Tonight, I finished reading the book Escape by Carolyn Jessop. It was a book Micah thought I would enjoy reading. I don't know if enjoy is the word I would use to describe my experience trying to understand the world of FLDS (the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints). I am however glad to have gained some insight on their beliefs as well as those of similar groups. There are two things that were most impressed upon me after finishing the book.
First of all, if a person doesn't see and know the true word of God, there are many many ways to be deceived. I was astounded at the bizarre doctrine that was neither questioned in the least let alone denied by the women in the group; even when it meant severe physical and emotional abuse for themselves as well as their children. I see how each person, from the earliest age is indoctrinated to not question, but still this fact was shocking even on a every-human, general-revelation level. Man can say anything, but God's words do not change and are consistent and true. Just as Eve was deceived, these women are continually deceived, buying into lies and deception to please their husbands enough so they will be allowed into "heaven".
The second is that even though Carolyn, the writer of the book, successfully escapes her abusive, polygamist lifestyle, she finds herself "not shopping for a new god" in the end. It made me very sad; knowing her vision of God has been severely skewed and leads her to a works based salvation. I would love for her to see the God of the Bible who seeks after her and works salvation in and through the finished work of Jesus Christ. She claims to know freedom, but there is no other lasting freedom than this.
Anytime I am made aware of children being abused, it breaks my heart. It always brings me to my knees, praying for mercy for those who are so small, they cannot defend themselves. It is something I think we all have to push out of out minds to find some level of comfort in the world, but the suffering is real and it happens constantly. This book made me deal with this reality head on; ending up in the same posture as before.
In contrast, I am teaching at Lagrange Baptist Church's VBS next week. I studied Jeremiah 36 and was further encouraged to take seriously God's words. I have also been attending a book study at church using Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Lies Women Believe and the Truth the Set Them Free, additionally instructing me to know the word. I guess assuming this is important is a gigantic understatement!!!