Boz Tchividjian and Janet Mefferd Take on T4G and TGC

"I think that we have to understand that Christian leaders have a spiritual responsibility to shepherd the entire flock, not just one party, and I never read in any of those statements any of these men speak about the need to love and minister and expend themselves in love to these particular eleven families."

Boz Tchividjian (@31:48)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=16404&picture=children-crossing-signChildren Crossing Sign

As the Sovereign Grace Ministries saga plays out, we are left wondering whether some Christian leaders are genuinely concerned about the safety of children.  Oh, they give lip service to it, but do their actions demonstrate true compassion?  That was just one of the issues discussed this afternoon when Janet Mefferd talked with Boz Tchividjian on her radio show.  I was fortunate enough to listen live, and I was highly encouraged by what they discussed. 

Baslye "Boz" Tchividjian (pictured below) served as an Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit from 1994 to 2001.  His bio includes the following:

https://www.google.com/search?q=boz+tchividjian+and+public+image&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb#client=firefox-a&hs=5CR&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&channel=fflb&sclient=psy-ab&q=boz+tchividjian+and+photo&oq=boz+tchividjian+and+photo&gs_l=serp.12...4816.7975.0.10059.15.14.0.0.0.7.170.1625.4j10.14.0...0.0...1c.1.16.psy-ab.8uxUuagDxnA&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47534661,d.dmg&fp=bcd960042f9073dd&biw=1440&bih=606

"During his tenure as a prosecutor, Professor Tchividjian created the “Crimes Against Children” division of the Office of State Attorney and was personally responsible for the prosecution of hundreds of cases child sexual abuse cases. Professor Tchividjian is a frequent lecturer on the various legal issues related to the prosecution of child sexual abuse and is active in training prosecutors, investigators, social workers, and medical personnel."

Tchividjian serves as Executive Director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), which he helped found.  The purpose of GRACE is "to educate and equip the faith community to correctly respond to sexual abuse disclosures, while also providing practical guidance to churches on how to protect children."  In addition to this position, he serves as a law professor at Liberty University School of Law.  Boz Tchividjian is the third eldest grandchild of Billy Graham. 

In case you missed the interview, you can listen to it here (starting at the 20:30 mark).  Janet Mefferd explained that there have been cries from a lot of ordinary Christians who are calling on evangelical leaders to address what she describes as "American evangelicalism's biggest sex scandal to date"

As our readers know, we were keeping up with how long The Gospel Coalition remained silent about the scandal.  All we wanted them to do was address the matter publicly.  Instead, they (along with Together for the Gospel) came out defending C.J. Mahaney once the lawsuit had been dismissed on a technicality involving the expiration of statute of limitations in the state of Maryland. 

Mefferd began the interview by introducing Tchividjian and commending him on a piece he wrote called Where Are the Voices:  The Continued Culture of Silence and Protection in American Evangelicalism

Then Mefferd explained that that The Gospel Coalition folks are being hypocritical when they say they cannot speak about the SGM situation until there is a ruling; yet they pontificated about Penn State and Kermit Gosnell BEFORE the rulings came out.  During this segment of the interview, Tchividjian asked an excellent question:

"Since when have evangelicals ever looked to the law in determining whether they should speak about evil?" 

Tchividjian goes on to explain that both of these statements by The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel start off talking about how horrible child sexual abuse and cover-up are but that the real purpose of the statements is to support their friend C.J. Mahaney.

Early in the interview Mefferd asked Tchividjian whether he was aware of the fact that the Together for the Gospel leaders (Dever, Duncan, and Mohler) have altered their statement without giving any indication of the change.  In our post T4G, Facebook and the Games People Play, we included an excerpt from the T4G statement first posted on Facebook, then removed and posted on the Together for the Gospel website (see below).

"A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals…"

This is a direct quote taken from the May 23, 2013 statement on the Together for the Gospel website.   A few days ago it was removed and replaced with the following:

"A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. We believe this lawsuit failed that test…" 

Tchividjian responded by saying there is a problem with transparency and truth, which the Gospel is supposed to be all about.  Incredibly, statements have been changed without the public being notified.  The T4G leaders should have put "UPDATED' to indicate that these lines have been altered. 

Tchividjian added that Dever, Duncan, and Mohler should have also included in their statement that C.J. Mahaney was the senior pastor at one of the churches when the offenses allegedly took place and that the families were allegedly discouraged from reporting the incidents to law enforcement.  It is deceptive not to mention his involvement as a pastor in SGM during the time that the alleged child sex abuse was taking place, Tchividjian explained.

Tchividjian went on to say that those who have spoken out on Mahaney's behalf have not followed their own standards of waiting to speak out once the proceedings are over because, in fact, the case is not over.

Toward the end of the interview, Tchividjian stated:

"I wonder if these statements would have ever been published if C.J. Mahaney had been a pastor of a small country church. I just think that people see through this. People see through the fact that this is a friend.. this was sort of a good ole boy network in action, and people see through that…Those are just a few of the concerns, but ultimately I've had to answer this for a variety of people…What should they say…I think we have to understand that Christian leaders have a spiritual responsibility to shepherd the entire flock, not just one party, and I never read in any of those statements any of these men speak about the need to love and minister and expend themselves in love to these particular eleven families."

Tchividjian then comments: 

"The sad thing about this is that somebody who has been abused in the Christian community or is being abused in the Christian community will read these statements and do we think this will propel them to come forward or to remain silent?"

As they were wrapping up the interview, Mefferd asked Tchividjian why it's important for Christian leaders to take a stand on something this serious.  He responded:

"I think the way the church and Christians within the church respond to the darkness that surrounds child sexual abuse, will either draw survivors I've always said either into the arms of Jesus or will propel them away.   And I think sadly and tragically what we've seen in the last few weeks is that many have been propelled away.  And so as Christians I would encourage Christians whether it's pastors or just congregation members, it's so important to speak out because the Gospel – we tell people we believe in the Gospel – and the Gospel is about being liberated, to be transparent, to be truthful and even to be vulnerable.  I tell people all the time that God did his most powerful work when Jesus was transparent, naked, and vulnerable on the cross.  And so we need to embrace that.  The world's watching.  Survivors are watching and to say listen, we want to approach this issue truthfully, even if it requires some vulnerability on our part that's O.K. because our identity is not in me or what we do but it's Christ alone that gives us the ability to do that.  And ultimately, if we do that, if we take the road of the Good Samaritan that says…my holy business is not keeping me from getting down into the dirt and demonstrating and expending myself for those who are hurting…if we can do that I still think there's a lot of hope that a lot of abuse survivors will see the authenticity of the Gospel at work and not just simply a bunch of individuals who are trying to protect a friendship or an institution.  That's not the Gospel."

LYDIA'S CORNER:  1 Kings 2:1-3:2   Acts 5:1-42   Psalm 125:1-5   Proverbs 16:25

Comments

Boz Tchividjian and Janet Mefferd Take on T4G and TGC — 121 Comments

  1. I wonder how much C.J. and his gang realise that people are seeing right through their words? Are they deluding themselves in thinking that enough smooth talk will get them out of this sticky patch?

  2. Thank you for keeping this in the open. Thank you Boz for your stand for the truth. If we are not vulnerable others will stay in the bondage of silence.

  3. One of the things I struggle with is how to treat TGC in general with all of this. That post was regnant and offensive, but there are TGC articles and members I really like. I'd hazard a guess that Boz has a similar struggle given his brother Tullian is a member and blogger for TGC (and self identified friend with DeYoung).

  4. I'm just hoping that someone attending the SBC convention will bring this up. And specifically address Mohler's on going support of Mahaney and his cult. It's pathetic enough, that the convention won't establish a system to protect churches and children from abuse. But for a leader of Mohler's stature (in some peoples' eyes) to take such a public stand in support of the ministers (ha!ha!) of SGM, especially their god-king is shameful!

  5. @ Shary Hauber: Welcome to TWW! It certainly appears that Almighty God has been guiding Boz Tchividjian's career and preparing him "for such a time as this". We are so grateful for him and for Janet Mefferd, who valiantly continues to focus on what she describes as "American Evangelicalism's Biggest Sex Scandal to Date".

  6. @ jack: Amen to that!

    In my ever to be humble opinion, Mohler and Dever have been having way too much influence on the goings on in the SBC. Wake up Southern Baptists (of which I am one)!!!

    It was a mere three years ago that C.J. Mahaney spoke at the Pastors Conference held just prior to the SBC Annual Meeting in Orlando. Do we really need this kind of influence in the SBC? It seems like we have enough problems without piling on the SGM scandal.

    For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mahaney, here he is being interviewed after addressing Southern Baptist leaders in Orlando in 2010. http://vimeo.com/12723117

  7. Anne wrote:

    I wonder how much C.J. and his gang realise that people are seeing right through their words? Are they deluding themselves in thinking that enough smooth talk will get them out of this sticky patch?

    I am glad that you Brits are keeping up with what is going on here in American Evangelicalism.

    What a farce!

  8. Jeff S wrote:

    One of the things I struggle with is how to treat TGC in general with all of this. That post was regnant and offensive, but there are TGC articles and members I really like. I'd hazard a guess that Boz has a similar struggle given his brother Tullian is a member and blogger for TGC (and self identified friend with DeYoung).

    It's a conundrum to be sure. I will be interested to see whether the leaders in The Gospel Coalition just go along with the crowd or take a stand in the weeks and months to come. I'm glad TGC has such a great internet presence so we can keep up with what they are doing.

  9. Shary Hauber wrote:

    Thank you for keeping this in the open. Thank you Boz for your stand for the truth. If we are not vulnerable others will stay in the bondage of silence.

    So true.

  10. jack wrote:

    I'm just hoping that someone attending the SBC convention will bring this up. And specifically address Mohler's on going support of Mahaney and his cult. It's pathetic enough, that the convention won't establish a system to protect churches and children from abuse. But for a leader of Mohler's stature (in some peoples' eyes) to take such a public stand in support of the ministers (ha!ha!) of SGM, especially their god-king is shameful!

    On that note… C.J. Mahaney has been welcome at certain Southern Baptist seminaries. For example, Mahaney has spoken at three of the last six 20/20 collegiate conferences at SEBTS, and he is slated to come back again next year!

    Let's see… who is the president of Southeastern?

    Why it's none other than Daniel L. (Danny) Akin who will be delivering the convention sermon.

    http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc13/program/program.asp?eid=2&sid=5

  11. Hint:

    TGC is ultimately a means to an end end, one of those ends is money via pubs and conferences. For those unsure as to how to interact with them I recommend 2 things:

    1. Engage with words positive or negative as you see fit. Possibly comment at their blogs but as well send hard copy letters via snail mail to their churches/ministries that are return receipt and tell them your view, that they are wrong and you will be doing the second thing which is:

    2. Financially boycott and promote such a boycott of any and all ministries as much as possible that have directly stated their support or demonstrate it and explain to your readers why you will not support such ministries financially and why they should not.

    Write to the Southern Seminary Board if Trustees and keep campaigning to force these men to acknowledge and act on their error of promoting, in the least, an incompetent novice with the Scriptures and failed spiritual/ ecclesiastical leadership.

    Finally, those people related to TGC that one may like and not be sure how to interact with them, consider this. Their own refusal to speak out speak volumes about their integral spiritual health to anyone. Their words may be of interest or nay have a point but here is where we must cede to the Scriptures which require more than good or well-sounding words from a Teacher of doctrine but integrity and wisdom in their application. Deeds IOW.

    If now, in all times and in all places where the least sophisticated of doctrines and the clearest of necessities so that an adolescent would even know that these TGC/T4G men and women and their subordinate leaders would refuse wisdom and principle, when and where and how often have they done it or will do it and in far more subtle ways.

    I approach everything from them rightfully with suspicion. This does not mean they cannot be right but there is far more required for us by God’s Word to receive someone as a healthy spire for spiritual food than being right.

  12. jack

    It will be brought up at the SBC. Peter Lumpkins is introducing a resolution. We will cover it next week.

  13. Jeff S wrote:

    I’d hazard a guess that Boz has a similar struggle given his brother Tullian is a member and blogger for TGC (and self identified friend with DeYoung).

    Unless each of these men repudiate the TGC statement, then these men and their writings must be approached with caution. They obviously believe that leaders are heads and above the sheep. They care more about them than abused children. They have shown us who they really are.

    My question: if they are so good in their theology, why hasn’t it reached into their hearts?

  14. Jeff S wrote:

    One of the things I struggle with is how to treat TGC in general with all of this. That post was regnant and offensive, but there are TGC articles and members I really like.

    Alex’s comment is succinct and complete so I’ll just send this comment I wrote early as post-script to his—

    It’s no fun to have to hold your nose to get some good stuff. In a mild way, we do this a lot, I suppose, since most everyone presents stuff with which we don’t agree and everyone has flaws.

    But there are flaws and there are flaws. When I’m required to pinch my nose off in order to get stuff, there’s a clue to quit. When the flaws are systemic and stink to high heaven, better to junk it altogether. After all, they aren’t the only place in the world to get the bits of truth they may still offer.

    Depends on one’s purpose, really. Doing it for socio-political purpose uses different principles. Read them to stay current. Read them here/there, if wanting to poke at them (my method). But I think we’re all responsible to do as much as we’re able against it, because they are ruining God’s name.

    For personal reading, I found it most useful to simply follow my nose after truth/facts/wisdom. This makes for broader reading broader and avoids partisanship/celebrity.

  15. “Since when have evangelicals ever looked to the law in determining whether they should speak about evil?”

    When the evil being spoken about is THEIRS.

    At that point, it’s The Sin of Gossip, Plausible Deniability, and “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

  16. “A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals…”

    This is a direct quote taken from the May 23, 2013 statement on the Together for the Gospel website. A few days ago it was removed and replaced with the following:

    “A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. We believe this lawsuit failed that test…”

    cj dayorder 23-5-2013 togsite doubleplusungood refs doubleplusunstatements doubleplusuhgood refs doubleplusunevents. memhole and correct. LLCJ! LLCJ! LLCJ!

  17. On that note… C.J. Mahaney has been welcome at certain Southern Baptist seminaries. For example, Mahaney has spoken at three of the last six 20/20 collegiate conferences at SEBTS, and he is slated to come back again next year!

    Let’s see… who is the president of Southeastern?

    Why it’s none other than Daniel L. (Danny) Akin who will be delivering the convention sermon.

    I assume Danny Akin is one of Cee Jay’s proteges and yes-men?
    (Humbly, of course)

  18. Then Mefferd explained that that The Gospel Coalition folks are being hypocritical when they say they cannot speak about the SGM situation until there is a ruling; yet they pontificated about Penn State and Kermit Gosnell BEFORE the rulings came out.

    But Penn State and Kermit Gosnell were those HEATHEN HEATHEN HEATHEN.

    “I THANK THEE, LOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THAT FILTHY PUBLICAN OVER THERE…”

  19. dee wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    I’d hazard a guess that Boz has a similar struggle given his brother Tullian is a member and blogger for TGC (and self identified friend with DeYoung).
    Unless each of these men repudiate the TGC statement, then these men and their writings must be approached with caution. They obviously believe that leaders are heads and above the sheep. They care more about them than abused children. They have shown us who they really are.
    My question: if they are so good in their theology, why hasn’t it reached into their hearts?

    Amen!

    As Jesus said of the woman who annoited His feet with tears and oil:
    JN 7:47 “…I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

    These “leaders” sure seem lacking in love, which leads me to believe they know little of being forgiven for their own sins.

  20. Deb wrote:

    For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Mahaney, here he is being interviewed after addressing Southern Baptist leaders in Orlando in 2010. http://vimeo.com/12723117

    And while you watch this, keep telling yourself that this is the senior pastor who allegedly covered up and colluded to hide the more than 20 years of alleged child sex crimes, including those by his close friend Stephen Griney, the Kindergarten teacher, and David Adams — who had already been convicted and served jail time — but allegedly was allowed to attend church-sponsored child sleepovers.

    http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/everything-you-need-to-know-about-american-evangelicalisms-b.html

  21. @ Jeff S:
    Jeff – I am in the same boat. They have good content, and much of it I can agree with on a theological level. But they cancel out the positive effect of that by their actions. I cannot support them because they are not connecting all their heady theological formulations to real life and real people, and they are not applying their own principles to themselves. Or, as the famous cliche states, they do not practice what they preach.

  22. @ Janey:

    I don’t know that Steven Griney has been convicted of anything yet or even arrested. I know Adams has. You might not want to lump them in the same boat at this time.

  23. They have good content, and much of it I can agree with on a theological level. But they cancel out the positive effect of that by their actions. I cannot support them because they are not connecting all their heady theological formulations to real life and real people…

    Reality cannot be allowed to interfere with Ideology, Comrade.

  24. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t know that Steven Griney has been convicted of anything yet or even arrested. I know Adams has. You might not want to lump them in the same boat at this time.

    Bridget — That’s why I put a comma between the two names.

  25. @ Patrice:

    Jeff S wrote:

    “One of the things I struggle with is how to treat TGC in general with all of this. That post was regnant and offensive, but there are TGC articles and members I really like.”

    Patrice wrote:

    “For personal reading, I found it most useful to simply follow my nose after truth/facts/wisdom. This makes for broader reading broader and avoids partisanship/celebrity.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    “following one’s nose”….. I think christians can be afraid of their own sense of intuition. Their own “sense of smell”. Their own current of common sense flowing through them. They distrust it (all the emphasis on carnal versus spiritual, the natural man, etc.).

    Instead, they replace it with an overload of christian voices with power, instructing them on a ridiculous number of things based largely on conjecture (since the bible simply doesn’t address many of these things in the first place).

    Sometimes, one’s own intuition, common sense, and conscience are snuffed out by mantra-like remembering of a verse here or there, context-free, and potentially gravely misunderstood. If nothing else, devoid of (that word du jour) “nuance” of understanding.

    Makes for a wooden experience of life, of oneself, and of God.

    Moreso, it is confusing and anxiety-producing. And so people “self-medicate” by going back to the christian voices with power to calm it down. For true north. Ignoring intuition and common sense, since they must be the sinful, misguided flesh speaking.

    And so the cycle continues. Kind of like not drinking enough water, thus getting head aches, & going to pain relievers. Repeat. Simply paying attention to basic things like hydrating onself (just like all of creation does, without second-guessing themselves) will take care of it.

    Christians (& religious people in general) cause problems for themselves and others by simply not paying attention to basic things like intution, common sense, and one’s own conscience.

    And they are way too afraid. Of making mistakes.

    (Jeff S, I’m not really responding to you or anyone, other than to say perhaps your own intuition has already figured how to treat TGC in general.)

  26. @ elastigirl:

    “I think christians can be afraid of their own sense of intuition. Their own ‘sense of smell.’ Their own current of common sense flowing through them. They distrust it (all the emphasis on carnal versus spiritual, the natural man, etc.).”

    Some of them seem not to have it in the first place. Some of the behavior of respected leaders (not just nationally, but locally in my own experience) sets off my radar immediately, but still they are idolized by many of my friends and acquaintances. Also, there are two Christian homeschool dads I know who set off my gut real bad and I cannot explain why. It is unsettling and I know to express it to anyone outside my family would result in immediate accusations of “gossip” or “judging” or “having a suspicious spirit,” etc.

  27. @ Hester:

    “Some of them seem not to have it in the first place.”
    +++++++

    i would guess they’ve suppressed it for far too long and it has atrophied. because of fear, ego, or both. Or else a mental condition of some kind.

    “Some of the behavior of respected leaders (not just nationally, but locally in my own experience) sets off my radar immediately, but still they are idolized by many of my friends and acquaintances.”
    +++++++++++

    smoke and mirrors plus the God card. to be an alliterative fool, “persuasive people who play the God card make putty of other people to ply in the palm of their hand.” (just made that one up)

  28. @ Alex Guggenheim:
    Alex, great post. TGC does have some good stuff, and they do link to some good stuff, particularly arts-related.
    They are very uncommunicative if you ask them even politel questions through their contact forms, etc. I was appalled to find that the pastor of a large church in my denomination is a Council Member in TGC, and it has badly shaken my confidence in the denom.

  29. I’ll go ahead and put this out there: for YEARS (decades) I believed the mark of faith was to be able to deny intuition in favor of believe. That is, faith where you always did what “felt right” wasn’t really faith exercised. In a way I was always a little worried that my faith hadn’t ever really been tested in this way.

    Suffice to say, when I got divorced against the demands of my church, I fell off my high horse and learned that that was a faulty view of faith. I also learned that the goal of the Christian life was not to empty myself of me. These things were never explicitly taught me, but they are extrapolations from what a lot of evangelicals DO teach and preach.

    I think I don’t really have faith nailed down yet, but at last I am more humble. I do think that we cannot just always do whatever feels right, ignoring scripture in the process, but the more and better we know Jesus, the more on target our intuition will be.

    I still don’t trust myself, though. That is the fallout of years of living with these warped views of faith ― I don’t trust anyone, really, but least of all myself.

  30. @ Patricia in MA:

    “is a Council Member in TGC…”
    ++++++++++

    oh, the power, the power… oh, to be a Council Member…

    (i’ll send them my khaki “Members Only” jacket in my sentimental box from 1983 to wear)

  31. Should we treat Neo -Calvinistic religious non-profit organizations such as TGC, T4G, 9 Marks, Acts 29 and SGM as we would sone cult religious organization that occasionally knocks on the residence front door, -ignore them and hope they go away; where entertaining those representing this type of organization, is known to be unsafe at any distance, and strictly out of the question?

  32. Regarding TGC, like some others I try to respond to the teaching and concepts, not the people. However, when you read or listened to one person you can get a good sense of the strengths and pitfalls of his or her teaching, and this does help get more out of it. TGC person I like the most is Keller, but his ministry is definitely tainted for me by this SGM stuff (the same way that Sproul Sr’s is tainted by his son’s involvement in Ligoneer).

    I will say one thing: I don’t think its fair to say their teaching doesn’t reach their hearts. Taking Keller, for example, if you look at the good Redeemer has done for the oppressed in NYC it’s clear that Keller’s teaching has reached his heart. It just apparently has not with regards to SGM, which I do think is a REALLY big deal. It saddens me because his book “Generous Justice” is a fantastic argument for why he should be involved with SGM.

    And someone like Keller (or Tullian) is different from Jared Moore who made it clear in his tweets with Julie Anne that he is ignoring SGM as “not his problem”. It’s not a great attitude when you understand what the allegations really are, but it’s a lot more understandable than those from TGC because TGC has publicly supported CJ.

    I really wish Keller would come out and stand by his own words that we are commanded to do justice for the oppressed. He’s done it with poverty, but surely the victims of SGM deserve as much justice as the poor?

  33. @ Jeff S:

    Hi, Jeff S. I appreciate you extremely candid comment. I think you’re a great person.

    If this amounts to anything, the healthiest people are know are not christians. they are fun, good friends, self-confident, relaxed, kind, generous, compassionate, community-minded, helpful, self-sacrificing,….

    i believe it’s because they don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to run their thoughts and motives through an ideological sieve.

    they haven’t learned not to trust themselves. (generally-speaking) they haven’t been made to feel like WORMS. (nor been made to believe they are worms)

    i’m really meddling now, but I tend to think that trusting oneself is the first step to trusting others. i know in myself, my season detoxing out of church eventually enabled me to calm down, relax, and quit second-guessing myself on everything. and to lay down the sieve wired so tight. (painfully tight)

    And to just be. Mess ‘n all.

    It was the start of the healthiest relationships I’ve ever had. And the most fun and rewarding.

  34. elastigirl wrote:

    . And so people “self-medicate” by going back to the christian voices with power to calm it down. For true north. Ignoring intuition and common sense, since they must be the sinful, misguided flesh speaking.

    OMG, Elastigirl, you have spoken about something I have recently been struggling with, AGAIN!!! you are so right. The tape recorder in our head is hard to turn off sometimes. Just when I think I am free, it turns on again. I need to listen to my “gut”. Trust my “gut” more. That is how God talks to me. It is not always my wonton sinful desires. Thank you for bringing this up.

  35. @ elastigirl:
    Well, the frustrating thing is that he downplays his identification with the patriarchal mindset of TGC (I think it’s fair to say TGC is quite conservative on women in leadership–Tim Keller is the “moderate” among them). I think he can’t have it both ways, and that his Council membership speaks volumes.
    Someone else had his work linked to from TGC. I asked him whether he identified with this group. He said no, but believed in engaging with those with whom he disagrees. What I wanted to ask was: How bad would an organization need to be before you would not want to be asociated with them?

  36. Jeff S wrote:

    I really wish Keller would come out and stand by his own words that we are commanded to do justice for the oppressed. He’s done it with poverty, but surely the victims of SGM deserve as much justice as the poor?

    It is really easy to care for the poor and oppressed because it doesn’t require much of me. We are the ones that have it together and we help the downtrodden (I know, I have worked in this arena for years). It doesn’t really cost us anything and people think we are really nice if we help the less fortunate.

    Where the rubber meets the road is when our involvement will cost us something. Are we really willing to forsake our friends and our position for the sake of abused children?

  37. @ Patricia in MA:

    “Well, the frustrating thing is that he downplays his identification with the patriarchal mindset of TGC… his Council membership speaks volumes.
    …I asked him whether he identified with this group. He said no, but believed in engaging with those with whom he disagrees.”
    ++++++++++++

    one’s name is, like, sacred. (as is one’s word — i value keeping one’s word more than just about anything. a major determining factor in the company I keep, virtual and otherwise)

    he can believe whatever he wants, but to put one’s name to something, or on the roster, is a public endorsement. it just is.

  38. Just Sayin' wrote:

    @ Jeff S: Jeff – I am in the same boat. They have good content, and much of it I can agree with on a theological level. But they cancel out the positive effect of that by their actions. I cannot support them because they are not connecting all their heady theological formulations to real life and real people, and they are not applying their own principles to themselves. Or, as the famous cliche states, they do not practice what they preach.

    It's called "When Your Theology Trumps Your Love".

    Second greatest commandment – love your neighbor as yourself.

    Some TGC leaders are failing miserably in my estimation.

  39. @ elastigirl:
    Totally agree. I am dumbfounded by the reactions I’m getting when I ask people (Tim Keller, and John Yates–Council members, and David Taylor, who is not on the Council but has had his work posted on the TGC website). They do not seem to recognize that there could be a PR problem.

  40. Hester wrote:

    Some of them seem not to have it in the first place. Some of the behavior of respected leaders (not just nationally, but locally in my own experience) sets off my radar immediately, but still they are idolized by many of my friends and acquaintances. Also, there are two Christian homeschool dads I know who set off my gut real bad and I cannot explain why.

    I’ve been there. After several bad experiences, I concluded that I was spotting sociopaths and somehow recognizing them for what they were, like some form of Truesight. Problem is, when you’re operating on the intuitive level, you’re not consciously calculating and analyzing; the answer just comes into your head and FEELS right. (Which really messes you up with the “Prove It! Show All Work!” types.) And you’re FEELing right is not going to bat 100%; you WILL get false positives to further confuse the issue.

    I have long gotten a similar “vibe” from Calvary Chapel, which used to dominate Christianese airwaves in my area and redefined “Christian” without any adjectives to mean Calvary Chapel’s brand of Christian. Nothing I could put my finger on and say “AHA!”, but a general vibe of something WRONG somewhere. (And any attempt to broach these doubts to a Calvary Chapelite meant being cut down on the spot with a full-auto hose of Bible Bullets.)

  41. Sovereign Grace Church Louisville launched on September 30, 2012, and it's been interesting to see who has come and spoken on Sunday mornings.  (link)

    October 21 – Tom Schreiner

    February 17 – John Piper

    March 10 – Jerry Bridgers

    April 21 – Bruce Ware

    June 2 – Mark Dever

    Southern Seminary is well-represented.

  42. @ elastigirl:

    “to put one’s name to something, or on the roster, is a public endorsement. it just is.”
    +++++++++++++

    well, lookee here, let me rethink this. D & D put their name to Wartburg Watch and have said so themselves that they don’t necessarily endorse everything spouted off in the comments…..eh, i dunno…

  43. Finally! Last Monday a tiny article from Leadership Journal, one of Christianity Today’s magazines. The headline is about Josh Harris, but they mention the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit — finally, nearly 3 weeks after the horrifying allegations were made public.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/trendwatch/2013/06-03/why-joshua-harris-revealed-his-abuse.html

    For people who are new to TWW and/or haven’t been following the lawsuit, here are just a few of the things the article neglected to report:
    1. That at least 2 of the alleged victims are appealing the judge’s ruling. Even though they are now over 21, and don’t fall within the 3-year statute of limitations, they are claiming that they do qualify for the 7-year statute because of being abused allegedly by family and/or babysitter. http://spiritualsoundingboard.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/motion-for-reconsideration-file-stamped-1.pdf

    2. There are still criminal investigations ongoing, for which there is no statute of limitations. http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/05/sovereign-grace-ministries-class-action-civil-lawsuit-involving-child-sex-abuse-88894.html

    3. About 1/3 of the defendants have already been reported to the authorities for child sex crimes. Two have been convicted and are in jail. One proceeded in the juvenile system. One case is ongoing now in Maryland. This is according to attorney Bill O’Neil’s comments on the Janet Mefferd radio show on 5/20/2013. Interview starts at minute 26:00. The discussion of the criminal investigation starts at minute 30:00.
    http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/05/20/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20130520-hr-1/

  44. @ Deb:

    I imagine that Jared Moore would like that kind of support at his little church. That and a phone 🙂

  45. @ Deb:

    I would be interested in knowing how some of the hyper Calvinist guys view Islam.

    I mean, they probably reject Islam, but why? Is it purely on doctrinal grounds, or would they also acknowledge that one big turn-off for them is that militant Muslims blow up people who are not Muslims for not being Muslim, and some of them participate and sanction honor killings (killing rape victims for being rape victims)?

    If they would or could agree that one off-putting aspect of Islam are the inhumane attitudes and actions by some Muslims towards Non Muslims, maybe one could get them to see how sometimes people’s (Neo-Calvinist) actions and attitudes do impact others for or against Christ.

    Someone can have totally great doctrine, but because they are very condescending or rude (they consistently mistreat others,) turn people off or away.

  46. Deb wrote:

    Sovereign Grace Church Louisville launched on September 30, 2012, and it’s been interesting to see who has come and spoken on Sunday mornings. 

    Maybe this has already been mentioned, but does anyone know if CJ himself is present and visible when these guests preach? If so, would be interesting to know if anyone has current shots or video of CJ and Piper, CJ and Dever, CJ and Ware, etc. in the same shot. Pictures being worth 1,000 words and all, flooding our favorite social media sites with “June 2013!” snapshots of CJ and Reformed/Baptist prominence would clearly illustrate their support of CJ’s ministry to their own congregations and denominations.

    Sure, we have pictures of all of them at conferences, etc. but when Big Dogs take the time to actually visit his humble “church plant,” those special visits are publicity the Big Dogs might want to avoid- and might make their flocks question – as more unsavory SGM details come out.

  47. @ Jeff S.:

    “for YEARS (decades) I believed the mark of faith was to be able to deny intuition in favor of believe. That is, faith where you always did what ‘felt right’ wasn’t really faith exercised.”

    Yes, I have heard this before. The “heart is deceitful” verse usually plays into this in my experience. That verse is true but I think needs to be balanced by other things – for instance, you’re not always going to be wrong, and Paul says that there are some things even pagans think are abhorrent (Corinithian mother-in-law incident). So if it “feels right” to stand against bullying, men demeaning their wives, etc., maybe…just maybe…it is!

    “I do think that we cannot just always do whatever feels right, ignoring scripture in the process, but the more and better we know Jesus, the more on target our intuition will be.”

    This pretty much sums up where I’m at on this too.

  48. Addendum @ Jeff S.:

    Also I think what might be playing into the current climate somewhat is an overreaction against gay marriage proponents saying that it “feels right” to them to engage in same-sex behavior.

  49. ConfusedButHopeful wrote:

    Maybe this has already been mentioned, but does anyone know if CJ himself is present and visible when these guests preach? If so, would be interesting to know if anyone has current shots or video of CJ and Piper, CJ and Dever, CJ and Ware, etc.

    I'm almost certain that Mahaney was there when Piper and Dever preached at SGCL. As far as videos or photos of the Mahaney and the crowd, they are careful to only show the speaker.

    When the church first started someone shared a photo of the attendees.

  50. Breaking news! The Houston leader for SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), Amy Smith, reported yesterday that she was told by one of her pastors, Doug Bischoff of Houston’s First Baptist Church, to step down from youth ministry due to her speaking out against child sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Church.

    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2013/06/three-wise-monkeys-photo-by-menage-moi.html

    (H/T: Julie Ann Smith of Spiritual Sounding Board.)

  51. @ Janey:

    I’ve been tweeting about it to news sources this morning. It looks like Associated Baptist Press was notified and had already picked up the story. The timing of this is significant – perhaps providential (even though nobody wants to be treated like this), but it’s propelling the SBC sex abuse coverup cases into the media. It actually couldn’t be better timing because it also coincides with the upcoming SBC jamboree – – the same place Peter Lumpkins plans to introduce his resolutions on sex abuse. When I realized the timing of it all, it was quite amazing. Amy is a champion for sex abuse victims. She did not back down when she was told to step down, instead she sounded the bullhorn and notified others who do the same. Go AMY!

  52. @ Julie Anne:

    Sorry! Hope there wasn’t a big mess.

    OTOH – It really does bug me that all these celeb preacher guys visit and preach in each other’s churches, while the little guys (living a quiet simple life serving their local bodies) don’t get encouraged and don’t get support. I guess the little guys can “sacrifice” (they’ve been trained well in this too) to get to celeb conferences and buy the celeb books if they want encouragement 🙁

    Then you have the psycopants who drool over the celebs and think they can do no wrong (the phoneless guy).

  53. @ dee:
    I respectfully disagree with you that helping the poverty stricken in the way Keller has is “easy”. It isn’t and he’s invested himself and his church in ways that are sacrificial. And he’s taken some hits for his views and teaching.

    This doesn’t make his silence about (and tacit support for) SGM OK, but it does not serve the purpose of truth to treat real sacrificial accomplishments for the oppressed as worthless. It isn’t: it is of great value, especially to those who have been lifted up from his work.

  54. Amy, this is so upsetting. I am so angry at this, and yet not surprised. Your sacrificial stand is an encouragement and a testimony.

  55. @ Julie Anne:

    I’d have to say, “No.” From what I’ve seen they wouldn’t bother to be friends with “a nobody” pastor. That would be a friend “without” benefits.

  56. 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?

  57. Amy Smith wrote:

    http://abpnews.com/culture/social-issues/item/8563-blog-pastor-chastises-abuse-activist#.UbJI5fnVCSq

    Amy,

    You are a hero. Your quote sums up the sort of mindset that is legion in religious circles (I could tell stories):

    “They agree with us that child sexual abuse is bad, and they don’t want me to stop what I’m doing, but the church doesn’t support me raising awareness by pointing out the problem within SBC churches and pastors that cover abuse up by failing to report,” she wrote. “It’s not a problem for me to point out these issues with Catholic churches or Penn State, just don’t point the finger at my own Southern Baptist Convention.”

    You have put your finger on the core of the ugliness right there — an ugliness that the world sees exactly for what it is. I will never understand why so many Christians don’t see how ugly that is (and why most actually DEFEND IT AS GODLY). I have been guilty of this same sort of partisan ugliness myself. God have mercy on us all.

  58. Ugh. These ‘official statements’ are just a big stinking pile of BS. I bugs me to no end that christians see such excrement and call it “godly” behavior. Since when does grace mean to look the other way and not say anything? I throw the BS flag at you T4G! You too TGC!!

  59. @ pcapastor:

    “…but the church doesn’t support me raising awareness by pointing out the problem within SBC churches and pastors that cover abuse up by failing to report”

    most actually DEFEND IT AS GODLY
    ++++++++++++++++++

    pcapastor,

    could you explain the reasoning process behind calling this “godly”?

    the terminology and wording are probably a bit different, definitions of what words mean different, too (to help the medicine go down).

  60. Amy Smith wrote:

    This is a must-read by Mary DeMuth, an abuse survivor.
    When the Church Prefers Perpetrators
    http://www.marydemuth.com/perpetrators/

    I saw in your comment on this article that the pastor of your church called you “fringe.” Uh, I don’t think so. You’re about as “fringe” as all the voices speaking up for the alleged SGM victims. Sounds like the SBC wants to marginalize and silence you. Shame on them! Maybe they should learn from the parable of the unjust judge. This is not going to go away.

  61. numo wrote:

    @ Jeff S: Just curious, Jeff – did you notice that Dee referred to herself as someone who has worked in the same field?

    No, I did not.

  62. elastigirl wrote:

    @ pcapastor:
    “…but the church doesn’t support me raising awareness by pointing out the problem within SBC churches and pastors that cover abuse up by failing to report”
    most actually DEFEND IT AS GODLY
    ++++++++++++++++++
    pcapastor,
    could you explain the reasoning process behind calling this “godly”?
    the terminology and wording are probably a bit different, definitions of what words mean different, too (to help the medicine go down).

    Sorry for the confusion. Just trying to say that too many Christians think it is “godly” (i.e. the way of righteousness) to defend “us” at all costs and attack “them” at all costs, even when the “us” is indefensible (and the “them” isn’t even really “them,” as in Amy Smith’s case!).

    I am not Southern Baptist, but it seems to me that Amy Smith, rightly trying to shine the light of truth on her denomination, is a far more faithful and loyal member of the Southern Baptist church, than those who are trying to protect the “brand name” and reputation of their denomination.

  63. Amy Smith wrote:

    http://abpnews.com/culture/social-issues/item/8563-blog-pastor-chastises-abuse-activist#.UbJI5fnVCSq

    Amy — I read your blog and the ABP article. I’m sorry that your church made you step because you were “planning an awareness event outside the convention to stand for those abuse survivors who don’t have a voice or whose voices are being callously ignored by pastors and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

    That’s pretty disgusting.

    I’m trying to figure this out. The senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Houston, Gregg Matte, saw your blog post and told another pastor Doug Bischoff about it?

    There’s a discrepancy in the stories. Bischoff says you and your husband insisted on resigning from youth ministry. Your blog says the opposite. Can you go into more detail?

    The article identifies Gregg Matte as the “president of this year’s SBC Pastors Conference, a large gathering that meets prior to the convention June 9-10. The conference program includes a Sunday night panel discussion on leadership that includes former SBC President Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and a frequent target” of your blog.

    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-selective-outrage-of-southern.html

  64. JeffS

    I have spent a long time ministering in low income settings. Just this week, I ate lunch with a young woman that I have been mentoring since I met her in high school. What I am saying is this. Helping those who are downtrodden does not demand that you sacrifice your friendships or your position. However, to deal with sex abuse in the church may require a pastor to go up against his friends. 

    I can truthfully say that it was far easier to minister in a low income setting, even with some of the challenges regarding safety, etc. than it was to go up against some pastors in my church and lose some friends as well when I confronted a pedophile situation. A simlar thing happened to me again recently. The stresses are far greater when you are rejected by your friends.

  65. “As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.”

    These ministers of the Gospel chose to use the word “paltry” when describing the evidence surrounding the sex abuse of 11 plaintiffs.

    Paltry: utterly worthless, inferior, trashy, mean, despicable.

    Synonyms: cheap,deplorable,dirty,lame,lousy,nasty,contemtible, pitiful, scummy, wretched.

  66. Sovereign Grace now means to look the other way and not say anything?

    hmmm….

    Thank you   Kristin
    for clarifying this.

    Stupid me…

    I am a bit behind the times…

    Sopy 

  67. Julie Anne wrote:

    Janey, I just sent Amy a note alerting her of your question.

    Thank you, Julie Anne! Did you see the comment from HoustonsFirst at the bottom of the ABP article ? Someone needs to get a screenshot.

  68. Just added this comment on the abp story:
    If you read my blog post, you will never see that I stated that Doug asked me to step down. He agreed with me and my husband that it “would be best” for me to step down. Before I read HFBC’s comment here, I had already updated my blog with these statements:
    *some added details from my husband Matt about his with meeting with Doug Bischoff at HFBC on Tuesday:
    About the last 10 minutes of their meeting was a discussion of us stepping down from teaching. Doug brought this subject up. He told Matt, “Amy told me yesterday that she is stepping down, and I told her we should think about it. But I have been thinking about it overnight, and I think it’s for the best that she step down.”

    To that my husband asked “Why?” Doug said, “You don’t see it as a conflict?”
    Doug never once told me or my husband that he wanted us to keep serving in the youth ministry.

  69. Also, today someone at HFBC or the SBC must have alerted the Houston police department and gave them my name and number as well as David Clohessy’s, our national director. This is a new level of intimidation. I got a voicemail today from an officer in the HPD criminal intelligence division stating he was calling to find out if SNAP is planning a protest or rally next week at the SBC.

  70. Amy wrote:

    Also, today someone at HFBC or the SBC must have alerted the Houston police department and gave them my name and number as well as David Clohessy’s, our national director. This is a new level of intimidation. I got a voicemail today from an officer in the HPD criminal intelligence division stating he was calling to find out if SNAP is planning a protest or rally next week at the SBC.

    Wow . . . wow . . . wow! If Bischoff really meant it when he said, “We applaud Amy for her dedication to SNAP and the survivors whom they serve,” then why call the police? It’s because they don’t really “applaud” you for anything. They are polishing their image while they stealthily take you out. Nice. (Not)

  71. Pingback: The Southern Baptist Convention and Sex Abuse of Children Within | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  72. @ dee:
    Helping the downtrodden may indeed ask you to sacrifice your friendships and position, at least if you do it the way Keller talks about in his book (where he says the way to make a true difference is to physically move into poverty stricken areas and build a life there- work, shop, the works).

    I don’t know how to measure the sacrifices of one ministry vs another, especially when I don’t know any of these guys personally. But I do know that some have done some really great things at great sacrifice to themselves. Those sacrifices are indeed evidence of theology that moves beyond the head and into the heart.

    There are some for which the question is “Why does your theology not get to your heart” as you asked, but for others the question is “Why does your theology not get to your heart in this area when it does in others?” There are a lot of reasons why the latter could be: maybe like you say it’s a degree of sacrifice that they aren’t willing to give, but it could very well be something else such as being so laser focused on a very difficult ministry that they let other important ministries fall by the wayside. In that case, it’s a matter of awareness, which is one of the missions of blogs like TWW.

    In fact, Keller talks about this very thing: why good Christians don’t minister to the oppressed as God commands us to over and over again. He talks about how the true Christian, once being made aware of the call to elevate the oppressed, must necessarily change and take action. It is with irony that this is my prayer for him.

  73. @ Jeff S:”I still don’t trust myself, though. That is the fallout of years of living with these warped views of faith ― I don’t trust anyone, really, but least of all myself.”

    I know exactly what you mean, Jeff. “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” I still feel like I am sinning by following what I intuitively know to be true and good and praiseworthy. But honestly, if I can’t trust my instincts, what do I have left to go by — majority vote? I have to believe that God created us to be fully integrated people, as we were created in His image — body, soul, and spirit. I cannot go on anymore living in constant tension with myself. It is so damaging.

  74. Desley wrote:

    I cannot go on anymore living in constant tension with myself. It is so damaging.

    Yes. The thing is, when I look at this SGM thing it seems like there are those of us trying to live out such theology, when the ones who teach it (CJ?) seem to have no internal conflict at all. I kind of what to shove it back and say “Here, take this. I want to see how it looks on you now- I’m done with it”.

  75. @ Deb:
    (This comment goes waaay back but it’s amazing how many replies TWW gets while I’m at work).

    It’s good to know what’s going on with our brothers and sisters across the globe. 🙂 Plus it can act as a warning in case it ever crosses the UK border.

    Like Quiverfull has: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22526252 I don’t think this movement will get as far in the UK as it has in the US though, due to less religious conservatism over here.

  76. Desley

    That tension is a product of poor teaching by men who want to control you. It is evident in what we write that there is a game afoot by authoritarians who will tell you when you can leave, when you must be punished and whetehr or not you are regenerate/saved. Always remember that God loves you and is speaking through the Holy Spirit in your life. You will fail at times but be at peace. There is infinte grace that has set you free. Celebrate that freedom!

  77. I clicked on the abp report about the church in Houston. Then spent the last 30 minutes or so watching several reports on FBC Hammond, and then a report on a pastor named Combs. Needless to say I feel pretty sick. Of course, the abuse by the ‘pastors’ is horrific. But as I watched one message on YouTube by Jack Schaap, I was I especially sickened by the congregation’s shouts of approval, and support, as he shouted and screamed about women. I’m confused and amazed that men in white coats, could sit on the platform, and listen AND WATCH as he _________. It’s all so unbelievable… 🙁 I don’t know what I’m trying to say, guess I’m just needing some help in understanding this entire mess?! How has it come to this?

  78. Jeff S wrote:

    I still don’t trust myself, though. That is the fallout of years of living with these warped views of faith ― I don’t trust anyone, really, but least of all myself.

    I agree that intuition is something developed, and happens when cultivating an affectionate curiosity for “what is”.

    Affectionate curiosity drives all solid human pursuit from the academic to the sensory. When one chases this kind of truth rather than the next emotional-spiritual high or theo-logical absolute, one slowly builds internal sturdiness, a blend of intuition, conscience and common sense, as elastigirl wrote.

    Healthy intuition starts when one genuinely loves something other than the self. With curiosity, the sense of right/wrong developed from that first love then slowly expands.

    How can one decide what parts of which philosophy/theology are most accurate without also using intuition, conscience, common sense? How do we make up our minds where to set our feet?

    The only field that is truly logical is mathematics and it can get us into terrible trouble when we plop it wholesale onto the world: see for eg, neo-liberal economics. And we all know what kinds of places emotionality will bring us, as also blind acceptance of traditions.

    Affectionate curiosity provides two things: a kind of objectivity (it’s not about me, it’s about all the world including me), and personal respect (I rely on what my lying eyes tell me, what my slowly maturing conscience senses, etc). In this way, one can retrace a way forward even after betrayal and loss of self-confidence.

    I’ve been in that “I can rely on nothing” place; it is no fun. I wish you a full return of freedom and internal stability.

    By the way, I appreciate your comments here. And I LOVE covenant theology.

  79. i think this gets complicated with parachurch organizations and affiliations like TGC (although I personally will never link to anything by them again – in a favorable light). However, what disgusts me the most is the way that Al Mohler has done his level best to rope SBTS and the SBC to Mahaney just because they make millions together from T4G. The SBC is its own denomination, and if that means anything they should distance themselves from SGM regardless. The fact that Mohler would risk the SBC for the sake of his (lucrative) relationship with Mahaney is repugnantly selfish.

  80. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    @ Tempest: This is also a bald-faced lie. The suit was dismissed due to statute of limitations, not because of evidence or lack thereof.

    What's really SCARY is this is how cults operate… They twist the truth and expect absolutely loyalty. The charade is over.

    Wake up folks!

  81. @ Patrice:
    Interestingly enough, intuition is a HUGE part of how I operate. It’s what allows me to think abstractly, and important asset for my job as a software developer. If I take a Meyers-Briggs test I am an INTJ, with the “N” absolutely pegged off the charts.

    I am an “Intuitive Thinker” which serves me very well, but it can also lead me into difficulties, especially when my thinking side leads me to question my intuition side. Some forms of preaching seem to discount intuition- that’s what I’m working on 🙂

  82. @ Jeff S: I’ve been there, too, as far as my gut saying one thing while trying to believe what others were saying (about me and my supposed “sins,” as it happens).

    over the past 10+ years, I’ve slowly been learning to trust my gut response. It’s not easy to unlearn the old ways, but I can say that it does become easier and easier with time, practice and distance from the Old Bad Stuff (whatever that is for you, or for me, or anyone else).

    And, Like you, I’m an IN to the core.

  83. @ Jeff S:
    Yes! You have been trashed in your person by an awful marriage, and in your faith by a rotten church authority so it’s no wonder that reality took on an unreliable cast. But I’ve seen you singing (on vid) and it is sweet.

    And to be clear, I think it’s lovely to search out a systemic theology that suits. I just didn’t want you to reside there but instead to settle back into your skin, where you may not be always correct but you will find general reliability and a great deal more life. lol But I’m fairly sure you’ll be fine.

    I’ve not done Meyers-Briggs. Betting I’m an intuition hog.

  84. @ Patrice:
    Awww- thanks for the comment about the singing. I forget people do sometimes watch that stuff!

    I’m actually doing MUCH better than I was, but I know I still have limitations. But the important thing for me right now is being able to voice them. Boundaries first- trust later 😀

  85. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t know that Steven Griney has been convicted of anything yet or even arrested. I know Adams has. You might not want to lump them in the same boat at this time.

    This is “Griney
    Smack your heinie
    Til it’s shiny
    If you’re whiney”?

  86. He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

    Micah 6:8

  87. @ Desley:

    “I still feel like I am sinning by following what I intuitively know to be true and good and praiseworthy. But honestly, if I can’t trust my instincts, what do I have left to go by — majority vote? I have to believe that God created us to be fully integrated people, as we were created in His image — body, soul, and spirit. I cannot go on anymore living in constant tension with myself. It is so damaging.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    Desley,

    I know nothing of your situation. But are you able to remove yourself from church for a season? i used to think i would wither spiritually (perhaps that message was drilled into me, with or without subtlety).

    i have come alive, actually.

  88. elastigirl wrote:

    pcapastor,
    could you explain the reasoning process behind calling this “godly”?

    Redefinition into “diabolical meanings”, My Dear Wormwood.

  89. Way to go, Boz!

    Good News! – Other Christian Leaders Are Distancing Themselves from the Supporters of Mahaney

    According to a tweet from Boz Tchividjian (BozT) there has been a line added as of 6-10-2013, to the bottom of the May 24 Gospel Coalition statement supporting C.J. Mahaney. (The other Gospel Coalition pastors and Christian leaders appear to be backing away from Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor’s pro-Mahaney post).

    https://twitter.com/BozT/status/344117481415274499

  90. “Breaking Silence? Breaking What?”

    hmmm….

    The latest TGC (addendum) to the statement posted there, now implies that Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor, no longer necessarily speak for other Council members, bloggers, and writers for The Gospel Coalition.

    hmmm….

    The TGC now implies that the statement,

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/05/24/why-we-have-been-silent-about-the-sgm-lawsuit/

    released by Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor, need not necessarily apply.

    What?

    TGC latest Addendum:

    “This statement reflects the views of the signatories and does not necessarily speak for other Council members, bloggers, and writers for The Gospel Coalition.”

    Whew!

    Glad TGC settled that!

    ( We were beginning to worry….)

    (grin)

    Boy, when they “Break Silence” they really… “Break Wind….”

    hahahahaha

    Sopy