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Showing posts from November, 2008

You're in the Church of Christ: Authenticity Is Not Allowed

One thing I noticed while growing up in the COC is that the church does not allow people to be themselves, to live an authentic life and express the best of themselves. Instead, everyone must conform to the church's idea of proper behavior, ideas, and emotions or risk being labeled as "wayward" or even sinful. As a result, people in the COC are forced to wear a false front and not express their most authentic selves. You can't express your true feelings or thoughts because they might contradict church doctrine or undermine the authority of the elders and deacons (or "the men of the church" if there are no elders or deacons).

One way that the church suppresses personal authenticity is by strictly enforcing very rigid gender roles. Women with leadership skills are pushed down and relegated to a subordinate role, while men without those skills are forced to play public leadership roles to which they're ill suited. It's just assumed that a man will alwa…