Quoting Quiverfull: Socialized?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

Johnathan Lindvall of Bold Christian Living “Sheltering Children”

This applies not only to us, but to our children. In 1 Corinthians 7:14 Paul makes it clear God wants our children to be “holy.” The world wants them to “fit in” and become socialized. God wants them to stick out–to “shine” before men. Many sincere Christians who oppose homeschooling argue that our children must be “salt” and “light” in the world. They are right! But they are wrong in that they believe the way to be “salt” and “light” is to mingle with the world. In fact, the opposite is true. Salt loses its savor through leaching, through dissipation. Light is dimmed by proximity to shadow-producing obstacles.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Ugh…. even though I didn’t come from a Quiverfull family, my family was still fundamentalist, and I was “socialized” much in the same way.

    If you aren’t exposing your kids to a variety of different people, even people who don’t believe the same as you, or live similar lifestyles, you aren’t truly socializing them. This kind of isolation in my child hood/teen years, combined with mental illness has made it hard for me to interact with and understand people to this day.

  • texcee

    Sheltering children from the world in order to protect them is a very questionable practice. I think keeping children apart from society handicaps those children immensely. I can’t imagine what the Duggar children are going to go through as they grow to adulthood. In my own case, my mother was so afraid of the evil in the world (which in my case consisted of a really tiny country town where nearly everyone knew one another — and was related to one another — and regularly attended one of the numerous churches), that she forbade my brother and me from participating in normal childhood activities. We were only allowed church-related things and she condemned nearly everyone and everything as sinful. The result? I grew up not knowing how to socialize on an everyday level with my peers. I am awkward and shy and have struggled my entire life with a vast amount of insecurity and low self-image. People are social creatures and we NEED to socialize with one another. To do otherwise makes us outcasts from the “pack” and outcasts are usually attacked by the “big dogs”.

  • texcee

    By the way, salt is a chemical compound consisting of two elements, sodium and chloride. It doesn’t lose its savor. The table salt you sprinkle on your food is millions of years old, dug 0ut of salt domes left by evaporated seas millennia ago. You can also buy raw rock salt harvested from places as diverse as the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to the Himalayas. It doesn’t matter where it’s from or how old it is, sodium chloride (NaCl) is salt is salt is salt.

  • So being “salt” and “light” means sticking out like a sore thumb in society? And not being able to communicate and relate with others is a good thing? It’s amazing how they can twist words and logic to defend the negative aspects of their lifestyle.

  • Brennan

    The analogies at the end don’t even work. Light is not dimmed by proximity to shadows because light dispells those shadows; that’s the whole point of the metaphor in John 1: “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”

  • Verity

    Methinks he’s forgetting “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl…let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

    Of course, that brings up the question of whether anyone would glorify God after seeing what really goes on in fundamentalist homeschooling families….

  • “But they are wrong in that they believe the way to be “salt” and “light” is to mingle with the world. In fact, the opposite is true.”

    This is absolutely contrary to the teachings of Jesus, in context. He said that the “light” was not to be hidden under a bushel, but set in a high place so that everyone could see it. He said to be the salt “of the earth” not “the salt kept safe in a salt cellar.” He specifically said Christians were to be in the world, mingling with the world.

  • Deanna

    New commenter here (only been reading a few days). I grew up more on the fringe of some of these groups, with my parents having converrted away but still holding on to some of the more conservative beliefs. I somehow got immersed in those thought processes as a young teen, and did isolate myself from non-church things for a long time (with the exception of attending public school). When I finally started to break out of this mentality, I heard a guest speaker on one of our church trips to Mexico say something that always stuck with me:
    “Jesus called us to be yeast. THe purpose of yeast is to be worked throughout the dough, to improve the bread as a whole. Not to sit in a corner and sing about how great it is to be yeast.”
    My high school pastor, the one who really pushed me out of it, often referred to that mentality as the “Christian ghetto”. People who wall themselves off together out of fear of the outside, never venturing out except rarely and in fear. Which also means that no one else can get in, even if they wanted to, which they mostly don’t. It’s what makes Christians dismissable by the world.

  • Rae

    Nope, in my experience not being “socialized” had some negative consequences.

    For example, making friends with fellow college students to collaborate on homework, or even simple things like good communication for group projects. Or, for that matter, although Christian homeschoolers can ‘witness’ to their secular peers by walking up and saying “Have you heard about Jesus?” it’s much, much more likely that they’ll actually convert someone if they can maintain a peer relationship.

    And, even though as someone has mentioned probably previously on this blog, although homeschool children are trained to “socialize” with adults excellently, when we become adults, it’s very tricky for us to figure out how to socialize with our peers, or those who are only a few years older than us but fully immersed in the “adult” world.

  • He misus 1 Cor 7:14. The verse say children with one Christian and 1 heathen parent will be holy. The logical assumption then, is that children could have both secular and Christian influences and the Christian will prevail. This text is not a reason to stay out of the world.

    As for his light analogy, even worse. The point of light is not to have a room full of lamps, while it is dark everywhere else.
    Light is not dimmed by proximity to shadow-producing obstacles. Shadow-producing obstacles does mean, however, that we can see where light gets to and where it does not. The light analogy in the Bible seem to say the opposite: We only have a use where it is dark.

  • misus= misuses

  • “But they are wrong in that they believe the way to be “salt” and “light” is to mingle with the world. In fact, the opposite is true. Salt loses its savor through leaching, through dissipation.”

    Erm, the whole point of being salt is to not stay in the salt shaker, but to give off a flavor to the world…

  • Tori

    Salt is not just salt no matter where it comes from, minerals and processing do lend different salts a different flavour (coming from a cook here) but it is still something we all NEED in our diets, and no matter what the variation, the benefit is still the same.

  • Chantal

    I think that if what I believe is true, it can be questioned. If it is true it will stand, if it is a lie it was a delusion in the first place. I can read a different point of view without feeling threatened. I guess people will call me a fundamental christian catholic however I have very few “fundamentalist” friends.