The Village Church and 9Marks Demonstrate Why Church Discipline Is Not Ready for Prime Time

“I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody [to no one].” Mother Theresa link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=32337&picture=the-broken-heart
Broken Heart

A friend who attends The Village Church asked me a question this week. "Why did you decide to start a blog?" I have to admit that I was a bit startled. Deb and I started this blog:

  • to discuss abusive behaviors in evangelical churches,
  • to care about the victims and their families,
  • to evaluate trends that might contribute to these behaviors,
  • to assist readers in how to assess the potential for abuse in a church prior to walking in the front door,
  • to discuss the problems of pedophilia and domestic violence in today's churches,
  • to support people who have gone through abuse at the hands of pastors and church leaders. Often, we are the first place who actually believe their story. When we do, we jump in to advocate for them and to offer a hand of friendship.

The reason that I was confounded by my friend's question is because his church had just been though the Karen Hinkley/Jordan Root situation. The injustice of Karen's abuse by the church garnered outcries from across the globe. 

Had it not been for our blog and Amy Smith's Watchkeep blog, this story would most likely not have been told. When we first mentioned this on Twitter, Matt Chandler said that we didn't know the whole story. But, we did. However, had Karen not kept her correspondence, it is highly likely this situation would not have resolved so easily.

Our blog exists because of stories of abuse like the one that happened at TVC. Hopefully this answers the question of my friend.

Karen sought out support after getting none from TVC.

It is key to understand that Karen reached out to both Amy and me. We did not go looking for her. That is how it most often happens on our blogs. This is indicative of the poor job many churches are doing in supporting their members.The wounded usually have to look outside the church for help and caring.

By the time Karen called me, she was deeply wounded and anxious, having been essentially shunned by a number of friends and pursued by a church hell bent on disciplining her. During this time, her pedophile, lying ex-husband was strolling around the church, being back-slapped because "he was walking in repentance".  TVC utterly failed to support a hurting woman and heaped praises on the supposed repentance of a pedophile. This was viewed as a bizarre response in many circles. So, she turned to us. We did what the church refused to do, and that was to love and support her.

Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson repent.

The expressed repentance on the part of Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson led to Karen's willingness to forgive them with the hope that there would be some great changes at The Village Church. TWW is aware that TVC leaders (we do not know names of those who did the reaching out) have reached out to some other folks to say they are sorry for the way they handled their particular discipline situation.

I believe that there has been repentance on the part of Matt and Josh and that some strides are being made to do things better in the future. However, at this point, there are some issues that concern me. These are problems that other churches face as well. Because of these concerns, I cannot recommend that anyone sign a membership contract (covenants are contracts). I also believe that the whole topic of church discipline needs to be reevaluated. Something is deeply wrong with the process. 

The following thoughts are only my thoughts and do not represent, in any way, the thinking of Karen Hinkley.

Forgiveness is not institutional; it is personal and humbling.

Many churches pride themselves on having celebrity pastors. Sometimes I think that church members feel like the celebrity pastor takes care of everything. If he apologizes, then Betty Lou in Karen Hinkley's former home group doesn't have to. Elders, under-pastors and deacons might also feel the same way. It is my opinion that everyone who ignored Karen or treated her poorly, starting with most of her home group and proceeding to pastors, elders, deacons, and many others, should be lining up to apologize to her. 

Sorry, folks, Matt Chandler's apology does not cover your sinful behavior. From what I can ascertain, there were very few folks, including leaders, who reached out to say they were sorry. Some of those who left comments on this blog, stating that Karen was not behaving properly, have not returned to say they now realize they were wrong and are sorry they added to the pain that Karen endured. I will continue to wonder about the sincerity of many people in the congregation. Does this repentance go beyond Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson? Does anyone else really care about her? Is there a divide between the pastors and the general membership?

A home group failure

In my conversations with Karen, I came to understand that home groups at TVC are assigned missionaries to support while they are at home and away. It all sounds very nice when one signs up to be a part of that group. There is the typical "we love you" vibe that is given. It seems, however, that being committed to a missionary, who is also a friend to many, has it limits.

It appears that, with one exception, Karen's home group totally failed in their support of Karen during her painful ordeal. She wasn't even allowed (by one of the leaders) to go to say good-bye to her group when she resigned. If I had been a member of that group, I would have said "Bite me" (in a gospel way, of course) and immediately arranged a big dinner and reception for her. What is wrong with this group? 

She had to turn to people she had never met for her support. How could her former support group ignore her in her time of need? Do they even care? Were they told to shun her? If so, by whom? And why didn't they do the right thing? Again, I have to question the depth of care by this particular home group. They certainly need some instruction on how to show love in all circumstances. Real love is seen in dealing with the difficulties in life, not in the easy stuff.

A dangerous view on pedophiles needs to be challenged and changed.

I believe that amongst  few leaders at TVC, there is finally a greater concern about the potential of Jordan Root's pedophile issues. Once again, TWW received a number of negative comments from people at TVC claiming that Jordan had been forgiven and that he should be allowed to continue as if nothing happened. What is going on with those folks at TVC? Has there been any teaching about the very real concerns surrounding the long time difficulties in treating a pedophile? Do many people in this church believe that Jesus will just "take away" that desire? The church and its children were placed at risk by a gullible view of pedophiles.

At this link, Karen was asked not to discuss Jordan Root's sinful behavior because it could place a devastating stigma on Jordan's life. The naivety of this directive from a church leader is astonishing. Pedophiles should have a stigma on their lives. It is for the safety of children.

The Village Church has an undercurrent of authoritarianism.

It is really quite simple to see this. If autocratic tendencies were not part of the culture, Karen Hinkley would not have been treated the way she was.  Let's take a look at some examples. These quotes are all from this link.

They wanted to control her finances.

Richard Brindley said that they had decided that she not separate her finances since it was a step towards divorce. She is told that when there is a marriage under the *care* of the church, every aspect of the marriage is now subject to the elders input, including finances.

They claimed that they were the only spiritual authority in her life.

Karen told Elder Matt Younger that she had counseled with trusted Christian friends and counselors and was thinking through her decisions with  careful thought and prayer. He told her that she could not  trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority. He said that they were the only voice at the table. He claimed that they were there to hold her hand and tell her what to do.

They prohibited her from leaving their abusive oversight.

We have been perplexed by your decision to file for an annulment of your marriage without first abiding by your covenant obligations to submit to the care and direction of your elders. As I mentioned in my first letter, this decision violates your covenant with us – and places you under discipline. Per section 10.5 of The Village Church bylaws, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation.

…We know this is a step of faith and that many questions have yet to be answered. We will seek to answer each question in time. Until then, your elders are pleading with you to patiently submit to our leadership. Should you choose not to return to The Village Church, we will move forward to the next step in the process of disciplining you as a member. Please hear our appeal. The last thing we want is to lose the privilege of caring for you in this difficult season. 

There are many more examples where these came from. It is important to realize that authority driven churches will not change overnight. This sort of stuff floats around in the DNA of a church and will continue to rear its ugly head unless nipped in the bud each and every time it occurs. And it will occur again. 

Matt Chandler is closely aligned with 9Marks and their view on church discipline.

There is no one group more known for their beliefs surrounding church discipline than 9Marks. Within this group, Jonathan Leeman is the chief guru on defining the practice of membership and discipline. TVC recommends 9Marks materials to its members. Matt Chandler both writes for 9Marks and speaks at 9Marks events..

If anyone should know how to discipline "9Marks style", it should be Chandler, and you saw how that went. The very public failure of the Hinkley/Root situation shows that even Chandler, one of the inner circle, can't get it right. It is important to be aware that 9Marks has had its own high profile failure at church discipline. If both 9Marks and Matt Chandler can abuse church discipline, how do you think the average, gung ho dude-bro from SBTS will handle these things at his Acts 29 church which is *committed* to church discipline?

We believe that all Christians should question their leadership about the application of church discipline. Things are not going well in this area.

My advice: Adopt a wait and see attitude and DO NOT sign membership covenants.

I think this is the best place to end this post. In my opinion, signing the church membership covenant is where the average pew sitter makes his/her mistake. Once they have your signature, you are ripe for church discipline. TWW has been receiving email after email giving personal examples of abusive church discipline.  The reports have skyrocketed in the last year. 

I am grateful that Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson apologized to Karen. Somehow though, it does not appear that the majority of people are feeling badly about the way they treated Karen. Until that changes, I would sit back and evaluate what gives and stay the heck away from any elder or pastor who wants to 'discipline' you.

Finally, it is the wish of TWW that churches, in the future, when confronted with their abuses, will listen well and respond in love. It is sad when a member has to go outside the church to expose injustice. We would love to be put out of the blogging business.

TWW is developing a resource that will help our readers assess churches for potentially abusive environments as well as render advice on how to leave an abusive church and/or deal with the discipline issue. 

Comments

The Village Church and 9Marks Demonstrate Why Church Discipline Is Not Ready for Prime Time — 600 Comments

  1. Jonathan Leeman is commenting at SBC Voices on a post re church discipline. He’s telling some tales.

  2. Gotta love that email from Steve Hardin asking where Karen is living and “Have we tried to help push her under our care?” Every time I read that I get a mental image of a hand holding someone’s head under water.

  3. “Church discipline” as practiced by evangelicals = oppression of its members. Always. No exceptions.

  4. “Per section 10.5 of The Village Church bylaws, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation.”

    Dear Comrade,

    Per section 10.5 of the People’s Constitution, you are prohibited from resigning membership to the CPPU while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation.

  5. Celia wrote:

    Jonathan Leeman is commenting at SBC Voices on a post re church discipline. He’s telling some tales.

    Yes he is. Basically he is saying that there has to be mediated authority in the Body. They just need to be wise, loving and biblical authorities. Problem is, I don’t agree with his definitions of wise, loving or biblical. :o)

  6. I have said to many people, including pastors at my church, that I find the following to be a problem for our church. On the one hand our ‘doctrine’ talks about the fall of man and the need for the reconciling work of God which leads to the ongoing life and journey of sanctification where the Christian is transformed into Christ-likeness. [This is truly good news for those who see their need for a Savior!] On the other hand, words rarely heard in my lifetime in the church and amongst Christians in other settings (family, Christian colleges/seminary): “I’m sorry, I was wrong when I said or did …” or “Will you forgive me for …” or “I know that _______ was hurtful to you; I’m sorry, will you forgive me” or ….
    I have many personal experiences from age 6 or 7 to 50+ where over and over and over there were opportunities for godly relational reconciliation, yet it didn’t happen because these important words were never uttered. Understand the 70 x 7 (or maybe not … I often pray that God helps me to not be the ungrateful steward who is forgiven much but cannot forgive), but really, where are we regularly practicing the relational one another’s of “confess your sins to one another” and “forgive one another” if we are not having these types of intentional, honest and life-breathing interactions? Please tell me that my experience is not the norm, because my heart breaks as I write this as I’ve lost hope that the church can be what it is supposed to be.
    What was said in this post – Karen’s small group could have … but didn’t. The church leaders could … but didn’t. When I have spoken with my pastor and others, excuses are made or the responsibility is dumped into my lap (again) … oh God, how can this rubble be rebuilt into something that once again resembles the community of believers that you spilt your blood to redeem? Enough of political posturing and celebrity pastors and/or CEO pastors!
    God help us … me … to pursue others in ways that allow us to move toward the life and holiness of God (Hebrew 10:19-25).

  7. It has to be a bit galling for Leeman to deal with a Reformed SBC blog actually questioning some of the church discipline processes that have come out of 9 Marx.

    Get this one from Leeman over there:

    “Second, I’m not sure I would say that a church can forbid a member from “leaving,” although I understand why you might interpret me that way. Of course a person can “leave.” What I’m saying is, a member cannot force a church to make a particular kind of statement about him or her as they leave. So Jesus did NOT say, “But if he pays no attention to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you…unless he resigns first. Then you have to treat him like a believer” (see Matt. 18:17). No, he just says, “let him be like an unbeliever.” So suppose you have a man who leaves his wife for another woman, and your church says, “Please come back to your wife, or we’ll have to move toward formal discipline.” And then the man says, “Fine, I resign.” For the church to accept that man’s resignation and not discipline him, I believe, is to treat him like a believer. That’s what accepting someone’s resignation means: “They leave us in good standing, and we affirm their faith as they go.” And for the church to say this about the man who has left his wife for another woman is to disobey Jesus’ command in verse 17. That’s what I mean when I say, I don’t think that this man should be able to force the church to make a public statement about him that it doesn’t believe.”

    Ok, I noticed he did not address the Mahaney fleeing his church nor the Karen should stay married to a pedophile situation at TVC which was following the 9 Marx model. No, he uses a sleezy adultery situation.

    And how is a person leaving “forcing the church to make a public statement about him it does not believe”? Are people really buying this ridiculousness? Sheesh! The person leaves. You keep your mouth shut about them because they have a right to leave. It is that simple.

    The whole thing is nothing but control using cheesy Christianese that makes no sense once you analyze it. They take some proof texts and twist them to mean what they want them to say.

  8. @ dee:

    This is a good reason not to join a church. I wouldn't want church leadership, for example, dictating to me where I can buy a house and how much I should spend on a house. What else follows this dictate? That seems group think, cult like, doesn't it?

  9. For those readers who haven’t witnessed or experienced this kind of behavior inside a celebrity mega I offer the following insights. It may seem, to some, like the treatment Karen received was either an anomaly or somehow exaggerated. It was neither.
    .
    I’m not certain how much love or hate enters into these situations. My experience is that it is an issue of “loyalty”. All “covenant members” must be loyal to their covenant and put the organization and celebrity pastor first. Karen failed to do that. She put the safety and well being of all children, across two continents, first. In doing so, Karen was “disloyal”. Her words and actions failed to put the reputation of TVC first, before the safety and well being of herself and the children. The home group members may not have even been pressured to shun. Karen had information that could hurt the public image of TVC. That information leak had to be contained as if it were radioactive. If no one will acknowledge her existence (and pain) then her words can’t hurt Matt or TVC. It’s a tree falling in a person-less forest. Her sound waves may reverberate but not on TVC eardrums.
    .
    The minute Karen used independent thought and bridled at submitting to TVC orders to stay silent and remain married to a pedophile, in the minds of TVC, Karen became a traitor. Traitors cannot be allowed amongst the people as they could infect them with their rebellious behavior and bad attitudes. Karen was in the wrong for not doing as told. It was very non-Stepford of her. They needed to control her. When that failed to work they needed to immediately shun her in order to quarantine the body of TVC from this infection. “We must aggressively defend our unity and our leader’s vision” (that’s from Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church’s Code – but all celebrity gigas follow this).
    .
    In the minds of TVC this whole episode will be seen as an “attack by the enemy”. That makes Karen…..well, in alliance with the devil. Yes, the actual victim in these scenarios is seen as the “enemy” the minute they open up their mouths or even the minute they show pain, grief or confusion over what has happened to them. TVC Leaders and flock are trained to rebuke Satan, not throw going away pot lucks for them.
    .
    Bottom line, this is cultic behavior. Believe it or not, the home group folks might not see or understand this to be so. But it is. Their need to protect the reputation of the 501(c)3 is what comes first. Their allegiance in this matter was not Christ-like. This kind of behavior is often more hurtful and more damaging than the original incident because it makes all your years with that church a big, fat lie. These people who claimed to be your “church family” turn their backs on you in your darkest hour proving they are not family. They are not even true friends. Their words and deeds often hurt victims worse than the original perpetrator. The damage is beyond what words can describe.
    .
    Matt Chandler only came around when his failure to apologize ended up causing more harm to TVC’s reputation. I’m not saying he wasn’t sincere. We don’t really know since he left TVC immediately following the 6/1/15 apology and is still MIA as of today, 2.5 months later. I hope he is. But the fact remains that he would not even speak to the VICTIM after months of TVC inflicted emotional distress until this story went international. Matt Chandler constantly uses the statement “Christ Honoring”. It seems to be the most important thing to him. I cannot see how any of this systemic, cultic behavior is Christ Honoring. I hope Chandler truly repents, in the sense of changing one’s mind and that he takes a zero tolerance position on any TVC person ever treating another TVC victim with anything other than unconditional support and love. Now, that would be Christ honoring.

  10. This is all so awful that it’s hard to understand. What on earth is this covenent thing people sign? Your only covenent is with the lord, not a church or the people in the church. This poor lady, let down by her foul husband and dreadful church. I am so glad she had friends like the writer above, and is now, I understand, in law school.

  11. It is obvious from this post that nurses are trained to always project a professional demeanor. And also that Dee has practiced her professionalism. When I grow up, I hope I can be as nice as Dee.

    Did I miss it when Matt Chandler repented of his unbiblical and ungodly doctrines which produced this totally predictable result? Because until he repents of those foundational false teaching, we will continue to see this kind of atrocity committed in the name of Christ. Yes, those are strong words. I really wonder what Jesus would have said about Matt Chandler and the rest of the ELDERS who perpetrated this.

    I am happy that Karen is able to move on and move away from the toxicity. That, by the way, is the word used by a former YRR enthusiast I know to describe The Village debacle. Once the put down the Kool-aid, things start to look a little different.

    Dee asked why the home group did not support Karen. The obvious reason is that they did not and do not love Karen as Christ loves Karen. Their system is not based on love but on compliance and fear. The home group people are more concerned about how they appear to “leadership” than they are about Karen. That is because they have become personally identified with The Village and its cachet, and Karen is proof that The Village is not what they perceive themselves to be. Therefore, she is the one to blame and not the outrages committed by their emotionally and spiritually immature ELDERS.

    Jonathan Leeman is full of beans, too. His big problem is that The Village has demonstrated that the premise on which he has built his entire career is bogus and has no basis at all in Christ. The fact that the fanboys at Voices are questioning him should be a huge wakeup call. However, I predict he will double down or slowly change the key while the tune stays the same.

    I was not trained as a nurse.

  12. Lydia wrote:

    Ok, I noticed he did not address the Mahaney fleeing his church nor the Karen should stay married to a pedophile situation at TVC which was following the 9 Marx model. No, he uses a sleezy adultery situation.

    He cannot address that because what possible justification can there be within the 9Marks framework. It is an example of flagrant hypocrisy. He will not man up and own up to that.

    He uses adultery because no one can argue with that case. Which only demonstrates how weak his case is for the kind of discipline he advocates. I can tell you from experience that you do not walk away from a 9Marks-influenced church with your spiritual reputation intact *unless* your leaving helps the “leadership” refine their membership into a homogenous glop of groupthink. If they invite you to leave and you do not leave, you will be shunned. And that means that only the very few and very brave will reach out. They act this way because that is what they believe righteousness looks like.

  13. Gram3 wrote:

    The home group people are more concerned about how they appear to “leadership” than they are about Karen.

    I really believe they were following what they had been taught and obeying their leaders. That is everything in that sort of environment. Think of the position this teaching puts people in who refuse to think for themselves. “Karen is a “sinner” and we must “discipline” her as our wise leaders have taught us. Karen has “shunned” us because she will not submit”.

    That is their paradigm. That is what they were taught. IN this scenerio, Karen is the sinner. Not the victim or person who needs help. This sort of church environment is insidious evil and has far reaching implications. I am thinking debriefing from cultic thinking will be needed for this thinking to be reversed. I think it is that serious. In a way, Chandler threw these people under the bus by apologizing. They were simply following the playbook they were taught.

  14. Gram3 wrote:

    However, I predict he will double down or slowly change the key while the tune stays the same.

    Oh, he was definitely “twisting” the key in his response to the OP.

    BTW: Does anyone believe that any man who believes he has the actual power and authority to determine your salvation will remain wise, loving and just like Jesus in behavior?

  15. @ LT:
    I agree with everything except the part about Chandler being sincere. I think he was sincerely sorry that this blew up. IIRC he only apologized for insensitivity. That, in my view, is minimization and deflection in the sense that it made her reaction and the reaction in the blogosphere seem overblown. There has not been, AFAIK, any acknowledgement from any of the ELDERS that their sin resulted from their false teaching.

  16. LT wrote:

    My experience is that it is an issue of “loyalty”

    That is exactly what it is. Loyalty to the leaders.

  17. Lydia wrote:

    That is their paradigm.

    Their paradigm starts with the erroneous belief that the first sin was insubordination on the part of the woman. Therefore, insubordination is deemed the root sin of humanity. Karen committed the ultimate sin in their System. That is the starting point for their thinking process. Females brought ruin through insubordination.

  18. LT wrote:

    My experience is that it is an issue of “loyalty”.

    I remember in a seminary class on church planting, we were asked how we would identify ourselves. In my response I said,

    #1 – I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    #2 – I am an Anabaptist in my overall theology.

    #3 – I am affiliated with a Southern Baptist church.

    And then I added the kicker: “And neither #2 or #3 will ever take the place of #1.”

    There are those, even in seminary, who conflate #1 and #2, or perhaps even more commonly, #1 and #3 — or even all three. And I think that’s a core problem.

    My loyalty is foremost to the person of Christ and following Him. But I have to wonder if churches with legalized membership covenants/contracts equate loyalty in church affiliation as automatic loyalty to Jesus, instead of letting individuals’ loyalty to Jesus lead them into reasonable loyalty to participating in a local body of disciples. And in their thinking, “church” conflates theological base + denomination + specific leaders, so it’s ultimately about a bunch of abstractions instead of about a bunch of people and relationships.* And that’s beyond sad.

    * As a P.S. to this contrast, my belief is that the way we ask our questions preconditions our answers. And in the opening lecture on Intro to Church Planting, the first question was, “What is the church?” Whereas the question I’d have asked is, “WHO is the church?”

  19. @ Lydia:
    People I know who have worked at SBTS say that loyalty to Mohler is everything there. You are judged by that standard alone.

  20. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    As a P.S. to this contrast, my belief is that the way we ask our questions preconditions our answers. And in the opening lecture on Intro to Church Planting, the first question was, “What is the church?” Whereas the question I’d have asked is, “WHO is the church?”

    Yes!

  21. LT wrote:

    I’m not certain how much love or hate enters into these situations. My experience is that it is an issue of “loyalty”. All “covenant members” must be loyal to their covenant and put the organization and celebrity pastor first. Karen failed to do that. She put the safety and well being of all children, across two continents, first. In doing so, Karen was “disloyal”

    This is spot on…this scene from Harry Potter always reminds me of the dangers of “loaylty” over truth and love.

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

  22. Lydia wrote:

    People I know who have worked at SBTS say that loyalty to Mohler is everything there. You are judged by that standard alone.

    That is not simply idolatry, it is essentially anarchy. And “Kingdom anarchy” is an oxymoron.

  23. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    LT wrote:
    My experience is that it is an issue of “loyalty”.
    I remember in a seminary class on church planting, we were asked how we would identify ourselves. In my response I said,
    #1 – I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
    #2 – I am an Anabaptist in my overall theology.
    #3 – I am affiliated with a Southern Baptist church.
    And then I added the kicker: “And neither #2 or #3 will ever take the place of #1.”
    There are those, even in seminary, who conflate #1 and #2, or perhaps even more commonly, #1 and #3 — or even all three. And I think that’s a core problem.
    My loyalty is foremost to the person of Christ and following Him. But I have to wonder if churches with legalized membership covenants/contracts equate loyalty in church affiliation as automatic loyalty to Jesus, instead of letting individuals’ loyalty to Jesus lead them into reasonable loyalty to participating in a local body of disciples. And in their thinking, “church” conflates theological base + denomination + specific leaders, so it’s ultimately about a bunch of abstractions instead of about a bunch of people and relationships.* And that’s beyond sad.
    * As a P.S. to this contrast, my belief is that the way we ask our questions preconditions our answers. And in the opening lecture on Intro to Church Planting, the first question was, “What is the church?” Whereas the question I’d have asked is, “WHO is the church?”

    They assume that #1 and # 3 are one in the same, espcially in the SBC.
    The more I read about these ” disciplining church,” the more I wonder, if Jesus was a member there, would they try and discipline him for something? And my answer always is…” Yes, they would.”

  24. K.D. wrote:

    I wonder, if Jesus was a member there, would they try and discipline him for something? And my answer always is…” Yes, they would.”

    We already have the answer to that in the Gospels. The religious leaders wanted him killed because he would not conform to their self-serving system. So they trumped up some charges to provoke the state into doing what they could not legally do. I often try to imagine the Jesus recorded in the Gospels speaking the way that these men speak. I have been unsuccessful.

  25. Gram3 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    That is their paradigm.

    Their paradigm starts with the erroneous belief that the first sin was insubordination on the part of the woman. Therefore, insubordination is deemed the root sin of humanity. Karen committed the ultimate sin in their System. That is the starting point for their thinking process. Females brought ruin through insubordination.

    Yes, and what it you many months ago who pointed out that Jesus’ blood was good enough to pay for Adam’s sin but not *good enough* to pay for Eve’s sin. So in the sick and twisted world of the NeoCals and their ilk, Eve is more powerful than Jesus! So they *don’t believe* in Jesus after all.

  26. dee wrote:

    @ Celia:
    My comment is now posted there.

    Good comment Dee. If Leeman even bothers to answer watch him totally ignore what you say and then post a something shiney for the sycophants to look at for distraction.

    The thing about these churches and their “church discipline” is it’s not about a man trading in his old wife for younger model and then wanting to bring the younger model into church with old wife and children. “church discipline” is being applied to anyone who disagrees with the “authorities” of the church. Dissent is not an option. This is shown with the guy from Dubai as well as the Karen Hinkley case. It’s about POWER in the hands of people with little to no life experience in the real world and not even the wisdom of years as these guys in charge are all usually under 40.

    Notice how Leeman makes the comment that you can leave but the church still has the right to label you. If you leave without their consent Leeman thinks the church has the right ot label you apostate and the church has the right to “warn” all other churches. Even if you are not under discipline when you want to leave – leaving because you disagree with the “authorities” is enough reason to put you under “discipline” And then there’s the whole creepy that you’re not allowed to choose your new church without their approval. Very Romanastic.

    Here’s the bottom line for those in the SBC. These are the type of cultic churches that the SBC is now spending SBC money to plant. They are all this Acts 29 DNA. If you go to an SBC church you need to tell the people there to stop funding these cultic churches. I can guarantee you if you call Ezell at NAMB he’ll refuse to give you a straight answer as to how many new church plants are these Act 29 churches. Ezell will get indignant when asked these questions because they don’t want people in the pews to know what’s going on.

    Another thing – if you see churches pushing these “home groups” “life groups” “gospel groups” RUN FAR AWAY. This is the means that these churches have of cutting people off from the outside world and then controlling them if they step out of line. Notice how painful it was for Karen when her home group turned against her. This is what exactly how it’s supposed to work. It is a cult – they isolate people to only those approved by the church, then then use the groups to make sure people are conforming and ultimately they use the group to dig into lives to see who they can “disipline.”

    Again if you are SBC show all these stories – the Hinley story, the guy in Dubai, Driscoll – to the church and STOP funding these cultic church plants.

    (and personally i”m not buying that Chandler and Co are truly repentant – they’re just sorry they got caught – it’s the whole system that is rotten and evil at it’s core.)

  27. Gram3 wrote:

    @ LT:
    I agree with everything except the part about Chandler being sincere. I think he was sincerely sorry that this blew up. IIRC he only apologized for insensitivity. That, in my view, is minimization and deflection in the sense that it made her reaction and the reaction in the blogosphere seem overblown. There has not been, AFAIK, any acknowledgement from any of the ELDERS that their sin resulted from their false teaching.

    I only said I “hope” he is sincere. I hope for this because I have family there. I also really hope it for Karen’s sake. She needs this to be sincere for healing purposes.

    You are right about the insensitivity part. In the sermon apology he went out of his way to say that TVC has a practice (implementation) issue, not a doctrinal issue.

  28. @ Celia:
    Sorry for all the typos – on my phone at urgent care waiting cuz I’m pretty sure I have ear infection from sinus trouble. My primary care doctor can’t see me for seven weeks so they said “oh go to Urgent Care” Sheesh don’t even get me started on Obamacare.

  29. ‘Finally, it is the wish of TWW that churches, in the future, when confronted with their abuses, will listen well and respond in love. It is sad when a member has to go outside the church to expose injustice’.

    This is so true. The Presbyterian Church of Australia’s court system is set up in such a way that it totally protects and supports the abuser. Whether this is intentional or because it is from a bygone era when the clergy had all the power and it hasn’t been changed to reflect the 21st century, I do not know. However, what I do know is that it is cruel to the victim. I have had no support from the Church, any support I did have (from friends) was taken away. The Church courts I face is like a parallel court system to the civil courts yet the minister and elder can have as much support and help as they want yet me the complainer gets none. If I couldn’t afford to pay lawyers to help me I would have had to ‘just walk away’ and the leaders of the Church would not be held accountable for their wrongdoing.

    I met with the minister of the Church I now attend and he said that because I have the gift of prophecy I am like the prophets of the Old Testament who held God’s people to account. So Deb and Dee consider yourself ‘prophets’. Some people may say that Jesus was the last prophet however ‘prophecy’ is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so continue to do what you are called to do.

  30. Celia wrote:

    It’s about POWER in the hands of people with little to no life experience in the real world and not even the wisdom of years as these guys in charge are all usually under 40.

    And let’s face it: The guys in power are deeply troubled people who shouldn’t be trusted. Power was NEVER meant to be consolidated this way.

  31. @ Velour:
    We used to joke back in the day that the guys who weren’t smart enough to make it in the real world are the ones who went to seminary.

  32. Celia wrote:

    Again if you are SBC show all these stories – the Hinley story, the guy in Dubai, Driscoll – to the church and STOP funding these cultic church plants.

    Yes. And,

    (and personally i”m not buying that Chandler and Co are truly repentant – they’re just sorry they got caught – it’s the whole system that is rotten and evil at it’s core.)

    Yes. Save your money folks and spend it on something worthwhile!

  33. @ Celia:

    More proof of what you are saying about the SBC aligning with cultic churches. SBC President Ronnie Floyd just publicly joined forces with big-wig Pentecostal leaders of cultic churches – Robert Morris of Gateway Church DFW, Tony Evans of Oakcliff Bible Fellowship DFW and Sammy Rodriguez who claims to oversee 400,000 Hispanic Pentecostal Churches. You are going to long for the subdued Acts 29 influence by the time Ronnie is done polluting the SBC with this NAR political stuff.

    They are jointly sponsoring a solemn assembly/political rally for 75,000 pastors at Dallas Cowboy Stadium just prior to the two July 2016 Dem/Rep Conventions. This will be the largest meeting of its kind. Dee has previously covered how Ronnie has partnered with Robert Morris and his Blessed/Cursed Life teachings to demand a 10% tithe but this will take things to, as Ed Young Jr would say, a ho nutha level. How much of the SBC budget will go towards this highly expensive event held in one of the nicest 3 million sq ft indoor arenas in the world? No wonder he needs the full 10%.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/08/10/robert-morris-announces-solemn-assembly-of-75000-pastors-at-cowboy-stadium-in-july-2016/

  34. @ LT:
    Whoa. You have family there and you have a Gateway connection. I am so sorry, and I hope your family sees what is going on and gets out of there. Your analysis is very good, and that explains why.

  35. Celia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    We used to joke back in the day that the guys who weren’t smart enough to make it in the real world are the ones who went to seminary.

    And many of the ones who went to seminary thinking it was one thing and finding out it was something else want nothing to do with the “ministry.” There are good people in the ministry, but they must be there only by the grace of God because the systems are so corrupted.

  36. LT wrote:

    How much of the SBC budget will go towards this highly expensive event held in one of the nicest 3 million sq ft indoor arenas in the world? No wonder he needs the full 10%.

    The SBC is losing members in record numbers. That explains why they are milking those who remain for *all they are worth*.

  37. Mark-one wrote:

    @ dee:

    This is a good reason not to join a church. I wouldn’t want church leadership, for example, dictating to me where I can buy a house and how much I should spend on a house. What else follows this dictate? That seems group think, cult like, doesn’t it?

    My former NeoCal church tried to dictate:

    *my home’s decorations (they were *offended* that I had a beautiful Italian cross in my home, even though I’m not Catholic, that was an expensive birthday gift all of the way from Italy)

    *my friendships (I just don’t want to be friends with nutcases and the pastors/elders had a problem with the fact I didn’t want to be friends with their favorite women nutcases)

    *my clothing (I got criticized by an elder for riding my bike to church in the summer in a dress — with bike shorts on underneath the dress, thank you!)

    *bbq beef brisket – pastors/elders had a meeting about this one and about how inappropriately *lavish* I was to bring this food item to a church potluck
    (I was subjected to phone calls and in-person chats about BEEF!)

    *and on and on.

    And now I’m free!

    Former prisoner of the Gulag NeoCal Church (aka “Hotel California”),

    Velour

  38. Two thoughts:

    1. I didn’t consider Matt Chandler’s initial “you don’t really understand” and “prove it” responses in the outset. And then once you and Karen did, OOOOOHHH I’m SOOOOOO sorry! For any Village member with a hardbroiled Baptist daddy, would that fly? He gives you a chance to fess up and you believe you can hide what you did? It’d be the same thing if anyone screws up at any job. The Kings Way post from Wednesday had comments about pastors who refuse to follow the most basic standards of professional ethics, and lose intelligent career men. There is something to that.

    2. It’s so awful about Karen’s “friends”. Shallow relationships based on you doing as you’re told is one of the main fears that keeps many of my fellow millennials out of the church.

    The seeker sensitive church has failed to grow the Kingdom, but, it has made it a common knowledge among non-believers that churches are inherently deceptive about their true belief. As are the Christians who go to these churches. Matt Chandler uses their tactics – non-nondescript church name, rock shows, and cool clothes – to sell Puritan-ish theology to moderate evangelicals. Hey Matt, if you really are so, as some people I’m acquainted with say, amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing, and everyone loves John Calvin so much, you could’ve put on a robe, called it The Village Reformed Baptist Church, and hung the London 1689 Confession on the altar and you’d just as big, right?

  39. I left a comment…let’s see if it’s published.

    When your church discipline sounds a lot like what the “church” of Scientology does, then you have a problem, no matter how “biblical” you may proclaim it to be.

    I won’t step foot in a church that is in the TGC or 9 Marks brand of ecclesiology, in large part due to my long experience observing the cult of greed and power (that, again, would be Scientology). These two organizations (and there are others like them, I’m just picking on these two) are encouraging their churches to act like Scientology in their grab for power over their members’ lives. Even if you wrap it up in Jesusy talk, there’s little distinction between being on some “care list” and being labeled a “suppressive person.”

    –from an observer outside the household of faith.

  40. Velour wrote:

    Yes, and what it you many months ago who pointed out that Jesus’ blood was good enough to pay for Adam’s sin but not *good enough* to pay for Eve’s sin. So in the sick and twisted world of the NeoCals and their ilk, Eve is more powerful than Jesus! So they *don’t believe* in Jesus after all.

    To quote Patti Smith in quite a different context: “Jesus died for somebody’s sin / But not mine.” We women bear the always-unforgivable sin.

  41. Stan wrote:

    The seeker sensitive church has failed to grow the Kingdom, but, it has made it a common knowledge among non-believers that churches are inherently deceptive about their true belief. As are the Christians who go to these churches. Matt Chandler uses their tactics – non-nondescript church name, rock shows, and cool clothes – to sell Puritan-ish theology to moderate evangelicals. Hey Matt, if you really are so, as some people I’m acquainted with say, amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing, and everyone loves John Calvin so much, you could’ve put on a robe, called it The Village Reformed Baptist Church, and hung the London 1689 Confession on the altar and you’d just as big, right?

    It’s not just “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” It’s Jesus plus a particular set of religious, political and social opinions, keeping up with the Joneses, making sure you tithe 10 percent plus, making sure you’re fitting in with everyone else at church and above all *not being a problem and costing more money than you’re bringing.* You need to be a good giving unit.

    I know I’m not the only one formerly inside the household of faith who has taken her time, talents and treasure outside the household. The guy who runs the non-profit I’m giving my time and money to may be a real force of nature, but I know where the money’s going. I can’t say that about any of the three megas within two miles of my house.

  42. Velour wrote:

    *my clothing (I got criticized by an elder for riding my bike to church in the summer in a dress — with bike shorts on underneath the dress, thank you!)
    *bbq beef brisket – pastors/elders had a meeting about this one and about how inappropriately *lavish* I was to bring this food item to a church potluck
    (I was subjected to phone calls and in-person chats about BEEF!)

    Riding you bike in a dress and cooking with Beef! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

    I saw an advertisement on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ last Tuesday about ‘Ancestry DNA’. I bet if we checked these leaders DNA we could find a direct link to Caiaphas and Annas. Or if you believe in evolution maybe we could go back further and declare we have found the missing link.

  43. @ Velour: I love brisket. Most of what they were criticizing you for was being nice. Kind of a form of newspeak. Years ago there were zealots in my nice SBC church who criticized a church member in our small group for decorating at Christmas. I told my friend who was receiving this criticism that her Christmas decorations were nice, and made me happy. Now as then if I witness some of this rude boorish behavior I will counter it with a complement. The kind of behavior you describe just isn’t nice.

  44. rhondajeannie wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    *my clothing (I got criticized by an elder for riding my bike to church in the summer in a dress — with bike shorts on underneath the dress, thank you!)
    *bbq beef brisket – pastors/elders had a meeting about this one and about how inappropriately *lavish* I was to bring this food item to a church potluck
    (I was subjected to phone calls and in-person chats about BEEF!)

    Riding you bike in a dress and cooking with Beef! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

    I saw an advertisement on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ last Tuesday about ‘Ancestry DNA’. I bet if we checked these leaders DNA we could find a direct link to Caiaphas and Annas. Or if you believe in evolution maybe we could go back further and declare we have found the missing link.

    Yes and when I finally got *keyed out* (Gram3 saying for excommunicated/shunned) of the Gulag NeoCal *Church*, it was for quoting the NeoCal pastors/elders the criminal code. Senior Pastor/elder said that a church member/father had the *final authority* over the pastors/elders’ friend a convicted sex offender touching the father’s children and the *mother had no say*. The pastors/elders also said the sex offender was *harmless*.

    Me: “The laws states that Fathers AND Mothers are legally responsible to protect their children. A mother can’t abdicate that responsibility to her husband. If her children are harmed, she can be arrested, prosecuted for felony child abuse crimes, and if found guilty serve time in prison. Her children can be put in the foster care system.”

    Apparently the pastors/elders never see the news: mothers are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for this kind of child abuse with alarming frequency.

  45. Velour wrote:

    My former NeoCal church tried to dictate:

    *my home’s decorations (they were *offended* that I had a beautiful Italian cross in my home, even though I’m not Catholic, that was an expensive birthday gift all of the way from Italy)

    *my friendships (I just don’t want to be friends with nutcases and the pastors/elders had a problem with the fact I didn’t want to be friends with their favorite women nutcases)

    *my clothing (I got criticized by an elder for riding my bike to church in the summer in a dress — with bike shorts on underneath the dress, thank you!)

    *bbq beef brisket – pastors/elders had a meeting about this one and about how inappropriately *lavish* I was to bring this food item to a church potluck
    (I was subjected to phone calls and in-person chats about BEEF!)

    *and on and on.

    And now I’m free!

    Former prisoner of the Gulag NeoCal Church (aka “Hotel California”),

    *Mic drop*

  46. Mark wrote:

    @ Velour: I love brisket. Most of what they were criticizing you for was being nice. Kind of a form of newspeak. Years ago there were zealots in my nice SBC church who criticized a church member in our small group for decorating at Christmas. I told my friend who was receiving this criticism that her Christmas decorations were nice, and made me happy. Now as then if I witness some of this rude boorish behavior I will counter it with a complement. The kind of behavior you describe just isn’t nice.

    I love a nice brisket too. I think the pastors/elders at that NeoCal church were just a bunch of gossips. Control freaks. They ordered a godly doctor to be excommunicated/shunned (he was a faithful husband to his wife for 40+ years, loving marriage, loving father to grown children). His *crime*? He disagreed with how they were running the church and spoke to them privately and used the Scriptures. It was horrible what they did to him. I thought, “If they do this to him, they will do this to anybody.” And they have.

  47. Amy Smith wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    My former NeoCal church tried to dictate:

    *my home’s decorations (they were *offended* that I had a beautiful Italian cross in my home, even though I’m not Catholic, that was an expensive birthday gift all of the way from Italy)

    *my friendships (I just don’t want to be friends with nutcases and the pastors/elders had a problem with the fact I didn’t want to be friends with their favorite women nutcases)

    *my clothing (I got criticized by an elder for riding my bike to church in the summer in a dress — with bike shorts on underneath the dress, thank you!)

    *bbq beef brisket – pastors/elders had a meeting about this one and about how inappropriately *lavish* I was to bring this food item to a church potluck
    (I was subjected to phone calls and in-person chats about BEEF!)

    *and on and on.

    And now I’m free!

    Former prisoner of the Gulag NeoCal Church (aka “Hotel California”),

    *Mic drop*

    LOL.

    And to quote a poster named Brad over at Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board blog who calls this NeoCal (and ilk) War on Women as: Shehad (the pronoun “She), sounds like Jihad. So true.

  48. I’m sorry but those people over at SBC Voices – (who was that coined the term SBC Pravda?) are just idiots. They are rambling on about how no one can prevent you from leaving a church so what’s the big deal. The ignore the fact that maybe there was a community of people you loved at the church. Maybe you have kids who were very active and had friends at the church. If you home school that may have been a big part of the social group for your kids friends. If you try to leave these churches you will be shunned and ostracized. No one at the church will be allowed to have any contact with you or they will risk coming under church discipline. It’s painful in the best of times to leave a church but when you’ve been forced to leave perhaps because you disagree with doctine or direction of the church and then are labeled apostate and shunned? People’s lives are being destroyed all under the guise of “church discipline.” It’s not as simple as “what can they do to you if you leave?” They can cause a lot of damage and they have and do.

  49. Celia wrote:

    I’m sorry but those people over at SBC Voices – (who was that coined the term SBC Pravda?) are just idiots. They are rambling on about how no one can prevent you from leaving a church so what’s the big deal. The ignore the fact that maybe there was a community of people you loved at the church. Maybe you have kids who were very active and had friends at the church. If you home school that may have been a big part of the social group for your kids friends. If you try to leave these churches you will be shunned and ostracized. No one at the church will be allowed to have any contact with you or they will risk coming under church discipline. It’s painful in the best of times to leave a church but when you’ve been forced to leave perhaps because you disagree with doctine or direction of the church and then are labeled apostate and shunned? People’s lives are being destroyed all under the guise of “church discipline.” It’s not as simple as “what can they do to you if you leave?” They can cause a lot of damage and they have and do.

    *Todd Wilhelm wasn’t permitted to leave his 9Marx church
    *others aren’t permitted to leave
    *Mark Dever, the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and the founder of 9Marks [insert 9Marx/”Hotel California”] has come up with inane arguments for having *church membership covenants* to prevent church members from *exiting* the back doors.

    To that, I reply: Mark Dever are you simply TOO LAZY/TOO UNCARING/TOO ARROGANT/TOO COLD to pick up the phone and call adults and ask them if they consider themselves to be church members of not?

    If church members are *exiting through the back doors* then Mark Dever it’s time you faced a cold, hard truth: They don’t like you! They don’t like your leaders! Don’t blame them. Put the blame where it belongs: On yourself!

  50. rhondajeannie wrote:

    I bet if we checked these leaders DNA we could find a direct link to Caiaphas and Annas

    Well that would be an answer to prayer if the outcome was handled *the same*!

  51. Let me just see if I can make this point clearer. In order for “discipline” to be effective in these churches, first you have to isolate the members as much as possible and make them dependent on the church for community. This is what all these “groups” are about. It sounds nice – you want to plug into a group who will support you and befriend you. But the leaders oversee the group to watch out for signs of “division.” These groups talk about the sermon to see that everybody agrees completely etc. etc. They also are supposed to be a “safe” place to talk about struggles and concerns in your life. If you show any signs that you disagree with any point of doctrine/teaching of the church the radar goes off. You will be “lovingly” corrected. If that doesn’t work, well boy, now you’ve got an attitude problem, a problem with your spirit needing attention. Some of your concerns you share are going to be poked to look for “secret” sins. From there it snowballs into this discipline thing and eventually you get cut off completely and you’re suddenly alone which is bad enough for adults but what do you tell your children. This breeds fear among the remaining members of the group. You don’t want to end up like so and so do you? Better do what your told. It is a cult.

  52. @ Celia:
    I agree. Leeman’s rationale for “covenant church membership and discipline” is so that the world will know who belongs to Jesus. Based on their track record, the average unbeliever has reason to question whether they belong to Jesus or whether they actually belong to their gurus.

  53. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    And in the opening lecture on Intro to Church Planting, the first question was, “What is the church?” Whereas the question I’d have asked is, “WHO is the church?”

    Exactly!

  54. Celia wrote:

    . But the leaders oversee the group to watch out for signs of “division.” These groups talk about the sermon to see that everybody agrees completely etc. etc. They also are supposed to be a “safe” place to talk about struggles and concerns in your life. If you show any signs that you disagree with any point of doctrine/teaching of the church the radar goes off. You will be “lovingly” corrected. If that doesn’t work, well boy, now you’ve got an attitude problem, a problem with your spirit needing attention.

    This is straight from the manual. I fell for the “safe” thing, and it did not turn out very well. Sinfully craving answers. Which are still unanswered. Disfellowshipped. Three people have reached out since then, and we were very active. If we had young children, this would be a monumental problem, and I can see the enormous pressure that young families feel to conform. That is thankfully not a problem for us since we’re old.

  55. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Celia:
    I agree. Leeman’s rationale for “covenant church membership and discipline” is so that the world will know who belongs to Jesus. Based on their track record, the average unbeliever has reason to question whether they belong to Jesus or whether they actually belong to their gurus.

    Interestingly, I think that the very people who get excommunicated/shunned from these authoritarian churches are the ones who more properly represent, in most cases, Jesus to the world. I was always nice and kind. I have to say that I am nicer, kinder, since I am out of that hateful Gulag NeoCal Church.

    They really have NOTHING to tell the world about Jesus, about God. They are too busy biting and devouring one another.

  56. @ Gram3:
    I was first introduced to Calvinism way back in the dark ages when a rogue youth minister started trying to teach. I knew it was wrong but back then I didn’t know why. Fast forward many years and fortunately God blessed me with a husband who knew why Calvinism was wrong and started seeing the problem in the SBC. That’s been about a dozen years ago now I guess and we’ve never personally had a problem in the churches we’ve served. Unfortunately, we seen a lot of the damage to family members and close friends. It’s frustrating that there are still people who act as if there isn’t a problem with the Calvinists taking over the SBC. Just heartbreaking some of the damage we’ve seen to churches and families.

  57. Celia wrote:

    Fast forward many years and fortunately God blessed me with a husband who knew why Calvinism was wrong and started seeing the problem in the SBC

    I agree with the heartbreaking damage Calvinists have done to the American churches, families, friendships. What did your husband know was wrong with Calvinism? (I, sadly, learned the hard way.)

  58. Celia wrote:

    Just heartbreaking some of the damage we’ve seen to churches and families.

    The thing is that it extends way beyond even the SBC. There is a mutant strain of Calvinism that is virulently elitist, and it exists in Baptistic and also Presbyterian churches. Families and churches are divided by the new elitist attitudes of the convertees to the mutant YRR Calvinism and other forms of mutant Calvinism that have cropped up since the 70’s like Reconstructionism/Federal Vision. Elitism has corrupted the ministry which has become a career path and a means of great gain. And these guys destroy the trust that people should have in their church leaders. It has been very distressing for us to see these developments in the conservative churches which are chasing after legalistic doctrines of men which are used as a measure of sanctification. Obviously, we are heretics now when we used to be valued, conservative, very active members. And we are not the only ones our age who have become Dones. If someone had asked me even 10 years ago if it were remotely possible that we would be anywhere but in church on Sunday morning, I would have said there is no way.

  59. @ Celia: This is a sad deal. I don’t fit in with the moderates and liberals who left the SBC during the conservative resurgence, yet I feel concerned about the neo Calvinist takeover. I am egalitarian and socially pretty conservative and am also a Biblicist. I have a closer connection to the E Y Mullins strain within the old SBC.

    I have never liked separatism associated with fundamentalism, yet I feel there may come a time for secondary separatism, particularly with the threat of neo Calvinism. How else can Christians counter the take over, except by secondary separation towards this movement? It may mean some churches may leave the SBC, and possibly form loose associations with like minded churches. Don’t know if this is happening, yet I can see this in SBC future. The Neo Calvinists just want dominion over evangelicalism, in general. They are threatening other evangelical denominatiins. And along with their movement is the threat of Arianism. I hate feeling this way because I really am a nice person, but a line in the sand needs to be drawn.

  60. Velour wrote:

    Celia wrote: What did your husband know was wrong with Calvinism? (I, sadly, learned the hard way.)

    He knew enough to know that the doctrine was wrong and we started to see some problems with Calvinists trying to stealthily take over the church. We went to the internet and back in 2005/06 the only Christian blogs were the militant Calvinists. They used to talk very boldly about what they were doing and the plans to “reform” the SBC. Putting together what we read on the internet with what we saw in the local churches with problems showed that there was an actual “movement” to take over SBC churches.

  61. @ Gram3:

    The Bible Churches are also having the same problems. Mark Driscoll came out of a Bible Church.

    There’s a church with some people we knew, they were a church split everybody got along well for the first 15 years of the church then the Pastor decides the Associate has to leave because he wasn’t a Calvinist. Pastor said either he leaves or I do. Church said buh by to the Pastor giving the ultimatum. Well, they didn’t learn anything because they go through a Pastor search and the person they settle on is a young arrogant guy right out of Southern Seminary. My husband tried to warn the head of the Pulpit committee who had been a friend of my father in law. He said “oh no if he’s a Calvinists he’s not going to cause any problems” So of course over the next five years this young Calvinist pushes out the other two staff people and replaces them with his very young buddies and then starts telling the church they needed to sign a “church covenant” move to elder leadership etc, etc. Church resists and when this young Pastor thinks he has enough support he attempts to force changes through business meetings – which become very contentious. When young guy fails to get what he wants he declares that he and the other two staff people will leave if church doesn’t recognize there authority. Again church says Buh bye! Now that little church – which grew smaller over the few years this young arrogant guy was Pastor has zero paid staff. Maybe they learned their lesson. But there are a lot of people who just don’t understand why everything blew up and why those young men they thought were so nice could turn out to be so spitful and hateful.

  62. @ Mark-one:
    Mark, the Calvinists are not going to let us coexist peacefully with them. Calvinists have been in the SBC forever. It’s only since the conservative Resurgence that we’ve see this strand of Calvinism that insists that the only real churches are Calvinists churches. I’m like you, I’ve been SBC for close to 50 years now. The SBC of my youth is nothing what these guys coming out of seminary envision for the SBC. I wouldn’t call myself completely egalitarian, but the SBC was NEVER this patriarchial nonsense that the Calvinists are pushing. I seen it happen in churches where members though they could have a Calvinists Pastor and it wouldn’t effect the church in any way – but it does. It’s not just about the doctrine, but the whole way of doing church is infected by it. Calvinism is what everybody rallies around but I think at the end of the day it’s really just about people thinking they’re smarter than the generation before and believing they are holier than any other people who’ve lived through out time. You cannot deal with people like that.

  63. WHO IS THE POTTER? IT IS JESUS. Yet these Churches are trying take us ‘the clay’ and mold us into their way of thinking. They should be teaching us how and why we should submit to Jesus not how and why we should submit to them. They have it backwards. They believe by submitting to their rule we are submitting to Christ. That means they have set themselves up as ‘High Priests’ but there is only one ‘High Priest’ and that is Jesus.
    ‘So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe’. Hebrews 4:14

  64. Celia wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Celia wrote: What did your husband know was wrong with Calvinism? (I, sadly, learned the hard way.)
    He knew enough to know that the doctrine was wrong and we started to see some problems with Calvinists trying to stealthily take over the church. We went to the internet and back in 2005/06 the only Christian blogs were the militant Calvinists. They used to talk very boldly about what they were doing and the plans to “reform” the SBC. Putting together what we read on the internet with what we saw in the local churches with problems showed that there was an actual “movement” to take over SBC churches.

    I am glad that you and your husband figured it out and did some research. NeoCal & ILK is so destructive as I lived through and witnessed at my Gulag NeoCal Church. Insufferable.

  65. Celia wrote:

    The Bible Churches are also having the same problems. Mark Driscoll came out of a Bible Church.

    Yep, that’s why I said Baptistic churches and not just SBC. Churches like the semi-Baptistic EFCA have been affected as well. I think that Driscoll was in a Bible church when he was “converted” and that is how he got connected to Bruce Ware who is a graduate of (IIRC) and connected to Western [Conservative Baptist] Seminary. Or possibly the other way around. Ware and Grudem were at TEDS (E-Free seminary) and I think that’s how the seeds were planted in the E-Free. There is an interesting convergence happening between and among these separate, conservative churches. Somehow I don’t think this convergence will turn out well.

  66. @ Gram3:
    I should have said also that the Bible churches traditionally were somewhat weak Calvinists, which is what you would expect from a group that came out of Presbyterian stock. Calvinism was not a big deal, and Sproul was looked upon with some suspicion by some in a Bible church we were in a long time ago. I can remember when MacArthur did not parade his Calvinism. The thing is that Calvinism was considered a posible point of view and way of understanding the Bible. Now, it is supposedly The Gospel.

  67. Mark-oneDon’t know if this is happening, yet I can see this in SBC future. The Neo Calvinists just want dominion over evangelicalism, in general. They are threatening other evangelical denominatiins. And along with their movement is the threat of Arianism. I hate feeling this way because I really am a nice person, but a line in the sand needs to be drawn.

    And the SBC wonders why they are losing members in record numbers, including older, long-time Christians who are now *Done* with the formalized church. This is one of the insidiuos reasons IMO.

  68. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Someone once said, “You shall know them by their fruits.” I can’t remember who said that. Seems important, though…

    I say of my former Gulag NeoCal Church, you will know them by their fruit flies!

  69. Lydia wrote:

    The whole thing is nothing but control using cheesy Christianese that makes no sense once you analyze it.

    Careful with the use of trademarks.
    Bill M , Director
    Council for Higher Evangelical Education in South Yonkers, (CHEESY)
    “Is living by faith too hard? Don’t wait, Try CHEESY.”

  70. Lydia wrote:

    Get this one from Leeman over there:

    So Jesus did NOT say, “But if he pays no attention to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you…unless he resigns first. Then you have to treat him like a believer” (see Matt. 18:17). No, he just says, “let him be like an unbeliever.”

    To correct Leeman Jesus said “let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector”. And how did Jesus treat gentiles and tax collectors?

  71. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    * As a P.S. to this contrast, my belief is that the way we ask our questions preconditions our answers. And in the opening lecture on Intro to Church Planting, the first question was, “What is the church?” Whereas the question I’d have asked is, “WHO is the church?”

    Wow, searching your site I just found I was quoting you some months ago when I made the query to several people in an email. In response to the “WHO is the church?” I received back “huh?”
    Questioning “who is the church” rather than “what is the church” may end up with the same definition, but instead of starting with organizational charts we start with people.
    Thanks again for you work, I’m looking forward to reading the latest posts on your site you made while I was offline for the week.

  72. Celia wrote:

    @ Mark-one:
    Mark, the Calvinists are not going to let us coexist peacefully with them. Calvinists have been in the SBC forever. It’s only since the conservative Resurgence that we’ve see this strand of Calvinism that insists that the only real churches are Calvinists churches. I’m like you, I’ve been SBC for close to 50 years now. The SBC of my youth is nothing what these guys coming out of seminary envision for the SBC. I wouldn’t call myself completely egalitarian, but the SBC was NEVER this patriarchial nonsense that the Calvinists are pushing. I seen it happen in churches where members though they could have a Calvinists Pastor and it wouldn’t effect the church in any way – but it does. It’s not just about the doctrine, but the whole way of doing church is infected by it. Calvinism is what everybody rallies around but I think at the end of the day it’s really just about people thinking they’re smarter than the generation before and believing they are holier than any other people who’ve lived through out time. You cannot deal with people like that.

    Ding, ding, ding…..I love this post!

  73. @ Hangin’ on:
    Great comment. It hurts. It hurts because I’m part of that “could have, but didn’t”. I just slide through life avoiding meaningful interaction. I have for years.

    We don’t give time to building honest relationships, and then something goes south with one party or another and we try to step in and pronounce judgment. And just like the elders at TVC, just like Karen’s small group, it comes across as heavy-handed and uncaring (also just plain wrong). They weren’t walking beside her, much less in her shoes, and now they’re a cautionary tale, with the proof in documents available for all to see.

    Membership covenants and elder authority are a poor substitute for actual love and care from one member of the Body to another. Membership covenants simply enable distant pastor behavior, and lets the letter kill. But they’re forgetting the Spirit makes the Body alive.

  74. @ Celia:
    Also this. I didn’t catch on to that dynamic while we were a part of the 9marks church for a bit, but looking back…. Yep. Exactly. There was no freedom of thought in the small groups there that I saw (went to two different groups). Draw between the lines and nobody gets hurt.

  75. Curious, does anyone know if 9Marks has any historical ties to the Shepherding Movement? Because this sounds to me like vintage Shepherding Movement lingo and doctrine.

  76. @ Lydia:
    They love to use the easy examples that everybody can agree on (in their minds). That way when something goes south like, say, TVC situation, you can just say it was a human failure, not a systemic problem, which is how both Matt Chandler and others have treated it.

    I love to hear from the hard cases these days – the ones you can’t fit in a box – the ones that make you think. God’s will isn’t confined to some system like these guys want to confine it. He calls people everywhere to come to Him, and it’s messy.

    I’m going to keep harping on this till I see more people recognizing it – the 9Mark’s and Acts29’s are no better than the fundamentalists to me. They want a nice shiny outward. They want easy cases. They want conformity “to Christ”, meaning “the local church vision”. They want to present a spotless bride to Christ on their own terms. Shove that problem under the rug, hide that pedophilia!

    There’s no place in them for the broken, the ones who’ve failed so many times, the ones who’ve been given circumstances far beyond their control or ability to handle, yet are still clinging desperately to the cross.

    In other words, they’re not being the Body.

  77. For the original post, I gotta wonder – is the reason those who thought Karen was in the wrong have not apologized because they believe Chandler didn’t need to apologize? He caved to a woman? He put a woman above the system?

    I strongly suspect that’s the case with at least some.

  78. It sounds like covenanting (is that even a word?) has gone out of control. If you don’t sign on the dotted line then you have no say in the church, but if you sign on the dotted line, you have even less say. But try to find an evangelical church that doesn’t have you sign a contract? I googled our area on a lark and couldn’t find one among those with a web presence. Until evangelical people openly rebel and take back their churches by refusing to sign and refusing to attend churches that impose the contract, there will be very little change. The current covenant craze seemed to start with “Purpose Driven” marketing in the early 2000’s. It’s not biblical, it was a way to guilt members into not leaving churches and to protect churches from their members in the legal arena (TWW says this much better than I in previous posts). In the 1st century there were no contracts, all of the early church members were illiterate (hence the reason the earliest writings belong to Paul and the gospels themselves were not put to paper until nearly 100 years after Christ). The only outcome if things continue as they are is a withering of the evangelical church as more “unchurched” get the word and stay away…. and more of the walking wounded leave. Maybe such a collapse is needed to build something better.

  79. Celia wrote:

    I’m sorry but those people over at SBC Voices – (who was that coined the term SBC Pravda?) are just idiots. They are rambling on about how no one can prevent you from leaving a church so what’s the big deal.

    For some of us it is a huge deal they even posted that blog post. Normally, they totally shy away from anything that is a negative truth about any SBC guru. For years, they defended Driscoll that he was preaching the Gospel and that was most important.

    I think the author is someone who has promoted the gurus/church discipline and now is concerned it has gone too far and will result in a backlash. A person who has played both sides for years. Because that is how things work. Instead of dealing with actual events and people they deal in overarching themes.

    Voices was instrumental in promoting the SBC church discipline resolution years ago when Dever was promoting it as a way to clean up church rolls and be honest about the numbers. Few disagreed with that. But as always with the Neo Cals it was a baby step to get people on board when the real intent was much more sinister.

    That is the thing about the Neo Cals. They suck you in with what seems reasonable but have another agenda you would never agree to if you knew. Then when they have membership covenants to sign because we are serious people who want to follow Christ….. and something like TVC happens, they blame the person who trusted their leaders and signed the covenant.

    They are the most untrustworthy people around. They bait and switch. They are stealth in their takeovers. They redefine words. They suck folks in and control the environment. The younger ones don’t even know what they are doing. They have been taught this as a matter of course. And when it is “for the true Gospel” anything goes.

    We have not even begun to see the fallout from that movement.

  80. Hangin’ on wrote:

    What was said in this post – Karen’s small group could have … but didn’t. The church leaders could … but didn’t. When I have spoken with my pastor and others, excuses are made or the responsibility is dumped into my lap (again) …

    As the evangelical church reacts to the changing cultural norms, it seems the chosen tactic has been to go to war. We war with our society as if we think they can understand our faith without the Holy Spirit. Why do we think we can pound it into them.

    Then, in our churches, we think we can control our people so that. at least there, we can make it right. Obedience is now the current manta.

    However, in this we forget the Gospel. First, it represents the love of God for His people. That’s right, He loves us. Secondly, my pastor says that if we truly understood the Gospel, then we would be open to not only hearing others discuss our issues but we would be the first to say “You are right. I am a mess.” That is the Gospel.

    Over the last decade or so, I have been attempting in my own life, to focus on loving others and being quick to say ” I am sorry.”

    My new good buddy, Eagle, has heard me say, especially when he was trying to figure out the faith, “I will fail you sometimes, Eagle. I don’t want to but I will. And I hope that you understand when that happens, that this is why Jesus came. He came to forgive us our sins and to love us all very, very much.”

  81. Here is what TVC should have done. The apology was a good place to start as also readdressing their covenant. But then they needed to exonerated Karen to where they even put forward a symposium on the abuses of women in the church and the abuses within “elder led movement” and what needs to be done to correct things like this. Managing these things “in house” limits the seriousness of misguided covenants and the abuses elsewhere. I told a minister friend of mine that if I saw the phrase “we are a elder led congregation” that its would be a red flag to me. The Protestant Reformation was not based on such mentality and actually was a against it for the purity of the faith. That did not mean that groups like the Anabaptists did not respect the elders and they fell into a Korah mentality either but that the Word of God was the ultimate authority and as a congregation they worked together and examined what God has to say together.

  82. @ Lydia:
    Even worse, Lydia, neither he, Dever, or Folmar have ever apologized to Todd Wilhelm. I have to give Chandler credit for at least saying he was sorry to Karen. Todd hasn’t even heard that.

    Until they can deal with their sinful actions in their own churches by their supposed “holder of the keys to authority,” then these stories will continue. In fact, I expect a snowball in the coming few years of really bad stories of sinful church discipline being applied to church members.

    I will continue to swing against it.

    There is a hopeful light in SBC Voices. I think I know who wrote that post. This person has shown a remarkable understanding of the views expressed on this blog and has begin to speak about his concerns. Maybe we can make a difference.

  83. Mark-one wrote:

    That seems group think, cult like, doesn’t it?

    Oh, absolutely. It is a dangerous path to walk down. I get that churches want to stop stupid divorces-you know the type. Husband finds a new trophy girlfriend and leaves Mom and kids.

    However, there are far more reasons that divorce occurs and should happen. Domestic abuse, pedophilia, substance abuse, criminal activity, etc.

    There is stupid thinking in the church. They misapply things in the Bible. For example, the say because God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute, this means people should stay married to pedophiles!

    Do not people get what Hosea was all about? It was supposed to be a picture of God’s relationship with His people. He is faithful when they are not. That does not mean to run out and marry prostitutes! Good night, what foolishness.

    Then we have the reigning king of Calvinistas, John Piper who says that no one can marry after a divorce, even those who were deserted. People will say that many do not agree with him but underneath, many apply such harshness in their churches.

    Sometimes I cannot comprehend what happened to the faith that drew in a teen age girl because sh found out that the Lord of the Universe loved her and wanted to be in a relationship with her.

    It seems like the a loving freeing faith has turned into a Gulag with Commandants running around and imposing unrighteous rules on hurting people.

    (Dee is in a rant mode this morning.)

  84. LT wrote:

    In the minds of TVC this whole episode will be seen as an “attack by the enemy”.

    Anyone who believes that does not know me or the readers on this blog. We are friends of the faith.

  85. @ Clarissa:
    Even more sad is the lack of love shown to a hurting woman. In the end, it boils down to love and that was sadly lacking in many of the people at The Village Church., They were content to allow the abuse to continue.

    Don’t forget, the other part of this moronic episode. They put her on discipline and then started sending out emails to 6,000 lemmings to come to meetings about Karen’s disobedience. Oh such intimacy-tell it to the church, every last one of them.

    It is my hope that by exposing their blind obedience to the stupid abusive actions of leaders some of them might wake up. Why do they not understand that just about everybody who has heard this tory cannot believe the stupidity of those who followed along with the abuse.

    Each person in that church who did not speak up is guilty just like those in the Lutheran church in Germany during WW2 who did not speak up against the atrocities so that the Nazi’s would leave them alone.

    I wonder how many of them said “Sure glad it wasn’t me!” and skipped off to brunch?

  86. Eric wrote:

    this sounds to me like vintage Shepherding Movement lingo and doctrine.

    My first impression after reading TWW posts on 9Marks is “this is regurgitated Shepherding Movement.” There really is nothing new under the sun. The fruits of Shepherding have been proven to be damaging.

  87. Gram3 wrote:

    Did I miss it when Matt Chandler repented of his unbiblical and ungodly doctrines which produced this totally predictable result

    You are very smart to pick this up. This is exactly the argument that Anonymous made in his well written article at SBC Voices. I plan to comment some over there today.

  88. dee wrote:

    Mark-one wrote:
    That seems group think, cult like, doesn’t it?
    Oh, absolutely. It is a dangerous path to walk down. I get that churches want to stop stupid divorces-you know the type. Husband finds a new trophy girlfriend and leaves Mom and kids.
    However, there are far more reasons that divorce occurs and should happen. Domestic abuse, pedophilia, substance abuse, criminal activity, etc.
    There is stupid thinking in the church. They misapply things in the Bible. For example, the say because God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute, this means people should stay married to pedophiles!
    Do not people get what Hosea was all about? It was supposed to be a picture of God’s relationship with His people. He is faithful when they are not. That does not mean to run out and marry prostitutes! Good night, what foolishness.
    Then we have the reigning king of Calvinistas, John Piper who says that no one can marry after a divorce, even those who were deserted. People will say that many do not agree with him but underneath, many apply such harshness in their churches.
    Sometimes I cannot comprehend what happened to the faith that drew in a teen age girl because sh found out that the Lord of the Universe loved her and wanted to be in a relationship with her.
    It seems like the a loving freeing faith has turned into a Gulag with Commandants running around and imposing unrighteous rules on hurting people.
    (Dee is in a rant mode this morning.)

    And it’s good stuff!

  89. dee wrote:

    here is a hopeful light in SBC Voices. I think I know who wrote that post. This person has shown a remarkable understanding of the views expressed on this blog and has begin to speak about his concerns. Maybe we can make a difference.

    I think I know who wrote it,too. And I will have to differ with you. If it is who I think it is, that person is a snake in the grass and has played both sides for years trying to present the “reasonable” person anonymously while being a big supporter of Mohler for years.

  90. Celia wrote:

    It is a cult – they isolate people to only those approved by the church, then then use the groups to make sure people are conforming and ultimately they use the group to dig into lives to see who they can “disipline.”

    I looked into Mormonism in college and it fascinates me to see a similar modus operandi in Neo-Calvnism and 9 Marks ot the Mormon church. Its about control. Jonathan Leeman rules 9 Marks in the same way Brigham Young governed Utah. Without mercy, totally control and drunk on authority. Loved your comment by the way.

  91. LT wrote:

    I only said I “hope” he is sincere. I hope for this because I have family there. I also really hope it for Karen’s sake. She needs this to be sincere for healing purposes.

    I’m still trying to resolve my false accusation from an Air Force Officer and past Care Group Leader at Redeemer Arlington. The sincerity is key because I failed reconciliation only adds to the pain and strings a person along. It should be done right or not at all. Its emotionally hard when you are trying to resolve something and its used against you.

  92. rhondajeannie wrote:

    I met with the minister of the Church I now attend and he said that because I have the gift of prophecy I am like the prophets of the Old Testament who held God’s people to account. So Deb and Dee consider yourself ‘prophets’. Some people may say that Jesus was the last prophet however ‘prophecy’ is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so continue to do what you are
    called to do.

    Funny I have had a couple of people tell me this as well due to how combative I can be with corrupt theological organizations. That’s not what I long for…all I long for is peace.

  93. Stan wrote:

    Shallow relationships based on you doing as you’re told is one of the main fears that keeps many of my fellow millennials out of the church.

    How could anyone who had been friends with Karen over a few years, supposedly in a home group that was her support system, drop her like a hot potato? That is so beyond imagining.

    Perhaps home groups at TVC are the part the rules for showing you are obedient. Check that one off the list for the week. But when it comes to the hard stuff, the actual time when the true love of Christi could shine, they are outta there!

    I hope everyone pays attention to this. Make sure you choose people to share your life that are worthy of sharing your life. I am in a group that has been together for 14 years. We are all different. But, we are there for one another in the hard times. We are all going to different churches as well. And we are not exclusive. we invite anyone to join us as one reader knows and as Eagle has experienced during his visit. The also pray for all of you.

    Find this sort of a group. Or start one yourself.

  94. Celia wrote:

    Another thing – if you see churches pushing these “home groups” “life groups” “gospel groups” RUN FAR AWAY. This is the means that these churches have of cutting people off from the outside world and then controlling them if they step out of line. Notice how painful it was for Karen when her home group turned against her. This is what exactly how it’s supposed to work. It is a cult – they isolate people to only those approved by the church, then then use the groups to make sure people are conforming and ultimately they use the group to dig into lives to see who they can “disipline.”

    “The primary means of limiting and controlling conflict came through the concept of the chain of command which many churches shaped through the cell group system, a technique that mega churches would also embrace. If you did not have a specific overseer assigned to you, your cell group leader would serve as your spiritual “covering.” What resulted? Rather than a spontaneous unity flowing from the change in individuals’ hearts under the direction of the Holy Spirit, uniformity was achieved through human systems of control – the traditions of men. One cannot be truly and legitimately involved in the life of the Shepherding church apart from cell group participation.”

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2013/02/revisiting-shepherdings-history-and.html

  95. @ mirele:
    I am going to try something. I am going to repost your comment under my name while giving you the credit. Lets’ see if it gets put up.

  96. Celia wrote:

    ” It’s not as simple as “what can they do to you if you leave?” They can cause a lot of damage and they have and do.

    After I finish up E Church, I am going to incorporate your thoughts into a comment over there. Give me about 2 hours.

  97. Celia wrote:

    I’m sorry but those people over at SBC Voices – (who was that coined the term SBC Pravda?) are just idiots. They are rambling on about how no one can prevent you from leaving a church so what’s the big deal.

    Mary over at Peter Lumpkins site coined SBC Pravda a long time ago. :o)

    Voices has been in the forefront of propping up the Neo Cal movement and was very instrumental back in the day of promoting Dever’s big push for church discipline resolution at the convention. It was sold as cleaning up the church rolls so the SBC would be honest about the numbers. But there was a much larger agenda and that was to infect the SBC with 9 Marx of a healthy church. And how many years later? 6? And here we are with church discipline stories that are horror shows. They always have a much larger agenda. When will we learn that?

    The problem is that even during the days Driscoll was showing the world who he really is, Voices was making excuses for him such as “he is preaching the Gospel in a pagan city” type of silliness. They totally ignored the entire Mahaney scandal after promoting him and they pretty much write what Setzer wants them to write about. They think Trevin Wax, Joe Carter and such are brilliant. Russ Moore, too.

    They wrote one story a while back that was obviously a “plant” to make people think one thing when I knew for a fact the opposite was true because I knew the people involved. It concerned Campbellsville U and KBC money. IOW, Voices allowed themselves to be shill and provide cover for nefarious behavior of a Mohler loyalist.

    I have trust issues with that movement and think we are fools to take anything the NEo Cal movement does at face value because of past history and their stealth, arrogant and nefarious behavior…in the name of God, of course.

    I think they want to “save” church discipline for elders. And I believe that is what the OP is really about. They just want us to buy into the idea that “wise” and good elders will do it right. And to do that, they focus on bad behavior discipline. I mean who is going to disagree with them that an married man bringing his girlfriend to church should not be disciplined? But watch out, Driscoll used the same arguments when he was forming a coup.

    I do not agree with their idea of church discipline. I think 1 Corin 5 is as close as we can come to that idea and it is for the ENTIRE church to deal with. Not a few elders. Even if we can map Matthew 18 to church discipline, no where does it mention elders. They read that back into it.

    That is what I think this OP is. If you notice, the author has no problem with elder rule (wonder why :o) and really has no problem with the power being invested in a few because those few are nice reasonable people. Yeah, right. Although the author says it really nice.

    The author knows there is a backlash happening. The OP is about a “save” IMO. My opinion is based on following the trajectory of these guys since the wild west days of SBC outpost in about 2006or7.

  98. @ Hangin’ on:

    Oh but it is sad. Christians don’t say “I’m sorry” and “I screwed up will you forgive me.” I learned this when I approached 140 people for forgiveness form my faith crisis and to see if I hurt someone. One person correctly old me that Christians don’t own their mistakes. He stopped me in the hallway at work and told me how stunned that I was doing what I was doing. You should read this post here.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/08/11/eagles-story-part-3-how-often-should-you-ask-for-forgiveness-70-x-2/

    The other issue that I want to write about over at my blog (Man I have more ideas than people or time!) is I want to write about the missed opportunities that were lost by a Neo-Cal who couldn’t reconcile with someone at the time. In the process he failed to show the gospel to so many people, ESPECIALLY people who never darken the door of a church. Its sad, it really is…then I am also seeing this play out amongst the church I was baptized in at Fairfax Community. They can’t own their mistakes or say I am sorry and screwed up. How sad is that…all this talk about the Gospel, transforming power, etc… and yet the can’t own their mistakes.

    Before I approached 140 people when I was in my faith crisis and a militant agnostic/atheist I was up to my eyeballs in Seth Andrews, Christopher Hitchens, etc My advice is this if reading Richard Dawkins will help a person repent and seek forgiveness than many Neo-Calvinism should read John Piper less and Richard Dawkins more.

  99. Lydia wrote:

    that person is a snake in the grass and has played both sides for years trying to present the “reasonable” person anonymously while being a big supporter of Mohler for years.

    So is he anonymous because Mohler needs to get the message walked back a bit without disavowing the core doctrine? Or is he afraid of getting Mohlerized for speaking out about what he really thinks?

  100. @ Gram3:
    I have been asked not to discuss this person on this site. And I cannot prove the person wrote the OP. I am basing that on years of reading this person.

  101. rhondajeannie wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    Someone once said, “You shall know them by their fruits.” I can’t remember who said that. Seems important, though…
    Actually it was Jesus who said that. Matthew 7:16

    Apparently my sarcasm is not as effective as intended…

  102. Did I say SBC Voices commenters were idiots? Now a fanboi of church discipline is imagining that people against the cultic practices are saying let’s ignore the child molesters and let them leave the church without any kind of follow up. This is how screwed up in the head – how indoctrinated into the cult these people are. They will say anything to protect the system.

    Somebody please pass the pop corn because watch how this idiocy will get very little push back. These are the people who ignore the sexual abuse against women and children going on in the churches but don’t you dare question the authoritah on doctrine or direction of the church – that will get you shunned and ostracized.

  103. Lydia wrote:

    I have been asked not to discuss this person on this site.

    It is perfectly fine for you to discuss your thoughts on this matter. However, just like I would never post your real name (I don’t even think I know what it is), I don’t want anyone else to post the name of any reader of TWW who wishes to use a pseudonym.

    Your experiences and mine with this individual have been different. That doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong. I admit that I am naive at times. However, this person is a good friend with another of my friends whom I respect greatly.

    He has been thoughtful and kind towards me and has been supportive of some things that TWW posts but disagrees with us on others-like most people who visit here.

    I would never seek to say your experiences or thoughts are wrong. I appreciate you and lots of things that your write on this blog. You are one smart lady and I respect you.

  104. @ Lydia:
    I was just wondering what the reason for the post is, in your opinion, and not who you think it is. But if that would reveal too much, I get that, too. I don’t read Voices as much as I should. 😉

  105. @ Celia:
    You should have read the thread where they were discussing Mohler’s plan to give SBTS credits to SGM Pastors College students, which was basically academic credit laundering. There were some bright bulbs who just did not see what might be wrong with that idea. That is the extent to which their thinking ability has been taken captive by their loyalty to the System. They simply lack critical thinking skills and an ability to triage issues.

  106. @ dee:
    OHHHHH I know now! FWIW which isn’t much I agree with Lydia on this one. There’s a very sorta tactical eleventy diminsional chess thing going on. It’s like people who declare communism isn’t wrong/bad it just has never been executed correctly. “Church discipline” isn’t really bad you see – it’s just some people have messed it up.

  107. @ Gram3:
    Yeah I remember that. You see when you are smart enough to recognize “correct doctrine” then you should just be allowed to skip over a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s kind of like how the word “elder” has come to mean – not an older person but someone with the correct thoughts.

  108. @ Gram3:
    One other thing to consider. Without elder led (rule) the Neo Cal movement will be in big trouble in the SBC. That is the first step in “control”. I saw this at Ezell’s old church when they stealthly took that church in that direction without informing the pewsitters their long term intentions.

    True congregational polity is a big problem for them. Now they sell congregational polity within elder rule but it is a ruse. They throw out things like ‘the congregation should not be expected to come to a meeting to vote on a new faucet for the men’s restroom. No, you call an elder to deal with that. They always use scenerios that make sense to people without realizing there is a larger control agenda. Seen it too many times.

    My favorite is when they trot out the excuse that so and so’s horrible situation should not be shared with the congregation to protect them. So the elders will handle it privately. They always use that sort of language and who can disagree with that? Nevermind that “so and so” should have some friends in their Body of Christ who can help them. No, it has to elders for the good of the church.

    The gig is up without elder led (rule) and they know it. Baptist polity evolved away from elder rule after the civil war. Sure, elders are mentioned in scripture in some places but they are those who “have gone before” and are mature in the faith. They are the people who stay behind while the others get away when the Romans are coming to feed the Christians to the lions. They are mature in the faith because they have been in the trenches. In some churches you might have half the congregation as elders. In some it might be old Ms. Mildred who has a mature faith beyond anyone else and people gravitate to her wisdom.

  109. dee wrote:

    Stan wrote:
    Shallow relationships based on you doing as you’re told is one of the main fears that keeps many of my fellow millennials out of the church.
    How could anyone who had been friends with Karen over a few years, supposedly in a home group that was her support system, drop her like a hot potato? That is so beyond imagining.
    Perhaps home groups at TVC are the part the rules for showing you are obedient. Check that one off the list for the week. But when it comes to the hard stuff, the actual time when the true love of Christi could shine, they are outta there!
    I hope everyone pays attention to this. Make sure you choose people to share your life that are worthy of sharing your life. I am in a group that has been together for 14 years. We are all different. But, we are there for one another in the hard times. We are all going to different churches as well. And we are not exclusive. we invite anyone to join us as one reader knows and as Eagle has experienced during his visit. The also pray for all of you.
    Find this sort of a group. Or start one yourself.

    The issue of shallow homegroups is not isolated to TVC. It was definitely apparent while we attended an Acts29 church in the DFW area (not TVC). We did not sign on the dotted line thank goodness. When I left, and subsequently a few months later my husband, nobody reached out. Not a soul. We were never asked why we left.

    People do not like their boat rocked. Like ostriches with heads in the sand… We were not fully shunned, but there has definitely been a shun-like vibe if ever we encountered members from the homegroup or church we were involved with.

    Shallowness – the “I love you” and “I’m praying for you”, and “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”. Every hear those phrases? But when the s*$t hits the fan, they scurry to hide and the shallowness reveals itself..

    I personally think therein lies the issue. Church organizations thinking they should become mega large, that that indicates success and God’s blessing. In order to maintain control and a semblance of smallness, homegroups are organized and encouraged/pushed. I can tell you in our experience, this was not “doing life” with others. It was toeing the line and maintaining status quo. At this particular A29 church, it was constant lamentation over our sins while in homegroup. Let’s regurgitate what the pastor spoke about Sunday and confess our flaws…It is not logical to be involved in a small group that constantly changes. People join, people leave consistently. The group splits if it gets too large..You’re always constantly getting to know others and “sharing your story.” This is not how the first church looked IMO.
    *Rant over

  110. Lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:.

    My favorite is when they trot out the excuse that so and so’s horrible situation should not be shared with the congregation to protect them. So the elders will handle it privately. They always use that sort of language and who can disagree with that? Nevermind that “so and so” should have some friends in their Body of Christ who can help them. No, it has to elders for the good of the church.

    Ah, but does not the Bible say that “you who are spiritual….”? The elders are the spiritual ones, or they wouldn’t be elders!

  111. @ Celia:
    I am a bit concerned. I think *tarheel* might be a crazy guy who I banned from this blog. I will no longer respond to him.

  112. Melissa wrote:

    At this particular A29 church, it was constant lamentation over our sins while in homegroup. Let’s regurgitate what the pastor spoke about Sunday and confess our flaws

    There are far too many churches and home groups like those.

  113. Eric wrote:

    does anyone know if 9Marks has any historical ties to the Shepherding Movement?

    Any group which focuses both on obedience and church discipline will make the same mistakes that were made in the Shepherding movement. In fact, one might say that Calvin, in his rule over Geneva, also used some of the same tactics.

  114. GovPappy wrote:

    The elders are the spiritual ones, or they wouldn’t be elders!

    I have often ranted about the fact that the elder chosen by churches are not the most spiritual. They are the ones who march lock step with their leader (who pretend he is just one of them.) My former, former pastor once told me (and I should have run from the church that very day) that his elders only disagreed with him 2 times in 28 years!

  115. @ dee:
    One of many crazy guys in that bubble. The guy referred to sexual abuse of minors as a “pet issue” Shouldn’t it be everybody’s issue who claims the name of Christ?

  116. dee wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    At this particular A29 church, it was constant lamentation over our sins while in homegroup. Let’s regurgitate what the pastor spoke about Sunday and confess our flaws

    There are far too many churches and home groups like those.

    It’s sad this is true 🙁
    And creates an environment for a situation as what happened to Karen. Only in these horrible times can a person like Karen really see the shallowness..that alone is something to grieve.
    It’s sad when you “do life” better and more honestly with people outside the faith than in.. at least what I’m personally discovering..

  117. @ Celia:
    And he is just precious in that he actually thinks that it’s the church who gets to vote on church discipline. Disagreeing with the authorities on something like someone being placed under church discipline will put a member in church discipline themselves. You don’t ever disagree – sure they may do a “vote” on whether someone should be kicked out but if the elders are telling you to kick someone out does anyone honestly think you have the right to vote against what the elders have decided. The elders tell the church what to do and if you don’t do it then you’re divisive and will be put on their care list to be watched.

  118. Celia wrote:

    This is how screwed up in the head – how indoctrinated into the cult these people are. They will say anything to protect the system.

    Most of them are pastors or former pastors. It is more about protecting the system/position. Also, the much older ones never had as much power as these younger ones do so they have a hard time really understanding what is going on. All they know is: protect the pastor. Voices has run quite a few OP’s about how hard pastors have it— so you get the drift of what is going on.

  119. Eric wrote:

    the

    Good question. Perhaps Gram3 or someone else can answer it.

    Since you mentioned the abusive, authoritarian, un-Biblical Shepherding Movement from the 1970s (whose founders later repented of it for how un-Biblical and abusive it was), I thought I would also post the links to Dr. Ronald Enroth’s well-known and excellent books on abusive churches.

    http://www.ccel.us/churches.toc.html

    http://www.ccel.us/churchesrec.toc.html

    There are many other excellent books about abusive churches.

  120. @ dee:
    Totally understand. I respect that. My experience has been one of a person who has historically supported and promoted the system as we see it now but when scandal hits wants to “tweak” this or that and make excuses….. but retain the system that caused the problem. To me, that persons concern is more about image of the SBC Reformed movement than victims. My guess is Mohler approves in the background without really changing anything.

  121. GovPappy wrote:

    Ah, but does not the Bible say that “you who are spiritual….”? The elders are the spiritual ones, or they wouldn’t be elders!

    In the seeker mega world, the elders were also referred to as the “millionaire before 40 club”.

  122. Celia wrote:

    @ dee:
    One of many crazy guys in that bubble. The guy referred to sexual abuse of minors as a “pet issue” Shouldn’t it be everybody’s issue who claims the name of Christ?

    Well he got that one SERIOUSLY wrong. It’s a felony issue. It’s the No. 1 reason that churches get sued – Sexual Abuse of Minor Children – every single year according to Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the U.S.)
    There is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church that exceeds that of the Catholic Church (which has faced decades of arrests, convictions, and lawsuits for same and has had to change its ways). The problem is so serious – child sexual abuse and the liabilities – that some insurance companies have stopped doing business in the church insurance market altogether in some states.

    and attorneys (Harvard-educated) Richard Hammer at Church Law & Tax.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2015/may/top-5-reasons-churches-went-to-court-in-2014.html

  123. Bill M wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    The whole thing is nothing but control using cheesy Christianese that makes no sense once you analyze it.

    Careful with the use of trademarks.
    Bill M , Director
    Council for Higher Evangelical Education in South Yonkers, (CHEESY)
    “Is living by faith too hard? Don’t wait, Try CHEESY.”

    Dear Mr. M. of CHEESY,

    Lydia was not engaged in trademark infringement. Her use of *cheesy* was Fair Use, protected speech under the First Amendment, furtherance of a matter of public interest, and protected under her state’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statutes.

    Sincerely,

    Legal Beagle, Esq.

  124. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Holy crap. I mean, seriously. That is a really embarrassing example of NPD/BPD masquerading as religion.

    Yes, indeed. If the subject is my former Gulag NeoCal Church. The pastors/elders also ordered that a godly doctor be excommunicated/shunned. The doctor had been married to his wife for 40+ years, faithful, loving, strong marriage. The doctor has loving, close relationships to his grown children. The doctor’s *crime*? He had spoken to the pastors/elders in private about their running of the church and used the Scriptures. (So had other men who left the church.) The doctor’s point was that it wasn’t Biblical.

    The senior pastor said they had *worked with him for five years* but that he had not changed. Ohhh puuuuuullllsssssseeeeee. He’s a grown man with a good head on his shoulders. *Worked with him* = tried to get him to bow and scrape to our dictates and not confront us with Biblical truth

    The senior pastor told the church to *pray for the doctor’s wife*. The doctor’s wife tells an entirely different story as I spoke to her. The doctor’s wife said that she ALWAYS HATED that Gulag NeoCal Church and its senior pastor and that she REPEATEDLY WARNED her husband that they should not attend at all!

    While I was vetting the senior pastor’s credentials (all of his written claims to the church about degrees and licenses he holds) with various agencies curiously enough all of the government agencies have said THAT IS FALSE AND NO ONE WITH HIS NAME HAS ANY SUCH LICENSE WITH THE STATE!

  125. GovPappy wrote:

    Membership covenants and elder authority are a poor substitute for actual love and care from one member of the Body to another. Membership covenants simply enable distant pastor behavior, and lets the letter kill. But they’re forgetting the Spirit makes the Body alive.

    True enough. And as we have seen from Daisy’s eloquent posts, and that of others, so many Christians are so deficient at attending to the pain, hurts, and losses of our brothers and sisters.

  126. Lydia wrote:

    My guess is Mohler approves in the background without really changing anything.

    Here’s the part these guys miss, too. When people start suspecting that *every* decision or post is politically motivated by one side or the other, something has gone terribly wrong. I also do not think it is coincidental that people like Russ Moore started as political operatives or people like Mohler started as a reporter for the denominational paper in Florida. Politics and propaganda is what they know and are attracted to.

  127. Bill M wrote:

    To correct Leeman Jesus said “let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector”. And how did Jesus treat gentiles and tax collectors?

    Uhm, Jesus invited a tax collector to become a disciple, no? He didn’t yell at unbelievers either. He saved that for the Pharisees and Sadducees. Leeman would do well to take the lesson.

  128. Gram3 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Ok, I noticed he did not address the Mahaney fleeing his church nor the Karen should stay married to a pedophile situation at TVC which was following the 9 Marx model. No, he uses a sleezy adultery situation.

    He cannot address that because what possible justification can there be within the 9Marks framework. It is an example of flagrant hypocrisy. He will not man up and own up to that.

    He uses adultery because no one can argue with that case. Which only demonstrates how weak his case is for the kind of discipline he advocates. I can tell you from experience that you do not walk away from a 9Marks-influenced church with your spiritual reputation intact *unless* your leaving helps the “leadership” refine their membership into a homogenous glop of groupthink….

    Along with his weak arguments about adultery for the use of church discipline, he never mentions that the Apostle Paul told a church to welcome a man back in to the church who had been having a sexual relationship with his step-mother.

  129. Looks like my comment is still in moderation over at SBC Voices. I guess they don’t like to hear from a Cooked until Well Done person comparing their discipline to Scientology.

  130. mirele wrote:

    Bill M wrote:

    To correct Leeman Jesus said “let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector”. And how did Jesus treat gentiles and tax collectors?

    Uhm, Jesus invited a tax collector to become a disciple, no? He didn’t yell at unbelievers either. He saved that for the Pharisees and Sadducees. Leeman would do well to take the lesson.

    Well I wouldn’t expect Jonathan Leeman, Mark Dever, and the rest of the Capitol Hill Baptist/9 Marks [aka 9Marx/Hotel California] crowd to solve any problem in a fair, logical manner. Dever’s *solution* to church members *leaving through the back exits* is to have *membership covenants*. Mark Dever couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone, call church members, and simply ask, “Would you like to be on our membership roster or not?” Dever’s approach to every problem is to use a shot-gun approach.

  131. This may be way off topic, but, this selective enforcement of O.T. Rules, such as the Tithe……have these guys given up bacon, ham, shrimp, catfish, oysters, tattoos, etc.? Or do we just ” pick and chose?”

  132. Gram3 wrote:

    When people start suspecting that *every* decision or post is politically motivated by one side or the other, something has gone terribly wrong.

    At which point, you’re back in the old Soviet Union where EVERYTHING “Ees POLITICAL Matter, Comrade”.

  133. Lydia wrote:

    …when scandal hits wants to “tweak” this or that and make excuses….. but retain the system that caused the problem.

    AKA Keep the Gravy Train running.

  134. Jack wrote:

    The current covenant craze seemed to start with “Purpose Driven” marketing in the early 2000’s. It’s not biblical, it was a way to guilt members into not leaving churches and to protect churches from their members in the legal arena

    The No. 1 reason that churches get sued every single year, year after year according to Church Mutual (the largest insurer of churches in the U.S.) and
    attorneys like Richard Hammer at Church Law & Tax is: The sexual abuse of minor children.
    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2015/may/top-5-reasons-churches-went-to-court-in-2014.html

  135. Celia wrote:

    @ Celia:
    And he is just precious in that he actually thinks that it’s the church who gets to vote on church discipline.

    Just like the people of Iraq voting on re-electing Baba Saddam.
    Or the People of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea re-electing Kim Jong-whatever.
    Though Congo or Zimbabwe always re-elects (all UNANIMOUS, of course) with two-three times the number of votes as the entire population of the country.

  136. Melissa wrote:

    Shallowness – the “I love you” and “I’m praying for you”, and “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”. Every hear those phrases? But when the s*$t hits the fan, they scurry to hide and the shallowness reveals itself..

    Melissa, I learned long ago that “I’ll Pray For You(TM)” is Christianese for doing nothing. To paraphrase Babylon-5:

    “You have a saying: ‘I’ll Pray for You’.
    We also have a saying: ‘PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS’!”

  137. Celia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Yeah I remember that. You see when you are smart enough to recognize “correct doctrine”…

    “Recognize Correct Doctrin”?
    That anything like “doubleplusbellyfeel INGSOC”?

  138. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    Shallowness – the “I love you” and “I’m praying for you”, and “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”. Every hear those phrases? But when the s*$t hits the fan, they scurry to hide and the shallowness reveals itself..

    Melissa, I learned long ago that “I’ll Pray For You(TM)” is Christianese for doing nothing. To paraphrase Babylon-5:

    “You have a saying: ‘I’ll Pray for You’.
    We also have a saying: ‘PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS’!”

    H.U.G., I’d hug you if I could! So true..
    Words really do matter. What’s said or not said. I refuse to join in the chorus of “praying” on group texts or posts because it seems so contrite and trivial. Why does one need to shout to the world they’re praying anyway, if they really are?!
    I question if they really are..

    I’m more more diligent in NOT saying this. And if I do, then you bet your bottom dollar it’s true. It’s an after the fact, not a beforehand comment that is probably not fulfilled, just sounds good. Either don’t tell me you’re praying or say something different, like “I’m thinking about you.” It’s like using the word “love” for everything. Cheapens the true meaning..

  139. Melissa wrote:

    “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”.

    What – are they your cellmates at the SuperMax prison or something?

  140. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    “One cannot be truly and legitimately involved in the life of the Shepherding church apart from cell group participation.”

    Weren’t last century’s Communists also into Cell Group Participation?

  141. roebuck wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”.

    What – are they your cellmates at the SuperMax prison or something?

    Ha! Seemed like it…shackled together to the sins of life..

    He came to set us free, yeah?!! 🙂

  142. dee wrote:

    Don’t forget, the other part of this moronic episode. They put her on discipline and then started sending out emails to 6,000 lemmings to come to meetings about Karen’s disobedience. Oh such intimacy-tell it to the church, every last one of them.

    I wonder how many of them said “Sure glad it wasn’t me!” and skipped off to brunch?

    Make an Example of one and hundreds will fall right into line.
    “Sure glad it wasn’t me!”

  143. Melissa wrote:

    homegroups are organized and encouraged/pushed. I can tell you in our experience, this was not “doing life” with others. It was toeing the line and maintaining status quo.

    Agreed. At my former Gulag NeoCal *Church* the pastors/elders, in one of their first meetings with me, went over *their concern* with me that I wasn’t attending a week-night *Bible Study group*. Me: “I work. I commute. I’m not back in time.” They track it all attendance at: Sunday services, Bible studies, other church events, church-wide prayer meetings, to measure a member’s *devotion*.

    They even ordered that a godly Christian man from East Asia who had faithfully attended the church for six years not come to the church at all any more because he didn’t believe in membership covenants and he wouldn’t sign one.

  144. LT wrote:

    In the minds of TVC this whole episode will be seen as an “attack by the enemy”.

    “Could it be… SATAN?”
    — The Church Lady, Saturday Night Live

    (“Carvey said he based the character on women he knew from his church growing up, who would keep track of his and others’ attendance.” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_Lady)

  145. Celia wrote:

    There’s a very sorta tactical eleventy diminsional chess thing going on. It’s like people who declare communism isn’t wrong/bad it just has never been executed correctly. “Church discipline” isn’t really bad you see – it’s just some people have messed it up.

    I think there is a chess game going on with the Reformed big dogs. It won’t ever be public because they are too smart for that. but as Gram pointed out a few threads ago, Calvinism is not really the point when you get to certain high levels. Power and control is the point. The true believers (YRR) helped to make it all happen.

    Mohler missed his true calling. He is one of the most adept political strategist around and has great patience and has coated himself with teflon.

  146. dee wrote:

    Each person in that church who did not speak up is guilty just like those in the Lutheran church in Germany during WW2 who did not speak up against the atrocities so that the Nazi’s would leave them alone.

    In their defense, they may have only heard TVC’s version of the situation. I say this because I was surely guilty of doing the same to others who were disciplined by my cult before me, just as current members are now doing to us. I believed the stories that leadership was telling. Being trained to accept church authority will do that to you.

    I hope the situation with Karen will cause a crack in the blind trust people at TVC have placed in church authority.

  147. @ Gram3:
    The reformed brand is starting to take a beating in the SBC. What would a political operative do to protect themselves, change the subject without publicly throwing their long time reformed big dog partners under the bus publicly?

    This is where I part ways. Admit to the long time abuses, wrong teaching on power and resign from ministry. Give up power and position. Be a role model to the thousands of young people you used and astray.

  148. Velour wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    homegroups are organized and encouraged/pushed. I can tell you in our experience, this was not “doing life” with others. It was toeing the line and maintaining status quo.

    Agreed. At my former Gulag NeoCal *Church* the pastors/elders, in one of their first meetings with me, went over *their concern* with me that I wasn’t attending a week-night *Bible Study group*. Me: “I work. I commute. I’m not back in time.” They track it all attendance at: Sunday services, Bible studies, other church events, church-wide prayer meetings, to measure a member’s *devotion*.

    They even ordered that a godly Christian man from East Asia who had faithfully attended the church for six years not come to the church at all any more because he didn’t believe in membership covenants and he wouldn’t sign one.

    Probably the most horrifying thing I heard from my friend about the mothership of church covenants in DC was how the elders would meet and go over the members list one by one and discuss how they could care for each and every one of them.

    How do you tell someone relaying this information as good and awesome that this is one of the more horrifying applications of love and care I’ve ever heard?

  149. GovPappy wrote:

    Probably the most horrifying thing I heard from my friend about the mothership of church covenants in DC was how the elders would meet and go over the members list one by one and discuss how they could care for each and every one of them.
    How do you tell someone relaying this information as good and awesome that this is one of the more horrifying applications of love and care I’ve ever heard?

    Yes, my former Gulag NeoCal Church’s pastors/elders did this too. Heavy shepherding. A bunch of gossips.

  150. lydia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Hee hee. Hey did SGM tm “unentreatable”. They loved that word as an accusation.

    Perhaps SGM did TM. No worries. At my former Gulag NeoCal *Church* they could come up with plenty of new things to accuse the membership of doing wrong.
    Among the leadership’s other complaints about me was that I wouldn’t share my personal business with one of their women friends. Other former church members said she had also tried to demand their personal business from them. When I declined to share, and simply was *too busy* to talk to her by phone any more, she threw a temper tantrum and the pastors/elders accused me of being *bitter* etc. Nut cases one and all!

  151. dee wrote:

    Your experiences and mine with this individual have been different. That doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong. I admit that I am naive at times. However, this person is a good friend with another of my friends whom I respect greatly.

    I wanted to say I really appreciate your protecting my identity. This person has been trying to “meet” me for years. I know this person contacted you concerning the same. There was nothing “nice” about that inquiry for lunch except maybe to convince you. Thank you for respecting my view. People here really can trust you.

  152. Lydia, I see over at someone was not being “winsome” and “sweet.” You’re really starting to tick some people off.

    One thing that just struck me is that these Calvinists are very much like the Word Faith people. For Word Faith people if you’re sick, not rich etc. then it’s because of sin in your life and you just got get right and everything will be well. The Calvinists really believe that a pedophile just needs to get right with God and presto they’re “cured” That’s what the discipline thing is all about – sin isn’t something people struggle with – if you were truly a Christian you could easily overcome by following their carefully loving commands. And if you fail well then you’re not really a Christian. For all their wallowing in their identify as wretched sinners they really do believe sinless perfection is attainable if you just follow their x number of steps.

  153. @ Celia:
    Uggg!!! that should have said over at SBC Voices – where Lydia is not getting a hard time from Dave Miller and Company because gosh she is just doesn’t understand.

  154. Celia wrote:

    @ Celia:
    Uggg!!! that should have said over at SBC Voices – where Lydia is not getting a hard time from Dave Miller and Company because gosh she is just doesn’t understand.

    *doesn’t understand*=*won’t obey*

  155. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    “One cannot be truly and legitimately involved in the life of the Shepherding church apart from cell group participation.”
    Weren’t last century’s Communists also into Cell Group Participation?

    I think that was “cell block participation”, maybe the same thing, but Siberia is a cooler climate.

  156. Oh Lydia, well done, well done. For anybody who wants an example of how a horde of Calvinist will turn a conversation where someone isn’t buying what they’re selling into attempts to shame and bully into submission go read that SBC Voices thread. Dissent will NOT be tolerated. You will be called a bully (there are currently four men going after Lydia on the thread but she’s the bully), she doesn’t believe in Scriptures, she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……

  157. lydia wrote:

    What would a political operative do to protect themselves, change the subject without publicly throwing their long time reformed big dog partners under the bus publicly?

    Well, since I have no idea who the anonymous poster is, I am free to say what I would do if I were an overall supporter of the YRR takeover of the SBC. I would try to shift the narrative by backpedaling anonymously. But not completely backpedaling by renouncing the whole wrong-headed concept of discipline. Rather I would attempt to re-frame the issues somewhat while also pointing out some big *implementation* error. That makes room for the young guys who are uncomfortable about Driscoll and The Village to release some of their angst about that. The alternative might be that those guys would stop and actually *gasp* think through the whole idea and whether they have got this whole idea of church terribly wrong. They might actually consider the possibility that their heroes might have been wrong and might have misled them. In other words, this looks like sounding a tactical retreat in order to regroup and wait it out. Anybody heard a peep from Chandler lately?

    That is also why I think Leeman weighed in so very winsomely. But, IMO, not very candidly. I can tell you from personal experience that a great many people were invited to leave and did leave, but they also left part of their reputation behind because they were viewed as unserious or liberal or man-centered or whatever. It was never a possibility that those folks had a point. With me, of course, things were a little different, being a divisive and rebellious Jezebel and all that.

  158. roebuck wrote:

    Melissa wrote:
    “I’m blessed to be doing life with you”.
    What – are they your cellmates at the SuperMax prison or something?

    LOL. I think it feels that way sometimes.

  159. @ lydia:
    Or if I were truly a conspiracy nut, I might speculate that their is a tiny stress fracture in the Mohler-Dever partnership and their personal allies are putting out the story that they are not like *that* and are not *that* extreme. So, it might be a guy from the slightly younger cohort like Russell Moore or a Danny Akin or somebody from that side who wants a little breathing room from the more extreme doctrines of church membership and discipline espoused by Acts29/9Marks and implemented so infamously by Driscoll and Chandler.

    The one person I’m sure did not write that is Dr. Willingham whose posts I enjoy, not least because there is someone else out there who is not fit for Twitter.

  160. Celia wrote:

    @ Celia:
    Uggg!!! that should have said over at SBC Voices – where Lydia is not getting a hard time from Dave Miller and Company because gosh she is just doesn’t understand.

    Of course Lydia does not understand. How could she? She is a female and lacks a head.

  161. Celia wrote:

    (there are currently four men going after Lydia on the thread but she’s the bully), she doesn’t believe in Scriptures, she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……

    They are just honoring her and nurturing her and loving her well. Like Christ.

  162. Here’s the problem with attempting a conversation with Calvinists. Church discipline is biblical. 9Marks pushes church discipline. Saying 9Marks is a mess and leads to cultic practices means you don’t want to obey the scriptures. For Calvinists you aren’t allowed to disagree with them because they are the High Priests and will interpret scripture for you. And now the issue with TVC, Chandler and Co – are they truly sorry? Why would they be when they did everything according to their sacred creeds as outlined by 9Marks. If you study 9Marks and then look at all the documentation with regards to Hinckley’s treatement by TVC you’ll see that they followed their sacred church discipline cow to the letter. They did nothing wrong. What went wrong was people outside the cult were made aware of what was going on. Countdown to membership contracts having non disclosure clauses – if you publicize anything from the cult they will go after you. These people are not going to give up what they view as holy writ. Jonathan Leeman is a High Priest in the movement – of course he’s not wrong! Gosh, if people start questioning and thinking for themselves who knows what could happen.

  163. @ Gram3:
    Things went quiet real fast over there. See all the trouble some rogue woman can do wandering around the internet without a man controlling her.

  164. Velour wrote:

    Among the leadership’s other complaints about me was that I wouldn’t share my personal business with one of their women friends. Other former church members said she had also tried to demand their personal business from them.

    You mean like any problems or stress you were having in life?

    I’ve had to learn since my mother passed away not to be so open with people, especially not with church goers and most Christians.

    On the internet, it’s not as dangerous for me to be so transparent, since I’m writing under a pen name, but in real life?
    I had to learn the hard way to keep my problems to myself, or to be very discerning in who or when I open up to or who I confide in.

    It’s been quite a sad discovery and huge, huge shock to me to find that most Christians are not supportive if you open up and share with them about some problem you’re having.
    I’ve been shamed for opening up about the grief I had (and/or other problems), I’ve been given platitudes, had my pain diminished, or been lectured rather than supported.

    I’ve come to learn that it’s not always safe to share or be open with people, especially not with many Christians and those who attend church regularly. They are some of the most glib, or most dismissive, or most judgmental people.

    And it makes me miss my mother ten times more. My mom was a Christian, but she never judged me or gave me petty, cliched’ one liners in response to any problems I came to her with.

    She just listened and was sympathetic. If only more Christians were like that.

    But most of them (in real life), at least in my experience, have been quick to judge and get critical if you do tell them your personal business.

  165. Daisy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Among the leadership’s other complaints about me was that I wouldn’t share my personal business with one of their women friends. Other former church members said she had also tried to demand their personal business from them.
    You mean like any problems or stress you were having in life?

    No, not just personal problems. She wanted to know personal business. I shut her down with, “That’s private information and I don’t share that.” Most people respond with a reasonable, “Sure, not a problem.” This woman did not. She escalated into all out temper tantrums and demands and whining for why she couldn’t have it. She’s about 50 years old and was she planning on picking a date on the calendar about when she planned to officially grow up? Other former church members said she did the same thing to them.

    What I saw in that church was a complete lack of basic, adult healthy boundaries (i.e. where one person stops and another person begins).

  166. Celia wrote:

    The Calvinists really believe that a pedophile just needs to get right with God and presto they’re “cured” That’s what the discipline thing is all about – sin isn’t something people struggle with – if you were truly a Christian you could easily overcome by following their carefully loving commands. And if you fail well then you’re not really a Christian.

    I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you here, but I think this goes even beyond Neo-Cals and Word of Faithers.

    After my mother passed away, in response to my grief, I got a lot of that “if you just trusted Jesus more, read your Bible more, volunteered at charities, you’d get over the death quicker / or over it instantly” kind of garbage.

    In years prior to that, I had depression for many years. I saw psychiatrists and took pills for it.

    There are Christians of different denominations and theological bents who will insist that “real” Christians don’t get depression.

    Or, another group who will tell you stuff like, if you’re not healed of it, it’s your fault. You’re not praying enough, you don’t have enough faith. Or, you did some sin that brought it on.

    Some of those types of Christians will convince you to stay away from doctors or medications if you have depression. They tell you to read the Bible more, pray more, etc.

    There is no concept of struggle, as you were saying.

    You’re not always going to be healed of depression or whatever problem you have in this life time, and even if you are, it can take decades of work on your part, along with doctor visits, medications, therapy, etc.

    Most people do not get an instant, supernatural deliverance or healing from God, though it’s hard to accept this because Christian television shows only interview the percentage that do claim to have been healed directly by God, and within two minutes of praying about their issue.

    It’s the same with forgiveness. Forgiving someone is a process.

    Most people I’ve come across don’t just make a one-time decision to forgive, and poof! all their anger or hurt at their bully or whomever just instantly vanishes.

    They may have to forgive that same person of that same sin 657,433 over a 45 year period. Most Christians don’t have a concept for that, either.

    Your healing or forgiveness has to be “instant-presto” and last the rest of your life, and it has to be done 100% by God, you’re not supposed to work at it or through it.

  167. Celia wrote:

    And now the issue with TVC, Chandler and Co – are they truly sorry? Why would they be when they did everything according to their sacred creeds as outlined by 9Marks. If you study 9Marks and then look at all the documentation with regards to Hinckley’s treatement by TVC you’ll see that they followed their sacred church discipline cow to the letter.

    This is exactly it. Saying that TVC made a mistake by misapplication is disingenuous. And pretending that X church would do better by applying the same principles is delusional. 9Marks has made it clear that “Churches’ membership procedures should reflect the fact that the church, not the individual member, has authority to accept and dismiss members.
    A member cannot unilaterally resign. A member can submit their intention to resign to the church, and the church will either accept or reject that intention.”

    http://9marks.org/article/pastors-dont-let-your-people-resign-into-thin-air/

    Karen rejected TVC’s authority to make this decision for her. This was her great sin. And TVC followed their protocol. The other commenters on SBC voices ooze assurances that their church would never be so abusive. Uh huh. If they’re buying into 9Marks kool-aid, they will get the same result. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

  168. @ Velour:
    Ah, okay. Yes, it sounds like some of the people at that church don’t understand or practice the concept of boundaries.

  169. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    This is exactly it. Saying that TVC made a mistake by misapplication is disingenuous. And pretending that X church would do better by applying the same principles is delusional.

    What is that expression about doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results?
    That is supposed to be one definition of the word “insanity” or something. 🙂

  170. Celia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Things went quiet real fast over there. See all the trouble some rogue woman can do wandering around the internet without a man controlling her.

    Yes, it brings back some not-so-great memories. This is how they are behind closed doors. Where is Jesus in that thread? In the comments of the “pastors” who ridiculously called Lydia the bully on that thread because she called a spade a spade when these manly men, the defenders of the faith, could not bring themselves to do it? And then they insult Mirele who has fought the good and sacrificial fight against the Scientologists? I am beyond appalled by these individuals. I refuse to call them men except in the technical sense. As Lydia said there, if they want to know why the Dones are Don, they need to look in the mirror. Which, of course, they will not do. Even when confronted with the disgrace brought upon their Savior by the ELDERS at The Village. There are none so blind…

  171. Gram3 wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    (there are currently four men going after Lydia on the thread but she’s the bully), she doesn’t believe in Scriptures, she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……
    They are just honoring her and nurturing her and loving her well. Like Christ.

    I need to have my head examined going over there. It is the same old, same old thinking. They are unable to see that their responses are warning signposts for us that they would most likely handle similar situations the same way.

  172. Celia wrote:

    They did nothing wrong. What went wrong was people outside the cult were made aware of what was going on. Countdown to membership contracts having non disclosure clauses – if you publicize anything from the cult they will go after you.

    Here’s the problem with this. Paul in the book of Acts calls us to be Bereans. This authority push basically squashes that. The Bereans aren’t in Neo-Calvinism Neo-Calvinism won’t allow them. The Bereans are online on blogs like this. But people are called to search the scriptures and test what is being taught. The problem is that too many people are illiterate and don’t think for themselves. They let others think for them.

  173. @ Celia:
    No, no no Celia. Me, the one who has no power or influence…a mere woman… over any congregation is the “bully”, according to Dave. It is not unlike TGC calling dissenters, “pharisees”. :o)

    It is called “projection”.

  174. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    This is exactly it. Saying that TVC made a mistake by misapplication is disingenuous. And pretending that X church would do better by applying the same principles is delusional. 9Marks has made it clear that “Churches’ membership procedures should reflect the fact that the church, not the individual member, has authority to accept and dismiss members.

    This reminds me of communism. In world history how many times do people try to plant and have communist nation states in differing forms. each one believes it will work in the end when it will not.

  175. Celia wrote:

    she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……

    The cheap grace of sin leveling almost always makes an appearance. The only thing I know to do with that is hide the children. If they honestly believe they are the same sinners as pedophiles, then we must protect our children from them. Sheesh!

  176. @ Eagle:
    There is no place for Bereans in this movement. Questions are dissent. These churches tell you what to think and you are not allowed to think differently.

  177. GovPappy wrote:

    Probably the most horrifying thing I heard from my friend about the mothership of church covenants in DC was how the elders would meet and go over the members list one by one and discuss how they could care for each and every one of them.

    How do you tell someone relaying this information as good and awesome that this is one of the more horrifying applications of love and care I’ve ever heard?

    Reminds me of the creepiness I felt decades ago when a friend of mine said that everyone in his ward (that’d be a Mormon congregation) was discussed during the weekly bishopric meeting. (He was in a student ward and a member of the bishopric.) Although my memory of that conversation was that the discussion was less structured and far more free-floating than going over a “care list.” But unnerving, none the less. Take note, 9Marx and Ax29 people.

  178. Gram3 wrote:

    ell, since I have no idea who the anonymous poster is, I am free to say what I would do if I were an overall supporter of the YRR takeover of the SBC. I would try to shift the narrative by backpedaling anonymously. But not completely backpedaling by renouncing the whole wrong-headed concept of discipline. Rather I would attempt to re-frame the issues somewhat while also pointing out some big *implementation* error. That makes room for the young guys who are uncomfortable about Driscoll and The Village to release some of their angst about that. The alternative might be that those guys would stop and actually *gasp* think through the whole idea and whether they have got this whole idea of church terribly wrong. They might actually consider the possibility that their heroes might have been wrong and might have misled them. In other words, this looks like sounding a tactical retreat in order to regroup and wait it out. Anybody heard a peep from Chandler lately?

    I vote for shifting the narrative by backpeddling a bit. We have seen them (TGC and T$G and certain blogs) do it over protecting children at church after the SGM scandal.

    Leeman is playing the “we have been misunderstood”, card. I have been around long enough to believe all of this was planned out at Voices. Right down to anonymous not responding on the actual blog and neither is Leeman. Why?

    The chess playing is exhausting because it boils down to men–who have position and influence….who are nothing but cowards.

    Sticky wicket: Chandler is still President of Acts 29, right?

  179. @ Eagle:
    That’s what I said up thread. Everybody wants to ignore that TVC did everything exactly as the church discipline movement outlines. They didn’t screw it up they followed it to the letter and it blew up in their faces not because they messed up but because the whole thing is screwed up. The only lesson they will take from this is that they have to exercise more control over people telling the secrets of the cult and they have to figure out a way not to leave a “paper trail” Cover your tracks.

  180. Celia wrote:

    @ Eagle:
    There is no place for Bereans in this movement. Questions are dissent. These churches tell you what to think and you are not allowed to think differently.

    Exactly.

  181. Celia wrote:

    Here’s the problem with attempting a conversation with Calvinists. Church discipline is biblical. 9Marks pushes church discipline. Saying 9Marks is a mess and leads to cultic practices means you don’t want to obey the scriptures.

    They can claim that all day but the truth is their brand of church discipline is based on the power of their position. They decide. They implement. They never discuss the abusers like Mahaney or Driscoll being “disciplined for their abuse of position. Their brand of church discipline is based upon whether or not a pew sitter submits to them properly or not.

    The only instance of “church discipline” in scripture that is clear is 1 Corin 5 and involved the entire church. Ironically, another “discipline” case is in John who “outs” Diotrephes publicly for being an authoritarian controlling jerk.

  182. Lydia wrote:

    I need to have my head examined going over there. It is the same old, same old thinking.

    You performed a valuable service, IMO. Namely, you made them expose what their primary concerns are. It is tragic that these men are representing Jesus when they look absolutely nothing like him. I could have crawled under the nearest table with the bile that “pastor Tarheel” threw at Mirele. Disgusting. And not one of those “ambasadors of Christ” saw the need to rebuke him.

  183. Lydia wrote:

    It is called “projection”.

    Indeed. They are blind guides, and there is not one among them who is bold enough to rebuke the Tarheels. They accuse you of what they are themselves. Hypocrites.

  184. Lydia wrote:

    Leeman is playing the “we have been misunderstood”, card

    No, we have understood only too well what Leeman has been saying. The problem for Leeman is that The Village ELDERS did exactly what Leeman has been saying that they should do. It is one big power trip for very small human beings who must puff themselves up. FWIW, I’ve heard some of what Leeman wrote almost word-for-word. I swear there is a manual somewhere at SBTS or SGM or 9Marks or somewhere.

    The thing about Voices is that they start off sounding so holy and pious. Then the fangs and claws come out when they are challenged. It is difficult for me to believe that these men are pastors.

  185. Gram3 wrote:

    You performed a valuable service, IMO. Namely, you made them expose what their primary concerns are. It is tragic that these men are representing Jesus when they look absolutely nothing like him. I could have crawled under the nearest table with the bile that “pastor Tarheel” threw at Mirele. Disgusting. And not one of those “ambasadors of Christ” saw the need to rebuke him.

    It goes back to what you said upthread. Everything is “political” to them. Not spiritual. They think their political posturing positions are spiritual and they are defending God or the local institutional church which they think is the same as Jesus. I am using political in the general sense as in sides and tactics.

  186. Gram3 wrote:

    The problem for Leeman is that The Village ELDERS did exactly what Leeman has been saying that they should do.

    Well, if you use vague explanations with lots of Christianese keys and a winsome tone, perhaps people won’t notice?

  187. @ Gram3:
    And I might also add to your comment about why the Dones are Done, the way these men behave is one reason the real men who are successful in the real world will not put up with posers like these guys. Where is the godly one among those who will rebuke them? When you read that thread and the way these men conduct themselves, should we be surprised that there is spiritual abuse in the churches? They will not correct themselves or one another. They can only ever shout at the pewpeons and accuse.

  188. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    And I might also add to your comment about why the Dones are Done, the way these men behave is one reason the real men who are successful in the real world will not put up with posers like these guys. Where is the godly one among those who will rebuke them? When you read that thread and the way these men conduct themselves, should we be surprised that there is spiritual abuse in the churches? They will not correct themselves or one another. They can only ever shout at the pewpeons and accuse.

    Amen, Gram3.

    The local church’s loss of you and Gramp3, however, is our gain here. I appreciate everything that you have taught me and others, that it wasn’t always *this way*. You have a keen mind and a generous heart. You are no fool. I am so appreciative!

  189. Lydia wrote:

    Well, if you use vague explanations with lots of Christianese keys and a winsome tone, perhaps people won’t notice?

    I would be willing to bet that the guys at Voices have heard from the pewpeons. I would like to believe they have enough shame to be ashamed of what happened there, but I doubt it based on their comments. I have heard from several former fans of the System that The Village was a huge wake-up call for them. These are people who have faithfully served the Lord, but they saw that what happened there was not from God.

  190. @ Velour:
    That is so sweet. Thank you, and I am so blessed to find out that Gramp3 and I are not the only ones who have noticed that things have gone totally off the rails. Yet so many like the guys at Voices are crying “Peace and Safety.” While others roll over and hit the snooze.

  191. Gram3 wrote:

    And I might also add to your comment about why the Dones are Done, the way these men behave is one reason the real men who are successful in the real world will not put up with posers like these guys.

    I cannot imagine my dad putting up with them or taking them seriously for one minute.

  192. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    That is so sweet. Thank you, and I am so blessed to find out that Gramp3 and I are not the only ones who have noticed that things have gone totally off the rails. Yet so many like the guys at Voices are crying “Peace and Safety.” While others roll over and hit the snooze.

    You are most welcome! You and others here have taught me things that not even my former church’s authoritarian pastors/elders have taught me.

  193. Lydia wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    And I might also add to your comment about why the Dones are Done, the way these men behave is one reason the real men who are successful in the real world will not put up with posers like these guys.

    I cannot imagine my dad putting up with them or taking them seriously for one minute.

    Exactly.

    But sadly there are those who want to be in the *in* crowd and will *put up with them*. They don’t care, to use a Mars Hill/Driscoll phrase, “whom gets tossed under the bus*.

    When the pastors/elders at my former Gulag NeoCal Church excommunicated/shunned a Godly doctor who had been faithfully married to his wife for 40+ years, loving marriage, because the good doctor disagreed in private with their running of the church/eldership rule and based it on the Bible, I knew that something was seriously wrong. I asked others; they defended the pastors/elders.

    But my take-away was this from the Bible: We aren’t supposed to do this to one another.

  194. So, anyone want to guess why Jonathan Leeman and the Anonymous author are only willing to communicate in comments through Dave Miller at Voices?

  195. @Gram3,

    If you have time, could you please list the good books at the top of the page under the Interesting tab (and then the Books tab), and suggested interlinears, that you have been using to undo all of this comp doctrine. I, and others, may need to refer to it again later.

    Anything else you’ve been reading, that the rest of us may find useful, on other subjects is always welcome.

    Thank you!

    X0X0,

    Velour

  196. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Celia:
    You should have read the thread where they were discussing Mohler’s plan to give SBTS credits to SGM Pastors College students, which was basically academic credit laundering. There were some bright bulbs who just did not see what might be wrong with that idea. That is the extent to which their thinking ability has been taken captive by their loyalty to the System. They simply lack critical thinking skills and an ability to triage issues.

    I disagree. I don’t think this was about a lack of critical thinking skills. i think this was about a lack of character and virtue. There is no one with even a weak ethical compass – on the planet – who would think this was above-board.

  197. @ Lydia:
    That is just odd but I will say it give validity to the need for anonimity something that many at voices have criticized in the past. I notice no one batted an eye in this case.

    Lydia I applaud your willingness to stand up to the foolishness over there. I fear you are spitting into the wind with Tarheel. He has demonstrated many times in the past that he is a jackwagon. I gave up interacting over there when I was on the receiving end of a C.B. Scott insult with no scriptural support. I read there to know the enemy and that’s all. I do find it interesting that one of the advocates of church discipline and.convnants was a fellow student.in seminary. He had no problem violating the student.covenant.of conduct. Just crazy, course now he is an elder at 25. Too funny

  198. @ dee:

    That sounds great. My small group finished up a unit that went from fall until the end of the spring – some other young dudes and I read the gospels with a pastor emeritus, and then he led an informal Bible study methods class. We all came from some very different life experiences relating to our faith, but also were united as young guys trying to make it in the big city. It was great.

    Now there is another church in Dallas that tells its small groups that they should approve or deny dates among their members. No thanks, I actually like our way that I just described.

  199. Lydia wrote:

    So, anyone want to guess why Jonathan Leeman and the Anonymous author are only willing to communicate in comments through Dave Miller at Voices?

    I don’t think they would be willing to engage here, for example. Leeman whitewashed what he has been teaching, so my guess is he wanted to get the new and newly nuanced message out. A good way to do that is to “plant” an article. That is assuming that this is just 9Marks trying to salvage their reason for being. If this is actually a stress fracture between the Mohlerites and the Deverites, then that would be a reason for a Mohlerite to write the article with plausible deniability. Not all unfavorable stories about Dems come from Dems nor Repubs from Repubs. Since you are at ground zero, you know what I’m talking about. I am not currently at the geographic ground zero, either in Louisville or DC, but I know something about personal loyalties and how those might go if push comes to shove. Mohler and Patterson are yesterday’s news. On the Reformed side, same for Duncan and Sproul. MacArthur and Dever, too. Even Grudem and Piper! Investors look to the future and these guys are last quarter’s results.

    I’m not saying this is from Moore or Akin, but only that Moore and Akin have a lot more to lose if the YRR goes down in flames and is totally discredited, as it has been with Driscoll and Mahaney and Chandler and the collateral damage allies. Moore has shown movement on homosexual orientation, for example, because the Millennial tea leaves are pretty clear on that. Akin has 2 boys, IIRC, who are in line to take on the mantle. There are similar 2nd generation guys in the 9Marks playground.

    Some of you are saying, “Gram is nuts.” Yes, but I am an nut who has been baked in a lot of fruitcakes.

  200. Gram3 wrote:

    Not all unfavorable stories about Dems come from Dems nor Repubs from Repubs

    Should be not all unfavorable stories about Dems come from Repubs, etc.

  201. Velour wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    @ Gram3:
    And I might also add to your comment about why the Dones are Done, the way these men behave is one reason the real men who are successful in the real world will not put up with posers like these guys. Where is the godly one among those who will rebuke them? When you read that thread and the way these men conduct themselves, should we be surprised that there is spiritual abuse in the churches? They will not correct themselves or one another. They can only ever shout at the pewpeons and accuse.
    Amen, Gram3.
    The local church’s loss of you and Gramp3, however, is our gain here. I appreciate everything that you have taught me and others, that it wasn’t always *this way*. You have a keen mind and a generous heart. You are no fool. I am so appreciative!

    I agree.

  202. Gram3 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Well, if you use vague explanations with lots of Christianese keys and a winsome tone, perhaps people won’t notice?
    I would be willing to bet that the guys at Voices have heard from the pewpeons. I would like to believe they have enough shame to be ashamed of what happened there, but I doubt it based on their comments. I have heard from several former fans of the System that The Village was a huge wake-up call for them. These are people who have faithfully served the Lord, but they saw that what happened there was not from God.

    What about it broke through the blindness? I’m curious (and looking for some hope) because we see the most unlikely people still befuddled by Kool Aid.

  203. Abi Miah wrote:

    What about it broke through the blindness?

    The outrage at men insisting that a woman stay married to a pedophile, and the way that The Village ELDERS disciplined the victim while the perp was given a pass. For the guys I know, it was the system going kablooie.

    OT warning: And, while I’m at it, a few months ago, I posted an uncharacteristically long comment at the ODP about what a rolling disaster FAA’s NextGen is and the safety and environmental hazards that it has created and will continue to create, all of which were done under the table and behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Not the church this time. Well, now that the entire DC, NY, and BAL ATC was “non-operational” today due to an “unknown glitch” in the NextGen ERAM system, Gram is not looking so kooky. In fact, I would like to become an official Profitess. Thankfully, by God’s grace, there are not a lot of dead people and grieving families today because of incompetence, graft, and greed. WaPo calls it Flypocolypse.

  204. Abi Miah wrote:

    I would be willing to bet that the guys at Voices have heard from the pewpeons

    The Baptists are losing records amount of members. You bet they *heard* from the pewpeons.

  205. “How could her former support group ignore her in her time of need? Do they even care? Were they told to shun her? If so, by whom? And why didn’t they do the right thing?”

    Leaders of small groups in New Calvinist churches are linked at the hip to church elders. These “LifeGroups” may be promoted as weekly places of support for members (little churches within the church), but they are still very much controlled by the patriarchs. In large churches, such as TVC, small group leaders are required to go through training, which includes indoctrination to Doctrines of Grace (of course) and how to handle certain situations that may arise during their meetings. Many of these LifeGroup leaders idolize the pastor and have personal aspirations of one day achieving elder status … so they do what is required. In addition to the membership covenant, some NC churches also require a second LifeGroup leader covenant.

    “Were they told to shun her? If so, by whom?” In a personality-driven New Calvinist work like TVC, the elders take their walking orders from the “lead” pastor. They then convey them to the small group leaders. Karen was shunned because it was in their rule book to do so. Accountability floats to the top. Matt Chandler is directly responsible for allowing such an archaic religious practice at “his” church. Good Lord, what love is this?!

    “And why didn’t they do the right thing?” New Calvinism is such a mess that members lose track of what’s right and what’s wrong. Members who accept shunning as something that is “right” are not walking in the grace they tout. It is never right to do the wrong thing.

  206. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m not saying this is from Moore or Akin, but only that Moore and Akin have a lot more to lose if the YRR goes down in flames and is totally discredited, as it has been with Driscoll and Mahaney and Chandler and the collateral damage allies.

    So the jeweled daggers are finally coming out to slit each others’ throats?

    There can be only one on the Iron Throne of Calvin.

    Moore has shown movement on homosexual orientation, for example, because the Millennial tea leaves are pretty clear on that. Akin has 2 boys, IIRC, who are in line to take on the mantle. There are similar 2nd generation guys in the 9Marks playground.

    And a House has heirs to the Throne. (And if you really want to keep the Throne in the family and NEVER let an Outsider in, there’s always incest…)

    “The wheel keeps turning — Lannister, Baratheon, Targeryen. Each House trying to stop the wheel with themselves on top.”
    — Tirion Lannister

  207. ^Correction: That sentence about *pewpeons* was written by Gram3, not Abi Miah (not sure how his name got in there).

  208. original Mitch wrote:

    I do find it interesting that one of the advocates of church discipline and.convnants was a fellow student.in seminary. He had no problem violating the student.covenant.of conduct. Just crazy, course now he is an elder at 25. Too funny

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  209. Celia wrote:

    @ Eagle:
    There is no place for Bereans in this movement. Questions are dissent. These churches tell you what to think and you are not allowed to think differently.

    “Doubt leads to Thinking.
    Thinking leads to Questioning.
    Questioning leads to Heresy.
    Heresy demands Retribution.
    Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
    — Warhammer 40K

  210. Eagle wrote:

    This reminds me of communism. In world history how many times do people try to plant and have communist nation states in differing forms. each one believes it will work in the end when it will not.

    “And this time we WILL achieve True Communism!”

  211. Max wrote:

    Many of these LifeGroup leaders idolize the pastor and have personal aspirations of one day achieving elder status … so they do what is required

    Exactly!

    “Were they told to shun her? If so, by whom?” In a personality-driven New Calvinist work like TVC, the elders take their walking orders from the “lead” pastor. They then convey them to the small group leaders. Karen was shunned because it was in their rule book to do so. Accountability floats to the top. Matt Chandler is directly responsible for allowing such an archaic religious practice at “his” church. Good Lord, what love is this?!

    And why didn’t they do the right thing?” New Calvinism is such a mess that members lose track of what’s right and what’s wrong. Members who accept shunning as something that is “right” are not walking in the grace they tout. It is never right to do the wrong thing.

    I have NEVER seen so many college-educated professionals put their brains on hold as at my former Gulag NeoCal Church. It was *right* in so many of their eyes to have the pastors/elders order that a godly doctor (married for 40+ year and a faithful, loving Christian, husband, and father) be excommunicated/shunned for disagreeing with them in private using the Bible about how they were leading the church.

    We AREN’T supposed to do this to one another. But you wouldn’t believe how many spineless cowards defended it.

  212. original Mitch wrote:

    now he is an elder at 25

    There has been a flurry of new SBC church plants throughout America. Most are staffed with YRR pastors and elders in their 20s-30s. Good Lord, the youth group is running the church! And we are to expect them to exercise wisdom in handling the array of member “situations” and act with spiritual maturity when it comes to church discipline?

  213. Velour wrote:

    I have NEVER seen so many college-educated professionals put their brains on hold as at my former Gulag NeoCal Church.

    Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

  214. Max wrote:

    Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

    That is so true. One of the things that has struck me about Mark Dever/9 Marks [called here 9Marx or Hotel California] is that everything is about *a rule* and not the *royal law of love*. Church membership covenants are to prevent members from escaping through the back exits according to Dever. Has Dever ever heard of the telephone? Pick it up and call members, Mr. Dever, and ask them if they consider themselves to be church member or not. He can’t solve basic problems in a thoughtful, adult manner.

    Why do they *need to escape* through the *back exits* and what are you doing wrong Mr. Dever that they think that way?

  215. Gram3 wrote:

    don’t think they would be willing to engage here, for example. Leeman whitewashed what he has been teaching, so my guess is he wanted to get the new and newly nuanced message out.

    Yeah, I agree. But why would Leeman and Anonymous only comment through the SBC Voices moderator? To have a degree of separation so they don’t have to explain if they only decide to engage only certain commenters they want to engage? to not engage commenters unless they want to? I don’t get it. Or are they too special to engage the commenters so they go through the blog moderator–the authority of the blog? :o)

    Was the OP a sort of trial balloon to see how it goes with commenters in a friendly place? This situation at TVC seems to have blindsided them to some degree and they are doing damage control —in their own cryptic way?

    Seriously, where are the grown ups with character and courage in that movement?

    As to the next generation. I think Moore has been positioning himself for a long time and building his own personal brand. He is even promoting new issues to set himself apart. And he is extremely popular and considered an expert by the little boys in that world. He has the political savvy to play the game. I hope he has matured from when I saw him at the 2009 Convention. He was jumping around in the back texting and joking with his very young but admiring entourage acting like a teenager instead of respectfully listening to his colleagues on stage.

    But as of now, Mohler is still the Teflon Pope.

  216. original Mitch wrote:

    That is just odd but I will say it give validity to the need for anonimity something that many at voices have criticized in the past. I notice no one batted an eye in this case.

    Gosh, you are right. They were insistent over there for years that people who commented anonymously were cowards.

  217. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    So the jeweled daggers are finally coming out to slit each others’ throats?

    I don’t know, and I was speculating based on possible scenarios, assuming this is all political. I had hoped at the outset when it was posted that it was an opening for discussion and some introspection and was *not* political. But apparently that introspection isn’t going to happen. You know way more than I do about this kind of thing, but in human organizations, the second generation does not have the same particular objectives (or sometimes even values) once the first generation moves on, so to speak. Ambitious people have to be forward-looking.

  218. Lydia wrote:

    But as of now, Mohler is still the Teflon Pope.

    For now. Mohler is not the future, and the smart and ambitious guys know it. Hopefully, if there are any wise and courageous men with chests left in the SBC, they will realize that and rise up. Moore, I agree, has great charisma both in print, speaking, and certainly in person. His personality is sunny and attractive. He started his career in politics and seems to have brought that skill set with him to SBTS and now ERLC. Similarly, there are guys around Dever, like Leeman and the other regulars there, who are the future of 9Marks.

    Old crankies like me are not the future church, either. What will Millennials look for in a church? Will they be the ultimate concierge Christians? What will their values look like? Will they be blind followers like the Kardashian Kristians we have today, or will they be innovators who go back to the basics an who build on the decline in the SBC (where SBC is a proxy for the conservative evangelicals)? I don’t know because I’m don’t get Millennials except that they are crazy for screens. I think they want something to believe it, but that may not be the LocalChurch as we know it.

  219. Lydia wrote:

    Nor does it equate with having wisdom.

    So true, Lydia. Education does not produce wisdom. Spiritual knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom come from the Lord not institutions of higher learning. It’s the stuff that gets on you when you walk through the valley and are tried in the fire … when you come to the end of yourself and lean on Jesus … when what you’ve learned in your intellect moves to your “knower”. Some of the smartest folks I know don’t operate in spiritual wisdom; unfortunately, elder teams in New Calvinist churches and deacon boards in traditional churches are largely populated by such folks.

  220. Celia wrote:

    (there are currently four men going after Lydia on the thread but she’s the bully), she doesn’t believe in Scriptures, she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……

    Oh scripsher shmipsher! These guys have all been stripped of their humanity by a religion that values cruelty above conscience and whose moral compass isn’t even magnetized any more.

  221. Muff Potter wrote:

    Celia wrote:

    (there are currently four men going after Lydia on the thread but she’s the bully), she doesn’t believe in Scriptures, she needs to admit she’s the same wretched sinner as a pedophile ……

    Oh scripsher shmipsher! These guys have all been stripped of their humanity by a religion that values cruelty above conscience and whose moral compass isn’t even magnetized any more.

    And they have conveniently blocked other people from posting comments.

  222. Lydia wrote:

    One other thing to consider. Without elder led (rule) the Neo Cal movement will be in big trouble in the SBC.

    Celia wrote:

    Here’s the problem with attempting a conversation with Calvinists. Church discipline is biblical.

    May I use your comments as a jumping-off point for something I’ve been thinking about for a week or so?
    When I’ve attempted to converse with Calvinistas about either “Church Membership” or “Church Discipline”, it’s been like beating my head on a wall. Stories of abuse, also, while healing or cathartic for us, are lost on these chaps. As several have mentioned, they’ll just try to fine-tune. But the whole system is considered “biblical” and therefore non-negotiable. And if I could diagram the system here, it would be “Elders” above “Members” with “Discipline” as a downward arrow illustrating the relationship. Since membership and discipline are unassailable, maybe we need to focus on the “elders” part. Maybe we’d waste less breath and get right to the root, since their livelihoods will be at stake. And I propose doing so though a cessationist argument. We know that elders (good and bad) are mentioned in Acts, recommended in Epistles, and seen in heaven by John. But in the Gospels, they’re Not Recommended by Jesus in the least. Might they be something “not for today”? Maybe elders (and bishops/pastors/deacons) were raised up by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles to “confirm the word” or get the church going initially, and ceased to be once John penned the final Maranatha. Or, less drastically, something optional, to be appointed at at the Spirit’s leading only when helpful to upbuild the Body? Indeed, Frank Viola points out that they were already optional in many of the churches, way back then. No one today thinks we are required to drink a little wine with our water. No one thinks we must bring our mentors/leaders warm clothing and parchments. Few think of Cretans as …. cretins. Many Chrisitans believe miraculous gifts ceased long ago. What do y’all think? Has the time of “Elders” passed? After all, the four-and twenty spots in heaven seem to be filled.
    (Full disclosure– I’m strongly continuationist regarding spiritual fruit, mostly regarding spiritual gifts, and somewhat regarding spiritual manifestations. Regarding spiritual insults–see prior post– not so much.)

  223. Melissa wrote:

    The group splits if it gets too large..You’re always constantly getting to know others and “sharing your story.” This is not how the first church looked IMO.

    I am already hesitant to go back to a church again, but this makes it sound worse. I’m a pretty introverted type of person. I find it draining to be around new people. Once I get to know a group, I’d want to stick with that group.

    I would find it too overwhelming to have to keep meeting new people and discussing my background with new people over and over. That would be another reason for me to stay at home.

  224. Dave A A wrote:

    Many Chrisitans believe miraculous gifts ceased long ago

    I like some of Pastor Wade Burleson’s articles on these topics. (He’s the conservative Baptist pastor with a good head on his shoulders at The Wartburg Watch’s EChurch on Sundays. As he has pointed out that when the SBC wanted to ban missionaries who had a *private prayer language* he opposed that. He has seen all of the gifts in use in Christians. So have I. I don’t have the gift of speaking in tongues, but I do have a dearly departed friend, a faithful Christian, who spoke in tongues when we would be praying together.)

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2014/09/you-cant-forgive-foolishness-james.html

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/five-reasons-to-say-no-to-church.html

  225. Bill M wrote:

    Questioning “who is the church” rather than “what is the church” may end up with the same definition, but instead of starting with organizational charts we start with people.

    Yup. The issue is where we integrate our faith and practice. If the only evidence we had about a group’s theology is that their first question was “What” is the church, that would tell me they are about theory, organization, abstractions. “Who” is the church is more about people, pastoral care, concrete relationships.

    The main thing I did in my church planting candidate assessment work with SBC was to evaluate candidates’ preaching. They’d been given the assignment in advance so they could prepare a 15-20 minute sermon/presentation to cover (1) becoming a Christian, (2) call to ministry, and (3) call to church planting. It was amazing how much information you can discern about candidates’ primary learning styles (and what kinds of cultures they would/wouldn’t mesh with well) from what they emphasized on those three topics, how they put them together, and especially from what they opened their talk with as their main way of integrating the information.

    The director said that my observation reports consistently came to similar conclusions as the teams that did the in-depth interview part of the assessment clinic. These teams had about a dozen specific aspects of “leadership/ministry” to cover in 3 to 4 hours of interviews.

    Point being, sometimes the seemingly smallest of things — like whether we ask WHAT is the church, or WHO is the church — can be a major clue to the biggest of issues. And then we tend to find other evidences that corroborate our hunch about problems, and not because of “observer bias” but because the problems are inherent in the DNA of those whom we are observing.

    I see this as related to 1 Timothy 5:24-25. “The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever” (NIV). It gives me hope knowing that what’s been hidden in the darkness will eventually be brought into the light by the Lord.

  226. @ Dave A A:
    And considering we are 2000 years later we really should have many more who are “mature in the faith” as each generation taught and modeled.

  227. @ Dave A A:
    I have a difficult time differentiating between the church offices described. In the baptist churches I have attended we have deacons. They weren’t into knowing your business and if they did, they weren’t gossips. Sometimes the needy within a church would receive food and they had no idea from whom the food came. Deacons were and are helpers. I have difficulty differentiating the two “offices.” I know that there are churches where deacons have also been abusive, just like these elders described. This being said, there has to be some “order” within an institutional church for “church” to exist. I would tend to believe we still need some sort of office within church as servants and helpers to make sure the work of church gets done, and the brethren are not forgotten. Now it doesn’t matter the term, though some may disagree with me, but this may be just splitting hairs. I am uncertain offices within church have ceased because without some sort of order, even n free church tradition, we have the possibility of anarchy. Now after I read your entry, I looked up Frank Viola, and look forward to reading more of what he has to say.

  228. Gram3 wrote:

    Or if I were truly a conspiracy nut, I might speculate that their is a tiny stress fracture in the Mohler-Dever partnership and their personal allies are putting out the story that they are not like *that* and are not *that* extreme.

    Well there is the fact that Dever brought Mahaney into the equation, vouched for him and now Mohler is stuck with him in Louisville. (I have these visions of Mahaney calling Mohler but Mohler not taking his calls) :o)

    Mahaney is somewhat of a ridiculous creature. He grovels, sucks up, flatters, giggles at all their jokes, etc. I can see where a Mahaney with no power/money is an embarassment to someone like Mohler who continued to vouch for him for obvious reasons at the beginning of the scandals. These guys are very utilitarian when it comes to this stuff. “What can a relationship bring to the table” sort of thing.

    I think we are seeing a bit of a chess game. Now these older leaders are thinking “legacy”. It is one of my major pet peeves with these types. I saw it with mega church pastors who were going into their 50’s. They are thinking about how they will be remembered and what will be written about them. And all the great successes they had during their reign. They cannot afford to have that overshadowed with all the scandals. They cannot imagine a time they won’t be admired.

  229. @ Dave A A:
    I can’t imagine this one would get much play either – you’re going straight after the power structure. Needed, yes, but effective when there’s so much invested in it? I can’t imagine it would be.

    Now perhaps you could get back to a more strict definition of elder – an older, respected, seasoned Christian. But then you’d be essentially attacking the character of many elders who don’t fall into this category. That might not play so well either.

    Where I’m at is that any positive change you’re going to get with these guys is getting them to reassess their rigid view of scriptural interpretation – show the hypocrisy of taking some things to be literal while others are so flexible so as to be meaningless. Was doing devotions with my friends in DC on my recent trip, and it was clear how he’d been taught to interpret and read scripture. So rigid. Scripture is read to fit into preconceptions, preconceptions formulated by men. Very fundamentalist.

    I’ve also had some success pointing out my disgust with the man worship that goes on in their circles. That much is obvious. Rotten fruit.

  230. Max wrote:

    Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

    This is one of the most insightful comments I have read on TWW.

  231. @ Gram3:
    I think we want real. We see through politics-speak and all that. Eventually the politics and big-name Christianity of the Gospel™ boys are going to turn a lot of folks off in that camp. They’ll get wise to the charade, and grow weary of it.

    Unfortunately, sometimes, wanting “real” means buying into some weird stuff because “it’s totally raw, man.” I’ve personally found more spiritual growth, courage, and strengthening of my faith in listening to the stories of folks who have been through the wringer and still hold on than I ever have found reading theologians, yet my knowledge has to be founded on something or I’ll go off the emotional rails.
    So what will they (We?) turn to when disenchanted with Gospel™ Christianity?

  232. lydia wrote:

    And considering we are 2000 years later we really should have many more who are “mature in the faith” as each generation taught and modeled.

    If the definition of ‘the faith’ is limited to evangelicalism, perhaps that skews the percentage numbers for maturity at tad. Current evangelicalism does not seem to have maturity as a goal for it’s ideas. Follow the leader, recite back the party line, conform to the expectations of the group, learn and practice self hate and self distrust, always play by the man made rules with no questions asked–that does not lead to maturity. It is intellectual and emotional foot binding. It produces crippled people.

  233. I have some thoughts on why the Karen Hinkley situation gained traction and on what we can do in the wake.

    1. Karen was the perfect victim, so it was hard to assign blame to her, which is what systems will normally do to victims.
    a. She was the perfect victim because of the type of sin of her husband was involved in (no one associates forays into pedophilia with a wife who has “let herself go,” is not “satisfying her husband,” etc. that there would likely have been had this been serial adultery on her husband’s part, for instance.)
    b. She conducted herself with amazing levels of self-control throughout this so there was no reactive sin to “level” against the major sin of her husband. (ie she didn’t call him a lying sob in public or to the elders.
    c. She was a missionary, which has positive connotations in church circles. She couldn’t be painted as being “nominal” or “unspiritual” and have that stick easily.
    d. The particulars of her situation made using sin-leveling difficult.

    2. Her husband’s sin is one that presented a danger to children and the elders did not inform the congregation in a timely manner of the potential danger to their children, but rather set it up so that he was welcomed without questions, which could have included being welcomed into someone’s home where there were children of his preferred gender and age. This brings out a Mama and Papa Grizzly Bear, which I imagine led to at least some congregants not adhering to the party line in the way they could normally be counted on to adhere.

    3. For those outside the system, the situation is shocking that a woman was disciplined for seeking an annulment from a pedophile after prayer and counsel with other Christians, but not apparently late enough for her elders to have had time to properly sift through the situation . Matt Chandler did say that on reconsideration, they believed she was free to seek the annulment IIRC.

    4. Karen was the perfect victim/advocate because she walked in integrity (point 1 above) the whole time and 2) she was savvy. I wondered when I read her resignation letter if she or someone counseling her had been following TWW because it sounded like the recommended way to resign so as to leave one legal recourse to stop harassment. Keeping the emails was wise as well. 3) Most importantly, she was concerned with the protection of children above her own comfort level, even in the meeting with Chandler, where apparently she was able to persuade him of the need for specialized counseling and oversight. That she had a greater cause that most people support was helpful. A motive beyond self-preservation was apparent. (Not that I think self-preservation or seeking justice for oneself is less righteous, but if people perceive something as a personal dispute, they are more likely to decide to stay out of it)

    5. Karen is someone unique in that many people do not have the same level of Christian support outside their church that she had. (Something many of us still involved in churches may want to rethink.) It would have been even harder for her if all her Christian support was in one basket, and she had no other Christians to turn to. That is the way people are made to feel crazy in a church in which an oligarchy can command people’s “care” or shunning. Human beings are social creatures and when your whole social network has turned against you, it is hard to maintain a sense of stability and it is hard to hold on to one’s core values and beliefs. She not only had individual Christians, but a Christian organization supporting her at least with regard to what was needed to protect children from her ex-husband. This organization had been supported by the church, making it hard to paint them as “liberals” or whatever other label might be used to tarnish.

    6. The accidental disclosure of the “push her under our care” language was revealing of the controlling thinking of the leadership. The definition of “care” was Orwellian in its meanings.

    7. This happened in the age of blogs and so outside light and air were further let into a closed system. I cannot see the same outcome happening without that light and air.

    In most cases, there is not a perfect victim, but there can be as much injustice.

    In most cases, a congregation and the greater world will assume that the leadership has facts to which they are not privy and that the situation is messier than is being presented, even if some of the victim’s side becomes public. This is a psychological phenomenon in which people give deference to their leaders, and in which the wounded or those who otherwise threaten the system become the enemy to the whole system as their stories threaten its stability. If there is a chance to pin everything on the victim, it will be. Or if not everything, then something like a “failure to forgive or reconcile” or “causing dissension.” Victims end up being the bad guys. Victims in the beginning of the process need to know this. Justice is unlikely. For most victims, there will be no exoneration until the body count becomes extremely high, and for some, never within their former circles. Church discipline as we are seeing practiced in the Neocalvinist groups and as used to be practiced in the charismatic shepherding groups is so very dangerous because of the way we human beings are affected by our social surroundings. We are much more vulnerable to being blinded than we think, much more prone to “group think” than we think.

    I am thankful that God did allow an Esther-figure to rise up in this time to show how aberrant beliefs and practice of church discipline can be. (If one hasn’t BTDT, or has not read story after story after story, it can seem unbelievable.) Many people reading Karen’s story can hopefully imagine how things could be just as unfair but the victim more helpless in situations in which the lines were blurrier–which will be most situations– or in which leaders communicated verbally not in emails or texts which could be saved. Church leaders can lie, but people are slow to believe that it is the leader being untruthful. Congregants in these times need to exercise discernment before joining a church, and they need to exercise discernment particularly after a new pastor has been hired because of the prevalence of “stealth” takeovers and careful step-by-step installment of Neocal practices in churches which previously had no history of such practices. They should keep an eye out for what conferences their leaders are attending and whether their church shows up on any lists associated with abuse of discipline. Congregants must be Berean and not accept proof-texting. And I hope that pastors of other types of churches are alerted to these practices, how widespread they are, and how off-base they are, so if a refugee shows up on their doorstep, they are prepared to believe them and offer true refuge.

  234. Daisy wrote:

    Melissa wrote:
    The group splits if it gets too large..You’re always constantly getting to know others and “sharing your story.” This is not how the first church looked IMO.
    I am already hesitant to go back to a church again, but this makes it sound worse. I’m a pretty introverted type of person. I find it draining to be around new people. Once I get to know a group, I’d want to stick with that group.
    I would find it too overwhelming to have to keep meeting new people and discussing my background with new people over and over. That would be another reason for me to stay at home.

    And literally, I have nothing other than my faith in common with today’s SBC Memebers. I do not dress, I do not like the same hobbies, in small groups when they speak of things, I have no interest. I care little about football ( except English football) I no longer hunt due to my health, my son will probably never marry and have grandchildren, I didn’t retire from a refinery…and worst of all, in SS classes, I ask questions such as ” in the Greek it actually says.” And most people in this area couldn’t tell you the difference between KJV and RSV….they all believe Jesus will be here in the next year. They all believe that to be a Christian, you must be a Republican….( and I normally vote Tory, but not always.)
    It’s pretty depressing….

  235. Abi Miah wrote:

    In most cases, a congregation and the greater world will assume that the leadership has facts to which they are not privy and that the situation is messier than is being presented, even if some of the victim’s side becomes public. This is a psychological phenomenon in which people give deference to their leaders

    I recall a few silencers came around here with the “you don’t have all the facts” when TWW first posted about Karen.
    You articulated a group dynamic that I wish more were aware of in churches. At the former church the pastors felt they were under undue scrutiny yet they largely had the ability to act without oversight. Things were done badly, people were being hurt yet many, who should have known better, praised God they had such a wonderful pastor. Sometimes this was done in the presence of those who were injured, furthering the injury.

    There is a happy medium between church leaders are idiots and church leaders are flawless. While the latter will be quickly dismissed, they will say “of course we don’t think our pastor is flawless” yet any critique is immediately discarded, effectively church members act as if the pastor is flawless. The situation I came from the pastor was young, the congregation had only seen him in action on a limited basis for a year and had little direct knowledge of his character. Those who were critical were double his age, decades in the church, long time contributors of time and resource, their character was well known and demonstrated. Yet most deferred to the pastor, seemingly without question or doubt.

    There is a tension between deference to leaders and questioning them. A good way to tell if it is off balance is how questioning is received or if it is an unwritten rule that questioning is not allowed. If this is the case it is an environment ripe for toxic leadership.

    I don’t recall if the “you don’t have all the facts” ploy was being used by freelancers “who didn’t have all the facts” or if it came directly from official TVC spokesmen who did. If the latter that would indicate a level of corruption that would necessitate their removal.

  236. Dave A A wrote:

    Or, less drastically, something optional, to be appointed at at the Spirit’s leading only when helpful to upbuild the Body? Indeed, Frank Viola points out that they were already optional in many of the churches, way back then.

    Interesting idea, Dave. Maybe appointed Elders (and the requirements that go with them) are like training wheels on a bicycle, a temporary solution for churches that are having trouble being balanced? Like Ephesus. And the goal for Elders is to work themselves out of a job, not to create ongoing and eternal dependence?

  237. Bill M wrote:

    I don’t recall if the “you don’t have all the facts” ploy was being used by freelancers “who didn’t have all the facts” or if it came directly from official TVC spokesmen who did. If the latter that would indicate a level of corruption that would necessitate their removal.

    IIRC, when the story broke, Matt Chandler tweeted that critics of the ELDERS did not have all the facts. So, I guess he counts as an official spokesman for The Village.

  238. We hope that the reason Karen spoke up and told her story in the first place is not lost in the smoke and mirrors of TVC/SBC/ACTS29/blahblahblah damage control mode: confessed pedophile Jordan Root. Protect kids.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/05/29/snap-press-release-written-by-amy-smith/

    From our SNAP statement:

    We suspect Chandler is doing this only because he and his colleagues have been severely and widely criticized for their cruelty to this brave, wounded woman.

    But an apology does nothing to protect the vulnerable or heal those already hurt because of the crimes of Jordan Root and the actions of TVC staff.

    We firmly believe that kids are at risk now because Root walks free, living and working among unsuspecting families. And we firmly believe there are kids he has hurt who are suffering in silence, shame and self-blame.

    TVC staff should use their vast resources to alert parents, police, prosecutors and the public about Root’s crimes and to aggressively seek out youngsters he has assaulted. The church has a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement investigation and prosecute Root, so that other kids may be spared devastating harm.

    Adults can heal themselves, with or without apologies from complicit church officials. Kids, however, cannot protect themselves from clergy sex offenders without help from church officials. So TVC staff must change their priorities. Their first duty now is to warn the public about Root so that parents can safeguard their children from him.

    Everything else can come later. Words are easy. Reform is hard. Progress will happen if TVC staff take tangible steps to safeguard those at risk, help those in pain and prosecute those who have committed or concealed child sex crimes.

    Finally, in a letter to church members, Chandler writes of “failures” by TVC staff. That’s
    disingenuous. “Failure” is when a good faith effort somehow inadvertently goes awry. There was no “failure” here. Chandler and his colleagues acted with deliberation, thought and planning. They knew exactly what they were doing with Root’s crimes and Hinkley’s feelings. It’s a cop-out for them to talk of “failure.”

    We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Root or cover ups at TVC to speak up, get help, call police, protect kids, and expose and deter future wrongdoing. Breaking your silence is the first step toward healing, justice and prevention.

  239. Daisy wrote:

    Melissa wrote:

    The group splits if it gets too large..You’re always constantly getting to know others and “sharing your story.” This is not how the first church looked IMO.

    I am already hesitant to go back to a church again, but this makes it sound worse. I’m a pretty introverted type of person. I find it draining to be around new people. Once I get to know a group, I’d want to stick with that group.

    I would find it too overwhelming to have to keep meeting new people and discussing my background with new people over and over. That would be another reason for me to stay at home.

    Oh Daisy, I hear you. I’m hesitant to go back to church too. Add the pressure of joining a “small group”, and I’m really stressed..
    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to share our stories. But not as a “have to.” I think it should occur naturally, by promoting of the Spirit. Reality is, it takes time to really get to know someone. We’re talking years I think.. those someones are who we end up “doing life” with.
    The way, IMO, these home groups are created and fostered leads to (mostly) shallowness. But if asked, I think most would think they really know the people in their group.
    By and large, I think that’s our society as a whole. Do we really take the time to get to know somebody and their heart?

  240. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

    This is one of the most insightful comments I have read on TWW.

    Agreed

  241. K.D. wrote:

    And literally, I have nothing other than my faith in common with today’s SBC Memebers. I do not dress, I do not like the same hobbies, in small groups when they speak of things, I have no interest. I care little about football ( except English football) I no longer hunt due to my health, my son will probably never marry and have grandchildren, I didn’t retire from a refinery…and worst of all, in SS classes, I ask questions such as ” in the Greek it actually says.” And most people in this area couldn’t tell you the difference between KJV and RSV….they all believe Jesus will be here in the next year. They all believe that to be a Christian, you must be a Republican….( and I normally vote Tory, but not always.)
    It’s pretty depressing….

    I’ll add another layer..being married into a family heavily involved in the SBC or charismatic type movements (think Gateway church) in Texas where if you don’t speak Christianese you are considered a non believer at the worst, a black sheep at best. Where, as you have an about face or 180 regarding things of the Lord you quite literally feel like you have nowhere to go in your family or primary circle of influence. Where, as you mentioned, to be Christian you must be Republican. Better yet, a hard core conservative as republicans are now considered as atrocious as democrats. To have a family member as a state rep, voted the most conservative in the state and held on a pedestal as if that is a badge of honor as if fighting for Christ himself..
    I agree, it’s pretty depressing..

  242. Melissa wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    Max wrote:
    Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.
    This is one of the most insightful comments I have read on TWW.

    Agreed

    Melissa & Dr. Fundystan,

    I was young and now am old. I see things that I didn’t used to see – a long journey has a way of doing that if you have Jesus along for the ride. I carry a burden these days for a generation of 20s-40s who have opted for reform school, rather than “transformed” theology. They are missing so much of what Jesus desires in their lives.

  243. Bill M wrote:

    Abi Miah wrote:

    In most cases, a congregation and the greater world will assume that the leadership has facts to which they are not privy and that the situation is messier than is being presented, even if some of the victim’s side becomes public. This is a psychological phenomenon in which people give deference to their leaders

    I recall a few silencers came around here with the “you don’t have all the facts” when TWW first posted about Karen.
    You articulated a group dynamic that I wish more were aware of in churches. At the former church the pastors felt they were under undue scrutiny yet they largely had the ability to act without oversight. Things were done badly, people were being hurt yet many, who should have known better, praised God they had such a wonderful pastor. Sometimes this was done in the presence of those who were injured, furthering the injury.

    There is a happy medium between church leaders are idiots and church leaders are flawless. While the latter will be quickly dismissed, they will say “of course we don’t think our pastor is flawless” yet any critique is immediately discarded, effectively church members act as if the pastor is flawless. The situation I came from the pastor was young, the congregation had only seen him in action on a limited basis for a year and had little direct knowledge of his character. Those who were critical were double his age, decades in the church, long time contributors of time and resource, their character was well known and demonstrated. Yet most deferred to the pastor, seemingly without question or doubt.

    There is a tension between deference to leaders and questioning them. A good way to tell if it is off balance is how questioning is received or if it is an unwritten rule that questioning is not allowed. If this is the case it is an environment ripe for toxic leadership.

    I don’t recall if the “you don’t have all the facts” ploy was being used by freelancers “who didn’t have all the facts” or if it came directly from official TVC spokesmen who did. If the latter that would indicate a level of corruption that would necessitate their removal.

    Sorry, I’m on a roll this morning! I’ve dominated the blog waves here with my thoughts..
    Since TVC is in my backyard, and we found ourselves in an Acts 29 church (unknowingly until we knew what that was all about and left), I’ve had a vested interest in what’s happened at TVC, initially regarding Karen Hinkley.
    I firmly believe the “you don’t have all the facts” ploy came internally. I posted Amy Smith’s first write-up from her blog on my Facebook page. Immediately, I received a private message from a woman whose young 20s daughter attended a branch of TVC. She said these exact words. “Don’t believe everything you hear or read.” “You don’t have all the facts.” My response to her was firm. I said I wouldn’t post something for public consumption if it wasn’t properly vetted. I didn’t think Amy Smith would either, even though I don’t personally know her. Perhaps her young daughter needed to do her own research..
    Needless to say, I’ve never received an apology from her, and oddly enough we’re no longer “Facebook friends”..
    I think people quite like having their heads in the sand..

  244. Bill M wrote:

    I recall a few silencers came around here with the “you don’t have all the facts” when TWW first posted about Karen

    But the pressure came on The Village Church from a surprising number of sources around the world who cried *foul*. They were hit with a flurry of phone calls, texts, and tweets from outsiders. Lots of internet coverage when traditional media wouldn’t cover the story: Watchkeep, The Wartburg Watch, and The Daily
    Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/31/megachurch-stay-with-your-kiddie-porn-watching-husband-or-face-discipline.html)

    Conservative Baptist Pastor Wade Burleson wrote several pieces as well about how Matt Chandler and The Village Church needed to correct what they had done to Karen:

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/it-takes-village-covenant-to-raise.html

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/five-reasons-to-say-no-to-church.html

    People contacted The Village Church’s elders and told them: Follow the Biblical advice that Pastor Wade Burleson has given you.

    Chandler & Company couldn’t escape the heat.

  245. Max wrote:

    Agreed

    Melissa & Dr. Fundystan,

    I was young and now am old. I see things that I didn’t used to see – a long journey has a way of doing that if you have Jesus along for the ride. I carry a burden these days for a generation of 20s-40s who have opted for reform school, rather than “transformed” theology. They are missing so much of what Jesus desires in their lives.

    You are a true Elder, Max. Thank you for sharing here. I’m 37 years old, and I’m listening and learning from the likes of you and Gram 3, and others.

  246. Amy Smith wrote:

    Finally, in a letter to church members, Chandler writes of “failures” by TVC staff. That’s
    disingenuous. “Failure” is when a good faith effort somehow inadvertently goes awry. There was no “failure” here. Chandler and his colleagues acted with deliberation, thought and planning. They knew exactly what they were doing with Root’s crimes and Hinkley’s feelings. It’s a cop-out for them to talk of “failure.”

    Yes, it is a total mischaracterization of what they did and why they did it. They should have said their policies are sinful and were derived from false doctrines. What their “apology” boils down to is “mistakes were made.”

  247. Melissa wrote:

    I firmly believe the “you don’t have all the facts” ploy came internally.

    Straight from the top dude Matt Chandler, who by the way, is back at TVC this week after 8 WEEKS OFF. 8. WEEKS. In a row.

    @MattChandler74: @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran @XianJaneway there was/is WAY more to this story but don’t let that stop you from speculation
    https://twitter.com/mattchandler74/status/601385005693014016

    @MattChandler74: @XianJaneway @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran Karen coming out w/ her version of all this doesn’t make any legal difference to our ability to speak
    https://twitter.com/mattchandler74/status/601387316599328769

  248. Melissa wrote:

    I posted Amy Smith’s first write-up from her blog on my Facebook page. Immediately, I received a private message from a woman whose young 20s daughter attended a branch of TVC. She said these exact words. “Don’t believe everything you hear or read.” “You don’t have all the facts.” My response to her was firm. I said I wouldn’t post something for public consumption if it wasn’t properly vetted

    Good for you for being firm and standing your ground, Melissa! You are growing in discernment. The defenders of The Village Church were all over the internet and they made themselves look like fools for defending such hateful and un-Biblical treatment of Karen.

    As we have seen from other posters who go to *care groups* at The Village Church, nothing has changed about their sick DNA: they still practice authoritarian control over their members and attenders’ lives. Those who question Membership Covenants are dismissed from the groups. It’s all HATEFUL and un-Biblical.

    Here are Pastor Wade Burleson’s blog posts for you to read and if you think helpful to post on your Facebook page to share with others:

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/it-takes-village-covenant-to-raise.html

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/five-reasons-to-say-no-to-church.html

  249. @ Melissa:
    I posted something similar and immediately got 3 people (2 from TVC and 1 other) who came out of the woodwork with that line – one (a man) asked “who is this woman? How do we knew she’s telling the truth?” Good lord!

    I struggled with this story for a bit when it came out (cognitive dissonance!), just trying to process where the issues lie – it looked all wrong but I couldn’t always put my finger I where. It makes a lot more sense to me now, but at the time I wasn’t real sure how to answer, other than that I trusted all the sources.

    When I posted the subsequent apology, the two TVC members did not respond.

  250. Yesterday I watched Believe Me again. “Of course we can’t let anyone know about this. Can you imagine how it would ruin people’s faith?… and our donor list.” That definitely reminded me of The Village.

  251. This thought occurred to me…

    Apparently (and please correct me if I’m wrong) Jonathan Leeman and his ilk believe in pursuing “discipline” even after the disciplined party has expressed his/her intention to be disaffiliated with the 9 Marx / Ax 29 “church”. Really, I think this is an enormously stupid position to take, because belonging to a religion (or not) in the USA is a voluntary act. (Other countries, YMMV.) Granted, with these “covenants,” people like Leeman think they can rope people in under their “jurisdiction” forever.

    Now, consider this…I used to live in Utah, and I still live in the Jell-O belt. Back in the day, in order to really get free from the Mormon Church, you had to be excommunicated. This came to a hard stop in the late 1980s when a guy who lived here in Arizona simply wanted out of the church. He hadn’t done anything to get excommunicated, he just wanted out. But the only way was via excommunication. I think he lived in one of the small Mormon towns, like Snowflake or Safford, so being excommunicated was kind of the kiss of death for social relationships. So he filed a lawsuit, which was eventually dropped after the church agreed to take resignation letters and just drop people from the rolls.

    So, follow along with me here…suppose some Mormon ended up in an 9 Marx / Ax 29 church. Do you think the leadership would tell him/her that they should resign their Mormon church membership because it’s not the right church?? Well, then why shouldn’t Ax 29 / 9 Marx accept resignations if the person comes to the conclusion that the 9 Marx / Ax 29 church is not acting in a Christian manner or has, in point of fact, become unchristian?

    Jonathan Leeman, if you or your fanbois are reading here, you don’t get how *bad* it looks to those of us who are now on the outside of the household of faith that you’re trying to keep people in the church when they want out. It just makes your victims angry, it’s wrong, and it really does make you look like Scientology with its threats of disconnection.

  252. GovPappy wrote:

    one (a man) asked “who is this woman? How do we knew she’s telling the truth?” Good lord!

    People who haven’t been shoved through the authoritarian wood chipper themselves may not understand. It would have been fair to ask them what additional facts they had to refute Karen’s story. My guess is that this man possessed no other facts. I only hope that Chandler’s “apology” will at least cause him to question.

  253. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    The odd thing is that yes, he should have and does know better. He went to and escaped from Hyles Anderson College back in the day.

    You can take the man out of Fundyland, but….

  254. mirele wrote:

    Well, then why shouldn’t Ax 29 / 9 Marx accept resignations if the person comes to the conclusion that the 9 Marx / Ax 29 church is not acting in a Christian manner or has, in point of fact, become unchristian?

    As always, you see through the fog out there.

  255. @ GovPappy:
    Ack! This is why it’s important to understand the dynamics of spiritual abuse once you’ve experienced such a system. Otherwise you are susceptible to joining one abusive system after another.

  256. @ Amy Smith:
    I have heard that Matt chandler regrets ever saying that on Twitter. However, I am so glad that he did so. It proves that blogs have a place in the evangelical church. It forces churches who would cover up things to deal with them.

    I will call you tomorrow. I have a doozy of a story out of a close state to Texas. Child seriously sodomized by out of control teen. It was proven by hospital examination and the pedophile kid pleading guilty. Church is big on 9 Marks. Is now going after victim’s mother, victim, etc. Mom in touch with authorities, etc. This could be another one of those TVC stories. Mom kept a number of emails.

    I told her to contact Barbara Dorris since she is listed as regional for that state. Mom has done it and waiting for call back. I think you might find this story fascinating (albeit sickening for what the boy went through.)

    Once again, the church is pursuing the Mom since she resigned from the church. They claim she is under their authority until she joins an approved church. They are even interfering with her work life.

    This one is approaching TVC scale, I think.

  257. Max wrote:

    I carry a burden these days for a generation of 20s-40s who have opted for reform school, rather than “transformed” theology.

    What a great comment!

  258. mirele wrote:

    So, follow along with me here…suppose some Mormon ended up in an 9 Marx / Ax 29 church. Do you think the leadership would tell him/her that they should resign their Mormon church membership because it’s not the right church?? Well, then why shouldn’t Ax 29 / 9 Marx accept resignations if the person comes to the conclusion that the 9 Marx / Ax 29 church is not acting in a Christian manner or has, in point of fact, become unchristian?
    Jonathan Leeman, if you or your fanbois are reading here, you don’t get how *bad* it looks to those of us who are now on the outside of the household of faith that you’re trying to keep people in the church when they want out. It just makes your victims angry, it’s wrong, and it really does make you look like Scientology with its threats of disconnection.

    Mark Dever & Jonathan Leeman at 9Marx/Hotel California/Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. require, as do their Gulag NeoCal Church members, that new members tell their *testimonies*. Of course it would be fine for a person to leave a false church – like Mormonism – according to the NeoCals when this is shared in a personal testimony to join a church. But since Dever/Leeman and the NeoCals have set up a Roman Catholic Church structure where the local senior pastor is “The Pope” and the elders are “Cardinals”, they believe that they hold the power to determine whether someone is saved or not. Thus, any dissent gets one *keyed out* (Gram3’s phrase for excommunications/shunnings) because the Devers/Leemans and the Gulag NeoCal Fanboys believe that they are the *keeper of the keys to the Kingdom*.

    Remember they don’t *respect the priesthood of all believers* and have NO healthy problem-solving skills. Mark Dever’s “solution” to people leaving the church without *permission* was to create the oppressive, un-Biblical “Church Membership Covenants”, giving authoritarian control of members’ lives over to the leadership. (And of course violating the Bible’s commands to let your *yes* be *yes* and your *no* be *no*.)

    There is a healthy solution, of course, and it’s simple: Call members and ask them if they consider themselves to be members of the church or not. Mark Dever can’t be bothered to do that.

  259. Gram3 wrote:

    IIRC, when the story broke, Matt Chandler tweeted that critics of the ELDERS did not have all the facts. So, I guess he counts as an official spokesman for The Village.

    You wouldn’t have a screenshot of this from source you could post. I didn’t make the accusation lightly, for someone in the know to say others didn’t have the facts is deliberately manipulative and corrupt.

    At the time of the initial controversy I was unaware of this and hadn’t considered it till Abi Miah brought it up. If Matt Chandler is guilty of such manipulation and misdirection then he has to apologize to a lot more people, admit his corrupt behavior, and then resign. He will need to resign because such activity is antithetical to the level of responsibility he holds, period.

  260. mirele wrote:

    Well, then why shouldn’t Ax 29 / 9 Marx accept resignations if the person comes to the conclusion that the 9 Marx / Ax 29 church is not acting in a Christian manner or has, in point of fact, become unchristian?

    Because, as I learned to my utter shock and dismay, they believe they are not subject to the same rules. That’s why I say that the root issue with these and other such groups like the Reconstructionists is that they are, at heart, elitists. The ones like Leeman are among the ruling elites who are not subject to their own rules. They don’t care how they look to anyone except their supporters and potential supporters. Differing opinions are by definition wrong.

  261. dee wrote:

    I have heard that Matt chandler regrets ever saying that on Twitter.

    I believe that Chandler’s tweet, like “push her under our care,” is another instance of accidentally telling the truth in the sense of revealing what you are really all about. I am also sure he regrets all the ways in which the mask slipped and showed that he is Driscoll for the Big D.

  262. Bill M wrote:

    You wouldn’t have a screenshot of this from source you could post. I didn’t make the accusation lightly, for someone in the know to say others didn’t have the facts is deliberately manipulative and corrupt.

    Yes I do. Chandler tweeted it to me on the day I posted Karen’s story on my blog. And here is the direct link to see his tweet:
    https://twitter.com/mattchandler74/status/601385005693014016
    “@MattChandler74: @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran @XianJaneway there was/is WAY more to this story but don’t let that stop you from speculation”

  263. Bill M wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    IIRC, when the story broke, Matt Chandler tweeted that critics of the ELDERS did not have all the facts. So, I guess he counts as an official spokesman for The Village.

    You wouldn’t have a screenshot of this from source you could post. I didn’t make the accusation lightly, for someone in the know to say others didn’t have the facts is deliberately manipulative and corrupt.

    At the time of the initial controversy I was unaware of this and hadn’t considered it till Abi Miah brought it up. If Matt Chandler is guilty of such manipulation and misdirection then he has to apologize to a lot more people, admit his corrupt behavior, and then resign. He will need to resign because such activity is antithetical to the level of responsibility he holds, period.

    It was interesting – I believe Janeway was tweeting about it, and then another anonymous account added Chandler to the conversation, upon which he made those statements.

    Funny how these things work.

  264. Amy Smith wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    @ dee:
    Permission to swear, Deebs??

    B*stards. Jack*sses.

    Ha! You should have let me, as the man, say what needs to be said. Now you’re in discipline.

    I do need to ask your advice on something, or see if you know someone in my area that can help in a situation someone close to me is facing.

    I’ll contact you.

  265. Amy Smith wrote:

    “@MattChandler74: @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran @XianJaneway there was/is WAY more to this story but don’t let that stop you from speculation”

    Thanks, I had missed your prior comment with the same info. There are 12 people who marked Chandlers tweet as a favorite, groupies aren’t noted for discernment.

    I’ll keep the screen shot handy next time someone says Chandler should be completely exonerated because “he apologized”.

    I don’t have a twitter account but found it interesting that when I visited Chandler’s twitter account in the upper right was a “You may also like” listing @JohnPiper. Um no.

  266. @ Bill M:
    See Amy Smith’s comment upthread at 1:04. I don’t do Twitter, so I don’t have a screenshot. It was discussed here and I believe some other places when he tweeted it. I totally agree about the resignation, but I thought that about Mahaney and Driscoll and how many others. Elders are not held to a higher standard but a different and lower one, contrary to the Bible.

  267. @ Bill M:
    I’m curious what he meant by “way more to the story”, now that pretty much everything has come out and been discussed. Everything that came out afterward just made it look worse. Very misleading of him.

  268. @ Amy Smith:
    How interesting that these manly men are such fragile snowflakes. We saw the same thing play out on SBCVoices with Lydia, TheBiggestBullyInTheWorld. They could not respond to her substantive points, like Chandler, so they lash out or pout or deflect. Why not just answer straight questions with straight answers?

  269. GovPappy wrote:

    I’m curious what he meant by “way more to the story”

    I can’t think of a single innocent answer. Either he was so badly twisted he couldn’t grasp there was no rest of the story or he was maliciously manipulating the audience. While I lean to the latter, either interpretation reveals a lack of character, one that disqualifies him from holding such responsibility. Chandler should resign and become a brick layer as Driscoll should do.

  270. Gram3 wrote:

    Yes, it is a total mischaracterization of what they did and why they did it. They should have said their policies are sinful and were derived from false doctrines. What their “apology” boils down to is “mistakes were made.”

    And “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

  271. Melissa wrote:

    Needless to say, I’ve never received an apology from her, and oddly enough we’re no longer “Facebook friends”..
    I think people quite like having their heads in the sand..

    “Ignorance is Bliss and I WANT EUPHORIA!”

  272. Bill M wrote:

    I would like to think it was 27 family members and friends. No wonder these guys get a big head, way to much applause for villainy.

    I must say that the 27 surprised me. I honestly would have expected hundreds. Seriously. That is how bad the celebrity fanboys have it. I had crushes like that. In junior high.

  273. Bill M wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    I’m curious what he meant by “way more to the story”

    I can’t think of a single innocent answer. Either he was so badly twisted he couldn’t grasp there was no rest of the story or he was maliciously manipulating the audience. While I lean to the latter, either interpretation reveals a lack of character, one that disqualifies him from holding such responsibility. Chandler should resign and become a brick layer as Driscoll should do.

    I initially gave him the benefit of the doubt, but even though I thought the apology showed a good level of humility that isn’t seen much from his pastoral peers, there’s still a lot of disingenuous behavior that leaves questions. He either knows his system is broken and is still keeping on, or he’s still blinded to the fact that his system is not biblical and is also broken and has abuse written into it from the start whether it actually surfaces or not. Either way, he has a lot to answer for.

  274. Max wrote:

    They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

    Who needs “the love of Christ” when they have the Perfectly-Parsed Theology of CALVIN?

  275. GovPappy wrote:

    He either knows his system is broken and is still keeping on, or he’s still blinded to the fact that his system is not biblical and is also broken and has abuse written into it from the start whether it actually surfaces or not

    Matt Chandler knows the system is broken, authoritarian, and abusive. The status quo remains the same. The theology behind the system is wrong. If he took *change* seriously, then the recent stories on blogs (including here) of people who have been going to The Village Church, questioned Membership Covenants and were then excluded from their small groups, and who didn’t have time for small groups due to work/family life and were also subjected to authoritarian “lording it over” would not have happened!

  276. @ dee:

    Good for you dee. Keep the heat & the spotlights turned up on these dark fundagelical regimes so that they’ll think twice before attempting a cover up and insisting they have some kind of divine immunity from the laws everybody else must follow. I’ve always said that sooner or later the courts are gonna come down hard and heavy on them.

    And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
    And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

    — Bob Dylan —

  277. @ Amy Smith:
    i will have you know that I am only truly cowed by one person in my life and that is the Guy Behind the Curtain. I usually let things go through. He on the other hand, will chastise readers and me. i am not waiting for the inevitable phone call…”I thought we agreed…..”Forgive me GBTC, for I have sinned.

  278. okrapod wrote:

    If the definition of ‘the faith’ is limited to evangelicalism, perhaps that skews the percentage numbers for maturity at tad. Current evangelicalism does not seem to have maturity as a goal for it’s ideas. Follow the leader, recite back the party line, conform to the expectations of the group, learn and practice self hate and self distrust, always play by the man made rules with no questions asked–that does not lead to maturity. It is intellectual and emotional foot binding. It produces crippled people.

    Great point. Not long ago I heard a speaker give some of his thoughts about evangelicalism in America and what it has evolved into. He described it as a sort of Ponzi Scheme. Bring in lots of people..constantly bring in people but the goal of bringing in people is to bring in even more`people to a particular movement or group.

    And it becomes reciting the party line to belong to the group…there is little to no focus on maturing. There is a lot of focus on “following” the movement, guru, etc. There is no individualism which means there is really no developing of gifts and ultimately there is no real community. (we are often told the opposite that there is too much individualism)

    These end up as cookie cutter Christians in a mass Ponzi scheme with churches all around their cities vying for them to join their scheme.

  279. Abi Miah wrote:

    n most cases, a congregation and the greater world will assume that the leadership has facts to which they are not privy and that the situation is messier than is being presented, even if some of the victim’s side becomes public. This is a psychological phenomenon in which people give deference to their leaders, and in which the wounded or those who otherwise threaten the system become the enemy to the whole system as their stories threaten its stability. If there is a chance to pin everything on the victim, it will be. Or if not everything, then something like a “failure to forgive or reconcile” or “causing dissension.” Victims end up being the bad guys. Victims in the beginning of the process need to know this. Justice is unlikely. For most victims, there will be no exoneration until the body count becomes extremely high, and for some, never within their former circles. Church discipline as we are seeing practiced in the Neocalvinist groups and as used to be practiced in the charismatic shepherding groups is so very dangerous because of the way we human beings are affected by our social surroundings. We are much more vulnerable to being blinded than we think, much more prone to “group think” than we think.

    Brilliant and articulate.

  280. Velour wrote:

    the system is broken, authoritarian, and abusive.

    I haven’t seen the “C” word mentioned much in reference to the reformed movement (other than Calvinism, i.e.). But has anyone else noted that the practices of some New Calvinist leaders border on cultish? Consider the symptoms of this disease. Reports continue to stream in on this watchblog and others that members of some of these churches are living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. Such leaders have taken their marching orders from the teachings of a dead man, who departed from the scene over 500 years ago! (Good Lord, Calvin gets more airtime than Christ!) The system is patriarchal, in which they preach to men; women are treated as second-class citizens of the Kingdom. In these churches, the key word is CONTROL from the moment you put your John Henry on the membership covenant. Submission to the leadership is demanded and manipulated by the use of restrictive covenants, which can be extreme to the point of abuse (as in the case of Karen Hinkley). These leaders are often defensive and manipulative personalities, who demand submission, even if they change their views on doctrine or behavior. They insist that their followers conform to their mandates simply based on their own set of beliefs. When challenged, arrogance brushes it off. A good follower should never question message or methodology and must adhere to the guidelines or be shunned and expelled from church membership, even if their views have credible Biblical backing and support by others in the church. Yes, Velour, the system is broken, authoritarian, and abusive … and cultish in nature.

  281. Gram3 wrote:

    Orwell was a prophet.

    If by prophet you mean he was a good observer of human behavior of his day and figured it would continue, I agree. I used to read the news but swore off from it several years ago, it and the “Ministry of Truth” from Orwell’s book “1984” share many of the same attributes. I figured the press was just as bad then as it is now and he was only extrapolating.

    What surprises me in this last year is to find the propaganda also prevalent in the church. The “1984” analogy to the church is even complete with the “two minutes of hate”, i.e. Chandler’s diatribe against an anonymous critic, a rant that he later tried to expunge from the internet.

  282. Gram3 wrote:

    I believe that Chandler’s tweet, like “push her under our care,” is another instance of accidentally telling the truth in the sense of revealing what you are really all about. I am also sure he regrets all the ways in which the mask slipped and showed that he is Driscoll for the Big D.

    Yes. I am glad they say these sorts of things publicly. It tells us who they really are. What is worse is when they hide their true thoughts yet act on them in star chambers with no witnesses for the victim.

  283. Amy Smith wrote:

    “@MattChandler74: @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran @XianJaneway there was/is WAY more to this story but don’t let that stop you from speculation”

    This arrogance from a pastor is chilling.

  284. Max wrote:

    the system is broken, authoritarian, and abusive … and cultish in nature.

    Yes, Max. The NeoCal Church system is cultish. I have, however, tried to be careful to use that word with people still inside the Gulag NeoCal Church systems. If I use the word *cult*, their hackles go up and they are quite defensive. There is no discussion. But if I approach it from the gentler side, such as the authoritarian nature of the church and not recognizing the priesthood of all believers, Membership Covenants not being Biblical and simply let your *yes* mean *yes* and your *no* mean *no*, I can make greater *headway*.

    I am grateful that Dr. Ronald Enroth’s well-known books about leaving abusive churches/cultish churches such as Churches that Abuse and Recovering From Churches That Abuse he has made available for free on the internet in electronic version.

  285. Max wrote:

    the key word is CONTROL

    Actually they use the word “caring”. When they say “caring for people” be sure to run it through your handy universal translator from Star Trek, it comes out that the real meaning is “controlling people”.

  286. Amy Smith wrote:

    Everything else can come later. Words are easy. Reform is hard. Progress will happen if TVC staff take tangible steps to safeguard those at risk, help those in pain and prosecute those who have committed or concealed child sex crimes.

    You know, I think about this a lot. If they are walking Root through his “repentance” and are convinciing people that he is “under their care” then that requires that Root come clean about everything. Children he has groomed or abused are tracked down by the church and helped even if out of state. It also means that websites he was trawling are reported and tracked trying to help those kids out of that life. To “walk with him” is much more than just escorting him around church.

    This is the hard part that requires time and effort on the part of those who want the big titles and power. Those children are valuable. Just as valuable as Roots repentance which is about all we hear about. Well, maybe more because they are totally innocent.

  287. Lydia wrote:

    This arrogance from a pastor is chilling.

    No kidding – he sounds more like a snotty high school kid than a ‘pastor’ of a large church.

  288. Amy Smith wrote:

    @MattChandler74: @XianJaneway @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran Karen coming out w/ her version of all this doesn’t make any legal difference to our ability to speak

    What on earth does that mean? Creepy.

  289. roebuck wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    This arrogance from a pastor is chilling.

    No kidding – he sounds more like a snotty high school kid than a ‘pastor’ of a large church.

    Arrogant and snotty are the operative words to describe NeoCal pastors.

  290. mirele wrote:

    Apparently (and please correct me if I’m wrong) Jonathan Leeman and his ilk believe in pursuing “discipline” even after the disciplined party has expressed his/her intention to be disaffiliated with the 9 Marx / Ax 29 “church”. Really, I think this is an enormously stupid position to take, because belonging to a religion (or not) in the USA is a voluntary act. (Other countries, YMMV.) Granted, with these “covenants,” people like Leeman think they can rope people in under their “jurisdiction” forever.

    This is what I think the SBCvoices OP is ultimately about. The “church discipline” of 9 Marx is not going away. But the tracking people after they leave part, will. I think they are trying to save 9 Marx style discipline without it becoming a legal mess. But they will still expect people there to sign covenants and obey the elders.

  291. Bill M wrote:

    He will need to resign because such activity is antithetical to the level of responsibility he holds, period.

    I agree. It is a character and integrity issue. Even more so as a “pastor”. He was willfully trying to misdirect people. But our standards are very low today for pastors. In fact, they are often the ones who get the most passes.

  292. Lydia wrote:

    Amy Smith wrote:
    @MattChandler74: @XianJaneway @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran Karen coming out w/ her version of all this doesn’t make any legal difference to our ability to speak
    What on earth does that mean? Creepy.

    What it means is he really doesn’t think TVC did anything wrong. Legal ability to speak is saying Chandler believed he could say whatever he wanted about Karen and there was nothing Karen could do about it. I’ve said this way back upthread – Chandler didn’t really apologize because he thought TVC did anything wrong since TVC did everything right according the rules of Discipline as set out by the Discipline fanatics. The apologies were for getting caught.

  293. GovPappy wrote:

    ’m curious what he meant by “way more to the story”, now that pretty much everything has come out and been discussed.

    That was a standard response in the seeker mega world by leaders. It is meant to shut you up because the big leaders “know” and cannot tell you. The implication is that the victim has issues but as great men of God they are not going to tell the bad stuff on the victim. It is insidious and evil. And it happens all the time. People trust their leaders so usually buy into it immediately.

  294. GovPappy wrote:

    initially gave him the benefit of the doubt, but even though I thought the apology showed a good level of humility that isn’t seen much from his pastoral peers, there’s still a lot of disingenuous behavior that leaves questions.

    Most likely he took one for the YRR movement. He is prsident of Acts 29 and very popular in Reformed YRR circles. This scandal was not going away. And memories of Driscoll and Mahaney were still ringing in many ears. An apology was required to stop the bleeding.

  295. Oh and Lydia, look at how sickeningly sweet Miller is trying to be now to Dee. He really wants to save the whole Discipline is Biblical you heretics meme – they meant well they were just trying to be Gospelly Biblically about everything. One of those comments sorta sums up what all the Discipline fanbois really thinks which is that Karen failed because if she had only done as she was told then they could all brag about how she was bringing “glory to God” for saving her marriage and for her husbands miraculous repentance. See it was really all for the “glory of God” Why on earth are people against giving “glory to God.”

  296. Lydia wrote:

    The “church discipline” of 9 Marx is not going away. But the tracking people after they leave part, will

    I think the outrage over 9Marx’s abusive, cultish, Shepherding Movement [from the 1970s rebirthed with the new 9Marx terminology] is rising. Clear divisions are being seen even among the conservatives, including those who are say that 9Marks is not Biblical.

    We see implosion after implosion of Acts29/9Marx/SGM churches, child sexual abuse scandals (I expect more of these), and the SBC is losing record amounts of members (including older, long-time Christians), pastors being caught in gross sexual sins. Adding on to that laundry list of serious problems is their bizarre comp doctrine which even many conservative women aren’t buying (it’s really got more in common with Islam than our freedom in Christ)…and I see lots of trouble on the horizon for the NeoCals and 9Marx. The NeoCals have offended so many conservative women, who are the mainstay of the church, that the discussions we see under way right now on SBC blogs are really a sign of a much greater crisis. And they all know it.

  297. @ Lydia:
    I think too that “way more to the story” is a way of them “lording” it over those they consider just not mature enough to understand that their ways are not the ways of the mere mortals questioning them and that they are more mature in Christ while everyone else are babies and not ready to handle such important spiritual tasks.

  298. Max wrote:

    But has anyone else noted that the practices of some New Calvinist leaders border on cultish? Consider the symptoms of this disease. Reports continue to stream in on this watchblog and others that members of some of these churches are living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

    Here ya go! This is what you are seeing…the basics of Thought Reform:

    http://changingminds.org/techniques/conversion/lifton_thought_reform.htm

  299. @ Velour:
    The SBC is losing members and yet planting a whole bunch of new churches. What kind of math is that? These new Acts29 DNA SBC churches simply steal members from existing churches by claiming to be more “biblical” and “doctrinally sound” than existing SBC churches and the existing SBC churches are the ones funding these churches who take their members.

  300. Celia wrote:

    Oh and Lydia, look at how sickeningly sweet Miller is trying to be now to Dee. He really wants to save the whole Discipline is Biblical you heretics meme – they meant well they were just trying to be Gospelly Biblically about everything.

    They have a history of playing people off each other. Saw it for years and have had it done to me.

  301. Celia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    The SBC is losing members and yet planting a whole bunch of new churches. What kind of math is that? These new Acts29 DNA SBC churches simply steal members from existing churches by claiming to be more “biblical” and “doctrinally sound” than existing SBC churches and the existing SBC churches are the ones funding these churches who take their members.

    Agreed. It’s too bad that the SBC doesn’t address the problems that they already have.

  302. Celia wrote:

    ne of those comments sorta sums up what all the Discipline fanbois really thinks which is that Karen failed because if she had only done as she was told then they could all brag about how she was bringing “glory to God” for saving her marriage and for her husbands miraculous repentance. See it was really all for the “glory of God” Why on earth are people against giving “glory to God.”

    Yes. They expect Karen to stay married to a pedophile so that she must spend her life sleeping with one eye open? Do they even consider what it would be to have children in such a marriage? See, she is not important. She is not valued.

    Thank goodness Jesus Christ values her!

    I really believed at one point if they were just educated about Pedophilia they would change their view. I no longer believe that. They don’t want to be educated about it. They don’t want to change their view.

  303. Celia wrote:

    he SBC is losing members and yet planting a whole bunch of new churches. What kind of math is that? These new Acts29 DNA SBC churches simply steal members from existing churches by claiming to be more “biblical” and “doctrinally sound” than existing SBC churches and the existing SBC churches are the ones funding these churches who take their members.

    Well, you summed it up quite nicely. :o)

  304. Lydia wrote:

    Amy Smith wrote:
    @MattChandler74: @XianJaneway @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran Karen coming out w/ her version of all this doesn’t make any legal difference to our ability to speak
    What on earth does that mean? Creepy.

    IIRC he used that as a dodge to explain what was going on in The Village. You know, “I would love to give you all the details which you don’t know and which would totally change the way you evaluate this situation, but our legal advisors have counseled us not to speak further on this matter.”

    I think there was quite a lot of that employed during the SGM fiasco as well.

  305. @ Bill M:
    Agree totally about the press. Used to be there were two newspapers in town and you knew to check with the conservative one to see what the liberals were up to and with the liberal one to see what the conservatives were up to. Now we have this fake “objectivity” that everyone pretends to believe but no one actually does. What is worse is that there are some who believe everything or disbelieve everything a particular outlet says.

    WRT the church, propaganda has no place. Period. Unless the leaders do not intend to lead a New Testament church. In that case, propaganda is a great idea because it works and capitalizes on our inherent laziness and desire to have easy answers. Bereans were the ones who were not so easily propagandized, but who is vilified in the authoritarian churches today? The good guys who trust but verify. Nowadays, I’m inclined to say verify and then provisionally trust.

  306. @ Celia:

    You know what is really clever about Leeman’s statements and quotes from his book? He claims they cannot do anything outside the Gospel (Bible). But wait! They get to define the Gospel and interpret the bible as pastors/elders for everyone else!

    See, no matter how you slice it, they have developed a system of control. There is no way around that if you agree to their system. All their explanations about how it is not controlling but biblical are moot. They present themselves as not really having the power their system gives them. It is the trick of most of the YRR that there are double meanings and redefinitions of everything. YOu think you are talking about the same thing with them but you really aren’t. You just may not have figured that out yet.

    They cannot lose their brand of church discipline. It is in their DNA. Miller is disingenuous because he leaves out the fact that the YRR movement has been top down determinism since day one. Hierarchy is inbred in that movement/system. There is NO soul liberty or a true priesthood in that system for check and balance.

    So add all that to “church discipline” and you have a disaster waiting. It is not about finding the wise and godly leaders because the very system would cause those types to eventually become entitled or tyrants of some sort. Entitled benevolant dictator is about the best you can get in that system.

  307. Lydia wrote:

    Bill M wrote:

    He will need to resign because such activity is antithetical to the level of responsibility he holds, period.

    I agree. It is a character and integrity issue. Even more so as a “pastor”. He was willfully trying to misdirect people. But our standards are very low today for pastors. In fact, they are often the ones who get the most passes.

    Indeed. Oddly enough, spin of that nature is not a big deal these days. We’re perhaps a bit numb to it in light of other things pastors do, like, say, trying to hire a prostitute.

    Upon further thought, what was most shocking about the fact that he went to Karen’s turf and apologized is that none of his peers seem interested in doing anything of that nature when they and/or their doctrine fail anyone, even if it was little better than a publicity stunt performed for their own best interest! How great is the pride?!

    Isn’t this madness – those who are supposed to be the most spiritual of us all (I’m being slightly facetious here) can’t do the most basic decent thing and humbly apologize to the wronged one?

  308. @ Lydia:
    Certainly the bad press had to be getting to him.

    “Forced to stay married to a pedophile” does not play well in the world audience, shockingly enough. Apparently it’s alright in churches though.

  309. Celia wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Amy Smith wrote:
    @MattChandler74: @XianJaneway @watchkeep @Lex_Lutheran Karen coming out w/ her version of all this doesn’t make any legal difference to our ability to speak
    What on earth does that mean? Creepy.
    What it means is he really doesn’t think TVC did anything wrong. Legal ability to speak is saying Chandler believed he could say whatever he wanted about Karen and there was nothing Karen could do about it. I’ve said this way back upthread – Chandler didn’t really apologize because he thought TVC did anything wrong since TVC did everything right according the rules of Discipline as set out by the Discipline fanatics. The apologies were for getting caught.

    It sounded, to me, like a bit of a scare tactic aimed at Karen.

  310. Lydia wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:
    ’m curious what he meant by “way more to the story”, now that pretty much everything has come out and been discussed.
    That was a standard response in the seeker mega world by leaders. It is meant to shut you up because the big leaders “know” and cannot tell you. The implication is that the victim has issues but as great men of God they are not going to tell the bad stuff on the victim. It is insidious and evil. And it happens all the time. People trust their leaders so usually buy into it immediately.

    It is insidious. I think there are two reasons why it is effective: 1) we all have multiple real life experiences in which we heard only one side and then found out other factors from the other point of view that resulted in a different picture. That’s life. 2) As stated above, people want to trust their leaders, particularly their spiritual leaders.

    #1 and #2 are not bad in and of themselves, as long as we are aware that these are our default and can also keep in mind that there are instances in which there really aren’t “two sides” to the story and there are leaders who are not trustworthy.

    There are not two “sides” to be equally weighed when abuse is involved. There are not two “sides” when one “side” lies. There is typically one side in the case of serial adultery, etc. Church leaders, in contrast, get much more of a pass than secular leaders. Any peon in a company upon hearing similar goings-on is going to entertain the hypothesis that the boss could be the one concealing something. (Peon may well keep this hypothesis to him/herself if the job is needed, but is less likely to be naive about it than congregant.) However, it is likely to take much, much more evidence for the same person who would sniff it out in their boss to to have the “leader is dishonest” hypothesis enter consciousness when they are wearing their “church congregant hat” unless there has been prior experience with a dishonest preacher. It causes much more cognitive dissonance and is more destabilizing to the community and even people’s faith. People resist entertaining the idea because it is more uncomfortable to do so than to blame a victim.

  311. Lydia wrote:

    This is what I think the SBCvoices OP is ultimately about.

    Reading the thread over there I noticed one person still pulling out the “we don’t know the rest of the story” ploy about TVC, at this late date. It was interesting when Dee called him on it and he did a passive/aggressive move to falsely claim he wasn’t aware the subject had changed to TVC when TVC was the only example cited in the original posting, the subject hadn’t changed.

    Reflecting on the days when I tracked the political discussions I noted occasions when a political flack would offer up a fallacious story, it would get knocked down as untrue, and then later in the week I see the same guy on another show use the same story again. To say it again, I’m surprised to see this same level of corruption in the church.

  312. @ Lydia:
    I have my moments 🙂 So why is it that these Act29/SBC churches are allowed to accept membership from a sister SBC church when they would not allow members to leave their church for the same types of reasons ie direction of church, doctrinal differences, music, type/lack of programs. Under this whole Discipline fetish shouldn’t these churches respect the authority other gospelly sound churches have over their members. Aren’t they hurting the name of Christ by accepting members leaving legimate churches. The charade that these neoCals don’t actually believe that only Calvinist are Christians.

  313. Celia wrote:

    These new Acts29 DNA SBC churches simply steal members from existing churches by claiming to be more “biblical” and “doctrinally sound” than existing SBC churches and the existing SBC churches are the ones funding these churches who take their members.

    It is a parasitic movement that is living off of the capital invested by prior generations. Like all parasites, it will eventually kill the host. That is why so many older, committed, serious and Biblically literate people are leaving. Or others are staying but keeping their distance from leadership in a sort of detente.

  314. @ Lydia:
    Somewhat OT but just recently at Voices Miller has the OP about why the annual SBC meeting doesn’t attract the same number of people as the show put on by NAMB. Well first off the SBC is now filled with a bunch of entitled children who have to be entertained. Notice all the praise for the NAMB meeting had “music” and “star” speakers. These young guys go from conference to conference looking for a mountaintop experience because they are really so shallow with only their intellectual knowlege that their faith doesn’t help much in the day to day drudges of life and reality. They have to be continually fed because they are not able to sustain themselves with just their Bible and the Holy Spirit (which incidentally most of them don’t seem to think actually does anything after regeneration)

    The second reason is these guys are not congregationalists so of course they don’t want to go to what is the biggest Baptist Business Meeting in the world. The SBC Annual meeting isn’t about “feeding” weak children in the faith – it’s about doing the nuts and bolts boring stuff of running the SBC. These neoCals would really prefer and believe that the decisions of the SBC should be left to “experts” and “elders” just like they’ve set up their churches.

  315. Celia wrote:

    Oh and Lydia, look at how sickeningly sweet Miller is trying to be now to Dee. He really wants to save the whole Discipline is Biblical you heretics meme – they meant well they were just trying to be Gospelly Biblically about everything

    Miller is making a bare assertion which has no way of proving. He is assuming good motives for Chandler and the ELDERS. But Miller provides no basis or evidence for his assertion. I suspect it is because Chandler is cool and gets the benefit of the doubt at Voices just like Driscoll and Mahaney and Dever regarding Mahaney and Mohler regarding Mahaney. They love the men more than the Church and her people and certainly more than they love Jesus, as far as we can tell by their reactions which display what their real concerns are. They have a form of godliness which is why we got all the sin-leveling nonsense. It, like most of what Piper says, sounds very pious and godly. But it is nothing like Jesus.

  316. Actually it would be worthy to study the thread over at SBCVoices and see if tarhe-l missed any of the ploys of misdirection, obfuscation, passive/agressive, distraction, faulty dirstribution, invalid sampling, Reductio Ad Absurdum, appeal to moderation, tautology, and just plain Ad Hominem attacks. It was a tour de force on dishonest tactics.

  317. dee wrote:

    This could be another one of those TVC stories. Mom kept a number of emails.

    I’m so glad mom has the emails. That lessons the chances of playing whack-a-mole with the church “leadership.”

  318. GovPappy wrote:

    “Forced to stay married to a pedophile” does not play well in the world audience, shockingly enough. Apparently it’s alright in churches though.

    The unbelievers know that is wrong. Why is it so difficult for these supposed teachers of the Gospel to see what was done is wrong? You saw a bit of the contempt they have toward what people outside their bubble think by Tarheel’s attack on Mirele. This man is a pastor? He and J.D. must have been separated at birth. If they would just learn to listen to someone outside their amen bubble there might be hope for them to learn something. I cannot believe what has happened to the conservative church in my lifetime.

  319. @ Gram3:
    Gram, I’m having troubling copying links for some reason. Go over to Voices and go down the page to their search engine, type in “I Thank God for Mark Driscoll” by Dave Miller. Miller and Co for years dismissed any critcism of Driscoll the way they still dismiss every criticism against the neoCals. Miller just oozes contempt to this one guy over there Rick someone. He can’t ban the guy because he’s just so darn nice but Miller goes apopaletic every time he posts. People who see a problem with the whole neoCal movement are just haters filled with bitterness and/or tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. They go full Alinsky (as evidenced when Lydia was posting yesterday) whenever anyone says anything about neoCals in the SBC.

  320. @ Gram3:
    Sometimes I think they forget that that blog is a public blog and a lot of people just go there to see what crazy stuff they’re saying now. But then I think they really do live in a safe little bubble and have no clue how badly they look not just to the world at large but to a whole lot of other Christians.

  321. Velour wrote:

    Good for you for being firm and standing your ground, Melissa! You are growing in discernment. The defenders of The Village Church were all over the internet and they made themselves look like fools for defending such hateful and un-Biblical treatment of Karen.
    As we have seen from other posters who go to *care groups* at The Village Church, nothing has changed about their sick DNA: they still practice authoritarian control over their members and attenders’ lives. Those who question Membership Covenants are dismissed from the groups. It’s all HATEFUL and un-Biblical.
    Here are Pastor Wade Burleson’s blog posts for you to read and if you think helpful to post on your Facebook page to share with others:
    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/it-takes-village-covenant-to-raise.html
    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/05/five-reasons-to-say-no-to-church.html

    Why does growing in discernment seem so painful at times? Does that make any sense? Why does it seem so…isolating?
    Thank you for the links to Wade Burleson’s posts. I will take a look at them.

  322. Gram3 wrote:

    Pappy

    It’s kind of a church litmus test for sanity, ain’t it. Does this, or does it not, shock you?

    TVC failed the test.

  323. Abi Miah wrote:

    However, it is likely to take much, much more evidence for the same person who would sniff it out in their boss to to have the “leader is dishonest” hypothesis enter consciousness when they are wearing their “church congregant hat” unless there has been prior experience with a dishonest preacher. It causes much more cognitive dissonance and is more destabilizing to the community and even people’s faith. People resist entertaining the idea because it is more uncomfortable to do so than to blame a victim.

    I have a name for it: Social Darwinism. When I was in the seeker mega world, it became obvious to me it was built on a foundation of social Darwinism. Basically their view is that you would not be a victim if you had it together. If you have it together (or had good parents) you would never be in a victim situation. The victim becomes a target because they are an easy target or they would not be a victim. It is circular thinking. IN a nutshell: If you are a victim, you either deserved it or were neglected by your parents. So they use the language of “bring glory to God with your instant forgiveness so we can all forget about it” You can only become Holy as a victim with instant forgiveness and forget it ever happened. The bad person gets off scott free. The victim becomes their “savior”.

    They don’t even know there is another way to think. That is why I recommend people get out.

  324. GovPappy wrote:

    those who are supposed to be the most spiritual of us all (I’m being slightly facetious here) can’t do the most basic decent thing and humbly apologize to the wronged one?

    You likely agree but I’ll take off from your comment and add God doesn’t call us to apologize, he calls us to repentance. I didn’t see that as part of the equation in Chandler’s response after all the negative press over their abhorrent, abominable, despicable, odious, outrageous discipline. Sorry a swear word would have been quicker.

    I am certain we have not heard the last of issues at TVC, just trying to be nicer authoritarian despots is not the solution.

  325. Celia wrote:

    Under this whole Discipline fetish shouldn’t these churches respect the authority other gospelly sound churches have over their members.

    You mean like CJ fleeing to Dever’s 9 Marx church and welcomed with open arms instead of following the SGM guidelines for pastors who in discipline?

  326. Bill M wrote:

    You likely agree but I’ll take off from your comment and add God doesn’t call us to apologize, he calls us to repentance.

    Thank you! You “apologize” for spilling tea on tablecloth.

  327. Lydia wrote:

    I am convinced that OP is about saving 9 Marx church discipline

    I am convinced the whole idea of discipline practiced as a negative is well off the mark. In an example where I was involved, a group of friends went to the friend in question and laid out a path of redemption that started with repentance. These were people who were already known to each other, not some relatively unknown elder or pastor, people who were already involved in the person’s life. It was delivered with a desire of truly wanting the best for the person and offering help. It was received as true caring and not controlling. It took over a year for the person to hit bottom and their eyes to be opened, but I was later told the promise of a path to recovery of our relationship and their reputation made an impact.

    This idea of a seeming police state, shunning people, using the stick to discipline will not bring redemption, instead it will alienate. I was involved in a church of over two hundred fifty regular attenders for four decades and for much of that time was part of the group that dealt with such issues and I can only cite one example. That these people spend so much time and energy on such a small matter as discipline, elevating a non essential, is emblematic of a repressive regime that I would run from.

  328. Celia wrote:

    Somewhat OT but just recently at Voices Miller has the OP about why the annual SBC meeting doesn’t attract the same number of people as the show put on by NAMB.

    When my folks were attending every year there were 20-30 THOUSAND attending. This was back in the 90’s. Think about that. Now they have 5-6 Thousand. Here is the real reason: SBC churches, for the majority, used to be run by the members. Now it is run by the staff/elders. The churches are now mostly top down instead of bottom up as they used to be.

    The convention is now mostly made up of church staffers and elders attending. My last pastor did not even attend when it was in town. He insisted non staff members attend as it was meant to be.

    So what changed? I believe a generation that understood the need for basic democracy is dying off. They understood the dangers of any sort of tyranny. Especially at church! They understood soul freedom and the priesthood. I see the problem all around us. We now have too many who want others to think and do for them. Because thinking and doing are hard.

  329. @Bill M. – I like your illustration of discipline. I had a similar experience with a friend of mine who moved her boyfriend into her house, after I had just moved in. I confronted her, talked to her small group leader, and promptly moved out. Six months later she came and repented to me. Said boyfriend was really trying to get her money, unfortunately.

  330. Bill M wrote:

    That these people spend so much time and energy on such a small matter as discipline, elevating a non essential, is emblematic of a repressive regime that I would run from.

    This is key. Beware what they focus on.

    Miller tries to present 9 Marx system as “restoring” but he is not taking into consideration WHO is authorized to “restore” in that system. It is not really the entire Body doing the restoring.

    I think the 9 Marx system took a hit soon after too many other YRR scandals and some are worried about future legal implications. I think the OP is a way to float a trial balloon in that tribe to save it. So they will STILL sin sniff and discipline away…. IF they can keep you there. I think it was all set up from Leeman to Anonymous. Those are typical tactics in that world. And I am mean for even mentioning it. :o) But seen it way too many times. And when you see an OP you KNOW for a fact is trying to change opinion but is not true, you become very suspicious. This is what happened with me concerning another story over there a few years ago. I knew the situation personally from two totally different people involved who did not know each other! So the OP was meant to send a totally different message from what actually happened. Spin! In the name of Jesus!

  331. @ Lydia:
    I remember the days when it was a big deal to be/choose messengers to the SBC. Then after the SBC the following Sunday night service was spent reporting about what happened at the meeting. A lot of SBC members today aren’t even aware their church IS SBC or that there’s an annual meeting where their church sends messengers.

  332. @ Celia:

    It was a big deal. People planned their vacation time to attend and vote. All that started to change around the late 90’s.

  333. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Six months later she came and repented to me.

    I don’t think that’s quite the right term. She admitted to you that she had been wrong, apologized perhaps, owned up and wanted to make it right. You don’t ‘repent’ to a human person, you repent to God.

  334. @ Lydia:
    Notice Miller keeps ignoring what Dee is actually saying and he’s implying that she is against Biblical church discipline. He doesn’t want to address the issue which is Leeman believes church members should not be allowed to leave because they have theological or some other practical differences with the church. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the direction the church is going you have to stay because the elders are your authority and they decide the direction of the church. And then there’s that one poor guy who just hasn’t picked up on why churches shunning and ostracizing whole families is such a bad thing

  335. @ Lydia:
    Now the neoCals spend their free time following after their church idols. No time for the work of the SBC – it’s so boring. I scream at the screen when they complain about the SBC not being super de douper “spiritual” DO YOU NOT KNOW IT’S A BUSINESS MEETING and NOT A WORSHIP SERVICE!

  336. GovPappy wrote:

    Certainly the bad press had to be getting to him.
    “Forced to stay married to a pedophile” does not play well in the world audience, shockingly enough. Apparently it’s alright in churches though.

    But it would have worked perfectly had Karen followed the covenant she signed and said nothing publicly. (Do you recall some TVC folks actually calling her a sinner for not following the covenant she signed? That was more of a sin to them than pedophilia!)

    Now the problem is how to make sure victims keep their mouths shut and obey the elders.

  337. @ Celia:

    The last SBC church I was in was hiring a new pastor. A YRR guy– but they did not really know that at the time. The young interim pastor told us we did not need to vote because the Holy Spirit has spoken. I was aghast. I left and never went back. And lectured the poor kids all the way home about cult thinking. :o)

  338. @ Lydia:
    I know of church where the Pulpit Committee brings in candidate for Sunday morning service and then at the end of the service the church had to vote. The “elders” said an immediate vote was necessary so people wouldn’t “gossip” with any extra time.

  339. Lydia wrote:

    Miller tries to present 9 Marx system as “restoring” but he is not taking into consideration WHO is authorized to “restore” in that system. It is not really the entire Body doing the restoring.
    I think the 9 Marx system took a hit soon after too many other YRR scandals and some are worried about future legal implications. I think the OP is a way to float a trial balloon in that tribe to save it

    Miller never posted my post over at SBC Voices which has been there since yesterday: The story of watching one of conservative Pastor John MacArthur’s (Grace Community Church, Southern California) long-time, close personal friends (a godly doctor, married for more than 45+ years) get excommunicated and shunned at my former Gulag NeoCal Church in another California city.

    The godly doctor’s “crime”? He disagreed in private with how the pastors/elders were running the church and based it on the Bible. The senior pastor told the entire church that they had *tried to work with him for years* but he just wouldn’t come around. Read: Obey their un-Biblical nonsense. The senior pastor said that all of the elders were in agreement that the doctor was to be excommunicated and shunned.

    The senior pastor told the entire church to *pray for the [doctor’s] wife*. Curiously, when I spoke to the doctor’s wife after I left that Gulag NeoCal Church she told a different story: She said she had never liked the senior pastor or the elders or the church and HAD ALWAYS WARNED HER HUSBAND THAT THEY SHOULD NOT GO TO CHURCH THERE!

    The excommunication/shunning/dragging-the-doctor’s-name through the mud of Pastor John MacArthur’s good friend outraged Pastor MacArthur, which Dave Miller doesn’t want posted on his blog. It discredits Mark Dever/Jonathan Leeman/and 9Marx.
    It shows just how bizarre their movement is, completely lacking in credibility.

  340. Celia wrote:

    Notice Miller keeps ignoring what Dee is actually saying and he’s implying that she is against Biblical church discipline.

    Because that is the meme. If you disagree on x it means you don’t believe the bible. If you disagree on Y it means you do not know Jesus Christ. And so on. If Dee disagrees with them about church discipline it must mean she is against all church discipline. That is their meme. It is how they win.

    It is a form of gaslighting. You can’t win or persuade. You can keep trying and most folks will give in a bit to find “unity” cos they are afraid of being seen as mean. When that happens they have won the debate because they persuaded you to their way of thinking. No matter what, they win. That is how it is set up.

    If you won’t back down then you are evil and are calling people pedophiles. When, in fact, poor Tyler was the one who said he deserved the same wrath of God as a pedophile. So what does that mean?

  341. @ Lydia:

    Oh, I forgot. If Dee disagrees with them about church discipline in any way then it must mean she thinks fornicating at church is ok. She is giving off that “vibe” because she does not word it in a way to make them right. She has to compromise. They don’t.

    They set up a total false dichotomy so they always win.
    Seriously, this is how they “debate”.

  342. Bill M wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    those who are supposed to be the most spiritual of us all (I’m being slightly facetious here) can’t do the most basic decent thing and humbly apologize to the wronged one?

    You likely agree but I’ll take off from your comment and add God doesn’t call us to apologize, he calls us to repentance. I didn’t see that as part of the equation in Chandler’s response after all the negative press over their abhorrent, abominable, despicable, odious, outrageous discipline. Sorry a swear word would have been quicker.

    I am certain we have not heard the last of issues at TVC, just trying to be nicer authoritarian despots is not the solution.

    Oh yes – an apology is at best only the start. I was hoping it would be the start. I’m an optimist. But I keep hearing it’s still happening. Not looking good.

  343. Lydia wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    Certainly the bad press had to be getting to him.
    “Forced to stay married to a pedophile” does not play well in the world audience, shockingly enough. Apparently it’s alright in churches though.

    But it would have worked perfectly had Karen followed the covenant she signed and said nothing publicly. (Do you recall some TVC folks actually calling her a sinner for not following the covenant she signed? That was more of a sin to them than pedophilia!)

    Now the problem is how to make sure victims keep their mouths shut and obey the elders.

    Oh yeah.

    Like someone has already said basically – they ran into the perfect opposition for their system, and lost. It does not work.

  344. Velour wrote:

    Miller never posted my post over at SBC Voices which has been there since yesterday: The story of watching one of conservative Pastor John MacArthur’s (Grace Community Church, Southern California) long-time, close personal friends (a godly doctor, married for more than 45+ years) get excommunicated and shunned at my former Gulag NeoCal Church in another California city.

    They have a history of not allowing people to use names of actual churches or gurus that abuse over there UNLESS they do in the OP. Which is rare and only in very vague ways like the current OP we are discussing which is about “church discipline” but not directly TVC …..which prompted the OP.

    It protects their livelihood.

  345. @ Lydia:
    They’re also pretending that the only discipline if you leave the church while under discipline is that they will refuse to forward a letter. They don’t want to deal with the whole shunning/ostracizing of the whole family thing.

  346. Bill M wrote:

    Actually it would be worthy to study the thread over at SBCVoices and see if tarhe-l missed any of the ploys of misdirection, obfuscation, passive/agressive, distraction, faulty dirstribution, invalid sampling, Reductio Ad Absurdum, appeal to moderation, tautology, and just plain Ad Hominem attacks. It was a tour de force on dishonest tactics.

    You would love RBMW. It would either drive you crazy or make you laugh hysterically.

  347. Celia wrote:

    he “elders” said an immediate vote was necessary so people wouldn’t “gossip” with any extra time.

    Yes, the pew peons are such children. How can people stay in those sorts of situations and go to work on Monday and function as actual adults in the real world? I don’t get it. Do they forfeit their adult minds when they walk in?

  348. Celia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Sometimes I think they forget that that blog is a public blog and a lot of people just go there to see what crazy stuff they’re saying now. But then I think they really do live in a safe little bubble and have no clue how badly they look not just to the world at large but to a whole lot of other Christians.

    Gramp3 calls them junior high boys. I thought high school, but he says junior high, and I must submit.

  349. @ Celia:

    Yes. They will do what the seekers did. They will be civil to you in public but when your name comes up they quote 1 John 2:19.

  350. Melissa wrote:

    Why does growing in discernment seem so painful at times? Does that make any sense? Why does it seem so…isolating?

    Yes, Melissa, it does make sense: That growing in discernment can be painful and isolating. Why? I have been pondering this question as well recently.

    Here are some of my thoughts:
    *We have little power to change sick systems and people.
    *We either *go along* to *get along* or we don’t.
    *Sick systems aren’t always readily apparent to many of us. There are many nice people and good things that happen in sick systems. Sooner or later we make a choice.
    *Since when did those in power in churches hold all of the power? Since when were they better than the rest of us? Than you? Than me?
    *Doing the right thing will always come with a price. You, rightly, questioned the sick, authoritarian Village Church system that brutalized Karen and didn’t show her the love of Christ. So some woman there who defended the system didn’t like it, didn’t like your Facebook post, and she challenged you and unfriended you. Her loss. It’s too bad she’s an immature as the rest of them.
    *I’d rather have the Holy Spirit lead me out of a sick church system, than collude with hurting brothers and sisters in the Lord, with hurting children.
    *In the end, we walk with Jesus. We don’t walk with a pastor.
    *So many of these Gulag NeoCal Church leaders say all of the right Gospely-sounding things. But, as Max pointed out on one of his posts, it’s all about the flesh for the NeoCals and the love of Jesus Christ hasn’t transformed them.

  351. Lydia wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Miller never posted my post over at SBC Voices which has been there since yesterday: The story of watching one of conservative Pastor John MacArthur’s (Grace Community Church, Southern California) long-time, close personal friends (a godly doctor, married for more than 45+ years) get excommunicated and shunned at my former Gulag NeoCal Church in another California city.

    They have a history of not allowing people to use names of actual churches or gurus that abuse over there UNLESS they do in the OP. Which is rare and only in very vague ways like the current OP we are discussing which is about “church discipline” but not directly TVC …..which prompted the OP.

    It protects their livelihood.

    Oh, I didn’t use the name of the church or the names of the pastors/elders at my former Gulag NeoCal Church. I did point out that the man who was treated to such DISGRACEFL, un-godly, un-Christian conduct…is a long-time personal friend of Pastor John MacArthur’s and even he was outraged!

    If they are defending their *system*, why don’t they mind posting a candid story like this one? Because…they know, I know, and you know…that it makes Mark Dever/Jonathan Leeman/and 9Marx and the system they defend look horrible.

  352. Lydia wrote:

    Been blogging around Max for several years. He has many gems to share with us.

    Yep, Sister Lydia and I have hung out in cyberspace together since the YRR rebellion started. As I’ve told her before, she is one of the most godly men I know. ;^) Her insight on the influencers and dynamics of the New Calvinist movement, particularly within the SBC, agree with what I am observing. We carry the same burden – we are kindred spirits for the cause of Christ.

    Lydia, I would like to say I’ve seen and heard it all, but the watchblogs keep the revelations coming. When will this madness end?

  353. Lydia wrote:

    Because that is the meme. If you disagree on x it means you don’t believe the bible. If you disagree on Y it means you do not know Jesus Christ. And so on. If Dee disagrees with them about church discipline it must mean she is against all church discipline. That is their meme. It is how they win.

    I think the term may be setting up a “false dilemma” but it has been forty years since my debate classes in college so I’m willing to be corrected. One of the basics back then was to identify the various dishonest debating tactics so you would not get bogged down or get side tracked.

    Reading over at the SBCVoices thread was a textbook case of dishonest tactics, they used almost all tricks in the book. You could send it to a debate prof and let them deconstruct it for one of their lectures.

  354. Max wrote:

    Yep, Sister Lydia and I have hung out in cyberspace together since the YRR rebellion started

    Max, when did the YRR movement start in American Christianity? It is quite the nightmare as I just experienced at my former Gulag NeoCal Church.

  355. Max wrote:

    Lydia, I would like to say I’ve seen and heard it all, but the watchblogs keep the revelations coming. When will this madness end?

    When the money stops? :o)

  356. @ Melissa:
    I could make a solemn statement about how we’re the remnant and true church, etc, but the groans from all y’all would be audible. ;-]

  357. Lydia wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    Thanks Bill. I need to educate myself. here are some interesting examples I found:
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/false-dilemma.html

    It can be a useful exercise. The problem I found with debate was I couldn’t think that quickly. Blogs are better because you aren’t standing there appearing dumb struck while you analyze. It can be very effective to expose a dishonest tactic being used rather than deal with the specifics of what was said. Unfortunately it took me twenty years to understand that winning a debate doesn’t endear you to anyone and does not typically change the other person’s mind.

    And while I’m off the subject, while winning a debate by honest means does not endear you, doing so by dishonest and silencing methods enrages your opponents.

  358. Someone much wiser than me said: “Even the best of men, are men at best”
    The WW, and other watchdog groups, prove this phrase… as does the Bible, and our countries form of government…
    Unfortunately, the leadership of the churches/christian organizations discussed in this either: 1. do not believe the phrase, or 2. Think of themselves as mear mean.
    Either of these possibilities is truly frightening.

  359. @ Velour:
    I’m not Max, but I believe in the SBC it was the Conservative Resurgence which brought out the neoCals. Calvinists have always been in the SBC (it was not founded by Calvinists despite what some have you believe) but many saw the SBC going to far to the left in the 70’s and so “conservatives” got together and took over the Convention. Was it Pressler with Patterson at Cafe Du Mond? Anyway the Calvinists didn’t think having Conservatives in charge was enough. They wanted Calvinists – they traced the march toward liberalism in the SBC to the decline of Calvinism. (Of course none of these neoCals recognize that as Calvinism declined the SBC saw it’s greatest growth) So back in the late 70s early 80s the Founder’s Movement to be (Go check out Founders.org even though I think they may have purged some of their archives the goal of Founders was to “reform” the SBC by “recovering” the “lost gospel” which is the Doctrines of Grace) Al Mohler a big Founder’s guy takes over Southern Seminary -93 or 94? and purges everyone but Calvinists from the staff and now no one in SBC leadership positions is appointed unless Pope Al approves. The Calvinists took Southern Seminary, Southeastern Seminary, Midwestern Seminary, Golden Gate Seminary, NAMB, IMB, Lifeway and ERLC. All the heads of those organizations were Mohler sycophants. But if you mention any of this at Voices they act like it’s all some cosmic coincidence that only Calvinists are being put into these positions. NAMB which is now really just the ACTS29 planting network of the SBC is planting ACTS29 churchs like crazy (they don’t call them ACTS29 because people know enough to know that ACTS29 is not Southern Baptist.) So a little primer and I think they only thing to help the SBC now is if churches were to stop funding all the Calvinists – they cannot support themselves -if the majority of the SBC which is still not Calvinists ever figured out what was happening and took action with the checkbook it would be bad for the Calvinists. But the Calvinists are very sneaky. Google “The Quiet Revolution” – it had to be “quiet” because people are just not spiritual enough to know what’s good for them.

  360. Dee, seriously what’s your secret? Is it your perfume? Dave Miller is being such a gentlemen with you when anyone who has followed him knows he wants to pull one of his “If you don’t behave missy I will pull over this blog right now, ban you, and shut the comment stream down. Where is your head/husband?”

    Yes he is now claiming that he doesn’t really know anything about 9 Marks but he just wants to keep defending it and make sure that everyone knows that if you don’t agree with 9 Marks you’re against Biblical church discipline.

  361. Velour wrote:

    Max, when did the YRR movement start in American Christianity? It is quite the nightmare as I just experienced at my former Gulag NeoCal Church.

    Velour, key architects of the reformed movement were putting their strategy together in the mid 1990s, but the aggressive and militant YRR emerged in all their glory about 10 years. A 2006 article in Christianity Today shed light on the movement and got the attention of grassroots non-Calvinsts who started expressing concerns about it as traditional churches were disrupted by the young rebels. You might want to look at that article – it paints the picture well. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html?start=1

  362. Celia wrote:

    So back in the late 70s early 80s the Founder’s Movement to be (Go check out Founders.org even though I think they may have purged some of their archives the goal of Founders was to “reform” the SBC by “recovering” the “lost gospel” which is the Doctrines of Grace) Al Mohler a big Founder’s guy takes over Southern Seminary -93 or 94? and purges everyone but Calvinists from the staff and now no one in SBC leadership positions is appointed unless Pope Al approves

    Thanks Celia for the brief history lesson about the Calvinist take-over by stealth. What sick and twisted doctrines, all of it. Just Dis-GRACEFUL! It explains the nightmare that I and others have just lived through, and why
    the church is such a mockery to unbelievers and even other Christians.

  363. Celia wrote:

    Yes he is now claiming that he doesn’t really know anything about 9 Marks but he just wants to keep defending it and make sure that everyone knows that if you don’t agree with 9 Marks you’re against Biblical church discipline.

    That explains why Dave Miller didn’t put up my post, without the name of my former Gulag NeoCal Church, the names of the pastors/elders. But I did explain that the first person they excommunicated/shunned was a godly doctor, married for 45+years, who is a long-time close personal friend of Pastor John MacArthur’s at Grace Community Church in Southern California. The excommunication/shunning took place at another California church. It outraged John MacArthur.

    I just shot a canon through Dave Miller’s argument. That explains why he won’t post it. No spine.

  364. Celia wrote:

    Dee, seriously what’s your secret? Is it your perfume

    Dee’s secret? She’s pathologically adorable!!!

  365. @ Max:
    Did Mohler take over Southern in 94? He started churning out all the militant Calvinists. When did Akin take over at Southeastern? That was in the oughts wasn’t it. Southern is ground zero for this neoCal movement.

  366. Celia wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I know of church where the Pulpit Committee brings in candidate for Sunday morning service and then at the end of the service the church had to vote. The “elders” said an immediate vote was necessary so people wouldn’t “gossip” with any extra time.

    How about elders monkeying with the bylaws and trying to sneak a fast one past the congregation. Been there. Done that.

  367. Lydia wrote:

    If you won’t back down then you are evil and are calling people pedophiles. When, in fact, poor Tyler was the one who said he deserved the same wrath of God as a pedophile. So what does that mean?

    The bombed reading comprehension on their SATs?

  368. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Max, when did the YRR movement start in American Christianity? It is quite the nightmare as I just experienced at my former Gulag NeoCal Church.

    Velour, key architects of the reformed movement were putting their strategy together in the mid 1990s, but the aggressive and militant YRR emerged in all their glory about 10 years. A 2006 article in Christianity Today shed light on the movement and got the attention of grassroots non-Calvinsts who started expressing concerns about it as traditional churches were disrupted by the young rebels. You might want to look at that article – it paints the picture well. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html?start=1

    Thanks, Max. Maybe Dee and Deb would be open to a story about the YRR or two. Perhaps you and Celia, Lydia too?, would write one. I think it would be helpful to those younger in the faith than myself who have gotten blind-sided by the whole thing.

  369. GovPappy wrote:

    Like someone has already said basically – they ran into the perfect opposition for their system, and lost. It does not work.

    The question I wonder about is how many women, with or without children, thought about what happened at The Village and might be encouraged to go and do likewise. Stand up, firm in their freedom in Christ and not bound by the yokes these guys have made for them.

  370. @ Velour:
    Celia is right on about the involvement of SBC’s “Old” Calvinists and the impact of the Conservative Resurgence (which turned out to really be a Calvinist Resurgence). The “New” Calvinists (the Young, Restless and Reformed) were an outgrowth of the groundwork being laid within the SBC by the old guard (Founders Ministry) over a period of years via their “Quiet Revolution”. While I don’t agree with their theology, the old boys have been much more respectful about their aspirations to Calvinize the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America; they haven’t really scared too much. They accurately point to the founders of SBC just prior to the Civil War as being Calvinist – at that time, they used their theology to defend their slave-holding desires. It took SBC a number of years to distance themselves from reformed theology and 150 years before they repented of their racial sins.

    The Christianity Today link I provided highlights the later YRR movement. “New” Calvinists entering SBC pulpits have a strong allegiance to non-SBC influencers and their closely-connected network of reformed organizations (TGC, Acts29, SGM, etc.). While the “Old” Calvinists noted above may be opposed to the message and methodology of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere. Together, they are well on their way at SBC Calvinization and their tentacles are reaching into other mainline denominations. The old guard couldn’t have pulled it off without the energy and militancy of the YRR.

  371. @ Velour:
    There is ONE nonCal who posts over there who gets treated decently by Miller and he’s always been suspect in my book. There are only a couple of nonCals who post i there and I don’t know how they stand it because they get treated so badly. I can think of maybe only three women who infrequently post there and Lydia is one (Miller warns who frequently like he did yesterday) – the other two are Calvinists so they get treated decently when they post. There used to be more nonCals who posted there but the Calvinist act as a horde when a nonCal showed up. Dave Miller always lets the Calvinists treat people any ol’ way and then comes down hard when a nonCal was giving it back. At SBC Today no one’s protecting the Calvinists and they don’t like it. There’s often some whiney “you people may not even be Christians because you’re mean to me!” Now back in the day – ten years are so ago, the Calvinists were everywhere and very bold about how they were taking over the SBC. It’s a lot more calm in the SBC blogosphere these days. I think the Pope at Louisville started warning people about saying too much on the internet.

  372. GovPappy wrote:

    Like someone has already said basically – they ran into the perfect opposition for their system, and lost. It does not work.

    Also, I could not have written a better script to expose The Village ELDERS. They love roles, they wrote the rules, so they played their roles and followed their rules right over that shark. And chewed up a whole bunch of scenery, too. If the whole thing were not so tragic, I would have felt like the robots in MST2000.

  373. @ Gram3:
    I think that’s the first thing they’re taught to do when they take over a church. Redo the constitution, bylaws and church covenant – then start pushing to make everyone sign the contracts. People who refuse to sign are suddenly no longer members of the church. I’ve known of people who were charter members of a church, been there their whole adult lives, raised their family, weddings – everything and then had their membership yanked because they didn’t want to sign the “new covenant.”

  374. Lydia wrote:

    They have a history of not allowing people to use names of actual churches or gurus that abuse over there UNLESS they do in the OP.

    Because saying anything negative at all about any particular church leader is gossip. Sending out a blast email to 6,000 people slandering an innocent woman who is a victim of the guy they are protecting is loving church discipline. It takes a lot of effort to be this…what is the word…willfully obtuse.

  375. @ Celia:
    I think it was 93 and he was 33. Way too much power too young. He fired a man who was just about 9 months from retirement because he dared to correct a chapel speaker who declared in SBTS chapel that no conservatives had been allowed to preach there in so many years. This librarian archivist sent the chapel speaker a list of conservative speakers. The speaker told Al and Al MOhler fired him for it. The 33 year old showed the 60 year old man who was boss.

    The first big shot against academic truth and freedom.

  376. Velour wrote:

    *I’d rather have the Holy Spirit lead me out of a sick church system, than collude with hurting brothers and sisters in the Lord, with hurting children.

    Yes to everything, and especially this. We have to decide what we are willing to participate in.

  377. Celia wrote:

    @ Max:
    Did Mohler take over Southern in 94? … When did Akin take over at Southeastern?

    Dr. Mohler assumed leadership of Southern Seminary in 1993. Not sure when Akin took over at Southeastern, but he is just a small blip on the screen compared to Mohler.

    Mohler intentions were clear from the get-go. I find it incredible that he was not challenged in the early days of his rebellion against SBC majority belief and practice. His 1993 convocation address at Southern entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!” was filled with warnings which majority SBC leadership should have more effectively dealt with while the window was open. In his charge to rally his Southern troops around the Abstract of Principles (reformed theology), he made the following statements:

    “The Abstract remains a powerful testimony to a Baptist theological heritage that is genuinely evangelical, Reformed, biblical, and orthodox.”

    “We bear the collective responsibility to call this denomination back to itself and its doctrinal inheritance. This is a true reformation … ”

    It’s clear that Dr. Mohler is on a mission, passionate about his cause, truly believes his theological confession, and is intent on altering the SBC landscape to nothing less than a reformed entity via the release of an army of young, restless and reformed seminary graduates into SBC churches. Yes, Southern Seminary is ground-zero for New Calvinism.

    His 1993 words may very well be prophetic:

    “Those who teach the ministry bear the greatest burden of accountability to the churches and to the denomination … It is with a single man that error usually commences.”

    Calvin was a man.

  378. @ Celia:

    He is very angry that SBC Today takes on Calvinism and claims they are mean and rude forgetting the YRR movement makes conversations and profitable discussions impossible. The Neo Cals can dish it out but if someone gives it back, it is sin. For the longest time sbcvoices denied that Neo Cals were mean. Now, only a few are mean.

    I know. I tried for about 6 years to actually converse on blogs and in person at ground zero. They simply cannot accept that people can be followers of Christ, know the scriptures and disagree with them.

    They have basically been trained to be bullies and there is only one way to deal with bullies. There are some, however, who are much more diabolical in their dealings but they tend to be older and well established and not the young brainwashed ones. Those are the ones that really scare me. They remind me of the seeker mega church guys who hide everything.

  379. OK another tactic of the neoCals. “anecdotal” Tarwhatever just declared that the abuses of church discipline are simply “anecdotal” These are the people who have been claiming for years that Calvinists haven’t really been going into churches and taking them over often causing church splits or simply destroying churches. It’s always “anecdotal” when a neoCal get’s caught. It’s the whole “Communism didn’t fail, Stalin just messed it up, but Communism is really good!”

  380. Bill M wrote:

    Reading over at the SBCVoices thread was a textbook case of dishonest tactics, they used almost all tricks in the book. You could send it to a debate prof and let them deconstruct it for one of their lectures.

    But they don’t care about logic or sound reasoning or sound hermeneutics. They love their System and their institutions. As I found out, when you point out their fallacious reasoning, you get first a shrug and then you get invited to go away and then you get pushed under some care.

  381. @ Lydia:
    And when SBC Today came out with the Traditional Statement, the Neo Cals went ballistic. Mohler called it heretical by claiming it was semi Pelagian (code speak for heretic) and claimed the signers “should be marginalized”.

    He still has a job after saying that! He is the Teflon man.

    The comment stream was over 1000 comments. The Neo Cals just went nuts that those who are Non Cals in the SBC DARED to speak up and outline their beliefs.

  382. @ Lydia:
    Some of those guys give me the Ted Bundy vibe. There’s one here locally who is a four pointer so will deny all the live long day that he’s actually a Calvinist. But he’s steadily taking over the church. Moving leaders out and replacing with Calvinists. People think he’s the nicest guy, but if you try to talk doctrine with him, he just dodges and swerves and refuses to give difinite answers on anything. He just wants to share the gospel! It’s that whole they have a whole other dictionary – they’re not speaking the same language but you don’t know it.

  383. Celia wrote:

    Google “The Quiet Revolution” – it had to be “quiet” because people are just not spiritual enough to know what’s good for them.

    Bears repeating.

  384. Velour wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    Dee, seriously what’s your secret? Is it your perfume
    Dee’s secret? She’s pathologically adorable!!!

    She has more readers? Who can think? I wonder what Alexa might tell us. Of course, they don’t pay any attention to Alexa over at Voices because female.

  385. @ Lydia:
    Oh that guy! Isn’t he the one who “ran” for SBC President? He is so full of himself it’s comical. I remember they always wanted names of churches who’d had problems with Calvinists. As if the church hadn’t been through enough they needed some Calvinist horde off the internet attacking them and telling them how wrong they were.

  386. @ Lydia:
    What was so deceptive about Mohler and the Trad Statement is that he knew before it was published that that was what most people in the SBC believed but he pretended as if it was just some deviant beliefs of just a few and the younger neoCals fell for it. If you read in the archives at Founder’s they railed against what people are now calling Traditionalism, specifically the idea that Total Depravity does not = Total Inability. Those Founder’s Calvinists were calling nonCals in SBC from their ahem, founding.

  387. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    Someone much wiser than me said: “Even the best of men, are men at best”
    The WW, and other watchdog groups, prove this phrase… as does the Bible, and our countries form of government…
    Unfortunately, the leadership of the churches/christian organizations discussed in this either: 1. do not believe the phrase, or 2. Think of themselves as mear mean.
    Either of these possibilities is truly frightening.

    Spot on.

  388. Max wrote:

    While the “Old” Calvinists noted above may be opposed to the message and methodology of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere.

    For every Tom Ascol, there is a Timmy Brister. For every Dever there is a Leeman and the others. Nettles is a Founders guy, too, and he is bona fide hyper-Calvinist. And he’s one of the Baptist historians at SBTS! Do they still have Lottie’s display there, or has that been “archived” somewhere?

  389. @ Celia:

    Sounds like the tactic of working to consolidate power and position before the power struggle really starts.. At my last very non Cal church folks were told he was only 4 pointer by the convention “experts” and not one of the “bad Calvinists” who split churches.

    Of course, his sermons are all regurgitated Piper and he teaches all the correct doctrine speaking reverently of the brilliant Al Mohler often. he is ALWAYS traveling to conferences and on mission trips (which he has to do alone to see if they can “partner” with the church, India, Haiti, Portugal, etc and he has already missed so many Sundays with that and vacation time his 18 mos have gone by fast. He also made sure some of his buddies from SBTS were hired. And they also do nothing but they are nice dudebros. And see the world on the pew sitters dime.

    These are the most spoiled entitled thin skinned young men I have ever met. And I am surrounded. They are even starting to show up in Methodist churches here. Long time members there are so unhappy, frustrated and starting to turn on one another never considering where all the chaos and immersing themselves in constant fatalism is coming from. It is like watching a Fellini film. Most of them would never admit they made a bad hiring decision. Their problems are that simple.

  390. Gram3 wrote:

    Do they still have Lottie’s display there, or has that been “archived” somewhere?

    If I can remember the source, I will post the article one Neo Cal wrote claiming Lottie was a bonafide Calvinist!

  391. Gram3 wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    Like someone has already said basically – they ran into the perfect opposition for their system, and lost. It does not work.

    The question I wonder about is how many women, with or without children, thought about what happened at The Village and might be encouraged to go and do likewise. Stand up, firm in their freedom in Christ and not bound by the yokes these guys have made for them.

    Judging by the response I had from two on my Facebook…. Not many.

  392. Celia wrote:

    dodges and swerves and refuses to give definite answers on anything

    You’ve just described the average “lead” pastor at a New Calvinist church. They are elusive … stealth and deception are their modus operandi. When they do attempt to address questions, they debate and defend. (Debating is not preaching the Gospel). In their heart of hearts, they know what they are doing is wrong (taking over churches, deceiving folks about their theological leaning, hand-picking like-minded elders, subtly introducing reformed theology, etc.) … that’s why they are so sneaky as they dodge and swerve. They are driven to be a part of the new reformation. Exciting stuff to be on the cutting edge of recovering the true gospel (Calvinism = Gospel) that the rest of us lost. Such arrogance!

  393. Celia wrote:

    OK another tactic of the neoCals. “anecdotal” Tarwhatever just declared that the abuses of church discipline are simply “anecdotal

    Yes, I saw his comments on SBC Voices. Immature. I come back to that phrase – there’s no fool like an old fool. What a ship of fools we have in the church. A total disgrace. A mockery within the church and outside to unbelievers, who can conduct themselves with greater decency toward human beings.

    When this is *The Best Gospel* that Tarwhatever and the rest of them have to display, this biting and devouring of other Christians that is ok, than they have NOTHING to offer the world and unbelievers.

  394. OK I just noticed this. “Should a Pastor look at Giving Records?” (Palm to face) If you have to ask that question…… See a neo Cal would say absolutely and your members should submit w2s so the church can make sure you’re spending “God’s money” wisely. Yes I have actually heard of a neoCal church who tried this. What good is looking at the giving record if you don’t know the complete financial picture of the member?

  395. Max wrote:

    (taking over churches, deceiving folks about their theological leaning, hand-picking like-minded elders, subtly introducing reformed theology, etc.) … that’s why they are so sneaky as they dodge and swerve. They are driven to be a part of the new reformation. Exciting stuff to be on the cutting edge of recovering the true gospel (Calvinism = Gospel) that the rest of us lost. Such arrogance!

    Then there is the SGM tactic they’ve imported which is to move people from other places to the target church to become influencers via teaching, leading small groups, etc. Then they become elders or associate pastors. The older people are marginalized and are allowed to stay as long as they don’t do anything “divisive” or interfere with the program. Every last thing is planned and checked. It is really quite amazing. People move into neighborhoods together which is what the shepherding people did. These guys think this is new and fresh when it is old and stale.

  396. @ Gram3:
    NAMB is doing “revitalization” now and this is what they’re doing. There’s a “mother church” who sends people into a declining church to help “revitalize” but they don’t actually tell the church that to “revitalize” the church it has to be Calvinized.

  397. Gram3 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    (taking over churches, deceiving folks about their theological leaning, hand-picking like-minded elders, subtly introducing reformed theology, etc.) … that’s why they are so sneaky as they dodge and swerve. They are driven to be a part of the new reformation. Exciting stuff to be on the cutting edge of recovering the true gospel (Calvinism = Gospel) that the rest of us lost. Such arrogance!
    Then there is the SGM tactic they’ve imported which is to move people from other places to the target church to become influencers via teaching, leading small groups, etc. Then they become elders or associate pastors. The older people are marginalized and are allowed to stay as long as they don’t do anything “divisive” or interfere with the program. Every last thing is planned and checked. It is really quite amazing. People move into neighborhoods together which is what the shepherding people did. These guys think this is new and fresh when it is old and stale.

    Interesting. So this isn’t just the “church planting” method but also used to take over congregations whose assets they desire?

  398. @ Abi Miah:
    Oh my! This is what they are trained to do. Go into a church, they were deceiving pulpit committees who didn’t know what was going on, then they would take over the church. Any time a Calvinist gets appointed to a new church they would usually bring lot’s of friends with them that they would them plant in leadership positions. Google “The Quiet Revolution” These guys are being taught how to stealthily take over churches and Calvinize them.

  399. Abi Miah wrote:

    Interesting. So this isn’t just the “church planting” method but also used to take over congregations whose assets they desire?

    Yes. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t work. I’m aware of the re-plant strategy, but I don’t think most SBC people can decipher the code. It sounds so good, and it could be a really good thing if everyone is honest about what is going on.

    There are a *lot* of new seminary graduates as a result of the YRR fad, and they need jobs because they many of them don’t know how to do anything else.So much of the old shepherding franchise method was adopted by Mahaney, and I think that was passed to the Founders guys and they took Mahaney’s model and ran with it. When I first saw they were pushing Mahaney, I was dumbfounded because he is so goofy. And this was well before anything started to come out from Detwiler or the child sexual abuse cases. It did not make any sense to me at the time.

  400. @ Celia:
    I should have said A Quiet Revolution not THE. Go to Founders.org and it’s still there. Just browse the Founders archive for all sorts of interesting stuff. Read their FAQs. Founders has been around for 35 years and they are the ones who started the whole “recovering the lost gospel (calvinism) thing.

  401. Celia wrote:

    OK I just noticed this. “Should a Pastor look at Giving Records?” (Palm to face) If you have to ask that question…… See a neo Cal would say absolutely and your members should submit w2s so the church can make sure you’re spending “God’s money” wisely. Yes I have actually heard of a neoCal church who tried this. What good is looking at the giving record if you don’t know the complete financial picture of the member?

    Hey at my former Gulag NeoCal Church they wanted to dictate the décor of my home: the senior Pharisee and one of his women friend’s *were offended* that I had an Italian cross in my home, an expensive birthday gift that costs hundreds of dollars and that I’ve had for years (its’ beautiful art and I’m not even a Catholic)! I have artwork in my home from countries all over the world. All beautiful and all very different. Ditto pottery. Etc.

    I have never met more petty, hateful, people in my life than the NeoCals.

  402. @ Gram3:
    The whole charismatic thing is what’s weird to me. Traditionally the SBC was cessionist (SP), but the Calvinists would rather kick out the nonCals and hang out with any Calvinists. They pretend to be ecumenical ie The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel, but it actually is all about Calvinism.

  403. Gram3 wrote:

    Because saying anything negative at all about any particular church leader is gossip. Sending out a blast email to 6,000 people slandering an innocent woman who is a victim of the guy they are protecting is loving church discipline.

    A good juxtaposition.

  404. @ Velour:
    Al Mohler went nuts a few years ago calling out people who were doing yoga but saying they had Christianized it. I think when most people in the west think of yoga they just think of the exercise but Pope Al who is one of those “I am always the smartest person in any room” guys went on a rant that you can’t have “christian yoga” because yoga is eastern mysticism blah blah. These people are always looking for ways to shame people while showing off how much of a superior christian they are in the process.

  405. dee wrote:

    You just keep being there for me!

    Always dee. You are a true woman of valor. Eshet-chayil in the tradition of Deborah and Jael.

  406. GovPappy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:

    Like someone has already said basically – they ran into the perfect opposition for their system, and lost. It does not work.

    The question I wonder about is how many women, with or without children, thought about what happened at The Village and might be encouraged to go and do likewise. Stand up, firm in their freedom in Christ and not bound by the yokes these guys have made for them.

    Judging by the response I had from two on my Facebook…. Not many.

    Not to despair. Their kids are leaving the church in droves and are turning their backs on this nonsense.

  407. Muff Potter wrote:

    dee wrote:
    You just keep being there for me!
    Always dee. You are a true woman of valor. Eshet-chayil in the tradition of Deborah and Jael.

    How about Deborah, woman of torches. I like the torch imagery for a number of reasons.

  408. Max wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Gram3, you and I are kindred spirits. We see the same things.

    Mercifully, not the same things Driscoll sees. I do resonate with what you write. Sometimes Gramp3 and I get very weary, and it is good to know we are no alone in recognizing things are not as they should be.

  409. Celia wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Al Mohler went nuts a few years ago calling out people who were doing yoga but saying they had Christianized it. I think when most people in the west think of yoga they just think of the exercise but Pope Al who is one of those “I am always the smartest person in any room” guys went on a rant that you can’t have “christian yoga” because yoga is eastern mysticism blah blah. These people are always looking for ways to shame people while showing off how much of a superior christian they are in the process.

    Ah yes. I’ve heard that nonsense too. The most joyless bunch. I must say, after I left my Gulag NeoCal Church I returned to a deep appreciation of the Blues and Rock n’ Roll. I especially like a talented young man Quinn Sullivan (who is a minor and not an adult) playing with Buddy Guy.

  410. Gram3 wrote:

    Sometimes Gramp3 and I get very weary, and it is good to know we are no alone in recognizing things are not as they should be.

    You and Gramp3, Dee and Deb, Wade (Burleson), and all of the other kindred spirits have saved my sanity! Oh, I knew that things were *not as they should be* too. I just had no clue where to start.

    I love you all very, very, very much!

  411. Gram3 wrote:

    You would love RBMW. It would either drive you crazy or make you laugh hysterically.

    Not being familiar with RBMW I looked up the acronym. Sorry, I’ve hit my quota of nitwittedness for the week with the SBCVoices thread. Try me again next Sunday.

  412. Gram3 wrote:

    There are a *lot* of new seminary graduates as a result of the YRR fad, and they need jobs because they many of them don’t know how to do anything else.

    Again, just like the Fundies. They’re pressuring young people into jumping into bible colle–errr, seminary to be career church parasites. They have no connection to the average working American with a career and a family – it’s all mission trips, part time jobs to get through seminary, and hanging with seminary buddies. The boys get to go make the money at this hot new church plant/takeover in the rich neighborhood, the women get to use their new-learned homemaking skills to…. I’m not sure yet. Right off the bat they’re going to be focusing on the wrong thing: church finances. Because they have to live, and those seminary credits and homemaking classes don’t translate to employers. Right off the bat you gotta get that church plant financially on its feet.

    Character optional. Maturity optional.

    The ties in structure to the fundamentalists of the BJU and HAC persuasion are clear to me. My Fundy sisters have no career in anything except teaching at Fundy schools, because their degrees are worthless. They’re stuck and just don’t know it yet. All that money down the drain. My one sister, the pastor won’t let her go chase her nursing dream because she needs to stay and get her Fundy degree in BS.
    The men in the system “called to preach” (usually at some pressure-packed revival) are stuck waiting around for a call that many never get. They have no skills, no prospects, no money, a worthless job, possibly a wife and kids already, and years of their life gone.

    The neocals are slightly ahead of that game with their church takeover or church plant in the well-to-do-area business. They’ll start small with a few buddies, borrowing a school auditorium or something, wait around for the right opportunity to take over a local church with a building, throw the existing structure out the door along with anyone who is feisty, and they’re all set. Parasites – or rather, a hermit crab running around inside a dead animal’s shell.

  413. @ GovPappy:
    I actually noticed a takeover in my home town last night. Used to be an independent Bible church. Never ran that many people. Quiet, small work.
    I noticed they changed their name the other day, and looked them up. Sure enough, young guy pastor is in there along with elder rule, and, though there’s no mention on their website, 9Marks has them listed as an affiliate. And there you go.

    Another church close to us also had a takeover – this time by a black parent church in town – and though there’s no mention of 9Marks anywhere, it has a nice membership covenant straight out of Dever’s playbook, complete with “If you leave, you must find another Gospel church immediately”.

    Scary.

  414. GovPappy wrote:

    @ GovPappy:
    I actually noticed a takeover in my home town last night. Used to be an independent Bible church. Never ran that many people. Quiet, small work.
    I noticed they changed their name the other day, and looked them up. Sure enough, young guy pastor is in there along with elder rule, and, though there’s no mention on their website, 9Marks has them listed as an affiliate. And there you go.
    Another church close to us also had a takeover – this time by a black parent church in town – and though there’s no mention of 9Marks anywhere, it has a nice membership covenant straight out of Dever’s playbook, complete with “If you leave, you must find another Gospel church immediately”.
    Scary.

    “The rule of The Party is Forever.”

  415. GovPappy wrote:

    church takeover or church plant

    Governor has flagged the two avenues of SBC Calvinization by the YRR: church plant vs. traditional church takeover.

    SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has created plenty (currently) of opportunities to plant a new church, as the YRR stream with their new degrees out SBC seminaries which have indoctrinated them with reformed theology (primarily Southern, Southeastern, and Midwestern). NAMB will help fund a new plant for a few years until the young pastor is on his feet with member support. Other new works are planted and financed by large parent churches who have old guard Calvinist leadership that have been waiting for such a time as this.

    The NAMB church planting funds are generated via SBC’s Cooperative Progam to which 45,000+ SBC churches contribute annually (usually 10% of their revenue) … millions of dollars are available to the YRR to get established. It should be noted that these monies are coming from predominantly non-Calvinist churches, who to date, have been uninformed or misinformed about the theological leaning of these new churches and their whippersnapper pastor with theological beliefs and practices contrary to that of the SBC majority. The new church plant strategy is pretty straightforward.

    The young pastor (often in his 20s-30s) brings a few buddies with him, also in their 20s-30s, to serve as his yes-man “elder” team which will operate the church with elder rule governance. Most of them have a cool band and free coffee/donuts to attract a crowd of young folks. Their churches are usually via lease in a store front, in a school gymnasium, or other such place that will serve as temporary housing until the bucks start coming in. They put this crowd (not a congregation of the Lord) under a membership covenant, start indoctrinating them with reformed theology via weekly small groups, get them involved in local and international “missiology”, and the show is on!

    The traditional church takeover strategy is usually a much harder row to hoe for the fresh seminary graduate. To get control of a non-Calvinist church (the SBC majority), he must be elusive about his theological persuasion in his interview with a pulpit search committee. This will require stealth and deception with evasive answers. Once he has lied his way into his new position, he will begin gradually to convince the congregation that the correct Bible teaching on church polity is plurality of elders, not the congregational governance that their traditional church may have known for 100+ years. If he is successful in doing this, he will hand-pick some like-minded buddies as elders and diminish the role of deacons. If the congregation catches on to his scheme, much weeping and gnashing of teeth will follow and the church will split with older members leaving the facilities they had paid for in the hands of the young reformers. These young bulls will then embark upon upsetting the china shop with their theology. The “lead” pastor will soon realize that the old folks who bailed out also took most of the money with them and he will have to recruit young professionals in the area to make up the loss. He will do away with the choir, if it hadn’t already dissolved, and get him a cool worship leader and a band to pull the crowd in.

    This is what New Calvinism looks like in my area. I sure hope it’s more civil where you live.

  416. @ Melissa:
    Melissa, I’m an old guy. I’m a reluctant user of cyberspace; I don’t even have a Twitter or Facebook account! But I feel compelled to visit watchblogs and offer comments; I draw from perspectives formed during a long Christian journey and years of personal Bible study. I see things in the New Calvinist movement that concern me much, so I speak. As a believer, I try to do what I can to protect Christ’s most treasured possession on earth, the church. I believe it is the duty of every born-again Christian to protect the church from being infiltrated by aberrant theology. We are to be watchful, diligent, alert, discerning. Reformed theology is a misrepresentation of the very character of God by distorting God’s plan of salvation for ALL men through Christ … whosoever will may come.

    Melissa, I read your comment after a long weary week. It encouraged me to know that I have been an encouragement to you. That’s the way it is supposed to work in a multi-generational church of the living God, the Body of Christ.

  417. Max, they’ve also taken over associations and some of the State Conventions. The first place a lot of churches look to when searching for a new Pastor is the local association. The association will often send an interim Calvinist to prepare the way for the Calvinist candidates that will be sent. Also the associations are recommending some of the older declining churches get on board with “revitalization” efforts which is a newer thing supported by the NAMB. That’s where a whole hoard of Calvinists are sent into a church to update the programs – music, youth, children, and of course completely changing the polity to elder rule – the updating is all about Calvinizing.

    NOTE: don’t let anyone deceive you when they declare they believe in Elder LED not Elder RULED. They all say their churches are Elder LED vs RULED and may point to an annual business meeting where the church gets to vote on various issues that the Elders present. The church votes but guess what happens to those who actually dare to ask questions in the business meeting or who dare to vote against what the Elders have recommended? Yep you guessed it – church discipline. When you disagree with the elders or start asking too many questions you are a divisive person who has problems submitting to God-ordained authority.

  418. Celia wrote:

    The association will often send an interim Calvinist to prepare the way for the Calvinist candidates that will be sent.

    Bingo.

  419. Celia wrote:

    : don’t let anyone deceive you when they declare they believe in Elder LED not Elder RULED. They all say their churches are Elder LED vs RULED

    Celia! You totally get it. I just cut to the chase with people anymore and say that whatever they are telling you just put authoritarian on it. Of course they don’t believe it…..at first.

    The Neo Cals do not know how to operate without authoritarianism. it is the lifeblood of their system and their ultimate goal.

  420. Lydia wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    The association will often send an interim Calvinist to prepare the way for the Calvinist candidates that will be sent.
    Bingo.

    Almost sounds “Biblical”, huh? The prophets are dispatched to pave the way for the Messiah. Well, these folks aren’t prophets of the Lord and the Messiah ain’t Calvin!

    Lydia, we are witnessing the fall of a once-great evangelistic denomination … the gift of evangelism bestowed on Southern Baptists has been forfeited. Evangelism isn’t “harvesting the predestined elect” … it is reaching a lost world through the message of the Cross of Christ for ALL people (whosoever will).

  421. Max wrote:

    Almost sounds “Biblical”, huh? The prophets are dispatched to pave the way for the Messiah. Well, these folks aren’t prophets of the Lord and the Messiah ain’t Calvin!

    He will be once the Church is Truly Reformed(TM)….

  422. Lydia wrote:

    The Neo Cals do not know how to operate without authoritarianism. it is the lifeblood of their system and their ultimate goal.

    It is the example of their Real LORD and Savior, Calvin.
    With Calvin’s Geneva as The Perfect Godly Society.
    (With themselves on Calvin’s throne, of course.)

  423. Celia wrote:

    Al Mohler went nuts a few years ago calling out people who were doing yoga but saying they had Christianized it.

    Mohler’s spiritual fathers in old New England also railed against Ben Franklin for selling lightning rods abroad in the land. They felt that Franklin (whom they also considered infidel) was attempting to thwart God’s judgement & punishment of sin.

  424. Celia wrote:

    @ Abi Miah:
    Oh my! This is what they are trained to do. Go into a church, they were deceiving pulpit committees who didn’t know what was going on, then they would take over the church. Any time a Calvinist gets appointed to a new church they would usually bring lot’s of friends with them that they would them plant in leadership positions. Google “The Quiet Revolution” These guys are being taught how to stealthily take over churches and Calvinize them.

    Salami tactics (one small slice at a time).
    Straight out of Comrade Stalin’s playbook.
    “This time We WILL Achieve True Communism A Truly Reformed Church!”

  425. Gram3 wrote:

    Then there is the SGM tactic they’ve imported which is to move people from other places to the target church to become influencers via teaching, leading small groups, etc. … Every last thing is planned and checked. It is really quite amazing. People move into neighborhoods together which is what the shepherding people did.

    This is a combination of the “Knock & Drag” method of election-rigging (pack the polling place with YOUR guys) and a “Hearts & Minds” strategy a la A.Hitler (“Give me your children and I Will Make Them Mine”).

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  426. Max wrote:

    They are driven to be a part of the new reformation. Exciting stuff to be on the cutting edge of recovering the true gospel (Calvinism = Gospel) that the rest of us lost.

    A generation or two ago, “the cutting edge of recovering the TRUE whatever” was Soviet/Maoist Communism.
    The generation before that, Fascism.
    The generation before that, first-generation Leninist Communism.
    The generation before that, ANARCHY NOW!
    The generation before that, Spiritualism…

  427. Celia wrote:

    He just wants to share the gospel! … they’re not speaking the same language but you don’t know it.

    My Dear Wormwood,
    I refer you to my previous epistle, about redefinition of words into their “diabolical meanings”.
    Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,
    Screwtape

  428. Lydia wrote:

    I know. I tried for about 6 years to actually converse on blogs and in person at ground zero. They simply cannot accept that people can be followers of Christ, know the scriptures and disagree with them.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrade.
    Purity of Ideology.

  429. Celia wrote:

    The first place a lot of churches look to when searching for a new Pastor is the local association.

    Yep, SBC’s Associational DOM (Director of Missions) in my area is sending young Calvinist recommendations to search committees as quick as pastor openings come up. Unfortunately, most of the “traditional” non-Calvinist churches here are uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant regarding Calvinization of the denomination.

  430. Gram3 wrote:

    You saw a bit of the contempt they have toward what people outside their bubble think by Tarheel’s attack on Mirele.

    You know, I just expected it. Once you state you’re outside their bubble, you are absolutely fair game for all sorts of criticism. I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not.

    The question I have to ask these guys is, “How on earth do you think you’re going to reach *the world* for Jesus if you’re so dismissive of what *the world* sees in your churches?”

  431. Celia wrote:

    They’re also pretending that the only discipline if you leave the church while under discipline is that they will refuse to forward a letter. They don’t want to deal with the whole shunning/ostracizing of the whole family thing.

    And let me be absolutely, achingly, utterly clear: there’s no difference between ostracism/shunning done by an Ax29/9Marx church and what Scientology does to Suppressive Persons. I hope Amy Smith doesn’t mind me using her as an example, but her parents shun her just as severely as an OTVIII Scientologist shuns her parents or children who had the temerity to leave L. Ron Hubbard behind.

    The Ax29/9Marx etc. bunch need to own the fruits of their discipline. It IS like Scientology. And that’s why I’m calling it out.

  432. Velour wrote:

    He has seen all of the gifts in use in Christians. So have I. I don’t have the gift of speaking in tongues, but I do have a dearly departed friend…

    So have I. I’m remembering two departed friends. One had the gift of prophecy. The last time I talked with him, he suggested God might be about to bless my family as He had his own. This came to pass in many ways after my friend succumbed to cancer a couple weeks later. Another had the gift of giving. He ended up managing the church offering box. People with needs seemed to get help at just the right times. Neither had an official “office” of “authority”. Really good articles by Wade about that!

  433. lydia wrote:

    And considering we are 2000 years later we really should have many more who are “mature in the faith” as each generation taught and modeled.

    Sometimes I wonder how much we’ve learned!

  434. @ mirele:
    No doubt you expected it, and it is still appalling and disgusting and unrepresentative of Jesus’ interactions with people. It is difficult for me to understand why these men who call themselves leaders permit each other to behave so childishly.

    Honestly, I think the more the “world” challenges them, the more they play the martyr, and so it is advantageous not to listen to the substance of what the “world” might be saying. From my own experience, they don’t listen to challenges from inside the church, either, because we are dismissed as rebellious or antinomian or whatever is expedient to enable them to ignore the substance of the objection. It is the exact opposite of what a “teacher” and a “leader” actually does. It is, however, exactly what someone who wants to preserve their position and status does.

  435. Mark-one wrote:

    Deacons were and are helpers. I have difficulty differentiating the two “offices.”

    My second departed friend above was likely a real deacon, even without the designation. But he acted with about the closest thing I’ve seen to real apostolic authority one time. I’d moved to another town and was Associate Pastor, busy helping Senior Pastor abuse our “authority”. My friend drove several hundred miles to visit, and “shared” with the church about laying down our positions, ambitions, “spiritual authority” etc. Senior Pastor took this as being from God, and this was the last day of “pastoring” for either of us, to the benefit of all, and, I think, the glory of God.

  436. GovPappy wrote:

    The neocals are slightly ahead of that game with their church takeover or church plant in the well-to-do-area business. They’ll start small with a few buddies, borrowing a school auditorium or something, wait around for the right opportunity to take over a local church with a building, throw the existing structure out the door along with anyone who is feisty, and they’re all set. Parasites – or rather, a hermit crab running around inside a dead animal’s shell.

    Spot on! This! Yes, this is exactly what my former Gulag NeoCal *Church* did!

  437. Gram3 wrote:

    It is difficult for me to understand why these men who call themselves leaders permit each other to behave so childishly

    Because they are full of pride – all of them – and designate themselves as The Elect. Haughty. Every last one of them.

  438. Celia wrote:

    Now back in the day – ten years are so ago, the Calvinists were everywhere and very bold about how they were taking over the SBC. It’s a lot more calm in the SBC blogosphere these days. I think the Pope at Louisville started warning people about saying too much on the internet.

    Actually, I think they stopped being so bold because the takeover is complete. As was pointed out up stream they have every entitity now except two of the Seminaries. Both are headed up by very old men who have much less time left than they have already served. they are just waiting them out. Also the amount of NeoCal students at one of those two seminaries would blow your mind ( maybe not but was surprising to me). Since NAMB is now the denominational arm of A29 they are able to plant churches that state conventions would never support. NAMB will go around the state and local convention to plant a church in a send city esp with a young reformed pastor that spouts the correct party line. Right now they are just dividing up the spoils of the battle. The good news is that people like this wont be satisfied with the size of their piece of the pie for long and will soon be casting a longing eye at someone elses piece. Thats when the real show will begin.

  439. Lydia wrote:

    Of course, his sermons are all regurgitated Piper and he teaches all the correct doctrine speaking reverently of the brilliant Al Mohler often. he is ALWAYS traveling to conferences and on mission trips (which he has to do alone to see if they can “partner” with the church, India, Haiti, Portugal, etc and he has already missed so many Sundays with that and vacation time his 18 mos have gone by fast. He also made sure some of his buddies from SBTS were hired. And they also do nothing but they are nice dudebros. And see the world on the pew sitters dime.

    These are the most spoiled entitled thin skinned young men I have ever met.

    Lydia, this is such a common theme and I think someone ought to do a study on that. I have wondered aloud and to my poor wife many times ” what do these guys do all day and where in the world did they get the idea that this was ministry?” I just cant imagine any of them working anywhere but the church and it isnt because they are so gifted or called, it is because they cant do anything else and really cant do that either.

  440. Mitch wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    Now back in the day – ten years are so ago, the Calvinists were everywhere and very bold about how they were taking over the SBC. It’s a lot more calm in the SBC blogosphere these days. I think the Pope at Louisville started warning people about saying too much on the internet.
    Actually, I think they stopped being so bold because the takeover is complete. As was pointed out up stream they have every entitity now except two of the Seminaries. Both are headed up by very old men who have much less time left than they have already served. they are just waiting them out. Also the amount of NeoCal students at one of those two seminaries would blow your mind ( maybe not but was surprising to me). Since NAMB is now the denominational arm of A29 they are able to plant churches that state conventions would never support. NAMB will go around the state and local convention to plant a church in a send city esp with a young reformed pastor that spouts the correct party line. Right now they are just dividing up the spoils of the battle. The good news is that people like this wont be satisfied with the size of their piece of the pie for long and will soon be casting a longing eye at someone elses piece. Thats when the real show will begin.

    Max wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:
    church takeover or church plant
    Governor has flagged the two avenues of SBC Calvinization by the YRR: church plant vs. traditional church takeover.
    SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has created plenty (currently) of opportunities to plant a new church, as the YRR stream with their new degrees out SBC seminaries which have indoctrinated them with reformed theology (primarily Southern, Southeastern, and Midwestern). NAMB will help fund a new plant for a few years until the young pastor is on his feet with member support. Other new works are planted and financed by large parent churches who have old guard Calvinist leadership that have been waiting for such a time as this.
    The NAMB church planting funds are generated via SBC’s Cooperative Progam to which 45,000+ SBC churches contribute annually (usually 10% of their revenue) … millions of dollars are available to the YRR to get established. It should be noted that these monies are coming from predominantly non-Calvinist churches, who to date, have been uninformed or misinformed about the theological leaning of these new churches and their whippersnapper pastor with theological beliefs and practices contrary to that of the SBC majority. The new church plant strategy is pretty straightforward.
    The young pastor (often in his 20s-30s) brings a few buddies with him, also in their 20s-30s, to serve as his yes-man “elder” team which will operate the church with elder rule governance. Most of them have a cool band and free coffee/donuts to attract a crowd of young folks. Their churches are usually via lease in a store front, in a school gymnasium, or other such place that will serve as temporary housing until the bucks start coming in. They put this crowd (not a congregation of the Lord) under a membership covenant, start indoctrinating them with reformed theology via weekly small groups, get them involved in local and international “missiology”, and the show is on!
    The traditional church takeover strategy is usually a much harder row to hoe for the fresh seminary graduate. To get control of a non-Calvinist church (the SBC majority), he must be elusive about his theological persuasion in his interview with a pulpit search committee. This will require stealth and deception with evasive answers. Once he has lied his way into his new position, he will begin gradually to convince the congregation that the correct Bible teaching on church polity is plurality of elders, not the congregational governance that their traditional church may have known for 100+ years. If he is successful in doing this, he will hand-pick some like-minded buddies as elders and diminish the role of deacons. If the congregation catches on to his scheme, much weeping and gnashing of teeth will follow and the church will split with older members leaving the facilities they had paid for in the hands of the young reformers. These young bulls will then embark upon upsetting the china shop with their theology. The “lead” pastor will soon realize that the old folks who bailed out also took most of the money with them and he will have to recruit young professionals in the area to make up the loss. He will do away with the choir, if it hadn’t already dissolved, and get him a cool worship leader and a band to pull the crowd in.
    This is what New Calvinism looks like in my area. I sure hope it’s more civil where you live.

    It seems that pulpit search committees are where there actually is a need for a contract between an individual and the church. What if the new pastor being hired had to sign certain things and agree to abide by them via a legally enforceable contract prior to entering the employment of the church? I am not an atty so don’t know exactly how it could be worded, but I imagine that with the right contract, a stealth takeover would be hard to accomplish.

    It is rather amazing how a whole denomination could be taken over like that, but then again, the average Christian is a sitting duck for a pastor who is deceitful. Deceit just isn’t expected and by the time it is obvious, it’s too late.

  441. mirele wrote:

    The question I have to ask these guys is, “How on earth do you think you’re going to reach *the world* for Jesus if you’re so dismissive of what *the world* sees in your churches?”

    Trust me, they arrogantly have that one covered too: They are The Elect, going to Paradise to be with God, and everyone else is Doomed. If you were among The Elect, you would *agree with them 100%”.

  442. Celia wrote:

    People who refuse to sign are suddenly no longer members of the church.

    At my former Gulag NeoCal Church, I watched with horror as the pastors/elders told a Godly, older East Asian Christian man who had faithfully attended and served at that church for six years that he was banned from all church services and events because he did not believe in and would not sign a Church Membership Covenant. Just hateful!

  443. Mitch wrote:

    Actually, I think they stopped being so bold because the takeover is complete.

    Yes, and don’t forget Baptist 21 (The Akin boys of SEBTS President) and Sojourn the Acts 29 plant that became a church planting network with Driscoll DNA and former Mars Hill staffers. Mohler got rid of anyone who dared to disagree with him on anything of import and planted his trained loyalists across the entities. Include Lifeway in that, too. Now the brave Platt of holing up at the dangerous Dubai Hilton fame… at IMB.

    Mohler won. The assets have already been divvied up without those who paid for it even knowing. Mohler missed his calling. Political strategist using OPM.

  444. @ Abi Miah:

    I know where you are coming from but it just won’t work for many reasons. Church people are exceedingly naïve for some reason. They just cannot imagine that nice young man will become a tyrant someday. Yes, they have heard of the “Calvin” problem but we must be tolerant for unity and he is not one of those bad Calvinists. Even when problems start arising they will be more likely to blame one another than the pastor.

    NO ONE WANTS TO BE MEAN. And remember, any negative truth or questioning is considered “mean” at church. That is why I don’t care anymore. If someone asks me I tell the negative truth. (sometimes I point them to certain blog threads so they can get an eye opener about SBC pastors) But not unless they ask. The truth is people don’t want to know. They don’t want to deal with conflict. The Neo Cals take total advantage of the tolerance and acceptance people naturally have for their new pastor. They make excuse after excuse for them. And before you know it a year or so has passed. The Neo Cal pastor has a close tight group watching his back and it is a done deal. They either have to go to war or leave the church they paid for and the Neo Cal is now enjoying.

    I can remember my at the time tween asking me: But isn’t it my church, too? And the truth has to be: No. And here is the lesson we learn from it in the form of question: WHO is the church?

  445. Lydia wrote:

    I loved that!!! May it go viral.

    I second the motion Lyds, and I hope that our lawmakers get the message too. Yes it’s hilarious and yes it’s as entertaining as an SNL skit, but beyond that, it’s also a discussion that needs to take place on two fronts:

    1) Where does freedom of religion start and where does it end?

    2) Should wealthy 501(C3) religious organizations remain exempt from paying their
    fair share in taxes for the blessings of the modern infrastructure we all enjoy
    in a progressive society?

  446. @ Lydia:

    One more thing, that is why blogs like this work best than trying to convince folks at church of something this big. Find some links that help connect dots to the problem and give them to folks who are wondering and tell them to do some research as it is too much to try to explain. I did that with one couple from my last church who were just flummoxed at what was going on. They were blown away and said, this is it exactly. they were especially blown away that the links included names they were hearing from the pulpit each Sunday— being revered by the new pastor. They said, we don’t want our teen son being influenced by men like Driscoll or Piper.

  447. @ Muff Potter:

    Even putting “churches” in the same category as other non profits would mean posting their 990’s. We would see salaries of officers.

    The problem is people don’t care enough. They don’t even care about the US budget!

  448. As an aside: experiencing, as I do to some extent, the condition known as “lexical-gustatory synesthesia” (i.e., words appear to have a “taste”), I am rather conflicted over the word opacity.

    I hope this is helpful.

  449. Lydia wrote:

    One more thing, that is why blogs like this work best than trying to convince folks at church of something this big.

    I think this is generally true if not always true. The very few people who have approached me since we were PushedUnderCare did so because they saw things at the church and things like The Village and the incessant promotion of the Gospel Glitterati but they didn’t know who was “safe.” So they started looking online and were able to process the information apart from the social costs that would have been placed on them if they dared to speak their thoughts.

  450. Lydia wrote:

    NO ONE WANTS TO BE MEAN. And remember, any negative truth or questioning is considered “mean” at church. That is why I don’t care anymore. If someone asks me I tell the negative truth. (sometimes I point them to certain blog threads so they can get an eye opener about SBC pastors) But not unless they ask. The truth is people don’t want to know. They don’t want to deal with conflict.

    Oh don’t you know. I was confronted about being mean at my NeoCal church. When they started teaching that the Son was subordinate to the Father, I finally went over the edge. I was being an a**. I now question some of the methods I used, but to tell you the truth, I would probably try to be “nicer” but more forceful and have a clearer and game. I knew were subordination was going, and I definitely have decided not to just let that pass.
    We were also elder “led”. Of course the elders really did not listen to anyone in the congregation. They had several issues brought to them and they just continued doing what they were determined to do. Outside of one of the elders, who was kicked out (he is a preterist) the non-pastor elders head only nodded in one direction.

  451. Lydia wrote:

    NO ONE WANTS TO BE MEAN. And remember, any negative truth or questioning is considered “mean” at church. That is why I don’t care anymore. If someone asks me I tell the negative truth.

    I might have mentioned this on other threads, but… Scientologists have a made-up word: entheta. It’s used to label any statement or data that the Scientolgist doesn’t like, and they’re trained not to like anything that criticizes their “religion” or calls it into doubt. Even if a statement is true, unless it proclaims Scientology to be the greatest thing the world has ever seen, it’s “entheta”.

    At least the Calvinistas just say “mean”, and don’t bother making up a silly-sounding word. But thought reform is still thought reform.

  452. @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    I see where you’re “close to the line” That’s another tactic that Calvinist love. There’s the whole “gas lighting” thing demonstrated in the current thread over at voices. First they go after Lydia treating her like an hysterical woman and calling her a bully, then you see the comments demoralizing the opinion of someone who’s not “of the tribe” who dares to comment, than we hear “oh that’s just anecdotal, threats of shutting down the discussion if the dissenters don’t get in line and now the latest “it’s not just the reformed you know! (because 9Marks isn’t about the reformed? and now again with the threat of shutting down the discussion because someone dared to speak the name of the sacred high priests. It’s better than it used to be – used to be only a few people would dare comment and there wasn’t blogs like this one or SBC Today who don’t put up with the Calvinist nonsense. It is amazing though that after all these years they still continue with the same tactics to shut down dissent.

  453. Celia wrote:

    I see where you’re “close to the line”

    You noticed I got that response on the SBCVoices thread? It’s puzzling to me. I’ve asked for some clarification — we’ll see if I get any.

  454. @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    You used the names of Leeman, Dever, and Chandler. Dave Miller will not allow anyone in anyway to suggest the High Priests are anything less than perfect. There will be no questioning of authority while Miller’s on patrol.

  455. Celia wrote:

    @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    You used the names of Leeman, Dever, and Chandler. Dave Miller will not allow anyone in anyway to suggest the High Priests are anything less than perfect. There will be no questioning of authority while Miller’s on patrol.

    Correct. Dave Miller has NEVER posted my comment about watching my former NeoCal Church order that one of conservative Pastor John MacArthur’s long-time, close personal friends – a godly doctor married for 45+ years, faithful husband, strong marriage, loving father to grown children – be excommunicated and shunned! The doctor’s *crime*? Disagreeing with how the pastors/elders were running the church, doing so in private, and using The Bible. My former church’s pastors/elders told the entire church that this godly doctor was destined for Hell and to no longer talk to him! It was horrible. I knew it wasn’t true.

    The senior pastor told us to *pray for the doctor’s wife*. When I talked to her after I left that church she gave an entirely different story: She said she always disliked the senior pastor, disliked the elders, thought there was something terribly wrong with the church, and she warned her husband that they shouldn’t attend! She hopes the whole place closes.

    Dr.John MacArthur was furious that his long-time close friend was treated to such disgraceful, ungodly, untrue conduct!

    Dave Miller won’t post this story.

  456. @ Velour: The YRR guys generally don’t like MacArthur – he has the wrong eschatology, he called out Driscoll early on his Song of Solomon perversion, but he does have a one of meanest nastiest associates who does the Pyromaniac Blog. His name escapes me at the moment – it is Johnson???

  457. Celia wrote:

    @ Velour: The YRR guys generally don’t like MacArthur – he has the wrong eschatology, he called out Driscoll early on his Song of Solomon perversion, but he does have a one of meanest nastiest associates who does the Pyromaniac Blog. His name escapes me at the moment – it is Johnson???

    Thanks for explaining that. Yes, MacAthur was incensed at Driscoll’s bad conduct and repeatedly called him out on it, when the fanboys wouldn’t.

    Phil Johnson works for MacArthur.

  458. Gram3 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    That is their paradigm.
    Their paradigm starts with the erroneous belief that the first sin was insubordination on the part of the woman. Therefore, insubordination is deemed the root sin of humanity. Karen committed the ultimate sin in their System. That is the starting point for their thinking process. Females brought ruin through insubordination.

    If I’m understanding the Scriptures properly, didn’t God only command Adam to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If that is the case, and I think it is, then Adam was remiss in not informing Eve of what God had said. Furthermore, when God confronted Eve, she acknowledged her sin. Adam, on the other hand, blamed Eve for his sin. Hmmmm…..I wonder what the Complementarians do with that!

  459. Ok, I answered my own question. Looked it up, it’s been awhile. Eve knew the command but apparently when God gave the command not to eat of the forbidden fruit, it was a command directly to Adam.

  460. Celia wrote:

    dee wrote:
    @ Celia:
    Another thing – if you see churches pushing these “home groups” “life groups” “gospel groups” RUN FAR AWAY. This is the means that these churches have of cutting people off from the outside world and then controlling them if they step out of line. Notice how painful it was for Karen when her home group turned against her. This is what exactly how it’s supposed to work. It is a cult – they isolate people to only those approved by the church, then then use the groups to make sure people are conforming and ultimately they use the group to dig into lives to see who they can “disipline.”
    Again if you are SBC show all these stories – the Hinley story, the guy in Dubai, Driscoll – to the church and STOP funding these cultic church plants.
    (and personally i”m not buying that Chandler and Co are truly repentant – they’re just sorry they got caught – it’s the whole system that is rotten and evil at it’s core.)

    Are those who become covenant members at TVC REQUIRED to join a home group or is it optional? Anyone know?

  461. @ Darlene:
    Not sure about TVC but in general these groups are not optional. I think even in this thread there were stories of people coming under discipline for not attending the groups regularly and if you’re not a member, don’t join, and won’t go to a group they ask you not come to the church anymore.

  462. Darlene wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    dee wrote:
    @ Celia:
    Another thing – if you see churches pushing these “home groups” “life groups” “gospel groups” RUN FAR AWAY. This is the means that these churches have of cutting people off from the outside world and then controlling them if they step out of line. Notice how painful it was for Karen when her home group turned against her. This is what exactly how it’s supposed to work. It is a cult – they isolate people to only those approved by the church, then then use the groups to make sure people are conforming and ultimately they use the group to dig into lives to see who they can “disipline.”
    Again if you are SBC show all these stories – the Hinley story, the guy in Dubai, Driscoll – to the church and STOP funding these cultic church plants.
    (and personally i”m not buying that Chandler and Co are truly repentant – they’re just sorry they got caught – it’s the whole system that is rotten and evil at it’s core.)
    Are those who become covenant members at TVC REQUIRED to join a home group or is it optional? Anyone know?

    It appears mandatory given the grief people are subjected to who don’t have time to attend because of work/family.

  463. Mitch wrote:

    The good news is that people like this wont be satisfied with the size of their piece of the pie for long and will soon be casting a longing eye at someone elses piece. Thats when the real show will begin.

    What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?

  464. Celia wrote:

    Not sure about TVC but in general these groups are not optional.

    All must be in a Cell with a Party Commissar.

  465. Gram3 wrote:

    The very few people who have approached me since we were PushedUnderCare did so because they saw things at the church and things like The Village and the incessant promotion of the Gospel Glitterati but they didn’t know who was “safe.”

    “Safe” as in “not a secret police informer”?

  466. Velour wrote:

    mirele wrote:
    The question I have to ask these guys is, “How on earth do you think you’re going to reach *the world* for Jesus if you’re so dismissive of what *the world* sees in your churches?”

    Trust me, they arrogantly have that one covered too: They are The Elect, going to Paradise to be with God, and everyone else is Doomed.

    Amazing what a Predestination Get Out of Hell Free Card signed by God before the creation of the world can do to your attitude.

    If you were among The Elect, you would *agree with them 100%”.

    “You obviously do not have a Rational Mind. If you had a Rational Mind, you would agree completely with ME.”
    — attr to Ayn Rand, self-described “Only Truly Rational Mind that Has Ever Existed”

  467. Velour wrote:

    Phil Johnson works for MacArthur.

    And provides the Big Man with Plausible Deniability in case of backlash.

  468. Velour wrote:

    Because they are full of pride – all of them – and designate themselves as The Elect. Haughty. Every last one of them.

    God is soooooo lucky to have them.
    What would God ever do without them?

  469. mirele wrote:

    You know, I just expected it. Once you state you’re outside their bubble, you are absolutely fair game for all sorts of criticism. I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not.

    Scientology actually calls it the Fair Game Law.

    (And when your church reminds people of “Just Like Scientology!”, that should tell you something.)

  470. Celia wrote:

    see where you’re “close to the line” That’s another tactic that Calvinist love. There’s the whole “gas lighting” thing demonstrated in the current thread over at voices. First they go after Lydia treating her like an hysterical woman and calling her a bully

    Congrats Serving Kids! You got Millerized! Yes, he lashes out at your very benign comment. You are horribly anonymous (like the author who has no reason to be) and you dared to question the humility of great men of God. He accuses you of things I was not seeing at all and that others there are actually guilty of doing but he says nothing!

    See, this is how it works. Nothing short of agreement will work. Now, he will be real nice to someone else. That is how it works. What is this called? There has to be a name for it as it is so inconsistent.

  471. Abi Miah wrote:

    the average Christian is a sitting duck for a pastor who is deceitful. Deceit just isn’t expected and by the time it is obvious, it’s too late.

    The average Christian is a trusting soul. He just loves and trusts the ministry to do the right thing. He expects a pastor to be honest, humble, love the Lord more than himself, etc. Folks, you just can’t do that any more! Pray for discernment and keep these deceivers out of your pulpits!

  472. @ Will M:

    The game is to marginalize the dissenter who dares to disagree with thier system or adoration. To marginalize you NOTHING you say, no matter how drippy sweet, will matter. You are mean. They are like playground bullies someone dared to stand up to.

  473. Now someone over there is implying that Chandler is innocent because it is a big church with a big staff and how was he to know? WEll anyone around this movement for 5 min who is honest knows the staff/elders emulate their leader. If they did not, they would not be there.

  474. Darlene wrote:

    Furthermore, when God confronted Eve, she acknowledged her sin. Adam, on the other hand, blamed Eve for his sin. Hmmmm…..I wonder what the Complementarians do with that!

    LOL. They still blame Eve and all women ever afterwards.

  475. HLydia wrote:

    Celia wrote:

    see where you’re “close to the line” That’s another tactic that Calvinist love. There’s the whole “gas lighting” thing demonstrated in the current thread over at voices. First they go after Lydia treating her like an hysterical woman and calling her a bully

    Congrats Serving Kids! You got Millerized! Yes, he lashes out at your very benign comment. You are horribly anonymous (like the author who has no reason to be) and you dared to question the humility of great men of God. He accuses you of things I was not seeing at all and that others there are actually guilty of doing but he says nothing!

    See, this is how it works. Nothing short of agreement will work. Now, he will be real nice to someone else. That is how it works. What is this called? There has to be a name for it as it is so inconsistent.

    What to call the *being real nice* thing before the next big blow up? In domestic violence it is called *the honeymoon phase*.

  476. @ Lydia:
    I love the excuse that went “if they were guilty of anything it was that they just wanted to bring glory to God.” which implies why wouldn’t Karen cooperate so they could bring glory to God.

  477. Celia wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I love the excuse that went “if they were guilty of anything it was that they just wanted to bring glory to God.” which implies why wouldn’t Karen cooperate so they could bring glory to God.

    If they were guilty of anything it wasn’t being *real men*! I had to contact and tell them to *man up* and fix it!!

  478. @ Darlene:
    The Female Subordinationist narrative is that God gave the command to Adam because Adam was the authority who had the responsibility to instruct Eve. We don’t know how she got her information or whether the information she relayed to the serpent was her own interpretation or whether Adam told her that version.

    The subordinationist narrative continues that she usurped the role of Adam as leader when she answered the serpent, and that is how she was deceived. Presumably this whole thing would not have happened if she had let Adam deal with the snake, since he was supposedly given sole authority to rule over the animals. Never mind Genesis 1:26-28. But there’s more. Adam was passive since he did not step up and confront the serpent. They are not clear if Adam’s passivity was due to Eve’s “usurping” his “authority” or if he was just being irresponsible.

    But the bottom line is that the first sin in the Female Subordinationist system was the Woman’s supposed sin of usurping the Man’s role. The first sin was a sin against the Man, not against God, according to their narrative. And they call everyone else man-centered.

    That first supposed sin of the Woman usurping the authority of the Man is the interpretive lens through which Karen Hinkley’s situation was viewed. They teach that the fundamental disposition of women is to usurp or “buck” a man’s authority. Even when the Holy Spirit indwells her. Females are essentially more rebellious than males. When you realize this, what the ELDERS did makes sense within their paradigm. It is a sick and twisted paradigm that is not based in scripture but rather in the wicked imaginations of insecure men. And a sick and twisted paradigm produces sick and twisted results. Yet, they are blind to the root of this man-made disaster. So, we can fully expect this to happen again and again.

  479. @ Celia:
    I’m not aware of mandatory small groups, though the ones I am aware of were open to covenant members only. The leaders were vetted, trained, and reported regularly. They were either elders or pastors.

  480. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Safe” as in “not a secret police informer”?

    That and also whether the person they mentioned their thoughts to would be sympathetic or condemning. Whether it was a topic that could be discussed without endangering relationships. It can be very subtle, as I’m sure you already know.

  481. Lydia wrote:

    What is this called?

    Double standards. Special pleading. Making it up as you go along. The truth is, it is better that they reveal what they are about. They have no idea how transparent they are because they only give each other positive feedback. Which is how meltdowns occur.

  482. Lydia wrote:

    Now someone over there is implying that Chandler is innocent because it is a big church with a big staff and how was he to know?

    Because anyone with a functional brain with a triple-digit IQ could figure out this would happen because the system is programmed to produce it. Another reason Chandler is responsible is because he is the Lead For-Pity’s-Sake Pastor! If he so so incompetent that he is unaware of how his “campus” ELDERS are handling a pedophile who was a Village missionary who was sent home from the mission field for his pedophilia, then we have an even bigger problem. But the brainiacs over at Voices have never worked in the real world where real executives are responsible for seeing that these things are handled properly. If Chandler was not informed, who did he fire? I meant transition, because no one is ever fired except members who ask inconvenient questions or are deceived into marrying a pedophile.

    Further, if The Village is so big that Chandler ends up looking so weak and incompetent, then perhaps The Village should spin off some of its franchises into more manageable units. Free advice to all the guys at Voices who don’t have a clue how real leadership works in the real world.