Friday, June 05, 2015

My Experience with the Duggars' Destructive Beliefs

In the 1990's, my husband and I attended one of Bill Gothard's Basic Life Seminars.  At that time we were attending an Independent Baptist church in Oklahoma, and one of the prominent families of the church invited us to go.  We attended the seminar, sat through the talks and filled out the workbooks. But there was something eerily creepy about the whole thing.  It felt like a cult.

I had been drawn to the material put out by the Institute of Basic Life Principles of Bill Gothard because they promoted home birth and home schooling.  I had given birth to my last child at home with a midwife and was empowered by that experience.  I also was in the process of homeschooling my two children, and found it a very rewarding and fulfilling way of life.  So when a fellow church member showed me their material, I was excited to find that a spiritual authority was actually teaching that home birth and home schooling were part of God's plan for us.

I was raised in the very conservative Church of Christ, but during midlife began to feel that their teachings were too restrictive and so had been looking for a different church.  We visited many different denominations, none of which felt right to me, and we were currently attending the Independent Baptist because, ironically, we liked the fact that, unlike the Southern Baptists, the Independent Baptists were not controlled by any central authority.  Each church was an independent entity that did not answer to something like the Southern Baptist Convention.  I liked the idea personal autonomy.  It seemed to me that no one could ever truly be free to do God's will if they were controlled by another person or governing authority.  Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of what is taught in the Bill Gothard material.  He teaches that we must all be under the authority or "umbrella of protection" of those appointed to rule over us.

My husband and I had always been equal in all things, and so when they started to introduce this idea that the wife was to be submissive to, or under the authority of, her husband, that didn't sit well with me. Personal autonomy is very important, because if you are not completely free to make your own decisions, then you have no freedom at all.  You cannot be considered to have free will, and freely choose God's way, if you feel obligated to make choices that are in line with those in authority over you.

Then they introduced the idea that the woman should submit to the man's need for sex any time he wants it because we are not to refuse one another's sexual needs.  But it didn't seem that the woman's needs were taken into account at all.  This is why the Duggar Family has 19 children.  Because if Daddy wants it, Daddy gets it, no matter how the woman feels about the matter.  She is to submit to him in ALL THINGS.  Now, assuming you have a benevolent husband who takes into account your needs, then you will be fine.  But many, many men use their supposedly God-Given authority to abuse women, and you will never convince me that this is God's will.

In the Basic Seminar workbook, there is a page called "The Principle of Suffering."  This page says, "Suffering can be God’s loving reminder that we have violated His ways: “It is good for me that I
have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Suffering can be motivation for spiritual growth: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10). Suffering is preparation for future leadership: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him . . .” (II Timothy 2:12). Suffering forces us to stop sinning: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (I Peter 4:1). Suffering is also God’s way of drawing others to Himself: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God . . .” (I Peter 3:18). This is our calling when another person offends us."

In what way has a child that has been sexually abused "violated his ways"? You are telling me that I am supposed to counsel a child that has been abused or a wife that has been abused and tell them that they were abused because they violated God's ways?  THAT IS VICTIM-BLAMING.  Or, he caused the abuser to abuse the wife or child so the wife or child would come to God?  Do you think that I am going to want to come to a God that would use abuse as a recruiting tool?  NEVER.....

The people who wrote this crap are just on a power trip.  DO NOT LISTEN TO IT.

You are a free and independent entity.  You have the right to make your own choices.  You do not have to stay with someone who is abusing you.  There is no loving god that is going to use abuse to make you come to him.  No child would want to come to a parent that is hurting them.  Why would we want to come to a god who would do the same?

In fact, all gods are make believe and all religions are man-made for the purpose of controlling you. You are much better off without them.

There is ample evidence that the Bible is a forgery, not written by those whose names appear as the authors, and not divinely inspired.  Do your own research.  If you have an inkling in the core of your very being that something is not right with the religion you were taught, be brave and forge ahead. There is something better for you out there.  Follow your heart and do what is right for you.

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