Wayne Grudem, Staunch Supporter of CJ Mahaney, Received Money From Sovereign Grace Ministries.

"I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is."  Paul Harvey link

tweet from good morning america
CJ-German Short Haired Pointer who won the Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show
Tweeted by Good Morning America (I could not resist)

 

TWW does not accept advertisements. We also do not participate in any kickback program with Amazon or other companies. We made a decision, years ago, to remain independent from any financial incentives because we were concerned that it would affect how we independent we would be when it meant either making or losing money. We also knew that it would cause our readers to wonder if we were able to be bought.

It is not illegal to accept money in the form of donations from various church groups or individuals. However, could such income cause one to be biased in favor of such groups of people when conflict inevitably arises? The Deebs believe that it can. The best example of buying such influence is found by looking at money that was given by CJ Mahaney and/or Sovereign Grace Ministries(SGM) to celebrity Calvinistas and/or their institutions. We believe that Mahaney and SGM/SGC are one and the same since CJ, for years, was the self declared and admired *Head Apostle*for SGM.

Did $200,000 get CJ Mahaney and SGM the friendship of Al Mohler along with perks at SBTS?

In 2010, Deb wrote a fascinating article $$$ THE MAHANEY MONEY MACHINE $$$ which showed that CJ Mahaney and SGM had each donated  @$100,000 to SBTS which is run by Al Mohler. One of their churches, CLC, had also donated @ $16,000. These large donations happened long before CJ Mahaney and his current church in Louisville joined the SBC. Al Mohler has been an ardent supporter of Mahaney, denying that Mahaney had anything at all to do with covering up child sex abuse. He calls CJ one of his dear friends. 

Mohler had sweetheart deals for SGM's Pastors College graduates (college education not required) who got educated with a Baptist discount at SBTS even though SGM was not affiliated with the SBC. When that fell apart, CJ and friends were assimilated by the SBC and continued receiving their education deals at SBTS. All this in spite of Mohler's apparent concern for child sex abuse.

A Christian hearing a report of sexual abuse within a church, Christian organization, or Christian school, needs to act in exactly the same manner called for if the abuse is reported in any other context. The church and Christian organizations must not become safe places for abusers. These must be safe places for children, and for all. Any report of sexual abuse must lead immediately to action. That action cannot fall short of contacting law enforcement authorities. A clear lesson of the Penn State scandal is this: Internal reporting is simply not enough.”
-Al Mohler, “The Tragic Lessons of Penn State – A Call To Action”

Is this is what $200,000 buys you at SBTS? 

Former members of SGM were upset to learn their money was going to an SBC seminary.

We have had the opportunity of speaking with a number of former members of SGM who were shocked to learn that SGM was giving money to an SBC seminary since SGM was not affiliated with the SBC. During these discussions, some of these former members remembered sacrificing eating meat several times a week in order to donate money to SGM. They were not told their money was being used in this manner and now feel like they were deceived and used. 

During these conversations, we were told that former members had since learned that other Calvinista Big Dogs were allegedly being fed money from the SGM trough. One name that arose time and time again was Wayne Grudem. We were told that SGM  and CJ  had given him money in order for him to take a sabbatical to work on either a shorter version of his well known Systematic Theology or on the ESV Bible.

Who is Wayne Grudem?

From Amazon:

Wayne Grudem, research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, received his A.B. from Harvard, M.Div. and honorary D.D. from Westminster Seminary-Philadelphia, and Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Cambridge. He is a board member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, and the author or editor of over twenty books. He was the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version Bible.

Grudem was also an author of the  Danvers Statement in which the infamous and unwieldy term *complementarianism* was invented. He also  went on to dream up 83 rules for what women can and cannot do in a church.

Wayne Grudem and CJ Mahaney

We were aware that Grudem had probably been paid for teaching in CJ's dubious Pastor's College along with Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan.  However, we could find little proof that Grudem or others had benefited monetarily from their relationship with Mahaney and SGM beyond reimbursement for teaching. 

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Grudem continued to be a staunch ally of CJ Mahaney after the child sex abuse cover up allegations became public knowledge.

We became increasingly suspicious of Grudem's unbreakable alliance with CJ Mahaney when the following letter from Grudem's assistant was made public by our good friend Todd Wilhelm.

***********************************************

Todd's wrote an email to Wayne Grudem:

Dear Dr. Grudem,

I understand you are scheduled to speak at C.J. Mahaney’s church on the 21 July. I would urge you to reconsider. Prudence would dictate that national leaders such as yourself refrain from indirectly supporting those who cover up sexual abuse in their church.

Thank you,

Todd Wilhelm

http://thouarttheman.org/2013/07/08/the-hall-of-shame/

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

Ezekiel 34:15-16

The response and a quiz:

While you are reading this response, ask yourself, "What's missing?"

Dear Todd,

My name is John Paul Stepanian, and I am Dr. Grudem’s assistant as well as a student here at Phoenix Seminary. One of my jobs is to see to Dr. Grudem’s correspondence on his behalf.

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Dr. Grudem speaking at CJ’s church. Dr. Grudem has the challenging task of weighing many worthy and intriguing requests. His current research, teaching, speaking engagements and family commitments have filled his schedule, and unfortunately he will be unable to answer your questions directly. Please accept his regrets. Dr. Grudem has asked me to personally respond to these requests on his behalf.

Dr. Grudem is speaking at CJ’s church specifically so that he can signal support for CJ in the face of unjust accusations. No further communication on this subject will be responded to.

May God bless your continued work for His kingdom.

Sincerely,

John Paul Stepanian
MA to Dr. Grudem
Phoenix Seminary

On behalf of:
Wayne Grudem, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Phoenix Seminary

I summed up my disappointment in Grudem as follows.

There is something seriously missing in this email. I hope it is due to the "wet behind the ears" status of Grudem's assistant. Not once does he mention the victims, actual and alleged! Not one little expression of concern is given! In the end, this is all about CJ. Why? I leave that up to all of you to speculate.

Grudem has just taught me a valuable lesson. He claims to teach "correct" theology. He purports to tell women what they can and cannot do for glory of God link. He must believe that he has a certain authority so that he can teach all of us how to think correctly. 

When he cannot take a minute to express one bit of concern for those who have been deeply wounded, he shows that his theology is just a bunch of rules that do not change the heart. Jesus spent His precious time with the lost and letdown. Authority is best understood when leaders wash the feet of the disenfranchised. True authority is understood in the context of servanthood.

************************

Wayne Grudem and SGM money

Since that time, both of us have been suspicious that Grudem was a recipient of CJ's generosity with the tithes of the unsuspecting SGM members. But we had to bide our time until recently. We want to thank a TWW  reader, Lowlandseer.

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Here is the link to the following statement from Wayne Grudem.

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This is proof that Grudem received money from SGM and it is not unreasonable to suspect that he may have received other payments as well. Is it any wonder that he continues to support the cash cow aka CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries?

Grudem says SGM is an example of how churches should work. Shame on him!

Wow. I guess it is just plain awesome that SGM has made Time Magazine and The Washingtonian for their alleged despicable handling of child sex abuse cover up. Wouldn't it be incredible if Grudem's Phoenix Seminary also was also featured in the national media for such actions….Good night!

Unlike the hierarchical Catholic Church, evangelical churches often function independently. But their influence is widespread—as Stanley points out, Wayne Grudem, an evangelical theologian at Phoenix Seminary, once described Sovereign Grace Ministries “as an example of the way churches ought to work.”

SGM $$$$$$ funneled to Al Mohler's SBTS, Wayne Grudem, and ??????

In our conversations with former members of SGM other names have come up. We are waiting for confirmation on who else received payments from the SGM cash cow. These are names that you will recognize and we will publish them once we get confirmation.

But, It is not beyond reason to ask all of those who ardently defend CJ Mahaney and SGM if they have received financial support and funds from SGM. For example, could Mark Dever or his church have received any funds, donations, etc. from CJ Mahaney since Dever let CJ hang out there when CJ refused to be disciplined by his own church. CJ preached at the church during that time and called Mark Dever his pastor! That is rather chummy, isn't it?

Who is getting money from your church leaders?

Finally, all church members should find out where their hard earned donations to their church are going. Do you know how much your pastor is making? Do you know if your church leaders are attempting to buy influence with your money? Can your pastors or leaders give $10,000-20,000 of money away without notifying the congregation? It is time for the flock to stop getting fleeced in order to benefit the standing of their leaders amongst the celebrity crowd.

 

Comments

Wayne Grudem, Staunch Supporter of CJ Mahaney, Received Money From Sovereign Grace Ministries. — 435 Comments

  1. It certainly does appear that money and power are more important to influential evangelical leaders than humility, justice, or mercy. This is borne out in their tacit or blatant support of CJ Mahary and their lack of support and/or unwillingness to sit down with victims and their families and just listen for once. As Christians, it shouldn’t be about image maintenance, but that’s all we are seeing. At the risk of sounding like the pope, and despite his own glaring failures towards victims, it just isn’t Christian to hang with the powerful instead of caring for the oppressed. Evangelical leaders owe some genuine apologies for their poor priorities to victims and their families. Might be most convincing if they did indeed put some money where their mouth is! For all their conferences and training colleges, the gospel isn’t really affecting their lives much. Surely they must see they are currently wide open to that charge.
    @ Julie Anne Smith:

  2. People actually get money from faith groups? I dont think I would ever ask again, I did one time, which was five thousand times to many, trust me I learned not to ever do that again. I give quite a bit to my personal shame but I cant even wrap my head around folks getting this kind of money.

  3. @ Melody:

    I’m not sure it’s fair to tax the current pope with “glaring failures.” And btw he has repeatedly sat down with victims and their families. And listened.

    We Catholics are making huge efforts to clean up our act. Now it’s the evangelicals’ turn.

  4. Mom, we did it!!!!!

    You suspected, Todd emailed, Todd gave me that picture from SGM Survivors which I used. Then you grabbed it form me and Tweeted it out. Then a commenter points to the evidence.

    I think former members of SGM should ask for a refund. After all shouldn’t CJ gives to it hurts? 😉

  5. Mahaney had boatloads of cash, both personal and from SGM and CLC, that he had no problem unloading on Christian celebrities at his discretion. The money was used to buy the friendship and loyalty of men such as Mohler, Grudem and Dever.
    Dever admits that they (CHBC) have been recipients of Mahaney’s generosity at about the 1:20 mark of this video:

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

    While I have no idea how much money Mahaney gave Dever, you can bet it was a significant amount. Unquestioning loyalty to the point of ethically compromising yourself does not come cheaply.

    The truly sad thing is, as stated in your article, members had no input or knowledge of where their hard-earned tithes and offerings were going. Effectively they were skimping on their meals, eating oatmeal and peanut butter sandwiches, so that Mahaney could buy the silence of powerful men like Mohler, Dever and Grudem.

    Meanwhile, when an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, causing massive devastation, Mahaney and other SGM leaders made a concerted effort to raise funds for disaster relief throughout their denomination. They even went outside of their denomination, enlisting the help of The Gospel Coalition, among others.

    http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2010/01/14/haiti-disaster-relief-fund-sovereign-grace-ministries/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2005/09/hurricane-katrina-relief-sovereign-grace-interview/?repeat=w3tc

    The members were asked to give above and beyond the call of duty for Haiti, and they responded.
    Go to the 3:40 mark of this video to see Mahaney thanking them for giving.

    https://vimeo.com/14530488

    So, while Mahaney can just reach into the church coffers to give money to his friends, when it comes to disaster relief/ mission work, which SGM had a fund for, they had to ask the members to give more money.

    Here is a page that will give you an idea of how much Sovereign Grace collected in the Haiti relief fund:

    https://www.razoo.com/us/story/Sovereign-Grace-Haiti

    And you know what was really outrageous? One year after the disaster most of the money collected had not been disbursed. Church members found out about this and were understandably upset. As I recall the official response was that they were searching for a man or a group or a church in Haiti that they could trust to distribute the money.

    Whatever.

    I do not recall if they every did distribute the total monies they collected. It sure seems like a thorough audit is in order for SGM/SGC. An independent audit. One we can trust. Meanwhile I would recommend current Sovereign Grace members give their money to a more trustworthy cause. At this point I would say Creflo Dollar would rank higher than SGC!

  6. Beautiful dog!

    As to the story in this post, remember “All the President’s Men”? And that timeless (because true) line: “Follow the money”…….

  7. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Dever admits that they (CHBC) have been recipients of Mahaney’s generosity at about the 1:20 mark of this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbjtwkOUcbM
    While I have no idea how much money Mahaney gave Dever, you can bet it was a significant amount. Unquestioning loyalty to the point of ethically compromising yourself does not come cheaply.

    Perhaps I misunderstood, but at the 1:38 min. mark, Dever says CJ has offered to pay $16M for their new building project.

    Correct me if I’m wrong….otherwise, Wow!

  8. Victorious wrote:

    Perhaps I misunderstood, but at the 1:38 min. mark, Dever says CJ has offered to pay $16M for their new building project.

    Victorious,

    I believe Dever said that remark with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

  9. “Can your pastors or leaders give $10,000-20,000 of money away without notifying the congregation?”

    A benefit of elder-rule vs. congregational polity. How else will the Reformers support their movement?! These folks know who the New Calvinist movers & shakers are and support them; it’s all about feeding the revolution with necessary funds. And in doing so, the little guys get to rub shoulders with the big dogs. Why else would superior intellects like Mohler and Grudem (who have big stacks of books) want to hang out with the likes of Mahaney?

    The Southern Baptist Convention sent an indirect challenge to Mohler and his ties with Mahaney/SGM by passing a child abuse resolution in 2013 … but Mohler largely ignored it. In SBC’s resolution “On Sexual Abuse Of Children”:

    “… we encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse …”

    Mohler is bullet-proof.

  10. So does Wayne Grudem think churches should be run autocratically, worshiping the pastors, no input from the congregation, and supporting abusers and not victims?

  11. Guys!! I wrote about “follow the money,” Watergate and “Deep Throat” in December. I studied history including some of the history regarding Watergate. This is one of the neatest posts I wrote. It’s called “When it Comes to C. J. Mahaney; What the Evangelical Christian Church can Learn from Deep Throat and Watergate.”

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/when-it-comes-to-c-j-mahaney-what-the-evangelical-christian-church-can-learn-from-deep-throat-and-watergate/

  12. @ Pam Palmer:

    I saw that post by Mark Mitchell (who here on out I will refer to as The Church Lady). I would love to hear mark Mitchell say , “Cooooooooooould it be Satan?” I agree Pam, Todd did a nice job, I saw that and am going to write about it for Monday. Do any of these people have any shame. All this talk about “The Gospel” and yet they cannot talk about basics or do the right thing. It’s a joke!

  13. Because I am an awful person, what came to mind when I read this was AC/DC’s “Moneytalks.” I am so tempted to get some Angus Bucks and send them to Wayne Grudem.

  14. @ Pam Palmer:

    Not just that but the way the entire post was released reminds of how our political system operates. Release bad news on a Friday and hope that by Monday people will forget about it.

  15. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    Todd, The handling of the earthquake funds is dispicable. I know of a similar situation with a mega church and a collection of a half million (above usual offering) for Tsunami victims. It was the dirty secret the funds were not used for that purpose at all but eventually used for general purposes and the pew sitters not told. The only money spent at all on that particular crisis was to send a few staff pastors to one area affected a year later.

    But that sort of extortion can only happen to that extent in elder led/ruled churches where the pew sitters are not involved in the budget process and not only in development from year to year but in quarterly reviews and votes. People need to learn to stop trusting and realize these charlatans need oversight. The amount of money that rolls in is overwhelming and when you view yourself as “Gods appointed” it can turn into rationalization and corruption real quickly.

    Lesson learned is to never give money to a church where you cannot be a part of the budget process and vote. If one, as a member, cannot walk into the church office and see a detailed budget, get out. We are to be grown ups. Not lemmings.

  16. I do believe that the business of T$G, which I believe Mahaney took with him when he fled into Mohlers protective arms, is also a cash cow for the insiders. The money coming in from vendors and attendees can be quite significant and another income stream for the speakers and organizers.

    I do know from experience if a well know speaker promotes certain books in their sermon, often the publisher will pay the very generous speakers fee. There are all sorts of quid pro quo deals in such venues. It is big business. And T$G attendees are fanatic true believers in the celebrities they go to hear. If they tell them to promote such and such book at their church, they do it.

    So we might not know to what monetary value the T$G brings but it is more than just the conference venue itself. Its tentacles are long and reach over time. Mahaneys new church cannot be raking in the dollars but I do believe T4G and the SG music business keeps them viable as players.

  17. Mohler, Dever, Grudem, Mahaney …….. and more ……..
    They are nothing but shysters, carnival rip-off artists, criminals. They are no better than people who go door to door conning senior citizens out of their money. What people have uncovered and pieced together has proven it. I have more respect for Bernie Madoff than I have for these guys. At least Madoff didn’t operate his Ponzi scheme in the name of Jesus, while protecting child abusing perverts.

  18. @ Victorious:
    I wonder what year that ridiculous video was shot and shown. Let me guess…T$G! Their OTT praise of one another leaves Jesus Christ in the dust. The adoration of man.

    Yes, the 16M was tongue in cheek (ever watch the T$G promo vids or read their old blog? There is a lot of towel slapping amongst them). BUT… Dever emphasized generosity and was the recipient of some monetary gift. That much is clear. I doubt we, or Capitol Hil pew sittersl, will ever know, now. :o)

  19. @ Max:
    Until the followers of Mohler demand Mohler be replaced their current protestations for “unity” will fall on deaf ears. A major grand but uncomfortable gesture showing remorse for the last 10 years of all the shenanigans must come to start to build even a scintilla of trust. Of course Mohler will never be treated like the IMB over 50 missionaries.

  20. @ Former CLCer:
    @ Former CLCer:

    Watch the video Todd links to. I love how Dever talks all about CJ’s humility and generosity then slips in how he does this while understanding “authority”.

    These men are eaten up with themselves and their power which they try to pass off as humble authority. They honestly have no clue about Jesus Christ.

  21. Does this remind any history buffs out there of the Catholic Church (Holy Roman Empire) in its heyday of pure evil? Pope Alexander VI, followed by Pope Leo X, ……….?

  22. @ Nancy2: I was thinking the same thing. This elite aren’t beholden to anyone. That tithe money becomes an indulgence of sorts. It’s good that the corrupt money trail is coming to light.

  23. There are no surprises here. One can only hope that the rank & file church attendees will start to ask the tough questions. I’m not holding my breath. The indoctrination is too strong. The people who are listening will be those outside the church or those who were never that invested like myself. We won’t attend much less join a church. The NeoCals will run out of people (at least in North America) eventually. Look at Mars Hill. It’ll just be along attrition with many wounded. Might check Eagles posts on atheism. I’m heading in that direction.

  24. Lydia wrote:

    These men are eaten up with themselves and their power which they try to pass off as humble authority. They honestly have no clue about Jesus Christ.

    Now Lyds, you’re only saying that cuz’ you’re probably not one of the elect and in the process of sanctification chuckle… chuckle…

  25. Nancy2 wrote:

    Does this remind any history buffs out there of the Catholic Church (Holy Roman Empire) in its heyday of pure evil? Pope Alexander VI, followed by Pope Leo X, ……….?

    Yes, I think of that often. It is human nature, when given a certain degree of “spiritual” power and authority, to keep seeking more, and where it gravitates to is predictable. Does anyone doubt that these men would love to have the power of the state in their hands? They are “like unreasoning animals” following their instincts towards position, power, control, wealth…

  26. I respectfully disagree, based on some evidence I’ve heard from survivors and advocates, that the Pope really understands how abuse survivors feel about the issue. I do think all institutions, especially those bearing the name Christian, have the wrong focus in who they protect. This is an ongoing sickness that the Roman Catholics have simply begun to address sooner than evangelicals. This pope is admittedly better than the last one.

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

  27. Lydia wrote:

    Lesson learned is to never give money to a church where you cannot be a part of the budget process and vote. If one, as a member, cannot walk into the church office and see a detailed budget, get out. We are to be grown ups. Not lemmings.

    I wonder if it’s a bit like the political process, where the average person does not want to give their time and energy and is willing to trust those in position.

  28. Lydia wrote:

    Lesson learned is to never give money to a church where you cannot be a part of the budget process and vote. If one, as a member, cannot walk into the church office and see a detailed budget, get out. We are to be grown ups. Not lemmings.

    I agree Lydia.

    BTW, I utilized one of your comments on my blog a few days ago. You write a lot of good stuff!

  29. This is the way it works: money buys influence and corrupts the recipient.

    Some years ago we were invited by a colleague of mine and his spouse to a care group meeting of his church which he led. Since we were coming off the aftereffects of attending a nominally Christian cult, we weren’t going to church at the time. They seemed like a nice couple, after attending a few care group and prayer group things with them we were starting to consider even attending their church, a local mega. We had a major system in our house giving out at the time and mentioned it for prayer. Three days later his wife called my wife and said the head pastor of their church had authorized full payment for our problem–this was going to be something like $15,000! My wife felt uncomfortable since we’d never even met the pastor, so she very politely declined. The upshot was that these people who’d seemed so nice ended up getting very offended, downright angry, yelled at us for turning down their pastor’s gift, thought we were ungrateful, ungodly, what-have-you, we were told we were outside the family of God. The turnaround from smiling colleague with a doctorate to hateful brainwashed cultist was remarkable, like a light switch.

    I later researched their church a bit and discovered it’s probably worse than the cult we’d just left, just on a larger scale, the sort of place that’s full of young, hipster pastors and spotlights and building programs and pastor’s authority and your duty to come under it. It became apparent that the senior pastor of this local mega, upon discovering that a husband-wife team that consisted of a prof and a former prof and a very large pack of small children and teens was in a bit of need, was quite eager to throw a huge amount of tithed money at them in an attempt to bag another prof from the local university. Had we taken that $15,000, what terrible pressure there would’ve been to be drawn into that cult.

  30. Lydia wrote:

    I do believe that the business of T$G, which I believe Mahaney took with him when he fled into Mohlers protective arms, is also a cash cow for the insiders. The money coming in from vendors and attendees can be quite significant and another income stream for the speakers and organizers.

    Absolutely correct, from an insider’s knowledge. Although I use T$C and T4$ as my acronyms! The entire complex is run very similar to the mafia, and I am not exagerating. You have to keep the right people happy, and the involves saying the “right” things and also moving money around. Mahaney is actually a classic case. Despite the fact that he came from an entirely different denomination that taught things the SBC has soundly condemned, he took all the right social stances (i.e. the Thing that motivates people to give money), and he also moved large sums of cash around the good old boys’ club. I was so sickened when I experienced this while at SBTS that I didn’t return despite being halfway done. I just could not justify giving that institution any more of my hard earned money.

  31. Jack wrote:

    It’ll just be along attrition with many wounded. Might check Eagles posts on atheism. I’m heading in that direction.

    Hey Jack,
    Before you give up on Christianity, check out these 2 videos. I don’t have it all figured out, but I believe Wayne Jacobsen is on to something. He has also written a good book titled “Finding Church: What If There Really Is Something More?”

    https://vimeo.com/139705448
    https://vimeo.com/142288083

    Regards,
    Todd

  32. I saw this on a church near us recently “Are you giving God what’s right or left” Are they preaching a series on tithing?

  33. Harley wrote:

    I saw this on a church near us recently “Are you giving God what’s right or left” Are they preaching a series on tithing?

    My guess, over and above 10% tithing.

  34. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the SBC, Neo-Calvinist or Evangelicals. I have seen it up close and personal in the pentacostal & Word of Faith flavors, too. Traveling the speaking circuits, paying each other (or ripping each other off if you fall out of favor). Knowledge of sexual predation doesn’t seem to have much of an impact. It’s business as usual, and keep those bleating sheep under control so they don’t interrupt the cash flow.
    It has left me very wary of the institution, regardless of denominational flavor.

  35. Jack wrote:

    Might check Eagles posts on atheism. I’m heading in that direction.

    I thought I might weigh in on the faith angle of things. I have been asked time and time again how I hold onto the faith in light of all that I write about. For me, it is quite simple.

    As I see the sin in those around me and as I cope with the sin in my own life, I realize the utter hopelessness in men and women to solve their own sin problem. As I read the Bible and confront the sin that is written about all throughout the millennia, I see myself and the others.

    A lot of evangelicals spend too much time pointing their fingers outward at all those outside the faith. However, if they have truly embraced the Gospel, they should be very quick to point the finger inward at all themselves. While we were yet sinners, Christ loved us, died for us and was resurrected.

    We will fight our sin problem until the day we go home to be with Jesus. I was listening to the son of Antonin Scalia, who is a priest, preaching the homily at his funeral today. I wanted to run up and give him a high five for what he said. While remembering the wonderful legacy and faith of his father, he also reminded everyone listening that his father was imperfect, as we all are. He preached the need for forgiveness of Christ for our sins, right up until we go home to be with Jesus. At which point, we will be free.

    This homily a reminded me of the second book in the Ender’s Game series called Speaker for the Dead.

    http://www.amazon.com/Speaker-Dead-Ender-Quartet-Book-ebook/dp/B003H4I4JU/ref=sr_1_1_ha?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1455994361&sr=1-1&keywords=speaker+for+the+dead

    In this book, Ender becomes a speaker of the dead in which he tells the truth about the person who just dies-both the good and the bad. We only begin to understand and accept one another when we see clearly our shortcomings. It is rather strange being so deeply convicted by a young adult dystopian fiction!

    I think there is a good way to look at the Bible and that is to sit back and think about the narrative-Genesis thru Revelation. If you have never done so, it is helpful to read The Story Bible by Max Lucado. Just read it for the big picture and do not get bogged down in the small stuff. Then, think for awhile what the big story is in Scripture.

    It was this *big story* that helped me go through a faith crisis about 20 years ago. I cam to the conclusion the the Bible, in the big picture, gives me the best description of the world around me that I have experienced.

    So, when I look at Wayne Grudem and his willingness to take money from SGM to support his writings, I think about Scripture and how the love of money is often at the root of much pain to others. It also convicts me to be very cautious how I view money in my own life.

    I hope you do not find this preachy. I am merely sharing with you what happened in my own life. I wish you well as you explore who we are and how we got here. I did so and it made a profound difference in my life.

  36. Eagle wrote:

    Guys!! I wrote about “follow the money,” Watergate and “Deep Throat” in December. I studied history including some of the history regarding Watergate. This is one of the neatest posts I wrote. It’s called “When it Comes to C. J. Mahaney; What the Evangelical Christian Church can Learn from Deep Throat and Watergate.”
    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/when-it-comes-to-c-j-mahaney-what-the-evangelical-christian-church-can-learn-from-deep-throat-and-watergate/

    I now remember reading your post….sorry, didn’t mean to steal your thunder….

  37. Nancy2 wrote:

    Does this remind any history buffs out there of the Catholic Church (Holy Roman Empire) in its heyday of pure evil? Pope Alexander VI, followed by Pope Leo X, ……….?

    Ding, Ding, Ding….winner, winner, chicken dinner!
    It does….it absolutely does….

  38. Jack wrote:

    Might check Eagles posts on atheism. I’m heading in that direction.

    It’s definitely a struggle.

    I had a wonderful pastor in the past who used to say that “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” is just as true inside of “the church” as it is outside it.

    I had a hard time in the past separating “the church” from God and the Bible. Now I see them as 2 separate entities. Sometimes “the church” is in agreement with God and his word and sometimes not; often it is not. I stopped making excuses for it. I have to believe God is not threatened by honesty, otherwise he is no God. I now seek to follow him in my own heart, rather than as part of an organization. I fellowship with him through his word, and with other Christians as they walk in that same truth, on an individual basis. Stepping back and viewing “the church” from the outside has been a refreshing and enlightening experience. When all the trappings of faith fell away, I found that faith itself was still there buried under all that rubbish.

  39. Harley wrote:

    I saw this on a church near us recently “Are you giving God what’s right or left” Are they preaching a series on tithing?

    Seriously, what motivates them to go to all of the work and expense to publicize this, of all ideas? SMH!

  40. dee wrote:

    I hope you do not find this preachy. I am merely sharing with you what happened in my own life. I wish you well as you explore who we are and how we got here.

    I don’t know about Jack, but I found it helpful. I’ve seen so much error and evil in churches and in “Christians” that I have had to walk away from church.

  41. Actually, it’s not “Wayne Grudem”.

    It’s “WAYNEGRUDEMGOWAYNEGRUDEM!!!(TM)”

    All Bought and Paid For (HUMBLY, of course — chuckle chuckle).

  42. Harley wrote:

    I saw this on a church near us recently “Are you giving God what’s right or left” Are they preaching a series on tithing?

    Or has whoever’s in charge of the church sign run out of good one-liners and got kinda punchy?

  43. Law Prof wrote:

    This is the way it works: money buys influence and corrupts the recipient.

    “Everybody’s got his price or a guy like me couldn’t exist!”
    — some “captain of industry” of the last century

  44. Former CLCer wrote:

    So does Wayne Grudem think churches should be run autocratically, worshiping the pastors, no input from the congregation, and supporting abusers and not victims?

    PASTOR WayneGrudemGoWayneGrudem?

  45. Dee hits the nail on the head. It is the responsibilty of the church members to hold the leadership responsible, especially with hoe the leadership spends their $$$’s.

    Also, the membership should also not just look for the leadership to tell then what ti do! I just came from a 1/2 day seminar lead by a church/organization focused on address the whole oerson needs in a very poor area of our city. One if theur big focuses is kids, and child safety focused on preventing child predators, protecting the voluteers, and protecting their organization. The contrast to the “problem” ministries on this blog us stark

  46. darn phone ..”how”, not “hoe”

    Jeff Chalmers wrote:

    Dee hits the nail on the head. It is the responsibilty of the church members to hold the leadership responsible, especially with hoe the leadership spends their $$$’s.

    Also, the membership should also not just look for the leadership to tell then what ti do! I just came from a 1/2 day seminar lead by a church/organization focused on address the whole oerson needs in a very poor area of our city. One if theur big focuses is kids, and child safety focused on preventing child predators, protecting the voluteers, and protecting their organization. The contrast to the “problem” ministries on this blog us stark

  47. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    You have to keep the right people happy, and the involves saying the “right” things and also moving money around.

    I know of people right now who have lost their jobs in various ministries who make a big show to exonerate the celebs involved and invoke it being of God. You want to know why? They need another ministry job and you are blackballed unless you praise the very people who threw you to the curb.But ministry jobs are all they know.

    It is a very sick bubble these folks stay in.

  48. Dee, you said what a lot of us feel, but said it in a way we couldn’t put to words. Thank you. I have heard people say “I can’t afford to tithe”, then others respond to them that they can’t afford not to. When the struggling family that barely makes it pay check to pay check finds that their tithe money went to some gospel bigwig, it is devastating. There are other ways to give to God than by giving money.

  49. @ Jeff:
    He says, “Thank you for being unselfish. Thank you for serving us.”
    ????????????
    Not for serving God, but for serving “us”?

  50. Mark wrote:

    @ Nancy2: I was thinking the same thing. This elite aren’t beholden to anyone. That tithe money becomes an indulgence of sorts. It’s good that the corrupt money trail is coming to light.

    Evangelical indulgences! Accept instead of avoiding suffering in purgatory, they avoid suffering in the present world.

  51. Nancy2 wrote:

    Harley wrote:
    I saw this on a church near us recently “Are you giving God what’s right or left” Are they preaching a series on tithing?
    My guess, over and above 10% tithing.

    My husband once remarked that Christians have to be rich. They’re expected to give 10% of income – and we’d heard it preached of GROSS income – give love offerings for special speakers and events at your local church – above the 10% tithe, send their children to Christian school or home school – all which are more expensive than public school – attend conferences, work shops, Christian retreats, buy Christian popular books, partake in Bible study in which one must pay for the Bible study materials being used…on and on it goes. No wonder there are Christians who are fed up.

  52. Lydia wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    You have to keep the right people happy, and the involves saying the “right” things and also moving money around.
    I know of people right now who have lost their jobs in various ministries who make a big show to exonerate the celebs involved and invoke it being of God. You want to know why? They need another ministry job and you are blackballed unless you praise the very people who threw you to the curb.But ministry jobs are all they know.
    It is a very sick bubble these folks stay in.

    Think Mark Driscoll. George Thorogood had some good advice. Get a haircut and get a REAL job.

  53. Harley wrote:

    Dee, you said what a lot of us feel, but said it in a way we couldn’t put to words. Thank you. I have heard people say “I can’t afford to tithe”, then others respond to them that they can’t afford not to. When the struggling family that barely makes it pay check to pay check finds that their tithe money went to some gospel bigwig, it is devastating. There are other ways to give to God than by giving money.

    There are also ways to make your money count. For example, it is cheaper to take a homeless person to the diner for a meal than to tithe. It is cheaper to host a meal at your home for a struggling family than to tithe. The list goes on.

  54. To continue, it is cheaper to offer used clothing to those in need than to tithe. It is cheaper to have a prayer meeting in your home than to tithe. Feel free to add to the list.

  55. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    It has left me very wary of the institution, regardless of denominational flavor.

    Jesus came to die for and redeem individuals, not institutions. The institution we call “church” is OK if it is leading lost folks to Christ and equipping the redeemed to do the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is every believer’s work. Anything else is just doing church without God.

  56. Nancy2 wrote:

    “Thank you for being unselfish. Thank you for serving us.”

    The New Calvinism movement is all about “us” … reforming the church with “our” doctrine. There’s a lot of hype in reformed circles about doing everything for the glory of God, but it’s increasingly clear that the who’s who in New Calvinism are taking care of each other for their own glory. Prominence = more book sales, more speaking honorariums, more power.

  57. @ Jeff:
    Of course. When the sh*t hit the fan, CJ bought coverage from Dever, even though it is directly in contradiction to Dever’s ridiculous “9 marks” (I didn’t say stupid; I said ridiculous, as in “open to ridicule”. Which I am about to provide. Sorry, inside joke; Dever will understand if he reads this).

  58. @ Jeff:
    Jeff, you have just answered Dee’s question in her post “… could Mark Dever or his church have received any funds, donations, etc. from CJ …?”

    Hmmmm … so Mohler got funds from CJ, Grudem got funds from CJ, Devers got funds from CJ … I now wonder if CJ was also handing out money from SGM coffers to Duncan? The T$G “Fab 4” must have a blood pact.

  59. Max wrote:

    @ Jeff:
    Jeff, you have just answered Dee’s question in her post “… could Mark Dever or his church have received any funds, donations, etc. from CJ …?”
    Hmmmm … so Mohler got funds from CJ, Grudem got funds from CJ, Devers got funds from CJ … I now wonder if CJ was also handing out money from SGM coffers to Duncan? The T$G “Fab 4” must have a blood pact.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rechCN3FAk

  60. Max wrote:

    Hmmmm … so Mohler got funds from CJ, Grudem got funds from CJ, Devers got funds from CJ … I now wonder if CJ was also handing out money from SGM coffers to Duncan? The T$G “Fab 4” must have a blood pact.

    Piper? Chandler? DeYoung? ……..

  61. Grudem “was the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version Bible.”

    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible. I don’t remember when exactly that was, but it was before 9/11/01, which was around the time I left PDI/SGM. I wondered why it was considered “better.” The link to Grudem is one explanation.

    Maybe there are other former PDI/SGM people out there who remember this and can provide a better timeline for the ESV promotion.

  62. Regarding the video with Mark Dever giving accolades to his BFF C.J. Mahaney, that was shown at CLC’s ‘retirement’ event for C.J. In 2004 when he passed the baton to Joshua Harris. I’m sure Dever never thought it would be viewed again, but someone put the entire event on YouTube in installments.

  63. Lydia wrote:

    You want to know why? They need another ministry job and you are blackballed unless you praise the very people who threw you to the curb.But ministry jobs are all they know.

    During Comrade Stalin’s Great Purge, it was not enough to just kill counterrevolutionaries and dissidents. They had to be broken first. By torture. And more torture. Only when they bowed the knee and their tongue confessed “Comrade Stalin is LORD” would they be given the Tokarev bullet in the back of the neck. “URRA STALINO!”

  64. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Hmmmm … so Mohler got funds from CJ, Grudem got funds from CJ, Devers got funds from CJ … I now wonder if CJ was also handing out money from SGM coffers to Duncan? The T$G “Fab 4” must have a blood pact.
    Piper? Chandler? DeYoung? ……..

    Perhaps the tribunal who exonerated him. Who was it? Carl Trueman, Ortburg wnd who else?

  65. Darlene wrote:

    My husband once remarked that Christians have to be rich. They’re expected to give 10% of income – and we’d heard it preached of GROSS income – give love offerings for special speakers and events at your local church – above the 10% tithe, send their children to Christian school or home school – all which are more expensive than public school – attend conferences, work shops, Christian retreats, buy Christian popular books, partake in Bible study in which one must pay for the Bible study materials being used…on and on it goes. No wonder there are Christians who are fed up.

    And no wonder Pastor can afford the Furtick Mansion, the personal Gulfstream 650, and the constant conference junkets.

  66. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible. I don’t remember when exactly that was, but it was before 9/11/01, which was around the time I left PDI/SGM. I wondered why it was considered “better.” The link to Grudem is one explanation.

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  67. Lydia wrote:

    It is a very sick bubble these folks stay in.

    This is why TWW and other blogs exist. To free one human being at a time from these despotic religious regimes.

  68. This is exactly why my money is no longer focused
    on the church but organizations that care for the least of these–legitimate 501C3s with a board and transparent finances. I would much rather give it to the Christian rescue mission. They do the unglamorous, hard work of taking in homeless people, providing for them, amd helping them somehow get out of the homeless life, if possible, while presenting the gospel. I would also rather support Children’s Hospital foundations. Why should I be supporting these guys who turn a blind eye to child abuse in the church, but think it’s a federal case of a woman prays openly or teaches in the congregation? These guys are so mixed up I don’t think they can even comprehend how mixed up and corrupt they are. No one who sees themselves as “good” can see it.

  69. Muff Potter wrote:

    This is why TWW and other blogs exist. To free one human being at a time from these despotic religious regimes.

    (Smirk : }). Didn’t Kassian say, “Boundaries are for your freedom” in some speech she made to women? Maybe that’s what T4G and TGC leaders think about their entire congregations!

  70. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    Why should I be supporting these guys who turn a blind eye to child abuse in the church, but think it’s a federal case of a woman prays openly or teaches in the congregation? These guys are so mixed up I don’t think they can even comprehend how mixed up and corrupt they are. No one who sees themselves as “good” can see it.

    Amen!

  71. Well done!
    Looks like the hirelings (false shepherds) can’t resist bragging about what they should be ashamed of.

  72. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    We Catholics are making huge efforts to clean up our act. Now it’s the evangelicals’ turn.

    Very true. It’s just harder, though, with the Protestants since we’re from many different groups while Catholicism is one organization. But yes, Protestants need to acknowledge that we have a big problem too. Thank goodness blogs like this one are holding people accountable.

  73. Max wrote:

    Hmmmm … so Mohler got funds from CJ, Grudem got funds from CJ, Devers got funds from CJ

    So they defend him because he’s their cash cow and because they owe him…and because they just don’t care about “the little people.”

  74. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    “…The entire complex is run very similar to the mafia, and I am not exagerating. You have to keep the right people happy, and the involves saying the “right” things and also moving money around. Mahaney is actually a classic case. …. I was so sickened when I experienced this while at SBTS that I didn’t return despite being halfway done. I just could not justify giving that institution any more of my hard earned money.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    re: your SBTS experience in relation to this mafia analogy, can you flesh it out a bit more?

  75. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    The entire complex is run very similar to the mafia, and I am not exaggerating.

    Does that mean T$G can be called the “Church of Omerta”? It’s starting to sound that way.

    Sadly, I’ve only used that phrase in connection with Hubbard’s cult. Until now, that is…

  76. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    Thanks for the share. I was able to watch the first video and agree with most of what Wayne is talking about. It isn’t easy at all and when praying lately, I feel I’m talking to an empty room. The start of the second video seems to be about the practicalities of relationship, so I’m looking forward to watching it. I like the common sense and most of all the tolerance that Mr. Jacobsen talks about. I don’t think anyone has it figured out and that may be a good thing as long as we’re brave enough to admit it. Again thanks for sharing.

  77. dee wrote:

    It is rather strange being so deeply convicted by a young adult dystopian fiction!

    This isn’t preachy at all. I know that you have had challenges in your life and it appears that faith is something that has helped you. I appreciate you sharing. One of the challenges that I have is reconciling what’s in the bible with what I know to be right (and like) about our contemporary world. Humanity has struggled and still struggles (and probably always will struggle) with intolerance, inequality, racism etc. I’ve often read the bible as a primarily bronze age document (though Jesus’ time was in the iron age), with little or no relevance to what we’ve achieved as a species. I often see it as holding us back. I’ll check out Mr. Lucado’s book. As a long time science fiction fan, I see nothing odd in finding inspiration there. If all things come from God then all tools are at His disposal. It’s helpful to hear how others are able to look at the world. I often spout off and this blog is a safe place to do so. I’ll keep an open mind.

  78. siteseer wrote:

    I have to believe God is not threatened by honesty,

    And that’s a statement I can empathize with. I can’t “fake it” by saying I believe something when I don’t but to be honest, I don’t feel like an atheist either.

  79. Jack wrote:

    As a long time science fiction fan, I see nothing odd in finding inspiration there.

    God often speaks to me (long story, but that’s a fair, accurate and non-misleading summary) while I’m watching films, including both sci-fi and horror. A few weeks ago, I finally got around to watching The Babadook, for instance, and oddly enough found it an encouraging, feel good movie. A big reason for this is that the twist at the end is that

    SPOILER ALERT… … SPOILER ALERT… … SPOILER ALERT
    ALL WARTBURGERS NOT WISHING TO READ SPOILERS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN HORROR FILM

    THE BABADOOK

    SHOULD SKIP THE REMAINDER OF THIS POST

    SPOILER ALERT… … SPOILER ALERT… … SPOILER ALERT

    there is no twist.

    END OF SPOILER… END OF SPOILER… END OF SPOILER

  80. @ Bunsen Honeydew:
    Bunsen, I’m finding that certain “para” church ministries are out and about doing the work of the Kingdom more than organized religious institutions. Mainline denominations too often frown on para-church groups because members direct funds to them, rather than to new carpet at their own church. But they should be embracing those who have feet on the ground doing the real work of the ministry. If they are for us, they ain’t against us! But, even with the para-church groups, we need to pray for a new measure of discernment to sort out the genuine from the counterfeit. The American church, in all it various flavors, is a mess. And no, New Calvinism isn’t the answer! When it boils down to the basics of faith, Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals not institutions. He, of course, established the institution of “Church”, but the traditions and teachings of men over the past 2,000 years have caused us to stray off course. Seek God and His Kingdom – and where He is working – and you will find Him there. It may not be in your local church, but on the field of a para-church.

  81. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible.

    The ESV is the sword of choice for New Calvinists … to carry it is a “sign” that you are one of the gang. Quoting ESV passages on one’s social media accounts sends a message that you most likely endorse the new reformation. Crossway publishes it – it is the publishing house for all things Calvinist. While the standard run-of-the-mill ESV Bible is harmless enough, the ESV Study Bible is crammed with Calvinist commentary. The New Calvinist who’s-who, including the T$G Fab 4, promote it. For a YRR pastor not to emphasize its use by their members, is to commit theological treason. If you check out a new church and discover a preponderance of ESV bibles in the congregation, put your behind in your past! If you hang around longer, you will soon realize that the elders rule the roost (rather than congregational polity), you will be expected to sign a membership covenant, you will feel complementarian pressure, etc. etc. The presence of pastors/elders toting ESVs is a good barometer to keep moving down the road before you experience New Calvinism in all its glory.

  82. dee wrote:

    the Ender’s Game series

    The Ender’s Saga deals with a lot of theological issues and your comment, Dee, reminded me of a quote in one of the later books in the series — Speaker for the Dead or thereafter — where a main characters comments on the Calvinists who have settled on one of the outpost planets. To paraphrase, “Calvinists — they have all the answers before you even have the questions.”

    I’ll find the exact wording for you eventually, but my set is currently hiding in a box somewhere in the libraryrinth.

  83. @ Max:
    One can read more about Mohler and Dever here.
    http://www.thewatchmanwakes.com/John-Macarthur-Al-Mohler-Dever-UN-change-agents.html

    These men are very close to John Macarthur. Macarthur’s Grace To You gives nearly $800,000 annually to a private firm owned by his son-in-law (for GTY’s video production). Macarthur’s principal financier is Lorena Jaeb, a Governor of the Council for National Policy, a CFR front. So following the money trail can be of interest…where is the church money going (often to friends and family) and where does it come from…You can’t follow God and mammon and these men don’t follow God…

  84. @ dee:

    Some follow-up thoughts, FWIW, on young adult dystopian novels, as that is one of the main topics I’ve been studying the past five years.

    Erika Gottlieb begins her book, Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial by stating this: “Dystopian fiction is a post-Christian genre.” She goes on to make the case that Christendom’s age of faith addressed as its central conflict the personal salvation of the individual, while this secular era focuses on the communal conflict between “a just society governed by worthy representatives chosen by an enlightened people; damnation, by an unjust society, a degraded mob ruled by a power-crazed elite.”

    Gottlieb then reviews works of major 20th-century dystopian fiction writers — Zamiatin, Huxley, and Orwell — and notes how their strategies “are also significantly the strategies of warning. As readers we are made to contemplate Zamiatin’s One State, Huxley’s World State, and Orwell’s Oceania, each a hellscape from which the inhabitants can no longer return, so that we realize what the flaws of our own society may lead to for the next generations unless we try to eradicate these flaws today.” Gottlieb then looks at Western dystopian fiction as our worst imaginations of what could happen in a corrupt society, and compares that with Eastern and Centeral European dystopian fiction, which reflects the worst of what actually did happen under totalitarian regimes.

    http://www.mqup.ca/dystopian-fiction-east-and-west-products-9780773522060.php

    As I’ve reflected on what she’s writing about, it seems to me that dystopian fiction gives us the opportunity to examine the paradigms under which our own society or organization functions, consider who made it that way and why, and legitimately worry about the mostly likely moral and ethical consequences if we do nothing to change the otherwise inevitable trajectory those paradigms send us in. Even if it uses a secular perspective, it makes sense that dystopian literature is there as a “prophetic” warning against individual and social gaps and excesses.

    And maybe this is why we find sparks of inspiration and motivation from the recent trends in dystopians young adult literature. These novels interweave the personal flaws of characters with the social outcomes their brokenness produces. Often, the plots are of biblical proportions and make accessible pro-biblical themes about sin, redemption, evil, and justice — even if God and theological beliefs and faith practices aren’t mentioned directly. They take contemporary themes and spin out a plausible future hidden within the muddy right-now, and, in so doing, tell it like it really is — by imagining how it could be.

    But then, part of what distinguishes the Bible from ancient literature of the same eras is that it demonstrates God is no respecter of persons, and the good and bad of people’s lives are laid out bluntly for posterity to learn from. What a “Speaker for the Dead” does for the survivors in Orson Scott Card’s dystopian Ender’s Saga, the Bible does for us as survivors in “realitopia.” And this is also a theme among spiritual abuse survivor bloggers: Spotlight perpetrators and those who enable them, tell it like it is, which creates consequences of accountability to otherwise hidden abuse of religious power. Thus, ultimately, there will be fewer eventual victims.

    I’m no advocate of the “social gospel,” wherein people are supposedly “saved” simply by having a better society. I’m for having a better society because, first, it more deeply reflects the dignity we should show all people because God made all of us in His image, and second, it offers people the opportunity of freedom of self-determination, association, and participation in responding to the good news of Jesus. And in Him we find the transformation our heart longs for … both for ourselves and our society.

  85. @ Jack:

    siteseer wrote: “I have to believe God is not threatened by honesty, ”

    Jack wrote this: “And that’s a statement I can empathize with. I can’t “fake it” by saying I believe something when I don’t but to be honest, I don’t feel like an atheist either.”

    and this: “If all things come from God then all tools are at His disposal.”
    +++++++++++++++

    re: God/belief in God/the Godsystems that people have developed:

    (get your metaphormixing gear on…)

    perhaps one can boil off all the embroidery of crisscrossing idealogical/worldview/fear-infused rick rack and get down to the brass tacks of a sunset and a sunrise.

    the beauty of it, the enormity of it, and the faithfulness of it. the sun always rises, and its warmth & light is only obscured temporarily.

    maybe, as far as the prospect of considering God, all one really needs is to take in a sunset and a sunrise.

    that, along with kindness, honesty, generosity, is belief and religion enough. (as I see it)

    https://www.google.com/search?q=rick+rack&biw=1097&bih=479&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjkqrmvtonLAhUG9WMKHY_3BBgQ_AUIBygC#tbm=isch&q=rick+rack+trim

  86. Bob J wrote:

    Macarthur’s principal financier is Lorena Jaeb, a Governor of the Council for National Policy, a CFR front.

    Well now, isn’t that rich. With everything MacArthur has to say about women’s roles, his main financier is a woman. JM is a kept man.

  87. You can tell what the BIG worries and fears are of a culture, time, and place by reading their Dystopian fiction.
    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    As I’ve reflected on what she’s writing about, it seems to me that dystopian fiction gives us the opportunity to examine the paradigms under which our own society or organization functions, consider who made it that way and why, and legitimately worry about the mostly likely moral and ethical consequences if we do nothing to change the otherwise inevitable trajectory those paradigms send us in.

    i.e. A Cautionary Fable about Where We Are Going.

    But then, part of what distinguishes the Bible from ancient literature of the same eras is that it demonstrates God is no respecter of persons, and the good and bad of people’s lives are laid out bluntly for posterity to learn from. What a “Speaker for the Dead” does for the survivors in Orson Scott Card’s dystopian Ender’s Saga, the Bible does for us as survivors in “realitopia.”

    What I took away from Speaker of the Dead was this:

    As Speaker, Ender researches all the details he can of the life of the deceased for the Speaking. And in the Speaking, he has only one goal: To tell the Absolute Truth about that life — the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

    And that Speaking has an effect on all those in Lusitania Colony — including Ender’s antagonist, the Catholic Bishop of the colony. (Who observes that now that any and all scandal is now Public, there is no ammunition for gossips.)

    And it hit me: Ender’s Speaking is a type of The Last Judgment. By way of the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous: “If you don’t want to call it God, call it Truth.”

    And Speaker for the Dead put the first crack in the Jack Chick/”This Was Your Life” image of the Last Judgment. (Only a crack, though; the Chick image is still standing.)

  88. Bob J wrote:

    Macarthur’s principal financier is Lorena Jaeb, a Governor of the Council for National Policy, a CFR front.

    She Who Must Be Obeyed (in secret)?

    And since the kept man cannot raise a finger against She Who Must Be Obeyed, he takes it out on all other females….

  89. Max wrote:

    The ESV is the sword of choice for New Calvinists … to carry it is a “sign” that you are one of the gang.

    Like the Koran is only the Koran when it’s in the original Arabic, so the Bible is only the Bible when it’s the ESV?

    What do the KJV Onlys have to say about the ESV Onlys?

  90. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What do the KJV Onlys have to say about the ESV Onlys?

    I suppose they think each other are heretics! Of course, the Geneva Bible preceded the KJV by about 50 years … Calvinists really love that one.

  91. elastigirl wrote:

    re: your SBTS experience in relation to this mafia analogy, can you flesh it out a bit more?

    Stalinist Russia might be a closer analogy. Proper citation would be far too long for a comment on someone else’s blog, but bare bones: No academic freedom or freedom of speech; highly qualified older professors displaced by young, undereducated and underqualified yes-men; the circle of money to draw specific support organizations into organization (essentially owning one full publishing company, several smaller/second tier publishing companies, several magazines, and even think tanks and polling companies); close alliance and endorsement with those willing to trade conference money, even people like Driscoll who was a self-proclaimed “emergent” when first wooed; Al Mohler being chauffeured in his private car by a seminary student for minimum wage, making appearances separated from “the little people” by velvet ropes, and then being whisked away before closing prayer – all these and more. The most telling aspects being the use of money to control the narrative and condense power. Altogether too similar to Mario Puzo’s book to be comfortable.

  92. Warren Throckmorton reported that one of the three megas within two miles of my house was becoming a Hillsong franchise.

    This would be the same Hillsong whose head pastor, Brian Houston, covered up the sexual abuses of his father, Frank Houston.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/royal-commission-sex-abuse-inquiry-censures-hillsong-head-brian-houston-20151123-gl5esn.html

    The Houston story was one of many covered by the Australian Royal Commission in 2014-2015. A number of organizations were exposed. While the Jehovah’s Witnesses got top billing (because they believe no abuse has occurred unless there are at least two witnesses and we all know how abusers just don’t follow this rule), Brian Houston was censured by the commission over his actions regarding his father.

    So maybe parents at this church need to know that their new head pastor Brian Houston didn’t think he should report a child molester to the police and was censured for that by a Royal Commission?

    I’d also note that this is at least the third and probably the fourth rebranding the church has undergone in the 15 years I’ve lived in Arizona. The Mesa location used to have something like 4000 members and run four services a weekend, but that has shrunk to one English and one Spanish service.

  93. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What do the KJV Onlys have to say about the ESV Onlys?

    Probably not much, it was a generational thing. KJV-onlyism was an older stream that was largely dispensational and Arminian, ESV-onlys are largely ESV-only in name only, and in opposition to the NIV.

    What both of them have in common is a retreat from any of the conclusions of Higher Criticism, but that’s endemic in the evangelical world anyway.

  94. Speaking of dystopian fiction, I liked the Hunger Games series for the fact that it didn’t whitewash war and PTSD. The romance, not so much, however. (Why does everything for young people have to mimic “Twilight,” a truly wretched fiction series?)

  95. Chris S wrote:

    What both of them have in common is a retreat from any of the conclusions of Higher Criticism, but that’s endemic in the evangelical world anyway.

    I went to southern Arizona on Friday and Saturday with a friend to hear some lectures by John Dominic Crossan, a noted liberal Biblical scholar, historian and former Catholic priest from Ireland. It was very interesting–a lot of stuff to think about–but I know much of what Crossan said would set many people’s hair on fire. However, let me leave you one thought out of many.

    Crossan was speaking about the parables of Jesus and one of the parables he touched on was the parable of the talents. We all know it–a man gives three servants five, two and one talents, and goes to a far country. When he returns, the servants to whom he gave five and two talents has doubled their wealth. The last one had just buried his talent in the ground. Let me quote from the NIV here (Matthew 25:26-27) so I can’t be accused of making this up:

    26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

    Crossan argues that we cannot consider the master who gave the talents as equivalent to God because of one salient statement which we overlook: he expected the servant to take the money to the bankers and get interest for it. According to the Torah, Jews are prohibited from lending with interest to other Jews. Why would God punish someone for doing what Jews are generally prohibited from doing? So there is something else going on here. But I can’t tell you what it was because my memory actually goes blank here. I’m going to blame that on the cold I picked up on Friday–I was having a heck of a time trying not to keel over and embarrass the person I was with.

  96. @ mirele:

    Fascinating train of thought mirele. I’ve often wondered along a similar path with regard to our Lord’s parable of the sheep and the goats.
    Goats are considered to be valuable livestock in Middle Eastern dessert cultures, so maybe there’s more going on with that parable too.

  97. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    re: your SBTS experience in relation to this mafia analogy, can you flesh it out a bit more?
    Stalinist Russia might be a closer analogy. Proper citation would be far too long for a comment on someone else’s blog, but bare bones: No academic freedom or freedom of speech; highly qualified older professors displaced by young, undereducated and underqualified yes-men; the circle of money to draw specific support organizations into organization (essentially owning one full publishing company, several smaller/second tier publishing companies, several magazines, and even think tanks and polling companies); close alliance and endorsement with those willing to trade conference money, even people like Driscoll who was a self-proclaimed “emergent” when first wooed; Al Mohler being chauffeured in his private car by a seminary student for minimum wage, making appearances separated from “the little people” by velvet ropes, and then being whisked away before closing prayer – all these and more. The most telling aspects being the use of money to control the narrative and condense power. Altogether too similar to Mario Puzo’s book to be comfortable.

    “URRA STALINO!”

  98. @ Bob J:
    This link is actually quite slanderous and offensive. The author of this article slanders Billy Graham as a freemason without providing any evidence. It also villifies gay people by insisting that they must be converted to heterosexuality as a sign of their salvation. Such a link is inappropriate for the TWW. The author of this article should be banned from the WWW if that were possible!

  99. Just to clarify, on my last comment, I meant the author of the article you linked to, not this great article from TWW.

  100. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “URRA STALINO!”

    Should this be “Ura Stalinu” (dative)? And I’m eager for a source of the history–genuinely eager, not posing one of those “citation please” thingies.

  101. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    , reminded me of a quote in one of the later books in the series — Speaker for the Dead or thereafter — where a main characters comments on the Calvinists who have settled on one of the outpost planets. To paraphrase, “Calvinists — they have all the answers before you even have the questions.”

    I remember this quote. It made me laugh.

  102. I originally remember the name Wayne Grudem from an essay I read back in the days when I was attending a small Christian college. His essay was about the role of government in society, and toward the end of it he also argued that the American revolution was unjustified. That shocked me at the time, because after all I’m an American and was raised to believe the revolutionaries were the good guys. I was like, “how could he say that with a straight face?”

    Grudem is opinionated about a lot of other subjects, too. He has defended charismatics against people like John MacArthur, for instance. (I wonder if receiving donations from the charismatic SGM had anything to do with his stance, or whether it was the other way around).

    I’m not particularly fond of him although I do give him credit for helping me question the “official” narrative of the American Revolution and the Founding. I now believe that both sides had legitimate concerns and that the Patriots’ cause wasn’t blameless. In fact, Southern Patriots, like their Confederate descendants, may have been motivated in part by the fear that the British would take away their “rights” to own slaves. look up Somersett’s Case, for instance. And racial animus against Native Americans definitely played a role too; while the British saw Natives and white colonists as equally subject to the crown’s protection, the colonists saw America as exclusively their land and the Declaration of Independence attacked the King for being too charitable to the “Indian savages”. It’s actually very reminiscent of Rhodesia.

    So blacks and Native Americans would certainly have been better off under a Loyalist victory, and no doubt a lot of white people would have, too.

    Also, we should be glad that a lot of the more fanatical Founders’ ideas (particularly Thomas Jefferson’s) were NOT implemented; Jefferson believed no government could remain legitimate for longer than 17 years and that the Constitution would therefore have to be rewritten from scratch or else another revolution would be necessary. Some of the other Founders supported the French Revolution, or had similar ideas to the French Revolutionaries (Thomas Paine for instance). But thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

    Of course King George III was still royally (pun intended) incompetent, and created the climate that allowed the revolution to happen, so I’m no fan of his either. But I do view the revolution as a bittersweet event. (Politically, I’m a bit of a Red Tory, albeit one who happens to live south of the border). And I have Wayne Grudem to think for that.

  103. @ Bob J:
    That is a bizarre link. It is just another screed on freemasonry and allegations that certain leaders are Masons. It’s baloney and Christians should be careful not to fall for such conspiracy hogwash.

  104. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Hey, HUG! I’ll see your “Cabaret”, and I’ll raise you a Dr. Teeth!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM9N30V4wnQ
    But the “Cabaret” one just has that SLEAZE factor…

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Hey, HUG! I’ll see your “Cabaret”, and I’ll raise you a Dr. Teeth!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM9N30V4wnQ
    How about some Pink Floyd?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0kcet4aPpQ

    My contribution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK9QUqUGmb4 🙂

    Amazing how high school graduate CJ Mahaney has all the multiply degreed evangelical sooper jeenyuses wrapped around his finger.

  105. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    the Ender’s Game series
    The Ender’s Saga deals with a lot of theological issues and your comment, Dee, reminded me of a quote in one of the later books in the series — Speaker for the Dead or thereafter — where a main characters comments on the Calvinists who have settled on one of the outpost planets. To paraphrase, “Calvinists — they have all the answers before you even have the questions.”
    I’ll find the exact wording for you eventually, but my set is currently hiding in a box somewhere in the libraryrinth.

    You mean to say that the Ender’s series is actually a science fiction novel written to expose the flaws in Calvinsim? Or am I missing something here?

  106. Actually now that I think about it some more, I think it was Geisler and not Grudem who wrote that article (the one I mentioned earlier, about revolutions). I can’t tell my neo-Cals apart, apparently!

  107. Bob J wrote:

    @ Max:
    One can read more about Mohler and Dever here.
    http://www.thewatchmanwakes.com/John-Macarthur-Al-Mohler-Dever-UN-change-agents.html
    These men are very close to John Macarthur. Macarthur’s Grace To You gives nearly $800,000 annually to a private firm owned by his son-in-law (for GTY’s video production). Macarthur’s principal financier is Lorena Jaeb, a Governor of the Council for National Policy, a CFR front. So following the money trail can be of interest…where is the church money going (often to friends and family) and where does it come from…You can’t follow God and mammon and these men don’t follow God…

    What does CFR stand for? Reading this kind of stuff starts to make me think that it’s like an onion, the more one peels, the closer to the center you get!

  108. Darlene wrote:

    You mean to say that the Ender’s series is actually a science fiction novel written to expose the flaws in Calvinsim? Or am I missing something here?

    If I remember correctly, Orson Scott Card himself is Mormon, and Ender Wiggin’s parents are from backgrounds of Polish Catholic (his father) and American Mormon (his mother). The Ender’s series actually does deal with a lot of religious systems of beliefs and practices, not just Calvinism. But it does strike me that issues of choice and freedom come up a lot. So … that certainly does revolve around some core themes that distinguish different Christian traditions …

    Some of the later volumes deal with planets that have been settled by all kinds of racial/ethnic and religious groups including Brazilians, Japanese, Indian subcontinent, Pacific Islanders, Scandinavians, Spaniards — and Catholics, Calvinists, Hindus, Lutherans, Muslims, etc.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ender's_Game_series_planets

  109. Whoa now. The British Empire came and went. The Spanish Armada went down. The French monarchy is gone. The South will not rise again. And the great buffalo herds are gone. This is the time to take a deep breath and be calm and move on.

  110. @ MidwesternEasterner:

    I know nothing of the politics and relationships between various modern day theologians. The Masters Seminary is not far from me and I have known various people and churches associated with MacArthur. They do use and like Grudem’s Systemic Theology, so if there has been some sort of difference or tension there between Grudem and MacArthur, it is not obvious in the choice of material used by people within MacArthur’s teaching/seminary/theology. They really LOVE Grudem’s take on females and the whole headship/submission thing. I think that issue alone has created a mutual love affair.

  111. Pingback: Analysis of the Eastern District of the Evangelical Free Church of America | Wondering Eagle UNITED STATES

  112. @ MidwesternEasterner:
    I have seen quite a bit of this stuff reading around history. My big takeaway from the American Rev is that ideas have consequences and the more free exchange of ideas and debate over time, the more better off we are.

  113. okrapod wrote:

    The South will not rise again.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. If there’s a chance for the U.S. to have a rebirth in manufacturing and to become what we once were (before we sold our birth right to Wall Street for a mess of pottage), it may lie in the South. To be sure, King Cotton is dead and gone with the wind long ago. But the ground is fertile for the German model of manufacturing, and if it catches on, the South will rise again as an economic engine that will generate true wealth.

  114. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    I can relate to this. It is a totally different place than when my family members were involved 30 years ago. No velvet ropes back then for the president.

    What is even stranger is that word about the Stalinitstic environment was a secret to outsiders. SBTS was still living off an older reputation.

    About 7-8 years ago some acquaintances of mine decided to move here to acquire PhDs. They were in their 40’s and had secular education and career backgrounds and did not know each other. They both were appalled at the stifling cult of personality there. These young people don’t know that they don’t know.

    I honestly think that the focus on getting them young and dumb was key to all this especially with adding Boyce. Most had been primed in youth group or cru on Piper, etc. Mohler built an empire for himself.

    You nailed it well. It is really group think and total mediocrity which is what cult of personality always turns into. I engage them all the time and once they are outside the bubble where the parroting without authority does not work, they are lost and always fall back on ad hominem. It is all they know. SBTS is turning out theological elves.

    When the trustees allowed the 33 year old Mohler to fire the 64 year old Paul Debusman r8 mos before retirement for disagreeing with a chapel speaker over how many conservative speakers SBTS had, it went to his head. There were no boundaries on Mohler. His power became absolute.

  115. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    I originally remember the name Wayne Grudem from an essay I read back in the days when I was attending a small Christian college. His essay was about the role of government in society, and toward the end of it he also argued that the American revolution was unjustified. That shocked me at the time, because after all I’m an American and was raised to believe the revolutionaries were the good guys. I was like, “how could he say that with a straight face?”
    Grudem is opinionated about a lot of other subjects, too. He has defended charismatics against people like John MacArthur, for instance. (I wonder if receiving donations from the charismatic SGM had anything to do with his stance, or whether it was the other way around).
    I’m not particularly fond of him although I do give him credit for helping me question the “official” narrative of the American Revolution and the Founding. I now believe that both sides had legitimate concerns and that the Patriots’ cause wasn’t blameless. In fact, Southern Patriots, like their Confederate descendants, may have been motivated in part by the fear that the British would take away their “rights” to own slaves. look up Somersett’s Case, for instance. And racial animus against Native Americans definitely played a role too; while the British saw Natives and white colonists as equally subject to the crown’s protection, the colonists saw America as exclusively their land and the Declaration of Independence attacked the King for being too charitable to the “Indian savages”. It’s actually very reminiscent of Rhodesia.
    So blacks and Native Americans would certainly have been better off under a Loyalist victory, and no doubt a lot of white people would have, too.
    Also, we should be glad that a lot of the more fanatical Founders’ ideas (particularly Thomas Jefferson’s) were NOT implemented; Jefferson believed no government could remain legitimate for longer than 17 years and that the Constitution would therefore have to be rewritten from scratch or else another revolution would be necessary. Some of the other Founders supported the French Revolution, or had similar ideas to the French Revolutionaries (Thomas Paine for instance). But thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.
    Of course King George III was still royally (pun intended) incompetent, and created the climate that allowed the revolution to happen, so I’m no fan of his either. But I do view the rev@ MidwesternEasterner:

    Wayne Grudem was defending the goings on at the Toronto Airport Vineyard.

  116. Max wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    What do the KJV Onlys have to say about the ESV Onlys?
    I suppose they think each other are heretics! Of course, the Geneva Bible preceded the KJV by about 50 years … Calvinists really love that one.

    That may but Luther’s Bible came before both of them!

  117. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Actually now that I think about it some more, I think it was Geisler and not Grudem who wrote that article (the one I mentioned earlier, about revolutions). I can’t tell my neo-Cals apart, apparently!

    Geisler isn’t a Neo-Cal. He’s an Arminian and preaches against Calvinism.

  118. Lydia wrote:

    When the trustees allowed the 33 year old Mohler to fire the 64 year old Paul Debusman r8 mos before retirement for disagreeing with a chapel speaker over how many conservative speakers SBTS had, it went to his head. There were no boundaries on Mohler. His power became absolute.

    “The day Ernst Roehm died
    A voice rang out
    From the rolling Bavarian hills —
    ‘You can’t touch me now
    I’m stronger
    Stronger than your law’…”
    — Al Stewart, “The last day of June 1934”

  119. Stan wrote:

    Amazing how high school graduate CJ Mahaney has all the multiply degreed evangelical sooper jeenyuses wrapped around his finger.

    He who has the Gold makes the Rules.

    And Honorary Degrees from ManaGAWD cronies don’t count.

  120. Friend wrote:

    Should this be “Ura Stalinu” (dative)?

    I don’t know the spelling in Russian; that was the spelling I’d seen in English and heard once or twice in a documentary. “URRA!” is obviously the Russian equivalent of “HURRAH!”

  121. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    They really LOVE Grudem’s take on females and the whole headship/submission thing. I think that issue alone has created a mutual love affair.

    Of course they would.

    “Jesus loves Me
    This I know;
    I’m a BOY
    That’s how it rolls;
    Little girls
    To ME belong;
    They are weak
    And I AM STRONG!”

    All because they were born with a penis.
    Automatically bestowing Divine Right to Rule.
    Ave Priapus!

  122. Jack wrote:

    …atheism. I’m heading in that direction.

    Blast it, Jack, the sociopaths and NPDs and sadists who come in the name of God so that they might more efficiently hurt His people–te very types who are exposed here–would on some level just love that. Jesus dealt with exactly the same types: the phonies who purported to serve God but clandestinely hated Him. That crowd ultimately maneuvered to have Him killed. Don’t let them turn you off from the one who will ultimately set matters straight.

  123. A couple of folks upthread asked how much CJ gave Dever or CHBC. I was at CHBC for a number of years and recall the amount being something like one or two gifts of $2000 to $5000. I could be off by a litle bit, but nowhere near an order of magnitude. It’s possible that CJ or SGM gave (or did not give) substantial sums to 9Marks, but unusual gifts to 9Marks were never attributed to named individuals during CHBC members meetings.

    This is not a defense of CJ or of Dever (as I disagree both with a pastor having so much influence on the disbursement of funds and with Dever’s harboring CJ), but think contributions to CHBC are less problematic than those to SBTS, for example.

    I’ve been asked before whether Dever’s decision to harbor CJ could have been a quid pro quo for the contributions. I don’t believe so – they were not a material portion of the Capitol Hill budget. It seems to me far more likely that Dever’s judgment was blinded by friendship. Given the instructions from CHBC elders when taking in new members from other local churches, and given the way they press frequent attenders to join or find a church they can join, harboring CJ was glaringly out of step with their usual practice.

  124. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Of course King George III was still royally (pun intended) incompetent, and created the climate that allowed the revolution to happen, so I’m no fan of his either. But I do view the revolution as a bittersweet event. (Politically, I’m a bit of a Red Tory, albeit one who happens to live south of the border). And I have Wayne Grudem to think for that.

    …maybe he ought to stick to politics.

  125. okrapod wrote:

    The British Empire came and went

    Ah, but with Gibralter and the Falkland Islands and the odd Pacific island or two … But more to the point it lives on in our hearts.

    🙂 🙂

  126. Darlene wrote:

    Geisler isn’t a Neo-Cal. He’s an Arminian and preaches against Calvinism.

    Hmmm. I did not know much about Geisler so I checked out Wiki. Wiki says that Geisler considers himself a ‘moderate calvinist’ but the interesting thing to me is that what they say that he believes is very close to what SBC churches were saying waaaay back when. Not exactly in that he is a tad more into calvinist doctrinal ideas than the old SBCers, but there is enough similarity there to make a correlation to back when the SBC was a sort of mix of calvinism and arminianism.

  127. @ okrapod: the SBC I recall seemed to be heavy into “once saved always saved” which would be the closest thing to sharing Cal/Arm similarities. Other than that, I am not sure. It seemed to be more big tent when it came to those specific doctrines because the focus as any sort of monolithic group was on “cooperation”. The basics drilled in our heads as kids included soul liberty and the priesthood of believer. Those ideas are pretty much dead today.

    My view is that what the Neo Cals describe as Arminian is Calvin-lite because folks allow them to define. I caught on a while back they frame everything in terms of Calvinism or Arminian as if those are the only acceptable choices for orthodoxy.

  128. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But the “Cabaret” one just has that SLEAZE factor…

    I can’t deny that. I was actually a bit hesitant to sully Dr. Teeth’s good name by association with Mahaney, but the song was just too cute not to share.

  129. Lydia wrote:

    The basics drilled in our heads as kids included soul liberty and the priesthood of believer.

    Those were not the basics taught to me, at least not in those terms or specific ideas. Now I have a theory about that since you and I come from the same geographic area but not the same decade(s) it must surely be that the popularity of those ideas, or for that matter probably lots of ideas, was in a state of flux-more popularity at one time and not so much the next. If my theory is correct it would help to explain how calvinists could come in and capitalize on a situation which was already doctrinally on shaky ground, so to speak. By that I mean not shaky as in prone to error but rather shaky as in prone to change.

    You also said: “My view is that what the Neo Cals describe as Arminian is Calvin-lite because folks allow them to define.”

    As I understand it arminianism is actually a sort-of calvinism, and Arminius was in the Dutch Reformed tradition and was specifically and intentionally preaching something influenced by but not identical with several of the reformers including Calvin. I think this has been a weak spot between the general baptists and the particular baptists in that there is significant overlap in beliefs. Then the five point calvinists can say to the arminians that the arminians are just not willing to go all the way in what appear to be almost shared beliefs.

    I think this is easier to see if one looks at arminianism not from the standpoint of calvinist doctrine but rather from the standpoint of catholic doctrine and seeing where along that continuum arminianism seems to be. IMO, kissing cousins. Exception: wesleyan arminianism seems to me to be farther away from calvin than classical arminianism.

  130. @ okrapod:
    I think you are on to something. SBC Baptists were cooperating around missions not specific detailed doctrinal stances sent down as edicts from the entities There was a lot of room doctrinally despite what many think. Also, if you grew up at Walnut Street that would have been the closest equivalent to a mega church in that time where it is more normal to be “personality of the pastor”….driven. I only remember as far back as Dehoney who was into major expansion and on TV every Sunday. The pastor of Walnut Street, in its heyday, would have had a lot of influence.

    Btw, wiki claims WSBC is now affiliated with both the SBC and CBF. (The faction that split away during the CR) that is rather unusual in Louisville!

  131. @ Bob J:
    Content on the site you linked is the stuff that baloney is made of. I recommend you hang out on TWW … it’s a watchblog you can trust.

  132. Stan wrote:

    Amazing how high school graduate CJ Mahaney has all the multiply degreed evangelical sooper jeenyuses wrapped around his finger.

    As I posted in an upstream comment “… it’s all about feeding the revolution with necessary funds. And in doing so, the little guys get to rub shoulders with the big dogs. Why else would superior intellects like Mohler and Grudem (who have big stacks of books) want to hang out with the likes of Mahaney?”

    These folks use and abuse each other.

  133. @ Lowlandseer:

    The guy that wrote “Chosen But Free” is an open theist? I read the wiki but am not seeing it and could use some help. He describes himself as a moderate Calvinist. I remember him as being big on promoting inerrancy. He was quoted a lot on that issue.

  134. @ Lydia:

    I was a child at Walnut Street, an adolescent in a small church out in the county, and cut my grown up teeth at the old Crescent Hill when it was the seminary church before the revolution. I remember John Claypool as pastor, and he was superb. He later became an episcopal priest so I am just wondering what I may have picked up at Crescent Hill back in the day but forgot-something of a ‘flavor’ of a religious attitude perhaps? Who knows. Life is complicated.

  135. Stan wrote:

    Amazing how high school graduate CJ Mahaney has all the multiply degreed evangelical sooper jeenyuses wrapped around his finger.

    Dee’s opening line to this post explains the Mohler/Mahaney connection well: “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is.” (Paul Harvey)

  136. @ okrapod:

    Wow, I was in and out of Crescent Hill all the time as a kid! It was a big “seminary people” church at one time. I still visit from time to time. That is interesting about the former pastor but frankly, CH is more liturgical these days, anyway and not so pastor focused which is great. . I would attend more but they are too focused on promoting left wing politics and politicians. I did not escape that focus from the evangelical right to be a part of the evangelical left. Sigh. I get tired of Christians telling me who to vote for or what issues I have to support to be a good Christian.

  137. @ Lydia:
    That site is a cyberspace version of the “National Enquirer” for Christians who don’t have a lick of sense.

  138. Lydia wrote:

    I get tired of Christians telling me who to vote for or what issues I have to support to be a good Christian.

    Me too and amen to that. I read one guy this morning who actually said, when all his article was condensed into a sentence or two that all evangelicals must adhere to the evangelical ‘biblical worldview’, and therefore must vote in a certain way. The article went on to question the salvation of any self proclaimed evangelical who did not follow the official biblical worldview straight to the voting booth. From this I conclude that he was saying that only evangelicals are real christians, and even some evangelicals are not real christians, and the litmus test is the way they vote.

    Sorry fellow who wrote the article, but I missed seeing your chapter and verse reference on that so I suppose you could not find one either.

  139. On a more positive note, the exciting news from central Scotland is that I’ve managed to dry a full load of washing (towels at that) outdoors today!

    #summerhasarrived

  140. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    They do use and like Grudem’s Systemic Theology, so if there has been some sort of difference or tension there between Grudem

    As a point of note; to a certain extent the influence of Grudem has been very much a product of his Systematic Theology being one of the few ‘evangelical’ ones around. In general, due to pressures of the academic world both Christian and non-Christian to publish quickly and often – and the fact that they often take decades of work, writing Systematic Theologies has very much fallen out of favour (and in the evangelical world the only other mainstream ST I can think of would be Ericksons)

    As such, especially in the areas where alternate theological emphasises are present, or where Grudem takes what is – historically – a minority position, his interpretations have gained influence out of proportion to their merits, purely because there weren’t many people writing competing STs.

  141. Former CHBCer wrote:

    It’s possible that CJ or SGM gave (or did not give) substantial sums to 9Marks, but unusual gifts to 9Marks were never attributed to named individuals during CHBC members meetings.

    I found this on the Internet Archive of the Center for Church Reform (later renamed 9Marks) site from its early years:

    “Financial gifts are gladly welcomed. Because one particular donor pays for the salaries of CCR staff, every additional dollar given goes directly to projects in support of the CCR mission. Checks can made out to CCR and mailed to 525 A St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002”

    Do you have any idea who the “one particular donor [who] pays for the salaries of CCR staff” was?

  142. Jerome wrote:

    Do you have any idea who the “one particular donor [who] pays for the salaries of CCR staff” was?

    No, but He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules.

  143. okrapod wrote:

    From this I conclude that he was saying that only evangelicals are real christians, and even some evangelicals are not real christians, and the litmus test is the way they vote.

    Doesn’t the Jerk with the Kirk claim from SCRIPTURE(TM) that Heathens (I.e. all who are not REAL Christians) can be enslaved by the Godly?

  144. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Geisler is an “Open Theist” The Wiki article is quite good at explaining it.

    Are we talkin’ the same Norman Geisler here? If so, I can assure you that he’s not an open theist ala Pinnock & Boyd. Dr. Geisler was intimately involved with Calvary Chapel as a keynote speaker in times past.
    In the Calvary chapel ‘biblical world view’ open theism is one of the heresies that can get you cast into the lake of fire along with the beast and false prophet.
    By the way, I’m an open theist.

  145. mirele wrote:

    Brian Houston didn’t think he should report a child molester to the police and was censured for that by a Royal Commission?

    Brian Houston seems to be very effectively grasping the narrative on this and maintaining his position. I look for more leaders to be learning from his example as they realize that, in these days of free information, spinning the narrative may be more effective to their goals than trying to silence the story.

  146. Chris S wrote:

    (and in the evangelical world the only other mainstream ST I can think of would be Ericksons)

    The late Robert L. Reymond has written a good ST titled “A New Systematic Theology of The Christian Faith”

    Michael Horton has authored a ST titled “The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.” I would say it appeals more to academia. I had trouble getting into it, and almost set it aside, but after I was about 1/3 of the way through I thought it got a lot better.

    John Frame also came out with a ST a year or two ago. I have not had a chance to read it yet. His books are always good.

    I think my favorite ST is by Louis Berkhoff. It seemed easy to understand. It was written in the late ’40s so critics say it is a bit dated, but if you read it you will have a solid grasp of theology. I just checked Amazon and you can get the Kindle version for $1.99. I couldn’t pass that up!

    http://www.amazon.com/Systematic-Theology-Louis-Berkhof-ebook/dp/B01BKSLBOY/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456162421&sr=1-3&keywords=systematic+theology+berkhof

    Regards,
    Todd

  147. Chris S wrote:

    his interpretations have gained influence out of proportion to their merits, purely because there weren’t many people writing competing STs

    Exactly. Grudem and his contributions are thought of more highly than they ought to be. With Grudem’s reformed slant, it is no surprise that Mahaney has helped underwrite Grudem’s writings. And you are right … in the academic world, “Publish or Perish” rules to the extent that articles/books are produced quickly and often, whether the author has anything significant to say or not.

  148. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Geisler isn’t a Neo-Cal. He’s an Arminian and preaches against Calvinism.
    Hmmm. I did not know much about Geisler so I checked out Wiki. Wiki says that Geisler considers himself a ‘moderate calvinist’ but the interesting thing to me is that what they say that he believes is very close to what SBC churches were saying waaaay back when. Not exactly in that he is a tad more into calvinist doctrinal ideas than the old SBCers, but there is enough similarity there to make a correlation to back when the SBC was a sort of mix of calvinism and arminianism.

    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.” He doesn’t believe in U: Unconditional Election, L: Limited Atonement, and U:Unconditional Election. Whatever Geisler may say about himself, Calvinists would reject anyone claiming to be a Calvinist and not holding to ULI in the middle. He’s view on free will alone excludes him from the Calvinist category. He wrote a book titled “Chosen But Free” in which the second edition includes a response to James White’s book: “The Potter’s Freedom.” Geisler’s book had Calvinist’s (like James White) up in arms and there were quite a few who spoke out against him.

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

  149. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    On a more positive note, the exciting news from central Scotland is that I’ve managed to dry a full load of washing (towels at that) outdoors today!

    On an even more positive note, I’m sure you have beautiful baby skin and rosy cheeks and look well younger than your years because of the high moisture in the air
    #dry desert air is good for towels, not so great for face

  150. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Geisler is an “Open Theist” The Wiki article is quite good at explaining it.

    Whatever the Wiki article says, Geisler is not an open theist. He would deny such a label attached to him. Rather, “open theist” is a term used by Calvinists toward just about anyone who does not subscribe to the TULIP.

  151. Max wrote:

    @ Bob J:
    Content on the site you linked is the stuff that baloney is made of. I recommend you hang out on TWW … it’s a watchblog you can trust.

    I thought the same thing, Max. And so did Dee and a few others. As soon as I started reading the stuff on that site, I knew it was nonsense. There are extremists in the right-wing Christian camp that look for heretics and false believers under every rock, nook, and cranny.

  152. Darlene wrote:

    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.”

    I have not yet listened to the video but I plan to. Thanks for the link. At the same time and prior to this conversation I was unaware of Geisler, but that said I note that in the title of the video he says why he is not a five point calvinist. I have heard that approach before from people. I wonder why he did not say why he as not a calvinist period? He seems to be making a distinction there.

    You seem to be saying that if someone is not a five point calvinist then he is not a calvinist at all. I wouldn’t know, since I am not only not a calvinist I am not even an evangelical, but I do know that I have run into statements from people who claim to be a four point calvinist for example, or claim to be a calvinist ‘but’ go on to explain their understanding of some specific point as other than what they claim the neo-cals understand it.

    Perhaps my lack of sophistication in this line of thinking is a problem here, but I do think that what is a calvinist seems to be up for discussion is some circles. For me at this point I am prone to let people define themselves rather than let their opponents define them, and if Geisler wants to call himself a moderate calvinist basically I think perhaps he may well be. And if some calvinists call arminianism calvinism lite then that does seem to be the case when looking at it from way over here in my perspective.

  153. @ Ken:

    “The British Empire came and went”

    “Ah, but with Gibralter and the Falkland Islands and the odd Pacific island or two … But more to the point it lives on in our hearts.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    I imagine true. funny… in English brand names, I’ve observed words like Conqueror (they make envelopes), and Empire. In the US, i see words like “Liberty” in brand names.

  154. okrapod wrote:

    I have run into statements from people who claim to be a four point calvinist for example, or claim to be a calvinist ‘but’ go on to explain their understanding of some specific point as other than what they claim the neo-cals understand it

    Moderate (4-point) Calvinism is a paradox. Can “Unlimited Atonement” truly come alongside “Unconditional Election” in a reformed theology grid? Note the following quote: “Reformed pastor and author R.C. Sproul suggests there is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. While he considers it possible for a person to believe four points without believing the fifth, he claims that a person who really understands the other four points must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyraldism

    At the core of reformed theology is the belief that a determinist God chooses some to save and most to damn before they ever draw breath (limited atonement, unconditional election) … predestined to heaven or hell with no choice in the matter! Calvinist teaching diminishes the work of the Cross of Christ for ALL people. There really is no such thing as a 1, 2, 3, or 4-point Calvinist. To be faithful to their belief system, a Calvinist must accept all tenets of the Doctrines of Grace … a system which goes contrary to God’s plan of salvation for ALL people as recorded in Scripture. To accept this teaching, is to agree to twist Scripture to make it fit a systematic theological system constructed by mere men … and Jesus told us not to do that when He said “Don’t forsake the commandments of God for the teachings and traditions of men.”

  155. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    My favourites are Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, Van Genderen & Velema’s Concise Reformed Dogmatics ( based on Bavinck’s larger works), à Brakel’s The Christian’s Reasonable Service. (as well as Calvin, Turretin, Witsius, Hodge , Vos).

  156. Haitch wrote:

    On an even more positive note…

    More positive than summery weather in Scotland in February? Now that really is positive. Though my designer stubble rather precludes baby-soft skin.

    On a less positive note, Manchester United’s FA cup opponents have just gone 1-0 down.

  157. On the topic of movies that meaningfully address the theme of religious conservatism, my favourite by far is The Life of Brian. It is no mere collection of cheap potshots – though it is ROFL funny – but a masterpiece of well-observed satire.

  158. Long time no speak. I came just to echo FundyStan’s comments about the environment at SBTS. Quite frankly I think it peaked around early 2008. Since then the real nature of the beast has become too apparent to too many people, people who cannot be written off as liberals or whatnot.

    As for Mahaney’s donations to CHBC and his taking refuge there, I don’t think there was a quid pro quo involved. The credibility of the NeoCal movement, and CHBC within the NeoCal movement was too much at risk for Mahaney to go down. A lesser figure could’ve been quietly disappeared. But they couldn’t acknowledge any serious fault on the part of Mahaney or their whole marketing strategy would come undone. They are the ones who Do Church Better than everyone else. The narrative is they don’t have sex scandals or personality cults.

  159. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    On the topic of movies that meaningfully address the theme of religious conservatism, my favourite by far is The Life of Brian. It is no mere collection of cheap potshots – though it is ROFL funny – but a masterpiece of well-observed satire.

    I was in-country when Life of Brian first hit the screens, and remember the massive Christianese Uproar over its Satanic Blasphemy(TM), SCREAMING calls to BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT, the usual. Naturally that made it an even bigger hit.

  160. Darlene wrote:

    As soon as I started reading the stuff on that site, I knew it was nonsense. There are extremists in the right-wing Christian camp that look for heretics and false believers under every rock, nook, and cranny.

    And end up in the same boat as A.W.Pink — The One True Church of One, denouncing every other One True Church of One as Heretics and Blasphemers. The theoretical ultimate End State of Protestantism, kind of like the Grey Land in The Great Divorce.

  161. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.”
    I have not yet listened to the video but I plan to. Thanks for the link. At the same time and prior to this conversation I was unaware of Geisler, but that said I note that in the title of the video he says why he is not a five point calvinist. I have heard that approach before from people. I wonder why he did not say why he as not a calvinist period? He seems to be making a distinction there.
    You seem to be saying that if someone is not a five point calvinist then he is not a calvinist at all. I wouldn’t know, since I am not only not a calvinist I am not even an evangelical, but I do know that I have run into statements from people who claim to be a four point calvinist for example, or claim to be a calvinist ‘but’ go on to explain their understanding of some specific point as other than what they claim the neo-cals understand it.
    Perhaps my lack of sophistication in this line of thinking is a problem here, but I do think that what is a calvinist seems to be up for discussion is some circles. For me at this point I am prone to let people define themselves rather than let their opponents define them, and if Geisler wants to call himself a moderate calvinist basically I think perhaps he may well be. And if some calvinists call arminianism calvinism lite then that does seem to be the case when looking at it from way over here in my perspective.

    Piper claims to be a 7 pt Calvinist. Perhaps that is so the 5 pts. are not so alarming?

    I could never see how the first 4 TULI worked without each other. The summing up of P seems to say if you believe this cognitive dissonance until you die, you might just have been a chosen saint. :o)

    But then again, after years of reading this stuff and thousands of convos with YRR, I am right back here:

    http://i1.wp.com/www.nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/the-theologians.jpg

  162. Lydia wrote:

    Piper claims to be a 7 pt Calvinist.

    Well, he is smarter than everyone else, you know. He will be a 10-pointer before it’s all over … and Lord, believe me, I wish New Calvinism was over!

  163. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.”

    OK, I freely admit having no plan to watch the video. But why would anybody make a video about this? Only two or three people care what I do believe, and still fewer care what I don’t.

  164. Can somebody please explain to me why full-fledged new-Cals even bother with churches and missionaries. If everything is predetermined, and the individual gets no choice either way, what’s the point?
    Money?

  165. Nancy2 wrote:

    Can somebody please explain to me why full-fledged new-Cals even bother with churches and missionaries. If everything is predetermined, and the individual gets no choice either way, what’s the point?
    Money?

    Nancy2, you touch on the primary concern for me with the proliferation of New Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. Mission and evangelism in the reformed movement is all about planting theology (rather than churches) and harvesting the elect (rather than the lost). As Calvinization of the Southern Baptist Convention runs deeper into the ranks, within a generation a once-great evangelistic denomination will look distinctly different on both home and foreign fields. I think the motivation of the reformed movement has various faces to it. The young, restless and reformed have become convinced (indoctrinated) to believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost … they are passionate about this. And, of course, money is a driver for some of the leaders who are reaping book sales, milking the YRR passion. They, of course, have all been deceived by the deceiver.

  166. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyraldism
    There really is no such thing as a 1, 2, 3, or 4-point Calvinist. To be faithful to their belief system, a Calvinist must accept all tenets of the Doctrines of Grace … a system which goes contrary to God’s plan of salvation for ALL people as recorded in Scripture.

    Correct, Max! You said it much better than I could.

  167. What does that naked pastor cartoon mean? Please someone explain. I am dense when it comes to cartoons for the most part.

  168. Friend wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.”
    OK, I freely admit having no plan to watch the video. But why would anybody make a video about this? Only two or three people care what I do believe, and still fewer care what I don’t.

    I wonder if Geisler knew that those who were filming him would put it on Youtube. It’s poor quality. He was speaking at a church somewhere and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had no idea that his words would address a larger audience. As to why someone would make a video about this. The same reason people make videos about almost anything. To get their viewpoint out to as many people as possible.

  169. Nancy2 wrote:

    Can somebody please explain to me why full-fledged new-Cals even bother with churches and missionaries. If everything is predetermined, and the individual gets no choice either way, what’s the point?
    Money?

    Because any good Calvinist would say that God uses *means* to promote the gospel. It doesn’t just fall from the sky. This is why there are pastors, teachers, etc. This would be their response.

  170. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Chris S wrote:
    (and in the evangelical world the only other mainstream ST I can think of would be Ericksons)
    The late Robert L. Reymond has written a good ST titled “A New Systematic Theology of The Christian Faith”
    Michael Horton has authored a ST titled “The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.” I would say it appeals more to academia. I had trouble getting into it, and almost set it aside, but after I was about 1/3 of the way through I thought it got a lot better.
    John Frame also came out with a ST a year or two ago. I have not had a chance to read it yet. His books are always good.

    Yes, and I am aware of all of these, and own some of them – it’s just that in the Evangelical world (which usually means credo baptist) none of these loom particularly large – if at all.

    The one evangelical review I saw of Horton’s ST urged caution on the part of his readers as it he writes in favour of infant baptism.

  171. @ Max:

    “The young, restless and reformed have become convinced (indoctrinated) to believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost … they are passionate about this”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    to restore the gospel… that the rest of the church has lost…..

    hmmm, yes, that would explain it. (the word “gospel” as qualifier for everything)

    what about the gospel have we lost? and who decided that we had?

    so genuinely curious here.

    so weird.

  172. elastigirl wrote:

    what about the gospel have we lost?

    To the reformed mind, Calvinism = Gospel. They believe that any ministry which is not preaching/teaching the Doctrines of Grace, the tenets of Calvinism, is not delivering the gospel truth. Thus, mainline non-Calvinist denominations have “lost” the gospel and they are out and about to restore it to the church. This is at the root of the current Calvinist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Such arrogance!

  173. @ Darlene:

    He is pointing out what happens to people when the teachers/preachers get bogged down in expositing doctrinal minutia one must adhere to instead of what Christianity is really about: new life, love, caring for the broken/oppressed, seeking justice, mercy and compassion, etc. note how the people are starving/dying while the teachers are immersed in the minutiae. And believe me, I say that as one who loves studying. But if the fruit from it is dead, what is really the point?

  174. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Max:

    to restore the gospel… that the rest of the church has lost…..
    hmmm, yes, that would explain it. (the word “gospel” as qualifier for everything)
    what about the gospel have we lost? and who decided that we had?
    so genuinely curious here.
    so weird.

    The impetus seems to have come from this book. You will recognize the strategy in chapter 4

    http://founders.org/library/quiet/

  175. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible.

    I have major issues with the ESV, including it’s rejection of pretty standard Greek word meanings in order to support specific agendas, including the anti-gay agenda. It isn’t a bad translation, per se, but I do believe it is downright dishonest with the text in some places.

  176. Lydia wrote:

    is book. You will recognize the strategy in chapter 4
    http://founders.org/library/quiet/

    So, the strategy is………..Slip quietly in through the back door, under cover. Assess the congregation. Single out the weakest targets. Then pick them off, one by one, working your way up until you have control of the church.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That seems to be the most popular form of “church planting” and reformation now days!!!

  177. @ Nancy2:
    Yes, slip in because the ignorant heathens do not know they don’t have the true Gospel so you have to introduce…ER…indoctrinate slowly. Use words they are familiar with like grace.. a lot… but not that it has a different meaning.

    Most of the YRR who carryout the playbook have not read it. It is in the DNA of the movement. The closest thing I can historically parallel is Germany early 30’s…

  178. Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Piper claims to be a 7 pt Calvinist.

    Well, he is smarter than everyone else, you know. He will be a 10-pointer before it’s all over

    Al “stack of books” Mohler is the genius of the movement. I’m pretty sure he must be a 10 pointer! 🙂

  179. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I was in-country when Life of Brian first hit the screens, and remember the massive Christianese Uproar over its Satanic Blasphemy(TM), SCREAMING calls to BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT, the usual. Naturally that made it an even bigger hit.

    The Life of Brian did have its sacreligious moments, but its version of the Sermon on the Mount was hilarious as was the group of rebels who literally never got out of committee.

  180. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    On the Healing Journey wrote:
    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible.
    I have major issues with the ESV, including it’s rejection of pretty standard Greek word meanings in order to support specific agendas, including the anti-gay agenda. It isn’t a bad translation, per se, but I do believe it is downright dishonest with the text in some places.

    It all looks seems hypocritical considering the ESV came from the RSV, a translation those liberal mainline Christians devised. I just remember how evangelicals used to castigate the RSV . Outside the King James Version, the New American Standard version was the version to own when I was a young one because it was supposedly a more literal translation. I would be interested to see how much of the RSV they changed. I actually have an RSV on my shelves, and I have a MacArthur study Bible so what sections should I compare?

  181. ZechZav wrote:

    This link is actually quite slanderous and offensive. The author of this article slanders Billy Graham as a freemason without providing any evidence.

    I am in possession of a book called The History of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey. Albert Mackey was a prominent and revered high ranking Mason. The dust jacket of this book states that Billy Graham is a Freemason. Again, this is a MASONIC book written by a high ranking Mason. If wasn’t true, Graham would have sued him. Also, Jim Shaw, a 33rd degree Mason, wrote a book called The Deadly Deception in which he stated on page 104 that Graham took part in his 33rd degree initiation rite (a rite that only other high ranking Masons can attend). In fact, it can be proved that the entire SBC is controlled by Masonry.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Mackey

    http://prophets-see-all.tripod.com/47100.htm

    https://watch.pair.com/sbc.html

  182. dee wrote:

    That is a bizarre link. It is just another screed on freemasonry and allegations that certain leaders are Masons. It’s baloney and Christians should be careful not to fall for such conspiracy hogwash

    To the contrary, Christians ought to be made aware that there is and has been a great conspiracy at work to destroy Christianity and that these conspirators have largely employed Freemasons as agents of infiltration and subversion.

  183. Darlene wrote:

    What does CFR stand for? Reading this kind of stuff starts to make me think that it’s like an onion, the more one peels, the closer to the center you get!

    CFR stands for Council on Foreign Relations. This is an org dedicated to merging the US into a world government. The honorary chairman is David Rockefeller. Rick Warren is also a CFR member. I agree with you. The conspirators create numerous “fronts” to deceive Christians.

  184. Mark wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    On the Healing Journey wrote:
    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible.
    I have major issues with the ESV, including it’s rejection of pretty standard Greek word meanings in order to support specific agendas, including the anti-gay agenda. It isn’t a bad translation, per se, but I do believe it is downright dishonest with the text in some places.
    It all looks seems hypocritical considering the ESV came from the RSV, a translation those liberal mainline Christians devised. I just remember how evangelicals used to castigate the RSV . Outside the King James Version, the New American Standard version was the version to own when I was a young one because it was supposedly a more literal translation. I would be interested to see how much of the RSV they changed. I actually have an RSV on my shelves, and I have a MacArthur study Bible so what sections should I compare?

    Yes, I remember back in the day when there weren’t as many translations of the Bible. The staunch King Jamer’s thought the RSV was inspired from below. The RSV is what I was reading back then, and am still reading today. I’d don’t think I’ve grown any horns yet. What I’d like to know is: What is so liberal about the RSV?

  185. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    On the Healing Journey wrote:
    This answered a question I had. At some point, C.J. and SGM started promoting use of the English Standard Version (ESV) as the “better” version of the Bible.
    I have major issues with the ESV, including it’s rejection of pretty standard Greek word meanings in order to support specific agendas, including the anti-gay agenda. It isn’t a bad translation, per se, but I do believe it is downright dishonest with the text in some places.

    What word meanings does the ESV change in order to meet this anti-gay agenda?

  186. Bob J wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    You said http://www.thewatchmanwakes.com is baloney. You show me an error on that site.

    MacArthur: “Mainstreaming Paganism in the Church.” You’ve got to be kiddin’ right? I’m no fan – not even a Calvinist – but the man is not a pagan. Another thing I’m leery of is taking snippets of audio to prove a point. That is an indication of poor argumentation.
    Also, your original post labeled Billy Graham a free mason. Oh, the the Apostle’s Creed is supposed to be some evil inspired creed because it’s *ecumenical.* Nonsense! At least if someone is going to argue against a particular belief system – don’t argue against a strawman!

  187. Jerome wrote:

    Do you have any idea who the “one particular donor [who] pays for the salaries of CCR staff” was?

    No, though the language on this changed over time. Around the time I left there were references to one donor who gives a large sum annually, or similar. No name or other details in the years I was there.

  188. Darlene wrote:

    MacArthur: “Mainstreaming Paganism in the Church.” You’ve got to be kiddin’ right? I’m no fan – not even a Calvinist – but the man is not a pagan. Another thing I’m leery of is taking snippets of audio to prove a point. That is an indication of poor argumentation.
    Also, your original post labeled Billy Graham a free mason. Oh, the the Apostle’s Creed is supposed to be some evil inspired creed because it’s *ecumenical.* Nonsense! At least if someone is going to argue against a particular belief system – don’t argue against a strawman!

    I’ve googled and re-googled his claims about connections with Freemasons, the Council for National Policy and Jaeb giving money to JM. The only links I have found go directly to Bob J’s websites.

  189. Darlene wrote:

    Yes, I remember back in the day when there weren’t as many translations of the Bible. The staunch King Jamer’s thought the RSV was inspired from below. The RSV is what I was reading back then, and am still reading today. I’d don’t think I’ve grown any horns yet. What I’d like to know is: What is so liberal about the RSV?

    I believe the RSV is a good translation. I never understood the polemics against it, except some Evangelicals, especially up North had left or separated from mainline churches, and the RSV was translated by scholars from mainline churches, and some view mainline churches as having become modernist or too accommodating to secular culture. The RSV translation is copyrighted by the NCC, so it must have been influenced by liberalism. I don’t believe this opinion is true, but is a partisan prejudice. I was being sarcastic in stating those “liberal mainliners.” I just find it interesting that conservative Evangelicals who would have castigated the RSV in the past used a majority of the 1973 RSV for the ESV translation.

  190. Bob J wrote:

    To the contrary, Christians ought to be made aware that there is and has been a great conspiracy at work to destroy Christianity and that these conspirators have largely employed Freemasons as agents of infiltration and subversion.

    I think a greater conspiracy against Christianity is the work of conspiracy kooks who obsess over things like the Freemasons (who admittedly, are totally wrong in their teachings about God) to distract Christians from more important issues.

  191. Bob J wrote:

    @ Max:
    Max, you show me an error on that website http://www.thewatchmanwakes.com.

    Whenever you combine the UN, the bloodline of the Antichrist, and the term “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu,” your credibility bottoms out, dude.

    Unless….unless you’re actually a member of the Dragon Court in disguise… I’d be suspicious of you if I were you.

  192. It was never a secret that CLC or SGM gave money to other ministries. In fact, they always promised the congregations they gave 10% of donations they received to other worthwhile ministries.

    There’s just no scandal here.

  193. Darlene wrote:

    Here’s a video of Geisler: “Why I’m not a Five Point Calvinist.”

    He starts off with a story of man who died, went to heaven, and had to figure out which line to get into, the one marked “predestined” of the one marked “free choice”. Should I be presented with such a last minute tricky decision, I’ll opt for the one you folks are standing in and skip the one with Driscoll.

  194. Bill M wrote:

    . Should I be presented with such a last minute tricky decision, I’ll opt for the one you folks are standing in and skip the one with Driscoll.

    I’m a female. That’s a no brainer for me! ; )

  195. Lydia wrote:

    @ Bob J:
    That is like asking Max to prove McArthur does not practice voodo in his basement secret room.

    A little research shows the Watchman Wakes site belongs to Bob Johnson and has been around since at least 2010. So unless someone is posting here using Bob’s name I figure Bob J is promoting his own stuff.

  196. Bill M wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Bob J:
    That is like asking Max to prove McArthur does not practice voodo in his basement secret room.
    A little research shows the Watchman Wakes site belongs to Bob Johnson and has been around since at least 2010. So unless someone is posting here using Bob’s name I figure Bob J is promoting his own stuff.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 :-)!!!!

  197. Mark wrote:

    It all looks seems hypocritical considering the ESV came from the RSV, a translation those liberal mainline Christians devised. I just remember how evangelicals used to castigate the RSV

    The flak the RSV took was largely down to the translation of a single verse in Isaiah. Where the KJV had translated a fairly rarely used Hebrew word to ‘virgin’, the RSV had ‘young woman’. Which in turn trigger a huge amount of evangelical aprobrium at Bruce Metzger (who was in reality someone who combined a deep scholarship with a very humble and simple faith).

  198. @ Lowlandseer:

    That is a good link. I appreciate where the ESV is ‘more literal’ but I totally think that re-interpreting several OT passages to make them look more like prophecies of the Christ is just flat wrong. And deceptive.

    I recommend this link, and especially I appreciate the statements under the heading about weaknesses of the ESV. The evangelicals are flat wrong to change, modify, or slant the meaning of OT scriptures in order to conform to something Paul said, and that is what is noted in the link that you submitted. Paul never claimed the authority to rewrite the OT scriptures. He did state his own understandings of some things. To go beyond that in translating the OT is to betray the OT scriptures and to betray Paul.

    Playing with Genesis to fit their doctrine regarding where was Adam when it all went down-no fair. Translate it as written as nearly as possible and quit trying to read aberrations of reformed and/or protestant thinking back into the OT. The OT is Jewish-have some respect for them and for their scholarship is what I think.

    But apparently the ESV is good for the NT if ‘more literal’ where possible is a value, but being more literal where it fits somebody’s doctrine and less literal where it does not fit-that is really dishonest.

    For as long as I can remember the word from baptist pulpits used to be that the hebrew word for young woman presupposed virginity but that there was no thinking in judaism of parthenogenesis in humans and that the prophecy had a double meaning, one referring apparently to some woman at court at the time but later understood by christians (but not Jews) as a prophecy of the messiah also. Also, not instead of. If you have heard Mohler on the virgin birth he thinks that a belief in the virgin birth is absolutely essential for christians, perhaps essential for salvation-he is not totally clear on that. The Jews say that Jesus could not be the messiah if he did not descend from the paternal lineage of David, and if Mary was a virgin impregnated by God then Jesus is not the messiah. But, of course, they do not think that happened nor that the passage in Isaiah is messianic prophecy. How disingenuous for translators to try to force a different understanding of Jewish thinking onto the actual words of Jewish prophets. If christians cannot refute Jewish thinking regarding messianic prophecies without rewriting the words and understandings of the prophets then they just have to live with that difficulty.

    So, the ESV like all translations is a mixed bag.

  199. @ Lydia:
    Lydia, this guy is just too far afield that I don’t see it worth dialoguing with him. However, I remember the early days of participating in blogs over at Peter Lumpkins’ site when the New Calvinists accused some of us of planting SBC takeover conspiracies … until they gave us so much evidence against themselves! There is no doubt that too many churchmen professing the name of Christ dabble in Freemasony, but I don’t think they are secretly trying to destroy Christianity … they are just playing silly games with something that is not compatible with Christianity and need to repent.

  200. okrapod wrote:

    the ESV like all translations is a mixed bag

    Amen! That’s why I carry the one that Jesus did … the KJV! Just kidding … just kidding … I’m not a KJV-only guy! I actually have most Bible versions in my bookcase, even the ESV for cross-reference. Any time a group produces a new version of the Bible and twist Scripture in defense of their theology, they are wading in dangerous water. I repeat … beware of a church where its leaders and congregations carry the ESV exclusively and demand that you get one, too.

  201. Yentyl wrote:

    It was never a secret that CLC or SGM gave money to other ministries. In fact, they always promised the congregations they gave 10% of donations they received to other worthwhile ministries.
    There’s just no scandal here.

    The question is whether or not CJ gave money to buy influence, which based on the evidence, he almost undeniably did. You need to grow a sense of ethics, I think.

  202. @ okrapod:
    Regarding personal Bible study. I figure Jesus knew that the church would be exposed to multiple interpretations of the Word of God when mere men got their hands on it! Thus, He told believers that the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit) would come to lead us into Truth (John 16:13). I may have a few versions on my lap when I read Scripture, but I always begin my study with a prayer “Holy Spirit, lead me to Truth.” The things I have deposited in my “knower” with the Holy Spirit’s help, I can’t “un-know” regardless of how many new Bible versions men throw at me. Of course, I have had to lay aside my preconceptions and doctrinal presuppositions before I study, and repent of any known sin, before I can hear the Spirit speaking through the Word.

  203. Yentyl wrote:

    It was never a secret that CLC or SGM gave money to other ministries. In fact, they always promised the congregations they gave 10% of donations they received to other worthwhile ministries.

    Apparently, they consider the coffers of other, already established, well-to-do leaders to be worthwhile ministries. Nice way to buy favors and keep the money within the circle of friends, and not using it to reach out to the lost world. IMO, anyway.

  204. okrapod wrote:

    If you have heard Mohler on the virgin birth he thinks that a belief in the virgin birth is absolutely essential for christians, perhaps essential for salvation-he is not totally clear on that. The Jews say that Jesus could not be the messiah if he did not descend from the paternal lineage of David, and if Mary was a virgin impregnated by God then Jesus is not the messiah.

    I care not what Mohler or the Jews say regarding Messiah. I am not under Mohler’s ‘gun’ (or threat of hell) or the Jewish rabbinic traditions. I believe the supernatural tales of Jesus’ origins simply because I choose to, based on my own internal gut-resonance. In my opinion, no other holy book on the planet has the sheer sublime beauty of Luke’s Magnificat.

  205. Nancy2 wrote:

    Nice way to buy favors and keep the money within the circle of friends, and not using it to reach out to the lost world.

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  206. patriciamc wrote:

    Whenever you combine the UN, the bloodline of the Antichrist, and the term “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu,” your credibility bottoms out, dude.

    Unless….unless you’re actually a member of the Dragon Court in disguise… I’d be suspicious of you if I were you.

    “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu”?

  207. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’ve googled and re-googled his claims about connections with Freemasons, the Council for National Policy and Jaeb giving money to JM. The only links I have found go directly to Bob J’s websites.

    Can you say “Self-Referential Kook Site”?

    This isn’t even Larry/Moe/Curly documentation & sources, this is Francis E Dec Esq documentation & sources…

  208. Darlene wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    My view is that what the Neo Cals describe as Arminian is Calvin-lite because folks allow them to define. I caught on a while back they frame everything in terms of Calvinism or Arminian as if those are the only acceptable choices for orthodoxy.
    http://i1.wp.com/www.nakedpastor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/the-theologians.jpg

    I don’t get it. When it comes to cartoons to explain a point, I am often dense.

    In the midst of the starving and dying all around them, the well-fed Theologians are tunnel-visioned into studying their always-more-elaborate Theology Theology Theology. Completely oblivious to the crying need around them.

    Similar to the editorial cartoon about the Ethiopian Famine of the Eighties where the only aid given to the starving Ethiopians were books by Karl Marx, i.e. Abstract Ideology/Doctrine.

  209. Max wrote:

    Thus, mainline non-Calvinist denominations have “lost” the gospel and they are out and about to restore it to the church. This is at the root of the current Calvinist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. Such arrogance!

    Funny, the Talibani and ISIS say exactly the same thing about Islam. They are the only Faithful among the Lukewarms and Apostates, Restoring the One True Islam Just As It Was In The Days of The Prophet, PBUH.

  210. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    My view is that what the Neo Cals describe as Arminian is Calvin-lite because folks allow them to define. I caught on a while back they frame everything in terms of Calvinism or Arminian as if those are the only acceptable choices for orthodoxy.

    I had this happen to me years ago on the internet.

    The Calvinists I met – some of whom I was friends with – were confused that I neither classified as an Arminian OR as a Calvinist.

    In their thinking, you must be one or the other.

    They cannot conceive of their being a 3rd, 4th, or whatever option.

  211. Daisy wrote:

    They cannot conceive of their being a 3rd, 4th, or whatever option.

    That should be “there” not “their.”

  212. Darlene wrote:

    MacArthur: “Mainstreaming Paganism in the Church.” You’ve got to be kiddin’ right? I’m no fan – not even a Calvinist – but the man is not a pagan. Another thing I’m leery of is taking snippets of audio to prove a point. That is an indication of poor argumentation.
    Also, your original post labeled Billy Graham a free mason. Oh, the the Apostle’s Creed is supposed to be some evil inspired creed because it’s *ecumenical.* Nonsense! At least if someone is going to argue against a particular belief system – don’t argue against a strawman!

    John Macarthur is mainstreaming paganism into the church. Have you checked out his annual Camp Regen which stands for Camp Regeneration? It’s the DRUID FESTIVAL OF LUGHNASADH which is also called the Festival of Regeneration. At this camp you will also see Skull and Bones insignia, yin yang face painting, satanic hand signals, and dead animal heads. The camp activities are invoking pagan gods and they are conditioning the youth for an occult initiation. Read the article at the link below…
    http://watch-unto-prayer.org/macarthur-7-druid-festival.html

    You “know” Macarthur isn’t a pagan, yet there is ample evidence he’s a Freemason and Druid. Taking “snippets” of audio to prove a point? You mean the audio snippet where Macarthur states that one can still be redeemed after taking the Mark of the Beast? I think it’s a most excellent way to argue…it’s allowing Christians to hear right from the horse’s mouth. BTW, it’s the official position of Macarthur’s church and GTY that one can be redeemed after taking the Mark. Read here.
    http://www.gty.org/blog/B131030

    Billy Graham is a Freemason and there is much evidence to show this (including the fact that he employs Masonic handshakes). Lastly, the Apostles Creed is evil in that it denies Jesus Christ, it is from the RCC, and it is ecumenical.

  213. patriciamc wrote:

    Whenever you combine the UN, the bloodline of the Antichrist, and the term “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu,” your credibility bottoms out, dude.
    Unless….unless you’re actually a member of the Dragon Court in disguise… I’d be suspicious of you if I were you.

    First, I have never heard of the Elven House term, but why would someone’s credibilty “bottom out” for citing the UN or the bloodline of the Antichrist? The UN IS dedicated to building a world gov’t and the Antichrist does have a bloodline just like Jesus Christ had.

  214. @ Muff Potter:

    That is all well and good, but why would anybody justify playing with scripture itself, that is the text, just to justify some belief allegedly derived from scripture in the first place? That seems contradictory to me, and it also seems that this is what they have tried to do in certain instances.

  215. Daisy wrote:

    The Calvinists I met – some of whom I was friends with – were confused that I neither classified as an Arminian OR as a Calvinist.
    In their thinking, you must be one or the other.
    They cannot conceive of their being a 3rd, 4th, or whatever option.

    My experiences also. Have a young friend, formerly a major neocalvinist, who simply couldn’t conceive of me identifying neither with Arminianism nor Calvinism. After I informed him I wasn’t a Calvinist, he kept saying, “Come on, you’re an Arminian, admit it!” Wouldn’t let it go for some time. It’s as if these young fellows think the whole of Christianity is hinged on the issue of Cal/Arm, it’s all about those Doctrines of Grace, the Five Points, as if the whole universe is wrapped around it. Strange little bubble some people enter.

  216. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  217. Nancy2 wrote:

    Nice way to buy favors and keep the money within the circle of friends, and not using it to reach out to the lost world.

    In the Calvinist mind, they can’t do anything about a lost world. Why evangelize? If the determinist Calvinist God chose you be saved or damned before you were ever born, why reach out to anyone? So use the money to advance your theology (or your agenda), rather than the Cross of Christ for ALL people. Why anyone would fall for the Calvinist version of “grace” is beyond me. It’s not a very loving gospel.

  218. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’ve googled and re-googled his claims about connections with Freemasons, the Council for National Policy and Jaeb giving money to JM. The only links I have found go directly to Bob J’s websites.

    And why do the only links go to Bob J’s website? Because no one else has exposed Macarthur’s financier..at least publicly.

  219. Law Prof wrote:

    Have a young friend, formerly a major neocalvinist, who simply couldn’t conceive of me identifying neither with Arminianism nor Calvinism.

    Yes, there’s a whole lot more to faith than lining up on one side or another when it comes to Arm vs. Cal. I prefer to think of myself as a Biblicist, rather than a “pointer” in either camp. Someone said in a blog comment a few days ago that all Baptists are Calvinists, even if they are just 1-pointers. What a ridiculous way to look at Christianity!

  220. @ okrapod:

    Some of their conclusions are contradictory to me too. That’s why I keep my own counsel on what I believe or disbelieve about Scripture. For me, Luke’s Magnificat stands on its own, as I’ve said before based on my own internal gut feelings. I don’t need a type-of-iron-clad-Euclidean-proof to determine its truth or untruth. In fact, I don’t know if it’s true or not. Faith to me is not certainty it is just hope, nothing more, nothing less.
    Think of Dorothy Gale clicking her ruby slippers together.
    That’s as close as I can try and put into words what faith is to me.

  221. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    As an aficionado of the weird, I took a look at that website.
    It has the distinct aroma of KOOK RANT.
    Again, “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu”?

    This is quoting Watch Unto Prayer website. So you know this isn’t true?

    “The Dragon Court exists as an organization solely for the bloodline descendants of the ancient Vere family—the senior bloodline successors as a Scythian-Merovin, Elven House of Princess Maelasanu—and for those whose bloodlines are extracted from this descent and its ancient Dragon Court.”

  222. Daisy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    My view is that what the Neo Cals describe as Arminian is Calvin-lite because folks allow them to define. I caught on a while back they frame everything in terms of Calvinism or Arminian as if those are the only acceptable choices for orthodoxy.
    I had this happen to me years ago on the internet.
    The Calvinists I met – some of whom I was friends with – were confused that I neither classified as an Arminian OR as a Calvinist.
    In their thinking, you must be one or the other.
    They cannot conceive of their being a 3rd, 4th, or whatever option.

    For them, no one understood Christianity properly until the Reformation. Pipers retirement video pointed this out. It was a pattern I picked up on before that but it was hard to explain. Piper gave us the visual.

  223. Bob J wrote:

    “The Dragon Court exists as an organization solely for the bloodline descendants of the ancient Vere family—the senior bloodline successors as a Scythian-Merovin, Elven House of Princess Maelasanu—and for those whose bloodlines are extracted from this descent and its ancient Dragon Court.”

    They also say that Dracula was of that bloodline, and that Prince William is the Antichrist! Space aliens …….
    Wow………anything other crucial information we need to know?
    No Sale.

  224. Nancy2 wrote:

    They also say that … Prince William is the Antichrist!

    He is?! I thought the Pope was! Good Lord, we can sure get off track on these tangents. Of course, the enemy of the church wants us to do just that, to occupy our minds with noise on the margins rather than keeping the Main Thing the main thing.

  225. @ Lydia:

    Thanks for the link. The author certainly makes some good points regarding what he calls style. Some of the awkwardness needs fixed. I can live with awkward though better than I can live with some religious agenda which permits actual distortion of intent or which re-interprets some ancient writing to really mean something that in fact nobody was thinking at the time of the original writing.

    Then there is this from the BCP quoting from The Song of the Three Young Men p 88: “In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord.” Standard english has its uses and as soon as I get the hang of it I fully intend to take it up, but sometimes so does stuff like this if it makes one stop and think and question and investigate and wonder.

  226. @ Nancy2:

    “They also say that Dracula was of that bloodline, and that Prince William is the Antichrist!”
    ++++++++++++++

    does the supposed bloodline run through Prince William?

    hmmm, my great grandfather was a 9th cousin of Queen Elizabeth (through the Queen Mum), which makes Queen & me 12th cousins (along with thousands of other people).

    Maybe I’m the antichrist!

  227. I just mention this in passing, but I’ve never received money from SGM. I’m not really a staunch supporter of C.J. Mahaney, but even so, that’s a big gap in their CV if you ask me.

  228. elastigirl wrote:

    hmmm, my great grandfather was a 9th cousin of Queen Elizabeth (through the Queen Mum), which makes Queen & me 12th cousins (along with thousands of other people).
    Maybe I’m the antichrist!

    It’s crazy …… insane. I was curious, so I googled the stuff. The “bloodline” does include Queen E. II, as well as the Bush family and several U.S. presidents.
    My ancestry is roughly 50% Sottish/Picts, 25% Swiss-German, 24% Irish. According to the so-called researchers of the “Dragon Court”, I’m doomed for sure! There are supposed connections to the Franks, Irish, and Scots. Oh, yeah ~~~~ they claim that the Scottish-Picts are of the lost tribe of Dan. Half of me may be part of God’s chosen people!
    Lookout Nick B! You’re probably in the mix, too!

  229. @ mirele:
    Try Amy-Jill Levine’s Short Stories by Jesus, plus Robert Farrar Capon’s book on the parables. Dr. Levine teaches NT studies at the Vanderbilt divinity school, and is an erudite scholar of both her tradition and xtianity. Capon was a fascinating guy with great insights, albeit a little bit crazy (in a good way) at times.

    Per Crossan, while i disagree with much of what he says, he is a good scholar and very thought-provoking.

  230. @ Nancy2:

    “It’s crazy …… insane. I was curious, so I googled the stuff. The “bloodline” does include Queen E. II, as well as the Bush family and several U.S. presidents.”
    ++++++++++++

    oh my goodness, i’m (distantly) related to the Bushes & Kennedy’s as well (lots of politicians & attorneys for ancestors since 1600s)…

    been a while since I’ve read the apocalyptic parts…. is the antichrist by chance a female creative?

  231. okrapod wrote:

    That is a good link. I appreciate where the ESV is ‘more literal’ but I totally think that re-interpreting several OT passages to make them look more like prophecies of the Christ is just flat wrong. And deceptive.

    The majority of the ESV is identical to the RSV, the changes amount to about 5% of the text.

  232. @ Max:

    “To the reformed mind, Calvinism = Gospel. They believe that any ministry which is not preaching/teaching the Doctrines of Grace, the tenets of Calvinism, is not delivering the gospel truth.”
    +++++++++++++++

    so, do they believe all but them are doomed to hell?

    if they would say ‘no, of course not’, or ‘that’s too strong a statement’, then what is it about non-calvinists’ perspectives that is so bad or dangerous that they have to make such a fuss? (it can’t be solely about money & power)

    do they even know?

  233. Everybody please give yourselves a big round of applause for an outstanding discussion. I felt a bit low today when I sat down to look at TWW, but the wild ricocheting from kooks to Masons to the Antichrist to ten-point Calvinism to RSV ESV KJVO MacArthur and stealth takeovers and all the rest… Well, you’ve got me smiling and thinking at the same time, with “MacArthur Park” running through my head. 🙂

  234. elastigirl wrote:

    so, do they believe all but them are doomed to hell?

    At the core of Calvinist doctrine is their belief that a person has zero responsibility for their own salvation; it’s all up to God. They believe in a predestined “elect” to which they belong (at least they think so, because they can’t know for sure in their belief system). There is no “free will” in their teaching when it comes to God’s plan of salvation. In Southern Baptist ranks, New Calvinist leaders have been very critical of the “invitation” at the end of a sermon where lost folks are invited to believe, repent, and accept Christ. That would be exercising free will, which they believe a person cannot exercise to become one of the “elect” … since God has already chosen who will and won’t be saved.

    As I look at Scripture, I see it speaking much about the sovereignty of God … just as it speaks much about human responsibility. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To claim that reformed theology has it all figured out, is to put the mind of God into a neat little theological box … such arrogance! I’m a believer because I heard the Gospel and believed … by my own free will.

  235. Lydia wrote:

    Pipers retirement video

    The one he filmed in Geneva, Switzerland where he claimed to be the true heir to the Iron Throne of Calvin?

  236. Max wrote:

    At the core of Calvinist doctrine is their belief that a person has zero responsibility for their own salvation; it’s all up to God. They believe in a predestined “elect” to which they belong (at least they think so, because they can’t know for sure in their belief system).

    And they obsessively do things like pile up the money and/or parse their theology perfectly to PROVE to themselves that they are the Predestined Elect.

    Max wrote:

    There is no “free will” in their teaching when it comes to God’s plan of salvation.

    Only the Will of Al’lah and Inexorable Unchangeable Fate.

    Calvin: Islamizer of the Reformation.
    and The Truly Reformed, it’s more-Calvinist-than-Calvin Taliban/ISIS.

  237. Nancy2 wrote:

    It’s crazy …… insane. I was curious, so I googled the stuff. The “bloodline” does include Queen E. II, as well as the Bush family and several U.S. presidents.

    My ancestry is roughly 50% Sottish/Picts, 25% Swiss-German, 24% Irish. According to the so-called researchers of the “Dragon Court”, I’m doomed for sure! There are supposed connections to the Franks, Irish, and Scots. Oh, yeah ~~~~ they claim that the Scottish-Picts are of the lost tribe of Dan. Half of me may be part of God’s chosen people!

    Any shapeshifting cannibal alien lizards?

    Or Communist Gangster Computer Gods on the Dark Side of the Moon Parroting Puppet Gangster Assassins with Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls?

  238. Bob J wrote:

    “The Dragon Court exists as an organization solely for the bloodline descendants of the ancient Vere family—the senior bloodline successors as a Scythian-Merovin, Elven House of Princess Maelasanu—and for those whose bloodlines are extracted from this descent and its ancient Dragon Court.”

    I shall let Rocky & Bulwinkle’s sound effects speak for me:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a3eCHij4Vo

  239. Daisy wrote:

    The Calvinists I met – some of whom I was friends with – were confused that I neither classified as an Arminian OR as a Calvinist.
    In their thinking, you must be one or the other.
    They cannot conceive of their being a 3rd, 4th, or whatever option.

    “You can serve the Devil (Arminius)
    Or you can serve the LORD (Calvin)
    But you’re gonna serve somebody…”
    — minor tweak of Bob Dylan’s “Serve Somebody”

  240. Law Prof wrote:

    That word “retirement” is like music to my ears.

    Unfortunately, the Pied Piper is not really “retired.” He is still available to rake in speaking fees, free from pastoral duties to crank out more books, and time to bask in the glory of New Calvinism royalty.

  241. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Elven House of Princess Maelasanu

    Maybe this is that lesbian duplex we keep hearing about… the one where uppity wimmin end up if they don’t stay hitched to the Managawd.

  242. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    “Or Communist Gangster Computer Gods on the Dark Side of the Moon Parroting Puppet Gangster Assassins with Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls?”
    +++++++++++

    what is this, adventures in being random with the world’s longest acronym?

  243. Bob J wrote:

    To the contrary, Christians ought to be made aware that there is and has been a great conspiracy at work to destroy Christianity and that these conspirators have largely employed Freemasons as agents of infiltration and subversion.

    Conspiracy theory sets forth a class of evil people opposed to another class of good people, with the faulty idea that if we could get rid of the evil conspirators, things would be good. Evil is much more insidious; it is in each one of us. We are all prone to sin. Power corrupts and no one is immune.

    Isaiah 8:12-13
    “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.

  244. elastigirl wrote:

    if they would say ‘no, of course not’, or ‘that’s too strong a statement’, then what is it about non-calvinists’ perspectives that is so bad or dangerous that they have to make such a fuss? (it can’t be solely about money & power)

    do they even know?

    Are they dominionists?

  245. Max wrote:

    As I look at Scripture, I see it speaking much about the sovereignty of God … just as it speaks much about human responsibility. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension.

    Max, I think you summed it up right there.
    The Bible tells us God is sovereign. The Bible tells us man is accountable. We do not (cannot) know exactly how this all comes together. We can’t expect to comprehend things on God’s level (what a laugh!)

  246. Bob J wrote:

    patriciamc wrote:
    Whenever you combine the UN, the bloodline of the Antichrist, and the term “Elven House of Princess Maelasanu,” your credibility bottoms out, dude.
    Unless….unless you’re actually a member of the Dragon Court in disguise… I’d be suspicious of you if I were you.
    First, I have never heard of the Elven House term, but why would someone’s credibilty “bottom out” for citing the UN or the bloodline of the Antichrist? The UN IS dedicated to building a world gov’t and the Antichrist does have a bloodline just like Jesus Christ had.

    Bob, you quote the Elven Princess yourself in a quote you picked up from the Dragon Court website (which, BTW, has awful graphics). You will never, ever believe this Bob, but there is not always a conspiracy. Most of the time, things are exactly the way they seem. Period. Also, the UN is too full of BS and is too ineffectual to lead anything.

    But then again, I’m good friends with a man from Scotland who is a member of the nobility and descended from the Vere family. In fact, Vere is his middle name!!! When we meet soon at Cracker Barrel, I’ll ask him if he could possibly be the Antichrist.

  247. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    It’s crazy …… insane. I was curious, so I googled the stuff. The “bloodline” does include Queen E. II, as well as the Bush family and several U.S. presidents.
    My ancestry is roughly 50% Sottish/Picts, 25% Swiss-German, 24% Irish. According to the so-called researchers of the “Dragon Court”, I’m doomed for sure! There are supposed connections to the Franks, Irish, and Scots. Oh, yeah ~~~~ they claim that the Scottish-Picts are of the lost tribe of Dan. Half of me may be part of God’s chosen people!
    Any shapeshifting cannibal alien lizards?
    Or Communist Gangster Computer Gods on the Dark Side of the Moon Parroting Puppet Gangster Assassins with Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls?

    I thought the shapeshifting canabal lizards were part of the CIA’s sex slave conspiracy? The MK Ultra stuff?

  248. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    The Masters Seminary is not far from me and I have known various people and churches associated with MacArthur.

    One problem I have with MacArthur is that he teaches that when a person is born again, the old nature is eradicated and removed. This leads to a theological mess because Christians still sin after they are born again. So then some explanation for these lapses has to made. Some become dishonest and pretend they no longer sin. Some say it is “old habits” and we must work harder on changing our habits, this leads to living by law, and fruitlessly trying to strengthen and perfect the old man. Others say it is demons and the devil, this leads to the spiritual warfare errors and a demon lurking behind every time we fail. What I see in the scriptures is that when we are born again, God removes the penalty of our sin, he transfers us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved son, but he does not remove our old nature in this life. We continue to struggle against it just as Paul did in Romans 7. He has given us his spirit to help, empower, and comfort us. One thing is for sure, if we have truly believed, we do not want to sin and we grieve when we do. If we have truly believed, we do not practice sin as a way of life. But we do fail and trying to deny that can lead people into bondage.

  249. Max wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    so, do they believe all but them are doomed to hell?
    At the core of Calvinist doctrine is their belief that a person has zero responsibility for their own salvation; it’s all up to God. They believe in a predestined “elect” to which they belong (at least they think so, because they can’t know for sure in their belief system). There is no “free will” in their teaching when it comes to God’s plan of salvation. In Southern Baptist ranks, New Calvinist leaders have been very critical of the “invitation” at the end of a sermon where lost folks are invited to believe, repent, and accept Christ. That would be exercising free will, which they believe a person cannot exercise to become one of the “elect” … since God has already chosen who will and won’t be saved.
    As I look at Scripture, I see it speaking much about the sovereignty of God … just as it speaks much about human responsibility. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To claim that reformed theology has it all figured out, is to put the mind of God into a neat little theological box … such arrogance! I’m a believer because I heard the Gospel and believed … by my own free will.

    Yes, yes, and yes! Calvinism is God being made over in humanity’s sinful image, the need to create a system where some are “in” and special while others are “out.” I’ve heard some in the Reformed movement quoting Christ’s comment where he told the Apostles that they did not choose him, but he chose them. I read how that view shows an ignorance of Jewish culture at the time. Back then, and even now in Jewish Orthodox circles, a man would choose a rabbi to study under. Instead, Christ reversed the process, that’s all. No election of salvation intended. Also, yes, we have personal responsibility. A Bible teacher once told me that was why Satan is downplayed in the OT, because God gave people responsibility for their own actions. Makes sense to me.

  250. @ Patriciamc:
    The “satan” that xtians believe in is not there in Judaism. It’s a complex subject, but Jeffrey Burton Russell (who is xtian) and a number of Jewish scholars have done great work on the topic. I don’t have all of my info. handy, but you’ve got a good start with Burton Russell.

  251. @ elastigirl:
    Jammy Dodgers. Teletubbies. Wallace & Gromit. Cadbury’s. Carr’s Water Biscuits. Bath chairs. English Leather. Yardley’s. Doctor Who. And goodness knows what all else.

  252. Patriciamc wrote:

    You will never, ever believe this Bob, but there is not always a conspiracy. Most of the time, things are exactly the way they seem. Period. Also, the UN is too full of BS and is too ineffectual to lead anything.

    I never mentioned a conspiracy. People who comment on this blog, including Dee, have attempted to discredit the facts I’ve presented regarding John Macarthur as being “conspiracy theory nonsense.” When facts can’t be refuted, then just call them theories. And you say how “ineffectual” the UN is. It’s so “ineffectual” that today every community in the US has adopted UN Agenda 21 and the curriculum for all public school systems comes from UNESCO… But it’s all just BS as you claim…

  253. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The Dragon Court exists as an organization solely for the bloodline descendants of the ancient Vere family—the senior bloodline successors as a Scythian-Merovin, Elven House of Princess Maelasanu—and for those whose bloodlines are extracted from this descent and its ancient Dragon Court.”
    I shall let Rocky & Bulwinkle’s sound effects speak for me:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a3eCHij4Vo

    Interesting how you harp on a part of a quote that talks about the Dever bloodline, but you don’t mention the main points of the article: That Al Mohler leads 2 NGO’s of the United Nations and that his former boss at the ERLC, Richard Land, is a member of the CFR. You aren’t interested that Mohler is an antichrist globalist, you are only interested that he has taken CJ Mahaney’s money…

  254. @ Bob J:
    Are you miffed that the bloggers and posters here do not fall for your crazy conspiracy theories?

    Mind you, I find many conspiracy theories entertaining, but they can also be quite dangerous. And while I find the freemasons – from the things I have read about them – very alien, and a typical product of the Age of Enlightenment’s stranger aspects, the conspiracy theories about and against them have invariably led to anti-semitism and persecution.

  255. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    On the topic of movies that meaningfully address the theme of religious conservatism, my favourite by far is The Life of Brian. It is no mere collection of cheap potshots – though it is ROFL funny – but a masterpiece of well-observed satire.

    I watched it when I was still on the cusp of leaving square, frowning, turned-down lips Christianity, so I didn’t find it humorous at all. I recently purchased a set of Monty Python and look forward to re-watching it soon !

  256. Gus wrote:

    And while I find the freemasons – from the things I have read about them – very alien, and a typical product of the Age of Enlightenment’s stranger aspects, the conspiracy theories about and against them have invariably led to anti-semitism and persecution.

    Gus, I’m not understanding this comment – do you mean there are Jewish freemasons? I had one grandfather who was a grandmaster in 4 different lodges, my other grandfather lost his business because he refused to become a freemason – so he didn’t get work contracts.

  257. siteseer wrote:

    Conspiracy theory sets forth a class of evil people opposed to another class of good people, with the faulty idea that if we could get rid of the evil conspirators, things would be good.

    I just clicked – it’s the white man’s cargo cult…

  258. “A little research shows the Watchman Wakes site belongs to Bob Johnson and has been around since at least 2010. So unless someone is posting here using Bob’s name I figure Bob J is promoting his own stuff.”

    Bob, it might have been a bit honourable to state this up-front when you introduced your website. Are you sure I didn’t go to school with you? Do you stand outside churches on Sunday after the service and hand out leaflets telling everyone how they’re wrong? I’m not mocking, I just think time is precious and it’s better spent. We have a saying at work, “if it’s out of a conspiracy theory or a screw-up, it’ll be a screw-up 99% of the time”. Mind you, I love me a good conspiracy theory. Oh, and I think you’re well on the way to the fourth volume of Lord of the Rings, I hope you do Tolkein proud.

  259. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Pipers retirement video
    The one he filmed in Geneva, Switzerland where he claimed to be the true heir to the Iron Throne of Calvin?

    Yes. The irony is he calls it “from darkness to light”. It was not cheap to fly a film crew to Geneva to film this “I am the heir to Calvin as the 21st century Global Apostle spreading the Institutes” which seems to include lots of tweets, moving to Nashville and speaking at Mahaneys hotel church.

  260. @ Max:
    The focus is solely on Gods power not His love. They end up turning God into a moral monster and call it grace.

  261. Lydia wrote:

    They … call it grace.

    It’s a theology of “cheap grace.” Grace is costly. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best “Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow Him.”

    You will hear very little teaching on the Cross of Christ in New Calvinist works. It’s all about “God”, with only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. I find it amazing that the YRR call themselves Christ-followers, but talk very little about Him! Perhaps that’s because they “follow” their theology, rather than “believe” in Him. Cheap grace does not recognize or submit to the Cross.

  262. Bob J wrote:

    I think this man makes some great points with this article.
    http://paulspassingthoughts.com/2015/06/03/deb-and-dee-of-wartburg-watch-com-gossip-not-gospel-hobby-not-hope/

    Bob (if you are “Bob”), you’re either a persistent troll or a full-blown lunatic with your conspiracy stuff. At this point, with that post, you’re just trying to bait people into a flame war. Really, if you’re going to troll, at least take a stab at being a good one.

  263. Gus wrote:

    the conspiracy theories about and against them have invariably led to anti-semitism and persecution.

    I don’t know about current anglo-american masonry, but the issue of the allegations against continental masonry during the French revolution are worth considering.

    That said, the masons of my youth-my father was a mason- were about as anti this or that as the Klan, or so I was told, except that where the klan hid behind sheets the masons hid behind secrecy. It was the white middle class male’s advancement society, so to speak.

  264. Law Prof wrote:

    Bob (if you are “Bob”), you’re either a persistent troll or a full-blown lunatic with your conspiracy stuff. At this point, with that post, you’re just trying to bait people into a flame war. Really, if you’re going to troll, at least take a stab at being a good one.

    Dohse accuses the DEEBS of spreading gossip and claims that TWW blog is a source of spiritual tyranny. So, truth is gossip; beliefs and opinions are tyranny. He ranks TWW right up there with controlling abusive churches. Does he make those claims because the DEEBS don’t dedicate their lives and their blog to him and his singular cause?

    Bob J. Are you saying that you agree with Dohse?

  265. There is a human need to be right, to be the only one to figure something out, to have special knowledge. A couple of old Christian sects reflect this need as do certain Protestant groups including Calvinists. Pair this need with mental instability, add in a huge amount of gullibility, and you have a very small group of people who think everyone (everyone!) else in Christianity is wrong. These people simply aren’t capable of reasonable thought, bless their hearts.

  266. Nancy2 – I don’t know if Bob J cares jack squat about any of Dohse’s musings, nonsequiturs or random bits of nonsense regarding watch blogs, certainly Dohse is part of the problem and a major enabler of abusers if he does still believe that stuff and will answer to God for it, but I suspect Bob J’s just trolling, I wonder very much if he believes any of this stuff.

  267. okrapod wrote:

    It was the white middle class male’s advancement society, so to speak.

    I got the impression it was more about business deals. Sort of the businessman networking club of yesterday.

    Anywho, it is getting harder and harder to have secret anything these days. :o)

  268. @ Lydia:

    There is a Wiki article “Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity” which is mostly about religious beliefs but it is worth reading. I remember it as being anti-catholic and anti-semitic and of course racially segregated, but that was back when.

  269. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know about current anglo-american masonry, but the issue of the allegations against continental masonry during the French revolution are worth considering.

    I attended funeral services for a man who was a Freemason 3 or 4 years ago. It was ……. weird. Attendees who were not Freemasons (including the direct family members of the deceased) were only allowed to observe the first few moments of the service before we were asked to leave – the rest of the ceremony was “private”.

  270. Law Prof wrote:

    I wonder very much if he believes any of this stuff.

    I imagine he is a true believer. I’ve run into my share of conspiracy theorists and I have found that the last thing you want to do is chase down the rabbit hole and try to debunk their intricate theory chapter and verse.

    A person who has been building a conspiracy theory for at least a half dozen years will be much better practiced at all their details. Sometimes instead of arguing detail, you step back and look at the over all picture and then follow your gut reaction to move on.

  271. @ okrapod:

    That is weird. My very Catholic older cousin was a Mason back in the 60’s in Orlando. He married a Jewish woman he met at UofK. Perhaps Mason’s aren’t as monolithic as we might think or he was a bad Mason? I mean, he wore the ring, attended meetings, etc. the whole mason thing is just bizarre.

  272. Lydia wrote:

    The focus is solely on Gods power not His love. They end up turning God into a moral monster and call it grace.

    Might makes right. Good does not have an independent marker in reformed thought. God does what he does simply because he can and it’s always good no matter what. C.S. Lewis argued cogently against this idea in his treatise The Problem of Pain.

  273. Lydia wrote:

    or he was a bad Mason?

    I don’t know about the 60s, but from the article in Wiki I gather that he might have been considered by some to be somewhat less than ‘very’ catholic, whatever ‘very’ means.

  274. Lydia wrote:

    he wore the ring, attended meetings, etc. the whole mason thing is just bizarre

    Freemasonry has been an on-and-off issue with Southern Baptists for many years. Many SBC church leaders (particularly in the South) are masons. As a “Frequently Asked Question,” SBC’s canned answer on their website is:

    “The SBC passed a resolution in 1992 opposing membership and participation in organizations that contradict the Bible, but these resolutions are not binding upon local churches. In its 1993 report, the SBC stated that there were aspects of Freemasonry that are incompatible with Christianity. The main conclusion of the report states: We conclude that many tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are not compatible with Christianity or Southern Baptist doctrine.”

    I know pastors who have lost their jobs because they challenged involvement by members of their congregations in Freemasonry. They were right to do so … it is not only bizzare, it is “not compatible with Christianity” as SBC rightfully notes.

  275. Lydia wrote:

    I mean, he wore the ring, attended meetings, etc. the whole mason thing is just bizarre.

    My Dad was a Mason too. I think it’s little more than a grown up boy’s club, much like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble belonging to the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo Lodge No. 26.
    Pernicious evil? Straight from the pit?
    As dee would say:
    Good night!

  276. Haitch wrote:

    Gus, I’m not understanding this comment – do you mean there are Jewish freemasons?

    Definitely. And the same people who hated the Jews for racial reasons also hated the freemasons and many of the ideas they represented. And since there always were a few Jews among the masons, there wasn’t a rightwing evil maniac that didn’t sooner or later develop some grand conspiracy theory about the masons that also involved the Jews – and the other way round. In European history, anti-semitism and hatred of the masons go hand in hand.

    The fact that the masons these days often seem no more than a white good-old-boys-club does not reduce their role during the enlightenment, and I suspect that many of their strange secretive practices were caused by nothing more than the necessity to keep outsiders from prying and the catholic church from finding out too much – they wanted to stay under the radar of the inquisition.

    That being said, they seem exceedingly strange to me, a relic from another era.

  277. @ okrapod:
    It is helpful, but, having been published in 1906, does not reflect views from more recent scholarship. That invludes views of the “satan” found in Job.

  278. I wish I actually knew more about the masonic thing, but I am inclined to not take it too lightly, because my father came home from one meeting and announced that he was through with the masons after many years. He never would say why but we got the distinct impression that he was perhaps afraid to say too much. Or at least constrained in some way from saying much-a vow of silence perhaps-we did not know and were just guessing. He never went back to a meeting that we knew of and he said that he dropped his membership. However, at his funeral years later there appeared a masonic emblem made out of flowers, and nobody ever knew where it came from, or said they did not. But nobody showed up with an apron on-just the flowers for who knows what reason. I find that discomfiting. Weird even. Okay, actually disturbing.

  279. @ Muff Potter:
    It depends. Most,people don’t go beyond yhe 1st three Degrees. Those who *do* go further can become exponents of pretty esoteric beliefs, among other things. It is profoundly weird. Evrn has its oen secret nsme gor God (and by that, i fo *not* mean Great Architect of the Universe and similar). Equally, i don’t buy the many conspiracy throries out there, and think most people join to be in a boys’ club.

  280. @ okrapod:
    There is a LOT of weirdness in the higher degrees, and some Madons really will protect others who have bern involved in wrongdoing. It all gets condiderably more serious in the UK – you can even find direct references linking Freemasonry to nepotism snd police corruption in series like Prime Suspect.

  281. Gus wrote:

    the necessity to keep outsiders from prying and the catholic church from finding out too much – they wanted to stay under the radar of the inquisition.

    Do you have any thoughts on just what it was that they were trying to hide from the catholic church? We know what the catholic church thought it was, but it would be interesting to hear the other side of the story.

  282. Gus wrote:

    they seem exceedingly strange to me, a relic from another era.

    Thanks for answering, I had no idea of this aspect of their history.

    I remember once when I had to look after some hall bookings early in my career. Regularly “RAOB” was written through the book, or similar. What’s RAOB, I asked? The Buffaloes, I was told. What’s the Buffaloes? Royal Australian/Ancient? Order of the Buffaloes. Yes, but what’s that? I got a sheepish look and a sparse explanation.

    I would agree that it’s mostly a white, male, group (with younger members to older ones) who help each other get a step up in business in town. I felt sad to hear that my grandfather was at lodge so much that my grandmother thought of herself as a Freemason widow. When my grandfather died unexpectedly a Freemason “colleague” visited and offered my grandmother financial assistance (in addition to requesting his paraphernalia). We think this is ultimately why my grandfather participated – so that my grandmother would be cared for and looked after in the event of his death (and she refused, so it was aught for nothing…).

  283. Bill M wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I wonder very much if he believes any of this stuff.
    I imagine he is a true believer. I’ve run into my share of conspiracy theorists and I have found that the last thing you want to do is chase down the rabbit hole and try to debunk their intricate theory chapter and verse.
    A person who has been building a conspiracy theory for at least a half dozen years will be much better practiced at all their details. Sometimes instead of arguing detail, you step back and look at the over all picture and then follow your gut reaction to move on.

    Once had a pastor who, in addition to being a sociopathic (in my opinion) abuser, was also a conspiracy theorist, we started checking out on the church when he used Wednesday night talks to discuss Freemasonry, the Illuminati, etc. He’d also talk to the congregation about how there was a secret warehouse in the state where they were stockpiling guillotines to behead Christians. The guy was a complete lunatic, the very definition (again, in my opinion) of one given over to an unsound mind.

  284. Bill M wrote:

    Sometimes instead of arguing detail, you step back and look at the over all picture and then follow your gut reaction to move on.

    Plus there never seems to be any reliable, objective source to check their facts.

  285. Bill M wrote:

    I imagine he is a true believer. I’ve run into my share of conspiracy theorists…

    You’re probably right, he likely is a true believer in the conspiracy stuff. I guess my main reason for calling him a troll was when he gratuitously linked to the Dohse diatribe; so in my opinion he’s likely a bona fide delusional conspiracy theorist who was simply trying top bait someone into a fight over the Dohse link, which he may not believe at all, it was just the nastiest little bit of vitriol he could find in a five minute google search.

  286. Law Prof wrote:

    Once had a pastor who, in addition to being a sociopathic (in my opinion) abuser, was also a conspiracy theorist, we started checking out on the church when he used Wednesday night talks to discuss Freemasonry, the Illuminati, etc. He’d also talk to the congregation about how there was a secret warehouse in the state where they were stockpiling guillotines to behead Christians. The guy was a complete lunatic, the very definition (again, in my opinion) of one given over to an unsound mind.

    I knew a guy who was deeply into all this stuff, it got where it was all he’d talk about. He got stranger and stranger turned out to actually be schizophrenic.

  287. Patriciamc wrote:

    There is a human need to be right, to be the only one to figure something out, to have special knowledge. A couple of old Christian sects reflect this need as do certain Protestant groups including Calvinists. Pair this need with mental instability, add in a huge amount of gullibility, and you have a very small group of people who think everyone (everyone!) else in Christianity is wrong. These people simply aren’t capable of reasonable thought, bless their hearts.

    The Only True Church of One or a Few – As HUG would say!

  288. Bob J wrote:

    http://paulspassingthoughts.com/2015/06/03/deb-and-dee-of-wartburg-watch-com-gossip-not-gospel-hobby-not-hope/

    Oh dear. That was painful to read. Mr. Dohse has got quite the thin skin! He seems to be one of those whose theology is so clear to him that the world is separated into those who agree with him and those who are fair game for every sort of bashing. Brings to mind the likes of Roger Williams, who separate until they are the only one left.

    There are a number of faulty ideas in that article. One is “The discernment blogosphere could stop spiritual abuse dead in its tracks.” Oh, really? How does that work? lol!

    “Regardless of what’s going on in the “church,” the goal is to somehow fix the church. Since 2009, they continue to whine, cry, and beg the institutional church to behave itself. They gather together, moaning and licking each other’s wounds, crying out to the institutional church as god rather than the Prince of Peace.”

    When a Christian speaks of another Christian in this demeaning, accusatory way, their credibility goes out the window.

    I guess Mr. Dohse is comfortable abandoning all of those suffering in institutions he has written off due to their bad theology. I guess he feels it is wrong to call out abuse in such systems or support the abused?

    Well, Mr. Dohse seems to have a lot of faith in the idea that if theology is pure enough, people will stop sinning against one another and all will be goodness and light. If only life were so simple.

  289. siteseer wrote:

    “Regardless of what’s going on in the “church,” the goal is to somehow fix the church. Since 2009, they continue to whine, cry, and beg the institutional church to behave itself. They gather together, moaning and licking each other’s wounds, crying out to the institutional church as god rather than the Prince of Peace.”

    And really. …….. what does he do?

  290. okrapod wrote:

    I wish I actually knew more about the masonic thing, but I am inclined to not take it too lightly, because my father came home from one meeting and announced that he was through with the masons after many years.

    Back in high school, our youth group saw a movie on the Masons, and this movie said that as a man advances to the higher orders of the organization, he must disavow God. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think any group can become a bit controlling and secretive because it gives someone somewhere some power. Gee, where have we seen that before? So no, I’m not against the Masons as a group, just the tendency to be secretive and controlling.

  291. siteseer wrote:

    Oh dear. That was painful to read.

    I agree. That article criticizing Dee and Deb didn’t make sense at all. Also, the author didn’t give any examples of what he was criticizing. Plus, the one person commenting didn’t make sense either. She said that the readers here like a controlling government? I certainly missed that discussion.

  292. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I mean, he wore the ring, attended meetings, etc. the whole mason thing is just bizarre.

    My Dad was a Mason too. I think it’s little more than a grown up boy’s club, much like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble belonging to the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo Lodge No. 26.
    Pernicious evil? Straight from the pit?
    As dee would say:
    Good night!

    I think a lot of backroom business deals were made. One would think in this day and age there would be some secrets out by now. How could one track the international damage? Is Obama one or their puppet? :o)

  293. I have lost power at my house and am typing this through my personal hotspot on my cell phone. I do not have a lot of juice so this is going to have to be quick.

    1. Bob J -You are going into full time moderation. That means you stuff will not be approved quickly. And due to the weather and my sinking charge, it may mean you will not be approved at all tonight.

    Also, saying Wade Burleson is not preaching the true gospel means that you are a bit weird which I suspected when you got going on the Masons and Billy Graham stuff. Good night, man, get a life.

    2. Paul Dohse in also in permanent moderation. His doctrine and other issues became concerning to me. He is like that about others as well. Note how few people comment on his site although he has been writing for years. It is because he has some ideas that I would call fringe and occasionally can become unhinged. This is probably enough to launch another tirade on his part. I find it best to ignore him.

  294. @ okrapod:
    For one, many were at best deists, and their “supreme being” was definitely the God of the bible, later many declared themselves atheists. Not something that the church was going to like. Also the fact that the enlightenment ideas they supported definitely weakened the established order of royalty that claimed to rule by god’s order with the support of the church, which in turn enjoyed many privileges. Don’t forget that many greeted the fall of the Ancien Régime with enthusiasm – it definitely was long past its “sell by” date.

    The American revolution was part of that same movement.

    That the French revolution went so horribly wrong with la Terreur was not a necessity – see US history.

    Many in Europe greted the French revolution at the beginning, as I’ve said, enthusiastically. Wordsworth wrote about its beginnings “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven”.

    And msonry was not just sinister plots to overthrow monarchies – some of the more enlightened rulers like Frederic II of Prussia and Joseph II of Austria were believed to be masons, and Mozart definitely was.

    I am by no means an expert on the topic, but the wikipedia article seems quite good.

  295. @ okrapod:
    For an easy-read overview on the Freemasons, I recommend Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies, one of the “For Dummies” books. I think there may also be a “For Dummies” book specifically for the Freemasons, but “Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies” puts it in perspective from a larger view.

  296. dee wrote:

    1. Bob J -You are going into full time moderation.

    2. Paul Dohse in also in permanent moderation.

    The Bob & Paul Show has been cancelled.
    We now return to your regularly-scheduled program, “The Wartburg Watch”…

  297. siteseer wrote:

    Brings to mind the likes of Roger Williams, who separate until they are the only one left.

    Actually, A.W.Pink is a much better type example of “The One True Church of One”.

  298. Patriciamc wrote:

    Pair this need with mental instability, add in a huge amount of gullibility, and you have a very small group of people who think everyone (everyone!) else in Christianity is wrong. These people simply aren’t capable of reasonable thought…

    That can apply to Conspiracy Theory cranks in general.

  299. Lydia wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    It was the white middle class male’s advancement society, so to speak.

    I got the impression it was more about business deals. Sort of the businessman networking club of yesterday.

    That is EXACTLY what Fraternal Organizations were. Lodge Brothers (whether Freemasons, Knights of Columbus, or Loyal Order of Water Buffalos — Yabba Dabba Doo) originally looked out for each other, networked with each other regarding jobs and help, and served as a walking life/disability insurance policy before those were common.

    The Water Buffalos from the Flintstones is a fictional example of a later period, when as outside-the-lodge life insurance and disability and unemployment safety nets became more common, what remained was the social angle — good-ol-boys horsing around and letting it all hang out. Even then, it allowed a man to take a break from work or wife and hang out as just one of the guys.

  300. Haitch wrote:

    “A little research shows the Watchman Wakes site belongs to Bob Johnson and has been around since at least 2010. So unless someone is posting here using Bob’s name I figure Bob J is promoting his own stuff.”

    “Watchman Wakes”?

    So which one’s Ozymandias and which one’s Rorschach?

  301. siteseer wrote:

    Conspiracy theory sets forth a class of evil people opposed to another class of good people, with the faulty idea that if we could get rid of the evil conspirators, things would be good.

    There’s an older web page titled “Christians and Conspiracy Theories” that points out that the two bloodiest ideologies of the 20th Century — Naziism and Communism — were both built around Conspiracy Theories.

    And Conspiracy Theories for Dummies points out that Grand Unified Conspiracy Theories have a way of growing until they consume everything other than the Lone Gunman standing alone against The Vast Conspiracy. “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy!”

    They mention an interview with Oliver Stone after filming his conspiracy epic JFK where his citiation ended with “Did WW2 actually happen? Do *I* even exist? Or is that what THEY Want Me To Think?” Once you jump down that rabbit hole, it goes DEEP and That Way Lies Madness.

    A more humorous approach to the Ever-Growing Conspiracy Syndrome is Bob Dylan’s “Talking John Birch Conspiracy Blues”.

    (Personally, I think Conspiracy Types are miffed because everyone except themselves have to be part of The Conspiracy.)

  302. Friend wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Elven House of Princess Maelasanu

    Maybe this is that lesbian duplex we keep hearing about… the one where uppity wimmin end up if they don’t stay hitched to the Managawd.

    Makes as much sense as anything concerning that site.

  303. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    That is certainly what the Rotary Club is, but they are not weird or secretive or into pseudoreligious stuff and have never been accused of taking sides in a revolution. In fact, I dated a rotarian a bit after my divorce and went to a couple of their functions–there were even women there, unlike the masons. But, who would notice any difference there, right?

  304. dee wrote:

    Also, saying Wade Burleson is not preaching the true gospel means that you are a bit weird

    I disagree with most of what Wade teaches but he is a good sport about it.

  305. @ HUG

    Are you saying that the things like being part of the anticlericalism movement during the french revolution is incorrect and the church was mistaken about that?

  306. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    “Or Communist Gangster Computer Gods on the Dark Side of the Moon Parroting Puppet Gangster Assassins with Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls?”
    +++++++++++

    what is this, adventures in being random with the world’s longest acronym?

    Actually it’s a signature line of Francis E Dec Esq, a lunatic Conspiracy Theorist whose schizophrenic rants “made other kook publications sound as ordinary as a business memo.”

    “Doc on the Rock” from KROQ-FM recorded some of the printed rants and they circulated among “aficionados of the weird” before ending up posted to YouTube, both originals and mashups. (I sometimes link to the Glenn Beck/Francis Dec mashup one; the two sync up almost perfectly.)

    As Doc on the Rock said about one of his station managers, “When things were really getting him down, he’d borrow one of my Francis Dec tapes and after that, things didn’t seem so bad. He knew he wasn’t going crazy — THAT’S CRAZY, YOU’RE NORMAL.”

    Though the Wikipedia page for Dec got taken down, there was a fan website that last I heard was still up; Googling “Francis E Dec” should bring up some hits.

  307. Lydia wrote:

    @ Max:
    The focus is solely on Gods power not His love. They end up turning God into a moral monster and call it grace.

    Like Islam, you wind up with “A God who is Omnipotent but NOT Benevolent.”

    And who’s one overwhelming attribute is POWER.
    He Who Holds the Biggest Whip, nothing more.
    And for the Faithful to become more like God…

  308. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Did you see that old movie “The Man Who Would Be King”? Based on Rudyard Kipling and had a freemason subplot.

    Yes, and I’ve also read Kipling’s original novel.
    The movie is a decent adaptation.

  309. @ dee:

    I had a brief look at Paul Dohse’s page which Bob J thought had some good points.

    That Bob J thought the page contained some good points, combined with the manner of his recommending his own blog, is circumstantial evidence for the hypothesis that “Paul Dohse” and “Bob J” are the same person. Has anyone ever seen them both together in the same room?

    I think we should be told.

  310. There is something amiss here. Right when we are discussing a movie about the RCC sexual abuse scandal and what it took to fight through to the information about what for all the world looks like a conspiracy to protect the reputation of the church some of you seem to be saying what? That only the catholic church would be into such ‘conspiracy’ and nobody else?

    Did we not some time back talk about the dominionists and their interaction with some politicians and their aspirations for power and control? And is not this whole blog forever tracking down the very stuff (follow the money) that makes for shenanigans in evangelical christianity?

    And did we not see the IRS preferentially cause problems for certain conservatives and see the gov. admit that and backtrack on it.

    And yet you all seem to be saying that heaven forbid that somebody should have suspicions about anybody else or their organization. Now Bob has obviously fallen off some cliff. But there are those who for a long time have thought that sexual abuse in evangelical churches is just not a problem and that only cranks and crazies and trouble makers would think that there was a problem.

    Let’s have some consistency here, is what I am saying. Dee and Deb are not conspiracy nuts, but they sure do track down conspiracies. I am not some conspiracy nut, but I do agree with the denominations that oppose the masons. It is as simple as that.

  311. And let us not forget the mega conspiracy in our own backyard: the fundamentalist neo-cal takeover of the SBC. Note how some lament the fact that so many sit on baptist pews and seem oblivious to what is going on.

    On a different note we had some weather pass through. Blew some stuff over, took some small but already dead limbs out of the trees on my back forty, and young son is out of power at his house. Could have been worse.

  312. okrapod wrote:

    And let us not forget the mega conspiracy in our own backyard: the fundamentalist neo-cal takeover of the SBC. Note how some lament the fact that so many sit on baptist pews and seem oblivious to what is going on.

    That particular takeover took place in the entities not at the conventions like the last one in the 80’s that was a public fight.

  313. @ okrapod:
    For the record, I am not pro freeMason. I am just trying to wrap my head around the idea they are powerful and influential anymore. I am not convinced of the anti semetic, anti Catholic Klan like focus…. Perhaps over the last 50 years. I just googled Mason lodge/temple and one came up smack dab in an African American neighborhood in addition to the historical building downtown.

  314. @ Lydia:

    Never forget that I go back way before the cultural revolution in this nation and back to the days of segregation and back to when we did have an active Klan, so there well may have been massive changes in the interim. But then I doubt that they are plotting to co-operate in the overthrow of the catholic church in france right now either. Doesn’t mean it did not happen.

    The masons are building a new temple about a mile from our house. It is really big. And plain looking. They outgrew their other building. Every time we drive by there we think wow, that is one big building. So, they do not seem to be going out of business.

  315. siteseer wrote:

    I knew a guy who was deeply into all this stuff, it got where it was all he’d talk about. He got stranger and stranger turned out to actually be schizophrenic.

    My ex-pastor had some very serious mental health issues, ones which he would never acknowledge, but his delusional, conspiratorial thinking was nothing compared to his vicious sadism.

  316. @ okrapod:

    Perhaps this is a parallel. The LDS no longer restrict their priesthood to white men, though they did until relatively recently. It is interesting, though maybe not specific to the issue of race, about the history of masonic ideas in the founding of the LDS in the first place.

    What I am saying is that things have changed a lot since back when.

  317. okrapod wrote:

    Let’s have some consistency here, is what I am saying. Dee and Deb are not conspiracy nuts, but they sure do track down conspiracies. I am not some conspiracy nut, but I do agree with the denominations that oppose the masons. It is as simple as that.

    I completely agree with opposing the Masons, my father was a 32nd degree Shriner, and even he admitted that the Mason teach all roads lead to the same God, but to try to lump those who have perfectly insane conspiratorial theories about the Masons, which are not supported by any rational evidence and are typically championed by full-fledged lunatics, with those who point out the sexual abuse issues in evangelical and Catholic churches, I simply can’t agree. And by the way, no one here is saying only the Catholics are into conspiratorial cover ups. But there is a fundamental difference between the lunatic fringe represented by Bob J and the posters here, I see it as the difference between night and day.

  318. okrapod wrote:

    And let us not forget the mega conspiracy in our own backyard: the fundamentalist neo-cal takeover of the SBC.

    Now this I do agree with.

  319. Here is an interesting tidbit. The masonic use of the term supreme architect of the universe is attributed to John Calvin and his term great architect of the universe. Or that is what google says. I don’t think that means anything but it is interesting within our conversations here.

  320. okrapod wrote:

    And let us not forget the mega conspiracy in our own backyard: the fundamentalist neo-cal takeover of the SBC.

    How can we forget it?! It’s no longer a conspiracy; it’s in our face, real life stuff now! When the Calvinists came out of the closet, they met little SBC resistance and are moving full-speed ahead to “reform” the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America. New Calvinist leaders now control most SBC entities, including leading seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, and ethics commission. All of this with barely a whimper from the SBC millions who do not hold to Calvinist belief and practice.

    I’m not a fan of Freemasonry, but it’s the stuff of dark rooms and secret chants, old boys (even Baptist deacons) in weird garb participating in centuries-old rituals that are incompatible with Christianity. Churchmen who engage in masonic activities are harmless enough, but need to repent for wasting their time in it, rather than giving their lives for the cause of Christ. However, New Calvinism is a greater threat to SBC life – its army of young, restless and reformed are altering a once-great evangelistic denomination before our very eyes.

  321. Max wrote:

    How can we forget it?! It’s no longer a conspiracy; it’s in our face, real life stuff now! When the Calvinists came out of the closet, they met little SBC resistance and are moving full-speed ahead to “reform” the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America. New Calvinist leaders now control most SBC entities, including leading seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, and ethics commission. All of this with barely a whimper from the SBC millions who do not hold to Calvinist belief and practice.

    I just don’t get it. What is it about Reformed teaching that attracts people? What is it about the Reformed movement that makes people want to “take over” a denomination and change it to Reformed teachings? I know the basics of Reformed teachings (TULIP, etc.), and I just don’t understand why people who believe this way make such a big deal out of it. I think Arminian teaching is more accurate with what the Bible teaches, but Arminians don’t “take over” or lie about their beliefs, Arminians don’t have “Arminian” in the names of their universities and churches, etc. We’re just ordinary, everyday Christians. So, what gives?

  322. Max wrote:

    All of this with barely a whimper from the SBC millions who do not hold to Calvinist belief and practice.

    Most people don’t know what’s happening – totally in the dark.

  323. What gives, Max? I think a case study (character analysis) on Calvinism and Calvinists would be apropos at this time. Let me see if I can answer some of those questions your posed.

    1. What is it about Reformed teaching that attracts people?

    I don’t think there’s one answer to this question but many. The first thing that comes to my mind is: They want theological certainty down to every jot and tittle and Reformed theology with its rigid interpretation of Scripture gives them that certainty. Is there ever any mystery in Reformed theology – some issue or question that they cannot answer? If there is, I haven’t seen that demonstrated. It seems Calvinists have ALL the answers to ALL the theological questions.

    2. What is it about the Reformed movement that makes people want to “take over” a denomination and change it to Reformed teachings?

    Well, if you have ALL the answers to ALL the theological questions then you can’t help but be driven to enlighten all the ignorant masses. Remember: Calvinism = the Gospel and no one else has the Gospel but the Calvinists. They are saving the rest of the church from utter and complete ignorance of the Gospel!

    I hope this is a start. Now, let’s build upon it! 😉

  324. Ah….now I see. It was actually patriciamc that I was responding to. Sorry about that, Max.

  325. @ Darlene:
    I was very interested in Calvinism when I was a young one before Mohler headed SBTS. For me at the time the biggest attraction were the teachings on the Sovereignty of God. I became radicalized regarding oral contraception. If God predestined the salvation of the elect wouldn’t oral contraception dishonor what was predestined? Now that I look at this idea, boy was this a weird. Later I heard a SBC critic say that these young Calvinists didn’t really understand Calvinsm and they abhorred oral contraception. I think he hit the nail on the head.

  326. patriciamc wrote:

    I just don’t understand why people who believe this way make such a big deal out of it.

    I suppose it has a lot to do with the roots of Calvinism traced all the way back to the man himself, John Calvin. Calvin definitely believed he had a corner on the truth and went about silencing all opposition. He attempted to make Geneva a Christian utopia, demanding that all citizens come alongside his teaching (or else). When the free church of Anabaptists (the real reformers IMO) came on the scene, the followers of Calvin persecuted them. Calvinism has always been a “We have it right; you have it wrong” belief and practice. For the last 500 years, reformed theology has attracted some of most arrogant leaders that ever lived; the New Calvinism movement is no exception. The spirit of John Calvin still lives.

  327. Darlene wrote:

    What is it about the Reformed movement that makes people want to “take over”

    It’s in their DNA. New Calvinists have been indoctrinated to believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this. Thus, they can justify stealth, deception, and rebellion to takeover churches and denominations since God is on their side.

  328. Darlene wrote:

    Ah….now I see. It was actually patriciamc that I was responding to. Sorry about that, Max.

    People confuse Max and me all the time. : )

    Good points though. I think you’re on to something with that absolute certainty coupled with being chosen by God while other people aren’t. They’ve turned Heaven into the ultimate restricted country club.

  329. Max wrote:

    I suppose it has a lot to do with the roots of Calvinism traced all the way back to the man himself, John Calvin. Calvin definitely believed he had a corner on the truth and went about silencing all opposition. He attempted to make Geneva a Christian utopia, demanding that all citizens come alongside his teaching (or else). When the free church of Anabaptists (the real reformers IMO) came on the scene, the followers of Calvin persecuted them. Calvinism has always been a “We have it right; you have it wrong” belief and practice. For the last 500 years, reformed theology has attracted some of most arrogant leaders that ever lived; the New Calvinism movement is no exception. The spirit of John Calvin still lives.

    Yeah, “we’re right, you’re wrong” coupled with force equals “My way is right, I win. Join me and win too.” I’d love to see a psychologist analyze this movement.

    This blog has some normal people on here who fall on the Reformed spectrum. I’d love to hear their perspective sometime.

  330. Nancy2 wrote:

    Most people don’t know what’s happening – totally in the dark.

    Agreed. Most traditional Southern Baptists in the pews don’t have a clue … but their pastors sure do! I fault church leadership at SBC’s 45,000+ churches for not having “family talks” to discuss the implications of Calvinization of the denomination. Thus, the people are uninformed or misinformed about New Calvinism … or worse, willingly ignorant. Of course, the apathy of SBC’s millions for years has created an opening for such a theo-political takeover.

  331. patriciamc wrote:

    This blog has some normal people on here who fall on the Reformed spectrum.

    Agreed, it has been refreshing to see input by Calvinists who have their heads screwed on straight. I’m not so much anti-Calvinism, as I am anti-Calvinization of churches and denominations which don’t hold to that doctrine. I happen to believe that reformed soteriology is dead wrong, but can exist with Calvinists otherwise (unless they are narcissistic).

  332. patriciamc wrote:

    I think you’re on to something with that absolute certainty coupled with being chosen by God while other people aren’t. They’ve turned Heaven into the ultimate restricted country club.

    Utter Righteousness plus Absolute Power is a REAL dangerous combination.

  333. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists have been indoctrinated to believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this. Thus, they can justify stealth, deception, and rebellion to takeover churches and denominations since God is on their side.

    In the words of the Prophet Dylan:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0YLuFZcOe4

  334. Max wrote:

    Agreed. Most traditional Southern Baptists in the pews don’t have a clue … but their pastors sure do! I fault church leadership at SBC’s 45,000+ churches for not having “family talks” to discuss the implications of Calvinization

    Our pastor, who officially resigned July 1 but continued to pastor until November, spoke several times about the things he disagrees with in Calvinism. He has also often said that a husband is NOT prophet, priest, and king of the home.
    Since our pastor’s resignation, we have had a particular guest speaker 3 times. This speaker, recently returned from the Asian mission field with the IMB cuts, has quoted Piper, Platt, and Dever. Everyone, my husband included, seem oblivious to what these men he is quoting really are. The “Amens” after the quotes are scaring me. I’m afraid if this guy gets in the door, free will and congregational polity may soon be over.
    PS: This guest speaker has a wife and 7 children who are home schooled.

  335. Law Prof wrote:

    The guy was a complete lunatic, the very definition (again, in my opinion) of one given over to an unsound mind.

    The conspiracy believers I know are otherwise quite normal, I think everyone just knows not to bring up even a related subject. Sorry you had to endure the person you describe, especially when they had a position of authority.

  336. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Watchman Wakes”?

    So which one’s Ozymandias and which one’s Rorschach?

    Rorschach’s test is a good figuration for the thinking of a conspiracy theorist. They see what they are looking for.

    I had thought conspiracies are also an extreme form of confirmation bias. They disregard that which doesn’t fit and focus on only those things that can be shoehorned into their theory.

    I’ve also found many pastors have a bad case of confirmation bias. They are so captivated by their position that they go on to acquire way too much confidence in their authority and too much trust in other authoritarian pastors. Simultaneously they are unable to see their own abuses or those of fellow authoritarian pastors. While they have a high regard for pastors, they exhibit a distrust for us non-ordained folk. Another word for it is pride.

  337. Bob J wrote:

    @ Darlene:

    You said http:// is baloney. You show me an error on that site.

    Oh, good grief!! The loonies have taken over the asylum again. Break out the lifeboats, you-all; they want to sink the ship!

  338. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Any shapeshifting cannibal alien lizards?

    Only the two who live here with me. At 6 & 8 pounds, I manage to keep them pretty well under control.
    Oh, wait! You said “lizards”! I thought you meant my cats!!! Oops!!!

  339. @ okrapod:
    Fwiw, re. a comment above about black men and lodges, that is a separate thing, quite literally. Look up “Prince Hall Freemasons” and you’ll see.

    As for Freemasons in France having been anti-clerical: the RCC wielded immense political power in France during the days of the Ancien Regime. It was a bad thing, in many respects. Same in Italy – Giuseppe Garibaldi was also a Freemason. The Papal States ceased to exist after yhe unification of Italy.

    I sm definitely *not* pro-Freemasonry, and got awfully tired of their serming dominance (or visible presence, at least) in the D.C. area. By the same token, i don’t think their role in our history (early on) should be understated – though really, it’s less about Freemasonry and more about some of the leading figures during and after the Revolution. (Ditto for many European countries, as above.)

  340. @ numo:
    Besides all that, the RCC here is all about ghe K of C as an alternative to Freemasonry. Ironic, really, that they’d go to all the trouble of creating something that closely mimics Freemasonry, no?

  341. Law Prof wrote:

    Bill M wrote:

    I imagine he is a true believer. I’ve run into my share of conspiracy theorists…

    You’re probably right, he likely is a true believer in the conspiracy stuff. I guess my main reason for calling him a troll was when he gratuitously linked to the Dohse diatribe; so in my opinion he’s likely a bona fide delusional conspiracy theorist who was simply trying top bait someone into a fight over the Dohse link, which he may not believe at all, it was just the nastiest little bit of vitriol he could find in a five minute google search.

    I have to agree that “Bob” is a true believer in. I’ve met them before; I will no doubt meet them again. (Sigh…). But he IS the first person I’ve ever come upon who thinks that President Obama is a–wait for it: a vampire……
    Yes, its on his site/sites.

  342. zooey111 wrote:

    But he IS the first person I’ve ever come upon who thinks that President Obama is a–wait for it: a vampire……

    That must be the reason he was re-elected, I hear vampires are quite the fad these days.

  343. patriciamc wrote:

    Back in high school, our youth group saw a movie on the Masons, and this movie said that as a man advances to the higher orders of the organization, he must disavow God. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think any group can become a bit controlling and secretive because it gives someone somewhere some power.

    In medieval times it was claimed by various rabble-rousers that the Jews used the blood of murdered Christian children to make Passover matzos. The idiocy of us humans when it comes to religion as a catalyst for the hatred of ‘the other’ knows no bounds.

  344. Muff Potter wrote:
    The idiocy of us humans when it comes to religion as a catalyst for the hatred of ‘the other’ knows no bounds.

    You’ve got that right, Muff.

  345. numo wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Fwiw, re. a comment above about black men and lodges, that is a separate thing, quite literally. Look up “Prince Hall Freemasons” and you’ll see.

    I agree it’s separate secret society. You think they will let me join? :o)

  346. Bill M wrote:

    Rorschach’s test is a good figuration for the thinking of a conspiracy theorist. They see what they are looking for.
    I had thought conspiracies are also an extreme form of confirmation bias. They disregard that which doesn’t fit and focus on only those things that can be shoehorned into their theory.

    I am so glad you said that. Now let me take that idea and develop it somewhat.

    The expression of the idea that one sees what one knows is frequently traced back to a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He was correct. But this is not a bad thing, it is merely something to be dealt with.

    Example 1 in thinking about your first sentence that I quoted: In diagnostic radiology this can be expanded on thusly: one sees what one looks for; one looks for what one knows to look for. (Therefore, study and practice and learn what to look for and how to look for it.) And that is exactly what a radiology residency is designed to accomplish. This has literally saved the lives/ postponed the deaths of many people by resulting in some early diagnosis. Think mammography. Knowing what to look for and looking for it.

    Example 2 in thinking about your second and third sentences which I quoted: One way mistakes are made in radiology is by not having suspicion that there is more to the story. The brain finds the answer that one is looking for and then the brain tends to think that this is all there is to find, and at that point something else which is also on the image is not perceived as important to the question at issue and is literally seen but not noticed by the radiologist. The brain works this way. We see with our eyes a gazillion things all the time but the brain is selective in what it calls our attention to. There is a sense in which what is important and what is not is chosen for us by levels below the thinking conscious level. In radiology we have techniques to get around this such as how to require oneself/ discipline oneself to focus on all areas of the image and not just the area of immediate concern.

    So, from my analogy here, which I think is in the same ball park, what I see in systems like calvinism and any religious system with lots of doctrines and rules and procedures appeals to people in part because it tells them what to look for and trains them how to look for and how to understand stuff which is otherwise chaotic and threatening in its very chaos.

    And, regarding our recent conversations about conspiracy theories, I do not think that the tendency to think that there may be something more to see and that it may be important is a bad thing, nor do I think that just because some people get intellectually lost in that jungle (the kooks as we say) should we discount the idea that keeping one’s eye and mind open to the unexpected is a bad thing.

  347. @ Nancy2:

    Ouch! Sorry so many are apathetically asleep to this within the SBC. The damage has already been done. My suspicion is that there will be more schisms from SBC before this is all finished. Some will be silent where a church withdraws (these are the new Independents. This has been reported in press for some time) and some with more vocal pastors will form new associations. The unraveling of the SBC that started with the conservative resurgence will continue. A large sector will probably be captured by Neo Calvinists and continue to go by the name SBC. As time passes more issues will reach the fore such as ESS and other Neo Calvinist innovations. The doctrinal issues and controversies in SBC will make what happened among Northern Baptists in the early 20th century seem paltry by comparison. It hasn’t ended. I fear it is only beginning, especially once the apathy wears off.

  348. Nancy2 wrote:

    oblivious to what these men he is quoting really are. The “Amens” after the quotes are scaring me

    The American church, SBC included, has been too busy with religious activity that the ability to discern truth from error has been dulled. When one fails to keep the Main thing the main thing, he is unable to hear God. “As it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear” (Romans 11:8). When it comes to New Calvinism, mainline Southern Baptists are asleep at the wheel … slumbering the denomination away.

  349. Mark wrote:

    A large sector will probably be captured by Neo Calvinists and continue to go by the name SBC.

    No doubt about it. As I noted in an upstream comment, New Calvinists are already in leadership at most SBC entities: leading seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, others. These entity heads have a direct connection to Al Mohler – his former executive assistant at SBTS, his former pastor, etc. (surprise, surprise). The takeover “conspiracy” has operated in plain sight before apathetic millions in SBC pews who continue to fund the NC rebellion through their giving to local churches, a percentage of which is funneled to the entities.

  350. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists are already in leadership at most SBC entities

    … not to mention that most of SBC’s 1,000 annual church plants are “pastored” by the young, restless and reformed fresh out of Southern seminary and other reformed institutions of lower learning. SBC’s North American Mission Board, led by Kevin Ezell (Al Mohler’s former pastor), has an aggressive church planting program with a $60 million dollar annual budget (thanks to SBC non-Calvinist tithes). At the same time 1,000 new churches are being planted, 1,000 traditional churches close each year for one reason or another (the result of apathetic members, IMO). It doesn’t take a statistician to predict where this is headed … SBC will be “reformed” within one generation. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to Christians planting new churches … but the NC movement is more about planting theology, than churches.

  351. Bill M wrote:

    The conspiracy believers I know are otherwise quite normal, I think everyone just knows not to bring up even a related subject.

    I know a few people like that also. Don’t get them started on the Kennedy Assassination, or the 9/11 attacks, or whatever. Otherwise, decent people to be round.

  352. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Agreed. Most traditional Southern Baptists in the pews don’t have a clue … but their pastors sure do! I fault church leadership at SBC’s 45,000+ churches for not having “family talks” to discuss the implications of Calvinization
    Our pastor, who officially resigned July 1 but continued to pastor until November, spoke several times about the things he disagrees with in Calvinism. He has also often said that a husband is NOT prophet, priest, and king of the home.
    Since our pastor’s resignation, we have had a particular guest speaker 3 times. This speaker, recently returned from the Asian mission field with the IMB cuts, has quoted Piper, Platt, and Dever. Everyone, my husband included, seem oblivious to what these men he is quoting really are. The “Amens” after the quotes are scaring me. I’m afraid if this guy gets in the door, free will and congregational polity may soon be over.
    PS: This guest speaker has a wife and 7 children who are home schooled.

    I have a wife and more homeschooled children that the guest speaker, but I also have antenna that go ballistic when I hear Piper, Dever, and the whole proud, supercilious, abusive crew mentioned or quoted. I know right there that the one doing the quoting has little to no discernment and is the sort of faux or foolish Christian heading for disaster with whom I generally want to have nothing to do.

  353. @ okrapod:

    Picking up the baton regarding the need for alert discernment, even if I’m going somewhat on a tangent here:

    Just before we moved from Glasgow we bought a red Renault Clio. There was conspicuously nothing wrong with the paintwork: all of the panels were perfectly-matched red. Now, it so happens that we bought the car in early summer, and the hours of daylight are endless in the summer in Scotland, so it was actually many weeks later that I first looked properly at the car in the dark, under street-lights.

    In the UK (and undoubtedly elsewhere), streetlights often use sodium vapour lamps. What this means is that the light they give off is not only yellow/orange, but very highly mono-chromatic. That is, instead of a complex rainbow of colours whose net effect is white, yellow, blue or whatever, sodium light is just one very pure shade of yellow. * And under the mono-chromatic streetlights, I noticed something for the first time: two of the car’s body panels were very clearly a different colour from the rest. In other words, they were painted with different paint – presumably the car had been in an accident. So – counterintuitively – the false colour of the sodium D line showed up something that was completely invisible in the full light of day.

    Truth to tell, the whole car looked grey under the streetlights. So, the false-colour lighting was still deceptive in its way. But the fact that it was two different shades of grey meant that the yellow light was both misleading and at the same time uniquely revealing.

    Unusual or eccentric perspectives can often be like that.

    * Strictly speaking, it’s two near-identical shades. I add this mainly to reassure OldJohnJ that I’ve not gone over to the dark side.

  354. okrapod wrote:

    In diagnostic radiology this can be expanded on thusly: one sees what one looks for; one looks for what one knows to look for.

    I left you a question on the open discussion, too much of a tangent for here.

  355. Bill M wrote:

    The conspiracy believers I know are otherwise quite normal

    Off topic, but in the news today: Justice Scalia has been linked to a secretive hunting society dating back to the 1600s. Their motto “Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures” (insert Twilight Zone tune here).

  356. Ockrapod: I think people get an idea stuck in their mind and then start looking for the belief system that best answers, solves the dilemma/problem to that idea. For example, some Christians get it in their head to find the True Church – before all the schisms. So eventually they settle on Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. Others get the idea stuck in their head that they want to have *assurance* of their salvation so they settle upon Once Saved Always Saved. Others are looking for a religious system that will give them the opportunity to best use the gifts of the Spirit that God has given them. So they settle on Charismaticism. Others are looking for a system that stresses gender roles, order within the family, a system that defies Feminism and the current culture. So they will settle on Complementarianism – Patriarchy. And on and on it goes. Of course there are still those folks who say: And I still haven’t found what I’m lookin’ for! (ala U2) 😉

  357. Max wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    A large sector will probably be captured by Neo Calvinists and continue to go by the name SBC.
    No doubt about it. As I noted in an upstream comment, New Calvinists are already in leadership at most SBC entities: leading seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, others. These entity heads have a direct connection to Al Mohler – his former executive assistant at SBTS, his former pastor, etc. (surprise, surprise). The takeover “conspiracy” has operated in plain sight before apathetic millions in SBC pews who continue to fund the NC rebellion through their giving to local churches, a percentage of which is funneled to the entities.

    Ya know, this scenario reminds me of the Vatican II take-over in the Roman Catholic Church. A radicalization emerged in which altars were torn out, leftest priests who supported liberation theology made headway, feminist nuns began denouncing church teaching, etc.etc.

  358. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:
    New Calvinists are already in leadership at most SBC entities
    … not to mention that most of SBC’s 1,000 annual church plants are “pastored” by the young, restless and reformed fresh out of Southern seminary and other reformed institutions of lower learning. SBC’s North American Mission Board, led by Kevin Ezell (Al Mohler’s former pastor), has an aggressive church planting program with a $60 million dollar annual budget (thanks to SBC non-Calvinist tithes). At the same time 1,000 new churches are being planted, 1,000 traditional churches close each year for one reason or another (the result of apathetic members, IMO). It doesn’t take a statistician to predict where this is headed … SBC will be “reformed” within one generation. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to Christians planting new churches … but the NC movement is more about planting theology, than churches.

    And once the take-over is complete, a warning will be issued: NO NON-CALVINISTS ALLOWED!

  359. Max wrote:

    Off topic, but in the news today: Justice Scalia has been linked to a secretive hunting society dating back to the 1600s. Their motto “Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures” (insert Twilight Zone tune here).

    I did see that. I had to chuckle at the motto. We honor God’s creatures by killing them! The Daily Mail in the UK has been big on the Scalia conspiracy theories. I hate to tell them that very few in the US is buying their nonsense.

  360. Law Prof wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    The conspiracy believers I know are otherwise quite normal, I think everyone just knows not to bring up even a related subject.
    I know a few people like that also. Don’t get them started on the Kennedy Assassination, or the 9/11 attacks, or whatever. Otherwise, decent people to be round.

    Ok…I’m otherwise a normal person (I think – haha) but I’m one of those that believes in a Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy. I hadn’t found a particular conspiracy that I could hang my hat on until recently. Sorry Oliver Stone… 🙁 .
    A ballistics expert examined all the evidence and arrived at the conclusion that Oswald could only have taken the first two shots. So far other conspiracy theories arrive at this conclusion as well (or something very similar). But at this juncture this is where the conspiracy theorists go off in different directions, i.e. – the Mafia was behind the assassination, Fidel Castro and the Communists were behind it, LBJ was behind it, the CIA was behind it, the KKK was behind it, etc. etc. However, this ballistics person believes that one of the secret service men in the car behind the Presidential limousine accidentally shot Kennedy – the third shot that fatally wounded him. Testimony at the Kennedy Assassination hearings corroborates this evidence. The secret service agent (whose name I cannot recall) had his gun cocked and the safety off. Immediately after he heard the two shots he was poised to shoot but the gun went off and caused the fatal head wound to Kennedy. The other secret service men covered for him – at least the ones who saw what had happened. This explains the odd behavior of the secret service at Parkland Hospital when the attending physician attempted to stand his ground to perform an autopsy. According to Texas state law, an autopsy had to be performed before a body could be taken across state line. The secret service bullied the attending physician and flagrantly defied the state law. Anyway – this conspiracy boils down to something quite simple – an accident, unlike all the other theories out there.

    And now…please don’t label me as a WACKO. 🙂

  361. Patriciamc wrote:

    We honor God’s creatures by killing them!

    Sometimes we do. They say there is now an overpopulation of lions in Zimbabwe because after the Cecil incident lion hunting fell off below needed levels to control the population. That does not mean that I am a fan of Patterson or his wife or his taxidermy collection or his ideas about hunting.

  362. Wow, there are a lot of comments on this post!

    When I was an SGM employee, I was aware of SGM’s gifts to Grudem. SGM also gave him a couple of computers (several years apart) to support his work–apparently he didn’t own one before that, or maybe he had a really old one, I don’t know which. I was SGM’s I.T. tech guy and one time (maybe around 2007) when Wayne was in town to teach at the Pastors College his laptop (from SGM) hard drive started to fail, and it was my job to quickly back it up, replace it and restore his files so he could use it again. He was grateful.

    Also, he did a weekend seminar based on his 2003 Business for the Glory of God book at Covenant Life Church in Oct. 2009, which SGM later distributed for free as audio.

  363. Darlene wrote:

    A ballistics expert examined all the evidence and arrived at the conclusion that Oswald could only have taken the first two shots.

    That does not mean it is so. I can’t fathom how a person trained in the military couldn’t squeeze off three shots in seven seconds or so, not that hard to do with that particular Carcano or whatever the heck Italian rifle it was. But, here I go down a rabbit hole by even making this comment.

  364. Darlene wrote:

    And once the take-over is complete, a warning will be issued: NO NON-CALVINISTS ALLOWED!

    No, once the takeover is complete, ALL ARMINIANS WILL BE PURGED AS THE GREAT CALVIN PURGED SERVETUS.

  365. Max wrote:

    It doesn’t take a statistician to predict where this is headed … SBC will be “reformed” within one generation.

    And then there will be no more Christ, there will only be CALVIN.

  366. Law Prof wrote:

    That does not mean it is so. I can’t fathom how a person trained in the military couldn’t squeeze off three shots in seven seconds or so, not that hard to do with that particular Carcano or whatever the heck Italian rifle it was. But, here I go down a rabbit hole by even making this comment.

    Yes, a good shot can squeeze off three aimed shots in seven seconds. Though a turnbolt, those who have shot a Carcano say the bolt works easy and FAST; if you’re practiced, you can jack the action and be ready to fire almost as fast as a semi-auto.

    I also remember an interview with Tom Clancy where he told of the time he was actually allowed to handle the actual rifle and something he noticed:

    The scope mount on that Carcano was of the type that did not obscure the open sights of the rifle. At the range from the TBD to the Presidential limo, it would have been quicker and easier to aim and maintain a continuous sight picture on the target through the open sights. With the scope, you’d have to take a second or two to re-acquire the target after each shot, slowing down your rate of aimed fire considerably.

    So three hits in seven seconds at that range IS very plausible for a practiced and experienced shooter.

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