Phillip Gunn, SBTS, Al Mohler: Legal Right=Moral Right?

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion — against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God." Johnny Cash


Al Mohler and Phillip Gunn

In 2007, Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said critics of the convention’s policy on sexual abuse by clergy are not really advocating on behalf of children but rather are opportunists motivated by personal gain. Link.
Frank Page should be ashamed of himself. Tom Rich, TWW, Wade Burleson and others who have advocated for this initiative gain nothing personally from our crusade. We advocate for a database because we care about the victims. It is about the victims, pure and simple. One may disagree with our solution but one cannot denigrate our motives. In fact, there is much within the SBC that indicate that Page should have pointed the finger towards himself and others. 

Al Mohler’s stated view on the church and child sex abuse.Link

“The moral and legal responsibility of every Christian — and especially every Christian leader and minister — must be to report any suspicion of the abuse of a child to law enforcement authorities. Christians are sometimes reluctant to do this, but this reluctance is both deadly and wrong.

Sometimes Christians are reluctant to report suspected sexual abuse because they do not feel that they know enough about the situation. They are afraid of making a false accusation. This is the wrong instinct. We do not have the ability to conduct the kind of investigation that is needed, nor is this assigned to the church. This is the function of government as instituted by God (Romans 13). Waiting for further information allows a predator to continue and puts children at risk. This is itself an immoral act that needs to be seen for what it is.

A Christian hearing a report of sexual abuse within a church, Christian organization, or Christian school, needs to act in exactly the same manner called for if the abuse is reported in any other context. The church and Christian organizations must not become safe places for abusers. These must be safe places for children, and for all. Any report of sexual abuse must lead immediately to action. That action cannot fall short of contacting law enforcement authorities. A clear lesson of the Penn State scandal is this: Internal reporting is simply not enough.

After law enforcement authorities have been notified, the church must conduct its own work of pastoral ministry, care, and church discipline. This is the church’s responsibility and charge. But these essential Christian ministries and responsibilities are not substitutes for the proper function of law enforcement authorities and the legal system. As Christians, we respect those authorities because we are commanded to do so.”

However, I contend that Al Mohler has flexible views on church responsibility when it comes to friends in high places.

The Amy Smith post link

On 10/25/12, TWW wrote a sad story about Amy Smith who heroically stood up to Prestonwood Baptist Church regarding their alleged complicity in covering up a pedophile scandal in their church.The reported pedophile left Prestonwood and went on to allegedly abuse more children in Mississippi. This brave woman has been “disowned” by her parents and Jack Graham and the staff at Prestonwood Baptist refuse to discuss the matter.

End of story? Nope, just the beginning of the same old, same old SBC church response to pedophiles in their midst. Let’s travel east on I-40 to the church that Jeff Langworthy went to after slip sliding out of Dallas with a wink and a nod from Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Phillip Gunn-SBTS trustee, Mississippi speaker the house says "Shhhhhhh."

On 12/11, our good friend, Tom Rich, FBC Jax Watchdog wrote  Seminary Trustee, Lawyer, Tells Church Leaders to Not Speak to Police About Meetings They Had With Molester link.

As further evidence of the institutional problems within the Southern Baptist Convention when it comes to reporting child abusers, we look at the latest article by Bob Allen at the Associated Baptist Press in the John Langworthy case.

Attorney Philip Gunn, who is also a trustee of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and a Republican state legislator, is advising the elders of Morris Heights Baptist Church to NOT discuss with police investigators details of their internal investigation into accused child molester John Langworthy (Langworthy served there as minister of music-ed note)

Yes, you heard right. Gunn is claiming some sort of "priest-penitent" privilege that binds the church leaders to secrecy regarding THEIR discussions with Langworthy.

The church leaders/elders aren't priests. The men aren't pastors. The men are lay people who are "elders". And they may have important information that could help prosecute a child molester but they won't talk to the investigators.

How much more of this nonsense are Baptists going to have to endure? So now the church elders are "men of God" and apparently are above having to answer questions from the police and prosecutors about a molester going on trial next spring?  Isn't this the entire problem – men in a church who think they are the ones to investigate molesters and who don't willingly hand over information to the police?

Bob Allen quotes Amy Smith of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), who sums it up quite well:
“It is very troubling that Philip Gunn as the legal representative for Morrison Heights Baptist Church is trying to keep information from Hinds County prosecutors about a recently arrested and indicted child molester on whose behalf Gunn attempted to ‘discuss a resolution’ with me last May."

“It certainly seems that Mr. Gunn has some explaining to do about why he, as an elder and attorney, participated in an internal church investigation into child sex crimes without going to the police. It raises the question of what he and the church leadership are trying to hide that could help effectively prosecute a confessed child molester.”

Al Mohler comments on Gunn link.

Philip Gunn, second vice chairman of the seminary's board of trustees, was elected speaker in early January of this year, making him the first Republican to sit as speaker of the house in Mississippi since Reconstruction.

"This is a tribute to the leadership of Speaker Gunn, and his election brings honor to the people of Mississippi and to the board of trustees of Southern Seminary," seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. wrote in a letter to the trustee board.

Russell Moore also weighs in.

Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary, said he's proud of Gunn as a fellow Mississippian.

"He's a humble, decisive servant-leader who knows his roots and his vision," Moore said. "I love working with him at Southern Seminary and pray for him as he leads the greatest of the 50 great states."

What does his pastor at Morrison Heights Baptist church say about him?

Yes, that’s right. Gunn is a member, and leader, in the church which he thinks he is protecting.

"The Mississippi House of Representatives has elected a true Christian statesman to its highest position," Morrison Heights senior pastor Greg Belser said. "I know of no finer man in politics anywhere. Philip Gunn is a man of unquestioned character and a deep love for Christ and the church while balancing the enormous demands of family and community service. He is the real deal.

The news media raises questions about Gunn’s defense of the church while supporting new child abuse statutes link.

“An expert is questioning a state lawmaker's legal reasoning for shielding church leaders from discussing what they know about an alleged child sex abuse case. According to Mississippi College School of Law professor matt Steffey, state law doesn't exempt ministers from reporting a crime."The law's primary concern is not to protect ministers in the performance of their duties but to protect children."

Steffey says the privilege rule Gunn cites only applies during trial, and not when prosecutors are investigating a crime. “There is a difference between saying you don't have to testify in court at the end of the day years down the road if somebody is put on trial and it's another thing to say you don't have to alert authorities that a child may be victimized or in danger," he says.

“Gunn says he supports a bill that requires someone to report suspected child abuse to authorities. But as attorney for Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Gunn denied Hinds County prosecutors' request to question church leaders about what the suspect may have told them about his alleged crimes.”

Further insights by WJTV into Gunn’s views on the church situation link

 Gunn says he supports a law requiring the reporting allegations of child abuse. He claims Democrats have bilked the legislation for years.But it's ironic that Gunn is pushing for such a bill to be passed.

 According to Hinds County prosecutors, Gunn would not allow spiritual leaders at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton to discuss with the District Attorney's office what former music minister John Langworthy told them about his alleged child sex abuse.

We (WJTV) asked Gunn: "Should you have done that?" 

(Gunn) "What I'm telling you is that the elders are bound by privilege under the law there's a legal privilege that attaches. Are there no exceptions to that. No there are no exceptions to that, " Gunn said in an interview Tuesday. Gunn cited Mississippi rules of evidence #505 about priest-penitent privilege.
    
(WJTV)   Don't you have a higher calling to God than to just hide behind the blanket letter of the law?

(Gunn)"The letter of the law prevents us from divulging what Mr. Langworthy may have told us. That's the law. I didn't make the law that's just the way it is."

Gunn tells us church elders didn't do anything wrong, they didn't withhold any information from prosecutors because that information was already in the public domain. The victims had already come forward and told their stories." (Ed. note: This is the old "Trust me, I'm an elder line.)

“Still, Hinds County prosecutors want to know what Langworthy allegedly told the ministers at the church and say they are prepared to get a subpoena if that’s what it takes to get them to talk.”

Amy Smith allegedly gets an odd email from Gunn link.

“Amy Smith, a victims’ advocate, worked for a year behind to scenes to make public that Langworthy was accused of sexual abuse of young males in 1989 while serving on the staff of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. She says leaders at the Texas church including future Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham took the allegations seriously enough to fire Langworthy but did not report him to the police.

Smith, who worked at Prestonwood as an intern at the time and now is Houston representative for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said one thing that bothers her most about Morrison Heights Baptist Church’s handling of Langworthy was an e-mail she received from Gunn offering to “discuss a resolution” to the case.

“It is very troubling that Philip Gunn as the legal representative for Morrison Heights Baptist Church is trying to keep information from Hinds County prosecutors about a recently arrested and indicted child molester on whose behalf Gunn attempted to ‘discuss a resolution’ with me last May,” Smith said Nov. 30.

“It certainly seems that Mr. Gunn has some explaining to do about why he, as an elder and attorney, participated in an internal church investigation into child sex crimes without going to the police,” she said. “It raises the question of what he and the church leadership are trying to hide that could help effectively prosecute a confessed child molester.”

More information on Phillip Gunn’s contacts with Smith and another link.

According to an email, Gunn tried to take steps to keep abuse allegations against Langworthy silent.  In May of this year, Gunn wrote in an email to abuse victims advocate Amy Smith that he wanted “to discuss a resolution” to the case.
(WJTV) What did you take that to mean?

“Seems to me like he was asking to offer me something to go away to be quiet and that was not acceptable to me, that's not protecting children and I simply said no," Smith told us in a Tuesday by phone from Dallas.

But Gunn didn't give up just because Smith refused his offer to discuss resolving the case. He also contacted Sherry LeFils, She’s a former Dallas, TX probation officer who says she spent 10 years working with thousands of sex offenders.

LeFils tells us (WJTV) she had three phone conversations with Gunn regarding Langworthy's case. She says one phone call caught her as quite odd.

"My take was what we can do to make this right, to make this go away," LeFils said.

Both women believe church leaders’ refusal to speak with prosecutors forces victims at Morrison Heights to remain silent.

Gunn allegedly refused to comment on these contacts.

Stop Baptist predator’s, Christa Brown, weighs in link.

“In front of his Morrison Heights congregation, Langworthy made a public confession about what he so euphemistically called “sexual indiscretions” with younger males. The church claims it conducted an internal investigation. Understandably, prosecutors want to know more about what Langworthy may have said to church officials.

So . . . let me be doubly-clear about this. According to reported news accounts on this, the person who is trying to keep this information secret is not the arrested minister. It’s the church itself and the church officials.

Rather than doing everything possible to cooperate with prosecutors and work for the protection of kids, Morrison Heights church officials are apparently trying to protect themselves.“

Stop Baptist Predators Addresses Al Mohler link.

You got a lot of press for all your talk about the Penn State sex abuse scandal. It was good talk. But was it just talk?

When I look at your actual deeds lately, I wind up thinking that talk is all it was. That grieves me, because it will take a lot more than talk to protect kids against clergy predators. Words aren't enough.

You’re right, of course, that churches and Christian organizations should “contact law enforcement” with any information about child sex abuse. But that’s true for everyone, and it’s been true for a long time. So the mere fact that you say it doesn’t make it some bold new initiative of Southern Baptist leadership. To the contrary, so long as there are no institutional consequences for Southern Baptist leaders who don’t contact law enforcement, your talk is toothless, and nothing in Baptist life has changed.

There you are, telling seminary employees that they should contact law enforcement with any information about child sex abuse. But what about seminary trustees, Al?

So why aren’t you calling for the resignation of seminary trustee Philip Gunn? As a church elder and an attorney, Gunn has urged that church officials should not cooperate with the police, but should instead keep secret the information they have about child sex abuse allegations against a trusted minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Mississippi.

SNAP spokesperson Amy Smith summed up the scenario quite succinctly: “Mr. Gunn has some explaining to do about why he, as an elder and attorney, participated in an internal church investigation into child sex crimes without going to the police.”

But Al, here’s the thing. You should be the person insisting on accountability for Mr. Gunn. If you remain silent when your own Southern Baptist seminary trustee does exactly what you say shouldn’t be done, then all you’re doing is preaching platitudes and talking easy generalities.

Furthermore, I really gotta wonder why in the world you chose to invite Morrison Heights' senior pastor Greg Belser to speak at seminary chapel in the midst of such an egregious child sex abuse cover-up scandal? Why did you lend the seminary’s institutional credibility to Greg Belser at the very time when Belser was refusing to cooperate with prosecutors in the pursuit of child sex charges against one of Morrison Heights' former ministers?

Morrison Heights did what you’re critiquing in others. It failed to prioritize the protection of kids, and instead looked out for the institution first and foremost. Yet, rather than calling this Southern Baptist church to task for such keep-it-quiet conduct, you effectively held it up as an example.

John Langworthy’s Trial

Langworthy has been indicted and is scheduled to go to trial this November 26th

Do Christians use the letter of the law or the heart of the faith?

I have no doubt that Gunn and the Morrison Height’s Baptist Church have every right, under US law, to fight for priest/penitent privilege. I also have the right, under US law, to go drinking, get plastered and attend a male strip show at the Golden Banana, while marrying and divorcing a series of husbands so long as I do not drink and drive. Does having the right make it right?

There is a plague infecting today’s churches and that is the horror of pedophilia. If the church does not take it seriously, we will continue to be viewed as the hypocrites that we are. We cannot have it both ways. Al Mohler claims to be concerned about the children. But, he builds up those who appear to be doing their darndest to “protect” individual churches that are loyal to SBTS. Perhaps the former is true and the latter is unfair. But, that is what it appears to me and I consider myself an average person when judging appearances. If I see it that way, I can assure you that others do as well.

What do we think we are doing when we try to ‘protect” the church from possible prosecution? We show the world that we believe our God is weak. They see us acting like a garden variety Bernie Madoff, whining about our rights and behaving like a common thug. We have reduced the power of the living God to who has the better lawyer.

Let me ask the question this way. "So what if the church gets sued?"

For example, Jack Graham could confess that Prestonwood should have reported the problems with Langworthy to both the police and his subsequent churches. Must we protect the church's assets at all costs? Do we think that is more important than doing the right thing? What happens if we lose our assets? Is that what the church is about? Jesus did just fine without all the money. Do we not trust Him? Should we not do the right thing and let Him decide what should or should not happen?

Do we not think the approval of Jesus trumps hiding behind the skirts of the law? I am afraid that the answer is “no.” It is no longer “In God we trust” but “In attorneys and assets we trust.”

Our hypocrisy speaks volumes when we back slap the guys who are on our side and slam the Joe Paternos for not doing the right thing. The SBC is no different then Penn State. If you are a star, we will overlook your indiscretions because you are one of us.
Jesus rarely spent time with the “stars.” In fact, he usually called the leading men of that day “snakes’ and “white washed tombs.” He insisted that the little children come to him and warned that anyone, ANYONE,  who harmed one of these little ones may as well take a swim in Crater Lake with cement boots.

  • I wonder, how would he “compliment” Phillip Gunn?
  • Would he hold him up as the example of pristine character as Al Mohler and others have done?
  • Would he tell Gunn and the church to keep things on the down low about the Langworthy incident?
  • Would he tell Gunn to call some brave women and try to get it to “go away?"

No wonder people are running from many of today’s churches. These churches mimic ho-hum secular institutions in intrigue, back slapping, pride, cover-up and greed. Until the church prioritizes the weak, let down and hurting, the exodus will continue. Shame on all those who say one thing and do another.

It’s the victims, stupid! 

Preach it, Johnny

Lydia's Corner::r Leviticus 20:22-22:16 Mark 9:1-29 Psalm 43:1-5 Proverbs 10:18

Comments

Phillip Gunn, SBTS, Al Mohler: Legal Right=Moral Right? — 114 Comments

  1. There is so much wrong with the way this is being handled.

    If I were an elder, I would retain an outside lawyer to give an opinion to the church, and not rely on the opinion of a current elder, even if he is a great lawyer and respected politician.

    Also, most confessional type situations are covered by statutes, not a rule of evidence, which, as you have noted, governs what is introduced into evidence at trial.

    Where are the local authorities? If they have the authority to conduct and investigation, and someone is not cooperating, take action. If they plead the 5th, let them plead the 5th.

    Why are the investigating authorities backing off? Could Gunn’s position be correct? Or are the investigating authorities bowing to pressure from a well placed politician?

    I have a hard time with the time line on this case. If Langworthy went from Prestonwood to Morrison Heights, and he or Prestonwood told Morrison Heights of what happened, that could be explosive – for Morrison Heights.

    If Prestonwood recommended him, or Morrison Heights called for references, and they weren’t told, that could be explosive for Prestonwood.

    This post reminds me of exactly why the SBC should NOT have a database. My primary objection is to its effectiveness. It’s window dressing. But, in addition, it’s tied to a time bomb.

    It’s good that the SBC is not in the middle of this, and I would be opposed to doing anything that would put them in the middle of this. More and more people, even former advocates of a database are realizing this, and that is why the idea is losing, rather than gaining, support. No one (I mean messengers) even brought it up at this year’s convention.

    As to what I would do as an elder in situations like this, first, our church would not get in a situation like this. We would not allow it. The only way it would happen would be if some guy snuck in under the radar, got by a background check, and the references refused to tell us. And we would have that documented.

    If something did happen, we would call the police immediately, and completely cooperate.

    The one cautionary thought I have is that if I were an elder or trustee at a church, the church and its assets don’t belong to me.

    I am a trustee of other people’s money and other people’s assets. I think that I would be duty bound to get an independent opinion from an outside lawyer as to options, and I would have to take the action that I thought would not harm the church.

    Again, without knowing what all happened here (i.e. what Langworthy said or did not say), I don’t know exactly what I would do in all respects in this case.

    But the criticisms that you have leveled are spot on.

  2. One other thing that I cannot understand is the call to Amy Smith to “resolve” this. What in the world?

    Amy Smith is not a lawyer for the victims, and to my knowledge, has no case against Morrison Heights. She just blew the whistle.

    Therefore, she is in no position to resolve anything. Why would he make such a call or statement.

  3. How long before the Government steps in to Protect the Children by shutting churches down? And/or putting “Political Officer” watchdogs in church administration? It’s obvious that the churches won’t police themselves re Pedophiles, so the Government will have to do it for them.

  4. Eagle –

    Maybe he should be kept off religious organization boards (sheesh) and out of church eldership positions as well. Do one or the other, but his guy is in both. I wonder which master he serves. Is he salaried at both positions?

    BTW – how exactly does Gunn FUNCTION in that many positions at one time and do them well? They are not titles. They require time, thought and much effort.

  5. But Al, here’s the thing. You should be the person insisting on accountability for Mr. Gunn. If you remain silent when your own Southern Baptist seminary trustee does exactly what you say shouldn’t be done, then all you’re doing is preaching platitudes and talking easy generalities.

    “One hand washes the other…”

    Furthermore, I really gotta wonder why in the world you chose to invite Morrison Heights’ senior pastor Greg Belser to speak at seminary chapel in the midst of such an egregious child sex abuse cover-up scandal?

    “One hand washes the other…”

    Why did you lend the seminary’s institutional credibility to Greg Belser at the very time when Belser was refusing to cooperate with prosecutors in the pursuit of child sex charges against one of Morrison Heights’ former ministers?

    “One hand washes the other…”

  6. “This is a tribute to the leadership of Speaker Gunn, and his election brings honor to the people of Mississippi and to the board of trustees of Southern Seminary,” seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. wrote in a letter to the trustee board.

    Ah, Friends in High Places.
    Just like when Mississippi was Democrat and Klan.
    (One hand washes the other…)

  7. according to SBC polity, Al Mohler is accountable to Philip Gunn and the other trustees. I say this because everytime anyone mentions anything about Al being held accountable, we are directed to the trustees of SBTS.

    the trustees ate Al’s bosses….. but the Pew sitters pay for Al and those trustee meetings where he is accountable. pretty good gig if you think about it.

  8. Why are the investigating authorities backing off? Could Gunn’s position be correct? Or are the investigating authorities bowing to pressure from a well placed politician? — Anonymous

    Again, NOTHING LIKE HAVING FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES.

  9. Anonymous

    “I am a trustee of other people’s money and other people’s assets. I think that I would be duty bound to get an independent opinion from an outside lawyer as to options, and I would have to take the action that I thought would not harm the church.”

    It is given to the church. It is now God’s money-isn’t it?

    So, you are not protecting other people’s assets, you are overseeing God’s assets unless, in fact, the money we give still belongs to us which is a fascinating concept. I have one or two churches from which I would like to request my money back if that is the case. Can I egt it back since I am the one who gave it? Looking up Ed Youngs JRs phone as we speak…

    God does not need our money. If the church is sued, so be it. He can get along just fine. Why not let Him handle the outcome while we just tell the truth and do whatever we can to stop this disgusting blight on the SBC and other churches?

    Serously, we do not trust HIm so we use common, ho-hum leagla approaches to “protect” money that we say belongs to God but act as if it really belongs to us.

  10. Anon1

    I still remember a former pastor telling me that the elders existed to carry out his vision and they only disagreed with him twice in 28 years! That is a quote. Guess its the same the church over. The elders are merely yes men and do so inder the excuse of “unity.” And it is an excuse.

  11. Where is the discussion about protecting children? No religious dogma, no abstract church laws, not even love for Jesus should trump protecting children from criminals. When sexual abuse is committed by clergy the first thing done by the church leadership is clam up. Why, they can’t believe that bro. so-in-so would do such a thing. Quote “Why he (bro. so-in-so) is an upstanding Christian with high moral values”. As a survivor of clergy abuse when I hear that kind rhetoric it immediately sends up a red flag.

  12. Mohler and Gunn are a disgrace. Mohler does the very thing he pretends to think is a sin – stays silent and participates in cover up. Indeed, he goes EVEN further and holds up as an example a pastor who, not only doesn’t report child sexual abuse, but refuses to cooperate with law enforcement when Langworthy is caught.

    Christianity Today posted an article today entitled “After Election 2012: Living in the New Moral Landscape”. Mohler’s response was included in the piece: “Evangelical Christians must see the 2012 election as a catastrophe for crucial moral concerns. Clearly, we face a new moral landscape in America, and huge challenge to those of us who care passionately about these issues. We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues. This will not be easy. It is, however, an urgent call to action.”

    Notice the word winsomely? Guess he just couldn’t resist.

    Can you believe this guy?

  13. By “range of moral issues”, does Mohler mean HOMOSEXUALITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, or HOMOSEXUALITY?

    Because obviously male/female pedophilia isn’t on his radar.

  14. Has Mr. Mohler responded to Christa Brown’s address to him? Not necessarily directly to her, but addressing her points to a listening audience?

  15. J Terry
    Let me give you a little history of the Golden Banana. Anyone who grew up on the North Shore of Boston is well aware of this “club.” It was the home to some of the first legal male strippers and did a hefty business. However, the clients that frequented that venue were always getting into trouble, necessitating nightly visits from the local constabulary.

    It was located on Rte.1 on the line between Peabody and Danvers, Mass. Note: Danvers. Yes, that’s the home of the famous Danvers Statement which defined modern day complementarianism.

    I have wanted to say this for years but I hope that I don’t fall overboard and this be left behind as my dying potshot on the blog but, here goes.

    The Danvers Statement was created in the shadow of The Golden Banana!

  16. Mark

    My heart goes out to you. The pedophile problem in today’s Protestant churches is a focus of ours at TWW. One might say that this blog was born in the midst of a poorly handled pedophile situation in an SBC church.

    The church has poorly treatd the victims of abuse while coddling and protecting the pedophiles and encouraging legal manuevering to protect the churchs. This is not what Jesus intended and he left harsh warnings about the fate of those who harm (and I believe contribute to the harm) of children and those who cover up the abuse. It is sick!

    If you would ever like to tell you story, this blog is at your service. On behalf of the Church Universal, I extend my deepest apologies for your treatment. If there is anything that we can do to be of assistance to you, in any way, please let us know.

  17. Oh, Dee. What an eye-opening revelation! Though not too complimentary for the complementarians, I guess it does seem to fit the fruit of the work done there …

  18. SBC=Catholic Church on clergy abuse. Gunn’d claim to priest/penitent confidentiality is bogus – it doesn’t apply in this case. It’s nothing but a bald-faced lie to cover it up, victims be damned. Al Mohler is a hypocrite who doesn’t believe one word of what he said on abuse – his real creed is to kiss up to others in power and be part of their mutual protection society. As for the powerless, oppress them and shut them up.

  19. Mr. Gunn clearly does not understand the privilege that affects the confessional. That is, a person who confesses a sin to a priest or pastor (ordained, licensed, or similar) can exercise a privilege to prevent the priest or pastor from testifying as to the content of their confession. There is no privilege that prevents the information from being provided to investigators or prosecutors. Secondly, the privilege only exists if the sinner asks for the confession to be held in confidence. The disunderstanding (i.e., willfully misunderstanding) is astounding and sounds like Mr. Gunn is representing not the church, but the pedophile!!!! That is in conflict with his responsibility to the church, to its members, and to his role as a legislator.

  20. Anonymous at 11:40:

    Your entire comment is about protecting the institution. If Prestonwood is SBC and Jack Graham did not call the authorities then he should be persona non grata with the SBC.. After all, women pastors are just for being women. Nothing illegal there. Gunn should be taken off the SBTS Trustee board. Why is the SBC allowing pedophile protectors like Gunn to be a trustee?

    Is everyone in the SBC leadership of the entities as pragmatic as you are?

    Now Mr. Gunn has a double whammy involved. He is a public servant and sees himself as an elder of the Body of Christ?

    Lock up your children, the Christians are coming over.

  21. brad

    Please make sure Deb deletes that comment if I turn up missing in Aruba. Can you imagine TGC, et al commenting on it while they continue to remain silent on SGM?

  22. “I am a trustee of other people’s money and other people’s assets. I think that I would be duty bound to get an independent opinion from an outside lawyer as to options, and I would have to take the action that I thought would not harm the church.”

    Now here is an interesting concept in light of the issue. How do you define “church”? As an institution? Or as “people”. Are the victims or future victims of these creeps not also the “church” that need to be protected and provided justice by their fellow believers?

    It is all about the image and protection of the “institution”. Pragmatics rule the day because, in the end, it is about title, position and power.

  23. @ Mark – I could not agree with you more. I have no idea how some of these church organisations don’t see that – the victim comes first, & the smaller & weaker the victim, the stronger our defence should be. I also don’t know how those who abuse don’t die of shame – how COULD they? How do they live with themselves & say they’re Christians if they carry on abusing? I am constantly astonished that more abusers aren’t murdered when their victims grow older.
    I hope you have found help, & a measure of peace.

  24. Now here is an interesting concept in light of the issue. How do you define “church”? As an institution? Or as “people”. Are the victims or future victims of these creeps not also the “church” that need to be protected and provided justice by their fellow believers? — Anon1

    I think some of this dovetails with the Calvinistas.
    You know, the Predestined Elect?
    When you have a “Get Out Of Hell Free” card signed before the creation of the world and the “victims and future victims” don’t, why should you care?

    How do they live with themselves & say they’re Christians if they carry on abusing? — BeakerJ

    See above re Predestined Elect and Get-Out-of-Hell-Free cards.

  25. Now Mr. Gunn has a double whammy involved. He is a public servant and sees himself as an elder of the Body of Christ? — Anon1

    Reminds me of the initial conflict in The Godfather. Don Corleone’s importance among the Five Families was that he had “friends in high places” like Mr Gunn, i.e. DAs, Police Commissioners, Judges, and State/Federal Government officials in his pocket who could crush any investigation of his Family before it even started. And the other four Dons wanted to share in that immunity when they introduced the drug trade to New York.

  26. Dee,

    You’d better not go missing!  Hope you have a great time. 

    TGB (not to be confused with TGC) still exists as far as I can tell; however, I decided NOT to link to it. 

  27. You could be right HUG, seeing themselves as superior & elected by God could make them feel that hurting hell bound sinners, no matter how young, isn’t really that bad….hence conscience misfire. It does really come out of that mindset, as you’ve said before, that because we are all just totally depraved scum, none of us can truly be a victim, no matter what is done to us. Makes me wonder why God did institute Government to punish the evil doer….such a travesty. I become really apoplectic when I see people hiding paedophilia & sexual offences against young people because I see the dreadful damage done to their lives…it’s a form of murder I think, the killing of a life they should have had. I am truly disturbed that anyone would ever cover it up, in terms of protecting the perpetrator. Just another thing in the long line of ‘ stuff I appear incapable of understanding’ in the christian world.

  28. Dear Dee, You have charged us to “Please make sure Deb deletes that comment if I turn up missing in Aruba. Can you imagine TGC, et al commenting on it while they continue to remain silent on SGM?”

    It would be oddly ironic to leave it, have TGC etallia commenting on said comment, and thus expose themselves to the charge of commentsalism … that they have benefitted at the expense of others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism

    But I fear I have mistyped their indictment. Oh well. We’ll see what we can do, but trust it shan’t be necessary. Have a wondrous trip, Dee!

  29. Anon1:

    I am not protecting the situation, and really don’t understand what you mean.

    And considering the obligations of a trustee or elder in a church is not a “pragmatic” consideration.

    It is legal, ethical and moral. It’s OPM, not my own money.

  30. Dee:

    You are right. In the broad sense, it is God’s money. But it was God’s money before they gave it, right?

    It’s all God’s money.

    But depending on one’s actual position (and I don’t know the entire situation here, as I stated), the trustees, directors, elders etc. all have legal, ethical and moral duties with regard to church property.

    I am a bit surprised that anyone is bucking against that concept.

    I have not agreed with what Gunn did.

    I am simply saying that the leaders have to approach this with all of these legal, ethical and moral duties and questions in mind.

    That is not conding what Gunn or they have done or are doing.

    But they would not be authorized to just do whatever the heck they want, or whatever God “told them to do.”

  31. “I am not protecting the situation, and really don’t understand what you mean.

    And considering the obligations of a trustee or elder in a church is not a “pragmatic” consideration.

    It is legal, ethical and moral. It’s OPM, not my own money.”

    I read your comment 3 times. And it is filled with pragmatism and playing
    footloose with what YOU perceive as justice. In the case we are discussing, the monster was indicted. I think this person sums it up nicely:

    “According to Mississippi College School of Law professor matt Steffey, state law doesn’t exempt ministers from reporting a crime.”The law’s primary concern is not to protect ministers in the performance of their duties but to protect children.”

    But it seems to me many in leadership are more concerned with protecting pastors and institutions. Why is Gunn a Trustee now that we know this? Frank Pages comments about Christa Brown are case in point. Saying it was not necessary. He was trying to “marginalize” her. Something they seem to think is “Christian” among SBC leadership. And Frank Page is considered a “great man of God”. So is Jack Graham. The problem, anonymous, is their collective slip is showing.

    And with Dee, I thought it was “God’s money”. Are you suggesting that most of the people in the institutions would be more concerned with money than they would be about a child who has been molested by a church staffer or member?

    Actually, you are probably right about that which is why the nones are growing. Carry on.

  32. “But depending on one’s actual position (and I don’t know the entire situation here, as I stated), the trustees, directors, elders etc. all have legal, ethical and moral duties with regard to church property”

    Okaay. I guess you are right. The children who are victims are not church “property”. Too bad. They might get more attention and protection if they were inanimate material objects. Just inconvenient human beings of the most vulnerable variety. (Not big tithers, either)

    “I have not agreed with what Gunn did”

    You just did above. It is about the property. That is the moral, legal and ethical part of the church.

    Listen, I used to deal with elders like you all the time. Many were lawyers, too. People were always objects. Lets be pragmatic about it all. It is amazing how many people fall for it. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, Please! Save us from “your people”.

  33. @Wendy

    You know that Christianity Today article? Every one of the people quoted was a white male. (Some of them I didn’t know, so I had to use Google to look up pictures.) Every.Single.One. Eight of the nine are Evangelical Protestants, most of them in great positions of power, and the ninth is a prince of the Catholic Church.

    The problem is staring Christianity Today right in the face. Evangelical Protestantism is going to have to expand outward to take in more than just white males, otherwise it’s going to wither and die. I, for one, will not be sorry to see that happen (if it does).

  34. “How do they live with themselves & say they’re Christians if they carry on abusing? — BeakerJ

    See above re Predestined Elect and Get-Out-of-Hell-Free cards.”

    See also: “We not only believe in total depravity, we practice it”, says Westminster Seminary.

    Challies replies: “Ain’t that the truth”.

    http://www.challies.com/a-la-carte/a-la-carte-111-7

  35. “See above re Predestined Elect and Get-Out-of-Hell-Free cards.”

    See also: “We not only believe in total depravity, we practice it”, says Westminster Seminary.

    Challies replies: “Ain’t that the truth”.”

    Yep. And that translates to this teaching: The victim is a horrible sinner, too, so what is the big deal? We ALL are. This ie EXACTLY what SGM was teaching and telling the victims and the parents. All of us are guilty so say sorry and you instantly forgive and move along. Nothing to see here.

  36. @elastigirl

    Mohler has never responded to Christa Brown’s open letter to him. Mohler is to much of a worthless coward. He knows he is has done wrong and is a hypocrite. He just focuses on maintaining his positive image at all costs.

  37. Well–all I can say is good luck to Mohler and all involved in covering up this evil and/or promoting it- because I’m pretty sure, in my opinion, luck is all they will be getting. God is not pleased with the protection of evildoers, but rather we are to expose them.

    I’m ignorant of SB beliefs for the most part, but since I am on a total depravity of the saints kick and the redefinition of it as: hey, Christians are sinners too– perhaps SBs believe in practicing the total depravity of believer too? (Using the re-defined meaning of total depravity here which I understand to mean sinning a whole, whole bunch- doing some really, really, bad, nasty, depraved-like stuff, which, again, I assume since the article declares: hey-Christians are sinners too.)

    Oh well, (sarc starting– because this is too unreal so I have to be sarcastic) perhaps it’s just their (Mohler, Gunn) total depravity kicking in (hey- Christians are sinners too, don’t forget) when pedophiles are protected and victims pushed aside. But I thought total depravity meant inability to come to salvation on one’s own without grace extended forth from God…you know, dead in sin and all that…but oh–never mind–now, evidently it also means – Christians are practicing totally DEPRAVED-born again/ regenerated/ with a new heart of flesh/ hard hearts removed/ given a desire to love God and others/ a love for His law placed in our hearts/ practicing total depravity sinners. Riiiight.

  38. Mohler and Gunn are doing the same thing that SGM and Co. are doing . . . protecting the institution and the elders of the institution instead of the believers (real human beings) that they “claim” to be caring for. SGM has lawyers among their elders as well (whoop de do! and I don’t know how well that is really going to work out for them).

    Is it now a biblical requirement to count lawyers and politicians among your elders and board members? BTW I have nothing against lawyers and politicians except if they are acknowledged above the diaper changers and kitchen cleaners :)

  39. You know that Christianity Today article? Every one of the people quoted was a white male. (Some of them I didn’t know, so I had to use Google to look up pictures.) Every.Single.One. — SW Discomfort

    Reminds me of something I heard described in a book. Some sort of news article about “Christian Leaders Concerned About America’s Moral Decay” or something similar, headed by a group picture of these “Christian Leaders” — all middle-aged white males in expensive suits with grim expressions on their faces.

  40. The SBC needs to focus on it’s own moral decay, if it even can. There is a lot of it, as StopBaptistPredators shows.

  41. Anonymous

    Let me put it this way. Suppose I give $20,000 to a church and I designate it for the general fund, or even for missions. Then the church is sued because they covered up a pedophile situation. If the church was stuck for the $20,000, I would not mind that it went to the child. My church screwed up and my church should pay.

    It would really get me mad if the church stonewalled anything in the matter just to protect some money. The kids are more important and they deserve the money.

    I think the trouble that you are having is, and this is the what is causing the rise of the nones, the emphasis on legally protecting some money/assets instead of saying “We screwed up-the kids should get the money. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.”

    Secondly, the moral duty is to fess up to the ethical lapse and allow the chips to fall where they may. The moral duty is to care for the victims and to do everything in our power to bring justice to the situation, even if it means we lose money and assets. What does it benefit the church if it keeps its money and assets and loses it’s soul.

    Also, the big boys should stop kissing the cheek of all of those involved in dicey church situations in regards to pedophilia. And that goes for Mohler-who has not said one word about the horrible situation at SGM. Instaed he holds Mahaney up as an example. No wonder people laugh at the hypocrisy of the SBC when they see this happening. 

  42. If ever confronted with this, Mohler and Russell Moore would probably feign ignorance, but it is impossible that they are unaware of this scandal surrounding Philip Gunn. Mohler and Moore just don’t care. They’ll keep looking out for their good ol’ boy to the bitter end.

  43. @BeakerJ Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM said:
    “…it’s a form of murder I think, the killing of a life they should have had”.

    I think you summed it up right there.

    @Mark Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 01:17 PM said:
    “Where is the discussion about protecting children? No religious dogma, no abstract church laws, not even love for Jesus should trump protecting children from criminals”.

    Here comes Haitch’s rant: I find it really disturbing when reading abuse websites with a ministry or missionary background to then see a commenter come on and negate the abuse in favour of the ministry/church/mission. You know – the ones that try to shame people for speaking out. You get one on every site. I was similarly disturbed when reading up on the Sandusky situation, where students protested for Paterno. I didn’t see that reported here and found out afterwards. It threw my head into a spin. Have they no heart for the victims?

    Suggestion for Dee – like the “My comment was deleted” spot, is it possible to create a spot where we can nominate Christian abuse websites who have commenters who leap in and support ministry over victims (sorry to use the word victims, as I’m sure some won’t identify as such, I’m stuck with English – is there a better word out there?). I mean the all-out blatant and direct comments that just re-wound victims by saying ‘you should just forgive, you should just move on, you are only serving to slur the bad name of x organisation, think about all the good works that x organisation has done…

    Anyhow, it’s just like playing bingo, you’re reading along, and then ‘bam’ – in comes the person who supports the organisation/ministry/service etc over the victim. Note – I haven’t mentioned anyone whose name rhymes with timmy.

  44. Eagle – I dunno; there are so many evangelicals who are anything but upper middle class. i realize it might not seem that way to you after your experiences in D.C., but it's true nonetheless. (And I do agree that there *are* many white, upper middle class people who are fundies/evangelicals/charismatics.)

    That said, there are other evangelical subcultures in this country – black and Hispanic, for example. I met many folks who came from one or the other (sometimes both) of these during my years in D.C. But Christianity Today is geared to a white audience, that's for sure!

  45. Nicholas:

    You said:’They’ll keep looking out for their good ol’ boy to the bitter end.”

    Sadly there has been a group of men running the SBC for several decades now who only care about two things–Power and Money.

  46. @numo and Eagle, I just posted the link below against the RHE post. Bill Kinnon mentioned it on his blog. Matthew Lee Anderson in his Mere Orthodoxy website makes a really interesting point (to me) about the ‘broad brush’ & I quote:

    “I’ll go one step further down this road. Rachel tends to lump “patriarchalists” together, such that John Piper is treated as equivalent to the Vision Forum. I realize distinctions don’t sell well, but I am also aware—having read a number of feminists and feminist theologians—that painting intellectual movements with a broad brush can be a way of unfairly marginalizing people we might otherwise be impelled to listen to.”

    I don’t want to start a RHE thread – it was the comment about evangelical subcultures that I pricked my ears up about. I’m aware not only that I do the ‘broad brush’ but how much miscommunication can often be play – we can be talking the same language but mentally are travelling in parallel universes. Not sure if I’m making any sense here, but there are so many terms and labels and it’s not clear to me that we (ie blogging universe) are really ever talking the same thing. I should put a list together one day: neo-Calvinist, Reformed, YRR, evangelical, Southern Baptist, fundagelical, calvinista and on and on !

    http://www.mereorthodoxy.com/controversy-and-interpretation-biblical-womanhood/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=controversy-and-interpretation-biblical-womanhood

  47. Nicholas

    Add to that the scandal of SGM and the lawsuits (and I hear rumors it is growing) over child sex abuse which names CJ Mahaney-Al Mohler’s paritcular favorite, as involved in the coverup, and SBTS has enmeshed themselves in a real mess. Something is very, very wrong. The Gospe Coalition reported the Dinesh DSouza scandal, they fussed over Billy Graham removing Mormonism from the cult list, they scream and rant over RHE and then they go DEAD silent on SGM’s sex coverup lawsuits-it’s like it doesn’t exist. Nothing has been mentioned for 19 days and counting-we are keeping track.

    They go after a young woman who is asking questions and they kissy kissy with Mahaney and gang. So, what are the priorities again-someone help me. 

    To repeat-It’s about the victims!!

  48. Haitch

    I am about  to go cold turkey on the blog until the 19th. Remind me of that suggestion when i return. I like the idea of our own “Razzies” page. It has potential.

  49. Dee we’ll miss you – but when the cat’s away……. (kidding) And don’t go getting bitten by mozzies ! I watched a program on how they built the Panama canal, incredible. Malaria – not so much. PS That 100 minutes will be chewed up in no time. Happy holidaying.

  50. Dee … perhaps as an alternative name to “Razzies” would be the “Auntie Gospeling Award for Bully-Pulpit Biblical Responses.” It could be in the shape of a “Church Lady” kind of a character, wagging her index finger at the AGABBR winner. I’m sure the winners would appreciate the complementary nature of the character, and would surely want to shelf the award with their many other degree documents and such like mementos of their achievements! Or you could open up a “name the TWW ironic award” contest. Will try to remember to remind you of this upon your return. Again, have a great trip!

  51. @ Haitch:

    I wouldn’t classify John Piper in the same camp as Vision Forum, either, but he’s said some things that put him much further to the right than people think – for instance, the infamous “woman submits while giving directions to a male stranger” example. If you think through this example logically, the only thing he can be saying is that all women must submit to all men in some way; but he and his supporters will deny this till the cows come home. I’m open to the idea that he didn’t express himself well and just phrased it badly, but you’d think if that was the case, he would edit the offending paragraph to make it clearer. I’m hardly the only one who “misunderstood” it the way I explained above.

    As for Russ Moore – anyone who likes the word “patriarchy” is a patriarchalist. Period. They can deny it all they want, but I (and anyone else with common sense) will never believe them. Unless of course, the English language became meaningless when I wasn’t looking…

  52. @ Dee:

    Per this and the SGM case, you might like this Voltaire quote one of my FB friends posted this morning (though she didn’t mean it in reference to church, of course)…

    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

  53. Dee and Deb: Weird happenings. For nearly 10 minutes I could not access TWW. Who did you offend now? ;)

    My guess is TGBC was tweaking something.

    Not me.

    I suspect this is some leftover from Sandy. I’ve been getting various odd errors at random times for the last week. From multiple computers, ISPs, states, etc…

    A LOT of data paths around the east coast are down or handling way more traffic than normal. And some of the routing around down circuits may be sending data coast to coast just to load balance things. And all of this routing may introduce errors at times.

    Anyway, no conspiracies yet. Unless Piper has something to say about it.

  54. Dee, the Gospel Coalition is clearly a case study in hypocrisy then, if they are silent on sin in their own camp.

  55. Hester, John Piper actually said that? That’s bizarre. The Bible doesn’t tell women to submit to strangers. Where does he get this stuff, from the IFB cult?

  56. @Hester, well, then per that Voltaire quote, I’d say the people who rule over me are: my employer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The former because I do like that sweet, sweet money flowing into my checking account every two weeks and the latter because, well, he just got re-elected and there’s no way I’m going to Pink Underwearland to eat green bologna in Tent City!

  57. I left Fundamentalism 3 decades ago-20 years ago considered SBC-WOW am I glad I just stayed outside of both although I am still a friend to many inside. I published some of my notes regarding Pharisees (first article at my new web site- http://www.ifbabuse.com )

  58. Earl Little,

    Welome to TWW!  I am grateful for your information, and especially appreciated this:

    Government is God’s Minister of Justice

    “The church should no more try to get in the middle of enforcing this law than they should raise up an army to declare war! It ought to be clear church policy to immediately report suspected pedophilia as well as any other criminal activity. Historically many churches have an attitude of doing whatever it takes to keep the victim from going to the police. “Think of what damage you will do to this great church. People will go to Hell. Think about the hurt you will bring on the poor Pastor’s wife and kids. We can handle this. We will make it right.” ”

    I hope those who have been hurt will heed your advice.

  59. “Not sure if I’m making any sense here, but there are so many terms and labels and it’s not clear to me that we (ie blogging universe) are really ever talking the same thing. I should put a list together one day: neo-Calvinist, Reformed, YRR, evangelical, Southern Baptist, fundagelical, calvinista and on and on !”

    That is because definitions and concepts change depending on the audience, timing, etc. Why isn’t Piper like Vision Forum? He is promoting the used-to-be-fringe dominionist, patriarchal to extreme, pedophile matchmaker, Doug Wilson.

    Let me see, where have I heard about this “confusing their language” business before? :o)

    Just remember: He who defines, wins.

  60. Let me see, where have I heard about this “confusing their language” business before? :o )

    Just remember: He who defines, wins. — Anon1

    “Principles of Newspeak”, by G.Orwell
    Appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four

  61. Eagle – I dunno; there are so many evangelicals who are anything but upper middle class. i realize it might not seem that way to you after your experiences in D.C., but it’s true nonetheless. (And I do agree that there *are* many white, upper middle class people who are fundies/evangelicals/charismatics.) — Numo

    From what I’ve read about the society in D.C. (which by the way has the largest gap between rich & poor in the entire USA), they may as well change the city’s name to “Panem” and start hosting The Hunger Games.

  62. HUG –

    Who do all those rich people in DC work for? Some of them surely have more than one source of income . . . no politician can be elected today without an enormous amount of money . . . the system is corrupt with it.

  63. @Nicholas – Yes, John Piper said that. You can find the famous paragraph in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood starting at the last paragraph on page 41 continuing on to page 42. This is a chapter that John Piper wrote on Biblical Complementarity. The free PDF is available here, so feel free to check it out in all its context:
    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/books/recovering-biblical-manhood-and-womanhood

    When I first heard about it I had to track it down, and in my opinion what John Piper essentially says is that it is possible for a woman to compromise a man’s masculinity by giving him directions in the wrong manner. I personally think the context reinforces that point rather than diminishes it.

  64. ES,

    I have never read Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood but have wanted to.  I just downloaded the PDF file and found that quote about driving instructions on pages 41-42.  :-(

    I perused the names of the contributors.  These people have been in cohoots for at least two decades! (probably longer)  They have done considerable damage to the cause of Christ IMHO.

    I’m gonna read parts of the book to my hubby and get his reaction. He’s gonna think Piper, Grudem, and their ilk are NUTS!!!

     

  65. Hester, John Piper actually said that? That’s bizarre. The Bible doesn’t tell women to submit to strangers. Where does he get this stuff, from the IFB cult?

    He didn’t exactly use the word “submit.” Instead, he blathers on about how a woman has to have the right demeanor when giving directions to a lost man so as not to compromise his essential masculinity or her femininity … because if he’s asking for help, by golly, it better not appear that she is taking authority over him in directing him where to go.

    I, for one, don’t exactly know what this would look like. Either she’s courteous, or she’s not — and it has nothing to do with femininity or masculinity.

  66. HUG – there is a huge gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in D.C. itself, as well as in the surrounding area… but there’s also a growing black middle-upper middle class, and (I’d guess, haven’t lived there for a good while) a Hispanic/Latino one as well.

    The poorer Latinos that I lived around were mainly recent immigrants who could not speak English, but by now, a lot of their older kids have graduated from HS (or college) and they are not only fully fluent in English, but very comfortable in American culture. I suspect there is going to be a big shift in income bases in and around D.C. within the next decade or so.

    As for the question about well-off white people in D.C., many of them work for government agencies. There’s a *lot* of money down there – and the cost of living is astronomical. (Not as high as in Manhattan, but not all that far off, either.)

  67. He didn’t exactly use the word “submit.” Instead, he blathers on about how a woman has to have the right demeanor when giving directions to a lost man so as not to compromise his essential masculinity or her femininity … — Leila

    If her lack of Winsomeness(TM) is what’s castrating the guy, he was a Castrato to begin with.

    And what is “the right demeanor” in this context? Fluttershy without her inner strength? “Umm… Uh… Um… If you don’t mind, that is… EEEEEEP…”?

    because if he’s asking for help, by golly, it better not appear that she is taking authority over him in directing him where to go. — Leila

    i.e. She Better not get Uppity. Her attitude might CASTRATE the guy! (Or he’ll order the Religious Police to beat her for daring to speak to a man — especially while not properly veiled?)

    I, for one, don’t exactly know what this would look like. Either she’s courteous, or she’s not — and it has nothing to do with femininity or masculinity. — Leila

    Oh, it does, Leila:
    “ME MAN! ME WANT FILL-IN-THE-BLANK! YOU WOMAN! YOU! SHUT! UP!!!”

  68. Leila,

    “…he blathers on about how a woman has to have the right demeanor when giving directions to a lost man

    I, for one, don’t exactly know what this would look like. Either she’s courteous, or she’s not — and it has nothing to do with femininity or masculinity.”

    ******************

    The right demeanor… being courteous. What in the world does that mean? New York City courteous, Mempthis courteous, L.A. courteous, London courteous, Paris courteous, Tokyo courteous will all look very different.

  69. Wouldn’t most men just be thankful (and I think most would be — err, maybe not a complementarian man?) that someone helped him find his way :) ?

  70. Bridget,

    “Wouldn’t most men just be thankful… that someone helped him find his way?”

    *****

    The only men I’ve observed being weird around women who are free, confident, self-expressing & freely enjoying themselves are those steeped in christian culture.

    {“Weird” = seeming to feel threatened; or just uncomfortable for some reason.}

  71. @ Leila, Nicholas & HUG:

    “He didn’t exactly use the word ‘submit.’ Instead, he blathers on about how a woman has to have the right demeanor when giving directions to a lost man so as not to compromise his essential masculinity or her femininity … because if he’s asking for help, by golly, it better not appear that she is taking authority over him in directing him where to go.”

    And he defined “essential femininity” as a willingness to yield to direction or whatever. Basically – submission. So if submission is at the heart of femininity, all women must submit to all men (presumably even godly Christian women to male serial killers…?). I cannot find a way out of this logic circuit. It seems to be airtight in its wrongheadedness.

    (But just remember…if the woman in question happens to be running for vice-president, and thus would be commander-in-chief in the event of the president’s death – that’s NOT a violation of her essential femininity. Unless she gave driving directions un-winsomely to Harry Reid.)

  72. Al Mohler is even worse than Frank Page, because Mohler has gone to all the trouble to make look like he *really* cares about reporting sex abuse to the authorities, when he really doesn’t. His articles on Penn State were just a ruse to make you think he’d never support a man (Philip Gunn) who refused to cooperate with the police in a sex abuse scandal. I hope the mainstream media takes notice of the Mohler-Gunn connection and stops treating Mohler like a mainstream evangelical leader and thinker. Mohler is now exposed for the hypocrite and liar that he is. As Jesus said, “there is nothing done in secret that shall not be shouted from the rooftops.”

    Let us hope that no more people will be hurt in the baptist fundamentalist world (SBC and IFB.) The national media should focus on these stories more. Sadly, it seems that baptists won’t implement changes unless they are sufficiently publicly shamed into doing so. Another favorable outcome would be the dissolution of the SBC, IFB, and SGM.

  73. Not related to Messrs Gunn or Mohler, nor to SBTS, nor to legal or moral rights; iow, hee-haw to do with the title of the thread. But there’s been an abundance of comments on the “proper” behaviour of a woman when talking to a man. So here’s another one…

    As I’ve mentioned to Dee and Debs offline, I consider myself a whole-hearted, paid-up complementarian.

    OK… now puuuuut the gun dowwwwwwwwn… gooood… and let me explain.

    44 years among my fellow human beings, 26 of them among fellow-christians, have convinced me that God did indeed create men and women with broadly different and complementary natures. The reason I dismiss patriarchy is that I believe men and women, with their broad generic differences, actually are equal in value. That is to say, in Christ, there is neither male nor female; we’re all one in Him. In practice, therefore, I would expect to see the eldership of a healthy church organisation comprising seasoned, wise and mature men and women. Being substantially conformed to the image of Jesus, these men and women will love others above themselves and understand how to give preference in honour to people who are unlike themselves. Being wise, they will also be perfectly bloody capable (forgive me, but I’ve heard a lot of paranoid rubbish on this topic and it angers me) of doing so without letting wolves rampage through the flock or Abandoning The Truth Of Scripture™.

    This will create a whole lot of win-wins among the believers there, but I think it’s pertinent to mention one. The faint-hearted and weak will be strengthened and supported. They will not be infantilised, breast-fed and used as human shields to protect the elders from reaching difficult decisions (“well, some people would be hurt by that, you’ve got to understand the politics here, we’re protecting Vulnerable People™, you know” – and incidentally, although it’s subtler and more insidious, I consider this just as virulent a form of spiritual abuse as that more commonly addressed here at TWW). Nor will they be demonised, chewed up and spat out when they can’t or won’t serve as human fodder for the carnal ambition of the ruling elite.

  74. Nick Bulbeck,

    If only this crowd defined complementarianism (which came into existence just 25 years ago :-8) as you have.  Perhaps in the years to come Piper, Grudem, Mohler, etc. will realize their grave error in scriptural interpretation.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  I pray that it will be an inspiration to many. 

  75. Nick, your “complementarian” is to Mohler & Co.’s “complementarianism as “happy” is to “gay.” :)

  76. Could we PLEASE get the Preview function back? Man behind the curtain, ladies, anyone?

  77. notastepfordsheep,

    Great analogy!  Complementarianism is merely patriarchy in disguise.   There’s nothing new under the sun…

  78. notastepfordsheep,

    The Preview function would be fantastic. Remember, Dee and I are technopeasants.  Let’s see what GBTC has to say about adding it.

  79. Now this is interesting. Mohler has no problem speaking on allegations of financial scandal – in this case those surrounding Trinity Broadcast Network.

    Mohler sees a difference with TBN: the expectation that the network is Christian. “It’s increasingly awkward for the mainstream ministries to stay on the network,” he said. “Every new allegation, every new headline, makes it more difficult.”

    But allegations of sexual abuse in a ‘Christian’ organization aren’t worthy of comment. Apparently, money matters more to Mohler than people.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/november/trouble-with-tbn.html

  80. @JeffT

    Mohler has never addressed sexual abuse in the SBC in general let alone that which was covered up by his beloved SBTS trustee Philip Gunn. Mohler is a classic Pharasaic hypocrite. He can *only* address the sins of outsiders, but he is absolutely *unable* to address sin in his own camp. This to me nullifies anything he has ever written, becomes it comes from a hypocrite, a phony, and a fraud. The coward never responded to Christa Brown’s open letter to him, and he’ll never respond to this article (I’ve e-mailed both to him. No response). The same goes equally for Russell Moore, who has even tweeted that he has gifts from Philip Gunn in his office.

    He and the rest of the SBC will just keep on until they get sufficiently exposed and people leave the SBC. No more SBC, no more sex abuse and coverup in the SBC. Same with the IFB cult. The national media has a job to do in exposing these criminals.

  81. Complementarianism is merely patriarchy in disguise. — Deb

    No, it is MALE SUPREMACY in disguise.
    Call ‘em what they are: MALE SUPREMACISTS.
    Just like the Ku Klux Klan were White Supremacists.

  82. And he defined “essential femininity” as a willingness to yield to direction or whatever. Basically – submission. So if submission is at the heart of femininity, all women must submit to all men (presumably even godly Christian women to male serial killers…?) — Hester

    Harley Quinn as the “essentially feminine” Ideal Winsome Christian Woman…

    Well, Ayn Rand (latest Fourth Person of the Trinity) fangirled on a serial killer, so why not?

    (But just remember…if the woman in question happens to be running for vice-president, and thus would be commander-in-chief in the event of the president’s death – that’s NOT a violation of her essential femininity.) — Hester

    Because she’s GAWD’s CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT! Who will Take Back America as a Christian Nation! Once she’s elected on McCain’s coattails, God strikes down McCain in office and GQD’S WILL BE DONE! (Insert Book of Esther proof texts here…)

    (I actually heard that during the 2008 elections.)

  83. But allegations of sexual abuse in a ‘Christian’ organization aren’t worthy of comment. Apparently, money matters more to Mohler than people. — JeffT

    And Rank Hath Its Privileges?
    (As long as it isn’t same-sex molestation, that is…)

  84. But allegations of sexual abuse in a ‘Christian’ organization aren’t worthy of comment. Apparently, money matters more to Mohler than people.

    It’s not just Mohler. Follow the money. Always follow the money. You can mess with our children, but do NOT mess with our money.

  85. BeakerJ said: “…it’s a form of murder I think, the killing of a life they should have had.”

    That is exactly how I word it.

  86. BeakerJ said: “…it’s a form of murder I think, the killing of a life they should have had.”

    That is exactly how I word it. — Oasis

    Similar argument to Abortion?

    So “killing of a life they should have had” by abortion is WRONG but “killing of a life they should have had” by clergy child-molesting is God’s Will? (“Touch Not Mine Anointed! Do My Prophet No Harm! Do you know how many Souls He Has Saved?”)

  87. I have to put this quote here I just read from Mohler’s blog discussing the outcome of the elections. Notice the use of the “winsome” word – lol:

    We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues.

  88. Wow. I guess Gunn is not as competent an attorney as he would like people to think, since he forgot about (or conveniently overlooked) Mississippi Code Sec. 43-21-353. The statute REQUIRES a long list of people, including ministers, with reasonable cause to suspect a child is being abused to report it. Willful failure to comply is a criminal offense that can lead to a $5000 fine and/or up to 1year in jail. The privilege he cites could be asserted if the incident involved something like an assault on another adult, a fatal hit and run, or something not involving abuse of a child. However, since the legislature saw fit, and rightly so, to protect abused children, the privilege is trumped by statute

  89. Everyone, don’t forget to see my above comments concerning Chris Rosebrough and his continued promotion of Mohler and Moore even after being informed of all the facts of this story. I’m very disappointed in Rosebrough, he knows better.

  90. Pingback: Missouri Baptist Convention “Concerned” Enough to “Pray” While Children Are Defiled by Alleged Predator Pastor « chucklestravels UNITED STATES