Christianity, Simplified :: Where I am

Christianity, Simplified :: Where I am

I grew up in a Christian home, surrounded by Christian people, claiming Christianity is the way and that their interpretation of Christianity is the right way. It’s easy for a simple religion, or what Christian’s like to call a “relationship” to get complicated with interpretations of scripture, doctrines, and even bible translations. Before you know it, the religion that you thought was founded on love turns out to be a group of uptight people with lots of rules and guidelines to follow, and to hell with you if you happen to disagree. Eventually, if you find yourself facing differences with church/spiritual leaders you’re bound to feel like someone on the bad side of the Red Queen while she’s declaring “off with her head!”. Obviously (thankfully) not all church groups, spiritual leaders, or christians are this adamant or uptight about their interpretation. It is because of these people, the ones who know what Christianity is really about, that I am still a Christian today.

We can debate all day about spiritual gifts, modesty, lifestyle, family, Bible translations, gender roles, the list goes on. In the big picture though, is the girl who was always modest going to be more holy or honored in heaven than a girl who was a prostitute prior to finding grace? Or are they both going to be loved and accepted equally? Is the large homeschool family going to have a better place and more favor with God than the couple who loves Him just as much? Or will they both be honored and met at the gates with “well done, my good and faithful servants?”

Unlike us, God doesn’t measure us in terms of who we are or what we did or how much we gave, because He loves people, regardless. It’s us people, who claim to be great spiritual christians, who are constantly evaluating which one of us is holier or has stronger faith because they’ve lost a home, faced death multiple times in childbirth, became a missionary and lived in poverty, became a major evangelist, or pastor a church.

It seems to me, more often than not, that it’s we, who claim to teach love and mercy, who are the ones who are showing the least love of all. We go from being excited about finding unconditional love and wanting to share that, to becoming condescending, legalistic, my way or the highway Christians claiming to be serving God with their whole life and trusting Him in everything. Our simple faith turns into a complex practical work based religion (though, obviously not by works, but faith without works is dead, so gosh people). We no longer revel in the love of our savior but constantly add weight and baggage to our load for the cause, because it’s what we feel or think, believe even, that we need to do in order to gain favor with God. Often times this causes us to lose sight of the fact that there are people who need love – sometimes, we are so caught up in being “right” about the little things, that we don’t care who we hurt.

If this constant worrying and trying to be oh-so-holy is what Christianity is supposed to be, and I’m missing it, then I understand why people think it’s worthless. A religion that claims to be about love and about the Creator accepting you for who you are and calling you good for no other reason than because He loves you, but really seems to be about inter-denominational feuds and relationship defining secondary-issue differences, is not something I want to be part of. This isn’t the point of Christianity, if this is all that we think it is, we’ve missed the point by miles.

And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”

Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31

I believe, simply, that this is what real christianity is about, this is the bottom line :: He loved us so He came, died, and rose again. All we need to be concerned about is loving Him, and loving each other.

22 thoughts on “Christianity, Simplified :: Where I am

  1. You hit several nails right on the head here Kiery. The Bible says, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” Doctrine is important, but our identifier is supposed to be love. Great post. Good to hear what’s on your heart.

  2. you really can’t stop can you? Heh that was a nice smack in the face again… im really getting sick of this

    “Unlike us, God doesn’t measure us in terms of who we are or what we did or how much we gave, because He loves people, regardless. It’s us people, who claim to be great spiritual christians, who are constantly evaluating which one of us is holier or has stronger faith because they’ve lost a home, faced death multiple times in childbirth” nice slap in the face… you must really HATE this family and MY sisters cause you just can’t stop…

    Its not my interpretation its what the bible says. they bible says God heals. is that my interpretation or is that what God says? God says Women should not work outside the home or preach is that my interpretation or is that what HE says?
    is do not kill an interpretation or does it mean do not kill?

    man do i wish i could make up interpretations of the bible so that i could do what i want but i can’t.

    IF any of you do not like what the bible says you cannot just say its some ones interpretation so you can make yourself feel better, and go back to living in your happy lovey worlds. where its all about love love love.
    Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

    IF one of your friends was going down a road and you knew the bridge was out would you stop them or would you not say a word and let them go off the bridge? cause you don’t what to offend them?

    should we not debate false doctrines? and let people go on being lend the wrong way? or off the bridge.

    yeah she is amazing cause she is saying what you want to hear to keep your self’s feeling better for being in your lovey lovey world where you do no wrong and we should just love and sing “i love you, you love me”, cause you don’t want to hear what the bible says.

    I get rebuked for confronting this by “supposedly godly” people. And you guys are cheering her on while she is STILL screwing my family over and over. Next time you say sorry kierstyn you better mean it. One can only cry wolf so long before people stop believing you then when/ if you ever mean it no one will believe you. Next time you guys cheer her on you better read your bible and find where is says a child can trash her parents and show me.

    zach…

  3. All that animosity and resentment towards your parents by someone purporting to just LOVE everyone. I know you won’t post anything we write in defense of ourselves because you just want to trash us without allowing us to challenge your assertions or defend ourselves.

    To be honest, Id have more respect for you if you just came out and said I hate my
    F#(%ing parents. Get it off your chest and maybe this will fianally STOP! The HYPOCRISY with wich you speak, trashing us while claiming to love is astounding.

    We never once claimed to be more spiritual because we lost two children and a home. We have praised GOD for sustaining us through those tough times and we openly admitted we were weak in the faith as a result of those things.

    Your resentment towards us has clouded your judgment on us and the Bible. Turning away from us is one thing and it seems to be your priority right now to do so publicly. However, turing away from GODs WORD is another.

    The reality is that once the prostitute is saved, she is commanded to live a lifestyle of holiness and MODESTY. 1 Tim 2:10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence… Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    THIS IS NOT MY OPINION, its the WORD OF GOD

    the reality is there are clearly defined gender roles
    Tts 2:3 The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    I didnt write that GOD DID. The fact that you reject HIS role for women is NOT our fault. It is NOT our opinion or interp. IT IS WRITTEN. Show me where it says otherwise.

    Regarding Family size. GOD creates babies, not us! You can spin your tale of woe, about how much of a burden your siblings were, oblivious to the fact that you were a pain in the ass to them at times too. Regardless, if you want to abort babies via birth contrrol and stuff, go ahead, just don;t pretend it doesnt matter to GOD. HE was angry with a man for pullin out (spilling seed) rather than risk getting a woman pregnant and you think its OK to limit HIS CREATIVE WOrk IN YOUR WOMB…so be it. Life begins at conception, and virtually all birth controll means are abortive at some level. That isn;t my opinion, that is scientific fact. If you think GOD is going to bless you in Heaven for aborting babies so you dont have to many kids, your not only foolish, your selfish. Every mans work will be tried with fire the Bible says and we will suffer loss. I didn’t wite that, GOD did.

    Maybe while citing our alleged offenses you should have included how Christ used us, in mercy and grace to provide for two single moms, making their moirtgage payments for years Or giving to the homeless, or a family in Haiti or whatever else GOD had us do. Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
    You are very good at trashing us, our choices, our family size and all we stand for, but you might have missed the oterh side of your fucked up parents.

    Surely you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. You are the very epitomy of christian eleitism and jugmentalsim that you pretend to hate in your letter. You have NO regard fopr your mother or father or family for that matter but pretend to be full of virtue, and love.

    Get off our backs Kierstyn. If you hate us, leave us alone. Thats what I do to peaople I can’t stand. I don’t continue to throw stomnoes at them, hoping to incite a reaction so I can play the poor damsel in distress. you are bringing this crap upon yourself.

    If you know and desire only what true Christianity means, do us a favor and honor your mother and father as opposed to trashing them and all we stand for with your sophistry and resentment…or is that just another matter of interpretation to?

  4. John 8: 10-11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    1 Tim 2:10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence… Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,2 Peter 3:11

    But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 1 Peter 1:15

    1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5

    Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:… But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

    Heb 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

    And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    Matthew 7 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity….And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

    Matthew 7: 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Gal 6:1

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    I am so disappointed that you lied to me last week when you said that the you took your post off because that was not the place…obviously this is the forum you want to use, while not allowing us to defend the Word of God and our family.

    It is so apparent that you despise us and are harboring bitterness and anonymosity being fueled by your husband and supported by your pastor.

    I can only pray that someday the whole Word of God will matter to you and not just the points you want to pick and choose for your own purposes.

    Broad is the path that leads to destruction, narrow is the gate that leads to life. To “love” others is so much more than you imagine. The Lord chastens those whom he loves and scourges every son, loving God is about obeying God in the areas of lifestyle and holiness that Paul and most of the New Testament writes about..it is not optional, not debatable and is an eternal choice.

    In the last days people will heap uup teachers that will tell them what their tickling ears want to hear…live how you want…God is love… many roads lead to heaven……

    God is loving, but just, holy, with standards, not everyone who says to Him Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. I am fearful that you have fallen into a “new gospel” one that is not found in the scriptures but one that is quite popular among pastors like Joel Olsteen.

    You have exchanged the whole gospel for one of your own making and there is no salvation there.

    Mom

  5. Great post Kierstyn 🙂

    Zach –
    You’re right that we shouldn’t just let people drive off a bridge. But not everything is a matter of salvation, and some things can be interpreted different ways. Sometimes we interpret things wrong – or there wouldn’t be half as many false doctrines. Sometimes we make issues out of things that God probably doesn’t care about that much. Like in Romans 14 –

    1. Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

    Seems like the right interpretation on whether we can eat meat or not is that, yes, we can. But in this verse, it seems like God is less concerned about the guy having the right meat doctrine, and more concerned about the guy’s faith. It’s not a mater of salvation. Kind of like whether a woman works outside of the home.

    Even “though shall not kill” can be interpreted a bunch of different ways. Does that mean all war is wrong? Or that self defense is wrong? Don’t think so – but – doesn’t it just say though shall not kill? (or murder in most translations).

    Anyway the point is, people can have different interpretations of different verses – and sometimes they’re a big deal (Christ’s death and resurrection, etc.) and sometimes they’re not so much (my diet).

    Carl and Deborah –
    Kierstyn wasn’t talking about loosing those children in childbirth. She was talking about families where mothers come close to dying themselves in childbirth. Just so you know.

    I don’t think that anything in the post was specifically about you guys – I’m sorry if you read a post about judgmental Christianity and automatically think it’s about you, but you’re saying that, not her. She didn’t mention her family, or say that she hated the people who she disagrees with. I know she doesn’t hate you. I’m sorry you think she does.

    It’s true that many who think they’re going to heaven aren’t (Matthew 7). But that verse is saying alot of people come to God and say hey, we’ve done all these good things, given people water, fed them, so shouldn’t we get in? Seems like God is saying that – while those things are great – salvation is about a relationship first, and good deeds second. Which sounds like what Kierstyn was trying to say. 1 Corinthians 13 also seems to say the same thing.

    I know you probably disagree with everything I just said. I know you’ll probably feel like you have to respond and reintegrate. But your opinion would be so much better received if you try to be civil about it, disagree with the arguments instead of attacking Kierstyn, and don’t assume that everything she posts is about you.

  6. i am no scientist but this is pointing at MY parents. — “has stronger faith because they’ve lost a home, faced death multiple times in childbirth, and the large homeschool family”.

    notice it does not say just faced multiple deaths it says child birth deaths. now i don’t care how much hate you can have towards some one but saying that, is not just wrong that is %100 pure evil. and you guys are supporting and defending it. that is a smack in the face to my mother how dare you say that!. and people have the audacity to say God is using you! thats a lie! yeah God is using you to trash my family “sarcasm” no don’t tell her children honor they father and mother. tell her go screw your parents yeah thats godly. all you people seem to keep forgetting that verse. or is that just my interpretation? obey they father and mother only when you want is that what it means?

    Thank you for proving my point alex! yes that is what do not kill means (do not shed innocent blood. now is that my interpretation or is that what the bible says? what we say is not OUR interpretations its WHAT the bible says. if you actually look up what the words mean. you can see what stuff really means…

    Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, you should read proverbs 6.

  7. Nice try al

    Just like she wasn;t referring to us when she teared and sniffled with the young lady who was trashing her large homeschool family a week or 2 ago….when she said that is so me…but wasn;t referring to us, our lifestyle, and our family (size). Geeez, these coincidences just keep happening for some reason…huh!

    Eitehr you are an active participant in this, lying for her, or you are the most gullable idiot imaginable.

    You naively suggested: Kierstyn wasn’t talking about loosing those children in childbirth. She was talking about families where mothers come close to dying themselves in childbirth. Just so you know.

    Really ?
    I wonder Al, which large homeschool family(ies), who either lost children or the mother faced death (as you now say) that walk around claiming spiritual superiority as a result of that…she is referring to? I wonder which ones who lost their home acting with the same pride and arrogance she is reffering to ?…..let alone her knowing them well enough to have known their heart towards her or others was “to hell with you if you don’t agree” with them? WHO WAS IT AL? Surely you know!

    She said all this happened in our christian home surrounded by christian people. I’m sure they would have been our friends al….I cannot think of anyone we know who has lost children and lost their home, let alone that she would know well enough to get that message from, let alone feel the need to vent about them years later.

    As you know, we did loose 2 children at childbirth. We also lost a home and we have a large homeschool family she has already demonstrated she resented last week. You think that’s just coincidence al ? Save you BS for somebebody who delights in your appeasing senatorial responses of “its all just a misunderstanding”.

    How cold does a child have to be, to throw those tragic events in the face of her mother, while adding the wicked lie of claiming she/ we (or anyone else) then claim spiritual superiority as a result of those experiences. NOTHING says F#(% you mom, like rubbing her face in the tragedy of 2 stillborn children, and alleging she/we or anyone would then claim spiritual elitism as a result of it. IT IS A LIE al…all of it!

    Apart from the persistent attacks on my bride and my family (that seem to elude your attention and discernment), the other concern I / we have for our daughter is there are SERIOUS Spiritual consequences for this sort of behavior on behalf of a child towards their parents….no matter how bad they are.

    My brother hated, resented, and rebelled agianst my parents to. You know what the first commandment is…well the opposite is equally true.
    My brother did NOT live a long life and it did NOT go well for him while he was here. She will reap what she sows. If you people would put aside your contempt for us and steer her away from this sort of behavior, it would be a great benfit for her spiritually. Cheering her on in this is simply unbelieveable.

    I can tell you honestly, even if I had the disdain you and your family have for us, towards someone else….I would NOT encourage this sort of thing in ther children. Not because I care for the parents, but because of concern for the child.

    But then again, if you can cheer the young girl from a numerb of months back who LEFT THE FAITH, trashed her parents, Teen Pact and everyting else you guys once stoof for..why would I expect anything more than that from ya.

  8. correction
    You know what the first commandment is…well the opposite is equally true.

    should say the “first commandment WITH A PROMISE is…well the opposite is equally true

  9. I’m poking in here to say that I was _not_ in anyway, talking about the stillborns when I referenced facing death in childbirth. What I *was* referencing, was women being close to death (i.e. on their deathbed/hemorrhaging to death) during labor (childbirth) with multiple pregnancies. This has happened, and I have seen these people revered for their faith. This hasn’t, however, happened to you, unless there was something I missed. As far as I know, neither of you pastor a church, have huge evangelism conferences, or are missionaries to some third world country either.

    I’m sad you think so little of me to assume that everything I think or say is meant negatively toward you, when it simply isn’t the case.

    Also, for future reference, my husband’s name is Alex.

  10. I hope I don’t appear intrusive. I don’t know how I stumbled onto all of this, but Kiery, you are so brave. And articulate. And wow, your parents. That must be hard. You seem to embrace your faith in your way, which seems beautiful to me. Yes. Love everyone. Be kind. How that offends others so much is a mystery.

    Good luck to you.

  11. Who Kierstyn? Who has had multiple near death childbirths and lost homes and claim spiritual superiority? Who is it that has gone through all that who has the uptight, to hell with you if you dont agree with me attitude? People don’t get much more BROKEN than that Kierstyn.

    Most people who cause a genuine misconception like that appologise. They don’t send thier husband out for yet another underhanded slap at their parents as al did today. Most people, when they are genuinley sorry, don’t make the same apparent mistake a week later, because they are sensitive to the feelings of others and concerned about even the slightest appearance of evil. Most people who genuinley were sorry the first time wouldn’t still have their parents and their brother BLOCKED on facebook since the last incident started…and we continue to be blocked even after you said it was a misunderstanding and you were sorry for that.

    It was DISINGENUOUS. I told your mother that last week and this second misunderstanding, citing people who (coincidentally) have gone thru the same, grievous experiences as we have, tends to prove that. I could see you didn’t mean it because ONCE AGAIN, you never addressed the questions or issues posed to you, nor allowed us to respond. We were genuilely surprised you posted our responses this time. It will be interesting to see if you answer the questions sometime.

  12. As an outside observer, I’d have been horrified enough to read the comments from Carl, Deborah and Zach if they had been acquaintances of Kierstyn’s, or even complete strangers. The fact that they’re her family is sickening.

    I see Kierstyn sharing truths God’s shown her in the context of her own background – either her immediate family, folks she’s known, or some of both. I see her own family pouring upon her bitterness and hatred that defies description. I can’t claim to know details of the family situation, but for anyone to treat their own daughter like this is beyond despicable.

    The Law is the Law. Sin is sin; punishment is punishment. For someone who doesn’t understand grace, this is what everything comes down to. Wrath, judgment and punishment have their fitting and rightful objects, and a sinful world such as this seems an appropriate place to mete them out.

    These realities being fundamental to Kierstyn’s family’s comments, I can’t say anything to them. Not knowing them personally, I can’t call them out on their lack of love. Knowing them as fellow sinners, though, I’m aware that the Law does not relinquish its hold on a person unless it is overcome by the One who has overcome the world itself.

    And so I pray for grace.

    Kierstyn, I admire your courage in posting your family’s comments. They may be shamed by the public exposure of their treatment of you, or they may continue to assume that it displays their righteousness in the matter. In a way, it does. Perhaps in these writings they have exonerated themselves to everyone from whom they desire respect or approval. The Law is a small, square-shaped world in which many people live. It is made of Do and Do Not. It carries severe penalties for noncompliance. If you live your life, Javert-like, under its auspices, it will destroy you.

    God knew that. He planned it to show the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ.

    Cling to Him, Kierstyn. Jesus has shown us what love really is.

    If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
    But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

    Ps 130: 3-4

  13. Hey Kierstyn, I just wanted to you to know…you’re in my thoughts, and prayers. You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your situation (not stalker-ish, just reading your blog, and social networking. :-D) for the past couple of years.

    I just want to say, I admire you, and can only imagine how difficult some days must have been for you. I know if I were in your shoes, I would spend many nights crying my eyes out to my husband.

    I pray for you often, and I know that you have landed in a good place, with lots of people who love you and support you. I just hope you continue to continue to flourish, you’re a talented writer, with your head in the right place. Christ uses creative minds in ways that no other human being could be molded. <3

  14. Hey Kierstyn,

    I found your blog link on your facebook, not to be stalker-ish either. 🙂

    I come from a homeschooling family myself, and though my family, by God’s grace, has not become caught up in the disputes about doctrine, etc., I have seen this come up multiple times throughout the homeschooling and church circles. It’s almost an undertone that can’t be noticed outright unless you’ve been directly in the situation and then removed from it, and I completely agree with your post’s bottom line–to love in all things.

    I don’t know your family, or your situation with them, however I do sense misunderstanding through the comments. It is a loving thing to try to warn your child when you see them disregarding God’s commands, however in order to be truly loving, we must be loving with our words, no matter how worried we are. The Bible says we are to speak the truth in love. In the story of the prodigal son, the father was not condemning in any way upon his son’s return-instead he was full of love and overjoyed. I think too often we miss that in our truth-telling, myself included. Oftentimes I just want to show someone how wrong they are, and I just can’t believe they’d think in that way; even though I care about them, I realize that in that moment of correction I’m not thinking ‘oh how I love you, and want you to open your eyes to the truth that’ll set you free’; instead I’m thinking ‘oh, I can’t believe you would think that, I just want to show you how wrong you are!’. It’s only when I realize that the Holy Spirit is the one who will do the ultimate work, that I have no power of myself to change someone . . . it’s only then that my eyes are opened with love towards the other.

    I recently read a quote in a book . . . ‘wherever there is a wall between us and someone else, God asks us to look within ourselves and say ‘What more can I do? In what way can I change? How can I love more wisely, identify more closely, bear one another’s mistakes as if they were my own?’

    I am in no way implying that you’re the prodigal son, or wayward, (or anything like that!). I’m agreeing, 100% with your post that love should cover all, even (especially) in our corrections of each other . . . Too often Christians have ‘everything down’. We speak with the tongues of men and angels, understand all mysteries, have faith to remove mountains . . . and we miss love, which is the center of the Gospel and essence of the Christian life. ‘Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful’ (1 Corinthians 13) We have to understand that God will not look at how we changed others with our speaking of truth, rather he will look at our heart intent while we were correcting.

    May God bless you, Kierstyn, and continue to reveal himself to you in his perfect way, and may you grow in His grace in every aspect of your life.

  15. I do not personally know any of the above posters. I recognize that there is a history behind the original post, as well as the ensuing altercation. I cannot speak to those issues. If this was a random domestic fight of a worldly family, that I just happened to come across on the internet, I would not waste my time posting anything in reply. However, no matter whose point of view one takes, this is a heartbreaking situation in the lives of believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thus I feel compelled to post the following.

    In the original post, there were a few statements made that I would take issue with, or at least require clarification on before I could agree. I do, however, agree with the general content and message. As to whether or not there are any ulterior motives behind the post, I do not know, and will not take the word of either Kiery & Alex, or Zach, Carl, and Debra.

    It is interesting that Kiery is criticized as harboring hateful feelings, yet it is her family whose posts drip with disgust. Any accusations I read fired in Kiery’s direction cannot be proved to me by any means, unfortunately. However, the blatant hypocrisy revealed in her family’s posts is quite self-evident. The following quotes contain all original spelling and grammatical errors. I shall begin with Zach:

    “God says Women should not work outside the home”
    Proverbs 31:13-14 –
    “She seeks wool and flax,
    And willingly works with her hands.
    She is like the merchant ships,
    She brings her food from afar.”
    And verse 16:
    “She considers a field and buys it;
    From her profits she plants a vineyard.”
    And verse 24:
    “She makes linen garments and sells them,
    And supplies sashes for the merchants.”
    What can we learn from these verses? Does this mean that if a woman does not buy fields and sell linen garments, she’s not doing her wifely duty? No. And what’s more, I’m fairly certain that buying a field and selling garments requires “working outside the home,” since Ebay and Etsy.com didn’t exist in the time of King Lemuel. I’m also well aware of the context of these verses which describe the same wife keeping her household, so please don’t hurl references at me. My point is that these verses obviously allow for (and encourage!) extra-household work opportunities for a wife, so long as they contribute to the running of the household, and not neglect it.

    “that is what do not kill means (do not shed innocent blood. now is that my interpretation or is that what the bible says?”
    That is not what “kill” means. If I kill a murderer, it is still killing. If I kill a dandelion, or a centipede, or a yak, I have still killed them. Further, it is possible to kill without shedding blood. Therefore “do not kill” does not literally mean “do not shed innocent blood.” It means “do not cause death, failure, or defeat,” depending on the context. “Do not shed innocent blood” is very much an interpretation, whether you like it or not. Incidentally, I agree with your interpretation, but we must be clear that *literally,* the commandment is to not cause death. Obviously, an overarching forbidding of causing death is not meant, for God later commands animal sacrifice. Therefore our *interpretation* of “kill” must take the word in its context, and is key for our understanding of God’s holy commands.

    Next, Carl:

    “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing”
    As this is a biblical quote, I of course do not disagree, but I am very much interested to hear your interpretation of this much-debated passage. Does “saved” mean eternally saved from hell? Saved from barrenness? Saved from an attacking bear? Once again the importance and necessity of proper interpretive principles is clearly demonstrated. I eagerly await your commentary in all sincere curiosity.

    “if you want to abort babies via birth contrrol and stuff, go ahead, just don;t pretend it doesnt matter to GOD.”
    Your “if” statement contains a flawed premise, namely, that all forms of birth control result in abortion. More on this later.

    “HE was angry with a man for pullin out (spilling seed) rather than risk getting a woman pregnant”
    God struck Onan dead for refusing to fulfill his filial duty to Er by providing him with an heir. Onan agreed to have sex with Tamar, but not give his dead brother an heir. Onan was selfish, wickedly desirous of an heir for himself, rather than his brother, as was proper. This was the reason for God’s anger. An examination of the entire story demands this biblical interpretation. To be extremely specific, “the thing which he did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him.” *Your interpretation* of “the thing which he did” is “pullin out (spilling seed).” You have attributed this action to the phrase, “the thing which he did.” I submit that your interpretation of this phrase is close, but not entirely correct. I further submit that “the thing which he did” was simply that Onan decided to act according to his own self-serving interest, rather than fulfill his duty to his brother.

    “virtually all birth controll means are abortive at some level.”
    Since you use the word “virtually” here, I assume you are allowing for some non-abortive means of birth control. That is correct. However, I believe you have gone too far in asserting that “virtually *all* birth controll means are abortive” (emphasis mine). Condoms, both male and female, as well as diaphragms, douches, etc. are all non-abortive forms of birth control, and are also widely used. Many oral contraceptives are also non-abortive. I have no idea what you mean by “at some level,” so I will refrain from attempting to guess.

    “That isn;t my opinion, that is scientific fact”
    Assuming the definition of “fact” as “a thing that is indisputably the case,” there is no such thing as a “scientific fact.” Science does not, and cannot, provide man with truth. The only indisputable, knowable propositions are those contained in God’s revelation in Scripture, and propositions deduced from Scripture by good and necessary consequence. Thus, your previous statement (especially since it is a relative statement that I have demonstrated to be a blatant exaggeration) is not a “scientific fact” any more than it is a “round square.” These simply do not exist.

    “Every mans work will be tried with fire the Bible says and we will suffer loss. I didn’t wite that, GOD did.”
    I am assuming you are referring to I Corinthians 3. If so, please reexamine the chapter and realize that the “work” referred to is not our acts of obedience, but rather the development of doctrine based on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Logos of God. While Paul uses metaphors such as “feeding,” “watering,” “planting,” “laboring,” etc., the context *clearly* shows that the issue at hand is elaborated upon in vv. 18-20:
    *****”Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”*****
    The wisdom of the world will be destroyed by fire. As for a definition of “wisdom of the world,” see my above note on “scientific fact.”

    “you might have missed the oterh side of your f***** up parents.” (Censoring mine)
    James 3:8-12:*****”But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”
    I understand that you are upset. This is not a license to sin. I urge your repentance before God and the readers of this blog for this act of hypocrisy in freely typing out “salt water” while playing the part of the freshwater victim.

    “honor your mother and father”
    Again, no problem with this statement, as it is a biblical quote. However, I’m interested in your interpretation of the Ephesians 6:4a: “fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath”? This is not a sarcastic dig, this is a legitimate curiosity as to your *interpretation* of this command of God.

    “Geeez, these coincidences just keep happening…”
    Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” Unless “Geeez” is anything other than a slurring of our Lord and Saviour Jesus’ holy name, you are once again in clear violation of God’s command, and I must rebuke you as a brother in Christ and urge your public repentance. We have tasted enough saltwater from your lips.

    It is difficult for Deborah to prove her point by quoting so much Scripture with no exegesis, especially since the apparent source of the entire dispute is a disagreement over interpretation. When two Christians disagree over Scripture, logical explanation is required. One cannot simply plug one’s ears and quote Scripture verses that have obviously been read and interpreted by one’s opponent already.

    Deborah said, “I can only pray that someday the whole Word of God will matter to you and not just the points you want to pick and choose for your own purposes.”
    This is a worthy sentiment that I share towards all of mankind. However, it is clear that your husband and son are also in need of heeding your prayer, as I have quite succinctly demonstrated their interpretive errors and apparently habitual practice of ignoring Scriptural context and abandoning all semblance of logical thought in their arguments.

    I am sincerely praying for all parties involved, and I hope that one day, God will cause understanding and reconciliation to occur in this family. Alas, it may never happen in this world, but thankfully, there will come a day when all believers in Christ will be united in glory. I sincerely hope for and look forward to the day I can meet all those believers involved here, in that glorious day.

    -Patrick

  16. I am a conservative Christian homeschooling mom of five. I appreciate reading your impression of your childhood. The worst treatment I have dealt with in my life has come from other “Godly” Christians. I am trying to raise my kids to love God and love others despite them seeing the way so many quiverful Christians really live. I have to tell people often to not forsake Christ because of Christians. I appreciate your perspective.

  17. *deep breath*
    I realize of course that I’m now three years late to the argument, and without getting involved in a family feud I’ll focus more on the original post. Kiery, I can absolutely relate to your position on the matter. I grew up in a Christian household as well and while my parents and I hold different beliefs about many things, I have been able to maintain that religious foundation. Overall, it seems to me that most flavors of Christianity have fallen a long way from the Love that Jesus was all about. Jesus didn’t judge the prostitute, Samaritan woman, or woman caught in adultery. He discussed his point, appreciated them as individuals, and loved them just the same. Christians have devolved into Pharisees. More concerned about every little rule and opinion than with the main commandments to Love God and Love one another (as you mentioned). Once we (or they) lose sight of the fact that Christianity was and is meant to be based on Love, all we’re left with is opinionated infighting that leads to no good at all. It reminds me of 2 Tim 2:23 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” So thank you for this post, and don’t let self aggrandizing “Christians” turn you off the whole idea!

  18. I’m a Christian homeschooling mom of six (actually used to live in Naples, but I didn’t know your parents. I was much younger. Although I do know people who do know them.) Anyway….I was just introduced to your blog today, and I can say that I appreciate so much of what you’ve written. I wasn’t homeschooled as a child, but being in the homeschool culture I can see so much of what you’ve said. I’ve seen so many kids grow up and “get out” and realize that that’s not what “Jesus is about at all!” It makes me so sad. And I kept thinking as I read your post here that “Jesus + “anything” is NOT the gospel.” It’s ALL Jesus!! My first and foremost desire as a mother is communication with my children. We talk freely about everything–sex, faith, desires, our bodies’ design, relationships, etc. And I’ve found that this makes it so much easier for everything to naturally come back to Jesus. When they know they have the freedom to have their own thoughts, own desires, and own ideas they also feel free to come and ask my opinion on them. That makes it all worth it!

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