Mosaic Church and Dustin Boles: Resignation Announcement and a Recent Email

For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you'd be a fool if you wrote anything private on one. Judith Martin link

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Letter

[There will be another post this evening regarding the ESV controversy.]

I received the following three items via email today. I did not solicit them. I know the individual who sent them to me but will keep his/her name in confidence.

For The Mosaic Church: This did not come from the victims, staff members or their spouses or Amy Smith. If you blame any of them, you will be quite wrong. I have notified a victim' family about the receipt of these emails so that they realize that it had nothing to do with the Mosaic staff.

Let this be a lesson to all the church. You cannot keep this sort of stuff a secret not should you keep this stuff a secret. The community has a right to know what the highly publicized, public figure, Dustin Boles, has been up to. You wanted the public to come to your church, to listen to your teaching, and to realize how much you care for your community. You do not get to hide the bad stuff. If you truly understand the gospel, you'll be open and honest about the situation.

Also, leaders, there are alleged victims and you need to make sure you convey that in your interactions with the community. Already there has been a major screw up by one of your staff members in this area. We will let you know what that is in the near future. Start protecting the victims and stop protecting the reputation of your church and your ex pastor. 



Recent email sent to the Mosaic staff (and a few others) by Dustin Boles.

Mosaic Staff,

Nat and I hope you guys are well. We are excited for you with the building getting closer to completion and we hope that you get an excellent new pastor soon that you can serve alongside and take Mosaic to the next level.

Nat and I are doing incredibly well. We both have really great jobs that we enjoy (Nat starts officially next week but has had tons of time with the people she will work with) and are working hard to learn whole new careers. I have even been doing some web design and I suck at it! I am good at selling drugs though! I am extremely happy and healthy at this point. I hate what it took to get me here but I am here nonetheless.

(name redacted at suggestion of reader)  is thriving in kindergarten. Courtney Hubbard is his teacher and she is just an incredible person as you guys all know.

Our family, friends, and most everyone else have been very kind to us. We are grateful for that.

We are currently selling our house and getting tons of interest. We are hoping to sell it soon at full asking price. We already have a house locked in to lease just a half mile away in the Promenade neighborhood in OS. Half the price of our mortgage and a lot bigger house! (By the way, if you ever plan on failing epically like I did make sure you have your FPU crap together first. It really helps.)

Spiritually I have struggled and felt mostly mostly like a deist (believe in God just not His involvement in creation – Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Etc.) I am not a deist but have felt like one. I am working through it all but I am even more skeptical of faith than I was before.

I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself. There are no excuses. However, I have addressed my issues deeply and thoroughly. It really is amazing how much temptation goes away as soon as you are not in ministry any more. (I am not recommending a career change… especially the way I did it.) It is just different when you don’t have such a huge target on you.

Your behavior toward us angered, confused, and hurt us as well. Even if everything you heard (and said) was true I still don’t know why you wanted nothing to do with us. I am not asking for a reply, just saying that I will never understand it just like you will never understand what I did.

I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry. That could change one day but I seriously doubt it. I will likely do some type of teaching ministry way down the road that mainly is web based. My opening series will be called “Epic Fail”. Ha. I have been offered the opportunity to go through a “restoration” process with ARC and Oasis church beginning in January but I may or may not do it since it is geared toward church ministry and that is just not my interest. I am also starting a skeptics web site called True Skeptic. It will be designed to challenge people’s faith through critical thought and sarcasm only to help them grow deeper in their faith once they have fought through. There will also be an element of apologetics to it. Part of whatever finances come in from it will go to a scholarship to help “fallen” pastors cover their living expenses during the period of recovery. It is all in the works but will not go public in any form until I have completely fulfilled my commitment to Mosaic.

I enjoyed my 8 years at Mosaic and the time I was able to serve alongside you guys. I cannot imagine how much great ministry will come out of each of you individually and as a group in the future. I have very intentionally steered clear of knowing much about the church but it looks like the way you guys have kept the church on task is just incredible.

We think of you all often and hope to run into you around OS and elsewhere. I will be the generic white guy in khakis looking like somebody from Office Space (not the stapler guy).

By the way, did you notice how much I used parentheses throughout this email? I have broken my other hang-ups and am now hooked on independent clauses.

Peace, y’all.

Dustin Boles
Business Development Manager
Alvix Laboratories



The resignation letter from Boles and the Mosaic elders

A message from our elders.

Dear Mosaic Family, 

Sorrowfully, we need to share with you some very disheartening news. In recent days, serious allegations of pastoral misconduct arose against Pastor Dustin Boles and were quickly confirmed by our elders. This required that the elders begin a formal process of thorough investigation. The findings of this investigation and further confession from Pastor Dustin has led us to the heart-breaking decision to accept Pastor Dustin’s resignation from office at Mosaic Church and president of Mosaic Ministries effective immediately. We did not arrive at this decision lightly but rather agonizingly, with deep consternation for our brother, praying diligently together and seeking scripture for guidance. 

The initial and now confirmed accusations violated the high standard of personal conduct for elders and pastors of the church. (I Timothy 3:2). Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.

Many of you have experienced the power of the Gospel in profound ways through Dustin’s gifts in this church, especially his preaching. We have all been privileged to sit under the teaching of a man who consistently and powerfully proclaimed gospel truth. Without Dustin’s vision, passion and desire for mission, Mosaic Church would not exist. God has used him in profound ways for which we are forever grateful. We highly esteem and appreciate Dustin’s gifts and the labor he has exerted over the years and are praying that Dustin will now receive the very Gospel he so faithfully proclaimed. We hope you will join us in praying for Dustin and his family, asking the Lord to sustain and guide them and drive them deeper into the heart of God’s grace. 

While this may come as shocking and difficult news, we believe our church is in faithful, wise, capable and loving hands with our elders and executive staff. Additionally, we have asked Pastor Eric Falk to lead the staff during the week. From the pulpit, you can expect to hear from Pastor Blake Henderson, Pastor Justin Daniel and Pastor Jacob Dickerson, and some possible guest speakers. We have a faithful and dedicated elder-team, staff, and volunteer leaders who are deeply grieved but also unified in continuing to give themselves to Gospel ministry here at Mosaic Church. Please commit to prayer for them and patience with them as they seek to shepherd and lead our church through this season.

Finally, we as your elders want for Dustin what we want for ourselves and each of you – to listen to and obey the Lord and be transformed into his image (2 Corinthians 3:18). We pray that this painful situation will encourage every member of our church family, not to pride, arrogance, or judgmentalism but rather to disclose and deal with the secrets that reside in the darkest places of our hearts (Galatians 6:1).

Because of the scope and ramifications of this decision and the Biblical injunction regarding charges against elders from I Timothy 5:19-21: “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality,”  we are planning to address this situation publicly in our worship services on July 9 & 10, host upcoming gatherings, and offer future updates as this situation progresses. In the meantime please direct any questions to your elders and/or Executive Pastors.

Though this process has been and continues to be extremely difficult and painful, we love Dustin deeply and have committed to a long-term plan of personal restoration for him and devoted care for his family. The love and discipline we are extending to Dustin during this season is the same kind of care we would want to receive personally and offer to any of you in similar circumstances. There are certainly many unknowns but we are humbly submitting to and trusting Jesus to shepherd and care for the Boles family and Mosaic Church as we depend upon Him every moment. Ultimately, our faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel gives us tremendous hope for renewed health and spiritual vitality for Dustin, the good of God's church, and the glory of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as the Bible teaches us, our hope is not in a leader but in the Lord. 

Respectfully and Hopefully,

Board of Elders:
Jerry Bracey – jerry@mosaicgc.com
Doug Molyneaux – doug@mosaicgc.com
Craig Smith – craig@mosaicgc.com
Monte Bostwick – monte@mosaicgc.com
Matthew Hann – matt@mosaicgc.com



A message from Dustin on his resignation

Mosaic Family,

I have struggled with sin all my life and have won the battle many times. But, now I have lost in significant ways that have hurt some families and innocent people. I have also hurt Natalie and my family. My sins are in direct violation of scripture and the covenant I made with Natalie in marriage. I have no excuse for what I have done. Each sin was selfish, prideful and cannot be justified.  

I ask for your forgiveness and that you would pray for Nat and me and the whole Mosaic Family.  I will be in an indefinite period of repentance and healing as God works on my heart and mind. I will always feel that being your pastor has been one of the great privileges of my life. Our elders have been gracious and kind to me and will make the right decisions along the way and for the good of the church, the good of those I have hurt, and for the good of me and my family.  

Most of all, I hope that my sins will not take away from all that God has done through Mosaic over these 8 years. Regardless of my behavior it is still true that Jesus died and rose again and He deserves to be worshipped even at the worst of times.

– Dustin

This news comes as a shock to all of us, and we do not discount the hurt that this has caused the families effected and the congregation as a whole. If you need to reach out to our staff or elders, feel free to contact them at the following email addresses. 

Board of Elders:
Jerry Bracey – jerry@mosaicgc.com
Doug Molyneaux – doug@mosaicgc.com
Craig Smith – craig@mosaicgc.com
Monte Bostwick – monte@mosaicgc.com
Matthew Hann – matt@mosaicgc.com

Executive Staff:
Eric Faulk – eric@mosaicgc.com
Blake Henderson – blake@mosaicgc.com

The mission still stands and the vision is still clear. Our faith and hope is founded in Jesus Christ through God's divine plan.

You are Mosaic Church.

Comments

Mosaic Church and Dustin Boles: Resignation Announcement and a Recent Email — 228 Comments

  1. “I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself. There are no excuses. …

    “Your behavior toward us angered, confused, and hurt us as well. …”

    In other words: How dare you bleed all over my knife like that?

  2. I posted this on the previous post about this current situation, but I think it fits better here:
    The more stories I read on WW, the more I am convinced that the “g*d” that is being worshiped by particular bad actor of any specific story on WW is the “g*d” of the growth/prestige of the specific Church/movement and the “Celebrity” pastor/theologian associated/leading with said organization. That is why victims of said “Celebrity” are thrown under the bus…. these victims expose that the said “apostle” or “true gospel” TM organization is behaving in manner not consistent with their claims of superiority of the rest of us pewpeons.
    In contrast, I am always reminded of the parable of how JC leaves the 99 to search for the lost 1… I never really understood that story until reading of these stories here on WW…. if the Celebrity preachers/churches/orgs were really following JC, they would be concerned for the victims; in contrast they over and over again through the victims under the bus…

  3. From the OP:

    I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry. That could change one day but I seriously doubt it. I will likely do some type of teaching ministry way down the road that mainly is web based… I am also starting a skeptics web site called True Skeptic.

    Wow, looks like he traveled down that road pretty quickly.

  4. Always, the preference to withhold information, with the pretense that it’s out of concern for victims.

    Coupled with the complete omission of care for victims.

    Heartbreaking, but it certainly fits the pattern.

  5. Ok, I read the first letter the other day (and have a lot of thoughts), but putting it with the other two is certainly interesting.

    The thing that jumps out at me is the difference in tone of the last letter to the church itself where he puts on an extremely repentant face, verses the one to the church staff where he is all chatty smiles, hedging, and blames them for not being his bffs anymore.

  6. I did want to note the sheer arrogance of this comment:

    “Regardless of my behavior it is still true that Jesus died and rose again and He deserves to be worshipped even at the worst of times. “

  7. The flippant and dismissive tone of the first (in your post) email from Dustin Boles is astonishing.

    It is way too soon to communicate in such a breezy fashion–if it would indeed ever be appropriate.

    His arrogance in assuming that his intended audience is so very interested in the fact that ‘they are doing well and he is good at selling drugs”–wow!

    Where oh where is the humility, the sense of sorrow at what he has done to individual abuse victims and to his church, not to mention the Church in the world as a whole?

    He’s about on par with Tullian T. in his self absorption and casual arrogance.

  8. Some thoughts re: Boles’ email to church staff:

    “I have even been doing some web design and I suck at it! I am good at selling drugs though! … By the way, if you ever plan on failing especially like I did make sure you have your FPU crap together first.” Broken vessels don’t keep dishing out humor.

    “I am even more skeptical of faith than I was before …” As a pastor, he was skeptical of faith?!!

    “It is just different when you don’t have such a huge target on you.” Boles is playing the victim, reminiscent of Driscoll.

    “I still don’t know why you wanted nothing to do with us.” Because you taught them to shun folks, Dustin!

    “I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry.” Praise God!!

    ” … a scholarship to help “fallen” pastors cover their living expenses during the period of recovery.” What about the victims of fallen pastors?!! Dustin, some of your victims could use your “scholarship” money to finance their recovery from your sins against them.

    Not a word about his sins, no mention of concern for his victims, absolutely no evidence of humility, brokenness, and repentance.

    From the elders’ email to the church family:

    “Finally, we as your elders want for Dustin what we want for ourselves and each of you – to listen to and obey the Lord and be transformed into his image (2 Corinthians 3:18).”

    To which I shout a hearty AMEN! However, if there are any Mosaic members listening in, you will have extreme difficulty being transformed into the image of Christ in a reformed church – the emphasis is on other things rather than Christlikeness. This is a time for you to pause, examine your walk before God, and seek His face for a new direction in your life. It may mean putting Mosaic in your rear view mirror for your own spiritual health.

  9. Restortation?

    Ok, what has been described are sex crimes. I don’t think this is funny.
    Manipulative guy. “Target on his back.” He can’t simultaneously say he’s assuming responsibility and then use that cop out that Satan was somehow after him. Baloney.
    He is responsible for his actions.

  10. Lea wrote:

    I did want to note the sheer arrogance of this comment:

    “Regardless of my behavior it is still true that Jesus died and rose again and He deserves to be worshipped even at the worst of times. “

    I am confused. He is a skeptic now, right? Funny how that happens when you lose your high paying preaching gig.

  11. Hard to read this stuff.
    Boles’ note is filled with
    “I”, “me”, and “my”
    and that says something, I think, about his perspective and where he is most strongly focused at this time.

    It’s a shame he can’t go for a week or two to an order that works and prays and practices humility in community. I think it would help him get over himself (my opinion only). A lot of these orders out there take troubled folks in. They can and will, for a time, provide a place for the intensive centering on Christ Crucified which may enable one to come to terms with real repentance for the sin of having injured others.

  12. “Prayers needed for Tom and Lori Bridgewood.
    Lori was seriously hurt in a car accident when the driver had what was probably a heart attack. She is out of danger but will require extensive surgery on the fractures of her face. You may remember that they had 2 children abused in Sovereign Grace Ministries.”

    will pray tonight for Lori

  13. I read the “freezey breezey” letter a few days ago and again just now. I cannot find a purpose for this letter. Why did he write it? What message does he want to share? It’s just kind of nonsensical in my estimation.

    The tone of the letter is bizarre with inappropriate joking, blaming, overly newsy and disrespectful. There is no sorrowful repentance that one would expect to read.

  14. Remnant wrote:

    There is no sorrowful repentance that one would expect to read.

    No, he’s ‘not there yet’.
    Maybe he will be at some point in future but right now, it’s a very obvious ‘no’.

  15. Remnant wrote:

    There is no sorrowful repentance that one would expect to read.

    He expended all his energy faking it for that first letter. I was watching a TED talk about spotting liars the other day, and she mentioned ‘Duping Delight’ and smirking is part of it. This seems like the email version maybe.

    Lydia wrote:

    He is a skeptic now, right? Funny how that happens when you lose your high paying preaching gig.

    Ha! right? That happened quickly.

  16. What I got from that letter is he wants to start a website for skeptics without telling them it’s really about apologetics. Where I’m from that kind of thing is called “lying”.

    But yeah, no regret over what he did, though he does regret the consequences to himself.

  17. Remnant wrote:

    I read the “freezey breezey” letter a few days ago and again just now. I cannot find a purpose for this letter. Why did he write it? What message does he want to share? It’s just kind of nonsensical in my estimation.
    The tone of the letter is bizarre with inappropriate joking, blaming, overly newsy and disrespectful. There is no sorrowful repentance that one would expect to read.

    It appears to me that the point of the letter was to tell them that they had made him mad and hurt him. The rest was fluff, for distraction, and to give plausible deniability that he was just a nice guy “catching up.” A letter truly written to “catch up” wouldn’t include the “you hurt me ” (but I’m just fine) part.

  18. Abi Miah wrote:

    It appears to me that the point of the letter was to tell them that they had made him mad and hurt him. The rest was fluff, for distraction, and to give plausible deniability that he was just a nice guy “catching up.” A letter truly written to “catch up” wouldn’t include the “you hurt me ” (but I’m just fine) part.

    Agreed.

  19. Abi Miah wrote:

    Remnant wrote:

    I read the “freezey breezey” letter a few days ago and again just now. I cannot find a purpose for this letter. Why did he write it? What message does he want to share? It’s just kind of nonsensical in my estimation.
    The tone of the letter is bizarre with inappropriate joking, blaming, overly newsy and disrespectful. There is no sorrowful repentance that one would expect to read.

    It appears to me that the point of the letter was to tell them that they had made him mad and hurt him. The rest was fluff, for distraction, and to give plausible deniability that he was just a nice guy “catching up.” A letter truly written to “catch up” wouldn’t include the “you hurt me ” (but I’m just fine) part.

    I agree. I found that letter very passive aggressive

  20. Burwell wrote:

    From the OP:
    I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry. That could change one day but I seriously doubt it. I will likely do some type of teaching ministry way down the road that mainly is web based… I am also starting a skeptics web site called True Skeptic.
    Wow, looks like he traveled down that road pretty quickly.

    As soon as I read the first sentence without going further, my immediate thought was: He intends to get back into ministry after some sort of period of what-do-you-call-it? Oh….after his Driscoll period. Then he’ll come back as strong as ever. Why do I say this? Because I think people like this who have had the *good life* in *ministry* with all its perks is just so hard to give up. And working at a job in the Real World is Just.Too.Plain.Hard. Once you’ve tasted the good life of pastor celebrity, ain’t nothin’ gonna compare. So…let’s wait and see when he resurfaces…bigger and better than before, just like Driscoll.

  21. @ molly245:
    It’s not like they can stop being who they were for so long…..fake and me, me, me, me. It’s all about me! It is just obvious now. It really is a lesson about these shallow pastors.

  22. Remnant wrote:

    The tone of the letter is bizarre with inappropriate joking, blaming, overly newsy and disrespectful.

    It is very, very odd. He is all over the map in a few paragraphs, and that reminds me of someone I know who is very, very troubled. I hope “Nat” is getting some very good advice.

  23. This is more related to some of the comments in the last post. Some of the readers seemed surprised that Boles’ victims did not call him out when he touched them. As a native southerner, I can totally understand the response. Many of us are conditioned to “not make waves”. Many of my friends have had uninvited advances and froze. We are taught to pretend everything is ok and haven’t been given any tools to deal with aggressive behavior.
    When I lived in NYC, I learned how to be more direct. However, I had a friend from Arkansas who during a date (with a fellow Christian), was molested by the young man. (He masturbated on her leg until he climaxed). She felt horrible, but when he finished, she continued talking with him as if nothing had happened. Later she broke down when she told me.
    Young women (especially churched and southern) need to be taught that it is okay to defend yourself. Somehow we have gotten the message that it important to avoid confrontation and to not embarrass the other person.
    Woman who have been taught their value are very fortunate if they have been given the skills to respond quickly and directly. Often young girls are made to feel responsible for other’s feelings despite bad behavior. I ask that readers consider that some women have been so engrained with this attitude that faced with abuse, they have no weapons in their emotional arsenal to know how to process abuse while it is happening. Thanks Dee and Deb for all you do!

  24. Lea wrote:

    Duping Delight

    Someone on TWW said on another thread that people like Dustin not only lie repeatedly but their life *is* a lie. Wish I could remember which of the astute commenters here said that.

  25. All male elders. Why would any woman want to tell something of such a serious nature to all men? Dear Lord help these people to get out of this “church” today.

  26. This paragraph in Boles’ letter stuck out to me:

    “I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself. There are no excuses. However, I have addressed my issues deeply and thoroughly. It really is amazing how much temptation goes away as soon as you are not in ministry any more. (I am not recommending a career change… especially the way I did it.) It is just different when you don’t have such a huge target on you.”

    Firstly, I think his behavior goes deeper than hurting, confusing, and angering.

    Secondly, he says, “There are no excuses. However, I have addressed my issues deeply and thoroughly.”
    Adding “however” after “there are no excuses” is an excuse unto itself.
    Not to mention, I highly doubt he’s addressed his issues deeply or thoroughly. Poppycock

    Thirdly, and perhaps the part that causes me to feel the most dumbfounded, Boles states: “It really is amazing how much temptation goes away as soon as you are not in ministry any more. (I am not recommending a career change… especially the way I did it.) It is just different when you don’t have such a huge target on you.”
    As if temptation is only in ministry? Really? He was never tempted elsewhere? In public? Online? Did I read correctly he served in the military? How about there?
    He makes it sound like he was the victim. By having a target on him, he was the one being sought out and victimized? Really?!!

  27. @ Ann:

    Ironically, Dustin’s letter is doing something similar in acting like what he did to women and people of the church is not that big of deal. Only his reasons are very different than a woman who has been taught not to make a scene. There is never a good time for victim blaming. Each person is different in surviving such an ordeal. The focus now is on his perversion and his making light of it. And whether his “teacher wife” is an enabler or pervert partner. He should be charged as a molester.

    My moms southern advice was to make such a molester make a scene, instead ( if you are in a group). Spill a drink on his lap or poke him subversively with keys or a nail file. He will get the message not to mess with you.

    Sadly, know most women won’t say anything if it is a popular pastor because they don’t think they will be believed or they don’t want to deal with the fallout.

  28. Friend wrote:

    “I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself. There are no excuses. …

    “Your behavior toward us angered, confused, and hurt us as well. …”

    In other words: How dare you bleed all over my knife like that?

  29. Ann wrote:

    However, I had a friend from Arkansas who during a date (with a fellow Christian), was molested by the young man. (He masturbated on her leg until he climaxed).

    Shades of Douggie ESQUIRE and “I did not know her in a Biblical sense”…

  30. Lydia wrote:

    Sadly, know most women won’t say anything if it is a popular pastor because they don’t think they will be believed or they don’t want to deal with the fallout.

    Like a poster I saw once on a YouTube narration video:

    Someone about to blow a whistle with about two dozen arms coming from off-panel behind him, all ready to plunge daggers into his back.

  31. Melissa wrote:

    He makes it sound like he was the victim. By having a target on him, he was the one being sought out and victimized? Really?!!

    Remember the number-one characteristic of Sociopaths:

    The ability to flip one-eighty and play the Poor Poor Victim when it looks like they’re caught.

  32. Darlene wrote:

    As soon as I read the first sentence without going further, my immediate thought was: He intends to get back into ministry after some sort of period of what-do-you-call-it?

    “When the heat dies down.”
    Like Marky-Mark, and Cee Jay before him, and Ted Haggard before him, and Jimmy Swaggart before him…

  33. Lydia wrote:

    I am thinking a manual labor trade would keep the targets off his back.

    Agreed. He needs to come home tired every night! Unfortunately, it looks like one of his buds quickly propped him up with a job as a pharmaceutical rep. Nurses beware!

  34. Wow… I remember when preachers used to be routinely referred to as Reverends (sometimes incorrectly due to the denomination). It wasn’t that long ago. The base Hebrew word for reverence is “Yare” which means “to fear”. Reverends acted with reverence which was manifested through showing deep respect and honor for the Lord. It is with this Holy reverential fear that we should honor and worship God.

    Boles’ memo uses terms like “I am good at selling drugs though!” “I suck at it” “FPU (Financial Peace University) crap”. He states his next ministry will be fraught with “sarcasm” and then he makes jokes about Milton from Office Space and mocking his sex addiction (hang-ups is church jargon for addiction) by saying “I have broken my other hang-ups and am now hooked on independent clauses.” He signs it “Peace y’all”.
    .
    Boles had to have known that this was likely his final piece of formal correspondence with most of the Mosaic staff and elders. THIS is how he would be remembered in their minds and hearts, yet he chose to be classless. This man let down every single person in that church in the worst way. He stuck the congregation with a new building that is almost finished. His actions resulted in the closing of their Gulf Port campus, which means Mosaic definitely lost church members over this. Those folks may be lost to the Lord forever, so great of a breach of trust was this. Where is this man’s heart for his flock? Forget the victims for a moment. We know he doesn’t care about them, but what about the rest of his precious flock? Why don’t they deserve better?
    .
    If someone sent me such a flippant letter after damaging my organization I would be speechless. I would bin it immediately and lose all respect for that person. How can a pastor hurt so many people callously and then leave them in such a cocky and disrespectful manner? His heart should be broken over what he did. This email should have been dripping with the remorse that should come from a shepherd who is haunted by the pain he has inflicted on his own sheep. This letter should be tear stained, not smart-alecky.
    .
    Even his closing of “Peace y’all”. What is that? He makes no reference to the Lord other than a brief reference to him no longer believing that the Lord created everything. This wasn’t the time to reveal that you were never deeply committed to your faith and you don’t even believe what the Bible says. The people reading it must have been stunned, shocked, disillusioned and left feeling betrayed. They put their trust and faith in Boles for 8 years and now Boles reveals that he’s not even sure if God is our creator. All the time they spent supporting this man, and this is how he reacts to a crisis that he created. Some of the people reading this will NEVER put their faith in any church again, not because a pastor sinned but because they found out they were following a false teacher all along. It is very hard to trust your instincts after that.
    .
    The one good thing is that hopefully every person at Mosaic Church can know see that they were not following a true shepherd who was steeped in reverential fear and love of the Lord Almighty. I’m not even sure they were following a saved man at this point given his doubt of the Word of God. This is just another seeker friendly dude who wanted an easy job on the beach with good hours. Boles was a good public speaker with charisma who could make people laugh which helped him grow the church. Unfortunately, this was not the time for that particular skill. Mosaic should be grateful that he is out. Others should be cautious as to whom they place their trust in in the future. Pick a pastor who is worthy of your servitude. This smart aleck is not that man.

  35. Through all of these emails, the victims are invisible, non-existant. No prayers are sought for them, no sympathy or empathy accorded to them. It’s all about the pastor and all about the church.

    Except this part:

    Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.

    If any victims of pastoral abuse are reading here, could I ask what your feelings on this were/are? I’ve heard this same sentiment expressed many times but I have never heard from a victim as to whether they found this helpful or why or why not. I’m very curious as to whether this is the right path to take or what would be more helpful.

  36. Melissa wrote:

    It really is amazing how much temptation goes away as soon as you are not in ministry any more. (I am not recommending a career change… especially the way I did it.) It is just different when you don’t have such a huge target on you.”

    Well, there is THIS to think about:
    perhaps he meant that BECAUSE he was a minister serving God, he was ESPECIALLY targeted by satan ????
    since it is known that satan would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from His Father ?

    It is unclear what the letter is saying, but this may be a possibility of what Boles ‘meant’ by ‘being targeted’. The idea of a minister being especially targeted by satan, in Boles’ case, cannot be taken conclusively, since Boles said some of the women were ‘willing’ and tempted him.
    ?

  37. No mention of the victims. No prayer for the victims. No apology to the victims. No real apology of any kind. No mention of restitution for the victims, or care of any kind for them. No shame for a situation that is absolutely shameful.

    If that doesn’t scream self-interest, I don’t know what does.

  38. Christiane wrote:

    It’s a shame he can’t go for a week or two to an order that works and prays and practices humility in community. I think it would help him get over himself (my opinion only).

    One thing I have noticed about narcissists I have had the misfortune of dealing with in my own life may apply here: When you would think their world has fallen apart because their actions have come home to roost, you find that they step into the next phase of their lives without really even looking back, as evidenced in his cheery letter. It’s all the here and now to them. I truly believe those who end up in prison do the same. They take on the world they are in at the time and use the people around them -whoever they may be- to their own ends.

    I doubt there is anything that will help him get over himself. He will move through the situations he finds himself in, dealing with each out of the character he has, the character he has already demonstrated.

  39. Darlene wrote:

    As soon as I read the first sentence without going further, my immediate thought was: He intends to get back into ministry after some sort of period of what-do-you-call-it? Oh….after his Driscoll period. Then he’ll come back as strong as ever. Why do I say this? Because I think people like this who have had the *good life* in *ministry* with all its perks is just so hard to give up. And working at a job in the Real World is Just.Too.Plain.Hard. Once you’ve tasted the good life of pastor celebrity, ain’t nothin’ gonna compare. So…let’s wait and see when he resurfaces…bigger and better than before, just like Driscoll.

    As he said, “that could change”. He’s already allowed for it.

  40. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Remember the number-one characteristic of Sociopaths:

    The ability to flip one-eighty and play the Poor Poor Victim when it looks like they’re caught.

    If that doesn’t work, there’s rage.
    And if that doesn’t work, the sheepish grin.
    And then they’re off to the next gig.

  41. Christiane wrote:

    It is unclear what the letter is saying, but this may be a possibility of what Boles ‘meant’ by ‘being targeted’. The idea of a minister being especially targeted by satan, in Boles’ case, cannot be taken conclusively, since Boles said some of the women were ‘willing’ and tempted him.

    Poor, poor Dustin Boles! He’s practically a martyr.

  42. Here is the other statement that readers should really zero in on. “I have been offered the opportunity to go through a “restoration” process with ARC and Oasis church beginning in January but I may or may not do it since it is geared toward church ministry and that is just not my interest
    .
    Boles states “I have absolutely no plans to ever return to church ministry.” This makes it highly improbable that he was the one making calls to ARC/Oasis trying to get back into ministry. Boles grew that church from a tiny house bible study to 3,000 members at two campuses in 8 years. The NAMB flame-out rate is really high. It’s rare to have new plants become this successful. He was with The Met for 11 years. He knows from a business and entertainment perspective how to run a church.
    .
    If Boles didn’t contact ARC and Oasis, then that means that ARC contacted him, which is totally believable. ARC has a hard core agenda of not allowing any immoral pastor to fail for good. The Executive Director of ARC hasn’t even fully confessed to his own affair. ARC realizes it is in their own best interest for the public to never believe that a pastor can be disqualified from ministry for good for any reason. This is why Gateway is so adamant about putting Mark Driscoll back in ministry asap. Robert Morris had only met MD for a few minutes at a Judah Smith conference before rebooting Mark’s ministry.
    .
    ARC sees in Boles two opportunities. One is to move all those Acts 29 members over to an ARC church. The other is to show a “successful restoration” story with Boles. “See how the whole community completely and immediately forgave and forgot Dustin’s “sins”, just like the bible says you have to. We’re all ‘sinners’ after all!”. The fact that Boles is admitting that he doesn’t really believe in the bible, he is blaming the victims and he isn’t accepting full responsibility for his crimes should disqualify him from ministry altogether. But all ARC sees is a man who pushes Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, which means he already has access to 3,000 indoctrinated tithers. Cha-ching!
    .
    Frankly, ARC IMMEDIATELY reaching out to a sleaze like Dustin Boles and offering him a restoration plan that starts right after a “satisfactory season” of 6 months of “repentance” (for a man who refuses to accept full responsibility for what he did) deserves a TWW post of its own.

    Don’t think for a second that ARC isn’t cold calling ALL of the high performing but fallen Mark Driscolls and Dustin Boles out there trying to immediately put them back in “business” under the ARC flag. Boles wrote that letter just weeks after the incident. ARC had to have pounced on this opportunity. How did they even hear about this? This is possibly the most terrifying aspect of this entire story. I hope GSD writes more on ARC in the future. That org has over 500 churches under their banner and is out stumping in every major city all year long looking to set up new Jesus entertainment franchises. This is sinister and a lot more people are going to get hurt.

  43. The initial and now confirmed accusations violated the high standard of personal conduct for elders and pastors of the church.

    Were “the initial and now confirmed accusations” the real ones or the “just an affair” narrative?

  44. “If any victims of pastoral abuse are reading here, could I ask what your feelings on this were/are? I’ve heard this same sentiment expressed many times but I have never heard from a victim as to whether they found this helpful or why or why not. I’m very curious as to whether this is the right path to take or what would be more helpful.”

    Giving us the option would’ve been much more helpful. Do you want us to tell specifics regarding what happened? Do you want Dustin to speak about specifics? We were given no options once we told the elders what happened regarding addressing the congregation. I asked if I could speak to the congregation directly and they told me no because it would be exploitation. But they wouldn’t stop me from doing it on my own….

    If Dustin would’ve admitted to what he really did and the church wouldn’t have allowed him to portray it as an affair, that would’ve been a game changer.

  45. John wrote:

    No mention of the victims. No prayer for the victims. No apology to the victims. No real apology of any kind. No mention of restitution for the victims, or care of any kind for them. No shame for a situation that is absolutely shameful.

    If that doesn’t scream self-interest, I don’t know what does.

    “His universe has room only for himself.”
    — Mercedes Lackey, The Black Gryphon, character describing the main villain

  46. siteseer wrote:

    As he said, “that could change”. He’s already allowed for it.

    “Keeping Your Options Open” meets “Plausible Deniability”.

  47. LT wrote:

    I hope GSD writes more on ARC in the future. That org has over 500 churches under their banner and is out stumping in every major city all year long looking to set up new Jesus entertainment franchises.

    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS…”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUclxp7FxHI

  48. “The initial and now confirmed accusations violated the high standard of personal conduct for elders and pastors of the church.”
    I am no longer amazed when reading of corruption in churches but I continue to be amazed at the hackneyed responses that come from their leaders. When they have been aware of problems for some time, and then it finally becomes public, it is not the time to trumpet their “high standard”. A lot of humility is in order here. Instead they take the opposite tact and continue to display pride and look all the more foolish.

  49. “Your behavior toward us angered, confused, and hurt us as well. Even if everything you heard (and said) was true I still don’t know why you wanted nothing to do with us. I am not asking for a reply, just saying that I will never understand it just like you will never understand what I did.”

    Spoken like a true, manipulative (predatory) cheater. A false equivalency: What I did is the same thing as what you did to me. It minimizes what he did and demonstrates a lack of empathy for the ones he deeply wounded.

    “However, I have addressed my issues deeply and thoroughly.”

    From the letters, it is clear that he did these sexually sinful things under the cover of deception and the dark. Now, he is expecting the leadership to simply believe his word without “showing his work.” Yeah, trust is not restored that easy…at least, it isn’t for wise people.

  50. siteseer wrote:

    I doubt there is anything that will help him get over himself. He will move through the situations he finds himself in, dealing with each out of the character he has, the character he has already demonstrated.

    When you’re already Perfect In Every Way and Can Do No Wrong, any change is a step downward.

  51. Christiane wrote:

    It is unclear what the letter is saying, but this may be a possibility of what Boles ‘meant’ by ‘being targeted’. The idea of a minister being especially targeted by satan, in Boles’ case, cannot be taken conclusively, since Boles said some of the women were ‘willing’ and tempted him.
    ?

    How Righteous and Godly he must be to be Satan’s Speshul Target?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmwqnqL3Hbg

  52. LT wrote:

    This makes it highly improbable that he was the one making calls to ARC/Oasis trying to get back into ministry

    Interesting thing is, the pastor at oasis says this was for just marital reconciliation. So somebody’s lying.

  53. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Blame shifting. He’s not sorry for what he’s done. He’s turning the focus on what’s wrong with everyone else.

    Exactly! Pointing fingers at others after having been caught in his sin is not repentance. “What about me?!” should not be Mr. Boles’ attitude right now. There is no indication that he truly appreciates what he has done to his staff and church membership. He seems to be asking “Why are you making such a big deal out of this?” There are threads of New Calvinism, if allowed to run their full course, will lead to antinomianism – a law unto themselves. Being a cool preacher dude and “culturally-relevant” with your members doesn’t give you license to mess with church girls under the table while conducting a Bible study! Thanks a lot Driscoll – behold what you have created!

  54. Victim of Dustin Boles wrote:

    I asked if I could speak to the congregation directly and they told me no because it would be exploitation. But they wouldn’t stop me from doing it on my own….

    They wouldn’t stop you speaking to people outside of church?

    I don’t see how it is exploitation if you wanted to talk!

  55. mot wrote:

    All male elders. Why would any woman want to tell something of such a serious nature to all men? Dear Lord help these people to get out of this “church” today.

    For all you Mosaic members listening in, hear this wisdom. Churches of this sort are not healthy environments for you to mature in your Christian walk. The band can’t be that great … put your behind in your past!

  56. Bill M wrote:

    I am no longer amazed when reading of corruption in churches but I continue to be amazed at the hackneyed responses that come from their leaders.

    Reckon how old the “elders” are at Mosaic Church? A glance at the staff page shows that most are in their 20s-30s. “Pastor” Boles certainly proved to be a flesh baby. A true accountability system is just not in place in many of these Acts 29 churches populated by the young, reformed and restless. That “restless” part is manifesting itself in some bad ways. Sure, the “elders” acted … but why didn’t they act sooner given? Driscoll and Patrick, ex-Acts 29 leaders, should have been corrected much earlier by their elder boards after long histories of ministry failures. The Acts 29 way of doing church is getting more negative press than positive these days.

  57. Jack wrote:

    passive aggressive psychopathy

    There seems to be an outbreak of that in certain corners of New Calvinism.

  58. Victim of Dustin Boles wrote:

    Giving us the option would’ve been much more helpful. Do you want us to tell specifics regarding what happened? Do you want Dustin to speak about specifics? We were given no options once we told the elders what happened regarding addressing the congregation. I asked if I could speak to the congregation directly and they told me no because it would be exploitation. But they wouldn’t stop me from doing it on my own….

    If Dustin would’ve admitted to what he really did and the church wouldn’t have allowed him to portray it as an affair, that would’ve been a game changer.

    Thanks so much for your answer. I have not been a victim of this type of abuse and I doubt that any of the church leaders have been either, so it seems like it would have been the most caring thing for them to have asked the victims how they wanted to proceed.

    It seems like by them keeping the description of what happened very vague, it left it open to the listeners to imagine what probably happened and it left it open for Dustin to spin the narrative to suit himself, and this revictimized all of you.

    How would you have felt about them saying exactly what he’d done? If you had your ideal, how would you have liked the congregation to have been told?

    I’m so sorry you have all been put through this. The sense of betrayal and loss of the reality that you thought you had must be so painful. I have been betrayed by a pastor but not in a sexual sense and that was incredibly painful as it was. I am praying for you all, for your comfort and healing and that God will bring good out of this in the end.

  59. Just a couple more thoughts…

    I have struggled with sin all my life and have won the battle many times.

    I guess this means he has also lost the battle many times.

    I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself.

    However, I have addressed my issues deeply and thoroughly.

    -He doesn’t understand his behavior yet he has addressed his issues deeply and thoroughly- Does he understand what “deeply and thoroughly” means?

  60. Max wrote:

    A glance at the staff page shows that most are in their 20s-30s.

    I’m referring to church staff, not elders. The elders are not listed on the church website.

  61. siteseer wrote:

    Does he understand what “deeply and thoroughly” means

    That’s code for ‘can’t you just drop this whole thing already?’

  62. “Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Mosaic elders, you’re too transparent — you are protecting yourselves, aren’t you.

    and you exploited the victims in doing so, hiding behind them.

  63. Lea wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    Does he understand what “deeply and thoroughly” means

    That’s code for ‘can’t you just drop this whole thing already?’

    Like, why are you still mad? It’s been a whole month! /s

  64. How would you have felt about them saying exactly what he’d done? If you had your ideal, how would you have liked the congregation to have been told?

    There were 2 other victims that came forward with me so I can’t speak for them but as myself goes, I would’ve loved the opportunity to tape a video like Dustin was able to (where he implied this was one affair) or a letter written to the congregation specifically saying what happened from my point of view and shared during service, like Dustin’s video was. The congregation, as a whole, only had the opportunity to hear from Dustin. Which is why 2 of the victims chose to come out on their own. And though most of the congregation I’m sure read what they wrote, it was OUR choice to write it. Instead of the church sharing it for us. Therefore, leaving many to believe Dustin over us since his “confession” was done at church. And ours could’ve been interpreted as a lie being randomly and vengefully done on our own. If the church would’ve openly shared our story like they did Dustin’s, I think the congregation would’ve had a better opportunity to decide for themselves what is the truth.

    And this, of course, for the victims who choose to come out. This is only *my* opinion but I don’t speak for other victims of sexual assault. We all handle it in our own ways and no way is the wrong way, in my opinion. (As far as choosing to speak openly or not).

  65. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    LT wrote:
    I hope GSD writes more on ARC in the future. That org has over 500 churches under their banner and is out stumping in every major city all year long looking to set up new Jesus entertainment franchises.
    “WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS
    TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS…”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUclxp7FxHI

    Awesome video for ARC. Here’s another one.
    http://youtu.be/Ptr9vCKpbrA
    “Admission’s free you pay to get out”

    You have so many incredible esoteric references HUG that I find myself searching for hidden doors in tiny office spaces looking for the portal that leads to your mind. I suppose it’s fortunate I haven’t found it yet, since I secretly fear the NJ Turnpike.

  66. siteseer wrote:

    -He doesn’t understand his behavior yet he has addressed his issues deeply and thoroughly- Does he understand what “deeply and thoroughly” means?

    I agree with Jack’s pithy assessment, though I am not a psy*. A sociopath/psychopath/Cluster B will say whatever they *think* they need to say to elicit a response they *think* will result from saying what they say. There is no perceived need or value in making sense to others. I wish that I did not have first-hand experience with this particular tactic, but I do.

  67. Lea wrote:

    LT wrote:
    This makes it highly improbable that he was the one making calls to ARC/Oasis trying to get back into ministry
    Interesting thing is, the pastor at oasis says this was for just marital reconciliation. So somebody’s lying.

    Oasis is the closest ARC church to Mosaic and the Boles are now in the Pascagoula area. It’s pretty clear Ps Eric Camp got in over his head on this. My guess is the ARC HQ wants to recruit Boles and they asked a local ARC church to oversee the “appearance” of some sort of restoration process. This whole “don’t start till January” for “marriage counseling” doesn’t pass the smell test. A concerned pastor would want the Boles to start marital counseling immediately as well as referring Dustin to a licensed sex therapist ASAP. Also, if this were REAL restoration (verses poaching a rainmaker) it would have to come from Acts 29 not ARC or Oasis.
    .
    The only logical reason for waiting 6 months is the ARC “season of repentance” where fallen ARC pastors take several months off so the public will have moved on to something else. Often these are paid sabbaticals. Sometimes friends of ARC give the pastor a temporary job. Then when the climate feels agreeable ARC claims there has been a process for reconciliation and restoration that has taken place. Heck, Mark Driscoll didn’t even have to fly to TX regularly for his. For those interested Driscoll vaguely explains his ARC/Gateway restoration process here.
    http://youtu.be/nu20lsgEjp4
    It’s in answer to “is anorexia a sin?” What?? It’s Driscoll so just roll with it. Notice that he blinks more than 60 times a minute throughout all 16 minutes which is a universal tell for lying. Over 18-20 blinks a minute marks deception. 60 times a minute is off the charts.
    .
    So ARC can oversee a long distance, blinky, vague restoration process that involves the pastor not apologizing or atoning then getting a bunch of plant money to pay a Cirque du Soleil designer to design his new platform for his new spaceship building to go with his 2,000 year old cross that was around when Abraham walked the earth (yes, MD said that).

    Boles will have to learn how to offend protesters more with his gardening tips if he wants to keep up with Driscoll. But based on Boles handling of this scandal I think he’s up for it. I’m not sure Oasis will oversee this anymore as they really weren’t prepared for any blowback and it seems to have upset them quite a bit. But ARC can do this via Skype. The less ARC leaders know about the victims and abandoned flock the faster and easier the restoration process is anyway. Its so much easier when there’s only one “real” victim. Maybe Boles can invent a case of weeks long hysterical blindness like Driscoll. ARC can hold a fund raiser for him.

  68. Lea wrote:

    They wouldn’t stop you speaking to people outside of church?

    I don’t see how it is exploitation if you wanted to talk!

    I’m not following that either. Who would be exploited, the aggressor? If they are worried about salacious stories, they better start locking up the Bibles too.

    If silence is not requested by all the victims then this smacks as just another excuse for a cover-up. Otherwise after hearing the magnitude of the wrong-doing, some in the congregation might turn to the leaders and ask “how long has this been going on with your knowledge?”

  69. Ann wrote:

    When I lived in NYC, I learned how to be more direct. However, I had a friend from Arkansas who during a date (with a fellow Christian), was molested by the young man. (He masturbated on her leg until he climaxed). She felt horrible, but when he finished, she continued talking with him as if nothing had happened. Later she broke down when she told me.

    What is it about religion that seems to bring out the horn-dog in individuals who are already unbalanced and lacking the controls that regular guys have and exercise? It really doesn’t matter what the religion is for starters, I’m seeing a pattern that crosses all boundaries of sect and creed.

  70. LT wrote:

    The only logical reason for waiting 6 months is the ARC “season of repentance”

    Nice touch there LT with the buzzword. Along that line, possibly Boles enablers will write as follows.

    Authentic community should raise the bar by giving Boles a healthy span of care so he can experience grace and a life-change. Rather than judge we need to demonstrate the gospel and lift him up and restore him to his calling. It is what missional communities do, iron striking iron, disciples making disciples.
    /cringe off

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    As soon as I read the first sentence without going further, my immediate thought was: He intends to get back into ministry after some sort of period of what-do-you-call-it?

    “When the heat dies down.”
    Like Marky-Mark, and Cee Jay before him, and Ted Haggard before him, and Jimmy Swaggart before him…

    He’s moving 1/2 mile away and writing chummy letters now .. me thinks you are right

  72. Muff Potter wrote:

    What is it about religion that seems to bring out the horn-dog in individuals who are already unbalanced and lacking the controls that regular guys have and exercise?

    JMJ over at Christian Monist once related one of his uncles saying:
    “Bait a trap with p—y and you’ll catch a preacher every time.”

    Maybe it’s because becoming God’s Anointed raises everything (including the URRRRRGES in your AAAAAREAS) to Cosmic Importance?

  73. Lea wrote:

    I don’t see how it is exploitation if you wanted to talk!

    Anything other than brown-nosed flattery to Pastor and Elders is Exploitation(TM).

  74. Victim of Dustin Boles wrote:

    I asked if I could speak to the congregation directly and they told me no because it would be exploitation.

    Baaahhhh-lony! Speaking the truth is not exploitation!
    The truth is you were a victim of Boles’ exploitation!

  75. @ Burwell:
    @ Burwell:
    This also stood out to me. I found his email to appear to be mocking and flippant. He is going to start a website called True Skeptics and donate the proceeds to fallen pastors.

    His email to the mosaic church family was contradictory to his email to mosaic staff, no real remorse, hey I feel free!

  76. Margaret wrote:

    This also stood out to me. I found his email to appear to be mocking and flippant. He is going to start a website called True Skeptics and donate the proceeds to fallen pastors.

    I’m wondering now if this is some sick, sarcastic joke. Either way, a joke or real, it is disturbing. Why not donate the proceeds to his victims or victims of sexual abuse?

  77. 1) Here are some quotes from a message Dustin sent to an old USAF buddy back in 2009. “Dude, my life is pretty great. I have been married to Natalie for almost 15 years. She is completely hot. Believe it or not, I am a pastor and have been in ministry for almost 20 years. Is that insane or what? That is the last thing I would have predicted.”

    2) Here is an excerpt from Dustin’s goodbye email to Mosaic staff. Spiritually I have struggled and felt mostly mostly like a deist. I am working through it all but I am even more skeptical of faith than I was before.

    Deism rejects Christianity. Deism is knowledge of God based on reason and observance of natural laws. Deism is ‘free’ from revealed religions like Christianity. Deists see Christianity as filled with inconsistent superstitions and myths. In this statement, Dustin is rejecting Christ and the truth of the Bible.

    3) Here is an excerpt from his other email: I am also starting a skeptics web site called True Skeptic

    Is anyone sure that Dustin Boles EVER surrendered his will to Christ? Should he ever have been in a pulpit?

    I understand that compulsive liars and narcissists can pivot in a nanosecond to make excuses and deflect blame. Consider whether Dustin Boles’ entire life and career has been one 25-year mirage, an illusion. Is his being a ‘pastor’ just a stage act?

    He thought it was insane to be a pastor in the first place.
    He thinks he’s a deist now (how far back do these thoughts go?) rejecting Christ and the Bible
    He wants to build a web following of people to attract fellow skeptics, using sarcasm?

  78. So apparently the Mosaic elders were fine with Dustin’s sin of unbelief, and praised Dustin as a great teacher: We have all been privileged to sit under the teaching of a man who consistently and powerfully proclaimed gospel truth. This unbelief and skepticism did not disquality him from ministry, apparently.

    It was just the publicized sin of adultery that caused the elders to act. Not necessarily the act of preying on other church members. His sin was apparently “just” breaking his marriage vows and not covering it up well enough. The ‘restoration plan’ seems to be related to the adultery, not the unbelief.

    Dustin also said, “I will be in an indefinite period of repentance.”/i> Examine this carefully. A period of ‘repentence’ sounds like an arbitrary time period that ARC told him he had to endure. Notice Dustin never said he was repentant, nor had he repented. He certainly hasn’t apologized to his victims. He could have just as easily said, “a period of time until Daylight Savings Time is over”. Very misleading.

    So are we being told that if Dustin gets some counseling to control his sexual urges, and he waits a few months, that he will magically be ‘restored’ and able to return to church leadership at a time and place of his choosing? Has anyone at ARC, Oasis, or Mosaic, even considered that Dustin has no place in leadership when he doesn’t seem to believe in Christ or the Bible?

  79. @ Muff Potter:
    I think the perverts seek it out because it gives them an aura of instant trust. Some religions make it clear the male is never wrong…upfront.

  80. Gram3 wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    -He doesn’t understand his behavior yet he has addressed his issues deeply and thoroughly- Does he understand what “deeply and thoroughly” means?

    I agree with Jack’s pithy assessment, though I am not a psy*. A sociopath/psychopath/Cluster B will say whatever they *think* they need to say to elicit a response they *think* will result from saying what they say. There is no perceived need or value in making sense to others. I wish that I did not have first-hand experience with this particular tactic, but I do.

    .Yes. this is why they love it when people take them seriously and try to understand them making sense of their words/actions. That is one way they control. It is always best to view them as congenital liars.

  81. I know that tone: It’s the tone of a frat boy who just failed a midterm; unfortunately, it bears no resemblance to the tone of one who understands the magnitude of anything that’s been done and the inevitable aftermath for the victims of his abuse.

    “Hey frat bros, hope you guys are well. My girlfriend Nat and I are fine, doing incredibly well! Oh yeah, sorry for my “epic fail” on that accounting midterm. Really drags down the overall fraternity GPA. My bad, bros. I know I really let you dudes down with my behavior. I don’t even understand why I do these stupid things and get kicked out of college for bad grades and all. I’m never goin back to the college again! But no excuses! Guess the ol’ accounting career is a bust now. HA! But hey dudes, at least I still have sales to fall back on–LOL!

    But one thing, my dudebros, that cheat sheet you set me up with for the exam was a total downer, I mean it was for the wrong exam–and that really hurt me and Nat, you know. Total bummer.

    But I really enjoyed my time with all of you in the frat house, the brewskys, the sorority girls, the good times. Hope to run into you somewhere out there–I’ll be the one trying to sell you life insurance or copiers or something–ROFLOL!

    Peace, y’all.

    Dustin “Party Animal” Boles

  82. @Lydia

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Jessica:
    He went from Reformed Acts 29 to Deist after being outed?

    That might be the sequence he wants people to buy off on. This way he cam blame the lack of faith not on his predatory actions, but on the church’s actions for not worshipping him any longer.

    I wonder if he was just faking the whole thing, play-acting to Acts 29 to get the gig, then after getting bounced from the job, reveals that he never believed anyway.

    “I am even more skeptical of faith than I was before”

    This tells me he was pretty skeptical before being outed, now that it’s “game over” he’s admitting he’s always been a deist.

  83. Law Prof wrote:

    I know that tone: It’s the tone of a frat boy who just failed a midterm; unfortunately, it bears no resemblance to the tone of one who understands the magnitude of anything that’s been done and the inevitable aftermath for the victims of his abuse.

    “Hey frat bros, hope you guys are well. My girlfriend Nat and I are fine, doing incredibly well! Oh yeah, sorry for my “epic fail” on that accounting midterm. Really drags down the overall fraternity GPA. My bad, bros. I know I really let you dudes down with my behavior. I don’t even understand why I do these stupid things and get kicked out of college for bad grades and all. I’m never goin back to the college again! But no excuses! Guess the ol’ accounting career is a bust now. HA! But hey dudes, at least I still have sales to fall back on–LOL!

    But one thing, my dudebros, that cheat sheet you set me up with for the exam was a total downer, I mean it was for the wrong exam–and that really hurt me and Nat, you know. Total bummer.

    But I really enjoyed my time with all of you in the frat house, the brewskys, the sorority girls, the good times. Hope to run into you somewhere out there–I’ll be the one trying to sell you life insurance or copiers or something–ROFLOL!

    Peace, y’all.

    Dustin “Party Animal” Boles

    EPIC
    10/10
    BRAVO

  84. Bill M wrote:

    LT wrote:

    The only logical reason for waiting 6 months is the ARC “season of repentance”

    Nice touch there LT with the buzzword. Along that line, possibly Boles enablers will write as follows.

    Authentic community should raise the bar by giving Boles a healthy span of care so he can experience grace and a life-change. Rather than judge we need to demonstrate the gospel and lift him up and restore him to his calling. It is what missional communities do, iron striking iron, disciples making disciples.
    /cringe off

    Perfection with one possible small edit. You really need to work “intentional” in there at least twice. Maybe “intentional, missional communities”. “Intentional proves how authentic and well thought out our communications are and what’s that other word that Barna and Leadnet told us to use? It’s not “press in” that’s so 2012! C’mon guys we paid $20,000 for that new survey!”

  85. Prayer Request from the top of the page here:

    “Prayers needed for Tom and Lori Bridgewood.
    Lori was seriously hurt in a car accident when the driver had what was probably a heart attack. She is out of danger but will require extensive surgery on the fractures of her face. You may remember that they had 2 children abused in Sovereign Grace Ministries.”

    Thank you for joining me in this serious matter of prayer for this family.

  86. Research articles say that narcissists are attracted to the clergy, one of their top 10 favorite jobs.

    His emails serve as further proof.

  87. @ Muff Potter:

    “What is it about religion that seems to bring out the horn-dog in individuals who are already unbalanced and lacking the controls that regular guys have and exercise?”
    +++++++++++

    preoccupation with how much he can’t, shouldn’t, mustn’t. ‘Word of God’ things like,

    “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5)

    ….don’t help.

  88. Law Prof re: frat boy letter, “we are not worthy!”

    TWW really needs an upvote button. Still laughing!

  89. @ Jessica:

    “Has anyone at ARC, Oasis, or Mosaic, even considered that Dustin has no place in leadership when he doesn’t seem to believe in Christ or the Bible?”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    perhaps he’s creating some kind of prodigal identity, for the sake of big comeback complete with a Damascus Road experience.

  90. @ Lea:
    I read that last letter as a standard letter that had to be written and not as one that demonstrated any real repentance.

  91. siteseer wrote:

    Through all of these emails, the victims are invisible, non-existant. No prayers are sought for them, no sympathy or empathy accorded to them. It’s all about the pastor and all about the church.

    Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.

    If any victims of pastoral abuse are reading here, could I ask what your feelings on this were/are? I’ve heard this same sentiment expressed many times but I have never heard from a victim as to whether they found this helpful or why or why not. I’m very curious as to whether this is the right path to take or what would be more helpful.

    That bit came across as pure spin designed to deflect any criticism.

  92. Muff Potter wrote:

    What is it about religion that seems to bring out the horn-dog in individuals who are already unbalanced and lacking the controls that regular guys have and exercise?

    And what is it about Christians who doggedly choose the wrong people to “lead”, and then keep defending them way past their abusive actions that lead to the destruction of the faith of others?

    I keep thinking about the apostles. None of them were chosen because they were charismatic and a leader that would attract large crowds of people. They were all chosen for the quality of their faith. They also had a solid training period before they were planting churches, and it didn’t involve studying books and writing papers (I’m looking at you seminary! I know what you’re teaching over there! It’s not ministering to people!).

    Churches are inviting these kinds of abusive people, and for the wrong reasons.

  93. @ Jessica:
    Personally, I doubt anyone in Acts29 or ARC are much different than Boles. Both are extremely spiritually corrupt organizations and attract those types as pastors.

  94. Lydia wrote:

    @ Jessica:
    Personally, I doubt anyone in Acts29 or ARC are much different than Boles. Both are extremely spiritually corrupt organizations and attract those types as pastors.

    Spot on.

  95. @ ishy:
    They defend them or their teaching because they listened to them for years and that is what they know. It becomes your normal if you don’t question constantly. Been there, done that. It usually takes a crisis of sort to even start to question anything. And many don’t even question at that point.

    Why is anyone attending Mosaic now if you really think about it. I could say the same for hundreds of churches.

  96. There are many things I could say about these emails, but one thing really stood out. Not one word of concern for the victims. No asking for prayer for them. No mention of offers of paid counseling or any form of restitution. No mention of the true nature of Dustin’s crimes, or the fact that they were crimes, not just sins. No mention of the possibility of other victims, and urging anyone else to come forward to law enforcement.

    Stay classy, Mosaic leadership.

  97. Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    They defend them or their teaching because they listened to them for years and that is what they know. It becomes your normal if you don’t question constantly. Been there, done that. It usually takes a crisis of sort to even start to question anything. And many don’t even question at that point.

    Oh, I know. I’ve seen it myself, too. It always frustrated me, though.

    The people at the church I was at that had a group split off to make an Acts 29 church were very concerned with “ministry potential”, and it was nearly all about how pretty and popular the person was. They panned anyone who didn’t quite fit in as not being “ministry material”. But they missed some of the best people, and they promoted some people that were clearly terrible choices for ministry.

    I think some of it is our larger culture. Americans in general tend to be rather celebrity obsessed, and the celebrities who get the most attention tend to be big messes. I’ve always been a bit mystified by reality tv shows, but a lot of people watch them.

  98. @ Ann:

    I have the southern Mississippi grandmother given side of me that wants to be polite but I also lived in a big city with a bunch of New Yorker friends and my mother was fairly direct so I have a bit of both impulses working on me. I don’t know what I would do in a situation like described (have run into a few things with strangers and had different reactions each time), but I would absolutely love the chance to use a dramatic slap so I’m putting that in the back of my mind. Just in case.

  99. ishy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    They defend them or their teaching because they listened to them for years and that is what they know. It becomes your normal if you don’t question constantly. Been there, done that. It usually takes a crisis of sort to even start to question anything. And many don’t even question at that point.

    Sadly it has been my experience that most people in churches never question anything and if you do you are labeled a troublemaker.

  100. @ ishy:
    For me, the absolute irony of Mohlers Neo Cal resurgence is that it ultimately operates no differently than the shallow seeker megas they claimed to despise where worshiping the guy on stage is the real focus. Most won’t call it worship but it is.

    I dont think Acts 29 would have lasted at all without NAMB money as secretive as they are about spending OPM.

    I met a woman a few years ago associated with the state SBC who runs a ministry program for poor single moms helping them get on their feet. She said what used to be for local ministry missions is now sent to NAMB for church planting. So she has to find resources on her own outside the SBC now.

    Think of the contrast. perverts like Boles receive NAMB funds to start an Acts 29 Driscoll clone business church while poor single moms are left out.

    If anything describes the bottom line of allowing Mohler to be SBC Pope, that is it.

  101. Lydia wrote:

    Think of the contrast. perverts like Boles receive NAMB funds to start an Acts 29 Driscoll clone business church while poor single moms are left out.
    If anything describes the bottom line of allowing Mohler to be SBC Pope, that is it.

    Yeah, it’s really disturbing. The fact that Southern Baptists are just sitting idly by allowing it all to happen is even scarier, but I am guessing most don’t have a clue what is going on.

  102. ishy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Think of the contrast. perverts like Boles receive NAMB funds to start an Acts 29 Driscoll clone business church while poor single moms are left out.
    If anything describes the bottom line of allowing Mohler to be SBC Pope, that is it.

    Yeah, it’s really disturbing. The fact that Southern Baptists are just sitting idly by allowing it all to happen is even scarier, but I am guessing most don’t have a clue what is going on.

    Sadly many of these same people sad idly by when their denomination was taken over by the FUNDAMENTALISTS. Why should it be any different with the Neo-Cals?

  103. mot wrote:

    Sadly many of these same people sad idly by when their denomination was taken over by the FUNDAMENTALISTS. Why should it be any different with the Neo-Cals?

    Most Baptist fundamentalists still have a strong belief in church autonomy to a large extent (except if they call a female or gay pastor!). And I think those that helped to change the BFM never expected the way the Calvinistas would use those changes to take control of every SBC institution.

  104. mot wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    @ ishy:
    They defend them or their teaching because they listened to them for years and that is what they know. It becomes your normal if you don’t question constantly. Been there, done that. It usually takes a crisis of sort to even start to question anything. And many don’t even question at that point.
    Sadly it has been my experience that most people in churches never question anything and if you do you are labeled a troublemaker.

    Ain’t that the truth.

    Signed,

    Troublemaker, derogatory word for “Berean”

  105. Lydia wrote:

    She said what used to be for local ministry missions is now sent to NAMB for church planting.

    This is why I’m at the point where I see red whenever I hear anything about ‘planting churches’ in the US. We have lots and lots of churches already. Especially in the south. I don’t understand why THAT of all things would be the focus!

  106. Law Prof wrote:

    I know that tone: It’s the tone of a frat boy who just failed a midterm; unfortunately, it bears no resemblance to the tone of one who understands the magnitude of anything that’s been done and the inevitable aftermath for the victims of his abuse.

    Mosaic Church = “Animal House”.

  107. Lea wrote:

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    Lea, pour yourself another cup of coffee and correct that question.

  108. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    She said what used to be for local ministry missions is now sent to NAMB for church planting.
    This is why I’m at the point where I see red whenever I hear anything about ‘planting churches’ in the US. We have lots and lots of churches already. Especially in the south. I don’t understand why THAT of all things would be the focus!

    I thought that same thing just the other day. A new church plant has just sprung up (another one???), and it looked like a copy of my very reasonable church, except that this is a neo-cal. Really, I got the creepy feeling that they had copied my church’s website down to the serving Saturdays and other features. Except, get this, on their core belief page, they listed “Marriage” with the usual about being only between a man and a woman, etc. and listed core verses that show their beliefs. Yep, Eph 5:22 (wives submit!) but no 5:21.

    All in all, the website had a very strange feeling to it, like they were trying too hard. Or maybe my neo-cal BS detector was going off.

  109. Lydia wrote:

    @ mot:
    Actually, they voted. Inerrancy, the issue, was a total con.

    I have wondered if their concern about “inerrancy” was centered more on the verses concerning “a woman’s place”, “submission”, and hierarchy than anything else.

  110. Christiane wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    Lea, pour yourself another cup of coffee and correct that question.

    Silly, everybody knows it was the Iraqis!

  111. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ mot:
    Actually, they voted. Inerrancy, the issue, was a total con.

    I have wondered if their concern about “inerrancy” was centered more on the verses concerning “a woman’s place”, “submission”, and hierarchy than anything else.

    Looking back I think the plan from the beginning of the takeover was to limit the role of women in the SBC.

  112. Christiane wrote:

    Lea, pour yourself another cup of coffee and correct that question.

    No. She quoting a line from “National Lampoon’s Animal House” movie. John Belushi and his frat bros? Law Prof’s comment made me think of that. Now, in my mind, I’m seeing John Belushi preaching from the pulpit!

  113. In his email, Boles says he has struggled with sin all his life. Makes me think this isn’t his first time he has done something like this. He has probably “molested” many women. He struggles with it. Also when Rachel said he came to her side of the truck and his wife went to the other side to distract her husband, makes me wonder if there was some kind of pay off for her. Boles has her do something for him, and in return he either does or doesn’t do something for her or to her. Wow. Boles is some kind of character. Spare me from the likes of him. Also from ministers who really aren’t sure if they are Christians or not. What are you doing being as pastor if you don’t fully believe in Christ?

  114. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ mot:
    Actually, they voted. Inerrancy, the issue, was a total con.

    I have wondered if their concern about “inerrancy” was centered more on the verses concerning “a woman’s place”, “submission”, and hierarchy than anything else.

    Yes. It was a cover for male supremacy. Same as letting go of ‘The lens through which we interpret the Bible is Jesus Christ’…. ‘inerrancy’ means when WE, the leadership, interpret the Bible, then it is without error.

    Firt they had to get rid of what protected the Scriptures and once they got away with that came ‘inerrancy’ and the ESS (eternal subordination of the Son)….. all to create a system of ‘head ship’ for males

    The stronger the ‘theology’ of ‘male head-ship’, the weaker the position of Jesus Christ is in their theology. They even relegated Him to a model for women to follow in their ‘submission’. Shameless attempt at manipulation of the orthodox Christian faith for their own agendas. Despicable. DEPLORABLE.

  115. mot wrote:

    Looking back I think the plan from the beginning of the takeover was to limit the role of women in the SBC.

    Me, too. But more than that, maybe. I think have tried to expand their “woman was made for man – woman submit” tentacles into political, social, and business arenas.

  116. Christiane wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    @ mot:
    Actually, they voted. Inerrancy, the issue, was a total con.
    I have wondered if their concern about “inerrancy” was centered more on the verses concerning “a woman’s place”, “submission”, and hierarchy than anything else.
    Yes. It was a cover for male supremacy. Same as letting go of ‘The lens through which we interpret the Bible is Jesus Christ’…. ‘inerrancy’ means when WE, the leadership, interpret the Bible, then it is without error.
    Firt they had to get rid of what protected the Scriptures and once they got away with that came ‘inerrancy’ and the ESS (eternal subordination of the Son)….. all to create a system of ‘head ship’ for males
    The stronger the ‘theology’ of ‘male head-ship’, the weaker the position of Jesus Christ is in their theology. They even relegated Him to a model for women to follow in their ‘submission’. Shameless attempt at manipulation of the orthodox Christian faith for their own agendas. Despicable. DEPLORABLE.

    The way things are going lately, I’m having trouble trusting ANYTHING or ANYONE coming out of the church!!

  117. @ Nancy2:
    🙂 Now I’m on MY way to the coffee pot. I should have known Lea knew what she was doing. Sometimes the teacher in me takes over. Apologies to Lea.
    Thanks, Nancy Two.

  118. Christiane wrote:

    The stronger the ‘theology’ of ‘male head-ship’, the weaker the position of Jesus Christ is in their theology. They even relegated Him to a model for women to follow in their ‘submission’. Shameless attempt at manipulation of the orthodox Christian faith for their own agendas. Despicable. DEPLORABLE.

    At the end, it’s really heretical. And their moves to control their members and make a “permanent Bible” are signs of being a cult. The SBC should be casting them out.

  119. Pingback: - Thou Art The Man

  120. Lydia wrote:

    a ministry program for poor single moms helping them get on their feet

    Based on anecdotal evidence such as this example, I am coming to the conclusion that Southern Baptists are distancing themselves at the convention level (NAMB, IMB, LifeWay, etc.) from all appearances of social ministry and that this mindset is trickling down to the state and local conventions. I came across an article listing hymns that deal with social ministry that were omitted from the most recent hymnal and it made me start to wonder. Is one of the reasons IMB had assets to liquidate to cover operating expenses exceeding revenues because they were no longer operating hospitals? I tried to research that one but couldn’t get any traction.

    If you follow the Calvinist logic, there is no need to precede evangelism with ministry. The chosen are chosen, whether they are hungry or not. It seems they want to be known for Matt 28 to the neglect of Matt 25.

    That said, Southern Baptists do still seem to be very active and effective in disaster relief such as recent efforts in Baton Rouge.

    REF:
    Article on 2008 Baptist Hymnal listing hymns with texts concerning social ministry that were excluded:
    http://www.ethicsdaily.com/omitted-titles-in-new-baptist-hymnal-reflect-theological-shift-corrected-cms-13109

  121. FW Rez wrote:

    Is one of the reasons IMB had assets to liquidate to cover operating expenses exceeding revenues because they were no longer operating hospitals? I tried to research that one but couldn’t get any traction.

    The rumors are that they completely fudged the numbers. But backing off from social ministries might be another reason.

  122. @ Christiane:
    The “Animal House” theme song might make a good theme song for some of these new-cal churches.

    Firs verse:
    Let me t-t-tell you ’bout some friends I know
    They’re kinda crazy but you’ll dig the show
    They can party ’till the break of dawn
    at Delta Chi you can’t go wrong
    Otter, he’s the ladies man
    Every girl falls into his hands
    Boon and Katy playing “Cat and Mouse”

  123. Rachel wrote:

    The congregation, as a whole, only had the opportunity to hear from Dustin. Which is why 2 of the victims chose to come out on their own. And though most of the congregation I’m sure read what they wrote, it was OUR choice to write it. Instead of the church sharing it for us. Therefore, leaving many to believe Dustin over us since his “confession” was done at church.

    I agree with you that the option should have been the victims’ and not Dustin’s. That way the victims who wished to remain private could do so while the victims who were silenced could be heard. I’m so sorry this happened and was handled the way it was.

  124. Friend wrote:

    “I know that my behavior angered confused, and hurt you guys. I wish I understood it myself. There are no excuses. …

    “Your behavior toward us angered, confused, and hurt us as well. …”

    In other words: How dare you bleed all over my knife like that?

    A great comment. Reminds me of a book I read about a teen who tried to commit suicide and his mother reacted by being obsessively worried about getting his blood out of her carpeting. Flannery O’Connor hit the ball out of the park when she wrote about people ‘getting hold of the wrong horror’. Our human nature has a blind spot that gets larger with pride and hubris. Male-headship teaching increases that blind spot like a force magnifier. Boles, at his end, was openly out of control and destructive. Even after he ‘quit’, he couldn’t take full responsibility. Yes, how ‘dare’ the objects of his lust target him, poor victim.
    The sickness and weakness inherent in our human nature, when it becomes SO visible in the failures of those who were ‘trusted’, bespeaks the great human need for the Pascal Event …. the coming of Our Savior.

  125. Mike Smith wrote:

    Hmmm, the REAL Dustin was the first letter (at the top of this post)

    I don’t know the REAL Dustin – I wonder if anyone does – but his email to staff vs. church family were distinctly different. The former came across as “Too bad I got caught, guys!”; the latter as “I’m sorry to inform you that I’m a sinner like you.”

  126. FW Rez wrote:

    I came across an article listing hymns that deal with social ministry that were omitted from the most recent hymnal and it made me start to wonder.

    Wow. How Much longer until they exclude “Just as I Am”, “Amazing Grace”, “He Whipers Sweet Peace” and ” What a Lovely Name”?

  127. mot wrote:

    Looking back I think the plan from the beginning of the takeover was to limit the role of women in the SBC.

    I think the entire movement, at inception, was fueled by a fear of women filling the pulpits of Southern Baptist churches. “Inerrancy” was a battle cry to get the rank and file worked up enough to defend the Bible against the heretics, a.k.a. moderates.

  128. ishy wrote:

    At the end, it’s really heretical. And their moves to control their members and make a “permanent Bible” are signs of being a cult. The SBC should be casting them out.

    Agreed. I feel for the innocent people in the SBC Churches who hold to the orthodox Christian faith and are centered on Christ. They are the ones who will be hurt the most … among them, the old people. They don’t know what’s coming at them, no. It’s so wrong.

  129. ishy wrote:

    The fact that Southern Baptists are just sitting idly by allowing it all to happen is even scarier, but I am guessing most don’t have a clue what is going on.

    Indeed! Southern Baptists are suffering from a bad case of “sin of omission.” One is tempted to blame their complacency on lack of information or misinformation about the ails of New Calvinism infecting SBC, but in my neck of the woods it is simple old willing ignorance. If you stick you head in the sand too long, someone will kick your butt … and the young reformers are kicking their behinds good as they plant numerous YRR churches each year, capture key SBC entity leadership, and take over traditional churches by stealth and deception

    Yep, a bad case of “sin of omission” … “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:17)

  130. Christiane wrote:

    Agreed. I feel for the innocent people in the SBC Churches who hold to the orthodox Christian faith and are centered on Christ. They are the ones who will be hurt the most … among them, the old people. They don’t know what’s coming at them, no. It’s so wrong.

    “You can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs.”
    — Comrade Stalin

  131. Christiane wrote:

    Agreed. I feel for the innocent people in the SBC Churches who hold to the orthodox Christian faith and are centered on Christ. They are the ones who will be hurt the most … among them, the old people. They don’t know what’s coming at them, no. It’s so wrong.

    In the rural area I live in, only a small smattering of people know that almost all of the SBC entities are now controlled by neo-Cals. The few that do know think that it is no big deal – coincidence, that’s all.

  132. Nancy2 wrote:

    She quoting a line from “National Lampoon’s Animal House” movie. John Belushi and his frat bros? Law Prof’s comment made me think of that. Now, in my mind, I’m seeing John Belushi preaching from the pulpit!

    With some of these preachers, Belushi would be an improvement.

    “SAMURAI PREACHER!”

  133. Nancy2 wrote:

    The “Animal House” theme song might make a good theme song for some of these new-cal churches.

    Firs verse:
    Let me t-t-tell you ’bout some friends I know
    They’re kinda crazy but you’ll dig the show
    They can party ’till the break of dawn
    at Delta Chi you can’t go wrong
    Otter, he’s the ladies man
    Every girl falls into his hands
    Boon and Katy playing “Cat and Mouse”

    Yes. But when the party is over and the victims are injured, the neo-Cal boyz play ‘fraternity’ and take care of their ‘own’, and my goodness, that doesn’t include the victims, does it? There is a pattern in all of this, not unlike the frat house carelessness and over-the-top hubris ….. it’s like Mohler turned a blind eye on his minions and released them into the SBC unrestrained. Unless of course, he knew what would happen. Well, it has. Example after example of a pattern that the DEEBS are exposing. The neo-Cals can neither hide it nor deny it anymore. And they appear not to be able to face this reality. They have created their own ‘reality’….. male idolatry, the uber-most value in their strange theology and in their ‘new’ ‘permanent’ human-tweaked Bible. Cult formation right in front of us.

  134. Christiane wrote:

    Now I’m on MY way to the coffee pot.

    I wish we lived closer to have coffee together. I have an Irish Soda Bread in the oven right now. I tweaked the recipe a little, since I got my first delivery of a box of organic veggies early this morning. I grated some sweet carrots, added raisins to my bread, and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, ginger). The smell wafting through the house…is divine.

  135. Muff Potter wrote:

    What is it about religion that seems to bring out the horn-dog in individuals who are already unbalanced and lacking the controls that regular guys have and exercise?

    I suppose there are various answers to that question. But, here’s how I’ve come to see things over a long Christian journey. Jesus Christ came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions! Organized religion is an institution. We can only call individual religious outlets “Church” if they are following the NT pattern: (1) members are baptized believers, not a chosen few (2) each member (male & female) have individual gifts and a freedom to use them for the common good (no distinctions by race, class or gender), (3) each member is to be equipped to do the work of the ministry – ALL are priests (pulpit and pew have a common purpose – no one lords over others), (4) each member is engaged in the Great Commission to reach the lost with the Gospel of Christ, (5) such Church – the REAL one – is the visible manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    The gates of hell are prevailing against the churches detailed on TWW. They are doing church without God. We point fingers at the pulpit when ministers fall, but the pew shares in the responsibility for allowing such places to exist. When the flags go up, get the heck out … don’t try to prop it up.

    Personally, I hope I live long enough to see religion’s funeral preached and the Church of the Living God functioning as it should across the world.

  136. FW Rez wrote:

    mot wrote:
    Looking back I think the plan from the beginning of the takeover was to limit the role of women in the SBC.
    I think the entire movement, at inception, was fueled by a fear of women filling the pulpits of Southern Baptist churches. “Inerrancy” was a battle cry to get the rank and file worked up enough to defend the Bible against the heretics, a.k.a. moderates.

    That makes sense.

    I also think that the Inerrancy crowd, headed by those men who want to take over America and run it based on Old Testament Patriarchy with them and their friends in charge (and enslave ‘unbelievers’…anyone not in agreement with them)…tried to legitimatize their own twisted group.

    I am suspect of these groups that meet in hotel conference rooms to ‘sign off’ on documents about ‘pressing issues’. They invariably get it wrong.

  137. Christiane wrote:

    Flannery O’Connor hit the ball out of the park when she wrote about people ‘getting hold of the wrong horror’. Our human nature has a blind spot that gets larger with pride and hubris. Male-headship teaching increases that blind spot like a force magnifier.

    Excellent comment.

  138. Nancy2 wrote:

    In the rural area I live in, only a small smattering of people know that almost all of the SBC entities are now controlled by neo-Cals. The few that do know think that it is no big deal – coincidence, that’s all.

    Al Mohler et al. knew this would be the case as they plotted SBC take over. The pew is easy pickins’ … they won’t suspect anything like this … we can capture the whole thing without much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    But I will tell you who does know at every rural church … the pastor! Every SBC church is a member of a local association of other churches; the pastors within that association share information of State and national importance in SBC life; they talk with each other; they know exactly what is going on with the New Calvinist movement. They should be having “family talks” with their members; they aren’t; they share responsibility for this happening for not standing as they ought.

  139. FW Rez wrote:

    I came across an article listing hymns that deal with social ministry that were omitted from the most recent hymnal and it made me start to wonder.

    There’s no money in it, is probably the real answer.

    But maybe there is also something with their dislike of ‘works’. Along with their belief that we are all worms…apparently they think that makes it ok to act as vile as they like. Unless you’re a woman, in which case you have to be perfectly, intelligently, joyfully submissive or you are in sin and at fault if your husband beats you to a bloody pulp. Also you can’t leave, because you made a bad decision to marry the bum.

  140. Max wrote:

    Al Mohler et al. knew this would be the case as they plotted SBC take over. The pew is easy pickins’ … they won’t suspect anything like this … we can capture the whole thing without much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    But I will tell you who does know at every rural church … the pastor! Every SBC church is a member of a local association of other churches; the pastors within that association share information of State and national importance in SBC life; they talk with each other; they know exactly what is going on with the New Calvinist movement. They should be having “family talks” with their members; they aren’t; they share responsibility for this happening for not standing as they ought.

    Sadly, most of these pastors are spineless IMO, and more worried about staying in the good with the Director of Missions, etc.

  141. FW Rez wrote:

    Article on 2008 Baptist Hymnal listing

    Wow, from that article: “According to a news release, nearly half of 674 hymns in the song book are new to the Baptist Hymnal.”

    What are the odds that any of this new stuff is actually well written?

  142. Several of you reading and/or contributing to this blog today are in a place of hurt due to the actions of Boles or someone like him. While there are many threads of conversation in a forum such as this, your hurt is not going unnoticed nor your participation unappreciated. Prayers are being said for your healing and ability to move on.

    We live in a society that elevates certain personality types without much discretion as to their character, making it easy for unfit individuals to ascend to places of prominence. I do not know if there were warning signs with Boles that he was not worthy of the calling that he pursued or not. Hopefully churches will become less accommodating of the cult of celebrity that empowers unfit individuals with undue authority and access. These are the wolfs that the elders should be taking aim at. I find it a bit bothersome that in this situation it appears that Boles was allowed to resign rather than be summarily fired.

  143. FW Rez wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Looking back I think the plan from the beginning of the takeover was to limit the role of women in the SBC.

    I think the entire movement, at inception, was fueled by a fear of women filling the pulpits of Southern Baptist churches. “Inerrancy” was a battle cry to get the rank and file worked up enough to defend the Bible against the heretics, a.k.a. moderates.

    Sadly, their strategy worked.

  144. @ FW Rez:

    They apparently also removed “Songs that stress the environment, God’s continuing act of creation or bridging the gap between faith and science were dropped. The best known is “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (No. 46)”

    I loved that song. They probably replaced it with repetitive three chord nonsense.

  145. Lea wrote:

    What are the odds that any of this new stuff is actually well written?

    Good point. I know I grew extremely tired of playing one chord progression over and over last night in rehearsal but I don’t believe that selection is from the hymnal. Even the old hymns that are harmonically simple usually have redeeming value in a singable melody, i.e. “I Love Thee”.

  146. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Sounds lovely. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices for baking.

    I’ve been wanting to make some Norwegian breads with Cardamom. I’ve never made them before but the recipes look fantastic.

  147. mot wrote:

    Sadly, their strategy worked.

    I understand from what you have said before that that your career experienced, at a minimum, collateral damage but it sounds more like a direct hit. My impression is that you stood by your conventions at a personal cost. That shows the kind of character the church needs today in leadership rather than these strong personalities that start their own church and build it into a mega on an unhealthy foundation of charisma.

  148. mot wrote:

    Sadly, most of these pastors are spineless IMO, and more worried about staying in the good with the Director of Missions, etc.

    I would say that is the case in my area. The DOM here floats with the theology on tap at the moment – whatever he needs to be to survive SBC drifts in belief and practice. When the traditionalists were in command, he was traditional; when the New Calvinists came to town, he put on his reformed look. Most SBC pastors are probably worried that their retirement annuities would be affected if they put up too much fuss. And then there’s the unity call by national leaders for everybody to agree to disagree about reformed theology, go along to get along, and make room under the big SBC tent for theological diversity. As a long-time Southern Baptist, I am sick at heart to see a once-great evangelistic denomination forfeit its calling.

  149. Max wrote:

    We point fingers at the pulpit when ministers fall, but the pew shares in the responsibility for allowing such places to exist. When the flags go up, get the heck out … don’t try to prop it up.

    I understand your frustration. But there is this to think about: there are those in the Church who can’t ‘get the heck out’: the little ones, the old people who depend greatly on the Church for support, rides, companionship at a time when they cannot easily forge ‘new’ in their declining years. These are the most ‘vulnerable’ and they are probably the ONLY real reason for staying and trying to amend the crisis. But for their sake, I would say, throw the whole thing to the curb and walk away …. but it’s not so easy as it looks in reality.

    Standing and confronting may get you put out, but it gives hope to others who need to see that, yes. Don’t ‘walk’ before you confront the evil openly is my thought. Stand for the sake of the ones who are vulnerable. Be their advocate. You will pay a price. But at least you will have done SOMETHING towards awakening those around you to the evil, yes. Self-sacrificing? you bet. But that’s not outside of the Christian way of living in THIS world, no.

  150. @ Christiane:
    I’m thinking here of the example of Wade Burleson when he tried to defend the missionaries long ago. He paid a price, but he retains his honor and his good name before the Lord and before the Church. No, it was a terrible time for him, but he went through it with grace. There are precedents in the SBC for staying and confronting.

  151. mot wrote:

    Sadly, their strategy worked.

    I think they have gone too far with this new ‘proclamation’ about the ‘permanence’ of their new man-made version of the Bible.

    This will like blow up in their faces.

  152. Lea wrote:

    @ FW Rez:

    They apparently also removed “Songs that stress the environment, God’s continuing act of creation or bridging the gap between faith and science were dropped. The best known is “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (No. 46)”

    I loved that song. They probably replaced it with repetitive three chord nonsense.

    sounds political with a thought to pandering to the petroleum and gas industry money-makers …. those days are ending in the Church, thank God, and there is a recovery underway of respect for Creation and creatures as a form of honoring the Creator.

  153. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Sadly, most of these pastors are spineless IMO, and more worried about staying in the good with the Director of Missions, etc.

    I would say that is the case in my area. The DOM here floats with the theology on tap at the moment – whatever he needs to be to survive SBC drifts in belief and practice. When the traditionalists were in command, he was traditional; when the New Calvinists came to town, he put on his reformed look. Most SBC pastors are probably worried that their retirement annuities would be affected if they put up too much fuss. And then there’s the unity call by national leaders for everybody to agree to disagree about reformed theology, go along to get along, and make room under the big SBC tent for theological diversity. As a long-time Southern Baptist, I am sick at heart to see a once-great evangelistic denomination forfeit its calling.

    I think some of these men know they can lose their pastorates if they do not spout the party line. If they are not bi-vocational and have families they are really afraid because they have seen what happens to others that step out of line. These churches will pull the plug on a minister in a hear beat and leave he and his family without any financial support. What a sad environment.

  154. Christiane wrote:

    a thought to pandering to the petroleum and gas industry money-makers

    I doubt that’s it, I’m not sure that churches are actively sponsored by the petroleum and gas and even if they were ‘all things bright and beautiful’ is not anti gas usage, imo. If you read the article there are a whole bunch of areas where they purged, mostly theological and anything that talks about works or togetherness or what have you. So stupid.

  155. Max wrote:

    They should be having “family talks” with their members; they aren’t; they share responsibility for this happening for not standing as they ought.

    Some pastors do try to have those talks, but few listen. I know of (and have been envolved in) two cases, very close to home for me, literally and emotionally, where the pastors tried to talk to members about the neo-cal influenceInvasion/damage to the SBC. Almost none of the pew potatoes take it seriously. …….. “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or “It will never happen here!” Their eyes are not open enough to see that it is happening, cloak and dagger style. They don’t even know that they are swallowing the poison, in small doses.

  156. mot wrote:

    I think some of these men know they can lose their pastorates if they do not spout the party line. If they are not bi-vocational and have families they are really afraid because they have seen what happens to others that step out of line. These churches will pull the plug on a minister in a hear beat and leave he and his family without any financial support. What a sad environment.

    “Doing The LOOOOOOOORD’s Work…”

  157. Nancy2 wrote:

    I know of (and have been envolved in) two cases, very close to home for me, literally and emotionally, where the pastors tried to talk to members about the neo-cal influenceInvasion/damage to the SBC. Almost none of the pew potatoes take it seriously. …….. “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or “It will never happen here!” Their eyes are not open enough to see that it is happening, cloak and dagger style. They don’t even know that they are swallowing the poison, in small doses.

    Salami Tactics, just like Stalin took over Eastern Europe after WW2.

    Just one teeny tiny slice at a time, then just one more teeny tiny slice, until one day the Russian Bear has eaten it all and The Rule of The Party Is Forever, URRA STALINO!

    Boil those frogs SLOW.

  158. mot wrote:

    These churches will pull the plug on a minister in a hear beat and leave he and his family without any financial support.

    Wait, don’t they have access to the huge amounts of ‘fallen pastor restoration’ money that gets handed out people like Boles? Maybe they should fake an affair or three to get some of that sweet cash. /s

  159. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    a thought to pandering to the petroleum and gas industry money-makers
    I doubt that’s it, I’m not sure that churches are actively sponsored by the petroleum and gas and even if they were ‘all things bright and beautiful’ is not anti gas usage, imo.

    Four words: IT’S ALL GONNA BURN.

  160. Nancy2 wrote:

    “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or “It will never happen here!” Their eyes are not open enough to see that it is happening, cloak and dagger style. They don’t even know that they are swallowing the poison, in small doses.

    hmmm … the new normal

    slowly, slowly now, small steps in the wrong direction, and at each endeavor, wait to see if they (the vulnerable) will accept the change trustingly without any ‘wait a minute, here’ protests, if no protest continue with the next move

    my goodness, ‘stealth’ must be a very high priority among those who do succeed in destroying a Church through a neo-Cal takeover

  161. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    oh, the ‘end times’ thing ….. I forgot about that as it’s not in my tradition’s DNA

    I wonder that there is today so little concern about the use of nuclear weapons and starting wars over insults ….. I suppose the ‘end times’ thing is in play there also (sigh)

  162. Christiane wrote:

    hmmm … the new normal
    slowly, slowly now, small steps in the wrong direction, and at each endeavor, wait to see if they (the vulnerable) will accept the change trustingly without any ‘wait a minute, here’ protests, if no protest continue with the next move

    Until the frogs are all boiled.
    “See How GOD Provides for His Elect!” (lip smack and drool) “Frog Legs!”

  163. Nancy2 wrote:

    “Oh, it’s not that bad!”

    If those church folks were presented a one-page contrast of non-Calvinist vs. Calvinist belief and practice, would it make a difference to them? If they knew that the Calvinist message of the Cross was not for ALL people; if they knew that the Calvinist God saved some, but damned most, before any of them ever drew breath; that Calvinist teaching says an individual has absolutely nothing to do with his eternal destiny … would it make a difference to them? If the answer is “No”, then just leave them alone.

  164. Christiane wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    oh, the ‘end times’ thing ….. I forgot about that as it’s not in my tradition’s DNA

    I wonder that there is today so little concern about the use of nuclear weapons and starting wars over insults ….. I suppose the ‘end times’ thing is in play there also (sigh)

    Remember my background, the time I was heavily in-country.

    The heyday of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay, back when the Bible only had 3 1/2 books: Daniel, Revelation, the Nuclear War Chapter of Ezekiel (the half), and Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth (which superseded the other 2 1/2).

    And the resulting attitude: CHRISTIANS FOR NUCLEAR WAR. (It’s Prophesied! It’s Prophesied!)

    Only years later did I realize what Lindsay did to tickle itchy ears: Christianize the Inevitable Global Thermonuclear War mainstream Important Message trope of the time, add a magic Escape Route to a Cosmic Galt’s Gulch (the Rapture), and get very very rich off the book and lecture circuit.

  165. LT wrote:

    I hope GSD writes more on ARC in the future. That org has over 500 churches under their banner and is out stumping in every major city all year long looking to set up new Jesus entertainment franchises.

    I’m not really an expert. I did watch the 8 videos that make up the 2-day training that all ARC planters watch, before they protected the Vimeo pages. It looks as if they have protected those videos, so that only registered church planters can watch them.

    The one thing that did strike me in the videos was the idea that the Pastor/CEO is not accountable to the congregation. Hodges likened it to how a parent isn’t accountable to the kids, but they are accountable to other parents. I guess that’s how they justify their structure, where pastors are “governed” by ARC Overseers, who are often other pastors, who are the ones that set the pastors salary. Mere members have no voice in the process, and often no knowledge of the real numbers.

    I can see what they are trying to avoid, like HUG points out. There are churches where all power and control is in the hands of the elders, and the pastor is pretty much a hired gun, who is expendable. If he goes too far, preaches something offensive, or just gets too old to be hip and relevant, he can be replaced with a newer model. The church is a machine that survives.

    ARC’s model seems to swing to the opposite extreme, where all power is vested in the Pastor/CEO and his board of Overseers.

    Anyway, here is research the Deebs did a couple of years back. As usual, they put things better than I ever could.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/11/05/building-the-arc-an-overview-of-this-church-planting-network/

  166. Max wrote:

    Also note the “whosoever will” songs that were dropped from the new hymnal, as Calvinism gained ground within SBC.

    That is what I was reviewing when I first looked at the site. Brings up the question of what does a distinctly Calvinist hymn look like? The best I could come up with is a deterministic view of God’s sovereignty as some find in “This is My Father’s World” where it says “though the wrong be oft so strong, God is the ruler yet”. I still like the text and so not take it to mean that God is author of “the wrong”.

  167. mot wrote:

    I think some of these men know they can lose their pastorates if they do not spout the party line. If they are not bi-vocational and have families they are really afraid because they have seen what happens to others that step out of line. These churches will pull the plug on a minister in a hear beat and leave he and his family without any financial support. What a sad environment.

    Reminds me of the story in Scripture of the blind man that was healed and kept testifying of Jesus. When the church elders threw him out, Jesus went looking for him. All it takes is for a good man here and there to stand as they ought; if good men do nothing …

  168. FW Rez wrote:

    I still like the text and so not take it to mean that God is author of “the wrong”.

    Hymns are like Scripture. You can make them read the way you want to, to fit your theological grid. When teaching and traditions of men take center stage, there isn’t much Holy Spirit revelation in either song or word.

  169. @ Christiane:
    You’ve just described my journey. I know that it takes the strong to stand in the gap for the weak. There is always a price to pay for faithfulness, not for misplaced passion.

  170. NJ wrote:

    No mention of the possibility of other victims, and urging anyone else to come forward to law enforcement.

    Yes, I’ve wondered if there are more victims out there.

  171. @ Max:
    I’m sorry you’ve suffered through this, but you can take comfort in trying to help the vulnerable, if nothing more. Does it matter? Yes. Every act for the sake of Christ’s vulnerable has impact; it may not show up immediately, or even in the near future, but when people see someone stand up ‘in the gap’, they are moved by this, and that is like planting a seed in them of witness to something their consciences cannot look away from. Your stand will bear fruit, and you can be at peace about this.

  172. Max wrote:

    Reminds me of the story in Scripture of the blind man that was healed and kept testifying of Jesus. When the church elders threw him out, Jesus went looking for him. All it takes is for a good man here and there to stand as they ought; if good men do nothing …

    I think many men and women have taken a stand in the SBC over the last almost 40 years and have suffered in many ways–we just have not heard about them.

  173. siteseer wrote:

    “Please understand that we are not withholding details to protect Dustin. We are protecting those who were hurt by his sin.”

    If any victims of pastoral abuse are reading here, could I ask what your feelings on this were/are?

    This is silencing the victims.

    Because of my past experiences, absolutely nothing in church upsets me more than being silenced. The fact that the silence “protects” me makes it worse. I’m not even allowed to thank anyone for all of this protection that I never asked for and don’t want. Instead I’m supposed to sit there mute like a demure maiden surrounded by gallant knights.

    I now speak up every single time something bothers me at church. And I get away with it. And things do change because of my outspokenness.

  174. Rachel wrote:

    And this, of course, for the victims who choose to come out. This is only *my* opinion but I don’t speak for other victims of sexual assault. We all handle it in our own ways and no way is the wrong way, in my opinion. (As far as choosing to speak openly or not).

    Thanks so much for your input, Rachel. Thank you for standing firm and telling your experience. Without brave people like you, evil remains cloaked and prospers. I agree with you that each person must handle this in their own way. Each needs to be supported in their healing in the course that is best for them.

    I’m seeing that in a case like this, even if the victims do not want to speak publicly or be identified, the leadership owes it to them to be honest about the nature of the transgression. By leaving it poorly defined, and by allowing Dustin to take control of the narrative, they became complicit. I don’t know whether they were so naive they did not realize that someone who would do this kind of thing to begin with would be dishonorable in how he dealt with it. Or if they were just thinking about how it would make the church look or if they were thinking ahead to enable his eventual comeback… bottom line, they did not do right by the victims- they were either used by Dustin or they became part of his deceptions with him.

  175. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ mot:
    Actually, they voted. Inerrancy, the issue, was a total con.

    I have wondered if their concern about “inerrancy” was centered more on the verses concerning “a woman’s place”, “submission”, and hierarchy than anything else.

    Yes, after reading up on the history a bit more it seems to have been about controlling the woman factor in the entities so there would be no female pastors, either.

  176. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:

    They should be having “family talks” with their members; they aren’t; they share responsibility for this happening for not standing as they ought.

    Some pastors do try to have those talks, but few listen. I know of (and have been envolved in) two cases, very close to home for me, literally and emotionally, where the pastors tried to talk to members about the neo-cal influenceInvasion/damage to the SBC. Almost none of the pew potatoes take it seriously. …….. “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or “It will never happen here!” Their eyes are not open enough to see that it is happening, cloak and dagger style. They don’t even know that they are swallowing the poison, in small doses.

    You have nailed it. A few calvinist had gotten on staff at my former Church in lower-level positions through stealth. When it came to hire a new pastor, it was around the time that everyone was talking about Stealth calvinist. The pulpit committee had no clue and we’re taking advice from Al Mohler’s boys over at the convention. The church was told that the candidate was not one of those “bad calvinist” people are talking about on the internet.

    And that was good enough for some that did not know better. I think the vote was manipulated. Many left. And a few years later over half have left.

    This is why I think churches are sorry places of corruption. Well-meaning people will say that we must be tolerant and nice. They look at questioning as being judgmental. Some of these nice people were eventually backed into corners over one thing or another and quietly left. These are the very people who paid off the building before the pimply-faced Neo Cal got the job.

    As far as I am concerned congregations get what they ask for because they are too trusting of titles, seminaries, etc. But they won’t listen to other people’s concerns who don’t have those titles.

    It’s the caste system approach both in church and gov. People want to be told what to think and do. It scares me to no end.

  177. FW Rez wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Also note the “whosoever will” songs that were dropped from the new hymnal, as Calvinism gained ground within SBC.
    That is what I was reviewing when I first looked at the site. Brings up the question of what does a distinctly Calvinist hymn look like? The best I could come up with is a deterministic view of God’s sovereignty as some find in “This is My Father’s World” where it says “though the wrong be oft so strong, God is the ruler yet”. I still like the text and so not take it to mean that God is author of “the wrong”.

    Here you go:

    http://www.opc.org/hymnal.html

  178. Lydia wrote:

    Yes, after reading up on the history a bit more it seems to have been about controlling the woman factor in the entities so there would be no female pastors, either.

    Since 1978, I have been a member of 4 different SBC affiliated Missionary Baptist churches, all within 15 miles of my house. All of the churches are inter-connected through family and friends. Beginning around 2006, I have watched the change in the attitude towards women in 2 of those churches. The 3rd church still is open to women in everything except a pastoral position. The 4th church has always been very sexist – almost fundamentalist, with Calvinist leanings,
    In one church, I was a member 2 different times. We left it to go to another church in 2006. We came back to that church in 2011, and it had changed. Women were no longer allowed to speak at business meetings …….. Big problem – the church treasurer is a woman, and has been for many years! But, she’s a 5’0″ spitfire!
    Several of the men complained because I accepted a position teaching a teenage class that mostly boys. They said a man should be teaching that class, but none of the whiners would get off their duffs and take the class. When we left in 2014, no one would take my class, so my boys went up a level to an older class taught by one of the whining men. He couldn’t handle them and quit!
    We are now at the almost fundamental church. I hate it. Women are not even allowed to speak in SS unless we go to the women’s classes. Every time the former pastor said anything against neo-Calvinism, the church would go silent. Every time a visiting speaker quotes Dever, Piper, or Platt, there are resounding amens. Woman submit/silent in church is a big deal there. I stopped going.
    The committee has been “searching” for a new pastor since July 2015. Given what I’ve seen and heard there, I don’t want to see what the deacons eventually pack into the pulpit!

  179. Nancy2 wrote:

    Women are not even allowed to speak in SS unless we go to the women’s classes. Every time the former pastor said anything against neo-Calvinism, the church would go silent. Every time a visiting speaker quotes Dever, Piper, or Platt, there are resounding amens. Woman submit/silent in church is a big deal there. I stopped going.

    I am amazed at this stuff every time I read it. How awful!

    I am so so mad people have done this to the Baptist churches. I want to say, it’s not Calvinism itself, it’s something about the neo cal craziness, or the leadership, or the purge of everyone considered in any way moderate…I have dumped the conservative stuff entirely and am full on liberal church. But they don’t ever tell women to sit down and shut up, god bless them.

  180. BTW, Somebody on Twitter posted Mosaic’s bye bye Dustin sermon. I am 5 minutes in and they are already talking about how church is not a democracy (it’s a cheerocracy!) and voting is anti-biblical because it’s divisive.

    Sheesh. This is gonna be a long 40 minutes.

  181. Lea wrote:

    … and voting is anti-biblical because it’s divisive.

    Well, they’re quite right. Everybody should submit to me, then there would be no division.

  182. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Well, they’re quite right. Everybody should submit to me, then there would be no division.

    There is no division if unity is mandatory.

  183. Lydia wrote:

    I think the perverts seek it out because it gives them an aura of instant trust. Some religions make it clear the male is never wrong…upfront.

    I think it’s a multifaceted problem. You’ve brought up one good point about the culture of ‘trust’ in which the head honcho has some kind of magical ‘authority’ which somehow grants him free range. Had he (and I’ve said this before) been caught in a genuinely consensual relationship with another adult outside of his marriage, he would have been toast.

  184. I’ve struggled with sin all my life, too. I’ve been selfish when I should have been more considerate. I’ve lost my temper when I should have kept my cool. But I have not had a problem keeping my hands to myself, because that’s just basic manners. Anyone who doesn’t have enough self-control or respect for healthy boundaries to handle that simply isn’t fit for pastoral ministry, and should be kept away from it for everybody’s good, including his own.

  185. Lea wrote:

    voting is anti-biblical because it’s divisive.

    A lot of dictators, communists, and monarchs would have agreed with them.
    Dang those revolutions!

  186. Robert wrote:

    . Anyone who doesn’t have enough self-control or respect for healthy boundaries to handle that simply isn’t fit for pastoral ministry,

    I have this sneaking feeling that the church elders would have handled things much differently if it had been a female SS teacher putting her hands all over a bunch of men!

  187. Nancy2 wrote:

    Robert wrote:

    . Anyone who doesn’t have enough self-control or respect for healthy boundaries to handle that simply isn’t fit for pastoral ministry,

    I have this sneaking feeling that the church elders would have handled things much differently if it had been a female SS teacher putting her hands all over a bunch of men!

    They would have gone bst crazy! They would have made her wear a scarlet A. The double standard is evil.

  188. Lea wrote:

    BTW, Somebody on Twitter posted Mosaic’s bye bye Dustin sermon. I am 5 minutes in and they are already talking about how church is not a democracy (it’s a cheerocracy!) and voting is anti-biblical because it’s divisive.

    Sheesh. This is gonna be a long 40 minutes

    I pastored a SBC church several years ago and was told by a friend in this church my replacement has been given complete control of this church. It is all about control.
    This church still has congregational vote but only 20 out of the 100 members show up for business meetings.

  189. mot wrote:

    This church still has congregational vote but only 20 out of the 100 members show up for business meetings.

    I’m sure this is just a technicality that would not change a determined takeover group, but are there bylaws that define a quorum?

  190. Friend wrote:

    mot wrote:

    This church still has congregational vote but only 20 out of the 100 members show up for business meetings.

    I’m sure this is just a technicality that would not change a determined takeover group, but are there bylaws that define a quorum?

    I am confident that there is a group running this church. They think they are super “christians”, but their fruits really stink to those that can smell.

  191. Lydia wrote:

    It’s the caste system approach both in church and gov. People want to be told what to think and do. It scares me to no end.

    I wish I could argue, on either front.

  192. Nancy2 wrote:

    Robert wrote:

    . Anyone who doesn’t have enough self-control or respect for healthy boundaries to handle that simply isn’t fit for pastoral ministry,

    I have this sneaking feeling that the church elders would have handled things much differently if it had been a female SS teacher putting her hands all over a bunch of men!

    Or if it had been one of the “lower ranking” men molesting the elders’ wives or daughters.

  193. Robert wrote:

    Or if it had been one of the “lower ranking” men molesting the elders’ wives or daughters.

    Rank Hath its Privileges.

    And the Lowborn must be reminded of their Place, or they might get Uppity.

    Don’t you agree, King Joffrey?

  194. Ann wrote:

    This is more related to some of the comments in the last post. Some of the readers seemed surprised that Boles’ victims did not call him out when he touched them. As a native southerner, I can totally understand the response. Many of us are conditioned to “not make waves”. Many of my friends have had uninvited advances and froze. We are taught to pretend everything is ok and haven’t been given any tools to deal with aggressive behavior.
    When I lived in NYC, I learned how to be more direct. However, I had a friend from Arkansas who during a date (with a fellow Christian), was molested by the young man. (He masturbated on her leg until he climaxed). She felt horrible, but when he finished, she continued talking with him as if nothing had happened. Later she broke down when she told me.
    Young women (especially churched and southern) need to be taught that it is okay to defend yourself. Somehow we have gotten the message that it important to avoid confrontation and to not embarrass the other person.
    Woman who have been taught their value are very fortunate if they have been given the skills to respond quickly and directly. Often young girls are made to feel responsible for other’s feelings despite bad behavior. I ask that readers consider that some women have been so engrained with this attitude that faced with abuse, they have no weapons in their emotional arsenal to know how to process abuse while it is happening. Thanks Dee and Deb for all you do!

    As a southern woman, I agree with this 100%. It is a cultural norm to ‘look the other’ way and ‘not make waves’. We have been conditioned to be peaceKEEPERS instead of peaceMAKERS. Thanks to a good therapist, I have learned that peacemaking oftentimes involves confronting sin and inappropriate behavior and learning boundaries.

  195. Lydia wrote:

    It’s the caste system approach both in church and gov. People want to be told what to think and do. It scares me to no end.

    You’re right, I think there’s a part in all of us that wants to be told what to do. It relieves us of the responsibility and the onus to think for ourselves and act upon our own convictions. That way you (generic you) can always say… “well, this is what I was taught… “the Lord told me such and such”… and on and on it goes.
    It’s very scary because one thing leads to another, and ultimately?, it will strip you of your humanity if you let it.

  196. Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s very scary because one thing leads to another, and ultimately?, it will strip you of your humanity if you let it.

    “Ich habe nur meine Befehle ausgefert.”
    (“I was only following Orders.”)

  197. LT wrote:

    You have so many incredible esoteric references HUG that I find myself searching for hidden doors in tiny office spaces looking for the portal that leads to your mind. I suppose it’s fortunate I haven’t found it yet, since I secretly fear the NJ Turnpike.

    I suspect a Chinese Dragon made of mismatched animal parts with John DeLancie’s voice has taken up residence under my bed or in my closet…

    Actually, I was a kid genius and natural-talent speedreader; by the time I was 10, I had read more than most people do in their entire lives — with NO idea how to fit it all together. Result: MASSIVE mental database with NO search engine, only random-reference linked-list cascades. And any stimulus can start a cascade; I just pick out the links that make the most sense as they stream past.

  198. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    LT wrote:

    You have so many incredible esoteric references HUG that I find myself searching for hidden doors in tiny office spaces looking for the portal that leads to your mind. I suppose it’s fortunate I haven’t found it yet, since I secretly fear the NJ Turnpike.

    I suspect a Chinese Dragon made of mismatched animal parts with John DeLancie’s voice has taken up residence under my bed or in my closet…

    Actually, I was a kid genius and natural-talent speedreader; by the time I was 10, I had read more than most people do in their entire lives — with NO idea how to fit it all together. Result: MASSIVE mental database with NO search engine, only random-reference linked-list cascades. And any stimulus can start a cascade; I just pick out the links that make the most sense as they stream past.

    HEADLESS, please don’t change. We need what you contribute when discussions get too intense …. you have a gift of irony and bringing in a bit of light into the heavy which HELPS

    NOTE TO LT who wrote “I secretly fear the NJ Turnpike.”
    LT, EVERYONE should fear the NJ Turnpike. 🙂 I get off of it going north onto the Garden State as soon as possible, and going south I will drive the Garden State until it connects with the NJ Pike …. anything to avoid the turnpike area approaching close to NYC where the drivers are crazy and the driving is perilous.
    LT, you are NOT alone.

  199. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s very scary because one thing leads to another, and ultimately?, it will strip you of your humanity if you let it.

    “Ich habe nur meine Befehle ausgefert.”
    (“I was only following Orders.”)

    HEADLESS …. the lessons of Nuremberg

    actually, Doug Coe who was a fan of Rushdooney, loved to point to Hitler as an example of a leader who could inspire people to follow him ….. pretty sick stuff out of dominionism, and its ilk, all counting on followers to be unquestioning minions

  200. Christiane wrote:

    actually, Doug Coe who was a fan of Rushdooney, loved to point to Hitler as an example of a leader who could inspire people to follow him ….. pretty sick stuff out of dominionism, and its ilk, all counting on followers to be unquestioning minions

    He actually pointed to Adolf Hitler as a positive example?
    NO SKUBALON?
    That says it all right there.

  201. Christiane wrote:

    HEADLESS, please don’t change. We need what you contribute when discussions get too intense …. you have a gift of irony and bringing in a bit of light into the heavy which HELPS

    Some of that “light into the heavy” comes from “you either laugh or you off yourself”. The fluency in Snark comes from it being the only way I could assert myself as a kid against a LOT of pressure to keep me down (that and you get a LOT of practice with words from commenting on blogs).

    Regarding Jersey Turnpike-phobia, the Jersey Turnpike can’t possibly be worse than Las Vegas traffic. I grew up driving Los Angeles (which astonishes some of my East Coast contacts), and after my last time thru Vegas I refuse to drive anywhere near Vegas.

  202. Christiane wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s very scary because one thing leads to another, and ultimately?, it will strip you of your humanity if you let it.

    “Ich habe nur meine Befehle ausgefert.”
    (“I was only following Orders.”)

    HEADLESS …. the lessons of Nuremberg

    Goes a bit deeper historically than that. According to German bureaucratic tradition of the time, the “Nuremberg Defense” WAS a valid defense. In German bureaucracy, the one GIVING the orders was responsible, NOT the one following those orders — as long as the follower could present documented proof of those orders. If you could present a valid paper trail and provenance, you were off the hook. Result: Germans CYAed by Documenting EVERYTHING – names, dates, chains of command and communication. That’s why Nazi atrocities are so well documented.

    Contrast this with RUSSIAN bureaucratic tradition, built completely around Total Plausible Deniability. In Russian bureaucracy, if it wasn’t written down, It Never Happened and You Can’t Ever Prove It Did. Russians CYAed by NEVER writing anything down, destroying all records and evidence, and denying everything if somebody (like the boss) came snooping around. (The Soviet Regime added “Dead Men Tell No Tales” big-time to leaving no evidence.) This is why the Nazis are effectively Gods of Evil and Soviet Skubalon still don’t stink.