SGM Types: Julia Duin to Address Spiritual Abuse at Gaithersburg Book Fair 5/19


Days of Fire and Glory


(Regular post to follow)

"Current and former SGM members may wonder if they are the only ones in Reform/charismatic circles to undergo the trials they've been experiencing in recent years. Not at all: Those of you living in the Washington, DC area have a chance to hear Julia Duin, the former religion editor of the Washington Times, now writing for the Washington Post Sunday magazine, talk about her book about what went on with Episcopal and Catholic charismatics, whose problems with community life and control make what happened with SGM seem…well, maybe not like child's play, but a continuation of the same narrative. Her book "Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community" talks about how a famous Texas church underwent very similar experiences and the lessons learned from the debacle

She will be talking about her book Saturday May 19 at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, specifically from 11:40 a.m-12:20 pm in the Rachel Carson tent.

Her web site has more information about the book.

Or you can buy it from

For information on how to get to the festival, where to park, etc., please see here:

Days of Fire and Glory 
By Julia Duin, Crossland Press, hardcover, 346 pages, $24.95.

From Charisma Magazine:

Few books are deserving of the label “masterpiece,” but this one qualifies. Twenty years in the making, Days of Fire and Glory is worth the wait. Religion writer Julia Duin has crafted an eminently readable account of Houston’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and other leading charismatic congregations that propelled the wave of the 1960s and 1970s. However, be prepared to ride a roller coaster of emotions—reading this book is like waiting for a train wreck you know will happen. First come thrills with the way the book validates the reality of the spiritual explosion that planted communities worldwide, led to miraculous healings and swept millions into God’s kingdom. Yet sadness follows as Duin reveals the horrendous sin and abuses that occurred among key leaders and many of their followers. She writes from an insider’s perspective, as a key participant in several charismatic communities. One can easily envision this book becoming required reading at c


SGM Types: Julia Duin to Address Spiritual Abuse at Gaithersburg Book Fair 5/19 — 19 Comments

  1. Sounds interesting although sadly familiar. I don’t know if anyone in your neck of the woods has heard of The Nine O’Clock Service. It was a very charismatic church in the north of England which was hailed by some but whose leader later confessed to sexual sins, although I don’t think they were on the horrendous scale of some others (which isn’t to excuse them). There is an article on it here:'Clock_Service

    I say this not out of any joy, but rather sadness that this is an ever present danger. At least in this case the church authorities acted correctly and didn’t try to cover the matter up.

  2. I tend to be one of those dense people who keeps on forgetting that this is a real battle, not just a good way to live. Stories like this – powerful manifestations of good, with evil following in right on its heels – remind me that it’s past time for me to trade my pyjamas for a set of armour.

  3. Julia Duin,

    I pray you will be a great encouragement to those who come to hear you at the book fair and also to those who read your book.


  4. And I just checked — for those of us outside the US it’s available from Amazon, and also on Kindle ($7.69) — my choice because then I don’t have to pay enormous amounts of postage

  5. “Ize Gotz Da Spiritual Matchbox Blues?”

    HowDee YaAll,

    hum, hum,hum…

    …♪♫♪ Well I’m sitting here wondering, will dis here matchbox -willz it hold ma clothes,
    Yeah I’m sitting here wondering, will dis here matchbox -willz it hold all ma clothes,
    I ain’t gotz no matches, but I sure gotz a long way ta go!

    …♪♫♪ I’m a poor soul, and a long way from a church home,
    I’m a poor, poor soul, and a long way from a church home,
    Guess I’ll never be happy, eveything I seez deze here churched a’ doin’, well … somethinz juz a’ plain n’ pain wrong, theyz keeps a tell’in me everythin’ I do is wrong…

    go figure…

    …♪♫♪TWW sayz: “Let us be your little dog, ’till da Big Dog comes”, 
    TWW a’ sayin’: “Let us be your little dog,’till da Big Dog comes”,
    When da Big Dog gets here, we’ll tell Him what deze little proverbial pulpit puppies have done!

    da dat deh da, duta…do, do, do

    Lord! Hear us when we’se a’ cry!


    Comic relief: Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins – “Matchbox”
    Lyrics Carl Perkins – “Matchbox” (adapted for parody, disclaimer: U.S. Title 17 infringement unintended.) 

  6. HowDee YaAll,

    Bunny path church ‘roast’ joke of the day:  “Oh, my god! there’s a talking muffin!?!”


    As you know, several fairly recent studies are reveal’in dat churches across America are hemorrhaging. (no duh, huh?)



    They are losing members at a life-threatening rate?


    Intrigued and disturbed by what appears to be an epidemic?



    Julia Duin, the former religion editor of the Washington Times, who now writes for the Washington Post Sunday magazine, while amassing research on this issue, a while back, interviewed many kind folk who have left church. She then attended numerous churches in hopes of making sense of this phenomenon.

    Her book: “Quitting Church” reveals the startling findings of her research.  It explains to church leaders why this mass exodus is happening–and what can be done to reverse it. Beginning with the cold, hard facts, Julia then takes readers through a number of issues that influence a person’s decision to leave the church, including irrelevancy, hidden suffering, family-centric programming that leaves singles out, impersonal or bland worship services, a lack of biblical literacy, and much more.

    Yes, dear TWW readers, there’s a train a’ coming.

    (or is dat… plane? hmmm…) -snicker-

    …don’t think theyz addin’ mo ‘English’ or ‘Spin’ is gonna do it dis time…but theyz can try…try, try, try, try, try…again, huh?



    What a ride, huh?

  7. Pingback: SGM Types: Julia Duin to Address Spiritual Abuse at Gaithersburg … – Charismatic Feeds

  8. She just need to start talking to ex-sgmers. She’ll get more than enough info for another book.

  9. Aidan
    That was an absolutely incredible analysis. I am going to try to get in touch with him to see if we can do a reprint.

  10. From the article Aidan linked: “A healthy kingdom culture of mutual honor .. is not to be found, and in its place is a docile, groveling, emasculated servility and the insecure controllers call it “sonship,” loyalty, submission to authority, and honor.”

    The word “emasculated” is interesting, given the emphasis in exactly this sort of church culture on a “masculine” Christianity. If these churches would practice the priesthood of all believers, they wouldn’t have to over-compensate with extrabiblical gender-meddling.

  11. Here are four points I found applicable, and remedially helpful, in reference to addressing certain types of spiritual abuse: 

    1.  “There must be communion and community among the people of God: not a false community that is set up as though human community were an end in itself; but in the local church, in a mission, in a school, wherever it might be, true fellowship must be evident as the outcome of original, individual salvation.  This is the real Church of the Lord Jesus Christ — not merely organization, but a group of people, individually the people of God, drawn together by the Holy Spirit for a particular task either in a local situation or over a wider area.  The Church of the Lord Jesus should be a group of those who are redeemed and bound together on the basis of true doctrine.  But subsequently they should show together a substantial “sociological healing” of the breaches between men which have come about because of the results of man’s sin.”

    2. “Corporate living in the early Church was very strong at this point.  It was not perfect, but it was strong.  The testimony has come down to us that one of the things that shook the Roman Empire was that as they looked at these Christians — a cross section of the wide sociological spectrum in the Roman Empire from slaves to their masters, and including some of Caesar’s household — non-Christians were forced to say, “behold, how they love each other.” And this was not in a vacuum, but loving each other in the circle of truth.”  

    3. “We must look to the Son of God, moment by moment, for these things; such things cannot be done in our own strength.  We must allow Him to bear His fruit through us.  We can proclaim “orthodoxy” in the flesh, and we can compromise in the flesh.  But our calling is a different calling: it is to exhibit God and His character, by His grace, in this generation.  We need to show Him forth as personal, as holy and as love.  It is possible in the flesh to be both orthodox and dead — or loving and compromising.  What is not possible in the flesh is simultaneously to exhibit both the justice of God and the love of God — this can only be done through the work of the Holy Spirit.  And yet anything less is not a picture of God, but only a caricature of the God who exists.”

    4. “….It is hard to understand how an orthodox, evangelical, Bible-believing Christian can fall to be excited. The answers in the realm of the intellect should make us overwhelmingly excited. But more than this, we are returned to a personal relationship with the God who is there.  If we are unexcited Christians, we should go back and see what is wrong.  We are surrounded by a generation that can find “no one home” in the universe.  If anything marks our generation, it is this.  In contrast to this, as a Christian I know who I am; and I know the personal God who is there I speak, and He hears.  I am not surrounded by mere mass, nor only energy particles, but He is there.  And if I have accepted Christ as my Savior, then though it will not be perfect in this life, yet moment by moment, on the basis of the finished work of Christ, this person to person relationship with the God who is there can have reality to me.”

    -Francis A. Schaeffer; Complete Works, A Christian World View;”The God Who Is There” SEC. 6. Ch. 1: Personal and Corporate Living Into the Twentieth-Century Climate.  “Demonstrating the Character of God”

  12. Julia Duin knows whereof she speaks – haven’t read the book yet, due to the fact that it’s not in paperback and/or an e-book version over here as yet.

    but… I was a member of two different “charismatic communities” back in the 70s-early 80s that took places like the one Duin was in as models.

    As you can imagine, they both imploded – sex scandals, severe financial impropriety and all-round treating the members like peasants. (And more – discipleship movement-style dictation of things like how often one could have sex per month, and when, and the Lord only knows what all else, as I didn’t want to hear any more after I was told that!)

  13. That there is light at the end of a long dark tunnel ? 

    Julia Duin’s “Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community” is another story of god, sex, power, and religious experimentation in the life of one pastor, leading to the injury of many. It all sounds too chillingly familiar.

    Certainly the Lord can never bless sin. Without a deep repentance, the awful dangers of ‘successful’ Christian leadership is brought out in this book. However, this noteworthy fall takes nothing away from the truth of the Lord’s amazing work : “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.’ ” -Acts 2:38-39 (NASB95)

    Julia Duin quoted a portion of the words of hope found below, in chapter 27 of her book. I have add a bit more for completeness. In light of the content of her book and the tale unfolded there, these words ring true:

    “Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this candle in your honor. It is truly right and good, always and everywhere, with our whole heart and mind and voice, to praise you, the invisible, almighty, and eternal God, and your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; for he is the true Paschal Lamb, who at the feast of the Passover paid for us the debt of Adam’s sin, and by his blood delivered your faithful people.”

    “This is the night, when you brought our fathers, the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea on dry land.”

    “This is the night when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the gloom of sin, and are restored to grace and holiness of life.”

    “This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.”

    “How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you gave a Son! 

    How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred, and brings peace and concord.

    “How blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and men and women are reconciled to God. ”

    “Holy Father, accept our evening sacrifice, the offering of this candle in your honor. May it shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find it ever burning—he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” -Liturgy of the light

    Great words, all!