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A Critical Review of Lori Alexander's Teachings

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

The blog post "How God Refined Me" by Lori Alexander on The Transformed Wife website is a seemingly embellished story of her personal journey of faith amidst physical suffering. It also serves as a platform for her to propagate the cultish teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) movement, a theology that has been widely criticized for its rigid interpretations of the Bible, strict gender roles, and spiritual abuse.

Lori Alexander aka The Transformed Wife

Alexander's narrative is deeply rooted in IFB theology, a movement characterized by a literal interpretation of the Bible, a strong emphasis on personal salvation, and a belief in the importance of living a holy life separated from worldly influences. These practices lead to harmful beliefs, due to being interpreted in a rigid and inflexible manner.


One of the most concerning aspects of IFB theology is its emphasis on unquestioning obedience to authority, particularly male authority. This leads to a culture of control and manipulation, where individuals are discouraged from questioning or challenging the teachings of their leaders. This is particularly harmful for women, who are taught to submit to their husbands and to play a subservient role in the church and in the home.


In her blog post, Alexander recounts her experiences of illness and how she used her faith to maintain a positive outlook, avoiding self-pity and bitterness. She emphasizes the power of godliness with contentment and the strength she found in Biblical teachings, particularly Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."


While on the surface this may seem like a testament to her faith, it also subtly reinforces the harmful aspects of IFB theology. By presenting her suffering as a test of faith that she overcame through godliness and contentment, Alexander implicitly promotes the idea that suffering should be endured without complaint. This is particularly harmful when applied to situations of abuse or mistreatment, as it discourages victims from seeking help or speaking out against their abusers.


Furthermore, Alexander's narrative discourages individuals from seeking necessary medical or psychological help. By emphasizing her reliance on faith and godliness to endure her physical suffering, Alexander suggests that faith is a substitute for medical treatment. This is a dangerous message, particularly for individuals who are suffering from serious physical or mental health conditions.


The Bible does indeed teach the importance of enduring suffering with patience and faith (Romans 5:3-5). However, it also teaches the importance of seeking wisdom and help when needed (Proverbs 12:15). It's important to balance the Biblical call to endure suffering with the Biblical call to seek help and wisdom.


The teachings propagated by Alexander and the IFB movement bear the hallmarks of a cult, including the promotion of unquestioning obedience to authority, the discouragement of critical thinking, and the use of fear and guilt to control members. These practices can lead to spiritual abuse, psychological harm, and the breakdown of healthy relationships and communities.


As Christians, it's important to critically examine the teachings of leaders like Alexander and to promote a theology that values all individuals, encourages healthy and respectful relationships, and balances the biblical call to endure suffering with the biblical call to seek help and wisdom. It's also crucial to recognize and challenge the harmful and abusive practices that can arise in religious communities, and to support those who have been harmed by such practices.


In the end, it's not about rejecting faith or spirituality, but about promoting a form of faith that is healthy, respectful, and life-affirming. It's about recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals, and about striving to create religious communities that are safe, inclusive, and nurturing for all.


Sources:


  1. The Transformed Wife: How God Refined Me

  2. Independent Fundamental Baptist Criticism

  3. Bible Verses about Suffering

  4. Bible Verses about Seeking Wisdom

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