Prestonwood Baptist vs. Chris Tynes: Something is Very Wrong!

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. -Winston Churchill

wikicommons-no attributions needed
Jesus Wept
 

On October 25, 2012, link TWW posted the  story of Amy Smith, a brave young woman, who endured rejection by her parents, in order to bring to light the story of a pedophile, John Langworthy.

John Langworthy, now awaiting trial for pedophilia, was serving on staff at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas,in 1989 when he was abruptly, and quietly dismissed, due to an allegation of impropriety. Langworthy would go on to allegedly molest other children in subsequent ministries in Mississippi.

Amy Smith was commended in the Clarion Ledger link for bringing John Langworthy to justice. 

Langworthy on Jan. 22 pleaded guilty to five felony child molestation charges in connection with the sexual abuse of the five Jackson-area victims decades ago. Smith, Sherry Lefils, a former Dallas County probation officer assigned to work with sex offenders, and three of Langworthy’s victims sat in the courtroom as he responded “guilty” five times to Hinds County Circuit Judge Bill Gowan.

However, Amy Smith is not done. She is now asking for Prestonwood Baptist Church to admit their alleged culpability in failing to report alleged incidents involving Langworthy that occurred at the church in the 1980s.

On Jan. 26, the women held a news conference outside Prestonwood before the night’s services began. Smith read a statement to media from the mother of the Prestonwood alleged victim who called Belser and Burchfield in February 2011.

“We ask that Prestonwood take responsibility for their coverup, and to say they are sorry,” the man’s mother said in the statement read by Smith.

However, this story will not focus on Smith but on Chris Tynes who, inspired by Amy Smith, Christa Brown and others, decided to ask a few questions of his home church, Prestonwood Baptist Church and found his world turned upside down. I plan to write more on Smith in the coming weeks.

Here is the unbelievable story. We believe that it demonstrates the sovereignty of God in raising up people who will radically risk their comfortable lives to pursue the truth! I spoke at length with Chris who told me this story in great detail. This is obviously told from his perspective and therefore readers should put the word "alleged" in front of everything from this point forward. Lawyers are reading…. 

I found Chris to be an engaging, intelligent and thoughtful individual who appears to be a man who seeks truth, no matter where it takes him. He would be a corker on the stand! Oh yeah, Dee got an interesting phone call from Prestonwood. More on that later.

Chris Tynes, the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, is married and the father of two children. He is a software developer who has been a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church since 1998. Prestonwood Baptist Church, in Plano (North Dallas), is one of the country's largest and most successful (at least from a monetary level) SBC churches. From Wikipedia:

Prestonwood Baptist Church, in Plano, Texas, is one of the largest megachurches in North America and one of America's 50 Most Influential Churches.The Plano campus covers an area of 140 acres and includes a 7,000-seat worship center, a school offering Pre- Kindergarten through Grade 12, a fitness center, a sports stadium, sports fields, a large cafe, a library, and two bookstores. In 2006, the church expanded to include a second "North" campus of nearly 128 acres in Prosper, Texas. In 2011 the church again expanding adding a "Dallas" campus near LBJ Freeway and Hillcrest.

Chris and his family loved Prestonwood and, until two weeks ago, were very active in various programs. He especially admired Jack Graham, the well-known and long time senior pastor.  However, just a couple of weeks ago, this mild mannered, committed Christian man was about to have his world turned upside down.

February 18, 2013

Chris viewed the documentary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God. From Wikipedia link we learn:

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is a 2012 documentary film directed by Alex Gibney. The film details the first known protest against clerical sex abuse in the United States by four deaf men.

Profoundly affected by the story, he wrote about it on Facebook. He remarked how moved he was by the bravery of these men who stood up to clerical abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. Funny, how a sovereign God works to bring clarity and role models into our lives. Several people left comments, linking him to Amy Smith's story and to Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators which, in turn, linked him here to an Associated Baptist Press story on John Langworthy.

Chris told me that he "couldn't believe it." This was talking about his church, and he thought there must be a terrible mistake. So, using his considerable computer skills, he went to work, researching this story.

February 21

He found the above linked Clarion Ledger story. He then posted the link on Prestonwood's Facebook page and asked about it. Within short order, his comment was removed. This happened two more times. He said he got no message as to why they were deleting his comments. They were just gone! 

This incident so upset him that he began to suspect something was up. He emailed the church, asking how one could be removed from the membership rolls. 

On the same day, he emailed Jack Graham, asking if he knew the reason why his comments were removed from Facebook. At this point, Chris thought that maybe Graham was not aware that this sort of thing was going on inside the church. He did not receive a response.

He also contacted Christa Brown to try and understand her perspective on the situation. He continued to hope this was all just a bad misunderstanding.

February 26 (10:56 AM -This guy keeps accurate records, folks)

Chris got an email from Charles Herbert, purportedly the brand new Minister to Young Adults. They then talked. Herbert allegedly asked Chris this question:

 How can Prestonwood serve you better? 

He appeared to be responding to Tynes' email asking about how to leave the church. Tynes filled him in on his concerns up to this point. Charles apparently claimed not to know very much about the Langworthy incident, but he assured Chris that Jack Graham had "done the right thing" and he would look into it.

This link will take you to the staff photo page if you want to look up any of the pastors to whom we refer.

February 26 

Herbert contacted Chris and gave him a copy of the child safety guidelines at the church. They look good, but Chris pressed him about the past to no avail.

Chris then emailed Neal Jeffrey, the Associate Pastor of Pastoral and Preaching Ministries, to ask for an explanation regarding an alleged victim's claim. Apparently, a person who is now an adult had come forward and made a report to the police about alleged past abuse by Langworthy at Prestonwood. Jeffrey, a former Baylor football star, had been accused by the alleged victim's mother for allegedly concealing a conversation he had with the victim link.  (Bolding by editor).

As a mother of a child that was molested by John Langworthy when he was at Prestonwood in the late 80's, I want people to know the truth,  The hurt our family endured during this time is indescribable  First of all, we were not contacted by Prestonwood when our son went to the youth minister, Neal Jeffrey to tell him what he had been going through for months at the hands of John Langworthy. 

Chris did not receive a reply. Remember, this is only one week since Chris began to find out about this information. He becomes increasingly concerned. This is not unlike the movie he had viewed just a week earlier; however, this time it is in a Baptist church, not the Catholic church.

February 27

Chris received an email from Charles Herbert stating that the Executive Pastor, Mike Buster link would like to meet with him. Chris is relieved and encouraged but that was not to last for long.

February 28

Chris calls Debbie Hatchett, Pastor Buster's administrative assistant (I could not find her listed on the church's website). She set an appointment for March 6, 10AM with Pastor Buster. 

At this point, Chris told me he was still optimistic and wanted to do "due diligence" before making any further moves.

March 4- evening

Chris received a message saying his March 6 meeting with Pastor Buster was canceled and would not be rescheduled.

March 5  -The day it all changed.

10 AM: Chris called Debbie Hatchett. Pastor Buster will not speak with him according to Hatchett. He is reportedly "out of town". She then reportedly tells Chris:

He does not need to talk to you.

Chris said that he needed to talk with the pastor or any other pastor. She said it would not happen. Chris vows that he will call Buster's office every day to ask for an appointment until Buster, or any other pastor, agrees to see him.

Around noon: Chris decided to drive up to the church and wait in the pastors' parking lot until one of the pastors drove in so that he could talk with him (any him) on an informal basis outside the church. He got out of his car and sat on the hood, hoping someone might look out and invite him in to talk. There are no pastors' cars present in the parking lot. (Those SBC pastors love their lunches, don't they?)

Suddenly a van comes screeching into the lot and some people exit it and run into the church. A door in the church then opens, and three security guards approach Tynes. Chris quickly turned on his smartphone video as does one of the security guards. Here is the video, along with the transcript. Special thanks to Deb for providing us with a written transcript.

Transcript as recorded by Deb: bold by editor


Security guard:  “I just don’t want to see you… I think it might be better to uh…”  inaudible . . .
 
Texas winds are blowing . . .
 
Chris: "Really?"
 
Security Guard:  “Let’s just do it the right way?  The right way is to make an appointment . . .”  inaudible
 
Chris:  “I have done it the right way.  I’ve been a member here for 14 years.”
 
Security Guard:  “Right, but do you have an appointment today?  That’s what I need to ask you.”
 
Chris:  “I had an appointment, and he canceled it and says he doesn’t need to speak to me, but I’m the one who wants to speak to him.”
 
Security Guard:  “Yeah, I understand.  You have a right to do that, but I think we need to. . .”
 
Chris:  “I helped build this place.”
 
Security Guard:  “Yeah, I did too, but…”
 
Chris:  “Exactly.”
 
Security Guard:  “I think we need to take the right way, and it would be the proper way to do it uh if you would call and talk to Debbie Hatchett if that’s who you …”
 
Chris:  “That’s who I’ve been talking to, and I told her, I said if he doesn’t want to call me back, I’ll wait and talk to…”
 
Security Guard:  “Yeah, but you know that’s not a good, you know truthfully that’s not a good way to do is to confront somebody like that.”
 
Chris:  “I can’t ask a question?”
 
Security Guard:  “Well, I think you certainly can, but I think it needs to be in that kind of environment, so…”
 
Chris:  “But he won’t even, but he won’t talk to me, so who do I talk to?”
 
Security Guard:   “Well…”
 
Chris:  “I mean, do you know what this is about?”
 
Security Guard:  “Oh no, and it’s none of my business, but I’m just here to, you know I have responsibility for security out here and making sure that, it’s just kinda unusual to see somebody standing here.”
 
Chris:  “But I’m a member.”
 
Security Guard:  “I know, I understand, but you don’t have any appointment to be on campus, and you know with all the trouble that we’ve had lately with everybody and everybody’s uptight about that, so I’m just asking you to do it the proper way if you don’t mind and that would be to call and ask, just go through the proper channel even though you have and let’s see what happens this time.  Is that fair?”
 
Chris:  “And what happens if he doesn’t even respond to me?” 
 
Security Guard:  “Then call me.”
 
Chris:  “Do you have a card?”   
 
Security Guard:  “Uh huh.” 
 
Chris:  “What’s your title?”  inaudible
 
Security Guard:  “Is that fair?”
 
Chris:  “O.K.”
 
Security Guard:  “Be in touch." 
 
Chris:  “Thanks.”
 
Security Guard:  “All right.  Talk to you later…”
 

Later the same day 

Chris receives a call form Prestonwood's "Director of Operations" who does not identify himself by name. He tells Chris:

  1. Do not call or contact anyone at Prestonwood.
  2. Do not step foot on the grounds of Prestonwood ever again or they will take action.

Chris tries to ask if this means he cannot come to church, but the above warnings are repeated. Chris is now banned from his own church with no explanation!

5 PM

Charles Herbert calls Chris. Chris, assuming the call is being recorded, reiterates his questions. He asks Charles to see if Prestonwood broke the law surrounding the Langworthy case. Charles says that he "trusts the leadership."  He then asked to "pray with" Chris. Chris refuses, obviously feeling rejected. He tells Herbert that he plans to talk publicly about this story and the conversation ends.

Could it get any worse? Oh, yeah!

March 6

Chris is notified Prestonwood has filed a complaint with the police: Prestonwood complaint: #2013-41341. Chris Tynes, mild-mannered software executive is accused of being:  

" a suspicious person, possibly violent".

Chris then spoke for almost 30 minutes with Detective Bill Washington who he describes as "incredibly understanding & professional."  Chris is planning on going to the police station get the full report. Oh yeah, he plans to respond to the police in writing and in great detail about his concerns in this matter.

One final encounter involving Dee

I felt it was only fair to get Prestonwood's side of the story. On Thursday, March 7, I called Debbie Hatchett at Pastor Buster's office. She said that I needed to speak with Josh Graham (Jack's son? – churches truly are a family business) in the Public Relations office. I left a message stating who I was. I said that Chris Tynes' story is exploding all over the internet and thought that Prestonwood might like to make a statement. 

Around 5 PM my phone rang. A somewhat stern, female voice claimed to be calling from the Communications (I think- it happened fast) Department. She said I was not to attribute the story to ? (I didn't catch what she said). She then said something to the effect that: 

Prestonwood would not be making a comment on the matter. 

She then immediately hung up. I had no time to say:

  • "Thank you."
  •  "Huh?"
  • "Say what?"
  • "Who are you?"
  • "Are you winning the building war with FBC, Dallas?"
  • "Wanna pray?"

My assessment:

Since I have been writing this blog, I have had the opportunity to speak with state attorneys, police chiefs, well-known pastors, journalists, authors, atheists, Mormons, etc. I have never received a phone call as disrespectful as the one I received from Prestonwood.

This response, when taken in context with the way Chris Tynes was treated by his formerly beloved church, leads me to a conclusion. I believe that something is very, very wrong at Prestonwood Baptist Church in regards to the Langworthy situation. Tom Rich, of FBC Watchdog, has also written a great post titled Prestonwood Baptist Doesn't Call the Cops on the Molester, But They Call the Cops on the Church Member Who Asks Questions About the Molester.

When a church cannot answer a devoted member's simple questions without reporting him to the police as a potentially violent individual, said church is in deep trouble. It makes them look suspicious. TWW will continue to follow this story closely. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Chris Tynes and his family. It is very hard to realize that your church and its leadership is not what it portrays to the world. However, Chris has joined a growing club of committed Christians who will not stand by and allow victims of child sex abuse to go unnoticed and allow those who cover up child sex abuse to continue "business as usual".

Chris, we honor your courage. Let us know how we can be of assistance. You are truly following the One who called Himself "The Truth". Shame, shame, shame on Prestonwood Baptist Church!

Lydia's Corner:   Joshua 19:1-20:9    Luke 19:28-48    Psalm 88:1-18    Proverbs 13:12-14

 

Comments

Prestonwood Baptist vs. Chris Tynes: Something is Very Wrong! — 323 Comments

  1. All I can say is, WOW! To my former SGM church’s credit, I never got any kind of this response when I started writing critically about SGM on my blog. I have always been welcomed back and graciously treated – and they have listened really well when I have aired my grievances.

  2. Chris, you’ve come to the right place. Stand strong, and don’t stop speaking up! Even when you leave a church, you still have a voice for those left behind!

    Did any of you see DL Mayfield’s post today on sex abuse in churches? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christandpopculture/2013/03/notes-from-the-margins-what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-abuse-in-the-church/

    I also wrote this today: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2013/03/womens-voices-rising-advocating-for.html and linked Wartburg Watch.

  3. Chris found out like many of us have that the major institution he supported is a fraud. He thought it was his church. That is a big mistake many mega church attendees make. It is not their church. They simply work for and support the mega church for the privilege of attending there.

    Chris will be marginalized, he will be called violent, unstable,etc. 99 percent of the Pew sitters will believe it. The saddest thing for me is not being able to warn people what they are really up against if they ever decide to try to find out something they do not want you to ask about. You are to go smile a lot, be really upbeat and positive, serve, Fund the programs, salaries of the staff and always trust the leadership. Let me guess it’s run by a small group of men who are elders or board of directors

    Chris can probably sue them but he won’t likely win. It amazes me what churches get by with they are very protected from such things.

    As more and more of this explodes because of the social media, I really do think Congress is going to make some changes in the laws. And when they do and the religious factions start screaming they only have them self to blame.

    Chris I have seen quite a few people being escorted to their car by security at mega churches because they ask the wrong questions. They were immediately labeled as violent troublemakers just for asking the wrong questions. And everybody believe the celebrity pastor. They believe the stage persona.

    God bless you Chris. Now you know.

  4. This is no surprise at all. Everything’s bigger in Texas. Including the Pharisee-ism.

    Disclosure: That Bad Dog is an almost-native Texan, having lived in the Lone Star State for almost 40 years.

  5. Wow! I know this is stating the obvious, but a church that has nothing to hide just would not respond like that to a member’s questions. Something is most certainly wrong at Prestonwood.

    Chris,
    Praying for you and your family in this difficult time. You did nothing to deserve such treatment from a bunch of “Christian” thugs. I’m also praying that the truth about this Langworthy situation with Prestonwood will finally come to light.

  6. Oh… And be prepared to hear a lot of this: You will never find a perfect church.

    That is the most popular excuse for evil With the church going set these days. So your choices are perfect or evil.

    As for me I’m just looking for pure in heart.

  7. Excellent article! Reading articles about my story seems incredibly surreal and I still can’t believe it’s happening. Thanks for shining light on this situation and I suspect it’s far from over. Sadly, I’m expecting on some sort of attack from them any day now.

  8. Chris

    Welcome to TWW. Just keep us informed. I, too, will call Prestonwood, the police, the mayor, whoever, if they pull anything more on you. I am so sorry you had to find out the hard way that Prestonwood is not all it is cracked up to be.

  9. These people are just plain EVIL. I think I would have felt more comfortable in Jim Jones’ church than at Prestonwood. Praise God for people like Chris. I fear for what else will happen to him though. No doubt Prestonwood will use their henchmen/cronies/hitmen to try to destroy his life. It’s all about protecting the image, right Jack?

  10. I’m a long time lurker here… not being a Christian, I’ve never felt that I’d have any valid input here. That may still be the case, but I do feel compelled to comment on this story.

    If this had happened to me, I would interpret it as a gauntlet being thrown down and I would readily accept the challenge.

    I don’t care if the evening news profiled me as some sort of kook, but I would register a domain (prestonwoodabuse.com or something like that), put all the relevant info on the site, then I’d be on the PUBLIC sidewalk outside the church every Sunday, holding up a big sign with Matthew 18:6 and a link to the website.

    I’d also — for what it’s worth — like to congratulate Mr. Tynes for taking a stand. Quite frankly, it’s shameful that people like him seem to be in the minority. If I was the church-going type and found out about something like this going on at my church, the last thing on my mind would be worrying about being branded as “rebellious” or that word that rhymes with “hitter” that I’m not supposed to use here; I would make my voice heard.

    Back to lurking now…

  11. We’re not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we’re to drive a spoke into the wheel itself. -Bonhoeffer
    Thank you Chris. Thank you Dee. From the bottom of my heart.

  12. Chris,
    I am praying for you and like the others I do not think this is over. You have inadvertently stirred up a hornets nest and the hornets must now sting. My brother in this time know that your justification comes not from a church but through the blood of Jesus. Your right standing has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with Jesus. This might be a good time for you to go read Jude and Peter and see what they had to say about the kind of teachers that were coming and how to identify them. I pray that the Holy Spirit will direct you to a new body of believers whether that be a traditional church, house church, online gathering or some informal group of believers who worship God together, praise Jesus and encourage each other to be more like our Savior.

  13. Jack B

    I may be one of those infernal Christians, but I really like people who totally disagree with me. We have a number of atheists and agnostics who lurk here. In fact, I am going to feature the story of an agnostic in the near future. You are welcome here. I may disappoint you with my stubborn belief in a loving God, but I can be a lot of fun! 

  14. Daniel

    Welcome to TWW. Thank you for your support of Chris. Prestonwood's phone call to me has put me firmly in Chris' camp. Gosh, these guys are sooo stupid. 

  15. Elastigirl

    I am planning on contacting Brett Shipp and some others about this story. I am totally in shock. And to think I thought that Jack Graham was one of hte good guys. No longer…

  16. Prestonwood seems to think they are above reproach, and the size and scale of their walls allow them shelter. They should have their doors WIDE OPEN to their congregation and offer transparency in this matter. Instead, they hide behind their veil and cast a stone at a concerned parishioner all the while painting him and his family with a dishonest brush. I applaud Mr. Tynes for his tenacity, and implore him to keep up the good fight. Truth will out!

  17. If this is how a church treats its 15-year members, I wouldn’t call it a church at all. And I would hate to see how this organization treats nonmembers and unbelievers (maybe it doesn’t matter if they aren’t really a church?) when this is how it treats its members.

    Chris –

    I’m sad that you are going through this, but very grateful that you are taking a stand for what is important. I’ll be praying for your efforts to expose the ungodly behaviors in the church.

  18. @ dee:
    Thanks for the warm welcome. For the record, I am not of those — nor do I remotely identify with — atheists who feel it’s their duty to mock religious belief. If you treat your elders, children and pets with respect and tip your waitress, to me it doesn’t matter if you worship one god, no god or a thousand gods.

    The work that you and Deb do — not to mention the work of Jeri Massi, Julie Anne Smith, and Christa Brown — is to be commended. It boggles the mind that there is any resistance to what you do.

  19. Chris, I was just in your area yesterday (Trader Joe*s makes like a tiny bit more pleasant). The fact that any believer, much a less a pastor, would treat you that way makes me furious. There are so many people in your neck of the woods who are standing with you. You are not alone. Thank you for being bold and pursuing the truth with the cowards. Any time you need encouragement, stop by this blog and fill up.

    Oh, we have a nickname for churches like Prestonwood, “Six Flags Over Jesus”. The sad thing is, my local megachurch is structured in much the same manner and I feel it is ripe for pastoral abuse.

  20. “Six Flags Over Jesus”

    “Fort God”

    “PrestonWorld”

    My relatives have lots of names for that church in the Dallas area.

    Some good people go there, but it sounds like the pastors have a lot to hide.
    For failing to report the multiple child sexual abuse cases they knew about, they are ripe not only for civil suits but for criminal charges as well. Lots of motives to hush things up.

  21. Jesus said you will know a tree by its fruit. Don’t care how big or “successful” a church is, a true, faithful church’s fruit will be evident. I’m so tired of bad churches with bad pastors giving the true church a bad name. God is removing the lampstands from many a church I think, so that the true remnant will be the visible ones.

    I’m a pastor, and my door has always been open about concerns. It is helpful to people, and avoids this kind of sinful mess.

  22. So… Is Chris still a member? Are they throwing him out? If so what will be the reason given? Asking too many questions?

    If not, how will he be "under discipline" if he can't be on the property?

  23. Chris Tynes said:

    “Thanks for shining light on this situation and I suspect it’s far from over.  Sadly, I’m expecting some sort of attack from them any day now.”

    Chris,

    I am so proud of you!  Hang in there.  I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers.  

  24. Prestonwood-your cowardice in the face of a sexual predator in your midst will create just that many more agnostics and atheists who see it as a sign of immorality of the Christian faith, not to mention your abuse of one of your members who was only seeking the truth.

    You can answer to your congregation or you can anaswer to the Lord for “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” (that’s from the Bible by the way, one of the many parts you have obviously missed). Personally, I’d take my chances with your congregation rather than the Lord when the sheep are separated from the goats.

  25. I’m picturing what I used to see turning over rocks in my backyard as a toddler – centipedes, woodlice, pillbugs, etc. running away from the light at a thousand miles an hour.

    Also, guys, my first official VF critique post is up at Scarlet Letters if you want to read it.

  26. Wow. Chris, prayers with you (and your family and everyone else in the congregation who’s going to get caught up in the fallout) from the southern hemisphere.

    Jack B’s suggestion about standing outside with a placard is an interesting one. It reminded me of a man here in Sydney who did this for months (years?) three days a week outside the offices of a compensation law firm. From memory, the firm had represented his family in a case for compensation after his daughter was severely injured in a car crash. They won the case, but the law firm took such a huge amount of the payout in fees (including things like $50 to print out an email) that the family received almost nothing. So the guy protested, one of the Sydney newspapers took notice, other stories came out against the firm, they paid up to numerous families, and had rulings against them. It was a long road, but their credibility was completely destroyed.

  27. Hey, all. Haven’t commented much as I have been pretty sick this week. Flu that has messed with my lings…not much energy. But I have been reading…

    Chris, bravo. From a survivor of child sex abuse, THANK YOU!

    And to Marge, as well. Thank you.

    The more there are people like you two in the churches, the less likely abuse will be able to flourish.

  28. Tweet from Jack Graham posted at 5:11 pm 3/8/2013:

    “@jackngraham: Hidden sin on earth is headline news in Heaven. Repent. Receive forgiveness and Return to obedience I John 1:9″

    Sunday’s sermon ought to be very interesting !!

  29. JackGraham has me blocked on Twitter and I’ve never tweeted him before. I never even knew of his name until just an hour ago. Is it my reputation or what?!

  30. Must be your magnetic personality Julie Anne. You’re positive and he’s ‘positive’ and he’s repulsed by you!

    Julie Anne wrote:

    JackGraham has me blocked on Twitter and I’ve never tweeted him before. I never even knew of his name until just an hour ago. Is it my reputation or what?!

  31. JackGraham has me blocked on Twitter and I’ve never tweeted him before.

    I am fairly certain that “trouble maker” lists are shared within SBC megachurch pastors and their buddies.

    A good example of dealing with someone with questions in a church …
    http://is.gd/P9fM9V
    Wade Burleson > Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member

  32. Sorry…positives as in magnetic poles push each other apart. Jack apparently pushed Julie Anne away from following him on Twitter.

  33. Thy Peace: Thanks for that link, I remember reading it many months ago. I hope Wade doesn’t mind me pasting a big chunk here, but it applies to this situation so well and it will help Chris to see that he is not alone (and possibly what to expect because we all know these spiritual tyrants went to the same Creepy Spiritual Abuse School (CSAS):

    (1). Leadership issued a court ordered trespass warning, barring the Watchdog and his family from entering the premises of the church.

    (2). Leadership led the church to pass a resolution, led by retired judge A.C. Soud, that no church member shall be publicly critical of church leadership, and werer a member to violate that resolution, the member shall be “confronted” with their gross sin and disciplined publicly.

    (3). Leadership went behind behind closed doors with the deacons and others and accused the Watchdog of inappropriate behavior (stalking, videotaping, stealing) without ever sitting down with the Watchdog himself to inform him of their allegations.

    (4). Leadership also made phone calls to the church where the Watchdog has joined to “warn” the church of this man and his family.

    (5). Leadership chose to make the issue Watchdog’s “character” rather than answering the Watchdog’s “questions.”

    The really sad thing to me is that the man in question is a long time, faithful member of FBC Jacksonville who has had family in the church for decades. He is highly educated, respected in the community, and has been faithful in service for years. In my opinion, church leaders are abusive when they attempt to shut down disagreement in the manner that seems to have been taken by the leadership of FBC Jacksonville.

    Things must change in our Convention, our denominational agencies and our churches. Real leadership serves, not dominates. Real leadership affirms, not denigrates. Real leadership can withstand criticism, because real leadership is confident their actions can withstand scrutiny.

    I am hopeful that other Southern Baptist church leaders and pastors can learn from the two different examples of disgruntled church members given above. What the Southern Baptist Convention needs at this hour are leaders who are servants, desiring to help people in their walk with Christ. Too many of us are “professional” ministers who are concerned with our careers and have lost sight of the fact that our careers actually have names. How should leadership deal with disgruntled members?

    The answer to that question will go a long way toward making our Convention and our churches what we should be.

  34. Ironic that “trouble maker” lists are shared within SBC, but not lists about pedophiles and molesters.

  35. What if one of you USA buddies of mine wrote a quick (Short) paragraph about Chris Tynes very bad week to Anderson Cooper 360?

    What has happened to Chris is made for tv, shame and public embarrassment is something Prestonwood leadership should be wearing.

    Prestonwood wouldn’t return Bob Allens call (Associated Baptist Press)
    Are you kidding me?
    Dee, you must be special.;^)

    What about contacting Bob Smietana at The Tennesseean (or at least tweeting him?)

    To Deb and Dee:

    On International Womens Day, I salute you for your tenacity, courage, mercy, and prudent judgement. You are special.
    You do your sisters proud. May you mount up with wings as eagles, may your hope remain unwavering, and may you rest and renew in His Presence as He upholds you in His hand.

  36. Sorry to go off topic here, but I think the pastor of the Dallas Baptist church involved with that Tim Tebow controversy (Jeffress) is being interviewed on TBN “Praise the Lord” right now.

    This episode will be shown again on Monday at 4:00 PM.

    As to the original post.

    I’m barely holding on to the Christian faith lately, and one reason I’ve had a hard time holding on to it is precisely this kind of thing – a Christian guy who is a member at a church for 13 years only asked some questions, and in response, got kicked off the church property and treated like a criminal, but he didn’t do anything wrong.

  37. BeneD

    How kind of you! Thank you.

    The only reason Prestonwood returned my call is because I am a blogger and Bob Allen is with ABP. He has to act polite. Bloggers, on the other hand can get mighty irritated awfully quick and we do not have bosses to tell us to “be nice.”

  38. Pingback: Southern Baptist Texas mega church Prestonwood calls cops on a member who had a questions | Bene Diction Blogs On UNITED STATES

  39. There’s something I’ve wondered about big/megachurches for a long time, and comes up a bit in Chris’ experience. What struck me about the attempts to talk to a pastor and the confrontation with security was just how impersonal it all was. I’ve never been to anything approaching a megachurch (the one I’ve recently joined has probably 150-200 people each week at the congregation I’m in, and to me that’s huge), but it all looks so daunting and non-relational.

    And Chris’ experience seems to bear that out – you can’t just talk to a pastor, you must make an appointment. Turning up at the church of your own accord is viewed with suspicion and treated as trespassing. I thought churches were meant to be places open to believers and non-believers who wanted to learn about God, who had questions about the Bible or the church. Who acted like a body that really does need all its members.

    Yet this church thinks it owes nothing to its members, that it can just ignore and dismiss people? That just seems crazy.

  40. @ Pam: At the local megachurch here, it is stated on their website and around the church that the senior pastor is not available for counseling. The reason given is that his ph.d. is in evangelism and he is not adequately trained to counsel others. Its pretty much just a load of bs. All he does is preach a couple of sermons, look pretty on tv and write books about a mythological evangelism in which he does not participate. When my friend Mrs. H passed away last week, none of the ministry team at said megachurch was available to speak at her funeral so a pastor from her daughter’s church had to fill in. That same church’s ministry team never found time to visit her at the hospital or assist her family during her cancer battle. I want no part of a church that is too busy to actually take care of its flock.

  41. Pingback: Quote for the day | Civil Commotion

  42. Many years ago there was a pastor in the Seattle area who was guilty of inappropriate behavior. It was a church of approximately 6,000 members. Apparently this had gone on for quite a while before anyone had the courage to come forward. We knew members of the church and got some of the inside story from them as they were leaving. It took a while for the truth to come out, because he was protected by the other leaders. Sometimes it takes a while for these matters to come to light, but with the belief that eventually they do, I am sharing that story again with the hope it will encourage others.

    This is a link to the story in Christianity Today:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1998/july13/8t8026.html?paging=off

  43. Daisy
    Hold on. The remnant is out here, fighting. Look at it this way. Chris has now joined our Fellowship of the Wounded! And we are rather irritated. @ Daisy:

  44. Hmmm…decided to stir things up on Facebook and posed this question (some of my friends still attend ‘that’ church)….

    Question: What would you do if you found out there was a pedophile in your church?

    So far, only the former Army MP and current Texas National Guardswoman nailed it. She said, “Alert the church staff and local Law Enforcement. Everyone else is hemming and hawing…..except the Pagan. His response was, “Sacrifice him on the altar….oh, wait, what kind of church?”

    I upped it by adding, “Now, suppose he is not convicted (so not on any registry) and the information you have indicates church leaders know and are covering it up.”

    We’ll see what the responses are…..

  45. Mandy wrote:

    @ Pam: At the local megachurch here, it is stated on their website and around the church that the senior pastor is not available for counseling. The reason given is that his ph.d. is in evangelism and he is not adequately trained to counsel others. (emphasis mine)

    Actually, in the circles I come from, that kind of admission would be totally refreshing. The preachers in the IFB are taught “couseling”, but it’s not exactly something that people with real problems would find really helpful. Look up “nouthetic counseling” sometime. It’ll sound terribly familiar to those involved in SGM.

    The rest of your post, where a ministry won’t even help a memorialize a member (or assist a member family in funeral duties/benevolence calls), is appalling. What happened to weeping with those who weep? :barf:

  46. @ Jeannette Altes:

    It is amazing that people don’t know what to do. I repeat this over and over again whenever I have a chance: “Sexual abuse of a child is a crime. The proper response to a crime is to call the police, not your pastor or supervisor. Your pastor or supervisor does not know what to do about a pedophile, so pick up your phone and call the people who do know what to do. The police are the people who know what to do. Call them. Dealing with pedophiles is their job and they train for it and everything. Really.”

    It’s not much, but I do keep at it. I hope it makes a difference for someone some day.

  47. @ Dana:
    I know – I kind of wanted to maybe stir up some awareness. With the new parameters I added, one more responded well. She said it would be tough, but she would do what is right to protect children because the effects are devastating. She even pointed out that reporting can be anonymous….I’m more curious to see the reactions of me friends who are still in the church I left….the Kool-aid’s pretty strong up there.

  48. @ Jeannette Altes:

    These same people wouldn’t hesitate to report any other type of crime. I’m sure they’d call the police if someone stole their bike or their TV. But for some reason, the idea of reporting a pedophile seems unthinkable to them. Why would it be hard to do? What are they afraid of?

  49. I’m not only talking about the people responding on your FB, I’m talking about most people. When I give the “call the police” spiel, I usually get blank looks. Sometimes I have to inquire whether or not they think that sexual contact with a minor is a crime or a lifestyle choice. People need to be trained to respond appropriately.

  50. That kind of defensiveness is cultishness taken to the extreme.
    Maybe I have an overly suspicious mind, but I start wondering what else they’re hiding to react in such an extreme way.
    This is not normal, even for churches that mess up.

  51. @ Mandy:

    Wow, Mandy, that sort of treatment of a church member is just shameful. If nobody from the church can visit someone at hospital, if none of them can check to see how treatment’s going, if none of the can fit a freaking funeral into their oh-so-important schedule, what the hell are they doing being in ministry. Do none of them understand that minister is a verb – that it’s something they’re meant to do, that it comes from the word servant? I’m so sorry for how callously your friend was treated by those who should have been caring when it was most needed.

  52. @ Dana:
    I understand. I think that’s part of why I wanted to throw it out there. knowing some of me readers are still in the cult. Maybe shake things loose a little….but it is true most people don’t even want to know. I will just keep bringing it up….

  53. There are other victims out there of Langworthy’s child sex crimes in TX and MS who have not come forward to the police yet. One has recently reported his abuse to the Dallas police. It’s critical now that others do also for the whole truth to be known, for healing for victims and for other kids to be protected from Langworthy as he’s not in jail and is supported by many in the Clinton, MS community. This makes it a difficult environment for more to come forward, especially the younger, more recent or current victims. I’ve heard from concerned people in MS about Langworthy’s grooming behavior with kids. Let’s hope people there begin to reach out to anyone who they think John may have molested or anyone currently at risk.

    Let’s do our best to make it safe for them by reaching out to them virtually to encourage them to come forward and call the police. Here’s the reporting contacts in each location:

    Clinton, Mississippi- Detective Josh Frazier Clinton police 601-925-6106

    Hinds County assistant DA in Jackson, MS Jamie McBride 601-968-6568 (prosecuted Langworthy’s case recently for crimes in 1980-84)

    Dallas police child exploitation unit Doreen 214-671-4211 (answered by Doreen, a trained counselor with many years of experience doing this)

    Plano police detective Washington 972.941.2294 (assigned to Chris’ case and seeking more information)

    The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.

  54. Chris, what a courageous choice you made. I’m so sorry your church failed you on such a massive way. I just wanted to encourage you to take care of yourself too, seek out support of others who have been rejected by our churches, rejected, kicked to the curb, thrown off the bus, SUED. You are SO not alone!!! God bless!!

  55. @ Daisy:
    Daisy,

    Please hang in there. Please remember it is not the church in whom you should trust, but “God is Love, and He wants to be your friend”

    OT Prayer request.

    Will you all please pray for the conclave that starts Tuesday, as the Cardinals pray and vote to elect the next Pope. We need a man who is both holy, but wise in the ways of the world. There’s a lot of mess that needs to be cleaned up.

    Thank you

  56. Brilliant move to video the encounter in the parking lot. I am so glad that these corrupt men and their corrupt organizations are being exposed.

  57. I’d say I’m shocked, but nothing shocks me anymore (sadly).

    Terrible, terrible stuff. We will be writing something at CalvaryChapelAbuse.com. Great job TWW for exposing this story. We need to support both Amy and Chris in this.

    Same stuff, different Denom (oh wait, Calvary Chapel says they aren’t a denomination, LOL, my bad).

  58. Chris – you probably don’t think so at this moment, but all of this is going to make your life better in the long run, as you will now be free to find a church that truly fears God and teaches truth. You are really being abused right now, but when all of this is over and exposed, you will have been an instrument of God to protect kids and expose evil. YOU ROCK!

  59. I will be forwarding this story to some Child Abuse attorneys as well as my media contacts at the NYT, Newsweek/Daily Beast and elsewhere.

    As we (TWW, Jezzy Bell/Julie Anne, and so many others have said over and over) this stuff is a Problem in our Evangelical church constructs today, not just in the Catholic Church. As Christians, we need to deal with it properly. God loves Justice. God loves children. God does not love cover-up and lying and opacity and protecting abusers…all so the particular “Church” Corporation doesn’t get sued or get a bad rep and lose money.

    That is the underlying motivation here, it’s about protecting the Brand and protect the assets of this church…it’s not about doing the right thing, no matter what….IMO.

  60. @ Mandy:
    “When my friend Mrs. H passed away last week, none of the ministry team at said megachurch was available to speak at her funeral so a pastor from her daughter’s church had to fill in. That same church’s ministry team never found time to visit her at the hospital or assist her family during her cancer battle. I want no part of a church that is too busy to actually take care of its flock.”

    That is just too disgusting for words.

  61. Chris, GOOD FOR YOU!

    Hang tough bro. I wish I could say it won’t get worse before it gets better, but no matter how tough it gets for you…you’re doing the right thing. Stick to your convictions, you can’t go wrong. They can bully you, threaten you, intimidate you with law enforcement, lawsuit, etc…they can’t touch your Soul and your Conscience in these matters.

  62. These monied-up church mega-corps won’t change on their own. From my dealings with Calvary Chapel, I can tell you, these guys won’t budge either (not on their own).

    Change and reforms will come with constant pressure, exposing the issues and eventually lawsuits brought by victims and their families. SGM’s lawsuits are a good start.

    There is a Movement underway, and TWW and all of us are a part of it.

    Marci Hamilton of Cardozo Law (she is a professor there and Child Abuse Advocate) wrote an article recently that shows this growing “Movement” as she calls it. It’s happening more and more, folks are sick of the abuse and cover-up etc. They are speaking out. In public institutions of trust like Penn State and in Church Orgs/Systems all over, like in CC, SBC, IFBC, SGM etc etc.

    The Catholic Church was the first to illustrate the Major Problem at the National/World Level. Now we need to focus on all the others and speak against it.

  63. @ PP:
    I pray that there still are good pastors out there. I pray that God will begin to remove the bad ones, one by one. The bad ones destroy people’s lives, they are only in it for themselves (status & money) What makes me even more broken hearted is that it seems like only just a handfull of people want to know the truth, while others are content to just sit in the pews with their heads in the sand, not wanting to rock the boat or get to the bottom of the truth. What is wrong with this picture?

    As a pastor, would you please pray that God would reveal the truth. And thank you for standing for the truth and having compassion for the hurting.

  64. Thy Peace wrote:

    Ironic that “trouble maker” lists are shared within SBC, but not lists about pedophiles and molesters.

    This. Clearly demonstrates what’s most important to them.

  65. Alex,

    I love how you are encouraging others who have been hurt like Amy and Chris. Did you know that we have a name for those who have been beaten and battered?

    It’s the Fellowship of the Wounded. Looks like our ranks are increasing…

  66. What recourse does a person have when a claim like Prestonwood made against Chris happens?
    It’s not true. Seems to be bullying…
    Can they make this claim and not have to back it up?

  67. The blogs are speaking out and it is beginning to impact business as usual. When I look at this situation, I marvel at how God prepared Chris by having him watch a documentary on child sex abuse in the church. It appears that Chris has been prepared and commissioned by God.Frankly, I would rather be on the Lord’s side than some megachurch.@ Jen:

  68. It will serve Prestonwood and their highly paid staff right if their actions in this result in an intensive investigation of whether sexual abuse has been being reported. And a way to to that would be for Chris and others to start a blog about sexual abuse and the response of Prestonwood to it. Social media publicity does have an effect. And I think that Chris should go to the police and file a complaint about a false report being filed against him. It is a crime in Texas to knowingly file a false report against a person, and this one clearly was false and they had every reason to know it was false.

  69. I had a lengthy phone conversation with Amy last night and one with Chris this morning.

    Amy and Chris are people with amazing hearts. Amy has been fighting this battle for a very long time and she was shocked that all this has taken place for Chris. But it is all good. God knows what He is doing. To have Chris, unrelated to any of the sex abuse cases and long-time member seek out questions regarding the sex abuse and get this type of response from church authorities only solidifies Amy’s accounts.

    I mentioned that I was blocked by the pastor on Twitter. I have also been blocked by the @PrestonwoodBaptist account as well and probably every other PBC account.

    Folks, this typical behavior we have seen from others who hide abuse. I will tag them in my tweets (as I have this morning). Word is getting out.

    I am forming a group (some of WhoWouldJesusSue team) to come along side Chris to help him out while he is being inundated with media requests, e-mails, etc. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you are on Twitter, the hashtag to use for this is #PBCSilentNoMore

  70. @ Julie Anne:
    I wondered if Chris’s experience would be the springboard Amy has needed to bring attention to the Langworthy cover-up. Prestonwood really “stepped in it” when they treated Chris the way they did.

  71. Amy
    Next week, when the police report is public, this thing is going to go crazy. The Dallas Morning News needs to be notified. I will forward a link to my post to the city desk as well as Brett Shipp and others. Gotta go look for emails now.

    Amy, your story just developed a jet engine. God is looking out for you and used Chris to illustrate the problems at PBC. The security guard video is priceless and the police report is one of the worst public relations disasters in the history of PBC. That’ what you get when you hire your kid…

    PBC also made a big mistake by their impossibly rude phone call to me. That phone call is proof enough for me that something is terribly wrong at that church. If only they had tried to be kind. I would have still printed the story but i would have reported that they responded in a nice manner.

    Now, it is obvious to everybody that something is going on. They have far more to worry about than wondering if FBC Dallas is going to steal their thunder for producing a massive cathedral to the glory of Dallas money. @ Amy Smith:

  72. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ Julie Anne:
    I wondered if Chris’s experience would be the springboard Amy has needed to bring attention to the Langworthy cover-up. Prestonwood really “stepped in it” when they treated Chris the way they did.

    They sure did. This behaved exactly like we expect spiritual tyrants to behave when they did this. Now they must have a team scouting around Amy’s twitter list and probably mine and others to block tweets as if that’s going to stop anything. So much for that gospel message, eh? It’s backwards. It’s all Chris’ fault. It’s my fault. It’s Amy’s fault. It’s Dee and Deb’s fault, Tom Rich’s fault, etc. They are interfering with God’s work by drawing attention to this personal affair.

    Dear Prestonwood Baptist,

    Learn from the fools who traveled this same path before you. The reason this is happening is because you failed to protect those who were in your care. Admit you were wrong, confess, and stop this nonsense! It will not go well with you if you continue this same path. It never does.

  73. Been There
    There is no question that Chris’ treatment now raises the question about Amy’s story. She has been given a gift from God in the form of Chris. Shame on Prestonwood.@ BeenThereDoneThat:

  74. @ Daisy:
    I understand- it seems like everywhere you turn people are being used by the church. One has to really ask- what good has it done being in the church? Have I just wasted my life?

    I know when I went through my divorce I took a hard look at my church involvement and concluded that my life was far worse for my involvement with the church than it would have been without (there have been some great things, but the hurtful things were just SO bad). I almost walked away from the church all together, but I was fortunate to walk into a church that dealt with me a lot differently and showed me a lot of compassion. In the end, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to conceive of life without Jesus, but my conception of who he is has certainly changed.

    The thing is, scripture tells us that false leaders will rise up and distort the truth in order to do the work of the Evil One. A lot of evangelicals tend to deal with these scriptures as a matter of twisting soteriology and other doctrinal issues, but while I DO think doctrine is important, I think we should be far more concerned about churches that act like bastions of Pharisees.

    I’m saying all of that to say that I understand the challenge to your faith, but our calling is to be true to Jesus and Jesus only- these misbehaving churches do not speak for him and we must not let them. We need to pray for strength and courage to follow Jesus when the world turns against him, even the part of the world that claims him by name.

  75. Some of us have been praying for real revival in the churches a loooonnnnnngggg time.

    And this may just be how it happens: the good Lord may well purge His churches of all the charlatans and non-believers brought in by the “buy my book and do what I say and your church can be a mega church too” crowd.

    We may shrink considerable but maybe we will be actual churches again.

  76. Why are people shocked this happened???
    Look, this follow the leader no matter what has happened is what all higher ups want, be it politics, or the church.
    It is why I no longer go to church. There is nothing but an authoritarian leadership at most churches. I know better than you. Listen to me. You in the pews are peons, God didn’t call you to this place of authority. It can happen at mega-churches as well as small ones.
    I hate to say this, but when someone says they are a pastor, I immediately no longer trust them…and it saddens me to say that….

  77. Stepping back to comment on the broader context…

    Whodathunk the internet (spell check insists upper case “I”) would play such a big part in religious carryings ons as it has? Gee, I remember a way back when in the 90’s when a friend of mine – scandal of scandals – met a woman on-line when internet dating was just getting started. Christians and the internet?

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

  78. Janet Mefferd in Dallas posted about the WFAA Prestonwood Langworthy story on her radio show Facebook page right after it aired in aug 2011.

    Recent tweets from @JanetMefferd: Sexual abuse in the church is evil enough. Refusing to love & stand with the victims b/c it might cost u something? Totally depraved.

    @JanetMefferd: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” ~ Winston Churchill

  79. Steve Scott,

    So true! I just had a BIG belly laugh about myself because of your comment.

    Back in the mid-90s when the internet was in its infancy stage and e-mail was not widely used, I remember telling someone who sent me an e-mail, “I don’t do e-mail”.

    Boy, have things changed!

  80. Chris, I can’t imagine what was going through your mind when you realized that YOUR church had just called security on you. For asking a question. :(

    Under the rubrik of “strike while the iron is hot” in the last three days or so Christiane Amanpour interviewed Alex Gibney, director of the “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God.”

    Here’s the link to her blog, you need to scroll down to see the coverage of the Gibney interview:

    http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/category/latest-episode/

    As a follow up I would think that perhaps her producers may have an interest in the Langworthy issue.

  81. @ Julie Anne:

    “Dear Prestonwood Baptist,

    Learn from the fools who traveled this same path before you. The reason this is happening is because you failed to protect those who were in your care.”
    ******************************

    “…those in your care” — why in the world does anyone need to be “cared for” by an organized group of people? by an institution? by an organization which in the end / when it comes down to ultimate choices exists to protect and further itself.

    my skin is starting to crawl (with all kinds of invasive bugs).

    it open the door to “killing them softly with their song, killing them softly, with their song…”

  82. JeffT wrote:

    Ironic that “trouble maker” lists are shared within SBC, but not lists about pedophiles and molesters.

    This. Clearly demonstrates what’s most important to them.

    Make an Example of One, Silence a Hundred.

  83. “Whodathunk the internet (spell check insists upper case “I”) would play such a big part in religious carryings ons as it has? ”

    The problem is the mega churches are still operating as they did back in the 90’s and early 2000’s and have not really understood that the internet/social media would become the gutenburg press on steriods….. eventually. Their worst nightmare is that there is a web “Christian niche” market that THEY adapted early on that is now using social media to out them.

    It is really ironic if you think about it. The real game changer is what will the pew sitters decide to do when they learn of uncomfortable truths. The key to this question is money. They only way these guys are going away is if the money dries up. Unfortuantely, most people want a guru to follow. People can be very “collectivist” in their thinking.

    I have seen “trouble makers” escorted out of megas and 99% of the people in the church had NO idea it ever happened. But it was the 90’s.

  84. I used to have thoughts about the cognitive dissonance of having security at “church” while knowing exactly where plains clothes security was inserted in the auditorium and around campus on the weekends. Do they not trust their own people? Won’t God protect them? That is usually what they are telling people from the pulpit. So why security during the week, too?

    I had to completely get away from that ghetto world to really start seeing some of the cognitive dissonance that goes on in the mega world. It really is a bizarre place when you start to think things through. It boils down to an institution based upon cult of personality.

  85. @ Jeff S:

    –“…it seems like everywhere you turn people are being used by the church. One has to really ask- what good has it done being in the church? Have I just wasted my life?

    I know when I went through my divorce I took a hard look at my church involvement and concluded that my life was far worse for my involvement with the church than it would have been without.”
    *****************

    Same here. 3 years to undo the damage (& that’s pretty minimal compared to what others have to work through)

    –“In the end, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to conceive of life without Jesus, but my conception of who he is has certainly changed.”
    *********************

    Certainly. But does life with Jesus = being part of an organization with a payroll? Money changes everything. I was going to say “being part of an organization” — but even when I meet with 2 friends to pray for our kids and their school, we are an organization with expectations and our ways of doing things. It’s when money gets involved, there are concerns that necessarily supercede the welfare of human beings who do not benefit financially.

    –“…but our calling is to be true to Jesus and Jesus only”
    ******************
    Yes. Why do we get tangled up in being true to the institution? In my experience, to “be a christian” and make church a big part of one’s life means little by little turning into “a company man” and “a company woman”. In fact, it’s more than that — people tend to look to the church in the way baby birds look to their mommy bird for food. “FEED ME” and they receive it all, without question, without scrutiny. Even church staff — the head guy (lead pastor or whatever the term du jour is) has an agenda, communicates it compellingly, the staff take it all in. They have every reason to be yes-people, not nearly enough reason to do due diligence in evaluating the legitimacy, the correctness, the integrity, the wisdom…

  86. “…those in your care” — why in the world does anyone need to be “cared for” by an organized group of people? by an institution? by an organization which in the end / when it comes down to ultimate choices exists to protect and further itself. ”

    So very true. The “church” is the last place I would ever go for “care”. But then, I have seen a lot that most folks don’t want to believe is true. It would rock their world to believe what really goes on behind stage. It is getting better, more and more do believe it now but not enough. And the ones who see it, tend to go quietly because they are so viscious if you dare speak out. You gotta be totally brave, have a secure position they cannot ruin you and be wiling to stand alone. Most folks won’t go there. Easier to walk away and stay silent.

  87. Rafiki

    Great idea. How their documentary on abuse led to the exposure of another situation. Let me look into this.

  88. Amy
    Give me the names of some folks who have done stories on your situation. I will notify them. I am also considering sending this to Fox News. This is a good news segment for their morning show.@ dee:

  89. What Chris is going through now is reprehensible. Those of us who suddenly found ourselves on the outside of a church we trusted with no way to even look in, know a little of his pain and shock — however, most of us didn’t have to deal with the public notoriety of it. But in the long run, he is blessed to be seeing the truth. Chris, welcome to freedom. It was for freedom that Christ has set us free!

  90. And as I was typing, CNN is now discussing the UNC sexual assault cover-up scandal. Everywhere we turn, this subject is coming up. God is moving.

  91. Anon 1 wrote:

    “It is really ironic if you think about it. The real game changer is what will the pew sitters decide to do when they learn of uncomfortable truths.”

    That’s already well underway. :)

  92. Chris is accusing them of a crime, and they won’t talk to him. Shocking! I think it’s hilarious that Chris is playing the victim here, and claiming to be a “devoted member” of the church, after he’s spent at least the last year trashing christianity on his facebook feed.

    Where’s the tragedy? They wouldn’t talk to him, they asked him to leave the property, they called the police when he continued to harass them.

    The only people outraged here are anti-christian bigots who are just looking for an excuse to be outraged.

    Jesus, but I’m an atheist, and you have me feeling sympathetic for the poor employees of that church you’re harassing!

    And don’t think it’s not obvious that the purpose of this is to get the whole internet harassing these people — most of whom probably weren’t even there when the pedophile was.

    Meanwhile, Obama claims he has the right to kill anyone in the country with a drone, without any due process. But never mind that!

  93. @ Anon:

    You’re reading back through someone’s Facebook feed? That’s some creepy invasion of privacy stuff.
    And, reading Chris’ account, he was wanting to ask questions, which isn’t the same as accusing them of a crime. He was wanting to find out if the allegations he’d heard were true. That’s not harassment (do you understand the meaning of that word? Your post suggests you don’t).
    And did you read the account or watch the video? It doesn’t seem like it. Chris sat in a car park waiting to talk to someone. As there wasn’t any requirement to clear security to get in to the car park, the idea that he was trespassing or harassing is highly questionable at best.
    But no, support the church that protected a paedophile, not the people wanting to ask questions about it. Who cares about sexual abuse, huh?

  94. @ Anon:
    “The only people outraged here are anti-christian bigots who are just looking for an excuse to be outraged.”
    Perhaps you failed to notice the link to eChurch? Nothing anti-Christian here.

    “Meanwhile, Obama claims he has the right to kill anyone in the country with a drone, without any due process. But never mind that!”
    Not sure what your point is there. This blog is not about conspiracy theories.

  95. Anon:

    “…after he’s spent at least the last year trashing christianity on his facebook feed.”

    Give the link please.

  96. Anon
    His children attend a well-known Christian school which my children attended. That is strange place for someone to send his kids (expensive as well) if he is not into the faith. Please clarify.@ Anon:

  97. Might seem a little off the subject, but I think it’s relevant: An article about “out of control priests” in Scotland (link below) says an “abuse adviser” was hired to help out in the sexual abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church there. When he told them they were covering up cases of abuse, he was – you guessed it – fired.

    In the article, it says that the adviser’s “comments came just days after the former head [sic] Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien – once a fierce critic of homosexuality – left in disgrace after admitting making sexual advances to young male priests.”

    I find this particularly revealing:

    “Speaking just two weeks ago Cardinal O’Brien, who became Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, laughed as he emphasized how child protection guidelines were once much more lax than today.

    Speaking about whether the US Cardinal Roger Mahony, who is accused of covering up abuse allegations, should take part in the Conclave to elect the next Pope, he said: ‘If he is being judged on what he did in 1980 well of course the rules were a wee bit different then – in all aspects of society as to what we did with allegations of child sexual abuse 20 or 30 years ago.

    ‘The whole world has changed almost in that length of time and certainly our attitude to child sexual abuse has changed.’”

    Beside the fact that he finds it funny – was the attitude toward child sex abuse 20 or 30 years ago that it was just fine? Yes, maybe the reporting was more lax because the crime was less publicized, but does that mean that the attitude toward the crime was different? He sounds like a typical abuser – grasping at anything to excuse himself.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9918880/Scottish-priests-out-of-control-sexually-says-former-abuse-adviser.html

  98. Anon

    Could you explain how I, your adorable and theologically versed blogmeister, is an anti-Christian bigot? I am most excited since I can now add this to my list of “What the world is saying about The Wartburg Watch.”

  99. dee wrote:

    dabide
    Seems positvely subversive.

    I just find it strange that a commited Christian likes pages like

    Have you heard the good news? There is no god.
    Science Makes God Unnecessary
    Sam Harris

    and so on… Anyway, “nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26) I’m not defending anyone here, I’m deeply suspicious towards megachurches…

  100. Anybody else feel up to dealing with Anon at 7:21? I’m too tired to deal with his/her antics. I will state this – the commenters on this blog are not anti-Christian bigots. Many are Christian believers who simply do not tolerate any type of abuse and will stand up for the victims. People of all beliefs are welcomed here and bigotry is not accepted.

  101. @ dee:
    Dee, here’s some help for our friend Anon. According to my dictionary, a bigot is “one who is utterly intolerant of any differing belief, creed or opinion.” Sounds like that definition better applies to some of the religious leaders discussed on the blog. Just my opinion.

  102. @ Mandy:
    You nailed it. TWW has been open to, and not intimidated by, people of various beliefs, and even people with no beliefs. I, personally, feel no antagonism toward atheists. But there are many so-called “Christians” who are very intolerant of anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do.

  103. dabide

    So, what do you do with the Jesus Daily link? Did you know that I spemt years studyig ExChristians.Net and other sites to try to figure out why people leave the faith?

  104. @ dabide:
    Perhaps not. However, you did refer to them in your comment, and seemed to be supplying support for them. I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.

  105. Anon wrote:

    Chris is accusing them of a crime, and they won’t talk to him. Shocking! I think it’s hilarious that Chris is playing the victim here, and claiming to be a “devoted member” of the church, after he’s spent at least the last year trashing christianity on his facebook feed.
    Where’s the tragedy? They wouldn’t talk to him, they asked him to leave the property, they called the police when he continued to harass them.
    The only people outraged here are anti-christian bigots who are just looking for an excuse to be outraged.
    Jesus, but I’m an atheist, and you have me feeling sympathetic for the poor employees of that church you’re harassing!
    And don’t think it’s not obvious that the purpose of this is to get the whole internet harassing these people — most of whom probably weren’t even there when the pedophile was.
    Meanwhile, Obama claims he has the right to kill anyone in the country with a drone, without any due process. But never mind that!

    “Harasser!”…sounds very similar to Calvary Chapel’s and BGBC’s “Cyberbullies!” and “Hate Campaign!” etc.

    PBC can put up the Stone Wall, just like the others.

    Two ways to deal with a Stone Wall strategy: Climb over it…or blow it up (metaphorically speaking).

  106. Folks, Dabide/Anon is using the old favorite strategy of setting up straw men and forcing you all to defend yourself as how good Christians one needs to be, in ordered to criticize or even question the ethics and morality of idiots who run Prestonwood, which then leads away from the thrust of this post. Do not feed the trolls.

  107. dee wrote:

    dabide
    So, what do you do with the Jesus Daily link? Did you know that I spemt years studyig ExChristians.Net and other sites to try to figure out why people leave the faith?

    Yeah, OK, he might like them to get them in his feed. I didn’t think of that. Sorry! :-(

  108. Mandy

    Prestonwood Baptist is a very rich and powerful church. Be prepared for an onslaught of unChristian attacks by people who mix faith, wealth and politics.  I knew this when I first heard this story. Pray for all involved.

  109. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ dabide:
    Perhaps not. However, you did refer to them in your comment, and seemed to be supplying support for them. I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.

    I posted thThy Peace wrote:

    Folks, Dabide/Anon is using the old favorite strategy of setting up straw men and forcing you all to defend yourself as how good Christians one needs to be, in ordered to criticize or even question the ethics and morality of idiots who run Prestonwood, which then leads away from the thrust of this post. Do not feed the trolls.

    I’m not trolling, I was probably just being overly skeptical. My sympathies are with the victims here, and I hate coverups to protect a reputation.

  110. Gee, I hope there are no internet police checking out my links/favorites to see if I am a “real” Christian. They would find a link to the Qu’ran and other questionable places. :o)

  111. I, however, wish there was a way to delete my comments, even if that’d technically be a coverup… :-(

  112. @ dabide:
    No worries. Nothing wrong with a dialogue. Many of us here have been deeply hurt by a “church.” I wish Chris’s story wasn’t so believable to me.

  113. Alex

    Prestonwood is one of  the richest and most powerful churches in the world. Mahaney, Grenier and O’Neal are nothing compared to this. It wil be a tough go for Chris and we need to stand strong for the children.

  114. “Prestonwood Baptist is a very rich and powerful church. Be prepared for an onslaught of unChristian attacks by people who mix faith, wealth and politics. I knew this when I first heard this story. Pray for all involved.”

    Here are a few I have seen and it is done by a group of people quietly but consistntly planting vague poisonous seeds around that sprout like crazy:

    He is emotionally unstable.
    He is not a real Christian
    He seemed agitated and we were concerned he would become violent
    Several people have expressed concern for him but I cannot be specific

    It is what I call the “marginalization” effect.

  115. Anon1

    We have atheists and agnostics who visit here. Can you imagine how I would be judged based on this?  But, even if Chris was a closet atheist (soemthing that I do not believe is true) what difference does it make? There is something terribly wrong at Prestonwood.

  116. Chris,

    I am very sorry that I publicly helped cast doubt on you being a real Christian, based on very little evidence. Please forgive!

  117. @ dee:
    Dee, I was less than 2 miles from the church on Thursday. Unfortunately that region is a gluten-free paradise and where I do some of my shopping so I can’t avoid it. I made the mistake of discussing the church’s problems with my mom at lunch and the entire restaurant went silent. Uh oh – nobody dares talk bad about good ol’ Prestonwood. I just kept talking and smiling, knowing that there are benefits to living over a hundred miles away. :)

  118. dabide

    Let your comment stand. I could erase it but I think it is better that people read the give and take. Emotions are going to run high on this one. If they can see us workingthis through, it might help all involved.Let us pray for truth. Even more, let us pray for any possible victims who are suffering. For what it is worth, thank you for reconsidering .

  119. We are getting IP addresses from all over the world. I think some of our Dallas friends are having some fun pretending they ae from South America and Scandanavia!

  120. dee wrote:

    We have atheists and agnostics who visit here. Can you imagine how I would be judged based on this?  But, even if Chris was a closet atheist (soemthing that I do not believe is true) what difference does it make? There is something terribly wrong at Prestonwood.

    Indeed, what difference does it make? Considering that Prestonwood has a membership that measures in the tens of thousands, there should be several hundred Chris Tynes asking questions of the leadership. The fact that he stands virtually alone says a lot more about Prestonwood than it does about Mr. Tynes.

  121. dee wrote:

    Alex
    Prestonwood is one of  the richest and most powerful churches in the world. Mahaney, Grenier and O’Neal are nothing compared to this. It wil be a tough go for Chris and we need to stand strong for the children.

    Good, more money for the attorneys.

    I like a challenge.

  122. “We have atheists and agnostics who visit here. Can you imagine how I would be judged based on this? But, even if Chris was a closet atheist (soemthing that I do not believe is true) what difference does it make? There is something terribly wrong at Prestonwood.”

    I would advise Chris when this comes up, to not play defense. Play offense only. Focus on the real issue and don’t overly defend yourself. The people I have seen go into defense mode are doing exactly what they want done: refocus the issue to make it about the person speaking up. And it does not take long for the issue to be lost. You are not the issue. They are.

    People cannot imagine what taking on a mega church is like. The influential people who go there are leigon. I know in some of them the local media celebs attend them both radio and tv, CEO’s of major businesses in that city, City officials, etc, etc. In Tom’s case there was a judge, sheriff, etc. Chris might want to connect with Tom. In my experience, the last place to look for fellow travellors is in the mega church, itself. Most folks cannot deal with uncomfortable truths about a place they have supported for years.

    That is why I mentioned being secure in your position. Most folks are not willing for their families to possibly suffer financial ruin to take them on.

    I will be happy when the day comes that mega churches no longer exist. I realize there are huge problems in all size churches but folks have NO idea what mega churches are really about.

    I am praying for some strong local supporters who find their way to Chris.

  123. Chris, you’ll be smeared with everything you can think of.

    “Crazy!” “Bully!” “Abuser!” “Harasser!” etc etc. It’s classic stuff. They have to Poison the Well to keep the faithful from listening.

    They’ll frame talking about the situation as ‘Gossip!” and “Slander!” and “Don’t judge!” etc etc to keep the money rolling and to keep the membership in line.

    But, folks tend to be curious and they’ll find out eventually. Most won’t care as long as the music is good and the ambiance is comfortable…as long as their kids don’t get hurt.

    A smaller Group within that church will care and demand some answers.

    The Leadership will most likely keep circling the wagons and construct a massive Stone Wall. You’ll get picked apart behind the scenes and the trolls will continue to come out of the woodwork to smear you.

    They’ll try to make you to be the criminal for pushing the issue, don’t succumb to that. They’ll probably threaten to sue you as well and might even sue you. Be prepared for that. Start talking to a good Free Speech attorney in your area. Hopefully Texas has Anti-SLAPP laws on the books.

  124. “Considering that Prestonwood has a membership that measures in the tens of thousands, there should be several hundred Chris Tynes asking questions of the leadership. The fact that he stands virtually alone says a lot more about Prestonwood than it does about Mr. Tynes.”

    Exactly. This issue is not new either. In fact, I would advise members to ask to see a detailed budget with staff salaries.

    I double dog dared a friend of mine to ask his 20 year attending mega to see a budget and by the time they sent him around the mulberry bush for 3 weeks still no budget, he decided to stop giving them anymore money and leave. It was his wake up call.

  125. I think at the end of the day, a lawsuit brought by victims of the abuse will do the most to really change the Culture of Cover Up I believe is there.

    In the meantime, exposing the stuff loudly and broadly and persistently is all we can do, until more and more folks listen and as more folks come forward.

  126. Please, try to have an open mind. Let me make this very clear:

    1. Chris is accusing them of a crime (aiding or abetting a criminal).

    2. Any lawyer worth a damn is going to say "You've got someone asking your employees to answer questions and admit to a crime? Well, you should tell your employees not to talk to him, and you should not talk to him. Nothing good can come from talking to him."

    3. The church follows this legal advice.

    4. The church refusing to admit to a crime is spun as some sort of crime committed by the church against chris.

    Ask yourself this: What is Chris' complaint? Does he have a right to talk to anyone he wants and make them answer questions? No, he doesn't have a subpoena. He's an individual. They are individuals Freedom of association gives you the right to talk to who you with, or not talk to who you don't want to. As to Chris's bashing of christianity– I'm an atheist. I used to hate christianity much like many of you do. But I realized it's a form of bigotry…. .it's just as bad as the narrow mindedness that some christians exhibit. I'm not in Dallas, but I know Chris.

    I unfriended him when I could not tolerate the constant christian bashing he was doing on facebook. I don't care where he sends his kids to school. His wife is probably a christian. Maybe he's still going to this church. Dunno. Don't care and it's immaterial.

    At the end of the day, he's been on a warpath against christians for the last year, and with such hatred and viciousness that I, a friend who knew him decades ago, and an atheist myself, couldn't stand it. (I unfriend all bigots, even when they are bigoted against things I also don't like.)

    Anyway, this whole campaign is silly. Chris's complaint is that they won't admit to a crime that he can't prove they committed. The Church has the "right to remain silent" just like everyone else. And you're outraged that they're exercising it? Like they owe you something? Very silly. But, it gives those who are looking for an excuse to be outraged something to be outraged against. In fact ,it feeds the hatred and bigotry that so many have against religious people. (I think they're wacky, and I don't agree with them, but you can't reject a whole group of people by such arbitrary criteria.)

    Put another way, where has the Church violated any of Chris's rights? Can you name any? Cause if they didn't, you have nothing to be outraged about.

  127. Alex wrote:

    Chris, you’ll be smeared with everything you can think of.
    “Crazy!” “Bully!” “Abuser!” “Harasser!” etc etc. It’s classic stuff.

    Chris is not crazy. He might be a bully, but the only thing I’ve seen him abuse is logic.

    I’m not smearing him. I’m pointing out the facts. He’s misrepresented himself. He’s got no basis for a complaint because he has no right to compel them to answer his questions.

    When you make an appointment with someone, and they cancel it, and then you show up on their property, that starts to go into the territory of harassment. If he leaves them alone after they make it clear they don’t want contact, then that isn’t harassment. But he has gone to the internet spreading all kinds of stuff– he even claimed that he was scared they were going to do violence against him. (that’s a straight up smear, given there has been no evidence to support it.)

    Now, look at the response to my post. People have implied a lot. People have called me names.

    Why attack me? I’m simply pointing out the silliness of this — in the face of the real political issues of the day.

    @ BeenThereDoneThat – it’s not a conspiracy theory, but you’re thinking it is is likely due to you not having heard the news. Think about that. You’re up in arms about someone exercising freedom of association, but you hadn’t even heard about the president taking for himself the power to execute any american citizen on american soil with drone strikes, without any due process?

    And when I point it out, you’re so wrapped up in this bit of manufactured outrage that you don’t go look to see what I was talking about ,you just assert it is a conspiracy theory?! Think about that!

    Five days ago:
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/eric-holder-drone-strikes-against-americans-on-u.s.-soil-are-legal/article/2523319

    The next day there was someone else asking questions of an organization that is possibly committing a crime, only this person was a US Senator and he spent 12 hours holding up the Senate to force an answer:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/rand-paul-filibustering-over-drones-i-will-not-let-obama-shred-the-constitution/article/2523425

    But you never heard about it, right? Using drones on american soil is just “conspiracy theory”.

    I know why you jumped to that conclusion… I want you to understand why you jumped to that conclusion, and what the significance of it is.

  128. Anon, soooooo, you are an athiest from Chile who is offended by Christian bashing no less, who claims to know Chris…..right. (rolls eyes) oookaaay.

    Perhaps you are not aware of how the ISP business works when you go trying to adopt a new one. But even so you are from Chile, an atheist and know Chris…..how about instead of an open mind how about a rational mind?

    "1. Chris is accusing them of a crime (aiding or abetting a criminal).

    2. Any lawyer worth a damn is going to say “You’ve got someone asking your employees to answer questions and admit to a crime? Well, you should tell your employees not to talk to him, and you should not talk to him. Nothing good can come from talking to him.”

    3. The church follows this legal advice.

    4. The church refusing to admit to a crime is spun as some sort of crime committed by the church against chris." I am wondering why a "church" needs a lawyer? That is also a new normal not really covered in scripture.

    But even so, a MEMBER cannot ask questions the church employees do not like? I will ask you: Who owns the church? Are the staffers employees? Who do they work for? Prestonwood claims to be Baptist. I would think they understand the priesthood. Perhaps not.

    "Does he have a right to talk to anyone he wants and make them answer questions?" Does he have a right to talk to anyone? How can he "make" them answer questions? The last time I saw this sort of thinking and behavior was when Tom was blogging about FBCJax. Some of the comments there were unbelievable and quite like this one.

  129. @ Anon:

    Seems like, if you really do know Chris, that you’re the one who has a personal vendetta.
    You then say that his comment that he was worried about the potential for violence is a smear, yet the church which you oh-so-happily defend, reported Chris to the police! So you’re questioning Chris’ personal feelings, but perfectly happy with a church lying to police?
    And you still haven’t given any reason why it’s ok for Prestonwood to have covered up a paedophile, which is what is at the centre of this whole thing.

  130. Anon from Chile who knows Chris,

    Should Prestonwood have covered up a predator on their staff? He went on to molest others, you know. What about them?

  131. @ Anon:
    “But you never heard about it, right? Using drones on american soil is just “conspiracy theory”.
    I know why you jumped to that conclusion… I want you to understand why you jumped to that conclusion, and what the significance of it is.”

    You make assumptions about what I have or have not heard. Your topic on drones is irrelevant to this post.
    And if you were such a “close friend” of Chris, why are you posting anonymously?

  132. So…. contacting authorities because a church member/employee molests your child= wrong/evil/unregenerate. But, if you are a church staffer who doesn’t like someone potentially exposing something to the public you deem inappropriate, then contacting authorities = justified/appropriate/regenerate/biblically responsible?

  133. LOL. I know what IP addresses are. I know also that the fact that I'm in Chile right now will make it painfully obvious to Chris exactly who I am.

    I think it's hilarious that the fact that I'm in Chile is some sort of exciting fact for you guys… as if you hadn't heard of airplanes.

    Alas, nobody has yet responded to my points, and I really shouldn't have expected you to. You can only see things as black and white. If you were being honest, you'd realize I've never defended the church.

    Whatever their liability for the possible crimes they may have committed, that's between them the cops and prosecutors and any possible class-action in the future. But asking Chris to stop pestering them or to leave their property, that's not a crime.

    And it's exactly what you should expect from a rich church with lawyers, because that's what the lawyers will tell them to do. Which means this whole "todo" is being upset because they exercised the right to remain silent and the right of freedom of association. Is it really that difficult to get that thru your thick skulls? Of course it is, because you don't care. You're' just bigots looking for an excuse to express your hatred. Like chris is.

    Anyway, bye bye. I won't be back. Feel free to call me whatever names you like.

    Oh, and of course, keep making up s???  to claim I said and then attacking me for it. I'm sure that the rest of you will find that kind of stuff hilarious and can give each other virtual kudos for knocking me down a peg or two. LOL.

  134. I’ve been doing some background research on the Prestonwood Baptist Church (PBC) situation today, and thought I’d share some of what I found.

    I checked at the Child Welfare Information Gateway. This is a very useful place to find state-by-state statutes related to Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare, and Adoption.

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/index.cfm?event=stateStatutes.showSearchForm

    So, I ran a search for Texas statutes in the categories of “Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect” — plus “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect,” to ensure whether sexual abuse is included (and yes, it is). Here is the quote it gave from the Texas law that appears directly relevant in the PBC situation:

    * * * * * * * * *

    Citation: Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 261.101 (LexisNexis through 2011 1st Sess.)

    A person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter.

    The requirement to report under this section applies, without exception, to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health-care facility that provides reproductive services.

    * * * * * * * * *

    So, Texas state mandatory reporting includes “member of the clergy” and also covers issues of sexual abuse. I gleaned three other important details elsewhere online.

    * Texas Family Code Ann. § 261.101. PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT; TIME TO REPORT — This statute also notes that the professional who is required to report must do so within 48 hours of learning of suspected abuse/neglect to a child.

    * It also says, “A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report.”

    * In one of her *Watch Keep* blog articles, sexual abuse survivors advocate Amy Smith notes that Texas mandatory reporting laws “were enacted in 1971.” (“What’s at Stake: protecting and preserving the innocence of children,” October 16, 2011).

    My tentative conclusion: These seem to be relevant legal requirement details in considering the legitimacy and importance of questions that have been put to leadership personnel at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the past and present about the PBC staff tenure of now-convicted child sex offender John Langworthy, and about alleged negligence due PBC leaders’ failure to report. As best I could discern from my research, these questions are apparently still unanswered.

  135. @ Anon:

    P.S. Rather intriguing that I spent half an hour or so writing + copying and pasting information information on relevant Texas legal statutes into my comment immediately above + reviewing it, and then finally hitting the “post comment” button — and my comment appears just one minute after Anon’s comment.

    Anon stated, “Which means this whole “todo” is being upset because they exercised the right to remain silent and the right of freedom of association.”

    If the Texas statutes on mandatory reporting of sexual abuse by clergy is clear enough and were in place since 1971 and Mr. Langworthy was on staff with Prestonwood Baptist Church in the 1980s and “questions” arose about sexual molestation, then it would seem obvious that the clergy and others on staff at PBC ultimately do NOT have a legal right to remain FULLY silent about the questions involved — according to the laws of their state, they are responsible to report known/suspected sexual abuse — although Anon is correct if he meant PBC official don’t seem to have any legal obligation to respond to Chris Tynes or to allow him on church property or to allow him to remain a member.

    So there is that, for what it’s worth …

  136. Anon 1 wrote:

    It is really ironic if you think about it. The real game changer is what will the pew sitters decide to do when they learn of uncomfortable truths.

    In a successful swindle, it’s important to get the mark emotionally invested in the con. After which, the mark will stay in the con game KNOWING it’s a con and it’s ripping him off.

  137. Anon wrote:

    I think it’s hilarious that the fact that I’m in Chile is some sort of exciting fact for you guys… as if you hadn’t heard of airplanes.

    We got lots of detractors who use proxy servers from other continents. So your comments from Chile fit the pattern.

    That’s all.

  138. I saw some replies for me that I’ll try to reply to later.

    I wanted to drop by to post this real quick:

    Discusses the pros and cons:
    Neighborhoods Seek to Banish Sex Offenders by Building Parks

    While the pocket parks springing up around the country offer a sense of security to residents, they will probably leave more convicted sex offenders homeless.

    And research shows that once sex offenders lose stable housing, they become not only harder to track but also more likely to commit another crime, according to state officials involved with managing such offenders.

    The landlord of some nearby apartments where dozens of sex offenders on parole live… said that keeping paroled sex offenders together in transitional housing actually kept the community safer because it places controls on them even after they leave prison.

    In some urban areas, however, there is already nowhere left for sex offenders to legally live. In Miami, dozens of convicted sex offenders camped under a bridge…

  139. @ Anon:

    I haven’t read through this whole thread yet, I meant to only stop by quickly and leave, but you seem to be all over the place.

    You say you’re an atheist and assume all of us here are ex- Christians who hate Christianity, when the truth is, the people who post here are quite mixed.

    There are some devout Christians who post here, some agnostics, maybe an atheist or two(?), one ex-Christian who seems to now identify as an agnostic, and as far me, I’m teetering toward agnosticism but am still very thinly a Christian (I am still holding on to the very basics of the faith).

    Your comment:

    But asking Chris to stop pestering them or to leave their property, that’s not a crime.

    I didn’t read the whole thread, so I don’t know if any one said anything about the church’s behavior being a ‘crime,’ but…

    My point I made in some post about this here the other day is that how this church is treating this guy (who was a member there for 13 years) was not very Christ-like.

    The preacher and church staff were abrupt, rude, kicked him out over merely asking questions and for trying to see a guy who kept giving him a rebuff, etc.

    Maybe they were in their “legal” rights, but IMO, they sort of failed in the ethical or religious areas. They’re not being transparent.

  140. I have spoken with Chris and will post his response to me later today. Something bizarre is going on here. I am going to church.

  141. "We got lots of detractors who use proxy servers from other continents. So your comments from Chile fit the pattern"

    And the fact that all of a sudden today Chris has "atheist" friends in Scandinavia all concerned about this issue in Texas and him. You guys need a better proxy server story. You guys remember the bizarre games "Christians" at FBCJax played over there when Tom was blogging. I started to wonder if mega church just churned out little liars or what?

  142. “And it’s exactly what you should expect from a rich church with lawyers, because that’s what the lawyers will tell them to do. Which means this whole “todo” is being upset because they exercised the right to remain silent and the right of freedom of association.”

    Even the freedom to associate with, pay and protect a child predator?

  143. Also, this is not the only time Prestonwood has had a sexual predator for a minister.

    In 2008 one of its ministers, Joe Barron, had been arrested in a police sting operation. The pastor allegedly solicited sex from an officer posing online as a 13-year-old girl and was arrested when he drove to the location where they were going to meet. http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=28078 In that case, Barron was publicly fired with Jack Graham telling the congregation, “Our church has experienced a heartbreaking and tragic week. We are appalled by the disgraceful actions and subsequent arrest of one of our ministers. I am so sorry for the injury this grievous situation has caused.”

    So maybe Prestonwood will come clean only when one of its ministers is actually arrested while working there?

  144. @ Pam:
    The relational thing definitely played into this sordid situation. I don’t know specifically about PrestonWorld, but my experience with Baptist Mega Churches in Texas tells me that you are probably right.

  145. Chris:

    I cannot believe this. I have met with a man in my town where something similar has happened. But in this case, the elders at the PCA church kicked the man out, kicked his wife out, and kicked the mother in law out of the church. Then, they kept the matter quiet until the statute of limitations ran, so the molester got off scott free. Apparently, the continue to tell people that the person who reported and complained about the molester is crazy because he won’t shut up about it.

    I am not clear about the polity of PCA churches, but my belief is that the elders can kick someone out of a PCA church.

    Many Baptist churches require a vote by the members or something.

    Good luck on bringing this to the attention of the church.

  146. “Good luck on bringing this to the attention of the church”

    forget the church. tell the world

  147. For any on here that aren’t aware of the website, “WICKED SHEPHERDS”, I would strongly urge you to read ALL of their articles. Start with:

    “THE PARABLE OF THE DITCHDIGGER.”

    Robert

  148. Here is a lengthy reply by Chris

     The real story is *NOT* about me, but this particular post will be and I hope you’ll understand why by the end.  This is only worth reading if you want to understand more about me and how I got here.

    I believe that anyone who has interviewed me will tell you that I very much stressed that any coverage of how Prestonwood has treated me is pointless unless it ultimately shines the light on their handling of allegations that have been championed by those working on this for years.  The reason is simple:  I’m flawed.  If this story is built on me, Prestonwood only need focus attack on the weak point and those who put me on an unwarranted pedestal are susceptible to disenchantment and ultimately disappointment.

    This is a good time to explain what has been unasked and hurriedly overlooked (even by me) with such a rapidly developing story.  It doesn’t change the story one bit, but I want everyone who is preparing to speak on my behalf to fully understand me.  First, it is absolutely true that we have been (and still remain) members in good standing with Prestonwood for the last 14+ years.

    For the overwhelming majority of that time, my family was there in attendance virtually every Sunday.  I can’t tell you how many laps I made around the children’s building pushing those baby carts and I was a pro at soothing/singing to babies.  Countless hours rolling around on floors building towers and playing trucks with toddlers.  My wife & I taught (and often co-taught) various Sunday School classes of younger kids along the way and spent the majority of our time in virtually the same adult Sunday School class.  At one point, we investigated working with teens like we had previously done in a Church back in Arizona, but ultimately felt like we needed to be fed more in adult ministry.  Further still, I coached for many years for multiple young kids sports teams (baseball & soccer) in the Prestonwood Sports league, PSO.  I still have all my PSO coach jerseys and team pics that bring back fond memories when I see them.  I share this to help you understand our emotional attachment to Prestonwood.  We invested untold amounts of our resources helping build what we still believe is an awesome church.

    Several months ago, my family had come to the conclusion together that we needed to make a change.  Everyone in the family had a different perspective:  my youngest son is sensitive to loud noises which made Prestonwood’s Kid Zone “screamfest” often very unpleasant for him, my oldest son didn’t feel connected to his group anymore since he didn’t attend Prestonwood’s school (PCA), my wife was actually pretty content there, and then there was me who was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with some fundamentalist positions being taken from the pulpit (more on this later in the story).  This prompted us to visit other churches for the next few weeks in the area just to see if there was a better fit.

    Ultimately, we decided that we missed Prestonwood and returned to attend worship services, but skipped Sunday School for our kids’ sake.  After a while, my wife became concerned that our boys needed to be involved with peers and decided the best place was Bent Tree Bible Fellowship (right across the street from Prestonwood).  So to wrap up this point, although I had been following Prestonwood services online, my family was actually physically attending Bent Tree when this story began to unfold.  Even though we have been at Bent Tree for many months, we have never felt moved to transfer our membership as my wife envisioned us returning to Prestonwood whenever the time was right for our family.

    As you can see, it takes a lot of detail to properly explain why we are still attached to Prestonwood but weren’t currently attending every Sunday at Prestonwood when this story unfolded.  Furthermore, this is impossible to convey properly in a phone interview when you have limited time and want to focus on the real story.  Again, understanding this backdrop is key to why both my wife & I have felt passionately that Prestonwood needs to explain things and foster a more open culture to discuss issues that potentially threaten the lives of kids.

    Back to me.  I mentioned that I was increasingly uncomfortable with some positions that Pastor Graham had taken from the pulpit.  This is going to be a tricky area to navigate as I have met & talked with so many different people over the past several days.  One thing I’ve appreciated is that everybody has been fantastic in not being concerned on whether or not we all agree on various issues of faith.  This is important because it’s hard to find any two people to completely agree on anything, so worrying about differences at this point is pointless and a distraction from the real story.  That said, it’s important to understand how my changing views enabled me to even feel comfortable speaking out and when the majority still remain silent.

    I have spent the majority of my 44 years on this earth belonging to a Southern Baptist Church.  My father was a Preacher who started out planting churches all around northern Ohio and ultimately moved back to Louisiana where I spent most of my formative teen years.  I was fortunate enough to go to a wonderful High School, Louisiana School for Math, Science, & the Arts, where I both escaped from the requirements of church and ultimately met some of my best friends although I didn’t know it until years down the road.  It’s not uncommon for teens (especially preacher kids) to rebel for a while, but it is uncommon for a person from my background to gain friends with such a healthy diversity in race, culture, religion, and lifestyle.  By the time I was 25, I had rededicated my life to the Lord and was actively serving in a Baptist Church in Arizona and life continued like most normal people.

    A few years ago, I began wrestling with some particular topics in the Bible and spent quite a bit of time discussing them with various friends in the church.  Slavery was a big one for me and it set me on a long journey that has been an agonizing journey of losing & regaining my faith.  I learned a lot of important things on this journey like the realization that nobody has all the answers.  I also learned the value of listening to how people made the same earnest quest for faith and ended up at a different conclusion.  When you combine this with my engineering & scientifically oriented mind, the result is a highly inquisitive being that is not afraid to ask tough questions or challenge any position of faith.

    Again, I write all this so it’s possible to understand how my journey set the stage for all these events to unfold as it has been reported in various articles to date.  It doesn’t (shouldn’t) change the story, but I hope it gives more color and understanding to how I have been unknowingly groomed for such a story as now.  I hope that I fulfill whatever God’s purpose may be for my involvement and I will continue to fight relentlessly on behalf of all victims who have suffered at the hands of abusers.

  149. I am not a member of any church, and, in fact I am an atheist, but I abhor rapists, and those who would put others at risk merely to protect their own reputations. I have also known both anon and Chris Tynes for over 25 years.

    Jay, Chris’s current state of belief is irrelevant. He is a member of Prestonwood, and his children attend there, and participate in church activities, that alone gives him, not only the right, but the responsibility to ask these questions. Of, course, Prestonwood has no legal obligation to answer him, and, as a private organization, they have the right to ask him to leave, and not return, which he has done. Conversely, Chris has every right to tell this entire story to whoever will listen. Chris also has the right to leverage public opinion in order to either bring the situation to the attention of the law enforcement, who can compel answers, or to make confessing all (if there is something to confess) the more attractive option. By the current laws of this country (and yes, I know how you feel about those laws), Chris has done nothing wrong. Chris is not threatening anyone or anything. If anything, he is put himself at risk in an attempt to protect others.

    I do understand your point, and you are correct, that they do not have to answer to Chris directly. As far as him “harassing” them, that is bulls*&#, and you know it. He has ceased contacting them, as per their request, so he is no longer harassing anyone. He has EVERY right to relay his experiences with them. Any further “harassing” will be done as part of a class action suit filed by their victims. I guess they can tell their side in court.

  150. I think Pastor Busted has been influenced by his fellow Baptist pastor John Piper and has death threats on his mind, afraid of being attacked by some godless heathen. What a dangerous job, sitting in your mega church office with Nurse Ratchet answering your phone calls, protected by your own security guards. Maybe they were inspired by a verse straight out of the bible. Like this one :

    At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. Matt 26:55

  151. dabide wrote:

    dee wrote:

    dabide
    Seems positvely subversive.

    I just find it strange that a commited Christian likes pages like

    Have you heard the good news? There is no god.
    Science Makes God Unnecessary
    Sam Harris

    and so on… Anyway, “nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26) I’m not defending anyone here, I’m deeply suspicious towards megachurches…

    Those sites could easily be filed under: “Know thy enemy” and “Have an answer for any man who asks of the hope that is within you”.

  152. Thanks Chris. but I am afraid you did not know the rules of the evangelical ghetto. No thinking outside the fundy box is allowed. They have provided the answers for you. Any contacts or links outside that box will label you as one who has turned their back on Christ.

    Anyway, all that before from your international friends was simply an attempt to marginalize anything you have to say and get the focus off the staff predator that Prestonwood send on his merry way to molest other kids.

  153. Jeff
    Thank you for reminding us about this other pedophile incident as well.
    Maybe they learned their lesson from a few years before and will do better from now one.

    @ JeffT:

  154. @ dee:
    Nothing about Chris’s faith journey detracts in any way from his concern about the pedophile cover-up at Prestonwood. Nothing. If being perfect is a requirement for caring about abused kids, then we may as well all stop speaking up. Thank you, Chris for putting yourself out there. It takes a lot of “guts.”

  155. @ dee:

    Dee –

    How do you figure they have learned a lesson and might do better when we see how they are treating Chris for simply wanting some questions answered? It seems to me that they have learned very little and have no inclination to change their ways . . . maybe I’m missing something??

  156. dee wrote:

    Jeff
    Thank you for reminding us about this other pedophile incident as well.
    Maybe they learned their lesson from a few years before and will do better from now one.
    @ JeffT:

    Perhaps, but my cynical side says maybe they only acknowledged it because the guy was arrested so there was no chance for a coverup – if they’d discovered it themselves maybe they’d have passed Barron along to some other church just like the last time.

  157. To Amy and the others on this site who are here to help victims, I am so sorry you had to endure the garbage anon from Chile was spewing. He was bound to come out of the wood work when Chris got attention for standing up to the church. Unfortunately Mr. Prince tends to go off on irrational and malicious tirades when anyone other than himself questions authority. Yes, he has known Chris for even longer than I have known both of them. Yes Chris has been quite open about his questioning of his faith for some time now, it is not however “Christian bashing” it is the musing and questions of an intelligent human being trying to balance his believes with the logic of science. Chris, we love and support you(me all the more for the questions you have been asking yourself). Jay, go crawl back in your hole until you come out human.

  158. @Chris via@ dee:

    While reading Chris’s explanation of where he stands now, based on his journey so far, I was impressed with his sensitivity and the flexibility of his mind. In his willingness to ask questions, and I didn’t get the impression, based on his experience as an engineer/scientist, that his inclination to seek answers wasn’t due to some petty desire of his to cause trouble, but rather to seek clarification and establish the truth on an important matter.

    In contrast, I’m struck by what a Battleaxe Debbie Hatchet seems to be, who upon first contact with Chris or Dee over the phone, could have been gracious and accommodating, leading to kinder and gentler results instead of Chris being approached by thugs wanting to throw him off the property, and Dee receiving a rude return call. But I’m sure Hatchet works in symphony with her bosses.

    I also didn’t read Chris mention a history of violence which would provide a reasonable basis for the church to file a complaint with the police department accusing Chris of being potentially violent. What doesn’t seem at all baseless is Chris’s concerns about how Prestonwood handled the Langworthy situation. The impression I have is Prestonwood is attempting to slander Chris in attempt to discredit him and cast doubt upon his motivation. They certainly seem very defensive that’s for sure!

  159. I’m pretty sure that both sides are at fault here. BUT my main question is what does one hope to gain my digging up something from 24 years ago? With one exception, none of the current staff was even on Prestonwood’s ministerial staff – not Jack Graham. So who wins in digging up the dreadful past? Satan the prince of darkness – the master liar. Was Prestonwood security criticized last yesterday when Randy Travis was arrested by Plano police for being drunk on church property? Any church with 30,000 members is larger than 90% of the towns in Texas.

  160. Jerry

    Are you trying to put Randy Travis into the same bucket with a child sexual abuse victim? Also, you do know that many of the Roman Catholic church situation involves people coming forawrd years later. I have a friend who was abused by a priest on the street where I grew up. It took  30 years and much angst to admit his abuse. His abuser priest died of AIDS.

     We evengelicals make a big deal of the Catholics being soooo unbiblical but we dive for cover when it is one of our own.

    Finally, I would suggest you do some further reading on the subject. Here is a link to the story. Jack Graham is alleged to have known about this.

    I heard the rumors like many in the youth group then. I was 20 and on staff as an intern. I did not know exactly who the victims were at the time. The Prestonwood executive staff, headed by Dr. Jack Graham, heard Langworthy confess to these child sex crimes, along with Neal Jeffrey, then youth pastor, but no one reported these crimes to the police as required by Texas state law. They even had a few of the victims that they knew sit down with church attorneys to give statements, but none of this information was reported to the police.

  161. Jerry

     I forgot to say “Welcome to TWW.” I am so sorry. We appreciate that you took the time to look into the situation.

  162. Jerry, Please acknowledge the victims of the man Prestonwood knew was a predator. They are real people.

    My question to you is why are they trying so hard to shut down questions? Seems to me, based on what you said, there should be nothing to hide and they would feel free to speak out about what the church did 24 years ago?

  163. Kat

    Welcome to TWW. We welcome those from many backgrounds so long as everyone understands that the two of us are Christians. We have been called all sorts of names by all sorts of people so it is OK. We justadd the names to the “What the World Is Saying About TWW.” Right now I am partial to Philistines.

  164. “The Prestonwood executive staff, headed by Dr. Jack Graham, heard Langworthy confess to these child sex crimes, along with Neal Jeffrey, then youth pastor, but no one reported these crimes to the police as required by Texas state law. They even had a few of the victims that they knew sit down with church attorneys to give statements, but none of this information was reported to the police.”

    Oh. No wonder Jerry thinks it means Satan wins to bring it up now.

    Another good example of how they redefine sin. Nevermind those who were molested.

  165. Jerry, even though this situation happened 24 years ago, the mechanisms in place that allowed it to happen haven’t changed. Which means the church is ripe for similar situations, especially since they have not admitted to any wrongdoing in the first place. The good old boy network is very strong in Texas and the only things that bring about change are intense public scrutiny and lawsuits.

    Fifteen years ago when I was in middle school, my parents and I realized that I was being groomed for some sort of sexual crime by my band director. Things never passed beyond classic grooming techniques because I spoke up – loudly. When we began talking to others in our small community, we learned that these behaviors had been going on for at least 15 years or longer (since before I was born). But nobody knew if Mr. F. had progressed to actual assault because nobody was willing to speak up. They simply accepted this as part of his “charm” and let him continue on. When I say “they”, I am referring to principals, superintendents and other parents. Nobody was willing to press charges or even investigate. My parents were not locals so they spoke up and demanded action; the school offered to remove me from the class to solve the problem. Nope, not good enough. So we got a lawyer and had tentative arrangements to go on the evening news. Mr. F. retired immediately. Later we learned that he had actually been pawned off to another school district. So we did the same routine with his new school until he was permanently jobless. You have to be incredibly persistent when opposing the good old boys. If you give up prematurely then their power is reinforced.

  166. @ dee:
    Dee, I hope I didn’t distract from Chris’s story. My intent was to show that things are different in TX when you are battling against the ruling class. There is definitely a caste system here that makes life much more challenging. Its incredibly sad that Chris and Amy are experiencing the side effects of holding the good old boys accountable and I do know first hand what its like. My family was gossiped about for years as a result of getting rid of Mr. F. It impacted every single aspect of our lives from church to work to grocery shopping. I hope and pray that Chris will be spared most of that. At least the sheer size of Dallas does make it easier to avoid the gossip at grocery stores.

  167. @ Jerry Burke:

    What Anon 1 and Mandy are saying here about failure to obey the law and setting up systems is crucial. If it is accurate that ANYONE on staff at Prestonwood Baptist Church knew about John Langworthy’s proclivities/activities, yet failed to report it, they not only broke Texas state law for clergy mandatory reporting, and helped solidify a system response of silence. That wasn’t Satan’s fault, it was theirs as leaders.

    And this past week’s actions seem to indicate nothing else has changed. Similar non-responses have been happening as documented for at least the last three years of people asking questions. I spent much of my day yesterday sifting through those online materials about Prestonwood and the situation with John Langworthy. I posted an earlier comment about what I found out about Texas statutes on mandatory reporting:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/03/08/prestonwood-baptist-vs-chris-tynes-something-is-very-wrong/#comment-86869

    So, what good does it do to “dredge” up the past? It’s because the past sets the “ministry DNA” for the present and the future.

    Frankly, I think if I had kids, and I were going to Prestonwood (or any other church) and found a very long series of news agency reports, analysis articles, and online news commentary saying this church apparently failed to report a known sexual predator – I’d be asking for answers too! And if they refused to answer … even if they had some kind of written policies and procedures in place … I think I’d be legitimately quite suspicious of what actually happens now, in the present, despite what’s on paper. After all, if it’s ever shown they willfully refused to follow the written code of state law, why should I trust them to follow their own internal policies and procedures? But what if they continue to refuse to respond to legitimate questions about the safety of children in this church – what do they leave me to assume?

  168. Pingback: When “The Impossible” Creates an Imperative: PBC’s Tsunami of Controversy | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  169. Mandy,
    You may never know how many potential victims you spared from the agony of abuse. I, for one, want to thank you for doing the right thing.

  170. @ Anon 1 Regarding your link: dangit! Phillip Bethancourt drank the koolaid after all. He taught my freshman Sunday School class when I was in college. The following year he headed for Al Mohler’s School of Idiocy. I’m pinning the blame on Phillip for what has happened to so many of my college classmates. He was the first to fall for the craziness that Mohler promotes and the rest followed. Looks like Phillip has become Mohler’s mini-me.

    This is an appeal to the young readers of this blog: Please do not fall for the fallacy of the “perfect life” that the men and women a couple of years older than you are promoting. There is no such thing as perfection and more than likely these people are hiding some sort of pain that they do not feel allowed to share. Please think critically and do not accept things at face value. Ask questions, both nice and unpleasant. The worst answer you can ever receive is “No.” I know firsthand what is happening to my classmates and it breaks my heart.

  171. Alex J wrote:

    I am not a member of any church, and, in fact I am an atheist, but I abhor rapists, and those who would put others at risk merely to protect their own reputations. I have also known both anon and Chris Tynes for over 25 years.
    Jay, Chris’s current state of belief is irrelevant. He is a member of Prestonwood, and his children attend there, and participate in church activities, that alone gives him, not only the right, but the responsibility to ask these questions. Of, course, Prestonwood has no legal obligation to answer him, and, as a private organization, they have the right to ask him to leave, and not return, which he has done. Conversely, Chris has every right to tell this entire story to whoever will listen. Chris also has the right to leverage public opinion in order to either bring the situation to the attention of the law enforcement, who can compel answers, or to make confessing all (if there is something to confess) the more attractive option. By the current laws of this country (and yes, I know how you feel about those laws), Chris has done nothing wrong. Chris is not threatening anyone or anything. If anything, he is put himself at risk in an attempt to protect others.
    I do understand your point, and you are correct, that they do not have to answer to Chris directly. As far as him “harassing” them, that is bulls*&#, and you know it. He has ceased contacting them, as per their request, so he is no longer harassing anyone. He has EVERY right to relay his experiences with them. Any further “harassing” will be done as part of a class action suit filed by their victims. I guess they can tell their side in court.

    Great post.

    Yes, Chris is not the issue, the truth regarding any abuse, knowledge of risk to children, subsequent inaction, cover-up, etc etc is the issue. Prestonwood Baptist is an Institution of Trust with Pastors, etc who are in Positions of Trust. They have a moral and legal responsibility to protect children in their church/org.

    Chris could be a buddhist or Amish or a Mormon or an Atheist or a satanist, doesn’t matter. Total Red Herring.

    Now, if Prestonwood has “membership”…there might be some rights Chris has (as a member) in the by-laws of the Church’s 501c3 corporate legal structure. Would be interesting to find out. Some “membership” constructs give some rights to official “members” of a particular church/org.

  172. I’ll be on Google News site’s “God Discussion” show this coming Friday. Julie Anne did the show a couple of weeks ago and did a great job. We’ll be discussing abuse and corruption in the church and I’m sure I’ll touch on the Prestonwood Baptist situation as well as Calvary Chapel. I’ll make sure to give a plug for TWW and all the great work Dee and Deb and the TWW Community are doing in creating awareness of these issues.

    http://www.goddiscussion.net/2013/03/08/who-would-jesus-sue-a-look-at-church-state-and-abuse-friday-march-15-2013/

  173. Anon 1 wrote:

    off topic http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2013/03/more-bullying-by-the-southern-baptists-but-this-time-someone-crossed-the-line/

    The only thing missing from Strachan's screed is a cry of "Burn him!" The bully boys are at it again (although Strachan's really a toady). These guys really know how to conduct a witch hunt – Sheri Klouda out of the SBC's Southwestern Seminary for the sin of being a woman, Peter Enns out at Westminster for questioning the doctrine of inerrancy, Bruce Waltke out of Reformed Theological Seminary for believing evolution to be scientifically true, etc. The 'faith' of these persecutors has become so narrow that there is little left in Christianity to discuss without it becoming so threatening to them that to the point they want the 'offender' fired. So are these 'doctrines' persecutors so weak that they can't stand up to scrutiny? And you thought inquisitions were a thing of the past.

  174. Alex – Maybe I’ll call in, say hi to Deborah and ask a tough question :)

    Thanks for speaking out on spiritual abuse. I can’t wait to hear it. I still think you need to ditch the pawn business and get back behind the camera/microphone.

  175. And this is the same Owen Strachan who is the Executive Director of CBMW. After checking out their site, it looks like the CBMW is embarking on an intense media blitz and is implementing all kinds of new endeavors. Imagine the fun!

  176. Tikatu wrote:

    Those sites could easily be filed under: “Know thy enemy” and “Have an answer for any man who asks of the hope that is within you”.

    Yes, I know. I already apologized. What I wrote was based on several mistakes:
    1. I assumed that people like what they “like” on Facebook: I do (at least in some sense of the word), but it could just as well be a way of subscribing to a feed.
    2. I assumed that people are static: I still make the mistake of thinking that people hold the same views that they had a month or a year ago. That’s of course not true, I have changed my opinions myself…
    3. I was commenting on American blogs at three o’clock in the morning: I should have been in bed, and not interfere with things that strictly speaking are none of my business…

    For you who think I’m someone from Prestonwood Baptist hiding behind a Scandinavian proxy server:

    1. I had never even heard of Prestonwood before I read this blog post. I’m born and bred in Norway. Dee got an e-mail from me with my real name before I posted my first comment here, and I can be googled…
    2. I’m convinced that megachurches are unbiblical, pastors are unbiblical (churches should be governed by a plurality of elders, and all believers are priests), denominations are unbiblical, yes, even that parachurch organizations are, if not unbiblical, at least often harmful.

    Just one last, well meant comment before I return to lurking: Beware of confirmation bias, and some of you need to treat people who ask critical questions a bit better, they aren’t necessarily on the Dark Side (or behind proxies) even if they question your conclusions. Use the same truth criteria for both the accusers and the accused.

  177. The reason I put the link up to patheos article is because this is how bad it is out there. This is where that sort of thinking attacking Chris for questioning is coming from from all angles in the SBC.

    I agree with Jeff. If burnings were legal they would be doing them. It is the same exact mentality that has a 31 year old punk with new found power given to him before he is mature enough calling for the head of a tenured prof at another instituin who wrote a book he thinks is heresy.

    Why is it they think they cannot defend truth if they are the only ones with it? They have to attack any other position. What are they afraid of? That they have not prepared young men to think for themselves? That is exactly it.

  178. I must have confused you with some of his other international friends. sorry.

    I am still trying to figure out why Chris has to pass some sort of believers litmus test before he can ask a church about a predator they failed to report and went on the molest other children. Seems a “church” would be concerned for children not protecting their image.

  179. Bridget

    It keeps TWW in business!

    it looks like the CBMW is embarking on an intense media blitz and is implementing all kinds of new endeavors. Imagine the fun!

  180. Anon 1 wrote:

    I must have confused you with some of his other international friends. sorry.
    I am still trying to figure out why Chris has to pass some sort of believers litmus test before he can ask a church about a predator they failed to report and went on the molest other children. Seems a “church” would be concerned for children not protecting their image.

    Of course he doesn’t! But if someone accuses others, his/her credibility has to be checked. If the person claims to be a “committed Christian”, but evidence suggests he is an atheist, that’d undermine his credibility.

    As I already said, I questioned this, based on very weak evidence, which I’m sorry about. The “committed Christian” part isn’t even a quote, but a description by Dee… :-(

    Generally, I still think its very important to question the credibility of both an accuser and the accused.

  181. dabide

    I did get your email and I thought long and hard about whay you said. In fact, I planned to write to you today. So I will do it here instead.

    Here is where i come out. Chris has obviously struggled with his faith. He has admitted as much. Probably 50% of the people who visit here have done so as well. Any Christian, worth his salt, will go through periods of doubt, frustration, questioning. Some, as they have faced the church in all of its hubris and failure, have turned and walked away.

    There are some Christians out here who actually care about those who have left as well as those in the churhc, like children who are victims of pedophilia and then victimized again by a concerted effort to cover up their abuse.Do you know how many people have left the faith over this one? I don’t know the numbers but I know that they do. Deb and I, along with others, stand in the gap. We are still committed Christians yet we understand the struggles of others.

    Sometimes God calls flawed people to confront the church.This flawed person, Chris, for wherever he is in his faith journey, is still a member of PBC. As such he has a right to question the church’s response to the Langworthy case.

    As for confirmational bias, I am not sure how it applies here. Do you mean that we must only have pristine people who question the church? Only good Christians who never struggle are permitted to say something?? What if Chris were a Muslim who loved children and wanted to question PBC’s role in the Langworthy coverup? Would he be disqualified? The Bible seems to call a lot of flawed people to do God’s work? Could it be he has motivated Christ because all the “good” people at Prestonwodd have closed their ears? Could, this be, in some way, God’s diss of the elect sitting in the pews?

    Could you please elaborate how we have fallen prey to “confirmational bias” given what i have written?

    Are we to live our life as a church so that our light is hidden under a bushel? Or are we to diligently seek to be truthful no matter who is asking the questions? In fact, shouldn’t a church go out of its way to answer the questions of a man who is struggling with his faith? Shouldn’t they be embracing him with their love instead of calling the police?

    The Langworthy story is true. He has confessed to hurting children. There is a victim who was at PBC who has now come forward. I do not to purport to know Chris’ motives but I do know that “even on my best days, my motives are mixed.” PBC has not answered the questions about this situation in a manner which has satisfied many people, atheist sympathizers or dedicated Christians.

    Do they now hide behind the shield of,” He can’t ask that. He is not a real Christian like we are?”@ dabide:

  182. Pam wrote:

    I wouldn’t trust Owen Strachan to teach a dog how to sit, let alone teach a person anything of importance.

    It’s funny you should mention this because you can tell a lot about someone by their attitude toward animals, and the way they treat their pets. I’m not sure, for example, if the Mahaney’s ever had a pet, and I found myself wondering about that recently. (Maybe someone knows for sure, and if not, the reason why.) I can’t help but wonder what kind of a dog owners they would have been. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animal in any of the family’s photos including their children. Allergies maybe? It certainly wouldn’t be because no one was ever home to take care of a pet(s), that’s for sure.

  183. YES, Dee! This is a great response. I will link arms with anyone who is taking a stand to protect children from sex abuse. Don’t people realize that so many of our just laws are implemented and upheld by people, who may not share our faith in Christ, but who know right from wrong none-the-less? Doesn’t reformed theology allow for the concept of “common grace”??@ dee:

  184. “Generally, I still think its very important to question the credibility of both an accuser and the accused”

    And this works real well in pedaphile situations? The kid is the only witness and the pedaphile usually a very charming personality. it is how they groom their victims. Most have many many victims before they are caught. So good luck with that one.

    I think you are confusing the situation. Chris is asking questions of a church. He asked to have a meeting. They said yes then cancelled. He was given the run around. Why? Why does Chris have to pass some litmus test to ask questions of a church? Nevermind he went there for all those years. Why is he treated like a criminal for asking questions they do not like?

    Why don’t we expect our churches to be open and transparent? Why would anyone think their response is normal and appropriate for a church? That is one I will never understand. Why aren’t they concerned for the victims of Langsworthy after that church let him go on his merry way? Are they not responsible in part for them? Where are their souls?

  185. dabide

    I have to admit that I am still getting used to the internationals who visit this blog. I never thought that many people besides my own family would interested in what Deb and I think. So please forgive me for my assumptions.

    We received a couple of comments within short order, one from Chile, one from Norway that said almost the same thing. Call it naive on my part but I was startled that we were having an international conversation on a Dallas church and both comments came in so close to one another from two men who had never visited the blog, from two countries from which we have never had comments on the blog, both raising a question about Chris’s facebook page.

    A I told someone yesterday, my kids, when they became teens, rarely listened to me, so I find it odd that others do! (I am joking of course).

    One of my dearest friends is Norwegian. She still owns a home in Sweden (her husband came from Sweden and passed away a few years ago) and her family is in Oslo and Stavanger but come from Elnesvagen. She is one of the strongest Christians that I know.

    I had the honor of spending two weeks in your fair country, visiting with her family and traveling all over. My goodness, how God put extra effort into creating such a gorgeous land!

    I would love to hear of your views on the current state of the faith in Norway.

  186. dee wrote:

    dabide
    Sometimes God calls flawed people to confront the church.This flawed person, Chris, for wherever he is in his faith journey, is still a member of PBC. As such he has a right to question the church’s response to the Langworthy case.

    I agree completely with what you write here, and I also hate the cover-ups and power play in Christian circles. I have seen enough of it to be disgusted by it, and I’ve also noticed that unbelievers often see through the hypocrisy where we believers shut our eyes, because someone is a gifted preacher or a good singer.

    As for confirmational bias, I am not sure how it applies here. Do you mean that we must only have pristine people who question the church? Only good Christians who never struggle are permitted to say something?

    What you have been writing on this blog confirms my worst suspicions concerning megachurches and Christian celebrities. That’s why I feel the need to read it critically. When I spoke of confirmation bias, I meant the tendency I think I see among some of the commentators here, to uncritically believe what supports the case, but being extremely critical to what is said by the (perceived) “others”.

    Are we to live our life as a church so that our light is hidden under a bushel? Or are we to diligently seek to be truthful no matter who is asking the questions? In fact, shouldn’t a church go out of its way to answer the questions of a man who is struggling with his faith? Shouldn’t they be embracing him with their love instead of calling the police?

    Amen!

    I actually had planned to go back to lurking and leave you alone. Sorry!

  187. Bridget wrote:

    And this is the same Owen Strachan who is the Executive Director of CBMW. After checking out their site, it looks like the CBMW is embarking on an intense media blitz and is implementing all kinds of new endeavors. Imagine the fun!

    I wondered if the guy heading up CBMW’s website redesign, Josh Shank, was Steve Shank’s (of SGM) soon, but idk if he is. I kinda doubt it. Interesting that both Josh Harris & CJ Mahaney are on the same list, although soon CJ, like Harris, will simply be a ‘Pastor’. I wonder if the two men will attend the same meetings together. If they did, I’m guessing no one would need ice to keep their drinks chilled.

    Also, they mentioned on the website how many hits they were getting in the past but nothing about the present. My guess is they’ve experienced a sharp decline.

  188. Evie said

    Evie at Evie wrote:

    I’m not sure, for example, if the Mahaney’s ever had a pet, and I found myself wondering about that recently.

    I’ve wondered about the same thing and I don’t know whether the Mahaneys ever had a pet. I do know that I heard CJ publicly tell a story about (this makes me feel ill) a dog who was tied to the bumper of a car that drove away as though it was just hilarious. He could barely get it out he was so amused. I HATE that kind of thing.

    Some people just don’t like dogs or cats, some are allergic, and some people are a bit afraid of all animals. All of that is morally neutral. But I would venture a guess that CJ doesn’t like dogs for the just the reason that many of us love them. Dogs are wonderfully able to love you just for being you but are totally incapable of being impressed with you. Not CJ’s cup of tea.

  189. “When I spoke of confirmation bias, I meant the tendency I think I see among some of the commentators here, to uncritically believe what supports the case, but being extremely critical to what is said by the (perceived) “others”.”

    That is because most of us have seen it over and over or experienced the same things. One of the problems with spiritual abuse is that few believe you. It is not done in the open. It can even be a prolonged campaign to marginalize someone who dared to disagree or ask questions. And, it can be impossible to prove. And nothing more lonely than not being believed. But many just learn to keep their mouths shut and the evil continues.

    After the many years I was involved in megas, I can believe just about anything because I saw some very evil and even pedantic stuff. I tend to see mega’s and other sorts of “closed groups” as having systems that are the real problem. If you have ever read the Lucifer Effect, it confirms what many have seen. Decent folks go to work at these places (or attend) and within a short time become what the system expects of them. It is the RARE person who does not go along.

    So what you have on this blog are folks sharing their experiences. They don’t have pulpits or fancy titles or lots of adoring fans in the pews. They only have social media.

  190. dabide

    If you were to look at the trajectory of my faith journey, you might find a period of my life that I questioned all of my assumptions of the faith. However, I kept those question to myself and embarked on a faith journey that has solidified my absolute commitment to Jesus.

    During that time, I kept up the appearance that all was well. Funny thing, I was leading a Sunday school class at the time. So, I took the class on my journey to find the answers.

    I still remember discussing the sign of Jonah in relationship to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I talked about Jesus being in the ground for three days and nights and then stopped myself. Like a deer caught in the headlights I said “Wait a minute-He wasn’t in the ground for that amount of time.” I had about 60 people staring at me! I asked if anyone could help me and got no response.

    So, I said that ‘There is an answer to this and I will have it for you next week.” And I did find the answer which dealt with how Jewish people defined a day. Funny thing about all of that. The more i questioned, the more God answered me. And the class loved the questions and answers.

    Today my faith is stronger than ever. I am a little less prone, however, to say i have all of the answers but Christianity provides a narrative that, for me, describes the world that I see and the God I have met.

    @ dabide:

  191. @ dabide:
    I’m glad you are contributing to the discussion. Your tone is so different from that of “Anon from Chile.” I believe you are sincere.

    I think Dee may have put a link in the post above to another previous article on the Prestonwood situation. In it, she does a more thorough job of explaining the Dallas megachurch atmosphere. It’s worth a read. These churches are all about money and prestige. Yes, I’m sure there are some good people who attend, but, overall, money is the true God there. I think the links help to give a more complete picture.

  192. “Also, they mentioned on the website how many hits they were getting in the past but nothing about the present. My guess is they’ve experienced a sharp decline.”

    So what do you do when nobody wants to oversee the dead organization CBMW? (Donations just about dried up, btw). You hand it over to a rabid 31 year old YRR guy. Comp doctrine did just fine until the internet exploded and people could easily find other solid scholars that debunked 90% of what CBMW was teaching. And it did become a sort of Christian Talmud site. Rules for women.

    I expect to see a very different sort of focus.

  193. dabide

    Do not lurk, please! Comment away! I can assure you that your email and comment caused me some panic over the weekend and i looked into your concerns. It also made me think about what constitutes legitimate questioning within the church. You had an impact. I am not a talking head and this is not a lecture. It is a place to grow and a place to challenge.

    Besides, I have a special place in my heart for Norwegians. I would not be surprised if you know the extended family that are my friends.
    @ dabide:

  194. Anon1
    We are going to journey over to 9 Marks. I bet you are going to find our stories interesting. I have a doozy of one about women and “the curse.”@ Anon 1:

  195. Anyone who questions the love of a good dog is suspect in my opinion. I bet anything CJ was referring the scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Then there was the scene with the dead grandmother in the rocking chair on top of the car…..@ Phoenix:

  196. dabide

    Here is one other thing to consider. In Dallas, one must “appear” christian in order to be viewed as a legitimate part of the social circles that surround Dallas Christianity. I wonder if Chris felt he had to “appear” as a strong Christian in order to obtain a hearing?
    @ dee:
    @ dee:

  197. dabide wrote:

    I’m convinced that megachurches are unbiblical, pastors are unbiblical (churches should be governed by a plurality of elders, and all believers are priests), denominations are unbiblical, yes, even that parachurch organizations are, if not unbiblical, at least often harmful.

    I agree. I’d love to see the landscape change. I’d like to think many of the structures you mentioned are being weakened and dismantled. That’s what appears to be happening in my view, including the RCC monstrosity. I’d like to believe it’s in preparation for a new, fresh, powerful revival of God’s Spirit to sweep the globe. But first the old wineskins need to be destroyed because the tendency would be to refill them if they were still there and not considered obsolete. I sense an ever increasing disillusionment and disenfranchisement with traditional church structures and it’s certainly interesting to ‘watch’ what’s going on. Somethings cookin’. I hope I live to see the beginning of the next great awakening. I’m praying for an unprecedented, worldwide revival that I believe the stage is slowly being set for behind the curtains. I think what’s coming is going to be quite a show. The preparations are already proving to be interesting, as evidenced by the existence of this website.

  198. dee wrote:

    Anon1
    We are going to journey over to 9 Marks. I bet you are going to find our stories interesting. I have a doozy of one about women and “the curse.”@ Anon 1:

    Notice how love of God and love of neighbor, the two Great Commandments, are NOT part of the nine marks of a healthy church

  199. @ Phoenix: Exactly Phoenix. And I wondered what dog training would look like, ya know? Would true love and grace be reflected in the eyes of the animal? Or would we observe instead an anxious animal, uncertain of its acceptance?

  200. @ dee:

    It does remind one of the NL Vacation scene (What does it say about me — grandmother of five– that I found the dead grandma on the car roof pretty funny but the dog not funny at all?) Unfortunately, he was not referring to that silly fictional scene but to a real story with a real dog. And, as I said, he thought it was so funny he could hardly speak. Despicable.

    Maybe it’s almost a good thing CJ found his sociopathic niche at SGM. Otherwise he might have had to become a serial killer.

  201. Phoenix wrote:

    Maybe it’s almost a good thing CJ found his sociopathic niche at SGM. Otherwise he might have had to become a serial killer.

    I’m sorry but this made laugh out loud and I know you intended for it to be funny that’s why! :-D

  202. @ Phoenix:

    The abuse of animals and/or the mirth that someone exhibits at such actions is a red flag to law enforcement when investigating crimes and suspects. The lack of empathy for pets raises eyebrows.

  203. @ Evie:
    @ Bridget:
    Evie, I did mean it to be funny, of course; but humor with a point. The point is what Bridget noted; that the lack of empathy and willingness of a narcissist to treat other individuals as commodities is the same species of evil that inhabits many murderers.

  204. @ dee:

    I read the story Anonymous posted. It sounds horrific and makes me wonder what is going on in that church and the Portland PD. Does the church have an insider in the PPD.

  205. @ dabide:
    I also want to add (and perhaps you have seen this, too) that the standard response of a church being called into account is to assassinate the character of the one who is speaking up. I saw this happen repeatedly in my former church. Dee and Deb experienced it when they spoke up on behalf of abused kids. There are accounts here on TWW and on Julie Anne’s blog where this takes place over and over. So, I understand your point about thinking critically. Part of critical thinking, for me, is recognizing that attacks against Chris’s character are par for the course in this situation. Given that this is a standard line of defense from abusive churches, I will immediately view them with suspicion. Given that Chris is speaking out against a church with very “well-heeled” connections, the resultant backlash against him may be very vicious. If the worst that anyone can come up with is that he questioned certain aspects of his faith, I would say that he is simply thinking critically. The bottom line here is that Prestonwood kept silent about a known child molester, which allowed him to go on to molest other children. How many other children could have been spared that pain if Prestonwood had obeyed Texas law and reported the abuser to the local police? As a parent, I believe Chris has an interest in that. The more I read here, the more I realize that churches are not the safest environment for my own children.

  206. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    I think Dee may have put a link in the post above to another previous article on the Prestonwood situation. In it, she does a more thorough job of explaining the Dallas megachurch atmosphere. It’s worth a read. These churches are all about money and prestige. Yes, I’m sure there are some good people who attend, but, overall, money is the true God there. I think the links help to give a more complete picture.

    Again, isn’t “Good Christian Bitches” set in the Dallas Megachurch Atmosphere?

    (And their list/summaries of episodes on Wikipedia even has one episode about the Megachurch Pastor announcing a Seven Day Sex Challenge — wonder if he did it on the Feast of Christ the King as happened IRL?)

  207. It is also impossible for dabide to know if others here “are not” thinking critically. As he cannot ascertain the commenter’s background, wealth of knowledge on these types of situations, experiences, etc… that would allow one to come to the conclusion that something isn’t right. In addition, if one has the ability to read critically all of the given information, including even the response from Prestonwood Baptist, along with legal case history, then I would say that commenter/reader HAS, in fact, been thinking VERY critically and understands that something is amiss and that answers should have been forthcoming. Even if not answers given at the moment, certainly not the response they did, in fact, give. Which any critically minded person would be able to discern as almost an admission or desire to deceive or not admit any wrongdoing.

  208. Phoenix wrote:

    Unfortunately, he was not referring to that silly fictional scene but to a real story with a real dog. And, as I said, he thought it was so funny he could hardly speak. Despicable.

    The Humble One(TM) busted up at a RL story of a dog being dragged to death behind a car? Busted up as bad as I did the first time I saw Blazing Saddles or read Fabulous Furry Freak Bros?

    Now we know what makes a Head Apostle tick — Humbly, of course.

  209. @ Anonymous:
    That story at Solid Rock Portland is beyond the pale for me. I’m just so burdened that this young woman thinks she needs these people and is begging and pleading with them to let her back in. It just shows how deep cults are and how deeply entrenched we can be in them. This young woman doens’t need reconciliation with these people. They are HORRIBLE. What she needs is to be deprogrammed and exit counseling. I sure hope and pray that she gets it. She has no idea the monster she’s dealing with. I hope she comes to the conclusion, first and foremost, that she’s in a cult. God save this young woman.

  210. @ Bridget:

    Well ,it does sound bad, but we cannot tell from the letters what it was exactly that the church leaders did or said that triggered the lengthy letter-writing campaign. The writer listed no specifics and provided no corroborating evidence to make his or her case.

    Under Oregon law, to continue repeatedly writing letters (or making phone calls or personal contact) after you have been asked to stop, the offended person may request a court to issue an order for protection (antiharassment) against you and a court may issue such an order. I am not saying it is right or wrong, just saying that is what can happen. If you violate the antiharassment order, you may face jail time.

  211. @ Trina: After I was booted and shunned, I think I’d have done just about anything to get That Church to take me back, short of sexual “favors” or allowing them to blackmail me.

    It’s hard to see how devastating it can be unless you’ve been through it (speaking of/for myself about larger topics, so the “you” is plural, not you, Trina).

  212. @ TedS.:

    I do see your point to a degree. We don’t have all the facts. The part that triggered me about the PPD, is when the writer talked of asking for copies of the police report and inquiring as to who was making the charges but seemed to be refused this information . . . if this has happened it begs some questions.

    The other issue for me is that what the writer is doing (trying to reconcile) has probably been drummed into her head by the very church she is trying to reconcile with. It appears that the very church/leaders that propose biblical reconciliation are withholding it. It appears that most, if not all, of this persons support system was at this church. Now that very church is shunning? her? And, it appears, the church leaders (the power) are using the law (more power) to keep her away from the church/her life/her friends/her support. If this is what is happening . . . then I have many questions.

  213. Julie Anne wrote:

    Alex – Maybe I’ll call in, say hi to Deborah and ask a tough question

    LOL! Don’t ask me about guns, I don’t want to freak out our liberal show hosts :-) We agree on the First Amendment…now if I could just get them to read one Amendment further down the list LOL :-)

  214. @ numo:

    Are you thinking that the Southern Baptist world has enough power to influence Hollywood? I’m not thinking Hollywood would bow to that. Hollywood would bow to the show not bringing in the ratings (i.e., money).

  215. @ Bridget: Yes, especially given the $$$ involved with the people being portrayed in GCB.

    I bet someone – or more than one “someone” – threatened them with a lawsuit(s) or perhaps paid them to stop making the show.

    It certainly was yanked fast – sadly, ’cause I thought it showed promise and that the cast was really good. But they certainly were exposing and skewering a lot of the hypocrisy in society (maybe that should be capital-S “society”?) down there…

  216. @ Bridget: I think there are many behind-the-scenes deals of which we know nothing.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that networks never make stupid decisions. (Understatement of the year; I’m royally ticked off at the BBC for canceling “The Hour,” though in that case, the scripts might be hitting a bit too close to home, especially given the recent – and ongoing – pedophilia scandal there.)

  217. Eagle wrote:

    Evie…I’m a dog lover. But that story reminds me of the scene in Chevy Chase’s Vacation where Clark Griswald drove down a highway with the dog attached to the back of the station wagon by a leash. That was before Aunt Edna died and rode into Phoenix strapped to the car roof.

    I love dogs, too. And horses and cats and rabbits and birds and fish and cows, athough I’ve never had a pet cow.

    I was dating a guy not long ago that I was warming up to, but after he mentioned he thought of dogs as, basically, bowel movements that you had to plan your life around, it went from warm to cold pretty quickly (although I never mentioned his remark had bothered me, what can you say? You need to work on that? It’s the way he was.) I’m not saying a guy would have to be Dr. Dolittle, but someone who catagorically doesn’t care for animals, and doesn’t like having pets? I don’t know. Just doesn’t sit right with me.

    I’m pretty much the ultimate pet though. Feed me. Walk me. Take me with you. Be my companion. Love me. Adore me. And I’m pretty much yours!

  218. Bridget wrote:

    mise and that the cast was really good. But they

    I do know of at least one example where Prestonwood seemed to be able to squelch the local news media. There was a case with a young male teacher at Prestonwood Christian Academy having an affair with an under aged student. My wife saw a blurb about it on the local news one morning. She told me about it and I searched the internet for information, I found nothing. I thought my wife must have been mistaken. She insisted she had got the information right so I continued to search, still nothing, not even on the website of the channel my wife saw it on. The story resurfaced months later when the guy was finally convicted. To this day I swear Jack Graham and his people buried the story some how. I do also know that one of the ministers there has deep family ties to the local ABC affiliate. Here is a link to the story http://www.planostar.com/articles/2011/05/26/plano_star-courier/news/9056.txt

  219. @ Evie: I hear you!

    And it’s not just because I like animals… How people think about – and treat – animals says a lot about how they think of others, period. It’s a good test of character.

    someone is kind to animals is a big WIN in my book. And someone who feels threatened by the love and care given to other creatures (in other words, jealous of it)… they’re not gonna get much time from me. (*Especially* a guy who feels that way – like you, I’m unattached.)

    But people who are truly kind to animals and children… well now. That’s a win-win situation (in friendships, and in potential dating/marriage scenarios.)

  220. Concerning animals: It is told that in the good old days here in Norway, the horses noticed that their master had been saved. :-)

    “Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O Lord.” (Ps 36:6)

    “Who provides for the raven its prey,
    when its young ones cry to God for help,
    and wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:41)

  221. Trina wrote:

    It is also impossible for dabide to know if others here “are not” thinking critically.

    Of course it is impossible, it was just an impression. Anyway, we all need to beware of confirmation bias, it is very human… :-)

  222. Phoenix wrote:

    I did mean it to be funny, of course; but humor with a point. The point is what Bridget noted; that the lack of empathy and willingness of a narcissist to treat other individuals as commodities is the same species of evil that inhabits many murderers.

    Totally Phoenix. How people relate to animals is always very telling. Would CJ insist, for example, when visiting with members in their homes*, that the dog look him in the eyes when he greeted it, like he expected the children of members to do?

    I know this is off topic, but I noticed CJ recently responded to a tweet by someone who informed him that they had met his 88 y/o mother in Chile. A few things struck me:

    1. Maybe Anon, who posted recently from Chile, was CJ’s Mom :-P
    2. I thought at first CJ was referring to his wife in his Tweet.
    3. CJ mentions his mother once in a blue moon. Odd considering the huge emphasis he always placed on family.

    “C.J. Mahaney‏@CJMahaney
    @DocHarmon There isn’t a mother like her on the planet! She’s crazy, her children/grandchildren love her and she’s in better shape than me.” March 9

  223. oops I meant to add an explanation as to why I put the star after I wrote – visiting with members in their homes*

    * Normally Pastors visit with members, on occasion, in their homes. I never knew CJ to ever participate in pastoring people in the traditional sense of the world, which is why when he said he was going to return to pastoring – a task he said he was ‘gifted’ for and missed – I was like ???. The only way he’s a pastor is in the John Piper sense: Standing behind a pulpit and giving a message on a Sunday morning while explaining to them that listening to him preach is the most important part of the week. Translation: This fulfills my duty as a “Pastor”

    John Piper is pretty clever, though. He ever refers to the job as Pastor of Preaching.

    But is there a Pastor of Visiting the Sick? Pastor of Home Visits?

    No wonder Piper wrote a book entitled, “Brothers, We Are Not Professionals” followed by “Brothers, We are Still Not Professionals” like they all needed to be reminded of that? Those guys are so out of touch it’s pathetic.

  224. Evie wrote:

    3. CJ mentions his mother once in a blue moon. Odd considering the huge emphasis he always placed on family.

    Maybe they’re estranged? Wouldn’t be the first time a Man-o-Gawd had upbringing and family skeletons in his closet.

  225. @ dabide:
    That’s cool. I’ve always liked “The Horse and His Boy” and the conversations between the horses. If animals could talk, what stories they could tell.

  226. @ dabide:

    Concerning animals: It is told that in the good old days here in Norway, the horses noticed that their master had been saved. :)

    dabide, thank you for this! I love it – and I think there’s a lot of truth in it, too.

  227. @ Evie: Have you ever read Temple Grandin’s book Animals in Translation?

    I think you would love it. (I’m a Temple Grandin fangirl; also a lover of sites like this one – and yep, I have an indoor bunny.)

  228. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Evie wrote:

    3. CJ mentions his mother once in a blue moon. Odd considering the huge emphasis he always placed on family.

    Maybe they’re estranged? Wouldn’t be the first time a Man-o-Gawd had upbringing and family skeletons in his closet.

    I don’t think they are. His mother made visits to CLC on rare occasions and CJ mentioned her being there, but someone how managed to tactfully request people keep their distance. He did the same thing after his father died. He didn’t want church members extending sympathy or getting involved at all. He seemed very protective of her for some reason.

  229. @ dabide:

    Nice to “meet” you. : ) You sound like a sensible person… Part of the reason I hang out at TWW is that Dee & Deb, as far as I know, thoroughly investigate their leads before they post them. I do remember one time I sent Dee a “breaking” story from a certain megachurch, and she said they had already investigated it and something didn’t check out or was otherwise amiss, so she wouldn’t be posting it.

  230. @ numo:

    No I haven’t and thank you for the book recommendation! I’ve been wanting one, for reals!

    I absolutely loved, loved, loved the James Herriot books.

  231. Per the animals thing:

    All but one of the neo-Calvinists I have ever met have had no pets and were quite firm about their intentions never to have any. Their kids were also pretty awkward around animals in general. I am thinking of one friend in particular – he was perfectly comfortable with human babies but when I handed him my kitten, he was holding him at arm’s length because he had no idea how to hold him.

    Being a cat person, I think it’s funny that few of these people were comfortable with cats. You have to earn a cat’s respect/love…you can’t just boss it around and expect it to do everything you say…and if you’re mean to it, it’ll tell you exactly what it thinks by biting/scratching you. If you “parented” a cat the way many of these folks parent their children, the cat would either ignore you or be afraid of you.

  232. @ Hester: I think that what you’ve said about cats applies to most all small animals, as they are (for the most part) prey species and it’s vital to earn their trust.

  233. @ Evie: i’d be more than happy to talk about buns off-list as well if you’re interested. Just email Dee or Deb and have them forward and/or give you my email address.

  234. @ numo:

    I will gladly do that Numo!

    The Power of the Dog
    by
    Rudyard Kipling

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie–
    Perfect passsion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
    But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept ‘em, the more do we grieve:
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
    So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  235. @ Evie: that made me tear up.

    i think dogs are unusual in that they have been bred to be companions to humans.

    with most small animals (prey species), it’s very different – you have to be willing to work to win their trust. It can take a great deal of time, and certainly, a willingness to relate to them on their own terms.

  236. @ Estelle: Oh hey – I’m more than glad to tell people about rabbits and point them to *good* information about them!

    Watership Down is a wonderful book. :)

  237. Hester wrote:

    All but one of the neo-Calvinists I have ever met have had no pets and were quite firm about their intentions never to have any. Their kids were also pretty awkward around animals in general.

    Wonder why that is…

    Calvinistas are too into Theology Theory to care about anything else?

    Or that vaguely-remembered radio talk-show phone-in from long ago about a Christian set of parents who actually hated animals — to the point that if a squirrel leaped in front of their car they’d actually aim for it to kill it. From what I remember, they justified it as “animals have no Souls” and “were created for Our Use” or some such. If I remember right, it sounds like another aspect of Gnostic Dualism — animals are part of PHYSICAL Reality, not Spiritual, and “It’s All Gonna Burn”, so why should you care?

  238. Big D

    This recent story was picked up by Associated Baptist Press last week. It is difficult to know what goes on in the hearts of men. That is why I called PBC. I usually try to get both sides of the issue if possible. So, when dabide and Anon questioned Tynes, I asked him for a statement and he gave one.

    If PBC was truly innocent in this situation, they would have said that Tynes is nuts. But, there is also a video and they apparently filmed the encounter as well. If Tynes was a “violent” individual, I think they could have spelled that out. @ BigD:

  239. Dee wrote:

    @ BigD:

    Dee, I’m sorry but I don’t understand how your response relates to my comments. I’m confused.

  240. It amazes me that Chris can attend this church and tithe for 14 years and be treated with such an un-Christian attitude by the pastors of the church. While I don’t profess to be a Christian this is another incident of some deeper rooted problem in these churches where there are no checks and balances. Clearly, something is very wrong. My heart goes out to the victims and to Chris for doing the right thing. I wouldn’t want to attend a church where the pastor acted negligently when someone came forward about being molested by a staff member. I would ask questions and demand an answer. Who does this pastor think he is? I really hope Chris keeps pushing this and the story continues to grow. Prestonwood deserves at the very least the opportunity to respond on the national stage don’t you think?

  241. Big D

    Darn. I hit the wrong reply name. If you think you are confused, you should see me. Now I have to go back and try to figure out to whom I was responding. My apologies. 

  242. Paul

    I am so glad to hear from you. You are always in my thoughts! Thank you for caring. Perhaps that is a good that can come out of a terrible situation. We, by default, begin to feel more deeply for others.

  243. @ Numo:

    “I think that what you’ve said about cats applies to most all small animals, as they are (for the most part) prey species and it’s vital to earn their trust.”

    Probably. Our cats are “well-socialized” I think…they meet us at the door and one of them begs for food like a dog (pumping his front paws up and down). : )

  244. Dee:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and all that you do to help give a voice to those who do not feel they have one.

    I think one of the hardest things in the world is to go on being aware of someone else’s pain.

    This may sound naïve, but until I really started reading your blog I must admit I had no idea about all the abuses that went on in churches across the nation. My experience had only been with Calvary Chapel Visalia and it is truly eye opening to see the words of so many people who have had such awful things happen to them at the hands of people who are in positions of trust.

    This story in particular is very disturbing to me. Shame on this pastor who acted negligently in 1989 and shame on him again for refusing to answer questions about his role in it. This is exactly the type of thing that casts such a negative light on religion.

    Principles only mean something if you stand by them when they are inconvenient. This “pastor” ought to reassess his principles.

  245. Paul

    I believe that authoritarianism leads to abuse. In your case, the Moses model in the Calvary Chapel system, leads to a pastor who can do no wrong. People are trained to believe such a thing. This goes on in the SBC, Presbytarians, you name it. Jesus was not real big on centralized authority. He saw the abuses of the Pharisees and was not real pleasant with them

    Instead, Jesus hung out with those who knew they were sinners, the lost, the abused, the disenfranchised, the children-basically the powerless.I used to think that people who displayed the bumper sticker “Question Authority” were a bit kooky. Now, I am on their side.

    Paul, I am so sorry for what you went through. You have friends in Raleigh. Please know that we be following your situation closely. @ Paul Grenier:

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  247. Petrified ‘Word’ : “Dark Shadows at Prestonwood?”

    HowDee,

    What?

    …aiding and abetting a pastoral Parrish pedophile, then by utilizing lawyers, covered the whole thing up, neutralized and silenced the victim, then quietly dismissed the offending Parrish pastoral pedophilia perpetrator, permitting the known pastoral pedophile perpetrator to penetrate yet another Parrish? Is that the size of it, Wartburg?

    hmmm…

    Prestonwood picked a puttied putrid pastoral Parrish pedophile?

    Prestonwood gave a free pass to a puttied putrid pastoral Parrish pedophile?

    Prestonwood permitted a known puttied putrid pastoral pedophile perpetrator to penetrate yet another pastoral position at another Parrish?

    Prestonwood passed a puttied putrid pastoral Parrish pedophile?

    Prestonwood”s passed puttied putrid pastoral Parrish pedophile perp’d another Parrish?

    How many puttied putrid pastoral Parrish pedophiles did the Prestonwood Parrish pick, pass, or pass-off?

    hmmm…

    “To Pass a Pastoral Pedophilia Perp, or not, Dat is da ‘silly’ Question?!?” -Sharkspeare (c)

    Me thinks da Prestonwood possibly proverbially craven’d Parrish pastoral staff might $imply be bent just a bit too much?

    Pro-tes-ta-tion Permitted?

    Perhaps.

    A laps of ‘christian’ charitable sensibilities? 

    Perhaps.

    A Parrish pedophilic perp-pass permitted?

    Perhaps.

    How do we treat a churches who’s pastoral staff possibly permits predatorial pastors or predatorial members a free pass?  (1)

    The guilt of your Prestonwood pastoral brother cries out from itz dark crusty crypt? …and possibly yours as well?

    Dark ‘penetrating’ shadows lurking about at Prestonwood perhaps?

    hmmm…

    (1) Wartburg Watch has been persistently dealing with a group of pastors (Sovereign Grace Ministries) who keep wanting to defend departing SGM President C.J. Mahaney against several accusations, amoung other things, of member pedophilia cover-ups. They can’t see what the ‘root’ problem is: even after a 600-page document which includes e-mails from both sides, 5 years and hundreds of testimonies of current members and former members on two survivor blogs, a civil lawsuit that has been amended to add more complaints, 20 churches leaving even before polity is revised, many pastors writing letters, etc, etc, etc…

    What?

    How do we treat a church who’s ‘pious’ pastoral staff possibly permits predatorial pastors or predatorial members a perpetual free pass?  

    (s-a-d-f-a-c-e)

    S_py-_-_-_-_“㋡”

  248. One of the leaders from the church who called the police on the author of those letters just so happens to be in the same house church as a police officer.

    The author of the letters was invited to talk on the phone and/or meet with more than one of the leaders. When she wrote back to say yes, they called the police and said that she was harassing them after they’d told her to stop.

    Dee, feel free to contact me at the email I’m using to post this comment. I’m familiar with what is going on.

    @ TedS.:

  249. Oops… I was trying to respond to more than one person and then decided to respond to only one directly and I think I responded to a different comment than I intended to… sorry!

  250. Get over yourselves!! That happened over 20 years ago when Jack Graham wasn’t even pastor of the church!! they have a very through background check in place!! and i am sorry, but if you are sitting in a parking lot looking creepy and its the same parking lot as a school..yeah i think they have every right kicking you off property. If you have a genuine beef with prestonwood..fine..go somewhere else. I dont think prestonwood covered anything up..they just dont bring it up and air someones dirty laundry especially if that person had a family. im not excusing the person who did this. but what are they supposed to do..what if it was your dad that was a toucher? would you want it on the 600 news , and your made fun of because your dad is a toucher? maybe they were just looking out for families involved..i dont know.. i wasnt there. Instead of blasting them on facebook were everyone can see, why not ask privately..did it happen to you? do you know the family personally? if not..why is it your business? Why dont you look at you own life first..because i personally think you have some issues.

  251. @ Adam Milligan said “I dont think prestonwood covered anything up..they just dont bring it up and air someones dirty laundry especially if that person had a family. im not excusing the person who did this. but what are they supposed to do”

    “What are they supposed to do?” Well, according to the Texas state law, they were supposed to report John Langworthy to the police as a known/suspected child abuser. Mandatory reporting for clergy. Not an option, a misdemeanor for failure to do so, and the person who finds out about the abuse allegations is required to report the information himself/herself – can’t assign anyone else to do it for them. At least, that’s what Texas statute 261.101 says, and it was in place in 1989 when this happened.

    And if you’re not excusing Mr. Langworthy for what he did do, why does it seem you are excusing the church for what they apparently didn’t do?

    And actually, if I understand the timeline correctly, Dr. Graham had recently been brought on as pastor when all that happened in 1989. And even if the two things happened around the same time, Dr. Graham’s still be in charge ever since. And all I’ve found so far online that he’s said about this issues is that he declines to comment when news reporters and others ask questions.

    And if Prestonwood has a thorough background check process in place now, that’s truly a good thing. Appropriate and important precaution to maintain a safe ministry environment. But by the church’s alleged failure to report in 1989 — and if they had reported Mr. Langworthy, seems there would clearly be records of it — they passed along their own “dirty laundry” problem to someone else to deal with. And his victims and their parents are still dealing with the issues of abuse 20+ years later. That stuff doesn’t go away quickly, regardless of whether anybody “airs it” or not.

    And of course Chris Tynes has issues, as do we all. On the other hand, he was just the latest person to be asking the very same set of questions that victims, their parents, advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, news agencies, and others have asked — but have remained unanswered for over 20 years. Is this church’s leadership trustworthy or not?

  252. Adam
    Unfortunately it appears that you do not know the reported facts of this situation. I would suggest that you read the story of Langworthy. The fact that you diminish sexually abuse to “touching” shows, instead, that perhaps you have some issues to deal with in this regard. If that is so, I am terribly sorry for you and hope you have been able to talk with someone about this. It is not “touching” it is molestation and is devastating to those who are affected.

    Finally, he did to try to deal with it privately. The church refused. The fact that they would not meet with Chris shows that something is very, very wrong. You need to ask why.
    @ Adam Milligan:

  253. @ Adam Milligan:
    If I understand you correctly, you refer to John Langworthy’s crime as “dirty laundry” that shouldn’t be aired, because he had a family?
    “I dont think prestonwood covered anything up..they just dont bring it up and air someones dirty laundry especially if that person had a family.”
    And you think it is nobody else’s business?
    “did it happen to you? do you know the family personally? if not..why is it your business? Why dont you look at you own life first..because i personally think you have some issues.”

    No, Adam. I think you have some issues. Molesting children is a crime in Texas, not simply “dirty laundry.” And when Jack Graham, who was head pastor of Prestonwood at the time, decided to let Langworthy go without reporting him, he set him free to move on to molesting other children. This fact does make it our business. Because Langworthy was not reported, tried, and registered in a sex-offender database, no other church or school could take necessary precautions to protect children. This makes it the business of parents, churches, and educators everywhere. If Jack Graham refuses to answer questions about it, I would not trust his judgement on any other matters as well.

  254. Adam Milligan wrote:

    what if it was your dad that was a toucher? would you want it on the 600 news , and your made fun of because your dad is a toucher?

    “Toucher”?
    Never heard that term before.
    Is that how fellow molesters refer to each other?

  255. How does a guy who has attended for 14 years suddenly get labeled “creepy” and “potentially violent” without so much as a private conversation with him?

  256. “im not excusing the person who did this”

    Yes you are and so is Prestonwood. Did he go on to molest more people? Hold your church accountable.

  257. Some additional facts:

    After being fired by Prestonwood Baptist Church (PBC), John Langworthy left the state of Texas [which I suspect is a probable indicator that no one filed a police report on his molestation activities, as the police would not have simply let him leave Texas, had he been reported for sexual molestation of a minor] and he moved back to Mississippi.

    There he was employed as … a YOUTH music minister at Morrison Heights Baptist Church and as … a choir director at Clinton HIGH SCHOOL. So, the probable failure by the legally responsible person(s) at PBC to report the known/suspected sexual abuse of minors by Mr. Langworthy, ended up giving him continual access to minors from mid-1989 until his past activities caught up with him and the process of public confession [August 7, 2011] and criminal indictment [September 28, 2011] and trial took over, with final conviction and sentencing only just concluding on January 22, 2013.

    The questions Chris Tynes asked have been floating around unanswered for, let’s see … Mr. Langworthy was free to molest again from approximately June 1989 through August 2011. If my math is right, that is 21 years and 3 months.

    It was LEGALLY required for knowledgeable person(s) at Prestonwood to report Mr. Langworthy, but giving a pedophile 21 years and 3 months longer to potentially molest more minors due to apparent failure to report? That is why it is ETHICALLY important to report — our inactions can have negative consequences on others, just as much as our actions can!

    And yet, the only official statement online from PBC that I’ve been able to find is this — from current Prestonwood Executive Pastor Mike Buster, who offered this statement about what happened way back in June 1989, when Mr. Langworthy confessed to some “sexual indiscretions” with minors in August 2011 and local news station WFAA featured a substantial story:

    “In the summer of 1989, the church received an allegation that John Langworthy had acted inappropriately with a teenage student. Based on this allegation, he was dismissed immediately, removing him from all responsibilities with the church. In no way did officials of the church seek to cover up the actions of Mr. Langworthy or silence his accuser. The elected officers dealt with the matter firmly and forthrightly.”

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/investigates/Disturbing-revelations-about-former-Prestonwood-minister-127284918.html

    So, that’s a grand total of 67 words, and whatever “firmly and forthrightly” means to them at PBC, it certainly seems flimsy to me.

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  259. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    So, that’s a grand total of 67 words, and whatever “firmly and forthrightly” means to them at PBC, it certainly seems flimsy to me.

    Maybe it means “Biblically” or “Gospelly”?
    Or “Winsomely” or “Humbly”?

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