As I write this, it has been a year since I first began this blog. When I started it, I asked the reader for grace, because it would take a long time to bear out my claims. Little did I know how long it would really take. Little tiny bits of my story and the reasons I write have made their way into the posts so far, but there is so much more.
For now, a year in, what I really want to address why I write HOW I write. I might have titled this post, “Why I write emphatically.” Or “Why I sometimes sound hysterical.” Or “Why I use a lot of caps, italics, and bolds (yes, I am yelling at the reader!!!!!).”
Firstly, I will say that I write as a woman. I say that with grief, but not shame. No, my voice is not measured or academic. I have been reproached by those who assure me that they can hear me without my needing such a shrill tone. But I learn a different lesson from their rebuke, because they have not heard me at all. And so, knowing that I make myself an object of ridicule somewhat, I find myself in the company of Rachel at Ramah, of Hannah before Eli, of Deborah before Barak. I am not drunk, but I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have told many stories, but the worst ones are still hidden in my heart ’til I can dare to tell them.
What breaks my heart the most as I tell my stories is that I was never alone as I experienced them, but always in fellowship. There is no reason that many others did not see what my husband and I saw, but they did not care to. There were so many who rode along, not noticing the suffering all around them, the loss, not crying out for the Deliverer instead of dancing in the ecstasy of denial. Or if they did notice and cry, seeking deliverance where He did not ordain it (MORE time in the prayer room!)…seeking deliverance without humbling themselves in repentance. And there were so many who shut their eyes, carefully convincing themselves that what God desires most is comfortable, complacent harmony at any cost. They force themselves to believe, even in the wake of murder, rape, and abuse, that God is most concerned that nobody be critical.
I write, however, believing that there are others like me who ARE crying out inside for the Deliverer, filled with turmoil and inner confusion as they try harder and harder to be faithful to God, to their leaders, to their family and friends. I write and I pray that they will stumble across my blog.
But back to my shrill tone, particularly with Barak.
No, not the president. With the men of the church. With the pastors and leaders and fathers who misled me, who wouldn’t discern the fruit so became drunk and didn’t notice those dying around them, who rolled on the floor laughing in Toronto while the sheep were being devoured, who love each other’s praise seeking positions in the movements and will trod on the heads and backs of their faithful followers to do it, who will stab you in the back no matter how pure your love for them if their prophetic voice tells them you are a threat.
As I shout, I know it ought not to be this way. I know that God did not appoint women to teach men, to lead them out of doctrinal error or teach them the ways of God. One of my posts appeared on another site, and an astute commenter wrote something like this, “Again a woman writes and exposes this movement. Where are the men???” Far from being offended, I rejoiced that someone else could see this crucial question. Where are the men? Spiritually drunk, fearing loss of position, loving men’s praise, allowing false prophecy, refusing to discern…passive. The shepherds and fathers who were appointed to steward God’s house, but have ushered the idolatry of the NAR into the church have been men that I have loved and honored, served and respected. I do not covet their positions. I wail because they have abdicated them.
But everyone knows that if you want to plunder a man’s house, it’s a good idea to get him drunk first.
And so I find myself like Deborah, who tells Barak freely that it is to his shame that “the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman,” insinuating that she will gather her courage and share his post reluctantly, only because of his failure. I take no joy in shouting shrilly and becoming hoarse, or charging into battle. I love a gentle and quiet spirit, and because my husband is no passive man-pleaser, in my home I live at peace and speak softly (most of the time…smile).
If you are a man, especially a man with some influence in God’s church, and you are disturbed and annoyed at my tone then I say to you, I cannot dance and wave flags with you any more, sigh at your lofty sermons, or discuss dreams and visions. I cannot read your books or attend your conferences. And I cannot watch the generation I mother fall into the pit you allowed the enemy to dig for them in the center of the church. I am sorry that my voice grates on your ears, but the enemy has swept in like a flood, and the Lord will sell what he sells into my hands. No one would be more pleased than me if you would rise up, take your place in the chariot, and bring peace and order to God’s house again.
To all those godly men who are fighting the good fight of faith, without the esteem of platforms or book-signings, generous earnings from ear-tickling teachings, or the notoriety of conference followings, strength and grace to you, and many thanks. I hear stories of the men who met with the leadership when the “Toronto Blessing” came knocking at the church’s door, and begged them to discern, only to be sent away to find another church. I hear of pastors here and there who stood at the gate of their church and said, “No. This is not of God, and it is not welcome here.” I have never heard of these men receiving great praise and esteem for being faithful to God, but they must watch the tens of thousands flock to the church that sponsors the Jesus Culture concert or OneThing and wonder at the injustice. To you quietly faithful men who have paid a cost that those you protect probably never even realize, I esteem you and thank you. And I remember that to those who do not receive their reward in front of the congregation, Jesus said, “Great is your reward in heaven.” The pay is not always good here on earth for faithful shepherds, but God is planning an eternal reward.
Finally, much honor and thanks to my extraordinary lion of a husband, who has paid unfathomable cost to shepherd the people of God according to His ways and standards, not bowing to fear of man or their accusations from without or within, but soft and teachable always before the Lord. I would not have made it out on my own, and I would have nothing to write unless you had led me back to the gospel. I have never known anyone as courageous.
*The women of the Bible I referenced are in Jeremiah 31, 1 Samuel 1, and especially Deborah and Barak in Judges 4.