Dave Ramsey and Russell Moore – Trying to Silence the Lambs?

“The outrage culture of today, whether broadcast across the airwaves or clicked about on social media, can make us feel better for a moment, but it cannot yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”   

Russell Moore

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In the five years since we launched The Wartburg Watch, we have seen the internet explode with information.  Websites, blogs, and social media have taken the world by storm, and there’s no turning back. 

It appears that some, particularly authoritarian Christian leaders, are struggling with this ‘brave new world’.  A case in point is financial guru Dave Ramsey, who has built an empire by doling out financial advice.  Years ago when I was operating ‘mom’s taxi service’, I often listened to Dave providing financial advice to his callers as I drove my daughters home from school.  I greatly appreciated his mantra that everyone should ‘get out of debt’.

Ramsey, a Christian whose Financial Peace University and other resources have been used by churches and other Christian groups, made headlines this week in an unflattering way.  According to some who have left Lampo Group (Dave’s business), “Dave Ramsey was a bully.”

The Daily Beast just published an article that highlights what appear to be poor management skills on the part of Ramsey.  It is entitled Spies, Cash, and Fear: Inside Christian Money Guru Dave Ramsey's Social Media Witch Hunt.  The article begins with this:

Dave Ramsey makes millions telling you how to keep your financial house in order, but lately his employees claim he’s been having a bit of trouble with his own.

According to interviews with nearly two dozen current and former employees of his Nashville-based Lampo Group, Ramsey has engaged in what they describe as an increasingly paranoid campaign to identify and silence several critics—mostly former employees—who have appeared on Facebook and Twitter. Bizarre episodes allegedly involving online spying, gag orders, random firings, and offers of large cash bounties for information have created a climate of fear inside the Lampo headquarters, intensifying a discomfort many employees have felt the past several years with Ramsey’s management.

According to Matthew Paul Turner (who broke the news) Ramsey's Nashville-based organization employs more than 400 people.  The Dave Ramsey Show attracts an audience of around eight million listeners.  Not only that, around 400 publications feature his "Dave Says" column, and over two million families have been involved in his Financial Peace University.  These successful marketing ventures have generated an estimated net worth of $55 million. 

How does Dave do it?  Well, one of his 'rules' is described in The Daily Beast article.  Turner explains:

Perhaps his No. 1 leadership mantra is that every business should implement a “no-gossip policy.” While nobody likes gossip, Dave Ramsey hates it with biblical passion. (Gossip is strongly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.) Ramsey says there’s : “Positives can go up anywhere, negatives go up.” On his EntreLeadership podcast, after calling gossip “one of the most evil spirits that Satan ever let loose on this planet,” Ramsey said, “once I will warn you and then I will fire you! I have a zero-tolerance-plus-one policy for gossip. I will teach you once and then I will fire your butt.”

But perhaps most telling is the kind of gossip that Ramsey says is the worst. “The gossip about the person who’s freakin’ paying you!” As the president of The Lampo Group, the only thing Dave Ramsey hates more than gossip is seemingly when the gossip is about Dave Ramsey.

Here is Dave Ramsey (as you have never heard him on the radio) talking about 'gossip' and using some inflammatory language.  One can only imagine what he says to his employees behind closed doors…

According to The Daily Beast article, around 100 former employees of The Lampo Group established a secret Facebook group that was password protected.  Here is how the Facebook account operated, according to Turner:

The secret group, Former Lampo Folks, was started in 2012 by K.C. Jones as a way to reconnect with former coworkers, but had grown into a forum for airing complaints about the work environment at Lampo. From basic managerial processes to the “no-gossip policy” to how they were treated upon leaving, Jones, who left Lampo after four years in 2011, said that “the group became a safe place for people to express themselves freely, which is something we didn’t get to do very often while working at Lampo.”  

Earlier this spring it was discovered that someone shared the Facebook password with Ramsey who had been secretly reading the commentary between members of this private group. 

Twitter accounts were also established by several people which featured parodies regarding Dave Ramsey and his organization.  The article contains details about these Twitter accounts, along with screen shots.  Then on May 12, 2014, the battle between Ramsey and these former employees came to a head.  Turner explains:

According to three current employees, Ramsey chose a handful of the Facebook group’s members, former employees and plastered their pictures, their family members’ pictures, and screenshots of their private conversations on a large screen for all of his 400-plus employees to see. Amid his rant, Ramsey even mentioned that he had contacted the local police department and the FBI.

And even more startling to us was the bombshell that Ramsey once pulled a gun out of a gift bag to teach his employees a lesson about gossip.  How ironic that a Christian man who teaches about 'financial peace' conducts himself in such a shocking manner.

There are more revelations in the article, so please take the time to read the entire piece.

Earlier today I saw a link to this article in my Facebook feed, and Frank McT's comment under that link was spot on!  Frank wrote:

Hmmmmmm…sounds familiar. Thing is, Dave Ramsey is a man of the pre-internet age. He learned his "skills" of control and intimidation In a time before twitter, facebook or email. (pulling a loaded gun in a business meeting?). Unfortunately for him this isn't 1978, or even 1984.

This is 2014.

The INTERNET exists.

What Dave doesn't understand is the Streisand Effect.
He doesn't understand that he literally can not put the genie back in the bottle.
The more he fights it the more it spreads.

How ironic that they day before The Daily Beast article was published, Russell Moore's post Too Scared to Cry:  Social Media Outrage and the Gospel appeared on the Desiring God website.  Moore begins by describing a father's Facebook remark regarding his son which was not appropriate.   He then explains that we must learn to lament instead of showing 'pathetic rage'.  This excerpt from Moore's post is what really caught my attention:

Outrage Off Mission

If mere outrage were a sign of godliness, then the devil would be the godliest soul in the cosmos. He, after all, rages and roars, “because he knows his time is short” (Revelation 12:12). Contrast that with the Lord Jesus who does not “quarrel or cry aloud” (Matthew 12:19).

Why is this so? It’s because the devil has no mission, apart from killing and destroying and accusing and slandering. And it’s because the devil is on the losing side of history.

Life in Christ doesn’t mean we ever shrug off injustice or unrighteousness. But it does mean that we fight these things in a different way. It is easy, after all, simply to denounce, and to congratulate ourselves on the fact that we’re all appropriately offended at all the right things. We can make our voices heard, loudly, on whatever media platform we can find.

The Apostle Peter easily could wield the sword to fight those arresting Jesus, almost as easily as we can post a comment online. But Peter didn’t see how deep the darkness was. It couldn’t be solved by the storm and fury of a kingdom that comes from this world. It could only come from the atoning sacrifice of a kingdom that is not from this world.

Under the subheading Social Media on Mission, Moore explains that anger is sometimes right but that God is slow to anger.  Then he shares James 1:20:  “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”.  Moore concludes his short post with this:

“The outrage culture of today, whether broadcast across the airwaves or clicked about on social media, can make us feel better for a moment, but it cannot yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  That may fit well with the spirit of our age, but it doesn’t come from the Spirit of our God."

Dave Ramsey and Russell Moore, as well as other Christian leaders, have been the lone voices for quite some time.  They have well-established platforms from which to preach their edicts.  

Suddenly, advances in technology have leveled the playing field by giving the little guy or gal a means to be heard.  No longer can the leaders say and do whatever they want while telling the rest of us to forever hold our peace. 

Obviously, we must be careful in how we express our concerns in a public forum, and we strive to do that here at TWW.  As evidenced in yesterday's post – Welcome to the TWW Cantina – we try to remind our commenters to be careful in how they express their views.  

Having said that, there are some serious matters occurring in Christendom that MUST BE DISCUSSED.  We can no longer ignore the elephant in the room, like some leaders and followers seem to be doing.  Dee and I are grateful that we have this forum to share our concerns, and we strive to express ourselves in a godly manner.  Yes, we do get upset about issues such as child sex abuse, clergy misconduct, idol worship, and a range of other hot topics (like the Dave Ramsey debacle), and we will continue to address them in TWW fashion.  We will not be coerced into silence by the growing chorus of Christian leaders who appear to be telling us to refrain from blogging and using social media. 

Reality check:  websites, blogs, and social media are how some of these Calvinistas leaders established their ministries in the first place.  Now it's our turn…

Lydia's Corner:   Ezekiel 44:1-45:12   1 Peter 1:1-12   Psalm 119:17-32   Proverbs 28:8-10

Comments

Dave Ramsey and Russell Moore – Trying to Silence the Lambs? — 274 Comments

  1. If mere outrage were a sign of godliness, then the devil would be the godliest soul in the cosmos. He, after all, rages and roars, “because he knows his time is short” (Revelation 12:12). Contrast that with the Lord Jesus who does not “quarrel or cry aloud” (Matthew 12:19).

    What does he do with Jesus’ reaction to the moneychangers in the temple? Does he even address this? Am I missing something?

    Life in Christ doesn’t mean we ever shrug off injustice or unrighteousness. But it does mean that we fight these things in a different way. … It couldn’t be solved by the storm and fury of a kingdom that comes from this world. It could only come from the atoning sacrifice of a kingdom that is not from this world.

    What’s his solution then? Does this mean prayer, fasting, etc. is the only legitimate recourse when we find out about something that outrages us? He may have a point if all you’re doing is hopping around the internet, discovering the outrage of the day, ranting briefly about it in a comment and then forgetting about it completely by next week. But that’s hardly the entirety of the internet.

    As for James 1:20, how does Moore distinguish between the “anger of man” and righteous anger? And if slow to anger is the standard, how many years of injustices does it take before anger is appropriate? The Morales molestations happened almost 20 years ago. And those aren’t “alleged” anymore.

  2. Scientology tried “shuddering into silence” against its enemies at the dawn of the Internet age. It failed utterly. Xenu was once a closely held secret. Now he’s the butt of TV comedian jokes. All because Scientology decided it was going to smash the ex-members who revealed these secrets and it got the attention of free speech fanatics like myself. Dave Ramsey and Russell Moore, please take note.

  3. As I was saying in a post on Julie Anne’s blog about this, I think Ramsey is making his situation worse.

    If he would ignore the trolls (the parody accounts), stop fuming about them at staff meetings, and stop challenging each and every ridiculing tweet they make about him, a lot of this would die down of its own accord.

    Even if the parody guys keep tweeting, if you (the target of their merrymaking) stops paying close attention to it, you learn in time to stop caring about what they are saying about you. It becomes a non issue.

    I read the Daily Beast article about Ramsey a day or two ago, and he sounds like a bully, a little unhinged, and very thin-skinned and completely humorless.

    (Ramsey has been on the “Life Today” Christian television program this past week, being interviewed, along with a dark haired lady who sat next to him.

    I didn’t pay close attention to the show, so I can’t tell you what the interview was about, but I assume he was probably marketing a new book he’s written.)

  4. @ Hester:

    Moore’s railing against “this world” is just so exhausting on many levels. Russ, we all live in “this world” and the Kingdom is HERE. NOW.

    The “exhortation” to turn one’s attention to “the better place” is just a fancy way of saying, “sheeple, please shut up.”

    As for Dave Ramsey – ugh. I listened to him a bit back in 2010 – 2011 and got tired of his arrogant on-air persona. I’d swipe my credit card and hear his angry, accusatory voice, usually with an acerbic “stupid” thrown in for good measure. Along with his pithy “doing better than I deserve!” response to people inquiring as to how he was – very C.J. Mahaney humblebrag stuff.

    The revelations in TDB article do not surprise me at all. Ramsey strikes me as a control freak and what do you know? His conferences are big with the Christian control freak crowd. Shocker. NOT.

  5. Funny thing about Dave Ramsey’s “financial peace” schtick.

    Personally, it didn’t make me feel any peace, period. It made me feel stressed, guilty, judged, and stupid. Just another voice in the Accuser’s repertoire.

    Was it Matthew Paul Turner who, in a recent piece, stated that the dividing line in both modern religion and politics is not between “conservatives” and “liberals” but rather between the “mean” and the “not mean?”

    Dave Ramsey is mean, period.

  6. Final comment – wow wow wow – calling a staff meeting and pasting people’s private social media convos, and FAMILY PICTURES for all to see?

    CONTACTING PEOPLE’S PASTORS FOR A “RECONCILIATION”?!

    The Ceej must be taking close notes on all this control freakery.

    Chilling stuff. Any TWWers in Nashville who’d like to take a guess as to who these “pastors” were who agreed to attend Ramsey’s paranoid faux “reconciliation” aka interrogation/smack down with his former employees? I think their congregations have the right to know that their “shepherds” are in Dave Ramsey’s pocket.

    I’ve had the distinct unpleasure of working for a couple of doozies who oversaw classic abusive workplaces. If either one of those disturbed individuals ever took it upon themselves to contact my pastor at the time I’d be livid.

  7. A former church we attended had Ramsey’s Financial Peace U as a class. We were in debt, not because of bad spending habits, but due to the economy and a few other things. Some of his ideas were helpful in getting us out of debt, but Ramsey seemed like a know-it-all that was always browbeating and belittling his audience. The rest of our class decided that we would all cut up our credit cards at the end of the course, no exceptions!

    We knew we wouldn’t do that, and a brave soul pointed out some flaws in Ramsey’s schemes. For example, even if you weren’t going to pay with a credit card, you would have an extremely difficult time reserving a hotel room, etc. My wife and I got a kick out of Ramsey’s continual ridiculing of people who fell for paying into something that made people rich off of others’ miseries. Uh, just like Ramsey’s courses.

  8. Dee and Deb,

    Dave Ramsey's also up to his eyeballs in the Mercy Ministries fiasco. He's a major ally of Nancy Alcorn.

  9. OK, it’s a sunny day here in Scotland and I’m off to climb a lot of hills, but a quick trouble-making comment before I go.

    I know hee-haw about Russell Moore (I didn’t even realise that rhymed until after I’d typed it). Maybe he regularly teaches a whole load of stuff I would find deeply troubling. Maybe he deliberately wrote his blog post in the context of the Morales trial and the growing body of testimony from those who have been victimised in nominally bible-believing churches. Maybe he’s best pals with some of the leaders implicated and he’s trying to protect his patch with a side-swipe against the victims. Or maybe D (none of the above). I genuinely don’t know.

    But I read the article of his to which the post linked and, as far as it goes, I didn’t think it was bad. The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God, that’s true, and Moore does make some valid points which it is important to realise. The article is not, of course, a complete treatment of the subject of wrong, anger, justice and forgiveness.

    So I just want to make one point that Moore doesn’t, at least in that article. The smoothing-over, peace-keeping efforts of man don’t produce the righteousness of God either. Moore argues that Christians should not fight injustice the way the world does, and I agree, but he doesn’t explain how he does fight it, which is the missing half of his article. There actually is a big difference between my being outraged at something that happened elsewhere and about which I don’t know any of the facts, and my being outraged at something that happened to me and about which I know at least one side of the story. God himself promises, not to rebuke the cries of the oppressed as being selfish and judgemental, but to hear them.

    The thing about oppression is that it’s generally carried out by powerful, charming or aggressive people against weak, unattractive or passive people. The easiest way to a quiet life is to shut the latter up.

  10. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I know hee-haw about Russell Moore

    Russ Moore is old buddies with Al Mohler, both of whom are in very powerful positions in the southern baptist convention. Both of whom have a history of championing some neo-puritan concepts with which a significant number of people in the SBC disagree. They are both, along with some others, in the top levels of leadership of one faction in the current struggle which had divided baptist from baptist, church from church, and individual from individual.

    Some people think that they can say anything or do anything and nobody should cry out against it just as long as the original statements or actions were done with a smile on the face and clever words. Not saying that Moore or Mohler either one actually think that, but they do seem to have the skills to function in that way. IMO Moore can be the more likable personality, but some of his ideas belie his public niceness.

  11. The Bible teaches us to turn the other cheek when we are hurt and insulted. Now, if those who aspire to lead cannot or will not hold themselves to Christ’s standard, they have lost the right to insist that others treat them in that fashion.

  12. There is another way to look at that post by Moore. He actually holds a job/position in which he would be expected to say something about every possible issue which might come within the expectations of those whose political power within the convention gave him the job/position in the first place. So he has to say something about what goes on in social media, because in fact stuff is going on in social media. Some of it, apparently, is effective. And he has made an extremely mild statement. He has in effect said, “Now, now, kiddies, let’s not carry it too far” without ever actually saying that any and all protest is always wrong. This man is smart, clever and politically savvy. He is also very good with words. He also may be between a rock and a hard place. I cannot believe that he would approve, ever, of sexual abuse of minors, but he has some friends-of-my friends who seem to have ignored it and apparently enabled it to continue by their failure to act effectively in some circumstances. And Moore has a family to feed and a career to maintain and a tightrope to walk.

    Will his mild statement accomplish anything? A little, maybe. Somebody that I know personally who makes a living from adversarial situations (enough said) says that maybe 80% or so of opponents will back off at the first sign of an impending conflict/fight. And then another percentage will “puff up” for a while but back off when it looks like they have to play hard ball. That only leaves a few actual folks who will take it all the way.

    I think we just thank Dr. Moore for noticing, tell him we pray for him and his work, and just keep on keeping on without worrying about this.

  13. Hester wrote:

    As for James 1:20, how does Moore distinguish between the “anger of man” and righteous anger? And if slow to anger is the standard, how many years of injustices does it take before anger is appropriate? The Morales molestations happened almost 20 years ago. And those aren’t “alleged” anymore.

    Excellent points! Russell Moore appears to be cherry picking verses to tell the rest of us what to do. Let's consult the whole counsel of God.

  14. @ Daisy:

    I wouldn't know anything about this if Dave Ramsey had let this just roll off his back.

    Thin skinned Christians are such a poor testimony to a watching world.

  15. In my financial classes, I often get questions about Ramsey’s ideas. My usual answer is that he has some good ideas and some bad ideas. Every now and then I get “But he’s SUCH a GOOD CHRISTIAN. I want to respond “What does that have to do with it?”
    Obviously GOOD CHRISTIAN does not mean he’s a good person.

    As Steve says above, the onesizefitsall advice Ramsey gives is my biggest complaint. Financial Management has to be personalized to the real lives of the people involved.

  16. I am from Texas, and I am pretty 2nd Amendment…..But pulling a gun out of a " gift bag" to make a point …well, there's something bad wrong when someone does that…..

  17. Rafiki wrote:

    Final comment – wow wow wow – calling a staff meeting and pasting people’s private social media convos, and FAMILY PICTURES for all to see?

    Tit for tat… It begs the question What Would Jesus Do?

  18. Eeyore wrote:

    The Bible teaches us to turn the other cheek when we are hurt and insulted. Now, if those who aspire to lead cannot or will not hold themselves to Christ’s standard, they have lost the right to insist that others treat them in that fashion.

    Another example of proof-texting. Jesus also drove the moneychangers out of the temple and had harsh words for the Pharisees. Shouldn't He have 'turned the other cheek'?

  19. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I know hee-haw about Russell Moore

    Nancy has made some excellent points about Russell Moore.

    He was Al Mohler's right-hand man at Southern Seminary for years and years until last year when he replaced Richard Land at ERLC. He's basically just a Mohler clone – Moore even resembles his mentor.

  20. Dave Ramsey’s fans are easily identifiable by their extreme arrogance.

    A few months ago when a ridiculous blog post about the poor came out on Dave Ramsey’s website and caused a fire storm, one of his devotees (a Facebook acquaintance) came after me for posting a rebuttal.

    I got the feel that she was trying to set me up, and trying to get me to say something in public that she could use against me. I found this remarkable because I had been a friend, and had even supported her financially.

    So perhaps this friend is an oddity, or perhaps the witch hunt is actually quite organized and deliberate…reaching down to those who take Dave Ramsey classes.

  21. “Pathetic rage” …hmm, just wondering if this would qualify:

    “I listened on the way back up here from my hometown to some Christian talk radio this week — against my doctor’s orders. If all that I knew of Christianity was what I heard on Christian talk radio, I’d hate it, too. There are some people who believe that fidelity to the gospel simply means speaking, ‘You kids get off my lawn.”

    -Russell Moore

    http://barbwire.com/2014/04/27/audio-erlc-head-russell-moore-recieves-pushback-attacking-christian-talk-radio/

    Probably not. These rules of niceness are generally published by the powerful with the intent of muzzling the sheep.

    I have noticed what seems to be a coordinated effort taking place among the celebs recently regarding the Mahaney sexual abuse cover-up. They can no longer claim there is no evidence of Mahaney having done anything wrong, so now they are attempting to silence us by attacking the way we verbalize our message. We aren’t speaking graciously enough or lovingly enough, etc.

    “Something is wrong my beloved when the Church of Christ just allows this to continue. We are allowing little lambs to be fleeced and slaughtered while those of us who know better are, for the most part, silent. Unless the Body of Christ rises up and starts going after these wolves, we will be just as guilty as they are for allowing God’s children to be destroyed.”
    -Nancy A. Almodovar, A Modern Ninety-Five: Questions Today’s Evangelicals Need to Answer

  22. Janey wrote:

    A few months ago when a ridiculous blog post about the poor came out on Dave Ramsey’s website and caused a fire storm, one of his devotees (a Facebook acquaintance) came after me for posting a rebuttal.

    I got the feel that she was trying to set me up, and trying to get me to say something in public that she could use against me. I found this remarkable because I had been a friend, and had even supported her financially.

    With visions of cash bounties from His own hand dancing in her head…

  23. Deb wrote:

    Another example of proof-texting. Jesus also drove the moneychangers out of the temple and had harsh words for the Pharisees. Shouldn’t He have ‘turned the other cheek’?

    I should have been clearer. I wanted to convey that it seems hypocritical to hold to a “no gossip” policy, then go on a witch hunt against anyone who gossips against you. The pattern Jesus sets points towards giving up our concern about others holding us in high regard – hence, “turn the other cheek.”

  24. Hester wrote:

    As for James 1:20, how does Moore distinguish between the “anger of man” and righteous anger?

    Simple.
    If *I* fly into a rage, it’s Righteous Anger.
    If YOU dare to complain, that’s The Anger of Man.

  25. TW wrote:

    I have noticed what seems to be a coordinated effort taking place among the celebs recently regarding the Mahaney sexual abuse cover-up. They can no longer claim there is no evidence of Mahaney having done anything wrong, so now they are attempting to silence us by attacking the way we verbalize our message. We aren’t speaking graciously enough or lovingly enough, etc.

    I've noticed their coordinated effort as well. It reminds me so much of those public statements made last year by T4G and TGC after the dismissal of the second amended lawsuit (on a technicality I might add).

    The public statements from these two camps (which overlap) definitely appear to have been a concerted effort.

  26. @ Deb:

    TCG and T4G guys haven’t figured out that the Internet is more powerful than they are. Slowly their little empires are crumbling. They were able to fool a lot of people, but in the past 5 years, their foolishness has been made public by all of the bloggers.

    As Jesus said, “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!”

    Another prophecy fulfilled! Jesus anticipated bloggers 2000 years ago!

  27. How does Mr. Ramsey compare to other financial advice experts such as Suzie Orman or Jane Bryant Quinn? I am going to take the Christian out of it and look at the actual product. It would be hard to live without credit cards these days. Also I wonder about someone using Christian as a selling point. Heavens some of these are pyramid schemes people attempted to sell me because I was attending an evangelical church. I am just a skeptic. I don't care what faith you profess: before I buy your product I am going to critique what you sell and the ethics of your organization. I do business with people who are not Christians if they are honest and sell a good product.

    I try not to gossip. It can hurt people and destroy organizations. Regarding Facebook: never communicate anything on Facebook you wouldn't want to say to a persons face. This goes for all social media. Sounds like Mr. Ramsey is a demanding boss and abrasive personality. I meet them everyday in my line of work. The nature of the economy may make me pretty demanding, though I hope I am not abrasive.

    The first time I encountered Neo Calvinism was a decade and a half ago through the writings of Michael Horton. I thought after I read these books I was a Calvinist. I became ultra conservative on so many issues, even oral contraception, because it was wrong to change what could be predestined. It was a pro-life issue for me. Now years later I realize it is all a man made construct. Calvinism may have some valid points, but it isn't the Bible. And all these issues, we won't have answers for until we meet our Maker. And, incidentally, I am no longer judgmental about oral contraception.

  28. A religious talking head who’s obsessed with self-image and can’t stand a lick of parody or criticism? Say it ain’t so!

    Seriously, I read the Daily Beast article a day or two ago. I wasn’t even through the second paragraph when I thought, “Just like Scientology, Inc.” (I was hoping for an appropriate spot to come out and say it but HUG beat me to it. Naturally. 😉 )

    It defies logic that Ramsey can call this kind of paranoid and heartless behaviour Christlike, or even righteous. Or that he can label whistleblowing or criticism as “gossip”. That he can do so makes him more like David Miscavige in my eyes than anyone else.

  29. K.D. wrote:

    I am from Texas, and I am pretty 2nd Amendment…..But pulling a gun out of a ” gift bag” to make a point …well, there’s something bad wrong when someone does that…..

    Me, as well. But, I’m pretty sure that’s an actionable complaint. He’s guilty of ‘assault’ if he was using it to intimidate. And it kinda seems that way. Remember ‘assault’ is just the ‘threat of violence’. You don’t have to actually touch the person to be guilty of that crime. Just sayin’

  30. Janey wrote:

    I got the feel that she was trying to set me up, and trying to get me to say something in public that she could use against me. I found this remarkable because I had been a friend, and had even supported her financially.
    So perhaps this friend is an oddity, or perhaps the witch hunt is actually quite organized and deliberate…reaching down to those who take Dave Ramsey classes.

    Also very Scientology-esque. Standard operating procedure for the Office of Special Affairs. In the Co$, they’re the only ones who are allowed to go online, and read negative articles. They then comment, and do their best to lambast the author (and all other critics), and deflect the conversation onto totally unrelated topics.

    I read a few comments on the DB article, and sure enough, there were the devotees. Not many, but they were there. Insulting Turner, blaming the “left-wing media” for “hating”, trying to get people to talk about all the good, wonderful and charitable deeds that Ramsey does every day. Right out of the OSA handbook. It was amusing (in its transparency) and heartbreaking at the same time.

    I’m sorry that someone you know subjected you to that, Janey. It must have been awfully creepy.

  31. Mark wrote:

    The first time I encountered Neo Calvinism was a decade and a half ago through the writings of Michael Horton. I thought after I read these books I was a Calvinist. I became ultra conservative on so many issues, even oral contraception, because it was wrong to change what could be predestined. It was a pro-life issue for me. Now years later I realize it is all a man made construct. Calvinism may have some valid points, but it isn’t the Bible. And all these issues, we won’t have answers for until we meet our Maker. And, incidentally, I am no longer judgmental about oral contraception.

    I too went through a period of hyper-Calvinism, until I realized that it was all man-made. I too am not sure what theology I believe now other than the salvation of Christ is not that complicated….. like you, so much we do not know or will not understand until the hereafter….and at that point, we might not care…

  32. Mark wrote:

    I became ultra conservative on so many issues, even oral contraception, because it was wrong to change what could be predestined.

    Oh my goodness. Is that actually the reasoning they were using? Everything could have been predestined. Leading potentially to rules like don’t seek medical treatment because it might be predestined for this disease to have its worst outcome. Don’t try to find work because it might be predestined for you to be perpetually unemployed. Where do they draw the line on this?

  33. Somebody help me here. I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan, especially if some of the more extreme positions worked their way into the system slowly and insidiously. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

  34. Nancy wrote:

    Somebody help me here. I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan, especially if some of the more extreme positions worked their way into the system slowly and insidiously. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

    For me, personally, it really appealed to my 'know-it-all' side and my need to feel 'special' and 'right' and 'certain'. It was also taught to me by a pastor with a very fierce and strong personality. I ended up stopping talking to God, since everything's predestined anyway, and getting really mad at Him and getting super depressed. Praise God, He brought me out of that!! And I came back to Him because of Who He is and what the Bible says about Who He is, i.e. good, loving, merciful, long-suffering, gracious, slow (ed.) to anger and a champion for the oppressed and hurt. I bought into it for a year and a half before I repented of that thinking. My relationship with our Lord was ultimately strengthened greatly because He didn't leave me in that darkness (neo-calvinism) and grew my heart and softened it beyond measure. Neo-calvinism concerns me a lot, so I pray for all those caught up in it a lot too.

  35. Nancy wrote:

    Somebody help me here. I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan, especially if some of the more extreme positions worked their way into the system slowly and insidiously. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

    I’ll be honest, I was born into Calvinism, I was my grandfather’s favorite grandchild and he drove the doctrine into me head…I came out for a while when I was in college/ seminary and was drawn back in after a serious back injury. Somehow God wanted me to suffer…..never mind, I was the klutz who stepped off the roof of the house.

  36. Rafiki wrote:

    Funny thing about Dave Ramsey’s “financial peace” schtick.
    Personally, it didn’t make me feel any peace, period. It made me feel stressed, guilty, judged, and stupid. Just another voice in the Accuser’s repertoire.
    …Dave Ramsey is mean, period.

    My father sent my sister a copy of one of Ramsey’s books several years ago (I had read the same copy before her).

    (My dad thinks pretty highly of Ramsey’s financial advice, though I do not think my father is aware of Ramsey’s bullying and paranoid persona in the workplace, he’s only read a few of the man’s books.)

    Anyway, my sister told me later, after she read the Ramsey book our dad mailed her, that she liked some of the common sense financial advice in the guys’ book, but there was a chapter in there that was very judgmental, and it bothered her.

    My sister had made a few financial mistakes in her life, and Ramsey hammered on some of those in one chapter. She said his book at that point made her feel so bad about herself she could hardly read the rest of it.

    I told her I know what she meant. Even though I had not made those same mistakes she mentioned he talked about in his book, I was turned off by the judgmental tone in that chapter. I told her I just didn’t take it to heart and went on with the rest of the book.

  37. HUG has it right.

    “It’s ok to be angry. But not too angry” = “I get to define and police the proper level of angry.”

  38. Rafiki wrote:

    Final comment – wow wow wow – calling a staff meeting and pasting people’s private social media convos, and FAMILY PICTURES for all to see?

    CONTACTING PEOPLE’S PASTORS FOR A “RECONCILIATION”?!

    The article gets better. It also mentioned something or other about Ramsey taking his fire-arm collection out at one staff meeting while giving an anti-gossip message, the implication being that is how one deals with gossips.

    I’m really put off by preachers who use the guise of Christian brotherhood, who quote verses about being in unity, etc., to mask their true intent.

    It’s not just Ramsey, either, who does this. I just saw a thing on someone else’s blog, a copy of a letter or something from Driscoll’s Mars Hill church to other preachers at his church.
    (This: If You Are a Leader at Mars Hill Church and Leave, Here is Where Mars Hill Says You Can’t Serve)

    Basically, Driscoll was telling associate preachers at his church in these e-mails or letters they had to sign a non-compete clause, that they were not permitted to preach at any church within a ten mile radius of Mars Hill churches, should they leave Mars Hill and go make their own church.

    However, when you read the Mars Hill letter or memo about it, I don’t think the term “non compete” is used, it was dressed up in “Bible-” sounding language, to make it sound all lovey and Christ-like, and it is no such thing.

    I loathe it when these so-called Christians, (really wolves in sheeps clothing), mask their greed, control freak nature, and other problems, by trying to dress it up in Bible-sounding language or justification.

    It’s like, I’ve been chewed out by angry Christians before, who spend a whole e-mail or post on a forum telling me they cannot stand me, they think I smell bad and dress funny, and insulting my mama, and so on, but they sign off with the phrase, “God bless.”

    If you are going to spout off nasty things at me, please don’t hide it or pass it off as godly by chucking in a few Bible terms or verses or signing off with “God bless.” That is a huge pet peeve of mine.

    I see Driscoll, Ramsey, and other Christians do this. They treat people horribly but phrase all their correspondence in such a way they make it sound like they are being loving, Christ-like, honorable, etc, but they are not.

    That drives me up the wall when Christians do that. If you are going to be mean to people, just be mean. Don’t hide behind Bible verses. Admit to what you’re doing, and apologize later.

  39. I think Dave’s financial advice is ok, but I quit listening to him several years ago. Back before Dave got really big and it was easy to call in on his show, I called in with a question once. Before I even got through the first sentence, he was abrupt and gave me an answer (because I suppose he thought he knew what I was going to ask) and then went to the next caller. So much for that.

    I think Clark Howard has a more balanced approach to managing finances. (He doesn’t demonize credit cards like Ramsey does as long as they’re paid off and he points out that there are times when debit card use is not advised because of holds some merchants temporarily put on them.) I really like his podcasts and general advice on all things financial from current scams to watch out for to saving money on airfare. http://www.clarkhoward.com/

    Crown Financial Ministries is another option for people burned out on Dave Ramsey. Although I have an interesting story on that. Back when Larry Burkett was still alive and it was called “Christian Financial Concepts”, my husband and I went to one of their financial counselors as we were newly weds, had both been on our own before marriage and had different ideas on how we should manage our money. In other words, we were butting heads. I feel like we got some good advice, but after our session was over, the financial counselor handed us a thick, manilla envelope and said, “Now here’s something for you, some people don’t agree with it but I think people need to know this.” When we got home and opened it up, it was a bunch of information on how the American tax system was a fraud and how the constitution doesn’t require people to pay income taxes. It was some really out there stuff. We just tossed it, but looking back we probably should have informed Christian Financial Concepts that one of their counselors was doing that.

  40. My husband and I took FPU and I also appreciated Ramsey’s advice. I am deeply disappointed that yet another man who used the Bible to originally try and help people has devolved into a bully.

  41. In almost all the instances I’ve seen, businesses that advertise themselves as ‘Christian’ have been anything but. They just use it as a front to lure trusting and real Christians into dropping their guard so that they can be taken advantage of.

    As for Moore, as noted by HUG, their anger is always righteous, everyone else’s directed at them is ‘unChristian’ – the clear meaning is that no criticism of neo-Cal poo-bahs is allowed. In short, they are telling us “Do not touch my anointed ones”, with they, rather than God, determining who the ‘anointed’ are.

    The whole false sense of superiority of this crowd is disgusting.

  42. @ Nancy:
    There is an (appearance of) intellectual rigor to the theology as it is presented. By having a one true theology, one gains a surety about such things. It is therefore appealing to those whose view of current Christian theology is that a lot of it is wishy-washy and too touchy-feely.

    At least that was my impression of many of the early 20-something dudes who bought into this 10-15 years ago. It also seemed to make them feel justified in being condescending jerks to others whose theology didn’t pass muster in their view. I don’t know if those people are still hyper-neo-calvanists since I learned to disassociate myself from them for sanity’s sake.

    BTW, is DR a Neo-Cal?

  43. Steve Scott wrote:

    My wife and I got a kick out of Ramsey’s continual ridiculing of people who fell for paying into something that made people rich off of others’ miseries. Uh, just like Ramsey’s courses.

    LOL!! 😆

    Someone on another site, don’t remember where, mentioned the same thing, they went to a church that was hosting one of his teachings things. The church/program was charging $150 for the books and related materials, for people who were having financial problems.

    If you’re having financial problems, $150 may be a lot of money. It may be hard to scrape that together for a few workbooks and DVDs.

    It also reminds me of the Prosperity Gospel, name it and claim it guys on Christian networks who say if you are having a hard time scraping by financially, just send them your last $100, either…

    1. to buy their book/ DVD / CD on tips to being wealthy or
    2. God will give you $1,000 in return for the $100 you send.

    It really bothers me to see people preying on other people especially when they are at a very low point in their life, whether it’s financially, physically, or emotionally.

  44. Cassie wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    I am from Texas, and I am pretty 2nd Amendment…..But pulling a gun out of a ” gift bag” to make a point …well, there’s something bad wrong when someone does that…..
    Me, as well. But, I’m pretty sure that’s an actionable complaint. He’s guilty of ‘assault’ if he was using it to intimidate. And it kinda seems that way. Remember ‘assault’ is just the ‘threat of violence’. You don’t have to actually touch the person to be guilty of that crime. Just sayin’

    And this was done in a workplace! Then you have some of these same people complaining about all the employment laws being too stringent. Really? Maybe they’re okay with guns being pointed at them. Maybe they believe that an employer can do what ever he wants to you since he signs your paycbeck. It’s incredibly sad to see Christians that would treat their employees in such a way. Do Christian employees believe that employers have a right to do this? They might as well go live in North Korea if this is acceptable behavior. Why didn’t everyone in that room get up and leave? I can’t imagine hearing this kind of brainwashing at work and at a church. You would really be in for some mistreatment . . .all done in the name of a god, but not God.

  45. srs wrote:

    BTW, is DR a Neo-Cal?

    Back when I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio, I didn't know much, if anything, about the YRR movement. When I started hearing the Neo-Cals say "better than I deserve", I wondered whether he fit into this camp.

    Hoping someone will chime in about this.

  46. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The thing about oppression is that it’s generally carried out by powerful, charming or aggressive people against weak, unattractive or passive people. The easiest way to a quiet life is to shut the latter up.

    That is so true, that if I knew needle point, I think I would sew that on to a pillow or piece of fabric and hang it on my wall.

  47. JeffT wrote:

    In almost all the instances I’ve seen, businesses that advertise themselves as ‘Christian’ have been anything but. They just use it as a front to lure trusting and real Christians into dropping their guard so that they can be taken advantage of.

    I do occasionally hear of Christian owned business that do the right thing.

    In my area a few years ago, there was a news story about a woman who was ripped off by a dishonest roofing company.

    A Christian man who owned another roofing company in the same town heard her plight on TV and repaired her whole roof for free, and he did a quality job, and did not charge her a penny, and IIRC, the job he did would have costed thousands if he had made her pay (but it was all free of charge).

    I also read in the news a few months ago about a preacher who was so upset by news stories of Christians being bad tippers he now goes around leaving huge tips with little notes on them. He’s been in the news a few times.

    I think he remains anonymous, but the news sites reproduce photos of the little notes he leaves the wait staff with the huge tips.

  48. I am going to gloat a little bit. I try not to do that, at least not in public or in writing, but here goes. I belong to the generation called “the silent generation”, born during the great depression and grew up during the late great war WWII. All the other generations get something said about themselves, either good or bad, but we get just nothing. Well, here is something. If everybody thought about money the way we think about money there would be no need for the Dave R. crowd at all. We think that if you spend money at all for anything you are not one of the chosen and elect. We even take short showers to save water and energy because both cost money. And we do this whether we need to or not and whether we actually have any money or not. Up until now that has just been considered idiosyncratic, but considering Dave R. I now see it for the virtue it is. Yippee for us.

    I just had to say that.

  49. @ JeffT:

    In almost all the instances I’ve seen, businesses that advertise themselves as ‘Christian’ have been anything but.

    This makes me think of ChristianMingle. All the stories I’ve heard from the site have been frightening. One was a woman in my bell choir, who was married for 3y to a guy who turned out to be a narcissist and having serial affairs (they’re divorced now), and one was my cousin who ran off with an unemployed guy who roped her into stealing $3000 from my grandmother. I heard another story on an SSB thread about a guy who lied about his patriarchal beliefs on his profile. So yeah, let’s just say I won’t be using that site anytime soon if I can help it. I know you can find horror stories like that from any dating site, but the fact that it’s advertised as Christian makes it worse.

    As for Ramsey, I went through the teen version of Financial Peace at homeschool co-op. Like others here, I thought some of it was good and some wasn’t. Because it was the teen version, I think he spent more time trying to be entertaining rather than condescending and rude (I’ve never seen the full adult version). It probably helped too that my mom was teaching the class; she has a major in economics, took accounting classes in college, and certainly didn’t take every word he spoke as gospel. She also paired it with Niall Ferguson’s documentary The Ascent of Money, which ultimately was a lot more interesting than Dave Ramsey.

  50. Daisy wrote:

    I also read in the news a few months ago about a preacher who was so upset by news stories of Christians being bad tippers he now goes around leaving huge tips with little notes on them. He’s been in the news a few times.

    I remember Jerry Falwell also had a reputation as a big tipper, for much the same reason. He was trying to make up for all the bad tippers with Bibles.

  51. Deb wrote:

    I wouldn’t know anything about this if Dave Ramsey had let this just roll off his back.
    Thin skinned Christians are such a poor testimony to a watching world.

    Same here. I had no idea that Ramsey is so humorless, a hot head, and such a bully, until I started seeing these type of stories leak on blogs then the big news sites this past year.

    If the guy had just let it go, it wouldn’t be an issue, so he is his own worst enemy on this.

    As I said on JA’s blog, I know how tempting it is to engage a troll or hater point by point who is ribbing you on line, and if you feel slighted, but if you can practice self-control and not reply to them (or not often, and not blow a fuse over it, as Ramsey has done), it’s usually worth it, because the troll/hater gets bored if they get little to no reaction from you after a few weeks or months.

    If you have been on the internet more than six months, you have been trolled or flamed or parodied by someone somewhere at some time (I know I have).

    That Ramsey has been on the internet how many years now, on radio, and TV, and is still dealing with criticism and parody in this way, by having hissy fits, etc?

    He may be smart at money stuff but seems clueless at life or internet behavior.

  52. srs wrote:

    @ Nancy:
    There is an (appearance of) intellectual rigor to the theology as it is presented. By having a one true theology, one gains a surety about such things.

    You found the same One True Way dynamic in the Young Communist League, Chairman Mao’s Red Guard, and the HJ. And find it today in the Jihadis of Extreme Islam. Everything is Certain in the One True Way. And since YOU are a True Believer in the One True Way…

  53. K.D. wrote:

    I am from Texas, and I am pretty 2nd Amendment…..But pulling a gun out of a ” gift bag” to make a point …well, there’s something bad wrong when someone does that…..

    I agree. That made me raise my eyebrows when I saw that. Perhaps he thought doing that was a funny way of making his point, but it came across to me as creepy and a little unglued.

  54. M. Joy wrote:

    I think Clark Howard has a more balanced approach to managing finances. (He doesn’t demonize credit cards like Ramsey does as long as they’re paid off and he points out that there are times when debit card use is not advised because of holds some merchants temporarily put on them.)

    My parents grew up in the (First) Great Depression.

    I use cash or check whenever possible; you spend less when you actually SEE the money pass through your hands. (This is why so many merchants et al are all for online banking, online spending, just swipe your card, wear a chip which automatically spends as you pass by the register like a FasTrak transponder in a toll plaza. You spend more. A LOT more. From your pocket into theirs.)

    I use credit cards primarily for convenience, for bill consolidation. I do NOT use debit cards, as they are not as secure as credit cards.

  55. Deb wrote:

    Rafiki wrote:

    Final comment – wow wow wow – calling a staff meeting and pasting people’s private social media convos, and FAMILY PICTURES for all to see?

    Deb said,

    Tit for tat… It begs the question What Would Jesus Do?

    If you recall the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus put her photo on his Facebook and called her names and shamed her for the adultery. (Kidding, of course – He forgave her and told her to "go and sin no more.")

  56. K.D. wrote:

    I am from Texas, and I am pretty 2nd Amendment…..But pulling a gun out of a ” gift bag” to make a point …well, there’s something bad wrong when someone does that…..

    Reminder of Directive R2-45 LRH direct from Flag?

  57. Hester wrote:

    @ Dr. Fundystan:

    So what are we allowed to get angry about?

    Homosexuality and feminists? Just a guess. 😉

    And Evolution. And HOMOSEXUALITY.

  58. Deb wrote:

    Another example of proof-texting. Jesus also drove the moneychangers out of the temple and had harsh words for the Pharisees. Shouldn’t He have ‘turned the other cheek’?

    This is a fairly common problem I see among Christians. A lot of Christians don’t seem to know when to be gentle and forgiving, vs. assertive and tough.

    My Mom and the Christian culture I was raised in encouraged me to be passive, super forgiving all the time no matter what. I was taught that being assertive and having boundaries was the equivalent to being mean, cold, unloving, and selfish.

    I had to read books to figure out this is called “codependency,” and it is not what God wants.

    There are good books on this topic, such as a book by Christian authors Cloud and Townsend who wrote a book called, “Boundaries: When To Say Yes, When To Say No,” and their book also sort of explains for Christians when to be assertive vs. when to be meek and mild.

    What I learned after all this study on the topic, is that it is a delicate balancing act, each case in your life calls for a different response.

    There will be times, yes, you should be meek, gentle and mild with people, but others where you need to be brave, strong, assertive, and not take trash off other people. It depends on each situation and person you deal with.

    Most of Christianity today, the people in the pews, feel the Bible teaches they are to be passive all the time and allow themselves to be victimized, while, on the other hand, some of these authoritarian churches / preachers go the opposite direction and are super assertive all the time.

    The passive guys need to learn to be more assertive, and the assertive guys need to learn to be more gentle and patient.

  59. Bridget wrote:

    And this was done in a workplace! Then you have some of these same people complaining about all the employment laws being too stringent. Really? Maybe they’re okay with guns being pointed at them.

    You sure wouldn’t want “stringent” employment laws if you’re the one pointing the gun at his employees, would you?

  60. Interesting story about Ramsey. From what I can tell most leaders when they get popular develop quite the ego. We have seen this with C.J. Mahaney and others. They start thinking they can do no wrong even though some will tell you they are imperfect. Also leaders can put on a persona on stage but be a different person in private especially when questioned.

    I have at times listened to Ramsey’s broadcasts. He has some good points but as others have said a “one size fits all” is his approach.

    Being that Ramsey owns his private company I guess he has the option of having this no “gossip” policy while people are employed but sad to think it right to squelch any discussion among former employees especially if this was private Facebook discussion (just between these former employees commiserating).

    I have seen the sad affect of a no “gossip” policy with SGM and C.J. Mahaney. IMO the group’s definition of what is “gossip” and “slander” is what allowed Mahaney and other leaders to hide and get away with their sin and hypocrisy for so long. One should remember the lessons of this old psychological test:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDDyT1lDhA

    Controlling leaders want to squelch any gossip so that people think they are the only one with the same questions.

  61. Nancy wrote:

    Somebody help me here. I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan…. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background.

    Well, there’s the Lure of the Inner Ring, becoming one of the Predestined Elect, God’s Speshul Pets. The Gnosticism of being in a small elite group who Have Everything Figured Out with their Perfectly Parsed Theology/Ideological Purity. Of being the only Sheep in the ocean of unwashed Goats, the only Truly Rational Mind among all the Moochers and Takers.

  62. Daisy wrote:

    This is a fairly common problem I see among Christians. A lot of Christians don’t seem to know when to be gentle and forgiving, vs. assertive and tough.

    That’s because they try to base everything on rules. “When do I turn the other cheek”? is not a useful question. “How do I wisely pursue justice”? is a useful question.

  63. P.S. There’s also the Perfectly Parsed Rigid System as a refuge from the Chaos outside. A couple years ago, there was some British news article about British women raised in an “anything goes” environment converting to the most Rigid and Strict forms of Islam. After the chaos of “do your own thing” in a big dark dangerous world, it was a relief to convert to a Faith/Culture where everything — even what position to sleep in, being told exactly WHAT to think and feel — was spelled out for you by Divine Fiat.

  64. @ Hester:
    THANK YOU for saying this!!! I mean, come ON, how should we react when wolves come into the sheepfold? Do we just hang our head, pray, and hope God comes and takes the problem away in a chariot of fire? Or do we let our anger fuel us onward to DO something to protect the freaking sheep?

    Maybe King David sang the predators away from his sheepfold? Surely a man like HIM never got angry…?

  65. Mark wrote:

    because it was wrong to change what could be predestined

    I’m not making fun or criticizing you here, but questioning the Calvinist mind set behind it.

    If you change something that was predestined, wasn’t your change also a part of God’s plan, in Calvinist thinking? I mean, your change of the plan was predestined too, I would think?

  66. Plus, Dave has the whole concept of “gossip” wrong, as I wrote about this morning. taylorjoyrecovers.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/dave-ramsey-and-the-gossip-problem/

  67. Nancy wrote:

    What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

    I think some people find the absolute certainty of Calvinism very appealing.

    I know Cals don’t like the comparison, but their view of God is similar to the Islamic one, that God is in control of every last situation.

    It brings some people comfort. Some people find uncertainty very scary. They want to believe there is a bigger reason and purpose behind all suffering and tragedy.

    I would guess that maybe folks from other religious background find the certainty comforting?

  68. K.D. wrote:

    Somehow God wanted me to suffer…..never mind, I was the klutz who stepped off the roof of the house.

    Ouch! I hope your back is now doing much better.

  69. @ Nancy:
    Nancy, I’m going to blog about this in the future, but I can tell you one attraction right now: I was saved as a teenager, and was INTOXICATED with God’s unbelievable, unconditional love. I was amazed that He made me, loved me, would never forsake me, etc. However, when I got married, my background (abusive family) meant I had no concept of how family was “supposed” to work. I knew from the Bible that older women were supposed to mentor younger women, but my husband and I moved a lot, and it was hard to develop relationships that I would trust with that depth. I then turned to books about “godly womanhood,” not realizing that it was “godly(tm) womanhood” instead. My mother was horribly abusive, and used “feminism” as the justification for her abuse. I was *terrified* of feminists, and (reasonably) believed that they were all like my mother. I’d grown up hearing her arguments for years, before I realized that she was just twisting feminist “doctrine” to justify abuse, the same way patriarchs twist the Bible to justify *their* abuse. 🙁 However, in my sleep-deprived, new-baby, vulnerable, and seeking state, I absorbed teachings of Christian patriarchy, and became someone I didn’t recognize. 🙁 People who absorb these teachings may be very, very wounded. Sorry, this is a thumbnail sketch at best, but I think you have a valid question: why the heck would ANYONE absorb this garbage??? I think the more that question is answered, the more we can help those who stumble away from it, wounded and bleeding. <3

  70. Nancy wrote:

    All the other generations get something said about themselves, either good or bad, but we get just nothing.

    Gen X, to which I belong, gets nothing said about them.

    You rarely hear about Gen Y, either, who came after Gen X.

    The media likes to talk non stop about Baby Boomers and Millennials, though.

  71. Nancy wrote:

    I am going to gloat a little bit. I try not to do that, at least not in public or in writing, but here goes. I belong to the generation called “the silent generation”, born during the great depression and grew up during the late great war WWII. All the other generations get something said about themselves, either good or bad, but we get just nothing. Well, here is something. If everybody thought about money the way we think about money there would be no need for the Dave R. crowd at all. We think that if you spend money at all for anything you are not one of the chosen and elect. We even take short showers to save water and energy because both cost money. And we do this whether we need to or not and whether we actually have any money or not. Up until now that has just been considered idiosyncratic, but considering Dave R. I now see it for the virtue it is. Yippee for us.
    I just had to say that.

    I understand the money part…..one GOOD thing my grandfather and parents did and they were so influenced by the Great Depression was the value of saving/ spending money….luckily for me, I am married to a woman who is as “tight” as I am when it comes to spending money.
    It pays off when you put your kid through college without debt, and can look at visiting Europe for the first time in your life later this year….Germany and Great Britain….we can’t wait…. 🙂

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Well, there’s the Lure of the Inner Ring, becoming one of the Predestined Elect, God’s Speshul Pets. The Gnosticism of being in a small elite group who Have Everything Figured Out with their Perfectly Parsed Theology/Ideological Purity. Of being the only Sheep in the ocean of unwashed Goats, the only Truly Rational Mind among all the Moochers and Takers.

    Do you know the irony of that? The guys who think they are the special sheep, seem to me, to be the proud Pharisee in the parable Jesus told of the two guys at the Temple.

    There was the gung ho, religious Pharisee guy who said in a prayer at the Temple, “Oh Lord, thank You for not making me like a smelly sinner, or like that yucky tax collector over there…”

    While Jesus commended the tax collector guy in His story who wept and said, “Forgive me God, for being such a big, stinky sinner, please show mercy to me.”

    In case I mangled that in my re-telling, you can read it online:
    The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18)

  73. Deb wrote:

    srs wrote:
    BTW, is DR a Neo-Cal?
    Back when I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio, I didn’t know much, if anything, about the YRR movement. When I started hearing the Neo-Cals say “better than I deserve”, I wondered whether he fit into this camp.
    Hoping someone will chime in about this.

    I find that with a lot of Christian celebrities or Christians with a public following, you absolutely cannot find out what church, denomination, or confession they belong to, at least by searching online. Dave Ramsey is one example, as is Ken Ham.

  74. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    After the chaos of “do your own thing” in a big dark dangerous world, it was a relief to convert to a Faith/Culture where everything — even what position to sleep in, being told exactly WHAT to think and feel — was spelled out for you by Divine Fiat.

    I’ve read articles over the years about advertising, sales, and marketing that mention consumers feel overwhelmed by too much choice.

    When customers go to a grocery store to buy cereal and see 34,567 boxes of cereal on the store shelves, they stand there, frozen by indecision.

    Consumers feel more comfortable, according to these articles I read, with some choice, but not a vast amount of it. They’d rather have a handful of choices, rather than one billion.

    Maybe there’s some kind of correlation between cereal- buying- thinking and how people view religion, church, and living life?

  75. Nancy wrote:

    Somebody help me here. I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan, especially if some of the more extreme positions worked their way into the system slowly and insidiously. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

    nancy, I was neither raised in this tradition or sucked into it, but I can see times in my life when I would have been vulnerable. When my life went to hell in 1982 I think if someone had come to me with “THE ANSWER” and love bombed me the way these groups do, I would have been sucked right in. Instead, I went to the dreaded modern psychiatrist and got the medical and mental help I needed.

  76. Taylor Joy wrote:

    ON, how should we react when wolves come into the sheepfold? Do we just hang our head, pray, and hope God comes and takes the problem away in a chariot of fire? Or do we let our anger fuel us onward to DO something to protect the freaking sheep?

    I know I’ve told this twice before, in other thread, but here it is again. I read an interview by a retired police man who now gives security advice to churches.

    He says you have to take practical steps to protect people at church, but too often, Christians hold to superstitious views.

    He said many Christians think that God will always protect them when they are at church on the mere basis that they are in a building with a steeple on it.

    He said that is wrong thinking. He says you might need an armed security guard at your church, burglar alarms, etc.

    You need to take practical measures to protect you at church, not just assume God will protect you, and not just pray about it.

    He cited examples of people who had been harmed at churches by other people.

  77. I’m not that familiar with Dave Ramsey although I’ve heard of him and his Financial Peace University. Having said that, I was a target of workplace bullying at a previous job and know its adverse effects all too well. Like far too many targets of workplace bullying I was eventually involuntarily terminated, which was actually a relief despite other negative consequences.

    Anyone who’s been a target of workplace bullying or had a loved one who’s been a target should read Gary and Ruth Namie’s book, The Bully At Work. They also run the Workplace Bullying Institute. I’ll add a caveat that while their web site has a lot of good information, they also get political on some occasions.

  78. In reading Russell Moore’s post, I couldn’t help but notice the number of times he used exaggerated phrases/words; i.e.

    Anger
    perpetual rage
    outrage
    carnal anger
    perpetually outraged
    angry
    divisive
    screaming and raving
    mere outrage
    pathetic rage
    frantic hysteria
    directionless fury
    theatrical display of a temper
    the art of being “theatrically offended”

    Seems to me he ended up conveying the very same hyperbolic emotion he tried to convict others of using. So…let me get this right. We have no business expressing anger over injustice, crime, abuse, etc. but he has every right to expressing anger at those advocating for victims.

  79. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The thing about oppression is that it’s generally carried out by powerful, charming or aggressive people against weak, unattractive or passive people.

    The weak are the meat which the strong do eat.

  80. I hope my comment about workplace bullying isn’t considered off-topic, but Dave Ramsey’s alleged conduct at work reminded me of that painful experience and made me realize that others suffer from workplace bullying as well.

  81. Stuff Christian Culture Likes, Dave Ramsey post

    Email of the day:

    “Just heard a Dave Ramsey promo on the Amarillo talk station. The clip they employed to entice people to listen to Dave? Him saying:

    “Have you looked at someone’s nice car or big home and said something like ‘How many starving kids in Africa could they have fed with that?’ Well that just means you’re envious and you don’t know their situation and you’re a twerp and you need to shut up.”

    FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, Y’ALL.”

    I take it that the person who sent that is being serious, but I am hoping it’s another parody.

  82. JeffT wrote:

    he clear meaning is that no criticism of neo-Cal poo-bahs is allowed.

    Example: The firing of Tullian. They said it was right, it must be right so the rest of you shut up.

  83. @ singleman:

    I am sorry you went through it. I did as well.

    I did not get terminated, but I think the bully boss was laying the ground work to get me out, to make a case to fire me, but I quit before they could try to fire me.

    The book you suggested is a good one. I read many of them, books about work place abuse.

    About the only solution these books give is that you will have to find a job someplace else.

    Human Resources Dept. will not defend you (they are there to protect the company which means covering for an abusive boss or co worker), your co workers will not defend you, and often, the bosses above your bully boss won’t help you out, either.

    Another tip they give: From the first second a co- worker or boss is rude or bullying to you at work, you must call them out then and there, immediately, and let them know you won’t take crud off them.

    Unfortunately, if you are codependent, scared to death of conflict, or a Christian who feels it is wrong to have boundaries, (like I did for years, see my post farther above), you will not try to put a halt to the bullying until weeks or months later.

    By then, it is too late, the books say. You must object to the crummy treatment the instant it happens. When you do, the bully will often move on to an easier target who won’t fight back (according to the books).

  84. singleman wrote:

    I hope my comment about workplace bullying isn’t considered off-topic, but Dave Ramsey’s alleged conduct at work reminded me of that painful experience and made me realize that others suffer from workplace bullying as well.

    As someone who was also bullied on a former job, I got your connection. 🙂

    I had the same reaction to the article, too. When I read about how very bullying Ramsey was to his workers, it reminded me of my abuse on my last job too.

  85. Russell Moore is probably trying to get the bloggers to shut up before the ERLC National Summit October 27-27. The topic: “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage”. ERLC’s approach will be to use “convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches.”

    Commentary: By October, we’re going to have a few more states where the anti-gay marriage laws have been struck down, and for sure the 10th Circuit (and likely a few others) will have ruled by then. Instead of “convictional kindness,” may I suggest to ERLC that “treating GLBT people like human beings” might be a better approach?

    In any case, if the ERLC leadership summit a few months ago is any indication, there will be LOTS of observers (it helped that it was livestreamed), many of them will not be inclined to be friendly to ERLC, and there will be lots of trenchant criticism, particularly from the groups that ERLC is trying to shove back into the closet. And I’m not talking just about GLBT persons. ERLC also doesn’t know what to do with independent single adult women. 🙂

    Maybe instead of talking about Teh Ghey, they can talk about the good/bad points of the Nick Cage reboot of the “Left Behind” franchise, coming out on October 3?

  86. Taylor Joy wrote:

    but I think you have a valid question: why the heck would ANYONE absorb this garbage??? I think the more that question is answered, the more we can help those who stumble away from it, wounded and bleeding.

    Me too. That is why I have started down this path.

  87. @ Daisy:
    Yes, a number of people — Christians and others — responsed to the article “20 Things Rich People Do” on Ramsey’s website.

  88. @ Amy Smith:

    Ha ha. She’s brilliant. I love this part:

    “If you had any clue the number of marketing experts and PR teams behind one repentance letter, you’d think I wasn’t repentant at all!” she tweeted in response. Soon after she added:“To be clear, these are decisions I came to with my stylist, my PR firm, and the help of our senior pastor, Jesus Christ.”

  89. @ nmgirl:
    Exactly! Love Bombing, sleep deprivation, emotional vulnerability, mixed with a little something else: Hester also blogged about a heresy called “Presuppositionalism,” the belief that Christians know more about EVERYTHING, than any secular authority, because they have the Holy Spirit inside them. She wrote about it in the context of the Vision Forum, but I think it’s a lot more widespread (albeit, in a dilluted form) than just that ministry. So, if a Christian goes to a Pastor, she naturally may think that the Pastor has more knowledge and authority than those evil secular psychologists. She may even look for a Christian plumber or burger joint, because Christians know more about plumbing and burgers than non-Christians. 🙁

  90. I don’t quite get the lumping of Russell Moore with Dave Ramsey?

    In the Daily Beast profile, Ramsey revealed himself to be obsessed and possibly paranoid.

    Russell Moore has a commentary lamenting and critiquing (rightfully so, IMO) the “outrage culture” in society. How is that comparable to Ramsey? Who is Moore trying to silence? If he is, no proof has been offered.

    Is the existence of an “outrage culture” really in doubt? All one needs to do is turn on MSNBC or Fox News or log onto Facebook. Countless folks are just waiting to be outraged about the next stupid thing some personality says or does.

    Seems like Moore is offering a needed critique and trying to do so with from a distinctly faith perspective.

  91. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Love Bombing, sleep deprivation, emotional vulnerability

    Uh oh! Now you're starting to describe what I believe to be KEY factors that keep Calvinista conference goers coming back for more…

    Add to the sleep deprivation loud music along with mesmerizing light displays, which put conference goers into a hypnotic state.

    These mind control techniques yield predictable results…

  92. I listened to a sermon recently which was about five minutes of good God stuff and 20 minutes of content I can get on Lifehacker. I totally get that many (younger?) Christians want “application”. They want to be told How To. Especially “Gospel How To”. How to manage money (which is way past being wise and generous with it). How to do marriage, so they read and link to some kid who has a vast seven month or seven year experience to share. Or how to manage emails and time and meetings and speaking and on and on from another kid who does appear to be truly crazy busy. And who says that “Jesus was a busy man.”

    I think the Gospelly crowd might, way down deep in their hidden thoughts, think that Jesus really wasted his life. That they actually could do a better job, not of the dying and resurrecting part, but the teaching and developing followers bit. That like them, Jesus could have done more to control the sheep, to exert his power and authority over his followers instead of over the abusers. And that he definitely should have charged for more stuff, like Sea of Galilee Gospel Conventions and the Fish and Loaves Conferences.

    If someone writes a book about the Jesus who held babies and welcomed the children and talked to women and healed the sick and dissed the Pharisees, then I might read it. But I won’t read any of the “Try Hard to Live Christianly” series. Jesus covered that when he said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

  93. BDW wrote:

    Seems like Moore is offering a needed critique and trying to do so with from a distinctly faith perspective

    And what solution does he offer? He would have appeared far more in-tune with the multitude of voices speaking out about the multitude of good reasons to be enraged, than to marginalize those who have the courage to “man up” regardless of the consequences.

  94. BDW wrote:

    I don’t quite get the lumping of Russell Moore with Dave Ramsey?

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the OP was getting at that some figures in Christianity are telling the “little people” it is wrong for them to criticize or discuss any problems they see in Christianity or with certain churches on social media or on blogs.

  95. BDW wrote:

    Is the existence of an “outrage culture” really in doubt? All one needs to do is turn on MSNBC or Fox News or log onto Facebook. Countless folks are just waiting to be outraged about the next stupid thing some personality says or does.

    P.S. I’d agree to a point there is an “outrage culture” that crops up on political shows on cable news, but, some of these famous Christians and church guys are using that to define legitimate criticism of abuse in churches by preachers as being “outrage culture,” and then telling Christians that speak up about such abuse that they need to put a cork in it.

    I think another aspect of the OP (original post) may be…

    Why do guys such as Moore or Ramsey get to define what is outrage culture, or righteous anger vs. ungodly anger, etc?

    Who are they to dictate to all other Christians that they may not be critical of “person X” or “church situation X” on some blog or Twitter?

    It would appear they are trying to stifle criticism and feeback they don’t want to hear or deal with.

    It also seems to disturb the Ramseys and Moores that the internet has leveled the playing field, where an “Average Jane” or “Average Joe” Christian can voice their views and get them heard.

    One no longer has to be a mouth piece or figure head of a huge, wealthy Christian para-church group or a mega church with air time on TV stations to get one’s views out there.

  96. BDW wrote:

    Seems like Moore is offering a needed critique and trying to do so with from a distinctly faith perspective.

    Perhaps it is a simply a matter of poor timing-a problem that seems to be inherent to this group of individuals. Look at the Nate Morales trial. TGC, which backed CJ, decided, the week after the explosive testimony by Grant Layman, that this was the perfect timing to boot Tullian who then let us know that he had been dismayed by the TGC stand with Mahaney.

    TGC was bombarded by those who were concerned about their stand and TGC reportedly proceeded to block scores of people who used #IStandWithSGMVictims.Then TGC releases a statement that was found wanting in its explanation along with some half truths if Tullian is to be believed.

    I, along with others, were prevailed upon by Joe Carter(TGC) on Twitter-throwing around words like slander, lawsuits, etc.

    Perhaps you can see why I am bit suspect of the timing of Moore’s statement.

    Now, we linked the Moore statement to Ramsey’s situation because of the “no gossip” rule which was reportedly employed to keep the staff from discussing serious issues within the organization. If one takes the full response of TGC and BFFs of TGC, one sees a pattern of “let’s not discuss it and if you do, its wrong.”

    Oddly, Tim Challies, this week, recommended this article on “theological controversies.”
    http://feedingonchrist.com/dangers-theological-controversies/

    In this article, you will read the author claims that followers are far more critical than leaders.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe he is referring to Fox News. The timing of all is this is a bit odd in my book.

  97. Daisy wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    because it was wrong to change what could be predestined
    I’m not making fun or criticizing you here, but questioning the Calvinist mind set behind it.
    If you change something that was predestined, wasn’t your change also a part of God’s plan, in Calvinist thinking? I mean, your change of the plan was predestined too, I would think?

    I added the biblical ideas of being fruitful and multiplying and that children are a gift from God to a belief in predestination. I wish I had heard differing viewpoints long ago when I was a legalist. Information on Calvinism and a particular view on birth control can be found in RC Sproul’s writings and blogs. I don’t subscribe to these opinions anymore.

    In regards to some of Nancy’s questions: my Mother was a Calvinist who came from a Reformed sect that is considered to the right of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church without actually becoming fundamentalist. So my attraction to Calvinism was partly cultural.

    My Mother felt she was an awful person and I continually told her she was a great person, and she was a great person. I have read some of the comments where Neo Puritan and Calvinist women have low self esteem. It kind of reminded me about my Mother as I was reading some of the comments.

  98. Heather wrote:

    I think the Gospelly crowd might, way down deep in their hidden thoughts, think that Jesus really wasted his life.

    Great post, Heather. And – DUH! – he wasn’t married. Talk about a waste! 😉

  99. Daisy wrote:

    Mark wrote:

    because it was wrong to change what could be predestined

    I’m not making fun or criticizing you here, but questioning the Calvinist mind set behind it.

    If you change something that was predestined, wasn’t your change also a part of God’s plan, in Calvinist thinking? I mean, your change of the plan was predestined too, I would think?

    Would have to be, as we have no will of our own 🙂

  100. @ Mark:

    Mark,

    In all fairness, Horton is not a neo-Calvinist in any way the term may be defined. He is often critical of the Gospel Coalition, and other similar organizations. Sometimes it is hard to understand the Reformed world, especially with so many (e.g. TGC, T4G, SGM, et. al.) trying to claim ties to historic Reformed or Calvinist Christianity. The fact of the matter is many of these groups are cafeteria Calvinists at best, and have little understanding of what a full orbed Reformed church looks like. Most are a strange amalgam of Calvinism, fundamentalism, Patriarchy (hard & soft), and post WW2 American evangelicalism.

    Those of us who are Reformed in its historically accurate sense have been some of the Gospel Industrial Complex’s strongest critics, and have cried foul when they have sought to co-opt our Reformed identity and heritage. The fact of the matter is jokers like Driscoll, Mahaney, et. al. wouldn’t have passed ordination in Calvin’s Geneva, or pass the muster w/ the framers of the Westminster Confession, and would have been sent out of town on the first carriage. But, I do think you make an invaluable point that even those of us who are confessionals Reformed – it is very easy to conflate Calvin or our confessional standards with Scripture, but they are not. We need to constantly remember that they simply summarize what we believe Scripture to teach, and must ultimately be subject to Scripture and be able to be reformed when our system of doctrine is out of accord with Scripture.

  101. My favorite history professor from college had two statements he made at the beginning and end of every single class he taught. “Always err on the side of freedom, especially when it comes to speech.” “Once power is surrendered it is rarely gotten back.” While in theory a no-gossip rule sounds great, the practical application is such that freedom is suppressed and power is lost.

    On a lighter note, I put 16 lbs of fresh strawberries into the freezer as well as 4.5 lbs of blackberries which I picked this morning (in the rain no less). Now I need to get on to the real work of the day and finish packing up my stuff. 🙂

  102. BDW wrote:

    Seems like Moore is offering a needed critique and trying to do so with from a distinctly faith perspective.

    The article itself was well written and moderate and worth reading. I hope I have not misjudged the intent of the article and therefore misjudged Dr. Moore. But since I note that C J Mahaney wrote the forward in Dr. Moore’s book “Adopted for LIfe” I assumed, based on the timing and the recent trial and all, that Dr. Moore was concerned about the impact of social media outrage on his old friend. I could be wrong. Like Dee, I was looking at the timing. Perhaps the two things are not related.

  103. Rafiki wrote:

    @ Jed Paschall:
    Jed, what denomination do you belong to? FYI the last church I was a member of was the PCA.

    Rafiki,

    I am in the PCA, in a rare confessional congregation here on the West Coast. Not a typical PCA congregation by any means, but it’s where my family goes week in and week out to have our lowly souls nourished.

  104. Jed Paschall wrote:

    Not a typical PCA congregation by any means

    Based solely on your initial post above you didn’t strike me as belonging to a typical PCA congregation!

  105. “Another example of proof-texting. Jesus also drove the moneychangers out of the temple and had harsh words for the Pharisees. Shouldn’t He have ‘turned the other cheek’?”

    Right Deb!
    This is the thing – they love to quote “turning the cheek” when it has to do with standing up to injustices. What Jesus was talking about is not having revenge and hatred towards someone who has insulted you. Standing up for the weak, poor, injustice and widows is a whole different situation. The Scripture is chock full of instances where many have stood up to abuse and plain ‘ole bullying. Jesus did and so did Moses, Esther, David, Paul, Stephen, and etc….
    These guys have such thin skin that they themselves contradict what they are actually complaining about.
    Such narcissism and it greatly abounds in our culture today!

  106. JeffT wrote:

    In almost all the instances I’ve seen, businesses that advertise themselves as ‘Christian’ have been anything but. They just use it as a front to lure trusting and real Christians into dropping their guard so that they can be taken advantage of.

    As for Moore, as noted by HUG, their anger is always righteous, everyone else’s directed at them is ‘unChristian’ – the clear meaning is that no criticism of neo-Cal poo-bahs is allowed. In short, they are telling us “Do not touch my anointed ones”, with they, rather than God, determining who the ‘anointed’ are.

    The whole false sense of superiority of this crowd is disgusting.

    My husband and I have a saying: if the plumber or repair guy or business owner touts the fact that he’s a Christian, then watch your wallet!

    Cynicism born of hard experience.

  107. Heather wrote:

    If someone writes a book about the Jesus who held babies and welcomed the children and talked to women and healed the sick and dissed the Pharisees, then I might read it.

    You might be interested in “The Character of a Man” and “Jesus, the Man Who Loved Women” both by Bruce Marchiano. In the first book he looks at Jesus as the human Jesus and says this is what a real man looks like. The second book is self-explanatory.

  108. Btw…I too related this story to my own experience with workplace bullying. Though the context was a secular corporation, the bully boss just happened to be a born-again Christian. However, I don’t blame her creed for her control freakery. As with all things involving human beings, it was complicated.

  109. I respect that some may see Moore’s post differently, but here’s my observation.

    Evidently using the premise for his post, he begins with a father’s denigrating comparison of his sons normal, natural, healthy (imo) expression of pain, to that of a “girls-only” emotion. At least it’s identified as clumsy parenting with unintended results.

    From there Moore leaps using the word “lament” which entails grieving, mourning, and/or regretting. But does he allow the freedom to express grief, mourning, or regret however the hurting person chooses? NO! He proceeds to intimidate those who exercise freedom of speech by threatening them by insinuating they might perceive themselves prophets who might be a prophet of Baal, screaming and raving looking for a ball of fire that never comes down. How insulting is that towards the voices speaking out on issues they feel important?

    Following that insult, he goes on to again make a strange, uncalled for comparison to Satan’s rage. And the analogy to Peter with a sword is ludicrous imo. The vilification continues with words like “theatrical display of temper”, “frantic hysteria”, and “perpetually outraged” all in an effort to shut up those who dare to react in a way he deems apparently demonic.

    Regardless of the ambiguity of the target for his tirade, the message is clear….BE QUIET!! STOP IT!! He mentioned no compassion, empathy, or comprehension for those whose voices are finally finding it outside of churches from those who one would expect it from.

    And who is he referring to when he mentions those who are too scared to lament? My conclusion is that the post shames and intimidates those who are free to express themselves however they see fit at the time without feeling guilty for doing so. After all, he did!

  110. @ Deb:

    ???A conspiracy to cover up the cover up conspiracy that enable a child abuser to abuse more children??? That is the depth of depravity!!! YES, they ARE totally depraved!

  111. Nancy wrote:

    We even take short showers to save water and energy because both cost money.

    Nancy wrote:

    We even take short showers to save water and energy because both cost money.

    And there’s washing up in a bowl in the sink, instead of using the whole sink, and having a shower under a showerhead that is so weak you struggle to get your hsir wet (bless you grandma). Which neatly segues to Dave Ramsey’s showerhead, but you know, that would be alluding to gossip.

  112. Haitch wrote:

    And there’s washing up in a bowl in the sink, instead of using the whole sink, and having a shower under a showerhead that is so weak you struggle to get your hsir wet (bless you grandma).

    Did you do that? I have scrubbed down many a patient in the hospital with a pan of water and a washcloth, but never just a bowl in a sink.

  113. BDW wrote:

    I don’t quite get the lumping of Russell Moore with Dave Ramsey?

    I don’t either, for the simple fact that, despite his proof texts, neither Dave Ramsey nor anything having to do with money is Christian. And proverbs is wisdom literature: it may contain good advice (or not, since it was given to a very different social structure), but it is NOT Christian. I think the point is that they are both basically saying, “shut your pie-hole”. The only thing I see wrong in Moore’s post is his use of pretty extreme language; in fact, if I had to judge anyone’s speech on the basis of Moore’s descriptors, I don’t think anyone qualifies. But it also comes at an interesting time, when those surrounding Moore continue to do stupid things which are being called out. Philip Gunn appointed trustee of SBTS, the firing of Tchividjian for preaching the actual gospel, the continued association with CJ Mahaney, etc., etc. all makes the timing of this particular post unwise. I would also add that there is an embarrassing myopia about ERLC to have several conferences on homosexuality alone while ignoring serial child predation.

  114. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    HUG!!!! The chip on the body also serves a purpose!!!!!! When the rapture finally takes place it allows the one world government to track those left behind!! We’re going to have rapture nightmares tonight!!:-p

  115. singleman wrote:

    Anyone who’s been a target of workplace bullying or had a loved one who’s been a target should read Gary and Ruth Namie’s book, The Bully At Work. They also run the Workplace Bullying Institute

    Even though we have different workplace laws, etc, I found their book very helpful when I was in a bullying crisis (downloaded it as an eBook) and their YouTube clips put into words what I was unable to when my brain was like a Mixmaster. I’m very grateful to them.

  116. @ Jed Paschall:

    Glad to hear this. I am glad confessional Presbyterian scholars are taking the Neo Calvinists and Puritans to task. Something good can be taken to extremes and we see the consequences. Aside from the problem in Sovereign Grace, and the Gospel Coalition we see doctrinal strife between Protestant evangelicals as a result of these extreme groups. It is impacting the Southern Baptist Convention. There may be a pretension of unity, but the stress is below the surface. I may or may not have Calvinist convictions but I am suspicious of pastoral candidates from Southern Baptist Seminary and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary because I perceive there is a militancy from these institutions. Michael Horton and J. I. Packer may not have intended for persons who read their books to take things to extremes, but it has happened. So sorry if I took thing things to extremes and hurt people in my ignorance.

  117. Daisy wrote:

    Stuff Christian Culture Likes, Dave Ramsey post

    Email of the day:

    “Just heard a Dave Ramsey promo on the Amarillo talk station. The clip they employed to entice people to listen to Dave? Him saying:

    “Have you looked at someone’s nice car or big home and said something like ‘How many starving kids in Africa could they have fed with that?’ Well that just means you’re envious and you don’t know their situation and you’re a twerp and you need to shut up.”

    FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, Y’ALL.”

    I take it that the person who sent that is being serious, but I am hoping it’s another parody.

    Maybe not. DR’s 13,000 square-foot house and property valued at $4.9 million got some attention when I lived in Nashville.

    http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/dave-ramseys-new-house-did-he-follow-his-own-advice-and-pay-cash/

  118. The timing of Moore’s commentary also comes on the heels of his strong critique of Christian Talk Radio – the Bryan Fischers of the airwaves who embrace and promote an “outrage culture”

    I’m not sure how a fair reading of Moore would lead anyone to the takeaway that he’s communicating “shut your pie-hole.”

    The critique of Moore seems personality-driven – more about Moore the person than what he actually wrote.

  119. @ BDW:
    BDW wrote:

    The critique of Moore seems personality-driven – more about Moore the person than what he actually wrote.

    I highly doubt that. Moore is a perfect gentleman with a very accommodating personality. As a seminary professor he was engaging, thoughtful, and polite. He is intelligent, usually graceful, and has nothing about his personality that would offend most normal people.

    Rather, I suspect it is his ideas that some people disagree with.

  120. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    Perhaps it’s a disagreement with ideas he has previously expressed and a general dislike of him based on those ideas – not the commentary discussed in this post. See the comment: “He’s basically just a Mohler clone – Moore even resembles his mentor.” (other than being a white guy, I don’t see the resemblance)

  121. @ DebWilli:

    Thanks. I skimmed over that page and the link to the guy’s follow up page. Dave Ramsey himself visited the first page and left a comment there.

    So, he googles himself (for his name). I bet it’s only a matter of time before he finds this Wartburg Watch page and reads it.

    If he does, he needs to read my post above. I don’t think the guy quite understands internet culture.

    If he wants to stop people from criticizing him online or making parody accounts, the best way it to not comment on them, don’t complain about them in public, or at his workplace.

    To complain about online parody or critics on Twitter, blogs, and staff meetings, etc, as he has been doing, is to only draw more attention to the parody accounts and detractors, and blow them up even more.

    That is something someone who has been on the internet six months or more should already know, and I find it strange he doesn’t understand that.

  122. BDW wrote:

    I’m not sure how a fair reading of Moore would lead anyone to the takeaway that he’s communicating “shut your pie-hole.”

    I think it’s pretty fair.

    Over the last several years, a lot of big wig Christian personalities have publicly expressed loathing for blogs and Twitter.

    Some of them have categorized all criticism by “little guys” on social media and blogs as being “gossip.”

    Other well-known Christian blogs have, over the last year, been publishing more and more posts discouraging Christians from “being cynical,” from expressing any negativity about anything Christian-related (even if it is honest and well-deserved), and they define being negative/ being cynical as expressing criticism of churches and famous preachers.

    The goal is to make the pew sitters shut up about the big dogs. The internet evens the playing field, and they don’t like that.

  123. Too be honest, not really a big fan of Ramsey anyway. He distorts teaching on tithing which is NOT taught in any NT letters of the apostles. Really tired of the workshop seminar marketing in Western Christianity. Two word sacrificial mentoring is what’s needed.

  124. Deb posted:

    Taylor Joy wrote:

    Love Bombing, sleep deprivation, emotional vulnerability

    “Uh oh! Now you’re starting to describe what I believe to be KEY factors that keep Calvinista conference goers coming back for more…

    Add to the sleep deprivation loud music along with mesmerizing light displays, which put conference goers into a hypnotic state.

    These mind control techniques yield predictable results…”

    This is starting to sound like Amway’s “Dream Weekend”, the goal of which is to get you to fork over your $$$ to get started as an IBO, starting your very own organization!

  125. This is on an atheist blog, so I assume the lady who wrote this is an atheist.

    Her father pestered her and her new husband to attend Dave Ramsey seminars, which they did, and tried putting Ramsey’s advice into practice.

    Some of the comments below this page are also illuminating.

    Better Than I Deserve? Dave Ramsey’s Debt-Free Kingdom of Power

    By Hännah Ettinger

    Later on, when we were divorcing and I was trying to become financially self-sufficient, I ran into a lot of problems because I didn’t have a credit card or a credit score — I didn’t exist financially beyond my checking account, thanks to Dave Ramsey, and that meant I couldn’t get a legal apartment lease or a car loan.

  126. Daisy wrote:

    By Hännah Ettinger
    Later on, when we were divorcing and I was trying to become financially self-sufficient, I ran into a lot of problems because I didn’t have a credit card or a credit score — I didn’t exist financially beyond my checking account, thanks to Dave Ramsey, and that meant I couldn’t get a legal apartment lease or a car loan.

    While I didn’t know Dave Ramsey at the time of my divorce, I experienced the same problem Hannah did. I assumed because my name was on the credit cards that I had credit. I didn’t. Fortunately I went back to work (had to after 17 yrs.) and applied for a credit card at JC Penney and a local shoe store. When I got those, I immediately purchased a few things and paid them off right away. Continued for awhile and 2 yrs. later was able to get an apartment and buy a home a couple years later. Not easy but doable.

    This is one reason I am in favor of women working while married if at all possible. Life is sometimes like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’ll get. 🙂

  127.   __

    [correction on above post]

    Did this Christian employer Dave Ramsey,

    …actually brandish a firearm in the workplace?

  128. Nancy wrote:

    What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background. Any and all help here would be appreciated.

    I think it stems from the very real and the very human desire for certainty. What human doesn’t want to bet on a sure thing? It’s in all of us to one degree or another. In my opinion, Reformed thought (Calvinism) caters to this longing better than say the old liturgical traditions of the North, or even the old Baptist tradition common in the American South. It does so with a lock-stock-and-barrel-air-tight-this-is-what-the-Bible-teaches approach which guarantees an outcome for its devotees.

  129.   __

    Muff Potter ,

    When an individual  makes theology a replacement for simple belief in Jesus, (according to the scriptures), something is terribly wrong, as nether theology, nor doctrine will ever save anyone!

    Sopy

  130. Sopwith wrote:

    When an individual makes theology a replacement for simple belief in Jesus, (according to the scriptures), something is terribly wrong, as nether theology, nor doctrine will ever save anyone!

    Amen Sopy. Theological constructs mean little when you’ve closed your eyes and eaten grilled fish with the light of the world.

  131. When evangelicals start to figure out why 75% of American Jews align themselves politically left and not right perhaps they will figure some of it is their own doing with how they distort OT texts.

  132. NJ wrote:

    This is starting to sound like Amway’s “Dream Weekend”, the goal of which is to get you to fork over your $$$ to get started as an IBO, starting your very own organization!

    I do believe these Christian conferences are patterned after those held by multi-level marketing organizations like Amway.  Instead of pushing the "tools business", they have a mega bookstore.   And instead of being an IBO, the goal at these Christian conferences is to become a 'church planter'.  Just another pyramid scheme where the BIG DAWGS at the top are calling the shots (and making the $$$).  T$G certainly comes to mind.

    There's nothing new under the sun…

  133. Steve Scott wrote:

    Gossip?

    Since when is the discussion of mutually shared experiences between common witnesses a form of gossip?

    Anything that is not Total Praise of the ManaGawd is Gossip.

    Remember the Cee Jay Tribute musical number?

  134. Rafiki wrote:

    @ Hester:

    Moore’s railing against “this world” is just so exhausting on many levels. Russ, we all live in “this world” and the Kingdom is HERE. NOW.

    Not if you’re a Gnostic Pneumatic, so SPIRITUAL(TM) you have ceased to be Physical and/or human.
    “Spiritual Good! Physical BAAAAAAAAAAD!”

  135. Deb wrote:

    Rafiki wrote:

    Final comment – wow wow wow – calling a staff meeting and pasting people’s private social media convos, and FAMILY PICTURES for all to see?

    Tit for tat… It begs the question What Would Jesus Do?

    Pull a gun?

  136. Serving Kids in Japan wrote:

    Also very Scientology-esque. Standard operating procedure for the Office of Special Affairs. In the Co$, they’re the only ones who are allowed to go online, and read negative articles. They then comment, and do their best to lambast the author (and all other critics), and deflect the conversation onto totally unrelated topics.

    Just what is the relationship between OSA, the Guardian’s Office (GO), Ethics, and Sea Org? Or is this just another ChEKA/OGPU/NKVD/KGB change-the-name two-step?
    (I do know Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) is $cientology’s in-house prison system/GULAG, and the verious forms of Overboarding.)

  137. Eagle wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    HUG!!!! The chip on the body also serves a purpose!!!!!! When the rapture finally takes place it allows the one world government to track those left behind!! We’re going to have rapture nightmares tonight!!:-p

    Eagle, in the Seventies I went through that for real.

    There’s a reason kids with Aspie symptoms/characteristics are advised to steer clear of “certain kinds of religions”.

  138. Steve Scott wrote:

    Gossip?
    Since when is the discussion of mutually shared experiences between common witnesses a form of gossip?

    Since the definition of gossip was changed. One of the strategies of people who want to control other people is changing definitions. And when the definition itself cannot be totally changed the associated nuances can be.

  139. Establishing a credit history for both parties to a marriage is a necessity in estate planning, so that whichever spouse remains has a credit history. In our home, we have several credit accounts in the name of each of us, so that, if one were disabled or to pass on, the other could continue to have credit resources. We have bought vehicles in both names, one with a 0.9% interest rate and one with a 0.0%! interest rate. We put the money to make the payments into a savings account and made the payments each month by automatic deduction from the savings account. Thereby creating a great payment record.

    A credit card is a necessity for many things, including travel, and debit cards are dangerous for many reasons. A client of mine had a little car with an 8 gallon tank. He went to the station and swiped his debit card, having enough there to fill up the tank. But the card agent assumed he had a 20 gallon tank, for which he did not have enough, so dinged him for an overdraft, which meant he had too little left for the gas he actually got, so when the transaction was done, they dinged him a second overdraft. We are waiting for them to sue for payment! But in the meantime, his credit is ruined. It would not have been a problem on a credit card!

  140. Heather wrote:

    I think the Gospelly crowd might, way down deep in their hidden thoughts, think that Jesus really wasted his life.

    Now there’s a thought. They wouldn’t have been alone, of course, because his brothers thought so too. It’s really thought-provoking that John says Jesus’ brothers didn’t believe in him.

    I suppose there will always be those who want to be cheerleaders for Jesus’ PR machine, but from God’s perspective, don’t actually believe in him.

  141. Daisy wrote:

    I see Driscoll, Ramsey, and other Christians do this. They treat people horribly but phrase all their correspondence in such a way they make it sound like they are being loving, Christ-like, honorable, etc, but they are not.

    Your comparison of Driscoll and Ramsey is apt! Each runs a successful business with thousands of apparently satisfied customers. Each is, personally, the “brand”. And each is, from all accounts a boss from hell. Still-sketchy reports are that yet another pastor has been thrown off MH bus (2 in one week). And this example of corporate-speak explaining the first firing is PRICELESS!
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/05/28/mars-hill-everett-lead-pastor-comments-about-departure-of-elder-forced-out-over-non-compete-clause/

    ‘From Pastor Ryan Williams
    Leaders,
    I want to inform you of a leadership transition in the CG Director role here at Mars Hill Church Everett.
    Phil Poirier will be transitioning from the CG Director role here at Mars Hill Everett and will be replaced by Pastor Jeff Gwin.
    Phil has also transitioned from the elder team.’

    Transition, Transitioning, Transition! = Canned, Fired, Sacked!

  142. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Just what is the relationship between OSA, the Guardian’s Office (GO), Ethics, and Sea Org? Or is this just another ChEKA/OGPU/NKVD/KGB change-the-name two-step?

    Thanks for asking, HUG. You’re right about GO and OSA. The Guardian’s Office was the old name for Scientology’s “dirty tricks” wing. After they got caught committing crimes against the gov’t, they were “officially disbanded”. But the Office of Special Affairs has exactly the same function today.

    The Sea Organization is touted as the “church’s” devoted volunteer clergy. In fact, they’re a glorified slave labour force. They’re the ones who are “employed” by OSA (and almost all of Scientology’s alphabet soup groups).

    In other words, everyone who works for OSA is part of the Sea Org, but not everyone in the Sea Org is part of OSA.

    Incidentally, I didn’t mean to imply above that Ramsey has his own cadre of specially trained and selected followers, scouring the Internet for any mention of him and running interference. (That’s one of OSA’s jobs.) The trolls and deflectors I mentioned may just be super starry-eyed followers horrified at the “slandering” of their guru. Or (as you suggested) they might know Ramsey personally, and are hoping for kudos from him. But if they are doing this silly stuff under orders from him, I wouldn’t be too surprised.

  143. Nancy wrote:

    One of the strategies of people who want to control other people is changing definitions. And when the definition itself cannot be totally changed the associated nuances can be.

    Isn’t that one of Robert Lifton’s criteria of thought reform? Loading the Language.

  144. Victorious wrote:

    applied for a credit card at JC Penney and a local shoe store

    Re: credit experience. I got married and graduated from med school the same weekend. Both of these events immediately impacted whether people thought me credit worthy. In trying to change my name on various cards I ran into what seemed to be an industry wide refusal to simply re-issue my card in my new name as well as a refusal to issue me a card at all (where I had not had a card) but an overwhelming readiness to issue one to my husband with a copy of it to me (with my name on it but without actual credit to me personally). The explanations were always that is our policy regarding married couples. My husband finally found one place that would issue me what I wanted—J C Penney. That was in 1964. Yay for J C Penney.

    And guess where else confiscated my card and would not re-issue me one–only a copy of my husband’s. The Louisville Free Public Library. Get that. The state of KY was going to trust me with people’s lives, but the library would not trust me with a book. I think it was that same year I learned to cuss–in the privacy of my own home of course.

  145. Dave Ramsey and Russell Moore – Trying to Silence the Lambs?

    Can’t have your mutton getting uppity…

  146. Serving Kids in Japan wrote:

    Nancy wrote:

    One of the strategies of people who want to control other people is changing definitions. And when the definition itself cannot be totally changed the associated nuances can be.

    Isn’t that one of Robert Lifton’s criteria of thought reform? Loading the Language.

    My Dear Wormwood:
    Remember my previous letter to you regarding semantics? About redefinition of words into their diabolical meanings?
    Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,
    Screwtape

  147. Serving Kids in Japan wrote:

    The Sea Organization is touted as the “church’s” devoted volunteer clergy. In fact, they’re a glorified slave labour force. They’re the ones who are “employed” by OSA (and almost all of Scientology’s alphabet soup groups).

    In other words, everyone who works for OSA is part of the Sea Org, but not everyone in the Sea Org is part of OSA.

    So Sea Org is analogous to the Allegemine-SS, a uniformed special elite order that can serve as a personnel pool for Internal Security and Dirty Tricks. As in “Not every SS-man is Gestapo, but all Gestapo are SS personnel.”

    Or getting around Godwin’s Law, not all Party Members are Thought Police, but all Thought Police have to be Party Members. LOYAL Party Members; Internal Security is a natural power base for a coup. That’s how Saddam came to power, by becoming the Baath Party’s top Enforcer and staging a coup-from-within; how does the guy on top keep his Enforcers from knocking HIM over and taking over themselves?

  148. Dave A A wrote:

    And this example of corporate-speak explaining the first firing is PRICELESS!

    Ooooh, that IS priceless.

    Love this quote:

    “There was no sin on Phil’s behalf that have caused his disqualification in any way.”

    Well, THAT’S a relief! Ugh.

    The language used: “transitioning” (= SACKED); “commit to a level of trust and unity” (= OBEY YOUR MASTER!); and “CG leader sync” (= MEETING TO DISCUSS STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH YOUR SACKED DISOBEDIENT SELF).

  149. Dave A A wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    I see Driscoll, Ramsey, and other Christians do this. They treat people horribly but phrase all their correspondence in such a way they make it sound like they are being loving, Christ-like, honorable, etc, but they are not.

    Your comparison of Driscoll and Ramsey is apt! Each runs a successful business with thousands of apparently satisfied customers. Each is, personally, the “brand”. And each is, from all accounts a boss from hell. Still-sketchy reports are that yet another pastor has been thrown off MH bus (2 in one week).

    That is why I say Concern and Compassion (and Politeness) is the Mark of a Sociopath. (Right up there with the mutant power to Induce Guilt and Pity for Poor Poor Me.) Especially if they keep telling you about their Great Concern and Compassion for you.

    It’s the one-on-one RL application of the TV Trope “People’s Republic of Tyranny”, where the more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is.

  150. @ Steve Scott & Nancy:

    Since when is the discussion of mutually shared experiences between common witnesses a form of gossip?

    Since the definition of gossip was changed.

    That implies there was an agreed-upon definition of gossip beforehand. If anybody can provide one I’d love to see it, because so far I haven’t found it. When Christians pull it out it seems to mean “words spoken that are critical of me or my friends/heroes/whatever.”

  151. @ Hester:

    That is a good point. I thought that we used to mean that gossip was telling something about somebody else that they did not want told, unless it was absolutely necessary. If you had to say “don’t say that I told you but…” then don’t say it because it would be gossip. At the same time some things needed said regardless, like “don’t ride in the car with him driving because I just saw him drinking” would be necessary, and in that case there is no need to hide the identity of the informer. So, don’t let your kid go to the youth sleepover, their cousin is there and he is an identified offender, would be necessary, not gossip, for example.

    Some of the comments here seem to be saying that some churches have extended the concept of gossip to include a broader spectrum of communication / information. I have not personally been in such a church situation, that is just what I have concluded from some comments here.

  152. Nancy wrote:

    That is a good point. I thought that we used to mean that gossip was telling something about somebody else that they did not want told, unless it was absolutely necessary. If you had to say “don’t say that I told you but…” then don’t say it because it would be gossip.

    I think gossip also includes idle talk, speculation or rumor about another person. Such as telling another person, that you saw a married man from your church dining at a restaurant with an woman who was not his wife (idle talk) with drinks on the table (speculation that they were alcoholic). And you conclude by saying that you are not surprised by what you saw because you heard the married man is having marital difficulties.(rumor)

  153. @ Hester:

    Sometimes gossip is just sharing benign info: Mary got a new haircut. Or it can be malicious: Mary got the worst haircut and it’s all Suzie’s fault. or third party: I hear mary threw a drink in suzie’s face because of the bad haircut and suzie’s husband punched Marys girlfriend. ( but don’t tell anyone I told you)

    It’s like porn. Most people know the difference between sharing info and malicious gossip. Shouldn’t that be part of the discernment these gurus are so proud of?

  154. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember the Cee Jay Tribute musical number?

    I’ve thought about transcribing the words from that number and handing it out as a flyer to Anchored Conference attendees, with the suggestion, “You might want to sing this to C.J.” It’s so over the top, but I’m pretty sure there would be people who would not get it and think I’m serious.

  155. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Just what is the relationship between OSA, the Guardian’s Office (GO), Ethics, and Sea Org? Or is this just another ChEKA/OGPU/NKVD/KGB change-the-name two-step?
    (I do know Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) is $cientology’s in-house prison system/GULAG, and the verious forms of Overboarding.)

    The Guardian’s Office (GO) is the former version of what is now called OSA. The name was changed after several Scientologists (including Mary Sue Hubbard) were indicted and convicted of stealing documents from the US Government in the late 1970s in “Operation Snow White.” L. Ron Hubbard was an unindicted co-conspirator.

    The Sea Org is the unincorporated ecclesiastical order that “runs” Scientology. (Actually, David Miscavige runs Scientology, and the SO are his enforcers, when he’s not smacking them.)

    Ethics is an office in Scientology, as in “I’m going to report you to Ethics,” or “You’ll be called to Ethics.” They’re the sin sniffers of Scientology and they have the ability to punish you for various infractions.

  156. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember the Cee Jay Tribute musical number?

    Brent Detwiler spoke at the “Milestone Weekend” or anniversary, where CJ was honored for his years of ministry on September 17-19, 2004, and during which time that little musical number was performed. More videos from that event can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/user/SGMSurvivors/videos

    However, in reading Brent’s documents about what was going on around that time frame in SGM, it’s obvious that what was being proclaimed publicly regarding CJ was quite different than what others were experiencing behind the scenes. http://www.brentdetwiler.com/the-documents/ (Find: “Milestone” in the PDF entitled Parts 1-7 in one PDF)

    In private there’s all this hostility and undercurrent of treachery going on, yet in public everything seems hunky-dory. The illusion was unraveling, with shocking and disturbing activities that would end up being uncovered.

    Members were not allowed to gossip as a policy in SGM either, and I think whenever you see this in place, it’s almost certain that what is going on behind the scenes is very different than the public illusion they portray and expect you to trust in and believe – without question or “discussion.”

  157. Nancy wrote:

    I can understand why somebody born into the tradition might continue to be hyper-calvinist / neo-puritan, especially if some of the more extreme positions worked their way into the system slowly and insidiously. What I need to understand is what it would be about this style of theology / doing church that would attract people who were not raised that way but who converted from a different background.

    As far as I can observe, one reason for it is a variation on the “search for certainty” that has been mentioned already. Namely: a proportion of human beings will give anything to have someone else make their decisions for them.

    It’s subtly different from wanting someone else to do their thinking for them. Within broad limits, people like this are more than willing to think. But when it comes to significant metaphysical decisions:
     Am I a good person?
     Is my life significant?
     Does God approve of me?

    they’re somehow afraid that answering those questions for themselves would be presumptuous and arrogant. So if someone else comes along, loudly claiming to be teaching the bible, it offers the security of two shields against the much-feared “arrogance” of claiming to know God for oneself: the bold, confident teacher, and the Biblescriptures.

    The person in question may have hung around some Christian culture or other but, for whatever reason, never built their own living, real-time relationship with God. If so, they’re probably plagued by nagging doubts that they’re not good enough. If they then come across someone who says, obey our biblescripture teaching and you won’t have to worry about being good enough, then at least it’s better than what they’ve got.

  158. Moving day commences in about 1.5 hours. Woohoo! My fiance and I have the “privilege” of driving my car and my little old cat 1400 miles in the next two days.

    On a slightly more related noted, the major metropolitan area in Utah seems to be obsessed with Dave Ramsey. So much so that I thought perhaps he was a Mormon or based in the area. He has billboards all over the place and his products are highly sought after. I’m not sure why this is the case but it is interesting.

  159. … continued…

    On a related note, I cannot help but be sceptical of Park Fiscal’s claim that God called him to teach men the Bible. If you really want to teach men the Bible, you need to teach them to read (if they can’t already), then give them access to the Bible (if they haven’t got it already). Then, be a living demonstration of why reading the Bible for yourself is a good plan.

  160. Mandy wrote:

    Moving day commences in about 1.5 hours. Woohoo! My fiance and I have the “privilege” of driving my car and my little old cat 1400 miles in the next two days.

    This reminds me of when a friend of mine and I drove from Salt Lake City to Phoenix in one day. I was moving (“back to the United States,” per my friend) and I had two cats with me. My friend spent most of the trip comforting one of my kitties, who was downright frantic and literally foaming at the mouth about being in a car. (The other cat was just fine after he barfed up just before Provo.)

    On a slightly more related noted, the major metropolitan area in Utah seems to be obsessed with Dave Ramsey. So much so that I thought perhaps he was a Mormon or based in the area. He has billboards all over the place and his products are highly sought after. I’m not sure why this is the case but it is interesting.

    Interesting. I guess that niche hasn’t been filled by a Mormon. Back when I lived there, Utah washome to all sorts of scams and get-rich-quick schemes. Maybe they need a Dave Ramsey to put them on the straight and narrow.

  161. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    This reminds me of when a friend of mine and I drove from Salt Lake City to Phoenix in one day. I was moving (“back to the United States,” per my friend)

    Hehe. My fiance said the same thing when he helped his sister move from Phoenix back to SLC. Personally I feel like I’m moving to a foreign country. 🙂

    @Nick, Thanks! I will update as I can but it may not be until Wednesday. Monday’s drive to ABQ is going to be the hardest and longest leg of the journey.

  162. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    If you really want to teach men the Bible, you need to teach them to read (if they can’t already), then give them access to the Bible (if they haven’t got it already). Then, be a living demonstration of why reading the Bible for yourself is a good plan.

    Absolutely.

  163. May wrote:

    Sorry to go off-topic, but has this been posted anywhere on this site? Tullian Tchividjian apologises for hurtful remarks about Gospel Coalition break-up.
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/tullian-tchividjian-apologizes-for-remarks-about-gospel-coalition-break-up-120667/

    I respect his humble attitude, but I fear that this may lead to further complacency and arrogance on the part of TGC and their acolytes.

    Now it has. 🙂

    I read that post and wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.

  164. I was watching TV early this morning. I did not know it until today, but James MacDonald has his own TV show. It was on around 9 or 9:30 AM. He has been discussed here in a blog post or two before.

  165. @ Daisy:
    James MacDonald also has a radio program called ‘Walk in the Word’, which comes on Christian radio Monday through Friday.

    His church also has a church planting network.

  166. @ Deb:

    I just looked it up on the internet – the TV guide for my area – and that was the name of his show, “Walk in the Word.” I only watched a couple of minutes of the show and turned the channel.

    I am just a little surprised at the number of guys I see talked about on the blogosphere who get their own shows, like Steve Furtick has a new show on TBN that started a few months ago, and now I see MacDonald is on TV. (Or maybe he’s been on for months but I never noticed before?)

    I wonder if Driscoll is going to try to get his own show?

  167. Deb wrote:

    I read that post and wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.

    Enlightened Self-Criticism, i.e. the Chairman’s Red Guard bent him over in the airplane position and forced him to sing “I am a Cow-Headed Monster” before the masses?

  168. Mandy wrote:

    mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    This reminds me of when a friend of mine and I drove from Salt Lake City to Phoenix in one day. I was moving (“back to the United States,” per my friend)

    Hehe. My fiance said the same thing when he helped his sister move from Phoenix back to SLC. Personally I feel like I’m moving to a foreign country. 🙂

    Well, considering the history of Utah, that’s not surprising. Settled by Mormons specifically to put distance between themselves and the USA of the time, developed their own unique culture in isolation, then when the USA expanded to annex them, held out for maximum autonomy within Statehood.

    I’m surprised there haven’t been more Westerns set in Utah. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Tom Berenger’s “Avenging Angel”, a Bourne-style intrigue thriller set around the time of Utah statehood, working in a couple actual forgotten local historical figures. Lots of material there, and the Mormons are a LOT less touchy than the Scientologists.

  169. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    On a slightly more related noted, the major metropolitan area in Utah seems to be obsessed with Dave Ramsey. So much so that I thought perhaps he was a Mormon or based in the area. He has billboards all over the place and his products are highly sought after. I’m not sure why this is the case but it is interesting.

    Interesting. I guess that niche hasn’t been filled by a Mormon. Back when I lived there, Utah washome to all sorts of scams and get-rich-quick schemes. Maybe they need a Dave Ramsey to put them on the straight and narrow.

    If Mormon Glenn Beck can be the Evangelicals’ go-to guy for politics and public morality, why couldn’t Born-Again Dave Ramsey be the Mormons’ go-to guy for personal finance?

  170. Deb wrote:

    His church also has a church planting network.

    We have a number of Harvest churches here in the Phoenix area.

  171. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    If Mormon Glenn Beck can be the Evangelicals’ go-to guy for politics and public morality, why couldn’t Born-Again Dave Ramsey be the Mormons’ go-to guy for personal finance?

    I’ve been noticing the evangelical Christian and Mormon overlap lately.

    When looking up information about Christians and “X” (whatever X may be) on the internet, I will find that Christian companies and authors also provide their same services or knowledge to Mormons.

    I found another example this past week of this but can’t remember what it was. I was looking up information about Christians and some subject, and I found a web site that caters to both Christians and Mormons.

    Several weeks before, I found a site that discusses sexual purity and modesty, which I think is owned by Christians.

    They say on their modesty site that their primary clientele are Christians, but they also have a lot of Mormon schools and Mormon churches (or whatever Mormons call their churches, I forget their jargon) asking for their materials, too.

  172. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    If Mormon Glenn Beck can be the Evangelicals’ go-to guy for politics and public morality, why couldn’t Born-Again Dave Ramsey be the Mormons’ go-to guy for personal finance?

    Maybe they have a kind of non-agression pact. Until their own Operation Barbarossa so to speak?

  173. Amy Smith wrote:

    “My wish for Southern Baptists is that somehow God would raise up about 40 clones of Jack Graham for us,” Patterson said.
    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/plano/headlines/20140531-jack-graham-celebrates-25-years-as-pastor-of-prestonwood-baptist-church.ece

    Part of the problem in SBC are too many clones. We don’t need more Jack Graham’s. We need more pastors who aren’t into emulating those who are tauted by Mr. Patterson and ilk. We need pastors who can think for themselves and we need more congregants who aren’t passive and agreeable lemmings, especially when something really wrong is happening. Mr. Patterson lost all credibilty years ago. He and his wife are abominable in my opinion. And Dotties Southwestern Seminary’s stained glass window project is ghastly and borders on the unmentionable. Nice if the stain glass windows were stories from the Bible.

  174. The kitty and I made it to our hotel in the dfw area safely. Please pray that my cat would tolerate the next two days of driving and that she would relax in the car. My fiance’s flight lands in a little while so he’ll be able to help me with driving and entertaining the furry critter.

  175. @ Daisy:
    Daisy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’ve been noticing the evangelical Christian and Mormon overlap lately.

    Evangelical leaders such as Albert Mohler have as part of their speaking engagements, BYU. It is actually pretty common these days that evangelical leaders have speaking engagements at Mormon conferences. There is more overlap than some evangelicals would like to admit.

  176. I wrote:

    Gossip?

    Since when is the discussion of mutually shared experiences between common witnesses a form of gossip?

    Of course, this is a bit of a rhetorical question on this site.

  177. Joe2 wrote:

    I think gossip also includes idle talk, speculation or rumor about another person. Such as telling another person, that you saw a married man from your church dining at a restaurant with an woman who was not his wife (idle talk) with drinks on the table (speculation that they were alcoholic). And you conclude by saying that you are not surprised by what you saw because you heard the married man is having marital difficulties.(rumor)

    And the fact that you didn’t know he hadn’t seen his sister in five years.

  178. Steve Scott wrote:

    And the fact that you didn’t know he hadn’t seen his sister in five years.

    Good point, Steve: things aren’t always what they seem. Which just goes to show the importance of the “two or three witnesses” thing. No matter what: even if said man was caught in flagrante with a woman other than his wife. There is unlikely to be an innocent explanation for that, but the matter must still be properly established. Maybe it’s even worse than it looks!

    There’s an old rule of thumb for identifying gossip that many here will have come across:
     Is it true?
     Is it kind?
     Is it necessary?

    If it’s negative, and is not all three of the above apple-points, it’s gossip. Of course, this is still only a rule of thumb, righteousness cannot be achieved by law, and it would be hopeless to try to pin down “gossip” in a single definition that could never give rise to injustices or anomalies. But I think it’s worth setting out a matter of principle on at least one of the above, to wit, necessary.

    Several people commented in the TWW Cantina about how reading accounts of abusive treatment in churches was a lifeline to them. Because they too had experienced this but didn’t know how to process it: am I insane? Was it my fault? Is it just me? They’re not, and it wasn’t, and it isn’t; but had these truths not been told openly, many more victims would be left to suffer alone.

    Russell Moore does kind of have a point about “lamenting” – there’s a time and a place for it. But the same passage in Isaiah 58 that commands us to do away with the pointing finger and malicious talk, also commands us to do away with the yoke of oppression and satisfy the needs of the oppressed. You can’t do that just by lamenting.

  179. Deb wrote in her post:

    Suddenly, advances in technology have leveled the playing field by giving the little guy or gal a means to be heard.  No longer can the leaders say and do whatever they want while telling the rest of us to forever hold our peace.

    I think this is the crux of the matter. And for the people who operate authoritarian type organizations, and who believe they have been invested with a higher power that enables them to impose laws others, they feel outraged like Dave Ramsay that his subjects would dare exert their individuality and express themselves without his permission. And so they threaten and intimidate people like Russell Moore, because they see themselves on a higher spiritual plane than others, the little people whom they must lead and control and beat (or shoot) into submission, with heavy warnings about the use of the internet and the dangers of the worst thing Satan has unleashed on earth: gossip – if we’re all easily manipulated like ignorant people living in the Dark Ages, frightened by superstitions.

    On another website I noticed a comment someone made about Ramsay’s house. They said it looked like a castle.

    Yup. Seems fitting that a king would choose to to live in a castle-like dwelling. And since his attitude toward his subjects is unbiblical and one of master/slave, it’s no surprise to discover that as a professing Christian he bears little resemblance to Jesus but instead acts like a goon.  

  180. I erroneously wrote in my last comment: wrote:

    And so they threaten and intimidate people like Russell Moore, because they see themselves on a higher spiritual plane than others, the little people

    I meant to say that Russell Moore was one of those people who threaten and intimidate the little people, not that he was one of the little people himself. And I’m not going to gossip about his stature now either. Or about his manly insistence on the subordination of women. Or about how weird I think he is.

  181. Steve Scott wrote:

    And the fact that you didn’t know he hadn’t seen his sister in five years.

    This is true, but there is another side to this whole issue. And please understand that I am not in any way in favor of turning our society or our churches into some sort of gossipy and hateful spy camp of fussy and evil minded people who ought rather see to themselves and leave other people alone. Not saying that at all. I am saying that we need to learn when to speak up and when to remain silent, and that either extreme can lead to problems.

    For example, what about whistleblowers? What happens in a business, let us say, if one of the partners is involved in fraudulent behavior and those who may know about it do not give the heads up to the other partners? What happens when some man who is out of town for his job does not know that his wife in his absence is messing around and leaving the children unsupervised at home while doing it? What happens if there is a serial predator at large in some church and nobody informs the congregation? What happens when the control of information enables some people to stay in power and keeps other people relatively powerless, regardless of truth or merit?

    It has happened to me, and I assume to others, that I went skipping down some road oblivious of some awfulness in the path, when the great bird of whatever would fly over and used my head for an outdoor facility, and then people would come along with the comment: “Well, I/we knew this all along, and we didn’t want to say anything.” In other words, we don’t give too hoots and a holler about either you or the situation, just so long as we can appear righteous and stay safe. Or it means, na nanny boo boo, we are in the in group who know things and you are not. Too bad for you. That is bad enough when it is some minor issue, but when it impacts someone’s job or marriage or children or finances who can justify that withholding of information?

    I just do not think that turning a blind eye to stuff, keeping silent, not wanting to get involved, see no evil, is necessarily always the right thing to do.

  182. In the recording Deb posted of Dave Ramsay explaining his new edict, he defines gossip as, “when a negative is discussed with anyone who can’t fix the problem.”

    CJ Mahaney constantly insisted gossip was “discussing anything if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution.”

    Mahaney’s attitude toward his subjects was the same as Ramsay’s, the only difference is Mahaney was an actor who made himself appear nice and humble. Ramsay makes it obvious. I’m sure Mahaney would love to “pastor” Ramsay like he sought to do with Driscoll and give him some acting lessons.

  183. Paula wrote:

    Or about his manly insistence on the subordination of women.

    It is important for people to realize that Russell Moore has not experienced a change in the way he views things in spite of the possibility he has come to realize that the SBC is in deep trouble and needs to be a whole lot smarter in how they express things.

  184. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    There’s an old rule of thumb for identifying gossip that many here will have come across:
     Is it true?
     Is it kind?
     Is it necessary?

    I imagine saying someone is gossiping, when they are not, is gossiping?

  185. @ Steve Scott:
    I, too hate gossip. Real gossip is demeaning to the person who is the object of said gossip. However, some sharing of information can be important to prevent misunderstanding. This is when it gets sticky.
    Here is an example.

    When my son was younger, he was invited to a sleepover at someone’s house. I knew that many friends at church had allowed their sons to sleep over at that house in the past but, unbeknownst to me, no longer allowed their kids to spend the night there.They knew the single parent and knew that sometimes there was inappropriate behavior on the part of the parent going on. I had spoken with the parent on a number of occasions, had been to their house and everything appeared fine.

    Well, it wasn’t. Let’s just say a “party on” situation occurred while my son was present. He told me about it the next morning. I called the parent to discuss it and my son’ perspective was correct and the parent of the boy reamed me out for my concern, saying I was being judgmental. Trust me, I didn’t lecture. I just wanted to know if my son was perceiving things correctly (He was in second grade).

    I decided to ask a couple of people about it. They all knew about the situation and did not tell me because they did not want to gossip. Needless to say, I did let a few people know because I knew their sons were friends.

    And I did not punish the friend. It wasn’t his fault. I made sure to include him in sleepovers, birthday parties, etc. He never knew about the controversy as far as I was aware.

  186. Peter wrote:

    I imagine saying someone is gossiping, when they are not, is gossiping?

    Probably closer to slander… depends on the context!

    It’s noteworthy that one of the relatively few things Jesus explicitly commanded his followers to refrain from was ruling over one another hierarchically. Moreover, Jesus explicitly stated that this was the way of His Kingdom in contrast to the way of the world. In other words, it is a Gospel matter if ever there was one! And yet it has never really been labelled as a sin…

  187. In other news, Lajovic has just taken another game off Rafa, ensuring that he can’t quite be bagelled. Wait – this just in: he’s just lost his final service game to love. Rafa wins 1, 2 and 1.

  188. Paula wrote:

    In the recording Deb posted of Dave Ramsay explaining his new edict, he defines gossip as, “when a negative is discussed with anyone who can’t fix the problem.”

    CJ Mahaney constantly insisted gossip was “discussing anything if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution.”

    Mahaney’s attitude toward his subjects was the same as Ramsay’s, the only difference is Mahaney was an actor who made himself appear nice and humble. Ramsay makes it obvious. I’m sure Mahaney would love to “pastor” Ramsay like he sought to do with Driscoll and give him some acting lessons.

    Interesting definition…especially if no one is addressing the problem, which is usually why the natives in any organization get restless….

  189. Paula wrote:

    In the recording Deb posted of Dave Ramsay explaining his new edict, he defines gossip as, “when a negative is discussed with anyone who can’t fix the problem.”

    Nancy’s point about whistleblowing is pertinent here. Whistleblowing often means broadcasting the problem with an appeal for someone, who has the means, to come and fix it. The whistleblower may not have access to anyone with sufficient influence. This will almost certainly be the case in an isolated, self-maintaining “church” organisation where the CEO openly submits to no-one within the organisation, and only to his hand-picked buddies outside of it.

    Picking up on Peter’s point, which aliterates rather more than I intended it to *, perhaps we need an up-to-date word or phrase to describe the habit of deliberately calling one’s critics “gossips”, in order to keep one’s deeds hidden and avoid meaningful and appropriate accountability.

    * I’m off to pick a peck of pickled peppers now.

  190. Rafiki wrote:

    Love this quote:

    “There was no sin on Phil’s behalf that have caused his disqualification in any way.”

    Well, THAT’S a relief! Ugh.

    The language used: “transitioning” (= SACKED); “commit to a level of trust and unity” (= OBEY YOUR MASTER!); and “CG leader sync” (= MEETING TO DISCUSS STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH YOUR SACKED DISOBEDIENT SELF).

    “Remember to use proper code words: ‘Relocation’, ‘Resettlement’, ‘Delousing’…”
    — Seventies TV miniseries Holocaust

  191. Paula wrote:

    Mahaney’s attitude toward his subjects was the same as Ramsay’s, the only difference is Mahaney was an actor who made himself appear nice and humble. Ramsay makes it obvious. I’m sure Mahaney would love to “pastor” Ramsay like he sought to do with Driscoll and give him some acting lessons.

    Anyone remember the Koine Greek word for “Actor”?

  192. Nancy wrote:

    This is true, but there is another side to this whole issue. And please understand that I am not in any way in favor of turning our society or our churches into some sort of gossipy and hateful spy camp of fussy and evil minded people who ought rather see to themselves and leave other people alone.

    You don’t need to, Nanc.
    A lot of churches are already there.

  193. Paula wrote:

    In the recording Deb posted of Dave Ramsay explaining his new edict, he defines gossip as, “when a negative is discussed with anyone who can’t fix the problem.”
    CJ Mahaney constantly insisted gossip was “discussing anything if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution.”

    In light of this control tactic, I’m imagining what those who had been hurt were told.

  194. Paula wrote:

    On another website I noticed a comment someone made about Ramsay’s house. They said it looked like a castle.

    Castle Dreadfort, North Westeros?
    (After following Game of Thrones for a while, the name “Ramsey” picks up some interesting baggage…)

  195. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Remember the Cee Jay Tribute musical number?
    Now I wish I could forget it. Off to clear my brain with heavy metal.

    Well you could always come up with new words to this song.

    Some ideas

    You taught us we were Reformed
    Then kicked Lary out in a storm.

    We thought you practiced what you preached
    not something you said in a speech

    God called you as a pastor when you were a hippie looking man
    It proved to be a disaster when the truth hit the fan

    You always taught with passion and zeal
    too bad it wasn’t for real

  196. Someone posted this comment on Survivors and thought this was applicable to Ramsey:

    Best quote from Pastor Tullian’s apology: “When you feel the need to respond to criticism, it reveals how much you’ve built your identity on being right.”
    http://www.pastortullian.com/2014/05/30/reflections-on-my-break-up-with-the-gospel-coalition/

    Dave Ramsey certainly showed the need to respond to criticism. Thus showing much his identity is built on being right base on what Tullian said.

  197. Steve240 wrote:

    Dave Ramsey certainly showed the need to respond to criticism. Thus showing much his identity is built on being right base on what Tullian said.

    “In the Devil’s theology, the most important thing is to be Absolutely Right and to prove everyone else to be Absolutely Wrong. This does not lead to peace among men.”
    — Thomas Merton, “Moral Theology of the Devil”

  198. One other last comment. Dave Ramsey includes in his course how “biblical” it is to tithe etc. Thus I am sure this encourages churches to put on Ramsey’s program. It can be a “racket” or at best quite a nice symbiotic relationship between Dave Ramsey and church leaders. Church leaders set up his classes that teach how “biblical” tithing is and probably as a result churches get more in tithes.

    I am sure the putting on of classes gets additional sales for Ramsey including book sales etc.

    I did take his class about 5 years ago and it does have some good information. I paid around $100 and include both a book and workbook. I am not sure how much the church kept of this class.

    One thing that is disappointing with so many who teach how “biblical” tithing is, is that they don’t go back and examine what a tithe was actually used for in the OT. Here is one analysis:

    http://www.tithingdebate.com/EatingSacredCowsDownload.pdf

    It didn’t all go to the Levites as some like to teach but a lot of it was used to save and go on a trip to Jerusalem. It is sad that so many can teach how “biblical” it is to tithe but neglect what a tithe was actually used for in the OT.

    One other thing I would say that this just shows you that you can’t ever believe all that one man says. We all have minds and should question what any leader says vs. just accept it all as truth. It is also good to read and study and get different opinions. Some groups like to do information control so you can’t see other people’s opinions.

  199. Steve here is my take!

    You taught us we were Reformed
    Then blackmailed Larry as if it’s the norm, CJ

    We thought Carolyn was held up as the model to be
    Today we leave our counters cluttered with mail, CJ

    You brought the bald man back into style
    Is that sweat on your bald head in that deposition, which is so vial? CJ

    God called you as a Pastor when you were a hippie looking man
    Then you fled to Louisville when all the s*** hit the fan!

    Then there is falsification (stumble over this a few times)
    Then there is deification (stumble over this a few times)
    Then there is Disneyland Trips you don’t deserve….

    The Gospel came alive again!
    Your bribery drives the faith again!
    All this foreordained criminal activity we don’t deserve!

  200. Deb!! I missed you!!! Beware the next time I’m down in Raleigh I am going to squeeze your liver out in a hug! 😛

  201. Steve240 wrote:

    Someone posted this comment on Survivors and thought this was applicable to Ramsey:
    Best quote from Pastor Tullian’s apology: “When you feel the need to respond to criticism, it reveals how much you’ve built your identity on being right.”

    On a more positive, but related, note, I don’t know how many of you have heard of Trevor Huddleston.

    Huddleston, who died in 1998, was a Church of England bishop and a longtime anti-apartheid activist, but this anecdote concerns a small incident in Cambridge in 1987 during a debate at the Cambridge Union Society. The motion was (words to the effect of) “This house supports the immediate imposition of sanctions against South Africa” and Huddleston was speaking for it.

    At some point during his speech, some (white) member of the audience interrupted him with the word “Racist!”. It was a nonsensical charge based on the fact that Huddleston had referred to “Africans” without explicitly stating that a white person could be African, and the person stated that he had found this offensive. Huddleston’s response was one the like of which I had never seen before and have rarely seen since. He acknowledged the man’s strength of feeling, and affirmed that he did indeed embrace a multi-racial Africa (a point that should already have been obvious). He concluded with with a suppliant observation that “it’s very hard to say anything that somebody doesn’t find offensive”.

    Here’s the thing, though. Nothing in Huddleston’s demeanour, tone, words or body language put down or counter-attacked the other man. In fact, even to this day, I still can’t help thinking better of the man for having heard Huddleston’s reply – frankly, the guy had done his best to make himself look stupid. Nor did it diminish Huddleston himself, who was warmly applauded from all sides after the exchange. A small thing, but a case of someone overcoming evil with good nonetheless.

  202. Steve Scott wrote:

    And the fact that you didn’t know he hadn’t seen his sister in five years.

    I agree.

    Single adults in particular get frozen out by the Christian (evangelical, Baptist, etc) tendency to read sex into any and all situations.

    I know, thanks to the internet, never-married (sometimes divorced or widowed) Christian males over the ages of 35, 45, 55, who say they’ve been to churches where the preacher, from the pulpit, implies any man over 25 who’s not married must be a homosexual, then there are the implied views that such men (or the guys single via divorce) must be pedo’s who target children.

    Meanwhile, the single ladies are assumed by evangelical and Baptist and some Reformed churches to be Jezebels who prey on married (and sometimes single) men.

    Single ladies get frozen out of relationship, fellowship, and get isolated, as a result of this paranoia.

    I think there is a fine line there, where if you suspect inappropriate behavior may be going on between one adult and another (or with a child), take the direct approach and ask the person directly about it, instead of whispering your suspicions about them all over your church.

    Clear the air instead of spreading rumor might be the most honest, fair approach.

  203. Daisy wrote:

    Meanwhile, the single ladies are assumed by evangelical and Baptist and some Reformed churches to be Jezebels who prey on married (and sometimes single) men.

    Single ladies get frozen out of relationship, fellowship, and get isolated, as a result of this paranoia.

    You know, I’d like to tell you married ladies something a lot of us single ladies know for a truth. If he’ll dump you for me, he will also dump me for someone else. That’s why “thou shalt not mess around with married men” has always been my policy.

  204. Here’s the bottom line for me – In virtually every case I’ve seen ‘Christian’ leaders rail against ‘gossip’ and cite Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5, it has absolutely nothing to do with fostering healthy Christian debate, it’s used only as a weapon to silence the congregation from criticizing or even even questioning the church leadership and shun those who do. It’s a mark of a dictatorship – even the Catholics with their hierarchical structure aren’t oppressive like this.

  205. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    You know, I’d like to tell you married ladies something a lot of us single ladies know for a truth. If he’ll dump you for me, he will also dump me for someone else. That’s why “thou shalt not mess around with married men” has always been my policy.

    That is true too.

    Also, something that often goes overlooked by married Christians who harbor irrational suspicions of single women:

    Sometimes married women cheat on their husbands with other married men.

    If you are a married woman who thinks you only need to beware of single ladies, think again.

    There are married women out there who will have an affair with your husband because they are lonely in their own marriage, or for any number of reasons.

    Sometimes married people go looking for affairs, singles do not seek them out with married people! (There’s an entire site for that purpose called “Ashley Madison.”)

    I read an article by a single woman who gets hit on by married men when she goes out to bars and restaurants. So it’s not that single women are trying to start the affairs, but that married men seek the singles out for that purpose.

    But I definitely see, hear, and read of married people who start affairs with other married people.

    It’s sad to me that Christians keep pegging single women, and sometimes men, as people worthy of suspicion on mere basis of being unmarried.

  206. Eagle wrote:

    Beware the next time I’m down in Raleigh I am going to squeeze your liver out in a hug!

    Is this a good threat?

    (Reminds me of a snippet of dialogue from the sci fi black comedy “Dark Star”:
    The explosion destroyed the ship’s entire supply of toilet paper!


    Is this funny?
    )

  207. Daisy wrote:

    I think there is a fine line there, where if you suspect inappropriate behavior may be going on between one adult and another (or with a child), take the direct approach and ask the person directly about it, instead of whispering your suspicions about them all over your church.

    Yeah, whispering suspicions is wrong any way you look at it. But asking somebody, face to face, “Are you messing around with your neighbor’s wife” is not likely to elicit a truthful response. If a child is involved, though, one needs to blow the whistle loud and clear through whatever channels are appropriate under the circumstances. Asking a pedophile if they are abusing a child is useless.

  208. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    You know, I’d like to tell you married ladies something a lot of us single ladies know for a truth. If he’ll dump you for me, he will also dump me for someone else. That’s why “thou shalt not mess around with married men” has always been my policy.

    Or as I have heard it said, “A man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy in the position.”

  209. Nancy wrote:

    Asking a pedophile if they are abusing a child is useless.

    Actually, according to the police & CPS people I’ve talked to (and corroborated from personal experience 🙁 ), its not just useless, its dangerous – to you and to any child that may be a victim in progress….or even former victims.

    Three years ago when I came into information that indicated a strong probability that someone I knew (and liked) from my former church might be a pedophile, I told the person who told me that I had to report it and she freaked out – insisted that I should at least talk to him first. Um…no. And because I knew him personally and had worked closely with him, that was hard not to do. But I reported what information I had to both CSP & the Police and let them deal with investigating whether it was true – that is what they are trained for. I am not.

  210.   __

    “The gospel (da good news) in a nutshell.”

    Hey,

    May I take a moment of your time?

    hmmm…

      The bible says that God sent His Son Jesus, in the likeness of man into the world to redeem us from our sins and separation from Himself. That God was happy to do so. The bible also says that those who believe in Jesus, God grants new birth, and eternal life with Him in His heaven. During the remainder of our time here on earth, Jesus has asked us to love God first with all, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He has also asked us to tell others about what He has done, about His marvelous love, and His generous offer of new birth and eternal life with Him in His heaven, and to wait for His glorious coming.

    (You can read more in the pages of the bible, if you have one…you can read online if you don’t  : http://www.biblegateway.com/ )

    Have you experienced this new birth spoken of in the bible?

    Will heaven be your home throughout all eternity?

    Have you accepted this wonderful work that Jesus did for you, and do you have this wonderful hope resting within yourself today?

      God so loved you, that He sent His Son, Jesus, if you will believe in Him, God will redeem you and give you new birth, and invite you to His glorious heaven, when this life is over.

    Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

    You’ll be glad that you did!

    ATB

    Sopy

  211. Nancy wrote:

    Yeah, whispering suspicions is wrong any way you look at it. But asking somebody, face to face, “Are you messing around with your neighbor’s wife” is not likely to elicit a truthful response. If a child is involved, though, one needs to blow the whistle loud and clear through whatever channels are appropriate under the circumstances. Asking a pedophile if they are abusing a child is useless.

    I’m not saying that is the only approach, but there are other methods behind whispering rumors is my point.

    As a never-married woman, I am sick and tired of people (ie, Christians) saying or holding a mindset that I am not entitled to fellowship with a man because it will always lead to sex. That insults me and limits me, and it’s rather insulting to men, too.

  212. Daisy wrote:

    I’m not saying that is the only approach, but there are other methods behind whispering rumors is my point.

    Should read,
    “BESIDES whispering rumors…”

  213. Eagle wrote:

    Steve here is my take!
    You taught us we were Reformed
    Then blackmailed Larry as if it’s the norm, CJ
    We thought Carolyn was held up as the model to be
    Today we leave our counters cluttered with mail, CJ
    You brought the bald man back into style

    Those are some nice lyrics also.

  214. JeffT wrote:

    Here’s the bottom line for me – In virtually every case I’ve seen ‘Christian’ leaders rail against ‘gossip’ and cite Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5, it has absolutely nothing to do with fostering healthy Christian debate, it’s used only as a weapon to silence the congregation from criticizing or even even questioning the church leadership and shun those who do. It’s a mark of a dictatorship – even the Catholics with their hierarchical structure aren’t oppressive like this.

    Well put. Usually a good way to intimidate people from questioning since doing so might be “gossip” or “slander.”

  215. Mandy wrote:

    The kitty and I made it to our hotel in the dfw area safely. Please pray that my cat would tolerate the next two days of driving and that she would relax in the car. My fiance’s flight lands in a little while so he’ll be able to help me with driving and entertaining the furry critter.

    I’m fellow cat person & praying.

  216. Paula wrote:

    CJ Mahaney constantly insisted gossip was “discussing anything if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution.”

    People, you have GOT to stop making me spray my monitor!! (And this time, there was orange marmalade).

  217. zooey111 wrote:

    Paula wrote:
    CJ Mahaney constantly insisted gossip was “discussing anything if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution.”
    People, you have GOT to stop making me spray my monitor!! (And this time, there was orange marmalade).

    I believe this was something that Bill Gothard originally stated. It has been pretty much accepted as “biblical” in a number of “Christian” circles.

  218. There is a whole lot of stuff in the Bible that is not Christian! Rape, murder, slaying of whole families for the sins of one, etc., etc., etc. And some of the wisdom literature in the Bible contains some good ideas for some situations that are absolutely not a good idea in others!

  219. I think part of the problem with Mr. Ramsey’s “ministry” is that it is so works-based (peace comes from being debt-free!*), and that doctrinal problem probably spills out at the office. It sure shows up in his tweets.

    Tim

    *He probably does know that true peace comes from Christ, but that probably wouldn’t draw as many people to his financial peace seminars.

  220. “Suddenly, advances in technology have leveled the playing field by giving the little guy or gal a means to be heard. No longer can the leaders say and do whatever they want while telling the rest of us to forever hold our peace.”

    This.

    When authority realizes that the dissemination of ideas and values and intellect are now decentralized, it panics and doubles down on leveraging it’s own self-granted authority.

    The reason it panics? Because this decentralization provides the one thing that authoritarian structures fear more than almost anything else.

    Accountability.