30 Days Of Gratitude – Day 16 – Lewis Wells

We here at Team Paradise follow quite a variety of great blogs.

We’ve already mentioned Rachel Held Evans (whose new book A Year Of Biblical Womanhood is now a New York Times Bestseller), Matthew Paul Turner (whose books SHOULD be New York Times Bestsellers), Elizabeth Esther (who is in the process of writing what we HOPE will be a New York Times Bestseller), and the ex-Quiverfull crowd for starters.

Today, we’ll start a series within a series to highlight more bloggers who are out in cyberspace helping hurting people and raising grassroots awareness about high-demand churches and cultic organizations.  These folks vary in ideology, but these folks have one thing in common: they all despise spiritual abuse in any form.

Lewis Wells, author of The Commandments Of Men

Meet Lewis Wells and his blog, The Commandments of Men.

(Can we just say that we love the title of this blog?  It comes from Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7 where Jesus nails the Pharisees for doing lip service to worship while teaching their own commands as the will of God.  Genius.)

Lewis is also an expert on the Patriarchy and Quiverfull Movement, especially when it comes to the phenomenon of courtship.  Courtship is basically an arranged marriage  made popular in ultra-fundamentalist Christian circles with the best-selling 1997 book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris, but the notion of courtship originated so far as we can tell with Bill Gothard and his Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Sometimes the adjective “Christian” or “biblical” is added to the beginning of the word “courtship” to make it seem more mainstream and acceptable to evangelicals. The vast majority of people foisting this supposed “biblical courtship” onto parents eager to help their kids make right, godly decisions were never involved in courtship themselves.

They dated.  It worked out.  Which has us shaking our heads as to why a patriarchally-dominated courtship is going to somehow be superior.

Lewis wrote this amazing piece about the purity movement, where he analyzes the Purity Movement as a subset of this courtship ideology.  Many might wonder where fundamentalists get their talking points, and Lewis breaks down the origin of the ideas and their fallacies.

We explored what has become a literal doctrine of purity and the subsequent arranged marriage in many ultra-conservative fundamentalist groups in Paradise Recovered, mainly because we see the choice of if, when and who one decides to marry as a fundamental human right.

Lewis has been tirelessly and bravely working to undo the myths surrounding Christian courtship, and his blog is worth reading.  He earned his expertise the hard way: he lived it.  Read his fascinating story here, and then go and read the labor of love that is his blog.

Team Paradise is grateful for Lewis Wells and all he has done for hurting people.  We wish him the very, very best this life has to offer,  We thank him for the freedom he has given to many, in spite of his own pain.  Thanks, brother.

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