“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
What follows is a scenario that might have occurred on Mother’s Day …
It’s that time of year when moms are honored by their husbands and children. Esther and her family begin this special day by attending church, as they do every Sunday. They have been members of the congregation for quite some time and have a wonderful relationship with their pastor. The congregation praises the Lord in song, and then the pastor announces that he would like to recognize some very special women. He asks them to join him in front of the platform.
Twelve women get up out of their seats, proceed to the front of the worship center, and stand before the congregation. What’s this about, Esther wonders. She and her family have absolutely no clue. Each woman is clutching something rather large that looks like a frame.
The pastor begins his remarks by proclaiming: “These women who stand before you are COURAGEOUS! As many of you know, the Kendrick brothers from Sherwood Baptist Church have produced an inspiring movie by that name. There are some wonderful Bible studies associated with it, and these ladies have just completed the one that pertains to women.” Then the pastor proclaims: “In just a few moments I am going to give others in the congregation the opportunity to stand with these women.”
Esther’s husband groans and gives his wife a reassuring look. She and her husband had previously done some “courageous” research, and they know that the movie is steeped in patriarchy. In response, Esther knows what she must do…
The pastor then asks his wife to come forward and share the thirteen Resolutions with the congregation. She slowly and deliberately reads each line of The Resolution for Women. It appears as though the pastor’s wife, under her husband’s “authority”, is wrangling the ladies to get behind her. Incredibly, Esther has neither seen nor heard these resolutions before now and to her knowledge they had not been distributed ahead of time for prayerful consideration.
After the reading of the resolutions, the pastor again takes the podium, lauds them, and asks who will stand with his wife and the other eleven women in support of them? Esther feels this is a highly coercive tactic, but she sees women throughout the worship center stand in affirmation. She remains seated, as do some other women. Esther wonders whether those who did not stand are single or married without children, this being Mother’s Day and all.
In that moment Esther (and everyone else) can see who has affirmed the ‘Resolution for Women’ and who has not… Some of her friends stand; some do not. It is extremely awkward!
Esther’s son, in his early twenties, feels the tension and slips his mom a note which states: “Mom, I think YOU are a courageous woman!” Her husband, seated beside her, whispers in her ear: “Good girl” and slips his arm around her. She jots a note to him on the church bulletin – “I refuse to be manipulated and WILL NOT drink the patriarchal Kool-Aid!” Then the pastor prays over the courageous women standing in front and those in the congregation who have chosen to “stand with them”.
There sat Esther donning her beautiful Mother’s Day corsage and feeling totally alienated because her pastor prayed exclusively for the ‘courageous’ women standing. It was surreal!
Esther, who has been a dedicated wife and mother for over two decades, feels a pain in her heart but remains confident. After the pastor’s prayer, which she cannot recall because her mind has been spinning, her husband slips her a note which reads: “I’m proud of you!”
The women standing take their seats, and the worship service resumes as though what has occurred is not totally bizarre and oppressive. Esther, who had been looking forward to a special Mother’s Day with her husband and son, leaves the church feeling totally excluded.
What is going on here?
Why all the secrecy?
Do the women who stand up in church sign The Resolution for Women and have it framed?
What happens if the signee fails to live up to any of the 13 resolutions?
Who pays for this document (expensive piece of paper)?
Who profits from this and all the other Courageous paraphernalia being peddled in church?
The Kendrick brothers needed to find a woman who would promote their ideas to other women, and they found a cooperative soul in Priscilla Evans Shirer. Priscilla is the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. According to her website – Going Beyond Ministries – “Priscilla is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. She has been a conference speaker for major corporations, organizations, and Christian audiences across the United States and the world.”
Shirer’s bio further states that she is married to her best friend Jerry and that they have three sons. Her bio further states: “Priscilla is now in full-time ministry to women across the country and the world.” Hmmm… Do as I say, not as I do??? One such speaking engagement is True Woman 12 along with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, among others. If you haven’t heard of the True Woman Manifesto, we strongly encourage you to read it. We will be discussing it soon. Obviously, Shirer’s involvement in the True Woman movement sheds tremendous light on her not so secret agenda.
Here is one of the numerous videos that has been produced to promote Shirer and her ‘role’ in the Courageous phenomenon.
Pricilla Shirer has authored a book called The Resolution for Women, which is described as follows over at Amazon:
“Written in partnership with Sherwood Pictures’ upcoming film, COURAGEOUS, in The Resolution for Women, popular speaker and author Priscilla Shirer challenges all women to be intentional about embracing and thriving in God’s beautiful and eternal calling on their lives.”
The Kedrick brothers have co-authored an accompanying book called The Resolution for Men, which is described as follows on Amazon:
“The Resolution for Men is the inspiring book born out of Courageous, a new film by the makers of Fireproof coming to theaters nationwide in fall 2011. The movie, which presents a powerful story of strong male leadership, is an emotionally charged wake-up call to fathers whose influence upon their children and society is immeasurable. The Resolution for Men follows to challenge men of all ages to become as bold and intentional about embracing their responsibilities as leaders of their homes, marriages, and children.
Written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, screenwriters of Courageous and authors of New York Times No. 1 best seller The Love Dare (five million copies sold), The Resolution for Men strategically inspires men to reconcile with their past, re-engage in the present by taking full responsibility for their wives and children, and then move forward with a bold and clear resolution for the future. Written in partnership with the movie and Priscilla Shirer’s new book, The Resolution for Women, it is designed to inspire a revolution.”
Revolution appears to be the operative word when it comes to Courageous and its marketing scheme. There is so much more to discuss! In our upcoming post we will discuss The Resolution for Men. In the meantime, we leave you with this clip of Priscilla Shirer pushing Courageous on behalf of her “business associates”.
In case anyone happens to be wondering, Dee and I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign The Resolution for Women PERIOD!!!
Sales pitch alert!
Lydia’s Corner: Daniel 7:1-28 1 John 1:1-10 Psalm 119:153-176 Proverbs 28:23-24