Monthly Archives: May 2013

Doug Bicknell’s Story – Part 2

dougbicknellDoug was on the floor, writhing, curled up in a fetal position. He made groaning sounds like one might hear on the battle front from a wounded man safe in a fox hole.  The toll of breaking his silence was FEAR, intense fear.  His whole body rocked and shook in front of me.  I  felt  his fear in the air. I did not get up and touch or hug him.  I was also in shock. [A couple years later that lack of affection was pointed out to me as I attended a counseling session with Doug from his sexual abuse counselor.  It was years after the abuse, but he still had a visceral reaction if he talked about the abuse.  I sat in a chair a few feet from him as he cried. The counselor asked me why I did not go to him and hug him..comfort him.  I had no answer but in my heart I knew his visceral response also affected me as a member of the cult and as his mom who failed to protect him from the IFB abuse.]

I found myself in a state of shock when Doug first told me about his abuse.  I didn’t move from my chair.  When I was able to talk after his sudden disclosure I asked him, “Why didn’t you tell me this back then?” Doug sobbed, sitting on the floor now and holding his legs against his heart as though to give himself a hug. , “I didn’t know that what had happened was sex abuse! I thought it was the big punishment that happened when you are really bad!”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Do you mean that before your brother Scott  was abused sexually  by his teacher you were  sexually abused?” He moaned, “Yeah!” I asked again, “Why didn’t you tell us then?” Doug was calming down some and repeated as though to defend himself. “At the time I did not know that he had done sex  abuse to me. I never wanted to tell you later on because you got so sick when that happened to Scott! I wanted to protect you, so I never told anyone until I told Leon today. I thought that if I told Leon maybe I’d get better and not drink so much. Leon was glad that I told him, but he made me promise to tell you.” I took a deep breath, “Doug, I want you to call your dad. He was there that day. He knew that you could not even sit down in the car.” Doug hung his head. “Dad won’t believe me.” I insisted, “Doug, he was there and will remember the spanking.” Doug sobbed, “What if he doesn’t believe me?” Feeling unable to deal with what I was hearing, I said, “He believed Scott. He’ll believe you. You have to tell him. I can’t  help you alone!” Doug finally dialed up his dad. He sobbed through the details  on the phone to his father.  I knew what  his dad was feeling since I had just been through it.  Once again I listened, numb with shock as he wept the words of what had happened to him.  There was no sounds for a while..until I heard Doug answer for his father the same questions I had asked. We felt guilty as parents.  How could I have failed to investigate further when the spanking first occurred? How could one small family with just two sons be the target of such egregious abuse and total devastation at the hands of sexual predators in IFB educator’s clothing?  Doug cried for a while longer after the call to his father and then he left.  I knew he would be reaching out to alcohol to anesthetize  the overwhelming feelings of fear.

Later that night I called Doug’s  father and asked what we should do. His voice was distant. “This is really big, Nancy. “ Doug’s father Paul said, “The church is way too powerful in the community and in the government for us to even consider doing anything.” I was dumfounded. “Paul! That’s what we did with Scott and look what happened.” I knew he felt angry but helpless. “He is too big Nancy. We need to listen to him and support him. That’s all we can do.” It was almost as if we were re-living Scott’s abuse story. We were going to do the same thing again. The past is the best predictor of the future. History was going to repeat itself on this run away train.

The next day Doug  begged me not to talk about the sexual abuse  to anyone. He was convinced that horrible things would happen to us and that we would be hurt. “What do you mean, Doug?” I inquired. “Like Mr _________ would shoot us or bomb our house or something?” There was no dissuading Doug. “Yeah, he has lots of power like that.” As a clinically trained therapist myself, I recognized that Doug was captive as a victim of sexual abuse to that fearful, cruel space in his mind where he had hidden the details of the awful day when he was allegedly raped and beaten. I asked myself why I had not interrogated Doug further when he came home from school with a bloody butt? Why I did not take him to the doctor after seeing the blood droplets and welts?  Why had I not told Scott to tell his doctor when he was treated for Mono after his sexual abuse?  Why? Why had I failed my boys?  The guilt was heavy, but I was determined to get though this second son’s sexual abuse and remain well.

Each time I tried to ask Doug  more about the incident, Doug picked up on my anxiety. “See, I never should have told you because you will get sick again. I should have just taken it to my grave.” Each time I said, “Doug, I can get you into counseling” he would always respond with, “Why? So they can report it, take it  to court and then hear him say I am lying? Then I will drink myself to death because I would be so scared.” One time I asked, “What if there were other boys that he did this to?” Doug replied, “I know of one, I think. His father came into the school and yelled at Mr._________ so loud the kids heard it out in the halls.”  “Doug, let’s find that boy in the school yearbook.” “It’s no use, Mom. The boy left after that. He is not in the book.” I checked anyway. Doug was right. The boy was not in the yearbook. Doug pleaded with me, “Don’t talk about this anymore. I will get sick and vomit.” I did see him vomit after that talk. The pain of not telling was killing him. The pain of telling was killing him.  We were once again in the IFB trap.  But I knew what the IFB trap looked like now.  I would help my sons find a way to peace.  I went on to get my masters in counseling at the U. of W. and I would help my sons.  I had been called on by my son to keep his secret.  As a therapist, I knew sexual abuse survivors had to talk about the abuse or it would act as an infection sealed behind a scab.  Who would believe a drunk crying “rape”or his parents who had cried “rape” in regard to another son? What were the odds of this happening to them both in the same IFB school system? I was haunted by the fact that we had kept our boys completely in the dark about sex. No sex education in the IFB schools and my son thought he had received the “Big Spanking” until he learned what sex  abuse was.

I finally worked up enough courage to asked my IFB  friend Dena—a friend of mine from Calvary whose boys were about the same age as mine—if her boys had been spanked at the Christian school. “I am sure they were,” she said. “They would get spanked again at home for being spanked at school.” I probed further. “Do you know if they had to pull their pants down at school?” She paused a moment. “I think so. In the office there was a wooden paddle with holes drilled in it that was used for spanking. Why do you ask?” “Well, Doug is very angry because of a spanking he got at school and I want him to talk to a counselor.” “Nancy, we parents signed papers giving them permission to spank our kids. You signed a paper too.” “Dena, I never knew they would pull their pants down.” “Well, Nancy, all I know is that we let them. I don’t think they spank anymore…if that helps you.”

When I heard Dena’s defensiveness I knew this was not going to be something about which I could talk openly. There I was, keeping secrets in the IFB church again. Déjà vu! Each church service that I attended, the anger welled up inside me as I looked at the old man who had allegedly raped my child. He was smiling, singing, laughing while my son was dying. The “dunt … Dunt … Dunt… DUNT… DUNT …DUNT” reverberated in my mind. This was just too much!

I began searching online for information about IFB abuses. The first time that I typed the search words “sexual abuse in the IFB church” I was afraid the computer would grow arms, reach out and hurt me. It seems that Doug had passed on his intense childhood fears to me. When nothing happened, I started reading the articles. I was amazed and appalled. The prevalence of sexual abuse in an IFB setting was equivalent to, or greater than the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandals. Entire sites were dedicated to revealing IFB abusers. Numerous blogs disclosed horrendous stories of IFB abuse. Some of the stories were even written about  IFB Cock Roosters that I knew from my old IFB Island like Lester Roloff and Jack Hyles.  I also knew that the  statute of limitation was past for Doug and Scott. I felt  forced to keep secret the identity of my little boy’s alleged rapist—Mr. He-Whom-We-Cannot-Speak-Of—is very upsetting to me. He has not been charged. He has not been convicted. I knew he never will be.

Eventually I was able to convince Doug we should tell Pastor Luv (not his real name) what had happened to him.  The  IFB assistant pastor listened as Doug tearfully told him about what happened.  The pastor said he would help us and I gave him Scott’s story also. He was devastated..or he seemed to be. In a few weeks it was evident that nothing was being done  at the church level.  In a last ditch effort to be heard  my husband and I  scheduled an appointment with the head pastor at the church. He was polite and listen as I told him about what happened to Doug and had given him a copy of Scott’s story a few days earlier   Pastor  Loggans acted concerned. I named other cases in his church of sexual abuse I was aware of.  He listened and was aware of  almost all the cases except Doug..Doug’s case was new to him.  I thought the pastor  would go alone to talk to the police since I knew Scott had  reported  to the police but since the statute of limitations was up the Watertown police never even took a report. I thought the police might listen to the Pastor of the IFB church who was concerned about a former employee’s  criminal behaviors to a child.  Doug was expecting he would need to giver a report to the police….HOWEVER weeks went by and nothing happened. Finally I confronted Pastor Luv and he told me that Pastor Loggans did not believe anything had happened to Doug so we should look for another church.

Nothing was being done at the church level, but I kept going to church, praying something would break loose as Doug was continuing to drink and suffer from PTSD.  Then it happened….the last straw when Doug’s abuser was the greeter at church on Mother’s Day and handed me a rose…well I decided to talk to him myself.  He denied the abuse and answered through tearful eyes that he loved those boys he spanked and that they loved him. I walked away that Mother’s Day very upset.  I  was  in the  same Sunday school class as Dr. Phelps ( Tina Anderson’s story had not come to light yet) and I stopped him in the hall after class and blurted out about my son’s sexual abuse.  He said to take him to the police and that he had no power in the church. I then told him that my other son had been abused at Maranatha Baptist  Academy by a teacher when he was 16.  He walked away from me saying he did know about that. He went into the church service with his Bible and never looked back at me crying in the hallway of the church.  I felt hopeless and had to find another way to help my sons.

I started using the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (cult) Survivors sight for support and encouraged Scott and Doug to tell their stories like others were doing and get some support.  Immediately we were supported for the first time since the abuse had occurred by other IFB survivors.  We had to stop going to the church once the stories came out and we  were immediately shunned.  We received  an anonymous letter accusing Doug of lying and secondary abuse through personal messages on Facebook.  It was a dark time and Doug’s drinking escalated  and he even overdosed on his medication as the abuse continued.  His worst fears of being blamed and saying he was a liar were coming true.

He  had another confession to make .  He had continued bleeding from the time of the abuse.  He admitted hiding his underwear and making sure I was unaware of the physical damage.  As is the nature of anal tearing the wounds do not heal well due to the bacteria and the continual pressure.  I insisted he tell his medical  doctor what had happened to him as a child  and he  eventually  had surgery to repair damage.   I talked with the surgeon and she confirmed the tearing and the medical need for a colostomy if the bleeding continued.  That surgery coinciding with the blaming and secondary abuse was one of the darkest times in our lives.   It was time to  feel, deal and heal.

Doug  Finds in His Words

     Eventually there was a formal interview set up for Scott and Doug  to tell their stories.  A chance to be heard and not judged.  Scott talked about the details of his sexual abuse and the spankings at school.  Scott’s voice was loud and clear…and then it was Doug’s turn to speak to the interviewer.

He described how he felt he was not accepted at the IFB school as a child. He  saw himself as bad because the teachers had told him through their actions and words that he deserved the Christ-like crushing blows of the Spanking Board. Doug had  been labeled as bad and he wore that identity.  I was in the next room during the interview that took place in our home. It was during  Doug’s interview when I  had the vision of the picture I painted on the lead page to this story. Doug thought that Jesus wanted him beat like this. I cried at that point… I listened and learned that  Doug  was blamed for many things by Mr._________ who found fault with him at every turn.  Once during a spanking session by M_________ Doug  had been caught with a magazine in his pants  put  under his underwear to hide the padding of the paper.  Some student wore extra underwear and  did what ever they needed to do to cut the pain of the board against their bottom. The spanking session seemed somewhat formal as I hear Doug tell the interviewer he had to stand and hang onto a chair in the office and bend over it to keep from falling after the pressure of the swat would force the whole body forward.  Doug demonstrated how Mr _______ held the 24 inch x 1 inch thick board in his hand and swing using a whole body twist of force.  Once Doug had been caught with the  paper in his underwear he had to  “Drop his Drawers”.  Drop the Drawers was a term used for bare butt spanking.  Doug began to cry as he told the  interviewer he had determined he was not going to cry because he knew Mr _______ wanted him to cry.  Doug went into that visceral response and looked down at the floor as he described the blows.  He shared that he counted them, wackkkkkkk…Whack… He was in what I saw as a kind of flashback as he continued to tell the interviewer about the pain and the fear. The Fear that had never left, it was the fear he had that “He just kept hitting me and I thought he was going to kill me.  The interviewer sat with Doug and we are all in tears as we relived those moments with Doug in that room with the spanker.  Doug paused …” I had never heard Doug tell the details of what had happened…but today he had found his voice for those moments with the interviewer. Why? I thought again, had he not told me…and now he was telling the interviewer, but I was glad he was telling what had happened…..the whole truth.  Doug found his voice with a man who was listening to him with compassion….feeling Doug’s pain and keeping unnecessary noise from interrupting Doug as we were all shocked and  in the room  we fought to hold back our own tears. No one could reach into  the camera to comfort Doug because we knew he needed to tell his story. The interviewer  listened with the eyes and ears of a man who had seen this story before. He had interviewed man/ boy love stories overseas and seemed to know how to allow Doug to express his pain in a safe place and with a safe person. Doug  then said he was hit 53 times and repeated “ I thought he was going to kill me”…and then  I felt a different kind of pressure..and he had his way with me. The interviewer asked him what that meant and Doug repeated  Mr __________ had his way with him. He said the words out loud describing the act of sexual abuse. Doug is shaking  now.

He could never tell the whole story before and now he was telling it … . He described the pain…when the interviewer  asked him what happened then” Doug replied when he stopped he sent me to the bath room…Why the interviewer said…  No one in the rooms moved.  We seemed to be honoring this moment in time…the moment when a young man sets himself free of the secrets.  A moment to be respected as perhaps life changing.

I had to to get myself together. And not make a sigh or groan  that the camera ‘s audio could pick up.  The interviewer asked Doug “What did he do then.”  Doug answer in a matter of fact way.  He told me to go into his office bathroom and clean up.”  I realized at that point in the interview that Mr. __________  must have had blood on him so he knew that Doug needed the clean up…what a sick, evil man I thought…..What did he say to you when you came out , the interviewer said.   When I came out Mr _________ said…Now let that be a lesson to you. He acted like nothing had just happened and  Doug walked back into the class room.   Doug said he felt ashamed. Why? Because he had cried and the girls  he liked as his friends in his class could see his tears. He was a Broken man the interviewer said. .  We were all stunned

I had never heard the whole story before, We were all just in a kind of shock from what we had just heard.  I realized  the  years of using alcohol had somehow preserved Doug’s story in his mind. He was fixated back to the time of the abuse and although a 40 year old man was talking to the interviewer  …really a  boy was telling  what happened to him the day it happened. We had all been transported back in time,through the alcohol time machine and witnessed a boy, then too afraid to speak out,speak out with a mans voice. It was chilling.

Doug went up to his room. I was fearful that telling the story of his abuse may have been emotionally overwhelming, so I asked his friend Shannon to check on him. There was a blood curdling scream and Shannon flew down the steps….The interviewer  and I look at each other.  My eyes were frozen in time on the interviewer  and in my mind I saw Doug hung, shot or bleeding in his room…the silence was broken when Shannon said the cat got a mouse. Wow…what a scare…I was so glad Doug’s story in all its emotional vividness was on tape  He sees himself as a broken man today and we all work together to help him heal. It took for Doug to tell all of the story. And it will take many more years to fix the brokenness in us all.

The thing that strikes me today is the fact the MR _______ only had a degree of some kind in Bible…how did he become a IFB leader. When the Bible is the only teacher and the IFB twist and turn the Word to make the shepherds staff into a beating board, then our children suffer. The men writing these books and expounding their wisdom on child development do not have degrees in child development or even teaching…only bible training.   So when schools are left to uneducated and unregulated systems, as that school was, stories like Doug’s eventually will be told. The secrets are too hard to hold in yet we hold silent the abusers name at every corner when we want to scream the name from the mountain tops.  We can’t go to court.  There should be no statute of limitations on sexual abuse so these abusers names can go on record and we don’t have to carry around a gunnysack with  the name of an abuser tucked inside. We are muzzled, as is Doug with the name of a man who helped create the muzzle that silences us.

Click here for Doug Bicknell’s Story – Part 1

There Was No Hierarchy and All were EQUAL

equality“The whole body of Christians,” observes Hatch, “was upon a level ; ‘All ye are brethren.‘ The distinctions which St. Paul makes between Christians are based not upon office, but upon varieties of spiritual power. . . . The gift of ruling is not different in kind from the gift of healing. The expression, ‘He that ruleth,’ is co-ordinate with ‘he that exhorteth,’ ‘he that giveth,’ ‘he that showeth mercy.’  Of one or other of these gifts every Christian was a partaker. [This included the women]” “The kingdom of Christ,” says Dr. Lightfoot, “has no sacerdotal system. [Sacerdotalism is the belief that propitiatory sacrifices for sin require the intervention of a priest.]  It interposes no sacrificial tribe or class between God and man, by whose intervention alone God is reconciled and man forgiven. . . . Every member of the human family is potentially a member of the Church, and as such a priest of God [This includes the women]. … In the records of the apostolic Churches, the sacerdotal title is never once conferred upon [the special officers]. The only priests under the Gospel, designated as such in the New Testament, are the saints, the members of the Christian brotherhood. As individuals, all Christians are alike. . . . Tertullian,” he observes,” is the first to assert direct sacerdotal claims on behalf of the Christian ministry.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine.

During the early era of the church, there were no such rulers in the church as Pastors and Priests. Every believer, under the Gospel, was considered part of a ‘brotherhood’ of believers that knew no such ruler over them. The early corruptions that ensued by those like Tertullian, brought into the early church, the Sacerdotal system and hierarchy that exists today.  Because of power, prestige and money, man has corrupted the simplistic system where all were equal and all had input in everything that the body of believers did to help the sick, the poor and the needy. Women and men were EQUAL under the original system that existed. Tertullian, and others like him, are responsible for the the male-dominated hierarchy that exists. . . a hierarchy that has brought much corruption to the church and, abuse of women throughout history. God never meant for women to be subjugated to men. Subjugation and servitude were woven into scripture [by translators] in order to gain control over women for sexual advantage and power, as history affirms. To learn more, please read the many articles on this blog, listed below for your convenience, that expose these changes that religious men of old have done in translation to place women in an unequal position, setting them up for abuse. They also expose the corruption and lies that have been inserted into translation to control and manipulate congregants for personal gain.

For those wishing to de-brainwash from a “religious” mentality and be set free “in truth,” here are just a few articles from my blog that will help in that process. John 8:32  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Be sure to subscribe to my news feed so you don’t miss any subsequent articles!

Religion’s Cell Articles by Cynthia McClaskey

Do You GIVE to GET from God?

giving2“Little need be said on the subject of ALMSGIVING. The example so fully set by the Apostles was nobly followed by the Church. The East and the West vied with each other in their generous care of the widow and orphan, the sick, the poor  and the captive, in the relief of all who were in distress, far off or near. But a danger lay in the tendency, early developed, to regard acts of charity as meritorious in themselves, as entries on the right side of the ledger in the account between the soul and God. We find this erroneous notion beginning to show itself as early as in the Shepherd of Hermas. “If you do any good beyond what is commanded by God, you will gain for yourself more abundant glory, and will be more honoured by God than you would other wise be.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History from the Death of Constantine.

Throughout history we find this erroneous notion of giving to “gain from God” in place in many religious sects around the world. The populous as a whole believes that if they do this or that for God, they will be blessed of God. Not so. God does not give based on what WE do for him. God’s blessings are not guaranteed anyone just because they go beyond what God commands us to do. In fact, there are some people who will even use “giving” as a means to get from others what they desire for themselves. Preachers are notorious in doing this. They gain for themselves by forcing this “rule” of giving onto the backs of their congregants.  There are even some sects that teach that if they give their life for their “God” that they will gain this or that from God in heaven.  How deceitful this thinking is. Little do they realize that they cannot command God to give because of anything they do or do not do. God does not operate within the confines and parameters of man’s finite thinking.

Many Christians also believe that if they attend church, serve in the ministry, have a bus route, sing in the choir, go knocking on doors to tell people how to be saved, etc., etc., that God will surely bless them. Sadly, they soon find that the trials of life are no respecter of persons. Christians and non-Christians alike will suffer hardships; service or good deeds are not the STANDARD by which God doles out his hand of blessing.  They are not the measure by which God chooses who he is pleased with!

Usually, one who is “giving to get” from God, no matter what it is they are wanting from him, is only thinking about themselves. They attend church to gain God’s blessings. They work in the ministry to gain God’s blessings. They do this or that for others, to gain God’s blessings.  That’s selfish. They are only thinking about themselves and no one else.  Or, are they doing this out of fear that God will punish them if they don’t?   Again, that fear is selfish!  Either way, they are focused on themselves and what God will do for them if they do this or that.  Who sincerely would want to bless a selfish person? I mean, really bless.  It is only when we get our eyes off ourselves and our wants and needs and onto blessing others, and, being a blessing to others without ulterior motives of receiving in kind from ANYONE, even GOD, that we will see the hand of God move in our lives to bless. It is the good things that we do for others that no one else sees, that moves God’s hand of blessing in our lives. Sadly, most have forgotten that. Many have become so desperate for themselves and their needs, that they have forgotten that they are not alone in their need. Many others are in the same situation. If only they were indeed genuinely concerned for their fellow man and gave, out of their need, to help another in need, would they unlock the door to the storehouses of God’s blessings in their lives.

I am sure some may disagree with me on this issue, and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. . . and so, I am entitled to mine. If you disagree, then amicably “agree to disagree with me.”

The Offerings Do Not Go To The Church

givingOn ” the day called Sunday,” says Justin, “all who live in cities or in the country assemble in
one place, and the memoirs of the Apostles, or the writings of the Prophets, are read as long as time permits ; and when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying, Amen : and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given ; and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. They who are well to-do and willing give what each thinks fit ; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who sends assistance to the orphans, and widows, and the sick, and those who are in bonds, and strangers, in a word to all who are in need.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine

On “Sunday” all the money that was collected was given to the orphans, widows, the sick, those who are in bonds, strangers, and those who were in need. The monies, food, water and wine that was brought by all was distributed amongst the families within the assembly including those who could not make the assembly. (Notice there is NO CHURCH BUILDING).

IT WAS NOT:

  • Given to the President of the assembly for his salary and needs.
  • Given for the salaries and needs of those on staff.
  • Used to pay for a building of worship.
  • Used to pay for the church’s Christian school.
  • Given to missionaries that came through to preach.
  • Used to buy a new car, new house or other luxuries for the president of the assembly.

All monies collected were given to those inside and OUTSIDE of the CHURCH assembly that were poor and in need. The corruption that came with the collection of monies is just another reason that we should question everything that a church does with our money. Why give money to a church when you can give to those in need yourself. God never commanded us to give to a religious institution. He commanded us to give to the poor and needy. When you give to a religious organization and they control where the money is spent, you are just throwing your money into the pockets of the leadership, and the majority of it, will never reach those who truly need it. Think about it. Who REALLY benefits the most from your giving? The church and its leader, or the poor and needy? The church and its leader, or those within the assembly that are poor and in need of it?

If you have not read my book, The Truth About Tithing, I would highly recommend one do so and learn the reason why churches push Tithing for the Gentile populous that were never under the Old Testament covenant that included tithing. Only the Jews were under that law and that covenant has been annulled through Christ and his sacrifice on the cross.

A little Early Church History on Baptism and Women Preachers

ordained women in the early church“That the Apostles generally made use of water-baptism cannot however, be doubted; although Paul’s thanksgiving for having himself baptised so few of the Corinthian converts is significant.

At first the act was of the simplest kind and might be per formed by any one.

“Even laymen have the right to baptise, for what is equally received can be equally given.”  – Tertullian.

How soon a superstitious value began to be attached to it we have seen in the story of the Apostle John and the robber. The earliest description of the rite to be found in any Christian author is contained (as in the case of worship) in Justin Martyr’s first Apology (A.D. 138). Probably by that time the new converts were required to pass through a course of religious instruction in preparation for it, whence they were called catechumens, i.e. persons under oral instruction. We have seen in the last chapter how great progress ritualistic ideas had made in Justin’s time, in regard to the bread and wine. The same is apparent in his manner of treating baptism.

Tertullian’s treatise on baptism was launched against the followers of a woman named Quintilla, a preacher of the Gospel at Carthage a little before his time. He is very severe and even scurrilous against the members of this sect, who rejected water baptism as useless, and held that faith alone is now, as it was in Abraham s time, sufficient for salvation. There were other sects at the same period who rejected both water-baptism and the Eucharist. Such were the Ascodrutae, who held, “that the divine mysteries, being images of invisible things, are not to be accomplished by the things which are seen, or the incorporeal by that which is visible and corporeal, but that the true knowledge of that which exists is complete redemption.” They were said to be “a sort of Gnostics,” and the truth which they held may perhaps have been largely mixed with error; but it is also possible that they may have incurred undeserved censure on account of their protest against the encroachments of ritualism. The Seleucians and Hermians, again, rejected water-baptism, maintaining that it was not instituted by Christ, and laying stress on John the Baptist s words : “I indeed baptise you with water,” etc. The number of such dissidents may have been much larger than history declares, and the fact of their existence indicates that even in this early age, there was not wanting in the Church a spirit of protest against the leaven of formality and ceremonial observances.”

— Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine, 1903

From the very early ages of Christianity, ceremony and “formality” began to creep into the early church (corruption). What came to mankind as “simple and easy to administer” became rallying points for religious men to elevate themselves and their “uninspired” interpretations into ritualistic observances and rules for early Christians to follow.  Also notice that there WERE women preachers of the Gospel, that were thus “labeled” by these early religious leaders to defame them and stop people from listening to what they had to say.  Nothing has changed much since that time. Women are still being “labeled” and castigated for preaching the Gospel by men who refuse to admit that God gave women “freedom” in Christ to do so as his redeemed. “We are neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.”

Men’s interpretations and preconceptions fill the anals of history with rhetoric regarding women and their service within the body of Christ; all of which, is designed to degrade and humiliate them, causing their words to fall on deaf ears. Throughout early history, the corruptions of men are well shown; as are the “attitudes” regarding women.  Every opportunity to “change” the simplicity of Christ into something only the “elite” can do, is well documented. Man has always taken advantage of what God has given to interject his own ideas, opinions and preconceptions.  Leaven is leaven. There is much leaven in the “church systems” of the world that have resorted to “rules,” “observances,” “rituals,” and religious dogma, to constrain people into a mold and belief system, that is not of God.

Must Women Obey their Husbands?

corruptionThis topic of “obedience” to one’s spouse, co-mingled with “submission” to one’s spouse, has been a weapon the church has used throughout history to subjugate women to men. Throughout the many articles on this blog, I have consistently exposed the many “lies” that have been inserted into the English translation of the Bible in order to direct women everywhere to these two things. Religious men of old have consistently written women out of places of autonomy, equality, honor and dignity in the scriptures. As a result of this, women have borne the brunt of some of the most atrocious abuses known to man – sexual exploitation, rape, incest, murder, mutilation, isolation, psychological abuse and trauma, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc.  Inequality will always lead to abuse. Knowing this, it is very important that the twisting of scripture, the lies, the preconceptions and the opinions of men be rooted out of the scriptures and the REAL TRUTH exposed regarding women. This said, the next topic I wish to cover is this: Must Women Obey their Husbands?

As Christian women, we have been taught from an early age that we MUST obey our husbands. Men interchange “obey” with “submit”. Because of this teaching, women have been domestically abused throughout history by their husbands. Many religious sects, like the one I came out of – –  the Independent Fundamental Baptists – – teach this very concept. Not only this, because of this teaching, this sect is filled with egotistical and self-centered men that throw their weight around and “bully” their wives into submission to them.  They have adopted the attitude of, “It’s my way or the highway!”  Or, worse, “Do as I say, or else!”  The pride and arrogance of these men lead them to publicly degrade women and treat them as though they are ignorant, subhuman beings that MUST have them and their “wisdom” and “direction” in order to exist.  Ignorantly, we have blind leaders leading the blind and, as a result, they both fall into the ditch. So, let’s talk about this subject.  Once again, I quote a Greek and Hebrew Scholar, Katherine Bushnell from 1923:

MUST WOMEN OBEY?

The word “obedience” hupakoe, is quite different from the word “subjection.” Its corresponding verb from which it comes, is hupakouo, and means literally, “to listen to,” with the derived sense of “to obey.” It has always been translated “obey” in the New Testament excepting at one place, Acts 12:13, where Rhoda comes “to listen to” Peter’s knocking. This word has been used nowhere in respect to the wife’s duty to her husband, with one safe exception, in an illustration. In 1 Pet. 3:6 the Apostle points women to the example of Sarah, who “obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord,” or “Sir, as the same is often translated (Matt. 13:27; John 12:21, etc.). So did Jacob call Esau “lord,” though it was God’s revealed will that Jacob should hold the place of superiority; and Aaron called Moses, his younger brother, “lord,” and Moses called the striving Egyptians “lords” (Gen. 33:8, 14; Exod. 33:22; Acts 7:26). There was a rabbinical saying which Peter may have known and quoted here: “The wife of Abraham reverenced him and called him lord.” It is to be noted that Peter’s admonition is “subjection;” his illustration is subjection carried to the point of obedience. When giving a pattern for incitement we are very apt to take an extreme case, “Be unworldly; as Francis of Assisi, a wealthy young man, who renounced all his inheritance, and lived on alms.” By these words the spirit of Francis is the point urged; not the literal copying of his acts. So with Peter’s words here. And that spirit becomes all Christians alike. “In honour preferring one another.”

As far as Abraham and Sarah are concerned, we are left in no doubt as to this relation of obedience and respect being mutual and reciprocal; God commanded Abraham to call Sarah by the very respectful name of “Princess,” Gen. 17:15; and the strongest passage in the Bible seeming to enjoin obedience, as between husband and wife, is at Gen. 21:12, “And God said unto Abraham. . . in all that Sarah saith unto thee, obey her voice.” The Hebrew verb used here, translated into English, “hearken unto,” is the same word translated “obey” at Gen. 22:18. It means “to listen to,” as does the Greek word “to obey,” but it has been translated “obey” in 89 places in the Old Testament, and carries the sense “obey” as proved by the context, in scores of other places, just as it does in this passage, concerning which there is no doubt that Abraham was to obey in what Sarah told him to do,– “Cast out the bondwoman and her child.”

The question naturally asked: “But in the unique relation existing within the marriage bond, is not the wife bound to unquestioning obedience?” We do not so read the Bible. Turn to Lev. 20:18, where exists a commandment to prevent unhygienic conduct within the marriage relation. There is no question here but that God held both man and woman equally responsible for trampling upon this hygienic law; and this could not have been the case had the wife been bound to unquestioning obedience to her husband in this matter. In both the Greek and the Catholic Church, we understand that in the marriage service the conditions laid upon the bride and bridegroom are identical. In the United States the word “obey” is seldom used in the marriage ceremony. If, under the Mosaic law, the obligations and responsibilities of the matrimonial relation were identical for man and woman, as the passage cited from Leviticus seems to prove, it is exceedingly difficult to believe that the Gospel message is meant to place women on a lower plane of moral responsibility than the Mosaic law did.

To sum up: It seems clear that Jesus Christ MEANT WHAT HE SAID in the words, “No one CAN serve two masters.” It amounts to an impossibility, and God never demands the impossible. Mutual respect, honour, humility, meekness, forbearance, and the yielding of one’s preferences, are incumbent upon all believers to be exercised under all circumstances short of making allegiance with man such as one owes to God only. Sarah made a greater declaration than her limited intelligence in that age could have fully grasped, but God ordered Abraham to act in accordance with its inexorable law: “The SON of the bondwoman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” Let us pass over the circumstances that led to that decision in the Household of Faith,– and an utterance on Sarah’s part that has been misunderstood and misjudged, but we have not space to enter into it now,– and learn the lesson of the words themselves. God establishes no covenant relations with one in bondage. Moses’ words to Pharaoh knew no variation: “Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may SERVE ME.” They could not BOTH serve the Egyptians as bondsmen, and God. “No one CAN serve two masters.” God would not take them into full covenant relations with Himself until they were FREE. It is so today. Thousands of Christians, held in bondage by human companions, are crying out for a clearer realization of covenant relations with God, and God’s demand is ever the same: “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” God may remember His covenant with our fathers, but nevertheless we are NEVER in full covenant relations with Him until FREE. And this applies to women as well as to men. The freedom or bondage of the mother, moreover, both Sarah and St. Paul declare, shall determine the status of the son. No son of a bond-woman, because her spirit in him, can, as such, enter into full covenant relations with God. Fathers of sons, who hold their wives in sensual bondage, doom those sons to a personal sensual bondage. It is God’s own law, then, that one sex cannot get free and the other sex remain in bondage. It is impossible to understand the enormous extent to which all Christendom has been morally crippled in its progress by the attempt to keep the female sex in bondage, especially to the husband’s sensuality.

Let us remind ourselves again that when the women of apostolic times, who laboured with Paul in the Gospel, either listened to, read, or taught others from the text, Gen. 3:16, they must have understood and taught it as meaning, “Thou art turning away to thy husband, and he will rule over thee,”–for this is the reading of the Septuagint version, which they universally used, and this is the way early Church Fathers invariably quote the verse. These women would not have read, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”  (a corruption I have already exposed on this blog). Now without this verse, translated as we have it, and used as an index to Paul’s meaning when he talks on the “woman question,” we may well inquire how these women would have interpreted his words. What sense would Paul’s language about women have conveyed to women who had not been taught “the curse of Eve?” To women who never knew that Genesis taught (?) that God subordinated woman to man at the time of the Fall? To women who had never heard the Bible taught the wife to obey the husband, because Eve brought sin into the world? Or to a woman who had never heard that, according to the Bible, her “desire” must be under the husband’s control. Such was the condition of mind of the Gentile women, at least, who heard Paul’s letters read. They knew that their heathen religions taught that woman was her husband’s subordinate. But they did not have this teaching from Gen. 3:16, and if not from there, then they found it nowhere in the Old Testament. How differently they must therefore, have construed Paul’s language!

In place of such teachings as this about woman’s “desire,” they would have, rather, the recently uttered sayings of our Lord, standing out to their minds with startling clearness, because so unlike their Gentile teachings: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them: and they that exercise authority over them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so.” They were not to look upon this exercise of authority as a benevolent thing, but quite the contrary. “No one can serve two masters,” then how could a woman “serve” her husband and her God? And how could her husband be a “benefactor” to her, while exercising authority over her? “Be not yet called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ. . . Neither be ye called Masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased.” What a totally different sense have such words as these! And these are the teachings which would be much in the mind and thought of those early Christians, because so recently uttered by their Divine Master.

– – Katherine Bushnell, 1923

The magnitude of the corruption in scripture regarding “women” is mind-boggling. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out WHY MEN have made these changes to write women out of power and authority, honor and dignity….they are self-serving and self-seeking. They desire all power and control. They want their sexual desires met however they so desire and want their women to shut up about it. Self-serving and self-centered men, show no mercy, compassion, ethics or morality when it comes to women. Not all men are this way, but enough are, and have been, this way, that it has cost women everywhere their FREEDOM in society, in marriage, and in the “church.”

Marriage is a partnership where there is equality, honor dignity and respect shared between partners. It is not a dictatorship that produces abuse and bondage. The church is the same way; yet, has become a dictatorship to the point of using unethical means to silence and shame women everywhere and keep them in bondage and out of leadership.

Do You Know the WARNING SIGNS of ABUSE?

There’s a lot of sexual abuse going on underneath the shroud of “religion.”  It’s time we all became aware of it so we can watch out for ‘signs of abuse’ and protect women and children from this abuse. Also keep in mind that domestic abuse is a HUGE part of religious abuse, especially, in fundamentalist religious sects. It’s time we became aware of what the WARNING SIGNS of abuse are.

Recognizing the warning signs of domestic violence and other abuse

It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness any warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

General warning signs of domestic abuse

People who are being abused may:

  • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
  • Go along with everything their partner says and does
  • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

Warning signs of physical violence

People who are being physically abused may:

  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)

Warning signs of isolation

People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

  • Be restricted from seeing other family members and friends regardless of beliefs.
  • Rarely go out in public without either their partner (adult) or parent or guardian (child)
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car
  • Be restricted from going places (like the movies or the park) with friends, family or, other adults

The psychological warning signs of abuse

People who are being abused may:

  • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)
  • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal
  • Become afraid of others, especially, of the authorities that are there to help them
  • May result to cutting themselves or hurting themselves
  • May result to drugs and alcohol

Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse as a result of a religious organization

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Ask if something is wrong
  • Express concern
  • Listen and validate
  • Offer help
  • Support his or her decisions
  • If it’s a child, contact Child Protective Services or the Police immediately

Don’t:

  • Wait for him or her to come to you
  • Judge or blame
  • Pressure him or her
  • Give advice
  • Place conditions on your support

Adapted from: NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.

Do:

Ask if something is wrong
Express concern
Listen and validate
Offer help
Support his or her decisions if an adult

Don’t:

Wait for him or her to come to you
Judge or blame
Pressure him or her
Give advice
Place conditions on your support

If an adult: Talk to the person in private and let him or her know that you’re concerned. Point out the things you’ve noticed that make you worried. Tell the person that you’re there, whenever he or she feels ready to talk. Reassure the person that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let him or her know that you’ll help in any way you can.

If a child: Call Child Protective Services or the Police right away! Child abuse and Child Sexual Abuse is rampant in this country and we must protect our children from it. Your silence may cost a child his life in the aftermath of the abuse.

Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally abused or battered are depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help to get out, yet they’ve often been isolated from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

If you can think of other warning signs to add to this list, please feel free to do so by leaving your comment.

Paul’s Real Teaching as to Veiling – Part 2

truth_lieLately I have been covering the topic of Sex Bias in translation and how it has affected “meaning” of passages of scripture. These changes in translation have affected women throughout history in a very abusive way by subjugating them to men and their abuses. One of the many  teachings to help in subjugating women and taking away their power and authority and autonomy, is the following that I have been covering these last couple of weeks:  1 Cor. 11: 1-16

I would sincerely ask that you please click on these links to read the eight MISFITS of these verses by Hebrew and Greek Scholar, Katherine Bushnell: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.  Also read, Paul’s Real Teaching as to Unveiling – Part 1

Picking up where I left off in part one, we notice that Paul considers it his duty,  to go further, and tear away any remaining prejudice among Christian men, against women unveiling. Verses 7-9 are intended for this purpose, showing what “headship” in Christ means to the believer, and that woman’s relation to man is not unlike man’s relation to God (and woman’s to God also, for that matter), so that the same argument that would lead to his unveiling before God applies to her unveiling before man.

Verses 7-9 mean,–

7. For a [Christian] man ought not to veil the head because he is the image and glory of God. But woman is [also] the glory of man.

8. For man is not originally from woman [as from a despised and inferior source], but woman is from man.

9. Nor was the man created for the woman [to help her], but the woman for the man [to help him,–will cover what this means later.]

Poor, fallen, sinful man does not bear God’s image and likeness simply because he is a male! God is not male or female, so that one SEX bears His image more than the other. It is the glorified Jesus Christ who bears that image and manifests that glory (Heb. 1:3). It is only in HIM that humanity takes that standing before God. He is our Representative, our Head. It is because Christ, the Head of the redeemed man, is in heaven, there “to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24), that man is permitted to cast aside all tokens of guilt and condemnation on earth. As for us, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “But woman is the glory of man,” for she reflects credit on him. This is what the Apostle meant when he said of the Thessalonians, “Ye are our glory” (1 Thess. 2:19, 20); “glory” means “an outshining,”–the very opposite state of a veiled person. Read its Scriptural import in Prov. 17:6; 20:29; Psa. 3:3; Isai. 13:19; 20:5; 60:19; Ezck. 20; Luke 2:32; etc.

But why is Paul so interested in this matter as to veiling or unveiling in worship? In what way did it dishonour Christ? 2 Cor. 3:16-18, gives interesting light as to Paul’s teaching and Jewish practice. The Jew was expected to wear the tallith, in worship, as a sign of guilt and condemnation before the law; but Paul tells us that “When it (the Jewish nation) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.” It was not the veil itself, but what the veil signifies to Jewish converts, that  made it objectionable. The atonement of Jesus Christ had removed guilt and condemnation, from the heart of those who trusted the sufficiency of the atonement. And growth in grace depended upon trust in the removal of these, and hence the unveiled face. “We all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image, from glory to glory.” This truth applies to women as well as to men.

Verses 10-16 —

10. For this [additional] cause ought the woman to have authority over head [to unveil it] because of her angels [ who always behold God’s face].

11. Nevertheless, in the Lord, [i.e. among believers,] the woman is not [to be legislated for] apart from the man, nor the man from the woman.

12. For just as woman came out of man, so is man [born into the world] through woman and all Christians born of God. Judge of this matter among yourselves.

13. It is proper for a woman [at least] to pray unto God unveiled.

14. Nor is there anything in the nature of hair itself that teaches you that if a man wear it long it is a dishonour to him, while if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her, for her hair has been given her instead of a veil.

16. But if anyone thinks to be contentious [in defence of such a custom as either men or women veiling for worship], let him know that “we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God.”

We come now to the 10th verse, of which Dean Stanley says: “In the difficulty of its several parts, it stands alone in the New Testament, unless we except, perhaps, Rev. 13:18, or Gal. 3:20.” But the only difficulty encountered is to MAKE Paul say the precise opposite to what Paul clearly says here. That has indeed proved a difficult task. The real sense can be found through humility of spirit, where egotism fails. When the disciples asked the Lord which of them would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus set a child in their midst, and informed them that until they humbled themselves as such they could not even enter that kingdom. From the child He transferred the lesson to “one of these little ones that believe on Me,” i.e. to the believer humblest in rank among them, saying, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father who is in heaven,” Matt. 18:10. The words in verse 10 bear the translation, “because of her angels,” the definite article in Greek often having the force of a possessive pronoun, and thus the verse should have been rendered. Paul taught that “angels” were inferior in rank to redeemed man, 1 Cor. 6:3. They are ministering spirits to us, Heb. 1:14. Yet the most despised women’s angels stand before God, with no intervening veil, and behold His face. Shall not woman be permitted to do as much as her “ministering spirits” are allowed to do? Man unveils because Christ, his Head, is unveiled before God. woman “ought to have the right” to unveil because not only is Christ, her spiritual Head, unveiled before God, but man, her matrimonial head, also; and, if this were not enough, then her ministering spirits “do always behold the face” of God. This is the Apostle’s argument. Shall man attempt to require that woman veil out of respect for his authority (?) over her? Not when God does not require man to veil out of respect for God’s authority over man.

To meet the prejudices of man against woman, the Apostle has been obliged to discuss the sexes apart from each other, as though set in contrast, and he must now renounce this conception as unchristian. Verses 11 and 12 declare there is no such disunion “in the Lord,” but, as he says in Gal. 3:28, “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (R.V.).

(Verse 13) Then the Apostle declares: “It is proper that a woman pray unto God uncovered.” This is Paul’s simple statement of fact, and not a question. Greek does not alter the order of the words of a sentence to distinguish a question from a simple statement, as we do in English. We only need to altar the punctuation (of uninspired and recent invention), to change from one to the other, since there is no interrogative word in the sentence.

(Verse 14) “Nor doth even nature itself [of hair] teach you,” etc. Our idiomatic English would say, to express the same idea, “There is nothing in the nature of hair itself to teach you,”–a simple statement that appeals to everybody’s common sense, while, as a question, this is an absurdity. The entire Chinese nation of men disproves the statement of theologians that Nature gives women long hair and men short hair. No artist would dare paint a portrait of Jesus Christ with short hair. Is His hair “a shame” to Him?

But why does Paul discuss hair here? Because he has just said it was a fitting thing for a woman to uncover the head in prayer, and Jewish women would find it most difficult to overcome a false sense of shame in doing so, or in seeing other women do so, since uncovering the hair in public amounted to proof of adultery in Jewish estimation (see Paul’s Real Teaching as to Unveiling – Part 1).

Then comes Paul’s concluding statement, that if anyone is going to contend for either sex veiling for worship, or women for modesty, “We have no such custom”–veiling,–though we may have to make allowance for it, out of regard for the welfare of women, to save them from “disgrace.” John Stuart Mill has wisely remarked: “To pretend that Christianity was intended to stereotype existing forms of government and society, and protect them against change, is to reduce it to the level of Islamism or of Brahmism.”

— Katherine Bushnell, 1923

Men have changed scripture to “force” women into a place of servility and submission to them. The Bible has been used for centuries to subjugate and control women only because MEN have translated their preconceptions and opinions into them for dominance and control. Power, control, Ego, pride and arrogance are the root causes for these changes, pointing women toward subjection and abuse.  It’s time for the truth to be told and the lies exposed. Women need to have their honor, dignity and autonomy restored and all the many “labels” placed on them by religious, self-centered and self-seeking men, removed once and for all. Do any of these changes “look to the benefit” of women? Think about it. Answer: No. They have all been done to the benefit of men.

Paul’s Real Teaching as to Veiling – Part 1

truth
Through translation, man has corrupted scripture in order to have power and control over women. The TRUTH we are taught regarding women, is nothing more than lies wrapped up with the palatable (for men) trappings of men’s interpretations, preconceptions and opinions.

Now that we have covered all the changes to these passages due to preconceptions and opinions of men, let’s look at the real meaning of the following passages. What one will realize is that women have been done a great injustice on this subject because of translation. Instead of these passages covering the truth, they have been “pointed” by translators to a LIE. . . a “subjugation and control” lie where women bare the brunt of the abuses, as a result. Here are the verses once again:

1 Cor. 11: 1-16 – The usual sense (not ours) put upon these words by expositors, beginning with verse 3, we give in the language of Dr. Weymouth’s Modern English translation:

(3) “I would have you know that of every man, Christ is Head,  that of a woman her husband is the Head, and that God is Christ’s Head. (4) A man who wears a veil praying or prophesying dishonours his Head; (5) but a woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her Head, for it is exactly the same as if she had her hair cut short. (6) If a woman will not wear a veil, let her also cut off her hair, but since it is a dishonour to a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her wear a veil. (7) For a man ought not to have a veil on his head, since he is the image and glory of God: while woman is the glory of man. (8) Man does not take his origin from woman, but woman takes hers from man. (9) For man was not created for woman’s sake, but woman for man’s. (10) That is why a woman ought to have on her head a symbol of subjection, because of the angels. (11) Yet, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man nor man independent of woman. (12) For just as woman originates from man, so also man comes into existence through woman, but everything springs originally from God. (13) Judge of this for your own selves: is it seemly for a woman to pray to God when she is unveiled? (14) Does not nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a dishonour to him, (15) but if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because her hair was given to her for a covering? (16) But if anyone is inclined to be contentious on the point, we have no such custom, nor have the churches of God.”

I would sincerely ask that you please click on these links to read the eight MISFITS of these verses by Hebrew and Greek Scholar, Katherine Bushnell: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.

SO, WHAT IS PAUL’S REAL TEACHING AS TO VEILING?

The real purpose of these passages was to stop the practice of men veiling in worship, as Dr. John Lightfoot so ably contends. The Jewish man veiled as a sign of reverence before God, and of condemnation for sin. This sort of head covering was called a tallith, and is worn, to this day, “by all male worshippers at the morning prayer on week days, sabbaths and holy days: by the hazzan at every prayer before the ark: by the reader of the scroll of the law when on the almemar,”–so states the Jewish Cyclopaedia. The hazzan is the chief functionary of the synagogue, and the almemar is the reading-desk. The Romans also veiled in worship, and the Corinthian church was made up in large part of Roman converts. The testimony disagrees as to whether Greeks veiled in worship, or did not. The question therefore arose, were women to be forbidden veiling, as the Christian men, or not? Paul, in the passage, (1) forbids men to veil (since “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”); (2) permits women to veil; (3) but guards against this permission being construed as a command to veil, by showing that ideally  the woman should unveil, before God, man, and angels; (4) shows that there is special propriety in women unveiling when addressing God in prayer; (5) declares that (contrary to the teaching of the Jews) there is nothing for a woman to be ashamed of in showing her hair, for it is a “glory” to her; (6) and disavows veiling as a church custom.

St. Paul’s words are to be interpreted as follows:

3. But I wish you to understand that of every [Christian] man Christ is the Head; but of a wife the husband is a head [also]; and God is Christ’s Head.

4. Any [Christian] man praying or prophesying, having his head covered [as is required among the Jews, in sign of guilt and condemnation] dishonours his Head [Christ, who has atoned for all his sins.].

5. But any wife praying or prophesying bare-headed dishonours her [other] head [her husband], for it would be one and the same thing as [having] her head shaved.

6. For [Jewish law provides that] if a woman is not covered, let her be shorn. Now if it would bring disgrace to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

First of all we wish to say, where the practice has ceased of veiling in sign of guilt and condemnation before God and His law, this whole teaching, in its literal sense, has no application; the veil has no significance, and can be worn or rejected in worship. But the spiritual teaching remains, that among those who believe that Christ has made for them a full and SUFFICIENT atonement, any badge that signifies guilt or penance for sin is out of place, for women as much as for men. This is the lesson for all Christians to learn. Women need to especially learn a lesson here; what have they to do with wearing a badge of servility to the male, because of Eve’s sin? Has not Christ atoned for Eve’s sin also? Does that remain as the ONE point where Christ’s atonement failed?

(Verse 3) We add the word “Christian”, to verse 3, because, as Chrysostom says: “He cannot be the Head of those who are not in the Body. . . so when he says ‘of every man’ one must understand it of believers.” We add “also” because woman could not be a believer at all, and in the Body, unless Christ were likewise her Head. The word used here and throughout this passage, for man, is aner, meaning “the adult male, or husband.” Dean Stanley rightly explains, “Anthropos [“man” without regard to gender] would have been the natural word to use with reference to Christ. . . but for the sake of contrast with ‘woman’ he has changed it to aner.” But there is further reason: according to the Oral Law of the Jews the aner alone was obliged to wear the tallith.

(Verse 4) “Every man (aner) . . . having his head covered dishonoureth,” not “his own head, by wearing the token of subjection,” as expositors say, but dishonoureth Christ. The symbolic language of “headship” having just been introduced, in all fairness it requires its application to what follows. Besides, Paul taught actual “subjection” of man to man, and to religious leaders, Eph. 5:21, 1 Cor. 16:16, and hence would NOT teach that the mere symbol of “subjection” was not to be allowed the male. The meaning is, “every man. . .having his head covered dishonours Christ his head,” by wearing the tallith.

(Verse 5) If I should describe how I had burned down a house, I should have small chance of escaping punishment by a mere denial, later, that I had done so. A sufficient proof that I had done the deed is “But you have even told HOW you did it.”  So here; a description by the person as to HOW a thing may be done nullifies the force of a seeming denial by that same person of that deed. Says Dr. A.J. Gordon: “It is quite incredible that the Apostle should have given himself the trouble to prune a custom which he desired to uproot, or that he should spend his breath in condemning a forbidden method of doing a forbidden thing.” These words prove conclusively to an unprejudiced mind that Paul DID NOT silence women praying and prophesying in the churches, as is claimed in the ordinary interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:34.

“Dishonoureth her head,” i.e., her husband rather than her own head, in analogy to the argument of verse 4. This is because she would lay herself open to the charge (before Jewish law at least), of being an adulteress, and such a charge is always considered dishonouring to a husband. In what sense it would amount to having the head shaved, the next verse explains.

(Verse 6) “For if the woman be not covered, let her be shorn.” Paul refers to the Oral Law of the Jews. Says Lightfoot: He “does not here speak in his own sense but cites something usual among the Jews.” It admits of proof that such was the Oral Law. A woman “sinner” is described in the Talmud as “she who transgresseth the law of Moses and the Jewish law.” The gloss explains: ” ‘The Jewish law, that is, what the daughters of Israel follow though it be not written” (i.e. the Oral Law). The question was asked: “How does she transgress the Jewish law? Answer: “If she appear abroad with her head uncovered, if she spin in the streets,” etc., etc., through a long list. For the offences here enumerated, one of which is uncovering the head, it is prescribed that the wife should be divorced “with the loss of her marriage portion.” (Kethuboth, fol. 7, col. I). Furthermore, in that section of the Talmud called “Sotah,” which treats of unchaste women, under the sub-head, Of the duty of Repudiation of a Wife for adultery, we learn that this DUTY rested upon a Jew whose wife was seen abroad with her hair “not don up”, i.e. not covered. Thus we learn that a Jew, even if favorably disposed towards his wife’s profession of Christianity, and towards the practice of unveiling in worship, might be compelled by his relatives or the synagogue authorities, much to his regret, to divorce his wife, if she unveiled. The rest of the story, as to what would be done with the woman who unveiled, and thus furnished sufficient proof of “adultery” to compel her husband to repudiate her, we learn from Dr. Edersheim’s Sketches of Jewish Social Life, p. 155: “It was the custom in case of a woman accused of adultery to have her hair shorn or shaven,” at the same time using this formula: “Because thou hast departed from the manner of the daughters of Israel, who go with their head covered. . . therefore that hath befallen thee which thou hast chosen.” An unveiled Jewish wife might, then, be tried for adultery; and when so tried, be “shorn or shaven.” Paul here cites this obstruction to commanding women to unveil, but her permits it (verse 10).

“Now if it is a shame,”–The word translated “but” (de) readily admits of the translation “now” in this sense, see Jno. 6:10, 19:23, 1 Cor. 15:50 etc. That is, if it be a case which disgrace and divorce would follow, she is permitted to cover the head,– “Let her be covered.”

A little historical evidence at this point ought to go a long way. If the Apostle, as is so often assumed, was accustomed to forbid women unveiling, how did it come to pass that women “sat unveiled in the assemblies in a separate place, by the presbyters,” and were “ordained by the laying on of hands,” until the eleventh canon of the Church Council of Laodicea forbade it, in 363 A.D.? I give the account in the words of Dean Alford in his comments on 1 Tim. 5:9; the same admission is made by Conybeare and Howson in their Life of St. Paul, and stands undisputed in church history. (to be continued)

— Katherine Bushnell, 1923

There is so much more to come on this topic that I must stop here and continue in another lesson. Please remember that thus far, what has been taught has been skewed to put women in a place of subjugation and control that the Bible did not authorize nor command.  History must be studied in conjunction with scripture to ‘unmask’ the MISFITS used by men to point women to a place of servility to men.  You won’t want to miss the continuence of this “unveiling” of the real meaning behind these passages! Please subscribe to the news feed so you do not miss the next article.

Nilofer Bibi Honor Killing (Murder)

Sources: WikiIslam

Name of Victim:  Nilofer Bibi

Age:  22

Date of Incidence:  Dec. 7, 2012

Location:  India

Method of killing or religious violence:   Publicly beheaded with a sword

Perpetrator:   Brother

Reason for Violence:  Dishonoring the family by running off with a lover

Read More:   Honour killing in Kolkata: Man beheads sister in public view, takes severed head to police station

In the first honour killing in Kolkata in decades, a 29-year-old youth dragged his sister out on the street and cut off her head with one stroke of the sword in Ayubnagar locality of Nadial, barely 13km from the city centre, on Friday.

Scores of residents looked on in horror as Mehtab Alam walked to a police station with the head in his left hand and the sword in his right, dripping blood all along the way.

At 11am, the duty officer at Nadial police station jumped to his feet in horror as he saw a young man walk in with the macabre exhibits. Before he could find the words to alert his colleagues, Mehtab put the sword and the head on his table, pulled up a chair and told him that he was ready to be arrested for murdering his sister, 22-year-old Nilofar Bibi. He told the duty officer to “seize the head as evidence”, say sources.

Even as deputy commissioner-port division Mehboob Rehman rushed to the scene of crime, where Nilofar’s headless body lay in a pool of blood, Mehtab told the numbed police officers that he had killed his sister for “running off with a lover and dishonouring the family”, say sources. Nilofar was married for eight years and had two children. It was “immoral” for her to live with her former paramour, Firoz Hossain, Mehtab apparently told police.

Firoz escaped because he wasn’t home. “I’d have killed him, too,” Mehtab told police. He had even attacked Firoz’s sister-in-law, Saboo, who tried to save Nilofar. Saboo’s right arm is nearly severed and she is battling for life in hospital, said joint commissioner-crime Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

Nilofar married Akbar of Pachura, Rabindranagar, when she was 14. They have a son aged six and a daughter, four. On November 28, she ran away from her in-laws’ home, alleging that she was being harassed and tortured by Akbar’s brother. On November 30, she disappeared from her paternal home, too.