House Church Talk - control

Claire Bennett clairebnntt at
Thu May 13 18:39:12 EDT 2004

I am familiar with the Bill Gothard legalism and the harm it has caused.  All legalism carries the same spirit, IMHO.  There is a lack of grace and mercy, a belief that the purpose of salvation is to cause one to live a more moral life.  If this is the goal, any religion will do, and some will do better than Christianity.  There is also fear that if you don't brandish the whip to keep the sheep in line, you will have chaos.  There is a lack of faith in the transforming power of regeneration.  

I can see the cult-like control in these sorts of groups.  Anyone who doesn't go along with the "leaders" is ostracized.  Glenn, the encouragement of the other women to act like them is also a subtle or not so subtle form of behavior control.  I wouldn't have a problem if there was a part of the meeting for the men to participate only, if that would make them feel more comfortable.  I suppose in that sort of group if a woman has something she would like to share with the whole group - a prayer request, announcement - she has to send it by way of a male?  The bible doesn't say women are submissive to men, it states that women are to be submissive to their own husbands and that we are to submit one to another.

I might have shared this before on this site, or maybe it was on another site.  I was in a situation where a wife should have kept silent and it was shameful for her to speak.  I was in a bible study where a woman continually shared while her husband sat mute; it was likely she had far more biblical knowledge.  This was humiliating to him.  I am careful when I am in a meeting where my husband is present not to embarrass him in this way, although he really doesn't care.

Shame in this context is interesting.  In much of the mideast it is not socially acceptable for a woman to converse with a man who is not related.  It is considered sexually provacative.  Some of this is from the Islamic culture, but it is possible that this practice predates Islam.

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