Most every time I’ve come across someone “going it alone” in a spiritual sense, there are deeply flawed areas in their theology. Areas in which their interpretation leads to them doing what’s easy or feels good as opposed to truly following what’s there on the page. For clarity, I think the organized church does the same thing at times, ignoring or downplaying the parts of scripture that are hard to hear for the sake of not offending anyone and keeping attendance numbers up.

    An honest question. You say that you seek God and seek to follow His ways and His instruction. So what about the instruction to not forsake the gathering of believers? My personal opinion is that a healthy spiritual life includes three general types of interaction with God and others. First and most importantly is one’s own personal interaction with Him through first and foremost consistent reading of the Bible since that’s His primary means of communicating with us. Second in importance is regular gathering with a group small enough that you know and trust everyone to the point where it’s safe to share ANYTHING about your life with them. A set of close friends that are more like family than friends. Lastly in importance but still necessary is gathering in a large group like a Sunday church service.

  40. I do not find your comments offensive nor without thought. I had fifiteen years in full time ministry that both included the large congregation and the small group arrangement. In that time research, teaching, counselling and training classes were all part of this involvement. I lived among and shared housing and various travels with other believers. All of which was useful in the shaping of my life as well as the lives of others.

    At one point the journey led me to ask the Lord to make fellowship in my life HIS work . Since that time the word has supplied me with many and various people to engage them with the sharing of the Word and the Lord’s work in and through the many and various ways He has orchestrated tests and assignment both in study of His word and in living out those things…indeed many hard things and many choices that were not made lightly

    Seeking to follow Jesus is not a light matter as you have pointed out. Sacrifices of various relationships and other aspects of life in this world are the common ‘meal’ we have to deal with for His glory …and what is our learning as we go through this world.

    I have often attended the ‘church’ as you have framed it in the sense of what is commonly seen as the church . Many good things to enjoy among those who also are seeking to follow Him. There are many aspects that do not align with what I have been learning in scripture however.

    Jesus told us that the church is not made with hands…but that ‘church ‘ is made up of the people whose bodies are the ‘temple’ of the holy spirit.

    To ‘gather together’ is not just in a place here on earth …but it is AT HIS THRONE….that includes all and any who are followers indeed….As Jesus put it ..’continue in my words you are my disciples INDEED”

    TO be his ‘disciplined’ ones indeed we heed HIS ‘voice’ ..>HIS WORDS….and follow …obey what HE said .

    This is not done in a vacume. ..as if he is absent and requires a hyerarchy of people who determined by what authority they rule those who are seeking

    There are practices and doctrinal offerings among those who claim to be leaders whose efforts are very useful and helpful …yet WHO is to be the LORD of those who are HIS?

    I have found the sharing from among those who cross my path useful for me to go to the word to reinvest my searching to learn if what they offer is SO…..thus I have had DAILY fellowship from among those who the Lord has never failed to bring across my path …for the past 40+ years and counting. I am not opposed to being in a church group however there are teachings that I have come to the conclusions which are not in line with the searching of the scriptures I have thus far come to examine.

    If reading and study that has taken the greater part of each day of my walk has not been useful for me to determine what the scriptures has had to say …and the various close relationships with others who do the same has not been useful for the learning that GOD would direct me and others to in this way then I suppose the idea that if you follow the Lord continually in effort to obey and learn it is not enough …but one must be a member of a group which has the name and seal of approval of some group named and accepted by the world as ‘christian’ then I guess I am outside of this distinction.

    I have several who are devoted to the continued searching of scripture who also do not feel that they must ‘attend’ but are daily in the word and exchanging whatsoever they are learning .. continuing to also testify and exchange among others daily….whatsoever we are learning …at the presence of our Lord who is lord indeed of our walk.

    I am not sure what others may do in response to what they find in their searching of the scriptures…what they may know of the historical progress among those who have taken up lealdership in the church in the way they have built it ….not just in places but in various doctrinal distinctions.

    I am glad you are concerned enough about this to say honestly what you think and feel is important. The various groupings of those who love the Lord and find their fellowship in a traditionally man approved way are also part of the learning …I see that all of what I have been learning from the Word along my walk has been useful for the Lord to teach me about what has happened in the world …in the church …in the fellowship of all kinds…that claim to follow Him

    What is the harm of this ? I am not sure that there is harm as it is a continual engaging with people around the Lord Jesus Christ ..both believers and those who do not know Him …but it is as some would put it …giving and receiving of what I have learned from my daily ‘eating of the bread that came down from heaven’ and then giving what I have been taught …and then examining it in the light of those discussions and many times differences which prompt MORE study and application.

    What is lacking in this process? I am glad for you to share with me your perspectives and thoughts on this subject….

  41. In terms of what’s lacking, or what’s wrong with the American (or Western industrialized) church it really comes down to one overriding thing. The church is way too willing to compromise the message of the Bible for the sake of attendance numbers. Like I said in another post, unpopular or hard to hear parts of the Bible are ignored or downplayed for fear that plainly and directly teaching on them will cause people to go elsewhere.

    The whole blame/correct the man and encourage/affirm the woman dynamic is really just a manifestation of the church adopting society’s attitudes in that regard.

    I realize that it’s not “the church” in a traditional sense, but there is a website/forum made up of believers that many of the regular comenters and contributors here came from that has actually banned the discussion of certain portions of scripture because a certain subset of their members gets so offended. That’s a huge problem and it’s really sort of the same thing as a church not teaching on or de-emphasizing certain parts of scripture because of fears over how some may react.

  42. I agree with you …it seems that when the truth of the word is brought into the conversation one can find out pretty quickly what the heart of those hearing it have in mind….In a way the sword of the word …stuck into a person …reveals a lot of what they know or believe about Jesus and the Bible…I have had this experience…it is not my opinion but as you said …scripture in context that is offensive to some who are invested in fleshly construct taught as the word….this has been so throughout ..as since the first century ..people who desired to ‘steer ‘ the sheep in a direction that was away from the lordship of Jesus …and take on a direction for their own benefit and profit.

    Many pastors who have been HIRED to teach by a board that is determining what will be taught from the pulpet …have had to decide if they will teach the word or teach what fills the pews and pays the bills.

    I think Jesus even spoke of the’ hirelings….who teach for profit …making ‘merchandise of the people and who fail to stand up to the pressure to ‘put a gag ‘ on the truith ….This is as it has always been ….

    When people spoke in the name of Jesus they were told not to speak …as it was stirring up contraversy and they feared that Roman authorities would come down and ‘take away their nation and their place’ as those who kept order in the city Rome had conqueored….in that time it was usual that the Roman’s would just kill or take slaves of the population of towns they conqueored. Since the priesthood held little threat and seemed to keep order in Jerusalem …the priesthood was left in power ….

    When Jesus came along he ‘stirred up the people’ as did many of the first century church …politics, money and power have been the sticking points in not just among those who ‘rule’ others in these forms….but even in the human heart which must be submitted to the standards GOD has set rather than simply looking for a good time and place to gather among like minded people …

    To be likeminded is more useful when people are committed to becoming likeminded with the Lord and HIS doctrine is not always ‘fun’ but it is right….

    Reconcilation among people is really only possible among those who are being reconciled to GOD through a personal decision to follow Jesus as He has exposed himself in the scriptures…among those who are undecided about who is going to be Lord or do not KNOW WHAT scripture says but only take someone elses word for what it says ..there is going to be some resistance if not rejection of the things God has set forth …man’s dogmas are bent toward pleasing flesh …which only makes one THINK they know …and that is far more dangerous than not knowing ..At least if you do not think you KNOW you may have a chance to learn !

    I think the parables about the ‘rich’ men often are understood in this way ..it is not just money or things but thinking we know ‘enough’ or we KNOW what God has said without really having gone the length to follow after Him …growing

    I am sorry for the way many have had to find this out…it is one of the painful things as we realize not everyone who claims his name really does follow Him …but I have hope as over time ..from time to time I have heard back from people who once oppose the words of Jesus but came along ..they found out through a hunger they had as they found there was not enough strength in following after group think

    I guess it is part of the process…at least as I have experienced this ..I will say coming across those who are hungry and in the process of stretching and seeking out more understanding from the word is awesome…

    Thank you for allowing me to speak and to be able to hear your heart on these most important matters…! I appreciate your hearts cry to see things change…for the good of all and the glory of the Lord….

  43. “scripture in context that is offensive to some who are invested in fleshly construct taught as the word”

    In my opinion and experience in discussing things online, it is far more common for women and feminist men to be offended by certain parts of scripture that it is for men to be. While there is certainly room for much improvement, men are far more willing to accept Biblical correction and accountability than women are. For example, if you look around online and in sermons you won’t find elaborate word studies and theological constructs that see to show that “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church” means something other than what I plainly means. On the other hand there are numerous such constructs that seek to show that “wives submit to your husbands” doesn’t really mean that.

    I chose that example, not because I’m all about ruling my house as the leader. In fact my natural inclination is the exact opposite, to an unhealthy degree. Rather I chose that example because that passage, the one about wives submitting, is the one that’s so offensive to some that it’s discussion has been banned at the forum I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

  44. As a further example of the problematic dynamic I’m talking about consider movies like Fireproof and songs like “Lead Me.” When asked why they are so one sided in assigning responsibility to men, the men who wrote them will say something along the lines of “I’m am man so I’m speaking to men.” That’s all well and good but where are the similar messages spoken by women to women?

  45. Looks like we lost them.

    If I may hazzard a guess at what you were getting at with the question, I suspect that your point was that it’s common(and wrong) to spend years or decades searching Scripture with a pre-determined point/position/idea that you are looking to prove.

  46. Discovering the heart and intent of the Lord …Matt chapter five….recognizing that one if POOR ….IN SPIRIT……[NEED] and “hungering and thirsting after HIS righteousness”…and asking Him to supply the ‘desire ‘ of the heart for HIS knowledge and wisdom and understanding…to learn what it is HE thinks and then change to line up ones’ thinking and life with HIS Word…” my thoughts are not your thoughts …my thoughts are HIGHER than your thoughts… Thus asking Him to give one and appetite for what HE would have us learn “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” …..thus to ‘give one the DESIRES of one’s heart …’ or to change our desires from self and flesh to desire what HE would have us desire …to KNOW HIM …and all that HIS word/will has to offer.

    God resisteth the proud but gives grace to the humble ….a good rule of thumb in examining ourselves to learn if we are teachable and submitting to His teaching us from His testimony of His word.

    In short …to want what HE wants …not a bad prayer request “Help me to want what YOU want Lord..” ….submit to GOD resist the devil and he will flee from you .

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