thoughts and emotions: devil’s territory

General” Deborah teaches that our emotions are of the devil, not of god, and as god’s soldiers, it’s our duty to rebuke not only our thoughts, but also our emotions, to command them underfoot, to plead the blood of Jesus over them. As god’s soldiers it’s our duty to submit to god—i.e. to General Deborah Green, because she’s the one god talks to. She’s General of his army. She’s his prophet. She’s everybody’s life line.

Steve never doubts her. One day he sternly says to me, “god wants us to burn all of our family photos. They’re idols before him.” He makes a fire in the fireplace in barracks 1 where we live, and one by one he throws pictures into the fire. I watch as my children’s images go up in smoke and flame. I’m deeply troubled, but I share nothing of my own thoughts, my own feelings, my own doubts—all three forbidden, all three “of the devil.” For Steve it’s like some ritual of passage of some kind.

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My biological family is not my family anymore. They’re not “of god.” My real family is “god’s family,” and to them I give my allegiance. I fight the devil and tell him to flee my thoughts and my emotions in the name of Jesus, but nothing changes. My thoughts don’t change. My feelings don’t change. I don’t change. Nothing makes sense to me, nothing “feels” right to me, it all feels wrong. But I am shut-up inside, silenced and I am bound by fear.