“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. ” ― George Eliot, Daniel Deronda link
Update 4/19/2016 Correction: Brock Estes was allegedly abusing adult pornography- not child pornography. We tried to correct this in the original post but this one slipped through. We apologize for our error.
Tutorial Point #2: Repentance needs to be examined over time; especially when it comes to issues like sex abuse, domestic violence and narcissism. Also, repentance does not mean that the individual has a *get out of jail free* card.
What is repentance?
I'm going to try to polish my image as a daughter of Stan(sic) and a minion of Satin(sic) by looking at the Greek.
From The Bible Gateway Dictionary:
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).
Here is what Strong's Concordance has to say. Repentance comes from the word
metanoeó: to change one's mind or purpose
Studylight.org looks more carefully at this Greek word.
* METANOEO is the English spelling of the Greek word μετανοὲω.
Old Testament usage
Μετανοὲω in Classical Greek meant, "to perceive afterwards." It was used as the opposite of προνοὲω(Strong's #4306), "to perceive beforehand." Μετανοὲω later came to mean, "to change one's mind or purpose." This meaning was carried over into the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
This word is used to express what Samuel said to Saul in 1 Samuel 15:28-29 (in the Septuagint this text is 1 Kings 15:28-29): "The Lord has torn your kingdom from Israel out of your hand today, and will give it to your neighbor, the one good over against you. And He will divide Israel into two, and he will not turn away nor change His mind (μετανοὲω), because He is not a man so that He should change His mind(μετανοὲω)." -Literal Translation of the Septuagint.
Samuel is saying that God does not change His mind or purpose in what He does.
In Proverbs 20:25 it says, "It is a snare for a man to sanctify quickly something of his own, for after vowing comes changing of the mind (μετανοὲω) ." – Literal Translation of the Septuagint.
This proverb warns against taking some possession and quickly dedicating it to the Lord and then afterward, wanting to change his mind.
The proverb teaches that after dedication, it cannot be taken back. The idea of changing one's mind or purpose was carried into the New Testament as well.
New Testament usage
Μετανοὲω is first used in the New Testament by John the Baptist as he called Israel to repent, or make a decision to change their trust in salvation from Judaism to the coming Messiah, as recorded in Matthew 3:2 saying, "Repent (the imperative, or command form, of μετανοὲω), for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near."
– Literal Translation. After John was cast into prison, it is recorded in Mark 1:15 that Jesus came preaching the gospel saying, "The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near;. Repent (again, the imperative or command form of μετανοὲω) and believe in the gospel."
– Literal Translation. Jesus continued the message of the need for those to repent and to believe in the gospel to be saved. In Luke 15:7, Jesus emphasizes the importance of repentance when He said, "I say to you that in this way joy will be in heaven over one sinner repenting (μετανοὲω) than over ninety-nine righteous ones, who have no need of repentance." – Literal Translation.
Paul says in Acts 17:30, "Indeed therefore, God having overlooked the times of ignorance, He now commands all men everywhere that they should repentF2 (μετανοὲω)," – Literal Translation. The necessity of repentance is demonstrated by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:21: "if perhaps when I come again, my God should humble me toward you, and I should mourn over many of the ones who have sinned before and not having repented (μετανοὲω) over their uncleanness and fornication, and licentiousness which they practiced."
What is not mentioned in these definitions?
There are things that Christians tend to forget when the word repentance is mentioned.
1. Repentance can be faked, at least in this life.
2. Repentance for sin does not mean the person is not sinful.
3. Repentance does not mean a *get out of jail free* card.
How many criminals suddenly *find the Lord* when caught in a crime or prior to parole hearings? Getting religion is often viewed positively by parole boards and judges. We wrote a post on an incident that happened in our area: Pathological Naiveté: A Child Porn Addict is “Cured” Through Bible Study.
Here is a portion of that post.
Warning: Explicit material in the next paragraph only.
Imagine… A little girl, let’s call her Sarah, is held down by a man and forcibly raped. The horrendous scene is recorded on camera. You can hear her little voice sobbing and calling out for her mommy. Yet, there is no mommy, and this heinous act is completed. The repulsive video is available on the Internet. A man in Raleigh, North Carolina gets his kicks out of watching child pornography like this. In fact, he has been getting sexually aroused this way just about every night for TWELVE years. He is finally brought to justice and will soon be sentenced for this felony. This crime carries a minimum of FIVE years in a federal prison.
This criminal is upset and does not want to go to jail while he awaits his sentencing because he has important things to do. What is the response of one Southern Baptist pastor? The pastor takes the stand in order to ask a judge to give him extra time to be on the streets reportedly because this man has become a Christian. Huh?
Let’s back up and tell this incredible story.
Imagine opening up your Sunday newspaper and reading this glaring front page headline: "Child pornography consumes a life". That's exactly what happened yesterday to those who subscribe to The News and Observer, a regional newspaper based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mandy Locke did an excellent job investigating and writing about this story. All of the quotes and the general storyline come from this article link. (This link has been updated).
David Chatham, a 43 year old public relations executive, began viewing adult pornography at the age of 9 when he found his dad's Penthouse magazine, tucked away in a briefcase in a closet. Approximately 12 years ago Chatham began viewing child pornography. He is married and has no children. In December 2008 he was arrested and was found to have over 3,400 images of naked, molested boys and girls, toddlers and teens on his computer. Chatham was tried in federal court, pled guilty, and will soon be sentenced to serve a prison term of at least five years.
Knowledge of Wrongdoing
There will be no insanity plea here. Prior to his arrest, Chatham claimed that he knew he would eventually be apprehended. There are investigators who spend their working hours on the web tracking down these perverts. Incredibly, Chatham admitted to the newspaper reporter that he rehearsed what he would say and do when the inevitable arrest occurred.
Wife and Biological Children
He has no children of his own. His wife claimed she did not want children. (Why is that, I wonder. Did she subconsciously know something was amiss)? She also claimed that she did not know about her husband’s activity in spite of him spending hours in the middle of the night on the computer. I, Dee, have a friend who became suspicious of her husband’s midnight computer viewing after a couple of years, despite his claims of “doing work.” She investigated and immediately sought help. The wife’s claim of “not knowing”, during a relationship that spanned 9 years until his arrest, seems a bit odd. Perhaps she just didn’t want to know.
Chatham claims he began attending a Bible study immediately after he was arrested and is now a Christian.
Other Post Arrest Activities
Chatham began attending sex addicts meetings, received intensive psychological intervention, and worked with authorities to give lectures to men who share his pornography addiction. By all accounts, he became a model, contrite individual who was trying to turn his life around.
Request for leniency
Going before a judge , a number of people spoke on Chatham's behalf, asking for leniency, another three months of freedom to get his affairs in order, before he went to prison. The request was flatly denied, and he went straight to jail… Did any of Chatham's good Christian supporters testify about the children whose lives had been destroyed with his assistance? Why do I say this? The child porn industry would not survive without money used to purchase these heinous images. He had purchased 3400+images.
Conversion after apprehension
There is no question that David Chatham knew his activities were illegal and immoral. What is troublesome is that his “new life” didn’t begin until after his arrest. He claims he rehearsed what he would say when he was arrested. Why did he wait until his arrest? Child molesters are highly manipulative individuals. “Wait”, you might say, “He was not a molester”. We contend that he contributed time, and, most likely, money, to this illegal business. In effect, his financial support contributed to this heinous industry. By his actions, he was condoning and implicitly agreeing to the rape of toddlers – that’s right – toddlers!!!!
This man was a public relations expert who rubbed elbows with the rich and powerful. He must have thought out how he would tip the scales in his favor when arrested.
His porn acquisitions went on for 12 years! Such a habitual activity is not cured overnight. We are sure that there are Christians out there who probably claim that a miracle occurred. To that we say, “Can you prove it?” Is it worth the risk to our children? Don’t committed Christians also commit heinous acts?
Jaycee Duggard met the "converted" Phillip Garrido
Let’s take a look at another well-known case, which , at the time of our original post was currently ongoing. Most everyone has heard of the remarkable story of Jaycee Duggard who was abducted by Phillip Garrido when she was 11 years old. She was held in captivity for close to two decades during which time she was forcibly raped by this monster and bore two children.
Prior to Jaycee’s abduction, Garrido had been a convicted sex offender. He was sentenced in 1976 to 50 years in jail after kidnapping and raping a woman. However, 10 years into his sentence Garrido claimed to have “found God” and was released on parole. Four years later, he kidnapped Jaycee and her life became a horror movie. (In Touch magazine, September 14, 2009) Perhaps Garrido lost God when God became inconvenient.
Back to Chatham
We believe that “conversion” is sometimes used as an excuse and DO NOT believe that 9 months is sufficient time to make a judgment about this man’s sincerity.
Does conversion imply a fully changed life?
We do not wish to judge whether or not Chatham is a Christian. That's between him and God. In fact, let’s assume that he is. Why does a newly found faith (9 months) imply that he is not a danger to his community? There are countless examples of Christians who fall prey to sexual sins. Darrell Gilyard, a convicted rapist pastor who was vigorously promoted by Paige Patterson, lived a secret life of rape and is now in prison. Link
Addendum 7/6/12: Gilyard is out of jail and is now preaching. However, his church petitioned the court to allow children to come hear him preach. I kid you not! Thankfully, the secular court was smarter than his church members. Read about it at FBC Jax Watchdog Link
How many Christians who are alcoholics or drug addicts “fall off the wagon?” Since when does a “dedication to Christ” mean that someone won’t sin?
Does dedication to Christ “cure” sexual deviance?
Dr. Jon made an interesting point. If all it takes is dedication to Jesus to “cure” deviance, why not have the courts turn over all of the prisoners who are Christian converts to churches and save the government a whole lot of money by closing a bunch of jails? Even the pastor in this situation would admit that Christianity does not have a 100% cure rate in this area. Heck, they can’t even reduce the 50% divorce rate within the Southern Baptist faith!
Does belief in an expressed faith in Christ trump concern for the safety of children?
Chatham has spent 12 years viewing hard-core child pornography. Anyone who would view something so awful day in and day out for 12 years (sometimes for 14 hours a day!) has a darkness in his soul that is not easy to penetrate. In fact, there is a side bar article entitled “Internet Enables a Dark Crime” by Mandy Locke, here, that reviews a study done at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. That study found that roughly 85% of men imprisoned for receiving or distributing child pornography and did not have a known history of committing sexual abuse when arrested, actually had committed a hands on offense. Note: the figure is 85%!
Chatham himself stated: “Though he never had a desire to touch a child sexually, he worried that, over time, that inhibition would slip, too.” This man may be crying out for help. He claims he never had this desire, but his assertion is a bit suspect given the nature of his perversion. Although he passed a lie detector test, these tests can be inaccurate.
We are grateful that his wife never wanted children! Although she claims she didn’t know about this problem, there is sufficient reason to be circumspect about her assertion.
Churches appear to be naïve, or worse, lax, in providing for the safety of the children entrusted to their care. The blinders must come off! Many of these same churches claim that all men are depraved, but they don’t appear to practice safety measures that coincide with their theology.
According to the article, the pastor of Chatham's church took the stand on Chatham's behalf, along with a number of other supporters, to ask the magistrate for leniency prior to his sentencing. Chatham wanted three more months of freedom before going to prison. The pastor talked of Chatham’s dedication to Christ (9 months). His therapist claimed she didn’t “think” that Chatham would abuse any kids. (That's quite reassuring!) Chatham's attorney, Joe Cheshire, argued that Chatham did change his life and should be allowed to keep doing that! Incredibly, this same attorney defended a pedophile seminarian that had been at the same church. That pervert was given 13 years in jail! Never forget that a defense attorney must defend his client.
There was no way that Chatham should be allowed one more minute of freedom on the streets with children. There's no question that therapists have screwed up in “pervert” assessments as well demonstrated by the previously mentioned Garrido case. As for Cheshire’s statement that Chatham is doing a lot of good, why not let him do the good in jail where there will be a “captive” audience for Chatham’s message?
We implore all pastors not to be naïve when it comes to sexual offenders. They are manipulators who have a strong compulsion to get their “fix” of choice. Please, please report these abusers immediately, get them jailed, and then spend time rehabilitating them. For years, my pastor has hosted a man who was convicted for first-degree murder. That sort of quiet compassion, with a commitment that extends over years, is commendable and probably provides for insight into a man’s character far better than 9 months. Sincerity is better measured in years, especially for this sort of crime.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that it appears some pastors seem far more concerned about the abuser than those who have been abused. How many of the “supporters” of these criminals are as concerned about the victims? Do these supporters ever imagine how many children have been tortured for this man’s perversion? I have personally known church members who did not think that one rapist should go to jail because he could be helped by these “well meaning yet pathologically naïve” churchgoers.
Poor theology and dangerous psychology
Chatham’s wife was quoted as saying: “I see now that he’s sick. It’s like him having cancer. I couldn’t leave him in that state, and I can’t leave him like this.“ I am the mother of a child who suffered with a malignant brain tumor. I'll bet I speak for many others out there. I wish that simply turning off the computer could have cured my child’s tumor. Gee, flick a switch and the cancer goes away. No, ma’am, this is not like cancer. Yes it is a compulsion, but do not put it in the same category as cancer!
“She holds him tight and tells him that he is a good person, worthy of her love.” No, he is not a good person. He watched images night in and out, of toddlers, children and teens being tortured (yes, rape is a form of torture). This went on for 12 years!!!! He was not helpless. He admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong. He could have sought help but chose to wait until he was arrested.
The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, some sins have a greater effect on society than others. Children’s lives have been destroyed due to the activities of this man and others like him. Good is not a word that should be used in this situation. Do you think the raped children would call Chatham, “a good man?”
US Attorney Jay Exhume and Federal Magistrate David Daniel appear to understand sin better that the preacher. Attorney Exhume sad that all of the above testimony “wasn’t enough to make him different from the droves of men he sends to prison each year for defiling children by watching them be abused.” APPLAUSE!!!!!!!!!!!
These legal professionals seem to understand the effects and consequences of sexual sin that hurts children so much better than do many pastors and churches. They have seen it all, including false conversions, irreparably harmed children, and men who cannot overcome their sin.
So many pastors have underestimated the horrendous effects of sexual abuse in their churches. Incredibly, some pastors here in North Carolina DO NOT even think they are mandated reporters. Some even condemn sexually abused children for “not telling mommy and daddy.” Pastors, please take this problem seriously. It will not be solved by a couple of Bible studies and some nice speeches. Anyone who believes it can needs to get out of the counseling business or, better yet, spend some time with children who have been tortured and abused.
We are grateful that these lawmakers put this man in jail and got him off the street. Chatham's supporters can visit him in jail and watch his ministry develop. However, do not be deceived. He will need intensive counseling, and even then, may never have normal feelings. After all, Chatham has spent most of his life fueling his pornography habit since he was first exposed as a nine year old! He will need to be watched around children and computers for the rest of his life. One day, he will be set free when he meets his Savior. Until then, he is just another sinner that is capable of deeply harmful behavior.
End of post.
Let's take a look at the theology of repentance from the following pastors.
Steve Estes and the Elders excommunicated his former daughter in law, declared her a non-Christian and turned her over to Satan because she decided to divorce her husband, Brock. Brock was the son of Steve Estes. He allegedly pulled a gun on his wife, tried to choke her,and sexually assaulted her. He also engaged in observing pornography and was a heavy drinker. He claimed that Brock was:
the most repentant man he had seen in his 30 years of ministry.
Analysis: A man, with a violence problem with a long time addiction to alcohol and porn, may be sad he is caught but he is still a dangerous man. Even if he is the most repentant man on earth, he will need years of counseling and observation to be sure that he is no longer violent and abusing
child porn Update 4/19/2016 Correction: He was allegedly abusing adult pornography- not child pornography. We tried to correct this in the original post but this one slipped through. We apologize for our error.and alcohol. It would also be wise if this man is no long allowed near guns. Does anyone know if he has been reported to the prison authorities? (He is reportedly a prison guard.)
Steve Estes should not be teaching Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary if he believes that this is the way to apply church discipline. I have contacted the seminary to see if this treatment of domestic violence victims is part of the theology of Westminster Seminary. No response, yet, but I will keep trying. I am quite concerned about what they are teaching the seminary students.
Ramey demonstrated his ignorance of both repentance and conversion in these posts. Billy, a developmentally delayed young teen was horribly assaulted by an older teen in the church. Ramey wanted the event to be kept quiet, forbidding Shauna and Billy, from talking about it.
The "perpetrator" confessed his faith and even made a confession of faith in Christ as a result of the conviction he was under regarding what he had done.
…Finally, I think it is important for us to remember that the Bible that if we are aware that someone has committed a sin, we are to personally and privately confront that person for the purpose of leading them to repentance and restoring them to a right relationship with God and anyone else their sin has affected. (cf. Gal 6:1, Matt 18:12-16). The only time a person's sins should be made public is when they refuse to repent of it or are unwilling to be reconciled to others who have sinned against them (cf. Matt 18:17, 1 Tim 5:19-22). Unrepentant sin should never be swept under the rug but always confronted and exposed (cf 1 Cor 5:1-13). However, if sin is confessed and repented of then we are to cover it of love for Christ and our fellow sinner (cf. 1 Peter 1:8, James 5:19-20, Gen 9:20-23). God Himself said, "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who professes and forsakes them will find compassion" (Proverbs 28:13). We should deal with one another sins accordingly.
A violent sex offender is not *cured* overnight. Also, this horrible rape was not just a sin. It is a crime in the US and the molester pled guilty to the charges of felonious assault. Ramey and his Elders put the church at risk by making an assumption that expressed repentance leads to safe behavior. Such naivete does not belong in the church which should be the first to understand that humans are capable of great sin even after a profession of Christ.
3. Tullian Tchvidjian
According to the Christian Today
The year 2015 has been an extremely difficult one for Billy Graham's grandson Pastor Tullian Tchividjian. After he found out that his wife Kim cheated on him, he sought comfort in a friend, and he later engaged in an extramarital affair himself.
When church leaders of the high-profile Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in South Florida confronted him about it, Tchividjian admitted to the affair and he later resigned "due to ongoing marital issues." Tchividjian hoped that they would be able to "weather this heart wrenching storm," but unfortunately, his marriage was unable to hold out and he subsequently filed for a divorce.
A number of people believed that Tullian threw his ex-wife under the bus. It turned out that they were correct in their assessment.
In September 2015, Tullian got a new job.
Tullian Tchividjian is now the director of ministry development at Willow Creek Church in Central Florida.
"We're so delighted to welcome Tullian Tchividjian to the staff of Willow Creek Church," reads the church website. "
…The South Florida Presbytery deposed Tchividjian of his pastoral credentials in August, but remained firmly committed to helping the former pastor.
"Our goal in doing this is to both protect the integrity of the Church from which his credentials were given while, at the same time, wrapping Tullian in the grace offered by Jesus Christ to all those who confess sin, pursue repentance and desire restoration," reads the Presbytery statement, Charisma News previously reported.
Shortly after this, Tullian relaunched his Liberate ministry with a new board of directors.
Interestingly, a number of people, including TWW's good friend, Julie Anne Smith of Spiritual Sounding Board, thought that this return to ministry was too soon. However, the proponents of Tullian's new job claimed that he was repentant and was being restored. After all, grace applies, doesn't it, especially for celebrity pastors…. Once again, the critics, including Julie Anne Smith would prove to be right.
According to Christianity Today:
This weekend, Tullian Tchividjian’s past two churches confirmed rumors that the Florida pastor had another affair prior to the one that prompted his resignation last summer.
But the pastor who gave Billy Graham’s grandson a second chance says he doesn’t regret it.
Last Wednesday, CT reported how Tchividjian was fired following fresh “disclosures.”
“Repentance is progressive and often painful,” both Willow Creek Presbyterian Church and Tchividjian separately told CT. “It involves disclosing and dealing with the darkest places of our hearts and lives.”
“I remain committed to that painful and progressive process,” Tchividjian told CT.
On Monday afternoon, he publicly apologized for the pain he has caused his family.
His Liberate ministry has been shut down and the board dissolved. The saddest news of this whole mess is that apparently some of the leaders at Coral Ridge knew of this first affair and told Tullian not to tell his wife. They call this leadership?
So, think about this. Tullian confessed to one sin, kind of blamed it on his wife and resigned his pastorate. All of the leaders involved in this debacle were quick and willing to believe Tullian's first account because being forgiving and trusting is what good Christians do, right?
An understanding of the Gospel should mean that all three of these men and those who follow them should understand that even the beloved pastor can be involved in unrepentant sin. They can cheat, lie, assault, steal, gossip, and abuse along with everyone else. Keep this in mind. Your pastor is a sinner and never forget it.
Janet Mefferd and an Anatomy of an Evangelical Scandal.
Janet nailed the problem with scandals in the Christian church.
In recent years, evangelicalism has experienced what appears to be a dramatic uptick in the number of (what should be) ministry-ending scandals among famous Christian pastors, leaders and celebrities of different sorts. After a while, one can grow incredibly weary of working up fresh outrage over each new fall – not only because the falls seem to be occurring more frequently, but also because the church at large seems to go through a remarkably similar and depressing chain of events each time a scandal hits.
So with that in mind, I decided it might be instructive to compile the common chain of events you can expect to occur – give or take a detail — when the next Big Christian Name scandal breaks. Please note this list is written with no one person or scandal in mind. It is just meant to be a general composite of and commentary on what I’ve observed over many years of watching these kinds of scandals unfold. As we embrace true repentance and grace, may we also make sure we never minimize serious sin among our Christian leaders and heroes. If we do, we only exacerbate the problem – and minimize or even discount the Word of God. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)
With that in mind … the anatomy:
1. Big Christian Name commits adultery/spiritually abuses people/secretly goes on Ashley Madison/embezzles/secretly buys his way onto the New York Times bestseller list/solicits prostitutes/commits sexual abuse/ plagiarizes/covers up sexual abuse, et al.
2. Big Christian Name, when finally outed for big-time, ministry-ending sinful conduct, offers public statement, apologizing, quoting Scripture and asking for prayer.
3. Big Christian Name steps down (or “away”) from ministry and goes silent, either for a year or roughly an hour.
4. Big Christian Name’s Rabid Fans engage in social-media “grace and forgiveness” Fest to Big Christian Name, lauding the Name’s “inspiring humility and repentance.”
5. Big Christian Name’s Rabid Fans simultaneously engage in social-media “you’re a graceless Pharisee” Fest to outers and/or critics of Big Christian Name’s sins, denouncing their “graceless judgment and first-stone-throwing.”
6. Big-Name Christian Counselor and/or Rehab Specialist and/or Famous Pastor parachutes in to “advise and do spiritual triage.”
7. Big Christian Name receives phone call from Big Christian Publisher, pitching idea for heartfelt Big Book Deal memoir on “What I Learned about God’s Grace and Forgiveness from my Big Sins.”
8. Alternate ending: Big Christian Name adamantly digs in, refuses to apologize and therefore “let Satan bring down this important ministry,” but continues to be outed for his Big Sins. Eventually is forced into issuing public statement, apologizing, quoting Scripture and asking for prayer.
9. (See 4, 5, 6 and 7.)
10. Big Christian Name’s Big Friends ignore scandal, ensuring all posts and tweets during the height of the bad publicity stick to either religious liberty or abortion.
11. After about a month, Big Christian Name’s Big Friends stick toe in water and write oblique articles, quoting Bible verses and Famous Theologians of the Past, talking about the need for immediate “grace and restoration” for Big Sinners who shall remain Nameless (at least in their articles).
12. Alert critics note what Big Christian Name’s Big Friends are doing and call them out on it.
13. Big Christian Name’s Big Friends engage in limited social-media campaign against critics, with the rallying cry: “It is neither biblically wise nor biblically necessary to comment on every scandal out there!”
14. Big Christian Name’s Big Friends and Rabid Fans, having had it with critics, offer unified social-media analysis: “At root, we’re ALL doing exactly what the Big Christian Name did (or is doing). And if we’re not doing it now, we’ve ALL thought about doing it. (Throw in extraneous Matthew 5:28 citation here.) And if you don’t admit you’ve THOUGHT about doing exactly what the Big Christian Name did, then you’re a LIAR, and you hate GRACE, and you’re a PHARISEE.”
15. Exhausted and exasperated critics object to red-herring, unbiblical and illogical analysis of scandal, plead for biblical view of repentance and call for a renewed fidelity to the Bible on ministry qualifications for “blamelessness” and “a good reputation with outsiders,” per I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
16. Big Friends/Rabid Fans begin new round of “Pharisee” catcalls.
17. Ever so softly and gently, Big Christian Name puts out a well-timed, heartfelt tweet.
18. Big Friends and Rabid Fans sob, offer new round of thanks to God.
19. Big-Name Christian Counselor and/or Rehab Specialist and/or Famous Pastor declare Big Christian Name “fit for ministry,” “healed of his addictions” and/or “justified in his divorce.”
20. Big Christian Name excitedly sets up his own, new 501(c)3 ministry and/or announces his new job within ministry.
21. Big Christian Name makes triumphant return with talk-show appearance/Big Book Deal announcement/Big Friend-endorsed conference and/or church appearance.
22. Big Friends/Rabid Fans yell, “Grace triumphs again!”
23. Critics throw up hands, plead for Christ’s immediate return.
24. Big Christian Name wins again.