“A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.” Winston Churchill
Courtesy of NASA
Well, well, well, we just found out that someone believes that your glam blog queens seem “angry". We have a hunch that this “observation” was made by someone whose sacred cow (human or theology) was the subject of one of our illuminating posts. Immediately, I thought, “Did they include the word, “bitter?” You see, this is a common tactic for people who wish to blow off another point of view.
Somehow, if said accuser who is uncomfortable, can “prove” that his tormentor is angry — especially angry plus bitter — then, ipso facto, this makes them the problem, not the sacred cow. You should see how many times people email us, accusing us of being bitter. It is becoming laughable! We believe this tactic must be taught in today’s seminaries and in-club conferences.
Unfortunately, many people who have tried to communicate their concerns to some of today’s hyper-authoritarian pastors have found themselves on the receiving end of the left boot of fellowship. They are told by their “divinely” appointed rulers that they are angry, bitter and some are even deemed unregenerate. Some “pastors”, as reported at the SGM Survivors site, tell those who have the temerity to ask questions that they are so blinded by their sin that they are unable to perceive things adequately. Talk about a racket! Said pastor is somehow exempt from this sin blindness.
So, is it a bad thing to be angry? Well, it would seem that none other than the Savior Himself expressed anger. Jesus called the Pharisees “snakes.” He also turned over the moneychangers tables in the temple, obviously upset that moneychangers were ripping off the faithful under the guise of faith (Ed Young Jr – are you listening?).
I wonder if TWW’s critic would have condescended to calling Jesus irritable or bitter? Darn that Jesus — He made everything so complicated…
The longer I thought about this comment, the angrier I became. You see, this person violated TWW’s prime directive. A few years back, we, sadly, had occasion to talk at length with some of the leaders of the internationally regarded SNAP (Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests). We discussed some teens that had been horribly molested by a seminary student. Barbara Dorris, one of the directors, told me something that I will never ever forget. She said, “No matter what happens, never forget that you are doing this for the boys. Always think of them.”
Frankly, this is the best piece of advice I have ever received. It has morphed into much, much more. We never ever forget the little guy who has been hurt by authority-drunk pastors. These folks have been given the left boot of fellowship and treated like they are human detritus-acceptable losses on the way to mega-church stardom.
These folks have made their way to this blog, sharing their heart-wrenching stories. There are nights that I find it hard to fall asleep as I think of them. I pray an awful lot.
Yet, our critics seem far more concerned about the darlings of the mega-pulpit du jour, ranting if we happen to question their teachings or ministry. You see, such pastors, let’s take Mark Driscoll as an example, have lots of money, lots of friends and supporters, and protection from their elders and security guards. They often flit around on private jets, donated by admiring, rich members. They are unapproachable. So the little guy, who is hurt by Driscoll’s bizarre rantings, is blown off as a nobody. Driscoll, hiding behind the skirts of his boys, then makes fun of these no accounts, saying they deserve a punch in the nose.
TWW, on the other hand, cares about these hurt nobodies because we are nobodies as well. Both of us had a brush with painful encounters at a church. We know what it feels like to be belittled by pastors. We know what it feels like to have lies spread about us by church leaders. (Oh, they were lies alright. One elder actually had the guts to confess it).
But God was merely preparing us for something bigger, and He wanted us to feel it first. Both of us are stubborn (Deb prefers the term "tenacious"), and we decided to do something about it. We started a blog to expose both pastors and theologies that we believe are hurting many in the church. We especially focus on those who have little to no voice in today’s idol-driven churches and groups.
And darn it all, this little blog continues to find its voice slowly spreading. It is the people who have found their way here that have blessed our lives with their stories and kindness in spite of their pain. Guess what? We would rather spend time talking to these folks then any of the “important boys” in the post-evangelical limelight. This is a diverse community of conservative evangelicals, liberals, moderates, agnostics, atheists, and undetermineds, who have demonstrated more love, compassion, and openness than many in today’s churches. These folks are the ones who are keeping it real, and they are the ones whom we care about.
So, in their honor, we have developed the prime directive.
The TWW Prime Directive
Any valid criticism of a post should begin with an expression of concern for, or at least an acknowledgement of, those folks who have been hurt by a particular ministry, pastor, or theology. If such a statement is not forthcoming, we believe that the critic has a heart that is "two sizes too small." (I am slowly recuperating from Christmas). And that gets us ticked off.
Here is an example. TWW had the opportunity to dialog with a well-known mega pastor. In our correspondence early last year, we expressed concern on two fronts. This pastor had expressed that he was friendly with C.J. Mahaney, and we knew that he recommends a book by Gary Ezzo. So, the two of us decided to go to bat for the hundreds (if not more) of adults and children who have reported that they were hurt by the ministry of these individuals. We pleaded with him to talk with Mahaney and to consider removing the Ezzo book from his list of recommendations. Please note that our concern was for the “little guy.”
We did receive a response, but it was a major yawner. We were accused of “character assassination.” We applied our prime directive to this response. Not ONCE did he express concern for those who have been hurt. Those people were the basis for our expressed concern. His concern was focused on two people only: his friend, Mahaney, and Gary Ezzo. What more was there for us to discuss? We knew were this pastor stood.
About five months after this correspondence, C.J. Mahaney suddenly stepped down due to embarrassing revelations. And, as our astute readers know, Gary Ezzo was thrown out of his church, and his restrictive infant feeding methods have been seriously questioned by many medical professionals. In light of recent developments regarding Mahaney, has said pastor ever questioned his abrasive response to us? Not likely because he has since excoriated us from the pulpit.
This pastor violated our prime directive; therefore, we must ask the question — where is his compassion for those who have been wounded by these ministries? I wonder if he has ever once prayed for them.
We have one thing to say to the person who said we appear angry. You betcha we are angry.
Here is a partial list of things that make us angry.
- The women whose pastor told her to return to her abusive husband
- The many children abused by pedophiles in the SBC and other churches
- The pastors who covered up pedophilia on the part of other pastors and church workers
- Paige Patterson and others who refused to listen to the many young women who said Darrell Gilyard (the next Billy Graham) molested them (Oh, Gilyard got out of jail yesterday)
- The churches that turned their backs on the victims of pedophilia
- The churches that tell mentally ill members not to seek outside counseling
- Tim Challies who will not let women read Scripture in the pulpit
- Mark Driscoll whose bizarre, and sometimes disgusting, utterances are offensive to many
- Acts 29 which has some strange beliefs about masculine love
- The churches that abuse their members by telling them that they are idiots, depraved, or unregenerate
- The SBC IMB which recalled missionary women who were “in charge” of men
- Sheri Klouda
- Pastors who are told to apologize to hurting teens and do not do so — this one is personal…
- Ed Young Jr.’s penchant for money
- The hundreds of disturbing stories of pain found on the SGM Survivors and Refuge sites
- Al Mohler and his ilk defending C.J. Mahaney and never once commenting on those in pain
- Ken Ham and his heresy brigade
- Quivering Daughters
- Calvinistas who believe that only they are serious about the Bible
- Andy Davis calling decent people “unregenerate” and wicked, all over the issue of female deacons
- Those seminarians (who are now pastors — may God have mercy) who turned their backs on Jill Briscoe and Anne Graham Lotz when they were asked to speak in chapel
- Those legalistic churches which have caused some to lose faith in the faith
This list is truncated because I must get dinner. We encourage our readers to add to the list. What makes you angry? We look forward to the dialog.
We leave this post with a question for our critic. Sure we are angry, but here's the pressing question: why the heck aren’t YOU?
Lydia's Corner: Job 37:1-39:30 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10 Psalm 44:9-26 Proverbs 22:13