The Village Church/Matt Chandler: The Problems With Membership Contracts

It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract. Alan Shepard link

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

(I apologize for the formatting-things are acting a bit wonky today.)

I want to thank The Guy Behind the Curtain and his dear wife for attending the service yesterday at The Village Church and for their insightful report of the sermon. I also want to thank Amy Smith and the volunteers of SNAP for never, ever letting us forget the abuse victims.

Today, I want to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart and that is the potential abuses of membership covenants. We are amongst the few blogs that actually laser focus on the panoply of issues of surrounding these documents. I will be referring to a number of posts that we have written that give background to the statements that I am going to make about the application of church discipline vis a vis these agreements. 

For the purposes of making my points, I am going to assume that Matt Chandler meant what he said in yesterday's sermon. Let me sum it up like this. He said that he stands by the doctrine but is remorseful for how the pain of the victims was overlooked. That belief will present a Catch 22 for both the leadership and the contractual membership.

Membership covenants are primarily legal protection of the church. 

Takeaway point: These covenants were not invented as a "let's join hands and pray for one another and sing kumbaya" agreement. They were developed to protect the church, first and foremost from lawsuits.  Once you sign one, you are obligated until you resign or, better yet, revoke the contract.

On 10/24, I wrote a post on covenants. Proof That It’s Not a Membership Covenant™ But a Legally Binding Document. The following is an excerpt from that post.

Peacemakers admits they are using legal methods to prevent the church from getting sued.

Corollary: They are not protecting the individual church members, merely the entity known as the church. Once again: they are protecting the organization, not you.

So even if you are part of the church, you are not what is being protected by these covenants. If you, church member, have a horrible experience at the hands of church leaders, you will find an organization which has protected itself against you. You are the bad guy, the one to be afraid of. Make sure you understand that. 

Using Christian Conciliation Clauses was written by The Institute of Christian Conciliation(ICC) which is a division of, and this should not surprise our readers, Peacemaker Ministries which is headed by Attorney Ken Sande.[ed. note: Ken Sande retired in 2012 after 30 years at the helm.] Recommendation: whenever anyone brings up Peacemaker Ministries and Ken Sande, always call him Atty. Sande.  It gives perspective. Look what they want churches to put in their membership agreement.

One of the best ways to make sure that a conflict is resolved constructively is to include a conciliation clause in any contract you sign. These clauses are legally enforceable and require that any dispute related to the contract be resolved through biblically-based mediation or arbitration rather than through litigation.Using these clauses may help you to avoid the stress and expense of the secular legal system. 

They then put in the expected niceties, obviously overlooking the fact that many church leaders are committed to peace and justice until they are confronted by serious conflict, often brought on by the leadership themselves.  Mars Hill, ironically, suggested Peacemaker materials in the past. 

Conciliation clauses should be used by those who are truly committed to biblical principles of peace, justice, and reconciliation, and who place a high priority on honoring God and preserving relationships even in the midst of conflict.

Here is a suggested clause written by ICC which should be part of membership contracts.

Any claim or dispute arising from or related to this agreement shall be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker® Ministries (complete text of the Rules is available at www.Peacemaker.net). Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. The parties understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.

Apparently, the ICC believes these clauses are now in widespread use.

These clauses are being used throughout the country by a wide variety of churches, businesses, ministries, and schools.

Here is ICC's summation:

  • Conciliation clauses have been used successfully for many years.
  • Conciliation clauses can save you a great deal of time, money, and energy.
  • Conciliation clauses are legally enforceable.

Listen to the language ICC uses in this comment. Would you feel comfortable signing this, knowing that they are going to go after you legally if you change your mind? 

This sort of clause is legally enforceable.

Here is an example of a Court that upheld this clause

The enforceability of this clause was recently tested and upheld in Encore Productions, Inc. v. PromiseKeepers, 53 F. Supp. 2nd 1101 (D. Colorado, 1999), where the Court acknowledged that people of faith are free to make contractual agreements to resolve conflicts in a manner consistent with their common faith convictions. 

Even more chilling for the average Joe church attendee is this statement found in the above link.

Faith-based preventive law practices are growing more prevalent in the United States and abroad. 

Folks you are up against a legal machine designed to protect;church organizations from lawsuits. They are not designed to protect you from being hurt by the church. Remember, you are not considered part of the church when you bring action against your church. I am sure that some of you are thinking "This couldn't happen to me. I would never want to sue my church." Are you really sure? 

Continue reading in that post to see  example of a litigated court case. Here is another post I wrote on the subject. Membership Covenants Are Primarily Legal Protection for the Church. In the same article, Atty Sande discusses an ironclad defense for the church.

 If you can show your people know what your church's disciplinary practices are, and that they have consented to them, that is a virtually ironclad defense against lawsuits.

You can achieve informed consent in a few ways. First, maintaining an attendance for the membership class so you can prove who has received the teaching. Second, a higher level of proof is to have new members stand before the church and actually verbalize membership vows and commitments. A third level, which gives you the best protection, is a signed membership covenant.

You are signing a legal document.

When you sign a membership covenant, you are signing a legal document. Ask yourself if you were told that this is the case. If you were not told this, ask why you weren't. In every other venue outside of a church, you would most likely get legal advice before signing a contract. Why would you not do the same for a church contract?

Remember, everyone, including pastors and church leaders are sinners which means they can sin as Matt Chandler admitted yesterday.  Why shouldn't you have the same amount of legal protection that your pastors and leaders enjoy? From this point forward, to drive home the point, I will refer to a membership covenant as a membership contract and covenant members as contractually obligated members.

New initiatives are making church contracts even more stringent for members (not pastors)

In May, I wrote Churches Attempting to Force Mediation and Limit Members’ Right to Resign Under Discipline™.  I call this the Hotel California approach to church membership. "You can check in anytime you want, but you can never leave." Church leaders and the lawyers that defend them have come to the conclusion that members can leave a church whenever they wish according to the Law. In fact, the mistake that TVC made was that Karen resigned her membership and asked not to be harassed prior to being placed under discipline. The continued contact by the church was legally troubling and they knew it. 

So, savvy pastors and lawyers are adding more clauses onto membership contracts to enforce mediation. Not only that, they are making the proceedings confidential so that you, lowly church member, will never, ever be able to tell anyone what happened. Please read the above post for details. Here is an excerpt.

Members of the church agree to submit any legal dispute with the church for mediation before a mutually agreed-upon mediator, or if none can be agreed upon, one selected by Peacemaker Ministries. Lawsuits between believers, or threats of lawsuits between believers, are a matter of grave concern for the church, are contrary to biblical and church teaching, and mediation is an effort to resolve disputes in a biblical fashion. (1 Cor 6: 1-7.)

Mediation will be governed by the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC Rules), unless modified as stipulated by the parties. http://www.peacemaker.net/site/c.nuIWL7MOJtE/b.5335917/k.D8A2/Rules_of_Procedure.htm to access the ICC Rules.)

In particular, subject to the more detailed provisions of the ICC Rules, mediator(s) will attempt to assist us in reaching a voluntary settlement of any disputes through mediation.

The confidentiality of the mediation process will be protected and these matters will not be discussed with people who do not have a necessary interest in them. If settlement can be agreed upon, the conciliators may, at their discretion, issue an advisory opinion. Neither the opinion, nor any communications exchanged in the mediation process, will be admissible for any purpose in any subsequent legal proceeding. 

 Warning: Keep your eyes peeled for new initiative in your membership contract in which they want you to initial certain sections, etc. These special sections are there to tighten up your inability to leave or to even talk about an abusive situation. Remember, this is not to protect you whatsoever.

Church discipline can be unfair to the contractually obligated church member

However, you trust your church, right? They would never, ever discipline anything that wasn't supposed to be disciplined. Are you sure about that? Let's take a look at an actual example of what would be a righteous application of church discipline. (1Cor 5:1,2,11)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud!  (NIV_Bible Gateway)

…1 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. 

It is important to understand the heinous nature of this situation. Not only was incest going on but the church was proud of it. In other words, this sin was affecting the whole church. Look at the other sin discussed- drunkenness, swindlers, idolater. These sins are over the top and can destroy a church.

How many churches do you know that have allowed people in the church to pitch multi level or insurance marketing schemes only to see many people lose enormous amounts of money? Idolatry means the worship of another god and that was the recurring sin of Israel in the Old Testament

It also mentions the word slanderer. Pastors loooooove to scream slander from the pulpit when someone criticizes something going on in the church or with a pastor/leader. That is NOT what the word means. Slander means to lie deliberately lie in order to cause harm to another person's reputation. I wrote a post about this: Slander or an Inconvenient Truth. This is important as I come to another main point.

However, did you know that in today's churches, discipline is not applied to these over the top issues? In fact, The Village Church lists the following areas in which contractual members might be disciplined.

Church discipline is a necessary mark of a healthy church and shall be applied in cases of sexual misconduct, gossip, divisiveness, dishonesty, and various other expressions of sin. In accordance with the biblical pattern generally outlined in Matthew 18:15-17, a person who evidences such sin will be confronted in an initial one-on-one meeting, followed by escalating engagement by ministerial and pastoral staff and Campus Elders. 

Read that carefully. Who gets to define gossip? I bet pastors gossip as much as the congregation. Divisiveness? Really? Who is divisive and who gets to define it? And of course, whatever they can't fit into those categories can get dumped into "various other expressions of sin." What? Anything? Is this what Paul really meant?

We have written story after story of abusive church discipline. The problem with this system is that you do not know, a priori, what they will or will not discipline. We wrote a post Church Discipline Is Ill-Defined/ The Wounded Warriors in which proposed a scenario.

Imagine that you have decided to vacation in the mythical country of Dominia. You have rented a car and, as you begin to travel on the bumpy highway, you see a sign which states:

All Traffic Laws Enforced

Coming from the United States, you assume they mean things like speeding, failure to yield, etc. In fact, you are somewhat relieved because you visited Russia link and were appalled at the lax enforcement of traffic rules. Suddenly, up ahead, you see a downed tree, which is blocking the road. So, checking for oncoming traffic, you cross the yellow line and maneuver around it. In your rearview mirror, you see two police cars rapidly approaching and find yourself being pulled over. They claim you have broken the law by crossing the yellow line and will not listen to your explanation. You are cuffed and brought before the judge who pronounces a sentence of 6 months in jail.

You protest and they show you a book of traffic rules which includes a rule to not cross the yellow line. There are no exceptions. You ask to see what the recommended punishment is for such a violation and they say they have no such book. They decide on a case by case basis. Basically, you are hosed.

You made a big mistake. You assumed that you knew what they meant by "traffic rules." You assumed that they had laws that would be understandable and reasonable. You assumed that they would be like the United States, following legal precedent, etc.

Take Away Point: You are giving a group of men the permission to discipline you for anything that they determine is a sin. They also get to decide your punishment. You have no rights to decide whether or not their decision is fair or unfair. You assignment is to obey or be punished. 

The plurality of elders is not a guarantee of fairness

Years ago, my husband and I approached a pastor with a concern about a secondary issue that was being forced on all the members. It was not something that had been defined in the membership beliefs, bylaws, etc. He said he would continue to push it. When we asked if his elders all agreed, he said "The elders exist to serve me. They have only disagreed with me 2 times in 28 years."

Think about this. It has been my experience that elder boards, in general, support the pastor or they would not have become elders in the first place.

Bylaws of TVC regarding elders link

How are elders and deacons selected at TVC? They are appointed by the current elders. Although the congregation can suggest names, they cannot vote on them. There is little chance that an outsider with different ideas will be appointed. They are self perpetuating group of guys who may not have any diversity of opinion. And remember, all of them signed off on the contract.

11.1.5 Selection and Term of Office

The Central Elders shall have the sole authority to appoint new Central Elders. A man shall be appointed as a Central Elder by a passing vote of the Central Elder body (as defined in §11.1.8 below) after he has been tested and proven to meet the qualifications stated in §11.1.3 above.

The Central Elders may appoint a committee or group to vet Elder candidates.

 The Central Elders shall have the sole authority to appoint Campus Elders.The Campus Elders shall have the sole authority to appoint Deacons. The Campus Elders shall communicate prospective Deacons to the Church or a subset thereof no less than twenty-one (21) days prior to a Campus Elder vote. Comments received from the Church will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Confirmation of Deacons will be at the final discretion of the Campus Elders and requires a passing vote. Take Away Point: The system is set up that the current elders can be sure that they get someone who will carry on their agenda. There is little chance that anyone who could shake up the system could be appointed.

More TWW posts on covenants and discipline

We have written many more. Just put the words into our search engine. You'll be up all weekend.

The Catch 22 for TVC and Matt Chandler

It seemed apparent to me that Matt Chandler and the leaders believed that they were doctrinally correct in their perspectives on what needed to be disciplined. It is highly likely that their bylaws and discipline standards may not change. Instead, they will try to be more loving and responsive in recognizing the victims. But what will that look like as it is applied?  Would they still put Karen under discipline but smile more and give her a Starbucks gift card?  I am not being sarcastic. I believe they have a problem.

Perhaps we will need to wait until they make changes in their membership contract. However, the change in the contract affords a potential out for those who wish to remove themselves from the contract.

How to resign from your church membership.
We wrote about this topic a few years ago. It is wise to resign when you are not under discipline but they can apply it retroactively like in Karen's case. However, I do not believe any court in the land would uphold an addition to a contract that was not spelled out beforehand. In other words, if you are currently flying under the radar and want out, do it now. The second possible time for resignation would be when they present a new contract. Just do not sign it.
How to Resign

Three years ago, I spoke with a nationally well-known attorney who informed me that the only power that churches have is the ability to throw members out of the church. They can do that with very little recrimination. But, they could have some legal trouble announcing a member's supposed "sins" to the full church if said member employs the following procedure. What we are about to discuss has been “run by” legal experts. However, TWW states categorically that this should not be taken to mean it is an official legal position. Please seek advice of an attorney for an authorized opinion.

The Steps:

  • Resign your church membership prior to the all-church announcement. Better yet, before harsh discipline is applied.
  • Keep your lips sealed.
  • Do not tell anyone that you are going to take the following action. You do not want Sally Sycophant  (we all know a few of these) to run to the pastors and report this, giving them an opportunity quickly schedule the all church gossip session.

The Letter: 

We give special thanks to Arce, who knows a thing or two, for sending this format to TWW

  • Send the following letter, return receipt requested (and tracking, in case the Post Office lets them have it without returning the card).
  •  Put the return receipt number on the heading of the letter (you can get the form with the number at the PO, before typing the letter).

Date

To the pastors and administrators at ____________ church.

This letter is notice that I am not longer a member [attendee] at _______________ church, effective with the date of this letter.
As a non-member, I am no longer subject to any of your discipline as of (date on letter). After (date on letter), any publication, notice, or speaking about me by any church staff or recognized church leader is no longer authorized by me.
Any negative remark or statement about me, any encouragement that people shun me, or any action other than deleting me from your records will be evaluated for possible legal action for libel or other tort claim against the individuals involved and the organization.
If any one asks about me, refer them to me, any other action may result in a tort claim against you.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. You must desist from any act that may harm my reputation or me or come between me and other persons of my acquaintance. Legal action may ensue.
Sincerely,
____________

  • You must mail the letter on the date on the letter and they will not receive it for a couple of days thereafter.
  • Keep a copy, print out the tracking showing when it was delivered, keep the green card or, if it is refused, the returned letter (they are legally responsible for the content if they refuse it).
  • Document any response or any failure to comply. If they (leadership or staff) call, listen but do not talk, except to say “I disagree” if they make a false statement about you. 
  • Document the conversation. 
  • Go to an attorney if they proceed to trash your reputation or that of your business. 
  • ​Do not respond by trashing the organization

On Wednesday, We plan to look at the Acts 29 network in light of this example of church discipline from the Acts 29 mother-ship aka The Village Church. We have also receive another story from the main campus of TVC and plan to post it in the near future. However, your pastor already warned you these stories were coming. 

Suggestion to leaders: Instead of waiting for those hurt and abused to come to you, why don't you go to those who they have let down? Didn't Jesus talk about running after one lost sheep? 

Comments

The Village Church/Matt Chandler: The Problems With Membership Contracts — 470 Comments

  1. RE: “Peacemaker Ministries which is headed by Attorney Ken Sande.”

    If I recall correctly, Ken Sande resigned or retired several years ago from leading Peacemakers, and also is no longer on their Board. Shouldn’t this sentence be in the past tense? Or, you could instead name the current leader of the organization?

  2. “Corollary: They are not protecting the individual church members, merely the entity known as the church. Once again: they are protecting the organization, not you. ”

    This certainly explains why no individual either took responsibility for any wrong-doing, or repented of any specific sin, or even signed his name; rather it was the organization that was apologizing apart from human involvement.

    Also, in listening to Chandler’s “apology” yesterday, I noticed that in his introduction 1 Peter 5:2-3

    2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

    (1) he reworded “oversight” or “shepherding” into “governing”. That is an important point about his interpretation of the nature of the “church”; and

    (2) he emphasized “not by constraint” and “not lording” but deemphasized the words “not for gain” (or as in the KJV here “filthy lucre” so quickly you didn’t pay attention to them. Again, this shows you what he thinks is important: GOVERNING is essential, and financial; “gain” is now fine for the sub-shepherds.

    And again, this takes us back to the root of the problem with TVC that only actually produces the Covenant and the abuses: personal pride, and lust for power and wealth.

  3. Twelve years ago my family was involved in a church plant, and each of us signed a membership covenant (which I had never heard of before). At the time we thought it was a fine idea. The charter members were committing to one another to function harmoniously as Christ's body should.

    During the following year the elders were conspiring behind closed doors how to get rid of the senior pastor. The congregation became divided with some members supporting the pastor and others siding with the elders. On May 1, 2005, my pastor delivered his final sermon, and my family submitted our resignation letter.

    Since launching TWW, Dee and I have learned A LOT about membership covenants. I have made a promise to myself that I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again join a church that requires its members to sign a membership convenant/contract.

  4. @ Deb:
    I don’t think it started with Rick Warren, but he certainly made is go mainstream. One pastor I talked to had no idea of the consequences and just thought it was a fresh and popular idea.

  5. Church discipline is a necessary mark of a healthy church and shall be applied in cases of sexual misconduct, gossip, divisiveness,

    Definition: When a pastor comes in and runs over people and half the congregation leaves, that is not divisiveness, that is leadership!

  6. Deb wrote:

    During the following year the elders were conspiring behind closed doors how to get rid of the senior pastor. The congregation became divided with some members supporting the pastor and others siding with the elders. On May 1, 2005, my pastor delivered his final sermon, and my family submitted our resignation letter.

    Since launching TWW, Dee and I have learned A LOT about membership covenants. I have made a promise to myself that I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again join a church that requires its members to sign a membership convenant/contract.

    I was naive on the subject earlier but luckily this had not been an option so I’ve never signed one. Was the signed contract misused at your former church that you are speaking of?

  7. One of many excellent points by Gram3 on the last post was that these guys don’t realize how liberal they are, just liberal in a different way. Once I asked a pastor from my conservative Presbyterian church how the PCUSA came to be so liberal. He said it was because they put their documents above the Bible. HMMMM

  8. I have a hope, or call it a wish, that the “doctrine” Chandler says they do not think is wrong is not their divorce doctrine. My hope is that they do not HAVE a doctrine for dealing with marriage to a pedophile, and they are still trying to figure that out. If that were the case, then they could be in error demanding Karen to “slow down” without being in doctrinal error.

    Without then actually saying what their doctrine on marriage to a pedoohile is, it’s only conjecture to say their doctrinal location is that divorce/anullment is not allowed.

    I think it’s likely that’s their stance, but I’m not certain.

  9. I need some help understanding all this stuff. I’m a “traditional” (Moderate) Southern Baptist . My father and grandfather were Southern Baptist preachers. I’ve been Southern Baptist for 60 of my 67 years. Who would even go to a church where the preacher thought Acts had 29 chapters? What is an “elder”? We have a pastor that “pastors ” and deacons that “deac”( I mean actually vote). My “traditional church” gives 12% to the Cooperative Program so the mega churches won’t have to bother. We send our Missionaries through the IMB, not SIM. ( no disrespect meant toward SIM). We have regular old members. I’m still unclear about Covenant Members. Is that like a VIP Membership? I guess they pay extra so the staff can live better. If a preacher preaches on Sarurday night and then video feeds it to 5 campuses on Sunday, doesn’t that make him a regular old TV Evangelist? Why are “The Village People” even considered Baptist? Didn’t they drop Baptist because they were embarrassed by it? TVC doesn’t sound like any church I’d want to be a part of. If I had heard the first 30 seconds of that so called apology on Sunday, I would have been looking for the parking lot to go visit another church. Commenters please tutor me on this “foreign” church stuff. And thank you Deebs for keeping the “light ” on. You put in a lot of time and I appreciate it.

  10. Bill M wrote:

    Was the signed contract misused at your former church that you are speaking of?

    We were members there for less than two years. I don't know what has happened since then because we got out and never looked back.

  11. @ Doc in Fairhope:

    Thanks for coming here and commenting. I know there are some wonderful “moderate” Southern Baptists out there. I’d love take some cracks at this.

    Who would even go to a church where the preacher thought Acts had 29 chapters?

    Who would go a to a church that believes an angel revealed to Joseph Smith in 1827 the missing part of the Bible that would teach him how to bring back the real New Testament church? It’s seems like a cute name, but then you think about just how heretical and antithetical to the Reformation the notion is.

    My theory is that those churches are made up three kinds of people:

    1. People who are drawn in by the claims of spiritual elitism;
    2. People who are drawn in by the cool and youthful image, and these churches are absolutely looking for young people not wise to the ways of the world;
    3. People who understand all the stuff posted on this site and are thrilled to be the hammer on all the nails of the people who have destroyed the church by not being as good of Christians as they are.

    What is an “elder”?

    An older man in the church who is in a leadership position, but is a volunteer. That’s not the problem in itself, but when these elders are: handpicked yesmen by the pastor, are 30ish and not elder at all, and consist of full time ministers as well as the volunteers but only the full time ministers truly have authority; that is the problem.

    I’m still unclear about Covenant Members. Is that like a VIP Membership?

    There actually is an emergent Methodist (!) church in my area that does do a “VIP” membership. But I digress. Generally, anyone who wants to socialize with the rest of the church would be expected to be a covenant member. So they can “protect” the members from all those “wolves” around, like if a closeted pedophile wanted to participate in the church to create an ultra-righteous image of himself or something.

    If a preacher preaches on Sarurday night and then video feeds it to 5 campuses on Sunday, doesn’t that make him a regular old TV Evangelist?

    Even though Matt Chandler is more likely to flirt with liberation theology than tell everyone to go out and vote for Rick Perry, there is still the DNA of the ultra-wealthy and Republican-connected Dallas Baptist churches with famous pastors who are always on Fox News like Prestonwood and First at The Village. Whenever I ask anyone what the appeal of The Village is, it’s always that Matt Chandler is “amaaaazing”. But if I was that impressed by celebrity, I’d still be an atheist.

    Why are “The Village People” even considered Baptist? Didn’t they drop Baptist because they were embarrassed by it?

    Well they do want you as a new recruit! Lots of Baptist churches take the Know-Nothing approach to their theological identity these days. The Village is “Reformed Baptist” and masquerading as an emergent church. I’m of the opinion of the long-term very conservative Presbyterians that say you cannot be truly Reformed and Baptist, nor Reformed and Charismatic as in Sovereign Grace Ministries. It’s just Gospel Coalition’s marketing gimmick of the rediscovered ancient wisdom that will bring us back to the romantic past. There’s a reason the mainstream Presbyterian church – mainline and evangelical – walked back of the tenets of Calvinism for broad revivalism over the past few hundred years.

  12. @ Doc in Fairhope:

    The Southern Baptist church we joined back in 2003 had both elders and deacons. There were around 12 elders (and the senior pastor was one of them). All are men, and they are the governing body of the church. The deacons care for the flock. Not sure exactly how that is carried out.

  13. Doc in Fairhope wrote:

    Why are “The Village People” even considered Baptist?

    Doc, you might be interested to know that The Village church used to be called The First Baptist Church of Highland Village. I think that is still its legal name but they do business as the Village.

    You sound a bit like you come from the same SBC Tradition that I did. It does not exist anymore. They threw out soul competency and the Priesthood of believer. Now they have ruling elders and membership covenants. No more King Jesus just kings.

  14. Doc, your TV evangelist comment is spot on. I guess it would be MTV for mega television evangelist. Which reminds me of that Dire Staits song, I Want My MTV….

  15. On an earlier topic, Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner and she looks beautiful on the cover of Vanity Fair. I didn’t recognize her. Someone had asked on the earlier thread why Jenner would do this now at age 65. She says she didn’t want to find herself on her deathbed one day and not be her true self.

  16. Deb wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    Actually,, there are some traditional Southern Baptist churches still around. I attend one of them.

    I know of one in NC pastored by a young guy who is not into this. Just Gospel preaching and taking care of people. It’s in a semi-rural community, though. And not a lot of upside potential which is probably why they have not been a target.

  17. There does seem to be a lot of concern within churches about possibilities of lawsuit, and I think the same-sex marriage laws have a lot to do with it. My state is one of the many that has approved that.

    My church has not yet discussed membership contracts, but an article was added to our statement of faith last year defining marriage. It’s feared that without such an article in place, the church may leave itself exposed to lawsuit if the pastor refuses to marry a gay couple.

    The original draft of the article defining marriage was quite severe and quite long, longer than anything else that is primary doctrine—such as Christ’s divinity, the trinity, the resurrection, the inspiration of the bible. I spoke against approving the article as written, and we ended up with something much shorter and simpler. But lawsuit really is a factor here. Some churches may be adopting contracts thinking it’s prudent to do so.

  18. Stan wrote:

    My theory is that those churches are made up three kinds of people:

    1. People who are drawn in by the claims of spiritual elitism;
    2. People who are drawn in by the cool and youthful image, and these churches are absolutely looking for young people not wise to the ways of the world;
    3. People who understand all the stuff posted on this site and are thrilled to be the hammer on all the nails of the people who have destroyed the church by not being as good of Christians as they are.

    I can think of other reasons people get involved in bad churches, none of them calculating:

    4. People weren’t taught anything about how to discern a healthy from an unhealthy church.
    5. People were invited to an unhealthy church by someone they know.
    6. People may go to an unhealthy church if it’s in the vicinity of where they live.
    7. People may go to an unhealthy church to find a sense of community.
    8. People may go to an unhealthy church to find a sense of anonymity (especially if it’s big) and to not be known.

  19. Here is the first of two posts on The Village Church’s letter of apology to Karen Hinkley. This is a primer, or an overview on what is repentance and what is forgiveness. I wrote this as a foundation for dissecting the letter to Karen Hinkley. The second part will be up in a couple of days. I need a breather! 😛

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/the-village-church-letter-of-apology-to-karen-hinkley-part-1-a-primer-on-what-is-repentance-what-is-forgiveness/

  20. @ Ted:

    Ted!! I miss you, its good seeing you 🙂 I’ve been busy with life and haven’t had as much time to be around I-Monk. I still read there but I am trying to keep my head above water. Keep in touch. I really love your analysis and thinking.

  21. @Eagle
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Neo-Calvinism. Think of it as a theological version of North Korea.
    Eagle, This Neo-Calvinism thing brings up a lot more questions I have. I’ll save them for later.

  22. Ted wrote:

    There does seem to be a lot of concern within churches about possibilities of lawsuit, and I think the same-sex marriage laws have a lot to do with it. My state is one of the many that has approved that.

    My church has not yet discussed membership contracts, but an article was added to our statement of faith last year defining marriage. It’s feared that without such an article in place, the church may leave itself exposed to lawsuit if the pastor refuses to marry a gay couple…. But lawsuit really is a factor here. Some churches may be adopting contracts thinking it’s prudent to do so.

    1. Child Sexual Abuse No. 1 Reason Churches Get Sued

    According to Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches in the U.S., and to attorney Richard Hammar at Church Law & Tax, the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every single year is: Child Sexual Abuse.

    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2015/may/top-5-reasons-churches-went-to-court-in-2014.html

    2. Gay Marriage – No Clergy Don’t Have To Perform Marriages That Violate Religious Beliefs

    Here is attorney Richard Hammar’s article on what churches should know about gay marriage http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/168778-7-must-know-facts-about-same-sex-marriage-and-the-supreme-court-ruling.html

    “Neither of the Supreme Court’s rulings questioned or limited the right of clergy to refuse to solemnize marriages that would violate their religious beliefs.”

    3. Membership Covenants/Contracts

    It’s not really about avoiding lawsuits, it’s the unhealthy influence of the likes of Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and his parachurch organization 9 Marks [of an unhealthy, abusive, controlling, authoritarian church] and similar groups.

  23. Michaela wrote:

    I can think of other reasons people get involved in bad churches, none of them calculating:

    Choosing a church is like buying software. I can’t really figure out if the software will do the job till I buy it and try it out. Marketing stuff doesn’t tell me what it won’t do, i.e. the dark side. By that time you find the limitations you may have invested enough time that it is hard to try another. Okay, that analogy works for me as I have a shelf full of software that didn’t fit the application.

    My point is that it takes an investment of time to discover if there are issues. With the megas at least there may be some information on the web but with smaller churches it is a roll of the dice. Likely most walking in aren’t that discerning beyond a general level of doctrine or a friendly atmosphere. By the time the problems are discovered it is difficult to make the change, especially if it involves moving a family or more than one person. Backpacking with one other person and we make decisions quickly, hike with a big group and it seems an eternity just to break camp.

    It would be helpful if there was place that posted the pertinent information on churches that I want to know, such as doctrines they stress and of course whether they have signed memberships.

  24. Thanks for this, Dee. It hurts my heart to think of churches using these self-proclaimed covenants to control members. So many sincere folks out there trying to worship God and love other people, and they get trapped in these churches and don’t even know it. Dislike.

  25. @ Ted:

    It’s so ridiculous. Churches don’t marry people, pastors do. No one can force a pastor to marry them.

  26. @ Bridget:
    Well, I’m not a lawyer, but I played one in the Christmas pageant once. It seems to me that that cashiers can’t refuse to sell anything to anyone just based on their sense of spiritual propriety. If a church is structured along the lines of a corporation, and registered with the state, licensed and approved by the IRS, it may have the same requirements as a Wal-Mart to sell whatever they sell to anyone regardless of sexual propriety — Marriages? Aisle 14, between the greeting cards and the pharmacy, the guy with the Pharm D, licensed by the state.

    In church this may be: Marriages? First door on the right, the guy with the Rev. after his name, recognized and approved by the state.

  27. Flicker wrote:

    If a church is structured along the lines of a corporation, and registered with the state, licensed and approved by the IRS, it may have the same requirements as a Wal-Mart to sell whatever they sell to anyone regardless of sexual propriety — Marriages?

    Churches are not like other businesses and do not have to follow the same laws (discrimination laws, etc.). Churches are granted a plethora of religious exemptions. Under the Constitution churches don’t have to marry people if it goes against their religious beliefs.

    This from Richard Hammar, attorney at Church Law & Tax, who wrote a longer article in “Church Leaders” about what churches should know about gay marriage:
    ““Neither of the Supreme Court’s rulings questioned or limited the right of clergy to refuse to solemnize marriages that would violate their religious beliefs.”

  28. Flicker wrote:

    If a church is structured along the lines of a corporation, and registered with the state, licensed and approved by the IRS, it may have the same requirements as a Wal-Mart to sell whatever they sell to anyone regardless of sexual propriety — Marriages?

    Churches are not like other businesses and do not have to follow the same laws (discrimination laws, etc.). Churches are granted a plethora of religious exemptions. Under the Constitution churches don’t have to marry people if it goes against their religious beliefs.

    This from Richard Hammar, attorney at Church Law & Tax, who wrote a longer article in “Church Leaders” about what churches should know about gay marriage:
    ““Neither of the Supreme Court’s rulings questioned or limited the right of clergy to refuse to solemnize marriages that would violate their religious beliefs.”

  29. Deebs thanks for this article, it is clear and in depth and really makes understanding covenants/contracts a whole lot easier for me.

  30. i was looking at a web search link to village church news and came across this story.Its about both chandlers church and another one.
    wow if people dont see that this sort of stuff is not of God, i am amazed, hopefully the congregation hit the exits when a church said this:
    “In Chicago, a megachurch’s pastor and elders apologized last fall for “the complete lack of biblically required restorative component” in the discipline of three former elders accused of stirring up division in the church, CT reported. a 2013 video message from Harvest’s leadership called church members to “avoid these former Harvest elders at all costs lest you incur great detriment to your own soul.” The former elders’ viewpoints, according to the video, were “satanic to the core,” CT reported. Neither the Village Church nor Harvest brings matters of church discipline to a congregational vote.”
    http://bpnews.net/44855/public-apologies-spur-church-discipline-warnings

  31. That’s good. But that makes me wonder what the government, that is accommodating to churches, views as a church.

    Is it possible that an organized congregation of Christians, who consider their gathering to be a church, may be denied “church” status for any reason such as that they did not file for tax-exempt status, or do not have a dedicated physical street address, or they do not assemble with a specific board of directors, or something like that?

    And taking that a little further, given that many churches have a coffee shop or a book store, is it possible that a bakery may define itself as a Christian church? In other words, are there specifically mandated activities or organizational or legal structures that the government requires for a church to be a church in their eyes?

  32. nice article about attacking bloggers and ignoring wounded people written by Hannah Mudge on http://www.christiantoday.com/article/why.church.abuse.scandals.must.prioritise.the.voices.of.victims.not.perpetrators/54925.htm

    “When people issue calls not to talk about what is happening, when they implore us to ‘wait until we have all the facts’ even as websites and blogs share legal documents and email screenshots, when they dismiss sexual abuse as ‘a youthful mistake’ they make it clear that their heart is not for defending the marginalised but for protecting the powerful. As they seek to maintain reputations and write off systemic oppression as isolated incidents, they show that they have little concern for making the church a safe space.”

  33. Bill M wrote:

    gossip, divisiveness,

    At our old Acts 29 church, both of these terms were used just as TVC uses them. They are really code words for “critique of any kind.”

    Our former pastor was so obsessive about this, he defined “gossip” in an official church document as “saying anything negative about anyone when they are not around.”

    Ironically, we found out that the elders were discussing various members’ sins behind closed doors. How this was exempt from the pastor’s “gossip” definition was beyond our comprehension.

  34. Jeff S wrote:

    Without then actually saying what their doctrine on marriage to a pedoohile is, it’s only conjecture to say their doctrinal location is that divorce/anullment is not allowed.

    Well, TVC allows for divorce only in cases of sexual immorality, and even then, only after going through some sort of attempt to reconcile.

    So, unless TVC gives “pedophilia” some sort of special category apart from “sexual immorality,” I don’t see how it would be any different to them.

  35. @ sam:
    Thanks for the link. Sorry for the long post, but you really got me thinking.

    You know, my first thought (aside from the difficulty of reading such bureaucratic codifications) is that the church was never instructed specifically to VOTE on matters of discipline and excommunication. There was something else going on there in Biblical times, when Paul wrote extensively about these things, I’m sure, other than merely conducting a PR campaign for votes. In fact, the Bible doesn’t refer to going to the body as an arbitration, but rather a disclosure of facts, and to get the wayward congregant to repent.

    But the biggest thing the article left me with was that pastors might be willing to avoid the undue spreading of thing too painful to be broadcast yet that are sinful, and hurtful, but aren’t a matter of salvation or a matter of the state of their souls. Putting out this information to the whole world, as will happen in such a large church, will become far more hurtful to the wayward congregant than merely shunning (hopefully for only a time) within a close and closed spiritual body. And if every pastor brings up every article of unresolved discontent before the whole congregation, well a lot of things may happen, many of them good, but also, I can see that a pastor would not want to formally embarrass someone in front of 6,000 or 10,000 people who the disciplined person has never even met for something as benign as not apologizing for spilling soup on another person’s new silk dress — and I don’t believe there are any restrictions on exactly WHAT sins qualify for discipline. For example, in the case of one spouse leaving another for some painful reason, who is it that will judge the matter, and what spiritual criteria will be used in the judging?

    I can also unfortunately see, for example, a matter that has been “witnessed” to by any three prestigious members of the congregation denouncing someone’s beliefs or actions as “satanic-to-the-core” and there is no way for a community who doesn’t know the accused to be judging that person’s sin other than to rubber-stamp the excommunication.

    This is why the holy character of the elders has to be beyond reproach. To put it very strongly, if you’ve never worked with the pastor in his butcher shop (assuming he has a skill outside of leading the church), or sat with him in his living room while he spoke to his wife, quieted the kids and watched television, and if you’ve only formed your opinion of his maturity and trustworthiness by his position and his preaching, there is little good reason for involving the church as a whole with any disciplining at all, except as a “shunning” after the fact.

    And I can see also that heavy-handedness could be the most expedient, the easiest and simplest, way to deal with a lot of the things that come up. It is my opinion that small groups — that is small congregations of what we might call churches, rather than small home cells from one bigger church — might be far better equipped to deal with these arguments than one huge congregation.

    What is the purpose of excommunication (which is the ultimate end of discipline upon the unrepentant)? It is not to alert the pagan surrounding community to the Christian-defined sins of one of its own, they’re likely already accepting of the behavior. It is to protect the congregation from the incorporation of sin. This sin, then therefore, must be a serious sin, such as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, violence, idolatry, and the such, from which we must disassociate ourselves.

    All this goes to say that discipline as a term for mentoring and holiness and strengthening is one thing, and it is a very personal process. But “disciplining” as a process for rebuking and chastising and forcing conformity to doctrine and for rejecting unrepentant sin, and therefore for excommunication is a misapplication of the Biblical term of discipline. In fact in my KJV I am very surprised to see that the Bible (as far as I can find) never refers to church discipline, but only the discipline of the Lord, God disciplining people, not the assemblies.

  36. sam wrote:

    nice article about attacking bloggers and ignoring wounded people written by Hannah Mudge on http://www.christiantoday.com/article/why.church.abuse.scandals.must.prioritise.the.voices.of.victims.not.perpetrators/54925.htm
    “When people issue calls not to talk about what is happening, when they implore us to ‘wait until we have all the facts’ even as websites and blogs share legal documents and email screenshots, when they dismiss sexual abuse as ‘a youthful mistake’ they make it clear that their heart is not for defending the marginalised but for protecting the powerful. As they seek to maintain reputations and write off systemic oppression as isolated incidents, they show that they have little concern for making the church a safe space.”

    Amen

  37. Mr.H wrote:

    So, unless TVC gives “pedophilia” some sort of special category apart from “sexual immorality,” I don’t see how it would be any different to them.

    They could do exactly that.

    But anyway, forcing people to try and reconcile after an adultery is still terrible, and there’s no Biblical justification to force this on someone.

    And of course, there’s the issue of how they will handle abuse of a non sexual variant. If they are going to be compassionate toward victims, they will need to include that as a category for divorceable offenses. If they do not, they cannot claim to care about victims.

  38. Anyway, to be clear, I think their doctrine has issues and will have to change if they are going to care for victims.

    My "hope" is that currently they don't realize it, but that they will discover it as they move forward.

  39. Ted wrote:

    My church has not yet discussed membership contracts, but an article was added to our statement of faith last year defining marriage. It’s feared that without such an article in place, the church may leave itself exposed to lawsuit if the pastor refuses to marry a gay couple.

    So long as it is present in your bylaws, the courts will not force pastors to marry gay couples. Churches have a right to enforce their beliefs and the churches will not interfere unless they carry it to an extreme.

    For example, a church cannot pursue someone who has resigned from membership.

    Also, these contracts were not dreamed up due to the current focus on gay marriage. They find their start back in the 90s to prevent lawsuits when churches enforced discipline on their members.

  40. @ Doc in Fairhope:
    Great questions.They want to be Baptist to access Baptist benefits to begin with. The Baptists take care of their own yet the do not impose any sorts of rules on individual congregations since they are autonomous. Whoops I almost forgot, they do make sure any Baptist church which appoints a female pastors gets thrown out.

  41. @ Marsha:
    I saw an interesting on comment on Twitter. It said something to the effect of that it was sort of sad that he decided to display himself as a sexy woman. Haven’t women can further than that.

  42. @ raswhiting:
    I will correct it on the post. He was the head of peacemakers for 30 years and he is responsible for what they teach. There is no question that he stressed the legal component to the contracts.

  43. @ Stephen Smith:
    This is why I focus on these contracts at TWW. So many people think they are signing this *godly* document showing that they will pray for and support the church. Little do many know that the contract is to protect the church leaders from them-the little guy.

    Few churches even mention that this is a legal document. I find concealing the fact misleading and I bet someone with a good lawyer could go to town on that one.

  44. Flicker wrote:

    @

    What is the purpose of excommunication (which is the ultimate end of discipline upon the unrepentant)? It is not to alert the pagan surrounding community to the Christian-defined sins of one of its own, they’re likely already accepting of the behavior. It is to protect the congregation from the incorporation of sin. This sin, then therefore, must be a serious sin, such as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, violence, idolatry, and the such, from which we must disassociate ourselves.

    Why? Where else should unrepentant sinners be other than church?

    The members of the church have to be safe and if there is someone who is violent or intoxicated or a child molester than by all means keep them out of church. And if someone is involved in ongoing sin, they should not have a leadership position or teach Sunday School.

    If someone commits a crime, report it and let the criminal justice system handle it.

    However, a lot of people are struggling out there and I cannot see where the church body would be harmed when they come to church services or attend Sunday School. In my former church, there was a member whose husband was an alcoholic. This went on for years. He was welcome when he was sober. Eventually he joined AA and stopped drinking and accepted Christ at church. No one was inspired to drink by his example.

    There was a couple who had counseling sessions with the pastor when the husband thought he was falling in love with a coworker. It was painful but they worked things out. No one knew but a couple of friends the wife confided in.

    As for for fornication, I would rather the college student who is suspected of having sex with the person they are dating continue to come to church.

    I cannot imagine going to a church where people are constantly looking for sin in one another and expected to confess small sins in group meetings or the like each week. Let the Holy Spirit do Its work in the believer’s life. Let the pastor counsel troubled people who come to him or her. If there are situations where decisions need to be made about who will continue to attend the church (the adulterer vs. the innocent spouse who is getting a divorce) choose the latter.

    But everything does not need to be made public if safety is not an issue. Shaming and calls for shunning never helped anyone. Christians know when they are sinning and non Christians are there to learn. Keep them out of leadership, don’t let them proclaim that what they are doing is right, but don’t keep them out of church services.

  45. @ sam:
    I didn’t see that article. Thank you for linking to it. It was rather amusing when Chandler tweeted, at the start of this mess, that we didn’t have the all the facts. I responded, as did Amy, “We have the emails or didn’t you know that?”

  46. @ Mr.H:
    Oh, these gospel pastors will claim that they are discussing you for the good of your soul. Pastors always have an out for their behavior.

  47. @ Mr.H:
    In fact, a few ppl who claimed they were from TVC argued that pedophilia is not adultery. The disconnect is unbelievable.

  48. @ Jeff S:
    We have one story coming out of TVC in which a man’s wife committed adultery and they divorced. He began dating a lovely woman years later and decided to marry her. According to his report, the pastors stepped in, said he couldn’t marry her and that he needed to reconcile to his wife who was not at all interested.

  49. Stan wrote:

    Why are “The Village People” even considered Baptist?

    Because they keep wimmen in their God-ordained Place?

  50. As to whether there are or are not traditional baptist churches around any more, judging from hereabouts the answer is ‘depends on what you mean by traditional.’

    We have three large churches that did not follow the path of the conservative resurgence in any of its aspects. The pastors do pastoring, the deacons do deaconing and sunday school teaches bible stories pretty much kind of. They sing out of the hymnal and they are not charismatic. They have VBS and organ music. They are populated by the middle and upper middle white stratum of society. They are known as ‘moderate’ but they ordain and hire women pastors, overlook divorce history in membership participation in leadership roles and accept/overlook homosexual life style in members. So they may or may not be traditional depending on one’s definition of traditional.

    There is no church around here that is like what I grew up with at, as Lydia says, ground zero.

  51. Seriously, you are gonna be legalistic here re: naming the current lead atty. Doesn’t it make more sense to name the author of this “peacemakers plan which all other succeeding attys/heads will follow.raswhiting wrote:

    RE: “Peacemaker Ministries which is headed by Attorney Ken Sande.”

    If I recall correctly, Ken Sande resigned or retired several years ago from leading Peacemakers, and also is no longer on their Board. Shouldn’t this sentence be in the past tense? Or, you could instead name the current leader of the organization?

  52. Interesting article covering TVC and another church using “church” discipline.

    http://www.bpnews.net/44855/public-apologies-spur-church-discipline-warnings

    What is interesting in the other case is that according to this article a few former church elders were accused of stirring up divisions. I believe these supposed actions included what these elders did when they were elders. Thus another case of suppressing any questioning or dissent. It is especially sad how a church tried to do this with former elders who apparently questioned.

    On the subject of this blog post, I have said this before but whoever writes a contract usually writes it in their favor. Thus nothing different with church membership agreements.

  53. Too good not to share here :
    Jennifer – How would anyone know that TVC’s “care” was abusive. She wanted no part of it. The headlines read like TVC was determined to make this marriage work. This is far from the truth. TVC wants its members to “seek to preserve the gift of marriage and agree to walk through the steps of marriage reconciliation at The Village Church before pursuing divorce from my spouse.” The Village Church isn’t there to force your marriage to work. They are there to provide counsel and care in a difficult season to people who have asked for that counsel and care. Counsel and care they signed up for. What is so absurd about this. Anyone who thinks this is control or abusive needs to find accountability in their lives.

    Maybe you should pump the brakes on your judgement. Afterall, the only story you’ve heard has come from Karen Hinkley, who has been hurt. I’m sure Karen has bitterness, frustration and anger built up after walking through such a horrific experience with her ex-husband. I would never minimize her situation. It’s heartbreaking. But let’s not throw all the stones at The Village Church. All communication I have read from TVC has a loving tone – it’s just the reader who has something against TVC who chooses to swap the word “control” for “love”.

    The things TVC addressed in the sermon from Sunday does a great job of showing areas where they need to do better. The fact that you claim they will “stand by our procedures” lets me know you either didn’t listen to the sermon or choose to only hear the things you want to hear. The whole point of the sermon was to acknowledge the fact that they didn’t treat Karen right. They let the procedures govern the lack of care/love they should have shown. Procedures are still in place but the love/care for the person trumps those procedures.

    Anytime a situation blows up like this, it forces people to take a step back, analyze exactly what happened, admit where things went wrong, and then move forward after lessons have been learned. Who knows if TVC would have issued an apology had it not been for this story blowing up the way it did? You certainly don’t know for sure. I doubt you’ve stepped foot inside The Village Church. You don’t know the heart of anyone involved in this from the TVC side. I know their apology was real. If you don’t feel the realness of their apology and only pull what you can criticize from it, then once again, leave it alone. It wasn’t for you.
    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/06/raising-awareness-at-village-church-to.html?showComment=1433252666587&m=1#c3473877208562195620

  54. Mr.H wrote:

    At our old Acts 29 church, both of these terms were used just as TVC uses them. They are really code words for “critique of any kind.”

    One of my former pastors used the “divisive” word when I first raised a question in private. It was totally a preemption and attempt at intimidation. Gossip can be anything they don’t want discussed. They are certain that what they think is most certainly true, so any disagreement with them is disagreement with God.

  55. @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.

    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

  56. @ Amy Smith:
    Also evidence of the non thinking I am concerned about.

    this poor woman’s position is based on emotionalism and what she perceives as sincerity from leaders she probably barely knows except from a stage or a screen.

  57. lydia wrote:

    JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape.

    I couldn’t believe when I read Janet Mefferds blog about what JD Hall had said. I am truely wondering about that man’s mental well being. I have no idea why anyone would be a part of a church he leads. It is frightening to think what he has said.

  58. lydia wrote:

    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    Well, we know what THEIR Sexual Proclivities/Preferences are…

  59. @ Amy Smith:
    That commenter does not seem to get the point that the ELDERS interfered in Karen’s life in a way that was presumptuous and intrusive. The commenter is assuming that the ELDERS are authorized by the Bible to do such. Which the commenter never supports.

    Also we are getting the “he apologized, move on” argument. This is so predictable.

  60. lydia wrote:

    JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape.

    This is not the time or place for much of a discussion about this, but these ideas have been around at least as long as I can remember; JD did not think this up on his own. Some of the resident historians of philosophy might help out here on this one.

  61. lydia wrote:

    this poor woman’s position is based on emotionalism and what she perceives as sincerity from leaders she probably barely knows except from a stage or a screen.

    Sounds like she’s got the “OOOOOO! MY SOULMATE!” reaction to Pastor & Elders.

    Which is usually the signature of a willing abuse victim. Because only a User & Abuser can trigger the “OOOOOOO! MY SOULMATE! HE’S SO (gasp, with trembling lips) EXCITING!” reaction on sight.

  62. dee wrote:

    @ Mr.H:
    In fact, a few ppl who claimed they were from TVC argued that pedophilia is not adultery. The disconnect is unbelievable.

    It’s not a sin if it’s YOUR kink.
    It’s ALWAYS a SIN SIN SIN if it’s someone else’s.

  63. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    @ Mr.H:
    In fact, a few ppl who claimed they were from TVC argued that pedophilia is not adultery. The disconnect is unbelievable.
    It’s not a sin if it’s YOUR kink.
    It’s ALWAYS a SIN SIN SIN if it’s someone else’s.

    Yea, pedophillia is MUCH worse than adultery!!! it is probably as low as it gets… especially when it is associated with a “Spiritual” person!!

  64. lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

    I agree. Where do you think this is coming from? Making sex and sex education such a taboo that people grow up not distinguishing between normal and deviant sex? Patriarchy with its emphasis on conquering and controlling women (Doug Wilson)? I have read accounts from adults that grew up in ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ families and struggle with sadism/masochism in their sexuality so I know that that can be a source of problems.

  65. lydia wrote:

    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    As I’ve opined before lydia, it’s disturbing how close these guys are to the Islam of Arab sheiks and muktars.

  66. I have a question concerning this statement from part one: “Remember, we are all positionally holy but we are all functional sinners.”

    So, it would appear that you believe our sin is covered and would prevent justification if not covered. This would seem to indicate that Christ died for our past sins and future sins along with a “positional” righteousness imputed to us.

    What are your beliefs on imputation?

  67. lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    I have never had the idea of rape or sodomy in my life….making my wife ” perform” when she is ill? There is just something wrong with these guys….and people follow these guys?

  68. …I guess this is where I am headed: if we are all “functional sinners” in what regard are all bets not off? So, the solution is….? The logical conclusion seems to be the only difference between us and the world is FORGIVENESS. In my mind, this makes the New Calvinists right about everything.

  69. lydia wrote:

    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.
    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

    What strikes me about this is how these types of churches will emphasize the significance of one “sin” to the detriment of the act of love. Letter of the law versus spirit of the law. I see this a lot with the obsessive focus on homosexuality. They will focus so much on how ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful’ that is, and totally miss out on loving people. They’ll say, ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’, but they don’t really know what love is. (I’m putting ‘sin’ in quotes, because I don’t believe this is sin, but that’s besides the point, really.) Similarly, there is this obsessive focus on the ‘sin’ of divorce. There is no room for the biblically permissible reasons to end a marriage. They say there is, but they’re really just paying lip service. It’s this extreme attachment to the letter of the law (as they interpret it, might I add), and in this holding, there is no room to open up to love. I think this is how they can say that being married to a pedophile is no cause for divorce (or annulment, as in Karen’s case). I’m not sure what has caused them to hand-pick a few select “sins” to obsess over, but there does seem to be a bend towards issues revolving around sex and sexuality. It’s particularly sad, because that is a very intimate part of a person’s identity, as is spirituality, and to claim that one part is ‘evil’ is to damage another core part of a person’s identity- their spirituality.

  70. Paul wrote:

    …I guess this is where I am headed: if we are all “functional sinners” in what regard are all bets not off? So, the solution is….? The logical conclusion seems to be the only difference between us and the world is FORGIVENESS. In my mind, this makes the New Calvinists right about everything.

    Sorry, but I don’t know what you are saying about all bets being off and the only difference between us and the world is forgiveness. I think everyone can forgive, Christian or not. What is it exactly that you think the New Calvinists are right about and why?

  71. @ Paul:

    I am not going to get into an argument with you about who is sinning and who is not sinning. You have a blog which you can use and have used to refute me.

    I believe that we all sin and continue to sin after conversion. In many of the confessions, we confess “Forgive us for sins known and unknown.” This is where I stand.

    Now we can deal with the sins that we know about, especially those sins that harm others like pedophilia. For some of those afflicted with this sin, they may be mired in a fixed sexual preference and they will struggle with it until the day they die. But, they should put themselves into a situation so they will not inflict their preferences on children.

    if you are one of those who has conquered your sin, then I am pleased for you. I have not and learn more about myself every day. However, I have joy in the freedom that is afforded to me by Jesus. He does, and will continue to forgive me.

    The point of this post is to discuss TVC and membership contracts.

  72. @ proudjezebel:
    In a somewhat charitable view, I think that they thing they are upholding the value of marriage by denying rightful grounds for divorce. What the do not realize is that they are upholding the value of *being bound* in a marriage while at the same time degrading the *real purpose* of marriage which is *unity and love.* If somebody wants to draw a relationship between the Trinity and marriage, I think unity of purpose and love might be good places to start rather than the supposed power of one Person over the others or being in bondage to another person’s sin.

  73. @ Gram3:
    The biblical definition of a “sinner” is one who is unregenerate. So, are Christians “functioning unregenerate”? That is in fact what the New Calvinist gospel is; present sin removes us from grace and we therefore need the same gospel that saved us daily, and that forgiveness can only be found in formal church membership. That’s why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

  74. lydia wrote:

    this poor woman’s position is based on emotionalism and what she perceives as sincerity from leaders she probably barely knows except from a stage or a screen.

    This is a common response I’m seeing with Villagers. One of the churches I attended growing up used this same sort of emotional manipulation. I recall my time in the youth group, feeling wholly unsatisfied with the shallow, unsubstantial ‘milk’ they were giving us as spiritual teachings, craving the ‘meat’, the deep stuff. I left the youth group at 15 and started attending an open-age women’s Bible study at the church. They allowed a woman to teach that as long as there were no men in the class. (The teacher griped about this, to no avail.) I am inquisitive by nature. I think a lot of my peers just wanted to be spoon-fed. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of TVC members have not matured past this adolescent mindset. They want the feel-good, easy to swallow, hand-selected mush, delivered in a way that feels comfy and familiar. They respond with all the maturity of a 15 year-old. (Some will debate me on this, down to a much lower age, and I won’t argue with you there.) They are being played, and they don’t have the awareness or maturity to truly listen, to truly consider someone else’s viewpoint. They will parrot off the same flowery language, those nonsense phrases with words they couldn’t even define for you, and if you continue to disagree, just cop out with an “I’ll pray for you/I trust God to handle this.” I’ve said this elsewhere, but faith without works is dead. You have to put some action behind your prayers, behind your good intentions. They might be satisfied with fluffy spiritual pep-talks, and that’s fine, but when there’s a predator in your midst, and kids are at risk, and when the system in place enables and perpetuates spiritual abuse, don’t expect people to just sit back and “trust God” and just let all this happen. No, there are those of us who will not stand idly by, while this sort of behavior continues.

  75. http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/06/raising-awareness-at-village-church-to.html?showComment=1433261991793#c4353211375562290115

    As a fellow member, TVC has not “addressed the issue.” They have begun to address the issue. There is a major difference. We aren’t out of the woods yet, and they have yet to establish what steps they will be taking to protect their members—both from pedophiles and from their domineering interpretation of the Member Covenant.

    All TVC members should scour the Covenant and the church’s Bylaws before renewing their membership. We need to make sure we know what we’re agreeing to, because, as they’re currently written, the bylaws do a lot more to protect the church’s brand than they do to protect us from a corrupted, domineering view of Eldership.

  76. @ dee:
    Note that you make no distinction between sin under the law and sin against family relationship under grace. So obviously, if there is only ONE category of sin that we need forgiveness for, and sin under law is no different than sin under grace, it is a continued repentance to maintain salvation. Note also that the Confessions are your authority. and not a personal seeking/interpretation of the Scriptures. Scary. Your right, I do have a blog, and your right, I will continue to refute you there.

  77. Paul wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    The biblical definition of a “sinner” is one who is unregenerate. So, are Christians “functioning unregenerate”? That is in fact what the New Calvinist gospel is; present sin removes us from grace and we therefore need the same gospel that saved us daily, and that forgiveness can only be found in formal church membership. That’s why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    I will probably never forgive you for making me defend the YRR on church membership. They do not teach that “forgiveness can only be found in formal church membership.” They have an unBiblical view of the nature of church membership and some ungodly practices WRT church discipline, no doubt about it. They equate church covenanted membership as being tied to being in the kingdom, and I think they have a flawed view of what the kingdom means. While that is certainly a confusing mess, it is not exactly the same as saying that forgiveness can only be found in formal church membership. Their views are a mess on a host of doctrines, but that is because they proof-text to get to their preferred view. I don’t think that they explicitly deny the content of the Gospel, but they certainly add to it, and Paul tells us that is functional denial. Maybe that is what you mean, but ISTM that we are veering OT.

  78. Paul wrote:

    Your right, I do have a blog, and your right, I will continue to refute you there.

    You sound like a really nice guy Paul–Not!

  79. Paul wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    The biblical definition of a “sinner” is one who is unregenerate. So, are Christians “functioning unregenerate”? That is in fact what the New Calvinist gospel is; present sin removes us from grace and we therefore need the same gospel that saved us daily, and that forgiveness can only be found in formal church membership. That’s why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”

    What? I’m a Reformed believer going to a Reformed church, and what you just said is nowhere near what my church teaches, nor is it what the Bible says.

  80. @ Gram3:
    They most certainly do teach that forgiveness can only be obtained in formal church membership per John Calvin as well–you are misinformed.

  81. Pingback: Linkathon! » PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  82. Gram3 wrote:

    Also we are getting the “he apologized, move on” argument. This is so predictable.

    So true, Gram. This is what gets my blood boiling today. TVC succeeded where they were concerned with “having the last say” regarding the “apology.” He who has the last word? A friend of mine who was disciplined at TVC along with her husband now believes the apology is legit and all is well. This is someone who left TVC after the discipline (albeit found their way into an Acts29 church which is where we met). It’s clear to me even from a survivor standpoint, she doesn’t put two and two together that it’s not just a Matt Chandler/TVC issue. It’s a theology issue, and its tentacles run deep from TVC into the majority of Acts29 churches IMO.
    I’m very heavy hearted today, and I can only imagine how those like Amy and the Deebs, and Karen Hinkley feel being so close to the fight at hand.

  83. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Paul:
    No, actually, I think it would be better not to engage with you.

    Maybe BillM can come up with a rule for this, too. Wow. I’ve been in lots of churches whose doctrines are YRR, but I have never heard that forgiveness is only found in church membership. I don’t know of any tradition that teaches that. I guess I lost my forgiveness and justification when I got keyed out. Except even that church did not teach that.

  84. Gram3 wrote:

    I’ve been in lots of churches whose doctrines are YRR

    That should have been “reformed” rather than YRR. But the ones that are YRR did not teach this, either.

  85. proudjezebel wrote:

    lydia wrote:
    this poor woman’s position is based on emotionalism and what she perceives as sincerity from leaders she probably barely knows except from a stage or a screen.
    This is a common response I’m seeing with Villagers. One of the churches I attended growing up used this same sort of emotional manipulation. I recall my time in the youth group, feeling wholly unsatisfied with the shallow, unsubstantial ‘milk’ they were giving us as spiritual teachings, craving the ‘meat’, the deep stuff. I left the youth group at 15 and started attending an open-age women’s Bible study at the church. They allowed a woman to teach that as long as there were no men in the class. (The teacher griped about this, to no avail.) I am inquisitive by nature. I think a lot of my peers just wanted to be spoon-fed. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of TVC members have not matured past this adolescent mindset. They want the feel-good, easy to swallow, hand-selected mush, delivered in a way that feels comfy and familiar. They respond with all the maturity of a 15 year-old. (Some will debate me on this, down to a much lower age, and I won’t argue with you there.)

    This pretty much sums up today’s SBC….there is no ” meat.” They all want pablum. And the leadership wants this. God forbid we think or ask questions about what is being taught.

  86. Paul wrote:

    it is a continued repentance to maintain salvation. Note also that the Confessions are your authority. and not a personal seeking/interpretation of the Scriptures

    This is precisely why I refuse to argue with you. I do not believe any of this quote. But you have already made up your mind on me.

    I am not going to respond to you any further on this particular subject. I wish you success in your blogging. The more voices the better. Blessings.

  87. @ Bridget:
    we don’t really know that much about JD halls church. some of these pastors have taken on a whole different persona in social media then what they are like at their small church. and if his membership is older, they may not be aware. and his elders are probably yes men anyway.

    a lot of these guys use the pastorate at a small church as their launching pad in social media. having the title of Pastor is a big deal in that world. I know a couple of Jared’s who do the same. and the new YRR pastor at my former church, who is 30 years old, also has a totally different persona on social media. the over 60 set, who mostly pay the bills, are not aware.

  88. lydia wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Oh, I totally agree. Women are the cause of their lust, too.

    Mullah Omar and the Caliph of ISIS would agree.

  89. proudjezebel wrote:

    They will parrot off the same flowery language, those nonsense phrases with words they couldn’t even define for you, and if you continue to disagree, just cop out with an “I’ll pray for you/I trust God to handle this.”

    The word is “duckspeak” — recite the Party Line without engaging any neuron above the brainstem. Like a flatworm in high school biology class:
    Stimulus –> Response.
    Stimulus –> Response.
    Stimulus –> Response.

    And “I’ll Pray For You(TM)” is Christianese for doing nothing and feeling righteous about it. “Be Warm and Well Fed” then walk away.

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but faith without works is dead. You have to put some action behind your prayers, behind your good intentions.

    “You have a saying: ‘Knowledge is a three-edged sword.’
    We also have a saying: ‘PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!'”
    — Captain Sheridan, Babylon-5

  90. K.D. wrote:

    I have never had the idea of rape or sodomy in my life….making my wife ” perform” when she is ill? There is just something wrong with these guys….and people follow these guys?

    You obviously don’t have Gospelly(TM) sexual fantasies or paraphilias.

    Mine are more on the order of “Going on a museum crawl with Twilight Sparkle.” You think I’d fit in with these MenaGAWD?

  91. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The word is “duckspeak” — recite the Party Line without engaging any neuron above the brainstem.

    Now that’s just insulting to ducks. They’re quite intelligent. (Also my favorite animal). The flatworm analogy fits, though. There is literally no thought that goes into many of these responses.

    It took me YEARS to get to where I could hear the word ‘pray’ and not shudder, because of how infrequently it was accompanied by actual care.

  92. Paul wrote:

    @ dee:
    Note that you make no distinction between sin under the law and sin against family relationship under grace. So obviously, if there is only ONE category of sin that we need forgiveness for, and sin under law is no different than sin under grace, it is a continued repentance to maintain salvation. Note also that the Confessions are your authority. and not a personal seeking/interpretation of the Scriptures. Scary. Your right, I do have a blog, and your right, I will continue to refute you there.

    Paul, you are very typical of the type. Your grammar is atrocious, your thinking is absurd, please go back to your blog. I hope you come to a real, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, you give every indication of being lost.

  93. Flicker wrote:

    It is to protect the congregation from the incorporation of sin. This sin, then therefore, must be a serious sin, such as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, violence, idolatry, and the such, from which we must disassociate ourselves.

    Many evangelical churches today don’t take fornication (pre-marital sex) seriously.

    Not only do I notice that in reading the Christian magazines and blogs, but I was reading a book a couple years ago about Christianity and celibacy that also discussed it.
    This book had a couple of chapters on how a lot of churches, especially the seeker friendly variety, do not educate their membership that having sex outside of marriage is a sin.

    Therefore, you have a lot of adult singles fooling around, and some of these singles claim ignorance, saying they did not realize that the Bible calls for abstinent behavior while a person is single.

    I hardly ever hear preachers on the Christian TV shows I watch (and I watch oodles of Christian TV programming) who remind singles that sex prior to marriage is a sin.

    A couple of preachers will occasionally mention it in passing, but the rest of the sermons discuss how to have “hot marital sex.”

    In the last ten years or more of watching Christian TV daily, I’ve heard maybe two or three preachers remind singles that fornication is sinful, but it was said in passing, it was not the focus of the sermon.

  94. dee wrote:

    In fact, a few ppl who claimed they were from TVC argued that pedophilia is not adultery. The disconnect is unbelievable.

    I wonder how many of the people saying things like that would want to stay married to a pedophile? I would guess not many. Yet they have the audacity to bully someone else into staying married to one, or they think it’s OK for their church to bully someone about it.

    Jesus discussed something about that in the Bible, about how the Pharisees would apply standards they themselves would not live by, or how they would not help the people they were preaching at with all their rules.

    You tell me I have to carry a 100 pound boulder up hill every day to be made right with God, but you won’t help me carry it, type of thing.

  95. dee wrote:

    Whoops I almost forgot, they do make sure any Baptist church which appoints a female pastors gets thrown out.

    SBC: Pedophiles in the church are OK, women in the pulpit not so much.

  96. Amy Smith wrote:

    TVC wants its members to “seek to preserve the gift of marriage

    How many people are going to define or feel a marriage to a self- confessing pedophile is a “gift?”

    I don’t know what that commentator is on, but if it’s legal, I’d like to take some.

    Maybe you should pump the brakes on your judgement. Afterall, the only story you’ve heard has come from Karen Hinkley, who has been hurt.

    The church affirmed that the guy admitted to being a pedophile in the documents and in the mailings they sent to church members, correct?

    If yes, then I think people are free to make some judgments.

    I’m blown away by how often the people criticizing Karen or Amy at WatchKeep continue acting like expecting a woman to stay married to a pedophile is no big deal
    (“hey, really, what’s the big deal, who cares if your husband is sexually attracted to four year old girls, just get over that you judgy lady with hang ups!”), or that is a fact that these people even stop to consider.

  97. @ proudjezebel:
    Here is where I see their disconnect: behaviors that hurt other people.

    a homosexual can go through life and never once harm another person. Yet they are in sin because they exist.

    a long time Christian missionary paedophile can say, ‘ I repent’ and they are in good standing.

    the Christian wife gets an annulment due to the fraudulent marriage to the pedophile and she is in sin for not obeying her elders by consulting them first. they believe it is a sin for her not to help him walk through his repentance.

    I think much of Christendom has a very warped view of sin. Some view our very existence as sin through imputed guilt doctrine. some think that if one professes Christ they get more of a pass when they do harmful things to others.

    As I say, they tend to call good, evil and evil, good.

  98. Flicker wrote:

    @ sam:
    … is that the church was never instructed specifically to VOTE on matters of discipline and excommunication. There was something else going on there in Biblical times, when Paul wrote extensively about these things, I’m sure, other than merely conducting a PR campaign for votes. In fact, the Bible doesn’t refer to going to the body as an arbitration, but rather a disclosure of facts, and to get the wayward congregant to repent.

    But the biggest thing the article left me with was that pastors might be willing to avoid the undue spreading of thing too painful to be broadcast yet that are sinful, and hurtful,

    This is why the holy character of the elders has to be beyond reproach. … there is little good reason for involving the church as a whole with any disciplining at all, except as a “shunning” after the fact.

    In fact in my KJV I am very surprised to see that the Bible (as far as I can find) never refers to church discipline, but only the discipline of the Lord, God disciplining people, not the assemblies.

    I just reposted parts of your comment, i liked it all but wanted to address just some of it. Most important point I think is the selecting of elders in a church and paul spoke of that once saying

    1 Corinthians 6:4-5
    4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
    5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

    I dont have a church to run, and i thank Jesus for that! But something that has always stuck out to me when pastors or churches use ‘shunning’ is (according to the most oft scripture they use):
    Matthew 18:15-17
    15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    What always hits me when i hear or read that is, How did Jesus instruct us to treat heathen men and publicans?

  99. dee wrote:

    I responded, as did Amy, “We have the emails or didn’t you know that?”

    hehe thats probably when Mr Chandler started scheduling important trips abroad

  100. JeffT wrote:

    Pedophiles in the church are OK, women in the pulpit not so much.

    We have made that argument on this blog on numerous occasions.

  101. lydia wrote:

    a long time Christian missionary paedophile can say, ‘ I repent’ and they are in good standing.

    So many evangelicals are are full of cheap grace. Say the magic words “I repent” is like some magic incantation that makes it all go away- no honest repentance, seeking to make amends, or changes in behavior required. And, once those magic words have been spoken, that’s the end of end, everyone is to forgive them, move on, and never speak of the matter again, and anyone who dares question whether there’s any actual repentance going on is labeled as ‘unforgiving’ and un-Christian. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that many of these churches are like TVC- they value the ‘repentant’ but seem to care little or none at all about their victims.

  102. Daisy wrote:

    You tell me I have to carry a 100 pound boulder up hill every day to be made right with God, but you won’t help me carry it, type of thing.

    Well said

  103. JeffT wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Whoops I almost forgot, they do make sure any Baptist church which appoints a female pastors gets thrown out.
    SBC: Pedophiles in the church are OK, women in the pulpit not so much.

    Kinda mind blowing…..ain’t it?

  104. JeffT wrote:

    So many evangelicals are are full of cheap grace. Say the magic words “I repent” is like some magic incantation that makes it all go away- no honest repentance, seeking to make amends, or changes in behavior required

    Yes we have seen this on a number of occasions. They cannot believe that someone would lie to cover their true intentions. I wrote about a pedophile in a church on this blog. The church believed he was walking in repentance. That guy had a 30 year history. In the blog post, at the end I put “Watch out for that pedophile.”

    Sure enough, 6 months later he screwed up and was no longer allowed in the church

    1st post-see ending comment.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/02/08/when-pastors-breach-trust-my-testimony-of-betrayal-and-gods-grace/

    next post

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/08/08/two-churches-don-cameron-the-pedophile-and-me-am-i-nuts/

  105. dee wrote:

    JeffT wrote:
    Pedophiles in the church are OK, women in the pulpit not so much.
    We have made that argument on this blog on numerous occasions.

    You definitely have, and the fact that the knuckleheads still can’t see appalling nature of this attitude after all the damage it does is despairing.

  106. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Well, we know what THEIR Sexual Proclivities/Preferences are…

    One of the things I found shocking and that revealed Driscoll’s lack of qualification to be a preacher.

    Driscoll said on a blog or book excerpt I read that he got bummed out at some point in his ministry because married couples kept coming to them to discuss their problems.

    In the midst of that, I guess Driscoll was hearing the amount or type of sex these couples were having (I don’t know if MD was asking or they were volunteering this info), and he said it made him angry, because he wanted frequent, bizarre sex like these couples said they were having, but his wife was not into sex.

    I thought, really? Your only take away from listening to couple’s marital problems is to feel cheated, angry, or jealous because you and your wife are not having sex 34 times a week while you’re wearing a Gorilla suit and she’s in a banana costume?

  107. @ Law Prof:
    He seems perpetually angry at me. He and his friends claim I am not telling the truth when I say that I am not a Calvinist. They cannot see that I can have my view on sin and not be a Calvinist. I do not fit well into anybody’s camp.

  108. Paul wrote:

    The logical conclusion seems to be the only difference between us and the world is FORGIVENESS. In my mind, this makes the New Calvinists right about everything.

    the difference probably is that we confess our sins instead of making excuses for them and the blood of Jesus cleanses us and if we have been in sin in an area Jesus sets us free from it. we dont go around giving everyone a magic sprinkle of our fairy wand dust pronouncing them repentant and christians because they signed a contract with us and agree with everything an elder tells them to do.
    what is the most obvious mark of the ‘New Calvinistas’ has just been discussed here, but since i think you just came here to bait people, you might have overlooked it:

    lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    Galatians 5:13 (KJV)
    13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    I think you calvinistas do not know what the word love means at all.

  109. Gram3 wrote:

    Also we are getting the “he apologized, move on” argument. This is so predictable.

    That also came up a lot in the Duggar story, with the additions of, “that was before he came to Christ,” and, “but he repented!”

  110. @ Marsha:

    I am guessing that their theological beliefs are behind some of it.

    A lot of the guys saying this stuff happen to be Neo Calvinist, some identify themselves as being Reformed (such as Hall), though some of the rest might be of other theological persuasions.

    They think if you view pedophilia as being a worse sin than, say, stealing a five dollar bill from your granny’s purse, than you are being self-righteous and you are denying that you need a Savior and need God’s grace. (Which is not what you’re saying at all, but they assume this is how they depict it.)

  111. Daisy wrote:

    (Which is not what you’re saying at all, but they assume this is how they depict it.)

    I worded that funny. It should be more like:

    Which is not what you’re saying at all, but they assume this is how you believe, or this is how they depict it.

  112. Muff Potter wrote:

    As I’ve opined before lydia, it’s disturbing how close these guys are to the Islam of Arab sheiks and muktars.

    A lot of the ones I’ve seen who espouse this identify as Calvinist or Reformed.

    If you point out the similarities between how they practice Calvinism and ISIS style Islam, they get very offended or accuse you of creating strawmen.

    But there it is, their views and justifications for their views are in fact the same as what you see in ISIS or Al Qaeda.

  113. K.D. wrote:

    There is just something wrong with these guys….and people follow these guys?

    Yes, not only do they follow their teachings and follow them on social media, but they are very vocal in their support of them and will jump to their defense.

  114. what has been troubling me everytime i see a member of the local acts 29 church here is that they dont listen to anything anyone says about the contracts or the church. that is like cult behavior in my opinion, everything the church says is right and there is no discussion allowed at all in their view, except when they are trying to get you to join them. The warnings about siging covenants (contracts) is totally ignored….until something happens to them. Then they have to try and get out of it or ignore it and ‘submit’ to discipline or just get along and let it go. The thing most troubling is that TVC is reworking their contract currently and i am almost certain that it isnt to make sure they are more loving, but rather to close loopholes that Karen Hinkley was able to use to get away from this power mad church.

  115. dee wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    He seems perpetually angry at me. He and his friends claim I am not telling the truth when I say that I am not a Calvinist.

    WOW – Dee, the one who’s attacked for pointing out the excesses of the YRR/neocalvinist crowd, now being accused of being a calvinist.

    Paul sounds like one of these types who hand-paints 100 scriptures on his panel van without understanding the meaning of any of them.

  116. JeffT wrote:

    dee wrote:

    JeffT wrote:
    Pedophiles in the church are OK, women in the pulpit not so much.
    We have made that argument on this blog on numerous occasions.

    You definitely have, and the fact that the knuckleheads still can’t see appalling nature of this attitude after all the damage it does is despairing.

    That thinking is what makes so many churches unsafe places for all of us but especially for kids. Being around that thinking is a culture of death because it is so devaluing to innocent people and the most vulnerable of our society.

  117. dee wrote:

    @ Paul:

    I am not going to get into an argument with you about who is sinning and who is not sinning. You have a blog which you can use and have used to refute me.

    I believe that we all sin and continue to sin after conversion. In many of the confessions, we confess “Forgive us for sins known and unknown.” This is where I stand.

    Now we can deal with the sins that we know about, especially those sins that harm others like pedophilia. For some of those afflicted with this sin, they may be mired in a fixed sexual preference and they will struggle with it until the day they die. But, they should put themselves into a situation so they will not inflict their preferences on children.

    if you are one of those who has conquered your sin, then I am pleased for you. I have not and learn more about myself every day. However, I have joy in the freedom that is afforded to me by Jesus. He does, and will continue to forgive me.
    The point of this post is to discuss TVC and membership contracts

    Yeah, Really. I started reading this, having become really interested in your thoughts on Covenants, and the rabbit trails are amazing.

  118. dee wrote:

    They cannot see that I can have my view on sin and not be a Calvinist. I do not fit well into anybody’s camp.

    I am the same way on a lot of topics. I don’t fit neatly anymore into some positions, whether political or religious, and a lot of people assume they know what I really think about whatever subject.

    A lot of people get angry with me. They will like me up until they find out I don’t share their opinion on X and Z, even though I totally agree with them on Q and W.

    I’ve never been a Calvinist or an Arminian, and on that topic, I’ve yet to meet a Calvinist who understands that.
    They think there can only be two boxes: you are either in the Calvinist box or the Arminian box. They cannot perceive of no boxes, or a third box.

  119. alot of churches have been offering free latte’s and esspresso coffee to entice new members, perhaps their new advertising slogan will read ‘free legal advice on how to resign from your former church’

  120. sam wrote:

    alot of churches have been offering free latte’s and esspresso coffee to entice new members, perhaps their new advertising slogan will read ‘free legal advice on how to resign from your former church’

    I want to find a church that offers free Jaguars.

  121. Law Prof wrote:

    Paul sounds like one of these types who hand-paints 100 scriptures on his panel van without understanding the meaning of any of them.

    Funny. But true. I’ve met Christians who know the Bible backwards and forwards but who are regularly mean or rude.

    Your comment reminds me of lyrics from a Nirvana song:
    He’s the one / Who likes all our pretty songs
    And he likes to sing along / And he likes to shoot his gun / But he knows not what it means

  122. Lydia wrote:

    That thinking is what makes so many churches unsafe places for all of us but especially for kids. Being around that thinking is a culture of death because it is so devaluing to innocent people and the most vulnerable of our society.

    I am majorly hesitant about being in a faith or attending a church that tells me if I am a married lady, I have to stay married to a guy no matter what he does, or how poorly he treats me.

    I just saw an article about two weeks ago that says women atheists/agnostics are rising in number (in the United States).

    You also have a lot of churches in panic mode because of the nones and dones.

    Taking that all together, how do these churches expect to attract women if they are teaching things like if you discover your husband is a pedophile, or if he’s an abusive creep, you must remain married to him, and the church is not going to help you?

  123. Bob M wrote:

    I want to find a church that offers free Jaguars.

    There was a church that gave away free cars if I am not mistaken. I do remember it was the same church that gave away free bikes to kids.

    I’m not sure if this is the same church I had in mind:
    Texas Megachurch to Give Out Cars, TVs at Easter Serviceshttp://www.christianpost.com/news/texas-megachurch-to-give-out-cars-tvs-at-easter-services-44579/

    Nothing says a Risen Savior conquering death like a ten speed or big screen TV set. They will known us by our Toyotas and Huffys. 🙂

  124. Daisy wrote:

    They think there can only be two boxes: you are either in the Calvinist box or the Arminian box. They cannot perceive of no boxes, or a third box.

    I suspect that many of us here are in a third box…

  125. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve never been a Calvinist or an Arminian, and on that topic, I’ve yet to meet a Calvinist who understands that.
    They think there can only be two boxes: you are either in the Calvinist box or the Arminian box. They cannot perceive of no boxes, or a third box.

    Like Marxists cannot perceive of anything other than 100% Worker or 100% Capitalist. Hey, Karl, my 2014 tax returns show me as 85% Worker and 15% Capitalist; what does that make me?

  126. Law Prof wrote:

    Paul sounds like one of these types who hand-paints 100 scriptures on his panel van without understanding the meaning of any of them.

    Rule-of-thumb:
    The more Christianese bumper stickers (or SCRIPTURES(TM)) on the panel van, GET AWAY.
    GET VERY FAR AWAY.
    WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

  127. roebuck wrote:

    I suspect that many of us here are in a third box…

    And there are some who cannot be shoe horned into any sort of box and are equal opportunity infidels all around.

  128. Daisy wrote:

    A lot of the ones I’ve seen who espouse this identify as Calvinist or Reformed.

    I’m not surprised.
    Both Calvin & Mohammed were very much into Predestination, where God’s Sovereign Will overrode everything else, including God’s character/nature and the definition of good & evil. And both Calvin’s & Mohammed’s followers treat their teachings as The Last Word on God, Life, the Universe, and Everything. I would expect their fanboys to behave much the same.

    Many years ago, a writer contact of mine moved to Louisville. At one point while trying to settle in he was involved with a Calvinist church (“Do you Deny the Sovereignty of GOD?” was one of their tag lines) and observed behaviors and attitudes there usually associated with one of the concentrated forms of Islam. Passivity, fatalism, no brake on ambition (“God Wills It!”) among the powerful, and Predestination/Determinism as an excuse machine (“Not My Fault! God’s Will!”)

  129. Daisy wrote:

    They think if you view pedophilia as being a worse sin than, say, stealing a five dollar bill from your granny’s purse, than you are being self-righteous and you are denying that you need a Savior and need God’s grace. (Which is not what you’re saying at all, but they assume this is how they depict it.)

    Sin-Levelling.

    Which allows the child rapist to say to himself “See? You’re a Sinner too! I’M NOT THAT BAD!!!!!”

  130. proudjezebel wrote:

    Now that’s just insulting to ducks. They’re quite intelligent. (Also my favorite animal).

    Take it up with Eric Blair, AKA George Orwell. He coined the term.

  131. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Many years ago, a writer contact of mine moved to Louisville. At one point while trying to settle in he was involved with a Calvinist church (“Do you Deny the Sovereignty of GOD?” was one of their tag lines)

    Oh boy. I am quite familiar. I mean, that is not a yes or no answer question but that is how it is presented by that movement to people. You should see how this sort of thing plays out in Youth Group. It is down right abusive mind control.

  132. Something that all the paid p.r. guys working for Matt Chandler and the Village Church will never be able to change is that real people everywhere have to wonder ‘if TVC’s policy is that they alone can hear the voice of the Lord why did they miss so repeatedly what Karen Hinkley discerned.’ Jordan was a trusted member of the church for many years. Karen discerned a spirit of deceit and a much more horrible spirit of perversion. Maybe if the elders and pastors and small group leaders had spent less time forging contracts to keep members under control they would have seen it also. It shows they dont have discernment at all in this case. They let Jordan return to his home group, they had already aproved of his being in a family oriented home group previously, with no security guy following him around, no checking in or any restrictions.This makes anyone they have approved come under suspiscion in my view. With the recent post of the perverted views of others in the calvinista new whatever they call themselves, it makes me shudder to think of what is in the hearts of all elders at these churches. Parents should be afraid to ever let their children out from under their own care and supervision. If this is what the church missionary is like, what does the sunday school staff look like?
    The fact that Jordan Root is so convincing at pretending to be a good christian that so many people and orginizations didnt know that he was fanticizing about little kids means that they should definately suspect he is unrepentant. If they admitted this however, (that they dont have good discernment) it would make them look bad, they would have to do away with their legal contracts, and now again they are choosing their reputation over the safety of women and children.
    outside agencies that deal with offenders are trained and qualified to see who is showing signs of ‘repentance’ or who is ‘likely to re-offend’ churches cannot purposly shield offenders from being scrutinized by trained counselors in this field, it is not safe for anyone and not helping the offender at all. If Jordan were repentent and truly a christian i would expect to see the next christian headline to read, ‘offender re-dedicates life to Christ, helps LE destroy child trafficking web sites and gives FBI links to all sites he knows of personally’ or something like that.
    Covenants/contracts in churches, if necessary at all, should have a paragraph that clearly states the mandatory reporting laws in their state and that clergy or staff will not shield child predators or wife abusers from the law. Churches have argued that this will keep sinners from coming forward for help but i contend that the thief on the cross didnt ask Jesus to save him from his punishment but to remember him when He came into His kingdom. And Jesus granted him that.

  133. sam wrote:

    The fact that Jordan Root is so convincing at pretending to be a good christian that so many people and orginizations didnt know that he was fanticizing about little kids means that they should definately suspect he is unrepentant.

    One read flag should have been his resume’.

    It was chock full o’ things like,

    Worked for free at Day Care!
    Worked for free as kindergarten teacher’s assistant!
    Worked as little league coach!
    Worked as swim coach for Swim Tots class!
    Taught second grade for X number years!
    Taught Sunday School for elementary school aged kids for Y number years!
    Passionate about helping children in sex trafficking!
    Lead Boy Scout for Troop X!
    Puppet guy for local kid’s show!

    (imagine 237 more examples like that).

    I don’t mean to suggest that all men who take an interest in kids – like one guy at some blog I was on who said he wanted to teach Sunday School to kids – is necessarily a pedophile.

    However, if the guy’s driving force, or majority of time, is spent around children, or children- centered activities and organizations, that screams “Huge Red Flag” to me.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    Nothing says a Risen Savior conquering death like a ten speed or big screen TV set. They will known us by our Toyotas and Huffys.

    rofl

  135. Speaking of Matt Chandler’s colleague at Acts 29:

    “The speeches, which quickly went up on YouTube, played less well in Seattle. “He’s made himself the victim,” says longtime critic and onetime Mars Hill deacon Rob Smith, who expresses skepticism about whether Driscoll’s harrowing tales are true. (What is certain is that late last week, a Swiss-chalet inspired, Snohomish County estate recently owned by a trust controlled by Driscoll and his wife — now belonging to a different trust registered to a woman believed to be the pastor’s sister — was put on the market for $1.6 million.)”

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/evangelical-leaders-give-fallen-mars-hill-pastor-mark-driscoll-a-new-forum/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_bottom

    Yep. Get those assets out of your name!

  136. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve never been a Calvinist or an Arminian, and on that topic, I’ve yet to meet a Calvinist who understands that.
    They think there can only be two boxes: you are either in the Calvinist box or the Arminian box. They cannot perceive of no boxes, or a third box.

    Some of the old school reformed-types are that way, but they are an anachronism is this present age.

  137. Daisy wrote:

    Taking that all together, how do these churches expect to attract women if they are teaching things like if you discover your husband is a pedophile, or if he’s an abusive creep, you must remain married to him, and the church is not going to help you?

    They set up a theological system where disturbed man-boys get their free sex on demand and their opportunity to dominate while simultaneously offering women the promise of good fellowship and intimacy in small groups. They love bomb you initially, and before you can detect the toxins, you’re already pot committed with your friends and social group and fear of being shunned and then they have you, both male and female, husband and wife.

  138. Probably this will be called ‘feminist’ by many in organized churches but i think her point is right on about silencing half of the body of Christ.

    “To be clear, this is not a battle against Matt Chandler, any specific denomination, or really even Complementarian thought within itself; but rather, this is a spiritual war and one of great importance and intensity. I believe that the enemy of our soul, Satan, has a unique hatred for women. Perhaps because He thought He outsmarted her in the Garden of Eden and then she turned around and gave birth to the Son of God who set her free from the curse that man would rule over her (Gen. 3:16) and redeemed the world.

    It is my belief that women have been continuously oppressed and suppressed within the church because their power to bring about the fullness of redemption greatly threatens the kingdom of darkness. What better way for Satan to slow down His ultimate demise but to wire shut the mouths of half of the church of Jesus Christ?”
    http://jorymicah.com/2015/06/01/why-i-predict-complementarians-will-lose-this-theological-battle/?utm_content=buffer7bcc7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  139. @ Law Prof:

    I was talking to a male TVC member not too long ago on social media who wants someone (me especially) to show him exactly where his church states that women are inferior to men.

    I told him they are a complementarian church, and comp’s basis (or one of them of a few) is that women are lesser – even though the adherents will insist that is not so, they will fall back on “women are equal in being but not in role”.

    I referred him to more sources he could read at his leisure.

  140. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Sin-Levelling.
    Which allows the child rapist to say to himself “See? You’re a Sinner too! I’M NOT THAT BAD!!!!!”

    Or, how about sin flipping, where it’s flipped around, where an abuser gets off scot free at TVC because they submit to elder rulership, but the victim does not because she doesn’t agree with elder decisions?

    I refer the sixth story on this page:
    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/stories-of-village-church-and-other.html

    According to that lady, rapists only have to say they repent at TVC, and all is well, but if the victim (who also attends TVC) cannot forgive at all or when/how TVC asks, she gets placed on discipline.

    Totally flipped around. The abuser is held innocent and the victim is considered the guilty party.

    Some of this reminds me of stories I’ve read about abuse in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches -IFBs also blame women or kids for being molested but let the rapist or molester off the hook.

  141. @ Law Prof:
    Wow. As many have commented on my blog, the claws really come out over here when you ask the tough questions. I think an email I got today from someone who reviewed the responses states it well: “They don’t even understand the question, nor do they care to.” That pretty much sums it up. I challenged Dee concerning very specific points in regard to the gospel. Instead of simply answering my questions specifically from the Bible, I was arrogantly dismissed and the personal insults started flying. I have heard repeatedly from people that this is the protocol over here. And “law professor,” perhaps if you want to say the things you are saying about me here, you should identify yourself and not hide behind a nickname.That’s what I do online when when I have something to say to someone–they know who’s saying it. In other words, I’m calling you a coward.

  142. Daisy wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    I was talking to a male TVC member not too long ago on social media who wants someone (me especially) to show him exactly where his church states that women are inferior to men.

    Just a semantic shell game. Common to cults.

  143. Paul wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Wow. As many have commented on my blog, the claws really come out over here when you ask the tough questions. I think an email I got today from someone who reviewed the responses states it well: “They don’t even understand the question, nor do they care to.” That pretty much sums it up. I challenged Dee concerning very specific points in regard to the gospel. Instead of simply answering my questions specifically from the Bible, I was arrogantly dismissed and the personal insults started flying. I have heard repeatedly from people that this is the protocol over here. And “law professor,” perhaps if you want to say the things you are saying about me here, you should identify yourself and not hide behind a nickname.That’s what I do online when when I have something to say to someone–they know who’s saying it. In other words, I’m calling you a coward.

    I’ll stay right here behind a nickname. I am not a coward. But you are a fool.

  144. …and a rather low grade troll. Go back to your blog, where you can make use of the typographical arts rather than reason to make your points. Just don’t mix your points up with Jesus. He has nothing to do with them.

  145. @ Paul:

    Paul,

    Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than troll around here? I mean, don’t you have your own blog and all? I don’t have a particular axe to grind, but seriously, you are coming across as a real obnoxious jerk.

  146. @ Law Prof:
    Wow. I think Deb and Dee can vouch for how often I come over here, but apparently, coming one time too many and asking the wrong questions makes me a troll. And the 2500 + articles and 3 books I have written on the Reformation are “typographical arts.” Whoa, who’s the Calvinistas now? Somebody do a summary of what I have been called just on this stream alone: stunning.

  147. First time posting here 🙂
    It doesn’t seem likely that Chandler believes in church discipline as he freely associates with CJ even when he was under church discipline. None of the other Reformed Big Dogs seemed to be troubled either and Dever even welcomed him at his church during that time.

  148. Paul wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Wow. I think Deb and Dee can vouch for how often I come over here, but apparently, coming one time too many and asking the wrong questions makes me a troll. And the 2500 + articles and 3 books I have written on the Reformation are “typographical arts.” Whoa, who’s the Calvinistas now? Somebody do a summary of what I have been called just on this stream alone: stunning.

    You seem to bask in it. Being an obnoxious twit makes you a troll, not asking questions.

  149. @ Paul:
    Paul:

    All you do is try to change the focus of the conversation to your favorite “gotcha” questions. Go back into your hole on the blog you host and deal with your issues there. This blog is about a different issue than you and your warped theology.

    Deebs, GBTC, please get Paul outta here.

    Thanks.

  150. Daisy wrote:

    I was talking to a male TVC member not too long ago on social media who wants someone (me especially) to show him exactly where his church states that women are inferior to men.

    He obviously hasn’t read TVCs bylaws:

    The minimum qualifications for Central Elders shall not be less than those listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, including without limitation the requirement that Central Elders be men.
    The minimum qualifications for Campus Elders shall not be less than those listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, including without limitation the requirement that Campus Elders be men.

    But, of course, then they come back with some pretzel-logic trying to rationalize how being excluded from any important position in the church because of your gender doesn’t mean your inferior.

  151. Paul, you’re very definition of a troll because you try to force an issue of Calvinism/Arminianism that simply does not match the topic. You want to hijack the topic and run your own debate. The topic is TVC Church and membership contracts. Only by the most tortured and backhanded analysis can that topic be fit into the debate you’re trying to set up. People do not appreciate trolls. Why should they? I not only understand the points you’re trying to bring up, I served as an elder at a church led by an Arminian pastor every bit as hard core as his Calvinist counterparts. I got a very good lesson in the finer points of Arminianism. He was, by the way, the most rapacious, sadistic person I have known in my life.

    I’m not sorry for pointing out that you are a troll, but I should’ve been more mature like Dee and simply not engaged you.

    I am sorry for calling you a “fool”. That was wrong.

  152. Paul wrote:

    Add “Twit” to the list. Classy bunch you have over here Dee.

    Were you born this way, or was it something you had to work at? You come over here, diss everybody in a provocative and snotty manner, and then collect names as some sort of trophy. You are a troll of the most blatant type, and a twit indeed. You’ve earned your titles. Why not just go away? Do you consider yourself Christian?

  153. Daisy wrote:

    I was talking to a male TVC member not too long ago on social media who wants someone (me especially) to show him exactly where his church states that women are inferior to men.

    Did you ask him to show you where, exactly, God prescribed roles of Leader/Speaker for males and Follower/Listener to females, with males *always* in authority?

    If he ever lets you know that, please let me know. I’ve been asking, and asking, and asking Complementarians to show me where that is in the Bible. No luck so far.

  154. dee wrote:

    I saw an interesting on comment on Twitter.

    That was Karen Swallow Prior, a person with a lot of wisdom and a great writer to boot.

  155. @ Law Prof:
    Not engaging me is not “mature,” it means like her, you can’t answer the questions. Viz, in my offer to supply citations from the Calvin Institutes to another who said I didn’t know what I was talking about, I was disengaged.

  156. Your older post about how covenant type documents serve the organization more than the member reminds me of that part of the movie Social Media where the one guy is meeting with the lawyers and thinks they are representing him along with the corporate interests and later finds he’s been written out of the business entirely. They represented the corporation in that scene, not the shareholders.

  157. roebuck wrote:

    You seem to bask in it. Being an obnoxious twit makes you a troll, not asking questions.

    Speaking of which, I see our friend, JacKamilla, has been making cold calls on blogs elsewhere, too. I thought we were objects of special affection, but apparently not.

  158. In following this story the last few days, I will say that through being abused by churches in the past I simply let the Lord judge the situation….and He did. God can and will comfort His afflicted ones. Material prosperity mentalities are so pervasive in seminaries and churches. God will judge. The Village will gain no new members and in fact lose the trust of current ones, simple as that. The contract they had was simply a controlling mechanism and lacked a Trust in God period.

  159. Paul wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    …it means like her, you can’t answer the questions.

    You remind me of Jed Smock. Paul, this is my last communication with you. You are a rather low-level troll. And that was a pretty pathetic attempt to bait me.

  160. Paul wrote:

    @ roebuck:
    I will go away when the verbal abuse is finished. Waiting for Deb or Dee to say, “We are done verbally abusing you now.”

    Verbal abuse? Come on! You’re being a jerk, that’s all. Why don’t you just go away, back to your own blog, and leave it at that.

  161. Paul wrote:

    it means like her, you can’t answer the questions

    Not engaging is not the same as not being able to answer questions. That is an unfounded accusation.

    I don’t understand why you are demanding an answer in the first place. As far as I can tell she answered you. You weren’t satisfied with her answer.

    Please don’t lump everyone together into “nice bunch you have over here.” Only a few people even responded to you. Talk to them directly if you were offended or have issues with what they said.

  162. Paul wrote:

    Waiting for Deb or Dee to say, “We are done verbally abusing you now.”

    They aren’t. What is the matter with you?

  163. Paul wrote:

    Classy bunch you have over here Dee.

    I am late to the conversation, but Dee is pathologically ADORABLE!

    And I have no doubt that Deb is too!

    Love and hugs,

    “Velour”, sister in Christ to “Satin”(sic), daughter of “Stan” (sic)

  164. The most spot on comment I’ve read regarding sex in the evangelical world. Kind of reminds me of when Paul told the Corinthians they were caught up in things the world saw as shameful yet they were boasting! lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.

    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

  165. Robin wrote:

    The most spot on comment I’ve read regarding sex in the evangelical world. Kind of reminds me of when Paul told the Corinthians they were caught up in things the world saw as shameful yet they were boasting!

    lydia wrote:

    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.

    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

    And that “sickness” in the evangelical world also explains why Child Sexual Abuse is the No. 1 reason that churches get sued every year in court (sources:
    Church Mutual, the largest insurer of churches; Richard Hammar, attorney, at
    Church Law & Tax). And that also explains why there is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the evangelical church that rivals, or exceeds, that of the Catholic Church.

  166. Teresa wrote:

    First time posting here
    It doesn’t seem likely that Chandler believes in church discipline as he freely associates with CJ even when he was under church discipline. None of the other Reformed Big Dogs seemed to be troubled either and Dever even welcomed him at his church during that time.

    Welcome Teresa! And spot on comment.

  167. Paul wrote:

    “They don’t even understand the question, nor do they care to.”

    I freely admit to not understanding your point of contention with Dee, nor did I understand your other posts about it or why you disagree with her.

    You said,

    And “law professor,” perhaps if you want to say the things you are saying about me here, you should identify yourself and not hide behind a nickname.That’s what I do online when when I have something to say to someone–they know who’s saying it. In other words, I’m calling you a coward.

    Aw. I post under a fake name too, but I’ve resorted to doing so over the years, ever since I was cyber stalked by one sicko (for a period of several years!) and then again by another guy about over a year ago for several months or more.

  168. Law Prof wrote:

    Just a semantic shell game. Common to cults.

    I also found it a silly argument.

    No Christian church is going to come right out and say anywhere in their rules or web site “we think women are inferior to men!,” but that is an un-examined bias they hold and that underlies their comp assumptions, never-the-less.

  169. @ Paul:

    It is not that we are not able. I could easily take it on, with both a Ph.D. and J.D., as well as a 500 plus volume library of books on theology and the history of theological movements. But it is not relevant to this time and place and you are acting as a pirate, taking over what is not yours for your SINFUL pleasure. Please go away.

  170. @ Marsha:
    As far as I know there’s not prohibition on having unbelievers come in and enjoy, and learn from, the private goings-on within a congregational meeting. But from what I read in the Bible, the purpose of the church is to comfort, console, have compassion on, support, teach, encourage, and yes, to reprove and even rebuke believers. It is for the believers to meet and sing sons, and pray and speak out, and eat together as a family. Guests are always welcome. And frankly, if no one ever enters a congregation of believers, it may be difficult for them to see the love we have one for another that is the only hallmark of Jesus disciples.

    But the church is not for evangelization. It’s for the communing of believers.

    At least that’s what I have come to believe that the Bible teaches. If I’m wrong, I would appreciate any correction or clarification.

  171. @ Gram3:

    Alas, no. I bowed out, or tried to. When I logged back in a couple hours later to make a new post, the guy had contacted me yet again, after I already told him bye bye.

    I’m not very good at debating complementarianism, not the way comps like to debate it.

    Complementarians often like to get caught up on nit picky things, and arguing the same cherry picked verses over and over (like the one about Paul saying “I forbid a woman to teach”).

    Debating about that and other topics in that manner is not my forte’.

    My manner of arguing against complementarianism is to step back and look at the forest, not the trees. I like to point out the more basic reasons it is wrong, how it doesn’t work out in the real lives of women, etc.

    Unfortunately, most comps I see LOVE the trees, not the forest, and they want to argue about particular verses and the underlying Greek (I don’t know Greek) until the cows come home. I find watching paint drying more fun. 🙂

  172. Paul wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Not engaging me is not “mature,” it means like her, you can’t answer the questions. Viz, in my offer to supply citations from the Calvin Institutes to another who said I didn’t know what I was talking about, I was disengaged.

    This sounds a lot like the “TRUTH HURTS, DOESN’T IT? HUH? HUH? HUH?” I got years ago in an email harassment campaign falsely accusing me of bestiality.

  173. Daisy wrote:

    Aw. I post under a fake name too, but I’ve resorted to doing so over the years, ever since I was cyber stalked by one sicko (for a period of several years!) and then again by another guy about over a year ago for several months or more.

    I do because I’ve got a fairly common name and there were always commenters with the same name as me.

  174. Paul wrote:

    @ roebuck:
    I will go away when the verbal abuse is finished. Waiting for Deb or Dee to say, “We are done verbally abusing you now.”

    Notice the Reverse Blame-Shift here, with the abuser accusing the victim of abuse.

    I heard about a study that claimed the most characteristic sign of a Sociopath is the ability to do a reverse blame-shift and paint themselves as the Poor Poor Innocent Victim.

  175. 60 years a Baptist Christian wrote:

    @ Paul:

    It is not that we are not able. I could easily take it on, with both a Ph.D. and J.D., as well as a 500 plus volume library of books on theology and the history of theological movements. But it is not relevant to this time and place and you are acting as a pirate, taking over what is not yours for your SINFUL pleasure. Please go away.

    1) This sidetracks everything into Semantics, where the sidetracker has the home field advantage when it comes to parsing letter-by-letter.
    2) And the court-martial ends up arguing for days about how many quarts of strawberries there were in the Officer’s Pantry on the USS Caine instead of whether Captain Queeg was unfit to command.

  176. Law Prof wrote:

    Paul wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    …it means like her, you can’t answer the questions.

    You remind me of Jed Smock. Paul, this is my last communication with you. You are a rather low-level troll. And that was a pretty pathetic attempt to bait me.

    Jed Smock?
    Is that “Brother Jed” the crazy street preacher?
    With his wife “Disco Queen”?

  177. Daisy wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    There is just something wrong with these guys….and people follow these guys?
    Yes, not only do they follow their teachings and follow them on social media, but they are very vocal in their support of them and will jump to their defense.

    And that right there Daisy is spooky itself…

  178. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I do because I’ve got a fairly common name and there were always commenters with the same name as me.

    I freely admit to Paul I am a coward and that’s why I hide behind a screen name.

    I was tired of dudes online (usually 15 – 20 more years my senior) either flirting with me and even after I told them ‘NO, not interested,’ or the one wacko who liked harassing me for years.

    I also still admit I didn’t comprehend his theological disagreement with Dee. Except he was accusing her of being a stealth Calvinist(?)

  179. @ Daisy:

    Yeah. Happened years ago. Guy was a real A-hole. Finally rang in my writing partner (the burned-out preacher) as tag-team backup and the guy bailed.

  180. Robin wrote:

    The most spot on comment I’ve read regarding sex in the evangelical world. Kind of reminds me of when Paul told the Corinthians they were caught up in things the world saw as shameful yet they were boasting! lydia wrote:
    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.
    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.
    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

    You know, this obsession some of these guys have with sex, it makes you wonder if somehow it ” is exciting” for them to discuss sex in the pulpit or online, this is actually is a ” fantasy” that is being lived out in ” plain view?”

  181. Daisy wrote:

    sam wrote:

    The fact that Jordan Root is so convincing at pretending to be a good christian that so many people and orginizations didnt know that he was fanticizing about little kids means that they should definately suspect he is unrepentant.

    One red flag should have been his resume’.
    It was chock full o’ things like:
    Worked for free at Day Care!
    Worked for free as kindergarten teacher’s assistant!
    Worked as little league coach!
    Worked as swim coach for Swim Tots class!
    Taught second grade for X number years!
    Taught Sunday School for elementary school aged kids for Y number years!
    Passionate about helping children in sex trafficking!
    Lead Boy Scout for Troop X!
    Puppet guy for local kid’s show!
    (imagine 237 more examples like that).

    Why do I suddenly hear that Dr Demento song “Kinko, Kinko, the Kid-Loving Clown” by Ogden Edsel?

    And he wasn’t doing it for free – he was paying himself in the process.

  182. K.D. wrote:

    You know, this obsession some of these guys have with sex, it makes you wonder if somehow it ” is exciting” for them to discuss sex in the pulpit or online, this is actually is a ” fantasy” that is being lived out in ” plain view?”

    1) I have long maintained that Christians are just as messed-up sexually as everyone else these days, just they show it differently.
    2) As for the Exciting Preaching, how else can the Church Ladies get their porn fix of such JUICY Forbidden Fruit and still stay Respectable?

  183. K.D. wrote:

    You know, this obsession some of these guys have with sex, it makes you wonder if somehow it ” is exciting” for them to discuss sex in the pulpit or online, this is actually is a ” fantasy” that is being lived out in ” plain view?”

    It has always seemed that way to me. Driscoll took it to nauseating extremes, but all these guys seem to me to have, shall we say, problems in the area of sexuality.

  184. K.D. wrote:

    You know, this obsession some of these guys have with sex, it makes you wonder if somehow it ” is exciting” for them to discuss sex in the pulpit or online, this is actually is a ” fantasy” that is being lived out in ” plain view?”

    The obsession with sex got so bad this guy wrote this a few years ago:

    The Church of Sex
    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/the-church-of-sex/

    You know it’s gotten bad when married Christians start complaining about it. Singles such as myself was noticing this way before the married couples did.

    As a single adult you do tend to notice when every other sermon is like, Ten Steps to Steamy Evangelical Married Sex.

    And with the opening by the married pastor (you can always expect this):
    “And don’t fret singles, this may be for married people, but it can benefit you some day too!”

    That’s the point where I usually want to hurl rotten tomatoes at the preacher’s head.

  185. @ Flicker:

    That’s how I read it too. But many churches’ gathering times have become an Evangelitic time to get more people into seats listening to them.

  186. Daisy wrote:

    Unfortunately, most comps I see LOVE the trees, not the forest, and they want to argue about particular verses and the underlying Greek (I don’t know Greek) until the cows come home. I find watching paint drying more fun.

    I think it is a lot of fun to banter with them. Occasionally, one will try to throw out a clobber verse, but their problem is they cannot define a consistent hermeneutic, so it just gets to the point where, “OK, you are going to make up whatever you need to make up in order to make your presupposition prove something.” They will not answer that question I posed because they cannot. It is simply another tradition of human beings. But it sounds bibley. I think I’ll make that my new signature.

  187. Dear Paul,

    I used to follow your blog with interest, and I believe I’ve given your ideas a fair hearing. I understand the Neo-Calvinists hurt you big time. You’re not the only one who has been hurt and shunned by Calvinists who equate TULIP with the Gospel. (Me, too!)

    However, there are a few reasons I stopped following your blog. One is that you say that Christians are no longer under the law (because they have died to it in Christ), and thus do not sin anymore, because there is no law that applies anymore. I do agree that we are not under the law, but under grace, and that we have died that we might live in Christ. However, you seem to think that now sin doesn’t exist anymore. So when a Christian does something that used to be sin before they became a Christian, it isn’t really sin anymore. It’s just a “familial” matter that can be disciplined. The thing is, you are not the only one with a market share on this concept. You’ve heard of free gracers, right? What comes to my mind are the teachings of the Evangelical Free Grace Society. In order to avoid the accusation of cheap grace, they say that a Christian’s sinning is taken account at the Bema Seat judgment for Christians as a loss of reward. You appear to hold to the same view. Please do correct me if I’m wrong. In this viewpoint that EFGS holds, a Christian can do any heinous sin imaginable, and even practice it all their lives without repentance, and the only thing that will happen is that they are dinged at the Bema Seat judgment and lose a trinket, or at worst, forfeit the right to rule and reign with Christ during the millennial reign on earth (and Christ will be ticked off at them a bit while He retrains them to be sanctified for 1000 years). I’m sure you don’t quite believe in millennial exclusion, but the bottom line point is that it’s cheap grace, easy believism. A person like my father would LOVE what you have to say. He can beat my mother and it isn’t even sin anymore, because there’s no longer any law! The worst that will happen is that he doesn’t get rewarded. Boo hoo. As my dad always told me when I confronted him on his actions, “As long as I get in.” He doesn’t care if he loses out on rewards. He thinks sanctification is optional, much as you do.

    I encourage you to really think about what you’re saying. Try applying your teaching to the same people who hurt you and broke up your marriage. Let’s say those same people ascribed to your ideas and renounced all Reformation doctrine, but did the same things to hurt you and remained unrepentant, continuing in the same sort of behavior all their lives. Since they technically didn’t “sin”, and the only thing coming to them is a loss of rewards, they have very little incentive to repent. Most people don’t care about rewards later when they can have their cake and eat it too right now. The bottom line is, the same people who hurt you would still not change even if they ascribed to your teaching. There’s no reason for them to. Sanctification is now optional, and can be put off in a sort of Bema Seat purgatory later. And trust me, as someone who got sucked into millennial exclusion for a while, I am well aware how this view of the Bema Seat can devolve into a purgatory-like state. Shucks, the modern Catholic view of purgatory (it’s been watered down and white-washed in the past 100 years) is more humane and kind than what the Evangelical Free Grace Society proposes. You, sir, if you continue on your path, will eventually have to resolve how Christians who live wicked lives are to be dealt with in your theological system. You will either end up with something akin to the severity of millennial exclusion, or you will end up with cheap grace that rewards evil people, and makes hell meaningless, since all you have to do is believe in Christ one time in your life to be eternally secure. If you choose the former, you will also end up shoving sincere Christians who don’t want to practice evil into a blender with wicked people, and they will walk around terrified of being dinged at the Bema Seat, as I did for two years of my life.

    Another issue that stopped me from following your blog is your cherry picking of historical sources. I used to believe writers when they cited something from a secondary source, and trusted that they picked good sources (like, you know, scholars and historians). I no longer do that, ever since finding out that the Albigensians/Cathars that Dave Hunt insisted were evangelical Christians were actually a Gnostic, neo-Manichaean cult. Now, I verify via actual historians. The way you cherry pick reminds me too much of Dave Hunt’s tactics. (He went so far as to cite an ex-priest turned novelist as if the guy was an actual historian.) Please cite from actual historians when you talk about church history. Citing a YouTube video by Jesse Morrell is sloppy. His own sources are mixed (much like Dave Hunt’s) to prove his ideas, rather than to take in a wider scope. You also would not like Pelagius if you got into more of his surviving writings and those of his followers. Let’s just say they will remind you of Catholic teachings on mortal sins far too much. But so long as it demonizes Augustine, I guess it’s OK to side with Pelagius, right? (And for the record, I’m not Calvinist and recognize that Augustine wasn’t right with a lot of things. That still doesn’t mean we should demonize him.) Please consider reading from actual historians. Perhaps you could start with Philip Schaff. His church history series is now public domain and freely available at ccel.org. I’ve found him pretty trustworthy too. He even admits that the Anabaptists were persecuted by the Reformers, and he does not give Calvin a pass in the Servetus affair, even though he himself was Presbyterian. Please, I beg of you to educate yourself. I hate seeing so many Christians from history being broad-brushed as heretics. Yes, they often packed in Plato, but that same Platonistic philosophy also helped them believe in a monotheistic God and see their need for a Savior. Please don’t demonize these people. There are many amazing gems in church history that you are impoverishing yourself of. Yes, they have flaws, as any gem does. Yes, they need some cutting. So do I. We all have blind spots and bring our own presumptions in when we read the Bible. Learn to be merciful, and learn from the mistakes these men made and ask God to show you yours. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading church history and early Christian writings, it’s to be merciful, and to ask God to help me learn both from the triumphs and mistakes.

    And no, your “historian” friend who helps you out isn’t a real historian just because he read a few books. Real historians are peer reviewed for flaws in citations etc, and typically have these things called university degrees. Until your friend has his book peer reviewed by respectable individuals in academia, he doesn’t count as a historian. Stop calling him that.

    The final thing that made me quit reading your blog is that your writing is attracting shady characters. Thus far, your two biggest followers are a Socinian/Arian heretic who denies Christ’s deity, and a woman who thinks fornication is A-OK. That’s disturbing. Yet, you continue to accept these people and keep company with them, while telling people here that they’re believing in a false gospel. Hello, pot; meet kettle. Will you ever tell the heretic and the immoral person the same? Or is having an audience of two more important to you? I smell a hypocrite. Sorry, but it’s true.

    I know you won’t take this well. I don’t expect you to. Sorry if it all sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. I can only hope that someday you’ll really think about what I said, and reevaluate before you start running around determining people’s salvation for them.

    And by the way, I actually like Paul Washer. I don’t like his courtship stuff and marriage teachings that fail to deal with domestic violence, and I don’t care for his Calvinism. But I love him to death, because he once delivered a sermon on the Bema Seat that completely unsnapped the chains that the Evangelical Free Grace Society had bound me in. Because of him, I can actually know that God loves me and that he’s not taking meticulous notes to ding me at the Bema Seat and throw me into “outer darkness” for 1000 years if I fail to be sanctified enough upon my death. As an abuse victim of my psychotic father, I really needed to know the Father’s love for me, and that I didn’t have to face a Protestant purgatory–one that’s even worse than the current Catholic teaching of purgatory. At least my family can pray me out of the latter long before 1000 years is up! You’ll have to forgive me for taking affront at people demonizing others, even if I don’t always agree with the people who are demonized. God used that man in my life, despite his being Calvinist and a so-called “gnostic”. I hope one day God uses a Calvinist to heal your wounds. Hopefully then you’ll learn to show mercy when someone doesn’t get everything right. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you. I know you’ve been through a lot of hurt, and I know you want to turn the evil that happened in your life into doing good for others. May God direct your steps.

  188. Teresa wrote:

    First time posting here
    It doesn’t seem likely that Chandler believes in church discipline as he freely associates with CJ even when he was under church discipline. None of the other Reformed Big Dogs seemed to be troubled either and Dever even welcomed him at his church during that time.

    This is the big hyopcrisy of their movement. But as long as their followers agree that they are the specially anointed leaders apppointed by God to interpret scipture for them then they cannot see it.

  189. @ Bridget:

    Yes, this is it. The seekers focus was plainly on the “unchurched” not the “unsaved”. They were totally upfront about it and everyone thought it a good thing. Because, you know, going to church is everything, right? So “evangelism” became about getting more people in church, period. The entire focus changed and bigger and bigger churches with lots of attractions were a result.

  190. K.D. wrote:

    You know, this obsession some of these guys have with sex, it makes you wonder if somehow it ” is exciting” for them to discuss sex in the pulpit or online, this is actually is a ” fantasy” that is being lived out in ” plain view?”

    do you remember a few years back when it was all about their “smoking hot wives”? Talk about objectification. Driscoll started a lot of that making it really cool to talk about your wife keeping herself “hot” in sermons and online.

  191. @ Flicker:

    Hmmm. Maybe. Any ideas for a definition? Smart phone posting is always a hoot!

    People probably think I’m illiterate most of the time. It used to bother me. Now I let it go unless it’s really bad.

  192. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Paul wrote:
    @ Law Prof:
    …it means like her, you can’t answer the questions.
    You remind me of Jed Smock. Paul, this is my last communication with you. You are a rather low-level troll. And that was a pretty pathetic attempt to bait me.
    Jed Smock?
    Is that “Brother Jed” the crazy street preacher?
    With his wife “Disco Queen”?

    One and the same. Saw them on campus a couple times back in the day when Brother Jed and Sister Cindy were about as youthful as Matt Chandler–that dates me quite a bit. I once stepped in between an unhinged Jed and a very angry Muslim who’d taken offense to Jed’s schtick. The reason I made the comparison was because Jed was also an unreasoning full tilt Arminian, definitely not in the kindly Welseyan tradition.

  193. Flicker wrote:

    I read this at first as Evangelithic. I wonder if that could actually be a real word.

    When your heart has turned to stone from hearing people teach things like we have been discussing. I think that those of us who still are conservative evangelicals should be horrified beyond words at how our faith has been hijacked to bully a woman who refused to submit to their depraved directive. And yes, I think it is depraved to even hint that a woman should spend her life like that.

  194. Robin wrote:

    The most spot on comment I’ve read regarding sex in the evangelical world. Kind of reminds me of when Paul told the Corinthians they were caught up in things the world saw as shameful yet they were boasting! lydia wrote:

    @ dee:
    There is a very sick strain of sexual ignorance and perverted thinking running through a large swath of Christendom. JD Hall insists that all of us are sexual deviants and all men have thoughts of rape. Driscoll promoted sodomy in marriage for the husband’s satisfaction among other things. Mahaney praised his wife for doing her duty when she was horribly sick.

    it is no surprise to me that a person who attends the village church would think that pedophilia in a husband is not a form of adultery. Criminal, too. in their world, pedophilia is not a good enough reason for divorce or annulment to a fraud.

    There is a sickness about sex out there in evangelical circles that is alarming.

    really good point Robin. Also in 2nd corinth paul spends part of his epistle answering, ‘since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me… makes me think the tactics against anyone pointing out their error of this type is to next say, are you even a christian? or whatever the corinthians said to prompt Paul to have to go there in his response.

  195. @ Bridget:
    It could mean “He’s a Stone Evangelist!” Not that I even have a clue what someone who would say this might mean.

    Or it could mean, Ossified Evangelicalism. Which is what we’re discussing here.

    Or I could mean the stoney heart of the unbeliever who need evangelizing. Which is probably a pejorative.

    But I think I would choose: Giving primacy to the Cornerstone in presenting the Gospel of Grace.

  196. “One final question. If he shouldn’t be loyal to any denomination or group of Christians, to what should he be loyal?”

    “He ought to be loyal to the Lord and to the principles of His Word.”

    Yes, of course! That is the only correct answer. It is a mistake to develop an undying loyalty to any Christian fellowship, no matter how scriptural it may be at the time.

    Even suppose that you reject the whole idea of denominations. Suppose you meet with Christians who refuse any sectarian name. Suppose, for instance, that they speak of themselves by this innocuous name of “the assemblies.” They seek to adhere to the teaching of the Word. Shouldn’t you throw in your lot with them permanently and be loyal to them alone?

    If you do, you will find yourself in a difficult position.

    You are committed to a group that will almost inevitably change over the years. This has been the history of almost every Christian fellowship. Liberal tendencies creep in. Zeal and freshness give way to formalism. A denominational hierarchy develops. Soon you can write Ichabod over the whole thing — the glory has departed.

    quote from -TO WHAT SHOULD WE BE LOYAL? by William MacDonald

  197. Casey wrote:

    The Village will gain no new members and in fact lose the trust of current ones, simple as that.

    I wish this were true, but I am amazed that people choose to stay. I came out of a church that has serious problems in the leadership. I took me years to walk away. Once I did it, it was so easy and pain free.

    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:

    1. Their friends, family, boss & coworkers are there.
    2. They don’t know where else to go
    3. Their prior church was so much more dysfunctional, this one seems heavenly.
    4. They don’t like seeing or admitting anything negative.
    5. They don’t know how to leave. For example, what to say to others.
    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)
    7.
    8.
    9.
    10.

  198. Janey wrote:

    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:

    7. They actually believe what they’re seeing and hearing is right.

  199. Daisy wrote:

    Complementarians often like to get caught up on nit picky things, and arguing the same cherry picked verses over and over (like the one about Paul saying “I forbid a woman to teach”).

    I believe that God divinely inspired Paul to use the personal pronoun “I” as that was Paul’s directive not God’s. Paul explicitly did not say “God forbids”!!!!! And it was to a specific congregation and the translation is not exact, so that it could refer to a specific woman not women in general.

  200. I know a woman who stayed at a church that was being taken over by another church, a hostile takeover, and she said that she and many others stayed because God has placed a new authority over them. She had no spiritual choice.

  201. Flicker wrote:

    she said that she and many others stayed because God has placed a new authority over them. She had no spiritual choice

    YIkes. Well “8. It’s God’s will; I have no choice.” needs to be added to the list.

  202. Someone used the word(?) “Evangelithic”. Is that Christian rock? Or evangelism in the Stone(d) Age?

  203. I think one of the biggest reasons people stay in rough churches is that it’s just so much easier that taking responsibility for your spiritual obedience and practice.

    The title Vicar comes from the vicarious presence of Christ among them, through the Vicar. And I think the modern Christian audiences receive a vicarious spiritual experience through the study and moral discipline and devotion of the pastor. I really feel they get a sense of justification and righteousness by submitting themselves to their pastor and receiving his blessing upon themselves by reflected glory.

    And frankly, even if their motives were pure, there aren’t that many really loving and nurturing churches out there for them to attend. If there were the congregants would grow spiritually, and grow into maturity and become the teachers of the young. But that’s more effort than I think a lot of people are willing to take. I don’t know if this is immediately excusable by God; it may be. But it may also be the wide gate that Jesus refers to.

  204. Flicker wrote:

    she said that she and many others stayed because God has placed a new authority over them

    Oh good night! I wish people would learn to question more.

  205. Flicker wrote:

    I really feel they get a sense of justification and righteousness by submitting themselves to their pastor and receiving his blessing upon themselves by reflected glory.

    Sort of like “sanctification by proxy”?

  206. Law Prof wrote:

    Paul sounds like one of these types who hand-paints 100 scriptures on his panel van

    I hadn’t seen that van around for a while, sounds like he moved to your area, sorry, such an embarrassment.

  207. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Dear Paul,
    ….We all have blind spots and bring our own presumptions in when we read the Bible. Learn to be merciful, and learn from the mistakes these men made and ask God to show you yours. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading church history and early Christian writings, it’s to be merciful, and to ask God to help me learn both from the triumphs and mistakes. I hope one day God uses a Calvinist to heal your wounds. Hopefully then you’ll learn to show mercy when someone doesn’t get everything right. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you. I know you’ve been through a lot of hurt, and I know you want to turn the evil that happened in your life into doing good for others. May God direct your steps.

    I don’t know Paul, or his blog, and I am new to today’s conversation and whatever transpired. I did, however, sense a lot of anger and unresolved grief in Paul.
    Clockwork Angel, your post to Paul was deep and I learned a lot about things I knew nothing about. Thank you. I will be joining you in praying for Paul.

    Paul, brother, please get some help. A lot of it is out there.

  208. @ Janey:
    Maybe. I’m not sure what that means. But I think we are sanctified by proxy insofar as we are sanctified in Jesus through His atonement.

    I think some people are enjoying (wrongly) the splashing on them of righteousness by submitting to the ritual of showing up for their weekly or semi-weekly obligation to sit in front of a holy man. I wasn’t raised a Christian so I see sitting in from of a holy man at regular specified intervals to be a waste of time and effort. But I can easily imagine that there are others who do so for the … the buying of indulgences with the currency of their time and energy.

  209. Michaela wrote:

    please get some help

    I frequent tech sites to resolve computer issues I encounter. I’m always amazed that people spend enormous time working out solutions and then post their results for free. They are a great benefit to people they will never know.

    Years ago some guy was banned from some sites because instead of providing answers or assistance he berated people asking questions. One weird dude, I still wonder why he would go out of his way to hack away at people in a forum meant to provide help. I can’t recall for sure but I think it was the same name as an odd duck that came through here today. Just strange.

  210. @ Paul:

    I will go away when the verbal abuse is finished. Waiting for Deb or Dee to say, “We are done verbally abusing you now.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    I just want to tickle you!

  211. @ dee:
    Even the trolls on TWW get wonderful treatment: tickling, wine and a massage. Amazing. This is the best discernment blog out there!

  212. Janey wrote:

    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)

    Me too. I’ll be a light! Yeah right…all I got was a dose of bitterness from which I still suffer (and cause those around me to do the same).

  213. Bill M wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Paul sounds like one of these types who hand-paints 100 scriptures on his panel van
    I hadn’t seen that van around for a while, sounds like he moved to your area, sorry, such an embarrassment.

    Sometimes the people who are the showiest about their faith and love are the ones least committed to faith and love.

  214. Flicker wrote:

    @ dee:
    Hi, Dee. For them it was a matter of the spiritual authority. It’s been beaten into their heads.

    Yes, the spiritual authority–the “covering”.

    Many years ago my wife was co-directing a citywide Christian event, big metro, felt lots of pressure. A very highly-placed person at the mega were were attending at the time was nicely but very insistently saying “You must have a spiritual covering if you’re to take this on!” So my wife sought out area pastors to be her covering, but honest to goodness, when they all got together in a meeting, about a half dozen area pastors and leaders, some of them started preening and then they got in a vigorous debate that she and her co-director had to mediate. Fiasco. She was then praying to the Lord for guidance when she told me she heard very clearly the voice of Jesus in her head saying “I AM your spiritual covering!” And with that she dropped all the strutting leaders and so-called pastors and didn’t look back. The event went off well.

  215. Law Prof could probably help out on this.

    Do not sign a church covenant unless it states “either party can dissolve this ‘contract’ at anytime they are no longer in agreement with said covenant.

    People grow.

    Perhaps it’s better to find another church instead.

  216. “Perhaps it’s better to find another church instead.”

    Sign it or be less than the body of Christ. Hmmm.

  217. Janey wrote:

    @ dee:
    Even the trolls on TWW get wonderful treatment: tickling, wine and a massage. Amazing. This is the best discernment blog out there!

    And music. Italian opera music. “Goodbye…”

  218. Law Prof wrote:

    Me too. I’ll be a light! Yeah right…all I got was a dose of bitterness from which I still suffer (and cause those around me to do the same).

    I think you need a tickle, glass of wine, and massave, too 🙂

  219. Does anyone remember the poster calling herself “Ladybird” who was posting here about 2, 3 days ago and defending TVC a lot?
    She said she was a mother, I think she said she used to go to TVC, but lives in California now?

    This might be her Twitter, if anyone is interested:
    https://twitter.com/ladybirdmama198

  220. Q wrote:

    Law Prof could probably help out on this.

    Do not sign a church covenant unless it states “either party can dissolve this ‘contract’ at anytime they are no longer in agreement with said covenant.

    People grow.

    Perhaps it’s better to find another church instead.

    In retrospect, I wish I had joined a Sunday morning bowling league instead of signing a Membership Covenant. I would have had more fun and gotten a cool shirt with my name on it.

  221. Daisy wrote:

    Does anyone remember the poster calling herself “Ladybird” who was posting here about 2, 3 days ago and defending TVC a lot?
    She said she was a mother, I think she said she used to go to TVC, but lives in California now?

    This might be her Twitter, if anyone is interested:
    https://twitter.com/ladybirdmama198

    “S/he” said she never went to TVC and lived in California. Apparently folks saw s/he showing up on other blogs doing the same thing. Hired hand for Matt Chandler & Company?

  222. Michaela wrote:

    “S/he” said she never went to TVC and lived in California. Apparently folks saw s/he showing up on other blogs doing the same thing. Hired hand for Matt Chandler & Company?

    Saw some comments over on Matthew Paul Turner's blog. At some point, in the interest of self-care, I just had to tune out comments of that ilk. Saw the Twitter handle earlier this evening, too. I just can't with this cr@# anymore.

  223. Law Prof wrote:

    Sometimes the people who are the showiest about their faith and love are the ones least committed to faith and love.

    Actually it was a white station wagon that was parked about a mile or two from my office. I’d cringe when I drove by, REPENT in bright red letters on the back and verses written all over. Possibly the concept of “being fools for Christ” misapplied as being ditzle fritzes.

  224. Michaela wrote:

    Hired hand for Matt Chandler & Company?

    Groupies don’t need to be hired, just patted on the head and taken back stage occasionally.

  225. Michaela wrote:

    Q wrote:
    Law Prof could probably help out on this.
    Do not sign a church covenant unless it states “either party can dissolve this ‘contract’ at anytime they are no longer in agreement with said covenant.
    People grow.
    Perhaps it’s better to find another church instead.
    In retrospect, I wish I had joined a Sunday morning bowling league instead of signing a Membership Covenant. I would have had more fun and gotten a cool shirt with my name on it.

    Michaela,

    I have been fortunate; in never signing a church covenant.

    I would rather play golf than bowl but rather bowl than sign a church covenant. The really cool shirt with my name on it sounds good, I think I want my name on the sleeve. Short sleeve, left.

  226. sam wrote:

    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
    What always hits me when i hear or read that is, How did Jesus instruct us to treat heathen men and publicans?

    Sam, I agree. Paul sure isn’t Jesus, though I think many conservative Christians definitely prefer Paul to Jesus. Paul is so much more “one of us,” you know?

  227. dee wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    Trekkies know enough to keep an eye on Q.
    Comment highlight of the week!
    Here is my favorite scene featuring Q and the Mariachi band.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBTRp80Q64U

    highlight of the week. yes!

    The all powerful Q is signing off, Q has nothing to do with Star Trek, Just a nickname in high school.

    Thanks dee for letting me post, after reading here, I thought it was your policy, it is a good one, and I am not a schmoozer.

  228. Q wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    Q wrote:
    Law Prof could probably help out on this.
    Do not sign a church covenant unless it states “either party can dissolve this ‘contract’ at anytime they are no longer in agreement with said covenant.
    People grow.
    Perhaps it’s better to find another church instead.
    In retrospect, I wish I had joined a Sunday morning bowling league instead of signing a Membership Covenant. I would have had more fun and gotten a cool shirt with my name on it.
    Michaela,
    I have been fortunate; in never signing a church covenant.
    I would rather play golf than bowl but rather bowl than sign a church covenant. The really cool shirt with my name on it sounds good, I think I want my name on the sleeve. Short sleeve, left.
    </block quote

    LOL. Golf or bowling or bike riding, anything but the dreaded church covenant. And a cool shirt in any sport would be fine.

    I know zero about golf, except I did make fabulous "hole-in-1" cupcakes for my boss's birthday recently. Choc cupcakes, used a little biscuit cutter to make the hole in each baked cupcake, white Lindt truffles for golf balls, 3 1/2" inch straws for the flagpoles, flags from the internet I cut and and glued on straws. Green frosting I made and used a grass tip for grass…this part almost cost me my sanity!

  229. @ Janey:

    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:

    1. Their friends, family, boss & coworkers are there.
    2. They don’t know where else to go
    3. Their prior church was so much more dysfunctional, this one seems heavenly.
    4. They don’t like seeing or admitting anything negative.
    5. They don’t know how to leave. For example, what to say to others.
    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)
    7.
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    7. “Perseverance” has been drummed into them to a fault.
    8. If Paul was beaten and imprisoned, if Stephen was stoned, if Jesus hung on a cross, then surely they can put up with some misery.
    9. What if they leave and it’s the wrong decision?!?!?
    10. If they leave, then this person will leave, and maybe those people, too. The leader will be hurt, and it will be all their fault, because they are responsible for the feelings of the leaders and everyone.
    11.

  230. proudjezebel wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    “S/he” said she never went to TVC and lived in California. Apparently folks saw s/he showing up on other blogs doing the same thing. Hired hand for Matt Chandler & Company?
    Saw some comments over on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog. At some point, in the interest of self-care, I just had to tune out comments of that ilk. Saw the Twitter handle earlier this evening, too. I just can’t with this cr@# anymore.

    Hang in there. You did a good job. Yes, I tune them out too and carry on.

    I wonder if some will get their wake up call when their kid gets abused, God forbid. I just don’t get some folks.

  231. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Janey:
    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:
    1. Their friends, family, boss & coworkers are there.
    2. They don’t know where else to go
    3. Their prior church was so much more dysfunctional, this one seems heavenly.
    4. They don’t like seeing or admitting anything negative.
    5. They don’t know how to leave. For example, what to say to others.
    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)
    7.
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    7. “Perseverance” has been drummed into them to a fault.
    8. If Paul was beaten and imprisoned, if Stephen was stoned, if Jesus hung on a cross, then surely they can put up with some misery.
    9. What if they leave and it’s the wrong decision?!?!?
    10. If they leave, then this person will leave, and maybe those people, too. The leader will be hurt, and it will be all their fault, because they are responsible for the feelings of the leaders and everyone.
    11.

    11. If we leave a second church then people are going to think we are the problem.
    12. Our kids have made a home here and we don’t want to upset their lives again.
    13. We promised ourselves we would not go through that trauma again, but where is the tipping point?

  232. Heather wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    @ Janey:
    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:
    1. Their friends, family, boss & coworkers are there.
    2. They don’t know where else to go
    3. Their prior church was so much more dysfunctional, this one seems heavenly.
    4. They don’t like seeing or admitting anything negative.
    5. They don’t know how to leave. For example, what to say to others.
    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)
    7.
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    7. “Perseverance” has been drummed into them to a fault.
    8. If Paul was beaten and imprisoned, if Stephen was stoned, if Jesus hung on a cross, then surely they can put up with some misery.
    9. What if they leave and it’s the wrong decision?!?!?
    10. If they leave, then this person will leave, and maybe those people, too. The leader will be hurt, and it will be all their fault, because they are responsible for the feelings of the leaders and everyone.
    11.

    11. If we leave a second church then people are going to think we are the problem.
    12. Our kids have made a home here and we don’t want to upset their lives again.
    13. We promised ourselves we would not go through that trauma again, but where is the tipping point?

    14: there is no other decent church here and it says not to forsake the assemblying together..
    (my friend says thats why they go to acts 29 here)
    i want to say to them: seriously?!, this town is about 20,000 people big and has 106 churches all professing Christ! and the biggest one? Acts 29- 500 members each sunday and growing! And Matt Chandler tweets nice things about the local pastor here often, his good friend! i feel like i got dropped here by a cosmic accident and need Jesus to get me outa here. i’m going camping tomorrow. everyone have fun and God bless you all

  233. sam wrote:

    Heather wrote:
    elastigirl wrote:
    @ Janey:
    I’d love to compile a list of why people stay at troubled churches:
    1. Their friends, family, boss & coworkers are there.
    2. They don’t know where else to go
    3. Their prior church was so much more dysfunctional, this one seems heavenly.
    4. They don’t like seeing or admitting anything negative.
    5. They don’t know how to leave. For example, what to say to others.
    6. They think they can change the church (This is what I thought.)
    7.
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    7. “Perseverance” has been drummed into them to a fault.
    8. If Paul was beaten and imprisoned, if Stephen was stoned, if Jesus hung on a cross, then surely they can put up with some misery.
    9. What if they leave and it’s the wrong decision?!?!?
    10. If they leave, then this person will leave, and maybe those people, too. The leader will be hurt, and it will be all their fault, because they are responsible for the feelings of the leaders and everyone.
    11.
    11. If we leave a second church then people are going to think we are the problem.
    12. Our kids have made a home here and we don’t want to upset their lives again.
    13. We promised ourselves we would not go through that trauma again, but where is the tipping point?
    14: there is no other decent church here and it says not to forsake the assemblying together..
    (my friend says thats why they go to acts 29 here)
    i want to say to them: seriously?!, this town is about 20,000 people big and has 106 churches all professing Christ! and the biggest one? Acts 29- 500 members each sunday and growing! And Matt Chandler tweets nice things about the local pastor here often, his good friend! i feel like i got dropped here by a cosmic accident and need Jesus to get me outa here. i’m going camping tomorrow. everyone have fun and God bless you all

    15. This is the church in which the school trustees/ administartors attend, and they ” run” the school…if you have a child in that district, you must attend that church….you never know when you might need ” help.”

  234. Paul,
    I stopped posting on this site for about a year because of you and how threatening I find your interactions here. Your presence made this an unsafe place to me. That may thrill you, but I’m sure Dee and Deb don’t want their blog to feel unsafe. I guess hurt people hurt people and that’s who you are, but I’m stronger now than I was, so I know I don’t have to engage with you anymore.

    I hope you heal and stop hurting people, but I’ve moved on.

  235.   __

    “The 501(c)3 ‘Church’ A Spacious Safe Space?

    hmmm…

    hahahahahaha

    …something is sure crackers when ya have to have a bodyguard with a motion picture camera, and a loaded  handgun and a high powered lawyer on retainer, just to attend a religious church service safely today?

    Bump.

    nothing but the blood…

    of Jesus?

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  236. @ Jeff S:
    Paul is now banned from TWW. I had hoped that reasonable conversation might change the tide but it didn’t work. He seems so angry at the world. He has an odd theology that few espouse and seem to be upset that no one gets it.

  237. On a completely different note, we are on vacation this week and I put on “The Little Mermaid” for the kids. When the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” came on, I remarked to my wife that it sounded a lot like TVC . . .

  238. dee wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    Paul is now banned from TWW. I had hoped that reasonable conversation might change the tide but it didn’t work. He seems so angry at the world. He has an odd theology that few espouse and seem to be upset that no one gets it.

    Ahh, I was just reading his posts, and wanted to answer him. Jesus said that when we call someone names like “You fool,” the seeds of murder have begun to spring alive in our hearts, so I gave up years ago calling people names online. However, that does not mean that I have been unable to see that his method is very narrow, to get the discussion on this strangely defined Calv/Arm discussion. Since he is banned, its not worth it.

  239. @ Nancy:
    By definition, we are not all sexual deviants. The term “deviant” comes from modeling sexual behavior with a standard curve. There have been many theologians, however, who believe everyone would enjoy all sin, but for the grace of God. Of course, such a claim is epistemologically nihilistic, so no one with a brain takes it seriously, but there ya go.

  240. In regards to Paul I have this to say.

    I found his comments distasteful, and angry. It really seemed to be angry for no purpose. I found it bizarre as well. So let me say this to Dee,

    My East Coast Mom, I want you to know how much we love you. Your heart is amazing, and pure. There could be no finer person who does something like this than you. Pam Palmer loves you, so does Happymom. There are many people who love you. I remember when you wanted and started to speak to me on the phone. Remember that conversation on the problem of evil? That lasted what….2 hours? You know your theology. Providence Baptist in Raleigh lost one hell of a Sunday school teacher. David Horner’s loss is Happymom’s, Karen Hinkley, Rob Smith, etc… gain.

    I remember May 8, 2013 and what an Air Force Captain trigged at my job. My name, reputation, finances, and employment all were threatened. It was the darkest season in my life. You were the first person I called, as you already knew me well anyway. You walked me through hell plus because of your past management experience you were familiar with HR law, policies and procedures. Then there was the time you came to my baptism, and encouraged me to do the weight loss surgery. I remember that one time I sent you a text before the surgery and I asked, “what am I doing?” And he you replied, “Getting healthy…” I remember how you drove down to support me in the surgery, and help me get back on my feet. Here I am 10 months later and 135 lbs down and I want you to know how much I love and care for you. Many people love and care for you Dee.

    I found Paul’s comments strange because of all the work you have done. You’ve helped prevent people from facing discipline in a 9 Marks church because of how you have leveraged your blog. You have been a voice for victims and the hurt in SGM and you still won’t let CJ Mahaney off the hook. You’ve been credited along with a couple of other bloggers with helping topple Mark Driscoll in Seattle. And you helped break the story on Matt Chandler with Amy Smith. You also had that twitter exchange with Matt Chandler yourself. So your credentials are good as gold Mom.

    So along comes Paul who claims your a Calvinist in light of all that I just wrote about. I don’t get it, I really don’t. After knowing your heart, getting to know your husband and your pugs I love you and your family deeply. I feel like I am adopted and have been Parsonized in my own way.

    Many people love you, I am one of them. Don’t let what Paul said get to you.

    I love you Mom!

    Eagle (Third Son)

    Just think I’ll be able to give you a hug next week! 🙂

  241. I have decided not to post one comment from a reader by the name of Quinn. His accusations towards the victim, Karen, were over the top and erroneous.

    I want to state something loud and clear. I know what Karen is planning to do and it has nothing to do with getting money to go back to missions. I believe that when she is comfortable talking about her plans, TVC will realize that they have given voice to a tiger.

    Also, anyone who does not perceive the absolute heinous nature of digital child sex abuse is either naive or is covering up their own perversion. Anyone with half a brain gets it.

    TWW will not allow anyone to use our forum to downplay child sex abuse, pedophilia, digital child sex abuse, etc. Any person who does this is most likely trying to justify their own struggles.

  242. @ Eagle:
    Thank you Eagle. You are truly 3rd son.

    I think that Paul has some struggles in his life since he sounds so angry. I hope he gets the help he needs.

  243. @ Eagle:

    What a beautiful post, Eagle! Such a loving, heartfelt tribute to the one you call, “Mom.” It made my day.

  244. Bob M wrote:

    Since he is banned, its not worth it.

    I rarely ban people from TWW, even those who seriously disagree wit us in an over the top manner. However, I have banned a few people who appear to obsess over secondary issues. One, a long time ago, was a King James Version Only. That is all he wanted to talk about, no matter the subject.

    Unfortunately, my experience with Paul seems to be the same sort of deal. He claims I am a Calvinist and he doesn’t believe me when I state I’m not. That is what he wants to argue, no matter the subject. I am tired of it. He has his own blog, Paul’s Passing Thoughts, in which he expounds on his unique view of the Bible which is, of course, utterly understandable to only a few readers and him.

    I just do not want to have another thread go off into some bizarre la la land.

  245. Jeff S wrote:

    When the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” came on, I remarked to my wife that it sounded a lot like TVC . . .

    🙂

  246. dee wrote:

    He has his own blog, Paul’s Passing Thoughts, in which he expounds on his unique view of the Bible which is, of course, utterly understandable to only a few readers and him.

    That’s almost the textbook definition of “Crank” or “Kook”.

  247. dee wrote:

    I want to state something loud and clear. I know what Karen is planning to do and it has nothing to do with getting money to go back to missions. I believe that when she is comfortable talking about her plans, TVC will realize that they have given voice to a tiger.

    Karen’s going active focusing on and opposing abusive churches and Pastor/Dictators?

  248. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    There have been many theologians, however, who believe everyone would enjoy all sin, but for the grace of God.

    And how many of them were projecting their own Forbidden Fantasies onto All Those Sinners?

  249. Heather wrote:

    11. If we leave a second church then people are going to think we are the problem.
    12. Our kids have made a home here and we don’t want to upset their lives again.
    13. We promised ourselves we would not go through that trauma again, but where is the tipping point?

    With only slight adaptations I can easily identify here. Do you have a story?

  250. Michaela wrote:

    “S/he” said she never went to TVC and lived in California. Apparently folks saw s/he showing up on other blogs doing the same thing. Hired hand for Matt Chandler & Company?

    Someone who does that doesn’t deserve the pronoun “s/he”.
    (Never mind that it’s an awkward pronoun, and I’ve seen a lot of them in my time in SF fandoms.)
    The pronoun they deserve is “It”.

  251. dee wrote:

    Also, anyone who does not perceive the absolute heinous nature of digital child sex abuse is either naive or is covering up their own perversion. Anyone with half a brain gets it.
    TWW will not allow anyone to use our forum to downplay child sex abuse, pedophilia, digital child sex abuse, etc. Any person who does this is most likely trying to justify their own struggles.

    Uh huh! Amen to that! Tell it like it is! Preach it sister! Way to go! Word! True, that!

    I fail to see how anybody’s head can be so firmly implanted that they do not get it unless there are personal reasons for said abnormal implantation of the head.

  252. Law Prof wrote:

    Jed Smock?
    Is that “Brother Jed” the crazy street preacher?
    With his wife “Disco Queen”?

    One and the same. Saw them on campus a couple times back in the day when Brother Jed and Sister Cindy were about as youthful as Matt Chandler–that dates me quite a bit.

    According to the local Eighties fannish grapevine (which is where I first heard about them), “Sister Cindy”, AKA “Disco Queen”, was described as looking like “A five-foot guinea pig dressed as a Fifties teenager, poodle skirt and all.”

    From the descriptions (when they hit Cal State Fullerton way-back-when), Bro Jed sounded like he had an M.O. of get onto the campus, find a public place, preach as obnoxiously as possible, then when he’s run off by the resulting near-riot, go to the Fundy churches around with Testimony of His Terrible Persecution for Witnessing the Gospel and pass the collection plate.

  253. dee wrote:

    @ Mr.H:
    Oh, these gospel pastors will claim that they are discussing you for the good of your soul. Pastors always have an out for their behavior.

    That’s so true!

    These Calvinista pastors will set themselves up on a pedestal and claim special privileges and status, until they are caught doing something wrong. In that case, they demand to be treated “just like anyone else” instead of being held to the stricter requirements for church leaders who are disciplined.

    At the risk of being overly psychoanalytic, I really do believe that many of these super macho, hyper-complementarian pastors are actually quite fearful and insecure deep down. Their repulsive language and actions towards women (or anyone who challenges them, really) are a reflection of these fears and insecurities. Overcompensating, I believe it is called. Or maybe “projection.” Maybe both.

  254. Lydia wrote:

    do you remember a few years back when it was all about their “smoking hot wives”? Talk about objectification.

    Talk about plastic surgery/boob job advertisements and Alpha Males parading their Trophy 10s before all the Omegas: “See What I’ve Got AND YOU DON’T? SEE WHAT I’VE GOT THAT YOU CAN’T HAVE? SEE? SEE? SEE? HAW! HAW! HAW!”

  255. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    There have been many theologians, however, who believe everyone would enjoy all sin, but for the grace of God.
    And how many of them were projecting their own Forbidden Fantasies onto All Those Sinners?

    Exactly. I really do believe that this occurs very often.

    And/or, as I just wrote in response to Dee, these guys project their own worst fears onto their parishioners. “Oh no! I really am a weak and insignificant man whom nobody will listen to! The women are disrespecting me, just like my mom/aunt/sister used to!” etc. etc.

  256. Flicker wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    It could mean “He’s a Stone Evangelist!” Not that I even have a clue what someone who would say this might mean.

    Sure it wasn’t “He’s a STONED Evangelist!”?
    (“Tokin’ that Jehovah-Juana — Yoing! Yoing! Yoing!”)

  257. Daisy wrote:

    As a single adult you do tend to notice when every other sermon is like, Ten Steps to Steamy Evangelical Married Sex.

    More like “BARN-BURNING, SWINGING FROM THE CHANDELIERS, 24/7/365 HAWT EVANGELICAL MARRIED S*E*X!!!!!

    “Married” is just Christianese for “Getting Laid”. Otherwise, all the same dynamics apply, including “If you’re not Doing Somebody, You’re a Nobody”.

  258. Dee wrote:

    “Also, anyone who does not perceive the absolute heinous nature of digital child sex abuse is either naive or is covering up their own perversion. Anyone with half a brain gets it.

    TWW will not allow anyone to use our forum to downplay child sex abuse, pedophilia, digital child sex abuse, etc. Any person who does this is most likely trying to justify their own struggles.”

    They are basically looking at pictures of child sex slaves and pretending it is no big woo. They don’t give a tiny dam# (ed.) and are surprised you do.

    And saying Josh Duggar was playing doctor with his five year old sister, a normal fourteen year old boy would be ashamed if his mother and father made excuses for fourteen year old boys playing doctor with their five year old sisters.

    People that were not raised in Christianity ask, is this a Christian boy thing?

    Our fourteen year old boys are looking at and talking about seventeen year old girls. Five year olds are no where on their radar.

  259. sam wrote:

    Something that all the paid p.r. guys working for Matt Chandler and the Village Church will never be able to change is that real people everywhere have to wonder ‘if TVC’s policy is that they alone can hear the voice of the Lord why did they miss so repeatedly what Karen Hinkley discerned.’

    This is a great point that needs to be emphasized. One of the primary rationales that Calvinistas use for their authoritarian approach is that it’s for “the protection” of the church. Well, in this case, it looks like it didn’t do diddly squat.

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    @ Nancy:
    By definition, we are not all sexual deviants. The term “deviant” comes from modeling sexual behavior with a standard curve. There have been many theologians, however, who believe everyone would enjoy all sin, but for the grace of God. Of course, such a claim is epistemologically nihilistic, so no one with a brain takes it seriously, but there ya go.

    Amen. It is so frustrating to read these Calvinista blog posts about how “all Christians are capable of what (INSERT NAME OF SEX OFFENDER HERE) did.” No, they are not. And to say so isn’t arrogance, it’s truth. If anyone feels that they are “capable” of doing what Jordan Root has done vis-a-vis little children, they need to seek professional help immediately.

    @ elastigirl:

    14. We genuinely love some of our fellow members, who don’t seem connected to the dysfunctional culture and practices of the church itself.
    15. The dysfunction is so subtle and hidden difficult to pinpoint, and the gaslighting of the elders so effective, that we aren’t exactly sure what the dysfunctional elements actually are. We feel like something is wrong, but if we can’t identify it, how can we leave?

  260. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Flicker wrote:
    @ Bridget:
    It could mean “He’s a Stone Evangelist!” Not that I even have a clue what someone who would say this might mean.
    Sure it wasn’t “He’s a STONED Evangelist!”?
    (“Tokin’ that Jehovah-Juana — Yoing! Yoing! Yoing!”)

    The Church of Cannabis has been organized in Indiana and is now recognized as a church by the IRS. So a stoner church exists!

  261. dee wrote:

    Also, anyone who does not perceive the absolute heinous nature of digital child sex abuse is either naive or is covering up their own perversion. Anyone with half a brain gets it.

    You remind me of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Russian lady sniper who was greatly feared by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front (1941-1945). I say that because the guys who run despotic religious regimes and who turn a blind eye to the abuse of the weak among them will soon learn to fear you also. They should be very afraid. There is no more formidable opponent in both ferocity and resolve than a woman fighting for her own children or the children of others.

  262. Guest wrote:

    Our fourteen year old boys are looking at and talking about seventeen year old girls. Five year olds are no where on their radar.

    Thus, one question in a large set of issues involved with pedophilia is whether it is really as much about an exercise of power over those who are younger/weaker as it is about sexual gratification.

  263. Guest wrote:

    Our fourteen year old boys are looking at and talking about seventeen year old girls. Five year olds are no where on their radar.

    My son showed no interest in little girls when he was a teen.To say every teen boy makes this *mistake* is setting up a safe haven for child molesters.

    I don’t get it. If my son had ever come to me at 14 and told me what he had down, we would have taken him to the local emergency room for n immediate assessment. Said ER would also notify the authorities. Intensive mental health treatment would begin immediately. Also, I would have sought separate housing for such a son until i knew that the issue was under control.

    It is also relevant to note that many molesters begin to molest children the same age they were when they were molested. I am suspicious that there is more to this story. Also, Josh’s wife Anna better never leave the kids alone with Josh. Incest is obviously not an issue for him.

  264. @ Muff Potter:
    My Russian dad would have beamed at your comment! Frankly, I do not get it when anyone downplays child molestation or internet child sex abuse.. There is a screw missing and there is much, much more to this story.

  265. Guest wrote:

    People that were not raised in Christianity ask, is this a Christian boy thing?

    There are a number of factors that can contribute to sexual deviancy and in particular the tendency towards exploitation and abuse.

    By far the most common predictor of sexual deviancy is sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse tend to re-enact that abuse against others, for various reasons. This can occur at a very young age – therapists often work with children as young as 2 or 3 who have been abused, and who are already displaying signs of inappropriate sexuality towards others.

    There are also a number of environmental, behavioral, and even genetic factors that come to play. No one simply “decides” one day to become a sexual predator. It’s a complex process that only certain individuals experience. Of course it is sinful, but not all people are capable of all sins.

    (Interesting that I only seem to hear Calvinistas loudly claiming that anyone is capable of any sexual sin, only when the sexual sins are heterosexual. I have yet to see any Calvinista claim that he is in danger of indulging in homosexual behavior. Perhaps I have just missed those admissions?)

  266. @ Guest:
    Also, when I see a church downplaying child molestation or kiddie porn, I have to wonder if there is more to that story. Is anyone on staff concealing their own struggles with this sort of thing.

  267. Nancy wrote:

    there are personal reasons for said abnormal implantation of the head.

    Here’s an example of head impaction from Watchkeep yesterday (It sounds like Jarrod):

    Typical US marriage, jump in quick and when things get tough they are quick to jump back out. Obviously neither one believed in the vows they took to one another Under God. He has sinned though her sin was greater, if you believe in scripture. Sad how in this facebook, open social exposure and digestion of our personal lives that people are obsessed with sharing their lives, at least the parts they seek sympathy with and or exposure of another.

    Obviously, some neurons have become inactivated in this individual, because it is now a sin to seek an annulment from a pedophile or to refuse to meet with ecclesiastical bullies so that they can bully you some more while feeling oh-so-righteous and “caring” for their trouble. Not only that, but it is a *greater* sin than consuming child porn. Insanity.

  268. Mr.H wrote:

    (Interesting that I only seem to hear Calvinistas loudly claiming that anyone is capable of any sexual sin, only when the sexual sins are heterosexual. I have yet to see any Calvinista claim that he is in danger of indulging in homosexual behavior. Perhaps I have just missed those admissions?)

    Oh, that is such a good observation. I’ve thought it so strange that child sex abuse and child pornography use is just lumped in with every other sin, and in this case, put below the sin of not obeying idiots calling themselves ELDERS.

  269. Gram3 wrote:

    Oh, that is such a good observation. I’ve thought it so strange that child sex abuse and child pornography use is just lumped in with every other sin, and in this case, put below the sin of not obeying idiots calling themselves ELDERS.

    Let us begin by saying that anyone who is claimed to be an “elder” before age 35 must be designated herein as pseudo-Elder!

  270. Mr.H wrote:

    Amen. It is so frustrating to read these Calvinista blog posts about how “all Christians are capable of what (INSERT NAME OF SEX OFFENDER HERE) did.”

    As long as it’s not HOMOSEXUAL(TM).
    Because HOMOSEXUALITY(TM) is the ONLY Unpardonable Super-Sin. (“FAAAG! FAAAAAAG! FAAAAAAAAAAAG!”)
    So as long as the Pedo is going opposite-sex, that makes it OK, There but for the Grace of God go I, Let Your Elders Hear That JUICY JUICY JUICY Testimony nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean know what I mean…

  271. Guest wrote:

    And saying Josh Duggar was playing doctor with his five year old sister, a normal fourteen year old boy would be ashamed if his mother and father made excuses for fourteen year old boys playing doctor with their five year old sisters.

    People that were not raised in Christianity ask, is this a Christian boy thing?

    Like the guys on the bus from the Metrolink station last week:
    “They’re CHRISTIAN… Guess doing your sisters is OK as long as you’re not GAY…”

  272. @ Jeff S.:

    When the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” came on, I remarked to my wife that it sounded a lot like TVC . . .

    They could probably use that song as a teaching aid in some kind of “how to recognize abusers’ tactics” class.

  273. @ Jeff S.:

    I stopped posting on this site for about a year because of you and how threatening I find your interactions here. Your presence made this an unsafe place to me.

    …and I think the other aggressive poster who used to go after you here, is also now a disciple of Paul’s. I expect you know who I mean, but I don’t need to name names now.

  274. dee wrote:

    Paul is now banned from TWW. I had hoped that reasonable conversation might change the tide but it didn’t work. He seems so angry at the world. He has an odd theology that few espouse and seem to be upset that no one gets it.

    Yeah, he’s kind of strange. As I said in my post to him, he’ll let a Socinian/Arian heretic comment on his blog and have fellowship with him, but meanwhile the rest of us normal folks who don’t run Jesus’ deity through the mud are supposedly preaching a false gospel. And it’s funny how on his blog he utterly disdains “orthodoxy” and creeds, and yet he comes here trying to enforce his own personal standard of “orthodoxy”. Both anything goes with him and nothing goes at the same time. He’s really misdirecting his own personal pain and anger at the spiritual abuse that was done to him, and ironically at the very people who would want to help him and be there for him the most. I hope he finds healing.

    By the way, I mostly lurk on blogs rather than comment, but I couldn’t resist popping in when I saw Paul trolling the way he was. It really shocked me that he would go that far. I just wanted to say thank you to both you and the rest of the contributors to TWW. What you do here is invaluable to the healing of many people, and to the protection of God’s flock. May God bless you abundantly.

  275. dee wrote:

    It is also relevant to note that many molesters begin to molest children the same age they were when they were molested. I am suspicious that there is more to this story.

    From recollections of research I did about 20 years ago on subjects related to sexuality and partner attractions, the term pedophilia was generally used for sexual attraction to minors, but sometimes more specifically to sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. And I recall reading research/resource literature that stated the observation Dee made on the connection between pedophiles and being drawn toward children of similar age to when they were sexually abused themselves. I also remember my sister talking about that same conclusion; she worked for over 35 years in ministries and community networks as a child abuse prevention trainer, rape crisis advocate, and domestic violence survivor advocate.

    Some people may be familiar with ephebophilia, which is the technical term used for sexual attraction to post-pubescent teens. There was very little resource material on this partner attraction issue back when I was doing research writing on such issues. But, my observation was that the personal narratives of men dealing with ephebophilia was that they had serious emotional and relational struggles during middle school and high school years, and seemed stuck in that stage of development even decades later. In a recent conversation several months ago with someone who ministers to men with sexuality issues, he confirmed that observation about the few men he’d spoken with who deal with ephebophilia. This topic came up in part because of the scandal at Penn State and the sexual abuses of Jerry Sandusky who was apparently drawn to teen boys more than to children.

    It’s almost as if something gets frozen or fixated developmentally for an eventual perpetrator at the point when abuse is inflicted on them. This doesn’t mean all victims of abuse become perpetrators, but this pattern of “same age victim re-enactment” seems too prominent not to take note of.

    I’m a research writer, not a therapist, but I’ve also worked in recovery movement ministries since the mid-1980s. It seems clear enough to me that “recovery” and “intentional pastoral care plans” need to take into consideration that pedophiles and ephebophiles sustained underlying wounds that go decades back. Confession of sins, plus obedience to a behavior prevention plan, only deal with the symptoms; they won’t fix the underlying systems of brokenness in place.

    I believe that radical transformation can take place in the life of disciples, but it is not through magical thinking (wishing it all away), or mere behavior modification (acting as if it’s all fixed), or instantaneous healing of the underlying wounds. These issues involve long-haul journeys. As I used to quip when I worked in the recovery movement, what we want is “Snap, zap, the end of the crap.” What we end up with instead are life-long issues where we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, through learning and living out biblical principles while tenaciously following Jesus in a Spirit-empowered life, with the support of a committed community of disciples who bring comfort and accountability without condemnation or overlording.

  276. dee wrote:

    Anyone with half a brain gets it.

    I agree. That tells us something very disturbing about our young pastors and some of their pewpeons, I think. I read the SBCVoices on recidivism. Oh, my. These clueless guys have been drinking gospel-flavored Kool-aid. And Kool-aid is not made with the real thing nor do they claim, like these guys, that it is. What an odd Gospel.

  277. Jeff S wrote:

    I hope you heal and stop hurting people, but I’ve moved on.

    Sorry I missed this earlier, Jeff. I wasn’t around for that, but I’m so sorry that you were harassed for what I presume was your divorce or Calvinism or both. Paul’s stuff reminds me of some old Reconstructionist stuff. The content is much different, but the spirit seems the same to me. Sorry you got that dumped on you. It is very disheartening, and I think it is meant to be so.

  278. @ dee

    Your mention of his blog made me go look. I t only took me reading one paragraph of his take on Romans and salvation/sanctification to see he is a kook. He does not make sense at all. I stopped after one paragraph. Thanks for the warning. I was about to throw my pearls before swine, so to speak. Not to insult swine.

    dee wrote:

    Bob M wrote:

    Since he is banned, its not worth it.

    I rarely ban people from TWW, even those who seriously disagree wit us in an over the top manner. However, I have banned a few people who appear to obsess over secondary issues. One, a long time ago, was a King James Version Only. That is all he wanted to talk about, no matter the subject.

    Unfortunately, my experience with Paul seems to be the same sort of deal. He claims I am a Calvinist and he doesn’t believe me when I state I’m not. That is what he wants to argue, no matter the subject. I am tired of it. He has his own blog, Paul’s Passing Thoughts, in which he expounds on his unique view of the Bible which is, of course, utterly understandable to only a few readers and him.

    I just do not want to have another thread go off into some bizarre la la land.

  279. dee wrote:

    It is also relevant to note that many molesters begin to molest children the same age they were when they were molested. I am suspicious that there is more to this story. Also, Josh’s wife Anna better never leave the kids alone with Josh. Incest is obviously not an issue for him.

    Richard Hammar, attorney at Church Law & Tax, had this article on his website
    “The Duggar Case: A Lesson For Churches”
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2015/may/duggar-abuse-c

    Also, Julie Anne (a homeschooler) over at Spiritual Sounding Board posted that the Duggars wouldn’t have been able to homeschool their children if Josh had been marked as a sex offender.
    http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/policy-issues/current-p

    “Arkansas prohibits homeschooling if a registered sex offender lives in the household. Parents may petition the sentencing court to have this restriction waived.”

  280. @ Gram3:

    Ah, it wasn’t so much that I was harassed, I guess. It was more that I was still healing in so many ways, and the churches and ministries that helped me the most post divorce were Reformed. Now I don’t believe for a second that Reformed doctrine is the salve for the hurting believer. I just think I ran into some good Christians who happened to be Reformed. And as I’ve said before, Reformed doctrine isn’t all that important.

    But what was hard for me was trying to comment on abuse situations and having to constantly deal with people saying nasty things about the theology of those who helped me find life and healing. The real frustration I had was that conflating Calvinsim with abuse is that it lets an awful lot of evil people off scott free, while capturing a lot of good folks in their nets. Doctrine matters, but evil people are the real source of these problems, and they exist in all camps.

    During that time I privately communicated with Dee and she was very supportive, but I just wasn’t strong enough for the interactions then. As it happens, I took about a year off from interacting with ANY blogs, including ACFJ (which I used to write for), and God used that time tremendously. During that period I met my wife, and it was good I was able to give her the attention I did while we were dating.

    So God used it all in my life (don’t I just sound like a Calvinist), and now I’m more comfortable dealing with folks like Paul, or even more less strong disagreements. I’m not going to lie, part of that is being married to a good woman who always supports me even when he world gets ugly. That kind of partnership gives people wings 🙂

  281. @ Gram3:

    I wasn’t around for that, but I’m so sorry that you were harassed for what I presume was your divorce or Calvinism or both.

    I was around, and yeah, it was for Calvinism. The Socinian/Arian heretic mentioned above by Clockwork Angel was one of the main harassers. I don’t recall Paul himself being around much, but clearly he was since Jeff found him threatening. Maybe I’ve just blocked it out now.

    I do think that in the intervening few years, as the makeup of the commenters shifted, the TWW combox has become more Calvinist- and Reformed-friendly in general – which is an improvement, because in the time period when Paul and said heretic were around, IMO it pushed the limit occasionally. That seems to have mostly stopped nowadays.

    Paul seems to me to have descended to that place where only him, his family and his handpicked buddies are right and everyone else is a heretic. I tried slogging through some stuff on his blog at the very beginning, but quickly realized he was headed into the Matrix and bailed. That, and I saw him mistreat a Calvinist for 120+ comments straight. Seeing his behavior here yesterday, confirmed my suspicions that Paul is his own cult now.

  282. @ dee:

    He wrote a blog post about you.
    The title is, “Deb and Dee of Wartburg Watch .com: Gossip, Not Gospel; Hobby, Not Hope”

    He seems to be one of those people who believes everyone has to have a solution to everything, and that venting, or allowing a place to vent, is not good enough. I disagree with him on that. Venting in and of itself, being heard, can be have a hand in healing.

    That you allow Wade Burlson (spelling?) to post here on occasion is taken by him as evidence you are secretly in lock step with Neo-Calvinism.

    Argo also left a comment on his blog page agreeing with him. She/he didn’t like me and wrote things about me on her blog several months ago.

  283. Jeff S wrote:

    So God used it all in my life (don’t I just sound like a Calvinist), and now I’m more comfortable dealing with folks like Paul, or even more less strong disagreements. I’m not going to lie, part of that is being married to a good woman who always supports me even when he world gets ugly. That kind of partnership gives people wings

    That’s beautiful, and I’m so thankful that God has blessed you with a great partner in your life. I’ve been blessed with one longer than you have lived! It’s great, really. You are certainly right that people will use any system they can to do what they want. I’m not particularly systematic, so the Reformed/Deformed (joke, folks) discussions don’t bother me either way. Glad you came back!

  284. Eagle wrote:

    So along comes Paul who claims your a Calvinist in light of all that I just wrote about.

    If I understood Paul’s blog page right, he thinks giving a Neo Calvinist any say so on the blog at all (such as Wade doing e-church) is harming their position of being against Neo-Cal.

    Maybe it means they are even sneakily in collusion with Neo Cal’s, or else, he thinks they are supporting it out of ignorance indirectly. I can’t parse which it is with him.

    I guess Paul thinks you have to treat any and all Neo Calvinists like enemies, that being polite or friendly to one, suggests you secretly agree with their view.
    Or, he thinks it’s defeating that purpose, that if you want to stop all church abuse, you have to completely kill what he feels is the root problem, Calvinistic theology.

    He also said he thinks Dee’s views about being a functional sinner but positionally holy is the same as John Piper’s views.

    He also said this blog only focuses on the latest victim and that past trendy victims are forgotten.

    I kind of see what he’s saying here, but, on the other hand, it’s a blog…
    What do you want a blogger to do, do ten posts a day on ten different stories, some from the past and some from the present? I would think that would be overwhelming for the bloggers and for the readers.

  285. Hester wrote:

    That, and I saw him mistreat a Calvinist for 120+ comments straight. Seeing his behavior here yesterday, confirmed my suspicions that Paul is his own cult now.

    Yikes! Maybe he could be Matter to the CasterofPod’s Anti-matter. Funny how groupthink turns into groupshrink. I’ve seen in in Arminian mini-Popes and uber-Reformed (though I deny they are anything of the sort) Reconstructionists. Kooks will be kooks.

  286. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    There have been many theologians, however, who believe everyone would enjoy all sin, but for the grace of God. Of course, such a claim is epistemologically nihilistic, so no one with a brain takes it seriously, but there ya go.

    Speaking of that topic. I just went to a school thingie for one of the grandkids. Thinking that it might be terminally long and even more boring, and having limited capacity in my purse I grabbed up a little booklet titled “A Defence (sic) of Calvinism” by C. H. Spurgeon. Mostly I just don’t get what makes people take up so passionately with calvinism so I thought this would be good to read. There right at the beginning of the thing is Spurgeon declaring that he himself would have done horrendous (my word) things had God not restrained him. He uses exaggerated language like depths of evil and how he would not have stopped at any vice or folly. Sounds ridiculous to me, but hey I guess the man knew himself so maybe he would have.

    To go from that opinion about himself, however, to that opinion about all humans is too far fetched for serious consideration, especially when Jesus himself mentioned that even evil people know how to be good to their children (give good things to…). My only reasonable conclusion was that Spurgeon was or believed himself to be suffering from total depravity but that Jesus did not make that assumption about humanity at large.

  287. Mr.H wrote:

    (Interesting that I only seem to hear Calvinistas loudly claiming that anyone is capable of any sexual sin, only when the sexual sins are heterosexual. I have yet to see any Calvinista claim that he is in danger of indulging in homosexual behavior. Perhaps I have just missed those admissions?)

    That is an interesting point.

    Some of the same preachers who are saying Josh Duggar’s child molesting (of his sisters) is not a big deal and God will forgive Josh for it, are pretty vocal in lashing out against Bruce Jenner’s change to Caitlyn Jenner.

  288. Gram3 wrote:

    Funny how groupthink turns into groupshrink. I’ve seen in in Arminian mini-Popes and uber-Reformed (though I deny they are anything of the sort) Reconstructionists. Kooks will be kooks.

    “Let me get one thing straight at the outset. These guys do NOT hang out together. The Universe cannot have two Centers.”
    — Kooks Magazine

  289. Daisy wrote:

    As a single adult you do tend to notice when every other sermon is like, Ten Steps to Steamy Evangelical Married Sex.

    It really is confusing to me on multiple levels. For starters, if my wife and I were interested in improving our sex lives, we wouldn’t go to church to find out. There are resources out there. Second, what exactly could anyone say from a public pulpit that might actually help? Hard to get technical there. Third, I go to church to worship God, and frankly my sex life is none of my pastor’s bucking business. Fourth, why are they so interested in the topic? I mean, without getting too crass here, it just isn’t a big deal. It is a fun recreational activity, but at the end of the day my wife and I are much more concerned all the really important things in life, and if we wanted a self-help pastor, it would be to address these issues, not sex.

    And you’re right, given the church’s teaching about sex, actually preaching about it automatically alienates a great number of congregants.

  290. @ Nancy:

    And just so I get to say this, his defence of calvinism made it look untenable in a number of ways especially since he seems to have been defending his own feelings about things rather than launching some biblical argument about anything. As much as the neo-cals quote this man I was surprised that his basic foundation/ motivation for his why-I-am-a-calvinist argument was so superficial. He seemed to be saying that he was a calvinist because it made him feel good about some things. I sure hate to think that this is the core of what people see in the neo-cal puritan revival. It makes them feel good? Oh, my.

  291. 60 years a Baptist Christian wrote:

    The Church of Cannabis has been organized in Indiana and is now recognized as a church by the IRS. So a stoner church exists!

    Old Christian radio talk show line about Rastafarians:

    “Any religion whose main sacrament is marijuana is going to get Very Weird Very Fast.”

  292. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    why are they so interested in the topic?

    That is an interesting question. I think in the first many decades of my life I didn’t hear more than one, maybe two, sermons on Song of Solomon, and it was always a metaphorical interpretation. Now it’s a sex manual. My hypothesis is that the young guy preachers think about it a lot, and they need to appeal to other guys who think about it a lot. That’s the best explanation of have. I wonder how the great-great-grandparents of these guys figured it out.

  293. @ Nancy:

    Spurgeon did not think it horrendous to shun his own brother because he considered him part of the “downgrade” of the Baptist Union in England.

  294. Here is what I posted on Pauls’ blog. I’m expecting this to be deleted.

    ***
    Paul, I would beg to differ. If you knew Dee’ story at Providence Baptist and what she and her husband went through you would take much of this back. Dee went to bat for a sexually abused child and along with several others confronted church leadership. The church went after them and even went after them when they tried to attend another church. Her husband Bill Parsons threatened to obtain a lawyer if the church did not back off. That shook them up deeply.

    I have to tell you that if you read my story you would know how I was pressured to attend Sovereign Grace. In my story I faced a false accusation that threatened my name, reputation, employment and future employment. It was Dee Parsons who helped me navigate a mine field. I would say that had it not been for her I don’t think I would believe in God today. Her love and grace helped me exit a faith crisis and stay out of Sovereign Grace.

    Your claims about her being a Calvinist are outright false. If she were a Calvinist would she have done the following?

    1. Used her blog to prevent individual members from facing church discipline in differing 9 Marks churches.
    2. Used to her blog to give those hurt by SGM a voice, especially since Kris at SGM Survivors has largely quit and become apathetic and unpredictable. Susan Burke has released a past statement on her blog giving people hope.
    3. Been given credit along with Warren Throckmorton in helping to bring down Mark Driscoll in Seattle.
    4. Exposed the situation at The Village Church along with Amy Smith, who I also deeply respect.
    5. Her family has been threatened in the past, yet she preserves out of love.

    If she were a Calvinist than many of the Neo-Cals wouldn’t have her in their sights. There is a reason why Tim Challies and others have gone after Dee and Deb. They have provided a logical, sane voice for many people like me. Furthermore she has done so much for other people including:

    1. Linked up Warren Throckmorton with Dr. James Duncan
    2. Helped the author of The Elephant’s Debt get started in discussing problems in Harvest Bible Chapel.
    3. Given the people of Mars Hill a place to tell there story long before their blogs got started. Paul Petry, Rob Smith and Bent Meyer are thankful for her help.

    Now from one man to another…I want you to write her an email and take back some of what you said. Its the respectful, decent thing to do. Can you do that?

    Very Respectfully,

    Eagle

  295. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    For starters, if my wife and I were interested in improving our sex lives, we wouldn’t go to church to find out. There are resources out there. Second, what exactly could anyone say from a public pulpit that might actually help? Hard to get technical there….

    I think that in comp churches, like my former one, pastors preach about sex to bully their own wives and the wives of other men and keep them all ‘in line’.

  296. Bob M wrote:

    Ahh, I was just reading his posts, and wanted to answer him. Jesus said that when we call someone names like “You fool,” the seeds of murder have begun to spring alive in our hearts…

    You’re right.

    And yep, that’s what I did to him. I was wrong. Immediately felt like a horse’s patoot for typing it and clicking “post”, all it does is either puff up his vanity and sense of being the Great Prophet with the beard and flowing white hair, or, in the alternative, it kicks a man who’s down and hurting already–or maybe both simultaneously. Probably both. I’ve found that many times when you get behind the mask of people like Paul (or neocalvinist zealots and YRR fanboys) you see both operating in them: alternating self righteousness/elation and self loathing/depression.

    Anyway, it’s why I went back and told him I was wrong, then commented how I wish I’d had the grace of another more civil poster here. Got a lot to learn, a little old to be learning it…

  297. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Jed Smock?
    Is that “Brother Jed” the crazy street preacher?
    With his wife “Disco Queen”?
    One and the same. Saw them on campus a couple times back in the day when Brother Jed and Sister Cindy were about as youthful as Matt Chandler–that dates me quite a bit.
    According to the local Eighties fannish grapevine (which is where I first heard about them), “Sister Cindy”, AKA “Disco Queen”, was described as looking like “A five-foot guinea pig dressed as a Fifties teenager, poodle skirt and all.”
    From the descriptions (when they hit Cal State Fullerton way-back-when), Bro Jed sounded like he had an M.O. of get onto the campus, find a public place, preach as obnoxiously as possible, then when he’s run off by the resulting near-riot, go to the Fundy churches around with Testimony of His Terrible Persecution for Witnessing the Gospel and pass the collection plate.

    He was (and I hear still is) remarkably obnoxious, with bizarre vocal tics and mannerisms, I don’t know if they were the result of genuine organic brain damage (I’m not being snarky, seriously wondering) or were just an attempt to draw a crowd, insult strangers, pick a fight, and then be “persecuted”. Sister Cindy was similar, but at least has some lovably pathetic qualities about her. I had no idea they would thereafter run the circuit of local fundamentalist churches. He was a holiness, “I’m living in sinless perfection” Arminian, and he was typical of the type. I got the feeling Paul might have been headed that way also, but I know very little about him other than the name of his blog.

  298. To be fair, it may not have been Paul I interacted with way back when, but someone who closely followed him. I don’t know, my memory is fuzzy.

  299. He reason Josh gets a pass and Jenners doesn’t is because Jenners is not sorry for what he’s done.

    Admitting you were wrong is the free pass, and not agreeing is the only sin that keeps you out.

  300. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    And you’re right, given the church’s teaching about sex, actually preaching about it automatically alienates a great number of congregants.

    Of course they know that. It alienates mature believers, and by that, I do not just mean older, it alienates anyone who’s not there for the sizzle or the cheap thrill. Anyone who wants Jesus.

    But they don’t want people like that, because they get in the way of the program.

    On the other hand, the porn sermon, f-bomb and rock concert worship attracts the kind of crowd they want: generally young, insecure, ready to adhere to anything that calls itself a leader that can make them laugh or “Oooh” or “Ahh” in a 45 minute proof texted sermon, ready to believe that they really do need to donate 10% gross of their $40K a year salary so that the Cool Leader can own a $1.6 million McMansion.

    Don’t think this kind of stuff isn’t calculated and taught at leader-only conferences.

  301. Law Prof wrote:

    I had no idea they would thereafter run the circuit of local fundamentalist churches. He was a holiness, “I’m living in sinless perfection” Arminian, and he was typical of the type.

    I don’t know if he actually did “run the circuit of local Fundy churches”, but I had my suspicions and it would make some sense.

  302. Jeff S wrote:

    part of that is being married to a good woman who always supports me even when he world gets ugly. That kind of partnership gives people wings

    My spouse and I have been married more than 35 years, and while life is not always easy, the partnership has been fantastic, and has enabled each of us to help the other over some rough places. We are 50/50 partners in everything, with neither unable to perform any thing we need in our home. Whichever one sees a need, takes care of that, and we succeed in keeping a happy, healthy, but always under updating home (we are inveterate do-it-ourselfers, now redoing a very old house ourselves).

  303. Jeff S wrote:

    Ah, meant to say “she”. I’m not good at the whole Jenners thing.

    We need more personal pronouns. If we can have complicated verbs then we can have complicated personal pronouns. This would also help with some of the gender neutral bible translation issues. I plan to use names and leave the pronouns alone as much as possible for now.

  304. Michaela wrote:

    Clockwork Angel wrote:
    Dear Paul,
    ….We all have blind spots and bring our own presumptions in when we read the Bible. Learn to be merciful, and learn from the mistakes these men made and ask God to show you yours. If there’s anything I’ve learned from reading church history and early Christian writings, it’s to be merciful, and to ask God to help me learn both from the triumphs and mistakes. I hope one day God uses a Calvinist to heal your wounds. Hopefully then you’ll learn to show mercy when someone doesn’t get everything right. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you. I know you’ve been through a lot of hurt, and I know you want to turn the evil that happened in your life into doing good for others. May God direct your steps.
    I don’t know Paul, or his blog, and I am new to today’s conversation and whatever transpired. I did, however, sense a lot of anger and unresolved grief in Paul.
    Clockwork Angel, your post to Paul was deep and I learned a lot about things I knew nothing about. Thank you. I will be joining you in praying for Paul.
    Paul, brother, please get some help. A lot of it is out there.

    Law Prof wrote:

    @ Clockwork Angel:
    I wish I exhibited as much grace for Paul as you did.

    Ah shucks. Thanks to both of you. 🙂

  305. Jeff S wrote:

    He reason Josh gets a pass and Jenners doesn’t is because Jenners is not sorry for what he’s done.
    Admitting you were wrong is the free pass, and not agreeing is the only sin that keeps you out.

    I agree not to let the unrepentant sinner in the church. It’s letting in the so-called “repentant” one, with the crocodile tears, being let in once they’ve finally been caught doing something heinous that gets to me.

    You see, in the early ante-Nicene era church (which falls between the time when the apostles died and before Constantine took the throne and the First Council of Nicaea was held), they dealt with church discipline quite differently. Let’s say you were a Christian who committed a heinous sin, such as visiting a brothel. They would first of all excommunicate you immediately from the church. No questions asked. (I stress, they did this only for the really heinous ones–adultery, fornication, visiting the Colosseum to see the gladiators kill people, murder, etc. Such discipline was not done for the more “venial” sins that we all stumble in. Less grave sins were simply confessed publicly in the assembly.) If and only if the Christian who sinned wanted back into the church, they would assign penance. Penance would go on for YEARS before they were fully let in back to the church. Penance would include fasting, wearing itchy clothes, and generally demonstrating before the entire church, week after week, that you were really really sorry. You were treated like a brand new baby catechumen, and discipled from scratch. You would not be allowed to partake in the Eucharist. When the YEARS of penance was finally over, you would finally be allowed to partake in the Eucharist and be admitted once more as a full member. If you messed up again with a huge, big time sin, you were kicked out of the church for good. They still believed you might be saved or whatever, but they just didn’t want to risk it anymore. Read volume 2 of Schaff’s church history series for more details.

    What I have described is the original root of Catholic penance. Things got complicated quick, with elaborate codes on how to discipline each kind of major sin. On the other hand, this era of the church often fell into laxity, and where too much mercy toward the repentant abounded, sin and licentiousness increased, which is why so many writings in this era refute too much laxity and stress the need for penance. As the centuries wore on and on, and the western church become more like today’s Catholicism that we know, public confessions were replaced with private confessions, and penance began to be assigned to all sorts of more minor sins, like gossip, etc. This shift was initially fought against, since it increased laxity. Penance was no longer lasted years, and once the priest began absolving people of sin, they could just waltz back into church as full members and partake of the Eucharist, no matter how heinous their sins, week after week, and save the acts of penance for purgatory. Indulgences were originally acts that could be done instead of the codified penance acts to shorten the amount of time one did penance. Eventually, indulgences could be applied toward the amount of suffering in purgatory. Note that I did not say the “time” in purgatory, as there isn’t necessarily time there, according to modern Catholic thought. Purgatory may be over with in an instant.

    Of course, the original penance as practiced in the ante-Nicene era, before it spiraled out of control, might seem cruel and unforgiving toward the repentant sinner, but it did act as a deterrent for the other members of Christ’s body not to commit big time sin. It’s original intention I believe was benign. They wanted the trespassing Christian to prove that they were truly repentant before being trusted as a full member again. I do recognize that it could spiral into legalism and that it’s ascetic requirements and the virtual “dunce” hat that someone had to wear for years might not be the best way to restore someone in love. Nevertheless, our problem today in western churches is hardly that we are too mean and strict. It’s that we’re too lax toward big time sins, while being cruel toward the victim of those sins. It needs to be the other way around.

    And no, making the repentant sinner learn how to fast and pray probably wouldn’t hurt. Don’t misunderstand all asceticism. Sure, asceticism could be extreme, like some Syrian monastics who would run around naked in the hills eating nothing but grass. But the original intent of moderate ascetic practices is to strengthen one’s resolve to resist temptation. Let’s just face it. We spoiled rich folk in western countries (even our poorest tend to live in something better than a mud hut–the homeless exempted from this broad stroke, of course) just don’t know how to say no to our flesh. We feel a little hunger pang and it’s time to go to the all you can eat buffet. It’s no wonder we have such a hard time resisting sexual temptation, among other things. We’re out of practice. The point of fasting and praying is to get some practice telling ourselves “no”, of having the Holy Spirit in control rather than our flesh.

    In summary, it really wouldn’t hurt if we started (a) making repentant sinners prove for years that they really are repentant (no, I don’t expect them to eat grass for 20 years or whatever) before being fully readmitted back to the church, and (b) start seriously teaching all believers the value of fasting and prayer. The latter is something I really need to do more for myself. Of course, it really helps when you have support behind you. The church that fasts and prays together, stays together! Or something like that.

  306. Nancy wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:

    Ah, meant to say “she”. I’m not good at the whole Jenners thing.

    We need more personal pronouns. If we can have complicated verbs then we can have complicated personal pronouns. This would also help with some of the gender neutral bible translation issues. I plan to use names and leave the pronouns alone as much as possible for now.

    From 40+ years as an SF litfan:

    There have been many attempts to add a gender-indeterminate and/or neuter personal pronoun to English — s/he, hir, sahn, you name it. None have ever caught on.

  307. Oh, and English has some of the LEAST complicated verb conjugations of any European language. Anglo-Saxon originally began as a trade pidgin between Saxons and Danes in what’s now England, and pidgins usually strip verb conjugations down to the bare minimum.

    English verbs have only a few forms, unlike others which conjugate by person (first/second/third), tense (past/present/future), singular/plural, imperfect/perfect/pluperfect (don’t ask me what those mean, I never understood them), with a different word form for each variation. Complex conjugation (which nobody ever uses in normal speech) is done by adding forms of “to be” before the main verb. I remember examples of some of the complex conjugations like “Shall Have Had (verb)” in my elementary-school English text.

  308. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    Most of the sermons I’ve heard like this don’t get beyond PG rated, though I heard one or two that was PG-13 where the preacher used words such as “quickies.” (This was a televised service.)

    Driscoll gave at least one or two that were R-rated.

    I’d say about 95% of the sermons I’ve heard consist of the preacher guilting the wives to have sex more often.
    They remind the women over and over that men really do find sex super duper and would like to have sex 567 times a day.

    I haven’t yet heard a preacher remind the husbands that wives like sex.
    The husbands are reminded that women want their emotional needs met, and this is often couched in terms of telling husbands to meet the emotional needs and do the dishes precisely so that the wife will be willing to have sex later in the day.

    I find most of this stuff is built on some gender stereotypes and is not true for everyone.

    It doesn’t have to be about sex in marriage, though. Preachers like to preach on marriage, period.

  309. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    I was trying to understand him here, and I read some of his blog. But I don’t understand everything he’s saying, or has said.

    I was at his blog many months ago and listened to one of his podcasts but couldn’t make heads or tails over what he was saying. His religious views were too convoluted for me to grasp.

  310. From the recent CT article, Chandler is quoted as saying (about divorce) “it’s important to not tighten the screws too much and create exact policies. So much of this is, ‘How does it work in a family?’ You don’t have exact rules with your kids. A lot of situations are going to be dealt with on a case by case basis using wisdom and not just principles.”

    I don’t remember this being a part of the sermon, but this would indicate they are open about what constitutes a Biblical divorce. If that is the case, then in fact they can recant their behavior toward Karen without recanting their doctrine.

  311. So I’m curious, why are people joining in and submitting to these sort of covenants? I’m sure some get surprised, but these aren’t exactly small churches people are joining these sort of groups for a reason. Is it a way of isolating from the culture at large? Is it something that American churches are just returning to, since these sort of super involved churches seem very similar to early Colonial American style Protestants. What does the whole discipline thing of Matthew 18 have in actual practice in the modern church mean?

    I see I’ve asked some nice softball questions there. /sarcasm Still if anyone has a thought on any of those I’d be interested to hear it.

  312. @ Jeff S:

    Let us just hope fewer people will give them the power to find out what they really mean. I thought Chandler always taught that way but that the elders would decide case by case. I thought that was pretty much their public stance.

  313. Jeff S wrote:

    If that is the case, then in fact they can recant their behavior toward Karen without recanting their doctrine.

    I don’t know, they seem to be in a pickle from here. How can they recant their treatment of Karen without recanting their divorce doctrine? If they didn’t have such a tight view of divorce, then why discipline her? But that doesn’t even get to the heart of the matter of why she has to live her life on their timetable, especially in this case of a pedophile who represented himself as a fine man.

    It’s fine for Chandler to pretend that they are more flexible now that he and the ELDERS got caught abusing her over not reconciling with a pedophile. It’s hard for me to see a way to make that fit within a flexible view of divorce. I have their divorce/marriage document, I think, so I’ll check that out. IMO it is none of their business unless there is abuse being perpetrated by one church member against another, whether it is the husband or the wife. And even then, if the victim doesn’t want their interference, then they need to back off. There really is no support for their position of rulers over the flock beyond the usual proof-texts which have mostly to do with God’s discipline of those he loves.

  314. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Clockwork Angel:
    Just curious if your name is taken from the Rush album . . .
    (Given it’s an album filled with themes of breaking free from authoritarian oppression)

    Yes, I’m a rabid Rush fan. 🙂

  315. @ Albuquerque Blue:
    Interesting question. Part of the attraction of the YRR movement is the perception that it takes the Christian faith seriously. I think that is in large part due to the shallowness of the entertainment/seeker movement in which many of these folks grew up. In addition, I observed many who came from an unchurched or even non-Christian background, and they see the YRR movement as authentic Christianity. The older people generally are willing to do what it takes to keep younger folks coming, and so they go along with it. Or in many cases they leave over the covenant or other issues.

    The covenant goes along with the sense of communal commitment to one another. I don’t think that anyone ever anticipated that something this egregious would happen. Now, however, I guess that part is pretty clear! What they should have know is another question, I suppose, but most people do things acting in good faith that might seem very foolish in hindsight.

    Just to be clear, I’m only speaking from my experience and what I’ve observed among young people. I’m interested in what others have observed.

  316. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    “sex…… why are they so interested in the topic?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    sigh….. a gimmick to attract men to church, and make them feel good so they’ll think church is cool. a one-dimensional plan thought up by one-dimensional people to appeal to human beings they presume are one-dimensional and who think with their ‘member’.

    what morons, all of ’em. those who plan such things, those who implement them, and those who receive it with their one-dimensional brains saying, “why, yes”.

  317. @ Gram3:

    I think they could say they were overzealous about reconciliation and not understanding the needs of the victim. In fact, the latter is pretty much what he said in his sermon.

    I’m NOT saying it’s ok in anyway, but it does leave room for a path forward if they are willing to understand the dynamics of abuse and re-think how they handle divorce.

  318. @ Jeff S

    A note about Clockwork Angels, it actually came out the week my divorce was finalized. I was in so much pain, and hat album was so healing for me. Especially the song “Wish Them Well” about walking away from those who have hurt you. I really needed that because I needed to stop caring what my former church thought about me.

    Favorite line from that song: “Even if you’re going through hell, just keep going. Let the demons dwell”. Amen.

  319. Daisy wrote:

    Shepherds, shamers, and shunners: The rise of church discipline in America (Part 1)
    http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2015/06/03/shepherds-shamers-and-shunners-the-rise-of-church-discipline-in-america-part-1/

    If I’m not mistaken the guy who wrote this earlier patted Chandler on the back on Twitter, for Chandler’s apologetic church service (I could be wrong about that, but I’m fairly certain it’s the same guy).

    Thanks, Daisy. Curiously, comments were turned “off” for Jonathan Merritt’s article so that nobody can post. A shame.

  320. @ Daisy:

    “The husbands are reminded that women want their emotional needs met, and this is often couched in terms of telling husbands to meet the emotional needs and do the dishes precisely so that the wife will be willing to have sex later in the day.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    JUST DO THE DANG DISHES OUT OF RESPECT FOR HOW HARD SHE WORKS, HORNDOG.

  321. Jeff S wrote:

    I think they could say they were overzealous about reconciliation and not understanding the needs of the victim. In fact, the latter is pretty much what he said in his sermon.

    That is pretty much what he said. But, I’ve found that what people don’t say that one would expect them to say actually says a lot about what they think or were thinking. IMO, until they come clean with how they interpreted the Bible to say that they had the authority to tell a woman who had been defrauded into marriage by a pedophile that she needed to reconcile or go through some arbitrary process that they made up before she could leave, then they still have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

    They are simply not credible. There aren’t any specific “steps” that she could have reasonably known she would have to take–not in the discipline procedures–and there wasn’t anything about annulment of a marriage to a pedophile anywhere in the covenant or elsewhere. So, the ELDERS let their pride and arrogance get them out on a really itty bitty limb. So, yes, they can try to say anything, which is their strategy so far. They have dealt themselves a very poor hand, and they are not very skillful players. They are accustomed to playing a game of rules they make up without being questioned. I suspect that celebrity will trump the truth, however, unless the drip-drip-drip of abuses continues.

  322. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    “The husbands are reminded that women want their emotional needs met, and this is often couched in terms of telling husbands to meet the emotional needs and do the dishes precisely so that the wife will be willing to have sex later in the day.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    JUST DO THE DANG DISHES OUT OF RESPECT FOR HOW HARD SHE WORKS, HORNDOG.

    They have redefined marriage from a relationship of mutual love and respect and service into a series of transactions. How tragic is that?

  323. Gram3 wrote:

    I have their divorce/marriage document, I think, so I’ll check that out.

    If you know where it can be found, I’d like to read that too.

  324. elastigirl wrote:

    JUST DO THE DANG DISHES OUT OF RESPECT FOR HOW HARD SHE WORKS, HORNDOG.

    My sentiment as well. Just help out with the housework from time to time because you’re an adult. Don’t just do housework to win brownie points with the wife to chip in later for sex.

    But that is how I hear a lot of preachers frame it when I watch them on TV and sometimes have attended churches in person.

  325. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Albuquerque Blue:
    Moving Pictures, no question
    (imo)
    Though I highly recommend Clockwork Angels- maybe not their best, by really darn good and the lyric themes are very powerful.

    Jeff, you read my mind. 2112 is also good if you like raw 70s music. That’s the nice thing about Rush. There’s an album for everyone. Rush’s live albums also kick butt.

    Regarding Clockwork Angels bringing healing, I’ve had the same experience. “Wish Them Well” was right on time for when my dad broke contact with me (disconnected his phone) so he could file for a divorce against my mom after years of separation, and his whole side of the family taking his side.

    I also found “The Garden” to be very powerful. Brought tears to my eyes. Also, I had said something the wrong way to someone, and hadn’t apologized. God used that song to remind me what’s important in life, and to prod me to apologize. Funny how God can use an atheist drummer to either comfort or admonish Christians.

  326. Gram3 wrote:

    They have redefined marriage from a relationship of mutual love and respect and service into a series of transactions. How tragic is that?

    I have sometimes seen the same, or similar points in secular culture, that women are all emotional, men should clean dirty dishes if they want sex later, etc.

    Maybe some of the preachers giving these sermons are being influenced by secular culture?

  327. Ben Denison wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    I have their divorce/marriage document, I think, so I’ll check that out.
    If you know where it can be found, I’d like to read that too.

    Check their website for the documents or articles link. Hope somebody downloaded them before they get disappeared.

  328. @ Gram3:

    I am with you that the haves LOT of explaining to do. I just think is possible that the can see it was wrong without feeling the have any doctrine to recant. That is, maybe righ now they realize that they should have not tried to push reconciliation. They can beleve that without needing to make a doctrinal shift.

    Though ultimately, if they do listen, a doctrinal shift will come, I think.

  329. @ brad/futuristguy:

    I didn’t read much of it- by it says blatantly that resolution should be tried in all cases of marital strife. If that is a doctrinal position, then yes, they cannot sincerely apologize to Karen without a doctrinal change.

    I also see no Biblical justification for that policy.

  330. @ Michaela:

    I read your comment earlier and have had a hankering to book a tee time or get a cupcake all day, but not sign a church covenant. Weird.

  331. Q wrote:

    @ Michaela:
    I read your comment earlier and have had a hankering to book a tee time or get a cupcake all day, but not sign a church covenant. Weird.

    Q, May you get an eagle or a hole-in-one or just have a good time.
    And avoid those church covenants like the plague!

  332.   __

    “Retain A Peace; Remain A Perpetural 501(c)3 ‘Church’ Guest?”

    hmmm…

    Without legal documents, or a legally binding association, no 501(c)3 legal pursuit of any kind would be possible.

    Whew!

    Kind folk, watch your wallet & please don’t sign anything…

    Should you sign a church covenant?

    huh?

    Is your church asking you to sign one?

     Being required to sign a covenant in your church is supported no where in scripture. 

    Bump.

    (keep that in mind.)

    [As a matter of fact it is forbidden. ]

    What?

    This is disconcerting because many 501(c)3 churches are now requiring those involved in their ministry to sign a covenant if they want to continue to be involved in these types of ministry activities.

    This is a covenant between the individual (the church member) and man (the church leadership), and NOT between man and God, as are the covenants examples conducted in the bible.

    Beware! dat rosey az you cover, just might beeee your own…

    (grin)

    ATB

    Sopy

  333. Sorry, minor retraction on my comment to Paul. Apparently that friend who contributes on his blog does have a degree. (At least, that’s what Paul and his friend are saying.) I still haven’t found any peer reviewed publications from the guy, and since his theories go against what I’ve read from reputable historians, I remain skeptical. Especially since Paul seems to consider him a “leading authority on the ideas that sparked the Reformation”. That’s quite a big claim for someone on whom I can barely find information via search engine–and all the information is either his own blog or from Paul’s promotions. I’d want to see more public recognition for his work before I believed that claim. Leading authorities tend to have published works that have been peer reviewed and are widely recognized for meeting a standard of excellence.

    See https://cgdst.wordpress.com/john-immel/ where that claim is made. (It’s one of Paul’s sites.)

    Nevertheless, I thought I’d publicly post a retraction, as he apparently has a degree in Systematic and Historical Theology from Oral Roberts University. While not a direct history degree, it involves hefty historical reading. Many recognized historians start off with degrees in theology before becoming widely accepted for their excellent research. I’d just like to see some actual work from the guy, that is widely accepted and peer reviewed.

  334. @ brad/futuristguy:

    I agree with you about ephebophilia being caused by some sort of developmental arrest. I think that is why we see it in both men and women whereas pedophilia, the attraction to prepubescent children is almost exclusively male. In looking at interviews with female teachers who have molested middle school boys, I have been struck by the way they talk and appear to think like girls in early adolescence, very odd for women who have gone to college, gotten married, and held down jobs. And certainly Jerry Sandusky is an example of a grown man acting like an adolescent.

    Researchers who study sexual attraction to minors seem to be making a definite distinction between ephebophilia and pedophilia these days. I think the causation of pedophilia will be found to be different or at the very least different for a subset of people with this orientation, especially those who were not molested as children.

    The data is new and not conclusive, but I think it is very likely that there are genetic factors involved in pedophilia. Compared to criminals who are not sex offenders, pedophiles have less white matter in their brains. They are three times as likely to be left handed and are ten points lower in IQ than the general population and as a group are an average of an inch shorter than the average man. Their brains seem to be wired wrong; seeing a picture of a child sets off the same neural response seen in a normal heterosexual man looking at a picture of an attractive woman. I don’t know of any therapist who believes that pedophilic desires can be removed and the goal is to manage behavior.

  335. @ Marsha:

    That is interesting. So if the research eventually shows that pedophiles are born that way does it mean…..? Hmmm. At some point the issue of the significance of whether or not something is congenital and/or genetic will have to become public discussion.

  336. My old church had two requirements for membership. You had to attend a membership meeting which then stated you had to be a professed Christian to be a member of the church and have a little heart to heart with a pastor. The only thing you signed was a certificate saying you were part of this particular church. It was nice and simple.

    I wouldn’t sign any other document to join a church unless it literally was less than a basic statement of faith.

  337. Jeff S wrote:

    it says blatantly that resolution should be tried in all cases of marital strife. If that is a doctrinal position, then yes, they cannot sincerely apologize to Karen without a doctrinal change.
    I also see no Biblical justification for that policy

    Thanks for the pointer to the document, Jeff — Biblical justification for a policy of a long process of attempted restoration was also what I was looking for, and didn’t find. That document just makes a flat claim with virtually no support.

  338. Ben Denison wrote:

    Biblical justification for a policy of a long process of attempted restoration was also what I was looking for, and didn’t find. That document just makes a flat claim with virtually no support.

    That pretty much summarizes their entire doctrinal system of authority hierarchies. It is fabricated, based on proof-texting, and wrapped in a bibley wrapper. Now we see it worked out in real life, and it is very ugly.

  339. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Sorry, minor retraction on my comment to Paul. Apparently that friend who contributes on his blog does have a degree. (At least, that’s what Paul and his friend are saying.) I still haven’t found any peer reviewed publications from the guy, and since his theories go against what I’ve read from reputable historians, I remain skeptical. Especially since Paul seems to consider him a “leading authority on the ideas that sparked the Reformation”. That’s quite a big claim for someone on whom I can barely find information via search engine–and all the information is either his own blog or from Paul’s promotions. I’d want to see more public recognition for his work before I believed that claim. Leading authorities tend to have published works that have been peer reviewed and are widely recognized for meeting a standard of excellence.
    See https://cgdst.wordpress.com/john-immel/ where that claim is made. (It’s one of Paul’s sites.)
    Nevertheless, I thought I’d publicly post a retraction, as he apparently has a degree in Systematic and Historical Theology from Oral Roberts University. While not a direct history degree, it involves hefty historical reading. Many recognized historians start off with degrees in theology before becoming widely accepted for their excellent research. I’d just like to see some actual work from the guy, that is widely accepted and peer reviewed.

    Don’t post a retraction, a degree in a tangential field from that university (not highly-regarded in academia) does not qualify you as a historian, an intellectual, a Christian thinker. I attend a men’s prayer group on campus with three Christian historians, all with PhDs, real historians with 11 degrees between the them, a number of from elite universities, each of whom has written multiple books and possibly has more peer reviewed publications than Paul’s “historian” friend has written blog articles. They are historians.

  340. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    Here’s my Indian head penny’s worth. I think it’s a twofold thing:

    1) Humans are hardwired by their Maker* to want to be wanted and to have a sense of community and belonging with other humans.

    2) Birds of a feather flock together. Yeah it’s an old saying to be sure, and I think it has survived this long because it’s true in large part and can be verified by empirical observation. Those of like beliefs and desires tend to gravitate together like clouds of interstellar dust.
    Often times when they find a sense of belonging, they’ll seek to consolidate it into something concrete and something that will give them assurance of belonging.
    But as TWW has long pointed out over the years, sometimes the price is way too steep in terms of abuse and human misery.

    *It should be pointed out here that even some of those who believe in no such ‘Maker’ will agree to a kind of hardwiring done by the inexorable machinery of evolution.

  341. Law Prof wrote:

    Don’t post a retraction, a degree in a tangential field from that university (not highly-regarded in academia) does not qualify you as a historian, an intellectual, a Christian thinker. I attend a men’s prayer group on campus with three Christian historians, all with PhDs, real historians with 11 degrees between the them, a number of from elite universities, each of whom has written multiple books and possibly has more peer reviewed publications than Paul’s “historian” friend has written blog articles. They are historians.

    Fair enough. I hereby retract my retraction.

    Funny, the “historian” (John Immel) rebutted me on Paul’s blog. Here it is:

    So, uh . . . yea I actually do have a history degree. I think the actual degree is called Systematic and Historical Theology . . . not that such things have a bearing on the truth. And this is the central problem with your rational standard. It is apparent you have participated in and are perpetrating the Ludovico’s Technique.

    The peer review criterion is a totally specious standard. It presumes that group authority is the criteria of truth . . . that because a bunch of men with an honorific happen to agree then their conclusions must be historically accurate and the measure of expertise is academic approval. This is an observably false method of intellectual validation.

    The fact is my work has been review by far, far more people than probably 99% of most tenure track professors. See here is the thing about the world wide web . . . a LOT of people have the ability to read what I write. I haven’t written an article in a while and I still get more readers in a month than a tenured PhD gets in a decade of students. And here is the funny thing . . . maybe you are not aware, but on blogs you can actually post comments and offer a criticism of what is written and (this is the important part) you don’t get docked a grade for disagreeing with the professor. And here is another thing about the World Wide Web: you can actually do your own work and your own thinking and verify that my historical evaluation is accurate and you don’t need a PhD.

    So basically, John Immel thinks random people off the Internet commenting on his personal blog counts as a peer review. If he counts his peers as being random people off the Internet, and since he’s kind of a random person off the Internet, then I suppose he’s definitely been “peer” reviewed.

    He reminds me of so many “historians” who self-publish pop history books on Amazon. They’re not peer reviewed, posit wacko theories, and yet people buy the Kindle edition because alternate histories give them goosebumps and make them feel like they’re in on a secret that others don’t know. Likewise, many theologians, like Dave Hunt, publish sheer drivel. The entire point of a peer review is to verify that factual sources were used to support the premises. This saves the average lay-reader hours/days/years of their life so they don’t have to feel like they have to fly over to the library containing the source document in Latin, and translate it so they can verify it. Yet, proper citations are provided so that the reader CAN verify, or zoom in on an interesting part by going to the primary or secondary source that was cited. But try telling him that. I just want proper peer reviewing so I never blindly trust like I did with Dave Hunt. Why is that suddenly a crime?

    Oh, and now he and the others on Paul’s blog are calling me “Clockwork Orange”. Resorting to an ad hominem attack is so mature. I haven’t name called anyone. Why don’t they throw food while they’re at it?

    Law Prof, I totally envy that you know so many historians personally. That would be so much fun! I love history! Wish I had majored in it (my history teachers in college always loved me to death, after all, because I showed signs that I actually cared about what I studied), but software is what pays the bills for me and my family. A hobbiest history reader I remain.

    Any interesting books you can recommend for me to add to my reading list from your friends? 🙂

  342. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    .The peer review criterion is a totally specious standard. It presumes that group authority is the criteria of truth . . . that because a bunch of men with an honorific happen to agree then their conclusions must be historically accurate and the measure of expertise is academic approval. This is an observably false method of intellectual validation.
    The fact is my work has been review by far, far more people than probably 99% of most tenure track professors. See here is the thing about the world wide web . . . a LOT of people have the ability to read what I write. I haven’t written an article in a while and I still get more readers in a month than a tenured PhD gets in a decade of students. I haven’t written an article in a while

    John’s a hoot. He claims that the peer review of experts in a field, people who’ve devoted their lives to this stuff, who’ve gotten multiple graduate degrees, published extensively and done original source document research, is specious. Why? Because “it presumes that group authority is the criteria [sic] (it’s “criterion”, John) of truth.” Then he goes on to cite all the people who’ve read his blog and made comments.

    Does John understand what he just did? He said that group authority is nonsense (when it’s composed of people who’ve devoted their lives to the study of a subject), then cites his group (composed of readers of his blog, who are almost certainly at best dabblers and more likely full blown cranks) as group authority.

    So as you point out, CA, random net readers making comments on his blog are in some way, in John’s fevered imagination, superior to the peer review process in an academic journal. Remarkable!

    Does John have any clue about academic review? Has he ever served on the editorial board of an academic journal? Does he have any clue about the level of work and research involved? Good gosh, John, what are you thinking? The only explanation is that you are so profoundly ignorant that you simply don’t know what you don’t know. You’ve never been trained in academic research, you can’t know.

    CA – I do not want to reveal my historian friends’ names here, as I do not want my university to be known. I like my anonymity. But if you ask D or D by email, I give them permission to pass along my uni email to you, and I’ll be glad to get you all the info you want.

  343. Flicker wrote:

    What is the purpose of excommunication (which is the ultimate end of discipline upon the unrepentant)? It is not to alert the pagan surrounding community to the Christian-defined sins of one of its own, they’re likely already accepting of the behavior. It is to protect the congregation from the incorporation of sin. This sin, then therefore, must be a serious sin, such as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, homosexuality, violence, idolatry, and the such, from which we must disassociate ourselves.

    Marsha wrote:
    Shaming and calls for shunning never helped anyone. Christians know when they are sinning and non Christians are there to learn. Keep them out of leadership, don’t let them proclaim that what they are doing is right, but don’t keep them out of church services.

    @Flicker,

    I think Marsha gave you an excellent response.

    I would also like to add to it. I was told when I joined a 9Marks-affiliated church that a Membership Covenant was a return to the way things used to be,
    important concepts the church had lost. The Membership Covenant was filled with scripture verses. It seemed so Biblical at the time.

    What I wasn’t told was that it would be enforced capriciously, that anyone who disagreed with the pastors/elders or who raised any kind of dissent no matter how respectfully, would be hauled into meetings and threatened by the pastors/elders,
    called at home and subjected to same, emailed same, and finally, banned from church property and ordered to be excommunicated/shunned.

    *The first person to be excommunicated/shunned was a godly doctor married to his wife for 40+ years in a loving marriage and a loving father to his grown children.
    His ‘crime’? He privately and respectfully disagreed with the pastors/elders about how they were leading the church and used the Scriptures. He is a wonderful man who gave of his time and treasure to the church. The senior pastor slandered his good named before the entire church membership.

    *Next a wife who did not want to attend the church anymore with her husband, disagreed with their teachings and lack of accountability to a higher church structure, was subjected to church discipline before the entire church that she would not be *submit* to her husband or to the elders. In fact, she was following her conscience as a Christian. The senior pastor went to her home and she said screamed at her. When the pastors/elders ordered that the church *pursue her*, she moved out of the family home, disconnected her cell phone and her email, and would not tell her husband where she was living. The pastors/elders finally had to let her go in order for her to move back into the family home with her husband.

    *The church secretary, a conservative married woman, left the church and refused to attend anymore. When the pastors/elders tried to discipline her, she brought her new pastor with her to the meeting without telling them. They could not discipline her in front of her new pastor.

    *I was ordered to be excommunicated/shunned for not being ‘on board’ with the pastors/elders putting their friend a convicted sex offender (involved children) in positions of leadership and trust, giving him church membership, permitting him to attend any Bible studies (including ones in which parents brought young children). The pastors/elders said he was ‘safe’ and ‘coming off Megan’s List [the sex offender registry].” His supervising law enforcement called that all lies. I had been at the church for eight years.

    Prior to my excommunication/shunning the pastors/elders also thought that the Membership Covenant gave them the right to call me, email me, order me into meetings, choose my friends (including ordering me to be friends with abusive people whom I would not be friends with but was cordial to); disciplined me for bringing a bbq beef brisket to a church potluck and that I was supposedly too lavish (yes, the pastors/elders actually had an entire meeting about a food dish I brought to church!); disciplined for riding my bike to church in a dress in the summer and for my ‘lack of modesty’ (I had bike shorts on underneath my dress), and on and on.

    Just suffocating. All of it. Completely un-Biblical. Read Pastor Wade Burleson’s excellent blog about just saying no to Membership Covenants.

  344. Law Prof wrote:

    John’s a hoot. He claims that the peer review of experts in a field, people who’ve devoted their lives to this stuff, who’ve gotten multiple graduate degrees, published extensively and done original source document research, is specious. Why? Because “it presumes that group authority is the criteria [sic] (it’s “criterion”, John) of truth.” Then he goes on to cite all the people who’ve read his blog and made comments.

    Does John understand what he just did? He said that group authority is nonsense (when it’s composed of people who’ve devoted their lives to the study of a subject), then cites his group (composed of readers of his blog, who are almost certainly at best dabblers and more likely full blown cranks) as group authority.

    I have a feeling John is just hurt because his professors at school gave him a low grade on a paper. Now he doesn’t want his work to be under their scrutiny anymore. Funny, though, it’s “group authority” that gave him his degree in the first place. So why did he go to university at all? Why spend the money? Why wave his degree as a credential? The logic errors abound. And his name-calling me, which is an ad hominem attack, is a poor debate tactic that dodges the real issues and avoids any real discussion. It’s always a clear sign that someone is losing ground when they stoop to name-calling.

    Law Prof wrote:

    So as you point out, CA, random net readers making comments on his blog are in some way, in John’s fevered imagination, superior to the peer review process in an academic journal. Remarkable!

    Does John have any clue about academic review? Has he ever served on the editorial board of an academic journal? Does he have any clue about the level of work and research involved? Good gosh, John, what are you thinking? The only explanation is that you are so profoundly ignorant that you simply don’t know what you don’t know. You’ve never been trained in academic research, you can’t know.

    Which is precisely why this lay-reader WANTS there to be such strenuous academic review. It establishes trustworthiness of the information. If only other people who end up reading all sorts of stuff were pickier. I wish my younger self would have been pickier and realized that I was defrauding myself of factual information. The Internet may be an information boom on one level, but so often it’s just a misinformation boom. Of course I want to protect myself! Everyone needs to have a higher standard as to where they get their facts from.

    Law Prof wrote:

    CA – I do not want to reveal my historian friends’ names here, as I do not want my university to be known. I like my anonymity. But if you ask D or D by email, I give them permission to pass along my uni email to you, and I’ll be glad to get you all the info you want.

    As a privacy nut myself, I should have thought of that. Duh me. Wouldn’t want you and your friends getting stalked on campus. But yeah, I’ll take you up on that offer. Thank you so much! 🙂

  345. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Wouldn’t want you and your friends getting stalked on campus. But yeah, I’ll take you up on that offer. Thank you so much!

    No need to say “duh” of yourself. Yeah, that’s the issue, what you reference there. Somebody who’s eyes don’t quite line up starts sending emails to my more august friends and me, or worse, to our department chairs or deans, or goes and trashes our reputations on Ratemyprofessors. That whole thing. Would be very glad to get you all manner of info, when they get you my email, just shoot one out to me, I’ve given them two ways of emailing me.

  346. @ Marsha:

    Thanks for that info on pedophilia and ephebophilia, Marsha. *Very* helpful. A lot to think about in how to help people with such conditions to manage them, and for prevention practices in the congregation and society …

  347. @ Clockwork Angel:

    The absolute worst indoctrination I was ever exposed to was from PhD history professors. That is why I always suggest people read around a subject intensely.

    According to the comments from you guys, I should be ashamed to mention my view of history?(Of course I beleive history is very nuanced) Some of the greatest minds in history were not educated or “peer reviewed” (which can be a game in itself). Abe Lincoln comes to mind.

  348. @ Lydia:

    You need be ashamed of nothing Lydia. Inquiry and intellectual endeavor are not the exclusive domains of academicians. Let me be fair and as unbiased as is possible:

    Academia has contributed handsomely to the free and progressive society we all enjoy; its examples of lifting us out of the mud are legion and not up for debate. But on the other hand it is not the faultless pillar many look up to, and there are times when it can be downright stultifying. Where would we be if Wilbur and Orville had listened to Lord Kelvin when he declared in 1895 that heavier than air flying machines are impossible?

  349. Lydia wrote:

    @ Clockwork Angel:
    The absolute worst indoctrination I was ever exposed to was from PhD history professors. That is why I always suggest people read around a subject intensely.
    According to the comments from you guys, I should be ashamed to mention my view of history?(Of course I beleive history is very nuanced) Some of the greatest minds in history were not educated or “peer reviewed” (which can be a game in itself). Abe Lincoln comes to mind.

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t profess himself a “leading authority” on anything during his entire lifetime. You see, even the greatest minds tend to have to prove to the world that their minds are great. Even the self-educated Lincoln had to take a bar exam before he could practice law. Or are you saying you wouldn’t mind using a “lawyer’s” services when the person hasn’t passed the bar? Anyway, Lincoln ran for smaller offices and proved himself in them before he ran for President. He didn’t just pop up one day after reading a bunch of books and insist to everyone he was a leading authority on how the nation should be run and expect to be elected President. He had to earn the people’s trust through years of much smaller petry dish experiments that implemented his ideas. Despite his great mind, he remained humble. He STILL wouldn’t call himself a leading authority on anything. That is something we all do in hindsight, after he proved himself during his Presidency.

    Muff, regarding the Orville brothers, they likewise didn’t call themselves leading authorities on flight until after they had gone through failure after failure, and finally reached success and proved that they knew what they were doing. They also were confident enough to test their designs themselves rather than expecting others to be their guinea pigs and to simply trust them.

    What John is expecting you to do is try out his designs for a plane first, and trust that he’s a leading flight expert. Your the one who gets to test the plane. Your future depends on it. Don’t you want to make sure the engineering is sound before you test? And how would you go about making sure? You might make sure he’s got an engineering degree or has experience working for an engineering company. You’d definitely want more than one set of eyes on his designs reviewing it, and those eyes need to be engineering eyes, not just random people off the Internet who don’t know entirely what they’re looking at. Make sense?

    I understand if you’re both leery toward academia. I’ve had my share of liberal, biased professors in college (and yet I still got more factual information from them than I ever did from Dave Hunt). There are many revisionist historians out there who like to paint Christianity in a bad light, but there are also many decent ones, both secular and Christian ones, who follow academic standards for a reason. Do you know why the standards have tightened over time? Because in ye olde days, 400 years ago even, the historians of yore would write a bit more polemically. Foxe’s Book of Christian Martyrs is a classic example. It still cites the Albigensians as being proto-Protestant Christians who just wanted to follow the real Jesus rather than Catholicism. Today’s historians, and even those of the 1800s, know better now that the Reformation dust has settled. They were a gnostic cult, as I mentioned above. Yet Foxe’s polemical work is still sold in Christian book catalogues as a classic work. Sure, it does draw on some facts, and he captures the Protestant side of the story with “Bloody Mary” (Queen of England), but most of the good stuff from early church history you could have read Eusebius for anyway. Also, older attempts by the historians of yore could be sloppy with citations, or perhaps now the secondary source or primary source no longer exists hundreds of years later. This is why there are standards. To ensure integrity of the information being presented.

    So before you take off in your newly built airplane, ask yourself who reviewed the design. Your view of the world, and possibly your view of Christianity, depends on it. Did you review it? Did you know what to look for? Did you check every single citation, read each in context, and study the history of each document presented so you that you knew for sure what you were looking at? This takes an amazing amount of time and energy–so much so that unless digging through tons of history books and original source documents is your favorite hobby that gets you up in the morning, you’re better off reading peer-reviewed works, by vetted historians.

    Trust that someone is a leading authority is earned. It is arrogant of anyone to call themselves that, at the very least not until a TON of people begin to consider someone that. Has John truly earned your trust to where you can consider him a leading authority?

    Believe me, I’m trying to save you a lot of pain. I trusted Dave Hunt once. I had read “A Woman Rides the Beast”. I nearly started to use his historical “facts” as talking points to reach out to Catholics. I’m so glad God stopped me and slammed the door in my face for each opportunity, because if I had been able to go through with it, I would have inoculated these Catholics from ever listening to an evangelical again. Telling someone that their church killed 500 billion evangelicals (or some other ridiculous number) tends to have that effect. Don’t make that mistake. Be sure. The information you absorb tends to direct what you do, even how you share Christ. Know that it’s true. A gospel presentation could very well hinge on it.

  350. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    You see, even the greatest minds tend to have to prove to the world that their minds are great. Even the self-educated Lincoln had to take a bar exam before he could practice law. Or are you saying you wouldn’t mind using a “lawyer’s” services when the person hasn’t passed the bar?

    I am not trashing credentials. and I am a big believer in lots of experience. I want my surgeon to have both.

    what you are trashing John about are ideas. why we think the way we do and how we think.

    you might not like how he does it, I understand that. I guess I’m having a problem seeing why people are so offended by that

    he starts with a basic question, Who owns man?

  351. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    You see, even the greatest minds tend to have to prove to the world that their minds are great. Even the self-educated Lincoln had to take a bar exam before he could practice law. Or are you saying you wouldn’t mind using a “lawyer’s” services when the person hasn’t passed the bar?

    I am not trashing credentials. and I am a big believer in lots of experience. I want my surgeon to have both.

    what you are trashing John about are ideas. why we think the way we do and how we think.

    you might not like how he does it, I understand that. I guess I’m having a problem seeing why people are so offended by him putting forth his ideas. he has always said evaluate his ideas not him

    he starts with a basic question, Who owns man?

  352. lydia wrote:

    Believe me, I’m trying to save you a lot of pain. I trusted Dave Hunt once. I had read “A Woman Rides the Beast”. I nearly started to use his historical “facts” as talking points to reach think. o Catholics.

    One more thing, I prefer listening to people who make me think. not people who tell me what to think. however I do not mind it when people make their case, even emphatically. and there is a big difference between that and indoctrination.

    and there are very good places for indoctrination. I would think certain aspects of medicine and engineering to name a few. Perhaps there are certain unchanging principles involved, IDK.

  353. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    What John is expecting you to do is try out his designs for a plane first, and trust that he’s a leading flight expert. Your the one who gets to test the plane. Your future depends on it. Don’t you want to make sure the engineering is sound before you test? And how would you go about making sure? You might make sure he’s got an engineering degree or has experience working for an engineering company. You’d definitely want more than one set of eyes on his designs reviewing it, and those eyes need to be engineering eyes, not just random people off the Internet who don’t know entirely what they’re looking at. Make sense?

    No. he is not asking you to put your life at risk based on his designs. it is a blog, for crying out loud. he puts forth his ideas concerning philosophy and we are free to interact or not.

    what I am hearing is some people are offended because he does not have a PhD in philosophy, is not peer review published and therefore not qualified to discuss those ideas.

  354. “Hi, my name is John Immel. I’m no one from nowhere. I like to introduce myself this way in contrast to Evangelical Christianity’s preoccupation with titles, degrees, and other emblems of authority. I am not here today to dazzle you with my authority to compel you to accept my intellectual conclusions. In contrast I will offer my best argument and encourage you to engage your rational faculties to validate my reasoning.”

    This is how I have introduced myself in every TANC conference since 2012. And here Is how I introduce myself to the world on my blog in 2008.

    “ . . . You are itching to ask me questions that help define my spiritual pedigree. The savvy will note a striking lack of such overt information. Does it matter what kind of Christian I am? Does it matter if I’m a sinner or a saint? Does it matter if I’m somebody important? Does it matter that if I am no one from nowhere? Or that my preference for blonds or brunettes depends on the day of the week and the direction of the wind? Will that change my words or satirical commentary? The answers to those questions will be directly proportional to what you think of my ideas.

    “I could tell you where I’ve been and what I’ve done, and who I’ve studied and with whom I’ve rubbed shoulders. Some of you would be blasé, others would be impressed. Since I couldn’t care less about all that, it is hard for me to be excited about telling one and all such information.”

    And my words have proved accurate. This discussion of me specifically centers around the assumption that because I am no one of importance, without credential, without some broader expert approval my ideas are suspect and very likely the product of a fevered mind. But the issue isn’t my fevered mind but the obsession with authority.

    The premise by which I am being judged is that peer-reviewed academicians are the measure of—-historical—-truth and because I do not have these academicians specific blessing my historical synthesis is suspect.

    When Clockwork Angle offered this critique on Paul’s Passing Thoughts I rejected the premise. It is this premise that I called specious because authority is not a means of validating truth (or facts).

    If credentials are important to you then by all means go listen to Ligon Duncan or a host of other Yale Graduates and dutifully swallow whatever they say. If you want to think for yourself well, then exercise some independent rational effort and figure out the truth. . . which leads to my point about peer review and my blog (as excerpted above in Clockworks comment).

    Anyone can come to my blog and dissect what I’ve said. It isn’t limited to a dozen people on a journal review board. Any expert, in any area of intellectual inquiry, can take me to task on any error they can identify. If I’m wrong I will change my mind.

    This is the context for my comments on Paul’s Passing Thoughts. And since it is obvious that my argument was missed I will be more specific. My point was that proportionally there are many more opportunities for my errors to be brought to light than say your average tenure track professor.

    So let us cut to the chase . . . Clockwork and Law Professor here is a personal invitation for you to bring all of your rational independence on my blog and review my most recent article: Welcome to the Problem of Universals. If I have any errors in that article by all means point them out. I even confessed to being unclear about the distinction between the Nominalist and Conceptualist formulations. If you can shed some light on the subject I would welcome the clarification.

    And if that subject matter isn’t your cup of tea by all means review my TANC 2013 presentation. Show me specifically where my historical evaluation is in error. Get your professor buddies and have them take a whack. Let’s see what they can find.

    * * *

    I know there are former Sovereign Grace Ministries folk reading and commenting here. I find it curious that so few people took issue with the assertion that people need peer-review for their ideas to be trustworthy: that the truth is identified, validated and defended by an oligarchic consensus.

    How about if I wrote that sentence this way: I find it curious that so few people took issue with the assertion that people need CJ Mahaney and the Apostolic team for their ideas to be valid or trustworthy: that the truth is achieved, validated and defended by an oligarchic consensus.

    Take me out of the equation. It doesn’t matter if you think I have a fevered mind or am hurt because my college professors gave me a bad grade. Think in principles.

    Isn’t what Law Professor and Clockwork Angle advocating exactly what CJ and the rest of the SGM thugs insisted they were uniquely qualified to do? Wasn’t the purpose of the apostolic team “oversight” to validate ideas (doctrine) so that people would believe right things? And didn’t CJ insist that when people submit to their authority and believed right things that all would be well with the world?

    How did that work out?

    When you went to an SGM pastor to voice your ideas (on anything) and suddenly you found out that your ideas were “peer-reviewed” but the rest of the pastoral staff. And it was their “peer-reviewed” opinion that you were in sin and needed to change your ideas because . . . well, it didn’t measure up to their peer review.

    How did that work out?

    Isn’t this why you are here now licking your wounds and wringing your hands about “spiritual abuse?”

    When the truth about Sovereign Grace Ministries came out from the Brent Detwiler Wiki leaks expose and Ligon Duncan, and Al Molher and Mark Dever and a host of other Neo Calvinists “Peer-reviewed” CJ Mahaney’s doctrine and because his doctrine was impeccable there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with his character what did you think then of the group validating truth?

    Law Professor and ClockWork can tut tut tut and tisk tisk tisk while writing verbose critiques about my lack of academic pedigree like they are on an episode of Charlie Rose till their hearts are content, but make no mistake The root of what they are advocating is that there are a select few experts who should be (and are) specifically tasked with making sure that people believe right things. They assort this because they don’t believe that you are qualified to exercise your own best rational judgment. Your judgment doesn’t matter. Your intellectual effort doesn’t matter. You can’t possibly see the difference between all the yahoos on the web spouting off in their underwear from their mommy’s basement and someone who actually has something to say. You must first know who to “trust” before you can know what to think.

    This is SGM mind control 101.

    This is a disastrous epistemological standard and you have already lived through the practical outcome of the premise.

  355. Law Pro,

    “Don’t post a retraction, a degree in a tangential field from that university (not highly-regarded in academia) does not qualify you as a historian, an intellectual, a Christian thinker. I attend a men’s prayer group on campus with three Christian historians, all with PhDs, real historians with 11 degrees between the them, a number of from elite universities, each of whom has written multiple books and possibly has more peer reviewed publications than Paul’s “historian” friend has written blog articles. They are historians.”

    I would love to read these books written by “Christian historians”. How can I go about getting names and titles?

  356. Law Pro,

    I’m curious, why would you encourage someone (CA) to not do right?

    “Don’t post a retraction”

  357. I’m not bashing John’s philosophy or his freedom to think. He’s welcome to express whatever he wants on his blog. I’m critiquing his self-proclamation that he is a leading authority on Reformation history. He’s not. He has zero credentials to support that claim. Do you honestly think he’s a leading authority? His theories on what happened in the Reformation need support from premises. Are all his premises true? Have you checked each of them? Historical facts are important.

    Thank you for catching the “Orville” brothers thing. I had a brain glitch. But unlike John I don’t think I’m a leading authority to tell others about the Wright brothers. And THAT is the difference.

    And by the way, his calling me “Clockwork Orange” betrays his unprofessionalism. You’re trusting a guy for historical information who resorts the equivalent of calling someone a doo-doo head when someone disagrees with them. Name calling like that derails any discussion, which is why you won’t see me back at PPT. There’s no point discussing things with someone who resorts to ad hominem attacks. I’d rather have a pleasant conversation with mature people who can stick to real discussion points.

  358. CA,

    “I’m not bashing John’s philosophy or his freedom to think.”

    But this is all you have done. Please understand at PPT’s, the writers simply put forth their ideas…….individuals are free believe or disagree. There is no force. Period. But if you come defending Calvinism, expect to be challenged. I personally have nothing good to say about the doctrines which have produced so much death. Now let me ask you, have you yourself read John Immel’s book or listened to his lectures?

  359. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    You need be ashamed of nothing Lydia. Inquiry and intellectual endeavor are not the exclusive domains of academicians. Let me be fair and as unbiased as is possible:
    Academia has contributed handsomely to the free and progressive society we all enjoy; its examples of lifting us out of the mud are legion and not up for debate. But on the other hand it is not the faultless pillar many look up to, and there are times when it can be downright stultifying. Where would we be if Wilbur and Orville had listened to Lord Kelvin when he declared in 1895 that heavier than air flying machines are impossible?

    Thank you for saying this, Muff.

    Let me start out by saying that I love learning and I have nothing against education, but I fear “the idea” that is instilled in students today that “you won’t succeed in life if you don’t succeed in school, or if you don’t go to college,” is a travesty. I believe “this idea” is creating massive failure in our society because of the defeat it instills in people who may well learn differently than sitting in a classroom with a book. I also see as much elitism in the education field as in religion, business, etc. Education is good, just not the end all answer, nor does everyone learn in the same manner.

  360. @ Clockwork Angel :

    Point well taken. I’ve read Hunt’s book A Woman Rides the Beast and I find it as Bartonesque as they come, a work of anti-Catholic propaganda for the most part, and not something I’d recommend to anybody. I care not one rat’s arse what a person believes about God or if they believe in no God, I am far more interested in what kind of human being they are and how they treat others. You’re very right in wanting to engage in pleasant dialogue with tolerant and reasonable people and I think that most of us here at TWW are of that mindset.

  361. Daisy wrote:

    My sentiment as well. Just help out with the housework from time to time because you’re an adult. Don’t just do housework to win brownie points with the wife to chip in later for sex.

    But that is how I hear a lot of preachers frame it when I watch them on TV and sometimes have attended churches in person.

    If they are approaching the relationship with their wife legalistically it sheds light on all their other relationships, particularly their religion.

  362. John, I will post this link again, which I had already posted above: https://cgdst.wordpress.com/john-immel/

    It says you’re a “leading authority”. You either provided that blurb yourself, or Paul did. Either way, it’s untrue. In other words, it’s a lie. You claim you just want others to think for themselves and that you want to free us all from the Matrix gatekeepers, but both you and Paul set yourselves up as gatekeepers and authorities, to the point that Paul runs around on other people’s blogs accusing them of not being truly saved. Address the main issue. I don’t hate all your ideas. I like exchanging ideas with people. Shucks, I’m not even “churched”. I consider myself an evangelical monastic these days. That’s hardly kowtowing to “authority”. The difference is that you and Paul have no issue with imposing your own authority on people and determining their salvation for them, and using iffy credentials to do so, such as claiming to be a leading authority in history. You don’t see me questioning yours or Paul’s salvation, now do you? So tell me, why should I believe you or Paul are the authority on whether or not I’m saved? That is spiritually abusive. When you do that, you are no different than all the Jesus-money pastors who are controlling over their flocks and use fear of hell to do so. Many of the people here have already lived their lives with someone implying they’re not saved if they don’t agree 100% with the pastor/priest/pope. Why add to it? You’re traumatizing them all over again.

    But no, I don’t intend on further engagement with you when you stoop to ad hominems to “win” an argument. “Clockwork Orange”? Really? Sheesh, it’s like watching Dave Hunt debate Karl Keating. Or Dave Hunt debate James White, but of course those two kind of deserve each other. Why would I want to further engage with you when there’s zero charity being exhibited? Meanwhile, my concerns and inquiry for clarification on the “true gospel” go unanswered over at PPT. Why the avoidance?

    The bottom line is, neither of you exhibit anything resembling charity when others disagree with you. Doesn’t a certain apostle say that without love, we’re just a clanging symbol? You’ll pardon me if I have a headache now and would prefer to talk with more charitable people who won’t call me “Clockwork Orange” or tell me I’m not saved whenever I disagree.

  363. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ Clockwork Angel :
    Point well taken. I’ve read Hunt’s book A Woman Rides the Beast and I find it as Bartonesque as they come, a work of anti-Catholic propaganda for the most part, and not something I’d recommend to anybody. I care not one rat’s arse what a person believes about God or if they believe in no God, I am far more interested in what kind of human being they are and how they treat others. You’re very right in wanting to engage in pleasant dialogue with tolerant and reasonable people and I think that most of us here at TWW are of that mindset.

    Thanks, Muff. Glad we can understand each other better. That’s all I’m really driving for here. Charity. And factual information, of course. But mostly, charity. Sadly, Paul likes to run around telling people they’re not saved if they don’t “get” what he’s saying. I don’t consider that charitable. If he were charitable while still espousing his ideas, no one would be bothered, and he wouldn’t be banned.

  364. pondering wrote:
    I would love to read these books written by “Christian historians”. How can I go about getting names and titles?

    Philip Schaff is a classic. You can get his stuff for free at ccel.org, as it is now old enough to be public domain. Samuel H. Moffett I’ve found to be really good. He recently passed away. Here’s a blurb on him: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/february/died-samuel-hugh-moffett-98-leading-expert-in-east-asia-chr.html

    I must say, get “History of Christianity in Asia” by Moffett at all costs! I’m reading through that right now, and it is so so good. And he writes it in an entertaining way, rather than being dry. I envy his students! If he can write an exciting history book like that then imagine what sitting in one of his classes would have been like! He’s also done missionary work, so he leads by example. He wasn’t just an intellectual sitting in an armchair.

    JND Kelly is a patristic scholar (i.e., early church fathers). He died in 1997, but he’s still treasured as a referee between Protestants and Catholics (he was Anglican).

    Mark A. Noll is a US historian, and evangelical Christian, and is still alive.

    I could go on and on. There really are plenty of decent historians out there. Even some classic works of history, whether Christian (like Schaff) or not (like Edward Gibbon for his “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”), that are worth your time. Some of the older classics are public domain and can be read for free off the Internet, like Gibbon and Schaff. Expand your horizons. Do a Google search. Add books to your e-Book reading list. Enjoy.

  365. Bridget wrote:

    Let me start out by saying that I love learning and I have nothing against education, but I fear “the idea” that is instilled in students today that “you won’t succeed in life if you don’t succeed in school, or if you don’t go to college,” is a travesty. I believe “this idea” is creating massive failure in our society because of the defeat it instills in people who may well learn differently than sitting in a classroom with a book.

    Oh boy, you are talking my language!

  366. Aren’t John I. and Paul two different people? I don’t like it when everyone who might comment somewhere (TWW for instance) get lumped into one group.

    As far as history goes, are their any truely unbiased historians? Can a Christian historian be unbiased? Seems that everyone has presuppositions when approaching any subject.

  367. CA,

    Thank you for offering book suggestions, but I am interested in in Law Prof’s friends, the “real historians” “Christian historians” whom he spoke very highly of ……with PhD’s……. “11 degrees between the them, a number of from elite universities, each of whom has written multiple books and possibly has more peer reviewed publications than Paul’s “historian” friend has written blog articles.” I want to read the books of these “historians”. I sent L P a comment requesting authors/titles of books.

    By the way, you didn’t answer my question above, have you read John Immel’s book or listened to his lectures?

  368. @ Clockwork Angel:

    Here is what it says that seems to bother you so much:

    “ohn is a leading authority on the ideas that sparked the Reformation and the historic collision between Man as Property of the State and Man as Property of himself. ”

    From my perspective of 10 years of research on what led to the state church mentality is how I found John’s site. He was the only one making the connections to philosophy/theology/politics that I could find. I did not even know what to call it or how to begin the research. With that said, I do not see John as the last word at all. it is about ideas and thinking.

    So if you know of any credentialed experts who have written on all those categories and how they intersect with each other, let me know. There are plenty who have written on one of those categories.

    I can understand not liking styles of communication and I thought it was below Paul to come here on another thread. ( Paul had horrible things done to his family by the Reformed movement so I tend to take that into consideration and perhaps cut some slack. I will also admit I don’t really understand a lot of what he posts but have not read there in a long time)

    One thing I have learned is that I am responsible for what I read, what I take away and how I apply it to more learning and understanding.

  369. Bridget wrote:

    Aren’t John I. and Paul two different people? I don’t like it when everyone who might comment somewhere (TWW for instance) get lumped into one group.

    I know, it makes me guilty all the time! :o)

  370. The Historian Debate: Please move it off this post and go to open discussion.

    OK-the rabbit trail needs to hop on overt open discussion. That is what it is there for. This post is discussing the problems with membership contracts. I believe that this is an important discussion and would like to reserve this comment thread for this subject.

  371. pondering wrote:

    CA,
    Thank you for offering book suggestions, but I am interested in in Law Prof’s friends, the “real historians” “Christian historians” whom he spoke very highly of ……with PhD’s……. “11 degrees between the them, a number of from elite universities, each of whom has written multiple books and possibly has more peer reviewed publications than Paul’s “historian” friend has written blog articles.” I want to read the books of these “historians”. I sent L P a comment requesting authors/titles of books.
    By the way, you didn’t answer my question above, have you read John Immel’s book or listened to his lectures?

    I have listened to his lectures. Don’t care to read a non-peer-reviewed “history” book. Did that once. Never again. One lecture that turned me off was the way he handled Athanasius. Sorry. Athanasius is a hero. But because what came out of the First Council of Nicaea was forced as orthodoxy, Athanasius is now bad, and the majority position of semi-Arians is good. That was the general impression he left me with. I don’t define orthodoxy based on majority positions. I define it based on the Bible. Athansius’ position is closest to the Bible, and managed to unburden the church of the Plantonism they had mistakenly borrowed in trying to describe the Trinity in their apologetics. Athansius also spent years in hiding because he wouldn’t back down. One would think John and Paul would appreciate his fine example, rather than hating on the First Ecumenical Council.

    I’m glad some people are getting good stuff out of him. I really am. It’s not like everything he has to say is bad. But I also hope you expand your reading rather than to just solely take his word for it on everything. As was pointed out above, every historian is biased. That’s why you read multiple historians. For example, you might read a Protestant historian, and then a Catholic historian with opposing views. Where they overlap, you’ve probably found the truth. If you need a referee to decide, find a historian who couldn’t give a rip which is side is right, like an atheist. For example, Haldon, a Byzantine historian, is atheist and can settle the matter on whether the use of icons in the Eastern Orthodox Church has historical precedent prior to the Seventh Ecumenical Council. (Bottom line, he says no, it evolved over time, until the iconoclasts lost and the iconophiles won.) He couldn’t care less about Protestant’s winning the argument, because he’s atheist and doesn’t have a stake in the debate.

    BTW, I don’t consider John’s connections on the Reformation anything new. It’s called the Anabaptist movement. They bucked man’s authority too, and drowned for it. But just because folks like Michael Sattler were very brave doesn’t mean I want to join an Amish farm and believe everyone else in the world is going to hell. That’s what Paul seems to want to do, minus the farming part, just because some Reformed people hurt him really badly. I was hurt badly too several times by people who got into Calvinism. You don’t see me being cruel to others and scaring them all with hell fire on a blog where salvation isn’t even the topic. Even Amish farmers keep to themselves rather than traveling around preaching abandonment of technology and scaring people who have cars and computers with hell fire.

    More importantly, there’s basic Bible reading. The Bible sets criteria for who gets to be considered an elder. Most people sadly don’t even know their elders to know whether they meet the criteria. This is why we’re in a mess. The celebrity pastor at your mega church is unknowable, and often self-appointed. In the early church, both apostolic and ante-Nicene, the people elected who would be their bishops/presbyters. They came from among their own body, and had proven themselves often by being deacons first for a very long time. They also tended to be literally “old men”. And when they no longer meet the qualifications, they shouldn’t be elder/presbyter/bishop anymore.

    Until people actually start following the Bible rather than worshiping these idol-shepherds, the mess will continue. (And this is something with which I can heartily agree with John and Paul.)

  372. @ John Immel:

    Sounds like an awfully good game there John. But to use a metaphor, why do I get this gnawing feeling that if I schlepped myself over to your site kinda’ sorta’ like a wandering medieval Jew in say Krakow or Prague, I might be allowed a money changing booth next to a brothel for a time, and when my usefulness has expired (as in disagreement with a tribal Schtick) , I’d wind up outside the city gates on me arse?

  373. Asking all further comments on history to move over to the Open Discussion page. Pretty please…

  374. Guest wrote:

    Dee wrote:

    “Also, anyone who does not perceive the absolute heinous nature of digital child sex abuse is either naive or is covering up their own perversion. Anyone with half a brain gets it.

    TWW will not allow anyone to use our forum to downplay child sex abuse, pedophilia, digital child sex abuse, etc. Any person who does this is most likely trying to justify their own struggles.”

    They are basically looking at pictures of child sex slaves and pretending it is no big woo. They don’t give a tiny dam# (ed.) and are surprised you do.