" 'Quite frankly, any time an institution — a Christian institution — responds or defends its behavior as it relates to sexual abuse allegations with quoting laws and hiding behind constitutions, it causes me concern,' said Tchividjian, a law professor and grandson of Billy Graham."
We just marked Day 100 in our count of silence. The Calvinista machine barrels ahead with John Piper rolling into Louisville where he will address students in chapel tomorrow at Southern Baptist Theological 'Seminary (SBTS) and at the Resolute Collegiate Conference February 15-16. On Sunday morning Piper will deliver the sermon at Sovereign Grace Church Louisville.
Is Piper's visit a sign of things to come at Mahaney's church plant? According to the church website, Jerry Bridgers will be preaching there on March 10. Then we have Al Mohler traveling to Knoxville next fall where he will be speaking at the Cornerstone Church (SGM) Men's Conference.
It certainly appears that these gospel-centered leaders are wholeheartedly endorsing SGM while turning a deaf ear to the bleating sheep who have come forward to say they have been hurt in this 'family of churches'.
As we have previously discussed, the class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries and specific individuals — which claims member churches had victims forgive their abusers face-to-face and discouraged victims' parents from reporting abuse to authorities — has prompted the denomination to cite its First Amendment right to religious freedom. SGM's legal strategy may entail defending its right to provide confidential pastoral counseling without government interference.
A recent article in Christianity Today stated the following:
"SGM believes that allowing courts to second-guess pastoral guidance would represent a blow to the First Amendment that would hinder, not help, families seeking spiritual direction among other resources in dealing with the trauma related to any sin including child sexual abuse," Tommy Hill, SGM's director of administration, said in a November 14 statement.
Such a stance strikes some legal observers as more of a smokescreen than a legitimate defense.
Boz Tchividjian, founder and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations previously for New Tribes Mission and currently for Bob Jones University, readily acknowledges that he does not know all the facts. But the former Florida child abuse prosecutor takes issue with the SGM statement.
"Quite frankly, any time an institution—a Christian institution—responds or defends its behavior as it relates to sexual abuse allegations with quoting laws and hiding behind constitutions, it causes me concern," said Tchividjian, a law professor and grandson of Billy Graham. "I think an authentic, gospel-centered response to sexual abuse disclosures within an institution is to be transparent and to be vulnerable."
When I read this CT article, I was unfamiliar with Basyle (Boz) Tchividjian. He has a brother named Tullian, who serves as pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here is Boz Tchividjian's bio on the National Child Protection Training Center website:
"From 1994 until 2001, Professor Tchividjian was an Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Professor Tchividjian created the “Crimes Against Children” division of the Office of State Attorney and was personally responsible for the prosecution of hundreds of child sexual abuse cases. Professor Tchividjian is a frequent lecturer on the various legal issues related to the prosecution of child sexual abuse and is active in training prosecutors, investigators, social workers, and medical personnel.
Professor Tchividjian is a founding member and Executive Director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). The purpose of GRACE is to educate and equip the faith community to correctly respond to sexual abuse disclosures, while also providing practical guidance to churches on how to protect children. GRACE also provides confidential consultations to churches, schools, and other organizations which are struggling with issues involving sexual abuse. Professor Tchividjian speaks extensively on this subject at various conferences, schools, and denominational gatherings. He has also appeared numerous times on radio and television to discuss the work of GRACE. In 2006, Professor Tchividjian was a contributor to the video series Caring for Kids God’s Way produced by the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Professor Tchividjian is a member of the Florida Bar Association and is admitted to practice in the State of Florida and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Professor Tchividjian is the 3rd eldest grandchild of Reverend Billy Graham…"
As his bio states, Boz Tchividjian is a founding member and Executive Director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). Allow me to share a little information about this relatively new organization (taken from the website):
"WELCOME TO GRACE
All communities are scarred by the destructive evils of child abuse. In fact, the rate of child abuse in the United States is ten times the rate of cancer. Studies show that:
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused as children.
Yet sadly the Christian community has largely ignored the sin of child sexual abuse and its prevalence within the Church. Even more disheartening: The evangelical church has often unwittingly contributed to the suffering of victims because of its failure to protect children and adequately respond to disclosures of sexual abuse. Additionally, the Christian community often overlooks the many needs of those within their congregations who are adult survivors of child sexual abuse.
Child abuse eats away at one’s faith.
There is no doubt that child abuse profoundly impacts a child’s faith. This spiritual damage is often compounded by the inadequate response of the Christian community. As a result, many survivors of child abuse flee the church, wanting nothing to do with God.
Child abuse spreads like cancer in the Body of Christ.
Everyone knows you don’t just cut out a cancer and trust that good health will continue. Rather, doctors study the cancer to be sure of its nature, they scan the body for signs of its spread, they put patients on an action plan for continued health with possible treatments and follow-up care.
But leaders and workers inside the Christian community are often ill-equipped to understand how offenders operate and how children experience abuse. They don’t know how to protect children from experienced abusers; they don’t recognize the signs of abuse; they don’t know how to measure the scope of the abuse; nor do they know how to effectively respond to abuse disclosures.
Today, over 60 million survivors of child abuse are living in the United States, many of whom are sitting in our churches and attending our Christian schools."
What follows is the organization's Mission:
"The Mission of GRACE is to empower the Christian community through education and training to recognize and respond to the sin of child abuse.
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me..” Mark 9:36-37
As lovers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be faithful and obedient to Him. Our justification through his sacrifice must result in one response – a desire to honor and glorify Him in all we do. God is glorified when we love children and welcome them in the name of Jesus Christ.
We live in a sinful and corrupt society that devalues human life and existence. Sadly, children not exempt from the ravages and degradation of sexual abuse. Most of those within the Christian community are ill-equipped and unacquainted with the issues of child abuse and thus are unable to adequately respond to this sin. As a result, the Church often lacks the wisdom needed to address the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of these young victims. The consequence to this failure is that the Christian community fails to understand how to “welcome these little children in the name of Christ”. These children (and their families) often leave the Church to seek “answers” from the same world that places so little value on their existence. Clearly, this does not honor and glorify the One who gave Himself for us.
Obedience to Christ dictates that the Christian community must learn how to respond to those children and their families who cry out for help when they are victimized. This obedience begins with the education and training of those within the Church regarding the sin of child abuse and how to respond to such disclosures in a God honoring manner.
GRACE is an organization whose sole purpose is to equip and assist the Church and those within the Christian community to fulfill Mark 9:36-37."
The GRACE website has some excellent information that we encourage you to read, along with a list of resources and an informative blog.
Just yesterday GRACE was in the news – Missionary Group Fires Sex Abuse Investigator. The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) hired GRACE in 2011 to investigate allegations of 1980s sexual abuse by former missionary Donn Ketcham in Bangladesh. According to the article:
"Weeks before the release of a nearly two-year investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of missionary kids, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) has fired and replaced its investigator, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE)."
To read what each side has to say, you've got to check out the news story! Perhaps ABWE should have hired the Ambassadors of Reconciliation to ensure that there would be a favorable report at the conclusion of the process.
Furthermore, the article states: "CT recently reported that Bob Jones University has hired GRACE to investigate allegations of sexual abuse on its campus."
In the wake of the Sandusky tragedy, it seems that child sexual abuse has moved to the forefront of most people's minds. There appears to be a growing intolerance of this kind of abuse, and it would behoove ministries and organizations to make some drastic changes in how they operate. We are planning to do an update on these developing stories soon.
We leave you with a 'clip' of some sheep who are no longer bleating and have bounced back very nicely because they have been heard and their needs have been addressed. Spiritual and sexual abuse have been a difficult topic, and we hope you will appreciate a moment of humor 🙂 amid the pain.
Lydia's Corner: Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20 Luke 11:37-12:7 Psalm 78:1-31 Proverbs 12:19-20
Churchianity is a BIG Business. Nothing spiritual. Anything that disturbs the Business is ignored or sidelined or circumvented. Including morality, ethics, judgement and discernment. I think lot of people know this already. So all the pontification by the blowhards is just that.
The best definition of *evil* that I ever heard came from a five year old. When a Sunday school class was asked what they thought the difference between sin and evil was, one girl said, “Evil is when you’re doin’ something that looks good, but you’re thinkin’ something bad.”
In regard to these men who seem to have been *protecting* Mr. Mahaney, it seems they’ve crossed the line beyond that into *promoting* him and *propping him up*. And that continues, although it seems there is sufficient evidence, even without SGM lawsuit depositions, that Mr. Mahaney is unqualified for ministry if not actually disqualified. At what point will others of influence or actual authority over these enablers consider that these actions constitute EVIL — not nice Christian “loyalty”?
So — now we have had 100 days of silence from the passive enablers. And, from the active enablers we see deeper partnerships forming with Mr. Mahaney. The longer this goes on, the more evident their evil becomes. Once this fiasco has ended, what consequences should follow them?
Thanks for posting the ABWE firing of G.R.A.C.E.
This jumped out at me: (Page 14 G.R.A.C.E. letter to ABWE February 11/13)
“Throughout the course of this investigation, GRACE has communicated to ABWE that a gospel centered response to abuse requires transparency and vulnerability – God did His most powerful work when His son was transparent and vulnerable.”
ABWE made it clear they would be hiring more than one firm for their investigations, but they never said they’d fire a firm before a report came out.
ABWE is putting together a FAQ in response to the G.R.A.C.E. letter.
Given ABWE past behaviour, and the most recent decision to can G.R.A.C.E., I don’t know that FAQ’s are going to be very persuasive or convincing.
I’ve been wondering why G.R.A.C.E. isn’t releasing their report anyway. My guess is contractual obligations. Anyone got an answer?
I wonder… where did GRACE get the numbers they’re using (1 in 4 girls, 1 in 6 boys)?
Not meaning to undermine them in any way – stats can be quite deceptive, though.
@numo, it’s well worth questioning the methodology of the stats, but unfortunately it sounds about right, for this country also. Some communities are even higher. I took a straw poll with some friends one day – yep. A TWW straw poll would probably be similar. It adds up too considering the incidence of alcoholism and mental illness/depression in society which can have sexual abuse as an underlying basis – would it be about 1 in 6?
btw I was impressed with the GRACE report for New Tribes Mission I read on fanda eagles last year. But then there’s the problem of actioning it…(as Bene Diction highlighted above re: ABWE). And there’s a further problem that the organisations’ think this only occurred in the past…
“On Sunday morning Piper will deliver the sermon at Sovereign Grace Church Louisville.”
Shaking head…is he clueless?
I've read those statistics and am pretty sure they're accurate.
I just scanned through the Ambassadors of Reconciliation report.
Wow, so much has happened with SGM since its release last year (just prior to T4G).
You have heard of “3 strikes, you’re out”?
I think Piper is working on strike number, wait, I’ve lost count.
1. He loves Mark Driscoll’s theology. (this is a pretty big strike. in fact, “1 strike your out” kind of applies when it’s this big.
2. He doesn’t allow women to read scripture out loud in the assembly.
3. His contributions as editor and writer of that horrible piece of tripe “RECOVERING BIBLICAL MANHOOD AND WOMANHOOD.”
4. The stupid things he says concerning God’s sovereignty during times of disaster.
5. His abuse and over-use of flowery adjectives to make the b!tter pill of his b!tter gospel more swallowable to poor, unsuspecting souls. (hope it’s okay to use the workd b!tter here.)
6. And now, to prove that he isn’t getting soft in his retirement years, he’s going to speak at SGM in support of CJ.
Gee, how many strikes are the referees gonna let him have before he’s out. He should have been out long ago. How can he even still be relevant in the minds of so many.
Thank you so much for utilizing time to write “Day 100 and GRACE Helps the Sheep | The Wartburg Watch 2013”. Many thanks yet again -Nolan
They are playing games. By choosing Mahaney, they actively choose against the victims. And they know it. So they need to stop pretending to be so pious.
Good to hear from you. You do a good job at your blog. I do not know the answer to it. It could be ocntractual or it could be GRACE does not want to appear provocative. As for the FAQ, Christian leaders know how to spin, biblically and gospelly.
Welcome to TWW. GRACE is needed so badly.
Piper is clueless or as yesterday's apologist for Piper said "He is a romantic idealist."Gosh darn it. What are these people thinking? I talked with my husband about that over a bowl of chili last night. We both agreed that it is getting harder and harder to defend some of his utterances.These poor people have to wrack their brains for excuses. I prefer to say that he is the Edgar Allen Poe of the faith.
Have any of you seen this video?
Is this Piper and Mahaney's attempt to take the gospel to the nations? May Almighty God protect unsuspecting sheep around the world from the harm so many here in the U.S. have experienced from their wrong teaching.
Please God, put a stop to this being exported from our country!
I have a doozy of another thing he recently said. Has anyone considered the possibility that he left the pulpit because his faculties are starting to deteriorate?I will write about it next week as we start swinging into the singles posts.
CJ sounds unstable in that video.
Well, it’s been 24 hours since I read the flowery prose of the Piper apologist, Sad, over on another thread.
It’s taken most of that 24 hours for my anger to subside to a manageable level, frankly. What was being stated (in flowery prose of course) about suffering was unconscionable.
Although, as with most of Piper’s writings, the “flowery-ness” leads to a fog of confusion.
I really have zero tolerance for Christianese anymore, especially not the posh dialect that is utilized by well-known “celebrity pastors.”
It’s actually just babble, make no doubt about it.
Jesus told us to let our YES be a YES and our NO be a NO. It’s pretty simple. Why can’t these leaders speak in simple, straightforward English? Why the deceptive, evasive, flowery Christianese that requires effort to parse and understand?
Kicking off with CELEBRITY after CELEBRITY after CELEBRITY…
1) How can doubleplusunpersons who never existed be hurt by doubleplusunevents which never happened?
2) Turning a deaf ear HUMBLY, of course.
Regarding the “posh dialect” of Christianese, the easiest identifier is the use of the term “winsome”, hands down.
I swear Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur ought to offer courses on Christianese.
Not just HUMBLY, but GOSPELLY as well.
On those statistics, as best I can recall, similar estimates have been used for the U.S. since about the 1980s. Sometimes the numbers adjust up or down slightly, depending on whether it was referring to a specific form of sexual abuse, or the entire category of behaviors, or a particular age range.
I was familiarized with these estimates because my sister began working with survivors of domestic violence in the mid-1970s and from there got involved with child sexual assault prevention training and advocacy for survivors of rape. We had many conversations on these subjects and on their destructive impact in the lives of real people … not just anonymous statistics.
One of the problems with statistics/estimates for men, though, is that should likely be higher. It has long been socially unacceptable for boys and men to call what happened to them as sexual abuse. Not strong, virile, “macho.” Remember how even Jerry Sandusky tried to hide and excuse away his sexual abuse/assault behaviors by calling it the “usual” “horseplay” amongst guys?
Giving men permission to call sexual abuse for what it is, was a problem that began being confronted during the era of the second men’s movement in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. (Remember Robert Bly/*Iron John* and Sam Keen/*Fire in the Belly*?) That’s when I was more directly involved with recovery ministry and men’s groups, and among the guys in one of our groups dealing with gender identity, sexuality, and sexual addiction issues, it was more like 2 out of 3.
So, there’s a bit of historical perspective, FWIW.
P.S. The first men’s movement is considered to be the men who supported the women’s rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and ’70s. So, even 50 years ago, there were some who challenged patriarchal hierarchy by being peers in partnership.
Dee, alot of us from clc have said we wonder if cj is losing his mind oe getting alzheimer’s.
There is something going on with him. Perhaps he feels the weight of a convicting Holy Spirit? He should listen…
I am not a “Piper apologist”. I certainly do not agree with everything that he says. What I was trying to do initially, and obviously not doing it well, was post some quotes that showed that he was being misquoted and misunderstood. I also, do not write flowery prose…if anything I come across very stern when I do not mean to do so.
It is typical for pathological narcissists to hold others at a higher standard but don’t hold themselves to that same standard.
Having been at clc for decades I would say that CJ moves on and doesn't look back. Whatever trouble lies behind is done. I never thought he would acknowledge anything about the lawsuit. The same for the other big dogs. Ignore and maybe it will go away…..
I grew up sbc and I can't believe members will put up with what CJ and Al are trying to do. It breaks my heart. I would love to ask Piper and Mohler what their grandparents think about all this. I think Al's grandmother would pull his ear. Piper's might slap him.
Fair enough and I do apologize for my mischaracterization of your comments on Piper. I do stand by my opinion of Piper’s writing as “flowery.” Please do forgive me for the earlier error.
I think you might do better by first acknowledging the pain of victims, in this case, the pain of those who are on the receiving end of domestic violence.
I got this great piece of advice a long time ago from Barbara Dorris of SNAP. She said that as conflicts arise, always, always, always keep your eyes on the victims.
It is evident to me that this is not the emphasis of many in the Neo-Calvinist movement. The fact that Piper would prop up CJ Mahaney and never ONCE comment on the victims has shown me what is in his heart. May God have mercy on the victims who are ignored by his silly responses and misguided support of CJ Mahaney.
I can only hope that his choice is due to mental deterioration and not intent.
I would love to ask Piper and Mohler what their grandparents think about all this. I think Al’s grandmother would pull his ear. Piper’s might slap him.”
. . . and their grandfathers would be standing next their grandmothers with an approving look exclaiming, “She has this covered and she’s knows right from wrong.”
Gods Can Do No Wrong.
And neither can God’s Predestined Elect.
Humbly, of course…
My point, which I still cannot seem to make adequately, is that I felt that Piper was not addressing serial abusers. I think the bigger point he was trying to make is that it is possible, with God’s help, and if both parties are willing, to move past a one time flash of temper into a better walk with God and a better marriage. Does this seem unreasonable? Isn’t Christianity about redemption and restoration? I am baffled.
I see the above situation as completely different from one in which someone uses Scripture as a weapon to justify abusing their spouse as a regular course of events. There is no question that a person on the receiving end deserves understanding, compassion, and encouragement to get themselves into a safe environment and to get the authorities involved.
An update from SGM Survivors:
"At a family meeting this past Tuesday night, Mark Altrogge announced that Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA is ending its partnership with Sovereign Grace Ministries.
The primary reason given is “an erosion of trust concerning the leadership of SGM.”
A more formal statement of reasons will be released later this week."
John Piper is propping up C.J. Mahaney while the dominoes continue to fall.
I understand and see what you are trying to communicate.
But I don’t know how many tar & featherings it will take to appease the general public for all the antagonisms he has caused. I’ll certainly be present for as many of the gala affairs as possible. I get to arrange the feathers.
“My point, which I still cannot seem to make adequately, is that I felt that Piper was not addressing serial abusers. I think the bigger point he was trying to make is that it is possible, with God’s help, and if both parties are willing, to move past a one time flash of temper into a better walk with God and a better marriage. Does this seem unreasonable? Isn’t Christianity about redemption and restoration? I am baffled.”
Sad, I understand exactly where you are coming from as I used to do the same thing all the time: read into their words what would seem rational, reasonable and logical.
problem is, it is NOT what he said and he qualified nothing.
But listening to, reading their books, etc over years has given me some insight because I gave myself permission to question them.
As I started to give myself permission to do this I would ask: Who are they talking to? Who are they talking about? And a lot of things did not add up. I could give you a ton of examples with many celebrity pastors/leaders who are very public teachers/culture warriors.
If you listen to Piper on this subject of abuse, he does not make clear if the abuser is a professing Christian or not. And Piper is almost always either talking to an audience made up of professing believers or to a group of pastors so this is significant that he does not delineate.
If the abuser is a believer, then should not the focus be on that and NOT the wife who is a victim in his scenerio?
Do not read into his words or what words he spoke YEARS later to try and clear up his teaching that continued to get a lot of questions.
He is a public communicator. He knows better.
Are you familiar with his teaching on submissive wives the scenerio he uses about the husband asking her to be involved in 3 way sexual sin? Did you notice his teaching was NOT focused on the husbands obvious sin but making sure the woman responded in a way to make sure he keeps his “headship” (whatever that is).
Do people not see the sick twisted focus? What do you think a pastor should tell a woman whose husband asked her to participate in such a thing? Would you give the same advice as Piper: Tell your husband you will not sin but in a way to allow him to be the leader at the same time.
Tall order. And Piper is teaching her to enable sin and wickedness. Ignoring the fact there is a much deeper problem with the husband!
Going by your quotes yesterday, perhaps Piper thinks she will become more Holy by suffering with such a perverted husband as her “leader”?
Piper is a very sick man who has become an icon/idol to many. These are just a few examples of his twisted teaching. There are a ton of examples that, unfortunately, have become quite normal for many young men and women. How this will play out over time in Christendom is quite scary to me.
And what we are telling you is that a one time punch in the face is rarely, if ever, a one time event. To believe that it is so is naive. Please read Jeff Crippen’s book A Cry for Justice. A one time punch in the face is blown off as a “flash of temper.” Good night!
And the typical line of “redemption and restoration” is trite. It is making us state the obvious which begs the question and is a smokescreen for dealing with something you are refusing to accept. Let me try it back to you. Don’t you agree that man is deeply sinful and is capable of terrible sin? See-useless sidebar.
Piper is naive and dangerous if this is what he believes. And any church who thinks a one time punch is merely a one time event is naive and dangerous. OK-I’ll gve you one caveat, and this is rare indeed, if the person had a sudden onset of brain tumor or an adrenal tumor which caused a physiological response, then it is possible to limit the damage after medical treatment.
Piper was not addressing that eventuality.
Absolutely I agree that we humans, myself first and foremost, are capable of unspeakable acts. And looking at the website for Crippen’s book, it says the definition of abuse is a “mindset/mentality of entitlement”. I am not talking about that mindset, which of course is horrifying and the spouse of someone who thought thusly and acted on it would need to be greatly protected by any and all who knew what was happening.
Are you trying to say that losing one’s temper and reacting physically in a way that could harm another human being is an unforgivable sin, and that if it happened in marriage, that it (a one time occurrence) would be an acceptable reason to divorce? I’m not trying to be provocative, Dee…I am truly trying to understand.
Anon 1 wrote:
Can’t get past the background vibe that “if we had harem polygamy, this wouldn’t be a problem; indeed, it would show the Man’s headship over more than one submissive woman.” (“Headship” meaning the head above his shoulders or the one below his belt?)
You did not get what I was trying to say. Let me tyr it this way. It is downright silly or insulting to say to another Christian “Don’t you believe in redemption and restoration?” Every Christian will say yes. Just like every Christian will say yes to the sin question and every Christian will say that Jesus did the Sermon on the Mount.
In a discussion, such a comment is used as a smokescreen to avoid the issue at hand. So, on a blog in which you can read out statement of believe, you can assume we believe all those things.
Instead, be smart. Say it this way, in light of redmeption and restoration, how do you propose we proceed with an abuser? I might say that the wife should divorce him, that the church should find another church for him to attend, with apporpriate warning about his temper, to prevent his remarriage and abuse, and the ex-wife be surrounded with the love and support of the church.
Oh yeah-Piper believe the wife should only divorce for adultery-not getting smacked around. What a guy…
PS I do not believe smacking someone in the face is a one time occurrence so I do not get why you are harping on that.
@ brad/futuristguy: Yes, the lower number for boys/men is part of what I was wondering about, for the reasons you cite.
Because in the Q and A in question, and I cannot quote it exactly, but Piper was addressing a ONE NIGHT situation. That is the point that I think is being lost…that it is not about serial abuse.
Sad, you are missing the point. Piper was not even concerned with the ABUSERS behavior at all. Whether it was ONCE or more. (Besides, you are quoting from Pipers “clarification” on the issue YEARS after the original teaching was on the internet and discussed for a long time)
However, Piper was VERY concered with how the victim responded to the abuse. That seemed to be the real Gospel issue for him. (This same focus is at SGM and many other groups,. too)
Does that not concern you? Do you not see the REAL problem?
Even in a “one night” escalation that results in a husband hitting his wife, that in and of itself is a symptom of major underlying problems in the marriage itself. If my husband EVER hit me, that would be my cue that it was time to seek outside help and intervention.
For Piper to just tell a wife “to endure it just this once” is a major oversight. How much courage might a woman in that scenario work up just to come to pastor in the first place and admit something terribly wrong at home?? Pastors should be trained to recognize a cry for help when it happens.
“Are you trying to say that losing one’s temper and reacting physically in a way that could harm another human being is an unforgivable sin, and that if it happened in marriage, that it (a one time occurrence) would be an acceptable reason to divorce? I’m not trying to be provocative, Dee…I am truly trying to understand.”
It is rather silly to pose it as an unforgivable sin, is it not? That is a false dichotomy.
If my husband smacked me ONCE, I would be gone that day and it would take a lot of convincing for me to ever trust him again. I mean, I cannot conceive of such a thing being normal behavior. Do adults really think that sort of thing is normal for two mature people? Would I forgive him? of course. But I would need to assured it would not happen again so there would be grave consequences.
So, what is your normal? What is Piper’s normal? That is the real question.
Dee, Piper does not believe in divorce for any reason, including adultery or abandonment. If your spouse leaves and remarries, you remain single until he or she dies.
“If God wants you to remarry, he can take your wife at any time”, was what my pastor told me.
As I thought about it some more, it occurred to me that I think the estimates my sister used were more like this:
mid-1970s through early 1980s — 1 in 5 girls, 1 in 7 boys (victims of sexual abuse before age 18).
mid-1980s through 1990s — 1 in 4 girls, 1 in 6 boys.
A question that comes up is whether the changes are due to these and/or other factors:
* More instances of abuse occurring.
* More social awareness and willingness to report
* Changes in definition (as described earlier for boys/men) so that activities which previously might not have been labeled as abuse are reinterpreted in light of new definitions/descriptions.
Any way you look at it, it’s insidioius, and the case could be made that those who protect perpetrators as silent enablers bear as much responsibility as the perpetrators; their silence shields an abuser and gives more time for more abuse to occur. I think that’s part of what makes those aspects of the allegations in the SGM lawsuit so horrific …
Anon 1 wrote:
No, the “one night” reference was not in the clarification, it was in the original Q and A. Also…the question he was asked was about the wife, not about the husband, so, it is unfair to castigate him for not addressing the husband’s behavior.
Sad, I again would encourage you to read Crippens book. Even if you think he’s not talking about a “one time abuser”, reading it will open your eyes- I promise. He shows how abusers hide in the church and how they manipulate naive and well meaning Christians.
The problem is that this “one time smack” thing isn’t realistic. Does it happen? Yes- but it is the exception. Usually only escalation follows the smack. Adressing the smack and not the serial adviser is worse than useless becaue people will assume that the focus of your advice will work in the most common cases, not the frige cases that rarely happen.
And I’ll make it easy for you- send Jeff Crippen an email and ask him for a free copy. Tell him I (Jeff S) said I would pay for it. I will make this as easy as possible for you. This is THAT important to me (and to others, including Jeff Crippen)- we are desperate for the Christian world to be informed about what is really going on in our churches and how faithful followers of Christ are being destroyed by ignorance.
“I am not a Piper apologist…” Really? The more you worry away at your stupid contention that he didn’t say what he actually did say the more of a Piper shill you reveal yourself to be. Don’t insult our intelligence.
And I’m calling you on the TWW Prime Directive. Where is your concern for the victims of abusers encouraged by the ignorance,naivete clumsiness, arrogance, heresy, incompetence (pick one or more) of Piper?
Elasticgirl,I’ll pour the tar, you arrange the feathers, and we’ll each take one end of the rail. And Piper’s not the only one in line for this!
I am sorry. You will need to prove that to me. I can assure that many, many people think otherwise. Secondly, if he was talking abouta one night, then he is dangerously naive.
Read Anon 1 1:34PM comment. Ditto.
Are you saying that Piper disagrees with Jesus?
@ Turtle – I don’t know about Al’s grandparents, but I grew up in the same church he did. I knew his parents and my parents served with them. My father’s only comment on Al is “he didn’t grow up that way”.
Sorry but in an abusive situation the manly man that Piper purports to be shoudl immediately address the husband. Do you not see, you are getting no where on this? His response was ridiculous. Piper is blessed to have such a fan as you.
Better yet, write Jeff Crippen and ask him for two copies. I’ll cover the second one and you can send it to Piper.
I swear the more I hear the more I think evangelicalism is losing its proverbial mind.
Piper says that Jesus did not mean divorce was allowed for adultery, only unfaithfulness during the betrothal period.
To be fair, Piper was asked what a woman’s submission should look like when her husband is abusive.
And that is what he answered.
The problem is that, if he were a pastor that was actually worth his salt, to any woman, especially an abused one, he should have know that “submission” and “family structure (or order)” falls by the wayside when abuse is mentioned. If he were a pastor worth his salt, he would not have bowed to his “Wives submit, husbands rule” default position. He would have instructed the woman to get help NOW. Depending on the level of abuse, this would include calling the authorities and talking about getting away to a safe house.
But Piper is NOT a pastor worth his salt, at least not for women. He is far to sold out to his idol, the marriage model of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Calvinista theology is based in the “absolute.” There can be no exceptions, because an exception leads to the forbidden slippery slope.
@ brad/futuristguy: As far as I can see, the early-mid 80s were a watershed as far as the issue of child sexual abuse coming into the media – and public consciousness – which has (I figure) helped in terms of increased reporting.
One problem for anyone who’s suffered through this is that – as with the rape of adults (men and women alike) – the abuser is likely going to be someone who is very close to the person they abuse. And that silences so many people – as with the under-reporting of rape by adults.
Kristin, then lets just go ahead and say it out loud.
Piper is no pastor.
He is an absolute doctrine worshiper. And he is more than willing to sacrifice countless women (and men) on the altar of this cold, rigid, Christless diety.
@ brad/futuristguy: I also agree per the changes in how certain behaviors are now viewed as abuse, where at one time, that would not have been the case.
In so many ways, it seems as if there was some sort of agreed-upon conspiracy of silence regarding child sexual abuse for a long, long time. (Maybe always?)
Oh good night! Recently, I talked with a theologian who told me he thinks Piper is whacked. How Piper cold put such burdens on the people is beyond me.
Welcome to TWW.
I can’t get over the assumption that when domestic abuse happens, people are to go to their pastor. (not that you were necessarily making that point, Kristin.)
Perhaps a pastor with certain skills and education would be qualified to help.
But aside from that, why in the world does christian culture ascribe to a “pastor” such incredible expertise to be able to authoritatively comment/instruct on anything/everything, simply because of the title “pastor”?
it’s so non-thinking.
maybe that’s it — a convenient person to do the thinking for me.
@ elastigirl: I think you’ve got it.
Would you mind linking to the question and answer session you are referring to?
What you may not understand is that is very rare for a pastor of John Piper’s stature to engage in any free willing interaction. As 1 who used to facilitate these things I can tell you that questions are vetted beforehand. That even includes conferences…. where you see 1 guy stand up to ask a question. We always knew the guy and the question before he was called on. You might be shocked to know how staged all these things are.
For Piper to take a questiion on wifely submission concerning abuse…. and not discuss the abuser…… is pastoral malpractice.
Yes, and my church was in lock step with him (though Piper’s church, ironically, is not).
So when Paul says a believer is “no longer bound” if an unbeliever leaves, Piper says that doesn’t mean they aren’t married, that “bound” means they don’t have to try to make the marriage work anymore. The only thing that breaks a marriage is death.
Voddie Baucham and others also teach this view- Piper is not alone in his stance.
I totally agree! I don’t think a woman going to pastor in this scenario is actually looking for a theological answer! I mean really – “hey Pastor Piper, my husband hit me, and I’m curious what is the preferred doctrinal response I should take? Can you explain that theology to me???”
@ Jeff S:
Again, I think we could all use a laugh. Possible TMI alert 🙂 My response was the same when I realized over the last year or so that singleness is indeed part of God’s call on my life as when I found out that Piper teaches that all remarriage after divorce is adultery.
In that case, I’m never shaving my legs again.
I remember, thanks for saying that I have thought so many times that his family must not like what he’s doing because I remember a different attitude when I was growing up in my sbc church. I know I would pull his ear and stomp on his foot. I wonder what he would do back.:-o
Sorry i meant to add, I think people go to their pastor first because it’s someone they ‘trust.’ It’s a reactionary response. Pastors should know better that people don’t necessarily come to them only for spiritual counsel, and it’s on the pastor to know his/her limits and bring in a 3rd party.
Whoo hoo-we can all wear knit leggings with our hairy legs!
Hairy legs and arm pits – going for that masculine look, eh?
I think I’ll stick to shaving. Come to think of it, that’s kinda masuline too! 😉
@ Jeff S:
Dee and Jeff –
He/they believe this because of the connection the complementarians have made between the husband/wife relationship and the gospel (small “g” on purpose). This is the natural conclusion they HAVE to come to because of the (gospel witness) importance they have placed on marriage. When marriage is elevated to the position of first importance, then they have to make it wrong to divorce — sheesh — they make divorce equivalent to Jesus forsaking his Church (not). This is what happens when you make an idol of marriage. To clarify my position . . . divorce is not good, but sometimes necessary.
That has been my theory for a while – it seems his gaffs have become very frequent and he isn’t that coherent in his overall beliefs anymore.
The church has a masculine feel? Are you kidding? and his focus is so directed towards patriarchy (let’s call a spade a spade here, and my mac hates the other word) and authority, that every sermon gets side-tracked into weird logic. He is probably trying to show how submission is the only way to save the world, but he is not coherent/bold enough to actually say that. This guy thinks that if everyone would just fit his “roles”, then the church would be perfect (yet says we are all depraved no matter what), he claims that who (men/women calvinist/arminian) is in authority is important, and that it will alway fail (eventually) if the wrong people (women) are given authority then, bizarrely, goes on to say nothing happens except from God’s sovereign will.
So, um, we could put a bunny in charge and, since it has to be God’s will that that bunny was put there, then it would also have to work the way God wanted it to work, so, why worry about who is doing what? Calvinism and dedication to patriarchy are actually at theological odds with each other.
Very true…these same people try to claim that Deborah’s status as a judge was a mistake, a sin-result. That’s called irony. And what happened Judges 2:16…? Doesn’t seem like a female leader was a “mistake”…
Voddie calls Deborah’s leadership over Israel a curse.
If God’s appointed judge was a “curse,” then I guess I need to rethink my role-model list…I don’t even want to know what this individual thinks about Jael…
Per the Piper and wife abuse thing:
1. I listened to Piper’s original video about how a wife submits when her husband is “abusive.” I did not hear any context limiting it to a one-time loss of temper. The very term “abusive” carries connotations of a continuing state. We would not call a husband “abusive” who only lost his temper once every eight years. We wouldn’t even necessarily use this term to refer to a husband who had a short temper but never got past a lot of yelling – we would say “he has a short temper” or a “short fuse.”
2. The historical position in my family has been that a one-time hit leads to an immediate divorce. This is what my great-great grandparents advised my great-grandmother to do (in the 1910 and they were born in the 1860s) and she followed through on their advice when her first husband hit her. This happened very early in the marriage as they did not even have children yet (we are all descended from her second husband).
Yeah, calling Deborah a “curse” is a bit of a stretch. It’s one thing for a complementarian to claim that it wasn’t an optimum situation, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to move to the word “curse.” Curses tend to be quite obviously negative (locusts, foreign invasion, etc.).
True, unless we are forgetting about the “11th plague” unleashed upon Egypt–the “curse” of female judges, a plague far worse than locusts apparently…that must have been the one that broke the camel’s back 😉
Well, Isaiah 3 does list women rulers under the judgments that will befall Israel. I’d have to do some study on that. However, Voddie B. is taking what Isaiah said (100s of years after Deborah judged) and projecting it back into Deborah’s time to justify his beliefs about women ruling/leading. A bit problematic.
brad said: “… the case could be made that those who protect perpetrators as silent enablers bear as much responsibility as the perpetrators; their silence shields an abuser and gives more time for more abuse to occur.”
Look to the archdiocese of Los Angeles for an example.
Sad said: “…the question he was asked was about the wife, not about the husband, so, it is unfair to castigate him for not addressing the husband’s behavior.”
WADR, the lady dost protest too much. You can’t parse your way out of the fact that MacArthur, Piper, Mohler, Baucham and many other celebrity pastors are on record saying that wives are not exempt from submitting to abusive husbands.
Jeff S. said: “… we are desperate for the Christian world to be informed about what is really going on in our churches and how faithful followers of Christ are being destroyed by ignorance.”
My husband and I are with you and Crippen in that desperation. We are trying to be the voice of grace and reason in our own church regarding a domestic abuse situation, but the headship/submission idol is hard to tear down.
Mara – I’m totally with you here…I think it’s about time complementarian churches taught that wives submit only to loving, christ-like behaviour…I love the way they teach that only one side of that deal has to be observed, no matter what.
@ Kristin: it is NEVER excusable for a husband to hit his wife- and the same behavior would not be tolerated from a wife!
@ Val: Hey – a bunny would literally do a better job! They are darned smart critters… http://www.rabbit.org
(and yes, I have a house bun, who is a benign empress, though definitely a dictatorial one at times. ;))
It strikes me as ironic that patriarchalist leaders demand that women submit to their abusive spouses — but, of course, they refuse the analogous idea that church leaders must submit to “troublesome congregants.” Instead, you get rid of them.
Seems these guys don’t know how to apply analogous reasoning. But then, I guess that’s what happens: A syllogism flips into a sillyism.
Just sayin’ …
“Well, Isaiah 3 does list women rulers under the judgments that will befall Israel. I’d have to do some study on that. However, Voddie B. is taking what Isaiah said (100s of years after Deborah judged) and projecting it back into Deborah’s time to justify his beliefs about women ruling/leading. A bit problematic.”
Actually it doesn’t. Catherine Bushnell spends a lot of time on that mistranslation in God’s Word to Women. In fact, that translation makes NO sense at all within the context.
This blogger has some of Bushnells lessons online. here is PART of the explanation of why that was the wrong translation:
Here is a snippet:
621. I think we find another case of prejudiced translation in Isaiah 3:12. The word translated “children” in this verse in Isaiah, is a plural masculine participle of the verb “to glean,” “abuse,” “practice.” It is translated “glean” in Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:21, Judges 20:45, and Jeremiah 6:9. The word has no translation such as “children” anywhere else in the Bible, and it occurs 21 times. Another word altogether is used for “children,” and “child,” in verses 4 and 5 of this same chapter; the sense seems to have been fixed by the supposed context, to correspond with “women.” As to the word translated “women”: Two words, without the rabbinical vowel “points,” are exactly alike. One is pronounced nosh-im and the other na-shim. In appearance the only difference is a slight mark under the first letter of the Hebrew word na-shim. The first word means “exactors;” the one with a vowel mark under the initial letter means “women.” The entire decision, therefore, as to whether the word means one or the other depends upon OPTION. Those who pointed the word, evidently thought the nation could sink no lower than to pass under women rulers, and then translated the word “children” to match it. Commentators frequently call attention to the alternate reading. See Adam Clarke on the passage. The Septuagint translates: “As for my people, tax-gatherers (praktores) glean them, and exactors (apaitountes) rule over them.”
I am new to evangelical Christianity and new to John Piper. When I first watched him answering questions on YouTube, I found his communication style absolutely bizarre. Many have already commented on his flowery language, and how he uses it to obscure the plain facts about what he is actually saying. But I also noticed his carefulness in never straying from a very small box of allowed thought. When he answered a question about a man listening to (and God forbid, learning from) Beth Moore, he could only say, essentially, “She can’t be your pastor, she can’t pastor you, you can’t be pastored by her, the Bible says women can’t be pastors!” He does the same thing with the abuse question. The most important thing is to emphasize submission at all costs, even if it means submission to wickedness and injustice. It’s like he doesn’t know how to think or consider at all, let alone demonstrate any wisdom, sound judgment, or compassion. For someone who supposedly bases everything on Scripture–where is his example for placing theology before Christ?
Yet, Piper does not have a big enough problem with Beth Moore teaching men to actually turn down a speaking gig at Passion 2012 where she shared the same stage….teaching men.
Funny how that works. Can you say, hypocrite?
If anything, the problem is that such an individual is not interested in theology (the study of God) at all. Sadly, many popular voices in the church lack the intellect and ability to study, wonder at, defend, and share the essential truths about God and his care for mankind. That is theology, and it is difficult…but the beautiful things are (to borrow from Aristotle). It is much easier, on the other hand, to defend petty nonessentials before an audience that already agrees with you…that is how some individuals make their money though…
Agreed – real theology has a spirit of inquiry completely lacking in Piper. I should have said something like, “Where is his example for placing petty nonessentials before Christ?”
Haha, “petty nonessentials” is a mouthful, but it works for purposes of illustration…I should work on coming up with a one-word alternative 😉
@ Anon 1:
Well, what do you know. That is exactly why I said I’d have to do some study on that! I also didn’t see anywhere in Judges where God states that Deborah judging was any kind of a curse. It already wasn’t aligning for me. I’ll check out the additional link. Thanks Anon1.
Jenny, if there’s anything we can do, please don’t hesitate to contact us (click on my name to get to the blog where you can email Jeff). If there’s a leader in your church willing to listen or read we can send a book or a link to Jeff’s sermon series that he did on abuse within the church. I know hearts are often closed, but we do whatever we can.
@ Anon 1:
Hey anon, help me out here if I’m not reading you correctly:
So John Piper refused to appear onstage with Beth Moore in 2012 because she’s a woman but in 2013 Piper has no problemo sharing a stage with CJ Mahaney following his being named as a defendent in a serious class-action lawsuit?!
What an honorable upstanding guy. Let’s all give him a tiny polite little golf clap for being SUCH a towering giant of the faith, standing firm for the overarchingly important doctrine of complementarianism, shall we?
Better yet, let’s hear from all the Piper Pals out there to see what they have to say …
"So John Piper refused to appear onstage with Beth Moore in 2012 because she’s a woman but in 2013 Piper has no problemo sharing a stage with CJ Mahaney following his being named as a defendant in a serious class-action lawsuit?!"
No, Piper thinks women teaching men is a sin…even a Gospel/salvic issue. He is VERY strong about this and has been for years. HOWEVER, He does not feel so strongly about it he gave up a speaking gig at Passion in 2012 where Beth Moore was also teaching men from stage.
Why would he be involved with a huge conference that allows a woman to teach men the bible which is the OPPOSITE of what he emphatically teaches others is a big sin? See, I think Piper will take the huge audience every time.
I do not think with Piper it is about money at all. I think he sees himself as some sort of specially anointed Apostle whom people must hear from. I really do think he has serious delusions. See the hypocrisy?
Aha, now I gotcha anon – so he DID appear at the big conference with Beth Moore who was also teaching AND took his big conference fee despite his comp views forbidding women teaching men (which, alas, I am familiar with).
Yeah, I stand by my statement that he’s a real righteous upstanding giant of the faith. No hint of hypocrisy at all, no siree!
“No, Piper thinks women teaching men is a sin…even a Gospel/salvic issue. He is VERY strong about this and has been for years. HOWEVER, He does not feel so strongly about it he gave up a speaking gig at Passion in 2012 where Beth Moore was also teaching men from stage.”
I thought I heard or read something from Piper specificaly addressing whether or not a man can learn from Beth Moore. Could it have been a video? Anyway, he says, yes- a man can learn from her as long as she is not his pastor. Have you heard this?
Speaking of Piper, I saw this for Dee and Deb~
I hate to tell ya that you missed the early bird…but the good news is it’s only $100!!!!!! For John piper!!!!! 🙂
Oh. my. goodness.
It was in the video where Piper says…”I thought it was gonna be about sex!!!!!”
And where does Piper draw the line between “just learning” and accepting as “pastor”? It is all teaching…unless there Piper has in mind some “quota” of Beth Moore talks you have to listen to before crossing that line. Curiouser and curiouser…
It’s interesting how many times Piper uses the word authoritative in that small piece. It is in every paragraph. He definitly believes that there are earthly men who have authority over others on God’s behalf. To me, anyway, this is no different than what I remember of the RCC, where a priest needs to be your earthly authority — a buffer between you and God. I rejected that thought at age 13.
“And where does Piper draw the line between “just learning” and accepting as “pastor”?”
Who can know the mind of Piper?
All I know is I remembered reading/watching something specifically about Beth Moore and men learing from her. The insanity stuck in my mind–so, she can teach a man every day via radio, or books, or whatever, but not as an authoratative pastor? Pulpits have authority and stages do not. Who knew.
It was another one of his statements I filed away in my brain–like how a woman is supposed to speak to a man while giving directions…taking abuse for a night…if a woman has to get up during the night because an intruder is in the house she needs to do so in a feminine manner…church has a masculine feel-those kinds of things that make one ask–did I really just hear/read/see that?
huh…. so, it all comes down to a big chunk of wood, or plexiglass, or air (occupying the invisible equivalent).
what? no? i thought I just heard an annoyed sigh and then the words “it’s the auTHORity it represents.” I could have sworn…. it was a man’s voice, i know that much.
Then why mention “pulpit” at all???
sneer, and double sneer
the sheer ridiculousness of it all…. it’s as plain and self-evident to me as the sunset to-be tonight that everything professional christians are trying to perpetuate is reaching the end of its life expectancy. Going the way of twinkies, ding dongs, and ho hos.
It’s called “goodthink” and “duckspeak”. With elements of “bellyfeel”.
See “Principles of Newspeak”, by G.Orwell (appendix to 1984
@ Jeff S:
Thank you, Jeff. Will be reading the blog, listening to the sermon series and praying. I’ll be in touch if we need reinforcements. Lots of hearts certainly do need changing.
Diane, Do you see how confusing Piper is on this issue, too? I think he is horribly inconsistent and confusing on everything.
So how does what he says on the link you provide line up with him not allowing women to read the bible outloud at his church because that is teaching men?
I really do not know how women or men can follow him at all. It must be a constant ‘looking to John” to see if such and such is acceptable in their daily lives. Let me see now, I can listen to Beth Moore at a conference but I cannot listen to Mrs. Smith read scripture aloud at church.
I think Piper has been off his rocker for a long time but the last 5 years or so he has been positively wacky.
Oh, and if one is allowed to ask Piper in a controlled venue you will be treated to a verbose and flowery explanation that will sound real Holy on the surface but if allowed to be analyzed makes no sense.
I encourge folks daily around these parts to strip away the flowery verbosity of Piper and analyze what he says and compare it to other things he says that seem to contradict.
He sort of reminds me of Marlon Brando in Apocolypse Now without the shrunken heads. A pontificator who sounds passionate, zealous and confident but who makes little sense even though his loyal followers will defend him to the death and totally ignore the glaring problems with him.
Comment of the morning.
John Piper=Marlon Brando in Apolcalypse Now without the shrunken heads.
@ Anon 1~
“Let me see now, I can listen to Beth Moore at a conference but I cannot listen to Mrs. Smith read scripture aloud at church.’
Yep-because, I guess, at a conference she is not acting as your authority/pastor.
But I am no authority on Piper. I have decided that it must be that the actual church building is somehow holy in itself; holy bricks and holy drywall. Once you enter–you have entered holiness. And women need to be quiet in the holy building lest they deceive everyone around them and lead them astray. The pulpit is holy too–holy oak and holy nails, and a woman is not allowed on stage or behind the pulpit-nor touch it (unless on Tuesday afternoons with her dust rag and vacuum).
It’s because of the verse that says women must keep silent in the church. Piper obviously takes it as literal truth for the ages and a direct command from God. I grew up in the Church of Christ, and they are the original masters of proof texting your way to made-up doctrines and building your whole faith on the literal interpretation of verses taken out of context and often poorly understood. “Women keep silent” to them means women cannot speak in church at all, not even to read announcements. They’ve been teaching this for generations now – they were complementarians before complementarianism was cool! It is fascinating for me to this teaching arise among a different group of Christians. Everyone I knew grewing up (this was back in the ’80s) believed that the man was the head of the household, and the way this supposedly played out in practical terms was that if there was a disagreement it was up to the husband to “make the call.” Because Christians should be all about imposing their own will on others, of course. Seemed dumb to me then, and it’s even more dumb now.
I feel the need to add that I do not believe that all comp teaching is dumb – I have seen how emphasizing how men ought to treat their wives (with love) can lead to healthy Christian marriages. But Piper-style comp teaching does not lead to more love, rather to rigid roles unnecessarily imposed on people…
“Women must keep silent in church” was also Pope Sixtus V’s justification for the Church’s use of Castrati from 1569-1878: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato
I once heard someone’s mother described as “Joan Crawford without the wire coathangers”, but this one’s better.
anon 1 wrote:
One of my father’s favorite expressions was “Only a lawyer can talk for three hours and say absolutely nothing.” Looks like lawyers are not the only ones who can.
And I once experienced that kind of preaching. It was at some splinter church whose name I can’t remember back in the late Seventies, from a hyperactive preacher with a loud voice and a Zardoz beard. Can’t remember much of the sermon, but it was some sort of linked list of logic starting with Greek having two words for “priest” — “ecclesiastica” and “presbyteros” — and ending with Proof From Scripture That Roman Catholics Worship Satan. (Kind of like a business plan written by Underpants Gnomes.) Made a lot of sense as long as you heard him speak, but a couple minutes after he finished you realized he made no sense whatsoever.
I just happened to come upon this discussion. I like what you said, Melody Young. Think about this: What man would get away with punching his boss in the nose “just once”, or his golfing buddy, or his next door neighbor, or an inefficient restaurant worker, or what about one of his own siblings or parents? But some would say that a wife should take abuse, even once, so the husband doesn’t lose his sense of headship. Yeah, right.
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