Why I Walked Away from Above Rubies

I’ve spent time in the last week discussing my concerns over the fundamental churches that we’ve attended and their unbiblical ideology.

It was actually someone who isn’t fundamental –and didn’t know what fundamentalism is before I explained it– that introduced me to Above Rubies.

If you don’t know what Above Rubies is, let me explain.

Above Rubies is a magazine, Facebook group, and Conference which focus on godly womanhood.

I was given a scholarship to a local conference and attended. While I found the fellowship encouraging enough that I actually attended two years in a row, the theology didn’t set right with me.

There was something strange going on.

There were people there from the very legalistic Arminian/Wesleyan church I had attended as a child, and there were also people from the fundamental baptist churches my husband and I had attended.

Generally the fundamental baptists will not fellowship with others who have such different views.

I found it puzzling and when I mentioned it to my friend she said that it was just great that all the denominations were getting along.

Here’s what I didn’t realize until recently: Above Rubies reflects fundamental ideology.

(See my previous two posts about Fundamentalism for an explanation of what beliefs they have in common.)

While much of their teaching “comes from the Bible,” much of it was not biblically sound.

I was very sick, too sick to even walk very far, when I attended, so I was very grateful for their kindness. A group of ladies from the local chapter even came and cleaned my house which was a huge blessing.

But what was being taught –regardless of how kind they were– was unbiblical.

In hindsight, it’s kind of like the Mormons. They’re nicest people you’ll likely ever meet, but still heaped in false teaching which they claim is bible-based.

Many women who are part of the group don’t even see the dangerous ideology in the background. To them, it’s just a group for conservative women. They are the reason I am writing this post.

The reason people from such diverse groups (the Wesleyans and the Baptists) met under the same roof to hear the teaching is that both groups are actually fundamental.

It did not occur to me until recently that the church I grew up in reflected fundamental ideology.

The Wesleyan fundamentalist didn’t call themselves such, but their beliefs definitely reflect it.

I have explained in two previous posts my concern with fundamental ideology.

Some of their theology is on point, but what they practice is a very external version of Christianity (a false version). It is a Christianity that presents itself with a list of social rules while character –true character– is either an afterthought or ignored altogether.

There are varying degrees of fundamentalist, and I’m understandably only able to describe what I’ve seen.

As I’ve mentioned before, we attended one fundamental church where we agreed almost 100% with their stated beliefs, their Statement of Faith, but no one in leadership knew what their statement of faith was or what it meant.

What they did have was a long list of rules of conduct.

But I digress. Back to the issue of Above Rubies.

I noticed some things that should have been warning signs when I attended the conference, but it wasn’t until I started following their Facebook page that I really started seeing red flags.  

Half of the time the posts were emotionally motivated like stories to motivate you to “be a good mom and wife,” but the other half of the time the posts were odd. The leadership seem drawn to an almost Mormon-version of Christianity. They were consistently making non-biblical absolutes.  

The women in the Facebook group admired the Duggars (who are Fundamentalists) and Sister Wives (LDS) admiring how submissive and godly they were. There is a great amount of irony in admiring the “godliness” of a unsaved cult member: perhaps then your definition of godly is wrong.

This is why the women from the extreme fundamental churches are drawn to this group.

But the ladies from evangelical churches are largely unaware that fundamentalism even exists. So, they do not see the warning signs even when they are in the midst of it.

What really got my attention, and what made me finally pull the plug and separated myself from the group is when one of the leaders posted a Facebook meme with a picture of a baby that read:

“If a woman stops having babies, she denies herself her legacy and a baby its body.”

Woah.

Wait a minute.

That’s Mormon theology.  The Mormons believe that there are babies in heaven waiting to be born and given their bodies.  That’s what the leader (whoever posted to the Above Rubies page) was supporting.

I draw the line at cultic teachings.

I left and haven’t looked back.

I cannot tolerate being part of a group that is teaching things so clearly unbiblical, and I am concerned about those who are not discerning enough to see the folly in the group. Many only go participate because the group supports stay-at-home moms and endorses submission.  

You can endorse submission without embracing the extreme views of the fundamentalist ideology.  

You can encourage motherhood without embracing cultic teachings.

Those of us who hold to the scriptures but see the flaws in the fundamentalists ideology need a group and retreat of our own. Something without the cultic beliefs and dangerous ideology.

Since Above Rubies only flirts with and isn’t completely engrossed in overt fundamentalism,  it’s subtler and harder to see.

But it’s absolutely there.

If you know what you are looking for.

Tomorrow, I’ll address more false, unbiblical teaching that has emerged from the Above Rubies movement.

May wisdom and discernment prevail.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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