To the Naghmeh Abedini Doubters: Saeed Abedini Pled Guilty to Domestic Violence in 2007

He always apologized, and sometimes he would even cry because of the bruises he'd made on her arms or legs or her back. He would say that he hated what he'd done, but in the next breath tell her she'd deserved it. That if she'd been more careful, it wouldn't have happened. That if she'd been paying attention or hadn't been so stupid, he wouldn't have lost his temper.” ― Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven link

https://www.facebook.com/NaghmehAbedini

I have decided to move my planned post due to an important find by Divorce Pastor. This information is being quickly spread through social media and other bloggers, like Julie Anne Smith, are going to highlight it on their blogs. We feel we must do the same, particularly in light of some commenters here and on Twitter who have done their best to highlight their doubt about Naghmeh's allegations.

I contend, and will expand on this further in the next post, that complementarian, authoritarian Christianity attracts a number of individuals who have a problem with anger and violence. The churches, parachurch organizations and seminaries that adhere to this theology need to carefully evaluate if there are abusers in their midst. They need to teach that when abuse is reported, they should move quickly to support the individual who is being harmed.The question is, "Do the leaders care?"

Since Naghmeh's allegations first became public knowledge, I have had discussions with a number of men (primarily) who have thrown cold water on the reports by Naghmeh. Some claimed that there was no way she could be abused via Skype. Others claimed that this was a well thought out lie that was geared to somehow free Saeed.

I have been warned that there would be need for an *investigation* although by whom was never answered. Perhaps the Ambassadors of Reconciliation which did such a bang up job investigating Sovereign Grace Ministries….? As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can't prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?

Let's take a look at some comments that we saw on this blog. On another post, I will look at comments from other blogs. These comments are the reason that women are afraid to report domestic violence. How could a really cool pastor who was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel be an abuser? Do these people read their Bibles? Look at David and Bathsheba. How about Abraham and Hagar? 

Heartless Critics

Here are some examples.

This is the "She is being unbiblical because Sarah went along with weird stuff."

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Then there is the  "She must have an axe to grind" zinger.

2/1/16 Update: Q said iImisrepresented him. He claims he didn't say Naghmeh has an axe to grind but instead meant the following. It appears that he means that far too many supporters of abusers jump on the bandwagon to grind their axes because they have an agenda. 

I wrote that about the people jumping on the bandwagon of guilty without hearing from the man or any type of investigation because it seemed people were doing it because they have an axe *ax* (an agenda) to grind and they become blinded by that agenda.

Well, isn't that so much better? (End of update)

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And never forget the "That woman wants to lock the king out of his castle." 

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Finally here is the typical "her story does not add up" gambit. (Aside to Jerry-As for wanting to hear from Saeed, well, you are about to get your chance.)

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The guys in the white hat show up.

Thankfully, a couple of guys jumped in and supported Naghmeh's story. 

Jeff S gets marital abuse. .

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WillysJeepMan saw behind the asinine "I am not saying she is lying but…

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Then Franklin Graham pulls the "two sides to every story" canard.

Franklin Graham poured cold water on Naghmeh reports and says there are two sides to every story. No, Mr. Graham, sometimes there is only one correct version and that is called the truth.

"While we rejoice at his (Saeed Abedini's) new freedom, we now lift him and his wife, Naghmeh, to the Lord for healing in their marriage. Other than God, no one knows the details and the truth of what has happened between Saeed and Naghmeh except them. There's an old saying that there are at least two sides to every story," Graham, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.

Graham added that he is trying to be a friend and assist both, and said that there is a great need for prayer for their relationship.

"I can tell one thing for sure — not everything that has been reported in the media is true," he asserted.

Graham appeared to blame this whole thing on Satan. Excuse me, Rev Graham,  but Saeed had a lot to do with this as well unless you are saying that "the devil made him do it."

"God has answered prayer by bringing about Saeed's release from prison, and now, Satan would like nothing more than to continue to destroy their lives. It is my prayer that this will not happen."

The rest of the folks who wore white hats.

I want to commend the many readers here at TWW and elsewhere that believed Naghmeh's account from the start.

  • You are the ones who will eventually force the church to come to the defense of the abused.
  • You get that it is relatively rare for anyone to lie about such abuse. 
  • You are the folks that can read between the lines and see that something is seriously amiss.
  • You all have been given a gift from God to understand and care for those who have been abuse. 

You did all of this before the following report was revealed. I especially thank the intrepid Divorce Minister for reporting this link on our blog. 

Saeed Abedini has pled guilty to domestic violence in the past.

From the Idaho Statesman: Domestic abuse, national spotlight: Pastor’s wife speaks further about problems, we have learned that Saeed Abedini pled guilty to domestic violence in 2007.

In 2007, Saeed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in Ada County Magistrate Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, and placed on probation for a year, according to online Idaho court records. The case file was not immediately available for review.

BOOM!

Saeed, who could not be reached for comment, was released earlier this month as part of a prisoner swap. He spent five days at a North Carolina retreat center operated by the Rev. Franklin Graham, then flew to Boise on Tuesday, the same day Naghmeh filed a petition for legal separation in Ada County. He has not responded publicly to his wife’s allegations since the email first leaked last fall.

Bea Black of The Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise had something important to share with the Idaho Statesman. Some of Naghmeh's accusers should do some reading on the subject and need to carefully consider the highlighted statement.

“There’s a lot of shame, there’s a lot of guilt, there’s a lot of feelings that ‘it’s my fault,’ that ‘I should have tried harder, I could have been better,’ ” Black said. “Many times in an abusive relationship, whether it’s been due to violence or due to psychological or emotional abuse, they have been stripped of their sense of value and their sense of self.”

t takes a lot of strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship or to try to work through problems, Black said. Religious, family and societal pressures can all work against a woman struggling with abuse.

There have been a number of men (if I missed women supporting Saeed in any significant way, I apologize) who doubted Naghmeh. These folks have demonstrated how those who express abuse can be treated. 

Thank God that Naghmeh is a strong, brave woman who stood her ground. Our love and prayers go out to her. Naghmeh is following some of these posts. If you feel so led, leave a comment of encouragement and I will make sure she is made aware of them.

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I look forward to looking at how the church has contributed to hurting those who have been abused in my next post. I dedicate this song to Naghmeh and all of our wonderful readers who have suffered abuse and have been kicked to the curb by callous churches and church members.

Comments

To the Naghmeh Abedini Doubters: Saeed Abedini Pled Guilty to Domestic Violence in 2007 — 680 Comments

  1. ALamb wrote:

    It sounds like you were there to know who is telling the truth. My apologies. Please tell us all exactly what happened from 2007 to 2016 since you were there and witnessed it first hand.

    Nice try, Roscoe. I’ll tell you how I know when you tell me how you know the motives of the readers here since you said, “it’s not as exciting to the readers of this blog who are eager for Saeed’s blood.”

    You don’t know this. You are not inside their heads.
    Oh, wait. I should talk to you the way you talk to me.

    Ahem… Well, ALamb, I guess you must be all-knowing of the motives of the people on this blog and have come across some great power that makes you see the very hearts and souls of all. Please, since you are witnessing the insides of these peoples’ heads, let us know how you have come to this great power and enlighten us so that we too can be mind readers and thought police just like you.

    Snark button off.

    No, Roscoe, I was not there. But I have dealt enough with human nature and the nature of abuse to know the signs and see the evidence and fall out from it. I have also seen how miserable the church has handled abuse and how much the leadership just wants to sweep it all under the rug, like you are trying to do now. And this is wrong. Changes need to be made and they aren’t made by ignoring the evidence and trying to silence those working to get to the truth.

    Bottom-line. Your silencing tactics won’t work here. We see through it. Insult, judge, shame, accuse all you like. Snark your way to kingdom come and back. It doesn’t matter. This isn’t going away. I’m sorry for how uncomfortable it is making you. But you best get over it, open your eyes, and think twice about who you want to accuse and who you want to defend.

  2. Lydia wrote:

    Part of being the kingdom is loving justice and seeking truth. A lot of Christians try to convince me we must wait. I say that attitude negates the meaning of the Resurrection.

    Preach it Lyds. Nonetheless, the prime impetus of fundagelicalism is to save souls from the fires of hell, not to build a better world in the here and now.
    In my opinion the differences between Medieval Catholicism and the Protestantism of the Reformation are only cosmetic.

  3. ALamb wrote:

    Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser.

    There is usually never more than the victim as a witness in domestic abuse. I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person. In a court of law a man (pastor or not) can be convicted on the testimony of one or simply evidence. No one here has convicted him, but you seem to keep saying it is so with no proof.

    As far as Saeed being a pastor, if you call acquiring a certificate on line being a pastor then you can have him as your pastor.

  4. @ Nancy2:
    I’m quoting scripture. It’s scripture you have the problem with, not me. No Christian condones physical abuse, nor do we condone false accusations. Professing Christians are out for blood without knowing all the facts, they are taking one side over another without hearing both sides.

    My point was about the quotes used to paint a picture that might not be accurate.

  5. @ Nancy2:
    Also, I never said Naghmeh is lying. Please re-read my comments. I have consistently said we, none of us, knows what is going on for sure.

  6. @ Mara:
    I never called anyone here a wolf, you are falsely accusing me. It’s not a good idea to make a fictional quote look like a first hand account in any situation. The Sparks quote does look like it was written about Naghmeh. That’s how rumors get started. I’m sorry you don’t see understand why it’s a bad idea. I hope it never happens to you.

  7. @ Mara:
    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing (which is by the way how you know what someone is thinking…when they write it down and you read what they wrote). They have said outright that he is abusing Naghmeh, that Naghmeh is a victim, etc. I.e., Saeed is being judged as guilty by those on this page…they are out for blood…meaning they have judged and convicted this man before hearing his side.

    You however have judged me on several counts. I won’t repeat them, as anyone can already see what you have written.

    Also, I have seen abuse first hand so you do not know what you are talking about. I am one of the last people who would sweep abuse under a rug. You made several false accusations against me.

  8. @ Bridget:

    “Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser”.-ALamb

    “I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person.”

    Not at all, I’m referencing a scriptural command given to us by Paul.

    “In a court of law a man (pastor or not) can be convicted on the testimony of one or simply evidence.”

    I’m not sure but the evidence in a court case might be considered ‘a witness’. Scripturally, we are told that in the case of a pastor 2-3 witnesses are needed before accepting an accusation. It’s not my rule.

    “No one here has convicted him, but you seem to keep saying it is so with no proof.”
    Ummm, re-read all the comments where people are considering him guilty. That’s what I’m referring to.

    “As far as Saeed being a pastor, if you call acquiring a certificate on line being a pastor then you can have him as your pastor.”

    This is not about Saeed being my pastor, your pastor, etc. We are told not use partiality in James. When I left my original comment it struck a nerve with what sound like regular readers on this site. My comment said it is careless to use a fictional quote by Nicholas Sparks at the beginning of this blog as it makes it sound like the quote is specifically referring to Naghmeh when it is not. It paints a picture of physical abuse, as if it is something that has been ongoing since 2007 and we do not know that there has been physical abuse at all. I said that we do not know what has happened. We don’t. To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for. People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story. So be it. I will not be a part of this.

    Saeed is either guilty or he is not…I have never claimed to know nor have I given my opinion on his guilt or innocence. I do know I will not accuse him as I also will not accuse Naghmeh.

  9. Daisy wrote:

    Ken: “In the end of course we will all have our day in court, no-one who has ever lived will be able to avoid it, and the Judge will have exhaustive knowledge of all the facts.”
    So, in the meantime, nobody should stand up for victims, and/or victims should not try to rectify their situation or seek justice?

    I wasn’t implying that at all, Daisy. Historically in the UK, evangelicals have been active in bringing about reform to curb the exploitation of the modern industrial economy, and there still are ongoing ministries to the poor and dispossessed. My old UK church is involved with this, for example.

    Haitch – the context of my comment I have put in quotes above was the pastor of my church in the UK (after I had left it though) who was sent to prison for child abuse of his own children.

    As an old man, it did for his health at 80 years of age. He is of course now totally estranged from his children. He must live the rest of his life labelled a child molester in the eyes of those around him, and is on a register.

    Now I have to say he might have been guilty and the verdict just. It was a court of law. Nevertheless there are reasons to doubt this, and if he had had the health left to appeal, he might well have had the conviction subsequently quashed – the means of obtaining evidence has since been discredited.

    Only God knows the truth of the matter, and despite the potential for a miscarriage of justice in this life, he will one day stand before God and either be found to have been innocent, or guilty as the case may be.

    Similarly for pastors who abuse – and anyone else for that matter – what is hidden will one day come to light. It will be unavoidable. If they had any inkling of what is coming, perhaps they might think twice. They as pastors will be judged more strictly. I’m starting to wonder if ‘once saved always saved’ is a pernicious piece of deception in this connection.

    I think the truth of coming judgment is something perpetrators need to be confronted with, it’s not much of an immediate comfort to victims.

    It’s very easy to live as though this life is all there is, and the rank tolerance of sin amongst modern evangelicals is evidence of this.

    It seems to me (Haitch) you might have experienced the opposite, with a ‘don’t bother to address problems in this life, it will all one day be sorted out’ attitude. If you took that attitude to its logical conclusion, why bother to have courts and trials or battered wives refuges at all, but rather leave to the end of the age? Too heavenly minded to be any earthly use.

    Part of the ministry of the church is simply to do good to those around us, to care for those Jesus died to save, and some will have particular gifts and calling to do this.

  10. @ ALamb:
    This is easy peasy. Just get a Christian title and you have the three witness covering for evils done in secret.

    This was the defense Paige Patterson used for the pervert Pastor Darrell Gilyard who still ended up in prison despite trying to use Paul to cover over perversion.

    You know, it is ok to include logic and reason when you read scripture along with historical context.

  11. @ Nancy2:

    According to alambs reasoning, Naghmeh isn’t entitled to the three witness covering. She did not buy pastor certification. :o)

  12. @ ALamb:

    Perhaps the bloggers think more highly of their readers to tell the difference. Why not start a blog and do it differently? What I know is Saeed had a DV conviction and not long after he is certified for ministry. Now some folks believe in instantaneous repentance or “I am sorry” as repentance, but I don’t.

    Since you like the wooden literal and non contextual interpretation of scripture, what about those pesky qualifications?

  13. ALamb wrote:

    there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses

    Many sins are committed behind closed doors. Surely you know that it’s highly unlikely that there would be 2-3 witnesses to child molestation, adultery, porn use, domestic violence, etc.

  14. ALamb wrote:

    Scripturally, we are told that in the case of a pastor 2-3 witnesses are needed before accepting an accusation. It’s not my rule.

    ALamb wrote:

    This is not about Saeed being my pastor, your pastor, etc.

    You keep insinuating that Saeed is a pastor and therefore there is a need for 2-3 accusers (witnesses?). I don’t consider Saeed a pastor based on the qualifications.

    Based on your original concern, you have a low view of reader’s ability to understand a quote and you are accusing Dee of trying to mislead the readers. Not very charitable of you.

    Now you are claiming that you have been attacked by some of the commenters.ALamb wrote:

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for.

    Attacked??

    ALamb wrote:

    To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    You make a huge assumption here based on your personal opinion.

    ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    And you know what people here want to believe?

    Does Saeed need to have 2-3 witnesses as well, or do we need take him at his word because he paid for a piece of paper that made him a pastor?

  15. ALamb wrote:

    What happened since then is not known. If you want to take sides it is your choice but you do not know the facts unless you were there.

    That kind of thinking that harms victims.

    By not “choosing sides,” you are actually choosing sides yourself- defaulting to choosing the side of the abuser.

  16. ALamb wrote:

    No one is arguing what happened in 2007. There was a charge, an admission of guilt and a conviction….kind of like each of us when we sin.
    According to your own words, you are whatever your worst sin was…you are still whatever you have done

    Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior, not a one-time event.

    Most experts on domestic violence (such as Lundy Bancroft) will tell you that while abusive men can change they often do not because they benefit from abusing their spouse.

  17. ALamb wrote:

    “Still scripture is clear that when accusing a pastor in particular, there need to be multiple witnesses. So far we have one accuser”.-ALamb
    “I guess in your world a pastor could never be accused of domestic abuse unless he did it in front of another person.”
    Not at all, I’m referencing a scriptural command given to us by Paul.

    Well, then, every single pastor who abuses children gets a pass since, as you know, it is done behind closed doors. It is statements like this that allow serious abuse of children and spouses to continue.

    Good night! I cannot believe you are actually applying this verse to sex abuse and domestic violence.
    Be very careful of proof texting the Bible with one verse. Paul was most likely referencing problems in church governance. Paul would never condone keeping on a pedophile pastor who cleverly rapes little children because he can do it behind closed doors.

    People would never be safe in a church in which this sort of thing is taught. You name may be “A Lamb” but you are releasing the wolves who will take full advantage or your proof texting of Scripture.

    To show you how ridiculous this is, I refer you to the infamous Darryl Gilyard case in which Paige patterson told teen girls who came to him about this pastor that they needed 2-3 witnesses. This man continue to molest, time and time again. Look it up on this blog or in the news.

  18. ALamb wrote:

    To put that fictional quote at the beginning of an article and put Naghmeh’s picture directly under the quote is careless to readers who are not careful readers…who will think it is truly about Naghmeh.

    I asked you to put your thinking cap on and figure out a positive reason why I left that quote. You didn’t. Since you refuse to engage me, I suggest you start your own blog and preach your message your way.

  19. ALamb wrote:

    The fact that I have been attacked after leaving my opinion, is the proof you are looking for.

    Attacked? This is a blog in which we challenge one another to think. People disagree with me all the time and I do not consider it an attack. It is health disagreement. You may be too sensitive to handle commenting on a blog that allows for open discussion. This blog attracts all sorts of folks and to lump us all into one category is silly.

  20. ALamb wrote:

    but we shouldn’t be quick to accept this charge…there need to be 2-3 witnesses…multiple witnesses.

    Er, no. Abuse is usually done in private, and it’s not captured on video or film. The abuser makes sure there are little to no witnesses.

    Your approach to this would mean that victims would never be able to receive justice, and the abusers would not be held accountable, because your standard of “proof,” or whatever you wish to call it, is too narrow.

  21. okrapod wrote:

    In my state some repeat offenders who have previously been tried in state courts repeatedly are now tried in federal courts because whoever set up this system thought that the sentencing in the state courts was too lenient and was not convincing the perp to quit. I have no idea of the details of how they got this done but they did set up the system, and in such a case the accused’s past history works against him in that he is now in federal court.

    I remember the reasoning behind the law was, that since the primary rights we possess as Americans, are life& liberty,that a person’s constitutional rights are broken when that person is killed, injured, or imprisoned.
    Someday (come quickly, Lord) I hope to see abusers get slapped into prison for denying their victims their constitutional rights. (Say what you will about Mr. Jefferson, he was a h#*!!uva lawyer).

  22. ALamb wrote:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing (which is by the way how you know what someone is thinking…when they write it down and you read what they wrote). T

    If it is so easy for you, then why is there disagreement over many verses n Scripture, including your 2-3 witnesses one. It is called context.@ ALamb:

    I know it is hard to see the effect your words have on people. I would suggest that you move along since you are attempting to make this all about “A Lamb” and that is not what we are writing about. Please stick to the topic and stop whining about how you are being treated.

    We allow comments from everyone, including those who strongly disagree with us. That is not allowed on many blogs. If you can;t handle it, then this is not the place for you.

    So, if you do not like the fact that many of us support Naghmeh, go find a support Saeed blog.

    At this point, I am placing you into permanent moderation so that I can see if you are capable of sticking to the discussion at hand as opposed to worrying about how you are being treated.

  23. ALamb wrote:

    I’m quoting scripture. It’s scripture you have the problem with, not me.

    Maybe you’re misapplying Scripture or taking it out of context. Christians do that all the time.

    I am more interested in helping abuse victims (doing unto others) than following jot and tittles of biblical law.

    “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

  24. ALamb wrote:

    Also, I never said Naghmeh is lying.

    Yes, yes we know. Just about everyone I’ve seen cast doubt on Naghmeh and who “tut tuts” people for suggesting Saeed is a domestic abuser and/or not fit to be a clergy person is told, “Oh, but I’m not saying she’s lying.”

    You’re just implying it or so siding with the husband you’re leaving a domestic violence victim out in the cold. It’s a difference without much of a distinction.

  25. Lydia wrote:

    This is easy peasy. Just get a Christian title and you have the three witness covering for evils done in secret.
    This was the defense Paige Patterson used for the pervert Pastor Darrell Gilyard who still ended up in prison despite trying to use Paul to cover over perversion.

    The Watchdog blog has some posts about that, if anyone would like to see:
    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/search?q=Gilyard

  26. ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    It’s not a matter of “wanting” to believe anything. The way domestic violence works is that it’s an on-going problem.

    If the guy hit her once, it is more than likely he did it more than once.

    Verbal abuse probably preceded physical abuse.

    It’s like if we had a story of a kid who said his church pastor sexually molested him.

    First of all, people who step forward about this stuff usually do not lie or make it up.

    Secondly, you can rest assured, given how child fondlers operate, that this kid is not the first victim, nor was the fondling that kid reported likely the first time he was touched inappropriate by the pastor, there was probably a history of grooming and/or touching.

  27. ALamb wrote:

    People hear want to believe that Saeed is an ongoing physical abuser and that Naghmeh is his victim without hearing his side of the story.

    P.S. We already heard Saeed’s side of the story. He claimed in a public statement that some of Naghmeh’s story is untrue.

    Here is Saeed’s story:
    “Pastor Saeed Abedini denies wife’s sexual abuse claims but admits their marriage is in ‘great stress'”
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.saeed.abedini.denies.wifes.sexual.abuse.claims.but.admits.their.marriage.is.in.great.stress/78399.htm

    However, Abedini said “much of what I have read in Naghmeh’s posts and subsequent media reports is not true.”

    —————
    Knowing what I know about domestic abuse, I am more inclined to “side with” the person claiming victim status (in this case, the wife).

  28. Ummm, there are three testimonies (witnesses) as to the credibility of the allegations: (1) Naghmeh, (2) Franklin G who has said that not ‘everything’ is true, and (3) Saeed himself who has also said that not ‘everything’ is true.

    So, two people who are saying that they agree that at least some of what she has said is true, plus the accuser herself; and 1+1+1 = 3.

    Not that I think that the “2 or 3” biblical statement applies in this instance, not at all, but just to mention the three statements. That biblical sentence is so misunderstood and misapplied, IMO. But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological courts. We do not need theological courts like the inquisition or Sharia instead of our secular court system, even with all it’s faults.

  29. Daisy wrote:

    From college campuses to the world of celebrity to religious communities, there seems to always be a backlash against those who come forward. Whether it be about rape, abuse, or any other trauma.

    And let’s not forget the military….

  30. @ okrapod:
    I’m wondering ……… If ALamb were being abused by a pastor/elder, would s/he just lie back and take it unless or until s/he could produce 2 or more witnesses?

  31. Victorious wrote:

    And let’s not forget the military….

    “But he is risking life and limb to serve our country. If we follow through with these accusations ………”
    A friend of mine had her shoulder dislocated by her military husband. Instead of taking her to the hospital, they went to the team medic, who covered for them. They told people that she just got clumsy and fell down the stairs. Only the men on the team and their wives (myself and my husband included) knew the truth.

  32. Victorious wrote:

    And let’s not forget the military….

    Some of my family were/ are career military (and they’re okay guys), but sexism and/or sexual assault against women is a problem in the U.S. military for sure.

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    Or, like in the Tony Jones case, he was buddies with the local police, so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

  33. @ ALamb:
    I disagree.

    It should be clear to eve a casual or careless reader of the this blog that the quotation at the top of the article is simply that – a quotation – and that the link to the context immediately follows. As an introduction to the topic of “abuse” it is effective and normal journalistic practice.

    I take it you would describe yourself as a careful reader,. You are certainly a clever one because having alleged or implied that there was or could be an ulterior motive in using the quotation, you then go on to construct your own narrative of what happened. The problem is that you don’t know what happened. Judges are bound by the law and the verdict of guilty and the penalty imposed are defined by that law. So your speculation that it wasn’t much of an offence that didn’t merit much of a punishment leads you to conclude that there is nothing to see here.

    Fortunately the court decided that there was something to see and passed sentence.

  34. Daisy wrote:

    so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

    …ahh..the Code of Silence?

  35. @ Lowlandseer:
    I should also say that I’ve come late to your remarks ALamb and I’d like to respond to a couple of your other points.
    You referred to 1Timothy 5:19 and the need for several witnesses before an allegation against an elder is entertained. That is true but if you take the time to read the next verse (v20) you will see that those elders who have sinned have to be reproved “before everyone”. It is clear from the court conviction that Mr Saeed had sinned and he should have been reproved “before everyone”. This clearly did not happen at CC Boise; the matter was known to the pastor and it appears that a private arrangement regarding discipline was put in place. Why was that? It didn’t happen a few months later either when he registered with the AEA who rather quickly sent him out under their auspices as an ordained pastor. Why was that? Don’t you think it speaks of double standards? Or neglect? Or carelessness on the part of the church? Or did they not read the injunction in v21 to “keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favouritism”? Did they fail to see the exhortation in v22 not to be ” hasty in the laying on of hands and not share in the sins of others”? As Paul goes on to say, “the sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them” and it is in blogs like this one that the leaders of the church are reminded of their solemn responsibility before God to defend the sheep.

  36. Victorious wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    so when his then-wife phoned them for help, IIRC, the cops sort of blew her off, because Jones was their buddy.

    …ahh..the Code of Silence?

    “Code of Blue”, according to ToJo of the Wife Abuse Hall of Fame.

    Cop will ALWAYS side with Cop against Not-Cop. Why do you think ToJo and Bob Greiner both became Police Chaplains? That makes them Cop.

  37. okrapod wrote:

    But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological courts. We do not need theological courts like the inquisition or Sharia instead of our secular court system, even with all it’s faults.

    That’s what Taking Back America and Restoring Our CHRISTIAN Nation is for.

  38. dee wrote:

    Good night! I cannot believe you are actually applying this verse to sex abuse and domestic violence.

    Be very careful of proof texting the Bible with one verse.

    But that interpretation is to ALamb’s personal advantage, so that’s What God Hath Said.

    To show you how ridiculous this is, I refer you to the infamous Darryl Gilyard case in which Paige patterson told teen girls who came to him about this pastor that they needed 2-3 witnesses.

    How Shari’a…

  39. Daisy wrote:

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    You might wanna check out Stephen King’s novel Rose Madder
    It’s about a woman who escapes a vile beast of a man who happens to be cop.

  40. ALamb wrote:

    It’s not a good idea to make a fictional quote look like a first hand account in any situation.

    Again.
    Dee did not do that. She clearly labeled things. Everything she did is legit and acceptable. You attacking her over it is just you grasping for straws and trying to undermine the serious topic at hand.

  41. ALamb wrote:

    The Sparks quote does look like it was written about Naghmeh.

    So far, only to you.
    The rest of the people around here are intelligent and savvy enough to understand what is going on. Not that you are not intelligent. I’m sure you are in many areas. But in this particular one you are not.

  42. ALamb wrote:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything other than what they are writing

    You used terms like dishonest and dishonorable. You said they were out for blood. Yes, you were accusing people.

    The reason you were ‘attacked’ is because you came in here swinging. You came here with an attitude of moral superiority and as one who was going to set people straight. If you feel you were attacked, you must come to terms that you did, indeed, start it.

    You can dish it out. But you can’t take it.
    If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out then whine about what comes back at you.

  43. @ okrapod:
    The Inquistions were convened to find and severely punish heresy, although the Spanish Inquisition was a tool of the state. It was not ended until the 1840s.

  44. okrapod wrote:

    But since people are not going to deal with that then thank God that our courts are not theological court

    Yes! It would be a horror as we know from history.

  45. First, I want to say after reading the comments that many of the people commenting here are shockingly rude and cutting to one another. I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    ALamb is right. Using that quote was careless and more; it was outright slander. Placement of that quote at the beginning of the article implies that you have knowledge that what Saeed did was in the same category of abuse as what is quoted, when none of us know any such thing. It also reads like a second-hand testimony by someone speaking for Naghmeh. Some will notice that you are citing an author (if they are even aware that “Nicholas Sparks” is an author and not an acquaintance who is speaking for Naghmeh); some may not (you are lacking quotation marks in the beginning of your quote, or even indentation, one of which is a grammatical necessity to let the readers know when they begin reading that it is a quote set apart from the rest of the article). It definitely plants something precise and awful in the mind of the reader, when the nature of abuse that occurred is flatly unknown. I would say, in fact, that ALamb was being generous by calling it a “careless” mistake; it is as possible that this was quite intentional and, on the contrary, done with considerable care and forethought taken by the blogger. The blogger is either young, inexperienced in how to write an article, both, or quite savvy indeed and purposely misleading readers by using a quote – without any indication as you begin reading that it IS a quote – that ascribes a precise sin to someone they do not know precisely sinned that way.

    One way or the other, it needs to be edited.

    Based on the tone of the comments, I doubt very much it will be.

    This is a BIG deal to a HOLY God.

    I wonder if you would all be okay with this being done to you. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind if, after your spouse made a VERY vague statement about you, the masses rushed to the worst assumptions, slapped a detailed fictional account in front of it, and published it online…for atheists and enemies of Christ to feed upon.

    My reaction to Naghmeh’s recent posts and Saeed’s only following statement was great sadness – sadness for her and sadness for Saeed. It left me with questions, not answers. The statements conflict; the husband and wife know the details. I do not know either of them. So I pray.

    I see a lot of people here condemning this man (along with anyone who dares to caution them against it) with overt enthusiasm, seizing excitedly, readily, and blindly on thoughts of the worst…concerning a scenario about which we all, as of this writing, possess zero details. It makes me feel ill.

    Some here confess outright that they do not even believe in the changing power of Christ for certain sins.

    I wonder what Jesus thinks of this rush to judgment by the hearts and minds of professing believers against a fellow professing believer who – this much we do know – nearly died speaking on behalf of our Savior.

    Whatever the details of the event from nine years ago were, no matter how awful, I will remain in the minority of believers who actually pray for both Naghmeh AND Saeed – and beyond that, know enough to keep my mouth shut.

    “But concerning ***brotherly love*** you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to ***love one another;*** 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also ***aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business,*** and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” – 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11.

    “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for ***every idle word*** men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” – Matthew 12:35-36.

    I hope you repent. This is my first and last visit to this blog, but I felt compelled to warn you. I pray none of my lost loved ones ever come here and think the tone and actions here represent my sweet, loving, life-altering, forgiving Jesus.

    -A Concerned Woman Who Lives For Jesus

  46. Sissy wrote:

    First, I want to say after reading the comments that many of the people commenting here are shockingly rude and cutting to one another. I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    It depends on how you define or understand the phrase “Christian blog.”

    I think our hosts would go by the ‘Christian’ label, but the visitors you see here may be ex-Christians, atheists, or agnostics.

    That some of the participants claiming the Christian label here and do not agree with your position does not mean they are Non-Christians or awful people.

    You said:

    I wonder what Jesus thinks of this rush to judgment by the hearts and minds of professing believers against a fellow professing believer who – this much we do know – nearly died speaking on behalf of our Savior.

    You apparently don’t understand the dynamics of marital abuse. By refusing to “rush to judgement,” or make any judgement calls, you are by default choosing Saeed’s side (the abuser) – Which harms the victim (Naghmeh).

    Why are you more concerned with Saeed’s reputation than with Naghmeh’s emotional or physical safety? Have you thought of it in those terms?

    You may want to read this page:
    You Are The Second Abuser – Victims Face Backlash When Coming Forward
    http://popchassid.com/you-are-the-second-abuser/

  47. Sissy wrote:

    ALamb is right. Using that quote was careless and more; it was outright slander.

    No it’s not. You are jumping to outrageous conclusions.

  48. Sissy wrote:

    I hope you repent. This is my first and last visit to this blog, but I felt compelled to warn you.

    Do you really think you speak for God? Really?
    Slapping down a couple Bible verses and trying to force them to apply here doesn’t count. Satan did that to Jesus and we all know he wasn’t speaking for God.

    You don’t like the issues we are dealing with here? Fine. You are entitled to your opinion concerning those issues and concerning those Bible verses you are throwing around.
    But you should probably back off on thinking that you speak for God. Again, that’s one of those ‘rushing in where angels fear to tread’ things that people need to be careful with.

  49. Sissy wrote:

    Whatever the details of the event from nine years ago were, no matter how awful, I will remain in the minority of believers who actually pray for both Naghmeh AND Saeed – and beyond that, know enough to keep my mouth shut.

    I agree with you about praying for Naghmeh AND Saeed. However, if I were ever a victim of spousal abouse, I would pray that someone would believe me and stand up for me.
    I assume that if you are ever abused, your hearts desire will be for everyone to stay out of your business! Make sure you broadcast that so that everyone will know, just in case.

  50. Sissy wrote:

    I pray none of my lost loved ones ever come here and think the tone and actions here represent my sweet, loving, life-altering, forgiving Jesus.

    Don’t read Matthew 23 then.

  51. @ Sissy:
    You make a number of points, most of which have been dealt with by other contributors.
    However, like ALamb, you make unfounded assertions about the the intention and purpose of the author. The quotation you object to actually has a quotation mark! It also has a link to the article it came from so it should be quite clear to even the most casual reader that it relates to something else and is being used as an illustration of the wider subject of spousal abuse. In my opinion, only someone who has an agenda to pursue would miss these points. And you seem to have such an agenda. You immediately press beyond ALamb’s assessment of this being “careless” and insinuate that it was a deliberate act of deception in order to mislead the reader into thinking that the abuse in this case was physical. No one has said it, written it or thought it for the good reason that the pertinent facts of the case have been sealed. So neither you nor I nor anyone else can be so prescriptive. This fact should also have given you a clue that no one was pursuing a definite line of abuse here and that the article is shining a light on abuse generally. But no, you insert your own narrative in order to malign the author and contributors.

    You are right when you say this is a big deal to a holy God. It is a big deal to Him that a pastor of His flock has been convicted of a crime committed within one of His most precious gifts to us -the family. It is a big deal to Him that other shepherds either didn’t know or overlooked this fact when ordaining him and sending him out in God’s name. True brotherly love insists that we act impartially, fairly and to the highest of God’s standards in all our relationships not just the ones we like and feel comfortable with. It is not love to fail to exercise discipline of a pastor who has transgressed. Too often such discipline is viewed as being only for the sheep and not the temporal shepherd.

    Similarly God deals with us on the basis of our heart. Is it truly His? Do our actions match our words in showing how much we love Him? Again you seem to think that this is only for us silly sheep. But it isn’t. It is for all God’s people and those who have been entrusted with our care will be judged by a higher standard. So apply that to the pastor in this case. If you find you can forgive him so easily and pray for him so tritely, then you should be able to do the same for those whose hearts have been broken by abuse and who try to take a stand against it in order to help and heal others.

    I’m glad the Good Samaritan passed our way.

  52. Sissy wrote:

    I’m actually amazed that this is a Christian blog. (Is this a Christian blog?)

    I think this is called a “hit and run” – doesn’t bother to find out about even a skerrick of the purpose or ethos or contributors to the blog, but has a deep need to post a TL:DR. Opprobrium + disengagement from others you don’t agree with = an unattractive belief set to me.

  53. @ Sissy:
    I get this feeling you are “compelled” to “warn” a lot of people –all the time –about many things. :o)

  54. ALamb wrote:

    God knows what happened.

    As well as the legal system in Idaho, which processed charges against him. As well as his conscience that caused him to admit guilt to the charges.

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  56. @ Q:

    I disallowed another one of your comments. Had you actually answered Bill M in a thoughtful manner, your comment would have been approved. However, you took the opportunity to decry our moderation decisions. That is not allowed.

    So, stop playing games and discuss the issue at hand or your comments will be disallowed.

  57. dee wrote:

    Another Concerned Woman Who Lives for Jesus.

    This is perfect.
    I get tired of people deciding that their own opinion is also God’s opinion and the opinion of Jesus.
    I get tired of people who assume that those who don’t agree with them somehow don’t love Jesus and aren’t motivated Him.
    And I get tired of people who think they have some sort of monopoly on morality or spiritual insight. I get tired of them looking down their noses as what they don’t understand.

  58. dee wrote:

    Had you actually answered Bill M

    Sorry Q, I didn’t set you up very well for a reasoned reply. The series of comments the other night struck me as odd and not typical, either in the time of day or the quick succession. Should you return on a different topic I would hope for a better interaction.

  59. Mara wrote:

    I get tired of people deciding that their own opinion is also God’s opinion…

    Tell Me about it.

    Best regards,
    God

  60. We do not allow comments about how we moderate. We have our reasons for doing what we do. We do not care if you think we are fair or not fair.

    2 comments not approved. One for discussing moderation. Another for not fully presenting the actual report.

  61. @ Bill M:
    Q is in permanent moderation. Due to the illnesses in my family, some of those comments take a long time to be approved or not approved.

  62. dee wrote:

    Sissy wrote:
    A Concerned Woman Who Lives For Jesus

    Now that sounds like a Church Lady backhand signoff.

    I’ve found through experience that Oozing Concern(TM) and always reminding others of your Concern(TM) is a sign of a sociopath.

  63. dee wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    Q is in permanent moderation.

    Dee has succeeded where Captain Picard could not.

    Incidentally, John DeLancie is on the Brony con circuit these days. Last year at EQLA he fielded questions in a “John DeLancie Q&A”. One audience question left him speechless for about half a minute:
    “This is a Q & A?”
    “Yes.”
    “Where’s ‘A’?”

  64. Lydia wrote:

    @ Sissy:
    A drive by rebuke. Isn’t that rude? :o)

    Alamb must have called for back up.

    Assuming Sissy isn’t Alamb with a new handle.

  65. Muff Potter wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    I’d maybe also add police. Some police officers abuse their wives.

    You might wanna check out Stephen King’s novel Rose Madder
    It’s about a woman who escapes a vile beast of a man who happens to be cop.

    Remember Bob Greiner, ToJo, and “Code of Blue”:

    Cop will always side with Cop against Not-Cop.

    And Bob & ToJo made sure they got on the “Cop” side of the divide first.

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  67. Thanks for your article. Much appreciate it. I’m responding to your statement, “As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can’t prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?”

    Do you think John Piper / Bethlehem Baptist has changed position based upon the sermon here..? http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/fooled-false-leadership
    Excert / quote: “If you are being abused, the bulletin gives information on next steps. Please let us help. God hates abuse, and so do we. We are committed to help. If you have come to us for help before and have been disappointed, please give us another chance. We believe that the tide of awareness has risen on all three campuses and that positive changes are happening.”

  68. @ Becca:

    That is the new church leadership’s statement. I have not heard Piper apologize for nor refute his harmful teachings.

  69. Becca wrote:

    Thanks for your article. Much appreciate it. I’m responding to your statement, “As you know, men like John Piper, Al Mohler and Mark Dever support their authoritarian, complementarian buddy, CJ Mahaney and they totally deny any report of abuse because, of course, you can’t prove it…so why should anyone believe Naghmeh?”
    Do you think John Piper / Bethlehem Baptist has changed position based upon the sermon here..? http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/fooled-false-leadership
    Excert / quote: “If you are being abused, the bulletin gives information on next steps. Please let us help. God hates abuse, and so do we. We are committed to help. If you have come to us for help before and have been disappointed, please give us another chance. We believe that the tide of awareness has risen on all three campuses and that positive changes are happening.”

    Wow. That is a surprise considering the context from which it sprang. It’s a very good article and names several key aspects that the Christian church often gets wrong with regard to abuse: 1) Normative sin vs. abusive sin (to equate the two is what others have labeled “sin leveling.” 2) Neutrality is a choice to side with the abuser. 3) The victim needs care/treatment and protection. This is different from what resolving typical conflicts requires: both sides to look at their own contribution. 4) You cannot tell from appearances who is an abuser. e.g. “He teaches the Bible so well.” I didn’t really like the charts and they could have defined mind games so as to clue people in better as to abusive tactics, but this is a really commendable start.

  70. Lydia wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Debbie Kaufman wrote:
    The most telling thing, if anyone had any doubt, was the fact that after 3 1/2 years in prison, he totally ignored his wife at his homecoming. It was as if she was not there.
    If he was innocent and if he loved her as a man should love a woman, he would have embraced her and smothered her with kisses. Instead he was cold and ignored her completely. That should have told everyone the truth right there.
    Debbie, can you provide a link that points to what you are saying? Not doubting you…just would like to read an article that states this. Thanks.

    Yeah, I think both Saaed and Franklin would have liked nothing more than such a photo op. The pattern I am seeing since she filed the issue of not taking the kids out of the state, says it all to me. It is more likely she is just being extremely careful. I think this just might have been Naghmeh protecting herself. The media reported that her parents went to meet him.

    The woman in the video, when Saeed got off the plane in North Carolina, wasn’t Naghmeh. It was Saeed’s sister, Zeebandeh.