Accuse Outsiders and Protect Insiders: Trite Christianity

“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.” Link

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This past week, the Second Amended SGM Lawsuit revealed some deeply upsetting allegations. In fact, Peter Lumpkins, with whom TWW has had some disagreements, became so disturbed by what he read that he is bringing a resolution to the SBC convention in June. For this, we give him props. 

Peter Lumpkins, a blogger and minister in Carrollton, Ga., said May 16 he submitted his first-ever SBC resolution the day after reading through a second amended class-action lawsuit just filed in a Maryland court.

Lumpkins’ resolution urges “denominational servants, entity leaders and our trustee boards to sever all ties, whether official or unofficial, with any evangelical organization, fellowship of ministers, and/or celebrity leader who, presently or in the past, is facing criminal and/or civil litigation for neglecting moral or legal obligations to protect the little children whom Jesus said suffer to follow Him.” link

On the other hand, it seems like a number of people in the Neo-Reformed camp, which includes SGM, have remained doggedly silent. (Is that why they are called Reformed Big Dogs by some?) If I understand their reasoning correctly, they do so because they claim that the lawsuit contains only allegations and have not been proven in a court of law. In fact, some have said that they must wait for the court outcome in order to comment.  Although I disagreed with their logic, I assumed that they meant it, that is, until last week. In fact, it appears that they really believe in applying that standard to one their own (SGM) and not to another who is outside their camp. I offer the following scenario as an example.

It is important to stress that I am pro life in my beliefs and wrote about it at this link. I also tweeted on the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and believed his actions to be vile and nauseating. I am relieved that he will spend the rest of his life in jail. This post is not a disagreement on the issue of abortion but on the standards that some apply to pass judgment on others.

On May 16, Justin Taylor wrote a post called Meet Douglas Karpen: The New Kermit Gosnell link. He highlighted a picture of Douglas Karpen of Aaron's Women's Clinic Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center and said (bolding by me):

Evidence is emerging of another abortion mill where illegal abortions are performed and where full-term babies are regularly born alive and brutally murdered.

When he wrote this, was an investigation yet underway by Texas? No.

The Texas Department of State Health Services plans to investigate.

How do we know about this?

Three women have come forward to testify about what they witnessed there as workers.

Yet, Taylor, along with his many of his colleagues, will not comment on the SGM fiasco with far more witnesses, one person arrested and in jail, and a criminal investigation that is underway.

Huh?

So, in keeping with the new kinder and gentler Dee, I wrote Justin Taylor an email to which he did not respond. However, here it is for our readers.

Justin

You have just written a story on a worthy subject.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/05/16/meet-douglas-karpen-the-new-kermit-gosnell/?comments#comments

Deb and I write for The Wartburg Watch. We plan to feature your post on this matter next week. However, we plan to point out that you are willing to call out this doctor based on 3 witnesses and a "planned" investigation by the state of Texas. At the same time, it appears that you will remain silent on the SGM scandal which involves far more witnesses. Investigations have already commenced and there is a filed lawsuit.

I fear our readers might conclude that you protect your associates while condemning others outside of your circle.

We were wondering if you would like to comment about your decision. We believe that you might like to clear up the obvious concern about bias in this matter. We will print any response verbatim in our post on this matter.

But, it was the next part of this email that I believe proves that Justin (This is not directed only towards Justin-I believe many others do the same thing) is not only willing to be silent on this matter but may be actively attempting to conceal any legitimate expression of concern. If you go to the site you will see that there are primarily "atta boy" comments about the timeliness of Taylor's post. So, I checked his site just before sending this email and, lo and behold, a comment appeared by someone who was asking the same question that I was addressing in this email. I added the comment to the end of the email. To continue:

In the meantime, I saw this comment on your post and took a screen shot of it. I plan to feature this in our discussion.

*********

Alan (the commenter)

I hate and despise abortion. I am thankful that you continue to write about these atrocities and point out how terrible the culture of killing babies is.

I also hate child abuse–physical, emotional, and sexual. I do not understand why you–and the rest of TGC–refuse to acknowledge all the accusations about Sovereign Grace Ministries, including CJ Mahaney, and the multitude of accusations of child abuse and the covering up of child abuse.

If we are going to be consistent, please speak out against the atrocity of SGM leadership sexually abusing children and covering it up. Please stop inviting them to conferences. Please make a stand against child abuse the same way you do against abortion. Both are heinous, atrocious acts. 

Thank you
Dee Parsons

At this point, I hit the "send" button. I then checked to see if Taylor had responded to this reader. Guess what? In the span of a few minutes, the comment appeared and then disappeared. I want to reassure our readers that I did not set up this comment and I have no idea who Alan is. I believe that God allowed this to happen to show me something.

It appears that we apply different standards to those outside our circles.

Even John Piper jumped onto the Douglas Karpen bandwagon based, of course, on 3 witnesses, no arrests and the beginnings of an investigation. This is the same man who recently spoke at Mahaney's new attempt at church in Louisville and said he jumped at the chance to do so. (He jumps a lot).

@JohnPiper Exposing the horrors of darkness is a pathway 2light. So stand agape at another Gosnell

To make matters worse,  when it was announced that much of the lawsuit had been thrown out of court, a barrage of seemingly self congratulatory tweets ensued from Kevin DeYoung, Denny Burk, and others. Said tweets mentioned nothing of the numbers of allegations made by hurting people who were part of the lawsuit. They also appear willing to talk about the lawsuit when it goes their friends' way and then they keep silent in the face of accusation after accusation of child sexual abuse. What's up with that?

Several people confronted these folks in the Twitter world and some of them pulled down their tweets. Here is my subtle tweet.

Dee Parsons ‏@wartwatch17 May

Rejoicing that a technicality of SOL could prevent allegations of horrible abuse from being heard is sick and unbecoming to Christians.

Some of the most disturbing tweets came from Frank Turk who appears to find the subject of child sexual abuse a tad amusing. The following tweet appears to have been deleted at his Twitter account. I think this is the guy who claimed that people who say that their comments were deleted at his friends' blogs are conspiracy theorists.

@kinnon @DefendTheSheep Like I said: I admire the starch it takes to find a sex offender when the charges of spiritual abuse can’t work out

So these guys will accept a 3 witness rule, along with a soon to commence investigation, to raise a public outcry against one man but will not accept that rule when it comes to one of their own. (Am I ramming home my point?) I am looking for any and all ideas as to how this can be justified in any way possible. How can they avoid the inevitable charge of hypocrisy because I sure can't figure it out.

Memo to lots of bloggers out there: It sounds a bit self-serving when all of your comments appear to agree with you. Why not try accepting criticism? Until you do, you lose in the "Christianity has a masculine feel" department.

McMartin Day Care Scandal

Some folks are claiming that this lawsuit is akin to the infamous McMartin Daycare criminal trial. I believe that the SGM lawsuit has nothing to do with that trial and is more in line with the Catholic church scandal. In the McMartin scandal, we were dealing with preschool children. Much of the blame rested on professionals who were questioning the children. Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia link.

Several hundred children were then interviewed by the Children's Institute International (CII), a Los Angeles abuse therapy clinic run by Kee MacFarlane. The interviewing techniques used during investigations of the allegations were highly suggestive and invited children to pretend or speculate about supposed event.

Later research demonstrated that the methods of questioning used on the children were extremely suggestive, leading to false accusations. Others believe that the questioning itself may have led to false memory syndrome among the children who were questioned.

Videotapes of the interviews with children were reviewed by Dr. Michael Maloney, a British clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry, as an expert witness regarding the interviewing of children. Maloney was highly critical of the interviewing techniques used, referring to them as improper, coercive, directive, problematic, adult-directed in a way that forced the children to follow a rigid script and that "many of the kids' statements in the interviews were generated by the examiner." Transcripts and recordings of the interviews contained far more speech from adults than children and demonstrated that, despite the highly coercive interviewing techniques used, initially the children were resistant to interviewers' attempts to elicit disclosures. 

It was alleged that, in addition to having been sexually abused, they saw witches fly, traveled in a hot-air balloon, and were taken through underground tunnels.When shown a series of photographs by Danny Davis, the McMartins' lawyer, one child identified actor Chuck Norris as one of the abusers.

We are dealing with adults in this situation. Implanted false memories are now well documented and one can be sure that an attorney, of the stature of Susan Burke, has already investigated such a possibility before she added each person to the list. The McMartin accusation was brought up in both the Catholic church scandal and the Sandusky situation. We all know the outcome of those situations.

"Crazy" accusations

I have also been reading comments that certain accusations in the lawsuit are too bizarre to be true. Does anyone actually think that a smart attorney would accept accusations that could be easily disproven in a court of law?  Remember, if one person is shown to be a nut, it would hurt the entire trajectory of the lawsuit. Burke is an experienced attorney and her seasoning should be taken into consideration as one views the lawsuit.

Secondly, Deb and I were involved with a pedophile incident in a former church. There were some allegations that appeared to be far fetched, even gruesome. However, it was merely our naivete that was the problem. What went on was beyond anything we had heard before. That pedophile is in jail for a long time.

Anyone who would sexually abuse a child already has disrupted normal boundaries. When boundaries are disturbed, bizarre things can happen. Once again, one must ask, "Would a smart attorney accept bizarre claims without enough evidence to stand trial?" I say Burke is far too savvy for that.

I learned an important rule during the first week of my MBA program. The professor said that MBA's think they know it all. They arrive, cocksure, on their first day on the job, quick to point out the flaws in the company. He suggested that we remember the reason that we wanted to work for the company is because it was successful and has done a lot of things right. He told us to first evaluate what is right in the organization before we focus on what is wrong. Keep that in mind as we evaluate and discuss things in the lawsuit.

This song is dedicated to all who have been abused as children. May you find the peace of God in your pain.

Lydia's Corner: 2 Samuel 13:1-39 John 17:1-26 Psalm 119:81-96 Proverbs 16:6-7

Comments

Accuse Outsiders and Protect Insiders: Trite Christianity — 419 Comments

  1. “Memo to lots of bloggers out there: It sounds a bit self-serving when all of your comments appear to agree with you. Why not try accepting criticism? Until you do, you lose in the “Christianity has a masculine feel” department. ”

    Oh dear. I almost spewed my coffee.

    back to reading….

  2. The “outrage” over abortion juxtaposed with the total LACK of outrage at child abuse–even if only alleged–really turns my stomach.

    This is exactly why so many accuse the religious right of caring for life…but only until birth. These guys may save a baby from abortion, but heaven forbid that same child ends up 6 years later in their church–they certainly won’t find that same protection anymore. Disgusting.

  3. This is a powerful post. If these men (Justin Taylor et al) would read and internalize C. S. Lewis’ essay, “The Inner Ring,” they would be greatly, greatly helped, and they would change their ways.

  4. Yet, Taylor, along with his many of his colleagues, will not comment on the SGM fiasco with far more witnesses, one person arrested and in jail, and a criminal investigation that is underway.

    Because their Doctrine is Correct/Ideology is Pure and Godly and Gospelly.

    And it isn’t ABORTION. Culture War Without End, Amen.

  5. @ Deb:

    Nice, Deb! Kudos to you. Imagine that – credible blogging! Some of us DO go to sources to verify info AND we allow dissenting comments. Whoa. 🙂

  6. I learned an important rule during the first week of my MBA program. The professor said that MBA’s think they know it all. They arrive, cocksure, on their first day on the job, quick to point out the flaws in the company.

    During the production of Babylon-5, J Michael Straczynski made the rounds of the SF convention circuit, regaling audiences with behind-the-scenes stories of the production. One perennial was interference by the pointy-haired suits at the network, again and again and again. Almost all the pointy-haired suits began their Diktat with “I’M AN M.B.A. AND…”

    The first one I heard was when a pointy-haired suit demanded that JMS remove a reference to Moby Dick with the words “NOBODY WILL UNDERSTAND IT — I’M AN M.B.A. AND I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT!”

  7. pcapastor wrote:

    This is a powerful post. If these men (Justin Taylor et al) would read and internalize C. S. Lewis’ essay, “The Inner Ring,” they would be greatly, greatly helped, and they would change their ways.

    But the Inner Ring of Calvinista Big Dogs is so ELECT!
    And the taste of Predestined Godly POWER so DELICIOUS!

  8. pcapastor wrote:

    This is a powerful post. If these men (Justin Taylor et al) would read and internalize C. S. Lewis’ essay, “The Inner Ring,” they would be greatly, greatly helped, and they would change their ways.

    pcapastor — I keep thinking about how much of the group-think and the silence is just like C.S. Lewis's description of the N.I.C.E. in "That Hideous Strength."

  9. Excellent point about their double standard.

    As one of Frank Turk’s “conspiracy theorists” (for daring to say that Taylor and Challies delete comments critical of Mahaney and SGM), I thank you for mentioning said Turk. Here are two more of his “hilarious” tweets about the partial dismissal of the lawsuit:

    “I have a theory: the judge is actually Al Mohler and he’s part of the
    cover up.”

    “Well, hell: now we’ll never hear the end of it. Or else: CJ paid off the Judge.”

    Yep, there is nothing as knee-slappingly funny as child sexual abuse.

  10. This is such an astute observation, particularly as it relates to the double standard in exposing and discussing some allegations over others. Some allegations are apparently acceptable to discuss (alleged illegal abortion practices), some are not (alleged child abuse within a certain group of churches).

    I guess the cynical view is that, at the end of the day, everyone seems to default to protecting their own self interests, perhaps even in ways they aren’t aware of. Pride’s roots grow deep. And once they’re planted, they attach themselves for the long haul. Or seem to anyway.

  11. pcpastor, The Inner Ring was excellent and so true. Wish I had known it at 18. I had not read it before.

  12. Dee – this is a great post! I was appalled last week when all this Tweeting among the Calvinista’s began. Reading Turk’s comments was vomit worthy.

    As for the word “atrocious,” it seems to only apply to events that happen outside the Calvinista camps. Why they continue to rail against the “secular world” and “those over there” but give passes to their own is beyond me. Jesus certainly didn’t treat his friends, aquaintances, and strangers with such disparity.

  13. 1) Re McMartin Day Care Scandal — we seem to have learned the lesson about False Memory Implantation. I remember in the Eighties when Recovered Memories(TM) were The Big Thing. All wrapped up with the Satanic Panic, a Christianese Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of the time seeing a Vast Satanic Conspiracy everywhere. (Thank You Mike Warnke, you FRAUD.) Recovered Memory(TM), with False Memory Syndrome implanted by “professionals” with an agenda, ended up the 1980s version of Spectral Evidence in 1692 Salem. Really bad craziness.

    2) Re Crazy Accusations — don’t know if this has happened for real, but wouldn’t it be to a perp’s advantage to do the deed in a way that IS “too bizarre to be true” (most likely in the trappings and surroundings) to pre-emptively damage or destroy the victim’s credibility? “Go ahead and tell on me — NOBODY will ever believe you.”

  14. Imagine being in a church where nearly all the teenage boys in the youth group compare notes and realize they been molested by one of the adults leaders. When they get together and report it to another adult, he tells them not to talk about it. That’s what’s being alleged in this lawsuit. It’s just one of many horrendous crimes. This is as bad as Sandusky.

    As a mother of a son, I can hardly stand to read this. I am truly angry.

    The outrage is not going away. It is just starting. And just because C. J. Mahaney, Kevin DeYoung, Denny Burk, John Piper, Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, and all their buddies want to keep it quiet, doesn’t mean the rest of us will.

    Again, here’s a link to the lawsuit. It is a public document. The allegation I mentioned is found in paragraph #36-37

    Download it here: http://spiritualsoundingboard.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/2nd-amended-lawsuit-filing-may-14-2013.pdf

  15. Catcat wrote:

    This is exactly why so many accuse the religious right of caring for life…but only until birth.

    This is a good observation.

  16. Bridget, pretty ironic that they even rail against the secular world, after all, the best the secular world can ever receive from God according to their paradigm, is “common grace”, like perhaps food, a job, etc., since “they” are all totally depraved. Yet when it comes to what they obviously consider to be the household of God, no judgement or even discernment needs to begin with IT, but then, they can always fall back on total depravity, even of believers, of course. Height of hypocrisy, (little rightness) this stuff. Even my lil ol female brain gets the lack of logic.

    The glib, flippant joy of the SGM friendlies right now, is ATROCIOUS, though.

  17. @ Bridget:
    Ok, maybe I don’t feel so guilty now for spending most of the day tweeting him (I was held captive in a yellow school bus on a high school choir trip with sometimes nothing to do but tweet – lol.)

    If it exposed more of who he is, then so be it.

  18. Cry out for justice! All of us can help in our own way.

    Contact these Christian news organizations —

    World Magazine – have not reported about the 11 plaintiffs and their stories

    Email: mailbag@worldmag.com

    Phone: 828-232-5415

    Fax: 828-253-1556

    Christian Post – have not reported about the 11 plaintiffs and their stories

    http://www.christianpost.com/aboutus/policy.html

    Christianity Today – reported ONLY about the judge and the statute of limitations, but did not tell the stories of the 11 plaintiffs

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/help/contactus.html

    Since some of our own brothers and sisters in Christ don’t know or don’t care, let’s let other news media know

    Huffington Post

    scoop@huffingtonpost.com

    Wall Street Journal

    https://customercenter.wsj.com/public/view/publiccontactus.html

    New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/content/help/site/editorial/letters/letters.html

    https://myaccount.nytimes.com/membercenter/feedback.html

    “Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.” —Eccl. 4:1

    What to say

    1. Tell the story: The Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) lawsuit is being called “America’s Biggest Evangelical Sex Scandal to Date.” There are 11 alleged child sexual abuse victims, and 2 perpetrators have already gone to jail for child sex crimes. The story is on par with the Jerry Sandusky incident (8 boys in that case), yet is not getting covered adequately by Christian media.

    2. Tell why you are so outraged. Explain why justice is important and the stories need to be heard even though many of the victims are over 21 and no longer within the statute of limitations.

    3. Send reporters who want more information to:

    A. Brian Detwiler did an excellent synopsis with all of the key documents here: http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/everything-you-need-to-know-about-american-evangelicalisms-b.html

    OR

    http://abrentdetwiler.squarespace.com/storage/Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20about2.pdf

    B. TheWartburgWatch.com. This Christian watchdog site has had more than 1,000 comments in the 7 days since the second amended lawsuit was filed on May 14, 2013.

    C. SGMSurvivors.com This survivor site has had more than 800 comments in less than a week and closed comments.

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2013/05/14/plaintiffs-in-sovereign-grace-ministries-file-second-amended-complaint/

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2013/05/17/court-dismisses-civil-lawsuit-due-to-statute-of-limitations/

    D. SpiritualSoundingBoard.com has screenshots of self-congratulating tweets by friends of C.J. Mahaney (the defendant who is a major Christian pastor and conference speaker).

    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/05/18/sovereign-grace-ministries-lawsuit-whirlwind-recap/

     

  19. same old, same old ..
    men who value power and control always end up devaluing the needs of the powerless. They seem to forget that Jesus’ Kingdom turns the values of this world upside down, it is the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful and the persecuted who are blessed.

    And so they chase after the approval of the ‘Inner Ring” (excellent call, popchaser!) and stop their ears to the cries of the needy.

    Where is the conspiracy? In the cries of the damaged, or the silence of the powerful?
    As an antidote to their protection of the “big boys”, let’s remember that James said that teachers will be judged with greater strictness (and I don’t think that means an advanced exam in Calvinist doctrine!)

    PS if you don’t hear from me for several weeks, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, just traveled to the other side of it. We’re leaving tomorrow to spend some time with our daughter. I will keep up with reading the posts, but probably won’t have time for more than that

  20. I wonder if this happened at Joel Osteens church, what would the reformed big dogs be saying? Would they be silent or all over it?

  21. “I have also been reading comments that certain accusations in the lawsuit are too bizarre to be true.”

    Hardly. Clearly those people have never watched CSI and Law and Order: SVU. Those “kinky” episodes don’t spring fully formed from the heads of the script writers.

  22. What I think this reveals more than partiality (though it DOES reveal that) is how much the abortion issue is an agenda for the religious right to get its own way politically more than it is about protecting innocent life.

    Because quite simply, you cannot protest abortion and credibly claim that your goal is the protection of innocent life while ignoring the abuse claims of this suit. Doing so means innocent life is not actually that important to you and that the abortion issue is an emotionally charged way for you to get exposure. It means you are using the death of innocents for your own personal gain, and that’s worse than what the pro-lifers are doing.

  23. I’ve never watched or listened to a single Mahaney sermon or speech, and have never read as much as a single sentence written by him. So I simply don’t know what it is about this man that causes the Calvinistas to go to the lengths they have gone for him, selling their souls for him and disposing of their credibility by throwing themselves onto his funeral pyre. It reveals something about the character of these men that was already there.

    Ironically, in 2011 Phil Johnson wrote: “I’m not prepared to throw CJ Mahaney in the bin with a bunch of punks whose chief ‘qualification’ for the pastoral office is that they are terrific showmen.”

    http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/10/evangelical-freakshow.html?showComment=1317731065780#c2097417836310647879

    What “qualification” does Mahaney have for the pastoral office other than being an apparently charismatic and effective communicator (in others words, a terrific showman)?

  24. “men who value power and control always end up devaluing the needs of the powerless. They seem to forget that Jesus’ Kingdom turns the values of this world upside down, it is the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful and the persecuted who are blessed.

    And so they chase after the approval of the ‘Inner Ring”

    I just copied this into Word because I thought it summed it up so well. Have a great trip to see your daughter!

  25. Thank you. My brain is at the “What have I still got to pack?” stage. I am also mentally preparing myself for the long haul flight (24hrs transit time and 9 hour change in time zones) But it is all so worth it!

  26. @ Hester: I think a lot of people in these kinds of organizations are living inside a bubble and don’t really have much of a clue about many things in life. And that makes them easy prey.

    I really do *not* mean that unkindly, either – it’s something I’ve lived through myself. (Not being someone’s “prey,” but being inside the bubble – most definitely.)

  27. Dr Pepper

    The same thing that would ensue if Ed Young Jr or Rick Warren had a situation. Howling and baying at the moon would commence.

  28. dee wrote:

    Dr Pepper
    The same thing that would ensue if Ed Young Jr or Rick Warren had a situation. Howling and baying at the moon would commence.

    I’m confused- Ed Young Jr isn’t in the camp?

    (For full disclosure, I used to be a decent acquaintance with one of Ed’s brothers to the point he got me a few gigs, and the other brother performed my wedding, but I know very little about Ed).

  29. Jeff S wrote:

    For full disclosure, I used to be a decent acquaintance with one of Ed’s brothers to the point he got me a few gigs, and the other brother performed my wedding, but I know very little about Ed).

    I know Ed and probably also know the brother to whom you refer. Caedman’s Call anyone?

  30. @ Jeff S:

    Ed Young Jr. is in the seeker-driven camp. Young preached a sermon against Calvinism and went after one of the YRR guys without naming him.

  31. Dee wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    For full disclosure, I used to be a decent acquaintance with one of Ed’s brothers to the point he got me a few gigs, and the other brother performed my wedding, but I know very little about Ed).
    I know Ed and probably also know the brother to whom you refer. Caedman’s Call anyone?

    Yup- and I’m still a huge fan. It’s no accident that two CC members played on my earlier CD 🙂

    And yes, it was actually that brother that convinced me of Clavinism back when we were in college together. Ah the good old days where college kids innocently debated things like Clavinism :p

    I never knew much about Ed Jr’s ministry, but I understand from what you’ve said in the past his church was not a healthy place to be.

  32. Nicholas wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    Ed Young Jr. is in the seeker-driven camp. Young preached a sermon against Calvinism and went after one of the YRR guys without naming him.

    Really- that is interesting since, to my knowledge, the other two Young brothers were both Calvinists, at least at the time I knew them.

  33. Regarding

    “Crazy” accusations
    I have also been reading comments that certain accusations in the lawsuit are too bizarre to be true.

    You can read excerpts, for free, at sites such as Amazon of the book “Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders” by Anna Salter, to see that there are some very sick, perverted people in the world, and the activities the victims say took place are the sorts of things that do in fact happen.

    Salter interviewed a lot of people who preyed on children, some even their biological children, and she quotes them in the book, or discusses their cases, and there is some nasty, nasty stuff in there.

    There are perverts who get aroused by something called “Crush” videos, where they watch women in high heels on video tape, or online, crush baby animals (sometimes puppies, kitties, bunnies) to death, crush them in their heads with high heels or other tools. Sometime these women torture the animals first with pliers, etc.

    (Warning: this is usually a safe site to view, but on occasion they might post a photo showing you what these sickos do to animals, currently I do not see any violent photos on their home page):
    Here’s a site by people who are trying to halt it:
    Stop Crush

    The reason I mention this is that if there are people warped enough to hurt poor animals this way, and there are, it shouldn’t be that hard to imagine some people enjoy doing these things (or similar) to children.

    A lot of Christians tend to be very, very naive.

  34. Daisy, a lot of people in general tend to be very naive, imo. I’ve long heard that people who start out abusing animals, especially in their childhoods, are the most likely to move on to murdering people as adults. Thanks for the link!

    The experts and people who knew him, said Ted Bundy was the kind of person you would want your sister to go out with, and look at what he proved to be on the inside. I’m highly suspicious of these grown, intelligent Calvinistas, regardless of the fact that they might have been raised in or living in a bubble. They’re not stupid, they know right from wrong. Do I pity them? Yes, on certain levels, but trust? NO!

  35. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of Christians tend to be very, very naive.

    Yes. And what they don’t realize is that the church— especially a church like SGM that is phallocentristic— is a perfect place for pedophiles. I once had a detective tell me that churches are a pedophiles best venue because people are more trusting and think if you are there it is because you love Jesus, etc, so they are not as vigilent as they might be somewhere else. it is also an easier place to groom children because it is viewed natural progression of relationships in that venue. Children see their parents trusting and so do they.

    The problem with those who find the lawsuit stories too bizarre is that over the last 5 years, where there has been smoke with SGM, there has been a real fire. And no matter how many fires are discovered from the smoke, there are always many who do not believe it and accuse others of gossip and no evidence. You would think after 5 years of this progression to a full out forest fire, they would at least say, I would not doubt it and it would not surprise me at all.

  36. @ Nicholas:
    Wow, he is kind of scary. I don’t remember either of the other brothers or his father being anything like that, though I haven’t been around them in ages.

    Ben defiantly had the edgy, hip thing going on, but not like this. At the time I was a pretty big fan of Ben’s preaching. I don’t know what I’d think of it now.

    Also, I think Caedmon’s Call probably gets the award for the most Calvinistic song ever played on the radio with “Thankful”. I remember being absolutely shocked the first time I ever heard it played on the radio; I never thought people would stand for it. Of course, that was penned by Deker Web who jumped info Reformed doctrine with both feet, even going so far as to get tattoos of the “solas” on his arm.

    Ah, this conversation brings back memories 🙂

  37. Dee, you wrote:

    “It is important to stress that I am pro life in my beliefs and wrote about it at this [link]. I also tweeted on the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and believed his actions to be vile and nauseating. I am relieved that he will spend the rest of his life in jail…”

    I feel the same as you Dee. For all my liberal posturing and progressive rhetoric on political & theological subjects, I have always been and remain to this day staunchly pro-life.

    I am convinced that in a bygone age we both would have been confirmed abolitionists.

  38. http://cacconference.org/dcac/p-116.aspx
    A nationally and internationally-recognized conference for professionals from the fields of law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, social
    Mission
    The goal of the Crimes Against Children Conference is to provide practical instruction, using current information, the newest ideas and most successful intervention strategies, to those professionals responsible for combating the many and varied forms of crimes against children.
    Company Overview
    The Crimes Against Children Conference is presented annually by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department. The conference is conducted for the sole purpose of providing training to those people employed by governmental or nonprofit agencies in the fields of law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, social work, children’s advocacy, therapy, and medicine who work directly with child victims of crime.

  39. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of Christians tend to be very, very naive.

    One thing that really bugs me is how unaware some parents are of the fact that there are also predators all over places like YouTube. I ran into a group of perverts, male and female, who roam the site looking primarily for unsupervised little girls and young teen females, and then persuade them to upload seemingly harmless videos of themselves. These particular videos are requested because they cater to a certain sexual fetish, but the victims are clueless, giggling and confused but eager to please or else flattered by the attention. There is no nudity in them so YouTube does not care. After a few days of informing the girls of how they were being tricked, it became too disturbing and upsetting for me to keep playing cop/parent. (I did not go looking for this group; one of these creeps started stalking me so I stalked him back.)

    Your comment reminded me of this so I figured I’d throw the warning out there.

  40. @ Numo:

    “I think a lot of people in these kinds of organizations are living inside a bubble and don’t really have much of a clue about many things in life.”

    You’re exactly right. I once had a lady imply to me that Christians shouldn’t watch crime shows because of Philippians 4:8, so maybe some of them actually haven’t seen CSI…

  41. Hester wrote:

    You’re exactly right. I once had a lady imply to me that Christians shouldn’t watch crime shows because of Philippians 4:8, so maybe some of them actually haven’t seen CSI…

    I’m going to have to look up Phil 4-8. Right off hand, I can’t remember any Bible verses that say it’s sinful to watch CBS procedural cop dramas.

    I just looked it up (“whatever is true, whatever is noble, …think about such things”). I think this is a Romans 14 situation.

    If watching CSI gets you upset or it’s sinful to you, then do stay away.

    The CSI shows never upset me that much. I always got a kick out of watching H (police officer Horatio Cane) take off his sunglasses dramatically
    .

  42. @ Hester
    My last post is sitting in moderation, but I wanted to add, there’s also a lot of scenes of him (Horatio Cane from CSI Miami) putting his sunglasses back on. Either way, it’s funny.

  43. @ Hester: Oh my. sounds like the lady who came here about two years ago and was VERY upset about “The Office.” She thought it was pretty perverse overall; I seem to recall that one of her remarks was about how the show “promotes fornication.”

    Sometimes I wonder if she (and others with similar opinions) know how to kick back and laugh at themselves and at life’s absurdities in general. Silliness and laughter can be so freeing! (and fun, natch.)

  44. Anon 1 wrote:

    I once had a detective tell me that churches are a pedophiles best venue because people are more trusting and think if you are there it is because you love Jesus, etc, so they are not as vigilent as they might be somewhere else.

    There’s a fascinating story in “Psychology Today” written by a sociopath law professor who teaches Sunday school. She says: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sociopath’s dream…. Everyone is a sinner, and I never felt that I was outside this norm….When I attended Brigham Young—where students were even more trusting than the average Mormon—there were myriad opportunities for scamming.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/confessions-sociopath

  45. @ Hester: I have to admit that shows like Law & Order: SVU kind of make me feel sick, so i don’t watch them.

    as much as I love Helen Mirren’s performance, I still find the Prime Suspect shows difficult as well, due primarily to the nature of the crimes.

  46. Absolutely love The Office, especially the ones with Steve C. His smile and laugh are better than any KoolAid dispensing clown’s. Now, there’s a “gifting” from God, imo. That all of the SGM pastors would have half of that “gifting”, but then, they would probably have been “de-gifted” if they displayed that much of a sense of humor. Oh, wait, lots of them have been “de-gifted”, some, by a giggling clown. Clowns have always given me the creeps.

    Maybe the bubble analogy is correct, but I have a feeling deep in my gut, that they can at least see through the bubble, if they do indeed live in one. Still think it’s more about power and money than it is about doctrine, bottom line, though perhaps that’s something they could never admit to consciously. But “we pays our money and we makes our choice”, bubble or no bubble.

  47. Now I am NOT suggesting any of the Neo-Calvinists are sociopaths — how would I know? But someone, somewhere in there is, by statistical probability, if nothing else. Lat weekend there was a fascinating (and deeply disturbing) article in the Sydney Morning Herald written from the point of view of an admitted (and highly successful) sociopath. It’s long, but well-worth reading if you have the time (and the stomach for the subtlety of evil)

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/hiding-in-plain-sight-20130509-2ja9p.html

    Parallels? I’ll leave you to judge, but I certainly think so!

  48. numo wrote:

    @ Hester: Oh my. sounds like the lady who came here about two years ago and was VERY upset about “The Office.” She thought it was pretty perverse overall; I seem to recall that one of her remarks was about how the show “promotes fornication.”

    Funny… these days you only hear the word “fornication” in Christianese.

    Sometimes I wonder if she (and others with similar opinions) know how to kick back and laugh at themselves and at life’s absurdities in general. Silliness and laughter can be so freeing! (and fun, natch.)

    True Believers NEVER have a sense of humor. The Cause is way too important.

    “There can be no laughter in Islam.” — attr to Ayatollah Khomeini

  49. Daisy wrote:

    There are perverts who get aroused by something called “Crush” videos, where they watch women in high heels on video tape, or online, crush baby animals (sometimes puppies, kitties, bunnies) to death, crush them in their heads with high heels or other tools. Sometime these women torture the animals first with pliers, etc.

    Years ago, I heard of someone who was so into Crush he ended up dead — crushed under a car. Deliberately.

    I think I can top that. (Twenty years in Furry Fandom, you get exposed to some real Bad Craziness. Lotsa WEIRD artists out there.) Like “Vore” — cannibalism fetish, usually by swallowing whole. (I wish I had never heard… I wish I had never seen… Ia, Ia, Cthulhu, Fthagn…)

  50. RB wrote:

    Bridget, pretty ironic that they even rail against the secular world, after all, the best the secular world can ever receive from God according to their paradigm, is “common grace”, like perhaps food, a job, etc., since “they” are all totally depraved. Yet when it comes to what they obviously consider to be the household of God, no judgement or even discernment needs to begin with IT, but then, they can always fall back on total depravity, even of believers, of course.

    I was just talking about this with my main writing partner this morning; he’s had some more recent run-ins with cage-phase Calvinjugende, AKA the Young Restless and TRULY Reformed.

    Amazing the attitude a “Get Out of Hell Free” card signed by God before the creation of the world can give you. You can do anything, get away with anything, and God can’t touch your because you’re One of His Speshul Elect. The Inner Ring of the Predestined Elect…

  51. Hester wrote:

    Hardly. Clearly those people have never watched CSI and Law and Order: SVU. Those “kinky” episodes don’t spring fully formed from the heads of the script writers.

    I have learned from bitter experience that the WEIRDER and CRAZIER it is, the more likely it is to be true. In an Age of Extremes like today, as weird and crazy as you can imagine, there WILL be some True Believer even weirder and crazier and Dead Serious. All too often the only thing I can say is “You think anyone could make up skubalon like that?”

    “The difference between Fiction and Reality is that Fiction has to make some sense.”
    — attr to Mark Twain

  52. Janey wrote:

    World Magazine – have not reported about the 11 plaintiffs and their stories
    Email: mailbag@worldmag.com
    Phone: 828-232-5415
    Fax: 828-253-1556

    Christian Post – have not reported about the 11 plaintiffs and their stories
    http://www.christianpost.com/aboutus/policy.html

    Christianity Today – reported ONLY about the judge and the statute of limitations, but did not tell the stories of the 11 plaintiffs
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/help/contactus.html

    “Five kings ruled o’er the Amorite,
    Mighty as fear and old as night;
    Swathed with unguent and gold and jewel,
    Waxed they merry and fat and cruel.

    “These five kings said one to another,
    ‘King unto king o’er the world is brother…”
    — G.K.Chesterton, “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

  53. @ dee:
    And you will note this is exactly the same response as was given by the Church of Rome. The bishops are quite happy to talk long and loud about contraception, abortion etc but it is only when they are dragged kicking and screaming into court that they even acknowledge the existence of child abuse. This is not an issue about just the RC church. It is an issue about men with religious authority and power misusing that power for their own appalling ends. It is even being uncovered in Orthodox Judaism groups with the same patriachal attitude. *All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.* Lord Acton

  54. @ Nicholas:

    In my Twitter conversation with Turk, he sent me a blog link having to do with SGM being off doctrinally because of being charismatic. ARGH – – yea, the whole reason why children were molested because they are Reformed Charismatics. It’s that charismatic stuff that made them do it. Blech.

  55. @ numo:

    Thanks for asking. Here are all my links. SoundCloud only has one song on it that isn’t on the website: a demo version of “Song For The Survivor” that was written to encourage abuse survivors. The full version will be on the album that will some day come out 🙂

    YouTube has some quick videos if me doing a couple of songs solo and one of Jenny (the other singer) and I doing a duet of “It Is Well With My Soul”. I’ll be uploading a few more songs soon that Jenny and I did together including “Revelation Song” and “Mighty To Save”.

    By and large, my primary thrust is the main website and Facebook- those are the sites I update first. If anyone ever wanted to contact me, the “Contact Us” form on steadyonband.com goes directly to me.

    Website: http://www.steadyonband.com
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/SteadyOnBand
    Twitter: @SteadyOnBand
    SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/steadyon-1
    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/steady-on/id65301248 
    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SteadyOnBand

    Oh, and here’s a link to the next online concert (just announced and we are trying very hard to sell 25 tickets to this one- it’s not a fundraiser, just music and hanging out online):
    http://goo.gl/0ObS6

  56. Julie Ann – When Turk and I exchanged some emails last year, he did the same thing – blamed SGM’s problems on those dumb charismatics. (I think we were discussing only spiritual abuse of adults.) I told him that, as far as I knew, charismatic theology was now downplayed at SGM, at least at CLC. At any rate, I don’t recall him ever ridiculing Mahaney for his supposed charismatic beliefs. He once wrote about how nervous he was about meeting Mahaney for the first time at a conference. He was in awe of him.

  57. @ Nicholas:

    I don’t get it either. He’s by far the least educated of his fellow “leaders,” and often plays the clown. Apparently they enjoy his role as court jester. Also, he goes way overboard in praising his more qualified friends; maybe that feeds their egos.

    Supposedly, Mahaney was so embarrassing at an R.C. Sproul Conference that they determined never to invite him back.

    As for his preaching style, it turned me off the first time I saw him. Waving his arms around and shouting – I never trust preachers who do that.

  58. I want to clarify how I responded earlier. I do believe that God saved all humanity through His death and resurrection, although I don’t believe that everyone will eventually go to heaven. There has to be a conscious belief and reception of Who Jesus is and hope and trust in His loving actions for individual salvation to take place. I am involved in my salvation, in that respect. In my mind, for me to think that God saved me without my involvement at all, makes Him less than a gentleman, and I think it insults Him. I remember His offer to me the day I believed and received Him. I took His offer of faith.

  59. “Sociopath” is an outdated term for “psychopath” and it sounds less scary. Reading through Detwiler’s 300 pages of “he said, she said, they said, we all said, the word said, the email said, the apostolic team said, you did, I did, they did, blah blah blah” it is clear that any intelligent psychopath could run circles in such a legalistic environment and did so for many many years. BTW psychopathy can also be caused by childhood trauma as well as genetic predisposition. One wonders just how far generationally, some of these paedophile rings go back to.

    I am suggesting that there are 2 types of psychopaths at play here. The one type being non-paedophile and not overtly criminal .This type glibly and shallowly takes on and mimics the lingo of the group- yes,they may hold fast to beliefs -but they are ultimately and only self-serving. These arch-manipulators are foxy and slippery and will turn around an argument 720 degrees in a matter of minutes. They are narcissists and are unable to feel mature of adult empathy for others.

    Like psychopaths, paedophiles can be extremely cunning and manipulative and hiding in plain sight would be the ideal place for them. The whole clown thing reminds me of John Wayne Gacey who also was a paedophile clown and a psychopathic killer.

  60. By “clown thing” I was not referring to Spurgeon Junior above, but the children ministry ticklefest over at the churches mentioned in the lawsuit.

  61. Janey If you are interested, please email me at abrentdetwiler@gmail.com and I'll send you the synopsis for your convenience so you can forward to others. Excellent post. Thanks for the time and effort you invested. Brent

  62. “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” —1 John 2:5-6

    When his own disciples wanted to hush up the children, Jesus rebuked them and gathered the children to himself and blessed them.

  63. Jeff S

    Any guy who moves a bed onto a roof of his church and has he and his wife stay in it for 24 hours (under the landing pattern for DFW) is definitly strange.

  64. @ Jeff S: There is absolutely no question that Ed is non-Calvinist. he has preached against it. It does not fit his prosperity gospel, make loads of money mystique. He has been under investigation by local Dallas media for his lifestyle which includes a mansion, an expensive Florida condo and a jet.

  65. Muff Potter wrote:

    I am convinced that in a bygone age we both would have been confirmed abolitionists.

    You and I would have been out in the streets protesting. i would have invented gaucho pants so I could walk easier during the melee and would have been arrested. We would have made history, Muff, history!

  66. @ numo: You have a great memory. She was totally upset over a clip I embedded from The Office. The world is what it is. Many Christian shows promote greed, etc. Some Christian books promote screwed up theology. I know, let’s not watch or read anything and stay inside the house, locked up. And then we will be godly,

  67. Brent Detwiler wrote:

    Janey If you are interested, please email me at abrentdetwiler@gmail.com and I’ll send you the synopsis for your convenience so you can forward to others. Excellent post. Thanks for the time and effort you invested. Brent

    Brent — Thank you for the kind words and for putting together the synopsis. I saw the 76-page PDF on your site; is that the one you’re referring to? It is excellent. I was just skimming it again this morning. I hope the Big Dogs listen to you. Is there a way you can do a one-page synopsis for ordinary people who just getting introduced to this case for the first time?

    We may be seeing the beginning of an “Evangelical Spring” rising up from common people to tear down the hypocrisy in our leaders.

    Christian leaders have been calling for revival; they may get more than they bargained for…

  68. dee wrote:

    @ Jeff S: There is absolutely no question that Ed is non-Calvinist. he has preached against it. It does not fit his prosperity gospel, make loads of money mystique. He has been under investigation by local Dallas media for his lifestyle which includes a mansion, an expensive Florida condo and a jet.

    I have no doubt. I sometimes forget that it’s possible for siblings to believe different things 🙂

  69. In fact, I thought Ed Young Sr. was a Calvinist, but maybe a 4 pointer (it’s popular in Texas to accept all but Limited Atonement due to the influence of DTS which, at least from what I can recall, taught that).

    I wish my memory wasn’t so hazy!

  70. Janey. Good suggestion. I’ll add it to my work list. 🙂 Yes, I am referring to the post, “Everything You Need to Know About ‘American Evangelicalism’s Biggest Sex Scandal to Date.” It’s been reformatted. FYI. I sent it the 77 national leaders I’ve been informing and challenging. I’m working on a post related to Chairman Loftness now. Could take a couple days. Thanks for your efforts.

  71. Brent Detwiler wrote:

    I’m working on a post related to Chairman Loftness now.

    Brent — Oh, baby. If half of the allegations about him are true, John Loftness should not be in any Christian leadership position anywhere — not at SGM or at Solid Rock Church. I hope he gets to face the judge. Wow! When a leader knows there are children being molested in his church/school and keeps it hidden and refuses to do his legal requirement to call the authorities, he deserves to pay the price.

  72. @ Janey:
    Janey, paragraphs 37 and 38 are true, this happened I know for a fact. This was in 1993 or 4. That is a long time ago I know but I remember well that CJ said from the pulpit that there was a problem with the upper high school boys being ungodly. Of which I had two sons in that department. At the time I had no idea what he was talking about. I have some of the oldest kids to have grown up there and of course I felt like everyone was looking at me when CJ said that. Finally, a few months ago it dawned on me, CJ was blaming the boys for what happened. This is just my opinion and I wish I could prove it. I think they erased that part from the tape, tried but couldn’t find it.
    I believe CJ was blaming the victims, the boys. Can you imagine being in that audience and feeling the pressure of that weight on your shoulders. I also believe that this was the kind of manipulation CJ counted on for control. He did this for decades. This is the foundation of all the trouble with SGM now. It makes me feel shaky to type this.
    Janey, thanks for bringing this up. It helps me to know someone else gets this.

  73. “So these guys will accept a 3 witness rule, along with a soon to commence investigation, to raise a public outcry against one man but will not accept that rule when it comes to one of their own. (Am I ramming home my point?)”

    Yes you are, and it is such a worthy point to drive home. The silence is deafening. I sent an email to TGC about a month ago, trying to explain this point of view to them in the most gracious way possible, and urging them to say something that acknowledges they understand the seriousness of this issue. I tried to explain to them that their silence only fuels the speculation; and it is a passive acceptance of the things that are happening with this ministry to which they are so closely aligned. Response: crickets. Not even a response to explain their reasoning behind the silence. It was very disheartening, but unfortunately not surprising.

    I pray everyday for the victims, and for the alleged perpetrators. And I pray for justice. The sadness in my heart is profound.

  74. I’m seeing a lot of posts about 3 witnesses. Obviously this a red herring. These guys don’t use this rule in their own lives and ministries — ever. I would ignore their argument. We don’t live in Israel 3,000 years ago. Welcome to America, tell your silly 3-witness rule to the judge and watch the laughter.

  75. Julie Anne wrote:

    @ Nicholas:

    In my Twitter conversation with Turk, he sent me a blog link having to do with SGM being off doctrinally because of being charismatic. ARGH – – yea, the whole reason why children were molested because they are Reformed Charismatics. It’s that charismatic stuff that made them do it. Blech.

    I suspected that the Pyro guys would do that, but it won’t work because all the noncharismatic Calvinistas have been defending Mahaney and SGM for so long. Even now Turk is still caustically dismissing the charges against SGM and Mahaney on twitter. Turk seems to be throwing whatever he can out there.

  76. So, in keeping with the new kinder and gentler Dee, I wrote Justin Taylor an email to which he did not respond.

    Now, is that not a shocker? If he responds to you, in any favorable or sympathetic way, he’ll feel he’s betraying his Calvinist buddies. But while protecting his Calvinist buddies, he’s betraying victims. Are actions such as these a demonstration of the integrity of the neo-Calvinists?

  77. numo, thanks for specifying, that’s how it read to me. I do think that the rank and file are responsible and accountable, also, though. Sure, because of the system they’ve chosen to identify themselves with, they remain in the dark, and the leaders are privy to more info anyway, which is understandable, but each adult congregant has a duty, if you will, to ask questions, demand answers, think critically, etc. Some of them are brand new believers and may not know any other church environment. I agree, no judgement here, just hoping and praying that more start thinking for themselves, start doing something about this, for their children’s sakes, for their own souls’ sakes. They will have to answer for their silence, imo.

  78. From Just Sayin’

    “So these guys will accept a 3 witness rule, along with a soon to commence investigation, to raise a public outcry against one man but will not accept that rule when it comes to one of their own. (Am I ramming home my point?)”

    Yes you are, and it is such a worthy point to drive home. The silence is deafening. I sent an email to TGC about a month ago, trying to explain this point of view to them in the most gracious way possible, and urging them to say something that acknowledges they understand the seriousness of this issue. I tried to explain to them that their silence only fuels the speculation; and it is a passive acceptance of the things that are happening with this ministry to which they are so closely aligned. Response: crickets. Not even a response to explain their reasoning behind the silence. It was very disheartening, but unfortunately not surprising.

    I pray everyday for the victims, and for the alleged perpetrators. And I pray for justice. The sadness in my heart is profound.

  79. William Birch wrote:

    But while protecting his Calvinist buddies, he’s betraying victims. Are actions such as these a demonstration of the integrity of the neo-Calvinists?

    Demonstrates their integrity to the other Big Dogs/Predestined Elect and to the Cause of Calvinism.

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  80. dee wrote:

    Any guy who moves a bed onto a roof of his church and has he and his wife stay in it for 24 hours (under the landing pattern for DFW) is definitly strange.

    Don’t forget his Seven Day Sex Challenge, delivered from a bed onstage on the same Sunday when liturgical churches were celebrating the Feast of Christ the King.

  81. Paige Patterson used the 3 witness rule against the victims of Gilyard who went to see Patterson to try and get him out of ministry. Oops, nevermind, Gilyard got nailed and went to prison. Last I heard, he is preaching again.

    So I have long been trying to figure out how there would always be 3 witnesses to a molestation.

  82. Oops, I meant 3 different people who would make the charge against an “elder”. It is ok if it is someone else, only 1 will do?

    Do ya think they are misusing the spirit behind that passage? Yes they are.

  83. I am trying to figure out why Young is still in business after all the finanical fiasco scandal and teh very tacky sex stuff? I mean what wil it take for folks to withhold money from this blow dried perfumed prince?

  84. @ RB: Agreed, RB!

    But I do think that xtian culture is SO wary of allowing people to develop into emotionally mature adults that there are dangers … the rank and file is often infantilized by the people at the top, treated as perpetual infants (or just a little older).

    If you never learn critical thinking skills, or if you’re in an environment where critical thinking (meaning not just criticism but the ability to think and explore and question) is suppressed, well then…

  85. @ dee: I was pretty amazed by the whole thing – and believe it or not, I’d never watched The Office. She made me extremely curious about it and I got caught up on it, via Netflix and Hulu.com

    So I really owe her for the rec on what’s become one of my all-time favorite shows! (Of course, your embedding that clip had something to do with it as well, but I doubt I’d have checked it out had it not been for her comments. ;))

  86. Joy H wrote:

    Janey, paragraphs 37 and 38 are true, this happened I know for a fact. This was in 1993 or 4. That is a long time ago I know but I remember well that CJ said from the pulpit that there was a problem with the upper high school boys being ungodly. Of which I had two sons in that department. At the time I had no idea what he was talking about. I have some of the oldest kids to have grown up there and of course I felt like everyone was looking at me when CJ said that. Finally, a few months ago it dawned on me, CJ was blaming the boys for what happened. This is just my opinion and I wish I could prove it. I think they erased that part from the tape, tried but couldn’t find it.
    I believe CJ was blaming the victims, the boys. Can you imagine being in that audience and feeling the pressure of that weight on your shoulders. I also believe that this was the kind of manipulation CJ counted on for control. He did this for decades. This is the foundation of all the trouble with SGM now. It makes me feel shaky to type this.
    Janey, thanks for bringing this up. It helps me to know someone else gets this.

    Joy — Thank you so much for sharing this. How horrible for the boys to have been blamed by Mahaney from the pulpit! I’m so sorry for what your family and for what that youth group went through. Any parent would be sickened. We pray for healing and for justice.

  87. Great and timely article from SoJo about the myths that churches believe about abuse. http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/05/21/10-myths-abuse-church

    1. The myth of the “provocative victim”
    2. The myth that silence indicates they desired the encounter, so it wasn’t abuse.
    3. The myth that sexual abuse is a children’s issue.
    4. The myth that sexual abuse is a women’s issue.
    5. The myths of sexual abuse and sexual orientation.
    6. The myth that it is best to “keep it secret and move on.”
    7. The myth that “it is wrong to involve outsiders.”
    8. The myth of transparency about the abuse will “Harm the cause of Christ.”
    9. The myth that the church must guide the victim to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
    10. The myth that sexual abuse is only a Catholic Church concern.

  88. Nicholas wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Don’t forget his Seven Day Sex Challenge, delivered from a bed onstage on the same Sunday when liturgical churches were celebrating the Feast of Christ the King.

    That was Sexperiment. Then he went and did Sextember: http://vimeo.com/44122121

    When is he going to join that other Celebrity SEX SEX SEX Pastor/Dictator Mark Driscoll onstage?

    Either that or somebody needs to sneak saltpeter into his Cheerios. Bad.

  89. Anon 1 wrote:

    So I have long been trying to figure out how there would always be 3 witnesses to a molestation.

    Same way Islam figures out how there’s always 2 or 3 witnesses to a rape; if not, Stone the Whore for Al’lah.

  90. So true, numo, so true! The churches need to be using mature (spiritually) rank and file to help disciple newer believers, too. This idea of the pastors/elders being the only ones with enough of the right stuff to lead and teach, especially if it’s a one man show, is wrong. Another sign to me, that many Western churches have become more about money and power, than equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Paul admonished the Corinthians for not choosing from among their own congregation (and it reads to me, as possibly even the least respected of the congregation) to judge and mediate regarding disputes. And in another place, that those who are taught are supposed to share knowledge and experience with those who teach them. There’s no market on the Holy Spirit (pun intended).

  91. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    It probably won’t be long. Like James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll has upset the other Calvinistas by getting cozier with the seeker-driven and word-faith crowds. There was ER2 where Driscoll fist-bumped TD Jakes at the end, and recently Driscoll made some positive remarks about Joel Osteen (a friend of Ed Young). I guess it’s all about making friends in high places.

  92. Evie wrote:

    The CLC Pastors and CG Leaders I sought help from (at least 8 different ones) all acted in accorded. As a whole they were unwilling to recognize that their well-established system for domestic life could coexist with conditions of cruel autocracy such as I was experiencing in the home. It was like speaking out about the poor condition of my marriage, which included my ex husband becoming physically abusive (something I was ashamed of), was to invite ridicule of my spiritual life. If I were more of a biblical wife, then my husband would become more biblical in his dealings with me. The problem was, according to their system, there was nothing technically wrong with my husband’s autocracy, but I knew there was.

    Thank you for sharing the pain that you experienced in this system. Your honesty may help others who have kept such things inside.

  93. Speakword wrote:

    Sociopath” is an outdated term for “psychopath”

    I took a two psychology courses in college, one of which was Abnormal Psych, and I remember there were differences between the two discussed in the textbook and in class. I don’t remember all the differences, but one was that one type does not feel or have remorse but the other kind does.

    A quick search shows other sites are all over the place on describing the two. One site says psychopathy is more an in-born predisposition while sociopathy is caused more by environment. Still another page says nobody can agree on good definitions for either one, or what causes lead someone to turn into either one.

  94. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    One critique of Ed Young’s sex sermons I read somewhere months ago is that a huge percentage of his congregation at that time were singles.

    The number of singles named in the article may have been as high as 60%, I can’t remember the exact figure, but my eyebrow raised in response to whatever the number was, so it was pretty significant, it was not like only ‘three percent’ or something.

    I don’t believe it’s proper or fair to the singles in a church for preachers to hammer on sex (or marriage) all the time, but they do.

    If they think they are encouraging singles to get married, they are wrong. (This is usually the justification that such preachers give.)

    The problem for Christian singles being single is not lack of desire for marriage, but lack of suitable marriage partners among Christians. Preachers going on all the time about how great marriage / sex is to a group of singles is pretty mean.

    All the marriage and sex talk from the pulpit is also not stopping the high divorce rates among Christians who are already married.

    Maybe these preachers like getting media coverage. Any time they do outrageous sex stunts in church, like putting a bed on the church roof, the media beat down their door for interviews.

  95. numo wrote:

    But I do think that xtian culture is SO wary of allowing people to develop into emotionally mature adults that there are dangers … the rank and file is often infantilized by the people at the top, treated as perpetual infants (or just a little older).
    If you never learn critical thinking skills, or if you’re in an environment where critical thinking (meaning not just criticism but the ability to think and explore and question) is suppressed, well then…

    Very good point. I’m starting to wonder how much of the cycle you describe so well has something to do with the “professional” standing we’ve given to the pastorate. If a pastor goes to seminary and trains to be “the expert” and then gets paid based on his expertise, what happens when the lay folks begin to rise up to his level of knowledge, maturity, experience, etc?

    I am a seminary graduate myself, so of course I’m not saying seminaries are wrong, or that pastors shouldn’t train (they certainly should!). I’m just wondering if, for certain pastors who have specific personality traits (paranoid, insecure, arrogant, etc.), it’s especially important to maintain “superiority” over the congregation in any way possible. Which would include maintaining (as much as possible) a low level of maturity and knowledge among the lay people, so that the pastor is always “the expert.”

    (Note: My psychologist wife says that this sort of dynamic could take place implicitly, without said pastor even fully understanding what he or she is doing. So – not necessarily some intentional conspiracy, but rather a sort of dysfunctional relationship b/w pastor and congregation).

  96. as one who lurks on here, I guess I would identify myself with “new Calvinist” (although I have been critical of Piper and Driscoll for years, and now starting to be critical of Mahaney) , please keep in mind that there are many, many, who theologically would be similar to for example, T4G, but are horrified at what we are seeing with SGM and are very frustrated with the silence coming from TGC. It really makes me so mad. for what it is worth, I stand with victims of abuse…especially children.

  97. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    When is he going to join that other Celebrity SEX SEX SEX Pastor/Dictator Mark Driscoll onstage?

    Already been there, done that.

    Josh Harris, Learning from Mark Driscoll:

    “In the past year I’ve had the chance to hear [Mark Driscoll] preach in person at two very different conferences. At one he was alongside John Piper, David Wells and D.A. Carson. At the other he was in a lineup with Ed Young, Jr., T.D. Jakes and Craig Groeschel…In the past year or so I’ve been encouraged to see a friendship develop between Mark and C.J. Mahaney. I’ve benefited so much from C.J.’s investment in me; I knew only good things could come from their interaction with each other. So this past week when I heard that Mark had preached on humility during his series in Philippians and referenced C.J.’s influence, I wanted to hear it for myself. I wasn’t surprised by the kind words Mark had for C.J….”

    http://www.joshharris.com/learning_from_mark_driscoll.php
    .

  98. Daisy wrote:

    Maybe these preachers like getting media coverage. Any time they do outrageous sex stunts in church, like putting a bed on the church roof, the media beat down their door for interviews.

    I’m sure media coverage is a big part of it – the YRR/Calvinista crowd is especially aggressive in their use of sensational and controversial styles to get attention.

    In my opinion, there’s also an element of backlash. So many YRR/Calvinistas are the way they are because they are acting out a strong negative reaction against the faith context they grew up in. I’m willing to bet that a lot of these sexy-sex-pastors are reacting against some sort of prudish or overly-conservative attitude towards sex, and so they have gone way to the other extreme.

  99. @ Nicholas:

    So there’s a church with a 365 sex challenge? I was at a site where a guy chronicled church sex challenges.

    I may be getting some of the specifics wrong, but he said the first church to do this (in the 1990s I think), started a three (or handful of days) day sex challenge.

    The next church that came along to rip that idea off made it into the “five day sex challenge.” So Ed Young turns it into the “7 day challenge.” Some other church did a “30 day.” Some other church yet later introduced a “six month challenge.”

    The guy who wrote the page wondered how soon it would be – and he was joking- until a church did a 365 day a year challenge.

    Some preachers are turning Christianity into a joke of a freak show.

    They think they are attracting new people to their churches this way, but I think people who are really searching for God are likely broken and crushed by life and are looking for real answers, help and compassion, not cheese ball, tawdry gimmicks.

  100. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    When is he going to join that other Celebrity SEX SEX SEX Pastor/Dictator Mark Driscoll onstage?

    Another thing too is that the sex gimmick has gotten old. Forget about it being tasteless, hard on the un married, and unbiblical, it’s tired.

    Our secular culture is already saturated with sex, the church has been saturated with it for the last few years. Other than finding it crass, I’m tired of it.

    The gender complementarian outrageous remarks (where they say Christian women should not get college degrees and shouldn’t use karate on a mugger), IMO, is also starting to wear thin.

    Part of the problem with using controversy to get attention is that you have to keep upping the ante and looking for new ways to get attention and shock. Pretty soon you run out of ideas, and people don’t take these types of preachers seriously. They’re entertainers, not preachers.

  101. Mr.H wrote:

    Note: My psychologist wife says that this sort of dynamic could take place implicitly, without said pastor even fully understanding what he or she is doing. So – not necessarily some intentional conspiracy, but rather a sort of dysfunctional relationship b/w pastor and congregation).

    Mr. H,

    I have seen some interesting blog posts and comments on an SBC Pastors blog with them discussing how they cannot have real friendships with their pew sitters. I find this incredible. Things have really changed. When I was growing up we were constantly in and out of each others homes and doing stuff like playing cards, having bbq’s etc. It was just not considered a big deal and it was not an “inner ring” type of situation either. We always knew them well. Everyone who wanted to, could know them well.

    That has changed. Now they have set themselves up in a sort of caste system.

  102. PP wrote:

    are very frustrated with the silence coming from TGC

    Please make your voice heard. I know that there are many of you out there. I get emails. But change comes from speaking out.

    Think of it this way. You are most likely a complementarian (since you said you are a neo-Calvinist) and believe that men should take a leadership role. If so, then the men must act like leaders. And that means taking it on the chin. 

  103. Daisy wrote:

    I may be getting some of the specifics wrong, but he said the first church to do this (in the 1990s I think), started a three (or handful of days) day sex challenge.
    The next church that came along to rip that idea off made it into the “five day sex challenge.” So Ed Young turns it into the “7 day challenge.” Some other church did a “30 day.” Some other church yet later introduced a “six month challenge.”
    The guy who wrote the page wondered how soon it would be – and he was joking- until a church did a 365 day a year challenge.

    For words, Daisy:
    CAN. YOU. TOP. THIS.

  104. @ Nicholas:

    Yep, I’ve seen that one before too, where he tells people – demands- to hand over 10% of their income, and says something like there are cameras to record who’s giving and who’s not. There is no way I’d stay in a church like that.

    The rap video. You will notice he’s wearing a huge gold dollar sign necklace, which is pretty apt, since I would suspect he’s into preaching for the money.

  105. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    For words, Daisy:
    CAN. YOU. TOP. THIS.

    As a never-married adult (who is barely hanging on to the Christian faith these days), I’ll never be able to top it, if I’m trying to live out the Bible’s teaching about no sex outside of marriage.

    But to the Ed Young’s and Mark Driscoll’s of the world, the idea that there might be celibate, single adults sitting in their audience is no matter.

  106. Dee and Deb – Just want to publicly thank you for the care and diligence you showed to me today. With the TWW Geeks’ help, I figured out what happened! As I stated in my email to you, I thank you for the care you show for your readers. You two are fabulous!

  107. Joy Huff wrote:

    Dee- if my comment of is stuck in moderation should I repost it?

    MODERATION

    There are 3 of us who see and approve these. There is no queue of 100s with a staff slaving over them. Typically we have 0 to 5 in moderation at any time with all of them usually being SPAM.

    If you get moderated don’t worry, we’ll free it up (or toss it for cause). Usually within an hour. Unless we all go to bed early on the east coast and you post at midnight. 🙂

    Now the #1 reason people get moderated for no apparent reason is they change their email address or handle. And the only reason for moderation we disclose is first time commenting. Change who you are and you’re a first timer. Which is what happened to Joy’s comment.

  108. Off topic:

    I thought my friends here would enjoy this quote by SBC pastor Dwight McKissic in the comments:

    “Egalitarian and complementarian are man made terms not found in the Bible. These terms are designed to divide, define, label, and eventually marginalize fellow believers. Personally, I would rather not be identified by either label.”

    http://sbcvoices.com/for-the-propagation-of-the-gospel/

  109. PP wrote:

    as one who lurks on here, I guess I would identify myself with “new Calvinist” (although I have been critical of Piper and Driscoll for years, and now starting to be critical of Mahaney) , please keep in mind that there are many, many, who theologically would be similar to for example, T4G, but are horrified at what we are seeing with SGM and are very frustrated with the silence coming from TGC. It really makes me so mad. for what it is worth, I stand with victims of abuse…especially children.

    Dear PP– You are very welcome here. I’m new here too, but it seems we all share a dislike for the kind of religious leaders that Jesus condemned. Of all the people Jesus met, he was toughest on the Pharisees and his own disciples. He was gentle on everyone else (the sinners, the blind, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the powerless, the Gentiles, the children, and the downtrodden).

    It seems that Wartburg Watch tries to emulate Jesus by pointing out hypocrisy in high places, by laughing at frauds, and by shining the spotlight at people who use religious power to steal widow’s houses, children’s innocence, people’s money, and and abuse people’s trust.

  110. @ Anon 1:

    I haven’t read the article yet, but the terms “Trinity” and “Rapture” aren’t in the Bible, and the word “Bible” isn’t in the Bible, but most Christians don’t object to any of those concepts.

  111. @ Anon 1:

    “…how they cannot have real friendships with their pew sitters.”
    **********************

    Hi, Anon1,

    So, what reasoning to give for this?

    Are they frustrated by this? As in they would truly like to have these kinds of real friendships?

    Or, do they just consider this a fact of their job and accept it without much difficulty?

    Or, are they simply not all that interested? As in, they’re just there to do a job as a superior to his inferiors. Like someone running a dog kennel, feed and water the dogs, some are cute and get a pat on the head, some are less well-behaved and get scolded. see ya.

    I’m with you — the pastor’s family from my childhood were good family friends. I remember well Sunday afternoon bikerides (10 people, 10 bikes streaming through town and country roads), followed by pizza, ice cream sundaes and a canasta tournmaent til late at night. Week-long camping trips in Yosemite all together. Camping at the beach. Lots of togetherness. Hell, we were friends. Doing what friends do.

  112. @ Janey:

    “It seems that Wartburg Watch tries to emulate Jesus by pointing out hypocrisy in high places, by laughing at frauds, and by shining the spotlight at people who use religious power to steal widow’s houses, children’s innocence, people’s money, and and abuse people’s trust.”
    ************************************************

    …and by saying to those who are hurting “I see you.”

    “I hear you.”

  113. @ Anon 1:

    “Egalitarian and complementarian are man made terms …Personally, I would rather not be identified by either label.”
    ***********

    GO DWIGHT!!

  114. Daisy wrote:

    As a never-married adult (who is barely hanging on to the Christian faith these days), I’ll never be able to top it, if I’m trying to live out the Bible’s teaching about no sex outside of marriage.

    Daisy — Have you considered changing churches? It sounds as though you’re in a church where the vast majority of people are married. I don’t know where you live, but I know a lot of unmarried people who attend church plants or churches that have a younger crowd. There the imbalance is not so pronounced and the sermons don’t keep saying, “Marriage is proof of mature Christianity.” Jesus and Paul never idolized marriage. I’m not sure why “married-ness is next to godliness” for so many churches. It’s as if they want to give the cold shoulder to singles.

  115. Janey wrote:

    Jesus and Paul never idolized marriage.

    Both seem to have said “Marriage is good; Singleness is good.”

    I’m not sure why “married-ness is next to godliness” for so many churches. It’s as if they want to give the cold shoulder to singles.

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
    And it’s an Eleventh Commandment in a lot of churches.
    Another ring of the Evangelical Circus.

  116. Janey wrote:

    It seems that Wartburg Watch tries to emulate Jesus by pointing out hypocrisy in high places, by laughing at frauds, and by shining the spotlight at people who use religious power to steal widow’s houses, children’s innocence, people’s money, and and abuse people’s trust.

    “Why did you volunteer for this?”
    “I don’t like Bullies.”
    — Captain America (the recent movie version)

  117. @ Janey:

    I have’t been to church in a couple of years. I don’t want to share all my personal information, but I can’t get out that much.

    The last church I went to was pretty small. I was one of the few under age 45 people there. Most there were married. Their sign even had the phrase “We are a family church” in the title, and I’m afraid they didn’t mean “family” as in “family of God” but “we support nuclear families.”

    The church I went to in the last state I lived in was big, over a 1,000 members (maybe 2,000), and most there were married.

    I visited a large Baptist church in this city once and most there were married.

    Every church I go to, when I am new, they always assume I am a divorced lady with kids, which really bothers me. I’ve never been married, and I’ve never had kids.

    I’ve seen women on other blogs (and maybe this one too) say they’ve actually had preachers or other church people tell them on their first visit,
    “You’re over 35 and single, this is a ‘family’ church, you should stop coming here. We don’t cater to older singles. You wouldn’t like it here.”

    I don’t see American churches changing their obsession with marriage and married couples any time soon, unless they wake up to recent census data that upwards of 50% of US population is unMarried.

  118. @ Janey:

    That article by the sociopath was really scary. At first when I started it, I thought (hoped?) it was going to be one of those “I’m a sociopath but I’m working on it” kinds of articles. But then it just kept going and I realized that she was celebrating the fact that she was a sociopath. Which, after reading her description of how sociopaths think, might be all a sociopath is capable of.

    The scariest part was where she said the only reason she practiced religion was essentially to keep a respectable face. I also wondered if the boyfriend she mentioned read the article. She said right in there that she doesn’t love him. Does he know? I feel really bad for him…

  119. @ RB: Hey… I was raised Lutheran (ELCA) and I’m back there now.

    To be honest, it’s (generally) easier to get things dealt with in established churches with a good organizational structure (denominational, not just local).

    I cannot imagine that anyone would *ever* tell someone to not call the police if they knew there was someone preying on kids in the church (where I am a member though seldom attend). The whole idea of *not* getting the proper authorities involved would be confusing to folks there at best.

  120. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t see American churches changing their obsession with marriage and married couples any time soon, unless they wake up to recent census data that upwards of 50% of US population is unMarried.

    If you’re talking about people over 18 years of age, it’s about 1/2. If you’re then talking about the evangelical and even broader Christian population it’s going to be much higher as you’re now in a group that tends to exclude same sex and co-habituating couples or single parents who just decided to be so.

    If you want to find an evangelical, mainline, orthodox church that isn’t made of up mostly couples (adults) you’re to have to look around a bit. Most will not be so.

    As to the marriage is the only way from the pulpit, that’s still wrong.

  121. Janey & Others; If it wouldn’t jeopardize the ongoing investigations I would recommend we bonbard 60-Minutes with requests for them to do a piece on SGM.

  122. Daisy wrote:

    But to the Ed Young’s and Mark Driscoll’s of the world, the idea that there might be celibate, single adults sitting in their audience is no matter.

    The Ed Youngs and Mark Driscolls of the world are A-holes straight out of high school. They’re the guy who’s gettin’ some (And You’re Not) rubbing it in your face.

    “They have never left high school. They will never leave high school. And they will never let the rest of us ever leave high school.” — the Anchoress, some political commentary years ago

  123. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t see American churches changing their obsession with marriage and married couples any time soon, unless they wake up to recent census data that upwards of 50% of US population is unMarried.

    I suspect part of their obsession is they want to change the census data.

  124. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve seen women on other blogs (and maybe this one too) say they’ve actually had preachers or other church people tell them on their first visit,
    “You’re over 35 and single, this is a ‘family’ church, you should stop coming here. We don’t cater to older singles. You wouldn’t like it here.”

    I don’t see American churches changing their obsession with marriage and married couples any time soon, unless they wake up to recent census data that upwards of 50% of US population is unMarried.

    Daisy — Arghhh. [sound of head pounding against wall]. Churches talk and talk about wanting to grow, but when you dig further they only want to add married couples! I agree that they are completely out of touch with demographics. The marriage rate has plummeted for nearly 20 years, and — as you pointed out — the number of single adults now is about 50%. Churches aren’t looking to the future. There’s a real opportunity for reaching people with the Good News of Jesus, but they aren’t biting.

  125. @ Janey: Obvy, that kind of church is the *wrong* kind for many of us.

    There are alternatives, but most of them are in denoms that many evangelicals have historically condemned as “dead” (or worse).

    Glad I am out of what Internet Monk terms “the evangelical circus”!

  126. TedS. quoted Josh Harris, on Park Fiscal:

    Park had preached on humility

    Fiscal’s speaking topic may have been humility that day, and he may well have quoted one or two BibleScriptures containing the theme of humility. But he preached on humility eloquently throughout the process of expelling Paul Petrie and Bent Meyer from Mars Hill. He did it again in boasting about the pile of bodies behind the bus, and again when he compared himself to a pilot and others to clueless passengers who should just do as they’re told and give their lives over to the leading of the Great Men. When Mars Hill went multi-site and, instead of seizing the opportunity to develop others’ teaching gifts, he put video-screens of himself in the new venues instead, he again preached on humility.

    To be fair, for many years, when I myself fancied myself as a “preacher”, I never grasped that either. A motivational speaker can pick some verses (or some other source of examples if the setting is secular) and pronounce his opinions on them; then be said to have “spoken on humility”. But a true preacher, in the sense of a servant of the King tasked with helping feed His sheep, is banned from teaching by diktat (a point Peter makes, for instance, in the fifth chapter of his first letter). His only real preaching is the example of his life, and what he says when his words are not carefully pre-prepared but are the overflow of his heart in his unguarded moments.

    Park Fiscal has preached very clearly for many years concerning what he really believes about humility: it is a necessary attribute of his inferiors.

  127. An Appeal for Evidence – Contact Information

    There are criminal investigations going on related to the crimes alleged in The Second Amended Complaint against Sovereign Grace Ministries and other Defendants. They range from obstruction of justice to rape.

    The on-going collection of evidence is vital in the prosecution of each case. Please contact Detective Sally McGee of the Family Crimes Division at 240-773-5400. She is heading up the investigation in that jurisdiction but can provide contact information for other jurisdictions.

    The Plaintiffs’ lawyers should also be contacted with additional evidence as soon as possible.

    Susan L. Burke
    BURKE PLLC
    1000 Potomac Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20007-1105
    (202) 386-9622
    sburke@burkepllc.com

    William T. O’Neil
    THE O’NEIL GROUP LLC
    7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1375
    Bethesda, MD 20814
    (202) 684-7140
    woneil@oneilgroupllc.com

    I realize there are additional victims and witnesses who are undecided about coming forward for a wide range of reasons (e.g., finances, time off, peer pressure, fear of retaliation, etc.). Please don’t be deterred by these obstacles. You may suffer but your action will please God and serve the good of others.

    Please call Detective McGee and inform the lawyers immediately. Your testimony is needful in stopping sexual predators and predation in SGM churches and the Body of Christ at large.

    No one has asked or prompted me to put out this appeal for evidence.

    Thank you
    Brent

  128. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    When Mars Hill went multi-site and, instead of seizing the opportunity to develop others’ teaching gifts, he put video-screens of himself in the new venues instead, he again preached on humility.

    I couldn’t stop thinking of Big Brother’s face projected on giant Telescreens throughout Oceania…

  129. Lynn wrote:

    If you want to find an evangelical, mainline, orthodox church that isn’t made of up mostly couples (adults) you’re to have to look around a bit. Most will not be so.

    Yep, I had already figured that much.

  130. @ numo:

    Some tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma yesterday I put a link on some thread here. 30 or more people were killed, including some third grade children (a grade school was hit).

    Oh, I see from the RHE page, Piper mentioned the OK tornadoes.

    RHE said she wondered how long until Piper opined in public it was the victim’s fault (which he did do).

    I usually think in terms of “How long ’til Pat Robertson…”

  131. I misspelled her name. Sorry detective! It is Sally Magee. She can also be emailed at sally.magee@montgomerycountymd.gov.

    One final comment. I know a few victims no longer confess the Christian faith. It is still so important for you to speak up and get your voice back. If you remain silent these predators will not stop. Please take a stand. These abusers need to be removed from their homes, neighborhoods and churches. You can play a big part in making sure that happens. It will also help you to find closure. Silence suffocates. I know. I remained silent about other forms of abuse in SGM for too long. It eats at you. There is freedom in doing what’s right. You’ll be at greater peace knowing you have stopped evil.

    Thanks for helping.
    Brent

  132. anonymous wrote:

    I suspect part of their obsession is they want to change the census data.

    Yes, I know that’s part of it. Preachers think if they keep preaching about marriage it will stop climbing divorce rates and cause singles to want marriage and to then get married.

    As I said above, that is not the cause for all the singleness among Christians: the cause is that singles who want to get married are devoid of age-appropriate, eligible partners.

    We singles want to get married, but there is nobody to marry.

    Until pastors realize this reality, their non-stop peddling of marriage and sex will continue to miss the point and be insensitive to those struggling with long term unwanted and unplanned singlehood.

  133. Daisy wrote:

    We singles want to get married, but there is nobody to marry.

    Daisy — I suspect that’s true. Last year a friend and I were talking about fantastic women who were dating loser guys. About a week later this article came out:

    “It’s not that the overall gender ratio in this country is out of whack; it’s that there’s a growing imbalance between the number of successful young women and successful young men.” http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/02/sex_is_cheap.html

  134. Anon 1 wrote:

    Off topic:
    I thought my friends here would enjoy this quote by SBC pastor Dwight McKissic in the comments:
    “Egalitarian and complementarian are man made terms not found in the Bible. These terms are designed to divide, define, label, and eventually marginalize fellow believers. Personally, I would rather not be identified by either label.”
    http://sbcvoices.com/for-the-propagation-of-the-gospel/

    Yes! That IS a great quote!

  135. Just Sayin' wrote:

    Dee and Deb – Just want to publicly thank you for the care and diligence you showed to me today. With the TWW Geeks’ help, I figured out what happened! As I stated in my email to you, I thank you for the care you show for your readers. You two are fabulous!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  136. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    Joy Huff wrote: Dee- if my comment of is stuck in moderation should I repost it?

    MODERATION There are 3 of us who see and approve these. There is no queue of 100s with a staff slaving over them.

    Great comment GBTC! 🙂

  137. pcapastor wrote:

    Anon 1 wrote: Off topic: I thought my friends here would enjoy this quote by SBC pastor Dwight McKissic in the comments: “Egalitarian and complementarian are man made terms not found in the Bible. These terms are designed to divide, define, label, and eventually marginalize fellow believers. Personally, I would rather not be identified by either label.” http://sbcvoices.com/for-the-propagation-of-the-gospel/ Yes! That IS a great quote!

    I couldn't agree more. I am sick and tired of man-made label (with an emphasis on 'man').

  138. numo wrote:

    Glad I am out of what Internet Monk terms “the evangelical circus”!

    numo — I hear you. At one time, marriage was seen as the only pathway to respectability and maturity. It was symbol of having arrived. As the culture changed, the old demographic-based message of the past no longer worked. Fortunately Jesus’ message about discipleship and family is still as relevant as ever.

    The massive drop in the marriage rate since the early 1990s hit pastors mid-career and many chose to ignore it rather than be creative and advance. That’s why singles are leaving those churches and going elsewhere — or nowhere.

  139. Daisy wrote:

    @ numo: Some tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma yesterday I put a link on some thread here. 30 or more people were killed, including some third grade children (a grade school was hit). Oh, I see from the RHE page, Piper mentioned the OK tornadoes. RHE said she wondered how long until Piper opined in public it was the victim’s fault (which he did do). I usually think in terms of “How long ’til Pat Robertson…”

    I have had it with Piper. I refuse to listen to ANYTHING he says.  There is something seriously wrong with his heart.  🙁

  140. Daisy wrote:

    30 and Single? It’s Your Own Fault

    Daisy — I agree. That’s a good book review. Kudos to Camerin Courtney, managing editor of “Today’s Christian Women.” I liked her last paragraph very much. We’ve got to get past the idea that singles — and divorcees — are second class citizens, or we will minister to only half the Christians in our neighborhoods and snub the rest. Ignoring and marginalizing half the adult population is a great way to make your church fade into irrelevance.

  141. Janey wrote:

    “It’s not that the overall gender ratio in this country is out of whack; it’s that there’s a growing imbalance between the number of successful young women and successful young men.”

    Boy is that ever true and the evangelical circus is not helping by teaching young men to be entitled to–instead of earning —-respect. They blame women for men’s success and it has helped to affirm this entitlement mentality. The only way they know how to deal with this is to shame women from using thier brains

  142. Janey wrote:

    “It’s not that the overall gender ratio in this country is out of whack; it’s that there’s a growing imbalance between the number of successful young women and successful young men.”

    Boy is this ever true. I hear this all the time from young women. And, the evangelical circus is not helping by teaching young men they are entitled to–instead of earning —-respect. They blame women for men’s lack of success and it has helped to affirm this entitlement mentality. The only way they know how to deal with this is to shame women from using thier brains/skills anywhere outside the home.

  143. @ Bridget:

    remember those lucky red 3s? the satisfaction of getting a natural? the thrill of taking the pile (when it’s loaded)?

  144. Anon 1 wrote:

    Boy is this ever true. I hear this all the time from young women. And, the evangelical circus is not helping by teaching young men they are entitled to–instead of earning —-respect. They blame women for men’s lack of success and it has helped to affirm this entitlement mentality. The only way they know how to deal with this is to shame women from using thier brains/skills anywhere outside the home.

    Agreed.

  145. Anon 1 wrote:

    Now how did I post twice and the comments different?

    You did that on accident and don’t know how? That’s actually kind of neat 🙂

  146. @ Anon 1:

    Another thing too is that women in their 30s and 40s have been hit by a drought of Christian bachelors. Women in their 30s and 40s are having a hard time getting dates and spouses.

    Most of the articles cited in the last couple of years are about how 20-something men are being out-shined by 20-something women (some articles discuss early 30-something women).

    But there are a lot of women in their 30s and 40 who have remained single, Christian ones too.

    Christian teaching on purity and marriage haven’t worked out the way they were promised to. I heard a lot growing up that if I remained sexually pure, prayed, had faith, and waited, that God would grant me a husband.

    I find myself still unmarried in my early 40s, and I did all the stuff they say you are supposed to do (waiting, praying, having faith, etc), and to satisfy the other sorts of Christians (the ones who say, “You can’t wait, you must look”), I also looked for a spouse by joining dating sites, went to churches etc, that did not work either.

    I have differing reasons personally why I remained celibate, but I did hear it implied if you remain pure God will “reward” you with a Mr. Right – I never really believed in that rationale myself, but it is used in conservative Christian sermons/ books about dating/ marriage.

  147. My question to Brent is “Were you trying to catch a sociopath at his own game or did you genuinely believe that the shepherding-leadership-apostolic team moeel would bring all to light.? In your case you appear vindicated in your approach but surely exposing the ministriy’s pride was not the soles means of the whole scandal being exposed. Did you choose yto go for the head by design or was it your responsibility as someone who suspected a bigger stronghold?
    In my observation the whole accountability thing seems to be held together by fallacy that elders confess to elders only. Who does the elder of elders confess to? National leaders? Men who also may eiggle out of accountability based on their status and gifting.? Some of the sin management stuffvyou guys practieed is incestuous and legalistic in the extreme.

  148. @ Nicholas:

    There are also a few “Daisys” who post there that are not me.

    I try to remember to post there as “DaisyFlower” to avoid any confusion.

  149. I know Ken Ham and YEC are not popular here, but according to this interview (it comes in the last third of the program after discussion about the Oklahoma tornadoes etc), YEC Christians are being harassed by militant atheists for teaching YEC in Christian schools, which I don’t believe is right.

    Hour 2 -Janet Mefferd Show-5/21/2013

  150. @ Daisy:

    Militant atheists like Richard Dawkins go even further and say that parents shouldn’t be allowed to teach their religious beliefs to their children. These are true totalitarians.

  151. CJ’s nonsense played out 20 years after Bob Weiner’s but the parallels are uncanny. Maranatha and its children Morningstar Bethel World Outreach centre and Every Nation Churches battled on for years with apostolic infighting, sex scandals, financial shenanigans, church splits and takeovers. I can only guess that it is the dirt they hold on people like former leaders who have dissapeared in the last few years that keeps them in good appearance these days. The outworkings of restorationism, dominionism, shepherding, Christian reconstructionism Manifest Sons of God and New Apostolic reformationism as well as new calvinism’s tilts at culture will implode not only as a result off alse doctrines being exposed but also because by their nature they are all faulty and builtvon thevpresupposition that some Christians will access some type of gnostic power point – call it revival- that will jack start us over 2000 years of being fallible people.

  152. @ Nicholas:

    Now that you mention it, I remember reading that before. Militant atheists get very upset about Christians being evangelical, trying to spread their faith or expressing it publicly, but they are equally enthusiastic about spreading their atheism and trying to stop Christians from practicing their faith.

  153. I just read the comments over at RHE (and the post) and it just reinforced why I am so weary of the Neo Reformed movement.

  154. @ Daisy:

    Clearly insensitive and stupid; however, she had the good sense to apologize within two hours and then seemed to understand that she would get lashback. She was more astute in her actions than the mighty men of God we heard from last week. Their tweets were followed by more disgusting tweets.

  155. @ Anon 1:

    Can someone explain to me why Piper is considered such an outstanding theologian? He clearly says things out of context and harmful, as in not the intention of the text. I’m beginning to believe be simply repeats the theology of the Puritans and their strict and legalistic interpretations.

  156. While I realize that a lot of personal growth has come from being married and having had children, there are many times I truly wonder if God would have preferred that I had stayed celibate. I know I’ve gotten ahead of God many times in my life. I’ve never pushed young people to get married, and it bothers me to hear so many peripheral issues pushed in some churches, especially from the comp. position.

    I do recognize that where children are concerned, all of the stats; educational levels achieved, mental and physical health, jail time served, even IQ, strongly point to the 1 man + 1 woman in monogamy, as being the best and safest situation for their well being and future prospects. That is not to say though, that there aren’t times when divorce is the best alternative, for 1 or both spouses, including the children’s needs, if there are kids involved.

  157. He is not an outstanding theologian. He is what I see as pseudo intellectual shock jockery the YRR generation loves. It is made up. Christian Hedonism? Scream of the Damned? Give me a break.

    He is passionate and people fall for the flowery verbosity. He is also cryptic and vague. People think there is some profundity there. There are many who think it is fabulous he is going to be the 21st Century John Calvin Global Apostle. They thought that video announcement was from God, I think.

    Yes, there are huge problems with the way so much is taken “literally”. Esp in the OT like their literal interpretations of some Psalms… which is Hebrew Poetry. I like what NT Wright says about this: You cannot take poetry, put it in a computer and come out with a literal interpretation. (I am paraphrasing)

    All I know is my family members who went to work for him and study with him after Wheaton came back totally different people. And not good people. They were divisive, arrogant, condescending and downright cruel to people who had been long time serious believers. Of course, their own grandmother who toiled in the inner city in the Name of Jesus for 50 years did not “know the true Gospel”. Piper really has brainwashed a lot of the YRR generation.

    He is silly. look at this one:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/how-is-the-statement-god-is-most-glorified-in-us-when-we-are-most-satisfied-in-him-true-for-those-who-wont-be-saved

    I cannot for the life of me figure out what profundity people find with this. It is gobblygook. But people like it. It is esoteric, I suppose. He literally makes it up and sells it off as some big discovery.

    I think this movement is going to see a ton of fallout in 10-15 years. And it will be devestating for many.

  158. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    Now the #1 reason people get moderated for no apparent reason is they change their email address or handle. And the only reason for moderation we disclose is first time commenting. Change who you are and you’re a first timer. Which is what happened to Joy’s comment.

    I was gonna change my moniker to InJuN jOe but Tom & Becky might not approve.

  159. Daisy wrote:

    YEC Christians are being harassed by militant atheists for teaching YEC in Christian schools, which I don’t believe is right.

    Well I just listened to the segment. And JM and KH seemed to form a mutual admiration society. And they definitely equated the “truth” of YEC with the Gospel. And much of their message was that this was a fight against those supporting Biblical truth and atheism.

    Well the basic issue is they are teaching YEC as science. And sorry to be blunt, but it just isn’t so. And to lump everyone who disagrees with this as “the atheists” is also a fraud. Unless, I guess that’s what JM and KH really feel. That if you’re not a full blow YEC/AIG believer you’re not a Christian. Maybe just an atheist in disguise.

    As to the harassment by atheists, as best I can tell it’s articles on the web and maybe radio and TV. Well welcome to the big leagues.

    Sorry but at the end of the day I (and I feel most of my Christian friends) would have more empathy for the atheists’ position (as defined by KH) than that of KH, JM, and the school. And it will be as long as YEC is treated as valid science and YEC adherents say that it’s YEC or the highway in terms of being a Christian.

  160. @ Anon 1:
    Piper’s post, translated: God is shiniest when we find satisfaction in him. When people don’t find satisfaction in him, God’s wrath is shiniest and since God is wrathful, it is the same thing either way. And when you add that to sparkly things like mercy and justice and patience and grace, it’s just a shiny shiny rainbow (but not the gay kind).

    🙂

    As you say, he is not an outstanding theologian.

  161. @ Anon 1:

    He takes Rom. 9:22 out of the context of the discussion going on about Israelites and Gentiles. He rewrites the verse, leaving the “What” out of “What if God.” He then adds his little phrase to the end of the verse to explain what his quote means. He then divides the verse to mean believers versus nonbelievers instead of Israelites and Gentiles (peoples). All this is done for the purpose of explaining what “his” personal quote means. It’s a bonafide slaughter to square his statement to scripture.

  162. Re: Lumpkins’ resolution:

    The language “presently or in the past, is facing criminal and/or civil litigation” seems overly broad. It would seem to include anyone who is currently the defendant in a civil suit regardless of that suit’s merit and/or anyone who had been sued at any point in the past.

    If the resolution passed with that wording and I wanted to force the SBC to cut all ties with someone then all I have to do is file a bogus suit against him or her alleging that he or she failed to report child abuse. Voila.

  163. Hester wrote:

    The scariest part was where she said the only reason she practiced religion was essentially to keep a respectable face.

    Hester — Yes, that whole story gives me the creeps.

  164. @ Bridget:
    I know right? Well, as long as you remember that the sparkliest of all is God’s wrath and our own worstiest sinnerifitude, I’m sure they’ll forgive you.

    Or maybe not. You are female, after all. Do you have a man? No, I mean, does a man have you?

    Hey, why are you talking?

  165. Daisy wrote:

    Christian teaching on purity and marriage haven’t worked out the way they were promised to. I heard a lot growing up that if I remained sexually pure, prayed, had faith, and waited, that God would grant me a husband.

    I find myself still unmarried in my early 40s, and I did all the stuff they say you are supposed to do (waiting, praying, having faith, etc), and to satisfy the other sorts of Christians (the ones who say, “You can’t wait, you must look”), I also looked for a spouse by joining dating sites, went to churches etc, that did not work either.

    Daisy–I hear your annoyance. Almost every Evangelical church I’ve ever attended claimed that if you followed the purity formula, God would give you mind-blowing sex, an awesome spouse with a great career, 2.3 children who are healthy and above average, and a fully funded early retirement. We all know people who did it perfectly and are divorced or single or married and miserable today. Formulas, whether for physical healing or for wealth or for a husband, are methods of manipulating God. I wonder if there’s a way of convincing youth pastors that this sets people up to leave the church when their magic formula doesn’t work.

  166. @ Lynn:

    I don’t recall either one (Mefferd or Ham) saying on the show that all who disagree with YEC are atheists. They said Ham and his colleagues at the site and schools that teach YEC are being targeted by atheists – actual atheists, not by any old joe who disagrees with YEC.

    The point is that atheists are sneaking into YEC type lectures put on by Ham to heckle him or some such. They are trying to prevent Christians from teaching YEC in Christian schools – and that’s not right. At all.

  167. @ Janey:

    It is very disappointing to me that one can have lots of sincere faith in God, that God will grant petition “X” (whether for spouse or a healing or whatever), and sincerely believe for years and years that God will grant petition about “X”, but God does not respond to the prayers or the faith.

    I didn’t really consider remaining celibate a “work” I had to do to earn a spouse, I was more, “the Bible says to have faith for whatever you ask, and if I believe, God will do X for me.” But that didn’t happen.

  168. @ Bridget:

    People like Piper need to consider the flip side of his arguments.

    On the radio news a couple weeks ago, I heard about a van of church kids that flipped over. They were on their way to some mission type work or church function. Several kids and I think one or two adults were killed in this accident.

    Guys like Piper and Robertson seem to only typically argue that calamity befall un-saved, unrepentant heathens who deserve to be killed or maimed. But what if it’s a bus or van filled with upstanding, morally upright teen Christian kids? Would Piper and Robertson like anyone saying God was targeting Christians?

  169. @ Patrice:

    Me and my man have each other 😉

    As far as why am I talking? . . . I must be one of those . . those . . ummm . . ummm . . rebellious, ungodly, speaking, females that doesn’t know her place in the scheme of God, er, make that “scheme of Calvinista complementarians.” But, I have a sneeky suspicion that I do know my place — seated with Him in heavenly places! 🙂

    I’m much more blessed by the following criptures than Piper’s pontifications.

    “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
    5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-
    6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

  170. Props to “Christianity Today” which has now posted its 2nd article on their Christianity Today Gleanings blog referencing this lawsuit since May 14, 2013.

    http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/05/sgm_appeal_joshua_harris.html

    Now, when will “Christian Post” and “World Magazine” break their code of silence? There’s a lot in this lawsuit and in the criminal investigations, and it’s not going away.

    –No compassion for child sexual abuse victims?

    –No acknowledgement that 3 of the defendants have already done jail time or gone through the juvenile system for child sex crimes? One trial is still pending in Maryland, but World and Christian Post won’t report on it?

    –No interest in the ongoing criminal investigation?

    Listen to the attorney for the plaintiffs at minute 26:00
    http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/05/20/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20130520-hr-1/

    For people who care about child sexual abuse, please contact these two online magazines:
    World Magazine
    Email: mailbag@worldmag.com
    Phone: 828-232-5415
    Fax: 828-253-1556

    Christian Post
    http://www.christianpost.com/aboutus/policy.html

  171. Daisy wrote:

    “the Bible says to have faith for whatever you ask, and if I believe, God will do X for me.” But that didn’t happen.

    Yes. It’s strange. You have profound sorrow about remaining single and I have profound sorrow regarding a wretched 20-yr marriage. Intimacy happened for neither of us.

    We were sold a bill of goods. God doesn’t operate as advertised. It’s depressing and enraging. And it takes as long as it takes to get past it.

    And then the real God, a different one than we were told, held me in His arms and flooded my heart with the love I was promised and never received. He gives it to me, the trashed faithful ex-wife, and it is also for you, the lonely faithful single woman.

    I have no idea why things don’t work out for so many of us. But although God’s love does not replace the love of a good man, it is love writ large and deep and it is satisfying. I want that for you, that sense of his immense love for you.

  172. Daisy wrote:

    I didn’t really consider remaining celibate a “work” I had to do to earn a spouse, I was more, “the Bible says to have faith for whatever you ask, and if I believe, God will do X for me.” But that didn’t happen.

    Daisy — I think that’s one of the greatest questions that Christians have wrestled with over the centuries. Why doesn’t God give me what I pray for? (Or, why doesn’t God take away what I don’t want?) Even the apostle Paul talked about that conundrum with his thorn in the flesh example. God allows us to have these problems so that his strength may be made perfect in our weakness. I would imagine you could give us many examples of how God’s strength has carried you through the darkest of times.

  173. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t recall either one (Mefferd or Ham) saying on the show that all who disagree with YEC are atheists. They said Ham and his colleagues at the site and schools that teach YEC are being targeted by atheists – actual atheists, not by any old joe who disagrees with YEC.

    What they said wasn’t 8+8=16. They did the 2+2=4 then 3+1=4 then 4+4=8 etc…

    If I have time I’ll go back and do some transcription but in general they equated YEC and the Gospel as biblical truth and all the people against this combined “truth” as atheists. I’m against the teachings of KH as they relate to most anything promoted by AIG. And I have no problem calling out this “science” test as bogus. In the interview they would lump with with the atheists.

  174. Daisy wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    People like Piper need to consider the flip side of his arguments.
    On the radio news a couple weeks ago, I heard about a van of church kids that flipped over. They were on their way to some mission type work or church function. Several kids and I think one or two adults were killed in this accident.
    Guys like Piper and Robertson seem to only typically argue that calamity befall un-saved, unrepentant heathens who deserve to be killed or maimed. But what if it’s a bus or van filled with upstanding, morally upright teen Christian kids? Would Piper and Robertson like anyone saying God was targeting Christians?

    Daisy, I think that the theology of New Calvinism provides at least a partial answer to this. New Calvinism teaches that all people are totally depraved, including born again Christians. In their sick, twisted theology, even being born again means that you don’t lose your total depravity. Therefore, according to Piper, those missionary workers justly died simply on account of their retained total depravity.

  175. Daisy wrote:

    We singles want to get married, but there is nobody to marry.

    Daisy – I have a great deal of sympathy for this plight, although the source of my empathy for it is indirect. Lesley and I met without really trying, and found no difficulty in having exactly as many children as we wanted (two – a couple we knew a while back had the same idea but their second child turned out to be triplets…). And although we’ve had to work at our marriage, that’s been true only in the sense that we’ve had to work to make it really good. In other words, two of life’s most significant blessings have come very easily to me. The one that hasn’t is paid work. Despite a glittering school record and a Cambridge degree, I have spent the majority of my adult life unemployed and helplessly unable to find anyone who will even let me work alongside them for nothing, never mind respond to one of my job-applications with an invitation to an interview. To paraphrase you: I want to work, but there is no-one to work for. (I have, of course, not lacked for patronising “advice”, to say nothing of contempt and judgement, from some believers.)

    During the exodus from Egypt, before their eventual arrival in the good land he had promised, God gave Israel numerous warnings such as this from Deuteronomy 8:

    Beware… Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’

    I think that explains a lot of the nonsense that single or childless believers, or indeed anyone suffering from anything, are fed by some to whom God has given a pulpit. They imagine that a large church, a marriage, children, all came to them because they were clever, sassy and spiritual, and smartly applied “God’s spiritual laws” to achieve their success. That anyone could have what they’ve got, but it went to them because they earned it and merit it.

  176. I can understand why some people are bothered by the word “egalitarian” (and “complementarian”) but to me, it’s just a word that I hardly ever use but describes me very well, like “vegetarian,” and it’s not a big deal at all.

    What does bother me are denominational labels, but they’re definitely not going away anytime soon, and how could they? I also cringe at “Calvinist” and “Arminian,” even though my beliefs do match up with the very loose definition of Arminianism here. (Far be it from me to ever name myself after a dead man!)

    Daisy wrote:

    I didn’t really consider remaining celibate a “work” I had to do to earn a spouse, I was more, “the Bible says to have faith for whatever you ask, and if I believe, God will do X for me.” But that didn’t happen.

    I know how crushingly lonely singleness can be, and sometimes I wish I was married, too. I am definitely not the kind of person who wants to face the rest of my life all alone. Come home to…NO ONE? All by myself, for the rest of my life? No, that’s not me at all! But that is most likely how it’ll be, because the abuse I went through damaged my mind to the degree that I cannot “tolerate closeness,” as Dr. Drew would say. The way I see it is, if so many people who are ready and hoping for marriage cannot find someone to love, then it would be bizarre and hardly fair, in my opinion, if the seemingly impossible and completely outrageous happened in my life, while those who’ve actually prayed for and sought a spouse still could not find one.

    What I am getting at is, even though I know you’ll be alright whether you marry or not, your story saddens me and I wish you the best!

  177. @ Lynn:

    “And to lump everyone who disagrees with this as “the atheists” is also a fraud. Unless, I guess that’s what JM and KH really feel. That if you’re not a full blow YEC/AIG believer you’re not a Christian.”

    Well, there was a guy who wrote an editorial for my mom’s hometown paper in which he said that if you believed in evolution you were lost. He wasn’t anybody famous or anything, but this was small town MN so I guess crazy is everywhere.

  178. Bridget wrote:

    @ Anon 1:

    Can someone explain to me why Piper is considered such an outstanding theologian? He clearly says things out of context and harmful, as in not the intention of the text. I’m beginning to believe be simply repeats the theology of the Puritans and their strict and legalistic interpretations.

    I tried to read Pipers Desiring God and I daresay he quoted Jonathan Edwards more than the bible, and where he referenced scripture he was interpreting it through Edwards. Really strange. I had the same thought “this guy is considered a great theologian??”
    I know some people like Pipers work but for me….blech.

  179. Someone asked why Piper is considered such a good theologian by some people… For many years I loved his preaching/writing (I’m greatly disappointed and saddened now, I can’t respect him anymore…). All I can say is that… when you come out of Fundamentalism, Piper is truly a breath of fresh air… believe me!! He was that…

  180. Patrice wrote:

    And when you add that to sparkly things like mercy and justice and patience and grace, it’s just a shiny shiny rainbow

    🙂

  181. Ryan wrote:

    Daisy, I think that the theology of New Calvinism provides at least a partial answer to this. New Calvinism teaches that all people are totally depraved, including born again Christians. In their sick, twisted theology, even being born again means that you don’t lose your total depravity.

    “Man sees a cute little baby; GOD SEES A TOTALLY DEPRAVED SINNER!!!!!”
    — some radio preacher I heard in the Seventies

    Now imagine how this goes down to somebody who has been teased, belittled, and put down for sixteeen years without letup.

  182. I’m new to this…have never blogged or posted a comment ever and if I’m doing this wrong I apologize. I’m very confused by these comments of Wade Burleson at his blog:(copied and pasted)

    I have another friend who was arrested for solicitation of sex from a minor. He confesses to being oriented toward having a desire for sex with young people, particularly those who are in the age range of 10 to 12. He went to prison for his crime. He will tell you that I have stood with him, respected him and accepted him. Everywhere he goes in our church he must be announced as a “child predator.” We know that many say a child predator is not a human being, but God forbid those words ever come from my mouth. When my friend came out of the closet several years ago, I accepted him, respected him and understood him better, even as we encouraged the courts to sentence him for his crimes. I agree with Jason Collins that “greater openness and honesty” promotes better relationships. My friend will tell you he has never been loved like I have loved him–by anyone.

    I know some of you are saying, “Wait a minute! How can you compare the sexual orientations of a homosexual or an adulterer with those of a genital exposer or a child predator! The first two involve consenting adults! The latter two involve crimes perpetrated against the non-consenting or children!” I respond: Do you not know history? The Roman emperors during the Roman Empire declared sex between men and young boys both legal and beneficial. The Greeks considered men exposing themselves to women a sign of masculinity and patriarchal power. Just because sex with children goes against your sense of morality or exposing yourself to non-consenting women goes against your sense of morality, it doesn’t mean that it goes against everyone else’s sense of morality. Cultures change. As my friend John Blanchard says, “The new morality is actually old immorality.”

    I was “exposed to” by a deacon and fondled by the same deacon. Years later I discovered my younger brother and cousins had been molested by a youth pastor in the same church.
    My confusion comes in trying to understand Burleson’s words. Especially at the end where he references Greek culture. Also, it just doesn’t seem square with me to have pedophiles walking around church. I understand, I really do, that they need to be ministered to. I’m bothered by how Mr. Burleson repeatedly uses the word “accept”.
    Can you offer any wisdom as to what our Christian response should be? b>@ Deb:

  183. Janey wrote:

    Now, when will “Christian Post” and “World Magazine” break their code of silence? There’s a lot in this lawsuit and in the criminal investigations, and it’s not going away.

    –No compassion for child sexual abuse victims?

    –No acknowledgement that 3 of the defendants have already done jail time or gone through the juvenile system for child sex crimes? One trial is still pending in Maryland, but World and Christian Post won’t report on it?

    –No interest in the ongoing criminal investigation?

    -Perfectly Parsed Theology, Correct Doctrine, and all the right Bible quotes?

    -Solidarity against Teh Fags, Evolution, and Teh Heathen?

  184. @ Bridget:
    Sweet! But you might want to make up your mind when you arrive at those pearly gates. There are rumors of some major parties. I overheard about a champagne line-dance across the universe. Mine is no big thing. Of course, there’s likely enough “non-time” to get it all in, and maybe I’ll set my coffee klatch for the “day” after.

    Everyone is invited of course. I look forward to meeting you all there whoop

  185. Patrice wrote:

    Piper’s post, translated: God is shiniest when we find satisfaction in him. When people don’t find satisfaction in him, God’s wrath is shiniest and since God is wrathful, it is the same thing either way. And when you add that to sparkly things like mercy and justice and patience and grace, it’s just a shiny shiny rainbow (but not the gay kind).

    lol!!!

  186. Monica wrote:

    Someone asked why Piper is considered such a good theologian by some people… For many years I loved his preaching/writing (I’m greatly disappointed and saddened now, I can’t respect him anymore…). All I can say is that… when you come out of Fundamentalism, Piper is truly a breath of fresh air… believe me!! He was that…

    Hi Monica, This is interesting because I have heard the same thing from folks raised in fundy type environments. I also remember the days when the young men working in the seeker mega world where either enamored with Piper or Bell.

    What is even more interesting is Piper came out of the fundy world. His dad was a fundatmentalist traveling evangelist and on the board of Bob Jones.

    Piper discovered Jonathan Edwards at Fuller and became a devotee and follower of his teaching. That in and of itself is scary.

    What he teaches might sound like a focus on God instead of the legalism of Fundatmentalism but it is really the same thing….only full of “shiney”. There is no one more legalistic than Piper when it comes to gender roles and being a follower of Calvin. Both are the “gospel”.

  187. Bridget wrote:

    He takes Rom. 9:22 out of the context of the discussion going on about Israelites and Gentiles. He rewrites the verse, leaving the “What” out of “What if God.” He then adds his little phrase to the end of the verse to explain what his quote means. He then divides the verse to mean believers versus nonbelievers instead of Israelites and Gentiles (peoples). All this is done for the purpose of explaining what “his” personal quote means. It’s a bonafide slaughter to square his statement to scripture.

    Bingo!

  188. Breaking news: Turk looking for an SGM-basher to interview. Email him to volunteer. Pyro article:
    “OK – last week, you got two posts for the price of one, and then we went down the rabbit hole, on Twitter, with the scions of SGM and SGM Survivors. Sometime on Friday I tweeted that we’d cover that today, and that one should bring his helmet if one was interested.
    My intent was to take one of the live ones demanding that the Reformed Blogosphere finally, finally, finally pay attention to them and their ever-changing, ever-evolving, ever-expanding set of complaints and do a blog interview of them so that they could get their fair hearing.  However, when I came to some of the likeliest spokespersons for such a thing, they balked.  That is: they wouldn’t abide anything but a full denunciation of SGM from top to bottom, and certainly: no questions or examination of their list or their evidence or their standing.
    Since they didn’t want to participate, I’m left to continue with something mundane — like whether or not the Bible is a mythological book or a treatise meant to convey real-world truth.  I’ll be listening to the hymns of Keith and Kristyn Getty, and some of my favorite Bob Kauflin hymns as well.”
    Commenter opined that damage from SGM is worse than that from emergents like McLaren/Driscoll. Turk promises to delete any other comments along those lines.

  189. @ Monica:
    What about Piper’s thought did you find particularly helpful? It would be useful for me to know the goodness that resides in it.

    I didn’t grow up fundy but Calvinist, so I come at his stuff from the opposite direction.

  190. Daisy wrote:

    Guys like Piper and Robertson seem to only typically argue that calamity befall un-saved, unrepentant heathens who deserve to be killed or maimed.

    Holy raining bovines, Daisy…can you kindly show me a quote or point me to a link where John Piper states that calamity only befalls , “unsaved, unrepentant heathens who deserve to be killed or maimed?

  191. @ Patrice: Do you think it’s line dancing, really? 😉

    I’m all for samba, mambo and just about any kind of African dance you can name – along with the original Electric Slide, which isn’t a country-style dance at all… 🙂

  192. Speakword wrote:

    My question to Brent is “Were you trying to catch a sociopath at his own game or did you genuinely believe that the shepherding-leadership-apostolic team moeel would bring all to light.?

    Speakword,

    We don’t have a diagnosis for Mahaney but the evidence sure points to him being quite an accomplished narcissistic sociopath. One thing I would caution folks is to never for one minute believe you can bring them down or win.

    They key is pointing out the patterns of behavior and characteristics of this sort of personality to people. People tend to have short memories and get caught up in the latest “issue” instead of taking a long view and connecting dots. Those types COUNT on that. They are smarter than people think and they can even deflect from looking at their history by creating new issues. We allow them to keep us off balance. We give them way too much power over us which is their whole reason for being….controlling people for their supply needs.

    Another key is really knowing Jesus Christ intimately and that is not an easy thing with the noise of the evangelical circus all around you. When this happens guys like CJ become obvious for the charlatans they are. One way some have found it helpful is read the Gospels over and over for at least 3 years. Pray for the HOly Spirit to illuminate truth. See what Jesus did, said, did not do, etc, etc. Immerse yourself in Him. Once there, the very bad interpretations of Pauls writings by the charlatans will become clearer. And you will spot a hirling or wolf a mile away. Because your standard for truth is now because of relationship with Jesus Christ and not what a Mahaney or a Piper says.

    We are blessed God created us to have functioning brains and later He sent us a Spirit of Truth to help us redeem the earth. We need to use these precious gifts in All areas of life. (Christians should be forefront in finding cures for diseases, etc)

    I am convinced we have all totally misunderstood concepts from scripture such as pastor, elder, etc. And because we were taught wrongly and did not do our own searching for truth. We believed the guy on stage as adults with few questions asked. Why is that?

  193. Dave AA,

    Turk reminds me of a playground bully boy. Oh sure I will volunteer to be skewered, ridiculed and condescended to by a bully. Where do I sign up?

    The problem with anything like this is that Turk uses the Calvin/Augustine filter for all scripture he is going to beat you up with. And his view is that all of this is nothing but bloggers trying to persecute Mahaney. Turk obviously agrees with Shepherding cult methods. I think he would enjoy having a large following that hangs on his every word. I think that along with Calvinist doctrine was the big draw of Mahaney with these guys.

    So what on earth would be the point of his platform for someone who disagrees with him? To elevate himself. Turk’s standard of truth is very different than mine. Why would anyone want to be a part of that?

  194. @ Lisa:

    Lisa –

    I could try to explain what Wade probably means, but Wade is a very approachable man and I suggest you ask him directly. He has much empathy, especially those who have been abused. AND I wouldn’t suggest this if I thought you would be further harmed by a discussion with Wade. I am really sorry that you and your family have been harmed by evil. I pray for peace in your souls.

  195. @ Dave A A:

    Reformed baptist fundamentalists like Turk, Tom Chantry, and Dan Phillips seem incapable of understanding how child rape and coverup engaged in by “orthodox” Christians does more damage to the cause of Christ than liberals and emergents: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2013/05/irreverent-silly-myths.html?showComment=1369226336481#c8287239849685264111

    If Turk, Chantry, and Phillips have any kind of conscience, it is not a Christian one. And when I say “Christian” here, my reference point is Jesus Christ. That trio’s comments there are evil.

    A Christian’s faith and conscience are tested by how he/she responds to these horrendous sins within the camp (such as SGM) rather than outside of it (such as Gosnell).

    When this is all over, the Pyro club will be saying “we had nothing to do with it! We were never in that camp! Their problems were caused by charismaticism! We have always be anti-charismatic!”

    These men’s hearts are hardened and they will never, ever repent.

  196. @ numo:
    Well, that’s what I overheard, but rumors do fly. Someone mentioned a ballet on Mars, since gravity lies lighter there. Someone else is working on these cool petrol drums for some kind of Zulu Bull Dance. He thinks there’ll be no problem beaming them up, but I have doubts. And if you sit at the astronomists’ table, whew, proposals for places I had no idea were there, involving movements I’ve never seen.

    I want to do them all, to leap and stamp and twist for a “non-time” of several thousand years, each of which is a day, of course

    Anon 1: Oy, in my enthusiasm, I forgot about the Question Room. Of course! I will want to listen in because I’m sure your questions will cover mine. So, first things first, or after the initial round of partayz? I am so looking forward to getting a healthy body back that I feel downright impatient.

    😛

  197. @ Patrice: You know, I’d rather be spending a few thousand years of non-time in the dance party than ask questions. (With, as you said, a healthy, pain-free body!)

    I have no doubt that there will be questions I want to ask, but they can wait til after the *very* long meet-and-greet festivities.

  198. Patrice, I am looking forward to eating what I want, too. Which in my book is the ultimate “Partyaz”!

    :o)

  199. @ Anon 1:
    @ Nicholas:
    @ TW:
    I’m tempted, but not nearly enough, to write to him: “You’re much smarter, wittier, cleverer, and acerbic-er than any of us– why not come onto our playgrounds and beat us all up playing by our rules? You’re sure to win!”

  200. Anon 1 wrote:

    I will be in the question room.

    Muff (if he makes it that is), will probably be in a different universe altogether.

  201. @ Janey:

    “God allows us to have these problems so that his strength may be made perfect in our weakness.”
    +++++++++++++++

    i really hate this verse. Even Paul could be glib. It’s too cheerful. About deepest, darkest, terrifyingly black atrocity and pain. Like a bone tossed to someone starving and curled up in pain and torment.

    I’m sure there is some deep truth to it. But not in the way popular christian culture throws it around. Like a distracted doctor scribbling out a few prescriptions of oh-this-might-do-something, stuffing them in the patient’s hand, on their way out the door to the next appointment.

    Janey, I really love your comments and I apologize already for the prickliness here — i’m not responding to you but rather to christian culture, which is easy for me to say and does not magically remove the stinger of a stinging comment.

    I think you’re a great presence here.

  202. numo wrote:

    I know… I’m in my 50s and single.

    It’s funny, but if a team of MBAs were looking at the church today and compared its current messaging about singles with the existing North American demographics, they would know exactly where to make changes. Every well-run business has to adapt to demographics or die.

    Churches that cannot face reality about the marital status of the U.S. population, are headed for irrelevance.

  203. elastigirl wrote:

    Janey, I really love your comments and I apologize already for the prickliness here — i’m not responding to you but rather to christian culture, which is easy for me to say and does not magically remove the stinger of a stinging comment.

    Elastigirl — No worries. I’m sorry to have sounded trite. I think that everyone needs close friends to walk the Christian journey with. We do simply have to accept — at some point — that we will not have what we want until Heaven. Having the love and encouragement of fellow travelers helps…and gives us courage and vision.

  204. elastigirl wrote:

    i really hate this verse. Even Paul could be glib. It’s too cheerful. About deepest, darkest, terrifyingly black atrocity and pain. Like a bone tossed to someone starving and curled up in pain and torment.
    I’m sure there is some deep truth to it. But not in the way popular christian culture throws it around. Like a distracted doctor scribbling out a few prescriptions of oh-this-might-do-something, stuffing them in the patient’s hand, on their way out the door to the next appointment.

    Well, we do know for sure Paul was not talking the pain and darkness inflicted on believers from celebrity pastors and leaders who use Jesus to do their self satisfying evil.

  205. Nicholas wrote:

    When this is all over, the Pyro club will be saying “we had nothing to do with it! We were never in that camp! Their problems were caused by charismaticism! We have always be anti-charismatic!”

    “OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT PEACE WITH EURASIA!”

  206. Janey wrote:

    Daisy–I hear your annoyance. Almost every Evangelical church I’ve ever attended claimed that if you followed the purity formula, God would give you mind-blowing sex, an awesome spouse with a great career, 2.3 children who are healthy and above average, and a fully funded early retirement.

    I’m a 57-year-old straight male who saved himself for a marriage that never came. (And wonder if the reason it never came was because I did.) Though well-paid and in decent health (except for my prostate), I will probably never see early retirement (where I am, the only fully-funded money-is-no-object early retirements are for gubmint bureaucrats). Closest thing to “an awesome spouse” I’ve got is cruising the web for fanart of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Fluttershy from My Little Pony.

    And the “God will give you mind-blowing married sex” seems so much like a starving man watching through a window God’s (Married) Elect stuffing themselves 24/7 with this delicious feast, only to hear from their food-dripping jowls “Don’t make an idol of eating. God Will Provide, Just Be Pure.” As In “I Got Mine, Sucks To Be You, Praise God.”

    Anyone wanna compare the bill of goods we got sold?

  207. “What a Victim Can Expect in a Typical Evangelical Church

    Let me list for you the typical cycle of what an abuse victim can expect when she reports the abuse to her church (pastor, elders) seeking help and justice. Those knowledgeable about abuse know that there is a “cycle of abuse” that describes the abuser’s pattern. What I am suggesting here is that there is a “cycle of abuse” effected at the hands of the victim’s church. Here is the drama that I have had victim after victim recount to me:

    1. Victim reports abuse to her pastor.

    2. Pastor does not believe her claims, or at least believes they are greatly exaggerated. After all, he “knows” her husband to be one of the finest Christian men he knows, a pillar of the church.

    3. Pastor minimizes the severity of the abuse. His goal is often, frankly, damage control (to himself and to his church).

    4. Pastor indirectly (or not so indirectly!) implies that the victim needs to do better in her role as wife and mother and as a Christian. He concludes that all such scenarios are a “50/50” blame sharing.

    5. Pastor sends the victim home, back to the abuser, after praying with her and entrusting the problem to the Lord.

    6. Pastor believes he has done his job.

    7. Victim returns, reporting that nothing has changed. She has tried harder and prayed, but the abuse has continued.

    8. Pastor decides to do some counseling. He says “I will have a little talk with your husband” or “I am sure that all three of us can sit down and work this all out.” Either of these routes only result in further and more intense abuse of the victim. This counseling can go on for years! (One victim reported that it dragged on for nine years in her case).

    9. As time passes, the victim becomes the guilty party in the eyes of the pastor and others. She is the one causing the commotion. She is pressured by the pastor and others in the church to stop rebelling, to submit to her husband, and stop causing division in the church.

    10. After more time passes, the victim separates from or divorces the abuser. The church has refused to believe her, has persistently covered up the abuse, has failed to obey the law and report the abuse to the police; and has refused to exercise church discipline against the abuser. Ironically, warnings of impending church discipline are often directed against the victim!

    11. The final terrible injustice is that the victim is the one who must leave the church, while the abuser remains a member in good standing, having successfully duped the pastor and church into believing that his victim was the real problem. One abuse victim (a man in this case) told me that he finally came to the awakening that “I know exactly what my church is going to do about my abuser: Nothing!” He left while she remained a member in good standing, the daughter of a leading pastor in the denomination.

    I observed a similar pattern firsthand following an incident of abuse. Over time, concern for the victim diminishes and the primary focus turns to the plight of the perpetrator, the consequences he must suffer now, and how we can help him. At the same time, the victim is increasingly pushed aside and even accused of causing all of this unpleasantness. In Christian settings, the victim is accused of being unforgiving and of refusing to obey Scripture’s commands to reconcile. The victim becomes a leper and often is ultimately driven outside the camp. It is horrible injustice. What must Christ think of it?”

    “A Cry For Justice” by Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood

  208. @ Dave A A:

    Yea, he offered that gig to me last week on Twitter. I turned him down and then he offered it to Bill Kinnon and later someone else who joined in the conversation.

    Here is where he starts. https://twitter.com/Frank_Turk/status/335357493821730816 I’m unable to see if this link covers the entire conversation because after I turned him down, he blocked me. No kidding – lol. But if you look on his Mar. 17 tweets, you can see his true arrogant self:

    It’s the largest audience she will ever get, apart from the cult of complaints she talks to now.

    Oh, and this is hilarious. We had a tweet exchange a couple days earlier and so it’s not the first time he’s interacted with me. On Twitter, it’s pretty easy to see the person’s Twitter handle and also their name, but check this out. This is after 2 days of tweeting with me. We were having a 3-way conversation (Bill Kinnon was there, too).

    Frank says: OK bill — ask Lisa why she tweted about me in the first place. Why did she want me to pay attention?

    Then Bill says nonchalantly: Who is Lisa?

    ROFLOL – – – see, this is classic.

  209. “As we will see, being a victim of abuse and living with an abuser is very much like being a prisoner of war in a concentration camp. Just as both physical and psychological methods are used by the enemy in those settings, so it is in the experience of the abuse victim. When we deal with a victim therefore, we should not be surprised if she exhibits some forms of mental instability. This certainly does not mean that she is a crazy person, but simply that she is suffering from some of the typical mental effects of longstanding abuse. If we fail to understand this, we will be ripe for the deceptions of the abuser in trying to convince us that the victim is the problem because, “as you can see, she’s crazy!””
    “A Cry For Justice” by Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood

  210. @ Julie Anne:

    There are few things that Turk would like more than having someone come onto “Turk’s turf” where he can be the bully boss and control the conversation. So — NOW he gloats that no one was brave enough to show up for the abuse . . . I think people have a lot more sense and are far more discerning than he is 😉

  211. @ dee:

    This can be a convenient and belittling gesture — not remembering, or bothering to look, to see if you have the name right.

  212. Bridget wrote:

    This can be a convenient and belittling gesture — not remembering, or bothering to look, to see if you have the name right.

    Great point, Beatrice. 🙂

  213. To all,

    I am Reformed, Southern Baptist, who believes in the 5 Solas. I am a traditionalist when it comes to male/female roles in the home and in the church. So there are some core things about me theologically and practically that most readers here would not agree with me on.

    But let me make this clear. I will go on record here that the allegations versus SGM are horrific and deplorable acts and since CJ Mahaney was the president of the organization he bears responsibility as a leader even if he is not directly responsible for the abuse. I don’t think it is wise for the SBC, T4G, or any other organizations to give him a pupilt. What his own church wants to do, is up to them, but having him speak to chapels and seminary students and conference audiences is not a wise move.

    I would hope that CJ of his own accord would step away from speaking during this mess, or that his friends would counsel him to do that.

    I am also concerned that the Reformed camp has been largely silent on these allegations. The abuse of children is a horrible thing (and even the allegations of such are horrible) and I think it is important that your readers know that there is at least one Reformed guy out there who acknowledges that.

    In Christ,
    SBC Chaplain

  214. @ Julie Anne:
    Dear Lisa, This tweet by Fred,”Why did she want me to pay attention?” reminds me of some comments here by Wayne a cople weeks back, advising all us hell-bound folks to ignore his comments!

  215. TW–I’m not sure I would call that the scene from a TYPICAL evangelical church.

    The specific cases of abuse and pastor contacted I know of, including my daughter’s case, was just the opposite. Help was given to the victims and the abusers were called to account, including police called and church discipline.

    I believe your scenario does happen and far too often, but wouldn’t call it typical.

  216. Muff Potter wrote:

    Muff (if he makes it that is), will probably be in a different universe altogether.

    I will carry your confidence for you, Muff. And whatever universe you end up in, I’d love a visit invite. But if you become so etherealized that I need to shed my restored body to get there, you might have to wait til I get bored with it and that might take a while.

  217. I really wish I hadn’t read that Frank was baiting on Pyro. I sunk to a familiar low and responded. Yes, I need help.

    Aw, Frank, I’m sorry your feelings were hurt that I turned down this marvelous gig opportunity you offered to me last week on Twitter.

    I can see by the response to the first commenter that even reasonable debate will not be afforded. If you disagreed with Paul’s response, why don’t you ask him to elaborate further rather than shut him down? Now you know why I won’t be interviewed.

    I’d love to know how you are going to respond if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs – and concurs with the stories that have been exposed on the survivor blogs for years. Will you eat your words? Or will you be saying, “the court is wrong” just like my pastor said when he lost his defamation lawsuit against me?

    Signed,
    Lisa – oops, I mean Julie Anne (got the screen shot, too)

    Dee, would you please block out all comments that might tempt me. Can GBTC do something like that? If I pay him? Let me know. You have my e-mail address.

  218. @ Julie Anne: The funny thing is that I actually began the conversation with this tweet:
    Appreciate what @Frank_Turk’s writes to @PastorMark. http://cl.ly/3X1h232D401R Now hope he turns his fine mind & pen to @CJMahaney et al.

    When it comes to Brother Turk, Julie Anne and I need to take the words of George Bernard Shaw to heart:
    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

  219. And whilst I’m here, please check out Scot McKnight’s new book, A Long Faithfulness: The Case for Christian Perseverance

    It is a great response to “Meticulous Sovereignty” – the doctrine of many of the truly reformed. From the book:
    one of my major problems with Calvinism is that the emphasis of its architecture is not the emphasis of the Bible. Its focus on God’s meticulous sovereignty very quickly becomes much less a doctrine of grace than a doctrine of control and theodicy that somehow manage to make grace and love arbitrary and cold.

  220. Regarding the state of married bliss (well, sometimes, and we probably have a good marriage by most people’s standards) there still has never been anything as wonderful as the relationship I’ve had with Jesus. He blows everything else out of the water! That’s another reason I wish pastors and leaders would bag the focus on purity of doctrine, etc., and admonish congregations to look to God.

    Anon 1, got a kick out of one of your earlier posts re: dependence on leadership as to how to think, live, handle situations, etc. Reminded me of big gubmint. Thanks for the proper spelling of that one, HUG.

  221. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    From the book:
    one of my major problems with Calvinism is that the emphasis of its architecture is not the emphasis of the Bible. Its focus on God’s meticulous sovereignty very quickly becomes much less a doctrine of grace than a doctrine of control and theodicy that somehow manage to make grace and love arbitrary and cold.

    That reminds me of James Michener’s Hawaii, when he introduces the New England Calvinist/Puritan missionaries to “Owhyhee”, focusing on a “Conviction Of Sin And Depravity” conversion experience in the b/g of the Calvinist who will become a major focus character:

    “The one in a hundred Predestined to walk the hard, drab, grey, joyless path of Salvation.”

  222. RB wrote:

    Anon 1, got a kick out of one of your earlier posts re: dependence on leadership as to how to think, live, handle situations, etc. Reminded me of big gubmint. Thanks for the proper spelling of that one, HUG.

    Your “dependence on leadership as to how to think” reminded me of something I noticed during the 2004 elections re a certain John F (“When I Served In VIETNAAAM…”) Kerry and his much-praised “nuance”:

    To me, Kerry’s “nuance” sounded more like a phenomenon called “Analysis Paralysis” of which I have much first-hand experience. In Analysis Paralysis (“but on the other hand…”), you become paralyzed (“but on the other other hand…”), unable to decide between ALL the nuanced alternatives you can see (“but on the other other other hand…”). You end up with your brain thrashing endlessly (“but on the other other other other hand…”), completely unable to choose as more and more alternatives (“but on the other other other other other hand…”) weigh in, all of them co-equal and co-important (“but on the other other other other other other hand…”).

    Kerry confirmed this in an off-the-cuff statement about his favorite restaurant was one where there was only ONE special of the day, “It’s so refreshing when your choice is made for you.” This confirmed my suspicion (“but on the other other other other other other other hand…”); when you’re thrashing in Analysis Paralysis (“but on the other other other other other other other other hand…”), you long for someone to tell you exactly what to choose, exactly what to do, exactly what to think, JUST TO MAKE THE THRASHING STOP.

  223. Bridget wrote:

    There are few things that Turk would like more than having someone come onto “Turk’s turf” where he can be the bully boss and control the conversation. So — NOW he gloats that no one was brave enough to show up for the abuse . . .

    Did this guy ever graduate from grade school? Because this sounds so much like a schoolyard bully bragging how he can beat you up and he can beat anyone and everyone up and gloating over how nobody dares stand up to him. I thought I was an arrested-development case until I read crap like this…

  224. TW wrote:

    “What a Victim Can Expect in a Typical Evangelical Church…”

    The lesson I bring back from those 11 steps is simple: BE AN ABUSER. BE A SOCIOPATH. BE A WINNER INSTEAD OF A LOSER. And I’m sure I’m not the only one to read that into the experience.

    P.S. TW, what is that flag on your heading? I don’t recognize it.

  225. SBC Chaplain wrote:

    am also concerned that the Reformed camp has been largely silent on these allegations. The abuse of children is a horrible thing (and even the allegations of such are horrible) and I think it is important that your readers know that there is at least one Reformed guy out there who acknowledges that.

    Thank you, SBC Chaplain!

    I am wondering how many of you (SBC Reformed) are out there who would dare tell Mohler this to his face considering Mahaney moved to Louisville to be “near the seminary”? It could be a quiet career killer.

  226. linda wrote:

    I believe your scenario does happen and far too often, but wouldn’t call it typical.

    Linda, It actually gives me hope it is not typical in your neck of the woods. It is VERY typical here. And across the spectrum, too. I really think comp doctrine has been a big part of it here. CBMW has totally permeated the air we breath here in both Reformed and Free will venues.

    In fact, I think Jeff Crippen totally gets it. He knows it is way of thinking and they don’t even question their very basic assumptions. I don’t think most pastors get out of bed thinking how can I get women today. Their views are so ingrained in how to deal with this stuff it seems totally biblical to them.

    Jeff Crippen is a gift to the Body of Christ.

  227. RB wrote:

    Anon 1, got a kick out of one of your earlier posts re: dependence on leadership as to how to think, live, handle situations, etc. Reminded me of big gubmint. Thanks for the proper spelling of that one, HUG.

    RB, I will tell you I am worried. It seems we now look to gubmint to care for us physically and micromanage our lives for us and church to care for our souls and tell us what to believe. We are ceasing to be a thinking people.

  228. >SBC Chaplain wrote: I think it is important that your readers know that there is at least one Reformed guy out there who acknowledges that.
    In Christ,
    SBC Chaplain

    Make that two brother, though I will no longer have anything to do with the T4G, Gospel Coalition or 9 Marks boys.

  229. Scott McKnight’s book that Bill mentioned is on Amazon Kindle for $3.19. Just downloaded it.

  230. Anon 1 wrote:

    He is not an outstanding theologian. He is what I see as pseudo intellectual shock jockery the YRR generation loves. It is made up. Christian Hedonism? Scream of the Damned? Give me a break.

    He is passionate and people fall for the flowery verbosity. He is also cryptic and vague. People think there is some profundity there. There are many who think it is fabulous he is going to be the 21st Century John Calvin Global Apostle. They thought that video announcement was from God, I think.

    Yes, there are huge problems with the way so much is taken “literally”. Esp in the OT like their literal interpretations of some Psalms… which is Hebrew Poetry. I like what NT Wright says about this: You cannot take poetry, put it in a computer and come out with a literal interpretation. (I am paraphrasing)

    All I know is my family members who went to work for him and study with him after Wheaton came back totally different people. And not good people. They were divisive, arrogant, condescending and downright cruel to people who had been long time serious believers. Of course, their own grandmother who toiled in the inner city in the Name of Jesus for 50 years did not “know the true Gospel”. Piper really has brainwashed a lot of the YRR generation.

    He is silly. look at this one:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/how-is-the-statement-god-is-most-glorified-in-us-when-we-are-most-satisfied-in-him-true-for-those-who-wont-be-saved

    I cannot for the life of me figure out what profundity people find with this. It is gobblygook. But people like it. It is esoteric, I suppose. He literally makes it up and sells it off as some big discovery.

    I think this movement is going to see a ton of fallout in 10-15 years. And it will be devestating for many.

    Anon 1 wrote:

    He is not an outstanding theologian. He is what I see as pseudo intellectual shock jockery the YRR generation loves. It is made up. Christian Hedonism? Scream of the Damned? Give me a break.

    He is passionate and people fall for the flowery verbosity. He is also cryptic and vague. People think there is some profundity there. There are many who think it is fabulous he is going to be the 21st Century John Calvin Global Apostle. They thought that video announcement was from God, I think.

    Yes, there are huge problems with the way so much is taken “literally”. Esp in the OT like their literal interpretations of some Psalms… which is Hebrew Poetry. I like what NT Wright says about this: You cannot take poetry, put it in a computer and come out with a literal interpretation. (I am paraphrasing)

    All I know is my family members who went to work for him and study with him after Wheaton came back totally different people. And not good people. They were divisive, arrogant, condescending and downright cruel to people who had been long time serious believers. Of course, their own grandmother who toiled in the inner city in the Name of Jesus for 50 years did not “know the true Gospel”. Piper really has brainwashed a lot of the YRR generation.

    He is silly. look at this one:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/how-is-the-statement-god-is-most-glorified-in-us-when-we-are-most-satisfied-in-him-true-for-those-who-wont-be-saved

    I cannot for the life of me figure out what profundity people find with this. It is gobblygook. But people like it. It is esoteric, I suppose. He literally makes it up and sells it off as some big discovery.

    I think this movement is going to see a ton of fallout in 10-15 years. And it will be devestating for many.

    Was one of your family members who studied with Piper and came from Wheaton about 6 ft. Inches tall?

  231. @SBC Chaplain,

    Thank you, and God bless you, for your stand. Much respect and love to you, from a “formerly Reformed” and Catholic “revert” who still loves his Reformed brothers and sisters in Christ, even when some of them– such as many people in my former “9 Marks/T4G/Gospel Coalition” circles– do not believe that I actually am a brother!

  232. @ SBC Chaplain:
    I grew up SBC and my mothers family. Thrityfour years ago my Sunday School teachers came to my house to request that my husband and I along with our three kids not leave our church to possibly go to a “cult”(GOB/CLC). I can’t tell you how much I wish we had listened. Back in the beginning of GOB CJ would rant an yell about the traditional church. And the evils thereof. Is there anything you can do? Just a thought.

  233. Anon 1 wrote:

    RB, I will tell you I am worried. It seems we now look to gubmint to care for us physically and micromanage our lives for us and church to care for our souls and tell us what to believe. We are ceasing to be a thinking people.

    Lawdy, lawdy Anon 1, what would you ever do with an old school FDR style socialist like Muff Potter?

  234. Patrice wrote:

    I will carry your confidence for you, Muff. And whatever universe you end up in, I’d love a visit invite. But if you become so etherealized that I need to shed my restored body to get there, you might have to wait til I get bored with it and that might take a while.

    Patrice, it was pure hyperbole. But on the other hand and since I have no desire to sing Amazing Grace for 10,000 yrs., or rule and reign over others, we’ll just have to wait and see.

  235. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote (HUG quoting TW):

    TW wrote:
    “What a Victim Can Expect in a Typical Evangelical Church…”
    The lesson I bring back from those 11 steps is simple: BE AN ABUSER. BE A SOCIOPATH. BE A WINNER INSTEAD OF A LOSER. And I’m sure I’m not the only one to read that into the experience.

    I’m always spotting patterns in things, I hope nobody minds me going a tiny off topic, but – that quote above can also be applied to other areas of life, even one that have nothing to do with Christianity or churches. The first that comes to my mind is the workplace.

    I was harassed pretty bad by one boss in one job. I did a lot of reading about workplace bullying as a result. I found out from all the reading, that it’s the same at jobs; workplaces champion those they view as “winners,” even if those winners are stabbing other people in the back, using them, stepping on them.

    The person who is bullying, mean, or abusive is protected by senior managers and by Human Resources Departments.

    It’s all backwards. Even if a workplace victim reports the abuse with proof, he/she gets treated like the wrong one, most companies will move to get the victim fired.

    Bullies on the job get promoted: and not just to get them out of the department and out of the way, but for whatever reason, abusive people are admired or get rewarded in American culture.

    The books by workplace abuse experts say often those who are most targeted by bullies are
    1. women
    2. highly competent and talented (the bullies feel threatened by their competence and a bit jealous) and
    3. victims are usually well-liked or even popular in the workplace

  236. @ Patrice:

    Thank you for the kind words. I hope things work out okay for you. I was engaged to a few years to a guy. I remember on occasion sitting in the same room as him and still feeling all alone.

    The church needs to stop portraying prayer and faith as automatic guarantees, that if you just pray long/hard enough, God will indeed do X,Y,Z.

    But then, Scripture itself has those types of promises in it, so I don’t know what to think.

  237. Egalitarian Delight wrote:

    Was one of your family members who studied with Piper and came from Wheaton about 6 ft. Inches tall?

    Hee Hee. That describes quite a few people, does it not? But I can imagine it would be giant size in Piperland. but no and this was back about 15 years ago. That is when I started checking out what he teaches.

  238. Daisy wrote:

    The church needs to stop portraying prayer and faith as automatic guarantees, that if you just pray long/hard enough, God will indeed do X,Y,Z.

    Daisy, this was not how it worked in the OT:

    Top 10 ways to find a wife according to the Bible:

    10. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. – (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
    9. Find a prostitute and marry her. – (Hosea 1:1-3)
    8. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.- Moses (Exodus 2:16-21)
    7. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. – Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)
    6. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. – Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)
    5. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep.-Adam (Genesis 2:19-24)
    4. Kill any husband and take his wife. -David (2 Samuel 11)
    3. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife -David (I Samuel 18:27)
    2. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you’ll definitely find someone. -Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)
    1. Don’t be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. – Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

  239. Lynn wrote:

    If I have time I’ll go back and do some transcription but in general they equated YEC and the Gospel as biblical truth and all the people against this combined “truth” as atheists. I’m against the teachings of KH as they relate to most anything promoted by AIG. And I have no problem calling out this “science” test as bogus. In the interview they would lump with with the atheists.

    Oh goodness. If they want to believe YEC is biblical, or biblical truth (I know I do), that is their right.

    I am a YEC. My fellow YECs have a right to teach their own kids about YEC if they want to, or to publish books and web pages about it.

    See, this is what gets me about anti YECism, whether atheist or Christian; the intolerance, the insistence that YECs shut up, go away, don’t have a right to be YEC or teach it any where or any time, but also at the same time insist everyone be taught macro-evolution as fact and agree with it or you’re labelled “anti science.”

    I don’t try to halt evolution being taught in public or in private. I had to learn about evolution in public school and a little while in college.

    This comment: and [they portrayed] all the people against this combined “truth” as atheists

    No, I’m pretty sure they were talking specifically about actual atheists who are harassing YECs for being or teaching YEC, unless I overlooked a comment.

    That is not the same as saying, “We think Christians who reject YEC are closet atheists.”

    Atheists have been sending hate mail to Ken Ham’s site and a school that teaches Creationism ever since atheists saw a copy of a science test that school uses – and that was the whole point of his guest appearance on the radio show.

    On other web pages or in interviews in the past, Ham has expressed concern that Christians are being influenced by atheism and/or macro evolution, but even that is not the same thing as if he were to say, “all Christians who reject YEC are closet atheists.”

    Ham wrote about this a time or two on his site. This might be the page I’m thinking of (this page has some of the same things he said on the Mefferd radio show):
    Angry Atheists Display Intolerance of Christianity
    .

  240. Ryan wrote:

    Daisy, I think that the theology of New Calvinism provides at least a partial answer to this. New Calvinism teaches that all people are totally depraved, including born again Christians. In their sick, twisted theology, even being born again means that you don’t lose your total depravity. Therefore, according to Piper, those missionary workers justly died simply on account of their retained total depravity.

    I agree, but I think even old fashioned, regular Reformed/ Calvinism also shares these views, or is in part responsible for how the Pipers of the world arrive at the positions they do, which is what I was trying to say on an older thread about this a few days ago on this blog, but one or two folks here who identify as “Reformed” got upset by my perspective. Which is all it is, my perspective.

  241. Dave A A wrote:

    Lisa, Fred has now assigned your comment to the “dung-out” to protect the Internet! Sorry I tempted you to respond!

    Bob, you guys are cracking me up.

  242. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I hope you were since able to find employment. The economy over here has been terrible, and the jobless rates have been very high.

    I agree with your views at the end of your post too, that those who have got the big house, fancy car, or spouse may think they did all the right things, so of course God rewarded them with that stuff, and if I just did all the right things to, God would give me what I ask for as well.

    I’ve learned the hard way that you can do all the right things, pray for years, have lots of faith and take practical steps to make whatever it is come to pass, but God may not reward you with whatever the thing is you’re praying for. I don’t understand it.

  243. Hester wrote:

    Well, there was a guy who wrote an editorial for my mom’s hometown paper in which he said that if you believed in evolution you were lost. He wasn’t anybody famous or anything, but this was small town MN so I guess crazy is everywhere.

    I don’t know about Radio Guy, but that is not what Ham was saying in his interview with Mefferd.

    I’m a YEC and don’t consider non-YECs as being “un Christian” or “Non Christian” or as “atheists,” and I don’t think Ham does either. I’ve seen Ham in interviews before, and I’ve never once seen or heard him suggest anything like that.

  244. I’m not trying to be rude or mean spirited, but while you may have the right to teach your kids young earth creationism, I don’t think you should have that right. If children need to be protected from abuse of their bodies because they are too young to protect themselves, then certainly it’s reasonable to say that they also need to be protected from those who would abuse their minds.

    This is not an area which is vague, it is not about one parent teaching their child to value one set of traits over another. This is about teaching something which is clearly and demonstrably wrong, abdicating the responsibility that a parent has to educate their child and prepare them for the future and derailing the child’s education in the process.

    It is also not a case of theist vs atheist. I think, even as an atheist, that religious education has value. But to teach that which is clearly incorrect and to do so as though it were fact is an abuse of parental rights.

    It is like intentionally teaching your child that green is called red and blue is orange, that the order of operation in math is right to left instead of left to right, teaching them that operations inside parenthesis are to be done last instead of first, that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. This is good parenting? This is doing what’s in the best interest of your child? No, it’s abusing the innocence and trust of that child and is every bit as evil as physical abuse.

  245. Muff Potter wrote:

    Patrice, it was pure hyperbole.

    Yah, ok, old school FDR-style socialist, person after my own heart. I’ve been hyperbolic most of the day. Even dramatized as an old man over at pyromaniacs for the sheer h*ll of it. And it was. H*ll, I mean.

    Anyway, at least a real heaven has no need for leather&spike leeederzzz and is all generosity.

  246. Fendrel wrote:

    I’m not trying to be rude or mean spirited, but while you may have the right to teach your kids young earth creationism, I don’t think you should have that right.

    I can’t even make it past that first comment.

  247. Dave A A wrote:

     That is: they wouldn’t abide anything but a full denunciation of SGM from top to bottom, and certainly:

    Since these SGM churches fostered and enabled child sexual abuse for over a decade and worked to cover it up, and now treat the victims rudely, or make fun of them on Twitter? Yeah.

  248. I knew it.

    Frank Turk said…
    On-record:

    Yes. I did delete Julie-Ann’s self-serving tweet. She was the first one to get the offer to be interviewed here for the sake of her cause, and she declined. She can’t both demand I talk about her pet project here in accordance with her rules for engagement and also refuse to talk about her pet project here uninvited with no rules of engagement.

    She knows what the rules are, and she has my e-mail address. We can start whenever she wants to start — according to some rules of decorum.

    Next.

    1:38 PM, May 22, 2013

  249. @ Really?:

    Oh wait, I mis-read, yeah, I think I did say that. Yeah, Robertsons and Pipers of Christianity blame every natural disaster or terrorist attack on people’s sin or say it’s God’s judgment on sinners, or sometimes (with Piper) on people who are Christians.

    You can read more about that here (with examples):
    The abusive theology of “deserved” tragedy…

    I don’t know why people are so keen to defend Piper or other figures, like John Calvin.

  250. Thanks for replying. I just tried posting a comment there but l couldnt get a reply through. I really am inexperienced in the blogosphere! Maybe I’ll figure it out. My concerns are that many Christians, misusing grace, allow further victimization because they just don’t understand the illness or the mental make up of pedophiles and abusesrs. I am wondering if most people think having them in church and just announcing they are a predator is sufficient protection for the victims I do not want to misconstrue his meaning, it seemed to me though he equates pedophilia with just another sexual sin. So, I’m wondering, if that’s the trend these days?
    Thanks again for your reply.

  251. Anon wrote:

    READ this and weep:

    An Elephant in Our Own Backyard

    At least one Gospel Coalition writer is not going to be silent.
    Just posted at http://www.theologyforwomen.org

    Good job, Wendy Horger, author of Practical Theology for Women. Nicely done. We commend you for your courage for being one of the only Gospel Coalition people to speak out for the voiceless.

  252. @ elastigirl:

    I get put off by Romans 8:28, the way it’s usually the first thing you hear from other Christians when you tell them your loved one died, you got laid off from your job, or you have cancer, or whatever.

  253. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And the “God will give you mind-blowing married sex” seems

    If it makes you feel any better, in the last year, I’ve seen more and more Christians, ex Christians, and ex Mormons (Mormons apparently also stress marriage and sexual purity just as much if not more than Baptists and evangelical Christians), say that they remained pure until marriage, but once they did the did, it was boring, sloppy, painful, not pleasant – anything but “mind blowing” and great.

    These people who waited then got married in their 20s, are really disillusioned and feel lied to by their respective churches/ preachers about all the teachings on se-, marriage, and relationships.

    This is the side of the sexual purity teachings you don’t hear about. I’m not against sexual purity or churches teaching it, but I can’t agree with how it’s being taught to Christians of all ages.

    While the teens get hit with the “wait until you get married” spiel, the older singles (when they are not being ignored) get equally simplistic or stupid advice from churches and preachers about se-, marriage, dating.

  254. Julie Anne wrote:

    Frank Turk said…
    On-record:
    Yes. I did delete Julie-Ann’s self-serving tweet. She was the first one to get the offer to be interviewed here for the sake of her cause, and she declined. She can’t both demand I talk about her pet project here in accordance with her rules for engagement and also refuse to talk about her pet project here uninvited with no rules of engagement.
    She knows what the rules are, and she has my e-mail address. We can start whenever she wants to start — according to some rules of decorum.
    Next.

    Moscow Rules?

  255. TW wrote:

    “What a Victim Can Expect in a Typical Evangelical Church

    Thank you for sharing that. It summarizes what I’ve seen on this blog and others about how child abuse victims are treated, and wives who are being abused are treated.

    It’s also how bullying victims in public schools are treated, and bullied employees in offices are treated. The abuser gets excused and protected, but the target gets blamed, harassed and has to change schools/jobs, not the bully. It’s very much the same thing.

  256. Anon 1 wrote:

    he can’t both demand I talk about her pet project here in accordance with her rules for engagement and also refuse to talk about her pet project here uninvited with no rules of engagement.
    She knows what the rules are, and she has my e-mail address.

    If she turned him down, maybe it was because of his “rules.” If his rules are set up from the start to censor her or give him an unfair advantage, I wouldn’t blame her for not wanting to write something for his site/blog.

  257. Patrice wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    I know right? Well, as long as you remember that the sparkliest of all is God’s wrath and our own worstiest sinnerifitude, I’m sure they’ll forgive you.
    Or maybe not. You are female, after all. Do you have a man? No, I mean, does a man have you?
    Hey, why are you talking?

    You are cracking me up good & proper…great work.

  258. Daisy wrote:

    Oh wait, I mis-read, yeah, I think I did say that. Yeah, Robertsons and Pipers of Christianity blame every natural disaster or terrorist attack on people’s sin or say it’s God’s judgment on sinners, or sometimes (with Piper) on people who are Christians.
    You can read more about that here (with examples):
    The abusive theology of “deserved” tragedy…
    I don’t know why people are so keen to defend Piper or other figures, like John Calvin.

    Still don’t see a quote from Piper saying that calamity only befalls “unrepentent heathens”.

  259. While ignoring the abominable SGM scandal, Al Mohler recently took an opportunity to fire a shot at another one of his bogeymen, in this case Psychiatry: http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/05/20/the-briefing-05-20-13/ Other times its been yoga, spending money on pets, etc.

    It is not that some of the criticisms of the DSM made by others that he quotes aren’t legitimate. The problem here is that Mohler fails to acknowledge that there is a such thing as legitimate mental illness, that many people actually do need psychotropic drugs, and that not everything is a “sin issue.” He could have qualified his remarks in this way, but he didn’t.

    Since fundamentalists (Calvinist or otherwise) tend to reject psychology and not believe in mental illness, perhaps they believe that all of the psychological and emotional problems of abuse victims will be cured if they just forgive (or even “reconcile” with) the abuser. And that is what we have seen in SGM.

  260. May God continue to use you at TWW in exposing this serious matter. It is odd watching the parallels in response between the scandals with the Obama Administration and this, with SGM/TGC/Neo-Calvinist leadership. They may be borrowing notes.

    Imagine if at Southern Seminary under Al Mohler’s leadership people were accused of molestation and abuse at this level, does anyone think that even for a moment he would survive with the excuses of “not knowing about it” CJM has offered (and Mohler, himself along with scores of Neo-Calvinists, accepted)? It is bizarre to say the least.

  261. Nicholas wrote:

    Since fundamentalists (Calvinist or otherwise) tend to reject psychology and not believe in mental illness, perhaps they believe that all of the psychological and emotional problems of abuse victims will be cured if they just forgive (or even “reconcile” with) the abuser. And that is what we have seen in SGM.

    That’s not the real reason they engage in coverup of abuse and forcing victims to “reconcile with their abusers. But it may be a way they try to justify it in their minds.

  262. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    When it comes to Brother Turk, Julie Anne and I need to take the words of George Bernard Shaw to heart:
    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

    I dinnae ken ennehn aboot Mr Turk. However, the principle espoused by Bernard Shaw (who, incidentally, shares my birthday) is eminently correct. For the same reason, though I’ll happily give an account for what I believe, I never debate scripture.

  263. @ Dave A A:
    No, it was me that Frank threatened to dung. (He unceremoniously dumped Julie Anne with a chaser of lies and slander. Talk about decorum!) He didn’t like that I presented as an “unknown” older male giving him and his a brief runaround. Eventually he reverted to sour self-pity: “Yes, yes: my fault entirely. As always.” My ex used to say that too.

    The problem with being terrified of anonymous commenters is that someone or other will eventually try to pull one over. It’s inevitable. And then, hoist on his own petard. lol

  264. @ dee:

    I prefer “Turk is a jerk.”

    @ Julie Anne:

    I sent Turk a link (on Pyro) to the Second Amended Lawsuit and challenged him to read it. I’m assuming he hasn’t (haven’t yet read all of his tweets). If he says he won’t, I’ll write that he hasn’t got the guts to do it. Somehow, I doubt that it will even get that far.

    All bullies are cowards. Turk is a bully. Turk is a coward. Also, he loves to see his name in cyberspace; he’d kill to become well known enough to become one of the RBD.

  265. @ Janey: I’m back to being a Lutheran again, and I’m not sure that anyone worries about relevance or lack thereof. We certainly are perceived as “irrelevant” by many in the evangelical world – so who cares? 😉

  266. @ Muff Potter: That’s not m y scene, either, and somehow I think it’s about as accurate as the other stereotypical ideas (floating around with a harp, etc.).

  267. Nicholas wrote:

    While ignoring the abominable SGM scandal, Al Mohler recently took an opportunity to fire a shot at another one of his bogeymen, in this case Psychiatry:

    Again, I can’t help thinking of Scientology whenever I hear this.

  268. Anon 1 wrote:

    Egalitarian Delight wrote:

    Was one of your family members who studied with Piper and came from Wheaton about 6 ft. Inches tall?

    Hee Hee. That describes quite a few people, does it not? But I can imagine it would be giant size in Piperland. but no and this was back about 15 years ago. That is when I started checking out what he teaches.

    sorry. I meant six foot six inches tall. Auto correct got me:)

  269. Oasis wrote:

    Only ever watched one episode of MLP, but I was totally charmed by Fluttershy. So adorably funny!

    “(yay)”

    If the ponies were real, the three I would most like to know would be Fluttershy, Rarity, and Twilight.
    * Fluttershy because she’s so gentle. (And she has a voice like my ex-girlfriend.) If any female could get me to trust women again, it’d be someone gentle like her. Don’t think I could ever share her passion for animals, though.
    * Rarity because she’s an elegant, classy lady straight out of a First 1960s glam romance. And unlike most alpha females in my RL experience, she’s give give give instead of take take take.
    * But I’d probably settle down long-term with Twilight Sparkle, because she’s a nerd like me. (We even crack up in the same way.) Even know where to take her on a cheap date — used bookstore and museum crawl.

    Years ago, I wrote two “magic realism” fantasy stories about imaginary critters trying to push through into our reality and failing. The only bittersweet hope was that of Resurrection; that in the New Heavens and New Earth they would be given physical reality, Resurrecting from fantasy into reality.

  270. Daisy wrote:

    I’m always spotting patterns in things, I hope nobody minds me going a tiny off topic, but – that quote above can also be applied to other areas of life, even one that have nothing to do with Christianity or churches. The first that comes to my mind is the workplace.
    I was harassed pretty bad by one boss in one job. I did a lot of reading about workplace bullying as a result. I found out from all the reading, that it’s the same at jobs; workplaces champion those they view as “winners,” even if those winners are stabbing other people in the back, using them, stepping on them.

    For whatever it’s worth, when my first out-of-college job was going south in the early Eighties, I was getting the above “winners and losers” rubbed in my face and stressing out BAD. Not so much workplace bullying as seeing management corruption prosper and prosper and prosper.

    Weirdest thing happened in the middle of all this — I had this vivid mental image of a statue of Baal-Melkart standing in front of me. Baal-Melkart, the Phoenician god who was usualy the “Baal” the Jewish Prophets were preaching against (and whose priests and prophets were the bad guys in a novel about Elijah I’d read shortly before). And it wasn’t a Cecil B DeMille movie version, but the actual statue I saw in books on archaeology, standing with the tall white headdress and the ax slung over the shoulder. And with this vivid mental image came the caption “Why Fight It?”

  271. Anon

    I enjoy Wendy Alsup. She cares about this situation. Too bad none of the many leaders give s hoot.

  272. Thank you to all new commenters who identified themselves as Neo-Reformed. Please consider telling your pastors and friends about your concerns. This scandal will leave an imprint on your movement.

  273. @ dee:

    You were faster than me, Dee. It took me opening 3 windows, loading them, complaining on the original tweet about my problem, and getting an interesting response before I put it together. My red hair must have changed colors momentarily.

  274. I started watching a show called THE INVISIBLE WAR because I saw Susan Burk on it. It’s interesting.

  275. @ Patrice:
    Yes– I knew the dung-out was prepared for U N Owen (great comments, BTW) but applied it to JA as well. Then they dispatched JeffB”s comment to the depths of Gehenna. He challenged Frank to read the lawsuit– oh my!

  276. @ dee:

    The NeoRefomed leaders need to “man up” and follow Wendy since she is the first example of manly leadership from that camp. She said what needed to be said in exactly the right way with the right tone. I often thank God for Wendy Alsup. May she prosper and flourish and be strengthened in every way.

  277. Daisy wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:
     That is: they wouldn’t abide anything but a full denunciation of SGM from top to bottom, and certainly:
    Since these SGM churches fostered and enabled child sexual abuse for over a decade and worked to cover it up, and now treat the victims rudely, or make fun of them on Twitter? Yeah.

    And this wasn’t the opinion of most survivors and friends a couple years ago. People were hopeful for repentance and reform. Then came all the dissembling.

  278. @ Dana:She appears to be one of the few in this crowd who actually cares about the children. I like her which is probably the death knell for her reputation in TGC.

    The rest only care about CJ Mahaney. None of them say one word about the children who were hurt. Not. One. Word.

  279. Dave A A wrote:

    And this wasn’t the opinion of most survivors and friends a couple years ago. People were hopeful for repentance and reform. T

    I will keep saying this until the end of this scandal. If Mr. Humility had actually conjured up some humility and apologized, this would not have happened. This lands on the doorstep of Mahaney who obviously knows jack diddily squat about humility.

  280. The thing about mental illness only ever being because of sin is false. I don’t know about other mental illnesses, but schizophrenia and bi-polar are both distinguished by alteration of actual brain cells as the diseases progress. Shame on these people, if only for telling their members not to take meds for mental illness. Maybe the meds wouldn’t cure or forestall the organic brain damage in these two diseases, but they are needed for survival, not to mention quality of life.

    About the YE/OE, I was raised to believe the macro only view, then as a biology major in college, after coming to faith, I started re-thinking it all. I think both views have scientific merit. And I’m perfectly comfortably letting God be God over the whole thing, lol. However it happened, I know Who made it happen, and I believe God rejoices when we discover truth, whether it’s physical or spiritual.

    FDR… I blame the gutless guys in Congress who sold the country to the Federal Reserve, at the turn of last century. All of this has been snowballing since, and things that start out voluntary, like SS, taxes, etc., end up being mandatory. Then the congress critters turned around and robbed the SS funds. The Great American Dream has become the Macabre Orwellian Nanny State. I have to force myself not to worry about it, after all, God promises to supply our needs, and my citizenship is in Heaven, not here, but it frosts my conservative cookies, & I was Democrat 20 yrs.

  281. @ Lisa:

    “I know some of you are saying, “Wait a minute! How can you compare the sexual orientations of a homosexual or an adulterer with those of a genital exposer or a child predator! The first two involve consenting adults! The latter two involve crimes perpetrated against the non-consenting or children!””

    I notice Wade asks this question and the promptly proceeds to not answer it. History of accepting the subjugation and exploitation of others is not a rational defense of this behavior. Does he wish to return to good old days of black chattel slavery? What about that most beloved Roman form of capital punishment…the crucifixion of criminals in full parade dress for all the mall goers to see? Let’s bring back John Calvin’s bonfires. After all, if it is one thing old and ancient civilizations knew how to do right, it is oppress the poor and weak in service to the cravings and deviant desires of the “divinely blessed”. I mean, yeah Wade, how can something they got so right actually be wrong?

    And so Wade’s “answer” amounts to:

    Old Men (usually rich) in Old Societies who Despotically Ran Things = Wisdom and Cultural Purity = Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Women and Children Can Be Rationally Defended.

    All who agree with that particular gem of theological insight…please go outside and spend the rest of your life identifying yourself to everyone you meet, particularly those of us with young children. And even more so, those of us with young FEMALE children (double imputation of abuse, you see…they get to be sex objects AND never have a college degree…after all, girls weren’t allowed in school back in the days of John Knox, so, it must be a great idea for today’s free democracy).

    I think this is a serious problem within the church, and why I am more and more opposed to the local organized church. It is more propaganda and marketing, group-think and ritual designed to keep people “in”, rather than free. There is no money in free thinking…never has been.

    Too many men are leading (lording) so convinced that their own subjective ideas about everything are so divine that they don’t even bother to offer a serious defense of them. It is the “preaching” version of biblical infallibility. The pastor said it, so it must be true. If you disagree, they can always fall back on “Who are you, O man?”

    Yawn.

    Church is fast becoming the repository of average-men with average intelligence and average discernment wielding dreadfully large amounts of power. And that’s best case scenario…worst cases involve years of congregational abuse by rank narcissists and psychopaths. If these Pastors were Muslim, the church would be screaming like raving lunatics to have them removed. But simply replace Mohammed with Christ, and Imam with Pastor, and the ideology is perfectly fine.

    Again, its never about the doctrine, its just about getting the “right” men holding infinite, irreproachable power.

  282. Argo, Thank you for taking the time to
    compose such a well reasoned reply. I believe we feel much alike on this. I have not walked in evangelical circles in ten years, but had heard a tiny bit of Wade. When I read his post I thought surely I must be missing something! thanks for sharing your feelings and insights…they have helped me greatly.
    @ Argo:
    @ Argo:

  283. A post script to my previous post:

    The difference between telling someone you love them and forgive them and that what they did doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of God’s sovereign plan is the difference between Christ’s love and “sound doctrine”.

    This is THE single greatest premise I took away from fifteen years of SGM theology.

  284. @ Lisa:

    Lisa,
    Thank you very much. I think you were absolutely spot on to question that blurb. It is those little…hmm, slip-ups, that are the key to understanding the beliefs and assumptions which bookend the sympathy and benevolent tones. Please read my short post script to my long post, above. At the end of the day, whatever anyone does, whatever behavior no matter how criminal, doesn’t really matter according to their theology. It is pointless to try to understand or question what is, ultimately, by God’s determined will and design. and this is really, I think, the crux of Wade’s argument. He is very much a Calvinist, he just comes at it from a different angle, and that blurb you quoted caught it.

    You see, some pastors approach it from the despotic standpoint…the idea that they are God in the stead and you therefore exist to serve their whims and fancies, which are grandiose divine exploits–enter CJ Mahaney, poster boy for the overt tyrant pedigree; and others approach it with a “shrug…don’t sweat it; I love you, and so does God; all things work for good for those who love the Lord”, and so, if you are a child molester, really, who are we to judge what is ultimately part of God’s sovereign plan? Somehow, we must concede that God wanted those kids to be “lured” into sex (at best they’ll chalk it up to “for who knows how God works…he hates evil, but He is in control OF EVIL is the implicit point, and so evil is God’s will, so all we can do is not judge and declare paradox). After all, nothing escapes His will.

    Truly, it is all very egregious. And obviously people are the collateral for this kind of teaching.

  285. Speaking of Romans 8:28, maybe some others will find this link as helpful as I do:
    Romans 8:28 in Context

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Years ago, I wrote two “magic realism” fantasy stories about imaginary critters trying to push through into our reality and failing. The only bittersweet hope was that of Resurrection; that in the New Heavens and New Earth they would be given physical reality, Resurrecting from fantasy into reality.

    Wow, what an imaginative and fascinating storyline! Can your stories be read anywhere? As an anime fan I had the opposite problem, wanting to escape out of this world into the stories with the characters I loved. Even though I was more into darker stuff like Noir (the plot of which ironically involves a religious cult).

  286. RB wrote:

    I have to force myself not to worry about it, after all, God promises to supply our needs, and my citizenship is in Heaven, not here, but it frosts my conservative cookies, & I was Democrat 20 yrs.

    RB, you don’t know how much this encourages me this morning. Thanks.

  287. @ Daisy: Young-earth creationism is high on the list of reasons young adults leave the church and never come back. There is so much evidence we can glean, from the minds and perceptual apparatus that God has given us, about the nature of the world we live in, about the ground under our feet and the story it tells. With all due respect to those on this blog who are YEC, maintaining that position means ignoring, or tortuously reinterpreting, the fossil and other geological evidence for a very old earth. This is personal for me: we sent our youngest son to a Christian school for five years, thinking it would be a safer environment for him than public school (he is on the mild end of the Asperger’s spectrum). It was associated with a nearby seminary I respect, and I was not as vigilant as I should have been in checking out the textbooks. It was only towards the end of his time there that he told me he had been taught that the earth was about 6000 years old. I had to say to him, I’m so sorry; that’s
    not what your dad and I believe. That, along with the rather heavy-duty Calvinism that was taught, has soured him on Christianity.

  288. @ Argo:
    “double imputation of abuse, you see…they get to be sex objects AND never have a college degree…after all, girls weren’t allowed in school back in the days of John Knox, so, it must be a great idea for today’s free democracy).”
    I also wonder about the defense of very long sermons among some evangelicals and many Calvinists–two-hour sermons were fine in the days of Jonathan Edwards, so we’re being bold and countercultural now by putting a 45-minute or longer sermon at the very center of the service. Maybe those two-hour sermons were an aberration, a cultural blip, and not something we should be aspiring to return to.

  289. @ Patricia in MA:

    I can barely hold my attention for 20 minutes. This is true for most of us. And it is especially hard when I’m listening to a man who is doing little more than reciting an op-ed on his personal assumptions, most of which are highly dubious, and wholly submitted to a traditional thread of narrow conservative sexual politics. After 20 minutes, really it’s a waste of time.

  290. Oasis wrote:

    Wow, what an imaginative and fascinating storyline! Can your stories be read anywhere? As an anime fan I had the opposite problem, wanting to escape out of this world into the stories with the characters I loved.

    The first of the two (written around ten years ago) got bootlegged onto a blog I’d never heard of before. Don’t know how it got there, but since I couldn’t find an interested publisher, I kept the link:

    “Conversation with a Dying Unicorn” at http://thingsthatarerectangles.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/51-the-unicorn-story/
    Headed off by the picture I did which inspired it, “The Age of Reason Has No Need of Unicorns” (which is also where my comment handle came from).
    Blogger’s intro includes a little cussing.

  291. Daisy wrote:

    If it makes you feel any better, in the last year, I’ve seen more and more Christians, ex Christians, and ex Mormons (Mormons apparently also stress marriage and sexual purity just as much if not more than Baptists and evangelical Christians), say that they remained pure until marriage, but once they did the did, it was boring, sloppy, painful, not pleasant – anything but “mind blowing” and great.

    A good chunk of this is unrealistic expectations — the carrot held up in front of you of barn-burning, swinging from the chandeliers, mind-blowing married sex 24/7/365. Roman Orgy with a ring. Commencing IMMEDIATELY upon saying “I Do”, when your bride flips instantly on the wedding night from Pure Virgin Unto Death to your own Personal Porn Star.

    This does not appear to be a realistic expectation. Much more likely is that it would take months for two virgins to learn the ropes, get used to each other, and generally work into a rhythm.

    And when you factor in Comp male domination of the woman and the fact that even in a hyper-sheltered Christianese upbringing a boy will be exposed to porn and locker-room bragging at some time, guess what will shape his expectations and fantasies. Bad Craziness.

  292. Regarding the YEC thread in this set of comments: Richard Feynman gives a good general definition of science: a special method of finding things out, a body of knowledge arising from finding things out, what you can do with the knowledge – technology. The extreme YEC interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis is exactly that, a particular interpretation of scripture. YEC is not science. I have no quarrel with teaching YEC Biblical interpretation as long as it is acknowledged as Biblical interpretation and not called science. The insistence that YEC is science rather than a particular interpretation of scripture is the cause of much of the conflict we see.

    Dee and Deb have given me several guest posts on this subject, the most recent being on 4/24/2013 and 12/10/2012 (call up creationism under categories). The 12/10 post is most germane to this comment.

  293. Even when the content is good (I’ve never heard a preacher go off on pet political tangents; I guess we’ve avoided those kinds of churches ;)), anything much over 20 minutes is hard to absorb, and you reach a point of diminishing returns. With rare exceptions, you lose the overall coherence of whatever the preacher was trying to communicate–a coherence that might well have happened, and been beneficial to the listener, had the preacher been a bit more concise. The TED talks seem like a great model for sermons IMO. They seem to run about 10-12 minutes, with a clear takeaway.
    @ Argo:

  294. Wow! That is flabbergasting! Fifteen years ago I lived in a city where the reformed movement was a big trend. My very next door neighbors were best friends with the Doug Wilson pastor in Idaho. There was such a cruel, mean spirit in his magazine which they explained was sarcasm and satire that I just kept my distance.
    I stumbled onto this blog and feel it is a God send. I have suffered at the hands of those in the pastorate, as have my brother and at least five male cousins, one of which commited suicide (no doubt partly due to the trauma). This was in a Southern Baptist church. The pastor refused to take action. Long story short, I fought the battle by myself, quietly, but succeeded in that the youth pastor will never be in ministry again. None of the boys would sue or bring charges because it was a small town and they were ashamed. This was almost twenty years ago and I had no idea what to do! I literally called him up and threatened exposure and a lawsuit if he didn’t step down immediately and told him that if he ever got back into the ministry I’d be there. I required him to pay for the victims counseling and to get counseling for himself and his wife. That is a simplified version of events, but it’s the gist of what happened.
    One of the reasons it ties into this reformed movement is the power these people can wield. My older brother, who is an uneducated, blue collar, small town man just left his church after serving twenty years as a deacon. When I say SERVE, I mean SERVE. He laid his life down for the people at his church. He is a godly, humble man. Recently, while visiting with him, he asks in a most incredulous tone “have you ever heard of Calvinism?”. He then told me the story of his new preacher from the seminary in Louisville, KY who promptly moved in and told them they were doing everything wrong, etc, etc… He fired longtime employees, replaced them with his picks, hired his best friend to be the youth pastor, etc… Forty people in Sunday School dwindled to less than five because discussion questions turned into the pastor telling you how wrong you were. He literally used those words. The two pastors were caught lying and a meeting was called. Before the deacons could speak, the senior pastor enters the room saying, “this meeting is being held because you all have sin in your heart”. Well, my brother may be uneducated, but he’s no fool! He is a self made man, has opened several businesses in his lifetime, and even rode bucking bulls in his youth. A Calvinst pastor does not scare him. So, he promptly told his young pastor that it was HIS sin that was the problem, not everyone else’s. Long story short, a few weeks later the youth pastor took five boys and one girl on an overnight trip without chaperones. That was the last straw for my brother and when the senior pastor defended it, even though my brother pointed out it was against the law, my 62 year old brother and seven other deacons resigned their posts and left the church they loved.
    I love the simplicity of his faith. He doesn’t know a thing about Calvinism or Armininianism, but he UNDERSTANDS the spirit of God.
    All that to explain where I’m coming from. Thanks so much for corresponding with me. It has been good for me to hear your insight. @ Argo:
    @ Argo:
    @ Argo:

  295. @ Argo:

    Argo–

    Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to reply to Lisa. I was wondering the same things when I read her comment, and was hoping someone would reply. Your answer has really helped me!

    As far as the attention span for sermons I agree about 20 minutes. But I must add this: wheb I first saw CJ Mahaney “preach” in a video, I was spellbound- and not in a good way. The man could have talked for 2 hours and I would have watched-utterly fascinated by the freakish behavior I was witnessing. Hands karate chopping the air, the most bizarre arm movements…at times it was as if he was talking TO his hands- ontorting them in the must unusual ways as if pleading with his hands to make his point. Fascinating stuff.

    Same with Piper.

    So, those two still can hold my attention for more than 20 minutes, but for very wrong reasons.

  296. @ Lisa:

    Lisa, what a horrific yet compelling story. You are a real testimony of a woman being moved by God and doing what is needed to care for people. Dee and Deb may want to do a post on your experience if you fell like it would be helpful to others. I know it can be completely anonymous. What you are sharing about your brother ties in with the discussion on the most recent thread regarding church discipline. Thank you for sharing and I hope you continue to share what you see on the landscape out there. At the moment, I find it disturbing.

  297. @ Diane:

    I think I shared on here before that my mom watched 10 min of CJ, couldn’t take it anymore, and then when I turned him off, said it was like watching Data? ; )

  298. dee wrote:

    Thank you to all new commenters who identified themselves as Neo-Reformed. Please consider telling your pastors and friends about your concerns. This scandal will leave an imprint on your movement.

    While my sphere of influence is small, my freinds and I talk about some of the concerns we have within our own camp. I am all for cooperation in ministry across denominational lines, but I think some of these Reformed conferences and parachurch endeavors have outlived their intended purpose. It’s moved beyond just sharing a common concern for the gospel to more tertiary doctrines and its too personality driven.

  299. Joy Huff wrote:

    @ SBC Chaplain:
    I grew up SBC and my mothers family. Thrityfour years ago my Sunday School teachers came to my house to request that my husband and I along with our three kids not leave our church to possibly go to a “cult”(GOB/CLC). I can’t tell you how much I wish we had listened. Back in the beginning of GOB CJ would rant an yell about the traditional church. And the evils thereof. Is there anything you can do? Just a thought.

    I’m sorry you experienced that at the hands of church SGM leaders. For all the faults we have in the SBC, there are still good SBC churches out there who are healthy and well balanced, meaning, there is a good relationship between the pastor/staff and the congregation, good biblical doctrine is taught, and the church has heart for missions and evangelism. If one is in your area, I would encourage you to get involved there. If there is not an SBC church around, look for one that promotes those things that I mentioned above.

  300. Argo wrote:

    @ Patricia in MA:

    I can barely hold my attention for 20 minutes. This is true for most of us. And it is especially hard when I’m listening to a man who is doing little more than reciting an op-ed on his personal assumptions, most of which are highly dubious, and wholly submitted to a traditional thread of narrow conservative sexual politics. After 20 minutes, really it’s a waste of time.

    I can listen to NT Wright for hours. But he weaves a lot of history into the context of his teaching which I love. With Piper, I find myself counting the adjectives, adverbs and trying to figure what is he really meaning behind the flowery platitudes. It is as if somehow it is all about passion. I always find it funny when Piper defenders accuse others of emotionalism.

    I cannot take Mahaney for 5 min. He style sort of reminds me of those motivational speakers of the 80’s but with the twist of not deserving it. Reverse motivational speaking? “I don’t deserve all this power and money! I am a nothing but humble at being a nothing even though I am at the top of an empire I built with secrecy and mind control while protecting molesters and blackmailing my partner!”

  301. Anon 1 wrote:

    SBC Chaplain wrote:

    am also concerned that the Reformed camp has been largely silent on these allegations. The abuse of children is a horrible thing (and even the allegations of such are horrible) and I think it is important that your readers know that there is at least one Reformed guy out there who acknowledges that.

    Thank you, SBC Chaplain!

    I am wondering how many of you (SBC Reformed) are out there who would dare tell Mohler this to his face considering Mahaney moved to Louisville to be “near the seminary”? It could be a quiet career killer.

    I’m an Army Chaplain, I don’t scare easily 🙂 I think those concerns can and should be raised, in the proper fashion. I think the SBC is trying to do this. I hope wisdom prevails.

  302. @ Lisa:

    Wow, Lisa. On the contrary, YOUR posts have been most helpful to ME. LOL. That is a simply amazing and tragic story. But, sadly, it is becoming rather ubiquitous.

    We recently hired a new pastor (this is the church we began to attend after we left the SGM juggernaut)…I had serious concerns about him before ever hearing him speak officially. Sure enough, he’s been here less than three months and has already “requested” that the congregation sign THREE commitment “covenants”. All of them mean the same basic thing: your unequivocal loyalty to the collective of the “local church”; which means, really, to him. It is stomach turning. We are already looking for a new church…but I must admit, I’m hesitant to leave. I mean, the amount of blogging material I’m getting from this guy; he’s like a friggin goldmine, that one. During the past two sermons I have written entire blog posts while sitting in the pew; that last post on my blog was a three parter! And that from just one sermon. I feel like a hypocrite going to this church, but again, I’ve been reticent to leave because there I’m in the unadulterated thick and cusp of all the neo-cal ideas. This pastor makes almost no effort to hide the despotic implications. If I stay long enough, I’ll either be a more effective blogger, or the most qualified “minister of propaganda” for any Marxist/fascist organization looking to hire one. LOL!

  303. @ Hester:

    Yeah, Hester, I can’t take what he is saying. In one ear and out the other.

    But the hand movements were fascinating to me. I truly had never seen anything like it-Mahaney being the first video I watched, Piper thereafter.

  304. @ Anon 1:

    Emotionalism? Really…they accuse US??

    I have been subject to more ostentatious staged blubbering since my time within the neo-reformed movement than all of the rest of my time here on earth. Good grief…I used to LOATHE sitting through a Mark Mullery. You could almost time the crocodile tears down to the second. Every. Damn. Sermon he would start bawling…and that is NOT hyperbole. (Any FCCers, am I right?) It made me so uncomfortable. I’d look around and be like “you believe this guy?”…but everyone was just so glued to the “humility”. I then learned that in order to be a “real” Christian, you needed to burst into tears at the first mention of “your sin that hung Him there.” So gross.

    I can’t tell you what I feel like saying about this right now…I’d be kicked off this blog; and, for Dee and Deb to kick someone off, that’s saying something.

  305. Lisa, Tell your brother there are stories like this all over the SBC now. The REformed wing of the SBC is in denial and acting like this is not really happening. They run around saying, Prove it, Prove it. Name names. As if churches are not autonomous and the fall out so bad no one wants to fool with it. They trusted people they should not have trusted: The seminaries.

    What I would like to know is who pays the salaries of these YRR when they devestate the church and so many leave. The base is not there ot support all the folks they hire. I have my suspicisions some SBC entity helps them out. There is a definite strategy to take over churches. Tell your brother to read Quiet Revolution by Ernest Riesinger which outlines the plans made 30 years ago to make the SBC Calvinist. The cat is out of the bag now because Mohler took that strategy and trained a ton of young guys that only they have the true Gospel and must take it to SBC churches. Problem is they don’t tell you all this in the interview because they think you are stupid and don’t know the true Gospel and will react like a hick to the world Calvinism. They have total disdain for the people they expect to pay their salary and who helped subsidize their education.

    They are deceivers.

    (There is a reason I ask who is paying their salaries. There are two churches I know here that are tiny and no way can provide an income to the pastors who are now there. Both are YRR and both are related to SBTS professors. Nepotism? NAMB funds? What?)

  306. Argo wrote:

    but I must admit, I’m hesitant to leave. I mean, the amount of blogging material I’m getting from this guy; he’s like a friggin goldmine, that one.

    How long can you hold out without signing the covenants? That is the big question. If they call you in for questioning, please write a blog post on it! It would be great to have a first hand account from someone who is prepared instead of the typical account from someone totally blindsided as is usually the case.

  307. @ Patricia in MA:

    Yes…excellent point about the TED talks. I think they are the perfect amount of time, too. Although, some are so good that I wouldn’t mind if they went on just a bit longer. But in general, yeah…agreed.

  308. SBC Chaplain wrote:

    I’m an Army Chaplain, I don’t scare easily I think those concerns can and should be raised, in the proper fashion.

    What would you think is the proper fashion? Mohler’s trustees obviously agree with his protection and partnering with Mahaney. Now what?

  309. @ Anon 1:

    Oh yes…it will be blogged. I mean, to get hauled to the principle’s office for non-compliance! That would rule. I’m loving the thought of it!

    Oh please, oh please, oh please. 🙂

    Yes…you’ll be the first to know.

    Now look what you’ve done. I’m all excited now and I have to sit down with my seven year old and do geography. Thanks, Anon1…now I can’t concentrate.

  310. SBC Chaplain wrote:

    I think the SBC is trying to do this. I hope wisdom prevails

    If you are referring to Frank Page’s unity committee it is a joke. Mohler is on it. Even after saying those who signed the Trad statement should be marginalized and implicating them as semi heretics. That man gets by with anything. And the committee is not open but in secret which has been a problem with SBC leadership for a while now. Trust is wearing thin and that will affect giving. They only have themselves to blame.

  311. Argo wrote:

    Now look what you’ve done. I’m all excited now and I have to sit down with my seven year old and do geography. Thanks, Anon1…now I can’t concentrate.

    You are already formulating your responses, aren’t you! Don’t forget to take a neutral witness. I suggest Vito Coleone. :o)

  312. Anon 1 wrote:

    SBC Chaplain wrote:

    I’m an Army Chaplain, I don’t scare easily I think those concerns can and should be raised, in the proper fashion.

    I think the proper fashion is for the members of the SBC and the SBC leaders to use their means of presenting resolutions at the Convention, letting SBTS and SEBTS know of their disapproval of Mahaney speaking there, don’t go to T4G, make others aware of the situation. Most SBC folks are probably unaware of the matter. These things could be a start. What would be your suggestions in addressing it?

    What would you think is the proper fashion? Mohler’s trustees obviously agree with his protection and partnering with Mahaney. Now what?

  313. Anon 1 wrote:

    SBC Chaplain wrote:

    I think the SBC is trying to do this. I hope wisdom prevails

    If you are referring to Frank Page’s unity committee it is a joke. Mohler is on it. Even after saying those who signed the Trad statement should be marginalized and implicating them as semi heretics. That man gets by with anything. And the committee is not open but in secret which has been a problem with SBC leadership for a while now. Trust is wearing thin and that will affect giving. They only have themselves to blame.

    Yes. I agree. And I made that same statement when I saw who was on the committee. Common sense would tell you that you can’t have the most polarizing figure on the comittee that is adressing the issue that is most often brought out by that individual.

  314. Argo wrote:

    Old Men (usually rich) in Old Societies who Despotically Ran Things = Wisdom and Cultural Purity = Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Women and Children Can Be Rationally Defended

    Argo, Do you think this fits within the “man of his time” defense? It could be that folks see God allowing such things as polygamy in the OT and Paul not demanding slavery be ended and map that to prescriptive in whatever area they are arguing for. By doing this they miss the entire point: God allowing for reasons they dismiss to make it normal: Polygamy: so women would not go hungry, slavery: win your freedom if you can and Christians are to treat their slaves as siblings in Christ.

    What is even more interesting to me is that Athiests today have a higher standard of justice than Christian communities. Justice and protection is really misunderstood within Christianity because of cheap grace and lawlessness that is taught. I really do think we tend to see ourselves as very pious when we focus on the perpetrator. I will be glad to show him “love” behind bars for the rest of his life.

    Lisa describes her brother and men and women like him used to be the backbone of the SBC decades ago. Just regular people committed to the very basics of right and wrong that is just common sense. These were people you could trust to do the right things without all these confusing doctrines to excuse heinous sin.

  315. @ Anon 1:

    Well, I think you answered your own question remarkably well.

    I would only add that, as a consequence of idolizing the bible and via “infallibility” rendering it metaphysically the same as God Himself, we draw moral conclusions that really aren’t supported either by scripture or reason. There is a dangerous tendency to think that because the bible either doesn’t outright condemn a behavior or address it that the implicit idea is that God is okay with it; that it’s not sin. Again, this is a logical consequence of assuming that the bible is more of a mystic talisman than a philosophical treatise; the assumption that ALL there is to know about anything is in the bible (from which stems the fallacy of YEC). What should guide our moral convictions is not whether people behaved in a certain way back in “bible times” and it was not overtly condemned by God in the TEXT…for we need to accept that men did what they did in certain times, because this is what people do; God gives truth, be He is NOT able to micromanage Creation, for this creates no metaphysical distinction between Him and creation, which is blasphemy).

    Now, this does not mean that NO ONE was ever convicted of the moral treason of chattel slavery, or female oppression, or child labor, or what have you; nor does it mean that if one were, in those days, convicted that these institutions were wrong that God would have chastised them for it. What we need to consider is how does a behavior,whether or not overtly condemned on the pages of scripture, treat the inherent individual worth of another human being. In short, if it violates the commandment to “love your neighbor”, it is morally right for you to deny it/reject it even if the bible doesn’t directly do so.

  316. I will be happy to share. This is the first time I’ve spoken or written about it publicly. Most of the people in that small town, nor even many family members know! The boys were so ashamed they would not speak publicly and probably would not do so today so I would do it anonymously. Until today, I didn’t know what a wound was still inside and now find myself in tears. Ironically, just a couple of days ago I saw a sign that said, “keep calm and carry on OR be a hell raiser and change the world”. I think this blog is changing the world and all of us speaking out is as well. @ Bridget:

  317. Oh wow! I will definitely tell him. This was already a small church and now is tiny because so many left.
    Thank you for the insight you have and your helpful recommendations. I am going to read the book myself even though I am no longer Baptist. @ Anon 1:

  318. Argo, if you stay you had better keep quiet! I don’t think this new pastor will appreciate your intellect! Lol. @ Argo:

  319. Lisa wrote:

    Just because sex with children goes against your sense of morality or exposing yourself to non-consenting women goes against your sense of morality, it doesn’t mean that it goes against everyone else’s sense of morality. Cultures change.

    This part of the blog post you quoted has bothered me ever since I saw your comment. It always disgusts me when anyone mistakenly calls child rape “sex with children.” Also, not sure what point Wade is attempting to make in the following sentences, and I did read the whole blog post. But it has been my opinion for a while, and more so after reading the comments under that post, that Wade does not “understand abuse” as well as he thinks he does.

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Thank you, will check out the link!