Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Sickness ~ Pt 2

by SierraWilliam Branham never claimed to be a faith healer. That is, he claimed that it was the power of the individual's faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that healed their diseases. Christ had finished the work; there was nothing left to do but believe. In a 1955 sermon entitled Jehovah-Jireh, Branham explained that faith was the force that brought healing to the believer: If I could heal anyone, I'd come down here, and go to each one and heal everyone. I would, if I could. But I can't. And there's no other man can. And--and if Jesus was here, He could not, only if you'd believe. Look. That sounds strange, that Jesus could not heal unless you'd believe. When He went to His Own … [Read more...]

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Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 6: Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Happiness.

by KieryWhen we arrived, my boyfriend’s family and pastor took me in and became my adopted family. They ministered to me and loved me, and generally instilled the confidence in myself, in God, and in family that I had lost.When we announced the news of my engagement, my family started writing my pastor and generally trying to sabotage my wedding by not sending my dress or supporting me in any way. To give me my dress would the same as giving money to a homeless drunk in their eyes. My in-laws and my boyfriend paid for everything, and we used the church for free.It was a (perfect) small wedding. My grandparents came and I walked the aisle alone. I liked this because, it was me, making a … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Sickness ~ Pt 1

by SierraAs an adolescent girl, growing up under William Branham’s Message of the Hour, I stood poised before a great fall. Sometimes I felt a cold breeze rising from the pit in front of me. I knew that against my will I was edging closer, and would someday have no choice but to jump in. But I looked frantically for an outlet or a bridge, digging in my heels against the edges of the pit. The name of the abyss was womanhood.I was taught that the Bible recognized three classes of people: men, women, and children. In God’s plan for the family, authority descended directly in that order. Men obeyed God, women obeyed men, and children obeyed all three. For those living within this scheme, God … [Read more...]

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Quiverfull Daughters: The Making of a Helpmeet

TLC's 19 Kids & Counting: The Duggar Family on How To Prepare For Courtship & Marriageby Hopewell“Helpmeet” is such an odd-sounding word to modern ears! But it resonates well in the lingo of the King James Bible. Girls born to Quiverfull families begin their training for the life’s calling as a Helpmeet [aka wife and homemaker] almost at birth.Girls are born for one and only one reason: to serve a husband. In that capacity, as his helpmeet, she will bear and raise his children, feed as many children as God sends on whatever income he earns, may raise a garden and animals or run a home-based business [with his approval], may home birth and will certainly homeschool all of her ch … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Atheist

by SierraWilla was an atheist. A self-styled “unschooler,” she attended homeschool conventions and activities with her two children, Alexis (9) and Steven (5), and it was there that she met my mother. Willa’s husband worked in a field that I knew only abstractly as something involving computers and sales. He was a passive, taciturn man with whom I never exchanged a single word. Their children were boisterous, especially Alexis. Willa attached herself to my mother very quickly. Since Alexis was my age, we were an automatic source of play dates, which often really amounted to tea parties for our mothers. Common interests seemed to abound at first: homeschooling, books, and bargains. Both ador … [Read more...]

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Christian Culture Clash: Fundamentalist Patriarchy and My Father’s Church

Part 1 ~ Our Church: Golgothaby Ex-AdrielSundays were my favorite. Early in the morning, before the sun rose, Father knocked on my bedroom door. I dressed quickly in the pre-dawn dimness, and we drove to church together, just us two. A quick stop for the customary chocolate crème pie from a gas station, and then we would be at Golgotha*, pulling into the empty lot before anyone else arrived for church.Father ran the bus ministry. In that morning stillness, I snuggled into an extra coat of his to protect my church dress, and ‘helped’ him check the fluids and tire pressure on the old school bus. When I was a young child, I rode with him off to the shelters to pick up all of the homeless w … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Barren

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.-Isaiah 54:1by SierraThe first time I saw my mother cry, she was hunched over the dresser in her bedroom, silent, her shoulders shaking. I had almost walked into the room, but when I noticed her posture I paused and silently backed away, then ran, on tiptoe, to escape the jarring sight. I had not yet turned ten, but I knew what her tears meant.She was crying for my brother, the one lost in miscarriage just before she’d begun taking me to our new church. Every C … [Read more...]

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Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things ~ Part 5: Waking Up

by KieryA failure, that’s what I was, a giant failure. I couldn’t be the daughter my parents wanted me to be. I had tasted freedom, and I felt like I deserved it. I couldn’t go back to being the second mom after being told I was an adult. Adults can’t take their children’s adulthood away, can they?The 6 months between the split and my 18th birthday were the darkest days of my life. I was horribly depressed, I hardly ate, I contemplated cutting and suicide on more than one occasion. Honestly, if it weren’t for the friends I had made before and my boyfriend’s pastor stepping up and reaching me when I cried for help, I don’t know where I would be. I was mad at God, mad at my parents, mad at … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Signs

The end of the world I never had the chance to knowby SierraWhen I reached the age of nine, I began seriously worrying about the age of accountability and the Rapture. There was no magical number attached to the former; indeed, the fact that I was old enough to worry about it seemed evidence enough that I should worry. I was obviously old enough to understand sin, and consequently was old enough to miss the Rapture. And the Rapture was coming. Of that we all were certain.William Branham taught that only the elect, or Bride of Christ, would make it to Paradise in a dramatic snatching-away in the last moments of time. In a 1958 sermon entitled “The Sudden, Secret Going Away of the C … [Read more...]

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Our lonely little legalistic world …

by ErikaDuring that first year of homeschooling, my sister took Driver's Ed at the public school. I would go with her in the hopes of being able to spend some time outside the school hanging out with some of my friends. Because my sister had taken to wearing really frumpy jumpers that looked like something out of Little House on the Prairie, some of the guys had started calling her the "Virgin Mary."A conversation started outside after Driver's Ed about Jesus and Mary. Someone asked how it could be possible that Jesus was born to a virgin. I made the mistake of saying, right in front of my sister, "Perhaps Mary was artificially inseminated." As soon as it came out of my mouth, I knew I'd … [Read more...]

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