Crushing for Perfume and Pressing for Wine
I have a good friend who was told by a pastor and an elder... who was there as a witness... that she was fat because she doesn't submit to her husband. She left. Which only confirmed their suspicions. I told this story to a good friend of mine recently who exclaimed, "It's a wonder anybody stays in church anywhere!" I agree. The amount of subtle manipulation, judgement, criticism, condemnation and abuse that goes on in the name of religion is remarkable! And I'll tell you why... Anytime you have an idea the way people should behave or turn out, it results in violence against that person. If I relate to my wife the way I think she ought to be, according to my own desires and expectations, it violates who she is already. If I relate to my children according to my wishes for them, it destroys who they actually are. The church is one of the most concentrated cultures for having and imposing expectations upon people. The pastor and elder had an idea of what a woman should look like. She didn't look like that, so they challenged her to become what she should be. She also didn't relate to her husband the way they thought she must, so they admonished her to submit to her husband the way they think she should. That's their biblical mandate! They couldn't see past their own agenda for her to behold the incredible and unconventional beauty that she possessed already. Neither could they fit her rather feisty and confident way of relating to men into their grid for wives. Instead of letting her be to blossom in her own unique way, they crushed her. But only for a while. She got out from beneath their oppressive weight of judgement and is doing fine. But I know many other people who continue to get crushed and crushed and crushed. And I've heard some say that there's something virtuous in being crushed... like a rose that releases its perfume only when crushed, or a grape its wine only after being crushed. Some can tell when they are free to leave the press. Others don't, but continue to voluntarily submit to the unjust oppression that they don't deserve nor need to endure. Get out if you can! That's just one reason why I think many are leaving the church, and why many others have already left. The fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Jorgen Klausen.