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My problems started when I began to comment on what I saw. I insisted on being accurate. But the world I was born into didn’t want that. Indeed, its very survival depended on not knowing, not seeing–and, certainly, not saying anything at all about what it was really like.

5 thoughts on “Speak!

  1. This! THIS.

    My husband would do this to me often early on in our marriage. We were struggling greatly, and I turned to my mom for help. When he found out, he accused me of airing our dirty laundry and refused to talk to anyone about our problems. He was adopted and raised by an IFB pastor and his wife. Since he has gotten much better…due in part to God’s grace and in part to my standing up to him and telling him he would never trample on me again.

    Ken Smith, asshole blogger who tries to tear me to shreds on my blog, employs this technique at its ugliest, telling me that I was in fact not sexually assaulted, that I was an easy woman (seducing man after man until I lured in my husband), that I should not be wallowing in my own sin and letting the world see what I am like (or more accurately used to be like).

    I insist on being accurate, even about myself, even when the truth isn’t pretty. I insist on seeing, even if what I see hurts. I insist on truth, even if that truth is inconvenient to me or others.

    When I got expelled from BJU, I was instructed to not keep in contact with ANYONE at the school for at least a year. I was not given the chance to speak my mind until the very last of my time in the assistant dean of women’s office. The entire expulsion process is a hateful silencing, shunning, and shaming – and in our case, we had already confessed and withdrawn.

    Sorry to rant on your blog. This just brought up not-so-latent emotions I’ve been sorting through of late. And it’s a very apt quote.

    1. The isolation of ‘disciplined’-kicked out members, from their institutional peers, is so UN christian as to be really, NOT christian at all! And when the so called ‘discipline’ is really ostracization / punishment, meted out by ‘religious meanies’ who have, no mercy, no compassion,no love, no kindness no understanding for people who ‘get in the way’, of those who ‘presume’ to speak for this ‘angry God’ they so angrily represent,’where’ is a suffering pilgrim to ‘go’ with ‘any’ grievance? The no talk rule, intimidation into silence, is so subtle. And ‘it works’! No one wants to be cut off from their friends and peers. No one wants to be socially isolated from fellow believers with whom they have been building friendships. So to avoid the thing that people dread,the underlying fear of abandonment by ostracization, being cut off, they shut up and the bullies win! And this basic human need to ‘belong’ is so deeply built into our psychology of mental health, in our humanity, that we can be so easily controlled, by ‘a fear of abandonment’ and the fear of being left all alone. The enemy plays on this fear, against our minds, by using the ‘meanies’ to manipulate this basic human need through difficult circumstances we so easily find ourslves in. The NO TALK RULE is the big one enforced by silent intimidation. The NO TALK RULE, so effectively silences normal healthy necessary ‘relational communication’ as to render such environments as ‘not fit’ for human health. And I mean that statement with every fiber of my being. I jst can’t think of any ‘colorful language’ to emphasize that point any stronger. When any of us have become confused, bewildered, deeply troubled mentally emotionally spiritually, from having been ‘in an environment’ that has eiher ‘become’ toxic because it changed,, or, we have suddenly realized ‘always was’ toxic, we may feel like the ‘crazy ones’.. but believe me, we are the sane ones. Why? Because we’know’ that there’s something very, very wrong! When we have find ourselves around people, in an environment where there is a very unhealthy power / imbalance, ie a few have all the power, and we seem to have none, in their eyes, that is,these others who just don’t seem to ‘think right,’ and ‘we’ really ‘want to’ think, we suddenly become ‘very’ unpopular. I think fundamentalism in its worst distorted Baptist version, and I do not believe all Baptists are like this at all, I believe it is the Fundamentalist cmp, that’s the big problem, this IFB fundamentalism is really a ‘false religion’ for non-thinkers. And we ‘thinkers’ find ourselves very unwelcome and very unpopular when our free thinking and honesty is perceived as a threat to their Sphnegali grip on power. People in these environments, seem to be ‘taught’ by inferenc by subtle intimidation, by such questionable negative example, by implication through ‘mind control’ type messages’, and I’m not being a conspirator here…. from the high and mighty pulpits… with a generous sprinkling of the toxic spice of coercion, to NOT THINK. Not thinking is practically ‘a virtue’ in these warped environments. There ALWAYS seems to be an unaturally negative environment, where this kind of thing goes on. Which these ‘religious bimbos’ have the audacity to call christianity! I call it A CULTURE OF DENIAL. Denial of the mental / emotional pain and suffering these places create with their strange version ‘of the truth’ and even ‘stranger’ version of ‘christianity’. How could we possibly ‘pretend’ to believe, that such places ‘practice’ true Gospel values? Or even ‘know’ what the Gospel ‘is?’ Years ago, I was so silenced by intmidation, that I didn’t speak up, for myself that is. But I did speak up for a wonderful leader who had been ostracized. There was no one then to speak up for me, for what people had been doing to me. But there was always someone waiting for me to let Him defend me and He did. Jesus. Now, I know what it is like to have no one but Jesus to stand by me through a trial. So now I stand up for others . I used to be afraid of my own shadow, I was so bullied throughout my childhood. Now I have been delivered from that shadow of silence, and I speak up with the joy of the freedom this loving God has graced me with, and the love for people God has given me. This blog is a safe place to rant. I’m really glad you took the opportunity to so bravely and honestly express your true feelings and emotions. When you can be honest like this, it shows that you’re still alive inside. That ‘you’re winning’. That the IFB ‘meanies’ didn’t succeed in wrecking you. And that healing is still happening. Keep sharing. Keep healing. Keep being real. God is with you every step of the way. “HE was wounded for your transgresson He was bruised for your iniquities, the chastisement of your peace was aid upon Him, and BY HIS STIPES YOUR WERE HEALED” Isaiah 53. When you got kicked out of the 3 bOBS’ kingdom of man’ you could then find ‘the true kingdom of God! In’t His Kingdom the best One? YES!

  2. I lost several friends in the past year because of this. And I’m not even a fundy. It’s rampant in the evangelical church at large too. I couldn’t not talk publicly about what I saw, and I was treated like a traitor for it.

    1. Jess, I am so sorry about the mean way you were treated. How can any reasonable thinking believer call that kind of behaviour ‘christan?’ I guess we ‘could’ call it ‘religion’ and of some of the worst kind, masking as christian. I too have been treated like a traitor, for saying something without the ‘high and mighty’ permission of the stuffed shirt leaders! They were so angry and resentful at my mentioning by mailed letters to the group membership that the group needed to repent! Why, you would think I had been spreading heresy, or leading the members away from’the faith!’ I did not know that this problem is rampant in the Evangelical Church too! This is very sad news for me to hear. I have been under the gullible belief that “Evangelicals” were a lot ‘nicer’ than fundies. So I guess that’s another ‘sacred cow’ that has to go from my unrealistic thinking. Just goes to show how naive I can be, simply because I ‘want’ to believe, some are better and nicer than others! When I was ostracized from a used to be wonderful group, and it was so wonderful in the beginning, that, I would have crawled to get there, if I had to, there was so much of God’s Presence in that place. After being pushed out,I felt I was to only speak to and trust a ‘very’few people in my own church parish, to trust them as trustworthy friends. I believe the Lord was giving me some wisdom to ‘protect myself from further injury, while I was in such a vulnerable state, and in such an early stage of healing. The group I was pushed out of, was in a different parish than my home church was. Two particular and wonderful friends that I could trust after losing that group, happen to be in Heaven now. But by the time they went home to Jesus, I was well on my way into wonderful freedom in healing. Since that painful year after May 1997, God has been gracious to give me new friends, since husband and I connected with another parish. We parish migrate a lot, but we are not church hoppers. We stay in our denomination as that is where God has called us to be. God seems to give us seasons in different parishes. And they have all been seasons of growth and blessing, with a realistic mixture of frustration and struggle. If the kind of uncharitable, hypocritical behaviour is rampant in the evangelical churches, then christianity is in worse shape than I realized. I think the first year of losing friends for reasons such as this, the first year is the hardest one. A wounded person’s healing journey is not the same as someone else’s. We are all so very different and unique. And it really takes time to ‘relearn’ about ‘who’ we can trust! Who God is showing us that we can trust. It took me so long to understand that, people who do not respect us, are people we really would be wise to not trust at all. Yet trust, respect and love are all so closely connected beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and practices. So you see where people like us who have been wounded, almost need a special spiritual boot camp, with the Saviour, to ‘relearn’ what we thought we understood before. I used to believe, that a person who had had a conversion expreience of being Born Again, would ‘act’ like a christian and ‘love’ fellow christians. How wrong I was about that one! A church friend, the Lord put by me at a rally last November, was being abused by another person, seated a few seats away from us! The Holy Spirit really used our sharing, and He set her free that afternoon during a special confession and forgiveness prayer time with a gifted minister. But she said to me more than once, ‘what gospel is she reading?’ Meaning the woman who had been abusing her? I really didn’t know how to answer her question. But I knew it was an important and valid one. This week, I realized what the answer was. She ( the abusive christian ) I will call her Crabby, was reading the gospel of Crabby, the gospel of whatever crabby wants to do, wants to have, wants to say, wants to think, wants to make other people do. Crabby was’nt even reading the ‘right’ gospel. She was reading her own narrow, narcissistic version of the gospel. The gospel of whatever was convenient for her to see hear and do, which was basically whatever the H she felt like doing, whenever, and to whomever. The friend the Holy Spirit healed and set free is doing well now. She’s so happy and fulfilled. And the power the abusive woman had over her ‘is broken!’ When we bring things out into the light, God can break the power of those things over our life. The truth really does set us free. When I first left that wonderful group that had later turned toxic, I think only two people from it phoned me or talked to me. And I did appreciate their kindness. But God directed me to leave, and not return. Most were afraid to contact me, because of fear that ‘they’ too might become ‘contaminated’ by associating with me. I remember the simply ‘awful’look a member gave me, in the waiting line for a crsuade two years later. She looked at me as if I was ‘something that had just crawled out from under a rock!’ Getting our self-respect back is one of the most important gifts of healthy self-love, that I believe we need to reconnect with after being painfully rejected by former ‘friends’. Remember how loving and compassionate Jesus was, to whomever came to Him and asked for healing. He always received them with love and compassion. He never turned them away. I believe He gives us the Grace to give ourselves some of that same wonderful Grace and compassion towards ourselves. This is not naricissistic! Really loving our neighbours as ourselves, with His love, seems to be where uncharitable churches fall from Grace so easily. Is there such a thing as ‘the wrong kind of love’? That by its very questionable fruit, is not real love at all? Why do evangelicals and fundies, turn their so called ‘love’ on and off like a carnal tap,if the love they are ‘loving others with, is real? I know when people treat me like a real human being, and respect me, I know what that feels like. And I know what the opposite feels like. I think the churches, plural, need a revival of the virtue of genuine respect. A revival of really caring about people again. Because I do not see or hear of believers really caring very much about fellow believers anymore. Not when good people like yourself, are treated like a traitor simply because you saw and knew that something was wrong that was going on, and you were silenced from talking about it. Maybe we all need a regular refresher course with God as to how to reconnect with his love for us, and for us to give that to ourselves too. I hope that some of my words have been a little help to you. Along with getting your sef-respect back, ask God to restore the gift of a sense of humor. That really helps release the emotions of frustration and hurt from losing friends over such a difficult matter. And remember, your feelings, thoughts, and emotions are a precious, precious part of your God given humanity. It is not a sin to feel, to have emotions, or to be angry. It is not a sin to be human. God created you. And He likes you just the way you are. If the people who hurt us are ’emotionally constipated’ that’s ‘their’ problem! But We, we can be real, open up to God and ourselves and each other, and live. Remember the movie MAME with Rosalind Russel! “Life is like a banquet. And most people are starving.” Live and enjoy the banquet of life God gives you. If you haven’t done it before, try journalling all of your feelings and emotions, putting everything you feel down on paper. Perhaps even write a little relational biography of past friendships. This is so healing for you. And it’s between you and God. Sometimes, the really gutsy stuff, that you write down, you can draw a Cross through the pages and then saying a prayer of letting go, with forgiveness, you can burn them outside in a safe place. I have had to do that many times. I think my neighbour thinks I’m a bit strange seeing me burn stuff in my little barbecue on the back patio. But it really helps. Have a wonderful day, and keep letting God love you. You are on your way to more Grace and Freedom in Jesus.

  3. CAMILLE THANKS FOR POSTING THIS. I TOLD MY HUSBAND ABOUT A BLACK WOMAN WHO VENTURED INTO EDUCATION, WHICH WAS’NT SOMETHING APPROVED OF IN HER DAY, FOR BLACK PEOPLE. AND THAT SHE HAS WRITTEN SOME GOOD WRITINGS. I WILL SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING ABOUT HER, OR WRITTEN BY HER IN THE LOCAL LIBRARY. Oh, sorry for the caps. This post is quite thoughtful, and provocative on several levels. HOW BLESSED WE HVE BEEN TO HAVE HAD EDUCATION AS A NORMAL AND NAURAL ‘RIGHT’!OH, DARN, THERE GO THE CAPS AGAIN. A wonderful christian leader who serves alongside his wife, said something on a teaching tape, that I heard many years ago that I have never forgotten. When ‘man’ silences women in the church, ie she is not allowed to speak up, say anything, etc., becase she’s ‘noly’ a woman, so ‘what’ does ‘she’ know, kind of thing, ‘satan cuts off half of the wisdom of the Church!” And Proverbs 31, says it all! “Her tongue is filled with wisdom.” IN THIS WONDERFUL BLCK WOMAN’S AMAZING STORY, IT WAS TWO CULTURES OPPOSED TO HER VENTURING OUT INTO ‘EDUCATION LAND.’ Oh, darn, there go the caps again. Sorry. anyway this is such a thoughtful theme. Sort of reminds me of how we all need to honor our precious blck neighbours more. “Lord please redeem our past neglects, forgive us of our sins, and teach us how to love and honor your wondeful black people. Amen.” Thanks again Camille, for this wonderful post.

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