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Our Stories - Casting Pearls

04/13/2018
Seek The Truth Blog

Our Stories - Casting Pearls:

Today's story that was sent in by a former member is not a single story but is the voice of unison. It is not one voice, or even two. It is a collection of voices, standing together as one, with the objective of helping others find strength.

I first came in contact with the person who submitted this post a few years ago. Even from the very first time I met them, I knew it would not be long before they were organizing an effort to help other former "Message" cult members gain strength. In fact, I offered for them to write encouraging posts for Seek the Truth, knowing they would be a blessing to many, many people. Shortly before they said "yes", I retracted the offer - I knew that they were much bigger than this site could contain.

Now, just a few years later, I learn that my retraction was not in vain. Not only have they put together a platform to help former members heal, they have built a community that the healed can help others find healing.

Please join me in congratulating them and giving them your support!

…

The Casting Pearls Project was created as a place of healing for abused women (the Pearls) who've left the "Message", and it is a place for them to share their story. Matthew 7:6 gives the account of Jesus' warning, "Do not give to dogs what is holy, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you". What the "Message" has oppressed and cast down as "byproducts", we recognize as Pearls worthy of lifting up, encouraging, and supporting.

Many women who were former members of the "Message" will attest to the emotional turmoil they faced after recognizing William Branham's true hostile views and derogatory statements directed towards the female gender. The first time they learned that these views applied to all women, both members and non-members of the "Message", it was unsettling. Did all men in the "Message" share these same misogynistic views? Will my sons be raised to view my daughters and other women in the same way?

The extent of William Branham's misogynistic views was never openly discussed in the "Message". They were never discussed in our local communities. Our friends and neighbors had no idea we were teaching our children these things, or that when an unsuspecting person wandered into our church they would receive recordings with these views. This information was concealed so discretely that many members of the "Message" were not aware. Only the cult leaders, those who studied and promoted Branham's recordings, had full awareness. Instead of portraying him for what he openly stated, they portrayed William Branham as the type of man who would never make such statements.

The majority of members have accepted their portrayal as fact and are not aware that William Branham made these statements. Instead, members remember the heart-warming stories of his first wife, Hope, and his undying love for her. Branham described her to his audiences with deep love and admiration. He referred to his second wife, Meda, as "Darling" and "Sweetheart". He always acknowledged the 'sisters in Christ' when greeting the congregation and spoke respectfully of the women present in his meetings. Followers of the "Message" have been convinced that his statements about his wife and his greetings during opening statements were the full extent of his views, unaware of what has been concealed.

Because of this, women genuinely felt protected by the "prophet's" teachings of headship, submission, and dress-code. William Branham used scriptures from the Bible, and the way he arranged them seemed to justify his doctrine of "women being the psychologically weaker vessel". Eve was created last and was deceived in the Garden of Eden. Lot's wife coveted the world. Sarah laughed in the face of God. Female members of the "Message" were unaware of the additions William Branham gave to each of these stories, twisting the words to cast blame on the female in each story.

William Branham also "justified" these instructions to show disrespect for women who didn't follow his teachings, again twisting scriptures. Branham referred to non-cult women -- both Christian and non-Christian -- as filthy, dirty, immoral, "dog meat", and devil-possessed, and worse. He claimed that heroes of the Bible, such as Elijah and John the Baptist, were "woman haters". Women in the "Message" were so convinced Branham viewed them with the same respect as he claimed to have for his wives that they shouted "Amen" to his misogynistic quotes about the female gender. We actually praised William Branham for insulting us!

God opened our eyes. All the deception and outright lies within the Message have been exposed. As the layers of deceit are peeled away, the "protection" we felt while feeding on William Branham's horrific views of women suddenly becomes clear. We see it for what it was. It was unbiblical, severely oppressive, and destructive. Branham twisted scriptures to justify his own personal issues with women. He manipulated women into believing they were unworthy vessels instead of glorifying them as also being created in the image of God -- just like men were.

The women that Branham taught his following to condemn were the same type of women that God blessed to be in the lineage of Jesus: prostitutes and women who weren't afraid of challenging the customs of their day. Tamar. Rahab. Ruth. Uriah's wife. Mary. It was Jewish custom for a prophet or elders to anoint kings with oil, yet, God selected a prostitute to anoint Jesus' ministry and body with oil. While Branham would have condemned as "dog meat", Jesus uplifted as precious in his sight.

In the "Message" women were second class. They were trained to believe that they could not participate in major decisions, discussing their views on doctrine, or spreading the "Gospel" (the good news of Branham). Yet the Bible is filled with courageous women who led men: Esther prevented genocide, and literally saved the Jewish race. Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel. Jael was a heroine who delivered Israel by killing their enemy's commander with a tent stake. Phoebe was a deaconess. Junia was an apostle. Euodia and Syntyche were evangelists. Priscilla ministered to others with her husband Aquilla. According to Branham's "Message", all of these women should be condemned!

Sadly, almost all religions that oppress women have one thing in common: abuse. Throughout history, we have example after example of women being abused in religions that have oppressed them. It is a scar upon humanity. Religious leaders oppressed women, and either instructed or commended men for abusing them. The "Message" is no different. William Branham challenged men, claiming that they weren't doing their "godly duty" if they didn't beat their wives or daughters who weren't submissive. Many "Message" churches teach members that female rape victims are the guilty party because their attitude or dress was what enticed their abuser.

The scripture in the Bible referring to the "weaker vessel" is describing the physical weakness of women, not mental weakness. The Bible is very clear in its instruction that women are to be treated with love and respect. Most scholars agree that to "honor their wives as the weaker vessel" was commanded to give women protection against husbands who might otherwise abuse them. It was for protection, not discrimination.

The Casting Pearls Project offers specific Bible studies of God's view of women. It examines God's view from a scriptural standpoint. The site has opened its door as a platform for those who were abused (whether sexually, physically, verbally, or spiritually) in the "Message" to share their story. By sharing with each other, we are strong. Others suffering abuse can read the stories and also become strong. We stand together as one strong voice, united together to protect our "Pearls".

If you are interested in more information, you can find it on our website:
http://castingpearlsproject.com/


 


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