Why Would an Orthodox, Gospel, Holy Spirit Filled Theologian Like Francis Schaeffer Abuse His Wife?

"The problem with depicting abusers as full-time monsters is that when a person is actually experiencing abuse in their own life, they'll think "oh but he's the sweetest guy most of the time so he can't be an abuser " or "but he's not ALWAYS horrible, he's usually amazing, so he's not an abuser", and they'll make the mistake of thinking they mustn't really be being abused when they actually are.” ― Miya Yamanouchi link

In the span of about a week, TWW received two emails that discussed some pretty serious sins and the lack of response by the churches involved. Both churches have pastors that most every reader here would immediately know. One women said, "I bet you don't believe me. No one does." I answered, "I have no reason, at this point, not to believe you."

Why did I answer like this? It is because of this blog. We have posted story after story of serious sin committed by Christian leaders. When we do, we inevitably get pushback. Some claim we are lying. Others say they go to his church and just *know* he couldn't do anything like that. Others say we just shouldn't talk about it because it is gossip and it hurts the church when these things get out.

It is next to impossible to keep sins of the pastor celebrities hidden because they exist in the public eye. Most of them will make some sort of statement to the fact that "I am not perfect" but they never tell us what they mean by that. They could simply mean that they disobey speed limits or overeat. But they could also mean that they molest kids. When the bad thing that do is finally revealed, their followers often state "Well, they said they weren't perfect."

As I take a long view of Scripture, it seems to me that serious sin is part and parcel of the lives of all Christians. I don't really want to get into a discussion of whether *so and so* is or is not a Christian. In the end, it is up to God to make that decision. Can we assume that because someone is a well known theologian type Christian, that they are somehow less sinful than me, the *Joe Average* Christian?

When I first became a Christian, I was encouraged to read Francis Schaeffer's books. His view on abortion had a significant effect on my pro-life stance. In my mind, he was one of those super Christian celebrities who really *got* the Bible. He believed that the Bible should influence society and culture. This influenced me to become involved in politics until the last decade or so when I realized that it wasn't my hill to die on. But, Schaeffer was always high on my list of go to authors as a young Christian.

Then, today, I learned that Francis Schaeffer abused his wife, Edith. He had a terrific temper and would hit her and throw things against walls.

Francis Schaeffer allegedly physically abused his wife, Edith.

In 2013, Christianity Today published Remembering Edith Schaeffer, the Evangelical in Pearls and Chanel No. 5.

Of course, Edith didn't really let us in on the secrets of the Schaeffer family; her son, Frank, did that later in his books Crazy for God and Sex, Mom, and God, telling us of Francis' fits of abusive rage and apparent sex addiction, Edith's periods of manic activity and her obsession with maintaining the impression of her family's perfection, and his own drug use and sexual activity with the pretty hippie girls who dropped by L'Abri, all of which his parents knew about and carefully cloaked. Even as I would've been helped in my early adulthood by knowing that she wasn't really that perfect, I had to sympathize with my dad's response to Crazy for God: "If for some reason you need to write a tell-all about me, could you please wait until I'm dead?"

Edith was from a different time; a time when people didn't air dirty laundry and where maintaining outward appearances was considered an important part of being a good "witness for Jesus." I will not defend her self-abnegating vision of Christian womanhood (to the point that she seems to have tolerated abuse), nor the fact that she presented a picture of family bliss that was not, according to her children, at all accurate.

Their children appeared to take second place to Francis and Edith's ministry.

Christianity Today published a two part series called The Dissatisfaction of Francis Schaeffer, Part 1 and Part 2

These may have been the hardest years of marriage for the Schaeffers, both of whom were extraordinarily intense, work-centered personalities. Edith was by nature proud and competitive, and Francis had for a long time struggled with a plant-throwing, pot-smashing temper. Stormy sessions between them were not infrequent. 

…Edith also took up her typewriter, publishing L'Abri in 1969. In the mid-1970s, she wrote a regular column for Christianity Today, and by 1981 had completed a total of eight books on family life and devotional topics that had sold over 1 million copies. In her writing she often voiced opposition to "women's liberation" and the trend toward two-career families. This latter was curious, given that Francis's wider ministry commenced for her a new full-time career as a writer and lecturer. Meanwhile, 11-year-old Franky was trundled off to English boarding school.

Francis and Edith Schaeffer were Calvinist in their perspective.

According to their son, Frank, in Sex, Mom & God

Frank indeed grew up in a strange world.  Growing up the son of hardline Presbyterian missionaries in a missionary chalet and spiritual-seeker-haven in Switzerland would have to have been a very unique experience (though it must be added that many, many people count their visits and time at L’Abri as seminal moments in their own Christian journeys…and I do wish I had been old enough to visit as well).  As Francis and Edith grew more popular, Frank was left alone for long periods of time as his parents went on their speaking tours.  He witnessed a double-life in his parents as well that scarred him deeply.  Francis had a terrible temper and would hit and throw objects at Edit

In 2014, their son Frank wrote My Parents Stayed Married Because my Father Tearfully Apologized for Hitting Mom and then Worked to Curb his Violent Male Dominant (Calvinist-Fed) Temper

Eventually Francis apologized to Edith for hitting her (it took years) and worked on controlling his temper. Apparently this meant giving up on his idea that men were the head of the household, according to his son.

My parents gradually learned to ignore the biblical teaching about men being the “head of the home” to our benefit. 

Did Francis Schaeffer's treatment of Edith have an effect on today's Calvinist teachers?

We are all aware of John Piper's infamous video in which he said that women should endure abuse for a season. Even his attempts at clarification were not terribly helpful. I wondered if John Piper ever listened to Francis Schaeffer. Apparently he heard Schaeffer speak at Wheaton College in the 1960s.

In 2009, John Piper recommended the following post at Crossway Francis Schaeffer and a World in Desperate Need.

Thus Schaeffer wrote, “The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them.” “If we do not want to waste our lives,” Schaeffer continued, “then we must understand the importance of having a humble, quiet heart and the power of the Holy Spirit.”

…Schaeffer was not a flawless man, but we can benefit greatly today from his commitment to historic Christian orthodoxy, and for his compassion to reach this desperately lost generation with the only hope there is — the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word, lived out across the whole spectrum of life, in compassionate response to the degeneracy of the world and the tragic consequences this has in the lives of people everywhere

The article ends by saying this.

I would commend this sermon by Francis Schaeffer as one that has profoundly shaped the work of Crossway and that has likewise provided a frequent checkpoint and challenge to me personally — to do “the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way,” in the power of the Spirit rather than the power of the flesh, and for God’s glory alone.

But in spite of this theology, he beat his wife!!!!

Sure, his orthodox teachings were fine and he wanted to save the lost but he was a terror at home, raging and throwing things at the wall while smacking Edith. Is this a normal response of those who have the power of the Holy Spirit? Did Schaeffer's theology, so admired by today's Calvinists, make a difference in the personal lives of these men.

I have a theological dilemma, folks, and I need your help in figuring it out.

How could Schaeffer abuse his wife while functioning under the power of the Holy Spirit?

Since Schaeffer was a Calvinist, it is only fair that we view the Christian life through his lens to attempt to understand his actions. 

Calvinists believe that when God, via His Holy Spirit, calls His elect to come to Him, they must respond in the affirmative since he is part of the Godhead. This is irresistible Grace, the letter *I* in the TULIP.

Irresistible Grace:
When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s. 
“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out," (John 6:37).

Now, all Christians are given the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion. This is the same Holy Spirit that calls the elect to God. This is irresistible Holy Spirit now dwelling in the lives of the elect.

A number of the gospel™ boys recommended Jen Wilkin's post Failure Is Not a Virtue at The Gospel Coalition website. here is her construct.

If our hearts have been transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can obey so says the Calvinists at TGC.

She starts off OK, stating that our hearts are now different because of the Spirit.

Interestingly, Jesus battled legalism in a different way than the celebratory failurist does. Rather than tossing out the Law or devaluing obedience to it, he called his followers to a deeper obedience (Matthew 5:17-48) than the behavior modification the Pharisees prized. He called for obedience in motive as well as in deed, the kind of godly obedience that is impossible for someone whose heart has not been transformed by the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit

We must stop disobeying and begin obeying because the gospel gives freedom to obey so they say.

She has switched from the Holy Spirit to *the gospel.*

The gospel grants both freedom from the penalty of sin and freedom to begin to obey (Rom 6:16). And what are we to obey? The Law that once gave death now gives freedom. God's Word teaches us that behavior modification should absolutely follow salvation. It just occurs for a different reason than it does in the life of the unbeliever. Modified behavior reflects a changed heart. When Peter says we have spent enough time living as the pagans do, surely he means that it is time to stop disobeying and begin obeying

How does this work for us? Through Biblical lists and Christian leaders according to TGC.

Earnest Christians look to their church leaders and ask, “Teach me to walk in his ways.” We owe them an answer beyond, “Fail and repent.” We owe them, “This is the way, walk in it.” This way is often delineated by lists—a list of ten don'ts in Exodus 20, a list of eight do's in Matthew 5, a list of works of the flesh (Galatians 5:22-23) and spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) in Galatians 5, and so on. 

Wait, where did the Holy Sprit go? Is the Holy Spirit ineffectual in causing us to obey? Is that why we need lists?

If the Holy Spirit  is effectual in calling us to Christ, why is it not effectual in stopping men like Schaeffer from abusing their wives? Surely Schaeffer knew all of the lists given by Wilkins. He knew all of the great Christian leaders of his time as well. So, why wasn't knowledge of Scripture, orthodox doctrine and a zeal for God not enough to stop a man like Schaeffer from abusing Edith?

What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and the gospel in Wilkin's treatise? 

Here is the list from Galatians 5:22-23. Is the Holy Spirit effectual in helping us do these things? How effectual? When does it decide to let us attempt do good on our own as opposed to helping us do it? If I pray for all of these fruits each day, whey doesn't the Holy Spirit guarantee that I can do it?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

Why do I ask these questions? The more I see the leaders fail in spectacular ways: adultery, pedophilia, domestic violence, child abuse, embezzlement, etc. I wonder what went wrong? Does being *orthodox* in one's theology means anything when it comes to sinful behavior?

I want to hear from you since I do not have any pat answers. I really, really want to know why the Holy Spirit is sometimes effectual but not effectual in stopping supposed Christian orthodox theologians and leaders who know all about the lists from abusing their spouses.

I think I would rather have seen a world without the works of Francis Schaeffer if it would have prevented him from abusing Edith.

 

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Comments

Why Would an Orthodox, Gospel, Holy Spirit Filled Theologian Like Francis Schaeffer Abuse His Wife? — 808 Comments

  1. ishy wrote:

    All this focus on the “preached Word” ends up doing is putting the focus on the messenger, not God. God is the one who gives us ears to hear through the Holy Spirit, and as I am not a Calvinist, I believe we are the ones that surrender ourselves to be changed by it.

    “we” and “us” are crucial in the service that is Church, it is in the collective worship of the PEOPLE that the Church honors God …. the collective prayers of the people make them ‘the servants of the Word’ instead of one man imparting his personal views to those in the pews who sit silently listening to HIM, and not communing with their God as a people. There is something to be said for the ancient participatory ‘work of the people’: the liturgy.

  2. Muff Potter wrote:

    I would argue that it’s well within our power as a civilized people to put an end to human trafficking as it exists present day.

    I would agree, The same goes for famine. So why don’t we?

  3. Jeff S wrote:

    The reason to talk about King David is because we have a trustworthy account that he WAS burdened by his sin and truly repentant. But that doesn’t mean abusers get the right to invoke David to demand forgiveness. I

    I really liked this. Thank you.

  4. dlc wrote:

    Posted a couple of questions for you on the open discussion page

    I’ve left brief answers to your very deep questions under the OD heading.

    To delve more deeply into the questions you asked I recommend the American Scientific Affiliation, http://network.asa3.org/?page=Topics . The ASA is an organization of science and technology professionals that are willing to affirm a basic Christian statement of faith. I am a member. The resources part of their site (cited) has very substantial resources directed to your questions. Unlike most professional organizations only the most recent issue of their journal is reserved for members only so you should not be blocked by by a paywall.

  5. dee wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    I read somewhere that he had bouts of depression.
    I wonder if he had been on meds if might have helped?

    And I never heard he was into Noutheics or had anything against psych meds.

  6. dee wrote:

    The same goes for famine. So why don’t we?

    Because the devil is and always has been in the details (even in Wilberforces’s day). Upset somebody else’s apple cart, not mine, cuz’ I’m makin’ tons-o’-money offa’ the way things are. Besides, there’s a natural order to this world, and those who try and upset it do not fare well.

  7. @ Anonymous 2:
    Agreed, Anonymous2! I love TWW, but I think spreading these accusations is wrong. This post and all the follow up to it relies on one person’s remarks in a book that is fictionalized for certain. (Maybe there is more to it, this is how I understand it.) Others who lived with the Schaeffers have denied it (and not just Os Guinness). Frank Schaeffer (“Franky”) claims now that all he did back then was a crock of lies, but why should we believe him. I think he portrays himself as an atheist. Yes, the poor kid had polio and was a missionary kid, but his parents stood by him when he got his girlfriend pregnant as a teenager and when he smoked marijuana. They didn’t throw him out. They supported him. Before he condemn the father we certainly would need more witnesses.

  8. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele wrote:

    Oh, Nick, Nick, Nick…the Nicene Creed is at bottom a supremely *political* document.

    Part 2 of that statement is an extreme view, and one that is highly questionable – certainly not one that is self-obviously true to any but the naive. Which makes it particularly unfortunate that you chose, for reasons best known to yourself, to introduce it in such a patronising manner.

    Never mind; we move on.

  9. Muff Potter wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The same goes for famine. So why don’t we?

    Because the devil is and always has been in the details (even in Wilberforces’s day). Upset somebody else’s apple cart, not mine, cuz’ I’m makin’ tons-o’-money offa’ the way things are. Besides, there’s a natural order to this world, and those who try and upset it do not fare well.

    “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    I DON’T WANT A THING TO CHANGE
    NOW THAT I GOT MINE…”
    — Glenn Frye

  10. @ refugee:
    Hi Refugee,
    the ‘difference’ comes from being committed to making SURE that you don’t place yourself in the same circumstances again that tempted you to do wrong in the first place …… for some involved in abusive behaviors, continuing on in the relationship without any therapeutic intervention would be an ‘occasion of sin’ …..

    if people know they are weak in a certain area, they must AVOID all talk, company, contact, etc. with anyone who was victimized;
    and then seek help to have the behavior evaluated and treated if possible …. sometimes we know that this is futile in that certain features of our human nature can be disordered

    a paedophile must not have contact with children, period.

    a wife-beater needs to separate from his wife and pay the price of his abuse in jail, and then try to get help for his anger issues

    a person who drinks and drives and injures someone needs to lose his license, be forbidden to drive, and also stop drinking …. and get help for his addiction to alcohol AND for any underlying problems

    ‘confession’ in my Church involves a commitment to DOING SOMETHING to distance oneself from temptation

  11. Godith wrote:

    I think he portrays himself as an atheist.

    Does this make a difference in any other case of alleged abuse?

    I don’t see why anyone would support any other alleged victim, bot not Franky. Is Francis an somehow an untouchable because of who he was?

    Godith wrote:

    Before he condemn the father we certainly would need more witnesses.

    No one is condemning anyone.

    We don’t need more than one witness in other alleged abuse stories to support a possible victim. Why do we need more than one witness in this case before we support Franky?

    Questions swirling through my head . . .

  12. @ dee:

    I think it is hard to know with certainty why the Schaefer children have chosen to respond/not respond the way they have. They also did not publicly respond to Franky’s accusation that his mother had abandoned her faith, though I have heard them say privately that it was absolutely untrue. Perhaps getting into a public argument with their brother seems to them an unhelpful way of seeking peace with him? These are remarkably gracious people. Getting into a public he says/we say argument would do little to suspend judgement for those who choose to believe Franky’s accusations. It would be just as easy at that point to say, well, the sisters just had no idea. I would not wish to be in their position and I think we can assume that facing this dilemma is more complicated and sad and bitterly hard than any of us knows. I am with you — if someone accused someone I love of something terrible and I knew it wasn’t true, I could not keep my mouth shut. But I am not privy to all the reasons someone might restrain themselves from taking the “as a sheep before its shearers is silent” approach.

  13. @ Bridget:
    We should seek two witnesses in this case. Edith, the alleged victim, did not come forward. Franky did. Franky doesn’t not have a good track record on truth. He now claims, contrary to his previous words, that he was more or less dragged into the Schaeffer films and projects. A new narrative has emerged. It does matter, given what I just wrote, that he claims to be an atheist. He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian. It is easy to find online an interview of Udo and Deborah Middelmann. Go to the Schaeffer Foundation website and you can read in “Footnotes” about Edith’s views. She wrote a letter to Bill Edgar about these things. I specifically remember that she did not believe in limited atonement or irresistible Grace. So she wasn’t a 5 point Calvinist. That hardly makes her an unbeliever. No one is condemning anyone here? It sounds like people here are judge and jury for a man not here to defend himself or even the alleged victim who could clarify matters.

  14. @ Godith:

    “He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian.”
    ++++++++++

    …doing a drive by here, & throwing into the mixing batter: the atheists i know live lives of integrity. honesty matters a great deal to them, because it is the right thing to do.

  15. Godith wrote:

    he claims to be an atheist. He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian.

    Are you kidding me? I’m not an atheist but I wouldn’t be defined as Christian either.
    I tell the truth, pay my taxes, give to charity yada yada yada because it’s the right thing to do. And I don’t do it expecting to win the afterlife sweepstakes.

  16. Godith wrote:

    He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian.

    How many Christians have Dee and Deb written about that have not told the truth? Christians have no corner on telling the truth, Atheists have no corner on lying.

    If anything, you sound prejudice toward Francis and Edith because they were Christian celebrities.

    Godith wrote:

    We should seek two witnesses in this case.

    Why is this case special? We can still support a possible victim without a conviction (which would be up to authorities.)

    Do you realize how many people are victims of abuse and never receive justice, whose abusers disappear or die? Who are abused without another sole ever knowing about it?

    Until the truth is known in any alleged abuse case, I will always support the victim(s).

  17. Bridget wrote:

    Do you realize how many people are victims of abuse and never receive justice

    ‘never’? not in this world perhaps

  18. Ken F wrote:

    As much as I have been tempted at times to deconvert, I keep finding that Christianity is the only religion that makes sense, even though it is much messier than I would like it to be.

    Thank you, Ken. Your thoughts, ending with this conclusion, were comforting to this long-time lurker today.

  19. Christiane wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Do you realize how many people are victims of abuse and never receive justice
    ‘never’? not in this world perhaps

    Yes. The world we all live in for now.

  20. Matilda wrote:

    sadly the hypocrisy of such exposures is hardly helping to attract younger generations to church

    Perhaps in the long run, however, what will emerge is a more honest mature faith, and a more sincere cohort of believers as we get it right, shedding image and embracing our God and our humble humanity, narcissistic religion shed.

  21. Matilda wrote:
    “sadly the hypocrisy of such exposures is hardly helping to attract younger generations to church”

    JYJames wrote:
    “Perhaps in the long run, however, what will emerge is a more honest mature faith,”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    All the more important that fellow believers be the ones to expose the corruption than someone else.

  22. Godith wrote:

    Franky doesn’t not have a good track record on truth. He now claims, contrary to his previous words, that he was more or less dragged into the Schaeffer films and projects.

    Plenty of people — domestic violence victims, sexual abuse victims, spiritual abuse victims, and victims of cults — who were brainwashed and in denial change their minds. It doesn’t mean that they don’t ‘have a good track record on truth’. They need time away to think, to grow, and to find out who they really are and to express in their own words what was done to them.

  23. Velour wrote:

    Plenty of people — domestic violence victims, sexual abuse victims, spiritual abuse victims, and victims of cults — who were brainwashed and in denial change their minds. It doesn’t mean that they don’t ‘have a good track record on truth’. They need time away to think, to grow, and to find out who they really are and to express in their own words what was done to them.

    wise observations, Velour

  24. Godith wrote:

    He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian.

    LOLOLOL. As this very blog has shown time and again (and there are others out there covering similar territory), there are plenty of self-professing Christians who don’t feel under obligation to tell the truth… or to protect child abuse victims, or help domestic abuse victims and so on and so forth.

    I don’t think most Christians hold the moral high ground on much of anything any more. I would’ve bought that line of thinking up to my mid or late 30s, but I’ve seen too much now to be convinced.

    (I’m not an atheist, btw. If that matters.)

  25. Bridget wrote:

    Why do we need more than one witness in this case before we support Franky?

    He does not claim to have been the victim-he is making accusations against his parents. That makes it a tad iffy if he has no one to corroborate his accusations. Perhaps he is telling everything with accuracy, as one would credit a victim to be able to do, or perhaps not. Personally, I have heard one of my children describe what they thought was the relationship between their father and me in certain areas and the child was totally off track, just completely missed the reality of what was going on. Perhaps it is different when there is actual abuse, we did not have that, but without more than just one person saying something when they were not a primary player in the scenario is chancy at best.

  26. Max wrote:

    Have you noticed that New Calvinists talk a lot about “God”, with only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit? When a “pastor” relegates the Holy Spirit to the back pew, he is capable of anything like the rest of us sinners who choose to walk in the flesh and not the Spirit.

    Thanks for this good observation and a helpful post.

  27. siteseer wrote:

    And, furthermore, I think the whole model of “Christian leaders” that we are supposed to “follow” is faulty. I think the model of “Christian books” and articles that purport to show us how to live the Christian life is a faulty one.

    We are all equals under Christ. We all have areas of strength and areas of weakness. We all struggle. So I think we ought to be having conversations with each other on this path we are traveling, rather than leader-follower relationships. The model where one Christian has supposedly ‘arrived’ and can act as a Christ substitute for others to follow is faulty.

    Helpful thoughts, thank you!

  28. Muff Potter wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The same goes for famine. So why don’t we?
    Because the devil is and always has been in the details (even in Wilberforces’s day). Upset somebody else’s apple cart, not mine, cuz’ I’m makin’ tons-o’-money offa’ the way things are. Besides, there’s a natural order to this world, and those who try and upset it do not fare well.

    Sometimes there are political situations that make it difficult, even when food is gathered and people try to distribute it, sometimes strongmen come in and take what they like. And then you have situations where the famine is hidden for political reasons or prompted for political reasons. And of course you have war. And genocide.

  29. okrapod wrote:

    Perhaps it is different when there is actual abuse

    I think if you saw someone hit another person, that is clear, even if context/emotions are missing. I think children tend to pick up on these things.

    But as for the more witnesses thing? I don’t know any of the parties involved so I don’t have much way to judge. I do know that it is not uncommon for domestic violence victims to stay quiet about it, and it is possible for children to see different sides of their parents depending on age, etc. So who knows. Do a lot of people make up a story about their father hitting their mother? Why would they? That seems pretty uncommon.

  30. Lea wrote:

    think if you saw someone hit another person, that is clear, even if context/emotions are missing. I think children tend to pick up on these things.

    If you are the only one says you saw it that requires some explanation as to why you were the only one who saw it. Maybe it was an isolated incident? Maybe it was an isolated family with only you and they constituting the household? Maybe there is a conspiracy of quiet regarding the incident(s)? Maybe it did not happen? For me, these questions need addressed.

  31. Bill M wrote:

    Matilda wrote:
    “sadly the hypocrisy of such exposures is hardly helping to attract younger generations to church”

    JYJames wrote:
    “Perhaps in the long run, however, what will emerge is a more honest mature faith,”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    All the more important that fellow believers be the ones to expose the corruption than someone else.

    Instead what we see is circling the wagons against The Heathen.

  32. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    the spirit of fear is not one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, no

    when you see a negative, frightened, insular community of faith, fearful of ‘persecution’, you are looking at some tormented people whose leaders may have a corrupt agenda in keeping their sheep isolated and afraid

    a Christian community? more like one in need of Christ, yes

  33. @ okrapod:

    Thanks for the reply. I have some dialogue regarding this in my head but not the time right now to get in written down. I will reply later today if you want to come back to it. Have a good day!

  34. okrapod wrote:

    If you are the only one says you saw it that requires some explanation as to why you were the only one who saw it.

    If it did happen, obviously edith would have been aware since it happened to her, and a conspiracy of silence regarding violence is not at all uncommon. I don’t know what happened, but I’m not sure why a son would lie about this sort of thing, consistently over a period of years.

  35. @ Lea:

    What I see is perhaps not the general opinion, but here it is. These allegations are either true or not true. If they are true then apparently the alleged victim, Edith, appears to have wanted them kept secret. Or they may not be true. But either way Edith’s son has betrayed her, and done so in order to discredit his father. I am not good with that, true or not true.

  36. okrapod wrote:

    If they are true then apparently the alleged victim, Edith, appears to have wanted them kept secret. Or they may not be true. But either way Edith’s son has betrayed her, and done so in order to discredit his father. I am not good with that, true or not true.

    I can see that perspective, but I would not go so far as to call it a betrayal. I am personally fairly private about things, so I get that part of it, but I also think if you do not want someone to tell what you’ve done (assuming the allegations are true) then you shouldn’t have done it.

    I’m not sure of the timeline, did he wait until his mother was deceased? If true, that might have been in deference to her.

  37. Bottom line is that unless there is more corroboration, it would be best not to repeat Franky’s accusations. People should be innocent until proven guilty. Don’t let disagreement with Calvinism cause you to believe something that may or may not be true, especially when spoken by someone whose agenda seems to be to destroy his father and sell books.

    If Schaeffer is guilty, it should be made known. But one accusation from a bitter son does not proof make.

  38. Lea wrote:

    Sometimes there are political situations that make it difficult, even when food is gathered and people try to distribute it, sometimes strongmen come in and take what they like. And then you have situations where the famine is hidden for political reasons or prompted for political reasons. And of course you have war. And genocide.

    Yes to all of the above.

  39. @ Robert:

    Which is why TWW invariably uses the word Allegedly in its reporting of malfeasance on the part of ixtian celebrities past and present.

  40. Muff Potter wrote:

    Which is why TWW invariably uses the word Allegedly in its reporting of malfeasance on the part of ixtian celebrities past and present.

    I have to say that, under UK law, this on its own isn’t a defence against repeating allegations that turn out to be unfounded. It may be different over on the left. But I think it’s more significant that Deebs consider their sources carefully before they post.

  41. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It may be different over on the left.

    My understand is that it is much easier to prove things like defamation in the UK; I’ve heard of people purposefully filing over there because their cases were too weak in the US.. Part of this is because of our free speech rights.

  42. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    If they are true then apparently the alleged victim, Edith, appears to have wanted them kept secret. Or they may not be true. But either way Edith’s son has betrayed her, and done so in order to discredit his father. I am not good with that, true or not true.

    I can see that perspective, but I would not go so far as to call it a betrayal. I am personally fairly private about things, so I get that part of it, but I also think if you do not want someone to tell what you’ve done (assuming the allegations are true) then you shouldn’t have done it.

    I’m not sure of the timeline, did he wait until his mother was deceased? If true, that might have been in deference to her.

    Reminds me of the time Storm Thurmond’s daughter Essie Mae Washington-Williams came forward. Even though she waited until after he passed away, some people (including a sitting Congressman) accused her of betraying his memory.

  43. elastigirl wrote:

    …doing a drive by here, & throwing into the mixing batter: the atheists i know live lives of integrity. honesty matters a great deal to them, because it is the right thing to do.

    C.S. Lewis argued that ‘goodness’ and ‘rightness’ have a completely separate and independent existence, and cannot be something ‘wholly other’ based upon what God allegedly does or doesn’t do, or what his holy book allegedly says or doesn’t say.

    It would also explain why both atheist and theist alike recoil in horror at the thought of babies being cast into hell because of Adam’s imputed guilt, or when they both stoop with compassion to relieve the suffering of fellow humans simply because it’s the right thing to do.

  44. I have not heard that TT has blamed anything on his parents, even though his mother had her problems which became public some time ago. I think this represents character on the part of TT, and perhaps it indicates that there is something there to build on in the long run. Of course Franky had stuff to say about that family also, or so I heard.

    I believe this is called loyalty. Also it comes under the heading of owning one’s own issues, for better or worse.

  45. Robert wrote:

    Bottom line is that unless there is more corroboration, it would be best not to repeat Franky’s accusations.

    Oh puhhlssseee. He’s telling his truth about his family life. That’s his right.

    People should be innocent until proven guilty.

    That is a constitutional right in a criminal case because a person’s life and liberty are at stake. Rules for criminal cases have NOTHING to do with people (Frank Jr.) telling the truth about their experiences in their families. Quit it with the silencing technqiues.

    Don’t let disagreement with Calvinism cause you to believe something that may or may not be true, especially when spoken by someone whose agenda seems to be to destroy his father and sell books.

    Frank Jr. has surprising compassion for his parents. His “agenda” from watching his videos, tweets, Facebook comments is not to sell books but to tell the truth about a religious agenda that was shoved down his throat. Instead of being his parents’ puppet, he is now his own person.

    If Schaeffer is guilty, it should be made known. But one accusation from a bitter son does not proof make.

    We don’t use that word around here “bitter” to discredit people. If you have a hard time facing hard truths about your “heros” than maybe you need to look more deeply. But knock it off with the name-calling. You don’t “own” other peoples’ stories. They do.

  46. okrapod wrote:

    He does not claim to have been the victim-he is making accusations against his parents. That makes it a tad iffy if he has no one to corroborate his accusations. Perhaps he is telling everything with accuracy, as one would credit a victim to be able to do, or perhaps not.

    I have seen Frank Jr. on Twitter, Facebook, and in videos. He has compassion for his parents and their faults but he has become his own person instead of parroting his parents as he did for many years.

  47. Godith wrote:

    @ Robert:
    Exactly right.

    This is not a criminal case. There is not even a criminal case to be delt with here. It is someone sharing their experiences about their family. He waited until his parents had passed.

    You have an opinion about Franky that seems to bias your perception of what he is doing. And you seem to think that people’s opinions here are based on an opinion about Calvinism. Mine is not. I have no opinion about guilt or innocence at all, just about believing someone about their family evperiences.

  48. @ Muff Potter:

    Of the several philosophical arguments for the existence of God one is called the moral argument. Personally I think it is not the strongest argument, but it is interesting.

  49. The simple answer is that neo-Calvinists theology allows them to pick and choose who they should love and not love.

    When we look at TULIP we can see that they literally believe that humans are robots. Some are programmed to sin and reject God. Some are programmed to sinless-ness (they call this holiness) and accept God. There is no free will.

    Neo-Calvinist don’t mind talking to non-believers because they do not know if they are good robots or bad robots. But neo-Calvinist believe that Christians are robots and must behave in a certain way and believe in a certain way. Anyone who say they believe but then falls “out of line” are obvious false Christians, because how can a “true” robot from God behave “out of line”?

    If you ask a neo-Calvinist why he must love his wife, he might give you a fancy answer. But if you look at TULIP you know what they actually believe, that love doesn’t exist for mankind. Because love requires free will, which doesn’t exist under TULIP.

    The husband is a robot programmed by God to treat his wife well. So he is with her because of PROGRAMMING. More specially he must stay NOT because he want to, but he MUST stay with her to FULFILL his programming. Because if he doesn’t stay with her, he will be a bad robot and maybe no longer a real Christian.

    The wife is a robot programmed by God to treat him well. So when his wife treat him well, that is expected since she is a robot. But when his wife treat him wrong, she fell out of line and must be disciplined. In fact maybe she is a false Christian because she is a bad robot.

    TLDR: The husband stays with the wife because of obligation, not love. The wife better behave, or else the husband should discipline her.

    That’s how these neo-Calvinist fails the Greatest Commandant, and hence sin in the GREATEST way. They lost sight of loving all their neighbors out of their love for God.

    1) To glorify God humans must be mindless drones and robots.
    2) Robot’s task is not to love. But to fulfill their programming laws.
    3) Love is forgotten and replaced once again by law.
    4) Law without love leads to cultistic, abusive and Pharisee-like behaviors.

  50. Muff Potter wrote:

    It would also explain why both atheist and theist alike recoil in horror at the thought of babies being cast into hell because of Adam’s imputed guilt, or when they both stoop with compassion to relieve the suffering of fellow humans simply because it’s the right thing to do.

    we use that moral argument for the existence of God a lot in my Church and it is interesting that the psychopaths and sociopaths who do not exibit a moral conscience are considered not ‘normal’ …. something in the human spirit KNOWS a good bit about the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and when that is absent from a person’s make-up, they are thought to be unwholesome.

  51. @ Bridget:
    Not to be picky, but no, he did not wait until they passed. His accusations went out years before his mother died, though she was declining in health.

  52. The answer to your initial questions are
    “The fruits of the Spirit are……”
    “The works of the flesh are…..”
    “Husband love your wife”
    “Do not provoke your children to anger”

  53. Anonymous 2 wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Not to be picky, but no, he did not wait until they passed. His accusations went out years before his mother died, though she was declining in health.

    Please cite what you’re talking about.

    He had a right to tell his experience about his family, whether they were living or dead.

  54. Muff Potter wrote:

    Constantine was indeed a monster. It’s even purported that he had his wife Fausta boiled alive. But does that extend warrant to discount the tenets of the creed itself? I think not. It would be like me, a Native American, discounting altogether the writings of Jefferson because he was a slave owner and advocated policies for ‘civilizing’ the Native American population at the time.

    Let me see if I can state this a bit differently. The Nicene Creed is essentially an elitist document. It was created at the behest of an emperor trying to cement his hold on power, and done with only some, but not all, of the bishops then living. It was written by a small handful of people to solve a theological argument. It did not come from below, i.e., from the people, saying, “give us an outline of what to believe.” It came from above, from the authorities saying, “You will believe *this* and if you do not, you are a heretic.” Notably missing from the Nicene Creed was anything about Jesus’ teachings.

    And, most importantly: Christians got by without the Nicene Creed for nearly three centuries. Yes, there’s the Apostles’ Creed, but it’s questionable as to how widespread that was. Certainly for the earliest Christians, the statements “Jesus is Lord” and “He is risen from the dead” were vitally important.

    I reflect back on the letters between Pliny the Younger and the emperor Trajan. Basically, in Pliny’s mind, the important thing to him was “will you worship our gods, and not this upstart Christ?” The ones who continued to refuse to worship the gods and hewed to Jesus, those are the ones Pliny punished, and Trajan thought that was appropriate. Those two guys didn’t care about who had the right idea about Jesus and who didn’t. All they cared about was that these people were not worshiping the gods.

    (Pliny, Letters, 10:96-97 http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/pliny.html)

  55. Godith wrote:

    We should seek two witnesses in this case. Edith, the alleged victim, did not come forward. Franky did. Franky doesn’t not have a good track record on truth. He now claims, contrary to his previous words, that he was more or less dragged into the Schaeffer films and projects. A new narrative has emerged. It does matter, given what I just wrote, that he claims to be an atheist. He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian. It is easy to find online an interview of Udo and Deborah Middelmann. Go to the Schaeffer Foundation website and you can read in “Footnotes” about Edith’s views. She wrote a letter to Bill Edgar about these things. I specifically remember that she did not believe in limited atonement or irresistible Grace. So she wasn’t a 5 point Calvinist. That hardly makes her an unbeliever. No one is condemning anyone here? It sounds like people here are judge and jury for a man not here to defend himself or even the alleged victim who could clarify matters.

    I’m going to strongly object to this character assassination of Frank Schaeffer. First of all, your statement that Frank (and that is the name he wants to be known by now, not “Franky,” which is associated with his evangelical days) does not have a good track record on truth is your opinion, backed up by nothing. You say that he changed his mind on the Schaeffer films and projects. Well, he’s come to the conclusion that the Schaeffer films and projects have led to a particular religio-political environment and he’s not happy with that. And people are entitled to change their minds about the impact of their work, aren’t they?

    I realize Francis and Edith Schaeffer are important to you, but we should listen to what Frank has to say here and not discount it. And *especially* not discount it based on your idea that Frank is an atheist. I’ve read a few of Frank’s writings, and it’s not at all clear to me that he’s an atheist. What IS clear is that Frank is very critical of the evangelical milieu which nurtured him and which he and his father helped shape. It is not atheism to criticize that. Moreover, I’ve read out atheists and Frank Schaeffer doesn’t sound like an atheist.

  56. Jeff S wrote:

    @ CHIPS:

    Calvinisists do not believe people are robots.

    There are plenty of online resources that shows why humans must be robots if TULIP is true. I am not going to repeat what they already said 1000 times. If you are interested I am sure you can find them.

    Under Calvinism, why should a wife stay with her cheating and abusive husband? Because if she is a good robot she would have stayed. A good robot wouldn’t choose to leave because her program would have made her stay. If she chooses to leave, something must be wrong with her “programming” and she must be a bad robot/false Christian.

    Calvinism spent every moment looking out for bad robots. Their believe is based on fear, not love and freedom.

    No my friend. Humans freely choose to love and obey God or not. Even non-believers sometimes “obey” God without knowing it. And even the more faithful believers will sin. This free will to choose is what makes love and obedience real. And that’s way the rewards in heaven and punishments in hell are warranted.

    When you sin, that is totally on you. When you hate someone, that is totally on you. When you obey God, that is also totally on you. And when you love someone, that is also totally on you.

  57. @ Velour:
    Not trying to dispute rights to share experience here. I was merely clarifying in response to Bridget’s statement that “he waited until his parents had passed” to share them.

  58. Velour wrote:

    Oh puhhlssseee. He’s telling his truth about his family life. That’s his right.

    I don’t care about HIS truth. I care about THE truth. Franky could very well be right, but unless someone else is around to corroborate these things, why repeat allegations? Franky had a rather dramatic conversion from some kind of Calvinism to Orthodoxy to whatever emergent stuff he’s into now. It’s wise to be skeptical, especially when someone else hasn’t corroborated a story.

    That is a constitutional right in a criminal case because a person’s life and liberty are at stake. Rules for criminal cases have NOTHING to do with people (Frank Jr.) telling the truth about their experiences in their families. Quit it with the silencing technqiues.

    Where have I called for silence on Franky’s part? I’m just questioning his account when no one else can or has supported it. All you have is Franky’s allegations, which may or may not be true. Why are you assuming that he’s telling the truth?

    Frank Jr. has surprising compassion for his parents. His “agenda” from watching his videos, tweets, Facebook comments is not to sell books but to tell the truth about a religious agenda that was shoved down his throat. Instead of being his parents’ puppet, he is now his own person.

    Sorry, but Franky is a very angry person and motivated by a hatred of Calvinism. Maybe Calvinism is wrong. That’s not the issue. The issue is you have one person making claims that no one else is corroborating.

    We don’t use that word around here “bitter” to discredit people. If you have a hard time facing hard truths about your “heros” than maybe you need to look more deeply. But knock it off with the name-calling. You don’t “own” other peoples’ stories. They do.

    Schaeffer is not my hero. I’ve read maybe a total of 500 words by him in my lifetime. I just don’t want slandering. I’d say the same if people were talking about anyone else.

    I don’t want to “own” anyone’s story, but I also know that believing a story without proof is not wise.

    Either Schaeffer was abusive or he was not. What I want to know is the objective truth of whether he was abusive or not. Unless someone can corroborate Franky’s story, I don’t have any reason to believe it, especially when someone is making a name for himself as “Former son of leading Calvinist now rejects everything he was taught and has a new book out.”

  59. Robert wrote:

    Sorry, but Franky is a very angry person and motivated by a hatred of Calvinism. Maybe Calvinism is wrong. That’s not the issue. The issue is you have one person making claims that no one else is corroborating.

    You’d earn more respect from people like me if you would, first of all, call Frank Schaeffer by the name he uses these days–FRANK. Not Franky. And I say this as someone who thought Frank was being awfully precious back in the 1980s when he published books as “Franky Schaeffer V” (the fifth).

    And, I’d note, in cases of abuse, there are, most of the time, no witnesses to the abuse besides the abused person. You know who else uses the “two witnesses” rule for abuse? The Jehovah’s Witnesses. It wasn’t abuse unless there were two witnesses. In November 2016, the Australian Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found “children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and [the Commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse.”

    https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/2016-11/report-into-jehovah%E2%80%99s-witness-organisations-releas

    So yeah, my opinion about “two witnesses” is pretty much, “that’s used to cover up abuse, and I’m not the only one to think so.”

  60. Frank Schaeffer voluntarily went public. People who go public have no reason nor right to demand that everybody believe them or that everybody agree with them or that everybody think that what they are doing is a good thing. Public is a two way street. But then, I have not heard anybody say that Frank S is out there whining about whatever pushback he is getting. He chose the court, he played the court, and he is apparently willing to take the bad with the good for doing that. Got to hand him that.

  61. Robert wrote:

    I care about THE truth. Franky could very well be right, but unless someone else is around to corroborate these things, why repeat allegations?

    This is silly. IF Frank saw his father hit his mother, it IS ‘the’ truth. He is either lying or not. I don’t know why he would lie about this.

    Futhermore, How do we determine truth if we don’t repeat allegations and examine them?

  62. @ Lizzybeth:
    Lizzybeth, you have a gift of encouragement … refreshing to us old weary blog warriors who usually get shot at. Hope to see you come around more often in 2017!

  63. @ CHIPS:

    Nope. You don’t get to decide what Calvinists believe, nor do any online resources you might wish to cite. Calvinists do.

    Hyper-Calvinists believe we are robots. Calvinists do not.

  64. Lea wrote:

    This is silly. IF Frank saw his father hit his mother, it IS ‘the’ truth.

    Yes, but there is no verification of this. Just a lone accusation that has gone uncorroborated against a man whom many love. Does that mean Frank is lying? Not necessarily.

    He is either lying or not. I don’t know why he would lie about this.

    I can think of half a dozen reasons—publicity, narcissism, bitterness, etc. Just because some people do bad things doesn’t mean every accusation is correct. Plenty of people in history have been falsely accused.

    But again, I don’t know for sure if Frank is lying or not. All I know is that an accusation has been made, is several years old at this point, and no one has come forward to agree with it.

    Futhermore, How do we determine truth if we don’t repeat allegations and examine them?

    How are we supposed to examine this allegation? All we have is Franky’s testimony. His siblings have said nothing. Some are taking that as proof. But there are many reasons why they wouldn’t respond even if Franky is lying.

    Again, I don’t know what happened in the Schaeffer home. But there are plenty of leaders who have acted wrongly and this site has identified many of them. Why not just stick to those leaders who have been credibly accused, as in, there is actual proof from multiple witnesses and other testimony to corroborate an allegation?

  65. @ CHIPS:
    For heaven’s sake, Edith was not deterministic, nor was Francis Schaeffer! They rejected that before they got their first church in America. Robots! Silly.

  66. Godith wrote:

    @ Lea:
    You don’t know why someone would lie about something. You sound very naive.

    I don’t know why this person would lie about this thing.

  67. What I think is naïve is to think that simply because a person is a public religious person and sold book that they might not have had a private, dark side, just because you didn’t see it.

  68. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele wrote:

    The Nicene Creed is essentially an elitist document. It was created at the behest of an emperor trying to cement his hold on power…
    And, most importantly: Christians got by without the Nicene Creed for nearly three centuries.

    The statement that it was created at the behest of the emperor – i.e. that it was Constantine that initiated, and drove the agenda at, Nicea – is highly debatable, and even when listening to historians debating topics on which I’m not familiar, I think it right to be sceptical when they ascribe motives quite as pure as the ones you’ve ascribed to the players here (dark motives, but purely so). Christians have used the Nicene Creed for some 16 centuries.

    “Jesus is Lord” and “he is risen” are more than slightly important, it’s true. But if that’s all we needed, why bother with the new testament? What was Paul talking about when he spoke for so long that he almost bored Eutychus to death (if indirectly)? The church needed a little more steering than that. The church was doing fine… until some gentiles received the Holy Spirit and some former Pharisees (among others, probably) decided they needed to be circumcised. It’s true that the resulting letter was very short, but it was a letter. And it didn’t silence the circumcision party, which persisted so stubbornly it became A Thing with influence even among the surviving Apostles. Then there were the gnostics, whom John in particular contended with. As more and more people brought different backgrounds into the church, and tried to enter the Kingdom without being converted and becoming like wee bairns first, the Church had more and more trouble getting by.

    Of course, crackpot theories about who Jesus is were around even during his earthly ministry. (Some thought he was channeling the spirit of John the Baptist, Or Something, apparently; I have no idea what was going on in their heads.) They still abound.

    You are quite free to disown the Nicene or any other creed, and I don’t doubt that you can be trusted to do so without making up your own personal religion (a charge regularly thrown around by, for instance, the inerrantists…). But many others of us also have good reasons for not considering it as worthless as you’re making out.

  69. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I think some feel it necessary to refute all things related to the structure of the Church as institution, but the truth is that they must also give up the ‘canon’ and search out their own canon amongst the thousands of extant writings in those early days. And if they choose from among the beliefs available ante-Nicene, then they wander through a maze of heresies which even today plague their neo-Cal nemeses: ‘Who Was Christ’, ‘What IS the Holy Trinity?’
    and how these questions were defined by the gnostics, the Arians, and so many others who departed from orthodoxy …..

    the truth is when you travel back into Christian history, you leave the Reformation behind and enter what may not be recognizably Christian to the folks in the little Church down the road with their membership ‘contract’ which lies in wait to trap your very soul as they claim it has that power.
    Offered a choice, I’ll take the Nicene Creed, you bet.

  70. Christiane wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    All this focus on the “preached Word” ends up doing is putting the focus on the messenger, not God. God is the one who gives us ears to hear through the Holy Spirit, and as I am not a Calvinist, I believe we are the ones that surrender ourselves to be changed by it.
    “we” and “us” are crucial in the service that is Church, it is in the collective worship of the PEOPLE that the Church honors God …. the collective prayers of the people make them ‘the servants of the Word’ instead of one man imparting his personal views to those in the pews who sit silently listening to HIM, and not communing with their God as a people. There is something to be said for the ancient participatory ‘work of the people’: the liturgy.

    I wonder if controlling elders hold this view, in that in our old church (and I’ve heard in others) it is considered sinful to miss any of the gatherings of the “saints” in those particular bodies, and also vaguely sinful to attend a church with even slightly differing doctrine.

    Therefore, the more they can gather together in their facility of worship for corporate worship, the holier the result, and the more glory given to God (for which the elders can secretly preen, even though they say that all the glory goes to God).

    “See, Lord, what a good job I am doing in Your name?”

  71. Also, don’t forget that the early Church wasn’t restricted to the Roman Empire. A lot of churches outside Roman rule saw nothing objectionable about the Creed, or even accepted it, despite the fact that political pressure would have been in the opposite direction, particularly in Sassanid Persia (which was Rome’s enemy).

  72. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    You are quite free to disown the Nicene or any other creed, and I don’t doubt that you can be trusted to do so without making up your own personal religion (a charge regularly thrown around by, for instance, the inerrantists…). But many others of us also have good reasons for not considering it as worthless as you’re making out.

    The Nicene Creed isn’t worthless. It shows what power and authority will get you. And it’s useful in pointing out the hypocrisy of some theological types who claim to hew to the Nicene Creed, yet have brought “Eternal Subordination of the Son” into the mix.

    Jesus himself apparently didn’t leave behind a set of propositions for assent by His followers. He did leave us the Lord’s Prayer, however. I think that’s worth thinking about.

  73. Jeff S wrote:

    Nope. You don’t get to decide what Calvinists believe, nor do any online resources you might wish to cite. Calvinists do.
    Hyper-Calvinists believe we are robots. Calvinists do not.

    If you don’t believe humans are robots, then you don’t believe in TULIP. And by extension you are not a true Calvinist. You might go to a Calvinistic church. But that of course doesn’t mean you agree with what they say.

    I am not talking about you specifically. But many neo-Calvinist pastor would “hide” their beliefs until they are solid in power, and have a solid Calvinistic elder-ship that follows him unquestionably. And only then would they show their “true beliefs” and enforce Calvinistic idea on all its members. That’s why I said do not be deceived and tricked by their fancy words.

    I kind of know you would just reply back to me with a 1 sentence reply that doesn’t mean anything. But out of love for you, I will spent some time to explain to you something about TULIP and neo-Calvinism. It is up to you on what to do with the information. You have free will. You are not a robot.

    For robot Calvinists, I do not need to quote other sources. I can quote John Piper and others like him. Of course they write mountains of text to overwhelm the reader. You have to pay attention and not fall asleep while reading their stuff.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-we-believe-about-the-five-points-of-calvinism#Election

    1) “Faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross, and then gives us spiritual life through irresistible grace, and brings us to faith.”

    John Piper clearly said that in order to have any faith, you must FIRST be elected/selected/chosen by God. So your faith is not free will. You faith is programmed by God. So yes you are a robot.

    2) “The doctrine of irresistible grace does not mean that every influence of the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. It means that the Holy Spirit, whenever he chooses, can overcome all resistance and make his influence irresistible…..The doctrine of irresistible grace means that God is sovereign and can conquer all resistance when he wills.”

    So if God choose you, you will face his irresistible grace and you CANNOT HELP but believe.

    However if God didn’t choose you, you cannot possibly have faith in God EVEN if you REALLY WANTED to. You can even beg and pray every day but you still won’t have any faith.

    Once again you are a robot.

    3) “If a person becomes humble enough to submit to God, it is because God has given that person a new, humble nature. If a person remains too hard-hearted and proud to submit to God, it is because that person has not been given such a willing spirit…..This is why we speak of “irresistible grace.” In ourselves we are all just as resistant to grace as Judas. And the reason any of us come to Jesus is not that we are smarter, or wiser, or more virtuous than Judas, but that the Father overcame our resistance and drew us to Christ. All of us are saved by irresistible grace — amazing grace! ”

    So Christians doesn’t need to do anything to come to God. God will draw them pass their resistance. At the same time non-believers cannot do anything to come to God, if God doesn’t call them.

    See the robot yet?

    4) “Irresistible grace does not drag the unwilling into the kingdom, it makes the unwilling willing. It does not work with constraint from the outside, like hooks and chains; it works with power from the inside, like new thirst and hunger and compelling desire.”

    This is Calvin theology gold right there. Ok so God doesn’t force the unwilling to believe. So there is free will right? Nope! God will make the unwilling WILLING to believe by irresistible grace. So no free will! Humans are still robots.

    You see what I mean by Calvinist using fancy words to cover up what they actually mean?

    5) “The perseverance of the saints is not the guarantee of perfection, but rather that God will keep us fighting the fight of faith so that we hate our sin and never make any lasting peace with it……We mean that the saints will and must persevere in faith and the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.”

    If there is free will, it makes perfect since that someone can be a true Christian but struggles with sin. They might not even realize their sins.

    But if Christians are robots, like Calvinists believe, Calvinist do not understand how someone can honestly believe in Jesus but have troubles and sins at the same time. So it must mean that they don’t actually believe in Jesus!

    Now we, non-Calvinist, of course believe that the Holy Spirit will speak to us to convince us to have faith and to obey God’s laws. But we believe that we do have free will. Calvinist are totally different in that humans are literally robots.

    6) “The role of the obedience in our justification is to give evidence that our faith is authentic. Deeds of love are not the ground of our first or final acceptance with God. Their function is to validate, and make public, the sovereign work of God giving us new birth and creating the new heart of faith. Paul puts it this way: “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). What counts with God in justification is the kind of faith that works through love. It is not our love that causes God to be 100% for us. It is God being 100% for us through faith in Christ that enables us to love. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. And we have received the Spirit by our first act of faith (Galatians 3:2).”

    Let me clarify this. In the Old Testament people were under the law. Now in the New Testament people are supposed to be under Jesus and be freed from the law. For Christians laws are still followed BUT NOT because of FEAR of DAMNATION, but BECAUSE of a LOVE for GOD and NEIGHBOR!!!

    But for Calvinist they must PROVE their faith in Jesus by fulfilling the law. So the Calvinist churches focus more on enforcing its members to fulfill the laws, RATHER than having an ACTUAL relationship with Jesus out of LOVE. So Calvinists are BACK UNDER THE LAW!!!

    No matter how fancily they tried to cover it up, Calvinist believe in SALVATION BY WORKS! They don’t actually believe in salvation by faith. Works include being sinless, obeying the pastors and elders, volunteering and donating.

    Christians’s salvation are guaranteed upon accepting Jesus. They love God and others not for a reward, but because Christ loved them first. But when we genuinely and selflessly love, great will be our treasure in heaven.

    Calvinists on the other hands are still working toward their salvation. All the works they do are out of fear of condemnation in hell. That’s why they often act like “church police” to monitor everyone, even what kind of DVDs they have at home!

    If you don’t believe humans are robots, then you don’t believe in TULIP and is not a true Calvinist. And if you know you are 100% saved and now you do good works out of love for God and neighbors, not out of fear of condemnation in hell, then you are also not a true Calvinist.

    And if you are not a true Calvinist, you really shouldn’t be in a neo-Calvinist church. They will harm you eventually. Or they will harm someone else that you know.

    Neo-Calvinist churches are known to sexually abusing little kids and then cover it up. In fact the parents are FORCED to forgive their sexual predator and BANNED from calling the police. If you are a parent, do you really want to be involved in one of these neo-Calvinist churches? Do you really want to see your own children get sexually abused, and for the church leadership to BAN you from calling the cops and to FORCE you to forgive that sexual predator?

    We can only tell you what we know. It is up to you what you do with these information. You have free will, as we believed. You are not a robot. Every choice you make is on you.

  74. Godith wrote:

    @ Lea:
    You don’t know why someone would lie about something. You sound very naive.

    You sound very naive, Godith, that you can’t conceive why people would behave one way behind closed doors and lie about it to outsiders.

  75. Anonymous 2 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Not trying to dispute rights to share experience here. I was merely clarifying in response to Bridget’s statement that “he waited until his parents had passed” to share them.

    So what you’re really saying is that you have nothing to cite.

  76. Robert wrote:

    What I want to know is the objective truth of whether he was abusive or not. Unless someone can corroborate Franky’s story,

    Based on your own personal definition of “truth”, nobody would ever be permitted to tell anything that wasn’t witnessed because it must not be true.

    For example, I had a lovely salmon dinner last week with a salad and dessert. But I ate it by myself and there were no witnesses. So using your criteria it must not have happened.

    On a more serious note, child sex crimes victims, domestic violence victims, and other victims should not be listened to and believed because they didn’t have “witnesses”.

    Frank Jr. isn’t hostile about Calvinism, which he rejects. He rejects wholesale a whole agenda that he was taught and was a successful part of for years. He rejects the damage it did to people. He rejects his part of it. That’s his right.

  77. @ CHIPS:

    My old school Calvinist pastor called tulip ‘bumper sticker theology’ which I think is appropriate.

    I don’t think even the dumbest neo-cals actually consider humans to be robots, and that’s using the stuff you quoted.

  78. @ Velour:
    Who cares if you ate a salmon dinner last week. Accusations of serious sin against others does matter and that’s why God requires two witnesses. Frank can reject whatever he wants. He’s a free agent. What he and others ought not do is accuse people without proof. We are not talking about “child sex crimes victims, etc. etc.” we are talking about Frank Schaeffer telling stories about his parents when they are not there to defend themselves and no one else tells the same story. Tons of folks passed through L’Abri.

  79. Godith wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Who cares if you ate a salmon dinner last week. Accusations of serious sin against others does matter and that’s why God requires two witnesses. Frank can reject whatever he wants. He’s a free agent. What he and others ought not do is accuse people without proof. We are not talking about “child sex crimes victims, etc. etc.” we are talking about Frank Schaeffer telling stories about his parents when they are not there to defend themselves and no one else tells the same story. Tons of folks passed through L’Abri.

    Nice try at picking and choosing your Scripture verses to clobber people into silence.

    Frank is entitled to tell his story and his experience in his family. And if there weren’t witnesses there, too bad. I have seen terrible things that happened in which there were no other witnesses. That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

  80. Godith wrote:

    Tons of folks passed through L’Abri.

    I don’t know why you think unrelated people would have seen something like this. Family are different.

    And the reason sex crime victims are relevant is because there is no possibility of ‘two witnesses’ which makes that an impossible standard for many many crimes.

  81. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele wrote:

    Jesus himself apparently didn’t leave behind a set of propositions for assent by His followers. He did leave us the Lord’s Prayer, however. I think that’s worth thinking about.

    Not sure we were ‘left’ in the sense we sometimes think of it. When it comes to Christ, it doesn’t work that way at all.
    He left us Himself in the Eucharist, and He sustains us in our very existence.
    He has taken our very humanity to Himself in Incarnation. As Christians, we have our being in Him, with Him, and through Him.

    I don’t understand why so many see Him as distant.

    “. . . You are the Life of us all, the Salvation of us all, the Hope of us all, the Healing of us all, and the Resurrection of us all.”

  82. Lea wrote:

    @ CHIPS:

    My old school Calvinist pastor called tulip ‘bumper sticker theology’ which I think is appropriate.

    I don’t think even the dumbest neo-cals actually consider humans to be robots, and that’s using the stuff you quoted.

    I wouldn’t be surprise if there weren’t some folks in Silicon Valley who think that, though. There’s a lot of syncretism between religion and STEM ideas among those folks.

  83. Yes indeed. What if we did not have elaborate church organizational structures including but not limited to ecumenical councils to settle really vital issues for us like for instance:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05228a.htm

    But at least Nicea prohibited self castration. Got to agree with that.

    What we have now are differences of opinion as to what the various statements in the NC actually mean, and how that meaning impacts doctrinal beliefs and practices. Just track down the meaning of some of the statements in something as comparatively easy to read as Wiki, and one sees quite easily what I mean by differences of opinion. So what we have is people who say they accept the Nicene creed but what they actually accept are the understandings of various statements in the creed as taught by their particular christian tradition. Where to start? Try communion of the saints. Or the virgin birth. Or the later quibble over from whom does the Spirit proceed. Apparently Rome had something to add in way of explanation as recently as 1995, I think it was.

    What I am saying is that the creed did not solve everything, and that the other pronouncements of the council did not solve everything, and lots of quibbles go on regardless of council after council and pronouncement after pronouncement from the organized church, and that those who are less than ecstatic about the whole process may have some legitimate points of concern. I do not hate creeds, but I was trained in ‘no creed but Christ’ originally, and so I no doubt am less ummm committed to creeds than some people.

  84. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele wrote:

    The Nicene Creed isn’t worthless. It shows what power and authority will get you.

    Sigh. Whatever.

    I’m starting to wonder whether the Nicene Creed posted nastily-photoshopped pictures of you on its Facebook page. However it managed to offend you, there is clearly no point in attempting to discuss it with you.

    Which is not to say the whole discussion has been pointless; others have been willing to engage constructively. This is Wartburg, after all.

  85. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes & mirele wrote:
    The Nicene Creed isn’t worthless. It shows what power and authority will get you.
    Sigh. Whatever.
    I’m starting to wonder whether the Nicene Creed posted nastily-photoshopped pictures of you on its Facebook page. However it managed to offend you, there is clearly no point in attempting to discuss it with you.
    Which is not to say the whole discussion has been pointless; others have been willing to engage constructively. This is Wartburg, after all.

    I appreciated Mirele’s comments about the history of the Nicene Creed, which she has previously made in many other threads for many months.

    Mirele’s comments have made me think to examine beliefs that I hold near and dear, which may be doctrines of men.

  86. @ Velour:
    ASK the typical evangelical if they know what’s in the Nicene Creed. 🙂

    It’s like asking a fundamentalist-evangelical youth to explain the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity or ‘Who Christ Is’

    clueless …. you get stuff like ‘Jesus wasn’t God, He was the ‘son of God’

    I think everyone has some kind of creed. If nothing more, the Lord’s Prayer helps, as does the Beatitudes. The ‘I’ll stay in the Word’ is admirable, but when the person saying it abjures the Church that sealed the deal of what books formed the ‘canon’, then one has to ask ‘what is YOUR canon, if you do not accept the authority of the Church’s Councils?

  87. Christiane wrote:

    @ Velour:
    ASK the typical evangelical if they know what’s in the Nicene Creed.
    It’s like asking a fundamentalist-evangelical youth to explain the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity or ‘Who Christ Is’
    clueless …. you get stuff like ‘Jesus wasn’t God, He was the ‘son of God’
    I think everyone has some kind of creed. If nothing more, the Lord’s Prayer helps, as does the Beatitudes. The ‘I’ll stay in the Word’ is admirable, but when the person saying it abjures the Church that sealed the deal of what books formed the ‘canon’, then one has to ask ‘what is YOUR canon, if you do not accept the authority of the Church’s Councils?

    Good points, Christiane.

    Yes, I have wondered why Evangelicals (like at my former church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) slam Catholics all of the time but fail to give them credit for the Canon of Scripture and fail to give credit to Eastern Orthordox Christians as well. The NeoCalvinists seem to think that they invented everything including the True, Real Gospel (TM) and that no one before them (save maybe the Apostle Paul) was a True Believer (TM).

  88. Lizzybeth wrote:

    Your thoughts, ending with this conclusion, were comforting to this long-time lurker today.

    I just now saw this. Your kind words did me good.

  89. Godith wrote:

    but I think spreading these accusations is wrong

    What you and Anon have proposed is akin to an alcoholic family’s “No Talk Rules”.
    We’re only as sick as our secrets. Kudos to Frank for telling the truth, including
    for the flak he gets from the likes of you.

    I think Frank would be more charitable to each of you if you told painful truths about your families than you have been to him.

  90. Muff Potter wrote:

    Holy Guacamole Batman! Just four more comments and we’ll hit the 700 mark!

    I wasn’t even counting the comments. But it sounds like a time for an extra order of tortilla chips.

  91. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Godith:
    “He may not feel under obligation to tell the truth as would a Christian.”
    ++++++++++
    …doing a drive by here, & throwing into the mixing batter: the atheists i know live lives of integrity. honesty matters a great deal to them, because it is the right thing to do.

    Spot on, elastigirl.

    I have never met more dishonest, unethical, immoral, vicious, hate-filled people than in NeoCalvinist churches. Their religion is worthless.

  92. Godith wrote:

    We should seek two witnesses in this case.

    We aren’t required to do any such thing. You are employing a tactic that is used in alcoholic families, a “no-talk rule” and Scripture twisting to get there.

    People aren’t required to follow “your” rules, that you have somehow blamed on God. And since God witnesses everything, aren’t you calling God a liar when He witnesses abuse?

  93. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m takin’ Vegas style odds that this here thread’ll go past the 700 mark comment wise.

    #700 We should never have doubted you.

  94. Bill M wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    I’m takin’ Vegas style odds that this here thread’ll go past the 700 mark comment wise.
    #700 We should never have doubted you.

    See, I got us very close…up to #699. And then I waited for some lucky person to be #700.

  95. @ CHIPS:

    Once again, Calvinists do not believe that humans are robots. You believe that logically TULIP leads to that conclusion, but they do not believe it does. You are free to argue that they are wrong. It’s not OK to tell them they believe something they don’t.

    Citing Calvinists as a link to child abuse is a really low blow. Calvinism has absolutely nothing to do with child abuse. Do you know the PCUSA is a Calvinist church? They believe in TULIP? But they are generally not as authoritarian as some of the churches you are referencing and they are certainly not known for child abuse.

    Many Calvinists themselves disown Piper, so using his words/teaching to prove a point doesn’t do you an favors. He is not the gold standard of Calvinists. If you want to argue, argue from the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    I do not go to a Calvinist church, so no need to fear for me. But the plain fact is, even if they are wrong in their logic, Calvinists simply do not believe that humans are robots. The notion of free will and God’s providence are extremely complex topics that have perplexed philosophers for centuries. Yes, there is tension between free will and what Calvinists believe. But there’s also tension between free will and ANY believer that accepts God’s providence, Calvinist or not. So the fact that they don’t accept what you think they should is OK. They are not alone in struggling with this tension.

    I was not playing games by answering in short sentences. I was pointing out that your fundamental assertion, that Calvinists believe people are robots, is wrong. They don’t. If they did, they would be hyper-Calvinists, but Calvinists are quick to disown Calvinists. You can argue all you like that the logical conclusions should warrant them to believe that we are all robots, but whether illogical or not, they don’t believe that.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, TULIP is a doctrine. It has ramifications, yes, but this blog has seen abuse come from people of all kinds of theological stripes. And there are some wonderful Calvinists who have been on the side of abuse victims and helped them through.

    I’ve been through this before. I’ve defended Calvinism on this blog in the comments because it’s a favorite whipping boy for many. Not because I care about Calvinism, but because when you focus on Calvinism, you are ignoring what really causes this stuff: abusive people in power. And abusive people will use whatever theology they need to wield control over others. Just ask Tony Jones.

  96. Jeff S wrote:

    Citing Calvinists as a link to child abuse is a really low blow. Calvinism has absolutely nothing to do with child abuse.

    I didn’t read the post by the guy you’re quoting. I’m just going by your reply to that person.

    I remember at Julie Anne’s blog (SSB), she had a really old blog thread or two about Calvinism.

    On at least one of those threads, people who had once attended a Calvinist church, or had spoken to Calvinist preachers, had been very hurt by Calvinism.

    These women who are survivors of abuse had been taught that they should not be sad or angry over any abuse they experienced in childhood (even including rape, if I recall one lady’s testimony there correctly), because, these Calvinists told them (they said), that ultimately, the God of the universe foreordained their sexual assaults.

    (They were either taught this by Calvinists when they were girls and/or as adults when recounting their childhood traumas.)

    They were also taught (or being told now by folks who identify as Calvinists) that their abuse is “for the glory of God.”

    (And on and on with theology like that.)

    These women at JA’s site said it was extremely hurtful to them and damaged their relationship with God and their view of God.

    Some people who grew up in Calvinism do link it to abuse or to the insensitive treatment they received after they were abused.

    You said,

    I’ve been through this before. I’ve defended Calvinism on this blog in the comments because it’s a favorite whipping boy for many. Not because I care about Calvinism, but because when you focus on Calvinism, you are ignoring what really causes this stuff: abusive people in power. And abusive people will use whatever theology they need to wield control over others. Just ask Tony Jones.

    Well, I don’t know.

    That’s true to a point, but that would be like telling me (who was personally negatively impacted by gender complementarianism) that I should not criticize gender complementarianism, because in your view, the problem is not really gender comp, but people who are authoritarian, or what have you.

    However, my problem is not just with abusive preachers but with complementarianism itself.

    I find gender comp repulsive in and of itself, even when it’s practiced by nice guys who do not physically abuse their wives, because even “nice” complementarianism teaches that women are “second status” to men, an idea which I find odious.

    Also, a lot of abusive types utilize complementarianism to abuse or repress women, to use it to biblically justify keeping women down, so I feel it’s worthy to take on comp itself, not just authoritarianism.

    I would assume that vocal critics of Calvinism probably feel similarly about Calvinism and its role in abusive churches as I do about complementarianism.

  97. Jeff S wrote:

    @ CHIPS:
    Once again, Calvinists do not believe that humans are robots. You believe that logically TULIP leads to that conclusion, but they do not believe it does. You are free to argue that they are wrong. It’s not OK to tell them they believe something they don’t.
    Citing Calvinists as a link to child abuse is a really low blow. Calvinism has absolutely nothing to do with child abuse. Do you know the PCUSA is a Calvinist church? They believe in TULIP? But they are generally not as authoritarian as some of the churches you are referencing and they are certainly not known for child abuse.
    Many Calvinists themselves disown Piper, so using his words/teaching to prove a point doesn’t do you an favors. He is not the gold standard of Calvinists. If you want to argue, argue from the Westminster Confession of Faith.
    I do not go to a Calvinist church, so no need to fear for me. But the plain fact is, even if they are wrong in their logic, Calvinists simply do not believe that humans are robots. The notion of free will and God’s providence are extremely complex topics that have perplexed philosophers for centuries. Yes, there is tension between free will and what Calvinists believe. But there’s also tension between free will and ANY believer that accepts God’s providence, Calvinist or not. So the fact that they don’t accept what you think they should is OK. They are not alone in struggling with this tension.
    I was not playing games by answering in short sentences. I was pointing out that your fundamental assertion, that Calvinists believe people are robots, is wrong. They don’t. If they did, they would be hyper-Calvinists, but Calvinists are quick to disown Calvinists. You can argue all you like that the logical conclusions should warrant them to believe that we are all robots, but whether illogical or not, they don’t believe that.
    Anyway, at the end of the day, TULIP is a doctrine. It has ramifications, yes, but this blog has seen abuse come from people of all kinds of theological stripes. And there are some wonderful Calvinists who have been on the side of abuse victims and helped them through.
    I’ve been through this before. I’ve defended Calvinism on this blog in the comments because it’s a favorite whipping boy for many. Not because I care about Calvinism, but because when you focus on Calvinism, you are ignoring what really causes this stuff: abusive people in power. And abusive people will use whatever theology they need to wield control over others. Just ask Tony Jones.

    I think you failed to differentiate between mild-mannered Calvinism (my Presbyterian grandmother and her church come to mind) versus rabid, authoritarian, abuse-filled
    NeoCalvinism.

  98. Velour wrote:

    I think you failed to differentiate between mild-mannered Calvinism (my Presbyterian grandmother and her church come to mind) versus rabid, authoritarian, abuse-filled
    NeoCalvinism.

    If the original comment I’d responded to had said “NeoCalvinism”, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Chip specifically sighted TULIP as the reason people are “robots”, not an authoritarian brand of Calvinism.

    I agree that there is a strain that is very destructive and harmful currently very active.

  99. Daisy wrote:

    These women who are survivors of abuse had been taught that they should not be sad or angry over any abuse they experienced in childhood (even including rape, if I recall one lady’s testimony there correctly), because, these Calvinists told them (they said), that ultimately, the God of the universe foreordained their sexual assaults.

    Pretty sick stuff. I can absolutely understand being upset over this, and specifically at Calvinist teachers.

    I understand why people link Calvinism to this kind of stuff, and I understand being angry at the doctrine. However, it’s an inaccurate representation of the theology, and so I think if we are going address a theology, we should be accurate about it.

    To be clear: Calvinism does teach that no person comes to faith in God without God’s intervention in their lives. I understand why this is a problematic belief to many. However, it is not the same thing as saying we are robots and do not control our own actions. Calvinism only addresses our lack of ability to come to saving faith, not to make other decisions or take other actions in our lives. There *is* a strand of Calvinism that teaches everything we do is 100% controlled by God- it is called hyper-Calvinism.

    However, to be clear, ALL Christians do believe that God is in control of the universe. We ALL believe in God’s providence. How that works with man’s free will is a divine mystery. Working that out is not a uniquely Calvinist problem.

    Daisy wrote:

    That’s true to a point, but that would be like telling me (who was personally negatively impacted by gender complementarianism) that I should not criticize gender complementarianism, because in your view, the problem is not really gender comp, but people who are authoritarian, or what have you.

    I believe that is fine to criticize Calvinism. CHIPS can do it all he likes. But what he said was “Neo-Calvinist churches are known to sexually abusing little kids and then cover it up.” Two things are wrong here; the first is he switched the conversation to “Neo-Calvinist”, when we were talking about a broad assertion about anyone who believes TULIP, and secondly, there are loads of examples outside of Neo-Calvinist churches about sexually abusing little kids.

    If he believes that TULIP is responsible for little kids being sexually abused, then he must give evidence that the PCUSA is as dangerous for little kids as authoritarian churches. But we don’t hear many stories coming out of the PCUSA.

    His argument is that TULIP turns people into robots, and that is what makes people vulnerable for abuse. I’m arguing that TULIP doesn’t turn pepole into robots, that Calvinists don’t believe we are robots, and that TULIP itself is not nearly as big an indicator of risk for abuse as authoritarian control, and Calvinists certainly do not have a lock on authoritarian control in the church.

  100. Jeff S wrote:

    If you want to argue, argue from the Westminster Confession of Faith.

    Let’s do that. Here’s a good place to start:

    Chapter 3 Of God’s Eternal Decree
    1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
    2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
    3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
    4. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
    5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
    6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
    7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.
    8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.

    The confession speaks for itself.

  101. @ Ken F:

    Again, ALL Christians believe in God’s providence (that he ordains what comes to pass). ThT statement in the WCF should not be surprising to anyone familiar with the story of Joseph in the Bible where he says what his brothers meant for evil, God meant for good.

    And yes, Calvinists do believe that those who will trust in Jesus for salvation are predestined. However, saying that people are predestined to make a salvation decisions is VASTLY different from saying they are robots with. I control over any decisions or actions in their lives.

  102. Jeff S wrote:

    is VASTLY different from saying they are robots

    NeoCalvinists, however, expect people to behave like robots, in my experience. Critical thinking skills get people kicked out and excommunicated/shunned.

  103. Jeff S wrote:

    However, saying that people are predestined to make a salvation decisions is VASTLY different from saying they are robots with. I control over any decisions or actions in their lives.

    Not really. Point 3.1 very clearly states that God causes everything to come to pass, but he not responsible for any of it. It makes God the ultimate victim blamer – he does it but it’s our fault. The other points make it clear that we humans have no choice in our salvation, but we are to blame for not being saved. And the saved humans have no choice in their sanctification – it’s going to happen whether they want it to or not. In fact, the only reason they want to be sanctified is because God made them to want it. If that is not making us robots I don’t know what else to call it.

    It really boils down to what predestination means. Would you care to critique this article: http://www.perichoresis.org/why-i-left-calvinism/.

    There are MANY more articles and books I could point to that challenge the underlying beliefs of Calvinism. To me, the bottom line is that Calvinism is a form of fatalism that enables abusive systems. It might not directly cause abuse, but it gives shelter to those with abusive hearts.

  104. @ Ken F:

    I’m not going to argue the point about whether it enables abusive systems. I think there is an argument to be made. My only point is that Calvinists themselves do not believe that humans are robots, so to state it and then argue from that viewpoint is uncharitable and unhelpful. The Calvinist will simply deny it’s the case and ignore any real criticism you have about their theology.

    For me, I care little either way these days. As I’ve said earlier in these comments, I am concerned about the evangelical’s church inability to live out a basic Christian ethic, and this cross cuts any individual beliefs about atonement or predestination. I see evangelicals of all stripes failing to be salt and light in the world, and arguing over TULIP matters very little in light of that as far as I’m concerned.

  105. Jeff S wrote:

    My only point is that Calvinists themselves do not believe that humans are robots, so to state it and then argue from that viewpoint is uncharitable and unhelpful. The Calvinist will simply deny it’s the case and ignore any real criticism you have about their theology.

    Sounds like we are in agreement on this. I don’t believe that most Calvinists actually believe in Calvinism. Most are able to see through the logical, theological, and philosophical problems with the Calvinist confessions. So they might say they follow certain confessions, but when you get right down to it they don’t really believe in the logical outcome of those confessions.

    As to whether or not Calvinism as a system enables abuse, I know there will be varied opinions on that matter. I personally believe that a system that paints such a horrific view of God and a such fatalistic view of man is a system in which abusers can find ample room to justify abuse. Calvin’s Geneva was not such a nice place to live if you did not slavishly obey the myriad of rules and expectations. Based on the fundamental principles and confessions of Calvinism, this makes perfect sense. There are many Calvinists who are very gracious and kind people. This is in spite of their Calvinism, not because of it.

  106. Jeff S wrote:

    Again, ALL Christians believe in God’s providence (that he ordains what comes to pass). ThT statement in the WCF should not be surprising to anyone familiar with the story of Joseph in the Bible where he says what his brothers meant for evil, God meant for good.

    But God is not the Author of Evil, no. Or the Author of sin.
    All that is good originates with God, yes.

  107. To be clear, here is what the WCF has to say:

    “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”

    This is directly stating that God is not the author of evil and that humans are not robots (he establishes their frewill).

  108. @ Jeff S:
    in my Church, we say something a bit differently about this: that God wills what is good and for reasons we may not comprehend fully, ‘permits’ evil to exist, although He doesn’t ‘will’ it into being OR create it.

    So our belief is worded differently, yes. Very differently from your quote, I think.

  109. @ Christiane:

    I’m sure. The problem of evil is long been a wrestling point with theologians. There are many different flavors to how people deal with it, though there is always a tension.

    I don’t believe that the WCF language is particularly egregious or setting people up for abuse. If you read further past the section I just quoted, it does say that this doctrine must be handled with great care. If anything, this is perhaps where many modern day Calvinists are dropping the ball. They go around hammering people over this stuff when none of it is easy to apprehend or very clear from scripture.

    We know God is good. We know is his powerful. We know evil exists. How to reconcile all of that is where we might take different paths, legitimately doing our best to comprehend a divine mystery.

  110. Jeff S wrote:

    unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass

    There is no way to get around the fact that this says God decreed/established EVERYTHING but doesn’t take responsibility for all of it. There is mystery surrounding the ways of God, but this is a terrible to try to capture it. No one really believes this.

  111. Velour wrote:

    I appreciated Mirele’s comments about the history of the Nicene Creed…

    Well, since you were kind enough to defend me a wee while back, I can hardly complain when you defend (for want of a less-loaded word) someone else..! Glad you’ve appreciated Mirele’s comments, therefore – at risk of repeating myself, this is Wartburg.

  112. Jeff S wrote:

    How to reconcile all of that is where we might take different paths, legitimately doing our best to comprehend a divine mystery.

    I suppose we reconcile it in my Church around the image of God as revealed to us in Christ: God is love.

    I know the image of God in some denominations who use the term ‘sovereign’ is far from what we know of God from Christ and is based on interpretations of the Old Testament;
    but in my Church we believe that the clearest, most complete revelation of ‘God’ is shown to us in Christ. Through Him, we can know the Father. Through Him, we are connected to the Holy Spirit.

    The ‘God of Wrath’ doesn’t have meaningful for us, no, not since the Coming of the Light (Christ) as described in St. John’s stunning Holy Gospel.

  113. Ken F wrote:

    There is no way to get around the fact that this says God decreed/established EVERYTHING but doesn’t take responsibility for all of it.

    To my mind, God did indeed create a word in which fallible beings were given dominion; so, IOW, he created a world in which marvellous things could happen, but in which terrible things could also happen.

    Wartburgia is one of the few places I’d say this, because evilUniversalistHeretic (which I’m not – I don’t believe everybody wants God’s eternity, for a start) – but I don’t think we’ve even begun to scratch the surface of what Jesus accomplished at the Cross. There’s a tiny hint in Colossians:

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    ISTM that, at the Cross, God took responsibility; in the fullest sense of the word.

  114. @ Velour:
    God knows everything and will deal justly with everything. Not everything receives justice here and now. Even IF the alleged abuse cited here occurred, it won’t be dealt with justly in this life since the Schaeffers are not alive anymore. I cite no “no talk rule”. Look at our legal system. A series of alleged crimes cannot be prosecuted without some kind of evidence–circumstantial or otherwise.The rule I cite is not “my” rule; it is God’s. See not only NT but also OT.
    As for free will and God’s ordination of all things, some find it hard to reconcile the two things–they are incompatibilists. Those who can reconcile them are called compatibilists. Read “The Innocence of God” by Udo Middelman (Schaeffer’s son-in-law who was asked by Edith to do her funeral service). This is a level-headed approach to the truth of the Bible concerning free will and foreordination. God is good and does good. Psalm 119:68.

  115. @ Christiane:

    The tension is, if God is love, and God is powerful, how can he allow bad things to happen? If someone has just lost their child, and they ask you why God, who is all powerful, allowed it to happen, “God is love” may not be a satisfying answer. God’s love may not feel like it extends to them in their grief. That God allowed something to happen he could have prevented verse causing something to happen may not be a satisfying distinction.

    I think many people approach this tension in different ways. Some are better than others. But there is something admirable in any person’s desire to work out and reconcile these seemingly incompatible facts about God and the world we live in. At least, I believe there is.

  116. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    To my mind, God did indeed create a word in which fallible beings were given dominion; so, IOW, he created a world in which marvellous things could happen, but in which terrible things could also happen.

    I think you and I are on similar paths. Calvinism seems to think of sovereignty as a zero-sum game – if God allows humans to make free choices it somehow takes away from his sovereignty. I’m now thinking that God is allowed to do with his sovereignty whatever he wants (by definition). If he cannot grant us free will without sacrificing his sovereignty, then it means God is constrained by a higher law than himself. That makes no sense.

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ISTM that, at the Cross, God took responsibility; in the fullest sense of the word.

    Yes, this seems to be the case.

  117. @ Ken F:

    The issue isn’t a threat to God’s sovereignty. It is how the Fall has affected us. But keep in mind that predestination and the “choice” in question is only one choice- do we align ourselves with God?

    The Calvinist answer is that we do have a choice, only that because of our sin, we would never choose it. Our hearts are inclined away from God It requires God to reveal to use the splendor of him, at which point no person would do choose otherwise.

    Which may practically work out to the same thing; however, the way I am presenting views it not as a contsraint on God, but a lack of ability of man.

  118. Godith wrote:

    @ Velour:
    God knows everything and will deal justly with everything. Not everything receives justice here and now.

    Well at least we agree with that much.

    Even IF the alleged abuse cited here occurred, it won’t be dealt with justly in this life since the Schaeffers are not alive anymore.

    Frank Jr. is entitled to tell his life and his family experience.

    I cite no “no talk rule”. Look at our legal system.

    I work in law. You have gotten your amendments in the U.S. Constitution mixed up. There are Due Process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. These Constitutional rights afforded criminal defendants in criminal cases, where their life/limb/liberty are at risk, have NOTHING to do with FREE SPEECH rights that Frank Jr. is entitled to and that the rest of us are entitled to.

    A series of alleged crimes cannot be prosecuted without some kind of evidence–circumstantial or otherwise.

    No one is being prosecuted for crimes. Dead people can’t be prosecuted for crimes.

    The rule I cite is not “my” rule; it is God’s.

    God says it’s ok for people to tell the truth. This is everywhere in the Scriptures. There are plenty of places that God understands that there are no witnesses.

    You are merely proof-texting and trying to make it a “clobber verse”. God has plenty of other verses that support Frank, and us.

    See not only NT but also OT.

    You’re proof-texting. There is plenty in Scripture in which God permits us to tell the truth and understands that there may not be witnesses.

    As for free will and God’s ordination of all things, some find it hard to reconcile the two things–they are incompatibilists. Those who can reconcile them are called compatibilists. Read “The Innocence of God” by Udo Middelman (Schaeffer’s son-in-law who was asked by Edith to do her funeral service). This is a level-headed approach to the truth of the Bible concerning free will and foreordination. God is good and does good. Psalm 119:68.

    God is NOT responsible for peoples’ choice to sin.

  119. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I appreciated Mirele’s comments about the history of the Nicene Creed…
    Well, since you were kind enough to defend me a wee while back, I can hardly complain when you defend (for want of a less-loaded word) someone else..! Glad you’ve appreciated Mirele’s comments, therefore – at risk of repeating myself, this is Wartburg.

    Welcome, brother Nick.

    But it wasn’t just defending Mirele. I really thought deeply about the whole issue.

  120. Jeff S wrote:

    The Calvinist answer is that we do have a choice, only that because of our sin, we would never choose it. Our hearts are inclined away from God It requires God to reveal to use the splendor of him, at which point no person would do choose otherwise.

    This is saying that we have free choice that we are not freely able to exercise. That makes no logical sense at all. If God could choose to save everyone, but only chooses to save some, then being unsaved is God’s fault, not man’s. This also makes no sense. To say that it’s our fault because Adam sinned also makes no sense. This is why I say that no one really believes in Calvinism. It’s a completely self-defeating system of thought. In real life, people act as if their choices really matter.

  121. Velour wrote:

    But it wasn’t just defending Mirele. I really thought deeply about the whole issue.

    I get the sense that Constantine was more interested in political unity than in any particular doctrine. If it looked like the majority of bishops were supporting Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster he probably would have pushed for that if it would mean unity in his empire.

  122. Velour wrote:

    Based on your own personal definition of “truth”, nobody would ever be permitted to tell anything that wasn’t witnessed because it must not be true.

    Where have I said people aren’t responsible to tell things that weren’t witnessed. I never said Franky shouldn’t have the right to talk. My concern is with believing and repeating unsubstantiated accusations.

    For example, I had a lovely salmon dinner last week with a salad and dessert. But I ate it by myself and there were no witnesses. So using your criteria it must not have happened.

    Throw out a silly example all you want.

    On a more serious note, child sex crimes victims, domestic violence victims, and other victims should not be listened to and believed because they didn’t have “witnesses”.

    Sorry, not making that argument. I’m saying unsubtatntiated accusations shouldn’t be believed simply because they claim something horrendous. My question is why everyone is so quick to blame Franky when there has been opportunity to corroborate his story but no one has. Some may be doing so out of the mistaken belief that all accusations of abuse are correct, but of course things like the Duke Lacrosse case should cause us to not too quickly jump on things when there is no real evidence. Others may be doing so because they hate Calvinism. Others, I don’t know.

    Frank Jr. isn’t hostile about Calvinism, which he rejects. He rejects wholesale a whole agenda that he was taught and was a successful part of for years. He rejects the damage it did to people. He rejects his part of it. That’s his right.

    It’s his right to reject things. It’s not his right for us to believe and repeat his accusations against his father when literally no one else has said he is right.

    It’s certainly possible that what Frank has said is true. It’s certainly possible that what Frank has said is false. We don’t know. To talk about it as if it were true is not much different than gossip.

  123. The Calvinists don’t see the Incarnation in the same way as orthodox Christians see it. I think that may be WHY ‘God’ is seen in such a dark way by extreme Calvinists.

  124. @ Ken F:

    It makes loads of sense that someone may be free to do something, but not able to do it.

    Now whether this makes coherent sense with the character of God is another story. But being unable to do something that you are free to do is not inherently problematic.

  125. Jeff S wrote:

    Now whether this makes coherent sense with the character of God is another story. But being unable to do something that you are free to do is not inherently problematic.

    Not the way it is described in the WCF. It says we don’t want to do it. That means we have no will do to it. That means our will is constrained. That means it is not free. There is not way to argue for free will from the WCF.

  126. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    The tension is, if God is love, and God is powerful, how can he allow bad things to happen? If someone has just lost their child, and they ask you why God, who is all powerful, allowed it to happen, “God is love” may not be a satisfying answer. God’s love may not feel like it extends to them in their grief. That God allowed something to happen he could have prevented verse causing something to happen may not be a satisfying distinction.

    Bingo. At the end of the day, the non-Calvinist does not have a better answer. God could stop evil but he often doesn’t. Calvinists will say that it is ultimately somehow to advance his glory even if right now we cannot understand why. Non-Calvinists will typically give a free will defense of some kind. God does not intervene because he wants to preserve our free will and to stop evil would mean we don’t have true free will.

    In both cases, God prefers something more in specific cases than stopping evil even if in an ultimate sense God will bring an end to evil. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about Calvinism because a Calvinist would say that people are abused for God’s glory. Well, that would require some qualification because that’s not exactly what Calvinists are saying even if it might capture some aspect of truth. But the non-Calvinist would be saying God allows people to be abused because he wants them to have free will and won’t impose himself on them out of love (or something to that effect).

    My question is why is it better for God to do nothing but let abuse happen because he wants us to have free will than it is for God to ordain some evil event for the sake of an ultimate plan that advances his glory if his glory is the highest good imaginable? It’s not self-evident that having (a particular version of) free will is worth abuse and other evils happening, but I see a lot of non-Calvinists assuming that it would be.

    Frankly, I’d be willing to sacrifice “free will” if it would mean no one would ever be abused again and that I would not have had to suffer much of what I’ve suffered.

  127. @ Robert:

    I haven’t really followed your conversation too much, but I’ll say this: if I know something to be true, it is my right to say it as much as I like even if there is no one to corroborate what I say.

    I’m not saying Frank is right or wrong, but to silence someone just because they can’t prove it is definitely wrong. So many abuse victims have been squelched under this kind of logic.

  128. @ Ken F:

    The WCF states we have free will. You can argue that the WCF is not logically consistent, but it’s easy enough to argue free will from the WCF.

  129. Christiane wrote:

    The Calvinists don’t see the Incarnation in the same way as orthodox Christians see it. I think that may be WHY ‘God’ is seen in such a dark way by extreme Calvinists.

    Calvinism affirms Chalcedon and the other Christological statements made by the early church just as the orthodox do.

  130. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Robert:
    I haven’t really followed your conversation too much, but I’ll say this: if I know something to be true, it is my right to say it as much as I like even if there is no one to corroborate what I say.
    I’m not saying Frank is right or wrong, but to silence someone just because they can’t prove it is definitely wrong. So many abuse victims have been squelched under this kind of logic.

    Sure. I’m not trying to silence anyone. I’m just warning about believing something just because an accusation has been leveled.

  131. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Robert:
    I haven’t really followed your conversation too much, but I’ll say this: if I know something to be true, it is my right to say it as much as I like even if there is no one to corroborate what I say.
    I’m not saying Frank is right or wrong, but to silence someone just because they can’t prove it is definitely wrong. So many abuse victims have been squelched under this kind of logic.

    My beef isn’t so much with Franky saying it as it is with people repeating it as if it were gospel truth when no one can prove it one way or another. Let Franky talk. But why is anyone presuming that he is telling the truth, particularly when there is no corroboration and there is definitely money and fame to be made as the ex-Calvinist exposing the REAL truth about the Christian Right. Franky isn’t suffering for “revealing” this information. Other abuse victims on this site have suffered and are suffering, and there’s actual evidence to back up their claims.

  132. Jeff S wrote:

    The WCF states we have free will. You can argue that the WCF is not logically consistent, but it’s easy enough to argue free will from the WCF.

    That’s the beauty of the WCF – it affirms polar opposites. This is from 9.3:

    Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.

    This says that man is unable to freely choose salvation. That’s a pretty big limitation on free will. Probably the only limitation that really matters. The rest of section 9 affirms free will. But section 3 says the opposite, that “whatsoever” (=everthing) is decreed by God.

    Yes, I am becoming more and more convinced that the WCF (and all of the various decrees of Calvinism) is hopelessly inconsistent. You can find in it whatever point you want to make. It’s why it can be so frustrating trying to have a logical conversation with Calvinists. I think the problem is that it tries to go too far before appealing to mystery. It would be better to appeal to mystery much earlier in the logical thought train.

  133. Robert wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Based on your own personal definition of “truth”, nobody would ever be permitted to tell anything that wasn’t witnessed because it must not be true.
    Where have I said people aren’t responsible to tell things that weren’t witnessed. I never said Franky shouldn’t have the right to talk. My concern is with believing and repeating unsubstantiated accusations.
    For example, I had a lovely salmon dinner last week with a salad and dessert. But I ate it by myself and there were no witnesses. So using your criteria it must not have happened.
    Throw out a silly example all you want.
    On a more serious note, child sex crimes victims, domestic violence victims, and other victims should not be listened to and believed because they didn’t have “witnesses”.
    Sorry, not making that argument. I’m saying unsubtatntiated accusations shouldn’t be believed simply because they claim something horrendous. My question is why everyone is so quick to blame Franky when there has been opportunity to corroborate his story but no one has. Some may be doing so out of the mistaken belief that all accusations of abuse are correct, but of course things like the Duke Lacrosse case should cause us to not too quickly jump on things when there is no real evidence. Others may be doing so because they hate Calvinism. Others, I don’t know.
    Frank Jr. isn’t hostile about Calvinism, which he rejects. He rejects wholesale a whole agenda that he was taught and was a successful part of for years. He rejects the damage it did to people. He rejects his part of it. That’s his right.
    It’s his right to reject things. It’s not his right for us to believe and repeat his accusations against his father when literally no one else has said he is right.
    It’s certainly possible that what Frank has said is true. It’s certainly possible that what Frank has said is false. We don’t know. To talk about it as if it were true is not much different than gossip.

    So what Robert? So you think that adults — or for that matter children — who had bad things happen to them, or witnessed them shouldn’t be allowed to talk about them. Nonsense.

  134. @ Ken F:

    Which is a fair argument. It’s a far bette thing to say “Calvinists are inconsistent in what they believe” than “Calvinists believe we are all robots and therefore open the doors for abuse”.

  135. Jeff S wrote:

    Which is a fair argument. It’s a far bette thing to say “Calvinists are inconsistent in what they believe” than “Calvinists believe we are all robots and therefore open the doors for abuse”.

    I don’t say that Calvinists believe all people are robots. I say that Calvinism, as a system, teaches it (but also denies it). Calvinism as a system is not fully believable because it is not internally consistent. Calvinists themselves end up choosing (freely?) which parts to believe. If they tried to believe all of it at the same time they would lose their minds.

  136. Ken F wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:

    Which is a fair argument. It’s a far bette thing to say “Calvinists are inconsistent in what they believe” than “Calvinists believe we are all robots and therefore open the doors for abuse”.

    I don’t say that Calvinists believe all people are robots. I say that Calvinism, as a system, teaches it (but also denies it). Calvinism as a system is not fully believable because it is not internally consistent. Calvinists themselves end up choosing (freely?) which parts to believe. If they tried to believe all of it at the same time they would lose their minds.

    It’s kind of ironic because presuppositionalists claim that ONLY Calvinism is logically consistent, and all other belief systems can be shown not to be. (One wonders how they think anyone was capable of knowing anything before Calvin came on the scene).

  137. @ Robert:
    Yes, exactly right. Take care what you believe, no matter who does the talking. I have every right to talk about little green men who come to my place of business every day to annoy me. If I talk about an ex-spouse who comes to my place of business every day to annoy me, I could be charged with libel. That’s why it’s hard to accept stories when the people involved are not around to defend themselves, and better not to spread the stories.

  138. Godith wrote:

    I have every right to talk about little green men who come to my place of business every day to annoy me.

    Funny you should mention that, because I keep getting attacked by Dementors whenever I come downstairs at night. However, not for much longer, because earlier this week I finally managed to repel them with a corporeal patronus!

    For those interested, it took the form of a Forever Friends bear. It pure kicked the ***** out of them, I can tell you.

  139. Jeff S wrote:

    I was referring to CHIPS original statement which was what started us down this path.

    CHIPS went farther than I went when he claimed that Calvinists believe people are robots. But otherwise, CHIPS’ assessment of TULIP was consistent with the WCF that you cited. The reason I weighed in is because I have an interest in what Calvinism actually teaches. The reason I cited the WCF is because you wrote that this is where we should start the argument.

    I don’t claim to speak for Calvinists individually, but the various confessions, such as WCF, do logically lead to the conclusion that humans are robots. When the WCF says this: “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass,” there is no way to claim that there is anything in the universe that God did not establish/decree. That means we are only following a script that he laid out from the beginning because we cannot choose to do anything the he has not already ordained. It also means that he even decrees evil. But this is not palatable to Calvinists, which is why the WCF says that he does not ordain evil. But if he does not ordain/decree/establish evil, then he does not “unchangeably ordain whatsoever.” It means he only ordains some things. But this is also unpalatable to Calvinists, which is why they included the caveat that he does not. Which is it? He ordains all things or only some things?

    In reality, Calvinists don’t believe everything in their confessions because it is impossible. But if one of them claims to follow a particular confession, it is not unfair to accuse them of believing what the confession actually states. I think this is why they can sometimes feel backed into a corner – the Calvinist confessions are indefensible.

  140. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    The tension is, if God is love, and God is powerful, how can he allow bad things to happen? If someone has just lost their child, and they ask you why God, who is all powerful, allowed it to happen, “God is love” may not be a satisfying answer. God’s love may not feel like it extends to them in their grief. That God allowed something to happen he could have prevented verse causing something to happen may not be a satisfying distinction.
    I think many people approach this tension in different ways. Some are better than others. But there is something admirable in any person’s desire to work out and reconcile these seemingly incompatible facts about God and the world we live in. At least, I believe there is.

    We have to understand that the bible often have “double-truths” These are not paradoxes, which means that contract each other, so we must pick one or the other. Instead double-truth means God is BEYOND our outstanding and so two truths are both true at the same time.

    So my stance is God is in full control of everything. But within that full control.

    1) There must be free will in order to love.
    2) Consequences of sin must happen and be carry out.

    1) There must be free will in order to love.

    The first point is demonstrated when God created the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (TKGE). No one can deny that God putted that tree there. It was written that God himself directly putted it there (Genesis 2:9).

    One can stop right there and ask: Why did God even put that TKGE there? This is one of the toughest questions for Christianity: Was God the origin of evil?

    So what is this TKGE? In my opinion this is a choice to sin. An option to sin. And the purpose of it is to let mankind choose.

    Be very careful when reading this. This is not sin itself, but the choice to do it.

    Why did God let mankind choose? That’s because love and obedience can only be real if it is freely chosen. If it is forced, that isn’t true love or true obedience. Yes God could have made mankind into robots and we must do whatever we are “coded” or “programmed” to do. But God do not want this! God want self thinking, self choosing humans to choose to love and obey Him.

    In order to make mankind different from robots, a choice to sin and disobey must be provided. And hence God made the TKGE to provide this choice. Love and obedience can only be real if there is a choice and freewill.

    2) Consequences of sin must happen and be carry out.

    Now that mankind has sinned, could God have prevented all consequences? Yes God could have in his power. But God cannot because that won’t be righteous.

    I say this again. God has the power to stop and prevent all consequences of sin. So yes God could have prevented the death of Adam and Eve. But God cannot do that, because that will not be righteous. If God prevents the consequences of sin, God will no longer be righteous. God will be an un-just God

    Now we are humans and of course we do not want to face the consequences. But let us get out of our own situation and look at things from God’s point of view. I can write a lot on this but let’s say this: If God sees something evil and do not punish, how can God remain righteous? As humans of course we want to get away with everything. We might even feel that we “deserve” to get away with everything. But is that righteousness? Is that justice?

    There are many consequences, like natural disasters for seemingly no reason and animals now eating each other. But let’s just talk about death. Why does mankind now have to die?

    Mankind must die because without death, evil will know no bound.

    Think about it. If the likes of Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin and Vlad Dracula lives forever, what do we think will happen? Their reign of terror would never end! And if they ever get overthrown, someone equally twisted will take their place. In this world might makes right. And evil wins over good.

    That’s why God said in Genesis 3:22 that mankind must not eat from the Tree of Life. Because apart from the Holy Spirit, mankind knows Good and Evil but will ALWAYS chose to do evil. Mankind must die because God must put a limit on evil.

    So why do we see good men die? Why do newborn babies die? Because when God put a limit on evil men, even good men and newborn babies are affected. The curse is on all of mankind. If none of the evil men ever dies, how would we know what our world will be today. Yes I know we do not want to die and suffer. And certainly we do not want to see good men and newborn babies die or suffer. But God said it is better this way than having an evil dictator on top that never dies. That would literally be hell on earth.

    But mankind won’t die right? What can these evil men do against us? How about cutting us up into 6 pieces, let us heal (assuming we do) and then cut us up again? Or how about, just for fun, lock us up and let us starve for the next 10,000 years in total darkness? Why not? Who is there to limit their evil?

    Let’s say you want to rebel against your evil king. Well he never dies. And his army never dies. So you lock up their solders (that you captured) and torture them forever. And the king lock up your rebels and torture them forever. Everyone gets their hands and leg cut off, only for it to regrow and be cut off again. You sink people into the depths of the ocean to freeze for 10000 years, and then send them right into the sun to burn for another 10000 years. Can you imagine this madness?

    Why did God stopped the Tower of Babel? Is it to stop the glory of men? No! It was to stop the massive slavery going on. Do we think everyone had shared responsibilities? That everyone share in the glory of mankind? Of course not! It was all slave labor back then. It was the ultimate example of the rich and powerful gaining glory on the broken backs and suffering of the poor slaves. That’s why God must stop it to free the slaves.

    God must allow the consequences of sin to happen, else God won’t be just. And the consequence of sin is death. Because without death, evil will have no limit.

    But fear not! Born to us is our Savior Jesus Christ. He has taken upon himself all of our sins and died on our half. So now we Christians will no longer die. In fact sin is not longer our master, but God is. That’s why we rejoice now for the birth of our Savior.

  141. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    “I don’t think we’ve even begun to scratch the surface of what Jesus accomplished at the Cross. There’s a tiny hint in Colossians:

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    ISTM that, at the Cross, God took responsibility; in the fullest sense of the word.”
    +++++++++++++++

    ooooh, i can dig it!

  142. @ Ken F:

    I understand you and CHIPS were making two different arguments, which is why I was clarifying. I’m not really interested in debating Calvinism too much, only being accurate about what they do believe regarding us being “robots”.

  143. Ken F wrote:

    I don’t claim to speak for Calvinists individually, but the various confessions, such as WCF, do logically lead to the conclusion that humans are robots. When the WCF says this: “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass,” there is no way to claim that there is anything in the universe that God did not establish/decree.

    Correct. That is what the confession teaches.

    That means we are only following a script that he laid out from the beginning because we cannot choose to do anything the he has not already ordained.

    This is an issue that is not unique to Calvinism. If you believe that God knows the future completely, you are following a script. If God knew yesterday that you would wear a green shirt today, you would certainly wear that green shirt.

    It also means that he even decrees evil. But this is not palatable to Calvinists, which is why the WCF says that he does not ordain evil. But if he does not ordain/decree/establish evil, then he does not “unchangeably ordain whatsoever.” It means he only ordains some things. But this is also unpalatable to Calvinists, which is why they included the caveat that he does not. Which is it? He ordains all things or only some things?

    The confession says he ordains all things but is not the author of sin. It does not say he does not ordain sin and evil. The way you present it is a logical contradiction, but that’s not what the confession says. The word author has to do with moral culpability. According to Calvinism, God can ordain sin without being morally responsible for it. And at the end of the day, the Calvinist has to say, I don’t know how that is possible but I believe it is what Scripture teaches so I believe it is true even if I don’t understand it.

    Now, you might not like that idea, but the non-Calvinist has the same problem. How can God allow sin without being morally responsible for it? If I sell a gun to someone I know for certainty will use it to kill someone, I am guilty as well. So by God simply passively allowing something does not show how he is not guilty of evil. At the end of the day, the non-Calvinist has to say, I don’t know how it is possible for God not to be guilty of evil when he gave us (libertarian) free will and knew we would certainly use it to do evil—even great evil. But I believe it is what Scripture teaches so I believe it is true even if I don’t understand it.

    In reality, Calvinists don’t believe everything in their confessions because it is impossible. But if one of them claims to follow a particular confession, it is not unfair to accuse them of believing what the confession actually states. I think this is why they can sometimes feel backed into a corner – the Calvinist confessions are indefensible.

    But you aren’t saying what the confession actually states. That’s the issue.

  144. Velour wrote:

    So what Robert? So you think that adults — or for that matter children — who had bad things happen to them, or witnessed them shouldn’t be allowed to talk about them. Nonsense.

    No. I’m saying that they should say them. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t automatically believe them when there is no other evidence and when people making the claim benefit from the claim.

    What Frank does is his business. All I’m saying is don’t be so quick to believe him when no one else corroborates his story and his story fits into a “I was once a mean Calvinist but now I know better” narrative that sells books.

  145. Jeff S wrote:

    I’m not really interested in debating Calvinism too much, only being accurate about what they do believe regarding us being “robots”.

    Thank you for the respectful and engaging dialogue. I learned from it.

  146. Robert wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    So what Robert? So you think that adults — or for that matter children — who had bad things happen to them, or witnessed them shouldn’t be allowed to talk about them. Nonsense.
    No. I’m saying that they should say them. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t automatically believe them when there is no other evidence and when people making the claim benefit from the claim.
    What Frank does is his business. All I’m saying is don’t be so quick to believe him when no one else corroborates his story and his story fits into a “I was once a mean Calvinist but now I know better” narrative that sells books.

    Oh Robert, you sound like a codependent from an alcoholic family: “Don’t tell the family secret(s)”.

    Frank sells his art work, his primary source of income. He’s right to reject Calvinism and NeoCalvinism, the most hateful, awful doctrines.

    We’re all adults, perfectly capable of sorting things out for ourselves.

    I don’t need your warnings. I work in law and see enough.

  147. Velour wrote:

    Oh Robert, you sound like a codependent from an alcoholic family: “Don’t tell the family secret(s)”.

    Oh please. Frank has the right to say what he wants. It’s the knee-jerk believing him that’s the problem.

    Frank sells his art work, his primary source of income.

    Yes, and that’s his right. Let’s also not be naive and note that part of the selling story now is that his “dad was an ogre, thus, Calvinism is bad and I can show you why.” Which should at least make one slightly reticent to believe a story that no one has corroborated.

    He’s right to reject Calvinism and NeoCalvinism, the most hateful, awful doctrines.

    The implication from this is that a large reason why you believe him is because he’s an ex-Calvinist dishing dirt on a Calvinist.

    Let him reject what he wants to reject. Just don’t buy the story without more evidence.

    And frankly, Calvinism and neo-Calvinism is no more awful than any traditional form of Christian theism be it Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Methodist, Baptist.

    We’re all adults, perfectly capable of sorting things out for ourselves.

    Sure. Are we capable of attacking Schaeffer for his ideas and not for something that may or may not have happened based on the testimony of a single individual who is profitting on giving the “real scoop”?

    I don’t need your warnings. I work in law and see enough.

    Good. Then surely you have seen somebody falsely accused at some point in your life. So of all people, you should be the most skeptical.

    I don’t know what happened in the Schaeffer home. All I know is that one person has told a story that no one else confirms even though they very well could. Could it be to protect their father? Sure. But it’s equally likely that they don’t confirm it because it isn’t true? Or that they never saw anything that Franky did? Or a host of other things. We just don’t know.

    So if you don’t like Calvinism, go after the system, is all I’m saying.

  148. Robert wrote:

    If you believe that God knows the future completely, you are following a script. If God knew yesterday that you would wear a green shirt today, you would certainly wear that green shirt.

    But God did not put that green shirt on you. Nor did he decree that the green shirt would be worn. He merely knows the green shirt will be worn.

    Now, if God moved molecules around so that you had to put on the green shirt, that would be ordaining. God moves both in time and outside of time. Time, in fact, is theorized to be a dimension all its own. So, if God moves outside of time to observe you wearing a green shirt, he is simply observing.

    Sometimes he moves miraculously within time to make something happen, such as the birth of Jesus or the coming of the Holy Spirit. But foreknowledge is not a decree.

    Forgive me for jumping in. I may not have read enough to get the gist of the convo. If I have screwed up, I apologize.

    So, how is this following a script.

  149. Robert wrote:

    According to Calvinism, God can ordain sin without being morally responsible for it

    There is a problem with you logic IF by ordain you mean He makes it occur. So, my go to example is Jessica Lunsford who was kidnapped from her bed at 9 yo, tortured, raped, buried alive, suffocated and died. God did not do that. The evil people who kidnapped her did. However, if they had no choice but to do it due to a direct order from God, then God is culpable.

    Since I believe in free will which is limited by certain parameters such as not allowing man to completely blow up the world before Jesus comes, I believe that we cause these things.

    God ordained free will has a certain kind of charm me.

  150. Robert wrote:

    I’m just saying that we shouldn’t automatically believe them when there is no other evidence

    So, what happens with the victim of pedophilia? It is usually not seen by witnesses. Juries must judge based on the victim’s testimony. And the victim’s testimony is considered evidence.

  151. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    It makes loads of sense that someone may be free to do something, but not able to do it.
    Now whether this makes coherent sense with the character of God is another story. But being unable to do something that you are free to do is not inherently problematic.

    Yes you can have free will to do something but no able to do it. And I would actually agree that mankind without the Holy Spirit has no chance of believing in God.

    But that is NOT what Calvinism is saying. Calvinism is saying that even with the Holy Spirit’s influence, mankind cannot choose God. It was all 100% God, almost like God grabbing your “brain” and “mouth” and forcing you to believe. And this I disagree.

    When we look at the Old Testament, we see that it was God who called everyone to him. God called Abraham (Genesis) before Abraham was a believer, for example. It wasn’t Abraham by himself figured out that there is a God and he should love and obey God. But God initialized the relationship and Abraham CHOOSE out of his FREEWILL to love and obey God.

    And that’s what we are saying. Yes of course God CALLS us by his Holy Spirit. Yes of course God INITIALIZED the relationship to be with us. However after all that, it is still up to us humans to CHOOSE, out of our FREEWILL, to love and obey God.

    Can the Holy Spirit be RESISTED? Yes it can be. Look at Cain. God spoke DIRECTLY to Cain. But Cain killed his brother and at the end Cain WASN’T even sorry for what he did. He was just worried about his personal well being. But even then God made a promise to him to keep him alive. But it wasn’t written that Cain repented ever, meaning Cain NEVER repented. So how can this is IRRESISTIBLE GRACE?

    Sure Calvinist might argue that Cain was never chosen. But if that’s the case WHY did God EVEN BOTHER talking to him? Was it for Cain’s own good? Nope! How can it be for Cain’s own good if he COULDN’T (No CHANCE) choose God anyways? Was it as an example for others? Nope! What is the point when NO ONE can choose God anyways? If there is no free will, God talking to Cain doesn’t help Cain and doesn’t help anyone else.

    No. Cain had a choice. He could have chosen to love and obey God. But he didn’t. So all the results are all on him.

    Is God in absolute control? Yes he is. But within his absolute control there is free will for us. How is this possible? Because it is GOD’s WILL that we have FREE WILL! This isn’t a contradiction. Our free will to choose came from God’s will.

    So our choice do matter. What we choose is ON US, not on anyone else. That’s why if we choose to hate and disobey God, we FULLY DESERVE the eternal punishments in hell. But if we choose to love and obey God, and by extension love our neighbors, the least of these and even our WORST ENEMIES, we FULLY DESERVE the eternal treasures in heaven.

  152. Robert wrote:

    Some may be doing so out of the mistaken belief that all accusations of abuse are correct, but of course things like the Duke Lacrosse case should cause us to not too quickly jump on things when there is no real evidence.

    Do you know the statistics regarding the number of times that abuse is reported and it is proven to be a fraud? Look it up. The Duke situation, which I followed quite closely was different. Said victim stood to gain financially. She was a stripper and was drinking heavily the night this occurred.

    It is extremely rare for those in families to claim abuse when it is not true. Extremely rare. The only time when it is seen is when there is a bitter custody battle going on.

    To compare Franky Schaeffer’s situation, in which he grew up in his family and bears witness to the family interactions to Duke is inappropriate. Let me throw it around this way. Do you ever question well known celebrity kids when they claim their family was wonderful? Why do you accept that testimony and not the other?

  153. Robert

    If my brother claimed my father hit my mother, I would be yelping about, writing about it, etc. It is the silence in this situation that seems to me to be a corroboration.

  154. Robert wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    The Calvinists don’t see the Incarnation in the same way as orthodox Christians see it. I think that may be WHY ‘God’ is seen in such a dark way by extreme Calvinists.

    Calvinism affirms Chalcedon and the other Christological statements made by the early church just as the orthodox do.

    Extreme Calvinism does NOT see the Incarnation in the same way as do the orthodox Christian people. I think these Calvinists have a very different view of ‘Who Christ Is’, a very different view of the Character of God.

    There is a lot of ‘logic’ in extreme Calvinism, but it is human logic, trying to define that in God which cannot BE defined by our limited understandings. So I say to extreme Calvinists what has always been said to them by the orthodox Church:
    “Si comprendis, non est Deus”

    That being defined by extreme Calvinists as gloating at the roasting of people determined by him from all eternity to suffer hell ‘for His glory’ is not a description of the God Who Is Love ….. sounds to me much more like the one who sought the ruin of mankind.

    The God of Wrath of extreme Calvinists may in fact BE the creature filled with an intense desire to destroy all mankind:
    “The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile,
    Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
    The mother of mankind.” (from Milton’s Paradise Lost)

  155. Oh me, oh my, there’s over 700 comments here. I didn’t think Francis Schaeffer would garner this much interest. Now I’ve got to catch up on all your comments. That might be a near impossible task. 😉

  156. @ Velour:
    Wow. I would really like to know what I have written that deserves this from you:
    “What you and Anon have proposed is akin to an alcoholic family’s “No Talk Rules”.
    We’re only as sick as our secrets. Kudos to Frank for telling the truth, including
    for the flak he gets from the likes of you.
    I think Frank would be more charitable to each of you if you told painful truths about your families than you have been to him”

    Though I have benefitted from the work of Dee and Deb for a number of years, this is almost the first time I have entered a conversation here at Wartburg and I will certainly not do so again. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I have tried to write respectfully of a situation that I am personally aware is very complicated, while preserving my anonymity. There are multiple parties involved who need charity. I recognize you cannot hear the tone of my voice but I assure you that you have thoroughly misjudged my heart.

    I am sorry I misunderstood you, Velour, when you requested citing. I thought there was confusion about what comment I was referring to. Now I realize you wanted citing regarding the timetable. If that is the case, it is easy to verify on Google. Edith died in 2013. Franky’s writings went public in 2008/9. Please note that I did not censure him for the timetable. I was only trying to correct a statement made which was not true: that he waited until his parents passed.

    Peace.

  157. @ Robert:
    I am also going to assume that you do not know much about domestic violence. The abuser never hits a person in front of those who he fears or respects. he learns to hit the spouse in areas that are not seen. Bruisses are usually seen in areas that are covered by clothes. Do you Schaeffer would stand up at a gathering at L’Abri and whack Edith across the face?

    of course not. he would do it in private or around those he had power over which was his children. Franky was sent away to boarding school when he was 11. Why do you think that is? Perhaps he was getting big enough to challenge his dad.

    My husband’s father was an alcoholic. He occasionally abused my mother in law.This stopped when my husband got to be a teen and one day slammed him up against the wall and said “Stop it or I will hurt you.” It stopped.he eventually got help. But the memory is seared in my husband’s memory.

    I can assure you that no one ever knew he abused his wife. he was a beloved academic whose students loved him.

    Do not be naive. There is much about Franky’s story that rings true. To use the Duke thing show a naivety when it comes to true domestic violence. And the Duke thing had nothing to do with domestic violence.

    Why don’t you read the story that we did about Marie Notcheva? Her stupid former church and pastor think her abusive husband is repentant. He has been repenting for 15 years and threatening Marie behind the back. I bet you would think he is a good guy if you met him since he can be charming.

    Of course, her ill educated ex pastors believe him because they cannot believe he is abusive. They have never seen him behind closed doors.

  158. @ Darlene:
    I think it has to do with two subjects:

    The denial of rampant domestic violence in the church.
    Why did a deeply committed true Calvinist who knows the Bible still abuse while inhabited by the Holy Spirit.

  159. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    Which is a fair argument. It’s a far bette thing to say “Calvinists are inconsistent in what they believe” than “Calvinists believe we are all robots and therefore open the doors for abuse”.

    But Calvinism does open the door for abuse. At the very least it makes it very easy for abusive people to take advantage of the system and abuse people.

    -You cannot help but believe in God.
    -You cannot help but stop sinning.

    I didn’t jump any steps. That is what Calvinism believes.

    That’s why Calvinist believes that you can loose your salvation by bad behavior. And that’s why Calvinism cannot stand the idea of having “true Christians” who are “trapped and lost in their sins” at the SAME TIME. They literally do not know how to handle these people. To Calvinist these “sinful Christians” must be “false Christian”. And these false Christians must be disciplined and removed/excommunicated. That’s why witch hunts and church-police happens so often for Calvinists.

    And then you throw in a few crazy theologies. Like husband CHEATING on and physically ABUSING wife is NOT ground for divorce. And parents of sexually abused children being NOT allowed to call the police and MUST forgive the sexual predator. That the victim is at fault for the abuse. That the abuse will “certainly” lead to God’s glory. And we see how the whole Calvinism EASILY and OFTEN leads to abuse.

    The true answer is, of course, LOVE LOVE LOVE these “sinful Christians” until they repent. If we want to help the sinning Christians for the better, love them. But Calvinist often just stops loving them and kick them out of the church.

    Now there is indeed ground for kicking someone out, when they are so PROUD of the sins that they are PUBLICLY ENCOURAGING everyone to sin the same way. And in fact that person was sleeping with his father’s wife. Then to “protect the flock” of course you kick this proud sinner out.

    But Calvinist are TOO QUICK to label all sin (that they see fit) as this serious, on the SAME LEVEL as a man sleeping with his father’s wife. Truth is not all sins are this serious. Also not every “sinning Christians” is that PROUD and PUBLIC about their sins.

    Conclusion:

    -You cannot help but believe in God.
    -You cannot help but stop sinning.
    -A few crazy theologies.
    -Calvinists are too quick to discipline and excommunicate.
    -Abuses cannot help but happen under Calvinism.

  160. CHIPS wrote:

    If God prevents the consequences of sin, God will no longer be righteous.

    And yet that is EXACTLY what God did: Christ the Lord, in taking on Death, and conquering it, is making all things new. Christ changes EVERYTHING. Everything! 🙂

  161. @ Anonymous 2:
    I think this is a really hard subject for some of us. For those who have witnesses domestic violence in their immediate families, this is like picking off a scab.

    I think I should do a post one day in how to understand one another, especially if one side has suffered or witnessed abuse. Many people, when finally discussing abuse in their families, often get brushed off by so called *friends of the family* who cannot fathom that their BFF was a closet abuser. Then, if the person is a beloved celebrity, it can be even worse.

    True story. When one of my daughters was in 10th grade and attending a Christian school, she decided to read Billy Graham’s autobiography “Just As I Am.” I had read it as well. In the book, Graham confesses to having been a poor father due to being away from home for prolonged periods when the kids were little. He even told a story about one homecoming when a little girl walked into the room and he asked who she was. It was Anne Graham. I appreciated his honesty in this area.

    Well, one day, a discussion ensued in my daughter’s Bible class about Christian families. My daughter raised her hand and pointed out that Christian families can have their own struggles. For example, she said, Billy Graham was not a good father due to his absences. Well, the teacher and several kids got mad at her in a kind of “How dare you insult such a wonderful man.” sort of way.

    She came home and told me. I called the teacher and said he owed her an apology since she was quoting directly from Graham’s own words. I gave him a copy of the book and told him to get educated on the matter. He was apologetic.

    Anyways, I think we all need to cut each other some slack when it comes to abuse issues and understand that some responses may be due to some pain in one’s life. But, then again, maybe we are grumpy because there is a snow storm coming to the South.

  162. dee wrote:

    some responses may be due to some pain in one’s life

    Wade Burleson once wrote that his wife said ‘hurting people hurt people’

  163. dee wrote:

    But, then again, maybe we are grumpy because there is a snow storm coming to the South.

    make a pot of soup … something filled with good and love …. bake some bread

    put something good in the oven to warm up the house … light the candles, many candles, and oil lamps if you have them ….. be sure to check your supply of firewood for the fire place

    an old Finnish saying: ‘winter makes strong’
    an old saying of my own ‘Let it snow’ 🙂 Enjoy it

  164. Anonymous 2 wrote:

    If that is the case, it is easy to verify on Google. Edith died in 2013. Franky’s writings went public in 2008/9. Please note that I did not censure him for the timetable. I was only trying to correct a statement made which was not true: that he waited until his parents passed.

    I would have to read all his writings to know what he went public with and when. But that is not really an issue with me, as it seems to be for some.

    It is fine with me if he shared his experiences about his family even if his parents were still alive. The world is getting away from keeping all kinds of family issues quiet, and I think it is for the best. When things are kept secret, they are not dealt with properly. They are covered up, people who need help often don’t get it because — well — family secrets.

    I know for a fact that issues can be kept secret from family members, even members living in the same house, for many years, and even taken to the grave in some cases. It would not surprise me if each family member had a different relational experience with the same parent in the Schaefer family. It happens more than we think. There is often NOT corroborating evidence when it comes to family abuse. Family members often cover for an abusive family member. It is not uncommon.

  165. Ken F wrote:

    That’s the beauty of the WCF – it affirms polar opposites. This is from 9.3:
    Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
    This says that man is unable to freely choose salvation. That’s a pretty big limitation on free will. Probably the only limitation that really matters. The rest of section 9 affirms free will. But section 3 says the opposite, that “whatsoever” (=everthing) is decreed by God.
    Yes, I am becoming more and more convinced that the WCF (and all of the various decrees of Calvinism) is hopelessly inconsistent. You can find in it whatever point you want to make. It’s why it can be so frustrating trying to have a logical conversation with Calvinists. I think the problem is that it tries to go too far before appealing to mystery. It would be better to appeal to mystery much earlier in the logical thought train.

    Hmmm…I think Calvinism is a system that gives with one hand and takes back with another. In the final analysis, double predestination being a bulwark of this system, eradicates freewill entirely. Free will is just an illusion. I regularly interact with Calvinists online and recently a Calvinist stated the following:

    “What is the grounds of reprobation? Is it sin? No, the grounds for reprobation is the will of God from all eternity. Their sins are the means of working out what God has decreed.”

    Now, think about that for a moment. Let it settle in. This is, prima facie, the basis of Calvinism. It is the premise from which all other Reformed theology/soteriology proceeds. And this belief nullifies free will. If God from all eternity has predestined some to be elect and others to be damned, nothing can override or change what God has decided. Free will? It has no value in Reformed theology. It is a phantom.

  166. Robert wrote:

    The confession says he ordains all things but is not the author of sin.

    This is Calvinist double-speak. If God ordains (decrees, enacts, establishes) all things, then it actually means all things, including sin. Saying he ordains all things without authoring (make, create, originate) all things makes not sense. He is either responsible for all things or he isn’t. If he is, then we have no free choice. If he is not, then he does not ordain all things. This is only one of the logical problems with Calvinism. There are many more. The confessions are well-crafted to affirm mutually exclusive concepts in a way that leaves most everyone confused. I agree with your statement about mystery, but the Calvinists confessions go too far down the road before appealing to it. Historical Christianity embraces mystery, but much earlier in the thought process.

    The typical retort by Calvinist is “you just don’t understand Calvinism.” To which I answer that Calvinism is a form of Gnosticism. Only certain elect people get the enlightenment to understand it. All others get to go to hell for God’s glory and pleasure.

  167. Darlene wrote:

    Now, think about that for a moment. Let it settle in. This is, prima facie, the basis of Calvinism. It is the premise from which all other Reformed theology/soteriology proceeds. And this belief nullifies free will. If God from all eternity has predestined some to be elect and others to be damned, nothing can override or change what God has decided. Free will? It has no value in Reformed theology. It is a phantom.

    Excellent analysis. I don’t think enough people think this through. I find that theology repulsive. Vomitrocious is also a good word for it.

  168. Robert wrote:

    So if you don’t like Calvinism

    Robert,

    Apparently you are a Calvinist or NeoCalvinist who is protecting it. That’s why you are incensed that Frank Jr. or anyone else would criticize it. You keep bringing it up.
    The rest of us aren’t. We’re talking about domestic violence and Frank Jr.’s right to discuss it in his family.

    You have now conflated his selling books or whatever else with his right to tell the truth and said that’s the reason he’s doing it. Nonsense. You’d have a problem with his telling the truth about domestic violence in his family if he had nothing to sell.

    We’ve got records amount of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the conservative church and you are incapable of discussing them. Instead nobody meets your standards and you try to silence everybody.

  169. Anonymous 2 wrote:

    I have tried to write respectfully of a situation that I am personally aware is very complicated, while preserving my anonymity. There are multiple parties involved who need charity. I recognize you cannot hear the tone of my voice but I assure you that you have thoroughly misjudged my heart.

    Thanks for posting your comment.

    Domestic Violence is a complex topic and the “charity” that you want to subscribe to means that you silence someone who has the right to tell the truth about his experience(s) with domestic violence in his family, Frank Jr.

    You’re right. I don’t know your heart or your tone, and please rest assured that I didn’t judge you for either.

    I just don’t like people being silenced when they come forward to tell painful experiences.

    I wish you Peace as well.

  170. Christiane wrote:

    CHIPS wrote:
    Why did God let mankind choose?
    because He made mankind in His own image

    No siree. Tain’t no such thing as choosing in the Calvinist paradigm. Of course I would contend that life itself points to a different reality.

  171. Christiane wrote:

    an old Finnish saying: ‘winter makes strong’

    I bet the old Finnish didn’t wait in a hour long check out line at the grocery store.

  172. @ dee:
    LOL 🙂 The Finns are tough folk, but I think standing an hour in an American supermarket line is too much to ask of anyone. Reindeer stew, anyone?

    I went out late last night to a twenty-four hour store and there were a few crumbs left at the bread aisle, so I decided I’d better get busy baking. There was no one in line. As a matter of fact, at midnight there was nothing open except the self-check-out aisles. I got some help, not wanting to mess up on the self-check out aisles because IF messing up and setting off alarms can be done, that’s me.

    I actually like all this for one reason: I stop taking things for granted. And the snow SLOWS EVERYTHING DOWN TO ALMOST HUMAN SPEED. Winter’s coziness suits me just find.

  173. dee wrote:

    Do you know the statistics regarding the number of times that abuse is reported and it is proven to be a fraud? Look it up.

    I didn’t know so I looked it up. There are a number of studies, below is just one.

    https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/csa-acc.html

    “Jones and McGraw examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 1% of the total cases were children judged to have advanced a fictitious allegation.”

    1%, just to highlight their answer.

  174. Bill M wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Do you know the statistics regarding the number of times that abuse is reported and it is proven to be a fraud? Look it up.
    I didn’t know so I looked it up. There are a number of studies, below is just one.
    https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/csa-acc.html
    “Jones and McGraw examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 1% of the total cases were children judged to have advanced a fictitious allegation.”
    1%, just to highlight their answer.

    And the 1% usually occurs in contentious family law cases.

  175. Ken F wrote:

    GSD wrote:
    I don’t think classical Calvinism is the problem, but the Calvinista variant often is.
    I would like to agree with you, but I cannot because even classical Calvinism teaches the five points. I think the difference between the old and new Calvinists is the extent to which they take the logical implications. New Calvinism take the five points of Calvinism to their logical conclusion. Old Calvinists are too Christian to go that far.

    Ken, I’m going to agree with you on this. The problem, I believe, is that the current crop of Calvinists are Right Wing Extremists.

  176. Ken F wrote:

    The typical retort by Calvinist is “you just don’t understand Calvinism.” To which I answer that Calvinism is a form of Gnosticism. Only certain elect people get the enlightenment to understand it. All others get to go to hell for God’s glory and pleasure.

    Those who say that we don’t understand Calvinism have refused to come to grips with the implications of their theology. Of course there is still that rare breed of Calvinist, who has grappled with their theological implications, and can admit without a shred of hesitation that it teaches that God has always hated those whom He predestined would be damned before the foundation of the world.

  177. @ Velour:

    There is more than one issue here, and I want only to speak about whether or not people should assume the possibility of false accusations/allegations. I am not speaking of the Schaeffers here but of people in general.

    In the report you quoted the stats were from a study of a limited population: (1) child sex abuse (2) reported to social services (3) Denver. I have no doubt that the determinations of the study are accurate within reasonable limits of error. Let us call this scene 1; or the first evidence in the case.

    Scene 2: a small group of women. I use women as the example because my experience with this phenomenon is limited to women. Chatter sets in, and behold at some point somebody makes some allusion to somebody else and there occur within the group those who indulge in the slight nod of the head and the slight roll of the eyes and the little twist of the mouth and soon everybody is aware of what has been said while still being unquotable, about whoever is being alluded to. Nobody cares if it is true or not, they care about whether they are top of the pecking order and whether they are the ones who should be seen to be in the know. This is the other end of the continuum, going to the authorities being one end and malicious gossip being the other end-one right and just and the other not.

    Scene 3: God and the mountain. Zap, in the stone, or so the story goes. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Really, God, who would even think of bearing false witness; perhaps you are mistaken in thinking that this could happen. Surely you know, God, that people would never do that.

    My contention is that the study you cite is limited to only one subgroup of people who accuse other people of this or that, or allude to special knowledge to which they are privy but others are not. This is a self selected group-they were willing to go to the authorities. They were right to do that, as the results of the study show. It is right to protect children and others in danger. It is right to oppose evil. I believe that the vast majority of people who actually go to Social Services and/or the police are telling the truth. But i also believe that bearing false witness happens, rather much, and it also is an evil which must be avoided , it being one of the big ten actually.

  178. okrapod wrote:

    In the report you quoted the stats were from a study of a limited population: (1) child sex abuse (2) reported to social services (3) Denver. I have no doubt that the determinations of the study are accurate within reasonable limits of error.

    To be clear, Bill M. found the study/report, not me.

  179. @ okrapod:

    I’m not following you.

    So are you saying that Frank Jr. has no right to discuss the fact he witnessed domestic violence in his family?

    There are record amounts of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church. And we’re not supposed to discuss that? Isn’t that “evil” in its own way?

  180. okrapod wrote:

    My contention is that the study you cite is limited to only one subgroup of people who accuse other people of this or that, or allude to special knowledge to which they are privy but others are not. This is a self selected group-they were willing to go to the authorities.

    According to law enforcement studies, crimes are under reported. There are the statistics reported from law enforcement agencies to the F.B.I. that they use to release the x/100,000 crimes per year data.

    Then there’s a second study called the National Crime Victimization Survey in which people self-report via email or phone if they were the victims of any type of crime in the last six months. This reveals an even higher proportion of criminality and victims than what police turn in to the F.B.I.

    And finally there is a third study of self-reported surveys in which criminologists survey arrestees about their crimes. Arrestees report having committed far more crimes than they were ever arrested for.

  181. okrapod wrote:

    But i also believe that bearing false witness happens, rather much,

    I don’t believe that. To the contrary, the research studies show that people remain silent and don’t report crimes that were committed against them or those around them.

  182. Velour wrote:

    There are the statistics reported from law enforcement agencies to the F.B.I. that they use to release the x/100,000 crimes per year data.

    ^

    should read: 100,000 people

  183. Christiane wrote:

    Reindeer stew, anyone?

    When I spent two week traveling around Alaska, I found that reindeer meat and stew was as common as beef stew. My first day I took a train and they were serving lunch. When I went at my designated time, there was a man with a bushy white beard, a long sleeve white thermal shirt with red suspenders and red pants eating reindeer stew. I said to my daughter, a bit too loudly I think, “Santa is eating Rudolph.” She told me to be quiet and behave.

  184. Velour wrote:

    There are record amounts of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church. And we’re not supposed to discuss that? Isn’t that “evil” in its own way?

    It takes time and energy away from Righteously Finger-Pointing at those Romish Papist Priests over there.

  185. Ken F wrote:

    The typical retort by Calvinist is “you just don’t understand Calvinism.” To which I answer that Calvinism is a form of Gnosticism. Only certain elect people get the enlightenment to understand it.

    The word is “ILLUMINATI” (literally “The Illuminated/Enlightened Ones”).

  186. dee wrote:

    Why don’t you read the story that we did about Marie Notcheva? Her stupid former church and pastor think her abusive husband is repentant. He has been repenting for 15 years and threatening Marie behind the back. I bet you would think he is a good guy if you met him since he can be charming.
    Of course, her ill educated ex pastors believe him because they cannot believe he is abusive. They have never seen him behind closed doors.

    Successful Abusers (like Successful Sociopaths) are masters of camouflage and misdirection. If they weren’t. they’d have been exposed long ago. We only hear about the dumb ones who get caught.

    “For Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light.”
    — Some Rabbi from Tarsus

  187. Velour wrote:

    According to law enforcement studies, crimes are under reported.

    I got into a discussion with someone about this, but a crime being under reported doesn’t really mean that some of the reports aren’t false. We know they are. Very rare, it seems, in child sexual abuse. Maybe less rare in other crimes. In talking about some of the recent false reports of rape, I think what happens is you have a few people who falsely report, and they get a lot of press, then you have a bunch of other people who truly report but there isn’t quite enough evidence, then you have another group that truly reports with enough evidence, and then you have a very large group that never reports at all.

    In crime, and false reports are a crime generally, you have to look at motive. What did that person get out of that false report? I think this is why child sex abuse is rarely falsely reported.

    Then, you have to look at the evidence, the character, the facts and determine what you think probably happened and sometimes the answer is simply ‘I don’t know’. I don’t trust everything everyone says it true, but if I think it ‘fits’ then I am more likely to believe it. If I hear a statement and have no reason to believe it a lie, I tend to believe until I hear evidence otherwise. To bring back to the original topic, I have no evidence otherwise and the direct witness report of a son that it did happen. [I don’t consider ‘I knew frank and he was a great guy’ to be evidence something didn’t happen]

  188. Lizzybeth wrote:

    Have you noticed that New Calvinists talk a lot about “God”, with only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit? When a “pastor” relegates the Holy Spirit to the back pew, he is capable of anything like the rest of us sinners who choose to walk in the flesh and not the Spirit.

    That is the key. It is so easy to know a lot, and talk a lot about God. But ‘God talk’ is cheap. Calvinists, new or old, do not, indeed, by virtue of their theology, cannot embrace the true teaching on, promise of and genuine power of the Spirit. They are limited to their ‘get out of hell free’ transaction, and positing a desire or need for the Spirit to lead them negates the whole false notion that sin no longer matters to God if he has ‘chosen’ an individual and now sees them as if they are ‘righteous’.

    This is the error and danger of Calvinism. It both diminishes the importance of allowing the Spirit to lead one into maturity, and the wrongness of wrongdoing. If Satan wanted to encourage believers to be sinners and hypocrites, he could not invent a better playbook than Calvinism.

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