Anne Rice – how do we fix Christianity

A pastor asked me today if I had heard about fiction writer Anne Rice and her statement that she was giving up on Christianity, not on Jesus, but on Christianity.  She said that what she saw of Christianity turned her against it.

I told him about many of you who are frustrated with organized churches. 

I asked him what could be done.  What can people of faith, Christians, do to make Christianity better?

You see, there is always a problem that what we think is a solution will actually make the problem worse.

That is what happened with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.   They thought that if they just got the women back under control, families would automatically return to what they considered the ideal.

Instead, they made the problem worse.  They became the problem.  With their ultra fundamentalism, with their taste of power, and the love of power and money  borne of that, they became a greater problem than if they had just left things alone.

It happened with the Inquisition.  The taste of power became so consuming that they could not let it go.  By trying to make everyone righteous, they lost sight of Christ.

What can we do to save Christianity – without making it worse?

I don’t know.  I do know that women are not the cause of Christianity losing its focus.  Why not give women a chance to see if we can’t help restore the body of Christ?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Anne Rice – how do we fix Christianity

  1. blackwatertown says:

    What a refreshing post. I think you won me over particularly when you admitted “I don’t know.” The challenge is significant, but the idea of letting women take a much bigger role has surely got to be a good one.
    http://www.blackwatertown.wordpress.com

    Like

  2. Mara says:

    Well, I don’t know if I’m doing Christianity any good. But I jumped into this fight whenever I saw the laissez faire attitude many churches took toward ‘Christian’ abusers and the stinks-to-be-you, guessyou’re-sorry-outta-luck attitude they took toward abused women.

    I knew these attitudes did not reflect the nature of God and was driving women away from the very One who could heal them.

    The more I got into it, the more wounded I saw. The more I could see women fleeing the church and running to the arms of the Goddess or Atheism for comfort and protection against injustice within the ‘church’.

    It broke my heart.
    It still does.
    I do what little I can and come along side the wounded to help them see who Jesus really is. He is not anything like what these men say He is.

    These modern day Pharisees are more concerned for their own power base than for healing the souls of broken women. They’d rather label and cast the ‘jezebels’ aside than to find out what is really wrong and see the sins in their own hearts that is causing the pain.

    Like

    • Paula says:

      Agreed. But the problem goes all the way to the foundation: the hierarchical church structure. That is always going to produce some kind of inequity, regardless of degree; it’s built-in.

      So the solution is not to “fix” it but to replace it.

      Faith is an individual matter, but since we all get the same Spirit we naturally want to gather together. This is what we’re doing right now, right here; this is “where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name”. This is the Body of Christ in action.

      All we need to do is live the Christian life, share with each other, learn from those we recognize as having both knowledge of the Word and the fruit of the Spirit, and follow Jesus.

      Such an arrangement will not lead to power struggles, debates over who gets to do what, “fashion police”, behavior control, or any of the other thousand nitpicky obstacles Satan has continually thrown in our paths. Satan loves power and hates women. We can’t change the latter but we sure can change the former.

      Like

  3. Jane says:

    Paula is right…but I would take it further…

    Like

    • Paula says:

      Hi Jane, did you see my question for you in the earlier post about the war in Afghanistan?

      For the record also, I agree with many things you say here. But these are huge topics we can’t pursue in this blog.

      Like

  4. Jane says:

    Hi Paula, no I didn’t…I’ll go back and read.

    I posted, it just poured out, many of these things I have hesitated saying to anyone/anywhere, they weren’t posted for like discussion or anything, you are correct, there is much there–but they are things from that secular the years I went through, saw yet didn’t tie it together with things being discussed and here/as well as elsewhere, and I’m not sure nor can I say as to Where it all leads, or the why’s, know it’s something,

    Like

  5. Mara says:

    Where can these topics be pursued?

    Like

    • Paula says:

      Well, Jane’s got a blog, if she’d like we could go there.

      Like

      • Jane says:

        I replied but it was long and didn’t go through–read my reply to you on Afghanistan [you too Mara], your commentary, again Confirmed So much what God has been showing me, threads are like being put together, my uncle passed away on Monday and I got a LOT of answers from my aunt, about my childhood, pieces that I remembered but I didn’t have all of them but enough to where, I KNEW but couldn’t prove,

        Like

      • Paula says:

        No hurry, Jane. And please accept my condolences about your uncle.

        I’ll just say that the “times of the Gentiles” are about to close, and there is a LOT of prophecy happening in rapid succession. This is bigger than the “women issue”. I truly believe that “the church” is fully corrupted at the top by a fifth column of what I’d call “hybrids” who loath us all, but especially women, because of what God said in the Garden in cursing the serpent.

        I believe strongly that very soon we’ll all be dining in heaven!

        Like

      • Jane says:

        You are right Paula, I’m just so glad you wrote, because this past year, with dealing with my own coming to grips with how I was deceived/living the lie, false wedding garment, the whole lot-I was also dealing with seeing these things and just horrified by some of them, especially when I started seeing Why I was even after I came to Jesus when I was twenty,

        Like

      • Jane says:

        oh, Paula, to add, what I mean by crime married to government, my mom’s side, Italian crime, ok, my dads, the Celt side, all work for US government, now How much he was tied into I don’t know, we left when I was young, my memories are fragmented, so I don’t know how much Direct involvement he had OR if it was just the spiritual forces around us–

        Like

  6. Jane says:

    Paula,

    wow, You’re seeing it too, you know, LOL, how I came to see this stuff,

    Like

  7. Paula says:

    Hi Jane,

    I have been having intermittent internet connection problems the past few days and it’s still not working right, so I have to be brief since I don’t know how long I’ll be connected right now.

    So many things to say, but most would probably be better by email or a private blog. I just remembered my little message board you can get to from my blog, maybe start a topic there and we can talk, it’s not very active.

    Anyway, I’m glad to have helped some today, and there is so much going on in prophecy right now I know our time here in this life is very short. I’ll try and check the board when I can. 🙂

    Like

  8. Paula says:

    Right or wrong, nice or not, I just posted this at the ABP blog:

    In various similar conversations to this one over the last few days, I have run out of patience with trying to discuss this issue with those who are dead-set against treating women as equals. I will always gladly discuss it with anyone who genuinely wants to study scripture and go where that leads, but I cannot waste any more time on the futile endeavor of speaking directly to the self-proclaimed privileged class. I cannot be “nice” to them anymore, as I meet more and more victims of even the mildest forms of hierarchy and the lust for control over others for whom Christ died.

    This teaching that tears the Body of Christ in half runs so counter to everything Jesus taught and did, so against all that even Paul wrote, that I cannot call it Christian teaching. A benevolent slave owner is still a slave owner, and we are free in Christ. To continue debating this is paramount to deeming it legitimate, and I no longer wish to give any degree of legitimacy to it. I can only denounce it.

    Farewell.

    Like

  9. Paula says:

    Yep. And that’s exactly why the Body should never be divided into hierarchies. A “chain of command” is what Satan wants, because if you’ve got one link, you’ve got them all.

    Like

  10. jane says:

    “To continue debating this is paramount to deeming it legitimate, and I no longer wish to give any degree of legitimacy to it. I can only denounce it.”

    You nailed it, that is It, I couldn’t put my finger on why I was So livid at a lot of the comp-egal kiss kiss discourses but you nailed it–to continue to debate with the banality of evil is paramount to deeming it legitimate,

    especially when there are so many being wounded by it and not just by direct, but the indirect effects of it to others.

    And this applies to a lot of things, not just to gender equality. It is that ‘do not throw your pearls before swine or what is holy to dogs lest they turn and rend you to pieces’ and like that makes a lot more sense to me now.

    Same can be said for those habitual sins in our lives too–how I will apply this as well,

    this is what is called, come away from them, depart from iniquity, be ye holy for I am holy, etc.

    Good way of putting it Paula…

    Love,

    Jane

    Like

  11. Paula says:

    Tanx Jane! 😀

    Now to stick to my resolve…

    Like

  12. Paula says:

    I checked the ABP page one last time and saw this:

    To Waneta Dawn
    written by Benjamin Keach, August 13, 2010
    I met my wife in Vietnam where she was an Army nurse and I was an Army chaplain. I was evacuated by helicopter to her hospital by air after being shot in the head by an NVA sniper while giving last rites to soldiers in the Ia Drang Valley. We got married a few years later in 1978. I retired from the Army in 2003 after serving in wars in Panana, Somalia, Chad, Iraq I, Iraq 2, the Philippines, the Sudan and Afghanistan. I was in Special Forces. We have two children both of whom have served in Iraq and Afghanistan one of whom earned a Silver Star. No one ever hit anyone in our family ever.

    We live by scripture not by culture. I am sorry that scripture offends you. Continue to live your life by culture as you please. Culture gives us a woman’s right to choose. If culture said it were alright to beat women, then you would defend it. My wife died three years ago from Hodgkin’s disease from Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. She died in the care of the hospice where I now work as the senior chaplain.

    I think that you are a horrible person.

    I responded with this:

    Keach
    written by SaberTruth, August 14, 2010
    We have all suffered in life. Your suffering does not give you the right to blast other people just for disagreeing with you. If you would tell a believer to her face that she is horrible, not even considering that she may have been abused more horribly that you ever suffered in war, then you have to seriously question your own salvation. Such hatred cannot live in a heart that has the Holy Spirit. You have lied about us all and should be ashamed of yourself.

    Waneta, you are the real “trooper” here. God will reward your faithfulness.

    Those men are a pack of jackals. This is the true face of the “complementarian”, with the fake smiley mask torn off. I am so disgusted with them.

    Like

    • Mara says:

      Yikes.
      I can, in no way, go to places that talk like that.
      My spirit directs me to seek the wounded and direct them to their Healer. Then once they are well, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

      Right, Jane?

      Like

    • We attack principles, they attack people.

      Like

      • Paula says:

        Exactly. And I can almost guarantee that someone will say “If you attack our beliefs you attack us personally”, but somehow that doesn’t apply when it goes the other way.

        I know plenty of comps, some my own relatives, both male and female. I don’t hate them at all. I do believe they haven’t thought these issues through to their logical conclusions, and that our time is better spent looking for people like that.

        This is why I now openly denounce any degree of male supremacy or clergy supremacy. The teachings are anti-Christian and “scatter the flock”, as we’ve seen in testimony here. Those who teach this falsehood will be held to account for the lives they have ruined.

        Like

    • Jane says:

      I took a brief look at that site, Conroe, Texas, Why am I NOT SURPRISED….yea, that’s what I grew up with,

      Like

      • Jane says:

        My mother/Nana moved us to the south, after leaving D.C., what I didn’t know, until I started researching because I knew there was a Spiritual link [and we lived in a very religious fundie town that was Yes, OWNED BY THE BAPTISTS], is just how much Masonry was in the history and in that town,

        Like

      • Paula says:

        Jane, all I can say is that God will avenge you, and all like you, who have been victims of Satan’s hatred through “religious” men and the women who worship them.

        Revelation 6:9-11 (Today’s New International Version)

        9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants and brothers and sisters were killed just as they had been.

        I know that’s a different situation and all, but the principle is established that God will wreak vengeance on all the evil ones. He will also do this:

        31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
        34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

        37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

        40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

        41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

        44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

        45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

        46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

        Like

      • Jane says:

        Thank you Paula,

        Like

  13. Mara says:

    I read this story from a gal who posted on No Longer Quivering.

    I wish I could give her name and link to it.

    In a nutshell, she lived with a terrible psychological and physical abuser.
    As usual, the church was no help, didn’t believe her, and told her to keep submitting and stay married under no matter what.

    One thing that really slapped her in the face and brought all this into perspective was when they went to go see a former POW who experienced psychological and physical abuse on a LESSER scale than she did. And he was regarded as a hero by these same church members.

    This spoke loud and clear and strong to her. It made her know that the church she was involved with did not value her or even considered her someone they could believe.

    I don’t know if this was THE turning point for her or just one of them.

    But she is an Atheist now.

    And the feminists (however you define them) were not the ones who turned her against God.

    It was the bold-faced, anti-woman attitude of the church, plain and simple. Nothing else.

    Atheism and feminism were just soft places to land away from the hypocrisy that was killing her.

    This is why I sooooo much appreciate Waneta, Jane, Jocelyn, and so many others, who can see past the abuses of men and into the Face of the Man who loves them enough to die a terrible death so that He could bring them to Himself in His loving and healing arms.

    These women have my respect.

    Like

  14. Jane says:

    Mara, the thing is, it’s hell every day for me to Not leave Jesus…a mental hell, a fight with demons that I don’t know if many really understand,

    Like

  15. Jane says:

    Sorry to you others, Mara knows me and knows I am often dark–and honest about that, though yea it scares the hell out of me too because to Question God on these things is like such dangerous territory but I’ve gone so over to the dark in my life that I can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist so yea, I question, I wrestle with God and there are days that yea, I don’t like God or the whole Male thing and I let Him know it,

    if

    Like

  16. Lydia says:

    “They thought that if they just got the women back under control, families would automatically return to what they considered the ideal”

    “What they considered the ideal”. What was that? If they are honest, their ideal was before women had civil rights the same as men. They tend to forget that poor women have always worked while tending children with much less pay and no equal standing before the law. Not even when horribly abused. (And let us not forget that some MEN voted to change those horrid laws!)

    The problems we see today in the “church” extend all the way back to Acts 20. Paul warned then that the wolves would be from “among them” meaning the elders he was speaking to.

    In a short time, they managed to made the wolves with titles the pious ones. One can only do that through legalism (control) like the Pharisees did.

    How do we fix Christianity? It is quite simple. We teach people to follow Christ ALONE, not man. We encourage them to be Bereans. We remind them that Jesus Christ sent us the BEST TEACHER: The Holy Spirit who illuminates truth of the Word to us if we diligently study and pray.

    It is simple but not easy. Why? Because most people prefer to follow man. They love rules and roles which are much easier to “do” than abiding in Christ alone.

    Like

    • You can see from the Speech I made at the Conference (www.bwebaptist.com) that before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they saw no need to get the men under control, it was only when women got civil rights, that they decided to get the family (women) under control.

      Like

      • Lydia says:

        Some are old enough to remember that when a man died his bank account was frozen and the wife could not withdraw any money for a period of time while HIS estate was being adjudicated…UNLESS the man had made legal provisions for her to do so. His son would have more legal right than a wife in financial dealings.

        And this was the case for decades AFTER the 19th admendment! Marriage did not confer equal rights for women in areas of finance for many years…even into the 1970’s.

        I maintain that women had more freedom to exercise their spiritual gifts in the Body BEFORE the 1970’s. Men were not intimidated by them. My grandmother and my mother taught men all the time in SBC mixed classes. No one gave it a thought! It was only after the CR was in full swing, it was taught to be a sin in the SBC.

        Like

      • You are absolutely right about it not being taught before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I had never heard of ‘submit’ to your husband and I was raised in a Baptist church and my father was a lay Baptist preacher.

        Like

      • Where do you find the speech? Under what section?

        Like

      • It is on my website http://www.bwebaptist.com. It is titled something like “Speech I gave at the Conference.” It is in the white space right after the information about the Demand for an Apology. The title of the speech was “Whose Rights” It opens up in a .pdf file. Thanks for asking.

        Like

  17. Lydia says:

    “You are absolutely right about it not being taught before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I had never heard of ‘submit’ to your husband and I was raised in a Baptist church and my father was a lay Baptist preacher.”

    Perhaps that is because they knew back then that Eph 5:21 applied to them, also.

    Most indoctrinated men now will argue (ala Grudem) that it does not apply to all men in the Body and marriage.

    Like

  18. Jane says:

    Do we know of any women who know how to use php I think it’s called web pages? You know, Heart, over at women’s space, a blog I use to frequent a lot, there is what they call a Radical Carnival of Feminists that they put out, ok,

    Like

    • Paula says:

      Hi Jane, I’ve been without internet for quite a while and am just now getting back online. I’ll try and catch up on things, but after a quick scan of your comment it sounds like you are looking for a message board (phpBB) or something. I am a web programmer/designer, and if the board I have already wouldn’t suit then I’m sure we can come up with something.

      Like

      • Jane says:

        OK Paula, no rush, ok…

        I’m browsing through some other female centered sites, you know there are some really good ones but it always seems they are Bombarded with the whole goddess spirituality,

        Like

  19. Paula says:

    Ladies, I saw this posted in Facebook and decided to listen. It’s a one-hour sermon in the context of end-times prophecy, but it just SHOUTED to me about the kind of evil we see behind patriarchy. It is about DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH and how we can recognize it. The part about any teaching being false if it monkeys with Jesus in any way, including the Trinity, really jumped out at me, because that is what patriarchy is doing. The link is Here.

    Like

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