Friday, June 13, 2014

Use Silly Examples for the 'you don't get it' Generation?

Posted by Hannah at 5:09 PM

I started reading CBMW’s new e-book they released online.  If you read the Foreword by John Piper it seems this is a introduction to the NEW group of complementarian leaders of our future.  ,


Good:  book coverI’ll begin with the first chapter of their new e-book. 


Owen Strachan is continuing the theme of humans being ‘confused’ by their gender.  How if you allow him to show you the truth about gender and God?  Things just magically work I guess.  WELL at least you are doing it the biblical way anyway right?!  Problem is they are taking the same approach as the past leaders, and using scenes, stories and descriptions in a way that only their ‘group’ can relate to.  Sadly, not their intended audience.  Isn’t that whom they are trying convince…I would think right?


Owen Strachan spoke about a movie scene in ‘Juno”, and it made me realize they just plain see things differently compared to how they truly play out.  They read things into circumstances that might not even be there, and apply assumptions that totally miss the mark.


Owen Strachan’s description of a scene from the movie, “Juno’. 

The lips of the young woman quivered. Tears rolled down her face. Her angry father stared at her. “I thought you were the kind of girl who didn’t get into this sort of trouble,” he said. She looked back at him confused and adrift: “I guess I don’t really know what kind of girl I am.”

This exchange came in Juno, a poignant film made a few years ago. It’s a quick scene, but it has stuck with me ever since. In this young woman’s reply, I heard the confusion of an entire generation. So many young men and young women don’t know who they are.

Now you can see the scene in question online, and you just google Juno telling her parents she is pregnant.  Otherwise, just click my highlighted link.


There was no lips quivering, tears rolling down her face – no an angry father telling her he didn’t think she was that type of girl.  It was a pretty matter of fact scene, and I’m not going to say her father wasn’t disappointed.  He was indeed disappointed.


Juno announced that she found a couple that would adopt her child, and pay for all her medical expenses.  Dad wanted to come with her to the meeting to make sure she wasn’t taken advantage of. 


Then he says to her, “I thought you were the type of girl that knew when to say when”.  Yes, she did indeed say she didn’t know what type of girl she was.  In the very next scene, the father felt the blame was clearly on his shoulders.  Was he NOT a good enough father?!


Her sense of confusion is NOT what he describes – or approaches within this chapter.  He just plucked out, and used it.  Sadly, that’s what’s confusing.

There are seasons in life where we all wonder!


When children find themselves in trouble – and we all do, and it doesn’t have to be this type of trouble – children will question themselves, and parents will question themselves as well.  This is NOT an unusual type of reaction.


Yes, there is plenty of fear and questioning of yourself when you enter a garbage dump type of circumstance like they (family in the movie) did.  Yet, if you follow the movie the relationship between the child and parents isn’t what this CBMW author – Owen Strachan – describes at all.  In times of confusion, hurt, and fear we all tend to question things from time to time.  Its called our human factor.


Most of us growing up at Juno’s age tend to wonder about what type of person they are.  Its just that season of life – Christian or not.  It normally has nothing to do with gender identification, but the essence of whom we are…and what our dreams for life entail.  The work involved, and the path of the unknown did scare me.  As we grown older?  There are new stages like: Mid-life, Retirement, etc.  This isn’t good or bad…it just IS!

stages of life from birth to death

I never had this vision or belief that God would just make everything happily ever after – as Owen describes the culture.  I’m not saying I wasn’t naïve in some ways, but I never felt things would be handed to me automatically either (using Owen’s Genie in the Bottle God examples).  Every generation has bumps in the road that force them to grow up, and we all have our different blind spots and ways of viewing the world.  Its part of growing UP!

I remember being taught to obey and respect adults, because they are responsible for looking out for you.  If you find yourself in trouble, lost, etc go to your church family that will help you during this time of crisis.  This was NOT an uncommon thing to teach children of my generation, but pretty much just accepted. 


Imagine the reality slap when you find out that as humans we are not as dependable as we were taught growing up.  It was normally after having our world’s shattered in some way, because they preferred to keep us naïve and we fell into a evil circumstance totally unprepared.


Realities of Growing Up is Normal!


That is what woke me up.  Realizing that there are good and bad people everywhere – YES even within the Christian environment.  At first, I felt that was my imagination.  I mean we are suppose to think the best of people right?  I truly questioned myself, because life just didn’t lineup the way I was taught…was I missing something?  Why was I so different, because everyone else could see something I just didn’t?  I questioned my humanness – not gender, because I could see people within the fold that were not safe – and everyone’s felt they were the best thing since sliced bread!


The validation I felt when the truth of their perceptions of this person were wrong, and mine was right?  Sadly, at times just added to my confusion.  They had a hard time facing it, and many excuses were offered up instead.  The truth they taught, and the ones they lived were different.  With maturity I found it wasn’t me – but them.  The why’s?  I wonder if I will ever truly know to be honest.  It still doesn’t make sense to me.


I can honestly tell you I have never in my life questioned what it was to be a woman.  I mean I was one – what’s to question?  It wasn’t something I could change, and I never felt like a man was the same thing as a woman. Genders were never interchangeable, and quite honestly I never had the desire to ‘rule over anything.  (giggles) Did I want the children and pets to mind me?  SURE, but I didn’t want to ‘rule over’ them.  I never felt the need to RULE over men in my life either.  (I’m referring the common stereotypes that Owen is using in his chapter, and we have all heard before as well)


I also realized there were times in life in which you must let go, and allow people to walk alone (ie: mostly children now).  As I get older I get to feel that reality as I watch my kids grow into adulthood.  I can’t tell you how many times I bit my lips SHUT, because I had to allow them to fall.  Yes, I had a plan when they did of course.  Yet, I learned sometimes they see things clearly when you show them, and other times you need to let them learn life by themselves.  Discernment on which way is best?  Isn’t parenthood lovely at times?! (giggles)

I realized with my own life experiences that when people used over the top examples, and just plain strange made up stories that were suppose to scare me into NOT going in some direction?  It generally didn’t work, and I wondered if they seriously felt I was that dumb to buy it.  In my teen years?  I remember wondering about their sanity, and if they were seriously that out of touch.  I may not have said it, but I thought IT!  Children are smarter today in that aspect than I was back in the stone ages.


Then you have times in which you have to learn to live with your children’s decisions even though you don’t like them ONE little BIT!  We all have to live and grow in our own ways.  It was be nice if life was so black and white, but it never turns out that way. It never has.  Some families struggle to keep their control, but I know that can blow up in face BIG TIME if you hold to those reigns to tight.  Letting go is indeed a struggle.


Ridiculous Stereotypes Tend Not To Convince The Majority Anymore!


jesus and churchAre there people that view life as Owen describes in his Narcissistic Optimistic Deism way?  Here is a quote from his google book to tell you how he describes this:


Sometimes a whole life's work takes shape around a single comment that helps us unlock who we are and what we are made to do.  You find this theme in popular culture.  Take the largely unknown film Dear Frankie, a 2004 movie that tells the deeply touching story of a boy named Frankie whose mother left her abusive husband.  Desperate to give her son a manly role model, she hires a seaman she doesn't know to pretend to be Frankie's father.  Frankie is a sad boy; life is hard for him.  His is a heartbreaking childhood.  But something changes when this man enters his life.  He realizes that he is loved.  He has a new identity.  He gains confidence, meaning and hope.  The transformation is nothing short of stunning.

There's a version of this kind of message that is cheesy.  It's based around secular self-esteem and selfish dreams:  "I can be whoever I want to be, and I deserve better than what I have."  You could call this way of thinking narcissistic optimistic deism.  It says, "I'm the center of all things,"  "My life is will always get better, because I deserve it, " and "I believe in God!  He's the granter of all my wishes" (as opposed to his being the righteous ruler of all things).  God is like the boyfriend in a Bruno Mars or Lady Gaga song, or a hanger-on in a C-list reality-TV star's entourage:  he never asks us to change, but exists only to flatter us, build us up, soothe us when something doesn't go the way we want.

That's how many people today approach God:  he exists to make me great.  This is an unhealthy view of God, and its why we need to be careful when talking with people who say they believe in God.  I fear that many today believe in God because they see him as a Great Dream-Granter in the Sky, the one who coddles us and give us everything we want because it's owed to us. I'm Beautiful; I'm smart; I'm gifted.  I deserve to have a nice life because I'm a good person.  If things don't go right for me, I'm going to throw a fit, because is about me and my happiness.


I’m sure there are people that think like this – the world has all kinds after all.  I have never got the impression that it is the norm, and it bothered me that he felt the movie he mentioned was all about what he described.  That made no sense.  I mean what she did – not recommended of course, but well intended – wasn’t about her and her wants.  It was for her son after all.


I honestly don’t remember running into someone that is a Christian that believes that God is their Dream Granter….lol or Genie in the bottle the way he describes it!


Yet, when I read stuff like this?  It reminds me WHY they can’t reach the people they claim they want to. 


When I was in high school the BIG anti Drug film was, “Go Ask Alice”.  They played the film for our health class, and then followed it up with the message if you EVER smoke a joint (marijuana cigarette)  you will die with a needle in your arm (heroin overdose) in some back alley.  Problem was we could relate to the movie itself, but the scare tactics afterwards?  Unless you were totally naïve we thought they were full of it for the most part.  Their message – even well intended was blown off as not serious.  Completely out of TOUCH in other words.


That is what their approach reminds me of.  The cultural Christian’s think God is their personal genie in the bottle.  I’m the center of the universe, and he is there to grant my wishes.  Seriously?!


With any type of stereotype they use within this type of faith realm you will notice they wish to take on the role of ‘Holy Spirit’ when they tell you how it really is.  They wish to ‘discern’ for you too, and anything outside their belief bubble tends to be explained away as evil.  Then they use some nutty story – or description – like they he did above to tie it all together nicely with a bow. 


Their presentation is a joke much like my Health teacher’s introduction to ‘gateway’ drugs.  Their over the top presentation isn’t going to be taken seriously.  You can’t reach your audience with this type of approach.  They sound like naïve children that were sold a bill of goods, and now they want us to also.  lol then are confused when people want NOTHING to do with it!


They also tend to take the worse example of humanity they feel exists, and use them as the norm for majority of the culture.  Here is another quote of the ‘type’ you hear about often regarding confusion of gender:


Our culture tells us the opposite: Sure, you may be born with a few certain parts, but that doesn’t mean anything. Men and women are interchangeable. Gender is malleable, changeable, unfixed, unimportant.


Reminds me of some of Mary Kassian’s ‘beware of the 1960’s feminist’ speeches.  Sigh.  You won’t reach people by mocking them in this fashion, or don’t you get them to think about things with this approach.  They blow you off as a bully, and blow hard.


What I have noticed is if you don’t accept the ‘biblical’ gender roles they teach?  You fit into the stereotype they have for the culture – and in their eyes the ‘norm’ above.  They will tell you that you don’t get the gospel right.  You might get part of it, but they will remind you that you aren’t ‘getting’ the whole picture.  I’m not so sure anyone does, but that is for another DAY!


I guess the book is an introduction into the next generation of Complementarians.  I have written about Owen Strachan before when he had a bit of hissie over a Sesame street character playing with a doll.  Baby Bear wanted to play ‘father’ to the doll, and he was showing how that wasn’t a masculine presentation.  It was just downright odd.


Why do people seem to think talking down to their audience, and then using extreme examples that most can’t relate to could in ANYWAY find a new audience?   I mean they sprinkle a little bit of truth with a bunch of bullsh*t on top, and wonder why the masses aren’t getting it.  Why don’t they?  Seriously?!

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