“Woe to you who are in need of an advocate. Woe to you who stand in the need of grace. Blessed will they be who have spoken out and acquired grace for themselves.
…Blessed is one who has seen oneself as a fourth one in heaven.
…Do not let heaven’s kingdom become a desert within you.”
~ Jesus, The Secret Book of James
As I enter into 2018, I must openly acknowledge within myself and to my future readers that The House of Jezebel is not solely a book about family dysfunction but also on religious indoctrination. (I’ve already covered this in my third podcast episode subtitled Writing & the Early Christian Church Truths – my findings on the early Church and how this book could no longer be deemed as a Christian-themed title.)
Actually in my narcissistic family environment, religion was sometimes used as a weapon to keep others in line. When convenient, it was freely used as an added layer of control, which made it easy to hide the unexplored areas of my family’s dysfunctional dynamics. Combining religious dogma within a narcissistic family infrastructure ultimately provided justice to no one, especially if there were children present.
Reared in a local Southern Baptist church, below are a few of the religious beliefs and practices instilled in me:
- Profane language (a.k.a. cussing) was sinful and respect for elders was demanded – but other forms of abuse – verbal, physical, sexual, etc. – was totally acceptable. 💩
- Attending church, including Sunday School, guaranteed one would have a good week. One of my Jezebel’s favorite sayings – see also Bullet A – next section.⛪
- Children are not people. They are to be seen and not heard. (Sorry, this is quite laughable with the ongoing influx of indigo, rainbow and starseed children into the world. 😂)
- Ladies: Pants along with blue jean material is not acceptable church attire. However, a blue-jean skirt was fine when attending choir rehearsal. 🎤 Gentlemen: Full suits only with dress shoes. Only young boys could get away with not wearing a suit coat. However, blue jean pants were acceptable for after-hours events such as choir rehearsal and similar meetings.
- Respect the “man of God”. Your pastor is an earthly representative of God in the flesh so show him the same respect as Jesus. With that said, HE is the best example of a “victorious Christian” you will ever meet, so don’t “get a chip on your shoulder” and think you know more than him. Besides if God was never to be questioned concerning His Word, then neither don’t question the pastor about his word (or his ways). 😶
- You always wanted to be a member of a church body because when you died it was an embarrassment if your funeral was held at the funeral home instead of the family church.💀
- Ladies: Your dress should never fall below the knee and you should always wear a slip underneath. You were also required to wear stockings. The younger ones should have on leotards. Remember, females should not wear anything that “pertaineth” to a man in the house of the Lord.👗
- Acting saved – or pretending to be – was good enough to earn a seat in Heaven. 😇
- Women were inferior to men unless a good man was around and of course there was never a good man around because all men are dogs so don’t expect to find a good one to marry – (My Jezebel’s 2nd favorite saying.) 🐶
- Illegal drugs, including cigarettes, were a no-no but consuming certain types of alcohol/liquor was acceptable provided your doctor said so. 🍺
- Blaming the Devil was an acceptable approach for not taking responsibility for your actions. In other words, whatever sin you committed, the Devil made you do it! 👿
- To be saved from an eternity in Hell: You must accept, believe and confess Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior. But when you do take this route, please, please do so quietly by remaining in your seat as not to embarrass the family via a public display of adoration because “all that ain’t necessary!” (My Jezebel’s 3rd favorite belief.)
A dogmatic religion is one that does not truly honor the thoughts and feelings of the individual. It is also one that is static, without room for development. Doubt is considered sinful, and contradicting information is screened out. The divine and sacred are seen as derived from outside, with no recognition afforded to a person’s inner resources of wisdom, strength, and love…Ultimately, a rigid religion erodes the natural contentment and confidence with which every child begins life and which every healthy being needs.”
~ Marlene Winell, Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion
By the time I reached college and begin “trying out” other Christian denominations such as the Missionary Baptists, Charismatics/Pentecostals, Non-Denominational, etc., some rules fell along the wayside (Rules #4, 6 & 7), while others were acquired:
- Attending New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service increased one’s chance of having a great New Year. However, to redeem this offer, one had better be at the church for the majority of service or at the very least – leave the nightclub early enough to be on your knees in the house of God when the clock struck midnight. 💃🙏
- Ongoing arguments for and against “Once saved, always saved” especially since we were all one sin away from Hell – see Bullet #11 above.
- Whatever I want, I could easily “name it and claim it” because God had to provide it. Freewill? What’s that?!? 🤔
- If you couldn’t speak in an unlearned foreign language (a.k.a. “speaking in tongues“), then you really weren’t saved or you were still a babe in Christ. It doesn’t matter that “spirits” are mounting you to bring about this action because that’s totally irrelevant. 👿
- If you were baptized as a child, then you need to “repeat the process” as an adult because it didn’t count. If, however, you were baptized via a sprinkle and not fully immersed, then you’ve never really been baptized and therefore are not saved in any capacity.
- All spiritual gifts – not deemed occultic – are the property of the Christian Church. Therefore, in each congregation, it is the Senior Pastor’s responsibility (or another designated ministerial leader) to determine what gifts you had and how you could (or could not) use them there.
- Tithing to the church is what’s keeping the Devil off of your finances. Besides if you don’t tithe, then when the Devil does come and attack your finances, please do not bother to call us – your local church – for any type of of assistance.
- If the pastor, his wife, and/or a church mother deemed you as evil (“out of line”, disrespectful for asking questions, speaking up about wrong-doing, and the like) just because they didn’t like you (or your alleged attitude or your noncompliance to their will), then you could look forward to being “sat down for a spell”. Otherwise, you need counseling or deliverance (a.k.. “laying on of hands”/exorcism).
- As long as it doesn’t become public knowledge, the lifestyle of the ministerial staff is no one’s business. (Those who exempt include the gay choir director and the whore-mongering pastor – we promise we don’t see you! 🙈 ) Usually only when it does became public knowledge, only then will “corrective” action be taken and that’s just to save face anyway – see previous bullet.
All of this may sound harsh or some may think I’m bitter or angry. If anything, I’m frustrated with the system but I’m not bitter toward anyone. All of this was a firm part of my belief system for the first half of my life. It took getting pregnant (out of wedlock as the Church explains it) by a then-Male Jezebel for me to slowly wake me up to the unnecessary guilt and shame inflicted through these exoteric “traditions of man.” Looking back, I now realize that what (hu-)man has been trying to convene about God (among other things) simply isn’t true. Then as I began to examine previous drafts for The House of Jezebel through new “lenses”, both my curiosity and research led me to a deeper understanding of God and of the teachings of Jesus.
I’ve now reached a place where I’m no longer afraid to learn from and embrace the spiritual beliefs of others without ridicule or judgment. I can now openly accept someone who doesn’t share my beliefs and that’s okay. We all can be true “brothers and sisters” (in Christ) if everyone took such an approach.
Although I no longer ascribe to modern-day Christianity, I mean no ill will or harm toward those who do, to those who closely adhere to the religious practices and beliefs shared here. Please know that neither I nor my book are anti-gay, anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-church, or anti-spirituality.
At this present moment, I choose to no longer cling to hurt, defeat, or restrictions imposed by the contemporary Christian Church.
Instead, I choose to unlock the kingdom of God within me. I refuse to allow it to become a desert (within).
I consciously chose to be happy, whole, and healthy outside of the religious or denominational limitations.
I looked around the room. ‘What kind of books are these?’
‘The histories of every nation on earth,’ she told me. ‘As they were though – nothing suppressed.’
‘That must be an eye-opener,’ I said, thinking of the near impossibility, on earth, of trying to establish the literal truth of history.
‘It is indeed,’ Leona agreed. ‘The history books on earth are largely fictional.”
~ Chris & Leona, What Dreams May Come
Matheson, R. (2007, Kindle Edition). What Dreams May Come: A Novel. pp. 70-71.
- Is a Jezebel Affecting Your Solar Plexus? - January 2, 2020
- Good vs Evil Intentions - November 10, 2019
- The Resurrection of Jezebel || Part 2 - June 28, 2019
- The Resurrection of a Jezebel || Part 1 - March 5, 2019
- When Your Abuser Dies - September 6, 2018
- The Backwardness of a Jezebel - August 28, 2018
- Is a Jezebel Affecting Your Sacral? - July 27, 2018
- Is a Jezebel Affecting Your Root? - July 4, 2018
- WANTED: A Compassionate Jezebel? - June 24, 2018
- Writing & The Death of a Jezebel - June 7, 2018