Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis

As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them.- Robin Williams link

Perry Noble
Overwhelmed

I have long wanted to write about alcoholism and substance abuse. The recent firing of Perry Noble gives me the perfect opportunity to do so. Perry Noble has spent years in the limelight, apparently attempting to build the largest church in the United States. The public has been told to look at his church, read his books, listen to his sermons, etc. Now, we are told to look away.

Christianity does not work this way.  We are to be a light on a hill which means we openly let people know that we are sinners, albeit forgiven. We don't get to hide our sins, especially when we want to be in the public eye and claim we are Christians.

What is alcoholism

The following helpful description is from Medical News.

An alcoholic is a man or a woman who suffers from alcoholism – they have a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all rules of common sense.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous UK, who say they have no unique definition for alcoholism, it may be described as a physical compulsion, together with a mental obsession. Apart from having an enormous craving for alcohol, an alcoholic often yields to that craving at the worst possible times. The alcoholic knows neither when nor how to stop drinking.

How do you know if someone is an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser?

Some signs and symptoms of alcoholism, as well as alcohol abuse, include:

  • Drinking alone.
  • Drinking in secret.
  • Not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed.
  • Blacking out – not being able to remember chunks of time.
  • Having rituals and being irritated/annoyed when these rituals are disturbed or commented on. This could be drinks before/during/after meals, or after work. 
  • Dropping hobbies and activities the person used to enjoy; losing interest in them. 
  • Feeling an urge to drink. 
  • Feeling irritable when drinking times approach. This feeling is more intense if the alcohol is not available, or there appears to be a chance it may not be available. 
  • Having stashes of alcohol in unlikely places. 
  • Gulping drinks down in order to get drunk and then feel good. 
  • Having relationship problems (triggered by drinking). 
  • Having problems with the law (caused by drinking). 
  • Having work problems (caused by drinking, or drinking as root cause). 
  • Having money problems (caused by drinking). 
  • Requiring a larger quantity of alcohol to feel its effect.
  • Nausea, sweating, or even shaking when not drinking.

A person who abuses alcohol may have many of these signs and symptoms – but they do not have the withdrawal symptoms like an alcoholic does, nor the same degree of compulsion to drink. 

The problems linked to alcohol dependence are extensive, and affect the person physically, psychologically and socially. Drinking becomes a compulsion for a person with a drink problem – it takes precedence over all other activities. It can remain undetected for several years. 

Alcoholism and my family:

Our family was touched by alcoholism on many fronts.

1. My grandfather: 

My mother's father was an alcoholic until he became sober for the last few years of his life. He was drunk as my mother and siblings were growing up. He never beat them. However, he would be angry when he returned home drunk and would throw chairs and dishes around the house. My mother and her siblings would squeeze into a tiny closet for hours. My mom said it was suffocating.

Long term effects on the family:

My mother is prone to panic attacks when she is in small spaces and large crowds, even now at the age of 87. 

My uncle, who fought in WW2, became an alcoholic. He eventually drove away his wife and 4 kids. He died of pneumonia, alone and drunk, at the age of 40. Two of his own children are alcoholics.

2. My husband's dad

Bill's dad, who had a PhD and received the Purple Heart during WW2 (He lost an eye on Normandy) was a long-term alcoholic. He began to drink so much that he eventually lost his job as a dean. He was emotionally abusive when drunk and occasionally physically abusive. He had several stays in alcohol rehab and attended AA off and on. He was sober for periods of time but usually relapsed. He died at 80 of cancer.

Long term effects on the family.

My husband and his brother had a strained relationship with their dad, preferring not to spend time with him. 

3. My father, my brother and me: exposure to intervention in alcohol and substance abuse recovery.

My father's best friend opened up the first private hospital for the treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse in the surrounding area. My father, a family doctor, received further training in substance abuse and headed up the medical staff which concentrated on medically safe detoxification. The trained counseling staff dealt with the rehabilitation aspect following the detox period. I spent some time working at the hospital as an aide and was allowed to sit in on conferences, etc.  This hospital held contracts to treat folks from police departments, one of the local dioceses, many large companies, etc.

My brother is an internist and is a subspecialist in substance abuse. He regularly cares for patients admitted to substance abuse centers.

My father taught my brother and me about these issues, taking us to medical conferences and having us read books like *The Big Book* (actual title is Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.) I grew up learning that alcoholism is a disease that, with proper treatment, along with the will of the alcoholic, can be overcome. However, it is a powerful addiction and the recidivism rate is not insignificant as seen in my own father-in-law.

Longstanding problems with Perry Noble

Now that I know Perry Noble has a serious drinking problem, I have wondered if some of the problems we have documented in the past were related to alcohol abuse, etc.

1. The worst case of church abuse that I have ever heard about was at NewSpring Church.

If you have never read Holy Rage at the Spring on the Pajama Pages by Dr. James Duncan, you cannot begin to understand how outrageous the leadership acted. To this day, I cannot look at Perry Noble's face and not feel sick to my stomach. How could anyone attending the church read this and not realize that something was very wrong at NewSpring? 

Here is a synopsis by Tom Rich.

"One interesting twist in this story that I'll leave you with, and that you'll see: the anonymity in this case was NOT the blogger, but a man on the church's side, an employee of the church, who went after the blogger anonymously to teach him a lesson to try to get him fired by sending a phony resignation letter to his employer, to paint the blogger as pervert, a homosexual, his kid as a cross dresser, and to make him fear for his family's life by actual threats against him…all in the name of God to punish the blogger for the audacity in criticizing a mega church pastor."

2. This is a thoughtful presentation of Scripture?

3. The infamous jackass statement.

The controversial comments were made at a 2009 conference called Unleash, an annual leadership event conducted by Noble's church, NewSpring.

During his session, Noble told pastors that "the person that always screams I want to go deeper" is "the jackass in the church."

"I tell people, you're only as deep as the last person you served," the megachurch pastor stated then. "Deep? Most Christians, John Maxwell said it, are educated way beyond their level of obedience anyway.

4.  Perry Noble's NewSpring Church Promises to Refund Tithe If You Don't Get Blessing in 90 Days

Do the pastors and church leaders at NewSpring actually believe this is Scriptural teaching of the tithe as presented in the New Testament?

5. The Ten Commandments debacle

This one even hit the secular news media.

"Instead of Ten Commandments that you have to keep if you're going to be a follower of Jesus, they're actually 10 promises that you can receive when you say yes to Jesus," Noble said.

He then proceeded to rephrase each of the commandments as a promise. The first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me," became, "You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore."

6. You suck as a human being if you don't like the music.

I learned of Perry Noble from Tom Rich of FBC Jax Watchdog. Here is a link to an illuminating post on Noble titled Perry Noble to NewSpring Members Who Don't Like the Music: "You Officially Suck as a Human Being." 

7. The bizarre Perry Noble tweetathon

By the time this incident happened, the church leaders should have realized they had entered Crazyville. In NewSpring megachurch pastor Perry Noble taunts his twitter followers over South Carolina football, a smart observer compiled a record of Noble's strange behavior on Twitter. If you go to the link, you can marvel along with everyone else who observed this in real time.

It quickly devolves into a Proverbs-verse-citing dick-swinging contest with planks and specks being invoked and Perry calling people idiots, then ends with him saying how great church will be the next day.

Problems apparent in the Perry Noble statement to NewSpring.

As you can see from the list above, the loss of a job due to one's drinking behavior usually points to alcoholism. Add family problems and one can be sure that the alcohol problem is serious.

It seems apparent to me that Perry Noble is not yet dealing with his problem in a forthright matter. I bet some of you find this surprising since he supposedly confessed, repented and said he was getting help. I think Perry is selling us a bill of goods, and I will attempt to show you why.

Here is a link to Perry Noble's statement.

Here is a link to the statement by the leaders of NewSpring

1. Noble places the blame for his drinking on stress.

One of the first steps in dealing with alcoholism is to admit one is an alcoholic and not to place the blame on any outside situation. There are many people in the world who live a stressful life. Look at Dr Ben Carson's life as a pediatric neurosurgeon, performing novel brain surgeries. Look at police, soldiers, and families with disabled children. Shouldn't they all be alcohol abusers? Are all pastors of growing megchurches alcohol abusers?

Perry Noble did not choose to be an alcoholic, but he will be an alcoholic until the day he dies. Whether or not he continues to abuse alcohol is up to him. There is help out there if he wants to get it.

However, in my obsession to do everything possible to reach 100,000 and beyond – it has come at a personal cost in my own life and created a strain on my marriage. 

2. Noble claims that he warned his church that he was an imperfect person so they shouldn't be surprised.

Once again, I have no issue at all with us admitting we are sinners. But this statement seems to say: "Well, I told you I was problem, so you better understand."

I have joked that you should not attend NewSpring if you are already perfect because I will mess you up!  

3. Alcoholics who are caught tend to lie, and outsiders cannot be sure of the truth of Perry Noble's statement.

I remember learning how to do an intake on a newly arrived alcoholic. The counselors told us that alcoholics lie and try to downplay the extent of their problem. This propensity to lie can be a serious problem in determining the correct amount of medication to give someone in order to help them detox. In other words, somebody who drinks a case of beer each night (yes, they do) may need different medications than someone who is drinking a fifth of whiskey each night.

So, I would ask them what their beverage of choice is. Let's say it was beer. If I asked him how much he drank, he would be prone to downplay the amount and might say, "Only a half a case a night." Instead, I would say something along the lines of "You look like you could put away a case and a half each night." The patient would say "Of course I don't! I only drink a case each night."

My guess is that Noble may have had problems with social drinking long before his abuse began to be apparent. In other words, i do not believe he is trustworthy.

I  never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol. This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others. I have no excuse – this was wrong, sinful and I am truly sorry. 

4. Noble states there was no domestic abuse. He is wrong.

I am going to discuss the follow quote several times. In this instance let's focus on the abuse issue. Alcoholism affects the entire family. When someone is drinking themselves silly. they are abusing their family, even if they do not punch them in the face. My mother's experience at the beginning of this post shows how one man's drinking still affects her 80 years later! Yes, my grandfather abused my mother, even though he did not punch her.

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period 

5. Noble attempts to minimize his drinking by saying that he didn't do other things.

I remember rip roaring alcoholics claiming that they were good guys because they didn't hit someone, kept food on the table, and didn't commit some sort of crime. These types of statements are classic minimization. Noble does the same. Also see how Noble ends the sentence. It is almost like he is saying "C'mon guys. It isn't much of anything."

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period 

6. Noble attempts to deflect us from him by bringing his wife into his problem.

Did any of you think it was odd of him to discuss whether or not Lucretia, his wife and main victim, had an affair? I wonder if he often blames Lucretia when they are at home and he is drunk. A psychologist will have a field day with this. Noble should NEVER, and I mean NEVER have brought his wife into his screw-up.

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period 

7. Noble does not mention his need for alcohol rehabilitation.

Is this another minimization of his alcohol problem? Note that he sees a psychiatrist and seeks *spiritual guidance* from some Christians. It seems to me he is saying that he has problems just like the rest of us. If he is an alcohol abuser, he needs specific counselors who deal with alcoholism and alcoholic abuse. However, those types of counselors will not coddle him. They will make him face his issue and from what I can read in this statement, he is still not there.

 I plan to immediately seek the spiritual guidance of some amazing men and women of God in my life – and am currently under the treatment of an excellent psychiatrist who is helping me take major steps forward. 

Problems with the statement from NewSpring church.

1. Longstanding problems with Noble that seemed to be overlooked by the pastors and elders.

In the aftermath of Matt Chandler's apology in the Karen Hinkley situation at The Village Church, I discovered something that has continued to bother me. Not one pastor or elder at The Village Church ever spoke up to prevent the situation from happening in the first place. Where were the leaders in that church? I have concluded that they sat by, allowing Chandler and his associates to do a number on Karen. I am still shocked that not ONE pastor or elder spoke up!

Am I impressed that the NewSpring leaders intervened at this time? Not really. It appears that they were about to be faced with a pastor who might be falling down drunk in the pulpit. That forced their hand. Where were these guys when Dr James Duncan was being abused? It seems to me that they only acted when things would have become blatantly apparent.

2. Matthew 18?  Not really.

Here is what they said.

Perry’s posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern. Due to this, the Executive Pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18. 

Here are the relevant verses from Matthew 18.

15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

The leaders appear to be concealing some sins behaviors so as not to embarrass Perry. Would they have done so if it had been some lowly church member?

I believe it would be in the best interest for Noble's recovery to tell the whole sordid story to the congregation since it appears that Noble is downplaying the situation.

3. Stupid euphemisms instead of straight talk.

What in the world is meant by Noble's posture towards his marriage which was of "continual concern?" What we think they meant was "Perry was screwing up his marriage and there were really bad problems." 

Perry’s posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern. Due to this, the Executive Pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18. 

4. Move along now, nothing more to talk about.

I think it would be most helpful to Perry and his family if the leaders told him to get his sorry self into rehab. Then it would help him if his congregation and the rest of his public fans knew about it and could encourage him to do so.

It might also help his wife to know that many people understand the hell that she has gone through being married to a drunk. The leaders should have told Perry to delete the reference to Lucretia not having *sexually sinned* (what craziness is this?) and stick to his own problems.

Though we know you may want more details to satisfy your curiosity, to do so would not be helpful to Perry or his family as they take their next steps 

Finally, everyone seems to be stressing to pray for Perry. What about those who were victimized by his behavior? Please pray for his wife and daughter. They have been the ones most deeply wounded by Perry. Noble is wrong. If he is a drunk, then his wife and daughter were abused, and I hope that everyone at NewSpring as well as those who buy his books and go to his conferences realize the devastation he left in his wake. Oh yeah, and pray that he gets real. I don't think he is there yet.

Comments

Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis — 520 Comments

  1. This is an extremely well-written article on how alcohol and other substances or as is said what is your “drug of choice”. One of the major areas that people who struggle with substance abuse can struggle with is denial / deflection or hiding. The minimizing and the lying to others and one’s self. I have another angle I would like to bring up it is the outpouring of help these folks receive, the prayer, the grace etc. Mr. Noble lived like with both eyes closed shut from what I could see, his deflection after the incidents concerning one of his critics Dr. James Duncan, I am sad to say it is not the worst case I have seen, not at all but that is another post.

    I spent ten years as a volunteer, spending about 1k hours a year or more working for this ministry, that ended with a message left on my phone saying dont come back. That is one experience among many where this body of faith, this family gutted my soul. Now I did the heathen thing and reconciled with these and others after decades because that is what Jesus said to do and because it helped me and others to do so. Christ was right about a root of bitterness and forgiveness and one’s immortal soul.

    As for substance abuse, one must be careful, as I have stated here before I deal with chronic pain and alcohol can be a pervasive yet very destructive way to self-medicate. Other pain relievers can also lead to dependence and very serious health issues. Please consult a trusted medical professional with chronic pain / medical issues. I have a confession, though I sort of had in my heart of hearts an “I don’t you so” attitude concerning Mr. Noble and even Mr. Driscol and that was wrong. I find no joy in their “falling” or losing their dream, having lost a few dreams I can say I would not wish that on anyone. But it just boggles the mind that they have such support and a regular congregant, a sheep under their care would not get the same or a fellow traveler for that matter.

    I do hope Mr. Noble gets help I really do, but I hope for his family even more and I also have to say I suspected this issue a bit but I really thought he was going to “confess” something else too. But that is also another response.

  2. Thank you so much for your transparent presentation, Dee, about alcoholism and substance abuse, including in both sides of your family.

    *Alcoholism in my Family

    My maternal grandfather, a highly educated man was mean as a snake and also a secret drinker. My grandmother, also university educated and a dean at a respected college, couldn’t get out of her marriage to this bad, violent man because of the times. As a young woman, I was visiting my grandmother, hadn’t realized that my grandfather had been drinking, and he demanded that I “confess” to spilling salt on the stove top. I said that I would be happy to clean it up. He was enraged that I hadn’t “confessed” to spilling salt that my legally blind grandmother had spilt while making soup. Before I knew it he took out a large cast iron fry pan and was hitting be over the head. He could have killed me.

    My mother’s first husband was an alcoholic. My 1/2 brother from that marriage is also an alcoholic. My mother was raised protecting and defending the alcoholics, minimizing what they did, lying for them. She also didn’t fulfill her potential because she was beaten down by alcoholics.

    *Alcoholism Not Properly Treated at my Former Church And Treated With *Bible Verses*

    At my ex-NeoCalvinist church the pastors/elders believed that the Bible is sufficient counsel for all things. This is Nouthetic Counseling, that Jay Adams nonsense and books, also taught by John MacArthur (head of my ex-pastor’s seminary, The Master’s Seminary).
    The pastors use Bible verses to treat at out of control older woman at church, instead of getting her professional help for her real problem: alcoholism. They harmed her, her adult children (she was a widow), and church members. Church members were made by the pastors/elders to go to her to “apologize” for problems that she had caused. Truly, codependency. The pastors/elders spent months drawing pictures on the black board of things like gossip, incompetently missing the point.

    My ex-pastors/elders repeatedly crossed the line into the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine, a crime in my state (CA) which can be prosecuted as a felony or as a misdemeanor.

    *Perry Noble

    I figured out months ago from his Tweets and other goings on that he was a nutcase and would implode at some point.

    And I’m not surprised.

    Mark Driscoll made a swan dive at Mars Hill (which didn’t surprise me), C.J. Mahaney (a substance abuser as well who went the religious route with Sovereign Grace Ministries), and there are probably others as well. I really wonder when and what we’ll hear about John Piper, who also doesn’t seem “all there”.

  3. Playing devil’s (ughhh) advocate – is it possible that Noble was attempting to defend his wife from any rumor mill from the fan base? “Oh no, looks like Dear Leader is having problems. Must be the missus….”

  4. srs wrote:

    Playing devil’s (ughhh) advocate – is it possible that Noble was attempting to defend his wife from any rumor mill from the fan base? “Oh no, looks like Dear Leader is having problems. Must be the missus….”

    The responsible way for Perry Noble to have done that was:

    a. Assumed full responsibility for his addiction,
    b. Said what a lovely wife and daughter he had, and
    c. That he was seeking professional treatment.

    There are enough professionals in this field that they could have helped come up with a tactful presentation and not this terrible message.

  5. 7. The bizarre Perry Noble tweetathon

    In the words of afternoon drive time radio:
    “AL. CO. HOL.”

  6. “Perry Noble has spent years in the limelight, apparently attempting to build the largest church in the United States. The public has been told to look at his church, read his books, listen to his sermons, etc. Now, we are told to look away.”

    Perfectly put. A post on Voices/Pravda pretty much gave that advice and then proceeded to warn against alcohol.

    Not one of the commenters seemed to have ever heard what Noble put James Duncan’s family through. Or perhaps they did and it is their normal or they just decided not to believe it. I am with you on that one. It makes me sick to even see a picture of Noble. It was juvenile and evil.

  7. I was surprised when Noble said that he was under a psychiatrist’s care for his alcoholism. I had heard that an intense hospital de-tox program was usually the FIRST step towards recovery. Noble failed to mention hospital care. Counseling and psychiatric care would follow up after medical treatment but not substitute for it.

  8. Good call on pointing out the Matthew 18 reference. It irritates me to no end that Matthew 18 is continually hauled out for dealing with hierarchical relationships, it is a lousy application of Jesus words and besides it just doesn’t work when going to the Boss. That established, authoritarians love to invoke Matthew 18 for their self protection. They and their enforcers have found it a great tool to keep discerning individuals divided and silenced.

    Please note that when it comes to the ruling elite they change the rules for the end game, instead of “telling it to the church” all “the church” will hear is “unfortunate choices” were made etc. They will likely claim concern for Noble, and it will be likely true to some extent, but they will also be protecting the cash cow so it can be neatly cleaned up, groomed, and put back in service at a later date.

    If these guys are going to improperly invoke Matthew 18, they should at least be consistent, but they can’t even do that.

  9. I may be completely out of line with this comment but I’m not sure I have much sympathy for Noble or his church. If ever there was a church leader whose persona screamed “THUG” Noble has been it. In fact self respecting thugs might be offended by the comparison.
    I do sympathise with his child/children and for the children who have grown up in this travesty of a church.

  10. Ron Oommen wrote:

    I may be completely out of line with this comment …

    There was a long “line” of over 30,000 people who every week affirmed Noble’s way of doing church was the right way, I’m not one of them, so Ron Oommen and I have that in common.

  11. Bill M wrote:

    Good call on pointing out the Matthew 18 reference. It irritates me to no end that Matthew 18 is continually hauled out for dealing with hierarchical relationships, it is a lousy application of Jesus words and besides it just doesn’t work when going to the Boss. That established, authoritarians love to invoke Matthew 18 for their self protection. They and their enforcers have found it a great tool to keep discerning individuals divided and

    Bingo! It is impossible to practice in a caste system. And ironically, Matthew 18 takes place outside the church with the church as that last resort. It is not applicable to all the situations they claim it must be applied. You are right, it actually works to protect. If they really wanted to apply it to his situation it is Taken to the whole church. Not a handful of elders.

  12. Deebs, with this and the Mary Kassian articles, I have to say your investigative skills are great! As for Noble, I wonder if something happened and the church fired him as a way to minimize the damage of whatever might come out. I would think that a normal minister in a normal church would be put on a leave of absence and told to go to rehab, but not fired, at least not initially.

    I read the church’s statement about supporting and praying for Noble and his family, and maybe I’ve become too cynical, but I read it as “we’re putting as much distance between you and us as we can.”

  13. I grew up with an alcoholic father and it is hell on a family even without physical abuse. We were continually. Verbally and emotionally abused. He was able to keep up aappearances outside the home and at work and was a respected member of the community. My mother was advised by other Christians to submit and he’d change. Total BS and she finally left him a few years after we kids were out of the house. After she left he went through rehab a few times in an effort to get her back.and died a few years later. Neither I nor my siblings miss him. Mr Perry needs to stay out of the pulpit and receive proper medical treatment. The absence of alcohol will not solve the problem. Many alcoholics turn into dry drunks with the drunken behavior exhibited while stone cold sober.

  14. @ dee:
    Dee, your candor and research are highly enlightening. We have had church leaders of some prominence in our area who were secret alcoholics. Supposedly even their wives were unaware, if that is even possible. (Denial?) That being said, your post is the first of its kind I’ve seen; another 1st for TWW. Much appreciation and admiration.

  15. I don’t believe alcoholism is a disease. It is a bad choice that becomes a bad habit. It has medical aspects, e.g., delirium tremens. Perhaps this is beside the point of this post.

  16. I just read Dr. Duncan’s story, and my stomach is roiling. How utterly frightening and disturbing! And though the investigation found one person guilty, clearly there were more on staff involved.

  17. Dee, you can only think in the divine world that we fail to understand or the dots don’t connect that the experiences you have had in your life, (and that of Deb) have all led to these moments you can be transparent and be a light into the world. This is well presented and you deserve a “Pulitzer” for the excellent reports and how it impacts lives. Whereas there have been some past postings I would not be 100% in agreement, I do find your passion and desire to post truth serves people in all walks of life. Again…thank you for taking the enormous time to write (Deb+).

  18. Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?” When my ex-husband and I were going through marriage counseling, he was diagnosed as a “dry alcoholic” which (as was explained to me) means he has the same temperament and tendencies as an alcoholic while possibly only consuming a drink or two now and then. In other words, he doesn’t have to drink on a regular basis so the addiction mostly goes unnoticed.

    I’ve not done any research on that diagnosis since that time many years ago, but I know I light-bulb went off in my head when I originally heard it as I recognized that I had all the earmarks of an alcoholic’s wife.

    I’m off on a number of errands, but be interested in knowing if anyone had heard of such a thing.

  19. I am wondering how many ‘submissive’ wives have grown up in families witnessing their own mothers be ‘enablers’ of alcoholics who abused them?

    These mothers would have tried to cope with a situation that was toxic and would have done it in a way that conveyed what appeared to be ‘coping skills’ to watching children. So a daughter, seeing her mother trying to survive, learns to also try to live with what injures her own dignity as a person, by coping and enabling an abusive ‘authoritative’ husband.

    Children always see more and take more in than we know, and they are very much affected by what they are exposed to.

  20. I’ve been a long time lurker on this site and I first want to say that I really appreciate all of the perspectives and experiences shared here. Reading about Perry Noble’s fall brought back a flood emotions from the last four years of my life. Everything that happened with Perry, happened at our church on a smaller scale. It was hell, to say the least.

    Concerning the elders who didn’t speak up, I may be able to provide some insight to this. I don’t know how Perry’s church is set up, but at our church, the bylaws were changed very quietly (which I’m still a little baffled as to how this happened), and our lead pastor was able to effectively create a system that had no accountability. Elders (called overseers) were appointed by the lead pastor and were the only ones who had the power to fire him. The overseers were nice men, but there were so naive. Alcoholics have a way of isolating people from each other so that they can never share their parts of the story and put two and two together.

    Finally, after we had so many staff and active members leave our church, the overseers began asking questions. The mid to lower level staff trusted the overseers and the senior leadership, so they assumed that problems were being discussed.

    When people’s roles are not clearly defined and teams and boards aren’t clearly told what their role is, they always assume it’s someone else’s responsibility to address problems. At the time, my husband was lower level and we’d only been there for a few months, so we assumed someone else higher up was addressing the problems that were becoming clearer and clearer to us.

    When the cr#p (ed.) finally hit the fan and we found out our pastor was an alcoholic and the right thing was finally done and he was removed, that’s when all hell broke loose. There were people in the church who hated us, because we were kicking a man when he was down. No one in our congregation knew how awful and nightmarish it was to work on staff with him . No one in our congregation knew about the expenses he had racked up on his company credit card for booze. No one in our congregation knew his insane salary. They just knew we had removed him, they loved to listen to him speak, and we were the easiest people to blame.

    If I were a betting person, I bet working with Perry was hell. I bet he was an angry man who was fabulous at acting authentic while in reality holding people at arm’s length. I bet well meaning people tried to confront him and I bet he twisted their words and made them feel like idiots for even questioning him. After all, who are you to confront Perry, you’re a sinner yourself! When you have a dynamic speaker like Perry coupled with a church government system that systematically separates the decision makers from the pulse of the mid to lower level staff and the key volunteers and members, coupled with an environment that naturally attracts people with little to no theological discernment, it is always a recipe for disaster. It’s the perfect environment for a high-functioning alcoholic, because they can very easily control people’s perception of them.

    The tip off for me that Perry may have alcohol issues was his interaction with American Airlines on Twitter. Our ex-lead pastor would do things like this, too. He was super active on social media (another way to control perception) but once and awhile, late at night, you’d see these super vile tweets about sports that were just spewing with anger. They’d be deleted pretty quickly, and I don’t know if anyone ever confronted him, but trust me when I say, if he can talk like that on Twitter, just imagine what it was like in his house or with the board that tried to confront him.

    Pray for the mid to lower level staff at that church. They are the forgotten ones. Everyone will pray for Perry and “Newspring” as a whole. The church will pay for Perry to get the help he needs. But it’s that mid to lower level staff that will have to wake up today and go try to pick up the pieces of Perry’s destruction. I guarantee they’re ill-equipped for a nightmare like this. They will lose friends. They will know more pieces of the puzzle than they’re allowed to say. And many of them, like we were, are not making salaries that will allow them to get the counseling that they will desperately need. They will be silenced and unable to talk about their feelings of betrayal and confusion. They have been groomed not to ask questions, but do their job, because the senior leadership will take care of it. It took us two years after our mess at our church to get counseling. We should have gotten it earlier, but no one offered to help us financially and we couldn’t afford it with children to feed. So we trudged on and stayed in our church because God had called us there while everyone else had the luxury of leaving. We have learned much, but my heart breaks for these families, because I know what’s coming, and it will chew them up and spit them out.

    The biggest surprise the lower level staff will find is that the senior leadership and overseers have no idea what they’re doing. They’re polished, sure, but they are ill-equipped to handle a scandal like this. The biggest lesson I learned is that wisdom and skill really have nothing to do with pay grade. If you were dumb enough to set up a system that allows for behavior like this to go unchecked for so long, you’re sure as hell not smart enough to know how to pastor a church out of this mess.

    People speak of giving Perry grace, but no one will give these faceless, nameless lower-level church staffers grace. No one gave us grace. We sat on thousands of dollars expenses that the church owed us so the church could give our pastor the “grace” of a severance package. No one gave us trauma counseling, but our pastor had the grace of having that paid for. We were eventually vindicated, as people finally realized how deceptive he truly was (alcoholics have the tendency to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, and it eventually catches up with you), but by that point, we had lost our friends, were left to dig our church out of the most unbelievable financial mess, and we were so exhausted (spiritually, financially, and emotionally).

    No one is kicking Perry while he is down by removing him from a place of leadership; they are doing their best to protect that congregation from what I imagine was an incredibly toxic environment. I think a lot of these churches hate this because it flies in the face of “life-change” and the “come as you are because it’s okay that you’re messed up”. The megachurch model places such a high emphasis on life change to the point that it becomes an idol and when people begin slipping into destructive habits, they don’t want to admit that their life change maybe isn’t all that cut and dry. I think people with destructive tendencies love the “it’s okay to be messed up; we’re all messed up” mantra because it justifies their dangerous behaviors. They can be idolized because “look at how amazing a speaker they are” but they can continue with their destructive tendencies, because it’s okay to be messed up; God loves us as we are. It’s screwed up thinking, I know, but I promise you, in environments like Newspring, that’s how a lot of people think. I know that’s how it was in my church.

  21. Growing up old school SBC and the affiliation with the Noble church with the SBC….and had the evils of drink beat into our heads as kids in the 60s and 70s, I am just shocked at the change in the SBC view on drink…….and a drunk as a pastor? Unheard of in my time, ( I sure there were, but we did not know. they got fired for other ” sins”) but I wonder how much this problem of alcoholism is in the SBC pastoral community today?

  22. @ Christiane:
    Yup, that’d what I mentioned. But medical sequelae do not make alcoholism an illness. But I think you are disagreeing, not just linking to a website.

  23. There’s a lot I can say about this OP (about Noble specifically, and alcoholism runs in one side of my family), but I have to go out jogging shortly before the temperature here gets up to a billion degrees making in impossible – and it starts getting hot here very early.

    For now, Regarding:

    “7. The bizarre Perry Noble tweetathon”

    You can add this other weird Twitter melt down:

    Perry Noble Apologizes for ‘Un-Christlike’ Twitter Rant on American Airlines
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/perry-noble-apologizes-un-christlike-twitter-rant-american-airlines-158742/

    And Re:
    “6. Noble attempts to deflect us from him by bringing his wife into his problem.”

    That reminds me of Tullian Tchividjian, who initially said that his affair was in response to his wife’s affair.

    But then it came out months later, he had another affair prior to hers. He was throwing his wife under the bus to make his own behavior not appear as bad.

  24. I’m just going to say that I lived for nearly 13 years of my life within 25 miles of my maternal grandfather and I never met the man. My mother moved out of his house the day she turned 18 (and she had six months of school left). He was a mean alcoholic. Ironically, after he died (when I was 22), my mother resumed her relationship with her stepmother. So yes, alcoholism can be very destructive to a family relationship.

  25. I’ll admit, I’ve only heard of Perry Noble’s name. I’m more familiar with quotes form Piper and Platt since those guys seem to get retweeted the most on social media by younger pastors who are wanabees.

    Reading about the outcome of Noble’s alcoholism within his ministry, I’m sick. I’m sick because my dad is an alcoholic as well as one of my siblings. The support for these addicts with ignorance of those who hold them in such mini-god like adoration is deep and unending. They live their lives as if they are in an unending movie and are the star. Noble seems to want to be adored as a star and even the drama of the unveiling of his addiction, has his responses scripted and rehearsed to shine the light on his abilities to “deal with it.” I don’t see any claims of how broken and weak he is nor of the damage he has caused. What I see by his statements are the classic deflections…”I got this…I’ve already taken steps to correct my problem and I’m good. My wife has managed to keep herself sexually pure through all of this, so I’m really proud of her. Again, I got this.”

    Until these mega pastor stars are not uplifted by seminaries as the end-all, be-all for young seminarians to aspire, I don’t see an end to these types of massive public failures.

    The question of how these guys like Noble, Chandler and other mega pastor stars can err so much in their personal lives or their handling of church member failures (i.e. Karen Hinkley case) and none of their elders or staff call them out really can be answered by watching the pulpit. Most of these guys won’t share their stage time. Think about it. They have audiences week in and week out over vast areas and can’t share their pulpit with anyone…even other pastors/elders in their own churches (except on rare occasions). The limelight is such a powerful place to be. Mark Driscoll oh so much wants his time there back!

    My guess is Perry Noble will want back in the limelight in the future as well.

  26. @ srs:
    Things are always possible when dealing with alcoholics. However, the whole sex thing seemed off. He should have said “My wife is amazing and she has stuck by me.” Bringing up a specific sin is odd. I am wondering if Noble has struggle in this area. That statement by the elders referring to his posture towards marriage and other behaviors.

  27. waking up wrote:

    Until these mega pastor stars are not uplifted by seminaries as the end-all, be-all for young seminarians to aspire, I don’t see an end to these types of massive public failures.

    some people cannot handle ‘the limelight'(fame) and their souls become troubled … Henri Nouwen taught at three Ivy League universities and was a well-known author and speaker, but he realized all of the ‘limelight’ was not good for him;
    so he left the glorified world of academia and went to work at a facility for severely disabled people, and spent the rest of his life in service there.

    What is the better way for some people may not be what appears to everyone as the most ‘successful’ life, no. Sometimes the better way is found where it is least expected.

    These young neo-Cal pastors could take a lesson from Nouwen’s life experience. How often have Christians left the fast-track and come ‘into the quiet’ and been healed? 🙂

  28. Bill M wrote:

    Please note that when it comes to the ruling elite they change the rules for the end game, instead of “telling it to the church” all “the church” will hear is “unfortunate choices” were made et

    This is an excellent comment. We will need to remember this one when they haul out the old Matthew 18 schtick. It is only applied to the ATMs who sit in the pews.

  29. Victorious wrote:

    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?”

    Dee described "dry alcoholic" to be several years ago with regard to her father-in-law. I'm sure she will chime in about it when she has a chance.

  30. Ron Oommen wrote:

    I’m not sure I have much sympathy for Noble or his church. If ever there was a church leader whose persona screamed “THUG” Noble has been it. In fact self respecting thugs might be offended by the comparison.
    I do sympathise with his child/children and for the children who have grown up in this travesty of a church.

    If you are out of line, so am I. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  31. @ Christiane:
    @ Christiane:
    I don’t know what stage Perry Noble is in, that is best decided by a doctor, but my point is that one is not “powerless” against alcohol as AA says. AA does great work, but I don’t agree with its premises. The group therapy part can be helpful to some. There are many ways to look to stop drinking. This site makes a lot of sense:
    http://stopdrinkingalcohol.com/

  32. Patriciamc wrote:

    I would think that a normal minister in a normal church would be put on a leave of absence and told to go to rehab, but not fired, at least not initially.

    I believe that you are correct. The Hughes Act of 1970 guaranteed the substance abuser one try at rehab prior to firing. My guess is that he was offered that help and he rejected it or failed in the attempt.

  33. Niteowl wrote:

    I grew up with an alcoholic father and it is hell on a family even without physical abuse. We were continually. Verbally and emotionally abused. He was able to keep up aappearances outside the home and at work and was a respected member of the community. My mother was advised by other Christians to submit and he’d change. Total BS and she finally left him a few years after we kids were out of the house. After she left he went through rehab a few times in an effort to get her back.and died a few years later. Neither I nor my siblings miss him. Mr Perry needs to stay out of the pulpit and receive proper medical treatment. The absence of alcohol will not solve the problem. Many alcoholics turn into dry drunks with the drunken behavior exhibited while stone cold sober.

    This is a comment that everyone should read! Thank you for sharing it and I am sorry for the hell he put you through. Your mom was wise to get the heck out of there.

  34. JYJames wrote:

    We have had church leaders of some prominence in our area who were secret alcoholics. Supposedly even their wives were unaware, if that is even possible. (Denial?)

    Thank you for your kind comment.
    It is well known that some spouses of alcoholics are co dependent. They actually do better when the spouse is a drunk. My guess: they knew and concealed it just like Mrs. Sandusky denied ever seeing anything wrong when her husband was molesting kids at their house.

  35. “Perry Noble has spent years in the limelight, apparently attempting to build the largest church in the United States. The public has been told to look at his church, read his books, listen to his sermons, etc. Now, we are told to look away.”

    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED! DO MY PROPHET NO HARM!”
    — Benny Hinn’s favorite comeback verse

  36. Godith wrote:

    I don’t believe alcoholism is a disease. It is a bad choice that becomes a bad habit. It has medical aspects, e.g., delirium tremens.

    I think your comment is certainly understandable. However, some people get a different response to alcohol than someone like myself. A glass of wine is enough for me. If I try to drink more, I feel a bit nauseous. Some people actually feel wonderful when they drink.For them, drinking is like being hungry or thirsty. It is a physiological response.

    What is interesting is that the cure of alcoholism is to never drink again in spite of their profound urges to do so. The answer is behavioral. The penchant for alcoholism is probably wired in.

    Whether or no it is, the response is the same. They must never take a drink again or the cycle starts all over.

  37. Very well-written article. I absolutely can’t believe he threw his wife under the bus. She should never been brought up as though she in any way was part of the problem. That was back-handed and passive aggressive. I wish that Newspring had asked Perry to remove that part of the statement.

  38. some people cannot handle ‘the limelight'(fame) and their souls become troubled … Henri Nouwen taught at three Ivy League universities and was a well-known author and speaker, but he realized all of the ‘limelight’ was not good for him;
    so he left the glorified world of academia and went to work at a facility for severely disabled people, and spent the rest of his life in service there.
    What is the better way for some people may not be what appears to everyone as the most ‘successful’ life, no. Sometimes the better way is found where it is least expected.

    These young neo-Cal pastors could take a lesson from Nouwen’s life experience. How often have Christians left the fast-track and come ‘into the quiet’ and been healed?

    I so agree with you and love the story you shared above. I’m not sure this is only a neo-Cal problem. I think it is a numbers driven mentality within the seminaries (I don’t think any graduates come out thinking “gosh, I hope I get to pastor a church in a small town and stay there forever and never move up to a better facility with thousands of people.”) My goodness, there are scores of books, classes, workshops, and programs for these pastors to go through on church “growth.” And these mega-church pastors are held up as stars.

    I think it is rare when these situations are handled correctly. It was correct for Newspring to fire him. He needs to be in medical rehab, in my opinion, and unless I missed it, doesn’t seem to be headed that way.

    I want over to Newspring site and now it appears Clayton King is the temporary pastor. I don’t know anything about him. I’m hoping he has the integrity and grit needed to help the elders and church leadership in meaningful ways. It doesn’t appear as though this is a neoCal church.

  39. How did Perry Noble attract 30,000 followers? That point alone mystifies me. Maybe they enjoyed wondering what outrageous thing he would say next.

    faceless church staffer, thank you for telling your story.

  40. The entire use of Matthew 18 by Neo-Cal churches is completely bogus. It has nothing to do with disputes between church members and leadersip regarding the operation of the church nor the church’s participation in disciplining anyone. Instead, it’s all about the church’s role in mediating disputes between individual congregants.

    This is clear as day from Matthew 18:15, the opening verse of the section, it says “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.” If the members can’t resolve the matter between them, they are to try and resolve it among themselves in the presence of witnesses. If that doesn’t work, then they are to take it to the church to get the church’s opinion. If the church rules in one congregant’s favor and the other congregant refuses to abide by the ruling, then the only consequence is that the offended congregant is to treat the other congregant “as a Gentile and a tax-collector”.

    Note that church has absolutely no role in enforcing it’s opinion. None. If the offending congregant chooses not to abide by the church’s opinion, the church is given no power or instruction to enforce it’s decision. The only result of the Matthew 18 process is in how the two congregants are to relate to one another, the church is to stay out of it.

    And yet, like so many other passages in the Bible, the Neo-Cals and others have twisted the Bible into an instrument of oppression to be used by leadership against it’s congregants.

    As far as the Perry Noble situation goes, I don’t see where Matthew 18 applies at all. It’s totally irrelevant to Noble’s situation.

  41. prodinov wrote:

    Whereas there have been some past postings I would not be 100% in agreement,

    Thank you for your kind words. And I am glad that you are not 100% in agreement with us. I disagree with myself on a daily basis!!!

  42. Victorious wrote:

    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?”

    Yep-my father in law in between his slips. It is a very true syndrome.

  43. Long-time lurker here. Recently I got interested in the Davey Blackburn “case,” a preacher who came home from the gym to find his pregnant wife murdered. Perry Noble was Blackburn’s mentor. There are many video clips on Blackburn’s site and his church’s site – showing Noble interviewing Blackburn on “stage” at church – and there is something very very VERY “off” about Perry Noble. Blackburn is a handsome young guy (not my type, but fine – and there’s something very off in HIS demeanor too) – and Noble constantly references Blackburn’s hot-ness. It’s so strange to watch – he tries to spin it as “Man to man, now, isn’t Davey hot?” And the girls in the audience titter and clap and I’m thinking: “This is church? What the heck is this?” These comments are especially inappropriate too because they often happen during tributes to Blackburn’s dead wife. Noble can’t say one good thing about the wife – she barely exists for him – all he can say about her (and all Davey can say about her) is that she was “in love with Jesus” … but Noble DOES sing the praises of Blackburn’s hot body and six-pack-abs and all the rest. It seriously creeped me out. So I don’t buy that there isn’t any “sexual sin” – if he’s “blurting” comments like that – on multiple occasions but especially at a tribute gathering for a dead pregnant woman who was … 25 years old? … and all he can do is talk about how hot her husband is … how awesome Davey is – Noble’s “eulogy” was all about Davey! – he is WAY WAY beyond the pale.

    Perry Noble won’t be gone for long. The guy needs the attention. But something is seriously wrong with that man.

    Thank you, Dee and Deb, for all the hard work you do, and thank you to all the commuters – it’s one of the best and most well-informed communities on the web.

  44. Christiane wrote:

    If psychosis results from alcoholism, its treatment is considered a medical emergency:

    The DTs are common and that is why alcoholics must be under hospital type care when they re withdrawing. Sometimes it is yelling and screaming type hallucinations-the person feels like they are covered with ants.

    Then there is this type of DT which can be amusing. I walked into a room to check a patient who was in the early throws of withdrawal. he was not asleep which was surprising for the amount of drugs he was given. he smiled sweetly at me and then said, in a rather loud voice “Stop. There are big fat birds flying over your head.” Believe it or not, I stopped and looked. I told him not to worry. I then went and told the nurse that he needed a bit more meds!!

  45. @ Christiane:
    One further point, the DTs can be so severe that a person could die. They can vomit , aspirate and choke to death. They must be in the care of medical people.

  46. Just another thought, and if I err in my “hunch,” I’d really like feedback. I see Newspring is yet another multi-campus church. I really feel that must-site churches create an even thicker bubble for the head pastor . It would seem this whole must-site thing creates more insulation for pastors by isolating them from members and creating rare interpersonal engagements. Does anyone else feel that way? I have no real data on this, just a hunch. To me multi-site is really just mini denomination with one central leader. So in a way, worse than a denomination because everything seems to hinge on the one leader.

  47. MUST READ COMMENT

    @ faceless church staffer:
    I am sitting here stunned by the thoughtfulness of you comment. Would you mind if I posted it up on our site as a standalone post? I want people to read this.

    You have convicted me as well. We often focus on the lead pastors and their families and never stop to imagine life for those who work for them. I will always try to do so in the future.

    THANK YOU>

  48. faceless church staffer wrote:

    The tip off for me that Perry may have alcohol issues was his interaction with American Airlines on Twitter.

    I dod not see this. Could you direct me to something that I could look at?

  49. waking up wrote:

    I don’t see any claims of how broken and weak he is nor of the damage he has caused. What I see by his statements are the classic deflections…”I got this…I’ve already taken steps to correct my problem and I’m good. My wife has managed to keep herself sexually pure through all of this, so I’m really proud of her. Again, I got this.”

    Wow- another great comment! I may need to do another post and featuring these comments. It seems I have struck a nerve.

  50. CAUTION: EXTREME SARCASM WARNING

    When in doubt…blame the woman. I know that the moment I read about Perry’s abusive pastoral behavior and alcoholism, I immediately suspected his wife’s sexual sins to be the culprit.

  51. My FIL was an alcoholic. But, he was a “happy drunk”. He wouldn’t drive when he was drinking, and he was able to work. He was a great Uto mechanic, and ran his own small garage business next door to their home. The only damage his drinking did was financial.
    One of his sons, my BIL, is a completely different story. He will clean himself up, begin to gain ground with his finances, his reputation, and his personal relationships — he’ll think, “I’ve got this!”, and then he will go back to drinking. He’ll cover it up for a while and talk about how great everything is. But, it always comes out.
    His drinking has destroyed 3 marriages (no adultery or domestic abuse involved in any of them), and he has lost 2 homes because of it. He’s lost multiple jobs. He’s had his driver’s license revoked a couple of times, done a few stints in jail, and his only child will have nothing to do with him. He has alienated his 2 sisters and 3 brothers. His family – my husband included – will have nothing to do with him. His entire life has been a cycle of shampoo, rinse, repeat.

    Given Perry Noble’s personal history, I can see him going down the same road as my BIL. For the sake of his family and any future churches he may pastor, I hope he proves me wrong, but my expectations are not high.

    Dee, thanks for sharing yours and your families experiences with alcoholism. Knowledge is power!

  52. Having two immediate family members and several extended family members who are alcoholics, I have learned one thing: the second they bring up anything as excuses or factors that led to their alcoholism you know right away they are doomed to recovery failure. Until they admit to themselves and others that they are simply powerless over alcohol without qualification, they will not succeed. It seems clear that Perry Noble is not there yet.

  53. waking up wrote:

    Just another thought, and if I err in my “hunch,” I’d really like feedback. I see Newspring is yet another multi-campus church. I really feel that must-site churches create an even thicker bubble for the head pastor . It would seem this whole must-site thing creates more insulation for pastors by isolating them from members and creating rare interpersonal engagements. Does anyone else feel that way?

    Absolutely. I don’t see how the kind of relationships the Bible pictures can even be practiced in such a system.

  54. Noble was an appalling preacher and leader of a church, but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair. Neither you nor I know any more than is in the statement. Suggesting that everyone who struggles with alcohol is immediately untrustworthy as to the extent of their problem does them a disservice.

  55. (I haven’t read the comments yet.) I’ve observed enough alcohol problems in friends and extended family to have made the decision to never touch the stuff. Having a coffee habit is bad enough and hard enough to break. Alcohol and its power over people’s lives frankly scares the crap out of me and it’s not a necessity to enjoy life. Happy teetotalers unite! LOL!

  56. (I haven’t read the comments yet.) I’ve observed enough alcohol problems in friends and extended family to have made the decision to never touch the stuff. Having a coffee habit is bad enough and hard enough to break. Alcohol and its power over people’s lives frankly scares me and it’s not a necessity to enjoy life. Happy teetotalers unite! LOL!

  57. GSD wrote:

    How did Perry Noble attract 30,000 followers? That point alone mystifies me. Maybe they enjoyed wondering what outrageous thing he would say next.

    I don’t know who said it but they do operate like mini movie stars in their little empires. It’s very Cult of Personality. Frankly I am more worried about the masses of people who are attracted to this sort of venue as representing the Body of Christ. They really are attending a show.

  58. faceless church staffer wrote:

    I’ve been a long time lurker on this site and I first want to say that I really appreciate all of the perspectives and experiences shared here…

    I quote your first paragraph because, likewise, I really appreciate what you posted. It’s a timely reminder that there are many different kinds of person on the receiving end of institutionalised abuse in churches. The mid-to-lower-level staff – paid or otherwise – is a group we often overlook.

    We, too, were mid-to-low [unpaid] staff of a “church” dominated by a single charismatic CEO who had complete de facto authority over every post in the organisation. There was a lot of outreach and altar-call-based evangelism but, to be frank, it created at least as many counterfeits as christians. The problem was that as soon as anybody responded to an altar-call, they were chalked up as “saved”. They were assigned to one small group or another, and the small group leader was then responsible for ensuring this “new convert” turned up to every meeting. In the case of people who were never “saved”, but who made a one-off response out of curiosity, that’s an exhausting burden to carry.

    It has often occurred to me to liken that organisation to a coral reef. In the sense that a reef looks beautiful and vibrant from the outside; but that life and colour is only a thin layer built on the dead skeletons of all the previous generations of coral. As you evidently experienced, all the talk of “covenant relationships” and “love” applied only so long as you were in the leader’s favour. Those who are really only there to follow a charismatic speaker and/or vision-caster will always be quick to turn on you.

    I’m sorry to hear how hard you found it too.

  59. dee wrote:

    I am sitting here stunned by the thoughtfulness of [faceless church staffer’s] comment. Would you mind if I posted it up on our site as a standalone post? I want people to read this.

    Seconded.

  60. dee wrote:

    waking up wrote:
    I don’t see any claims of how broken and weak he is nor of the damage he has caused. What I see by his statements are the classic deflections…”I got this…I’ve already taken steps to correct my problem and I’m good. My wife has managed to keep herself sexually pure through all of this, so I’m really proud of her. Again, I got this.”
    Wow- another great comment! I may need to do another post and featuring these comments. It seems I have struck a nerve.”

    When a family member has destroyed your family with alcohol addiction, Perry Noble’s actions have indeed struck a nerve. I’m not talking about his actions drinking the alcohol….the actions and words he has used
    when confronted with his addiction are very revealing. I think whether net-cal or not, embracing this personality driven pulpit by the thousands has created an environment where addictions can flourish.

    His statements are so eerily familiar to me due to my family’s decades of alcoholism and indicate he is not in treatment.

  61. srs wrote:

    Playing devil’s (ughhh) advocate – is it possible that Noble was attempting to defend his wife from any rumor mill from the fan base?

    It could be he was projecting, something fierce. You see, his flunkies had no qualms about stalking and harassing James Duncan’s family, so maybe he assumes someone out there is looking to do the same to his wife?

    Just a theory…

  62. I agree 100% with Dee’s response…

    dee wrote:

    MUST READ COMMENT
    @ faceless church staffer:
    I am sitting here stunned by the thoughtfulness of you comment. Would you mind if I posted it up on our site as a standalone post? I want people to read this.
    You have convicted me as well. We often focus on the lead pastors and their families and never stop to imagine life for those who work for them. I will always try to do so in the future.
    THANK YOU>

  63. Daisy wrote:

    Perry Noble Apologizes for ‘Un-Christlike’ Twitter Rant on American Airlines
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/perry-noble-apologizes-un-christlike-twitter-rant-american-airlines-158742/

    Wow, that was instructive.

    Interestingly, on the sidebar was a link to another article from February, Mark Driscoll to Speak at Perry Noble’s Most Excellent Way to Lead Conference http://www.christianpost.com/news/mark-driscoll-perry-noble-megachurch-most-excellent-way-to-lead-conference-158056/#m3LdAHhRxq9gFTHT.99

    I didn’t follow said conference and have no idea how it went but found these quotes interesting, in light of the current situation:

    “Mark and Grace (Driscoll’s wife), I love you. I mean it. Can’t wait to have you at our leadership conference. I support you one hundred percent, and I believe that for you and your ministry, and your life, the best is yet to come.”

    In the video, Noble slammed critics who say Driscoll is not ready to lead another congregation. “Here’s a man (Driscoll) who messed up, made some mistakes, admitted it, apologized, said he was sorry — he’s starting over … Who made you the judge on whether or not he’s ready?”

    Hmm. A clue for the future of Perry Noble?

  64. T wrote:

    had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair.

    Not really. To those of us experienced in this area, the fact he lost his job and the main reason given was alcohol abuse points to the highly likely fact that he is an alcohol abuser/alcoholic.

  65. While we did not hear of a alcohol problem with Mark Driscoll, the similarity of these two is very striking… As far as I am concerned, the both disquified them selves long before they finally left. Whether Noble is a alcoholic or not, all of the other stuff is truely depressing….
    Until truely independent, mature, non-self serving overseers are in place, this kind of stuff will happen again and again….

  66. siteseer wrote:

    “A bad year with alcohol”… okay, then. Don’t connect any of those dots, people!

    This is exactly why alcoholics are allowed to continue in their la la land. People around them will not point to the hard reality. I have decided to another couple of posts on this subject and utilize some of the comments to help those who haven’t had experience in this matter to understand the problem are clearly.

  67. Nancy2 wrote:

    Dee, thanks for sharing yours and your families experiences with alcoholism. Knowledge is power!

    Thank you for doing the same.

  68. @ T:
    One other point for you to consider is this. The leaders met with him for months asking him to get it together. He refused to do so. Anyone who is just drinking a little bit,no real problem, would have stopped immediately. He continued in spite of the warning.

    Add to that the problems in his marriage which is another red flag for more than your typical drinker. If he knew that his marriage was in trouble due to his drinking, he would have stopped. He didn’t.

    There are so many red flags in his story that it is perfectly reasonable to speculate that he is an alcoholic.

  69. dee wrote:

    This is exactly why alcoholics are allowed to continue in their la la land. People around them will not point to the hard reality. I have decided to another couple of posts on this subject and utilize some of the comments to help those who haven’t had experience in this matter to understand the problem are clearly.

    Thank you, Dee. You are performing such a needed service to the body of Christ. Never before has information been so available to believers. When we went through abusive church experiences in the past, there was no internet, no way to hear of the similar experiences of others, precious few resources. I can say that my life would have been very different if information such as this blog provides had been available.

  70. faceless church staffer wrote:

    The biggest surprise the lower level staff will find is that the senior leadership and overseers have no idea what they’re doing. They’re polished, sure, but they are ill-equipped to handle a scandal like this. The biggest lesson I learned is that wisdom and skill really have nothing to do with pay grade. If you were dumb enough to set up a system that allows for behavior like this to go unchecked for so long, you’re sure as hell not smart enough to know how to pastor a church out of this mess.

    True words! I am a first hand witness.

    Great comment. I am praying for you guys. I can relate but am on the other side now. Now I practically throw myself in front of cars to beg people not to take church staff positions in churches large enough to have ‘lower level staff positions’. It is a non profit status business that does not have to follow employment laws.

  71. T wrote:

    Noble was an appalling preacher and leader of a church, but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair. Neither you nor I know any more than is in the statement. Suggesting that everyone who struggles with alcohol is immediately untrustworthy as to the extent of their problem does them a disservice.

    Clearly Newspring considered it enough of an issue to fire him. It’s minimizing to just call it a “struggle with alcohol.” It’s minimizing to call it “a bad year with alcohol.” I’d think the church would’ve given him an opportunity to correct that were it really not a huge issue, were it really just a bad year… In fact, I wouldn’t doubt if Newspring already did that in the past, given him such leeway and kept these matters so very hush hush. Clearly, there was a last straw and IMO, it had to be a big one to finally let the cash cow go.
    That statement was word spin.

  72. Niteowl wrote:

    The absence of alcohol will not solve the problem. Many alcoholics turn into dry drunks with the drunken behavior exhibited while stone cold sober.

    That is so true.

  73. Victorious wrote:

    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?”

    Yes, this is a very common term when experienced people talk about alcoholics.
    “Dry Drunks.” “Put the plug in the jug” but still have an alcoholic personality despite that many times is worse.

  74. Sam wrote:

    CAUTION: EXTREME SARCASM WARNING
    When in doubt…blame the woman. I know that the moment I read about Perry’s abusive pastoral behavior and alcoholism, I immediately suspected his wife’s sexual sins to be the culprit.

    I notice a lot of men do like to blame women. Christian men especially.

    From Genesis 3:
    “The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

    I like how Adam not only blamed Eve in that remark, but managed to wrangle God into the equation – it wasn’t just Eve, no, God GAVE Eve to him, so God was to blame too.

  75. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Happy teetotalers unite! LOL!

    I’ve been a teetotaler my whole life and have received grief for it at parties and other social functions.

    People for whatever reason feel ill at ease at a party if they see one person who is sipping water or soda. I’ve had people really harass me about my non-drinking. I’ve had people ask me if I’m a recovering alcoholic.

    My main reasons for drinking: IMO, alcohol tastes terrible.
    Secondly, alcoholism runs on the maternal side of my family, I’ve heard and seen about the trouble it causes for people who rely on it to do with stress, so I opted at a young age to stay away from it.

    I don’t mind if others drink in moderation, but drinkers can be very rude and pushy towards non-drinkers like me. They will make you feel like a “wet blanket” just for sipping a Coke or iced tea rather than a beer.

  76. Good job Dee…

    With two family members dealing with alcoholism, my immediate reaction went pass all the doctrinal stuff and directly to all that issues that come with this. You are so correct about blaming other things… At least he didn’t blame the press and bloggers.

    Abuse is always more that just hitting someone, even in the mildest form of non contact abuse… it still brings pain and issues that will have to be dealt with for a lifetime. It will never be the same.

    My hope is that he fades away to a healing place for him and his family. Like turn off all social media and go to DEFCON 5. If New Spring is going to help him I hope he takes full advantage of it. Please, please don’t let me see him at some church or some interview for a very very long time… if at all. For the sake of his wife and kids I hope the church-mega-complex of people just leave them alone.

    I don’t like his practices, methods and his doctrinal stance but gosh… my heart still goes out to him and his family for healing. I do pray for him. I wish him and his family the best.

  77. Correction on my last post (which has not been published yet): where I said:

    “My main reasons for drinking”

    I meant for -NOT- drinking. I do not drink. I left the “not” out of my last post.

  78. siteseer wrote:

    In the video, Noble slammed critics who say Driscoll is not ready to lead another congregation. “Here’s a man (Driscoll) who messed up, made some mistakes, admitted it, apologized, said he was sorry — he’s starting over … Who made you the judge on whether or not he’s ready?”

    The Bible says Driscoll should never have been a pastor in the first place never mind staging a come-back, that’s who. Does Noble not read the Bible or what?

  79. @ Sheila:

    I am glad you said something. There were flashing neon light warnings over that entire situation. I have never in my life seen a dead victim of such a brutal crime treated so disrespectfully in death. I have my doubts about the story. He forgot to lock the back door with his wife and child in the house.

    His mentor, Noble, is cruel, juvenile, calloused, vulgar and down right creepy.

  80. @ Sheila:

    I am glad you said something. There were flashing neon light warnings over that entire situation. I have never in my life seen a dead victim of such a brutal crime treated so disrespectfully in death by pastors.

    His mentor, Noble, is cruel, juvenile, calloused, vulgar and down right creepy.

  81. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve been a teetotaler my whole life and have received grief for it at parties and other social functions.

    People for whatever reason feel ill at ease at a party if they see one person who is sipping water or soda. I’ve had people really harass me about my non-drinking. I’ve had people ask me if I’m a recovering alcoholic.

    My main reasons for drinking: IMO, alcohol tastes terrible.
    Secondly, alcoholism runs on the maternal side of my family, I’ve heard and seen about the trouble it causes for people who rely on it to do with stress, so I opted at a young age to stay away from it.

    I don’t mind if others drink in moderation, but drinkers can be very rude and pushy towards non-drinkers like me. They will make you feel like a “wet blanket” just for sipping a Coke or iced tea rather than a beer.

    Here’s my funny alcohol story.

    I was staying in a hotel with a restaurant during an InterVarsity conference while on staff. I ordered a hazelnut coffee and didn’t think anything of it. Best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Went back to the restaurant for breakfast on Sunday and ordered the hazelnut coffee again. The waitress came back and said, “I’m sorry. We can’t serve that to you because it’s before noon.” I must have had a blank look on my face because she explained it was because of the liqueur and they couldn’t serve it on Sunday before noon. I laughed and told her I had no idea.

    Still the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. LOL!

    I was in a sorority in college and had to attend parties as mandatory events at times. I learned quickly that as long as I had something in my hand – even a Coke – no one bothered me about the drinking. We had many non-drinkers in our chapter anyway so I wasn’t the only one. But I’ve really never had people pressure me to drink. Once in blue moon maybe. Now I’m old so no one cares. LOL!

  82. My experience is similar to Faceless Church Staffer, except the primary abuser was not an alcoholic, and we, along with a few others, were removed. This leader was quite charming and he shared many behavior traits that are described. The leadership appointed by this type of leader imprints on the abusive leader rather than Jesus. They gain a sense of power in the exercise of ‘church discipline’ which in reality is a form of abuse. It has taken me several years to figure it out. If I could go back in time I would tell them to pound sand and encourage those who were subject to their emotional and spiritual abuse to run for their lives. I have experienced the grace, love and mercy of Jesus outside the walls–this is where a lot of our cultural church leadership wants Him.

  83. waking up wrote:

    Just another thought, and if I err in my “hunch,” I’d really like feedback. I see Newspring is yet another multi-campus church. I really feel that must-site churches create an even thicker bubble for the head pastor . It would seem this whole must-site thing creates more insulation for pastors by isolating them from members and creating rare interpersonal engagements. Does anyone else feel that way? I have no real data on this, just a hunch. To me multi-site is really just mini denomination with one central leader. So in a way, worse than a denomination because everything seems to hinge on the one leader.

    I don’t think we need data to prove it is cult of personality when the celebrity guru is up linked on multi site IMAGs week after week. Note, they don’t plant another church that will become independent. The multi site campus is a necessary way to grow empires of people. Often they are done cheap renting old Walmarts and such. Some come about taking over older debt free churches. They are a blight in the vineyard. The guru is as insulated and isolated as he desires. He performs. They pay to watch.

  84. Sheila wrote:

    Recently I got interested in the Davey Blackburn “case,”

    I wasn’t aware of Davey’s connection with Perry Noble but yes, Davey is one strange dude, immediately using his wife’s murder in a marketing campaign, simply bizarre.

  85. waking up wrote:

    I want over to Newspring site and now it appears Clayton King is the temporary pastor. I don’t know anything about him. I’m hoping he has the integrity and grit needed to help the elders and church leadership in meaningful ways. It doesn’t appear as though this is a neoCal church.

    To be blunt, I wonder how someone of integrity could be on staff with Noble at the top. There are likely hidden transgressions yet to see the light of day but there was enough already known to discredit Noble. At the very least I imagine that staff at NewSpring will need to go through detox themselves, not from alcoholism but from Noble’s brand of “leadership”.

  86. Victorious wrote:

    be interested in knowing if anyone had heard of such a thing.

    I don’t have personal experience with alcoholism, but a friend of mine has a grandchild who fits that description who is now in rehab for the second or third time. I do not remember that term being used, but it certainly fits. I always thought that alcoholism involved compulsive drinking, but not in the case of my friend’s grandchild who drinks intermittently.

  87. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  88. I completely agree with Sheila below…

    In my professional world, making such comments about someone’s body, in front of a classroom/lecture hall… especially their “abs” when he presumably had clothes on, would get me in a mess of trouble, whether they are male or female… and rightly so.. The fact that is at his murdered wife’s eulogy is beyond the pail…

    Oh, but I forgot, I am at one of those heathen, secular universities… I guess mega church preachers are just “holly” by default..

    Sheila wrote:

    Long-time lurker here. Recently I got interested in the Davey Blackburn “case,” a preacher who came home from the gym to find his pregnant wife murdered. Perry Noble was Blackburn’s mentor. There are many video clips on Blackburn’s site and his church’s site – showing Noble interviewing Blackburn on “stage” at church – and there is something very very VERY “off” about Perry Noble. Blackburn is a handsome young guy (not my type, but fine – and there’s something very off in HIS demeanor too) – and Noble constantly references Blackburn’s hot-ness. It’s so strange to watch – he tries to spin it as “Man to man, now, isn’t Davey hot?” And the girls in the audience titter and clap and I’m thinking: “This is church? What the heck is this?” These comments are especially inappropriate too because they often happen during tributes to Blackburn’s dead wife. Noble can’t say one good thing about the wife – she barely exists for him – all he can say about her (and all Davey can say about her) is that she was “in love with Jesus” … but Noble DOES sing the praises of Blackburn’s hot body and six-pack-abs and all the rest. It seriously creeped me out. So I don’t buy that there isn’t any “sexual sin” – if he’s “blurting” comments like that – on multiple occasions but especially at a tribute gathering for a dead pregnant woman who was … 25 years old? … and all he can do is talk about how hot her husband is … how awesome Davey is – Noble’s “eulogy” was all about Davey! – he is WAY WAY beyond the pale.
    Perry Noble won’t be gone for long. The guy needs the attention. But something is seriously wrong with that man.
    Thank you, Dee and Deb, for all the hard work you do, and thank you to all the commuters – it’s one of the best and most well-informed communities on the web.

  89. Daisy wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    In the video, Noble slammed critics who say Driscoll is not ready to lead another congregation. “Here’s a man (Driscoll) who messed up, made some mistakes, admitted it, apologized, said he was sorry — he’s starting over … Who made you the judge on whether or not he’s ready?”

    The Bible says Driscoll should never have been a pastor in the first place never mind staging a come-back, that’s who. Does Noble not read the Bible or what?

    I’m a preschool teacher and one of the things that we are taught in conferences is that saying you’re sorry is not a consequence for children or teachers. If I were to lose it one day and grab or spank a child, I’m done. I would never be allowed to work in my state as a teacher and rightly so! I don’t understand these pastors (Chandler, Driscoll and now Noble) who think merely apologizing is enough. When a person is in a position of authority( teacher, police officer, Pastor, politician) and they abuse that authority, they are no longer qualified to EVER hold that position.

  90. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    (I haven’t read the comments yet.) I’ve observed enough alcohol problems in friends and extended family to have made the decision to never touch the stuff. Having a coffee habit is bad enough and hard enough to break. Alcohol and its power over people’s lives frankly scares me and it’s not a necessity to enjoy life. Happy teetotalers unite! LOL!

    I can respect your choice.

    There are many people who are alcoholics and they truly are addicted to booze and its hard-wired into their DNA.

    I, on the other hand, am weary of the majority of American conservative Christianity’s immaturity and hostility about drinking even a modest amount of alcohol with a meal, like dinner. They act like illegal drugs are being served and are petty and hostile. I have European relatives who aren’t alcoholics, do drink a glass of wine with dinner, do bring wine as gifts, and they are stunned at the level of childishness of American conservative Christians over the issue of alcohol.

    At conservative churches I’ve been a member or or attended it was common for them to send emails before we gathered at restaurants to tell us that we shouldn’t order alcohol so that we didn’t make a brother/sister with a drinking problem “stumble”. What next, an email that we can’t order dessert because we could make a diabetic “stumble”?

    I certainly couldn’t carry The Gospel to my European relatives who would never put up with this level of Americanized, Puritanical Christianity.

    I have brought red wine for my own home since I no longer go to a NeoCalvinist church.

  91. GSD wrote:

    How did Perry Noble attract 30,000 followers? That point alone mystifies me.

    Me, too. Maybe someone who has been there and come out of it can explain it. Like Driscoll, I never have understood the attraction.

  92. dee wrote:

    Godith wrote:

    I don’t believe alcoholism is a disease. It is a bad choice that becomes a bad habit. It has medical aspects, e.g., delirium tremens.

    I think your comment is certainly understandable. However, some people get a different response to alcohol than someone like myself. A glass of wine is enough for me. If I try to drink more, I feel a bit nauseous. Some people actually feel wonderful when they drink.For them, drinking is like being hungry or thirsty. It is a physiological response.

    What is interesting is that the cure of alcoholism is to never drink again in spite of their profound urges to do so. The answer is behavioral. The penchant for alcoholism is probably wired in.

    Whether or no it is, the response is the same. They must never take a drink again or the cycle starts all over.

    A now-deceased nun I used to know struggled with a weight problem because, she said, she was addicted to carbohydrates. She claimed that her craving had the same physiological basis as alcoholism. She had an alcoholic (biological) sister. They shared the same genetic tendency, but for one it expressed itself in craving alcohol, and for the other in craving starchy foods. I don’t know whether there is solid science behind this, but it made sense to me at the time.

  93. @ dee:
    I’ve no idea why I waded in on this topic, but it’s the white hat/black hat approach I worry about. Does he have a problem? Sure. Has he been confronted repeatedly over time about it, and this represented some kind of tipping point? Very likely.

    But does that mean he’s an alcoholic? Seems like a fruitless thing to speculate on from the outside.

    None of which is meant as an endorsement of NS, clearly from the James Duncan episode (and others) there are deep rooted problems there. But if there’s any worthwhile analysis to be had, I’m not sure it’s about Perry’s potential alcoholism.

  94. Velour wrote:

    Yes, this is a very common term when experienced people talk about alcoholics.
    “Dry Drunks.” “Put the plug in the jug” but still have an alcoholic personality despite that many times is worse.

    The funny thing is that I rarely saw my husband take a drink at all! He did buy a “bar” for our living room which I found strange, but since his job required quite a bit of entertaining, I overlooked it. When that diagnosis came about him being a “dry drunk,” while I was surprised, it made perfect sense after awhile. Big eye-opener!

  95. BJ wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    siteseer wrote:
    In the video, Noble slammed critics who say Driscoll is not ready to lead another congregation. “Here’s a man (Driscoll) who messed up, made some mistakes, admitted it, apologized, said he was sorry — he’s starting over … Who made you the judge on whether or not he’s ready?”
    The Bible says Driscoll should never have been a pastor in the first place never mind staging a come-back, that’s who. Does Noble not read the Bible or what?
    I’m a preschool teacher and one of the things that we are taught in conferences is that saying you’re sorry is not a consequence for children or teachers. If I were to lose it one day and grab or spank a child, I’m done. I would never be allowed to work in my state as a teacher and rightly so! I don’t understand these pastors (Chandler, Driscoll and now Noble) who think merely apologizing is enough. When a person is in a position of authority( teacher, police officer, Pastor, politician) and they abuse that authority, they are no longer qualified to EVER hold that position.

    My daughters middle school principle in a small private school just went nuts over the idea that Christian students thought ‘sorry’ wiped away all consequences. The “apology” has become the way to avoid consequences for actions. The students really believed that. The principal asked me if I thought this was being taught in churches!

    I blame us adults. How many politicians, pastors and other leaders have breached trust in some form or another and then apologized. Not stepped down, mind you. Then people throw it in your face that expecting them to step down is over-the-top –after all they apologized . We continued to support them, make excuses for them and praise their apology totally wiping out discussion of the perils of a breached trust, character and integrity not to mention responsibility and duty in their position.

    The kids were watching.

  96. Sheila wrote:

    Long-time lurker here. Recently I got interested in the Davey Blackburn “case,” a preacher who came home from the gym to find his pregnant wife murdered. Perry Noble was Blackburn’s mentor. There are many video clips on Blackburn’s site and his church’s site – showing Noble interviewing Blackburn on “stage” at church – and there is something very very VERY “off” about Perry Noble. Blackburn is a handsome young guy (not my type, but fine – and there’s something very off in HIS demeanor too) –

    At the time, I thought there was something off about Blackburn too. I really thought he’d arrested for conspiring for his wife’s murder.

  97. dee wrote:

    This is exactly why alcoholics are allowed to continue in their la la land. People around them will not point to the hard reality. I have decided to another couple of posts on this subject and utilize some of the comments to help those who haven’t had experience in this matter to understand the problem are clearly.

    Excellent point. Enablers think they are helping, but they are making things much worse for the disordered person and for the people who have to live with the abuse. Thank you for writing this post and for the upcoming ones. I have much to learn and appreciate the insights from people who have seen this up close.

  98. T wrote:

    @ dee:
    I’ve no idea why I waded in on this topic, but it’s the white hat/black hat approach I worry about. Does he have a problem? Sure. Has he been confronted repeatedly over time about it, and this represented some kind of tipping point? Very likely.
    But does that mean he’s an alcoholic? Seems like a fruitless thing to speculate on from the outside.
    None of which is meant as an endorsement of NS, clearly from the James Duncan episode (and others) there are deep rooted problems there. But if there’s any worthwhile analysis to be had, I’m not sure it’s about Perry’s potential alcoholism.

    This is called a “no-talk rule” and it is a form of codependency (being a co-addict).
    Don’t talk. Don’t feel. Don’t trust.

    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/affected-by-someones-drinking

  99. T wrote:

    Noble was an appalling preacher and leader of a church, but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair. Neither you nor I know any more than is in the statement. Suggesting that everyone who struggles with alcohol is immediately untrustworthy as to the extent of their problem does them a disservice.

    What training do you have about alcoholism? None?

    There are people here with professional training and experience in dealing with alcoholism.

    What is being done is called “raising the bottom” in substance treatment terms so that an alcoholic isn’t coddled and hits bottom faster (hopefully). And that’s an act of love.
    The wounds of a friend…

  100. @ Bill M:

    True as chewing gum on a hot August sidewalk that welds itself to the sole of your sneaker. These guys are sumpin’ ain’t they? Mark Twain’s caustic wit had them pegged to a tee.

  101. Lydia wrote:

    I blame us adults. How many politicians, pastors and other leaders have breached trust in some form or another and then apologized. Not stepped down, mind you. Then people throw it in your face that expecting them to step down is over-the-top –after all they apologized . We continued to support them, make excuses for them and praise their apology totally wiping out discussion of the perils of a breached trust, character and integrity not to mention responsibility and duty in their position.

    Totally agree with you. Even though God might forgive us for our sins, I find I often still have to deal with the consequences of my actions.

    I was also a teacher, and found that many parents could not say “No” to their kids, and could not tell their kids they were doing something wrong. Often, the parent blamed somebody else–often me, but sometimes the kid’s other parent or television or whatever.

    Though, I don’t think this applies to Driscoll. Saying you apologized at some indeterminate time in the past doesn’t mean you actually did.

  102. Christiane wrote:

    I was surprised when Noble said that he was under a psychiatrist’s care for his alcoholism.

    Psychiatrist?
    Not Biblical Noutheic Counseling from SCRIPTURE(TM)?
    Rank Hath Its Privileges.

  103. Velour wrote:

    T wrote:
    Noble was an appalling preacher and leader of a church, but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair. Neither you nor I know any more than is in the statement. Suggesting that everyone who struggles with alcohol is immediately untrustworthy as to the extent of their problem does them a disservice.

    What training do you have about alcoholism? None?

    T has SCRIPTURE(TM) and The Holy Spirit(TM) and That’s All Any Christian Needs(TM).
    Word of GOD vs Foolishness of Men and all that.

  104. The continuing comments on this post http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2016/07/10/perry-noble-out-at-newspring-church-over-excessive-use-of-alcohol/#comment-2776450728 from Gateway Insider about Robert Morris’ involvement with Perry Noble (and others) are very interesting.

    It’s interesting to contemplate Morris’ mentoring of Noble in relation to Noble’s mentoring of his protege, Davey Blackburn.

    If anyone has missed the strange case of Davey Blackburn and his murdered wife, there’s a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S64tyQ7_E7M and lots of video of Blackburn’s sermons leading up then, which are mind blowing.

  105. Lydia wrote:

    My daughters middle school principle in a small private school just went nuts over the idea that Christian students thought ‘sorry’ wiped away all consequences. The “apology” has become the way to avoid consequences for actions. The students really believed that. The principal asked me if I thought this was being taught in churches!

    I blame us adults. How many politicians, pastors and other leaders have breached trust in some form or another and then apologized. Not stepped down, mind you. Then people throw it in your face that expecting them to step down is over-the-top –after all they apologized . We continued to support them, make excuses for them and praise their apology totally wiping out discussion of the perils of a breached trust, character and integrity not to mention responsibility and duty in their position.

    This is called “The Magickal Mommy Kiss of “I’m Sorry”.

    And I grew up with a sociopath who was a master of Truly Remorseful “I’m Soooo Soooo Sorry”.

    The kids were watching.

    Just as they were with “Clinton Not-Really-Sex”.

  106. Melissa wrote:

    Clearly Newspring considered it enough of an issue to fire him. It’s minimizing to just call it a “struggle with alcohol.” It’s minimizing to call it “a bad year with alcohol.”

    “NOBODY IN THIS FAMILY IS AN ‘ALCOHOLIC’!!!!! UNDERSTAND?????”

  107. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    It could be he was projecting, something fierce. You see, his flunkies had no qualms about stalking and harassing James Duncan’s family, so maybe he assumes someone out there is looking to do the same to his wife?

    James Duncan was Lowborn, so that made it OK.
    PASTOR Perry “Straining on the Can” Noble is Highborn by Divine Right.
    Don’t raise hand against Your Betters.

  108. Lydia wrote:

    I don’t know who said it but they do operate like mini movie stars in their little empires. It’s very Cult of Personality. Frankly I am more worried about the masses of people who are attracted to this sort of venue as representing the Body of Christ. They really are attending a show.

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!”
    — Emerson Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil Nine”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSTe9uit48

  109. Velour wrote:

    I, on the other hand, am weary of the majority of American conservative Christianity’s immaturity and hostility about drinking even a modest amount of alcohol with a meal, like dinner. They act like illegal drugs are being served and are petty and hostile. I have European relatives who aren’t alcoholics, do drink a glass of wine with dinner, do bring wine as gifts, and they are stunned at the level of childishness of American conservative Christians over the issue of alcohol.

    It’s called “The Church Lady Superiority Dance”.
    AKA The Righteous rubbing your face in their Righteousness.

  110. T wrote:

    But does that mean he’s an alcoholic?

    Probably.

    Look at it this way. If he is not an alcoholic (an addiction) then he is a non-alcoholic non-addict who persistently abuses alcohol at the risk of his job, his marriage, his reputation and his future even though as a non-addict he has the option and personal control to refrain from dong that.

    If he is not an alcoholic and is still therefore in control of his situation/ drinking then whatever might be said of him is far worse than that he has fallen off some cliff into addiction to alcohol. But looking at the evidence which has been presented to the public, surely after the elders consulted their church’s insurance carrier and attorney before doing so, and looking at his admission concerning alcohol, and being wiling to give him the benefit of the doubt, I am sticking with the word ‘alcoholic’ until proven otherwise.

  111. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t mind if others drink in moderation, but drinkers can be very rude and pushy towards non-drinkers like me. They will make you feel like a “wet blanket” just for sipping a Coke or iced tea rather than a beer.

    Understood Daisy. I’m a drunk and with the help of my higher power, I have 20 years sobriety as of May. You might wanna try Perrier or club soda mixed half-and-half with your favorite natural fruit juice (pomegranate is my fave), way healthier than coke.
    And as for the boors, dolts and other assorted ******** who insist that you be just like them? Clever and well crafted humor is the best way to slip through their fingers and ensure that their mitts never gain purchase. Our grandmothers and their mothers before them knew this art well.

    MOD: Tone the language down.

  112. Velour wrote:

    At conservative churches I’ve been a member or or attended it was common for them to send emails before we gathered at restaurants to tell us that we shouldn’t order alcohol so that we didn’t make a brother/sister with a drinking problem “stumble”. What next, an email that we can’t order dessert because we could make a diabetic “stumble”?

    Point 1 of 2: stumbling diabetics

    Nowadays, we have fast-acting insulin that we take with meals, so we can eat whatever you can. (Apart from sour cream, which is disgusting. I mean, what part of “sour” do people not understand!?!? Throw it away!!!) Indeed, I’ve just had a rather nice pudding that was on offer at the local Co-Op. Thus, dessert away, and don’t be troubled on my account.

    But I know what you meant…

    Point 2 of 2: how to abstain

    Quite some years ago, an older couple who had recently joined the congregation Lesley and I were part of, invited us round for dinner. By force of habit, we brought a bottle of wine with us, not knowing that the couple in question didn’t drink. So, mealtime arrived, and I offered to open said bottle…

    I’ll never forget Jeannette’s response. With a smile that was wholly genuine, she said: Do go ahead – please don’t be offended if we don’t join you.

    We didn’t know it at the time, but she had not long before been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Their home was bursting with colour and life; the walls were practically papered with original paintings they’d done themselves (they were both alumni of Glasgow’s famous School of Art). I could live to be 100 (another 52 years and two weeks at the time of writing) and not meet a more Christ-like couple than Ralph and Jeanette.

    Which just goes to show: it can be done.

    We didn’t open the bottle, BTW – we thought we’d all enjoy the evening better without it.

  113. Velour wrote:

    I can respect your choice.

    There are many people who are alcoholics and they truly are addicted to booze and its hard-wired into their DNA.

    I, on the other hand, am weary of the majority of American conservative Christianity’s immaturity and hostility about drinking even a modest amount of alcohol with a meal, like dinner. They act like illegal drugs are being served and are petty and hostile. I have European relatives who aren’t alcoholics, do drink a glass of wine with dinner, do bring wine as gifts, and they are stunned at the level of childishness of American conservative Christians over the issue of alcohol.

    At conservative churches I’ve been a member or or attended it was common for them to send emails before we gathered at restaurants to tell us that we shouldn’t order alcohol so that we didn’t make a brother/sister with a drinking problem “stumble”. What next, an email that we can’t order dessert because we could make a diabetic “stumble”?

    I certainly couldn’t carry The Gospel to my European relatives who would never put up with this level of Americanized, Puritanical Christianity.

    I have brought red wine for my own home since I no longer go to a NeoCalvinist church.

    Notice I didn’t bring it into the realm of faith. I think I am free to drink as a Christian, but decided based on what I observed in friends and family that it was likely to not be profitable. If someone wants to drink around me, that’s their choice. I only answer for my own decisions. 🙂 MOD: Inappropriate comment removed. No change in the meaning of this comment.

  114. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    T has SCRIPTURE(TM) and The Holy Spirit(TM) and That’s All Any Christian Needs(TM).
    Word of GOD vs Foolishness of Men and all that.

    Ouch(tm). Was merely raising an honest question.

    For as much as this site lives to denounce groupthink/suppression of dissent in churches… “yeah, but we know better” is a trap for everyone.

  115. Perry Noble’s PR statement looks similar to Mark Driscoll’s in that it is essentially “pleading guilty to a lesser charge”. Actually, it is also similar to Tullian Tchvijian’s statement, because he inappropriately drags his wife into it.

    It goes without saying that he was never qualified to be a pastor to begin with.

    I hope that Mr. Noble will seek treatment and get his life and family together; I mean that sincerely. His statements thus far are not encouraging.

  116. siteseer wrote:

    The continuing comments on this post http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2016/07/10/perry-noble-out-at-newspring-church-over-excessive-use-of-alcohol/#comment-2776450728 from Gateway Insider about Robert Morris’ involvement with Perry Noble (and others) are very interesting.

    It’s interesting to contemplate Morris’ mentoring of Noble in relation to Noble’s mentoring of his protege, Davey Blackburn.

    If anyone has missed the strange case of Davey Blackburn and his murdered wife, there’s a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S64tyQ7_E7M and lots of video of Blackburn’s sermons leading up then, which are mind blowing.

    I look forward to GW Insider’s posts on Warren’s blog. As a DFW resident who’s attended Gateway a few times in the past, and who has family attending, I have a vested interest…i think there’s interesting connection between Morris, Noble, and Blackburn, not to mention Driscoll. Something smells off…

  117. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Psychiatrist?
    Not Biblical Noutheic Counseling from SCRIPTURE(TM)?
    Rank Hath Its Privileges.

    In the last post, Christiane noticed that one of the signers of the Danvers Statement, psychiatrist Gary Almy, shares the name of a psychiatrist who was convicted of child molesting. I did a little research and it appears to be the same person. In this case, the psychiatrist was a proponent of nouthetic counseling. He wrote this book https://www.amazon.com/How-Christian-Counseling-Dangerous-Influences/dp/1581341350/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4RDZA6V6VDXG8MP9E3RP

    My post has some links to articles by & about him http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/07/08/mary-kassian-is-she-really-a-true-woman/comment-page-2/#comment-267355

    So, I guess that just because someone is a psychiatrist doesn’t mean he isn’t into nouthetic counseling.

  118. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ll never forget Jeannette’s response. With a smile that was wholly genuine, she said: Do go ahead – please don’t be offended if we don’t join you.
    We didn’t know it at the time, but she had not long before been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Their home was bursting with colour and life; the walls were practically papered with original paintings they’d done themselves (they were both alumni of Glasgow’s famous School of Art). I could live to be 100 (another 52 years and two weeks at the time of writing) and not meet a more Christ-like couple than Ralph and Jeanette.
    Which just goes to show: it can be done.
    We didn’t open the bottle, BTW – we thought we’d all enjoy the evening better without it.

    Beautiful story, Nick. Thank you for sharing it.

  119. T wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    T has SCRIPTURE(TM) and The Holy Spirit(TM) and That’s All Any Christian Needs(TM).
    Word of GOD vs Foolishness of Men and all that.
    Ouch(tm). Was merely raising an honest question.
    For as much as this site lives to denounce groupthink/suppression of dissent in churches… “yeah, but we know better” is a trap for everyone.

    T,

    This is an honest discussion about alcoholism, not a co-dependent sweeping it under the rug and pretending the elephant isn’t in the living room.

  120. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I, on the other hand, am weary of the majority of American conservative Christianity’s immaturity and hostility about drinking even a modest amount of alcohol with a meal, like dinner. They act like illegal drugs are being served and are petty and hostile. I have European relatives who aren’t alcoholics, do drink a glass of wine with dinner, do bring wine as gifts, and they are stunned at the level of childishness of American conservative Christians over the issue of alcohol.
    It’s called “The Church Lady Superiority Dance”.
    AKA The Righteous rubbing your face in their Righteousness.

    Yes it is, H.U.G.

    This Puritanical nonsense.

  121. T wrote:

    For as much as this site lives to denounce groupthink/suppression of dissent in churches… “yeah, but we know better” is a trap for everyone.

    I hope not, T. But think about it. A bad night with alcohol, ok, that can happen to someone. They drink more than they can hold and regret it. A bad experience with alcohol can happen. But a bad year with alcohol? How many non-alcoholics have a bad year with alcohol?

    And maybe you are seeing the term alcoholic as a denigrating term when, as Dee pointed out, it is more a medical reality. Some people cannot drink without it affecting their lives. When one loses a job or marriage because of alcohol, that is pretty solid evidence they are in that group. Noble not only lost his job, we are told it had some kind of big impact on his marriage as well.

  122. For what it’s worth, I don’t normally drink alcohol because
    1. It’s expensive
    2. It’s got calories
    3. I don’t like the taste
    4. One grandfather died of alcohol abuse. If there is a genetic component, I don’t want to find out.

    Still, I can’t find a biblical mandate to abstain.

  123. I agree

    BJ wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    siteseer wrote:
    In the video, Noble slammed critics who say Driscoll is not ready to lead another congregation. “Here’s a man (Driscoll) who messed up, made some mistakes, admitted it, apologized, said he was sorry — he’s starting over … Who made you the judge on whether or not he’s ready?”
    The Bible says Driscoll should never have been a pastor in the first place never mind staging a come-back, that’s who. Does Noble not read the Bible or what?
    I’m a preschool teacher and one of the things that we are taught in conferences is that saying you’re sorry is not a consequence for children or teachers. If I were to lose it one day and grab or spank a child, I’m done. I would never be allowed to work in my state as a teacher and rightly so! I don’t understand these pastors (Chandler, Driscoll and now Noble) who think merely apologizing is enough. When a person is in a position of authority( teacher, police officer, Pastor, politician) and they abuse that authority, they are no longer qualified to EVER hold that position.

  124. siteseer wrote:

    If anyone has missed the strange case of Davey Blackburn and his murdered wife, there’s a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S64tyQ7_E7M and lots of video of Blackburn’s sermons leading up then, which are mind blowing.

    I all too well remember that case. The sight of her beautiful baby smiling in the photos of her holding him was so sad, knowing that he had lost his mother. I admit I initially suspected the husband’s involvement, because I have watched too many crime shows where the set-up is so similar; and I was relieved to hear that he was not considered to be a defendant ….. so at least their son will have his father. ‘Davey’ seems rather immature though, in the videos of him preaching. Hardly the sort who would be involved in a murder in any capacity.

    A sad, tragic case …. Amanda Blackburn deserved a better eulogy from Noble.

  125. @ Lydia:

    “I blame us adults. How many politicians, pastors and other leaders have breached trust in some form or another and then apologized. Not stepped down, mind you.”
    ++++++++++++++

    seems to me these high profile apologies come from pressure from without, from being backed into a corner of sorts, when they have no other alternative.

    i find them distinctly unimpressive. nothing noble at all.

    (contrast that with the ‘noble’ far away look in their eyes, up and off to one side at an angle while making said apology. they adopt a heroic look.)

  126. BJ wrote:

    If I were to lose it one day and grab or spank a child, I’m done. I would never be allowed to work in my state as a teacher and rightly so!

    where I worked, it was more a case of open season on the teachers. My first year of teaching, I went to break up a fight between two girls, and I got punched in the face. My friend Betty, who suffers from arthritis, was coming down the crowded hall one morning and was shoved from the back so hard that she fell to her knees and was injured. The worst case was our orchestra teacher who was hit very hard on her back, and she had major problems as a result.
    I’d say teachers have likely ‘lost it’ and hit children, which is forbidden, but my goodness, the problem where I worked impacted the teachers far more in the role of ‘victim’. Strange world we live in.

  127. You know, I just can’t seem to get behind the idea of megachurches anymore. It’s just too easy to take advantage of that many people at once, and to believe that the person leading the megachurch can’t be fired or changed. Nearly all of the ones I know are cults of personality, and are way more focused on being popular than making disciples to “send out”.

    I also really get annoyed when I see people say that pastors should never be fired, and should immediately be reinstated after announcing they are sorry and “fixed it”. Sometimes I wonder if more people go into the ministry to be popular than to be servants.

  128. GSD wrote:

    How did Perry Noble attract 30,000 followers? That point alone mystifies me. Maybe they enjoyed wondering what outrageous thing he would say next.
    faceless church staffer, thank you for telling your story.

    I am serious when I say that there is a lot to be mined from an in depth psychological study on why people are attracted to the Noble, Furticks and Driscolls of the world as “pastors”. It might just scare us to death.

  129. Christiane wrote:

    Henri Nouwen taught at three Ivy League universities and was a well-known author and speaker, but he realized all of the ‘limelight’ was not good for him;
    so he left the glorified world of academia and went to work at a facility for severely disabled people, and spent the rest of his life in service there.

    You will rarely, if ever, hear a YRR/Neo-Cal leader praise Nouwen, but his book “The Wounded Healer” has ministered to me. For that matter, Frederick Buechner’s sermon, “The Road Goes On” (included in his book “A Room Called Remember”) did more for me than anything I have read or heard from MacArthur, Piper, et al.

  130. waking up wrote:

    I want over to Newspring site and now it appears Clayton King is the temporary pastor. I don’t know anything about him. I’m hoping he has the integrity and grit needed to help the elders and church leadership in meaningful ways.

    If memory serves me correctly, it will be more of the same thing. I believe CK was very involved in the abuse of James Duncan; maybe he was simply there and complicit, I cannot remember. However, he is not without a track record of self-promotion and tendency towards exaggeration.

  131. DO NOT TALK ABOUT MODERATION.

    It happens. Get over it.

    I have no time to go into a conversation about this so lets all just drop it.

    GBTC

  132. I am at a point of being tired of the whole celebrity Christian culture, so it’s not that I don’t care that Perry Noble has hurt and damaged many people, but I could care less who he is. That said, I have increasingly seen in the last few years the damaging effects of alcohol. Both of my grandfathers were alcoholics, and one quit in his adult life and one didn’t. The effect linger in my extended family in many ways to this day, and are often too many to mention and too destructive to peoples’ lives, and especially childrens’ lives.

  133. GSD wrote:

    Still, I can’t find a biblical mandate to abstain.

    That’s because there isn’t one. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t be manufactured from existing Scripture. The use of false equivalence, circular reasoning, and special pleading, are three of the most commonly used tools for promoting a ‘Biblical’ view of just about anything.

  134. Muff Potter wrote:

    GSD wrote:
    Still, I can’t find a biblical mandate to abstain.
    That’s because there isn’t one. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t be manufactured from existing Scripture. The use of false equivalence, circular reasoning, and special pleading, are three of the most commonly used tools for promoting a ‘Biblical’ view of just about anything.

    I read an interesting one by an SBC pastor. Fermentation is from the Fall.

    See? Simple.

    (So is Patriarchy, right?)

  135. This was an interesting book to read about how people get away with disgraceful behavior by the way they “confess” their misbehavior and win their place back at the table. In case the link doesn’t “take” properly, the book is called _The Art of the Public Grovel_, by Susan Wise Bauer.

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8724.html

  136. I’m really dying to make a comment on this (excellent) post, because I recently divorced a Good Christian Alcohol Abuser. But I want to sit down and think it through first. Please send a prayer or two for me to get this out – I need it as part of *my* recovery as a formerly abused wife!

  137. Perry Noble will be back in the pulpit within 180 days guaranteed, most likely starting a new church.

    Is it just me, or does the name Perry Noble actually sound like a drink. In the wild days of my college years, in the early 90’s, I used to drink vodka and strawberry clearly Canadian water. It was pretty good. I think I’ll retroactively call that drink a “Perry Noble”.

  138. Christiane wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    I admit I initially suspected the husband’s involvement, because I have watched too many crime shows where the set-up is so similar; and I was relieved to hear that he was not considered to be a defendant ….. so at least their son will have his father. ‘Davey’ seems rather immature though, in the videos of him preaching. Hardly the sort who would be involved in a murder in any capacity.

    A sad, tragic case …. Amanda Blackburn deserved a better eulogy from Noble.

    To my knowledge, this case isn’t resolved and Davey Blackburn has not been fully absolved. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong. But the case is still open. In fact, the 911 call placed by Davey hasn’t yet been released. I would not say he’s hardly the sort to be involved in a murder in any capacity ..
    As far as at least their son having his father… Yes. But. I’m not confident that’s a great thing IMO.
    If birds of a feather flock together, at a minimum Davey and Perry Noble are strange birds. At a maximum… Who knows?…

  139. @ Gram3:

    I attended Newspring for several years. Joined small group. Served on Sundays.

    I grew up in church and fell away while I was in college. (College didn’t push me away, the cult of personality around the new preacher at the old church did. When you tell the men put up for deacon that there is no disagreement among the deacons and the pastor and every decision is 100% unanimous, you’re a jerk.)

    I was looking for a church and found Newspring online. I watched several sermons and liked it. I joined a small group and loved it. And finally I started going to church on Sundays. I loved the people I served with, I loved the people I did small group with. I could take or leave Perry. I felt like he only had a handful of sermons that were reworked with different verses and anecdotes to fit his 5-10 theses. I felt like once I’d heard those sermons there wasn’t much else for me to do. So I spent years as a member who rarely went to a sermon. I fellowshiped while serving with the other volunteers. I co-led a small group with another person.

    It was hard to leave. I had close friends and people who I truly loved. But it came down to the decision of leaving this church or not ever growing because Perry couldn’t teach me anything.

    What I saw in the people who loved Perry and thought he was a great preacher, were people who didn’t question things. I don’t know how to phrase this without sounding condescending and that is certainly not my intention, but if you’re proud of the fact you haven’t read a book since high school, you’d like Perry’s teachings. Not a lot of depth to the analysis. I got more from my annotated bible from college than his teachings.

    Of the 2 small groups I was a member probably a dozen people left the church. We’re still friends and we still small group less formally, but we don’t Newspring. I suspect Newspring’s numbers are a lot of churn and burn. Novelty brings people in and then they see behind the curtain and leave for other churches.

    TL;DR – Newspring is an easily accessible church for people who don’t go to church, never been to church, or quitters like me. Once you’re in you’ll find some really amazing friends and then it’s hard to leave those people.

  140. @ ishy:

    “I also really get annoyed when I see people say that pastors should never be fired,…”
    ++++++++++++

    during my short-lived stint at 2nd Church of Dysfunction, the pastor their told me in ebullient terms how he could never be fired. in context it was meant to reassure me, give me a safe feeling. he clearly considered it very good for the whole, and something for people to feel good about.

    i’m sure i donned my best ironic look in response, no effort required.

    seems there is the thinking ‘out there’ that this pastor can’t be fired notion is a good, sound, thing.

  141. @ dee:

    Chatbot or troll off the starboard bow, potential for thread to be derailed… I’m pointing this out for good-hearted TWW commenters. I do not intend to engage with whoever is behind the provocative nonsense in the comment, in case the party is trying to take advantage of TWW’s generous comment policy. Sample below:

    Hope wrote:

    This website will never solve the problems with “alcoholism” or anything else…… why? because it is anti-complementarian in its words and phrases.

  142. Well, if he is an alcoholic, I guess that he was predestined to be so. Which pretty much lets him off the hook.

    No kidding the link to things he has said in his church match to a t the local SBC here. Which is why I am not there.

    When these guys say they believe in the bondage of the will, like Luther and Calvin, what they really mean is they believe in the bondage of YOUR will to obey THEIRS.

  143. Friend wrote:

    @ dee:

    Chatbot or troll off the starboard bow, potential for thread to be derailed… I’m pointing this out for good-hearted TWW commenters. I do not intend to engage with whoever is behind the provocative nonsense in the comment, in case the party is trying to take advantage of TWW’s generous comment policy. Sample below:

    Hope wrote:

    This website will never solve the problems with “alcoholism” or anything else…… why? because it is anti-complementarian in its words and phrases.

    Oh but it completely changed my mind! Such reasoning! :o)

  144. Hope wrote:

    This website will never solve the problems with “alcoholism” or anything else…… why? because it is anti-complementarian in its words and phrases.

    Have you not studied the lives of “orthodox Jewish” women. They hate the word “oppressed” when they do their life out of their home. They are not oppressed as this website claims. So this website will never solve problems of alcoholism as it is deeply rooted in anti-semetic value.

    Yes, Jewish people will find corruptions in the jewish people’s lives…..cult leaders, pedophile issues etc. But to claim that complementarian values are always “ungodly” is just foolish women blabbing about nothing and a disgrace to semetic values and lifestyles. Give it up to the Lord……not to selfish and self-worship ways.

    What in the world are you talking about?

  145. Lydia wrote:

    I read an interesting one by an SBC pastor. Fermentation is from the Fall.

    See? Simple.

    (So is Patriarchy, right?)

    I’ve heard some doozies from Calvary Chapel’s old guard too. As you may know, their founder Papa Chuck had an Islamic aversion to alcohol, and his word was as revered and obeyed as Chairman Mao’s was in a bygone China.
    I’m a drunk and I admit it and own it. But I am not the least bit ‘stumbled’ or worried about some imaginary ‘appearance of evil’ by those who enjoy various libations responsibly.
    L’chaim!

  146. @ Friend:

    Hahaha. I saw it too … good on you to call it to the attention of the Deebs.

    It’s good to know that Complementarians don’t have problems with alchoholism, or wife abuse, or child abuse cover up, or anything else for that matter. AND, the proponents of ESS are perfectly aligned with the Nicene Fathers.

    *snort

  147. elastigirl wrote:

    i’m sure i donned my best ironic look in response, no effort required.
    seems there is the thinking ‘out there’ that this pastor can’t be fired notion is a good, sound, thing.

    I imagine so. I would have had the same look.

    I think a lot of people in Western society think they can never be caught at doing anything bad. Not just in ministry, but I know people in all walks of life like that. Even ones where what they are doing is clearly causing them huge problems in their lives and the lives of those they care about.

    I’ve seen people burn friendship after friendship, romantic relationships, jobs, what have you… and they still believe that they can keep doing the same thing and succeed.

  148. Persephone wrote:

    I’m really dying to make a comment on this (excellent) post, because I recently divorced a Good Christian Alcohol Abuser. But I want to sit down and think it through first. Please send a prayer or two for me to get this out – I need it as part of *my* recovery as a formerly abused wife!

    Prayers for you!

  149. @ Godith:
    Hi GODITH,
    my own thought is that if a person is having trouble with the effects of alcohol in their life, then starting with a good screening physical check-up is not such a bad idea ….. the physician may be in a better place to evaluate the patient’s needs than the patient is at the time, if his judgement is impaired from dependency on alcohol for self-medication

  150. @ Elizabeth:
    Thank you for replying and telling your story. I’m glad you are able to stay in touch and gather with your friends from NS. We do the same and only regret leaving other really great people behind.

  151. @ Melissa:
    Wow~ something very strange about this case, yes, and IF there was any involvement on the husband’s part, I would hope it could be discovered and he could be held accountable …. that poor girl, so sad

  152. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I can respect your choice.
    There are many people who are alcoholics and they truly are addicted to booze and its hard-wired into their DNA.
    I, on the other hand, am weary of the majority of American conservative Christianity’s immaturity and hostility about drinking even a modest amount of alcohol with a meal, like dinner. They act like illegal drugs are being served and are petty and hostile. I have European relatives who aren’t alcoholics, do drink a glass of wine with dinner, do bring wine as gifts, and they are stunned at the level of childishness of American conservative Christians over the issue of alcohol.
    At conservative churches I’ve been a member or or attended it was common for them to send emails before we gathered at restaurants to tell us that we shouldn’t order alcohol so that we didn’t make a brother/sister with a drinking problem “stumble”. What next, an email that we can’t order dessert because we could make a diabetic “stumble”?
    I certainly couldn’t carry The Gospel to my European relatives who would never put up with this level of Americanized, Puritanical Christianity.
    I have brought red wine for my own home since I no longer go to a NeoCalvinist church.
    Notice I didn’t bring it into the realm of faith. I think I am free to drink as a Christian, but decided based on what I observed in friends and family that it was likely to not be profitable. If someone wants to drink around me, that’s their choice. I only answer for my own decisions.

    I went to a wedding once where wine was served. A couple of people from our hyper-conservative PCA church were at my table and loudly noted that they didn’t drink. They were probably disappointed in that no one applauded or told them how they were better Christians than the rest of us. They didn’t offend me because they looked rather foolish. It wasn’t the time or place to point out that scripture didn’t prohibit drinking, just getting drunk. Bless their hearts. As for me, a few minutes ago while waiting for my antibiotic prescription to be filled (sinus infection – ugh), I browsed the wine aisles at Kroger (TN now allows wine in grocery stores). So many pretty bottles, yet what I want is something super sweet with a little tropical parasol stuck in it.

  153. Persephone wrote:

    I’m really dying to make a comment on this (excellent) post, because I recently divorced a Good Christian Alcohol Abuser. But I want to sit down and think it through first. Please send a prayer or two for me to get this out – I need it as part of *my* recovery as a formerly abused wife!

    I am looking forward to hearing it. I am so glad that so many people in these sham Christian marriages are getting their courage to speak about the abuses behind closed doors, that they had to hide.

    Brava!

  154. siteseer wrote:

    What in the world are you talking about?

    A chatbot didn’t occur to me, but I wondered if dear Hope was living in a world of fairly lights and purple elephants with wings.

  155. @ Christiane:
    I had forgotten about this and assumed the police had ID’d the perp. Now I have the same doubts I had before and hope they find the right guy soon for the sake of everyone affected, especially the little boy.

  156. @ Elizabeth:
    Thank you so much for your insight. I never believe the numbers because I know how it works and it is a never ending turnstile of recruiting as many leave as those who come for a visit.

    As to going deeper, most mega church plotters and planners will tell you it is on purpose. The sermons are for the newbies….over and over. We called it community college remediation teaching. Truth is, most mega church pastors can’t go much deeper than that. That is not their thing.

    I would love to hear of some mega church scholars but I can only think of Greg Boyd. Is Woodlands a mega? Not sure.

  157. GSD wrote:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t normally drink alcohol because
    1. It’s expensive
    2. It’s got calories
    3. I don’t like the taste
    4. One grandfather died of alcohol abuse. If there is a genetic component, I don’t want to find out.
    Still, I can’t find a biblical mandate to abstain.

    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/jo-mamas-world-famous-spaghetti-22782

  158. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Notice I didn’t bring it into the realm of faith. I think I am free to drink as a Christian, but decided based on what I observed in friends and family that it was likely to not be profitable. If someone wants to drink around me, that’s their choice. I only answer for my own decisions

    I completely understand your decision and earlier post. I respect your decision.

  159. Patriciamc wrote:

    I went to a wedding once where wine was served. A couple of people from our hyper-conservative PCA church were at my table and loudly noted that they didn’t drink. They were probably disappointed in that no one applauded or told them how they were better Christians than the rest of us. They didn’t offend me because they looked rather foolish. It wasn’t the time or place to point out that scripture didn’t prohibit drinking, just getting drunk. Bless their hearts.

    I know the type.

    I come from a family with diverse religions and customs, from Eastern Orthodox Christians to Scottish Presbyterians from non-drinkers to drinkers (but no one irresponsibly).

  160. @ Friend:

    I concur with your diagnosis: chatbot. (Or possibly a human testing Artificial Stupidity by mimicking a chatbot.)

    This one was a little more sophisticated than some we’ve seen here, though, don’t you think? There was some evidence of language-like paragraph divisions and some kind of rudimentary algorithm to link the paragraphs.

  161. Some thugs have been arrested for Amanda Blackburn’s murder but many professional investigators consider suspect the husband’s statements and the absurd coincidences that occurred surrounding the home invasion (through a door he did not lock with his pregnant wife and baby inside in the dark of early morning in a sketchy neighborhood). The science of statement analysis has followed the case and explored Blackburn’s language in his videotaped “sermons” at his spin-off “church” supported by New Spring.
    http://www.statement-analysis.blogspot.com is a good place to consider what Peter Hyatt, and expert investigator says of Perry Noble’s words at the funeral and on other occasions. Perry seems to have a weird obsession with Davey Blackburn’s body…actually an obvious attraction.
    Someone above spoke of Perry’s “apology” as a “guilty to a lesser charge” plea. I would agree and am suspect about the list of things to which he pleads not guilty. I am truly offended for his wife, Lucretia. No one accused her of anything in the leadership letter but he, in his own way threw her under the bus, in my opinion.

  162. Elizabeth wrote:

    We’re still friends and we still small group less formally, but we don’t Newspring.

    All frivolity aside, that’s quite an achievement – indeed, one that is beyond a lot of church congregations. You’ve maintained fellowship (the word is grossly overused here in the UK, but I’ve no reason to doubt you) in such a way that The Church has transcended the man-made walls between “churches”. That rarely happens when people leave a congregation. Hats off to you all.

  163. T wrote:

    but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair.

    A *year*.

    We’re not talking about a couple of weekends.

    We’re talking about a *year*.

    And as a member of the I Had An Alcoholic Parent Club – I have no doubt that the time frame for his alcohol abuse is greater than a single year.

    Minimization is the norm.

  164. mot wrote:

    Now I wish the whole CBMW group would resign in mass. It was never needed in the first place.

    I wonder, what do they do with the donations they receive? Are their financial records available?

  165. Lydia wrote:

    Oh but it completely changed my mind! Such reasoning! :o)

    Yeah, I had the same problem. Fortunately my dog is an astute theologian, and she pulled me back from the brink.

  166. Hey Dee and Deb–I just read a fascinating review by Aimee Byrd over at alliancenet.org about Ruth Tucker’s book “Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.” Aimee is seriously asking why complementarians are not paying more attention to the real issues of domestic abuse in their “biblical” gender program. Well worth reading!! I wonder when the intense push back will come because she has again dared to speak out and ask questions.

  167. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Now I wish the whole CBMW group would resign in mass. It was never needed in the first place.

    I wonder, what do they do with the donations they receive? Are their financial records available?

    Furtick Mansions are sooooo expensive…
    (Have to keep up with the Furticks, you know.)

  168. nancyjane wrote:

    Hey Dee and Deb–I just read a fascinating review by Aimee Byrd over at alliancenet.org about Ruth Tucker’s book “Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.” Aimee is seriously asking why complementarians are not paying more attention to the real issues of domestic abuse in their “biblical” gender program

    Because they’re MALE.
    “What do you mean, the System is broken? It Works Just Fine (for MEEEEEEE)!”

  169. Patriciamc wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    What in the world are you talking about?

    A chatbot didn’t occur to me, but I wondered if dear Hope was living in a world of fairly lights and purple elephants with wings.

    If Hope isn’t a chatblot, well, how big a loser do you have to be to fail a Turing Test?

  170. Velour wrote:

    Victorious wrote:

    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?”

    Yes, this is a very common term when experienced people talk about alcoholics.
    “Dry Drunks.” “Put the plug in the jug” but still have an alcoholic personality despite that many times is worse.

    I wonder if this is a characteristic of ACAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics); I’ve known two who show some of the behavior characteristics of “dry drunks”; both had fathers who were serious sauce hounds. I wonder if being raised in an alcoholic household causes even non-drinking ACAs to internalize alky behavior as What’s Normal?

  171. nancyjane wrote:

    I wonder when the intense push back will come because she has again dared to speak out and ask questions.

    Unfortunately, I think this is probably the truth: In the eyes of the complementarian tastemakers, the fact that she is bringing criticisms at all automatically marks her as a feminist, and therefore not worthy of a response.

    It is a great article, though- it includes a couple relevant and bone-chilling quotes on abuse from complementarian leaders.

  172. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Here’s my funny alcohol story.

    Here’s mine:

    Several years ago, I was nursing a sore throat. I’d heard of Roman Mulsum — hot wine sweetened with dissolved honey — as a folk remedy and tried it. It worked; soothed my sore throat. I put the glass in the kitchen sink, turned to go into the living room — and walked right into the wall.

    Another time, we were leaving an SF con on its last day and one of the guys with me stopped at a Dead Dog party (i.e. end-of-con room party). He asked what was in the punch; they wouldn’t tell him. So he tried some of it anyway (admitting in retrospect this was a really dumb move). Well, the con was in San Jose and the punch hit somewhere around Salinas going down the 101. (I was driving, he wasn’t.) The third guy in the car asked him some precise questions about his symptoms and figured out what the punch had been spiked with — SOJU. (Korean moonshine, really nasty stuff.) We had to stop in Salinas, decant him into a bed, and let him sleep it off. (Not that big a disruption seeing as we were going to hit Monterer Aquarium on the way back.)

  173. siteseer wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS!
    WE’RE SO GLAD YOU COULD ATTEND!
    COME INSIDE! COME INSIDE!”
    — Emerson Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil Nine”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSTe9uit48

    My husband starts singing this every time one of these mega churches come up- it’s so apropos!

    I think your husband and I would get along real well.
    Fluent in Snark.

  174. Christiane wrote:

    A sad, tragic case …. Amanda Blackburn deserved a better eulogy from Noble.

    1) She was (just) a woman, and
    2) How much of that was the alcohol doing the talking?
    3) And this is the same guy who did that selfie at the top.

  175. Sad deal no matter how you look at it. Hope he gets help, but it may take more of a journey than Mr. Noble has ever imagined. From what I understand Mr Noble has a history of depression. It could be more than alcoholism or depression.

  176. Velour wrote:

    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.

    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/jo-mamas-world-famous-spaghetti-22782

    A couple years ago, I found out how adding wine to a scratch sauce really improved it; the wine offset the tartness of the tomatoes. From then on, I tip a cup of Burgundy into every batch of sauce I make.

    And when I do chicken cacciatore, I make sure to initially cook the chicken breasts in Burgundy as well as oil/garlic/herbs/garlic; tints the white meat kind of purple; then I pour on the chopped tomatoes & onions & boiled potatoes for the final simmer…

  177. Suspicious of way more wrote:

    Some thugs have been arrested for Amanda Blackburn’s murder but many professional investigators consider suspect the husband’s statements and the absurd coincidences that occurred surrounding the home invasion (through a door he did not lock with his pregnant wife and baby inside in the dark of early morning in a sketchy neighborhood). The science of statement analysis has followed the case and explored Blackburn’s language in his videotaped “sermons” at his spin-off “church” supported by New Spring.

    That was a sad and bad case – Amanda’s murder – and highly suspicious. If there was any kind of criminal conspiracy behind it, it has to be proven.

    I’ve heard nothing about the defendants being prosecuted yet, and we’re already in mid-July. Weird.

  178. roebuck wrote:

    Patriciamc wrote:
    Velour wrote:
    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.
    http://www.food.com/recipe/jo-mamas-world-famous-spaghetti-22782
    Thanks for this! I pinned it.
    I’ve made this several times – it really is delicious…

    It is really delicious. I will have to make it in the coming months.

    I haven’t eaten meat, or any animal products (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter) in months since my doctor told me my Cholesterol level was a little too high. I did, however, recently made vegan pizzas with homemade crust, sauce, vegan cheese, and vegan meat, and veggies. Tasted great.

  179. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    A sad, tragic case …. Amanda Blackburn deserved a better eulogy from Noble.
    1) She was (just) a woman, and
    2) How much of that was the alcohol doing the talking?
    3) And this is the same guy who did that selfie at the top.

    A man like Noble who can’t handle a Twitter account and 140 characters without blowing it can’t be trusted with a higher word count about anything.

  180. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Victorious wrote:
    Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a “dry alcoholic?”
    Yes, this is a very common term when experienced people talk about alcoholics.
    “Dry Drunks.” “Put the plug in the jug” but still have an alcoholic personality despite that many times is worse.
    I wonder if this is a characteristic of ACAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics); I’ve known two who show some of the behavior characteristics of “dry drunks”; both had fathers who were serious sauce hounds. I wonder if being raised in an alcoholic household causes even non-drinking ACAs to internalize alky behavior as What’s Normal?

    I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. Behavior is learned – the good and the bad.

  181. Suspicious of way more wrote:

    Some thugs have been arrested for Amanda Blackburn’s murder

    Not surprising, but it will be interesting to see what comes out. Davey’s statements and his “sermons” are just really, really weird and creepy. As to Perry’s statements about Davey’s body, well, those are bizarre and can lead in all sorts of interesting speculative directions. The FSU law professor’s murder by two thugs went officially “unsolved” for awhile even though the investigators had a good idea what happened, so maybe that is the case here as well.

  182. @ Nancy2:

    It’s not enough to support the organization on its own. It is housed at SBTS so I assume they absorb the infrastructure and such. My question has been do they pay the writers (like Piper) and how much. Making it the T$G pre conference is probably going to help. It’s like the gurus are giving the attendees a big hint- support it! And they do what they are told.

  183. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I wonder if this is a characteristic of ACAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics); I’ve known two who show some of the behavior characteristics of “dry drunks”; both had fathers who were serious sauce hounds. I wonder if being raised in an alcoholic household causes even non-drinking ACAs to internalize alky behavior as What’s Normal?

    I may have posted this before, but years ago Phil Donahue had two brothers as his guest on a show that had alcoholism as the focus. The two brothers were in their 30’s. Phil asked one why he turned to alcohol and he replied “because I grew up watching my father’s addiction to alcohol.” Then he asked the other brother why he DIDN’T use alcohol. He replied “because I grew up watching my father’s addiction to alcohol.”

    Hard (for me) to know the cause….

  184. Having stashes of alcohol in unlikely places.
    I continue to staunchly maintain that the tank on the back of my toilet is NOT an unlikely place. In fact, it is the most perfectly likely stash for my seated liquid refreshment.

  185. Noble told pastors that “the person that always screams I want to go deeper” is “the jackass in the church.”

    If you can keep the pew shallow in their faith, they won’t develop a spiritual discernment to see the pulpit the way it really is. Keeping them away from deep truths will ensure that they follow ‘you’, rather than be Spirit-led. A pastor who labels those who seek the face of God as a “jackass” is the biggest one of all.

  186. I don’t really care if Noble is an alcoholic, and I’m glad he is getting help. What does concern me is the fact that he is a public ash-hat and for some reason it is ok for him to be a “pastor” at a mega-church.

  187. I attended Clemson University, just down the road from Newspring, during the first years of Perry’s “church.” I know people from college who attended Newspring during my time there, but these were the days before Newspring hit it big, so there wasn’t the big influence on the area as I’d imagine there is now. I’m seeing some of my friends from Clemson now showing support for Perry, and I’m not sure how to engage them in conversation about him.

    While I will not deny that he is a great public speaker with a penchant for jokes, that talent doesn’t necessarily make for a good preacher (but obviously, a megachurch head pastor gig pays a lot more than a stand-up comedian gig.) I have a feeling that’s what draws so many people into his fold.

    Alcoholism would explain a lot regarding Perry’s various antics over the years, so I find it hard to believe this has only been an issue for the past year. That and the whole “posture toward his marriage” statement has me thinking there’s more than meets the eye that the church is not revealing to the public or the congregation.

    As far as bringing up his wife – he brings up his family constantly during his sermons. I seem to remember one sermon a number of years back where he actually pulled his daughter, then 4 or 5 years old, onto the stage, for a tithing demonstration, of all things. So I’m not entirely surprised he brought up his wife. And I’m willing to bet there was some form of abuse in that household – I’ll believe it wasn’t physical based on the church statement, but you can’t tell me that there wasn’t emotional and verbal abuse that happened, especially during times that Perry was intoxicated. And likely nobody outside of the Noble household truly knows the extent of that form of abuse. Perry’s wife and daughter need our prayers more than he does, as they’ve suffered the worst from his alcohol problem.

    I will admit to not being a big fan of South Carolina football (Clemson and South Carolina are big rivals, after all) but Perry’s twitter war definitely takes things too far, even if he wasn’t a “pastor.” On a related note, football and sports are another thing that he’s brought up in his sermons an awful lot.

    On a final note, I doubt things at Newspring will get any better under Clayton King (new interim pastor.) He is definitely cut from the same cloth as Perry Noble, and he’s preached “Protect Your Pastor” type sermons before, often with violent imagery to go along with it.

  188. AnonInNC wrote:

    On a final note, I doubt things at Newspring will get any better under Clayton King (new interim pastor.) He is definitely cut from the same cloth as Perry Noble, and he’s preached “Protect Your Pastor” type sermons before, often with violent imagery to go along with it.

    But with His Majesty purged, now HE gets to sit on the Iron Throne of Newspring.

  189. Bill M wrote:

    That established, authoritarians love to invoke Matthew 18 for their self protection.

    In an elder-ruled church, Matthew 18 can never be exercised to its fullest extent, if necessary. The final step “tell it to the church” provides instruction for the congregation to deal with the matter if leaders are unable to do so. Where an authoritarian leadership resides, discipline can never get that far since congregational governance does not exist. The New Testament church obviously had a better handle on doing church properly! They provided no room for an authoritarian pulpit to exist in the early church – the congregation would nip such behavior in the bud if it raised its ugly head.

  190. AnonInNC wrote:

    I seem to remember one sermon a number of years back where he actually pulled his daughter, then 4 or 5 years old, onto the stage, for a tithing demonstration, of all things.

    ‘Onto the stage’. That’s why I will never attend, even just to visit, a megachurch. I’m an old-fashioned gent, and churches don’t have stages. For that matter, they don’t have rock bands with light shows and smoke machines, and huge screens, and ‘pastors’ roaming around the stage with stupid little microphone headset thingies.

    Furthermore, you kids stay off of my lawn! 😉

  191. Bill M wrote:

    There was a long “line” of over 30,000 people who every week affirmed Noble’s way of doing church

    Of all the news and noise surrounding this sad chapter in American church life, that is the most disturbing thing of all to me! To think that a multitude of folks called by the name of Christ would so easily follow such leadership, who laughed at the sacrilegious, who were willing participants in the secular delivery of sacred things, who encouraged friends and neighbors to join in the deception.

  192. Pingback: Mark Driscoll Set to Launch His Cult in Scottsdale, AZ - Thou Art The Man UNITED STATES

  193. Godith wrote:

    I don’t believe alcoholism is a disease. It is a bad choice that becomes a bad habit.

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    “Some of you are running to alcohol to be your fortress, rather than God, who Scripture says is our fortress. That is a problem for one who claims to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.” (Perry Noble, “Can A Christian Smoke, Drink, and Watch a Rated R Movie?”, a NewSpring message on December 20, 2013).

    Bad habits can be broken for those who truly turn to Christ, who is indeed a strong fortress against all attacks by the enemy of our souls.

  194. Max wrote:

    Bill M wrote:

    There was a long “line” of over 30,000 people who every week affirmed Noble’s way of doing church

    Of all the news and noise surrounding this sad chapter in American church life, that is the most disturbing thing of all to me! To think that a multitude of folks called by the name of Christ would so easily follow such leadership, who laughed at the sacrilegious, who were willing participants in the secular delivery of sacred things, who encouraged friends and neighbors to join in the deception.

    Amen, Brother! What is this ‘Megachurch’ nonsense anyway? It’s show biz, it’s worldly entertainment. How do you ‘fellowship’ with 30,000 people? It is, as you say, the secular delivery of sacred things. Very disturbing indeed…

  195. So Perry Noble says that if we don’t like their music, our lives suck. That is so wrong. A lot of people, not just the older ones don’t like the loud music. Do to an event in my health, about 25 yrs ago, I can’t tolerate loud music or sound anymore. Especially if it comes from behind me in a place that has speakers everywhere. I guess Noble doesn’t like the old Hymns of the church. They sustain many of us during our times of need and times of abundance.

    When I about 12 yrs old, back in the early 70’s we went to the wedding of a neighbor of ours at the local Lutheran church. Another neighbor of ours was the retired minister of that church. I was raised A/G and drinking was a total taboo. We are talking hell fire and brimstone type of taboo. Drinking sent you to hell. So you can my surprise when the minister of this Lutheran church, was drinking at the reception. I about had a fit. I can remember being very vocal about it to my parents. They kept telling me to hush and they would talk about it late. (if I remember right, he was also smoking, another big taboo). I don’t remember my parents ever talking to me about it though. Now, I’m not against having a drink with a meal, if you like. Many people take it for medicinal purposes. But because of medication I take, any type of drinking is forbidden, even in moderation. I’m not going to judge you if you do though. I apologize to any of my friends and even some family members for being judgmental about it to them in my teens and early twenties. There are many a times when I wish I could take a drink. Instead I drink large doses of caffeine in sodas, which is also not good for me.

  196. @ faceless church staffer:
    Thank you for the “insider” view of the hell created by authoritarian church leaders. You are not “faceless”; Christ knows your name. Thank you for your honesty. TWW, and other watchblogs like it, exist to tell your story and warn others.

  197. waking up wrote:

    none of their elders or staff call them out

    They are hand-picked by the “lead pastor” with that in mind. The first place to control the church is to control the elders. It’s happening all over New Calvinism.

  198. @ brian:
    Max wrote:

    In an elder-ruled church, Matthew 18 can never be exercised to its fullest extent, if necessary. The final step “tell it to the church” provides instruction for the congregation to deal with the matter if leaders are unable to do so.

    They just redefine “the church” as the board of elders.

  199. GSD wrote:

    How did Perry Noble attract 30,000 followers?

    Therein lies a major problem with some corners of the 21st century church. Folks like this would not have a pulpit if it wasn’t for a pew that demand such ministries. In the megachurch world, the pulpit is essentially asking the pew “Which way do you want to go and I’ll get out in front to lead.” So, Christianity Lite is birthed … it begins with taking the salt out of salt and manufacturing something that is more palatable. The “pastor” discovers that if he serves it the way they want it, they’ll come back and dig deep to buy it over and over. The word gets out “There is something going on over there!” So others come and multiply themselves into mega-status … to eventually discover that the “something” left them disillusioned and the someone who delivered the goods failed himself and his followers. In the end, it was not all that mega after all.

  200. Velour wrote:

    T wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    T has SCRIPTURE(TM) and The Holy Spirit(TM) and That’s All Any Christian Needs(TM).
    Word of GOD vs Foolishness of Men and all that.
    Ouch(tm). Was merely raising an honest question.
    For as much as this site lives to denounce groupthink/suppression of dissent in churches… “yeah, but we know better” is a trap for everyone.

    T,

    This is an honest discussion about alcoholism, not a co-dependent sweeping it under the rug and pretending the elephant isn’t in the living room.

    Velour, I agree, but sites like this do foster and encourage groupthink and tag-teaming. It’s something we always need to watch out for. Those who disagree with us are not always arguing in bad faith.

    I base this on years and years of experience with boards and blogs. At one board, years ago, I encountered some of the worst, most hurtful bullying and tag teaming I’d ever experienced. Seventh-grade girls are more charitable and irenic than these grown, putatively Christian men were.

    Ironically in light of this thread, it turned out that the most aggressive of these cyber bullies were drunk out of their minds during the time that they were bullying and tag-teaming. Fast forward a few years…they have sobered up, switched to different churches (no, not Catholic), and they and I are besties forever. You just never know.

    I do sometimes see a tendency hereabouts toward tag teaming and ganging up. It is human nature, and it’s ubiquitous on the Internet. But nonetheless I find it a little disturbing. Dissenting voices should be engaged, not shut down. Fortunately the Deebs do allow dissent, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  201. Max wrote:

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    I would love to hear the perspectives of people here who have the background to address this. Even if it is a disease/disorder, the damage is done to innocent bystanders. If someone is NPD/BPD and abuses alcohol, which comes first, the disorder that a person self-medicates with alcohol or the substance abuse with no triggering disorder? I just do not know. The remark about “posture toward marriage” makes me think there is a pre-existing mental disorder/character defect and the alcoholism is an effect rather than a cause.

  202. roebuck wrote:

    AnonInNC wrote:

    I seem to remember one sermon a number of years back where he actually pulled his daughter, then 4 or 5 years old, onto the stage, for a tithing demonstration, of all things.

    ‘Onto the stage’. That’s why I will never attend, even just to visit, a megachurch. I’m an old-fashioned gent, and churches don’t have stages. For that matter, they don’t have rock bands with light shows and smoke machines, and huge screens, and ‘pastors’ roaming around the stage with stupid little microphone headset thingies.

    Furthermore, you kids stay off of my lawn!

    Lol!!! Agree 100%.

    And just wanted to say: Faceless, your post really moved me.

    So did Dr. Duncan’s (linked) blog post, which also had my stomach in knots.

  203. @ Sheila:
    Noble suffered from narcissistic eisegesis, in addition to his other problems. The church world is loony-tune if it puts him back in the pulpit. Forgive him? Yes. Restore him to ministry? NO! As the NewSpring elders stated, Noble is “… no longer qualified to continue as pastor of New Spring Church …” He has done plenty to disqualify him from ministry … period.

    As I posted on the recent TWW piece about Drisoll’s new church, Noble posted a rather feeble defense of Mark Driscoll’s unrepentant comeback on Facebook by drawing on the story of another Mark (the Gospel of Mark), noting that Gospel Mark had walked away from ministry, but was later restored by the disciples. Now, that is a tremendous stretch to compare Gospel Mark with Macho Mark! There is nothing in Scripture to let us know why Gospel Mark walked away, but there are plenty of facts about Driscoll’s departure from Mar’s Hill. He did not walk away – he was fired … nothing in Scripture about Gospel Mark’s potty-mouth preaching … nothing about Gospel Mark plagiarizing his gospel book … nothing about throwing his followers under the chariot … nothing about using ministry funds to raise the ratings on his gospel book … etc. Yep, Rev. Noble should have just left that alone – anyone in their right spiritual minds can see right through that analogy. Let’s hope some other Christian celebrity, some bud of Noble, doesn’t bring this poor Scriptural eisegesis out to defend a Noble comeback!

  204. Lydia wrote:

    Frankly I am more worried about the masses of people who are attracted to this sort of venue as representing the Body of Christ. They really are attending a show.

    Amen! I spoke to this same concern in an earlier comment on this thread. Scary stuff, Lydia, when you think about the masses of church folks out there who prefer this style of preaching/entertainment.

  205. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Until truely independent, mature, non-self serving overseers are in place, this kind of stuff will happen again and again…

    Not many serving in an elder capacity in churches such as this are truly Biblically qualified to do so. NewSpring is an SBC-affiliated church. SBC stresses local church autonomy, so there are no “overseers” who can step in and fix these problems. If the church elders are not spiritually mature and non-self serving, there is no way to prevent this from happening again. Church folks in the pew really need to pray their guts out for a new measure of discernment – deception in the pulpit in the American church is widespread. TWW exists because of it.

  206. Max wrote:

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    I’ve wondered the same Max. How did it get classified as a disease?

  207. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I base this on years and years of experience with boards and blogs. At one board, years ago, I encountered some of the worst, most hurtful bullying and tag teaming I’d ever experienced. Seventh-grade girls are more charitable and irenic than these grown, putatively Christian men were.

    I had a similar experience, but it ended up with me reporting it to the authorities.

    Sadly, I just saw one of those guys doing the exact same thing in a new group that was supposed to be past all that, and people vilifying him and not a single person calling him out about being a bully.

    I do think that it’s better to ignore trolls here, and I’m open to people with other opinions as long as they aren’t here to troll. I don’t go onto their sites and troll, so I’m not going to engage trolls here.

  208. @ Christiane:

    A few highlights

    He could care less who killed his wife
    He speaks in narcissist distancing language (I recognize it myself)
    He credits her death with increasing attendance at his church implying she died to save others
    He never expresses typical grief associated with such a brutal crime of someone so close or his unborn child and even downplays it

    This particular interview was within one week of her death.

    Another strange “coincidence:”: some time before her murder, his church put on a mock violent skit that involved a guy in a red hoodie and a gun .

    He was mentored by Noble.

  209. Poor Perry Noble made it to Pravda. Someone named Sara has spoken against him. Whadda ya wanna bet her comment gets deleted?

  210. Nancy2 wrote:

    Poor Perry Noble made it to Pravda. Someone named Sara has spoken against him. Whadda ya wanna bet her comment gets deleted?

    I am very surprised that Miller did not jump all over her.

  211. Max wrote:

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    It may be a bad choice of words, perhaps “disease” isn’t the best word and was chosen by people at the time decades ago who didn’t have a better word to use backed up by science, but I do know women and men recovering alcoholics and they have described their compulsion to drink. And honestly, I don’t have it. And there is something in our wiring that is different.

    Perhaps science will shed more light on those differences between alcoholics and non-alcoholics.

  212. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Those who disagree with us are not always arguing in bad faith.

    Fair enough. I appreciate your insights about your experiences on blogs and with group-think.

    I guess I’m coming from a slightly different angle. We finally have a discussion about something serious and prevalent – alcoholism in the church – and we’ve barely just started and now it’s time to wash our hands of it, sweep it under the rug.

    There are few places that I know of on the internet to discuss the real problems that conservative Christians face in their lives and churches: domestic violence, mental illness, alcoholism, substance abuse, and child abuse.

    So for my part, I will ignore those posts and just keep reading. Thanks.

  213. @ Nancy2:
    Joel Rainey writes about ‘what Perry Noble needs’ and includes this gem:

    “He needs your mouth……to stay shut! ”

    Of course, Rainey gets praised by David Miller. Maybe if people had spoken up sooner when they witnessed the crazy stuff, it all wouldn’t have gone so far. ???
    Well, at least at TWW, abuse victims have a voice.

    I thought Sara’s comment at voices was excellent.

  214. Nancy2 wrote:

    Poor Perry Noble made it to Pravda. Someone named Sara has spoken against him. Whadda ya wanna bet her comment gets deleted?

    Screen shots, please.

  215. Christiane wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Joel Rainey writes about ‘what Perry Noble needs’ and includes this gem:

    “He needs your mouth……to stay shut! ”

    Of course, Rainey gets praised by David Miller. Maybe if people had spoken up sooner when they witnessed the crazy stuff, it all wouldn’t have gone so far. ???
    Well, at least at TWW, abuse victims have a voice.

    I thought Sara’s comment at voices was excellent.

    Pravda IMO never support the victims.

  216. Watched about ten minutes of the Davey Blackburn / Perry Noble interview. This is the first time I’ve ever heard Noble. He seems extreme in energy and excitement. Noble reminds me of the manic side of bi-polar. I can’t put my finger on it, but something in his demeanor seems to crave attention.

    I can’t believe his audience (hey, he calls his pulpit a stage, so I guess this is a show, and the people in the pews are the audience?) laughed at the shirtless abs comments directed toward Davey. Davey seems pretty chipper to give this interview…as if speaking to such a large welcoming audience will give him relief of his wife’s murder. I don’t know. He just seems off. Yet, being off does not mean he’s a murderer. It sounds like there is more to this case to be resolved.

  217. First of all, excellent post! You did a nice job breaking down the statement.

    When I heard the reason for the departure on Sunday, I thought: 1) he’s most likely an addict and he’s not admitted that, 2) His poor family. I can only imagine what they have been dealing with for years. And, 3) I thought about the church people who wrapped their identity, and the church’s identity, around Noble. They must be very confused and hurt right now.

    Then I remembered the article Noble wrote two years ago about his need to take anti-depressants. If he was drinking alcohol while on his medication, he was making a very risky move. So much can go wrong when combining the two. If this was the case, then that would also explain any further depression or unusual behaviors.

    That being said, I felt like the announcement was vague and evasive to the real issue at hand.

  218. @ mot:
    I was just thinking ‘Pravda’ seems a better name … especially for a blog that encourages a post that wants people to ‘keep silent’ and a blog where often people who comment are severely lectured for what they shared …..

    yeah, ‘Voices’ is NOT a good name for that blog, is it? Very ironic. Headless will enjoy the irony. 🙂

  219. @ Christiane:
    Those pastors at Pravda know best for us, Christiane. We should submit to them as our Holy Spirit. After all, rogue pastors were ordained by God.

    Frankly, any negative truth about any pastor is a personal affront to them. Have you ever heard them deal with their support of Driscoll in the past? No. Move on. Nothing to see here. Noble has been outrageous and jumping up and down screaming ‘look at me’! for years. So we did.

  220. Nancy2 wrote:

    Poor Perry Noble made it to Pravda. Someone named Sara has spoken against him. Whadda ya wanna bet her comment gets deleted?

    Sara’s comment still stands as of 10:44 pm.

    But remember, Perry is NOT a Neo-cal.

  221. Ken P. wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Poor Perry Noble made it to Pravda. Someone named Sara has spoken against him. Whadda ya wanna bet her comment gets deleted?
    Sara’s comment still stands as of 10:44 pm.
    But remember, Perry is NOT a Neo-cal.

    Somebody, please take a screen shot.

  222. T wrote:

    Noble was an appalling preacher and leader of a church, but leaping from his admission that he’s had a bad year with alcohol to the notion that he might be an alcoholic is a bit unfair. Neither you nor I know any more than is in the statement. Suggesting that everyone who struggles with alcohol is immediately untrustworthy as to the extent of their problem does them a disservice.

    If alcohol is making it so you can not function in your job or relationships? You are an alcohol. That is textbook.

  223. Kathi wrote:

    That being said, I felt like the announcement was vague and evasive to the real issue at hand.

    I agree. There’s more to the story.

  224. Ken P. wrote:

    But remember, Perry is NOT a Neo-cal.

    If you talk like a duck, walk like a duck, and are continually seen in the presence of other ducks … you are a duck.

  225. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    (I haven’t read the comments yet.) I’ve observed enough alcohol problems in friends and extended family to have made the decision to never touch the stuff. Having a coffee habit is bad enough and hard enough to break. Alcohol and its power over people’s lives frankly scares the crap out of me and it’s not a necessity to enjoy life. Happy teetotalers unite! LOL!

    I am not a teetotaler at all, but I grew up with a lot of them so we don’t have alcohol at family stuff generally. Some people are ok having a drink or two and some people are just not. You have to know which one you are and act accordingly.

  226. Patriciamc wrote:

    Kathi wrote:

    That being said, I felt like the announcement was vague and evasive to the real issue at hand.

    I agree. There’s more to the story.

    Well, if getting fired for alcoholism is the front story, the rest of the story must be a real douzie.

  227. Kathi wrote:

    Then I remembered the article Noble wrote two years ago about his need to take anti-depressants. If he was drinking alcohol while on his medication, he was making a very risky move. So much can go wrong when combining the two. If this was the case, then that would also explain any further depression or unusual behaviors.
    That being said, I felt like the announcement was vague and evasive t

    Great insight! Polysubstance abuse is quite dangerous and needs experts to oversee the detoxification stage. .

  228. @ Daisy:
    Tis is a most interesting situation. Lots of people speculating. I know CBMW has been getting pushback from some members of their constituency.

  229. Kathi wrote:

    Then I remembered the article Noble wrote two years ago about his need to take anti-depressants.

    If he was drinking alcohol while on his medication, he was making a very risky move. So much can go wrong when combining the two. If this was the case, then that would also explain any further depression or unusual behaviors.

    One thing I meant to comment on earlier but got busy today running errands and stuff…

    Noble wrote a book a few years ago. I think Pajama Pages blog did a review of it?

    I think Noble dealt with his depression and anxiety using mediation – which is fine – but IIRC, his book left that tid bit out.

    His book painted using a “Jesus only” (or “prayer only”) method of getting through depression, if I remember right. That is not fair to readers of his book who may have been taking it to heart.

    It’s possible he’ll use some kind of medical treatment to deal with what appears to be an alcohol problem but then in the years to come write a book talking about how Jesus only or prayer only got him over or through alcoholism. Or maybe not – but I can see that happening.

    As for me, I took anti-depressants which did not help me. The approach(es) that did help me would still not be approved of many Christians. To get over depression for the most part, I had to change my thinking about things – how I view myself other people, etc.

    But anyway, my years spent trying to “pray the depression away” did not work for me.

  230. Christiane wrote:

    Of course, Rainey gets praised by David Miller. Maybe if people had spoken up sooner when they witnessed the crazy stuff, it all wouldn’t have gone so far. ???

    Right on the money.

  231. @ Max:

    It is a fact that Noble is not reformed. The Neo-cals in general dislike him for his “easy believeism” (lots of baptisms, no prior conferences with Elders), lack of pulpit decorum (see video) and his less than stellar scholarship (Perry is a SEBTS dropout, also see 10 commandments sermon).

    He is an attention hound, though. So if sharing the stage with Mark Driscoll will increase his visibility, he will do it.

    Even Dave Miller at Pravda started his article on Noble’s firing saying he wasn’t a fan of Perry.

  232. Kathi wrote:

    I thought about the church people who wrapped their identity, and the church’s identity, around Noble. They must be very confused and hurt right now.

    Yes, there are so many casualties in this sad development. NewSpring members are no doubt experiencing a range of emotions over this. When a church body identifies with a personality, rather than the person of Christ, an identity crisis will eventually follow. Thousands attended NewSpring and thousands more followed his message, because of Noble. This is a major problem with personality-driven ministries. Certainly, we follow leaders, but when they cease leading and the followers dwindle, who were we following … flesh or Spirit? We shall see what happens to NewSpring in the days ahead; Mars Hill disbanded after Driscoll fell and his church became a byword and reproach.

  233. After years of lurking I am finanally compelled to write in.

    I am a 62 year old child of alcoholic parents. (both gone) I lived thru horrible verbal abuse from mom and physical and verbal abuse from dad. Every night my mom would start drinking and tell us kids how unhappy she and and how she wanted to kill herself. Unfortunately I was a very sensitive child and am screwed up forever. My sister is as hard as nails and has a different set of issues. My elder brother is a paranoid schizo. Whats so wonderful is that all three of us love the Lord. I am so amazed at all the people who were raised in good Christian homes and are no longer Christian.

    Anyhow

    “T” pleased don’t feel picked on. For those of us with alcoholic credentials, Perry Noble’s fall screams of alcoholism and we pick up on denial very fast. He can’t recover until he truly understands his complete failure. If movie stars can do rehab so can he.

    “Godith” Please study the literature on alcoholism and drug addictions. They are truly diseases and it is not a moral failing. Morality only kicks in when the abuser understands they have hurt other people and seek help. Christians show true love when they quit enabling and let people hit bottom. Then you help the person get treatment. If a person really works the 12 Steps they will experience a true conversion to God.

    To all, I know that the scriptures don’t forbid responsible use of alcohol. I wish it did. I am not happy that Christians use alcohol but that is my hang up. I am a rabid teetotaler, my wife and sister are not. When alcohol is offered at family gatherings I love saying no thank you, I am truly saved. They tell me to stuff it.

    I have read about Perry Nobles very hard childhood and depression. I am not sure that he was ever truly qualified to be a pastor.

    Please forgive the spelling and grammar.I am a product of California public schools.

  234. Ken P. wrote:

    It is a fact that Noble is not reformed. The Neo-cals in general dislike him

    Perhaps the theology is not there, but fringe characters like Noble and Furtick have benefited from the New Calvinist movement, as well as lending their voices to the resurgence. While New Calvinist icons might not like Noble, many YRR in the trenches have modeled his ministry style, bought his books, and parroted his words … much in the same way they idolized Driscoll. In that sense, Noble and Furtick would be semi-New Calvinistic if you consider the “culturally-relevant” platforms they borrow from each other … they are all after the same market as they merchandise the gospel.

  235. @ waking up:
    Bipolar is my concern for Mr. Noble. This is an awful disease that destroyed my family. My mad relative seemed rational and entertaining enough to be viewed as sane but then she turned so many people against each other. My brother who is a pastor discussed my sisters carnage, and his colleagues said ” she is bipolar isn’t she? ” Hope if Mr. Noble is bipolar he gets some help. Even after being a convicted felon, getting help with her citizens arrest, and having to wear one of those state police locators, my relative denies she has a problem, She calls people higher than a kite and says she is not bipolar and doesn’t need to take her medication, She says she is “hypo manic.” Mr. Noble get help.

  236. Wow, such a thought provoking post. Like many here, I am the daughter of an abusive alcoholic. There was a crisis and he stopped drinking in my teens. He attended AA daily until his death, having been sober for decades. But he wasn’t sober for a week before my family hoped he’d start drinking again. The abuse had become worse. I believe the alcoholism was selF-medication for bipolar and NPD. Sadly, his mental illness was never addressed because AA convinced him that staying sober was all he needed to do.

    From my experience, I think trauma and mental illness go hand in hand with addiction. Maybe there is a genetic predisposition but I think it’s more likely the patterns of abuse in families that become generational. From the link to GWinsida’s comment, it sounds like Noble had a traumatic childhood.

    In college I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Not the wisest decision, but whatever it did for my father it did not do for me. I do drink occasionally but if I am going to abuse a substance it’s usually ice cream. I’m praying for Noble’s family because the effects in mine were devastating and life long. By the grace of God, the generational curse has been broken but the emotional scars still remain, particularly for my mom and sister.

  237. Dee, if I may derail the thread again by mentioning another one of your favorite guys: according to billboards appearing only on DNT and Central Expressway, Robert Jeffress is hosting a “Big D Revival”. His marketing had died down over the past year or so.

    Strachan – who knows? It’s good to know that if I ever want to see his writing style again, I have some political fundraising emails saved in the recesses of my inbox.

    I was really starting to believe that this was a publicity stunt, or a reason for firing as silly as Darrin Patrick’s. With the real story out, doesn’t their PR’s tone sound weird? “You’ll have to wait and find out!” I’ve seen alcoholism in my own family, and addiction in friends, and I share both the gracious sentiments and suspicions concerning Perry Noble’s addiction.

  238. Mark wrote:

    Mr. Noble get help.

    IF Perry Noble does indeed get the real help he needs, it likely will go deeper than any ‘presenting problems’ of substance abuse,
    and involve some serious psychiatric care for his depression.

    I can’t help thinking what a grim childhood produced the man that is Perry Noble. What did people do to him that he is so self-destructive and destructive of others? And imagine what might have been if his gifts had flourished in some better world than this. I stand by the saying ‘Hurting people hurt people.’ I got that saying from WADE BURLESON who shared it on his blog long ago, that his wife Rachelle had told him that. It makes a very great deal of sense in a world that defies reason.

  239. dee wrote:

    Tis is a most interesting situation. Lots of people speculating. I know CBMW has been getting pushback from some members of their constituency.

    Owen’s triumphal post about Grudem’s response to Trueman was truly embarrassing. I don’t see how CMBW could rehabilitate itself after this latest Trinity controversy with Owen still in that position. With him gone, it is possible they can pull the usual “pretend it never happened” schtick. I think the tipping point has been reached with their bedrock grounding for Female Subordination in the Trinity, to mix and mangle some metaphors.

  240. On the issue of Matthew 18, I have noticed many at the top of the food chain of Christian leadership, Like Perry, fail to invoke 1 Timothy 5:17-20 in its entirety or at all when these issues arise. When they do choose to do so, they choose verses 17 and 18, using them in a manner to manipulate the hearers into giving them more money, while conviently forgetting the latter two. Interestingly verses 19 and 20, the application of the witness requirements from Deuteronomy, are left out in favor of Matthew 18. Why is that?

    I wish the best for this church and the challenges that lay before them.

    17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
    18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
    19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.
    20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.

    New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (1 Ti 5:17–20). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

  241. Sheila wrote:

    howing Noble interviewing Blackburn on “stage” at church – and there is something very very VERY “off” about Perry Noble.

    Blackburn is a handsome young guy (not my type, but fine – and there’s something very off in HIS demeanor too) – and Noble constantly references Blackburn’s hot-ness.

    It’s so strange to watch – he tries to spin it as “Man to man, now, isn’t Davey hot?” And the girls in the audience titter and clap and I’m thinking: “This is church? What the heck is this?” These comments are especially inappropriate too because they often happen during tributes to Blackburn’s dead wife. Noble can’t say one good thing about the wife – she barely exists for him – all he can say about her (and all Davey can say about her) is that she was “in love with Jesus” … but Noble DOES sing the praises of Blackburn’s hot body and six-pack-abs and all the rest. It seriously creeped me out.

    So I don’t buy that there isn’t any “sexual sin” – if he’s “blurting” comments like that – on multiple occasions but especially at a tribute gathering for a dead pregnant woman who was … 25 years old?

    … and all he can do is talk about how hot her husband is … how awesome Davey is

    A thousand apologies if Headless Unicorn Guy has already been here, but this is a link he usually gives out in situations such as this:

    The musical stylings of Josie Cotton:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=457N1m4oUZw

  242. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Because they’re MALE.
    “What do you mean, the System is broken? It Works Just Fine (for MEEEEEEE)!”

    To a degree, and in a manner of speaking, I could maybe accept male complementarian apathy towards domestic violence victims, if not for the fact the dingle-berries consistently swear up and down that:

    1. they really think women are equal in worth to men;
    2. they say complementarians are tough against domestic violence;
    3. they think complementarianism, or complementarian men, are the Greatest Protectors of the Weaker, Fairer Sex.

    It’s bad enough 99% of complementarians don’t deal with domestic abuse (ie, speaking out against it), but on top of that, they have to run around on their blogs saying how very deeply they care about women.

    If they really cared about women, they’d put up or shut up and actually support women.

  243. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I wonder if this is a characteristic of ACAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics)

    My mother was one. Her dad was an alcoholic. I’m convinced that is one factor of several of why she was so very, very codependent as an adult.

    Rather than becoming an angry, abusive person, she identified with her mother (who was often the target of her dad’s drunk rages) and was extremely passive in adulthood. she thought having boundaries was mean, selfish, and unchristian.

    She didn’t drink much herself.

  244. Edward wrote:

    the fact that she is bringing criticisms at all automatically marks her as a feminist, and therefore not worthy of a response.

    Yes. Byrd already said on a previous post on her blog that some other complementarians were already calling her an egalitarian or a “thin complementarian.”

    Her post is here for anyone else who is wondering what we’re all talking about:
    Black and White Reviews, Black and Blue Complementarianism
    http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/housewife-theologian/black-and-white-reviews-black-and-blue-complementarianism#.V4VLotQrLGh

  245. siteseer wrote:

    Revisiting Perry Noble’s message on moral failures is kinda interesting now.
    https://perrynoble.com/blog/four-reasons-people-have-moral-failures

    Oh gag. I see from that page he follows a form of the “Billy Graham Rule.”

    I do not ride in a car alone with a woman other than my wife!
    I will not be on an elevator alone with another woman. (I have literally gotten off on a floor that was not my destination in order to keep this value.)
    I will not counsel a woman alone.
    I will not share a meal in a restaurant with a woman with it being just the two of us…under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! EVER!

    Thanks for treating the entire female sex as though we’re all a bunch of drooling harlots who find you irresistible and just want to rip your clothes off. I for one don’t find Noble physically attractive.

  246. Max wrote:

    Noble told pastors that “the person that always screams I want to go deeper” is “the jackass in the church.”
    If you can keep the pew shallow in their faith, they won’t develop a spiritual discernment to see the pulpit the way it really is. Keeping them away from deep truths will ensure that they follow ‘you’, rather than be Spirit-led. A pastor who labels those who seek the face of God as a “jackass” is the biggest one of all.

    Didn’t Driscoll do something similar when he was at Mars Hill? I think he referred to that as “sinfully craving answers”?

    I know Furtick, has in the past, yelled at his members for wanting deeper sermons.

    These preachers think the Pew Potatoes are supposed to be content with pre-chewed baby food.

  247. mot wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    @ Nancy2:
    Joel Rainey writes about ‘what Perry Noble needs’ and includes this gem:
    “He needs your mouth……to stay shut! ”
    Of course, Rainey gets praised by David Miller. Maybe if people had spoken up sooner when they witnessed the crazy stuff, it all wouldn’t have gone so far. ???
    Well, at least at TWW, abuse victims have a voice.
    I thought Sara’s comment at voices was excellent.
    Pravda IMO never support the victims.

    They have gulags for victims.

  248. Stan wrote:

    appearing only on DNT and Central Expressway, Robert Jeffress is hosting a “Big D Revival”. His marketing had died down over the past year or so.

    He was on TBN tonight. I think he has a new book out and was promoting that book (I wasn’t paying strict attention to the program he was on)

  249. Daisy wrote:

    and was extremely passive in adulthood. she thought having boundaries was mean, selfish, and unchristian.

    I remember a woman who’d gotten help when he husband was diagnosed with alcoholism.
    She said to me, “I wasn’t just a doormat, I was wall-to-wall carpeting!” She got a back bone and it saved her marriage. But even if it hadn’t, because she couldn’t control anything he did, she would have still saved her own sanity and self-respect.

  250. Daisy wrote:

    Oh gag. I see from that page he follows a form of the “Billy Graham Rule.”
    I do not ride in a car alone with a woman other than my wife!
    I will not be on an elevator alone with another woman. (I have literally gotten off on a floor that was not my destination in order to keep this value.)
    I will not counsel a woman alone.
    I will not share a meal in a restaurant with a woman with it being just the two of us…under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! EVER!
    Thanks for treating the entire female sex as though we’re all a bunch of drooling harlots who find you irresistible and just want to rip your clothes off. I for one don’t find Noble physically attractive.

    A few years ago on Christianity Today, several men answered a hypothetical situation by saying that if a woman was stuck on the side of the road in pouring rain, they still wouldn’t help her because of the appearance of impropriety. I can see how someone, man or woman, would be hesitant to help someone for their own safety, and as a woman, I’d certainly be hesitant about someone stopping, but my point is that they were more concerned with themselves than with the woman. The comments were mostly about how helping would affect them than how they’d help their neighbor. Hopefully someone reminded them of the Good Samaritan. I do remember leaving a snarky comment on how they’re kidding themselves if they think a woman stuck out in the rain would automatically lust after them if they pulled over to help. Surprise, surprise, a woman stuck in the rain with car trouble is not thinking about sex!

  251. Daisy wrote:

    Stan wrote:
    appearing only on DNT and Central Expressway, Robert Jeffress is hosting a “Big D Revival”. His marketing had died down over the past year or so.
    He was on TBN tonight. I think he has a new book out and was promoting that book (I wasn’t paying strict attention to the program he was on)

    Is he that man who defended the Duggars and the sexual abuse?

  252. Drew wrote:

    19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

    Ahh yes. The bullies at my ex-NeoCalvinist church were fond of this one. And also that they would give an account to God for our souls and therefore – gasp – this was a very big deal and we had to ‘obey’ them and to ‘submit’ to them. Oh puhhhhhlllsssseeee.

    Did Jesus pain for my sins? Isn’t it between me and God?

  253. Patriciamc wrote:

    A few years ago on Christianity Today, several men answered a hypothetical situation by saying that if a woman was stuck on the side of the road in pouring rain, they still wouldn’t help her because of the appearance of impropriety. I can see how someone, man or woman, would be hesitant to help someone for their own safety, and as a woman, I’d certainly be hesitant about someone stopping, but my point is that they were more concerned with themselves than with the woman

    There was a similar discussion on Pravda recently. Some of the men said they’d do the Billy Graham thing and throw the woman an umbrella as they drove past.
    Yeah, right. Throw me an umbrella and I’ll throw back at ya!
    How do they think a woman ( or a man) is supposed to change a tire while holding an umbrella??? Those guys have obviously never changed a tire, or done much of anything else, IMO!

  254. Velour wrote:

    Is he that man who defended the Duggars and the sexual abuse?

    Let’s see, several different preacher guys and Christian personalities were defending the Duggars. I remember Mike Huckabee was for awhile.

    I had to look him up in the context of the Duggars again, and yes, he did defend them at one time. This blog did a post about it months ago.

    “Pastor Robert Jeffress: Josh Duggar Was ‘A 14-Year-Old Having Hormones’”
    http://www.alan.com/2015/06/10/pastor-robert-jeffress-josh-duggar-was-a-14-year-old-having-hormones/

    I think Mike Huckabee stopped defending the Duggars after more and more details came out about Josh’s actions came to light. I remember reading on a news site that Huckabee removed links to pro-Duggar material he had on his site at one time.

    I don’t know if Jeffress is still on board with the Duggars or not.

  255. Nancy2 wrote:

    There was a similar discussion on Pravda recently. Some of the men said they’d do the Billy Graham thing and throw the woman an umbrella as they drove past.
    Yeah, right. Throw me an umbrella and I’ll throw back at ya!

    Would their responses changed if the question were something like:

    “If your DAUGHTER / WIFE / GRANDMA / SISTER was on the side of the road, and a preacher man drove by, would you want that preacher man to stop and fix your female relative’s flat tire / or give her a lift”

    If they would answer “yes, of course,” then what is stopping them from helping some other man’s mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, daughter???????

  256. Daisy wrote:

    I had to look him up in the context of the Duggars again, and yes, he did defend them at one time. This blog did a post about it months ago.
    “Pastor Robert Jeffress: Josh Duggar Was ‘A 14-Year-Old Having Hormones’”

    Sick *pastor*.

    Thanks for the research, as always, Daisy.

  257. Daisy wrote:

    “If your DAUGHTER / WIFE / GRANDMA / SISTER was on the side of the road, and a preacher man drove by, would you want that preacher man to stop and fix your female relative’s flat tire / or give her a lift”

    Preach it, Daisy.

  258. Velour wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    “If your DAUGHTER / WIFE / GRANDMA / SISTER was on the side of the road, and a preacher man drove by, would you want that preacher man to stop and fix your female relative’s flat tire / or give her a lift”
    ————-
    Preach it, Daisy.

    You know what, though? It’s too bad that so many men cannot just view other women as human beings in their own right made in the image of God, but that you do sometimes have to connect the woman in a hypothetical situation to another man.

  259. Max wrote:

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    I’m no expert but it seems like ‘susceptibility’ might have been a better choice of word than ‘disease’. There is some kind of genetic basis for alcoholism (some peoples’ bodies handle alcohol in such a way that encourages addiction). It only accounts for part of the picture, environment plays another part. Some people may have the genetic susceptibility but never develop alcoholism because other factors in their lives protect them. Other people may have an environment that you would think would cause alcoholism yet their bodies do not respond to it by developing addiction.

    Hopefully, with more research, someday we will have better ways of helping people.

    http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arcr343/266-273.htm

  260. Velour wrote:

    And also that they would give an account to God for our souls and therefore – gasp – this was a very big deal and we had to ‘obey’ them and to ‘submit’ to them. Oh puhhhhhlllsssseeee.

    Did Jesus pain for my sins? Isn’t it between me and God?

    That’s the whole point. And these young Neo-Cal preachers don’t understand, or refuse to understand. They’ve lost perspective big time.

    An old song from the sixties goes

    “. . and Jesus was a sailor and He walked upon the water, and He spent a long time watching from a lonely wooden tower . . . ”

    sometimes if any Christian leader feels he needs to ‘be raised up’ in the eyes of others in order to be respected, all he has to do is to imagine how Christ was raised up.

    Then he will quietly walk away from all thought of pedestals; because he knows that the Only One who ever deserved to be on one, chose the Cross instead.

  261. Dee, thank you for pointing out that there absolutely was domestic abuse, just because of PN’s alcohol abuse. I wish more people understood this.

    Addicts are fabulous at gaslighting, misdirection, and blame shifting. Every abused woman* everywhere knows what it’s like to feel crazy half the time; what many don’t know is that’s his intention – if you’re continually off-balance, it’s much easier for him to hide and endulge his addiction.

    I wish more people understood that there doesn’t have to be physical violence, or even screaming fits, name-calling, or rage attacks for there to be real, spirit-crushing domestic abuse. Anything he does in an attempt to control her on an ongoing basis is abuse. That can be financial, emotional, spiritual, etc.

    Where there’s addiction there will always be abuse. The reverse isn’t the case. Whenever there is abuse, the victim needs her own support system, trained in working with domestic abuse. She needs time and space apart form him while he decides whether he’s willing to quit making excuses, blaming others, minimizing, and flat-out lying about himself and his problem(s), and actively works on it for long enough to show true repentance. At least a year, IMO.

    *this is the disclaimer that yes, gender can be the other way around, but usually isn’t

  262. Also, I wonder how many substance abusers, at least long-term ones, also display characteristics of personality disorders. All the ones I’ve known have also presented with NPD, BPD, etc.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the addiction-as-disease model; I’ve lived around substance abusers all my life, and I see compelling arguments for and against. But if you add in PDs, you get a lot more of what I’ve experienced: that there are people who would use their ostensibly medical addiction problems to excuse PD-rooted behaviors. Remove the substance, and they still manipulate, gaslight, etc. on a regular basis.

    Living most of my first fifty years under control of PDered folks – who also happened to have abuse or addiction issues – has left me very leery of the medical model.

  263. BJ wrote:

    I’m a preschool teacher and one of the things that we are taught in conferences is that saying you’re sorry is not a consequence for children or teachers. If I were to lose it one day and grab or spank a child, I’m done. I would never be allowed to work in my state as a teacher and rightly so! I don’t understand these pastors (Chandler, Driscoll and now Noble) who think merely apologizing is enough… (Snip)

    Oh my gosh, does this sound like my ex-husband! He rarely apologized sincerely for anything. But whenever something big came down, a quick “I’m sorry” and my kids and I were all supposed to forgive and forget, instantly. After all, he’d apologized, and Jesus instructs us to forgive.

    It got so bad towards the end that at one point, after I’d figured out that he was driving drunk with the kids, he sat us all down for a very important family meeting, where he intended to come clean. He made lots of preemptive noises once we were all assembled, then came out with,

    “I’ve been so stressed out and busy with work and all that I’ve become addicted…to nicotine gum!”

    He then went on to explain that he’d gotten into the bad habit of drinking alcohol in order to be able to sleep, since the nicotine gum left him feeling wired.

    It was all I could do not to let my jaw drop to the floor. When he shooed the kids out to the car for me to take them on an errand, he held me back and burst into ragey tears because I was so cold and hard-hearted. I guess he could tell I didn’t believe him.

    Whenever someone insists on quick forgiveness, I go on red alert now.

  264. I have one more comment. There is a huge elephant in the room that is being ignored. Twice as many people die each year from alcohol related deaths than deaths from prescription medications and heroin overdoses combined. Yet alcohol and it’s toll are completely ignored while legitimate pain patients are now being cut back or cut off from needed meds. I am not sure what the solutions are as legislation and criminalization has done nothing over several decades to halt substance abuse and lab kiddies are coming up with new a drugs that can fly under the legal radar. The Church desperately needs to acknowledge the issues of substance abuse and addiction and become part of the solution.not excuse leaders actions as a slip up.

  265. and furthermore, there are *still* people who believe I had no basis for divorce, despite having been married to a repentant-in-name-only, decades-long alcohol addict. Someone who I’d thought was a good friend, an elder in our previous church, marriage counselor, and a man who sat in on some of the same seminars I did a few years ago at a local seminary that covered these issues *still* chose to “be there” for my husband rather than for the kids and me.

    We live in poverty and the church supports the so-called repentant sinner rather than his widow and orphans.

  266. As to disease or not, I do know my father was not the man he became after heavy alcohol use over years as he was before alcohol. I believe it is genetic as alcoholism runs on his side of the family. None of my siblings or I have problems with alcohol, but it’s something to be aware of down the line.. As to dry drunk behavior I believe the alcohol damaged his brain.

  267. Gram3 wrote:

    I would love to hear the perspectives of people here who have the background to address this. Even if it is a disease/disorder, the damage is done to innocent bystanders. If someone is NPD/BPD and abuses alcohol, which comes first, the disorder that a person self-medicates with alcohol or the substance abuse with no triggering disorder? I just do not know. The remark about “posture toward marriage” makes me think there is a pre-existing mental disorder/character defect and the alcoholism is an effect rather than a cause.

    Oh wow, Gram, I hadn’t gotten to your post before I wrote what I did about that. In my experience, I’d say that two of the addicts in my family (my mom and husband) have very likely had personality disorders first, with addiction layered on top. The third, my dad, I’m not sure about. I just don’t know enough about his earlier years to even speculate.

    I find it interesting that newer thinking in mental health is leaning towards personality disorders being disorders of character, not strictly mental illnesses.

  268. Velour wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Someone once said “If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only one you can buy in a bottle.” I have personally witnessed the consequences of bad choices in this regard; they were not the symptoms of a disease.

    It may be a bad choice of words, perhaps “disease” isn’t the best word and was chosen by people at the time decades ago who didn’t have a better word to use backed up by science, but I do know women and men recovering alcoholics and they have described their compulsion to drink. And honestly, I don’t have it. And there is something in our wiring that is different.

    Perhaps science will shed more light on those differences between alcoholics and non-alcoholics.

    I believe it was back in the 80’s, or possibly the 70’s, but I remember there were PSA’s on TV with the message ‘Alcoholism – It’s a Disease’. I think it was an attempt to remove the moral stigma from the condition, the social isolation arising from that moral stigma being considered a barrier to recovery. Or something like that.

  269. Velour wrote:

    They have gulags for victims.

    Dee commented at Pravda last night. Let’s see how Miller and his “boys” treat her comment.

  270. It is my prayer that those who are captive, enslaved by compulsions, knowing there’s nothing humanly possible they can do to escape from the power of sin, will repent and turn to God as their only hope, and receive, by grace, the gift of God’s eternal salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ.

    And may those of us who profess Christ be granted the assurance that we are set free from sin’s dominion, and that we have the right to become children of God–children who have been born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but born of God.

    And may God grant that the topics presented here be understood, for the most part, as fodder, and be filtered through the light of His truth, guarding, as it were, against doubt and unbelief.

    Everything that can be shaken will be shaken!

    Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

  271. Ken P. wrote:

    Even Dave Miller at Pravda started his article on Noble’s firing saying he wasn’t a fan of Perry.

    That means little. He often does that with controversial people then he praises the OP and comments that fall in line with the OP. The point of the piece was to shame people to shut up about the pastor Noble. If Noble was an outspoken Trad pastor, it might have been different with Miller. He does the holy rage thing with Trad padtir, Rick Patrick, who has the patience of Job.

    Nothing goes up on Voices/Pravda the big cheeses would not approve. Including allowing certain Trads to comment.

    On SBCToday, JD Hall look alike, Randall Colfield, admitted he reads here when he accused me of being a liberal. (More horrible than a child molester protector)

    Said I was wearing an “egalitarian coiffure” and insisted I lied over there about attending CBF churches for 10 years. He was not willing to link to comments where I described some visits he embellished. Another blogger over there, a Brit, is in sin for attending Anglican where he is the organist. Such a character. He is sort of amusing in a sick way.

    Randall is a pastor, too. I am glad he is reading here (waving to Randall). But the lack of pastoral behavior is going to eventually catch up with them if their congregants decide to operate as adults not children.

  272. Persephone wrote:

    and furthermore, there are *still* people who believe I had no basis for divorce, despite having been married to a repentant-in-name-only, decades-long alcohol addict. Someone who I’d thought was a good friend, an elder in our previous church, marriage counselor, and a man who sat in on some of the same seminars I did a few years ago at a local seminary that covered these issues *still* chose to “be there” for my husband rather than for the kids and me.
    We live in poverty and the church supports the so-called repentant sinner rather than his widow and orphans.

    I am so sorry.

    At my ex-NeoCalvinist church many of the people were unhealthy and had bad boundaries.
    One woman (the Adult Child of an Alcoholic who died decades ago at this own hand with a weapon) is an out-of-control Codependent. She’s over 50 years old, old enough to know better, but told divorced people that they had to call their ex-spouse their current spouse.

    According to her they weren’t “really divorced”. (I guess our laws and courts don’t exist either.) With those “fighting words” she could ruin any social event with her arguing with people.

    Trust me, if I was any good at folding tin foil hats, I would have made her one.

  273. Paula Rice wrote:

    And may those of us who profess Christ be granted the assurance that we are set free from sin’s dominion,

    It is a wonderful thing that we have our God in our trials and joys.

    People with medical problems still have to attend to them (diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, asthma, migraines, depression to name a few) and substance abuse. Good medical care is part of the healing process and the stewardship process of our bodies.

  274. mot wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    They have gulags for victims.
    Dee commented at Pravda last night. Let’s see how Miller and his “boys” treat her comment.

    I never go to that website. You guys have to take screen shots in case the comments disappear.

  275. @ Jeffrey P:
    Thanks for de-lurking to tell us your experience. I am so sorry. It is interesting to hear how children react differently to the situation and the differences in how it effects them as adults.

    I have no experience with it and am truly ignorant of what life is like with one.

  276. Daisy wrote:

    siteseer wrote:
    Revisiting Perry Noble’s message on moral failures is kinda interesting now.
    https://perrynoble.com/blog/four-reasons-people-have-moral-failures
    Oh gag. I see from that page he follows a form of the “Billy Graham Rule.”
    I do not ride in a car alone with a woman other than my wife!
    I will not be on an elevator alone with another woman. (I have literally gotten off on a floor that was not my destination in order to keep this value.)
    I will not counsel a woman alone.
    I will not share a meal in a restaurant with a woman with it being just the two of us…under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! EVER!
    Thanks for treating the entire female sex as though we’re all a bunch of drooling harlots who find you irresistible and just want to rip your clothes off. I for one don’t find Noble physically attractive.

    Sorry, but in our modern day isn’t he being careful? Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex because let’s say an employee has a bad job appraisal behind closed doors, the employee can claim sexual harassment or hostile work environment and it becomes “he said, she said” without appropriate proof as to what really happened. From a legal point of view managers and others have to be very careful these days. I used to laugh at the “Billy Graham” rule until I saw this happen, and HR had a field day.

  277. Lydia wrote:

    Randall is a pastor, too. I am glad he is reading here (waving to Randall). But the lack of pastoral behavior is going to eventually catch up with them if their congregants decide to operate as adults not children.

    Randall is a nasty fellow. He only knows how to do one thing with those that do not think exactly like he does–Attack and Attack!

  278. Persephone wrote:

    We live in poverty and the church supports the so-called repentant sinner rather than his widow and orphans.

    For many reasons people feel pious comforting those who chose to harm others with their behavior. But not so much the ones they harmed. It seems upside down to me.

  279. Persephone wrote:

    and furthermore, there are *still* people who believe I had no basis for divorce, despite having been married to a repentant-in-name-only, decades-long alcohol addict. Someone who I’d thought was a good friend, an elder in our previous church, marriage counselor, and a man who sat in on some of the same seminars I did a few years ago at a local seminary that covered these issues *still* chose to “be there” for my husband rather than for the kids and me.
    We live in poverty and the church supports the so-called repentant sinner rather than his widow and orphans.

    I’m so sorry. My mom refused to leave because of misguided advice from people at church too. She was a rule follower and a people pleaser which played perfectly to my father’s abuse. Finally, when I was in college my father got a great idea to punish my mom and change the locks on our house and left her clothes on the porch. I think he wanted to embarrass her and have the pleasure of watching her desperate to get back where in my younger sister was. Praise God a wise elderly couple from the church took her in, refused to let her go back, and helped her find a divorce lawyer.

    The church has got to do better at helping families in abusive situations!! Women and children would get more attention on a sinking ship from many Christian men, than they would for life or death abuse in their own homes.

  280. mot wrote:

    Randall is a nasty fellow. He only knows how to do one thing with those that do not think exactly like he does–Attack and Attack!

    I see him as a devil with a Bible.
    Alan House, who derailed a TWW thread a few days ago, comments on SBCToday often, too.

  281. Velour wrote:

    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.

    I so enjoy when the conversation is elevated to the subject of food. Although I’m more of an eater than a cook.

    I would imagine that NewSpring had some dynamic small groups or Sunday School classes which fuction more like a church. I once attended a large Baptist Church which had a very active singles program led by a wonderful couple. It was more church than “big church”, which was viewed as something we had to do to be part of Sunday School. There were also some cute girls there.

    But the pastor was pretty mild. I still don’t know how 30,000 people ignored so many red flags.

  282. GSD wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.

    I so enjoy when the conversation is elevated to the subject of food. Although I’m more of an eater than a cook.

    I would imagine that NewSpring had some dynamic small groups or Sunday School classes which fuction more like a church. I once attended a large Baptist Church which had a very active singles program led by a wonderful couple. It was more church than “big church”, which was viewed as something we had to do to be part of Sunday School. There were also some cute girls there.

    But the pastor was pretty mild. I still don’t know how 30,000 people ignored so many red flags from Perry.

  283. siteseer wrote:

    There is some kind of genetic basis for alcoholism (some peoples’ bodies handle alcohol in such a way that encourages addiction).

    I have Cherokee ancestry. There appears to be some truth to the genetic theory about alcohol “susceptibility.” My one experience with whiskey in high school did not go well. My father was sitting in the porch swing when I returned home 3-hours past my curfew. I didn’t notice him there when I threw-up in the shrubbery. As I walked to the porch, he stood up and said “You broke your mother’s heart tonight.” He then quietly went into the house … nothing more was said about my big adventure … I learned my lesson and haven’t touched firewater since.

  284. @ Mark: it’s not about attractiveness in secular work situation I describe . It is about power, and workers who may feel powerless so they stoop to lowest common denominator.

    On more to topic, in these mega churches it is sometimes not the preacher that makes a church attractive, but the congregants. We give preachers way too much credit for making a church, sometimes. The small group interaction and friendships shouldn’t be down played.

  285. Daisy wrote:

    Didn’t Driscoll do something similar when he was at Mars Hill? I think he referred to that as “sinfully craving answers”?

    That was a favorite line of SGM pastors to keep their membership swimming in shallow water. I’m sure Driscoll had a similar response to those seeking deeper truths than he had to offer.

  286. Here’s a good article on the concept of alcohol and how it came to be called a disease. I know from personal experience that long-term drinking can be stopped with good choices (and some medical treatment for withdrawal symptoms) and by people who are not Christian believers.
    http://www.baldwinresearch.com/alcoholism.cfm

  287. Persephone wrote:

    I find it interesting that newer thinking in mental health is leaning towards personality disorders being disorders of character, not strictly mental illnesses.

    I think there are differences of opinion on the causes of PDs. Nature or Nurture? They certainly do manifest in ways that mimic character defects, IMO. ISTM that if the PD behaviors are attempts to soothe the inner pain, then it is also possible that alcohol or other substance abuse might be another way to soothe their inner pain.

    It is interesting that the PDs who get arrested (Anti-socials) do not garner much sympathy while the PD next door or in your bedroom or in the pulpit can play on people’s sympathy so well and lie so believably while inflicting life-long damage on their victims.

    The sad thing is that church people are so lacking in discernment that too often the victims are ignored (and sometimes even blamed) while the professed repentant BPD/NPD plays them. It sounds like that is what you have experienced.

  288. “I have joked that you should not attend NewSpring if you are already perfect because I will mess you up!” (Perry Noble)

    Congratulations Rev. Noble! You now have 30,000 messed up followers this week. Your words were prophetic.

    Actually, his words were pathetic! Is anyone else getting tired of hearing 21st century preachers confess their imperfections, declaring there are no perfect churches nor perfect people?! Well, the fact of the matter is there is a perfect Savior who is in the business of perfecting His children … the ones who surrender to His leading. The reason we have so many messed up folks in church (including preachers!) is that they are not developing and modeling holy living. This is a sorry bunch in church today – they don’t have much to offer struggling souls. So, the “done” ranks keep growing … not done with Jesus, just done with doing church without God.

  289. dee wrote:

    faceless church staffer wrote:

    The tip off for me that Perry may have alcohol issues was his interaction with American Airlines on Twitter.

    (Dee wrote:)

    I dod not see this. Could you direct me to something that I could look at?

    In light of the above, here are videos from Christmas Eve 2014 and a few days later:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHTQZMt5giY

    In a sermon illustration on Christmas Eve, Perry Noble says he wants a dog named Boaz because God never let him have a son he could name Boaz. His wife won’t say yes to the dog. “She has a hard heart. Please pray for my wife. She’s not at this service.” Someone suggested that he just buy a dog and bring it home, “And I’m like, n—, ’cause, I… everybody has to agree. Yes is a very powerful, important word.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w21YA-G3zBg

    This contains his fake apology for using the n-word, delivered as a non sequitur after some nonsense about the Ten Commandments actually being the Ten Sayings, and “I have gone back and talked to people in Israel that confirm those things.”

    He’s aware that people have gone online to react to his use of the n-word during his Christmas Eve sermon. His advice: “Don’t fight online. Fighting online is like peeing in the wind. It feels good at first, but everybody gets messy.” (American Airlines has noted his level of restraint online.)

    Specifically about the n-word he says, “That’s not the word that was in my heart. My words got jumbled.” He adds, “If you watched that, and you felt like I said that word, and you were offended by that, I am deeply sorry. Please know, that’s not what was in my heart, and that’s all we’re going to say about that, and we’re going to move on, because we’ve got people to reach for Jesus.”

    I can’t even count the deflections.

  290. Lydia wrote:

    For many reasons people feel pious comforting those who chose to harm others with their behavior. But not so much the ones they harmed. It seems upside down to me.

    That is what I’ve observed and tried to figure out. My best guess is that, at some level, people know that the difficult person cannot be fixed. Yet the difficult person’s professions of repentance feed the idea that forgiveness is magical and unconditional because Jesus. That, in turn, feeds the self-righteousness of the churchy people because they feel they have done what they are supposed to do. That does not require a lot of effort or commitment from the churchy people.

    OTOH, coming alongside the real victims who have been traumatized, is sometimes hard and costly. Victims are not perfect, so it is easy to just assume that it takes two to make a situation, so no need to be advocates. And besides, the victims are holding on to the awful, awful root of bitterness and can’t they just forgive already? Why can’t they repent of their bitterness like the PD repented of their misbehavior?

    That’s the only explanation I’ve come up with for what seems to me to be backward, inside-out and upside-down attitudes from churchy people.

  291. Nancy2 wrote:

    Alan House, who derailed a TWW thread a few days ago, comments on SBCToday often, too.

    They don’t know what to do with non Cal mutualists.

  292. @ Lydia:
    I was taught my whole life that Christian forgiveness meant reconciliation and restoration of the position your offender enjoyed before he offended you. That teaching messed me up bad, really really bad. I assumed I could never be a Christian then because I could not forgive enough to keep letting a certain person back in.

  293. Max wrote:

    Actually, his words were pathetic! Is anyone else getting tired of hearing 21st century preachers confess their imperfections, declaring there are no perfect churches nor perfect people?!

    Reminds me of a song we used to sing in church as kids: “Excuses, excuses; you’ll hear them every day. The Devil, he’ll supply them ……..”

  294. @ mot:
    He is playing the divide and conquer game over there. He sucks up to the Trad pastors he was insulting last year and attacks anyone not SBC. The watch word is now unity among the pastors.

    Never mind past patterns of behavior and basic trust. All is well now with unity.

  295. Another stray thought. Perhaps the language of “posture toward his marriage” is a euphemism crafted to protect Noble’s wife and not Noble himself. If there is a there there, then it would be right for the elders to protect her, unless she is somehow part of the problem and not another victim as it now appears she is.

  296. Lydia wrote:

    He is playing the divide and conquer game over there. He sucks up to the Trad pastors he was insulting last year and attacks anyone not SBC. The watch word is now unity among the pastors.

    Never mind past patterns of behavior and basic trust. All is well now with unity.

    Yep: One little call for unity from a few pastors in Lousiana and the problem of Cal vs Non-Cal is over.

  297. __

    “Its All About Sharing The Good News, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Dee, 

      I have kindly asked our Lord Jesus to raise up ‘new’ laborers for His fields, which are still very white with harvest.

    ATB

    Sopy

  298. I thought I read that Perry Noble served on the Board at Elevation Church. Has anyone heard whether Furtick will be replacing him? I’m sure there is some other money-grubbing pastor or televangelist who will join.

  299. mot wrote:

    Yep: One little call for unity from a few pastors in Lousiana and the problem of Cal vs Non-Cal is over.

    Magickal Mommy Kiss.
    Just like the Cult of Apology.

  300. Lydia wrote:

    Never mind past patterns of behavior and basic trust. All is well now with unity.

    The Collective, Comrades.

  301. Niteowl wrote:

    The Church desperately needs to acknowledge the issues of substance abuse and addiction and become part of the solution.not excuse leaders actions as a slip up.

    I am part of a Task Force in my addressing Heroin/Opioid crisis in our county. Yes, the church does need to become part of the solution. Part of the solution is allowing people to be honest about who they are and what they are dealing with. We also must work to to de-stigmatize drug/alcohol addiction. Substance abuse is a mental/psychological and/or physical health disorder that is also a spiritual disorder(for the addicted person as well as social network surrounding them.) Shaming, shunning and demonizing people does not work as a treatment. The family/community/church must learn how to protect themselves from the harmful behaviors of the addicted person while at the same time opening pathways to recovery and healing.

    Speaking from my own personal family experience, co-dependence and enabling are pervasive threats to friends and family of those who are addicted. An addicted person who is in a position of power and authority is a threat to the welfare of the family/group/congregation. He or she effects how the group thinks, how they function, how they relate to each other, their self-image. The entire group can become co-dependent. Specifically regarding church, a church can carry the marks left by an addicted pastor for a long time. Without a time of intentional healing and recovery the legacy of the addicted pastor will continue to infect congregational life for years to come.

  302. Lydia wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Alan House, who derailed a TWW thread a few days ago, comments on SBCToday often, too.
    They don’t know what to do with non Cal mutualists.

    Even though they’re super annoying, it’s kind of a complement when these people come here to derail comments. It means that they see this site as influential enough to be a threat – a threat to their positions of power and priviledge!

  303. Max wrote:

    Proffy wrote:
    I thought I read that Perry Noble served on the Board at Elevation Church.
    Yes, he is/was on Elevation Church’s Board of Overseers: http://www.christianpost.com/news/who-are-the-megachurch-leaders-who-decide-elevation-church-pastor-steven-furticks-secret-salary-and-influence-his-ministry-107741/

    Ahhh this makes sense…Furtick’s salary is secret and Noble’s salary is secret…WHY? Is there a way to find out how many mega stars are intertwined into each other’s ministries like this this? They already promote each other’s books and speak at conferences together on the neo Cal side of things.

  304. A.Stacey wrote:

    You are so correct about blaming other things… At least he didn’t blame the press and bloggers…

    …yet.

    He only just got fired. The night is still young. 😉

  305. The last couple of discussions are moving towards points/concepts that are key.. We talk and talk about Perry Noble, and all of his “issues”, but to me the deeper question is how did he, and the system in general ever get to this point?

    True, independently accountable oversight, with penalties/consequences for the failure of the oversight, would go along way toward preventing a Driscoll, Noble, Futrick, EES champions, etc from getting where they are. The problem is, pew sitters do not seem to want to take the responsibility, duty, burden, etc, to demand systems that have accountability.

    I am just appalled how regular church goers can be part of systems that do not hold it leaders to AT LEAST the same standards that these same leaders demand of them….

    We that read and post on the WW should continue to demand accountability, and attempt to show Christendom overall that it is not “wrong” to demand transparency and accountability of our leaders… I am not so shallow to think this will prevent all of the “issues” we read about, but it will be a strong counter to it, and will in some cases keep these problems from getting worse… For example, Driscoll should have been limited YEARS before he finally fled…

  306. GSD wrote:

    I so enjoy when the conversation is elevated to the subject of food. Although I’m more of an eater than a cook.

    I can derail any thread with the topic of…food. I can find the food angle in the most serious of topics!

    If we TWWers ever get together for a “class reunion” I promise to make vats of this delicious spaghetti sauce. (Others will have to bring the salad and garlic bread.)

  307. Just read that Noble’s church had around 30,000 pew packers? Really?

    Why?

    The Bible is very clear in its description of who can be a pastor or preacher. It is very descriptive, and that is the whole point I believe. It basically says that when we see someone who is,lives, acts, and does certain things we can then recognize them as leaders………while still judging their message.

    Instead we either want to vet through saying those with x amount of education are qualified, or those attracting x amount of crowd, or publishing x amount of books.

    Why not stop deciding who is qualified, then ordaining, and then watching to see if they “do it right?” Why not obey the Bible, find those “doing it right” and then ordain?

    Seems we sheeple sometimes are getting just exactly what we say we want, which is just exactly what the Bible warns us about. We still want our kings instead of the King. And we still cough up the gold to get one.

    But no kidding, this guy’s sermons are not all that different from our local SBC out here.

  308. Persephone wrote:

    I wish more people understood that there doesn’t have to be physical violence, or even screaming fits, name-calling, or rage attacks for there to be real, spirit-crushing domestic abuse.

    Anything he does in an attempt to control her on an ongoing basis is abuse.

    That can be financial, emotional, spiritual, etc.

    That is true. I’ve been on the receiving end of verbal abuse/ emotional abuse from an older sister of mine.

    My dad also dabbles in that stuff, but he’s not -AS- bad as my sister.

    My ex fiance’ also financially exploited me.

    I think a lot of people don’t understand that abuse isn’t confined to only physical beatings – or they only take physical abuse seriously.

    I don’t think they understand that repeated verbal put downs (whether screamed at you or spoken calmly) can wear down your self esteem over the long haul and do damage too.

  309. Gram3 wrote:

    That’s the only explanation I’ve come up with for what seems to me to be backward, inside-out and upside-down attitudes from churchy people.

    You know it’s reached its own nadir of absurdity when they sit down a three year old girl across from her abuser and insist that she ‘forgive him’, telling her that she’s a ‘sinner’ too.

  310. Persephone wrote:

    Someone who I’d thought was a good friend, an elder in our previous church, marriage counselor, and a man who sat in on some of the same seminars I did a few years ago at a local seminary that covered these issues *still* chose to “be there” for my husband rather than for the kids and me.

    I’m sorry for everything you endured, particularly that part I am quoting.

    For me, the hardest thing to accept or wrap my head around is not just the bad stuff that happens to me in life, but how if or when you go to other Christians for help, they instead criticize you or blame you for life’s problems, rather than empathizing and/ or helping you in some other way.

    The Bible does say in the NT that Christians should help each other out when and if they can. I was mentioning some of this on an older thread here, the last Mark Driscoll one, I believe, and some lady who periodically pops on to this blog told me (to summarize her view) that no, hurting people should not expect Christians to help them out.

    I remain stunned at her attitude and comments, but I ran into it a lot in the years after my mother passed (and in other contexts).

    I’m really sorry in your time of need the Christians you thought were caring and you could count on blew you off and to add insult to injury, “sided” with your ex.

  311. I think when these mega, must-site stars fall, they do so much MORE damage to the body of Christ. I think their “methods” of growth in their churches are held as a standard for new pastors.

    Let’s face it…Noble isn’t alone in being able to preach outrageously for quite some time without accountability. Even if you have a multi mega pastor who wants to have deep teachings for the congregants, over time, things would have to be white washed and weak. Why? Because it would be so very easy for the pastor who is doing the “teaching” to thousands of people to get a little off base. Well, a lot off base. The accountability is not there. The relationships are not there. The pastor remains in a secluded, insulated bubble while thousands flock to hear his every word for an hour each week. Thousands of others buy his books or retweet his words. Who, exactly, would he be discipling? I don’t know of one pastor who wouldn’t walk into that minefield and be able to stay humble, biblically accurate, and spiritually in tact.

    I think when you couple all of that with personalities like Noble, who obviously has deep issues, it is a loaded time bomb.

    Do these pastors need our prayer? Yes, they also need some accountability and it is high time that includes looking at the huge church model they seem to worship and defend. I think a lot of them needed more discipling themselves, but went awry somewhere along the way. Others do not have the gifting or qualifications to be a pastor. Others do not have the ethic or biblical guidelines. Many have neither.

  312. Mark wrote:

    Sorry, but in our modern day isn’t he being careful? Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex because let’s say an employee has a bad job appraisal behind closed doors, the employee can claim sexual harassment or hostile work environment and it becomes “he said, she said” without appropriate proof as to what really happened. From a legal point of view managers and others have to be very careful these days. I used to laugh at the “Billy Graham” rule until I saw this happen, and HR had a field day.

    The BGR discriminates against women, single or married, but especially single, in and out of the church.

    I am really not keen on the argument that defending a man’s reputation, or to keep a man from a possible lawsuit, should be done at the expense of women.

    Men already have a ton of privilege – they don’t need more in the addition of the BGR. Further, the BGR feeds into false Christian stereotypes of the sexes and sex.

    Men are capable of sexual self control, but Christian purity culture keeps arguing men are not responsible for their failings, but pins that blame and responsibility on to women (which is similar to some teachings / beliefs I’ve seen in Islam).

    Jesus was not afraid to mingle with certain women of his day – he didn’t pay heed to his reputation but associated with prostitutes, even in the face of Pharisees clucking their tongues in disapproval.

    Jesus is supposed to be your role model in life, not Billy Graham. Most men are not world famous like Billy Graham, either. I don’t think the BGR makes sense for every day Joe Blows.

    Rather than me rehash all this, there are many articles out there that explain the problems with the Billy Graham Rule by others, such as:

    Ladies Who Lunch—with Men – Do your coworkers follow the Billy Graham Rule?
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gifted-for-leadership/2016/june/ladies-who-lunch-with-men.html?paging=off

  313. Patti wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I was taught my whole life that Christian forgiveness meant reconciliation and restoration of the position your offender enjoyed before he offended you. That teaching messed me up bad, really really bad. I assumed I could never be a Christian then because I could not forgive enough to keep letting a certain person back in.

    It is toxic to the soul. Have you seen the article?

    http://www.nacr.org/wordpress/160/the-f-word-forgiveness-and-its-imitations

    At the very least, in forgiveness conversations, definitions have to be agreed upon first. When abusers want things to go back to normal or the way they were before it all came out they are being very unrealistic. The problem is the church treats it just that way. And end up the victimizing the victims. They say they don’t but they do. Forgiveness is not trust, justice, reconciliation or even fellowship. It is giving up the right to avenge the wrong. Not the same as justice.

  314. Lydia wrote:

    For many reasons people feel pious comforting those who chose to harm others with their behavior. But not so much the ones they harmed. It seems upside down to me.

    I wonder if that may be due to Christians associating the most vile of sinning jerks to how God is willing to forgive the vilest of sins / sinners, so they feel they are emulating God in doing this?

    It makes them feel oh so spiritual and godly maybe?

    But then, when they do that, they are tossing the Bible on its head. The Bible (and Jesus in the Bible) seems more concerned with victims, victims receiving help / justice, etc.

  315. Dan wrote:

    I am part of a Task Force in my addressing Heroin/Opioid crisis in our county.

    If you’re on Twitter, follow The Boston Globe. They have done excellent, on-going reporting on the crisis.

  316. Kemi wrote:

    Women and children would get more attention on a sinking ship from many Christian men, than they would for life or death abuse in their own homes.

    That is a very astute observation. Very true.

    Christian men who are into patriarchy and comp like to fancy themselves romantic, swash buckling heroes to women – in situations such as saving them from fire breathing dragons – but in the messy reality of life, such as wives being abused by a husband, they refuse to aid, help, defend, but will often instruct the woman to just go back and keep enduring the abuse. It’s very warped and hypocritical.

  317. @ mot:
    Never mind the last 10 years of deceptive practices and partnering with thugs. See. Instant trust.

    You know what the Cals need, right? An outside enemy to rally the Cals and non Cals to unifying against this common threat.

    They (Russ Moore) have floated a few but so far it has not done the trick

  318. @ Max:

    Interesting. There is Native American ancestry on both sides of my family tree (full blodded American Indians on both sides who intermarried people who immigrated from W. Europe), along with Irish on one side. I don’t know how much is hereditary.

    My maternal grandfather and both my siblings have / had problems with alcohol, as did one of my uncles.

    After seeing what alcohol did to all these family members, I opted at a young age to stay away from it. I also think it tastes terrible (I’ve had people bug me in the past to sample various kinds of alcohol.)

  319. @ Daisy:
    It is not just male bosses with female subordinates, but female bosses with male subordinates, same sex supervisors with subordinates. I have been in the workforce for quite awhile and i have witnessed a epidemic of call ins to hr where i have had to witness to hr the last couple years. Ab some of it is slanderous.

  320. Patti wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I was taught my whole life that Christian forgiveness meant reconciliation and restoration of the position your offender enjoyed before he offended you. That teaching messed me up bad, really really bad. I assumed I could never be a Christian then because I could not forgive enough to keep letting a certain person back in.

    You know what makes me angry? That you were taught this your whole life. I did not really run across it as such until the seeker movement. Growing up, we thought it best to forgive in the no avenging sense yet avoid the toxic person for the non criminal stuff.

    I was pretty confused when I started hearing the platitude stuff they churned out as if there was no basic right and wrong. It is so enabling of more toxicity. But the Neo Cals had them beat! They claim you are really no different from the rapist or murderer.

    And we wonder why people have so little authentic shame or remorse for the harm they do others. They don’t need it.

  321. @ waking up:
    Oh many time bombs have gone off and the pew sitting giving units never know. It is amazing what can be hidden or spun to adoring fans and they buy it hook line and sinker.

    The difference here is that for some reason Noble’s elders wanted him out. You can bet other mega church leaders are busy combing by laws, agreements, etc now to protect themselves from such a thing happening to them.

  322. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    The problem is, pew sitters do not seem to want to take the responsibility, duty, burden, etc, to demand systems that have accountability.

    Jeffrey, as I noted in an upstream comment, pulpits like these exist to give the pew what it wants. Sadly, most folks attracted to megachurch prefer preachers who are not any more Christlike than them! If this is what the pew desires in church, why would they want to hold their leaders accountable if they are simply delivering what they want? I was young and now am old … and old enough to remember when the Church of the Living God was counter-culture to the world – it is now a sub-culture of it and the people love it so.

  323. Daisy wrote:

    Jesus was not afraid to mingle with certain women of his day – he didn’t pay heed to his reputation but associated with prostitutes, even in the face of Pharisees clucking their tongues in disapproval.

    Jesus was traveling with married and unmarried women! Luke 8

  324. Godith wrote:

    …and by people who are not Christian believers.

    My brother belonged to A.A. for years and years. I’m not sure if he still attends AA meetings.

    If AA works for some people, that is great. I’m not knocking that.

    Anyway, after being in AA for years, I notice my brother became fairly victim-blaming (and it was due to indoctrination he got via AA).

    I did some research into AA to figure out why my brother was adopting that victim-blaming attitude towards others.

    What I found is that 12 step programs don’t work for a lot of people, some are atheists who can’t get into the “Higher Power” aspect and don’t find AA helpful, and there are other problems with it.

    (Please google for the term “13th stepping” for more on that: Girls and women get sexually abused / exploited by long-time A.A. members at meetings).

    But I also found, through sites and blogs by ex-AA members, that there is a lot of victim-blaming in general, it’s not just my brother.

    I realize that groups like AA want to teach substance abusers to take responsibility for their choices or actions, which is commendable, but some of them go over-board with it, IMO.

    Some 12 Step Group members don’t seem to realize that sometimes bad things do happen to people that are beyond that person’s control, or not due to a bad choice by that person. Even Jesus acknowledge that (such as in Luke 13:3-4).

    I came across articles (I can’t find the links at the moment to pages I had about it) that have alternative treatments to those practiced by AA that are supposed to be more effective.

    After 75 Years of Alcoholics Anonymous, It’s Time to Admit We Have a Problem
    https://psmag.com/after-75-years-of-alcoholics-anonymous-it-s-time-to-admit-we-have-a-problem-257710a7b393#.l5juecow9

    I have learned in the years since to censor myself when talking to my brother (who oddly enough knows I am what AA refers to as a “normie” – I am a teetotaler – so I don’t know why he applies AA paradigms to me).
    He and I don’t speak too often anyway, so I guess it’s kind of moot.

  325. Lydia wrote:

    Jesus was traveling with married and unmarried women! Luke 8

    Do you mean to tell me that Jesus of Nazareth violated the Billy Graham Rule?! No, say it ain’t so!:)

  326. Velour wrote:

    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.

    I’m glad that you tell people that there is red wine in the sauce. While working for the State of Oregon, and with a staff with some recovering alcoholics, we had a coworker who delighted in spiking the punch and sabotaging the trying to stay dry alcoholics.

    I’m sure Perry Noble has been a big supporter of the use of alcohol and you can see that it’s like having a pet rattlesnake so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t jump up and bit you one day.

    A Catholic couple I know like to “social drink” and while they seemed to get off free they just buried their son who died of alcoholism.

    Let’s not kid ourselves it is mind altering and I don’t have mind enough to spare for that.

  327. Gram3 wrote:

    That does not require a lot of effort or commitment from the churchy people.

    Your entire post was spot on, but I wanted to high light that. I do think another thing that drives a lot of Christians in that type of behavior is laziness.

    And it’s really hard for me to understand it, because the examples I had set for me by my parents, especially my mother, is that faith means you don’t just mouth platitudes, but you get off your rear end and actually DO stuff for people

    When we had neighbors whose house was flooded out, my mother spent days and days at their home, helping sweep up debris, rip up carpeting, hard sweaty work. She would make sick people meals and drop them off at their homes. Families that were in a bind, she’d baby sit their kids for entire weeks while the parents were out of state or sitting in hospital waiting rooms.

    Even my dad (who can be Mr. Negative) volunteers.

    My father rides around town (via his church) repairing leaky plumbing for older widow ladies, installing curtain rods for them, he gives older, sick people rides to their doctor appointments, etc.

    I have tried to follow their examples over my life- actually doing gestures of assistance for people, not just saying Bible-y platitudes or telling them, “I will pray for you” and then not lift a finger to do something constructive.

    That was what I grew up seeing.

    I am very puzzled by Christians who do not think it is a Christian’s place or duty to actually *do stuff* for another hurting person (whether doing chores at someone’s home, being a sounding board for them in a time of trouble, buying them a week’s worth of groceries etc).

  328. @ Patti:

    I was sort of exposed to the same sort of teaching growing up.

    I figured out later in life that you can forgive someone (not hold their bad deed against you) but that does not mean you have to invite them over for Sunday dinner. They don’t have to be a part of your life at all, or not on a daily basis.

  329. @ Mark:
    Many moons ago when the SH laws were coming out, I did quite a bit of training on it all over the place. Insurance companies were requiring it and some companies had paid out huge settlements so they were paying attention to protection and prevention.

    It was a wise business decision to protect their company. I even knew of one settlement that was because a vendor was harassing company employees that went on to long even after compliants.

    I have a hard time mapping that to the body of Christ and genders in need or even as friends.

  330. @ Velour:
    I’ve successfully stayed away from codependent people for many years, but a couple years ago, my depression earned me a stay in the local mental hospital. One of the women could have been the poster child for codependency. the first couple of days she was OK, saying she was there because she couldn’t say no to her boyfriend and he had gotten her in trouble with the law. And then she got in with a couple of the regulars at this place, both men. Overnight, she was repeating everything they said. Every complaint, every problem was the same as theirs. It was fascinating to watch her change.

  331. mark wrote:

    It is not just male bosses with female subordinates, but female bosses with male subordinates, same sex supervisors with subordinates. I have been in the workforce for quite awhile and i have witnessed a epidemic of call ins to hr where i have had to witness to hr the last couple years. Ab some of it is slanderous.

    This is true. I blocked the door to my office so that it stayed open every minute. It could not be shut without moving a piece of furniture. It is one thing to go out to lunch with a mixed crowd and quite another to be alone with anybody, same or other sex. And, you know, if that is discriminatory then so be it. I was not sticking my head in some noose for somebody else’s political ideology or their hurt feelings, much less for their religious sensibilities.

    As to those who say what Jesus did or did not do, I must have missed the chapter and verse on where he was alone in private with women. The well in Samaria was not private. The woman with the perfume on his feet was not private. The woman caught in adultery was in front of a mob. The widow was part of a funeral procession. The woman with the issue of blood was part of a packed crowd around Jesus. The women traveling with him were part of what seems to have been a fairly large mixed gender group. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here? But if I have missed the reference to alone and private somebody point me in the right direction.

  332. @ okrapod:

    1. Mary Magdalene in the garden.

    2. And yes, Samaritan woman was alone enough to worry the disciples.

    I will never ever meet with a pastor if he doesn’t trust me (or himself) enough to close the door.

    • There are men with good character and men with bad character.
    • There are women with good character and women with bad character.
    • It is character not gender

    To be treated automatically as a woman of bad character is offensive to me.

    I tell men, “I have known you long enough to trust you behind closed doors. Do you trust me?” If we cannot agree, then we do not meet.

  333. GSD wrote:

    Still, I can’t find a biblical mandate to abstain.

    I don’t find a biblical mandate to abstain either. However, I’d like to share the passage in Matthew 26 that guided my teetotaling Methodist forebears:

    While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

    My elders believed that we were to prepare solemnly for God’s kingdom and not, as it were, to start the party before Jesus returned. Alcohol had caused enormous suffering and damage in that part of the family, and I think this belief truly sustained them.

    I don’t drink. Years ago, when I found myself at out-of-control parties, I certainly did feel like the serious, prepared Christian outside an inappropriate celebration. So the passage did see me through a few situations.

    As a much younger child, though, I had been confused by the idea that Jesus would make Demon Rum okay upon his return. It’s also a bit strange to take the central passage of the Communion reading as a rule of abstinence. Of course, my forebears’ church used grape juice.

  334. ishy wrote:

    You know, I just can’t seem to get behind the idea of megachurches anymore.

    Neither can I. And places with multiple campuses… when the big guy falls, there’s no peer to fill the gap. If each campus had its own clergy, the culture might be a good deal healthier and capable of recovering from adversity.

  335. Lydia wrote:

    I read an interesting one by an SBC pastor. Fermentation is from the Fall.
    See? Simple.

    So I guess we all have to abstain from sauerkraut, bread, yogurt, olives, cheese, chocolate, vanilla… The only fermented thing I ascribe to the Fall is kimchi, but not everybody would agree with me. 😉

  336. Janey wrote:

    1. Mary Magdalene in the garden.
    2. And yes, Samaritan woman was alone enough to worry the disciples.

    If that is all you got I think you have proved my point, since #1 was post resurrection and who knows about what that is all about, except that maleness and femaleness are different in that there is no marriage, and #2 with the Samaritan woman at the well when the woman was surprised that Jesus was talking to her she said she was a woman of Samaria and ‘the Jews have no deaings with the Samaritans. The conversation then proceed toward Jews vs Samaritans, not males vs females or gender or public or private. When the boys came back they were surprised to find him talking to her but there is no statement as to whether it was because she was a woman (which she had mentioned) or because she was a Samaritan (which she had mentioned.) Nobody ever said anything about it being private, not the woman or the boys when they got back. To assume that their concern was about privacy is not substantiated by the text, because a public well is not private.

    So, if they were surprised because she was a woman, then we have to conclude that talking to women was not his custom; hence they were surprised. But hat assumption of Jesus not talking to women is not substantiated by other statements in the gospels. If they were surprised because she was a Samaritan, then not only did she question that aspect of it also, but the use of Samaritan in the parable of the good Samaritan would tend to substantiate that conclusion. I think it was the Samaritan thing which is the only question actually raised in the text. I see nothing about privacy in the text. Not that they were in a private place nor that the boys were concerned about privacy.

  337. roebuck wrote:

    ‘pastors’ roaming around the stage with stupid little microphone headset thingies.

    Somebody on YouTube commented that Noble dresses like a teenage runaway.

    Of course, that was for his Christmas Eve sermon, so maybe he was solemnly preparing to reenact the Flight to Egypt.

  338. @ Daisy:
    What I meant by my comment is that the ability (the power) to stop abusing alcohol is available even to people who are not Christians. (Although I would say, it is still by God’s grace). Often this is in response to prayer for them. So God is involved, but I would say that a person has to consider what gets them into and what keeps them into drinking to excess. A drinking culture has a lot to do with it. There are a lot of resources online for stopping without expensive rehab or even without AA. My main problem with AA is that it promotes “powerlessness” against drinking. Absolutely not true. I seen the opposite with my own eyes.

  339. Janey wrote:

    I tell men, “I have known you long enough to trust you behind closed doors. Do you trust me?” If we cannot agree, then we do not meet.

    I think you are missing the point. It probably has nothing to do with either you or him. He probably does not want to give his enemies in the church anything to use against him in rumor an insinuation.

    In my case, I am female and I would not meet with anybody male or female professionally behind closed doors. But you know, I was practicing medicine and we do not do the behind closed doors thing for our own protection. Except perhaps the psychiatrists, which I was not.

  340. Velour wrote:

    I can derail any thread with the topic of…food. I can find the food angle in the most serious of topics!
    If we TWWers ever get together for a “class reunion” I promise to make vats of this delicious spaghetti sauce. (Others will have to bring the salad and garlic bread.)

    You can also bring the ribs that got you in trouble (ribs, right?). Spirit of Eve ribs.

  341. @ okrapod:

    It is also an arguement from silence on both sides. Was Jesus ever alone in the house with Martha while the other two were out somewhere? I don’t think the concept of privacy was as big in that historical context as it is today. I don’t know how all that plays into the topic. All I know is that I am having a hard time napping the precautions we take in the world such as business to the body of Christ. Yet I understand it is necessary because being a Christian no longer means that a male counselor would not hit on distressed female counseled. Or visa versa. It is quite the normal and people will rally around his moral failure and demand instant forgiveness. See, if we had never had mixed gender counseling this would have never have happened. Even Christians are just uncontrolled animals.

    This is one of those issues that gets taken so far into the ridiculous realm that one feels they are living on another planet. One time a young male staffer in a seeker mega needed a ride home because his car broke down. I was standing there and offered him a ride. He very piously said he could not be in the car with me alone. Huh? I was about 15 years his senior. So he went looking for a male or mixed ride.

  342. Daisy wrote:

    Thanks for treating the entire female sex as though we’re all a bunch of drooling harlots who find you irresistible and just want to rip your clothes off.

    Yeah, the Billy Graham Rule and corollaries certainly will besmirch women and also limit their careers. It’s sad that this is held up as a righteous example.

  343. Velour wrote:

    If we TWWers ever get together for a “class reunion”

    TWW potluck. Wow. Another name for heaven. Or at least the Millennium.

  344. Mark wrote:

    Sorry, but in our modern day isn’t he being careful? Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex

    Why just opposite sex? Anybody can make a false claim against anybody, no? A local company was ruined by a guy who sued over a faked injury: no women involved.

    The Billy Graham rule assumes men are in charge and women create a unique risk that can be avoided by avoiding women.

    Companies worried about flimsy charges don’t separate the sexes. They install doors with panes of glass in them and have (ideally common-sense) rules about interactions that could put the bottom line at risk.

  345. Patriciamc wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I can derail any thread with the topic of…food. I can find the food angle in the most serious of topics!
    If we TWWers ever get together for a “class reunion” I promise to make vats of this delicious spaghetti sauce. (Others will have to bring the salad and garlic bread.)
    You can also bring the ribs that got you in trouble (ribs, right?). Spirit of Eve ribs.

    Oh that was the 10 pounds of bbq beef brisket that got me in trouble with the pastors/elders. An entire meeting about my brisket. The chairman of the elder
    board – representing the boorish pastoral leaders – contacted me and told me that I had been “too lavish”. Whatever, pal. Whatever.

    If you promise not to have a meeting about me and chastise me, I could be persuaded to bring brisket as well.

  346. @ okrapod:
    I understand the physician rules. You’re taking off your clothes (or partially).

    I’m in business and I work with a lot of Christian companies and their presidents or executive directors. If someone wants to do business with my Christian employer, and he isn’t willing to sit with me and have a private talk (finances, legal, etc.), he isn’t going anywhere.

    I will say this: None of the top executives have ever insisted on leaving the door open. And I’ve been doing this for decades.

    I’ve never raped anyone. And no one has ever tried to rape me.

    I don’t give a damn about their precious “reputation.” Jesus didn’t give a damn about his … on this topic or about eating with sinners or drinking too much.

    When the Pharisees warned Jesus about his increasingly bad reputation, he wasn’t apologetic. Jesus went on the offensive.

  347. GSD wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    If we TWWers ever get together for a “class reunion”
    TWW potluck. Wow. Another name for heaven. Or at least the Millennium.

    Indeed. GovPappy, who sometimes comments here and tweets, sends out photos of things like lip-smacking biscuits should be invited to the potluck.

    He also gave me his family’s sour cream pound cake recipe, which I made for the neighbor’s family and it was a hit. (I will post it at the top of the page later under the Interesting tab, Cooking tab.)

  348. Off-topic announcement: I have just posted Gov. Pappy’s Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe at the top of the page here under the Interesting tab, the Cooking tab. He and his First Lady sent it to me. I made it for a neighbor family and it was a big hit.

  349. Velour wrote:

    sour cream pound cake

    You just had to go and mention that, didn’t you. 🙂 Sour cream pound cake got me through an overnighter in a brutal class once upon a time. Yes, I ate nearly the whole thing. But aced the exam and the class. Because pound cake has power. It should be the official dessert of Pound Sand Ministries.

  350. Lydia wrote:

    It is also an arguement from silence on both sides.

    Nope, neither side is presenting an argumentum ex silentio because that requires a conclusion based on the absence of evidence. Neither of us did that. I observed the lack of evidence, but I did not conclude that therefore said lack of evidence proved that it was not possible but only that there was a lack of evidence for the opponent’s position. The people who argue on the other side did not mention anything at all about a lack of evidence and made no conclusions one way or the other resulting from silence. One person presented a supposition but did not base that supposition on silence.

    I did make a conclusion from the evidence which we do have, that it looks like a pattern. This is an argument from evidence, not an argument from the lack of evidence.

    So why do I care? Mostly because I have found the world to be very dangerous in a lot of ways, and I believe that people have a right and a duty to protect themselves. Being careful with appearances is a defensive position which I think should be recognized and respected when people do it.

  351. @ Janey:

    You say you meet in private for business. I said we do not in my former line of work.

    So how does this apply to the folks in ministry? Why say that they have to act according to the business model that you use and not according to some other model? IMO they need to have their own rules and procedures and that these should be understood and respected.

    You do not see me telling you to shut the door over contract talks. And it would do you no good to tell me to close the door and be alone with a patient. So why are you all saying that the preachers have to do it your way, if they think that does not work for them?

  352. @ siteseer:

    Holy mackerel! I couldn’t get past number one.

    Do not be in an elevator with a woman alone!!! What is wrong with you that you think this is a problem. I am in an elevator with men alone just about every day at work and we seem to manage. This kind of nonsense is the graham rule on steroids and I do not want a pastor who is so worried he cannot stand to have lunch with share elevators with etc a woman. How could a woman possibly be treated the same as a man you refuse to be around them???

  353. Gram3 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    sour cream pound cake
    You just had to go and mention that, didn’t you. Sour cream pound cake got me through an overnighter in a brutal class once upon a time. Yes, I ate nearly the whole thing. But aced the exam and the class. Because pound cake has power. It should be the official dessert of Pound Sand Ministries.

    Gram3,

    I really like the way you think. A good cake can fortify a person through hardships, including academic ones.

    I make a killer pan of homemade brownies with 1/2 pound of melted Belgium chocolate + melted butter. Those brownies can perk up anyone. Confession: Yes, I’ve had them for breakfast, with vanilla ice cream on top.

    Yes, GovPappy’s pound cake recipe will be the official cake of Pound Sand Ministries.
    Your entry of Sacred Cow Sundae will be our official frozen dessert of PSM.

  354. Out here in the oil patch it isn’t called the Billy Graham Rule. It is called CYA. It has been done for years, and since the late 80’s has been not only not being alone with member of the opposite sex, but also the same sex. Of course, here “alone” is not in an office with the door closed, but maybe 45 miles up some dirt road or on a business trip to Cheyenne.

    Some women feel slighted by it, and some men complain THEY cannot advance if they cannot go to the back country with the “land woman.”

    Most are unwilling to risk their reputations to prove political or philosophical point.

    Now here in the real church, over the past week or so, unpaid ministers have: funded and taught Bible classes to gang kids, provided unpaid child care for single parents, made 80 mile round trips to get mama to church, taken in the child who’s parents died in a car crash, reached out to help the mentally ill, prayed with the frazzled to explosion fast food worker, and donated clothes to the Navajo’s. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The “church” is alive and very well, and seems to be both in need of and doing some housecleaning. Perry Noble is learning not to bring trash in.

  355. ishy wrote:

    The picture of Noble at the top totally freaks me out when I reload the page. I have no idea why.

    Discernment?

  356. The latest post from Perry Noble today on Facebook (july 13, 2016) is the one that has me rattled. I am a pastor who is also an alcoholic and have six year of sobriety.

    my question immediately was “Perry, did you clear this with your sponsor before you posted it? (serious question) Love you man and want you well! Get thyself to a meeting!”

    the post was all about him, which tells me there is a long road ahead.

    I remember my first sponsor who didn’t give a hoot who i was. Told me that going to a treatment/meetings was like taking chemo – my life depended on it. At this point, I don’t understand why he’s not ALREADY in rehab!

    Perry (at this point) is still exhibiting alcoholic behavior and I pray for him, New Spring church, his family and anyone else who may be able to help him!

  357. @ Ray:
    I bet he has not entered alcohol rehab. His statement seemed sadly lacking in that area. This is an excellent comment. I plan to use it on Friday!!! Thank you!!

  358. @ dee: I just hope he gets help. at this point, i’m not seeing the “gift of desperation” that is needed to do the work

  359. Ray wrote:

    The latest post from Perry Noble today on Facebook (july 13, 2016) is the one that has me rattled.

    The last thing Noble needs to do right now is pop up on social media! I realize social media helped create the bigger-than-life persona of these celebrities, and that it is only natural for them to continue those connections, but the man needs to let it rest for a while. He needs to retreat from the scene and get some help!!

  360. Lydia wrote:

    I read an interesting one by an SBC pastor. Fermentation is from the Fall.

    If you haven’t listened to Perry Noble’s message on “Can a Christian Smoke, Drink and Watch a Rated R Movie?”, here’s a fermentation excerpt from it:

    “Noah grew a vineyard and made wine, got drunk, and passed out naked in his tent. If I did that, I’d get fired. Noah did that and we made him a Bible hero.”

    Well, he got fired. I don’t want to know if he was naked when the elders showed up to lower the boom.

  361. @ Max:

    100% agree! In meetings, old timers would come up to newbies when they started to talk and said “shut up!” and handed them a pamphlet…

  362. @ okrapod:

    I understand what you are saying. The medical profession has recommended guidelines. The AMA has an Opinion about the availability of chaperones. That opinion is not routinely followed. Whether you do or not is perhaps your employer’s choice or your choice or likely your insurance company’s condition for coverage.

    But in a church (and I’ve been in the church for more than 40 years) the “no closed door” policy is rarely or never enforced on all counselees regardless of sex. It has always been sexually discriminatory. It is offensive.

    The reason I’ve heard is: We have an open door policy to maintain the pastor’s reputation.

    In my experience, those who promote this never have the tact or sensitivity to say it’s also to protect the woman’s reputation. The assumption is we all know who the presumed perpetrator is — woman, the unquenchable seductress.

    This is a bogus red herring Fundy-Evangelical rule. It shames women. It is insulting to all good women who’ve never had an affair.

    So…If a church wants me to attend worship, serve, and donate, they either have to have a “no closed door” rule for both sexes, or they have to close the door during counseling sessions. Period.

    Having a bad reputation is not a sin.

    1. Jesus didn’t worry about his reputation.
    2. Despite Jesus’ bad reputation he never sinned.
    3. Jesus wasn’t apologetic for having a bad reputation.

    “Avoiding a bad reputation” and “Avoiding even the appearance of evil” is the Evangelical euphemism for discriminating against women.

  363. @ mark:

    When I had an office job, I was sometimes alone with male co-workers in their offices in the back – some were married guys, some single.

    I also went to lunch with these guys, sometimes one on one, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. It was never a problem.

  364. okrapod wrote:

    As to those who say what Jesus did or did not do, I must have missed the chapter and verse on where he was alone in private with women. The well in Samaria was not private. The woman with the perfume on his feet was not private. The woman caught in adultery was in front of a mob. The widow was part of a funeral procession. The woman with the issue of blood was part of a packed crowd around Jesus. The women traveling with him were part of what seems to have been a fairly large mixed gender group. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here? But if I have missed the reference to alone and private somebody point me in the right direction.

    By the religious and cultural standards of his day Jesus was not to be around those women at all, period.

    The Billy Graham Rule is sexist paranoia and it marginalizes women in jobs and in churches. There’s no excuse for it.

  365. Mark wrote:

    Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex

    Men do not refuse to ride in the elevator with women, at least not that I’ve ever seen. That’s just stupid.

  366. @ okrapod:

    Your point glosses over what Christianity is all about – which is, in part, inclusion.
    Not treating people as though they might sin or put your reputation to ruin if you’re seen around them.

    If that was Jesus’ attitude, he would have rebuked the woman with the issue of blood who touched his cloak and many of the other women who spoke to him or physically touched him. But he did not. He welcome those women.

    To me, quibbling over if his contact with women was public or private is missing the point – way, way missing the point and a distinction without much of a difference

    I met with married coworkers (and some unmarried ones) in private in their offices and no nooky took place. It didn’t cross their minds, not mine. We also took luncheon dates together. No nooky then, either.

    I don’t appreciate at all being treated like a harlot merely for being of the female sex.

    Most of these men who think I want to jump their form are completely unattractive to me anyway. Not to mention I have something called values that would prohibit me from hopping in the sack with a married guy.

    I’m a 40-something year old virgin (I was waiting until marriage to have sex, marriage has not happened yet) being told I might be a temptress to these grown men?

    And that we have to have a chaperone if we meet together for lunch at Arby’s, as though we are two 15 year old kids? Puh-leeze.

    How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Billy Graham Rule and Love Like Jesus
    http://missio.staging.wpengine.com/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-about-the-billy-graham-rule-and-love-like-jesus/

  367. Friend wrote:

    Somebody on YouTube commented that Noble dresses like a teenage runaway.

    I may be confusing Noble with another mega pastor (Furtick??) but I believe he was on Instagram about a month ago auctioning off his used t-shirts and shoes.

    At first, I thought he was taking the funds and giving them to charity, but a person or two told me no, he was keeping the money as personal profit. (I’m pretty sure that was Noble, but it might have been another mega church preacher.)

  368. Godith wrote:

    What I meant by my comment is that the ability (the power) to stop abusing alcohol is available even to people who are not Christians.

    I agree and was not disputing that. 🙂

  369. okrapod wrote:

    I think you are missing the point. It probably has nothing to do with either you or him. He probably does not want to give his enemies in the church anything to use against him in rumor an insinuation.

    Who cares what other people think? Jesus did not. He touched people of his day who were considered “unclean” or let them touch him. Such as lepers and prostitutes.

  370. okrapod wrote:

    Being careful with appearances is a defensive position which I think should be recognized and respected when people do it.

    Not if it does so at the expense of hurting women, single women, and their careers or ability to have fellowship with other Christians. As such, the BGR acts as an impediment – single women are viewed as threats and sleazy bimbos, not as potential friends or allies.

  371. okrapod wrote:

    So why are you all saying that the preachers have to do it your way, if they think that does not work for them?

    If I’m at a church with only one male pastor, maybe I want to meet w/ him alone behind closed doors b/c I don’t want Susie Secretary or Hank the Church Organ player over hearing my personal business.

  372. linda wrote:

    Most are unwilling to risk their reputations to prove political or philosophical point.

    I’m not against it primarily due to “poltiical or philosophical” reasons. The BGR can have concrete, negative ramifications against women in churches and in workplaces.

    I also deeply resent being treated or suspected of being a bimbo by BGR types – I’m over 40 and literally a virgin.
    —-
    I also left you about 2 or 3 replies on the Mark Driscoll thread because I thought your post about mine was quite insensitive (and ‘biblically’ wrong).

  373. Lea wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex
    Men do not refuse to ride in the elevator with women, at least not that I’ve ever seen. That’s just stupid.

    Let’s take a person’s sex out of the equation. There are people I would avoid as much as possible at my work place. If I have to work with them it is just professional matters and no small talk. If I would have to give them a job appraisal and because of their history, there would have to be a witness from our hr department at that appraisal. Also I take the stairs as much as possible. I do not like elevators.

  374. @ Mark:

    You are entirely missing the point.

    If bob is sleazy or scary, maybe I would get off the elevator or not have lunch with him or what have you. But I would certainly not extend that to every male I’ve ever met. That would be a problem.

    And staircases are probably more dangerous to women then elevators, (not that I don’t take them but sometimes I’m in heels or what have you).

  375. Mark wrote:

    Let’s take a person’s sex out of the equation.

    Then this really doesn’t have anything to do with the BGR, which presumes that all women (especially single ones) are over-sexed floozies who target married men, and all men are incapable of sexual self-control.

    I too had jerky co-workers on my last job who I tried to avoid if I could (some were female, some were male).

    But that was because they were jerks or incompetent, not because I felt they would make a sexual pass at me, or I’d want to flirt with them and set up a meet up with them alone at a motel later.

  376. Mark wrote:

    Sorry, but in our modern day isn’t he being careful? Even in secular business it is advisable to have witnesses during interactions with workers of opposite sex because let’s say an employee has a bad job appraisal behind closed doors, the employee can claim sexual harassment or hostile work environment and it becomes “he said, she said” without appropriate proof as to what really happened.

    I do think that a person needs to use wisdom in situations (certain workplaces may be best to work this way) but is it necessary to have a blanket rule that ends up cutting him off from half the people in existence? It’s way overkill.

    I didn’t see any rules about alcohol, hmmm.

    Plus, I guess all of those lists of rules in CAPITAL LETTERS did not really help him avoid trouble in the end. They had, “to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but [were] of no value against fleshly indulgence.” (Col 2:23)

  377. Janey wrote:

    “Avoiding a bad reputation” and “Avoiding even the appearance of evil” is the Evangelical euphemism for discriminating against women.

    I appreciate your insight about this.

  378. mot wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    @ mot:
    Is “Pravda” one of the Southern Baptist sites? Or is that TGC?
    Southern Baptist.

    Or you could just call them by their new name “Soviet Baptist”.

  379. Velour wrote:

    Janey wrote:
    “Avoiding a bad reputation” and “Avoiding even the appearance of evil” is the Evangelical euphemism for discriminating against women.
    I appreciate your insight about this.

    The article I linked to previously has something about that-
    http://missio.staging.wpengine.com/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-about-the-billy-graham-rule-and-love-like-jesus/

    What about avoiding the appearance of evil?

    We get this phrase from from an unfortunate KJV translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

    The Greek word translated as “appearance” can also mean a variety or kind of something which all modern modern translations have opted for:

    “Abstain from every form of evil” or “abstain from every kind of evil.” There is no biblical basis for not doing something solely based on how it might appear to others.

    That page goes on to say:

    Boundaries in any relationship are essential. But when the boundaries become the focus, the relationship turns into an abstraction. We dehumanize the other gender to protect the boundary. Fear based boundaries, like the Billy Graham rule, block out mutual trust.

    Building trust requires hundreds of small positive interactions. When you take away those interactions, trust has no way to progress healthily.

    Where there is little trust, fear and suspicion grows. Where trust is lacking, there can be no real relationship or ministry.

  380. Daisy wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    Let’s take a person’s sex out of the equation.
    Then this really doesn’t have anything to do with the BGR, which presumes that all women (especially single ones) are over-sexed floozies who target married men, and all men are incapable of sexual self-control.
    I too had jerky co-workers on my last job who I tried to avoid if I could (some were female, some were male).
    But that was because they were jerks or incompetent, not because I felt they would make a sexual pass at me, or I’d want to flirt with them and set up a meet up with them alone at a motel later.

    You are really fixated on sex. My concern is people falsely accused of what they didn’t commit and a person slandering them as vengeance, for let’s say, an unfavorable job appraisal. Now sex may come into the false accusation. In the end the issue is not about sex, but about power. People always walk on eggshells around these people because they are worried they will be next for accusations. Sometimes it is best to have blanket policies regarding job appraisals being witnessed to prevent some of the slanderous accusations. I feel strongly about this because I have personally witnessed the worst of the worst. At work I do meet with women and men alone I do trust. It is always professional. But some I would rather there always be someone else around to witness our interactions.

  381. Daisy wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    As to those who say what Jesus did or did not do, I must have missed the chapter and verse on where he was alone in private with women. The well in Samaria was not private. The woman with the perfume on his feet was not private. The woman caught in adultery was in front of a mob. The widow was part of a funeral procession. The woman with the issue of blood was part of a packed crowd around Jesus. The women traveling with him were part of what seems to have been a fairly large mixed gender group. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here? But if I have missed the reference to alone and private somebody point me in the right direction.

    By the religious and cultural standards of his day Jesus was not to be around those women at all, period.

    The Billy Graham Rule is sexist paranoia and it marginalizes women in jobs and in churches. There’s no excuse for it.

    I think you are forgetting the children/teenagers boys and girls who have been molested by ministers/priests/coaches and the molesters got those young ones alone. There’s alot to be said about doors with windows and doors that are open. I wish the leaders were better than they are but they are not.

  382. Daisy wrote:

    Then this really doesn’t have anything to do with the BGR, which presumes that all women (especially single ones) are over-sexed floozies who target married men, and all men are incapable of sexual self-control.

    Ayatollah Khomeini, Mullah Omar, and the Caliph of ISIS would agree.

  383. Daisy wrote:

    I may be confusing Noble with another mega pastor (Furtick??) but I believe he was on Instagram about a month ago auctioning off his used t-shirts and shoes.

    Primary Relics?
    Or own a piece of the Great Man’s property (with his scent on it! Actually touched HIS skin!)?
    Isn’t this called “fetishism”?

  384. Max wrote:

    The last thing Noble needs to do right now is pop up on social media! I realize social media create the bigger-than-life persona of these celebrities, and that it is only natural for them to continue those connections, but the man needs to let it rest for a while.

    And stay away from his Ego Fix?
    He’s probably already shaking with the DTs from that whole THREE DAYS offline!
    Serious sauce hound AND serious social media hound.

  385. Ray wrote:

    I remember my first sponsor who didn’t give a hoot who i was. Told me that going to a treatment/meetings was like taking chemo – my life depended on it. At this point, I don’t understand why he’s not ALREADY in rehab!

    NOBODY tells a CELEBRITY what to do.
    NOBODY tells a CELEBRITY anything the CELEBRITY doesn’t want to hear.
    And when the CELEBRITY has GAWD on his side…

  386. .ishy wrote:

    The picture of Noble at the top totally freaks me out when I reload the page. I have no idea why.

    Same here.
    I think its because it’s a really stupid Selfie.
    Like something you’d expect out of a three-year-old.

  387. Daisy wrote:

    Thanks for treating the entire female sex as though we’re all a bunch of drooling harlots who find you irresistible and just want to rip your clothes off. I for one don’t find Noble physically attractive.

    But you’re just a woman.
    Here’s what he sees in the mirror (that or he’s wearing beer glasses):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5mtclwloEQ

  388. If I may: two comments on the Billy Graham Rule or BGR as cited by Daisy above. In particular, as applied by Graham himself.

    Point 1 of 2: the historical context of the BGR

    Billy Graham was a child of his time, and his time was that of Nixon, Watergate, and extremely dirty tricks used to destroy people’s reputations and effectiveness by, for instance, staging apparently incriminating photographs. The masterminds behind such scams were generally male, in all probability; the actors/prostitutes used to spring the traps could be male or female. The gender wasn’t the point. That wasn’t the only reason for the original BGR, but it was one of them.

    Point 2 of 2: it only takes one

    Few of us would want to walk/drive across an area we knew to be a minefield. It may be that only 1% of the surface area will trigger a mine if stepped on. But even though the chances of triggering a mine are small, the consequences of doing so will be devastating.

    When a woman says she doesn’t feel safe walking through a certain part of town alone or at night, she’s obviously saying that all men are rapists. Except she’s not saying that at all. She probably doesn’t think that, for instance, her sons are rapists. What she’s saying is that it only takes one.

    In more or less any organised setting here in Scotland in which I might come into contact with children, I am required to comply with child protection legislation. This does not mean that the Scottish Government has declared all men to be paedophiles. It’s a recognition that some men are; this, too, does not mean that all men are; and so on, ad infinitum. (It’s also known that some women are paedophiles, or will otherwise abuse children in their care. Women aren’t exempt from child protection rules. And this too is not saying that all women are abusers; etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.)

    Point 3 of 2: Perry Noble’s BGR

    Was Mr Noble being even-handed in applying his version of the BGR? Well, no, I don’t think he was; I think it was just a convenient bandwagon. For instance… There is a strong current of anti-church opinion in the US, I believe, triggered by greedy TV evangelists, that says: They’re only in it for the money. You’d have thought that a clergyman who was strongly concerned about not giving the appearance of evil, would have taken great care not to appear materialistic. Mr Noble didn’t seem too concerned about giving the appearance of that kind of evil, though; he openly told people who weren’t tithing to get out and give their seat to somebody who would. I could go on.

  389. @ Daisy:
    It was Perry! I thought it was so bizarre. He makes at least 500,000 a year plus his books and he is selling Old Navy pants on Instagram. I am sure he made a non-paid intern do it and the money was for him, no charity.

  390. I always appreciate Nick’s comments, and especially his mention of BG and his being a person of his time. I never heard the term BG rule until I heard it here on TWW. In fact I lived through the whole BG era and never paid any attention to BG one way or the other.

    I first heard about ‘professional behavior’ from my father, an attorney, when I was a child before BG made it big. I then got taught about ‘professional behavior’ as related to patients in nursing school in the early 50s and again in med school in the early 60s. None of it had anything to do with religion, but it did have to do with how to work in potentially precarious conditions and survive as unscathed as possible. And it was CYA and it was about how to maintain a professional distance from the client or patient, not by being rude or careless or disdainful but rather by just never forgetting the possibility of problems and always have a witness. And now, in fact, we see docs getting into trouble with the licensure board because they did not listen and ‘got involved’ with a patient. That and drugs do in quite a few docs actually. There are of course other reasons. When I go to either of my doctors there are always two people present, possibly because I might fall and get injured at my age. So the issue is more than just sex. The issue is to stay out of trouble.

    Now, after getting involved in this yesterday and here I made some inquiries and I have found out that at least one large public high school here has a rule that no teacher of either sex can be alone with the door closed anywhere on campus with a single student of either sex. Only if there are two or more students present can the teacher shut the door. Again, this has nothing to do with religion. But. as NIck mentioned, it only takes one, and this school had ‘an incident.’

    I believe that preachers have the right of self defense also. At the same time I also believe in women preachers, and that might be the answer for women who need to talk to the pastor in private. There is also the possibility of electronic surveillance which is getting more popular everywhere it seems.

    If people get offended by all this that is their choice. But let me say that we live in a society that is both sex saturated and also maniacally litigious and this is not going to go away.

  391. Shame on Perry and Billy for the BGR. Just maybe God meant you to be in that elevator alone with a woman because she needed to be ministered to, and you were the one meant to do it. You missed out on what God would have you do. Maybe she just got devastating news. Maybe her husband just died. Maybe she is at a hospital with a dying child. How many times have we as Christians been able to minister to people that needed us, and we didn’t know it at the time. We call it the God thing. Being ministers, you would think that being able to minister to those in need would be top most on their minds. Not that some female would latch on to him and create problems. Maybe I should be concerned that if I am in the elevator or somewhere alone with a man, that me being in a wheelchair that I could easily be taken advantage of. I am extra cautious about that. But if you miss out on what God is telling you to do or showing you to do on a daily basis, because of some man made BGR, then you are the one to lose. I personally try to keep myself open to those I can help out someway or minister in my daily life. You never know just how much a simple smile or just listening to a person can change their life.

  392. okrapod wrote:

    I believe that preachers have the right of self defense also. At the same time I also believe in women preachers, and that might be the answer for women who need to talk to the pastor in private. There is also the possibility of electronic surveillance which is getting more popular everywhere it seems.

    Good words in your entire comment and Nick’s entire comment. There is wisdom in understanding that predatory people are among us, and predators strike when there is opportunity or when they can create an opportunity. Having recently been targeted by a predatory person (and I assure everyone this was ***NOT*** about sex), I understand the necessity of precautions. Those precautions can take many forms, as you said.

    On the female pastor thing, as much as I think women should be permitted to exercise all their gifts, I think it would be a mistake to have an all-female pastoral/elder team. That isn’t what you suggested, but it’s just something that occurred to me because there are reasons a man would only want to speak with a man. The pity is that there is no one for a woman to speak with in leadership in conservative churches unless it is the pastor’s wife.

    I think there is something dysfunctional going on with Perry Noble that extends beyond the alcoholism and probably pre-dates it.

  393. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Billy Graham was a child of his time, and his time was that of Nixon, Watergate, and extremely dirty tricks used to destroy people’s reputations and effectiveness by, for instance, staging apparently incriminating photographs. The masterminds behind such scams were generally male, in all probability; the actors/prostitutes used to spring the traps could be male or female. The gender wasn’t the point. That wasn’t the only reason for the original BGR, but it was one of them.

    Huh? Now that “time” is the accepted normal today. Much much worse has been done continually since.

  394. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    When a woman says she doesn’t feel safe walking through a certain part of town alone or at night, she’s obviously saying that all men are rapists. Except she’s not saying that at all. She probably doesn’t think that, for instance, her sons are rapists. What she’s saying is that it only takes one.

    Totally agree. The bad people end up making the rules or precautions for everyone.

  395. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Was Mr Noble being even-handed in applying his version of the BGR? Well, no, I don’t think he was; I think it was just a convenient bandwagon.

    There is another aspect to this I saw in mega church circles. The pastor (and pastors) is way too important to take any chances. He must be protected at all costs. Private elevators, body guards, secret key pad offices, etc. The BGR rule plays into this thinking. Because they all think the honey trap is most likely scenario.

    It is the perfect big ego precaution. :o)

  396. Gram3 wrote:

    I think there is something dysfunctional going on with Perry Noble that extends beyond the alcoholism and probably pre-dates it.

    Very true!

  397. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    In more or less any organised setting here in Scotland in which I might come into contact with children, I am required to comply with child protection legislation.

    Thanks for your insightful post, Nick.

    By the way, what does Scotland require and their child protection legislation?

  398. Gram3 wrote:

    The pity is that there is no one for a woman to speak with in leadership in conservative churches unless it is the pastor’s wife.

    And in such a situation “pastor’s wife” all too often translates as “Queen Bee”.

  399. Mark wrote:

    You are really fixated on sex.

    Actually, Daisy’s fixated on the shabby treatment given singles in a lot of churches. (Something she’s been on the receiving end of for decades.) The sex angle is a derivative corollary of that.

    A lot of churches harbor fertility cults worthy of Baal and Asherah. With hostility for those (like Daisy or me) who won’t get with the program. And the Sacrament of a fertility cult is Sex.

    Christians these days are as screwed-up sexually as everyone else, just in a different (and often opposite) direction. To the point that “Marriage” becomes a Christianese synonym for what everyone else calls “sex”.

  400. siteseer wrote:

    I didn’t see any rules about alcohol, hmmm.

    “NOW THAT’S MEDDLIN’!”

    “To an alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink must be protected at all costs.”
    — Steven King, recovering alcoholic

    Plus, I guess all of those lists of rules in CAPITAL LETTERS did not really help him avoid trouble in the end.

    Same as Got Hard?

  401. Lea wrote:

    @ okrapod:

    Noble was not talking about liability, he was talking about avoiding sexual sin. Massive difference in the reasoning!

    And like a lot of preacher-men with big egos (and libidos?), he was obsessed with the sexual angle.

  402. For many workers, the BGR is codified conduct and applies equally to all situations regardless of gender.

    It isn’t that women see all men as rapists or murderers. It isn’t that men see all women as nymphos just waiting to be alone with them.

    It IS that there are liars out there that will file false charges and make false claims. It IS that it isn’t that hard to prevent at least some of them with some simple changes.

    I live in a town with maybe 4 (?) elevators, one in a church, one a bank, one a city building and one in the county courthouse. We are in a high crime area. In our region we have 3 considered current (2 years or less) cold cases of women going missing and presumed killed. We are tiny, so the presumption is they knew the perp. So no, not me, no way gonna get on an elevator alone with any man.

    In a large city in this state there are many elevators. High crime rate again. Again it is just to easy to avoid doing that. Much safer. Most of the time it isn’t an issue since large groups are getting on and off.

    Now in a workplace with elevators, if I knew and believed I could trust the people, (low crime rate) it would be no problem. But here, now, I won’t do it nor will I get in an elevator with a lone woman or child.

    I’ve personally known one man falsely accused of sexual misconduct (the accuser went public years later that she made the whole story up to get his job herself), a city employee in another town falsely accused (thankfully that door was open and the accuser did not realize another person had full view of the happenings or non happenings) and a mentally ill woman who claimed to have been raped multiple times over a span of around 20 years. When she finally got help turned out she had been molested as a small child, acted out by being promiscuous, and then labelled those encounters rape to quell her own conscience. Very sad all around, and very embarrassing for her when she finally had the strength to come clean.

    So whether you agree with the BGR or not, it kept down speculation for him. No chance to be another Jim Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart.

    And many businesses and individuals find perfectly good “work arounds”. Open doors, or glass walls uncovered, or should you sense someone on an elevator needs Christian comfort, inviting them off and to the visible public area to chat can allow both full function and avoidance of gossip fodder.

    And if you personally don’t see the need for the BGR, that is cool. Just please don’t judge those who for personal or professional safety choose to adhere to it.

  403. Daisy wrote:

    And that we have to have a chaperone if we meet together for lunch at Arby’s, as though we are two 15 year old kids? Puh-leeze.

    Well, if Moral Crusader behind the pulpit arrested his development at age 15…

  404. Harley wrote:

    You missed out on what God would have you do. Maybe she just got devastating news. Maybe her husband just died. Maybe she is at a hospital with a dying child. How many times have we as Christians been able to minister to people that needed us, and we didn’t know it at the time. We call it the God thing.

    Amen, Harley.

    I always appreciate your posts. And I admire the way you face life in a wheelchair and have a full and rich life. God bless you, friend.

  405. Velour wrote:

    By the way, what does Scotland require and their child protection legislation?

    Well, actually, I’ve just had a bit of an education in the last few minutes. I thought I’d just do a quick check of the actual legislative requirements before I answered you. And it was not easy. Trying to find a government-backed, bulleted summary of an organisation’s basic responsibilities is like trying to staple gravel to an egg.

    One criticism that is levelled against child protection rules is that they are overly bureaucratic and cumbersome, and I’m betting that’s because organisations aren’t sure what they need to do – thus, fearing prosecution or litigation, they play it safe. However, I can say from experience that the following rules apply:

     People who work with children and/or vulnerable adults are required to undergo a criminal record check prior to taking up employment (including for a voluntary position).
     Organisations that work with children and/or vulnerable adults are required to have child protection policy in place that is known to all staff and/or volunteers.
    “We strongly affirm that we are good people and child abusers suck” does not constitute a child protection policy.
     Most child protection policies – if not all – do in practice stipulate that an adult must not be alone with a child at any time under the organisation’s aegis. For a church, for instance, that would mean either during any gathering in a church-owned building, or at any other gathering run as part of the church program.
     From which you will notice specifically that churches are not exempt from the rules, no matter how anointed their pastor and regardless of what God may or may not have told them.
     Instances of child abuse must be reported to the authorities and not handled in-house. No matter how anointed the said house’s pastor may be and regardless of what God may or may not have told them.

    IHTIH…

  406. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Mr Noble didn’t seem too concerned about giving the appearance of that kind of evil, though; he openly told people who weren’t tithing to get out and give their seat to somebody who would. I could go on.

    This was my thought, reading through his list, as well.

    Let’s say that women are not really a temptation for a particular man and maybe he’d just as soon have a good excuse to avoid them, even. He can make a big deal about following the BGR and look all godly like but is he applying the same limitations to the things that are a temptation to him? (Money, power, fame, etc)

    For many years, my husband and I have run a small contracting business. Our business requires my husband to meet with people in their homes, oftentimes women. Many times my husband has had an opportunity to minister to people in the course of his work, women who are newly widowed, for instance. But we are nobodies, not famous people who someone might want to ‘take down’ -thank goodness!!

  407. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Most evangelical churches are obsessed with sex.

    I think people are talking past one another. I always take safety precautions in my everyday life for everything. The world is a sick place and people litigatious.

    The BFR rule is specifically focused on interactions between believers. What I am hearing people really say is that the church and parachurch orgs are just as bad as the world. And I have to agree. They are.

    I am mainly debating principle the typical approach to BGR in that the typical women in the church are either weak or brazen Jezebels. If a 25 year old male staffer cannot get a lift from a middle aged sister in Christ because of all the warnings about being alone with the opposite sex then perhaps this has been taken too far. OTOH, a young man who thinks like that might easily mistake polite conversation as something else. Bullet dodged. :o)

  408. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    At this point, I don’t understand why he’s not ALREADY in rehab!

    Is it possible that the real reason(s) he was fired are not being revealed? I am thinking of the calls for ‘silence’ of any speculation, and I know that these efforts to ‘silence’ folks are ‘red lights’ that there is more to a story than what has been officially ‘revealed’.

  409. Christiane wrote:

    Is it possible that the real reason(s) he was fired are not being revealed? I am thinking of the calls for ‘silence’ of any speculation, and I know that these efforts to ‘silence’ folks are ‘red lights’ that there is more to a story than what has been officially ‘revealed’.

    Rarely, especially within the Evangelical Industrial Complex is the “reason” the full reason or only reason. I think this is especially true In Perry Noble’s case.

    There is a reasonable case to be made from Scripture that he wasn’t qualified to be pastor in the first place. And during his time at New Spring there were many disqualifying issues that have arisen. His dismissal because of a misuse of alcohol seems inconsistent with how his other disqualifying issues have been dealt with (or not).

    Not only did Noble give a “sermon” that the 10 Commandments were actually 10 Promises, but he claimed during that sermon that the Lord himself told him to give that message. That kind of blasphemy ranks up there with Mark Driscoll’s, “Jesus made mistakes”.

    At the first Elephant Room, Noble told the others that his decision to play AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on Easter Sunday was NOT to tick off the more conservative members of the congregation. Weeks later at a pastor/leader conference he admitted that it WAS the reason.

    He has repeatedly denigrated members of the congregation who wanted to study Scripture in a more comprehensive way.

    There is much, much, much more. None of those things were enough (singularly or cumulatively) enough to take him out… but his misuse of alcohol (which apparently was NOT commonly known) was?

    I don’t know if this is the case in this instance, but the speed in which this was revealed and addressed is typical when there is a much larger but not disclosed issue.

  410. Velour – thank you for the kind comments. I meant to add to my comment that what if you were the person God had chosen to lead the woman to Christ and you missed the opportunity? That’s a lot to think about. When I used to work, I often would go out to lunch with a married male friend of mine. My husband worked at the same place as I did, and never thought anything about it. I never had to ask his permission about it either. He had female friends and I had male friends, as well those of the same sex. There wasn’t ever any thought about sex involved in this. Just pure friendship, and a lot of times Christian fellowship. My daughter Christy also lives a lot of her life in a wheelchair. You see things a lot differently from our angle. You see the people that reach out to help you. They are often the ones that have health problems themselves. But I see good in people too. I’m not out looking for someone to abuse me because I’m in a wheelchair. I guess maybe I should be concerned that maybe some man would look down my shirt (modest) and see things he shouldn’t. I honestly never did care for Reverend Graham. I liked the music at his crusades, but that was about it. I probably wouldn’t like anything about Pastor Noble, Furtick or the like. I want a man of compassion in the pulpit. One who preaches Christ. Not one who preaches follow me and do what I say do.

  411. Lydia wrote:

    @ Mark:
    I think you guys are talking about two different things.

    I think we are. And sorry Daisey for not really paying attention to what you were writing. You aren’t fixated on

  412. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I thought I’d just do a quick check of the actual legislative requirements before I answered you.

    Thanks, Nick, for summarizing Scotland’s policies.

     “We strongly affirm that we are good people and child abusers suck” does not constitute a child protection policy.

    My ex-NeoCalvinist church’s pastors/elders had the opposite problem. A convicted offender
    said a few words about Jesus and like a magic wand he’s all better and we will give him access to children.

  413. @ Harley:

    Another wonderful post, Harley. I’m so glad to have all of the people here who point out these flaws to me, things that we’ve been taught wholesale in the evangelical church.
    (Iron sharpens iron.)

    Good for you and your family for carrying on despite hardship.

  414. Velour wrote:

    A convicted offender
    said a few words about Jesus and like a magic wand he’s all better and we will give him access to children.

    That should be criminal. Offenders can heal, but not like that. That church’s leadership was criminally naive on two counts: 1) thinking that it’s ok to let a convicted offender minister to children, and 2) having a children’s ministry with such lax security that people like this aren’t properly screened. Words fail me.

  415. Ken F wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    A convicted offender
    said a few words about Jesus and like a magic wand he’s all better and we will give him access to children.
    That should be criminal. Offenders can heal, but not like that. That church’s leadership was criminally naive on two counts: 1) thinking that it’s ok to let a convicted offender minister to children, and 2) having a children’s ministry with such lax security that people like this aren’t properly screened. Words fail me.

    Words fail me too, Ken F.

    I was on the phone yesterday with a Christian school principal getting my former church banned from using the school’s gym for 5-day sports camp or for that matter any event.
    The principal thanked me and he was astounded by what my former pastors/elders did.

    Since the senior pastor screamed at me in an elders’ meeting:

    *said that there was nothing wrong with child porn which is what his friend had been convicted of and been in prison for (uhhh…there is something wrong with it and it is also a violation of federal and state laws)

    *was furious that I had referred to the man as a “sex offender” in the meeting (I told him that it was a legal term found in the criminal code, not my term, and that someone found guilty of sex offenses is called a sex offender, just like a person found guilty of burglary is a burglar, a person found guilty of arson is an arsonist.)

    *said that the sex offender could touch children at church and that the father’s had ‘final say over their families’ and that mothers had ‘no say’ (well that’s legally wrong in my state (CA) where a mother is not off the legal hook for failing to protect her children, she can’t blame it on her husband or the church pastors, and she can be prosecuted for felony child abuse, land in state prison, and have Child Protective Services take away her children)

    *the chairman of the elder board told me that I was destined for Hell (and read me a Scripture verse regarding same)

    *the associate pastor demanded to know if I’d prayed for the sex offender and I replied no because we’re here to discuss child safety

    *the pastors/elders demanded that I confront this 6’2″ sex offender about his lying to my entire Bible study (he whipped 17 people into a frenzy of anger about all of the ‘bad people in prisons’, conveniently omitting he was a felon, on Megan’s List, had served prison time — and he sat back and smiled as the entire room blew up. I stared him down cold, went home, opened up Megan’s List, and documented the entire thing under his picture of the CA Attorney General’s Office, which then went to his supervising law enforcement agency) — the pastors were furious I had documented it to the AG’s office

    *I told the pastors/elders that they had failed our church members and our children,
    it’s not my job to confront a felon but their job to protect us.

    *I was excommunicated and banned. Boz, of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment/former sex crimes prosecutor/law school professor at Liberty Univeristy/Billy Graham’s grandson tweeted to me that I should wear my getting kicked out as a “badge of honor”.

    *Outsiders wonder if any of the pastors/elders are unprosecuted sex offenders of children. Good question.

    *There are high rates of sexual abuse in these patriarchy/complementarian churches with all of this obey and submit stuff, and not a shred of healthy boundaries. All of the big names in it – Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips – have been felled by sex crimes (their own).

    *The pastors/elders told me I wasn’t permitted to call law enforcement about the sex offender because they “said so” and I was “to obey” and “to submit” to them, in other words a criminal conspiracy.

    It doesn’t matter if that order comes from a gang or a pastoral leadership. It’s a criminal act, a felony in my state.

    I am currently working on getting the denomination that rents to my former church to ban my ex-church from all of the properties. I got a very nice email from the president of the district. Since the sheriff is involved, three police departments, and the Attorney General’s Office…my ex-church’s screwups are costing their denomination a lot.

  416. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Most evangelical churches are obsessed with sex.
    I think people are talking past one another. I always take safety precautions in my everyday life for everything. The world is a sick place and people litigatious.
    The BFR rule is specifically focused on interactions between believers. What I am hearing people really say is that the church and parachurch orgs are just as bad as the world. And I have to agree. They are.
    I am mainly debating principle the typical approach to BGR in that the typical women in the church are either weak or brazen Jezebels. If a 25 year old male staffer cannot get a lift from a middle aged sister in Christ because of all the warnings about being alone with the opposite sex then perhaps this has been taken too far. OTOH, a young man who thinks like that might easily mistake polite conversation as something else. Bullet dodged. :o)

    Yep. I’ve witnessed this. And the pastor wife queen Bee someone referred to up above. I seriously wonder why those male pastors who feel their piety is at stake by a woman’s presence don’t just declare that they can only pastor the men in the church? Pastoring requires contact and interaction. Those women in the church just use it to jump the preacher don’t ya know.

  417. Velour wrote:

    I was on the phone yesterday with a Christian school principal getting my former church banned from using the school’s gym for 5-day sports camp or for that matter any event.
    The principal thanked me and he was astounded by what my former pastors/elders did.

    Since the senior pastor screamed at me in an elders’ meeting:

    *said that there was nothing wrong with child porn which is what his friend had been convicted of and been in prison for (uhhh…there is something wrong with it and it is also a violation of federal and state laws)

    *was furious that I had referred to the man as a “sex offender” in the meeting (I told him that it was a legal term found in the criminal code, not my term, and that someone found guilty of sex offenses is called a sex offender, just like a person found guilty of burglary is a burglar, a person found guilty of arson is an arsonist.)

    *said that the sex offender could touch children at church and that the father’s had ‘final say over their families’ and that mothers had ‘no say’ (well that’s legally wrong in my state (CA) where a mother is not off the legal hook for failing to protect her children, she can’t blame it on her husband or the church pastors, and she can be prosecuted for felony child abuse, land in state prison, and have Child Protective Services take away her children)

    *the chairman of the elder board told me that I was destined for Hell (and read me a Scripture verse regarding same)

    *the associate pastor demanded to know if I’d prayed for the sex offender and I replied no because we’re here to discuss child safety

    *the pastors/elders demanded that I confront this 6’2″ sex offender about his lying to my entire Bible study (he whipped 17 people into a frenzy of anger about all of the ‘bad people in prisons’, conveniently omitting he was a felon, on Megan’s List, had served prison time — and he sat back and smiled as the entire room blew up. I stared him down cold, went home, opened up Megan’s List, and documented the entire thing under his picture of the CA Attorney General’s Office, which then went to his supervising law enforcement agency) — the pastors were furious I had documented it to the AG’s office

    *I told the pastors/elders that they had failed our church members and our children,
    it’s not my job to confront a felon but their job to protect us.

    *I was excommunicated and banned. Boz, of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment/former sex crimes prosecutor/law school professor at Liberty Univeristy/Billy Graham’s grandson tweeted to me that I should wear my getting kicked out as a “badge of honor”.

    *Outsiders wonder if any of the pastors/elders are unprosecuted sex offenders of children. Good question.

    *There are high rates of sexual abuse in these patriarchy/complementarian churches with all of this obey and submit stuff, and not a shred of healthy boundaries. All of the big names in it – Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips – have been felled by sex crimes (their own).

    *The pastors/elders told me I wasn’t permitted to call law enforcement about the sex offender because they “said so” and I was “to obey” and “to submit” to them, in other words a criminal conspiracy.

    It doesn’t matter if that order comes from a gang or a pastoral leadership. It’s a criminal act, a felony in my state.

    I am currently working on getting the denomination that rents to my former church to ban my ex-church from all of the properties. I got a very nice email from the president of the district. Since the sheriff is involved, three police departments, and the Attorney General’s Office…my ex-church’s screwups are costing their denomination a lot.

    Brava!!! In the face of that kind of evil, your light shines even brighter …. may God give you strength to match His gift of courage

  418. Velour wrote:

    *The pastors/elders told me I wasn’t permitted to call law enforcement about the sex offender because they “said so” and I was “to obey” and “to submit” to them,

    reminds me of this threat in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings:

    “Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
    (J.R.R. Tolkien)

  419. @ Velour:

    Loosely on the subject – in particular, of churches considering themselves above the law – this is all food for thought on the separation of church and state. The US constitution was penned in its own particular historical context, and of course the famous First Amendment was set against the backdrop of grotesque and horrible religious persecution in Britain (and Europe more generally) throughout the Middle Ages. All perpetrated by politically powerful churches who were very much in bed with the state.

    However, times change. Even under Roman rule, Peter declared that governing authorities were established by God to punish wrong-doing. (I’ve condensed his statement a bit, but you know what I mean.) I don’t know much about how the First is applied in practice, other than what I’ve read here on TWW; but it looks from here like a good example of Unintended Consequences. One of said unintended consequences is that it has enabled unrepentant and aggressively-entitled sinners to come together and form what both John the Baptist and Jesus himself called a “brood of vipers” that is self-appointed, self-serving and unchecked by any external standard.

  420. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Perhaps The Founders thought people did not need to be protected from ‘voluntary’ associations. (I always consider the Puritans were a recent memory) We have to acknowledge our responsibility for giving the church or organization power over us. We chose it.

    I, for one, would love to see more that sort of thinking. On another note, I think the lack of reporting and tax exemption is ridiculous. What does it have to with freedom to assemble around beliefs? With the advent of Megas this should be more than obvious. This is one of the issues on which I totally disagree with NT Wright. He still has a bit of a church state mentality.

  421. @ Lydia:
    There is separation of church and state In Scotland as well but the view is basically that of the Reformers. Civil authorities are there to uphold godly standards. (That’s the theory but it does transfer to the secular Scottish state as well).

  422. @ Lowlandseer:
    I get that. We have not really articulated well what it means in practice here! I have this discussion with my British friends Often( they are agnostic). The older ones remember Anglican Religious Instruction classes in high school. The state does underwrite the church to some extent. Not sure to what extent. .

  423. Velour wrote:

    I am currently working on getting the denomination that rents to my former church to ban my ex-church from all of the properties. I got a very nice email from the president of the district. Since the sheriff is involved, three police departments, and the Attorney General’s Office…my ex-church’s screwups are costing their denomination a lot.

    Ha! Amazing what a Subservient One can do to the Powers That Be when she wields the weapon of truth, ain’t it!

  424. Getting close to 500 comments.
    TWW’s been having a lot of popular threads lately.

  425. Christiane wrote:

    “Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
    (J.R.R. Tolkien)

    Or the fannish paraphrase:

    “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

  426. And that Selfie of The Great One at the top of this post is making me want to puke more every time I see it.

  427. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And that Selfie of The Great One at the top of this post is making me want to puke more every time I see it.

    ‘never laugh at a live dragon’
    (Tolkien, I think, if not then CS Lewis, if not, then it’s from the script of ‘Game of Thrones’)

  428. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    My favorite spaghetti sauce – Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti – a recipe from a mom.
    It contains some red wine. It is so good that people beg me to make it and bring this to birthday parties.
    http://www.food.com/recipe/jo-mamas-world-famous-spaghetti-22782
    A couple years ago, I found out how adding wine to a scratch sauce really improved it; the wine offset the tartness of the tomatoes. From then on, I tip a cup of Burgundy into every batch of sauce I make.
    And when I do chicken cacciatore, I make sure to initially cook the chicken breasts in Burgundy as well as oil/garlic/herbs/garlic; tints the white meat kind of purple; then I pour on the chopped tomatoes & onions & boiled potatoes for the final simmer…

    Oh yum, H.U.G.

    You should really add your recipe(s) to the top of the page here under the Interesting tab, the Cooking tab. (Nick’s Yorkshire Pudding recipe is there, Gram3’s Key Lime
    Pie recipe, & GovPappy’s Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe.)

  429. Christiane wrote:

    Brava!!! In the face of that kind of evil, your light shines even brighter …. may God give you strength to match His gift of courage

    Thank you, kind friend!

  430. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    *The pastors/elders told me I wasn’t permitted to call law enforcement about the sex offender because they “said so” and I was “to obey” and “to submit” to them,
    reminds me of this threat in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings:
    “Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
    (J.R.R. Tolkien)

    Every evil person comes to an end.

    I will stand my ground. I couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t protect children and others from danger. How could I just say, “Oh I’ll live a happy life and it’s none of my business who gets hurt. Oh well. Not my problem.”

    And when I stand before God, what would He say to me? That I knew and did nothing???

    Perish the thought.

  431. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Loosely on the subject – in particular, of churches considering themselves above the law – this is all food for thought on the separation of church and state. The US constitution was penned in its own particular historical context, and of course the famous First Amendment was set against the backdrop of grotesque and horrible religious persecution in Britain (and Europe more generally) throughout the Middle Ages. All perpetrated by politically powerful churches who were very much in bed with the state.

    Yes, those were the reasons the founders of the U.S. created the First Amendment protections, which include religious protections that are still in force today in the U.S. for religious groups.

    In my state, California, religious employees (pastors, secretaries) are mandated child abuse reporters and can be prosecuted and land in jail/prison for failure to report. So the First Amendment doesn’t exempt them from these laws.

    First Amendment protections for religious groups include:

    *religious groups don’t have to follow anti-discrimination laws (race, age, gender, illness) that other employers have to follow. The New York Times has written about this
    and older pastors being fired, nuns with cancer, etc. Employees of such religious organizations can’t appeal to the state or federal anti-discrimination groups.

    *religious groups are also protected under the First Amendment from having to perform gay marriages (which the courts have ruled are now constitutional in the U.S.) if that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. (This has been covered by Richard Hammar, attorney, on his website Church Law & Tax. http://www.churchlawandtax.com/blog/2015/july/4-questions-from-supreme-courts-gay-marriage-ruling.html

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage).
    https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556

    Issues the U.S. Supreme Court addressed:
    “Question
    (1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

    (2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex that was legally licensed and performed in another state?”

    Part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Conclusion [I didn’t copy the rest of it):

    “Yes, yes. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority. The Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to marry as one of the fundamental liberties it protects, and that analysis applies to same-sex couples in the same manner as it does to opposite-sex couples. Judicial precedent has held that the right to marry is a fundamental liberty because it is inherent to the concept of individual autonomy, it protects the most intimate association between two people, it safeguards children and families by according legal recognition to building a home and raising children, and it has historically been recognized as the keystone of social order.”

  432. Nancy2 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I am currently working on getting the denomination that rents to my former church to ban my ex-church from all of the properties. I got a very nice email from the president of the district. Since the sheriff is involved, three police departments, and the Attorney General’s Office…my ex-church’s screwups are costing their denomination a lot.
    Ha! Amazing what a Subservient One can do to the Powers That Be when she wields the weapon of truth, ain’t it!

    Indeed.

    Is it any wonder that I got “keyed out” (Gram3’s TM/saying for excommunication/shunning) of the NeoCalvinist church for not being a compliant doormat.

    The State of CA is also sailing down their backs for the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine, a felony crime in CA. The pastors/elders believe that the Bible is sufficient counsel for everything. To that end, the pastors/elders also blamed me for the memory problems of a woman church member with a genetically inherited brain disorder Dyslexia, which isn’t just a reading problem but a memory problem involving short-term memory problems, working memory problems, and auditory memory problems. She has them all, has spent decades refusing to get medical care and be in special groups for her disability.
    She maintains that Jesus could heal her if He wanted to. Yes, He could, but He hasn’t.
    He could also brush and floss her teeth, but He doesn’t do that either and expects her to kick it in gear and do her part. The Dyslexic church member has been medically diagnosed with this disability, received a monthly disability check from the Social Security Administration, and can’t work due to her memory problems and mixing things up.
    She repeatedly accused me of lying – saying that entire events that had taken place had not taken place. The pastors/elders accused me of “being in sin”. I’m not in sin, she’s got brain wiring problems and we do have medical professionals who can help people like her.

    The whole thing was just…so outrageous. Dark Ages.

    As someone posted over at Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board, how come these pastors/elders (many of them NeoCalvinist) who claim that the “Bible is sufficient counsel for everything” do so while wearing prescription eyeglasses for vision problems? Why not take off their glasses and throw Scripture verses to treat vision problems?

  433. ishy wrote:

    The picture of Noble at the top totally freaks me out when I reload the page.

    Lydia wrote:

    Noble, is cruel, juvenile, calloused, vulgar and down right creepy

    Yet, 30,000+ look at that same picture and say “Cool, he’s my pastor.” (or “was my pastor”).

  434. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Scotland”s child protection policies and legislation are comprehensive and strict. Any organisation dealing with children are inspected regularly by the authorities to ensure they are complying with the law.
    http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/05/3052/0

    Thank you for posting that link about Scotland’s child protection laws. I read some of it but I will sit down and read the entire thing this weekend when I have more time.

  435. Lydia wrote:

    I am mainly debating principle the typical approach to BGR in that the typical women in the church are either weak or brazen Jezebels. If a 25 year old male staffer cannot get a lift from a middle aged sister in Christ because of all the warnings about being alone with the opposite sex then perhaps this has been taken too far. OTOH, a young man who thinks like that might easily mistake polite conversation as something else. Bullet dodged. :o)

    And the ironic part in this Pop-Christian-culture-Jezebel-meme, is that when you read the account of her in the Hebrew Bible, it has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. Although in their speculative lore they’ll try and spin it that way.

  436. Christiane wrote:

    ‘never laugh at a live dragon’
    (Tolkien, I think, if not then CS Lewis, if not, then it’s from the script of ‘Game of Thrones’)

    It is indeed Tolkien, spoken as an off-the-cuff remark by Bilbo as he runs away from Smaug. His exacts words (I realise he never actually spoke them as he’s a fictitious character, but hey) were “Never laugh at live dragons…”

    CF the motto of Hogwarts – Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus – which means “never tickle a sleeping dragon”. CF also the experiments at Los Alamos undertaken, as part of the Manhattan Project, to determine the critical mass for a sphere of fissile material by steadily adding to it * until it was just about to become super-critical. Richard Feynman is said to have referred to this as “tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon”. Indeed, two physicists were killed when criticality experiments went wrong. (I say this with some circumspection, in the knowledge that countless thousands were killed when two such “procedures” were conducted for real in August 1945.)

    * to cut a long story short

  437. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    fascinating story about Los Alamos ….. and you ARE up on your dragontales

    I thought is was Tolkien, but then, it might have been Lewis, and then the only other source I could think of was the dragon tale of the decade G. of T.

  438. Max wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    The picture of Noble at the top totally freaks me out when I reload the page.

    Lydia wrote:

    Noble, is cruel, juvenile, calloused, vulgar and down right creepy

    Yet, 30,000+ look at that same picture and say “Cool, he’s my pastor.” (or “was my pastor”).

    That is one of the creepiest Selfies I have ever seen.

    I wonder what his blood alcohol level was at the time.

  439. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That is one of the creepiest Selfies I have ever seen.
    I wonder what his blood alcohol level was at the time.

    ROFL.

    And you know what I say about John Piper and his bizarre Tweets: What is he on?

  440. Max wrote:

    I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop on this. Something just doesn’t feel right.

    The statement from the church leaders have told us that there is much more. There appear to be severe problems in the marriage and PN wouldn’t do anything about it. There were “other behaviors.” I sniff inappropriate behavior towards women. I cannot believe any denials on the part of PN at this point. Since he has been abusing alcohol, he is probably not telling the truth.

    Also, one other point I didn’t bring up is this. We know he is on antidepressants and he was also using alcohol on top of that in large quantities. Is he a polysubstance abuser? Quite possible.

    If he ever goes into rehab, they will be able to tell by his blood work. Also, he would have quite a time of withdrawal if more than alcohol is involved.

    We have only heard the cleaned ups tory. His *posture* towards his marriage. That is church speak for everything has gone to hell in a hand basket.

  441. dee wrote:

    We have only heard the cleaned ups tory. His *posture* towards his marriage. That is church speak for everything has gone to hell in a hand basket.

    ROFL

  442. Velour wrote:

    And you know what I say about John Piper and his bizarre Tweets: What is he on?

    His own Righteousness.

  443. dee wrote:

    If he ever goes into rehab, they will be able to tell by his blood work. Also, he would have quite a time of withdrawal if more than alcohol is involved.

    Even if he goes into Biblical Nouthetic rehab?

    We have only heard the cleaned up story. His *posture* towards his marriage. That is church speak for everything has gone to hell in a hand basket.

    Or Christianese for “caught with Captain Bonerhelmet in a live boy, dead woman, or string of the same”.

  444. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    The picture of Noble at the top totally freaks me out when I reload the page.

    Lydia wrote:

    Noble, is cruel, juvenile, calloused, vulgar and down right creepy

    Yet, 30,000+ look at that same picture and say “Cool, he’s my pastor.” (or “was my pastor”).

    That is one of the creepiest Selfies I have ever seen.

    I wonder what his blood alcohol level was at the time.

    My first thought was, “Hah! You’d never pass a breathylizer, would you, yean?”

  445. Shame on you, and anyone involved, for passing judgement and speculating. While you’re busy casting stones, don’t any of you have your own personal issues to attend to? Or are you all without imperfections??

  446. Let me guess, my previous comment won’t even make it through your moderation and will simply be deleted.

    No. We let it through. You were not rude or yelling about things without attribution. But you are close. GBTC

  447. Dear no need to leave it

    You posted your comment at 4:42 AM. I would have approved it if I had been awake. Believe it or not, I am not sitting at my computer 24/7 waiting for comments to approve.

  448. No need to leave it. wrote:

    Shame on you, and anyone involved, for passing judgement and speculating. While you’re busy casting stones, don’t any of you have your own personal issues to attend to? Or are you all without imperfections??

    Fee Fi Fo Fum…
    I smell the blood of a Perry Noble fanboy…

  449. Your analysis is presented well and your points about the abuse that is suffered by the family members is right on target. Even high-functioning addicts leave a permanent mark on those who love them without lifting a hand against them.