Look Who’s Graduating

 

It’s officially happening, kids! It was supposed to happen in 2011 after being one class away, but unfortunately it didn’t come together fully until this year. Regardless, it’s official and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. I’ve enjoyed my time with some kick ass professors along the way and am so happy that I went the Creative Writing route in college. I’ve come out a better writer and communicator and I found my voice. So, if you’re reading this wondering if you should go to college, the answer is YES! If you’re wondering if it’s too late for you to start, the answer is NO! I started at 25 and finished at 32. There’s no shame in working full time (or mothering children, or whatever it is you do with your days) and taking it slow. There’s also no shame in starting late in life. The bottom line is, if it’s something you want to do (college isn’t for everyone), you should do it.

grad announcement-001

Things I found online

This Christian blogger has raked Mark Driscoll against the coals quite finely over this Tweet:

mark driscoll is a douchebag_thumb

She writes an awesome post, which you should check out and then nails him with this:

Not all of us have the daddy issues or broken background that makes your brand of leadership attractive. Some of us don’t find shame to be a spiritual motivator…Why not seek some professional counsel for some of these issues?  Why not humbly and prayerfully consider if there are some areas where you need growth?  (emphasis my own)

She then acknowledges that even though she knows and loves people associated with Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 network of churches, she cautions them:

Note: I realize that I am going to have some readers who are Driscoll fans, or who belong to his Acts 29 network of churches. I have many people in my life who I respect who are a part of Acts 29. So let me say this: I started this post thinking I was addressing an annoying shock-jock pastor. As I went deeper in reading his quotes and watching videos, I became deeply disturbed. I now suspect that he is a misogynist with a personality disorder and some serious issues with sex and women. If you belong to a church that is affiliated with Driscoll. I URGE you to do your research about this man. The links above are a good place to start. If you are also troubled . . . speak up. Hold him to accountability. He’s a charismatic guy and is described by many as a bully, and it’s time for people to stand up and say, ENOUGH. (emphasis my own, again)

 

Bravo! I’m so glad to hear people in the Christian community standing up to Driscoll, despite his apparent popularity. Yes, Driscoll is ruining the image of Christianity, and it is time people started standing up to him and pointing out what he’s doing wrong. Oh, and it’s a woman calling him out on his bullshit. Even MORE awesome! Go Kristen!

(h/t) to Stuff Christian Culture Likes for the link

Speaking of Stuff Christian Culture Likes, I just found Stephanie Drury via an amazon.com review of Driscoll’s book (which apparently just came out…I don’t follow Driscoll’s books):

I meet a lot of people who have significant spiritual and emotional wounding, and I’ve gotten to hear the stories of many people who have been involved at Mark Driscoll’s church here in Seattle (Mars Hill). The stories out of there cause me so much concern. What I hear about gender roles and authoritarianism manages to surprise me and make me cry even after six years of hearing them on a fairly regular basis.

I think Stephanie sums up how we all feel. Driscoll’s hatred makes us want to cry because we are baffled how many people love his style.
Then, the author (Alisa Valdes) of the newly published book The Feminist and the Cowboywrote a very heartfelt blog post about how she wanted to come clean with her readers and let them know that she isn’t with the cowboy anymore. She said some of the horrible reviews had made her see what she wrote was actually not what she intended to write, and she’s deeply disturbed by it all now:
…While I set out to write a memoir that was a love letter to a man I was deeply in love with, a man who challenged me in myriad ways, a man who changed my life profoundly, a man I respected and honored greatly at the time, what I actually wrote was a handbook for women on how to fall in love with a manipulative, controlling, abusive narcissist.
Unfortunately, the blog post which she wrote the above in has now been taken down, but you can read some of it in this condescending post here.
As a writer, I wish Alisa all the best during her book launch. I’m sure this will actually be a very emotionally challenging launch for her, but I’m sure she will come to realize that it’s okay to write about you feel and have those feelings change. After all, we writers are human and one of our greatest strengths is our ability to tap into our feelings and create stories around them. I know I have written about my life in a way that felt very authentic at the time, but is something I wouldn’t write today. I’ve even written about ex-boyfriends and former lovers in a way that maybe villainized them too harshly or put them on a pedestal. Maybe an embarrassingly high pedestal.  Luckily, my feelings weren’t intensified by a number of negative reviews and the pressure of your whole career being affected.  I hope Alisa knows that history is filled with sonnets and stories and letters to lovers from writers who would probably change a lot of their writing, if they could.
Life is not a fairy tale, after all, and no one’s love lives are perfect.
Best wishes on your book sales, Alisa.
big_thefeministandthecowboy

The Discipleship Program: From Mentor to Manipulator

Have you ever ended a discipleship relationship with someone with the above traits, only to feel that you’ve backslidden in your relationship with God?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, you’ve been trapped in an abusive discipleship relationship.

I ran across a great article about the abusive tendencies of the Discipleship Program. What we once considered a mentor turned eerily wrong, and those discipleship program directors and mentors turned into manipulators.

Think about these questions, as you read:

  1. Have you been in a discipleship relationship where you had to agree with the discipler in order to make a decision?
  2. Were you asked to approve your decisions (small or large) through your mentor or discipler before making them?
  3. Were you ever given the impression it was sinful or wrong to disagree with the person who was discipling you?
  4. Have you ever known a Christian who gave you the impression that they heard from God more clearly and frequently than YOU did, simply by their “devotion,” amount of prayer time and Bible study?
  5. Have you ever ended a discipleship relationship with someone with the above traits, only to feel that you’ve backslidden in your relationship with God?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, you’ve been trapped in an abusive discipleship relationship.

The entire article can be read here.