The Deebs Give Thanks…

"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people."

Philemon 4-7 (NIV)

PC120006-1024x768Dee and Deb Outside Emmanuel Enid

It was seven years ago that Dee kept after me about starting a blog.  During the fall of 2008 the proverbial light bulb went off for both of us as we spent countless hours researching Christian topics that are of interest to us.  During this time we focused on authoritarianism, patriarchy, complementarianism, submission, the Council on Bliblical Manhood and Womanhood, quiverfull, submission, The Gospel Coalition, Dominionism/Reconstructionism, spiritual abuse, young marriages, and did I mention SUBMISSION?  As we look back, our focus continues to be on these topics as well as others that have peaked our interest.  Early on we became advocates for those who have been physically, sexually, and/or spiritually abused. 

During this season of Thanksgiving, we want express our sincerest gratitude for you — our loyal readers — who have come alongside us on this journey.  We are humbled as our readership has grown and has literally expanded around the world!  We never in a million years imagined that our blog would be so widely read.  We are exceedingly thankful for your taking time to read our posts, for your thought-provoking comments, and for your suggested topics.  Some of our most interesting articles have originated from information provided by our readers, so keep those links and ideas coming…

We are very thankful for the internet, which makes this communication possible.  While we acknowledge the world wide web has a dark side (pornography immediately comes to mind), we are grateful that it allows us to shine the light in some dark places in Christendom.  The blogosphere has definitely leveled the playing field.  Now the average Joe can express his views freely without having them suppressed by those who think they have 'authoritah'

And most importantly, we are grateful to Almighty God for His great love for us.  We believe He has sovereignly made the internet possible for such a time as this.  When we launched The Wartburg Watch, we felt a great deal of despair as Christian women.  Hyper-authoritarianism was on the rise, and we felt helpless to do anything to reverse the trend.  Now we have an effective way to speak out about matters that concern us, and so do our followers!

Please forgive us when we have been slow to respond to your comments, emails, and phone calls.  This is a voluntary labor of love that we try to make a priority.  Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way.

The Scripture verses at the top of the post best express our sentiments.  Thank you for your dedication to us, two middle-aged women, who have a thing or two to say…


The Deebs Give Thanks… — 45 Comments

  1. * abusive pastors. Still delighted with the wealth of information I’ve gleaned reading here. Thank you so much for your dedication in exposing abuse. Look forward to more years together.

  2. In a day and time it seems groups or factions are trying to censor one another, this place is a breath of fresh air.

  3. After my husband died in 2002, I attended a home church for three months. Because I was a former Catholic, the idea of a home church did not seem unusual to me. I was born and raised in a large city, in which parishes typically had several thousand members and only a few priests. The ability to be important enough to the parish priest that he would hold a home Mass for you was a real status symbol.

    Because the families were quite friendly, at first I did not see anything remiss because they were not straight-forward with their strong belief in rigid gender roles. Slowly I became aware that the men looked upon me with a strange fascination, which was devastating because I am an abuse victim who was already very nervous about church. I was unaware of their strong belief that women are not supposed to talk to unrelated men. This happened in 2003, before the word “quiverful” was coined.

    After only three months, I had enough of this strange church and I resumed attending the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran church I had just joined. I thought I had returned to sanity, only to eventually find after ten years that WELS is just as patriarchal as the home church. When my friend separated from her abusive husband who refused to support their family, the WELS pastors were very sadistic in their treatment of her and eventually excommunicated her.

    Thank you for your column, which has helped me sort through all of the confusion I felt after these devastating experiences.

  4. Deebs, we are also thankful for the forum you created, and manage so well. It is an encouragement to find others who see the same things, and also an education.

    Please don’t feel guilty for not replying quickly. Most of us understand that, while this site is your passion, it isn’t your life. Praying you can continue to find balance, and strength. This blog is a sacrifice for all of you, and we appreciate that.

  5. The research, time, and hard work you put into maintaining this blog is very much appreciated and I think the numbers prove how much and how many feel the same way! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

  6. Thank you, Deb and Dee, for investing yourselves in the well-being of others. I’m grateful for your input through researching the hidden and not-so-hidden theologies and trends that have messed us up through malignant leaders and toxic systems, and through creating a space where we can virtually process our thoughts without fear. And thanks too, to the Guy Behind The Curtain for keeping the site around and sound. All y’all are *awesome* blessings to the Body of Christ!

  7. Thank you for a safe, trustworthy place to visit. I don’t comment much, but I regularly and quietly observe.

  8. Thanks Deb and Dee, you and the commenters have provided me much needed validation and widened my perspective in this last year.

  9. Mom!! Here’s to late night conversations about the problem of evil and dealing with a false accusation from an Air Force Captain, and Care Group Leader from Redeemer Arlington. Thanks for your knowledge of Human Resources law as I managed a dark situation. Your blog rocks…it’s nice to see your analysis. You know there is a famous book written years ago about Eva Peron called “The Woman with the Whip.” In your case Dee, I’m going to call you “The Woman with the Pugs.” (That’s on top of Anne Hutchinson) ๐Ÿ™‚

    That said….go get em girl! We need to bring CJ Mahaney to justice. He will learn humility when he’s working a McDonalds and he writes a book called, “Don’t waste Your Big Mac” ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. Like the picture…I take it that’s Dee on the left and Deb on the right?

    I sincerely hope you two keep it up for many years to come. Bloggers such as yourselves have put the fear of God into ordained fools, hirelings, and wolves throughout the body of Christ.

  11. NJ wrote:

    Like the pictureโ€ฆI take it thatโ€™s Dee on the left and Deb on the right?

    My East Coast Mom is on the right, and deb is on the left. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. It is interesting that it is two women that have ” xxxx” to do this! To me, the core of this blog is exposing hypocracy/inconsistency/lack of accountability. While both sexes have their own “sins/issue” the more I professionally interact with men and women in the “secular” world, the more I find that women are less caught up on authority/power/wanting to win/be top dog, and more wanting the “team” to succeed. I think the Dee’s fall into this class.

  13. We give thanks for the good work of the Deebs. God protect them and keep them strong. Their work is of great importance to the Church.

  14. NJ wrote:

    Bloggers such as yourselves have put the fear of God into ordained fools, hirelings, and wolves throughout the body of Christ.

    The fools, hirelings, and wolves fear nothing but diminished revenue in their coffers.

  15. Deebs –

    You are both examples of what “doing good” looks like. Thank you for the time and effort you put in creating this blog and all the behind the scenes encouragement and help you offer to those in need. Dido to the techie guy! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas season!

  16. I was fortunate to stumble upon your blog shortly after I returned to my hometown (Raleigh) having been gone about 35 years. My family had disappeared and these religious cyborgs had taken over. One brother was a deacon at Providence Baptist during the abuse scandal, another heavily involved in a Neo-Cal church, other family believed Obama was the possible anti-Christ, my nieces and nephews were taught evolution was sinful, the Bible was used as a weapon and presenting a purity ring to the husband was the center piece of one wedding(Now divorced).
    Your blog kept me sane. Fast forward five/six years and many of these same nieces and nephews are engaging in risky sexual behavior. How do I know? They talk to me about it and I try to give them advice to keep them safe. I am sometimes in a tough position, but I do tell them that they are loved deeply by God, they will eventually do something that they swore they would never do and will probably do something in life
    that brings shame. However, God can guide you through the complexities of life and His love is unconditional.
    I wish more Believers taught their kids how to negotiate the hardships and temptations in life. Instead many parents tell their kids-obey me and respect authority. This we know can open them up for emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse in high control seemingly “safe” environments.
    Your blog continues to shine light on these dark corners of the church. You teach your readers the importance of their humanity and that no church leader has the right to control or abuse them!!! I am so grateful for your ministry and the time you put into others. You are the hands and feet of God for many of us. Thank you!!

  17. Btw…November 27 is also Dee Parsons birthday. Lets wish her Happy Birthday!

    Sorry Mom…someone had to spill the beans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Happy Anniversary and thank you for your courage and hours of hard work to do this blog. I have learned much and been strengthened through it. Well done!
    And Happy Birthday Dee!

  19. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!! The starting points, conversations, ideas, and all the rest of the knowledge that I’ve gained from here have given me so much joy and hope in my life. Please know that your desire for truth has real power, and has affected me in many, many ways

  20. Thanks for all that you do. I can’t begin to tell you how much your blog has meant to me and helped open my eyes to so much. I know this blog has helped me be much more compassionate and more aware of so many issues. I think the main issue you have opened my eyes to is abuse, whether children or women, I had no real idea until you started caring.

    Thank you.

  21. Happy Birthday, Dee!!! Thanks to you both for all the hard work, time, and money you invest in this blog through your writing and research. It has helped so many of us who have endured authoritarian families and/or churches. Thank you for shining the light on the darkness and not being afraid to speak the truth. Jesus said that the truth would set us free.

  22. Thank YOU so much for this blog. I really can’t fathom how you do this with all you have to do in your personal lives. May God truly bless and strengthen you both.

  23. I am very grateful for this blog. There is almost no place left to discuss the church, theology and other issues without being condemned if you don’t share a particular viewpoint or have been abused within a church. Thank you Dee, Deb and Guy Behind the Curtain for such an informative blog and safe haven.

  24. I too am thankful for this blog and for Dee and Deb’s ministry. Dee, I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

  25. So much fun to see a photo of you two valiant (and beautiful) women! Thanks for all you and GBTC do . Happy birthday and Happy Thanksgiving.

  26. So thankful for your blog at a time when our church was under attack from the authoritarian rule of men who thought pastors were God’s 2nd in command and we should obey them without question or complaint. I found ideas and strength here to help my husband protect and care for our church members during a 2 year battle. God’s continued blessing and care saw us through this attempted takeover of our congregation and I am so thankful to say today we are a congregational elder led, not “elder dictated” church, where we are truly each others family.
    We live in an area where Southern Seminary has a lot of influence and our members have become more aware how to follow the Spirit’s leading than men’s. The abuse and hurt was enormous to all of us but God Himself has comforted and is healing us.
    Praying for both of you and the people whose hearts have been broken in this world.

  27. @ Mary Potter:
    Clips from Mary’s post: ” … our church was under attack … authoritarian rule … battle … attempted takeover of our congregation … elder dictated … abuse and hurt was enormous …”

    Mary, I contend that all of the above are directly related to another clip from your post: “… Southern Seminary has a lot of influence …”

    The New Calvinist movement is rebellion, pure and simple. Mary points out symptoms of the young, restless and reformed revolution. Thanks again to TWW and The Deebs for exposing the consequences of this aberrant theology. Their posts are warnings from watchmen on the wall (i.e., watchwomen).

  28. Let me add my thanks to the well deserved chorus to the Deebs. I applaud both the open, civil discussions and also their willingness to delegate guest posts to many of us.

  29. Like April, I’ve been a quiet reader here, but am happy for the opportunity to thank Dee and Deb for this wonderful ministry which has been a blessing to so many.

    When my SGM church imploded in 2011, I dug in to study and research what had happened to us. It has been helpful for me to read TWW and gain a broader understanding of how the problems in a small movement like SGM are really a subset of a bigger picture. It’s also been encouraging to become acquainted with so many thoughtful Christ-followers here…. people that truly love Jesus, but see the problems with the institutional church that bears His name.

    Grateful to all of you who have taken the time to thoughtfully analyze the issues and share your insights.

  30. I also thank this site,It has helped me to confront hidden “abuse” in my family taught by the sgm crowd 20 years ago.It allowed me to cut the fog and say NO to family,churches and anyone or thing that dare to keep me from doing what my heavenly Father tells me to do

  31. As one of your earliest readers and commenters, and as one who has broken bread with you both, I am most impressed with your research, writing, and patience, as well as your understanding of the basic tenets of the historic Baptist faith in which I was raised. And in which the priesthood of each and every believer was an important tenet that led to a democratic form of governance in many Baptist churches. Although I comment less often now, due to other commitments, I do read and I much appreciate the extreme level of effort and time that you have committed to this endeavor. With much love and appreciation,


  32. Congratulations, Dee and Deb on the success of your blog. I’ve only been reading your blog for about a year, but have gained excellent insight into the world of Patriarchy and abuse of all kinds in the church. Thanks for exposing wrongdoing in the church with the intent to make those complicit accountable.

  33. Ann:

    “…and presenting a purity ring to the husband was the center piece of one wedding(Now divorced).”

    Hey, at least it wasn’t a certificate of virginity. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Eagle: ok, thanks!

    Muff Potter: I figure the financial thing is an eventual given, with enough exposure on the internet.