- Posted October 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Churchiness And Bad Advice
By Kenneth Stepp
"Don't base your decisions on advice from people who don't have to deal with the results."
I am unsure who penned this quote first. But it may be the very best advice I have ever read. Advice from someone that has no accountability, isn't advice at all. It's a tragedy waiting to happen.
The fundamentalist movement offers advice for everything. To everyone. Canned messages from God. A direct connection to the divine. A very handy thing to have I guess. The advice or messages are freely given. And worth less than they cost. It makes the giver feel more spiritual, and dutiful. And almost always hurts the receiver. Why? Because having a relationship with God in the fundamentalist world must be painful on the inside, and appear wonderful on the outside.
My absolute favorite message from God being channeled through one of these guys is when they tell a woman being abused. dismissed and disrespected by their husband, is that God told them to tell her to stay with the abusive husband because it's what God wants her to do, based on scripture verses that are known to have been forged or added to the new testament by scribes in the third century as a way to oppress women. Submit to your husband, they are saved by being barefoot and pregnant, and women shall not lead or speak in the church to name a few. All known forgeries, injected because of a male dominant agenda long after Paul was dead. It is my opinion that if God was being "channeled" through these guys, that He would know that.
The fundamentalist movement thrives and prospers because at it's core, it feeds certain things within it's followers. Ego being a biggie. How powerful do you feel to become a direct connection between God and those that need to hear from Him? Wow! Just the thought makes me want to wear a cape.
These "well meaning" spiritual juggernauts sound ten feet tall and bulletproof to someone hurting and in need. Someone in a vulnerable position that needs a friend will listen, and in many cases accept the advice. This almost always leads to the devastating end that someone not completely brainwashed would have seen going in.
I have written extensively in the past about the mindset that causes these train wrecks. Inside the ultra conservative evangelical or fundamentalist churches the rules completely change. It is common knowledge that if you are spiritual enough, you become a conduit from God's lips, to the ears of those a few notches down the spiritual ladder from yourself. If there are several telling a person they heard from God. It becomes even more dangerous. Why? Because they all have the same playbook, so they all say the same thing. Thus convincing the person that God really is speaking to them. Sadly, this almost always leads to pain and suffering for the one victimized by the advice. Yet feeds the ego of the ones that gave it. I watched this for decades. I have seen it cost people their very lives. One abused wife in my hometown of Louisville Kentucky was killed by her husband a month after God told her through a few "church mediums" to stay with her abusive husband. The most telling thing after this tragic ending, was how great these direct paths to God felt about their roles in the events. Sadly, no one learned anything. Two lives destroyed, but everyone obeyed God. Wow!
I believe in an all powerful God. I believe if he can create everything there is and keep it all running, then He has the power to come and speak to me verbally without using untrustworthy people that can justify anything that ends badly. Yes. I believe He can And will, if I need to be told something important.
And what feat of spiritual gymnastics elevates a person to be able to Hear from God on another's behalf. Nothing. They just wake up one day and say those magic words. "God told me to tell you something". It is still hard to believe people can be this delusional. And the person receiving this message, so gullible. The programmed leading the programmed.