Bizarre Happenings With Former Acts 29 Leader and Mosaic Pastor Dustin Boles

“When I see you, I think "I wonder which face she sees when she looks into the mirror.”  ― C. JoyBell C. link

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Boles at Acts 29 

Who is Dustin Boles?

For those of you who are not aware of the story, you can read TWW's four posts here, here, here and here as well as ones by Watch Keep here and here.

Dustin Boles was a leader in the Acts 29 network and the head pastor of Mosaic Church. He stepped down due to pastoral misconduct. He has been accused of unwanted behavior in his actions towards women in the church and a police report has been filed. The referenced posts will bring you up to speed.

Who was Boles on June 1, 2016?

Boles was obviously a respected member of Acts 29 because Acts 29 featured Loving the People He Loves. In this post he quoted the love that Paul had for the people.

In Philippians 1:3-8, Paul expresses a deep affection for the people to whom he has ministered. It appears to me that his love for them is not only theological and pastoral but personal and emotional. Here is what he says:

“3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

He railed against those pastors who said they couldn't stand their people. I wonder about this. Was he discussing others or could he be talking about himself?

Over the past year, I have met more than a few pastors who have spoken about their flock as if they just couldn’t stand them. One pastor spoke of his people as though they were below him in status.He expressed a desire to move out of the community where he is and that he felt like the people in the town he wanted to go to were more his speed socio-economically. Man, this rubs me the wrong way. Another planter expressed to me that he hated his city and almost everything about the culture there.

Who was Boles in July, 2016?

At some point during this month, Boles stepped down from Mosaic Church. He resigned in disgrace and was now a former pastor after being a pastor for 20+years.

Who was Boles on August 1, 2016

He was working as a Business Development Manager for Alvix Laboratories in the same community as his former church and preparing to move into a home near one of his alleged victims. Isn't that nice…?

Who is Boles now?

When I first was informed of the following, I couldn't believe it was actually true. However, screen shots and a Google search convinced me. There is no question that Acts 29 believed that Dustin Boles was a Bible believing sort of guy and most likely Reformed in order for him to fit into their tight gospel™ community. So did the leadership of Mosaic Church. Was Boles so clever that he hid this from all of these leaders? Didn't he display anything off about his beliefs and actions?

Take a stroll through the screen shots which were taken sometime around October 12, 2016

1. A new website called True Skeptic was set up and it allegedly belongs to Dustin Boles. 

As people allegedly began to contact Dustin Boles about this website, it was removed. However, if one searches Google this entry comes up, even though the link no longer works.

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2. Boles claims appears to deny orthodox Christian faith.

  • The god of the Bible is not good.
  • The god of the Bible is not the god of reality.
  • He claims to be a modified deist (whatever modified means.)
  • God is kind and brilliant.
  • God does not normally intervene in the affairs of humans.
  • God is not maternally or paternally loving.
  • God does no reveal himself in sacred books.
  • God does not reveal himself through prophets.
  • God reveals himself thru the created order
  • God reveals himself through common sense and reason.

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3. Dustin Boles seems to be setting up a skeptic speaking and debating *ministry.*
4. His coming book blurb appears to claim god is a deadbeat dad.

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5. He seems to have some serious issues regarding God's relationship with mankind.

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In discussing Boles and his former position as pastor with a member, I was told that he never expressed anything like this in any venue while pastor. Apparently, a number of people have contacted Boles about all of the above. He denied it was him but the website was promptly deleted. However, people who are in a position to know, claim that the website has been checked it out and it is registered to Dustin Boles.

What in the world happened? Is Boles dealing with guilt and running from the faith? Has he believed this for awhile and just played the part of a Calvinist? Given the questions that have been raised about his history (see previous posts), has Boles been lying about his life and faith while using the church as a means to an end? 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. Please continue to pray for his alleged victims. This guy is really starting to worry me.

Comments

Bizarre Happenings With Former Acts 29 Leader and Mosaic Pastor Dustin Boles — 303 Comments

  1. Wow, there’s an unexpected direction to take. I would feel some respect for that if it wasn’t for the sexual victimisation of women -again. That seems to be the most standard evangelical path he is following.

  2. My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

  3. Wow….my own church affiliation and flavor really is heavy on the Father Heart of God teaching and it seems he wants to go straight to the jugular on that. As bad as the sexual stuff is, and that is very bad, to me this is almost worse, since it is a direct accusation against God Himself-who most definitely has been a good Father to me and to the rest of His children!

  4. @ bunny:
    well, make that worse instead of almost worse-I just did not want to minimise the other accusations against him is all.

  5. IIRC, he mentioned this somewhere previously.

    Also is this “God reveals himself thru the created order” code for comp? How do you know the ‘created order’ if you don’t believe the bible, or is he talked about generic order in the world? I’m not sure.

  6. I don’t care what Dustin Boles believes as long as he stops sexually preying upon other people.

  7. Lea wrote:

    Also is this “God reveals himself thru the created order” code for comp?

    I wondered the same thing. Shades of Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Owen Strachan, and countless others.

  8. The website is indeed registered to a Dustin Boles:
    http://whois.domaintools.com/trueskeptic.com

    And includes this public information (along with email and phone numbers):

    Registrant Name: Dustin Boles
    Registrant Organization:
    Registrant Street: 815 Canebrake Dr.
    Registrant City: Ocean Springs
    Registrant State/Province: MS
    Registrant Postal Code: 39564
    Registrant Country: US

  9. Burwell wrote:

    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

    I have to agree with this. I think this was going to be a lure, to get people in and then *surprise* (Boles’ new version of religion). I don’t think he was going over to atheism.

  10. Bimbo Boles — another reason why no Wartburger ever needs to watch soap opera.

    Could he just be cracking up?
    Off the deep end, cuckoo-clock sounds and all?

  11. bunny wrote:

    Wow….my own church affiliation and flavor really is heavy on the Father Heart of God teaching and it seems he wants to go straight to the jugular on that. As bad as the sexual stuff is, and that is very bad, to me this is almost worse, since it is a direct accusation against God Himself-who most definitely has been a good Father to me and to the rest of His children!

    Or maybe he’s started drinking?
    (Which would open up the Perry Noble comeback path…)

    Reason being I used to get these frequent weird-ass phone calls from a guy I knew; when he stopped drinking, they got a lot less frequent and a lot less weird.

  12. Velour wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Also is this “God reveals himself thru the created order” code for comp?
    I wondered the same thing. Shades of Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Owen Strachan, and countless others.

    Except this time, Bimbo’s going through it without any need for a God in the picture.

    Which argues that theism isn’t necessary for “the natural order of things” to be men on top, women on the bottom, and URRRGES in the ARRREAS demanding instant obedience.

  13. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    *surprise* (Boles’ new version of religion).

    sounds like he has re-created ‘god’

    I wonder if he is sick, I mean REALLY sick …. a lot of strange aggressive sexual abuse behaviors, and then THIS ….. these peculiar ramblings about God?
    Sounds to me like he is not well at all. (?)

  14. Maybe he should convert to the Jedi religion. His version of god sounds a lot like the Force. And the Jedi have all the cool toys.

    I recall someone here talking about how Neo-Calvinism is sometimes the last step before atheism. I’ve seen that happen with friends of mine. Maybe Deism is Boles way of dealing with the philosphical questions that Calvinism brings up. Or maybe it’s a convenient belief structure where you can have a god, but still do whatever you want.

    By the way, there are a number of Calvinists that I respect. I just can’t sort it out, myself.

  15. A creep is a creep, pastor or heretic. I know lots of genuine, beautiful people who have lost their faith. None of them went out and started Trumping people.

  16. @ EricL:
    I’m not sure this passes the moderation test, as it may well be a private residence. The man might be a predator, but we need not doxx him.

  17. I’m not surprised in this development. Boles himself provided a clue that this was coming in his email to Mosaic staff following his “resignation.” In that, he said:

    “Spiritually I have struggled and felt 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.”

    “Has Boles been lying about his life and faith while using the church as a means to an end?” … it certainly appears that way. Skeptics and deists are not preachers of the Gospel. With good speaking skills and a little charisma, just about anyone can deliver “another gospel” which YRRGs will fall for (YRRG = young, restless, reformed & gullible). Having failed as a pastor, Boles will now pursue his fortune as a professional skeptic of the faith he once proclaimed, targeting a new gullible market segment (after all, his job title is Business Development Manager).

    The Acts 29 tribe continues to give the Church of the Living God cause for great concern as our youth follow some very strange characters, who operate ministries with very little accountability.

  18. @ Lea:
    maybe he means the Natural Law … the order that governs the material universe (‘all that is seen’)

  19. Stan wrote:

    What’s the big deal? Sounds like normal neo-Calvinism to me.

    Boles is an example of what happens to a mind which focuses on the Calvinist God and not Christ … it will drive you loony-tune after awhile.

    For young reformers listening in and struggling with New Calvinism’s portrayal of God, there is hope for you before you go over the edge: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 2:5). Get away from the YRR noise for a season and read the Bible yourself … read the red (the Gospels), beseech the Holy Spirit to teach you, and pray for power over that which is taking your mind. We continue to see New Calvinist leaders fall who have lost the battle for their ministry, a battle which was lost first in their mind.

  20. Velour wrote:

    I don’t care what Dustin Boles believes as long as he stops sexually preying upon other people.

    HA! My sentiment too Velour.

  21. Hmm….not sure what Boles is up to, although the reinventing a new revenue shtick is a likely possibility.

    However, my first thought was not about Boles but about how a lot of what these bullet points say is, too me, the inevitable conclusion of double predestination and hyper-calvinism. When, in the middle of my own crises of faith several years ago, having encountered this theology and told I was deny g God if I believed orherwise, I went through a period of wrestling with it. And it came down to needing to know the character of God. And I told this man that if God was like was being described…double predestination, etc., then that God did not deserve my nor anyone’s worship. That didn’t go over well. In the end, God led me back, over and over again, to Jesus. The expels image of God. But if you stay staunchly stuck on the necessity of these doctrines, God is painted as a child-abuser. A god of hate and anger and wrath and punishment with nor love, mercy, or grace in sight.

  22. We atheists have enough of our own harassers; can’t you keep this one…? More seriously the web does make it a bit harder for someone to change their community for an unknowing one as Boles might be discovering.

    trueskeptic.com seems to have gone through at least a couple of owners before (wayback machine) though has been idle for a while (probably whoever was squatting on the domain name dropped the price low enough for Boles to afford it).

  23. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    it came down to needing to know the character of God … if God was like was being described … double predestination, etc., then that God did not deserve my nor anyone’s worship

    Indeed, the Hyper-Calvinist God is not the God of the Bible, whose character is love. Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a sacrifice for my sin, loves me. The tenets of reformed theology misrepresent the core of God’s character as revealed in the whole of Scripture. What love is this?!

  24. Christiane wrote:

    What is your religious background?

    I am a Christian, who has been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years. If I’m any kind of “ist” at all, I’m a Biblicist, believing that as I read the Word and depend on the Holy Spirit to teach me, Truth will be revealed to me despite the noise of men around me. I’m not real fond of the teachings and traditions of men commonly called “religion.” The Christian experience should be about relationship, not religion.

    I have been a long-time Bible teacher in church and active in marketplace ministry. I also provide lay-preaching and Bible workshops in my area for churches adventurous enough to have me; I focus on the need for repentance among church members, revival in our churches, and spiritual awakening in our nation. What I know is all I that know, but what I know is down deep in my knower as I encounter Christ in His Word and in my life. What I see, I can’t un-see … and I see that we are desperately off-course in organized religion in America. I carry that burden every day.

    That’s my background and my future … so I try to redeem the time while I still have some.

  25. Burwell wrote:

    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

    Like the guy who had an affair, thus cheated on his wife, then had his wife committed, then divorced the wife, and took up with his mistress, but did not marry the mistress until gays could also marry – his new “schtick” of standing with the LGTB crowd.

  26. Pingback: An Open Letter to Carson Wilson (Former Member and Blog Source from Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church) | Wondering Eagle

  27. From TWW’s main marquee:

    Is Dustin Boles a Christian? He appears to deny it.

    So dee, are there minimum requirements in order to call one’s self a Christian?
    Up for some Socratic dialogue here by defining your terms?

  28. Here is the latest post I got up. An Open Letter to a close friend, blog source and covenant member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. The CIA would call Carson Wilson a mole! 😛 BTW…did you know that 9 Marks is allegedly trying to get into the Christian community in China? Darn that wasn’t supposed to be publicized!

    ——

    As I struggled to find a way forward in a false accusation and in my darkest season of life an unlikely friend came forward to love me, care and get to know me. His name is Carson Wilson and he was a member of Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church. He read my story about Andrew White and Redeemer Arlington on Dee Parson’s The Wartburg Watch. This is an open letter to a friend and a look back at how I knew Carson. This is also about Capitol Hill Baptist Church and issues with 9 Marks. Finally its also a letter saying thank you for the grace and time you spent with me.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/an-open-letter-to-carson-wilson-former-member-and-blog-source-from-mark-devers-capitol-hill-baptist-church/#more-7922

  29. @ Jeannette Altes:

    Sorry for typos….on phone and in a hurry…
    “deny g God” = “denying God”
    “God was like was” = “God was like what was”
    “expels image” = “express image”
    and
    “punishment with nor love” = “punishment with no love”

    Sigh.

  30. GSD wrote:

    I recall someone here talking about how Neo-Calvinism is sometimes the last step before atheism. I’ve seen that happen with friends of mine.

    Not just Neo-Calvinism, I’d say, but actual Calvinism as summarized in today’s TULIP. Yes, going down that road and really thinking about it could certainly lead to turning away from believing in God.

  31. Being the “Reformedish” brand seems to lead to all kinds of strange caveats and teachings huh? Has anyone noticed all of these stories deal with non confessional reformedish/evangelical churches. I’m not saying it can’t or won’t in confessional churches but it seems the top down authoritarian model just doesn’t work!

  32. @ Max:

    Oh, I’ve done my tour of duty in the gospel-centered world and I know. Remember Mark Driscoll’s god?

    “Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you. He doesn’t think you’re cute. He doesn’t think it’s funny. He doesn’t think your excuse is meritous [sic]. He doesn’t care if you compare yourself to someone worse than you, He hates them too. God hates, right now, personally, objectively hates some of you.”

  33. Velour wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Also is this “God reveals himself thru the created order” code for comp?
    I wondered the same thing. Shades of Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Owen Strachan, and countless others.

    *sigh* And I just heard Bruce Ware is going to be teaching a family conference in our area. And the hosting church has made sure that the cost is an “affordable” $40.

  34. refugee wrote:

    *sigh* And I just heard Bruce Ware is going to be teaching a family conference in our area. And the hosting church has made sure that the cost is an “affordable” $40.

    Editorial change:
    “the cost” = “the indoctrination”

  35. JYJames wrote:

    Burwell wrote:
    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.
    Like the guy who had an affair, thus cheated on his wife, then had his wife committed, then divorced the wife, and took up with his mistress, but did not marry the mistress until gays could also marry – his new “schtick” of standing with the LGTB crowd.

    You mean that Upper Midwestern pastor guy who was diagnosed as having NPD (meaning, essentially, he’s a person without a conscience, ruthless, heartless, caring only about himself), yet still has defenders and followers (who know about his diagnosis yet do not care)? You mean that guy?

  36. I’ve long thought that a certain and probably substantial percentage of the neocalvinist crowd are closeted atheists or agnostics, mere followers of men, memorizers of verses, lovers of doctrines, passionate about concordances and long dead abusers and schemers who they worship and call fathers of the faith. Perhaps these people are sincere in their own way, even fooling themselves as to what they believe, but that deep down, when push comes to shove, they don’t love Jesus, they hate Him.

    Why else would so many devote their time and trouble to shoving Him out of the spotlight, putting it on themselves, enriching themselves at the expense of His followers, viciously persecuting anyone who loves Him and is unwilling to back down?

    There might be other explanations, and surely not all neocalvinists are agnosticbut I tell you, if you stop assuming this crowd really cares anything about Jesus, their actions make absolutely perfect sense.

  37. Friend wrote:

    I’m not sure this passes the moderation test, as it may well be a private residence.

    Sorry if I gave too much info. I’ll leave it to the Deebs to delete if necessary. But what I shared was just public info that anyone can look up. I left out his phone number and email address, but those were also in the public database for the website. If he didn’t want that to be known, he should have paid extra for a private registering of the site. WordPress and GoDaddy both do that for less than $10 a year, the last time I checked. Again, sorry if I shared too much info, I just wanted to prove that is was indeed his site.

  38. Stan wrote:

    Remember Mark Driscoll’s god?
    “Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you. He doesn’t think you’re cute. He doesn’t think it’s funny. He doesn’t think your excuse is meritous [sic]. He doesn’t care if you compare yourself to someone worse than you, He hates them too. God hates, right now, personally, objectively hates some of you.”

    Mark Driscoll should probably be on medication for a psychiatric disorder and be in therapy. And I’m serious.

    According to Driscoll, God audibly talks to him. He needs medication.

  39. Law Prof wrote:

    Why else would so many devote their time and trouble to shoving Him out of the spotlight, putting it on themselves, enriching themselves at the expense of His followers, viciously persecuting anyone who loves Him and is unwilling to back down?
    There might be other explanations, and surely not all neocalvinists are agnosticbut I tell you, if you stop assuming this crowd really cares anything about Jesus, their actions make absolutely perfect sense.

    Insightful, Law Prof.

  40. Law Prof wrote:

    I’ve long thought that a certain and probably substantial percentage of the neocalvinist crowd are closeted atheists or agnostics, mere followers of men, memorizers of verses, lovers of doctrines, passionate about concordances and long dead abusers and schemers who they worship and call fathers of the faith

    Sixty years ago, it would have been Communism instead of Calvinism.

  41. Friend wrote:

    @ EricL:
    I’m not sure this passes the moderation test, as it may well be a private residence. The man might be a predator, but we need not doxx him.

    There is a huge difference between doxxing and republishing information that is already in the public domain.

  42. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    or Hyper-Capitalism (think Ayn Rand’s acceptance in those days which went beyond her books and became films which the public widely viewed)

    now-a-days if you talk about fair wages for everyone, reasonable precautions to protect the nation’s water supplies, laws to protect the safety of our nation’s food supplies and medicines, and safety in the high-risk workplace; you are labeled a flaming liberal. Actually, these values seem to me to be far more conservative for the well-being of all of our American people than the get-rich-quick hyper-capitalism greediness of corporations whose lobbyists bribe our congressmen.

    When it comes to our national well-being, conservative is GOOD. But it must be a wise conservation of our resources and a wise examination of what is provided for public consumption.
    THAT is ‘conservative’ in my own definition of the word.

  43. Christiane wrote:

    Ayn Rand’s

    Ayn rand lived in Russia during its change to communism under Lenin and after Stalin. It’s not surprising she had strong feelings about the whole thing.

  44. @ Lea:
    Yes, I can certainly see how that shaped her point of view. But we in the West are individualists at heart in our quest for freedom, but not to the extent of allowing corporations in their greed to destroy the common good of the people via poisoning our water common water supplies, producing tainted foods and medicines, creating unsafe work environments which may increase the ‘bottom line’ profit but are dangerous to the welfare of workers.
    ‘Fracking’ in Oklahoma is one good example of out of control greed on the part of a few wealthy entities. When the people’s lives became endangered by fracking-related earthquakes, the greed had gone too far.

    Extremes at both ends of the spectrum of government control versus free market enterprise has been bad for our people. I’m all for reasonable subsidiary values, but we need to be solidly protective of the common good also.

  45. Christiane wrote:

    I’m all for reasonable subsidiary values, but we need to be solidly protective of the common good also.

    Determining what constitutes ‘reasonable subsidiary values’, and what it means to be ‘solidly protective of the common good’, is what we used to call ‘politics’.

    Those were the days, eh?

  46. Boles sounds like he had (or is having) an existential temper tantrum. Like all good psychopaths, he sees himself as the true victim. Now he’s trying to play passive aggresive games as being abandoned by god. No doubt a play for attention. Some evangelical christians are known to have a soft spot for the backsliders. He’ll have a reconversion when he finds someone to buy into it.

  47. refugee wrote:

    I just heard Bruce Ware is going to be teaching a family conference in our area. And the hosting church has made sure that the cost is an “affordable” $40.

    I suggest you put that $40 on a nice dinner out for your family. Regardless of what you eat, it will be more healthy for you on the long one.

  48. Jack wrote:

    Some evangelical christians are known to have a soft spot for the backsliders.

    Yep, Driscoll found enough soft folks to put his unrepentant comeback on the stage again. There are surely enough skeptics, deists and misc. wackos in his area to finance Bole’s return.

  49. Stan wrote:

    Remember Mark Driscoll’s god? “Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you … etc.”

    Driscoll, like most New Calvinists, struggle with a tension between their ‘doctrine’ of God and God himself. As we’ve seen in the case of Driscoll and Boles, that battle in the mind causes them to eventually flip out. The New Calvinist god is not God.

  50. @ Lea:
    No kidding. Lots of revolutionaries take ideas too far. She wasnt wrong about the encroaching micromanaging of our lives by an oligharcichy That gets wealthy doing it. That is here.

  51. @ Law Prof:
    Great comment! Very true. At ground zero here I saw some of it starting with rabid followers, usually young men, who burned out on the determinist god. (They did not have income or potential fame attached to their beliefs) That is all they knew of Him so atheism was the logical choice to them. I met a few and wondered how many there really were.

    Then I started to come across a few YRR pastors who became athiests. Then a friend of mine, Calvinista pastors wife, became agnostic after a freak accident that killed her 10 year old.

    It is the fallout which I think will become more pervasive as the movement ages. The leaders are already trying to rebrand with a focus on social issues and change the subject.

  52. EricL

    I have no problem in your publishing the public information on the Boles’ website. He has allegedly been denying that he is behind this. Anyone can look up that info and you made it easy for me. I intended to do it whan i had some time.

  53. Friend wrote:

    I’m not sure this passes the moderation test, as it may well be a private residence. The man might be a predator, but we need not doxx him.

    Forrest wrote:

    There is a huge difference between doxxing and republishing information that is already in the public domain.

    Here is the definition of doxxing. Please note the phrase “malicious intent.”

    “search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”

    It is reasonable to post publicly available information, particularly when an individual is denying the connection. Doxxing is something much worse and I happen to know this since Tim Challies informed the world that I was encouraging people to doxx him. As you can imagine, I would never do such a thing.

    What happened was during the middle of the night, some suggested we doxx Challies. (This is why we made sure we have a good spam filter.) It got through. The next day I was busy. Challis wrote a post in which he was accusing me of trying to take down his website!!!! Huh?

    So, I read t through the comments. At the time, I did not know what doxx meant. Challis did not believe me. I immediately apologized as did the person who left the comment. To this day, I think Challies is absolutely convinced that I am waiting to take down his website.

    So, I now know everything I never wanted to know about doxxing.

  54. Lea wrote:

    created order” code for comp?

    I asked someone who was in his church. he was a believer in the comp view of things while there. It is a must if he wanted to be a *leader* in Acts 29. However, I believe he means something else but I could be wrong since who can guess what is going on in mixed up mind.

    I think he has rejected the Bible (he called it sacred writings.) He then can look around and see what he thinks the creation is saying about god. I use the little g since he did . In fact, I think it is significant that he referred to a little g god. He is downgrading him.

    He may be feeling lots of guilt for his alleged actions. If he can decide how things are when one only looks at creation, he could conceivably come up with an excuse of his actions. Try this

    god created lions with sharp claws and teeth to kill. god also created man with a strong sex drive. So, do what you were created to do. Therefore, he did nothing wrong.

    I am not saying this is his modus. I am just speculating on his unusual rantings.

  55. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    I don’t think he was going over to atheism.

    Yeah, he says he is a *modified* deist. I think he is straddling both side, attempting to come up with an excuse or redemption for his behavior. I have a feeling things have been off for a long, long time but I cannot get people in his past to answer my calls which in itself is strange. If he was the best Christian since Ignatius, I would think someone in his past would declare him to be so.

  56. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    It is quite possible that he is losing it. I think he may have had problems for a long time-perhaps going back years although I cannot be sure since no one some churches will return my phone calls.

    From what I can tell, this may be the first time someone has filed a police report about him. It could be the world is crashing in around him.

    Case in point: In my original post, I mentioned how the husband on one person had allegedly observed Boles rubbing the thigh of a woman who was not his wife in a hot tub. Boles allegedly looked straight at this man when he was doing it and kept doing it, knowing he was seen.

    Perhaps he was escalating and believed he could get away with more public behavior. However, this time he did it to the wrong people who weren’t going to put up with it. This was probably unexpected for him.

    Perhaps he chose the church as a place in which he could do this stuff and wouldn’t be reported because he was *the anointed pastor.* Who knows?

  57. GSD wrote:

    I recall someone here talking about how Neo-Calvinism is sometimes the last step before atheism. I’ve seen that happen with friends of mine. Maybe Deism is Boles way of dealing with the philosphical questions that Calvinism brings up. Or maybe it’s a convenient belief structure where you can have a god, but still do whatever you want.

    This is quite an interesting comment. Could you elaborate on one of the friends who ditched it for atheism?

  58. Redbeardiam wrote:

    I know lots of genuine, beautiful people who have lost their faith.

    I totally agree with you. I did not mean to imply that he was doing this nonsense because he was giving up his faith. From what I can tell, this has been allegedly going on for a long time.

    Some of the nicest people I know are atheists. Some of them read here. Please do not think I was denigrating anyone who did not believe in Christianity. I am merely looking at this as a sort of case study on a bizarre person in the church.

  59. Max wrote:

    Spiritually I have struggled and felt 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.”

    Good for you! I didn’t pick that up!!! Yay!

    Max wrote:

    The Acts 29 tribe continues to give the Church of the Living God cause for great concern as our youth follow some very strange characters, who operate ministries with very little accountability.

    This is an important statement. I am having conversations with someone off line and I am going to share this with said person.

  60. Erp wrote:

    We atheists have enough of our own harassers; can’t you keep this one…? More seriously the web does make it a bit harder for someone to change their community for an unknowing one as Boles might be discovering.

    Sorry about that. However, we will take any of yours whenever…..( I could not resist.)

  61. Muff Potter wrote:

    are there minimum requirements in order to call one’s self a Christian?

    I think that there are, but I don’t think that people would ever agree on just what they might be.

  62. Max wrote:

    revival in our churches,

    Since you know more about this than I do, could you help me with a question I have been pondering? My husband is doing our genealogy and has discovered that he is a direct descendent of Jonathan Edwards (and you imagine?).

    We were talking about the history of the Great awakenings in the US and got to talking about revivals that many churches have. Are there any stats the indicate how many, who come to Christ, during these revivals actually stick with it years later?

  63. @ JYJames:
    If you said “attempted to have her committed, I might think you were talking about a certain individual in the progressive crowd whose wife was done wrong!

  64. Well, if you are convinced that you have to have all the answers and that the right answers will always be in some category of all or nothing, black and white, then in the area of religion you can be a fundamentalist of some description or you can be an atheist. I think these are two variations of the same kind of thinking.

  65. Muff Potter wrote:

    So dee, are there minimum requirements in order to call one’s self a Christian?

    I would imagine that it is quite simple “Believe/Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”
    When it boils right down to it, that seems to be the main thing. We’re all screwed up in some way. He isn’t and He loves us anyway.

    The problem with Boles is that he claims to be a deist which tends to be a general believe in God. CS Lewis was a deist prior to his conversion and he draws a distinction between the two.

    However, I am one who does not believe than I can make an ultimate decision as to one’s salvation. I leave that up to the one who is a the top of the pay grade. I am of Lewis’ opinion that there will be lots of surprises in heaven. I am sure the boyz of TGC will spit rainbows when they see me strolling by!

  66. Stan wrote:

    God hates, right now, personally, objectively hates some of you.”

    I think he meant to use Pastor Mark in place of God.

  67. refugee wrote:

    And I just heard Bruce Ware is going to be teaching a family conference in our area.

    Just remind all the women who attend that they will be subordinate to Brucie for eternity.

  68. Stan wrote:

    “Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you. He doesn’t think you’re cute. He doesn’t think it’s funny. He doesn’t think your excuse is meritous [sic]. He doesn’t care if you compare yourself to someone worse than you, He hates them too. God hates, right now, personally, objectively hates some of you.”

    So, does Mark Driscoll talk to himself a lot?

  69. dee wrote:

    god created lions with sharp claws and teeth to kill. god also created man with a strong sex drive. So, do what you were created to do. Therefore, he did nothing wrong.

    Dee, I don’t think you meant it quite this way, but I couldn’t help but make this connection: men = lions; women = prey.
    For certain types of predators, certain churches are easy pickins.

  70. @ Law Prof:
    I have always thought that some of these guys serve a God who they believe truly looks at them as worms slithering in the dust. I keep seeing this worm stuff mentioned over and over again in discussions with this group. Can you imagine believe in a God who hates you and what you do and only saves you to magnify his glory?

    I think Lewis had the proper view of our relationship to God.

    God loves us dearly and saves us even though we are screw ups. It is His delight to save us, to be with us, and to bless us for eternity as we honor him by loving him and his creation.

    “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

  71. Nancy2 wrote:

    don’t think you meant it quite this way, but I couldn’t help but make this connection: men = lions; women = prey.

    Actually, I did. I believe that Dustin Boles may view women in this manner since he is a predator. I was thinking up a reason for how he justifies his actions in view of his views on the created order.

  72. EricL wrote:

    If he didn’t want that to be known, he should have paid extra for a private registering of the site. WordPress and GoDaddy both do that for less than $10 a year, the last time I checked.

    Great point!

  73. Lea wrote:

    Ayn rand lived in Russia during its change to communism under Lenin and after Stalin. It’s not surprising she had strong feelings about the whole thing.

    I did not know this! Thank you. It does add insight into her beliefs.

  74. dee wrote:

    I think he meant to use Pastor Mark in place of God.

    Sounds like “god” speaking on behalf of Pastor Mark in this case. And pastor mark believes he should be preaching the gospel . . . ?

  75. okrapod wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    are there minimum requirements in order to call one’s self a Christian?

    I think that there are, but I don’t think that people would ever agree on just what they might be.

    great question and response, very thought-provoking

    for some reason, this comes to mind:
    “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
    (from 1 John 4:16)

    of course, there IS a ‘context’, but then there is a much LARGER context, and it is in that larger context that I would say many, many people in this world might, if they knew Him, realize that they had already long known Him in their hearts in the form of ‘love’.
    This is NOT an evangelical teaching, no. But it IS something to think about. Especially in the light of the Incarnation of Our Lord, yes.

  76. dee wrote:

    Can you imagine believe in a God who hates you and what you do and only saves you to magnify his glory?

    no, never

  77. dee wrote:

    I have always thought that some of these guys serve a God who they believe truly looks at them as worms slithering in the dust. I keep seeing this worm stuff mentioned over and over again in discussions with this group. Can you imagine believe in a God who hates you and what you do and only saves you to magnify his glory?

    Yes. And to say that we are only worthless worms devalues the cost of Christ’s incarnation and atonement. It basically says he lived and died for practically nothing. Maybe that’s why they believe in ESS.

  78. Lydia wrote:

    Then a friend of mine, Calvinista pastors wife, became agnostic after a freak accident that killed her 10 year old.

    Yes, this sounds familiar.
    My best friend’s little boy died of Lupus after much suffering for three whole years. She was a faithful Quaker (educated at Earlham College), but this loss broke her heart. She converted to Judaism, with the help of one of her family’s friends, a rabbi who had spoken at her father’s funeral. He tried to get her re-oriented to Christianity with reading assignments and discussions (she said he knew more about Christianity than she did), so we know that he did NOT take advantage of her grief. After several years of study and when the rabbi knew she was better able to make sound decisions, she did begin the process to convert into Judaism. I myself have always been grateful that she did not wander off into the wilderness, so to speak.

    But, yes, I have seen what the loss of a beloved child can do to a mother, and let no one ever judge the broken-hearted ones. Some pain goes too deep into the soul and only God can understand this and see it for what it is. He does not abandon people in their grief, no.

  79. dee wrote:

    Can you imagine believe in a God who hates you and what you do and only saves you to magnify his glory?

    I can, if that God is a projection of your own ego and self-image.

  80. Max wrote:

    There are surely enough skeptics, deists and misc. wackos in his area to finance Bole’s retur

    I think it would be christians he is trying pander to. The issue is not one of personal belief but Boles motivation to claim what he is claiming. It’s a passive aggresive ploy & self serving. Driscoll’s current supporters are almost exclusively Christian.
    Being skeptical or holding deist beliefs (or any other belief) does not automatically equate to being a wacko.
    Boles is no skeptic or deist and I doubt he’s even christian . He’s a self serving manipulator.

  81. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Ayn Rand’s

    Ayn rand lived in Russia during its change to communism under Lenin and after Stalin. It’s not surprising she had strong feelings about the whole thing.

    Rand was also a total A-hole. The more you learn about her, the more repulsive she becomes. When she died, reporters found out she had (previously-unknown) living relatives in (I think) Chicago; their response to interviews was “Good Riddance”. Apparently when she arrived from Russia, she mooched off them (lecturing Objectivism) until they kicked her out and she moved to the West Coast — something scrubbed from her official biographies/hagiographies.

    All-in-all, The Only Truly Rational Mind Which Has Ever Existed (her self-description) was one thoroughly-repulsive egomaniac.
    http://aynrandfunfacts.tumblr.com/
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/series/atlas-shrugged/

  82. Christiane wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    or Hyper-Capitalism (think Ayn Rand’s acceptance in those days which went beyond her books and became films which the public widely viewed)

    Something I discovered while immersed in fanfics:

    AYN RAND AS A MY LITTLE PONY VILLAIN!
    (I am not making that up!)
    Join one Bad Apple, earth-pony riverboat gambler and undercover agent for the Equestrian Crown as he infiltrates Vault’s Vale in Apple Shrugged:

    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/5172/5/the-bad-apple-chronicles/apple-shrugged

    (I think the writer got piled on by Objectivists in the comment thread.)

  83. @ Max:
    Thank you. That is a beautiful comment and testimony of faith. In my Church, we would call you a ‘kneeling theologian’, which is a great compliment indeed. God Bless.
    In your encounter with Our Lord in the course of your biblical studies, you have intersected with many in the Body of Christ who would understand and appreciate what you have found in that encounter. 🙂

  84. Ken F wrote:

    Yes. And to say that we are only worthless worms devalues the cost of Christ’s incarnation and atonement. It basically says he lived and died for practically nothing. Maybe that’s why they believe in ESS.

    Makes me wonder ……… Do they think Jesus was a worm, too?

  85. dee wrote:

    From what I can tell, this may be the first time someone has filed a police report about him. It could be the world is crashing in around him.

    Often that’s when guys like that become the most dangerous.

    Case in point: In my original post, I mentioned how the husband on one person had allegedly observed Boles rubbing the thigh of a woman who was not his wife in a hot tub. Boles allegedly looked straight at this man when he was doing it and kept doing it, knowing he was seen.

    Alt 1) “I Can Get Away with Anything!”
    Alt 2) The Thrill of doing It where he might get caught.

  86. Christiane wrote:

    But, yes, I have seen what the loss of a beloved child can do to a mother, and let no one ever judge the broken-hearted ones. Some pain goes too deep into the soul and only God can understand this and see it for what it is. He does not abandon people in their grief, no.

    Beautiful story, Christiane. I am sorry that your friend’s little boy died from Lupus.

    I am glad that your friend was comforted by God in her grief. Thank you for always reminding us here of the goodness of God.

  87. dee wrote:

    This is quite an interesting comment. Could you elaborate on one of the friends who ditched it for atheism?

    Well, the main person I was thinking of is still in town, but I haven’t talked to this guy since his… transition? So I don’t know details. But he was raised Baptist, and once he was married and had kids became part of a church that was pretty intense Neo-Cal, in a Paul Washer kind of way. Lots of homeschooling and long dresses and quiverfull. Sunday services were an all-day ordeal. He even opened a small shop to sell stuff to skater dudes, but it was also setup as a ministry to them. So, a fairly serious fellow.

    I don’t know what the trigger was. It would be interesting to ask him. My guess is that he couldn’t handle the pressure.

    I’m thinking of a guy I heard interviewed by Steve Brown. He was working at a ministry in Orlando, and one day just thought to himself, what if there is no god? He went outside, got a blanket out of his car, laid it on the grass, and laid there for 3-4 hours, looking at the clouds. Resting. Eventually he worked though stuff and came to a resolution that involved shifting his concept of God. The idea was, if your concept of God stresses you out to the point that you would be relieved to discover that He didn’t exist, there is something wrong with your concept of God.

    So I wonder what his motivation really was, and whether he really knows himself. I’m sure that some people approach things from an intellectual standpoint, but I think others like my friend ditch their concept of God because keeping Him happy is just too much work.

    And there may be an additional factor with “creatives.” My friend is an artist, and North American Christian culture is not known for encouraging artistic expression. It may be that for some creatives, leaving the church culture is the only way to gain the freedom needed to bring to life the artwork that has been planted in them.

  88. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Her grim fingerprints were all over the Ryan Budget, which the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops said was not a moral budget. They stated that “a just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons.”

    I do believe that Ryan, who is an honorable principled man, has come to better understand the plight of the poor more in line with his Catholic faith these days, but at the time of his candidacy, he said he was inspired by Ayn Rand and saw his budget as a better way.

  89. @ Robin C.:

    Just my humble opinion: It’s the difference between Calvinism and Coolvinism. The people who want to go to an unassuming confessional Reformed church and appreciate the doctrine’s intellectual basis will do alright. People who want to go to the coolest church in town and congratulate themselves for it are more likely to reach the lowest common antinomian denominators of predestination and election.

    @ Velour:

    At one of these churches that idolized or continues to idolize him, like the major PCA church I recently left, if there was a man on the sidewalk telling members that he sees them having sex in dreams, people would call the authorities. But when he’s behind the pulpit and bringing in cash, he’s a hero.

  90. dee wrote:

    He is downgrading him.
    He may be feeling lots of guilt for his alleged actions. If he can decide how things are when one only looks at creation, he could conceivably come up with an excuse of his actions. Try this
    god created lions with sharp claws and teeth to kill. god also created man with a strong sex drive. So, do what you were created to do. Therefore, he did nothing wrong.
    I am not saying this is his modus. I am just speculating on his unusual rantings.

    That may very well be his reasoning, so I’m not disagreeing with you, but if it is his reasoning, he’s buying into secular and Christian gender stereotypes about human sexuality.

    When Society Isn’t Judging, Women’s Sex Drive Rivals Men’s
    https://theconversation.com/when-society-isnt-judging-womens-sex-drive-rivals-mens-40863

  91. GSD wrote:

    I think others like my friend ditch their concept of God because keeping Him happy is just too much work.

    This is one of the tragic consequences of many current teachings about God that are so black and white. The new-Calvinists have a very bleak view of God, and they teach it as if there is no alternative. It leads people to think that ditching Calvinism is the same thing as ditching belief in God. My last couple of years of research into this has rescued my faith – but I had to read a lot of ideas that I had never before heard. I am very grateful for other streams of Christianity such as Eastern Orthodoxy because they showed me that there are viable alternatives to Calvinism.

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    For certain types of predators, certain churches are easy pickins.

    I’m skeeved out by adult male pedophiles who consider Christian single women at churches to be candidates for marriage.

    You can find an example mentioned here:
    http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/covenant-life-member-childrens-ministry-worker-larry-ellis-c.html

    The guy in that story, Larry Ellis, was a pedophile who wanted a wife. So, he went to a church to find a wife.

    My dad went to a church by himself for about 4 or 5 years in the last state he lived in. Every Sunday, he sat behind a 30-something guy who worked as a public school teacher.

    My father said every week, the pastor’s wife would come up to this single guy and chit chat with him and tried to get this single dude to date her adult daughter (she was trying to play matchmaker).

    After sometime, the local paper published a story with the single guy’s photo, same guy who went to dad’s church.
    Guy was arrested for fondling boys at the school he taught at.

    My dad was surprised, said he never would’ve suspected the guy was a pedo.

    Both my parents were big into teaching me that if I want to marry that church is the optimal place to meet single men to marry.
    I’m not really sure that is true, seeing as how so many churches attract pedos and cover for them.

    It looks like if I want to avoid dating pedos (and other pervs or abusers) I should stay far, far away from churches.

  93. @ dee:

    “In Christ we are offered not a physical promised land but the ultimate rest–rest from the crushing burden of self-salvation through effort and performance.”

    One eventually realizes that no one understands what this kind of talk means, are too afraid to say so, and end up interpreting it in a way that affirms what they already believe. The doctrine has no clothes!

    Remember what happened to the mighty Puritans – they became Congregationalists and Unitarians.

  94. Stan wrote:

    @ Velour:
    At one of these churches that idolized or continues to idolize him, like the major PCA church I recently left, if there was a man on the sidewalk telling members that he sees them having sex in dreams, people would call the authorities. But when he’s behind the pulpit and bringing in cash, he’s a hero.

    So true.

    I was horrified when one Sunday during Easter my ex-pastor at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley decided to discuss sex and lovemaking!

    People had come for Easter. Complete strangers. They were so furious — people got up and walked out.

    What is it with these guys. They are perverted. There are so many other issues to discuss. And this is the extent of it? At Easter?

  95. Burwell wrote:

    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

    Same here.

  96. dee wrote:

    I have always thought that some of these guys serve a God who they believe truly looks at them as worms slithering in the dust. I keep seeing this worm stuff mentioned over and over again in discussions with this group. Can you imagine believe in a God who hates you and what you do and only saves you to magnify his glory?

    Yep, Jesus made everything, the whole universe and who can possible imagine what else besides, maybe a billion universes, it would certainly be nothing strenuous to Him, and He loves us unconditionally, is absolutely crazy about us. But He didn’t die for any worms. Worms turn straight to dust. He died for people of infinite worth, any one of whom, were they the only one who ever existed, were they rebellious to the core, He’d have still died for them. These guys just don’t seem to have any clue about Jesus.

  97. Coolvinism… That’s great, Ken F. Being cool and hip and trendy seems to be one of their non-negotiables.

    Ken F wrote:

    The new-Calvinists have a very bleak view of God, and they teach it as if there is no alternative.

    Imagine the bleakness of the quiverfull god, who demands that a wife continue having children as long as she possibly can.

    I always try to distinguish between Neo-Calvinism and classic Calvinism, because I have good friends who are classical Calvinists. There are also a number of people who I respect who have Calvinist leanings, like Martin Lloyd Jones and Steve Brown. And especially Wade Burleson.

    Burleson is known for saying “The issue isn’t legalism, but authoritarianism.” I would add that the issue isn’t Calvinism, but authoritarianism.

  98. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I am purposefully making no judgement about rand, except that she saw somethings up close that affected her thinking. It does seem she was lacking compassion, probably, but aside from having read the fountainhead I’m not a big fan. That doesn’t mean she didn’t have a useful perspective, and a few things she had dead to rights.

  99. GSD wrote:

    And there may be an additional factor with “creatives.” My friend is an artist, and North American Christian culture is not known for encouraging artistic expression. It may be that for some creatives, leaving the church culture is the only way to gain the freedom needed…

    I work in a profession that’s not exactly known for creativity (except for teaching creative means of avoiding taxes, finding loopholes or committing fraud), but my first career was as a “creative”, a professional artist. My family knows well about my disdain for modern Christian arts, the schlock, the hacks who couldn’t make it anywhere other than in Christian music or movie-making. Wasn’t always that way, the greatest art and literature of western civilization was created, at least nominally, to glorify God: think Bach, Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel, Giotto, Pachelbel, Dostoevsky.

    And today we get this rubbish. Trite rubbish. One thing about the Bible: It’s never precious, never trite. And the poetry, literature, law, philosophy, everything in the Bible is absolutely sublime.

  100. As a former Christian myself, I think it is unwise to go from Preaching to Christians for a living, to then going on an anti-apologetics crusade that has all the same trappings of finance and ego that preaching can have.

    Some of these guys just can’t give up the limelight, no matter what their belief.

    My heart goes out to his former church and the alleged victims of his unwanted sexual advances.

  101. Talmidah wrote:

    Burwell wrote:

    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

    Same here.

    Yes. He was floating this almost right after getting caught.

    Btw, I think it’s really odd that there are not one but two know website for expastors (that and fallen pastor which is probably more accurate much of the time). A lot of focus. You don’t hear about ‘ex nurse/admins/it guys’ websites.

  102. @ GSD:
    Pastor Wade Burleson is an honorable man who has fought long and hard for the sake of abused people, even at cost to himself. I have only the greatest respect for him as a Christian minister.
    If he has reformed leanings, then they must be the good kind that gave him the strength and the backbone to stand up to those in power who fired seventy-seven missionaries and also fired Dr. Sheri Klouda from her position as a Hebrew teacher at SWBTS. ‘Powerful’ people may come and go, but the strongest among us will always protect the innocent and will never look away when they have witnessed the abuse of others. Wade Burleson has been a blessing to victims, yes.

  103. Boles responses makes me wonder how many of our celebrity leaders actually believe much of anything of what they preach? In the first couple of centuries it was very dangerous being a Christian leader. Your chance of getting imprisoned, persecuted, killed was much higher than merely being one of the sheep. Those men had courage and had to really believe in something real. Without this kind of persecution, it is almost impossible to tell who believes and which of our celebrities are just using the system for fortune and fame. Boles may be having a nervous breakdown and the cracks are starting to show the reality that has been there all along.
    Beyond this, I would point out that Jesus focused on Orthopraxy and not Orthodoxy. Knowing what the “right doctrine” is is no substitute for practicing the clear teachings of Jesus in our lives on a daily basis. The problem is much bigger than just the Calvinists. There are leaders all over the many church denominations who do not practice what they preach. What we practice is what we actually truly believe. All the rest is merely hypocrisy. If persecution came in the US suddenly I would expect many of our celebs to publicly bail out of the faith to save there temporal lives here. There is much deception around us and much is not what it actually appears to be at first glance. This is why having your eyes on Jesus is so important. There is no substitute for actually knowing Him in a personal way. Only He is The Truth.

  104. Lea wrote:

    Talmidah wrote:

    Burwell wrote:

    My first thought is that he is seeking a new “schtick” which will allow him to self-promote and self-market and thereby begin to reopen the now-closed (and very profitable) revenue stream.

    Same here.

    Yes. He was floating this almost right after getting caught.

    Btw, I think it’s really odd that there are not one but two know website for expastors (that and fallen pastor which is probably more accurate much of the time). A lot of focus. You don’t hear about ‘ex nurse/admins/it guys’ websites.

    Right. Being an ex nurse/admin/it guy just does not have the WOW factor of an ex-pastor…or the saleability when it’s time to market the book from the fallen one.

  105. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    Boles responses makes me wonder how many of our celebrity leaders actually believe much of anything of what they preach? In the first couple of centuries it was very dangerous being a Christian leader. Your chance of getting imprisoned, persecuted, killed was much higher than merely being one of the sheep. Those men had courage and had to really believe in something real. Without this kind of persecution, it is almost impossible to tell who believes and which of our celebrities are just using the system for fortune and fame. Boles may be having a nervous breakdown and the cracks are starting to show the reality that has been there all along.
    Beyond this, I would point out that Jesus focused on Orthopraxy and not Orthodoxy. Knowing what the “right doctrine” is is no substitute for practicing the clear teachings of Jesus in our lives on a daily basis. The problem is much bigger than just the Calvinists. There are leaders all over the many church denominations who do not practice what they preach. What we practice is what we actually truly believe. All the rest is merely hypocrisy. If persecution came in the US suddenly I would expect many of our celebs to publicly bail out of the faith to save there temporal lives here. There is much deception around us and much is not what it actually appears to be at first glance. This is why having your eyes on Jesus is so important. There is no substitute for actually knowing Him in a personal way. Only He is The Truth.

    Excellent comment, Mr. J. Bless you.

    This might be a good time to let those interested know that the documentary film Marjoe may be viewed on the Internet Archive for free (archive.org). I won’t put the link here; just plug the title into the search box. If you’ve never seen it try to make time. It’s a real doozy of an eye-opener. At least it was for me.

  106. Talmidah wrote:

    This might be a good time to let those interested know that the documentary film Marjoe may be viewed on the Internet Archive for free (archive.org). I won’t put the link here; just plug the title into the search box. If you’ve never seen it try to make time. It’s a real doozy of an eye-opener. At least it was for me.

    You can put the link at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, the Books/TV/Movies/ETC tab.

  107. Mr. Jesperson wrote:

    Boles responses makes me wonder how many of our celebrity leaders actually believe much of anything of what they preach? In the first couple of centuries it was very dangerous being a Christian leader. Your chance of getting imprisoned, persecuted, killed was much higher than merely being one of the sheep. Those men had courage and had to really believe in something real. Without this kind of persecution, it is almost impossible to tell who believes and which of our celebrities are just using the system for fortune and fame. Boles may be having a nervous breakdown and the cracks are starting to show the reality that has been there all along.
    Beyond this, I would point out that Jesus focused on Orthopraxy and not Orthodoxy. Knowing what the “right doctrine” is is no substitute for practicing the clear teachings of Jesus in our lives on a daily basis. The problem is much bigger than just the Calvinists. There are leaders all over the many church denominations who do not practice what they preach. What we practice is what we actually truly believe. All the rest is merely hypocrisy. If persecution came in the US suddenly I would expect many of our celebs to publicly bail out of the faith to save there temporal lives here. There is much deception around us and much is not what it actually appears to be at first glance. This is why having your eyes on Jesus is so important. There is no substitute for actually knowing Him in a personal way. Only He is The Truth.

    x1000

  108. Velour wrote:

    Talmidah wrote:

    This might be a good time to let those interested know that the documentary film Marjoe may be viewed on the Internet Archive for free (archive.org). I won’t put the link here; just plug the title into the search box. If you’ve never seen it try to make time. It’s a real doozy of an eye-opener. At least it was for me.

    You can put the link at the top of the page under the Interesting tab, the Books/TV/Movies/ETC tab.

    OK will do – thanks!

  109. The road from Calvinism to Deism is quite well-worn. Remember Thomas Carlyle (who was a precursor to Ayn Rand and the Dark Enlightenment)?

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    Yes. And to say that we are only worthless worms devalues the cost of Christ’s incarnation and atonement. It basically says he lived and died for practically nothing. Maybe that’s why they believe in ESS.

    Makes me wonder ……… Do they think Jesus was a worm, too?

    Reminds me of the MGTOW guy I once saw ranting on the internet about a woman he saw “feeding her worm” (I.e., breastfeeding) in public. He probably would have said the same thing about Jesus, especially if he happened to see a Maria Lactans icon.

  110. @ MidwesternEasterner:
    there is a candidate for high office who called a lawyer ‘disgusting’ because she had arranged for time-out to pump breast milk for her three-month old infant . . . it is said that the candidate got red-raced and went on quite a rant yelling ‘that’s disgusting’, ‘you’re disgusting’. . . .

    nothing surprises me anymore about how women are treated, but I am not encouraged that we Americans are quite grown-up anymore

  111. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    bunny wrote:

    Wow….my own church affiliation and flavor really is heavy on the Father Heart of God teaching and it seems he wants to go straight to the jugular on that. As bad as the sexual stuff is, and that is very bad, to me this is almost worse, since it is a direct accusation against God Himself-who most definitely has been a good Father to me and to the rest of His children!

    Or maybe he’s started drinking?
    (Which would open up the Perry Noble comeback path…)

    Reason being I used to get these frequent weird-ass phone calls from a guy I knew; when he stopped drinking, they got a lot less frequent and a lot less weird.

    This reminds me of the funny but sad, “Did you drink and dial?” scene in the movie Sideways, with Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. What a great film.

  112. Interesting. Most of his points are correct, and all of them are old/unoriginal. Unlike some others on this thread, I think he is probably genuine. Pastoring in the A29 network is one of the most effective ways of turning into a skeptic or atheist.

  113. Max wrote:

    Yep, Driscoll found enough soft folks to put his unrepentant comeback on the stage again. There are surely enough skeptics, deists and misc. wackos in his area to finance Bole’s return.

    In Mississippi? I dunno about that.

    But seriously, I think it’s a bait and switch. Or was an attempted bait and switch. He put up a lot of the complaints which come from some of the more cranky and vocal atheists but I think he’d get people in and then do the ole switcheroo–but I have a better “god” for you!

    For the record, I find a lot of public atheists annoying, at best. Some of them are scarily anti-Muslim and/or anti-feminist, in addition to being anti-God and religion. They make me nervous.

  114. @ Christiane:
    I wasn’t judging her. I totally understood it because she had been convinced of determinism and a god who controlled every molecule 24/7.

    She can grieve any way she wants. I was honored she told me. Her husband made a living as a Calvinista.

  115. Stan wrote:

    At one of these churches that idolized or continues to idolize him, like the major PCA church I recently left, if there was a man on the sidewalk telling members that he sees them having sex in dreams, people would call the authorities. But when he’s behind the pulpit and bringing in cash, he’s a hero.

    I’m the woman on Driscoll’s sidewalk Sunday after Sunday, with a sign asking attendees to ask Mark about his pornovisions. I got laughed at by some teenage girls last Sunday, but I hope one of them went home and looked up Driscoll and pornovision. Maybe not last Sunday, but perhaps some day in the future.

    Seriously, though, what was Thomas Nelson thinking when it published that book? Oh, it will sell a ton because it’s edgy? I guess, but the first chapter is so awful, with all of Mark’s pouting about how Grace wasn’t supporting him sexually and how she cut her hair when she was about to have their first baby and then he had this pornovision of her before their marriage and finally he wraps it up with if he had known before marriage that she wasn’t pure, he wouldn’t have married her…ugh. I just don’t understand.

  116. @ Velour:

    “one Sunday during Easter my ex-pastor at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley decided to discuss sex and lovemaking!”
    ++++++++++++++++

    in what respect? what point was he making? was a woman’s obligation to be available part of it? what a moron.

  117. @ Lydia:
    I don’t understand your comment. I was sharing my own friend’s story that is similar to your friend’s tragic loss.

  118. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Velour:
    “one Sunday during Easter my ex-pastor at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley decided to discuss sex and lovemaking!”
    ++++++++++++++++
    in what respect? what point was he making? was a woman’s obligation to be available part of it? what a moron.

    About how awesome sex is! Yep, that was the topic.

    A whole sermon about sex. I think that there was pressure put on women in the Comp world there to “perform”, for men to feel “entitled” to it, as Daisy has commented here as a single Christian that she resents the sex sermons in churches because it leaves singles out in the cold who are supposed to remain celibate, and of course it was just vulgar, bizarre and rude for people there with any kind of class, and a shock to visitors who came for Easter services.

  119. Lydia wrote:

    She has been dead a long time. But I get your point. Che and Castro’s prints are all over current policies.

    Yes indeed.

  120. @ okrapod:

    @ dee:

    I think You’re both right. If it hasn’t been resolved over the last 20 centuries, it sure as heck ain’t gonna get resolved with a hand full of dissidents at present day.

  121. Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    Mark’s pouting about how Grace wasn’t supporting him sexually and how she cut her hair when she was about to have their first baby and then he had this pornovision of her before their marriage and finally he wraps it up with if he had known before marriage that she wasn’t pure, he wouldn’t have married her…ugh. I just don’t understand.

    Makes me wonder if he just married her because of her looks and she’s a preacher’s daughter. ……. doesn’t sound like there’s any love there.

  122. Nancy2 wrote:

    Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:
    Mark’s pouting about how Grace wasn’t supporting him sexually and how she cut her hair when she was about to have their first baby and then he had this pornovision of her before their marriage and finally he wraps it up with if he had known before marriage that she wasn’t pure, he wouldn’t have married her…ugh. I just don’t understand.
    Makes me wonder if he just married her because of her looks and she’s a preacher’s daughter. ……. doesn’t sound like there’s any love there.

    I think he married her because he could control her. As Gavin de Becker wrote in the Gift of Fear, men who can’t take ‘no’ choose women who can’t say ‘no’. Grace isn’t a person who can say ‘no’.

    From what I’ve read about Driscoll before, and seen a video of him, when Grace was away at college he showed up and told the other guys in the dorm that Grace was his. OK, that right there spelled trouble…and an abuser, controller and was stalking.

  123. Velour wrote:

    About how awesome sex is! Yep, that was the topic.

    Did he preach with one hand down the front of his pants?

  124. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    So was Che and other revolutionaries. But many still promote their brand of oligharcical socialism calling it good.

    “This time We WILL Achieve True Communism!”

  125. Law Prof wrote:

    My family knows well about my disdain for modern Christian arts, the schlock, the hacks who couldn’t make it anywhere other than in Christian music or movie-making. Wasn’t always that way, the greatest art and literature of western civilization was created, at least nominally, to glorify God: think Bach, Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel, Giotto, Pachelbel, Dostoevsky.

    But it’s that way now:
    http://alanloewen.blogspot.com/2016/09/guest-editorial-why-is-christian.html
    “Look how shoddy it is! It’s gotta be Christian!”
    “It’s gotta be good! All the Christians are denouncing it!”

  126. Lea wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I am purposefully making no judgement about rand, except that she saw somethings up close that affected her thinking.

    Goes back before that.

    In Pre-Revolution St Petersburg, her family was social-climbing middle class. Her mother was a manipulator who played her mind games on her daughter. Then came the Revolution and her family lost everything; even their house was divided up into “People’s Housing”. And Ayn flipped one-eighty the other way, as a funhouse mirror of the Soviet Regime. Equally Ideological, Equally Fanatical, Total Opposite on the Surface, Exactly the Same Beneath.

    And now she’s the Fourth Person of the Trinity and her Atlas Shrugged (which, like Left Behind, reads as truly awful fanservice fanfic) the latest 67th book of the Bible.

  127. Ken F wrote:

    It leads people to think that ditching Calvinism is the same thing as ditching belief in God.

    Same dynamic as leading people to think that ditching Young Earth Creationism is the same thing as ditching belief in God. (AKA where Ken Ham & Richard Dawkins agree 110%.)

  128. GSD wrote:

    It may be that for some creatives, leaving the church culture is the only way to gain the freedom needed to bring to life the artwork that has been planted in them.

    IT IS.

  129. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    About how awesome sex is! Yep, that was the topic.

    Did he preach with one hand down the front of his pants?

    Maybe he was holding a polished shaft, Jack Schaap style.

  130. Ken F wrote:

    The new-Calvinists have a very bleak view of God, and they teach it as if there is no alternative.

    If I had been limited to the versions of God preached in my tiny corner of the world, I would have had a more severe crisis of faith. Thank God for the internet.

  131. GSD wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    The new-Calvinists have a very bleak view of God, and they teach it as if there is no alternative.
    If I had been limited to the versions of God preached in my tiny corner of the world, I would have had a more severe crisis of faith. Thank God for the internet.

    Amen.

  132. dee wrote:

    Are there any stats that indicate how many, who come to Christ, during these revivals actually stick with it years later?

    Dee, I’m not aware of any statistics in this regard. I suppose LifeWay might have some numbers to this effect since there is a move underway to toss “revivals” from the SBC scene. There has certainly been a lot of criticism from New Calvinists taking over the Southern Baptist Convention that “altar calls”, “invitational systems”, and the “sinner’s prayer” are methods which have been used by Southern Baptists, and other evangelistic groups, to produce false conversions. Of course, their reformed theology doesn’t allow for free will to be exercised by an individual when it comes to salvation – so their argument is slanted. For the “chosen ones” to toss out millions of experiences of folks making a decision for Christ in a revival meeting is too judgmental and above their pay grade; I made a decision to follow Christ in one of those meetings when I was 9 years old and I haven’t looked back.

    There are lots of reasons folks leave church. There may be many who accepted Christ in a revival and then dropped from the church scene years later. Several TWW commenters have done so. Many of these are spiritual folks, genuinely saved bought-by-the-blood-of-Christ children of God. They are the “dones” … they are not backsliding and leaving God – they are leaving the deadness and superficiality of organized religion and the hype of new attempts to do church. So, bottom-line for me … I don’t question folks who made a decision to accept Christ during the red hot fire of a revival meeting and then disappeared from the ranks. Some have a legitimate reason to do so … the church ain’t the Church in far too many places in America! Their names may not appear on a church roll these days, but are eternally written in Heaven.

    Sorry, I started rambling. LifeWay, Pew Research, Gallup, and other survey groups may have some stats in this regard.

  133. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    She is the 4th person of the Trinity to who? As you suggesting any quote or appeal to individualism is evil? We want only groups and group think? I am valuable only as part of a group or movement? Historically, we all know what that is.

    This isn’t about Rand except another commenter wanted it to be.. This is about concepts and ideas. In your and Christianes construct one must either a Randian or Marxist. Right? There will be no discussion of ideas and where they lead if taken too far?

  134. @ dee:
    Bingo.
    The new schtick to justify the new lifestyle.

    From wikipedia:
    In 2010 Jones encouraged Minnesota clergy to stop performing legal marriages, as a show of solidarity with LGBT people who could not be legally married in the state at that time. Lisa Miller of the Washington Post questioned whether Jones’ position was influenced by his acrimonious divorce from his first wife, and ‘a wish to avoid legal entanglements the second time around.’ Miller also criticized the likely outcomes of Jones’ position, calling it impractical, ‘muddled and retrograde.’ Miller’s concerns were that an absence of legal safeguards was ‘bad for the financially vulnerable partner (historically the woman) and for children,’ ‘a promise to God will not make a deadbeat parent pay child support.’ Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz also criticized Jones’ refusal to issue state marriage licences because it ‘penalizes heterosexual couples who are coming to the church without actually winning anything for same-sex couples.'”

    When religious leaders are defining the rules, they have the right to change the rules, as they see fit. Their new schtick.

  135. dee wrote:

    EricL

    I have no problem in your publishing the public information on the Boles’ website. He has allegedly been denying that he is behind this. Anyone can look up that info and you made it easy for me. I intended to do it whan i had some time.

    I also looked up the new house on Zillow.

  136. dee wrote:

    My husband is doing our genealogy and has discovered that he is a direct descendent of Jonathan Edwards

    Tell your husband not to be too upset about his discovery ;^)

    Jonathan Edwards may have held to reformed theology, like most of the Puritans, but it wasn’t the rabid strain being demonstrated by the New Calvinists. He was a little more civil about his Calvinist leaning than the neoCals. While he may have been a complementarian when it came to the view of women in marriage and church, most of the church held an unBiblical position on women doing that period. His sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” would still scare the Hell out of folks! Lord knows that Hell has found its way into too many pulpits and pews in America these days … something needs to dislodge it! On the other hand, I wouldn’t run out and buy a “Jonathan Edwards is my Homeboy” t-shirt!

  137. @ Max:

    Max, I hear what you’re saying–it’s just that in the red hot fires of revival, it’s hard to know how many “decisions” are the result of the Spirit and how many are the result of emotional manipulation. Paul Washer has something of a legitimate criticism there; I just don’t agree with his solution of striving to get a big spiritual experience that’s supposedly from God, to get assurance. I say that as someone who also made a decision for Christ at age 9 after an Evangelism Explosion guy visited our church, though I didn’t tell anyone for years. It’s just too easy for extreme emotion to be misinterpreted as the Spirit.

  138. @ GSD:

    ” North American Christian culture is not known for encouraging artistic expression. It may be that for some creatives, leaving the church culture is the only way to gain the freedom needed to bring to life the artwork that has been planted in them.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    oh, my goodness…. christian culture is the most repressive place on earth where creativity is concerned. rulesrulesrules, written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. even if these rules don’t explicitly codify artistic expression, the whole climate is fear-driven, punctilious, paranoid… Gospel dessicant for drying up the process of creative inspiration.

    christian culture is terrified of inspiration, understanding nothing of the creative inspiration process. too much freedom in it. and we can’t have that, can we.

  139. NJ wrote:

    It’s just too easy for extreme emotion to be misinterpreted as the Spirit.

    Yes. And God works as he pleases to draw humanity to himself. I know more people who turned to God alone in their room or with one other person in a park or a car or a living room than I know people who did so at a revival or church alter call.

  140. NJ wrote:

    It’s just too easy for extreme emotion to be misinterpreted as the Spirit.

    Agreed, but it’s just too easy to throw out everyone’s “free will” decision if you hold to reformed theology … and that is the position of New Calvinism. Scripture speaks a lot about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks a lot about the free will of man. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To attempt to put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before God.

    Anyone who has had a genuine encounter with Christ knows it to be both spiritual and emotional. Salvation according to a set of unrevisable doctrinal propositions is just not the same.

  141. Bridget wrote:

    I know more people who turned to God alone in their room or with one other person in a park or a car or a living room than I know people who did so at a revival or church alter call.

    Certainly! My wife found Christ after reading the New Testament while searching for answers after the sudden death of her mother … before she ever attended church!

  142. @ elastigirl:

    I’m your ditto-head on this one elastigirl. In my opinion it really doesn’t matter if it’s christian culture or even some secular cultures, any authoritarian belief system hates and despises human freedom and creativity. It’s what they are. It’s what they do.

  143. NJ wrote:

    in the red hot fires of revival

    In the red hot fires of “genuine” revival, Christ is still “electing” folks to Himself! I’m praying that the pulpit will start preaching with an anointing and holy passion again so that more will be elected! The days are short – the fields are white unto harvest; the church can’t afford to be distracted from the Great Commission by theological arguments.

  144. elastigirl wrote:

    oh, my goodness…. christian culture is the most repressive place on earth where creativity is concerned. rulesrulesrules, written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. even if these rules don’t explicitly codify artistic expression, the whole climate is fear-driven, punctilious, paranoid… Gospel dessicant for drying up the process of creative inspiration

    In Baptist churches, women can express their artistic creativity by:

    ***painting the walls of the church nursery, once every 5 or 10 years. ……. usually some colorful version of the animals entering the ark, two by two.

    ***putting vases of flowers on the piano and the communion table every week

    ***decorating the tables in the fellowship hall with tablecloths/flowers/candles

    ***bringing covered dishes and desserts to fellowship meals (the art here is culinary talent).

    That’s about as far as it goes. Good cook? Good with floral arrangements? Wanna paint the babies’ room and pick the sheets for the beds? Come on in ladies! We do have a female pianist at out church. But? Hello? The song leader is a man. Women never choose the hymns.

    I have no musical talent at all. My vocal cords have damage due to an illness. I served at “Kitchen Committee” leader until it wore me down and made me angry. So, my talents lie outside the boundaries our churches impose on women.

  145. Max wrote:

    For the “chosen ones” to toss out millions of experiences of folks making a decision for Christ in a revival meeting is too judgmental and above their pay grade; I made a decision to follow Christ in one of those meetings when I was 9 years old and I haven’t looked back.

    Vacation Bible School is getting flushed down the same pipes.

  146. Nancy2 wrote:

    ***bringing covered dishes and desserts to fellowship meals (the art here is culinary talent).

    Would I be transgressing gender-bounds in said churches if I brought a pot of split-pea soup the way an old Lutheran lady (Velma Albrecht) taught me to make it?

  147. Bridget wrote:

    I know more people who turned to God alone in their room or with one other person in a park or a car or a living room

    That would be me….waiting till my husband went to be and putting the kids to bed. I read the prayer at the end of the book “The Cross and the Switchblade” and told God that if He was real, He could have my life as I had made a mess of it.

    On another note, I have no problem with (genuine) show of emotion. I think David’s dancing with all his might in the street must have been an emotional event for him and those watching. Miriam and the ladies dancing and playing timbrels implied joyful noise making.

    And then there’s “The Emotional Jesus: His Ups and Downs” here:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertcrosby/2012/06/the-emotional-jesus-his-ups-downs/

  148. Nancy2 wrote:

    women can express their artistic creativity by

    Adding on to the short list of *creative* things that conservative Christian women are allowed:

    *cake decorating/cupcake decorating for baby and bridal showers.

    *those scrap books

    *making cards and teaching others to make them with stickers and paper [we had several of these at church for women only of course]

    *making gifts out of fabric [if you knew how. Those hanging things to put plastic bags in, etc.]

  149. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    ***bringing covered dishes and desserts to fellowship meals (the art here is culinary talent).
    Would I be transgressing gender-bounds in said churches if I brought a pot of split-pea soup the way an old Lutheran lady (Velma Albrecht) taught me to make it?

    Well, the NeoCals would probably say that you weren’t among the Frozen Chosen/God’s Elect.
    And they would cast aspersions on the Christian character of dear Velma too.

    The Frozen Chosen probably think that Lutherans are like Catholics, and you know that they aren’t among God’s Elect [loosely quoted by rabid NeoCalvinists].

  150. Nancy2 wrote:

    We do have a female pianist at out church. But? Hello? The song leader is a man. Women never choose the hymns.

    My goodness. Cutting women off from the music???
    My Southern Baptist grandmother, of blessed memory, played a beautiful hymn on her piano: ‘Nearer My God To Thee’

    she couldn’t have done it without the help of the woman author, Sarah Adams

    I don’t think the SBC has always rejected women in music who have written hymns so beautiful they bring us to our knees …. it is known that some beloved hymns can draw people to Christ, or closer to Christ …. if the hymn is authored by a woman, I think that is God’s way of giving it His approval

    Someone once wrote about men culling hymns out of usefulness that had been written by women. WHY? When these hymns draw people closer to Christ? WHY? ? These men are hateful and destructive of something so beautiful to the heart of Christ. It is hard to understand.

  151. Lydia wrote:

    This isn’t about Rand except another commenter wanted it to be.. This is about concepts and ideas. In your and Christianes construct one must either a Randian or Marxist. Right?

    I think some of Ayn Rand’s inspiration comes straight out of the pit of hell, myself. (MY opinion) I own this opinion. It’s the way she has influenced people to be harsh towards those who HAVE a claim on us: the helpless ones, the elderly, the sick, the defenseless, the wounded, the broken; IF we are Christian people.

    Rugged individualism is a beautiful thing when it enables people to survive in the wilderness and grow strong and be grateful for the abundance of nature. But even among these people, there is compassion, maybe even more so because compassion for suffering IS a part of their strength. Compassion for the wounded never makes us weak or vulnerable. Without it, our humankind would have vanished from the Earth long ago. Concern for our helpless is a part of our DNA.

    Ayn Rand’s philosphy may have for a while influenced a Catholic man like Paul Ryan, because he SAID she was an influence in his younger days, but the country rejected the extreme budget plan he drew up. And since that time, he has become more aware of his Catholic social heritage which does not align with the destructive teachings of a woman filled with contempt for the weak among us.

  152. Victorious wrote:

    On another note, I have no problem with (genuine) show of emotion. I think David’s dancing with all his might in the street must have been an emotional event for him and those watching. Miriam and the ladies dancing and playing timbrels implied joyful noise making.

    I’m with you on this one Victorious. I’m a firm believer in whatever floats yer’ boat with regard to expressions of faith or non-faith.
    Who am I to decide what’s valid or not valid in expressions of faith?
    Emotions are God given. They’re a gift from the Almighty himself.

  153. Off-topic.
    Would Wartburgers do me the kindness and read the article on TGC by one of my ex-pastor/elders Deryk Brown at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, comment on the article, and take a screen shot of it. Ken F. told me about this article about “unity” among elders. https://fromthestudy.com/2016/10/10/7-practices-for-preserving-unity-among-your-elder-team/

    I posted a comment to that article that it wasn’t unity but ‘uniformity’ and Thought Reform techniques. I also posted that GBFSV pastors/elders had excommunicated me on some trumped up charge, as they had done to other critical thinking Christians before me.
    Low and behold…3 comments that I have made to the article have been scrubbed/purged/wiped clean.
    Deb has my story and Wartburg will be publishing it in the near future.
    Thanks, friends.
    ********************************
    Ken F UNITED STATES on Sat Oct 15, 2016 at 01:21 PM said:
    Velour wrote:
    I submitted my story, but I think Deb has it so you could check with her.

    I don’t know if this is applicable for your upcoming post, but TGC posted a link on their front page today from an elder at your former church: https://fromthestudy.com/2016/10/10/7-practices-for-preserving-unity-among-your-elder-team/.

    Ken F UNITED STATES on Sat Oct 15, 2016 at 01:35 PM said:

    Velour wrote:
    I read it and thought, “Oh it’s Thought Reform” — even of elders. It’s NOT “unity” it’s “uniformity”.

    I found it creepy. If one is to have an elder-led church, there should be diversity of thought among the elders so that there are appropriate checks and balances. The type of unity this article describes is destructive and is more akin to totalitarianism than to Christianity.

  154. Off-topic.
    Would Wartburgers do me the kindness and read the article on TGC by one of my ex-pastor/elders Deryk Brown at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, comment on the article, and take a screen shot of it. Ken F. told me about this article about “unity” among elders. https://fromthestudy.com/2016/10/10/7-practices-for-preserving-unity-among-your-elder-team/
    I posted a comment to that article that it wasn’t unity but ‘uniformity’ and Thought Reform techniques. I also posted that GBFSV pastors/elders had excommunicated me on some trumped up charge, as they had done to other critical thinking Christians before me.
    Low and behold…3 comments that I have made to the article have been scrubbed/purged/wiped clean.

  155. Max wrote:

    NJ wrote:

    It’s just too easy for extreme emotion to be misinterpreted as the Spirit.

    Agreed, but it’s just too easy to throw out everyone’s “free will” decision if you hold to reformed theology … and that is the position of New Calvinism. Scripture speaks a lot about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks a lot about the free will of man. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To attempt to put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before God.

    Anyone who has had a genuine encounter with Christ knows it to be both spiritual and emotional. Salvation according to a set of unrevisable doctrinal propositions is just not the same.

    You almost sound like a Lutheran, Max. 😉

    Some things I really appreciate about Lutheranism and Eastern Orthodoxy are their comfort with paradox, and also mystery. Divine election and free will, for one example. I personally am more comfortable with that approach than the Reformed tendency to try and use reason to create a completely logical and comprehensive system of theology, in exhaustive detail–even when parts of it appear to contradict Scripture.

  156. Velour wrote:

    Ken F. told me about this article about “unity” among elders. https://fromthestudy.com/2016/10/10/7-practices-for-preserving-unity-among-your-elder-team/

    Velour, I just tried to leave a comment there, this:

    “Christiane Smith

    The traditional Christian model has been worded as:
    “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity”
    October 16, 2016 at 10:32 am ”

    not sure they will leave it, but I will check later to see

    I perceive the eliminating of any disagreement as a sign of great weakness among a fearful group ….. if there is no exchange of ideas that are not in ‘lock-step’ with the ‘leadership’, then they very vulnerable to manipulation by whoever is ‘in control’ ….. not a good system in a religion that requires the coming together of people into council to engage in constructive collegiality for the purposes of discerning AS the Body of Christ.

  157. NJ wrote:

    You almost sound like a Lutheran, Max.

    I’ve already thought Max sounded like a Catholic.

    This diverse recognition of Max’s Christ-centered perspective is a good sign that he is immersed very deeply into the Body of Christ and that his perspective is familiar to more than one branch of the family. 🙂

  158. Muff Potter wrote:

    Would I be transgressing gender-bounds in said churches if I brought a pot of split-pea soup the way an old Lutheran lady (Velma Albrecht) taught me to make it?

    Gender bounds??? Whoaaaaah baby! You’d be a real Saint! It is a big, big deal when a man prepares a covered dish at out church, worthy of the highest praise! You’d be the star of the show!
    But, the same is expected/demanded of women, and taken for granted.

    At my house,? Aw, honey! Bring it on in here and I’ll make some dippin’ bread and set the table. We’ll dine as equals. When we clear the table, do you want to wash or rinse?

  159. Velour, I thought the post is good on its face; the real issue here would be hypocrisy.

    Far more interesting is the post titled Blogging And Accountibility In The Local Church. 😀

  160. GSD wrote:

    I’ve left you a comment regarding creative-types on the Open Discussion page – just my personal experience which uplifted me and came from a rather unexpected source. Hope it blesses you (and others) as it blessed me.

  161. Christiane wrote:

    In your and Christianes construct one must either a Randian or Marxist. Right?

    May I remind you that as we speak, the Russians are bombing bloody hell out of the city of Aleppo. Don’t align us with ‘Marxism’; in its current expression under the dictator Putin, it more resembles a Randian destructive attitude towards a defenseless civilian population . . . . same with ‘carpet bombing’ of civilians in cities that harbor the enemy …. a philosophy that the weak are expendable so that the strong can survive.

    The destruction of the innocent weak has never been a validation of human strength. Ayn Rand was a despicable person.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-J5McNt3fc

  162. @ Velour:
    Ha! I left a comment. I gay-run-teeeee, it will get scrubbed!
    *****’ “Due to our pride and our desire to be recognized as a superior member….”
    This article makes it sound like your church believes elders are superior to the general body of Christ. Do the pew peons even matter to you?’ ******

  163. Lydia wrote:

    This isn’t about Rand except another commenter wanted it to be.. This is about concepts and ideas. In your and Christianes construct one must either a Randian or Marxist. Right?

    May I remind you that as we speak, the Russians are bombing bloody hell out of the city of Aleppo. Don’t align us with ‘Marxism’; in its current expression under the dictator Putin, it more resembles a Randian destructive attitude towards a defenseless civilian population . . . . same with ‘carpet bombing’ of civilians in cities that harbor the enemy …. a philosophy that the weak are expendable so that the strong can survive.

    The destruction of the innocent weak has never been a validation of human strength. Ayn Rand was a despicable person.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-J5McNt3fc

  164. NJ wrote:

    You almost sound like a Lutheran, Max.

    Christiane wrote:

    I’ve already thought Max sounded like a Catholic.

    I would simply say that Max is a real Christian. True, real followers of Christ transcend man-made religious boundaries and definitions.

  165. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Ha! I left a comment. I gay-run-teeeee, it will get scrubbed!
    *****’ “Due to our pride and our desire to be recognized as a superior member….”
    This article makes it sound like your church believes elders are superior to the general body of Christ. Do the pew peons even matter to you?’ ******

    That is true. They are superior. Have you read the Statement of Faith? It says that they are “mandated” to rule over the sheep. As someone here already said weeks ago that Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley’s Statement of Faith gave him “the shivers” and “don’t get me started on the By Laws”.

  166. Nancy2 wrote:

    I would simply say that Max is a real Christian. True, real followers of Christ transcend man-made religious boundaries and definitions.

    Agreed.
    That both myself and NJ recognized Max’s Christ-centered perspective is a good sign that Max is immersed very deeply into the Body of Christ and that his perspective is familiar to more than one branch of the family.

  167. Christiane wrote:

    May I remind you that as we speak, the Russians are bombing bloody hell out of the city of Aleppo.

    With special targeting of hospitals and White Helmet (rescue crew) locations to maximize casualties. Plus “double tapping”; drop only half the bombs on the first bomb run, fly off, then circle around to allow enough time for the White Helmets to get there and start pulling out survivors, then go back in and unload the remainder on the same target. Maximize casualties.

  168. Velour wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I read it and thought, “Oh it’s Thought Reform” — even of elders. It’s NOT “unity” it’s “uniformity”.

    Like the “elders” in identical suits and homburgs lined up atop Lenin’s Tomb on May Day.

  169. Christiane wrote:

    I think some of Ayn Rand’s inspiration comes straight out of the pit of hell, myself. (MY opinion) I own this opinion. It’s the way she has influenced people to be harsh towards those who HAVE a claim on us: the helpless ones, the elderly, the sick, the defenseless, the wounded, the broken; IF we are Christian people.

    Rand fled the USSR’s Compulsory Forced Unselfishness for The Collective, and flipped one-eighty into her own Inevitable Dialectic of Utter Selfishness. Same Ideologically-Pure Attitude, Same One True Way-ism, Opposite Ideology. Like a mirror reflection of the Bolsheviki.

    If Ayn Rand had the same absolute power of life and death over a country and all in it as Josef Stalin, I have no doubt Rand’s Objectivist regime would have been every bit as bloody as Stalin’s Communist regime.

    And probably with a shorter life cycle — Daylight Atheism pointed out in one of his Atlas Shrugged postings (doing to AS what Slacktivist is doing to Left Behind) that NONE of Rand’s square-jawed, hand-crushing-grip, chain-smoking Objectivst Men of the Mind Heroes have any children or any desire for them or any interest in having offspring. Their Perfect Objectivist society dies with them as they age; kind of like “It’s All Gonna Burn — Any Minute Now”.

    For someone as rabidly anti-Theist as Madelyn Murray O’Hair, Rand hits EVERY trope of cheezy Christianese fiction (as well as bad fanfic) in her own writings.

  170. NJ wrote:

    Velour, I thought the post is good on its face; the real issue here would be hypocrisy.
    Far more interesting is the post titled Blogging And Accountibility In The Local Church.

    On it’s face it seems very nice. But I have had a ‘tour of duty’ of Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, as have many other Christians who were excommunicated or who fled with their families. GBFSV is one abusive, toxic, authoritarian, twisted cult. I wouldn’t call it a church.

    What I saw in that article is a complete lack of the Holy Spirit and control, control, control. They don’t trust God, they only trust themselves (and they don’t trust each other).

    People are screamed at at GBFSV by pastors/elders, told to obey and submit, the pastor has fake degrees (Ph.D. and another degree) from a diploma mill, teaching credential he claimed he had the State of California supervisors said is a lie and they’ve never credentialed anyone with his name to teach, job he claimed he had at John MacArthur’s church JMac said is a lie and he was only a volunteer and not on pastoral staff, and on and on.

    No doubt all kinds of abuses lurk beneath the surface of GBFSV, including sexual abuse.
    It’s just a matter of time before the house of cards crumbles.

  171. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Ha! I left a comment. I gay-run-teeeee, it will get scrubbed!
    *****’ “Due to our pride and our desire to be recognized as a superior member….”
    This article makes it sound like your church believes elders are superior to the general body of Christ. Do the pew peons even matter to you?’ ******

    I got a screen shot of your comment!

    We’ll see how long it lasts. I’m also saving the website on the Way Back Machine.

  172. Christiane wrote:

    Someone once wrote about men culling hymns out of usefulness that had been written by women. WHY? When these hymns draw people closer to Christ? WHY?

    “NO GURLZ ALLOWED!”

  173. Velour wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    women can express their artistic creativity by

    Adding on to the short list of *creative* things that conservative Christian women are allowed:

    *cake decorating/cupcake decorating for baby and bridal showers.

    *those scrap books

    *making cards and teaching others to make them with stickers and paper [we had several of these at church for women only of course]

    *making gifts out of fabric [if you knew how. Those hanging things to put plastic bags in, etc.]

    Something that list reminds me of:

    Back during the peak of Twilight mania, that lise sounds EXACTLY like what was expected of Stephanie Meyer as a Sweet Utah Mormon Wife. Especially the Scrapbooking with the other Sweet Utah Mormon Wives of her Stake & Ward. (“Remember: Stay Sweet!”)

    And her new “creative thing” outlet — her written-down sexual fantasies and fanfics of same — sparked (or should that be SPARKLED?) a new genre of Mommy Porn for bored housewives.

  174. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Someone once wrote about men culling hymns out of usefulness that had been written by women. WHY? When these hymns draw people closer to Christ? WHY?

    “NO GURLZ ALLOWED!”

    I realize that. In their celebration of an overwhelming self-idolatry, these male-headship guys are willing to throw out The Message because of the messengers. It shows you the truth of their horrible priorities.

  175. Debi Calvet wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Paul Ryan

    Woke up weary of this political commentary.

    I hear you.
    Some things we speak of here go a lot deeper than politics. When we speak of people looking away when others suffer, we are talking about spiritual matters at the core of the Christian faith. And at the very core of the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    “…morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”
    Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    Sorry you are weary. I think we all are VERY weary of the political scene indeed. But somethings go beyond ‘politics’ and are related to how we respond to the suffering of others, and that response is a valid area for concern at TWW. May I be corrected if I am wrong, here. But I see a great need for care of victims of abuse and may we never lose our humanity to the point when we no longer are moved by the suffering of others.

  176. So far there are three comments – Christiane’s, Nancy2’s, and Scottie’s on the article written by Deryk Brown (pastor/elder) at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley, my ex-church. I took screen shots of these three comments, as mine were already scrubbed yesterday.

    Thanks for commenting.

  177. elastigirl wrote:

    oh, my goodness…. christian culture is the most repressive place on earth where creativity is concerned. rulesrulesrules, written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. even if these rules don’t explicitly codify artistic expression, the whole climate is fear-driven, punctilious, paranoid… Gospel dessicant for drying up the process of creative inspiration.

    This subject shows up periodically at Internet Monk:
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/surprise-god-does-art
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/selling-jesus-by-the-pound
    And is the reason when you go Done or None, it’s like finally going over the Berlin Wall into the West.

  178. Christiane wrote:

    This diverse recognition of Max’s Christ-centered perspective is a good sign that he is immersed very deeply into the Body of Christ and that his perspective is familiar to more than one branch of the family.

    Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches.” There is only one Church which meets in various places under different names but under the common banner of Christ. There has always been the Church within the church. However, finding the true remnant these days is getting increasingly difficult – there is just too much religious noise in the way.

  179. Max wrote:

    However, finding the true remnant these days is getting increasingly difficult – there is just too much religious noise in the way.

    Try to block out anything that does not point to Christ. The Holy Spirit points us only to Our Lord.

  180. Victorious wrote:

    On another note, I have no problem with (genuine) show of emotion

    Neither do I! But it does not prove anything one way or another.

  181. Christiane wrote:

    Someone once wrote about men culling hymns out of usefulness that had been written by women. WHY? When these hymns draw people closer to Christ? WHY? ? These men are hateful and destructive of something so beautiful to the heart of Christ. It is hard to understand.

    Why? Because they choose to listen to the father of lies whispering in their ears rather than the Holy Ghost.

  182. Nancy2 wrote:

    When we clear the table, do you want to wash or rinse?

    At Muff Manor, Muff is chief cook, bottle washer, and all round’ scullery boy. I love doing dishes the old fashioned way, I hate dishwashers. The old Luddite (Muff) gets off on it…

  183. Christiane wrote:

    Try to block out anything that does not point to Christ.

    That’s the thing that bothers me most about New Calvinism. The new reformers talk a lot about “God”, but very little about Jesus, and hardly a mention of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist icons (Piper et al.) get more airtime than Jesus! If the Main Thing ain’t the main thing in your church, put them in your rear view mirror!

  184. @ Muff Potter:
    Agreed.
    ‘male’ and ‘female’ He created them …. so that we could participate IN His creation of new life ….. but the male-headship men have attempted to corrupt the beauty of God’s original design by making a mockery of it in so very many ways

  185. @ Max:
    Max wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Just posted a comment on the article you noted. We’ll see if it stands.

    Thanks, Max!

    I just took a screen shot of your most excellent comment.

  186. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ elastigirl:

    I’m your ditto-head on this one elastigirl. In my opinion it really doesn’t matter if it’s christian culture or even some secular cultures, any authoritarian belief system hates and despises human freedom and creativity. It’s what they are. It’s what they do.

    Again, these authoritarian folks REALLY need to read some Nikolai Berdyaev.

  187. elastigirl wrote:

    oh, my goodness…. christian culture is the most repressive place on earth where creativity is concerned. rulesrulesrules, written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. even if these rules don’t explicitly codify artistic expression, the whole climate is fear-driven, punctilious, paranoid… Gospel dessicant for drying up the process of creative inspiration.

    I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I think you nailed it, elastigirl. Modern church life is often about conformity [control] motivated by fear, and the creative part of the brain doesn’t work in an atmosphere of fear. Does the lack of creativity in the Church indicate the presence of an undercurrent of fear?

    Fear is certainly a major component of most eschatology teaching [Left Behind], our views of the afterlife and most altar calls [Sinners in the hands of an Angry God], even teaching about purity [Don’t mess around or you’ll get a disease.] And they’ll know we are Xtians by our fear… Oh, wait.

  188. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Ken F. told me about this article about “unity” among elders. https://fromthestudy.com/2016/10/10/7-practices-for-preserving-unity-among-your-elder-team/

    I wrote another comment in support of ‘the vox populi’, the voice of the congregation. I’m interested to see if it remains. If it is removed, it will tell me much about how far they have traveled from orthodox Christian practice.

    “Christiane Smith

    The voice of the people when raised in unison (the voice of ALL of the people) is, in the Christian faith a reflection of the work of the Holy Spirit.

    If the persistent voice of the people is denied, so then is the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
    Do not fear the voice of a congregation that prays as a faith community, no. Treasure their contribution and be thankful for it. And listen to that voice. And learn from it. In humility. Yes.
    October 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm “

  189. GSD wrote:

    And they’ll know we are Xtians by our fear… Oh, wait.

    There would be no Church if the Holy Spirit had not descended on the Apostles and Mary at Pentecost. This gave them the courage to go out into the world to proclaim the Good News. Most of them were eventually martyred. Almost all of them.

    If the early Church were as fearful as some expressions of ‘church’ are today, we would have no Christianity. That ‘fear’? It cannot stand in the Presence of the Holy Spirit, no.

  190. Law Prof wrote:

    My family knows well about my disdain for modern Christian arts, the schlock, the hacks who couldn’t make it anywhere other than in Christian music or movie-making. Wasn’t always that way, the greatest art and literature of western civilization was created, at least nominally, to glorify God: think Bach, Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel, Giotto, Pachelbel, Dostoevsky.

    It’s good to know that about your history, Law Prof. I’m in a marginally creative profession, and one of the reasons I didn’t go to law school is the appalling lack of pictures in law books.

    From a historical perspective, it seems that the Reformation, for all the good it did, was not helpful to the artist. So many of the Christian high-points in art were Catholic and Orthodox… I’ve often wondered what would happen in a modern evangelical church if they hired a sculptor to paint a mural on the ceiling and walls, and he decided to include lots of people without clothing. It’s hard to do Christian art for the marketplace, because there is such a long list of things you can’t do.

    It’s got me wondering whether there is an undercurrent of fear in the fabric of the Reformation, and whether the lack of artistic expression is a symptom of that malady.

  191. Muff Potter wrote:

    At Muff Manor, Muff is chief cook, bottle washer, and all round’ scullery boy. I love doing dishes the old fashioned way, I hate dishwashers. The old Luddite (Muff) g

    Ha, ha. Come over and visit me anytime! When we moved into this house, there was a dishwasher. I wanted the cabinet space much more than a dishwasher, so we pulled it out. I have quite a stash of dishes and canning jars in the attic, too! We grow a garden, and I can/freeze everything I can get my hands on – that is fit for human consumption!
    My husband will sweep, do dishes, and help with the canning. He’ll peel tomatoes, break beans, shuck and silk and cut corn, clean up the mess after a day of home canning or freezing ………. He loves jam and jelly. He has helped me make jam and jelly for years, so he knows the drill. I had horrible health problems for two years, so to take some of the work off me, he started making the jam and jelly start to finish by himself. He knows where all of the equipment is and what to do. He’s a pro, as long as he uses commercial pectin! There were morings when awoke to find that he had already canned 2 batches of jam or jelly and was in the process of cleaning up the mess!
    But cook??? No! Bacon and eggs is his limit, and I had to teach him how to do eggs over easy. Usually, when he cooks bacon, the house is full of smoke.

    I think cooking is more about attitude than “gender roles”. My husband has a brother-in-law who is a pastry chef, and let me tell ya, nobody makes fun of that ole boy!

  192. @ GSD:

    another “oh my goodness”.

    just look at how j piper & co. communicate. the intake of breath through the teeth, followed by pursed lips, look of concern, a slight shaking of the head, as if to say, “i don’t know,…you might not even be saved… i just don’t know….if the beauty of gender complementarity is not embraced, the Gospel is at stake…don’t get it wrong or you might the gospel wrong….church discipline, it’s a gospel issue, folks…gospel centered….for the glory of the gospel…the stakes are high…”

    it’s all so nebulous. all left up in the air. scare tactics. FEARFEARFEAR. a few king control freak prigs, the rest are just easily led copycats.

  193. <a href="#comment-289508" title="Go to comment of this author"Muff Potter wrote:

    love doing dishes the old fashioned way,

    Doing clean-up gets us admitted to Elastigirl’s home for homebaked pies.

  194. elastigirl wrote:

    just look at how j piper & co. communicate. the intake of breath through the teeth, followed by pursed lips, look of concern, a slight shaking of the head, as if to say, “i don’t know,…you might not even be saved… i just don’t know….if the beauty of gender complementarity is not embraced, the Gospel is at stake…don’t get it wrong or you might the gospel wrong….church discipline, it’s a gospel issue, folks…gospel centered….for the glory of the gospel…the stakes are high…”

    I wish John Piper had gone straight to really good psychotherapy and not burdened the rest of Christendom with his obviously unresolved Mommy/Daddy/Johnny-boy issues.

  195. @ GSD:

    just want to say to the christian powerbrokers “get the F*#! out of my religion!”

    something is very wrong when the pursuit of God means aiming for just below the artistic lowest common denominator.

  196. elastigirl wrote:

    @ GSD:
    just want to say to the christian powerbrokers “get the F*#! out of my religion!”
    something is very wrong when the pursuit of God means aiming for just below the artistic lowest common denominator.

    Or not being able to listen to and enjoy decent art at all.

    When I was at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley I had to repress my ferocious love of The Blues. The weekend I was excommunicated, I was free, free, free at last…and listened to The Blues in the open. This was the first song I listened to…an 8 year old boy (Quinn Sullivan) on fire on the guitar playing with his hero, Buddy Guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix4TNJvVk8M

  197. dee wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    And I just heard Bruce Ware is going to be teaching a family conference in our area.

    Just remind all the women who attend that they will be subordinate to Brucie for eternity.

    Do you have a link to that in his own words? I could use that.

  198. GSD wrote:

    And there may be an additional factor with “creatives.” My friend is an artist, and North American Christian culture is not known for encouraging artistic expression. It may be that for some creatives, leaving the church culture is the only way to gain the freedom needed to bring to life the artwork that has been planted in them.

    Reminds me of a fanfic writer of my acquaintance, awhile back. She wrote some decent stories and was an active part of the community. Then apparently her christian community denounced Tolkien and Lord of the Rings and put a lot of guilt and pressure on her. She deleted all her stories and declared LOTR and fanfic evil, which you can imagine did not endear her to the fanfic community.

    Some months later she came to her senses and came crawling back (subdued, apologetic, and contrite), but the damage was done. I don’t know if she ever found acceptance again. She might have started writing again under a different name, I’m not sure.

  199. Velour wrote:

    Or not being able to listen to and enjoy decent art at all.

    When I was at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley I had to repress my ferocious love of The Blues. The weekend I was excommunicated, I was free, free, free at last…and listened to The Blues in the open. This was the first song I listened to…an 8 year old boy (Quinn Sullivan) on fire on the guitar playing with his hero, Buddy Guy.

    Preach it sister!
    I’m a long time blues fan, love Muddy Waters.
    Thing is, these guys (GBFSV or Calvary Chapel — it makes no difference) cannot appreciate art for art’s sake. It must have an ideological bent to it, much like the poster art of the Third Reich and the old Soviet Union.

  200. Stan wrote:

    What’s the big deal? Sounds like normal neo-Calvinism to me.

    Yep, yep. These guys like ranting about divorce/remarriage (“perpetual adultery”) from their social media accounts, playing hermeneutic games, but … eh, they will justify their own “lesser” adulteries and sexual sins to the death. They are something else.

  201. Muff Potter wrote:

    Preach it sister!
    I’m a long time blues fan, love Muddy Waters.
    Thing is, these guys (GBFSV or Calvary Chapel — it makes no difference) cannot appreciate art for art’s sake. It must have an ideological bent to it, much like the poster art of the Third Reich and the old Soviet Union.

    Thanks, Muff.

    I could never listen to Christian radio. It was appallingly bad music. So the little flame of The Blues kept burning deep within me…and then I was FREE to listen to it openly and to say how much I love it. Good stuff.

  202. Here’s an update on the House of Driscoll. We are on the 30th Sunday of Mark Driscoll’s invasion of an unsuspecting Scottsdale. I have been out there 26 of those Sundays. This inspired one of my signs:

    “6+ months on the sidewalk, still haven’t met Mark”

    with the other side being:

    “Ask Mark about his pornovision of his wife Grace
    Real Marriage p 11”

    I was annoyed to see that three candidates for the regional water project board had put a sign on the church property. I have notified the candidates the sign needs to come down as it’s a violation of The Trinity Church’s 501(c)3 tax exemption. It’s entirely possible the sign was put on the church’s right of way without the church knowing it. But it has to come down.

    I talked to a couple of people who invited me to church. In both cases, I pointed to the police cruiser parked about 25 yards away and said, “I would be arrested if I stepped on the property.” One woman was very concerned I was out there, wanted to make sure I had water, that sort of thing. She really wanted me to go to church. I don’t think she was so thrilled about my signs, but *shrug*. If I was a member of the Driscoll fan club, I’d be in the church.

    Today’s car count was as follows:

    9 am service: 104 cars, 2 RVs.
    10:45 am service: 120 cars, no RVs.

    He’s holding steady. So am I. And the weather is getting nicer. Today, for the first time, I saw LOTS of bike riders taking advantage of the mid-70s temps.

  203. Velour wrote:

    This was the first song I listened to…an 8 year old boy (Quinn Sullivan) on fire on the guitar playing with his hero, Buddy Guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix4TNJvVk8M

    Now THAT was a beautiful moment.

    I was thinking the other how odd the American Christian attitude toward music can be. Christian music is OK, and “safe for the whole family.” Rock music is never good, and I guess the Blues also falls into the “unsafe” category. But all Classical music is good, especially from the godly Beethoven or Mozart.

    Sorry, now I’m officially off-topic.

  204. Velour wrote:

    I could never listen to Christian radio. It was appallingly bad music. So the little flame of The Blues kept burning deep within me…and then I was FREE to listen to it openly and to say how much I love it. Good stuff.

    What Blues is is a music genre of Lamentation.
    Lamentation — something missing from Christianese bubble (except maybe as wagging-finger denunciations).

  205. elastigirl wrote:

    just look at how j piper & co. communicate. the intake of breath through the teeth, followed by pursed lips, look of concern, a slight shaking of the head, as if to say, “i don’t know,…you might not even be saved… i just don’t know….

    I wonder if they practice that delivery in the mirror, like the KZ Lagerfuehrer from Schindler’s List.

  206. GSD wrote:

    It’s got me wondering whether there is an undercurrent of fear in the fabric of the Reformation, and whether the lack of artistic expression is a symptom of that malady.

    You may be wondering, but these days I’m sure of it.

    American Fundagelicalism is a religion of Fear and Fear alone. Fear of Hillary, Fear of Gays (ed.), Fear of being Left Behind (any minute now…), Fear of the Great White Throne a la Jack Chick, Fear of everything except your own One True Church.

    And Calvinism adds another Fear. Fear of not being Really Truly Elect, Fear of after all your Election, God sending you to Hell anyway by His Sovereign Will.

  207. Max wrote:

    That’s the thing that bothers me most about New Calvinism. The new reformers talk a lot about “God”, but very little about Jesus, and hardly a mention of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist icons (Piper et al.) get more airtime than Jesus!

    Again, who needs Christ when you have CALVIN?
    CALVIN whose Institutes have God All Figured Out.

  208. GSD wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    This was the first song I listened to…an 8 year old boy (Quinn Sullivan) on fire on the guitar playing with his hero, Buddy Guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix4TNJvVk8M

    Now THAT was a beautiful moment.

    I was thinking the other how odd the American Christian attitude toward music can be. Christian music is OK, and “safe for the whole family.” Rock music is never good, and I guess the Blues also falls into the “unsafe” category. But all Classical music is good, especially from the godly Beethoven or Mozart.

    Sorry, now I’m officially off-topic.

    Racism probably has quite a lot to do with it, if he expressed views of Rushdoony et al., are any indication.

  209. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Racism probably has quite a lot to do with it, if he expressed views of Rushdoony et al., are any indication.

    Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, and Ragtime all started out with the reputation of “N*gg*r Music”, and only became respectable when they caught on with WHITE audiences/musicians/bands.

  210. GSD wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix4TNJvVk8M
    Now THAT was a beautiful moment.
    I was thinking the other how odd the American Christian attitude toward music can be. Christian music is OK, and “safe for the whole family.” Rock music is never good, and I guess the Blues also falls into the “unsafe” category. But all Classical music is good, especially from the godly Beethoven or Mozart.
    Sorry, now I’m officially off-topic.

    Wasn’t that a beautiful moment – 8 year old Quinn Sullivan playing The Blues with his hero Buddy Guy?

    Yes, conservative Christianity has demarcated for all of us the “safe” and the “unsafe”.
    “Safe” is what their friends are marketing – music, books – and unsafe is what their non-friends are marketing.

    Someone here posted that John Piper excommunicated one of his own sons for playing in a band in a club. John Piper’s ex-church (Piper is now retired and moved to another state) is pulling a Salem Witch Trials II on a domestic violence victim named Natalie and excommunicating her for leaving her abusive husband of decades.

    She has a soap making business (some lotions and other nice products too) that she uses to support herself and her children: http://www.applevalleynaturalsoap.com/

    I try to order some soaps from her as a show of support and also because they’re nice products.

  211. @ GSD:

    Thanks for your kind comment about music, and The Blues. I agree with you!

    I have a longer comment to you waiting to clear customs.

  212. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I could never listen to Christian radio. It was appallingly bad music. So the little flame of The Blues kept burning deep within me…and then I was FREE to listen to it openly and to say how much I love it. Good stuff.
    What Blues is is a music genre of Lamentation.
    Lamentation — something missing from Christianese bubble (except maybe as wagging-finger denunciations).

    That’s spot on, H.U.G.

  213. @ GSD:

    “…how odd the American Christian attitude toward music can be…… Sorry, now I’m officially off-topic.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    throwing caution to the wind, to say

    “Christian Church Culture: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be stirred, moved, and excited by something beyond its control” ― elastigirl

  214. My former pastor and closest friends of 15 years recently had a “bipolar manic break” her words….one week later she had completely cut me out of her life, no contact whatsoever…before she blocked me from all her social media, she was posting very new age/eastern religion memes and quotes and was really into the moon…maybe this guy had some sort of mental break…

  215. Law Prof wrote:

    I’ve long thought that a certain and probably substantial percentage of the neocalvinist crowd are closeted atheists or agnostics, mere followers of men, memorizers of verses, lovers of doctrines, passionate about concordances and long dead abusers and schemers who they worship and call fathers of the faith. Perhaps these people are sincere in their own way, even fooling themselves as to what they believe, but that deep down, when push comes to shove, they don’t love Jesus, they hate Him.

    Why else would so many devote their time and trouble to shoving Him out of the spotlight, putting it on themselves, enriching themselves at the expense of His followers, viciously persecuting anyone who loves Him and is unwilling to back down?

    There might be other explanations, and surely not all neocalvinists are agnosticbut I tell you, if you stop assuming this crowd really cares anything about Jesus, their actions make absolutely perfect sense.

    The more I think about it, the more your comment makes absolute sense. I’ve known people like this, and our previous church, which we found to be very controlling, was leaning this way. Take Jesus out of their teachings and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, because He was never really in there to begin with. As you say, it’s all about memorising verses and doctrines and making sure that they intellectually believe the right things, but there’s no relationship with Jesus there at all. No concept that He loves them and accepts them as they are, or that He has any kind of transforming power. It’s all, “believe this, read this sermon and pray and you’ll be fine”. Meanwhile people are drowning in depression and anxiety and situations that I believe the living God can change or help them with, and they’re being made to feel guilty, and then told that their guilt is a good thing because it means they understand how sinful they are.

    Whatever happened to “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”?!

  216. Law prof’s post reminds me of the ” What’s so amazing about grace”. Grace is scandalous….. we all this felling of ‘its not fair”. Grace undermines the whole Neo-cal, YRR structure by saying your salvation is not through a “covenant singing church” that holds the “keys” to your salvation

    Liz wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I’ve long thought that a certain and probably substantial percentage of the neocalvinist crowd are closeted atheists or agnostics, mere followers of men, memorizers of verses, lovers of doctrines, passionate about concordances and long dead abusers and schemers who they worship and call fathers of the faith. Perhaps these people are sincere in their own way, even fooling themselves as to what they believe, but that deep down, when push comes to shove, they don’t love Jesus, they hate Him.
    Why else would so many devote their time and trouble to shoving Him out of the spotlight, putting it on themselves, enriching themselves at the expense of His followers, viciously persecuting anyone who loves Him and is unwilling to back down?
    There might be other explanations, and surely not all neocalvinists are agnosticbut I tell you, if you stop assuming this crowd really cares anything about Jesus, their actions make absolutely perfect sense.
    The more I think about it, the more your comment makes absolute sense. I’ve known people like this, and our previous church, which we found to be very controlling, was leaning this way. Take Jesus out of their teachings and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, because He was never really in there to begin with. As you say, it’s all about memorising verses and doctrines and making sure that they intellectually believe the right things, but there’s no relationship with Jesus there at all. No concept that He loves them and accepts them as they are, or that He has any kind of transforming power. It’s all, “believe this, read this sermon and pray and you’ll be fine”. Meanwhile people are drowning in depression and anxiety and situations that I believe the living God can change or help them with, and they’re being made to feel guilty, and then told that their guilt is a good thing because it means they understand how sinful they are.
    Whatever happened to “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”?!

  217. Just visiting wrote:

    My former pastor and closest friends of 15 years recently had a “bipolar manic break” her words….one week later she had completely cut me out of her life, no contact whatsoever…before she blocked me from all her social media, she was posting very new age/eastern religion memes and quotes and was really into the moon…maybe this guy had some sort of mental break…

    Sorry to hear that, Just visiting. As you describe it, that does make sense though, if she associates you with her former Christian life.

  218. Velour wrote:

    Yes, conservative Christianity has demarcated for all of us the “safe” and the “unsafe”.
    “Safe” is what their friends are marketing – music, books – and unsafe is what their non-friends are marketing.

    “You’ll be keeping all your money
    In the kingdom now
    And you’ll only drink milk
    From a Christian cow

    “Don’t you go casting your bread
    To keep the heathen well-fed
    Line Christian pockets instead
    Avoid temptation

    “Guilty by association!”
    — Steve Taylor, “Guilty by Association”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RRjpvsmzBE

  219. Velour wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I could never listen to Christian radio. It was appallingly bad music. So the little flame of The Blues kept burning deep within me…and then I was FREE to listen to it openly and to say how much I love it. Good stuff.
    What Blues is is a music genre of Lamentation.
    Lamentation — something missing from Christianese bubble (except maybe as wagging-finger denunciations).

    That’s spot on, H.U.G.

    Amen, Velour. I haven’t listened to Christian radio in 20 years. My thing is more Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole, although lately I’ve started getting into Johnny Cash. I’m not a country music fan in general, but I really appreciate his stuff. The other one I occasionally listen to is Patsy Cline.

    Frankly, I’d rather listen to When The Man Comes Around than any of the drivel on KLOVE.

  220. GSD wrote:

    From a historical perspective, it seems that the Reformation, for all the good it did, was not helpful to the artist. So many of the Christian high-points in art were Catholic and Orthodox… I’ve often wondered what would happen in a modern evangelical church if they hired a sculptor to paint a mural on the ceiling and walls, and he decided to include lots of people without clothing. It’s hard to do Christian art for the marketplace, because there is such a long list of things you can’t do.

    It’s got me wondering whether there is an undercurrent of fear in the fabric of the Reformation, and whether the lack of artistic expression is a symptom of that malady.

    When you consider the outbreaks of iconoclasm motivated by the fear and loathing of idolatry, particularly in Britain and the Netherlands, what with their early Puritans, Presbyterians, and Swiss reformed, it’s not surprising. This was less an issue in Lutheran dominated areas, or the established Anglican church.

    At least on the continent they had the Dutch masters of painting. Lutherans and Anglicans have produced some of the best music for almost five centuries.

    When in comes to the Puritans, Scots Presbyterians, the Swiss, and the lesser known German reformed, I cannot find a single notable artist either in music or the visual arts. I put that down to an insistence on exclusive psalmnody with no instruments (or close to it), and a total rejection of representational art, at least in church.

  221. elastigirl wrote:

    “Christian Church Culture: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be stirred, moved, and excited by something beyond its control”

    “We’re not happy until you’re not happy.”

  222. NJ wrote:

    Frankly, I’d rather listen to When The Man Comes Around than any of the drivel on KLOVE.

    Those people TALK way way too much, too. What is up with that? (get forced to listen in my mom’s car).

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And her new “creative thing” outlet — her written-down sexual fantasies and fanfics of same — sparked (or should that be SPARKLED?) a new genre of Mommy Porn for bored housewives.

    Stephanie Meyers stuff, though, was hilariously not sex filled, as Prince Sparkle himself was all ‘no, we must wait until we are married’ through half of the books…

  223. “The Antithesis Between Symbolism and Revelation” by Abraham Kuyper offers a good perspective on the subject too.

  224. Ken F wrote:

    “We’re not happy until you’re not happy.”

    The unwritten tag-line at many lifeless, superficial churches in America. The joy of the Lord is not their strength.

  225. Ken F wrote:

    “We’re not happy until you’re not happy.”

    “Pastor/Elders not happy, nobody happy.
    Our Lord not happy, nobody care.”

    not a very good saying I made up, pretty poor actually, so sorry;
    but the thing is that the Presence of the Holy Spirit within a faith community will be seen by the presence of ‘joy’ among the members, and when there is an absence of ‘joy’ there is little to keep that community focused on Christ, which is WHY the Holy Spirit is there: He only points us towards Christ.

  226. off topic, but maybe not entirely off topic:
    Denny Burk has a post up about Church Discipline …. I left a comment but it may not be accepted, this:

    ” Christiane Smith October 17, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    “is a Church anti-gay for practicing Church discipline?”

    It depends. I think amidst all of the verses used to ‘okay’ a certain type of ‘discipline’ among some Churches today, there is a very serious danger of wandering away from a deeper teaching found in the rest of Scripture, a teaching that underwrites and protects the work of the Holy Spirit within the private conscience of a Christian believer.

    It is also important to understand the nature of sin: in a theology where a person has not willingly turned away from Christ, and yet they are being judged as ‘sinners’ and punished accordingly;
    one has to ask if that theology embraces the teaching of God that man has been given the command to ‘choose life’, and also has been given the freedom of that choice.

    In some variations of Christian theology, a fundamentalist application of certain verses in a formal Church discipline would excuse those sitting in judgment from other considerations within Scripture that might have protected them from error. This is a matter of perspective. A main-line Church will not see ‘Church discipline’ in the same way that a fundamentalist evangelical Church would view it.

    The question of this post is one that would prompt different responses from different branches of the ‘family’, yes. Very much so. And the responses would vary according to which end of the spectrum a Church gravitated:
    does the Church see itself as protecting itself from the stain of sinners
    OR
    does the Church see itself as a ‘hospital for sinners’ ?
    The answer will impel that Church to act accordingly.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

  227. elastigirl wrote:

    “Christian Church Culture: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be stirred, moved, and excited by something beyond its control” ― elastigirl

    Today’s posting at Internet Monk describes exactly that sensation — “stirred, moved, and excited by something beyond its control”:
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/68787

    And while reading it, all I could think of was the Jesus Juke responses the concert described would get from Christian Church Culture.

  228. Christiane wrote:

    the Presence of the Holy Spirit within a faith community will be seen by the presence of ‘joy’ among the members, and when there is an absence of ‘joy’ there is little to keep that community focused on Christ, which is WHY the Holy Spirit is there: He only points us towards Christ.

    Amen! Churches which have leaders who grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by aberrant preaching/teaching will experience no joy. In its place, a spirit of oppression lays heavily upon the people. When you visit such churches, simple observation will reveal bondage in the pew which carries a countenance of sadness instead of joy. We may leave such places thinking that bunch was not very friendly, while in fact they were spiritually oppressed.

    Isaiah had set conditions for leaders who seek God in prayer: “You will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry for help, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ IF you take away from your midst the yoke of oppression” (Isaiah 58:9). To activate the “THEN Will I” of God, one must meet the conditions of “IF My People” (2 Chron 7:14) … Pastors, stop oppressing your congregation with the doctrines of men, rather than the doctrine of Christ!

    As Christiane notes, the presence of God in a ministry requires an active work of the Holy Spirit in its midst. Without the Spirit, there will be no revealed Truth, there will be no joy, Jesus will not be glorified and exalted.

  229. Um…He’s certainly not a Christian, if he ever was to begin with. Beware of wolves wearing sheep skin, eh? I wonder how his congregation feels after discovering all this and how they will reconcile with it all? Any thoughts?

  230. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ NJ:
    You might enjoy reading this book.

    http://www.caareviews.org/reviews/76#.WATepHR4WhA

    That’s a very interesting review; thank you. My thoughts on this have probably been significantly impacted by the fact that some of my earliest exposure to the Reformed world was with the RPCNA, a.k.a. the American Covenanters. They lay claim to carrying on the tradition (oops, I mean heritage) of the original Presbyterians. Mostly plain interiors, Psalms only, no musical instruments. What I can’t get past is, if it’s a sin to sing noncanonical hymns in corporate worship, why is it not a sin to do so in private settings? A few of them will try to be consistent and never sing anything but Psalms, but they are a tiny minority.

    I think the rest of the Protestant world could learn a lot from their type of Psalm singing, which has largely been abandoned. Some popular worship songs use snippets, while fewer try to sing the entire Psalm. I may not agree with the exclusive part, but singing through the entire Psalter has much to commend it.

  231. NJ wrote:

    RPCNA, a.k.a. the American Covenanters. They lay claim to carrying on the tradition (oops, I mean heritage) of the original Presbyterians. Mostly plain interiors, Psalms only, no musical instruments.

    That’s where Gordon Dickson got the trappings for his “Friendlies”…

    But didn’t doing “the entire Psalter” originate in the long form of the CATHOLIC Liturgy of the Hours?

  232. NJ wrote:

    When you consider the outbreaks of iconoclasm motivated by the fear and loathing of idolatry, particularly in Britain and the Netherlands, what with their early Puritans, Presbyterians, and Swiss reformed, it’s not surprising.

    And you have a similar outbreak of iconoclasm going on today in Islam with the Wahabi, backed by Saudi oil money.

    When I first heard details of how Calvin “whitewashed the churches of Geneva” — chiseling off ALL decoration, painting the resulting blank walls white (sometimes calligraphing Bible verses over the blank white), all I could think of was “Just like Wahabi do to the mosques they take over.”

  233. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Calvin “whitewashed the churches of Geneva” — chiseling off ALL decoration, painting the resulting blank walls white

    On the other hand, New Calvinist church planters in my area paint the “sanctuary” walls black and build a stage for the band and “lead pastor” to strut their stuff under bright spotlights! Calvin wouldn’t have approved.

  234. Thomas Beckit wrote:

    I wonder how his congregation feels after discovering all this and how they will reconcile with it all? Any thoughts?

    maybe they will pray for him? he is obviously in some kind of crisis OR as some have suggested, he harbors a cynicism of a very destructive sort;
    in either case, the prayers of a whole faith community can be a powerful intervention

  235. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Propaganda for the One True Ideology, nothing more.

    Thanks for the link HUG. Made me think of what Shostakovich went through when he wound up on comrade Stalin’s bad side. They’re all the same aren’t they? They hate and despise artistic freedom.

  236. Thomas Beckit wrote:

    Thomas, I think that’s certainly possible. He may have been a wolf from the outset, or may have developed questions he wasn’t sharing with anyone in Mosaic.

    Over the past year, I have met more than a few pastors who have spoken about their flock as if they just couldn’t stand them. One pastor spoke of his people as though they were below him in status.He expressed a desire to move out of the community where he is and that he felt like the people in the town he wanted to go to were more his speed socio-economically. Man, this rubs me the wrong way. Another planter expressed to me that he hated his city and almost everything about the culture there.

    This quote is very troubling, especially if he’s talking about fellow Acts 29 pastors. Given what we know about their church planting model, which is somewhat akin to the mistakes Krispy Kreme made some years ago, this could be indicative of seriously faulty management and business planning, if you’ll pardon the expression.

  237. But didn’t doing “the entire Psalter” originate in the long form of the CATHOLIC Liturgy of the Hours?

    Probably. I’m pretty sure monastic orders like the Benedictines made a habit of reciting their way through the entire thing, using strings of 150 beads called “Psalters” instead of rosaries.

  238. Christiane wrote:

    @ NJ:
    I found this very interesting resource:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvTDc086quA

    I’ve always loved the psalms sung in the Anglican tradition, but they do use music sometimes, sometimes not.
    Thanks for mentioning the Covenanters …. this is a group I was not familiar with.

    I wonder if the Scottish Covenanters had a connection to the Great Hebrides Revival?

    So powerful is the story of two sisters in their eighties, one blind and one crippled, who ‘prayed’ their land into Christian revival.

    When I think of the neo-Cals at their worst, I remember the heritage of these two Scottish women whose prayers turned a people back to the Lord again, and I wonder how many blessed ‘Peggy’s’ and ‘Christine’s are silenced in those neo-Cal churches???? The whole Church awaits the release of their gifts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVaUY3WGBmA

  239. bunny wrote:

    it seems he wants to go straight to the jugular on that. As bad as the sexual stuff is, and that is very bad, to me this is almost worse, since it is a direct accusation against God Himself-who most definitely has been a good Father to me and to the rest of His children!

    Boles seems like a master manipulator. I think he does know that this will be the reaction – if he says he doesn’t really know God. And it could be that he’s using this tactic as a smoke screen to get off the topic of the allegations from women that he sexually abused them.

    Plus he gets a bunch of Christians who feel sorry for him and want to evangelize him.

  240. Christiane wrote:

    @ NJ:
    I found this very interesting resource:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvTDc086quA

    I’ve always loved the psalms sung in the Anglican tradition, but they do use music sometimes, sometimes not.
    Thanks for mentioning the Covenanters …. this is a group I was not familiar with.

    You’re welcome. The video’s not bad, and the example of Psalm singing at the end is some of the best I’ve heard from an RP congregation.

    My only quibble is that Pastor Peel moves seamlessly between saying that Psalms were the majority of what was sung in the average liturgy, to *implying* that exclusive Psalmnody was the majority position until modern times, which as far as I know is not the case. The listener unfamiliar with the history of Protestant worship generally, as well as ancient and medieval church worship (both East and West), could be led astray here.

  241. Velour wrote:

    Plus he gets a bunch of Christians who feel sorry for him and want to evangelize him.

    Which opens the opportunity for a Faked-Conversion Comeback, with a “Lest Ye Be Judged” on the side.

  242. Muff Potter wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Propaganda for the One True Ideology, nothing more.
    Thanks for the link HUG. Made me think of what Shostakovich went through when he wound up on comrade Stalin’s bad side. They’re all the same aren’t they? They hate and despise artistic freedom.

    From Plato’s Republic through Citizen Robespierre’s Republique of Perfect Virtue.

    Actually, that essay connected a lot of separate observations. The domination of Near Future Persecution Dystopia after Near Future Persecution Dystopia to the exclusion of all else. The ironclad Taboos against (1) futures farther off than Twenty Minutes Into The Future; (2) Aliens (unless DEMONS in disguise); (3) Semihumans (same thing, with Bestiality enhancements); and (4) ANY off-world setting (God won’t be able to take us in The Rapture).

    Christian SF(TM) isn’t SF. It’s Christian APOCALYPTIC, a separate genre more closely related to the Technothriller (and Atlas Shrugged) than actual SF. In Christian Apocalyptic, there is NO sensawunda. There is NO “What If?” Because all has been dictated word-for-word, letter-by-letter by SCRIPTURE/Ideology. (Just like todsy’s “Mundane SF” and “Social Justice Warrior” SF movements.)

  243. Muff Potter wrote:

    Made me think of what Shostakovich went through when he wound up on comrade Stalin’s bad side. They’re all the same aren’t they?

    Well, Pope John Paul II approached Communism as a Christian Heresy…

  244. @ Christiane:
    Thanks Christians. I made some good friends in the Faith Mission in the North East of Scotland many years ago when they were conducting a mission. Although a ‘lowlander’, my heart and theology are rooted in the Western Isles.

  245. NJ wrote:

    Sr. or Jr.?

    Both of em’ actually, but I was thinking more along the lines of Hank Williams Sr. as an American icon. And for what it’s worth, I think Kris Kristofferson is a word smith extraordinaire.

  246. @ Lowlandseer:
    my mother’s side of the family are partially Scots: the MacGillivrays and the Jacksons, but as far as I know, no one from the beautiful Hebrides. I own a Harris tweed ladies’ suit which is lined and tailored beautifully …. it is quite old and still presentable and serviceable. I don’t think I could buy anything of that quality in the States easily, no. The ‘Harris tweed’ story is an amazing unique part of life in the Western Isles. So special.

  247. Max wrote:

    ord to be distracted from the Great Commission by theological arguments.

    Sounds like something out of the Screwtape Letters.

  248. Nancy2 wrote:

    ***bringing covered dishes and desserts to fellowship meals (the art here is culinary talent).

    Though if you go to Velour’s former church (admittedly not Baptist, IIRC), not even this… at least, cannot be too extravagant. Must maintain humility (humiliation?) at all cost.

  249. Bridget wrote:

    NJ wrote:

    It’s just too easy for extreme emotion to be misinterpreted as the Spirit.

    Yes. And God works as he pleases to draw humanity to himself. I know more people who turned to God alone in their room or with one other person in a park or a car or a living room than I know people who did so at a revival or church alter call.

    My wife: became a follower of Jesus alone in her room at 13. I became a follower of Jesus praying with two other guys, Hal and Greg, in a dorm room at 18. I’m sure that many exist, but have never met anyone who became a Christian at a revival (not that they’re ipso facto bad, because thousands came to know Jesus on Pentecost, but then again, that wasn’t some planned, money-making, celeb-centric enterprise either, was it)

  250. refugee wrote:

    Max wrote:
    ord to be distracted from the Great Commission by theological arguments.
    Sounds like something out of the Screwtape Letters.

    “Nowhere do we corrupt so effectively as at the very foot of the altar!”
    — Screwtape

  251. elastigirl wrote:

    christian culture is the most repressive place on earth where creativity is concerned. rulesrulesrules, written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken. even if these rules don’t explicitly codify artistic expression, the whole climate is fear-driven, punctilious, paranoid… Gospel dessicant for drying up the process of creative inspiration.

    christian culture is terrified of inspiration, understanding nothing of the creative inspiration process. too much freedom in it. and we can’t have that, can we.

    It’s really crazy, because it’s exactly the opposite of Jesus, Who created the entire universe, Who made us with an innate desire to create beautiful things (probably one of the main ways in which we’re made in the image of God). Who was called “a man after God’s own heart”? David. What was David initially famous for? He was a child prodigy, a Mozart, his fame as a musician reached the king’s court and King Saul requested him personally to be court composer and musician. What did he go on to do as an adult? He created some of the most remarkable music and poetry in world history, and we still sing his lyrics today, 3,000 years later. So who are these people stifling creativity? Are they of God?

  252. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Nowhere do we corrupt so effectively as at the very foot of the altar!”
    — Screwtape

    “Culturally relevant” churches in America have constructed entertainment platforms over prayer altars to provide more room for pride and arrogance to strut.

  253. I’ve experienced the leaden and deadening “art” in today’s Christian world. The architecture? A stage, a gym. The music? A bad knock-off of Whatever Is Most Popular or Whatever They Say They Like. The visual arts? Often banal or manipulative. The fabric arts? Banners, but not much else. But the lack of art, artistry, and the understanding of its value is not normative in the rest of the world which were less impacted by the anti-material basis and the (somewhat understandable at the time) rejection of art and beauty by the Reformers.

    If you want to see what is going on in other parts of the world, and to a lesser degree, in the US, here is a link to the Orthodox Arts Journal: http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/

    I especially commend to you this article, because it shows what regular Joe people can do with some vision and some gifts and sacrifice. http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/a-miracle-of-liturgical-art-the-church-of-the-protection-of-the-mother-of-god-at-yasenevo/ Look at the photographs for sure, but read the story that goes with it. It’s remarkable.

    Please note that I am not posting this to say that the Orthodox are the only ones who “do art”–we are not. There IS good music, painting, fabric art done by Christian people. It’s just not part of what we call “Christian art.” And the obvious question is, “Why not?”

  254. Max wrote:

    “Culturally relevant” churches in America have constructed entertainment platforms over prayer altars to provide more room for pride and arrogance to strut.

    Some have and some haven’t.

    I was fooled by an unhip church format that had traditional hymns at my ex-church. It turned out to be an authoritarian, abusive, NeoCalvinist, 9 Marxist church with Membership Covenants and elder-rule. It was the most spiritually abusive church that I, or most ex-members, had ever been in.

    Just because it looks traditional doesn’t mean it’s spiritually healthy either.

  255. Max wrote:

    “Culturally relevant” churches in America have constructed entertainment platforms over prayer altars to provide more room for pride and arrogance to strut.

    sad …. we think of the Cross as the first Christian altar

    later, the early Christians would gather in the catacomb and the ‘altar’ was simply the top of a casket in which a martyr had been entombed …… later, Churches were built over the places where the martyrs had died

    (there is reference in the Book of Revelation: the martyrs cry out from underneath the altar)

    I’m not sure why all this ‘entertainment’ is called ‘worship’, and I don’t begrudge any of it if it brings people to Our Lord, but it is such a far cry from the reverence the early Christians felt for the places where they first gathered for the Service of the Word and the Service of the Eucharist

  256. Velour wrote:

    Just because it looks traditional doesn’t mean it’s spiritually healthy either.

    Agreed. I don’t have a problem with form, as long as there is some substance to it. In my area, the New Calvinist churches which stress “culturally relevant” seem to have a particular problem generating spiritual substance to go with their form. Perhaps it’s just my area; I hope things are better where you live.

  257. Christiane wrote:

    a far cry from the reverence the early Christians felt for the places where they first gathered

    When I think of “reverence” in a place of worship, I compare what I see today with what I read in Scripture about the early church. Those 1st century gatherings of Christians were characterized by a profound awe, respect and love for Christ. That sort of reverence is missing in far too many places in 21st century church. Many churches today are promoted “Come as you are, kick back, relax, laugh, enjoy yourselves.” And as we come, so we leave. I’m not saying all those “culturally relevant” churches are off track; I just have trouble looking at the picture of the early church and then comparing it with today’s portrait. Perhaps I’m just old and fuddy-duddy and off-track myself. I just feel like we need to get back to lifting the Main Thing as the main thing, humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, and flush the gimmicks.

  258. I’ve really enoyed the conversation regarding art here and on the Open Discussion page. I’d like to say this:

    To the artistic ones who feel suffocated in traditional church: keep creating. Don’t stop. If you’re sure you’re where God wants you to be, trust Him. If not, keep seeking while trusting. Let any criticism roll off your back. So what if someone doesn’t like what you do? If you know the Lord’s voice and obey Him, all is well.

    If and when He tells you to move on, go. Try to find like-minded believers (you will, and there are some right here) and know that you’re understood. You are an individual who is loved more than you can comprehend in this brief moment on Earth. Yeshua knew what He was getting when you gave your life to Him so He’s not surprised by anything at all. Rest in this fact.

    Thank God for the gifts and talents He blessed you with each day and expect good things. He’ll bring them to pass.

  259. So he’s a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who doesn’t really care about them?

  260. Burwell wrote:

    Talmidah wrote:

    To the artistic ones who feel suffocated in traditional church: keep creating. Don’t stop.

    Very well said!

    Thanks, Burwell. 🙂

  261. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Bimbo Boles — another reason why no Wartburger ever needs to watch soap opera.
    Could he just be cracking up?
    Off the deep end, cuckoo-clock sounds and all?

    Bimbo Boles LOL. Maybe his website should be called Dustbin Holes!

  262. Christiane wrote:

    Some things we speak of here go a lot deeper than politics.

    To me it just seems like taking advantage of the discussion to express political opinions.

  263. dee wrote:

    Deana Holmes (fka mirele) wrote:

    I don’t think he was going over to atheism.

    Yeah, he says he is a *modified* deist. I think he is straddling both side, attempting to come up with an excuse or redemption for his behavior. I have a feeling things have been off for a long, long time but I cannot get people in his past to answer my calls which in itself is strange. If he was the best Christian since Ignatius, I would think someone in his past would declare him to be so.

    To me, he appears to be mentally ill. I have a terrible feeling that this is not the end of the story, & that we should all be praying for all those who are in any form of proximity to him, cause this cannot end well….

  264. Talmidah wrote:

    This might be a good time to let those interested know that the documentary film Marjoe may be viewed on the Internet Archive for free (archive.org). I won’t put the link here; just plug the title into the search box. If you’ve never seen it try to make time. It’s a real doozy of an eye-opener. At least it was for me.

    Agreed.

  265. Velour wrote:

    I think he married her because he could control her. As Gavin de Becker wrote in the Gift of Fear, men who can’t take ‘no’ choose women who can’t say ‘no’. Grace isn’t a person who can say ‘no’.

    Also agreed.