A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Utter nonsense from Desiring God, designed to isolate women

How about this for a ludicrous quiz that will make many women and girls go into a tailspin of self-doubt and cause them to turn healthy friendships into superficial shallow friendships? What a brilliant way to keep women isolated!

Desiring God’s article More Than BFFs: When Friendship Goes Too Far really takes the cake for ludicrous, micro-managing legalism. Here is a section from the article:

How can you know if a friendship is threatening to take God’s place in your heart? Here are a few questions you could ask about your relationship:

  • Do you experience jealousy when your friend spends time with others? Do you feel a sense of possessiveness toward her?
  • Do you prefer to spend time alone with your friend, and are you easily frustrated when others join in?
  • Have you lost interest in other friendships? Do you lack a desire to make new friends?
  • Are you hesitant, or even unwilling, to make plans (short-term or long-term) that don’t include your friend?
  • Do you feel free to “speak for” your friend with others?
  • Do you avoid conflict with your friend for fear of losing intimacy in the relationship?
  • Do you often pay for each other’s meals and expenses, or make large purchases together?
  • Do you have frequent sleepovers, often preferring to share the same bed?
  • Are flattering words or praise common in your friendship? (For example, “You are the only one who understands me” or, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”)
  • Do you use nicknames or special language with each other?
  • Do you operate like a couple? Do others see you as inseparable?
  • Do you frequently ask permission from your friend to do things?
  • Are you more physically affectionate toward this friend than other friends? Are you physically affectionate in a way that makes others uncomfortable?
  • Do you stay in constant communication with this friend (texts, phone calls, snapchats, emails)?
  • Do you feel like you couldn’t live without this friend? Do you sense that you need them to thrive?

If you answered yes to more than one or two of these questions, your friend likely is becoming, or has become, something to you only God should be.

[At Desiring God it says this about the article’s author:] (@kellyneedham) and her husband Jimmy live in Dallas with their three children.

Okay, let’s apply that quiz to Jesus when he was with his disciples

  • Do you experience jealousy when your friend spends time with others? Do you feel a sense of possessiveness toward her?

The OT makes it clear that God feels jealous when the people of God spend time with false gods. Jesus might easily in his human nature have felt a sense of possessiveness towards his disciples. Jesus asked his Father to “keep them from the evil one” ( John 17:15).  And He said to his disciples, “I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose Me but I chose you” (John 15:15-16). Possessiveness much?

  • Do you prefer to spend time alone with your friend, and are you easily frustrated when others join in?

Jesus preferred to spend time alone with Peter James and John. Was His friendship with them suspect because He preferred to be just with those friends sometimes?

  • Have you lost interest in other friendships? Do you lack a desire to make new friends?

Well not all that much with Jesus; but it’s true that he only chose 12 disciples and He hung out mostly with them and the few women who strung along too.

  • Are you hesitant, or even unwilling, to make plans (short-term or long-term) that don’t include your friend?

Jesus definitely ticks this box! He made plans to make ensure that his friends were included: “..if I go, I will send Him [the Comforter] to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…  …when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:7-8, 13-14)

  • Do you feel free to “speak for” your friend with others?

Well I reckon! Jesus spoke for his friends to His father  — see all of John 17.

  • Do you avoid conflict with your friend for fear of losing intimacy in the relationship?

Whew, that’s one box which Jesus doesn’t have to tick!

  • Do you often pay for each other’s meals and expenses, or make large purchases together?

He has to tick that box. Those women who supported him out of their own substance. And I reckon there must have been a lot of joint purchases while they were on the road…

  • Do you have frequent sleepovers, often preferring to share the same bed?

You really want to go there? I mean, He said He had no place to rest his head. Let’s not think too much more about this….

  • Are flattering words or praise common in your friendship? (For example, “You are the only one who understands me” or, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”)

Back to John 15. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (v 5,7) Rather flattering words about his disciples, eh? They’ll be impressive fruit-bearers and can have anything they ask for if they stick with Him.

  • Do you use nicknames or special language with each other?

Hey, Jesus nicknamed that guy Cephas. He called his friend “rock”.  I mean, really… 

  • Do you operate like a couple? Do others see you as inseparable?

Well not a couple. But a jolly “band of brothers”!  Fair dinkum, something had to be going on with them all—they were just so close! A whole gang of guys that were ‘inseparable at the hip’.

  • Do you frequently ask permission from your friend to do things?

Well okay, Jesus didn’t tick this box. Whew!

  • Are you more physically affectionate toward this friend than other friends? Are you physically affectionate in a way that makes others uncomfortable?

Hmm. Judas kissed Jesus. Maybe that made His disciples uncomfortable! Yikes!

  • Do you stay in constant communication with this friend (texts, phone calls, snapchats, emails)?

Uh oh. Jesus hung out with his friends pretty much all the time. And the only time he wasn’t with his friends, he was doing that oddball thing of isolating himself in prayer in the desert and lonely places. Red flags!

  • Do you feel like you couldn’t live without this friend? Do you sense that you need them to thrive?

One more that Jesus doesn’t have to tick, so far as we know.

Now, what did the article say about how many boxes you have to tick to be concerned about your friendships?

If you answered yes to more than one or two of these questions, your friend likely is becoming, or has become, something to you only God should be.

If Jesus did three ticks or more, we have to wonder if his friendships were not what God would have wanted. 

There were 15 questions. By my estimation, Jesus ticks between 9 and 11 — which is a lot more than the threshold of 3 ticks.

Come on, Desiring God. That was a good laugh. But you can’t have been serious. Have you forsaken your aim of publishing serious articles? Should we just turn to you for ludicrous articles from now on? Actually, I think that’s all you’ve been putting out for a very long time.

May the sheep wake up!

***

This post was published on Saturday because we have so many scheduled already and we wanted to slip this one as well. It’s better to be timely, when exposing foolish articles in cyberspace.

***

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77 Comments

  1. jesusfollowingishard

    Sam and Frodo are in big trouble according to Desiring God. 😂😃😄😕

    • Tan

      So are David and Jonathan!

    • H

      Like button! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m currently re-reading the Lord of the Rings and I was thinking the exact same thing.

      • jesusfollowingishard

        That is where I got a major inkling (no pun intended) that my husband was abusive, Denathor and Faramir. 😕

  2. Tan

    Oh my lol. How utterly ludicrous. Are they threatened by female freindships? Looks like the may need to get their minds out of the gutter too! if you know what i mean!

  3. Tan

    I had a Pastor once say to me be careful of getting too close to other women as it may turn into a lesbian relationship!!! I nearly spat my drink out!

    • NG

      A few years ago I would have thought it’s a groundless worry, but in recent years I have had some experiences with women that made me realize it’s not completely far-off. There were signs years ago and I supressed my gut feelings – especially because the person was very ‘spiritual’ -, but later it became so acute that I had to go no contact, as I could not be her personal possession, doll, or life partner. I had compassion for her, but could not be what she wanted.
      Churches often warn about male-female relationships going too far, but I have seen that female-female friendships can get dangerously possessive.

      • Thanks for sharing your experience, NG. We’ve heard from (as I recall) a couple of ACFJ readers about how they were targeted by a woman who made out she was being friendly but turned out to be wanting lesbian relationship. So you are not alone.

        The women who told us this reported that at some point they woke up to the manipulative sinful agenda of the women who were targeting them.

        But here’s the thing: our readers saw through the manipulation because of the kind of teaching we give at this blog about the tactics of manipulative abusive people. They didn’t wake up because of some idiotic over-the-top “Quiz” like the one published by Desiring God!

      • NG

        Barbara, let me say that if someone I know comes to me and tells me they’re struggling with feelings of same-sex attraction, I won’t condemn or judge them. Plenty of people, both men and women, have been freed from that emotional bondage by the Love of Christ. It’s not a taboo to me, but I cannot be around a person who gives indirect innuendos about that and tries to lure me into something.

        The person was someone who apparently had rejected her femininity and was projecting a very masculine-type character. Perhaps her behavior was not even conscious at all levels, but it was extremely creepy and uncomfortable. I don’t want to be legalist about anyone’s apprearance and hairstyle (plenty of that in churches already, how a woman should look and dress), but if a woman purposefully tries to appear very ‘male’, it does sound an alarm.

      • if someone I know comes to me and tells me they’re struggling with feelings of same-sex attraction, I won’t condemn or judge them. Plenty of people, both men and women, have been freed from that emotional bondage by the Love of Christ. It’s not a taboo to me, but I cannot be around a person who gives indirect innuendos about that and tries to lure me into something.

        I have the same view as you on this, NG 🙂

        And on the odd occasion when I have felt that a woman was trying to lure me sexually, I have eyeballed her with a BIG STRONG “NO” beaming out of my eyes. That happened once to me when I was listening to a woman horticulturalist address a small crowd about techniques of gardening in small spaces. I wanted to listen to her horticultural advice and I asked her a couple of questions about that, but when I felt her luring me with her eyes, I gave her back such a strong “NO” stare that I’m sure she got the message.

    • Lea

      This is exactly what this woman is saying! The original article makes it clear she thinks close friendships just happen to turn into lesbians. That has literally never happened to me. It’s interesting that desiring god edited most of that context out, although it’s still there if you look hard enough (prefer to sleep in the same bed, for instance. My first thought was sleepovers as a kid, but on her blog she talks about roommates who have their own bed but sleep together instead and cuddle. Not the same thing!)

      • Tan

        I thought that’s what they were getting at.

        It’s never happened to me either! or anyone i know for that matter!

  4. Tan

    Maybe this Pastor had seen this happen before? i dont know, but maybe if some women had turned to other women (this is obviously not right!) out of loneliness, you could say its slim pickings out there with the men, especially in “churches”. This pastor had no reason to “fear” this happening with me though!

    • Hi Tan, the Desiring God article wasn’t written by a pastor, it was written by Kelly Needham a wife and mother.

  5. Any ministry that puts such nonsense on their website cannot be taken seriously!

  6. Tan

    Sorry gotta make another comment! So if you find someone you connect with (a RARITY) deny that connection and waste energy trying to connect with every “unconnectable” instead. Got it.

  7. Tan

    Another one! If this article is actually some weird kind of “warning” against homosexuality lol
    why dont they just come out and say it! I think they’re threatened though and as you say they want to keep women lonely and isolated and “starving” so she’ll fall for the advances of any man paying her attention.

  8. Tan

    I thought i should add this, sorry for taking up your comment section! In hindsight – The pastor who said that to me (the lesbian thing) – I was becoming close at the time to the “Pastor’s pet” A girl who had just gotten saved and he had taken under his wing, maybe he felt threatened by this and thought i may influence her, he could probably tell i wasnt one of his adoring fans like she was at the time (she ended up leaving the church anyway a few yrs later)

    • I think your suspicion (your Red Flag antenna) are pretty sharp there, Tan. Maybe that pastor was thinking the new-convert woman might be easy pickings for him if he fancied a bit on the side…. Or maybe he had so many tickets on himself that he thought he was the only person in the church qualified to ‘disciple’ a new convert.

      • Tan

        Thanks Barbara 🙂 Yeah your right.

  9. Karen

    Thank-you for the post Barbara! In a world of loneness and isolation, we now have religious know-it-alls telling us that having friends is an idol? Thankfully, Jesus didn’t abide in the desiring god website! He knows better!

    I wonder how the author of this desiring god post would feel about those of us who have a few good female friendships where we can discuss Jesus and what we are learning from His Word? Would that be crossing her definition of idolatry boundaries?

  10. IamMyBeloved's

    Jesus, reclining on a “couch” with his disciples. Now that alone in Piper’s world, would be “Jesus! You have gone too far this time!”

    Jesus with John’s head on his breast. Whoops! 😳😳 We all know what everyone is thinking now!

    Jesus, literally dying for His brothers and sisters He now calls His friends. Well, in Piper’s view, Jesus went too far for His besties.

    This whole “quiz” rings with homophobic overtones. I think Piper is trying to warn about that without calling it that.

    Oh the reeking smell of legalism.

    • I just want to correct one thing. As I stated in the body text of my post, the article at Desiring God was not written by John Piper, it was by Kelly Needham. 🙂

  11. NG

    Yes, God is for close fellowship and intimate relationships, that’s what He is about. On the other hand, I have seen the flip side of the issue, and how some women have been *very* possessive of me, to the point of abuse, and wanted to have such exlusive relationship with me it was borderline lesbian. and.. when I put some healthy boundaries in place, the person goes ballistic and blasts me with abusive mails and insults.

    That has made me more discerning now and am more wary of trusting women indiscriminately. Plenty of abusive ‘Christian’ women, who want to possess and control other women in the name of friendship… It is not hard to recognize and resist such men, but with women, it can take time before their true colors come out.
    Healthy relationships are truly precious, but they do not grow under every rock. Trust is earned and built over time, both with men and women.

    • Plenty of abusive ‘Christian’ women, who want to possess and control other women in the name of friendship… It is not hard to recognise and resist such men, but with women, it can take time before their true colors come out.

      I have a word for the ‘Christian’ women who want to possess and control other women not for lesbian sex but in the name of friendship (or discipleship). I call them Queen Bees.

      I’ve seen or heard about this phenomenon quite a few times. Often Queen Bees are survivors of some kind of abuse, and they gather into their “hive” other survivors of abuse whom they can lead / instruct / dispense wisdom to. Often the wisdom and truth the Queen Bee imparts to a follower is quite a lot more wisdom and truth than the follower has ever heard before, so the follower laps up the Queen Bee’s wisdom, validation and love.

      But if the follower starts to grow into equal or greater maturity of character than the Queen Bee possesses, the Queen Bee starts to sting the follower because she can’t bear the follower becoming independent of her wisdom: she stings in order to put the follower back in a subordinate position.

      I think this goes some way to explaining why it can take quite a long time for many of us to recognise the true colours of a Queen Bee.

      • Tan

        Thanks for this Barbara!

      • NG

        The ‘Queen Bee’ comparison is spot on – I had previously seen it only in context of ‘collecting’ men, but it fits here too!

        I’ve seen it manifesting as appearance of love and care, but when the target refuses to bow down and follow her instructions, the Queen Bee gets furious. (“I was just trying to help you and be friendly, look how ungrateful you are..”)

        Just had someone like that contact me on FB recently, and when I did not get involved, she bombarded me with abuse and accusations..

  12. Tan

    This article has gotten under my skin! This is soo “divide & conquer” Lets keep em’ separated so they dont talk to each other or influence each other, they’re not to be trusted after all! Lets just keep their “friendships” surface level. Grrr im seeing red.

  13. Lea

    Barbara, I love your take on this! Close friendships are not a problem, they are a blessing. How wrong of Desiring God to post this article without its original context so people will be afraid of simply having good friends.

    • Hi Lea, I’m not sure what you mean by saying it was “wrong of Desiring God to post this article without its original context.”

      Desiring God posted this article by Kelly Needham and they stated that Kelly Needham was one of their guest authors.
      Desiring God didn’t post the article without its original context. The article appears to have been first published at the Desiring God website. So the article which I gave a link to in my post is the FULL COMPLETE ARTICLE.

      I only quoted part of the article for the purposes of critiquing it in this post of mine, but Desiring God published the full article by Kelly Needham who is one of their ‘guest authors’.

      • Lea

        My apologies if I wasn’t clear. Kelly, the article’s author, has a 5 or 6 part series on her blog that this article is apparently taken from. What I mean is they condensed, or she condensed, her original series into this. In the original series, her concerns about lesbian relationships are much more clear (although the tone comes through). She mentions it explicitly. What I don’t like is that this article makes it sound like close friendships are a problem primarily because of their closeness, not because they might be actually a different kind of relationship than friendship.

        What I wish is that they had been more clear that that was their primary concern, because the way they explained it makes it sound like having best friends is wrong. Although I think they also may believe that, which makes it all confusing.

      • Thank you Lea for saying that.

        So DG, presumably with Kelly Needham’s assistance (or at least her consent) condensed Kelly’s 5 or 6 part series and posted a condensed version of the series at DG’s site. But DID NOT TELL their readers that it came from the series that was first published at Kelly’s own site.

        To my way of thinking that is bad journalism. Sloppy journalism at the least; and unethical journalism at worst.
        A reputable website should always give a full citation and explanation of where an article originally came from, and if it is a condensed version of the original it should say so.

        But Desiring God have long since given up caring about ethics, except for their own distorted ethical system which pushes an adulterated and legalistic ‘gospel’ onto its readers.

  14. Broken not shattered

    Anything to keep women down right?

  15. Schari

    Desiring God and John Piper have increasingly become legalistic. I used to adore Piper. I’ve probably listened to 300 messages, but no more! His views on marriage and his desire to put a yoke of oppression on every Christian is a real turn off.

    • Hi Schari, welcome to the blog! 🙂

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      If for your safety’s sake you want us to change your screen name to something other than ‘Schari’, just email The woman behind the curtain: twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

  16. LorenHaas

    They published something similar about not getting too close to your pets.
    No, really. Your pet can divert your devotion to God.
    Their God must be very small….

    • Tan

      I don’t think they care if your attention is on God, as long as its FULLY on them and their influence. Anything and everything is a threat. They want people’s hearts all to themselves.They probably also think everyone is like them and not to be trusted. Fear based. We all know the verse…”Fear is not of God…”

  17. KayJay

    Hmmm, the list sounds a lot like a good marriage. So are they saying that marriage is an idol?

    Boom.

    • KayJay

      Or maybe I should say “marriage” rather than good marriage. Not down with the overly possessive stuff.

  18. rrprewett

    “A Christian friend understands that, ultimately, she has nothing irreplaceable to offer you and that you have nothing irreplaceable to offer her.”

    I found this a sad, low view of our fellow human beings and of the very nature of friendship.

    I think of one of my longterm friends. She truly is irreplaceable — no one else has that shared history with me, knows my family that well, watched me grow up, is unfailingly honest with me, and has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever encountered.

    I think of teammates on mission trips. No one can possibly replace the sweetness and gentleness that one young woman has brought into my life. In fact, each is irreplaceable — God made them wonderfully unique, custom-designed treasures. They each offer what no one else can. That is the beauty of what it means to be human.

    • H

      Really good point. What they say turns other humans into a means to an end… we can’t enjoy and delight in unique friendships with humans because we have to be 100% delighting in God alone, so therefore we should be thinking about how we can USE each other as objects to get closer to God. People become perfectly interchangeable, replaceable, and therefore devalued. No wonder many of Desiring God’s legalistic teachings about suffering and such seem cruel and insensitive to the hurting…they really don’t care about your feelings! You’re just a means, and you’re either useful to their purpose or not. All they care about is can they step on your head to get closer to God!

  19. Suzanne

    Has the author of this piece ever even read the Bible? My women friends are a God-send (literally). They are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. We have supported one another through tough times. We’ve prayed together for one another and for our children and spouses, our churches and our country. God designed us to be people who live in community, to have friendships that are deep and meaningful. These friendships have enhanced my love for God and my understanding of His Word. They were never a rival for my affection for Him. I agree with Tan that this is a design to divide and conquer, to leave us isolated from our support systems. It is not scriptural, but just another doctrine of human beings who do not have our best interests at heart.

  20. NG

    All I was saying was that those close relationships can become problematic, and female-female friendships can be very obsessive and abusive too – it is not only men who can be abusive. It has happened to me and I have seen it in the church. Healthy friendships (same sex or different) are wonderful, but some women that I have encountered treated me as if I was their life partner, and should be there 24/7.
    Sincere, close and life-giving friendships are worth seeking and building(just like a healthy marriage), but sometimes women are just as obsessive and possessive as abusive husbands.

    • Tan

      I agree with this too, i had to end a few female friendships because they were borderline abusive and these women had some narcissistic traits that i could no longer overlook.

      • NG

        Tan, I have often asked myself and God, how to build genuine close friendships without falling into that unhealthy pattern. What I have seen, it’s often divorced or middle-aged women, who somehow sought me out as their ‘target’ and emotional source (and became angry when I could not be that ‘replacement husband’)…

        Many who have not had healthy friendships try to build intimacy with the wrong way, with extreme controlling and obsession. The intention may be sincere, but when one doesn’t instantly become their ‘mini self’, they get abusive…

        Sometimes I think that some of my male friends have been much more honest and loyal than many woman friends. No drama or competition! – but I do continue to pray for godly and safe female contacts.

        Interdependence instead of co-dependancy, intimacy within healthy boundaries, sharing without need to compete about blessings: that would be heaven on earth. Instead, it has often been like Chinese dramas about the imperial court: women competing each other and vying for Emperor’s attention.. 😦

      • Tan

        I hear ya NG. They can be very controlling too.
        One of these women, a supposed “friend” ended up basically having an affair with my then Fiance. He was a very covert narc anyway, as was she.

      • Hi Tan and NG, I appreciate your interchange here. For readers who aren’t receiving email notifications of subsequent comments in this thread, may I point you to my comment upstream in this thread where I talk about Queen Bees?

        https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2017/03/04/utter-nonsense-from-desiring-god-designed-to-isolate-women/#comment-90859

    • Lea

      I do recall high school friendships having these jealousy issues but I put that down to youth.

      My problem is that she is clearly most concerned about relationships turning sexual, and sort of smoothed that together with ‘codependent’.

      They should have focused on one thing or the other. And then she went off on these tangents like no one is irreplaceable? Lies! You should be sad when your friend moves away and hugs are great. There is a difference between hugging and cuddling. There is a difference between being close and texting about your bad days and being romantically involved or incapable of having other friends.

    • IamMyBeloved's

      But they are not implying abusive friendships. They ignore abuse. I don’t see abuse being talked about in their article, they are simply telling us that friendships between women are hazardous to our health and relationship with God.

      • Yeah; the article at Desiring God didn’t talk about abuse.

        No surprise: DG likes to ignore the Elephant In The Room. We [DG] don’t talk about that in polite company, except when we ‘tut tut’ about it in a saccharine “We Know Best” kinda way….

      • Tan

        Very true

  21. Mary27

    This same weird thinking is found in Debi Pearl’s book “Created to be a Help Meet”. The author discourages friendships between women and implies that good friendships with other women is something “abnormal and sick” (pg. 182). She feels that to see other women at church and prayer meeting is enough.

    It’s true that in a healthy marriage our husband would be our best friend, but it’s very extremist (wrong) to say all other friendships are bad (with the assumption that they must be immoral). The Bible is full of examples of friendships and Paul’s epistles are full of commands to love, encourage, care for, and show kindness to other believers: love one another deeply from the heart; by this shall all men know you are my disciples if you have love one for another; bear one another’s burdens; be of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren; all that believed were together and had all things in common; comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, etc.

  22. H

    This is the most bizarre post I’ve ever read on Desiring God (but I’m sure someone here could top it with something more outrageous). Many of their bullet points describe me and one of my best friends, but certainly not the weirdo homosexual insinuations… so basically this post is designed to make women who happen to be blessed with one wonderful relationship start suspecting themselves of homosexuality and idolatry. And men too. There are a lot of people in my church who think of us as a pair, inseparable, “attached at the hip.” So now my peers who follow Desiring God (and there are many) are going to look at us in askance and think, wow, I wonder what kind of idolatrous and homosexual things they are getting up to. Tsk tsk.

    Really??? Thanks Desiring God. Way to incite slander against me, one of God’s beloved. Way to call evil what God himself in fact provided for me, a wonderful friend. Desiring God will be held accountable for every evil thing they insinuate against God’s beloved church.

    Irony is, if church people we nicer to me and more faithful in their friendships with me as I leave my husband for abuse, maybe I wouldn’t have ONLY ONE FRIEND.

  23. cindy burrell

    Thank you for exposing this insanity, Barb. Nothing like a big fat load of guilt and shame to draw one closer to God.

  24. Herjourney

    I have been in counseling sessions where the male adamantly said. If you’re married you can not talk to other men. And this one is a mind boggler.”you cannot witness to men if your a woman!” This is in fact a lie from the enemy. Isolation is a tactic of Satan. BTW As a Christian woman. I find it easier to talk to men.

    • Tan

      I dont agree with having close exclusive friendships with married men though, or men in relationships. Like being BFF’s with another womens Husband/partner. Particularly if the guys wife is somewhat excluded. That happened to me, i was the Fiance.
      Im not saying thats what your doing though.

      • Herjourney

        Let me clarify more in depth here. If the relationship with the opposite sex is emotionally charged. And the other is married. It can become an emotional affair. This typically might happen if either spouse is not connecting on an emotional and intimate level with their spouse. Emotional affairs are hard to break. Friendships with the opposite sex can be helpful in that the female can engage in truth from a biblical position. If the biblical armour is secured and God would have you witness to the male gender. Beware though. Some woman can’t handle a man who manipulates her emotionally. God can use a woman to witness to a man. It’s not for the un seasoned weak Christian woman. I might get some flack for this comnent. Only God knows my journey, and He has lead me on some crazy adventures. Being a follower of Christ is risky business . No risk. Comfort zone Christianity is not in my dictionary.

      • Tan

        Ok. The guy i was engaged to didnt have emotional and physical affairs with several women because of any lack of connection. He was just a pathological liar and serial cheater who loved to triangulate, and deliberately cause conflict or jealousy between people while acting innocent and oblivious.

        I personally wouldnt feel safe/comfortable witnessing to men unless i knew they were completely trustworthy. The same with friendships with men.

        I dont think im unseasoned or weak either.

      • Thanks for your comment, Tan. 🙂

        And yes, ‘lack of connection’ is often a euphemism for ‘abusive & entitled mindset’.

  25. roscuro

    Eww, gross. What a horrible way to destroy friendship and sow suspicion of naturally healthy relationships. Yet the person who wrote it would probably bristle at some of the secular spin that has been put on the relationship between Jesus and John. The quiz reminds me strongly of something Bill Gothard once told the young teenage girls at the Knoxville ATI conference one year, “You aren’t here to make friends, you are here to make disciples.” Even friendship wasn’t a good thing in that program. It is discouraging to see other supposedly Christian organizations make the same errors over again.

    • Tan

      Are they trying to create robots?

  26. Wingfoot

    I remember reading a little fiction novel once where the author was describing the changes in our culture by observing the lives of denizens going about their business in the story’s main town. He observed one nameless young man who was struggling with loneliness because his best friend who was like a brother to him had moved away. But this young man didn’t want to tell anyone of his struggles, because he knew that some would accuse him of being gay. So he keeps his loneliness to himself which further isolates him.

    Such a sad observation of our increasingly isolated society. And where the church should step in and support phileo, storge, and, agape love, we instead see articles like this, which say that if you talk with your friend a lot, foot their bill when their finances are tough, or let them crash on your couch during a rough patch in their life (and vice versa) then you might as well be sharing a bed with them and touching them inappropriately, since it’s all the same according to this list.

    How very sad.

    • Welcome to the blog Wingfoot, and please accept our apologies for not welcoming you when your commented previously.

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      bless you 🙂

  27. bright sunshinin' day

    Thanks for this post, Barb.

    Rrprewett, this BFF article does present a low view of our fellow human beings and friendships. In John 15:15, seems Jesus was close with His followers and in other passages He gave the commission to them to do likewise:

    “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

    H, you summed it up well:

    Really good point. What they say turns other humans into a means to an end… we can’t enjoy and delight in unique friendships with humans because we have to be 100% delighting in God alone, so therefore we should be thinking about how we can USE each other as objects to get closer to God. People become perfectly interchangeable, replaceable, and therefore devalued. No wonder many of Desiring God’s legalistic teachings about suffering and such seem cruel and insensitive to the hurting…they really don’t care about your feelings! You’re just a means, and you’re either useful to their purpose or not. All they care about is can they step on your head to get closer to God!

    • Tan

      Yeah i think what they want is mind controlled slaves.

  28. Boston Lady

    Anything, ANYTHING, that comes from “Desiring God” should be dismissed and treated as rubbish and utter nonsense This watch-out-you-could-be-a-lesbian article is even worse than the drivel about pets that was on that so-called site a few days ago.
    Bonkers. Completely. Cringeworthy.

    As always, with that lot, it’s all about control and imagined man-made “authority.” DG is a dangerous site and there should be some sort of gag order against Piper and all his “writers.”

    Utter nonsense indeed. As much as I’m trying, I can’t see the love of Christ there. I only see “man” and man’s faulty and deadly doctrines…
    Piper and his cohorts get to me quicker than an overripe pimple on the nose.

    • Hi Boston Lady, Welcome to the blog 🙂
      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

  29. Stan

    I’m a man who like Kelly Needham [the author of the post at Desiring God] lives in Dallas, and I believe I’m about Kelly Needham’s age.

    I actually have seen some close friendships among young Christian ladies from the “gospel-centered” crowd that I find odd. But then again, Christian friendships absolutely should be more intimate than those of the world! Has Mrs. Needham ever seen a portrait of a biblical holy kiss?

    Also, everything I’ve seen in young adults ministry would indicate that Dallas follows most of the American Christian world in that at most 40% of people attending young adults ministry are male.

    While Kelly Needham is married to a literal rockstar [Eds have verified this, see here], the 1 in 3 women who will not be given a Christian husband will come to be well-served by close sisterhoods in Christ. This article is the definition of a tying a heavy burden that she, Kelly Needham, won’t help bear.

  30. Barely Reformed

    Reading between the lines, I got the impression this checklist was all about lesbianism, and not close healthy friendships. I agree that the author or whoever did the editing should have been upfront about that. As far as straight friendships going wrong, I’ve had one of those a long time ago. I don’t know if I’d call her a queen bee since she wasn’t cultivating a group of followers, but she always seemed to need at least one person to dominate. She was an abuse survivor, very friendly and outgoing at first. At her core was rage and a sense of entitlement. In the end I had to cut off all contact.

    It would be nice to have at least one good female friend, but after that I guess I became very wary of female friends, aside from my awesome mother in law. My husband is my best friend now, and I have become content with that. I can always hope for the future.

    • NG

      Barely Reformed: You put it very well, ‘At her core was rage and a sense of entitlement’. This exactly is what I have seen happen in some ‘sisterly’ relationships.

      Sometimes a friendship also is not supposed to last for life, but just for a season, so it’s best not to try to force it for longer than the ‘designated time’. Especially when the other person cannot support and understand your goals and dreams, but tries to speak you out of them, or always ‘fix’ you.

      You’re blessed to have a healthy marriage, BR. There is such wisdom in God’s idea that man and woman belong together. Of course that isn’t always what happens for everyone. In an ideal world, our lives would have both: a good spouse and sister-like friends too. But, nothing is easy after the Fall. Good relationships are a blessed gift!

      • Barely Reformed

        I have indeed been greatly blessed with a loving Christian husband. Back when he was my boyfriend, he was my biggest supporter during the period when I had to move out of the apartment and completely separate from my “friend”.

        And amen to what you said about good relationships!

  31. Clockwork Angel

    Oh, dear! There goes the Apostle John laying his head on Jesus’ breast again!

    Seriously, that Desiring God article read like something out of a teen magazine. You know, I keep thinking I really missed the money making boat in life. I could’ve written trash like this and gotten paid for it. What was I thinking, going to college to do something serious that required hard work?

  32. Tess

    I have just been forced to leave a church and am in the process of going “no contact” with an abusive queen bee who had a harem of female followers who would have benefited from taking Kelly’s quiz……Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here…….Some lonely women in my church have fallen into this trap in their search for intimacy and one marriage is in jeopardy because of a friendship that went wrong…..This church has been in turmoil because of ignorance in these matters….It may be rare -but female friendships can go very wrong….these ladies in my church, have been hurt and damaged…I myself have learned a lot and have been shocked and traumatised……I was previously innocent and unaware of this possibility, like so many of your posters. But now I can see that the quiz would have helped these ladies and the red flags may even have stopped the turmoil within this church and even have saved the marriage that is now in jeopardy…..

    So please don’t be too hard on your judgement of Kelly…..I believe these things need to be highlighted…… Ignorance is not bliss!

    • Hi Tess, we stand by our judgement of Kelly’s quiz.

      In relation to the queen bee who messed up many women and one marriage in your church, they could easily have benefitted from some wisdom about the ways evil people (men or women) manipulate others for their own selfish ends. But there are plenty of better quizzes, lists of ‘warning signs,’ and books out there to read which are way better than Kelly’s quiz and are less laced with foolishness.

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