I finally purchased my new friend Marci Preheim’s book Grace Is Free: One Woman’s Journey from Fundamentalism to Failure to Faith. I’m so glad I did. I have been crying since the Foreword. Every woman who has suffered under the heavy weight of “checklist” Christianity would benefit from reading this book.
I want to copy and paste the whole book here, but there’s this thing called copyright, and I don’t think Marci would want to be my friend anymore if I were to do that. Here is just one excerpt:
We don’t like messy people we can’t fix. Our solution is to come up with a code of behavior we can live by and enforce on others. Our motivation is guilt and the fear of man’s (or woman’s) disapproval. We give them rules to follow and schedules to keep. The one who will not (or cannot) follow the code is met with disapproval when she fails. She may be told to “do better”and sent on her way. This unfortunate disciple may then merely pretend to follow the code, hiding her failure—thus, a hypocrite is born. This is how the church loses her first love. No one is motivated long-term by guilt. Guilt may reach the behavior, but it will never reach the heart.