What Tony Jones Should Learn From Stanley Hauerwas About Marriage

"Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world, but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son. How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces – no communication, adultery, divorce? You can't do it, not if you're being true and honest with yourself."– Julian Lennon link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=85587&picture=broken-heart-painting
Broken Heart

(updated a few dates-8 pm)

Gone Girl-*Spoiler alert*

Last night we watched the movie Gone Girl. The basic plot revolves around a man (who is a cheat)who is married to a probable sociopath who disappears and then reappears. Ms Sociopath set up her own disappearance to make it appear that her husband killed her, hoping he would go to jail for life or get the death penalty. Then, in true sociopath form, changes her mind and returns home. Her husband, who now fears her, decides to divorce her but discovers she is pregnant with their child. He sacrifices his own peace of mind to stay with his wife in order to protect the coming child. He knows that the commitment will last at least 18 years. 

Allegations of spousal abuse and whacked theology by Tony Jones, a well-known progressive, Emergent leader.

On September 5, 2014, the Naked Pastor published Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What came first, the thug or the theology?. In the course of the comments, Julie McMahon, former wife of Tony Jones, joined in on the discussion, alleging that she had been abused by Tony Jones. This thread received over 1,000 comments. Such claims have circulated throughout the internet for some time.

 Stuff Christian Culture Likes posted this synopsis:

allegations have been made in various social media for some time concerning aspects of Tony Jones’ behaviour towards his ex-wife Julie and their children at and since the time of their relationship breakdown, specifically assault, incorrectly claiming that Julie was mentally ill and his and Doug Pagitt’s alleged theological justification for Jones’ affair with his now-wife. Strong feelings have been raised this week by the discovery that JoPa are facilitating a conference with a strong diversity/feminist agenda, that this attempts to present an image of supporting women while major personal issues are still unresolved. Leaders involved have refused to discuss the issue, referring to it as ‘gossip’, and some saying they have investigated the events and are satisfied. Yet Julie continues to claim that no one from the Emergent community has even spoken to her about the events since they occurred. 

Let's sum up the basic allegations:

  • Tony Jones divorced his wife in 2009. Julie discovered the affair in 2008
  • His BFF, Doug Pagitt, knew Tony was having an affair and came up with a theological argument to justify Jones' actions. Jones allegedly told Julie that he had a spiritual™ wife  which took precedence over their marriage because their marriage was simply a legal matter. (2009- one month before official divorce).
  • Julie claims she was assaulted by Jones.
  • Rumors circulated amongst their Emergent group that Julie was mentally ill. She claims that the leaders tried to get her committed to a mental institution.
  • Julie was awarded custody of the children and Jones was given visitation rights.
  • Tony Jones sacramentally (his term) married his new wife in 2011 and legally married her in 2013. They refused to get legally married until gays could get married.

Why Christian?

This conference is being planned by Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz Weber. It is being sponsored, in part, by JoPa- a group run by Jones and his friend Doug Pagitt. This is where it gets messy.

A thoughtful comment on this blog post by Rachel Held Evans was followed by this response by RHE.

Danica Newton • 20 hours ago

Hi Rachel, I posted this on your Facebook but also wanted to leave a comment here because it seems that you interact more here on your blog, and I wanted to make sure you hear me.

I saw your upcoming conference featuring women and got super excited … until I saw that you're partnering with Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt for the event. This is surprising to me because you've always been an advocate for the abused and for victims, but Tony Jones had been accused by his ex wife of some serious things, including throwing her against a wall and dislocating her shoulder from its socket.

This happened many years ago (probably six? ), and his ex wife tried for a long time to tell her part of the story, but was shut down every time by Jones' pressuring of blog hosts, etc, every time she tried to talk. He even threatened law suits when the pressure of his position in the Emergent community didn't work to make them delete her comments and block her participation.

A few months ago Julie left a comment on Naked Pastor's blog, but instead of censoring her, he let her tell her story … for the first time ever. The comment thread on that post is very long, but worth the read, especially if you are familiar with the silencing tactics commonly employed by men in power against victims of abuse.

I'm hoping you are not aware of Julie's story, and that is why you agreed to partner with her abuser. I also hope that this comment will be left up, and not taken down, because if it is (taken down), then although it pains me, I will have to assume knowing of Julie's allegations, you are continuing to work with Tony Jones, which means you would be taking sides with the abuser (who wields a lot of power, I know – he's giving you and others a platform to speak, after all).

Below is the link to the conversation. I truly hope you read through, and at the very least allow Julie to tell you her side of the story (since Jones denies it, and labels her as having a mental disorder)

Thank you.

********

RHE I take abuse allegations very seriously, and if I had good reason to believe Tony was an abuser and these allegations were credible I wouldn't work with him on a conference. But my personal experience with and diligent investigation of this situation has given me reason to doubt that this is the case. (The fact that I too was accused of being part of a massive EV coverup when this all happened before I was even published and not even remotely connected to EV raised some red flags from the start.) There's always the chance I'm wrong, of course, but I've made the decision to continue participating in the conference with Nadia. To debate the circumstances of another couple's divorce further, in this forum, would be unwise – legally and ethically – so I'm not going to comment on it again, and I'm going to have to moderate comments so that the comment section isn't inundated with rumors, which I also take very seriously. There are other forums for such conversations. Part of advocating for abuse victims is to encourage them to work through the proper legal channels to achieve justice. I have done this consistently. 

So Rachel Held Evans appears to say that the accusations against her friend, Tony Jones, are not credible. From that point forward, any comments about this subject were deleted and the post was eventually closed to comments. Here is a screen shot taken by one of our readers who attempted to comment and had it deleted. (Good comment-Sensible!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 4.18.28 PM

Twitter/Email Food Fight

Naturally, abuse advocates began to speak out about Julie McMahon's claims. There appeared to be a feeling that Julie did not have a platform for her concerns in the past and that she was finally able to express herself in a public forum. In fact, one person who claims to have known Julie in the past wrote the following comment on the Naked Pastor's comment thread. This comment seems to corroborate Julie's allegations and offers an insight that I will get to in a minute.

I come in peace. I am a former member of Solomon’s Porch (I moved out of state in 2007). I am an anthropology professor, wife, and mother. I was raised in a church pastored by a pedophile (Al Magnuson, Redeemer Covenant Church, Brooklyn Park, MN. I have experienced spiritual abuse.

Solomon’s Porch was a haven, a rescue, and a healing balm during difficult years. The dreams of the church continue to be my dreams, and my friends there, including Doug, are still my friends. I spoke on Doug’s radio show, promoted my book by speaking at Christianity 21, and so on. I am not an emergent figure, but I benefited by association. 

I have met Julie only briefly (in person), and have never interacted with her children. I have interacted with Tony several times, but not socially or extensively. I was not present for any of the incidents described by her or anyone else, but I did follow things on-line.

This comment thread makes me sob. No voyeuristic glee; only heart-rending pain at my repeated role of by-stander, and at times victim, in religiously abusive situations. I am speaking up to satisfy my conscience. 

I saw Julie’s reputation smeared, and her attempts to speak silenced. At Christianity 21, an emergent insider told me that the evening was very difficult for Tony and Courtney, because they were coming out as a couple, and the expectation was that people be kind to them. When I questioned, “What happened to Tony and Julie?”, the answer was that regardless of the “official” divorce, their marriage had ended long ago, so Tony was free to be with Courtney. The marriage ended, so I heard, because Julie was destructive and mentally ill. It didn’t add up – why is the crazy person doing all the child care? You try caring for three little kids even just for the duration of a C21 conference…if Julie really was that crazy, people should have been intervening on behalf of the children at that very moment, not standing around drinking wine and talking shit about her. 

(Side note: so what if she, or anyone else, is, in fact, mentally ill? I interact regularly with people who have autism, OCD, bipolar, anxiety, depression, and so on. Every single one takes responsibility for their behavior, and is capable of accurately describing abuse. Even a psychotic person in a psych ward can speak up and say they are being abused, and their claims will be investigated. American law doesn’t allow us to write off someone’s testimony because of their mental health.)

Then, another comment.

Steve K @Becky – I just want to add that the rumor about your mental health was spread by Jeff Kursonis, who I (and the rest of us in Emergent at the time) later learned was not someone who was trustworthy. (That's a whole other story that is being conflated here, I'm afraid, with the accusations of mental illness by Tony towards his ex, Julie. Two different situations entirely.) 

Anyway, it was a hard lesson learned, and I apologized directly to you for my complicity in spreading that rumor — and I made every effort to correct that and connect you with the board of Emergent Village at the time so they could offer an "official" apology directly to you as well, but you refused to speak with them.

Brian McLaren, another well-known, Emergent BFF of Jones, also appeared on the comment thread.

Brian McLaren
 September 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

Last Friday, I received an email from Julie McMahon requesting that an apology to her be posted on this thread. I was one of several people who had been asked by both Tony and Julie in 2008 to help them in a time of marital crisis. We tried our best to help, but the marriage didn’t survive.

I read through all the postings on this thread and checked back as the list grew. I saw significant discrepancies between the version of the story that was being told on this thread and my experience and understanding of what actually happened. 

However, I was at a distance and was only peripherally involved because I extricated myself from the situation early on. Because I take accusations of spiritual abuse seriously (as, I’m sure, do all the people named in Julie’s email), in recent days I’ve gone back in my email archives and reread the many emails Julie sent or forwarded to me during and since 2008.

I have come to see a few things that could have been done differently, especially with the benefit of hindsight. I also see areas where, if the counsel given to Julie and Tony had been followed more fully, outcomes could have been better. But I have never witnessed or observed anything even close to abuse by any of the people named; in fact, I have only witnessed sincere and solid pastoral care in a tragic and volatile situation, right up to this moment. 

I think that someone on this thread made a good suggestion. She shared that she was once accused of something. A group of qualified and mature people reviewed the evidence in a responsible way. She suggested taking what has been shared on this thread, along with information that can’t in good conscience be shared in public, for private professional review, making use of structures developed by denominations over many years of dealing with situations like these.

I think that is a good idea, and I will do my best to see it is done. Because I have some idea of the legal dimensions of situations like this, I do not believe it is wise or appropriate to say anything else at this time. 

Counter attacks begin

 As folks expressed concern for Julie's situation on Twitter, counter attacks began. The best example of this is one received by Amy Smith. As you know, Amy is a tireless defender of the abused. She had retweeted a comment about Julie's allegations and received the following email which she placed on her website. When a retweet is described as perpetuating the violence: Tony Jones and the Sonoran Theological Group


From: Amy Jacober <amy.jacober@gmail.com>
Date: January 14, 2015 at 10:19:34 PM CST
To: watchkeepamy@gmail.com
Subject: retweets

Hello! My name is Amy Jacober. I have referenced your blog many times and recommended it to many readers. I have written about you when you were egregiously treated and prayed for you. 

I was a professor at Truett Seminary. It is a long story but the abuse that takes place in and around Baylor and the seminary is rampant. I had my fill. Upon leaving to care for sick parents, I am part of a small group trying to offer affordable theological education. I spend a lot of time with those abused by churches, academic institutions, and systemic financial problems. It has cost my family in ways that are far too great to detail here. 

Our small start up training the poorest ministers was asked to be a part of a conference where we might meet some people in our community to better serve the needs of untrained leaders. I consult and help churches with things like back ground checks and writing safe sanctuary policies. My world for twenty years has been advocating for the least of these, including spending a great deal of time with friends with disabilities and crying out to my teaching colleagues to address the spiritual and physical needs of these friends so that further abuse does not continue. The name of that conference is C21. 

Today, one of my colleagues at our small start up responded to an accusation that we (STG) support abuse. You retweeted it. We had never heard of any such allegations and were taken by surprise. Within moments, it was misquoted, edited in multiple variations at this point. We should never have responded to the bait. What you have taught me is that speaking up for what is right brings violence, unless you are the person in power. Today, you are the person in power. It has grieved me to my very soul. It has been like living with the abuse of Baylor (your alma mater) all over again. People in power, who do not fact check, sling mud and then think nothing of the lives they are destroying always stun me. Mostly they stun me because I honestly don't think they realize what they are doing.  I know, you know this pattern well. I assume you did not do this maliciously, rather it was an easy sound bite and you bought into it. 

I know you have done good work in the past. I have been an advocate and ally. Please, in the future, do not do this to others. You have just become the very thing you fight against. I have spent much of the day dying inside as I think through all of the young women I have ministered to over the years assuring them that there are responsible, non-reactionary advocates out there and they can be brave. I wonder if I'll have that chance again. I wonder about my very reputation as the retweets keep flying. You are powerful, whether you realize it or not. Please, please, please, before you ever retweet something where a person or organization is being accused that you do not know, do your homework before you perpetuate the violence. 

Perpetuate the violence? Seriously?  Here is another twitter exchange that you might find interesting.

Then, Dave Hayward, Naked Pastor, left this comment on the original comment thread.

Dave Hayward

4. I have been contacted outside of this conversation by many, mostly leaders, who have provided advice to me on how to manage this blog post and comments. I'm sure, for the most part, their intentions were good. But at the same time this indicates how those with authority or a reputation enjoy other ways to control or influence conversations. Maybe this wasn't always done to silence me or others, but it does tell another story about how influencers assume various methods to manage information that the silenced cannot.

5. The alleged abused invited the accused into this space to respond to their demands for apologies. As unsettling and uncomfortable as this would be, some risked it and graciously met their demands. As far as I know, there has been healing in those relationships. On the other hand, some didn't. Those who didn't have their own reasons why, from good to suspicious to bad.

Tony Jones responds in Some Hard Truth

In this post, Tony makes it clear that he is the one who filed for divorce. He also alludes to some conduct of which he is regretful.

Unfortunately, during this same time, my marriage suffered and eventually collapsed. When I filed for divorce in August, 2008, it caused ripples of pain that are still lapping up on the shores of many lives. My former spouse, my three kids, and many relatives and friends were affected.

Divorce is a tragic event in the life of any family, and our divorce was particularly hostile. While I tried to conduct myself with compassion and grace, I didn’t always succeed. I made many mistakes along the way. I said things that I now regret, and I often thought of myself and my own pain before that of others. I have grieved these failures, I am profoundly sorry for them, and I will carry regrets with me the rest of my life.

My thoughts

 1. Tony Jones had to get away from his wife but he had no problems leaving his kids with her.

This jumped out at me immediately. Tony could no longer stay married to his wife, allegedly because she was mentally difficult. I have heard this excuse from others before and I don't buy it. Why? It appears that it is OK for the children to stay under the care of his wife and allow them to endure the supposed mental illness but he can't. Does this make sense? He leaves the most vulnerable members of his family with his wife while he takes up with his spiritual™ honey.

A father who is really concerned for his children would have stayed put, enduring difficulty for the welfare of his kids. Not only that, he removed himself from the home and immediately got a new *friend.* That is just what his kids needed. Their father is now absent from the home, they are living with a mentally unbalanced mother, and their daddy now takes time to court the new "love of his life." Oh yeah, the court gave the *mental case* custody.

Unless… that mentally unbalanced thing gave him a good excuse…Neither of these two possibilities speaks well for Jones.

2. Stanley Hauerwas' example: Since when does *mentally ill* qualify as a good reason for divorce? 

Recently, I read Stanley Hauerwas' autobiography Hannah's Child: A Theologian's Memoir. Here is how Amazon describes the book.

With genuine humility, he describes his intellectual struggles with faith, how he has dealt with the complex reality of marriage to a mentally ill partner, and the gift of friendships that have influenced his character. 

Hauerwas is considered one of the greatest theologians in America. He tips progressive but manages to miff off all sides of the theological debate. From Wikipedia

 Hauerwas is known for his outspoken advocacy of pacifism, as well of his fierce criticism of liberal democracy, capitalism, and militarism. He is also a critic of both Christian fundamentalism and liberal Christianity and American civil religion. Among his most important contributions to modern theology are his advocacy of and work related to virtue ethics and post-liberal theology.

The most poignant sections of the book dealt with his mentally ill wife. Her behavior was deeply troubling and, at times, profoundly embarrassing. However, Hauerwas stayed by her side and helped raise his young son. He adamantly refused to divorce her, even when his BFFs thought it might be appropriate. They only divorced when his wife insisted on the divorce. Then, he spent a great deal of money hiring her an excellent attorney to make sure that she received a fair and just settlement. He later remarried a wonderful woman and has had a successful and happy marriage along with a close and loving relationship with his adult son.

Hauerwas exhibited the Christian qualities of long suffering and humility. I think a lot of that is lacking in the Tony Jones story.

3. Progressives can play theological games just like conservatives.

I know that progressives, moderates and conservatives disagree on lots of theology. However, all three groups are equally capable of making up theology to justify bad behavior. At this point, it is not a theological argument. It has become a game of rationalization. You know the old saw. "Did God really say….?"

Here's the deal for me. That spiritual™ wife stuff was absolute codswallop! And anyone who played that game ought to be ashamed of themselves. Emergents are not the only ones who can call out baloney.

4. The Calvinistas aren't the only ones who protect their own.

We are all aware of the circling of the wagons that occurred when Sovereign Grace Ministries and CJ Mahaney were under the gun. Frankly, it is human nature to want to protect our friends. However, those of us who understand grace know that even our friends can disappoint us. I still remember a seminary professor going after the Deebs a few years ago for our concerns about SGM, Mark Driscoll and Gary Ezzo. His justification? Well known celebrity seminarians (himself included, of course) and pastors loved those guys. Since we were not theologically trained™ as they were, we were obviously wrong. Wonder what they think now?

 5. We are positionally holy but functionally sinners.

This means we can all be wrong in our judgments of others and wrong in our behavior at times. Christians, above all, should be well aware that our heroes, as well as we, can hide our foibles. Why is it when the police finally catch the serial killer in a neighborhood, the neighbors will often say "He was a nice guy." "He shoveled our driveway." "He always came to the neighborhood pot luck." We are sometimes really screwed up in our judgements.

6. I tend to believe those who say they are abused which includes Julie.

This does not mean that I am always right. However, it is well known that most people find it terribly difficult to discuss their abuse in public. The vast majority of reports are true. I always consider the other side. But the other side is difficult to find when abusive behavior happens behind closed doors without witnesses. 

7. Libel

Libel is a deliberate telling of a lie in order to harm the good character of another person. A person making false claims can be sued for such behavior. Most people will not risk making false accusations on a large public forum.

Why I tend to believe Julie at this point.

The spiritual™ wife stuff was such poppycock that it leads me to mistrust Tony Jones and his friends. If they are willing to make that up, they are probably willing to make up more stuff. Also, I believe that a good father( or mother) would not leave their kids in the hands of a mentally deranged individual. 

Sometimes, a parody can say it better. Here are links to Twitter and Tony Parody Jones and The JoParody Group.

And now, I shall go curl up in a fetal position and wait for the spiritual™ input to begin…

Lydia's Corner: Exodus 13:17-15:18 Matthew 21:23-46 Psalm 26:1-12 Proverbs 6:16-19

Comments

What Tony Jones Should Learn From Stanley Hauerwas About Marriage — 1,063 Comments

  1. @ Marsha:

    So glad you said that. I think this is exactly what RHE wants to avoid knowing about. Note she said she never talked to Julie or Tony but read docs that show his credibility. My question is where did she find them? Kinnon asked in another venue if perhaps she talked to Courtney? Other JoPa people?

    Celebrity Christians like Tony could not get by with this stuff for long except for the “commenders” who have a vested interest.

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Isn’t there already a high-priced matchmaking service specializing in outside-the-marriage affairs? Don’t remember their name, but you used to hear ads about them all the time.

    Do you mean Ashley Madison?

    It’s a site where married people can look up other married people to have affairs with…

    And yet many evangelical Christians keep maintaining the old saw that single women like me are on the prowl harlots, so they tell married men to stay away with single women! Don’t meet alone with single women, if you do, leave your office door open. 🙄
    I’m (single woman) not the one trying to have affairs with married men, nor would I want to.

  3. To everyone who has responded to my comments, thank you all for the thoughtful replies.

    I do not need to be educated on the dynamics of abuse because aside from my own experience with it, I’ve worked as an advocate for abused women pretty much ever since I left my abusive spouse. So I get it. I understand the reversals, the smoke-and-mirrors, the way abusers turn reality right on its very head. It is all very crazy-making. And I get it. I truly, truly do get it on a very personal level.

    Someone brought up the physical abuse of Julie as well as the other things that were done to her that I hadn’t mentioned. I am thinking very carefully about all of this and trying to figure out why it still doesn’t sit right with me. Perhaps it’s the way all of this is intermingled with the larger religious community in ways that some people have already pointed out. Maybe I need to step back and reevaluate. I can and will concede when I am wrong.

    I am very sorry if my comments have caused Julie or anyone else harm. That is not my intent.

  4. @ Gram3:

    Just seen it too much and up close in celebrity evangelical circles. For some reason, this stuff gets a much bigger pass and rationalized to a ridiculous degree in Christian circles. Hmmm.

    Nancy mentioned this way up thread but what about plain old fashioned sin? Are we really claiming there is no real right and wrong? One of the things that became clear to me from my days in that world is that deception is the worst. Give me an honest jerk any day. And when your business is your image as it is with celeb Christians, the deception tends to take over as a natural course.

  5. @ Miranda: no offense taken. Trust me, I get how loaded and dizzying this all is. Most days I want to run away….but I can’t. So I fight. Thank you, Miranda.

  6. @ Miranda:
    Yes on all counts. I think a lot of people who really dislike RHE are having a field day with this. If it wasn’t so, there would be equal criticism of NBW, but… I’m not seeing that *anywhere.* People who are piling on are completely unfamiliar with her, and if anything, would probably be far more offended by her if they did know her work.

    But that clearly isn’t the case.

    It’s not a matter of disbelieving Julie; it’s about the spamming of legitimate criticism by those wh have bern wanting to go after RHE.

  7. Hmmm….let’s see if we can make this thread longer than the Naked Pastor thread? Deebs…is GBTC ready for overtime?

  8. Miranda wrote:

    But there is definitely a sense of “piling on” from a lot of people on this blog and elsewhere.

    each person who comes to this blog and others, in general, are functioning as individuals and not part of an underground conspiracy to “pile it on.” I think we should observe this as a flood gate of individuals who are appalled by what they see.

    I have a philosophy that all sorts of comments need to be heard because we can get a clearer idea how people are perceiving the Christian community. When a number of people write in, like what is happening with this post, you can be sure that the post has struck a chord with many individuals.

  9. Miranda wrote:

    Like some people have been waiting for the chance to jump on her and discredit and destroy her and now that the opportunity has presented itself and they smell blood, they are going after it like half-starved vultures.

    This seems political to me.

    Who are the parties? I admit I’m clueless about the personalities and the EV camp. I don’t see piling on. I do see people who feel betrayed by a decision she made and things she has said. They are imploring her to reconsider.

    Others are acknowledging the voice of a woman who has been abused whose abuse was compounded by people she should have been able to trust. Why is that a bad thing? ISTM that only Tony Jones partisans would think either of these is bad. If nothing else, the sheer volume and volume of the volume might make RHE reconsider. That would ultimately be a good thing for her and everyone else.

  10. Miranda wrote:

    . I can and will concede when I am wrong.

    What is so sad about this situation is that we may never 100% corroborating evidence.

  11. @ numo:

    BS!! Its not about going after RHE for the sake of going after RHE. Its about her doing the same thing Mark Dever and Al Mohler have done. Is it now different becuase she is in your camp? How can we overlook this while talking about SGM? We can’t, if we ignroe this then we become like Dever and company. And if thats the case then I’ll go back to Sovereing Grace and just say, “ok” no problem. Tony Jones shouldn’t be a Pastor for the same reason CJ Mahaney shouldn’t be a Pastor. And its wrong for RHE to speak about victims, promote them but ignore Tony Jone’s domestic abuse. If she ignores it then I think all she cared about was using SGM victimss to advance herself and profit off them. The Evangelcial Industrial Complex has to end. Its threatening Christianity in so many wasy and hurtign so many people.

  12. Miranda wrote:

    Like some people have been waiting for the chance to jump on her and discredit and destroy her and now that the opportunity has presented itself and they smell blood, they are going after it like half-starved vultures.
    This seems political to me.

    I don’t hate RHE. She’s, up until this particular incident, struck me as being a decent, caring person.

    I agree with her about gender complementarianism and appreciated her work in pointing out its efforts.

    So I don’t have an anti-RHE axe to grind.

    I am truly mystified why a woman like RHE, who claims to care deeply about women and how most churches marginalize them, would agree to associate with a man, and go to a pro-woman conference he of all people is sponsoring, who has this much baggage with his ex- wife.

    If she has to go due to legal fall out, or it would be too problematic to cancel, she could always just issue a statement saying so, but last I saw, she was digging her heels in, insisting that this conferences is so wonderful, she can’t cancel no matter how icky everything suspects Jones of being.

    Anyway, my views on all this are not borne out of wishing RHE ill will.

    I liked the fact RHE spoke out against Driscoll’s abuse a time or two, as a matter of fact.

  13. Correction. I said,
    “and appreciated her work in pointing out its efforts.”

    I think I meant “errors” there, not “efforts.” I have no idea what I was thinking when I typed “efforts.”

  14. @ numo:

    Don’t take this personally but I think your struggling with cognitive dissonace with this entire situation. I want to ignore this since I thought highly of and respected Greg Boyd. But I honestly cannot, not after what I went through in my faith crisis.

  15. @ Karl:
    Of course Tony will say things to make himself look good. He has already done that in the way he has treated his family. That part is not open to interpretation. I have come to the conclusion that I do not trust Tony and his account primarily because he either left his kids in the care of mentally ill person or he lied about her being mentally ill. That sums it up for me. If he doesn’t care about how his actions have affected his children and their lives, then I hardly think he will care about doing other things as well.

  16. Miranda wrote:

    But there is definitely a sense of “piling on” from a lot of people on this blog and elsewhere. Like some people have been waiting for the chance to jump on her and discredit and destroy her and now that the opportunity has presented itself and they smell blood, they are going after it like half-starved vultures.

    This seems political to me.

    Oh yeah, there’s a political aspect to it. Just like there was with SGM, Gothard, etc, etc. We are separated into too many camps and there are those in every group who feel glad when someone in the other camp fails.

    Christ didn’t come for no reason, that’s for sure. :-/

  17. numo wrote:

    it’s about the spamming of legitimate criticism by those wh have bern wanting to go after RHE.

    Who is doing that? I would really like to know so that they can be called out for making a political rather than a principled response to RHE. If it is The Usual Suspects, then their hypocrisy needs to be highlighted. Your point about NBW is good, and I had never heard of her before this blew up, not that that means much since I’m pretty clueless about a lot of things.

  18. @ dee:

    “Christians, above all, should be well aware that our heroes, as well as ourselves, can hide their foibles. Why is it when the police finally catch the serial killer in a neighborhood, the neighbors will often say “He was a nice guy.” “He shoveled our driveway.” “He always came to the neighborhood pot luck.” We are sometimes really screwed up in our judgement.”

    I don’t think it is a matter of screwed up judgement. It’s simply a lack of obvious evidence that something is askew with the individual. How does someone recognize a serial killer by looking and talking with him / her? You can’t, unless the individual says something that gives cause for concern. Judgement is screwed up if we have all the facts and come to a wrong conclusion, but we don’t have all the facts and we judge based on what we know.

  19. One more thought, I think this shows how many people struggle with envy. I think some poeple like the Neo-Calvinist movement becuase they are having all the conferences, programs, etc… that the rest of Christianity does not have. So in return moved by envy, people get jealous and say, “I want that…” and thus start to pursue conferences, and duplicate the same thing on the other side of the house. Both are steamrolling people. SGM didn’t give a rat’s behind about sexually abused children to worship Mahaney. And RHE is doing the same thing and steamrolling Julie McMahon and doemstic abuse victims in the process. You canot talk about empowering women while ignoring the plight and abuse of Julie McMahon. What RHE is doing is pure evil. She owes it to Julie to apologize and repent. Let’s she is she has the charachter to do that…

  20. @ numo:

    From what I am seeing it has been mostly folks from her tribe who are incredibly disappointed and even hurt. If you could link to some of the Comp, Patriarchal, YRR or Fundy tribe response to her position on this matter, as in those who would naturally be against her and her platform, I would like to see it.

    I neither like or dislike RHE. I have never followed her closely but have read some of her books and blog posts. I am well aware of her platform which I agree with. I just don’t do “Christian” personalities anymore. But I do understand the incredible hurt that comes from trusting someone spiritually you thought was a voice for the voiceless.

    I actually hope that she will walk away from her part in the conference and start a real conversation about how this sort of abuse affects people in real ways as in being deceived by someone we really trusted. I would also like to hear her take on the “spiritual wife” situation.

  21. numo wrote:

    Yes on all counts. I think a lot of people who really dislike RHE are having a field day with this. If it wasn’t so, there would be equal criticism of NBW, but… I’m not seeing that *anywhere.*

    As I said above, I don’t have an antiRHE axe to grind.

    RHE is better known that Weber is. That is probably why RHE is getting more of the brunt of this than Weber.

    I don’t think there is a conspiracy to bring RHE down.

  22. dee wrote:

    Miranda wrote:
    . I can and will concede when I am wrong.
    What is so sad about this situation is that we may never 100% corroborating evidence.

    You are 100% right, and that is extremely unfortunate. No one knows what goes on behind the closed door of others, and this almost always works to the detriment of the victims.

    I know for myself there were several times when I tried to record my ex while he was in the middle of one of his abusive episodes. The problem was that in nearly every single recording that I did get, he always seemed to be able to, even in the middle of his “rages”, manage to justify in the recording why he was doing what he was doing. Every time he acted out, it was always framed in a way that he was merely responding to me and how horrible and screwed up *I* was. It was crazy.

  23. Julie McMahon-

    I believe all 6 EV people need to aplogize and repent to you. TJ, McLaren, Pagit and the entire camp need to beg forgiveness for the way they treated you. Likewise I think RHE and Greg Boyd and people endorsing this conference owe you an apology as well. You were the one hurt and you are the one in pain. And you need to be healed. Forgivness and repentance by this crowd can help you heal. As a man I hate domestic abuse and the poeple who wronged you owe it to you to act like men and seek your forgiveness and repent. Lets see who isa man and who is not one. Their charachter will speak volumes not that this is in the open.

  24. Oh my. I just got to thinking CBMW might just like the Mormonesque concept of “spiritual wife”. :o)

  25. Team Deebs!! You know how to start the New Year off with a bang! I wonder what the rest of 2015 holds (Dee screams and runs and carries all three pugs!) 😉

  26. @ Miranda:

    Eagle, If they want to go all out “Jesus” on her, they could also do restitution. Not only public statements that they were WRONG and HOW but also some financial restitution with NO strings attached. They cost her and her kids big time. I know it is asking a lot but people need to walk the talk with “apologies”.

  27. @ Eagle:

    I agree with your post.

    I’m neither a die hard supporter of RHE nor a detractor of hers, so I’m not commenting on any of this from a desire to topple RHE.

    I have enjoyed some of her blog posts criticizing complementarianism, as a matter of fact.

    One of the good things I find about being half-Christian, half-agnostic and not being totally committed to either side (supporters or skeptics), is that I see the pit falls in almost every side on about every topic.

    I quite often do not feel beholden to any one group on many a subject and am more willing to consider someone or “their side” may be wrong. It may depend on the topic.

    It makes it easier to be a tad more objective when you don’t feel you have to defend a particular person or a side. And you can more easily spot double standards by either side. That has been fascinating to me.

    But anyway, I agree with your post.

  28. @ Eagle:
    some people are using it that way, Eagle. That’s all I’m saying. Not that she was right at 1st, though her stance appears to be changing.

  29. Miranda wrote:

    No one knows what goes on behind the closed door of others, and this almost always works to the detriment of the victims.

    Just to clarify, things we are discussing here were not done behind closed doors. Even the physical abuse was in front of her kids. But the “spiritual wife”, ‘she is mentally ill’ was all done WITH lots of people supporting him.

  30. @ Eagle:
    oh for crying out loud, NO I’m no. I just disagree with you. I don’t like how anyone involved with this conference has handled things AT ALL, but ISTM that even back on the 2014 NP thread, there was politics involved. And that was long before this conference was announced.

    I have no more to say. If you cannot accept that we see certain things differently, then OK. But please, let’s not get into a slanging match over it.

  31. @ Gram3:
    theres a lot of it over on FB. and it’s still going on, though likely some of the posts I saw ere deleted.

    It really doesn’t matter whether anyone here agrees on this or not. It’s my observation, and Miranda’s, too. It isn’t something I want to get into an argument over, not with anyone. I have already said pretty much everything I have to say about this situation way upthread, so I don’t see the point in continuing to say those same things again and again.

    It’s fine with me if you and everyone else here doesn’t agree with me, and I expect that you don’t. That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here, but that’s not my problem, either.

  32. @ Lydia:
    Lydia, I said last night that I didn’t want to continue to engage with you. That hasn’t changed, and I think it’s for the best.

    Hope you can respect my decision.

    Best,
    numo

  33. Gram3 wrote:

    Your point about NBW is good, and I had never heard of her before this blew up

    I had only heard of NBW about a year ago or more because she wrote a book called “Pastrix” that Chris Rosebrough talked smack about on his radio show.

    Outisde of that, I don’t remember hearing much about her anywhere else, maybe one news headline – and I sought that out because Rosebrough mentioned her, I wanted to know more about her to see what all the hub bub was about on his part.

    Contrast that to Rachel Held Evans, who sometimes blogs on CNN’s belief blog (or whatever it’s called), and she goes on book tours or conferences. I think more people have heard of her than of Weber.

  34. Miranda wrote:

    No one knows what goes on behind the closed door of others, and this almost always works to the detriment of the victims.

    yes.

  35. Julie McMahon wrote:

    @ Miranda: no offense taken. Trust me, I get how loaded and dizzying this all is. Most days I want to run away….but I can’t. So I fight. Thank you, Miranda.

    You are welcome, Julie. And as for the horrible things your husband did to you, you have my utmost sympathy and you have my respect for standing up and being strong and doing what you had to do to survive. Maybe it doesn’t matter that his behavior doesn’t (seem to) follow the typical pattern of abuse. The way you were treated was wrong and the gaslighting of you was in itself abusive and horrible. I do readily acknowledge that.

  36. @ Daisy:
    that is because NBW is a full-time pastor of a Lutheran church, although she does indeed speak at church conferences of all kinds. That she’s not really known by evangelicals – it doesn’t surprise me. But she said some pretty bad things about all of this on FB, publicly, so why is there not equal indignation?

  37. @ Daisy:
    RHE writes opinion pieces for major news outlets and NBW doesn’t.

    Is that some kind of sin in your book? She’s trying to make a living from writing, which is – trust me – VERY hard to do.

  38. Joe2 wrote:

    Judgement is screwed up if we have all the facts and come to a wrong conclusion, but we don’t have all the facts and we judge based on what we know.

    Does the situation have to be mutually exclusive?

    If you are referring to Jones in the last half of that, how much more do I need to know to draw conclusions about the guy?

    It is universally agreed upon from what I have read so far by both his supporters and detractors that the guy cheated on his wife.

    That to me is bad enough alone, not even considering the allegations of physical abuse, diagnosis of a personality disorder, continual, alleged lying to discredit the former spouse, etc.

  39. Lydia wrote:

    @ numo:
    Victims are used to hearing that sort of response. The abuser in this case is an articulate speaker who has had years to refine his skills and has the benefit of a following who believes him off the bat. The victims are emotional, hardened, in shock, weary, etc. They often do not really know what is happening because no one tells them what is going on behind their back. They often do not present a smooth approach or response. And that goes against them. They are compared to the smooth operators who make a living communicating in the public eye.

    That’s very perceptive. Often, the victim of abuse from a sociopath or one with NPD will appear to be in far worse shape that the abuser. This makes perfect sense considering the gaslighting and psychological terror they’re enduring and the cool manner in which the abuser is able to dish it out, they not having the “disadvantage” of a conscience. I know one former pastor who’s exploits I’ve related here who was witty, helpful, well-educated, exceptionally good-looking and fit for his age–and privately a ruthless and manipulative sadist whom I think has very strong NPD tendencies. He appeared like everyone’s favorite uncle in public, while his wife was a wreck, like someone with a destroyed personality, and few like her or associate with her. .

  40. Eagle wrote:

    One more thought, I think this shows how many people struggle with envy. I think some poeple like the Neo-Calvinist movement becuase they are having all the conferences, programs, etc

    I am in agreement with your post, I just find it funny if that is the motivator, because I think the whole concept of Christian conferences are hokey.

    Christians need less of the conferences and speaking circuits, not more. They are so lame and played out.

    I’ve even seen some of the Reformed (at least I think they are Reformed) guys write blog posts with titles like, “Does the world really need another Christian conference.” (The answer is no.)

  41. numo wrote:

    It’s fine with me if you and everyone else here doesn’t agree with me, and I expect that you don’t. That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here, but that’s not my problem, either.

  42. @ numo:
    I think people just wanted to understand and thought you might have information or insight that would help with that. I just don’t do vague well.

    No offense here at all.

  43. Lydia wrote:

    Oh my. I just got to thinking CBMW might just like the Mormonesque concept of “spiritual wife”. :o)

    Yes, the Mormonism parallel had occurred to me the first time I heard the phrase “spiritual wife” used in the Jones case.

    The CBMW site has, or had at one time, a guest post by a complementarian guy who claims to be Christian but who wrote an article saying wives will be submissive to their husbands in the afterlife.

    Even though Christ teaches there is no marriage in after life, but the Mormons teach there is so.

    The Christian complementarian guy was saying in the CBMW article, yes, there is marriage in the great here-after, and wives have to submit to their spouses. It’s very Mormon-ish.

  44. numo wrote:

    t’s fine with me if you and everyone else here doesn’t agree with me, and I expect that you don’t. That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here, but that’s not my problem, either.

    Messed up the first attempt. Again.

    I don’t think this is quite fair, Numo. I truly do not know who’s who, and I was asking a legitimate question. I don’t do FB or Twitter.

    I do verbose Gramsplaining, but sometimes your comments are so oblique and cryptic that I, for one, don’t get them. And I would like to get your point because your POV is valuable. Even especially when it is different. But it needs to be clear for me, at least, to get it.

  45. @ Eagle: they won’t. Brian fired off a letter last week that read like an affidavit. Takes zero responsibility. Disappointing. But he at minimum wrote me even though it was a timely a$& covering no doubt.

  46. @ Law Prof:
    Yes, and I have more experience of this than I feel comfortable discussing publicly. So it’s not as if I’m unsympathetic – far from it!

  47. numo wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    theres a lot of it over on FB. and it’s still going on, though likely some of the posts I saw ere deleted.
    It really doesn’t matter whether anyone here agrees on this or not. It’s my observation, and Miranda’s, too. It isn’t something I want to get into an argument over, not with anyone. I have already said pretty much everything I have to say about this situation way upthread, so I don’t see the point in continuing to say those same things again and again.
    It’s fine with me if you and everyone else here doesn’t agree with me, and I expect that you don’t. That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here, but that’s not my problem, either.

    Yes. Thank you numo.

    I trust my gut because it’s the one thing that has never let me down. I may not be able to figure out or articulate all the reasons why alarm bells are still going off for me, (although I do think I am beginning to understand) but I am still going to respect it, whether saying so out loud is popular or not.

  48. @ Miranda:
    Good for you, and I agree, though obviously, there are folks who might not wish to hear what you’re saying. I am groping my way toward a more articulate explanation myself, but it’s been taking a while, and will likely take a while longer.

  49. Lydia wrote:

    Who? Let us speak to them about using it as a political means.

    I'm not sure who the specifics who's are either.

    I can see how people who don't like RHE before all this happened (such as Owen Strachan, Mark Driscoll, etc, and/or their supporters), can in the future use all of this to bash RHE and/or her positions, but as of yet, I've not seen them do so. They may in the future.

  50. Pingback: How To Dump Your Wife and Keep Your “Ministry” | PhoenixPreacher

  51. @ Gram3:
    just read comments on the SCCL FB page, on the last couple of posts Stephy’s put up. That should clarify to some degree.

    Cool?

  52. numo wrote:

    That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here

    That has been my experience too at times with this site with some members (in regards to other topics), which is why I cut back some of my participation off and on. 🙂

  53. numo wrote:

    she said some pretty bad things about all of this on FB, publicly, so why is there not equal indignation?

    Not all of us are on those FB pages nor are we all on Twitter. Speaking for myself, at this point I would stay away from anyone who is endorsing Tony Jones’ conferences, books, etc., just like I have done with those who support SGM and MH, etc.

  54. @ Gram3:
    i don’t use Twitter and only look at it once in a blue moon, so cannot speak to what’s going on over there, or elsewhere, for that matter. I am not taking the time to read everything available on this whole mess, because it’s just too overwhelming and I don’t feel OK about spending *that* much time on it.

  55. @ Bridget:
    I don’t usually look at the SCCL FB page, either, but discussion here got me over there. I don’t follow Twitter, etc., either, so that makes two of us. 🙂

  56. Jeff S wrote:

    Off topic- thank you all the well wishers on my marriage. I am VERY blessed

    So happy for you!! Glad to hear from you, too! You kind of dropped off the face of the blog 😉 Glad all is well.

  57. @ numo:
    Probably again because she’s not as famous as RHE.

    I’m not seeing a conspiracy to bring down RHE, which is what you seem to keep suggesting, as does another poster (was it Miranda?)

  58. Miranda wrote:

    I may not be able to figure out or articulate all the reasons why alarm bells are still going off for me

    Really trying to understand. Are the alarms about who is speaking out? Or why they are speaking out? Or the significance of the issues? Or the truth of the allegations of various kinds? Or the significance of what is on the record? Or what is it that is triggering the alarms in your gut?

    As with my comment to Numo, I don’t think anyone is trying to shut you down or minimize the importance of your POV. I would just like to have something a little more that alarms in your gut to go on. That would be helpful, I think, for all of us.

  59. numo wrote:

    RHE writes opinion pieces for major news outlets and NBW doesn’t.
    Is that some kind of sin in your book? She’s trying to make a living from writing, which is – trust me – VERY hard to do.

    Nope, I don’t have a problem with RHE writing blog posts for CNN. You’re mighty touchy about this. I was just explaining why people are calling out RHE more so than the Weber lady.

  60. @ Bridget:
    Miranda has been reading the SCCL page, as have I. Patrice pointed out some of RHE’s recent interactions (as of last evening) earlier in this comment thread. That’s what made me decide to take a look over there.

    I don’t think *anyone* can truly keep up with social media, as it’s so fast and furious and things change from one second to the next. It is extremely wearying for me. Mostly I use FB to look at pics of cut animals and the like. It’s my happy place, but I am very selective about the feeds I see and what I will/won’t get involved in – the “won’t” includes political and religious discussions. Most of my “friends” are actually pets and musicians. It can be a good platform if you are very careful about who you “friend” and what you see.

  61. Julie McMahon wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    I was actually awarded sole physical and legal. Tony proposed I have sole/sole and he was down in Dallas with Courtney apparently ready to wash his hands of his family and start his “do over” life. I actually countered with “shared legal” to keep him on the hook for being a dad. Recently, he has taken up the victim role even lobbying at the senate for equal rights for dads. Hilarious! Such a PR campaign. He forfeits the minimum time he has OFTEN in exchange for his global travels. It’s truly a crock.

    Thanks for the info. To be clear, I wasn’t speaking of your situation specifically- it was more that I don’t see “he left the kids behind- he must be an abuser” as ironclad logic in general cases. From what I’ve read of your specific case so far, I had little doubt that he did indeed abandon the family.

    I’m sorry for what you are going through. I have recently begun interacting with someone I strongly suspect to be an NPD and am learning first hand about what I’ve only read about in the past. It’s hard and hurtful.

  62. @ Gram3:
    I think what both Miranda and I are saying is that we are not yet in a position to articulate *all* of why we feel that way – and I have no doubt that her take and mine are by no means identical.

    Please bear with me, OK? I appreciate your kind words upthread, too!

  63. numo wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    just read comments on the SCCL FB page, on the last couple of posts Stephy’s put up. That should clarify to some degree.
    Cool?

    I did read them, but none of the names are familiar to me except Julie’s and Danica (?) because I read them on the NP thread and here (at least Julie is here.) Still missing your point, but maybe it’s just me. I saw commenters making the same basic points there as are being made here. I suppose it will have to be cool if you don’t want to elaborate.

  64. @ numo:

    I have read the vast majority of the two or three SCCL Facebook posts about this topic and still don’t entirely agree with your take on it. I’m not sure that reading SCCL is a panacea for changing people’s minds about it.

    I also do not see any comments by RHE on the SCCL most recent thread. I skimmed it over this morning twice. Or did she comment on an older thread there?

    MOD Edit: Some of this comment deleted as discussion in comments of why and how we moderate comments is not allowed. For many reasons.

  65. Daisy wrote:

    I can see how people who don’t like RHE before all this happened (such as Owen Strachan, Mark Driscoll, etc, and/or their supporters), can in the future use all of this to bash RHE and/or her positions,

    I don’t think that would be wise for them to do. Which pretty much guarantees they will try it. Owen (not John) looked very silly and somewhat paranoid about RHE shutting down his social media. He is so precious and entertaining that I don’t know why anyone would want to do that. Driscoll doesn’t have the sense or judgment of a rock, so I fully expect him to try.

  66. Gram3 wrote:

    Miranda wrote:
    I may not be able to figure out or articulate all the reasons why alarm bells are still going off for me
    Really trying to understand. Are the alarms about who is speaking out? Or why they are speaking out? Or the significance of the issues? Or the truth of the allegations of various kinds? Or the significance of what is on the record? Or what is it that is triggering the alarms in your gut?
    As with my comment to Numo, I don’t think anyone is trying to shut you down or minimize the importance of your POV. I would just like to have something a little more that alarms in your gut to go on. That would be helpful, I think, for all of us.

    In my very first comment on this (wayy) back, I spelled out some of the reasons. There is a pattern that most abusers follow, and there is a pattern that most victims follow in reaction to the abuse. A lot of what I see doesn’t fit the patterns. But taking into account the history of this story (most of which I wasn’t aware of until some of the commenters pointed it out to me), then maybe that’s not as much reason for alarm as I had originally thought. I’d really rather not rewrite what I wrote in my original comment simply because I am lazy, but if you want further clarification from me then let me know and I will suck it up and give it to you.

    I am torn at this moment between the desire to stick to my guns and continue to insist that Julie’s experience as she recounts it isn’t a typical abuse situation (even though there are certainly elements of abuse, and that in itself is wrong), and the realization that I probably need to open up my perspective on the issue of abuse itself. I know that I will probably continue to catch heat about this and maybe that’s for the best. Changing perspectives isn’t always an easy thing to do but sometimes it is necessary. I’m a big girl, I can admit that. Like I said, I am torn. For right or wrong, I am torn.

  67. Lydia wrote:

    Oh my. I just got to thinking CBMW might just like the Mormonesque concept of “spiritual wife”. :o)

    If Really Smart Theologians with a Ph.D./PhD can make up “Subordinate Wife” because they have issues with their masculinity, then I suppose Really Smart Theologians with a Ph.D./PhD can make up “Spiritual Wife” because they have issues with their libido.

    Making up stuff is handy when you need it to justify what is unjustifiable.

  68. @ Miranda:
    this! I know it can be hard to stick to one’s opinion in the face of counter-pressure, but, like you, I’m open to other views. Though I feel very uncomfortable with being told (by anyone) that a person is flat-out wrong simply because they disagree, either on substantial issues or minor ones. I think that’s been going on a lot in attempts to discuss this situation elsewhere.

  69. Miranda wrote:

    But there is definitely a sense of “piling on” from a lot of people on this blog and elsewhere. Like some people have been waiting for the chance to jump on her and discredit and destroy her and now that the opportunity has presented itself and they smell blood, they are going after it like half-starved vultures.
    This seems political to me.
    But I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if I am wrong then I am honestly sorry. I will keep reading and keep trying to open up my perspective on this. I do realize that there is a history that I don’t know about.

    So you really like RHE? I’m trying to get to the bottom of this.

  70. Jeff S wrote:

    Off topic- thank you all the well wishers on my marriage. I am VERY blessed

    So happy for you!! Glad to hear from you, too! You kind of dropped off the face of the blog 😉 Glad all is well.@ numo:

    I use FB sparingly with real people I know 🙂

  71. Law Prof wrote:

    Miranda wrote:
    But there is definitely a sense of “piling on” from a lot of people on this blog and elsewhere. Like some people have been waiting for the chance to jump on her and discredit and destroy her and now that the opportunity has presented itself and they smell blood, they are going after it like half-starved vultures.
    This seems political to me.
    But I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if I am wrong then I am honestly sorry. I will keep reading and keep trying to open up my perspective on this. I do realize that there is a history that I don’t know about.
    So you really like RHE? I’m trying to get to the bottom of this.

    Do you think I have to be a fan of hers in order to see what I’m seeing?

  72. Julie McMahon wrote:

    @ Eagle: they won’t. Brian fired off a letter last week that read like an affidavit. Takes zero responsibility. Disappointing. But he at minimum wrote me even though it was a timely a$& covering no doubt.

    Hi Julie: I’m sorry and sad for your hurt.

    I read Brian’s response to you in the comment section on the Naked Pastor thread (is that the letter you are referring to?) which as an outsider, even though he didn’t take responsibility for the things you wanted him to, I thought he was even-handed and respectful. Though perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that way if I’d been the one who felt wounded by him. From what I recall, he didn’t own up to those specific wrongs because his experience/his memories of the situation you described (of the pastors intervening, I think?) was or felt different him than the way he was hearing you describe it. And it sounds like your experience of the situation is very different than the one he seems to remember or describe. And that’s really hard, especially when you feel so deeply wronged and wounded.

    I’m telling you this as someone who has also been deeply wounded, in big and small ways, by very hurtful people throughout my life: You will likely never get the apologies you want. And that sucks. What has mattered most to me — or rather what has made the biggest difference in my healing — is getting to know Jesus, and myself, as best as I possibly can; to ask Jesus’ help to forgive those who’ve hurt me; to ask Jesus to help me make amends to those I’ve hurt as well. None of the above has been easy. It continues to be hard. Very hard. And it actually piles even more on to the already difficult task of persevering through trauma. But it is worth it. So worth it. Jesus already knows what’s true — the whats and whens and hows of our experiences — and whether people know it or not, He does know it. That has comforted me, anyway.

    The following is one of the smaller ways I’ve been wounded (compared to other ways I’ve or others have been wounded). I share it because of the reflections I’ve had in hindsight about it. When I was in college, the very well-respected, Christian guy I was dating broke up with me because he wasn’t able to come to terms with my past (which included abuse and promiscuity, etc.) Maybe there was other stuff there he had doubts about and that was the final straw for him. I don’t know and never will know. But the rejection crushed me. Devastated me. Hurt me beyond what I can describe here. And in my hurt I unleashed holy hell on his life until I graduated. I talked to tons of people about him, wrote about him, and generally just made his life miserable at every turn. That was 10 years ago. And to this day I regret it. Did he really hurt me? Absolutely. Was I justifiably hurt? Absolutely. I believe what he did was sinful and hurtful and immature. It cut to the core of who I was, who I’d been, who I wanted to be.

    Here’s why I regret what I did — because I tried to extract something from him he was not able to give: repentance. I wasn’t able to convict his heart of any wrongdoing, and neither could anyone else. And I spent a ton of time trying to force repentance, to force sorrow, and to force an acknowledgment from him about my pain by any means necessary. No dice. And I guess, in hindsight, as I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy talking through the various hurts of my life — trauma, abuse, etc. — as well as the unhealthy ways I’ve responded to those hurts, I’ve realized that ultimately, we can speak what we believe to be true, but the spirit of God is the only one who can help another person — the person who’s hurt us — actually *realize* truth. That’s been my experience.

    Again, I’m sorry for your hurt. I want and hope for peace for you, your children and your ex, just as I want peace for myself. I want you to be able to live without regret. (And maybe you do, I don’t know.)

    May the God of peace share more of himself with you day by day in a way that reminds you that he knows of the hurt you feel, and why.

  73. Miranda wrote:

    Do you think I have to be a fan of hers in order to see what I’m seeing?

    But why are those of us who are not fully backing RHE in this getting lumped in with vague suggestions of conspiracies to bring down RHE? Why all the investment in the RHE angle?
    It seems to be assumed I must hate RHE personally in order to take issue with her supporting this Jones guy or going to his conference. (I don’t hate RHE and never have.)

  74. Miranda wrote:

    I am torn at this moment between the desire to stick to my guns and continue to insist that Julie’s experience as she recounts it isn’t a typical abuse situation

    That was helpful, and I can just CtrlF to read your earlier comments. I don’t see this as a matter of sticking to guns, which would *not* be helpful for any of us. The bit about “typical abuse situation” does not make sense to me. I’ve never seen an abuse situation that was typical, though I have observed certain elements that are common to the abusive situations I have observed, whether it is physical, spiritual, or emotional. I would be very hesitant to define abuse heuristically, though the common elements I have observed might prompt me to explore further if I observe those elements in another situation. The perceived absence of certain elements that I expect would *not* cause me to rule abuse out, however, just because humans and human situations are so complex and our information is limited.

  75. Disappointed to hear about Rachel Held Evans’ response, especially the censorship of her comments section.

    I’m also appalled by the seeming use of “mentally ill” as a derogatory term and as justification for treating someone poorly (i.e. committing adultery, abandonment, etc.).

    As for Tony Jones’ “spiritual wife” – that’s just plain kooky. I think this goes without saying, but MAJOR RED FLAG any time some guy makes up theology so that he can cheat on his wife.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_wifery

  76. Gram3 wrote:

    If Really Smart Theologians with a Ph.D./PhD can make up “Subordinate Wife” because they have issues with their masculinity, then I suppose Really Smart Theologians with a Ph.D./PhD can make up “Spiritual Wife” because they have issues with their libido.

    That’s called a GramSmack!!!! 🙂

  77. Sara wrote:

    I talked to tons of people about him, wrote about him, and generally just made his life miserable at every turn. That was 10 years ago. And to this day I regret it. Did he really hurt me? Absolutely

    But during the time you did all that, did his friends try to damage your life by spreading falsehoods about you, and try to get your friends to disbelieve your complaints about him, as Julie’s ex has done with her?

    If not, the situation you describe is not quite the same as hinting that Julie is just hanging on to anger for the sake of revenge or wanting to lash out and needs to let it go for her own peace.

    From what I’ve read so far, nobody has really believed her during this entire ordeal (except for a small handful of people), and hardly anyone has given her a chance to tell her side of the story. Everyone else has been shutting her down.

    Did that happen to you when you were having issues with your ex fiance?

  78. Daisy wrote:

    numo wrote:
    That’s not the issue. I feel like it’s not acceptable to some folks that differing views of this situation are expressed here
    That has been my experience too at times with this site with some members (in regards to other topics), which is why I cut back some of my participation off and on.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer by education and former profession and thus accustomed to debate, or maybe it’s because I have a huge family with a wife and children who have strong, vibrant personalities and I have to fight every step of the way to put my point across, with few things in debate being out of bounds for any of us, but frankly, I find the disagreements here pretty mild, the flaming rare, and the back-and-forth refreshing. And if some people don’t like contrary opinions, so what? We’re not all porcelain dolls and we ought to be capable of taking some strong disagreement with our views without grabbing our toys and running for home. Just sayin.

  79. @ Sara:

    This is very difficult. Sorry you have bad to go through this. The Christian man in your life denied the work of Christ in your life. Very sad and disturbing on his part.

  80. Julie’s story resonated completely with me, though my emotional/spiritual abuser has repented and we are still together. On the narcissism continuum, her narcissist ex is WAY more disordered than my spouse ever was. And way less faithful. I’m frankly surprised that Miranda did (does?) not recognize it on the gut level that so many of us do.
    BTW, what does ISTM mean? I’m fairly new to the blogging scene, having spent years in my own recovery from spousal and extreme church abuses without knowing a lot of this stuff! I am so grateful for Wartburg and other blogs, and for commentators like Gram3 and Brad/Futurist Guy. You all rock!
    Julie, not only do I believe you, I’m praying for you and your kids. God’s peace!

  81. Law Prof wrote:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer by education and former profession and thus accustomed to debate, or maybe it’s because I have a huge family with a wife and children who have strong, vibrant personalities and I have to fight every step of the way to put my point across, with few things in debate being out of bounds for any of us, but frankly, I find the disagreements here pretty mild,

    Gramp3, is that you? 🙂

  82. I don’t understand why RHE is deleting her comments. I want very much to give her the benefit of the doubt for now on the basis that maybe she has information that the rest of us don’t. But the deleting the comments thing is not good. Not good at all.

  83. @ Sara:

    Sara, Many victims find even more healing when they refuse to be silenced any more and take the big scary step of telling their story.

    I have seen so many victims get clobbered with the “just forgive and move on” mantra. not only does that further damage victims of spiritual emotional and physical abuse, but it gives the abuser a pass and fails to warn future victims.

    believe it or not people can forgive and still tell their side of the story. In this situation the other side’s story became common knowledge and accepted. The victim was silenced.

    forgiveness does not mean sweeping evil deeds under the rug. Although a lot of abusers want people to believe that. And a lot of pastors teach forgiveness that way for a reason.

  84. Law Prof wrote:

    but frankly, I find the disagreements here pretty mild, the flaming rare, and the back-and-forth refreshing. And if some people don’t like contrary opinions, so what? We’re not all porcelain dolls and we ought to be capable of taking some strong disagreement with our views without grabbing our toys and running for home. Just sayin.

    Was your comment for me or for Numo, who my post was quoting (and I still have a few posts to her as I type this sitting in moderation).

    I’m not a porcelain doll.

    I was placed on permanent moderated status (for close to a year now, not sure why), in addition, which makes it more difficult for me to engage in back and forth here.

    There is definitely on some topics a group think type phenomenon going on, where I find it easier to just not comment or not comment much.

    As I stated very early when I began posting on this blog, I prefer to agree with people and get along. I did not seek this blog out to fight and debate, but if I see something I disagree with, I might speak up and say something.

    Even “mild” group think conditions can make people like me reluctant to want to pipe up much. I’m not looking for a fight when I post here. That’s not my intent or goal.

  85. @ Sara:

    With respect some of what you say here reminds me of what Mars Hill pastors say to their members. “It’s all about Jesus shut up, move on, and remember your fault in this mess…” Sly way of shifting the blame to Julie.

  86. @ lydia:

    I agree! I was simply sharing what brought me healing and what didn’t. And I wished someone had shared that with me at that time.

  87. @ lydia:

    The method of many Christians in their respective campsis to sweep it under the carpet. Many Christians are fools for thinking that they have more ethics, are pure, etc… This is part of the reason why I find myself attracted and spend more time with people outide the chruch. They are healthier, better, and can me more loving and grace filled. Who would I rathro spend time with? A friend who is gay and in a committed relationship? Or a John Piper fan boy who drools to every word John Piper says? Sorry I’d rhator spend time with the gay friend and his community anyday.

  88. Jeff S wrote:

    he left the kids behind- he must be an abuser”

    This goes a little deeper. he abandoned his kids while allowing people to think his wife is a mental case. If she was that bad, then he did abandon them. If she isn’t that bad, then there seems to be some lying going on.he is allowing serious accusations to be leveled at his wife.

  89. @ Eagle:

    That’s not what I got at all. Everyone processes their pain differently. Sarah seemed to be sharing her journey, about her experience, not telling Julie to shut up and get over it.

  90. Sara wrote:

    Here’s why I regret what I did — because I tried to extract something from him he was not able to give: repentance. I wasn’t able to convict his heart of any wrongdoing, and neither could anyone else.

    I think you may have come to peace about your situation because you were able to discuss your pain in an open way. Sometimes, it takes being believed and being allowed to have your say that will lead to healing.

    Every person is put together differently.How long this takes is unknown from person to person. In your own example, it was the dissolution of a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. In Julie’s situation, it was the abandonment of vows, abandonment of a marriage in which Jones liked his wife enough to produce three children with her, an abandonment of his family in a day to day relationship. There was one on one in your situation. There is one on one+three which is even more complex.

  91. Numo, yes, I read Miranda’s comments from the very beginning. I was pretty taken aback, mainly because Julie’s story felt so familiar to me.

  92. @ Law Prof:
    i think it’s helpful to keep in mind that everyone here is different, and that a wide range of personalities and discussion “styles’ is the norm, not the exception.

    Besides all that, there’s the fact that we cannot hear or see each other, and and are missing all kinds of cues (tone of voice, facial expression, body language, gestures) that are the norm in face-to-face communication. All we have here is text, which is severely limiting in many ways, and makes it that much easier for misunderstandings to happen.

    While I’m certainly not a “porcelain doll,” there are times when I know I’ve hit my own limits and feel better about bowing out of something – for a while, or altogether – than continuing to argue the same points that were made several pages back. While I realize that’s not everyone’s cuppa, it’s mine, and when I know I’m getting really annoyed, I find it better to step away than keep on at something that isn’t working, where people are talking past each other rather than with each other.

    I respect all who post here, but I don’t think it’s always necessary to spell out all of the reasons their opinion differs from mine, or vice versa.

    Hope this is helpful!

  93. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Julie’s story resonated completely with me, though my emotional/spiritual abuser has repented and we are still together. On the narcissism continuum, her narcissist ex is WAY more disordered than my spouse ever was. And way less faithful. I’m frankly surprised that Miranda did (does?) not recognize it on the gut level that so many of us do.

    I do recognize it. I recognize that abusers flip the truth upside down and that they are very skilled at painting the victims as the abusers and themselves as the victims.

    And what is the logical outcome to this? Well, the logical outcome is that there are a lot of people out there saying they are victims of abuse who actually *aren’t*. Like I said before, abusers aren’t JUST the aggressors in the relationship, they are also usually very much the aggressors when it comes to framing the relationship to outsiders. You can pretty much count on them to make sure that they are the ones who approach family members and friends with the “problems” (I put that in scare quotes because they only problem is the abusive sociopath) that they are having in the relationship. They are cold and they are calculating, and they are the ones who have the presence of mind to start gathering future-needed evidence of their “victimhood”, via recordings, emails, etc. Meanwhile the victim is too busy coming apart at the seams and desperately trying to make sense of what is happening to the relationship to even begin to be able to think so clearly.

    Gahhh I have much more to say but for now I’m going to wrap it up because my girls are tugging at me to come play soccer with them.

    Suffice it to say for now that I DO honestly get it. I get that the very reversal that the abusers ALWAYS do makes the issue of abuse extremely muddled. It’s easy to say that we should always take the side of the victim, but abusers are shrewd enough to manipulate that tendency and if we are not careful we will find ourselves defending the evil at the expense of the victims.

  94. @ Carole Ryan:
    i don’t think she is saying that Julie didn’t experience abuse, not at all. But that’s my take, and might or might not be accurate. I don’t think that saying something doesn’t feel right about some aspects of the discussion negates the reality of abuse.

  95. Yikes, I didnt’ mean to put that whole thing in block quote. Here is my response to Cathy.

    I do recognize it. I recognize that abusers flip the truth upside down and that they are very skilled at painting the victims as the abusers and themselves as the victims.
    And what is the logical outcome to this? Well, the logical outcome is that there are a lot of people out there saying they are victims of abuse who actually *aren’t*. Like I said before, abusers aren’t JUST the aggressors in the relationship, they are also usually very much the aggressors when it comes to framing the relationship to outsiders. You can pretty much count on them to make sure that they are the ones who approach family members and friends with the “problems” (I put that in scare quotes because they only problem is the abusive sociopath) that they are having in the relationship. They are cold and they are calculating, and they are the ones who have the presence of mind to start gathering future-needed evidence of their “victimhood”, via recordings, emails, etc. Meanwhile the victim is too busy coming apart at the seams and desperately trying to make sense of what is happening to the relationship to even begin to be able to think so clearly.
    Gahhh I have much more to say but for now I’m going to wrap it up because my girls are tugging at me to come play soccer with them.
    Suffice it to say for now that I DO honestly get it. I get that the very reversal that the abusers ALWAYS do makes the issue of abuse extremely muddled. It’s easy to say that we should always take the side of the victim, but abusers are shrewd enough to manipulate that tendency and if we are not careful we will find ourselves defending the evil at the expense of the victims.

    Not sure why this was in block quote. This is me, not Cathy.

  96. @ dee:

    A big part of it was being able to discuss my pain in an open way with a very small group of very trusted people. (I can count them on one hand and for and to them I am profoundly grateful.) I recognize not every person has a group life this in his or her life, nor is it always through talking openly in this way that healing occurs. I imagine God’s healing occurs as differently and uniquely for each person just as each person is different and unique. My intent in writing what I wrote — the event of which wasn’t even a “major” trauma compared to other things I’ve been through or, as you’ve pointed out, as complex or even damaging the things Julie’s been through — was simply to share how I’ve reflected on it about a decade late and what I know now that I wish I’d known then. My hope for Julie is that she’s able to connect to that which brings God’s peace for herself and family. Maybe that’s speaking out the way she’s doing. Maybe not. I don’t know! I was simply providing what I hoped would be an encouragement and an additional perspective.

  97. dee wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    he left the kids behind- he must be an abuser”
    This goes a little deeper. he abandoned his kids while allowing people to think his wife is a mental case. If she was that bad, then he did abandon them. If she isn’t that bad, then there seems to be some lying going on.he is allowing serious accusations to be leveled at his wife.

    I understand what you are saying- and in this case I agree with you. I’m just careful about the general rule of thumb you’ve proposed because custody can be a sticky situation and outsiders don’t always know what has happened. Custody is not always going to be a certainty when a person decides to leave an abusers (abusers often end up with custody, as sad as that is).

    In this case, based on what Julie has said (and I believe her) he didn’t even try to get custody. In that case, you are spot on.

  98. …and my last two comments are proof positive why I don’t need to be trying to think thoughts for a blog comment whilst at the same time trying to fend off restless kids.

  99. @ Sara:

    The reason I ended up with the therapist I did as I was going through my divorce was that he made this statement to a room full of emotionally damaged and hurting people: “I know many of you are here because of what others have done to you- it’s not fair and it’s not your fault. However, you will only get better if you take responsibility for healing. You cannot wait on your abuser to heal you, because it will never happen.”

    After hearing him say that, I saw that he was the kind of therapist who would both challenge me and have compassion (and he did)- but that statement has stuck with me a while. I saw many ways in which I was waiting for my ex-wife to change so that I could move on. When I caught myself doing this, I let go and moved on anyway. That idea was hugely important for my healing. It kind of sounds to me like what you are driving at (sorry if I’m barking up the wrong tree).

    However, I don’t know that this is what Julie is doing here. In fact, her level of knowledge about tactics of NPDs makes it sound like she’s done a lot of work to educate herself, and that may have been done as part of the healing process. Publicly dealing with the issues of your abuse does not necessarily mean you are waiting for your abuser to see the light to find healing. I don’t get the sense from Julie that she is trying to heal through what is going on. I *do* get the sense that she is seeking justice, and that is not a wrong thing to pursue, especially for a person in a position to influence many, many others.

  100. I am uncertain what the term “Spiritual Wife” means. I have known couple who pray together, go to church together, are deeply engaged as a couple in raising their children, are involved in teaching their children the Bible. They are committed to each other, and if their eye wanders are deeply ashamed. Religion is important to the family of which the heads of household is husband and wife. Having a soulmate can be overly idealized by many and is used as an excuse to divorce.

    Interesting in this particular case, the ex wife has been characterized as “crazy,” yet she is raising the children. Kind of seems someone is speaking falsehoods as far as ex wife is concerned. Adultery is adultery and is very very rarely excusable….Perhaps in times past or more rarely when people couldn’t divorce and people were trapped in loveless abusive relationships. Sleeping with an enemy relationships also exist but this is rare. .. i am thinking the hypothetical.

  101. Daisy wrote:

    Miranda wrote:

    Do you think I have to be a fan of hers in order to see what I’m seeing?

    But why are those of us who are not fully backing RHE in this getting lumped in with vague suggestions of conspiracies to bring down RHE? Why all the investment in the RHE angle?
    It seems to be assumed I must hate RHE personally in order to take issue with her supporting this Jones guy or going to his conference. (I don’t hate RHE and never have.)

    I’m not doing this and neither is anyone else that I’m aware of. I *have* said that I understand why people want explanations and why people feel betrayed. Those are not the comments I am addressing. There is a difference between wanting to understand and using this as a convenient way to pile on someone that you never liked. I understand and respect that difference.

  102. @ Eagle:

    We have gotten to that point, too, Eagle. My first question is, are they hurting, using people or going along with that sort of thing so the radar is on. (which is why I stay away from celebrity Christianity because that sort of thing is endemic to that world in my long exhausting experience in it)

  103. Gram3 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer by education and former profession and thus accustomed to debate, or maybe it’s because I have a huge family with a wife and children who have strong, vibrant personalities and I have to fight every step of the way to put my point across, with few things in debate being out of bounds for any of us, but frankly, I find the disagreements here pretty mild,
    Gramp3, is that you?

    No, not Gramp3, (or 2 or 1 yet, though that day may arrive as my oldest teen has her sights plainly set on a young man and seems determined to eventually bring about that designation). Sounds like you have an environment similar to mine. As I recall, you are of the female gender, did you also by chance put Gramp3 through grad school while teaching at a uni–and are you significantly smarter and better at debate than him?) Just wondering how much in common you have with my spouse.

  104. @ Sara:

    Here’s the thing that troubles me about what you wrote. Because the guy you knew won’t take onwership for his part of the mess I get the vibe that you thought it wrong to pusue or get him to repent. I really see nothing wrong with that. Is it too much to ask someone to to take ownership for their part of the mess? In Christianity todayhere all this garbage about manhood, and what a man is. 99% of what I hear is BS, and a real man should no when to step up, admit mistakes and own them. This is one of the things I like about people outside Christianity. They can be more honest, loving, caring and can do the right thing. I wish someone would do a study one day of ethics, and behavior between Christians and Non-Christiasn. Hands down I think the non-Christians would win and be more ethical.

  105. lydia wrote:

    …people can forgive and still tell their side of the story…forgiveness does not mean sweeping evil deeds under the rug. Although a lot of abusers want people to believe that. And a lot of pastors teach forgiveness that way for a reason.

    Seems to me Jesus forgave yet was always dragging evil deeds out for public consumption, and usually those of the religious leaders of the day.

  106. @ Jeff S:

    Thank you for sharing this perspective. I find it to be very instructive and helpful, even as I process my own stuff.

  107. Daisy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    but frankly, I find the disagreements here pretty mild, the flaming rare, and the back-and-forth refreshing. And if some people don’t like contrary opinions, so what? We’re not all porcelain dolls and we ought to be capable of taking some strong disagreement with our views without grabbing our toys and running for home. Just sayin.
    Was your comment for me or for Numo, who my post was quoting (and I still have a few posts to her as I type this sitting in moderation).
    I’m not a porcelain doll.
    I was placed on permanent moderated status (for close to a year now, not sure why), in addition, which makes it more difficult for me to engage in back and forth here.
    There is definitely on some topics a group think type phenomenon going on, where I find it easier to just not comment or not comment much.
    As I stated very early when I began posting on this blog, I prefer to agree with people and get along. I did not seek this blog out to fight and debate, but if I see something I disagree with, I might speak up and say something.
    Even “mild” group think conditions can make people like me reluctant to want to pipe up much. I’m not looking for a fight when I post here. That’s not my intent or goal.

    For both of you, what the heck, why not? Sure, groupthink exists in a big way, particularly in churches. But not every example of people agreeing on some point = groupthink. I had no idea you were in permanent double secret probation or anything like that, but my general perception is that D & D are not exactly censorship nazis, say, like the typical neoreformed and celeb Christian bloggers.

    I do think that people ought to take strong disagreement without citing groupthink, however prevalent it may be, just my take on it, but that said, if I’m presently suffering under the haze of groupthink, I don’t suppose I’d know it..

  108. lydia wrote:

    believe it or not people can forgive and still tell their side of the story. In this situation the other side’s story became common knowledge and accepted. The victim was silenced.

    Absolutely true. Quick “forgiveness” is the easiest path for all who are not the victim.

  109. @ Law Prof:
    Miranda wrote:

    There is a difference between wanting to understand and using this as a convenient way to pile on someone that you never liked. I understand and respect that difference.

    Forgive me if I get this wrong but it sounds an awful lot like what the authoritarian pastors would tell folks: I don’t like the way you are saying it so I won’t engage. They usually trot out “tone” or something.

    What is an example of “piling on” here? From what I can tell, people are responding to actual events–what they have seen happen. The deletions, blockings, responses, etc.

    Most of the pushback I have seen on Twitter and Facebook are folks who would be more likely to align with RHE’s tribe. What we are not seeing is: “See! We told you she was like this” from the fundy/comp wings. I have not yet seen any of that. If it is out there I would like to see it. What we are seeing is disappointment, frustration, anger, devastation, etc. It seems to be folks who put a lot of trust in her as the voice for the voiceless.

    I hope she has a real serious change of heart about what she has supported. I think a frank convo from her about what has taken place would be very good for all. Sweeping it under the rug with a statement, not so much.

  110. numo wrote:

    @ Law Prof: Besides all that, there’s the fact that we cannot hear or see each other, and and are missing all kinds of cues (tone of voice, facial expression, body language, gestures) that are the norm in face-to-face communication.

    Sometimes it’s good not to be able to be cued by body language, expressions and tones, sometimes I gnash my teeth and practically froth at the mouth and pound about my office throwing a veritable middle-aged tantrum. So I probably come across nicer in writing.

  111. Lydia wrote:

    @ Sara:
    Sorry if I jumped the shark. Perhaps I have heard too many victims being told to forgive and move on.

    I was thinking that abusers and enablers just take that part of the process and sever it off from the rest of what Sara said which was very helpful. The problem is that a lot of times we don’t get to complete the entire process. That’s where I am in a couple of situations. I’ve forgiven, but there is no repentance.

  112. Eagle wrote:

    Here’s the thing that troubles me about what you wrote. Because the guy you knew won’t take onwership for his part of the mess I get the vibe that you thought it wrong to pusue or get him to repent.

    It wasn’t wrong at all to ask him to repent, to want him to repent, or to be so hurt and confused as to why he did what he did and wouldn’t repent (or didn’t even see the need to, actually.) Only in hindsight did I realize that, for me, it was ultimately unhelpful in that circumstance to then try to force it out of him, repeatedly, and to try to get everyone else I knew to do so, too. Because, for me, it never filled the void or healed the hurt. For me, in that circumstance, it made the hurt fester for a really long time. And ultimately it was hurtful to him. And that last point, while I know a lot of people might not care about the hurt inflicted on him, I do now. I didn’t then at all and never imagined that I would. My goal was to make his life as miserable as possible for as long as I possibly could. That was truly my goal. And I regret that. I don’t know why it matters to me now that I hurt him. But it does. Maybe because I’ve been so grievously injured in my life (in other ways). I’m sorry that you were troubled by what I wrote. I’m grateful to be part of this conversation, as I’m grateful you are part of it as well.

  113. Regarding waiting for repentance- when I was going through my divorce, I yearned for my ex-wife to take ownership. For her to say “Jeff, what I did was wrong- and I know I shouldn’t have hurt you like that.” It was like I was holding my breath, just waiting for her to say it. And if she did, then I could say “I’m understood- it’s OK. I’m validated”.

    And sometimes, she came very close. The words would be exactly what I wanted to hear, but then they would be directly followed by reasons why I shouldn’t have been hurt, or by behavior that demonstrated she wasn’t going to change her patterns of behavior. In the end, I should not have expected, or even wanted, her validation. But I guess I felt like she owed me at least that much.

    There was one day I said to her “There is no debt between us. I cannot trust you as a safe person in the future, but you do not owe me anything. You do not need to try and make up anything from the past. We are clear”. She didn’t quite know what to do with that, but for me, being able to say and MEAN it meant freedom. Real freedom. Because I wasn’t waiting on her for anything at all. I wasn’t dependent on her and she couldn’t affect my life anymore.

    Reconciliation was off the table by that point, but forgiveness is what released me.

  114. Law Prof wrote:

    Just wondering how much in common you have with my spouse.

    For sure I’m older and crankier and did earn my PHT. Gramp3 and I have lived life in the real world where *everything* is second-guessed and then third-guessed and tested. If you weren’t called a body part complete with adjective accessories, you weren’t being noticed. What I cannot stand are covert- aggressive tactics. Let’s just get it all out and examine it and figure it out and make it work.

    Logic proficiency used to be part of a university degree. Not so much now, I guess, judging by the lack of it. Debate over issues? Oh yeah. Lots of that, and no shortage of opinions. Gramp3 pretends my contrariness is part of my charm, and I go along with it. Because I’m so submissive…

  115. Law Prof wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Law Prof, How did you get in that comment box??? :o)

    I’m all over the place.

    Aha! That explains everything. You were spoofing RHE when you took down Owen (not John)’s social media. Very clever. Just like a lawyer. 😉

  116. Daisy wrote:

    I was placed on permanent moderated status (for close to a year now, not sure why), in addition, which makes it more difficult for me to engage in back and forth here.

    Daisy. Stop staying this. We mean it. We have communicated to you via email why we do what we do. If you don't like it we are sorry. We'd like to allow you to keep commenting but stop this line of discussion NOW.

    So EVERYONE. This ends the moderation discussions. NOW.

  117. Gram3 wrote:

    I’ve forgiven, but there is no repentance.

    I have that too with a couple of people in my life.

    Yes, I “let it go” and “put it behind me”, and after a number of years, I feel merely the faint remains of grief, but it seems resolution isn’t to be had when the other person won’t face the wrong.

  118. Patrice wrote:

    I feel merely the faint remains of grief,

    Grief is a good way of describing what remains behind. Some is not so faint, but we do what we must.

  119. This is officially the most comments ever received at TWW since the beginning of thee blog. The previous record was somewhere around 730.

    Now, I am trying to figure out if this is good or bad. 🙂

  120. Miranda it’s Carole, not Cathy (just do not want folks to be confused).

    Miranda wrote:
    “I do recognize it. I recognize that abusers flip the truth upside down and that they are very skilled at painting the victims as the abusers and themselves as the victims.
    And what is the logical outcome to this? Well, the logical outcome is that there are a lot of people out there saying they are victims of abuse who actually *aren’t*. Like I said before, abusers aren’t JUST the aggressors in the relationship, they are also usually very much the aggressors when it comes to framing the relationship to outsiders. You can pretty much count on them to make sure that they are the ones who approach family members and friends with the “problems” (I put that in scare quotes because they only problem is the abusive sociopath) that they are having in the relationship. They are cold and they are calculating, and they are the ones who have the presence of mind to start gathering future-needed evidence of their “victimhood”, via recordings, emails, etc. Meanwhile the victim is too busy coming apart at the seams and desperately trying to make sense of what is happening to the relationship to even begin to be able to think so clearly.”

    Too much generalization. I’ve been reading lots of credible survivor blogs this year, mainly of the church abuse variety, and the surge of former victims who are coming forward and documenting their abuse is legion, because the time is right. Truth is coming out, edifices are crumbling and they are finally being heard.

    Also, often the victim, myself included, starts reading self-help books just to figure out what the heck is happening, then starts documenting, then goes for help to family or church or professionals and is not believed because the abuser looks so darn good on the outside. (I’d use stronger words but do not want to go into moderation.) All of this happened to me, and I was devastated. Since then, all have apologized. But I learned the lesson well, and advise victims not to expect to be believed, at least initially. I have spent years recovering and helping other abuse survivors as well. And I’ve done a lot of research — just not on blogs, until recently.

    Also, your opening comment on this thread was really strong and had the effect of discounting Julie, which I am not sure you meant to do, but am glad you apologized to her. This, your latest post seems to imply that you are suspicious Julie could be the actual abuser because she has documented stuff and uses the NPD label. As a fellow survivor, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and not seeing your response this way. However, others could. Context mainly determines meaning, after all.

  121. @ Sara:

    Oh WoW! Don’t know if you read my story here back in August but I was unsuccessfully recruited to a Sovereign Grace Church. At the time I was into Christopher Hitchens, Greta Christina, having being burned out by fundagelicalism. He was into Mark Driscoll, John Piper, etc… I got smart on SGM Survivors and worked hard to stay away from SGM. He had a powerful position like Tony Jones did, and eventually he used that position to make a false accusation against me. Threatened my name, job, reputation, finances and hurt my family. No one else that I can think of brought my Mother to a point of weeping like this guy did. I hit bottom, darkest season of my life. And I approached 140 peopel asking for forgivnesss. I want this to be reoslved to, but I am not out to get him. I want to forgtive him to show him grace. I’m basically a Christian by a thread. I can’t stand most of teh BS I see today. But I never meant him hamr. I was in a faith crisis that was dark. I still am praying for this guy. If he owns his part of the mess I will go to bat for him, and vouch for his charachter.

  122. @ dee:

    MOM!!!!!!!!!!1 Let’s get this post up to 3,000 comments. In the spirit of Fundagelicalism lets redefine what the Naked Pastor mean. Naked meaning a blog post with only 1000+ commnets! 😯

  123. Miranda wrote:

    In my very first comment on this (wayy) back, I spelled out some of the reasons. There is a pattern that most abusers follow, and there is a pattern that most victims follow in reaction to the abuse. A lot of what I see doesn’t fit the patterns. But taking into account the history of this story (most of which I wasn’t aware of until some of the commenters pointed it out to me), then maybe that’s not as much reason for alarm as I had originally thought. I’d really rather not rewrite what I wrote in my original comment simply because I am lazy, but if you want further clarification from me then let me know and I will suck it up and give it to you.

    I am torn at this moment between the desire to stick to my guns and continue to insist that Julie’s experience as she recounts it isn’t a typical abuse situation (even though there are certainly elements of abuse, and that in itself is wrong), and the realization that I probably need to open up my perspective on the issue of abuse itself. I know that I will probably continue to catch heat about this and maybe that’s for the best. Changing perspectives isn’t always an easy thing to do but sometimes it is necessary. I’m a big girl, I can admit that. Like I said, I am torn. For right or wrong, I am torn.

    Okay, I think I see the problem. The pattern of abuser that I am familiar with is a man who selects a vulnerable young woman with self esteem issues, isolates her and makes her dependent on him, and maintains control through a pattern of escalating psychological and physical abuse. That is not what you are going to see with the narcissist. He selects a woman who is going to reflect his glory. I have no doubt that Julie was once the hot young bride he was proud to have on his arm. Then she was the pretty young mother with the well dressed children that made it possible for him to run around doing public speaking. Is he going to abuse that wife? Neglect yes, abuse no.

    But things change when the person isn’t useful to the public image anymore. Suddenly there’s a younger, cooler version available, someone that makes the narcissistic feel he can be culturally edgy and appeal to a whole new demographic. The old wife and kids are an obstacle to this wonderful new life and their very presence makes him look bad and feel vaguely guilty. That can’t be allowed! Now here comes the abuse. It is not the pattern of an abuser I described above but it IS a pattern.

    Julie, do I have this right?

  124. So far, this all seems relatively contained inside the emergent social media sphere. Wonder if it will get picked up by something like the HuffPo religion page, as the Driscoll business did.

  125. Carole Ryan wrote:

    But I learned the lesson well, and advise victims not to expect to be believed, at least initially.

    This is good advice. Another thing that has probably already been mentioned is the feeling that some victims get of the unreality of it. It doesn’t seem possible that it is happening because the abuser seemed so different. So, sometimes we don’t believe it ourselves.

    I denied what was going on during my latest encounter with a spiritual abuser, even when Gramp3 told me exactly what was happening. I just refused, as in willfully refused, to believe it. Because it was too outrageous to be true! As a result, I don’t even try to get people to hear me. They wouldn’t believe it either, and I’ve had to let go of the possibility of warning others and let them discover for themselves. Some have.

  126. dee wrote:

    Now, I am trying to figure out if this is good or bad.

    I think it is good. Your bill is probably going to go up, though. There are lots of important topics in this one post and also lots of emotions that I believe are sincere. I have certainly learned a lot, as usual.

  127. Daisy wrote:

    The CBMW site has, or had at one time, a guest post by a complementarian guy who claims to be Christian but who wrote an article saying wives will be submissive to their husbands in the afterlife.

    Daisy, do you know who that was? Just curious.

  128. ___

    Dee ,

    Hey,

    Have you invited Julie to come to Wartburg to tell her story in a guest post?

    Blessngs !

    Sopy

  129. dee wrote:

    Now, I am trying to figure out if this is good or bad.

    I’ll offer you all a congrats if you think it’s good 🙂

    I am still catching up on the comments and was just about to ask what the current “record” was…

  130. @ Eagle:

    Quite so – I fully expect this post to have amassed a kilocomment by the time I get up tomorrow. Meanwhile, it’s bedtime in Blighty.

    zzzzzz

  131. @ Patricia Hanlon:

    That was the one that mysteriously disappeared from the CBMW site after the Deebs did a post on it, IIRC. Owen (not John) was perplexed and thought it must have been a computer glitch. Then the article automagically reappeared after many here noted that it had disappeared!

    It seems that the new dogma from CBMW is that wives are going to be eternally submissive to their husbands, and possibly all males, even in the New Creation. Gramp3 is very disturbed by these new theological developments, because he thought he was going to get a 6 dozen or so “Spiritual Babes” in heaven. It was supposed to be his marriage mulligan, so to speak. He chose stupidly. Bummer for him.

  132. Gram3 wrote:

    Logic proficiency used to be part of a university degree. Not so much now, I guess, judging by the lack of it. Debate over issues? Oh yeah. Lots of that, and no shortage of opinions. Gramp3 pretends my contrariness is part of my charm, and I go along with it. Because I’m so submissive…

    You are right about that. I don’t teach courses in logic per se, but I can’t resist getting some in lecturing on linear and deductive reasoning, a little Kant, Bentham, Mill, and of course, that greatest of philosophers (if it be proper to refer to Him as a philosopher), Jeshua the son of Joseph, the rabbi from Galilee.

    No great shakes on logic, just law school-level, but it kills me how poorly people reason. The worst I see is usually presented to me by enthusiastic undergrads, always wide eyed young men, who find out I’m Christian–namely because I tell them openly in class–and then put me on to the “greatest youtube pastor ever”, who invariably ends up being someone like Paul Washer or Mark Driscoll who couldn’t reason their way round the average 12 year old.

  133. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Miranda it’s Carole, not Cathy (just do not want folks to be confused).
    Miranda wrote:
    “I do recognize it. I recognize that abusers flip the truth upside down and that they are very skilled at painting the victims as the abusers and themselves as the victims.
    And what is the logical outcome to this? Well, the logical outcome is that there are a lot of people out there saying they are victims of abuse who actually *aren’t*. Like I said before, abusers aren’t JUST the aggressors in the relationship, they are also usually very much the aggressors when it comes to framing the relationship to outsiders. You can pretty much count on them to make sure that they are the ones who approach family members and friends with the “problems” (I put that in scare quotes because they only problem is the abusive sociopath) that they are having in the relationship. They are cold and they are calculating, and they are the ones who have the presence of mind to start gathering future-needed evidence of their “victimhood”, via recordings, emails, etc. Meanwhile the victim is too busy coming apart at the seams and desperately trying to make sense of what is happening to the relationship to even begin to be able to think so clearly.”

    Too much generalization. I’ve been reading lots of credible survivor blogs this year, mainly of the church abuse variety, and the surge of former victims who are coming forward and documenting their abuse is legion, because the time is right. Truth is coming out, edifices are crumbling and they are finally being heard.
    Also, often the victim, myself included, starts reading self-help books just to figure out what the heck is happening, then starts documenting, then goes for help to family or church or professionals and is not believed because the abuser looks so darn good on the outside. (I’d use stronger words but do not want to go into moderation.) All of this happened to me, and I was devastated. Since then, all have apologized. But I learned the lesson well, and advise victims not to expect to be believed, at least initially. I have spent years recovering and helping other abuse survivors as well. And I’ve done a lot of research — just not on blogs, until recently.
    Also, your opening comment on this thread was really strong and had the effect of discounting Julie, which I am not sure you meant to do, but am glad you apologized to her. This, your latest post seems to imply that you are suspicious Julie could be the actual abuser because she has documented stuff and uses the NPD label. As a fellow survivor, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and not seeing your response this way. However, others could. Context mainly determines meaning, after all.

    Yikes! Sorry for getting your name wrong, Carole. I agree with everything you’ve said. But I am a little disappointed to see you write off all the points I brought up as “too much generalization”. What I said is absolutely true, and it *is* very important to remember that abusers are masters at painting themselves as the victims.

    I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was applying what I said in my last post to Julie. Rereading it I can definitely see how it comes off that way. I was speaking, as you said, in general terms. Not her case in particular.

  134. Sopwith wrote:

    Have you invited Julie to come to Wartburg to tell her story in a guest post?

    Yes-several months ago. The offer stands and she knows it.

  135. Law Prof wrote:

    “greatest youtube pastor ever”, who invariably ends up being someone like Paul Washer or Mark Driscoll who couldn’t reason their way round the average 12 year old.

    This made me chuckle.

  136. Gram3 wrote:

    It seems that the new dogma from CBMW is that wives are going to be eternally submissive to their husbands, and possibly all males, even in the New Creation. Gramp3 is very disturbed by these new theological developments, because he thought he was going to get a 6 dozen or so “Spiritual Babes” in heaven.

    I have always wanted to be known as a Babe! Tell Gramp3 I will look him up in the celestial paradise!! 🙂

  137. Law Prof wrote:

    Mark Driscoll who couldn’t reason their way round the average 12 year old

    There are so many places to go with that…

  138. Marsha wrote:

    Miranda wrote:
    In my very first comment on this (wayy) back, I spelled out some of the reasons. There is a pattern that most abusers follow, and there is a pattern that most victims follow in reaction to the abuse. A lot of what I see doesn’t fit the patterns. But taking into account the history of this story (most of which I wasn’t aware of until some of the commenters pointed it out to me), then maybe that’s not as much reason for alarm as I had originally thought. I’d really rather not rewrite what I wrote in my original comment simply because I am lazy, but if you want further clarification from me then let me know and I will suck it up and give it to you.
    I am torn at this moment between the desire to stick to my guns and continue to insist that Julie’s experience as she recounts it isn’t a typical abuse situation (even though there are certainly elements of abuse, and that in itself is wrong), and the realization that I probably need to open up my perspective on the issue of abuse itself. I know that I will probably continue to catch heat about this and maybe that’s for the best. Changing perspectives isn’t always an easy thing to do but sometimes it is necessary. I’m a big girl, I can admit that. Like I said, I am torn. For right or wrong, I am torn.
    Okay, I think I see the problem. The pattern of abuser that I am familiar with is a man who selects a vulnerable young woman with self esteem issues, isolates her and makes her dependent on him, and maintains control through a pattern of escalating psychological and physical abuse. That is not what you are going to see with the narcissist. He selects a woman who is going to reflect his glory. I have no doubt that Julie was once the hot young bride he was proud to have on his arm. Then she was the pretty young mother with the well dressed children that made it possible for him to run around doing public speaking. Is he going to abuse that wife? Neglect yes, abuse no.
    But things change when the person isn’t useful to the public image anymore. Suddenly there’s a younger, cooler version available, someone that makes the narcissistic feel he can be culturally edgy and appeal to a whole new demographic. The old wife and kids are an obstacle to this wonderful new life and their very presence makes him look bad and feel vaguely guilty. That can’t be allowed! Now here comes the abuse. It is not the pattern of an abuser I described above but it IS a pattern.
    Julie, do I have this right?

    Okay, I can totally get down with this. It makes perfect sense. Maybe I need to brush up on my knowledge of NPD so that I’m not causing things to get lost in translation.

  139. dee wrote:

    Tell Gramp3 I will look him up in the celestial paradise!!

    He wants a date with Nancy first. Where is Nancy?

  140. Gram3 wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Tell Gramp3 I will look him up in the celestial paradise!!
    He wants a date with Nancy first. Where is Nancy?

    Didn’t mean that as a slight [mortified emoticon]. He loves Nancy’s comments, and especially when she disagrees with me.

  141. __

    “Invatation…”

    Julie McMahon wrote:

    @ Marsha:
    Thank you. Those three words….”I believe you.” Cathartic. You may have no idea…if you do? You get it!

    Julie,

    Hey,

    Please come ta Wartburg and tell your story.

    Now that you’ve got you’re BIG GIRL PANTS on… 🙂

    -snicker-

    Praying…

    ATB

    Sopy

  142. @ Karl:
    When Doug saw the sex emails he went ballistic. I met with him in his living room. Unfiltered he said, “I warned him so many times! I am going to let him have it.” Literally within hours he turned a 180 and wouldn’t discuss it with me. In those critical first hours the Emergent Village website was scrubbed as testified by Steve Knight who was asked to scrub it and said no. Tony did it himself. Courtney Perry’s bio on the Emergent Village Board of Directors stating she is married to Chris Hamilton and collects tarantulas (again you really can’t make this stuff up) and all posts and cross posts and comments between the two of them. Then my lawyer in Discovery got cell phone records of the two having daily phone calls and multiple times a day starting June 2008. We divorced November 2009. I possess this evidence. Thank God for screen shots. Just sayin’

  143. Julie McMahon wrote:

    Courtney Perry’s bio on the Emergent Village Board of Directors stating she is married to Chris Hamilton and collects tarantulas

    I hate tarantulas-they were all over the place on the Navajo Reservation when I worked there. Someday, in heaven, I shall ask, “Why God, the tarantula?”

    Any spider with hairy legs should be viewed with suspicion.

  144. Until Christians stop propping up these Christian celebrities with books/speaking/conferences the abuse continues. The publishers are part of the problem. The seminaries and universities are part of the problem. No one is calling these peop,e out. HarperOne right now, wouldn’t dare pull Tony and his book that drops March Did God Kill Jesus? They need to recoup the advance of guessing $100,000. If in 2007 his book advance was $50,000 and his platform small it’s got to be doubled that now. Bottom line, money. Money, money, money. Conference attendees, blog followers and people who buy the books have to protest with the only language they understand….MONEY.

  145. Daisy wrote:

    I had only heard of NBW about a year ago or more because she wrote a book called “Pastrix” that Chris Rosebrough talked smack about on his radio show.

    NBW’s whole existence as a Lutheran pastor is a complete and total affront to Rosebrough, also a Lutheran pastor, who believes women cannot be pastors. 🙂

  146. dee wrote:

    Julie McMahon wrote:
    Courtney Perry’s bio on the Emergent Village Board of Directors stating she is married to Chris Hamilton and collects tarantulas
    I hate tarantulas-they were all over the place on the Navajo Reservation when I worked there. Someday, in heaven, I shall ask, “Why God, the tarantula?”
    Any spider with hairy legs should be viewed with suspicion.

    It might just be the way you’re looking at them. I used to hate spiders and snakes and such, but with all these kids and living on a hobby farm, they occasionally drag all of the above in the house–that’s right, snakes in the house, and I’ve even been cajoled by the kids into petting them. I actually think these things I formerly thought ghastly are kind of cute, spiders aren’t so bad when you look at them closely, and I especially like the way the snakes flick their little forked tongues out. In our crazy house will you hear things like “Don’t let that snake loose in the house, it might get up inside the couch or something!”

  147. I think the RHE pushback comes from her initial response. It sounded so much like the T4G and SG responses as to be eerie (to me). Brian McLaren’s response on NP struck me the same way. Such obfuscation and spiritual-sounding double speak is par the course for the types of leaders that regularly feature here at WW. The fact that it was those two (and NBW) had my jaw hanging open as I read the computer screen. Like, hanging open.

    This whole thing blew up on the NP thread, a thread where NP discussed TJ’s assertion that the Driscoll thing could happen to anyone. I would have normally disagreed, like NP. Now I agree, since I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It can happen to anyone, indeed.

  148. @ Julie McMahon:
    Julie, you are taking good care of yourself, yes? I remember when I was in the middle of my own version, I ran on adrenalin most of the time. Eventually I came down with an autoimmune disease.

    There’ve been studies done on middle-aged vets with PTSD, and the rate of autoimmune disease is way high.

    Rest, eat, drink lotsa water, sleep? I feel like an old Italian mother here, but dang, you have been under maximum stress for a very very long time and I realllyyyy don’t want you to land up where I am.

  149. @ Sopwith:
    Thanks very much, Sopy! Yeah, I’m mostly working at artmaking these days and haven’t had any energy to spare for writing. But went into a flare because I overdid it, so forced to lay horizontal again for a bit.

    But even when otherwise occupied, I still read here.

    Hope you’re doing ok. Didn’t I see a Big Dipper earlier in this thread? 🙂

  150. __

    Patrice wrote:

    @ Sopwith:

    Hope you’re doing ok. Didn’t I see a Big Dipper earlier in this thread?

    *

    Patrice,

    Your welcome !

    So sorry bout your health. Get well soonest.

    “prayers”

    Big Dipper? Sure, Ize still follow’in my ‘NOTHERN STAR’ …Jesus !

    ATB

    Dis lit’t lite O’ mine…hum,hum,hun…

    Sopy

  151. Jeff S wrote:

    On a side note regarding leaving the kids behind- personally I’d have to know more details to judge that kind of a thing. If he willingly left the kids behind, I agree. If he lost custody in court, that’s something else. Even then, it’s hard to protect your children if you yourself aren’t healthy, and it’s impossible to be healthy interacting daily with an abusive person. So I don’t see that as the nail in the coffin like you do Dee, but I think it’s certainly a smell.

    Jeff, Julie or someone else may have responded in the meantime, but my understanding is that, after Jones started the affair with Courtney, who was married at the time, BTW, he started spreading rumors that she was bat shit crazy and then left her and the kids to go live with Courtney.

    He was leaving his children with a woman whom he accused of being so mentally unstable that he was justified in moving in with his new soulmate/sexual partner.

    During the custody proceedings, the judge – going partially on the 100% NPD diagnosis of Jones and the 100% sane diagnosis of Julie, wasn’t going to grant ANY visiting rights to Jones. However, Julie asked for the minimum for him because she wanted her kids to have their father in their lives. To me, her integrity in this single decision speaks volumes, and it has cost her dearly.

  152. Eagle wrote:

    @ Sara:
    Oh WoW! Don’t know if you read my story here back in August but I was unsuccessfully recruited to a Sovereign Grace Church. At the time I was into Christopher Hitchens, Greta Christina, having being burned out by fundagelicalism. He was into Mark Driscoll, John Piper, etc… I got smart on SGM Survivors and worked hard to stay away from SGM. He had a powerful position like Tony Jones did, and eventually he used that position to make a false accusation against me. Threatened my name, job, reputation, finances and hurt my family. No one else that I can think of brought my Mother to a point of weeping like this guy did. I hit bottom, darkest season of my life. And I approached 140 peopel asking for forgivnesss. I want this to be reoslved to, but I am not out to get him. I want to forgtive him to show him grace. I’m basically a Christian by a thread. I can’t stand most of teh BS I see today. But I never meant him hamr. I was in a faith crisis that was dark. I still am praying for this guy. If he owns his part of the mess I will go to bat for him, and vouch for his charachter.

    Eagle, I did have the pleasure of reading your story when you shared it at TWW. You’ve been through a lot. It takes a lot of courage to process one’s story the way you have. And to take the steps you’ve taken in your life to speak and engage and love and forgive. That’s no small thing, and it’s awesome. You mention that you’re basically a Christian by a thread. That’s okay. Most days I have to recall the words of the song “Give Me Jesus”:

    You can have all this world
    But give me Jesus

    Blessings to you, and everyone here who feels they’re hanging on to Christianity, to Jesus, by a thread.

  153. Sarah K wrote:

    I think the RHE pushback comes from her initial response. It sounded so much like the T4G and SG responses as to be eerie (to me). Brian McLaren’s response on NP struck me the same way. Such obfuscation and spiritual-sounding double speak is par the course for the types of leaders that regularly feature here at WW. The fact that it was those two (and NBW) had my jaw hanging open as I read the computer screen. Like, hanging open.

    Finally caught up on the comments. A thought on the RHE pushback and (one of many reasons) why this thread has become a record-breaker:

    Why is it that this discussion has garnered a record rather than, say, a post on Mahaney or Driscoll? More specifically, why has the #WX15 conversation centered on RHE of all people? Simple. Everyone knows that Driscoll is a bully. Everyone (except a small coterie with book and conference gigs) knows that Tony Jones is a bully. Most people that have read NBW’s “digital pitchforks” rant see it for what it is: callous and insensitive.

    By contrast, RHE’s two initial posts (which each tell two very different stories) require the most close reading, and therefore invite the most discussion and debate. It is one thing to recognize Jones’ “spiritual marriage” and CBMW’s “heavenly marriage” for the obvious malarkey that it is (and we need to keep pressing TJ’s supporters on this), but it is another to read through what Sarah K aptly terms “obfuscation and spiritual-sounding double speak,” especially when said “obfuscation” is wrapped in a package of civility.

    I don’t think RHE is getting pushback because she said something overtly “mean” or “crass,” and for the most part I don’t think her critics in this matter are long-standing enemies, looking for blood. I think she is getting pushback because her response to Julie’s allegations is the kind of response that is MOST likely to “submerge” (to use futuristguy’s term) an abuse victim’s call for help.

    As always, RHE, NBW, and others still have a chance to do a 180…let’s hope there’s one in the works…

  154. __

    “My Heart Will Go On…”

    “Blessings to you, and everyone here who feels they’re hanging on to Christianity, to Jesus, by a thread.”  ~Sara

    *
    SECRET:

    I never came to christianity, just to

    Jesus.

    I heard His call, hid His words within my heart, and never looked back.

    Seed sown in good soil…

    Free gift?

    You got it!

    Merit?

    No way !

    Hell N’ high water?

    Yep.

    Heck of a ride !

    Blood, Sweat, Toil, and Tears, and Bucketz of Joy…

    (and His faithfulness)

    YaHoooooooo !

    ATB

    Sopy
    __
     Inspirational relief: “My Heart Will Go On…” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QopSSVj9Pyg

    🙂

  155. @ Serena:
    I have actually kicked myself for doing that because it’s been an ever loving nightmare. The custody evaluator recommended to the courts sole/sole because they KNEW it would be impossible. I thought the best…..I got the worst.

  156. @ Patrice:
    Already got the autoimmune, hypothyroid…..erupted the first year of marriage. Stress! I was sat down and trained how to properly load a dishwasher. He unloaded the entire thing then reloaded to teach me….just a snapshot.

  157. @ Julie McMahon:
    Oh, crap! Thyroid is first thing that went on me too.

    Well, then, PLEASE take very good care of yourself?! Your current public campaign alone is a long adrenalin push, to say nothing of the ongoing litigation, interning, and your son going on a parental alienation swag.

    You want to last, both mentally and physically, for your future job and for the kids, and God knows maybe even for a grandkid or two someday.

  158. @ Julie McMahon:

    I saw my brother in law do a similar thing…it’s so hard because you still want to be fair to your kids, not realizing how hellish it can be, to always have an irrational-conniving time bomb messing with you and your kids.

  159. dee wrote:

    This is officially the most comments ever received at TWW since the beginning of thee blog. The previous record was somewhere around 730.
    Now, I am trying to figure out if this is good or bad.

    This is a good thing. This is an awful story and it resonates. Tony done Julie wrong. The adultery is terrible by itself, but add to this the abuse Julie has experienced in being termed crazy by Tony’s friends and adulatory. And then there is the inappropriated off Tony’s friend Doug Pagitt indicating that this second marriage is sanctioned on religious grounds. How did he twist Scripture to come up with this? This makes me nauseated. It reminds me of that movie with Ingrid Bergmann called Gaslight. I don’t want to say much more except God is on His throne.

  160. @ dee:
    Thank you to you and @xianjaneway for the kind words. I’m trying. Thanks also XJ for Twitter convo on NPD.

  161. Have any other blogs discussed this since this mess with RHE erupted? Is Internet Monk or others discussing this dust up with RHE?

  162. Daisy wrote:

    I’m (single woman) not the one trying to have affairs with married men, nor would I want to.

    As I like to say, “If a guy will leave you for me, he’ll leave me for someone else. No thanks!”

  163. klickvic wrote:

    Possibly this has already been linked among these many hundreds. But if not, here’s Tony, having a tough time due to unkind blog comments.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2014/12/22/limping-into-the-new-year-a-christmas-diagnosis/#disqus_thread

    OK. Admittedly Gramp3 and I are old and out-of-touch. But, really, is this how an adult thinks and writes nowadays?

    If someone wants an inside look at how a narcissist thinks, this is a good taste. I could hear the voice of the diagnosed NPD we know speaking as I read. It is all about poor, innocent, persecuted Tony. But, hey, the kids he left with his crazy ex are so amazing in spite of being raised by a lunatic!

    I cannot imagine a mature, stable adult writing this. It is like a parody. Pay no attention to the facts, but just get lost in the drama of the narrative. Kourtney and Tony are spellbound in love? Gag. Reminds me of the kids: Tony and Kourtney, sitting in a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g. Creepy emotional exhibitionism.

    And I know she spells her name with a C. But this whole sordid mess around Jones-Perry reminds me of the K’s.

  164. Sara wrote:

    Eagle….You mention that you’re basically a Christian by a thread….Blessings to you, and everyone here who feels they’re hanging on to Christianity, to Jesus, by a thread.

    Nicely said, Sara! Thank you!

  165. Thanks, Klickvic
    Your link provided much insight as to the Pain and Suffering on the other side of the story. I’m sure our collective hearts weep (“Poe”-Me) as we consider the fact that one reaps what they have sown …

  166. dee wrote:

    I hate tarantulas-they were all over the place on the Navajo Reservation when I worked there. Someday, in heaven, I shall ask, “Why God, the tarantula?”

    I remember back during the Vietnam era there was a film out called Chato’s Land in which the actor Jack Palance asked the same question about the Apache. Good flick though, even with the political overtones.

  167. Eagle wrote:

    Is Internet Monk or others discussing this dust up with RHE?

    My guess is that they’ll stay as neutral as Sweden and Switzerland on this one.

  168. Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2014/12/22/limping-into-the-new-year-a-christmas-diagnosis/#ixzz3PVrrxXkg

    Poor baby, if 2014 Fall was bad, I wonder what he is going to do now! Sounds like karma caught up with Tony. What a cry baby, is he emotionally stuck at 16 years old? Sounds like teenage angst to me. My opinion only. #I believe Julie

    “This fall, I experienced the worst online attack of my life. Unlike earlier episodes, this one was not about my writing and my ideas, but about my personal life. The internet doesn’t much care if viral items are lies, as long as they’re lurid (cf. Rolling Stone and the University of Virginia). Nor was it any consolation to me that everyone familiar with the situation — those who have the actual facts — assured me that people ultimately prefer the truth to lies, but it will take time.
    In spite of those assurances, I suffered. My back went out in what I am sure was a pychosomatic event. For a week, I was in excruciating pain, unable to move, unable even to get to the bathroom. For a month, I was crippled with pain.”

  169. Tony said: “assured me that people ultimately prefer the truth to lies, but it will take time.”

    Be assured that there are many of us on the other side of this who prefer truth to lies!
    #I believe Julie

  170. “In spite of those assurances, I suffered. My back went out in what I am sure was a pychosomatic event. For a week, I was in excruciating pain, unable to move, unable even to get to the bathroom. For a month, I was crippled with pain…”

    “Limping into the New Year…”

    Alright…and this guy actually gets MONEY for his writing?!?

  171. @ Gram3:

    My husband once said in a moment of candor that it pained him to think I might be so awful, but that it almost seemed as though I actually opposed his right to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to. It may be worth noting that he considers himself an egalitarian and a feminist.

    He was serious. At the time I had a demanding job that supplied our family insurance (which job he said I was botching and should quit), an ailing parent and was the primary caregiver for our two children (whom he said I was neglecting but also ruining with my bad attitude). Narcissists are eternal emotional toddlers.

  172. @ Law Prof:

    Your reply there and the one before it was pretty condescending, and I don’t appreciate it.

    The only point I will reiterate is that I don’t particularly enjoy debating or squabbling with people, so I choose to duck out rather than get stuck in endless debates or arguments, most of the time.

    (For anyone else who is reading, I’ve not read all other posts since I last posted here today.)

  173. @ Julie McMahon:
    Julie, i am so sorry re. everything you’ve been through and are currently going through. I hear you on the health problems, as I’m battling those (though not related to stressful marriage and divorce) and others, too. So i will reiterate Patrice’s concern and well-wishes to you. I was kind of thinking the same as she was re. potential burnout, so please do take good care of yourself, ok?

    If i could, I’d offer to help you out with grocery shopping or whatever, but I’m over 1500 miles away. Hoping the thought helps some…

  174. Forgive me for asking this question? What is the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath? What I perceive some people are describing as narcissism seems like a lack of conscience. If I were to act like Tony, I would fear ” burning in Hell.” Just trying to reconcile my behavior with what is written in Scripture would be impossible and I don’t know if I could live with myself. We all have to answer for our behavior at the Judgement Day, I believe. I don’t understand Tony Jones’s behavior. The adultery is terrible, but good people commit adultery and maintain good relationships with their ex spouses. This is a combination of mental cruelty, spiritual abuse, and dishonesty. And for what purpose?

  175. Perhaps @Miranda is less familiar with institutional and spiritual abuse and the impact those have on the victim. There is a special kind of crazy-making that goes on when a person or institution that presents as being sensitive and/or godly is shown to be nothing of the kind. It is especially acute when one genuinely believed that said persons WERE godly and genuine. There is a compulsion to process it and a real connection with those who have experienced the same thing. Perhaps to those outside it comes across as “piling on.”

  176. klickvic wrote:

    It may be worth noting that he considers himself an egalitarian and a feminist.

    A narcissist will say whatever he/she needs to say in order to maintain face. I think there is deep shame that they cannot face and the spew that onto everyone else, believing they have transferred it. Then the victim bears the shame and the narcissist can feel superior and seek out others to affirm the false, non-shameful self they have constructed. I’m not a psychologist, but just an observer of people while trying to understand why they think the way they do.

    As for him being egalitarian while demanding that you obey his whims, I’m Miss Universe 2015, too. I suspect that amounted to either a cover story for the real truth or that egalitarian was the socially-affirmed position.

    Reputation management is what the disordered personality is about. Furiously attempting to maintain the illusion that what is clearly disordered is really sound and good and perfect.

  177. Sensible wrote:

    Alright…and this guy actually gets MONEY for his writing?!?

    I offer for your consideration additional examples: Piper, Owen (not John) and Driscoll, just for starters in the category of overwrought prose and purported poetry. Yes, some people will buy whatever someone is selling if they scratch the right itch or promise scarystuff will not happen to you or those you love.

  178. @ Mark:
    I can’t speak for the sociopathic diagnosis, but one hallmark of a narcissist (and the reason that they can be pitied–from a distance) is their absolute terror of being seen as imperfect. For a classic narcissist, the idea of being ashamed is so devastating that it cannot be countenanced. So their every action must be perfect and their every critic must be silenced. At the base of their bullying and preening, at least from my close observation and a lot of reading, is a little child’s all-consuming fear of losing approval.

    It’s a joyless life, by and large. No achievement brings lasting satisfaction, no friend can be counted on. It’s lonely at the self-proclaimed top. And it gets harder as time goes on. As my therapist says, narcissists don’t age well.

  179. Isaiah 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

    Isn’t this what Tony Jones is doing? And the promise is in Scripture. This is all I will write on this.

    Julie, you and your children are in my prayers.

  180. @ Jeff S:

    Just wanted to say I read your post on Piper earlier. It was awesome. Thanks for providing the link. I still think your pastor is trying to have it both ways and needs to think about what he is really approving.

  181. Gram3 wrote:

    I offer for your consideration additional examples: Piper, Owen (not John) and Driscoll, just for starters in the category of overwrought prose and purported poetry. Yes, some people will buy whatever someone is selling if they scratch the right itch or promise scarystuff will not happen to you or those you love.

    Oh yes…and the best part is, because there are so many of these fine “poets” and “provocateurs” already, it only encourages additional theological entrepreneurs and inspirational wannabes to get into the industry.

  182. And I will pray for Tony too: that he apologizes to the many people he has wronged in all of this terrible drama. God forgives most everything, but He forgives those who repent.

  183. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t particularly enjoy debating or squabbling with people

    That actually makes sense to me. But for people like me and maybe LawProf, debating issues, even vigorously, is how we process things. I might well have written the same thing to you, but I wouldn’t mean to be condescending at all. I get in trouble a lot for my…ahem…straightforward style.

    Others like you and other people I know find debate distasteful and sometimes pointless. We’re all different, and I hope you continue to contribute your POV. When I read things you write, I think of a special young woman I know.

  184. Anon wrote:

    Accusations that a wife is “mentally ill” or “hysterical” are classic manipulative tactics

    Hysterical is the original term of dismissal for females. Because female parts make people crazy. Because males are logical, and it is logical that a body part makes someone crazy. Thankfully, most Western men will at least formally deny this.

  185. @ Mark:
    Mark, I pray for him too. I pray my children can see a man broken and who is strong enough to repent. I am not holding my breath. Please pray for my children and all children who suffer from a personality disordered parent. I have not seen my son since Friday when Tony took him and will not return him. I cannot get him or he will have me arrested. I need to use my lawyer and the Parenting Consultant to get him back. This darkness needs to end. I am asking God for better days.

  186. klickvic wrote:

    It’s a joyless life, by and large. No achievement brings lasting satisfaction, no friend can be counted on. It’s lonely at the self-proclaimed top. And it gets harder as time goes on.

    This made me think of an observation made by someone close to someone I’ve had a difficult relationship with who is not NPD but has traits. What you said is so true of this person and so sad because the person is so old now that I don’t think the person even knows how to reconcile a real and authentic relationship anymore. Whatever relationship skills they once had seem to be gone, and many are very sad about that. And I’m talking generations of sad people.

  187. numo wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    that is because NBW is a full-time pastor of a Lutheran church, although she does indeed speak at church conferences of all kinds. That she’s not really known by evangelicals – it doesn’t surprise me. But she said some pretty bad things about all of this on FB, publicly, so why is there not equal indignation?

    I’ve noticed the same thing as you, Nadia getting a pass for her (supposed to be private) rant on FB. I already knew that she was besties with TJ before that post, and I expected that’s exactly how she felt about Julie, that she’s a nuts, vindictive ex trying to ruin Tony and Courtney’s beautiful spiritual marriage. I suspect it was mostly Nadia that set up the collaboration with JOPA. In a nutshell, I have low expectations.

    Rachel has hosted blog series on spiritual abuse, written posts about CSA in churches, called out members of the gospel coalition for referring to accusers as “gossips”. So I have very high expectations of her when it comes to believing victims. BUT, I understand that it is much easier to support victims, to say “believe people”, when we don’t know the accused abuser. I remain hopeful that Rachel will at the very least, contact Julie.

  188. Julie McMahon wrote:

    Good, giving and game.

    http://letusreason.org/lds%209.htm

    Fifteenth paragraph down:
    “In 1843 Joseph Smith prophesied his first and only legal wife Emma would be damned or destroyed if she did not accept polygamy”

    Some men will use any means necessary to get what they want. Quoting agnostic sex therapists or prophesying hell fire and brimstone. Whatever works for the sake of the cause of their libido.

  189. Julie McMahon wrote:

    http://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-blog-cabin/2011/07/theoblogy-whats-christian-do-with%E2%80%A6dan-savage At the time of this dated publication. He was living with the Spiritual and I suppose being GGG. Good, giving and game.

    The only words I have after reading this article are Paul’s, and may God have mercy on many:

    Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

    1 Corinthians 2:12-16 NASB http://www.biblehub.com

  190. @ Julie McMahon:

    I have a comment responding currently in moderation due to two links. Here it is with one. The only words I have after reading the article you linked are Paul’s, and may God have mercy on many and grant the wisdom from his Spirit:

    Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the LORD,that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

    1 Corinthians 2:12-16 NASB http://www.biblehub.com

  191. Speaking of Mormonism I became convinced that the reason Joseph Smith taught polygamy
    was to cover up and justify adultery. That is one of the red flags I have about the Mormon faith.

  192. Daisy wrote “@ brian:
    I lean YEC myself and find it distasteful that you are conflating Piper’s YEC with his dangerous teachings about spousal abuse and other things.
    #NotAllYECers” That is a fair observation so I apologize to you and any others I offended. Thank you for pointing it out. I hope you have a nice evening.

  193. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2007/02/27/finally/ Here is announces Courtney’s blog. February 2007. We had a fight over this. I did not know until today he announced her photography blog on his blog. I had seen and email from her, “Yours is the only opinion I care about.” He said, “Beautiful, just beautiful like you.” I called him on it and was told I was paranoid and insecure. I thought that maybe I was just insecure. He said, “I talk to my Emergent friends that I love like that.” I was totally left out of the Emergent clique. Know I know why.

  194. Julie McMahon wrote:

    @ Eagle:
    I repeat. Pathology drives theology. Sick and wrong.

    People keep saying this, but I kinda disagree. I’m not so sure it’s an either/or proposition. I mean yeah, perhaps one could argue that the desire to dominate others is an inborn thing but people also are driven by their belief systems. And if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial? I would think this would be rather obvious.

    I also wonder how Tony’s pathology drives his theology if he’s a progressive? Wouldn’t his NPD steer him to more authoritarian belief systems if this were the case?

    I’m curious about other’s takes on this. This whole theology/pathology controversy seems to heavily undergird this conversation for some people for reasons that I haven’t quite figured out yet.

  195. numo wrote:

    @ Miranda:
    this! I know it can be hard to stick to one’s opinion in the face of counter-pressure, but, like you, I’m open to other views. Though I feel very uncomfortable with being told (by anyone) that a person is flat-out wrong simply because they disagree, either on substantial issues or minor ones. I think that’s been going on a lot in attempts to discuss this situation elsewhere.

    I’ve been reading (and mostly not commenting) on this blog for a long time. For the record, you have always been one of my favorite commenters, numo.

  196.   __

    “Comfortably Numb? Or Shake N’ Serve It Cold?”

    huh?

    Hey, JulieM,

    intro: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILbharIiEig

    (nails across a chalkboard…)

    SKreeeeeeeeeeech !

    U want it better?

    (really?!?)

    hmmm…

    ..get off your duff fancy pantz,

    -snicker- 

    N’ tell your story here @ TWW in a guest post…

    the ‘blog’ is all yours!

    (I have it on ‘good’ authority)

    Chicken?  🙂

    (grin)

    pray’in

    Sopy
    __
    Comic relief: The Blues Brothers- “Mall Scene”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTRXnuoK1ss

    🙂

  197. FYI – I’m the Becky referenced in the original post under @Steve – for the record, this quote needs to be seen in its entirty.. I tried for years (as have others) to get the US emergent leaders to get to the table and apologize. As the Naked Pastor post where this was taken from progressed, I challenged Steve on his false assertions that I refused to meet with people – rather the reverse is true. This is how they roll. As the story of Julie gets unpacked, note this is a larger problem that can be traced back to the Young Leadership Network. Brad Sargent has done charts making these connections. Well worth a look see.

  198. @ Gram3:

    Thank you 🙂

    I agree with you really, so I’m hopefull in time that they will come to see Piper for who he is.

    Just being able to be open enough to write a blog like that and know that there won’t be repercussions for it is something I value in my current church community. Perhaps that openness can lead eventually to a better understanding of both Piper and gender relations in general. My pastor has indicated he is interested in further conversations about my egalitarian views and why I believe what I do- that he’s always interesting in learning more.

  199. @Julie McMahon, I read on storify how Mark Driscoll gave you food parcels in your hour of need. I was actually glad to hear a positive story of the man. PS that’s an amazing yoga (?) pose you’re pulling off in your photo. Respect to you (bows).

  200. @ Julie McMahon:
    Heart wrenching to read this, Julie. And I even missed the part that he wanted you to have sole legal and physical custody. I cannot begin to imagine what you’ve gone through and continue to go through because of this “human.” #IBelieveJulie!!!!!

  201. @ Miranda:
    Hi Miranda—this is mostly in reference to the Naked Pastor blog where Julie finally had a chance to tell her story. The question raised there is whether theology precedes behavior or behavior precedes theology, and David Hayward used a Tony Jones blog post about Mark Driscoll to raise the question. You can find that post (and the accompanying comment thread, which is quite long, but worth your time) here: http://nakedpastor.com/2014/09/tony-jones-on-mark-driscoll-what-came-first-the-thug-or-the-theology/

  202. From http://tonyj.net/blog/2014/12/22/limping-into-the-new-year-a-christmas-diagnosis/: “I just want to move on with my life, to live in peace . . .”

    Reminds me of what my ex-wife used to say to me every time I’d bring up the pain.

    No indication of sorrow for past actions- just the sense that she was entitled to move on and have peace. If there was ever a regret, it was always in the context of wishing she wasn’t feeling the effects of her past decisions now (not because I was hurt). Or in other words, regret, not repentance.

    And of course there’s “Maybe I even needed to let a truck run me over.” (to be clear, a metaphorical truck).

    Oh so meek and mild, isn’t he? He won’t even defend himself, that’s how peaceful he is with the world. Such is the privilege of one with all the power.

    I guess what gets me about this guy (who I’d never heard of before) is whatever else happened in his marriage, he had an affair and has yet (that I’ve seen) to show any sorrow for his actions. Just the entitlement that he should be able to “move on” and painting those calling him to accountability as a metaphorical truck that would run him over.

    “I continue to hope and believe that the birth of a child savior, God-enfleshed, is our most likely shot at peace.” True statement- yet we murdered that child when he got old enough to make us uncomfortable. Accepting the gift of that child begins with admitting we are sinners, that our wrongs make us guilty and show approval of that murder, and that we can only receive it when we come to the end of ourselves and turn from our sin (not brush it aside).

  203. Miranda wrote:

    People keep saying this, but I kinda disagree. I’m not so sure it’s an either/or proposition. I mean yeah, perhaps one could argue that the desire to dominate others is an inborn thing but people also are driven by their belief systems. And if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial? I would think this would be rather obvious.

    I don’t think it is an either/or proposition either. Often it is simply about opportunity and who/what the celeb hooked up with early on. At least that is how I saw it work in certain celebrity Christian circles. Once the wannabe celebrity position has been achieved to a certain degree, you often see the changes in theology to fit some agenda. But the followers rarely know the agenda.

    And believe it or not, it is often driven by what is popular in a certain niche. I was constantly amazed at the money that could be made from a “niche” in Christendom. Where else can you go and make anywhere from 5-10 grand speaking for a few hours at a conference and sell more books at the same time? The draw is your brand that you have built by garnering followers, selling books or being promoted by other bigger celebs, etc. There are other places to do this but it is much easier to achieve it in Christendom for some reason. There really is a Christian Industrial Complex. Some older celebs told me it started with radio and grew from there into the music, publishing, mega churches, the conference circuit, etc. It simply exploded with the internet but that same internet is peeking behind stage now. Thank goodness.

    If you have ever heard Al Mohler’s story about how he became a comp, you might guess that it is not always about starting out with some specific deep theological beliefs you would die for. It is quite often opportunistic. However, the goal was always celebrity and power.

  204. @ Miranda:
    Naked Pastor addresses this here: http://nakedpastor.com/2014/09/tony-jones-on-mark-driscoll-what-came-first-the-thug-or-the-theology/

    The article addresses your question about the chicken and egg nature of pathology vs. theology.

    In the comments, Julie talked about what Tony Jones had done to her and their children. David Hayward (Naked Pastor) allowed her to speak her truth. For the first time in 5-6 years, she was not silenced online. Behind the scenes, Tony Jones and his enablers were pressuring and threatening David to control the conversation or shut it down. David refused, and the conversation continued for 3.5 months.

  205. Serena wrote:

    he was not silenced online. Behind the scenes, Tony Jones and his enablers were pressuring and threatening David to control the conversation or shut it down. David refused, and the conversation continued for 3.5 months.

    Good for David Hayward. The microphone is now in the control of the people via the Internet.

  206. Jeff S wrote:

    I guess what gets me about this guy (who I’d never heard of before) is whatever else happened in his marriage, he had an affair and has yet (that I’ve seen) to show any sorrow for his actions.

    Rumor has it that he might deny having an affair. Reminds me of another “I did not have sex with that woman…” and we know how that turned out.

  207. JoelM wrote:

    The question raised there is whether theology precedes behavior or behavior precedes theology, and David Hayward used a Tony Jones blog post about Mark Driscoll to raise the question.

    I think it is a great question to ask.

  208. Jeff S wrote:

    Perhaps that openness can lead eventually to a better understanding of both Piper and gender relations in general. My pastor has indicated he is interested in further conversations about my egalitarian views and why I believe what I do- that he’s always interesting in learning more.

    May his, and your tribe increase.

  209. Becky wrote:

    I tried for years (as have others) to get the US emergent leaders to get to the table and apologize

    Thank you for this. It is due to the kindness of folks like you that the story has come out. TWW loves Brad Sargent!!!!!

  210. Miranda wrote:

    nd if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial? I would think this would be rather obvious.

    But- I do know people who teach that who treat women very kindly. Now, excluding women is not kind. But many are not abusive. I also know women who buy into the system who do not feel oppressed. That is their perception and I must take them at their word even though I have significant concerns as I have documented on this blog.

  211. @ brian:
    Daisy gets mad at me on this issue but I think you had something important to say and I have some agreement with you. I am TE in my perspective.

  212. @ Gail:
    That post was so self serving. Poor Tony-surgery on his foot, back pain, etc. over stress-a stress he could have avoided.

  213. Insightful comment found concerning this topic on the PhxPastor blog:
    .
    “I thought the whole thing was a hoot. I found the Naked Pastor, Tony Jones, Doug Padgit, the scorned ex wife and almost all the commenters to be both abused and abusers.
    I am sure they are one spiritually incestuous group.”
    .
    That last sentence immediately reminded me of this blogs posters…

  214. FireGears wrote:

    That last sentence immediately reminded me of this blogs posters…

    Well, you have sure argued thoughtfully for your point of view…

  215. “if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial?”

    As a little girl I was raised to be a slave for a man, it was very hurtful, I started hurting my self, and became suicidal. Yes it gave my father pleasure, but he was not going to be a slave, I was. It did not hurt him, it was very hurtful for me as a young girl and teenager.

    It should be controversial to breed female slaves for men. It should be controversial to teach a little girl that men are superior to her and deserve more then her. I hated as a little girl being taught that it was my job to feel bad to make Christian men feel good.

  216. dee wrote:

    Miranda wrote:
    nd if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial? I would think this would be rather obvious.
    But- I do know people who teach that who treat women very kindly. Now, excluding women is not kind. But many are not abusive. I also know women who buy into the system who do not feel oppressed. That is their perception and I must take them at their word even though I have significant concerns as I have documented on this blog.

    So you’re saying that your beliefs don’t affect your actions and behaviors? I’m not denying that there are other factors involved but c’mon, of *course* your beliefs matter. It’s entirely possible to be a man who believes that women are subordinate to you and still treat them kindly, and that’s where the bazillion other factors come into play. It’s also possible to be taught in church that women are lesser then men, but to learn and absorb conflicting viewpoints outside of your church which temper those taught inside the church. I’m not saying that all people who go to such churches abuse women…that would be silly. But I do certainly believe the world would be better off if it weren’t full of men in positions of authority telling other men that women are lesser just because they are women.

    About those women who are oppressed but don’t feel the weight of their oppression….I guarantee you they’d feel it in a heartbeat if the men whose goodwill they rely on for survival suddenly turned on them and withdrew that goodwill.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative or disparage certain belief systems here. I would apply this line of thinking to all relevant areas of my life, not just the church. But going back to my first point, of course these things that I believe are going to affect certain decisions I make, such as where I go to church and the kind of men I choose to let into my life.

  217. Guest wrote:

    “if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial?”
    As a little girl I was raised to be a slave for a man, it was very hurtful, I started hurting my self, and became suicidal. Yes it gave my father pleasure, but he was not going to be a slave, I was. It did not hurt him, it was very hurtful for me as a young girl and teenager.
    It should be controversial to breed female slaves for men. It should be controversial to teach a little girl that men are superior to her and deserve more then her. I hated as a little girl being taught that it was my job to feel bad to make Christian men feel good.

    yes, it should. It’s a shame that it isn’t.

  218. FireGears wrote:

    “I thought the whole thing was a hoot.”

    It’s not a “hoot”. It is tragic. A tragic example of sin ignored, a self appointed “theologian” immersed in sin, a wife abused, children abused, a “church” turning a blind eye to sin, and a classic case of what happens when people use religion as a cloak for vice.

    It’s anything but a “hoot”.

  219. Gram3 wrote:

    Anon wrote:
    Accusations that a wife is “mentally ill” or “hysterical” are classic manipulative tactics
    Hysterical is the original term of dismissal for females. Because female parts make people crazy.

    And in Victorian medicine, the universal cure for Hysteria was Hysterectomy.

  220. Doug wrote:

    Do you know that your remark is offensive?

    This guy is an obvious troll. He didn’t defend his conclusions-just hit and run. He is going into moderation.

  221. Mark wrote:

    And then there is the inappropriated off Tony’s friend Doug Pagitt indicating that this second marriage is sanctioned on religious grounds.

    Wonder if Pagitt’s planning on acquiring a “spiritual wife(TM)” of his own.
    After all, if it’s OK and Justified for ManaGAWD Tony…

  222. Miranda wrote:

    So you’re saying that your beliefs don’t affect your actions and behaviors? I’m not denying that there are other factors involved but c’mon, of *course* your beliefs matter.

    Do you have any idea how many comp conferences and seminars I facilitated where the wife was the General Patton of the marriage backstage but modeled the doormat submission on stage? It was uncanny. Rarely did the celebrity comp couples I knew practice in real life what they taught. There were exceptions but usually with wives who hated the limelight anyway or were so beat down they just stayed out of it.

    Also, there are comp pastors who have non profit ministries and their wives run the operation and have MEN reporting to them. I saw this sort of thing in comp mega circles all the time. All the while they were chiding women for working outside the home.

    There is a ton of hypocrisy out there. But keep in mind, the comp doctrine was a huge money maker for them for a long time. Is “oppression” a money maker?

  223. Jeff S wrote:

    My pastor has indicated he is interested in further conversations about my egalitarian views and why I believe what I do- that he’s always interesting in learning more.

    Well, you could start by asking him what makes hierarchy so compelling to him and where he finds it in the Bible. You know, the Regulative Principle of gender. I can tell you right now he will not be able to show you where God put males over females because it isn’t in the Bible. So the question for him would be why is he teaching it? Ask him if he would either teach or recommend someone who teaches that white males should rule over black males. If not, then why does he believe that about males and females? If he really wants to learn, he can and he will.

    It sounds like you’ve been down a long road, and I’m glad you are at a good place now. I hope the Lord will pursue your ex-wife and bring her real peace that comes from reconciling the past.

  224. To Julie, I’ve been thinking about this and I want to apologize to you for coming here and doubting your story about what happened to you. From the moment I saw it unfolding in my newsfeed I’ve treated it as some kind of abstract thought experiment, and it’s not a thought experiment, it’s your LIFE. It was one thing to have my doubts but I could’ve kept them to myself. For what it’s worth, all converging issues aside, I believe your story.

  225. Guest wrote:

    It should be controversial to teach a little girl that men are superior to her and deserve more then her. I hated as a little girl being taught that it was my job to feel bad to make Christian men feel good.

    It is even worse to teach others to do and believe that while claiming not to do that. And to claim that it is the commandment of God for males to rule.

    I hope that you are in a safe place where you can be the woman God created you to be without all the chains that the Gospel Glitterati put on women.

  226. dee wrote:

    This guy is an obvious troll.

    Oh, I don’t know. Maybe FG is Tony Jones desperately trying to mimic John Piper’s tweet style.

  227. Lydia wrote:

    Do you have any idea how many comp conferences and seminars I facilitated where the wife was the General Patton of the marriage backstage but modeled the doormat submission on stage?

    Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos…
    Nicolai & Elena Ceaucescu…
    And reading between the lines, a LOT of Chinese Emperors and Turkish Sultans.

    It’s even a stock comedy shtick — the big tough Alpha Male in public, P-whipped lapdog of She Who Must Be Obeyed in private. Not only very underhanded on both the man’s and woman’s part, but I can see two serious Dark Sides of this Force:

    1) Man becomes even more aggressively/obnoxiously Male Supremacist; since he can’t lift a finger against She Who Must Be Obeyed (In Secret), he takes it out on anything else without a Y chromosome to Prove He’s Really A Man — RAWR!

    2) Sows distrust of women in general among those who observe the real situation; more recruits for the PUA/MRA/Manosphere — “The He-Man Woman-Haters Club”.

  228. Lydia wrote:

    Is “oppression” a money maker?

    Historically it has been for some. But these are nice non-oppressive servant-oppressors. And the oppression teachers are teaching the servant-oppressors that they are not real men if they do not servant-oppress. Men and women are both taught that they are not real Biblical men and women if they call servant-oppression what it really is.

    I don’t know how you kept your sanity.

  229. Gram3 wrote:

    Well, you could start by asking him what makes hierarchy so compelling to him and where he finds it in the Bible. You know, the Regulative Principle of gender. I can tell you right now he will not be able to show you where God put males over females because it isn’t in the Bible. So the question for him would be why is he teaching it?

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong. There is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort (Big Bad of the entire Harry Potter series)

    “The only goal of Power is POWER. And POWER consists of inflicting maximum suffering upon the Powerless.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

    Really Biblical, ain’t it?

  230. @ Gram3:

    Well, we’ve started the conversation. There will (hopefully) be more. As for why he teaches what he does, it’s his conviction that it’s what scripture teaches. His initial reaction to me was that I was adopting a “loose” interpretation of scripture. When I backed up my position, he seemed thoughtful and respectful.

    Some of his logic was very bad (stuff I’ve heard before), and I hope in time to expose it. But these things take time. It took time for me 🙂

  231. Jeff S wrote:

    His initial reaction to me was that I was adopting a “loose” interpretation of scripture.

    Is it just me, or does that phrase seem like a form of soft intimidation?

    In all honesty, Jeff, my mouth has been ajar the last few days reading your new positions here and at your blog. I just never . . . . maybe you used to be trying to convince yourself.

  232. Bridget wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    His initial reaction to me was that I was adopting a “loose” interpretation of scripture.
    Is it just me, or does that phrase seem like a form of soft intimidation?
    In all honesty, Jeff, my mouth has been ajar the last few days reading your new positions here and at your blog. I just never . . . . maybe you used to be trying to convince yourself.

    Nah- I have a good enough relationship with him that I can tell you it was honest concern. And actually thinking back on it, he didn’t tell he that was his initial reaction until we explored the topic a little. That is, he came back to me and said “I initially was concerned that you were taking a loose view of scripture, but I can see you’ve put a lot of good and sincere thought into this, and I respect that”.

    Truth be told, most of my positions aren’t “new”- but they are positions of being honest with myself. That’s the reason for calling the blog “Love Without Fear”. A lot of my old self was pretty damaged, especially after being essentially run out of a church.

    Finding my wife has been amazing. Not because of our romance (which has been great), but having a close relationship with someone who has given me the acceptance she does- it allows me to accept myself. And then, when I tested this out with people at my church, I’ve found they accept me too. I can tell them I hold “xyz” controversial view, and they don’t bat an eye. They just keep on loving me the way they did. The power that come from that kind of acceptance is mind blowing.

    Right now, my cup is overflowing. I am so blessed and I only hope I can share it with others 🙂

  233. Miranda wrote:

    People keep saying this, but I kinda disagree. I’m not so sure it’s an either/or proposition.

    I agree it’s not 100% either-or, beliefs matter and can affect behavior. BUT, I also agree with Scot McKnight’s comment on that Naked Pastor thread:

    “Each version of the major options in theology is quite capable of distortion by toxic people. The bold lines that emerge under the forceful hands of toxic people are usually healthy lines prior to the force. Calvinism has lines that are attractive to certain forms of toxicity, while Arminianism or the Anabaptist orientation … Orthodoxy… Catholicism, each has elements easily turned into toxicity. On their own, however, those theologies are more or less healthy and capable of expressing the gospel and grace.”

    I like Scot’s point that different theologies may tend to attract different types of toxicity. But, there are toxic (and non-toxic) people in just about any of the theological options out there. I’ve also seen people who were toxic arminian fundamentalists become toxic 5-point calvinists and then become toxic emergent/progressives. And I’ve known relatively non-toxic people who were in all of those (and many other) camps, too.

    And the last point, the one Julie keeps hammering and that we see play out time and again: regardless of which “Camp” the toxic person is in, if they decide to engage in pathological behavior very often they will change their theology – sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically – to justify their pathological behavior. It was the desire/behavior/pathology that came first and had to be satisfied, and they chose or changed their theology to justify it.

  234. Jeff S wrote:

    His initial reaction to me was that I was adopting a “loose” interpretation of scripture.

    Totally understand where he is coming from. Been there. I didn’t get to my position by reading egalitarian stuff. I got there by examining complementarian documents and listening to complementarians.

    No one is more tightly wound around the Bible bobbin than I am. I’m off the right-hand side of the page when it comes to the Biblical texts. That is why people like Grudem are so important to refute *from the texts themselves.* No one who claims to have a high view of Biblical authority should give any credence whatsoever to those like Grudem and the other Gospel Glitterati who change the actual words of the text, who use a sloppy hermeneutic that amounts to invoking special pleading for the gender texts, and who just plain make stuff up, otherwise known as eisegesis.

    The Gospel Glitterati are not conservatives at all when it comes to the actual texts. But many, like me, have bought the propaganda without looking at the arguments or the actual underlying texts. There is no there there once you start being analytical and consistent. The other thing you might consider is asking him what his greatest fear is.

    I have found that there are two primary motivators: fear of scaryfeminism and more broadly scaryculture, fear of misusing the Bible or fear of disobeying God. The scaryfeminism ploy can be exposed by showing him that the Danvers Statement poisons the well with scarystuff before they even get to their points and their prooftexts. The prooftexts do not prove what they say they prove. Circular reasoning and such. These tactics are not employed by people with strong arguments. People with evidence produce evidence. People without evidence yell and pound the table a lot.

    The fear of misusing the Bible can be addressed very honestly by looking at the way that the ESV skews the translation of the gender texts and inserts words into the text which change its meaning. Paul never said women should wear a symbol of their husband’s authority on their head. Paul said that women have authority over their own head. The addition of “symbol of” reverses the meaning of what the actual text says. That is blatant misuse of the Bible by the so-called complementarians and displays the hypocrisy of their claim to uphold Biblical authority.

    The fear of disobeying God can be addressed by asking where God actually ordered males to be in authority over females. It certainly is not in Genesis 1-2, despite the admittedly creative re-imagining of the text by the Complementarians. An exhortation to women to be submissive to their own husbands for the sake of the Gospel does not confer *authority* on the husband unless some circular reasoning is inserted which assumes that authority.

    The other thing is that he is under a huge amount of peer pressure at the presbytery and the denominational levels, not to mention pressure from people in the pews. It takes a strong man (or woman) to take a contrary stand in the face of power.

  235. Gram3 wrote:

    desperately trying to mimic John Piper’s tweet style.

    Piper is not alone in ‘weird tweet world’ – Rupert Murdoch (YOUR citizen, not ours) has been putting out some strange ones. His handlers must be going into overdrive.

  236. Gram3 wrote:

    I didn’t get to my position by reading egalitarian stuff. I got there by examining complementarian documents and listening to complementarians

    Me too. And I started with God’s intention for His creation in Genesis. Hierarchy is just NOT in there. Nada. Zilch. Has to be “read into” it. “Patriarchy” is what happens from the fall. It is sin. They literally teach sin as a virtue. It is insidious.

  237. Jeff S wrote:

    Right now, my cup is overflowing. I am so blessed and I only hope I can share it with others

    That is so great! Sorry for the long Gramsplaining above. I didn’t see your comment about Love without Fear. You get it. I hope you can persuade your pastor to get it. The pastors of the church need to start scraping the barnacles of human tradition off the hull of the church.

  238. Gram3 wrote:

    Totally understand where he is coming from. Been there. I didn’t get to my position by reading egalitarian stuff. I got there by examining complementarian documents and listening to complementarians.

    From my blog post “Comging Out Of The Egalitarian Closet”:

    “I ended up studying the arguments for and against gender roles. I listened to a lot of Complementarians defend their views, and the more I listened, the more they convinced me they were in error. I’ve joked privately that the greatest apologist for the Egalitarian view is John Piper, as almost all of his defenses of male headship (including an example of a woman being careful about she asks directions from a male stranger so as not to usurp his authority) sounded more and more logically flawed. Tim and Kathy Keller are the softest Complementarians you will hear (and I greatly respect Tim’s teaching), and yet they can’t even really define what male headship means in any practical sense (except maybe that the male gets a “tie breaking” vote).”

    So I identify with you 🙂

  239. Hey all: I’ve been talking with Dee behind the scenes about getting a GoFundMe account set up to help Julie MacMahaon with legal fees, etc, and she has gotten it set up here: http://www.gofundme.com/ko5bn8

    I think Dee will likely post this somewhere more prominent when she gets a chance.

  240. Daisy wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Your reply there and the one before it was pretty condescending, and I don’t appreciate it.

    Please, of all things, Daisy, the last thing you want to do here is confirm a porcelain doll status. It will be tough, I must admit, but I will learn to live with you not appreciating me. You are at the end of a long line of people who don’t appreciate me, in particular my students come test time. But I reiterate the same sentiments to them: you are not a porcelain doll, grow a spine.

  241. @ Jeff S:

    Ha! Piper is the best argument against comp doctrine. So true, Jeff!

    Did anyone get to see his recently deleted tweet claiming that rape and seduction are distinct in form according to the bible?

    He is one sick puppy.

  242. Gram3 wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    Right now, my cup is overflowing. I am so blessed and I only hope I can share it with others
    That is so great! Sorry for the long Gramsplaining above. I didn’t see your comment about Love without Fear. You get it. I hope you can persuade your pastor to get it. The pastors of the church need to start scraping the barnacles of human tradition off the hull of the church.

    I feel like there is progress- if not for this pastor, perhaps the next. The change will ultimately come from the community and the people they put in “power”. These things take time, and I am sometimes not as bold as I would like to be, but I think the tide is coming. At the very least, in my church women lead worship and participate in all the leadership training men do. It isn’t enough, but it’s a far sight better than many PCA churches.

    I *do* believe that as long as gender hierarchy is present in our church and our homes, abuse will be more prevalent.

    Ironically, my now-wife does defer to me in most spiritual things (but not because of her gender- it’s just how we naturally operate at this time). When I went to my pastor to talk about our vows, she told me to tell him that she deferred to me on the question of male headship. Hahaha.

    (Although, to be perfectly frank, she doesn’t care that much about male headship because she sees it as mostly theological posturing with little application. That is, she wouldn’t accept me trying to dominate her, and doesn’t see much value in answering the question of who is leading who. So if my pastor declared me the head of the household, she’d probably just shrug and feel it carried as much practical significance as declaring herself queen of the sofa).

  243. Law Prof wrote:

    porcelain doll status

    The talk of Porcelain Dolls reminds me of the Gospel Glitterati. No dissent allowed. Only agreement will be heard. It seems like manly men would not be so…fragile and brittle.

    The most precious Porcelain Doll is Owen (not John) who has a post up about the Gospel Glitterati being the last ones standing against the advancing hordes. Seems the church should tie itself to the mast of something to avoid building foundations out of sand that would crumble. Or something. I wonder if Owen (not John) allows comments on his blog which don’t blow air kisses at him.

    The boy seriously needs to visit a construction site because he obviously does not understand that building foundations are not built like sand castles at the beach. I guess Bowdoin is not into vo-tech so much.

    The most porcelain of Porcelain Dolls are the Baylys who have excommunicated the Gospel Glitterati from their clubhouse for not being manly enough. What a trip into a funhouse their blog is. If a non-Kamilla woman shows up, they flush her comment down the porcelain ASAP. Might get digital cooties or something.

  244. Miranda wrote:
    “People keep saying this, but I kinda disagree. I’m not so sure it’s an either/or proposition. I mean yeah, perhaps one could argue that the desire to dominate others is an inborn thing but people also are driven by their belief systems. And if your belief system includes teachings about things like female subordination, then certainly people are going to treat women accordingly. Why is this so controversial? I would think this would be rather obvious.”

    Miranda, I agree with you here. I too have a problem with “always/never” statements. This is what I meant about over-generalization in some of your earlier posts. NOT that what you were saying is not often or even mostly true. Only that generalizations indicate “This is always the case,” which is almost never true.

    The pathology driven theology has always been with us, for example, in the church’s history of anti-Semitism; the U.S. and most others’ history of racism, classism, sexism and slavery; and currently, ISTM (thanks everyone for informing me on what this means!:), in the current complementarian views on the eternal submission of the Son.

    However, I hope pathology certainly does not always drive theology, or we’d all be in trouble. And yes, theology also drives pathology — it’s a two-way street, and they feed off of each other.

    Also, in the same comment, you ask whether NPDs wouldn’t lean toward authoritarian beliefs. In my experience and learning, people often reject authoritarian groups maybe for some legitimate reasons, and sometimes to get by with what they want to do, and then start other groups which then become their own new brand of authoritarianism. Which is what seems to have happened in the case with some Emergent people/groups. And which continues to happen throughout history and in the present with many other groups.

    I’m so glad you believe Julie! And I’m so glad everybody here hangs in with this thoughtful discussion. I am learning so much.

  245. Gram3: Regarding your comments, including the last one: Have you ever written a book on this stuff? Or two or three? If so, I want to read them. If not, will you, please, please, please?

  246. Jeff S wrote:

    she doesn’t care that much about male headship because she sees it as mostly theological posturing with little application.

    Gramp3 is my head in the sense that it is used by Paul in Ephesians. But we don’t believe in the abstract of “headship” which is totally made up to sound like something Really Important.

    It is clear from the context in Ephesians that Paul is not talking about Christ’s rulership over the church, though he certainly is sovereign over the church. Paul talks about Christ’s provision and care for the church, his Body. Grudem and company have totally ignored the way that Paul draws the analogy of Christ and the church and have inserted their obsession with authority into the text.

    They have mistranslated 5:22 as an imperative when it is describing the way wives demonstrate their “inChristness” toward their own husbands. The only imperative in the context is the command to be filled with the Spirit. It is impossible grammatically to sever off 5:22 from 5:21, however what is impossible for an honest exegete do is possible with Grudem and the Gospel Glitterati for whom nothing is impossible if it furthers their agenda.

    Keep your pastors attention to the text itself and away from what he has always assumed. Ask him if it glorifies Christ more for the female to always be subordinate or if it glorifies Christ more for males and females who are in Him to live together in unity and love without asserting privilege over the other.

  247. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Gram3: Regarding your comments, including the last one: Have you ever written a book on this stuff? Or two or three? If so, I want to read them. If not, will you, please, please, please?

    Freeloading off the Deebs is great. I have thought about writing a blog, but I truly enjoy and benefit from the interaction here. However, if the Deebs start charging me rent…

  248. Julie McMahon wrote:

    He was living with the Spiritual and I suppose being GGG. Good, giving and game.

    Glad you explained that. I was thinking of the Good Guy Greg meme and scratching my head.

  249. Karl wrote:

    I agree it’s not 100% either-or, beliefs matter and can affect behavior. BUT, I also agree with Scot McKnight’s comment on that Naked Pastor thread:

    “Each version of the major options in theology is quite capable of distortion by toxic people. The bold lines that emerge under the forceful hands of toxic people are usually healthy lines prior to the force. Calvinism has lines that are attractive to certain forms of toxicity, while Arminianism or the Anabaptist orientation … Orthodoxy… Catholicism, each has elements easily turned into toxicity. On their own, however, those theologies are more or less healthy and capable of expressing the gospel and grace.”

    I like Scot’s point that different theologies may tend to attract different types of toxicity. But, there are toxic (and non-toxic) people in just about any of the theological options out there. I’ve also seen people who were toxic arminian fundamentalists become toxic 5-point calvinists and then become toxic emergent/progressives. And I’ve known relatively non-toxic people who were in all of those (and many other) camps, too.

    And the last point, the one Julie keeps hammering and that we see play out time and again: regardless of which “Camp” the toxic person is in, if they decide to engage in pathological behavior very often they will change their theology – sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically – to justify their pathological behavior. It was the desire/behavior/pathology that came first and had to be satisfied, and they chose or changed their theology to justify it.

    While I do firmly believe that some teachings (religious or not) are harmful on their own, I also 100% agree with what you’ve said here. As a progressive and a feminist, I can certainly attest to the reality that sometimes toxic people “hide” in those communities because it gives them easy access to people who are more likely to trust them based on the illusion of shared ideologies. So in that respect, this can definitely go both ways, and using that line of reasoning I suppose it’s fairly obvious why someone with NPD might be attracted to a system that isn’t authoritarian.

  250. @ lydia:

    And remember John Piper is promoted amonst young people in Crusade, Navigators and Campus Outreach. You want to know how a person gets brainwashed? In the Chinese Cultural Revolution you had people walking around carrying Mao’s Little Red Book. Today the equivilent would be people in the Neo-Cal crowd walking around carrying John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

  251. Eagle wrote:

    Today the equivilent would be people in the Neo-Cal crowd walking around carrying John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

    Grudem’s Systematic Theology. More important than the Bible at SBTS.

  252. How does this nasty divorce affect me? Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble? I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post. I must also not know what constitutes gossip.

  253. THC wrote:

    Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble?

    Calling out hypocrisy…certain emergent/progressive Christian book and conference people who claimed to stand with abuse victims now refuse to take that stance since one of their buddies is the abuser.

  254. Miranda wrote:

    So in that respect, this can definitely go both ways, and using that line of reasoning I suppose it’s fairly obvious why someone with NPD might be attracted to a system that isn’t authoritarian.

    NPD’s are not idealogues, so my guess is that an NPD would do whatever the NPD needs to do to continue the supply. ISTM that part of that would be finding a social or religious niche that is somewhat comfortable and looking for ways to acquire supply within that niche. It’s easier to play the role that a NPD plays if they don’t have to also pretend to hold an ideology they don’t hold.

    My guess is that a looser theology appeals to Jones. He draws a crowd of followers by appealing to their values and setting himself up as the champion of those values. Once he is established and recognized by the group as the champion and the face of the group, then the actual ideas and practices he promotes can be molded to better fit his desires because, after all, he is the hero and face of The Cause, and he is therefore indispensable. Followers forgive lapses because The Cause is more important, and damage to the image of the Leader must be denied and covered up lest it damage The Cause.

    To me, the dynamic looks very similar to Driscoll, Mahaney, Haggard, Clinton, and all the other Leaders who violated the principles which they claimed to support. I understand this in politics, because politics is about power. I do not see how this fits in any kind of Christianity where there should be only one Leader and one Cause.

  255. THC wrote:

    I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post.

    People here and elsewhere are trying to do what some Roman Catholics tried to do with the pedophile scandals: take out the garbage. Do not mention gossip. These are public figures who have used public media to advance themselves. You don’t get control of the spotlight once you decide to be in it.

  256. @ THC:

    Also, some here are trying to expose yet another instance where networks and associations seem to be altering principles, and we are calling for people like RHE to reconsider her path. That is pretty important for a Christian, ISTM. Some are trying to offer support to a person whose voice has been silenced. That is also an important Christian principle.

  257. THC wrote:

    How does this nasty divorce affect me? Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble? I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post. I must also not know what constitutes gossip.

    Perhaps, and you also obviously haven’t read that part in the Bible about exposing evil, either. One thing I do like is your irrefutable logic: If it doesn’t “affect me”, why get “involved this this squabble”? Very Christian attitude there, commendable, squares nicely with that stuff in the Bible about preserving justice and upholding the cause of those who can’t very well fight for themselves. Nice.

  258. Gram3 wrote:

    To me, the dynamic looks very similar to Driscoll, Mahaney, Haggard, Clinton, and all the other Leaders who violated the principles which they claimed to support. I understand this in politics, because politics is about power. I do not see how this fits in any kind of Christianity where there should be only one Leader and one Cause.

    That’s right on there, one ought to expect NPDs in politics and corporate management, they don’t make my head explode, but when people start playing those games in the name of Christ (assuming Tony Jones has all that much to do even nominally with Christ, in my opinion he’s a below average self esteem guru who wraps himself in the superficial trappings of Christianity), it puts my meter on red. Clinton doesn’t bug me, Driscoll makes me nuts.

  259. Law Prof wrote:

    THC wrote:

    How does this nasty divorce affect me? Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble? I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post. I must also not know what constitutes gossip.

    Perhaps, and you also obviously haven’t read that part in the Bible about exposing evil, either. One thing I do like is your irrefutable logic: If it doesn’t “affect me”, why get “involved this this squabble”? Very Christian attitude there, commendable, squares nicely with that stuff in the Bible about preserving justice and upholding the cause of those who can’t very well fight for themselves. Nice.

    @THC,

    And the part about sexual immorality making a pastor/elder illegible to lead, a long with a list of other moral failings.

  260. dee wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    We love you!

    Thanks! That should take care of my narcissistic supply for a day or so. 😉

  261. lydia wrote:

    @ Jeff S:

    Ha! Piper is the best argument against comp doctrine. So true, Jeff!

    Did anyone get to see his recently deleted tweet claiming that rape and seduction are distinct in form according to the bible?

    That any relation to or setup for “I don’t rape; I seduce”?

  262. Pingback: I Now Pronounce You Man and Spiritual Wife | Weighted Glory

  263. THC wrote:

    Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble

    Because we are called to justice for the oppressed and because the church lacks credibility if we allow behavior even the world acknowledges as reprehensible to continue.

    Imagine if you were were divorced from someone using the power of the pulpit and the name of Christ to make your life hell- would you want other Christians to ignore you because it doesn’t concern them? Would you be happy that you oppressive ex-spouse is leading other people and teaching them about living Godly lives?

  264. THC wrote:

    How does this nasty divorce affect me? Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble? I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post. I must also not know what constitutes gossip.

    How is it gossip when the one affected has told parts of her story here? Is she “gossiping” about herself and her experience?

    Why does it affect you? Does Jesus Christ teach the concept of a spiritual wife while married to your legal wife? Since TJ makes his living teaching others about Jesus, this is kind of important. That is one reason. There are a ton of others as some have mentioned.

  265. THC wrote:

    How does this nasty divorce affect me? Why are so many on here getting involved with this squabble? I guess I am totally missing the point of this whole post. I must also not know what constitutes gossip.

    Oh, I absolutely agree with you. None of this has anything at all to do with you. Fortunately the RCC does not tolerate this kind of theological belief (spiritual wives) but then neither did you all set any world record for how to deal with abuse allegations, so I cannot see how any of this applies to you in the least nor can I see how you might have anything constructive to add to the conversation at this point.

    Rest easy, we are doing what we can where we can. Nobody will blame you for not solving it.

  266. THC wrote:

    How does this nasty divorce affect me?

    I remember another person who said “Am I my brother’s keeper? We are to care of for those who jesus cared for. The ones who the Pharisees overlooked. I am diminished whenever any person in the body of Christi is hurting. In them, I see Jesus. And when I see Jesus, I am compelled to act.

  267. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That any relation to or setup for “I don’t rape; I seduce”?

    Looks like someone else saw the infamous, and quickly deleted, John Piper tweet which appeared to equate seduction to being raped.

  268. dee wrote:

    THC wrote:
    How does this nasty divorce affect me?
    I remember another person who said “Am I my brother’s keeper?

    Of course you realize that I did not say that. And besides, I didn’t just kill my brother.
    There’s also another scripture that says, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    I think the term spiritual abuse is quite ambiguous, and if there was physical abuse, the legal system should be involved and let it play out there.

    As far as a “spiritual wife,” I’ll let you all debate that one. It seems silly as a justification, but so many people rationalize divorce and remarriage.

  269. @ THC:

    Since you don’t seem to understand the principles involved, here’s what’s going on.

    A woman claimed she was abused by her husband. The church silenced her. The husband continues to serve in a place of power and she claims he continues to abuse her. She reaches out to the broader Christian community, and those who make a big deal out of supporting the vulnerable ignore her. Some people in the community make noise calling the church to be considerate of this woman and not abuse her.

    This isn’t about casting stones or blaming people for their sin. It’s about protecting the vulnerable. If no one says a word when the vulnerable try to speak about injustice, that injustice will persist unfettered. Doing justice is one of the missions of the church.

  270. THC wrote:

    dee wrote:
    THC wrote:
    How does this nasty divorce affect me?
    I remember another person who said “Am I my brother’s keeper?
    Of course you realize that I did not say that. And besides, I didn’t just kill my brother.
    There’s also another scripture that says, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”
    I think the term spiritual abuse is quite ambiguous, and if there was physical abuse, the legal system should be involved and let it play out there.
    As far as a “spiritual wife,” I’ll let you all debate that one. It seems silly as a justification, but so many people rationalize divorce and remarriage.

    Indeed, Jesus spoke of those who are without sin casting stones…

    But fascinating that you would not take notice of the fact that it was in the context of abusive religious leaders circling round a woman allegedly in sin and hypocritically persecuting her. How very much like the situation addressed by this very blog, virtually identical: one could substitute “Julie McMahon” for the surrounded woman, substitute “determined to be bat—- crazy” for “caught in adultery”, substitute “leaders of the emergent movement” for “teachers of the law and Pharisees” and you’d have the very image of the situation that Jesus addressed.

    Of course, realize, THC, that you’d be in the position of one on the sidelines criticizing Jesus and His followers for standing up for the woman. Funny how prooftexting can turn round and bite you on the butt.

  271. I have been following Julie’s story here and on SCCL. It is very sad, and I’m going to donate to the fund now.
    But I still can’t stop sniggering when I hear the words ‘spiritual wife’.

  272. Jeff S wrote:

    A woman claimed she was abused by her husband. The church silenced her.

    Sorry, I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim. She calls her ex and others obsessed, narcissistic, personality disordered, and so on. She does come across as more of a scorned woman.

  273. THC wrote:

    Sorry, I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim. She calls her ex and others obsessed, narcissistic, personality disordered, and so on. She does come across as more of a scorned woman.

    I’m going to attribute the idiocy of that comment to the hypoxia you surely must suffer at the High and Lifted Up position which you occupy.

  274. @ Gram3:

    And, just to clarify, the idiocy is saying that an observation of narcissistic behavior by a woman who claims to have a professional diagnosis of the abuser as NPD, means that the abused person making the observation and claiming abuse by said NPD is a scorned woman.

    That is totally incoherent.

  275. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m going to attribute the idiocy of that comment to the hypoxia you surely must suffer at the High and Lifted Up position which you occupy.

    Well, “THC” is also the active substance in marijuana…

  276. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    And, just to clarify, the idiocy is saying that an observation of narcissistic behavior by a woman who claims to have a professional diagnosis of the abuser as NPD, means that the abused person making the observation and claiming abuse by said NPD is a scorned woman.
    That is totally incoherent.

    Sounds like you haven’t read the comments on the Naked Pastor. She went far beyond that. Like I said, it reads more like airing of dirty laundry than someone who is suffering. She seems to want him to PAY and PAY BIG. Not defending the guy, but I am just not seeing a pure victim here.

  277. THC wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    A woman claimed she was abused by her husband. The church silenced her.
    Sorry, I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim. She calls her ex and others obsessed, narcissistic, personality disordered, and so on. She does come across as more of a scorned woman.

    Nice, very nice there. Keep on digging that hole. Are you just a first class troll? because it’s hard to imagine you’re for real. If you are, I don’t apologize, your position is so absurd as to lend credence to the troll theory.

  278. THC wrote:

    Sorry, I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim. She calls her ex and others obsessed, narcissistic, personality disordered, and so on. She does come across as more of a scorned woman.

    So based on your skill at determining the truthfulness of those claiming abuse, you believe you can to write her off. That is a bold stance, one which allows abusers in power to run amok in the church and terrorize many victims of you get it wrong.

    Rather than assessing her credibility, I suggest you would do better to allow her the chance to speak and hold those who would partner with her ex to the standard that they should find the truth about what kind of man he is.

    And there’s nothing wrong with calling someone a Narcissist if he’s been diagnosed. It’s not a slur- it’s a real diagnosis.

  279. Eagle wrote:

    Julie McMahon I walked away from my desk at work and paced for a while. I was that upset.

    Here’s what deply troubles me about this. I predict that this is going to be more harmful than the Mars Hill abuse or SGM abuse for one reason. Driscoll, Mahaney, Piper, etc.. were always about doctrine and doctrine was theire and comfort in folks like Rachel Held Evans, Greg Boyd, etc…

    I enjoyed his critical critiques about John Piper and pointing out Piper’s problems with disaster theology. For this broken and crushed soul some of his stuff was refreshing and helpful.

    I’m sorry this is rough on you and I resonate with that after stumbling on this thread after a long absence from christiandom. Years ago I hung in these crowds as I was making my way through my own theological education and starting my own movement. I partnered with some folks and took residence in an emergent like camp. I also prayed a lot in those days and I do belive God spoke. After seeing decay and other signs of disease in my own mini movement, I shut it down in distress. It takes spiritual discipline to do that. Yet if my livelihood would have depended on it surviving, I may have pushed on.

    That is just the trouble with all these camps of Christiandom. They reached this point as well, should have shut down/repented but they pushed on. When I was young, I used to think I had to join on to be a legitimate part of the body of christ. No. Not so. choose a shepherd. Etc. There is all sorts of spiritual Langu age for this. I have come to realize joining a camp will most surly incapacitate you as a christian. Take the theology/thought of all those people driscoll, tillich, pagit, yoder, boyd use what is good and toss the rest. Don’t go sit at their feet unless there can be dialogue. Otherwise the dialogue will be so one sided, it will just go one way, from them to you. The church was never met to be a revolving door of celebrity preachers providing spiritual sustainable on sunday. It was a weekly meeting of the sharing of testimonies. Every week you andon’t others came to share about what God had done! The apostle Paul just came around every great once in a while to share stories about his missionary journey, then sent letters telling them how to fix their problems. No one person was ever supposed to have the power these guys have.

    it is humanly impossible for these megachurches, megamovements to care for the spiritual direction of all their followers.

    I remember back to the 2003-2006 days when the emergent stuff was all new and hip. I liked it. I wanted to cash in. But there was something very the same about it, aside from the one tweak: replacing church benches with couches.

    I joined camp on the other side of the city. After years of meeting with pastors and praying my heart out, I for some reason was sidelined and ignored no incident at all. I was given the choice to loose my faith and join the Rah Rah celebrity pastor fan club or find another way to live faith.

    Sometimes I have the chance to go back and look around. Its all the same people just a few fewer. But they are all still there and it has been 15, 20, 30 years. Very few have been called on by God to do new emerging developing work.

  280. Serena wrote:

    Also, Julie said that, even though Tony was ordered by the court to continue to pay the mortgage on their house, he didn’t obey that order and let it go into foreclosure, and Julie and the kids lost their home.

    Hi Serena, a belated thank you for that note/lead, and I did locate some comment quotes from Julie on that topic to use in some research resource pieces I’ve been putting together on the overall situation. Those should be up and running in the next few days …

    Thanks again for the helpful crowd-sourcing!

  281. THC wrote:

    She seems to want him to PAY and PAY BIG. Not defending the guy, but I am just not seeing a pure victim here.

    Oh dear…. nice bit of gaslighting here. So unless a victim is ‘pure’, in whatever definition you are using, carrying the burden of moral perfection as well as that of abuse, they are not actually the injured party or worthy of justice. Be very very careful with this slippery slope, it is an insidious tactic that doesn’t work on grown ups reading this.

  282. Jeff S wrote:

    @ THC:

    Since you don’t seem to understand the principles involved, here’s what’s going on.

    A woman claimed she was abused by her husband. The church silenced her. The husband continues to serve in a place of power and she claims he continues to abuse her. She reaches out to the broader Christian community, and those who make a big deal out of supporting the vulnerable ignore her. Some people in the community make noise calling the church to be considerate of this woman and not abuse her.

    This isn’t about casting stones or blaming people for their sin. It’s about protecting the vulnerable. If no one says a word when the vulnerable try to speak about injustice, that injustice will persist unfettered. Doing justice is one of the missions of the church.

    Nicely said, Jeff S! (I’ve also appreciated your other posts too and your candor about spiritual abuse in church, marriage, divorce, re-marriage, etc.)

  283. Beakerj wrote:

    Oh dear…. nice bit of gaslighting here. So unless a victim is ‘pure’, in whatever definition you are using, carrying the burden of moral perfection as well as that of abuse, they are not actually the injured party or worthy of justice.

    To advocates of this position, there is usually only ONE who fits their definition of “pure” and “morally perfect”. Guess Who?

  284. Jeff S wrote:

    And there’s nothing wrong with calling someone a Narcissist if he’s been diagnosed. It’s not a slur- it’s a real diagnosis.

    It’s also a violation of HIPPA laws and could cause trouble. Much like if you disclosed that someone was HIV positive.
    Besides, even if it was real, she goes on to call others “personality disordered.” Was that also a medical diagnosis?

  285. THC wrote:

    t’s also a violation of HIPPA laws and could cause trouble. Much like if you disclosed that someone was HIV positive.

    1. It’s HIPAA–not HIPPA. It helps to use the correct acronym and syntax before deriding others on diagnosis-related matters. Yes, Julie cannot publicly post another individual’s actual medical records without permission. In this case, it doesn’t matter, because…..

    2. ……a person with or without diagnosed NPD can still abuse their spouse and harass them litigiously. Even if Julie had told her story with zero reference to an alleged NPD diagnosis, Tony’s reported treatment of her is abysmal and abusive.

    3. As far as being scorned–yup, Julie was scorned and she is rightfully angry about it. Casting aspersions on an angry divorcee is straight out of the Mad Men era. Please join the current century.

    4. The way that Julie has gone about things is different than how I would have. But you know what? My opinion on that really doesn’t matter. She has now been given open forums and introduced to supportive people far and wide. I’m glad that she is getting that because after years of having others dismiss her–the support has been revelatory for her. I hope that she gets everything that she wants out of this–eventual peace, eventual ceasing of unending litigation from her ex, and being able to be seen for who she is by everyone.

    Being married to a cheating man is not a mistake that Julie should have to pay for, for the rest of her life. The fact that Tony is in a very “verbal” profession (shall we say) where keeping an alternate persona has been rewarded for years is a double-whammy. Which she also should not have to pay for, for the rest of her life.

    In short, #TeamJulie

  286. THC wrote:

    she goes on to call others “personality disordered.” Was that also a medical diagnosis?

    Well, no, sort of on par with “batsh*t crazy”, but much less rude, wouldn’t you say?

  287. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Michaela:

    Thank you for the kind words
    I am quite passionate about this subject!

    You do a great job of writing about it all, Jeff S., and your contributions here are so valuable. I feel really blessed by all of the folks here: Deb, Dee, Gram3, Eagle, Law Prof, Numo, Lydia, our friends across The Pond in the UK, Todd from Dubai, and all of the others I may have forgot to mention.

    Helpful stuff…all of it from everybody!

  288. Jeff S wrote:

    And there’s nothing wrong with calling someone a Narcissist if he’s been diagnosed. It’s not a slur- it’s a real diagnosis.

    Since when do Narcissists LET themselves be diagnosed?
    Same with Sociopaths.
    Which means they and their defenders can claim Jot & Tittle regarding formal diagnosis.

  289. Jeff S wrote:

    If no one says a word when the vulnerable try to speak about injustice, that injustice will persist unfettered. Doing justice is one of the missions of the church.

    In the original languages, “bringing Justice” is ALWAYS a large part of the word translated as “Righteousness”. It’s in English that the two concepts are completely (and conveniently) separate.

  290. THC wrote:

    I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim

    I don’t think she can win here. If she appears to be playing the victim card this will be dismissed as sour grapes or blame shifting, and if she is careful not to appear a victim, people will assume she hasn’t experienced anything untoward.

  291. Diagnosing the Emergent Movement research site is up and running as of 11:11 a.m. today. I’ve described it as *A holistic systems case study by “futuristguy,” analyzing issues in the Emergent Movement: historical, personal, theological, organizational, institutional, sociological, and toxicological.* Six of the 12 pages are already posted, and I have more in the prep stage, hopefully to be posted over the next few days.

    The research and resource work on this site began almost exactly five years ago this month, and I’ve been studying the larger emerging ministry movement for about 20 years. A good lesson therein on tenacity and trusting in the Lord’s providential timing, as our communities seem more ready to push for resolution, integrity, and justice on issues like these now than back in the late 2009 / early 2010.

    My hope is that having such extensive historical information collected in one place will let people focus on reading and reflecting on the material, instead of trying to find it, so they can then discern and decide what to do.

    https://diagnosingemergent.wordpress.com/

  292. @ brad/futuristguy:

    Excellent information, Brad! Thank you for all your diligent work! I’ll be reading a little at a time as 5 yrs. of research and 20 yrs. of study is a wealth of information to digest (for me at least.)

    Thanks again!

  293. Ken wrote:

    THC wrote:

    I just perused her comments on the Naked Pastor’s blog and she doesn’t come across to me as a victim

    I don’t think she can win here. If she appears to be playing the victim card this will be dismissed as sour grapes or blame shifting, and if she is careful not to appear a victim, people will assume she hasn’t experienced anything untoward.

    Which becomes a WIN-WIN Situation for Tony. (All these manipulator types must work out of the same playbook or something. With a special chapter on how to groom third parties as allies.)

  294. Likely, many have seen the new statement out on Scribd. Glancing through it I’ve noticed some things that I anticipated while reading this thread.

    Julie pulls from her background the term “spiritual marriage” “spiritual wife” to mean something synonymous to the term Tony uses on his blog, “sacramental marriage” (There are Two Marriages). Most pedestrian theologians and lay people would not think to split hairs over the distinctions and most theologians would split these hairs in theological circles. Interesting but anticipated that the term “spiritual marriage” is called a “fabricated category” of Julies own making.

    When discussing the DSM results: Tony acknowledges the Axis I: NPD which is the full description of his diagnosis. I think it might be revealatory to know what was left out of Julie’s Axis I and Axis II diagnosis.

    Those are just a few observations out of a number, but enough to understand that this is no giant of spiritual discipline and moral character befitting Stanley Hauerwas.

    The scribd statement is an academic work littered with documentation. Academics can find the holes in it. However, Julie is not a theologian (I suspect) and would not provide comparable diatribes. This does not invalidate her story. It makes better sense that Brad has organized the story into meaningful, tangible categories.

    I think I rest my case here that the profession which requires incessant critique of others, methods and modes of existence can necessarily overtake one’s whole life. Deconstruction. Deconstruction…Reconstruction. Provacurism and its cronies are by necessity professions cluttered with pitfalls on the journey to humble, holy living. Seeking to not be is an impediment to being. Eventually the theological gadfly becomes merely a fly.

  295. Chris S wrote:

    The only reason for phrasing that post the way it is if Tony Jones already knew Courtney Perry

    You have made a good point. I had not thought of it that way.

    ‘Finally, Courtney blogs.” Awkward

  296. All, Tony is our neighbor and friend. We have watched this saga unfold before our eyes over the past 5 plus years. He has nice kids and a nice wife. We care about him, and watch over his house when he is gone. We sympathize and don’t pass judgement on this whole situation. It is a mess. Tony aside, it is really tough on his kids and his wife. Very nice people. I would encourage all of you making allegations, and spouting your opinions in this very public forum to read the public documents. Check the established facts. The court record. The testimony under oath.

    And then I would encourage you to show a modicum of restraint and adult sensibility.

    I will also tell you that our own encounters with Julie have not been positive. It is pretty sad to watch a mother being hauled away in front of her kids, in hand cuffs, by the police, for violating a restraining order. We watched the whole thing with our own eyes. She has also verbally unleashed on both of our kids regarding Tony. Our older boy stays in his house to watch over it when he is gone. Its that intense.

    Those are facts. Not opinions. I can’t speak to her psychiatric state but our encounters were uncomfortable and made use feel bad for everyone. Mostly his kids. Its also pretty clear Julie can’t help herself.

    It is a pretty terrible thing to lose someone like that. To watch them slip away. Watch a life totally fall apart. Unfortunately this is not the first time we’ve seen it happen. It happens all the time….addiction, physical maladies, senility.

    Most of us haven’t been spared. Most of us have had some close relative, friend or loved one slip away, seemingly unable to help themselves from careening off on self destructive tangents.

    I am not a believer really. I don’t pray. But stuff likes this makes me want to because that is really all you can do. That and remember the spirit of your Lord….I did go to Sunday school…for a while….I don’t remember much….but I got the central idea…..be compassionate…wait…maybe that was Buddha. All the same.

  297. Pingback: #WhyTony #IBelieve Julie | Leadingchurch.com UNITED STATES

  298. @ Julie McMahon:

    Julie, as someone who faced the wrath of Tony on his blog a few years ago (you can look up his “Darius” posts), reading about your struggles with him has been so revealing and goes a long way to explaining his persona and his venom towards me and others. Please know that many believe you and in time, the truth will out. The abuse and tyranny is coming to an end. Tony’s sun is setting. I pray that peace will finally find you when it’s all finished.

    Be strong. Your voice is heard.

  299. John Brost wrote:

    All, Tony is our neighbor and friend.

    If he’s NPD (and severe enough to be diagnosed as such), he might be your friend you are NOT his. You are a Resource to be Used, then discarded once you outlive your usefulness.

  300. John Brost wrote:

    It is a pretty terrible thing to lose someone like that. To watch them slip away. Watch a life totally fall apart. Unfortunately this is not the first time we’ve seen it happen. It happens all the time….addiction, physical maladies, senility.
    Most of us haven’t been spared. Most of us have had some close relative, friend or loved one slip away, seemingly unable to help themselves from careening off on self destructive tangents.

    Are you referring to Julie here? Tony has a diagnosis of NPD. /Are you attempting to diagnoseher? I have personally seen what living with an NPD does to people. I have no doubt she has not looked like a sympathetic victim after his spiritual wife ridiculousness, gaslighting and trying to have her committed. So those things are normal in your world? Many of your friends like that?

  301. John Brost wrote:

    Those are facts. Not opinions. I can’t speak to her psychiatric state but our encounters were uncomfortable and made use feel bad for everyone. Mostly his kids. Its also pretty clear Julie can’t help herself.

    It is a pretty terrible thing to lose someone like that. To watch them slip away. Watch a life totally fall apart. Unfortunately this is not the first time we’ve seen it happen. It happens all the time….addiction, physical maladies, senility.

    Surely you are not serious. I guess this means you are wearing the uniform of the Guano-Crazy Brigade. Not sure who you are saying is senile. You certainly seem to know a lot about Julie’s personal health and mental condition. How odd.

  302. Julie….didn’t you engage one of the most respected family law attorney’s in Minneapolis…Karen Schreiber at Linquist and Vennum? I have not worked with her but I have worked with other partners at the firm and understand that she is highly regarded as one of, if not the best family law attorney in town.

  303. Lydia….you have been all over all these blogs making all kinds of assertions about Tony.

    Do you live here? Do you have direct contact with any of the participants? Or…do you just make accusations on the blogoshere? Perhaps we should look into your own public record and post it here?

    For my part…and the context of my remarks are clear…I was speaking about other personal experiences with mental illness.

  304. Graham 3. If you see fit to post on this blog about this matter, why wouldn’t you reveal your name?

  305. Fair enough….I have watched her violate a restraining order and be arrested by the police in front of her children. Dee. What is your full name? What is your personal experience?

  306. Darius T wrote:

    @ Julie McMahon:

    Julie, as someone who faced the wrath of Tony on his blog a few years ago (you can look up his “Darius” posts), reading about your struggles with him has been so revealing and goes a long way to explaining his persona and his venom towards me and others. Please know that many believe you and in time, the truth will out. The abuse and tyranny is coming to an end. Tony’s sun is setting. I pray that peace will finally find you when it’s all finished.

    Be strong. Your voice is heard.

    Sorry to hear about that. (I had to apologize from America to Canada to David Hayward, the cartoonist/blogger/writer/former pastor for the Tony Jones/Brian McLaren & Company’s that Hayward has ‘been warned’. These guys are so full of themselves I kicked it into gear and have been working all week long with Free Speech experts in Canada and the US.)

  307. John Brost wrote:

    And you are qualified to make this assertion?

    If you were addressing me, yes, I believe I am qualified to state my belief that XianAtty was attempting to deflect and redirect attention from the real issues by appealing to Julie’s legal representation and to the circumstances of the divorce. We had quite a discussion about it. Do I know that is what XA was doing? No. Did what XianAtty said look like what a disinformation campaign might well look like given these facts? Yes.

  308. John Brost wrote:

    Graham 3. If you see fit to post on this blog about this matter, why wouldn’t you reveal your name?

    I am not a public figure, and what I have stated is not related in any way to my identity. If you want to engage the substance of anything I’ve written, then I am willing to do that. A really good way to help Tony is *not* to imitate NPD behavior yourself. It’s a reminder of his diagnosis. Which he disclosed.

  309. John Brost wrote:

    What is your full name?

    I already posted that for you in another comment thread. Darlene Nalesnik Parsons who grew up in Salem Massachusetts. Tell me what you learn in your search. I am rather excited. I hope there is something juicy. I have always wanted to be controversial.

  310. John Brost wrote:

    I am a neighbor. I live here.

    Then I think you should be a good neighbor to your neighbors, including Tony Jones and Courtney Perry.

  311. John Brost wrote:

    why wouldn’t you reveal your name?

    A long time ago, your absolutely adorable blog queens decided to give our full names in order that we can cover for those who have been abused and cannot feel comfortable in giving their real names. Our names cover them. So, if you have a problem with this, darling John, go after Dee and Deb.

    Tony chose to be a plebe figure so he must deal with the results of such a process. BTW- I know that I am now a public figure because of this blog. Therefore, you have my name. Have fun researching me.

  312. @ John Brost:
    Dearest John
    I have always wanted to have a blog post that had 1,000 comments. Due to your rather insistent ramblings, you have made my dreams come true. And I am commenter 1,000! Yay me and thank you, thank you, thank you John.

  313. dee wrote:

    @ John Brost:
    Dearest John
    I have always wanted to have a blog post that had 1,000 comments. Due to your rather insistent ramblings, you have made my dreams come true. And I am commenter 1,000! Yay me and thank you, thank you, thank you John.

    dee wrote:

    @ John Brost:
    Dearest John
    I have always wanted to have a blog post that had 1,000 comments. Due to your rather insistent ramblings, you have made my dreams come true. And I am commenter 1,000! Yay me and thank you, thank you, thank you John.

    Yowza, Dee! It’s time for all of us to celebrate with Sacred Cow Sundaes, a delicious dessert invented by our own Gram3 just a few weekends ago!

  314. Nick or OldJohnJ will correct my math, but I think you need another comment to make it to 1,000. So here it is!

  315. Gram3 wrote:

    Nick or OldJohnJ will correct my math, but I think you need another comment to make it to 1,000. So here it is!

    Michaela beat me. Bummer.

  316. Gram3 wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    Nick or OldJohnJ will correct my math, but I think you need another comment to make it to 1,000. So here it is!

    Ohhh, nooooo, Gram3. Then I’m buying you and Gramps3 Sacred Cow Sundaes!

    Michaela beat me. Bummer.

  317. @ John Brost:

    Did I have to know Bill Clinton personally to have a problem with his behavior? A lot of people tried to convince me of that, ironically.

    that sort of bizarre standard is often used by many in the public eye whether the mega church pastor, politician or even movie stars. There is always the charge that you don’t know them personally so cannot comment on their public behavior and how that affects the brand image they have been selling.

    Personally, I thought “theological provocatuer” was bad enough before all this came out. It really is upsetting the apple cart that a single mom without a public platform told her side of things. As one who used to dabble in murkey world of brand management for mega churches, the progressives would have been much better off if they had lost their keyboards. The bizarre responses (deleting, blocking, threatening lawsuits, etc) simply convinced me they had a huge problem and they knew it. It has been all about saving the “brand”.

  318. Lydia wrote:

    Did I have to know Bill Clinton personally to have a problem with his behavior?

    Weren’t the Clintons simply unbelievers behaving like unbelievers? I remember reading on a now defunct discernment site that the sexual goings on were the least of their evils, and that they were classic examples of the old adage ‘power tends to corrupt …’.

  319. John Brost wrote:

    Graham 3. If you see fit to post on this blog about this matter, why wouldn’t you reveal your name?

    I see your perception of this bloggers name is incorrect. I’m assuming that some of your other perceptions about this topic may be incorrect as well.

  320. John Brost wrote:

    Graham….did the attorney follow through? What is your name…your full legal name?

    “White man wants everything in writing, and that’s only so he can use it against you in court.”
    — Billy Jack

  321. The same people who let loose against Mahaney and Driscoll are now clamping down on info about this Tony Jones? Ugh. Another year, another Christian voice I thought was above silencing victims proves they are no better than the rest.
    At this rate who’s next? Dave Hayward? Will we find him pulling a Cosby on some buddy of his like RHE is doing with Jones? I respect him quite a bit but with the way things are going in Christendom these days…

  322. I am completely unfamiliar with this situation. This is the first time I’ve read about it.

    I am so angry at these “progressive” bullies I could spit nails. Yes, gaslighting is real. And yes, the abused are denied a voice when their tormentor has power and influence.

    As for all that crap about “spiritual” marriage, don’t even get me started.

  323. Pingback: Church: You Make it Impossible to Love You | Mind Squirrels UNITED STATES

  324. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    @ Ragnarok:
    As for actions a year ago I was a stalker. That is a more apt word than clingy.

    I am retracting this comment since it is now being used to harass me. I made this comment in duress when I felt bullied by members to SCCL to make it. I wish to retract it now.

  325. @ dee:

    I dunno what you can do now…I’d say delete my comments on here, but they’ve already been screenshotted and used to harass me so I’m not sure what can be done now. Thank you for asking though.

  326. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Justin Hanvey wrote:
    @ Ragnarok:
    As for actions a year ago I was a stalker. That is a more apt word than clingy.
    I am retracting this comment since it is now being used to harass me. I made this comment in duress when I felt bullied by members to SCCL to make it. I wish to retract it now.

    You’re retroactively claiming that you were never a stalker because you felt bullied by me pointing out that your actions weren’t merely inappropriate, Justin? It’s not as though I hounded you here or contacted you through other means to attempt to compel you to make a statement you were otherwise reluctant to make

  327. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Justin Hanvey wrote:
    @ Ragnarok:
    As for actions a year ago I was a stalker. That is a more apt word than clingy.
    I am retracting this comment since it is now being used to harass me. I made this comment in duress when I felt bullied by members to SCCL to make it. I wish to retract it now.

    Apologies for the second comment. I accidentally posted my previous (thank you iPad). Continuing…

    I did contact you later when I learned that you were accusing a mutual acquaintance of posting under my online moniker to inform you that that was not the case, and I included in that correspondence a message from another person whom you had previously agreed not to contact or include in your efforts to reestablish contact with the person whom you had been harassing in the first place that you were to desist in your then-renewed efforts to do what you had agreed not to do lest you face the consequences. No one wants you to face those consequences, least of all me, but it’s only right to warn you that they’re coming if you don’t stop. You may consider those efforts harassment, but I doubt any otherwise reasonable person would do so. Your response to our correspondence then was unduly defensive insofar as you accused me of attempting to intimidate you, but when you asked that I stop contacting you I did so. (Something, I would add, that you have consistenly failed to do for others who have made the same request of you.) I even refused via inaction to respond to your subsequent messages regarding the matter. If you doubt any of the preceding, I still have that correspondence.

    Now, however, you have appeared once more (even assuming a false guise on FB to offer support for your case) not only to attempt to reestablish contact with Shade Ardent but also to attempt to paint them a liar for telling the truth on SCCL regarding your actions. You reportedly went so far as to accuse people you considered friends of being unsafe for advising you against what you were doing, and then you unfriended and/or blocked them. These were people who were attempting only to promote your own well-being, and who also had no intention of supporting any of the supposed harassement you claimed to be enduring. It’s telling that you would heap the same accusations upon those people that you insist on heaping on those of us who are attempting to protect others from you.

    I have no intention of allowing you to go unchallenged in what you did last week. It’s truly unfortunate that you made the decision to do the things you did, and I have no good explanation for what led you to do them other than you feel compelled in some way you have difficulty resisting. I stated on SCCL last week, and I state again here, that you need to seek help for whatever is driving you to do these things. I state again here that I do not say you need help in order to diminish your basic humanity, and that I also need help. There’s no shame in that fact, and I entreat you sincerely not to hold that to be the case. Whatever may be happening is something you can overcome if you seek the help you need, and if there is any way I can aid you in finding that help then I will gladly do so.

    I don’t believe you’re a bad person, Justin. Truly, I don’t. You’re just fighting something you can’t seem to manage on your own. Please find help. I would consider it a real benefit for the world if you found a way to manage whatever is driving you and were able to lead a life without that torment. I have managed to overcome the worst of my bipolar disorder and my OCD, but it has taken many years, a great deal of love and support, and professional care to do it. The thing that I would wish for you to take away from this comment, if nothing else, is that if I can do it then you can do it, too. It’s possible not to live in constant torment from your own mind. But treatment by professionals is absolutely essential to the process of learning how. Please get it. I implore you.

  328. @ Ragnarok:

    Dee, Justin harassed and stalked a member of SCCL a year ago and there was a huge thread about it a few days ago (if you want to see, pop on over to SCCL, but he’s deleted the ghost profile he created to defend himself with, so it probably won’t make as much sense as it would if you had followed along in real time). He’s been told that if he contacts certain members of SCCL he will be served a restraining order. It is interesting to me that Justin came over here to continue the drama, but it is honestly pretty par for the course for those of us who have known him for a while. He won’t just let it drop.

  329. And I want to say that I will not be engaging Justin here on TWW, since it was all hashed out over on SCCL, and I will not be party to again swinging the focus away from Tony Jones and onto Justin Hanvey. Dee, you have my email if you’d like to ask any questions. Justin, I sincerely hope you get help.

  330. @Dee

    You likewise have my email address. If you need to see any verification of the things Danica and I have said here then I have a collection of screen captures and email notifications you need only ask to see. I also believe Danica is correct in her refusal to participate in moving the focus from Tony Jones to Justin Hanvey. I am at your disposal via email.

  331. @ Ragnarok:
    @ Danica:

    I have just returned from a trip and have a board meeting at my house today. For the last two days I was on the road and I am so far behind it is scaring me.

    Give me until tomorrow to get this figured out. I will send you all emails in the next day.

  332. @ Dee

    There’s no rush at all, and, for the record, I have no doubt at all that you remain a supporter of Julie. So far as I’m concerned, this matter is tangential to the point of barely being connected to her, and what connection exists is only there because Justin has persisted in making and maintaining it.

  333. Ragnarok wrote:

    @ Dee
    There’s no rush at all, and, for the record, I have no doubt at all that you remain a supporter of Julie. So far as I’m concerned, this matter is tangential to the point of barely being connected to her, and what connection exists is only there because Justin has persisted in making and maintaining it.

    I was not the first one to make the connection here, a friend of mine mentioned me being in correspondence with Rachel about Julie, and Banannie and Danica both took that as a chance to mention my past actions and how I am not trustworthy. I only came here to speak in my own defense. I do not think there is any connection between my past actions and Julie to maintain.

    If anything compels me it is simply that I have a right to speak up on my own behalf, so I do when I see people saying things that are misconstrued about me. I endured enough verbal abuse and shaming from my father growing up and I will not allow some Facebook page/group to speak of me in such a way without speaking up for myself. I had gone for almost a whole year without coming to SCCL, til I was informed of people talking about me here. That is when I was “compelled” to speakk for myself again.

  334. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    I was not the first one to make the connection here, a friend of mine mentioned me being in correspondence with Rachel about Julie, and Banannie and Danica both took that as a chance to mention my past actions and how I am not trustworthy.

    I can’t speak to the circumstances surrounding how, when, or by whom your reported correspondence with RHE was first mentioned here. However it came to be reported is not particularly relevant to the questions of who initiated it and why. Nor is it the point under discussion. What happened on the SCCL Facebook page last week, and the incident which preceded it to the degree it is currently applicable, is.

    Your past actions are what make many, including me, conclude that you are not trustworthy, and your recent attempts to rewrite history and shift blame have only served to confirm that conclusion further. It is not the case that you are irredeemably untrustworthy, Justin, but before you can begin to reestablish trust you must first own the actions which led to others losing their trust in you. And you must be honest when discussing those actions. The entire purpose of my originally calling your characterization of your previous actions into question on this thread was to point out that if you hope to be of any use to anyone else when trust is required then you must be honest about questionable actions in your past.

    In response to my challenge, you admitted that you had stalked Shade Ardent (although you didn’t mention them by name in accordance with your agreement). At the time, I viewed this as a positive step, and that is why I didn’t continue to pursue the matter. I wanted you to be honest and open. You were. The events of last week, along with your reappearance here to recant, present a significant setback, unfortunately.

    No one wants to own behavior as egregious as you have demonstrated both originally and this past week, and I hardly blame you for wanting to fight being labeled a stalker. I wouldn’t want to own that behavior either, but if any of us hope to heal and grow then we must be honest. Honesty is sometimes hard, and in situations such as this one it is also painful. Even more painful is the desire to make things right when one is unable to act upon that desire, but part of life is sometimes not being able to make right what we’ve done wrong. Bad things done cannot be undone. Those we’ve wronged may choose on their own to forgive us, and they may even choose to reach out to us to let us know if we’re extremely fortunate. However, forgiveness isn’t always forthcoming, and forcing oneself upon another even for what we are convinced is a noble reason (such as apologizing) only revisits trauma upon others. It compounds the wrong.

    Last week, you showed up on SCCL after having openly criticized SCCL—none too kindly and some would say unfairly—on your blog. You, of course, have every right to your views and to express them openly, but you seem unwilling to allow the objects of your criticism to defend themselves without crying persecution in your turn. You were full of recriminations from the start, and once you were predictably challenged by your erstwhile critics on that page things began to deteriorate quickly. Once you made the decision to assume a false identity (and please don’t bother to repeat denials since at one point “Bill Thornton” began to speak of Justin in the first person) in order to be able to argue with those whom you had previously agreed not to contact, the wheels had well and truly come off the metaphorical bus.

    These are things you simply must not permit yourself to do, Justin. It’s difficult by any measure to accept how badly things have gone for you, and after last week it cannot have become any easier. I urge you to listen to those around you when they advise you against these sorts of actions.

  335. John,

    First off I wanna thank you for at the least trying to speak as kindly as possible. I could see many earlier conversations having gone far better for the attempt on many people’s parts. I note Annie Dote’s last comment to me (via Bill) as well.

    That said, it feels a little too little too late. And since the allegations of stalker and creep and harasser are still continuing to be thrown at me come off a little disingenuous. Just tell me what you really think of me and be done with it.

    What you have referred to as stalking, well, what others have referred to as stalking and what you by your own admission expect me to refer to it as well (and I knew that even if you didn’t come out and say it which is why I said it hoping it’d get ya’ll off my back) was a misunderstanding. A mistake. A fluke of personality for me. It was not normal for me nor has it ever been. What I have tried to continue to say over and over is that at the time Shade Ardent unfriended me (to which she nor anyone has ever told me why) my reactions, while wrong and inexcusable, came from a moment of deep insecurity that I was experiencing at the time. My messages to her requesting explanation for the unfriending were regrettably handled wrongly on my part…and yet there were no threats, and no cussing that I remember, nothing that any reasonable person would consider threatening. Why do I know that? Because I have received such messages many times in my life (including from Stephanie Drury) and I never considered them harassing. A disrespect of my boundaries to be sure, and a swift blocking made those boundaries clear, but nothing that I would consider stalking or harassment. It is true that once I was blocked by Shade my curiousity continue to be piqued, and knowing her and knowing how deeply she’d been abused in her past I was truly freaked out that I had done or said something horrible. So I sought information from her friends, trying to figure out what had been done wrong on my part, or whether there was more to the story I did not know. I do not consider this stalking, as it was done out of concern. Guess what, Stephanie did the same thing to me as well in contacting my wife after I had blocked her to ask about me. This was done out of concern, and frustration, and I still do not consider it stalking nor harassment, but I do consider it once again continued disrespect of my boundaries and asking her to leave me alone. And that is what I did as well.

    You have called it inappropriate and I own that.

    I have never spoken of those actions with anything but regret, but to call them stalking and harassment is to make a situation deeply overblown out of proportion, and to disrespect deeply the many women and others who are truly stalked daily by Gamergaters, abusive ex husbands etc.

    The fact that I have never sought contact again with Shade since then continues to be proof as well.

    The poem i wrote about my feelings after the breakup of friendship is neither here nor there since it was never written to be seen by anyone. I regret that my friend informed Danica of it, and I wish Danica had kept its existence to herself. Shade need never have seen that poem.

    I have spent the last year trying to respect Shade’s not wanting me to speak of her or the situation as much as I can. Sometimes I have referred to it in regret, and telling people who are talking about boundaries as what not to do.

    This situation resurfaced after I was informed of the actions being spoken of (despite Shade not wanting them to) by Danica and Banannie here, and by Reuben to Julie and my friend Amy later in some secret group they were part of. So once again I set off to defend myself, as is my right, while trying to own as much of the fault as I can.

    I have lost many friends during these last couple weeks. I have had my own psyche undergo an incredible amount of stress. I have reacted wrongly in some ways, and I truly don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t seek reconciliation and I’m not sure I’d take it even if it was offered. I don’t trust people at SCCL anymore, and after my friend shared with me Shade’s words about me I don’t trust her either. She is telling some stuff about me that is simply not true. I don’t know whether she’s doing that on purpose or whether that’s the narrative she’s come to believe. Honestly I don’t care.

    I stayed away from SCCL, and felt perfectly fine with ya’ll continuing to believe whatever you wanted to believe about me. I knew the truth of my actions. That’s all I needed to know, but it was when you were turning Julie against me (something I’m thankful didn’t last as I am glad to be a supporter of hers and for her to be encouraged by my support), trying to turn people at Wartburg Watch against me, and turning friends who I’d come to really rely on against me in this recent thread that I began to feel as if I needed to speak for myself again…

    What has ensued is accusations of stalking again whenever I spoke up for myself, and warnings of legal repercussions. I continue to be blown away by the deep vitriol being spewed over a few wrongly chosen words uttered a whole year ago. And I have continued to be blown away by the fact that any time I came to SCCL to stand up for myself I was driven off with all manner of verbal abuse. If I had been Bill it would almost make sense as I would feel maybe people will listen to me if I used another voice other than my own.

    I don’t deny that Shade probably felt stalked. I don’t deny that she has ptsd from past experiences of abuse by her former churches and that my actions probably triggered that ptsd, and I truly regret that, as i did not realize the extent of them til too late. I will continue to deny that my actions were stalking though, or harassment, or being a creep or whatever. All I have ever done since is seek to speak for myself. i will not allow threats of legal repercussions dictate to me what I am allowed and not allowed to say in my defense.

    As for what will be done in the future, I am choosing to not go to SCCL anymore, and I am choosing to not engage with any comments about me there anymore. In any fashion.

    My post had nothing to do with my past and everything to do with confronting Rachel and Richard Beck on their thoughts about purity culture in progressive christianity. I had began to wonder if Rachel might have responded better if she had not experienced some of the more abusive feedback that often comes from SCCL (which I am not the only one that attests to that), and so I sought to write a post where I spoke of what I considered good (and harsh and needed) public critique, and what I considered public bullying. I could consider Stephanie’s having posted my blog post at her page just so I could once again undergo continued hatred from members of SCCL as once again violation of my asking her to leave me alone, but I will not.

    I am tired John, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t ask for ya’ll to change your opinions of me, and I doubt I can stop ya’ll from poisoning people against me, and honestly I don’t know if half of what I am saying is even coming out right or sounding like Tony Jones talking to Julie (some of it probably does) and I don’t wanna be that guy either. If it was just Shade going around saying I stalked her, and explaining why she felt that way, and people validating her feelings while understanding that calling those actions stalking when talking to others would be wrong and without context giving them a much worse idea of me than is true then I’d have never spoken up. Believe the victim, don’t gaslight, all that…I still believe it. Which is why I’m not even sure I should be defending myself. And I don’t see my situation as prescriptive in any way.

    What I really want is to just be left alone, and to move on from this…I’ve tried to move on. I had moved on for almost a whole year til it came back up again. I have never been accused of this by anyone else, and I’ve never messed up in the way I did with Shade with anyone else. That was a totally abnormal thing for me and I’d appreciate if that was acknowledged. I’d also appreciate if the allegation that I ingratiate myself with powerful women be ceased as well. This is the kinda stuff that I feel the need to defend myself against, thus repeating this cycle.

    I do not deserve this level of attack. I do not deserve the things said about me by Chris Rose, by Danica, by Annie, by you…

    I have done wrong, I own that. Please let that be enough and let me move on and try to move past guilt to changing my praxis, please stop holding actions I did a year ago over my head like burning coals. You don’t have to forgive me, or reconcile with me, but just…please…leave me alone.

  336. @ Justin Hanvey:
    Well you do sound like Tony Jones inasmuch as you keep trying to convince yourself and everyone else that Shade’s experience with you should be dismissed on account of her diagnosis of PTSD (per you, she has PTSD. I’d like to point out that you are the one who has now, if that’s true, just divulged someone’s private mental health information. Someone who has asked you to leave them alone.)

    So let me be an ableist too and help you out, I do not have PTSD. Or any other mental health diagnosis. I was there, I watched what went down. I am watching what you are still doing. I agree 100% with Shade’s characterization of your behavior.

    Go re-read John’s posts, follow his advice.

  337. I continue to be amazed at how easily people deploy the insinuations about mental health of their opponent when they want to skew a narrative to be favorable their side.

  338. As someone who has bern stalked and who has seen some of the things that the stalker wrote in an attempt to dismiss his own behavior and discredit me, all i can say is that i believe Shade was indeed stalked. It is a frightening experience and i will not play along with anyone’s attempt to explain it away.

    I have not read/posted much at SCCL for the past 4+ years, but i used to be a regular and am aware that there have bern some extremely tense situations, where women who post there said they were being stalked or otherwise harassed.

    Until a person has been on the receiving end of it, ig is hard to understand how devadtating it can be.

  339. Then I really need someone to define stalking to me.

    Person A unfriends person B, person B proceeds to message Person A asking Person A why they unfriended. Person A says they wish to not speak anymore, and to leave them alone. Person B proceeds to (wrongly) freak out a bit, trying to understand what went wrong, and yet never threatens Person A, or anything. Person A blocks Person B. Person B then in concern and worry over Person A, as well as a little frustrated with being ignored tries to talk to Person A’s friends, to see if they have talked to Person A and found out what is going on.

    When these friends do not or cannot answer Person B’s questions he finally lets it go, especially since they have proceeded to frame him as a stalker, and he does not wish to be seen as such. For a year almost he does not contact anyone. And he never attempts contact with Person A again, directly or indirectly (which would have to be done to merit the accusation of stalking).

    If contacting someone when they have unfriended you, and contacting their friends after they have blocked you, and ceasing after those friends have asked you to cease is stalking then Stephanie Drury stalked me. Hell, many people have stalked me if that is true. You’re using the most asinine definition of stalking I have ever seen. The only way such an asinine definition even makes sense is if someone who is easily triggered by conflict felt cornered by me pushing for an answer to why the unfriending and I have continually apologized for that.

    The knowledge of Shade’s ptsd and triggers is public knowledge, she has spoken of it many times on SCCL, and in her blog.

  340. *continually apologized and expressed deep regret for, as I did not realize the extent to which my actions had affected til long after the blocking and getting a phone call from a friend of hers. I have tried to respect the boundary since then, and have done so for over a year. In fact I’ve never stopped respecting it, and have only spoken of what happened in public when others began making it public. And that only to contest the word stalking, not to contest saying that my actions were inappropriate, hurtful, and wrong, and I have said over and over how truly sorry for them I am. I would like to now take that guilt and move on, remembering this as a lesson in how not to treat people, and I have for the most part I believe been learning that lesson and have not reacted in the way I did with Shade with anyone else since. So really, continuing to argue over this word is to me a completely absurd argument since every act I have owned, apologized for, etc. adds up your weird definition of stalking, and while I will not own that word, I have and always will own the actions themselves as wrong and hurtful and I have tried to learn and grow from them.

  341. Justin Hanvey. If you were truly sorry you would stop casting salt on wounds you made. But you just keep talking on and on, so I think you are not truly sorry. You are only needing more attention to yourself or your image and not those you have hurt.

    If you truly regret pain done, you only must stop. But I think you will not stop. I think your unapologetic words words words show only that you are more important than any one’s pain, no matter what.

    (I am sorry to continue this distraction that this person has made.)

  342. Yevska wrote:

    (I am sorry to continue this distraction that this person has made.)

    This goes for me as well. I would hate to see this whole mess continuing over here, where it is not relevant and where it is, at best, a distraction from the posts and comments on the posts.

    It really upsets me when people try to restart personal conflicts from other forums and online communities on website that have nothing to do with the people in question, let alone the conflicts. It is also innately disrespectful to the owners of this site, and all of the commenters. (Note: this is for JH, not the others who, like me, have weighed in on his recent comments here. That said, I am out, because I don’t want to encourage this to continue…)

  343. Hey folks as I have continually said I did not bring the conversation over to here. It was started by members of SCCL and I came in to speak on my behalf. I have no wish to distract from any ongoing discussions and I have no desire to run salt on wounds. You just cannot go around calling someone a stalker willy nilly tho. Dee has told me I am allowed to tell my story here and I am thankful to her for allowing me this.

  344. Justin
    So glad you get to tell your story on Wartburg Watch. Looking forward to reading it. Sorry that people will not accept your apology. At times I see group think happening. One person says something and everyone jumps on board. Critical thinking is lacking and shaming people is popular. When responding to what a person has written it needs to be on what the person has said not on attacking or shaming the personhood. Wishing you all the best.

  345. Justin Hanvey. You came out of the sky and posted about another place. You did. No one else.

    I knew you would not stop.

    numo. You are right. This, I should have ignored. I will do so from now on regarding this topic.

  346. @ Margaret:
    You are assuming a lack of critical thinking and a popular enjoyment of shaming. In fact, you are witnessing informed discernment.

  347. Have you listened to Monica Lewinsky on Ted Talks? One quote

    Lewinsky asks that every person become an “upstander” instead of a bystander when it comes to public humiliation. “I’ve seen some very dark days in my life. It was empathy and compassion from friends, family, coworkers, even strangers that saved me. Empathy from one person can make a difference,” she says. “Compassionate comments help abate the negativity.”

    “The Internet is the superhighway for the id,” she says, “but online showing empathy to others benefits us all … Just imagine walking a mile in someone else’s headline.”

  348. @ Margaret: Actually I really appreciated Lewinsky’s Ted talk and the articles I read discussing it.

    I don’t believe it applies to this situation. I haven’t said anything insulting or mocking of JH, and I have primarily commented on his actions both past and present.

    Can you describe what you think would be an appropriate response, online, to someone one believes is neither sincere nor safe?

  349. What can Justin do that would help you to begin to trust him again. Do you need him to apologize again? Not sure how this could be made acceptable.

  350. Yevska wrote:

    Justin Hanvey. You came out of the sky and posted about another place. You did. No one else.

    I knew you would not stop.

    numo. You are right. This, I should have ignored. I will do so from now on regarding this topic.

    I’m sorry but you have apparently missed a whole bunch in this thread. I was not the first to post of myself or the issues I have with SCCL here.

  351. Banannie wrote:

    @ Margaret: Actually I really appreciated Lewinsky’s Ted talk and the articles I read discussing it.

    I don’t believe it applies to this situation. I haven’t said anything insulting or mocking of JH, and I have primarily commented on his actions both past and present.

    Can you describe what you think would be an appropriate response, online, to someone one believes is neither sincere nor safe?

    you have been unmoving here I will give you that but you and Chris Rose and Danica and others have been nothing but mocking of me before at SCCL. Your words have often been incredibly verbally abusive.

    I have apologized over and over. I don’t know what else I can do? I have stayed away from SCCL and have never tried to contact Shade since she blocked me. When y’all start talking about me, usually very mockingly. I start defending myself and y’all tell me I’m stalking by doing that.

    Maybe I’m just making it worse but I really don’t enjoy that SCCL seems bent on making every person they come across believe I am a stalker and harass women and usually say this without any context of what happened so that people will likely form the worst impression like I tried to doxx people and made rape or death threats or something. It’s incredibly disrespectful to the many people who have been attacked and stalked online given death and rape threats and endured all manner of abuse. To equate what I did with them just seems to me unethical in the extreme.

    Now what I did was hurtful and wrong and whatever state of mind I was in or Shade was in does not excuse me at all.

    What I think ya’llat SCCL want is free rein to speak as abusively, mockingly, disparagingly, etc. of me as you want to anyone and everyone who will listen and silence me from any self defense by characterizing anything I say as continued stalking behavior.

    And I’m beginning to think there is nothing I can do about that

  352. @ Margaret:
    Oh. I see. Answering my question with an unrelated question.

    This is not something that I have any interest in. I have truly said everything I have to say on the subject, and I think my views and concerns have been made abundantly clear, and I do not see a value in rehashing that again.

    I was curious if you had a suggestion for following Miss Lewinsky’s admonitions while dealing with someone you believe to be unsafe.

  353. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Now what I did was hurtful and wrong and whatever state of mind I was in or Shade was in does not excuse me at all.

    Jusin Hanvey knows “what [he] did was hurtful” but will not stop telling us he willfully hurt others. More and more this make my heart sick. He is actively continuing or attempting to continue to harm. Why does one who knows this, not stop this? Ego? Sickness? Because only his feelings of wrong is important no matter what?

  354. Yevska wrote:

    Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Now what I did was hurtful and wrong and whatever state of mind I was in or Shade was in does not excuse me at all.

    Jusin Hanvey knows “what [he] did was hurtful” but will not stop telling us he willfully hurt others. More and more this make my heart sick. He is actively continuing or attempting to continue to harm. Why does one who knows this, not stop this? Ego? Sickness? Because only his feelings of wrong is important no matter what?

    Willfully is absolutely not true. And this is why I continue to speak here. I am trying to own my wrongs while pointing out that how I am being portrayed is wrong.

    I have never tried to harm anyone. I deeply regret that I inadvertently did and I should have known better and made better choices at the time.

  355. Margaret wrote:

    Justin
    So glad you get to tell your story on Wartburg Watch. Looking forward to reading it. Sorry that people will not accept your apology. At times I see group think happening. One person says something and everyone jumps on board. Critical thinking is lacking and shaming people is popular. When responding to what a person has written it needs to be on what the person has said not on attacking or shaming the personhood. Wishing you all the best.

    just wanted to say thanks for your comment and encouragement. I will post up some official statement or whatever tomorrow. Most of it has already been said but not all.

  356. Justin Hanvey wrote:Yevska wrote:

    Justin Hanvey wrote:
    Now what I did was hurtful and wrong and whatever state of mind I was in or Shade was in does not excuse me at all.

    Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Margaret wrote:
    Justin
    So glad you get to tell your story on Wartburg Watch. Looking forward to reading it. Sorry that people will not accept your apology. At times I see group think happening. One person says something and everyone jumps on board. Critical thinking is lacking and shaming people is popular. When responding to what a person has written it needs to be on what the person has said not on attacking or shaming the personhood. Wishing you all the best.

    just wanted to say thanks for your comment and encouragement. I will post up some official statement or whatever tomorrow. Most of it has already been said but not all.

    Justin Hanvey wrote:

    Yevska wrote:
    Justin Hanvey wrote:
    Now what I did was hurtful and wrong and whatever state of mind I was in or Shade was in does not excuse me at all.
    Jusin Hanvey knows “what [he] did was hurtful” but will not stop telling us he willfully hurt others. More and more this make my heart sick. He is actively continuing or attempting to continue to harm. Why does one who knows this, not stop this? Ego? Sickness? Because only his feelings of wrong is important no matter what?

    Willfully is absolutely not true. And this is why I continue to speak here. I am trying to own my wrongs while pointing out that how I am being portrayed is wrong.
    I have never tried to harm anyone. I deeply regret that I inadvertently did and I should have known better and made better choices at the time.

    Justin Havney says he was hurtful, and yet does not acknowledge his own words that what he did was hurtful and will not stop reminding his victim of his harmful words or actions. How can this be both?

  357. Banannie wrote:

    @ Margaret:
    Oh. I see. Answering my question with an unrelated question.
    This is not something that I have any interest in. I have truly said everything I have to say on the subject, and I think my views and concerns have been made abundantly clear, and I do not see a value in rehashing that again.
    I was curious if you had a suggestion for following Miss Lewinsky’s admonitions while dealing with someone you believe to be unsafe.

    With Monica Lewinsky I laughed at all the jokes made about her. I formed opinions about her based on media and popular beliefs about who she was. Her story spoke to me because I realized I had never thought how the media had impacted her life. Now I realize there is a place for empathy, there is a need to listen to how people are hurt and abused when vilified on the Internet and social media.
    I didn’t respond to your question because I don’t know all the details about what Justin did. I only know what has been written on this thread. You also chose not to answer my question. Is there anything that Justin could do that would make you believe he is no longer an unsafe person?

  358. Justin Havney has more words words words. And Margaret continues this distraction and admitted stalker. Why? Remember when this was about a wronged wife and mother and not Justin Hanvey? I do. So very sad, this posturing ego.

  359. To everyone who is concerned about Justin Hanvey

    I am glad that Justin came to TWW. There are some people within this community that can talk to the concerns behind the scenes. I have put Justin in touch with these folks and believe that the discussion will be helpful.

    I have been informed of the previous situation by some folks from SCCL and I am grateful for the communication.

    We do not believe in deleting comments unless they become way out of line. The Deebs get to decide what that means. What I would ask of everyone is this. Please allow some time for stuff going on behind the scenes. As most readers know, we are strong supporters of all victims and go out on the limb for them frequently. That hasn’t changed.

  360. @ numo:

    I think it is good that Justin came over here. We have a unique resource to help him behind the scenes. People have now been put in touch with one another.

  361. @ Margaret:
    I apologize for being unclear. Creating trust with JH is something I have no interest in or need for. I will offer a caution, based on my experiences and observations, to anyone I think may be at risk- especially someone I care about. Being grownups, they are then free to make their own decisions based on their own experience, and I certainly won’t hold their different view against them.

    I think the bigger question of having compassion for people, even people I believe to be unsafe, an interesting one. I think it can be discussed without reference to JH.

  362. @ Yevska:
    The person I non willfully, and unintentionally hurt is not here. That I know of. I have not tried to contact them at any point in time since they blocked me over a year ago. This is about vindicating myself of the accusation of stalker and harasser. i believe such is a false accusation.

  363. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    I’m gonna hold off on any statement til I talk to “unique resource”

    I believe this person is truly in a great position to help you. I truly believe it is the providence of God that brought you here so that you could talk with said person.

  364. I’ve been thinking about this, my defensiveness in this matter, and something just has not been sitting well with me this whole time. Well, maybe not this whole time, but more and more as I’ve said more and more defensive stuff.

    Women like Julie McMahon and Shade, they’ve been systematically silenced by the church that was supposed to be there for them. In Julie’s case, Tony Jones has been the linchpin of silencing that is surrounded by his friends, and cohorts doing it to her. In Shade’s case it was IFB and I guess now…me.

    Whether I intended to make Shade feel stalked or harassed doesn’t matter. She felt stalked and harassed. My defensiveness has felt to me more and more Tony-like. I look at it and I feel just a bit disappointed in me. This isn’t some job thing where I could lose a job, this is accusations of cyberstalking that means I lose a few friends (that maybe I wouldn’t have lost if I hadn’t been so defensive).

    And I think about all the women in the world who feel silenced by men in their lives. I don’t wanna be that guy. I am being that guy lately though. And it’s really shitty of me.

    Shade deserves the voice she has, and she deserves to have her experience of what happened between me and her heard, even if it means I come off looking bad. I can live with that. What I did was wrong…and while I’ve learned from it and moved on doesn’t make it any less wrong.

    But more than that I want to set a precedent, I want to be a guy that puts women and their experience above himself and his defensiveness. There are too many Julies in the world, too many Shades. I don’t want to perpetuate that, and maybe my example of backing down here and letting her experience be the dominant story will inspire other men to not be silencers too.

    I am sorry.

    I guess you can consider this my official statement. The rest of the story doesn’t really matter. I am sorry for taking up the time of people here who were doing more important things. And I’m not saying men don’t sometimes get falsely accused. I’m just saying that I don’t feel right being defensive and asserting my experience over Shade’s about this particular situation anymore. It was kinda messed up of me to do so. I am going to step down now. Thanks again Dee for putting me in touch with your friend, and I hope he can help me on the dealing with my personal feelings end.

    Alright, that’s all.

  365. Justin Hanvey wrote:

    The rest of the story doesn’t really matter. I am sorry for taking up the time of people here who were doing more important things

    Justin
    Believe it or not, your coming here was an important thing. Thank you for this comment. Please know that I will be praying for you.

  366. Yes. This appearance by this Justin Hanvey was very telling. If thou will pray for him, I will pray for all those his sad life touches.