Baptist Taliban: Part 3

by Cindy Foster THE CHURCH WE WERE The Preacher and his wife graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. At the time he attended there, the college was quite conservative. There were strict rules about dress, dating, curfews, entertainment, music and much more. The Preacher actually grew up in Springfield and was a member of a church that was not nearly as rigid in its standards as the college was, so in the beginning of his ministry as pastor, he did not have the extreme beliefs that he eventually embraced later in his ministry. It was several years after the church had started and was established with its own building that the more relaxed climate began … [Read more...]

Homeschooled Girls and Trash Cans: The Social Isolation of Homeschooling

by Latebloomer What do homeschooled girls and trash cans have in common? They both only leave the house once a week.   This joke was well-received among homeschooled youth because it rang true for so many of us. For almost all of my teen years, church was the only social activity that I engaged in, the only time during the whole week that I might have a chance to interact with people who were not my immediate family. Making friends in that context, especially as a shy teen girl, seems daunting. However, I had an even greater obstacle to deal with: I was not allowed to participate in youth group. My parents were absolutely terrified of teenage rebellion. Thanks to various … [Read more...]

Why Courtship Fails: A Male’s Perspective

by The Graduate As a young man in my early twenties who grew up in conservative homeschool circles, I was excited to return home after spending four years in a Christian college. I had very little experience in dating and hadn’t been in a relationship in college, but I had a good degree and a solid career lined up in front of me. My parents were excited too, because they hoped that I would be able to easily find a bride among the many single homeschool girls my family knew. I was a willing participant to their plans, but I soon found out that even with the right credentials, it was still impossible for me to come against homeschool patriarchy and perfectionism. According to Bill … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 10: It's in the Lord's Hands

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow by Shelly Cruz I walked over to the phone, and dialed Cecilia’s number. My first thought was that it would possibly be disconnected, but who knows, maybe they finally moved. Cecilia always talked about how the time would come, and their house would be demolished, and then they would have to move. They were living rent-free in an old farmhouse. Someone had blessed them years ago with a property. They had to care for it, and in return they could live there for free, but once the owner passed away, they'd have to move. They were even given a 15-passenger van as a … [Read more...]

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

by Kiery When 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 … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 9: Draw Near to God

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow by Shelly Cruz It was not until a period of distance was placed between my family and Cecilia’s, that I began to see the blessing that Cecilia gave me. It was an ABUNDANT blessing in disguise! At the time, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and even angry with her and with her whole family. I felt that Cecilia divorced our friendship, and I had no idea why. I went from being a babe in Christ, to a woman, desiring nothing more, than to love my Savior Jesus. God was changing me little by little each day. I began to pray for specific things, and within weeks, sometimes … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 8: Somehow, I Lost My Entire Identity

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow by Shelly Cruz There was so much to read about this man; I didn't even know where to begin. I stumbled across a message board that had a whole bunch of people who grew up following his teachings. They were adults now. The thing that perplexed me the most, was that these folks were calling him a religious cult leader, and that did not seem right to me. Cecilia and her family were very strong, mature Christians. They would never get involved with something cultish, would they? The time I spent reading about this man, seemed so déjà vu to me. Everything I was reading … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 7: A Godly, God-Fearing Man

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow by Shelly Cruz I was feeling inadequate as a wife and mother lately, but had no clue why. Maybe it was because Cecilia called her husband Sir, and was always hanging on his every word. This had been making me nervous for a while now. I remember asking her about it one day and she only shared, that Sarah called Abraham "Lord." It was a matter of respect. I took a moment, trying to imagine myself, calling my husband Lord, or even Sir. I could not help but chuckle each time I said it to myself. Is this something that a Godly wife was suppose to do? Should I be asking … [Read more...]

Time Heals All Wounds ~ Part 6: Cecelia's Secret

All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow by Shelly Cruz The secret was "ATI", which stands for, "Advanced Training Institute." This was a word of mouth ultra-conservative home school program Cecilia told me about. It taught "Character First." It made children obedient, God fearing individuals, Cecilia explained to me. Cecilia shared examples of how much more obedient children were who were taught with this style of curriculum. How these children differed from other children. I was intrigued, and wanted to find out more about it. This was what I have been waiting to hear. If Cecilia's children were walking, … [Read more...]

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

by Kiery A 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 … [Read more...]


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