We didn't want to be BALANCED

by Vyckie

100_6688

Me & my boys ~ at a homeschooling conference ~ soaking up new ideas about how to live a godly lifestyle that would be pleasing to the Lord.

Many NLQ readers have expressed their observation that in any healthy belief system or chosen lifestyle, there needs to be “balance” ~ a quick glance through the comment section will yield plenty of observations that we’ve gone from “one extreme to the other.”

Part of the reason I’m writing this blog is to hopefully help those who have never personally been steeped in the fundamentalist mindset get a glimpse inside the world and ~ more significantly ~ the head of one who’s been there and done that. So ~ with that goal in mind, let me tell you what I used to believe about “Balance” ~ Q.D. ;-)

Many years ago we attended a “Bold Christian Living” conference by Jonathan Lindvall. After talking all morning and half the afternoon, Lindvall made the statement that, homeschoolers who were serious about following biblical roles for families and adopting the sort of radical lifestyle which he was advocating (QF, patriarchy, courtship, sheltering of children, etc.) would soon be cautioned by friends and family that they needed to be careful not to go to extremes ~ “They’ll be talking to you about how important it is to be BALANCED.”

“Did you know that Jesus directly addresses this issue of ‘balance’ in the bible?” Lindvall asked us. Then he read to the audience from Rev. 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Lindvall went on to explain that the believers in Laodicea avoided all “extremism” ~ they were neither hot nor cold ~ and Jesus found them to be repulsive. Jesus could not tolerate this local community of “balanced” believers ~ what He wants is not “balance” ~ but BOLDNESS ~ EXTREME followers who are committed ~ sold-out, on fire ~ Jesus has no interest in “lukewarm” followers ~ He wants RED HOT believers who are not ashamed and won’t back down.

“Don’t shy away from extremism,” Lindvall admonished, “Jesus would prefer that you not serve him at all than that you do it in a half-hearted, ‘balanced’ manner which draws no attention to His radical, extremely different ~ peculiar people.”

So there you have it: BALANCE = LUKEWARM

No way were we going to strive for balance in our walk with the Lord.

  • Becky

    I guess he completely ignored the verse “Let your moderation be known unto all men.”:) Paul was talking about Christian living. It’s a good principle.Linvall’s advice sorta sounds like my mom told me my grandfather was. His philosophy was, “if one is good, 10 is better.” The problem is, it’s not always true (think medicine or fertilizer). We need only be as radical as the Bible is. I’ve often thought that God has lower standards than some Christians I know. Unfortunately, for now, we can’t “see God” and we can see those other Christians, so in real life, we tend to think we have to be accountable to those human beings even more than God. Scripture twisting and maneuvering is rampant. Unfortunately.

  • Becky

    I guess he completely ignored the verse “Let your moderation be known unto all men.”:) Paul was talking about Christian living. It’s a good principle.Linvall’s advice sorta sounds like my mom told me my grandfather was. His philosophy was, “if one is good, 10 is better.” The problem is, it’s not always true (think medicine or fertilizer). We need only be as radical as the Bible is. I’ve often thought that God has lower standards than some Christians I know. Unfortunately, for now, we can’t “see God” and we can see those other Christians, so in real life, we tend to think we have to be accountable to those human beings even more than God. Scripture twisting and maneuvering is rampant. Unfortunately.

  • Brenda

    I love that idea that “God has lower standards than some Christians”. He also more forgiving than some Christians. God’s will speaks to us all in different ways. It’s up to us to understand what is right for ourselves. And I think Balance is a great thing!

  • Brenda

    I love that idea that “God has lower standards than some Christians”. He also more forgiving than some Christians. God’s will speaks to us all in different ways. It’s up to us to understand what is right for ourselves. And I think Balance is a great thing!

  • Holly

    I have a question.Did you ever think about being a “normal” homeschool family? I know homeschooling is fringe (I am one, well I have one home and one in public), but there are definitely homeschool families that blend more. I’m thinking a family that lives in the city, moms wear cute jeans and clothes, cute short hairstyles (no coverings), etc.Kids play video games and watch TV, go to art classes and play groups, etc.I’m just thinking, did you just think those kinds of families were worldly? Because I know people that were more like your former life and they DO think that just living a “free” Christian life with not so many rules and a whole lot more fun is worldly.It just makes me sad to see QF, “RULES-People” get so isolated without friends and fun.I just think to myself when I talk to another mom who is now soaking and grinding grains to hand make the weekly bread… “Dude, go to Panera, the beach, wear a normal swimsuit and let your kids watch TV and play video games. Live in FREEDOM.”I think for me, that’s the saddest part of the whole story. If you weren’t living under this incredibly heavy yoke of rules and obligations, you might have had a pretty darn good time.I guess maybe the real question I’m trying to formulate is this:”Do you think that the sadness of your circumstances was a. isolationb. monetary concernsc. your husband’s disabilityd. trying to be perfect (live an agrarian lifestyle, make things from scratch, homeschool, be modest, have a lot of kids) e. a combination or none of the above?Sorry for the quiz… I just couldn’t think of a better way to write it.Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog. I check it every day, and as a former member of a controlling religious group, I get a lot of what you are saying and compare it with my life.The difference is, in my life, I think the abuse was not as pervasive AND my husband and I both saw it and were able to get out and save our selves while retaining the “fun” and “rewarding” aspects of homeschooling and child rearing. Probably helps too that I only have three kids and a TON of help from grandmas and aunts.Love to you both. Have a wonderful evening!!Holly P in Des Moines

  • Holly

    I have a question.Did you ever think about being a “normal” homeschool family? I know homeschooling is fringe (I am one, well I have one home and one in public), but there are definitely homeschool families that blend more. I’m thinking a family that lives in the city, moms wear cute jeans and clothes, cute short hairstyles (no coverings), etc.Kids play video games and watch TV, go to art classes and play groups, etc.I’m just thinking, did you just think those kinds of families were worldly? Because I know people that were more like your former life and they DO think that just living a “free” Christian life with not so many rules and a whole lot more fun is worldly.It just makes me sad to see QF, “RULES-People” get so isolated without friends and fun.I just think to myself when I talk to another mom who is now soaking and grinding grains to hand make the weekly bread… “Dude, go to Panera, the beach, wear a normal swimsuit and let your kids watch TV and play video games. Live in FREEDOM.”I think for me, that’s the saddest part of the whole story. If you weren’t living under this incredibly heavy yoke of rules and obligations, you might have had a pretty darn good time.I guess maybe the real question I’m trying to formulate is this:”Do you think that the sadness of your circumstances was a. isolationb. monetary concernsc. your husband’s disabilityd. trying to be perfect (live an agrarian lifestyle, make things from scratch, homeschool, be modest, have a lot of kids) e. a combination or none of the above?Sorry for the quiz… I just couldn’t think of a better way to write it.Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog. I check it every day, and as a former member of a controlling religious group, I get a lot of what you are saying and compare it with my life.The difference is, in my life, I think the abuse was not as pervasive AND my husband and I both saw it and were able to get out and save our selves while retaining the “fun” and “rewarding” aspects of homeschooling and child rearing. Probably helps too that I only have three kids and a TON of help from grandmas and aunts.Love to you both. Have a wonderful evening!!Holly P in Des Moines

  • Karen

    Just remember there are people who do enjoy having lots of kids, homeschooling, and are thriving in it. There are many people who struggle, but it doesn’t mean that everyone who has that kind of family life is cult-like either.Have a balance in how you view what you came from also.

  • Karen

    Just remember there are people who do enjoy having lots of kids, homeschooling, and are thriving in it. There are many people who struggle, but it doesn’t mean that everyone who has that kind of family life is cult-like either.Have a balance in how you view what you came from also.

  • a.b.e.

    Here’s a great article for Christians who are disappointed with the evangelical Christian community and its spin offs:http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/imonk-101-when-i-am-weak-why-we-must-embrace-our-brokenness-and-never-be-good-christiansIt says it like it is.

  • a.b.e.

    Here’s a great article for Christians who are disappointed with the evangelical Christian community and its spin offs:http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/imonk-101-when-i-am-weak-why-we-must-embrace-our-brokenness-and-never-be-good-christiansIt says it like it is.

  • Ashley

    Holly P, you do realize that you don’t have to be Christian or conservative to homeschool, right?So sayeth Ashley, a liberal feminist Pagan who plans on homeschooling her children and married a man who was homeschooled in a liberal Catholic/Wiccan family.

  • Ashley

    Holly P, you do realize that you don’t have to be Christian or conservative to homeschool, right?So sayeth Ashley, a liberal feminist Pagan who plans on homeschooling her children and married a man who was homeschooled in a liberal Catholic/Wiccan family.

  • arietty

    Interestingly that post was quite triggering for me to read. I was very attracted to the idea that must be ON FIRE and Jesus did not want some wimpy la dee da stuff, he wanted my all. Amy Carmichael was my hero–not to detract from her incredible work rescuing girls from prostitution and slavery. But hey I had 6 children and that does require FUN and balance. The extremism and zeal eats away at healthy relationships especially when your children express other preferences.I never read Jonathon Lindvall other than excerpts because I actually hated the feel of his words. He felt like grinding my head against concrete. I had very bad feelings about him for some reason. But I found my own siren callers to extremism.I used to have a vision, a divine calling, something to live and die for that played out in the heavenlies as well as the earth. Something far greater and more compelling than myself and my desires. Now I just have my life. I am a helluva lot more relaxed.

  • arietty

    Interestingly that post was quite triggering for me to read. I was very attracted to the idea that must be ON FIRE and Jesus did not want some wimpy la dee da stuff, he wanted my all. Amy Carmichael was my hero–not to detract from her incredible work rescuing girls from prostitution and slavery. But hey I had 6 children and that does require FUN and balance. The extremism and zeal eats away at healthy relationships especially when your children express other preferences.I never read Jonathon Lindvall other than excerpts because I actually hated the feel of his words. He felt like grinding my head against concrete. I had very bad feelings about him for some reason. But I found my own siren callers to extremism.I used to have a vision, a divine calling, something to live and die for that played out in the heavenlies as well as the earth. Something far greater and more compelling than myself and my desires. Now I just have my life. I am a helluva lot more relaxed.

  • Holly

    AshleyI’m not conservative… registered Dem here (though I’m still pro-life)… I am Christian but Greek Orthodox, so pretty much lots of Evangelical Christians think I’m headed for hell. I’m in eclectic, unschooling as well as conservative groups.That’s what I was trying to ask (perhaps badly)… did she ever consider joining up with those less conservative people who don’t feel like they need to live so idealistically?

  • Holly

    AshleyI’m not conservative… registered Dem here (though I’m still pro-life)… I am Christian but Greek Orthodox, so pretty much lots of Evangelical Christians think I’m headed for hell. I’m in eclectic, unschooling as well as conservative groups.That’s what I was trying to ask (perhaps badly)… did she ever consider joining up with those less conservative people who don’t feel like they need to live so idealistically?

  • Becky

    I think that a lot of this boils down to “How are we to be known as Christians?” Jesus says…John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” He doesn’t say, They’ll know you are Christians “by your head coverings”, “by your home schooling”, by “looking different”. I read in one yahoo group one time where someone said, “But if I don’t wear a specific head covering (as opposed to a stylish hat), how will people know I’m a Christian?” That’s NOT supposed to be the reason you wear it, if you wear it. We’re all mixed up here.If you lived in an orthodox society, no one would think you were a Christian if you dressed modestly. You’d have to “show by your love for another” that you are a disciple of Christ. That’s actually a whole lot harder than putting on a certain attire.Jesus mixed with people in the marketplace. We can too. In fact, we should. He spent time with wicked people and didn’t avoid them. Our kids need to see us getting “out there” and being a real person in a real world. There has to be a balance, of course, and we need to be sensitive. That is why we need to be careful that we don’t go beyond scripture. Col. 2:8 warns us to not follow the tradition of men but to follow after Christ. It appears that some in the home schooling community have created their own “set of traditions” that need to be followed. This seems to have become more important that following Christ. There should be red flags waving around! Big ones. We need to be comparing what we are learning daily with what the Scriptures teach. We’ve got to be careful that we don’t go beyond Scriptures and make up a bunch of rules or even principles that aren’t there. Most people aren’t even close to that point in their lives, but apparently there is this segment of home schoolers who have gone far beyond Scriptural mandates and are declaring their rules as “biblical”.

  • Becky

    I think that a lot of this boils down to “How are we to be known as Christians?” Jesus says…John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” He doesn’t say, They’ll know you are Christians “by your head coverings”, “by your home schooling”, by “looking different”. I read in one yahoo group one time where someone said, “But if I don’t wear a specific head covering (as opposed to a stylish hat), how will people know I’m a Christian?” That’s NOT supposed to be the reason you wear it, if you wear it. We’re all mixed up here.If you lived in an orthodox society, no one would think you were a Christian if you dressed modestly. You’d have to “show by your love for another” that you are a disciple of Christ. That’s actually a whole lot harder than putting on a certain attire.Jesus mixed with people in the marketplace. We can too. In fact, we should. He spent time with wicked people and didn’t avoid them. Our kids need to see us getting “out there” and being a real person in a real world. There has to be a balance, of course, and we need to be sensitive. That is why we need to be careful that we don’t go beyond scripture. Col. 2:8 warns us to not follow the tradition of men but to follow after Christ. It appears that some in the home schooling community have created their own “set of traditions” that need to be followed. This seems to have become more important that following Christ. There should be red flags waving around! Big ones. We need to be comparing what we are learning daily with what the Scriptures teach. We’ve got to be careful that we don’t go beyond Scriptures and make up a bunch of rules or even principles that aren’t there. Most people aren’t even close to that point in their lives, but apparently there is this segment of home schoolers who have gone far beyond Scriptural mandates and are declaring their rules as “biblical”.

  • Tapati

    In the Hare Krishna Movement we also were supposed to be completely devoted and absorbed in the service of God. All of our passion was to be redirected in that service and to nurture that primary relationship, in order to achieve 100 per cent love of God. While there was supposed to also be a lay congregation, we were being trained to be the teachers and leaders of that congregation. Therefore everything was sacrificed to support our full time service.The older I get, and the farther away from my fundie past (I left the philosophy behind in 1989), the more I believe in a well rounded life in which spirituality plays an important role but does not demand amputating the other important parts. In face, I think now that my spiritual life is enhanced if I also do things like exercise, have a loving relationship with friends and family, keep abreast of events in the world so I can be an informed voter, and so on. I bring more to the table that way when I tend my relationship with the Divine. I don’t think God wants us to be depleted, exhausted, at the end of our rope, and begging that He (She) make up for our neglect of our well being by magically making it all OK. I think that any God worthy of the title expects us to take care of ourselves and each other.–Tapati

  • Tapati

    In the Hare Krishna Movement we also were supposed to be completely devoted and absorbed in the service of God. All of our passion was to be redirected in that service and to nurture that primary relationship, in order to achieve 100 per cent love of God. While there was supposed to also be a lay congregation, we were being trained to be the teachers and leaders of that congregation. Therefore everything was sacrificed to support our full time service.The older I get, and the farther away from my fundie past (I left the philosophy behind in 1989), the more I believe in a well rounded life in which spirituality plays an important role but does not demand amputating the other important parts. In face, I think now that my spiritual life is enhanced if I also do things like exercise, have a loving relationship with friends and family, keep abreast of events in the world so I can be an informed voter, and so on. I bring more to the table that way when I tend my relationship with the Divine. I don’t think God wants us to be depleted, exhausted, at the end of our rope, and begging that He (She) make up for our neglect of our well being by magically making it all OK. I think that any God worthy of the title expects us to take care of ourselves and each other.–Tapati

  • chameleonpixie

    Wow. I’ve been reading this for awhile, but this post inspired me to comment. While I was not raised QF, I was still raised with Christianity affecting every part of my life. When I finally had to leave the church (it got to the point in my personal journey of serve God and be miserable or break free and learn to accept myself) I used this logic. I remember telling my youth leader (I was in high school at the time) that God did not want luke warm followers and that God would rather me be cold. I could not fathom being “balanced” in my faith. It was all or nothing. I’ve been combating this type of thinking but I don’t think I could ever go back to Christianity.

  • chameleonpixie

    Wow. I’ve been reading this for awhile, but this post inspired me to comment. While I was not raised QF, I was still raised with Christianity affecting every part of my life. When I finally had to leave the church (it got to the point in my personal journey of serve God and be miserable or break free and learn to accept myself) I used this logic. I remember telling my youth leader (I was in high school at the time) that God did not want luke warm followers and that God would rather me be cold. I could not fathom being “balanced” in my faith. It was all or nothing. I’ve been combating this type of thinking but I don’t think I could ever go back to Christianity.

  • eleora-meria

    chameleonpixie: I followed a similar mode of thinking to this, also, which led to my current atheism. I was really religious at one time, but I started to question the validity of the Christian bible and then questioned whether god actually existed or not. I told myself that I couldn’t be half-hearted with my religion. I either accepted god unconditionally or didn’t. I couldn’t stop myself from questioning religion, so I decided that if god existed, it would be better if I stopped following him completely than if I continued without giving it my all.

  • eleora-meria

    chameleonpixie: I followed a similar mode of thinking to this, also, which led to my current atheism. I was really religious at one time, but I started to question the validity of the Christian bible and then questioned whether god actually existed or not. I told myself that I couldn’t be half-hearted with my religion. I either accepted god unconditionally or didn’t. I couldn’t stop myself from questioning religion, so I decided that if god existed, it would be better if I stopped following him completely than if I continued without giving it my all.

  • a.b.e.

    I think as a Christian it is important to question one’s faith and one’s God all the time. And it’s important to question doctrine and the Bible as well.Other Christians may not be comfortable with this questioning. But I have been doing it for over 30 years now. I believe it has led to a lot of growth for me, and I would encourage everyone to do it.God is not going to strike you dead for questioning him/her. God is not offended by being questioned. I wish more Christians felt free to do it.

  • Vyckie

    The discussion for this post has been moved over to our new NLQ forums: http://nolongerquivering.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=balanceNo further comments on this post will be accepted here ~ please go to the forums. Thank you ;-)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X