Does the SBC Fear Women Pastors More Than The Molestation of Children?

Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it. –Mark Twain


Pillars of Creation-Hubble Telescope



Today, an SGM pastor posted an apology of sorts over at SGM Survivors here

But,  I have had enough of the SGM saga for today and will proceed with my planned post. Deb plans to do a post about Mark Dever and CJ Mahaney on Monday. That should provide enough fodder for a maelstrom.

Although we find the SGM story compelling, we want to emphasize that we are not an SGM, SBC, or any other group watch blog. We just follow trends in the panoply of the post-evangelical thicket. 

Also, we have been alerted to a number of sexual abuse issues over at the Calvary Chapel nondenominational denomination. (Same sort of nonsense as SGM). The stories were so disconcerting that we have postponed trying to place them within this post and will plan a series within the month. Calvary Chapel appears to be very similar to the SGM organization and should provide our readers with a sad sense of déjà vu.

However, for those of you who have followed us for a while, you know that our blog has one major hot button issue: sexual abuse and the church. Jesus gave a stern warning about those who would allow a little child to come to harm. An abyss and concrete boots figure prominently. Yet many of today's churches seem to overlook this warning with vigor.

TWW believes that this is the single most neglected issue in many of today’s churches. If ever there was an issue that shouts “SHAME,” this is it. Yet the SBC appears to think that another issue demands an all out assault. Something that is so heinous that it demands a 2-week response time. What could be more important than molested children? Quite simply, now get ready, take a deep breath…it is the presence of women in the pulpit.

Recently, in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the town that inspired Andy Griffith’s Mayberry, the following incident, reported by Associated Baptist News, occurred. LINK

“Surry Baptist Association in North Carolina expelled Flat Rock Baptist Church in Mount Airy from membership July 26, two weeks after their new female pastor started at the church.

The association of 65 churches reportedly voted “overwhelmingly” at a regularly scheduled meeting to disfellowship the church for calling Bailey Edwards Nelson as pastor. Messengers viewed the church’s action as violating scriptural guidelines that they believe reserve the role of pastor to males."

Now, there are many issues that could be discussed regarding this incident. However, I want to focus on this one aspect. This church was thrown out TWO WEEKS after calling a female pastor. A major crisis is averted and North Carolina Baptists  have been rescued from such sinners.

One would think that an even harsher approach would be applied to a church that hides a pedophile. However, I cannot find one instance in which any SBC church was disfellowshipped over the mishandling of a pedophile incident. Not one! Stroll on over to Christa Brown’s blog, Stop Baptist Predators here and see the many documented stories of churches and pastors who have mishandled the reporting of pedophiles. See how many of these incidents led to further abuse of many children over many years.

And how does the mighty SBC address this? They have refused to set up a sexual predator database and instead choose to focus on the clear and present danger of women in the pulpit.

Here is a recent incident, which involves Jack Graham (former president of the SBC) and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano (Dallas) Texas. This is one of the largest SBC churches in the country and one that is near to my heart because I had many friends who attended that church and I visited there on a number of occasions. My daughter had the distinct honor of having Jack Graham, and the inimitable William F Buckley Jr. sing “Happy Birthday” to her. I have always thought fondly of Graham and that is why I was so saddened by this story.

I want to praise New BBC Open Forum here and FBC Jax Watchdog here as well as Wade Burleson here (who has opened comments up for this story showing his deep concern) for bringing this matter to light. It is my belief that bloggers are having a significant impact in today’s church. One only need to follow the Sovereign Grace Ministries story or the Ergun Caner debacle for proof. I want to thank all three of these bloggers, who have put up with incredible grief and criticism, to bring the truth to light in these matters. Thank you also to Arce, a TWW commenter, who sent this story to me.

On August 8, 2011, WFAA investigative reporter, Brett Shipp, posted the following story here.

“John Langworthy, a former youth music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, admitted to molesting at least one of his young students in the late 1980s.

While he was immediately fired, there are questions about whether Prestonwood church leaders tried to keep the incident under wraps. He went on to become the youth music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi.”

But, several students told Amy Smith, a young, former Prestonwood staff member, that they had been molested by Langworthy. These incidents occurred at Prestonwood and at least one occurred in Mississippi. Smith tried to warn people about this predator and found help on New BBC Open Forum here

This compassionate and concerned blogger immediately posted the story. Current Morrison Heights church members discovered, through this blog, that they had a monster in their midst. Cue standing ovation for New BBC Open Forum and Amy Smith.

The story picks up with FBC Watchdog Link

“Their (Morrison Heights) church leadership began an investigation, and then Brett Shipp (investigative reporter mentioned above) became involved. Brett covered the story because of the connection of Langworthy to Prestonwood, and their apparent failure to report Langworthy's crimes to the police back in 1989.”

Bob Allen, at Associated Baptist Press, gives some additional and shameful information here.

“Jack Graham accepted the praise of the Dallas media and the SBC when he did act decisively in another incident in 2008.”

“Joe Barron, minister to adults at the then multi-campus Prestonwood with its main facility in Plano, Texas, was charged with solicitation of a minor — a Dallas Morning News editorial praised Pastor Jack Graham’s up-front handling of the matter as the “right way to react to a scandal.”

“Did he defend the disgraced minister?” the editorial said. “Did he speak of all the good things the perpetrator had done in his ministry? Did he call for forgiveness? Did he say that the pastor was going off for counseling and would be back in ministry soon, a ‘wounded healer?’ Did he blame pop culture for the minister’s fall, or lash out the news media?”

Enter "the ever quick to grab media face time" SBC Executive Committee. “Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, cited the editorial in his report to convention messengers that year.

“We must join Dr. Graham in confronting this horrible crime, exposing it for what it is, and doing everything within our power to protect the children under the care of the ministries of our churches.””

Here are some observations:

Jack Graham appears to have lied about his history with Langworthy.

According to ABP, “In 2008 Graham, a former SBC president, said in 40 years of ministry “never have I had one moral problem with a staff member, until now.” But Smith says Graham, who began his ministry at Prestonwood in 1989, was head pastor when Langworthy was asked to leave. She says Langworthy admitted guilt and begged to stay on through the summer for a youth choir trip but was told to leave town immediately or he would be reported.”

“Smith, however, cites correspondence with a former Prestonwood member who remembers not being told about why Langworthy left but learning details from second-hand sources over the course of weeks. Smith says Langworthy, who was at Prestonwood about four or five years, was a close friend to her family and for a time even lived in their home. She thought of him as a brother or uncle and was in his wedding. “

Jack Graham believes that the Devil's behind those questioning his actions!

He tweeted the following two statements according to FBC Jax here.

  • “Over the years when criticized or accused I Have tried to live by this axiom- No attack No defense Let God fight your battles”
  • “When you are falsely accused trust God and remember that Satan is the source of lies”

Smith, seeking to protect minors from further molestation, contacted pastors at both churches and the Associated Baptist press to no avail.

From ABP we read “She contacted leaders of both churches and the superintendent of public schools. She approached media outlets including Associated Baptist Press but was told that since she was an advocate and not a victim that unless there was a lawsuit or arrest they couldn’t do a story.”

Frankly, all of those contacted should hang their heads in shame. Their lack of response may have caused more pain and suffering for children.

It does appear that Prestonwood Baptist Church and Jack Graham may have violated the law.

From the Brett Shipp article we learn that “two of the alleged victims from Prestonwood said church officials conducted an internal investigation to determine the extent of the abuse. What Prestonwood did, from my knowledge, is find victims in the church on their own and begin to speak with them," Smith said. "That is the job of law enforcement."

"The State Family Code on the books at the time required professionals — including clergy — to report suspected child abuse to authorities. Failure to comply with state law on reporting child sexual abuse is a misdemeanor offense, but may not come into play in this case since the alleged abuse took place more than 20 years ago”.

Prestonwood Baptist Church and Jack Graham appear to be morally responsible for putting children in Mississippi in extreme danger (but not, we hasten to add, as much danger as a woman in the pulpit, of course).

From the Shipp article-“Smith says not only weren't police notified, but Langworthy then headed to Clinton, Mississippi, where he led youth choirs at a church and a public school.”

Jack Graham is refusing to answer questions about the situation.

Shipp continues “Dr. Jack Graham, who had just been named Prestonwood’s pastor at the time the abuse was discovered, declined comment."

Prestonwood offered a lame statement to the public.

According to Shipp “Executive Pastor Mike Buster gave offered this statement:

"In the summer of 1989, the church received an allegation that John Langworthy had acted inappropriately with a teenage student. Based on this allegation, he was dismissed immediately, removing him from all responsibilities with the church. In no way did officials of the church seek to cover up the actions of Mr. Langworthy or silence his accuser. The elected officers dealt with the matter firmly and forthrightly."

Without the help of courageous blogger, New BBC Open Forum, and Amy Smith, none of this would have come to light.

As Shipp concludes: “What's clear to Amy Smith is that none of this would have been made public had she not worked so diligently on behalf of the victims.”

Here is a major problem. The SBC refuses to set up a sexual predator database.

Wade Burleson has posted his position here on establishing a sexual predator database in the SBC. He reviews this incident and has opened his blog to comments in this instance.

“Leadership at Prestonwood, for reasons not yet clear, chose not report to report John Langworthy's sexual crimes to law enforcement. Worse, leadership at Prestonwood did not publicly reveal to church members why John Langworthy was being released from staff. As a result, another Southern Baptist Church, Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi eventually hired John Langworthy as their worship pastor and immediately put their entire church into a minefield of another's making.

Everything about this is painful.

But it all could have been stopped had forced reporting been instituted in the SBC, had a SBC sexual abuse data base been in existence, and had Morrison Heights made one phone call to the SBC headquarters in Nashville and asked the question of the date base employee, "Has John Langworthy ever been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse?"

However, I think that, if the SBC really cared about this issue, within two weeks of Prestonwood’s admission that they did not report this incident to the police, a vote should have been be taken to disfellowship Prestonwood from the North Texas Baptist Association.

But, such an action will never take place. Why? The answer is quite simple. It is far more dangerous to have a woman in the pulpit than to have pedophiles raping children. The impeccable priorities of the SBC are quite clear and the watching world sees it for what it is. Time Magazine called the SBC’s neglect of this issue one of the underreported stories of 2008. Link 

Oh, and in case one is tempted to educate me that it was a local association that disfellowshipped the Mount Airy church, I have one thing to say. Why hasn’t any association disfellowshipped a church that has not reported a pedophile a la Prestonwood ? This sort of weaseling is unbecoming. The SBC is doing nothing different than the Roman Catholic Church did with their cover-up of their pedophile priest scandal. SHAME ON THE SBC. (Yep, I’m shouting, blog style).


Lydia's Corner: 1 Kings 15:25-17:24 Acts 10:24-48 Psalm 134:1-3 Proverbs 17:9-11


Does the SBC Fear Women Pastors More Than The Molestation of Children? — 259 Comments

  1. It’s all about protecting those in power. They are the shepherds who, according to Ezekiel 34:4, “have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured…have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost…have ruled them harshly and brutally.”

    In their world the hierarchy is:

    Other (male) leaders
    Other men
    A few select women
    The rest of the women

    It’s little wonder that they care nothing about protecting the weak.

  2. Well, you only intimidate the weak. If everyone goes on damage control duty, then some damage has been done or the group feels threatened.

    I find that interesting, because they say that men have all the power, and it’s allegedly given to them by a sovereign God. Why then do they need the compliance of women to get the system to work, and why is it that women have this power to inadvertently trump man’s dominion, if it was truly given to them by Sovereign God?

    Power is power. If you have it, you don’t need to worry so much about people taking it which indicates — what would you call that — um… a lack of power.

    So many complicated hoops to jump through to make everything work. Why would that be? Wouldn’t that make God impotent?

  3. Amanda, you left out huntin’ dogs in the hierarchy — they come just after “Other men”.

  4. What is the relationship between the local associations and the SBC? Is it formal or informal (ala IFB)?

  5. The Southern Baptist Convention will never do anything about Prestonwood Baptist covering up for the child molester and not reporting him. They are one of the largest donating church’s in the SBC.

    Money talks in the SBC.

    Also, this might be petty, but it bugs me that the pastor at Prestonwood uses a picture of himself on Twitter and the church website that does not in any way portray what he looks like now. Vanity in a man is so unbecoming.

  6. Pingback: In Southern Baptistland | Civil Commotion

  7. In answer to the question posed in the headline to this article, I make the following comment:

    When FBC Jax determined I was the FBC Jax blogger and delivered me trespass papers which caused me and my family to start going to another church, an FBCJ Sunday School director called a minister at our new church to warn them that I was the blogger and I was at their church.

    So there you have it: one church notifies another church when a blogger has left and gone to another church, but Prestonwood does not notify when a confessed child molester leaves and goes to another church.

    Go figure.

  8. Seneca

    No, they let him “resign.” No making a big deal about this. Pastor reputation to protect.

  9. Tom

    I wish I had thought of your point before I wrote this post. They are more afraid of bloggers than child molesters. However, with the awesome job you are doing on your blog, some pastors better get their acts together.

  10. Tom R,

    This is very common amongst controlling churches with manipulative leadership.

    A friend of mine left a church, and seven years later when caught up in a conflict between a pastor and an asst. pastor, they confronted her husband and her about their “sin of sedition” and brought the assistant pastor from seven years ago into the meeting as something of an expert witness of their past “sins of sedition.”

    When people left our church (many would leave and go straight to the local Vineyard church), our pastor would call the pastor there to fill him in on what the person was like and what their conflicts were like at our church.

    I had the same experience when I left an OPC after my husband was in a very bad car accident, making the 60 mile trip to that church quite difficult. (We were in rural Texas at the time.) They did nothing while my husband was in the hospital, but we did get a note card from an elder. Two years later, when the dust had settled a little, I went back because I wanted to make peace with them. I felt like they needed to know how badly their abandonment hurt us. We only visited other churches in the interim but were in regular fellowship with believers at three different fellowships.

    The pastor sent me a letter recommending two other Presby churches (not OPCs), each more than 100 miles away from our home, stating that he’d already called those pastors to inform them of our “sins” of resisting leadership (???). Forget that we barely survived for those two years, due to multiple surgeries, multiple hospitalizations, and traveling 6 hours one way to see 2 different specialists on a regular basis. I guess those consulted pastors agreed to “take us on” as their sin project or something. It didn’t occur to him to call someplace within 15 or even 50 miles of our home, either.

  11. Forgot to mention — they did keep the wife beaters’ circumstances under wraps at the church where my friend was charged with “sedition.” We had several domestic abusers that migrated back and forth among churches in that area.

    I don’t know if they covered up sins at the OPC in Texas, but they sure were not willing to consider that they’d hurt us with their disregard!

    And then there’s the church where my mom got saved where knowledgeable church members participated in a 40 year coverup of the pastor’s molesting of little boys and then continued to use them after they were adults. His denomination just moved these pastors around from place to place, but at least every church from NY to Maryland had some homosexuality problem in leadership. But you were not permitted to have a prayer meeting in your home if you wanted, unless you had a person from leadership there as a “covering.” That was an intolerable sin against leadership.

  12. FullCourt

    Vanity is hallmark for the “personalities” of the Dallas milieu. In the 10 years I lived there, I saw more cosmetic surgeries within the Christian community than I ever would have imagined. I came to a theory that I can’t prove. I believe that the Dallas crowd creates pastors in their own image. Surgeries, expensive clothes, expensive toys must be exhibited by the pastors because the Dallas crow does not want to be challenged on lifestyle issues.

    I knew so many people who went in the hole trying to maintain a superficial show of wealth. I remember one man teasing another man that he would not use the Tollway because he was trying to save money. The teaser was one of the quintessential “big hat, no cattle” kind of guy. Even the Tollway was turned into a litmus test of pretend “wealth.”

    So, Graham’s “glamor shot” is to be expected. It’s all pretend. I still remember my “Picture of Dorian Grey” incident. i was standing line at a private school. The woman in front of me had expensive hair put back in a pony tail. She wore the latest expensive “combat boots” that were the rage matched to perfect shorts and a tight T shirt to show off upper body surgery. Suddenly, she turned around. This woman had to be at least 65 years old! I started to cough to cover up my burst of laughter.

    And you are right. The SBC will never throw a church out for how they treat pedophilia. They plumb don’t care. Women and bloggers are the real issues and something must be done about it.

  13. Cindy

    The only mistake you made was going back. If these guys really changed, they would come to you.

    Also, I would never attend a church that my former church recommended. The reason is simple. They still feel they have some control over you. This makes for messy interference.

    A former pastor led the pastor of a church we planned to attend to believe that we were trouble. The new pastor then got it into his head that he and some elder sort of guy would “mediate” a reconciliation. The mere fact that former pastor agreed meant that the decks were stacked. We handled it differently and got totally out of their sphere.

    I have come to a conclusion that, when pastors are too busy to visit the sick in their churches, they are NOT pastors merely paid speakers.

  14. Focusing strictly on the actions of the SBC Association in NC for disfellowshiping that church…here are a couple of blog posts from one of the most balanced SBC pastors out there. (He used to be an attorney) He is a comp but he tends to look at situations from a very logical and balanced view:

    If you want to see the another side of the debate, you can witness the response of more SBC pastors at SBC Voices blog which also ran Howell Scott’s blog post:

    As I recall, many of these same pastors were very defensive about Patterson/Gilyard and Gaines/Williams scandals. I did not see any call for disfellowshiping those two Baptists for their supporting of pedphiles and perverts.

  15. “What is the relationship between the local associations and the SBC? Is it formal or informal (ala IFB)”

    Acrimonious is more like it since the GCR was passed. It is all about shares of money given by local churches. The Georgia Baptists passed a resolution against bloggers a few years ago. And we find out later it was because one of the GA Assoc big shots had some serious problems and bloggers were discussing it. So, pass a resolution that talking about evil and coverup’s in the church, is sin!

  16. The answer to the question in your post title is yes.

    One example is Paige Patterson defending Pastor Darryl Gilyard to several victims over many years (and lots of evidence) but working feverishly to get rid of Dr. Sheri Klouda who taught Hebrew at SWBTS.

    And that is ONE example out of hundreds.

    You see, what Gilyard did in his constant sexual perversion as a pastor was nothing compared to Dr. Klouda thinking it was ok for her to seek a PhD at SWBTS (they took her money for the degree and then hired her) and then dare to teach Hebrew language to young men. Now, in Patterson’s world, that was sin.

    This is the logic that is now SBC policy. Sexual perversion: Ok and totally forgiven. Women teaching men anything: Sin and you must be ruined.

  17. dee on Sat, Aug 13 2011 at 09:59 am

    You had a very meaningful type in this comment in which you referred to the “Dallas crow” when you meant “crowd”. But “crow” is a really good term for the upper classes of Dallas, all the way down to the lower middle class. Super proud of being Dallasites, more than of being Texans, which is bad enough. Living in a state that strives to be below Mississippi and Alabama on all of the measures of quality of life — education, poverty, hunger, medical care for the poor, etc.

  18. Eagle, I totally agree with you. And while few are tracking this, many are leaving the institutions because they are fed up with it and are asking “themselves” the hard questions. There will always be people who follow the celebs. But they are having to go out and constantly find new followers.

    A bad economy is helping more people ask hard questions that must be asked. Funny how that works. Why should someone laid off or even someone making 40,000 grand a year be expected to help support someone making 250,000 per year? Many are asking these hard questions and coming to the conclusion that this is not really Christianity.

    A few months ago, a certain mega church ran a front page article in their community wide paper with a picture of a single mom with many kids who was so proud of her “tithing” to the mega church. She became the poster girl for how people should tithe even though being in poverty. Yet, the pastor makes a six figure income.

    Can someone tell me why he should not be giving to help her, instead? That was the model of the early church. But we love our celebrities and our buildings more than we love people. So, we teach them “works” salvation and make them out to be pious because they give what little they have to a business instead of taking care of their own children’s future needs.

    And please spare me the widow’s mite rebuttals. It has nothing to do with the New Covenant giving. The woman was a Jew and Jesus was pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees when it came to giving as a JEW and keeping the law.

  19. Garland said…
    What is the relationship between the local associations and the SBC? Is it formal or informal (ala IFB)?

    Local associations of churches are usually grouped by counties, depending on population. State associations are composed of the churches in a state’s local associations. The national convention (SBC) is composed of churches in the state conventions. That’s the normal patter, anyway — but it is technically possible for a church to be a member of any one of these without being a member of any of the others.

    Membership in associations are voluntary, as is membership in the national convention. Belonging to an association or to the SBC is intended to be just a means of pooling resources (called the Cooperative Program) for common endeavors, such as missions and education.

    Neither the associations nor the SBC have authority over any member church. The only power they actually have is to “withdraw fellowship” from a church, which really only means that the church can’t participate in their cooperative endeavors (that is, the association or convention doesn’t want their money anymore, and won’t give them a vote on how the pooled resources are spent).

    One of the outcomes of the SBC “Conservative Resurgence” (CR) is that the SBC now sees ones of its roles as ensuring conformity to certain doctrinal standards or beliefs. The original claim of the CR leaders was that they were only interested in ensuring that those leading SBC agencies (like the domestic and international missions boards) and seminaries were fully committed to the truth, trustworthiness, accuracy, and reliability of the Bible. (The term “inerrancy” was used to convey this concept.)

    A key principle of the CR was that it wasn’t enough for a person to believe in inerrancy personally, they also had to be committed to the idea that any other Baptist who wanted any position of leadership should also believe in inerrancy. It wasn’t long after that before the expectation was that belief in inerrancy was essential to being a good Southern Baptist, not just to being a Southern Baptist leader. And from there it wasn’t long before it wasn’t enough that you believed the Bible was inerrant, it was also important that you agreed with SBC leadership on specific interpretations of the Bible (such as whether or not women could be pastors). This sort of enforcement of doctrinal conformity is an outgrowth of the CR that is in opposition to the historic principals of Southern Baptist cooperation.

    The Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) that Lin spoke about is a recent change of SBC structure and the formulas used for funding the SBC agencies and state conventions from the dollars received into the pooled Cooperative Program. The net effect of the GCR is to place more power in the hands of those controlling the national convention and less in the local and state associations. This is another outgrowth of the CR, which also reflects a move away from historic Southern Baptist principles and practices.

    Sorry if the history lesson is too long, but that’s my attempt to answer your question. Others can let us know if I’ve misstated anything.

  20. Hooray for the Baptist General Convention of Texas (part of the number of contributors to that Corporate Program to pool resources), a group who was part of the SBC but could not approve/ratify the new revisions of the Baptist Faith and Message Statement in 2000!

    And Hooray for all of the missionaries who benefited from that pooled resource funding who also took a stand and refused to sign the Danvers Statement. Many of them came home and left the SBC missions program, and they were not all women, either! Dr. Myatt is one of many examples.

    May God continue to abundantly bless and provide for the dissidents!

  21. Cindy

    Shortly after my rather unusual conversion (Star Trek features prominently) two students from Gordon Conwell took this rather confused young teen under the belt and loved her without imposing on her a bunch of rules for being a Christian. They had me read Lewis and others.They made sure I had his sci fi trilogy-Out of the Silent Planet). Although they moved away very quickly, they left a love for Gordon Conwell that is in my blood to this day.

    In fact, one of my favorite people is Walt Kaiser. Kaiser was the Colman M. Mockler distinguished Professor of Old Testament and former President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, now retired. He gave Ken Ham a run for the money and left me cheering him on as if I were at a Scottish futball game!

  22. On inerrancy,

    The inerrantists claim only that the “original autographs” — the “God dictated” original words or writings — are inerrant, not the currently available translations, or even the oldest available manuscripts. Since we don’t have (? will never have) the “original autographs” of the Bible, we have no way of knowing exactly what parts of the Bible are inerrant and what are not. For this reason, many scholars consider the who inerrancy brouhaha to have been a smokescreen for a political movement within the SBC to make it a handmaiden of the Republican party.

  23. Arce, Please do not make theological differences about politics or else I will have to mention that Al Gore and Bill Clinton have been featured speakers at the CBF conventions, the group that spun off from the SBC during the CR. Of course, I am sure many will argue that wasn’t political at all. :o)

    I believe there are democrats that are Christians and I also believe there are republicans that are Christians.

  24. Lin,

    That was not of my making, only my reporting of it. Many, many Baptists left over the inerrancy issue, more left after the 2000 BFM revisions, which, by the way, is what the missionaries were expected to sign, not the Danvers statement or the Chicago statement. The invitations to Clinton and Gore were among a large number of people invited to the New Baptist Covenant meeting in Atlanta. They were invited because they are Baptists. Many Republicans who are Baptists were also invited, as was the leadership of the SBC. Some of the Rs invited were also invited to speak. That some of the Rs chose not to come should not be held against the sponsoring organizations, of which CBF was but one.

  25. And just to note — New Hope where Gary taught was not my church, nor was it in our “sister church” network in Maryland. Gary was a tentmaker and taught all week at Annapolis Area Christian School (was that the name?) and also taught a Greek class during the evening at the seminary I attended.

    Don’t want to give New Hope or Dr. Gary a bad name!

  26. Arce, Nice twist. I guess we can twist anything to make it appear one side is more innocent when it comes to politics. My point is this: The CBF touts democrat platform principles just like the SBC touts Republican platform issues. It is that simple. And there are Christians in both places. Although, I will say there are quite a few younger guys coming up in the SBC who are totally against aligning with the republican party. They are all over the blogs saying as much. I hope the CBF can say the same. Then maybe, we can find more in common cause for the kingdom.

  27. I am a Southern Baptist. Many SBC’s will rail against Calvinism, alcohol, women preachers and anything other than deal with this issue of pedophillia and sexual indiscretion in our churches. I’m afraid we are rapidly losing our integrity with these double-standards and its is most evident to a lost world.

  28. John

    Your response gives me hope that one day the SBC will do the right thing. I have left the SBC and now attend a non-denominational church.

  29. Arce is 100% correct. It was/is always political. The issuses associated with the Conservative Resurgance in the SBC have NEVER been theological. To think otherwise, in light of the political shift in this country, commenserate with the political shift in the SBC is to be hopelessly naive or purposelessly disingenuious. Lin’s statement about Clinton and Gore (don’t forget Jimmy Carter) only serves to prove the point. The SBC was once a diverse body, politically. So diverse, that it rarely issued “political sounding” resolutions…not any more. It is all about power and politics now. Jesus is simply the product they pretend to sell to amass power, to influence local and national politics. Most small and medium sized SBC affiliated churches aren’t interested in the politics of it all. They really do want to share Jesus with the world, but they have been conditioned to believe the only legitimate way to do that is through the “Cooperative Program” and the “Lottie Moon” and “Annie Armstrong” special offerings for missions. They are continually co-opted by the power and influence of mega churches, state and national leadership and end up adopting a ‘go along to get along” posture. In that environment women pastors are far more threatening than pedophiles. Strong women will take-on, the power structure; pedophiles slink around and only threaten little chilren. Everyone knows little children have no money or power, ergo in the minds of SBC leaders, local and national, it is better to ignore a pedophile in their midst than to accept a women pastor in the fellowship. She is far too dangerous. It’s not about theology…it’s about the fear of a loss of power. It’s political.

  30. Jim

    As one who spent only spent a total of 8 1/2 years in the SBC, I have been most disturbed about the politicking that has become a part of the SBC. I thought it was supposed to be about Jesus but it seems to me that the big guys are more interested in hobnobbing with politicians. I have just ordered a book about C Street.I have heard that it shows the ins and outs of evangelicals in DC.

  31. ” Lin’s statement about Clinton and Gore (don’t forget Jimmy Carter) only serves to prove the point. The SBC was once a diverse body, politically. So diverse, that it rarely issued “political sounding” resolutions…not any more. ”

    I agree totally with your comment, Jim. Which is why I pointed out the SPLIT from SBC to CBF was also political. Their poster boys being Jimmah Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore.

    ..the SBC Ronald Reagan, George Bush 1 and 2.

    Let us not pretend the CBF is not as politically motivated as the SBC. They are just not as big.

    Both were wrong.

    My original point.

  32. ” I have just ordered a book about C Street.I have heard that it shows the ins and outs of evangelicals in DC”

    I read them both. Strange stuff. Gives new insight into Mark Sanford. Makes you really like his wife…a lot.

    Doug Coe…very scary guy. And when you read it, you will find both republicans and democrats involved at very high levels.

  33. A gray haired older female at Bellevue Baptist Church. who was used to replace the fallen male, Paul Williams, who was the Minister of Prayer, and repair the damage done by a man,
    now retires:
    Tucked away on the left side of page 2

    “Bellevue Thanks Carolyn Higginbotham

    Carolyn Higginbotham retired in July from her position as DIRECTOR (NOT Minister of Prayer) , Prayer Ministry,

    after 22 years on Bellevue’s staff.

    She previously served as Graded Choir Coordinator, Costume Coordinator, and Banner Coordinator (womanly duties). Carolyn and her husband, Chuck, have two children, Suzanne Dickey and Eddie Higginbotham, and two grandchildren, Kyle and Heidi Higginbotham. Carolyn has made a difference in countless lives as a servant, encourager, and prayer warrior. Thank you, Carolyn, for your faithful service to the Lord and our church.”

    So now the male gender will return to power.

  34. BBC

    My guess is that those who run BBC don’t get it and won’t get it. Hooray for those women who served faithfully. It might be interesting to see who gets the jewels in their crown in heaven. I think a few men might be startled.

  35. “Does the SBC fear women pastors more than the molestation of children?”

    The SBC has adopted the BFM which addresses the issue of biblical qualifications for pastoral leadership.

    The BFM also addresses sexuality, and I think that article clearly places pedophilia outside realm of acceptable sexual expression. By pedophilia, I suppose we are talking about sex with children? I guess sex with a mature and older adolescent would not be pedophilia, but would be sinful due to other proscriptions.

    There are no SBC churches, to my knowledge, seeking to change the BFM article that addresses sexuality so as to allow for pedophilia. (There are people like that in the broader culture, I understand, but I have never met them – thankfully!).

    There are churches and Christians, current members of SBC churches or former members of SBC churches, and former SBC churches, that would like to see the BFM changed with regard to homosexuality and sexual expression between consenting, non-married adults.

    Churches who do that are roundly thumped by the SBC.

    The SBC has not addressed how member churches address specific situations of pedophilia that may occur in their churches.

    Some churches/parents etc. go to the law, some tell the church, some get the offender out and report to no one. I can’t understand that last response, but that seems to be what happened at Prestonwood. (Btw, this is one of many reasons why a so-called “datatbase” idea is flawed. It requires the cooperation of parents, churches etc. I still can’t understand what they were thinking at Prestonwood, but that is a fairly sophisticated place, I understand. It they and the parents there won’t report, you can bet there are a heep of churches out there who will not participate in a database thing. So reporting would be spotty. And that would be tragic because people would be placing their hope in a system that is inaccurate from the start).

    So, until the SBC adopts an article for the BFM called “How churches shall respond to child abuse” (and I guess we could include physical abuse that is not sexual), the BFM leaves how churches respond up to the individual church.

    I haven’t seen such an article proposed so far. Maybe one will surface.

    If Graham, Patterson or others came out and said that they were trying to change the BFM on pedophilia or sexual abuse, you can bet they would get thumped by the SBC, regardless of how much money they give.

    But since they agree with the BFM and are not seeking to change it, and since the BFM does not have an article mandating how these situations are to be handled, there is really no threat to the SBC.

    Guys like Graham who’s poor decisions are exposed just have to twist in the wind and endure the public embarrassment and humiliation that comes with making terrible decisions. I guess the same can be said of the parents in these situations who do not go to the authorities. I cannot get my head around that.

    The gender/pastoral leadership issue, on the other hand, has been addressed by the BFM. Churches that try to fight that or change the BFM or start a movement to change the BFM are going to be met with opposition, though I think all of the opposition so far has been from the state conventions, not the SBC.

    There appears to be a very logical explanation for how these situations are handled, though it appears no one is comfortable with the outcomes, I suppose.

  36. Anonymous, That has to be most twisted and content free comment of the century. Let me guess, you are a lawyer or work in some capacity with the SBC? On a board or something.

    “The SBC has not addressed how member churches address specific situations of pedophilia that may occur in their churches”

    And that is the point. They sure do address women preachers! A lot. All the time. But pedophiles and perverts in the pulpit get a pass.

    “But since they agree with the BFM and are not seeking to change it, and since the BFM does not have an article mandating how these situations are to be handled, there is really no threat to the SBC”

    Even if the SBC becomes known as a great place for pedophiles?

  37. I have just recently started reading this blog. It is EXTREMELY interesting. Thank you very much for promoting open and honest dialogue about “the church”, leadership, authority, and related issues. What a breath of fresh air. Christians need to know the truth so the truth can set them free. Keep up the outstanding work.

  38. Lin:

    The SBC is a convention of churches.

    Are you a Baptist? If not, you may not be aware of what the SBC is.

    Baptists don’t have ecclesiastical courts. The SBC doesn’t give a “pass”.

    The SBC doesn’t convict, arrest, discipline etc. employees of churches around the country.

    The problem is that churches fail to act. That is deplorable. But if a pastor and parents of a children don’t act several years ago, that is their failure.

    Do you belong to a denomination that does things differently? I would be interested to know how your denomination handles these things.

    I think that Methodists and Episcopalians have ecclesiastical courts of some sort. I don’t know how they work. I don’t know how they interact with the court system, especially in situations like this. Do you have any experience or knowledge about this?

    Nondenonminational churches may belong to fellowships, loosely affiliated groups, but as far as I know, they don’t take any actions against sister churches for the actions of their employees and how the churches treat that. The SBC is the same way with regard to that type of thing. Churches pool their money to accomplish certain work etc., and the SBC or whatever entity is involved does get involved in employee conduct etc. But the SBC doesn’t discipline churches for matters like this.

    I share your anger and disappointment, but this is not the SBC’s problem.

    I realize that you may not like the SBC’s confession of faith. If you are in the SBC, you can work to revise it, I suppose, but on this point, you will probably not be successful given the convention’s history and purpose.

    If you are not in the SBC, well, we all have opinions, and there is nothing wrong with that. I guess I would love to re-write the various doctrinal statements and procedures for lots of religious organizations, but I am a member of a church that belongs to the SBC, so that’s the only place I can have an influence. I suppose most Catholics, Espiscopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians etc. are going to let me re-write their statements and material.

    If this were a doctrinal matter and the SBC’s confession of faith was at issue, the SBC might take action.

    But it’s not.

  39. Sadly books like Piercing the Darkness have also hurt this cause. The first book deals with an accusation toward molestation by a clergy as being demonically conspired. The book has been criticized in lacking an important aspect God’s sovereignity in line with angelic powers and also lacks a fair use of the Torah in handling such matters. Peritti I am sure had good intentions but did not think through matters enough in regards to the plot he selected.

  40. Hi anonymous,

    I know this is rather obvious, but there is no SBC in the Bible, not any other denomination. In fact, Paul warns against saying, “I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas, etc. Clearly following certain men, or certain denominations is being rebuked in this passage of Scripture. ALL denominations are man made divisions. There is ONE body of Christ and HE ALONE is the head. There are no Presidents of denominations, para-church organizations, conventions, etc in the Bible.

    So my question is, why are you a member of a man made organization? (No offense intended)

  41. Anonymous

    I know that I am going to sound like a broken record but I guess that is the advantage of having a blog.I can beat dead horses to my heart’s content.

    You said “I share your anger and disappointment, but this is not the SBC’s problem.”
    I ask “Then why was the women’s issue the SBC’s problem?”

    You said “Guys like Graham who’s poor decisions are exposed just have to twist in the wind and endure the public embarrassment and humiliation that comes with making terrible decisions.”

    I rebut- “No they don’t. The SBC welcomes many of the famous leaders who have hidden/denied pedophiles on staff like Steve Gaines and Paige Patterson.” I watched Patterson getting some building names after him a couple of years back at SEBTS. I almost lost my lunch-such flowery praise. I say the SBC appears to reward pastors who have potentially caused children harm.”

    You said” I guess the same can be said of the parents in these situations who do not go to the authorities. I cannot get my head around that.”

    I reply that I personally have seen pastors working on parents to make them feel guilty that they are not willing to forgive pedophiles. These same pastors then proceed to do their own counseling with the families and consider it sufficient. Many in the SBC have pushed the authoritative anointed leader hooey and they have been so successful that they have made obedient servants out of the flock.

    Me, I’m not so obedient. I would not only have reported it once I found out, I would have contacted attorneys and sued for whatever damages I could get in order to strike fear into the hearts of these charlatans and then given the money to SNAP which is a secular organization which shows far more concern for the lives of the abused than the leadership of the SBC which, instead, focuses on the theology of women who have been discovered to cause irreparable harm to a man by reading the Scriptures out loud in front of him. Good night-what a run on sentence!

    Well, thanks for attempting to explain this to me. I am not sure this explanation would sell in the court of public opinion. In fact, I think someone like Bill O’Reilly would eat this for lunch. This problem is not going away and I anticipate more and more incidents coming to light. The SBC will need to do something more to show their commitment to the care of the least of these. If not, it will look more and more like the Roman Catholic Church which as been dearly hurt by the pedophile scandal.

  42. “(Btw, this is one of many reasons why a so-called “datatbase” idea is flawed. It requires the cooperation of parents, churches etc. I still can’t understand what they were thinking at Prestonwood, but that is a fairly sophisticated place, I understand. It they and the parents there won’t report, you can bet there are a heep of churches out there who will not participate in a database thing. So reporting would be spotty. And that would be tragic because people would be placing their hope in a system that is inaccurate from the start).”

    The database is one of those things that sounds good on the surface but “the devil is in the details” as anon pointed out.
    Sooner or later the lawyers get involved then your gifts are going to the fabled team of Dewey, Cheatum & Howe for an imperfect database kept by sinful human beings.

  43. Casey

    Awesome memory. I read that book so long go i had forgotten the plot that centered around child molestation. I agree that the demon stuff is way overblown. It is an easy out for those who do not want to take responsibility for their own actions. Remember the old saying “The devil made me do it?” I have seen church members, unable to accept that their pastor is a sinner like them, claim that he was attacked by Satan and couldn’t help it.

    Funny story-years ago I hired a man to paint my living room. I knew he was a Christian. Well, I have never seen such a terrible job on a wall from any painter. Paint drips had dried, patches were lighter than others, etc. When I asked him to explain, he slowly shook his head and said (he was not joking) “Satan must have caused this!”

  44. Churches are very dangerous places to be. That is why my family chooses to stay home. We can “have church” right here in our living room. I pass the collection plate after I give a really good fire and brimstone message about tithes and offerings. Using Malachi’s “cursed with a curse” really motivates my flock to give generously.

  45. Nothing But the Truth:

    Thanks for the question. I do not take it as offensive, and appreciate the parenthetical to let me know it wasn’t meant that way.

    I do believe in the universal church in the sense that the true body of Christ is made up of all believers of all time. I don’t believe that any one fellowship, denomination etc. is the only true expression of the church.

    And I do agree that the church is a spiritual organism, not a physical one.

    I am not really tribal in my Christian identity either, so I am a Baptist with a small “b”. My emphasis is on being a Christian, not being a Baptist. When I meet people, I just say that I am a Christian. I would say that I attend a Baptist Church, though the word “Baptist” is not in our name because that is not what we are trying to emphasize.

    There are Baptist groups that really like to talk about “Being Baptist”. That does not do anything for me.

    I believe that believers are free to join local expressions of the body of Christ, or local churches. I don’t believe that these local churches are responsible to anyone ultimately but Christ. That’s why I am not in a denomination that has a Presbytery, Diocese, Cardinals, Popes etc.

    And I agree that the offices in the local church are overseers or elders and deacons.

    When it comes to doctrine, I believe in many of the distinctions that have historically been contributions of Baptists, especially the separatists from England in the late 1600s. Those doctrines include the belief that the church is comprised of confessional believers (as opposed to people being “born Christian” or made Christian by a ritual that the parents put them through), the autonomy of the local church, the priesthood of every believer (each believer can go directly to God and does not need a priest), the trustworhtiness of the Bible as the revelation of the Lord for use for doctrine and practice, immersion being for confessional believers only and the Lord’s supper (both being ordinances of the church, not sacraments), and the evangelical impertive. There are lots of other doctrinal particulars, but these doctrines were some of the great contributions of Baptists historically and that’s a pretty good short summary.

    So, I guess by history, my doctrine and practice would be baptistic, whether I referred to myself as that, or not.

    I believe in missions and other enterprises where I think it is good for churches to work together and not alone. That’s where the SBC comes in.

    The Southern Baptist Convention is a group of churches that get together for missions, theological education, religious publishing and other purposes that one church acting alone would have a difficult time doing.

    I was the founder of a church about 18 years ago with a small group of people. I am still a member of that church. The founders were from different backgrounds, but we chose to affiliate with the SBC because there was no top-down control from the SBC, and because the SBC had a good missions program etc.

    If churches are going to do things together like missions, theological education, printing literature, it makes sense that they figure out if the agree on things. It would be hard to do missions if churches disagreed on doctrine, the purpose of missions etc. And if churches are founded by virtue of the missions enterprise, what will those churches look like etc?

    So, it makes sense for the churches to put down what they believe in common. That’s what the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message is. It is a theological and practical confession of faith in which the churches participating in the SBC believe.

    By having a common confession, I am not claiming that other churches are illegitimate, or that the confession or our church’s work with other churches is more important than the Bible itself. It’s just a common sense compact of sort about how the joint or cooperative enterprise is going to work. That way, when our church gives missions money, we have a common understanding with the other churches about how it will be used etc.

    So, my church is a member of a denomination for practial reasons. It is very helpful to us. If we ever disagreed with the denomination on a big point, we could leave and do missions a different way, and nothing would be wrong with that.

    I hope this helps.

    But this explanation actually shows why I think it would be bad for a group like the SBC to get involved in local church employment matters. The local church handles that. They may not handle it correctly, but if they foul up, I don’t want the SBC having control or exercising discipline over that church, for the very reasons stated above and based on what you articulated.

    Thanks for asking. Hope this makes sense.

    Are you a member of a church? What type? Is your church connected to other churches in cooperative missions or other enterprises?

    I would be interested in hearing about it.

    Take care.

  46. Hi anonymous,

    No, I will never be a part of a “church” ever again, by God’s grace. What you said all sounds very practical and reasonable, but not Biblical. Paul did none of those things, and neither did he tell the body of Christ to organize in any such manner. Paul did missions just fine without any organizations or conventions to help him out. God does not need our man made programs and agendas.

    I have been used and abused at the churches I went to. In fact, I was terribly ill for 4 yrs (bed ridden) due to spiritual abuse. The stress of it literally took me out. It was horrible. I am so glad to be out of that God forsaken mess.

    So if I seem edgy about the whole “church” subject, that is one reason why. I am no longer bitter, but I have very strong convictions against the poisons of institutional church settings. I though I was being blessed while I was in fact being cursed. The lies and deceptions of the principalities and powers of the abuse leadership in churches.

    I hope you can understand my anger and disrespect for unbiblical and abusive organizations.

  47. Anonymous on Sun, Aug 14 2011 at 02:30 pm said …
    (Btw, this is one of many reasons why a so-called “datatbase” idea is flawed. It requires the cooperation of parents, churches etc. I still can’t understand what they were thinking at Prestonwood, but that is a fairly sophisticated place, I understand. It they and the parents there won’t report, you can bet there are a heep of churches out there who will not participate in a database thing. So reporting would be spotty. And that would be tragic because people would be placing their hope in a system that is inaccurate from the start).

    Of course it’s flawed, as in not perfect — but nothing on earth is flawless. But isn’t doing something, even if imperfect and incomplete, better than doing nothing?

    By your line of reasoning, the SBC should not send missionaries to share the gospel because some SBC churches don’t contrbute enough to the Cooperative Program.

    By the way, you didn’t ask me, but, trust me, Lin knows plenty about how the SBC operates. When she and others call for the SBC to do something about pedophiles in the ministry, they aren’t expecting some sort of top-down edict from Nashville that violates local church autonomy. They simply mean that they want the SBC to provide a means for SB churches and members to report instances of abuse by SB ministers, for those reports to be investigated and assessed, and then for records to be kept so that other churches could have a resource to check on someone before making the decision whether to hire them. This would be no different than the types of voluntary cooperation that SBs do for other activities such as missions and education.

    One of the main points of this article is that the local, state, and national organizations of SBs have no problem taking disciplinary action (“disfellowshipping”) churches that hire women pastors. But those same organizations do nothing when churches allow a pedophile to quietly resign and move on to other churches without doing their legal and moral duty to ensure that the pedophile is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that other churches are warned. Surely you can see that this is a hypocritical double standard.

    My response to the question “Does the SBC Fear Women Pastors More Than The Molestation of Children?” would unfortunately have to be “Yes, because women pastors are considered a threat to the current authority structures, while pedophiles are not.”

  48. One more thing, where do you see Sr Pastors, Associate Pastors, music ministers, ushers, etc in the Bible? Who invented these roles?

  49. Junkster:

    Thanks for your thoughts. You are always thoughtful and respectful. Most of the time (I think) we agree.

    My problems with the database are numerous. I could explain them better I’m sure in person.

    I am not for doing something because it looks good. Ministers, I have found, often do that. To set up a database that we all know in advance is not going to get the cooperation of a place like Prestonwood promises false hope, I believe. I am not asking for perfection. But I am asking for something realistic. A database would not have helped here.

    Another problem that I have is theological. These issues (minister conduct) are not something that the SBC has ever gotten into for theological reasons and the entire purpose behind the SBC.

    And subjecting missions money to damage lawsuits is also a main concern. But that’s the subject for another post.

    Competency, the duplication of existing resources are also issues.

    I understand why state associations make a fuss about women ministers. That is a plank in their common confession, which is, in my opinion, a legitimate function of voluntary denominations. Drafting a compact, so to speak, about doctrine so that there is a common belief that undergirds the cooperative effort.

    My original post was just to point out that ministerial misconduct, or the way a church choses to respond to it, is not part of what the SBC does. In my mind it would be so contrary to the history and purpose of the SBC. I feel that way if it’s embezzlement, pedophilia, robbery, assault etc. The SBC just does not have a mechanism for that, nor should it.

    I understand why that upsets people. We have a natural belief that groups that we belong to ought to have the power or say-so to do something. But the SBC was set up from the beginning to avoid that.

    So, the SBC doesn’t fear one or the other. The SBC has a responsiblity in one instance based on the common confession and does not have a responsibility in the other. The other is not a confessional issue.

    Folks might like for it to be, but that isn’t going to happen. And there are reasons for it. We may not agree with the reasons, but “fear” is not one of them.

    It is always great to talk with you.

  50. Nothing but the truth:

    So sorry to hear about your experience. A lot of damage has been done to people over the years in churches. I don’t think there is anything that hurts more, other than damage done in the home.

    The Bible does not mention some of those positions that you listed. There were local churches, and there were local overseers and deacons, and early on, the apostles in Jerusalem.

    I see these things as having developed naturally over the years based on giftedness etc.

    I don’t see there absence as a prohibition against their existence, however.

    But I certainly understand why you would want to take a break from organized religion. The real guts of the faith is between you and the Lord.

    God bless.

  51. Junkster:

    I have thought that a database started by individuals in the SBC, that would be owned and operated privately, would be a solution to this issue.

    I am surprised some enterprising person hasn’t done that. I am sure that if done correctly, the SBC would be pleased to recommend it.

    That would at least solve the liability issues that I have, which are significant.

    I have suggested that before, but some of the blog world has ignored it.

    Why would that not work?

  52. Anon, I am SBC and I still believe in the Priesthood of believer (no s as Mohler added) and I do believe I will stand before Christ alone and not with my pastor or husband answering for me.

    So,let me get this straight based upon your comment at 5:30….

    ….Our fearless leaders can put a ton of B issues in the BFM (which is now the cornerstone for Baptist thought) for such things as no women ministers, marriage practices, etc, but nothing on the consistent and ever pervasive problem of perverts in ministry?

    They can teach and proclaim on the other non salvic issues in the BFM, even ADD them to the 2000 BFM but NOT perverts in ministry? (which I might add IS salvic since no one who has the indwelling Holy Spirit rapes a child)

    Why not? Because this pervasive issue in the SBC isNOT as important as the proper marriage relationship and never allowing women to preach?

    Sorry friend, but that is the message that is being sent to many. Shame on them. We know there is a problem and we have a moral responsibility to put it in our “unifying Baptist Faith Message”. It is MORE important than the marriage relationship or women in ministry. It is about the least of these. The innocents preyed upon by those in power over them.

  53. “I share your anger and disappointment, but this is not the SBC’s problem”

    It is everyone’s problem. That thinking is a cop out. The SBC could tell Prestonwood, we do not want your money because you passed a pervert on to another church when a staffer begged you to deal with it. You did not call the authorities (even if the parent’s don’t we have a duty to do so) and you did not care enought to warn others.

    Until you care about kids more than a glamour shot photo, we do not want to associate with you.

    But I am sure Anon will find some way to say that is not feasible or pragmatic. We know associations disfellowship for women pastors and homosexuals. But I have yet to see one for perverts….yet! story after story abound about the perverts in the SBC! Christa Browns blog tracked them for years. And oh! How the leaders defended them. Frank Page called the victims, “Opportunists”.

    If the SBC disfellowshiped one church for this, many associations would follow. But we have no real men in charge.

    But that would require leadership with the indwelling Holy Spirit who fears God. Unfortuantly, our churches, and our convention are businesses with high dollar salaries at stake. We don’t want that money to dry up because we defend little kids, now do we?

  54. “Another problem that I have is theological. These issues (minister conduct) are not something that the SBC has ever gotten into for theological reasons and the entire purpose behind the SBC”

    Unless it is a woman.

  55. Anon,
    I understand what you are saying. But while the existance of a database would not solve all problems, it could help prevent some. And I believe it would grow in use over time, as its value was demonstrated.

    I can also understand the reluctance for the SBC to take on the potential legal liabilities. As things stand now, they can truthfully say that any issues with ministerial abuse or misconduct in local churches are totally outside their control or sphere of influence, and thus avoid any legal liability. And local churches can avoid legal liability, too, as they could be held liable if there were such a database and they failed to use it and a problem arose.

    But a lack of legal liability does not absolve a person or organization of their moral oblgation to do all that they possibly can to protect the innocent. As things stand, churches can too easily avoid their moral responsibility because it is not their legal resposibility.

    And even if legal liability were increased by having a database, is concern over how money might have to be paid out in legal fees really a justification to do nothing, when the well being of children is at stake?

    Also, there is no guarantee that doing nothing will ultimately keep the SBC off the hook legally speaking anyway. Most SBC leaders start out as ministers in local churches, and as things now stand it is entirely conceivable that someone could achieve a position of high responsibility in the SBC who has a history of sexually abusive behavior that has never been directly or openly confronted or addressed. If this ever happens, the SBC itself will face direct legal liability anywway.

    I am reminded of Mordecai’s words to Esther, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

    The SBC leadership can and should address this issue, even though anything they do is going to be imperfect, and there can be risks in doing so. God will eventually bring about justice for His little ones, and the SBC does not want to be on the wrong side of that judgement.

    I do recognize the differences between how the SBC deals with women pastors and pedophiles, in terms of the BFM. But do they really want to claim that their hands are tied about doing the right thing simply because of what is and isn’t included in their confessional document? God help us if we’ve elevated the BFM to the ultimate standard of what Christians ought to do.

  56. Anon,
    I suppose a privately owned and operated database might help. But there are several problems with the idea that would not be problems if the database were handled by the SBC:
    (1) Funding — the problem appears to be widespread enough that an individual’s resources might not be sufficient to the task. They could solicit private donations, but that’s a difficult undertaking across the SBC (which is the reason for the existence of the Cooperative program).
    (2) Time — unless the private individual developed an extensive funding network and could do the work full time, including the research needed to verify the credibility of accusations, attempting this task in one’s spare time could be quite difficult.
    (3) Trust — independent efforts of an individual or organization outside the SBC would be met with distrust by SB churches and associations,
    (4) Influence — having the support of the SBC and its leaders would make a database more readily accepted and used by SB churches; not having their support would keep it from being as useful as it could be,
    (5) Legitimacy — the very fact that a database was an official program / activity of the SBC would allow it to gain widespread acceptance and use (we all know how much SBs prefer something with the SB label on it to independent efforts),
    (6) Liability — legal challenges are inevitable, so why should an individual or organization with very limited resources bear the legal responsibility for something that is the collective responsibility of all SB churches?
    (7) Morality — this problem belongs to all SBs, and all should be willing to collectively share the responsibility of addressing it, just as we collectively share the responsibility to spread the gospel and pool our resources to do so.

    Those are the thoughts that come to mind. Again, I do not deny that there are problems with the idea of an SBC controlled database, but I maintain that it is simply the right thing to do.

  57. Junkster

    You said “But do they really want to claim that their hands are tied about doing the right thing simply because of what is and isn’t included in their confessional document? God help us if we’ve elevated the BFM to the ultimate standard of what Christians ought to do.”

    Clearer worlds have never been spoken. Does the SBC need hearing aids?

  58. God help us if we’ve elevated the BFM to the ultimate standard of what Christians ought to do.

    God help us then. Because that’s exactly what we’ve done.

    I didn’t leave the Southern Baptist church. It left me.

  59. notastepfordsheep

    I, too, believe that the SBc left me. I could no longer support , in particular, the attitude and actions of those churches in the SBC that play games when it comes to protecting children. Better one nondenominational church in which I can have a real voice. At least I will be heard. I do not think anyone in the SBC hierarchy care or they would have seriously addressed this issue. Steve Gaines, Paige Patterson, Jack Graham, and the folks of Wonderland are still having tea parties while children are suffering.

  60. In any assembly, we should all have an EQUAL voice. No one’s voice should have any more weight than anyone else. No one has more of the Holy Spirit than anyone else. No one is given more authority than anyone else. We are all children of God and we are all brothers and sisters on an equal plain. There is no clergy and no hierarchy in the body of Christ. Today’s counterfeit church system is the Whore of Babylon.

  61. I love this blog. Everyone is given an equal chance to voice their concerns and convictions. There are 2 anti SGM blogs that moderate comments and freely delete what they do not like. They pick and choose what comments get posted. They even block posters that they do not like! And then they criticize the control in the SGM churches! How hypocritical!

    Maybe they need to remove the logs from their own eyes.

  62. Don’t tell the church authorities that the words for Spirit are feminine in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek – only Latin with its Roman overtones has it as masculine.

    Sad to say the Aramaic word for ‘kingdom’ as spoken of by Yeshua is also feminine and should really be translated ‘Queendom’. If that doesn’t screw up somebody’s male orientated theology nothing else will.

  63. I just read a deposition this weekend. Why do many of these comments sound so much like those I just read in that heated deposition?

    Louis (an attorney who posted on Wade Burleson’s blog) used to imply that I didn’t have any right to comment on matters pertaining to Baptists — after he accused me of having a personal axe to grind against Paige Patterson because of what had to be personal experience with him. (Ad homeinem circumstantial informal logical fallacy) ??? Patterson is probably one of Baptist leaders with a gender agenda of whom I know the least.

    I’m not allowed to have an opinion about Patterson’s advice for women to submit to physical abuse at the hands of their husbands, nor am I allowed to have an opinion about Patterson’s statement that those who support SNAP are “evildoers” and his denial about the Gilyard matter?

    Why is it that I get the impression that the comments here from Anonymous all include an ad hominem circumstantial comment suggesting that anyone who is not deeply connected to the inner workings of the SBC cannot possibly offer any kind of meaningful commentary?

    I could care less about what goes on in the SBC, that is until their aberrant ideas started to invade others in my churches, Presbyterian and non-denominational. Yet, I’m not even permitted to have an opinion about their books that are sold to everyone, not just to Baptists, because I’m not a Baptist.

    That’s my summary of my experience with Louis. Sound familiar?

    Maybe the SBC teaches classes on how to do damage control for them? But I don’t know about such things, because I’m not in the SBC.


  64. I also love the statements from Anonymous about how pedophilia is not addressed in the BF&M or other documents, so it is not incumbent upon the SBC to address it formally.

    Isn’t that because pedophilia is so obviously wrong, even to secularists, that it should not need to be addressed? Gender is an intramural matter and those related texts are not abundantly clear in their meaning in today’s society. Pedophilia is a very clear sin for many reasons. But lets argue that no one has a right to really track this serious problem, because the autonomy of the local church is far more important than the safety of and the potential for exploitation of children.

    As others have already stated, I will echo them. The Apostle Paul who told advocated that who engaged in sexual sin be turned over to satan to be dealt with in the hope that they would be redeemed before the end was not addressing the SBC, but Paul would have recourse to go to every SBC church if he were here today. And I think he would be sickened by the garbage that goes on today within the SBC concerning these scandals and coverups. He would be outraged that any Christian or Christian organization would be ambivalent about these matters. And I bet he’d be telling people that they’d be better off castrating themselves — probably literally instead of the figurative commentary he’d offered to the Galatians.

    These are litigious points argued like those a defense attorney makes to find a loophole that will protect his client. I wonder who’s paying Anonymous or what the payoff is for them?

  65. Dylan, a word being masculine or feminine in Greek or Aramaic does not necessarily address any gender issues. Book in French (le livre)is masculine and window (la fenetre) is feminine. It is like when we Americans look at a car and say “Isn’t she a beauty.”

  66. Dee wrote: “The SBC welcomes many of the famous leaders who have hidden/denied pedophiles on staff like Steve Gaines and Paige Patterson.”

    Yes, I’ve often wondered whether they promote such men precisely BECAUSE they have shown themselves to be so good at damage control.

    Cindy K wrote: “Maybe the SBC teaches classes on how to do damage control for them?”

    Well . . . given all that we’ve seen, I sure wouldn’t be surprised if damage control is part of a seminary lesson plan somewhere. After all, when the SBC puts a man such as Patterson at the helm of a seminary, and when they leave him at the helm despite a debacle the size of the Gilyard scandal, I think people should really ponder exactly what it is that the current leaders are teaching and modeling for the younger pastors.

  67. But the argument from English translation of such terms is an important one, because that is the rationale for subjugating women! So, gender of the original nouns and the misogynist translation practices are important. The Spirit is a person, and if the word is feminine that means that God is feminine too, at least in some senses, if we presume that God is masculine in some senses.

    My argument is that God does not have gender, neither male nor female. Yes, Jesus was male while on earth, but that does not mean that in the eternity before and after his earthly life of about 33 years, Jesus was and is still male. Does anyone wish to argue about the genitalia of the members of the Godhead? I sure don’t.

  68. Hi Arce,

    Jesus addressed God as “Father”. He taught us to pray “Our Father who is in Heaven”. Jesus cried out in the garden, “Abba Father”.

  69. “Why is it that I get the impression that the comments here from Anonymous all include an ad hominem circumstantial comment suggesting that anyone who is not deeply connected to the inner workings of the SBC cannot possibly offer any kind of meaningful commentary”

    Cindy, This is the same message being sent to people commenting on the anti sgm blogs about the sgm scandals. Even though the SBC, Presbyterians, CHBC and WTS have been brought into it by Mahaney, himself.

    Our point of commonality is Jesus Christ. Not denomination or “family of churches”. The “local church” issue has become an excuse for ignoring or supporting evil. Of course it only comes up when pastors/church staffers are acting badly.

  70. That does not imply gender, but relationship. Do you believe that God has masculine genitalia and DNA?

  71. Arce, nowhere in the Bible is God referred to as “Mother”. Always “Father”.

  72. NOT so. There are passages that suggest a feminine personality.

    But the issue is, other than that the writers had no word for a parent-like relationship that either Father or Mother, does that imply that God is in some sense inherently MALE as we understand MALE. I would argue not.

  73. Arce,

    I agree with what you say. It was always my understanding that to be in the the form of the spiritual, there is no male or female. We are not married or given in marriage in heaven. That doesn’t mean that God is not teaching us about His nature through gender by analogy, through basic relationships. Marriage and parenting (the good kind) teach all parties something about love that they didn’t know before, and I’m still in awe how much those relationships reveal aspects of how much God loves me.

    We anthropomorphize God when we cram Him into a human box. I pray to the Father as Jesus taught, but I don’t think gender enters into the way I approach Him or as my Creator and the lover of my soul. There are things that I don’t understand, but I have faith that makes those questions and unknowable things quite tolerable for God to keep until I no longer see Him through a glass darkly. We have be promised that the veil would lift when we see Jesus and know Him and are changed to be like Him.

    I always thought that a part of that was some release from gender and sexuality, because Jesus said that we were not going to be married and given in marriage. (Why have gender if the primary purpose for gender is marriage?) Maybe the whole purpose for gender was to teach us about love so that we could know God better in a way that was indirect. “This love is like this love…” But it isn’t the same. It’s an analogy.

    I don’t know, but I trust in the promise that I will be changed and I will see clearly one day in days to come.

  74. How is El Shaddai, the breasty one who is sufficient for all our needs, not feminine.

    That also gets at the analogy of being. How could God be masculine and create feminine? To create something, you would have to have knowledge of that thing. The creature or the created thing cannot possess anything that is more or greater or different — things that are not found in the creator.

  75. Thanks CK. Human males have some really bad tendencies, including the tendency to think with their sexual apparatus instead of their brain. To consider God as having male character as opposed to GOD character is, to me, blasphemy.

  76. Also, God was made manifest in the flesh as a man. God is Spirit and does not have DNA or genitalia, but like I already said,He is always addressed as “Father”, and never as “Mother”. Being Spiritually male has nothing to do with DNA or genitalia.

  77. Lin wrote: Cindy, This is the same message being sent to people commenting on the anti sgm blogs about the sgm scandals. Even though the SBC, Presbyterians, CHBC and WTS have been brought into it by Mahaney, himself.

    Yes, the arguments that if you weren’t a card carrying member of SGM, you have absolutely no idea about what went on and therefore nothing meaningful to contribute? Yeah, I’ve been there and have done that. In fact, I see something much like my own history replaying on some of these blogs! 🙂

  78. Cindy, God also created trees and plants. Does God need those characteristics in order to create them? What kind of logic is that?

  79. Being Spiritually male means that His manifestation in the flesh was a man – Jesus. And Jesus called Him “Abba Father” not “Mamma Mother”.

  80. That still does not have any meaning for the nature of God. How is that defining of God as male? The whole idea of a maleness in God’s nature is unnecessary and, quite frankly, repugnant, as is the idea of femaleness. Either to the exclusion of the other is strange indeed, and wholly unnecessary. That the Jews of the day believed that God is male was clear. And it is clear that in the society of the day, the Savior, in his human form, could not be female.

  81. So Jesus was wrong to call Him “Abba Father”. Did Jesus Jewishness distort His vision of who God is? Are you serious?

  82. Where is the doctrine of being “spiritually” male in the Bible? God reveals Himself to us as male, but we are also called to worship Him in spirit.

    John 4:24 says that God (Theos) is a spirit (pneuma). Those who worship (proskyneo) Him must worship Him in (pneuma) and in truth.

    Galatians says that there are no distinctions of any special groups for those in Christ including gender, and their individuality is completely preserved in Christ.

    Again, here is an issue wherein we apparently disagree, and I am happy to do so agreeably. There is cause to argue either side in this intramural debate of non-essentials of the faith. And I contend that gender concerns are not essential matters. God is spirit.

    It says that God measured out the waters in the hollow of His hand. Does that mean He has a physical body that is literally that large? Was Jesus the mini-me version of the Father’s physical body which had to be at least the size of the Milky Way Galaxy, if he laid down flat to be parallel to the plane of the way the galaxy was spread. They aren’t direct corollaries. Jesus said he was the Door. Was He made out of wood and did he have a handle? Or does my heart have a door on it physically where Jesus stands and knocks? These are analogies that teach us by comparison those things that we cannot yet comprehend on this side of the veil.

  83. If God is male and if Jesus is male, why are women believed to be analogous to Jesus in hierarchy?

    Doesn’t that analogously put Jesus in a dress? If husband/fathers are like God the father in every way, why is it that the one Person of the Godhead who actually had a physical body — why is He analogous to the role of women. That’s a bit confusing to me!

    Women are to be the eternal suffering servants of Isaiah 53, and they’re never permitted to experience the Resurrection, only the Cross?

    Lets just agree to disagree already.

  84. You asked, “why are women believed to be analogous to Jesus in hierarchy”?

    In hierarchy? I do not understand your question. What hierarchy?

  85. Let me be clear. Being male has NOTHING to do with any kind of supremacy or superiority or authority. NOTHING! My wife has equal authority in our house. I do NOT have the final word amnd neither does she. We wait until we agree before we move on any decisions we make. We always make decisions together and in agreement.

  86. Arce

    I resonate with what you say regrading genitalia/DNA. There are a fair number of children born with both male and female organs. Parents are faced with the difficult decision to choose the sex and operations along with hormones are the solution.

    So, what is this child spiritually. In fact, this whole spiritual argument regarding gender appears to be very off balance. What does it mean to be a male spiritually? I don’t think there is gender in Spirit. ESS is an attempt to theologize an extreme view that gender matters in eternity.

    Well, male gender matters in eternity because some of these guys really want to be in charge over half the human souls. It is the old James and John, who’s in charge argument playing out in modern theology. It would be really funny because their motives are hanging on their sleeves but I’m not laughing because women bear the brunt of their misguided application. Paige Patterson is the living embodiment of the movement.

  87. Dee, once again, being male has NOTHING do do with any authority, superiority, supremacy, being in charge, nor any such thing.

  88. Nothing,

    Amen that being male has nothing to do with any authority, including serving in any role in the church, including the man created position of “senior pastor”. But the leadership of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and its Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood are preaching the “eternal submission of the Son” (ESS) heresy as a theological basis for the eternal submission of anyone female to some male (father or husband) and as a justification for their ban on females in the pulpit or in teaching positions in the church when males above about 12 years of age are present.

  89. Arse, on that we agree. There are no titles like “senior pastor” male or female, does not matter. It is all man made nonsense. The word PASTOR is found one time in the NT and it is not defined, classified, explained, etc. There is never ANY person set up to run and be in charge. GOD is in charge of His ekklesia – His body. The SBC and just about all the other “churches” out there are cults. I stay as far away from them as possible.

  90. So now that we know that being male does not mean being in charge, nor above, nor superior, nor dominant, etc, is it ok if God is called Father? If we get rid of the false idea of male dominance and superiority, will that lessen the offense of God being Father?

  91. Nothing BTT

    There is no offense that God is called Father. I address Him as such. However, that does not mean that God is genetically male.

  92. NBtT,

    Sorry to have confused you with the ESS crowd who take the analogy a few steps further down the path of literalism. That semi-arianism should not be pinned on anyone who doesn’t ascribe to it. And I don’t have my scorecard with me to keep up with the teams.

    I still contend that God is Spirit and that He is transcends gender, a created concept that He uses to teach us greater concepts about Himself that we are not yet able to understand.

    As to your comment about trees and plants, I think that this actually bolsters my argument. God knew everything there was to know intimately about His idea that plants should exist. That doesn’t make him a plant. But the plant is not greater than He is. God had to have known everything there was to know about women and what it was to be female in the same way that He knew about plants. That doesn’t make Him male or female or a plant. It makes Him the Creator who is greater than all of these things.

    God certainly could have revealed Himself as a tree if He wanted to do so just as He reveals Himself to us as male. But God chose to create humankind (male and female) after His Image. Gender is an analogy to tell the simple and the wise about Himself as God. I don’t know why, but He does, and He uses it to teach us of His love for us in profound ways, just like an artist uses their medium to convey a concept which is like the original.

    Be blessed and may you grow in faith until the Lord brings us together in the knowledge of the truth. I don’t have much more to add beyond what I’ve already stated.

  93. Just to add another thought to the comments:

    The coming Messiah is described as “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9. So what do we make of that? :o)

    Just ONE example of the facts from the Word that the ESS folks would rather we not mention.

  94. I think it is quite OK to call God Father (or Mother, for that matter). More important is that we call on Him (or Her), understand that God is spirit not physical being, that God is co-extensive with the universe in space and pre- and post-existent with the universe in time. Also that God can and has assumed human form by God choice, and has lived on this earth as one of us. That God is One, though Three, and Three, though One, without any division or difference.

    My prayer image (or sense) of God is that I can crawl into the lap of God and be fully and completely enclosed in God’s love and care for me. It comes from seeing a tall friend of mine kneel down and wrap up his crying toddler child in his arms to the extent that it was hard to even see the child, and hold the child until the hurting was over. Sometimes I need God in that way, and I always seem to find God when I am in need that way.

  95. NBTT

    God knew that fallen man would seek to build a patriarchal society in which the power was placed in the hands of men. Women were marginalized, often bought be dowery, her money was merged into the man’s account. Women were able to be divorced on a whim, often into poverty. One can hardly imagine that this was the intent of God. God portrayed as female would not be acceptable to a male dominated patriarchal society.

    So Jesus came and spent time with women, often raising the ire of the Pharisees and such. Then Scripture tells us that in Christ there is no male or female or slave r free man-we are all one. Well, slavery continued until, well, come to think of it, there are slaves in the world now. That is a heinous institution. So, are you rally so sure that God designated men to hole authority over women. Did He design the slave institution in the same way?

  96. Ok, then it really does not matter if we see God as male or not. People call nature “Mother Nature”. I would never address God as “Mother” because the Bible does not, and God’s word is my standard and plumb line. The Holy Spirit never revealed God as Mother or as a dual gendered or neutral gendered being. So I will stick with God being my Father, not my Mother, and not both Mother and Father.

    So what exactly is the point of this conversation anyway? Is it not about some screwed up male dominance and false authority? Is there more to it than that?

  97. But it really has to do with the nature of God. As spirit, God does not have gender. But the human language and mind generally cannot see a person, which is a term applied to God, that does not have gender. So we refer to God with male pronouns and terms that describe relationship with God (“Father”). But we should struggle against thinking of God as having characteristics of humans that relate to our gender differences, since to do that dilutes conception of God, with human weaknesses instead of the divine nature.

  98. Arse, why do you believe that God became manifest in the flesh as a man? Was Jesus weak in His conception of God by revealing God as Father?

  99. As I said, human language imposes upon us. In his place and time on earth, the language, then as now, imposes terms. Father is an apt description of the relationship in human terms. No, I do not believe that Jesus was weak, but those around him were, and, as a human, he spoke in human language about his relationships.

    God incarnate in human flesh in that time and place had to be male. There were no itinerant female rabbis (no female rabbis at all). There would have been no access to the synagogue to preach and teach, and neither men nor women, in that culture, would have followed a woman who attempted to preach.

  100. Arse, was God also weak in manifesting Himself as a man? Or do you want to blame lack in language for that also?

  101. What else could God be manifest as? What is the point of your question. God was incarnate as a human being. There are two choices in human beings as born, male or female. If manifest as a female, (1) God would not have fulfilled the prophecies in Isaiah as well as elsewhere; (2) God in a female body could not have been a rabbi or teacher and have called men and women to follow him, because the culture of the Jews did not allow that; and (3) the patriarchical culture of the day would have prevented any entry into the synagogue or the temple.

    God was not WEAK, humankind’s weaknesses result in limitations that were and are practical.

  102. “Arse, why do you believe that God became manifest in the flesh as a man? Was Jesus weak in His conception of God by revealing God as Father?”

    Let us look at it another way. Since Jesus came as a male, how can I strive to be like Christ as a female?

    If we answer that question, then the whole focus on non physical gender roles in Christianity vanishes. Because it is not important.

    (I am assuming you agree that I am to strive to be like Christ as female)

  103. “God incarnate in human flesh in that time and place had to be male. There were no itinerant female rabbis (no female rabbis at all). There would have been no access to the synagogue to preach and teach, and neither men nor women, in that culture, would have followed a woman who attempted to preach.”

    Just to piggyback on this…God always worked through sinful man for His own purposes. Why did He allow and even prescribe polygamy? Because of sin! Why did He use a lying pagan prostitute to save his people and she is now in the geneology of Jesus. The examples are endless. (God is the hero of the OT, not the characters He worked through. I wish more pastors would realize this!)

    God regulates Patriarchy with the Law. But even before the law He told Abraham to obey Sarah at one point. :o)

    The fall caused Patriarchy. It is predicted by God in Gen 3 that Eve would “turn” (teshuqa) to Adam (not God) and Adam and because of that, Adam would rule over her. This was not a prescription from God but a description of what would happen.

    (Remember, Eve admitted she was deceieved and sinned. Adam resolutely blamed God and Eve for his sin)

    But God also favored Eve (women) in that He promised Messiah would come through her.

  104. NBT,

    One more thing…it really helps to understand Hebrew thinking when we look at the God/FAther, Jesus /Son relationship. In Hebrew thinking, the son represents the Father. In business transactions the son would be treated like the father and carry the same weight.

    (A good parallel to this is John 5:18 where the Pharisees saw that Jesus was making Himself equal with the Father):
    18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    But even more interesting is that the NT makes clear that women are also adopted as “son’s” with FULL inheritance of all things spiritual. (Galatians 3-4)

  105. “I am assuming you agree that I am to strive to be like Christ as female”

    Lyn, outstanding point. And as someone else pointed out, in Christ, there is neither male nor female. But being male is not a curse, and God being called Father does not make male superior to female. I agree that being Christ like has nothing to do with trying to be like a male. It is not about being macho. Being male is not about authority, dominance, control, or being in charge. I want to keep repeating that because that assumption and false teaching needs to be forever corrected and dismissed.

    So why argue about whether God is male or not? What is the point? Jesus called Him Abba Father. Do we need to go any further than that? If so, why? To what end?

  106. Women are NOT second class citizens in God’s Kingdom. We are all equal heirs with equal status and equal say. Their is no hierarchy.

  107. You know NBT, I am thinking about this and wondering if after 4 thousand years of Patriarchal systems and handing down of the anti woman ORAL law and the fact that Jesus came as Jew FOR the Jews first, if God had sent a woman, who would have listened at all?

    Even Jesus, while on earth, did not convince many when you think about it. After he told them they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, most turned away except for a few. Most wanted a miracle or healing.

    It wasn’t until after the resurrection that many more believed. Including His own half brothers.

    Jesus mapped to God

    The 12 mapped to the 12 tribes. And included Judas!

  108. “So why argue about whether God is male or not? What is the point? Jesus called Him Abba Father. Do we need to go any further than that? If so, why? To what end”

    The comps, patriarchist, masuclinists, all teach that it is significant God is “Father”, Jesus is male and this maps to human gender hierarchies. (they do not tell us who the Holy Spirit maps to :o)

    This thinking is taught now all over the place as ESS. It has become mainstream and is the biggest threat to orthodox Christianity as we understand the Trinity.

  109. Lyn, I do not give a hoot about any so called “orthodox” Christianity. I myself am considered a full blown heretic because I believe in the full victory of Christ on the cross to save all mankind. Because of this hope, based 100% on God’s word, I have been rejected and labeled as a false teacher/heretic by these “orthodox” preachers that teach that God is an eternal terrorist.

  110. Junkster

    Thank you. I just uploaded to the media function and will post it. I love these pictures because they are beautiful and are in the public domain because we paid for it with out taxes.

  111. NBT,

    Okey dokey. Did not mean to upset you.

    It is interesting to note that all “Christianese” cults tamper with the Trinity. It is pretty important in terms of our Faith. When some make Christ less in any way, then it decreases the importance of His sacrifice adn resurrection….if He was following orders only and the Trinity does not have a united will.

    I am not a universalist but I am certainly not going to argue about it or call you a heretic. But it is a nice thought that we can murder, maim, rape, pillage, lie, cheat, ALL our lives and still live in paradise with our Savior who said we are to be “Born Again”…here. (wink)

  112. Hi Lyn, you did not upset me at all. As far as you comment on going out to commit hideous sins, are there any sins that Jesus did not take to the cross? Did He die for the sins of the World, or just for the sins of some? Did Jesus die for all sins or just some sins? Jesus came to set the captives free. Is Jesus a failure at what He came to do?

    The wages of sin is DEATH, not Hell. God told Adam and Eve they would surely DIE, not go to Hell. Jesus DIED for our sins, He did not go to Hell for our sins. The Lake of Fire is the second DEATH, not the second Hell.

    1 Cor 15:22 says “As in Adam all DIE (not all go to Hell), so also in Christ – ALL WILL BE MADE ALIVE.” Then vs 26 says “The Last enemy to be destroyed is DEATH.” So ALL DEATH will be destroyed including the second death!

    Any questions so far?

  113. Lyn, BTW, do you want to “murder, maim, rape, pillage, lie, cheat, ALL your life” just because you are guaranteed going to Heaven? Would you consider that a fun way to live your life? Shall we sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Do NOT return again to a yoke of bondage and slavery. Why return to you own vomit that you have been delivered from?

  114. Nothing But the Truth,
    I, too, believe that if Christ died for our sins then there can be no punishment for them in the hereafter. His death did not just make salvation a theortical possibility, it made salvation an absolute certainty. I believe this, but I also believe in the Bible’s clear teachings about eternal separation of some from God in hell. It is becasue of these two Biblical truths that I adhere to the concept of particular redemption (aka limited atonement).

  115. “Lyn, BTW, do you want to “murder, maim, rape, pillage, lie, cheat, ALL your life” just because you are guaranteed going to Heaven? Would you consider that a fun way to live your life? Shall we sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Do NOT return again to a yoke of bondage and slavery. Why return to you own vomit that you have been delivered from”

    I don’t know. Maybe we can ask Hitler and Stalin when we get to heaven. :o)

  116. Lyn, Romans 6:7 says “He who has died has been FREED from sin.” So that would include Hitler and Stalin. Jesus said from the cross, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. That also would include Hitler and Stalin. According to most Christians, if Hitler and Stalin had both asked for forgiveness on their death bed, then they would be in Heaven. So all that separates them from God for eternity is one small 30 second confession? God’s hands are tied for eternity unless WE do or say something during this life?

    The Bible says that God’s mercy endures FOREVER. Can people in Hell (assuming there is such a place) ask for and receive God’s mercy?

  117. Junkster, I too use to believe in limited atonement of the elect. But then God opened my eyes to just how perverse that doctrine is. God chooses who goes to Heaven and let’s the rest go to be tormented for eternity in Hell? Then Stalin and Hitler don’t seem so bad after all compared to God. Their terrorism was limited to this short life.

    How come God did not warn Adam and Eve about this place called Hell? How come Paul never tells the Gentiles or the churches about this terrible place? Why does Jesus only use the metaphor of Gehenna? Why no mention of going to Hell for rejecting Christ?

  118. Junkster
    I just thought of something while eating dinner. You said “I adhere to the concept of particular redemption (aka limited atonement).” It is obvious that there is limited atonement since, if not, everyone would go to heaven. Now, his forgiveness is open to all but only some take advantage of it. So, how does this apply to forgiveness amongst humans?

    Are we to be like Jesus, offering our forgiveness, yet the forgiveness must be accepted for it to be effective?

  119. NBTT,
    I am sorry that you find truths that God has revealed in his word “perverse”. I see no point in arguing with you about what seems logical to you or not. I simply stated what I believe, and I will stick with what God has revealed rather than what your sense of logic dictates I should believe. You are free to believe as you wish. But in my opinion, God has not opened your eyes, rather your mind has been darkened by your own elevation of what makes sense to you over what God has said. I could be wrong, of course, but I think not.

  120. Lyn, Romans 6:7 says “He who has died has been FREED from sin.” So that would include Hitler and Stalin. Jesus said from the cross, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. That also would include Hitler and Stalin. According to most Christians, if Hitler and Stalin had both asked for forgiveness on their death bed, then they would be in Heaven. So all that separates them from God for eternity is one small 30 second confession? God’s hands are tied for eternity unless WE do or say something during this life”

    Now, I am really confused. You said above:

    “Lyn, BTW, do you want to “murder, maim, rape, pillage, lie, cheat, ALL your life” just because you are guaranteed going to Heaven? Would you consider that a fun way to live your life? Shall we sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Do NOT return again to a yoke of bondage and slavery. Why return to you own vomit that you have been delivered from”

    Hitler and Stalin thought it was fun to live that way and now you are telling me they are in heaven.

    Call me confused!

  121. Dee,
    Yes, it’s obvious that the atonement is limited is some way or by some one, unless one holds to a universalist position like Nothing But The Truth is espousing. My belief is that it is linited in intent and application by God’s intent; others believe it is limited by whether or not individuals chose to respond to God’s grace.

    I believe that we, like God, ought to be willing and eager to extend forgiveness to any who would ask for it. But until it has been asked for, it has not been received in application. So my answer to your question would be “Yeppers!”

  122. Junkster, God has revealed no such thing as limited atonement in His word. There is no such expression and no such teaching.

    I love discussing God’s word, so please attempt to prove me wrong from the Scriptures. Let’s take one verse at a time and examine each one in very close detail.

  123. “Lyn, I was speaking to you as a Christian. Hitler and Stalin were not”

    But with universalism, what does it matter? We all end up the same place in the end.

  124. Junkster, Dee asked a very good question that I had not thought of. Should we be like God and choose a select few to forgive only? Or does the Bible tell us the forgive as we have been forgiven? Does God ever tell us to pick and choose who we want to forgive? Limited atonement is 100% unBiblical. Prove me wrong.

  125. Lyn, it is not just about where we end up. This life matters also. Should we not seek a cure for cancer because we are all going to die someday anyway? Even unbelieving soldiers lay down their lives to give our nation freedom during this life. This life has meaning, and lots of it. It is not just about going to Heaven when we die.

  126. No, thanks, NBTT. I believe that what I believe is what the Bible teaches, but I have no interest in proving or disproving anything to anyone. And since you are convinced that God has opened your eyes, I consider it unlikely that you would be open to anything I have to say anyway. Seems more likely that you just want to argue or convince me of your viewpoint. If my views are wrong I’m fine with that.

  127. Junkster, maybe I have been deceived? Maybe you could show me the error I have fallen into by showing me these Scriptures that teach limited atonement? Perhaps I overlooked them? Maybe I have misinterpreted something. If I am in error, I want to be restored to the truth, and I mean that.

  128. Junkster, also you said: “If my views are wrong I’m fine with that.”

    Why would you be fine with that? The truth is what sets us free, not falsehoods. That is why I use the name “Nothing But The Truth” I want to know the WHOLE truth and NOTHING but the truth, so help me God. I do not like being deceived or believing a lie. Satan is the father of lies and I want no part of him.

    So I would very much like to hear what you have to share so we can examine God’s word together and let iron sharpen iron.

  129. “Lyn, it is not just about where we end up. This life matters also”

    But not for Hilter or Stalin. they can maime, pillage, murder, steal as much as they want to their whole life and still end up in eternity with Christ AND those who were “Born Again” on earth.

    Believe me, I get where you are coming from. I have an sil whose father is a universalist pastor for the Methodists. I have been around this block a ton of times. Sorry, but was having a bit of cheek with the idea of universalism in light of the Cross and Resurrection, Faith and belief. It is selling cheap grace. It makes the blood very cheap, indeed.

    I am like Junk, I am ok if my views are wrong, too, acccording to you.

  130. What makes the blood cheap, is saying that it lacks power to forgive ALL sin and ALL sinners. Do aborted babies go to Heaven or Hell? They never accepted Christ. How about the severely retarded? Do they get a “Get out of Hell Free” card because of their disability?

    What makes the blood cheap and grace cheap is saying that WE need to add something to the finished work of the cross. What makes the blood cheap is saying that Satan’s deceptions and temptations to sin will destroy more people than the blood can save. You have made Satan more powerful than Christ and His death and resurrection. You have made sin and Satan the victor in the final destiny in most peoples lives.

    So those raised in Islam go to Hell because they were raised in a false religion. 99% stay Muslim in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. Is that their fault they were born into and raised in a false religion? Is it their fault most will never hear the truth about who Jesus REALLY is? Do you know they actually believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. But they are also taught He is not God in the flesh. So who’s fault is that? God is going to send them to Hell because someone deceived them and brainwashed them? Satan wins? NOT!

  131. Nothing But The Truth,
    No, thanks. I don’t wish to correct you, nor do I wish to be corrected by you. You’ve stated your views, and I have stated mine. I have no interest in further dialog with you on this topic at this time. Have a good evening.

  132. Ok Junkster, if you change you mind, let me know. Please keep in mind the Scripture that tells us to be ready to give every man an answer for the hope that is within us. I am ready to give you a Biblical answer for the hope that is within me whenever you are ready.

  133. Jesus said that whoever believes shall not perish. Belief is important.

    Grace and atonement are gifts, unmerited, but gifts. But if one does not accept a gift but rejects it, the gift remains the property of the giver — that is basic law and fact of everyday life. One cannot be forced to accept a gift. If forced it is not a gift.

    So, atonement was not limited except in the since that it can be rejected and therefore not be effective for those who reject it. A failure to accept is a rejection by the way.

  134. Arse, then lets look at the subject of aborted babies and those who die before the age of 2, and their going to Heaven or Hell. If we believe they go to Heaven, then abortion is good for most of them, because otherwise, they might have grown up rejecting Christ and ended up in Hell for eternity. So the abortionist saved them from Hell.

    If we believe they are going to Hell, then that makes God a monster, because they never even got a chance to accept or reject Christ. If we say that God will give them that choice on Judgement Day, then that means some sort of post mortem salvation, and that is heresy to orthodox Christians.

    So we have a dilemma. These aborted babies and those who died as infants, never accepted nor rejected Christ. So is their an exception to the “you must accept Christ as Lord” rule? The Bible does not really answer these questions, or does it? Maybe only the CHOSEN babies get to Heaven as some Calvinists teach. Is that the God we serve? I sure hope not.

  135. It seems that Arce and Deb mean limited atonement to be those atoned are those who accept Christ, and that ALL are given that opportunity.

    It seems that NBTT is looking at limited atonement from the classic Calvanist viewpoint and he disagrees. He appears to believe that ALL are offered salvation and have the freedom to accept or deny; and that children or babies, or those who have never heard the good news also are saved because they never had an opportunity to accept. It appears that ge also agrees that those who reject Christ will not receive salvation.

    Am I right? Because if so, then I think you all actually agree on the same thing, you just have different definitions for what you believe limited atonement to be.

  136. Hi NLR,

    Just to clarify, I believe salvation is given to all, not just offered to all. Sinful man does not even understand salvation, so how cam he accept it? The carnal man CANNOT receive the things of the Spirit, the Bible tells us.

    Both Phil 2:10-11 and Romans 14:11 tell us that EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father. On that day, all deception and all sin will gone and all eyes will see the truth of who Jesus is, and all will freely accept Him. And no, it will NOT be too late because God’s mercy endures forever.

    John 1:29 says “Behold the lamb of God who TAKES AWAY the sin of the WORLD. Not the sins of just the elect – the sins of the WORLD!

    Who is more powerful, the first Adam and His sin, or the Last Adam and His obedience unto death? Did we need to accept the first Adam? Did we need to accept his sin, or were we born in sin? Did we choose to be born in Adam? Is it harder to be in Christ than in Adam???? Is Christ less powerful than Adam???

    Romans 5:18 says, “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.”

    The Last Adam defeats and replaces the first Adam for all mankind.

  137. There are those who are truly innocent, because they have not had an opportunity to understand and choose. Although the Bible does not tell us what their fate will be, God is merciful. I do think that those who are willfully evil will not be in heaven.

  138. Arce, why are some people willfully evil? Why would Satan be more influential in their life than God? Did Satan win? Was Satan’s will done over God’s will? Is sin more powerful and more influential than the blood, the cross, and the Holt Spirit? Does evil prevail? Was Jesus death in vain for most?

  139. The Bible tells us not to repay evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good. So why would God contradict Himself by repaying evil people with evil in Hell? Is God incapable over overcoming evil with good in everyone’s life?

  140. I meant to say is God incapable OF overcoming evil with good in everyone’s lives?

    Is God’s arm too short that He cannot save some? Have these certain people just gone too far to be reached? Are they too hard hearted and too stubborn for God? I was an atheist when I got saved! I did not even believe He existed until the moment I was engulfed in His undeniable presence! INSTANT CONVERSION! I did not receive Christ. Neither did the Apostle Paul! Go read his testimony.

    God will melt everyone’s heart and open everyone’s eyes, just like he did mine. God will overcome ALL EVIL with HIS GOOD!

  141. So NBTT,

    You don’t believe im a literal hell and you believe ALL people go to Heaven? There is no eternal damnation for anyone? Just to clarify.

    If that’s what you believe, then why should we have a need to believe in all the things Christ taught and endeavored for us to believe–also what he taught about salvation?

    If all people go to Heavrn, even those who never choose God and those who sin does, in fact, rule their lives because sin is powerful; then where is mans choice in tge matter? Shouldn’t man have tge freedom to love God and choose to spend eternity with him or hate God and be separate from him if ge wants? If ALL mem go to heaven, how is it fair for God to make people spend eternity with him who clearly hate him, deny his existence and want nothing of him? Does Gos force himself upon us like that or do we get to choose whom we love and who we’d want to spend eternity with? Clearly, the most extreme example would be a Satanist who worship Satan and choose him to be their God.

    I don’t think tge issue is sin being more powerful THAN Gods plans but that sin is powerful ENOUGH and Satan powerful ENOUGH to deter us from choosing God.

    Of course, I disagree with you entirely and I’m sure you have answers to my question, but in light of Scrioture, overall, at least to me and obviously not you, your belief just doesn’t make sense or add up in anyway.

    Interring that Jesus didn’t tell both theives on tge crosses beside him that they’d both be in paradise with him that day. He only told the one who believed, yes?

  142. And maybe what you’d consider as God repaying evil with evil, is God resolving evil with justice?

  143. The answer to those questions are an emphatic yes! Of course God can do all of that. I don’t believe God will save all, but I believe God WILLS that all are saved, but that is conditional upon what we choose. And we have such freedom to choose. Because God WILLS it, as in His desire , doesn’t mean that we will desire tge same.

    The question isn’t about what God can or can’t do as you have posed. The question is just because God can do those things doesn’t mean that mans WILL will ve tge same and that God will overpower mans will. I believe that’s to do with God being Sovereign over his own Sovereignty and allowing man to respond in love or rejection of him.

  144. And what about those who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven? Such as we, believers, were but now that we are washed with the blood, that shall not be our inheritance. But it’s clear to me that there are still this who will not inherit the kingdom.

    What about tge commands the spread tge gospel, be desciplers of men so that all may hear, and make a decision about Chrustian and none perish? Doesn’t that imply that some may choose not to respond to the good news?

    And what about all the “depart from me you evildooers” and those whose father is Satan, the father of lies?

  145. NLR,

    No one hates God. They may hate some distorted image or concept of God, but no man has ever even seen God. No one can truly hate what they do not really know or understand. Again, the carnal man CANNOT receive the things of the Spirit because they are foolishness to him. The carnal man is dead in trespasses and sin. He is a slave to sin. He is a prisoner of sin. That is why Jesus told the Father to “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” His own disciples did not even know who he was. Peter was the only one with a clue, and that revelation came from the Father.

    God’s mercy endures FOREVER, not just until we die! EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! God will overcome ALL evil with His good.

  146. The Kingdom of (from) Heaven is God’s rule here on this Earth. The Lord’s prayer says “Thy Kingdom COME, Thy will be done ON EARTH, as it is in Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is the rule of God FROM Heaven. The millenial reign of Christ takes place here, not in Heaven. Not everyone will inherit THAT Kingdom. But they still go to Heaven one day. The word HELL is a false translation and a false teaching. Jesus never said the word HELL. Gehenna is not Hell and Hades is not Hell. And Paul never mentions any such place as Hell. Don’t the Gentiles and the churches need to know about this terrible place? They never heard Jesus teach, so where are they suppose to learn about Hell if not from Paul???

  147. NBTT–

    Thank you for explaining. I appreciate it. I may still disagree but I see your view 😉

  148. I am an older Pastor who years ago attended Prestonwood while Jack Graham was there. To me the main point is being missed. This is a question of sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible has clearly told Prestonwood what to do. Their training in church growth, psychology, sociology gave them human wisdom to think they knew better. Now they refuse to admit this sin. They should have immediately followed Scripture and announced from the Prestonwood pulpit, “John Langworthy has admitted to sexually abusing children in this congregation. H e has been fired and we have contacted the police and CPS to thoroughly investigate this matter as to possible criminal charges.”
    I would encourage readers to listen to or read the following sermon which is case on point. Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite-Excerpts from last half of Restoring Biblical Eldership, Part 2 by Pastor John MacArthur
    I Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
    We need to be supportive of our Pastor and not entertain or even listen to gossip, slander, hearsay accusing him of any wrongdoing. The evident exception to this is when there is corroborating testimony from another witness or two. At that point the church and Christians are obligated Scripturally to investigate and see whether or not it is true. If untrue stand with him and defend him. If true, go to verse 20. (I would personally add-If the sin involves criminal activity such as sexual abuse of children the obligation is increased. We are to consider government as God’s ministry of justice. We are to obey all laws. The only exception is a law that forces you to disobey God’s Word. Are laws regarding abuse of defenseless children good laws? You should go immediately to the police and if they are negligent get the media involved to force them to do their duty. Further the church doing the defrocking has an obligation to follow the abuser and warn other churches and communities.)

    I Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
    Them here in verse 20 refers to an elder in verse 19. A Pastor or Associate who is found to be in sin loses protection. There are no steps listed as a process. Once it is ascertained that sin has occurred that Pastor is to be immediately fired and publicly rebuked (exposed, reproved, brought to conviction) before all-the whole church, nothing here confines this to a board of the church. The sin of one in that position is more serious and to be punished more severely because its implications are greater. If you’re the model of spiritual life, if you’re the model of godliness, if you’re supposed to be the example and you do not live the example that pleases God,.. 99.9 chances out of a hundred the man would instantly repent, say, “I’ll never do it again,” if he thought that would let him stay where he is and nobody would ever find out publicly. But that serves no good at all. If the man has been found to be in a pattern of sin, then he is disqualified by 1 Timothy chapter 3, he’s no longer blameless so he’s out of the ministry anyway and he is to be publicly rebuked for his sin because there has to be some explanation about why he’s out. … you put a man of dubious character in a continuing ministry because you’re afraid to say the truth about the man because you’re more concerned to protect the man than you are to protect the name of the Lord God whom he says he serves.

  149. Earl

    Awesome comment! It really does come down to trust in God, doesn’t it? You said some things that many people today do not think about. here are two examples of what you said.

    “I would personally add-If the sin involves criminal activity such as sexual abuse of children the obligation is increased. We are to consider government as God’s ministry of justice. We are to obey all laws.”

    “Once it is ascertained that sin has occurred that Pastor is to be immediately fired and publicly rebuked (exposed, reproved, brought to conviction) before all-the whole church, nothing here confines this to a board of the church. The sin of one in that position is more serious and to be punished more severely because its implications are greater.”

    As for this point “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
    We need to be supportive of our Pastor and not entertain or even listen to gossip, slander, hearsay accusing him of any wrongdoing. The evident exception to this is when there is corroborating testimony from another witness or two.”

    Paige Patterson refused to entertain accusations against Darrell Gilyard who was molesting young girls. He said that each girl had to bring 2-3 witnesses before he would entertain their suggestion. This man went on to hurt quite a few girls before being caught and put into jail. Can you imagine such a requirement in these situations. As far as I am concerned, Patterson is morally culpable for all the young women who were molested after he was informed.

    Thank you for taking the time to carefully outline your arguments. I bet I visited Prestonwood a few times while you were there. I used to attend Pete Briscoe’s church, Bent Tree Bible, across the street

  150. Dee and Deb…I await with baited breath the series on the Calvary Chapel churches. I attend one now having left an SBC church (which I’ve blogged about on this site) and made our new church home at a CC church. I’ve followed your whole SGM thing and I must say that I’ve never gotten that SGM vibe at our Calvary Chapel and actually kinda resent the comparison. But I’ll reserve judgement until you present your case. I suspect (from other posts) your main problem with the CC is the form of church government (the Moses model) that is used. I know you guys don’t care for that much. I hope you’ve got more than your dislike and heresay before you cast any stones. Especially stones dealing with sexual abuse allegations. The ones you chronical here are based on verifyable sources. You guys will go way down in my book if you stoop to making unfounded allegations and the best thing you have for proof is “I know a guy who knows a guy who said…blah, blah, blah”. That is very much the definition of gossip. I might also point out that each CC church is very much independent and self governed….very different from the SGM. Just because something happened at one church doesn’t mean it’s rampant and happening at them all.

  151. Jerry, why do you even feel the need to defend Calvary Chapel? Did someone says something about CC that was not true?

  152. Jerry

    You can be darned sure that there will be a careful look at the system and its victims prior to publishing stuff. We have been at this game for over 2 years and have been collecting info for lots longer.

    We are well aware of the polity as well as the “Moses”model of leadership. But, as always, our eyes are focused on those who have been harmed by a system. The victims are our concern, not those doing well in the system. The quality of any church is measured on how they treat the least of these. And, BTW, we think it is proper to weigh in on a particular form of leadership, look at the theology behind it and see how that leadership model affects those in the churches.Its called letting iron sharpen iron.

    Finally, CC has done a good job merchandising their churches. They want people to come and partake in their community. They want to be noticed. So, when groups jump up and down to be noticed, we do just what they ask-we notice. However, just like Consumer Reports looks at products, we look at the “fruit products” of said churches.

    This is not gossip. When a church wants to be recognized, they cannot tell those who are looking what to see. Gossip is this-“Did you know that Pastor Joe’s wife takes belly dance classes and doesn’t want anyone to know?” We do something else. “Did you know that there have been ten reported cases of sexual abuse within Anytown Baptist Church? Please watch over your kids and congregation do something about this.”

  153. NBTT

    Someone left a comment about a couple of sexual abuse cases that seem to be linked to CC. This is not the first time we have received such comments. We have also receive comments from folks who claim they were deeply wounded within CC. We have done a lot of reading buy have not gotten around to formulating how to approach this.

  154. NSS
    You know, there seem to be more and more non denomination denominations. I include the SBC in this since they claim they cannot do anything about churches who do not respond correctly to pedophiles but they can kick out churches that have women pastors-Go figure!

    BTW- did you see that incredible post over on New BBC Open Forum? Now there is a wonderful blog that really did something praiseworthy on this issue.

  155. Fair enough Dee but I will add this…there is not a denomination (for lack of a better term) out there that does not have allegations of some sort thrown at them or have someone who’s been “hurt” by them. Much as with any situation the truth often lies in the middle. People are people and when they feel wronged or betrayed they will lash out at those they feel wronged them. (whether they were truly wronged or not) They might even lie or embellish the truth a little. (I’ll grant that collorary is also true that people in power ofter abuse it.) But, if people are lying and you guys spread those lies isn’t that kinda the same as you lying too? In the secular world they call that journalism but Christians are supposed to be above those types of things. If you have facts then print them…I stand behind you all the way….shed the light of truth on those situations! SGM is a perfect example! But if all you have is unproven allegations then that is the same thing as your belly dancer analogy. I guess all I’m asking is for you guys to be objective. If you feel the need to blog about something like this then to be truthful you MUST point out that these things are UNPROVEN if that is the fact. That would be the fair thing don’t you think? Reading your comments above I believe you’ve already made up your minds and plan on skewering Calvary Chapel with the same fork you’ve been using on SGM. SGM may have deserved it. Are you sure beyond a doubt that CC does too?

  156. Jerry, still trying to figure out why you are being so defensive about CC. Just because you go to one? If your daughter tells you that someone from your church sexually molested her, are you going to make her prove it to you first? Are you going to ask her if she is just trying to get back at this person? Why are you so protective of YOUR church’s reputation? In most abuse cases it it “he said – she said”. If one of the people has a history of lying, then that should be taken into consideration of course. It may come down to a matter of trusting the person who is bringing the charge. Let what takes place in darkness come out into the light. We do not need to be protecting the guilty in fear of gossiping or slandering them.

  157. Dee wrote:
    You know, there seem to be more and more non denomination denominations. I include the SBC in this since they claim they cannot do anything about churches who do not respond correctly to pedophiles but they can kick out churches that have women pastors-Go figure!

    This reminds me of the girlfriend (and her husband) that I mentioned this past week or so here under another thread. They were called in to a church discipline meeting after getting in the middle of an ugly conflict between a pastor and an assistant pastor. (Everyone ended up turning on my friends, even those they went to great lengths to support and defend.) In order to give testimony that they were prone and guilty of the “sin of sedition” (chapter and verse??), they called upon the old assistant pastor from the church they’d left at least seven years earlier.

    This group of officially unrelated (“non-denominational” and Charismatic) churches that followed submission doctrines and shepherding ideals were not part of the same denomination, but when they wanted to do something like gang up on someone, they certainly behaved like a denomination. In the event of an obvious and overt sin, I suppose this is a very good thing, but they couldn’t even give a Scripture to them and had to establish their sin based on quotes from the patristic writings.

    It also reminds me of the IFB Churches who claim that they are all profoundly independent but are really do function like most other denominations do. If it walks like a duck… Sadly, it affords these groups the benefits of affiliation but they can shrug off the responsibilities thereof.

  158. Earl,

    I so appreciated your comment. It can be discouraging because most of the people who comment on blogs under these types of subjects concerning pastoral misconduct either jump in to blindly defend those leaders in question, or they comment on their own experiences of disappointment. It is always a breath of fresh air to read a comment from someone who “gets it” and affirms the standards of the church that seem to be eroding away.

  159. Jerry

    This is where you show you are making judgments a priori. We have not made up our minds about anything to do with CC. We are reading. So, if you look at our stuff with SGM, the stuff with the Prestonwood pedophile, and so on what makes you think you “know” what we are going to do. Good night! Even I do not know what I am going to do next week. So, why don’t you tell me?

    You seem awfully defensive about something that has not even been written or decided upon. Why? In fact, this has to be one of the most bizarre interactions I have ever had on this blog. I have written nothing beyond saying we are looking at something, And now you are disagreeing and chastizing me for something that doesn’t even exist. My guess there is something behind this rather unusual dialog.

  160. Cindy

    Sin of sedition?? Good night. This sounds like the Civil War. Churches are sure getting goofy.

  161. Dee,

    You know what was so bad about that? They didn’t use Scripture but quoted two old Popes. Both of these people grew up Catholic and got saved in the ’70s (and met at a Keith Green thing). I told my girlfriend that she should have told them that they could only use the red letters in the Book. It was revolting to her when they started quoting Popes.

  162. Dee said: Also, we have been alerted to a number of sexual abuse issues over at the Calvary Chapel nondenominational denomination. (Same sort of nonsense as SGM). The stories were so disconcerting that we have postponed trying to place them within this post and will plan a series within the month. Calvary Chapel appears to be very similar to the SGM organization and should provide our readers with a sad sense of déjà vu.

    Just sounds to me like you are shapening the knives. “Stay tuned folks we’ve got the goods on another church! It’s really just some disconcerting stories but we’ve got a whole series planned.” Your statement drips with condesention and scorn. You almost sound gleeful. Ohh goodie goodie another church like the SGM! I think your statement speaks for itself.

    Cindy….not sure where to start….sexual abuse allegations are great aren’t they? All you have to do is make them and they inflict great damage on people. They don’t even have to be true and the accused is ruined. I’ve seen these allegations used as a very effective weapons before and seen lives shattered as a result. So yeah I guess I am a little defensive when folks play this particular card. FYI this would piss me off if you replaced Calvary Chapel with the church or denomination of your choice. In this case we’re making allegations against the body of Christ. I would remind everyone that irregardless of the churches name or denomination this is the body of Christ we are talking about. That should give us pause to consider the truth of the matter before we speak. If these things are true then bring them to light. If there is no evidence or they are unproven then we have a responsibility to say so. You speak half truths if you don’t and you may be accusing falsely. Half truth=whole lie.

  163. Jerry,

    So by stating that I am encouraged that “Earl” outlines what I have always understood as a sound Biblical principle, and because I mention that my friends were charged with the “sin of sedition” (which resulted from a pastor who spent the small church’s money on his personal indulgent travel without accountability), I’m making sexual abuse charges against Calvary Chapel to tick you off?

    You lost me in there somewhere.

  164. Hi Jerry,

    Calvary Chapel is a man made organization. There are people who go there that are a part of the body of Christ – but Calvary chapel itself is NOT the body of Christ. The body of Christ is not named Calvary Chapel. ALL such organizations are open to scrutiny. The body of Christ is NEVER open to scrutiny. That is a very important distinction to recognize here.

  165. Jerry

    Now I am really starting to get curious. I have not written ONE post on Calvary Chapel and I am already getting comments about why I shouldn’t write about CC. As for the comments about deja vu, i was referring to the nondenomination denomination thing.

    I would suggest you wait and see what, and IF, I write something. But, one thing is for sure, now you’ve raised the issue higher on the list.

  166. NSS
    No kidding. Lawyers??? These churches tell members how evil it is to consult lawyers when they are on the receiving end of abuse. However, they do exactly the same thing. I remember one pedophile situation that I knew about. By the time the issues came up, we are talking about a “BEVY” of lawyers already on the job.

    And that is why I tell everyone to protect themselves by not signing covenants without the advice of a lawyer.

  167. Is that a threat Dee? Because I’ve counciled you on not smearing a church before you have some proof of wrongdoing you’ve now raised that chruch to the top of your smear list…Ooooohhh! I’m all ashudder. Shouldn’t be too hard to poke holes in your arguements. With this attitude I’m sure they will just be baseless rumor. Blog away! Of course this is the Christian thing to do right?

  168. Jerry, does your church have a name? That is a wrongdoing. Does you church have a senior pastor? That is a wrong doing. Does your church have a worship leader? That is a wrongdoing. Does your church preach tithing? That is a wrongdoing? Does your church have a statement of faith? That is a wrong doing? Does your church have membership requirements or agreements? That is a wrong doing?

    Do you want 100 more wrongdoings of your church? There are plenty more. I would love to smear your so called “church”, no matter what it is. I will take the word of God and HIS ekklesia over your man made cult group any time.

  169. Jerry

    What in the world is going on? Why are you so afraid that I might write on CC? If there is nothing to be said, it won’t be said. This has to be one of the craziest fights I have ever had on this blog! Fighting over a nonexistent article…Good night!

  170. NBT that’s gotta be the stupidest response I’ve ever heard but whatever floats your boat. It takes all kinds.

    Dee you keep trying to imply fear and craziness on my part where none exists. Your the one who threw out the little teaser above about how you’ve found another church to blog about and imply there will be allegations of sexual misconduct. Juicy stuff to be sure. I council you to have facts before you accuse. To knowingly accuse without facts is called lying. To spread allegations with no basis in fact is called gossiping. Either way I believe there is some very clear guidance in scripture concerning both matters. I must have struck a nerve because now your trying to deflect this back on me. Please, please write your article!!! I’m begging you to! I will anxiously await the tome. If it is based on rumor and heresay and short on confirmed facts it’ll merely prove my point.

    Look, if you’ve got the goods (something other than rumor) on Calvary Chapel then why wait? Out with it! Shine the light! Spill the beans! If things are that bad and you delay more people might get hurt. If you are truly concerned about people being abused and not merely someone spreading rumors then tell us all now what facts you have! If your story has merit I’ll be the first to thank you and state that I was wrong. Good Night sleep well.

  171. Jerry, the superlative form of the word “stupid” is “most stupid”, not “stupidest”.

    But thank you for playing “Is a Calvary Chapel Cult Member Smarter than a Former SGM Cult Member”.

  172. Jerry

    Good night. I have so many things to write about that I don’t no where to start. Most of our stories stem from emails that we receive from folks who tell us their stories. This includes Calvary Chapel. When we get these emails, we look into them. A good church usually shines in the light . So, if the emails we have received are bunkum, we will know. So, don’t worry. Listen, i took my unsaved mother to a Greg Laurie event in Raleigh. Frankly, I am finding this rather amusing.

  173. NBT Bwahaaahaaa! Please keep em’ comin. This is great! See ya tommorrow I gotta ritualistically shave my head, put on my robes and drink some koolaid.

  174. Jerry said, “I gotta ritualistically shave my head, put on my robes and drink some koolaid.”

    You can do that if you want to, or just be a member of Calvary Chapel. Either one will give you cult member status.

    Google “Calvary Chapel is a cult”. I got over 250,000 hits. Why are you so defensive about your cult?

  175. NBT did you know one of my favourite hobbies is bass fishing…I find it relaxing and challenging. There are lots of techniques that you can use but they all have one thing in common…your presentation must be just right or the fish will not rise to the bait. When that happens you go home with an empty boat. You’re not really catching alot of fish here and your boat is on the empty side.

  176. Jerry – did you follow the hurricane warnings last week? There is a big difference between catching fish and warning of disaster and impending trouble. You need to be warned, not caught. But if you insist on using the fishing analogy, you are have been lured and then stuck on a hidden hook. The lure was fake and the hook keeps you from getting away. You were caught up by a cult, and you think it is wonderful, just like Tom Cruise with Scientology. Brainwashing is tremendously powerful and very effective. You have been seduced.

  177. Jerry, did you even go and read the articles warning about Calvary Chapel? Most cult members do not want to read such things about their beloved “family”. Jehovah’s Witnesses are forbidden to talk to ex-members. Ex-JW’s have some outstanding websites, books, etc, but the current JW’s are not allowed to participate with “apostates”.

    Most SGMers do not read the anti-SGM blogs. Most Calvary Chapel people will not read blogs that are in any way derogatory about their group. That is one of the reasons why cults keep their members for so long. No one wants to think their beloved “family” is a cult, and God damn those who do.

  178. NBT you need to keep your rod tip up and use a slower retrieve. You might also consider using a white spinner bait…I’ve found they are very effective in these muddy waters. Don’t forget, tight lines!

  179. Jerry, did you click on the links I gave you, and did you read the articles? Yes or no?

  180. You’re still jerking the bait a little too much. You got to fish it slowww! Too fast and you just spook the fish.

  181. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, a brood of vipers, and white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones. I get my teachings from Jesus. I am not a momma’s boy like you. Now man up and quit being such a milk toast.

  182. Why are YOU being so defensive? What are YOU so afraid of? See this is how fishing works…you dangle the bait just right and eventually the fish just can’t resist. Kinda like you just did. Just takes a little patience. Keep working at it, you’ll CATCH on.
    Get it…CATCH on! I crack me up.

  183. Jerry, if you ever decide to discuss your cult, let me know. Until then, please go get a life and quit bothering people with your profound foolishness.

  184. Wow…you don’t normally catch the same fish twice in one day. That’s the stupidest fish I’ve ever seen. (See I did that whole grammer thing again. Dude, am I pithey or what.)

  185. Jerry, is this what going to Calvary Chapel has done for you? Made you into a slithering coward?

  186. Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not yield yourselves again to a yoke of bondage.” (like the Calvary Chapel cult)

  187. “Oh you foolish Calvary Chapel cult members – who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?”

  188. FYI Eight is the legal limit. I can’t go past that without getting in trouble with Fish and Game.

  189. “For all you Calvary Chapel cult members who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.”

  190. Revelation 21:8 “But as for the COWARDLY, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (ESV)

    Poor cowardly Jerry is going into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. Maybe you should try numerous shots of testosterone to see if you can grow yourself a set of testicles.

  191. NBT I think it’s exasperation with your silliness….hit me with some more of that hellfire and sulpher stuff…that was good! You could get a part in the movies as a midevial priest or maybe a southern tv evangalist. Keep working on it and let me know.

  192. Jerry, thanks for showing us the “fruit” of being a member of Calvary Chapel. Your responses are all we need to show us to never be a part of your cult.

  193. “Chuck Smith – The founder of the Calvary Chapel system is the charismatic Pastor Chuck Smith. Some years ago, he published a book entitled End Times. On the jacket of his book, Smith is called a “well known Bible scholar and prophecy teacher.” In this book he wrote: “As we look at the world scene today, it would appear that the coming of the Lord is very, very, close. Yet, we do not know when it will be. It could be that the Lord will wait for a time longer. If I understand Scripture correctly, Jesus taught us that the generation which sees the ‘budding of the fig tree’, the birth of the nation Israel, will be the generation that sees the Lord’s return; I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the tribulation lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for his church anytime before the tribulation starts, which would mean anytime before 1981. (1948 + 40 – 7 = 1981) However, it is possible that Jesus is dating the beginning of the generation from 1967, when Jerusalem was again under Israeli control for the first time since 587 B.C. We don’t know for sure which year actually marks the beginning of the last generation.” (Pages 35, 36)”

  194. “I. A Subtle Diversion Away From Loving The Truth:

    It’s doubtful that Chuck Smith or the pastors at Calvary Chapel would ever come right out and say they don’t love the truth, but this is actually the message that they bring. Larry Taylor, an assisting pastor to Chuck Smith and an administrator of Calvary Chapel Bible College, wrote a booklet in 1994 entitled, Things I Learned From My Pastor: Biblical Principles of Ministry as Taught by Pastor Chuck Smith. This booklet is sold in the bookstore at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. In the introduction, Taylor states:

    “The principles of ministry which follow are not at all original with me. In fact, 100% of what follows I was taught by my pastor, Chuck Smith … Pastor Chuck has been my pastor for over twenty years. Many years ago, he took me, along with many other misplaced young men, under his wing, and taught us by example how to be shepherds of God’s people. All that I’ve done is pull together what he taught us in one outline.”

  195. Yep still chuckling. Look dude…I’m kinda busy today…we’re going out to recruit local college kids to brainwash…if I get four or more I get a set of steak knives. If we’re going to do this back and forth, I bait you then reel you in like a fish thing can we reschedule? Thanks

  196. Jerry, so you think the documented abuses of your Calvary Chapel cult are funny????

    Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

  197. Well…I find you and just about everything you say quite amusing. Except for the fire and sulpher thing…that one made me laugh out loud! There’s an old saying “Who’s the bigger fool? The fool himself or the one who debates him.” Have a good weekend. I’ll talk with you in a week or two… you know how it is, lots of cult stuff to do and too little time.

  198. Matthew 5:22 “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘YOU FOOL’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (NIV)

    Uh oh, poor Jerry!

  199. You seem to be taking great pleasure in my damnation…that speaks volumes about you. Take Care.

  200. Jerry, and you should know by now that I do not even believe in Hell or damnation! I am quoting you those verses because YOU believe in Hell and damnation.

  201. What????

    Just out of curiosity, why would you talk about me being a fool when Jesus warned what He did in Matthew 5:22? Do you not believe what Jesus said, or do you think He meant something else? Or were you just being disobedient?

  202. NBTT
    When people make prophecies that come from the Lord, they cannot be in error. Smith was in error. He is a false prophet.

  203. A story: A young lady musters all the bravery in her heart and approaches her pastor with tears in her eyes and says, “Pastor…..I need to talk to you”. The pastor replies by saying….I can talk to you, but not alone…I never meet with women alone…….. Desperate for help, the young lady says okay. The pastor suggest Mcdonalds for a place to meet. The young lady had issues of past drug addiction that GOD had recently delivered her from and needed her pastor to know so he could pray for her, but she didn’t want anyone else to know about this issue. Her greatest fear was for one of her fellow parishioners to hear of her addiction and labeling her and looking down on her…… So she met her pastor at Mcdonalds as he suggested and there in a crowded dining room….she began to pour her heart out….not knowing how she would be judged…. This was such an emotional thing for her, that she weeped as she told him of her 12 year addiction to meth. A young man who was sitting across the room approached the young lady and her pastor and said that he didn’t know what was going on…but that GOD was able to fix it. This is not proper or effective pastoring. The young lady told me that her pastor has never attempted to follow up with her since this meeting. If men are men are being taught to minister like this….we are in trouble. If a preacher can’t trust himself enough to be alone with a female….he shouldn’t become a pastor.

  204. One of the guidelines for pastoring is to not be in a room alone with a person of the opposite sex, or with young children of either gender. Not because of fear of what the pastor might do, but to protect against misimpressions, misunderstandings, or false accusation. I recommend glass doors on the pastor’s study and another staff member outside.

  205. Arce/Angela

    I also believe that there needs to be female leaders who can counsel these women. It stymies me why male pastors cannot see the good sense in having women available for this purpose. As a woman, I would far rather talk to another woman when it comes to a situation like Angela described.

  206. When a pastor says, “I can talk to you, but not alone…I never meet with women alone”…… That statement in itself can add to feelings of unworthiness and dirtiness ….a woman who has been sexually abused for example may feel dirty and ruined. When a pastor makes a insensitive comment like “I can’t talk to you alone”… is that suppose to make her feel??? Guidelines for pastoring should also include how to not be insensitive, and how to not be chauvinistic. If your only going to shepherd men…then why not put a men only sign on the front door. Another idea would be surveillance camera’s…I’d rather go into a conference room or study with a surveillance camera with a pastor. Let’s face it men and young boys need protection too this day and age. A little tact would help. If your heart isn’t right you shouldn’t pastor until it is. Don’t punish those who cry out to you.

  207. Often, even in the counseling profession, under certain conditions and under secular guidelines, male counselors do not meet with women alone either, or they leave the door cracked open. The laws are slanted against the males. Even secular humanism recognizes this. All a female has to do, is, accuse the man of something and he is presumed guilty. It is not out of prejudice against women. Point the finger in the right direction, against the law makers and politicians. Blame them…

  208. Angela,

    I don’t know the situation or the pastor, but in our day and age it is quite risky for a pastor to meet alone with a woman. As Bruce said, once accused in that situation, there is almost no way for a pastor to exonerate himself. Likewise, and as unfortunately happens far more often that we would like, a vulnerable woman can also be at risk from a less than upright man in the role of pastor.

    It is also just a fact of life that most of us are attracted to the opposite sex. And the Biblical admonitions to flee sin are there for a reason – once we begin finding ourselves attracted to another (which can easily happen in the kind of close emotional trust and vulnerability required for counseling to work), it is not easy to turn it off.

    So as untactful as this fellow was in terms of dealing with this specific issue, it is perhaps not as simple as just demanding the pastor take infinite risk and/or be incapable of being attracted to any women other than his wife. He is after all human and subject to the same weaknesses as the rest of us.

    The best solution from my perspective seems to me to be to have qualified female staff that can handle these kinds of issues. The other is to have some kind of monitoring system, but any kind of recording or monitoring extends the network of trust to those that handle the tapes, or that sit quietly outside the door to reduce the chance either side will act inappropriately.


  209. I agree with Zeta – having a qualified female staffer present is a good idea. But are there any women in such positions?

  210. Angela
    Your pastor was insensitive but he made sure to protect himself in his insensitivity. Did you know that many female GYN docs now have another female in the room with them to protect themselves against accusations of same sex sexual harassment? There are some ways to deal with this in a counseling situation. Firstly, women have been frozen out of any important pastoral role because we can’t have women acting like they are competent to counsel, can we? Someone might think they are angling for a “leadership” designation and that would be unacceptable, wouldn’t it???

    Some churches do have women pastors who help in this area. Others have designated women to help with women’s issues, making a very big deal that they are not pastors so no one will be misled in their search for counseling. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

    Other pastors, who cannot abide a woman counseling, have adapted rooms so that a secretary , etc can see the room but not hear the conversation.

    Also, Angela, for your own safety, there are predatory pastors out there who have used counseling sessions in appropriates ways. Please go to the site Stop Baptists Predators for some very scary stories.

  211. To our readers

    Rarely, we make a decision not to publish a comment. Experience has been a brutal teacher. At times, we become concerned about a particular commenter whom we perceive is arguing for the very sake of arguing, changing positions at will. If we find that such a commenter is deliberately using anonymous proxy servers, we may decide not to publish such a comment. This comment does not affect 99+% of our commenters.

  212. hmm – I just had a thought. One way technology could help is the following: You could (if you wanted) set up a video/audio recording system, but have the data gathered encrypted with a key known only to the counseled. The key would be chosen by the counseled and entered in private before the session began. Although I suppose it would be possible for the counseled to attack the counselor in some fashion, I would think that in terms of protecting the pastor from false accusations (she accuses but won’t turn over the key to offer substantiating evidence?), and protecting the counseled from a predatory pastor(doubtful she would not release the key – she really was attacked in some way), this would be sufficient.

    Theoretically sufficiently strong encryption is publicly available so as to make hacking the thing outside the realm of possibility for the average, or even above average, church or church staff.

    Anybody want to start a ‘counseling safety’ software and hardware business 😉


  213. I think… harassment is all too common (I’ve had my own experiences with it re. a couple of MDs that I never saw again), and that most women out there could tell tales similar to mine.

    That said, I can’t imagine *not* being able to speak in private with a male therapist (etc.), provided certain safeguards were in place.

    Though I generally believe in erring on the side of caution, I am also worried about being caught by – or should it be “in”? – extreme measures.

  214. Agreed on the need for women in pastoral counseling and other pastoral positions – as in, people who actually *are* trained, not just pulled in because they’re the church secretary.

  215. I know an associate pastor who will not accept friend request from female parishioners … He gives them no explanation…he simply will not accept.