Darrell Gilyard, CJ Mahaney, and Their BFFs: A Gospel©Playbook in Minimizing Abuse

But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. James 2:9 NIV

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=30940&picture=silhouettes-of-children-2Children in the shadow link

 

There is a remarkable similarity between the stories of two pastors: Darrell Gilyard and CJ Mahaney that I think is worth exploring. In fact, I think it proves that it doesn't matter if one is Arminian or Reformed: sin affects our choice of friends and our views on authoritarian leadership. It is our hope that those who read this will note patterns of responses in their churches on such issues and be ready to confront them head on. 

Darrell Gilyard: convicted child predator; Paige Patterson, his champion.

​Paige Patterson is currently President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a former President of the SBC. He appears to hold an Arminian perspective in theology. 

Gilyard is a recently released sex offender who is, once again, pastoring a church. In fact the church petitioned the court to allow children to attend his church. Thankfully, a wise judge said something to the effect of "over my dead body." In 2012, our good friend, Tom Rich, FBC Jax Watchdog covered that here. Darrell Gilyard had been recently released from serving three years in a Florida jail for sex offenses.

Gilyard's history of sexual predation goes back to the 1980s. Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators provides a revealing look at Gilyard's history with Paige Patterson. From a post titled How Many Does It Take:

How many wounded women and girls does it take before Southern Baptist leaders will take a stand?

In Florida, hundreds of pages of documents detail the sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent by pastor Darrell Gilyard to 14 and 15 year-old girls. A news account provides details of the molestation allegations against Gilyard.

So this is the Florida news, but look at the history of this pastor. Why didn't Baptist leaders stop him sooner?

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, Gilyard left Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas in 1987 after about 25 women complained of his “sexual misconduct.” The senior pastor, Rev. E.K. Bailey, “assumed that would be the end of Darrell Gilyard’s bright evangelistic career.” How tragically wrong he was.

At that time, the First Baptist Church of Dallas and Criswell College president Paige Patterson were promoting Gilyard in Southern Baptist churches. He was considered a rising star. Despite the many allegations against Gilyard, First Baptist officials “decided there was not enough evidence” to further investigate Gilyard, and, according to Rev. Bailey, Paige Patterson wrote him “an unkind letter” saying that “he would have come out to my church and solved the problem for me if I had told him first.”

Apparently, 25 accusations weren’t enough for Paige Patterson. In fact, according to the Dallas Morning News, Patterson painted “Gilyard as a victim” and suggested the accusers were motivated by “jealousy, frustration and racism.”

Patterson wanted “demonstrable evidence” such as “photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests.” Despite 25 women’s accusations, Patterson and First Baptist “continued to recommend” Gilyard.

Ethics Daily gives further history. 

Learning that Gilyard wanted to attend college and seminary but couldn't afford it, Vines (ed. note-well known pastor Jerry Vines) called on his friend Paige Patterson, at the time president of Criswell College in Dallas, who secured a scholarship for Gilyard. Gilyard didn't finish his degree, but Patterson continued to mentor him, helping him to land preaching gigs at Baptist state conventions and evangelistic rallies across the country.

Gilyard reciprocated by leading his multiracial Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas, one of the fastest-growing in the nation, to join the Southern Baptist Convention in 1990.

The friendship ruptured in 1991, when Gilyard admitted to several adulterous affairs with women he was counseling. Gilyard resigned as pastor of Victory Baptist Church under pressure from SBC leaders. Patterson counseled him to stay out of the ministry for at least two years, but Gilyard ignored the advice and started a new church with about 125 former Victory members two weeks later.

…Gilyard gained national prominence on Jerry Falwell's "Old Time Gospel Hour" with an emotional story of growing up homeless and sleeping under a bridge in Palatka, Fla., in a sermon sold as "The Darrell Gilyard Miracle Story." The story unraveled, however, when the Dallas Morning News reported that Gilyard in fact was raised in a comfortable home by a woman who said she took him in as an infant and raised him as a son. 

Gilyard became pastor at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville at age 31 in 1993. A church Web site credits Gilyard with leading the church to grow from 200 to more than 9,000 members and construct a 5,000-seat sanctuary .

In What Is Truth, TWW reported:

"Dr. Patterson said, "I was unwilling to call anyone guilty until I had demonstrable evidence that these allegations were true.'  Dr. Patterson said that according to Scriptures, action cannot be taken against a minister accused of adultery unless there are two or more witnesses.  He also asked for any other proof, such as photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests."

Christa Brown, writing for Associated Baptist Press, quoted Paige Patterson who wanted us to keep problems inside the church.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson preaches that churches should resolve their conflicts internally and should not take them to “the world of unbelief.”

This means, he explains, that when a person has been “offended … misused and abused” within the church, he should take his complaint to church elders and the congregation, and should not go to the courts or talk to the press. In the final prayer of his sermon, Patterson included even “the government” among those to whom church members should not take their troubles.

… According to the Dallas Morning News, many of those claims were reported directly to Paige Patterson — but to no avail. By the time Gilyard was finally convicted on child sex charges in Florida, over 40 young women and underage teens had made allegations against him — and that’s just the ones we know about.

Thank God a young Florida teen finally went outside Baptists’ insular system and took her report to government officials.

And what about Patterson’s insistence that his anti-outsider stance is somehow biblical? If Patterson needs a biblical basis for doing what’s right, then he should look to the first thing listed by the prophet Micah. “And what does God require of you? To act justly….” (Micah 6:8)

Update 5:46 PM Tom Rich adds some details. Thanks Tom.

– Darrell Gilyard was FIRST promoted by Jerry Vines, where Vines’ church was told that Gilyard “grew up homeless under a bridge” in nearby Palatka, Florida. This was a lie. Sound familiar?

– Gilyard was heavily promoted by Vines as well as Patterson – Gilyard actually was the preacher for a youth trip at Vines’ church, in which Gilyard tried to seduce one of the young ladies from the church while on the mission trip. Vines knew about this. And ironically, that young woman was the one who later her blog to help gather information for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in the investigation against Gilyard. And incidentally, Robert Hinson subpoened that blog as well as mine in his pseudo-investigation of 2008 that led to my successful First Amendment lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville.

– Even with the knowledge that Gilyard tried to seduce one of his own young church members, and with full knowledge of Gilyard’s sordid past in Texas, Vines after his retirement went to Gilyard’s church as a guest speaker in or around 2007. It was shortly after that when Gilyard was arrested for having sex with one of his underage members.

Let's go through some of the pertinent information from above.

  • Paige Patterson was aware of the allegations in 1987.
  • The allegations were brought by 25 different women.
  • Gilyard left his church after these allegation were revealed. 
  • EK Bailey, a well known African American preacher and head of that church assumed that Gilyard would not return to the pulpit.
  • Paige Patterson apparently was irritated that Bailey let Gilyard resign.There was reportedly an inference that Gilyard should have been allowed to remain as a pastor.
  • Paige Patterson believed that Gilyard was a rising star and continued to promote Gilyard.
  • Paige Patterson apparently said he needed "evidence" of said misconduct: video tapes, 2-3 witnesses, etc. and continued to ignore the concerns.
  • Gilyard did not complete his degree at Criswell College.
  • After leaving Concord Baptist Church in 1987, he went on to lead a new church (with the backing of Patterson) in Richardson, Texas. This is in the Dallas area which also houses Patterson's FBC Dallas and Criswell College).
  • Gilyard admitted to affairs with women in the Richardson church. Finally, Patterson responded and supported his removal from the pulpit for a couple of years (!) but only after Gilyard confessed. Two years? For how many affairs?
  • Gilyard had a talent for growing churches.
  • Patterson does not believe that churches should take their conflicts to a 'world of unbelief." This includes government agencies. 
  • However, Gilyard was finally convicted when a teenager took her concerns to the police. One wonders how long Gilyard's antics would have continued if it had been kept, per Patterson, within the church and SBC?

CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries

In Mahaney and SGM's case, we are looking at allegations of child sex abuse cover-up.

Once​ again, we are not saying that CJ Mahaney was a predator. The accusations against him, instead, allege that he covered up child sex abuse which occurred within the SGM system.

Here is the question that deeply concerns me. Why is it that the celebrity church leaders seem to give more weight to the testimony of their buddies than the testimony of the alleged victims? Both of these instances are not an example of "He said…She said." Instead they are examples of He said….a lot of She saids." I guess if you are famous and protected, your one testimony trumps all the other testimonies. How gospel like…

James 2:1-4 NIV Gateway

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 3.17.31 PMTweeted purportedly by Ligon Duncan's brother
Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung
Sitting with CJ Mahaney in the front row at T4G: a place of honor.

Question: Where are the children and families who have been hurt? Guess we know whose voice matters at T4G.

Lydia's Corner: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25 Hebrews 6:1-20 Psalm 105:16-36 Proverbs 27:1-2

Comments

Darrell Gilyard, CJ Mahaney, and Their BFFs: A Gospel©Playbook in Minimizing Abuse — 252 Comments

  1. I had not heard of Gilyard before. What is wrong with Paige Patterson? Shame on him!!!! I guess sexual misconduct will never disqualify anyone from the ministry according to him unless two witnesses just happen to walk in on the minister in the act. Just lock the door and there is no problem!

  2. Want to add just a few bullet points to your excellent summary concerning Gilyard:

    – Darrell Gilyard was FIRST promoted by Jerry Vines, where Vines’ church was told that Gilyard “grew up homeless under a bridge” in nearby Palatka, Florida. This was a lie. Sound familiar?

    – Gilyard was heavily promoted by Vines as well as Patterson – Gilyard actually was the preacher for a youth trip at Vines’ church, in which Gilyard tried to seduce one of the young ladies from the church while on the mission trip. Vines knew about this. And ironically, that young woman was the one who later her blog to help gather information for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in the investigation against Gilyard. And incidentally, Robert Hinson subpoened that blog as well as mine in his pseudo-investigation of 2008 that led to my successful First Amendment lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville.

    – Even with the knowledge that Gilyard tried to seduce one of his own young church members, and with full knowledge of Gilyard’s sordid past in Texas, Vines after his retirement went to Gilyard’s church as a guest speaker in or around 2007. It was shortly after that when Gilyard was arrested for having sex with one of his underage members.

    Just wanted to fill in some gaps here.

  3. Here is the question that deeply concerns me. Why is it that the celebrity church leaders seem to give more weight to the testimony of their buddies than the testimony of the alleged victims

    Easy question: some are more equal than others…

  4. OP,

    Patterson wanted “demonstrable evidence” such as “photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests.” Despite 25 women’s accusations, Patterson and First Baptist “continued to recommend” Gilyard.

    So he wanted standards of evidence that even the Bible does not ask for?

    2 Cor 13:1

    This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

    Deuteronomy 19:15

    One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    He’s more stringent than God.

  5. More stringent than God, and apparently Biblically illiterate as well:
    1 Corinthians 5:11
    New International Version (NIV)
    11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[a] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

  6. Guard your kids. Guard your wife. Guard your husband. Guard your wallet. Guard yourself. Or as Carter Conlon said, “Run For Your Life.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A6lWl_XzKA

    This “celebrity Christian leader” phenomenon will have its own lifespan; I am hopeful. It is, however, getting murkier by the day. I was puzzled by MacArthur sitting there with Mahaney. I am also puzzled by his invitation to Patterson: http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-macarthur-plans-biblical-inerrancy-summit-answers-critiques-of-teaching-against-charismatic-movement-116365/

    There seem to be conferences about everything except the manifest carnality of celebrity pastors.

  7. gus wrote:

    First?

    Sorry Gus, my Francophile friend, looks like I beat ya this time….

    À la prochaine, even if À plus is more casual!!

  8. srs wrote:

    Here is the question that deeply concerns me. Why is it that the celebrity church leaders seem to give more weight to the testimony of their buddies than the testimony of the alleged victims
    Easy question: some are more equal than others…

    Actually, has the topic of blackmail among leaders ever come up here before?

    With all the sin sniffing, sin confession, etc….Maybe CJ Mahaney has some “things” on his buddies, so he publicly says one thing, that he will stay away, but then privately threatens his fellow “MEN” to spill the beans on their “stuff”?

    That is something I have really started to wonder about….

    For example, I have seen posted on another blog that someone else besides me knew Bob Kauflin, CJ’s right hand man, back in the 80’s, when he was a super nice guy. I met him, and had a few conversations with him, and thought he and his wife were just super awesome, nice people. I have heard that he still has an extremely kind side to him.

    But he has been a super fierce defender of CJ….Just makes me wonder, when all of this comes crashing down on all of their heads, just how many secrets will finally come out, among these “Godly men”? I don’t wish anything evil on Bob K, I am just super disappointed in him for wasting his talent with the SGM crowd.

  9. These types demand two or three witnesses, then when two or three DOZEN come forward, they demand photos, videos, forensic evidence. They will move the target endlessly so long as it serves their own interests. Much of the true church–and faux church–is in serious idolatry of the celebrity pastor, and if the welfare of children threatens the promotion of the celebrity, the child will be sacrificed.

    I’m the father of three young girls, two of them teens. Reading about the actions of Mr. Gilyard and Mr. Patterson reminds me of the standard Jesus laid down for those who harm little ones, something about millstones and the sea.

  10. @ LawProf:
    It’s two or three witnesses per incident. Effective way to sidestep the issue. Such things usually happen without witnesses other than the victim and perpetrator.

  11. @ Steven Troy:

    “There seem to be conferences about everything except the manifest carnality of celebrity pastors.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    Then you haven’t heard. “Their Nuts In Your Handbag” Tour. Opens in Louisville. Pre-sale to be announced soon.

  12. Tom R wrote:

    - Even with the knowledge that Gilyard tried to seduce one of his own young church members, and with full knowledge of Gilyard’s sordid past in Texas, Vines after his retirement went to Gilyard’s church as a guest speaker in or around 2007. It was shortly after that when Gilyard was arrested for having sex with one of his underage members.

    “These two Kings said one to another:
    King unto King o’er the world is Brother…”
    — paraphrase of G.K.Chesterton’s “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

    For the sense of entitlement of such a King, remember Joffrey from Game of Thrones?

  13. burntnorton wrote:

    It’s two or three witnesses per incident. Effective way to sidestep the issue. Such things usually happen without witnesses other than the victim and perpetrator.

    And you don’t even need to make a woman’s testimony only half of a man’s…

  14. Once​ again, we are not saying that CJ Mahaney was a predator. The accusations against him, instead, allege that he covered up child sex abuse which occurred within the SGM system.

    Isn’t that the same accusation hurled against the bishops of the Catholic Church in the infamous Pedophile Priest scandals? (With such MenaGawd as the above among the first to Righteously cast the stones at the Romish Whore of Babylon.)

  15. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Steven Troy:
    “There seem to be conferences about everything except the manifest carnality of celebrity pastors.”
    ++++++++++++++++
    Then you haven’t heard. “Their Nuts In Your Handbag” Tour. Opens in Louisville. Pre-sale to be announced soon.

    And here is an image for a DIY workshop to create just the right handbag:
    http://www.trinketsinbloom.com/diy-hex-nut-clutch/z

    And, in the interest of not committing plagiarism, I just wanted to commend Elastigirl for coming up with the idea of a conference, and Sabrae for coming up with the title for the conference….

  16. So, if one of these pastors murders say a deacon or a janitor in some sort of fit, should no government authorities be called in? We all make mistakes and ” all is forgiven…”
    If a pastor embezzles $400,000 from the church, should he be forgiven, and should be able to keep the money, because, well, ” he’s the God’ s chosen one for this church?”
    This no government interference could go a step further, at a church run school a teacher gets caught “diddling” one of the kids….” Well, aren’t we all Christians?” No jail time, no lawsuits…..all is forgiven for the until they do it again…..” And we must forgive again…”
    baloney….

  17. So…let’s see. Patterson wants laboratory tests but says that the matter mustn’t go outside the church. I know that some churches are huge, but I didn’t know that they had their own laboratories.

  18. @ K.D.:

    That raises a whole slew of other questions. Do 2 or 3 witnesses need to witness that murder? What if DNA evidence, finger prints, etc… show that it was committed do you throw out because 2 or three witnesses didn’t see the murder?

    This 2 ot 3 witness crap is bordering on lunacy….

  19. @ JeffB:

    Patterson wants laboratory tests but says that the matter mustn’t go outside the church. I know that some churches are huge, but I didn’t know that they had their own laboratories.

    Infinite like.

  20. Deebs!! Great post and here’s why. One of the risks this blog runs is constantly focusing on the Hyper-Cals in a way where other parts of church corruption is ignored. You don’t do that…with posts like this you prove how you and Deb are equal opportunity offenders. You talk about corruption and problems in Protestantism regardless. A post like this which takes aim at the Hyper-Arminian is helpful, just like you’re post on Hillsong a while back is helpful. This raises your credibility and stakes in challenging Driscoll, Mahaney, Dever, etc… because you show how their are no favorites in what you are willing to discuss.

    To my “East Coast Mom” kudos!!

  21. Tom R wrote:

    Just wanted to fill in some gaps here.

    Ty for posting all of this info…..

    By the way, do you have any info on any of the underlings, the unknown little guys that do the dirty work of the celebs? Just curious….It would be interesting to see an expose of the little guys who keep the wheels turning, but don’t take center stage….I keep mentioning Bob Kauflin….It’s been odd to me that many people have appeared to be afraid of pointing out his “stuff”….Or I have not seen a place where CJ has been mentioned, and Bob K has gotten equal credit for the cover-ups…

  22. This is from a about 5 years ago, but it is relevant to the blog:

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/snap-leaders-ask-patterson-to-apologize-for-evil-doers-remark-cms-12294

    The Southern Baptist Convention is willing to censure churches for ordaining woman pastors and deacons, but it has been unwilling to form a sexual predator data base to protect those its autonomous churches from sexual predators. So they go from church to church, which is absolutely beyond understanding. If church autonomy wasn’t used as an excuse, this would be negligence.

    You may have two or more witnesses, but the problem is that victims are intimidated not to speak out, or aren’t believed or I could go on with the reasons. Sometimes these cases are not brought up until years after the act. Biblical discipline doesn’t always work and legal authorities must be brought in if there is going to be any justice.

  23. This is from about 5 years ago, but it is relevant to the blog:

    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/snap-leaders-ask-patterson-to-apologize-for-evil-doers-remark-cms-12294

    The Southern Baptist Convention is willing to censure churches for ordaining woman pastors and deacons, but it has been unwilling to form a sexual predator data base to protect those in its autonomous churches from sexual predators. So sexual predators go from church to church, which is absolutely beyond understanding. If church autonomy wasn’t used as an excuse, this would be negligence in any organization.

    You may have two or more witnesses, but the problem is that victims are intimidated not to speak out, or aren’t believed or I could go on with the reasons. Sometimes these cases are not brought up until years after the act. Biblical discipline doesn’t always work and legal authorities must be brought in if there is going to be any justice.

  24. @ Eagle:

    We have written a number of posts on Paige Patterson and his wife. Yes, we are equal opportunity offenders. I'm still amazed that I attended the same church as the Pattersons for several years.

    I even attended one chapel service while Patterson was president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the speaker was John MacArthur.  That was September 2003…

  25. It’s the fundamentalist/evangelical good ol’ boy network, simple as that. In many ways no different from any good ol’ boy network out in the pagan world. If you are accepted by the ruling class, largely because of personal charisma, extroversion, and a talent for attracting followers, almost any faults are shoved under the rug. What a tragedy, because it’s not what the church should be, and because there are so many better potential leaders out there — people who scraped to get through seminary, love God and people, and serve humbly. But under this system, you’ll rarely hear about them.

  26. Deb wrote:

    That was September 2003…

    Uhm. The Towers fell in Sept 2001 and you were still in shock and didn’t know what you were doing?
    (‘nother pointless placeholder comment. amusing to a small few. confusing to a few more. meaningless to everyone else.)

  27. @ Mara: I was definitely living in LaLaLand… 

    If you want to know what happened at the next church my family joined (BTW, MacArthur came and spoke at a city-wide event introducing our new church to the community on September 3, 2003), get Anne Graham Lotz's latest book called 'Wounded by God's People'. We were in the same congregation for a few years until… Well, you'll have to read about it in her book. It was a horrible experience!

    Disclaimer: This is an unsolicited endorsement, and we are NOT getting any kickbacks. ;-)

  28. I was so wounded tremendously by the last Southern Baptist Church I pastored. I try and deal with it every day. Some days I deal with it better than others. As I stated once before here, after 38 years of being a Southern Baptist, 10 of those years attempting to pastor Southern Baptist churches–(let me make it clear–a Christian first)–I was exiled. It is truly a strange place to be.

  29. @ TW:

    Thanks for sharing that link. I had not seen it before. We left the church Anne mentioned the same day she and her husband did – May 1, 2005 (which happened to be my wedding anniversary) – and it was painful! I believe God used that experience, among others, to propel me into blogging almost four years later.

  30. LawProf wrote:

    These types demand two or three witnesses, then when two or three DOZEN come forward, they demand photos, videos, forensic evidence. They will move the target endlessly

    A question often posed to creationists is What evidence would convince you that evolution is true? I think the same question could be directed at these men: What evidence would convince you that ______ is guilty of covering up or committing sexual abuse? If a conviction in a court of law is not enough, what is?

    Another question that keeps coming to mind: Why is this information all over the media like the catholic’s scandal? Who keeps covering this up?

  31. LawProf wrote:

    These types demand two or three witnesses, then when two or three DOZEN come forward, they demand photos, videos, forensic evidence. They will move the target endlessly so long as it serves their own interests.

    This is an insightful comment. They do seem to move the target. I believe the bottom line is-no matter how many they have harmed, their buddies will not believe it or will say they need to be forgiven, immediately so they can get back to work.

  32. In 2008 there was inflammatory interaction between Paige Patterson and an organization known as SNAP, the survivor network of those abused by priests. It was over the Gilyard incident.

    Now the question is why an organization called SNAP has been involved with evangelicals such as baptists? The reason is that we have a big problem with child sexual abuse. Some pundits say our problem may be worse than Roman Catholics.

    Baptists are local autonomous churches. It is only recently that baptist organizations such as the GARBC (in 2011) and the Southern Baptist Convention (2013) passed resolutions addressing the issue of child sexual abuse. The GARBC, an very loose confederation of churches had very strongly worded recommendations to their member churches. The SBC attached the national pedaphile records from the Justice department to their website and recommended that local churches use this in performing background checks on their potential employees. This isn’t the same thing as a database that critics such as SNAP are suggesting. I am glad national baptist organizations are addressing these concerns, but it may not be enough.

    These two baptist communions I have described are famous for disciplining churches and organizations who don’t follow certain doctrinal standards, such as ordaining women preachers or disciplining churches and organizations that are not being conservative enough in other ways, but how about making the safety of children a doctrinal standard? They may claim local church autonomy as an excuse, but all the resolutions in the world don’t mean a thing if it doesn’t have the teeth of a doctrinal standard. It is not a choice issue– it should be a doctrinal standard. There should be no controversy in protecting children, unlike complementarianism.

  33. burntnorton wrote:

    Such things usually happen without witnesses other than the victim and perpetrator.

    How many people molest children in public? In the ned it boils down to He said…She said. The leaders will defend their friends. The always do that. The only time they would get bent out of shape would be if one of their own suddenly rejected their doctrine. That’s a hanging offense.

    They show precious little regard for those who have been hurt. Their supposedly “correct” theology means nothing. Theology which leads to putting some leader above children is perverse.

  34. TW,

    Thank you for posting that video clip of Anne Graham Lotz. So much wisdom and redemption in her testimony. I plan on ordering the book.

  35. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “These two Kings said one to another:
    King unto King o’er the world is Brother…”
    – paraphrase of G.K.Chesterton’s “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

    That is good!

  36. I’m speechless. Frankly, the only way to describe the actions of both Gilyard and Patterson is evil. Repeated sexual abuse of minors is evil. Ignoring dozens of reports of inappropriate sexual relationships and abuse is evil. Demonising and all but threatening those who report such acts all while not just protecting but championing the alleged perpetrator is evil. There is nothing nice or kind that can be said about either man.

  37. @ K.D.:
    They all claim they believe in reporting crimes. But…they play games with the crime thing. They say that it didn’t happen or the person is imagining it or the person is just hysterical.

    Their actions speak louder then words. The picture at T4G says it all. CJ is to be protected and pushed at every opportunity. They have spoken loud and clear. They believe CJ and do not care about those who have been wounded.

  38. Eagle wrote:

    This 2 ot 3 witness crap is bordering on lunacy….

    It is their only defense to keep the status quo. Funny thing, Jesus didn’t really like the status quo. I wonder what he would say to that lineup at T4G? Probably not much since He would not be there. He would have been hanging out with the hurting.

  39. Eagle wrote:

    because you show how their are no favorites in what you are willing to discuss.

    We do have one bias-Eagle. We knee jerk in favor of the abused and hurt. The little guy who would not be allowed or invited to sit with the guys up front at T4G. That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.

  40. @ Marie2:
    We have retry much stuck to the lawsuit and personal testimonies from former SGMers. There is an interesting story about how Bob Kauflin intervened in the marriage of his daughter, allowing her to divorce and remarry-something that the little guy in SGM would not be allowed.

    The story is messy but you can read about it and form you own opinion.
    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2011/06/21/kerrins-story-part-ii/

    Anyone who has been around SGM in any leadership role probably knows where the “bodies are buried” to coin a phrase. I bet all of them are fearful that they might be called to testify to the truth one day.

  41. @ Mark:
    We were amongst many who have called for a sexual predator data base in the SBC, given the number of pastors that have been convicted.

    A nice attorney who knows the ins and outs of this explained one problem inherent in the SBC running such data base (I do hope anonymous is reading this. He has faithfully tried to get me to change my mind, in the nicest of ways for years!)

    If the central SBC ran the database and, for some reason, did not find out about a predator or were late in entering the name, etc. which is possible, and that predator molested another child in another church, the SBC would be open to a massive lawsuit which could wipe out money donated to the SBc for missions, etc.

    He believe sthat the best way to accomplish the same thing is to have an outside, not for profit group, with no assets, to set up and run the database. I know that this is being explored.

  42. I keep thinking that what would happen if this yahoo molested one of Patterson’s family…say a granddaughter? Would he then do something? But….unless it effects him personally, just tolerate it. What a bunch of hooey. This guy should have been run out on a rail. Thanks for exposing this and connecting the dots.

  43. @ Deb:
    People should read that book if they want to see strong armed Baptist politics at its worst. It so affected her that, according to the book, she didn’t go to church for over a year!

    And we know the players.

    Hey, Deb, why don’t we threaten to write a post revealing the identities of those arrogant individuals?

  44. Mark wrote:

    These two baptist communions I have described are famous for disciplining churches and organizations who don’t follow certain doctrinal standards, such as ordaining women preachers or disciplining churches and organizations that are not being conservative enough in other ways, but how about making the safety of children a doctrinal standard? They may claim local church autonomy as an excuse, but all the resolutions in the world don’t mean a thing if it doesn’t have the teeth of a doctrinal standard. It is not a choice issue– it should be a doctrinal standard. There should be no controversy in protecting children, unlike complementarianism.

    You are singing our tune. We have been saying the same thing for years. The SBC will throw out any church which has a woman as pastor but will keep churches which have protect pedophiles.

    I have been told that it is the local state wide Baptist groups who do the removing. However, they never remove the pedophile protecting churches. There is a hypocrisy here which is breathtaking.

    My response: if the SBC central said that every state organization should remove churches who protect pedophiles, it would be done. They won’t and don’t.

    Once again, look at the T4G picture with Mohler playing footsies with Mahaney to see how the SBc deal with child sex abuse.

  45. Pam wrote:

    Ignoring dozens of reports of inappropriate sexual relationships and abuse is evil.

    Not only that, then the leaders proudly share the limelight with those who have shown disregard for those wounded.

    There is a man who we have been discussing that had a reportedly odd habit. When families would go to speak with him about abuse and pain, he would listen, and then hand them a gift card for dinner. Case closed!

  46. @ nmgirl:
    Because “b’s be lying” of course. That and the “nut and s@@t” are classic responses to accusations of sexual abuse in religious and secular settings.

  47. Deebs, I don’t think this attitude in the SBC is just about sex abuse, I don’t think it’s just about marriage, and I don’t think it’s just about celebrities. I just wrote out my own story of “minimizing abuse” at the hands of a SBC pastor, after reading what Julie Anne posted at SSB about “Sheldon.” What do you think is the source of garbage attitudes like this?

    http://taylorjoyrecovers.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/dear-sheldon-a-story-of-maternal-abuse/

  48. For those that might not know it Patterson was one of the two architects of the TAKEOVER of the SBC that ruined the lives of many Godly men and women. He IMO does not care about anything but himself and his “causes.”

  49. Mark wrote:

    The Southern Baptist Convention is willing to censure churches for ordaining woman pastors and deacons, but it has been unwilling to form a sexual predator data base to protect those its autonomous churches from sexual predators.

    Rank Hath Its Privileges. And being born with a Y Chromosome automatically confers Rank like being born into a High Noble family. Or being born 100% white in the Antebellum South.

  50. dee wrote:

    I believe the bottom line is-no matter how many they have harmed, their buddies will not believe it or will say they need to be forgiven, immediately so they can get back to work.

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  51. dee wrote:

    We were amongst many who have called for a sexual predator data base in the SBC, given the number of pastors that have been convicted.

    Don’t you know that one of the rights of the Highborn is to take sexual advantage of the Lowborn? Just ask any antebellum Southern Planter.

  52. Deebs, we see the minimization of abuse in these scandals because the celebrity pastors endorse it, facilitate it, enable it, etc. However, I think the stories that Sheldon & I shared reveal that there is a systemic theological problem throughout the SBC (and probably beyond it) about the nature of sin/abuse/victims, etc. I’d like to start exploring what that is.

  53. Where do I even start?! With all that my eyes have been opened to with the known abuse and cover up of abuse at Prestonwood and hearing from so many other survivors of abuse in Baptist churches, these men simply have no shame. That’s the only way to put it. No shame. No shame of turning away from the known evil done to kids, not only not reporting it, but harassing and intimidating the victims. This is nothing short of evil. Pure evil. There is nothing of Jesus in them. A facade of good, yes, but only a facade.

    I have been disowned and recently threatened by my parents on behalf of Prestonwood Baptist, Jack Graham, Neal Jeffrey and the child sex offender they have covered for, John Langworthy. Even when Langworthy CONFESSED to my dad, Neal and Jack, they still chose to cover up the abuse, even having my dad make intimidating calls to a victim’s parents who were ready to go to the police. Not after that call. The callousness stings. After the WFAA interview exposed Langworthy, a victim’s parents went up to Prestonwood requesting a meeting with Jack Graham but he refused. He did however accept a visit from the Dallas Mavericks to pose with the championship trophy.

    The silence isn’t just a hallmark of megas, but of smaller SBC churches as well. The church in MS where Langworthy fled to in 1989, Morrison Heights Baptist, is hosting a sexual abuse awareness conference on April 29. Pastor Greg Belser gave Langworthy the pulpit to confess and then dedicated the sermon that same Sunday morning in 2011 to praising, crying over and praying for Langworthy and his wife, Kathy, who remains on the music staff. Even though Morrison Heights is the host church for the abuse conference, there is NO mention on their website about it. Not one moment of mention has been given to the victims from the pulpit or now even to promote this abuse conference.

    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2014/03/prestonwood-baptist-church-and-cone-of.html

  54. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Deebs, I don’t think this attitude in the SBC is just about sex abuse, I don’t think it’s just about marriage, and I don’t think it’s just about celebrities. I just wrote out my own story of “minimizing abuse” at the hands of a SBC pastor, after reading what Julie Anne posted at SSB about “Sheldon.” What do you think is the source of garbage attitudes like this?
    http://taylorjoyrecovers.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/dear-sheldon-a-story-of-maternal-abuse/

    I’m sorry that life has been this way to you, Taylor Joy. No one ever wants or deserves misery. I wish it didn’t happen to you or any child. It is hard to hear it when it happens to children who have no way of escape unless ‘someone’ intervenes on their behalf. As we see in your case, the other spouse is often unable to untangle from the web (called co-deoendency), which continues to leave the children vulnerable.

    Thank you for writing your story to Sheldon and to any who will read it. It helps them know that they are not alone, crazy, or forgotten. It isn’t easy to do. You are brave.

  55. Glad that I am in the PCA where there are multiple levels of appeal – all the way to General Assembly if needed. I was in a church where the pastor was found to have porn on his PC – they immediately removed him from the pulpit but kept him on salary for one year while they implored him to repent. He would not. It went to assembly but he wouldn’t show so assembly eventually dropped it. He is teaching at an online university now. It has been 10-11 years – he has not returned to ministry, except for a brief unpaid volunteer gig at a start up church – this lasted about 2 years only.

  56. @ Taylor Joy:

    I believe that a big issue is “sin leveling.” Every sin is treated the same and every person is treated as if their sin is as bad as the murderer, rapist, child molester, or abuser. Yes we all sin and fall short, but that does not mean we all commit the same sins and should have the same consequences. The government, instituted by God, knows this. Why can’t the Church see it? Many in the Church are blinded by their own self serving theology. It leaves people free to sin without appropriate consequence, and they categorize this behavior (wrongly) as grace.

  57. burntnorton wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    It’s two or three witnesses per incident. Effective way to sidestep the issue. Such things usually happen without witnesses other than the victim and perpetrator.

    So if every single child in a megachurch comes forward, all 1,000 of them, and says “Pastor molested me”, under this standard, unless he molested at least two or three at a time or invited an observer in to witness, there’s no way of doing a thing, no “two or three witnesses”. And then they say it all has kept internal, you can’t go to the “sinful world” to seek justice. So no, sorry kids, God Himself told me in His Word that I cannot believe a one of you, cannot even consider your accusations. If, of course, pastor is caught red-handed by at least 2 or 3, the small child will be forced to forgive the molester, who will then presumably be set free back into the youth group to seek more victims and the child will be told that indeed they themselves are “the worst sinner they know”.

    If Satan himself were devising a way to destroy young children, could he be any more diabolical?

  58. dee wrote:

    Eagle wrote:The little guy who would not be allowed or invited to sit with the guys up front at T4G. That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.

    “How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You love to sit in the front seats in the synagogues…” Luke 11:43

  59. dee wrote:

    @ Mark:
    We were amongst many who have called for a sexual predator data base in the SBC, given the number of pastors that have been convicted.
    A nice attorney who knows the ins and outs of this explained one problem inherent in the SBC running such data base (I do hope anonymous is reading this. He has faithfully tried to get me to change my mind, in the nicest of ways for years!)
    If the central SBC ran the database and, for some reason, did not find out about a predator or were late in entering the name, etc. which is possible, and that predator molested another child in another church, the SBC would be open to a massive lawsuit which could wipe out money donated to the SBc for missions, etc.
    He believe sthat the best way to accomplish the same thing is to have an outside, not for profit group, with no assets, to set up and run the database. I know that this is being explored.

    He might be a nice attorney, but as a fellow attorney who served as staff counsel for corporations in which I primarily dealt with employment law issues, I think he’s wrong. I’ve lectured on employment law for over a decade and a couple years ago published in the specific area of the law of sexual abuse law in the organizational environment. Establishing a database can go towards showing that a company is doing its due diligence and can actually go a ways towards protecting a company. There’s also a doctrine in the law which can give protection to companies that take remedial measures to address a problem and can actually prevent such measures from being used against them as evidence.

    Worst case scenario, assuming he’s right, that setting up a database could spawn litigation, I think the flip side, that setting up a database would aid to identify the individuals who are perpetrating the activity that could give rise to the litigation in the first place, so they can be fired, would outweigh any concerns manyfold. And in any event, does not a denomination’s mission to promote the welfare of children override any potential liability issues? Think of it this way: if someone told you that pulling that child out of the clutches of a molester might cause you to be sued, would you withdraw your hand? Of course not, you’d probably say “Go ahead, kill me, I’d rather die than let a child be destroyed!” Just apply that logic to a larger body such as a denomination.

    Lawyers (as well as academics, historians, etc.) often enter this strange world in which their learning, considering the imperfect receptacles in which such learning resides, causes them to outsmart themselves.

  60. LawProf wrote:

    So if every single child in a megachurch comes forward, all 1,000 of them, and says “Pastor molested me”, under this standard, unless he molested at least two or three at a time or invited an observer in to witness, there’s no way of doing a thing, no “two or three witnesses”. And then they say it all has kept internal, you can’t go to the “sinful world” to seek justice. So no, sorry kids, God Himself told me in His Word that I cannot believe a one of you, cannot even consider your accusations.

    Don’t forget “And for Justification Make Long Prayers…”

    If, of course, pastor is caught red-handed by at least 2 or 3, the small child will be forced to forgive the molester, who will then presumably be set free back into the youth group to seek more victims and the child will be told that indeed they themselves are “the worst sinner they know”.

    HUMBLY and BIBLICALLY and GOSPELLY, of course.

  61. Bridget wrote:

    I believe that a big issue is “sin leveling.” Every sin is treated the same and every person is treated as if their sin is as bad as the murderer, rapist, child molester, or abuser.

    This is endemic to Born Again Bible-Believing Fundagelical types. During my time in-country, I remember sermon/rant after sermon/rant about How God Hates Sin — ANY SIN — With Such A Perfect Hatred and how ANY Sin will Send You To Eternal Hell. And talking back to your Mommy is SIN SIN SIN just like the SIN SIN SIN of the pedo who raped you. In such a case, why bother with that Romanist(TM) gradation into Mortal and Venial sins? “NO POPERY!”

  62. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Deebs, we see the minimization of abuse in these scandals because the celebrity pastors endorse it, facilitate it, enable it, etc.

    Because A CELEBRITY Can Do No Wrong.

  63. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    I believe that a big issue is “sin leveling.” Every sin is treated the same and every person is treated as if their sin is as bad as the murderer, rapist, child molester, or abuser.
    This is endemic to Born Again Bible-Believing Fundagelical types. During my time in-country, I remember sermon/rant after sermon/rant about How God Hates Sin — ANY SIN — With Such A Perfect Hatred and how ANY Sin will Send You To Eternal Hell. And talking back to your Mommy is SIN SIN SIN just like the SIN SIN SIN of the pedo who raped you. In such a case, why bother with that Romanist(TM) gradation into Mortal and Venial sins? “NO POPERY!”

    I’ve noticed this also. I think it’s often an issue amongst Calvinists (and I’m no more inclined against them than against Arminians or any other -ism). The view that since any sin is rebellion (and I believe it is) that all sin is inherently equal. They can’t really find any solid biblical support for this proposition, so I think it’s primarily a cover for the sins of the leaders, which almost invariably seems to exceed those of the congregants among certain types.

  64. @ LawProf:
    I am so glad that you posted this. I plan to show it to him. I have stayed firm on my wish for a pedophile database in spite of convincing arguments Now, I have teeth to my stand. Thank You.

  65. To expand on my last comment:

    What I’ve seen in recent years among my (former) church leaders has been Machiavellian scheming, ruthlessness, slanderous whisper campaigns, sociopathic abuse, sadism, domination and tyrannical control, back-stabbing, blackmail threats, bizarre self-serving twists of scripture, outright blasphemy.

    What I’ve seen in recent years among the commoners in my (former) church has been a bit too much drinking, foul words here and there, shortness of temper, selfishness, silly and ill-considered ideas, listlessness in prayer and Bible study.

    It makes perfect sense in this milieu for the leaders to devise all manner of doctrines that equalize all sin while simultaneously preventing commoners from judging a leader.

    Check out the last couple chapters of Ezra, we’re living it today: the leaders are leading the people in…sin.

  66. dee wrote:

    That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.

    A pox on them. They are a brood of vipers.

  67. Taylor Joy wrote:

    I’d like to start exploring what that is.

    One area to look at, when exploring, is the human need for structure.

    The idealized 1950s family (and in some cases, the Antebellum South household) are held up as the goal to the point of being worshipped. It’s image and elevated position must be protected at all costs.
    This “perfect family system” is what will save our communities, our nation, our world. Those who point out the flaws are the enemy. Those who operate under this system and who uphold it are the heroes, no matter how many secret sins they commit while giving lip service to the system/structure.

    Just an observation.

  68. K.D. wrote:

    This no government interference could go a step further, at a church run school a teacher gets caught “diddling” one of the kids….” Well, aren’t we all Christians?” No jail time, no lawsuits…..all is forgiven for the until they do it again…..” And we must forgive again…”
    baloney….

    One also wonders how such preachers – who so easily brush aside abuse and wrong doing – would change their song if the abuse was done to them or someone they know and care about (their own spouse, child, etc).

    I’ve seen that attitude turn up in content for adults singles. Most preachers turn a blind eye to the plight of single women in their church who want to get married but all the sudden care when their own daughter reaches mid 20s and starts to cry and get upset – one pastor set his daughter up with a guy he met, and they got married.

    Thus raising the hopes of the other single ladies at his church that he (or the whole church) would help them too, but no.

    It’s like people don’t care about a problem until it hits very close to home, and I’d say that’s true of Christians at times.

  69. About the video and interview of Anne Graham Lotz
    And her book “Wounded By God’s People”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbEzhYM6inU

    The interviewer uses the term “Self Exile” and “In Exile” for those who have left what she thinks is the church. And Anne seems to be saying… Eventually people have to make a decision to return. Ouch!!! :-( Do NOT think so.

    ——–

    Moira Brown –
    5:27 – But, “self exile” becomes the tragic consequence…
    5:38 – There is a high cost to being “in exile.”

    Anne –
    5:52 – When we got back into the church,
    In my spirit there was a sense – I was more secure,
    Something in the Spiritual Realm,
    Having ** the safety of the Church Authority over you,**
    There is a protection there in the spiritual world I believe. That I need to have.

    6:20 – You give them time, but then at a certain point,
    I think they need to make the decision to come back.

    ———

    hmm? Anything in the Bible about ** the safety of the Church Authority over you,** ???
    IMU – That statement is dangerous – And a set-up for “Spiritual Abuse.”

    And – Exile – means
    1 – the state of being barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons:
    2 – a person who lives away from their native country, either from choice or compulsion:

    hmm? Where is the “native country” for WE? His Sheep? His Bride? His Disciples?

    Is, the “native country” of WE, His Ekklesia, His Kings and priests, His Called Out Ones,
    In a “Man Made Institution?” A 501 (c) 3, IRS Corporation, that the IRS calls church?

    Or, are WE, His People, His Sheep to be “In Christ?” To be “ONE?” – And to be like the wind?

    John 3:8 NASB
    The *wind (*Spirit) blows where it wishes
    and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from
    and where it is going; so is **everyone who is born of the Spirit.**”

    NOPE – Those who have departed “Todays Abusive Religious System” are NOT “In Exile.”
    They have NOT left “The Church of God” “The Body of Christ”
    They left the church of man.

    Jesus never asks WE, His Sheep, His sons, to follow man.
    MY Sheep, MY sons, MY Disciples, MY Servants, Hear MY Voice, and, Follow Me. John 10:27.

    If WE, Ekklesia, His Bride, His kids, return anyplace –
    WE, His Sheep are extorted to return to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls – Jesus…

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  70. Eagle wrote:

    What if DNA evidence, finger prints, etc… show that it was committed do you throw out because 2 or three witnesses didn’t see the murder?
    This 2 ot 3 witness crap is bordering on lunacy….

    I took it that other way.

    In Bible days, they obviously did not have Horatio Caine CSI Miami with DNA test kits and finger dusting kits, but the testimony of 2 or 3 people was considered, by God, to be sufficient.

    But this guy in this story demands all this additional stuff that even the Bible does not require or ask for. I found that bizarre.

  71. @ LawProf:

    Bridget wrote:

    Many in the Church are blinded by their own self serving theology. It leaves people free to sin without appropriate consequence, and they categorize this behavior (wrongly) as grace.

    Yes. Exactly. Sins and failures. I believe you all are correct. I believe, more specifically, that many are blinded by their own sins and failures, either with or without the concept of grace.

    From my viewpoint, and limiting my opinion to what I have seen:

    I believe this because I saw over years and years who came to the ER having been “whupped up on” by whom, and whose teenagers got a fetal age determination in ultrasound lab prior to abortion, and who had what lab results on a drug panel and when, and who ODed accidentally on street drugs and was then admitted to a non-psych bed to hide the fact, and the stats on STDs, and who got Hep C how, etc. etc. etc. (And, no, not one of us ever told anybody anything. That is one thing I value highly about the health care industry. Everybody’s secrets are safe. Well, used to be safe, but the new electronic records may be a different story.)

    And I believe it because we used to have rental property, and don’t even ask what a landlord knows about people, like why there is a hole in that wall and what exactly is that stain on the rug and you can’t pay the rent because your wife left you and took her salary with her because you did what?!

    And I believe it because Jesus said that people do not come to the light because their deeds are evil. Leave it to Jesus to get right at the heart of the matter!

    And in that small town at that time almost everybody had some connection to some church. It is foolish and contrary to reason and evidence to think that church people are somehow “different” or that they live in better families or are more responsible or whatever. They may value pretense somewhat more than some, but “church” or “not church” is not even a variable which should be considered when looking at someone and wondering what sort of person they are.

    It is too bad that some pastors do not seem to know as much about his people as the rest of us know.

    MOD EDIT: Clean up quote by request.

  72. dee wrote:

    There is a man who we have been discussing that had a reportedly odd habit. When families would go to speak with him about abuse and pain, he would listen, and then hand them a gift card for dinner. Case closed!

    Oh brother. :lol:

    If it was Steve Furtick’s church, it would be Ruth’s Chris’ gift cards (or do I have it the other way around, his church would hand out Golden Corral cards?).

    A lot of Christians are really awful not just at dealing with abuse, but general comforting of those who are in emotional pain or undergoing tragedy. They love to give platitude.

    I ran into that so much after my Mom died and was so lost and needed a friend. I got Christians giving me platitudes, some were critical, and some just won’t return phone calls. I guess a gift card to the local Dairy Queen would have been better than nothing.

  73. @ Mara:

    I’d advise people not to read that article if they are at work. As soon as I saw a couple of things…oops. On the plus I remember working in a department store whne Bill Clinton was impeached and hearing the details of what happened between him and Monica Lewinsky. Now that…was akward.

  74. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Deebs, we see the minimization of abuse in these scandals because the celebrity pastors endorse it, facilitate it, enable it, etc. However, I think the stories that Sheldon & I shared reveal that there is a systemic theological problem throughout the SBC (and probably beyond it) about the nature of sin/abuse/victims, etc.

    And then wrote:

    I’d like to start exploring what that is.

    I, too.

    There have been several good points made. I won’t link to all of them because WordPress doesn’t like it, but:
     Mara (1:32 pm) pointed out the deep-rooted human need for structure and status quo (the idea, not the rock band).
     LawProf (12:31 and 12:44 pm) pointed out the way in which leaders use “sin-levelling” to minimise their own sins and maximise the sins of others, and generally to deflect uncomfortable attention away from themselves
     Bridget (11:35 am) cited the “sin-levelling” thing in the first place
     Apologies if I’ve missed anybody out! It’s a long thread.

    If I might contribute to the list:
     People want a quiet life.

    Injustice is invariably perpetrated by the powerful, the influential, the aggressive: those, in other words, whom it would be difficult, uncomfortable, awkward, complicated etc to bring to heel. If you want to keep things as quiet and comfortable as possible, you want things to stay the same as much as possible. So your best bet is to side with the strong so that they don’t turn their guns on you or, if they already have, so that they don’t make it even worse.

    As I’ve begun to dig deeper into what it means for the Church to champion the unemployed, I’ve increasingly noticed that our predominantly middle-class cultures are very reluctant to do so. “You’re obviously hurt…” is a common theme; “I can see your anger… I’m concerned about you” (and NOT about what’s provoking your anger) is another; “Just let God work it out in his timing…” is another. There is a great reluctance among Christians in the UK to address injustice, to right wrongs or to stand up for the oppressed. We want nice, gentle, safe, beautiful emotions.

    So a paedophile weeping in the pulpit is a beautiful picture of God’s love and grace leading to repentance. That’s nice, gentle and safe. But a child, or a parent, raging at his crime is ugly, frightening and disturbing to us, so we wish it away. We’ll demonise them as liars or infantilise them as “hurt” and in need of “healing”. But we won’t stand our ground, as kings and priests in Christ, and tackle alongside them the problem that is bigger than ourselves.

  75. To our readers:

    I posted the link on top ofour homepage. Also, Deb is working on a post about this for tomorrow. My concern is the  allegation that Phillips allegedly told Lourdes that his wife, Beall, was going to die.

     

  76. @ Daisy:

    Me too. I would far more like a gift card to the local Dairy-O than some inane platitude or insincere prayer. (Speaking a someone who also lost a mother and got totally ignored and avoided by everybody at the time.) I even got to wondering who it was they did not like, me or mother. That’s a bad thing to be thinking of your mother at her funeral.

  77. dee wrote:

    My concern is the allegation that Phillips allegedly told Lourdes that his wife, Beall, was going to die.

    No kidding!
    That jumped out at me too!
    What these men won’t say in order to manipulate those they claim to protect.
    The other thing he said was that they weren’t doing anything thing wrong. And if they were it was HER fault and no fault of his own.
    Phillips. What a(n) (alleged) manipulative perv.

  78. dee wrote:

    To our readers:

    I posted the link on top ofour homepage. Also, Deb is working on a post about this for tomorrow. My concern is the  allegation that Phillips allegedly told Lourdes that his wife, Beall, was going to die.

     

    Exactly. JA reported that on spritiualsoundingboard. Apparently, he told Lourdes that the women in her family were historically short-living, and died in their forties or fifties. Of course we all wondered what kind of sociopathic nightmare this guy was, and prayed for Beall’s safety.

  79. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    That.was.awesome. You summed up in very few words the deepest desire of many hearts: to be left alone and pretend that nothing is wrong. Is it ok if I quote you in a future blog post on this topic?

  80. @ Taylor Joy:

    Saying this is idiotic. Beal is not of Doug Phillip’s blood line. Doug’s sister(s) might need to be concerned but certainly not the women who marry into the Phillips family. Surely Phillips is not implying that there is some other reason that women die young in the Phillips realm.

  81. @ Bridget:

    I think Doug meant Beall’s family of origin.

    I thought he was (allegedly) lying to an impressionable young girl to manipulate. But it sounds like others are think there is (allegedly) something more sinister? Alleged plotting, perhaps? or just alleged reptilian cold-heartedness.

  82. Amy Smith wrote:

    I have been disowned and recently threatened by my parents on behalf of Prestonwood Baptist, Jack Graham, Neal Jeffrey and the child sex offender they have covered for, John Langworthy

    Very sorry for what you have endured.

    I think Graham has a show on TBN every Sunday morning. I sometimes flip past it when going through the channels to find something to watch, if I’m watching TV Sunday morning.

    It’s very hard for me to watch his show, where I’ve heard him spout off about supporting children, or being ethical, when I know he covered for a child sex abuser. It’s hard to take anything he says seriously on his show knowing his background on this stuff.

  83. Bridget wrote:

    Yes we all sin and fall short, but that does not mean we all commit the same sins and should have the same consequences. The government, instituted by God, knows this. Why can’t the Church see it?

    That is a good observation.

    The law distinguishes between murder (and first degree, second degree) and man slaughter and gets into whether or not a murder was pre-mediatated or in the heat of the moment (voluntary vs involuntary manslaughter).

    Even the Bible got into that a little in the OT, eg,

    Numbers 35:15-34
    These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.
    “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.

    Even in other situations, differentiations are made. I saw a TV judge show where a lady sued another lady because Lady #2’s 12 year old daughter burned the kitchen counter with a hot pot.

    The judge let the mother and kid off because she felt what the girl did is most most kids would do with a flaming pot without thinking: put it on the counter. The girl’s age and motive were taken into account by the judge.

  84. Mara wrote:

    I think Doug meant Beall’s family of origin.
    I thought he was (allegedly) lying to an impressionable young girl to manipulate. But it sounds like others are think there is (allegedly) something more sinister? Alleged plotting, perhaps?

    Well it does sound like the backstory of a murder mystery.

    At the very least, it’s Creepy Town time.

  85. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    So a paedophile weeping in the pulpit is a beautiful picture of God’s love and grace leading to repentance. That’s nice, gentle and safe.

    Like that high-profile South African murder case in the news, where the entire defense seems to be Pistorius (the accused) “hysterically blubbering before the judge”? There the only difference is “will it be murder or manslaughter?” and he’s “weeping in the pulpit, Milady”.

  86. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    “You’re obviously hurt…” is a common theme; “I can see your anger… I’m concerned about you” (and NOT about what’s provoking your anger) is another; “Just let God work it out in his timing…” is another.

    The first two are a common abuser’s shift-the-blame: “What’s YOUR Problem? YOU’RE The One With the Problem!” Just with a Christianese coat of paint re the Sin of Anger.

    While the last is just “In’shal’lah… Eh, Kismet.”

  87. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Really like what you said here. If I can let me add a couple I have personally leanred.

    1. Its hard to go against the flow. One just wants to accept the status quo and leave things as they are. When one goes against the tide they risk a lot. Family, friends, acquinatainces, maybe even a job as well. But the same could be said for so mny other thigns in addition to child sex abuse. You can lose friends or family due ot a faith crisis, changing faiths, etc…

    2. People arn’t ready to discuss or come to terms with how prevelent pedophilia is in the church. Its too distrubing, too unsettling, and too frightening. I think for many people are stuck in a “victoriosu life” mindset thinking that once you are reborn or know the Lord…all your problems go away. They mistakenly believe pedophilia does to. For the hyper-Calvinist I think their nomralization of sin allows this to become more normal. Whne sin is just sin regardless and all the same…there are deep set problems if the rape of the child is viewed as being no different than shoplifting a soda from 7-11.

  88. @ A. Amos Love:

    Yes, and in some circumstances one ought to pick up and leave. But in this case, the interviewer is just that, an interviewer. And Anne is a lay evangelist and not a theologian and she sometimes has ideas that are, well, they are where-did-that-come-from ideas. She has no formal training or education to do what she does, and she is not ordained to do anything by any church authority, regardless of what she may think of church authority. That said, she does well for what she does and is quite popular. I kind of look at her as a Jesus-oriented motivational speaker who is good at that but sometimes gets beyond her area of expertise, so to speak.

    But, you know, if we all had to be perfect we would all have to be silent–totally–in every situation. Maybe we don’t want to go there.

  89. @ Nancy:

    Thank you and ((hugs)) to you. If I had had a good friend or two to turn to in the years after mom died, it would have made things a billion times easier.

    Some people act like grief is contagious and will get it from you, so some of them avoid you after a death.

    As for a Dairy Queen gift card, I like chocolate malts and shakes, and yes, would much prefer one to a platitude, unwanted advice, or judgement!

  90. LawProf wrote:

    I’ve noticed this also. I think it’s often an issue amongst Calvinists (and I’m no more inclined against them than against Arminians or any other -ism). The view that since any sin is rebellion (and I believe it is) that all sin is inherently equal.

    And Equally Damning To EternalHell (one word). No matter how trivial. The side effect I noticed was a “Wretched Urgency” Perfectionism, OCD to keep your nose Squeeky-Clean to pass the Great White Throne Litmus Test (cue recurring Jack Chick tract panel of God at the Last Judgment).

    As a kid genius, I grew up with OCD Perfectionism; this just supercharges it to (literally) Cosmic levels. It turns you inward, into introverted obsessive sin-sniffing like you find in those 17th/18th Century Puritan journals. Always Be Perfect, Always Be Perfect, Always Be Perfect…

    And when the Lowborn are busy 24/7 sin-sniffing themselves, they won’t notice the sins of their Highborn Betters…

  91. Mara wrote:

    if they were it was HER fault and no fault of his own.

    I’m waiting for some in the Christian community to blame this on the nanny for not dressing modestly enough or for just being alone with the guy in a room for five minutes, which caused him to stumble. He couldn’t help it! ( :roll: )

  92. Daisy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    HUMBLY and BIBLICALLY and GOSPELLY, of course.
    You forgot the chuckles.
    (*chuckle, chuckle*)

    That’s for when you’re forcing your wife to service you sexually while she’s puking her guts from morning sickness. (HUMBLY, of course.)

  93. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The first two are a common abuser’s shift-the-blame: “What’s YOUR Problem? YOU’RE The One With the Problem!” Just with a Christianese coat of paint re the Sin of Anger.

    Oh yeah, that sounds familiar. I had a boss who harassed me for two years.

    When I finally began standing up to her after about 1 1/2 years of it, she began painting me as the one with a problem, and as though I had a “problem with authority.” I never gave my other two bosses any problems, though, it was just her. Got along fine with the other bosses.

  94. LawProf wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Eagle wrote:The little guy who would not be allowed or invited to sit with the guys up front at T4G. That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.
    “How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You love to sit in the front seats in the synagogues…” Luke 11:43

    Someone needs to print that picture with that verse on it and sell it as a fundraiser!

  95. Daisy wrote:

    I’m waiting for some in the Christian community to blame this on the nanny for not dressing modestly enough or for just being alone with the guy in a room for five minutes, which caused him to stumble. He couldn’t help it! ( )

    You know it’s coming Daisy…..if there are not ALREADY people blaming her….

  96. Eagle wrote:

    1. Its hard to go against the flow. One just wants to accept the status quo and leave things as they are. When one goes against the tide they risk a lot. Family, friends, acquaintances, maybe even a job as well. But the same could be said for so my other things in addition to child sex abuse. You can lose friends or family due to a faith crisis, changing faiths, etc…
    2. People aren’t ready to discuss or come to terms with how prevalent pedophilia is in the church. Its too disturbing, too unsettling, and too frightening.

    One of the biggest issues I encountered. People are more disturbed by the one blowing the whistle (“Don’t you get it? Pastor just lied to you!…When I met with pastor one-on-one, he turned into a monster, I swear he was evil just like those diabolical characters in the B movies!”) than they are by the behavior itself.

    This is because unlike you, abusers and psychopaths are always playing the game, they’re always on, so they know when to turn on the charm and pat the person who’s trying to sort out the truth on the back and still the waters. Here’s how it works, I’ve seen stuff along these lines myself: With a pained expression of great concern, pastor will say “We really need to pray for Brother X, the one passin all this slander on to ya, jus got a real problem with authority–maybe Jezebel Spirit–but don’t worry, we’ll protect our fellowship and give him the Godly help and discipline he needs. I can count on your support, can’t I? Why ya heard his lies yerself.”

    If something is too terrible for people to believe–such as pastor’s a sadist and a pathological liar–often the congregation will refuse to believe it. And since such accusations come from those who are not typically in great mental shape themselves–personal encounters with sociopaths and psychopaths rather tend to addle one–it’s very easy for Pastor Sociopath to convince people that you’re the nut, think there must be something wrong with you.

  97. JeffT wrote:

    LawProf wrote:
    dee wrote:
    Eagle wrote:The little guy who would not be allowed or invited to sit with the guys up front at T4G. That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.
    “How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You love to sit in the front seats in the synagogues…” Luke 11:43
    Someone needs to print that picture with that verse on it and sell it as a fundraiser!

    As a t-shirt, this could be quite an item!!!

    Anyone have that skill?? I am serious!!

  98. JeffT wrote:

    @ Marie2:
    You can do it yourself at cafepress.com (where they will sell it as well),zazzle.com and others.

    Oh, ok…cool…Don’t have the time now, but hopefully a window will open up this summer….Anyone else want to do this? Or should we launch an entire fundraising line, with nuts in handbags, and so on, to raise money for the victims of all of this abuse???

  99. @ Daisy:

    I’m waiting for some in the Christian community to blame this on the nanny for not dressing modestly enough or for just being alone with the guy in a room for five minutes, which caused him to stumble.

    Already has happened. I believe Doug Wilson called her a seductress in the first few weeks after the resignation letter broke. Maybe even compared her to a stripper? I can’t remember now. The phrase “Foxy Bubbles” sticks in my head, I know that was used.

  100. @Marie, Eagle & Jeff T – re: the Pharisees taking the best seats in the temple. When I first attended CLC, the pastors used to sit up on the stage during worship. It was like they were part of a show. So glad I”m out of that, though I don’t think they do that any more.

  101. Former CLC’er wrote:

    @Marie, Eagle & Jeff T – re: the Pharisees taking the best seats in the temple. When I first attended CLC, the pastors used to sit up on the stage during worship. It was like they were part of a show. So glad I”m out of that, though I don’t think they do that any more.

    Yes!! What fun memories, eh?? When I briefly attended Covenant Fellowship in the late 80’s, (another SGM church, but it was PDI back then), there were the lofty leaders on stage, too.

    I just ignored them during the service, but yes, I am so happy to either look up to an empty stage, with just the preacher, or the choir off to the side, in respectful robes, and either a lector or a priest up in the pulpit, depending on which church service I attend.

  102. @ LawProf:
    Law prof, I am really interested to read your insights on the Phillips case. I am worried that the complaint is asking the court to rule on patriarchy as much as assault and abuse.

  103. LawProf wrote:

    This is because unlike you, abusers and psychopaths are always playing the game, they’re always on, so they know when to turn on the charm and pat the person who’s trying to sort out the truth on the back and still the waters.

    And after being on the receiving end of this long enough (“Go ahead and squeal, Tattletale! Nobody’s EVER Going to Believe You! Because You’re the Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”) you start to envy the sociopath. You want to BE the Sociopath. You want to BE the Abuser. Because their Skubalon never stinks. Ever. They’re the WINNERS and you’re just a LOSER.

  104. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And after being on the receiving end of this long enough (“Go ahead and squeal, Tattletale! Nobody’s EVER Going to Believe You! Because You’re the Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”) you start to envy the sociopath. You want to BE the Sociopath. You want to BE the Abuser. Because their Skubalon never stinks. Ever. They’re the WINNERS and you’re just a LOSER.

    Reminds me of Azula and Zuko (not to mention Ozai) from Avatar:The Last Airbender… Azula always lies, Azula always lies…

  105. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    LawProf wrote:

    This is because unlike you, abusers and psychopaths are always playing the game, they’re always on, so they know when to turn on the charm and pat the person who’s trying to sort out the truth on the back and still the waters.

    And after being on the receiving end of this long enough (“Go ahead and squeal, Tattletale! Nobody’s EVER Going to Believe You! Because You’re the Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”) you start to envy the sociopath. You want to BE the Sociopath. You want to BE the Abuser. Because their Skubalon never stinks. Ever. They’re the WINNERS and you’re just a LOSER.

    Yep, and with them, it’s always about winning. 100%. They don’t have the truth and maybe in some corner of their being they know it and know what they are, so all they have left is the lust for victory. And they often get it because if one is truly willing to do anything, they’ll find a way to get what they want: power, narcissistic supply, victims to play out sadistic sex games upon, what-have-you. If you’re among the 98% of the population not stricken with NPD or sociopathy/psychopathy, you have this pesky sense of virtue, a conscience, at least on some level, driving you. You’re not willing to do absolutely anything to defeat them, and they know it.

  106. nmgirl wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    Law prof, I am really interested to read your insights on the Phillips case. I am worried that the complaint is asking the court to rule on patriarchy as much as assault and abuse.

    I’d have to look into it to say anything much competently. But in brief, the issue of patriarchy is beyond the scope of the court, that’s a matter of religious belief and the court would very likely not touch it, this is a common law rule called the “church autonomy doctrine”.

    For example, in my state a court of appeals dealt with the issue of a pastor who set himself up as dictator after being called to a Congregationalist (of all things!) church and within six months the church recognized he was an unmitigated disaster (and I have had unfortunate contact with this knave, a sociopath I believe, I can only imagine their surprise, he comes across initially like Mr. Aw Shucks Humble). They tried to hold a meeting to review his call, per the church constitution. But he put under church discipline everyone who sought to enforce the constitution and then tried to throw out most of the church members, basically all of whom who opposed him, again contrary also to the church constitution. The church tried legally to get their church, church school, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in church bank accounts back before he took it all. The trial court threw out their claim under the church autonomy doctrine. The court of appeals held that even though pastor had flouted the constitution and did everything he could to thwart it, that the matter was a religious one, and the court had no right to intervene (fortunately the congregation threatened to take the matter to the state supreme court and the pastor finally left the church per a settlement).

    So if they’re including patriarchy in there, they’re barking up the wrong tree. I’ll look at the complaint later this week and try to give some more insight.

  107. LawProf wrote:

    If you’re among the 98% of the population not stricken with NPD or sociopathy/psychopathy, you have this pesky sense of virtue, a conscience, at least on some level, driving you. You’re not willing to do absolutely anything to defeat them, and they know it.

    Which is why they ALWAYS win. Because they will Do What Has To Be Done to make sure “I. WIN.” And hold nothing back to WIN WIN WIN. 24/7/365.

    I grew up with a younger brother like that. He always Won, and I always Lost.

    Another reason to envy a psychopath and wish you were one: When you’ve been constantly haunted most of your life by Excessive Scrupulosity and manipulated by Guilt Guilt Guilt, can you imagine how wonderful it would be to be utterly incapable of EVER feeling guilty, no matter what you do?

  108. M wrote:

    Reminds me of Azula and Zuko (not to mention Ozai) from Avatar:The Last Airbender… Azula always lies, Azula always lies…

    Not familiar with the manga or anime.

  109. Re. the banner headline at the top of the page: “architected”??!!! These legal people need to learn standard American English. Sheesh!!! (Meaning the whole sorry thing, not just the language mangling.)

  110. Although this might be obvious, and others have mentioned it, I think way too many pastors simply don’t like people, let alone love them. They use doctrine to distance them from themselves, to deal with them as “cases” to be dealt with according to what the Bible says. I would guess that this is even more true of the celebrity pastors; the more famous they get, the less they have to deal with individuals and the more with masses of people – masses that are very accepting of them. At best, they may love humanity in general, but have little patience with people in particular, with the exception of their idolaters and fawning family members.

    As others have pointed out, victims of sexual abuse often tend to display unpleasant emotions which may render them unsympathetic, particularly if they are adults who have not dealt with their abuse for many years. They can be a nightmare for a pastor who doesn’t much care for people in the first case. Explaining the doctrines of sin and forgiveness to them – and to the parents of young children who have been abused – gets him nowhere. “Yes, what happened was terrible (assuming it really did happen), but why can’t they get over it? I can’t let it get out. The press and public get all bent out of shape when it comes to child abuse, especially if it’s sexual. It’s all so sordid. I can deal with heresy, and even lying and pridefulness, but not this. Could John really have done it? John has always been so supportive of me.”

    This is an oversimplification; it’s just to show that one’s basic attitude toward people can greatly affect how one deals with gross sins like child abuse. Of course, no one can love others enough through their own ability – he or she must allow God to love through them. Maybe these pastors have not humbled themselves enough for this to happen.

  111. JeffB wrote:

    As others have pointed out, victims of sexual abuse often tend to display unpleasant emotions which may render them unsympathetic, particularly if they are adults who have not dealt with their abuse for many years. They can be a nightmare for a pastor who doesn’t much care for people in the first case.

    Here is an attempt at another viewpoint, in hopes of not starting a knock down drag out argument, which has happened in the past, on another board. I just wanted to point out the “out of touch” aspect of most of our culture about survivors of trauma, that these people are just black holes of need with no potential whatsoever. Christians could show compassion, and help people out, instead pastors like the people you describe dive right into the cloudy thinking that separates survivors from “normal” people.

    While I agree with this wholeheartedly in one sense, I also feel that there is a large contingent of trauma survivor victims who are like “idiot-savants” in their abilities, whether artistic, a fair amount of intelligence, or just some crazy sixth sense. Pastors who are of the type you describe often don’t know what to do with people who could expose them, or are wildly talented in some way. I have seen this in my own life.

    Until someone can gain the trust of a great many survivors, and show the strengths of survivors in a large study, negative stereotypes will abound, and the motivation just won’t be there to help these dear souls out, so they can develop their potential.

    There are isolated people like David Meece who have incredible talent in spite of the abusive background….While there are a few kind souls who have made a living from writing about abuse from a Christian perspective, I have found a great deal of it to be condescending, like “look at this poor dysfunctional person…Let’s stoop down to help them…”

    I don’t see that as the intent of anyone on this board….But I am just disappointed that the more famous “pastors” can’t learn to help people develop their talents, even if they seem hip-deep in emotional pain…

    Example:
    http://www.davidmeece.com/testimony.html

    http://www.davidmeece.com/bio.html

    Life has not always been easy for the gifted artist. David grew up in a house dominated by an abusive, alcoholic father, crippling his self worth and confidence. In 1986, at the height of his career, his father passed away, bringing deep unresolved hurts to the surface. He was in the middle of a 70 City Tour entitled, “Seventy Times Seven,” when he received a phone call from his brother telling him of his father’s death. After the funeral, he resumed his tour. While standing up in front of thousands each night, singing about forgiveness, he found himself in desperate need of forgiving his own dad. Because of David’s courage to transparently share his powerful testimony of this process, countless individuals have been brought to a place of healing in their own lives!

  112. JeffB wrote:

    As others have pointed out, victims of sexual abuse often tend to display unpleasant emotions which may render them unsympathetic, particularly if they are adults who have not dealt with their abuse for many years.

    PS Thank you for pointing this out, and thank you to everyone else who has pointed this out – I do agree with this idea, I’m just sad that the many people who have not dealt with their “stuff” as adults feel enormous separation from real community when the darken the door of a church….Would probably take too long to elaborate here. A big thank you to all who have shared so far.

    Peace to all, Marie2.

  113. JeffB wrote:

    Although this might be obvious, and others have mentioned it, I think way too many pastors simply don’t like people, let alone love them.

    PPS This is an awesome awesome awesome point.

    I have another comment in moderation, basically a long rant about the negative stereotypes about survivors of abusive, and one extremely famous musician who rises above all of that. Hoping I did not come off to strongly in my post. Sorry if the order gets all muddled. Pastors need to sing along with Burt Bacharach…what the world…..needs now…is love….sweet love….

  114. JeffB wrote:

    At best, they may love humanity in general, but have little patience with people in particular, with the exception of their idolaters and fawning family members.

    “Where I learned with little labor
    The way to Love my Fellow Man
    And hate my next door neighbor.”
    — G.K.Chesterton

    Or like classic Communists, who could commit any atrocity on individuals in the name of an abstract “The People”.

  115. @ LawProf:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Yes. This is the thing that can be the most difficult to get people to understand. There are not many who understand why I have cut my mother out of my life. When you are dealing with a malignant narcissist – one who is not just self-absorbed, but actually takes pleasure in causing pain – there is no sane negotiation.

    Not only will the narcissist convince others that you are the crazy one, they will do a d*mn fine job of convincing you you’re the crazy one. There is no reasoning with a narcissist/sociopath/psychopath. They could care less about reason. I have had conversations where she adamantly insisted she did not say what she said only five minutes ago. To be raised by a narcissist – hmmm….it took me 44 years to begin to understand what I was dealing with – and then another year to have the courage to break away.

    One of the hardest things to get other people to understand is that it is useless to appeal to reason or decency when dealing with a narcissist. And it is futile trying to figure out what you can say/do that would get them to see reason. They don’t operate in that paradigm and no appeal to the ‘common’ decency or even logic will make headway because they simply do not care. They are not swayed by appeals to guilt or decency because they do not feel either….they will not respond the way ‘normal’ people do.

    I honestly do not know which is more evil: a parent who gives as Christmas gift to there youngest son a gun their older son used to commit suicide…and are baffled as to why that might by a bad idea…..or a parent who humiliates their child, relentlessly beating them down emotionally – reducing their adult child to sobbing with their arms over their head….and then, walking away with a look of triumph….unless you have experienced that look, there aren’t words to convey the malice in it. Hmm…

    A narcissist, be free of that little thing called a conscience, will lie with abandon and great conviction. They will say whatever they need to in the moment to win in that moment. And deny it ever happened 10 minutes later. To be honest, this is a big reason I hold little hope for repentance in most of these mega (or wanna be mega) pastors. I believe a large majority of them are narcissists and my experience in that arena tells me there is no hope of getting them to ‘see the light.’

  116. @ JeffB:

    “…Unless they repent and come to saving faith.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    I believe this is in reference to sociopaths. While it seems diabolical, I don’t think sociopathy is a sin issue, but rather like a disease (although not sure if personality disorder = mental illness). It is very perplexing, but I don’t see how sociopathy necessarily nixes salvation. I think logically a sociopath can know God, but with distortions & limitations they can’t help. Very sad.

  117. Torres is now speaking out, bravely using her name. Phillips lawyers claim a “media campaign has been architected to destroy and demoralize Doug Phillips.”

    And so Conspiracy Theory is invoked…

  118. @ Marie2:

    “Pastors need to sing along with Burt Bacharach…what the world…..needs now…is love….sweet love….”
    ++++++++++++

    without overspiritualizing it by getting high on I Corinthians 13 & the like.

    Treating people the way you want to be treated (“love your neighbor as yourself”, Jesus Christ) is best practice.

    Focussing on Paul to the exclusion of Jesus is a mistake. (i’m so sick of Paul) (except for Ephesians 1)

  119. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    a beautiful picture

    And incidentally, those words make me puke.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    just what a slick ideological salesman would say when trying to sell a bad product. (CBMW)

    let’s puke in unison. altogether now!

  120. machine-gunning my comments here — chores all done, everyone’s bedded down… just me & my laptop, now.

  121. @ LawProf:

    You and Eagle are both onto something really important, LawProf. They are, as Jesus pointed out, wolves in sheeps’ clothing. Ie, they are wolves. Everything about them is geared towards stalking and chasing down prey, stealing, killing and destroying. Sheep, by contrast, are pretty harmless and not good at defending themselves even by running away.

    I think there’s a reason Jesus called us a “flock” and not, say, a herd of buffalo…. (Lions are, as you probably know, wary of taking on buffalo – the lions are not guaranteed to survive the encounter.) There’s also a reason he instructed us to be as innocent as doves but as shrewd as serpents. The latter is something we have neglected, to our cost. Or perhaps I should say, to the cost of the vulnerable among us, as the wolves successfully herd the sheep into doing much of their dirty work for them.

    I think what we miss is that a wolf is not a bad sheep, it’s a wolf.

  122. JeffB wrote:

    Although this might be obvious, and others have mentioned it, I think way too many pastors simply don’t like people, let alone love them.

    I agree with @ Marie2 (though not on the Burt Bacharach thing…): this is a really good point.

    I knew a junior pastor years ago who often used to talk about how much he loved people, and how it was all about people. But faced with almost any actual person in the church, he despised them. He had no idea how to interact with a complex individual and learn to respect that person for whom God had created them to be. As far as I can tell, what he actually loved was the thought of a crowd of “shining happy people”: people as an abstraction, as HUG said. Oddly enough, the junior pastor in question did have a communist student background – which is not as Bad A Thing in the UK as it might sound in the US. But it would explain a lot: he liked the masses, but as soon as any face in the crowd stood out, it had to be trodden on.

  123. JeffB wrote:

    So…let’s see. Patterson wants laboratory tests but says that the matter mustn’t go outside the church. I know that some churches are huge, but I didn’t know that they had their own laboratories.

    ROTFL!! Even though you made me spit on my monitor screen!!

  124. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    I believe that a big issue is “sin leveling.” Every sin is treated the same and every person is treated as if their sin is as bad as the murderer, rapist, child molester, or abuser.

    This is endemic to Born Again Bible-Believing Fundagelical types. During my time in-country, I remember sermon/rant after sermon/rant about How God Hates Sin — ANY SIN — With Such A Perfect Hatred and how ANY Sin will Send You To Eternal Hell. And talking back to your Mommy is SIN SIN SIN just like the SIN SIN SIN of the pedo who raped you. In such a case, why bother with that Romanist(TM) gradation into Mortal and Venial sins? “NO POPERY!”

    You’re absolutely right, HUG. This kind of sin-levelling has got to be rethought. It is destroying folks left, right, & center. Its heartbreaking. Not to mention infuriating!!

  125. JeffT wrote:

    LawProf wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Eagle wrote:The little guy who would not be allowed or invited to sit with the guys up front at T4G. That picture will keep showing up over here. It says a whole lot about the character of those who sat there.
    “How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You love to sit in the front seats in the synagogues…” Luke 11:43

    Someone needs to print that picture with that verse on it and sell it as a fundraiser!

    Indeed.

  126. elastigirl wrote:

    @ JeffB:

    “…Unless they repent and come to saving faith.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    I believe this is in reference to sociopaths. While it seems diabolical, I don’t think sociopathy is a sin issue, but rather like a disease (although not sure if personality disorder = mental illness). It is very perplexing, but I don’t see how sociopathy necessarily nixes salvation. I think logically a sociopath can know God, but with distortions & limitations they can’t help. Very sad.

    I actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything. They believe that everything they do, however despicable, is OK because its what THEY want, you see.
    They see Jesus as the (I’m sorry to say this, but it is, I believe, true)
    the ultimate sucker, as opposed to the only Saviour. They know that the rest of us feel differently, that we have rules, even laws, but they simply DON”T CARE.
    Sociopathy is (IMO) what Scripture is referring to when it describes a “sin unto death”, what theologians call “the unforgiveable sin”. There “remains no sacrifice for sin” in the words of Scripture.
    I may be wrong; I hope that there is hope for everyone regardless. But I really think that some folks will, om Judgment Day, say, “But I don’t WANT to be sorry; I WANT to have my own way”. That is why, you see, the prostitutes & the thieves & the “ungodly” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven while the pharisees sulk outside.

    But its only an opinion.

  127. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    There’s also a reason he instructed us to be as innocent as doves but as shrewd as serpents…….I think what we miss is that a wolf is not a bad sheep, it’s a wolf.

    I think we take evil too lightly, as if there were no such actual thing. And we take mental pathology too lightly, as if someone could just shake it off and go on. And we march out to meet danger with no better weapon than denial.

  128. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Not familiar with the manga or anime.

    Avatar is one of my favorite cartoons. I think the first 3-4 episodes are sufficient to get a sense for whether you’ll like it or not. Though the first major arc carries through episode 8.

    If I recall correctly, my introduction to the series was through the 2nd season episode ‘Zuko Alone’ – you’ll have no concept of the backstory and only vaguely understand the world, but it shows some background / character development of a primary villain by tossing him in a Yojimbo / Shane situation. Really amazing stuff for 22 minutes of what was billed as a kids cartoon. It’s probably my favorite episode of the series, and there are a lot of episodes that do come close in emotional impact, though IMO never quite match it.

    In the spirit of the psychopathic pastors in Christianity, if you don’t love this show, you’re not a real man. :)

  129. M wrote:

    It’s probably my favorite episode of the series,

    My favorite episode involves cactus juice and a giant mushroom.
    Then again, I’m partial to Sokka. I think I just needed to laugh and his smartassery was just the ticket at the time.

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    But seriously, HUG, I can’t believe that you aren’t familiar with this one. I wouldn’t classify it as manga or anime though I may be wrong on this.
    The characters are deep and rich and the story is way beyond most “kids’ cartoon” stuff in meaning. I’ve been through it twice. Fast the first time because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Slower the second time so I could savor the nuances and make it last.

  130. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    When you are dealing with a malignant narcissist – one who is not just self-absorbed, but actually takes pleasure in causing pain – there is no sane negotiation.
    Not only will the narcissist convince others that you are the crazy one, they will do a d*mn fine job of convincing you you’re the crazy one. There is no reasoning with a narcissist/sociopath/psychopath. They could care less about reason. I have had conversations where she adamantly insisted she did not say what she said only five minutes ago…One of the hardest things to get other people to understand is that it is useless to appeal to reason or decency when dealing with a narcissist. And it is futile trying to figure out what you can say/do that would get them to see reason. They don’t operate in that paradigm and no appeal to the ‘common’ decency or even logic will make headway because they simply do not care. They are not swayed by appeals to guilt or decency because they do not feel either….they will not respond the way ‘normal’ people do.

    Yes, exactly. Experienced it with Pastor E and Pastor R. I kept trying to reason with them, but there was this very odd thing in meeting them one-on-one, they simply did not act like any normal human being. You couldn’t get a foothold, appeals to reason fruitless. They would show this rage if you held your ground that was not hot, but chilling and evil, lie to you, dent what they said, then call you crazy, a sicko, a psychopath, whatever, gaslight you, then try and hug you in the end to make it all up. But the hug seemed more evil and false than the cold rage and lies (I will not accept a sociopath’s fake “make good” hug again as long as I live).

    Having experienced what I’ve experienced at the hands of pastors, I can only imagine what it would be like to deal with a parent. Lord help you, Jeannette Altes, you’re stronger than me, I don’t think I’d still be capable of drawing breath.

    Jeannette Altes wrote:

    …a look of triumph….unless you have experienced that look, there aren’t words to convey the malice in it. Hmm…

    Yep, from both Pastor E and Pastor R. The Malevolent Grin of Victory. Pastor E let it loose big time in our final meeting when I told him “I don’t trust you, can’t trust you ever again, I’m not coming back.” But a moment later, he checked himself and looked “appropriately grave” again (surely because he was concerned that Elder W, also in the meeting, might catch it).

    Jeannette Altes wrote:

    A narcissist, be free of that little thing called a conscience, will lie with abandon and great conviction. They will say whatever they need to in the moment to win in that moment. And deny it ever happened 10 minutes later. To be honest, this is a big reason I hold little hope for repentance in most of these mega (or wanna be mega) pastors. I believe a large majority of them are narcissists and my experience in that arena tells me there is no hope of getting them to ‘see the light.’

    Aside from a veritable lightning strike from above, I don’t think there’s much hope. With God all things are possible, so I have to think some NPD/sociopaths have been able to recover that tiny squeaking bit of humanity left in the corners of their beings and the Lord has saved them and they’ve recovered. But from what I’ve read, it rare rare rare.

  131. zooey111

    I actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything. They believe that everything they do, however despicable, is OK because its what THEY want, you see.
    They see Jesus as the (I’m sorry to say this, but it is, I believe, true)
    the ultimate sucker, as opposed to the only Saviour. They know that the rest of us feel differently, that we have rules, even laws, but they simply DON”T CARE.
    Sociopathy is (IMO) what Scripture is referring to when it describes a “sin unto death”, what theologians call “the unforgiveable sin”. There “remains no sacrifice for sin” in the words of Scripture.
    I may be wrong; I hope that there is hope for everyone regardless. But I really think that some folks will, on Judgment Day, say, “But I don’t WANT to be sorry; I WANT to have my own way”. That is why, you see, the prostitutes & the thieves & the “ungodly” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven while the pharisees sulk outside.

    But its only an opinion.

    Ted Bundy once explained that it is good to be born without empathy if one is going to kill people for pleasure. He said, “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”

  132. elastigirl wrote:

    @ JeffB:
    “…Unless they repent and come to saving faith.”
    +++++++++++++++++++
    I believe this is in reference to sociopaths. While it seems diabolical, I don’t think sociopathy is a sin issue, but rather like a disease (although not sure if personality disorder = mental illness). It is very perplexing, but I don’t see how sociopathy necessarily nixes salvation. I think logically a sociopath can know God, but with distortions & limitations they can’t help. Very sad.

    I understand that some people, because they chose their parents very poorly (joke), deal with psychic abuse from crib til adulthood, and their frontal lobes evidently don’t develop and function properly and they simply cannot understand empathy in the way that normal people do. It is possible that a relative of mine falls within this category; knowing her over 30 years, I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t something organically wrong with her brain as a result of severe childhood abuse. But even though she doesn’t seem to understand empathy except in the abstract, I nonetheless think she’s a Christian, even though she can be exceptionally hard to deal with, unreasonable, selfish, she’s not diabolical, in no way sadistic. She honestly tries to do right, as near as I can tell, given her extreme limitations. I never feel that aura of evil coming off her like I did strongly from Pastor R, overwhelmingly from Pastor E. Yet I bet she’d qualify as personality disordered, probably NPD (though I’m no psychologist).

    She has the fruits of her salvation and I think she’s the type of person you’re describing. We may not be able to understand the fruits or recognize them easily, but if one knows Christ, I really believe they’ll be there. I’m not sure I’m seeing much if any from most cult celebs.

  133. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Marie2:
    “Pastors need to sing along with Burt Bacharach…what the world…..needs now…is love….sweet love….”
    ++++++++++++
    without overspiritualizing it by getting high on I Corinthians 13 & the like.
    Treating people the way you want to be treated (“love your neighbor as yourself”, Jesus Christ) is best practice.
    Focussing on Paul to the exclusion of Jesus is a mistake. (i’m so sick of Paul) (except for Ephesians 1)

    I’m sick of the way sociopaths in the pulpit manipulate Paul and wrench his words out of cultural and historical context to manipulate people. But I believe Paul was communicating what the Lord told him for a particular purpose to a particular people at a particular time. That said, there’s not a principle in there that isn’t cosmically true and universally applicable when honestly unpacked.

  134. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    …a communist student background – which is not as Bad A Thing in the UK as it might sound in the US.

    I have something of a communist student background, at least I espoused the party line pretty vigorously.

  135. Mara wrote:

    But seriously, HUG, I can’t believe that you aren’t familiar with this one. I wouldn’t classify it as manga or anime though I may be wrong on this.

    I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to anime for over 20 years. Since around the time of “Wings of Oneamos” and “Future War 198X”.

  136. zooey111 wrote:

    They see Jesus as the (I’m sorry to say this, but it is, I believe, true)
    the ultimate sucker, as opposed to the only Saviour. They know that the rest of us feel differently, that we have rules, even laws, but they simply DON”T CARE.

    Someone described the difference between psychopath and sociopath as “A psychopath is incapable of understanding that there is Right and Wrong. A sociopath understands but doesn’t care.”

    And C.S.Lewis(?) — “When What is Right and What is Wrong has been deconstructed, What I Want will still remain.”

    “Want. Take. Simple.” — “Wiseguy attitude” from some gangster movie

  137. Marsha wrote:

    I actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything.

    Not to get into deep philosophical discussion here, especially since I have to head out the door in five, but…

    What if the story of Moses and Pharaoh and the plagues and “God hardening Pharaoh’s heart” and all that is really the story concerning deliverance and redemption dealing with a sociopath?

    People get all bent out of shape about “God hardening” his heart and the Prophets talking about vessels made for judgment.
    What if that is just OT language for what we are dealing with now?

    Just bouncing this off you all.

  138. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’ve been out of the loop

    Well, if you get a chance, I recommend you checking into it.
    It may not be your cup of tea. I have a hard time imagining that. But just because I think something is great doesn’t mean you have to like it too.

  139. @ zooey111:

    ” actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything.”
    ++++++++++++++

    but what if they have no capacity to do otherwise? because of how the disorder has distorted things? surely there is some divine understanding about such a condition.

  140. @ Mara:

    Everybody believes in the sovereignty of God, but no two of us can agree as to what that means or how it plays out in specific circumstances. Personally, since I don’t know for sure, I am making myself refuse to speculate. But you are right that it is a big issue.

  141. Marie2 wrote:

    There are isolated people like David Meece who have incredible talent in spite of the abusive background….While there are a few kind souls who have made a living from writing about abuse from a Christian perspective, I have found a great deal of it to be condescending, like “look at this poor dysfunctional person…Let’s stoop down to help them…”
    I don’t see that as the intent of anyone on this board….But I am just disappointed that the more famous “pastors” can’t learn to help people develop their talents, even if they seem hip-deep in emotional pain…
    Example:
    http://www.davidmeece.com/testimony.html
    http://www.davidmeece.com/bio.html
    Life has not always been easy for the gifted artist. David grew up in a house dominated by an abusive, alcoholic father, crippling his self worth and confidence. In 1986, at the height of his career, his father passed away, bringing deep unresolved hurts to the surface. He was in the middle of a 70 City Tour entitled, “Seventy Times Seven,” when he received a phone call from his brother telling him of his father’s death. After the funeral, he resumed his tour. While standing up in front of thousands each night, singing about forgiveness, he found himself in desperate need of forgiving his own dad. Because of David’s courage to transparently share his powerful testimony of this process, countless individuals have been brought to a place of healing in their own lives!

    Christian music artist finds forgiveness, turns misery into ministry

    BY MARIAN RIZZO
    SPECIAL TO THE STAR-BANNER
    Published: Saturday, June 5, 2004 at 6:30 a.m.
    Last Modified: Saturday, June 5, 2004 at 12:00 a.m.
    Songs like “No Other Hope,” “Dancing With the Enemy” and “Raise These Arms” mean a lot more than words and music to Christian music artist David Meece. They’re actually part of his autobiography. Such songs tell the story of a man who survived a troubled childhood, found a Savior and learned to forgive the father who tried to kill him.

    For Meece, reviving such memories brings a mix of pain and relief. But, he also sees it as an opportunity to minister to other people. In a telephone interview from his home in Nashville, Meece shared some of the details of his early years.

    “My father was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He was a very violent man,” Meece said. “On several occasions, he tried to kill my mother, and on at least one occasion, he tried to kill all of us. My older brother was 13, I was 10, and my sister was 5. Fortunately, God intervened. My mom was able to get a restraining order and then divorced him.”

    Born and raised in Humble, Texas, Meece was a child prodigy touring as a concert pianist by the time he was 10 years old. He remembered the day his father drove the family car through the wall into his bedroom, pointed a gun in David’s face and said he was going to kill the whole family, starting with him. Before he could pull the trigger, the police entered David’s room and pulled his father away. But, for years to come, Meece would recall his father’s last words to him, “You’re worthless.”

  142. @ LawProf:

    “That said, there’s not a principle in there that isn’t cosmically true and universally applicable when honestly unpacked.”
    +++++++++++++

    I suppose I don’t disagree. “honestly unpacked”… such divergence of opinion on that one, though.

  143. dee wrote:

    He believe sthat the best way to accomplish the same thing is to have an outside, not for profit group, with no assets, to set up and run the database. I know that this is being explored.

    Just curious, can anyone consider a social hack-a-thon project to initiate the database construction, (most databases of this kind could be developed fairly quickly, mostly from existing code, and due to this being a rather limited thing to keep track of – demographic info is pretty well tracked by many companies anyway), and then have a rotation underway among different universities and/or companies?

    Example social hack a thon:
    http://masherydev.tumblr.com/post/75532917728/hacking-for-humanity-the-hp-cloud-social-good

    Sometimes, it feels extremely good to be horribly wrong. About a hundred folks came to the hackathon, full of ideas, energy and passion! Projects had to be pitched and voted on by mentors and fellow attendees in order to proceed. 31 ideas were presented, and if time permitted, there would have been gobs more. Voting narrowed the pool down to 15 projects, at which time attendees gravitated toward the ideas that caught their fancy, teams organically formed, and then hacking began.

    The hardware hackers from Team Foodjoy, assembling sensors for their intelligent food donation bin.

    HP Cloud was the main sponsor of the event. In addition to providing free cloud services (hosting, storage, and everything else you can prop up on OpenStack), HP (along with Intel) also propped up some very nice prizes – cash, laptops, and more. However, I spoke with several folks about their projects and what motivated them to come to the event, and the consensus was that the prizes, though generous, were completely secondary to getting the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that were either on their back-burners, or were directly related to parallel projects already in pursuit.

  144. Marie2 wrote:

    and then have a rotation underway among different universities and/or companies?

    Rotation underway for maintenance, updates, etc….after the initial design…DUH

  145. elastigirl wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    “That said, there’s not a principle in there that isn’t cosmically true and universally applicable when honestly unpacked.”
    +++++++++++++
    I suppose I don’t disagree. “honestly unpacked”… such divergence of opinion on that one, though.

    Sure, sure, devil’s in the details. I think that some things can only be understood in light of the cultural milieu. I know Paul takes some knocks, but you have to realize in his culture, where women were essentially chattel, possessions without rights or voices, for him to say things like a man’s body is not his own, but his wive’s, to say so many things that not only implied but demanded equivalence, he was something of a radical feminist, at least in that time and that place.

  146. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I knew a junior pastor years ago who often used to talk about how much he loved people, and how it was all about people. But faced with almost any actual person in the church, he despised them.

    Not to beat this idea into the ground, but I do remember being next to a very respected woman in the church – her husband was an elder, she was best friends with the pastor’s wife, blah blah blah – praying loudly in a small group prayer session “Lord give me compassion and love for the entire world” after the prayer session I walked up to her and asked her for some compassion and love now about some issues I was dealing with. (Yes I am a complex and naive person. Deal with it.) She just walked away, totally confused at the thought of dealing with an individual in serious emotional pain. Bwahahahahaha.

  147. @ Marie2
    :

    Aigh!! I tried to hit a follow up reply to this lengthy post, but the follow up got into moderation!!! I need to learn to post “Au Nick B”, in the style of “THE masculine Nick B”, and break things up.

    Anyway at some point I hope to create a list of extremely artistic people, who have really blessed the word with incredible talent, but who have had totally abusive childhoods….Not to say that every person raised in trauma should be groomed for super stardom, but it would be nice to have a movement started to help people see their potential to help the church, not just become perpetual black holes of need.

  148. Here’s a wee thought. (On the subject of the faulty theology that tolerates and/or spawns abuse.)

    A few years ago, Lesley and I resigned membership of a congregation here in the Forth Valley. It was a case of live-and-let-live; there were practical and theological differences and we didn’t feel it was our place to change the congregation. Just the other day, though, we were in a conversation with a couple from that congregation. The husband observed to Lesley: The way you were treated was wrong. He was right in a sense, though the behaviour whereof he spake was simple discourtesy and not abuse in the sense that TWW understands the word. But interestingly, as soon as he said it, his wife weighed in with: But that’s all in the past. We don’t want to go into that now; it’s in the past.

    I mention this wee episode because it’s the first time we’ve witnessed on a very minor scale what we’ve also witnessed on a grossly serious scale: namely, a call for reconciliation devoid of any repentance. And it occurred to me whilst laying concrete this morning that, as a church, we just don’t have a proper appreciation for sins against people. Sins against hierarchy, “leadership”, titles and offices (like Pastormark or Pastorsteven), and at best even sins against God (like homosexuality and “doctrinal error”, whatever we conceive that to be): those we understand and want to speak out against and put right.

    But a sin committed against a person with a name and a face: that doesn’t matter. The person just needs to move on and forget about it. Otherwise (s)he’s just a whiner, bleating about oh, woe is me, somebody done me wrong and I’m such a hurt baby. We can’t be bothered listening to that, much less putting it right.

  149. Marie2 wrote:

    I need to learn to post “Au Nick B”, in the style of “THE masculine Nick B”, and break things up.

    You’re all very kind, but my posts are still just about the windiest on TWW!

  150. Taylor Joy wrote:

    @ Jeannette Altes:
    Hi, fellow survivor! (Waving to Jeanette, giving her a hug)

    Waving to the both of you….I enjoy your posts, and I believe you both have an incredible way with words. (Suck up alert). Anyway, just wanted to keep with my theme that the world can be a much better place when people who have been through extreme conditions, especially in childhood, can find healing, and become “wounded healers” themselves. I have definitely felt healing from reading what you too share. I think I was raised with an NPD sibling, and a father who is either Asberger’s, NPD, BPD, or just selfishly nuts. Kinda has an impact on ya, so to speak.

    Ok Elastigirl, thank you for letting me borrow your machine gun for a bit. I’m (big exhale inserted for effect) handing it back to you.

    Gotta run….

  151. LawProf wrote:

    I think that some things can only be understood in light of the cultural milieu.

    The “new perspective on Paul” people, and for me that is almost exclusively N T Wright, have radically changed my attitude not only toward Paul as a person but also toward a lot of the stuff he said.

  152. Marie2 wrote:

    Not to say that every person raised in trauma should be groomed for super stardom, but it would be nice to have a movement started to help people see their potential to help the church, not just become perpetual black holes of need.

    You know, that’s a really important point. Jesus claimed that my food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work, and having significance and purpose (as distinct from having abstract value as a precious precious precious little babychild) is one of the best psychological medicines there is.

    I sometimes wonder whether, here in Blighty at least, our emphasis on “healing all the hurting and broken people” stems more from our desire to be nurturers and healers than from God’s desire for their greatest good. Certainly, I’ve come across people who are always experiencing healing but somehow are never actually whole.

  153. Nancy wrote:

    @ Marie2:
    I recommend “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Awesome!!! Looks super cool! I need to catch up with his other books, too, lol.
    Like Outliers.

    http://www.amazon.com/David-Goliath-Underdogs-Misfits-Battling/dp/0316204366

    In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

    Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland’s Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

    In the tradition of Gladwell’s previous bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw—David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

  154. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I sometimes wonder whether, here in Blighty at least, our emphasis on “healing all the hurting and broken people” stems more from our desire to be nurturers and healers than from God’s desire for their greatest good.

    Shouldn’t that be “our desire to be Nannies”?

    Because Nanny Knows Best, Nanny is Important, and if Nanny’s charges ever learn to stand on their own two feet and wipe their arse themselves, Nanny won’t Be Important Any More.

  155. Mara wrote:

    What if the story of Moses and Pharaoh and the plagues and “God hardening Pharaoh’s heart” and all that is really the story concerning deliverance and redemption dealing with a sociopath?
    People get all bent out of shape about “God hardening” his heart and the Prophets talking about vessels made for judgment.
    What if that is just OT language for what we are dealing with now?

    Interesting angle. Worth looking into. For a different perspective if nothing else.

  156. LawProf wrote:

    Jeannette Altes wrote:
    …a look of triumph….unless you have experienced that look, there aren’t words to convey the malice in it. Hmm…
    Yep, from both Pastor E and Pastor R. The Malevolent Grin of Victory.

    The “I. WIN. YOU. LOSE.” Gloat. The sneering grin of Utter Triumph. Very familiar with it from my brother while growing up. And he could turn it on and off like a light switch depending on whether Mom or Dad was watching him. Soon as they looked away — CLICK ON! When they even glanced back — CLICK OFF! CLICK ON! CLICK OFF!

  157. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I’ve come up with the word “Nannymummies”. (It helps to remember that “mommy” isn’t actually a word; the correct english is “mummy”.) Said with feeling, it carries just the right derogatoriness.

    Incidentally, “derogatoriness” isn’t really a word, but it should be.

  158. In other news: our Mac just crashed. I mean, it’s 8 years old, but even so – a Mac? Complete with UNIX-derived operating system? You expect a PC to crash, obviously – windows has always been a sheep of height – but a Mac?

    I think I need to go and oven-bake a sea-bass…

  159. Marsha wrote:

    zooey111

    I actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything. They believe that everything they do, however despicable, is OK because its what THEY want, you see.
    They see Jesus as the (I’m sorry to say this, but it is, I believe, true)
    the ultimate sucker, as opposed to the only Saviour. They know that the rest of us feel differently, that we have rules, even laws, but they simply DON”T CARE.
    Sociopathy is (IMO) what Scripture is referring to when it describes a “sin unto death”, what theologians call “the unforgiveable sin”. There “remains no sacrifice for sin” in the words of Scripture.
    I may be wrong; I hope that there is hope for everyone regardless. But I really think that some folks will, on Judgment Day, say, “But I don’t WANT to be sorry; I WANT to have my own way”. That is why, you see, the prostitutes & the thieves & the “ungodly” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven while the pharisees sulk outside.

    But its only an opinion.

    Ted Bundy once explained that it is good to be born without empathy if one is going to kill people for pleasure. He said, “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”

    Yes!! This is precisely what I mean.
    Now, I would like to believe that even such a person will at some point, be given the gift of repentence…..but those who refuse to receive this gift? Must not there be a point at which they are allowed even this dreadful choice??

  160. Mara wrote:

    Marsha wrote:

    I actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything.

    Not to get into deep philosophical discussion here, especially since I have to head out the door in five, but…

    What if the story of Moses and Pharaoh and the plagues and “God hardening Pharaoh’s heart” and all that is really the story concerning deliverance and redemption dealing with a sociopath?

    People get all bent out of shape about “God hardening” his heart and the Prophets talking about vessels made for judgment.
    What if that is just OT language for what we are dealing with now?

    Just bouncing this off you all.

    No, that’s a good thought. I believe that much of what we now call psychology is, in fact, our human way of expressing what Scripture says in theological terms.

  161. elastigirl wrote:

    @ zooey111:

    ” actually am on record (on many sites, tho perhaps not this one) as believing that sociopaths are not saved because a sociopath has no capacity to repent of anything.”
    ++++++++++++++

    but what if they have no capacity to do otherwise? because of how the disorder has distorted things? surely there is some divine understanding about such a condition.

    Oh, I think that there is divine understanding. But the fact is, if I understand my Bible, that on the last day, at the Last Judgement, there will be people who demand to be allowed to be damned rather than to repent. They like that idea better than the idea of forgiveness. And God, His great Heart breaking, will let them have their way.

  162. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve come up with the word “Nannymummies”. (It helps to remember that “mommy” isn’t actually a word; the correct english is “mummy”.) Said with feeling, it carries just the right derogatoriness.

    No, the European/Commonwealth English is “mummy”.

    And one more sentence to the original comment:
    “…if Nanny’s charges ever learn to stand on their own two feet and wipe their arse themselves, Nanny won’t Be Important Any More. NANNY WON’T BE IN CONTROL ANY MORE.”

    Incidentally, “derogatoriness” isn’t really a word, but it should be.

    You’re writing in English. The world champion language for coining new words and variations on established words. Roll with it.

  163. zooey111 wrote:

    And God, His great Heart breaking, will let them have their way.

    Paints God more like Princess Celestia heartbroken watching some of her little ponies destroy themselves than God as The Biggest Sociopath of All with The Biggest Boot of All.

  164. @ zooey111:

    That’s a very tricky issue: how will God, on the Last Day, deal with people who have some sort of organic or behavioral defect that limits their ability to “repent?” Incidentally, I think this category would include not only BPD, NPD, and sociopaths, but also many individuals on the upper end of the autism spectrum.

    I wish I had a definitive answer, but I don’t. I do know, however, that it is important to avoid stereotypes and movie cliches and remember that many people who struggle with these conditions are not monsters. It is possible to be a sociopath, for example, and still desire and work towards fellowship with others. (It’s just very difficult and it takes a lot of work!) There are also many autistic individuals who do not understand certain emotions or appropriate social behavior, or even moral and ethical distinctions, and yet want to be in healthy relationships with their fellow human beings.

    My thinking is that, when it comes to salvation, God holds us accountable for our faith and trust in him, not our own abilities (to do anything, including empathizing or repenting). Thus, I think it is quite possible for a sociopath, for example, to approach God and say something like, “Lord, I hear what you require, and I am broken and I cannot do it. In my worst moments, I don’t even want to do it. And yet I want to want to do it. Please forgive me.”

  165. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I sometimes wonder whether, here in Blighty at least, our emphasis on “healing all the hurting and broken people” stems more from our desire to be nurturers and healers than from God’s desire for their greatest good.

    I have, for the past several years, learned quite a bit about the difference between being “nice” to someone and actually loving them. Important distinction. I suppose something along the lines of C.S. Lewis’ famous description of Aslan.

    Certainly, I’ve come across people who are always experiencing healing but somehow are never actually whole.

    Just curious…what do you mean by this?

  166. Mr.H wrote:

    @ zooey111:

    That’s a very tricky issue: how will God, on the Last Day, deal with people who have some sort of organic or behavioral defect that limits their ability to “repent?” Incidentally, I think this category would include not only BPD, NPD, and sociopaths, but also many individuals on the upper end of the autism spectrum.

    I wish I had a definitive answer, but I don’t. I do know, however, that it is important to avoid stereotypes and movie cliches and remember that many people who struggle with these conditions are not monsters. It is possible to be a sociopath, for example, and still desire and work towards fellowship with others. (It’s just very difficult and it takes a lot of work!) There are also many autistic individuals who do not understand certain emotions or appropriate social behavior, or even moral and ethical distinctions, and yet want to be in healthy relationships with their fellow human beings.

    My thinking is that, when it comes to salvation, God holds us accountable for our faith and trust in him, not our own abilities (to do anything, including empathizing or repenting). Thus, I think it is quite possible for a sociopath, for example, to approach God and say something like, “Lord, I hear what you require, and I am broken and I cannot do it. In my worst moments, I don’t even want to do it. And yet I want to want to do it. Please forgive me.”

    I think that my ideas on this subject had their beginnings in an incident that occurred in my own community–& in my faith community:
    A woman who had been in attendance for some years became obsessed with the sins of another person in our midst, & demanded that he not be allowed to attend the same church with her. A group of us stood up & said that “we are sinners too, & since we’ve been here longer, we feel that if anyone is to be denied the fellowship of this church, that we should be put out first”.
    She shrieked, “You’ve SINNED?? And I’ve been sitting in the same pews with you all this time? You make me want to vomit, just thinking about the idea!! I came here wanting to be away from sinners, not to associate with more of you!! Why, I’ve never sinned a single time in my whole life!! What is WRONG with you people?? Why can’t you be like ME???” And proceeded to stalk out, clearly feeling soiled by our presence…..
    She had such obvious pride in her [entirely imagined, of course] “sinlessness” that she refused to see the mote in her eye…a mote of self-righteousness. And then, thinking on the subject of murderers, child molesters, rapists, etc, etc, & their refusal to stop what they are doing simply because they WANT to do it, I began to believe that there is a greater resemblance between the self-righteous pharisee & the serial killer than I had ever realized.
    So began my thinking on this…..
    I know that any sin can be forgiven. Any sinner can be forgiven. BUT this requires the recognition of sin, & sorrow over it. And there are folks who do not sorrow because they enjoy their sins; there are also those who do not repent becaue they refuse to admit that they are, in fact, like all the rest of us. It from amongst these folks, you see, that there appear persons who prefer their own deluded thinking to repentance. And since God is not, I believe, so rude as to drag people, kicking & screaming, into Heaven against their wills……They will, by choice, remain outside.
    They are not cast into outer darkness; they like outer darkness & they choose it.

  167. Janet Mefferd is reading the WW ad verbatim this hour, and thanking WW for going to this length to support truth and integrity.

  168. zooey111 wrote:

    Mr.H wrote:

    @ zooey111:

    That’s a very tricky issue: how will God, on the Last Day, deal with people who have some sort of organic or behavioral defect that limits their ability to “repent?” Incidentally, I think this category would include not only BPD, NPD, and sociopaths, but also many individuals on the upper end of the autism spectrum.

    I wish I had a definitive answer, but I don’t. I do know, however, that it is important to avoid stereotypes and movie cliches and remember that many people who struggle with these conditions are not monsters. It is possible to be a sociopath, for example, and still desire and work towards fellowship with others. (It’s just very difficult and it takes a lot of work!) There are also many autistic individuals who do not understand certain emotions or appropriate social behavior, or even moral and ethical distinctions, and yet want to be in healthy relationships with their fellow human beings.

    My thinking is that, when it comes to salvation, God holds us accountable for our faith and trust in him, not our own abilities (to do anything, including empathizing or repenting). Thus, I think it is quite possible for a sociopath, for example, to approach God and say something like, “Lord, I hear what you require, and I am broken and I cannot do it. In my worst moments, I don’t even want to do it. And yet I want to want to do it. Please forgive me.”

    I think that my ideas on this subject had their beginnings in an incident that occurred in my own community–& in my faith community:
    A woman who had been in attendance for some years became obsessed with the sins of another person in our midst, & demanded that he not be allowed to attend the same church with her. A group of us stood up & said that “we are sinners too, & since we’ve been here longer, we feel that if anyone is to be denied the fellowship of this church, that we should be put out first”.
    She shrieked, “You’ve SINNED?? And I’ve been sitting in the same pews with you all this time? You make me want to vomit, just thinking about the idea!! I came here wanting to be away from sinners, not to associate with more of you!! Why, I’ve never sinned a single time in my whole life!! What is WRONG with you people?? Why can’t you be like ME???” And proceeded to stalk out, clearly feeling soiled by our presence…..
    She had such obvious pride in her [entirely imagined, of course] “sinlessness” that she refused to see the mote in her eye…a mote of self-righteousness. And then, thinking on the subject of murderers, child molesters, rapists, etc, etc, & their refusal to stop what they are doing simply because they WANT to do it, I began to believe that there is a greater resemblance between the self-righteous pharisee & the serial killer than I had ever realized.
    So began my thinking on this…..
    I know that any sin can be forgiven. Any sinner can be forgiven. BUT this requires the recognition of sin, & sorrow over it. And there are folks who do not sorrow because they enjoy their sins; there are also those who do not repent becaue they refuse to admit that they are, in fact, like all the rest of us. It from amongst these folks, you see, that there appear persons who prefer their own deluded thinking to repentance. And since God is not, I believe, so rude as to drag people, kicking & screaming, into Heaven against their wills……They will, by choice, remain outside.
    They are not cast into outer darkness; they like outer darkness & they choose it.

    Don’t know that they like the outer darkness, but they sure do hate the light, and in the end, it’s all the same.

  169. Bridget wrote:

    Must be all that “in other news . . . ” You’ve worn it out

    Could be… although you’d have thought a Mac would like being on the cutting edge of New.

    On the plus side, the sea bass was OK and the white wine sauce / petit pois combination really worked.

    [burp]

  170. Mr.H wrote:

    Who is Princess Celestia???

    Ruler and god-figure of the setting of the current reboot of My Little Pony.

    Can’t get to a picture link from where I’m posting this, or I’d include one.

  171. Mr.H wrote:

    Just curious…what do you mean by [people who are always experiencing healing but somehow are never actually whole]?

    I could have phrased that better. I mean people who are always going forward for prayer and/or having significant “spiritual experiences” as a result, but then, six months later, are still going forward for prayer and still needing spiritual experiences. They remain timid, childlike and dependent.

  172. LawProf wrote:

    Don’t know that they like the outer darkness, but they sure do hate the light, and in the end, it’s all the same.

    Remember the Doctor from Hellraiser II?

    Dragged into the Hell of the Labyrinth by the Cenobites and forcibly vivisected into a Cenobite himself?

    “And to think… I Hesitated…”

    That said it all. He ENJOYS being in Hell. He has made himself so twisted that Hell is the only place he can truly feel at home. “MY Will Be Done!”

  173. LawProf wrote:

    Don’t know that they like the outer darkness, but they sure do hate the light, and in the end, it’s all the same.

    Not saying there is an analogy, but this reminds me of something.

    Years ago, I remember watching an interview with the late Margaret Thatcher. She was eulogising free-market capitalism: If people don’t want to buy the things you’re making? Well, you don’t make those things any more – you make something else!

    Not many years after that (only weeks after telling the world that, as Prime Minister, “We shall go on, and on, and on!”) she was kicked unceremoniously out of office as the parliamentary Conservative Party realised that she had become an electoral liability. The thing about free-voting democracy: if people don’t want to buy the policies you’re pursuing? Well, you don’t pursue those policies any more, do you? You pursue other ones.

    There’s a picture of the final moments as Thatcher was driven away from Number 10 that has something approaching iconic status in UK politics. She was unmistakably shedding a tear. I cannot help but wonder whether, at that moment, she realised that the free market she loved so much had a downside.

  174. @ LawProf:

    The point being, for the sake of conversation, that there are consequences. Some folks think there are no consequences. As long as we talk about what the consequences might be, and whom they might effect, and what folks experiencing consequences might feel about it, we are still on the side of the theological debate which says that there are consequences.

    Lots of folks are on the other side of the question.

  175. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    LawProf wrote:

    Don’t know that they like the outer darkness, but they sure do hate the light, and in the end, it’s all the same.

    Not saying there is an analogy, but this reminds me of something.

    Years ago, I remember watching an interview with the late Margaret Thatcher. She was eulogising free-market capitalism: If people don’t want to buy the things you’re making? Well, you don’t make those things any more – you make something else!

    Not many years after that (only weeks after telling the world that, as Prime Minister, “We shall go on, and on, and on!”) she was kicked unceremoniously out of office as the parliamentary Conservative Party realised that she had become an electoral liability. The thing about free-voting democracy: if people don’t want to buy the policies you’re pursuing? Well, you don’t pursue those policies any more, do you? You pursue other ones.

    There’s a picture of the final moments as Thatcher was driven away from Number 10 that has something approaching iconic status in UK politics. She was unmistakably shedding a tear. I cannot help but wonder whether, at that moment, she realised that the free market she loved so much had a downside.

    Called market failure, have taught on it (once worried my way through teaching a uni course “Survey of Economics”. I am not an economist, but I pretended to be one a few hours a week for a term).

  176. Nancy wrote:

    @ LawProf:

    The point being, for the sake of conversation, that there are consequences. Some folks think there are no consequences. As long as we talk about what the consequences might be, and whom they might effect, and what folks experiencing consequences might feel about it, we are still on the side of the theological debate which says that there are consequences.

    Lots of folks are on the other side of the question.

    I’m with you, I just don’t want to be the one who bears those consequences, but by great fortune and greater design, that was accomplished about 80 generations ago in a dusty outstation of the Roman Empire.

  177. I am getting tired of saying I am not approving comments for one inidvidual who keeps returning under a variety of names, emails, etc. Therefore, take this as a blanket statement that I am not approving any comments for the guy with 10,000 names. He is banned for life.

  178. The SBC is like a rotten building. One only needs to kick in the door and the whole thing would collapse on itself.

  179. On one more note: we have another recurring customer who has a unique habit of starting off quite nicely and descending rapidly. So, since he is accusing me of “scrubbing” whatever, his two comments are not approved. I do not “scrub” anything unless I say I scrub it which I do. This comment is proof positive. This indiviudal’s comments are in permanent moderation.

  180. @ Bill:
    Bill:

    IMO it is rotten to the core. Most of the folks leading it do not care about the “people” at all. It they can not control it they can’t stand it and thank God there are some people who will not let you control them.

  181. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Mr.H wrote:
    Just curious…what do you mean by [people who are always experiencing healing but somehow are never actually whole]?
    I could have phrased that better. I mean people who are always going forward for prayer and/or having significant “spiritual experiences” as a result, but then, six months later, are still going forward for prayer and still needing spiritual experiences. They remain timid, childlike and dependent.

    Understood. I got the basic idea, but just wanted to confirm. I have seen and experienced a similar dynamic. To use a very extreme example, our old A29 pastor used to create lots of interpersonal disasters through his lack of communication skills and insight. Every time he was confronted, he said he was sorry and he “repented.” But he never sought help to change (even though I encouraged him to seek legitimate counseling/therapy), and so kept making the same mistakes over and over, then repenting, etc. Wash, rinse, repeat. The question for my wife and I finally became: is tolerating this cycle loving, or simply being “nice?”

  182. zooey111 wrote:

    I know that any sin can be forgiven. Any sinner can be forgiven. BUT this requires the recognition of sin, & sorrow over it. And there are folks who do not sorrow because they enjoy their sins; there are also those who do not repent becaue they refuse to admit that they are, in fact, like all the rest of us. It from amongst these folks, you see, that there appear persons who prefer their own deluded thinking to repentance.

    I think we are largely in agreement. I was just trying to make the point that mental disorder & mental illness throw a difficult wrinkle into what would otherwise be a more straightforward discussion of soteriology. I think we have to be careful in how we conceptualize those whose minds do not work the way ours do. Consider a psychotic woman, for example, who murders her innocent neighbor because she truly believes that this neighbor is a ravenous werewolf out to eat her. This murder is a grievous sin, to be sure, but it seems to me that the question of if/how she might repent is very different than a person who murdered their neighbor with no such organic neurological defect.

    Regarding someone with BPD or NPD – I don’t think I am able to go so far as to say that, because of some mental illness (whether organic or behavioral), they are beyond the reach of God’s mercy and grace through his Son. That’s a slippery slope that would force us to reconsider the salvation of any person who may not have the full capacity to comprehend their sins and repent of them (including small children, mentally challenged individuals, etc.).

    I am not defending or excusing the actions of BPDs and NPDs. I am merely saying that their inability to empathize shouldn’t cause us to refuse to use ours.

  183. dee wrote:

    I am not approving any comments for the guy with 10,000 names. He is banned for life.

    I’ve got a better idea… is there a WordPress plugin out there that would shunt all his comments onto a special “Shed Larringer” page so we can all ‘ave a larf? It could go next to the recipes page.

    This is an adaptation of my previous suggestion, namely a “troll zoo” page. The only downside of which is that the troll-droppings would show up on Google in connection with TWW.

  184. dee wrote:

    On one more note: we have another recurring customer who has a unique habit of starting off quite nicely and descending rapidly.

    So, he’s into BASE-jumping?

  185. nmgirl wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    Law prof, I am really interested to read your insights on the Phillips case. I am worried that the complaint is asking the court to rule on patriarchy as much as assault and abuse.

    I read a good portion of the complaint (not the time to read all). I have some ideas on it, not inclined to comment too much on another attorney’s work on a case newly-served on a public forum. But I’d be glad to email you if there’s a way of that being arranged by dee or others who run this forum. I’ll say in passing though that it’s an unusual piece of work, not that that’s all bad.

  186. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    In other news: our Mac just crashed. I mean, it’s 8 years old, but even so – a Mac? Complete with UNIX-derived operating system? You expect a PC to crash, obviously – windows has always been a sheep of height – but a Mac?

    Even though the UNIX OS is built with a foundation sunk into granite so to speak, it will crash if the tsunami is big enough. Still though, it’s parsecs ahead of the quagmire that is Microsoft Windows.

  187. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Hi, fellow survivor! (Waving to Jeanette, giving her a hug)

    Thank you (hugging back).

    @ LawProf:
    Yes. There is a cold calculating to their methods that is chilling. However, when crossed they can also be prone (in private) to bouts of unbelievable rage. Both are chilling. It’s interesting – according to the psych studies I’ve read (not up to looking them up, sorry), NPD stands alone among the personality disorders as being the only one that is chosen rather than the result of a chemical deficiency. In other words, at some point (usually in early adolescence, but it can be earlier or later), a person chooses to be self focused, to be unempathetic, to be cold and calculating and focused solely on their own gratification, whatever form that may take. With my parent, the choice was to be the most religiously knowledgeable person in existence. She presents as being extremely spiritual and devout. In my childhood, she was the ‘voice of God’ to me. That dynamic is what made me easy prey for religious cultic leaders. It has taken a lot of work (still deep in it, in fact) untangling the narcissistic religious control from who God really is). Both of her surviving siblings have disowned her and are avowed atheists. Religious narcissists are doing great harm within the body of believers.
    As to the ‘lightning strike from above,’ that is a tough one. I wrestle with it all the time. My parent claims salvation. Until recent years, I would never have questioned it. But until recent years, I had no knowledge of the depth of her lies and web-weaving over the years – lying to us about each other to triangulate and build mistrust of each other, preventing the dangerous ‘comparing of notes.’ I hope she is saved, but I waver constantly on that point. She is in God’s hands.

    @ Marie2:
    Thanks. :)

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    You know, that’s a really important point. Jesus claimed that my food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work, and having significance and purpose (as distinct from having abstract value as a precious precious precious little babychild) is one of the best psychological medicines there is.

    Hmm…this is important. Those raised by abusers are often taught that they have no purpose, no redeeming value. Of course, for some (like me :) ), the ‘abstract’ concept of having value as a ‘precious babychild’ is foreign. It has taken a long time ( and is still a work in progress) to believe that I have any value to anyone outside of what they can get me to do for them. Major recipe for people-pleasing. Sigh. I suppose that was the point of the one who instilled the concept in the first place – your only value is in what you do to make me happy. Ugh.

    You know, I think this attitude is another sign of narcissists in the pulpit. The only value the people in the pews have for these ‘leaders’ is what those ‘leaders’ can get out of them and how good they can make the ‘leader’ look to the outside world or the church circus/circuit world. This is narcissism.

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The “I. WIN. YOU. LOSE.” Gloat. The sneering grin of Utter Triumph. Very familiar with it from my brother while growing up. And he could turn it on and off like a light switch depending on whether Mom or Dad was watching him. Soon as they looked away — CLICK ON! When they even glanced back — CLICK OFF! CLICK ON! CLICK OFF!

    Yes. This ability to turn it on and off depending on the audience is confusing to a child, chilling to an adult. Hmm…the best way I know how to describe it when I have caught glimpses of it in the faces of – for example, my ex-=pastor’s wife – it is like a fleeting thing that lies under the surface and rippled to the top for a fraction of a second and was gone. It is creepy.

    In my experience, the only sane way to deal with a narcissist on personal level is to walk away and never look back. On a larger level, i.e., the church world, it gets trickier, but if you want to see a narcissist show their true colors, cut of their narcissistic supply – deprive them of the supply of people they emotionally feed off if. I have heard them described as emotional vampires. It is a fair description. There were times, when I lived alone with my parent, I would come home and there would be a darkness – a blackness – filling the house. It was like an emotional vacuum and the only thing I could do was turn around and get out and hope it would have lifted when I came back.

    Hmm… another thing to think about when dealing with narcissists…they have a pathological need to ALWAYS be R I G H T. They will go to great length to prove their superiority, including (I have experienced this) stalking people simply to be able, at an opportune time, tell them what they were doing where with whom just for the sake of causing confusion and fear. And it works. When you are out with a friend and end up at a house you’ve never been to before with someone you only just met (so no way to have discussed it before) and you get a call on this person’s phone from your parent asking what you are up to…..it will freak you out.

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    In other news: our Mac just crashed. I mean, it’s 8 years old, but even so – a Mac? Complete with UNIX-derived operating system? You expect a PC to crash, obviously – windows has always been a sheep of height – but a Mac?
    I think I need to go and oven-bake a sea-bass…

    My condolences on your loss. I used to have a Mac….but it proved no less reliable than my current PC….. :( But I miss it, none-the-less.

    Mr.H wrote:

    The question for my wife and I finally became: is tolerating this cycle loving, or simply being “nice?”

    Outside the church sub-culture, it is called enabling….. :/

  188. @ Jeannette Altes:
    SUCK UP ALERT, again…

    Ty so much for typing all of that out. I hope that this thread can continue for at least one more day….

    Really hoping that there can be a “how to” thread for removing ALL sources of blood, I mean suck-er-up-ers, from the narcissistic pastors….I am sure that most of them (CJ Mahaney comes to mind) are incapable of changing.

    But what if the “little people” who make everything work behind the scenes suddenly disappeared, so there was no audience? Wouldn’t it be nice if a 3 step plan could be developed to make that happen? Just wondering out loud.

  189. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    On a larger level, i.e., the church world, it gets trickier, but if you want to see a narcissist show their true colors, cut of their narcissistic supply – deprive them of the supply of people they emotionally feed off if.

    AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN.

    Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to……for further info on how to do it…

  190. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    JeffB wrote:
    Although this might be obvious, and others have mentioned it, I think way too many pastors simply don’t like people, let alone love them.
    I agree with @ Marie2 (though not on the Burt Bacharach thing…): this is a really good point.

    This is what I had in mind – that we all need love, not just for some, but for EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!! No matter how proud, or emotionally needed, or whatever.

    “What the world needs now is love, sweet love
    No not just for some but for everyone”

    The song might be too treacly super sweet for most, but I think the theology is right that there should not be a love pecking order out there.

    Do I execute this perfectly? I admit I don’t but I think it is a good ideal to be reminded of. The Austin Powers movie came on with that scene of Burt playing the piano on top of a bus, and I thought it was a cool reminder…..

  191. @ Daisy:

    That is some good news Daisy! Here’s some lyrics from Bob Dylan that are indeed apropos:

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  192. Muff Potter wrote:

    That is some good news Daisy! Here’s some lyrics from Bob Dylan that are indeed apropos:

    :lol: I’m glad you liked that news story, but I was confused at first. I at first thought you were commenting on the story I posted about the dog who accidentally called the police! It took me a minute to figure out you meant the story I did right above that, about the Baptist church who hired their first woman preacher.

    You’re right, that is good news. :)

  193. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I think I need to go and oven-bake a sea-bass…

    Yes, this will certainly help you feel better ;-)

    That, and installing Linux.
    SCNR – we Linux-users are such a small persecuted minority, almost as persecuted as American christians.

  194. Gus wrote:

    SCNR – we Linux-users are such a small persecuted minority, almost as persecuted as American christians.

    Haha! Awesome!!!

  195.    __

      The Pedophile-Pronged Fish Symbol ® is inspired by the SGM Christian values that uphold their great tradition. 

      This emblem is a symbolic reminder of the great sacrifice everyone has made to save C.J. Mahaney’s big behind, and of the personal sacrifices made by all the brave members and friends who have kept SGM full of religious tyranny and oppression.

    Get yours today!

  196. Gus wrote:

    SCNR – we Linux-users are such a small persecuted minority, almost as persecuted as American christians.

    At least the rest of the population KNOWS there are Christians. I’m pleased to know there is more than one linux user following TWW.

  197. Sopwith wrote:

    The Pedophile-Pronged Fish Symbol ® is inspired by the SGM Christian values that uphold their great tradition.

    Did I miss the picture of this?
    Is there a visual?

  198. dee wrote:

    Is Linux that kid with the blanket in the Peanuts cartoons?

    Thanks for helping me make my point. Linus is the kid with the blanket. Linux is the current incarnation of the 40+ year old UNIX variety of computer software that I have been using for almost that long. :)

  199. I think you’ll find Linus is my male Patterdale terrier, freshly shorn of his curls for summer (aka StreamLinus) who is asleep on the sofa behind me as I write my essay.

  200. oldJohnJ wrote:

    Linux is the current incarnation of the 40+ year old UNIX variety of computer software that I have been using for almost that long.

    Wow. Have only been using Linux as my main OS (at home, that is, not at work) since 2003 or 2004.

    Tried it out a few times before that (ca 2000), but I always found I could not stand the quality of on-screen fonts. By 2003, everything needed to make me a happy user had come together.

    Some of my friends tease me that using Linux is sectarian – maybe that’s why I lurk around and post here on TWW. ;-)