The ‘Calvinism Advisory Committee’ Issues Statement

"We should expect all leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention and all entities serving our denomination to affirm, to respect, and to represent all Southern Baptists of good faith and to serve the great unity of our Convention. No entity should be promoting Calvinism or non-Calvinism to the exclusion of the other."

TRUTH, TRUST, and TESTIMONY in a TIME of TENSION

A Statement from the Calvinism Advisory Committee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Southern-baptist-convention.svgSouthern Baptist Convention Logo

As Southern Baptists prepare for their Annual Meeting in Houston next week, the internet is buzzing about the SBC's latest edict on the Calvinism Debate.  You may recall that tensions were high last year when Southern Baptists convened in New Orleans.  Because of that, Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, formed a group to determine how Baptists can learn to get along despite their theological differences.   

According to an article in the Christian Post entitled Calvinism Debate:  Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together:

"Only a minority of Southern Baptists are Calvinists but a LifeWay Research survey conducted this year found that more people were signing on to the theological system. Sixteen percent of Southern Baptist pastors now say they are five-point Calvinists, up from 10 percent in 2006.

A majority of Southern Baptists (61 percent), meanwhile, indicated that they are concerned about the impact of Calvinism on the SBC.

Page doesn't believe the Calvinism debate is the biggest issue the denomination is facing. But he believes it's an important one that they must deal with."

When Frank Page was president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006, he outlined what he considered to be issues of importance.  Here is what he had to say about Calvinism.

"Many people ask me about this issue.  I readily affirm my belief in the doctrines of grace, but as I have stated over and over, I believe the doctrines of grace include the issue of free will.  I have written a book about this issue.  I do not hold to the traditional five points of Calvinist theology.  I believe that while salvation will not be universally accepted, it is universally offered and atoned for by our Lord Jesus Christ!  I believe that human beings can accept or reject the Holy Spirit's call for salvation. 

I have made it abundantly clear that I believe that this argument is a family argument.  In fact, almost every Calvinist with whom I have spoken has a high belief in the integrity of Scripture.  Therefore, I have stated clearly that I will open the table of participation to anyone who (1) has a sweet spirit and (2) who has an evangelistic heart, (3) has a belief in the inerrant word of God, and (4) has strong belief and support in the Cooperative Program."

In case you are wondering whom Page selected for the Calvinism Advisory Team, here are the names as published last summer in the Baptist Press:

– Daniel Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.

– Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington D.C.

– David Dockery, president, Union University, Jackson, Tenn.

– Leo Endel, executive director, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention. 

– Ken Fentress, senior pastor, Montrose Baptist Church, Rockville, Md.

– Timothy George, dean, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.

– Eric Hankins, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Oxford, Miss.

– Johnny Hunt, pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga.

– Tammi Ledbetter, homemaker and layperson, Inglewood Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas.

– Steve Lemke, provost, director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

– Fred Luter, senior pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans; president, Southern Baptist Convention.

– R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.

– Paige Patterson, president, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

– Stephen Rummage, senior pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, Fla.

– Daniel Sanchez, professor of missions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

– Jimmy Scroggins, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, Fla.

According to recent reports, the committee currently consists of 19 members.  Here are the additional members (whose names are mentioned at the end of the report entitled TRUTH, TRUST, and TESTIMONY in a TIME of TENSION):

David Allen, dean, School of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Tom Ascol, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Florida

David Landrith, senior pastor, Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, Tennessee

Why has Calvinism become such a hot button issue?  Perhaps this article written by Roger Olson – A report on some recent conversations on Calvinism - will help shed some light on why some Baptists consider Calvinism to be a divisive theological issue.  Olson explains:

"A seminary student told me about his home church. His parents are members there and he grew up in it. It’s a Baptist church that has never had any official position on Calvinism or Arminianism. It’s background is Pietist (as opposed to, say, fundamentalist). In other words, it has traditionally had a policy of not fighting over secondary doctrines such as predestination.

The church recently called a new pastor. He is relatively young, not long out of seminary but with some previous pastoral experience. During the search and interview process he did not reveal to the committee or then to the church’s leaders that he is a five point Calvinist. Hardly anyone in the church has been a five point Calvinist and he knew very well that it would be controversial. After he was called and accepted the call, he began pushing Calvinism in a very heavy handed way. He gives books by Wayne Grudem and Mark Driscoll to adult teachers to use in preparing their lessons. He unilaterally removed books from the church library he considered unbiblical or unorthodox from a Calvinist perspective. (This is an evangelical church and probably didn’t have many, if any, really liberal books in its library.) He began to insist on being present at all church committee meetings. A committee is not supposed to meet if he cannot be there. He is preaching and teaching Calvinism as if it were the one and only truly evangelical theology. He admits to being inspired by John Piper. The students’ parents are not very knowledgeable about theology but sense that the pastor’s behavior and teaching are a problem. The congregation is gradually being disturbed by this situation."

This kind of news gets around in the SBC, and churches, particularly those that are congregationally led, feel terribly threatened by the Young Restless and Reformed seminary graduates.  Al Mohler, for example, just celebrated his 20th anniversary as president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  For over two decades, this five-point Calvinist has been producing disciples who strive to emulate him, and some of Mohler's lieutenants have been wreaking havoc in Southern Baptist churches.     

We hope you will take the time to peruse this seven-page document and provide us with your feedback.  We believe the Southern Baptist Convention is at a crossroads, and it will be interesting to see just how cooperative those on either side of the theological debate are as the SBC attempts to move forward to carry out the Great Commission.  We will definitely be watching and reporting our findings.

Lydia's Corner:  2 Samuel 23:24-24:25   Acts 3:1-26   Psalm 123:1-4   Proverbs 16:21-23

Comments

The ‘Calvinism Advisory Committee’ Issues Statement — 544 Comments

  1. There are heavy-handed, over authoritarian Arminian pastors too but it always seems you quote or post stories of the reformed bunch. Why no articles on them? I would think if you were dissecting trends, you would present the good and bad of both. I’m not taking sides here, but I’ve seen the bad side of both of this debate and also the good side.

  2. @ PP:

    Funny thing – this group was named the ‘Calvinism Advisory Committee’, not the ‘Arminianism Advisory Committee’.

    Please feel free to posts links that support your position.

  3. Pingback: The ‘sleepers’ emerge | Civil Commotion

  4. By observing the past actions of the present 5-point Calvinist leaders, I think it is safe to say that no compromise will be forthcoming from that side. What they have demonstrated is a divide and conquer mentality. They will probably come to the table with their usual bullying tactics and demand allegiance to their doctrine.

  5. I would imagine they would save face at the meeting. Act like they get along and everything is okay while behind the scenes continue pumping young and arrogant Calvinist pastors to take over churches. As they have recently shown they are willing to lie about the SGM lawsuit I see no reason why they wouldn’t try to manipulate everyone into thinking everything is perfectly fine and no need to worry.

    For them to really seek true unity people will have to not accept the status quo and start asking serious question and push for honest answers on why what they are doing is beginning to harm the church. I’m not a Southern Baptist and not familiar with many people within it, but I do hope there are those with integrity that are willing to not accept the manipulation and the face saving.

  6. Scooter’s Mom wrote:

    By observing the past actions of the present 5-point Calvinist leaders, I think it is safe to say that no compromise will be forthcoming from that side. What they have demonstrated is a divide and conquer mentality. They will probably come to the table with their usual bullying tactics and demand allegiance to their doctrine.

    Calvin was a control freak.
    A control freak with a Perfect Ideology and POWER.
    Why should his fanboys be any different?

  7. By that young pastor not revealing his Calvinistic ideology, isn’t that deceitful? I think a lot of Calvinist are trained in this manner. I reminds me of Muhammad’s teaching that one can lie if it could advance Islam. When I was a part of the Calvinist group campus outreach, they preached Calvinism all day long but never, ever called themselves Calvinist.

  8. Looks like the SBC could be in for another dogfight over their core theology. This could be interesting. But I too notice non-Cals and Arminians picking up on the same authoritarianism. I don’t like what I see coming down the pike.

  9. @ PP: This blog has also written extensively about problems in Arminain churches: the power structure within Calvary Chapels, the sexual abuses within IFB churches like the case of Jack Shaap, the pedophile scandal at Prestonwood Baptist down in the Dallas area, the antics of Ed Young, and more. It isn’t so much about one doctrine or the other as it is abuse and misuse of power especially at the expense of the powerless.

    If it turns out that more situations of abuse and/or power politics occur in one doctrine over the other, that perhaps that is instructive about that doctrine. But for now, it seems there are enough shameful situations on both sides of that doctrinal debate to go around.

  10. I am going to the Convention again this year. I cannot stand the thought of reading the document. I was opposed to the idea of forming a committee to begin with.

    I don’t know what will become of all this. I suspect nothing really. Theological emphases have a way of cycling through the church over time.

    If guys like Mohler and Patterson can get along and be friends I don’t know why anyone else in the Convention cannot.

  11. @ DaveinTN:
    I absolutely agree. Both sides have greatly harmed the denomination. Mohler is now doing what Patterson and gang did decades ago – getting his boys into key positions…

  12. If this is true then going forward everyone needs to not be afraid to hold their feet to the fire in upholding these ideas. Otherwise this seems like a marketing ploy to me.

  13. This push for authoritarianism within the SBC was starting to be pushed when I was at SWBTS in the 1980s. There were already professors then who questioned the entire concept of the priesthood of the believer.
    I saw some of the finest most humble men forced into retirement or out because they taught old time Baptist thought and ideas.
    I saw men pushed out simply because their PHD was from a German or British university.
    I can see both sides of this conference to come up with the idea that the “common” person in the pew needs to fall under some sort of authoritarian discipline to keep them straight…
    This will do nothing more than push people towards non-denominational churches, and the SBC will look up and wonder. ” Why are we STILL losing members?”

  14. Unless people listen to Mark Driscoll’s series where he specifically talks about being a strict Calvinist they don’t know that he is. He preaches a very convincing Arminian style make your choice today sermon too. I have many strict Arminian friends who like Mark and are shocked when I tell them he is Calvinist. It is starting to make a lot more sense to me why our last pastor in our AOG was increasingly becoming more authoritarian. Years ago he bragged about and posted his picture taken with celebrity Driscoll. Our pastor was older with way more pastoral experience and our church was plenty large already but he seemed to be intrigued by how Mark Driscoll was capturing and keeping sheep.

  15. I feel like I am living in an alternative universe. This document is nothing but leaders telling people how they think they should behave WITHOUT the leaders having to change their own behavior!

    Tom Ascol of Founders has a mission statement to recover the true Gospel in SBC churches, one church at a time which they have been doing for 20 years. So he does not believe many of us have the true Gospel YET he believes we can be unified? So he is all for unity while he actually believes we do not have the true Gospel. Will the Founders continue in their mission all the while spouting “unity”?

    Al Mohler has made such statements all over the place that go something like this: NC is the only place to go if one wants to see the nations rejoice for Christ. Or something to the effect of Non Cals do not have the “mental processes’ to understand Calvinism. He said the Trad statement leaned toward heresy and the folks who signed it should be marginalized. And much more

    YET-He was on an SBC “Unity” comittee

    He has not retracted those statement or said he was wrong about them.

    Both he and Dever were on the Unity committee and we all know that Dever preached at SGM Louisville last Sunday saying SGM has the fruit of the Spirit.

    Now, perusing around on SBC pastor blogs, the NC/YRR–the same ones that called the Trads heretics a year ago– are claiming they want to sing kumbaya together. And anyone who dares question the Unity statement is an “extremist”

    The only thing this Unity statement does is give the YRR opportunity to define what is “Unity” and what it will look like (not what the leaders actually DO, mind you, and to redefine what such things as “extremism” are.

    The fact that the Unity statement came out a few days after the T4G statement defending Mahany, I think we all know who wears the crown in the SBC.

    So either the other Non Cal committee members go along with the T4G statement on Mahaney or they were once again bested by Mohler. After all, Mohler is all over the media as the spokes person for the SBC and defense of Mahaney who protects child molesters.

    The problem is these leaders have no moral integrity and practice a sort of situational ethics as they redefine concepts. No one wants to believe that. They want to spin why what they say and what they do are two different things.

  16. Patterson is over. He has NO power at all and was lucky to get SWBTS. He is now concerned about his retirement and legacy (which was being one step ahead of the firing ax for years but he wants it to be about the CR)

    They sort of trot Patterson out as some sort of token. And the problem with Patterson is once you start looking closely at his legacy, it is embarassing for the SBC. He was a Mohler without the strategic deception and real power. He never really had real power. He was a back bencher that carried out grand plans.

  17. Anonymous wrote:

    If guys like Mohler and Patterson can get along and be friends I don’t know why anyone else in the Convention cannot.

    Seriously? How do you know it is not for the cameras?

  18. @ Robin:
    Funny isn’t it – if their theology and doctrine is so “biblical”, why would they be so deceptive with it. Isn’t that like hiding your light under a bushel?!!

  19. Regarding the SBC, I think the concerns are, of course, theological (Arminianism has very strong roots in Baptist thought and practice), but I think that they are also increasingly methodological. You get a Neo-Calvinist pastor, and you’re not just getting Calvinism, you’re also getting a very specific theoretical and methodological template for congregational ministry.

    On a side note: I’ve never understood the connection between Neo-Calvinism and hyper-authoritarianism (apart from the historical precedent established by Calvin & Co.).

    It seems to me that, from a purely theological point of view, an extreme Calvinist pastor should feel little or no desire to control his flock, as his (and the flock’s) actions matter little in light of God’s overriding sovereignty (which often is more like determinism).

    An Arminian pastor, I’d think, would be much more inclined to be hands-on, controlling, etc., as his theological framework allows that much more is “up for grabs” and so he should do all that he can to influence people, events, etc.

  20. Anon 1:

    Thanks for your take on the document. Like I said, even the thought of reading it is depressing.

    Am I right in understanding that you think the Calvinists really came on on top in the document?

    If so, what do you think the Trads will do?

    Are you going to the Convention? If so, I would like to meet you.

  21. Anon 1:

    Well, no one knows what goes on in their hearts when they are together, but the times that I have been with them when they are together they seem to genuinely respect and like one another.

    I have not seen them cross swords publicly, but it is possible I may have missed something.

    If they can get along so well in public, maybe everyone else in the SBC can do that, too.

  22. Scooter’s Mom wrote:

    Funny isn’t it – if their theology and doctrine is so “biblical”, why would they be so deceptive with it. Isn’t that like hiding your light under a bushel?!!

    Good point.

    I think that the Neo-Calvinist/YRR crowd see themselves as missionaries to Christians, seeking to infiltrate evangelicalism and help them become more “biblical” by eradicating what they see as heresy (Arminianism, egalitarianism) and by getting rid of “dangerous” practices (congregationalism, etc.).

    Whatever helps them infiltrate is probably seen as OK, even if it involves a little bit of withholding information.

    I think that, to help with situations like the one described in this post, it would be helpful to just make a clear, strong distinction between Calvinism and Neo-Calvinism (or whatever you want to call it). The TWW community tries hard to do this, but I think it would be helpful for more Christians to be aware.

    Getting a Calvinist as your new pastor is VERY different than getting a Neo-Calvinist/Calvinista as your new pastor.

  23. Mr H, Something that also confuses me is why the dichotomy is Calvin/Arminian? I know quite a few 0 pters who are pastors in the SBC. (one reason is because they do not define the T or P in the same way Calvinists do)

    i think the Calvinists have trained us to use that dichotomy.

    Mr H, the Neo Cals seem to be reading lots of Puritan/Calvin, etc writings in which controllign people is inherent.

    As for Non Cal controlling pastors, they use some of the same submission/obey prooftexting but the ones I knew were much more clever about it because they had to be considering free will. The neo Cals are using church discipline to get rid of those who question them.

  24. Mr.H wrote:

    I think that the Neo-Calvinist/YRR crowd see themselves as missionaries to Christians, seeking to infiltrate evangelicalism and help them become more “biblical” by eradicating what they see as heresy (Arminianism, egalitarianism) and by getting rid of “dangerous” practices (congregationalism, etc.).

    Excellent point! And when this was a disaster in the SBC, they started throwing tons of money to plant churches they handed over to 20something YRR. (Namb is run by mohler’s man, Kevin Ezell). In fact, the famous Ed Setzer planted an Acts 29 church in Atlanta a while back with quite a nice staff which was gone within 18mos and no one is talking about what happened. Now he works at Lifeway making 180,000 per year. So, a lot of money thrown at something for nothing. In the SBC, an epic fail will get you promoted and you can be called an expert in church planting to boot!

  25. Mr.H wrote:

    Getting a Calvinist as your new pastor is VERY different than getting a Neo-Calvinist/Calvinista as your new pastor.

    AMEN!!! That’s the problem…

  26. I can guarantee you such a scenario would not happen in our church. That’s because we do have some knowledgable and studied members who know what to ask and how to respond. And how to handle a pastor who does something such as the pastor in this case did.

    PP offers a pertinent observation. This whole thing is not a matter of some church or other being split up, it’s about control, and some folks deciding they don’t .. in practice .. like the priesthood of the believer. They’re acting as they are because they don’t like what some other Bible-believing follower of Jesus believes.

    It’s sad, and reflects on the overall failure of the SBC churches to make disciples. Of the 30%+/- of their members who even bother to attend.

  27. Mr.H wrote:

    Getting a Calvinist as your new pastor is VERY different than getting a Neo-Calvinist/Calvinista as your new pastor.

    ONe of the problems is more and more older mainstream Calvinists are jumping on the Neo Cal bandwagon. An Episcopalian and scholar who comments over at SBCTomorrow calls them ORR. Old Restless and Reformed. Neo Cal seems to be where the action/money is these days.

    What I am hoping is that this T4G embrace of Mahaney is getting some of the more mainstream to rethink their support of this movement. Because you have to admit, they ARE defining Calvinism for the good guys, too.

  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Well, no one knows what goes on in their hearts when they are together, but the times that I have been with them when they are together they seem to genuinely respect and like one another.
    I have not seen them cross swords publicly, but it is possible I may have missed something.
    If they can get along so well in public, maybe everyone else in the SBC can do that, too.

    Dear Anonymous,

    At that level in the stratosphere, it is business. Patterson would be a fool to not “like” Mohler publicly and he knows it. He knows where his bread is buttered. I would never expect Patterson to take Mohler on for his lack of character or intergrity. They are birds of a feather. Darryl Gilyard, anyone?

  29. Robin wrote:

    By that young pastor not revealing his Calvinistic ideology, isn’t that deceitful? I think a lot of Calvinist are trained in this manner.

    It’s called “Stealth Takeover”.
    Get in under a false flag, then stage the coup from within.
    Gradually, using “salami tactics” to boil the frog SLOWLY.

  30. Anonymous wrote:

    If guys like Mohler and Patterson can get along and be friends I don’t know why anyone else in the Convention cannot.

    “Get along and be friends” like House Frey and House Stark sharing bread and salt before The Red Wedding?

    What’s going on in the SBC (and all these Family Oriented and Calvinista-coup churches) is The Game of Thrones with a Christian coat of paint.

  31. Mr.H wrote:

    I think that the Neo-Calvinist/YRR crowd see themselves as missionaries to Christians, seeking to infiltrate evangelicalism and help them become more “biblical” by eradicating what they see as heresy (Arminianism, egalitarianism) and by getting rid of “dangerous” practices (congregationalism, etc.).

    Just like the Wahabi, Salafi, and Khomeniists did with Islam?

  32. “Am I right in understanding that you think the Calvinists really came on on top in the document?”

    The fact that Mohler and Ascol were even ON the committee to begin with is an indicator. Neither one is willing to publicly state how they have thrown gas on divisiveness over the last 10-20 years? Please.

    “If so, what do you think the Trads will do?”

    Get run over by the Mohler monster truck. I personally think “unity” is more about Guidestone than anything else.

    “Are you going to the Convention? If so, I would like to meet you.

    Houston in the summer? I think not! We cannot even get messengers interested to go anymore at our church. The pastor does not even go! What is the point? It is nothing but the adulation of man on steriods. And the YRR learned from Patterson how to stack the decks. It is a political convention. Has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. They just slap a fish on it by claiming the Great Commission. Wouldn ‘t followers of Jesus Christ have moral integrity? in the case of the SBC, we do not require it of our leaders.

  33. Anon 1 wrote:

    Excellent point! And when this was a disaster in the SBC, they started throwing tons of money to plant churches they handed over to 20something YRR.

    No, handed over to True Believer Calvinjugend. Armbands and all.

  34. Anon 1 wrote:

    ONe of the problems is more and more older mainstream Calvinists are jumping on the Neo Cal bandwagon.

    Getting on the winning side early?
    Striking for that Alter Kampfer chevron on the right sleeve?
    Because if you’re a Party Member BEFORE the coup, you get a higher position in the New Order?

  35. Scooter’s Mom wrote:

    Funny isn’t it – if their theology and doctrine is so “biblical”, why would they be so deceptive with it. Isn’t that like hiding your light under a bushel?!!

    You have to share bread and salt with House Stark to set them up for The Red Wedding.

  36. @ Mr. H
    >help them become more “biblical” by eradicating what they see as heresy (Arminianism, egalitarianism) >and by getting rid of “dangerous” practices (congregationalism, etc.).

    I should preface my remarks by saying that I am not an advocate of congregationalism. In my limited experience with a 9Marks, Capitol Hill Baptist Church knock-off, these guys don’t want to get rid of congregationalism, they support this type of polity, at least in name. They ascribe to a “plurality of elders” type of congregationalism. The actual out-working of this type of congregationalism, in my opinion, is a farce. The senior pastor functions as a dictator (hopefully a benevolent one). Whatever he wants he gets. Three assistant pastors also served on the elder board. How willing do you think these guys will be to oppose the senior pastor? Opposition probably will result in looking for a new job. The other 4 or 5 “laity” elders are selected by the senior pastor, run by the elder board and then presented to the church for their rubber stamp of approval. Generally I feel one of the qualifications the senior pastor looks for in a potential elder is someone who is malleable, who will loyally support him. Membership approval and church discipline is also merely rubber-stamped by the congregation in compliance with what the elder board suggests. I noticed major decisions seemed to be done without the vote of the congregation. For example, a new church plant was going to be sent out from our church. The senior pastor hand selected the pastor he wanted for this plant and announced it wasn’t an item for the congregation to vote on. This new pastor spent several months in training at our church, was sent out with members from our church to start the plant, and was supported financially by our church. I emailed my pastor to register my feelings on this matter, and even told him his selection was fine and would probably be overwhelmingly approved, but the principle of the matter should allow for a member vote. I didn’t prevail and I feel my opposition to his methods resulted in a cooling of our relationship. I suppose that if I witnessed congregationalism in a less authoritarian manner I may feel more positive about it, but from what I saw I wasn’t impressed.

  37. Don’t know if this has been posted yet, but when I tried to visit the Southern Baptist Convention web site, I got a full page warning that visiting would harm my computer.

  38. Victorious wrote:

    Don’t know if this has been posted yet, but when I tried to visit the Southern Baptist Convention web site, I got a full page warning that visiting would harm my computer.

    I just went to the SBC website without any problem.

    http://www.sbc.net

  39. Deb wrote:

    Victorious wrote: Don’t know if this has been posted yet, but when I tried to visit the Southern Baptist Convention web site, I got a full page warning that visiting would harm my computer.

    Deb, if you google the Southern Baptist Convention, the danger comes up when you click on the link provided. And it's noted on google as well that the site will cause harm to your computer. Dunno why…. Although I got through directly by using your link. I just went to the SBC website without any problem. http://www.sbc.net

  40. Google Chrome is warning that the website has malware! Did someone hack sbc.net? Or some third party code has malware embedded … @ Deb:

  41. The Website Ahead Contains Malware!
    Google Chrome has blocked access to http://www.sbc.net for now.
    Even if you have visited this website safely in the past, visiting it now is very likely to infect your computer with malware.
    Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss, and permanent file deletion.

  42. PP wrote:

    There are heavy-handed, over authoritarian Arminian pastors

    You could chime in to the comments time to time to remind people of that.

    I do it on occasion, when YEC (Young Earth Creationism) crops up. I’m a YEC who sees pro-old earth/ pro evolution Christians who are rude towards YEC itself and those who adhere to it. You could do the same thing with Arminianism if you wanted.

  43. This is what happens when everyone has authority to interpret scripture. The Holy Spirit must be telling one group one thing and another group something contradictory.

  44. Thy Peace wrote:

    Google Chrome is warning that the website has malware! Did someone hack sbc.net? Or some third party code has malware embedded … @ Deb:

    Thanks for letting us know.

  45. @ Thy Peace:

    http://www.christianindex.org/8778.article

    A military official says malware was to blame for the Southern Baptist Convention’s website being blocked on some military bases.

    Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Defense Department spokesman, said the military’s software filters detected malware at SBC.net and blocked the website.

    The malware since has been removed off the website, and the denomination’s website unblocked, he said. “The Department of Defense is not intentionally blocking access to this site,” Pickart told The Tennessean in an email.

    “The Department of Defense strongly supports the religious rights of service members, to include their ability to access religious websites like that of the SBC.”

  46. Mark wrote:

    This is what happens when everyone has authority to interpret scripture. The Holy Spirit must be telling one group one thing and another group something contradictory.

    I don’t believe that only one group should have official say-so on how to interpret the Bible for all believers everywhere.

    The Roman Catholic Church has that (Magisterium) yet they have (last I read) only officially intrpreted a very small number of verses (about six in total), which makes me wonder why they even bother having a Magisterium to begin with.

  47. Anon 1:

    “Get run over by the Mohler truck…”

    LOLROF

    You should still come to the Convention. I promise you that we would have a good time. You haven’t lived until you have been to the Convention with me.

    If it got boring, we could compare notes on the Chambers/Hiss case.

  48. TW:

    I agree with your observations about congregationalism.

    I have seen it work well when the congregation is small and has a family like structure.

    My observations (and these are only what I have seen) are that when congregations get large they usually do so because there is a gifted preacher. And that usually means that he has a lot of Charisma, enough to basically convince the church the way to vote.

    I also agree with your observations regarding elder selection. Our church has a rule that the only staff person who can be an elder is the senior pastor. The other staff cannot be elders because in our church the elders function as the Board of Diretors under state law. We did not want a bunch of staff people governing themselves. Too much conflict of interest.

  49. Look at the bright side, at least they aren’t behaving like Sunnis & Shiites in Baghdad.

  50. Scooter’s Mom wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Not familiar with House Stark, etc. Sounds like a game of some sort.

    Comes from George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series “Song of Ice and Fire” and its HBO adaptation “Game of Thrones”. (The term “Game of Thrones” is an idiom for power struggle, a five-way civil war for the Iron Throne.) The Red Wedding was the mass murder of House Stark by one of the rival noble houses under the pretext of a wedding to join their two houses. (Based on an actual massacre in 1440 Scotland; the Medieval power politics portrayed is accurate though the setting and history are fictional.) After “sharing bread and salt”, a ritual of hospitality to the visiting Starks. Last Sunday’s episode on HBO climaxed at The Red Wedding, showing the setup and mass murder in graphic detail. Caused quite an uproar on the Web and YouTube; I think “Red Wedding” is going to become an idiom for treachery.

  51. I got the same Chrome message but ran the sbc.net URL through the software of a well-known Malware Prevention company and it came up clean:

    http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner/

    Neither Firefox or Explorer had a problem with the site either. Chrome tends to be fussier about security issues than other browsers. In this case I’d view the site as long as you have good anti-malware software installed that you can immediately use to scan your computer for issues.

  52. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t believe that only one group should have official say-so on how to interpret the Bible for all believers everywhere.

    That’s why you have protestant churches and the theological quagmire it is in. Just remember, Frank White is no more authoritative than SGM, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Mennonites, Amish, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Ed Young, Jeremiah Wright, Seventh Day Adventists. All are just different interpretations of scriptures. All are equally valid, according to Protestantism.
    Is homosexuality a sin or not?
    Is abortion a sin or not?
    Is tithing required or not?
    Are we predestined or not?
    Can women be ministers or not?
    Is God a trinity or not?
    Do we need to keep the Sabbath or not?

    35,000+ protestant churches in America and I can show you who says yes and no to each of these questions.

  53. Sorry, again. According to Sucuri, http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/results/sbc.net, the site has not been hacked per se, it’s been black-listed for an unknown reason. It shouldn’t be dangerous but I wouldn’t look at the site until they get that situation worked out.

    I’m sure it’s pre-destined to be fixed. :-)

  54. Mr.H wrote:

    It seems to me that, from a purely theological point of view, an extreme Calvinist pastor should feel little or no desire to control his flock, as his (and the flock’s) actions matter little in light of God’s overriding sovereignty (which often is more like determinism).

    That is why I believe that the more traditional Reformed pastors are not supporting this movement.

  55. Mr.H wrote:

    Getting a Calvinist as your new pastor is VERY different than getting a Neo-Calvinist/Calvinista as your new pastor

    Amen!

  56. TW wrote:

    Generally I feel one of the qualifications the senior pastor looks for in a potential elder is someone who is malleable, who will loyally support him. Membership approval and church discipline is also merely rubber-stamped by the congregation in compliance with what the elder board suggests

    I like this comment. If you ever want to turn it into a post let me know. I have seen this exact behavior in two former churches.

  57. Thy Peace wrote:

    Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss,

    The SBC wants your routing number, perhaps?

  58. dee wrote:

    That is why I believe that the more traditional Reformed pastors are not supporting this movement.

    Does anyone ever wonder where the Presbyterian guys besides Ligon Duncan and a few token Presbyterians are???

    Are they flocking to T4G? I don’t think so…

  59. @ Mark:

    How does one gain this “authority?” Does it require indoctrination in a certain train of thought at an approved (by who?) seminary? I am curious.

  60. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “sharing bread and salt”, a ritual of hospitality to the visiting Starks.

    Did you know that Russians, to this day, bring that gift to the homes of friends? At least they did when I was growing up.

  61. Bob wrote:

    it’s been black-listed for an unknown reason.

    A certain Gospel Coalition blogger reported me to Twitter, for no reason, as malicious. Twitter almost shut down my account until I threw a hissy. Believe you me, Twitter will be most cautious on receiving any further reports from this “gospel” reporter.

  62. @ Deb:

    Thanks, Dee. I don’t interpret predestination as narrowly as Al Mohler does, and therefore I think it’s hilarious that he must believe that his site was destined to spread Malware and weird ideas about Calvinism around the world at the same time.

    Also most of the mainstream Reformed people I know don’t understand why the world needs a Baptist Calvinist movement and think that Al Mohler and his followers are goofballs. That’s partly because they take themselves so seriously and do little to help the real world.

    Why doesn’t Mohler take a break from creating bizarre theological arguments and visit a homeless shelter?

    Or invest less money in conferences and more dough in keeping his sites from spreading malware around the world?

  63. @ dee:

    Yes, tolls like to play games. But in this case, I believe Chrome’s notes about sbc.net downloads being unsafe.

  64. When I was young and of school age, all I knew about “Christianity” was through Roman Catholicism. I did my catechism stuff, went through all the rituals, regularly confessed my sins to the priest and thought God was some far away being that I could never connect with. Jesus was mostly a figure pictured on stained-glass windows. I was conditioned to believe an intermediary was necessary.

    Seeds were nevertheless planted, though they were dormant for a number of years.

    Imagine my surprise when I grew up and I learned of God’s grace and mercy and that I could have a direct, intimate relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ! And, that the Bible was a book I could understand and read by myself to learn about the character of God. I learned it was less complicated than I had been led to believe.

    Fast forward to these modern times where I notice that the protestant church is looking more and more like the Catholic church. (Perhaps that struggle has always been taking place, but I never noticed it…maybe I was too ecstatic about God’s love for me to see it.) I think most protestant churches would be quick to denounce the papacy, but isn’t the protestant church guilty of setting up its own idols?

    In some ways I feel as if I’m back where I started from (not spiritually, but that man is, once again, telling me I need an intermediary and that I must fall in line with their hierarchy). :(

    However, I refuse to be enslaved by man’s philosophies and vain deceit…I am a servant of Christ alone!

  65. ForgivenMuch wrote:

    Imagine my surprise when I grew up and I learned of God’s grace and mercy and that I could have a direct, intimate relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ! And, that the Bible was a book I could understand and read by myself to learn about the character of God. I learned it was less complicated than I had been led to believe.
    Fast forward to these modern times where I notice that the protestant church is looking more and more like the Catholic church. (Perhaps that struggle has always been taking place, but I never noticed it…maybe I was too ecstatic about God’s love for me to see it.) I think most protestant churches would be quick to denounce the papacy, but isn’t the protestant church guilty of setting up its own idols?
    In some ways I feel as if I’m back where I started from (not spiritually, but that man is, once again, telling me I need an intermediary and that I must fall in line with their hierarchy).
    However, I refuse to be enslaved by man’s philosophies and vain deceit…I am a servant of Christ alone!

    Such a great comment! I am grateful you have found freedom in Jesus Christ.

    Shame on those who are setting up snares to enslave our brothers and sisters in Christ! Almighty God is watching…

  66. “Tammi Ledbetter, token woman, homemaker and layperson, Inglewood Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas.”

    ***

    Calvinism, schmalvinism.
    Most of the guys they are calling Calvinist, or reformed, aren’t truly any of those if you look at the traditional definition of the moniker. But that’s not really the problem. The debate over who is or is not a Calvinist is just a sideshow. It is a convenient way to take the spotlight off what the real problem is: heirarchical, lording over, leadership. One man shows.

    Although the SBC leadership claims that the contagion of Calvinism has only infected 16% of its pastors so far, don’t lose sight of the fact that all of these leaders serve as “lords” or little kings over their flocks. That is the problem. And it is not going away.

  67. To me, the fact that there was only one true (token?) layperson (not clergy, ministry leader or theologian) on the committee speaks volumes about how much they value the view from the pew. Priesthood of all believers, my eye. I sure hope the committee let her participate by doing more than taking the minutes and making the coffee…

  68. TedS. wrote:

    “Tammi Ledbetter, token woman, homemaker and layperson, Inglewood Baptist Church, Texas”

    Great minds think alike, TedS!

  69. ForgivenMuch wrote:

    I did my catechism stuff, went through all the rituals, regularly confessed my sins to the priest and thought God was some far away being that I could never connect with.

    I go back far enough in the Lutheran Church as a little kid to remember the days when Pastor Sorensen wore the cassock on high holy days. I can commiserate with your feelings of the Almighty as something distant & wholly other. I was like scarecrow, shaking knees and all before the great and powerful OZ.

  70. TedS. wrote:

    Although the SBC leadership claims that the contagion of Calvinism has only infected 16% of its pastors so far, don’t lose sight of the fact that all of these leaders serve as “lords” or little kings over their flocks. That is the problem. And it is not going away.

    I prefer the term coined by Rudyard Kipling:
    “LITTLE TIN GODS”

  71. Bob wrote:

    Why doesn’t Mohler take a break from creating bizarre theological arguments and visit a homeless shelter?

    His friends won’t be there?

  72. ForgivenMuch wrote:

    Fast forward to these modern times where I notice that the protestant church is looking more and more like the Catholic church.

    Excellent comment!

  73. Bob wrote:

    Also most of the mainstream Reformed people I know don’t understand why the world needs a Baptist Calvinist movement and think that Al Mohler and his followers are goofballs. That’s partly because they take themselves so seriously and do little to help the real world.

    That sounds a lot like Political-Activist Intellectuals. Detached from physical reality, off floating in their Purity of Intellectual Theory, and Taking Themselves DEAD Serious. (And they’re usually “supporting themselves” as parasites on someone else’s work and income.)

  74. dee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “sharing bread and salt”, a ritual of hospitality to the visiting Starks.

    Did you know that Russians, to this day, bring that gift to the homes of friends? At least they did when I was growing up.

    I understand the Arabs also have that hospitality ritual — once a guest has eaten a host’s bread and salt, neither can raise hand against the other.

  75. @ Anonymous:

    “You should still come to the Convention. I promise you that we would have a good time. You haven’t lived until you have been to the Convention with me.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    Anonymous, so what is it that you do at a Convention that is so fun? Spitballs at select speakers? I almost want to come, too. Are girls welcome? (what if Anon1 is a girl?)

  76. TedS. wrote:

    “Tammi Ledbetter, token woman, homemaker and layperson, Inglewood Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas.”

    Her last name is rather ironic…

  77. dee wrote:

    Thy Peace wrote:

    Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss,

    The SBC wants your routing number, perhaps?

    Grinning Ed Young did. Even threatening those who didn’t give him their routing and account numbers for auto-deposit tithing(TM). “Our security cameras are so good, WE WILL KNOW WHO YOU ARE!”

  78. Deb wrote:

    ForgivenMuch wrote:
    Imagine my surprise when I grew up and I learned of God’s grace and mercy and that I could have a direct, intimate relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ! And, that the Bible was a book I could understand and read by myself to learn about the character of God. I learned it was less complicated than I had been led to believe.
    Fast forward to these modern times where I notice that the protestant church is looking more and more like the Catholic church. (Perhaps that struggle has always been taking place, but I never noticed it…maybe I was too ecstatic about God’s love for me to see it.) I think most protestant churches would be quick to denounce the papacy, but isn’t the protestant church guilty of setting up its own idols?
    In some ways I feel as if I’m back where I started from (not spiritually, but that man is, once again, telling me I need an intermediary and that I must fall in line with their hierarchy).
    However, I refuse to be enslaved by man’s philosophies and vain deceit…I am a servant of Christ alone!
    Such a great comment! I am grateful you have found freedom in Jesus Christ.
    Shame on those who are setting up snares to enslave our brothers and sisters in Christ! Almighty God is watching…

    I used to say “amen” to this line of thinking, but I’ve found it lacking. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to sin. The Church, which Jesus established, is there for many reasons, including discipline. Our Christian walk isn’t a walk that is done alone. We have the Church and we also have a “great cloud of witnesses” (the Saints).

    We live in a time of feel good Christianity. Be nice, don’t tell me difficult things. “Don’t tell me what to do.” “You aren’t the boss of me.” “I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving.”

    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

  79. Daisy wrote:

    I do it on occasion, when YEC (Young Earth Creationism) crops up. I’m a YEC who sees pro-old earth/ pro evolution Christians who are rude towards YEC itself and those who adhere to it. You could do the same thing with Arminianism if you wanted.

    Daisy, I hope you don’t consider me as rude. I can be a little too curt at times but I’ve never been purposely rude (on TWW at least). There is a couple of things I’d like you to consider. First young/old earth creationism is not an essential part of our salvation. However, YEC is a very particular and extreme interpretation of early Genesis. It is not science in any way. Science is predictive. If you can derive a result from theory and measurements don’t agree with it then the theory has to be updated. Calling YEC science and attempting to have it considered on the same level as science damages our Christian witness and is the cause of much unnecessary strife between Christianity and the secular world.

  80. Mark wrote:

    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Yep, and the lack of it is evident in the leaders of the Neo-Calvinist movement when it comes to child sexual abuse.

  81. oldJohnJ wrote:

    I can be a little too curt at times but I’ve never been purposely rude (on TWW at least).

    Old John J
    Your posts on TWW have garnered many, many comments. I am most grateful for your approach to this subject. It stimulates discussion and challenges our paradigms. Thank you for sticking around!

  82. Mark wrote:

    I used to say “amen” to this line of thinking, but I’ve found it lacking. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to sin. The Church, which Jesus established, is there for many reasons, including discipline. Our Christian walk isn’t a walk that is done alone. We have the Church and we also have a “great cloud of witnesses” (the Saints).
    We live in a time of feel good Christianity. Be nice, don’t tell me difficult things. “Don’t tell me what to do.” “You aren’t the boss of me.” “I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving.”
    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I said I am a servant of Christ not a servant [slave] to sin. Why do you feel the need to tell me that freedom in Christ is not freedom in sin? I am very aware that “…the Christian life requires more than an acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God.” Message boards can be very limiting and you do not know me personally, so I ask that you please try to not make assumptions about the fruit I bear in my life and how I live out my faith.

  83. @ Muff Potter: Interesting, because my experience (growing up Lutheran) was somewhat different.

    As a child, I did not feel any connection between the God who was talked about in the sanctuary and the Jesus whom my mom and Sunday School teachers told me about. The God of the church service seemed very distant; the Jesus of SS and my mom seemed much, much nearer. Of course, it is very hard for small kids to understand anything concerning the passion, and I found all the references to death and suffering (in the service) to be off-putting and sometimes frightening. God the Father seemed very distant.

    But I think a lot of this had to do with the guy who was pastor at that church for many years – his manner of speaking (even during the liturgy) was pretty sleep-inducing, and anything but immediate and interesting. The people who’ve come after him have done a *far* better job of making the service interesting, and also at including the youngest kids in parts of it. (Kids’ time during the service that includes a completely impromptu “sermon” sparked by an object that one of the kids has brought in and hidden in a box that’s only opened during that time, etc.)

  84. @ Muff Potter: I was never bothered by vestments, btw – I sang in the kids’ choir, so was used to wearing a robe and all.

    Special clothes seemed appropriate, actually.

  85. @ Scooter’s Mom: Too graphic for me as well – and I’ve only read the book. (Don’t care for the TV show.)

    You might be interested in the actual, real-world background – the Black Dinner (murder of William Earl of Douglas, 1440) and some of the political background.

  86. Mark,

    I am rather amazed by your response. Liberty in Christ IS NOT a license to sin. If you've been around here for any amount of time you would know that we don't promote that.

    Secondly, I see nothing wrong with leaving a church over doctrine. I can assure you that I would not last very long in a church with one of these Neo-Cal pastor dudes.

  87. ForgivenMuch wrote:

    I am very aware that “…the Christian life requires more than an acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God.”

    But you can’t be SURE that what you believe is the moral guidepost for truth, what is sin and what isn’t. Is homosexuality a sin? Are you sure? Ask Katharine Jefferts Schori, leader of the Episcopal Church. If the Bible alone is the source of all truth, and the Holy Spirit will tell you what is true, and you can interpret as you feel the Holy Spirit leading you, then why do some churches embrace homosexuality as not sinful and actually celebrate it through marriage? Are you saved through faith alone or not? Some protestant churches teach that you aren’t saved by faith alone. Is it OK to get divorced three times or not?

  88. Mark</a wrote:
    I used to say “amen” to this line of thinking, but I’ve found it lacking. Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to sin. The Church, which Jesus established, is there for many reasons, including discipline. Our Christian walk isn’t a walk that is done alone. We have the Church and we also have a “great cloud of witnesses” (the Saints).
    We live in a time of feel good Christianity. Be nice, don’t tell me difficult things. “Don’t tell me what to do.” “You aren’t the boss of me.” “I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving.”
    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

    There is a difference between being convicted and being condemned.

    I think that there is a nice line between “feel good Chrisitianity” and crazy authoritarian discipline models. We’re called to a life that is supposed to emulate Christ as much as we can. That does require quite a bit of self-sacrifice to our own wants. Sinful wants, TBH. I’ve never had a spiritual challenge that required me having to give up something truly “good” the way God defines goodness. If I’m going to a church that says I need to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him, then I wouldn’t consider that an abusive confrontation at all. It’s just reminding me what Christ was all about.

    I think the line comes when if what is being preached makes it hard for you to glorify God. Does following Jesus feel like an overwhelming burden or an encouraging struggle? One is oppressive, the other uplifts. Neither condone sin, but the outcome to your relationship and motivation to follow Jesus is a 180 difference.

    We’re called to walk to obedience in love, not fear. I agree that obedience is a huge part of Christianity, but there is a HUGE difference in saying “God hates you because of your sin” and “God’s best design for you is for you to not do *insert sin here*.”

    Random story: Before I got married, the church I was going to did an entire series on singleness (don’t groan, it actually was pretty good). One of the things they talked about was keeping yourself from sexual sin. Instead of going at it with a “God will make your naughty bits fall off if you use them outside of marriage, you filthy sinner” approach, the pastor talked about how sex was a gift from God that was totally meant to be enjoyed, but like any good thing, there were restrictions (aka – you have to be married) He put on it to keep you safe and emotionally/physically healthy. Anyone who was currently sexually active was challenged to see it as a denial of God’s best for them, as well as called to remember that we’re to try to be most like Christ.

    We had a prayer service the next day, where the entire congregation just meets for corporate prayer and to ask people to pray over them if they had any struggles. A friend I knew went up to a few of us and one of the pastors and said he was struggling with sexual sin. The pastor promptly gathered us around, surrounded my friend, and prayed one of the most sincere prayers I’ve ever heard. He actually started crying during his prayer for him. Afterwards, a few guys from our small group decided to start meeting for a weekly lunch or beer to hang out as well as ask my friend how he was doing from week to week. The pastor also followed up with him on a monthy basis.

    He wasn’t cast out of the church, he wasn’t condemned, he wasn’t belittled or branded a “wolf” – he was gently confronted, given support, loved, and it didn’t need to be broadcast on our next church flyer or website.

    Paul speaks about what to do if someone who confesses sin refuses to repent, but it seems as if a lot of churches these days go for the public shaming route immediately, instead of simply stating “hey man, this is NOT God’s best for you” and going from there.

    I don’t get why. I really wish I could get back to that church, but I’m unable to, unfortunately. Ugh.

  89. Dang it, I messed up the quoting format. Stupid phone.

    Anyway, my comment starts at “There is a difference between being convicted and being condemned.”

  90. @ Mark:

    “Freedom in Christ isn’t freedom to sin. The Church, which Jesus established, is there for many reasons, including discipline. Our Christian walk isn’t a walk that is done alone.

    We live in a time of feel good Christianity. Be nice, don’t tell me difficult things. “Don’t tell me what to do.” “You aren’t the boss of me.” “I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving.”

    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    Hi, Mark.

    So many fine lines that are easily crossed.

    –”don’t tell me difficult things” is sometimes actually “don’t require me to follow rules that have been invented so you can better control me. Some of these rules were invented by you, and some of them were invented by professional christians who have gained enough influence for you to have decided to implement them. These rules are communicated as though not keeping them is somehow “sin” and at the very least disappointing to God. I’m tired of this unnecessary pressure and misery.”

    –“Don’t tell me what to do” is sometimes actually “don’t control me for your convenience, for the sake of your career, the appearance of being successful, and to satisfy your narissism.”

    –“You aren’t the boss of me” is exactly right.

    –“I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving” is sometimes actually “X doctrine on ground level where I live is psychologically destructive. I have one shot at life — to live it in pain on some principle that I don’t really buy into anyway is silly.”

  91. Mark wrote:

    The Church, which Jesus established, is there for many reasons, including discipline.

    Which Church? Apologies if you explained this already.

  92. elastigirl wrote:

    I have one shot at life — to live it in pain on some principle that I don’t really buy into anyway is silly.

    Nobody said the Christian life should be easy. You may not like, say, the teachings of complementarianism, and find it “psychologically destructive,” but that doesn’t mean you are correct, or that the teaching is invalid. These men interpret the Bible in a way that you don’t like. However, you are no more of an authority than they are. Protestants are hopelessly lost in a sea of conflicting doctrines and theological positions. While you may claim that the Bible is the authority on what is sin and what isn’t, or what is moral, right and how a Christian should live, my point is that there’s little agreement on it within Protestantism.

  93. Mark

    There is a problem with the secondary issues such as gender roles, creationism, etc.For us to imply that we know precisely what the Bible says on this is a bit ridiculous. For exampe, Ken Ham believes that there is only one way to interpret Genesis and not to do so his way is wrong. That is Pharisaical when he applies to others who do not believe as he does. So, the question is, what re those secondary issues? 

    Which Protestant churches teach you are not saved by faith alone. I thought Calvinists and Arminianists were agreed on this point.

    Is it OK to get divroces three times? If someone did so, do you think that he may be in need for some to come alongside him and help him figure out what is going on? Is it possible for someone to be saved who has been divorced three times? I think it is possible but I would imagine that there are exigent circumstances. For example. Wife Number 1 was in the marriage before he was a Christian, got mad when he converted and left him. Wife Number 2 became physically abusive to their child even though he thought she was a Christian. Then Wife Number 3, a Christian, decided she was a lesbian and left him. BTW, each of these circumstances has happened to people I know.

    I think the hardest thing for us humans is to accept that there is much we do not know for sure. That can be frustrating and that is what spawned the Pharisees with their little notebooks filled with all sorts of rules.

    It is my experiences that people who have the Holy Spirit do not want to sin but continue to do so and need daily forgiveness. The understanding of grace means that you wish to follow Him, screw up, and are grateful for grace because you know you are forgiven. I think the people who do not fully understand grace are the ones who want the rules and regulations-hard and fast- so they can check it off and pretend that they have it  together. Grace means the want to as well as the freedom in forgiveness. There is a healthy tension in that posture.

    As for the homosexual thing, we have dealt with that indepth. I believe you would have little quibble with Deb and me. However, many of our readers are in process or think differently and we value their thoughts and partcipation on this blog.

  94. Mark

    I do not wish to be prying but are you a member of another faith tradition? It might help us to understand your point of view a bit better if we understood. You will get little argument from me that there are lots of positions and denominations within Protestantism. That is to our shame. However, there is freedom in being able to be associated with those who share ones views on baptism, communion and the like. I fully expect for Jesus to slap us all upside the head in heaven and then invite us to the banquet.

  95. Mark wrote:

    Nobody said the Christian life should be easy. You may not like, say, the teachings of complementarianism, and find it “psychologically destructive,” but that doesn’t mean you are correct, or that the teaching is invalid.

    One problem with this statement, Mark, is it denies that God made all creation well and that His/Her desire is to return us all to His/Her original intentions. So if being complementarian is psychologically destructive, then it is wrong because it damages that which God so beautifully made. (I’m not debating whether it is, here.)

    Another problem with the statement is that it assumes “easy” is inherently wrong because then one isn’t struggling for obedience. This is sometimes true, but it is not always true. Plus, deeper than the idea of obedience is the simple fact that walking with God is existentially the way we are meant to go and because of that, it feels absolutely right and most easeful to do so. His burden is light, right?

  96. dee wrote:

    A certain Gospel Coalition blogger reported me to Twitter, for no reason, as malicious. Twitter almost shut down my account until I threw a hissy. Believe you me, Twitter will be most cautious on receiving any further reports from this “gospel” reporter.

    Surely these manly men from masculine Christianity weren’t afraid of mere woman’s tweet?

  97. Elastigirl:

    You certainly can come also.

    I enjoy the company of intelligent women, and you and Anon 1 fit the bill.

    I am just fun to be with. What can I say?

    When it comes to the Convention, while I appreciate the serious side, there is a lot of fun to be had. No spitballs, but you’re not far from it.

  98. Mark, You have ruined my life. I thought for sure the Cross meant I could party down and sin all I wanted toMark wrote:

    But you can’t be SURE that what you believe is the moral guidepost for truth, what is sin and what isn’t. Is homosexuality a sin? Are you sure? Ask Katharine Jefferts Schori, leader of the Episcopal Church. If the Bible alone is the source of all truth, and the Holy Spirit will tell you what is true, and you can interpret as you feel the Holy Spirit leading you, then why do some churches embrace homosexuality as not sinful and actually celebrate it through marriage? Are you saved through faith alone or not? Some protestant churches teach that you aren’t saved by faith alone. Is it OK to get divorced three times or not?

    Mark, what exactly do you proport to do with such folks you mention besides not attend church with them or allow them into your church. (I am assuming by your comments you want your own church or are a pastor…sorry)

    How would you go about changing their minds?

  99. Mark wrote:

    Nobody said the Christian life should be easy. You may not like, say, the teachings of complementarianism, and find it “psychologically destructive,” but that doesn’t mean you are correct, or that the teaching is invalid

    Whatever do you comps do with all the one anothers? Just ignore them as believers in a marriage? It is about mutuality if we are believers. some of us do not subscribe to phallocentristic Christianity. Some of us believe women are full heirs and have no middleman between us and Jesus. :o)

  100. Anonymous, speaking of the convention, I hear Jared Moore is running for 2nd VP. I read here not long ago that Dee offered to buy a phone for his church with prepaid minutes.

  101. Hearing the story of the covert, heavy handed Calvinist makes me think of how my church is exactly the opposite. The church is Calvinist, an the pastor is a Calvinist, but it isn’t heavy handed at all. They are up front about it, but I dare say most of the congregation wouldn’t even know what the word means (because the pastor doesn’t preach about it).

    Which is why the church is offering a 13 week doctrine course that basically goes through the WCF and allows open discussions on it. The materials state the churches official beliefs and then people can make up their own minds.

    We had our first meeting for the class I’m in last week. We went through a dozen or so “core belief” statements and discussed whether they were open handed or close handed. In almost all cases, the statements were a mixture. For example, belief the man is sinful and needs a savior is not an optional belief- belief in a Calvinistic view of Total Depravity is. One of the pastors daughters was in the class (she’s 25, so on her own and quite mature) and she said she was still thinking things through. No heavy handedness even in his own family.

    There is also a publicly declared Non-Calvinist in the group who is a much loved leader in the church, and he’s been clear about his views. The leader re-iterate the goal was not to tell everyone what they must believe, but to lay out the doctrines of the church and allow for discussion. I’d say the majority of folks in the meeting (there were about 10 there) didn’t even know what the WCF was or what “Calvinism” means- one of whom is a worship leader in our church. I think it will be a very I retesting class :)

    I’ll bet my church makes a lot more Calvinists (but more importantly, has a more family like atmosphere) that those guys who approach it with a covert, heavy handed style.

  102. Anon 1 wrote:

    I thought for sure the Cross meant I could party down and sin all I wanted to

    /snark on/Oh, no. It’s not? /snark off/ Why do these arrogant people think they are holier than anyone else? Just because they love to sin-sniff doesn’t mean they have less sin in their lives. It’s the spiritual version of “The best defense is a good offense.” If they keep attacking others, no one thinks to look very closely at them.

  103. @ Mark:
    Nobody said it was freedom to sin. Or at least, I didn’t get that.

    But the Bible has some harsh words for people who inflict pain on themselves for the appearance of Godliness too.

    I almost destroyed myself trying to live by interpretations of scripture that were destructive to me (but not the interpreter). So I question painful doctrines, and that’s not wrong. Just because something is painful doesn’t make it right, and just because it isn’t doesn’t make it wrong.

    The summation of the law is love- the point of that is not to define love in such a way as to line up with misunderstandings of scripture, but to understand that love is the highest point of law that binds all things.

    That doesn’t mean we just ignore societies and do “what feels right”, but it does mean web a doctrine becomes oppressive it’s time to question it.

  104. Autocorrect got me. Last paragraph should read:

    That doesn’t mean we just ignore scripture and do “what feels right”, but it does mean when a doctrine becomes oppressive it’s time to question it.

  105. “We live in a time of feel good Christianity. Be nice, don’t tell me difficult things. “Don’t tell me what to do.” “You aren’t the boss of me.”

    Mark, the people who seek to be the “boss” over others in the Body have a huge sin problem even if they have what you think is correct doctrine. And it is a deep sin problem. And it can result in protecting molesters instead of reporting them to police. It can result in abusing victims over and over. It can result in craving bigger audiences. It can result in building a ministry machine that ends up protecting all sorts of evils to maintain it. It can result in deception. It is a huge sin trap to want to be over others when truth is we are mere servants to one another. All in the Body of Christ universal are equally important in the Kingdom here on earth.

    When you see the above, you should run because it is not of Christ.

  106. Anon1

    I did offer to buy him a cell phone with minutes but he never returned my email. I even offered to help him set up a website for his church by glomming it onto his blog. I felt bad his church had no phone and no website. 

  107. Janey wrote:

    Anon 1 wrote:

    I thought for sure the Cross meant I could party down and sin all I wanted to

    /snark on/Oh, no. It’s not? /snark off/ Why do these arrogant people think they are holier than anyone else? Just because they love to sin-sniff doesn’t mean they have less sin in their lives. It’s the spiritual version of “The best defense is a good offense.” If they keep attacking others, no one thinks to look very closely at them.

    Oops! Thanks Janey. I forget to acknowledge it was sarcasm. Hee Hee. He might think I am serious.

  108. Anon1

    Do not party down without me. You know that old statement-I should sin more so that God’s grace is all the more evident?

  109. Anonymous wrote:

    I enjoy the company of intelligent women, and you and Anon 1 fit the bill.
    I am just fun to be with. What can I say?
    When it comes to the Convention, while I appreciate the serious side, there is a lot of fun to be had. No spitballs, but you’re not far from it.

    Thanks for the compliment (should I trust it?) but I would rather have bamboo shoots stuck under my fingernails than listen to the likes of Al Mohler, Paige Patterson, etc. I did like Iorg though at my last one– from stage. Know very little about him otherwise except that when it came to having a portrait done for GBTS, he opted to have a picture blown up and framed (600bucks) instead of Patterson who spent 80,000 grand to have one painted of himself for the walls of SWBTS when he posed with his dog.

  110. @ Mark:

    I asked earlier about this. Who get’s to be the authority then in a believer’s life and decide all the rules?

    Is God not capable, by the Holy Spirit, to mature us?

    Bridget wrote:

    @ Mark:

    How does one gain this “authority?” Does it require indoctrination in a certain train of thought at an approved (by who?) seminary? I am curious.

  111. @ Anon 1:

    “Anonymous, speaking of the convention, I hear Jared Moore is running for 2nd VP.”
    +++++++++++

    ahhh, things make more sense now. (as in everything that made Jared Moore mentionable in the last few months)

  112. dee wrote:

    Do not party down without me. You know that old statement-I should sin more so that God’s grace is all the more evident?

    I think Patrice calls it “Par-Tay” or something like that. I think Mark and many others need a big old dose of good old Christian love and joy. Like a giant potluck (no three bean salads please) where we can love on him and make him laugh. The good old Baptist way. But somehow I think he has this picture we are shooting drugs, getting divorces every 5 minutes and marching in gay pride parades. Little does he know how very mundane (Ht: Matt Redmonds book) we all really are.

  113. dee wrote:

    JeffS
    Surely you mean your church makes a lot more Christians, not Calvinists?

    Well making Christians is our goal, but the statement was intended to show the irony of how focusing on making Christians is a better way to do both.

  114. @ Jeff S:
    And by that, if I need to quality my statement again, I mean not shoving a particular form of doctrine down people’s throats generally engenders more genuine interest in said doctrine than heavy handedness.

  115. @ Anonymous:

    “When it comes to the Convention, while I appreciate the serious side, there is a lot of fun to be had. No spitballs, but you’re not far from it.”
    ++++++++++++

    bubbles?

  116. Dee-
    When I say “faith alone” I mean Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS). Most non-denominational churches do not teach OSAS. Lutherans, United Methodists, Church of Christ also do not teach it. Baptists, generally, teach it, although “Freewill Baptists” do not.

    Let’s not lose sight of the forest for the trees. My response to this post was that the statement from the Baptist leader is really where Protestantism leads you to. I would say most here do not like the authority that the Catholic Church has in regards to faith and morals, but outside of it you have serious problems with what exactly are the basics. Even Paul said this in his letter to Timothy: “Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
    The church, which Paul calls the pillar and foundation of truth, was and is Catholic. Interesting how he didn’t say “the Bible.”

    I disagree that it is only because one doesn’t understand grace that someone wants rules or dos and don’ts to check off. The Bible is full of expectations on Christians, and they aren’t presented as optional. We are called to a Holy life.

    That’s just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

  117. Mark wrote:

    The church, which Paul calls the pillar and foundation of truth, was and is Catholic. Interesting how he didn’t say “the Bible.”

    Oh dear. I just invited you to a good old fashioned Baptist style potluck. Would you still come? :o) We can talk about your new Pope as I am liking what I am hearing from him.

  118. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Striking for that Alter Kampfer chevron on the right sleeve?

    Dude, lovin’ the very relevant German references, but using umlauts will bring maximum authenticity (or even “ae” “oe” and “ue.”)

  119. Bridget wrote:

    @ dee:
    Ditto on that one when I read it.
    @ Jeff S:

    Do you understand the intended irony now?

    Taken as a whole, I’d thought the point was more clear in my commet that my church is not out to “make Calvinists”, but I see it wasn’t. I hope I can be given the benefit of the doubt?

  120. @ Jeff S:
    So yah, teach them and let the Holy Spirit blow wither it will. And of course, they’ll get blown to Reformational thinking…or blown over…or have their minds blown…or it’ll all blow over. :-)

  121. Bridget wrote:

    I asked earlier about this. Who get’s to be the authority then in a believer’s life and decide all the rules?
    Is God not capable, by the Holy Spirit, to mature us?
    Bridget wrote:
    @ Mark:
    How does one gain this “authority?” Does it require indoctrination in a certain train of thought at an approved (by who?) seminary? I am curious.

    That’s exactly right. By who’s “rules” do you live by? Do you live by the Bible? Who is the authority to interpret scripture for you? You? If I tell you that if you do not tithe that you are robbing God and sinning, am I right? If your child tells you that they believe that the scriptures against homosexuality are misinterpreted and the Bible supports homosexuality, is he or she right? Does the Holy Spirit teach one thing regarding salvation (i.e. that you cannot lose it no matter what you do) and teach a completely different doctrine to someone else (that you can lose your salvation)?

    Stuff to ponder in times of reflection when it is just you and God.

  122. I assume others in the past have suggested a TWW convention just before or after the So. Baptist Convention. Idea: We all wear Guy Fawkes masks and have our screen name on name tags.

  123. Anon 1 wrote:

    I think Patrice calls it “Par-Tay” or something like that. I think Mark and many others need a big old dose of good old Christian love and joy

    I do call it Par-Tay, but it can’t be done in the vicinity of the SBC Big Dogs. We wanna dance to the Music of the Spheres but those dogs just bark and bark.

    However, if they shut up and learn to grin with lolling tongues, I’m fine with sending them an invite.

  124. @ Mark:
    You have to make te case that YOUR way is the right way.

    As it is, I think most people would probably opt for more humility, admitting we are all fallible and get some things wrong, but we are more likely to get to the right answers with more people following their convictions than everyone following the convictions of a handful of folks.

  125. Jeff S wrote:

    we are more likely to get to the right answers with more people following their convictions than everyone following the convictions of a handful of folks.

    I do know that clocks are right twice a day.

    Would this scripture sum up your position?
    “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

  126. @ Anon 1:

    don’t know much about the good old Baptist way, but I think sloppy joes and a tickle fight should do the trick.

  127. @ Jeff S:

    I wrote that before your responses were up to Dee. Always give the benefit of the doubt! I honestly thought it was just a funny, simple mistake :)

  128. @ Mark:

    Hi, Mark. Please describe your source of authority relating to this conversation.

    (as I tell my english husband all the time, land the plane.)

  129. On Justin Taylor’s blog today is a puff piece about D.A. Carson’s book on evil and suffering – ironic. I posted some brief comments; then someone asked what I meant by them. So I wrote a much longer comment about the TGC statement. As of now, it’s still there. My screenshot ability is lacking, so I merely copied the post and the comments. Maybe someone else can do it. And, of course, any of you add comments if you feel led to.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/06/04/the-bible-is-not-your-supermarket/?comments#comments

  130. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Mark:
    Hi, Mark. Please describe your source of authority relating to this conversation.
    (as I tell my english husband all the time, land the plane.)

    Not exactly sure what you are asking me. I think if you have read my posts you would know that I believe the Catholic church is the source of authority for the Word of God.

    Strangely enough I credit TWW, and a couple of other blogs, in part for helping me see this, although I doubt that was their intent with this blog.

  131. @ Mark:

    Do I understand you correctly, you believe the Catholic church (as in the denomination that is under the headship of Pope

  132. @ Bridget:

    Sorry bout that.

    . . . is the source of authority for the Word of God?

    If so, do you mind explaining why? I was raised Catholic, but don’t consider myself Catholic now. I am a Christian.

  133. JeffB wrote:

    On Justin Taylor’s blog today is a puff piece about D.A. Carson’s book on evil and suffering – ironic. I posted some brief comments; then someone asked what I meant by them. So I wrote a much longer comment about the TGC statement. As of now, it’s still there. My screenshot ability is lacking, so I merely copied the post and the comments. Maybe someone else can do it. And, of course, any of you add comments if you feel led to.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/06/04/the-bible-is-not-your-supermarket/?comments#comments

    JeffB — I got it. Everyone should check out evernote.com. You can save an entire webpage including all of the comments with one click. Pretty schnazzy.

  134. Bridget wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Sorry bout that.
    . . . is the source of authority for the Word of God?
    If so, do you mind explaining why? I was raised Catholic, but don’t consider myself Catholic now. I am a Christian.

    I consider myself a Christian as well. A Catholic Christian. The early Church fathers were Catholic, and held the same doctrines as the Church does today. It was the only Christian church up until the Protestant reformation. I am convinced that Jesus made St. Peter the first pope and gave the Church the keys to the Kingdom of heaven and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it. It isn’t just another denominational, it is the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Luther, and other “reformers” threw the baby out with the bathwater. You know the Bible you read? It came from the Catholic church.
    I was not raised Catholic, far from it. I was decidedly anti-Catholic up until recently.

  135. numo wrote:

    Special clothes seemed appropriate, actually.

    Let me clarify a bit. I thought Pastor Sorensen’s cassock was way cool. You couldn’t tell the difference between him and father Doyle the Jesuit over at Saint Catherine’s on high holy days. Understand also that this was long before the world had moved on (as Stephen King would write), and almost a different universe altogether. I think we got along better back then, paradoxically as it were, when one considers all the bad stuff (either real or manufactured) of the old days.

  136. Let’s see how long Patrice’s comment stays up on Justin Taylor’s blog post…
    Justin Taylor is a vice president of Crossway, the publisher for several of these Gospel Coalition authors.

    I give it 15 minutes. Nope, it’s already gone and Justin Taylor closed the comments.

    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s302/sh/bfd65df5-4f7d-4569-97ad-19ce4a22841a/f9f4754bd5eb47692873491af5b65472

    Everyone needs to download Evernote. It’s fantastic for catching screen shots.
    Whatever name you use to register Evernote is the name everyone sees when you make a screenshot public.

  137. @ Mark: Err… it was only xtianity until the split between the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern orthodox churches, which predates the Reformation. (Has much to do with one line the the Nicene Creed, known as the filioque – and whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone or form the Father and the Son).

    I’m Lutheran, btw, but I spent a great deal of time with Catholics back in the 70s, and even lived in a very small convent (a rented house on a residential street) for a little over a year, back when I was in undergrad school.

  138. @ Muff Potter: OK, I’m confused – your pastor didn’t wear vestments on other Sundays, or he wore more of “the gear” on days like Easter, or… ?

    About the old days – it sounds like it was good in your town. but was this pre-Vatican II, or post-? I think that the changes introduced as a result of Vatican II opened the door for a *lot* of good ecumenical stuff between Catholics and Protestants.

  139. @ numo: Yikes! Lots of typos there.

    And I wasn’t clear about the filioque: the creed was changed to say “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” That’s the filioque clause, which is the thing that brought about the definitive split between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox churches.

  140. Bob wrote:

    Explosive post on Brent Detwiler’s site. CLC and Joshua Harris are done.

    I can hardly contain my anger. This is even more outrageous!! Those men!! They waltzed around CLC like they were demigods. So disgusting!! All of them need to be thrown out. (ed. note) Heck, he created the whole Thug Leadership. These guys ed, note: appear to be frauds!!

    And the __________’s!! (ed)  Ugh. So stuck up! I can see the picture now of all the kids in their picture perfect outfits, each with an instrument, posing for the shot in their big house.

    ___________ (ed) employed numerous men who were leaders in CLC. (ed)

    There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind how corrupt SGM was. And the SGM women. Where are their voices?? Pathetic.

  141. @ Evie:

    They were being lead by their husbands. My guess is that their husbands weren’t sharing a large portion of the events with the little wives. If they were, then the wives are just as culpable.

  142. @ dee:

    Thanks, Dee. Yah, I’ve been making a little game of it with all these guys for the last while. I think it is useful. They have to deliberately delete and close, again and again. If more of us do it, they’ll have to delete/close several times a week. Eventually it will appear in their dreams.

    I just can’t stand that they be left alone without pushback from as many places as possible. They are destroying the name of my God to many dear searching people I’ve met over the years. I won’t have it. And the latest Detwiler post? Nope, I won’t let it go.

    Anyway, can’t do much but can do this. A little pin, pokingpokingpoking, that’s me, just for them.

  143. numo,
    On just any day they wore the ubiquitous clerical collar and dark suit. Vestments on typical Sundays, and the real old-style cassock on high holy days. And as you probably well know, old Lutheran tradition closely paralleled Catholic tradition, so there were many occasions for the old style cassock.

    I don’t know much about Vatican II, but I do know that the clergy where I grew up would have been far more interested in enjoying fine brandy and cigars together rather than arguing theology or Bible interpretation.

  144. @ Mark:

    Hi, Mark. Thanks for the reply. It wasn’t quite clear to me where you were coming from, aside from being anti-protestant. Could have been orthodox, catholic, or some hybrid.

    I personally put myself in that category. I go to a pentecostal church, have spent a season in no church, love the catholic church, and find a number of things worthwhile in the orthodox church, and other faith traditions and belief systems. My non-negotiables are Jesus Christ is 100% human being & 100% God, repaired the relational bridge between me and God, died sacricially & went the whole way through death out the other side to life rendering death powerless, knows me and is knowable to me just as my friends and family are to me, the Holy Spirit is very available, love and kindness and patience and generosity with my fellow human beings is the way to go (not precluding tough love when truly necessary)…. might be forgetting a few, but i doubt it.

    I agree with you in that the more I interact with christian people (& people in general) my own views are honed, not necessarily in expected directions.

  145. numo wrote:

    @ numo: Yikes! Lots of typos there.
    And I wasn’t clear about the filioque: the creed was changed to say “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” That’s the filioque clause, which is the thing that brought about the definitive split between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox churches.

    True, there was/is a schism. But back then, even with two parts, it was the church. Depending on which empire you lived in dictated the community you belonged to. Even today most Americans aren’t familiar with Eastern Orthodox churches yet the RCC recognizes their priests ordinations.
    It is a night and day difference with the Protestant reformation.

  146. @ Anon:
    And 1 of the 4 was a reply to Jeff, which now makes it look like the poor guy’s confused about the comment he just made!

  147. Mark wrote:

    Strangely enough I credit TWW, and a couple of other blogs, in part for helping me see this,

    Dee and Deb, The Gospelisciouos guys are going to dine out on that one for months.

    Mark, I am glad you found a home. We could do a Baptist/Catholic potluck and you can bring the wine. ;o)

  148. Julie Anne, You go girl.

    Does anyone supermarket the bible more than they do? What about his last deleted tweet using Titus concerning “divisive” people who disagreed with the TGC statement? Talk about supermarket bible! You can find it in the hardware section by the hammers.

  149. Anon 1 wrote:

    Julie Anne, You go girl.
    Does anyone supermarket the bible more than they do? What about his last deleted tweet using Titus concerning “divisive” people who disagreed with the TGC statement? Talk about supermarket bible! You can find it in the hardware section by the hammers.

    I did a blog post on that tweet. He can take it down, but I’m not.

  150. @ Anon 1:

    “The Gospelisciouos guys are going to dine out on that one for months.”

    Yes, I can see it now…lots of twitching and panicked hand-flapping and cries of “TWW MAKES PEOPLE CATHOLIC! EEEEEEK!”

  151. I’m still reading the new post on Brent Detwiler’s blog: the horrifying story of Grace Goe, one of the the plantiffs in the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit and why he believes Joshua Harris is in this up to his ears.

    http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/the-conspiracy-surrounding-plaintiff-grace-goe-at-covenant-l-1.html

    But here’s what really got to me, this comment left on Brent’s Facebook page just 2 weeks ago on May 17.

    “[Respondent] Brent, the CLC pastors have specifically said they will NOT warn families in their midst. I have the emails. Further, to my knowledge, they have yet to even acknowledge that any are present. As of February 2012, there were at least 4 pedophiles at CLC and the congregation was not told. I know because of my position on the greeting team at the time. The four were the ones I was told about. There are more. That doesn’t count [two more cited in the Second Amended Complaint]. The policy of not even telling the congregation of their existence let alone their identity was one of the drivers in my family and me leaving in June of 2012. “

  152. @ Mark: It depends on which Protestant churches you’re talking about. Lutherans and Anglicans are much closer to Catholicism than pretty much all the rest.

  153. Does anyone know if Brent got Grace Goe’s permission to ‘out’ her publically like that? The information is definitely damning to the CLC/SGM leadership, but unless he got her permission to out her like that, it was done at her expense – again. Just my thoughts on the opening paragraphs of his post….

  154. Evie wrote:

    I can hardly contain my anger. This is even more outrageous!! Those men!! They waltzed around CLC like they were demigods. So disgusting!!

    Only DEMIgods? These guys acted like gods come in the flesh, and gods can do no wrong.

    All of them need to be thrown out.(ed. note) Heck, he (CJ ed. note) created the whole Thug Leadership.

    HUMBLY, of course.

  155. Good news! A few new blog posts that break the silence about the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sexual abuse and cover-up lawsuit:

    1. The Aquilla Report – questioning the silence
    http://theaquilareport.com/breaking-the-silence-on-the-sovereign-grace-ministries-lawsuit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=breaking-the-silence-on-the-sovereign-grace-ministries-lawsuit

    2. Salt – on celebrity pastors
    http://saltedtheology.wordpress.com/tag/sovereign-grace-ministries/

    3. Warren Throckmorton
    http://wthrockmorton.com/2013/05/update-on-the-sovereign-grace-abuse-case/

  156. I’m sure there’s at least one Southern Baptist laywoman who happens to run her own company or who has a high position in a secular business. No offense to homemakers, but when you have over a dozen men and one token woman, it says volumes. And the ladies will keep voting with our feet, for all sorts of reasons. Mine might be more radical than the woman down the street, but when you treat us like we might as well not exist, we’ll be slipping out the back door. (Sorry Kevin DeYoung, we’re not your property!)

    And, for the record, I read Calvin’s Institutes when I was in law school–for light reading. (Yeah, I was young and dumb.) Decades later, I’m convinced Jesus wouldn’t recognize the organizations that have sprung up around his name–and Calvinism is Exhibit B on the list. (The Catholic Magisterium is Exhibit A.)

  157. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I’m sure there’s at least one Southern Baptist laywoman who happens to run her own company or who has a high position in a secular business. No offense to homemakers, but when you have over a dozen men and one token woman, it says volumes. And the ladies will keep voting with our feet, for all sorts of reasons.

    Yes, it’s pretty sad. So many women *are* voting with their feet. Over the past 20 years, a higher percentage of women have walked away, according to Barna Group. It’s 11% according to their article, “20 Years of Surveys Show Key Differences in the Faith of America’s Men and Women”

  158. I have emailed Kris at Survivors and asked for protection for the plaintiffs and their privacy. Anyone else commenting, please do not use names. At the very end of Brent humiliating the plaintiffs and ruining their privacy, he asks for donations. I wish someone could make him take his post down. If you want to help the plaintiffs, please pray for them and respect whatever privacy they have left. Dee or Deb, please do the same. You have my email if you have further questions. Thank you.

  159. Mark wrote:

    True, there was/is a schism. But back then, even with two parts, it was the church. Depending on which empire you lived in dictated the community you belonged to.

    But you feel that RCC has the authority? What about the Eastern church? What makes one a better “last decider” than the other?

    Of course there were really 5 “Bishops” for over 500 years. Alexandria, Damascus, and Jerusalem went away with the first tidal wave of Islam. Then Constantinople fell about 1200 something. Which left Rome as the last big Bishop standing. Do they have the final word on matter just due to them being further away and thus harder to conquer than the rest as Muslims tried to take over the world?

  160. TW wrote:

    I suppose that if I witnessed congregationalism in a less authoritarian manner I may feel more positive about it, but from what I saw I wasn’t impressed.

    What you witnessed is not what anyone I know would call congregationalism. If anything we call it elder led. Well really elder led with a closed system. (Only elders get to nominate candidates for the elder board.)

    For a real understanding of what most of us call congregationalism look at this parody.
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/the-pope-needs-a-business-meeting
    To most of us congregationalism means a totally flat structure. Yes you have elders/deacons but they serve at the pleasure of the congregation.

  161. @ Lynn:
    Thanks Lynn, I liked it!

    “I say if he can’t stomach an old fashioned Southern Baptist business meeting, he’s a wimp. Face the people, including the thoughtful, reasonable critics with tough questions, and let them say whatever they want. If they want to criticize “what God is blessing,” maybe God is telling you you’re wrong.
    Here’s to the day when the Purpose Driven churches end the spin and hype,quit hiding behind all this CEO bullying, and have a business meeting that lasts all night, where plenty of obnoxious people criticize the dubious suggestion that “what God is blessing,” i.e. what the pastor wants, is beyond criticism.”

  162. Found this, thought it would help:
    In a 1st grade class room, it was Show and Tell day. The teacher picked 3 boys to stand up and present their objects to the class.
    The first boy stood up and said “Hi, My name is Abram, I’m Jewish and this is a Matzaball!”
    The second boy got up and said “Hi, my name is Johnny and I’m Catholic, this is a Crucifix!”
    Finally the third boy got up and said “Hi, My name is Billy and I am Baptist, and this is a casserole!”

  163. @ Bob: I will be mentioning this in a post today while looking at the latest TGC “We are against child sex abuse unless it involves one of us” missive.

  164. To Our Readers,

    The SGM debacle is a very sticky situation, and we are trying to navigate these waters carefully while at the same time releasing as much information as we can.

    We have removed any reference to Plaintiff Grace Goe's family name and would appreciate your respect in not including that name in any commentary here.

    However, Brent Detwiler has some interesting information on his website.

  165. TW, These guys are using the word Congregationalism… In a more Puritan literature. Where I come from it means everyone gets to vote. Everyone sees a detailed budget and vote on it. We even vote on getting new pots and pans for the kitchen if the hospitality committee makes the case for them.

    When I started reading. In literature I was shocked at how they use that word. It is interesting how words can evolve.

  166. @ Evie: Hmm….. it's not about protecting the name of the abuser. It is about protecting the privacy of the victim(s). In this case, if she had wanted her identity to be public knowledge, she would have used her real name. I guarantee there is nothing in Brent's post that the plaintiffs' attorneys were unaware of. There is a reason most states have passed laws protecting the names of sexual assault victims. The victim's right to privacy is more important than our right to know details. /end rant/

  167. It's okay. I've gone through enough that I am prepared. Brent is okay to expose my parents. Truth is truth. It always bears uncomfortability, and there is always "dirt" on the victim- because we are human.

    [[MOD EDIT: Last name removed]]

  168. From Brent’s post, quoting the lawsuit:

    Rather than report the ongoing abuse to the secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse. This led to further abuse by the father. In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina.

    This is one of the most horrifying and troubling allegations in the lawsuit to me. I am having a really difficult time comprehending how these 3 men relaxed on the beach with their own children running around, in a beautiful resort town, on the dime of an alleged pedophile, whom they had recently chosen to not turn into the police, all the while the alleged pedophile was at home with his victims! Did any of their wives know? Did any of their children know? (Knowing the approximate ages, some of the Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman were older teenagers or young adults during that vacation) Do they know this allegation now? Most of these children are adults now. It is my sincere hope that those who were innocent partakers in that vacation would be asking some hard questions to their husbands or fathers about this. You are not guilty yourself, because you didn’t know then! And even if you did know something about all of this then, you can do something about it all now. You can call the authorities and tell what you know.
    [[MOD Edit: Quoting fixed per request]]

  169. Bella wrote:

    Brent humiliating the plaintiffs

    (Most of comment removed by editor due to information that has come to light. It is not your fault. You could not have known this information. Neither could we. However, Bella’s comment is important but not in the way that you might think.)

    Obviously, Brent’s post is one about which believing people of conscience can disagree. I think it is a good one.

  170. Deb/Dee: the comment two above mine (posted at 8:56 AM) — can you all confirm with confidence that the name is actually that person versus someone just posing as that person?

    Sorry, had to ask .. and given your statement about “removing any reference to Plaintiff Grace Goe’s family name”, I think it’s important to verify/confirm or take action to remove that comment.

    IF IT IS THE ACTUAL PERSON, then by all means let her comment stand, and I greatly respect her for it. (but if it’s not, I don’t want to be duped and everyone else reading shouldn’t be as well)

  171. @ Olivia:
    Whew, that’s relieving! Because no more damage allowed!

    Olivia, I salute you from across the years and interwebs. I had a childhood similar to yours. I want you to know that I am ok, after all, at 55 yrs old.

    I wish you the very best. And days/weeks of joy all in a row.
    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  172. Olivia wrote:

    It’s okay. I’ve gone through enough that I am prepared. Brent is okay to expose my parents. Truth is truth. It always bears uncomfortability, and there is always “dirt” on the victim- because we are human.

    Bless you, we’re standing with you. (MOD ED-Last name removed…)

  173. I wondered about Brent naming anonymous plaintiffs as well. He really isn’t being considerate of victims if he did this without their permission. On the other hand, where did he get the information, since he claims to be unaware of these cases? He pushed DH’s family into the limelight as well. Sometimes he seems to do things to push his agenda of exposing CJ at all costs.

  174. Phoenix wrote:

    Also, although Brent did out the family (which is a large one) and the housekeeper; he didn’t use the names of the plaintiffs.

    The housekeeper’s name was in the second amended lawsuit already.

    Grace Goe — I am so sorry you and the others went through such torture! Thank you for being brave enough to speak up (ed. note-one word removed)! You have my deepest sympathy and respect.

    May all the victims find justice and healing and may the guilty face the full weight of the law.

  175. @ Janey:
    Justin Taylor wrote a post, “The Bible is not your supermarket”?

    Wow.

    Anybody tell this to the leadership of SGM who used it to get what they wanted from their sheep?

    Anyone tell this to Mark Driscoll as he was porn shopping through the Song of Solomon?

    Wow.

    I’m floored that men who shop through the Bible looking for the ‘items’ that build up their power and authority and save face have the gall to write posts like that.

    once again, their hypocrisy amazes me. and i thought is was beyond amazement with these guys.

  176. Grace Goe -

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through in this life. I pray for complete restoration for you and your siblings. God bless you and keep you.

  177. @ Janey:

    Yes, Amen. Shout it from the rooftops. Her testimony is key! It’s like the stone that killed Goliath. “Who is this man that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”

    All those years went by while she allegedly (ed. note addition) attempted to get help. Her parents allegedly (ed note addition)worked to isolate her. The church allegedly (ed. note addition)did nothing to help. She wants people to know her story and to no longer be censored.

    Let’s stand with her, I agree!

  178. @ It’s just the beginning:

    Out of curiosity, are you a regular commenter at Survivors?

    Is your question fair? Depends on what you mean by fair. I’d say your sense of fairness is different than mine in this situation.

  179. Someone on SGM Survivors mentioned that the company owned by Grace Goe’s father has employed many CLC members over the years. I know two CLC ladies who worked there during the 90′s. One of them is CJ’s daughter. The other married an SGM pastor and went on a church plant. If true, the allegation that the father traded a vacation for CJ & company’s silence is horrendous. (Of course, all of the allegations are horrific, but this one struck me as demonstrating a sociopathic disregard for the children involved.) Brent’s post is indeed explosive.

  180. Evie wrote:

    @ It’s just the beginning:
    Out of curiosity, are you a regular commenter at Survivors?
    Is your question fair? Depends on what you mean by fair. I’d say your sense of fairness is different than mine in this situation.

    Yes, I comment on SGMSurvivors from time to time–much more frequent the past 3 weeks.

    My question to Dee, or whoever moderates this blog, is just asking if we can all have confidence that the name on that comment is actually the person. I could post a comment as “Kiersten L________” and make all sorts of statements..but it would be Kiersten.

    Also, given that dee stated that this blog should not be using Plaintiff Grace Goe’s family name–I think it’s incumbent on them to somehow confirm/deny the commenter’s identity.

  181. Dee or Deb -

    Are you able to verify that the below person is who they claim to be?

    @ Olivia:
    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  182. Phoenix wrote:

    This is a first of its kind to my knowledge and a very positive development.

    http://joshcrews.com/blog/2013/02/17/caution-regarding-new-church-plant-in-franklin/

    Phoenix — I’m glad to see people cautioning their community about getting involved with an SGM church even if they reserve judgment for now.

    For those who wish to know which SGM churches are in their area, see their church locator map: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/churches/list-of-all-sgm-churches.aspx?pg=1&pgsz=25&so=

    By the way, has anyone noticed that the number of SGM churches keeps fluctuating? For several weeks it was 79 churches, then last week it went up to 80. Today it’s back down to 79. Is another church trying to break away?

  183. @ Mrs Huxtable:
    Totally. Exposing her father is key. And you watch, the response of the CLC insiders who work at his realty company will be the same as how they have responded to the lawsuit. Their first concern will be self-preservation and they will take a dim view of Grace Goe’s testimony.

    You’re so right. The list of CLC members who have worked for hewhoshallnotbenamed is looooooong. Pastors, ex-Pastors, Care Group leaders. (Removed part of comment-ed note)

  184. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s called “Stealth Takeover”.
    Get in under a false flag, then stage the coup from within.
    Gradually, using “salami tactics” to boil the frog SLOWLY.

    This is what happened when James MacD’s Harvest organization took over a church in Hickory, NC. The historically charismatic (yet not charismaniac) church voted to join Harvest, thereby voting their voting rights away. Then, Harvest sent in a Masters Sem grad who’d previously been on MacArthur’s staff — a cessationist. When members questioned this (of course they were being unteachable and divisive), the guy said he wouldn’t be pushing that point of view. But, go figure, he began to preach it. Most of the original members have left the church over this and many other issues.

    It’s one thing for any leader or member to go into a church with a plan to help people grow as God leads. But there’s something altogether different about going in with an agenda to re-make everyone in your own image.

  185. Evie wrote:

    @ It’s just the beginning:
    You’re fretting seems misplaced. Why are you questioning this. What is YOUR problem?

    Evie, it’s a simple but important question–why am I questioning this? Because of the fact that anyone could post a comment as “Kiersten L________” or anyone in that family.

    ..

    Do I personally believe that the comment from Olivia (removed letter-ed note). is her — yes I do. But if dee is going to state the following:
    “We have removed any reference to Plaintiff Grace Goe’s family name and would appreciate your respect in not including that name in any commentary here.”

    IMO, the moderators on this forum must do their best to confirm the identity of the commenter.

  186. Nickname — Our church was infiltrated by John MacArthur/Master’s Seminary clones too. They were new but were rude, they interrupted, they wouldn’t listen to any view that didn’t agree 100% with theirs. Big bullies. They publicly criticized well-respected church members because they didn’t hold to their specific oddball beliefs. My church’s leadership was so weak, it didn’t take any action. Now the church is essentially run by these sin-sniffers. The church has lost a huge number of people and seems incapable of growth despite its location in a thriving economic area. I switched to another church that was healthy and refreshing. What a difference to have a good pastor who keeps these guys out.

  187. @ Never Again:

    Thank you, Never Again, you are correct. My bad. I think we can all agree that factual accuracy (as far as humanly possible) is vital. And this is an example of something I really like about this community — it is self-policing.

  188. It’s just the beginning wrote:

    Also, given that dee stated that this blog should not be using Plaintiff Grace Goe’s family name–I think it’s incumbent on them to somehow confirm/deny the commenter’s identity.

    We are not private investigators and cannot access information as quickly as some. Of course we want to confirm the identity of someone who leaves a bombshell comment. It just takes time to do so.

    In the last hour or so, I have spent time attempting to confirm the identity of Olivia. At this point, unless someone has hacked into her personal life and stolen things like her social security number and personal email address, I do believe she is who she says she is. However, did I meet her face to face? No.

    This is a very difficult time in the lives of the plaintiffs. They believe they have been forgotten and dismissed and that it is business as usual. Abuse has lifelong implications and people are hurting. I do not want to be one more person in the life of these alleged victims who ignore them or disbelieve their stories.

    I also want them to know that people care for them and pray for them and would ask our readers to do the same.

    However, from this point forward, we request our readers only use the name Olivia.

  189. @ It’s just the beginning:

    Dee and Deb do a great job moderating this blog. I don’t see why you’re attacking their integrity. They’re both extremely smart women. They know how to handle this.

    In the mean time, please show your support for the victim. She doesn’t need this type of response. She’s been through enough.

  190. @ Pam Palmer:

    Pam -

    They can do that if they can put aside going to their spiritual authorities (husbands, fathers, pastors) first for permission. Micah 6:8 comes to mind . . . about justice and mercy and walking humbly with God.

  191. Evie wrote:

    @ It’s just the beginning:

    Dee and Deb do a great job moderating this blog. I don’t see why you’re attacking their integrity. They’re both extremely smart women. They know how to handle this.

    In the mean time, please show your support for the victim. She doesn’t need this type of response. She’s been through enough.

    Dee/Deb: did you feel ATTACKED by my asking you to try and confirm the identity of Olivia’s post? (I sure feel attacked by Evie for asking a question..and I’m pretty sure Evie was trying to attack me.)

    Evie: believe it or not I can believe Olivia is who she says she is, and at the same time ask Dee/Deb to try and confirm that Olivia is who she says she is [which they have..thank you].

  192. A bit of a digression but relevant: Owning your own business and employing church folks, like homeschooling, is definitely a way of keeping the community closed, avoiding accountability, and controlling people; although both endeavours definitely have positive aspects as well. And being a business owner; particularly if your business “served” the church was certainly considered a “holier” option than working in government or “secular” business. Either latter employment option was considered a bit questionable; unless you were wealthy or prominent in which case nothing you did was questionable.

    The subtext of this was that as a business owner you were free to practice biblical principles, balance the needs of your business and your family as “secular” employees cannot, and treat your employees in a caring, “christian” fashion. This being true you would think that “christian” small businesses would have a reputation for spotless integrity and high work quality; whereas just the opposite is true.

    Part of my own story is that I worked several years for a business that was very closely intertwined with Fairfax Covenant Church. I observed business practices and treatment of employees that were worse than anything I’ve ever seen during the subsequent nearly 20 years in “secular” business and the public sector. And the boss was a well-known workaholic — and I mean well-known to the pastors as such — and a very prominent care group/ home group leader. No accountability that I ever observed.

  193. Bridget wrote:

    if they can put aside going to their spiritual authorities (husbands, fathers, pastors) first for permission.

    Yes. Even in theology of SGM, spiritual headship in your marriage/home can and should be “respectfully disobeyed” when you have been asked to do something sinful. I think that would certainly include, if you have been previously deceived into doing something sinful and something possibly criminal. We are each morally responsible individuals, no matter what form of spiritual authority we are submitting under — we still must follow our own conscience and will be held accountable individually before God and man.

  194. Its just the beginning

    I did not feel attacked but I did feel a bit pressured because I was calling, emailing ,etc. behind the scenes to figure this out. May God have mercy on us all as we attempt to navigate these waters.

    I believe that our solution is to print only the first name of the individual.

    We do not know whether Brent Detwiler had permission to out these folks, but I would imagine that he would realize the pain of this revelation if the person wished to remain anonymous. Thankfully, it appears she no longer wishes to be anonymous.

    Please join us in praying for everyone involved.

  195. dee, thanks for all your hard work on this matter and everything else you do for this blog.

  196. Olivia, My heart goes out to you. You and other SGM Survivors consume a lot of my thoughts.

    You represent so many others in church abuse situations and it is your bravery along with other plaintiffs/families that is shaking up the Evangelical world. It’s been a glorious sight to see all of the recent blog posts and articles from people outside of SGM and TGC saying: YO, there is a problem going on here!

    I know it must be like an emotional roller coaster, but I see so much good coming out of it. More children will be safe at churches because of your voice. Thank you.

  197. @ Evie:
    I completely understand why the question was asked- can you not see “It’s just the beginning” was trying to protect the victim? I never saw any indication that D&D or this blog were being attacked.

    It was a reasonable request and it seems that D&D have done what they can to reasonably confirm the identity of the poster.

  198. @ dee:
    I am praying for you two. It’s a minefield but I think you’re doing a fine job. And your solution is solid.

    It is understandable that we are wary and suspicious when systemic trust has been broken, as these so-called leaders did. How do we proceed?

    Maybe the simplest answer is ye olde Reagan adage: trust but verify. Trust the authenticity of what’s presented until otherwise determined. Also trust that our honest bloggers will do what they can behind the scenes.

    And trust that in the end, decisions towards generosity trump all.

  199. @ Pam Palmer:

    Pam, I am sorry for what your family is going through. Thank you for for walking this difficult road in the open. It will do much to expose the darkness that has suppressed many children.

    My entire thinking on spiritual authority has changed over the last two years. I no longer believe that Christians have a spiritual authority to be found in a human man. I believe that Christ is a Christian’s Lord, our spiritual leader. Love and respect between one another IS part of living out the example of Jesus. One’s conscience should never be seared. This is something that the SGM theology did well, unfortunately.

  200. @ Bella: Bella, 1) Please read Brent Detwiler's donation page. http://www.brentdetwiler.com/please-support-aletheia-minis/

    He clearly says that he has held off on asking for donations for himself for fear that people like you would suggest he’s given up his financial security, risked his health for the past 5 years, and been through h—, for financial gain.

    His attitude toward making money off other Christians is clearly the opposite of C.J. Mahaney’s crowd’s mentality. They sold their souls for a vacation to South Carolina. Brent doesn’t want to his risk his soul to buy groceries.

    Brent is on the verge of bankruptcy and didn’t have health insurance for a serious medical problem as a result of standing up to SGM. In addition, the __________ family, whose Patriarch Brent has called a pedophile, is one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Maryland. They are not going to be happy with Brent, either.

    If people would like him to keep doing the fantastic job he’s doing helping victims, as a former SGM-insider, they need to help him avoid having to work at Starbucks. People have bills to pay in the real world.

    Plus Brent’s donation page also says you can donate to his non-profit, Aletheia Ministries, which pays the bills for his website and other expenses.

    I don’t think that Brent Detwiler can reveal his sources yet he could not have acquired some of the information.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  201. Follow-up:

    I don’t think that Brent Detwiler can reveal his sources for ethical reasons because he’s functioning as an investigative journalist in his latest Post. However, it’s doubtful he could he have acquired some of the info he has without talking directly to the relevant parties and getting their blessing to proceed.

    I also think that focusing on whether Brent violated anyone’s privacy is a strategy SGM is using to avoid the horrifying truths in Brent’s post generally.

    Specifically, the CLC pastors have a long history of (allegedly-ed note)covering up abuse for a wealthy donor and there are known pedophiles roaming CLC’s halls, )allegedly ed. note)looking for victims, as we speak, with impunity.

    Joshua Harris has some explaining to do.

  202. @ Evie:

    I agree with your opinion about Survivors.

    Kris’s recent post justifying the behavior of SGM Pastors on the grounds that they suffer from Stockholm Syndrome is one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

    Many people are questioning whether “Kris” and “Guy” are still advocating for victims anymore based on their lastest slew of Posts.

    Plus we have no idea who “Kris” and “Guy” really are. They could be teenage girls in Los Angeles for all we know.

    They certainly aren’t willing to take the flack Dee, Deb, Brent Detwiler, and others take for standing up for their beliefs under their real names, in support of victims.

  203. Need I expose every sibling's name and my ss#? Yes, Kiersty is my little sister, and yes, she will try to go on with the only life she has and has known. Survival is instinct. Before a human realizes that it is not about sects, Calvinism and Lutheranism, and never-ending blogs- end dates will be inscribed on tombstones and children will have been in closets crying (or dressed up playing "instruments" but harboring agony beyond their years). Read the opening quote on Angelina Jolie's biography. Sects are less than the real tears of children. And action is worth more to little humans than bored rants.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  204. @ Olivia: Hi Olivia. You don't know me at all and I've never been to an SGM church. But I wanted to say thank you for all you and the other plaintiffs are doing to expose this. I'm so sorry for all you've been through. I hope you all are holding up OK. You are in my prayers.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  205. Bob wrote:

    Plus we have no idea who “Kris” and “Guy” really are. They could be teenage girls in Los Angeles for all we know.

    Or two chickens pecking on keyboards in their hencoop like the old online comic strip Chicken Writer.

    Because on the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog — or a chicken.

  206. Bob wrote:

    Brent is on the verge of bankruptcy and didn’t have health insurance for a serious medical problem as a result of standing up to SGM. In addition, the _______ family, whose Patriarch Brent has called a pedophile, is one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Maryland.

    In other words, Brent just outed the _____________ (ed) of Maryland. Who will now be out for revenge along with his House.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  207. Phoenix wrote:

    And being a business owner; particularly if your business “served” the church was certainly considered a “holier” option than working in government or “secular” business.

    Clericalism and Corban. Where Clergy (or anyone connected with them) outranks Laity in the eyes of God.

    Either latter employment option was considered a bit questionable; unless you were wealthy or prominent in which case nothing you did was questionable.

    Money Talks and Gods Can Do No Wrong.

    Only today it’s called “Tithing six figures” instead of “Buying Indulgences”.

    Part of my own story is that I worked several years for a business that was very closely intertwined with Fairfax Covenant Church. I observed business practices and treatment of employees that were worse than anything I’ve ever seen during the subsequent nearly 20 years in “secular” business and the public sector.

    “When Tithes in Fairfax Coffer Rings…”

    All justified by “CHRISTIAN(TM)”. With God as your personal scab and strikebreaker/enforcer. How dare you treat your customers and employees like those Godless Secular Employers!

  208. Olivia, as one woman to another, allow me to tell you how proud I am of your strength and boldness. You are a HERO. Stunned

  209. Mrs Huxtable wrote:

    Someone on SGM Survivors mentioned that the company owned by Grace Goe’s father has employed many CLC members over the years. I know two CLC ladies who worked there during the 90′s. One of them is CJ’s daughter. The other married an SGM pastor and went on a church plant. If true, the allegation that the father traded a vacation for CJ & company’s silence is horrendous. (Of course, all of the allegations are horrific, but this one struck me as demonstrating a sociopathic disregard for the children involved.)

    Why should Our Betters in the Great Houses care at all about the small people/commoners? Their eyes are fixed on the Game of Thrones — especially putting their own thrones above that of the Most High.

  210. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

    Mod Ed: That “last name removed” was of a fictional character, a Patriarch of one of the Great Houses from Game of Thrones. (Unless the RL Patriarch represented in the metaphor DOES have the same or similar Family Name to the fictional character, which would be quite a synchronicity.)

  211. Pam Palmer wrote:

    This is one of the most horrifying and troubling allegations in the lawsuit to me. I am having a really difficult time comprehending how these 3 men relaxed on the beach with their own children running around, in a beautiful resort town, on the dime of an alleged pedophile, whom they had recently chosen to not turn into the police, all the while the alleged pedophile was at home with his victims!

    Again, MONEY TALKS.

    Did any of their wives know? Did any of their children know?/blockquote>

    Wives and children are Winsome and Submissive. Q.E.D.

  212. @ Bob:
    I don’t think that’s fair or accurate. I didn’t read Kris’s post as justifying the pastors on the grounds of Stockholm Syndrome at all. She often tries to puzzle out why otherwise seemingly decent, intelligent Christian people can act like they do in SGM, but that’s hardly excusing it. It is puzzling, how these guys can *seem* to have all these positives, yet submit to an organization that is so dysfunctional and cultish in culture. Discussing the possible whys and wherefores of an abusive culture is NOT excusing the abuse.

    I think they have advocated well for the victims. They had the earliest SGM expose’ blog as far as I know, and it is through their efforts that the stories were first publicly told and where the victims found each other and put it all together and realized the conspiracy. Everyone who is blogging now is a wonderful part of exposing this corrupt organization, but they owe awareness of it to those who came before.

    I believe Kris and Guy may have had a part in connecting people behind the scenes for the purpose of the lawsuit. (I remember when Kris and Guy didn’t post for the longest time, then finally reappeared when someone was trying to cold them for not doing enough to say that things were happening and just to wait for it. Then the lawsuit came out, and they were back to posting again.)

    They’ve done this for a long time with no pay and no particular axe to grind except concern. They protect their privacy and their children because when the blog reached the notice of SGM, people tried to track down who they were and they received warnings and death threats. If they get weary sometimes and need a break (or are working behind the scenes again), they’ve earned it.

    I know there was a big blow-up over whether the allegation of a circle of people in masks and so on could be true, and opinion was pretty divided on that one because it seems so bizarre. (Personally, given the details, the agreement of witnesses, and the nature of these perversions, I believe it is true.) I don’t always agree with everything and every poster there or here, and I’m sure I annoy them, too, but I prefer to remember that we are on the same side.

  213. Evie wrote:

    Thanks HUG and yuuuuup, totally!

    1) I have been one of the “small people” all my life, under “My Betters” who like to throw their weight around. As Captain America put it, “I Don’t Like Bullies”.

    2) On a lighter note, shouldn’t that be “EEEEEYUP!”?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNN1aTUXv0w

  214. Olivia,
    I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I also want to say that I feel partially responsible in a strange kind of way that haunts me. I believe that if I and others who have been sexually abused were brave enough to shout our abuse and our children’s abuse from the housetops rather than worrying about our ‘dirt’ or worrying about making other people uncomfortable for hearing our details, or worrying about people losing their jobs or going to jail or worrying about the reputation of our families and friends who had nothing to do with the story and letting ALL the blame for ALL of the above rest squarely on the criminal’s shoulders then MAYBE, just MAYBE the laws would be stricter today and you would have experienced justice at your first disclosure.
    I commend you for your bravery!

  215. If I remember correctly, I believe Guy said they would have limited internet access around Memorial Day, so perhaps they are still on vacation.

    Had it not been for SGM Survivors, there is a high probability that none of these issues regarding Sovereign Grace Ministries would have ever been exposed.

    I am grateful for Kris and Guy's diligence for all these years. Dee and I are discovering how hard it is to maintain a busy blog…

  216. dee, Janey, Julie Anne, Patrice (and anyone I’ve missed) –

    Thank you for responding, in your different ways, to my notice of my comment at Justin Taylor’s blog. As I’ve mentioned to two of you, they left a comment that makes no sense now that mine were deleted. I wonder if some sharp-eyed readers will notice.

    Janey – thanks for telling us about Evernote, which I definitely need.

  217. Bob wrote:

    Follow-up: I also think that focusing on whether Brent violated anyone’s privacy is a strategy SGM is using to avoid the horrifying truths in Brent’s post generally. 

    Joshua Harris has some explaining to do.

    I totally agree with your thinking behind your comments. I'm showing restraint. Ugh this is so infuriating!! Olivia – you go girl.

  218. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Evie:
    I completely understand why the question was asked- can you not see “It’s just the beginning” was trying to protect the victim? I never saw any indication that D&D or this blog were being attacked.

    It was a reasonable request and it seems that D&D have done what they can to reasonably confirm the identity of the poster.

    Jeff S, I just have a different perspective. I don’t think it was a good way to respond, especially when there seemed to be little doubt regarding the identity of Olivia. I also have a lot of confidence in Dee and Deb.

  219. Mark wrote:

    I consider myself a Christian as well. A Catholic Christian. The early Church fathers were Catholic, and held the same doctrines as the Church does today. It was the only Christian church up until the Protestant reformation.

    Don’t want to throw more fuel on this dispute, but the Eastern Orthodox would very well disagree with that statement…and the Great Schism happened centuries before Luther arrived on the scene (which is where your argument of where tradition was interrupted seems to begin).

    In making recourses to unbroken tradition and authority, things like this need to be addressed in order to make your arguments more credible.

  220. Olivia wrote:

    end dates will be inscribed on tombstones and children will have been in closets crying (or dressed up playing “instruments” but harboring agony beyond their years).

    Hang in by your fingernails. It truly does get better, even though it takes an unconscionably long time.

    I have peace now, and am often happy. I no longer wish that I was dead and this year I met spring’s beauty with all my heart, glad to be here with it. I also am able, now, to be someone real, the someone I was made to be. I promise you, Olivia, it will get better.

    My therapist saved me. I hope all you sibs have one.

  221. I so appreciate this blog and survivors. It has shown a light into the darkness of SGM for me. I would still be in the darkness and fog if not for these blogs. I've learned so much here. The bad guys need to take responsibility for there reprehensible behavior. They have created an environment of control that is unacceptable. As a woman I feel the calvinistas would be delighted to take away my freedom. For this reason I would love to see Brent take down CJ and I hope he can, but we have to stick to facts and truth. The truth is what is needed. Victims need justice and criminals and bullies need consequences. Lets keep fighting for truth and justice.

  222. Olivia, Thank you for your bravery. There are unfortunately people who will challenge you, because they don’t want their so-called “safe Christian world” challenged. It is easier for them to ignore what is going on in front of them and pretend that their pastor/elder would do no wrong. Some will go to extreme lengths to remain in their comfort zone. I have seen this ‘cognitive dissonance’ in my own family and it breaks my heart. Avoid such people at all costs! Know your value is in God. No one else gets a vote in your worth! I pray God continues to put people in your path to support and encourage you and your siblings. Love, Ann

  223. Joy Huff wrote:

    As a woman I feel the calvinistas would be delighted to take away my freedom.

    Calvin was a control freak when he ruled Geneva, and his fanboys are no different.

    Everything justified by God’s Will, just like the Ayatollahs and the Taliban.

  224. Dear Olivia, I wish someone had listened to you way back when, & you & your siblings had never been through the horrific things you suffered. But now you will find out just how many people do care about the suffering of children in general, & you guys in particular. There are some amazing people here who have survived very similar things to yourselves & many who will not be quiet until the truth is known & children are properly protected. Hang in there, there are better days ahead.

  225. Jeff S wrote:

    I completely understand why the question was asked- can you not see “It’s just the beginning” was trying to protect the victim? I never saw any indication that D&D or this blog were being attacked.

    It was a reasonable request and it seems that D&D have done what they can to reasonably confirm the identity of the poster.

    Jeff: really? I was “trying to protect the victim”? Is that your assessment of my motives for asking to verify if Olivia was actually Olivia?

    Well you’re wrong. I am after the truth — TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY..I’ve been clamoring for that for a long time now. (and yes, I do believe Olivia is Olivia .. and yes, it is important for Dee to verify that, which she did.)

    ..

    As to your question about D&D being “attacked” — it you read Evie’s comment to me she said this: “I don’t see why you’re attacking their [D&D] integrity.” I DIDN’T THINK I WAS ATTACKING Dee. Evie stated that I was. So I asked Dee if she felt my asking her was attacking her as Evie interpreted my question as such.

    Dee responded saying she didn’t feel attacked — rushed to answer the important question, yes. But we have great moderators running this blog so I would expect nothing less.

  226. @ Olivia:
    Olivia, I’m so sorry to hear of you pain. I’ll try to pray for you when I’m praying for Laura. Lots of trouble all around.

  227. Anon 1 wrote:

    In fact, the famous Ed Setzer planted an Acts 29 church in Atlanta a while back with quite a nice staff which was gone within 18mos and no one is talking about what happened.

    I didn’t know about this – very interesting! Especially since Stetzer is seen/portrayed as a church-planting guru.

    Any idea where I can find more info about this ill-fated venture?

  228. @ It's just the beginning and other TWW readers:

    Dee and I DID NOT have a problem with the request that we confirm Olivia's identity.

    We were verifying her identity BEFORE anyone has a chance to question the authenticity of her comment.

    Instead of bickering about this, let's exert our energies by supporting and praying for those who have been hurt.

    Love you guys!

  229. @ It’s just the beginning:
    Ok- yes I thought you were trying to protect the victim by assuring that her identity was not revealed without her permission. I’m now scratching my head as to what your motive was.

    I apologize for defending your question, which I thought was fair and did not view as an attack. I wish it hadn’t put me in the crosshairs, but since it has I will do my best to try and step out.

    For the record, I do think reasonable steps should be taken before outing anyone’s identity on the Internet, and it seems D&D have done a good job here of trying to protect Olivia’s interest.

  230. Jeff: my motive was just confirmation .. I believe blogs are good and important. But some people hold the opinion that anonymous posting [as I am doing] is bad and wrong. BUT THEN YOU ADD TO THAT the possibility that someone could post using a name as volatile as “Olivia L.” but not actually be that person!

    I was trying to protect Olivia (and all of us readers) from an evil hoaxer.

    Anyway, Deb is right .. no more need to bicker on this. There are far larger problems to discuss and work through.

    TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY–and nothing less!

  231. Evie

     We are removing your commentfrom 3:18 AM. We have been made aware of some information that would nuance something that you said. It is not your fault. There is information that was unavailable to you or anyone else for that matter. Please email us if you have questions. Thank you for always caring for the victims.

  232. Bella

    We do not know Brent and have no influence over him. Perhaps someone else could contact him and convey your concerns.

  233. Bridget

    Although we have more information, it is not clear that brent got the permission of those involved. This has been a confusing situation to say the least.

  234. There is Calvinism, and then there is Calvinism.

    It is true horrible things have been done in the name of Calvinism (and Lutheranism and Arminianism and Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.)

    But then there is the joyful side of the Reformed faith. Some of us have experienced simply horrific happenings in our lives, and see that we have two choices: either believe God is incapable of protecting us and does not care anyway, or believe that all things are working together for our good. That is not saying all things are good, just that a good God is working out something wonderful.

    The first produces these authoritarian charlatans. The second produces the likes of Pastor Wade Burleson.

    I think I’ll keep the baby of a generally reformed faith and toss the bathwater of authoritarian rule.

  235. @ Deb: Thanks so very much for keeping things as on the level as possible, and for your concern for all who have been harmed!

    Love to you, Dee and The GuyBHTC!

  236. @ dee:

    This is a delicate and difficult situation which you are handling to the best of your ability. I have to confess that when I read the comments this morning, I had some comical scenarios dancing through my head of what must be going on in the background at Dee and Deb’s abodes. :( :) Praying for the victims and all those supporting them.

  237. Joy

    Thank you for your comment. Truth is important to us. This is all very difficult. Abuse causes much pain in the life of children and had lifelong implications. Sometimes it is hard to sift through the situation. Thankfully, our Father knows and one day we will al stand before Him. There is much peace in knowing that.

  238. @ Beakerj:

    “Hey JeffB – great comment on Justin Taylor’s blog. You are definitely one of my favourite calvinists :)”

    Thanks. I have a feeling I’m in a small group.

    @ linda:

    Very well put. There really IS a difference, and this is a good reminder.

  239. @ It's just the beginning

    There is much turmoil in this situation. I wish Solomon were present to find a solution. Truth is so hard to come by. I remember reading a comment on another blog in which the person said that we were innocent until proven guilty. The person who answered said "If that is the case, you should let Casey Anthony babysit your kids."

    In the end, it all boils down to what one believes to be true. Most people think OJ is guilty even though he went free. I am biased. I tend to believe alleged victims more than I believe the guys who are leaders. Others do the opposite.

    Today was a tough day. The decisions were difficult. But we did our best. Our thoughts and prayers go with those who are in pain.

  240. Mr H

    Go on over to Peter Lumpskins blog. he had it up about a week ago. i think you may see a comment from your blog queen over there. i plan to write about this and more on Friday.

  241. Its just

    Believe it or not, a detractor came on this blog once and posed as my husband, outing his name before we started using ours. We were anonymous for the first year! Trust me, I like to confirm things. :)

  242. Never Again wrote:

    I believe Kris and Guy may have had a part in connecting people behind the scenes for the purpose of the lawsuit.

    Kris and Guy are bloggers with a heart for all the victims of the multitude of issues within SGM and its former churches. If you are inferring that Kris or Guy organized victims for the purpose of suing, you are completely wrong.

    [[Mod Edit: removed confusing reference to @Bob]]

  243. Dear It’s Just the Beginning,

    I realize asking questions is one of those issues that can be a sensitive one for any SGM survivors. I’m not familiar with you, so I don’t know where you’re at, but since you mentioned you comment at Survivors, I’m guessing you are one yourself.

    I think asking questions is fine. I have no problem with that. I’m glad you asked the question. For some reason I reacted to the way in which you were asking it, and I’m going to ask that you forgive me for that. I know I used the inflammatory word “attack” and I’m sure you didn’t mean to literally attack Dee and Deb. So, I hope you will forgive me to saying that about you. I’m really sorry.

  244. Lynn wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    True, there was/is a schism. But back then, even with two parts, it was the church. Depending on which empire you lived in dictated the community you belonged to.
    But you feel that RCC has the authority? What about the Eastern church? What makes one a better “last decider” than the other?
    Of course there were really 5 “Bishops” for over 500 years. Alexandria, Damascus, and Jerusalem went away with the first tidal wave of Islam. Then Constantinople fell about 1200 something. Which left Rome as the last big Bishop standing. Do they have the final word on matter just due to them being further away and thus harder to conquer than the rest as Muslims tried to take over the world?

    Due to the fact that Jesus made Peter the first Pope, St. Peter was the Bishop of Rome and those who succeeded him in that see also succeeded him also in the supreme headship. This was undisputed for the first 1,000 years. But when Pope Leo IX exercised his authority to clarify part of the Nicean Creed, the Eastern churches rejected his authority and broke off from the Church.

  245. Mark wrote:

    then why do some churches embrace homosexuality as not sinful and actually celebrate it through marriage?

    Mark wrote:

    35,000+ protestant churches in America and I can show you who says yes and no to each of these questions.

    I’m not sure I get where you are coming from.

    Are you a Roman Catholic? It’s a common anti-sola scriptura canard for Roman Catholics to point to disagreements among Protestants, or the existence of different Protestant denominations, as some kind of proof that sola scriptura is true – but it does no such thing.

    Roman Catholic scholars, lay persons, and apologists don’t always agree with one another on every issue, or with the Magisterium, or Roman Catholic teachings, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one can find examples of Roman Catholics who disagree with ex cathedra pronouncements by some Pope or another. So, Roman Catholics aren’t always in unity on every issue either.

    The Myth of Catholic Unity

    Catholic apologists regularly argue that sola scriptura produces a Protestantism that is highly splintered, with very little consensus on anything, often citing a dubious figure of 25,000 Protestant denominations in existence today.

    Quite often, Protestants are caricatured by Catholic apologists in such a way as to be at virtual war with one another.

    Their solution is to submit to the Catholic church, and in this way fulfill Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17. What are we to make of this contention?

    Source: Eric Svendsen, Evangelical Answers, page 119.

    Svendsen also has an entire chapter on the sufficiency of the Scripture. You might want to read his book. I don’t know if it’s still in print, though.

    I don’t agree with White on Calvinism, but he’s written some good material refuting some of these points, such as this:

    The 33,000 Denominations Myth
    .

  246. Pam Palmer

    I, too, believe that Kris and Guy have valiantly served the victims in spite of serious pushback for years.

  247. Mark wrote:

    St. Peter was the Bishop of Rome and those who succeeded him in that see also succeeded him also in the supreme headship. This was undisputed for the first 1,000 years. But when Pope Leo IX exercised his authority to clarify part of the Nicean Creed, the Eastern churches rejected his authority and broke off from the Church.

    Surely the claim is not being made that until the Great Schism and then the Reformation, “the church” was unified and relatively unchanging in doctrine and practice? Early Church councils themselves (and then Trent) often “clarify” one topic or other so much as to contradict prior councils or Popes. Post-Reformation, too: The Council of Trent contradicted Pope Gregory the Great’s teachings on what constituted the canon, for example, but both Trent and Gregory are seen as worthy of equal honor in the Catholic Church.

    Episcopalians, Old Catholics, Antipopes, Societies of St. Pius X, XII, Lefebvrists, CMRI and other assorted sedevacantists each also claim apostolic succession. Each is allegedly more truly “Catholic” than the other, each dismissed by others as “fringe” or “illegitimate.”

    I’m not saying at all that Protestants don’t have very amusing and often distracting doctrinal disputes with one another, but the truth claims of the Catholic Church have to start with the same level of scrutiny as any other Christian group claiming apostolic succession. And I’m not seeing as much of that here as would be good.

  248. Mark wrote:

    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

    I’ve been too hurt and betrayed by people who call themselves Christians to want to return, and lecturing me or guilting me into going back to a local group of believers in a brick building once a week isn’t going to work.

    I’ve been hurt and let down to the point by “Christians” (at my time of deepest sorrow -death of someone close to me- and other problems) that it’s one reason why I have drifted slowly from the faith and find myself maybe becoming agnostic.

    Lecturing me, trying to shame me or guilt me, over not going to a local church, is actually counter productive and makes me want to stay away even more.

    You said,
    No, the Christian life requires more than just a profession of faith, or an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Yeah, the ‘demons believe and tremble’.

    What use is faith without good works?, faith without works is dead? It’s in the book of James, I know.

    But the Bible does not teach salvation by faith plus works, or salvation by church attendance in a building each week, but salvation by faith alone.

  249. oldJohnJ wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    I do it on occasion, when YEC (Young Earth Creationism) crops up. I’m a YEC who sees pro-old earth/ pro evolution Christians who are rude towards YEC itself and those who adhere to it. You could do the same thing with Arminianism if you wanted.
    Daisy, I hope you don’t consider me as rude. I can be a little too curt at times but I’ve never been purposely rude (on TWW at least). There is a couple of things I’d like you to consider. First young/old earth creationism is not an essential part of our salvation. However, YEC is a very particular and extreme interpretation of early Genesis. It is not science in any way. Science is predictive. If you can derive a result from theory and measurements don’t agree with it then the theory has to be updated. Calling YEC science and attempting to have it considered on the same level as science damages our Christian witness and is the cause of much unnecessary strife between Christianity and the secular world.

    I’ve never said,
    “First young/old earth creationism is not an essential part of our salvation.”

    I don’t believe one’s views on age of the earth has anything to do with salvation. I even said so on older threads on this blog.

    However, I’ve been attacked by both Christian and Non Christian pro- evolutionists, treated ina very condescending manner, been told (wrongly) that I am “anti science” because I don’t embrace a billions/millions year old earth, macro evolution, etc.

    I don’t know if I consider YEC “science” or not, I’ve never asked it to be taught in public schools.

    I don’t consider Darwinism/ macro evolution science and critiques of it should be taught in public schools, but that is not permitted, only whole-scale, unquestioning acceptance of it goes on.

    I don’t really care what people believe about age of the earth or evolution – my bone of contention are the attitudes I see online, such as that all YECs are frequently made out to be (by believers and atheists alike) as being uneducated hay-seed idiots, or meanies, or we are said to be “anti science.”

    Not all YECs make YEC into a salvation-level argument (I do not). We’re not all alike.

  250. @ ConfusedButHopeful: Agreed.

    From what he’s said above, I think Mark is pretty new to Catholicism. (Not meant as a slam, rather, as an explanation – or partial one, at least.)

    I also brought up the issue of splits between the RCC and the Orthodox churches pretty far upthread, fwiw. ;)

  251. Mark wrote:

    However, you are no more of an authority than they are.

    And what is your authority for saying that? And how do you know your authority is correct?

  252. @ Mark:

    I think it would be grand for all of us to have a bingo night accompanied by a pot luck with scotch and cake for dessert :) I can’t concur with your beliefs on the authority of the Catholic church to define scripture though. I’ve read quite a bit on the RCC’s history. Like most denominations it has some really ugly near and far history. I don’t recall scripture saying that Jesus made Peter a pope or that Peter led from Rome. I do believe there are Christians in the Catholic church as well as in many other denominations. The word “catholic” meant universal (all inclusive) before the RCC laid claim to the word.

  253. Olivia wrote:

    Need I expose every sibling’s name and my ss#? Yes, Kiersty is my little sister, and yes, she will try to go on with the only life she has and has known. Survival is instinct. Before a human realizes that it is not about sects, Calvinism and Lutheranism, and never-ending blogs- end dates will be inscribed on tombstones and children will have been in closets crying (or dressed up playing “instruments” but harboring agony beyond their years). Read the opening quote on Angelina Jolie’s biography. Sects are less than the real tears of children. And action is worth more to little humans than bored rants.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

    I hear you dear Olivia. I hear you from far away. It is about little children being used by monsters and then protected by other types of monsters in the sickest way possible-in the Name of Christ. I pray for you justice on this earth and I pray that monsters everywhere will fear that little silenced voices who grow up to be vocal, courageous and bold like you. I pray the monsters to where they belong. Behind bars. I pray their accomplices will be brought down.

    May those who love Christ on this blog will love you and blanket you and the others with prayer. Words feel so inadequate so I will also pray for you REAL kingdom people to surround you and the others with support. Not the fakes you know so well who use Jesus for personal gain and power.

    You are valuable. You matter. The Mahaney machine and his defenders will try to make that appear to not be so. They are deceivers and we know whom they have chosen to follow.

  254. @ Olivia:
    Olivia, I apologize if I added to your pain. I am a survivor myself, and it took me a few years to be comfortable with my real name being known “out on the web.” I was concerned that you may have been blindsided by this post.

    Thank you for standing up and speaking. I know how hard that can be. My thoughts are with you. I hope true peace settles over you and your siblings.

  255. dee wrote:

    Which Protestant churches teach you are not saved by faith alone. I thought Calvinists and Arminianists were agreed on this point.

    I hate to say it, but there are some Protestants who do disagree with salvation by faith alone.

    Such Protestants believe something called “conditional security of the beleiver.”

    They reject “eternal security” and “once saved always saved.”

    At least, these are individual Christians who believe in conditional security. I don’t know at the denominational level if there are entire Protestant denominations that believe it/ teach it.

    I suspect that Mark is a Roman Catholic. If he is, he would reject that salvation is by faith alone, so he would most likely agree with Protestants who believe in conditional security.

    According to the books and many web pages I read years ago (some by Roman Catholics, some by former, some by Protetants who study RCism), Roman Catholics are taught that one can never be wholly sure of salvation, but to at least have a shot at it, one must not only have faith in Christ, but also do good works.

    It used to be believed by the Roman Catholic Church that there can be no salvation outside the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) at all.

    It was taught that you had to go to RCC-sanctioned priests to get the sacraments (you can only get grace via the mass; confess sins to a priest, etc), or (if I remember right), you were most definitely going to hell. They tried to soften that a bit with Vatican 2.

    Some Catholics still believe salvation apart from RCC membership and its sacraments is not possible, so all Protestants and Baptist are not saved.

    Then you’ll find pages by Roman Catholics who are all over the map on all these topics.
    Like one Catholic guy on one page says,
    “Catholics also don’t assume that anybody (even a non-Christian and indeed even an atheist) is going to hell.”

    If you look up phrases such as “Salvation Outside the Church,” “Can there be salvation for Non Catholics?” you’ll find lots of pages about it by Catholics, and the opinions are all over the place.

  256. @ Olivia:
    My sibs and I never did eventually find the support your group of SGM victims finally have nor could be engaged in a lawsuit. It is something I’ve always longed for, but thinking about it today, I can see how terribly difficult it must be for you, and it’s potential usefulness must pale in the light of the tremendous rage it causes. And it must be awful to be at the center of a maelstrom and yet alienated from all, even self.

    When I first collapsed at 27 yrs old, I went into the denominational psychiatric hospital. I made my father attend a session (there was one therapist there, not mine, who supported my story) but after he “apologized” for his “immodesty”, my problems were recast into the pure Freudian framework. I pulled myself together and left as soon as I could, but I didn’t get the help I needed, which is why I collapsed again at 40.

    The extra-bizarre thing was that my psychiatrist from the hospital shot herself in her basement 4 months after I fled (she was really messed up and I could sense it while no one else could). I am not making this up! Her name was Dr. Barbara Marks and she was at Pine Rest Hospital for a period in the early 80s. The world was a place of terror and ever-shifting prisms and I wandered through decades of deep dissociation to cope with it.

    This is why I hope you sibs have good therapists–ones who believe you, who have expertise in Complex PTSD and sexual abuse family systems, ones who take on neither the nouthetic nor pure Freudian malarkey. I was nearly destroyed by therapists (those supposed helpers) but was also saved by one.

  257. I've been informed the __________ children are requesting that people be respectful of their privacy. They are not the ones accused. Please pray for them rather than make inquiries of them. Let them contact the friends they need rather than trying to contact them. I know some people are endeavoring to be compassionate but others are being nosey. In any case, they desire privacy and prayers. Thank you.

    (Mod Ed-Last name removed…)

  258. Mark wrote:

    “You aren’t the boss of me.”

    The boss comment: other believers are not supposed to be your boss.

    Matthew 20:25-27

    Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…

    And 1 Tim 2:5

    For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

    You said,

    “I don’t agree with X doctrine, therefore you are wrong and I am leaving.”

    It depends. If the doctrine is incorrect (unbiblical), you are supposed to rebuke the person teaching the false doctrine, and/or have nothing to do with them. See 1 Corinthians 5:11, 2 Tim 4:3, 2 Timothy 3:5, etc.

    However, I do believe some Christians (I.F.B.s in particular) carry the “separation” believes way, way too far.

  259. Mark wrote:

    The church, which Paul calls the pillar and foundation of truth, was and is Catholic. Interesting how he didn’t say “the Bible.”

    But it’s the Bible that describes and explains what “the church” is.

    All believers in Christ are members of “the church.” One does not have to be baptized into, or join, one particular Denomination or branch to be a Christian.

    Roman Catholicism has its share of problems too.

    I was raised a Baptist and was very much a goody-goody my whole life, no smoking, drinking, no bar hopping, and I’m still a virgin past the age of 40. (I’ve had Roman Catholic friends who were drinking and having sex when teenagers.)

    I read my Bible, was a Christian good girl, and following all the rules did not make me happy or bless my life in any special way.

    I also mention all that because there seems to be a mistaken belief among some Roman Catholics (my sister’s boyfriend’s mom was one) who thinks all Baptists/Protestants live hedonistic lives, due to the fact we believe salvation in faith alone or OSAS – we don’t, though.

    My sister (who was a wild child and often misbehaved, let’s say her name was “Julie”) got the, “What would Jesus think of you doing ‘X,’ Julie? You know that X is wrong” lecture from our Baptist mom all the time.

    When my sister’s BF’s mom (who is a devout Roman Catholic) heard about our Baptist childhood, she was shocked because it went against all her stereotypes.

    She had no idea that Baptists believe in purity, holiness, and living clean lifestyles. She thought we all ran around drunk all day, having sex all over the place with boyfriends and girlfriends.

    Roman Catholics don’t have a monopoly on living clean, pure, holy lives or getting guilt trips from religious leaders and parents to behave.

  260. @ Daisy:
    All Arminians believe you can list your salvation. That doctrine is the reason for the “P” in TULIP (which was developed as a response to the 5 points of Arminianism). While I disagree with Arminians, I would not say they do not believe in salvation by faith alone.

  261. @ Brent Detwiler:
    Ok, so do those who’ve been asking questions or trying to contact them have ANY idea what it is like to be so completely trashed by trauma? Obviously not. Get an effing clue!

    They’ve not had a speck of privacy in their whole lives—not even a place where they could ever learn who they are, much less be those selves. They were children when their boundaries and then the center of their selves were plowed over, laid waste, and infused with corruption, again and again, decade on decade.

    Arg!

    If someone wants to offer them comfort, it can be done in comment threads, where they can keep the reins of their lives by deciding to read or not.

    And if people want to know what it is like to understand to what suffering and evil are like to the bottom of your soul, well, go read Carson. He thinks he knows. Blech!

    Or you could ask people who’ve been through situations like this, and are on the other side of it, having been able to put the pieces back together after a fashion, and capable of response.

  262. ConfusedButHopeful wrote:

    Episcopalians, Old Catholics, Antipopes, Societies of St. Pius X, XII, Lefebvrists, CMRI and other assorted sedevacantists each also claim apostolic succession. Each is allegedly more truly “Catholic” than the other, each dismissed by others as “fringe” or “illegitimate.”

    One can claim they have something, yet not validly posses it.

  263. @ Patrice:
    Patrice: This is why sites like this are so important. To have a voice and be heard, to be supported and loved is so important. This last year has been emotionally tumultuous for me with the peaks and valleys, but thank God for support – for Christ who has shown Himself through His hands and feet in the lives of real caring human beings whom He made. I am so thankful you are still around despite very bad therapists – I understand that precarious balancing act of pain, anguish, torment, abandonment, fear and then making the decision to choose life, even when it doesn’t make sense. Will it ever make sense? Maybe not.

    Thank you for being a voice for victims. You are such a great encouragement, Patrice. Thank you, thank you!

  264. Mark wrote:

    That’s exactly right. By who’s “rules” do you live by? Do you live by the Bible? Who is the authority to interpret scripture for you? You?

    Who is your authority, the magisterium?

    If so, why do you trust them, in regards to Scripture interpretation, or anything else? Why should I trust them and them alone?

    Do you put your trust in the Pope’s ex cathedra statements, or in Church Tradition (which sometimes conflicts with the Bible, or some of it is not even mentioned in the Bible)?

    I don’t believe that Peter was the “first Pope” anyway.

    Your own church tries to establish authority in part by claiming to have an unbroken line of Popes, and that the see must be located in Rome, but that has not carried this out.

    According to the Catholic Catechism … [it is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that the see of Peter resides in Rome, and that Rome alone has primacy over all the faithful].

    … [Pope] Clement V did indeed err in his official, definite act to move the see of Peter from Rome to Avignon [in the 14th century].

    … While the see of Peter resided in Avignon, there was no Roman Pontiff who resided over the church; and since there was a period of time (and a lengthy one at that) during which there was no Roman Pontiff, then the unavoidable conclusion is that the Roman Pontiff has not been a perpetual source of unity with the Catholic church.

    This also entails that succession from Peter was broken for at least seventy years, since where there is no Roman Pontiff, there can be no successor.

    [When the papal see returned to Rome, Catholic cardinals elected Urban VI to be pope, and later Clement VII] … The two popes not only condemned each other but also engaged in spiritual warfare each other.

    Clement [moved to Avignon].. while Urban remained in Rome. …Urban (whom Catholics would eventually view as the “true” pope) tortured to death those cardinals that resisted him.

    Source: pages 28 -31, Evangelical Answers. Author: Eric Svendsen

  265. Daisy wrote:

    But it’s the Bible that describes and explains what “the church” is.

    No, it’s the Church that describes and explains what “the church” is. The Bible is part of the Word of God, but isn’t the only Word of God. You do realize we didn’t even have the canonized Bible until near the end of the 4th century, and it came from the Catholic Church. They are the authority on interpreting the Bible.

  266. Daisy wrote:

    my bone of contention are the attitudes I see online, such as that all YECs are frequently made out to be (by believers and atheists alike) as being uneducated hay-seed idiots, or meanies, or we are said to be “anti science.”

    You’re tarred by the company you keep. Most YEC believers (as best I can tell and based on my experience) make it a science issue. AIG certainly does and they have the biggest megaphone just now. So while you personally don’t make it a science issues most of the YEC folks do. And so you get the comment directed at them in general.

  267. JeffB wrote:

    My screenshot ability is lacking, so I merely copied the post and the comments

    It’s been years since I used a Mac, but if you are on a PC, there should be a key on your keyboard (upper right) that says “Print Scrn”

    You use that to make a screen shot, then open your bitmap editing software, make a new file, and CTRL + V, or go to Edit > Paste.

    That will past the screenshot into your file for you.

  268. Lynn wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    One can claim they have something, yet not validly posses it.
    Yes they can.

    So, if you claim that you have a degree from Harvard, but never were actually conferred a degree by the school, you believe that you can actually have the degree?

  269. Lynn wrote:

    You’re tarred by the company you keep. Most YEC believers (as best I can tell and based on my experience) make it a science issue. AIG certainly does and they have the biggest megaphone just now. So while you personally don’t make it a science issues most of the YEC folks do. And so you get the comment directed at them in general.

    So because some are like that, it totally excuses me personally being treated that way? I don’t think so.

    I see a lot of condescension from Christians who reject YEC towards YECs, and that is something you need to keep in check.

  270. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and I want to encourage the TWW community to keep those who are hurting in your prayers.

    "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."   James 5:16b

  271. Mark wrote:

    Lynn wrote:
    Mark wrote:
    One can claim they have something, yet not validly posses it.
    Yes they can.

    So, if you claim that you have a degree from Harvard, but never were actually conferred a degree by the school, you believe that you can actually have the degree?

    My comment reads wrong. I was implying that maybe Mark/RCC has laid claim to something they do not posses. Vocal inflections didn’t survive the posting.

  272. @ Mark: Just so you know, Mark, I have no problem believing that some Catholics are Christians just as I believe that some evangelicals are Christians. I know this stance will give some people heartburn, causing some to believe that I am wicked and unregenerate.

    Did you know that when your Pope was appointed Archbishop, he asked Luis Palau, a well-known Protestant evangelist, to lay hands on him and pray for him? Palau told the story at a conference that i recently attended.

    I believe that we have much in common when it comes to areas of service. We have joined hands across the aisle in issues such as abortion. And, sadly, we have both poorly handled the issues of child sexual abuse and the church and have much to repent of together.

  273. @ dee:

    Ach, Dee, thanks. I am ok now. I got through. I always love a prayer but I’d gladly give my portion over to the SGM people because I am now safe and sure in God’s hands. And feeling wonder and gratitude for it.

    I want to be very clear that when people have been subject to deliberate complex evil for the duration of their formative years, getting through each hour is an act of heroism. For a long time.

    And whether they make it through the hell of healing that follows the hell of methodical child abuse, or whether they kill themselves from the pain/despair of it, they are testaments to the astonishing human spirit. And God will welcome them into Him/Herself however they arrive. He/She’ll give them all that they’ve longed for and never had. God will Him/Herself wash their hearts of the threads of the corruption that was injected into them. God will unwind the knots, and return their honor.

    THIS is the gospel truth, without the doctrinal sparkles and whistles.

  274. Daisy wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    “You aren’t the boss of me.”
    The boss comment: other believers are not supposed to be your boss.

    Matthew 18: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

  275. Kevin DeYoung, one of the seven men to side publicly with C.J. Mahaney, the key defendant in the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sex crimes and cover-up lawsuit — is speaking on INTEGRITY at the RCA Integrity Conference on June 17-18 at Peace Church, just south of Grand Rapids, MI!

    Does Kevin DeYoung have the qualifications to speak on integrity? You decide…

    Kevin DeYoung along with Don Carson and Justin Taylor signed their name to the blog post celebrating that their friend C.J. Mahaney got off most of the child sex crime cover up and collusion allegations because the alleged victims were over age 21. Does that sound like integrity?

    Brent Detwiler, former #2 man at Sovereign Grace Ministries, makes a point-by-point critique of DeYoung’s statement.
    http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/don-carson-kevin-deyoung-and-justin-taylor-defend-cj-mahaney-1.html

    If you would like to tell Kevin what you think, here’s his blog post about the Integrity Conference.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2013/06/05/rca-integrity-leadership-conference-2/?comments#comments

  276. Mark wrote:

    I believe the Catholic church is the source of authority for the Word of God.

    The Roman Catholic Church did not give the world the Bible, which is what I take it that you are getting at -that’s another common argument by Roman Catholic apologists.

    At one time in history, the RC sought to keep the Bible out of common people’s hands, and didn’t want it translated into English.

    Some people were even persecuted (killed) by the Roman Catholic Church for translating the Bible into the common language of the people and/or providing such copies. See “William Tyndale.”

    Did the Roman Catholic Church give us the Bible? (on CARM)
    (Not that I agree with CARM on everything, but this is one area of agreement I have with them)

  277. Mark wrote:

    The early Church fathers were Catholic, and held the same doctrines as the Church does today.

    No. Some have been added along the way, especially stuff about Mary.

    All this stuff about Mary being “co-redeemer with Christ,” and I think her so-called perpetual virginity and/or her being “bodily assumed” etc. came about within the last few centuries…

    Roman Catholic Church tradition is fluid, it changes, the stuff they say they believe now cannot be found as doctrines, beliefs, or dogmas of the earliest Christians.

  278. dee wrote:

    @ Mark: Just so you know, Mark, I have no problem believing that some Catholics are Christians just as I believe that some evangelicals are Christians. I know this stance will give some people heartburn, causing some to believe that I am wicked and unregenerate.
    Did you know that when your Pope was appointed Archbishop, he asked Luis Palau, a well-known Protestant evangelist, to lay hands on him and pray for him? Palau told the story at a conference that i recently attended.
    I believe that we have much in common when it comes to areas of service. We have joined hands across the aisle in issues such as abortion. And, sadly, we have both poorly handled the issues of child sexual abuse and the church and have much to repent of together.

    Of course there is a great deal of ecumenism in the Catholic Church since Vatican II, much to even the dismay of staunch Catholics. Some even claim that the see of Peter is vacant (sedevacantists) as a result. The Church leaves open the possibility that there are Christians in other churches, and even that Protestants shouldn’t be labeled “heretics” just because they are Protestant. They weren’t part of the Protestant reformation. There is truth in Protestant churches. There are also a lot of errors. The problem with Protestantism, as I see it, is that says the individual is the one responsible for reading scripture, interpreting it, and putting it into practice. That the Holy Spirit will guide you in the areas of doctrine and salvation. The problem with that is, or at least one of the problems, is that this essentially sets up every individual as an infallible Pope. Would the Holy Spirit lead you down the wrong path? As much as people want to decry the authority of the Pope and Rome, the thing is they have been the keeper of the truth, combating heresy for millenia. Tradition isn’t bad, in fact even protestants interpret the Bible through the lens of their tradition (i.e. Calvinism). You do ultimately get down to the idea of authority, who is the Church that is the continuing Church that Jesus started. It is clear from history that it is the Catholic Church.

  279. Daisy wrote:

    Roman Catholic Church tradition is fluid, it changes, the stuff they say they believe now cannot be found as doctrines, beliefs, or dogmas of the earliest Christians.

    That’s just incorrect. I would suggest you read some of the early church fathers.

  280. Daisy wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    I believe the Catholic church is the source of authority for the Word of God.
    The Roman Catholic Church did not give the world the Bible, which is what I take it that you are getting at -that’s another common argument by Roman Catholic apologists.
    At one time in history, the RC sought to keep the Bible out of common people’s hands, and didn’t want it translated into English.
    Some people were even persecuted (killed) by the Roman Catholic Church for translating the Bible into the common language of the people and/or providing such copies. See “William Tyndale.”
    Did the Roman Catholic Church give us the Bible? (on CARM)
    (Not that I agree with CARM on everything, but this is one area of agreement I have with them)

    Once you start interpreting the Bible for yourself all sorts of heresies creep in. Look at where Protestantism is today. Do you know what heresies are? Do a Bible study on what heresies are talked about in the New Testament. Can you recognize the heresies in modern day preachers, such as T.D. Jakes?

  281. Janey wrote:

    Kevin DeYoung, one of the seven men to side publicly with C.J. Mahaney, the key defendant in the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sex crimes and cover-up lawsuit — is speaking on INTEGRITY at the RCA Integrity Conference on June 17-18 at Peace Church, just south of Grand Rapids, MI!

    To potential conference attendees… I've got a suggestion for how to learn about integrity -

    STAY HOME

    SAVE YOUR MONEY

    and last but not least

    READ YOUR BIBLES!

    You'll be glad you did. :-)

  282. Patrice wrote:

    Or you could ask people who’ve been through situations like this, and are on the other side of it, having been able to put the pieces back together after a fashion, and capable of response.

    Amen.

  283. I find The Vortex was very helpful to me in my journey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQZBukPUwAA

    I posted earlier this passage and asked if this is how you can interpret scripture: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

    This actually is in the Book of Mormon.

  284. @ Jeff S:

    I’m not an Arminian myself. I’ve seen some who claim to believe in OSAS.

    I’ve read that Calvinists don’t truly believe in the “P”, or not in an OSAS kind of way – they believe it is up to the believer to persevere in Christ (I guess by continual believing and/or by doing good works), but the Bible says the believer remains saved because of Christ’s /Holy Spirit’s perseverance.

  285. Mark wrote:

    One can claim they have something, yet not validly posses it.

    That’s certainly true of the Roman Catholic Church’s claims of unbroken apostolic / papal succession.

  286. Mark wrote:

    but isn’t the only Word of God. You do realize we didn’t even have the canonized Bible until near the end of the 4th century, and it came from the Catholic Church. They are the authority on interpreting the Bible.

    Did the Roman Catholic church give us our Bible? (No)

    Church Tradition and Papal statements are not on the same level of authority as the written Word of God.

    The written Word of God describes the formation of the church, and the church = anyone who believes in Christ, “church” does not refer to a single, particular denominational group (ie, Roman Catholic Church)

  287. @ Mark:

    “The problem with Protestantism, as I see it, is that says the individual is the one responsible for reading scripture, interpreting it, and putting it into practice. That the Holy Spirit will guide you in the areas of doctrine and salvation. The problem with that is, or at least one of the problems, is that this essentially sets up every individual as an infallible Pope.”
    +++++++++++++

    Hi, Mark.

    Certainly fallible concerning interpreting scripture, putting it into practice, and being able to be guided by the Holy Spirit in the areas of doctrine and salvation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

    Christians are way too hung up on having to have the answers. And spending inordinant amounts of time pursuing the answers, insisting they have found them, rabidly defending their answers because it is emasculating, disempowering, disillusioning, and just too scary (1) to be wrong, and (2) to not know.

    Many problems would cease to exist if christians chilled out, became more tolerant of mystery, and made treating others the way they themselves want to be treated top priority.

  288. Mark wrote:

    Enough said.

    But I’m supposed to just accept your claims about the magisterium, Church Tradition, etc?

    And then I’m supposed to just accept the claims that the RCC makes of itself, and its interpretation of Scripture?

  289. @ Mark:

    Your quote from Matt 18 does not negate the passages I pasted in, such as- Christ said believers are to serve one another, and are not to lord authority over each other (i.e., don’t “boss each other around”). Are you saying Christ was in error on that teaching?

  290. Thank you Deb for saying this:

    I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, and I want to encourage the TWW community to keep those who are hurting in your prayers.

    “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16b

    In the difficulties of life is is sometimes easy to forget the power we have through prayer! I needed to hear this today…..thank you so much!

    @ Olivia: I am deeply sorry for the life of horrific pain that you have endured. Just know that many, many people are praying for you and I will continue to be one of them.

  291. Olivia,

    I have had you on my mind all day long. May you be encouraged by those of us who gather here.

    Continuing to pray for you.

  292. I gotta say, I simply cannot understand why Detwiler’s post is being so lambasted at Survivors. Olivia has said she’s fine with her story getting out. If I understand what she’s saying, while living at home her father sexually abused her. She reported the abuse to the pastors of CLC. They did nothing. Oh wait, they went on a vacation paid for by Olivias father. They did do something.

    Not only Olivia, but her other siblings were abused. And this at the hands of a man who was allowed to continue his behavior unchecked, , never having been reported to the police.

    Brent Detwiler makes the story public, naming names, and people are in an uproar?

    I’ve seen comments by people who denounce what he’s revealed because they have a problem with Brent, and then in the next breath accuse him of posting what he did based in some kind of vendetta. But who has the vendetta? It seems to me some people have a vendetta against Brent. But I think the content of his post should be taken into serious consideration. Is it true?

    If the report is true, then why all the special regard now for a situation that deserves to be exposed? Isn’t that what we’re involved in, exposing SGM and telling the truth about so many things when we all know SGM spent years putting a false face on the ministry, striving to insure only wonderful, glowing things were said when in truth it was a cover? And now we learn about a family that’s guilty of the very same things – putting on a false front, appearing to be so godly, when all along what was really going on behind the scenes was criminal misconduct.

    So, I’m disappointed. And I’m not a Brent Detwiler fangirl either. But I think what he posted is very useful toward continuing to expose the sins of SGM, things that have long been silenced, suppressed and covered up. Will the information shared hurt SGM? Will it hurt Olivias family? You betcha. But hey, if others want to be all protective and sympathetic in regards to all this, then honestly? I don’t think you have a horse in this race. It’s time to be tough people. And set your face like flint.

  293. @ Mark:

    No, “Roman Catholic church tradition” is not static and not all of it has been handed down from the first Christian. RCC tradition and beliefs change.

    As I mentioned above, the earliest Christians, the very first Christians, did not believe in the bodily assumption of Mary, or in her supposed perpetual virginity, or that she is co-mediator with Christ (one source says -in regards to the bodily assumption of Mary- this belief was not accepted, made into dogma, until as late as 1950).

    Even your church admits to the fluidity of “tradition.” This is in Dei Verbum, The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (from Vatican 2), from Nov 18, 1965. It used the phrase “develops,” as in, “[Church tradition] develops in the Church with the help of the holy Spirit.”

    This whole thing gets even more confusing because Catholics themselves have different versions of what constitutes tradition, and how it should be viewed, and how much credence given it.

    As one author put it (explaining one of the three or so views Catholics have about tradition):
    ——————
    Surely it is easier to present a rather nebulous concept of tradition without the inherent difficulties of claiming a real, historical origin with the Apostles.

    Those who hold to the “development thesis” that was put forward most clearly by Cardinal Newman, the celebrated convert to Roman Catholicism, will naturally follow his lead in holding to this second view of tradition and the “material sufficiency” of Scripture.

    Newman, one of the leading scholars of the Roman Catholic Church of the last century, gladly admitted that many Roman Catholic doctrines (including the Papacy) were not present in their full form in the early history of the Church.

    … Rather than static boundaries set by the older view point (the traditions come from the Apostles and are guarded – unchanged – by the Church), this second perspective allows for the explanation of some of the more radical developments in Roman Catholic doctrine and practice over time.

    Tradition becomes a sort of theological putty, a moldable material that can fit into parameters and evolving theological system.

    …Both [Roman Catholic] viewpoints on tradition boil down to an argument not for “Scripture plus tradition” but for “Scripture as taught by the Church.”

    In both cases tradition is defined and revealed by the Church alone. It cannot be said, even in the first viewpoint, that tradition exists separately from the Roman Catholic Church, its guardian and protector.

    Therefore, tradition functionally becomes in both systems another word for the teaching of the Church, so that the Church’s teaching authority becomes supreme over both Scripture and tradition.

    … Protestants believe in sola scriptura and Catholics believe in sola ecclesia, the Church alone.

    … John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. This concept of the development of doctrine over time was central to Newman’s thought and to his apologetic for many of the distinctive Roman Catholic beliefs. Karl Keating devotes an entire chapter to the subject in his defense of Catholicism…
    ————
    Another interesting quote:

    The Catholic Catechism (Sec 86, 1994) claims,
    “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God but its servant

    - but through their actions, they nullify that belief (the Roman Catholic Church commonly places the Pope’s official teachings and the tradition above the written Word of God in authority).

    But there they are, saying they are not above the Bible.

  294. @ Julie Anne:

    I’m glad to be useful. I mean that literally. I spent sooo long barely surviving through my minutes and hours. To be past that, to be living inside myself, even though damaged, with relative peace, and to be able to turn outwards again and offer a bit of clarity and encouragement here/there, well, it is a delight.

    Yah, from the bits I’ve read of your story, you’ve been through rough times. I’m impressed that you are still standing tall, redheaded, and wise. W00t

    In the end, whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s. I’m confident that we will someday be told the full story. It will be a story of the triumph of love over evil, of a great God who never willed any of the evil (not one shred!) but who always worked to restore His/Her artworks to their original form, but better. All for a complex purpose that we cannot yet (but will) see, and find fully satisfying.

  295. @ Daisy:
    Any true Calvinist is going to believe in “P” just like all of the other points. Of course, the backdoor around it is saying that those who fall away where never Christians to begin with (which I believe, BTW, but I recognize and admit this functionally looks much the same as believing you can lose your salvation). A Calvinist believes a true Christian who is saved will persevere to the end and has assurance of salvation.

    Likewise, a true Arminian would not believe OSAS because that is a foundational point of Arminian theology, but I do understand that there are plenty of people who are partial Arminians just like there are partial Calvinists.

    And I was in no way meaning to label you as Arminian. I don’t know much about your beliefs except you are not a Calvinist :)

    But my overall point is, I think you can deny OSAS ad still believe that salvation is by faith alone. I think there are huge problems with that logically, but as I hope people do with me, I try to give people the benefit of accepting their stated beliefs, even if I don’t think they logically fit.

  296. quote byMark
    “Once you start interpreting the Bible for yourself all sorts of heresies creep in. Look at where Protestantism is today. Do you know what heresies are? Do a Bible study on what heresies are talked about in the New Testament. Can you recognize the heresies in modern day preachers, such as T.D. Jakes?”
    –end mark quote–

    Yes I recognize heresy – the Roman Catholic Church supports and teaches a lot of them, such as a works-based salvation (a rejection of salvation by faith alone), the addition of un biblical and anti biblical content (such as a belief that Mary is co-redeemer of Christ’s), etc.

    Why should I trust the interpretation of a body (magisterium) that supports such heresy?

  297. @ Evie: Because those plaintiffs who requested anonymity have not been respected.

    Simple as that. (See 3d amended filing, as referenced over at Survivors.)

    *

    Daisy and Mark – you guys are going around in circles and getting nowhere fast, imo. Maybe you can find some common ground instead and go from there?

    Just my opinion… to me, this is a battle that’s been fought and re-fought and then some. Kinda takes the focus off the concerns stated in this post, no?

  298. elastigirl wrote:

    Christians are way too hung up on having to have the answers. And spending inordinant amounts of time pursuing the answers, insisting they have found them, rabidly defending their answers because it is emasculating, disempowering, disillusioning, and just too scary (1) to be wrong, and (2) to not know.

    Exactly. It is merely an obsessive and inadequate attempt to control this:

    Willy-nilly, the world splits open and things fall apart. Children are born to terrible parents through no fault of their own and are destroyed. Strange sociopathic pastors tear members apart and membership follows behind, covering it up. Insane ideologies/theologies thrive. People are tortured and wars rage. The various systems of global society decay and people suffer and die by the millions. The vast majority of humanity are preoccupied by their own small lines of evil running through their hearts.

    Corruption grows where it can. It is incomprehensible and it is terrible. It is beyond us.

    There is no compendium of books that can adequately defend us against it. There is no doctrinal extrapolation that will keep the wolves at bay. Those are chimera.

    There is only God-with-us. And us cooperating in love, even though also with fear and trembling.

  299. Evie, Just my 2cents from far away who does not know the players in this sad drama but knows what happens when people’s worlds are shaken to their core and how they deal with finding out what they have supported. I am speaking of how the survivor blogs are dealing with this. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, etc, etc. I have read the wikileaks docs, kept up with much of the survivors site, etc, over the years it has been alive just for background. (I have had a hard time reading it because so many are stuck in the shepherding thinking mode)

    Here is what I would like to say about Brent and his role in all this and I will use an analogy. When the government wants to bring down a Mafia family, they usually end up with some insider who cooperates. It can take years. The problem is, the insider is dirty too. The insider thinks like the bad guys not the good guys. He might be cooperating for immunity or revenge. Who knows. The problem is always that you need an inside guy for the secret details. That is their usefulness. They are going to look and sound like the people they have associated with for years. It is what they know.

    I think folks at survivors are having challenges with this concerning Brent. Some want him to be the good guy. Brent is SGM shepherding cult trained and operational. That is what he knows. That is why you see him trying to control the venue. That does not mean he knew about the abuse but it does mean he was on board with the authoritarianism and caste system of PDI/SGM. And folks are not taking into consideration this is all Brent knows and he is operating from that paradigm after being brought to his knees.

    The dysfunctional dynamics that are SGM will not fit into neat little black and white boxes. Social psychologists could have a field day with the evolution of SGM from day one.

    Just as family dysfunctional dynamics, where sexual abuse occured, do not fit into neat boxes, either. You might have one adult sibling who refuses to go public but another one who insists. Then what? Not only do you have the devastation of what was done to them as children but the after effects as adults who share this horrible secret and become on opposite sides instead of a united team so what to do?

    All of this is nothing but the underbelly details of evil. The decades of pure evil and the afteraffects of it that has ruined lives. And lest we forget, this evil recruited/love bombed many unsuspecting people into unknowingly supporting the evil!~

    From a purely strategic point of view, Brent knows the RBD big dogs are targeting him as “Javert” to CJ’s Val Jean. He needs not to play into their hands. But since he thinks like a shepherding cult leader, I fear he will. He does not have the resources of the machine at his disposal and as you see, he is starting to alienate those who were supporting him. And that will spell death for any credibility in the future.

    Victims have to out themselves. If he had permission he needs to say so instead of lecturing others about mentioning them now. That was a shepherding cult leader way to deal with real questions. But that is who he has been most of his life. It is what he knows.

  300. @ Anon 1:

    Brent seems to have some internal thought process as to why it is fine for him to out someone, tell other people to not repeat their name, and give no response to those who are asking the simple question of “did he have permission to do this.” What he did is obviously in conflict with the court instructions. He doesn’t have to out anyone but himself to answer the question — if he didn’t have permission.

  301. @ Patrice:
    And when we cooperate in love, we begin to see that over/through it all, bigger and wider than that line of evil and spilling onto/into society and systems, flows a river of love. It can be seen in the old tree standing in one’s front yard. And in the face of the baby, in the clear blue sky, and in the kindness of your neighbor. This is God-with-us.

    Christ came against all that evil. And I side with him; you side with him; many here side with him. There are people who don’t even know him, who side with him. And all will be well and all manner of things will be well.

    This is the gospel truth, full and complete.

  302. @ Bridget: This whole thing has been so confusing. The only ones that I believe had something to say was Olivia. She is in my prayers.

  303. Bridget wrote:

    Brent seems to have some internal thought process as to why it is fine for him to out someone, tell other people to not repeat their name, and give no response to those who are asking the simple question of “did he have permission to do this.” What he did is obviously in conflict with the court instructions. He doesn’t have to out anyone but himself to answer the question — if he didn’t have permission.

    I get that and that is why he does not disdain to answer the questions but to lecture, instead. He is thinking like a shepherding cult leader: I do not “owe” anyone any answers.

    Brent brought much needed evidence about how a shepherding cult operated to the table. He blew it wide open for all to see. Now, it seems, he is trying to micromanange the process.

    Do not think for one minute every pastor in SGM (or whatever they are) does not look at Brent and think: That could be me. All I know how to do is be a shepherding cult pastor. I could end up like Brent broke and asking for donations.

  304. @ Evie:

    Brent doesn’t have the right to make public names that were concealed in court because the victims wanted to be anonymous. Besides that, I believe there are criminal investigations in progress regarding this issue, so why out them? Just so we can know?

    The whole mess with SGM is not “just” about CJ. It’s about the entire SGM system with CJ at the lead. I don’t want to retrample victims in the process of wanting repentance from a man who has had plenty of opportunity. The victims would just be getting the same treatment again, but from us.

  305. “Another interesting quote:

    The Catholic Catechism (Sec 86, 1994) claims,
    “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God but its servant”

    - but through their actions, they nullify that belief (the Roman Catholic Church commonly places the Pope’s official teachings and the tradition above the written Word of God in authority).

    But there they are, saying they are not above the Bible.”

    The Word of God in Catholicism isn’t exclusively the Bible. It includes traditions past down. 86 in the Cathecism isn’t talking about Scripture alone. Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone is a fabrication of the Protestant Reformation and isn’t even Biblical. You won’t find it in scripture.

    I do know that it is difficult to explain Catholicism when there are so many errors floating around about it, so numerous just in the few postings here. “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.”

    Please watch the video I posted and watch a few others. Dig into church history and approach it with an open mind. It will lead you to the Catholic Church.

  306. @ Bridget: I’m appalled that someone would do this AND post it to Facebook.

    There are reasons for using pseudonymns – same as in the Sandusky case, where none of the victims was identified by name, only as “Victim # ___.”

    I have grave questions as to the motivations behind Brent’s post. Let’s just say that I agree with you (and then some), though I won’t belabor it here.

  307. @ Bridget: And THEN go to all the blogs that are reeling because of said post and say “Don’t poke around! Don’t be nosey!”

    WHILE STILL USING THESE PEOPLES’ REAL NAME.

    [:gah gah gah gah gah gah gah:]

  308. @ dee:

    Yes. Maybe because her hand was forced . . . I am praying for her and her siblings. The combo of doctrines they lived under could certainly allow evil deeds to secretly thrive.

  309. @ Anon 1:

    I gotta give it to you Anon 1. You have excellent listening skills. Your response was great, I agree. Thanks for talking to me, I needed that.

  310. Mark wrote:

    Please watch the video I posted and watch a few others. Dig into church history and approach it with an open mind. It will lead you to the Catholic Church.

    No thanks. Been there, done that. Grew up in the Catholic Church. It’s all works motivated. Brother was an altar boy. Why would I want to go back to Egypt? And I believe the position of the Pope has prevented many people from having an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.

    I wish TWW had a no soliciting policy. ;-)

  311. I guess I’m missing something. Olivia is Grace Goe, right? She posted here saying she didn’t object to Brents blog post, right. It is her testimony. Her story. She’s not upset. I get how it will negatively impact her family. Like Anon 1 said, some of her siblings may not be on board with her going public. Be that as it may, that’s just the unfortunate consequences. It may not be the right time for others in her family, but they’re going to have to deal with that. In the mean time, this remains an important story. It being made public, again, is something Olivia doesn’t object to. If she doesn’t object, then what’s the problem. I really don’t get why people are throwing stones at Detwiler for this. I could understand it if Olivia had come on here and said whoa, whoa, whoa!! I never wanted my name or the name of my family broadcasted. But that’s not what she’s said, and therefore, I respect her decision to come forward, and I respect her decision to make her name and her family’s name public. The point is, this is part of the way CLC & SGM leadership covered sin, further exposing the fraudulent practices of the church.

    I can see what people are saying about Brent. I especially liked Anon 1s comments. Like I said, I’m not a fangirl. But I think there’s a baby in the bathwater here. Let’s focus on the baby.

  312. So NOW Brent is telling us to leave the ______________ children alone because they want their privacy and we should respect that? Are you for freakin kidding me? You put their names out there on your blog for all the world to see not thinking about their privacy for one second ..you are so obsessed with bringing CJ and SGM down you will plow over anyone to get there…its actually pretty sick …brent you need to stop this ….u need to work a normal job; let God take care of SGM and let the law handle the lawsuit…i want justice for all; believe me i do; but let it play out and stop destroying people in the process. i am so sick of this BS! Brent Detwiler:

  313. Evie wrote:

    I guess I’m missing something. Olivia is Grace Goe, right? She posted here saying she didn’t object to Brents blog post, right. It is her testimony. Her story. She’s not upset. I get how it will negatively impact her family. Like Anon 1 said, some of her siblings may not be on board with her going public. Be that as it may, that’s just the unfortunate consequences. It may not be the right time for others in her family, but they’re going to have to deal with that. In the mean time, this remains an important story. It being made public, again, is something Olivia doesn’t object to. If she doesn’t object, then what’s the problem. I really don’t get why people are throwing stones at Detwiler for this. I could understand it if Olivia had come on here and said whoa, whoa, whoa!! I never wanted my name or the name of my family broadcasted. But that’s not what she’s said, and therefore, I respect her decision to come forward, and I respect her decision to make her name and her family’s name public. The point is, this is part of the way CLC & SGM leadership covered sin, further exposing the fraudulent practices of the church.

    I’m with you here. And frankly I don’t know Mahaney or Detwiler or any of these guys, but Brent has street cred with me. He’s lost his career and home to make this public. Many of us are hiding behind aliases; we’ve got to give him some props for boldness.

  314. Is it possible that the girl who joined the lawsuit wants the truth out but can’t hurt her 8 brothers and sisters and Brent is taking the blame? I mean, he seems like an honorable guy who would not expose someone’s vulnerabilities without her permission. A lot of people have sat idly by and jumped on him at a perceived violation – going so far as to cast his lot with those pastors who covered over and even perpetrated child sexual abuse. Everyone should take a step back and remember who the real “perps” are. Brent has dedicated more of his life than most blog readers have to this cause. If this is his first perceived misstep, be more cautious about crying foul. Remember, it will not be until heaven that we see fully. Yes, there are heinously painful things that happened to the Lle*ell*n children, but why should parents who did evil be allowed to parade about with a godly facade simply to avoid the children’s shame?

  315. @ Evie: The key question is:

    did she give him permission to post names?

    if not, then no amount of apologetics excuses what he did.

    The plaintiffs who have chosen pseudonymns have a right to their privacy. That’s the law, and I think BD’s post is probably not going to be helpful to anyone involved in the civil suit or in the ongoing criminal investigations.

    The law provides anonymity for adult rape victims, and it’s considered beyond the pale for journalists to name names. (BD is not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination.) I wish people would respect the wishes of those plaintiffs who have chosen not to use their real names.

    I think that’s all pretty basic and pretty straightforward, from my pov, anyway. It’s for the plaintiffs to decide whether they wish to disclose their real names, not for somebody else to out them. The insensitivity of it is pretty amazing.

  316. @ Janey: I keep wondering why he is being given a pass, since he was in the upper echelons.

    yes, he provided the docs two years ago, but there are LOTS of questions about him that remain unanswered. I do not believe he has the moral authority to be blowing the plaintiffs’ cover, let alone the right.

  317. @ Bridget:

    I don’t mean this in a way that creates conflict between us, I really don’t. And I like the freedom that Dee and Deb allow on this blog for there to be differences of opinion. And naturally, some of our opinions are going to get heated at times due to the nature of the topic. I don’t want to stir up strife. But I do have a difference of opinion and I hope that’s cool. I hope that it doesn’t get viewed as me being adversarial. I’m honestly trying to work this out, and I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m just aware that I disagree with your viewpoint on this and what appears to be the majority of opinions being expressed on Survivors. I can’t agree with the motivation you’re assigning to Brent on this one. In fact, I didnt get the impression Brent inserted himself into this story primarily to draw attention to himself and his, as you say, desire to draw out repentance from CJ Mahaney. I do agree with you that this goes beyond Brent vs CJ. And I think Brents post does more to serve that larger purpose. But everyone seems to think this is all about Brent and his self-serving agenda. I think it’s possible that he’s working to draw further attention to the whole of SGM’s corruption. At least, that’s the way I’m seeing this particular event.

  318. @ Evie:
    Hmmm….I feel like you’re missing the point of some of the early comments on this were before Olivia came on and said she was okay. I am not against information being made public. But I am against trampling a victim’s right to decide when to make their story public…and as a victim myself, that is what it felt like to me when I read the post. That is why I asked, before Olivia answered, whether he had her permission.

    I will say again that the information was obviously in the hands of the plaintiffs’ attorneys and probably in the hands of criminal investigators. A public right to know details does not (for me) trump a victim’s right to control their own story. I don’t know Brent or his motives. I just know what the feeling was when I read the post and that is why I asked. I’m glad Olivia is okay with it. It takes incredible courage and strength to let that kind of detail about your abuse – your life – be bandied about in the public square.

    If someone used my story in the way this was used without my permission and made public portions of my life I wanted to keep private, I would be infuriated and devestated. So….that is where I am coming from.

  319. @ Jeannette Altes: Yes to everything you said, Jeanette!

    Nobody has the right to tell the story of an abuse victim who does not want their name disclosed. Full stop, end of discussion.

  320. Let me clarify what Brent is saying…when he says leave the children alone he means don’t contact them and ask “did your father really molest you??? Like, I never knew. Gee! And how did you feel?” There is a cost with any worthwhile endeavor in life. In this case, the parents can no longer hide behind their uber-godly facade, and the cost is that some children will be shamed. But don’t prey on the children’s shame. Leave them alone. If you want to harass someone, ask the parents!!! @ Annie:

  321. @ numo:

    Yes, well, we don’t know specifics aside from knowing that Olivia doesn’t have a problem with it. I think people are being overly legalistic about this. She doesn’t mind. What’s the use of arguing over the chicken or the egg? She doesn’t mind!

    But what we also know is Brent has a blog that gets a lot of attention. Olivia, as far as I know, lacks a vehicle like the one Brent has. Now the story is out. And it’s made waves. It’s drawn attention to the lawsuit once again, and provided credible evidence for it – all this soon after the judge denied it and then the T4G guys came out with their dumb endorsement of Mahaney.

    I say the timing of this is great. It adds power to the consistent opposition against SGM. This will not let up as much as CJ and his supporters are wishing it would. And personally, I see God in that. You know why? Because God is on the side of the SGM opposition. I say BRING IT. KEEP BRINGING IT. SHOW NO MERCY.

  322. Dee and Deb, I want to make clear that my comments were not meant in any way to be a criticism toward you or your coverage of this event. You guys are doing an incredible thing here and I know it cannot be easy. These stories stir emotions from people who have suffered many different kinds of abuse. And reactions clash. Sigh. My primary forcus as I read Brent’s post was whether ‘Grace Goe’ was alright. Thanks for the freedom you allow here…..and thanks to the other commenters who avoided allowing this to turn into a flame war.

  323. @ Evie:
    Evie, please understand that this is as easy as that.

    I want to make clear that what I am about to say is not what I think you mean, it is just what I hear. As a victim, when I read comments like the one you just posted, what I hear (through my own damged filters) is, “Tear it down – it must come down, collateral damage be damned.”

    Again, I truly do not believe that is how you feel or mean to come across. But it is what I hear…..

  324. @ Jeannette Altes: Is it possible you’re mistaken in inferring that since Olivias comment she posted here came after Brents blog post, that it necessarily means she’s saying what she did after having been uninformed of his plan or surprised by it?

    I don’t think we should make too many inferences based on the appearance of how things have played out chronologically here today. There’s obviously things going on behind the scenes. And there may be a good reason why both Olivia and Brent are keeping mum about that. Just sayin’

  325. @ Jeannette Altes:

    I don’t know what you mean by “it” as in “tear it down, it must come down.”

    Could you elaborate on what you think the “it” is as regards me, as in what you think I think that is? Hope my question makes sense. Thanks :-)

  326. @ Evie:

    I understand what you’re saying. IMO no larger picture ever trumps a victims wishes and their right to their own disclosures. I don’t think I attributed any motive to Brent, although I have seen that. I have also seen several new commentors on both blogs try to explain Brent’s possible position.

    IMHO Brent is a big boy and can speak for himself, though for some reason he chooses not to. I’ve simply put one question to him knowing he doesn’t owe me anything. But he could uncomplicate things. The main problem is that most of the people here are concerned for the alleged victims but have trust issues concerning Brent.

    On another note, I’m not sure if Olivia posted anything at Survivor saying she was okay with being known. That might be why there seems to be more dismay about Brent’s post over there than here.

    It’s okay to disagree :)

  327. To be honest, as a very distant observer I have kind of thought of Brent as rather like the Starscream to CJ’s Megatron.

  328. This is totally off topic, but in clicking one of the links on one of the recent threads here, I found something posted by someone using a moniker I used about a year ago over at Survivors. Creeps me out, 1, because it was an unusual moniker, (not anon, just saying, or something similar, but very specific) and 2, because the poster was YRR friendly. Yikes and double Yikes.

  329. @ Evie: imo, he’s acting like a vigilante, perhaps to try and deflect attention away from his own wrongdoing.

    outing people is wrong. the courts and the cops are on this; nobody is above the law, but he’s been acting like he is – no matter who gets hurt in the process.

  330. @ Evie: you know, i just cannot agree.

    the case is in good hands; the cops are on it, too.

    talk about unnecessarily stirring the pot, to the plaintiffs’ detriment! how would you feel if you were one of them and someone outed you?

    ithink i’m done with this, as i’ve said all i can say. any more is redundant.

  331. numo, I’ve just been scouring the links on WW’s recent threads and can’t find it now. It was the title of a limerick, one of my father’s favorites, and it just seemed so appropriate at the time.

  332. Evie, do you believe it is OK to out victims other than Olivia who have not said they are OK with it?

    Personally, if Olivia is OK with it, I’m not going to spend too much time worried over the timeline of events. But if victims have been outed that did not want to be outed and are now having to deal with the consequences of that action, that is not OK. This process must put the needs of the victims ahead of punishment of the wicked, because caring for the oppressed is as much a part of justice as punishing the wicked is. Putting the desires of others above their wellbeing is what started this mess to begin with. No one has the right to use them for any agenda, even a positive one.

    But if the siblings are OK with it and did not feel coerced, then it’s time to move on.

  333. numo wrote:

    I keep wondering why he is being given a pass, since he was in the upper echelons.

    yes, he provided the docs two years ago, but there are LOTS of questions about him that remain unanswered. I do not believe he has the moral authority to be blowing the plaintiffs’ cover, let alone the right.

    numo — Why give him a pass? Because to me he seems like the Apostle Paul in Acts 9–

    Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus’ name.

    Also, my instincts tell me Brent guards his reputation for accuracy at all costs. His blog is all about precise documentation. It’s in his best interest to have written permission from Olivia before he prints her shocking revelations. I’ll bet he has it in triplicate!

  334. numo wrote:

    I keep wondering why he is being given a pass, since he was in the upper echelons.

    yes, he provided the docs two years ago, but there are LOTS of questions about him that remain unanswered. I do not believe he has the moral authority to be blowing the plaintiffs’ cover, let alone the right.

    numo — By the way, I agree that a lot of pain and misery occurred at SGM under his leadership. And I agree that no one should blow a victim’s cover without permission. I just think he had permission.

  335. @ Daisy:
    @ Mark:

    Let’s end this. Neither of you believes the other is right and neither of you appear to be putting forth an argument that might make other change their mind.

    You are both firm in your convictions and we all understand that.

    Let’s move on.

  336. [[MOD: I'm going to let this stand as it was likely being typed before my comment staying to stop was up. But this is the LAST comment on this thread.]]

    Daisy wrote:

    Yes I recognize heresy – the Roman Catholic Church supports and teaches a lot of them, such as a works-based salvation (a rejection of salvation by faith alone), the addition of un biblical and anti biblical content (such as a belief that Mary is co-redeemer of Christ’s), etc.

    If something is unbiblical it is heresy? You do realize that the Trinity, which all mainstream Protestant denominations teach as a tenant of Christian faith is not found in scripture. It is a tradition of the Catholic Church. Some fringe groups like Church of God, 7th Day, deny the trinity because it is unbiblical. Why adopt Catholic teachings and not others? Christmas and Easter? All traditions.

    Also, unless one believes Once Saved Always Saved (eternal security), then there is an element of works in your salvation. Many Protestant denominations teach that one can lose their salvation.

    It isn’t a leap in logic to see that the whole argument boils down to this: truth to you is if someone believes the same thing that you do. That leaves the individual as the sole arbiter of truth. I reject the idea that the Holy Spirit leads people to different truths.

    That’s the whole reason I even commented on this thread to begin with about authority. The ROOT of the problem found in what is happening in the SBC with regards to Calvinism is that they do not have authority on doctrine. You can choose to ignore it and live blindly, or take a deeper dive into proving what you believe. It’s OK to talk about feelings and this person wronged me over this and I don’t like how I was treated over that, but feelings are fleeting and aren’t trustworthy.

    I thought my faith was settled back in 2003 when I was proved to myself that you could never lose your salvation. Charles Stanley’s book Eternal Security gave me that peace of mind, but you could never come to that conclusion just from reading the new testament. It took a lot of leaps in logic and scripture gymnastics to prove that point to me. But if you look at the apostles, especially Paul, I don’t get the sense that he felt he was eternally secure.

  337. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    @ Mark:
    Let’s end this. Neither of you believes the other is right and neither of you appear to be putting forth an argument that might make other change their mind.
    You are both firm in your convictions and we all understand that.
    Let’s move on.

    End what? Dialogue about what our convictions are? I appreciate Daisy’s and other’s opinions about their faith and understanding, and I don’t condemn or look down on them for it. I don’t doubt their love for God.

    This blog even uses Wartburg Castle where Luther translated the Bible into German as a hallmark of victory for Christians. While I get that this blog is mainly about sharing *feelings*, there’s still a place for critical analysis of beliefs. Or, maybe not.

  338. @ Mark:
    Talking past each other is not debate. A back and forth of “you’re wrong” is not a dialog. IMO.

    Dee may overrule me here but from the sidelines you both appear to be tossing out talking points.

    Let it drop unless Dee/Deb overrule me.

  339. The real problem with that young, new pastor was not Calvinism. He has bigger problems if he he pushing books by Driscoll and Piper – he has embraced an abusive ministry style. And the SBC has far greater problems than rifts over Calvinism vs Arminianism. Like the fact that some of those names on their committee have a trackrecord of covering up sexual abuse in the SBC. Interesting that the SBC regularly uses the excuse “all of our churches are independent. There is nothing we as a head office can do about your complaints (like sexual abuse).” And yet here is a committee appointed to set policy over the entire denomination. Read Christa Brown’s book This Little Light and you will see the coverup politics in action from a sexual abuse victim’s perspective. It won’t be truth that the committee seeks. It will be all about politics and money. (With the exception of at least one member of the committee: Pastor Tom Ascol. I have trust in him).

  340. Jeff, Not sure how you can say that concerning Ascol, his mission statement of Founders which is divisive because he thinks I do not have the true Gospel, following along with the deception taught in Reisingers book, etc. Seems to me he has helped deception become readily accepted among the YRR elite.

    Anyway, why is he so silent on the T4G statement? he was even asked about it and all he could say was he did not comment. Why not? You have the guts to speak out. Ascol carries a lot of influence in certain segments of the SBC/Reformed movement. Yet, he is silent on this subject concerning Mahaney/SBC/REformed mvoement. Why? What is he scared of?

  341. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    @ Evie:
    Evie, please understand that this is as easy as that.

    I want to make clear that what I am about to say is not what I think you mean, it is just what I hear. As a victim, when I read comments like the one you just posted, what I hear (through my own damged filters) is, “Tear it down – it must come down, collateral damage be damned.”

    Again, I truly do not believe that is how you feel or mean to come across. But it is what I hear…..

    Hi Jeannette :-)

    By “it” I’m referring to the truth. The sword of the Spirit. I think there’s a battle going on here. On the one side you have people who have deceived, obfuscated, disseminated, covered up, lied, suppressed, and misled people regarding what is true.

    On the other side you have people speaking out and exposing the corrupt ministry practices and teachings of the many leaders within SGM. And not only that, victims who have suffered great personal losses at the hands of people they were told to trust with their lives.

    The “it” I’m also referring to is the evil. It is our duty to expose “it.” The evil that has worked throughout Sovereign Grace Ministries unabated has produced the fruits of wickedness: suffering, pain, loss, sin, despair, torment and bondage that Christ died to set us free from.

    SGM preaches a false gospel.

    The gospel is all about setting the captives free. SGM makes slaves and victims out of God’s people, and turns His gospel into a tool of manipulation.

    This needs to be stopped. God is opposed to this and I’ve seen the evidence against SGM continue to pile up since Day2 of the launch of SGM Survivors when I discovered the site. The light of truth has continued to bear down on CJ Mahaney and his once thriving ministry. Now he sits in a non-church in Kentucky, the well deserved object of scorn and derision. And what is his response? We are evil. We are liars. We are the sinners.

    Lines are drawn.

    And as a battle cry I say BRING IT. KEEP BRINGING IT. SHOW NO MERCY.

  342. Ok, I have what might sound like a dumb question but it is nagging at me. Did Brent call the authorities concerning the name he outed yesterday as a child molester protected by CLC? He might not want to say so outloud, but still…..

  343. @ Evie:
    If our motivation becomes focused on bringing down a ministry/organization, we will easily end up using the same tactics and adopting the same mindsets as those we are so opposed to. If at any point, the victims’ well-being, personal feelings and right to autonomous decision making (including use of names and stories) become secondary, then we’ve just bought into the same mode of thinking that allowed building a ministry to trump truly loving people.
    A zeal for truth and a passionate desire to bring about justice and prevention of further abuse is commendable and exemplary. But we have to refuse to play by their rules, even if it seems to give them the advantage. In the end, we want truth to prevail without people being collateral damage. (Even as a non-victim, I hear the “collateral damage be damned” message in some comments that Patrice is hearing.)

  344. @ Evie:
    Sure, there’s a battle, and it’s important to be clear about it. And truth is beginning to win in this front, at long last.

    But as Jeannette says, you repeatedly sound as if you would be fine sacrificing the lives of the wounded for the sake of the crusade. Throughout history, this has been a frequent fault of those who go to war.

    We don’t want to march on top of the wounded lying on the ground. We don’t want to set captives free by burning down their houses and leaving them without food, tempting them to seek death (freedom indeed).

    Maybe try this battle cry, “Truth for evil, mercy for the wounded.” One need not be sacrificed for the other.

    Knowing *how* to fight is important, not specific to Brent and Olivia&sibs.

  345. Boz Tchividjain, G.R.A.C.E. Founder and Professor of Law at Liberty University, will be on the Janet Mefferd Show today at 4:30 ET. Boz will be talking about his concerns for how the sex abuse scandal is being handled by national leaders. There are also some new developments.

  346. @ Anon 1:
    I suspect Brent hasn’t said anything one way or another because there are behind-the-scenes schemes for which they need plausible deniability.

    I don’t know the guy and have only quickly perused a few of his documentations, so I’ve no idea about your earlier analysis.

    If he outed victims against their will, you can bet that he’ll get in trouble because they are well lawyered-up, thank God.

    But from his precise writing on “getting it exactly right”, I doubt he’d risk it, even if he wanted to. So my conjecture is that there’s lots of talking/debating going on, and plots in plots, and the victims are likely being as protected as much as their position can gain them.

    Which is why I believed him when he asked people to quit trying to contact Olivia et al.

    But who knows, right? In the end, our concerns can be brought into prayer and left there.

  347. This particar subject (Brent’s recent post) is worn out for me, personally. Prayer for truth and peace for victims is on my agenda.

  348. @ Leah:
    Leah, well spoken and in general I agree with you. I would like to clarify that I am calling for the downfall of the sin that has plagued Sovereign Grace Ministires and been the source of countless troubles. I hope we can agree on that basic tenet.

  349. Patrice wrote:

    @ Evie:

    But as Jeannette says, you repeatedly sound as if you would be fine sacrificing the lives of the wounded for the sake of the crusade. Throughout history, this has been a frequent fault of those who go to war.

    Thanks for the feedback Patrice. I will take this into consideration. I think part of the reason why I have given off this impression is due to my belief that SGM lacks the foundations of a true church. This puts me in a different camp than, say, those who see it as having the foundations of an authentic Christian ministry. In terms of my heart toward people, I’m surprised to hear I come across as being so callous. I wholeheartedly believe that the good Lord takes carea of His people and that all things work together for the good for those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. Doing the right and courageous sometimes results in people’s lives being disrupted. But ultimately, that disruption is for the best if it results from faith and obedience. Hope that explains where I’m coming from a bit better. I do see myself as working for peace through the conflict, but I cannot reconcile SGM with peace.

  350. @ Evie:
    It doesn’t matter how evil SGM is or isn’t it how much of a church it is. We cannot be OK with harming the victims. They are not “collateral damage”.

  351. @ Jeff S:
    Jeff S, I’ve struggled to come up with an adequate response to your comments. I’m sorry. In all honesty, I cannot comprehend what you are saying to me. I’m not saying that’s your fault, either. I am certainly not wishing to harm any victims.

    Please help me to understand why you’re saying that to me. Im sure it must be based on my previous comments. Where, in what I have said, have you interpreted me as a willingness for victims to be collateral damage? I’m just not connecting the dots.

  352. @ Evie:
    Revealing the names of victims who have not consented to being named harms them. If Brent did this, he was out of line.

    That is why people are upset. Olivia is OK with it, but she is not the only person whose identity was revealed.

  353. Sorry I haven’t been more clear- been responding in my iPhone.

    You have questioned why people are upset at Brent naming names, when doing so has revealed identities of the victims who previously have wished to remain anonymous. When you say things like the truth will disrupt people’s lives, it sound like you are saying revealing their identities is a mere “disruption” when it is far more than that. If they do not wish to be identified, doing it anyway is using then against their will to further an agenda.

    If I am misinterpreting I apologize- I really do not mean to be hostile. I am not actually convinced Brent has actually done anything wrong- we may not have all of the facts, but I am super sensitive to the issue of trampling on victims and using them for agendas, even if the agendas are good ones.

    I hope this is more clear.

  354. Jeff S wrote:

    Olivia is OK with it, but she is not the only person whose identity was revealed.

    This is truer than you can imagine.

  355. @ Jeff S:
    Jeff S, thank you! Your comment was really helpful. I can see now what you have been saying. It’s helped me to realize I wasn’t taking into consideration the other victims that were named, which I’m taking to mean Oliva’s siblings, right?

    I should review the lawsuit. I’m guessing the only one who has come forward within the family has been Olivia, and what people are objecting to now is her brothers and sisters have been included as having been victimized by their father.

    I’m sorry for my insensitivity.

    It’s a difficult situation to be sure.

    For example, how does Olivia share her story without implicating other family members? If she withheld doing so, or withheld anyone else from doing so out of the context of the lawsuit, wouldn’t that lead to a continuation of the cover-up and the chance for her siblings to receive the help they need?

    I can see that some people are saying its like a law, that no one should ever share their story if it involves other victims. That unless those other victims want to come out and share their story, then it should be kept quiet and handled privately. But I’m wondering, does that unwritten law always apply? Should it be handled on a case to case basis? In this case, is there some benefit to the familly being outed? And how is that different from the principles people have followed regarding outing SGM and the damage that certain individuals have caused other people due to their actions as revealed in their stories and in the lawsuit?

    For example, let’s take Grant Layman. He is a defendant in the lawsuit. He has a wife and children. His entire family has been affected by the revelations regarding his handling of things as a pastor in CLC. And he continues to function as a pastor in CLC, despite his participation in the alleged cover-ups of sexual abuse.

    Drawing on the same mindset as you have expressed it, wouldn’t it be best then to shield his wife and children from public humiliation? I realize no one is saying he personally sexually abused anyone in his own family, but dont his family members fall into the same kind of catagory in a sense, in that its not fair for them to be made victims of something they had no part in?

    I know it’s not a good comparison, since its not nearly the same thing. Olivia’s story is about her own family and it includes the fact others were allegedly abused and have been named as victims.

    Anyway, I’m probably not making good sense here. I know something like this is more than a mere disruption in the lives of Olivia’s family. I’m not wishing for people to suffer disruption unnecessarily. Who does? But as I see it, Olivia’s family is like a small SGM. Everything that has happened within that family has happened in SGM. There are some people still in SGM that have been negatively affected by these ongoing scandals. And some SGM’ers feel outraged and are offended and think the exposure they are receiving is uncalled for. They don’t want their lives disrupted. They want to carry on “business as usual.” And maybe some of Olivia’s family members feel the same way. “Let’s just move on and pretend like nothing happened.” But now the issue has been forced. And forcing the issue has contributed to further exposure of how CLC/SGM played a part in protecting an alleged predator and abuser. I care about how things like this affect people’s lives, but I have a difficult time sympathizing with people who just want it to be kept hush hush. That just further contributes to the culture of submission and abuse as I see it.

    Thoughts?

  356. @ Evie:

    I agree! Can you believe that T4G edited their statement and didn’t note that the statement had been altered!? Unfortunately, I can believe they would do that.

    FYI – There is a comment at Survivor from OL’s aunt, comment 1104.

  357. @ Evie:
    I’m glad we aren’t talking past each other any more- I see now we were just not connecting.

    My thoughts are that it is a huge difference protecting the spouse of someone who is guilty than protecting someone who was sexually assaulted. I believe there are legal ways to protect identities of siblings while prosecuting the guilty, but I am not a lawyer.

    I think it is never ok to reveal the identity of a victim without his or her consent. It’s not covering anything up- it is protecting them from further damage. Victims react in different ways to this stuff and process it in different ways and different timelines. I know just a little about this from seeing the behind the scenes comments at ACFJ- there are some domestic abuse survivors that want everyone to know everything and those whi are too terrified to even talk about the tiniest detail.

    Forcing someone to reveal more than he or she is prepared to do can be HUGELY damaging. It can feel like being victimized all over again. Protecting these victims is completely different from what SGM has done. They have protected perpetrators who deserve to be exposed and whatever trauma comes from that. But even the trauma of a innocent bystanders (like the wife of a perpetrator) is nothing compared to the trauma of someone who has been raped and then had that fact made public against his or her wishes.

    Some of these victims have had their boundaries violated in the worst way possible, as intimately as possible. It is very important not to re-violate their boundaries, ESPECIALLY by people they trust. It is probably hard for many of then to trust anyone. If they trust folks with this lawsuit and then become exposed in a way they don’t want to, how hard will it be for then to ever be vulnerable with another human being again? This is really serious stuff.

    Maybe these siblings are ready to go and Brent knew that. I hope so. If he has re-violated and further harmed them, it cold be seriously damaging.

    I’m not an expert on any of this- I’ve just observed seriously hurting people (and myself, as mild as my situation was I comparison to SGM survivors) and seen how important it is for them to feel safe and in control of their own lives and healing process.

  358. @ Evie:
    Hmm….I think part of the communication problem we seem to be having rests in the assumption that wanting to protect victims’ privacy is the same ad wanting to cover things up and keep them from being dealt with. That is not what I mean at all. Things must be dealt with. But the victims should have some say in how they’re story is used. My concern was that it seemed like you were saying (what i heard) the victims just needed to deal with it because we want this publicly exposed. For me, my reaction was ‘ouch!’

  359. Should we be giving BrentD a free ride?  BrentD, as number two man, oversaw SGM’s shift to a harmful form of Neo-Calvinistic theology.  He has not once repudiated this descent into religious madness, he for a better part of some 25 years engineered. He help’d build a very harmful religious system that is now identified across the Internet as an abusive religious cult.  As logic would have it, this would then make BrentD a former religious cult leader. Now he is seen as  a redeeming saint?

  360. @ Evie:
    And just to be really clear, and I haven’t been in this point, I do appreciate your zeal to punish the wicked. Paul and Peter were not afraid to name names, and we should not be either.

    I believe these folks are wicked and have behaved wickedly. There are too many allegations for me to believe otherwise.

  361. Was SGM designed to be a Neo-Calvinist showcase? Thereby creating the essential conditions for what as considered as extraordinary possibilities; or was SGM only to be a religious Theresienstadt perhaps? A utopian Neo-Calvinist cultural religious production? A shameful and grotesque lie? hmmm… And now extended elements of this proverbial nefarious religious Neo-Cal community want to entangle the SBC in their prolific designs? T4G, TGC, 9Marks, and ACTS 29 come to mind.

  362. @ Jeannette Altes:

    From the little bit I’ve read, the victim being able to make decisions about when and how they will share their story is a key element in the healing process. It is a huge step when a victim finds their voice, so to speak, and stands up for themselves. It’s one thing to report a possible crime, it’s another thing to force a victim to go public. I pray that this wasn’t just letting someone else (Brent) speak for her. This, of course, is the operating procedure in this group. The men (supposedly) speak for the women, daughters, wives. But I hope and pray that Olivia comes to the place where she will freely and proudly speak up for the herself, a beautiful women created in God’s image.

  363. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    @ Bridget: Brian Auten at the BHT pointed out the edit by T4G a few days ago.

    Thanks. I has realized that before Janet mentioned it on the show. The word for that action is “slimy.”

  364. Originally ‘prior’ to Kuyper ‘Reformed’ essentially meant in its basic belief system: 

    1. That man suffers from a terminal sin condition called depravity, which was inherited from the first man (Adam) who disobeyed God’s directive in the garden. To this condition, Adam’s descendants later added their own complicity. 

    2. That Man was now absolutely dependence on God alone for his salvation. 

    Fast forward:

    Apparently  Kuyper, in the late 19 century, transformed this classic Calvinism into Neo-Clvinism; new, in that it represents ideas and teachings that are not found in the original, classic Calvinism or the Reformed faith.

    hmmm….

    The key concept of Calvinism, according to Kuyper, became: ”the sovereignty of God over the whole cosmos in all its spheres.” For Kuyper this divine sovereignty was reflected in a three-fold human sovereignty, namely in: (1) the State, (2)  in Society, (3) in the Church. The task as Christians, Kuyper believed, was to bring the principles of Calvinism to bear upon the world so as to influence and change it, redeeming and claiming it for Christ to whom the whole created order belongs. So the Protestant church’s primary mission, which was originally focused upon the salvation of men’s souls, but now Calvinism in the hands of  Kuyper, seeks societal governing bodies, community transformation, and cultural reform .

     Organizations like T4G, TGC, 9Marks, and ACTS 29 are Neo-Calvinist in their theological belief system. It is in essence Kuyper’s threefold system they are aparently fleshing out in the SBC and the greater Protestant church at large, with the overall desire & the will to create a type of unity: State, Society, and the Church? It is not just they want to return to the church temporal authority (now being presented in the guize of church discipline) ; but ultimately a progressive threefold unity goal: The restoration of the Cosmos (State, Society, Church) under God’s Sovereignty; Déjà vu?

  365. Patrice wrote:

    And all will be well and all manner of things will be well.

    Patrice — You are quicker than I am. This is exactly the quote I was going to post.

  366. Patrice wrote:

    I suspect Brent hasn’t said anything one way or another because there are behind-the-scenes schemes for which they need plausible deniability.

    I don’t know the guy and have only quickly perused a few of his documentations, so I’ve no idea about your earlier analysis.

    If he outed victims against their will, you can bet that he’ll get in trouble because they are well lawyered-up, thank God.

    But from his precise writing on “getting it exactly right”, I doubt he’d risk it, even if he wanted to. So my conjecture is that there’s lots of talking/debating going on, and plots in plots, and the victims are likely being as protected as much as their position can gain them.

    Which is why I believed him when he asked people to quit trying to contact Olivia et al.

    Patrice — No one has mentioned the tremendous risk Brent and Olivia took yesterday. When a powerful arrogant multimillionaire who is quite popular in his community gets accused publicly of multiple and repeated allegations of sex crimes against children, he usually files a lawsuit. This is pure speculation on my part — but doesn’t it seem likely to you?

  367. @ Janey: This one is very tricky. The lawsuit now has international attention. Some are calling it the evangelical scandal of the decade. The public is no longer willing to give a pass to churches that allegedly harbor pedophiles. This anger could also boil over onto an associated business. Also, the allegations arise out of his own family. This makes it even worse.

  368. @ Jeff S: De nada – you’re a wonderful advocate for those who have been (allegedly) abused, and I really appreciate what you have to say. (and not just re. abuse and recovery.)

  369. Bridget wrote:

    From the little bit I’ve read, the victim being able to make decisions about when and how they will share their story is a key element in the healing process. It is a huge step when a victim finds their voice, so to speak, and stands up for themselves.

    You have heard correctly. Even when I make the decision to share me story – or pieces of it – with someone, it is still difficult. Often, for me, when I tell it, I either fall apart or one of the old defense/survival mechanism I developed in childhood kicks in – for me, dissociation. The idea of having that forced into the public square….

  370. How women are going to view Baptist churches in the future if the SBC trend continues towards Neo-Calvinism might very well be from the rear-view-mirror.

  371. @ Janey:
    @ Jeannette Altes:
    The parents are Gothardites, right? Do you know whether any of the offspring remain at home? If so, it must be extra awful. It is so difficult to emancipate. It takes a long time.

    When I was an undergrad, I came home summers to work. Those summers were absolutely the bottom because my father was losing control. A normal college kid would’ve gone to a friend’s house, but I was still too mentally imprisoned by the abusive system and the secrets. I married the day after graduation; I did what I could soonest.

    These siblings have supportive people around them, so that likely makes a difference. I was oldest child by five years, and a lonely soldier–the three church people I told didn’t believe me, and one was my best friend.

    So I worry about them and pray. I am sorry for the fall-out on businesses related to the father’s business—that must be rough in this economy. Corruption destroys in concentric rings from the center but it is concentrated around the kids and mother. Therefore, my main concern is that the kids have enough to eat and places to stay.

    I don’t care about the aunt who complained (SGMSurv) that she tried once, a long time ago, and that her own children’s lives are being wrecked—it is suspiciously narcissistic. By the way, finding reasons to be alienated from extended family is typical for this sort of abusive parent. My dad did that too; we had no relatives around.

    The big problem is Brent’s silence, of course. I tried to put best construction on it. Many who know more than I are very suspicious of him. That being the case, I probably shouldn’t have brought it up.

    Yeah, it’s a risk, Janey, but the whole thing is, top to bottom. All because of one horrible man and a congenial system he found to do his shtick. Bah

  372. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    I either fall apart or one of the old defense/survival mechanism I developed in childhood kicks in – for me, dissociation.

    I imagine they are all floating in dissociative hazes, poor dears. But it’s a useful defense.

    How does dissociation work for you? For me, everything goes off into the distance and I am faintly dizzy. It’s a bit echoey and my body goes numb. I have to make huge effort to force meaning into people’s words because they are just a bunch of sounds. It’s weird! It’s a bad idea to drive when in severe episodes—I can’t judge distance very well and my reflexes are slow.

    Since I’ve come out the other side, I hate when severe episodes appear – it really feels rather awful. It’s only virtue was that it felt better than the raw pain of the traumatic state.

    I still have low-grade dissociation, kind of a constant state. I can deliberately relax my way out but fall back in when not attending to it.

    How is it for you? (Don’t tell me if you’d rather not.)

  373. @ Janey:

    The only good a lawsuit would do is silence Olivia and Brent. I doubt either has money for any kind for a defense, much less a monetary ruling.

  374. Well one thing I’m thankful for is that my pastor is not 5 pointer and is pro 1963 BF&M insted of the 2000 version….. he was/is very concerned on the 2000 BF&M positions on women in church leadership. He is very Pro on women being involved in all aspects of the church including leadership positions and deacons.
    Don’t know that South Knoxville Baptist Church would “set well” with the current crop of robots out of the seminiaries these days.

    He has been doing a Wednesday evening series on the Calvinism issues currently making the rounds in SBC churches – I for one am glad to be a part of a church like this and thankful that we decided to put our lives there in ministry – me in music (now organist at South Knoxville) and my wife and her daughters getting the childrens ministry going again and helping our youth leaders get that ministry going again. One of the pluses for us is that women are not treated 2nd class and supressed as is the case in some of these reformed (calvinist) churches.

    Ladies – I think you would be pleased to know that there is still a baptist church or two here in Knoxville that still values women in church leadership and ministry and it’s been a big encouragment to my wife as well and we’ve seen all of our children and grandchildren began to come to church at one time or another in the last year or so that we’ve been at South Knoxville Baptist and for two of the three that’s quite an acomplishment given their avoidance of church in recent years and I think this renewal that’s taking place with them is, in part (especially for the girls), due to the fact that the church isn’t fundamentalist/legalistic and is very open to women having an active role in the church at just about all levels.

    Thanks for keeping folks straight ladies….. and while I don’t get here as much as I used to I still take a look from time to time which helps me keep up a little with what’s going on.

  375. Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler, Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor, and John Piper, have rallied around Rev. C.J. Mahaney for some time now, and proclaimed their continued support for him.  Yet the bible says don’t forsake your gathering together as a habit of some? How can anyone expect that to happen (gathering together) in such an intense environment of abuse and injustice? How many victims is enough to open these church leader’s eyes?  hmmm…. One can only wonder how many other church organizations have these type of problems? When the Apostle penned those bible words above, was he anticipating a safe environment to bring one’s loved-ones to? 

  376. While Wartburg Castle is deemed a “safe haven” due to its sheltering of Martin Luther, where he translated the Bible into German, it has a sinister side as well. It was the place, not long after Luther resided there for 10 months, where Fritz Erbe, an Anabaptist, was imprisoned until his death for refusing to renounce his beliefs.

    Does that same dichotomy, safety versus intolerance, live on in this blog?

  377. Mark wrote:

    Does that same dichotomy, safety versus intolerance, live on in this blog?

    I think it does with the two of us. That is why we allow everyone from all sorts of beliefs comments. Am I wrong?

  378. @ Mark: Also, I have problems with Luther. He sided with the princes over the peasants and he had problems with Jews to name a few of my concerns.

  379. @ Mark:

    I’m assuming you are the same Mark who carried on the discussion about Catholicism upthread.

    1. It’s ironic that you should bring up Anabaptists as there seem to be a lot of people in these comments who like Anabaptists and dislike Luther. Which is fine.
    2. What GBTC wrote was a request to end a discussion that was clearly not making headway. You and Daisy were speaking different languages, as it were, and it was starting to transform a thread about the SBC convention into a thread about Catholicism vs. Protestantism. I guarantee you it was not intended as a “shut down the Catholic” notice. The idea that it was “intolerance” is pretty funny after 400+ comments in this thread without any dustups or even yelling. This was actually a pretty irenic thread IMO.

  380. The Eye, The Ear, The Mouth? See, Hear, Speak? Blind, Deaf, Dumb? What Evil?

    THE Gospel and the SBC? 

    The fact that Jesus died for our sin, was buried, and then rose from the grave is foundational for the Southern Baptists of the SBC. 

    OK!

    The Southern Baptist Convention Organization  believes that Jesus lives today and stands ready to give abundant and eternal life to all those who repent of sin and place their faith in Him. 

    Sure!

    The Southern Baptist Convention Organization invite everyone to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  

    Wonderful!

    The Southern Baptist Convention Organization  also encourage a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

    Super!

    hmmm….

    Q: Does the Southern Baptist Convention Organization strongly discourage pedophilia among it’s leadership , ranks and it’s members?

    Q: Does the Southern Baptist Convention Organization strongly encourage its member churches to report such child sexual abuse discovered or identified as to exist within its walls, to promptly report this criminal behavior to the civil authorities?

    Q: Does the Southern Baptist Convention Organization strongly encourage its member churches to have churches where it’s members can perform the biblical admonishment: do not forsake your gathering 
    together as a habit of some…. in a safe and abuse free environment? Does its bylaws provide for this type of safety in its group of houses of worship?

  381. @ Patrice:

    Okay. Settled in to Starbucks and done with work till Monday. :)

    When I experience dissociation, it can vary…in severe stress cases where I have to talk in front of a group about this stuff, for instance, I get that distant, echoey sensation, like it am outside myself, watching someone else speak. It always leaves me a little shaky – drained. Its not as bad as it was back before I had faced things, as it were, and had years of therapy. But still…

    In less severe cases, like when I have to face something unpleasant at work or with family, I just shut down emotionally to get through it, then break down later, when I’m alone. I find that is a sort of default state I have to fight against, as well.

    There have been a couple of times when faced with imminent physicsl danger to a friend, I have actually blacked out and – in one instance – disarmed a knive-weilding addict…that was 19 years ago and I still don’t know what I did or what happened to the knife. Just anger, moving toward him, then standing over him with the knife gone and him cussing me out.

    That is one of the more difficult things for me to process….the anger. My anger scares me. Ha.

  382. Randall Maynard (The Guy from Knoxville) wrote:

    Ladies – I think you would be pleased to know that there is still a baptist church or two here in Knoxville that still values women in church leadership and ministry and it’s been a big encouragment to my wife as well and we’ve seen all of our children and grandchildren began to come to church at one time or another in the last year or so that we’ve been at South Knoxville Baptist and for two of the three that’s quite an acomplishment given their avoidance of church in recent years and I think this renewal that’s taking place with them is, in part (especially for the girls), due to the fact that the church isn’t fundamentalist/legalistic and is very open to women having an active role in the church at just about all levels.
    Thanks for keeping folks straight ladies….. and while I don’t get here as much as I used to I still take a look from time to time which helps me keep up a little with what’s going on.

    It’s great to hear from you, and I am encouraged by your comment. I believe if more Southern Baptist pastors functioned like yours, the SBC would be growing instead of declining.

  383. @ Jeannette Altes:
    Thanks, Jeannette.

    So quite a bit the same. Probably bio-chemical reactions that make it so. Like you, during some times of stress, I get numb and can put my reaction off til later – but not dependably. Sometimes I simply freeze and then find myself in that distant echoey place. I think the worst of all, for me, is that I am no longer dependable. I can’t say how I will be. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, but I don’t like it at all.

    I’ve never had black-outs during which I did stuff. I’ve only had the kind where I am sitting there and simply fade away and then come back a while later finding people touching me and calling my name. But not anymore–that was when it was worst.

    Re anger, it feels like a monster that will take over and destroy everything and then turn on you, right? Horror movie style? But if, during your worst and in a dissociative trance, you did not destroy a knife-wielding addict before you came back to yourself, you will be ok. Really. It shows immense moral strength, even if instinctive and unconscious. I’d rely on it with some confidence.

    I spent over a year in a constant rage – it just wouldn’t stop! I’d have raging dreams, wake in a pique and drag myself through the day with constant irritability interspersed with plain fury. Good thing I was living alone! Oy! But it waned, and now arrives more normally, with only occasional bursts. I hope that your anger will eventually subside to the size of those monsters in “Where the Wild Things Are”, big and noisy and with your best interests at heart.

    The remaining issue for me, besides my undependability, is the consistent low-grade distance from the world, always, unless I carefully focus. I’ve learned to work with it but it makes me sad.

    Is working ok?

    Thanks again, dear lady.

  384. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    It always leaves me a little shaky – drained.

    Yes, and also after flashbacks. I call it flu-syndrome because it is how I feel at the back end of a nasty flu. Usually good to treat one’s self with the same amount of care, too, if one can.

  385. Hester wrote:

    and it was starting to transform a thread about the SBC convention into a thread about Catholicism vs. Protestantism

    Worse than turning it into yet another SGM support thread? (no offense intended to the SGM victims)
    Seriously not offended, just hardly think that I was dialoging just with Daisy.
    Way too much estrogen around here anyway.
    ;-)

  386. Patrice wrote:

    I can’t say how I will be. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, but I don’t like it at all.

    Yes. I always tend to get angry at myself for the reactions…which I know is not healthy, but when you are trained that whatever happens, you’re the problem, well…that seems to die slowly.

    I’ve never had black-outs during which I did stuff. I’ve only had the kind where I am sitting there and simply fade away and then come back a while later finding people touching me and calling my name. But not anymore–that was when it was worst.

    I have faded away at times…or more accurately for me, retreated inward to the point of near catatonia, except that my mind was present and screaming, my body just checked out. Haven’t had that happen for a very long time, thank God.

    Re anger, it feels like a monster that will take over and destroy everything and then turn on you, right? Horror movie style? But if, during your worst and in a dissociative trance, you did not destroy a knife-wielding addict before you came back to yourself, you will be ok. Really. It shows immense moral strength, even if instinctive and unconscious. I’d rely on it with some confidence.

    Thank you for this. It helps more than I can say. Another piece in the ‘finding peace’ puzzle. I have so very rarely allowed myself to feel anger taht when I do, it feels foreign and over the top. I fear losing control. But as you say, if I didn’t lose control when I was disarming someone….I probably won’t. I keep thinking I need to get a baseball bat, go out in the desert and beat the crap out of some dead trees…..release some of the stored rage.

    The remaining issue for me, besides my undependability, is the consistent low-grade distance from the world, always, unless I carefully focus. I’ve learned to work with it but it makes me sad.

    I understand. I fight that, too. It feels like there is an invisible barrier between me and the rest of the world that no one else can see (i can’t see it, eather, just feel it). I find it very difficult to connect with people on an emotional level. I have a very dear friend who saw through all the layers and has walked with me through these last years of therapy and looking inward. SHe is teaching me so much about what it mean to love and be loved.

    As to working, it is okay. I have not worked for much of my life, but it is a necessity for my independence from familial bonds. I have a job that is not my dream job, but I am good at it, and it provides me with enough income to be independent – to live in my own place – my own space, which is very valuable to me. And the people I work with are mostly pleasant and easy to work with. But what is outside of work they know little of….that whole ‘connecting’ thing. ;)

    Patrice, thank you so much for these dialogues. They help. Be well as our Creator teaches us how much He/She loves us.

  387. @ Patrice:
    Another thougth re working….the steps I took 5 years ago to break away from family and get a job and my own place was one of the most difficult, scary things I’ve ever done, in no small part because I was doing it at the very beginning of the therapy / healing journey and having PTSD episodes regularly. I have been told by my friend and my therapist that if I can can survive what I did as a child and still go to college – and (much later) break free of family and become independent while processing the depths of abuse, then there isn’t much I can’t get through. I understand what they’re saying, but often, the truth of it as applied to me doesn’t seem to compute…..

  388. @ Jeannette Altes:
    Ah. I don’t completely agree with them.

    Yes, you are a tremendously strong person to get through family plus church crap plus college. Just maintaining sanity would have earned you that label. This is obvious and impressive.

    But let’s take soldiers. They are sent to war theatre for proscribed lengths of time, and they do limited tours. This is because of the breakdown factor. One of the reasons our soldiers are coming back with such high PTSD rates is that the military has been breaking it’s own rules on this. And then, once a soldier breaks down, he must leave the war theatre and not go back. He just can’t do war no more (not that he ever should have yah). Our military has also sometimes been ignoring this, much to everyone’s detriment, including the civilians unfortunately living in the war theatre.

    People can hold out for a long time but when it becomes too much, they will break down. And then they are broken and can never again “do too much”. And for broken people, “too much” can be “quiet working life” all the way down to “activities of daily upkeep”, depending on the depth/extent of the break down. Our inability to recognize this regarding our veterans is why there’s so much suicide, abuse and homelessness among them.

    Something also to keep in mind: constant stress is awfully hard on the body. Years of adrenalin run it down, strip its gears. Dissociative episodes and flashbacks are revisits, which is why a person feels drained afterwards. Joseph Boscarino (he can be googled) has done studies on PTSD veterans and found that, 20-30 years after the war, they develop autoimmune disease at alarming rates. Sure enough, I, and others I know who’ve been warriors of domestic wars, have developed chronic illnesses. So be good to your body!

  389. @ Jeannette Altes:
    (First part of this comment is in mod, likely from military words. So this is meant to be read second :-) )

    Breaking free and going your way as a solitary person is a HUGE accomplishment. I remember that period with backwards dread. And it kept the adrenalin flooding for a good while longer.

    Now you are on the backside of your therapy (the rawest worst is over). But because your adrenalin gears have been thoroughly stripped and the switch is broken (good medical terminology lol), even regular stresses make it instantly kick into full throttle (until the gland gives up, at any rate). This is part of the damage.

    So I disagree with your friend and therapist. You are now fragile. Your job is to figure out the extent of it. We became used to working far too hard; it is the only thing we know how to do. Therefore, part of recognizing the character/extent of your fragility is to slowly step down expectations/actions until you actually feel good sometimes. Life is meant to be generally satisfactory. We are meant to be occasionally downright jolly. Dollops of peace are obtainable even for such as us.

    Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

    The joy of the Lord is not an order, something to manufacture and offer him out of obedience. It is something that grows unbidden in the heart, in a heart whose soil has again become fertile. Joy is the strength of a broken woman.

    You go, girl.

  390. @ Jeannette Altes:
    One last bit. The way to a fertile heart is love. We have not been loved and we got through the trauma by not admitting we were a self, and when we did occasionally recognize it, we punished and despised it as did the others. So we never loved ourselves.

    There is a meme in Christianity that says we are to deny self, that our hearts are desperately wicked and thus disgusting, that we should look at others as more important, lay down our lives, etc. But actually, we are called to love others as we love ourselves. Love floods the whole plain. The key to developing a fertile heart is giving it proper honor, due respect, and by endowing it with mercy and generosity.

  391. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    I have so very rarely allowed myself to feel anger taht when I do, it feels foreign and over the top.

    For a period in my life, I kept a 4 x 4 fence post in my basement along with a pail of old nails and a hammer. I’d go down and wack those nails bangbangbang. Very helpful! It eventually became all sides nails sticking up/out, pounded, bent crooked. Then I set it in my backyard among the flowers. W00t

  392. @ Patrice:
    Hmmm….I have been thinking about what you have wriiten all morning. It is resonating deeply. I realize that what I typed about my friend and therpist was my spin on what they said, not what they actually said. I grew up with the mentality that I had to be a tough little soldier. I was the oldest by 7 years, so I understand the lonely soldier imagery.

    I have a difficult time with the ‘loving myself’ part. I know it is where I need to go, but there is still a lot of pain there. Sigh.

    I have been terribly unkind to my body – no mercy or care, though that is shifting. I have spent the bulk of my life hating the little girl I was – and by extension, who then became. And I have hated my body. I know it is classic and I do hate being ‘normal’ (ha!), but I felt like it betrayed me band I hated it. (BTW, for those unfamiliar, I mean normal as in that is a normal reaction to child sexual abuse.)

    Thank you again for the dialogue. It helps clarify things when you have to articulate them…and it helps to hear, ‘yeah, me too.’ I like the ‘nailed post’. :)

  393. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Evie:
    And just to be really clear, and I haven’t been in this point, I do appreciate your zeal to punish the wicked. Paul and Peter were not afraid to name names, and we should not be either.

    I believe these folks are wicked and have behaved wickedly. There are too many allegations for me to believe otherwise.

    Jeff, I appreciate this, thanks. I’m sure you understand that any conviction regarding what is considered sin or wickedness has to be based in God’s moral law in order for it to carry any authority. Rather than base my judgments on personal pet peeves or arbitrary taboos, I try to stick to assigning sin to those things that can be defined as scriptural violations. Sin has both an individual and a communal impact, and it’s within this arena that I’ve attempted to address the areas of sin within SGM as I’ve witnessed and experienced them. While I was in SGM, a member was allowed to address sin in their own life. Any attempt I ever made to address sin as it affected me by anyone else went nowhere. And I mean nowhere. As an individual in SGM, you are not recognized as having any spiritual authority and the leadership of the church is not there to help guide you in working out issues of sin with others, they only point you to your own. However, the leadership of SGM functions just the opposite. They assume the spiritual authority to define sin for you and they never allow themselves to be the subjects of sin. You are always the subject of sin. Even when you confront them with sin, you are in sin. They give themselves exclusive rights to judge, and that is why they routinely instructed members to go to them about everything. They were the proving ground. You weren’t allowed the right, within SGM, to judge sin. If you dared do so, that was swiftly labeled “pride.” It was always an act of arrogance for a member to question the righteousness of the leaders.

    Within this culture of submission and abuse, your righteousness was defined as being akin to your conformity to the community. You were expected to be a “joy” to pastor, which meant always going along with everything and not asking questions. But since the leaders themselves were not submitted to the laws that govern community within His Kingdom and instead were committed to some socialist ideal to create a corporate effect, they operated essentially as busy-bodies judging people on the basis of their collective taboos: gender roles, no-dating, female modesty, your position within the hierarchy, income, behavior of children, how you were educating your children, marital status or condition of your marriage, etc. You were essentially stripped of any authority that was inherent with your salvation (which is based on an individual & personal choice) and had it presumed upon by me guilt manipulators who assumed God’s authority to redefine and remodel your salvation in the name of “the Savior.” And as much as they talked about “sin” as a tool of manipulation, true sin was actually trivialize by throwing it all together in one vague lump that everyone was guilty of. Check out CJ Mahaney’s Twitter page and notice the one quote he uses to characterize and define himself publicly. He’s not responsible. It’s his heart that’s prone to wander – and we’re all guilty of that – so he would have you believe. Like he’s just one of us. His sin is no worse and all sin is the same so let’s give the man a break and in the process, don’t forget to focus on your own heart that’s prone to wander as well. The old SGM doublebind.

    So couple things as regards this thread and the issues that have impacted our interaction.

    First, I view the opinions expressed by some regarding not naming the Olivias family to fall into the category of an arbitrary taboo rather than falling under the realm of dealing with sin according to God’s moral law. My impression is that some of the ardent supporters of this viewpoint strike me as being troublemakers and busy-bodies more than being committed to rooting out sin in keeping with our duties as citizens of the Kingdom. I hope that doesn’t sound too high falluting. But I do take the issue of wickedness and sin within SGM seriously. And when I say “within” I mean exactly that. There’s sin that is specific to SGM that has been internalized. Because of its presence I identify it as a cult because of the way sin has been internalized and how it’s permeated the entire organization. It is my observation that those who have truly escaped SGM have recognized the sin and have come out from it, denouncing it in its entirety (often by degrees as each “scale” falls off). But those who remain (and I’ll use “it’s just the beginning” (or something like that) as an example) for the way in which they have responded to the content of Brents post. Rather than being governed by the rule of God’s moral law, they seem more governed by the Hanafi school of Law in Islam (as do Mahaney, Mohler, Dever & Duncan for that matter) which prescribes that one must receive a positive legal injunction that something is right before one can act. There seemed to be a lot of discussion regarding the ethics surrounding Detwiler’s revelations but very little regarding the moral law. Was it ethical for people to know more about Olivias story involving her family, and was it ethical for her siblings to be implicated? I saw a majority of people decry it on the basis of what they considered a breach in ethics. But what about the moral law of sin and working to expose it? SGM would certainly agree that the family and all siblings should have been protected from exposure. They would have also not gone to the police and made themselves subject to the laws of the God-given governing authorities. They would have avoided any legal injunctions whatsoever from trumping their own injunctions that they applied to the handling of crime although they never hesitated to consult their own lawyers in order to protect themselves, and then if the law became a useful advocate for their own defense (such as in calling in the AoR to “decide” Mahaney’s fitness for ministry, or their legal defense in the lawsuit) they stand on the principle that unless convicted in a court of law, they are innocent of all wrong doing.

    Jesus came to set us free from mere externals and what the community sees and wants. Isn’t that what Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for? We’re not to abide by taboos or the arbitrary rules of leaders like those who created the monstrosity of SGM. When it comes to sin and wickedness we’re to be exposing it in an effort to root it out.(part of comment removed by editor)But God doesn’t call us to follow a family, a clan, or a country and as you say, if Peter and Paul weren’t afraid to name names, then nor should we.

  394. @ Evie: OK, one last thing (I had said I was dropping the subject, but): Evie, the outing of O. – if done without her express consent and permission – violates confidentiality.

    It’s illegal to violate confidentiality – in this situation (when a plaintiff has chosen to use a pseudonym), in doctor-patient and therapist-patient relationships and (lat but not least!) priests and the person in the confessional. it’s a HUGE breach of trust.

    Try and put yourself in the shoes of someone whose privacy has been violated in such a major way. And then tell me if you think those who are concerned about privacy and confidentiality are “busybodies” and worse.

    it is a HUGE ethical problem, in the law, in medicine, in therapy – and even in journalism. You know how journalists protect their sources? (Like Woodward and Lothrop and “Deep Throat,” the person/persons who gave them so much of the material for their Watergate scoop?)

  395. @ Evie: Also: the names will come out in due course, as the suit and criminal investigations progress.

    Sometimes we have to sit on our hands and let these processes work themselves out.

    Believe me, I’ve had to deal with some things that required that kind of hands-off approach, and while it was VERY hard for me to sit back and wait, it was all that I could do. Eventually, the process ended, and things were resolved. And even though i was dealing with government agencies, this is true of the law and legal processes as well. (You know – the whole appeals thing, appellate courts – and how cases end up being heard by the Supreme Court.)

    In other words: Rome wasn’t built in a day – and it wasn’t torn down in a day, either.

  396. Evie wrote:

    First, I view the opinions expressed by some regarding not naming the Olivias family to fall into the category of an arbitrary taboo rather than falling under the realm of dealing with sin according to God’s moral law. My impression is that some of the ardent supporters of this viewpoint strike me as being troublemakers and busy-bodies more than being committed to rooting out sin in keeping with our duties as citizens of the Kingdom.

    This is the root of our difference, I guess. You are assuming a lot about our motives. I do not know the motives of anyone else on this thread. I can guess, but I’ll stick to my own motives. My motive was, simply, concern for the welfare of the victims. Believe me, I want there to be justice and the men (and women) who are eyeball deep in this hypocracy and evil to be exposed.

    Here’s the thing. You call my desire to try to protect the victims in the process an ‘arbitrary taboo’ and dismiss it as of no importance and then claim your motive to be higher than mine and to be based on ‘moral imperative.’ Can you not see that there is also a ‘moral imperative’ to protact and defend the victims?

    This sounds like you are elevating your morals amd motives above those who disagree with you. I would submit, based only on your posts, that you do not understand the phychological dynamic that victims of child sexual abuse endure. As has been suggested by others, it feels like your zeal (not always a bad thing!) does not take into account that the law of sin exposing you have created might trample the victims underfoot. And your words (the internet is so difficult because tone and body language are absent) seem to suggest that you really think that is okay. Again, as a survivor, ‘ouch!’

  397. @ Evie:
    I understand all of what you are saying about the way sin was treated by SGM. I hear this all the time at ACFJ- where a wife is told to focus on her own sin and her own part in the abuse rather than her husband who is beating her. This attitude is horrible and the “What about YOUR sin” garbage needs to stop. It can make a victim feel like he or she must accept the effects of another persons sin unless he or she is perfect (I know, I’ve been there).

    But as far as exposing victims, I don’t care AT ALL what SGM would prefer, but I do VERY MUCH care about the victims. I hope you are not implying (I’m a bit confused by some of what you said) that revealing identities of rape victims against their will is an “arbitrary taboo”.

    It is damaging with long reaching consequences to the victim AND future cases where people might be afraid to come forward for fear of being re-victimized.

  398. Further – there is a moral imperative to protect the privacy of those plaintiffs who have chosen to use pseudonyms.

    I guess I don’t understand how this would in any way consist of a breach in “the moral law,” let alone be some kind of “arbitrary taboo.”

    These laws are in place for a reason – to protect the victims.

    I kind of hate the word “vengeance” with a passion, but I can’t help thinking of the passage that says “vengeance is Mine.” I think the author of Hebrews was very wise to cite it – and that it applies very directly to this lawsuit, to the criminal investigations, etc.

    Outside “help” – outing of plaintiffs without their express permission and consent – is no help at all. rather the contrary, as many have already pointed out. The possible ramifications (people who want to come forward getting scared off, etc. etc.) are pretty horrifying, imo.

    Nobody would want to be “taught” to swim by being thrown in the deep end of the pool – lest the person is is thrown in ends up drowning.

    Same here.

    [/done with this]

  399. @ Evie:
    Do you acknowledge that it is potentially damaging to the victims to have their identities revealed against their will?

    How much damage would Brent have to do to the victims to make it not worth it?

  400. @ Jeff S:
    In this case, the abuse was molestation in as far as has been revealed. The only penetration that occurred involved a foot. I really want to avoid rehashing the details. The only reason I’m saying this is to provide accuracy.

    Just to be clear, when you’re referring to the naming of a victim, you are referring only to Olivia, right? Her last name is included in Brents blog posting, but no other names were named.

  401. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Evie:
    Do you acknowledge that it is potentially damaging to the victims to have their identities revealed against their will?

    How much damage would Brent have to do to the victims to make it not worth it?

  402. @ Jeannette Altes:
    You are very welcome. I’m a fellow traveler who’s only a couple miles ahead, but not in all ways. As you say, it’s helpful to articulate to someone who knows.

    A benediction: If I, knowing very little about you, wish you well and happy, imagine how God feels, who had you in His/Her mind before your life began. So be patient in your intellectual knowledge and act on it with ceremonial kindness. More will come. I am sure of it.

    I hope your weekend has a spark or two of lip-smacking satisfaction :-)

  403. @ Evie:
    Jeff wrote: “I hope you are not implying…that revealing identities of rape victims against their will is an “arbitrary taboo”.”

    To which Evie replied:
    “In this case, the abuse was molestation in as far as has been revealed. The only penetration that occurred involved a foot. I really want to avoid rehashing the details. The only reason I’m saying this is to provide accuracy.”

    Ok, Evie, now you’ve exposed yourself and it ain’t pretty.

    Moral laws are for humans. They are not ends in themselves. The only reason for them is to help us live more healthily. The reason for the civil suit, and the criminal suits coming up, is to help the humans involved be able to live more healthily. This is not for revenge. It’s not to clear impurities from the church. It’s not to obey the high morals of the universe. Morals are always and ever tied to human life. That is where they have meaning.

    This is what Jesus meant when he said to the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

    But throughout this thread and culminating in the above comment, you are on a high horse, shouting cleansing at the expense of humans. This is cold legalism, the same type held by the Pharisees, the same type that tried to make a 3-yr old forgive her abuser. The same type that parses rape to molestation and a foot.

    Well, you’ve contracted foot-in-mouth disease.

  404. Also… I’m not sure that there’s any point in my going over (and over and over) my reasons for saying what I’ve said about this whole debacle.

    So I’m going to try and keep to what I said above, about being quiet now.

  405. @ Patrice:

    Patrice I was afraid someone would react like you did, assuming I was differentiating between rape and molestation so as to trivialize the one compared to the other. In the case of repeated, ongoing, longstanding child abuse, can we agree that regardless of what allegedly happened, it was still damaging. I didn’t think I would need to explain this, but I can see now I did. Did you miss the part where I said I was clarifying molestation vs rape for the sake of accuracy?

  406. @ Evie: Now I’m afraid that you’ve given your hand a way – “Is she coy and deceptive?” (etc.).

    It’s not yours to judge how or what or why. It’s not mine, either, and for that, I’m very glad.

    She says she was repeatedly abused and I believe her. And Jeff’s point about other siblings having been outed via what Brent posted all over the place is also true.

  407. @ Evie: I think you are really trying the patience of all of the posters who were themselves molested, Evie.

    And mine, too.

  408. @ numo:

    Here’s a map with an X and a GPS programmed with the directions to Witchville. You won’t find me there but happy hunting nonetheless. :-|

  409. @ Evie:

    You want to go yet another round but it is pointless. You are on a site that focuses on exposing abuse in the church and whose comment threads are bent towards those who are sorting out the results of church abuse in their lives.

    Do you want us to approve of your thinking? Well, we don’t. We have told you so over and over, yet you keep chasing your tail, and now your words have become offensive.

    I suggest you find a place of like-minded people. It’s not here.

  410. @ Patrice:
    I wanted to add that the arbitrary taboos I’m referring to mainly had to do in a general sense to the approach people took to arguing against Detwiler’s post based primarily on what they judge as an ethical violation. Ethical violations have their place, don’t get me wrong. But when you argue against evidence that supports the violation of God’s moral law on the basis of an ethical violation, I think you end up straining out the gnats in order to swallow the camel.

  411. @ Evie: Will you not see that in this case – what we’ve all been saying – “moral” and “ethical” are the same thing?

    I give up for real; it’s pointless for me to be chasing my own tail on this one.

    Evie, please understand that I am feeling extremely frustrated by the way you seem – to my way of thinking – to be bulldozing victims (alleged) in service of what you call “the moral law.”

    From my experience of this life (and of abusive churches, and of knowing people who have been sexually abused and/or assaulted, whether as kids or as adults), it just does not work that way.

    I can’t keep parsing what’s already been spelled out, because it’s like the writing on the wall in the book of Daniel, to me, at least.

  412. Am I asking you to continue? You are doing so by your own free will. If your conscience tells you to stop, then by all means do so. I don’t want to additionally be accused of tempting you.

    You continuous misjudgments should be the reason why you walk away. I could not do that to you in good conscience. However, since you continue to insult me Im going to desist from any further discussion with you.

  413. @ Evie:

    Hmm…I don’t think protecting victims is just an ‘ethical’ law. I believe it is a moral law that runs through the entire Bible.

    I will leave you with this: The Law was made for man, not man for the Law. When we start sacrificing people on the altar of the Law, we move from mercy and grace to tyrany and abuse.

  414. Comment removed by editor. Due to some uncomfortable discussions going on over at SGM Surivivors and here, I have decided that we should avoid discussion on Olivia at this time. Olivia has been through alot and we give her our empathy.

  415. Comment removed by editor. When I work to confirm the identity of Olivia, I came to believe that she was not aware that Brent was going to out her family. Therefore, I would like to avoid discussions along this line. 

  416. @ dee: Hey, if you feel that any of my comments in these recent exchanges should be removed, please feel free to do so.

    I got angry, and it shows.

  417. Comment removed by editor. This whole event has been very difficult on me. I want to honor Olivia by using her first name. However, due to a couple fo dicussions, I believe that Brent’s expose was not expected by Olivia and possibly others. Due to my concerns, I would ask that we not speculate on the motives behind Brent’s posts or Olivia’s comments.

  418. One thing no one seems to be mentioning is that a Court of Law deemed that certain names were to be concealed. It wasn’t just O’s preference. It was a mandate of the court. The question is did Brent ignore a court ruling by revealing names? Even O, herself, may have ignored a court ruling. I think it is totally possible that Brent could have written the same article and not revealed names; waiting for the courts to give an okay.

    The other thing that strikes me is that even though names were to be concealed from the public, that in no way means that a criminal investigation didn’t begin as soon as the allegations became known. In regards to child abuse, sexual or other, prosecution can occur with or without the victims permission, while concealing the victims name.

  419. Numo

    I don’t mind anger and frustration. This situation is prone to that and it is understandable. I am trying to to cut some specualtion about Brent and Olivia.

  420. @ dee: I did a fair amount of speculating (and venting) about BD here last Thurs., after things broke.

    Part of me just cringes at using anything but the name from the court documents – Grace Goe.

  421. Yesterday, the Out of Ur blog interviewed Kevin DeYoung, one of the 7 men who stand by C.J. Mahaney, the pastor who has been accused by 11 plaintiffs of allegedly covering up child sexual abuse in his church and ministry, and allegedly discouraging the children and their parents from contacting the authorities.

    http://www.outofur.com/archives/2013/06/for_todays_entr.html#comments

    As you know, Christianity Today, the organization that owns the Out Of Ur blog, has refused to run the story of the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sexual abuse and cover-up lawsuit on their main headline news site, even though the Huffington Post, Associated Baptist Press, and the Washington Post have told the story.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/24/c-j-mahaney-scandal-evangelical-leaders-defend-pastor-accused-of-abuse-cover-up_n_3334500.html

    Out of Ur deleted one of my comments on this topic 3 weeks ago. We’ll see if the comment left by Jazmin on this article is left up.

  422. Calvinistic Baptists have more in common with Lutherans than they think.

    When it comes to the conversion of an adult non-believer, Arminians, Calvinists and Lutherans are in full agreement: salvation occurs when the sinner believes. Baptism is not a mandatory requirement to be saved. We have theological differences on how belief occurs, but we all believe that the second a sinner believes he is saved. If he dies a second later, he will go to heaven. He is a Christian.

    Our significant denominational differences arise when we talk about the salvation of the infants and toddlers of Christian parents: how are these young children saved? What happens if, God forbid, one of them should die before reaching the age where they are capable of expressing a saving faith in Christ?

    The Arminian answer is this: God saves all infants and toddlers who die, even the infants and toddlers of non-believers. They have no hard proof from Scripture to support this belief, but they believe that King David’s comments about his dead infant gives them support for their position. Infants who die are “safe” in the arms of a loving God.

    Calvinists look at their children in this manner: Their children are either the Elect or they are not. Presbyterian Calvinists will baptize their infants to bring them into the “covenant” (whatever that is!) of the Church but do not believe that baptism has any salvific value. “If my child is of the Elect he will declare himself to be a believer when he is older.”

    A Calvinistic Baptist will not baptize his infant, but looks at Election in the same way as the Presbyterian Calvinist: My child is either of the Elect or he is not. There is nothing I can do but bring him up in the Faith and leave the rest to God.

    Lutherans believe that when God told us to baptize all nations, he meant to baptize ALL those who are of the Elect. Many Arminians and Calvinists assume that Lutherans believe that anyone we run through the baptismal font will get into heaven. Not true! Only the Elect will get into heaven. We baptize our infants in the HOPE that they are the Elect. Is it possible that some of the infants of Christian parents whom we baptize are not of the Elect and therefore will not be in heaven? Yes! But that is a mystery of God that we do not attempt to explain or understand.

    However, we believe we are to do our job of “baptizing all nations” (who are of the Elect) by baptizing our infants and we then leave their Election up to God. We then follow Christ’s command to “teach” them in the Faith as they grow up, but when they are older it will be their responsibility to nurture their faith with prayer, Bible study, worship, and the Lord’s Supper. If these infant-baptized persons abandon their faith and turn their back on God, they may very well wake up one day in hell! Baptism is NOT a “Get-into-heaven-free” card! Salvation is by God’s grace alone, received in faith alone.

    No faith—>no salvation—>no eternal life!

    The Calvinist position on the salvation of infants is very confusing to me. It seems to be a process. A specific event of salvation does not seem necessary for Calvinists. Is there any example in the NT of anyone being saved by a process? As much as I deplore Arminian theology, I do like the fact that they insist on a specific “when” of salvation. They are wrong, however, to believe that the “when” of salvation is based on THEIR decision when in reality it is based on GOD’S decision.

    If Calvinists agree with Lutherans that it is God who chooses who will be saved, and it is God who chooses when to save…which approach seems more Scriptural for the salvation of our children: God saves THOSE OF OUR CHILDREN WHO ARE OF THE ELECT in a one-time event in Holy Baptism OR he saves them in a nebulous, drawn-out process over a period of years? Unless, of course, Calvinistic Baptists believe that their children who are the Elect are born saved… I certainly hope that our Calvinistic Baptist brothers and sisters do not believe that the Elect are born saved as do some hard-core Calvinists.

    In truth, Lutherans and Calvinistic Baptists have quite a bit in common on the doctrine of Justification/Salvation: we both believe that God saves whom he wants, when he wants. We both do not believe in a “free will”. Our difference is that Calvinistic Baptists cannot accept that God would choose to give the free gift of faith/belief/repentance/salvation to infants, instead of waiting until they are older. And why?

    “Because an infant cannot believe!”

    But if we both agree that it is God who chooses us, not us choosing him, why do you limit when God can give the free gift of salvation? Is it possible that you are limiting God from saving infants just because it defies your human reason and logic to believe that an infant can believe?

    Since when is the Almighty God of the Universe limited to operating in the confines of human reason and logic??

    Gary
    http://www.LutherWasNotBornAgain.com

  423. gary wrote:

    They are wrong, however, to believe that the “when” of salvation is based on THEIR decision when in reality it is based on GOD’S decision

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I found it enlightening. There are many who are not Calvinist who would say that the “when” of salvation occurs when there is a confluence of personal belief and God’s direct intervention.

    One thing I would like to suggest to Calvinists who would like to have an impact on the lives of we nonCalvinists is this. I know you believe that we are *wrong.” I also know that you believe that you are “right.” I also fully recognize that you could give me a well thought out presentation, complete with Bible verses, commentaries, etc. I know this because I have read them and did so for years, trying to force myself to believe as you do.

    I cannot and it is not for a lack of trying. I do not think it is due to an arrogance in my soul. I love the Lord and seek to follow Him, not out of compulsion but out of a sincere love for Him. I am overwhelmed by His grace which He has shown to me and others.

    When we seek to dialogue, it is sometimes semantics that block our two way communication. Trust me, I know. 5 years of blogging has made me well aware of my own inadequacies in this area.

    All this to say-could you give a shot at substituting *I disagree with them* for *They are wrong?* Trust me when I say that most of us know you think we are wrong just as Justin Lee taught me that most homosexuals know that we think they are sinners before we say a word. It is unnecessary to begin our conversations in such a manner.

    The older I get, the more I believe that we must first seek to show love in a way that opens doors and promotes dialogue instead of bringing things to a screeching halt by our style.