Attempts to shame, cajole, or threaten people to keep them from coming to new theological perspectives is spiritually abusive. We have got to start taking note of what this looks like and call it out publicly when we see it.
the penal substitutionary atonement theory is just one more toxic belief created by patriarchal Christianity. It does not reflect the nature or desires of God any more than the sexual slavery and genocides seen throughout the Bible reflect God’s purposes. Those things are descriptive of human cultures during those eras, and the Bible records human attempts to understand God with the explanations available to them during their time in history.
Rage has been my friend for a very long time. We have had a complicated relationship full of betrayals and misunderstandings, and truthfully, I’ve been the hurtful one. Rage has stuck by me even when I didn’t love her like she deserved to be loved. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, my pastor’s college-aged son came out as gay. The church was in uproar. I didn’t even know what “gay” meant, but I was heartbroken that the…
I did not expect to wake up this angry today, but grief is a weird companion and where trauma rears its head can rarely be anticipated. Yesterday morning, I received an email from a friend who is still employed by my previous organization, PIONEERS (though not for much longer). She wanted to know if I had seen this article yet. “Sounds similar to your situation,” she said. She had recently found the author, Breanna, through a podcast and suspected it was a…
I was delighted to be invited to be a guest on the Faith and Feminism Podcast. Meghan and I had a wonderful conversation exploring the reality of Patriarchy and Colonialism in Western missions work. I deeply believe that things can be done better and offered my perspective on how that is possible. You can listen to our conversation here.
As long as I am a deconstructing Christian, my old community can feel sorry for me and pray for me and my doubts and questions. But if I reconstruct rather than return, it is time to abandon me, warn others about me, and pray against me for the spiritual harm that I am capable of inflicting on others
Grief probably saved my life. Years before I would have taken it all on the chin, denied my suffering, and carried on as if none of it mattered. But in the aftermath of that trauma, Grief was my companion. She held me and let me rage and cry and feel sorry for myself. And to my complete shock, Joy was birthed in that season of pain.
All this to say, I think it’s time to share my experience in Bali for those who care enough to read it. For the past year, I’ve sat with this document – read it a few times to try to process and heal, but I’ve been afraid to share it beyond my closest circle of friends. Truthfully, I’ve been afraid that I will be told that what happened wasn’t that big of a deal or that we are still struggling nearly 2 years later means that we are weak and pathetic. I am also afraid that former colleagues will somehow read it, and I will once again be perceived as the community’s monster and the scapegoating will somehow find me again.
I was told that being a woman meant that I was supposed to know my place and allow a man to protect me. I was to go second, a step behind him, into the adventure God was calling him to. My role was to submit, to support, and to follow. That didn’t work out so well.
God becoming human wasn’t simply a thing that happened, it is proof of his nature to bend low, to speak in ways that we can understand, to wrap himself in coverings that make sense to us, and to give us an answer that we can understand to this exact question.