Quoting Quiverfull: Controlling Even Personal Choices?

Quoting Quiverfull: Controlling Even Personal Choices? April 17, 2014

by Doug Wilson of Blog and Mablog – Dressing Up Without Playing Dress Up

One of the things we need to remember when it comes to church architecture is that a building is corporate clothing. A building is how the whole church dresses. The trick is how to dress up without playing dress ups.

Now we have taught for years that worship ought to be respectful and dignified, not breezy and casual. We do not take out ads in the paper inviting the unchurched to come in their pjs. We are supposed to worship God with reverence and godly fear, and this includes our demeanor, and our demeanor includes our clothing (Heb. 12:28). Paul rejoiced that the worship of the Colossians was in good order (Col. 2:5).

Some of you may have noticed that I am not dressed as I usually am. The way I usually dress is intended to communicate respect, but dressing this way does not mean disrespect—it only means that the language of respect can vary. But whenever anything is done week after week without ever varying it, the unspoken assumption can take root in a congregation that this is the way it is done. And from that to petty liturgical idolatry is just a few short steps. This is even more the case when the dress is explicitly ecclesiastical—robes and so forth.

What does this have to do with a building? If a building is our corporate clothing, and it will be, after we have been worshiping there for fifty years, if the pastor then notices that the congregation has gotten attached in the wrong way, he can’t change it up for a week or two in order to make a point. The thing is built out of stone. The trick is how to keep a stone building from creating stone hearts. It is supposed to go the other way. Living hearts of flesh make the building glorious . . . and clothing we can use simply as a way of speaking the truth.

Comments open below

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 and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully

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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  • gimpi1

    I didn’t follow that at all. To call it a word-salad is to flatter it. Word-coleslaw perhaps.

  • KarenH

    Or possibly corned beef hash, substituted the beef with Alpo.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I *think* he may be saying that people shouldn’t get too attached to traditions and rituals, rather than keeping their focus on the doctrine.

    Yet most human beings find religious rituals deeply comforting, or even a gateway into spiritual transcendence. Lots of liberal Catholics who disagree with 90% of what the Magisterium says still enjoy attending Mass.

    Maybe he doesn’t want the faithful to find comfort or spiritual uplift from religion, but instead to remain anxiously aware of how sinful and bad they are? Or perhaps he doesn’t want any of the flock to be having independent spiritual epiphanies, but rather to remain dependent on the celebrity preachers to tell them what the Bible says God wants?

    Or it could be spin control in advance of the coming sex scandals, to prepare the congregation to accept different names and faces as CPM’s new bible interpretation authorities? And to just forget all about the old ones– and their crimes– like outworn clothing, cast off and donated to Goodwill.

  • Excuse me. I have a blog called Word Salad that I write under the name Coleslaw, and I’m pretty sure I’m clearer than that.

  • gimpi1

    You would have to be. My apologies.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Then we’ll have to call it something like “Word Potted Meat”, that stuff is every part of the animal ground and smooshed together, sort of like his logic.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I took his babbling to be literal, like there were some clothing battles going on inside since he mentions dressing up without dressing ups. Clean, orderly, modest, not attention-getting, versus someone showing up in those high fashion sort of thing.

    Or something else is going on and this is all some evangelical code I’m too out of the world of evangelicalism to code-break. Wonder what’s going on in his church?

  • Astrin Ymris

    He talks about the building being the church’s “corporate clothing”… maybe there’s some dispute about moving to a new building and selling the old sanctuary? Or remodeling?

  • Allison the Great

    It’s a word Chicken-McNugget… you don’t really know what the hell is in there, but it ain’t meat or even edible.

  • Saraquill

    I think he means to brag about how amazing he thinks he is, and that he rather hates the idea of being the center of attention with flocks of people following his every sneeze.

  • guest

    What was that all about?