Al Mohler: Mother’s Day Is a Bad Idea

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15,16 NIV Bible Gateway 

bluebirds about 3 hours after out of shell
Alice, the bluebird, taught the babies to fly and has laid 5 new eggs. I honor her diligence!

We first published this post in May 2009, when no one was reading this blog except for our friends and family. We think it is important to understand some of the thinking behind those who hold to certain views on complementarianism. To those of you who are single, infertile, and estranged from abusive parents, our hearts reach out to you. Know this, you are part of an eternal family in which we all share the same Father. We are brothers and sisters to one another,  although to some of the folks that we write about, we are probably the black sheep of the family!

Better yet, I bet that some of you are mothers and fathers to others. There is a husband and wife that I know who are both professors of the same surgical specialty at a major university medical school. They have never had biological children. But, year after year, they reach out in love to the medical students under them, providing support and a home away from home. The students love them back, often going to them for counseling on everything from ethics to their love lives. They even are known as match makers. I guarantee you that she will get some expressions of love on this Mother's Day. 

I have edited the original post to update links and to recognize that we are now in 2012.

Today we will address an article written the day after Mother’s Day, 2009, by  Dr. Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, located in Louisville, Kentucky, entitled "On Second Thought — Why Mother's Day Is a Bad Idea."  Link

In Dr. Mohler's article, he claims that some feminists with the wrong motives started Mother’s Day. At the end of the post, he does admit that he took his wife out to dinner and gave her a card so somehow his criticism rings hollow.

Here are some of his concerns.

  • It was highly endorsed by the floral and greeting card industry to increase revenues.  
  • "As Rosen explains, the women behind Mother’s Day were convinced that the moral superiority of women was grounded in the experience of motherhood." 
  • "There is nothing wrong about sentiment in itself, but there is something pornographic about the bathos of sentimentalism that this observance produces — a sentimentalism so often devoid of content."
  • "Mother’s Day is a bad idea because it subverts the reality of faithful mothering and robs faithful mothers of their true glory."
  • "In the end, we are all like little children who push crumpled hand-made greeting cards toward Mom, who then accepts our grubby offerings with love and gratitude."
  •  “Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God. 
  • "Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers.  Children, young and old, who ignore and dishonor their mothers by word and by life throughout the year, assuage their guilt by making a big deal of Mother's Day.”

How cynical!  If one follows Dr. Mohler's ranting to its logical conclusion, then the following should be banned:  Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day, and birthdays.  Furthermore, we should ban Medals of Honor and programs to honor our brave firefighters and policemen.  Darn it, outlaw that pesky National Honor Society.  In fact, we shouldn’t even say thank you because all of the glory belongs to God alone, and we are just a bunch of screwed up sinners!

Here are two comments from other blogs on Mohler’s strange views:

1. (The link no longer works but this is the statement from that page

May 11, 2009 at 4:52 PM
"Um dude are you um, totally crazy? I mean totally crazy? It's a good thing I'm not a mother. Mothers should not have to meet some ridiculous standard to be honored, that's ridiculous. We are all growing, it is really tough to be a woman, and I'm sure it's tough to be a mother. Of course getting a mother a card is commercialized and what not and is not equal to her full honor, but its still a really nice idea. Mothers clean, cook, and they get very little to nil recognition most days of the year… so you want to get rid of the one day they could have…I know its not about recognition but still. Yet another reason why feminism still survives, you men say these ridiculous things… did you tell your own Mother what you thought about this? Seriously…

SGM Survivors  Link  May 12th, 2009 at 9:29 pm-Walking Wounded

"A classic example of hidden meaning was on the Girl Talk blog this week:
 Link  It referenced Al Mohler’s blog about Mothers day. Al Mohler does not like Mother's Day (in part) because: “Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers.” On the Girl Talk blog which was linked, Nicole posts “let’s give faithful, godly mothers appropriate honor all-year long. ”
Sounds great, but what was she really saying?"

Of course she is saying don’t honor your mother unless she is a faithful, godly mother. What does the Bible say about honoring your mother? Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger once offered some motherly advice to a caller who complained about her own mother.  The caller explained that she was cursed with a mom who ignored her and had recently died.  Dr. Laura advised this caller to think back on the things that her mother had done right.  For example, she did not abort her baby.  Instead, she elected to care for, feed, and clothe her, which many parents throughout the world are unable to do or won't do.  Yes, even mothers who are not Calvinista Christians can do some things worthy of praise.

I would like to tell you about my own non-Christian mother.  She did not teach me the faith; however, she loves me dearly.  She has been a constant support throughout my life, always cheering me on.  She even dropped me off at a local church youth group in which would eventually help to point me to Christ.

When I became a Christian, she was happy for me.  I believe it was her love that allowed me to be open to hearing about the perfect love that God has for me.  She is now elderly and lives nearby.  She still does not know Jesus, but I never cease witnessing to her in both word and deed.  I love her and I am grateful that God allowed her to be my mother.  She deserves my unending gratitude despite the fact that she is not a Christian.  I will give her flowers and treat her to a nice dinner on Mother’s Day.  Even though I appreciate her throughout the year, it is a joy to honor her once a year and remember the great sacrifices she made for me.

So, according to Mohler and the "girls" at Girl Talk, am I supposed to ignore my mother because she is not a believer? Is my love for her devoid of meaning because she doesn't fit into Mohler's paradigm? 

The Bible clearly makes the point that the world will know us by our love.  In the early days of the Christian faith, the believers formed burial societies.  During that time, the dead were often thrown over the city wall to burn on the garbage heap.  These dear Christians would go to their neighbors and offer to bury their dead.  They lovingly cared for the body and, during those moments, offered their love and condolences to those left behind. They compassionately explained that the body was precious because God designed it and that they respected the life of these loved ones.  Guess what?  They did this honoring service to those who were not Christian as well.  Their acts of love and kindness greatly contributed to the spreading of the Christian faith in those early days.

We are busy humans. Yes, we should slow down and remember our mothers more regularly;  however, it is good to be reminded to honor our mothers at least once a year.  The medieval church had set times during the day that they would turn to the Lord in prayer.  The church bells would chime to remind them to do so.  Of course we should pray without ceasing; but many of us often need a reminder. Mother’s Day is a bit like those bells.

Al Mohler and other Reformed Christians have joined together to create an interesting organization called the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  This group does not believe women should be in any position of leadership within the church.  They claim that women are more easily deceived than men.  Perhaps Al Mohler has a  certain agenda in his denigration of Mother’s Day. Let me repeat the quote from the post. "..the women behind Mother’s Day were convinced that the moral superiority of women was grounded in the experience of motherhood." We certainly don't want any men thinking that women can be in any way superior when they are supposed to be submitted to men for eternity, right?

The following video is a bit slow in the musical performance but I found the scenes of Mary and Jesus from the movie, The Passion, to be deeply moving. Sometimes, I feel that the Protestant church gives short shrift to Mary and her relationship with her son. She spent many years with Him before He began His ministry that would lead to the Cross and Resurrection. She was on His mind on the Cross when He asked John to care for her. "John, behold your mother! " You see, she should would function in that role, once again with a man who was not her son by any sort of biology. Many of our wonderful readers are in some way mothers and fathers to others who are not biologically related to them. May you find joy and fulfillment in those relationships. And most of all, may you find the love which will never pass away.



Lydia's Corner: Ezekiel 40:28-41:26 James 4:1-17 Psalm 118:19-29 Proverbs 28:3-5


Al Mohler: Mother’s Day Is a Bad Idea — 111 Comments

  1. In honor of Mother’s Day –

    Here is what I found and would like to share with all mothers.

    Mother’s Day began around the American Civil War as a movement for peace and to improve women’s lives. In 1870 Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation, asking that mothers protest war. She believed that because they were mothers, women had a special duty to be active in politics and ought to form an international peace congress.

    Julia Ward Howe was a suffragist, abolitionist and pacifist. She is the lyricist of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Her full Mother’s Day proclamation follows:

    Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
    From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. “Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
    Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God.
    In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient And at the earliest period consistent with its objects, you promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions,
    the great and general interests of peace.

    The other root of Mother’s Day came from Anna Reeves Jarvis’s work starting in 1858 for improved sanitation and housing for poor women and their families, particularly in Appalachia.

  2. Beautiful-
    Thanks Dee.

    Lol– and pastors get a whole month of adulation not just a day. October is pastor appreciation month.

  3. Dee,

    I’m glad you brought attention to Mohler’s horrendous commentary on Mother’s Day from three years ago. It is much worse the second time around…

    Thought you’d like to know that there is some redeeming value to Mother’s Day. The Baptist Press just posted this article today. Enjoy!

    Mother’s Day church attendance ranks 3rd

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — Between Easter and Christmas, Mother’s Day may be the most likely day people will attend church, according to a study by LifeWay Research.

    In a national poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors, LifeWay Research asked what the three highest attendance Sundays were throughout the year. Mother’s Day (59 percent) ranked third behind the standard religious powerhouse holidays of Easter (93 percent) and Christmas (84 percent).

    Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, said, “Clearly, mothers want to be present for the affirmation that is typically offered in most churches, but families also are present knowing their attendance will honor their mother. Many families make church attendance on Mother’s Day nearly obligatory.”

    Among the seven specific days tested, Father’s Day was mentioned the least, falling behind even homecoming celebrations.

    “The attendance difference between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is telling,” McConnell said. “Either churches are less effective in affirming fathers, or families believe Christian fathers don’t value their participation in worship services.”

  4. Hester said

    “So where is the accompanying article in which he says Father’s Day is a bad idea?”

    Every day is Father’s day in Al’s world.

  5. For me personally, Mother’s Day isn’t such a big deal – mainly in part due to the fact I’m required to cook/clean/host family and it’s not much of a break for me 🙂

    But Mr. Mohler is WAYYYYYY off base here. I love how he points out that Mother’s Day puts too much emphasis on Motherhood being moral. Ummmmm, isn’t that what these crazies preach day in and day out, about a woman’s highest calling?

    Shaking my head…

  6. Dee –
    Alice is one prolific Momma! If I didn’t know better I’d have put her in the patriarchs club. I won’t do that.

  7. “Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God. ”

    This is the one that gets me. False dictonomy. Honoring your mother is one of the many ways we praising God. Because He said to in scripture. We should honor them every day. So what if we set aside one day to buy them a corsage, take them to a fancy lunch and shower them with gifts. (Does anyone remember the days when you wore white flowers if your mother had passed away and red ones if she was living?)

    And we also liked it because my mom owned a flower shop! Profit motive is good, too. hee hee

  8. Dee: Perhaps a new post is in order? Something alone the lines of “Al Mohler is a Moron?”

    I wonder if he hates his mother or just all women in general? Only men who feel threatened by women feel the need to degrade and dominate them.

    My wife; now there’s a woman. She is by far, the best Christian I have ever met (yet she will tell you she is not perfect). She is my gift from God, and has blessed me with two wonderful daughters (seems I am surrounded my women!). I am not ashamed to honor her, anytime, anywhere. I do not dominate her and she does not dominate me. (We often have discussions about letting each other “decide;” it’s really funny sometimes!). She is my best friend, my best counselor, and my companion for life. 39 years this year – and going. (And they said it wouldn’t last!).

  9. Old men like Mohler are the ones who send young men off to bloody conflicts. Almost always to the stirring strains of martial music.

    What they never seem to understand is the fact that when those young men die of grievous wounds on the battlefield, or of starvation and disease in captivity, they cry for their mothers, not their fathers.

    This truism chagrins men like Mohler because in their hearts they despise the primal strength of bond betwixt mother and child. They fear it and are jealous of it.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all here at TWW!

  10. I got lost at the second point, when he used the word ‘pornographic’. Huh??
    and how does it rob faithful mothers of their true glory? Because they’re so beaten down and humiliated that they can never enjoy a moment’s praise and appreciation. Obviously the fact that I enjoy a little attention makes me an unfaithful mother (or something)

    I suggest we declare a new holiday, in honour of the kings of gobbledegook. (Mohler, Piper .. who else?) In fact, we could call it Humpty Dumpty day, in honour of the literary character who said that words could mean whatever he wanted them to. Would April 1st be a possible date?

  11. Since no one was around me I thought I’d sing out loud The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Forgetting many of the words I googled the Lyrics and discovered another verse that was never in any of the Hymnals I read in church or that I have on my shelf. I am a wee bit disturbed that this stanza by Julia Ward Howe was ‘kept’ from me!
    ‘I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
    “As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
    Since God is marching on.”

    ~Glory, Glory Hallelujah~

  12. -Laura at 09:57 pm

    “Al Mohler is a bad idea.”

    -randall slack at 10:03 pm

    “Something along the lines of “Al Mohler is a Moron?”

    Hahaha… I love it!

  13. “It was highly endorsed by the floral and greeting card industry to increase revenues.”

    I suppose if there was a “REFORMED floral and greeting card industry” he wouldn’t have a problem with it increasing revenues!

  14. MM – they would need to have masculine floral arrangements then. So pansies are out obviously.

  15. ‘Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God.’

    Okay, then, let’s put an end to the following, shall we?

    – obsequious book endorsements amongst the Calvinistas
    – blog posts celebrating other pastors and leaders for being exemplary patriarchs and defenders of ‘biblical’ complementarianism
    – conference circuits which advertise visiting speakers as if they are celebrities
    – Christian leaders publicly supporting certain disgraced pastors on grounds of their godly characters
    – glowing praise of conference speakers (citing their love, deep humility, faithfulness etc) before they preach

    (Because, as Al says…glory should be given to God, not people.)

  16. I’d suggest we start calling Al Mohler ‘Weird Al’, but I really like Al Yankovic and wouldn’t want to sully his name.

  17. •”As Rosen explains, the women behind Mother’s Day were convinced that the moral superiority of women was grounded in the experience of motherhood.”

    Not sure I would refer to the phenom as “the moral superiority of women”? Maternal instinct is not limited to humans.

    Women who experience motherhood quite literally “nourish and cherish” another “as your own body”. We do this by nature and by design. Personally, I do think it gives mothers an advantage of understanding the concepts of “lay down your life and die to your self”. Unfortunate that men such as Mohler can’t look at motherhood as an object lesson of Eph 5:29.

  18. Charis

    I think that Mohler quoted Rosen “the women behind Mother’s Day were convinced that the moral superiority of women was grounded in the experience of motherhood” for a reason. he does not believe that women have any business in the leadership of the church. That is why the old “women are gullible and easily deceived” lie is making the rounds. They claim women’s roles are separate but equal. That is pure baloney. The moment they perceive that women could be perceived as leading in any area, they panic. This is pride thing, pure and simple. (Still impressed over the accomplishment of your kids, BTW).

  19. It’s true that maternal instinct is not limited to humans – it is found very much among mammals and birds but also even (at times) among reptiles and other vertebrates and even scorpions! But one has to be careful about pressing analogies from nature too far – after all the male seahorse broods the young, as do (I think) some frogs and toads, while among mammals some fathers do nurturing, etc.

    I’m not a determinist, nor a creationist in the sense that Ken Ham would understand ;-), but I do believe that in God’s sovereignty we as humans are made a certain way and it makes no more sense to try to completely go against that than it does for dolphins to try to wear clothes.

    Lest that all sound abstract gobbledygook, let me add that I send my mother a Mother’s Day card, and my father a Father’s Day card! Why not – it’s a sign of appreciation and it doesn’t cost that much.

    Re Mohler’s remarks on Mother’s Day, I also noticed a bit in Devers’ “9 marks” where he talked about getting rid of all the different “days” in church. Historically speaking the Puritans under Cromwell tried this sort of thing when they were in power, and it may have been a contributing factor to their deep unpopularity by the time of Cromwell’s death. This sort of extreme “hair-shirtism” seems merely to push ordinary people in the opposite direction.

  20. The irony is that this post will only convince Mohler and his sychophants that they are “persecuted”.

    But you would think his long time culture war would produce something more substantive than this but it often doesn’t. one would think he would write about Jesus more often. I suppose he thinks he does with this tripe.

  21. True Words,


    You Said: “For me personally, Mother’s Day isn’t such a big deal – mainly in part due to the fact I’m required to cook/clean/host family and it’s not much of a break for me…” -True Words, 5- 11-12: 06:57 pm


    …”Mothers clean, cook, and they get very little to nil recognition most days of the year… so you want to get rid of the one day they could have…” -TWW quote


    Happy Mother’s day, TrueW!

    We here @ TWW…”we’ll leave da light on fer ya!” (smile)

    Usted tiene “il grinta” ! (True Grit)

    Sopy ;~)
    ‘True Grit’ from: ‘Glen Campbell In Concert’

  22. Then there are those of us who are married to men who think like Mohler, and even our kids’ attempts at Mother’s Day are dampered by daddy’s bad attitude. Maybe it will be OK this year, but I recall many Mother’s Days and birthdays in tears because of sarcasm, yelling, etc. One year I went to a Mother’s Day church service without my husband because he chose such a foul mood. So add us to your prayers. I wish the problems only went this far, but it’s really an every day thing.

  23. Wait wait wait. Waitwaitwaitwaitwait. Wait wait.

    He’s saying that it’s BAD to turn motherhood into the uber moral high ground?

    Huh???? Does he have any idea what theological camp he is in? Isn’t this EXACTLY how he and many other complementarians believe women should view themselves….with “mother” being their primary spiritual goal in life? I am so confused my head is spinning.

  24. And by the way, I love how he says Mother’s Day is a bad idea because we might accidentally celebrate moms who aren’t living up to his ideal, who have “abdicated” their responsibilities. I wonder what kind of mother he is talking about who fits this category? I have a sneaking suspicion that he is talking about moms who work and moms who don’t believe that their personhood has to disappear into their child.

  25. An aside: I’ve never had kids of my own, though I’ve wanted to.

    Mothers’ Day can be very hard for childless couples, those who are single, and those who have lost children.

    I wish churches would keep all of these folks in mind when they have special Mothers’Day activities, etc.

  26. Tired Mom
    I am so, so sorry that your husband has bought into the Calvinista “only give glory to God and pastors” doctrine. You are not alone. So many men hear this stuff, apply what they hear, and then the likes of Piper and gang claim that isn’t what they meant. And they keep claiming that isn’t what they meant, way too often. Frankly, I am weary of their empty protestations.

    You are one of the ones, like Charis, who should be held up as examples of deep sacrifice for the sake of your children. One day, you will be honored for your faithfulness. My only caution is this. If he gets physical in any way, get out, no matter what your pastor or friends say. These men usually escalate. If you need to talk, please contact us through our TWW contact phone number. We will keep anything you say, including the fact of a phone call, completely confidential. I also know a Christian nurse practitioner who is personally acquainted with abuse who would be willing to talk with you.

    I am praying for you!

  27. Haitch said:

    “MM – they would need to have masculine floral arrangements then. So pansies are out obviously”

    Please don’t insult the pansies. They are my favorite flower and all over my deck at the moment. 🙂

  28. “An aside: I’ve never had kids of my own, though I’ve wanted to.

    Mothers’ Day can be very hard for childless couples, those who are single, and those who have lost children.

    I wish churches would keep all of these folks in mind when they have special Mothers’Day activities, etc.”

    I know what you mean, numo. There are women who will not attend services tomorrow because it will have been taken over by honoring the moms. Things are kept light and happy with short sermons about biblical mothers so we aren’t late for brunch…as per the Mars Hill tips for a perfect Mother’s Day church service. I am sorry-but allowing for time after the service for those who aren’t in the brightest of moods on Mother’s Day to come up for prayer seems lacking. Why not just say a quick word of congrats to all the moms here and leave it at that. Maybe have a sermon of regular length about coming to Christ for all the new people that apparently come on Mother’s Day; that would be good.

    Tired Mom– I will pray too.

  29. Sergiius,

    WOW! There is just one letter’s difference between MOHLER and MOTHER…

    Thanks for pointing this out.

  30. “I wish churches would keep all of these folks in mind when they have special Mothers’Day activities, etc”

    This has been a tradition in my family. We always honor those childless women who have been integral in our lives as a sort of second mom. Some are single. Last mother’s day we honored a single woman in the church who does children’s choir as special women who has impacted so many children who loved her dearly. I speak in past tense because she recently died very young and suddenly.

    My heart has always ached for those women who could not bear children and wanted to. We must tell them what they mean to us and the impact they have on our lives. .

  31. I don’t know if I want to go to church tomorrow… It’s mothers day, and I’m single and none too young. And I don’t want to hear the mothers’ day fuss.

    (I am visiting my own Mamma – Afrikaans for Mum – tomorrow, though.)

  32. Deb:

    Yes — just as there’s a one letter difference between “Segius,” and “Sergiius,” though I think I’m going to go with the double-i spelling from now on. Thanks for the idea.


    Did you get my second e-mail yesterday — the one which actually had content and in which I responded to your question?


  33. This is off topic. But I thought that you folks might be interested as it sort of fits with the theme of your blog.

    First, the basics of an emerging church abuse scandal in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Then, this (long) letter (that I’m just starting to process) from a woman very close to the situation that was just released today:

  34. @Retha
    ‘I don’t know if I want to go to church tomorrow… It’s mothers day, and I’m single and none too young. And I don’t want to hear the mothers’ day fuss.

    (I am visiting my own Mamma – Afrikaans for Mum – tomorrow, though.)’

    Mag die Here jou seën terwyl jy met mamma kuier!

    (Verskoon my slegte skool-Afrikaans.) 🙂

  35. Sopy, Sallie, Diane, Anon 1, Retha (and anyone I left out but didn’t mean to) – thanks so much for your kindness and understanding! It means a great deal, and not just to me, but to folks like my mom. (One of my siblings died several years ago; Mothers’ Day is pretty rough for my mom now…)

    Thank you also for “getting it” re. those of us who wanted (in my case)/want to have children. I am grandma-age now and… well. (No need to fill in the blank.)

    The cool thing is that *nobody* here has given me/us some line about “But you can have spiritual children” – while it might be true, it just isn’t the same as either having one of your own and/or adopting.

    May God richly bless everyone here who *is* a biological mom (and grandma!) tomorrow, as well as all of us who would like to be but aren’t.


  36. Sergius

    Oops! I’m on my way back from Wilmington, and I forgot my reading glasses. It’s harder to comment on my IPhone than on my Mac. It just changed your name from “Sergius” to “Serious”. Fortunately, I caught it!

    P S. My hubby is behind the wheel, so I’m not texting while driving. 🙂

  37. Sergius: well, you could spell your name Serge-ee-us, or something like that.

    I kinda like “Sergiius” myself – how about “Ssergiius”? ; )

  38. ((((((Tired Mom)))))) and ((((((Numo))))))

    Cyberhug! I’m missing church tomorrow and I’ll pray for both of you on my long car ride.

    Love, Charis

  39. Off topic – – – but the Pyro guys have opened their blog to comments on SGM for anyone wanting to add their 2 cents. It is moderated. Is JeffB out there anywhere? I thought you had been trying to comment there.

  40. numo,

    I understand. My aunt was a great-grandmother when she was my age. I have never been married and have no children.

    Also, my mother was abusive and I haven’t seen her for almost four years. Mother’s Day is actually rougher for me because of my mother than the rest.

    Thank you all for not making light of this reality that exists for many.

  41. Bridget, thanks for the tip. Gotta hand it to The Custodian (sorry, I mean The Centurion): I never thought he’d open up the lines.

    Having read through the comment thread, I would urge TWW readers who know more about the SGM situation than I (in short, everyone) to go over there, read through the thread, and contribute to it, starting with our esteemed proprietors.

    And JeffB, if you’re still banned over there, shoot me an e-mail (, and I’d be happy to play Aaron to your Moses (that goes for anybody else who’s been banned as well).

    SMG (not SGM)

  42. Sergius,

    I’ve been over at Pyro, and I’m monitoring the situation. The spin is rather clever – the reason people have lashed out at SGM is because they are charismatic?!

  43. Sopy –

    Thank you for my virtual flowers. It was very touching. Really! I mean that….

    Tomorrow will be a good day. Perhaps my inlaws will jump in and do their part and let me rest a little at the cookout…I can dream!

  44. Hope this hasn’t been mentioned previously and I’m repeating myself.

    E.G your links got me reading and then some. From that there are links to a WinePress Publishing story and then this blog:


    Probably don’t read this on a day when you need to feel uplifted. Not happy mum day reading sorry.

    In regards to the child sex assault charges mentioned, this is what she says:

    “After all, what church do you know of who would leave a pastor in their pastoral position after he has been arrested for child rape, defending him and declaring his innocence? What in the world does that say to the other young girls in the church who may also be victims?”


    She provides links to the media article here:,0,680715.story

    Again, perfect environment for child abuse.

  45. Thanks for your comment, numo. I’ve lost two, and while mother’s day is great and full of thankfulness for my moms and mothers-in-law (multiple divorces), it also is tainted with grief that most can’t understand. Always comforting to hear of others in the same boat.

  46. BTW Numo, I know you know this but have to say it again: Motherhood is NOT a woman’s highest calling. You already know what it is. I just had to say it because so many patriarchs try to sell it as the Gospel and so many women have bought into that silliness.

  47. I remember Athena Dean from a Christian writer’s conference I attended. I could hardly fathom her story. Isn’t the pattern amazing? Same tactics over and over again in all these different churches and organizations. I’m so glad for her she got out.

    I checked out the Sound Doctrine Church. They have a link on the top that is “Cult.” Click on that and here is the top quote:

    “A church not slanderously labeled a cult does not live enough of Christianity to truly be of Christ.”

    Run. Run far away.

  48. Hitch and Sallie: the connection between Javid and Sound Doctrine and Wine Press is a perfect example the old birds-of-a-feather adage.

  49. Sound Doctrine church. This may seem pedantic, but wouldn’t calling your church Sound Doctrine kind of imply that it’s…not? And the pastor has to actively tell people that it is in order to cover up the hole?

    Be a bit like meeting someone for the first time and saying “Don’t worry, I’m not going to punch you in the face. No really, I’m not. I’m safe as houses.”

  50. Sound Doctrine church. This may seem pedantic, but wouldn’t calling your church Sound Doctrine kind of imply that it’s…not? And the pastor has to actively tell people that it is in order to cover up the hole? — Anne

    Sounds like the “People’s Republic of Tyranny” over at TV Tropes: The more adjectives about Democracy in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship that country is.

  51. @ Retha, JJ
    Aangename kennis! Lekker om mede-Suidafrikaners in die cyberruimte te ontmoet.
    Thanks for your comments and insights. Always good to read.
    Groete vannie Moederstad,

  52. Dear Mr. Mohler,

    Millions of people today will go to church to thank our Lord for our mothers.

    Millions of mothers will be remembered by some in the church because they are abused and oppressed especially because they are women.

    Each year Project Hannah, women of hope, and many others set aside time in May to do this.

    And every year, many in the church are not sensitive to the single and childless and people abused by their mothers.
    Today will be hard for my friend who recently lost her mother…

    What will you do today?

  53. My late husband and I resorted to IVF to try to become parents, without success. But I sometimes wonder if the 39 embryos we produced are all grown up and waiting for me in heaven. 🙂

  54. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and those remembering their mothers where it does not cause pain.

    Happy Othering Day to everyone else who would rather forget that it’s Mother’s Day. This is another wonderful day where we can love one another as Christ has loved us.

  55. Love to all of you whether mother or not. Thank you for all you do for the children in your world. After all, a mother’s concern is the children who are given to her for a time on this earth, but who belong to Another that loves them with a far better love than we mothers. There are many out there who pour themselves into children who aren’t their own. Thank you for every time you show love to a child as Jesus did . . . that’s a mother 🙂

    And we mothers and children appreciate and need what you do!

  56. Happy Mother’s Day from across the pond. 🙂 Even though the dates are different the importance is the same.

  57. Anon1 – ‘Tis true! (I’m single, so I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on this…)

    Thing is, if God’s intention was for everyone to be married – and if his glory could not be fully seen in humankind apart from marriage (what – no Jesus??!!), then he could have set things up so that people were sort of “pre-married” from the moment of birth onward.

    Oh, wait – that’s what these advocates of calvinista patriarchy preach, isn’t it??!! 😉

  58. numo, I’m sorry for your pain. We went through years of infertility before adopting and then having a child biologically.

    And yes, sometimes mother’s day and father’s day hurt. So did the kiddies doing the Christmas pageant.

    But–we celebrate with those who celebrate.

    At joyful happy weddings there are usually some widows, widowers, divorcees, and folks desiring marriage but with little chance of it ever happening. We don’t cancel weddings and not celebrate marital love because some don’t experience it, have lost it, or it turned out badly.

    Let’s celebrate loving mothers–whether ours or others.

    Let’s celebrate loving fathers–whether ours or others.

    Let’s celebrate all those sharing the love of Christ, in fact!

    I pray you find peace and joy!

  59. Mohler wants to control how everyone thinks (and everyone should recognize he is God’s right hand man…and practically God himself). Therefore, now he is going on and on about Mother’s Day. He really needs to get a life.

  60. dee, let’s not forget to mention that the commemoration of all wedding anniversaries would also be idolatrous.

  61. WTH –
    But a marriage should be a picture of Christ and the Church that is meant as a witness to the world! You must give marriage anniversaries a pass musn’t you? (And that is even though both partners in a marriage are totally depraved and couldn’t possibly represent a very good picture to the world?) How do they ever get their doctrines to make sense 🙁

  62. numo,

    Never ever feel slighted or that you’ve missed out simply because you’ve never done the biological procreation thing. History is replete with both men and women great and small who were childless and yet made a difference for good in this world.

    You rate high in my book among those I’d choose to associate with!
    ===> (smiley face goes here)

  63. Bridget2, Jesus was never married (at least in the canonical gospels) so Jesus seems to have been severely challenged on that front. 😉

  64. Hello Dee and Deb. I’ve followed your blog for a little while, but this is my first time to comment. First, thank you for the work and research behind this blog. I have learned much.

    I would like to share that neither singles nor those who do not have children were the only ones feeling left out in yesterday’s Mother’s Day service. At one point during our service, our pastor called several women forward, all were holding certificates. He called them “Courageous Women.” I knew instantly what it was to be about. He spoke of the study associated with the movie that these women had completed, and the resolution they had signed. The resolution was then read from the pulpit by his wife and women in the congregation were invited/encouraged to stand. I remained seated, not because the goals in the resolution are not my desire, for most of them I have practiced throughout my life as a Christian wife and mother.

    I remained seated because it was all done in a manipulative sort of way, with the implication that if we women truly love and want to follow Jesus we would stand. It was read once, with no written copy for women in the congregation to review or even time to consider and pray about.

    **These were the women who received the pastor’s Mother’s Day prayer and blessing. This was the first time, in 29 years as a mother, that I have not been invited to stand for my pastor to pray for me in my walk as a Christian mother. I, along with any others who did not stand, were left out.**

    My husband wrote on his bulletin “I am proud of you!” My art student daughter wrote on hers “I think you are a courageous woman!”

    I did NOT let this ruin my Mother’s Day — my son graduated from medical school this weekend, is a devoted Christian and will marry a wonderful young woman in three weeks, a young woman who is very loving and appreciative of me, who looks forward to being my daughter-in-law. I was blessed by my two daughters, who also love Jesus, and by my husband. I received a message from my son-in-law, “Happy Mother’s Day! You are a wonderful mother-in-law!” So, I am blessed and not in the doldrums nor in the least am I seeking sympathy over what happened yesterday in the service — it was just disappointing, oppressive, and, frankly, weird. I just felt that I needed to share it.

    Thank you again. Warm regards and respect.

  65. Anonymous,

    Thank you for your comment, and welcome to TWW! First of all, I am proud of your husband and daughter for their loving support of you and for your son’s accomplishments!


  66. Anonymous
    Please pick a moniker, some identifier so that we can follow your story, here. What you have said has piqued the interest of many.

  67. Anonymous,

    Good for you for not caving in to manipulation. It really does take a courageous woman to do that! For much of my life I’ve had a tendency to allow myself to go along with things like that, and then I find myself resenting people later on. It’s just not worth it. Hopefully I’m getting wiser.

    And (speaking as an art college grad) I love to hear about parents who proudly support their artistically-inclined children as they get their professional footing. Looking back on my experience, I think it was a real challenge for my parents to trust that everything would work out okay for me.

  68. Anonymous –

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry this was your experience at church on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, I can picture many a pastor doing something similar and thinking he was doing a very good thing. He would probably be dumbfounded if you shared your thoughts on the subject, including that you thought it was manipulative.

    I would be interested in what the resolution said, as well, and what church denomination or “family” your church is part of, if it’s no too personal.

  69. This is a mother’s day sermon I think we could all endorse:

    “Mother’s, even though you may feel condemned, if you are in Christ, you are not condemned. This is the real reality.

    You are not condemned, because if you are in Christ, your identity…your righteousness is Christ alone. Therefore, enjoy the unending love and affection and acceptance of being a daughter perfectly loved with an unwavering love that flows from your Father in Heaven.

    And to all those who are not mothers…

    Do nothing as Pastors, Husbands, Sons, Daughters, Mothers, Fathers, Mother-in-Laws, Father-in-Laws, friends, acquaintances and advice givers to diminish this reality. Nothing.”

  70. René,

    Thanks for sharing this post by our friend Matt Redmond. His website is included on our blogroll.

    I hope all mothers will read Matt’s post and be encouraged.

  71. Thanks so much to all of you who have encouraged me!

    I came down with a cold yesterday and spent the evening reading (a novel that was a real “can’t put it down”), so am only just seeing some of the more recent comments.

    linda, I agree completely!

    And I do want you all to know that I haven’t been feeling left out or really down so much as… well, just a bit sad. (Partly to do with my mom’s grieving.) It’s just one of those things in life…

    But I *do* think a fair number of churches could handle things like Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day (etc.) more sensitively – Anonymous’ story is a case in point.

    Hope you all had a good weekend!

  72. Catching up on reading, and found a very peculiar webpage from “Sound Doctrine Church” discussed by E G, Haitch, and Sallie on Sat.
    The “Wholesome Talk” page encourages us, “GOT ANYTHING TO SAY? GO AHEAD AND LEAVE A COMMENT!” The caveat is that the comment must be wholesome and moderated according to scripture. Only ONE (1) (slightly less than 2) comment has made it through in over 2 months, which was, “Why leave a comment you never post any.” 
    This commenter is a Christian author who apparently had a really hard time getting her “story” removed from the Winepress publishing website by now-accused-child-rapist and associate pAstor Malcolm Fraser. She is castigated by moderator “Hard Truth”, whom I assume to be pAstor Tim Williams. (Of course, pAstor Williams is standing by his man.) One good line, “So you are drawn into leaving accusatory, derogatory, and non-constructive comments instead of obeying the Bible and engaging in wholesome talk.”
    I wonder, if some of us tried commenting in a wholesome manner using appropriate scripture, if “Hard Truth” would publish our comments. Not me, however… I’m still recovering from Challies deleting the scripture I posted there……

    PS: I noticed their headline verse is Prov. 18:17 The first to present his case seems right until another comes forward and questions him. This verse seems to be very popular of late amongst those wanting “the other side” to be heard, while considering the first side to be nothing but gossip and slander.
    PPS There’s not much out there about “Sound Doctrine Church” but this: is excellent. Links to an excellent, lengthy article by Glenn Miller on “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority” as well.     

  73. Deb – Thank you for the warm welcome! Yes, it is tied to the movie “Courageous.” I am having trouble finding a readable text online, but here it is:
    I honestly think my pastor believed that every woman would “stand with these women” for the resolution. I don’t think his intent was to exclude any mother from his prayer/blessing, but that did indeed happen. Some fine goals here, but I have learned of the theological influence behind it which has hurt women.
    For certain: yesterday I “celebrated my God-given uniqueness!”

    A Wacoan – I apologize; it was a mistake. I meant to choose a name before I posted the comment; I did not intend to post as anonymous.

    René — Hello! Like you, I have had the tendency to just go along with these things. Only in recent years have I gained the confidence to do otherwise. I teach my children to trust their discernment when something does not feel right, and to study for themselves. They, in young adulthood, are at a point which took me many more years to reach. Thanks for sharing that you are an art graduate!

    Bridget2 — No, not too personal at all. My church is in the SBC and attendance is in the 700’s.

  74. Rose

    As a life long Baptist (male), mostly in SBC affiliated churches, I have some sympathy for the way you have been mistreated on the issue that led my spouse and me to leave for more moderate pastures. I was raised by a state WMU president mom and a state board member Dad who was chairman of the deacons in the church more years than he was not, on what was considered a mission field by the SBC in the ’50s and ’60s. They had grown up as Baptists in a southern state and moved north after WWII. Leaving was not easy, but the SBC was becoming something different than I was exposed to as a child and youth.

    I was raised an egalitarian on race issues from the late ’50s, on gender from the mid ’60s. I came to an acceptance of different gender preferences in the mid ’70s, although I am strongly identified as a hetero man.

    I believe in complementary strengths in marriage, but not in gender assignment of roles. I have done the laundry almost exclusively during our marriage of 33 years, do much of the grocery shopping, about 40% of the cooking, and, when spouse was teaching, the kids were little, and I had a job that gave me a lot of flexibility, did primary parenting for our two little ones for several years. I am good with small children, and do a lot of legal work regarding custody and child neglect/abuse.

    I find the entire complementarian/patriarchy nonsense to be countra-biblical, and specifically, contrary to the teachings of Jesus. The first Apostle (if defined as one who say Jesus risen and was commissioned to share the good news) was a woman, and Jesus treated women with respect and without demeaning them in contrast to the ethos of the day. Christians should do no less. And in the first century, there were women prophesying (preaching), teaching, being deacons and elders, etc. To say otherwise is to twist the scripture with a cultural bias of the 19th century and ignore the cultural realities of the 1st century and how different Christian communities were from their environs then.

    Welcome. BTW, Rose is a family name, as well as other words than mean Rose. My grandmother was Rosa.

  75. “”Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers. Children, young and old, who ignore and dishonor their mothers by word and by life throughout the year, assuage their guilt by making a big deal of Mother’s Day.””

    Um, Al, Which one of us *is* REALLY deserving??

    I agree any holiday can be made into a show devoid of meaning. And every Holiday has its questionable origins. (hey, take the “Christmas and Easter are Pagan” bandwagon). But good grief. He ought to say “why church is a bad idea” or “why pastors are a bad idea” because some people corrupt those things.

  76. Arce — I read with interest your story and I thank you for sharing it. I am happy to make your acquaintance.

  77. doubtful,

    “Every day is Father’s day in Al’s world” LOLOLOL
    Nailed it!

    If Mohler really believed what he preached from his heart (about women and their roles), he would be one of the biggest proponents of Mother’s Day. What an opportunity to celebrate mothers’ God given function; to extol her in righteousness (aka homemaking).

    It’s all about point #2 really. His supporting points are flimsy at best, and they fail to divert attention away from the obvious underlying message/ feelings towards women- which are very ugly. At least J.P. is better at making points which sound reasonable (usually, and until one does some reflection).

    Matthew 15: 1-9
    Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for exalting their own man made (‘biblical’) traditions over the command of God to honor their mother and father.

  78. Matthew 15 is particularly important because the Pharisees given excuse for not giving honor to their parents was under the pretense of giving praise/service to God.