Todd Wagner, Watermark Church, Seems to Show a Lack of Empathy for Moms Who Work Outside the Home

"Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people's, if we are always criticizing trivial actions – which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives." – Saint Teresa of Avila link

Recently, Todd Wagner, Senior Pastor of Watermark Church, a multi site church based on Dallas, TX, discussed his perspectives on Does the Bible Say It's OK for Moms to Work? which was covered by The Christian Post. You can listen to the entire podcast which is embedded at the end of the post.

Watermark Church is a popular, non-denominational church in the Dallas area which has about 11,000 members. It appears to attract a fairly high income crowd if their building program is any indication of the amount of money coming into the church.

Watermark's Church Contract

They have a fairly typical, hard line membership covenant which we prefer to call a legal contract because it is. It has the usual clauses of church discipline, submission and warnings against gossip. It also has an interesting requirement that each member must fill our their *spiritual growth assessment* once a year. I wonder what happens if their spiritual growth had a negative year?

For Watermark members who will read be reading this, here is a link to a number of posts we have written on the legal ramifications of church covenants. In case you don't think it would even happen at your church, remember the Karen HInkley/Village Church scandal story that happened down the road from you a couple of years back.  Ask your pastor why you are safe from such shenanigans. Also, ask the staff why you were not told that this is a legal contract before you signed it. We recommend that no one sign such agreements without first consulting an attorney. Better yet, we recommend that you never sign it.


Now, back to the subject at hand…

Watermark's doctrinal statement on marriage

This is good background for the subject at hand. At first blush, this statement appears to be par for the course for conservative churches. However, I have highlighted a section that I would like to think about more carefully.

We believe that God ordained marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:31-33). Those who accept and live within God’s design for sex, biological gender and marriage experience the blessing of His good design (Psalm 1:1-3, 128:1-4), and decisions to change, alter or modify God’s will in marriage, sex or gender are part of man’s brokenness and lead to despair. (Romans 1:21-22; James 1:13-15).

Let's take a look at the quoted Psalm 128:1-4. (NIV Bible Gateway) Remember, this is in the Old Testament. 

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.

Yes, this will be the blessing
    for the man who fears the Lord.

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV Bible Gateway

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

It is quite easy to take the easy way out and interpret the previous passages thusly:

Gee,  if I obey God I will have lots of children, money, a great job, etc.

That is dangerous theology which could lead to disouragement with God if a family is not *propering.*

*Should moms' work?* is the wrong question.

Look at Wagner's question. The actual title to his talk is According to the Bible, Should a Mom Work. The answer is simple. All moms work. What he really means to ask is "Should moms work both inside and outside of the home?"

Wagner questions the motive (note it is singular not plural) of moms with children who work outside.

 While it's not forbidden, Todd Wagner questioned the motive behind a mother choosing to work over being at home with her children.

First of all, a decision like this is rarely, if ever, limited to one motive. It is a mix of motives. As many of you know, I am opposed to questioning motives of others since only God knows the heart. I don't even fully understand the complexity of my own motives in many instances. That is why the confession we have at church mentions sins known and unknown. Motives are tricky things and as a much loved pastor often said:

"Even on my best days, my motives are mixed."

There are many reasons why moms choose to work ouside the home or choose not to do so and we need to smash a few stereotypes. Please not that Wagner was addressing moms who work, not women who work.

Lots of stay at home moms are not staying at home.

Having lived in Dallas for 10 years with young children, I can attest that many stay at home moms have full time babysitters, housekeepers, etc. and spend their days working at home businesses like Amway, shopping, charity work, clubs and lunches. Whether that is good or bad, is up to them and God. However to pretend that they *don't work* outside the home is erroneous. 

Some pastors give themselves a break from their "stay home"rule  when their wives worked to get them through seminary and early pastorates.

There is a pastor who has probably preached his fair share of sermons on why moms should stay home. However, there is a back story. Not only did his wife work to put him through seminary, she kept working to support him during his early pastor years while they had children. Somehow, that got a pass. Once again, if this was agreeable to both of them, fine. But I do not like his current stories involving his *stay at home* wife.

Work is not to make us more comfortable? Seriously?

My guess is that Wagner lives a very comfortable life in a really nice house with plenty of money to take his wife to dinner, vacation, etc. I bet he has an excellent benefits package with great health care, retirement packages, etc. He gets to deduct all kinds of money for his *parsonage allowance.* (I think the allowance is around $200,000 for all pastors.) He says:

God gave us work as a chance for us to have purpose and dignity and to exist in a way that was going to lead to human flourishing," the pastor explained.

So "we've got to make sure that everything we do is for those that we are here to serve."

"It is not to make our lives more comfortable," he added.

I wonder what he means by comfortable?

Is working to provide health insurance for your family just a selfish ploy to be comfortable?

Does he know how expensive it is to get health insurance these days? Does he know about the $6,000 deductibles? I wonder if he thinks working to pay for health insurance is really just a comfort thing, not an important thing? Having a child who had a malignant brain tumor while I was in Dallas sure gave me insight into the need for good health care insurance if the worst case scenario happens.

More on this in a bit.

According to Wagner, women are given significance and purpose through bearing children.

Uh oh, I think we are getting a bit off track here. He adds this.

Nothing, he said, is esteemed more in God's eyes than giving birth to and shaping a human made in the image of God.

It seems like he is saying that women who don't have children are not going to be as esteemed in God's eyes as mothers "who shape a human in the image of God." This is just plain wrong. One is esteemed because they are created in the image of God. He sent Jesus to die for all mankind because He loved them.They are all valued equally by Him who created them.

Does God tell a single woman who has no children:

"Too bad. It sucks to be you since you will not be esteemed as much as Sarah who stays home with two kids."

The two extremes in this discussion are both wrong.

I am a mom who stayed home with my kids. We were fortunate that I could do so financially. I also had a child with a serious illness. We all have to think through what is best for our  families. Life is not perfect and many situations do not have perfect solutions. I met so many families in the neuro-oncology clinic whose children had brain tumors. There were moms who had to work to pay for the good health insurance not available to their husbands. Other families experienced divorces. Did you know that divorces often happen when families experience a horrific crisis like a child with a brain tumor? Yet, we have our simplistic rules.

On the other hand, I still remember a female attorney, who I knew before kids, approaching me while I played at a pool with my kids. She worked for a well-known hosiery company as one of their corporate attorneys. She asked me "Aren't you bored at home?" I replied. "I happen to know that you aren't living on the edge of adventure each day in you job either." Who knows what her situation really was like? Was she judging me because I didn't do what she did? Who knows?

I am sick and tired of people making judgment on moms who work or don't work. But it bothers me more when church leaders, who should show compassion for struggling families, add more burdens to their lives. Todd Wagner appears to demonstrates that he has little idea of the pain, struggles and suffering that many families endure.

Do the blessings for living within a approved marriage elationship always guarantee blessings or prosperity?

Remember, the doctrinal stand of this church as we explore Wagner's thoughts of the matter. So long as you follow God's design in marriage, you will experience the blessing of that design. Ask yourself the question "Is this always true?"

Those who accept and live within God’s design for sex, biological gender and marriage experience the blessing of His good design.

I am sorry but the blessing mentioned in the quote Psalms does not mean that all married couples are guaranteed that blessing even if they obey God. This is nonsense right out of the health and wealth gospel playbook. It is also a set up for profound disappointment when the blessing doesn't materialize. 

Wagner admits that some mothers have to work but it seemed like an afterthought.

Wagner acknowledged that not all women — such as single moms — have the luxury of not working and staying home with their children.

There are many circumstances in which a mom might have to work, even if she would prefer to stay at home.

One woman's husband developed a serious mental illness.

Christianity Today posted an insightful article by an anonymous author: When Your Spouse Is Mentally Ill. The author, a mother of two, was married to a funny, smart, hardworking and committed Christian husband. She had a *blessed* life until the day her husband began to hear voices. Sadly, it progressed and he was eventually diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder which is a cross between bipolar disease and schizophrenia. It is a devastating illness.

Although she wished to stay married, a divorce happened. It is implied in the post that she must now work to support her two children. Thankfully, she had held onto her skills and now has a job. This is a godly wife and mother who respected Christian marriage yet God did not bless her with the ability to stay at home.

The value of schooling in impoverished families.

Wagner said:

"Mamas ought to do what they do because they love their kids, not because they love a job, not because they love more flexibility to vacation where they want, not because they love the kind of car they can drive or the school they can send their kid to later if they work," he continued. "They are to be defined by self-restraint, not self-serving.

There are many people who are poor and live in areas in which the schools are terrible.There are a number of people who have sacrificed to send their kids to better schools in order to lift them out of the cycle of poverty. Sometimes, the hope of better schooling is something that is quite important to families. Many of the poor immigrant families that I knew as a child worked hard to provide their children with an education so that they could rise above the poverty that their parents' experienced.

My own grandparents, Russian immigrants, came to this country with no money and a hope for a better life for their children. My grandfather worked in a leather tanning factory and my grandmother in a textile family and they lived in a small apartment. They figured out a way to get my father through medical school. My father worked hard and my mother was able to stay home with my brother and me.

Wagner's simplistic Biblical application would have had little application in the lives of my grandparents and many other immigrant families.

The need for a decent car in Dallas

By the way, do you know how much we used to spend driving on the Tollway in Dallas? When we moved back to Raleigh, we suddenly noticed a huge savings in our driving expenses. Do you know how bad the traffic is and how long it takes to get anywhere? Families need a decent car to survive on those roads. The pastor probably has a nice car. I wonder if he empathizes with those who are trying to figure out how to get a decent car with good air-conditioning to endure those congested roadways?

Wagner says that men should not overwork but…what should a father do when a family needs more money?

"There are guys who abandon their family and are workaholics … because they get more strokes and acclaim and praise out there working. So rather than be present as a father, they're trying to get their value and dignity somewhere else," he noted.

Let's say a man agrees with his wife that she should stay home with the kids. However, his salary isn't enough to cover the costs for medical insurance, transportation, shoes for growing feet, etc. If he works longer hours, is it fair to say he is a workaholic? Not all men who work long hours are workaholics. Wagner should have met the immigrant families that I knew. Perhaps he doesn't meet many of these families in the upper middle class church of his.

Should people who are struggling still tithe to buy those expensive buildings and pay for good salaries and benefits?

Everyone who struggles financially at Watermar has probably been urged give more money to the church. Look at the church's building programs. Many tens of millions of dollars are involved. I bet members get lectures about giving sacrificially to the church as well as over and above to the building program. Imagine how it is for the family who can barely make ends meet to hear that they must give more. They see the pastor living very, very well. They see the fancy buildings going up. Then, as they try give, perhaps they are told that it isn't enough. How do you think they feel, knowing that they haven't prospered like their church leaders and elders. Does this mean they are unfaithful?

Look, life is hard. We have to be kind and understand that there are often no perfect solutions to complicated family situations. Wagner should stop judging the motives of families who are trying to figure it all out. Yes, a few may be ignoring their kids. But most of the people I know are doing their best to navigate a difficult and complex world.


Comments

Todd Wagner, Watermark Church, Seems to Show a Lack of Empathy for Moms Who Work Outside the Home — 281 Comments

  1. If he works longer hours, is it fair to say he is a workaholic? Not all men who work long hours are workaholics.
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this. It’s another “catch” in the complementarian system.

  2. @ Dave A A:
    I quoted the OP, BUT what I’ve heard for years are variations upon Wagner’s theme (not THAT Wagner) of
    “There are guys who abandon their family and are workaholics … because they get more strokes and acclaim and praise out there working. So rather than be present as a father, they’re trying to get their value and dignity somewhere else,”
    i couldn’t win, because I was supposed,to make more money to “provide” but be home more to “lead”.

  3. Dee:
    “I am sick and tired of people making judgment on moms who work or don’t work.”
    Thanks, me too.

  4. My parents married young. Until after I turned 7 years old, we lived in an old two room farm house with no running water. My mom worked at a sewing factory (with health insurance) and my dad drove a rock truck (no health insurance at that company). When I was 4 or 5, my dad got a better job as a maintenance man at a factory. So, my parents built a 3-bedroom, 1-bath house ……. 7-year-old Nancy2 thought it was a mansion. My mom worked because that was what was best for us.

    I stayed at home with my daughter until she was 2. Then my husband had to have 4 surgeries in 3 years, so I went to work. When the car battery goes dead and the water heater quits, having 17 cents left in the bank at the end of the month after absolute necessities are covered doesn’t cut it. I chose to work because that was what was best for us. After my husband died, I had to work to survive. Later, I married a soldier who made good money. So, I finished my college education and taught math because I wanted to!

    My daughter stays at home. She doesn’t have any children, but she has 2 step-sons, one of whom has severe learning disabilities as well as physical problems. Both of her in-laws (who live 1/2 mile from her) are in poor health and need her help often. My son-in-law works full time and is starting his own business on the side — my daughter also helps him with the business. She chooses to stay at home because that is what is best for the family.

    None of my grandmothers worked at official paying jobs, but they did farm work…… tobacco, corn, hay, hogs, cows (beef and milk), chickens, gardens, home canning, sewing, churning butter, processing their own meat from both farm animals and wild game…… And, they babysat me, and I was …… uhm, a daring tom-boy. I’d call what they did hard manual labor.

    Some of us do what we have to do for our families. Some of us are able to do what we want to do. As long as we are not harming anyone, whose business is it?
    Todd Wagner (and his ilk ) can kiss my grits. They’ll be cold and laying on the floor beside him when he regains consciousness from where I hit him over the head with the hot skillet I cooked the grits in. Smile!

  5. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    The pastor of Waterlogged church is a handsome man with a good physique; a real manly man, therefore I believe whatever he says.

    Really??? In that case, my dad has some mean old cows that need to be de-horned, and my daughters horse and my nieces pony need to have their hooves trimmed. Tell that man ‘o gawd to come on over. We’ll see what kind of manly man he is.
    Oh, never mind. My daughter and I did that stuff last summer, so it’s prolly wimmens work.

  6. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Some of us do what we have to do for our families. Some of us are able to do what we want to do. As long as we are not harming anyone, whose business is it?

    God bless you and yours Nancy2. It’s so easy for these pampered priests of evangelicalism to preach down to the working class. They are totally out of touch with real life. But hey, can you dig a little deeper to help send the overworked pastor on a 10 week sabbatical?

    God bless the working man (and woman).

    https://youtu.be/CwQ5FKX02kg

  7. White evangelicals have made it plain that they just like to be led around by authoritarian con men. Guess we just have to get used to it.

  8. I’d like to drop this pastor into a non-wealthy section of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I know they exist. People are struggling out there. I pointed out to a friend on Facebook earlier today that wages at the bottom end of the scale are not increasing as fast as those on the top end of the scale, and as housing prices are zooming up, families are being pushed into substandard housing or even onto the street because they can’t afford homes.

    I was in Salt Lake City last weekend, visiting a friend who was in the hospital (he’s now out). There’s a certain segment of the population where married women are guilted into “staying home” with the kids. Housing prices are also soaring in SLC but women are being told their first place is in the home. It causes a lot of stress in marriages.

    I honestly believe these pastors ought to just shut up about married women working outside the home unless and until they’re living on the same average salary as their congregants. Then they might understand why they’re putting their attendees under a lot of unnecessary stress.

    I’m not even going to touch how I feel about his idea that women should all be mothers. This kind of rhetoric annoys me to no end.

  9. Quoting the article that quotes from the Waterguy: “Nothing, he said, is esteemed more in God’s eyes than giving birth to and shaping a human made in the image of God.”

    I just spent some time doing internet searches for Bible passages that state this. Also looked for “a woman’s highest calling”. Drawing a blank, as well, on directions for mothers about working for pay outside the home. That is just weird. Some pontificators pontificate so much about ‘a woman’s highest calling” and about ” women’s roles” that it has to be there. Google must be having an off day. Other than the usual few verses about wives submitting to their own husbands, coupled with husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for, I’m getting nowhere. Mr. Tree says it’s probably next to ” blessed us she who maketh a light biscuit.”

  10. I’ll believe he is serious about enabling mothers in his church to work at home when he gives up his plush church office and huge pulpit to go work in a warehouse church with bad heat in the inner city and the church gives all those millions away to people in that area.

    “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” -Matt. 23:4

  11. Tree wrote:

    Quoting the article that quotes from the Waterguy: “Nothing, he said, is esteemed more in God’s eyes than giving birth to and shaping a human made in the image of God.”
    I just spent some time doing internet searches for Bible passages that state this. Also looked for “a woman’s highest calling”. Drawing a blank, as well, on directions for mothers about working for pay outside the home.

    That’s because it doesn’t exist.

    Faith in Christ is the highest calling of all men and women:

    So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Gal 3:26,28

  12. GMFS

    ION: Athletics

    On the first evening of the 2017 World Championships in London, the legendary Mo Farah did it again; this time in sub-26:50, and it was a superb race by any standards.

    The even more legendary Usain Bolt was in subdued form in the 100m heats, but it was only the heats.

    IFON: Cricket

    Hmm.

    IHTIH

  13. This is Lori Alexander’s mantra. Mothers should be at home serving their husbands. Have a look at her FB page or blog. Any pushback she gets she deletes the comments that are reasonable and well thought ones but leaves the weird. She believes She is commanded by God to teach the younger women as per Titus 2 and women are to be keepers at home as this is what God commands but she may work if her husband tells her to to cos you obey husband before God

  14. It is interesting when these pastors make up rules, they use proof texts that often times have nothing to say about the subject at hand. One passage they never reference is Mt.22:34-40. What is the greatest commandment? Of course the answer is love. These guys never seem to get to the crux of the matter. Love of God, love neighbor, in this case family, should drive the discussion and any decision about employment. Love goes to motive, which are personal and always mixed. But when love is in the motive mix at least we have some basis for rational Christian decision making. If our only desire is to seek some blessing from God, or the pastor, we get way off track. We should serve God and family, not to be blessed, but rather to be obedient to the commands of God. And the greatest commandment is to love God.

  15. @Dee, Did you realize you used the term “Marriage relationship”in one of your titles? Reverse Freudian slip?

  16. Back in 2006, Watermark was sued by an ex-member related to church discipline. “The basis of the lawsuit was the church wanted to go outside of the church and the community at large, including even their employers,” said Jeff Tillotson, attorney for the man and woman.”

    https://texags.com/forums/15/topics/633515

    Looking at the church website, it appears that Watermark has only three elders, one of whom is Todd Wagner. Does this seem a little sparse given attendance of 11,000?

    http://www.watermark.org/dallas/about/our-team

    Needless to say, Watermark identifies as a 9 Marks church.

  17. This man, Pastor is so out of touch with the real, working class, world.

    My parents were immigrants. They also came of age disinfected depression. They worked hard, yet we grew up poor. I know what it’s like to grow up in Mass. without heat in the winter because there was no money for a fill up. Very little medical/ dental care either. My father worked two darn jobs, for little pay. My mother worked as a sales clerk in a large department store.

    These comp people heap burdens on the working class. If they experienced what many poor families do, they’d be squealing like pigs.

    As an adult, I’ve had a life my parents could only dream of. Their example of hard work and integrity, has blessed me.

    When I meet these * superior * people, who decree how the peons should live, I want to slap them. I can’t stand their patronizing conversations. God has to help me with my heart, because in my flesh, I want to despise them.

  18. From Watermark’s membership booklet:

    SECTION 4: CARE AND CORRECTION OF PARTICIPATORY MEMBERS
    It is the responsibility of the Board of Elders, as described in Acts 20:28, to “be on guard for themselves and all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Shepherding includes both the care and correction of the sheep. As a consequence, the Board of Elders may separate a member of the flock from Membership for:

    • departure from his previously expressed agreement with “Our Beliefs”;
    • conduct that mars the testimony of the church or evidences a continued unrepentant departure from biblical morality;
    • manifesting disinterest and/or inactivity in the life of the church;
    • or other reasons as set forth in the Scriptures.

    The separation process shall follow that laid out in Scripture. By applying for and accepting Membership in this church, all Members submit themselves to the care and correction of the Board of Elders, and may not resign from Membership in an attempt to avoid such care and correction.

  19. I could only get halfway through this before thinking this guy needs to stop. Men running churches need to just STOP.

    You are not in charge of everybody. You do not get to decide what they do. What is important to them. What decisions they make for their family, or themselves. Stop acting like women are nothing more than walking baby factories with no possible interests or importance outside of that. Just stop! Ugh.

    11k in dallas going to this church. Why is no one telling these guys to stop???

  20. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    The pastor of Waterlogged church is a handsome man with a good physique; a real manly man, therefore I believe whatever he says.

    Which is why church members can trust that he and the leadership will always do what’s best for the members of the congregation; the abuses of TVC that happened in the Karen Hinkley case would never happen at Watermark.

  21. Mae wrote:

    Who watches out for and disciplines the shepherds?

    Hmm. If only there some kind of online, un-censorable setting in which independent scrutineers could call attention to their misdeeds.

    😉

  22. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I’d like to drop this pastor into a non-wealthy section of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I know they exist. People are struggling out there

    I’m re-posting a link to an article in Thursdays Telegraph entitled “Bishop: Church ‘abandons’ the poor because clergy won’t leave middle-class areas with trendy coffee shops”.

    It runs counter to Jesus’ teachings to church plant exclusively in upper middle class areas and ignore the needs of the poor, the widows, the orphans, etc. I’m no apologist for a social gospel but a plain reading of Scripture indicates that God has a heart for those who are unable to take care of their own needs.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/03/bishop-church-abandons-poor-clergy-wont-leave-middle-class-areas/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_fb

  23. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    The pastor of Waterlogged church is a handsome man with a good physique; a real manly man, therefore I believe whatever he says.

    Well said!

  24. Dee, you wrote that the typical housing allowance is $200,000. This should be $20,000. This corresponds to my experience preparing tax returns for pastors.

  25. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Some of us do what we have to do for our families. Some of us are able to do what we want to do. As long as we are not harming anyone, whose business is it?
    Todd Wagner (and his ilk ) can kiss my grits. They’ll be cold and laying on the floor beside him when he regains consciousness from where I hit him over the head with the hot skillet I cooked the grits in. Smile!

    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. Wganer better beware hanging around breakfast places!

  26. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee, you wrote that the typical housing allowance is $200,000. This should be $20,000. This corresponds to my experience preparing tax returns for pastors.

    I am referring to the law that allows write offs. The law allows up to $200,000 in deductions. I wasn’t referring to the typical deduction that pastors take.

    So, pastors like Ed Young Jr or Mark Driscoll will get $600,000 in salary then $180,000 in housing expenses. They. can deduct that amount. This caused quite a disturbance in the internet abut 5 years ago.

    I am pretty sure I am in the right ball park. Perhaps you can check for me.

  27. @ Mae:
    I think I am going to amend my advice to people. Di not sign membership contracts or submit spiritual growth forms. Can you imagine what they can do with that one? I am not saying they have but they could.

  28. Dale wrote:

    manifesting disinterest and/or inactivity in the life of the church;
    • or other reasons as set forth in the Scriptures.

    Anyone who attends this church is crewed if they get on the wrong side of the leadership.

  29. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    The pastor of Waterlogged church is a handsome man with a good physique; a real manly man, therefore I believe whatever he says.

    A lot of these guys become pretty-boy preachers because they couldn’t hold a job down otherwise. If you’ve got the look, a touch of charisma, and the gift of gab, you too could have a mega-church in America!

  30. So, Watermark has three elders. What if one of the elders “goes off the rails?” Can the church at large somehow get rid of him?

    How to remove an elder, from the “Membership Booklet”:

    “Removal

    No person can be removed from the Board of Elders except for just cause as determined by a unanimous vote of the Board of Elders (exclusive of the Elder whose removal is being considered). Just cause includes,but is not limited to: an elder being under the care and correction referred to in Article IV – Section 4 of this document; events that would disqualify him as set forth in this Article VI – Section 2; or behavior, schedule or stage of life the affects his ability to maintain biblical community with the other members of the Elder Board. If any Elder fails to maintain biblical community with the other members of the Elder Board, he should be informed and asked to make immediate adjustments to his schedule or voluntarily resign his office. The Board of Elders will accept the written resignation of an Elder whenever submitted.”

    Of course, his replacement would be chosen by… the board of elders! And in order to be a member, you must sign a contract that requires you to submit to… the Board of Elders!

  31. Dale wrote:

    “No person can be removed from the Board of Elders except for just cause as determined by a unanimous vote of the Board of Elders (exclusive of the Elder whose removal is being considered).”

    And let me guess, they appointed themselves elders at the start?

    Once again, #1 sign of a cult:
    “Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.”
    https://www.culteducation.com/warningsigns.html

  32. Everything’s bigger in Texas. 😉

    Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee, you wrote that the typical housing allowance is $200,000. This should be $20,000. This corresponds to my experience preparing tax returns for pastors.

  33. I may have shared this before, but I think it’s so appropriate here.

    My great-grandmother was a single working mother, not by choice. When her pastor husband had to be committed to a mental hospital, she had to find not only a way to support their five children, but a place for them to live since they had to leave the church-provided manse. The children were placed with relatives until she found a position as matron at a mens’ dormitory at a small church-affiliated college. In addition to providing income and a place to live, her position also allowed her children to attend college. So, in the mid- to late 1920s, all five received college degrees.

    Her oldest child, my grandmother, earned not only a bachelors but also a masters degree in education. During the 1940s and 1950s, she worked full-time as a public school teacher, while raising 2 children and caring for her elderly mother, who lived with them. Oh, and did I mention she was a pastor’s wife as well? She loved teaching; it was not just what she did, it was who she was. She was proud of her professional associations and the teachers’ pension she received in addition to my grandfather’s retirement income.

    My other grandmother probably never graduated from high school. She went to work in a textile mill where she met my grandfather, who had been working full-time since he had to leave school after the 3rd grade. They married as teenagers and had 3 sons. During the Depression my grandfather worked 3 jobs to support his family and was glad to have the work. My father saw his mother go without food to make sure her husband and sons were fed. And when her boys were grown, she went back to work in the mill. I remember as a child, going with her to see her loom. I have a treasured picture of her there. She was proud of her work and she enjoyed it.

    None of these women worked outside the home because they were selfish or greedy or rebellious or disrespectful towards their husbands. They did what was needed for their families, what God had given them the ability and opportunity to do. They didn’t apologize for what they did and I don’t remember ever hearing of any disparagement they received for it. Each one of them was a faithful Christian who loved and served Jesus and taught their children to do the same. They all left a legacy of Godly children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

    They are my heroes.

  34. Dan wrote:

    It is interesting when these pastors make up rules, they use proof texts that often times have nothing to say about the subject at hand.

    My former pastor in Dallas, Pete Briscoe, always used to say “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.” Howard Hendricks, a professor at DTS who has passed away used to say (something like this) Were are three main things you need to know when studying the Bible context, context context.

    Due to the influence of these guys, I changed my method in studying the Bible. I read the Chronological Bible. through several times. Then, when I look at a particular verse, I sit back, sip coffee and eat chocolate, and think about the entire Scriptural narrative.

    Think abut Wagner’s admonition in context of the Scripture. Life was hard for the jewish people.They worked hard to survive and eat food. I highly doubt that parents were hiring babysitters for date nights, moms were not toting their kids to soccer practices in SUVs.

    Much of what we believe is based on American culture. Dallas, in particular (I lived there for 10 years) is a tough place to be if you don’t have a bunch of money. Living large-big cars, big houses, big vacations, fancy hair and clothes is the norm. And they talked about it-boy do they talk about it. I remember one Christian mom approaching me. She noticed I had moved to a new house. She asked me, I kind you not, how many square feet my house had. When I replied, she said, my home has 5200 sq ft. (Lager than mine!) I looked at her and said “You win” and walked away. I prayed that someday we would be able to get away from that nonsense. You should have seen the cars that teens drove at my kids’ Christian school.

    Wagner has a bunch of those folks at his church. hH probably lives the same lifestyle although I don’t know for sure. Perhaps he has eschewed that lifestyle but somehow I doubt it.

    His context is the moneyed, flashy Dallas scene. The struggling average guy is barely a blip on their radar. I am not saying that they don’t reach out to the poor in charitable endeavors. I am saying that they don’t see them in their church. The flashy crowd gets the attention.

  35. Tree wrote:

    I just spent some time doing internet searches for Bible passages that state this. Also looked for “a woman’s highest calling”.

    Of course it isn’t. Wagner made it up to convince women to stay at home. This is typical evangelical nonsense. he could have easily said that it was his own personal belief, which it is. Bt that somehow takes away from “God thinks.” He is speaking for God and making a mess of it.

  36. dee wrote:

    His context is the moneyed, flashy Dallas scene. The struggling average guy is barely a blip on their radar. I am not saying that they don’t reach out to the poor in charitable endeavors. I am saying that they don’t see them in their church. The flashy crowd gets the attention.

    That’s intentional, of course. Megachurches are nearly always planted in the most affluent areas.

  37. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee, you wrote that the typical housing allowance is $200,000. This should be $20,000. This corresponds to my experience preparing tax returns for pastors.

    $20,000 is still an awful lot of money! It’s $1667/month. There are many people for whom that is what they make at one job in one year ($9.62/hour). It’s quite a bit more than my mortgage, taxes and HOA for my townhome. And it’s a tax dodge I cannot take advantage of because I don’t have reverend in front of my name.

  38. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Who watches out for and disciplines the shepherds?
    Hmm. If only there some kind of online, un-censorable setting in which independent scrutineers could call attention to their misdeeds.

    Wouldn’t that be a hoot ” Scrutineers “,
    now that’s a great word. Can we put that into the Covenant?

  39. Dee, thank you for this post; this is something that needs to be highlighted more often.

    The church we left a few years ago actually did want to plant themselves right in the middle of an economically depressed area so they could minister to poorer folks. Of the leaders there, I knew of only one elder who appeared to have at least a smidgen of awareness of potential problems. They were down on married mothers ever working outside the home, and also saw govt. welfare as something to be avoided if at all possible. They’ve been moving in the quiverfull direction over time, but of course you should never put your kids in the public schools. And yes, fathers are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of their families, but are also supposed to work as many hours as it takes to be the sole providers financially. They’ve also been moving in the direction of pressuring young adults to marry as early as practicable, so they can get started on having lots of kids, since that’s going to be the primary source of new Christians for the foreseeable future. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

  40. dee wrote:

    @ Mae:
    I think I am going to amend my advice to people. Di not sign membership contracts or submit spiritual growth forms. Can you imagine what they can do with that one? I am not saying they have but they could.

    Wise idea. Those “spiritual growth” forms, have creepy Scientology overtones.

  41. dee wrote:

    I am referring to the law that allows write offs. The law allows up to $200,000 in deductions. I wasn’t referring to the typical deduction that pastors take.

    Dee, the rule is that the compensation paid to the pastor must be reasonable. And the housing allowance is limited to the rental value of a furnished home, including utilities, repairs, etc. The $200,000 figure you cite was probably related to a tax court case against Phil Driscoll, who claimed a $200,000 housing allowance to cover the cost of two homes. This was denied, and the law allows an allowance on only one home.

  42. Dale wrote:

    This was denied, and the law allows an allowance on only one home.

    I know. However, I am pretty sure that I am correct on the amount of money they can deduct. As for reasonable, these guys all had mansions worth a couple of million dollars. The church structured their compensation so that the max could be deducted

    I do not have time to look it up now. I have to help my mom and we are going on a bit of a jaunt. However, I will try to look into it this week. I even think we wrote about it on the blog a a few years ago. It was widely discussed on Twitter, etc as well.

    Again, think Mark Driscoll and Ed Young Jr. It was int he context of their compensation pkgs. Sorry I don’t have time to look it up now.

  43. @ dee:
    We turned down a move to Texas, when my husband’s employer offered a move to Dallas, when they were opening a new plant.
    We new our working class New England roots wouldn’t fit there.
    We have a friend who retired to McKinney, Texas. He keeps encouraging us to move there, now that we’ve retired. We politely decline ….. not now, not ever, could we become, Texans.

  44. Dale wrote:

    Needless to say, Watermark identifies as a 9 Marks church.

    Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch are guided by a manifesto. It.seems that we live in a church age in America where the institution is ubiquitous, but the Spirit is too often missing. When the Spirit is missing, men replace it with rules, entertainment, etc. Check out this tweet by Marky Mark himself:. https://twitter.com/MarkDever/status/893627971877130241. Interesting picture of how he views himself relative to everyone else. (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch is the Hip Hop group of Mark Wahlberg, not a group of people with a rare fungal disease.). On the serious side, Twitter is a great way to see the tweeter’s mental manifestation of their theology. On the bright side, some of the replies are from others who aren’t drinking the KoolAid.

  45. Within the Christian Industrial Complex, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is replaced with a false gender role theology, there is chaos and devastation within the family/Body of Christ structure. The result is confusion as people become brainwashed into the traditions and philosophies of man, rather that the Way of Jesus Christ.

    I have literally witnessed the brokenness of marriages, families, and relationships that were once good and solid until they succumbed to this wicked and evil theology, with leadership/pastors using the Name of God in vain as far as I’m concerned. This came from conservative, authoritarian/lordship type of church systems where the men “knew” the Scriptures far better than women and didn’t have a problem telling women how to live their lives.

    In my area, there are several stay-at-home Dads, with their wives being the major bread winner for their families. I have heard “men-?” in the area call them “soft, feminized, and hopeless.” Great adjectives coming out of the mouths of religious folks, eh? And yet, these a families make it work and I have great admiration and respect for I have seen them having good relationships amongst their immediate family members. These families love and respect one another as Christ has called all of us to do, living in peace amongst us.

    I believe the Apostle Paul made tents with his hands to earn income so as to not burden his brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. To me, I cannot fathom a pastor, who derives his income off of the laity of the church system, condemning and criticizing women for working outside of the home, especially when he is not taking Paul’s example of working hard, minding his own business, and preaching the Life Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ within its Scriptural context.

    Perhaps, I’m too old school considering the Scriptural texts. Anytime the gender gospel replaces the true Gospel, it seems as though the wolves are sharpening their teeth awaiting their own free lunch.

  46. Lots of examples have already been given of family situations in which the wife staying home just doesn’t work. I can look in my own family for several generations and see cases where divorce, death, or disability of a spouse made this formula impossible. And one female relative who never “worked outside the home” actually did hard farm labor her entire marriage, and then she became a young widow and worked even harder in the fields. The idea of a stay-at-home wife/mother arranging play dates and charity benefit galas has not been a practical option for most families throughout most of history, and even now is really only available in somewhat affluent societies. These guys (Wagner et al) are Pharisees, increasing burdens with their legalism.

  47. @ Dale:
    How convenient for self appointed elders, to decide if the other self appointed, are fit for office.
    Where or where is the Congregation involved in the structure of the church. No where, is where they are. It’s a shame they’ve given themselves over to earthy masters.

  48. @ Karen:
    My husband was a stay at home dad for a while. Our kids’ needs at the time required one of us to be home full time, and it just worked out best financially and logistically for it to be him. We were so lucky to be able to do this when our children needed it, but it was NOT well received by some in our family or community.

    I also agree from experience that whole idea of “gender roles” can be very hard on a marriage. I want to be married to a person, not a “role.”

  49. @ Caroline:
    Modern day Pharisee is on the mark. They heap burdens upon the sheep. Burdens that they don’t have to carry.
    In today’s economic mess, most families need two incomes.
    Our son makes a livable wage for two people but not enough for a set of twin babies. His wife, a nurse, works the 3-11 shift, so the twin babies won’t be in daycare. The two sets of grandparents fill in the afternoon gap until son gets home. This is not easy for them…lots of tiredness…..no vacations, or fancy cars, cloths etc. Just what the middle class requires in paying the bills these days. And yes, they know they are lucky to have grandparents who can help, as lots of young couples, don’t have that luxury.

  50. @ Mae:
    Yes, for almost everyone, finding a way to pay the bills, run the household, raise the kids, etc requires some sacrifice and some drudgery. This is true in many cases whether the wife stays home or not. As Christians we should support one another in carrying these burdens, rather than having one (not necessarily biblical) way held up as the standard. It seems that there are many opportunities to show the love of Christ to those who are struggling or just exhausted!

  51. Caroline wrote:

    @ Mae:
    Yes, for almost everyone, finding a way to pay the bills, run the household, raise the kids, etc requires some sacrifice and some drudgery. This is true in many cases whether the wife stays home or not. As Christians we should support one another in carrying these burdens, rather than having one (not necessarily biblical) way held up as the standard. It seems that there are many opportunities to show the love of Christ to those who are struggling or just exhausted!

    The christianized fairy tale, one standard for all, works about as well as the, ” one size fits all ” that’s sold for cheap clothing.

  52. Dale wrote:

    No person can be removed from the Board of Elders except for just cause as determined by a unanimous vote of the Board of Elders

    And there are 3 of them? And one is the pastor?

    That’s a terrible system. I think we have 20-30 elders and we aren’t nearly so large. And they rotate off in a few years and new ones are elected.

  53. Karen wrote:

    have heard “men-?” in the area call them “soft, feminized, and hopeless.”

    Oh, poo. My husband is a retired Green Beret – 3 deployments to Iraq. That’s about as “manly” as you can get. Yet, he helps with house work. He does his own laundry. He loves homemade jams and jellies so over the years he has helped me make jams and jellies when he’s been at home. One summer after he retired, I was too sick to do much of anything, so he did most of the jam and jelly making by himself.
    Now, he doesn’t have the water-bath and pressure canning figured out (yet), but he won’t hesitate to help me when he can, and he has no problem following my orders in the kitchen.
    I guess they would call him “hopeless “, too!

  54. According to the Bible, should a middle-age man spend lots of time at the gym, working on his biceps [and possibly in the presence of multiple muscular women] instead of being at home, leading his family?

    That’s obviously a silly question.

    So is the one about a woman working outside the home.

    And 1 Tim 2:15 doesn’t answer that question, not if you understand it in context. He’s misusing that verse to make the point he wants to make.

  55. “*Should moms’ work?* is the wrong question.
    Look at Wagner’s question. The actual title to his talk is According to the Bible, Should a Mom Work. The answer is simple. All moms work. What he really means to ask is “Should moms work both inside and outside of the home?””

    Actually, you’d be surprised at how much people still think that the work mothers’ do: shuttling kids and friends around, childcare, housework, care of elderly parents etc.. SHOULDN’T and DON’T count as work. Or at the very least, it’s only WOMEN’S WORK (y’know, not REAL, HARD work). Yep, all them women folk got it so good! They get to do all the EASY stuff!

  56. emr wrote:

    None of these women worked outside the home because they were selfish or greedy or rebellious or disrespectful towards their husbands.

    Indeed! Both of my grandmothers worked. One was a single mother without a college degree, the other a teacher with probably a masters degree.

    These men need to stop talking. for a while.

  57. ishy wrote:

    “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” -Matt. 23:4

    BINGO.

  58. Dan wrote:

    It is interesting when these pastors make up rules, they use proof texts that often times have nothing to say about the subject at hand.

    Another BINGO. Over the last 40-45 yrs. this has become an art form in fundagelicalism.

  59. Loren Haas wrote:

    White evangelicals have made it plain that they just like to be led around by authoritarian con men. Guess we just have to get used to it.

    What a blatant racist statement.

  60. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Caroline wrote:

    I want to be married to a person, not a “role.”

    And …… I want to be a person, not a “role”.

    Absolutely! In case it doesn’t come through in these text-only comments, I sort of a… different… quirky… odd kind of person. My husband has always known that and married me anyway! Lol. Our brief brush with these complementarian church teachings was just frustrating and demoralizing for both of us.

  61. Dale wrote:

    Watermark identifies as a 9 Marks church.

    Not surprised. That would also explain the small number of elders because the rules actually come from 9Marks HQ and not from the congregation, despite all the talk about congregational-this and congregational-that. This guy from Watermark has no idea what he is talking about. He is making stuff up and slapping a thought-stopping “Bible says so” label on it, and that is standard Gospel Glitterati operating procedure. I say that as one of the very few WW uber-conservative inerrantists who call out these proof-texting pretenders.

    The Bible says nothing at all about what mothers in the North Metroplex should do between 9 and 5 and he knows it. However, his message plays very well in his church and in affluent churches because there are lots of families who fit that lifestyle and feel affirmed and will come back next week for more. Full disclosure: I was a SAHM by choice and feel very blessed to have been able to have had that privilege. Let’s be very clear that it was a privilege and not a command from the LORD GOD.

  62. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Caroline wrote:
    I want to be married to a person, not a “role.”

    And …… I want to be a person, not a “role”.

    Right?

    I have been reading a series that goes through the botkin sisters stay at home daughter book and my tolerance for all of this is at a negative 3.

  63. @ Caroline:
    @ Lea:
    Not just any ole person either – a full fledged child of God instead of some red-headed step-child God keeps arm arms length because of ……. you know, that plumbing thing.

  64. Mae wrote:

    @ dee:
    We turned down a move to Texas, when my husband’s employer offered a move to Dallas, when they were opening a new plant.
    We new our working class New England roots wouldn’t fit there.
    We have a friend who retired to McKinney, Texas. He keeps encouraging us to move there, now that we’ve retired. We politely decline ….. not now, not ever, could we become, Texans.

    Mae

    I grew up in rural Tennessee where my grandparents on my mother’s si didn’t have indoor plumbing or a telephone until I was about eight years old. My mom was the only one of her brothers and sisters to graduate from high school; she finished second in her class. My grandmother worked alongside my grandfather in the field to make sure her kids had a few extras to participate in school activities. It seems like there were also other people always there to help my mom. Her family didn’t attend church, so a family down the road gave her a ride. I’m not sure what they were teaching at that time, but my mom received consistent and persistent love that has translated into the way she treats others to this day.

    My grandmother on my father’s side worked in a garment factory most of her life barely making above minimum wage and raising my dad’s two youngest brothers after my grandfather died in an auto accident. Her dad was a Methodist preacher in the rural south at a time when his race theology may have been distorted. I’m not sure what he taught, but my grandmother somehow had a right heart. She always served others with what few resources and time she had. I remember.hearing the names of the people that would call her; most of whom I never met. I met one of them when I brought home my beautiful black wife to meet them family. My grandmother was a lifelong friends of Ella Mae when at a time and place when that was well outside the norm. We were married by the former pastor of the largest AME church in the country. I’m not sure what he is taught, but he displayed a kindness and humility showing no memory of the circumstances that birthed the AME in the first place. My if was born and raised in Lost Angeles and has succeeded in a corporate culture that would break any of these testosteronilogical dudes. While I know what she believes and disagree with some of it, I see the how she has saved people’s jobs and careers by giving humanity priority over human resources.

    While the dudes teach the letter, the women in my life have taught the greatest commandments with their lives. I could say so much more about the women who have influenced my life a d my walk but I originally started this reply to talk about Texas. I’ll make that post separately. Thanks for sharing about your mother earlier.

  65. Great post. Why is it that we so easily make life more complicated (…morally) than it should be? That’s the American Christian way I guess. What a tangled web they weave.

    Is it wrong for the parents to send the kids out in the work force at an early age to earn money to support the parents? I guess 19 kids would work just fine.

  66. I’ve been telling you all the last few years on this blog that a lot of Christians are utterly obsessed with marriage, motherhood, the nuclear family, and this is just yet another example.

    The attitudes that Wagner puts on display here – with his assumption that all to most women are married mothers or will be, and God somehow loves married mothers more than single or childless women – makes women like me feel like there’s no place for me in the church or the faith.

    I bet Todd Wagner would say he respects the Bible or is sola scriptura? Yet he says this:

    Nothing, he said, is esteemed more in God’s eyes than giving birth to and shaping a human made in the image of God.

    Yes, and where exactly is the Biblical book, chapter and verse that says that “nothing is more esteemed in God’s eyes than giving birth” etc?

  67. Dee quoted some page from Wagner’s church as saying this:

    Those who accept and live within God’s design for sex, biological gender and marriage experience the blessing of His good design.

    What about God’s design for sex outside of marriage? I’m a celibate adult in my 40s.

    I was told when younger by different Christian resources (books, preachers, sermons, what have you) that if I just remained a good girl and didn’t sleep around, that God would surely send me a “Mr. Right” to marry.

    Okay, I followed that so-called plan of God’s, yet I’m still not married and now in my 40s.

    And I had wanted to be married. So, pastor Wagner, where is my “blessing?”

    And please don’t spiritualize it away, as in, “Your celibacy and singleness is for God’s glory!,” or some such dreck, as so many Christians often like to do.

    I would like an actual, honest- to- God spouse I can cuddle with, not some Christian platitude about how my mid-life singleness is so gosh golly godly.

    You’ll notice Wagner’s, or his church’s fixation is so heavily tied to marriage, marriage, marriage, (and MORE MARRIAGE! Can’t get enough of marriage!!) he doesn’t even really address singleness past the age of 30.

  68. I just wrote a post a few days ago addressing some of these subjects:

    Gender Complementarianism Does Not Adequately Address, or Address At All, Incompetent, Loser, Or Incapacitated Men
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/gender-complementarianism-does-not-adequately-address-or-address-at-all-incompetent-loser-or-incapacitated-men/

    Nope, complementarianism does not work for all people at all times in all situations, only a very select few, including where the husband, (if there is one, some women don’t even have one), is in good physical and mental health, is gainfully employed, and is not abusive.

    Everyone else gets hosed under complementarianism.

  69. Daisy wrote:

    if I just remained a good girl and didn’t sleep around, that God would surely send me a “Mr. Right” to marry.

    There are no formulas that will guarantee your life will be perfect. It would be REALLY nice if christiandom would stop trying to sell them to us.

    If women just stay at home, gods good design. If you don’t have sex before marriage, guaranteed a husband. Give plenty of sex, guarantee your husband won’t stray. Be a good enough christian, follow the rules, follow the formulas, guarantee you will be rich, happy, healthy.

    None of this works. None of is biblical. Everybody who tells you there is a formula is just selling something, as far as I’m concerned.

  70. Tree wrote:

    I just spent some time doing internet searches for Bible passages that state this. Also looked for “a woman’s highest calling”. Drawing a blank, as well, on directions for mothers about working for pay outside the home.

    Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling?
    http://blog.bible/bible-blog/entry/are-marriage-and-family-a-womans-highest-calling
    “A single woman shares her viewpoint”

    (SPOILER ALERT: the answer is no, it’s not a woman’s highest calling.)

  71. scott hendrixson wrote:

    While the dudes teach the letter, the women in my life have taught the greatest commandments with their lives.

    Noble women.

    And, there are stalwart men but not the teach-the-letter-dudes by the looks of it, it seems (Jesus had a few things to say about this back in His day).

    You’re a guy and by what you share, you are stalwart. So, stalwart men & noble women. Thank God for one and all who live and teach love with their lives. God’s way, according to JC. God bless.

  72. @Caroline

    Thank-you for your witness concerning your family. I admire and respect folks like you who “make it work.” Good for you folks! It is not a shame for you/women to seek employment outside of the home any more than it is a shame for the Dad to stay home with the children; for both are engaging in the “work” process. Jesus commanded us NOT to become stagnant busy bodies going about medaling in other folks’ business, and this is what I see and experience within the church industrial complex far too often. To me, that is more shameful than a woman working outside of the home.

    And there are those who condemn some of us for having our children work and seek employment as well (regardless of the gender/roles), in earning money to help with their own expenses as well as teaching them a host of other life skills that will be required when they reach adulthood.

    I believe this is another situation where it’s far better to follow Christ, than Todd Wagner. Just a sayin’.

  73. Lea wrote:

    I have an office job and no kids. When I have nieces or nephews for a period of time it is exhausting.

    Wait. You mean parenting is actual work? *sarcasm alert*

  74. Daisy wrote:

    Everyone else gets hosed under complementarianism.

    To the point.

    The strict gender role deal assumes a lot – health, wealth, the right partner at the right age, etc.

    Gladys Aylward, for example, was deemed unfit so she took herself to China, rescuing and adopting many children. Perfect example of rejection by the church and going on to fulfill God’s calling. Sometimes if God is all you’ve got, He’s all you need. So many examples.

    God is so good. When some man/person doesn’t see fit, God goes around whomever is in the way. He gets it done.

  75. Sam wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I have an office job and no kids. When I have nieces or nephews for a period of time it is exhausting.
    Wait. You mean parenting is actual work? *sarcasm alert*

    Yeah. They have this weird obsession with ‘work’ where people get paid – only men allowed – and work, where you don’t get paid – for women. It’s almost like Jane Austen times where men who actually earned a living were frowned upon, because they weren’t rich enough not to need to. Except applied only to women. *eyeroll*

    All the spiritualizing of it is just cover for some deeply held opinion they won’t actually admit to out loud.

  76. Lea wrote:

    scott hendrixson wrote:
    https://twitter.com/MarkDever/status/893627971877130241

    he links to a 9 marxs video of some pastor about what kind of authorities pastors have. He says ‘real’ authority. And then he says authority about a hundred times. AT least he also said it was ‘limited’ although he was vague about it. Good job, random dude.

    I’m sorry, the thing I meant to point out was the picture of all the baby owls waiting to be fed by Mr Dever himself.

  77. @Nancy2

    Great example of how work knows no gender! I love your testimony. Thanks for sharing.

    Also, I will be processing sweet corn next week and are in need of extra help with chisel plowing this fall during our harvest…extra “troops” are always welcome here!

  78. dee wrote:

    The struggling average guy is barely a blip on their radar. I am not saying that they don’t reach out to the poor in charitable endeavors. I am saying that they don’t see them in their church. The flashy crowd gets the attention.

    Many churches won’t notice anyone who is not married with kids. You have to be in your 20s or 30s, married with kids still living at home. If you aren’t married, don’t have kids, or your kids are on their own, you don’t exist in most churches.

  79. @ scott hendrixson:
    scott hendrixson wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    scott hendrixson wrote:
    https://twitter.com/MarkDever/status/893627971877130241
    he links to a 9 marxs video of some pastor about what kind of authorities pastors have. He says ‘real’ authority. And then he says authority about a hundred times. AT least he also said it was ‘limited’ although he was vague about it. Good job, random dude.
    I’m sorry, the thing I meant to point out was the picture of all the baby owls waiting to be fed by Mr Dever himself.

    I can’t see this mark has me blocked
    Jim

  80. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    And …… I want to be a person, not a “role”.

    Amen! The concept of “roles” suggests pretence to me, playing a part. Let’s just all be who we are, who God made us to be.

  81. Karen wrote:

    To me, I cannot fathom a pastor, who derives his income off of the laity of the church system, condemning and criticizing women for working outside of the home, especially when he is not taking Paul’s example of working hard, minding his own business, and preaching the Life Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ within its Scriptural context.

    Bears repeating in CAPS LOCK.

  82. @ Lea:

    I’m not the greatest Bible scholar in the world, but I distinctly remember many Bible women holding jobs, some who even had their own money (like the one mentioned in Proverbs that most evangelical men LOVE to quote).

  83. emr wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    And …… I want to be a person, not a “role”.
    Amen! The concept of “roles” suggests pretence to me, playing a part. Let’s just all be who we are, who God made us to be.

    Succinctly stated. No more parts playing, that mortal men contrived.

  84. @ Karen:
    We’ve been canning since late April, when the strawberries came in. We just sorted and cleaned 2 (5 gal) buckets of grapes this afternoon. So, Monday, we’ll make grape jelly. Tuesday, I’m helping my 71 yo mom make ripe tomato relish. We still have sweet corn to freeze, and ……. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL WE DIG UP THE SWEET POTATOES!!!!!! We will keep some to bake, and I will pressure can some for casseroles and pies. Lots of work, but well worth it.

  85. Dale wrote:

    The $200,000 figure you cite was probably related to a tax court case against Phil Driscoll, who claimed a $200,000 housing allowance to cover the cost of two homes. This was denied, and the law allows an allowance on only one home.

    I don’t think there is an explicit upper limit, the rules state

    The amount that can be excluded from federal income tax is the lesser of:
    (a) the amount designated as the housing allowance
    (b) the amount of actual housing expenses, or
    (c) the fair rental value of the property (furnished, plus utilities).

    So if the pastor can find an expensive enough property and can get the church to give him or her an housing allowance for it….

    I note that Trinity Church Wall Street in 2012 gave its pastor a $118,675 housing allowance on top of a church owned house to live in Manhattan (Trinity Church is the landlord for much of Wall Street so is quite wealthy). It has cut back since by selling the church owned house for 12 million. The current rector according to the New York Post is living in an apartment that could rent for $15,000/month. Being Episcopal the church does have to be fairly open about its finances.

  86. 1. Question, if there are no females in the work force, where will they find elementary teacher? ( everyone should homeschool…or go back to the 1800s, all single females ?)
    2. Where are they going to find most nurses? Radiation techs? Most other allied health professionals? ( All men? Or should these be single women too? )

    And these are the two ” old, old school” traditional jobs for females….I new as of Tuesday daughter-in-law has an MBA from a Macau university and in China, females are encouraged to go into the STEM professions….

    Yep, evangelicals want us to go back to the 1950s and then they’ll wonder why America has become a second class nation….

  87. Darn it. Wanted to finish the article but gotta go to work to …..let’s see…help with my daughters college, pay for my son’s braces, my husband’s expensive medications!!!

  88. I’d like to see one of these pastors put their money where their big mouths are. So married women with kids shouldn’t work outside the home? Then state to the congregation that the church will immediately stop receiving any money from families in that situation. As if that would ever happen…!!!

  89. Daisy wrote:

    Many churches won’t notice anyone who is not married with kids. You have to be in your 20s or 30s, married with kids still living at home. If you aren’t married, don’t have kids, or your kids are on their own, you don’t exist in most churches.

    Segues very nicely with the last post. The older and single (sometimes both) are a growing demographic. And usually with a lot more disposable income.

  90. @ Karen:
    Our children started working at 14. Odd jobs such as fence painting, cleaning stalls, working at a dairy bar, etc.
    They had to save up for driving school, drivers license, and other extras. It helped us with finances, as well as them. We paid for our children’s college education, but we also required they worked summers for their spending money.
    Family helps family,learning that young is a good thing.

  91. Sandra wrote:

    I’d like to see one of these pastors put their money where their big mouths are. So married women with kids shouldn’t work outside the home? Then state to the congregation that the church will immediately stop receiving any money from families in that situation. As if that would ever happen…!!!

    Good point.

  92. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Caroline wrote:
    I want to be married to a person, not a “role.”
    And …… I want to be a person, not a “role”.

    What? You don’t want to play the “part” of “wife”? I hear Piper and Grudem wrote a script for it. (Wink)

  93. @ Mae:

    I started working at 14, too. And mine work summers and odd jobs for people during school year. . We are raising future citizens, not perpetual children. 🙂

  94. Loren Haas wrote:

    White evangelicals have made it plain that they just like to be led around by authoritarian con men. Guess we just have to get used to it.

    For another perspective, I highly recommend Booker T Washingtons book, “Up From Slavery”. He touches on his huge problems with controlling black pastors. It’s a universal problem for all to this day.

  95. Lydia wrote:

    Loren Haas wrote:
    White evangelicals have made it plain that they just like to be led around by authoritarian con men. Guess we just have to get used to it.
    For another perspective, I highly recommend Booker T Washingtons book, “Up From Slavery”. He touches on his huge problems with controlling black pastors. It’s a universal problem for all to this day.

    Good post. I had totally forgotten this!

  96. @ Daisy:

    Daisy, agree with everything you said.

    [side note – A year ago four of us lady friends were having lunch, ages 60-70, all without a guy at home: widowed (me, after 30+ yrs. of marriage to my college sweetheart), two divorced, and one never married – the oldest – “Sarah” – yes, age 70. Three of the group said they were “… still looking for their one true love.” I prayed for my friends.

    Today, Sarah has a guy friend. About her age. Cute, cute couple. She found her true love.

    Now, I in no way want to imply that a single gal or guy is not fulfilled and walking with the Lord. No one, especially in the church, should be marginalized. I just wanted to share that Sarah found her one true love at age 70, through a community organization where they were both active. It happened.]

  97. Lea wrote:

    If women just stay at home, gods good design. If you don’t have sex before marriage, guaranteed a husband. Give plenty of sex, guarantee your husband won’t stray. Be a good enough christian, follow the rules, follow the formulas, guarantee you will be rich, happy, healthy.
    None of this works. None of is biblical. Everybody who tells you there is a formula is just selling something, as far as I’m concerned.

    Sure, because the ones creating that narrative are affluent men who really just want slaves. Some women pick it up, but the majority of Christians who push that narrative are rich men who probably came from rich families. Most appointed themselves pastors or got in because of family connections. And those rich men are trying to justify their lavish lifestyles with servant wives to themselves by insisting everyone else has to do the same.

  98. @ Lea:
    A reoccuring theme: large/mega church with a puppet, non-elected elder board, and “issues”… umm

  99. K.D. wrote:

    Yep, evangelicals want us to go back to the 1950s and then they’ll wonder why America has become a second class nation….

    Not even the real 1950s. 1950s sitcoms and commercials…

  100. BTW- I would be hated by these guys. My wife has always worked, and more importantly ( or not) has ALWAYS made more money then me….And it has worked well for the last 36 years. I assume these ” ministers” would consider me as either ” not much of a man” or a ne’er do well…

  101. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mae:
    I started working at 14, too. And mine work summers and odd jobs for people during school year. . We are raising future citizens, not perpetual children.

    It really is good for them. Keeps them busy, and out of trouble. Helps them set priorities.

    Both our grown children have done well. ( Not that they haven’t had their struggles) They would tell you they are glad they had to contribute to their teenage, wants and needs.

  102. @ ishy:
    Combine this with the ant-science that permiates many fundy and evagelical churches, and the US will continue to slide…….. I could go on, but the WW trys not to be political…

  103. ishy wrote:

    Sure, because the ones creating that narrative are affluent men who really just want slaves. Some women pick it up, but the majority of Christians who push that narrative are rich men who probably came from rich families. Most appointed themselves pastors or got in because of family connections. And those rich men are trying to justify their lavish lifestyles with servant wives to themselves by insisting everyone else has to do the same.

    Amen!

  104. I’m a young bachelor living in Dallas, and you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone who gets tingles up the leg about Watermark. I’m also the kind of person who likes watching people have a conniption after I call it a shepherding cult, it’s more fun that way.

    People from Watermark always make sure to call themselves “Christ followers” or “followers of Christ” in addition to just Christian. Now by the grace of God I have a lovely girlfriend who grew up in a small LCMS church where her father was an elder, but when I was using online dating, it was an instant rejection when I saw those words. And the things in this article are the main reason why. That’s how I feel about Watermark.

    The Village is known as being the more chilled out of the only two real churches in DFW Metroplex, consider that.

    Watermark unashamedly uses the Shepherding Movement’s langauge:

    http://www.watermark.org/blog/why-group


    Ok, What About Community “Groups”?
    You have a handful of men as elders who have to give an account for thousands. Sounds crazy! God has made provision for this issue in his word, through providing a structured shepherding model (see Exodus 18). Community groups have become the MECHANISM or VEHICLE through which the Elders shepherd the flock at Watermark. Everyone is in a clear, defined (closed group), accountable relationship with others, with a clear line to the shepherds. For Watermark, this looks like a group, designated leader, community director, and elders. The Elders DON’T have the option to not shepherd, but they DO have the freedom to shepherd through other members indwelt by the Counselor (Holy Spirit) who gifts every believer (1 Corinthians 12:7).

    Of course, with the “gee willikers” diction befitting of a kids’ Sunday school video.

    $200,000 might actually be right, real estate property records are publicly available in Texas, and Todd Wagner and his wife Alex own a $1.4 million house not in Highland Park, but about 1000 feet away. I’ve seen people on both TexAgs and Baylorfans (Texas A&M and Baylor message boards) where Watermark fans are asked why this is, and there’s a story about how some real estate tycoon decided to bless the Wagners by giving that house, which of course makes no sense because of the gift tax.

    Look up Watermark’s Google reviews, sort by lowest rating, and see Anthony Griego’s story of being harassed for buying a house with his fiancee before marriage. For more weird stuff, look at Yelp’s reviews, scroll down, click the light gray text for reviews that “aren’t currently recommended”, and sort by most recent.

    Or I’ll put it this way, my answers to any questions about Watermark are: “Yes”, “Really”, “I don’t really believe that happens neither”, and “I guess it is Dallas”.

    Dee, I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but did you tell me when we met that Watermark was on the same site as Tilton’s church?

  105. K.D. wrote:

    Where are they going to find most nurses?

    Or physicians! All of the clowns making these extra-Biblical rules need to immediately stop seeing any female physicians and forbid any of their wives and children from seeing any female physicians as well because otherwise they will be encouraging those female physicians to sin by not remaining at home as wives and mothers. There’s not a chance of these clowns doing that, however, because Self Interest.

  106. Don’t you just love macho authoritarian pastors making six-figure salaries who deliver “Real Truth, Real Quick” to pew-peons! There’s nothing quick about truth and it doesn’t become real until you’ve lived it. Out here on Main Street in Middle America, good women labor alongside good men to raise, clothe, feed and educate their children. I don’t know any women who work to save money for Billy’s new car … they are trying to make ends meet, make insurance payments, and make their way in this world … while still endeavoring to be good mothers. You’ll find many of them in church tomorrow to worship the same God as Pastor Todd … feeling no judgment from Him for venturing to work the next day. He knows their need and has provided them a job. They praise Him for it.

  107. Beware of men who cross there legs while talking. Knee over knee leg cross vs ankle over knee leg cross. The latter is how real men cross there legs. :]

  108. @ Gram3:
    My ob was pregnant with her third when she delivered mine. She told me, remember, they don’t come with manuals. 🙂 it was a practice with 9 female ob-gyns and every patient saw each doctor during pregnancy. They structured it that way because they all had families and took turns on call. I thought it was quite clever.

  109. Stan wrote:

    People from Watermark always make sure to call themselves “Christ followers”

    That terminology came in with the New Calvinists. I like church folks who refer to themselves as “Believers” … I guess I’m just now with it these days.

  110. Gram3 wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    Where are they going to find most nurses?
    Or physicians! All of the clowns making these extra-Biblical rules need to immediately stop seeing any female physicians and forbid any of their wives and children from seeing any female physicians as well because otherwise they will be encouraging those female physicians to sin by not remaining at home as wives and mothers. There’s not a chance of these clowns doing that, however, because Self Interest.

    Or, how about this one: at the stores, malls, Target, Walmart, etc., never ever get in a checkout line that has a female cashier!

  111. Gram3 wrote:

    All of the clowns making these extra-Biblical rules need to immediately stop seeing any female physicians

    There is a somewhat invasive examination for men where finger size makes a difference. One gender tends to have smaller fingers than the other.

  112. @ Stan:

    If The Village is considered more chill out of the “two real churches” in Dallas, then that’s sad. And sad that people think these are real churches. I was a member at TVC and can attest they are anything but “chill”. I have also left Yelp and Google reviews of my experience there. Feel free to go read it. It is under Christina D. By the way, their mass media apology to anyone they may have hurt after Karen Hinkley issue is complete BS. I have contacted them several times for reconciliation after getting treated horribly and shunnned by a group of girls I lived with from TVC (one of them is a Gospel Coalition blogger and bff with the Chandlers), and I haven’t heard a peep from anyone.

  113. Max wrote:

    They praise Him for it.

    Yes, Max, praise God, our Father in Heaven Who graciously cares for us while we go about our work-a-day world, by His grace, and to His pleasure. He loves us with kindness and goodness.

  114. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I pointed out to a friend on Facebook earlier today that wages at the bottom end of the scale are not increasing as fast as those on the top end of the scale, and as housing prices are zooming up, families are being pushed into substandard housing or even onto the street because they can’t afford homes.

    And I’ve been seeing an increase in the latest in anti-homeless technology, from passive methods (such as “safety” armrests chopping up park benches into one-sitting-man-size airport seats, “non-skid” surfacing impossible to lie down on, and public places that close from 3-6AM) to active measures (such as automatic sidewalk pressure-washers covering all the side-niches fused to go off like firehoses at 3 AM). Can’t let our Property Values get damaged, after all.

    Though if you want hot Investment tips (other than flipping real estate), luxury mega-yachts and private jets are a seller’s market. Especially for MenaGAWD who simply have to keep up with the Furticks.

  115. Irish Lass wrote:

    This is Lori Alexander’s mantra.

    AKA Serena Joy’s latest General Order of the Day to all Handmaids.

    Mothers should be at home serving their husbands.

    Serving AND “Servicing(TM)”.

  116. Dale wrote:

    Looking at the church website, it appears that Watermark has only three elders, one of whom is Todd Wagner. Does this seem a little sparse given attendance of 11,000?

    I would not be surprised if both other Elders(TM) also bear the family name of House Wagner.

  117. Burwell wrote:

    Which is why church members can trust that he and the leadership will always do what’s best for the members of the congregation; the abuses of TVC that happened in the Karen Hinkley case would never happen at Watermark.

    Ees Party Line, Comrades.

  118. dee wrote:

    I think I am going to amend my advice to people. Di not sign membership contracts or submit spiritual growth forms. Can you imagine what they can do with that one?

    Think “Scientology Auditing Records”.

  119. dee wrote:

    My former pastor in Dallas, Pete Briscoe, always used to say “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.”

    Very Clever (in the right way).

  120. Karen wrote:

    In my area, there are several stay-at-home Dads, with their wives being the major bread winner for their families. I have heard “men-?” in the area call them “soft, feminized, and hopeless.”

    I understand the Christianese word is “Pussy-fied”, if not “FAG”.

  121. Mae wrote:

    @ Dale:
    How convenient for self appointed elders, to decide if the other self appointed, are fit for office.

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  122. Mae wrote:

    Our son makes a livable wage for two people but not enough for a set of twin babies. His wife, a nurse, works the 3-11 shift, so the twin babies won’t be in daycare. The two sets of grandparents fill in the afternoon gap until son gets home. This is not easy for them…lots of tiredness…..no vacations, or fancy cars, cloths etc. Just what the middle class requires in paying the bills these days.

    Don’t forget TITHING so Pastor can get a five-week Sabbatical(TM) in Tahiti or Cancun and/or a new private jet.

  123. Muff Potter wrote:

    Dan wrote:

    It is interesting when these pastors make up rules, they use proof texts that often times have nothing to say about the subject at hand.

    Another BINGO. Over the last 40-45 yrs. this has become an art form in fundagelicalism.

    “I KNOW I’m Right!
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

  124. Gram3 wrote:

    The Bible says nothing at all about what mothers in the North Metroplex should do between 9 and 5 and he knows it.

    Watch soap operas?

  125. Daisy wrote:

    Yes, and where exactly is the Biblical book, chapter and verse that says that “nothing is more esteemed in God’s eyes than giving birth” etc?

    Book of Driscoll?
    I or II Doug Wilson?
    Cause this don’t sound like the Book of Hezekaiah…

  126. ishy wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    Yep, evangelicals want us to go back to the 1950s and then they’ll wonder why America has become a second class nation….

    Not even the real 1950s. 1950s sitcoms and commercials…

    A MYTHIC 1950s according to Ozzie, Harriet, and Donna Reed.

    When everyone was in Church (and tithing to Pastor)….

  127. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    There is a somewhat invasive examination for men where finger size makes a difference.

    As a guy who’s been under near-constant Prostate surveillance for five years, I can attest to that.

  128. Mae wrote:

    @ dee:
    We turned down a move to Texas, when my husband’s employer offered a move to Dallas, when they were opening a new plant.
    We new our working class New England roots wouldn’t fit there.
    We have a friend who retired to McKinney, Texas. He keeps encouraging us to move there, now that we’ve retired. We politely decline ….. not now, not ever, could we become, Texans.

    Mae, I have ancestor’s names on the statue at the San Jacinto Battleground….I am eligible to be a Son of the Republic of Texas…..I want to move….it’s not that great here….never has been….

  129. GMFS

    Point 1 of 2: Sausages

    A sausage typically contains all the bits of the animal you couldn’t sell or serve on their own, with some herbs and seasoning mixed in, presented in a way that makes them more appetising. (It has famously been said that if you love sausages you shouldn’t watch them being made!)

    Point 2 of 2: The role of women under patriarchy

    Under patriarchy, the roleOfWomen typically contains all the boring, unsung, unpaid, low-status jobs that the top CEO’s and speakers would find stifling and unfulfilling if they had to do them. These low-status, unwanted roles are mashed together with some clichés about how “important” and “valuable” and “holy” they are, and then presented to women as though they were special gifts.

    The “value”, of course, is “spiritual”. You don’t generally see patriarchal churches offering big salaries to women to compensate them for the weighty responsibility of these greatly exalted roles.

    There’s a saying in Blighty (and possibly elsewhere): you can’t polish excrement, but you can roll it in glitter.

    Point 3 of 2: The problem of people who aren’t stupid

    The problem comes when women – and, for that matter, men who don’t want to see anybody disrespected – smell what’s under the glitter. The wealthy and powerful of the patriarchal system must stick to their story and pretend that there is no smell. It must be that the women and man-fails are just rebellious, and ungrateful for the wonderful restrictions God has gifted to them.

    Point 4 of 2: The problem of Jesus and foot-washing

    Foot-washing, in new testament times, was NOT a symbolic act of self-humbling. It was a real, everyday job, and an unpleasant and demeaning one at that. It was invariably assigned to the slave at the bottom of the pecking-order, and was not done by someone wanting to make themselves look good.

    Under patriarchal, status-driven evangelicalism, the cool and sexy roles have been re-packaged as “serving”.

  130. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    K.D. wrote:
    Yep, evangelicals want us to go back to the 1950s and then they’ll wonder why America has become a second class nation….
    Not even the real 1950s. 1950s sitcoms and commercials…
    A MYTHIC 1950s according to Ozzie, Harriet, and Donna Reed.
    When everyone was in Church (and tithing to Pastor)….

    Don’t forget, ‘ FAther Knows Best ‘.

  131. K.D. wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    @ dee:
    We turned down a move to Texas, when my husband’s employer offered a move to Dallas, when they were opening a new plant.
    We new our working class New England roots wouldn’t fit there.
    We have a friend who retired to McKinney, Texas. He keeps encouraging us to move there, now that we’ve retired. We politely decline ….. not now, not ever, could we become, Texans.
    Mae, I have ancestor’s names on the statue at the San Jacinto Battleground….I am eligible to be a Son of the Republic of Texas…..I want to move….it’s not that great here….never has been….

    Part of our dislike was mountains and ocean, too far away. We felt the same way when we lived in Indiana. Grew up going to beach, going to the mountains. Can’t get it out of our systems.:)

  132. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Our son makes a livable wage for two people but not enough for a set of twin babies. His wife, a nurse, works the 3-11 shift, so the twin babies won’t be in daycare. The two sets of grandparents fill in the afternoon gap until son gets home. This is not easy for them…lots of tiredness…..no vacations, or fancy cars, cloths etc. Just what the middle class requires in paying the bills these days.
    Don’t forget TITHING so Pastor can get a five-week Sabbatical(TM) in Tahiti or Cancun and/or a new private jet.

    Don’t forget it includes their children and a babysitter, Oooops I mean, nanny.

  133. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Karen:
    We’ve been canning since late April, when the strawberries came in. We just sorted and cleaned 2 (5 gal) buckets of grapes this afternoon. So, Monday, we’ll make grape jelly. Tuesday, I’m helping my 71 yo mom make ripe tomato relish. We still have sweet corn to freeze, and ……. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL WE DIG UP THE SWEET POTATOES!!!!!! We will keep some to bake, and I will pressure can some for casseroles and pies. Lots of work, but well worth it.

    You folks are certainly busy working hard. I love that! My mother did all of that growing up and unfortunately I begrudged the participating work that I had to do, with no interest in it at all. Unfortunate me, because now in my adulthood, I would love to know how to do all of it. I find “food” completely fascinating! Mom instructed me in how to make freezer jam with all of our berries, strawberries and raspberries, which our family gobbles up on their toast. And I really enjoy making lefse, so my specialty potatoes are fried up into rounds every holiday season for family, gifts, and for sales. It bring me great joy.

    I sure wish you were my neighbor! I would be inviting myself over to your house to take concise notes on how you process foods. I have found that my most rewarding fellowships with family, friends, and neighbors, revolves around an atmosphere of food!

  134. Irish Lass wrote:

    This is Lori Alexander’s mantra. Mothers should be at home serving their husbands. Have a look at her FB page or blog. Any pushback she gets she deletes the comments that are reasonable and well thought ones but leaves the weird. She believes She is commanded by God to teach the younger women as per Titus 2 and women are to be keepers at home as this is what God commands but she may work if her husband tells her to to cos you obey husband before God

    I’d bet she just loooves bossing and snooping around in the younger women’s lives. UGH, poor younger women, no escape from men or witchy older church women.

  135. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Karen:
    We’ve been canning since late April, when the strawberries came in. We just sorted and cleaned 2 (5 gal) buckets of grapes this afternoon. So, Monday, we’ll make grape jelly. Tuesday, I’m helping my 71 yo mom make ripe tomato relish. We still have sweet corn to freeze, and ……. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL WE DIG UP THE SWEET POTATOES!!!!!! We will keep some to bake, and I will pressure can some for casseroles and pies. Lots of work, but well worth it.

    You folks are certainly busy working hard. I love that! My mother did all of that growing up and unfortunately I begrudged the participating work that I had to do, with no interest in it at all. Unfortunate me, because now in my adulthood, I would love to know how to do all of it. I find “food” completely fascinating! Mom instructed me in how to make freezer jam with all of our berries, strawberries and raspberries, which our family gobbles up on their toast. And I really enjoy making lefse, so my specialty potatoes are fried up into rounds every holiday season for family, gifts, and for sales. It bring me great joy.

    I sure wish you were my neighbor! I would be inviting myself over to your house to take concise notes on how you process foods. I have found that my most rewarding fellowships with family, friends, and neighbors, revolves around an atmosphere of food!
    Mae wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Our children started working at 14. Odd jobs such as fence painting, cleaning stalls, working at a dairy bar, etc.
    They had to save up for driving school, drivers license, and other extras. It helped us with finances, as well as them. We paid for our children’s college education, but we also required they worked summers for their spending money.
    Family helps family,learning that young is a good thing.

    Excellent comment Mae. It brings joy to my heart to hear of parents teaching their children work ethics and good and godly responsibility. Good for you folks!

    Your comment begs the question, “Do we as parents only send our sons out into the work force and keep our daughters home in the kitchen in learning their proper gender roles according to the pastor’s authoritarian rules?”

    What I get out of our Holy Scriptures, is that a man or a woman can get the job done according to His Will. I find it completely ignorant of mankind when we gender bender the Gospel.

    And let’s see here, when there wasn’t another human being around to speak wisdom into a fool, did not our LORD use a donkey?

  136. Dale wrote:

    Watermark has only three elders, one of whom is Todd Wagner. Does this seem a little sparse given attendance of 11,000?

    Our congregation of 100 has 4 elders (one is the pastor). No typos.

  137. Dale wrote:

    Looking at the church website, it appears that Watermark has only three elders, one of whom is Todd Wagner. Does this seem a little sparse given attendance of 11,000?

    Two are easier to control and manipulate, than a bunch. For an authoritarian pastor, there is safety in low numbers. The beauty of elder-rule polity, rather than congregational governance, is that an autocratic pastor can hand-pick yes-men to put in his pocket. Dissenters can be easily removed.

  138. @ Karen:

    Love the donkey speaking…yes, God can use every order if creation to do His will.
    Should have mentioned we have both a daughter and son. And, the daughter mucked the neighbors horse stalls, as well as our son, she fence painted too. Our son is a better cook then our dsughter. Gender was not a consideration for the work they did. I’ll add too, both of them competed in small bore firearms competition.

  139. __

    Wags’ Paradigm : “Women, Young Children, And The Home, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” -from OT, Proverbs 31

    “One of the things that marks a mother is the way she sacrifices for her children even maybe her career for a season.” -Todd Wagner

    huh?

    Wags acknowledges that not all women — such as single moms — have the luxury of not working and staying home with their children. But he advised that ‘if able’, mothers —especially of children who are not yet at the age of attending school — that the ideal is to be present at home.

    What?

    Wags has taught each of his three daughters from an early age, to be godly women –who put God first. The proof is in the podding. To meet them is to see that. He apparently has no intention of limiting what they do outside the home. At the same time, they have been encouraged and admonished of ‘the ideal’ that if they desire to have a family –to pray and trust God for a godly enterprising gentleman who can provide for his family so that ‘if possible’ during child rearing –up to education years, his wife will not have to be employed outside the home.

    To wish for his three daughters lives blessed by the secure application of Proverbs 31, is certainly an admiral vision for the multiple ‘arrows’ given into his charge.

    Blessed Is the man…

    ATB

    Sopy
    ____
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1p1eX_pWPeY
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+31%3A10-31&version=KJV

    🙂

  140. JR wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    Watermark has only three elders, one of whom is Todd Wagner. Does this seem a little sparse given attendance of 11,000?
    Our congregation of 100 has 4 elders (one is the pastor). No typos.

    Congregation of 150. 1 pastor, 1 assistant pastor, 5 deacons.

  141. Mae wrote:

    Congregation of 150. 1 pastor, 1 assistant pastor, 5 deacons.

    I was in a Southern Baptist church one time which had a congregation of 150 and over 20 deacons! From my assessment, none of them were Biblically qualified for that office (a pastor’s worse nightmare!). Most SBC deacons are tapped for that position because they are popular and/or wealthy or from a prominent family who ‘owns’ the church. I have met only a few deacons in my 60+ years of SBC life who met and lived up to their mandate from Scripture … most look at the role as a place of power, rather than of service to the Body of Christ. They like the authority they have, when in a word, they have NO authority Biblically.

  142. Max wrote:

    Most SBC deacons are tapped for that position because they are popular and/or wealthy or from a prominent family who ‘owns’ the church.

    Our current SBC church has an average attendance of about 100, and 6 deacons. Three of the deacons are first cousins! ??????

  143. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    It appears that Watermark had four elders until recently. Kyle Thompson has been removed?

    “Removed” is Christianese Newspeak for “Purged”?

  144. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Congregation of 150. 1 pastor, 1 assistant pastor, 5 deacons.
    I was in a Southern Baptist church one time which had a congregation of 150 and over 20 deacons! From my assessment, none of them were Biblically qualified for that office (a pastor’s worse nightmare!). Most SBC deacons are tapped for that position because they are popular and/or wealthy or from a prominent family who ‘owns’ the church. I have met only a few deacons in my 60+ years of SBC life who met and lived up to their mandate from Scripture … most look at the role as a place of power, rather than of service to the Body of Christ. They like the authority they have, when in a word, they have NO authority Biblically.

    Yuck…..never been in an SBC church. Two of our deacons are female. I would say 4 out of the five, are qualified. I think the fifth is tired, nice man but has been too involved, probably burnt out.

  145. Mae wrote:

    I’d bet she just loooves bossing and snooping around in the younger women’s lives.

    Like I said above: Serena Joy lecturing the Handmaids.

  146. Mae wrote:

    Don’t forget it includes their children and a babysitter, Oooops I mean, nanny.

    If you cosplay a Commander of Gilead, the word is “Handmaid”.

  147. Mae wrote:

    Not even the real 1950s. 1950s sitcoms and commercials…
    A MYTHIC 1950s according to Ozzie, Harriet, and Donna Reed.
    When everyone was in Church (and tithing to Pastor)….

    Don’t forget, ‘ FAther Knows Best ‘.

    Actually, Father Knows Best was the best of those 1950s wholesome family sitcoms. I used to watch it as a kid, but I couldn’t stomach any of the others.

    FKB was also said to have a secondary educational angle, illustrating childrearing lessons for those who had moved cross-country as a result of WW2 and were isolated from older relatives who would have been their how-to sources for childrearing.

  148. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Not even the real 1950s. 1950s sitcoms and commercials…
    A MYTHIC 1950s according to Ozzie, Harriet, and Donna Reed.
    When everyone was in Church (and tithing to Pastor)….
    Don’t forget, ‘ FAther Knows Best ‘.
    Actually, Father Knows Best was the best of those 1950s wholesome family sitcoms. I used to watch it as a kid, but I couldn’t stomach any of the others.
    FKB was also said to have a secondary educational angle, illustrating childrearing lessons for those who had moved cross-country as a result of WW2 and were isolated from older relatives who would have been their how-to sources for childrearing.

    I used to watch Ozzie and Harriet, in hopes Ricky would sing at the end. If my father caught Ricky singing, he’d shut it off, and say he’s a drug user. We girls would get so mad, when dad did that. Turns out, he was right.
    I hated the Beaver and family….thought the show was stupid. I don’t remember a lot from FKB… except, I liked the little girl being called, Kitten.

  149. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Don’t forget it includes their children and a babysitter, Oooops I mean, nanny.
    If you cosplay a Commander of Gilead, the word is “Handmaid”.

    Sadly true.

  150. drstevej wrote:

    I sure wish you were my neighbor! I would be inviting myself over to your house to take concise notes on how you process foods. I have found that my most rewarding fellowships with family, friends, and neighbors, revolves around an atmosphere of food!

    If we were neighbor’s, I surely hope you’d be game for a little hands-on learning, too! ( I would start out with the easiest stuff first!)
    We would take breaks at the appropriate times, or just rest when the jobs were done ….. Have some coffee or sweet tea with a snack….. play with the dogs ….. watch the humming birds on the front porch feeders ……. maybe go take an apple apiece to my daughter’s horse and my niece’s pony ……. maybe just sit on the porch and watch the world go by for a little while….

  151. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    I sure wish you were my neighbor! I would be inviting myself over to your house to take concise notes on how you process foods. I have found that my most rewarding fellowships with family, friends, and neighbors, revolves around an atmosphere of food!
    If we were neighbor’s, I surely hope you’d be game for a little hands-on learning, too! ( I would start out with the easiest stuff first!)
    We would take breaks at the appropriate times, or just rest when the jobs were done ….. Have some coffee or sweet tea with a snack….. play with the dogs ….. watch the humming birds on the front porch feeders ……. maybe go take an apple apiece to my daughter’s horse and my niece’s pony ……. maybe just sit on the porch and watch the world go by for a little while….

    That sounds wonderful! I love watching hummingbirds, and the summer birds at the feeder.
    Native peaches are ready….so good to eat.

  152. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    I don’t know what happened – I was replying to Karen, not drstevej, but he’d be welcome, too!
    And Mae, oooooh, peach cobbler! I bought 25 lbs of peaches from the Mennonites last month – used most of them for peach jam, saved enough to make 3 pies.

  153. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    I don’t know what happened – I was replying to Karen, not drstevej, but he’d be welcome, too!
    And Mae, oooooh, peach cobbler! I bought 25 lbs of peaches from the Mennonites last month – used most of them for peach jam, saved enough to make 3 pies.

    We love fresh, native peaches. I don’t can, or make jams but make peach pies, cobblers. We love fresh peaches on our cereal too.

  154. @ Mae:
    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    I took a day-long class on cold canning last month, but have yet to do anything with it. I kept wanting to at least make pickles, but I’d get like 2 cucumbers a week and there were never enough to can all at once.

    There is a berry farm nearby that does pick-your-own, and I will do that eventually!

  155. Mae wrote:

    We love fresh, native peaches. I don’t can, or make jams but make peach pies, cobblers. We love fresh peaches on our cereal too.

    I just ate breakfast and all of you are making me hungry.

  156. ION: Cricket

    England are in a strong position at stumps on Day Three, having skittled the Proteas; Root narrowly missed his half-century but Mooen pushed on well as South Africa (who, remember, are fielding – which means they’re not in, but they’re also not out, but rather are trying to get England out as cheaply as possible so that they can go in, but then come back out again as the team who are in) struggled to get them out.

    IHTIH

  157. Max wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Congregation of 150. 1 pastor, 1 assistant pastor, 5 deacons.
    I was in a Southern Baptist church one time which had a congregation of 150 and over 20 deacons! From my assessment, none of them were Biblically qualified for that office (a pastor’s worse nightmare!). Most SBC deacons are tapped for that position because they are popular and/or wealthy or from a prominent family who ‘owns’ the church. I have met only a few deacons in my 60+ years of SBC life who met and lived up to their mandate from Scripture … most look at the role as a place of power, rather than of service to the Body of Christ. They like the authority they have, when in a word, they have NO authority Biblically.

    Politics….the SBC is the most political church, you name the way, in America.

  158. This video and the beliefs in expressed in it points to the irrelevance of the church and it’s cookie cutter approach to social issues. Many of their followers will take this to heart and live in less than optimal financial situations to comply with something that a leader says.

    *I’m sure as the Senior Pastor of a DFW mega this guy is well, well, well compensated with an abundant salary, copious PTO and other perks. So he doesn’t have to make the same trade offs that many of the laity who work in the “real world”.

    What this whole conversation comes down to can be summed up in the following blogpost from a former Mars Hill Church staff member: http://mikeyanderson.com/hello-name-mike-im-recovering-true-believer

    {Misogyny. There, I said it. I stood idly by and willingly participated in a culture of misogyny. There could probably be books and sociological studies on the details of this, but I’d prefer to just admit one of the biggest things that I did wrong.

    During this time I made some huge mistakes. I pressured my brilliant and hard-working wife to give up her dream of law school and have a baby and be a stay-at-home mom as soon as possible. There’s nothing wrong with kiddos (I love my daughter) and staying home with kids is great if you want to. What isn’t great is that I allowed others to take verses from the Bible out of context and put a law on my wife and rob her of a dream. I only added pressure on her. It was wrong, and I’m terribly sorry.}

    *Just for the record I’ve been on staff and higher level volunteer in a couple DFW megas, church planting networks and SBC medium sized churches so I know how it works.

  159. I’m becoming convinced a lot of the American church is infected with “rich people’s problems”, which leads to a complete lack of empathy (or perhaps it’s the other way around) and it’s becoming more and more irrelevant to a watching world.

    I read a fantastic book a few years ago, probably the most powerful book I’ve ever read, The Insanity Of God by Nik Ripken. In it he interviews believers from the persecuted church all over the world, men and women and children who are suffering for Jesus. one of the stories that really turned me upside down was of a man who wanted to take his family to church, but the nearest was hours away, so the family started reading the Bible together. Many in the town joined them and the authorities took notice, declaring it an illegal church. Eventually the man was arrested and sent to a gulag. Every morning he would stand and sing a song to Jesus in his cell and every day the other prisoners threw filth at him and jeered. He would write scripture on any paper he found and stick it to a post in his room. The guards would find the papers and beat him. This went on for 18 years. The only thing they asked him to do to gain his release was to sign a confession and renounce Jesus. He refused. The guards even dressed a woman in his wife’s clothes and dragged her past his cell and beat her within earshot to make him stop singing and writing. Finally, one day, the guards had had enough and dragged him from his cell to execute him. As they dragged him to the place where they were going to kill him, every prisoner stood up and sang the song the man had been singing to Jesus for 18 years.

    When I read or hear that in order to live a blessed (aka approved life), I must do… I think of people like the man in the story. Believers all over the world love and obey Jesus, even to the point of death. Are they missing the mark somehow? Are their sacrifices so much less than ours in America that God doesn’t prosper them? Maybe what’s screwed up is little men and women presuming to declare what pleases and displeases God from the vantage of cozy, well-fed, persecution free lives. Perhaps having a lot of money and name recognition has very little to do with God’s blessing.

  160. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    I have a great peach cobbler recipe (and I don’t like peaches all that much) where you sprinkle sugar mixed with corn starch on top and then cover that in boiling water. It creates a crunchy topping after baking that’s delicious.

  161. @ ishy:
    I’ve made jams, preserves, pickles…it’s fun but mostly I don’t bother because I can’t possibly eat what I make! So I just get my friend to give me little jars when she cans 🙂

  162. K.D. wrote:

    Politics….the SBC is the most political church, you name the way, in America.

    From theo-politics at the national level to control-politics at the local level, SBC is more political than spiritual. I sadly say that from my 60+ year perspective as a Southern Baptist.

  163. Lea wrote:

    @ ishy:
    I’ve made jams, preserves, pickles…it’s fun but mostly I don’t bother because I can’t possibly eat what I make! So I just get my friend to give me little jars when she cans

    🙂 I have some friends who share their goodies with me. One makes, salsa, yum.

  164. @ Smoking Salmon:

    Thanks so much for the link. Here is an excerpt I found incredibly important:

    My dad is a wise man whom I respect a lot. I was talking to him about some of this and he said to me “You know Michael, you’re the type of person who is drawn to this exact situation. If you don’t watch out, you’ll just set yourself up for it again. I have a book for you.”

    It was called “True Believer.”

    Here’s a quote that stopped me in my tracks:

    “When a mass movement begins to attract people who are interested in their individual careers, it is a sign that it has passed its vigorous stage; that it is no longer engaged in molding a new world but in preserving the present. It ceases then to be a movement and becomes an enterprise. According to Hitler, the more ‘posts and offices a movement has to hand out, the more inferior stuff it will attract, and in the end these political hangers-on overwhelm a successful party in such number that the honest fighter of former days no longer recognizes the old movement… When this happens, the “mission” of such a movement is done for.'”

    “I left because the mission had died. Mark’s desire for control had pushed Acts 29 away and turned the Resurgence into a giant advertisement. I no longer recognized the old movement of former days. I also was sick to my stomach after reading and empathizing with a quote from Hitler.”

  165. one of the little people wrote:

    There’s a recipe page?

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/interesting/dont-get-mad-cook-favorite-recipes-forum/

    Here is the link to the recipe page called: “Cooking”, or “Don’t Get Mad – Cook”.

    I found it via the drop down menu at the opening Wartburg Watch page, under, “Interesting”.

    Ok, so we have neither a garden nor canning supplies this year, so if anyone has a great refrigerator pickle recipe, we are in the mood and THANKS in advance. I’ll check the Cooking page.

  166. Karen wrote:

    I cannot fathom a pastor, who derives his income off of the laity of the church system, condemning and criticizing women for working outside of the home, especially when he is not taking Paul’s example of working hard, minding his own business, and preaching the Life Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ within its Scriptural context.

    Thirty years ago, a wannabe host of the venerable and usually Christ-centered “Lutheran Hour” weekly radio program preached a message condemning mothers who were employed, accusing them of merely wanting “fulfillment.” We wrote him a letter asking him to get to know some working moms to find out what their real motivations were. He replied with a rambling and obtuse rehashing of everything he’d already said.

    If we’d thought to write what you did, @Karen, we would’ve saved a lot of energy – probably gotten the same response, but would’ve had about a half an hour of otherwise wasted time we took to write him. Good to have your comment, even after all these years.

    And glad to report the guy never made it as regular Lutheran Hour speaker. Program was just too high-quality to allow that.

  167. Spartacus wrote:

    He replied with a rambling and obtuse rehashing of everything he’d already said.

    People unwilling to listen, and unwilling to learn, should not be listened to.

  168. Mae wrote:

    I hated the Beaver and family….thought the show was stupid

    Gee, Wally, I loved that show and watched it all the time.

  169. Karen wrote:

    I cannot fathom a pastor, who derives his income off of the laity of the church system, condemning and criticizing women for working outside of the home, especially when he is not taking Paul’s example of working hard, minding his own business, and preaching the Life Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ within its Scriptural context.

    Martha and Waitstill Sharp, Righteous Gentiles who defied the Nazis. From Martha Sharp: “I so believe a woman’s place is in the home, but only half the time.”

  170. kin wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    I hated the Beaver and family….thought the show was stupid
    Gee, Wally, I loved that show and watched it all the time.

    I told my older brother he was my Eddy Haskell when we were kids. 🙂

  171. Lydia wrote:

    I told my older brother he was my Eddy Haskell when we were kids.

    I’m sorry to hear that. Ed was the epitome of I Cor.15:33. Hopefully, your brother reformed.

  172. I took a gander at Todd Wagner’s Twitter profile, and his cover photo shows his kids standing on the log that goes across Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, CO. I went there a couple of times while living in CO, and there are large signs all around the lake that say please do not stand in the logs or get in the water because they are trying to preserve the ecosystem there. I guess obeying state park rules isn’t something pastors have to do as long as it makes a good Twitter picture!

  173. Spartacus wrote:

    Thirty years ago, a wannabe host of the venerable and usually Christ-centered “Lutheran Hour” weekly radio program preached a message condemning mothers who were employed, accusing them of merely wanting “fulfillment.” We wrote him a letter asking him to get to know some working moms to find out what their real motivations were. He replied with a rambling and obtuse rehashing of everything he’d already said.

    They [Vogner (Wagner), Watermark, whomever] are as out of touch with real life now as they were back then.
    Economic realities have nothing whatsoever to do with ‘fulfillment’.

  174. @Spartacus

    You already know this per your comment, but I will reiterate a friendly reminder, “You were writing to a fool, in every literal sense of the word.”

    I grew up in the Lutheran church system; attending every Sunday. My Dad was a Sunday School teacher and my Mom assisted with Vacation Bible School every summer, which was incredible in our small rural church! Just incredible! This posted not to impress, but to state this, “In all of my years of faithfully attending church and other church related activities, not one time did I ever hear a genderized Jesus. Not one single sermon on “men’s roles” or “women’s roles.” Not one single sermon or Sunday School Lesson, or Bible School Lesson on the proper functions of men verses women or visa versa. And we never heard of any “celebrity preachers” that we were supposed to follow nor encouraged to attend any special conferences for big bucks.

    We were rural; we were simple; and we were taught the simplicity of Jesus Christ. Want to “grow deeper” in Christ, read the Bible for oneself and ask God, the Holy Spirit, to illuminate the Holy Scriptures to help the believer understand exactly what our LORD is trying to teach us.

    It’s ironic how the Gospel Message of Jesus has been perverted and twisted into some sick and twisted gender competing doctrines that don’t even make sense. Exactly who is in charge of the Christian chicken coop, Jesus, or the foxes. And if my understanding serves me correctly, I believe our LORD and Savior did address those power hungry religious folks who love the honors in the public forum, who love to be first and seated in those special places of honor, and those who love to lord it over others…..Jesus stated, “It shall not be so amongst you!”

    And so I grieve when I hear false preachers and teachers oh so arrogantly speak vain philosophies of their own hearts, all the while the average every day believer in Jesus Christ, cares not whether the person is a man or a woman, but in fact, desires every soul to be saved, no gender required. This is the mark of a courageous believer.

  175. @ kin:
    He said, “ok squirt”. 🙂

    Don’t worry, I got him good a few times. We were big on pranks in my family. Ha!

  176. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    We’ve been canning since late April, when the strawberries came in. We just sorted and cleaned 2 (5 gal) buckets of grapes this afternoon. So, Monday, we’ll make grape jelly. Tuesday, I’m helping my 71 yo mom make ripe tomato relish. We still have sweet corn to freeze, and …

    Sounds like heaven to me! (the real McCoy in the here and now) no additives and no soulless accoutrements.
    This one’s for you…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttu5DL3-1s4

  177. Karen wrote:

    not one time did I ever hear a genderized Jesus. Not one single sermon on “men’s roles” or “women’s roles.”

    Yes, the same in the little neighborhood church of my childhood. Add to this, no mention of money, no pledges, no contracts, no fundraisers. Staff were paid and lived like everyone else, lay volunteered, and missionaries were sent and supported. The simplicity and innocence of it all makes what goes on today mind-baffling.

    (Side note: Since that time, however, there has been a cultural shift of equal pay for equal work, awareness of domestic abuse, and more women than men today do Higher Ed. I wonder if the gender stuff going on in churches is push back for the advances that women have made in our society in general. Just a thought.)

  178. JYJames wrote:

    (Side note: Since that time, however, there has been a cultural shift of equal pay for equal work, awareness of domestic abuse, and more women than men today do Higher Ed. I wonder if the gender stuff going on in churches is push back for the advances that women have made in our society in general. Just a thought.)

    Oh, I’m sure that’s a factor in it.
    How much of a factor is open to debate, but I’m sure that’s part of it.

  179. JYJames wrote:

    @ Smoking Salmon:
    Smokin’ hot comment with links, etc. Thx.

    Smokin Hawt as a Mega-pastor’s trophy wife?

  180. K.D. wrote:

    Politics….the SBC is the most political church, you name the way, in America.

    As POLITICAL(TM) as anything in the old USSR or present-day North Korea.

  181. We were rural; we were simple; and we were taught the simplicity of Jesus Christ. Want to “grow deeper” in Christ, read the Bible for oneself and ask God, the Holy Spirit, to illuminate the Holy Scriptures to help the believer understand exactly what our LORD is trying to teach us.”

    Sounds warmly familiar, Karen. We weren’t rural but everything resonates fully. I’ve begun attending services at an ELCA church where the pastor is female and the music director is gay, and I really appreciate hearing the Word.

    Ad opposed to a previous LCMS pastor’s words about disrespectful wives who fail to follow the passage toward them in Ephesians (never mentions the passage to the husbands); and how legalized marriage for gays is THE reason our nation is on the road to ruin. The pastor had the sense not to complain about politics, at least.

    That said, reading TWW has me considering that formal membership in a congregation is optional, even in a Lutheran church with seminary-educated, vetted pastors. Worship prepares me for the world, being on a roster–not so much.

  182. JYJames said,
    “Side note: Since that time, however, there has been a cultural shift of equal pay for equal work, awareness of domestic abuse, and more women than men today do Higher Ed. I wonder if the gender stuff going on in churches is push back for the advances that women have made in our society in general. Just a thought.”

    I’ve also thought that long enough, that I now believe it’s true.

  183. Muff Potter wrote:

    Economic realities have nothing whatsoever to do with ‘fulfillment’.

    I agree. But I don’t think ‘fulfillment’ in itself is the big bad wolf though – if a woman has abilities that can be expressed in good work, without harm to her family (if she has one) then why not? I have never seen these guys address the fact that women are gifted in the same way men are, make great pilots, neurosurgeons, academics, artists etc. Why did God give them these gifts if they were never to be used?

  184. Beakerj wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    Economic realities have nothing whatsoever to do with ‘fulfillment’.
    I agree. But I don’t think ‘fulfillment’ in itself is the big bad wolf though – if a woman has abilities that can be expressed in good work, without harm to her family (if she has one) then why not? I have never seen these guys address the fact that women are gifted in the same way men are, make great pilots, neurosurgeons, academics, artists etc. Why did God give them these gifts if they were never to be used?

    Excellent question!
    Years ago our Pastor placed a women as, chief financial officer, of the church. A few old timers commented it was not right for a women to hold that office. Pastor explained the women was the most qualified, was a CPA, in her employment, outside of church. Eventually, even the old timers came around to thinking it was the better way to place to place talent above old traditions.

  185. @ JYJames:

    @JY James

    Excellent comment! Superb as a matter of fact!

    May I dare to say that with all of perks of an affluent society, there still remains that desire to exert power and control over others. Jesus, Himself, called it out in His day, and the human heart/mind/soul has not changed since the beginning of time. What better place to boast and brag of oneself (in a most honorably humble way of course), exerting their own self appointed power, than in a church system where every truth hinges on the words and actions of the pastor and the leadership.

    The authors here mentioned the word “empathy” within its title, pertaining to the self anointed and appointed pastor. Empathy is a powerful emotion in and of itself, it pricks the heart and the conscience of a believer and follower of Jesus. I, personally, find it fascinating and ludicrous at the same time, male headship within the western church, using and abusing Scriptures to tell women how to live.
    In viewing videos of Todd Wagner (he chose to make himself public via the internet, so we are called to test the spirits that lie within him), is there the mark of true, Biblical humility that lives within his soul? The kind of humility that leads him to lay down his life and serve others, pointing to Jesus, the Living Christ, as his Head, his Cornerstone, His Rock? Or is there a vacuum in his heart for the plight of others, or is something missing?

    I attended a very charismatic church for a short time, the type that fell down, slain in a spirit of sorts, the type that invited healing evangelists in to anoint us and heal our every pain, the type where church folks came around and said, “god told me to tell you this or that, the type that was forever seeking a “sign and a wonder, and the type that taught “tithing was the mark of a true believer.” With that said, I had the senior pastor and a highly anointed elder, visit with me following one service. When I shared with them that I had to get home and finish a project for one of my customers that was patiently waiting for their ‘goods,’ immediately their blood pressures went up, and the criticizing and condemning ensued. It was a Sunday of course, and according to their false theology, church folks DO NOT WORK ON SUNDAYS. So I stood there, listening to their verbal beating of my character, my lack of faith in the lord of their making, and the lofty words on they live their lives in accordance with their twisted Scriptures. I was shell shocked on how two grown men could be so prideful, so ignorant, and just plain foolish to the core. Did their views of how I lived my life impact me? No. I still work on Sundays, the Jewish Sabbath, and any other day of the week when I am needed to do so. Some Sundays are spent working all day long, for others and at times, for my own business. But what really fascinated me the most, was this, these lofty men don’t think twice about taking their families to restaurants on Sunday noon, having others, mostly women, wait on their tables bending to their every need. If in fact, they loathed people working on Sundays, would they not want to go home and practice what they preached to me? Seriously? Should they not go home and rest in solitude, and leading a peaceful life, instead of burdening others? This case scenario reeks of double mindedness to me, and of false judgements made on the part of power hungry church leaders.

    One question I have is this, “When the offering plate is passed around, does Todd Wagner receive the offerings of women who work outside of the home, or does he graciously and generously take those trinkets out of the offering and give those back to those individuals, for he, as a man, cannot receive that type of mammon? Or are those offerings considered “non gender issues?” ”

    More and more, pastors have been purposefully genderizing Christianity throughout the decades, and to be perfectly honest, it truly makes me sick to my stomach. It is hogwash, destroying more marriages, more families, and more relationships than I care to dwell on. Oh, how these wolves in sheep’s clothing must be grieving our Father in Heaven, for He sent His only begotten Son to save the world, not the male world, or the female world, but the whole world. Perhaps the word “Ichabod” should be screen printed on the back of many a leaderships’ T-shirts.

  186. @Mae

    Great comment Mae concerning the CPA managing the books. I wonder if that offering money if offended that she’s a woman.

  187. JYJames wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    not one time did I ever hear a genderized Jesus. Not one single sermon on “men’s roles” or “women’s roles.”
    //
    Yes, the same in the little neighborhood church of my childhood. Add to this, no mention of money, no pledges, no contracts, no fundraisers. Staff were paid and lived like everyone else, lay volunteered, and missionaries were sent and supported. The simplicity and innocence of it all makes what goes on today mind-baffling.

    Yeah, this is a big lie of the big patriarchists, that feminism caused “everything to fall apart”. I think one reason for the decline of the American church is people like the patriarchists and everyone just got tired of their arrogance and clear self-interest.

    Feminism didn’t cause divisions. Those divisions existed already and always have. Just because you pretend something is fine doesn’t mean it is. And the only people who get really upset about it are the ones who feel threatened that their lives won’t be so comfy and everyone else won’t be subservient to them.

  188. Beakerj wrote:

    if a woman has abilities that can be expressed in good work, without harm to her family (if she has one) then why not? I have never seen these guys address the fact that women are gifted in the same way men are, make great pilots, neurosurgeons, academics, artists etc. Why did God give them these gifts if they were never to be used?

    They used to insist that wasn’t the case, though, and some still do. Even John Piper kinda implies that when he says that women doing anything authoritative offends the “natural” leadership of men.

    Though it’s quite clear to me that when a bunch of really insecure people gain power, they make up really ridiculous reasons as to why they should keep it.

  189. Karen wrote:

    @Mae
    Great comment Mae concerning the CPA managing the books. I wonder if that offering money if offended that she’s a woman.

    Many an elderly sister in Christ, or widows, lowly waitresses, caretakers, etc. have faithfully supported the church.
    I was a financial officer for several years. We had several unmarried , older women. They always gave when the offering plate was passed. I remember one older woman, who had no immediate family, worked as a school Secretary for 45 years. She faithfully gave $30.00 every week. Believe me, that was sacrificial giving.
    Women have faithfully, financially supported the faith from the beginning. They financially supported Jesus’ ministry.

  190. ishy wrote:

    Yeah, this is a big lie of the big patriarchists, that feminism caused “everything to fall apart”.

    It displays such a complete and utter lack of historical knowledge, it shows that they ought not be trusted on this topic for a second.

    I suppose what they mean is that it was a sweet deal for men? IDK.

  191. ishy wrote:

    They used to insist that wasn’t the case, though, and some still do. Even John Piper kinda implies that when he says that women doing anything authoritative offends the “natural” leadership of men.
    Though it’s quite clear to me that when a bunch of really insecure people gain power, they make up really ridiculous reasons as to why they should keep it.

    Indeed, there are few men as insecure in their masculinity as those in the “Biblical” “manhood” crowd.

  192. ishy wrote:

    Yeah, this is a big lie of the big patriarchists, that feminism caused “everything to fall apart”.

    And all the PUA’s in the Manosphere go “A-men!”

  193. ishy wrote:

    Yeah, this is a big lie of the big patriarchists, that feminism caused “everything to fall apart”.

    I wonder if the patriarchists ever mention and give credit to the “feminists” in our country’s past who were activists, abolitionists, suffragists, temperance advocates, and social reformers (Carry Nation, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, etc.)

    No doubt they experienced the same ridicule for their efforts and struggles that benefit us today and we take for granted.

  194. Muff Potter wrote:

    Sounds like heaven to me! (the real McCoy in the here and now) no additives and no soulless accoutrements.

    Yep. Work, but worth it ….. Homegrown, chemical free, and tastes better than store bought! We just made 15 pints of jelly this morning! Got plenty of juice left for my mom and my daughter to make a couple of batches, too!

  195. Beakerj wrote:

    if a woman has abilities that can be expressed in good work, without harm to her family

    My daughter had three incompetent, uncaring math teachers. My math degree helped me catch and correct the teaching errors – kept my daughter from getting bad grades that she did not deserve.

  196. ishy wrote:

    They used to insist that wasn’t the case, though, and some still do. Even John Piper kinda implies that when he says that women doing anything authoritative offends the “natural” leadership of men.

    John Piper seems to be far more feminely sensitive than any woman I’ve ever met.

  197. Victorious wrote:

    I wonder if the patriarchists ever mention and give credit to the “feminists”

    Of course not. Things were better than. Apparently. When people, men and women were literally owned, when women could not vote, when men could do whatever they wanted to their wives…Obviously it was ‘feminism’ that caused the problem of divorce, rather than divorce being a reaction to the bad behavior of individuals under a system where they had power. Obviously. *eyeroll*

  198. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    They used to insist that wasn’t the case, though, and some still do. Even John Piper kinda implies that when he says that women doing anything authoritative offends the “natural” leadership of men.

    John Piper seems to be far more feminely sensitive than any woman I’ve ever met.

    That thing about how to give a man directions, when he has showed up in your yard and asked for them!, so as not to offend him by knowing stuff was just bonkers.

    If men really were as sensitive as Piper thinks, they couldn’t be trusted with anything.

  199. Victorian Expressions 101*

    “The vapors” = flatulence

    “Swoon” = to faint or feel faint

    Offered because “John Piper, Victorian swooner” or “swooning Victorian” sounds even better than “Victorian with the vapors.”

    I’ll enjoy both, though.

    *Use it, lose it, abuse it. I’m not now nor have I ever been the Victorian Customs Police. Do not listen to anybody who tells you otherwise. Heh!

  200. Hypothetically speaking of course:

    If John Piper and his family were in a vehicle, blazing down a minimum maintenance dirt road in search of a scenic view on their vacation, only to discover a woman at the side of the road waving her arms and yelling, “No man, don’t go speeding down that road so fast, there’s no signs and the road will ends at the cliff’s edge. You’re headed for a disaster!”

    Would John heed the woman’s warning or dismiss it as another case of a woman desiring god’s leadership over men? Would he allow his manhood to usurp her womanhood? Would he say “This crazy woman is out of place and unteachable?” Would John call her a feminist for telling “him” what to do.

    Or, hypothetically speaking, would John slow the vehicle to a halt, back up to actually hear what the woman is saying, humble himself before the LORD of the Scriptures, and say graciously, “Thank-you woman, for warning me against the destruction that lies ahead. You saved me and my family from certain death.”

    Hypothetically speaking, this is precisely what the gender bender false gospel accomplishes, death to the spirit and souls of both men and women, thus denying the true, clear and concise testimony of the Good News.

    I used to listen to John Piper and other patriarchal oriented pastors (all men of course) and have come to the conclusion, that these individuals who claim to represent jesus (the one of their own making and understanding), literally were stealing like a thief in the night, my joy, my understanding, my freedoms, my liberties, and my faith that only comes through Jesus Christ, alone, for my salvation. And I completely trust Him when He says, “MY burdens are light, and My yoke is easy.”

    This is Christ’s Promise to all of us who rest easily in Him. Non-hypothetically speaking, of course. Smile!

  201. Karen wrote:

    I used to listen to John Piper and other patriarchal oriented pastors (all men of course) and have come to the conclusion, that these individuals who claim to represent jesus (the one of their own making and understanding), literally were stealing like a thief in the night, my joy, my understanding, my freedoms, my liberties, and my faith that only comes through Jesus Christ, alone, for my salvation. And I completely trust Him when He says, “MY burdens are light, and My yoke is easy.”
    This is Christ’s Promise to all of us who rest easily in Him. Non-hypothetically speaking, of course. Smile!

    When the Canaanite woman debated Jesus on whether or not He came from only the Israelites, He didn’t get mad at her for challenging Him. He actually said she had great faith.

  202. Victorious wrote:

    I wonder if the patriarchists ever mention and give credit to the “feminists” in our country’s past who were activists, abolitionists, suffragists, temperance advocates, and social reformers (Carry Nation, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, etc.)

    Mohler just published a book about how feminism ruined culture and he starts in the 70s. As Owen Strachen has called the 1987 Danvers Statement a “historical document”, I think they believe the 70s were ancient history.

    If there is one truth about these guys I know, it’s that they like to create narratives to suit their ideology. Along with their authoritarian emphasis on only reading their own people, I doubt most of their followers even notice. I mean, most of them haven’t even noticed they never talk about Christ except as an atonement.

  203. Karen wrote:

    I used to listen to John Piper and other patriarchal oriented pastors (all men of course) and have come to the conclusion, that these individuals who claim to represent jesus (the one of their own making and understanding), literally were stealing like a thief in the night, my joy, my understanding, my freedoms, my liberties, and my faith that only comes through Jesus Christ, alone, for my salvation.

    Thes men position themselves as barriers between women and God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

  204. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    These men position themselves as barriers between women and God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

    Then they don’t know God. It doesn’t matter what theology you profess. If you are a stumbling block to any believer and are preventing others from coming into the Kingdom by your belief and practice, your ministry is for nought.

  205. The arrogance is sickening. There’s no time or energy for genuine love and care for people when the top down authoritative leader demands micromanaging people’s lives, as we’ve seen clearly from both Watermark and TVC.

    We have a family member on staff at Watermark whose wife runs a cookie business from home. That’s ok with the powers that be? They live in a nice neighborhood that fits into the Watermark mold imo. They receive perks from generous people like cars and I’ve heard that cash gifts appear as well. One Christmas, the staff were asked to submit their wish for their family/kids gifts and the kids were presented with the gifts from Watermark. Keeps them loyal I guess.

  206. Karen wrote:

    If John Piper and his family were in a vehicle, blazing down a minimum maintenance dirt road in search of a scenic view on their vacation, only to discover a woman at the side of the road waving her arms and yelling, “No man, don’t go speeding down that road so fast, there’s no signs and the road will ends at the cliff’s edge. You’re headed for a disaster!”

    Would John heed the woman’s warning or dismiss it as another case of a woman desiring god’s leadership over men? Would he allow his manhood to usurp her womanhood? Would he say “This crazy woman is out of place and unteachable?” Would John call her a feminist for telling “him” what to do.

    If he did, that’d solve a lot of problems.

  207. ishy wrote:

    they like to create narratives to suit their ideology.

    “Religion,” Voltaire is said to have remarked, “began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.”

    “The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time” by Maria Konnikova, is an analysis of the con, in religion and other practices.

    The fact that Enoch walked with God and God took him, seems like a better way. Direct. Genesis 5:21-24.

  208. Amy Smith wrote:

    That’s ok with the powers that be?

    ..and do the married women on staff worry about it becoming a hostile work environment if they decide to start a family?

  209. Mae wrote:

    Eventually, even the old timers came around to thinking it was the better way to place to place talent above old traditions.

    Gasp! You mean reason and common sense prevailed?

  210. Beakerj wrote:

    I have never seen these guys address the fact that women are gifted in the same way men are, make great pilots, neurosurgeons, academics, artists etc. Why did God give them these gifts if they were never to be used?

    It beggars (and buggers) the mind that the Bible has been used to justify a misbegotten desire to emulate the olden times it came out of.

  211. Muff Potter wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Eventually, even the old timers came around to thinking it was the better way to place to place talent above old traditions.
    Gasp! You mean reason and common sense prevailed?

    That’s why we loved that fellowship. Both men and women were willing to be teachable….not that there weren’t occasional disputes, but for many years, love and common sense ruled.

  212. ishy wrote:

    As Owen Strachen has called the 1987 Danvers Statement a “historical document”

    Not for nothing have I called him Owen BHLH because I think he just might actually believe that.

  213. @ Muff Potter:
    It’s all because of uppity women like me Muff, who regularly wiped the floor with my male compatriots both academically & artistically, & now leads men in my team. I’m a disgrace 😉
    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    My daughter had three incompetent, uncaring math teachers. My math degree helped me catch and correct the teaching errors – kept my daughter from getting bad grades that she did not deserve.

    Nancy, please don’t take this the wrong way because it’s clearly brilliant you could help your daughter, but is that all the worth your Maths degree has? What is your daughter getting good grades for? There have been quite a few men who have said the only purpose of women getting an education is to help their children (particularly) with their homework. I may be way off base in thinking that your comment has a bit of this about it – if I’m wrong please don’t hesitate to tell me where.

  214. Beakerj wrote:

    Nancy, please don’t take this the wrong way because it’s clearly brilliant you could help your daughter, but is that all the worth your Maths degree has? What is your daughter getting good grades for? There have been quite a few men who have said the only purpose of women getting an education is to help their children (particularly) with their homework. I may be way off base in thinking that your comment has a bit of this about it – if I’m wrong please don’t hesitate to tell me where.

    I have taught full-time at middle schools, high schools, and tutored college students.

  215. I am very upset that the re-engage marriage curriculum is coming to our church in the fall. Someone informed me that it originated from Watermark. I am beginning to suspect that the man in charge of our community groups and I think who ordered this kit may be one of those Covert NeoCal plants because he keeps picking this stuff. My church is not Calvinist. In fact our pastor just did his yearly sermon explaining our Freewill doctrine as it is opposed to Calvinism. Our pastor is 99.9 percent egalitarian. But I guess that is like being .01 percent pregnant.

  216. Patti wrote:

    I am beginning to suspect that the man in charge of our community groups and I think who ordered this kit may be one of those Covert NeoCal plants because he keeps picking this stuff. My church is not Calvinist. In fact our pastor just did his yearly sermon explaining our Freewill doctrine as it is opposed to Calvinism. Our pastor is 99.9 percent egalitarian. But I guess that is like being .01 percent pregnant.

    It may be that they just don’t know what is going on in the SBC. I know a lot of Southern Baptists who don’t seem to have a clue about it. Lifeway works hard to market all this stuff and they redefine terms to trick people into believing and/or buying it.

    At least, I would hope that is the case.

  217. @ Christina:

    I remember. I have not seen any changes to the membership process as promised. He gave his publicly-pressured speech to address the issue that he originally declared no one had the right to know about and most were as amazed as ever. But in their 2016 report, you can see that this is the first year maybe ever they haven’t grown. And then a scolding on how you’re not giving enough for “gospel-centered multiplication”.

    @ Amy Smith:

    Cookie business! I’m sure they’re delicious, but that’s standard. The wife has a job, but it’s always some kind of home-based, hyper-feminine, and potentially very part-time gig. Like the assistant pastor’s wife who sold decorative southern-themed stationary at my previous church.

  218. Beakerj wrote:

    It’s all because of uppity women like me Muff, who regularly wiped the floor with my male compatriots both academically & artistically, & now leads men in my team. I’m a disgrace

    We need more uppity women in the world Beaks. Smart men will always recognize smart women as powerful allies. May your tribe increase!

  219. I’m a little late to the party but I’ll chime in anyway. It’s subjects like this that make me wonder if occurs to Christians that they should just use the common sense that God has given to them. The constant obsessing of whether what one is doing is “Biblical” or not has the potential to drive a person cuckoo. Sometimes…actually oftentimes there is no chapter and verse to tell you what decision/s you should make. Should a mom work outside the home? Well….it all depends upon that mother’s particular circumstances. But, I guess Christian leaders/pastors/authors feel the need to have videos, podcasts, books, seminars, etc. to tell others what they should be using their common sense for in the first place. And there is a market for this kind of thing because its seems Christians just don’t want to use their common sense.

  220. Thersites wrote:

    Dee:
    “I am sick and tired of people making judgment on moms who work or don’t work.”
    Thanks, me too.

    Yep. It’s none of their business. This is a matter between the mom, her husband (if she has one) and God. All of this nonsense is just another way for Christian leaders/pastors/preachers/authors to guilt trip people. And to get you to buy their books, watch their videos, attend their conferences, etc. etc.

    Hey Christians, wise up. You don’t need someone to tell you how to make every little decision in life. If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, He can lead you to make wise decisions. And even if you flounder and make mistakes, you can learn from those mistakes.

  221. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    My mom worked because that was what was best for us….
    I stayed at home with my daughter until she was 2. Then my husband had to have 4 surgeries in 3 years, so I went to work….
    I chose to work because that was what was best for us. After my husband died, I had to work to survive. Later, I married a soldier who made good money. So, I finished my college education and taught math because I wanted to!…
    My daughter stays at home….
    She chooses to stay at home because that is what is best for the family.
    None of my grandmothers worked at official paying jobs, but they did farm work…… tobacco, corn, hay, hogs, cows (beef and milk), chickens, gardens, home canning, sewing, churning butter, processing their own meat from both farm animals and wild game…… I’d call what they did hard manual labor….
    Some of us do what we have to do for our families. Some of us are able to do what we want to do. As long as we are not harming anyone, whose business is it?

    Exactly, Nancy2! We do what is best for us and our families, we do what we have to in order to pay the bills, eat, clothe ourselves and if we’re lucky, every once in a while have some enjoyment. And it’s NONE of Pastor Whoever’s business. This kind of subtle guilt-tripping from a guy whom I would guess has little worries financially, being that he’s a pastor of a large church in a nice neighborhood.

  222. ishy wrote:

    I’ll believe he is serious about enabling mothers in his church to work at home when he gives up his plush church office and huge pulpit to go work in a warehouse church with bad heat in the inner city and the church gives all those millions away to people in that area.
    “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” -Matt. 23:4

    Yep. It’s a bunch of blah, blah, blah from a preacher man who is out of touch with the average, common, ordinary citizen. Get out of your Ivory Tower, Pastor/Dude, and find out just how difficult it is to live on one income for much of the population these days!

  223. Stan wrote:

    Cookie business! I’m sure they’re delicious, but that’s standard. The wife has a job, but it’s always some kind of home-based, hyper-feminine, and potentially very part-time gig. Like the assistant pastor’s wife who sold decorative southern-themed stationary at my previous church.

    I cannot help but think of Paula Deen every time I read this… That’s how she started, a small home-based cooking business, and look at her now.

    Julia Child was another example.

    I don’t think that’s what the PW has planned, though.

  224. @ kin:

    ” Why is it that we so easily make life more complicated (…morally) than it should be? That’s the American Christian way I guess.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    it creates jobs.

    invent a problem, then invent the answer. or else co-opt a perceived problem and invent an answer to that. then play the “God” card for some guilt, shock, & awe. job creation. and a product people will pay money for.

  225. Irish Lass wrote:

    This is Lori Alexander’s mantra. Mothers should be at home serving their husbands. Have a look at her FB page or blog. Any pushback she gets she deletes the comments that are reasonable and well thought ones but leaves the weird. She believes She is commanded by God to teach the younger women as per Titus 2 and women are to be keepers at home as this is what God commands but she may work if her husband tells her to to cos you obey husband before God

    If the Lori Alexander’s of the world had their way, all women would be encased in their homes while only men worked outside the home. By the way, Irish Lass…are you the same Irish Lass that has commented over at Doug Wilson’s blog? It’s crazy over there, right? 😉

  226. Darlene wrote:

    By the way, Irish Lass…are you the same Irish Lass that has commented over at Doug Wilson’s blog? It’s crazy over there, right?

    If its the same Lass, have either of you visited The Truth About Moscow? It’s an anonymous blog (written by ‘Ulysses’) dedicated to exposing Doug Wilson for who he really is…

    http://www.moscowid.net/

  227. Darlene wrote:

    It’s subjects like this that make me wonder if occurs to Christians that they should just use the common sense that God has given to them. The constant obsessing of whether what one is doing is “Biblical” or not has the potential to drive a person cuckoo.

    Case in point: All those surviving Puritan journals.
    Nothing but 24/7 sleepless unsmiling concentration on navel-gazing sin-sniffing.

  228. Darlene wrote:

    This kind of subtle guilt-tripping from a guy whom I would guess has little worries financially, being that he’s a pastor of a large church in a nice neighborhood.

    And has to keep up with the Furticks.

  229. Burwell wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    By the way, Irish Lass…are you the same Irish Lass that has commented over at Doug Wilson’s blog? It’s crazy over there, right?

    If its the same Lass, have either of you visited The Truth About Moscow? It’s an anonymous blog (written by ‘Ulysses’) dedicated to exposing Doug Wilson for who he really is…

    http://www.moscowid.net/

    Oh yes, I’ve been to that site. But one doesn’t need to go there to recognize that something is off about Wilson.

  230. What is happening in Evangelicalism? It appears that it’s becoming some warped entity that bears little resemblance to the body of Christ.

  231. dee wrote:

    Dale wrote:

    manifesting disinterest and/or inactivity in the life of the church;
    • or other reasons as set forth in the Scriptures.

    Anyone who attends this church is crewed if they get on the wrong side of the leadership.

    Ya can’t get more ambiguous than that and I’d expect that’s their intentions. The leadership makes the rules as they go as to what qualifies as “disinterest” and “inactivity”. And then just to cover all bases, they toss in “other reasons”. This kind of leadership is overbearing control on steroids!

  232. bonnie knox wrote:

    Everything’s bigger in Texas.

    Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee, you wrote that the typical housing allowance is $200,000. This should be $20,000. This corresponds to my experience preparing tax returns for pastors.

    It seems Texas has some of the wackiest churches around. My apologies to any normal Christians who live in Texas. 🙂

  233. Darlene wrote:

    Hey Christians, wise up. You don’t need someone to tell you how to make every little decision in life. If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, He can lead you to make wise decisions. And even if you flounder and make mistakes, you can learn from those mistakes.

    Yes x 1,000,000!
    Just because some narcissistic game player wants to control you, doesn’t mean you have to let them. Your freedom was bought by the blood of Christ. Cherish it.

  234. Stan wrote:

    I’m a young bachelor living in Dallas, and you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone who gets tingles up the leg about Watermark. I’m also the kind of person who likes watching people have a conniption after I call it a shepherding cult, it’s more fun that way.

    People from Watermark always make sure to call themselves “Christ followers” or “followers of Christ” in addition to just Christian. Now by the grace of God I have a lovely girlfriend who grew up in a small LCMS church where her father was an elder, but when I was using online dating, it was an instant rejection when I saw those words. And the things in this article are the main reason why. That’s how I feel about Watermark.

    The Village is known as being the more chilled out of the only two real churches in DFW Metroplex, consider that.

    Watermark unashamedly uses the Shepherding Movement’s langauge:

    http://www.watermark.org/blog/why-group

    Ok, What About Community “Groups”?
    You have a handful of men as elders who have to give an account for thousands. Sounds crazy! God has made provision for this issue in his word, through providing a structured shepherding model (see Exodus 18). Community groups have become the MECHANISM or VEHICLE through which the Elders shepherd the flock at Watermark. Everyone is in a clear, defined (closed group), accountable relationship with others, with a clear line to the shepherds. For Watermark, this looks like a group, designated leader, community director, and elders. The Elders DON’T have the option to not shepherd, but they DO have the freedom to shepherd through other members indwelt by the Counselor (Holy Spirit) who gifts every believer (1 Corinthians 12:7).

    Of course, with the “gee willikers” diction befitting of a kids’ Sunday school video.

    $200,000 might actually be right, real estate property records are publicly available in Texas, and Todd Wagner and his wife Alex own a $1.4 million house not in Highland Park, but about 1000 feet away. I’ve seen people on both TexAgs and Baylorfans (Texas A&M and Baylor message boards) where Watermark fans are asked why this is, and there’s a story about how some real estate tycoon decided to bless the Wagners by giving that house, which of course makes no sense because of the gift tax.

    Look up Watermark’s Google reviews, sort by lowest rating, and see Anthony Griego’s story of being harassed for buying a house with his fiancee before marriage. For more weird stuff, look at Yelp’s reviews, scroll down, click the light gray text for reviews that “aren’t currently recommended”, and sort by most recent.

    Or I’ll put it this way, my answers to any questions about Watermark are: “Yes”, “Really”, “I don’t really believe that happens neither”, and “I guess it is Dallas”.

    Dee, I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but did

    Whoa Nellie! Just read “How to Date in Community” to get an idea of this church’s thought processes! Their controlling methods sound just like my former Christian cult. Red Flags are everywhere if a person chooses to actually use their common sense. RUN don’t walk from a church like this.

  235. one of the little people wrote:

    I’m becoming convinced a lot of the American church is infected with “rich people’s problems”, which leads to a complete lack of empathy (or perhaps it’s the other way around) and it’s becoming more and more irrelevant to a watching world.

    This is sooo true. Well said.

    It seems like if you don’t fit the hetero married, 2.5 kids or wanting 2.5 kids, suburb loving mold these days the evangelical church, for the most part, doesn’t have a spot for you. I am generalizing but during my tenure with the church it was hardest to be single where the entire organization was “family oriented” and single people were expected to serve a lot because that’s what we are good for? Then when I got married with no plan for kids with a wife who plans to have a career it again put us at odds with the templated approach that is expected for people in that particular genre of religion.

    So since the church had little room for me I no longer have room for it and I am happier and less stressed because of it.

  236. JYJames wrote:

    Karen wrote:

    not one time did I ever hear a genderized Jesus. Not one single sermon on “men’s roles” or “women’s roles.”


    I wonder if the gender stuff going on in churches is push back for the advances that women have made in our society in general. Just a thought.)

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the push back in Evangelical churches is due to the advances that women have made. They gripe about “Feminism” ad nauseum. They seem to think there was a time called the good old days but they are deceived. Whatever time in history one might allude to, while life might have been good for some segments of society, there were large swaths of society who were mistreated and marginalized.

  237. Darlene wrote:

    They seem to think there was a time called the good old days but they are deceived. Whatever time in history one might allude to, while life might have been good for some segments of society, there were large swaths of society who were mistreated and marginalized.

    Check out Stephanie Coontz’s The Way We Never Were. She dwells at length about this very thing. Her writing is scholarly yes, but she’s also accessible to the average Joe and Jane layperson. In other words, she’s not one of those academics who could do a brisk business selling their stuff as a sleeping potion after peer review.

  238. Thanks, Dee, for posting about Watermark. It is the most “in-your-face” website that I’ve seen concerning church covenants and elder control. It needed to be examined!

  239. Darlene wrote:

    Whoa Nellie! Just read “How to Date in Community” to get an idea of this church’s thought processes! Their controlling methods sound just like my former Christian cult. Red Flags are everywhere if a person chooses to actually use their common sense. RUN don’t walk from a church like this.

    Your comment drew my attention to this ‘article’ on the church’s website. Incredible! I haven’t even made it past the first section without scratching my head at ‘logic’ like this:

    What is your intention in dating? Is it to find and pursue someone towards marriage, or is it to just have a good time for the weekend? If it’s the latter, a biblically-based community should try to help you see why that might not be a good idea.

    Oh, you want to date just to have a good time? Sinner – you need to repent. Let your community group show you a better way.

    As has been noted multiple times on TWW in various churches (usually affiliated with TGC, 9Marks, etc.) marriage is merely the utilitarian means to produce more children. There is not other reason to be married, end of discussion.

  240. Burwell wrote:

    Oh, you want to date just to have a good time? Sinner

    Right?

    It’s just all that courtship nonsense rewritten, really. Why is everybody so obsessed with dating being too ‘light’, and you should always be pursuing marriage? How on earth can you figure out if you want to marry somebody unless you actually get to know them? Dating is just getting to know people, with the knowledge of attraction. For all the knocks on dating, at least you know where you stand and don’t have any friendzone drama.

    Also, this is nuts:

    Before you ask anyone out, or agree to start a dating relationship, your community group should help you decide if that’s a good idea.

    Are we talking about children or adults here???

  241. And if anyone is still reading:

    •Set healthy boundaries for physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Ask your community group to keep you accountable to those standards.

    What is a healthy boundary for ’emotional’ intimacy??? Why do people think they can control emotions? I’ve tried before. It doesn’t work.

    I would love to see some exploration of this emotional purity idea and how it’s invaded some aspects of Christian culture…’guard your heart’ and all that.

  242. @ Lea:

    All this, asking your community group nonsense, is to ante up control. It’s just reinforcing the notion, you are too stupid to know how to direct your own life. Let us make decisions for you, forever!

  243. @ Lea:

    still reading….

    it’s crazy. paranoia-inducing. one way this so-called emotional purity and ‘guard-your-heart’ thing plays out is christian men are terrified of women. too terrified to make eye contact. it’s like they go around pretending you don’t exist. shielding their eyes from your presence, your existence. it’s hurtful — even though i think it’s mostly motivated out of their extreme insecurity, it comes across as if i am a loathesome creature, to be avoided at all costs.

    having grown up ‘christian’, this is a crazy new wide-spread trend. i remember christian people in my childhood being so down to earth, relaxed, & natural. men and women were true friends, able to carry on a relaxed friendship with casual platonic affection.

    insecure neurotic men in high places have recreated this silly religion of mine in their own image. crickets of all kinds to their persons and bedrooms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *