Tag Archives: advocacy

Lynn Messer Public Prayer Vigil, July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016. Law enforcement continues to investigate her death while waiting on the conclusion of all forensic testing. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and law enforcement confirms that her husband Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.

Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

I have written dozens of articles on my thoughts about the case, evidence in the case, questions and answers to the lead detective on the case, and oddities and questions surrounding Kerry Messer’s actions, testimony, and writings on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.

You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…

Many women who disappear do so at the hands of their significant other; not by the women’s choice. Fifty percent of women who have been murdered are killed by intimate partners. I combined this knowledge with what, in my opinion, were duplicitous writings of Kerry Messer on his Find Lynn Messer page, and some similarities Kerry appeared to have with my former husband. The similarities gave me reason for concern. Talking to some of Lynn’s family members and friends strengthened my concerns.

I have not forgotten about the questions surrounding Lynn’s disappearance and death; neither have her children, grand children, extended family, and friends.

To keep Lynn’s case in the public eye, to remember her life, and to pray for answers, truth, and justice there will be a public prayer vigil on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Ste. Genevieve. It will be held outside the prosecuting attorney’s office at 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. I will be speaking and praying along with a few other people including Cheryl Summers, founder of the For Such A Time As This rally. FSATAT rallied at the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018 and 2019. FSATAT is a group of Christians asking the SBC for: 1. A clergy database to track sexual abusers. 2. Mandatory training to recognize and address abuse (sexual assault and domestic abuse). 3. Treating women with honor and dignity.

I will post the complete prayer vigil line-up soon.

This is open to the public. If you have followed Lynn’s case we hope you will attend. If you are new to the case, you are invited to attend. If you are an advocate, abuse survivor, current victim, or concerned citizen; please join us.

Together we will seek #JusticeForLynn through a peaceful prayer vigil.

*This is not sanctioned by a church, law enforcement, or government agency.

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DISCLAIMER:

I’ve been asked if I’m concerned about being sued for writing about Lynn’s private life.

The thought has crossed my mind but I have this information that keeps me protected from anyone winning a lawsuit against me:

To hold someone liable for slander or defamation the plantiff must prove the defendant purposefully  lied/ made a false or defamatory statement for the purpose of  bringing harm to the plantiff.

I’m amazed at the freedom that we have in our country. Information from Dee at thewartburgwatch.com  

Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.

  1. The writer must lie.
  2. The writer must knowingly lie.
  3. The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.

So, when it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[1]Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.

In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate.[2] A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.

My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.

Plus, Kerry Messer is a public figure in the state of Missouri who raises financial support to fund his lobbyist activities. This makes Lynn’s case a public interest story.

Shanann Watts case: 20 reasons abuse stays hidden and can lead to death

The last time I wrote I gave you my observations on the Shanann Watts case; specifically my thoughts on the husband’s behavior in interviews. 

*Disclaimer: Abuse crosses all genders, socioeconomic statuses, nationalities, tones of skin, and religions. I minister to women and therefore I use the term woman in most of my writings.

Allow me to explain what it could have been like in Shanann Watt’s home based on my experience of domestic abuse.

Here are lessons I’ve learned from my own background as a survivor of domestic abuse, and from ministering to other survivors of domestic violence:

1.      You NEVER know what goes on in someone else’s home. Sometimes a spouse doesn’t know what goes on in their home, or during the other person’s time away from home. Don’t assume you know better than them.

2.      You can live with a person and not know if they suffer from mental illness or a personality disorder.  

3.      Many women don’t understand that the difficult marriage is actually a destructive marriage by an angry and controlling man. When a woman tries to talk through a problem the tables are turned on her and he insists the only problems are the ones she creates. He often shames, talks down, belittles, withholds, and throws temper tantrums while telling her, “It’s all you.” Or, “I never did or said that.” Lots of crazy making/gas lighting goes on in this type of relationship.

4.  Constant denial or justification of the hurt and wrong they’ve committed against you is the number one clue that you’re living with an abuser.

5.      It can be nearly impossible to know if your loved one could kill you. (If you question your safety, please take the free MOSAIC threat assessment to determine if you are a candidate for violence or death).

6.      Angry and controlling men rarely change; in fact, the abuse usually escalates…not improves.

7.      Often times the system fails abuse survivors. Victims are statistically not believed in a court of law when they bring up domestic abuse.

8.      Promoting an ideal marriage in social media posts may be an attempt to throw the abuser off the trail of an upcoming separation or divorce; especially if the victim fears for their life. It could also be an attempt to appease the abuser and ‘respect’ his orders to make him look good.

9.      Talking well of the spouse is expected in most social circles. Truth telling about marital problems has caused many abused women to lose friends, or their children’s playmates.

10.  Positive media posts can be a coping mechanism for surviving a traumatic marriage. Maybe it’s a snapshot of a good moment in the midst of many difficult circumstances. It encourages outsiders to believe they have a wonderful life. What person wants to admit to domestic abuse?

11.  Sometimes the abuser controls the victim’s social media and electronics by posting for them; as them, going as far as to place spyware on the devices and GPS tracking on the vehicle. (The women I minister to all report having spyware placed on their electronics right before or during the separation or divorce).

12.  Domestic violence doesn’t always equate to physical abuse. It can manifest as sexual, reproductive, verbal, emotional, spiritual, financial, and one I had not included in my list before today; digital abuse which would be secondary emotional abuse.

13.  Domestic violence causes health care problems.  The  trauma caused by domestic abuse can cause immediate injuries, and contributes to a number of chronic health problems, including depression, alcohol and substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, heart problems, cancer, and auto-immune diseases.

14.  Domestic violence is about control and power. It’s not about anything the wife or children are doing wrong.

15.  Women are objectified and viewed as property. Property is disposable. (I haven’t seen a case yet that didn’t involve the use of pornography). 

Shanann and Nickole Utoft
Shanann with friend Nickole Utoft. Photo credit: Shanann Watts’ Facebook page.

16.  Victims need support from family, the church, and friends; friends like Nickole Utoft who knew enough to know Shanann and her children were missing and in danger. Be the friend a woman can safely confide in without passing judgement on her. 

17.  Most of the women I minister to report that friends, neighbors, and church family always looked at their family as normal, happy, and healthy. Very few outsiders would have guessed there was a toxic personality in their home.  

18. Instances of domestic abuse are not limited to isolated cases and there isn’t just one type of person who feels entitled to abuse and/or kill their family. It’s becoming more rampant for men to abuse women. I have my opinion on why abuse is escalating, (Pornography mixed with hand-held electronics. Any woman at any time; instantly. The devaluing of life.), but that is an article for another time.

19. Family, friends, neighbors, and church family have a difficult time believing these men exist and are as bad as the wife knows he is. They aren’t the only people in doubt. Law enforcement and those who work in the court system also don’t believe the depth of the problem; leaving the victims unprotected.

20.  Court cases requiring legal intervention are overwhelmingly domestic abuse cases, but the courts fail to recognize and act on this fact. This leads to retraumatizing the victims, continued abuse…and sometimes…death.

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Here are some possibilities of why Chris Watts may have finally went through with disposing of his family based on other domestic abuse cases.

·         He could have suffered from severe, untreated mental illness or a personality disorder.

·         He could have been having an affair.

·         He could have taken out life insurance policies on his family members.

·         He may have known she was leaving, and since angry and controlling abusers must maintain power and control; he may have decided to kill them rather than allow her to leave.

·         Financial reasons: There is a legal obligation the court would have enacted on him for child support. If he wanted relational freedom to wine and dine a new romantic interest, paying money to an ex-wife and three children would greatly hinder his fun.

I don’t believe one thing could have caused Chris Watts (or any other abuser) to snap, but rather numerous issues building up over time led to it. This is why the MOSAIC threat assessment is important. MOSAIC takes all these issues in to account and determines if you are at risk.

There is NOTHING; not a thing…zero, zilch, zip that this momma or her daughters did that could have caused Chris Watts to murder them. Abusers and murderers do what they do because of evil in their hearts. In many cases, the abuser’s brain is wired wrong and there is no making sense of it. 

If you believe you, or someone dear to you, may be in danger please check out the links in the margin for safety concerns and other help. If you wonder if you are in an emotionally destructive marriage there is a free relationship test for you to take.

 

Read: The Shanann Watts case: My observations

8/21/18 5:20 PM update: COLORADO MAN CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF MURDER IN KILLINGS OF PREGNANT WIFE, DAUGHTERS

8/21/18  6:20 PM update: Chris Watts claims wife strangled kids

His account of what happened doesn’t make sense to me. I would think if you saw one daughter blue from death, and the other being strangled by your wife, you would call 911 for immediate help; not go kill your wife and then hide the bodies. I don’t own a newer baby monitor, but would you be able to clearly see on a baby monitor if a child was blue? And who on earth could have a conversation, kill a person, decide how and where to dispose of the bodies, clean-up the crime scene, and load a truck with three deceased bodies & evidence in under 3 hours?

 

 

The Shanann Watts case: My observations.

 

I think these were likely heinous, violent, selfish, dark acts of murder from a cold, calculating, evil, angry, and controlling man who looked normal, nice, caring, and nurturing to those watching on the outside.

 

Shanaan Watts family - Copy
Chris Watts with wife Shanann with daughters Bella, four, Celeste, three, pre-born son, Niko. Picture: Instagram public picture

 

I’m sure you’ve seen it all over the headlines: Husband kills pregnant wife and their two little girls.

I’m involved in an online community of domestic abuse advocates so when this story broke I immediately took interest. You know me…my first thought was that the husband is statistically most likely involved. I immediately watched the interview done by a local Denver, CO news station.

Here were some of the red flags about Chris Watts that caught my attention:

The detachment in one of his statements when he referred to his family as: “everybody”, “anybody”…it was off. His demeanor during his interview was non-emotional about his family and detached from the gravity of them being gone…just words; which seemed empty to me. He appeared to be smiling during some of it; almost giddy with underlying excitement…which to me speaks the age-old adage that he possibly believed he’s so special and smart that no one would ever catch him at what he did. His grin told the story of how proud he was of his deception. He exuded arrogance and assumed people would believe him.

With word spinners you have to pay attention to the grains of truth woven throughout the lies… “It was like I walked into a ghost house.” Hmm, could this be because he killed them and was haunted by what he did?

He talks about himself…his feelings, his needs, and his thoughts. He lacked the emotions that go with trauma and fear, and instead smiled through most of the multiple interviews.

He mentioned the empty house but showed no emotion about the loneliness or fear of why the house was empty.

“When I got home yesterday it was like a ghost town…it’s like a nightmare that I just can’t wake up from.”  Why is he speaking of a nightmare so early in the investigation of which he says he knows nothing and has no inclination of what happened or where they are? After all, the possibility exists that they are with a friend or family member? What’s so nightmarish about that?

“I had every light in the house on.” Perhaps because he couldn’t live with what had taken place during the night?

I noticed how tightly he had his arms crossed in front of him as if to say I am bottled up, I’m lying, and I am not telling what I know.

He was shaking his head no, while stating he wanted his family to return.

When Chris Watts stayed with friends Monday night he referred to his wife in the past tense. They notified police that they didn’t think Chris was doing enough to actively look for his family.

His body language, words, emotions and actions didn’t add up to innocent.

 

Chris Watts arrested for the murder of his wife and daughters

 

When news broke that Chris Watts had been arrested for the murder of his wife and children, people were asking, “what made him snap?” The public and the media seem shocked that this nice looking, well-spoken man could be responsible for murders while smiling at the camera and stating, “Shanann, Bella, Celeste, if you’re out there, just come back. If somebody has her, just bring her back. I need to see everybody; I need to see everybody again. This house is not complete without anybody here.”

I wonder how the police obtained a confession from him. Perhaps they had overwhelming evidence from the crime scenes.

A next door neighbor said Chris Watts was a normal helpful neighbor, “He would reach out and help anyone who needed help with anything.”

A reporter asked, “How a man who appeared to be such an adoring husband and father could do this?”

If you’ve read my blog for long you know this is a major issue I’ve tried to address. I also addressed it when I spoke in Dallas at the SBC: For Such a Time as This Rally.

These types of men “are grand actors and magnificent manipulators. They may be sitting next to us in worship, Sunday school, or small group. They can be pastors, Sunday school teachers, and our best friend, charming, smart, and biblically brilliant. They can be high functioning in their job, helpful in our time of need, and financially generous if hardship strikes us; all while destroying the wife and/or children at home.”

What’s worse is that often times the women don’t realize they are being abused. How can this happen? you may ask.

The victim may be confused about what is wrong, or who is in the wrong in the relationship. For me, and for other countless women, we believed our spouse’s lie that everything wrong in the relationship or home was our fault. Chris and Shanann hadn’t been married many years. It’s possible this may have been her experience…or maybe she was waking up to the idea that something was wrong in her marriage.

Here is an excerpt from a journal of an abused wife in the first years of marriage. She believed all the anger and control problems her husband had were going to get better as he became accustomed to being married.

“Thank you, Heavenly Father, for a godly husband who loves me. He’s a good daddy and an excellent provider. Please help him adjust to married life quickly, and help me to be the wife he needs and wants.”

In the above case; years would prove that she wasn’t the problem and that no matter how wonderful a wife and mother she was, it wouldn’t meet with his approval or kindness, or satisfy his need for power over her and control of her.

Other possibilities: 1) You can live with a person and not know if they suffer from mental illness or a personality disorder. 2) The wife is usually the last person to find out about an affair. 3) Maybe Shanann had decided to leave her husband.

Whatever the case; make no mistake, Shanann and her daughters did nothing wrong to provoke anyone to murder them. I don’t believe this was a snap decision, but likely numerous issues building up over time. This is why I recommend the free MOSAIC threat assessment.  What is MOSAIC? A combination of factors that are associated with escalated risk and danger requires that you know what questions to ask, and then know how to consider all your answers in a way that enhances insight. The MOSAIC method works by breaking a situation down to its elements, factor-by-factor, and then seeing what picture emerges when the pieces of the puzzle are put together.

As many women have learned; it’s difficult to leave an angry and controlling man…sometimes impossible.

I think it’s safe to assume that Shanann confided in a friend that something was deeply and fearfully wrong with her husband. Her friend Nickole Utoft, who dropped Shanann off at home around 2 AM after a business trip, tried making contact early that morning by text, phone, and going to the house. When Nickole couldn’t make contact with her friend she called the police and asked for a welfare check that afternoon. When Nicole discovered Shanann’s purse, phone, and keys in the house she filed missing person’s reports. Nickole knew something!

I’m grateful Chris Watts confessed early and disclosed where he placed the bodies. When a woman ‘disappears’ it’s usually at the hand of her significant other. When children are killed it’s usually at the hands of a parent or guardian.

Next time I will address lessons I learned about domestic abuse.

If you question the possibility of being in danger, please go to MOSAIC and take the free threat assessment test.

 

For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically; Part 3

This is the third part in a series on what scripture has to say about a woman’s worth and role. Read Part 1  here…Part 2 here…

We have the potential to defeat one of Satan’s longest standing lies. Nothing has brought more harm to women across the earth than men who think women have less value and abilities; other than Christian men who think the same about their sisters-in-Christ and wrongly apply a few scriptures toward us instead of looking at the entirety of God’s Holy Word. Satan has meant to destroy, kill, and annihilate a woman’s worth. Let’s turn it around on him and destroy, kill, and annihilate his hold on us; in Jesus’ name!

At this time in history the secular world is working on this more than the church.

Women who are married to angry, controlling, abusive men need people who will believe them, advocate for them, and hold their abuser accountable; not tell them to stop complaining, submit, stay, pray, and wait on God to change their husband’s heart. This advice leads to more abuse; or death. This advice stems from misapplied scripture; often from I Peter 3.

Let’s pull several scriptures together and look at the big picture.

 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28.)

Jesus’ time on earth included Him being purposeful toward women. He came to set the captives free; including women! He protected, honored, listened to, empowered, confided in, was funded by, respected, celebrated, saved, gave them their voice back, made them the first witnesses to His resurrection in a society where women’s testimonies were not respected, told them to go and tell about His resurrection, allowed women to be taught alongside men, and spoke of women as examples to follow. Hmm, no patriarchal or authoritarian suppression from Jesus!

Scripture supports this over and over, so to the woman living in the middle of a destructive, abusive marriage, allow me to show you more scripture that teaches of a woman’s worth in the eyes of God:

 The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
 “Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder. Psalm 68:11-12

God leaves us a written record of woman after woman who spoke out and up, taught, interacted, made decisions and negotiated on their own accord.

Let’s look at some examples:

Moses’ sister Miriam displayed remarkable intelligence and confidence. She not only helped to save her brother’s life but also helped set Israel’s deliverance in motion. Exodus 2.

The fifth of the ten commandments says, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12. Notice it doesn’t say, “wife and children honor the man of the house” but rather the parents are listed as a team. This shows no reference to a patriarchal led family.

Here is an interesting tidbit out of Exodus 21:7-11: “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do.  If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.  If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.  If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.  If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” God provided female servants a way out of abusive marriages…in the Old Testament…because He doesn’t want a woman to be trapped in a relationship with an angry, controlling, and withholding man…even if she was bought as a servant. Read that again, sweet friend, who has been told over and over that God’s hates and forbids divorce.


Achsah, daughter of Caleb, acted in faith by boldly asking her father for, and claiming, additional blessing for her family. Joshua 15, Judges 1.

Deborah was a judge and leader of the Israelite army – see Judges 4-5. The account in Judges 4 says that, “the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided”. She did this while also being a wife.

Miriam is referred to as one of the leaders of Israel in Micah 6:4. She was considered an equal with Moses and Aaron as you read their interactions in Exodus and Numbers.

God used the prophetess Huldah during the time of the prophet Jeremiah, proving that God did not lack willing men to preach His messages. When the book of the Law was rediscovered in the reign of King Josiah, five officials, including the High Priest (considered the highest spiritual leader at the time), went to seek out the counsel of Prophetess Huldah. She authenticated the scrolls and then proceeded to preach a message from them bringing Israel into a great revival. She was educated, articulate, and well-known for her ability. Isaiah’s wife was also a prophetess.

In part 4 we will continue with more examples of God esteeming and using women for His purpose in marriage, in the culture, and in the body of Christ.

 

 

Part 1 For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically

 

Part 2 For you consideration: A woman’s role…biblically

 

All scripture is taken from the NIV

For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically; Part 2

Here is the continuation of Part one where we looked at several scriptures written by Paul to see if they were literal or cultural, and saw that marital love is not controlling; it’s mutually submitting and looking out for the best interest of the other; it’s about serving.

Here is what the Bible teaches a healthy wife/marriage/woman looks like:

First let’s look at headship. This excerpt was printed in the Well Planned Gal (Fellow homeschool mom, author, and speaker.)

The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church…”

If we want to understand “husband headship,” then we must understand Christ’s headship of the Church. So, how is Christ the head of the Church?

Christ’s “headship” in relation to the Church is mentioned 5 times in the New Testament:

Colossians 1:18 – Christ is metaphorical head of the Church, source of life after death
Colossians 2:18-19 – Christ as metaphorical head of the Church, to help her flourish
Ephesians 5:23 & 25 – Christ as metaphorical head of the Church, saving her, loving her, giving himself up for her
Ephesians 1:20-23 – Church is metaphorical body of Christ, Christ provides for Church’s growth
Ephesians 4:15-16 – Church is metaphorical body of Christ, Christ equips the Church for growth through love

 

These are beautiful and sacrificial examples.

I don’t see anger, a need to control, condescension, withholding, gas lighting/crazy making, authoritarian, usurped leadership, final decision maker, or supreme ruler anywhere in this verses. SB wordart

Is Christ a leader? Yes. Is Christ a ruler who sits on a throne? Yes. Does Christ know the answer to everything? Yes. Is there anywhere in scripture that calls husbands to be this type of head/leader over their wives? No.

I came to this point in my thinking after often seeing that the results/fruits of male headship were abuse, control, codependence, inequality, pride, and the suppression of the Holy Spirit. I decided it was time for me to study the word and seek to find if scripture had been misapplied.

The analogy about Christ and the Church and marriage in Ephesians 5 is a metaphor that speaks of unity in marriage. It speaks to the oneness of a husband and wife.

In Ephesians 5:23, the verse says, “…the husband is the head of the wife.” It makes sense to interpret this as he is in authority over her; however, there are better ways that more accurately line up with the whole of scripture when understanding what Paul as saying. In its entirety it’s about unity. You may read a more detailed study of this here…Don’t lose your head over doctrine  by Tim Fall. 

The rest of the passage describes Jesus as a husband, but not in terms of authority, but rather as one who sacrificially loves her. This is a better way to interpret this passage and matches the heart of God.

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”
– Jesus
(Matthew 20:26)

“For God does not show favoritism.” Romans 2:11

As for creation… “So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. If men believe and teach otherwise they are contradicting God.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:8

Of course God knew all this before He created man and woman. Perhaps God wanted Adam to understand how alone and unsatisfied he was until Eve was made. Adam needed her and wanted her.

 

We will not find anywhere in scripture where the Lord mandates or suggests that that the husband holds the right to make decisions for his wife. I Corinthians 7:1-6 sets the precedence that decisions are to be made together. There’s no better way to make those decisions together than through prayer.

The more I study this topic the more I realize I’ve believed some lies about not only me and marriage, but about God, for many years. I’ve been guilty of believing what people have taught me instead of studying for myself.  I don’t understand why male headship/authority/dominance has been taught in the New Testament church. This doesn’t fit the example, mind, or heart of Christ.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8

 

Scripture teaches love, service, humility, sacrifice.  It doesn’t teach patriarchy but rather equality, mutual decision making, mutual submission; beautiful, purposeful relationship.

The wrong thoughts I’ve believed, or lived under, women have lived under for centuries to silence, intimidate, invalidate, objectify, and hold them down. The ideas are straight from the enemy; Satan – the father of lies, and I believe it’s one of the most crippling and damaging lies the church has believed.

 

But Jesus…

He gives women their true freedom and equality.

Next time we will look at an abundance of scriptures that verifies these truths.

 

READ: For your consideration: A woman’s role…biblically; Part 1

Photo credit at top of page: afumc.org

21 Things NOT to Say to an Abuse Survivor and Leadership Journal’s Lack of Discernment

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

In light of the recent guilty verdict I witnessed in a court of law against a pastor who was on trial for violating two young boys, the topic of being an abuse survivor is weighing heavily on my mind.

Few people would purposefully say something thoughtless, judgmental, wrong or hurtful to a heart already aching from abuse.  It might be more likely that someone would say something out of ignorance or from not knowing there was an abuse survivor in their midst.

We do not want to add toxic thoughts, attitudes or words to an already hurting heart. We want to participate in their healing; not in reinjuring a deep hurt or scar.

This is likely not a topic or issue you have considered.  I know I have not purposefully thought through how to be kindhearted and sympathetic to victims so when I read Sarah Bessey’s post, 21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor by Mary DeMuth I knew I wanted to share these caring thoughts with my readers.

Read: 21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor http://sarahbessey.com/21-things-shouldnt-said-sexual-abuse-victims-guest-post-mary-demuth/

Mary DeMuth is a well-known author who last week weighed in on the recent Leadership Journal controversy. Last week LJ posted the story of a former youth pastor who was convicted of statutory rape with a girl, twelve years younger than him, in his youth group. I read the article and it was clear that the youth pastor had no remorse for his actions and considered the relationship consensual. In my opinion he had strong indicators of being a narcissistic/sociopathic type individual and did not own up to the spiritual harm brought to his wife, his children, the victim, the church or the youth group. I considered LJ  lacking in discernment for posting the article. To me this was one more reason sexual predators find the church an easy place to hide for preying upon victims. After many caring and concerned readers made comments asking LJ to remove the post, (many whose comments LJ removed) and many more readers who began a #TakeDownThatPost campaign; LJ decided to remove the post. One of the most compelling letters showing LJ their lapse of judgment for posting the article was submitted by Mary DeMuth.

You may read her letter “Dear Man in Prison,” here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2014/june-online-only/dear-man-in-prison.html

Check out Mary DeMuth’s newest book:  Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse.