The Stepford Christian

Some movies have more controversy surrounding them than they need to have. As grown women we know very well what to blow over and what to take to heart. If we live in fear of watching a movie, thinking we're going to lose our soul to the 'devil' then how strong is our God to keep us close no matter how much 'evil' we see? I'm not recommending we go out and see every 'evil' movie out there, but just trying to bring a healthy balance to living a victorious life in Christ without being so fearful of something bad happening to us if we happen to hear profanity from someone in the store or even in a movie. In Christ, we are strong victorious women who live in a world of broken people. I don't believe He ever intended that we would live an ultra isolated life, clinging only to those who we have everything in common with and avoiding everyone else. That reminds me of 'The Stepford Wives'.

The Stepford Wives is a story about an isolated community of families where all the women were expected to dress and act a certain way in order to remain a part of the community. The men were given special privledges unknown to their wives and the wives were to submit to everything the men dictated to them. The story is like walking in to a Barbie doll community where everyone look and acts like Barbie. Some religious communities are very much the same with an added element of fear. The lifestyle of living perfect mixed with fear of what will happen to you if you don't live perfect.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Living in Christ, through his grace, is not a life we need to live with fear. We have nothing to fear. 

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jesus gave us His victory when He defeated death and the grave through his resurrection. He triumphed over the principalities.

I feel that far too many Christians live their lives in more fear of 'the devil' snatching them up than they do in the victory of Christ. Is Christ triumphant or not? Is He triumphant in you? Why do we fear an adversary when we have Christ? He said very clearly not to live in fear, but in peace. He is our Great Shepherd and He has full complete power and authority to protect us. Knowing that Christ has full and complete utter victory, then why do Christians fear the adversary so much? What is that fear doing to them? Is it keeping them spiritually crippled from being an effective lamp in this world? Are they so afraid of evil that they don't dare go to the city park and have a conversation with a homeless person? Are they so scared that they have to beat back those they deem as sinful the same they would keeping wild animals out of their home?

Do you know what happens when you treat a person like they are a wild animal, through fear and anger to keep it away? Have you ever tried to keep an animal in a cage and treat it like it's still in the wild? Yelling at the animal and being harsh with it, telling the animal over and over that it's wild? Some zoo keepers have discovered that it only angers the animal more and sometimes the animal attacks the zoo keepers. It's no surprise to me this happens, but what does surprise me is when people say, "See! It IS a wild animal!" Then there are people who truly love an animal and through that love the animal becomes tame and loving in return.

Now imagine those Stepford Christians who seem to live the Barbie life and when anything they deem as a threat comes into their environment, then lash out and treat others with anger and fearmongering. A closer look at The Stepford Wives revealed they weren't what they were showing themselves to be on the outside. On the inside they were fearful and hostile.

In Christ there is no expectation to live a Stepford Christian life. We have no reason to fear and anything of fear is not of faith. He doesn't expect us to be Stepford Christians. He never even asked us to 'become Christians'. He simply showed us that Father loves us and that while we were still sinners, He died for us. He reconciled us to Father and we were adopted. His desire is not to see us become a Stepford Christian. His desire is to see a fulfilling relationship between us and Father.

"You mean I don't have to dress like all the other church ladies to be accepted by Father?"
Exactly! He already accepted you because of Christ.

"So I don't need to stack chairs at church and pass out church tracts to be worthy to God?"
Exactly! Jesus is in you and that's who makes you worthy.

"and I don't have to be afraid of seeing the cover of Cosmo in the checkout line at the store?"
No, you have nothing to fear. Do you really think the cover of Cosmo has the power to sway you away from our Eternal Romance with God?

When we put ourselves in to the Stepford mold, we cease from growing naturally. That puts us into the position of growing into what man wants us to be.

He is totally head over heels in love with you. Just as you are. Rest in His very capable and loving arms, drink of His Living Water and basque in the Son Light and you WILL grow. You will grow into the beautiful wonder He created you to be..naturally..organically..with no man made preservatives.
sunflower by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

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{ LisaMe! } at: August 26, 2010 at 11:57 AM said...

Amen .. I loved this..

{ Dana } at: August 26, 2010 at 2:34 PM said...

Except those "perfect" Stepford wives weren't even living beings. They were robots, their living counterparts having been murdered off by the men.

I think there are two issues here. One is of fear, which is not good for the Christian. If you're truly fearing losing your faith over a challenging or immoral movie, then the Spirit must not have much power in your life.

The other, however, is the idea that we should uphold the good and the beautiful, that which is Godly. Psalm 101:3 says "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."

{ Sisterlisa } at: August 26, 2010 at 2:44 PM said...

Dana, I think there is a difference between gawking at the cover of Cosmo and 'happening to see it', as well as passing it by without a thought and fearing what might happen if you happen to see it at the checkstands.

And I would imagine you are referring to the original story, as I was referring to the newer version where they each had a microchip that seemingly brainwhsed them.

and your comment about the Spirit not having much power in a life, I totally agree with. In my article I choose to go with the most extreme sides as the example and those who read can follow what Holy Spirit guides them to understand in their own lives.

For me personally, I don't read magazines like Cosmo and I am selective in which films I watch. And at the same time, happening to see the cover of Cosmo doesn't affect me negatively. and although hearing someone using profanity isn't my cup of tea, it doesn't make my faith falter.

:D Thank you for the verse.

{ EdenFire } at: October 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM said...

Excellent post Lisa.
I know this is a little off topic, but I just wanted to say the original film, The Stepford Wives, made in the early 1970s (I think?) is WAY creepier and scarier and more viscerally obvious what's going on than the modern remake. I didn't like the modern remake AT ALL. They ruined it by trying to make it WAY too subtle. The original was more overt and it was the casual acceptance of that overtness as "normal" that gave it such a great edge.

{ Sisterlisa } at: October 10, 2010 at 8:52 PM said...

Thank you, Andraste. I will be sure to see it then. :) I may need to write again, once I've seen it.

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