In April or May of last year, I followed a link over to a new blog and started to read the unfolding saga of Vyckie and Laura, new refugees from patriarchy and the Quiverfull lifestyle. I had not even read all the way through Kathryn Joyce's book, "Quiverfull" by that time. (I would read some awful quote from the group or would stop to wonder why Ted Haggard was featured, and I would have to set it aside!) I can barely believe that a year has passed since then.
From No Longer Quivering:
What started out as a small blog with two Quiverfull refugees telling our stories has in just one year’s time become the foremost online resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle as well as a thriving virtual community of a diverse group of women (and a few men) to support and encourage one another as we process our experiences and recover from spiritual abuse. Read the rest HERE.
I am asked regularly why I am supportive of the website and their endeavors, considering that many who now contribute there are atheists or at odds with their Christianity. First, I believe that the Church-at-large should take note of the fruit of patriarchy and what these teachings do. They promise much which they ultimately cannot deliver, offering help and hope to many who are never given any guarantees of success. In fact, if one fails to get the intended outcome, the criticism always falls back on the follower's technique rather than flaws that are inherent in the system.
I also have stated in the past that this website has (at least) three or four objectives: to get people to think critically about their beliefs, and to encourage people to choose their desired belief system without coercion or manipulation, to encourage them to leave manipulative groups, and to see people embrace solid and essential Christian doctrine. I applaud those who have the courage to leave patriarchy and any aberrant religious movement if that is their choice, and part of choosing one's desired course is part of the leaving. I have confidence in the Holy Spirit that those who appear to leave the faith will return to it or will actually the Lord in the process. First things first: People need to get out of the abusive situation, and then they need to sort out their thoughts. That takes time, patience, and mighty courage.
For those who are interested, I've recently written these two posts about NLQ, explaining my position and support in greater detail:
I'm encouraged by the courage and brutal honesty of those who contribute at NLQ, and I hope that those who remain in the faith will continue to pray for all those who leave patriarchy, no matter what course they choose. The discussions on the forum will sharpen you and test you, and that is something good, in my estimation. It is a stretch, but we always need to stretch and grow. (And the friction can always be good cause and motivation to pray!)
Happy Anniversary NLQ!