Cru’s Complementarian Conundrum

"In its official policies, Campus Crusade for Christ also falls into this category [One Point Complementarianism], since the organization has not taken any public stand on the role of women in ministry…"

Wayne Grudem in his book Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism, page 287

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aiga_toilets_inv.svg

Male / Female Symbols

UPDATE 12/6/12, 9:30 pm

When I was writing this post, I should have taken the time to Google Al Mohler and Thomas Kidd, who wrote the WORLD article Campus Ministry Conflict.

Better late than never… 

Mohler interviewed Kidd (no kidding!) on November 7, 2011.  The topic discussed was Thinking in Public.  Mohler then posted the interview on his website.  Take a look. 

Rethinking Christianity and America’s Early History: A Conversation With Historian Thomas S. Kidd

Here is how Mohler introduces Kidd:

"Mohler: It is no accident that so much about intellectual activity is invested in thinking about history. It’s also no accident that we have so many conversations with historians because they are often those who in the academy are dealing with the most interesting ideas, not only in retrospect, but in terms of the contemporary meaning of these things. I’m looking forward to this conversation with Thomas Kidd. Thomas S. Kidd is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University where he also serves as senior fellow of The Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of several very well received and respected academic works in American History, starting with The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism published in 2004 by Yale University Press, and his most recent work, Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, published in just recent days by Basic Books. Professor Kidd, welcome to Thinking in Public.

Kidd: Thank you for having me on."

WELL PLAYED CALVINISTAS!!!  

Not!


No doubt you've probably heard about the brouhaha involving the Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) chapter at the University of Louisville

WORLD Magazine covered the conflict in an article entitled: Campus Ministry Conflict.  It begins as follows:

"Controversies over women’s roles in ministry have rocked churches in recent decades. But at the University of Louisville’s chapter of Cru, the conflict has entered the world of campus ministry. Cru officials recently demoted Louisville’s Missional Team Leader, Daniel Harman, over his refusal to allow female staff to teach Bible studies to mixed-gender audiences." 

We could have predicted this happening in Louisville, which is now ground zero for 'biblical manhood and womanhood'. 

The article goes on to explain that Harman was an 11-year veteran of Cru, having spent eight years in eastern Europe (from 2001 to 2009).  In 2009 he became the Director of Cru at University of Louisville.  The WORLD article explains:

"Harman became concerned about Cru’s policy on women in ministry at a staff training meeting in spring 2010, when Cru officials noted that they required male and female campus staff to share leadership duties."

Apparently, Harman did allow females to speak to mixed-gender audiences at Cru events and assume various leadership roles. 

Then this fall a female Cru staff member asked Harman whether a woman could teach the Bible in mixed-gender meetings.  Harman, an M.Div. student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said women were prohibited from teaching men because of Paul's admonition in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.  Regional Cru staff got involved and met with Harman, informing him that Cru has a policy of "men and women leading together".  According to the WORLD Magazine piece:

"They gave Harman three weeks to reconsider his position, and said that if he remained 'dogmatic' about the issue, he could no longer serve as Missional Team Leader. Harman decided that he would not change the practice, and Cru demoted him."

Is there any doubt that Daniel Harman is being held up as a hero by the SBTS faculty and CBMW crowd?  The Calvinistas obviously knows that Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) does not take a public stand on the role of women in ministry.  Why?  Because their go-to-guy Wayne Grudem wrote the following in his book Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism:  Biblical Responses to the Key Questions (published in 2007).  Grudem writes:

One Point Complementarian

"An organization that holds to a “One-Point Complementarian” position believes that men and women have equal value but have different roles (1) in the home.  In order to be in this category, an organization must be neutral regarding women as pastors or elders.  (Those who advocate women’s ordination I call egalitarian)  Many of these One-Point Complementarian groups may have leaders and members who are privately Two-Point Complementarians, but the official stance of the organization is One-Point Complementarianism.

In its official policies, Campus Crusade for Christ also falls into this category [One Point Complementarianism], since the organization has not taken any public stand on the role of women in ministry while Family Life, a division of Campus Crusade under the direction of Dennis Rainey, clearly teaches male headship in the home at its “Weekend to Remember” marriage conferences."  (page 287)

How has Cru responded?  According to the WORLD article, Cru's spokesman, Mark DeMoss:

"argues that the personnel issue is essentially about policy, not theology: “A local campus leader for Cru in Kentucky was asked to relinquish his current leadership position, not because of a theological disagreement, but rather, because of a failure to abide by the terms for holding a position of leadership within Cru,” he told me. DeMoss confirmed Harman’s contention that he was not advised of Cru’s policy until after coming to Louisville, but he notes that regardless of the timing, Harman knows what the policy is now.

Cru staff, DeMoss said, do not have to agree with their leadership on every theological issue, but they do have to abide by Cru’s standard ministry practices. Among these practices is women and men sharing leadership, including both women and men exercising “gifts of Bible teaching,” DeMoss told me.

A Cru written statement from DeMoss commented further, 'Cru is passionate about connecting men and women to Jesus Christ. … While believers understandably have different beliefs on a wide variety of theological issues, Cru has chosen not to allow secondary issues to become primary passions and divert us from proclaiming Christ to the world.' ”

Hmmm…  DeMoss.  Where have I heard that name before?  Oh, Nancy Leigh DeMoss…  Yes, Mark DeMoss is Nancy's brother.  Now things are getting really interesting.  Nancy certainly appears to be in the CBMW camp, while her brother is defending Cru's adversarial position.  Could this be the start of a family feud?

Here is some background on The DeMoss Group, which represents Cru, among other organizations (link) .

Public Relations for Faith-based Organizations

"Founded by Mark DeMoss in 1991, The DeMoss Group is the nation’s first and largest public relations agency exclusively serving Christian leaders, businesses, non-profit organizations and causes.  The DeMoss Group provides a range of public relations services including, branding, media relations, influencer relations, crisis communications, marketing, and social media strategy and execution."

Denny Burk, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has written a response called When It Costs to be a Complementarian.  This is what Burk had to say about Cru's response:

"A Cru spokesman told World that this incident amounted to a disagreement over policy not over theology. That is nonsense. Cru’s policy represents an egalitarian view of ministry roles, and that stance is irreducibly theological. Daniel was demoted because of theological conviction, not because of an arcane dispute about Cru’s bureaucracy. Certainly Cru has the right to set their own policies. I hope their constituency knows that it excludes consistent complementarians.

From time to time, I will hear people argue that complementarianism only applies to the church and should not be applied to parachurch groups. This has never been a compelling argument to me. It is true that parachurch groups are not the church. They cannot baptize or administer the Lord’s supper. There is a worthwhile discussion to be had about the existence and role of parachurch organizations in relation to local churches. At the very least, I think everyone should agree that parachurch orgs should never adopt ministry practices which would undermine the teaching and discipline of actual churches. For that reason, the complementarian/egalitarian issue cannot be skirted by groups like Cru."

Burk also serves as Journal Editor for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, whose website has been "under construction" since last April.  What in the world is taking so long?  Could it be that they don't have the funds to overhaul their website?  For those who might be interested, contributions to CBMW have been in decline.  Here are the financials for this non-profit.  In 2011 total revenue amounted to $120,280, while total expenses were $121,792.  Net Assets for 2011 were $4,557.  What do these numbers mean?  I believe they indicate that in actuality CBMW and their ilk don't have that much support in the Christian community.  It's incredible to see this crowd go after a behemoth like Cru, whose annual revenues exceed $550 million and assets are over $123 million (link).  An awful lot of people are supporting Cru compared to CBMW.

Financials aside, the real problem these Calvinstas are facing is that there is no consistency when it comes to defining "complementarianism".  The Danvers Statement was drafted and adopted 25 years ago this month, and it seems that those who adhere to it have differeing views on what it means to be a complementarian.  For example, John Piper and Tim Challies recently came out with statements indicating that women are not allowed to read scripture or pray at the front of the church because such actions could be contrued as "teaching".  On the other hand, Wayne Grudem's lists (featured in our previous post) do give women some responsibilities in church.   And Mary Kassian, close friend of Grudem and Piper, cowered in her post about Rachel Held Evans' latest book A Year of Biblical Womanhood by stating that complementarianism is not about doing housework!  I believe that if you ask 25 Calvinistas to define complementarianism, you'll get 25 different answers.  There is simply no consistency in what they believe.  No wonder Cru takes the position that it does.

While it is true that Bill and Vonette Bright signed the Danvers Statement (in December 1987), I suspect that they were trying to combat radical feminism.  After all, Bill Bright received substantial Biblical training from a woman – Henrietta Mears!

While I am glad that Cru appears to be neutral when it comes to women in ministry, I must say that I am concerned that some groups have been heavily influenced by the Calvinista crowd, specifically:  Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, C.J. Mahaney, etc.  Some of our commenters like Eagle have testified about their frustrating experiences in Campus Crusade for Christ groups.  To some degree, Cru groups appear to be inconsistent when it comes to complementarianism.   Both of my daughters have been involved with Cru, and I certainly hope that Cru leadership with address these issues and establish some uniformity in their groups, particularly with regard to how females can serve in the body of Christ. 

John Piper and the Calvinista crowd have made complementarianism of primary importance (see video below).  Now they are trying to shove it down our throats!

Please pray for Cru leaders who appear to be standing up to the domineering Calvinistas. 

Lydia's Corner:   Numbers 21:1-22:20   Luke 1:26-56   Psalm 57:1-11   Proverbs 11:9-11

 

 

 

 

Comments

Cru’s Complementarian Conundrum — 158 Comments

  1. “…Cru has chosen not to allow secondary issues to become primary passions and divert us from proclaiming Christ to the world.”

    I often observe that organizations that are doing actual boots-on-the-ground work are a heck of a lot more pragmatic in regards to secondary issues than are the eggheads who just do a lot of talking. And talking. And talking.

  2. When you listen to what Calvinistas read or what they write about complementarianism, it leads to confusion. The sure way to figure them out is watch their actions.

    Funny thing, I use this same tactic when looking at abuse cases in the church. Their actions (or non-actions) give them away.

  3. Daniel Harman was a Cru (still can’t get used to that new moniker) staff member for several years. If he was always a staunch complementarian and knew Cru’s policy up front, why would he join an organization that practiced something he did not believe in? Could it be that this wasn’t an issue until he fell under the influence of SBTS?

    What really gets me is that Denny Burk seems to be holding up Harman as a martyr for the cause. Not exactly a candidate for inclusion in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs in my opinion.

  4. Pingback: Cru's Complementarian Conundrum | The Wartburg Watch 2012 | Christian News Tweets

  5. Burk has a really strange take on this. An accurate title for any article on Dan Harman would be “Harman loses job for not following employer’s policies”.
    But presenting it factually – that Harman’s position wasn’t in line with that of the people paying his wage – makes it harder to hold Harman up as a martyr for the cause. The reality is much more mundane, given many people have lost jobs for defying their company’s policies. This is mountain out of mole hill stuff.

  6. You can tell a Pharisee by the legalistic argument over how a term used in scripture applies in different situations, when it was never intended to apply anywhere. Paul (or a disciple of Paul) wrote “I permit no . . ..” He did not say that God, nor Jesus, nor the Holy Spirit did not permit. And he later said, “In Christ, there is neither . . ..” So the CBMW people are striving to be somewhere other than IN CHRIST. So CBMW advocates, take the name Christian off of your organization, your churches, and leave those of us who practice grace and love without regard to gender, race or economic status reclaim message of Christ — Love God and Love Your Neighbor. Stop trying to make distinctions that do not need to be made.

  7. What is unbelievable is that Burk knows better than this. He knows that in the Southern Baptist ministry world if you do not follow every jot and tittle of the the 2000 BF&M your position is not safe or if you are being considered for a job one disagreement with the 2000 BF&M means you will not be hired. You have to be a clone. Differing positions are not allowed.

    Folks like Burk live in an alternative universe.

  8. Lee – seconded. It certainly costs to be an egal (or often, indeed, a woman) in comp circles.

    Over here in the UK, as well as on mainland Europe back in the 70’s, we’ve had over the decades many little terrorist groups of all shapes and colours ambushing and murdering unarmed civilians (including children), then calling themselves “martyrs” when they’re caught. I can’t read much into the title of Burk’s post, which I have not yet read. For all I know, he was only trying to say that no matter what you believe, good, bad or indifferent, you will sometimes have to pay a price for it. But there are fundagelicals who display a sad and frustratingly infantile outlook on life: it really is different when they do it, and there must be one law for them and quite a different law for everybody else. Oh, and the biblical Bible Scriptures mean exactly what they say – except where they disagree with me. Then we need to interpret them in their proper historical/cultural context.

    This bit, though, concerns me:

    It is true that parachurch groups are not the church. They cannot baptize or administer the Lord’s supper. There is a worthwhile discussion to be had about the existence and role of parachurch organizations in relation to local churches. At the very least, I think everyone should agree that parachurch orgs should never adopt ministry practices which would undermine the teaching and discipline of actual churches.

    Where does he get this silly idea that there are “actual churches” that can baptise/baptize and “administer” the Lord’s supper, and “parachurch” groups that can’t? Where’s that in the bible? Indeed, where in the bible is the idea that any elite clergy class exists who “administer” the Lord’s supper to others who, by implication, passively receive it? In the early church, they shared it, in one another’s homes. And does he believe, by extension, that “parachurch” groups shouldn’t really be preaching the gospel either? Where do these fatuous hierarchies, distinctions, and levels of security clearance come from?

    That’s probably too many question-marks for one paragraph, but my point is: Once you start down the dark path of rank and privilege within the Body of Christ, there’s no end to the ridiculous, confused and contradictory blind alleys you can end up in. “Parachurches can’t baptise” and “women can’t teach” share the same DNA.

  9. Sorry – when I said “I can’t read much into the quote from Burk”, what I meant was “I can’t read much into the title of Burk’s article”. My bad.

  10. I agree with you, Nick, on the language Burk uses about ‘actual’ churches versus parachurch ministries. There’s so much energy expended in deciding which groups are allowed to do what, that the real business of the church (church as in all believers, not some building or organisation) is lost – because the debates are all about the buildings and organisations. It’s so silly.

  11. Nick, that paragraph struck me, too. It speaks to a complete lack of awareness about what the church actually is. This western concept of a dedicated building, a pastor/pastoral team, membership classes, etc. is in and of itself an extraBiblical practice.

    What happened to “Where two or three are gathered…”?

    Apparently these people re-interpret that as “Where two or three pastors are gathered…”

  12. Pam:

    Is it not amazing that folks like Burk think they get to decide what is allowed and what is not allowed. Who the heck do they think they are?

  13. Pam:

    What they do not seem to realize is that they are the head Pharisees and would condemn Jesus on the spot for his positions that differ from theirs.

  14. I don’t think you can attribute the same behaviour and motives to Mr Burk as you would a terrorist group. Tut tut! A bit more decorum please! :-)

    Gavin

  15. Gavin:

    But in a sense folks like Burk are “terrorists”–they can not tolerate folks with differing views and yes they may not “kill” people, but cross them religiously and you will find they use some pretty nasty techniques to marginalize you or cost you your position. These guys do not take prisoners. Compromise of any kind related to their beliefs is not possible. The only compromise allowed is if you decide to agree with their position.

  16. This is an easy one. If you are going to lead Cru at a college campus, you go by Cru’s rules, not your own interpretation, however heartfelt.

    What’s really interesting is that most of the students in Cru at Louisville probably come from and attend churches that have male leadership.

    Also, Cru is not a breeding ground for women as pastors of churches.

  17. Btw, our church is using Wayne Grudem’s book about Christ and the Spirit (which is an excerpt of material from his systematic theology) on a Wednesday night Bible study.

    It is excellent. I would highly recommend it to churches during the advent season.

    We are not studying his rules for complementarianism, however.

  18. Anonymous,

    Excellent points!  The Calvinistas are trying to take over, and it’s backfiring on them.  I’m already working on tomorrow’s post, which will tie in with what happened in Louisville.

  19. Strong words Mot.

    They’re quite similar in outlook to TWW then? :-)

    Regards
    Gavin

    (Light touch paper and retire to a safe distance!)

  20. Anonymous,

    Dee was telling me yesterday that Grudem’s Systematic Theology is an excellent resource – perhaps one of the best.  It’s just that she takes issue with his stance on complementarianism that spans only a few pages of the book. 

    I bought Grudem’s S.T. book at the LifeWay bookstore on the SEBTS campus in 2008 and haven’t spent much time reading it.  Later that year I began doing extensive research and became alarmed by the matters we write about here at TWW.  Knowing what I do now about Grudem, it will be difficult for me to delve into it. 

    What a shame that the Calvinista crowd decided to elevate complementarianism to the level of primary importance.  In the years to come, I believe history will show that it was a poor decision.

  21. gavin white,

    Last time I checked, none of your comments have been deleted here at TWW.  ;-)

    The same can’t be said for a number of Calvinista blogs which often remove challenging comments. 

  22. Gavin:

    Those are my thoughts. You may not like them, that is your choice. If TWW thinks my comment is out of line I am confident that they will remove it.

    You are obviously not up to speed on the mindset of men like Burke.

  23. Deb, Mot et al,

    Did you not see the smiley face? It’s only us Calvinists who are supposed to be grumpy!

    Regards
    Gavin

  24. “. Certainly Cru has the right to set their own policies. I hope their constituency knows that it excludes consistent complementarians.”

    What kind of logic is that? It excludes people who hold a position that they must exclude people the organization says they cannot exclude.

    Who is really doing the excluding here?

  25. gavin white,

    Yes, I saw the smiley face.  I like to emphasize the hypocrisy of the Calvinistas every chance I get.  Their censorship is utterly ridiculous!

    Cheerio!

  26. Deb
    For the sake of an experiment, can you recommend a couple of such blogs and I’ll write to them to see what they’re like. I’m totally amazed at all this.

    Thanks
    Gavin

  27. At the very least, I think everyone should agree that parachurch orgs should never adopt ministry practices which would undermine the teaching and discipline of actual churches.

    Interesting how he frames that.

  28. @ Mot
    Agree their behavior is oppressive, excessive. If one does not fall in line (and under their supposed authority) they become very nasty…..even to the point of accusing other brethren of being, lost or out of the will of God. Takes a strong Christian to remain unintomidated.
    Rules and decrees for all in regards to : marriage, raising of educating children, church polity, creation and so forth.
    Very Taliban like.

  29. Lin:

    They will keep you from being hired in the Southern Baptist Convention world or they will tar you with the label of “liberal” and you will lose your job. That is a form of “killing” someone.

  30. Agree their behavior is oppressive, excessive. If one does not fall in line (and under their supposed authority) they become very nasty…..even to the point of accusing other brethren of being, lost or out of the will of God. Takes a strong Christian to remain unintomidated.
    Rules and decrees for all in regards to : marriage, raising of educating children, church polity, creation and so forth.
    Very Taliban like.

    I think this would fall under “teaching and discipline of actual churches.”

  31. Deb
    and here is the response I got when another contributor assumed I was comparing your “good guys” with terrorism on another thread. I think there is a whiff of double standards here.

    “Gavin, honestly – I find your defense of abhorrent behavior on the part of Big Name xtians to be impossible to stomach.
    As for this
    And on a more contemporary note, would any of this apply to the state-sanctioned murder of Osama Bin Laden, the secret “droning” of innocent bystanders or the illegal detentions at Gitmo. If you want to criticise, let’s do it in our own age and speak of things we are morally responsible for.
    I think all of the things youvé jsut cited are reprehensible, including the “kill list” and the murder – rather than attempted capture – of people like Bin Laden.
    What about the bad things that *your* countrymen have inflicted on the world? They were many – including the opium and slave trades.
    Your empire’s gone; I hope we never have one. And I hope and pray that I will never be so lofty-minded as to forget the cost of human suffering. (I know that might sound arrogant; I don’t mean it that way. I grew up with people whose families somehow survived the Holocaust…)
    And that is a really, really pitiful excuse for Luther’s virulent anti-semitism. Of course, you’ll disagree with me, but I expect that. Perhaps you do not see how repellent it is to blame Luther’s anti-semitism on Jewish people, but I think other readers will get the point all too clearly.”

    The point is you are selective in who or what you criticise.

    Regards
    Gavin

    And, to be clear, as for the last part of the quote about “blaming Jews” for the way Luther treated them, that was a direct quote from an award winning history of the Jewish People written by a Jewish historian and was a “fact” quoted by him.

    Thus my request for a bit of decorum here (and even-handedness).

  32. @ Mot

    I just thought of something–at least Harman did not get fired.

    <Bingo! Unlike the Stalinesque purges conducted by Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, and their ilk throughout the SBTS to enforce male supremacy (I refuse to call them “complementarians” since it’s a fraudulent usage of the term meant to put lipstick on a theological pig).

    Daniel Harman as martyr because he wants Cru to be an oppressor of women – pu-leese. The guy’s infected with the SBTS male supremacy virus and wants to spread it to another organization.

    It appears the CBMW site has come back to life somewhat, the ‘temporary’ message being gone and links to their “journal” and old stuff posted on the home page. Looks like a feeble effort so far to bring it back to life, much like a zombie.

  33. “Certainly Cru has the right to set their own policies. I hope their constituency knows that it excludes consistent complementarians.”

    The problem is that they want them to exclude those who are not consistent complementarians.

    Part of the reason that this gets elevated above a secondary issue is that this has to do with person A controlling what person B does. If A is unwilling to let B teach (or listen to B teach) – then one of the two of them gets left out. Either B doesn’t teach, or A leaves in protest. There isn’t really a compromise available because it is a compromise of conviction for either party.

    In something like infant baptism vs. adult baptism A can baptize their children while B can choose not to. A’s convictions do not have to be upheld by B for A to abide by his convictions. B’s consistency is also not effected by A. Furthermore, if C (A’s adult child) comes to a different conclusion they can be re-baptized according to their own convictions and it still hasn’t effected A’s or B’s consistency with their convictions. Now of course this can be blown out of proportion, and if A or B happens to be a pastor who is asked to baptize against his convictions then it can become an issue. For your average person sitting in a pew it should be possible to agree to disagree and focus on more important things.

  34. Complementarians and the Local Church. I heard the same rhetoric in SGM. Participation in parachurch groups was more than discouraged. They were considered knockoff Gucci bags or something – attempts at appearing like the real thing but were mere imitations. Fakes. The Local Church was where it was at. That’s where the pure religion was found. That where you were really under God’s authority.

    I’m happy to see these complementarians losing their favor and their charm. Harman’s name reminded me of Haman from the bible and the story of Mordecai & Esther. More and more it appears as though these men take offense to women in general, and are infuriated at the thought of any woman not bowing down to them. And women like Mary Kassian are like Haman’s wife Zerech. Rather than tempering her husband’s hatred and bigotry, she encourages him to build a gallows to hang Mordecai on in order to get rid of the source of his offence, not recognizing the offence stemmed from Haman’s proud and wicked heart. And what happened? God intervened for his people through Esther, Haman was hanged, his ten sons killed, and Zerech was left without a husband and bereaved of her children. Then what became of her? She’s never mentioned again.

    I think complementarians are being hung on the same gallows that they have erected to hang women and egalitarians on. And I say fair play. They’re going to die in this battle because God is giving Christian egalitarians & women the tools to defend themselves and fight against their enemies who seek to destroy them, praise the Lord! Let there be light!

  35. Evie:

    You said:”I think complementarians are being hung on the same gallows that they have erected to hang women and egalitarians on. And I say fair play. They’re going to die in this battle because God is giving Christian egalitarians & women the tools to defend themselves and fight against their enemies who seek to destroy them, praise the Lord! Let there be light!”

    Amen and Amen!!

  36. Evie,

    Great comment!  Haman has come to mind from time to time when I think of the modern-day patriarchs who are hiding behind their invented term complementarianism.

  37. Part of the “problem” with campus ministries is that they ruin many people for life in the “regular” church.

    Let me explain.

    I was on staff with InterVarsity, but not involved as a student. (Long story) IVCF is a completely egalitarian ministry. Women do everything.

    So students get involved and see women flourishing and using their gifts. Students study the Bible in depth, they receive mentoring from older students and staff members, they help lead worship during the meetings, etc. They hear gifted women speak and teach at meetings, conferences and camps. They get a rich community environment and are encouraged to be intentional about their walk with God.

    IV is not a substitute for church. Students are all encouraged to be involved in a local church. But when the students graduate, it leaves a HUGE void in their lives. And this is the problem (from the student perspective). After being in rich community and utilizing their gifts, the local church they attend after graduation usually pales in comparison. It feels shallow and impersonal. Instead of using their gifts in significant ways, they are seen as too young to contribute in any significant way.

    It also creates problems for students who are used to seeing women involved in every way or were women who flourished using their spiritual gifts on campus. They cannot deny the giftedness of these women because they saw how God utilized them to advance the Gospel and help others grow in their faith. But now they find themselves in churches where women can’t do anything.

    This is why Denny Burk thinks parachurch ministries are dangerous. Groups like IVCF gives students a taste of what the body of Christ is supposed to be like – serving, evangelizing, learning, growing, and being in community. After you have that experience, it is hard to reconcile it with what you see going on in the local church. And so things like IVCF are a threat to the comps and their churches. They show students how the body of Christ can function well in an egalitarian setting. Once you experience it, all this preaching about how men have to be in charge or it will be the end of Christianity seems really ridiculous.

  38. Well, the CBMW may be done, but poorly done on the slide show. You can’t read any of the slides because the type is so small and there is no pause feature.

  39. There have been one or two comments, with varying levels of :-) , about my first post on this thread. To wit, I noted that Burk effectively described Harman as a martyr (strict fairness: the word “martyr” is mine, but the description is Burk’s). I then observed that we have seen, on this side of the pond, people who claimed martyrdom when they were prosecuted for their crimes, when in fact their “martyrdom” was simply the direct result of actions they themselves chose. They were not “martyrs” any more than were their victims.

    Was I, thus, saying that Burk’s activities are like those of the Baader-Meinhof gang et al?

    Yes, and no.

    I myself share many characteristics with Adolf Hitler; good (e.g., a fondness for exercise), bad (e.g., a tendency to think I’m right) and indifferent (e.g. a need for oxygen). That doesn’t mean I consider myself comparable, lock, stock and barrel, to Hitler. I remember the late, great Spike Milligan (a comedian whom you may or may not have heard of in the US) observing of someone: “He meant well, but so did Hitler!”.

    Did I claim that Burk is a mass-murderer? No; I didn’t say that, nor did I mean it. In that regard, I don’t believe he and his fellow-comps are terrorists, nor as bad as terrorists.

    Did I mean to imply that Harman is no more a martyr than is an imprisoned terrorist? Absolutely. Burk writes on behalf of a movement that is famed for its vitriolic intolerance, its divisiveness and factional behaviour, and its attacks on fellow-believers who do not share either its doctrine on gender roles, nor its elevation of that doctrine to “primary issue” status. And Harman chose to work for an organisation that openly practices gender equality, when it is hard to believe he had to choose between conscience-defiling work for CRU and starvation.

    In other words, the line of “oh, it can be tough as a complementarian”, trotted out in this context, is repugnantly hypocritical. Indeed, combined with its postulations on what is and is not “church”, the article (which I have now read) demonstrates great arrogance.

    I am satisfied that I did not write a post stating or suggesting that Harman was in no important sense better than a terrorist. I wrote something that, if read partially and/or in a hurry, might conceivably be mis-construed. It’s very difficult to write something that can’t give offence to anyone, and it’s even harder to write something expressing strong views, about what one believes grossly unrighteous, that is nice.

  40. @Evie

    God is giving Christian egalitarians & women the tools to defend themselves and fight against their enemies who seek to destroy them…

    Amen! Amen!

  41. Lee, Bingo. Harmon knew cru policy long before becoming a team leader. he is following the typical trajectory of Mohler influence SBTS tactics of deception which amounts to ‘get some power first then make the changes’. it is happening all over in churches and para church organizations.
    I am thrilled that it backfired but he should have been fired. my guess is that he has not been fired because Cru really would like to make these changes eventually in Louisville.

  42. Cru is much more conservative than IVCF, but they still have to be aware that if they went to a totally complementarian approach on campus it would have unbelievable fallout on every level. They would have to restructure their entire organization. And I would think they would incur significant staffing and donor losses.

    That’s not to say they won’t do it, but they would have to have the mother of all plans in place to pull something like that off and not have the entire thing go up in flames.

    Remember that there are all kinds of levels of buy-in on the complemetarian view. Taking a view that removes women from teaching, speaking and leading all the time will not fly with many people in the organization, even if they do view themselves as comps.

  43. Dear Beakerj
    Sorry, I am actually Gavin. If I knew how to do it I would post a picture of myself, in a suit, looking suitably serious, sitting watching seagulls in Ireland! And no I’m not kidding :-)

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    Regards
    Gavin

  44. “At the very least, I think everyone should agree that parachurch orgs should never adopt ministry practices which would undermine the teaching and discipline of actual churches. For that reason, the complementarian/egalitarian issue cannot be skirted by groups like Cru.” ~ Denny Burk

    I guess I could maybe agree with Mr Burk when the Southern Baptist Convention to which Mr Burk’s employing agency is related gets over the Moon … Lottie Moon, that is — and Annie Armstrong, for that matter … then the SBC, as the parachurch org that it is, will no longer be undermining the teaching of “consistent complementarianism” in actual churches! Surely there is some male figures who are more appropriate for collecting funds in the name of evangelism and missions, right? The SBC needs to get their big boy pants on and stop skirting the practices of women in outreach.

    Yes, anonymous on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:31 AM, very interesting how Mr Burk frames that …

  45. @ Eagle 10:23~

    That sounds like a horrible experience. That is so sad. I remember about 4 years ago when a woman from the women’s bible study I was in at the time and her husband decided to become Cru missionaries/training- or whatever it is called where they have to raise their own support and go to Florida. She asked us for money and I told her i was not interested. I did not want to give to Cru. She must have given her husband MY cell phone number because I kid you not, the next thiing I knew was that he was calling me, a total stanger, every single day and leaving messages for me to return his call becuase he wanted to come over to talk about Cru. It was very invasive. After 2 months of messages, I finally answered when he called and told him to leave me alone. It was very awkward.

    @ Sallie 11:22~

    “This is why Denny Burk thinks parachurch ministries are dangerous. Groups like IVCF gives students a taste of what the body of Christ is supposed to be like – serving, evangelizing, learning, growing, and being in community.”

    I agree. Our wonderful freedom in Christ is a burden to them. One they need to get rid of.

    @ Deb~

    “John Piper and the Calvinista crowd have made complementarianism of primary importance (see video below). Now they are trying to shove it down our throats!”

    I had a chuckle when I saw this just now-

    http://www.visionforum.com/news/blogs/doug/2012/11/10462/

    Grown men playing with fake swords (which I am totally not getting because these are advertised as toys for boys). Reminds me of some of these men.

  46. Brad:

    Interesting comment about Lottie Moon. This is what I posted on the SBC plodder blog yesterday–“William:

    Maybe it is time to refocus this International Missions giving on another individual–this time a male.

    I’m not really serious other than my experience with the Lottie Moon offering is the SBC uses her name to try and raise a ton of money and really does not share that much about her person given the fact that she was a woman.”

    I have not received any responses to my comment and doubt that I will.

    The reason I point out I am not serious is there is not a snowballs chance in you no where that the Southern Baptist convention would switch away from one of its major cash cows. I really do think the big boys there hate that this offering was not in the name of Lot Moon a man. I think it really gigs them.

  47. Diane,

    Thanks for sharing that Vision Forum video! The complementarian crowd is trying to sell their snake oil just as hard as VF tries to sell its over-priced merchandise.

  48. @ Mot 12:06~

    “I really do think the big boys there hate that this offering was not in the name of Lot Moon a man. I think it really gigs them.”

    Not unlike Doug Phillips not celebrating Christmas (because according to him it is pagan), yet has a big “Winter Kickoff Sale” (what exactly are they kicking off?) on his blog all nicely packaged with red bows ( no Christmas here) and all manner of sales and discounts. He and his son, Honor, even have a couple of promotional videos about how Legos and a dinosaur book would make great gifts (EVEN for girls).
    http://www.visionforum.com/news/blogs/doug/

  49. @ Mot – I hear yuh. And I guess until the SBC gets all consistified, that irony will continue as a thorn in the side of those who would have the SBC as consistent complementarian (whatever that means) and make their teachings continue to sound like just so much sophistry, since the SBC parachurch org does not practice what they in the churches teach.

    Plus, if I remember right, the Annie Armstrong offering is on behalf of the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), which has done some very amazing ministry and outreach over the decades. I have to wonder if the consistent complementarians would rather do away with WMU and absorb all into the general fundage where undoubtedly they would put a man in charge?

    Sorry, but it’s all just so tedious … and is it any wonder that people are flocking away from churches and that “none” [no religious affiliation] has grown like kudzu?

  50. Campus Crusade’s always been a bit clueless, what with their Wretched Urgency tunnel-vision on drive-by evangelism and “multiplying ministry” pyramid scheme organization. (Kind of like Amway without the soap.)

    Their local chapters can vary a lot. My involvement was in the late 1970s, and the one where I was (Cal Poly Pomona) was pretty mellow though they still had frequent “What were they thinking?”
    moments. However, the Campus Crusaders at the other end of Brea Canyon (Cal State Fullerton) could have understudied for the Calvinistas or Taliban and were known for Culture War Witch Hunts — I played D&D on Saturday nights down there and there was a LOT of off-and-on hassle with Campus Crusade. Fortunately us gamers were on good terms with the campus cops after fingering a petty arsonist who was torching trash cans in the building.

  51. Eagle,

    I was involved in Crusade in college at a north eastern school in the late 80s. The spring semester of 1990 everything changed. I had to skip the fall 89 semester for financial reasons, but upon return I found a whole different Crusade with a whole different feel and it was not an improvement for a lot of reasons. So much so that after a few attempts to stay connected I felt I had to ditch because there was something just too weird there anymore. I never did find out what it was either.

    Anyway, suddenly, the 2 women (both married with at least one child) who had split the work with their husbands on campus up till then (one on campus while the other was home with the kids) “felt led” to stay home. They could no longer serve on campus because of their family. I learned this through the grape vine since they weren’t there to say so themselves. They were replaced by a new couple and a single woman, plus the other 2 guys who had been there all along. I never did see the wife of the new couple (which was just as well as I had met her at a conference where she came off like an ice maiden I really didn’t want to know anyway). The single woman was nice but new. The women who had been involved in our lives were suddenly absent, or at least it seemed that way to me. The only staff I ever saw on campus were the 2 original guys, the new guy, and the single woman.

    In any case, my take is there was some kind of sea change in either 89 or 90. At what level I don’t know. If this was some kind of “orders from on high” thing or just something that settled in at our univ. I don’t know. But from what you are saying, something came in from somewhere at the organizational level and has been bearing fruit of a nefarious sort at least since then.

    That was the semester all sorts of things about Crusade jumped out at me. Those things had been there all along but I was now seeing them. But even with that stuff I had up till then been able to be involved pretty comfortably and beneficially. Nevertheless, there was a definite change in the character of the staff and group from the one year to the next, so much so that I just could not stick around. It was very confusing and creepy at the time. It still gives me the creeps to think about. But the more I hear now, the more glad I am I didn’t stick around then.

  52. Where does he get this silly idea that there are “actual churches” that can baptise/baptize and “administer” the Lord’s supper, and “parachurch” groups that can’t? — Nick Bulbeck

    The Council of Trent?
    Rome?

  53. So again if a guy deals with lust (which guy doesn’t) it’s because of how the woman is dressed. — Eagle

    Just like the Saudi rationale for the Chadoor, and the Talibani rationale for the Burqa.

  54. anonymous,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Campus Crusade for Christ.  I wonder if the radical change you witnessed had anything to do with the Danvers Statement, which the Brights signed in December 1987.  The timing certainly seems to fit…

  55. Crusade was all about hard core evangelism. And it was very dishonest at times in evangelism.

    Yes.

  56. I wonder if the radical change you witnessed had anything to do with the Danvers Statement, which the Brights signed in December 1987. The timing certainly seems to fit…

    Hmm. Good question. I didn’t know anything about that at the time but it does fit, time wise.

  57. “guess I could maybe agree with Mr Burk when the Southern Baptist Convention to which Mr Burk’s employing agency is related gets over the Moon … Lottie Moon, that is — and Annie Armstrong, for that matter … then the SBC, as the parachurch org that it is, will no longer be undermining the teaching of “consistent complementarianism” in actual churches! Surely there is some male figures who are more appropriate for collecting funds in the name of evangelism and missions, right? The SBC needs to get their big boy pants on and stop skirting the practices of women in outreach.”

    There IS complete irony here, Brad. One that many ignore the cognitive dissonance of what has become SBC’s legalistic polity. Lottie Moon both led men to Christ and taught them. She lived in a reomote village for years and was the lone woman missionary there. She was it. Single woman. Never married, no children. My goodness, she is not fitting the comp Christian woman profile at all.

    So what is the problem? The situation is two fold. Back then, women were considered inferior anyway both in the secular and theological worlds so they were not a threat to male leaders as they are today therefore they actually had more freedom to function in some ways. Women missionaries were only teaching the natives which were not “Western” men. There is a difference, you know. Right? Right?

  58. “Crusade in many ways has a siege mentality of “us” vs. “them”.”

    Eagle, This is exactly the mentality of Denny Burk’s blog post linked above in comments. They want to present comp doctrine as being something that they must live out as martyrs for the cause while everyone else hates them. Oh, it is so hard to be comp in the world. They are persecuted for being right. They have set up a false dichotomy so they can assure themselves of their rightness. While the truth is we are all still trying to figure out what really defines comp…which brand? Few of them are on the same page. Some say women cannot read scripture in church. Some say she can be an elected leader but not lead a mixed bible study. Some say she can lead a mixed bible study if she is under the authority of her husband who happens to be a pastor. (I am NOT kidding. This was why Mrs Criswell could teach an SS class to 300 both male and female which was on the radio, too!!!)

    WE are talking about thin skinned people who view dissent or disagreement as persecution. I hear it all the time from these YRR guys.

  59. Hi, Gavin.

    I think some of us American readers are finding it difficult to discern your true point in some of your comments. And are perhaps getting frustrated.

    Like me & how frustrated I get with my husband. He is from England, and even after 16 years together I am often asking him, “What do you mean?…….Okay, now what does THAT mean?”

    To me, a good deal of what he says is indirect and vague. Fancy language and imagery for its own sake (certainly not for the sake of comprehension) I have to remind him weekly that people who have grown up in America are used to language that is more black & white, saying what one means in rather plain terms.

    My mantra with him is “communicate for comprehension”, instead of circling around one’s true point in a realm of vague or fancy language. Or imagery that could really mean a variety of things.

    (He often gets the “deer-in-the-headlights” look from people he’s talking to.)

    He thinks we Americans are knuckleheads who know nothing of the art of communication.

    I maintain that for longterm Americans (who have absorbed whatever American culture actually is), it’s a different style of art of communication — but one driven by efficiency in getting one’s point across accurately from speaker to hearer, by being plain and clear. And this doesn’t necessarily cancel out eloquence.

    (he sniffs at that last part)

  60. Eagle – You probably would have had a different experience in IVCF. I cannot imagine anyone harassing someone day after day. I mean you might get a call once a week for a few weeks to try to keep in touch, but no way would it be like you described.

    I don’t want to paint IVCF as perfect and Cru as horrible. There are many great believers in Cru. IVCF is made up of people so it has its own set of problems as well. But if I made a sweeping generalization it would be that Cru was more focused on evangelism and IVCF was more focused on making disciples. The difference is significant.

    I visited a Crusade meeting when I was in college. I didn’t feel like I fit in at all. Crusade was basically for the beautiful people and I never considered myself part of the beautiful, popular crowd. They also tend to go more for Greeks on many campuses (although IVCF has a growing ministry to sororities and fraternities). I also attended a Crusade Bible study for several weeks and really liked the student leader who led it but never got involved beyond that.

    What is ironic is that after I visited Crusade and felt like I didn’t fit in, I ended up pledging a sorority and became a prominent leader in my chapter and in the Greek system. So I probably would have passed the “be influential on campus” requirement to be attractive to the Crusade leadership, but I still didn’t consider myself one of the beautiful, popular people. It was my leadership skills that opened doors for me. (Well, that and some amazing miracles of God. Truly.)

  61. Diane

    “Grown men playing with fake swords (which I am totally not getting because these are advertised as toys for boys). Reminds me of some of these men.”

    I was really confused by this site. Many of the toys were gendered yet they had some very interesting ourdoor/adventure stuff for girls. I really like the grappeling hook. I’m sure my granddaughters would enjoy some the items this site had but the girls are very aggresive and someone would probably get hurt.

    As for grown men and women playing with swords. The best place for this is the Society for Creative Anacronism (SCA). Great fun and much more authentic. Armor is required to avoid injuries.

  62. Thanks Elastigirl
    I do think it’s hard to know how to pitch things. I’m normally abrupt and to the point but I have been trying not to be. (Although judging by the reaction sometimes my native sarcasm still pops through and causes a bit of a fuss!)

    Regards
    Gavin

  63. Brad:

    2012 is the 125th anniversary of the WMU and it is 12-6-12 and I’ve heard no big celebrations by the big boys at the SBC. According to my reading the WMU saved the SBC several times by raising large sums of money. But sarcasm alert-surely the boys at the SBC can not celebrate the accomplishments of women.

  64. Gavin – I think there’s a difference between being direct and being abrupt.

    And I did get very frustrated by/with some of the comments you made in a couple of earlier threads. Not at all sure that you needed to quote me out of context, though…

  65. So, Denny Burk says, “It is true that parachurch groups are not the church. They cannot baptize or administer the Lord’s supper.”

    hmmmm…. my prayer partner & I did the communion-bread-&-wine thing yesterday, just the 2 of us. It was very significant for me, deeper and more profound than any church has been able to administer.

    John ascribes to Jesus the words “I am the bread of life…. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you;…For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.”

    For the sake of space here, I’m leaving off the words having to do with eternal life, and am including the words that grabbed me — the real-time, now, present aspect.

    I am spiritually needy at present —

    (anticipating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a difficult family member, in tension with my mom’s expectation of a “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night” as we’re all together), —

    — and I welcome Jesus’ humanity and divinity into every cell of my being. This “abiding in me and I in” him thing.

    So, symbollically (& mystically?) ingesting food indeed and drink indeed, and sensing it course through my body. Asking Jesus to remind me on Christmas Eve and Day, at those moments of choice (do I say it or do i not say it), that he is with me and I with him, and to make the good and wise choice.

  66. Wisdomchaser:

    If you do enough reading about Lottie Moon you will find IMO that she was a mighty good woman Baptist preacher. Now what I just said here would really get the big boys at the Southern Baptist Convention fired up but IMO they are just in denial and just want to spin the story their way.

  67. “Grown men playing with fake swords (which I am totally not getting because these are advertised as toys for boys). Reminds me of some of these men.”

    If those “fake swords” are what I think they are from the pic, they’re decent-quality hard plastic longswords weighted and balanced for Western martial-arts practice. I know a guy who practices with them. Though the all-black coloration gives me flashbacks of when I used to read Michael Moorcock…

  68. Did you know that Annie Armstrong opposed women students at SBTS because it might lead down the slippery slope to women being ordained? As far as SBs I guess she had nothing to fear.

  69. To me, a good deal of what he says is indirect and vague. Fancy language and imagery for its own sake (certainly not for the sake of comprehension) I have to remind him weekly that people who have grown up in America are used to language that is more black & white, saying what one means in rather plain terms.

    My mantra with him is “communicate for comprehension”, instead of circling around one’s true point in a realm of vague or fancy language. Or imagery that could really mean a variety of things. — Elastigirl

    “STOP SHOWING ME HOW STYLISH YOU CAN WRITE AND JUST TELL THE STORY!”
    — Urban Legend of rejection letter from SF editor Marion Zimmer Bradley

    P.S. I don’t think Gavin is Jimmy under a sock puppet account. Gavin is much more longwinded, to the point where Internet Monk used to say “If you’re going to post that long a comment, get your own blog!” Also, Jimmy was much more obvious in the “See How Clever I Am” department.

  70. Ahhh… slippery slopes everywhere! There’s only ONE thing to do: legislate. And don’t budge.

  71. P.P.S. And when you nailed Jimmy, he’d get mad and show it directly. Gavin uses the passive-aggressive trick of Wide-Eyed Innocence and pleading he didn’t Understand while going for a pre-set fallback position of Plausible Deniability and Playing The Innocent Victim.

  72. I honestly would never have had anything to do with an organization with “Crusade” in the title.

  73. Swords: well, they could have used swords made for tai chi sword forms, etc. etc., but those aren’t made for sparring/combat…

    I want to get a wooden (practice) tai chi sword to see if I can get some of the super-basics of the sword form down. but I definitely *don’t* want to try that with a metal (edged) tai chi sword – too dangerous!

  74. Elastigirl

    Glad you brought up private communion. I have been thinking about doing family communion for some sometime. I am gluten intolerant and even when I have been at church when it was served I have abstained due to the gluten. It has been a long time since I have had communion. I have a recipe for gluten free matzoh and I think I will make some now.

  75. My church actually has a gluten free line for communion. They have three different lines, in fact: wine, grape juice, and gluten free. I assume they do grape juice for the gluten free.

  76. Mot

    Thanks for your comments. I grew up Southern Baptist so I heard about these women every year. Yet I have learned more today than I ever did then. They both were admirable women doing great things for the Lord but I think I would have liked Lottie Moon more. Can you recommend any good books about her?

  77. But HUG…you don’t think Jimmy could have ‘evolved’ in order to get a fresh go? I was joking, but it gave me a little jolt when I read Gavin.

    And Gavin, it’s very possible that people aren’t getting the British sarcasm, possibly not realising it’s there…sometimes people here have described things as snarky when I have thought they were being VERY restrained. There are Brits here, like me & Nick who can translate for others, if you want :)

  78. The history of the Calvinista has always been about control.The calvinista has always oppressed those who disagree with them. They refuse to have fellowship and condemn those who disagree with their warped theology…T.U.L.I.P….and salvation by divine decree and the rest of you have been decreed for hell fire.They are like the pharisees in the gospels they have added theology upon theology over the simplistic truths of the scripture.Who is Jesus? They miss the point.

    My deep love and affection for the hurting on this site.

  79. it’s very possible that people aren’t getting the British sarcasm, possibly not realising it’s there…

    to quote someone, “Am I BOVVERED?!!” ;)

  80. “To me, a good deal of what he says is indirect and vague. Fancy language and imagery for its own sake (certainly not for the sake of comprehension) I have to remind him weekly that people who have grown up in America are used to language that is more black & white, saying what one means in rather plain terms.”

    I had to LOL on this one. My dearest friend in the world is British and we communicate 90% on email. I am constantly asking for clarification or for him to cut to the chase.

    But my favorite was when I recommended CS Lewis Mere Christianity for a point we were discussing and his complaint, after reading a few chapters, was in a very verbose email basically saying Lewis was too wordy! LOL!

  81. Elastigirl – it’s very definitely ‘beekerjay’…

    And Gavin – where are you on Ireland currently? I’m from an Irish family & we are very sarcastic…like I was being when I called you Jimmy! It was just a thought I had :)

  82. “it’s very possible that people aren’t getting the British sarcasm, possibly not realising it’s there…”

    I’m not getting it, and my sarcasm has British roots.

    I just see an attempt to ‘frame’ TWW and its commentors (?commentees) – ie to define the boundaries and control what should and shouldn’t be spoken. I see it as an attempt at manipulation.

    I can pull out a long list from previous comments if you like.

    Here’s just one from this thread: “Thus my request for a bit of decorum here (and even-handedness)”.

    Gavin, your challenge should you accept it is to start your own blog.

  83. “I am constantly asking for clarification or for him to cut to the chase.”

    Or, as my friend would say, “Land the plane.” With swooping hand gesture and sigh of exasperation.

  84. Re: the Lottie Moon discussion – an unconventional lady who is very much a personal hero – I have a sneaky suspicion that over the course of the next several years, the SBC offering in her name will likely change to reflect a more “forward” vision, or be rebranded, or something. I guess if the SBC can change it’s name, anything is possible. I hope not, but it doesn’t seem so unlikely, to me. I’m glad you brought her up, Brad.

    Being inspired during this holiday time of year, I’ve still lead out during my family’s personal advent time together, and despite my house being all-male I even offered communion. I don’t think Lottie would have raised an eyebrow.

  85. “I just see an attempt to ‘frame’ TWW and its commentors (?commentees) – ie to define the boundaries and control what should and shouldn’t be spoken. I see it as an attempt at manipulation.”

    One of those is to refuse to discuss translation or interpretation problems and contradictions that are obvious when one goes into comp doctrine. Just claim it is plain reading of the scriptures. Nevermind the obvious contradictions. This is why the internet has been horrible for the comp industry and believe me, it was an industry for quite a few years. The brand ran it’s course and is teetering so time for a rebranding.

    Katherine Bushnell could eat the old Scottish preachers lunch in one lesson.

  86. “Re: the Lottie Moon discussion – an unconventional lady who is very much a personal hero – I have a sneaky suspicion that over the course of the next several years, the SBC offering in her name will likely change to reflect a more “forward” vision, or be rebranded, or something. I guess if the SBC can change it’s name, anything is possible. I hope not, but it doesn’t seem so unlikely, to me. I’m glad you brought her up, Brad”

    That has already happened. Lottie Moon was a strict Calvinist. Lottie Moon did not really starve to death feeding the Chinese, etc, etc. I hvae seen all sorts of bizarre things on some REformed SBC blogs rewriting her history.

  87. Per the “decorum” thing:

    I certainly don’t agree with everything posted in the comments…though I’d much rather people say what they really think than try to be overly polite and blunt their point. I see this as the purpose of the comments here, for people to speak their mind, whether they agree with the majority of the commenters or not.

    That being said…if someone joins the discussion KNOWING they have a minority opinion (esp. in an attempt to “convert”), they should not be surprised when they get pushback from the majority. They certainly cannot call it “censorship” or “shouting down,” unless it gets truly abusive or they really are blocked merely for dissent (which happens frequently on many Christian blogs – see the Bayly blog for exhibit A). This would be akin to a Protestant walking into a room full of Catholics, proclaiming loudly that the Pope is the Antichrist, and then complaining when the discussion that followed got a wee bit heated.

    Basically, a comp coming onto this blog knowing there is an egalitarian majority should not be surprised if they get some strongly-worded disagreement. Same for an egal commenting on a comp blog. And yes, I would consider the comparisons to terrorists to be going too far…but certainly not abusive. My personal standard for “abusive” is when it gets strongly personally derogatory (i.e., it changes from “Bob, I just don’t know how you can believe this crap” to “Bob, you f***ing moron, you’d have to be a retard to believe this s***!”).

  88. Wisdomchaser:

    The book I would recommend the most is– The New Lottie Moon Story– by Catherine Allen.

  89. Haitch – very much agreed. And using sarcasm to try and frame things that way is something commenters from this side of the Atlantic have been known to do. [ironic winking smiley face]

  90. That has already happened. Lottie Moon was a strict Calvinist. Lottie Moon did not really starve to death feeding the Chinese, etc, etc. I hvae seen all sorts of bizarre things on some REformed SBC blogs rewriting her history. — Anon1

    Just like the Ministry of Truth in 1984 (or its inspiration Stalin)?

    war is peace
    freedom is slavery
    ignorance is strength
    oceania has always been at peace with eurasia

  91. What do you mean by “Calvinista”? Or is it “Calvinsta”? Both terms are mentioned in this post.

  92. CB,

    Calvinista is a term we use to describe the YRR crowd that we believe is into hyper-authoritarianism and patriarchy. Thanks for asking.

    Anyone else care to define Calvinista for CB?

  93. 2 Anon 1 “Lee, Bingo. Harmon knew cru policy long before becoming a team leader. he is following the typical trajectory of Mohler influence SBTS tactics of deception which amounts to ‘get some power first then make the changes’. it is happening all over in churches and para church organizations.
    I am thrilled that it backfired but he should have been fired. my guess is that he has not been fired because Cru really would like to make these changes eventually in Louisville.”

    Yes…..they have come in by stealth and deception to many churches,including my own. Stacked the deck against our own congregation. Been an active,faithful member for 25 years and it’s been strongly suggested to us, if we can’t agree to an exclusive male led authority structure (amongst many other changes) then perhaps it’s time we should find another church.

    Harman came into an organization , full well knowing the policy, yet, has the nerve to expect them to change for him. in contrast, they take over churches and expect the congregation to comply or get out. Double standard, bully tactics.

  94. Lin, I am stunned at how many people are telling the same story you are. This will shock some folks but guess where the whole “If you don’t like it find another church” was taken to a whole “doctrinal” level as a fair and just way to deal with those who dare question or disagree with the great ones in leadership?

    Rick Warren’s, Pastors Forum. It did not take long for it to become passcode protected as so many were sharing a linke of the wolves (pastors) plotting against members who were givingt them “trouble”.

    The Calvinistas just perfected it and call it church discipline.

  95. A Calvinista is someone who is obsessively concerned about how marriage portrays the gospel. He may one who has just written an excruciatingly long article for the fall 2012 issue of the JBMW entitled, “Marriage in the Cosmic Plan of God” and use words like cosmic, cosmos and aeon… all while declaring that husbands and wives are in ‘spiritual warfare’ with each other. (Will not post the link-it is that bad and you know how I love to add links.)

    One more clue that you have encountered a Calvinista: after having read an article written by one pontificating on gospel marriage, gospel headship, gospel servant leadership or gospel submission, you can plan on having a major headache, guilt and/or despair and will be just as confused as you were when you began- quite possibly more.

  96. Deb, since you invited definitions of *Calvinistas*, here’s what I put together – and thanks for doing that – this was a great exercise in creating an “indicator list” of elements to watch out for …

    CALVINISTAS – A term coined late in the 2000 decade to describe the emerging movement of militaristic neo-Reformed theologians, pastors, church planters, etc.

    The term is a “back-formation” word based on cutting apart existing terms and recombining them into something new. “Calvinistas” appears to be the recombinant result of CALVIN- (from Reformed theology of Calvinism) plus –ISTAS (from the Sandinistas National Liberation Front, a Nicaraguan guerrilla warfare group that fought to take over their country from the previous prevailing regime).

    As with many guerrilla warfare groups, the Calvinistas are noted for strong idealism, focus on power, and dedication to their task.

    In the case of Calvinistas, their ideological paradigm typically includes:
    • Dualism – a system of black-or-white thinking that constantly splits holistic phenomena into fragments, while valuing certain parts and devaluing others.
    • Reductionism – a systemic overfocus on particular philosophical elements while intentionally or ignorantly leaving out others. In this case, only elements considered “gospel truth” are of importance and thus dominate faith and practice.
    • Patriarchalism – an extreme form of the gender complementarian theory that values males and devalues females, while attempting to explain away the inherent implications of devaluation.
    • Totalism – a system of comprehensive control over all aspects of the lives of its followers, and which requires their total submission to the leaders and to the ideology in order to prove their worthiness to be included in the movement.
    • Dominionism – a system of attempted comprehensive control over all aspects of the societies, political processes, and cultures in which the Calvinistas live.

    Calvinistas’ power structures are based on authoritarianism and turn out to be highly hierarchical, but most frequently are oligarchical – ruled by an elite group of leaders. Thus, the Calvinista power structure is rife with:
    • Favoritism as shown to celebrity heroes.
    • Nepotism – preference given to extended family members.
    • Cronyism – preference given to personal friends.
    • Discipline as shown to those who refuse to abide by Calvinistas’ totalism, or who fail in full compliance to it and/or in full submission to the designated leaders.

    The Calvinistas’ primary goal appears to be ascendance into predominance in the theological conservative-evangelical-fundamentalist streams of Western Christianity. The strategic techniques being used to accomplish this mission include:
    • Creation or conversion of new ideologues, mostly through a rigorous – but highly reductionist – curriculum of systematic dogma.
    • Replication of training programs that produce Calvinista clones.
    • Implantation of new structures (such as church plants and non-profits) and supra-structures (such as associations, networks, and denominations), designed as “factories” for replicating like-minded warriors for their cause.
    • Infiltration of existing structures and supra-structures to capitalize on the work and funds already expended by others, and repurpose it for their cause.
    • Domination of media, especially by means of preventing or shutting down dissent; agitation through inflammatory language, sarcasm and pseudo-satire; silence on issues of controversy to which they are a party; “scrubbing” of embarrassing information; refusal to allow blog comments; deletion of blog comments; and such like.

    DIFFERENTIATIONS:
    • Generations – A significant percentage of Calvinistas are from younger generations (i.e., 40 and under) and therefore overlap with what has been called YRR – Young, Restless, and Reformed. However, many of the celebrity theologians and figureheads revered by Calvinistas are over the age of 40.
    • Theologies – as a type within neo-Reformed theology, the Calvinista theology is not identical to either Calvinist or Reformed theologies. Careful detailing of the elements of each theology is needed, in order to compare and contrast the specific doctrines that are similar, and the relative degrees of similarity.

  97. Thanks Deb … I think that’ll turn out to be helpful as a dozen or so “indicators” to help identify Calvinista individuals, theologies, and organizations.

    And hey, did you and/or Dee coin the term? I think TWW is where I first became aware of it as the possible source. But now it’s kind of used all over the place. It’d be helpful to know the origination of the term so that can be added to the definition/description. Suggestions?

    Also, I edited what I just wrote and posted it on my blog. The one key thing I added was in the list of ideology, on Totalism. I added the adjective LEGALISTIC to “a system of comprehensive control.”

    Totalism – a legalistic system of comprehensive control over all aspects of the lives of its followers, and which requires their total submission to the leaders and to the ideology in order to prove their worthiness to be included in the movement.

  98. Thanks for the update, Deb. I’ve edited accordingly.

    It’s a powerful term that you two have created and continued to describe through TWW explorations. It may prove especially useful to the secular press in 2013 with the forthcoming class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries. For me, it catches the guerrilla and gansta flavor that seems to characterize how these individuals and this movement function. It’d make sense to me that it finds a lot of “purchase” in media analysis of what’s going down.

  99. Anon 1,

    One of your comments (under the latest post) set off alarm bells, and I decided to do some checking. 

    Looks like we've been had… 

    I just added the following update to top of this post.

    UPDATE 12/6/12, 9:30 pm

    When I was writing this post, I should have taken the time to Google Al Mohler and Thomas Kidd, who wrote the WORLD article Campus Ministry Conflict. Better late than never… 

    Mohler interviewed Kidd (no kidding!) on November 7, 2011.  The topic discussed was Thinking in Public.  Mohler then posted the interview on his website.  Take a look. 

    Rethinking Christianity and America’s Early History: A Conversation With Historian Thomas S. Kidd

    Here is how Mohler introduces Kidd:

    "Mohler: It is no accident that so much about intellectual activity is invested in thinking about history. It’s also no accident that we have so many conversations with historians because they are often those who in the academy are dealing with the most interesting ideas, not only in retrospect, but in terms of the contemporary meaning of these things. I’m looking forward to this conversation with Thomas Kidd. Thomas S. Kidd is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University where he also serves as senior fellow of The Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of several very well received and respected academic works in American History, starting with The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism published in 2004 by Yale University Press, and his most recent work, Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, published in just recent days by Basic Books. Professor Kidd, welcome to Thinking in Public.

    Kidd: Thank you for having me on."

    WELL PLAYED CALVINISTAS!!! 

    Not!

    I wonder whether the Cru leaders realize that this whole thing was in all likelihood orchestrated from the get go.  It certainly 'appears' that way…

  100. Anon 1,

    I applaud you for recognizing that there might have been some sort of orchestration.  I wonder what Almighty God thinks about Mohler’s shenanigans.  I predict it will catch up with him…

  101. Pingback: Definition and Description of the Term “Calvinistas” « futuristguy UNITED STATES

  102. “guess where the whole “If you don’t like it find another church” was taken to a whole “doctrinal” level as a fair and just way to deal with those who dare question or disagree with the great ones in leadership?

    Rick Warren’s, Pastors Forum…”
    *******************

    Does anyone have a transcript or copy / embedded something or other of this? Something from the Way Back Machine?

  103. wisdomchaser, I’m a fellow gluten intolerant. I’ve been very lucky in that my church would keep some bread for me in the freezer, and just pull out a slice each time we did communion – I’d get mine special delivery!
    And Jeff S, gluten intolerants can still drink the wine. I’m an Aussie, you’ll pry my booze from my cold dead hands. (Hmm, that makes me sound mildly alcoholic)

  104. I am on staff with Cru-a wife and mother-in the very region Harman was asked to step down. I still do ministry on campus!! AND my director and regional leadership-and national-ENCOURAGE this. Yes, the MAJORITY of my time is spent at home with my baby, but I go on campus twice a week for a few hours while my HUSBAND *gasp* stays home with our baby so that I can still do ministry.

    Cru has GREATLY changed from what it was in the late 80s/early 90s so anyone who had an experience at that time, just know it is completely different. There used to be a huge problem of legalistic evangelism that was pushing people away from the heart of sharing Christ, which Cru leadership recognized and made necessary changes. We are still all about sharing Christ with others-we’re just less obnoxious about it.

    Also, just because you may have had a weird or bad experience in a Cru chapter does not mean that represents the whole ministry-some chapters and movements slip under the cracks.

  105. Pam, I know, but I assume since they have only three stations, the gluten free likely has the juice because it is more inclusive to use juice (since some people cannot drink wine, but all people can drink juice).

  106. Dear Beakerj
    Most of the relatives are in Co Tyrone and Co Donegal. I was there a couple of weeks ago.

    Gavin

  107. Dear Anon1

    Two points.
    First I have discussed etymology and grammar with you although I’m self taught in Greek. And no there is no “framing” going on.
    Secondly although Ms Bushnell was good, she wasn’t that good. A slice of toast drizzled with honey would’ve more than enough for her breakfast.
    Regards
    Gavin

  108. Morning, all… Couple of different things here.

    1) Whilst pondering on the train to Edinburgh last night I couldn’t shake the feeling that my previous post grieved the Holy Spirit. (I’m getting to know that particular tone of the Holy Spirit’s voice, I think. If I understand aright how this works, he doesn’t sulk or take offence, but he does present opportunities to draw nearer to him, which we are free to take or leave – at any rate, that’s where I’m coming from here.)

    Gavin: I owe you, in particular, an apology for responding to you without having properly sought God for something upbuilding, or at least in step with him.

    2) Futuristic Brad – that is as close to a definitive explanation of “Calvinista” as I’m likely to see. I think you’ve captured just about every element. Especially with the addition of “legalistic” – the Calivinista dust-cloud reminds me of the “circumcision party” who were the bane of Paul’s life and ministry. I’m sure there was no single organisation calling itself The Circumcision Party, and likewise there’s no single human “head” of the YRR / Calvinista / shepherding movement / comp thingy trying to suffocate the church under law today. But I believe they’re driven along by the same spiritual influence.

  109. @ Diane:

    “…all while declaring that husbands and wives are in ‘spiritual warfare’ with each other.”

    ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Was fighting Satan just too old hat for this guy?

  110. @Nick Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:08 AM … glad that comment was a helpful capturing of the key indicators. And I think you’re on to something absolutely crucial in bringing up the Judaizers. Isn’t that ultimately the essence of the profile that Dee and Deb coined as “the Calvinistas”? We’re warning that the Calvinista approach to Christianity returns people to following the Law, and cuts them off from the Holy Spirit, and grace. We’re not advocating do-what-you-want license; we’re admonishing to counteract legalism.

    Along that line, isn’t that the core issue in Acts 15, the Jerusalem Council? As best I understand it, the debate boils down to this: Judaizers demand that gentiles become Jews before they can follow Jesus. But what that actually translates to is that gentiles had to follow the Law of Moses – which Jesus specifically said He came to fulfill – and to follow the Law of Moses meant that the gentiles were required to follow a bunch of men.

    In other words, it was/is about legalism and celebrity leaders … ain’t nuthin’ changed in 2,000+ years for the two parallel paths of derailing sincere people from following Jesus Christ directly and experiencing God’s grace and the leading of the Spirit personally. Christlikeness is never, ever achieved through the mediatorship of men and their add-on rules.

    If the Apostles Paul, Peter, John, Jude, etc. were here today, I suspect they’d all be taking to task these Calvinista types who are actually leading people astray in the name of Jesus and the gospel, and overlording them by dictating all details of the discipleship process. Why, the Apostles might even blog about them! Which is essentially what they did, only in the ancient mode of parchment letters.

    P.S. Those “posts” of theirs can’t be scrubbed from the archives either, which is why we still know today what happened back then to Diotrephes, Hymenaeus and Alexander, Galatian Peter (hey, that sounds like a great name for a gospel inaction figure!), etc.

    So … there is no glee in exposing the darkness, but the truth and the flock must both be protected. And that is one reason I’m thankful for blogs like this (all y’all rock, Deb and Dee!) that provide a forum for crowd-sourcing questions and answers and personal accounts about contemporary people and paradigms that keep people away from Jesus.

    Final note: In case interested, I posted the Calvinista definition, edited it some, and added more introduction and description here:

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/calvinistas/

  111. @Haitch on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM … thanks for the link on Deb’s and Dee’s original description of Calvinistas. I’ve added that to the post I did on the subject so readers will have the link and be able to get more of the history of where this profile came from.

  112. CruStaffLady

    Thank you so much for chiming in. If you look at our posts through the years, I have made the very point to which you have spoken. Each Campus Crusade chapter has its own flavor. Also, tremendous strides have been made in getting rid of legalism while staying true to the Story.

    I support two people in Campus Crusade, one who is in Orlando and high up in the organization. I can speak to both of the people I support. They are wonderful and not legalistic in the least.

    I hope CRU weathers this obvious attack on their organization. However, in the years to come, if CRU pushes certain leaders – Piper, Driscoll, the usual – your organization will change once again and more backwards to a legalistic culture. These men will not have it any other way.

  113. @ Hester~

    “…all while declaring that husbands and wives are in ‘spiritual warfare’ with each other.”

    ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Was fighting Satan just too old hat for this guy?”

    The context:

    “In case we are tempted to think that Paul’s cosmic language from the beginning of the letter has been dropped in his application, we are ushered into God’s armory to be fitted for battle at the end of the letter. Christ has won the cosmic victory at the beginning of the letter, yet those cosmic powers have not been eradicated, as we see at the end of
    the letter (6:12). Husbands and wives are to shod themselves with the armor of God in the pushing back of the defeated evil of the old aeon (6:10–20).
    In this fight to preserve unity in the church and unity in our marriages, we need gifted teachers and leaders (4:7–16). As we are led, as we grow, as we strive against the old aeon in our marriages, we realize that the battle we wage is ultimately to preserve the bold broadcast of the victory of Christ in the gospel (6:18–20). This is spiritual war, and we
    should not expect anything less in our marriages.
    https://www.cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JBMW-Fall-12-Complete.pdf

    Tony Reinke, the author, used to work for C.J. Mahaney before he moved to MN a year ago or so to work for Piper.

    Notice he said we NEED teachers and leaders for the preservation of unity in our marriages, as we fight the spiritual battles with our spouses cosmically…in the cosmos…in the new aeon.

  114. CruStaffLady,

    Both of my daughters have been involved with Cru while in college. My older daughter's roommate is a Cru staff member.

    Dee and I are covering this development because we are concerned for the future of your organization. We are praying for discernment in your leadership.

  115. CruStaffLady,

    While I am glad you are having a positive experience with your group, I do resent your tone in your comment to me. I do not hold you personally responsible for Crusade's 80s-90s fiasco, unless you were personally involved in promoting at that time, which I have no way of knowing. Crusade's behavior that time was extremely detrimental and I will thank you for acknowledging that people have been hurt by this group in the past instead of using inflammatory wording like "HUSBAND *gasp*".

    If you will notice, that is exactly what I said was happening up until 89-90. I accounted what happened to me at my campus. You are treading on tender turf here, and I do not appreciate it.

  116. Hello, CruStaffLady,

    Glad to hear te positive changes Cru has made.

    You may already understand this — for people who are mistreated by christian organizations (by being controlled, manipulated, threatened, subjugated, etc.), it can take years to recover. Yeas until one can walk through a day without anxiety, panic… years until one can have confidence in one’s own thoughts…. years until one can have any self-confidence whatsoever…. years until one stops crying.

    Such organizations ruin people. When changes are made for the better in these organizations, that is great. But their wake is littered with casualties.

  117. Eagle,

    Yes, I do believe that Cru chapters are influenced by Christian leaders in their “territory”. It certainly appears that the University of Louisville group has guest speakers coming from Southern Seminary such as Bruce Ware.

  118. Elastigirl –

    Yes. I think people don’t understand this. I don’t think that I understand it, completely. Sometimes I think it would be of use if we could all swap lives (completely) with someone we just don’t understand for a fee weeks. Pastors with members, democrats with republicans, husbands with wives, parents and teenagers, an abuser with abused. I think it would give us all a serious wake up call into the world of empathy.

  119. Bridget – agreed. And since that’s not often possible or practical, I think that underlines the enormous transforming power of the gospel in the life of someone who actually knows the Father (as distinct from, say, has prayed a sinner’s prayer in answer to someone’s altar call). I try to avoid firing scriptures at people on blogs, because we’ve all read the bible, but if I may borrow Romans 5 for a minute…

    because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

    I think we underestimate just how miraculous that is, and just how impossible to bring about ourselves just by trying or learning.

  120. Brad/Futuriat Guy:

    How much of that description of yours is common to both Calvinistas and Communistas?

  121. gavin white Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:26 AM said:

    “Deb
    For the sake of an experiment, can you recommend a couple of such blogs and I’ll write to them to see what they’re like. I’m totally amazed at all this”

    Gavin, if I’ve read you right, probably for starters you could head to the right hand side of TWW at the spot “My comment was deleted”. Link is here http://thewartburgwatch.com/my-comment-was-deleted/

    I have amassed an amazing amount of these websites that I keep in my ‘favourites’ folder (huh !), many come from the links TGF (the good folks) at TWW have provided over time. Happy to share if you’re keen.

  122. Haitch
    I first came into TWW after having a go at Thabile about the Puritans. I complained about censorship and then all my posts appeared. In fact, I found him quite gracious in his email to me apologising.

    Regards
    Gavin

  123. Nick –

    I agree about the work of the Holy Spirit and knowing the Father. I have come to realize that knowing the Bible (i.e., the supposedly appropriate Bible response) is quite different than asking for help and empowerment from the Holy Spirit in learning how to love someone the way the Father wants me to. Many church leaders today seem to think that Scripture is the answer to everything. That it will transform me and others. It’s being a daughter of God and sister of Jesus Christ that has actually transformed my life.

  124. @ Headless Unicorn Guy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:42 PM said: “Brad/Futuriat Guy: How much of that description of yours is common to both Calvinistas and Communistas?”

    For what it’s worth, here’s my “espresso answer” to your question: In their underlying essence, MOST of the points in my Calvinistas description overlap in principle with parallels in at least certain kinds of Communista systems. (I’ve studied primarily Soviet communism in its Stalinist and post-Stalinist forms, and Maoist communism, so those are my reference points.) (And the authoritarian rulers in *The Hunger Games*, of course.)

    Both systems of information processing are based in extreme black-and-white thinking (i.e., no “grey” allowed, at least not on public presentations) and bounded sets (i.e., some people are in, others are out).

    Both systems use authoritarian power structures that turn leaders into idols, or close there-to.

    Both systems seem to overlap significantly in the kinds of overt and covert bullying tactics used to get what they want – resources. Both use forms of social coercion and behavioral conditioning to create who they want – automatons/”clones” who follow the dogma.

    It hardly matters that the driving philosophy or religion underneath is vastly different. The overall template of paradigms and practices is so similar that it’s scary! My key concerns with the Christian/Calvinista version are:

    (1) That overly black-and-white thinking inherently promotes legalism, so there’s a doctrinal integrity problem.

    (2) That authoritarian power structures eventually deny the practical realities and responsibilities in the priesthood of every believer.

    (3) That various take-over and conformity tactics sacrifice integrity to corruption.

    This is why we need to understand the research work of Dr. Robert Jay Lifton on systems of “totalism.” The template for *extreme* Calvinista faith and practice makes it easily liable to the label of sociological “cult” that Dr. Lifton talks about, even if it does not qualify as a theological cult. And that’s why this is very serious business … think how these cultish individuals, churches, ministries, and agencies actually harm the name of Christ in the communities which host us as sojourner disciples – and yet these Calvinistas are supposedly doing all that they do, in the name of “the gospel.”

  125. Brad:

    You said:”That various take-over and conformity tactics sacrifice integrity to corruption.”

    That certainly has been what the Southern Baptist Convention has been from 1979 until the present. “They” took it over and “they” rule it.

  126. “That certainly has been what the Southern Baptist Convention has been from 1979 until the present. “They” took it over and “they” rule it.

    And now “they” are fighting Mohler.

  127. brad/futuristguy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:36 PM – that was great! Wow! Happening at my church right now :(

    – added a satellite annex with big screen – check
    – added a new policy on signing a statement of faith to teach Sunday School – check
    – implemented a new Calvinist curriculum to the pre-schoolers to gr. 5 (not sure about Jr. High/High)
    – implemented a complementarian/calvinist curriculum to the young leadership program – check
    – Purged the library and only feature Calvinist books – check
    – over use of young male leaders for any volunteer situation – check
    – only staff hired are significantly younger than the youngish pastor – and completely idolize him – check

    *sigh* It has so many great people there, I just fear it will all be lost.

  128. brad/futuristguy.

    From what I understand, the communists also use a cell group structure to help with control and routing out dissidents, much like the cell/core/community groups used by some of these authoritarian churches.

  129. @ Anon 1 and Val – – I certainly suspect that we’ll see more instances of alleged and actual “infiltration/take-overs” in years to come.

    Although … I also wouldn’t be surprised if eventually there will be some kind of lawsuits filed by congregations and agencies whose assets were raided or ruined by Calvinistas – or other type of spiritually abusive leader. (And I say that because this mindset is not simply about neo-Reformed doctrine. It’s about an entire frame of thinking that is either/or, win/lose, right/wrong, insiders/outsiders. A sort of hyper-rational perfectionism, and that seems to happen in other doctrinal perspectives – though any group that focuses on abstract, systematic theology AND is not concerned with having as large a worldview as possible is probably more susceptible than not.)

    @ anonymous – – I hear you! And reading Dr. Lifton’s research in *Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China* will provide even more scary parallels. Such as the extreme use of personal confession as a social control tactic, and shunning of people who get out of line, and the exclusivist “we’re the only ones who are right” mentality. It’s kinda creepy, really …

  130. @Bridget on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:44 PM said:

    I have come to realize that knowing the Bible (i.e., the supposedly appropriate Bible response) is quite different than asking for help and empowerment from the Holy Spirit in learning how to love someone the way the Father wants me to. Many church leaders today seem to think that Scripture is the answer to everything. That it will transform me and others. It’s being a daughter of God and sister of Jesus Christ that has actually transformed my life.

    Bridget – rhema on what you said there. I know it’s overtly obvious, but absolute rhema for me there. Thank you.

  131. Haitch –

    You’re welcome, and it’s not as overtly obvious as we might think. For instance, I checked in to this thread and read your comment and didn’t recognize the quote from me. I honestly thought you had attributed it to me by mistake! I went looking for the comment so I could attach the correct name . . . then found it was me. So, yes, rhema . . . even to me!

  132. Val wrote:

    brad/futuristguy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:36 PM – that was great! Wow! Happening at my church right now

    Coup underway, to be followed by the Purge.

    Long Live Pastor Dear Leader.

  133. Diane wrote:

    Notice he said we NEED teachers and leaders for the preservation of unity in our marriages, as we fight the spiritual battles with our spouses cosmically…in the cosmos…in the new aeon.

    “Cosmically… in the Cosmos… In the New Aeon…”

    That sounds so Woo-Woo Mystickal. Right up there with channeling spiritually-evolved pods of dolphins off the California coast. Whoever came up with that one could really strike it rich going after Celebrities with too much money.

    And when I hear “spiritual battles… in the new aeon” I keep thinking of a local occult fanboy who claimed to have killed Morgan LeFay several times in Magickal Combat on the Astral Plane. (Back when said Master of Mighty Magick claimed to be channelling Merlin; this was well before he got diagnosed as bipolar among other things and MediCal put him on lithium.)

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