Friday, January 26, 2007

Making Judges Obey the Law


Ladies, this is not about homemaking, and not for very young, busy mothers to be concerned about (as it can really get your mind all wound up and running!!). This article may also become a bigger one to later be posted at www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org. I just wanted to share with everyone the power of the pen and the cyber world, if a homemaker just takes about one hour to help someone.

I don't know if anyone reads David Barton, who writes about our county's history, the founding fathers, the pilgrims, and the original meanings of our constitution. Somewhere on his site he wrote something concerning calling your senators, your representatives and governors. You probably know that very few people do this. Yet, he said, if a senator or rep. gets only 5 phone calls, he perks up his ears, because he knows something is going on. If he gets 20 phone calls, he realize there is a real serious "movement" in the country, as each call represents about 100 people.

Our family took that to heart and as a result has changed several things. We often hear from friends how hopeless they feel about the way our courts are headed and the way that the change-agents are changing our country's laws from the ones that were established in the beginning, based on scripture. They feel helpless to know what to do about it, because they cannot afford to launch a petition or go to court to challenge anything.

There are only 5 adults in our family, and we took on a huge Christian college to challenge a textbook that was full of vileness and error, even lewd material and secular lies. In a large institution, it is easy to overlook something, and the president of the college did not read every single textbook to approve it or not.

I offerred to pay my son in law's plane ticket to visit this college and point out the damaging error in this textbook--a textbook that would have changed the minds of many students graduating and going on to infiltrate churches everywhere, but he said, "No. I want to stay home. I'll just launch a cyber-war."

From home, he emailed the professors and the president, and phoned them, quoting various atrocities in this book. It took only two months, and the president emailed all of us and announced that the textbook was removed. You can read about it here:http://wisdomfromtheword.blogspot.com/ If you are a busy homemaker, please do not concern yourself with this. I was only able to do it during a time when my house was empty in the day and I could not sleep (as you get older, sometimes you have a completely sleepless night, and it can be put to good use!)

I repeat, do not get yourself embroiled in issues if you need to concentrate on the needs of your husband and children, or if your housework is piling up. There is a danger of young women getting too immersed in such issues--after all, they are very compelling, but they can rob you of your concentration for the more important things of marriage, home and family. Your opportunity may come in a different season of your life.

There is a scripture that says if you do what is right, that the results would be:

Lev 26:8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall.

In our case, 5 of us chased 5,000. After pointing out the attack on Christian values in this book, my husband phoned the dean of the college to see if the book had been removed. I reviewed the book in detail and kept a record of the error in it, writing directly into the text itself. I figured that if anyone got ahold of the texbook in the future, they would have the discrepancies written out in front of them and could challenge their teachers. All of us contributed in some way to have the victory. We had planned to warn parents and churches about this, but it was not necessary. The president of the college wrote that it had been removed, thanked us for the work we did, and said he hoped to meet us some day.

Some people asked us: "Why not leave the textbook alone, and let the students refute it to the professors?" We would have done that, had we found a way to distribute the information to the students. We had no access to the students. Most students were trying to pass their courses and get out of there. They did not go to college to challenge anyone, and they did not have the gumption nor the maturity or wisdom to do so. That is why we challenged it.

This happened last January, and now, this January, another person came to us for help. I may have told about it in previous entries on this blog. My friend Lori, whose husband walked out on her after 34 years, had been sued for divorce. She did not want the divorce, and begged him to reconsider. We call it "forced divorce," because the reluctant party has their life torn apart. She did not want to be a divorced person. All her life she worked toward having a happy family and a nice home. Now it was being taken from her.

Having no experience with the law or the courts (never as much as a traffic ticket) Lori went naively into court and lost everything, even the retirement money she had set aside for their future, which would have amounted to regular "wages" for her once she turneed 50. She carefully squirrelled away extra money all those years into savings accounts and retirement accounts, and even bought a house that only owed about $10,000. She had saved enough from her husband's salary in a bank account to completely pay off her debt. Other than that, because she was such a careful manager of money, she had no debt. The family built up their coffers by the sacrifices of Lori, who bought her clothes at garage sales, planted a garden, and denied herself luxuries.

My husband and I observed the courtroom proceedures with her and watched as the judged nodded off several times, sleeping, and the lawyer snidely accused Lori of being a "lazy housewife," and told her that at age 50 she was "young enough" to get a minimum wage job and start over. He accused her of squandering money because she had not paid the taxes on the house for the last two years during the divorce proceedings.

My husband, a preacher, attempted to talk to the husband, but he would not cooperate, and was determined to get out of the marriage. He said he just "wanted to be happy." We then read the judge's ruling, with the following comments:

"Husband is not obligated to pay support to Wife to live a life of leisure,"

"Wife has no intention of getting a job. She seems to have taken the position that just because she raised her own chldren and cared for the house all her adult life and because this is a long term marriage, that Husband now owes her support."

"Husband is not obligated to fully subsidize a life of leisure for Wife.."

"Wife's mother owns property and has money that could be used as a marital asset" (in other words, let her mother support her)

Spousal support from a man who earns $5,000 a month and who has 3 retirement accounts worth half a million dollars was awarded to Lori for $200.00. She was ordered to get a job. She was being punished for being a homemaker and a faithful wife and mother for 34 years.

Lori was left with the most worn out car and lives in the country, far away from any kind of employment. She had her propane tank taken out by the company because she could not afford it any more. She was the frugal wife who bought her clothes at yard sales and grew her own garden for family food. Now, after 34 years, she was being sued and punished.

I wrote all this to tell you the power of one person. My husband preached a sermon about the power of one, but I have never been able to find it and share it with anyone, so I thought I would test out the idea.

On one of those freaky nights that I could not sleep, I got online and examined the state law regarding divorce and spousal support. I found it very easy to understand, very concise, and very short. I emailed the lawyers and the judge and asked them to obey the law. It said that the wife was to be given suport based on the longevity of the marriage and based on her needs. I hammered that home to them several times, showing them that they must obey the law. I told them I saw this as a blatant attack on career homemakers, in an attempt to punish them and force them out in the work force.

In my letter I reminded them that the world was watching this case, and that it would be written about on a very important site that gets over 100,000 new views per day-- www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org I asked the lawyers and the judge to create the ending for this story and showed them how they could either become heroes or scoundrels, depending upon what they did.

I am only one person. I was quite skeptical that anyone would pay attention to me. They might put me down as some wacked out extremist and dismiss my emails.

I emailed my comments to the judge (whose name was Murphy, and who made ups several of his own laws, (for example, "the wife can be supported by the mother", and "The mother's land can valued and be subtracted from the amount husband owes wife") which I called "Murphy's Laws" in my letter. I encouraged him to do what was right and obey the state law, rather than Murphy's law.

The letter was also to be given to Lori's lawyer, who had failed her miserably while living on a retainer from her for two years (the money she had put in savings to pay off the remaining debt of her house). Lori wanted to take the letter herself at her appointment on Tuesday. I was to accompany her. I emailed the letter to the judge, (which was just a copy of the letter to the lawyer, not an actual letter to the judge) thinking that the lawyer would get his letter within a few hours.

The phone rang and Lori informed me that something strange had happened. Her lawyer had cancelled the appointment because the judge had suddenly called both lawyers into his chambers. He was headed for the courthouse and couldn't meet with her after all. He would not say why.

The judge called them in to inform them about my letter. Since the lawyer had suddenly cancelled our appointment, he did not get the letter. He was shocked to hear the judge say that in view if this letter, the ruling he sent out was not exactly "final."

We know not what his final ruling will be, but I just wanted to tell you ladies that homemakers have more power than they know, if they do what is right. God will requite (repay, compensate) and compensate them for injustice done them and for the good that they have done in their lives. There is a judicial attack against the Biblical wife, mother and homemaker, all over the country.

However, we can't sit back and say "oh,well, that is the way it is. Our judges and lawyers and courts are so corrupt." As citizens we have a duty and an obligation to see that our public servants (including judges) OBEY THE LAW instead of making up their own. This is how they are changing our land and making it miserable to live in our own country--and we can correct it. You have to correct them the way you correct your children--at the slightest infraction. If you don't, you have a bigger problem later.

The point of this is, I only had to leave my home one time, to accompany my husband to the courtroom to observe the proceedings (a polite word for "shennigans!) and from then on, I used my computer and the telephone. It took very very little time. My laundry was caught up, my beds made, the kitchen clean, and meals still on time. I'm not saying everyone should do this, but there are seasons in people's lives where something like this could be done. I am not saying homemakers would make a steady habit of this kind of thing. Maybe one person would do one thing one time in their life. If that happened,it would still be very effective.

The year before last, I wrote to a local paper to show the problem of the nude calendar that the farmers had put out and the bad influence it had on our town and our youth. When others saw the letter, they got up the courage to join in protest. This year, the calendar is not being sold.

When you read this you might think I have been awfully busy, but remember, these were incidents that took place one time each year. The rest of the year was spent normally. I am not always embroiled in some kind of controversial battle. The Bible says that there are some people who do not sleep unless they are doing wrong. There are those who cannot sleep when they see wrong being done, and cannot sleep unless they do right. So if you are the sleepless type, you can use that time be helpful.

(Pro 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall)

Homemakers: These are our courts and our laws. This is our land. Our judicial system is based on the Bible. The Bible is full of laws and statutes. The lawyers and courts and even the laws are now threatening the homemaker's rights to be what God allows them to be: wife, mother and homemaker for a lifetime. If you would like a copy of the 9 page letter I sent to the lawyer and the judge, please email me ladylydiaspeaks@comcast.net This is our country but it is being subtly taken over and the laws changed through the courts. Our laws were designed by our forefathers to protect the innocent and punish the wicked, not the opposite.


If you want to put a stop to it, then when an opportunity arises--such as when you hear about something or see something, you as a citizen have a right an and obligation to correct our government and appeal to them to do that which is right. I am happy to report to you that this effort cost me nearly nothing but a little time, some paper and ink.

What I am saying is: you don't need a huge organization behind you to have power. You don't need the NOW, and you don't even need Christian organizations. You don't need an act of congress. You don't need new laws. All is needed is for one person to make another person obey the laws that already exist. Although I hate the no-fault divorce law, I was able to use that against them, because they weren't obeying it. They were finding fault with Lori and using her homemaking career as an excuse to punish her.

Here is a link to a very interesting letter from a lawyer, showing the divisive tactics they use to split up a couple's assets and make the couple hate each other and ensure that there will be a divorce http://www.divorceinfo.com/letterfromlawyer.htm

61 comments:

Tracy said...

What a wonderful post! I totally agree with you...what power we have and in so many ways, right from our own homes.

Thank you for your wisdom this morning!

Blessings,
Tracy

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great friend you are to help out Lori like that. Not only that but to step up and stand up for what is right. Bravo.
When the time comes for me to step up, I will do it. Thanks,

Candy in Canada~

Terri said...

Brava, Lady Lydia!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these inspiring words. It is refreshing to see that there is something that can be done about these types of legal issues. And what a wonderful ministry opportunity for women with older or adult children, and also for those who do not yet have children! As a very busy homeschooling mother of 5, I cannot join in with the letter-writing, but will keep this a matter of prayer. It is so exciting to think of the impact that just one woman can have on the world!

Mrs. Monise said...

Great Post and very very inspiring! It does take just one person to make a difference but we have been hoodwinked to think that we need more then one person or we have to wait for someone to do it for us. The media and School System are trying and sometimes succeeding in making us Lazy and non-responsive and non-reactive.

I am gong to email you for a copy of the letter I would love to read it!

Liz said...

I was not able to use the link, and I would very much like to see it. What is the name of the Blog it is on?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Blog name is: Psychology: Core Concepts Fifth Edition Review

Viewer discretion advised, due to the textbook content.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, what a beautiful thing you did! God is obviously working through you for the good of all.

in His peace,
Melody

Anonymous said...

Very timely post. I might add, however, that many of us with young children should be involved with textbook issues, especially since our children may enter the school system someday. As a Catholic mother, I am finding it to be unhappily true that we are having a hard time finding a school for our children -- and our motto has been "Catholic school or bust" so to speak. Unfortunately we are not finding that the Catholic schools are teaching Catholicism any more. When I was teaching school, I insisted on parents coming to observe my classroom so they knew what I was teaching before they put their children in my class. This way they were fully informed. Parents simply MUST observe classrooms before they enroll their children in school. You just can't afford not to.

Even though our oldest is only three, we have decided to homeschool because we just can't find a school for our children. The one we have found, we can't afford.

Young mothers, please, for the sake of your children, keep abreast of the textbooks and their content. Your children's salvation depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Case in point,I have told you dear ladies that you can't depend on a man to take care of you. I have seen this happen time after time. Women need to be well educated so they can support themselves if something like this happens. A woman without marketable skills is too vunerable. It breaks my heart to see something like this happen to a dear lady who has spent her life caring for her husband and children to have your best friend betray you like that and desert you. It must be heartbreaking. I don't say get marketable skills because I think taking care of one's husband and children arent' worth it because it is. I just hate to see ladies tossed away like nothing and have to live in poverty.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Anonymous: Your comment is completely beside the point here. Marketable skill or not, the husband who walks out on a 34 year old marriage must pay his wife what she has earned. Marketable skills change over the years and if one wanted to keep up with marketable skills they would have to go to a new training center every year and train for a new marketable skill. Even in a business a company cannot dismiss a 34 year employee and deny him his retirement. Housewives have NO TIME to produce marketable skills, which are rather elusive, any way. All homemaking, marriage and motherhood are skills that can be used if necessary. Growing a garden is a skill. Lori was not without "marketable skills." That has nothing to do with this case or the case of any housewife. Marketable skills only harms them because then the husband and the state will expect them to work, even during their marriage, and to do that, they would have to neglect their home. I did not prove your point by this article, at all.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

This was very encouraging! Working with the 'powers that be" can be so daunting for someone like me who is very introverted, but being able to do it in writing makes the world of difference (introverts are more comfortable writing). So I was very encouraged by your story and think it was wonderful what you did. We may be in God's hands but we are still God's hands for one another, and so we can't just sit back silently and watch things like this. Its so encouraging to see how you really did make a difference.

PS I couldn help but be curious about something though: why didnt the church step in in the interum so she didnt have her propane taken away and the like while this was still a crisis?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Also, if she has a so called marketable skill, the court will reduce the amount that was rightfully hers, which she earned by saving and investing, and working at home for her family. They subtract your salary or income from what the jilting husband is supposed to get. That is how it got reduced to $200.00. By some sneaky mathematics, they subtracted a minimum wage job that she did not even have, from the amount her husband was supposed to give her. That way, she would be forced to work a minimum wage job. The whole point is that if homemakers let them, the courts will force them into labor at the age of 50 or even 60 when they do not have the stamina to start over. Working all those hours a day is a killer; it is harmful. That is why people save for retirement. That is what Lori did. She must get what is due her and not be forced to work. Marketable skills is not the point.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Oh, how true!

When I lived in Iowa (following my husband's career), I had a teenage daughter and a toddler son but I was asked to head up my county's Concerned Women For America drive against the passage of the ERA in Iowa. (The second time they tried to get it through.)

In all the papers, it was a given that this would pass. I think the statistical chance for the passage was something like 95%.

Well, all I did was work on a mailing that went to all registered voters in our county (which was one of the larger counties in Iowa). All the mailer showed was...the legal truth of the Equal Rights Amendment. There were women all over the state doing the same thing from their homes. My husband and daughter helped stuff the envelopes and take ALL of them to the Post Office.

The Equal Rights Amendment was defeated in the state of Iowa, much to the absolute shock of the everyone. It doesn't take a very big David to beat Goliath when we do just a little with what He has given.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
As someone who was also wronged in a divorce that I did not apply for, I can say to you - God bless you for what you are doing for this friend of yours.

I was not married as long, about 11 years, when my ex filed. He had agreed to pay me a certain amount for x-amount of time because of my health - and when he filed for divorce he stopped all payments. We had a paper that was notarized/signed by us both but I was told by my lawyer that basically it would not stand up in court.

In the end I ended up with a small sum of money to help pay my health insurance for 18 months and that was all. What money I did have I had already invested in mutual funds and was penalized for having to take it out so I would be able to pay for living expenses. I was told by my lawyer that we could continue to pursue this matter in court, but I was so very stressed by the divorce and a huge loss in my life (a death) that I just wanted it to be over (& there was no guarantee that I would end up with anything). My ex took advantage of that fact. His decision/choices hurt me badly, but in the end I know he has to stand before God.

However, even though I am happily remarried, I still have that financial fear that one day I could have nothing.

Dear Lady Lydia, how does a homemaker still love God and her husband, yet not be unwise in not having money to take care of herself if something were to happen one day (whether it be divorce/death, etc)? I do not have friends, children or family that I can fall back upon, and with my health, I would not be able to rely upon being able to work much either. Personally, I am starting to put money aside (my husband is aware of this, so I am not being dishonest). I put aside extra from the household budget - and it is not put in a bank, so that government can take it from me someday as well. To me there is a fine line between loving/trusting and being wise with one's money also. I learned a hard lesson for sure. I would love to hear your input on this.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, here is the problem: husbands now leave their wives knowing they can get away with it and someone else will pick up their responsiblity, whether it be the state or the church. We've had several jilted women and we have no money. Most people are broke these days and cannot pay for someone's propane. However, if she is cold, she can go to her mother's house or her sister's house or I can have her in my house. If the church pays a bill for her, it will be added to her income, and then subtracted from what her husband was supposed to give her. If anyone gives her anything and she puts it in the bank, it will be counted as income, and counted against her. Also, if word gets out that the church paid her propane there will be phone calls and people standing at the door wanting theirs paid for too. If an individual wants to pay for it, a member of a church who has the means, that is okay, but people's propane bills and telephone bills do not come out of the church coffers. This money is contributed throught he sacrificial offerings of the members and it is for evangelism and some benevolence--however if the part that was used for benevolence has been used up for the year, then it has to come out of an individual's pocket. It is not good that men think the church will just step in when they step out.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The second point is Wendy, that she would not take the money, or accept help from the church. I don't know where everyone's pride is these days. I wouldn't take the money either, and my parents never accepted the money when the church offerred them money in hard times.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

In answer to how to protect yourself:

You can get a sister, mother or friend to have an investment or account in their name, if you trust them. The problem with this is, some people may let greed kick in, and find a way to cheat you.

Putting money away in your own name will not help, either, as it will be called a marital asset and you will be required to divide it.

It is best to prevent divorce, and most people, even with severe problems, could survive a crises without a divorce, if it were not so easy to get a divorce.

Also, feminism which was supposed to "help" the woman with an easy divorce get out of a difficult marriage, has come back to sting the most innocent of us all--the full time homemaker, because the men began to use the same freedom to divorce their wives.

The point of my article was this: the laws are already there to protect you, but you have to watch the judges and lawyers and make them obey the law.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I hope it is obvious what happened in this case: homemakers are being punished and forced out of the home, forced to work. It isn't just forced divorce, it is forced labor. If women can't be convinced to give up homemaking and get a job outside the home, then the judges will find a way to break them and punish them later. But there are also laws that will protect the homemaker as there are any employee wrongly treated by his employer.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

My goodness! How my heart is breaking for poor Laurie and how I cheered inside upon reading of your steadfast support and determination to see things right - properly right. Your comments concerning just doing one thing per year, for instance have made me think; if each one of us who writes, contributes to or simply reads blogs such as this, holding biblical beliefs with regard to right and wrong, who is in a season of their lives when time allows acted, just once, in a way that to the world may or may not seem minor (an admonishing letter, contacting one's MP, (Member of parliament for those of us in Australia, Canada, the UK and New Zealand) letters and emails to media bodies, how much good would be done...

Those of you in Australia would be all too aware of Dr. Phillip Nitchke and his ajenda...well, he's at it again; trying to overturn current laws that his disgraceful programme of euthanasia may be once more made legal.Aussie ladies, if you've the time and are in the season of life where you can make a simple stand, write, to your MP, the Prime minister even; they will listen. If enough people write from around the nation, they've got to listen. For us here in Australia, where the erly colonies were established as prison colonies, we may not have the Biblical founding fathers to fall back upon but our nations laws and legislations (or those made pre 1960's at any rate) (whether judges and polititians wish to recognize it or not) can be traced directly to Biblical principles (though they'll be awefully quick to state they simply reflect commonly held universal ethics and standards - simply so they may not obey God or their consciences. Ladies, what are your views concerning this Post Modern obsession in your nations and mine with the separation of church and state? The more I research and read, the more I'm led to believe (though a government cannot legislate for or against any particular denomination and all must come to Christ of their own free will), that Bible based Christianity has as vital a role to play civically in the wider community as it does morally and spiritually in the lives of the individual. As communities have wandered from Christ, so liberal laws supporting abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and homosexual marriage, anti-family industrial and commercial laws, pro-feminist legislation etc have flourished and taken over.

Is there any record of a liberal law (other than the Federal Government here intervening in the mid 1990's to render illegal the Northern Territory pro euthanasia laws?

Above all, everyone whether young or old, with or without children, married or single, can pray for God's sovereignty and truth to reappear in the halls of government the world over.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Mrs. E. Most laws in English speaking countries were Biblically based, and most laws come from the 10 commandments, "Thou shalt not kill" being one of them. If you can find the exact law forbidding murder of the innocent, you can use that when you write to the judge that will be deciding the case. You can't just write a sentimental plea. You have to make them obey the law. If they are in violation of a law, they will feel threatened if someone finds out about it.They could lose their jobs.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

A way to protect your assets would be to find out how to circumvent the banking system. It is through the banks that your money can be taken from you.

Gail said...

You can set up an LLC, or a revocable trust, and make yourself both the trustee and the beneficiary. There are ways to keep assets separate from marital property and I would advise women to look into these issues with an attorney before marriage, if possible. Married women could do this too. Perhaps everyone who marries these days needs a prenuptial agreement. Very sad, isn't it? Of course men leaving their wives high and dry is not a new phenomenon, but perhaps it is happening more these days.

P.S. Lydia, I have added a comment to this post earlier today and to the previous post the other day, but do not see them in the comments. I will sign this as "other" instead of Emmarinda, my blogger name. Maybe that is the problem?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

REgarding not seeing some comments:

There are two views of the comments. One view doesn't show them all. I don't know why. If you click on the title of the article, at the end of the page, you get the article plus comments on the same page without clicking on "comments' The other view is the Homeliving helper main page with several articles. You click on "comment" on the particular article you want. One of these two does not show all the comments.

The feminists/marxist agenda was to get women out of the home and force them into the working world. I did not write the article to warn homemakers to get a job or have "marketable skills," but to show that the judges must obey the law and not be biased toward homemakers just because they didn't work outside the home. They deserve a living wage, too, and especially if they have helped the investment by their time and effort.

It is a pity that a human being is only viewed these days as valuable in a market aspect. There are many people who do things for free. Mothers stay home all day with their children, not thinking of a market value on their time, yet a day care worker is paid. This is the whole marxist mentality.

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady Lydia,

I strongly suspect laws concerning taking of one's life or of life by another have been the one saving grace that has kept Dr. Nitchke at bay for the past eleven years or so. He is a shrewd operator though and would be as versed in the law as those he's fighting; though I must say, his camp revert to sentimentality and not logical legality when pushing their cause - dragging the people along with it, who seem not to consider thinking upon such from the angle of the law or killing of the innocent as applicable; in fact, he and his ilk are desperately trying to have the law effectively re-written in favour of their stand, claiming the above such laws are simply more or less no longer apply in this area in this post modern era. What did christ ask of us? Wise as Serpents, Gentle as Doves (in other words, beat them at their own game). My heart goes out terribly for those in the area of paliative care (the hospice movement etc) who do stand up for life, for right and barely get a mention in the media or public eye at all.

Let us therefore 'Stand in the Gap' as other writers have stated.

This is just the tip of the iceberg here in the wild southern wastes...( Aussie and Kiwi girls, let's stand up where we're able and pray that God's will be done.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, I am so glad to see several articles about the "power of one" on your blog recently. I just finished a college course (at a Christian college) in which two theology professors stood up and told the class that the first three chapters of Genesis never really happened; they're just stories meant to illustrate truths about God. But if they didn't really happen, then our whole faith is built on sinking sand! Your articles have been an encouragement for me to draft letters to both professors on why Genesis must be true. Thank you for writing. Your encouragement may spark something out here in western Michigan.

Anonymous said...

The secular Evolutionary economic rationalists break everything - everyone down into nothing more than their financial worth. We are viewed as little more than economic units (with the benefit of providing more tax dollars to big govt). This is one reason why the law has swung around in favour of today's moddern legislated ills - because the non wage earner (regardless of the individual's capacity to create other forms of income) is seen as all too often a burden, a risk, a liability; especially if that individual has a disability, an illness or is advancing in years. Though this next statement may be viewed with disbelief and repugnance, , a senior US political figure of many years has himself been documented refering to the populus as 'useless eaters' - in the eyes of those pulling the strings of those in power regardless of political affiliation, that's how its seen - through the eyes of power, greed and the opposite of life.

This may be deemed too controvercial for listing with the other comments. Nonetheless, please read and though unpalitable, consider where the prince of this world would wish it to go - for he knows his time is short, therefore he prowls around as a roaring lion, seeking to devour wwhomever he would - indeed; he would seek to deceive even the very elect. Fear not, but be aware.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Pre note: If this is too sidetracking I wont be offended if you dont post it:

Lady Lydia, I guess I still struggle with this issue. When it comes to keeping at home I hear this: do the right thing and in the end it will work out. But when it comes to the church, instead you are cautious there--why cant the church instead be asked to take that same leap of faith that if they do the right thing (in this case carry one anothers burdens) it will all work out?

I guess I have a different view on the base problem there too. I know that you feel that if men see a woman has potential support elsewhere then he will feel more free to flake on her or even leave since she will be taken care of. The way I see it is different: if a man is of ill intent or even just irresponsible, then he will I suspect leave her unsupported regardless of whether the church or state will care for her or not, precisely because an irresponsible etc man doesnt really care what will happen to her. The lack of care from state and church hurts women the most, because they are the most vulnerable. Pulling that safety net away is not going to suddenly make men more responsible I dont feel, I think it will just make neglected women more vulnerable. I think a change of heart for irresponsible men would have to come about through some other way.

I also can't understand why some people think recieving help is such a negative thing, why they put such a judgement there. I'm not talking about cases of a man flaking on his role of providing, or a man or woman neglecting to carry what they are able/meant to, but in someone genuinely needing help. Recieving is just as much a part of life as giving is, and both are going to happen sooner or later. Did Christ wish those He gave to or healed to to feel shame? Were we asked to feel shame when our burdens are borne by another when we bear one anothers burdens as called to?

What's wrong with simply admitting when we need help and graciously receiving that help?

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

I'm not wordy or elequent by any means... but I want to thank you for standing up for your friend. What a blessing you must be to her.

I pray that thar the Lord's face may shine upon you today. GOD BLESS YOU!

Jennifer

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, I think what I say here will help you understand the role of the church and the way the collection is used. In Bible times, women got married or had a father, brother or son care for them in their own home. That does not cost a lot. What costs a lot is when the single woman is out on her own paying rent and having a separate home. The church is not obligated to pay for people's single lives.

Now for the opposite view: if you want to, the next time you write a contribution check to your church, you can write a note on it: this is for the single women's fund. Or, "This is to be put aside for helping any abandoned wife." They will probably do that. They can start such a fund and let people make it their choice to contribute to it.

One problem with supporting single people is that now there are men that are abandoned too, and who is to help them? Sometimes a man loses his job, and the church will give him a one time donation, if he is the breadwinner in his family.

The Bible is full of admonitions for the individual to be compassionate and generous, and you as an individual can collect money and donate it to the church and the church in turn can distribute it to the ones you intended it for. But wouldn't it be easier to just give it yourself? We've had several instances at church where one person took it upon themselves to make a collection and give it to someone in need. You might be thinking that churches are rich, but most of them are highly dependent on the contribution to keep doing the things they need to do: the preacher's living, the missionaries they support, and the benevolent fund. The problem with the benevolent fund is that these days lots of people who are on drugs, who are ruining their lives, turn to the churches when they are down and out, and even admit they have no intention of changing their lives. If we donate to them, we are supporting that life. I was reading Grandma's diaries and they show a pattern from the 1930's to the 1990's when she died. Early, it was church problems she wrote about and toward the 1990's, it was drug problems from non-church people.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Also you need to know that support for women in the church in the New Testament was limited to the aged widow, over 60 years, who had the following qualifications: she had no sons or relatives to help her, she had served in the church all that time and had been faithful.

This does not mean a single woman cannot be helped. It does mean you can help her if you want. But it is disturbing tht the word "help" is so equated with money. The church has helped Lori from the onset of this tragedy. We do not abandon her. We have helped her with meals in our home, visits, being good company for her, always being available if she wants to talk. WE helped her by going to court with her and I helped her by writing to the judge. That is in essence 'the church" helping her because we are members of that church. People use money as an easy cop-out when it comes to "helping". Real help is spiritual help and using your two feet and your two hands to do something. As the welfare state will learn, you can't just push money at a problem and make it go away. You only sustain it that way and not solve it. Real help has to come in other forms. God intended it to be that way because he wants His plan to be followed: men take care of their family.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Please note the link I added to the article at the end.

Wendy, financial assistance is not the point of these kinds of tragedies, although to get what you have saved and planned for is a big part of it. The grieving jilted wife would much rather have her husband back and in her stunned state, she cares not whether she has heat or food. My friend said she couldn't eat, anyway!!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Lady Lydia, A lot to digest and ponder there : ) I was wondering perhaps if you had a reference or link for what you'd mentioned a couple times about the widow help criteria. When was that created--the beginning apostolic (sp?) church or later? Who created it? Why (what was happening at the time etc)? Did it stand alone? Did it differ or not in theory and practice? What about the fatherless etc regardless of age or religion etc?

It says in the Bible so blatently often about caring for the husbandless and fatherless that it just doesnt feel right to me to put some sort of artificial criteria there on something that is clearly (at least I feel it looks clear) such a core area we are told to focus on. If the powers that be are putting criteria there because they feel overwhelmed at helping, to me that is ~not~ a good reason but a way to run. But maybe there really are deeper reasons here besides that that I'm somehow just not getting and should be, and I'd really like to explore this more. But I dont want to sidetrack you any more than is ok here though, so even just a link or two so I can explore would help a lot : )

The part about seeking deeper solutions I deeply agree with. But that has to really include mundane stuff I feel, we are not just spirits but also have bodies and the needs of both are critical.

I do really appreciate you talking about this, and you are giving me a lot to think and pray over...

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

1Ti 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

1Ti 5:9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
1Ti 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
1Ti 5:11 But the younger widows refuse...



Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.


The churches are not obligated to care for single mothers who had children out of wedlock, or for women who have been left by their husbands, however, if a Christian can help, that is more desireable and it would be easier. Again, I will suggest that you put money in the collection with a note that it is for the single mothers fund, or give it to them directly. You can still do it in the name of Christ. The church cannot get into a welfare situation.The contributions are made sacrificially by hard working people who don't have a lot of money. There are scriptures that indicate what the collection is for. The elderly widows definitely are candidates for the church support, but the young women are definitely not, according to scripture. The younger widows were refused church welfare becasue it was known that because of their age and desires, they would naturally want to marry again. And, also, the women on this church support would be expected to serve the church in some way. Younger women would not always be able to do that because of greater responsibilities.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Lady Lydia, I had mentioned this before but just thought I would again: I too feel it is meant to be personal, individual church members directly helping. It is simply that when this fails there must be a safety net in the church proper. Suffering is suffering, it should not be left abandoned--and this is not just for soul suffering but also body suffering. Putting criteria on that just doesnt make any sense to me at all, need is need and pain is pain. But I do really want to learn more here, and am looking at all you've said. Thank you for replying so thoughtfully here, its really been appreciated : )

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, in the spiritual realm of the gospel of Christ, pain, poverty, inequality and sufferring are taken in a totally different light than the humanist world takes it. The humanist/socialist/marxist/feminist goals are to end inequality, pain and poverty. These things, Jesus said "will always be with you." He admonished his disciples to lay up for themselves treasures in heaven. This would be things that keep the soul, such as purity, obedience, good works, etc. James admonishes us to visit the widows and the orphans in their affliction, and there is probably a Greek meaning to that word "visit" that goes a little deeper than dropping by and saying hi, how are you. The people before us understood this and they took baskets of food and offerred comfort in other ways. There is no mandate for a church to hand out welfare to people or be a back up for people when they go broke or have problems in their lives. As I said before, the person we mentioned such as the unwed mother or the abandoned mother, needs to keep on contributing to the church rather than expecting something. The bible clearly teaches that it will be multiplied to them when they are cheerful givers. And also like I said, people ought to put their money where their mouth is. If they are whining for a church to "do" something, they ought to give their money to that church and say that it is for a certain benevolent effort. There is no way around it. I can't establish policy for the church. I can't change what the Bible says. (It limits women's welfare to the older widows, and does not allow it to the younger ones.) I can't change what people do. The only thing you can do Wendy, if you want something done, is to do it yourself. You don't have to wait and make a church do it.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sisters,

I've been holding off weighing into the Christian support network/creteria/responsibility debate in an attempt to gauge where a level of understanding based upon scriptural mandate may be better understood and worked out. Though based upon testamony and example, rather than the source of the directive itself, my own childhood experience may better illustrate the concepts which can be challenging in this modern day. When growing up our family was, I'll mince no words, poor (following my father leaving my mother). at the time she received a small pension and proceeded to rent state-provided accomodation as the former was too expensive. For a while she did work part time, but gave it away after a year or so to come home (two little ones, ageing parents and the onset of poor health adding to the burden). Though heating was more regularly than not in short supply (thankfully our winters here are nothing compared to the Northern equivalent) ability as a dress maker, knitter and good cook even then ensured we never went without clothing or a good meal, simple as it may have been (the cheaper cuts of meat for example that folk simply don't use today being regular items upon our plates). As I grew into a teen, ladies from church would provide me dresses and one dear darling lady even offered to take care of me when mum went into hospital full time (sadly, I was allowed to get away with politely declining, fearful of having to learn a new neighbourhood and even more fearful of living with someone not of my new denomination wherein we were taught to believe we were the only true remnant and I was frightened of being exposed to apostacy; mixed with a level of unchecked teen rebelliousness; not of the sort my peers endulged in, but rebelliousness anyway (a love of computers and computing; fearing I'd not be able to pursue this in my offered accomodation - narrow was I of thought - though in hindsight, it would have been the best thing for me). My uncle interstate I believe may well have made offers for us all to move in with or near to them early on in the piece, though my education (disabled education in that state consisting of boarding school only) plus distance from my father ruled it out). What I'm attempting to say is, even if the state-based accomodation and income weren't there, ways and means would have been there that would have prevented us from winding up destitute. Additionally, if food ran low after prayer, someone would bring a hamper of fresh vegetables, groceries etc, completely unexpected. Another time, as an older teen, a lady from church whose husband worked for a major toiletries company here gave me a huge box of stuff - good quality shampoo, conditioner, dove soap, teen perfume spritzers (you know the kind of product) and so on. I've even been blessed with shoes on occasion - having a VERY small foot necessitating only being able to purchase shoes in my size from one or two retailers in Sydney costing an arm and a leg - I've developed getting the most out of footwear into a fine art (all footwear being between two and 5 years old). In turn, as a young thirty-something, prior to marriage, I had the opportunity to pitch in and help some poor elderly members of my congregation with food hampers I'd made up when I felt called to do so , clothes (as I dress rather conservative in a non-age-defined manner these two went to my friend) plus helping others with bils, gifts of money for specific purposes, cooking meals, giving encouragement, at one point being the local 'stageing post' living in a thoroughfaire where most people I knew had to drive in order to get from A to B, folk dropping in at the drop of a hat for a cuppa (if the the front door was open, screen dorr locked of course, it meant I was home, if not, they knew I was out (smile). The congregations I've been part of for most of my life have not been wealthy; barely able to pay their own bills and expenses - I commend the St. vincent de Paul Society, Anglicare, the Salvation Army, ADRA etc for the work they do, whether it's the running of op-shops where you canbuy second hand clothing (free if you're really struggling) receive a food hamper etc; its all good. One church I attended with many poor operated a pantry for its neediest folk; we that could would donate to it and the deconesses and shepherdesses would do their wonderful work. This was all initiated by the membership and not the Church, so as people were convicted and able, they gave; I've both given and received in my life and the one thing overarching it all has been faith. Faith in the Lord to provide when the chips have really and truly been down. He has not disappointed - even in my grimmest hour, I've never gone without a nutricious meal, somewhere to sleep or something to wear and I've known tough times indeed.

When we're down and out, God sees our need and provides for it as He sees fit; How often do I read of the work amongst Blind Christians in a country like malawi or Romania (through Torch Trust for the Blind, www.torchtrust.org) where despite their poverty, their joy in Christ is so much fuller than hours for they know this life is not the end...indeed, I've read and heard where so many of them pray for we the church in the west that we may too be visited that our faith may be increased, for they possess a certainty in Christ Jesus that transcends the cares of this life.

It's funny, you know, the poorer the community, the more vibrant the music, the families, the clothing; look at Africa, Asia and India with their bright robes, their up-beat music, their smiles, their dignity through it all. After the tsunami, a washed-out home was shown on the television; schoolbooks still scattered around, Christian verse and pictures adorning the walls of the modest dwelling - a testament to their faith despite poverty. Tragically the family was washed away, but how they'll be rejoiceing with our heavenly Saviour now (also interesting for those who believed such a disaster was visited upon the people for unbelief - a good many were Christian, especially in Sri Lanka where the story was shot).

What a merciful God we serve, that he has specifically asked us not to worry after the food on our tables and clothes on our backs for, if He provides for the Birds of the air and flowers of the field who neither till the soil or spin their cloth, how much more will He provide for us; for He knows we need these things. God knows we'll tend to anxiety, that's why he's gently reminded us not to; to give it up to Him.

blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Lady Lydia, Its so true that an individual doing something has a big impact. Its what you did of course for your friend in such legal trouble spoken of in this post. There's a wonderful qoute, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." And I think that's true, its the foundation really. But I still dont think that just lets larger instututions off the hook.

I guess it comes down to some core differences in belief. I realize now that i don't share the same views on suffering as you do so perhaps that is why we see things so differently here. Its so amazing how scripture can speak to different people in such different ways, like a parent finding different ways to reach different children. I'm sure you have been given the understanding that you need on these things through your own opening there. And at the same time this little child over here (me of course, lol) has heared something very different. My understanding of "the poor will always be with you" is that its something we somehow need. That we need for some reason to always be helping each other, to be on either side of that: either healing or healed, helping or helped. Carrying one another's burdens. Not just for some abstract reason but because its intrinsic to our very humanness, will always be with us.

So yes, suffering and injustice and the like will always be with us in some way, but I feel that is because there is a healing and learning we humanly need in that reaching out and also being reached out to. One of the quotidian mysteries if you will, one of those things that is meant to be done over and over again, like worship or prayer or cooking or cleaning. And just like all those things, just because we have to do it over again and and again does not mean we should neglect doing it, but rather the opposite. Those things are set up needing to be repeated becuase for some reason deep down we need them to be.

Another difference in view probably is I dont believe in a downplaying of the body. Its true that we are not to get materialistic and hoard our treasure here, or to focus on what the world deems as successful and showy. Its true that we are to focus on the inner invisible qualities of virtue. But this does not translate into a downplaying of the body or needs of the body for me. The actual life of Christ speaks more loudly here to me than anything else because He reached out and healed our bodies, eased suffering, He didnt downplay it and detach from it but rather showed just how important that was to reach out to. He also didnt engage in a mere abstract spiritual way to save us either, His body and suffering and heroism were involved. He was/is the rescuer, we the rescued. Something about this tangible rescue/rescued, helped/helper thing, it just seems to be deeply important for us at a core level.

You make such an excellent point about just doing it though. Kind of like your post awhile back where you had said rather than battle about whether keeping at home is valid to instead use that same energy to just do it well. There is something so key there I feel...now to find a way...

Anonymous said...

Hip Hip Hurrah for lady Lydia, I am a Muslim Woman, and I cheer for you, Christian, Muslim or any other religion, home makers are under attack everywhere.

God Bless you with peace and harmony in your life always.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

< What costs a lot is when the single woman is out on her own paying rent and having a separate home. The church is not obligated to pay for people's single lives. >

Lady Lydia,
While I enjoy your blog, much of what you write comes from rose colored glasses. You make the world sound so perfect back in times past but it wasn't.
Listen-what's a woman to do, who has small children, and who has been abandoned by her husband? What if he died and left her a widow? The church wouldn't help her unless she was over 60? What if she had no father or brothers to take her in? Is she not entitled to a home of her own? What do you expect her to do, go back home and live with her parents when she has been used to being a homemaker in her own house?
If my dh died suddenly, I'd be up a creek. I come from a non Christian home. I have no home to return to. Literally. My dad is dying of cancer on his boat and my mom rents a small cottage with help from my sis and bil. I have no brothers. I am the only Christian in my family. What would you have me do?
I'm sorry, but the Body of Christ would HAVE to step in and help me. I have 5 children that I homeschool and I don't believe in working outside the home. The only way I would be able to stay home is if someone helped me financially-i.e. the Church.
The things you write sound all well and good but some of your answers to real life problems aren't realistic!
Jo

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I've stated before, and will again: each one of us has to have a servant's heart, not an attitude of being served. In dire circumstances, give, and serve others and it will be meted back in some way. No one should expect a church to pay their rent unless they have been faithful members and have served unselfishly, and even then, if they have the proper amount of pride, they ought not to desire it. Each of the church members works hard with their own hands to contribute sacrifically to the church contribution. If one single mother who has been jilted will collect from the church funds, there will be hundreds of others expecting it too. We can't be a burden on the church or on others if we have any dignity. No matter what happens to us, there are ways around being dependent upon church welfare. The church is a spiritual body designed by God to worship him and to serve Him. In doing so, the members may help each other as they are able. In my friend's case, she would not want to take money from the church at all. I don't understand why anyone would WANT to take charity. I am not saying the churches do not offer. My son broke his arm when he was a little boy and a local church offerred to pay the medical expenses, but we didn't want to, since we were all able bodied, so we didn't accept it. We thought it would be better to give it to someone who had worse needs. But be that as it may, if people keep insisting that the church be a back up plan for jilted women, there will be fraud and there will be people who will take advantage of this. Let Christian's help if they desire, (which ends up being better, and more) but leave the church alone unless you are going to set up a special fund. You who say you would be up the creek, and have to depend on the church--are you contributing a substantial amount to ensure that money will be available to you? Are you personally helping those jilted women out of your own pocket today? Whatever you give out will come back to you in the measure you gave, and more. I'd liked to drop the subject. If you want things a certain way, then do it yourself. Read this thread and see all the suggestions that were made.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The other problem is that if such a donation is made from the church, then money also should be given to abandoned men who have responsibilities at home, and need to hire babysitters, housekeepers, cooks, and so forth. There are also runaway teens that need help. If such funds are given to unwed mothers, then runaway teens, or teens kicked out of their homes, should also receive help. That is why there is a difference between the contribution into the church treasury and the individual help that can be given. With an individual, you are not limited in any way in giving and helping, but with the church treasury, it will be controlled by elders and deacons. The NT sets it aside for certain things, which I mentioned in previous posts.

While a plea can be given to them for help, it is a lot easier just to collect it yourself and give to the needy person. As I said, back up your concerns by putting the money into the cause yourself.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hugs to anonymous. And you arent alone, there are others who feel similar even if invisible (not everyone is comfortable posting a voice of dissent as that's difficult). I feel very strongly that there is nothing wrong with needing help, or gracefully accepting it should that ever need be. It is part of being human. I truly doubt Christ expected us to feel a weight of shame at His help given, I think He rather wanted us to recieve it gracefully and gratefully and grow from it. And I doubt very much in bearing one anothers burdens there is supposed to be a shame encouraged either, I think it is the opposite where the giver should be assuring the reciever that no shame is needed. Giving graciously rather than shame inducingly is as important as recieiving graciously.

I agree we should practice in some way what we hold dear. This doesnt have to always involve money (not all of us have it) and it doesnt even have to be visible it can simply be in the way we treat others, our lack of judgement for their need, our kindness, that has more impact than most realize I feel. However when a person or institution is in a place of authority that changes things, and then things like financial help I think should be more likely expected from such when needed.

I'm so glad Lady Lydia has been gracious enough to engage in this subthread even though some of us dissent from how she views this. It takes a very gracious blog to do that : )

And who knows how we will all feel later. Sometimes change works slowly in a person's heart. For instance, I know what I hold dear now, but years from now I may find either He has helped me deepen it or I may find He has shaken things up. We can't predict. We never know where we might be learning from and how...

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Churches do "help" but the difference between what the world perceives as "help" and what the spiritual type of help we engage in, is material.

As I said before, socialists view christianity in a monetary way--they think that if you are really a Christian, you ought to put money into something to prove your love.

Everytime the humanists/socialist/marxist/feminist wants "help" they mean money. They have always wanted churches in their own image.

In the church, the help we give people is for their souls, to live according to scripture, to have peace with God.

our requests for "help" now and 40 years ago, I can tell you there is a vast, vast difference. People used to come to the church for help if they had messed up their lives and wanted to get back on the right road.

The church was there to provide spiritual support and fellowship. Over the years it evolved into "I want money only."

Towards the 60's, people started asking for money for gas for their cars, and money for motels.

Later on into the 80's they wanted money for their rent. Just lately, they want money for full support while they do nothing to help themselves.

If women have husbands, the husbands ought to work and provide for them. Without husbands, it depends on the circumstances. Some women go from man to man and never get married, having one child after another. We are not obligated to support that life style. Other women do not live according to the word of God and actually do things to drive off their husbands. Still others do not live under their father's protection and authority, choosing to rebel and go live on their own so they can do as they please.When they fall into hard times, we are not obligated to support them.

If the church or the state picks up the tab for everything, or throws money at everything to solve problems, the lessons will not be learned, and there will be chronic problems that never get better.

People will never have victory over their problems if money is used as a cover up. Women should work if they have messed up their own lives through rebellion.

There are a lot of them who embraced feminism, got divorced several times and then ended up destitute and want the church to pick up the pieces.

I think most church members have grown wise to this and are more selective in who they help. Even Jesus did not help everyone, and although he fed them, he did not give them money to pay their debts or their rent.

It was said of his healing, that "The lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." Jesus gave people what they needed. Notice that although the lame walked, the poor had the gospel preached to them rather than given money.

Those who continually tear down their own lives, are given the thing that applies to their root problems: the gospel. We have helped many people, had them living in our house, taken their children while they were in prison, cleaned up their houses, bought clothes for them, even paid bills for them, and we certainly don't mind doing that. But it is becoming harder for us to do that, as they have drained the church and they have drained our energy, when they are all able-bodied and educated enough to work.
'
Even the women should work rather than be a burden on the church, if the problems they have are a result of bad choices--including drugs.

We have cleaned houses and bought groceries for people. As I said before, even Jesus was selective and His main goal was to teach the lost.

As people fall more into line with the teachings of the Bible, they will find less need to depend on the state or the church for their physical needs, and be more able to help others instead.

We have found that we are getting more selective in who we help, because of the tendency that people have now to sue churches.

One church helped a woman with children and she sued them because she did not like their preaching against homosexuality, and she also didn't like the teaching she was hearing against living together without marriage.

She had taken everything the church had given her--food, money, helping with children, etc. and then she sued them and got all their savings plus their insurance plus more that the judge awarded her.

So we still have to be careful and selective. For Wendy, I would say, just start helping people yourself and you will discover some lessons about it and learn where you are most needed. There is a scripture about casting your pearls before swine, lest they turn and rend you.

You still have to be careful. Women and men who have served the church faithfully and been full of good works and generosity themselves over the years, would be the kind that I personally would help if a disaster hit them, and of course, I would help my neighbor.

But most of us have no money, and little churches have no money except to pay their monthly expenses, and so we have to learn to look at "help" in a different way besides money.

amy said...

Thank you Lady Lydia for writing this. By all means being a tender of the home does not leave us powerless. We are members of a national and local homeschool legal group and generally it is I that write the letters to our legislators and forward the email notice to all my fellow homeschooling moms. They make a difference! We have a wonderful Senator who has returned our messages graciously, even when we disagree. One thing that is sure to get you noticed, write words of encouragement on as often as you are able. They will remember you and be even more willing to listen when you must deal with something critically. Oh, always pray first, before you write, when your dander is up so you can be sure to have a right attitude in your words and that God's power will be worked through them (and to help you remember that the final outcome rests with the LORD).

Anonymous said...

The book of James deals with the spirit and practicality of this issue brilliantly, encapsulating the essence of faith and Christian support of one another. My jaw dropped upon reading of the church being sued for preaching what the Bible says. Similar court action is going on here in australia concerning different, though no less 'controvercial' topics in Melbourne.

In my time I've helped and been helped when my back's been against the wal and that of others too - the help which meant most to me has been that of practical nature rather than $$$ - in 2003, the wife of my landlord of four years became gravely ill and they could no longer have tennants so I descretely put in my notice. In the meantime, whilst looking for new accomodation, I had a fall which kept me off my foot for some time (note to the wise - one can't use crutches when significantly VI). For a month, friends put me up kindly in their homes as I recovered/looked for a new place to live, as my home, with steps into the bathroom etc was unworkable). in my situation, as revealed previously, going back home to my father and step mother was not practical - they believing adult children should be independant etc, also being non Christian and not holding the beliefs we hold). God provided and an ideal little place came up with affordable rent - in my adult life, I've always rented privately up till marrying. God provided. Christian friends prayed, a place came up, faith combined with practical action solved the problem. Folks on both sides of the Christian help fence, read james, read jesus' exortations for what we're to do, remember what He says about visiting the prisoner, clothing the naked, giving food to the hungry etc - its there along with warnings not to 'cast pearls before swine' as lady Lydia mentioned. over and above everything, faith needs to be the driving force by which we help or receive help. Remember the early church in jerusalem pulled together. Remember Jesus' counsel not to be anxious for the day, what one will eat or wear, for our Father in heaven knows we need these things. I've been in rebellion, in diaar straights, in penury and in comparitive plenty. all the time, God never let go of me, providing for my needs and bringing me back. The road's been hard and at times very painful, but it's been the people, the little things, the private, quiet acts of kindness rather than an amorphus church programme that have sustained me in times of need - those people gave me an example to live by and encouraged me to also help when needed - along with discerning just how to offer help and, rarely, has it been with $$$. The gift of a battered old Braille new testament, loved and well-read over its 47 year old lifespan (now in desperate need of re-binding), its the lovely dress another church lady no longer needs, its the designer suit (laura Ashley to be exact) discovered for next to nothing in an op-shop when I've been rebuilding my life and had nothing nice to wear to church. and all this without the luxury of two good eyes...might write an article (smile).

blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.
PS: for folk struggling with this issue, I probably haven't answered any questions - rather made a hundred more crop up. God will guide you upon where you're needed in His plan. James is such an excellent commentator upon what to do in the church and how to interact with our brothers and sisters. So is Paul, and, Jesus Himself speaks volumes. Yes, hardships and the cares of this life will not be eliminated till christ returns and takes us home;This world is imperfect, full of man's greed, corruption and imperfections that will not be fully stamped out until Christ returns in Glory; remember, those who are acting immorally concerning their treatment of others will be brought to book - read what james has to say about those who hoarded wealth - the wages unpaid to their labourers crying out against them. Its hard; there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to the world's problems; all we can do is give it to God and bring a little sunshine into our patch knowing it will not go on like this forever, that the innocent will be avenged by our Mighty Saviour, that we're not to fear those who break the body, but rather also break the spirit.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, due to the different policies regarding church budgets, etc., it is still simpler and answers your questions a lot better if you become a "do it yourself er" We are supposed to be self-governed, and as such, we don't need to depend on organizations, lawyers, church leaders, groups, etc. before we can get things done. We need to take care of things ourselves. I told you also that over the years, as society has gotten more into drug related problems, the demands that people make on churches has become desire: from needing a car repair or food in the 50's, on to bus tickets and paying for gas in the 60's, then to wanting phone bills paid in the 70's, and rent in the 8o's and in the 90's people held out their hands for child care while the parents went to jail. Now in the 2000's they want support as though we were a husband, or bills paid because they spent money gambling. An individual has more freedom to choose who they will support and "help" financially. As I said before, the word "help" as come to mean money. In the 50's when someone called for "help" it meant they thought they were in deep spiritual trouble and might lose their soul in hell and needed the church to lift them up. Now it means give me money so I can pay my bills. You can solve all these social problems by giving your best help to them when you see them. You have to be able to distinguish between an genuine need, and an able-bodied person who can help themselves.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Also, the faithful members of the church in the new testament were helped first, and non-members do not necessarily have a right to help, although we all do individually help our friends, relatives and neighbors who are not members. As I said before, if you are worried about getting help should you be abandoned, start now putting money in an annuity or a revocable trust, or arrange with a relative or friend for help, or put money in the church treasury and indicate on the donation that it is a special fund. Remember though that the church treasury is not your savings account or your insurance policy. It is a free will and sacrificial offerring in support of the church, not in support of the giver. Even those who are down and out ought to keep on giving. My friend only gives a dollar, where as she used to be able to give more, but it is the spirit of the giving that counts. We are not here to take, but to give.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The subject has gotten away from what I intended: making our public servants obey the law. Judges need to be reminded that what they mete out will be meted back to them one day, and they are responsible to a higher judge. House wives are already protected by laws that are not being enforced. They have earned their future wages and we cannot allow them to be cheated. If judges and jilters think the churches will just be a back up system, they will go on doing as they do, knowing the churches will support the people they cheat.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been away on vacation, so this is the first opportunity I've had to read the new articles and comments.

I wanted to note a couple of things. The first is that, here in Texas, we have "community property" laws, which mean that, unless you agreed to an uneven division before the marriage, spouses share and share alike. It trumps alimony, although spousal support can be ordered for a housewife (to give her support until she can find a decent job or come up with other arrangements). It definitely protects the non-working wife, because not only does she get half of everything they accumulated during the marriage, but also half of the retirement account, etc. I still hate divorce, but at least we get protection here.

The other was the "letter from the divorce lawyer." That's really sad, but it's true of most attorneys. Because I'm an excessively nice person (apparently), I never operated under those conditions. I never represented someone on a divorce issue, but if someone did come to me, I advised them to reconcile. (This is probably why nobody wanted me for a divorce attorney.)

There are alternate reasons why attorneys do some of the things in that letter--for instance, don't talk to your spouse without me being present because with the way you're behaving, I highly doubt you'd be able to have a conversation without coming to blows. While I know that the letter is true of 90% of attorneys, it's not always true. I really don't appreciate it, because I did try to do the right thing, and I always got that kind of skepticism and suspicion from my clients.

Just a note. I'm still kind of sick from yesterday, so if this comment comes off as rather peevish, I apologize; I didn't mean it like that. It's just some of the old hassle from my job: do what's right, and nobody will thank you. The temptation to "not care" is very strong.

Mrs. Bartlett

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Mrs.B. The reason some lawyers don't want their client to talk to the spouse,is that they might be able to work things out. They might reconcile.From the beginning, some lawyers see an advantage in keeping them apart so that they can be assurred of the divorce and the payment for their services. Have a look at this:

Dear client:

I am pleased that you have hired me to represent you in your divorce. I'm pleased because I need the money you and others like you pay me. I'm tired of working with people like you who are always fighting and never happy, and often unhappy with me, but I feel trapped now and don't know how I could change my practice at this point in my career without a huge financial setback, so I hang on and do the best job I can, the best way I know, for clients like you.

If you're like most people going through divorce, you've heard a chorus of voices -- from your mother to your neighbor to the person who cuts your hair -- warning that you better get a mean "junkyard dog" lawyer. I don't like being a junkyard dog lawyer, and I don't think it would be in your best interest for me to be, but I have to give you the impression early on that I am so you will hire me. I don't like doing it, but you demand it, so I do it.

That means that when we met in our first consultation, I talked about how experienced I am. I gave you an optimistic assessment of what you would give up and what you would get working with me. If your spouse had come the same day instead of you and presented the very same facts, I would have given your spouse an equally optimistic assessment from their perspective. I learned long ago not to lose any sleep about doing this. You demand it, and I'm going to give it to you so you will hire me.

You can see what happened now, can't you? I gave you an optimistic assessment of your case from your perspective, then one of my colleagues gave your spouse an optimistic assessment of the case from your spouse's perspective. Together, we worked knowingly or unknowingly to convince both of you that the other is being unreasonable and that you each needed us to win you a better deal.

I told you in our initial consultation that you should avoid communicating directly with your spouse about anything other than parenting of your children. I did this because nothing is so important to me as client control. I want to be the gatekeeper of all communications between you and your spouse, so I can decide how much information to provide to you and what "spin" to put on it. This will make you and your spouse more suspicious of each other, and it will make you more dependent on me. I like that, at least in the early stages of divorce negotiations.

I required you to pay a large retainer when you hired me. I told you that I have a fixed retainer for all divorce clients, or I may have told you that I set your retainer after carefully considering the complexity of your case, the time I expect to put in, and the risk that my estimates might be too low. In reality, though, my technique for setting your retainer was far simpler: I charged the highest retainer I thought I could get. The reason I did this is that the retainer is often the only money I ever see for representing someone in a divorce case. I may try to bill you and get paid later, but many of my clients don't pay me anything after the initial retainer, even though they owe me a great deal of money, and I hesitate to sue them for fear they will counterclaim for malpractice and drive up my insurance premiums. The fact that I have so much trouble getting clients like you to pay me what they owe me is another reason my work is so unpleasant for me.

I also will work to appear successful. I may drive a luxury car and maintain a sumptuous office, because I want you and my colleagues -- especially my colleagues -- to believe that I am earning lots of money. In one sense, I am earning lots of money. I charge a high hourly rate, and I have a great deal of business, so I have high billings. I also have a high overhead, however, and I have trouble getting paid. In reality, I have financial struggles just like you do.

There's more than a 93% chance that your case will settle before trial. Nevertheless, I will prepare your case as if you were going to trial. This will be wasteful and expensive. I will conduct lengthy discovery, including interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and depositions, charging you a great deal of money to prepare documents that I simply have printed from my word processor with minor changes.

I will do this not because it's in your best interest but because I'm afraid of being embarrassed in front of other lawyers and judges and because I'm afraid you will sue me. The result is that you and/or your spouse will spend a great deal of money preparing for a trial we know will almost certainly not occur. I've heard that much of this could be avoided by simply exchanging documents and affidavits, but that's not what I'm used to doing. If there's a better way, I don't know it, and even if I knew it, I probably wouldn't do it. The way I practice law is what I know and understand, and it's safe for me.

I live my professional life in and around the courthouse. I gauge my schedule and my priorities to make sure cases that have an imminent court date are ready to present. This means that if your case doesn't have an imminent court date, it will be hard to get me to focus much attention on it. Your case will move much more slowly than you would like.

When we are at the courthouse, there will be huge blocks of time when I will leave you alone while I negotiate or just swap stories with your spouse's lawyer. Every now and then, I'll report back to you on progress and tell you how negotiations are going. You probably will find it jarring that I'm so friendly with your spouse's lawyer. Remember, you and I have a temporary relationship.Your spouse's lawyer and I have seen each other several times a week for years, and our relationship will continue long after you're gone from my life. It's not surprising, then, that I'm more attentive to that relationship than I am to the one with you.

Early on in our relationship, you are in emotional distress, you believe that no one in the world has ever faced the problems you are facing, and you view me as a savior who can protect you from all the cruel insults you are facing. Over time, however, you will begin to stabilize emotionally, you will begin to view me and my services more realistically, and you will begin to realize just how expensive all this is becoming. You may begin to resent me, and you may place a lower priority on paying my fee. You will also begin to hold me accountable for producing results that I know are unrealistic.

Although at the outset I stated an optimistic assessment of your case, over the term of our relationship I will become increasingly pessimistic with you about your chances. I will do this because, by then, I will become tired of you and tired of your case. I will want you to become more flexible in negotiations so I can reach an agreement with your spouse and your spouse's lawyer. By then, I will have spent enough time on your case to justify keeping all the retainer, and I will be afraid that I may never see any more money, so I will press you to reach agreement with your spouse.

Also, as our relationship continues, I will be increasingly harder to reach. I may fail to return your phone calls, or I may call you back but be evasive about giving you useful information, always seeming in a hurry. I will do this perhaps without even realizing I'm doing so, primarily because it will be unpleasant for me to deal with you when you become increasingly unhappy.

Often an agreement will happen because you and your spouse meet over the kitchen table or on the phone and work it out, then communicate it to your respective lawyers. This agreement may be remarkably similar to what the two of you could have agreed had you been willing to cooperate with each other at the beginning through mediation or negotiations, but you won't think about that by then, because to do so would be to admit to yourself that you've wasted several thousand dollars on legal fees. Even though I told you at the outset not to talk to your spouse, I will by then be secretly glad that you did and will work to help your agreement succeed (if I can avoid spending much time on it). Remember, by then, I will want out.

I have learned that most of my business comes by referral from other professionals, so it's more important to me that referral sources feel good about me than that clients feel good about me. I devote lots of attention to my relationships with judges, other lawyers, and other professionals. On the other hand, I have over the years become quite comfortable with unhappy clients, even clients who complain about me to the bar association. This bothered me in my early years of practice, but I've become jaded to it now. The bar association knows as I do that clients of divorce lawyers are often unhappy. I know the bar association is accustomed to receiving these complaints and taking them with several grains of salt, so it doesn't worry me much that you might complain about me.

I like you, and I'm a caring professional who wants to do a good job for you. I've learned not to trust you, though. I wish I could trust you, but I've been burned too many times by clients like you. I'm going to keep my guard up. Now that you know the way this works, let's get started.

Sincerely yours,



Your Divorce Lawyer

To read a different perspective on this letter, see the Alternate Version from John Ballew in Lincoln NE.



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Lady Lydia Speaks said...

The one who chooses to leave the marriage for selfish reasons (such as just wanting freedom, or wanting someone else) should not expect to take anything with them. On the other hand, even a woman who was a dedicated homemaker and did not earn money, does deserve compensation for the service she provided, if she is not the one who did not want out of the marriage.

Anna said...

Oh my goodness--that divorce letter lawyer is so true in every particular! THAT's why I never, no never, was willing to take a divorce case. I think I'm the only attorney ever to take that stance.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Lady Lydia, I definitely heared what you had said about the direct personal doing being best and also the drug problem increase shifting things and I deeply agree with both of those things-- which was in the comment sent yesterday but not posted (below). By responding without posting that it is making it look like I disagree there but I don't, and it also doent express why. I do realize this discussion sidetracked but it still did happen, and I'd rather not be mis-seen if that's ok, so i put what i'd said before below : ) :

Lady Lydia, I really appreciated what you said about finding where you are most needed. It moved something, and I wanted to thank you for that. Deep down we all long so much to find the niche where we are needed I think.

I do disagree though that Chirst is/was primarily a teacher. I see him as far more direct/non-detached than that, our Lord and healer. That involves teaching but also far more. When one prays it isnt just about being taught for example, our souls also crave prayer for the real bond and contact there, we can feel something real happening there, impact, something direct. Change happens by touch and impact, not mere abstract teaching I feel. The good shepard image comes to mind, guidance and care is far more than just teaching.

And I definitely disagree about forcing women to work who have commited now to keeping at home. I think if help is needed to heal the past it should happen. Those of you who turned out so well in your generation did not grow up so thoroughly immersed at every turn with feminism, and perhaps you might have fallen yourselves if in the place of those who did, one never knows. But you do have a really good point about when drugs are in the picture, and I'd add alchohol and violence engagement as well. These things I feel often bring in entities and so need spiritual warfare... and so without that spritual component help would not last or truly heal, its like pouring water on sand. And youre right I'm sure that as time has gone on that has become a bigger and bigger factor for many. Yet it still doesnt apply to everyone, there are plently of people who truly need help who have never resorted to drugs or alchohol etc.

That really has given me food for thought about Christ not giving money as the form of help. And youre so right that it can be a shallow thing to give money sometimes. Youve got me thinking a lot about this now. What He encouraged was for us to be hands on and direct really --carry one anothers burdens--that's involved, personal. And giving money alone cannot do that, youre right. It has to be personal somehow. I dont think its that money is never needed, but rather that definitely the more personal and tangible the better. If someone is really sick and cant cook for example, its a nice gesture to pay safeway to deliver some deli meals, but much more personal to offer some soup you have made, there is a connection there, which is deeply important. When someone's house is falling apart its wonderful to help pay for things needed, but even more healing for folks to come and make the repairs themselves. There is something deep and invisible there, a bond, a glue, a connection, a healing, a building of the body so to speak. And so giving money can indeed be a way to run from a deeper giving like that sometimes.

It all depends on the circumstance I suppose, what is actually needed. A landlord for example often wont take barter, money is often needed in situations like that, at least until a deeper solution is found. But there are other situations where a deeper giving can happen from the beginning. And I do think it has to be personal, tailored to that person--what is helpful to one person may not be helpful to another, and also what one person truly needs another might be able to get by without, and so on. An extrovert for example might thrive and grow in the long run if instead of paying their rent in an urgent situation a family invited them to stay with them instead. But it might be living you know what and set them back even farther in the long run for a strongly introverted person. We all have different temperments and needs and natures and that is a very real thing.

I've also been thinking a lot about the judgement layer here. We are told not to cast pearls before swine, and so there's something important there, and something likely you have far more discernemnt about. At the same time we are also told judge not lest ye be judged. And so with that, when one gives money it can go either way--it can be done with the right attitude or with judgement. Giving money with judgement sure isnt healing, even if it does offer practical help. And often only a bandaid amount is given rather than finding the root of the problem and healing that. Roots need to be reached.

I would disagreee that the root of the problem is always necessarily spiritual though. If that's the case, then spiritual help makes sense, but if its otherwise than other help is needed I feel. That getting back on the 'right road' image really calls out to me as well, or 'making your path straight' as another blogger (Elise at formerly Joy in the Morning) has been speaking of lately. But I feel sometimes it takes practical as well as spiritual help to make that happen.

I'm sure that I, and others, will be pondering this discussion for a long time. Its an important area and I've really appreciated that weve been able to talk about it. Its so wonderful we have places like this : ) Wendy

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

There used to be quite a few people who sought help from church members because they wanted to get their lives straightened out and head down the right path. Now there are more people wanting rent paid, gas bought for their cars and phone bills paid. I've offerred food at the door when they come, or clothes and blankets but they want money.

The Christian is given many things to do, as instructed by the Bible. There is a difference between the body as one, a whole, and what its function is, and what the individual's function is. Each Christian is free to help whomever they wish, for as long as they wish, for how much they wish. But there were specific instructions for the church welfare rolls and that money was limited to certain causes and certain people. However the individual is free to help as they can.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you for this eyeopener. I've forwarded it on to my friend who is the President of the Homemakers For America organization www.homemakersforamerica.com and asked that she contact you concerning how she might be able to inform her members of this atrocity. Much love and admiration to you!

Mrs. E.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
You definitely know what you are talking about. As the daughter of a Pastor, I can say that everything you have said about people that demand hand outs from the church is true. Usually it is the people who need help the most that are reluctant to ask for it, and when it is offered they insist that maybe someone else needs it more.

There are always indigent people that regularly call upon the hard working and conscientious people of a congregation to bail them out of the messes they make of their personal affairs. From experience I know that many times if they had followed the word of God as they were advised the problem would have never arose.

Thankfully, there are always tenderhearted and merciful church members who once again hand over their hard earned money to help them out of their troubles. All I can say, is they will be held accountable to God. Unfortunately, there are often times people that are genuinely deserving that are overlooked, while the habitual squeaky wheel drains the coffers and wears out all the ones that are able to help. Make sure the need is legitimate before you waste your time, money and energy!

It is a blessing to help people who really do need a little help along life's road. Most of the time they are appreciative. In giving as an individual instead of saying, "Why doesn't the Church help these folks?", You will be blessed by God and honored by those that you help. Then the Church can do it's job of reaching and teaching others How God wants us to live.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I may have failed to emphasise the answer to the question "why doesn't the church help," that the church is an individual as well as a body. The church is you, if you have obeyed the gospel. If you give to someone in need, it is the same as a church doing it. People want money from the treasury, but the Bible gives only a few things for this money to be used for, and they are very special things and special circumstances. The individual however, is still the church and can give in whatever way they want to. I think they should house, feed, clothe, and give money and transportation to a person before they demand that the church do it. And as you said, minister's wife, there are the chronic problem people who never can have victory over their problems, don't want to, and just beg the church to help them all the time. Those who are genuinely in need are usually not chronic beggars or people always in some kind of trouble due to their own rebellion.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

I feel there has been a rather harmul assumption in this sub-discussion we've been having, and that is that one's troubles are a punishment for rebellion. The truth is, we do not know why God sends afflictions and physical problems and emotional or financial hardships to various people, but we can see he has sent them not only to sinners but to saints alike--and I feel that should tell us something. Maybe there are times he has sent such as punishment, but that is simply not always the case, and trying to see it that way is for many I suspect just a way to justify not truly helping.

Personally, I suspect he has sent us afflictions often becuase it was part of both that person's healing and the helping person's healing for the help to happen. The poor will always be with us, there will always be those needing help--maybe that is because as humans we NEED this, to both help and be helped. To accept our vulnerability. To develop our compassion. To deepen our sight and go beyond appearances. To be helped and to help ~without judgement~.

The judgements about many of those in need that I have been feeling on this thread has been personally rather alarming. Some who need help, and yes even chronic help, simply need it and that's just the reality they live with. And about the most damaging thing one can do is add insult to painful injury by assuming their hardship is a punishment for their rebellion of lack of faith. I'd like to share a wonderful book on this area called "Not By Sight" by Sherri O' Connell of IDA. It has a full chapter online here:

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:4XLimMXYWtwJ:www.whereisgod.net/have_faith.htm+%22have+a+little+faith%22+,+IDA&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

She addresses this far better than i can. I'd also recommended her site in general for a deeper understanding of one area of people who need chronic help, and another site in the same vien, both below:

http://www.myida.org/ida.htm
http://www.restministries.org/admin-aboutus.htm

Again, I am not talking about cases of drug or alchohol addiction or physical violence. As mentioned before, these things I feel are a seperate issue and need spiritual warfare. But not everyone is under the bonds of addiction, some folks simply need more help than others for whatever reason, and that's just the way it is. We arent told to judge one another but rather to simply help one another. The greatest commandment was/is not to preach the gospel/to teach, but simply and profoundly to live it: to love one another.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Wendy, I'm not talking about afflictions that occur as a result of famine, flood, fire, or things like physical ailments like blindness, deafness, the crippled, etc. or even colds and flue or cancer. What I am talking about, and hopefully others see it clearly, is those who have their hands out to the churches who have rebelled against all sound counsel, and gone against the mandates of scripture into a decision or a lifestyle that the scriptures clearly forbid and that the counsel of parents and other authorities have warned them against. These people suffer the consequences of their sin and then want the church to bail them out. Church money was not set aside for such things, but an individual, if they want to take on this kind of problem, is welcome to do it.

Several examples:

A girl was warned about living with someone before she married him, but she would not listen. He left her, after they had a child, and then went to live with someone else. He was not employed so she wanted to get money from the church. She was not a member and stated she would not study the Bible or be converted. I feel that if we don't let people suffer the consequences, they will not learn from it or warn the next generation. Kids who see the sufferring of their parents as a result of this kind of thing, will want to do better.

Another case: A man was warned not to get involved in business dealings with another man. He did so anyway and had his equipment stolen. He wanted the church to "help him out" but he had not been a faithful member, rarely showed up at worship, did not contribute to the collection over the years. While individuals were welcome to help him out, the church did not feel obligated. With an individual, they can put stipulations on the help, and attach strings. They can take the person under their wing and say, "I'll help you out but the minute you go back to drinking, I will withdraw my help." There has to some strings attached, in some cases. The idea of "no strings attached" comes from somewhere else. The church does help a lot of people but it is contingent on them living a good, clean life. As I said before, there were specific things the church in the New Testament spent the collection on, and the individual had a lot more freedom to help in other ways.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

I think you really have a point there. Since it impacted me I ended up showing my partner Joseph this string over the weekend for some perspective. He's had a lot of expreience with this as he has volenteered much, with the homeless especially, quite a bit in his hometown. And he's been telling me he's seen some similar stuff that you have. He mentioned one couple for example that folks were helping pay an apartment for a few months so they could save up and get in a better position by not having to pay rent. The condition was that the male partner (not the female) must work at the job of his choice to bring in income for themselves to save with (all the job money would be kept by the couple), and also that they had to be drug free. I agree those were pretty reasonable 'strings' but they werent met--and so now they are desparate each month but they didnt have to be, they had a chance to get out and didnt. I definitely dont think all cases are like this, but he is telling me he's still seen many that are. I have a hard time understanding this but he tells me many he has seen many who want to remain in their current miserable situation and only want help ~in~ it --and not help ~out of~ it-- becuase they arent interested in just simply basic clean living. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that but when someone I am so close to me tells me he's seen it firsthand then I cant help but listen. And i think spiritual warfare is needed there then, that help without that wouldnt last. I still dont think this means we are free to judge or ignore those in need, and i see ~far~ too much of both of those things and I think its plain wrong. But I can understand the "strings' part much better, as long as they are reasonable and also suited to the person's nature.

At any rate I can see both of you are seeing part of this that i am not. I guess its because my experience has just been so very different. I never needed any church help until age thirty when my chronic injury was sustained and turned both my life and finances upside down, and then when I did --and i mean truly--need help, I would get just the lamest excuses sometimes. Perhaps being under addictions and such makes it easier to ask ( I suspect this), but normally asking for help is HARD. Really hard. It makes one feel so vulnerable. I had to disagree incredibly stongly with the commenter who said "Usually it is the people who need help the most that are reluctant to ask for it, and when it is offered they insist that maybe someone else needs it more." I have to say, when one is able bodied and/or has family to fall back on that help, they do ~not~ know what it is like to ~truly~ need help and not have "pride-saving" as an option anymore. I speak from experience there--on both sides of that fence; it was a completely different world before and after my injury, and so that taught me something. It is because of that experience that I would now definitely error on the side of giving folks the benefit of the doubt normally who ask for help, even if i cant see why, and also even if i suspect they are "in rebellion" (unless it is something blatantly severe like drug/achohol abuse or violence, then youre right i think "strings" there make much sense). But otherwise, so much of a person's pain or reason for the problem can be invisible, and I would rather error on the side of being played the fool by giving unneccessary help than on the side of wrongly judging and so not helping someone when they deep down truly needed it.

BTW, I really wanted to thank you for your patience in talking about all of this, it really has been appreciated...

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