When is it Ministry and When is it Dysfunctional Performance?

When is it Ministry and When is it Dysfunctional Performance? November 22, 2019
Screen cap from Anna Duggar’s Instagram

There is a song I love from the Newsboys titled “Your Love is Better Than Life” One of the lyrics gives me pause every time I hear it  – “I dunno when it’s a ministry and when it’s a show maybe neither, maybe both, I dunno, but this one thing I know” and it fits today’s question oh so well.

This has been quite the week for behavior that hints at mental dysfunction in Quiverfull leaders. If there was ever a time that exposed the twisted nature of their theology this week would be that time. Just the Duggar scandals alone indicate that. Speaking of which the entire family spent Monday at their favorite place in America, Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks. A theme park appealing to anyone on the fundamentalist Christian side.

I think this is perhaps Jim Bob Duggar’s disingenuous way to try and prove to the world that all the rumors swirling around about his son Josh are untrue.

“See! Look how happy they are~ Nothing to see here, move along”

This isn’t exactly the most healthy of reactions to a beloved son’s business being raided by a federal agency with the possibility of charges looming. Any parent, and child, would be worried over this, not running off to a theme park, more hunkering down to wait together for a resolution one way or another.

I cannot imagine how Anna manages to put on a happy face here for show.  You know, people would not blame them for taking a step back to grieve over this, or figure out the next thing that needs to happen. It’s not a dog and pony show for the cameras, trotted out like this. like dancing dogs or trained monkeys for the cameras. This should not be a family’s first reaction to the glare of negative publicity.

But they were hardly the only ones in performance mode recently instead of genuine ministry. Just take a gander at Doug Wilson and his ‘No Quarter November’ where he trots out the excuse of November to be extra obnoxious.

So far this month we’ve seen his insistence that sexism is God’s plan, white entitlement is a good thing, promotes his poorly-written with no understanding of woman romance novel “The Man in the Dark”.

There are other inanities indicating that Doug is on a brain dysfunctional bender of obnoxiousness that would take too long to list here. But why November bringing all these things up? Is it because it’s the month when daylight it more limited, and that brings out the unusual?

Which brings us to Lori Alexander’s latest. She’s claiming, yet again, not to teach men? Let’s look at this. Lori claims just to teach women, yet many of her commenters on her blog, her various social media and her secret chatroom are all men. Hateful men. Men with white supremacy links, men that advocate forced sex, men like Vaughn Ohlman and Larry Solomon talking of marrying off 12 year old girls and forced pregnancies.

I will say I do not believe that Lori is seeking to ‘teach’ men, but her groveling and approval of these awful men’s attention is not something a Godly, modest, Christ-honoring, married woman should be engaged in. It’s like some weird awful kind of sick flirting that builds her ego up. It’s sick and twisted behavior, groveling for the attention of guys who should be on a government watch list.

It looks like from here that the entire aim of Lori’s ministry is not to help others, it’s to build up her own sadly self deflated sense of self esteem. She can accuse me, and has, of being a demented feminist trying to tear down good Christians, but that’s not true. I just hate seeing people using Christianity to prop up their own poisonous behaviors. Sometimes I even feel bad for many of these enforcers, Lori in particular, because they all seem so unhappy. No one should live in a state of constant misery. Life is so much more than that.

Dear Lori et al: The reason I do this is I view myself as one of many standing out in the pouring rain with signal flares and flashlights just before a collapsed bridge, yelling and warning that the bridge is out to keep others from falling on those destroying rocks that is Quiverfull theology, that takes victims, harms people and destroys relationships. I just want to see no more victims, prevent more harm.

When is it a ministry and when is a show indeed? Does it point people to Christ? Is it beneficial to the body of believers? If the answer is no, then it’s not a ministry no matter what you call it. Flawed people floundering around in the mess they have made in their minds.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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