Ed Young Jr. – “It’s All About the Money”

Ed Young Jr., in his infamous sermon delivered on 10/10/10, intimidates his flock about tithing and dares to speak for God by uttering: “It’s all about the money… Show me the money.” Speak for yourself, Ed. It’s YOUR lifestyle that clearly demonstrates it’s all about the money…

 

Tom Rich has written an outstanding post about the Fellowship Church debacle entitled “Ed Young's Tithing Sermon: Show Me the Money”, which we highly recommend. Tom also has an AWESOME Vimeo page! Good going, Dr. Dog!

 

 

Check out this video that shows Ed Young Jr. in action. As Tom explains, this clip features his antics prior to demanding bank routing and account numbers. Ed’s behavior is truly shameful, as demonstrated by the following rant:

 

“Why have you been coming to church if you’re not bringing the tithe? What are you expecting? Just hang out at home, man. Play golf. You don’t need to be here. What are you expecting, man? Are you crazy? You’re ain’t gonna get anything. It’s not gonna happen. You’re just spitting in the wind. The law of devoted things… ”

 

Ed Young's Tithing "Long Bomb" from FBCJax Watchdog on Vimeo.

 

 

Later in the sermon, Ed says: “I want to help you get blessed.” Yep, he’s definitely been hanging around the prosperity crowd. 

 

In case you aren’t aware of what precipitated Ed’s tithing sermon, here is the background. Dallas/Fort Worth reporters from WFAA-TV, News 8 conducted an investigation of Fellowship Church and its pastor. In early February 2010, it aired this shocking report, which we URGE you to watch.

 

 

You can download the article here

As we understand it, a number of Fellowship Church staff members have been booted out because they dared to question the lack of accountability at their church and the lavish lifestyle of their pastor. News 8 had been in contact with a number of individuals who were once close to Ed Young – one of whom was in the investigative report.

 

Here’s what really disturbed us in the above report:

 

“Young recently replaced his chief financial officer and replaced him with his personal attorney, business partner and fishing buddy, Dennis Brewer Jr.”“In the past few years, Young and his attorney, Dennis Brewer Jr., have created a number of for-profit companies generating money apart from Fellowship Church, including: Creative Pastors, CreativePastors.com, Creality Enterprises, Creality Publishing, EY Publishing, Ed Young Resources and UOI Resources. All the businesses list the fifth floor of Dennis Brewer’s law office in Las Colinas as their office address.”

 

According to News 8, Ed Young sold the intellectual property of Fellowship Church’s marketing web site called CreativePastors in 2007. He also sold the church’s membership mailing list to EY Publishing, a newly formed for-profit company (listed above). It appears that the Young’s are now selling Ed’s sermons and books through CreativePastors.com, a for-profit business.

 

News 8 also reported that Ed Young has been “jetting around” in a Falcon 50, a French-made jet costing around $8.4 million. They were able to obtain records that indicated that Fellowship Church became the operator of the jet in March 2007. Apparently, not many church members were aware of Ed’s use of this jet.

 

The report also states:

“News 8 has also learned that Young’s 10,000 square foot, $1.5 million estate on Lake Grapevine is not listed on the tax rolls in his name, but rather in the name of “Palometa Revocable Trust”. “Records show that Young was paid $240,000 a year as a parsonage allowance, that’s in addition to what sources say is a $1 million yearly pastor’s salary." 

 

Young declined to discuss his salary and compensation with News 8, but his spokesman said the pastor’s pay “is governed without his participation by an Independent Compensation Committee, relying on outside consultation with knowledgeable and experienced church leaders.”

 

In addition to this lavish home, the Young’s own a Miami condominium valued at around $1 million – a little tidbit left out of the News 8 report.
News 8 made it clear in this report that they ARE NOT accusing Ed Young Jr. of breaking any laws but of “violating the covenant of honesty with his congregation. When we asked Young specifically if he has a personal jet, his spokesman told us only that he travels using commercial, charter and leased aircraft, and that he reimburses the church for any personal trips.”

 

Finally, Young’s spokesman explained that all spending decisions are approved by Fellowship Church’s board and that their financial books are audited by an outside accounting firm.

 

You will not want to miss our upcoming post! We will feature a video of Ed addressing his congregation about this report. In addition, two board members come to Ed’s defense. Stay tuned! 

 

Lydia's Corner: Genesis 41:17-42:17 Matthew 13:24-46 Psalm 18:1-15 Proverbs 4:1-6

Comments

Ed Young Jr. – “It’s All About the Money” — 132 Comments

  1. Ed Young Jr. is a Wicked & Evil Man; He is a Wolf PERIOD!!!!!!

    Dear God : Please Bring him Down………. Or better yet Please Come Quickly. I don’t know how much more of this Evil, Evil, Evil world I can take.

  2. Jessica

    Just remember, the Holy Spirit is alive and well. He is revealing this for all the world to see. In the past, this would have been hidden and still going on.

    Now, those who harm, hurt or mislead people can be exposed by us, the little guy. We used to be inconsequential. No more. I am amazed at the number of blogs picking up on this story.

    Make no mistake about it. Ed is being hurt by the reports. His numbers are down and that is why he is hammering the money angle. He has to make up for the shortfall. So, in some respects, the fact that he seems to be going off the deep end is a reflection that people are getting a whole lot smarter and moving their bodies and their money elsewhere. So, rejoice!

  3. You know, Ed Young’s father was a big cheese in the SBC and a leader of the CR. Has anyone ever wondered if his doctrine was really sound? I am not familiar with his preaching but now I do wonder. And I wonder based upon what I am seeing from Gaines and Brunson, both products of the CR. Just like Ed Young, Jr, was.

  4. This is what can be expected when Christians give away their own priesthood to “God’s chosen”. I’m guessing Ed didn’t read the part where Jesus had no place to lay His head. The widow who gave all she had, Paul making tents and the disciples life and death obviously tell a different story. Christians need to understand that church is not intended to have a professional speaker sell “blessings” and feel good stories. It needs to be truly fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ – praying, sharing, laughing, crying and taking care of each other. Where truth can be spoken in love and the Holy Spirit can mold our will to God’s. Until more Christian’s realize this I am afraid we will continue to see the American church slide into a “spritual” social club – where networking is more important than serving.
    Thanks for letting me vent – keep shining the light

  5. What’s the difference between the selling of indulgences and threatening that church members will be cursed if they do not “bring the tithe”?

    Absolutely nothing as far as I’m concerned.

  6. I hope I don’t offend anyone here, and maybe I shouldn’t even comment..but, I watched the video and Ed Young is to me a born-again Christian just like millions of others, is he also a dishonest person, probably, at least it seems so. Is he greedy, I’d say so. Is he a Christian, I would definitely say so.

    While I’m sure many Christians would want to distance themselves from this type of person I can’t help thinking that it’s one more obvious proof that there is no God, no miraculous transformation of personality. There are good people and bad people and they exist on both sides of the theism fence. Accepting Jesus and being a Christian doesn’t change you or make you a better person anymore than being an atheist makes you a bad one.

    There are many good Christians, I admire them, but I am certain they would be of the same good moral character if they were atheists, Buddhists or Muslims.

    This guy is a rip off artist and the only thing sadder than that is the fact that there are apparently thousands of people blindly following him.

  7. There is a difference between a Born Again Christian and a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
    Jesus would not call this man a Born Again Christian, He would call him a Wolf.

    There are many “pastors” who make a Mockery of Jesus, and I doubt Jesus Would call any of them Born Again Christians.

  8. I would suspect that this person, at some point, certainly “asked Jesus into his heart” or had some type of conversion experience. To go back after the fact, when his behavior is an embarrassment and then deny he ever truly was a Christian is known as the “True Scotsman fallacy” in logic.

    Yes, you may be correct, but over the course of a lifetime I can’t tell you how many “Christians” would fall into this same category, and that’s only my experience.

    Here’s a short link to the true Scotsman fallacy, it explains it very well and gives several examples.

    http://atheism.about.com/od/logicalfallacies/a/notruescotsman.htm

  9. Karl
    I understand your thoughts and can see how you came about them. I have no defense for people like Young who harm the faith. But, as my current pastor says, we are all capable of great sin and that is why some of us are glad to have someone like Jesus to stand in our stead when we meet our Maker.

    I make no excuses for men like Young. I can’t. We each live our lives and have the freedom to choose. God is not a puppeteer. And, sometimes,the possibility of making a lot of money is very tempting and causes people to lose sight of the things they love. That is the case for both Christians and atheists. Christians can be screwed up just like the rest of the world.

  10. Karl,

    I agree with dee, in that I can see, looking from the outside in, how you would derive the conclusion you have. However, having experienced the rebirth that Jesus brings, I can tell you that there is really no comparison in terms of who I was before that, and who I am after that.

    Does that mean I am now a wonderfully perfect person? Not by a long shot.

    Can you tell by looking at folks who is truly converted and who is not? Not by a long shot.

    Can people be genuinely converted and then walk away, or fall away into gross sin? I think so, but its a question of semantics. Those who say no say they were never really converted in the first place. Those who say yes think they were but were distracted by all the temptations of life.

    But the reality is that most of us who follow Christ, in spite of all our weaknesses and human foibles, can look at our conversion experience and who we are now vs. who we were then and recognize that there is a HUGE difference.

    When we believe in Christ, He enters our life, and everything becomes new. And God does that for anyone who believes in Him. And as we continue in that, so does His power to maintain and continue the change that produces in us the image of Christ. Few actually walk in a way so as to truly realize that to the full extent available, but it is reality nonetheless.

    Zeta

  11. We have to be very careful not to wallow in our sin by trying to make it appear normal. This is one of the doctrines that I had to study in depth because I came from Ed Young world. After 20 years of hearing that sins are mistakes and we all sin all the time, I really had to beg God to take away my sin filter when studying.

    When Paul said he was “chief of all sinners”, he was not referring to his new life in Christ. But who he was before the road to Damascus.

    We have to wonder why salvation is referred to as being Born Again? Or Paul states we are new creatures in Christ? How come salvation means we “die” to self. Hudson Talyor referred to it as the “exchanged life”. What does it mean to have the indwelling Holy Spirit which all true believers have?

    We cannot remain in consistent willful sin knowing truth and be Born Again. It bothers us. The Holy Spirit does not allow it to go on so long. We have godly sorrow. Read Hebrews 10: 26-31 and come to grips with what it means. then read ALL of 1 John. Not just the “we all sin” verse but also the rest of the book.

    Our very thoughts are sinful. We are born in corrupted bodies. But when our thoughts become sinful actions, consistently, we should question our salvation. Even the demons believe that Jesus Christ is Messiah. For us, it is much more. It is NEW LIFE.

    Do not anymore worry over whether such shenanigans are done consistently by believers. There is fruit involved. And fruit is NOT how many attend your church or how many baptized. It is the fruit that comes from abiding in the Vine. It looks more like Matt 5 than Ed Young.

  12. Lydia

    As usual, well stated. Sovereign Grace Ministries has developed a veritable enterprise banking on the misunderstanding of sin. Ed uses the word “sin” to get what he wants. He also does a fine job pointing out how God has blessed him, almost implying that we will be blessed like Ed if we do it his way. I guess that means a big house, jets, condos, etc.

    I happen to know that things are not perfect in Ed’s family, but Ed defines “blessed” by lots of stuff. There are some things in his life that would deeply concern most people but his issue is money; therefore, he is blessed. For others it might be health, etc.

    His solution is not in the NT. You mentioned Hebrews. Most of the heroes of the faith lived superficially difficult lives; yet they are called “blessed.” It is the opposite from Ed’s definition. Ed claims that if things happen to your kids, job ,etc., it’s because you don’t tithe to Ed, and totally Ed. Ed is not fully disclosing his life in many ways. Sometimes I wonder if we read the same Bible.

  13. I agree with Karl. If the man self-identifies as a Christian, he is a Christian.

    It’s embarrassing, but there is no way around it. A fellow disciple who names the name of Christ is a very high profile, public douche. But there is no doubt in my mind that he is a true Christian.

    Ed Young is a product of an American Christian seminary and the American Christian business machine. I don’t see much difference between the American business church model and the money-making ventures of the Middle Ages like the sale or relics and pardons. But Ed Young can only be faulted for exploiting to the hilt the same “opportunities” that a more sincere disciple would see as temptation to be overcome.

    Our seminaries promote the idea that those called into ministry are special people, and that their job is the most important job one can have. It’s there that ministers first get the idea that parishoners are blind sheep who need to be led by a dedicated special called “man of God”. The American church business model is built on this premise.

    Ed Young may be caught on tape preaching the God as extortionist “pay your 10% or suffer” message, but it is a common message I have heard in many churches (we moved a lot in the early years of our marriage). He totally deserves to be busted on this, but so do all the other preachers in America teaching the same thing on Sunday morning.

  14. ” If the man self-identifies as a Christian, he is a Christian.”

    Read Matthew 7.

    Also, Many Mormons self identify as Christians. So, they are Christians?

  15. Lydia, You know darn good and well that Ed Young’s doctrine is completely within the bounds of accepted Orthodox Christianity. Comparing him to a Mormon is not a reasonable comparison.

  16. I read Matthew 7 at your request, and not for the first time, I might add.

    You don’t get to cherry pick who is in the family of believers. Ed Young is a Christian. Jim Bakker is a Christian. Jim was a Christian before, during and after his insane empire building years in which he ripped a bunch of people off and embarrassed the name of Christ. He was a Christian while he was in jail, and he is still a Christian today. John 6, esp. vv. 37-40.

    I think if you’ll back up to the beginning of Matthew chapter 7, you would get the idea that the fruit one most needs to be concerned with is one’s own. This is not directed at you personally, but all of us.

  17. Shadowspring

    I have decided that I cannot figure out where people stand on things. So many people claim the title “Christian” yet their lives seem to have little to do with the Bible or historical understanding. Often I ask a question which shakes some folks up. When they say they are Christians, I ask “Tell me which Jesus you follow.”

    I can only look at the outside and not the inside so I focus on what I know and let God determine what I cannot know.

    I don’t like the gospel Ed preaches and I didn’t when I was in his church. It seemed mixed up with a lot of other stuff and I found the message confusing.I also know many others do as well. It really started to worry me when I talked with lots of people there who didn’t have a clue about the faith. They could say “Jesus saves” but it was more a slogan to get on with business as usual. So, I left and from that point on, I have questioned business as usual.

  18. I agree that if we ourselves are trying to sort people out, it gets confusing very quickly, Isn’t that the whole point of the parable of the wheat and the tares? (Matthew 13:24-30 and bold cap verse 29.)

    I wish that Ed Young was the only only person teaching these things, but I have heard similar in Baptist, charismatic, Assemby of God, independent Bible (DTS grads, one of your faves! 😉 and E Free churches. Admittedly, Ed Young takes it to a “whole nuther level”, showing absolutely no restraint or humility about his perceived right to “share in the grain” ( I Corinthians 9, I Timothy 5). But there are many less popular teachers who preach the same ideas about tithing, 10% of gross, only to the church you are attending, or God will put holes in your pockets and all your money will disappear like that. *snap*

    I am not against paid clergy, by the way. I love my pastor. He is a truly humble brother in Christ who is grateful to have the opportunity to stand up in front, wear the collar (so to speak) and share the good news. He doesn’t preach about tithing, he talks about giving. We have a basket in the back of the church for folks to surreptitiously contribute as they are able and willing.

  19. “You don’t get to cherry pick who is in the family of believers. Ed Young is a Christian. Jim Bakker is a Christian. Jim was a Christian before, during and after his insane empire building years in which he ripped a bunch of people off and embarrassed the name of Christ. He was a Christian while he was in jail, and he is still a Christian today. John 6, esp. vv. 37-40.

    I think if you’ll back up to the beginning of Matthew chapter 7, you would get the idea that the fruit one most needs to be concerned with is one’s own”

    Well then, the TWW gals might want to pack it in. What is the point of warning about false teachers and horrible behavior? No wonder our churches are full of sexual molesters and pedophiles. The message is, you can remain horrible and be Born Again, a new creation in Christ! Sin more because Grace abounds!

  20. SS,

    Thank you! I agree, we are in agreement…wait..looking outside…YES the planets are aligning … it is the dawning of the age of Aquarius….oops sorry…old person’s moment there.

    But you make a good point. These people are Christians, at least in that they have accepted Jesus and had some type of conversion experience. It is what I have said in the past, if anything it is evidence that there is no one up there, the conversion experience and feelings are of our own design and there are both good and bad people on both sides.

    That explanation rings much truer than trying to cherry pick only the well behaved people as Christian representatives and then claiming God miraculously changed their lives for the better while at the same time sweeping the embarrassing representatives under the carpet or into the closet.

  21. You guys might want to check out 1 Corin 5..the entire chapter because Paul does counsel them to judge such things. In fact, he is counseling them to make that person leave so HE COULD BE SAVED. In these cases it is an act of love to make a judgement on fruit.

    But pay close attention to the list below and even closer attention to verse 11:

    9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
    12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”[d]

    There are plenty more where that came from such as Hebrews 10: 26-31 and ALL of 1 John. There are similar characteristics in Galatians and Revelations.

  22. Lydia,

    I have quoted 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 in the past with regard to a former church. We are commanded to judge each other as Christians. Thank for sharing this key passage of Scripture.

  23. Karl

    Here is my perception of sin and faith which is considered fairly orthodox. When we become a new creation (born again, conversion, whichever term you prefer) we do not become a perfect being. In fact, we are forgiven our sins and will continue to need forgiveness of our sins. Just as most Christian believe that God gives us free will and will not pull our strings like Chatty Cathy dolls (I know there are 5 point Calvinists who will disagree but theirs is not the majority view), God continues to allow us free will to obey or disobey.

    The question being addressed is whether or not a person truly came to Christ and wishes to remain a Christian. Karl, do not mistake me here. I am not judging whether or not a person is a Christian. I do not know their heart. Perhaps, without Christ, this person who is acting in a non-Christian manner, would have been the next Bernie Madoff, serial killer, or Hollywood bimbo.

    When one sees someone consistently ignoring Scriptural mandates over long periods of time, it is difficult not to wonder if they are Christian or not. Wonder, not judge. you have helped me. You told me that your are a “happy atheist who once was a Christian.” I take what you say on face value. I don’t fully understand you but I accept you and still want to form EAT with you. 🙂

    Jesus confronted the Pharisees and called them snakes. The Bible is replete with God followers ho messed up in a big way. However, that merely speaks to the issue of our sin nature and the need for grace and mercy that we, as Christians, perceive.

    Karl, people use religion, charity, and even atheism, for selfish reasons. That does not mean that a particular religion or atheism is true. It just means that people use each other for selfish gain. I confess to doing that myself. However, I try not to do so.

    I know that you do not like the word “sin.” So I have tried to use the word selfish to expand on my point. We are all self absorbed to some extent.

  24. Lydia

    Don’t worry. I am so miffed off at Ed Young and Mac Brunson that I have to write in order to prevent myself from going mad! No chance of us quitting soon. I know that sends a cold chill through a couple of people.

  25. Dee,

    If you’d be so kind…define for me “sinful nature”, be as specific as you can…Adam and Eve, without a sinful nature obviously “sinned” as did the angels. Eve sinned first…did Adam receive a “sinful nature” as the result of Eve’s sin or his own? I find the concept interesting, if not a little vague. What exactly is a “sinful nature”?

  26. Karl
    I am sorry for the delay in the response. I promise that I was not avoiding the question. I have been very busy.

    Here is how I look at this and hope folks will correct me if I misspeak. There is no freedom of life if there is no alternative. God did not create Chatty Cathy dolls-pulling the string and making us do it His way. (I don’t do this with my kids either). God created man with the freedom to choose, fully knowing that they would choose the freedom to sin. Adam and Eve made a choice that all of us would have made-freedom. Yet that freedom brought with it some consequences.

    1. Adam represented all of mankind. His choice was the choice that i would have made. As men we are alike in this regard.
    I was in Adam when he disobeyed God and partook of the forbidden fruit. What he lost by that sin, I lost. He lost paradise on earth. I lost it. He lost eternal life and so did I. That is why Paul states that “in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Romans 5:12 states further, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
    2. Adam passes this nature down the line. We now bear the image of God along with our sin.

    I know from many conversations that atheists protest that we are helpless victims of Adam’s choice.They believe that this shows a God who is unfair and therefore a tyrant who condemns everyone because of one man’s choice. But I see this very differently. I believe that Adam represented me very well.I know that I would have chosen disobedience because, as the blog demonstrates, I like to “mouth off.” ( I am sure the “Amens” are reverberating around some circles). God also planned for a way out. Jesus is often spoken of the second Adam. And so we have freedom of choice, once again. I still choose to sin but I have forgiveness.

    There are so many things you might say at this point. I am not sure what road you want to go down so I will await your thoughts and try to answer more quickly this time except tomorrow which will be a very busy day.

    BTW-How are you feeling? You were sick awhile back. I thought about that as I fell asleep last night.

  27. Hi Karl,

    I know I sound naive but I shall press on. Think of an apple which is growing. As long as it is on the tree and connected it is growing and healthy. When it falls on the ground, decay begins. The fall of the apple allowed the process to start. The longer it goes on, it becomes wilted and shriveled.

    Adam was introduced to the possibilities of life without God’s mandates and chose to continue in the process. It was not a momentary glitch, it was desire to do it his way and he got what he wanted.

    Keep asking me questions because I want to go in your direction, not mine.

  28. Dee,

    Maybe this way will be clearer. From our discussion so far I can deduce that…

    1. Adam had free will both before and after the fall (no change)
    2. Adam had both the desire and capability to disobey God (no change)

    So, in what sense was Adam (and by extension all mankind) different after the fall than he was before?

    What exactly changed…

  29. Karl
    Thanks for keeping after me.I also appreciate the specific questions. I am not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

    I agree fully with Point 1-” Adam had free will both before and after the fall (no change).”

    I only agree with a portion of Point 2. Adam had the capability to disobey God.

    However, until the very moment of the Fall, he did not have the desire to disobey God until the moment he was confronted with the choice. The desire to sin was born and took root in Adam’s soul and would dominate his life from that point.

    As you know, God told Adam not to eat from the tree of life because at that moment he would surely die. I believe that meant that his spirit was affected and the desire to sin became the norm. in fact, Adam immediately sinned again when God asked him what had happened. He blamed his wife, basically saying she made him do it.

  30. Dee,

    I have a small problem with your statement that “he did not have the desire to disobey God until the moment he was confronted with the choice”

    That doesn’t seem to make sense to me…it’s like saying I had no desire to eat an Almond Joy until I knew that I could. Seems sort of obvious doesn’t it, I mean no one would have a desire to do anything if they weren’t aware of the choice, right?

    So we are kind of back where we started…Adam had a desire or inclination toward sin both before he fell and afterwards.

    Back to the original question…then what happened after the fall … what do we “inherit” that Adam didn’t already have before he fell?

  31. Karl
    I just came flying in after celebrating my daughter’s birthday/ I will respond in depth tomorrow. I realize my way of thinking about it was not working and I have been considering it all day. In one comment I let you know today is a busy day and I will do better (or maybe worse) tomorrow.

  32. Karl,

    interesting discussion. But here are some questions for you:

    Is a person who chooses to kill another human different after the fact than they were before?

    Does the act of killing change them?

    If so, can they ever back up and become the person they were before they made that choice?

    Zeta

  33. Of course, every act changes us, but that is not what I was referring to. What I was trying to get at was that Christian theology says that each human being, born since Adam sinned has inherited a “sinful nature”. Since Adam chose to sin before having a “sinful nature” I am asking for a definition of “sinful nature”, if it is not the desire or capacity to choose evil (which Adam apparently already had), then what exactly is it that the rest of us now inherit which we wouldn’t have had if Adam had not sinned.

  34. Karlton, you raise good question. I think the “inherited sin gene’ is confusing.

    Adam was told NOT to do something but he did. Eve was deceived into doing it. Things changed right after that: Their eyes were opened. Scripture teaches that Adam sinned willfully so he had the ability to choose disobedience or not. Eve was deceived and we notice that she admits it. Adam blamed both God and Eve for his willful sin.

    Remember, “death” was the big thing. Now they would die because of their disobedience. And now, because we all descend from Adam and Eve, we are born to die. We are born in corrupted dying bodies which affects everything…how we think, act, etc.

  35. 15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[ of it you shall surely die.”

  36. Yes, I know what the bible says, I am asking you to tell me what you think it means…for example it is obvious that Adam did not die in the day that he ate the fruit…so obviously it’s either wrong or it means something else…

    what exactly do we inherit from Adam because of his sin?

  37. Hi Karl
    Well, I finally have a few minutes to think about the questions you are asking. According to systematic theology, Adam and Eve’s sin affected three areas of their relationship with God. 1.They questioned the basis for knowledge or truth-God said they would die if they ate of the tree of knowledge. Satan said they wouldn’t.
    2.They questioned the moral standard. God said not to eat, Satan said to do so and they would be like God.
    3.They questioned who they were. They were created by God and they were to be dependent and subordinate to Him. They decided instead to be like God.
    It is said that their eyes were opened.In fact, they hid from God. Why? What changed in them to make them run from their Creator and Friend?
    Guilt was now a part of their lives. Things changed and they were aware of their moral failings.It is said they were ashamed. Why? Something had changed in them. Guilt and shame were present. There was a defiance in their nature that was not present before. There was an arrogance that these created people were trying to be like the Creator of the universe. Some in some respects, it was a power thing.

    We inherit a moral lawlessness, a self centeredness that is so pervasive that, as one of my pastors said, “Even on my best days, my motives are mixed.”On that day, Adam in one sense died. He traded off his relationship to God in order to be like God. This connection was broken. His body would also be subjected to decay. At that moment, Adam was destined to go through physical death. He would now be at war with his nature, living with a propensity to sin.

    Karl, you once said to me that you don’t see my sin and think that I am a nice person or something to that effect. I know you think that I spend my time depressed and negative because I am aware of this tendency in my life. I believe that guilt is endemic to all men except for sociopaths.Actually, I sense a great release because I have a place to go with my guilt. And that is to a place of forgiveness and freedom. On most days, my heart is light with forgiveness.

    I bet you have lots more questions. I am interested in this conversation because it makes me think. Thanks

  38. Karlton, they did die eventually after a long time but man was so evil that God later declared that man would not live past 120 years. And the evil was so bad that God eventually wiped out 99.9% of mankind with a flood.

    I am reluctant to answer your questions because I am not so sure it matters exactly how the sin thing works. As in it being an inherited sin gene or just that we are born to die because now we are born in corrupted bodies which affects even our thoughts.

    It does say their eyes were opened…so now they are ashamed they are naked when before they weren’t…and they hid from God. They became aware of evil which obviously was already present. (A whole other topic!)

    But if you notice, God only cursed the land and animals. He did not curse Adam and Eve but described what life would be like. So with cursed land and animals and a corrupted bodies, sin would be in the world, too. (such as lions eating lambs, droughts, even tornados, etc)

    I think Dee has a good explanation. The only place I might disagree is with Eve. She admitted she was deceived. Adam blamed God and Eve for his willful sin. (Adam had actually witnessed some minor creation of the Garden being planted. He had witnessed the Glory of God in a way that Eve had not)

  39. Hi Karl,

    There is another way of looking at this. In the Garden was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life. While the tree of life has many symbolic meanings, it is clear in Genesis that the fruit of this tree had the power to make the mortal immortal. As such, if Adam and Eve where immortal in the garden, what purpose did the tree of life serve? One possible answer to that question is that Adam and Eve, though not corrupt or corrupted spiritually, where not yet in a physically immortal state. That it was perhaps part of Gods plan that if they did not sin, they could Eat of the Tree of Life and never have to suffer physical death. But that they where not yet in that state. And having failed the test, God forbade them that fruit, sealing their and all their descendants bondage to physical death.

    So in this view, Adam and Eve began spiritually pure in physical bodies not yet perfected – subject to temptation, but not ruled by it. When Eve and Adam chose to yield to temptation, they sealed the fate of humanity as perfect representatives of it. We all are as they were. Even if given absolutely perfect circumstances in the most innocent of initial states, we would have chosen to disobey, just as they did. And so we inherit the curse of bondage to sin and the nature that is just as Adam and Eve’s nature became through the act of disobedience to God’s command.

    In one sense, the potential for Adam and Eve to sin was always a part of them. But it was not realized until they actually did the deed. So one could perhaps argue in an abstract sense they were already corrupt. But to do so misses the key point that being tempted is not itself sin. Only in yielding to temptation do we sin. If we define being corrupt as being able to be tempted, then even Christ was corrupt, for He was tempted in all ways as we are. So clearly that is not correct. The sin nature that we inherit is not the potential to be tempted by sin. That is and always has been part of what we are physically. The sin nature we inherit and retained is that which causes all of us to at sometime, somewhere, to yield to temptation, AND (and this is no small thing) an environment where we see modeled for us that very action making it impossible for any of us not to yield to temptation, even if such were possible given who we are.

    I think Karl that we must be careful not to think to simplistically when we try to map what the scripture tells us in what are likely summary or perhaps even metaphorical terms into some kind of concrete explanation. There is more here than merely the physical. And I doubt any concrete explanation can truly capture the full reality surrounding what God has told us in very simple terms.

    Nevertheless, we are all born into sin, and we can’t escape that except for the gracious redemption provided us by God through His son. If we reject that salvation, then God has no other option but to leave us to our corrupted self, whose end is eternal separation from God in the hands of those more powerful than us who willfully chose to pursue their own rebellion against God and who detest and despise any creation having even a spark of the divine image in them.

    Zeta

  40. That’s a lot of things to talk about LOL…ok before coffee here are my first impressions…

    1. If eating from the tree “opened” their eyes to understand the difference between good and evil, then it is reasonable to assume that before he ate, he did not have this ability. In other words, to Adam, he would not have understood that disobeying God was evil or a bad thing to do. Think of it like a very young child..mom says don’t eat the cookies..then a little later dad says “here, have a cookie”, the child eats but doesn’t connect eating the cookie as something “bad” to do. If that’s so, how does God justly condemn Adam for his act?

    2. The second thing, we still have the problem of “thou shalt surely die”, since they had not eaten of the tree of life (and if I had been in the garden and had any intelligence at all, that’s the first tree I would have eaten from!) they were going to die anyway, so not much of a threat there unless God meant to carry out the execution immediately, which he apparently did not do.

    Adam, as a simple man without the theology, would have understood it literally, well actually since nothing had died up till then I guess it wouldn’t have been a threat at all since Adam would not have any frame of reference from which to understand the concept of death, physical or spiritual.

  41. “1. If eating from the tree “opened” their eyes to understand the difference between good and evil, then it is reasonable to assume that before he ate, he did not have this ability”

    I hate to go here but when God put Adam into the Garden to ‘tend’ it, the Hebrew there is more like “guard”. What would he guard it from? And was he doing his job when all this interaction with the serpent and Eve was going on? Some say Adam was not there beside Eve but the text implies he was. I think it is McArthur who says he was not there but Piper says he was. (I could have that backwards but mention it to show how celebrity pastors can disagree on something very important to the implications)

    The implication is that Adam had the ability to be disobedient before the act of eating the fruit. That would be free will…also as in the act of eating the fruit was free will. The act of eating the fruit opened his eyes to the devestating consequences of disobeying God.

    Karlton, I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be so close to God as they were, either. But it shows that God did not create robots, either.

  42. “Adam, as a simple man without the theology, would have understood it literally, well actually since nothing had died up till then I guess it wouldn’t have been a threat at all since Adam would not have any frame of reference from which to understand the concept of death, physical or spiritual.”

    This is where I disagree totally. Adam had more theology than any of us because he was created and knew he was created. He had personal interaction with the Creator. He also witnessed some creating when God planted the Garden. (Not clear in the NIV translation). Adam knew God personally. He knew what God was capable of…God talked to him and brought every animal to Adam for him to name. He woke up to another formed human taken from his side as his Ezer..companion comparable…to him. He knew God formed Eve from his side. I mean, how much “theology” is all of this? If theology is knowledge of God, then Adam had it up close and personal.

  43. We keep missing the point I think…if Adam had free will but no knowledge of good or evil then the whole concept of obedience/disobedience and one being better or right while the other is worse or wrong, go out the window…the concepts didn’t exist, at least not for Adam or Eve.

  44. Dee,

    Yes, but you cannot have you cake and eat it too…either Adam already understood the difference between good and evil (right and wrong), in which case eating from the tree was irrelevant or he didn’t in which case he lacked the ability to differentiate right from wrong in the first place.

    I don’t see a third option, do you?

  45. Karl,

    you said:

    The second thing, we still have the problem of “thou shalt surely die”, since they had not eaten of the tree of life (and if I had been in the garden and had any intelligence at all, that’s the first tree I would have eaten from!) they were going to die anyway, so not much of a threat there unless God meant to carry out the execution immediately, which he apparently did not do.

    Interesting isn’t it. The tree of life had the power to impart immortality, and it is quite clear that had they eaten of it after the fall, they would have lived forever in their sinful state. But it does appear they never touched it.

    Remember also that the tempter did not push them towards the tree of life, but rather focused their attention on the tree of knowledge of good and evil, telling them the lie that if they ate of it they would be like God. In essence, Satan made sure they stayed focused on that knowledge of ‘good and evil’ tree.

    Now, I have a theory. I don’t actually think there was any real power in the tree itself. God desired for Adam and Eve to know the difference between good and evil – otherwise why present them with the possibility of choosing evil? But what He wanted was for them to understand it through the path of choosing good. Instead they came to know it by choosing evil. Choosing good, or choosing evil changes us. Many times for the rest of our lives. Certainly this was the case for Adam and Eve – not only for the rest of their lives, but for all of mankind!

    Think back to when we were very young. We are tempted. We choose wrong. What follows? Guilt and shame. Or We are tempted, we choose right. What follows – release, a sense of perhaps pride or joy. Either way we experience the temptation, either way we ‘learn’ about good and evil. With the first choice we learn about good and evil through being evil. With the second choice we learn about them by being good. The second choice is the path which leads to spiritual life.

    I think Adam and Eve learned about good and evil by being presented with a choice and a command. The ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’ could have been anything. The important part was how they processed the choice, and through what path they came to know good and evil. Once they began that journey down the path of evil, there was no turning back. Immortality had to be denied. God either took it away, or they never had it to start with. But either way, they lost immortality and the text of scripture is consistent with either possibility. I think it is more consistent with the idea they were initially mortal, because otherwise the tree of life is a out of place piece of furniture in the story having been singled out as important, but having no real purpose.

    But we are not told precisely either way. However, given the real history of the world and the very likely probability our physical form is the result of a long history of natural processes ( I believe in the case of mankind guide very specifically by His hand), this understanding of their initial state also has the added plus of being consistent with the known history of the natural world.

    Zeta

  46. Karl

    Adam had a basic understanding of the issues. For example, how did he understand death if he hadn’t seen it? “On that day, you will surely die.”

    Think about our children.When they are toddlers, we teach them the word “no.” We don’t go into a long explanation that if they get in a car with strangers, they could be abused and killed. Even as they grow older, they slowly are educated in the depths of depravity that is on this earth.We want to protect them from the worst until they are older? Why not just let it all out when they are young children What is in us that makes us want to delay their knowledge of the evil in this world? Maybe because it was never meant to be?

    They were told about death prior to the sin. They understood that concept. Perhaps it was explained to them. Did they truly understand the depths of pain involved in death?Until you see something, the description is merely theoretical.

    As for the nature thing, I remember when my daughter just turned two years old. She hadn’t yet been lectured on why it is wrong to steal. I still remember seeing her trying to conceal something behind her back when we were leaving her little friends house. She was stealing his toy truck. What was in her that made her know to hide this?

  47. Dee,

    You ask a good question…how did he understand it if he hadn’t seen it? More importantly, remember he was supposedly created and given language yet had absolutely no experiential knowledge to allow him to understand the very words he supposedly used…well, forget that for the moment I want to stay on topic.

    I appreciate all the time everyone is putting into this but I don’t think I’ve gotten a good explanation yet. I’m not trying to be obtuse but I’ve heard many theories, ideas, conjectures and opinions but the original question still remains

    What is the “sinful nature” which Adam (and by extension all mankind) received and the rest of mankind inherited after the fall, keeping in mind that items 1 and 2 below do not seem to qualify since they existed before the fall as well.

    1. Adam had free will both before and after the fall (no change)
    2. Adam had both the desire and capability to disobey God (no change)

    What exactly changed…

  48. Karl

    I know you are not being purposefully obtuse. You ask a good question and we have not answered it in a way that makes sense to you and probably others. Give me some time to think about it further. I promise i am not ignoring you because I am uncomfortable.

  49. I have no answers for you Karlton except what I have experienced while reading the Word (something I had read many times before) and I suppose that is why Paul said that the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

    The experience is that I truly became saved when I realized (was convicted) how horribly sinful I was deep down. And I had called myself a Christian for many years before that happened. I did not look sinful on the outside to most people. And I had not thought of myself as a horrible sinner before that day.

    I do not know why it happened like that but I was sincerely seeking truth.

    “1. Adam had free will both before and after the fall (no change)
    2. Adam had both the desire and capability to disobey God (no change)

    What exactly changed…”

    Two things changed which drastically affected their lives: Animals and land were cursed. The other change is that their bodies started aging toward death. And we forget that animals had to be slaughtered to make clothes for them to hide their nakedness. Eve follows Adam out of the garden and soon after we have the whole Cain and Able evil.

  50. …No man has all the answers…’His ways are not our ways”…It is the Father that draws one …not a person. If we must be convinced to accept Christ…and the Bible…will it “stick?” That important decision must be made “directly from their own heart and mind” …My opinion…doesn’t mean anything, but that. In my own life, until I felt Him draw me…no teacher, no wonderful person whom tried to live by example, could truly lead me anywhere. It was when, the Father, drew my heart to Him that I accepted Christ..and in my own free will… chose to accept Him…not someone even… lovingly trying to convince and teach me….And still, as long, as I live in this “earth suit”…I will be a sinner…but, now convicted by the Holy Spirit to want me to work on myself…continuely…a work in progress. And some questions one may have…may never be answered and…that is where…you…accept or reject that which you have questioned…maybe never to understand or have explained….You make the decision that faith is believing…when you just can’t see…and whether that is believed…is up to the individual.

  51. Lydia,

    “Paul said that the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. ” I would disagree, it is foolish to those who think rationally and use logic and reason to make sense of the world. Paul, of course, couldn’t phrase it quite that way, he would have lost too many potential converts.

    Secondly, you say that one of the things that occurred as a result of the fall was that ” their bodies started aging toward death”. There are two problems with that…

    1. Why the Tree of Life in the garden, whats the point of receiving eternal life by eating the fruit of the tree if you already live forever?

    2. If aging is part of our sinful nature, then did Jesus also have a sinful nature? Remember, he aged just like everyone else.

    Thirdly, “Animals and land were cursed” we are believing in curses now?

    Gizelle,

    You said that “No man has all the answers…’His ways are not our ways”, I’m not looking for anything secret or subtle here, the sinful nature of man and its inheritance in man after the fall is a central tenet of Christianity, it is the basis of the need for the entire redemption story. I would think that anyone who claims Christianity as their religion would have an answer to this question or be able to find one rather quickly.

  52. “Paul said that the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. ” I would disagree, it is foolish to those who think rationally and use logic and reason to make sense of the world. Paul, of course, couldn’t phrase it quite that way, he would have lost too many potential converts.”

    Yet, I believe it is true as ignorant as that sounds to you. . If it is a historical fact that Paul was an up and coming trusted Pharisee, educated by the great Gamelial, with everything to gain by imprisoning and stoning Christians, why would he become one of them who was so hated by the ruling classes.

  53. Karl,

    you ask: what exactly changed?

    By this I think you mean what changed physically. I am not sure there were any major physcical changes. There are a few listed, primarily that women will endure more pain in childbirth and that Adam’s labor will be more difficult (the ground will produce thorns and thistles). But this may have simply been a consequence of being evicted from the Garden. The scriptures do tell us that creation itself suffers because of our sin. But to what extent that is simply because we abuse it vs. an actual physical change from the state of nature before the fall is not clear in the text.

    I do know that traditionally there has been a tendency to look at the fall as producing some kind of fundamental physical change to creation. But I am not sure that can be supported, either from the scriptural text or from the physical evidence.

    But the changes for mankind where very significant.

    1) We lost fellowship with God
    2) We lost access to physical immortality, we now, though made in the image of God, must suffer and die.
    3) We are in bondage to the animal nature within us, we do not have the ability to overcome it on our own. So all of humanity and nature suffers because we have knowledge but we do not have true righteousness. So we abuse each other and the planet.

    Anyway, this is my first off the cuff attempt. But I think it best to warn you I’m going to take a bit of time to make sure I’m getting this right. If I discover I’ve missed something major, I’ll update my answer.

    Zeta

  54. I was not limiting myself to physical events, it was an open ended question. To your points…

    1. If we lost fellowship with God what does THAT mean since clearly God continued to communicate with mankind throughout the OT.

    2. So we were mortal before the fall, but could have eaten from the Tree of Life, then after the fall we were cut off from the tree…hmmm seems overly complicated to me, why put the tree there in the first place. In addition, not aging is the same as not growing, so if Adam had eaten from the Tree of Life he would never have been able to populate the earth?

    3. In bondage to the animal nature withing us, that is vague…I can certainly choose to do the correct thing when presented with a choice…I’ve done it many time as I am sure you have. So I’m not sure exactly what that means.

  55. Lydia,

    One explanation is that Paul wasn’t a pharisee at all, an interesting hypothesis which is backed by a fair amount of evidence from history, here is a link, and yes it is on an atheist website but it is simply an except from a non-related book. http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/maccoby2.htm

    Secondly, just a guess here, maybe he saw Christianity as an opportunity, possibly he thought that it represented the overthrow of the old ways and wanted to be on the winning side…happens all the time.

  56. Karl,
    With all due respect to you…I don’t think you want any answers to prove Christianity… I think you enjoy the debate itself……May I suggest a book…The Case for Christ…by Lee Strobel…Mr Strobel was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune who claimed he was a spiritual skeptic. You may just enjoy the read.

  57. Karl, I am simply not smart enough to debate you if even something like Paul being a Pharisee has to be debated. :o)

    I have not read it but have heard good things from former unbelievers about Strobel’s book that gizelle mentions.

  58. Gizelle,

    I read the book almost 10 years ago, it hasn’t gotten any better has it? It simply repeats Christian doctrine to an already believing audience. I will say he is very good at being dramatic, but the “evidence” is about as weak as it gets and he never answers many of the “questions” he talks about.

    I wasn’t seeking answers to prove Christianity, what I was trying to do was demonstrate that when looked at closely, and when Christians are given the opportunity to provide their own answers without an atheist chiming in, that the story itself breaks down and requires all kinds of gyrations, twist, turns and caveats just to keep it’s own internal storyline consistent.

    I was hoping that possibly someone might look at it all, (I’d like to follow the theological line forward through the NT) and exclaim, this just isn’t right, why is a story given supposedly by God to simple people so difficult to follow without having to make hundreds, if not more, adjustments and caveats to keep the stories from contradicting themselves internally. I want you to really see what a non-believer sees when he looks.

    Having been a Christian I realize that the vast, virtually all, Christians became Christians before studying theology or critically reading the Bible, so the tendency is to believe what you are being told, at least initially. Afterwards, it is difficult to see it from the outside.

    Lydia,

    it isn’t a debate, as I mentioned above it is just a search for a simple, agreed upon answer to a single event which doesn’t simultaneously contradict the bible story in other places.

    This is what critical thinking is all about, it’s about examining each assertion, each premise and making sure that what you believe is grounded in reasonableness and is rational.

    I do think you are more than intelligent enough to participate and contribute, I haven’t seen any signs of stupid people on this blog.

  59. Hi Karl

    I have been thinking and thinking. There is a significant problem with what happened before the Fall.We are not told much just as we are not told much about the hows of creation.

    I will agree with you on this point. “Having been a Christian I realize that the vast, virtually all, Christians became Christians before studying theology or critically reading the Bible, so the tendency is to believe what you are being told, at least initially. Afterwards, it is difficult to see it from the outside.”

    I think there is much truth in that statement. However, I know many, including myself, who have read extensively after conversion. You were one of those, Bart Ehrman was one of those, Francis Collins was one of those, Orion’s Belt was one of those and I was one of those. However, reading extensively does not produce your result each time. For me, just the opposite occurred and I am now even more convinced of the faith.

    In my reading of the current atheist/humanist crowd (not to include you and others), I detect a “we are smarter than those dolts”mentality. Yet there are many, who have had doubts and have read extensively outside of the faith, who have become even more wedded to the faith. Just as there are many reasons for those who become atheist in their viewpoint, there are many reasons that intelligent people chooseto remain Christians.

    You are familiar with the study of forensics. In some instances it is taking a dead body and trying to find clues about what came before-who done it, why, where, etc.

    Just as we know very little about the creation of the universe beyond certain understandings (age, place of big bang, etc.), we can only speculate about the process. Some, like you and Orion’s Belt, can discuss the issue in mush more depth than me although I really do try to understand. I have been watching those videos you suggested. They only convince me of the wonders of this universe. They do not convince me that there is no God.

    I can only look at the results of the world as we know it and try to understand something that has come before. I know that you believe in logic and reason as an explanation for everything. Logically, there is much evil in this world. Here in North Carolina they have just found the body of little Zahra Baker- a child who lived a life of hell with an abusive family. This sweet child endured cancer, a leg amputation, hearing loss and death. How could anyone do this to a child?

    Look at our society-muggins, killings, beatings, anger, fighting, etc. And in every civilization there has been an attempt made to “cure” the evils. Yes there are good things. But, why can’t logic and reason overcome these evil activities? Surely, just giving people enough to eat, some education and a good stiff dose of morals and ethics, we can achieve a perfect society, can’t we?

    I have worked for years in some of the tougher areas on inner cities. I have seen all sorts of programs put in place to give love and support to children and families. In fact, I have spent lots and lots of time tutoring and caring for these young people. They can state good morals, they know right and wrong, they vow to finish school, they have friends and supports and then suddenly, you hear they have been in an armed robbery and going to jail.

    Mankind testifies to an inability to overcome pain and suffering. Yet everyone claims that they want to do so. If only we put in the right programs, the right curriculum, throw enough money at the problem, then all will be well.

    To this woman, it spells that there is something deeply flawed within all men.I believe many atheists see this as well. I always get a chuckle that atheist/agnostics at ExChristians often trash Mother Teresa. They claim she wasn’t as loving as she was cracked up to be. Actually she would have agreed because she understood that even she was subject to sin.

    I don’t know what it was like before the Fall. I also don’t know what the Big Bang looked like. But, I know the effects of the Fall and the story rings true to me. The evidence of an innate sinful nature is all around me and in me as well. Grace is necessary because no matter how hard i try, I am at war with the selfish part of me. You say you don’t see that. Yet I do and I don’t feel trapped. I feel free because I see this part of myself and know that I need more than I can give. That is what I find in Christianity.

    I do believe that, as a Christian, I am no better than one who is not. I just am glad for the relief I find in both forgiveness and in the Holy Spirit. I know you believe that it is all psychological. I disagree. I can’t prove it conclusively and that is what you will jump on as proof that it does not exist. But, it makes perfect sense to me as I look at the story of mankind. We are not on way to utopia and the world demonstrates this fact.

    For me, I am grateful there is a place to go with my guilt. I am also grateful for the hope that, one day, Zahra Baker’s death will not go unpunished.You most likely will say that this is the real reason I am Christian-for the hope and for the forgiveness. But, that is not true. I see the evidence, I see the issues in this world, I see the evil and Christianity gives me an answer that makes sense.

  60. Dee,

    I would disagree. I think there are two things you are not considering when you look at humankind’s behavior. The first is the timespan, you mention programs in the inner city, but really I look at our history over centuries not individual lifetimes. We are, in many nations, far more civilized now then ever before in our history. We no longer chop off a hand for stealing a loaf of bread, we no longer beat women because they are not virgins, we no longer drown children because they are not the right sex or because they are born with a deformity. There will always be individuals who are problematic, because of trauma, birth defects and environmental causes, we can’t stop nature from screwing up sometimes, but as a whole we have progressed eons from the behavior we exhibited only a few centuries ago.

    Ironically, the societies which seem to have made the most progress are the ones where reason and humanism can flourish without being crushed underfoot by religion. It began with the enlightenment and has continued to this day. For comparison look at the nations where religion rules with an iron fist, where you cannot, raise a voice in defiance of the established religion and see how much moral progress is to be found…precious little.

    When you look at people and determine that they are deeply flawed it is only because you look through a lens which is crafted, like the old circus mirrors, to give that impression. Humans are greedy, selfish, aggressive, possessive, tribal and prone to violence. They are also compassionate, tender, caring, nurturing and protective…these are the traits given to us by evolution, by our need to survive. They have served us well in the past, but the changes in our societies easily out pace evolution’s ability to keep up. What we now have is a society and civilization in transition. We need to find ways to reapply or refocus our natural tendencies in a more productive manner. Religion cannot help us in this quest because it is non-changing, by definition its morals are timeless, its methods inflexible, it will not serve us, it will only slow us down, increasing the likelihood that we will not find a way to refocus our tendencies in time. I mentioned a lens earlier…if you take a man with all of his traits and tendencies and then fashion a lens from religion, one which makes the very actions which define us as evil, then it is with little wonder that when we look at humanity using that lens that we appear to be flawed and hopelessly lost. When however you remove the lens you see humanity for what it is, as Hamlet spoke…

    “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!”

    We are not flawed beings, in any sense of the word, we are a spectacular creation of nature, we are made from the dust of the stars themselves. No religion, no belief in any God or gods can give us more nobility and specialness of purpose. We are literally the universe itself becoming sentient.

    You spoke of being grateful that you had a place to take your guilt. I would make the case that there is no need of someone to release you from your guilt. Guilt is only an indicator, a litmus paper of the mind to prick my conscience when I do something which I know to be wrong, for selfish purposes. I learn from it, and dispose of it when no longer needed, I do not carry it around like some albatross around my neck looking for someone else to rid me of it’s stench. I take responsibility for the decisions I make which were wrong and I rejoice in the ones I make correctly and I continually strive to better myself for my own benefit and those around me. No magical gods, no angels and no fairy tales. Just myself, those who journey with me in this life and the world around me. These are all the companions that I need to have an incredible, wondrous life filled with passion, joy, inquisitiveness and love. Who could ask for any more…

  61. Karl

    Hitler, Pol Pot, Kruschev, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, PLO….
    China-no more than one child a couple or kill the baby
    Peter Singer…kill the deformed or even a child up until one if inconvenient
    Sex slaves throughout the world
    Zahra Baker
    Ted Bundy-raised in a good family

    Great progress? Dust of the stars indeed.

  62. Dee,

    Yes, you listed some people who have committed terrible atrocities, are you saying that therefore we do not live in a better society today than we did 500 or 1000 years ago?

    Yes there are sex slaves throughout the world and 500 or 1000 years ago no one would have considered it wrong, same goes for regular slavery.

    You aren’t really trying to sell me on the fact that society has not made and is not making any forward progress over it’s history are you?

  63. “it isn’t a debate, as I mentioned above it is just a search for a simple, agreed upon answer to a single event which doesn’t simultaneously contradict the bible story in other places.”

    Karlton, if we have to “find agreement” on whether Paul was a Pharisee or not, then it would take forever to “prove” to you other things that I simply take on “faith”. That means I am ‘simple” and perhaps even “unreasonable” in this case. That is ok with me. :o)

    I am not convinced you sincerely want to find anything to “agree upon”. But that is just my opinion and means nothing. One cannot always prove what one takes on Faith. Nor, would I want to.

  64. Karlton, Do you find it disconcerting, as an atheist, that some obscure carpenter from the ME who was executed by the Roman authorities was able, without worldly power, to influence an entire calander dating system?

    Of course, that “proves” nothing but it sure is interesting. :o)

  65. Karl

    I am a realist and do not buy the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” stuff. I worked as a public health nurse and bout half of my case load was child abuse and neglect. I personally know children who are victims of pedophilia, abuse, and neglect. And many of these from ‘nice” families.

    So, we have outlawed slavery. Men enslave one another in many different ways.Forcing people to abort a baby in China because they already have a kid, for one. Not allowing people to leave a country is another. Of course, the atheistic Chinese government knows what is best for tis people.So many governments entrap their people-think Castro, etc.

    Drive down any highway in America and watch the road rage. Look around at your friends and see the broken relationships. (I am NOT saying atheists have more broken relationships than anyone else).Look around you and see how people have an innate selfishness-looking at for Number 1.

    Oh, we’ve made a bit of progress on the surface. But underneath the problem remains. You call my God “imaginary.” I find the progress that you mention illusive and a window dressing. The inward problems remain. I actually think that Scripture does a bang up job describing the problem of man.

    Atheistic communism descended into totalitarianism and abusive control. Why? The idea is “nice.” We all share with one another equally and form a society based on the idea that man is good and wants to do good. Well, the people wouldn’t play ball. So, the overseers, who knew what was best,” had to force the little buggers into sharing “equally.”

    Of course, they, who knew better, they, who had evolved into a higher social consciousness, needed to live well because they had such burdens controlling those disobedient idiots. So, they got good food, nice housing,paid mistresses and fancy cars so their superior view of mankind could be fully expressed without the drudgery of day to day life.

    Of course, they had to force out religion. Darn those little buggers. They wouldn’t play ball. The harder people fight to stomp out faith, the more the faith flourishes. China has all but given up.

    I know about the humanist campaign that is about to start this week. It is very clever, picking and choosing Bible verses, etc to throw out at people. Here is my prediction. It will have little to no effect on causing people to reject Christianity. In fact, it could produce just the opposite effect and backfire.

    There is more to this battle than taking verses out of context and having a little “gotcha” campaign. Athiests don’t buy the spiritual. There are many who believe that the spiritual is just as real as the world around us. That is one area that this campaign overlooks. Most men see the failings of humanity and do not believe the answer lies in the logic and reason of fallen man. Besides, there are many logical and reasonable men who will reject your premise.

    Atheism does not have a lock on all the logical, reasonable, and intelligent people out there so such claims will ring hollow as folks look around and see that many, many smart people are believers.

    It concerns me that many Christians take one apologetics course and then think they have the answers to questions by atheists. I have spoken with nonbelievers for over 4 years. I know that there is much sloganeering and posturing.

    However, i think atheists have hit on their formulas as well.And they are as apt to do the same as Christians. Here are a few.
    -Imaginary friend
    -Hitler was a practicing Catholic (That is like saying Dawkins is a closet Jesuit)
    -Flying Spaghetti Monster
    -Atheism is the only reality that uses logic and reason
    -There is no historical Jesus
    -The Bible is full of error
    -Teaching the Bible to children is a form of child abuse (whoever said this has never seen true child abuse)

    The problem on both sides is a tendency to talk beyond each other and never listen carefully to what the other is saying. That is why I think dialog and debate in civilized forums is the key to understanding of one another.

  66. Lydia,
    Yes, and it is equally interesting that out of 12 months 5 are named after Roman gods and godesses and 2 are named after Roman emperors. You are also correct in that it doesn’t mean a thing.

  67. Karl
    If it didn’t mean anything, why are people going to the trouble of changing AD to CE and BC to BCE?

  68. Dee,

    Personally I find it silly to bother changing AD or BC to BCE and CE, I suppose some people find it offensive, maybe people of other faiths who don’t like having to use a calendar that uses the central character of another religion as a dividing line. Got me on that one, I can;t even remember the last time I wrote A.D. unless it was when I did history papers in school.

    The reason for the change to the Gregorian calendar was simple accuracy and since the Roman Catholic church was involved (the moving days of the old calender were affecting when easter was being celebrated), it is no wonder or surprise that Christ was used.

  69. Karl,

    I seem to be getting farther and farther behind as my schedule is not allowing me to keep up with yours and dee et al’s furious posting pace (work and family can do that at time).

    You said:

    “I was not limiting myself to physical events, it was an open ended question. To your points…

    1. If we lost fellowship with God what does THAT mean since clearly God continued to communicate with mankind throughout the OT.”

    Sorry. “Lost fellowship with God” is ‘Christian speak’. I should know better. I did not mean lost contact with God. I certainly did not mean God abandoned all hope of re-establishing a ‘fellowship’ with us. What is meant by this is that a loving communion between us and God has been lost, the ability to have a relationship with God that is not hampered or even blocked by guilt and shame.

    One consequence of this would be all the different faiths you speak of. We don’t have a built in clear relationship with God anymore, but for the most part we can sense on one level or another He’s there (or rather something is there), and so people try all sorts of ways of bridging the gap that exists between God and humankind. One fundamental of Christian faith is that apart from God’s action, nothing we try will work. God has to bridge the gap, and He did, through Christ.

    You said:

    “2. So we were mortal before the fall, but could have eaten from the Tree of Life, then after the fall we were cut off from the tree…hmmm seems overly complicated to me, why put the tree there in the first place. In addition, not aging is the same as not growing, so if Adam had eaten from the Tree of Life he would never have been able to populate the earth?”

    These questions just aren’t answered. And yes, it does get complicated, which I would guess is why the story is told in the most simple of terms. That way all people have a chance of understanding the critical points. Those with the greater reasoning power are required to apply that power to resolving the inherent difficulties which arise when reducing a complex subject to its most simplest terms. As Jesus said: “To he to whom much is given, much is required.”

    You said:

    “3. In bondage to the animal nature withing us, that is vague…I can certainly choose to do the correct thing when presented with a choice…I’ve done it many time as I am sure you have. So I’m not sure exactly what that means.”

    You are thinking in black and white terms. I do not mean to imply we can’t do good, or that we always do bad. I look at it this way, being in ‘bondage’ to the animal nature means that on the balance it controls us more than we control it.
    And that if given the opportunity to live forever, the end would be our total corruption.

    One example I give of how this might be comes from mathematics. A simple infinite additive series will be either convergent or divergent. That is, I can add an infinite string of numbers and get an unbounded value (1+2+3+4 …) or a fixed value (1+0+0+0…)

    My example then focuses on the following seemingly similar sets:

    (1+1/2+1/3+1/4+1/5 ….)

    and

    (1+1/2+1/4+1/8 …)

    The first is divergent. It adds to ‘infinity’ (is unbounded).

    The second is not. It adds up to 2.

    This is how I conceive of the difference between before Christ and after Christ. Before Christ, we are like the unbounded series. After Christ, we are like the convergent series.

    The application is this. In both the first and second series, the amounts being added are getting smaller. Eventually in both cases, the amounts being added are so small as to be imperceptible. This is just like the fact Atheists and Christians alike can be doing good things, and can be constantly becoming better people. And indeed, I can start one series quite large

    (100+50+25+…

    And the other rather small)

    (1+1/2+1/3+1/4 ….

    And we can see how a given atheist can be – from our finite perspective – a much better person than some other specific Christian. Nevertheless, in the end, the first is convergent (finite sum) and the second is not.

    So then, God is not looking just at who we are now. He is looking at who we would become in eternity. And without Christ we are like a divergent series. The amount we get better will always still just not be enough. Thus we are defined by, in bondage to, our sin or animal nature. In Christ that is changed. We are then free from this bondage.

    Zeta

  70. Orion’s Belt

    I knew I should have listened in math class! But, upon my second and third reading, I am getting the idea. Well said.

  71. Karl

    You tend to be more reasonable than most on your side of the argument. I have gotten hammered over my head on the BC issue so much that I decided the issue may be striking too close for comfort for some on the areligious side.Thank you for giving me something to prove that not all atheists are in a box.

    In fact, I think you are going to find my posts in the next three days right up your neck of the woods. Tomorrow, I plan to post the Why Am I an Atheist Video. I fully expect you to clear up any misperceptions that I may have .

    You can tell your humanist group that you have at least gotten the word out.The question will be: to what end….:)

  72. Someone said, “I agree with Karl. If the man self-identifies as a Christian, he is a Christian.”

    That is not necessarily true. Even Jesus Christ taught that there would be false Christian converts, people who sincerely believe they are Christians but who are not.

    (Jesus warned such people that on judgment day, He will tell the false converts, “get away from me, I never knew you” after they say, “but Lord did we not do many good deeds in your name?”).

    The New Testament Bible also says that there are people who pretend to be Christians so they can dupe and swindle true believers – in such examples, the false ones are sometimes called “wolves” while the true believers are called “sheep.” True believers are told by Christ that one way to sort out the true from the false believers is to judge them by their fruit (a good true gives good fruit, a bad tree, bad fruit).

    Lastly, there are many people who do not understand that being a Christian means accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, as many people operate under the false assumption that simply attending church, reading a Bible, or donating money to a charity makes them “Christian.”

  73. As for Ed Young Junior’s rant about tithing – this is horrible.

    Young seems obsessed with money. I’ve read elsewhere that he has a private jet that is financed by the church and so on, and here he is trying to guilt trip them into giving more money to him. It’s deplorable.

    I particularly hate one part of one of the tithing sermons Young gave, where he tells his church members that if they’re giving money to Christian charities outside of the church (like groups that help feed poor, hungry third world nation people) that such giving “doesn’t count.”

    Says you, Ed Young Jr. I think it counts plenty.

    He also said if they’re not going to consistently tithe 10% to his church (and he makes sure to emphasize it has to be off gross income, not net), that they shouldn’t “waste his time” or waste God’s time, that they might as well “stay home” or “play golf.”

    Young also implies if you don’t give his church a regular 10% tithe that your marriage/ kids/ job will suffer. I can’t believe this man is supposed to be a Baptist; this is the sort of dreck and nonsense one usually hears from Pentecostal WoFers (Word of Faithers) / Prosperity Gospel hacks.

    This man has a reprehensible attitude. If his tithing sermon was mean to be trendy or hip in that it was so blunt and “in your face,” it backfired.

    The tone of his sermon made Young look like a greedy, money grubbing, petty, obnoxious little jerk. If I were a member of his church, I would have walked out then and there.

  74. Hi Leaky

    I absolutely agree, 100%, with your first comment. One of our regular commenters, Lydia, has said precisely what you have said. There are certainly wolves. What surprises me is the number of people who will not accept the concept of wolves in the church. There are churches who have had pedophiles molest their kids. Then, the people in the church spend more time “helping”
    the pedophile than the kids who were harmed. Yes, yes I know that no one is beyond redemption. However, I think that many cannot accept the fact that people will use the church to their own ends.

    To wit, your comment on Ed Young. I think Ed has jumped into the money thing with all of his heart. He was unable to resist the Dallas money trap and he is playing it big time.So many people fall for men like him. I wonder if it is because he is made in their image and that makes them feel comfortable. Perhaps they deserve each other. But I can’t help but feel that many are deceived and hurt by him. I wish more in the church would speak out against this stuff. There seems to be a conspiracy of the complicit.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments and welcome.

  75. LeakyFaucet,

    Welcome! Love the moniker.

    Please read through all of our posts on Ed Young. Joyce Meyer and Bryan Houston will be speaking with Ed at the upcoming C3 Conference in February to be held at Fellowship Church.

    Ed is showing his true colors which are shades of green ($$$$$$$$$$$$$)

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  77. We have spam filters. But these spammers are tricky. If they come in under an individual address they can get around the blockers. The guy behind the curtain told me that spam organizations hire individuals to write individual spam and send them separately. We usually get about 5 of these a day. Contrast that to the days before the spam blocker. We were getting about 100+per day.

  78. I am blown away by you people. You think you have the right to sit in the seat of Judge. I was googling the Holy Spirit when I found this link. Wow! Did google screw up or what. If you have a problem with Ed Young, be a child of God and write or call him. Don’t cowardly sit back and bash a man who can’t even defend your foul words. You think owning a plane or a million dollar home is a sin? Most of you don’t know Ed from Adam. You have no idea what it’s like to travel the world over preaching the gospel and leading a church of thousands. The pull he has on his life and family is something you will never understand. I live in NM and I too don’t know Ed. But I am a follower of Christ and there is nothing Godly about this discussion. It’s a shame that you think you can prosper but pastors are supposed to suffer and be without. I understand that excess is no good for anyone but how dare you think you should decide. I’m fully aware that this will probably not be received but I can’t help but stand for what’s right. Leave the man alone and let God take care it. If you don’t like Ed, don’t listen to him but no one needs you to save the rest of us. You are not the Holy Spirit.

  79. Actually Heather, I have met Ed back stage at a conference his church put on 5 or 6 years ago. The “Ed” show we called it even back then when I was a mega church marketing person. So, even the seeker mega people thought he was over the top back then.

    And yes we are to look at the fruit of those who seek fame and wealth in merchandising the Gospel. Paul warned about wolves in Acts 20 and other places. Ed is a wolf…or at least a hirling. (see John)

    The most “ungodly” thing we can do is to say nothing and not warn others he is a charlatan. Even some of his teaching is heretical.

    If we are to let “God take care of it” then Paul was silly to write all those letters to the churches dealing with all sorts of things. He should have just let God take care of it. He even told a group of men in one church he wished they would “emasculate themselves”. How DARE he! He was judging them!

    I wish folks would actually read the Word. Heather, you have made up a religion you like. You and many others.

    And Heather, you don’t have to read here. And wasn’t it nice of Dee and Deb to allow you your opposing view that you rebuke others for having?

  80. Heather

    Did you read our post? I was a member of Ed’s church. I did express concern.
    Do you know what the Scripture means by judge? Does it mean that we are not to confront someone who is in sin? If you closely read your Bible, you will find that it has to do with judging salvation. I have never questioned Ed’s salvation.

    Building a life of luxury on the dime of people who give their hard earned dollars to help spread God’s word is wrong. However, if you think it is a good idea, send him money, or better yet, send me money. I would love to have a condo in Miami as well.

    We are not cowards. Our name and contact information is on this blog. You could even call us and berate us in person.

    How do I save someone else?

    Thanks for your comments even if I don’t understand how you came to your conclusions.

  81. Lydia, you have got to be kidding me. You think the most godly thing you can do is bash someone to others on a blog and then call it uncovering a wolf? And then you throw scripture out to make what you are doing okay. Believe me, I know scripture and you seem to have overlooked 1 Corinthians 13. Or how about that plank that’s in your eye. How about you tell me where you fall short first and then I will listen to what you have to say about others. You actually think that this post is an asset to the Kingdom of God? If this post has done anything, it has just proven once again that the church is divided. No wonder there are people who don’t want anything to do with church or God. We don’t encourage and rebuke, we rip apart and name call. Since you know scripture I won’t quote the first and greatest commandment. And if you think Paul meant for you to speak ill of someone as a way of rebuke, you are again mistaken. You are to go to them in love and if they don’t listen go back with someone else. I’m sad you think I have made up a religion. I don’t call discouraging others from slamming Gods’ anointed a religion, I call it following the example of Christ. The pharisees wanted to stone the young lady but it was Christ who said if you are without sin throw first. It’s one thing to know scripture and another to know the heart of the Word (Jesus Christ).

    Dee, I am not denying the fact that some church leaders misuse church money. But explain to me why a jet and an expensive house is not okay for a pastor. And maybe Ed doesn’t receive an offering the way you think he should. But why throw stones with your blog? People will have their opinions but why spread meanness. Just decide not to support him and don’t. When you choose to give in an offering, you are giving it to God. You are planting it in the soil of your choice and then your hands are free of it. The pastor of that church will be held accountable for what is done with it. But by God not man. I wasn’t claiming that you could save others. That is not what I meant. But what you and Lydia call warning is just a “godly” way of saying gossip.

    I appreciate you allowing me to have a different point of view. That’s what a discussion board is for, right?

  82. Heather (I like your name, btw), just for clarification sake, you think that instead of calling him out and exposing him publically, we should allow the Holy Spirit to convict him? That we should just be silent about what he is doing? And God would have His Spirit work in him rather than having another human being be the one who tells him he is wrong.

    Do you really believe that?

  83. Stunned, Do you actually think Ed Young Jr. has read this post? You think he has been “called” out and “exposed” by this blog? My point, to be as clear as possible, If you have an issue with Ed Young or anyone else call them out to their face and let them respond. Don’t think that this way of doing it is Gods’ way.

  84. Heather,

    Our primary goal here at TWW is not to “bring correction” to leaders like Ed Young. Instead, we are doing our best to educate our brothers and sisters in Christ about the abuses we see in Christendom. We owe that to each other as Christians, and the Bible encourages us to do so.

  85. Heather

    i think about 10 years ago, I might have felt as you do now. However, I have changed my mind.

    Try making a negative comment on Ed Young Jr’s blog. Anyone who is comfortable with their life and thoughts usually have little problem with opposing opinions. Ed is so uncomfortable, he had videos of his sermon removed from Vimeo. Is he ashamed? And why?

    As for gossip. I think you have been listening to those who would have you believe that keeping secrets is better than confronting problems. Look at Scripture. The reason it rings true is that the Bible tells the story with all the pain and sin. No secrets. If I had written the story I would have not allowed all that awful gossip to be part of the narrative. You know, Bathsheba, the guy who had an affair with his mother in law, incest, revenge, etc. all preserved for eternity.

    Please read our post on the issue of gossip. It is usually used by churches who have secrets to keep.http://thewartburgwatch.com/2009/05/11/shhh-dont-talk/

    Finally, you can be sure that Ed knows about this blog post. Google his name and you will see our blog and many others chastising him. he has people who check his name in the news everyday. The proof is-he pulled the video of his horrible tithing sermon.

    Remember, God uses prophets and others to confront those who would misuse his church. How do you know that this is not God’s way?

  86. “And then you throw scripture out to make what you are doing okay.”

    I had to chuckle on this one.

    ” Believe me, I know scripture and you seem to have overlooked 1 Corinthians 13.”

    So how far you willing to take 1 Corin 13. How about a pedophile as your pastor? After all, we should not judge.

    Have you shared that one with Ed? Love does not keep score…is a big one. Beating the sheep for not giving so you can keep your lifestyle of the rich and famous is….love?

    ” Or how about that plank that’s in your eye. How about you tell me where you fall short first and then I will listen to what you have to say about others”

    Heather, Using the logic of your comment above there is not pastor or teacher that can teach against sin because they sin, too.

    Now Ed has said that those who do not tithe to his church are sinning against God. What right does he have to judge where they give…according to your logic.

    ” I don’t call discouraging others from slamming Gods’ anointed a religion, I call it following the example of Christ. ”

    Heather, this comment alone proves you do not understand the Word at all. ALL true believers have anointing (see 1 John). There are no super anointed in the Body. A title does not bring special anointing. You have believed there is a sort of caste system within the Body and that is not true. The hand cannot say to the foot, I have no need of you. Overseers in the Body are simply the spiritually mature. They would be the lowly servants.

    “The pharisees wanted to stone the young lady but it was Christ who said if you are without sin throw first. It’s one thing to know scripture and another to know the heart of the Word (Jesus Christ).”

    Can you please try and study that in context. Jesus is speaking to Pharisees who are trying desperately to trip Jesus up. They had tried to arrest Jesus right before this. (this passage is also not in earliest manuscripts, btw). They brought the woman out to deliberately test him in the Law of Moses. Remember, their big thing was to prove he was not keeping the law.

    Did you notice they did not bring the man? Go check OT law and find out if the man is to be charged, too. But note at the end what he tells her: Go and sin no more. So, yes, he did “judge” her. He just did not tell them to stone her. They were not following the law!

    I think you are just impressed with titles. And I don’t believe for one moment you know the scripture. Otherwise you would have to be appalled at the many judgmental things Paul said..

  87. “Stunned, Do you actually think Ed Young Jr. has read this post? You think he has been “called” out and “exposed” by this blog? My point, to be as clear as possible, If you have an issue with Ed Young or anyone else call them out to their face and let them respond. Don’t think that this way of doing it is Gods’ way.”

    Uh oh. That means John was in sin for writing 1 John 3. And it also means Paul was in sin for calling out Peter publicly and then writing about it for millions to read for 2000 years. Who did Paul think he was rebuking Peter in front of all thsoe people? And what about poor Hy and AL in 1 Tim 1?

    Let’s take a hard cold logical look at Heather’s suggestion we go to Ed personally. (Fly to Dallas and try to get an appointment?)

    The problem with her logic is that Ed has striven to be a PUBLIC person. And when what he says and does is for PUBLIC consumption (even making money off it!) then he is fair game. Ed, himself, wanted it that way. He wanted to be well known. He has spent tons of money making himself well known.

    In fact, that makes it totally necessary to analyze his teaching with the Word and check his fruit.

    After all, Paul commended the Bereans for doing just that.

    Matthew 18 is for those who sin against you personally. It is not about what PUBLIC teachers of the Word teach and do. Ed loved being famous until the bad stuff came out.

  88. “I wasn’t claiming that you could save others. That is not what I meant. But what you and Lydia call warning is just a “godly” way of saying gossip.”

    Nice try. Ed’s actions and words are PUBLIC. And of course, Ed figured out that his routing number sermon was not going over as well as, say his, “bed on the stage” talk (cannot call them sermons) on the internet, so he pulled it. Why?

    How does one gossip about what is PUBLIC, factual and even on the news? We even have youtube videos of Ed himself glorying and bragging about his 10,000 cappicino machine. How does one “gossip” about facts? How does one “gossip” about Ed’s own words?

    Heather, If you are in his church or following him in any way as in teaching, etc, please run…fast. You would be better off spiritually holing up in a closet with the Word and begging the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth of His Word to you. I mean that. My heart aches for those who are in that phony seeker world that is so man centered and materialistic.

  89. I found it funny that Heather said we shouldn’t be saying anything but we should trust the Holy Spirit to take care of things.

    Heather said, “You think you have the right to sit in the seat of Judge.”

    Just like you have just done toward us, Heather?

    Heather, you also said, “Don’t cowardly sit back and bash a man who can’t even defend your foul words.”

    Heather, I’d appreciate it if you would answer this question. Why is it you think that Ed can’t defend himself here? I believe he has the ability to read or at least have this read to him. And he has the ability to write or at least dictate something on here. So what is it about him that you believe would render him unable to do so? (And please, try to stick to answering the question as opposed to talking your way around it again.)

    Heather wrote, “You think owning a plane or a million dollar home is a sin?”

    Heather, I don’t believe anyone wrote that owning a plane or a million dollar home is a sin. But if you are willing to tell me which person said that, I will go back and be happy to tell them they are wrong. Please just find the quote for me so I can do so.

    Heather, you also said, “You have no idea what it’s like to travel the world over preaching the gospel and leading a church of thousands.”

    Heather, I am curious, how would you have any knowledge of whether any one on here has ever traveled the world to preach the gospel or not? Or lead a church of thousands? (And a side question for you- is that some how more valuable than leading a church of twelve?)

    You said, “The pull he has on his life and family is something you will never understand.”

    I agree with you on this one. Just as I will never know the pull on your life or on my next door neighbor’s or even on my best friend’s lives. I will never know the pull on anyone else’s life except my own. Of course, you will never know the pull on my life or Dee’s life, or Lydia’s life or Deb’s life or…. I hear what you are trying to say. But you do know what I do know? When someone is trying to PUT more pull on another person’s life through abuse. And the words that that man is saying are abusive. (If you’re not giving 10% tithe or your gross to this church- stay home or go play golf? Abusive.) I don’t care what kind of “pull” this man has on his life. He has no right to say such things, especially as he stands in the pulpit on a Sunday morning. Again, it is abuse and I will stand on the highest mountains and scream at the top of my lungs if it will set just one prisoner free.

    Keep up the good work, Dee and Deb.

    You also wrote, “But I am a follower of Christ and there is nothing Godly about this discussion.”

    So let’s see YOU get to decide whether God is in this, but we don’t get to do the same. Hmmm, you live elsewhere and don’t know Ed so according to your logic you have no right to say that what he is doing is sin and should be called on it in a public forum BUT you also live elsewhere from me and don’t know me but it IS ok for you to do that to me. Your logic is illogical.

    Heather, you also said, “It’s a shame that you think you can prosper but pastors are supposed to suffer and be without.”

    Oh, my my my my. So much ability you have to know our minds! (I’d say you should consider taking your act on the road but it is just too faulty.) Look Heather, once again, who said that I or anyone else here says it’s OK to prosper? I don’t know who here believes that and who here doesn’t. It’s never been a discussion that i have read. Please, if i am mistaken and everyone who had previously commented on Ed’s abuse also stated that it was OK for them to prosper but not for a minister to prosper, then please, bring me back to that discussion and I’ll go take another look. Of course, even if I did/didn’t think it was OK for “us” to prosper, how do you know which of the “us”es are pastors and which are not? Here, let me help you to have a bit more understanding. I am NOT a pastor. Both of my sisters are married to pastors and every man who married into my family is at least a Seminarian. (We’re lousy with ’em in my family. Try playing charades when the thing you’re trying to make people guess is a super long theology book title- exhausting.) Heck, when Mom and Dad got married Dad was enrolled at Princeton’s Theological Seminary. So it’s kinda ridiculous/silly of you to assume that because I don’t like a man abusing people in the name of God, that somehow I would be against the members of my own family prospering. (Though between you and me I have always prayed that I be the one daughter who is NOT a pastor’s wife. And no, in spite of your declaration of my heart, it is NOT because I am against a pastor’s family prospering- more so because I would probably get my husband’s butt tossed from any church because I don’t cowtow to the company line all that well. ‘Course, now I am dating a man who considers politics from time to time and I’ve had to warn him that if he marries me, his career would be shot through as I’d be busy taking on corruption and evil every time I encountered it. Pray for him if you think about it.)

    You also said, “I understand that excess is no good for anyone but how dare you think you should decide.”

    Heather, again, please recognize that this man is putting a yoke on his people. Come on, if i am walking down the street and I see a man raping a woman, my eyes will not be deceiving me. I won’t just walk on and say to myself, “Well, maybe I’m misunderstanding something.” No, there are certain things that are clear to me. I will stop and beat the man until he is off of her and the cops have arrested him. (Trust me, I don’t live in the greatest of places and I have stood up to bullies in my neighborhood. It is scary, but I coulnd’t live with myself if I didn’t. I’m horrible at standing up for myself, but couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t stand up for someone else.)

    Heather you also said, “I’m fully aware that this will probably not be received but I can’t help but stand for what’s right.”

    You know what, Heather, I totally respect your heart in this. You genuinely believe that what you are saying is right. (I could have done without all the faulty logic and all.) But I love that you are standing up for what you think is right. Loads of respect for that. So thank you. Genuinely. And I wouldn’t want you to stop doing that for one cotton picking second. If the Holy Spirit is leading you, then I want you to obey every time. If it is any comfort, your words have challenged me. They have made me think and reflect. That is a good thing.

    We may not agree with each other, but I am glad you did what you thought was right. Again, keep it up, my sister. Keep it up. Who knows what God may do through and because of you, both here and elsewhere in your life, world and realm of influence. Thank you for bringing what I am sure was not an easy word to bring.

    Finally you wrote, “Leave the man alone and let God take care it. If you don’t like Ed, don’t listen to him but no one needs you to save the rest of us. You are not the Holy Spirit.”

    Once again, if we believe we are following the Holy Spirit, we need to act, we need to speak, we need to write. You are correct in saying we are not the Holy Spirit. (Trust me, I’ve tried enough in the lives on my children- boy what an idiot I can be sometimes.) I don’t listen to Ed. I don’t worry too much about Ed. Seems like Ed is spending enough time worrying about Ed for me to bother. But I will NOT stop speaking out about abusers. You see, I myself was abused. You may not have been. I truly hope you never were. But from my side of things, I NEEDED someone to come and speak truth. To tell me that it wasn’t only me that saw things the way I did. I and others like me NEED to hear the voices of others calling out and pointing us to the way they saw things. To give me a different perspective than the one I was immersed in.

    I was lucky, because in spite of almost every voice I heard telling me that I should stay with my abusive, cheating husband (and it was almost every voice in my life) there were one or two human voices that said essentially, “This is wrong. Get out.” I needed those voicese. Heck, I needed a chorus of voices. And I would have killed for a whole cacophany trying their best to convince me that the things I have tolerated in my life, (ALL in the name of God) were WRONG.

    So you can say all you want that we should leave Ed alone. But it isn’t Ed we are here for. It is the people he is abusing, misleading and lying to.

    Tell us we’re wrong all you want.

    But it’s God I have to answer to some day and obeying His Spirit who lives in me that is leading me and whom I have to give answer to.

    I know it may be hard to believe this, but God bless you and keep up harrassing us (that wasn’t meant sarcastically, I swear- I am not about to say that God isn’t telling you to speak these things to us- maybe you are our balancer and if God is leading, seriously, PLEASE obey Him and keep it up). I love your heart that wants to do right and help others to do so, too. God bless your day today.

    Stunned

  90. Lydia

    What an awesome response to Heather. I want to tell you that you inspired me this Christmas. I gave a group of friends the Chronological One Year Bible and challenged them to read through the Bible this year. I told them about you and how you challenge others to know their Bible. Some of those friends have reported to me that they took me up on my challenge to do your challenge! You are making a difference.

  91. Stunned said:
    “So you can say all you want that we should leave Ed alone. But it isn’t Ed we are here for. It is the people he is abusing, misleading and lying to.”

    Yes, this is the primary reason why The Wartburg Watch exists — for the FLOCK, not the shepherds.

    I just heard David Jeremiah on the radio talking about the law of sowing and reaping, which I wholeheartedly believe. If Christian leaders are abusive, then it’s just a matter of time before this Biblical law will take effect. Perhaps that’s why the congregation at Fellowship Church is shrinking.

  92. And thank you, Wartburg Watch and SGMSurvivors and SGMRefuge and all the other places that are obeying the Holy Spirit to speak truth and bring the deeds of darkness out into the light.

  93. Stunned,

    It was at least four or five years ago (I’m losing track of time) that Dee first mentioned the idea of co-writing a “faith watch” blog with me. I was somewhat reluctant because honestly I didn’t think there was that much to write about with regard to spiritual matters. Boy, was I wrong!!! It has been almost two years since we started TWW, and there’s way too much to cover in Christendom.

  94. Stunned,

    I appreciate everything you said. And I think as Christ followers, we are to challenge one another. Like I said earlier, I just happened upon this blog yesterday in doing some research for a book study on the Holy Spirit. Needless to say I didn’t get much accomplished yesterday because I sat and read several of these blogs posts. I think we have several intellectual people writing and responding on this blog. All are very educated and well spoken as far as I can tell. But I also feel a lot of hurt and pain coming through. Do you believe that someone can be hurt and then take their pain out on others for comfort? I really don’t know what to say because I know that we are on 2 totally different pages. I don’t believe in secrets and I don’t believe in allowing injustice to continue. I am saddened by what goes on in the pulpit and then covered up or protected. This is not my argument. But is exposing a child molester and discussing Benny Hinns divorce the same? Is sharing about PROVEN misappropriation of funds the same as discussing Joshua Harris and the deleting of his blog posts? As an outsider of this group, I don’t feel love at all. For the ones you right about or for myself the reader. I don’t feel like you are writing to help others but get your own frustrations out and in print. I’m sure that in all these posts there are some effective words that are healing and helpful to others. But I’m not sure it will bring peace and restoration to the broken reader but fuel to their anger. For the most part I feel dirty for reading. I feel for those on the other end of this blog that may be innocent in your writings. I feel for the children of these people who read what others say about their fathers. That he is a wolf or a heretic or a liar. I believe in justice but is this how we do it? My heart is heavy and I am grieved. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t expect any of you to do anything different unless you are led to.

  95. Heather,

    I appreciate your taking the time to express your thoughts in this forum. Even though you disagree with our criticism of certain Christian leaders, rest assured we will NOT delete your comments as I have witnessed Josh Harris doing on several occasions (BTW, I rarely read Josh’s blog, which makes the matter even worse).

    I am grateful that you have not experienced spiritual abuse, as some of our readers have. Would you join us in praying for those who have been hurt by those who are supposed to be protecting them?

  96. Wow thanks, Dee. Did you know I used to sound just like Heather defending the charlatans even while I saw that many were making merchandise of the Gospel. ….That so many had a “stage persona” that had nothing to do with who they really were off stage? It was all about image perception and image management.

    I was even paid to do it. But there was always a “nag” in my soul about it. I ignored it for a very long time until I could no longer look in the mirror. Seeing backstage is a huge wakeup call. Some get into it and love the drama and excitement. Others can become very discouraged over it. I believed so many wrong things. One reason is because for so many years, I listened to “proof texted” sermons and never really studied on my own. If one does that long enough, they start reading everything in the Word through that man centered filter. I could have whipped out the “do not judge” tactic faster than anyone. It works on people because they do not know the Word. What is ironic is that “judgements” are made all through the Word! A glaring example is 1 Corin 5 where Paul tells the church to hand the man over to Satan so he can be saved.

    Think about this… If we do not make “judgements” we will never witness to people. We will never seek to protect others from evil because who are we to judge what is evil?

    If I could get by with it, I would stand on the roof of Ed’s church and scream for people not to go in there. It is killing their souls. I know what it is to be immersed in that sort of false teaching and Ed is NOT the only one…he is just so ostentatious about it. I lived it and promoted it!

  97. Heather,

    I frequent the SGM Survivors website, although I rarely comment since I have never belonged to a church affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries.
    Here’s a comment I just read there.

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=2042#comment-30648

    “Stunned in Wyoming

    January 26th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    This is my first time on this website. Hello.
    I am checking it out because my daughter attends a SGM church in Colorado and has recently decided to practice “Christian Separation” from me and the whole family. I am trying hard to understand what I have done to deserve this treatment from her. Can anyone give a website or link that could explain this churches teaching ideas to me. Also, how does a parent guide someone out of this mess? Thank you.”

    There are so many hurting people out there who are being victimized either directly or indirectly by abusive ministries. We have spent a considerable amount of time focusing on SGM, and we hope that the information we have provided will be beneficial to our readers. I hope this parent in Wyoming will one day have her relationship restored with her daughter. These are the kinds of individuals we are trying to help.

  98. I am pleased that our blogging friend who goes by the moniker “Stunned” has kindly responded to “Stunned in Wyoming” with these words:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=2042#comment-30650

    “Stunned

    January 26th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Oh Dear Stunned in Wyoming,

    I am so sorry to hear you and your family are going through this! I can only imagine this is a terribly painful time.

    I don’t feel I can answer you as well as others here will be able to. I just want you to know that you are NOT the only parent that has come here and expressed the same thing. I think the common link is not so much what you have done, as much as a group of authoritarian pastors/churches whom your daughter and others have connected themselves to.

    Please, anyone else out there who can do a better job of helping out Stunned in Wyoming?

    Please know I will be praying for you,
    Stunned
    (in Philly)”

    You see, Heather, there’s a lot more going on in the blogosphere than just bringing correction to Ed Young, et al. People like Stunned are reaching out to those who have been negatively impacted by abusive ministries, and it is making a difference.

  99. Heather (still love your name, btw),

    You asked, “Do you believe that someone can be hurt and then take their pain out on others for comfort?”

    I definitely think that someone can be hurt and then take their pain out on others. I’m not really clear how such a thing could ever bring any real comfort but that’s how I am made. It would give me no comfort whatsoever. However, knowing I am not alone in what I have suffered or knowing that I was not crazy brings GREAT comfort. As does expressing my pain, just like David did in the Psalms. There is great healing that can be found in writing and discussing the abuse done to one whether it be at the hands of a man or a church or a government.

    I’m sorry you don’t feel the love. Kinda hurts to tell you the truth. But I’m not going to stop giving it. I’ve had too many people write to me in tears telling me how I’ve given words to their pain for the first time. I’ve also had the spirit of God urge me on. Yes, it would be more comfortable for me to walk away and do a million other things. (Eat ice cream comes to mind.) But I can’t because God is pressing on me to keep writing. (Man, it stinking hurts! I want to avoid it so badly, but He has started a work and I must obey.)

    So you can come on here all you want and tell me you don’t feel the love. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to detect it myself back when my life was good, when my family was whole and my parents loved me and things hadn’t hit the fan. I didn’t understand the crabby Shirley McLaine types in Steel Magnolia’s. I thought they were just miserable old ladies. Now I am that miserable old lady 😉 and I totally get her love for her friends and the role she played. I never used to understand her and now I am her and I love being her.

    You see, I used to be the person who came upon abused and hurting people and told them how they were wrong for expressing themselves the way they were. (Oh, my enormous arrogance and shame!) I remember sitting in a youth group meeting pontificating about divorce and how wrong it was, all the while not knowing that the very girl who was sitting beside me just found out that her father had walked out on her family. (And this was a friend, no less!) How I wish I could go back and hold her. Cry with her. Tell her God has a hope and a future for her. But no, instead I talked about the need for sexual purity (why didn’t somebody shoot me?!) when this very same girl was being raped by our assistant pastor. And it went on for years. (Both my inexperience in the pain of this world and the girl getting raped over and over and over again.) And yes, even now I cringe saying that God had a good plan for her life when her life is now in freaking ruins. (The mental illness she suffers has not allowed her to support herself. She is middle aged, alone, ill and has even lost her own child. I can’t promise her any “flowery” future. Only sit with her and tell her God loves her. And sit behind her in court when her rapist from her childhood is finally sentenced. But other than that, I can do little to get her life back.)

    Oh, how grateful I am that God has made me this cranky old woman! How I wouldn’t trade back and become who I used to be for all the money in this world. You see, you may not be able to see the love, Heather, but the hurting feel it. They know it. And after all, that’s who I am here for. And you Heather, as well intentioned as you are (and I truly believe you are), are actually causing some harm and pain here. Not the pain of correction but the pain caused by an ignorant but well intentioned Christian.

    (Side thought- Funny how you’re the “good” one in your eyes, yet I am the one who encouraged you to follow God’s call on your life, whether I agreed with it or not. And I’m the one that is bad in your eyes, yet you are the one who is sitting here telling me that I am not loving and am only hurting people yet you give no respect or encouragement to me to follow the Holy Spirit….. hmmmm, I think I’ll take being the “bad” one in that case.)

    You said, ” I don’t feel like you are writing to help others but get your own frustrations out and in print.”

    You have no idea the kind of pain your accusations bring me. I also think you probably don’t care.

    You also said, ” I feel for the children of these people who read what others say about their fathers.”

    Have you ever had your father written about in such terms? I have. And not just on blogs, but in some of the biggest newspapers in the nation. And on one of the biggest newstations in the nation. I have heard his name and seen it in print. And it was ugly what they said. Ugly with a big capital U. And you know what?

    Some of what they were saying was true. (The parts that weren’t true really didn’t hurt. What did I care about the lies?) But the parts that they said that were true? Those parts were actually healing and good to hear. It was actually a comfort. Because you see, kids aren’t dumb. They know the truth. They and their mothers or others can try to cover it up, but they know somewhere in their souls that there is truth here. And to have adults ignore it, not address it, actually does the children great harm. No matter how much they look up to their father and love them. As I loved my father greatly.

    I don’t know if you have ever experienced anything like this or not. I can only surmise that you haven’t because if you had, at least in my way of thinking, you would be responding differently. I think you would have then gained the wisdom to see how helpful this is to the children. So as much as your world is different than what the world is of the children whose parents end up in print and I know you learned some very important playground lessons …not mocking, I truly believe you are lovely person who took very important lessons to heart when you were young and I like that about you. I did the same thing. But then God took me through life and had to work very hard to teach me that there are other people out there who are actually evil and would actually do what you and I would never dream of doing. They would actually purposely hurt somebody. And I can only guess that you would never do that to anyone on purpose. (Please forgive me if I am wrong about you on this. Honestly, I know I could be way off here.)

    But I think you see those of us who have fought the hard fight and continue to fight the hard fight, you see the blood on our hands and the sweat on our brow, and you confuse us for the dirty people who you’ve seen in your life. While others (like the psycopaths and the soicopaths and the narcisists and the abusers) clean themselves up and look nice.

    But God has stripped me of any desire to look nice with these bullies. I didn’t want to “look dirty”. Trust me, I used to be just like you. And I would have been saying the same things you say. But so far, God has taken that away from me and made me stare into the harsh light of other people’s realities, of their pain. It is ugly. And they need someone to help them out of the pit of hell they are often in.

    You can sit here and throw rocks all you want, but I and others are not about to stop going back into the pit and dragging out survivors. I don’t blame you for feeling sick to your stomach. It’s pretty gruesome work. I feel sick to my stomach over it most days, too.

    But I’m not going to stop getting my hands dirty just to avoid having you and other people throw rocks at me. So keep ’em coming. Satan has tried worse with me and the others here.

    PS. I never knew Benny Hinn was divorced. I couldn’t help but see the irony that you brought this piece of unnecessary and unrelated gossip into this conversation. Actually, for that matter, I had never seen this entire post until you bumped it to the forefront by commenting here. If you’re feeling sick, I have a feeling maybe God isn’t calling you here for this season of your life. I can only hope you’ll never need this site or any other site like it in the future.

  100. Lydia, you said, “If I could get by with it, I would stand on the roof of Ed’s church and scream for people not to go in there. It is killing their souls. I know what it is to be immersed in that sort of false teaching and Ed is NOT the only one…he is just so ostentatious about it. I lived it and promoted it!”

    Thank you for that smile! I don’t know if I’d have the courage to do that with you, but i would hope that if God called, He would give me the grace to do even that.

  101. Deb, thank you. Your kindness to me at this moment has given this heart courage. (Though I am oh so weary to day! I hate to be dramatic but have just spent too much of the day in tears.) Thank you for that kindness and taking the time to encourage.

  102. Stunned

    Have you ever thought about writing? You are very good. You had me mesmerized by your above comment.

  103. Stunned,

    Ditto on what Dee said. You are a gift to TWW! I hope we can meet someday. I’d love to know you personally.

    Keeping you in my prayers as you minister to others.

  104. Stunned,

    I am truly sorry if I have caused you pain. Our words hurt sometimes even when we don’t intend for them to. I definitely want you to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. That’s all I want for anyones life. I agree with Deb and Dee that you write very well. I pray that you are able to restore the broken and be used by God. You don’t have to respond because this will be the last time I post on this site. I’m not sure why you like my name so well. Maybe it’s an inside joke. But it’s the name my mom and dad gave me, so I use it. I pray God’s blessings on each of you with all sincerity.

  105. Heather

    Stunned is not joking. She really likes your name. It is a compliment with no strings attached.

  106. Heather,

    Thanks for visiting TWW. Sorry we were not to your liking, but you’re welcome to come back at any time.

    Blessings to a sister in Christ.

  107. Stunned-

    I always enjoy your posts and your heart….I think my own survivor story is similar. I was a know it all for God until I got blindsided by one of God’s chosen leaders.

    The alienation you feel, all of the sudden, gives you new eyes, and you remember all those hurting souls you avoided, because their pain seemed too messy, or it didn’t compute that your wonderful leaders could have done some thing as awful as this person claims. Surely the problem is them, not your wonderful leaders fault…..

    And then it happens to you, and you are on the other end of the blank stares, the dismissive and annoyed attitudes, the folks who outright tell you that you must be mistaken or lying,…..and then you get it. You get down on your knees and cry like an animal until your gut hurts and you can hear your own brainwaves looking for a way to compute all the pain you feel.

    You feel like there is a big weight hanging around your neck and a tattoo on your face that tells the world that you are worthless, a fool, and worthy of being forgotten. You dread going out in public and bumping into an old friend, only to have to go through your pleadings and story, only to be scolded or ignored again….the shame washes over you and even laughing can hurt with sorrow.

    Talking to someone who understands, and believes you is something so rare and precious….to realize you are not crazy or alone, is a lifesaver. It literally can bring you back into focus and begin to live and love again.

    That is why I will never stop talking about what happened, so that others will know they are not crazy, and that their is life after abuse. An even better one then the life and friends they have lost…..it will still hurt, but the hurt will begin to fade as new life begins……..

  108. Dee and Deb, thank you for your encouragement. I was really moved by what both of you said. It would be a pleasure to meet both of you some day. All I know for sure is one of you is in Texas and one of you likes the Carpenters. Oh, and both of you have your MBAs. (So many questions when you want to get to know someone!) And thank you for understanding me. Boy, it’s a bit of ledge to walk out on, coming to a site full of strangers and exposing yourself like that. Yes, for some reason I totally love Heather’s name and wanted her to know how lovely it is. (I’ve been praying for a friend named Heather lately. Maybe that’s why?)

    Doubtful, your words about the way you feel when you are being processed out of the back end of a church are so accurate. (At least for me.)

    “The alienation you feel, all of the sudden, gives you new eyes, and you remember all those hurting souls you avoided, because their pain seemed too messy, or it didn’t compute that your wonderful leaders could have done some thing as awful as this person claims. Surely the problem is them, not your wonderful leaders fault…..”
    YES! I remember remembering all the people that seemed to have slipped away. I was confused but thought it was best of me to avoid those who had seemed to have become suddenly bitter. (Oh geesh, Lord, please forgive me.)

    “And then it happens to you, ,…..and then you get it. You get down on your knees and cry like an animal until your gut hurts …”
    Yep.

    “You feel like there is a big weight hanging around your neck and a tattoo on your face that tells the world that you are worthless”
    Yep.

    “You dread going out in public and bumping into an old friend, ….”
    Double yep.

    “Talking to someone who understands, and believes you is something so rare and precious….to realize you are not crazy or alone, is a lifesaver. It literally can bring you back into focus and begin to live and love again. ”
    Amen. I wish those who came to throw rocks KNEW, KNEW how healing it is to discover for the first time, you are NOT alone. I can tell you exactly where I was sitting the moment I finally read the SGMSurvivor site and realized I was

    NOT

    ALONE

    “That is why I will never stop talking about what happened, so that others will know they are not crazy, and that their is life after abuse. An even better one then the life and friends they have lost…..it will still hurt, but the hurt will begin to fade as new life begins……..”
    Freedome to the prisoners and hope to the hurting. Thank you SO MUCH for your work, Doubtful!

    I’d really like to hear more of your story some day. I think everyone’s story is worth sharing, even if sometimes they don’t feel that their story is all that interesting. But it is part of the work God is doing in their life and I find He never writes bad stories. Actually, from something you wrote in the past, I suspect you and I may have gone to the same church and even at the same time. I wonder if we knew each other. And if maybe I was one of those same people that gave you the blank stare or seemed to not notice you. Or worse yet (and I pray I never did this to anyone, but with the frequency it was done to me after I left, I very well may have) asked you as soon as I saw you, “What church are you going to now?” instead of saying, “How are you?” It was just creepy.

    Keep giving hope.

    Stunned

  109. Stunned,

    It would be great to meet you, too! A blogging buddy who was passing through town last Monday treated Dee and me to lunch. It was terrific! Who knew we’d develop friendships far and wide through the internet…

    Actually, Dee moved from Texas to North Carolina (God’s country – couldn’t resist!) around ten years ago. We became friends soon after she arrived. Little did I know where our friendship would lead. As I think back, the internet was becoming a reality when we first met. Back then, if someone used the word “blogging” I would have responded: “What’s that?”

    So glad you’re here at TWW!

  110. That’s so cool that you guys live near each other now! A decade ago I never heard of blogging either, or of e-publishing or any of that. Wow, now that I think about it, I think it was 10 years ago today (or this weekend), that I got “invited to leave” my SGM church.

  111. Just fyi, Stunned and I have, ahem, shared experiences, lost touch with one another, and were able to cultivate a friendship again because we met on the blogs and I figured out who she was.

    And shocked I was.

    Of all people to be dis-membered, she was the very last person I would imagine. This woman had such a sweet servant-heart toward the church and all the people.

    She is a beautiful woman inside and out and what was said by her and doubtful are so true.

    I would rather be beaten than shunned.

  112. Stunned,

    We’ve invited DB to share her testimony. How about you? Would you consider sharing your story here? You really have quite a gift for writing. Thanks for your wonderful way of reaching out to others here and at Survivors and Refuge.

  113. No one should ever believe anything DB says about me. In all honesty, I pay her to say nice things, so it should all be ignored.

    Deb, I don’t know if I’d be able to put together my story in one lump. It probably makes me sound like a baby, but it’s a bit painful to think about sitting down and getting it all out into one cohesive pile. Can I take a raincheck and maybe some day send it to you guys?

  114. Stunned,

    So glad that you and DB know each other! Being “invited” to leave your church must have been extremely painful. If ever you want to share your story, you know we’re here.

    Thanks for being a blessing to Dee and me.

  115. “It probably makes me sound like a baby, but it’s a bit painful to think about sitting down and getting it all out into one cohesive pile. ”

    This is why most people never share their stories. And because the way things were handled were so deceptive it is hard to give ironclad facts. It becomes an he said/he said situation in many cases. Hard to prove. Most things that happen are about deceit: They say one thing in public but another in private. How does one prove that? Especially when they are surrounded by sychophants who agree with everything they say?

    Believe me, when folks finally wake up to what is going on they have already been marginalized. It is another cult tactic.

    They don’t show up with horns and pitchforks. They carry out their evil looking like angels of light. And the person who has been deceived or wronged can look like a baby when they try to explain it to others.

    People forget how clever Satan is.

  116. “But God has stripped me of any desire to look nice with these bullies.”

    Amen!

    In fact, I give unbelievers a huge pass in their evil and let the courts work it out. But when Christian teachers/preachers/pastors do their evil in the Name of my precious Savior and use bullying tactics on people who have trusted them…..or make merchandise of the Gospel….I will not give them a pass. It is NOT of Christ and they use His Name for their personal benefit to hurt and control others.

  117. Lydia said, “And because the way things were handled were so deceptive it is hard to give ironclad facts. It becomes an he said/he said situation in many cases. Hard to prove. Most things that happen are about deceit: They say one thing in public but another in private”

    And all it takes is for them to twist one little word and the whole truth is gone and deception has come flooding in.

  118. Everything I have said with respect to Stunned and her character is the truth as God is my witness and, if Stunned is moved by God, she will share her story in spite of the pain it has caused.

    And, trust me, I know it is exquisitely painful. I am in the process of putting my experience into a word document and it is dredging up a lot of ikky feelings that haven’t visited me for quite a while.

    I also wonder if anyone will even believe this happened to me but that is why I bother sharing my story because I have read too many other biographies that are entirely too familiar.

  119. DB

    Let me encourage you. As I went through my little dust-up, I found that blogging helped me to sort out my thoughts and feelings and brought me much healing. May it be that for you as well. I cannot wait to read what you have written.
    Blessings

  120. DB,

    I’m keeping you in my prayers as you document what occurred at your former church with the Ezzo debacle. Thanks for you willingness to help others through your painful experience.