Jezebel Storm: Part I
What Is The Jezebel Spirit?
Jezebel. We all know who she was. Born to eventually become queen of Israel, she chose to worship Baal instead of the One and Only God of Israel. Jezebel sported quite a reputation for her cunning manipulation of men for what she wanted. Jezebel’s eventual demise at the hands of Jehu was quite gory, involving being tossed like yesterday’s rubbish from a balcony to be trampled by horses and torn to shreds by dogs. Not a lovely way to end one’s existence.
Hopscotch across the millennia and you will find references to the “Jezebel spirit” throughout world history. The basic reference of a Jezebel spirit in today’s vernacular hasn’t changed much from those early days. Across most conservative faiths, this spirit is viewed as a woman with wicked intentions in her heart, no ability to love or serve others, completely lacking in compassion, and only desiring to draw other like-minded women to herself for nefarious plans.
There is also a connotation in Western culture that includes the Jezebel woman and her crew joining strength in order to override men in leadership over women. For our purposes, this is the frame of mind we are approaching Jezebel Storm from.
In most western culture homes, the wife rules the roost. Some may be better at concealing this than others, usually through manipulation. Others are blatantly open about their control…causing a very obviously “hen-pecked” husband (though there are other more recent terms that are not appropriate for our viewership that have become synonymous with our preferred term).
These are also the women who will rile at the very mention of headship in the home or church. Even with the reference of I Corinthians 11 most hens feathers will get ruffled pretty quick. Now to clarify, we are not talking about making doormats or ready-made domestic abuse targets out of women. The Bible very clearly speaks that men and women are spiritually equal according to Galatians 3:28.
However, women are created very differently and for very different roles and purposes according to the plan for the home. That’s not to say that women do not have a role in the church. Just as the home needs a kind, tender, gentle soul for dealing with small children, elderly, and those sickly, the church needs those same qualities for the same services in the church. There are whole ministries that are to be arranged and managed by women.
Now I’m going to say something very, very controversial, but bear with me and listen to the end if you have an educated mind and hear my heart on this. Not all of you will agree, and that’s fine. That’s your choice. But it does not change Scripture, and though you may attempt to argue various vantage points, that will not change mine because mine is Scriptural and is going to stay the way it is. You are entitled to your opinion, and I mine. The end on that.
That all said, here we go:
Women do not belong in a position of leadership over men.
This applies to the Christian home, church, and community. It does not apply to entities outside of the church that do not adhere to Biblical standard. We are strictly speaking of the church and home. There are numerous reasons for this, and most are because of the protection that comes from a home or ministry being in proper line in the realm of headship. Women are not to lord over men. Period. And yes, I firmly believe that and adhere to it in my walk, though I am far from perfect.
There are protections that come from a wife being in her God-ordained position beside her husband. There are blessings that come to a ministry for leadership that recognizes the headship order as well. But now let’s take a rabbit trail for a moment.
As already mentioned, there are positions in the church that belong specifically to women, work details that are better headed by a woman, under the lead pastor, elder, or board. Women are better at arranging meals and filling needs for new mamma’s with a new baby at home. Caring for an elderly or sickly person in the family, or keeping watch and prayer at hospital is best done by a woman while the men are taking care of things better suited to the men. Child care, cleaning the home of a sickly or elderly neighbor, ministering to a sister given to tears, all offices much better filled by women who can comfort, relate, and understand the feelings and needs of someone in this situation.
Women are not to be controlled by or relegated to cleaning church bathrooms only. There is a place for that, and some folks find that giving of their time to do these necessary deeds gives them a sense of fulfillment. Also, men are not to treat either their wife nor any woman in the church with any type of belittling, abusive, demeaning, underhanded, degrading behavior whatsoever.
By Jesus’ account, wives are to be treated as Christ Himself treats the church, with love, dignity, compassion, and tenderness. Women are also not to be compensated any less for doing the same sort of work as a man in the same ministry is doing. For example, a local ministry we have had experience with is known and quite absurdly known for paying their female teachers half of what the male teachers earn, simply because they are female. This is unacceptable because the women are putting in the same long hours, and in some cases even have more experience and education in their field than some of the men over the years.
That said, there are times women tend to far overstep their boundaries in both home and ministry. Many homes are overrun by women who belittle their husband’s ability to lead. Unfortunately, Western culture has ushered this in through TV programing, movies, and other examples of women being far smarter and better-equipped than dopey men to “get the job done”.
The emasculating of the Western male has brought our culture to a place where men are now afraid to actually LEAD, make decisions, call the shots, and put a woman in her place for fear of an all-out hen revolt. One need not look too far to see this in our daily world. My personal experience has been in the world of scouting for my son. In an effort to encourage the men to step back in to their rightful place of raising up the next generation of MEN, as BOYS should be, I was very quickly shot down by the women.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a very, very dire need for moms to be involved in scouting with their sons. But just as should be in the church, this should be in a place alongside the men leading out. Women are best suited to helping the men through organizing behind the scenes any events that need to be arranged from a campout and booking all the necessities, to a fundraiser supper or BBQ, to handling the paperwork for awards, records, and purchasing the supplies by running down to the HQ when necessary. The role of men in these organizations, including church and the home, is one of leading out, thinking through the plans for the group, discussing them with his co-leaders in the organization (other than the home), and delegating to those better equipped to get things in order.
Unfortunately, as women began to step into the roles men should be handling, the men shrugged and figure that if the women want to handle it, let them. They also have been berated into submission by their wives at home that they don’t have time/skill/desire to fill the role necessary.
So let’s take a look at what happens when a woman comes along that sees the need to give the roles back to the men. From experience, I can tell you that what will instantly happen is the hens in the crowd who don’t buy into men in leadership will all congregate together at every event. They will belittle, gossip about, and tear to shreds the efforts of the woman who has the “nerve” to try to give men back the leadership.
In the church setting, this is a little different. In a healthy church, the women will welcome a new hen in and gladly accept her desire to serve, help, and fill whatever need her skill set allows. The men in leadership will recognize the tremendous asset they have in having a strong group of women willing to serve in capacity of leading groups that are essential to ministering to the needs within the church of those sick, elderly, in need of prayer, or hitting on difficult times of various type.
When a church is healthy, the male leadership works seamlessly hand-in-hand with the women and they become a mighty force to be reckoned with for their church. As the ministry grows, they become well-known and respected in the community as a group that is serving, loving, and meeting the needs of it’s people and of those in the community outreach service. Because of this, the church grows and becomes a strong, influential entity in the community.
So what happens when the Jezebel spirit is in control in the church?
The Jezebel spirit sneaks in, very slowly. Often it comes in when there is a change of leadership, coming in with a new leader’s wife. In a home where the wife smirks at the very idea of the husband leading the home, there is tremendous danger that this spirit will boil over and impact the church very quickly.
Too many times it’s very hard to identify the Jezebel spirit in a new couple. But often there are tell-tale signs that emerge and evolve. One very clear indicator is the unwillingness of the wife to serve with joy and love in the church. Often there are very few programs and opportunities that inspire growth, fellowship, mentoring, and one-anothering or loving as a group. To be sure, she will have her pets, her closest ones. But everyone else is held at arm’s length with a very chilly, unwelcoming attitude.
We are given a very clear outline of what constitutes an exceptional leader in I Timothy 3:1–13. Specifically, I Timothy 3:2b is concise on the very character of a leader or elder by saying “…. above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
The leader’s wife is expected to complement these traits in her husband. When she is inhospitable or any of the other qualifications of her husband, she no longer is complementary of his skills, but contrary to his efforts.
Unfortunately, because of her own background, she may not bring in to the marriage the qualities necessary for her husband to be useful to the flock, and at worst, could very easily instill and inspire seeds of the Jezebel spirit that will inevitably bring down the ministry.
The trouble with a woman in a position of authority or perceived authority in the ministry that possesses a rampant Jezebel spirit that her husband has no control over is multifaceted. If the husband is unable to maintain sway and authority over his wife, she may resort to tears, threats, and underhanded schemes that will result in her husband constantly running to put out fires.
The uncontrolled Jezzie also inspires the same behavior in the wives of lower staff and members in the ministry. For her to behave in this unaccountable way gives these women justification for behaving the same way in their homes, towards their husbands. This will inevitably destroy families, homes, and marriages and will take a tremendous toll on the overall spirit in the ministry.
When the Jezebel spirit gets a solid foothold, it grows very strong in an extraordinarily short period of time. Because these women tend to congregate and pool strength and resources to fuel their schemes, the situation rapidly spins beyond the control of all the men in leadership. Often, this will cause some of the men to pull back and cower in fear of their wives. Once this happens, nothing short of a complete revival is going to break that dark, controlling spirit and stop the devastation and damage being wrought to the ministry and the community.
The difficulty with dealing with an out-of-control situation like this, a Jezebel Storm, is that when anyone attempts to address the issue, they are very quickly tarred and feathered and ushered out of the ministry on a rail. Any male coming in to the ministry that is straight in his conviction and stance on headship in the home and in the ministry is immediately branded as a chauvinist and the plans to rid the ministry of him is very quickly and carefully instated and implemented.
When this happens, the usual beginnings are marked by the instating of a whisper campaign by some of the Jezzies against the male in question. His character is attacked and assassinated over time by gossiping and undermining behind his back as the Jezzie storm begins to stir, like the lowering clouds of a coming tornado.
There are usually a couple of key or lead Jezebels, under the example or leadership of one overall Queen Jezebel. These are the women either charged with or who choose of their own volition to begin the rotation of the storm. They are often the ones that are in daily contact with the targeted male. Many times the male does not realize that he has been marked as a target, though some are very astute as to the Jezebel spirit and will identify it as soon as they encounter it. Often, the younger ones feel that they will simply function within the covering of God against these women. Sadly, many will be taken down by the Storm.
There’s another silent victim in all of this that most are not aware of, or forget is a casualty of the storm: The wife of the targeted male. She often is a very sweet, submitted wife who has found peace in her place as his wife and mother of his children. She takes joy in serving her family and the ministry in whatever capacity the Lord calls her to. She loves working with the children in the church, ministering to young, unmarried women, and reaching out to mamma’s and seniors in the ministry. Because of this contented spirit, she is often very successful at maintaining her home, has a loving husband who is strong and confident in his position and calling, and as a team they function as one in service to our Lord and the community.
When her husband begins the storm spinning, the wife is not oblivious to the comments, remarks, judgement of her husband, and efforts to destroy him and his work in the ministry. The beautiful thing about this situation though is profound….because her relationship with her husband is strong, she knows that her protection and reassurance comes from him and cannot be destroyed even by the strongest Jezebel Storm.
Though the targeted couple is in the midst of the Jezebel Storm, as long as they keep their focus on Him, they will come through the Storm perhaps battered, but overall unscathed. This experience of going through the fire, but with Him beside them, will only serve to make them stronger and refine them for service to Him in a ministry that is not overrun by the Jezebels.
This story is fictional, an example to amplify what is going on in the Western church as a whole. Jezebels are not singular to one particular sect or denomination, though some lend themselves better to their overall destruction more so than others. One of the easiest denominations for the Jezebels to destroy is the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist.
The Indi-Fundi church, as it’s commonly referred to, is a church that has, by nature and definition, no overseeing governing body outside of itself. There is no system of impartial checks and balances in a broken system where there is no deacon board or other overseeing system of accountability. This works well as long as the church, itself, is careful to place into position of leadership only those who have a strong personal relationship with the Lord.
However, when a leader with a weak walk and knowledge of the working application of scripture is put into headship, there is a tremendous danger for the spirit of pride to take over. Add into this a home where there is no proper headship in the home and there can be exponential damage. If the members are not careful and vigilant in their knowledge of Scripture and of holding the leadership in account, the leadership will completely run away and become one of a spiritually abusive nature.
A leader who is not allowed to lead in his home and is bucked by his Jezebel wife will oftentimes harbor anger, resentment, and those characteristics will come out in his leadership of the ministry. When a leader is overrun by a Jezebel at home the entire ministry is affected. He will either be inclined to allow his temper to lash out at those in his congregation, or his repressed angst will surface as depression as his wife oversteps and undermines her husband’s leadership. Either way, the implications for the ministry are disastrous at best.
The Jezebel Storm is a very real, very devastating force that is impacting not only the church, but has far-reaching destruction in the home, the school, and the community as well. In the next installment from Jezebel Storm, we will take a look at some of these implications and the effect they have on the overall destruction of our culture.
Thank you for stopping by, and we hope you will continue to follow the writings and compilations that will soon become the book, Jezebel Storm.