Church Discipline – A Difficult Task? Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm

"That church discipline is a difficult task for our professional clergymen is abundantly clear. Bungled cases and mangled people are strewn along the 9Marx highway in a scene of carnage reminiscent of the highway from Kuwait City to Baghdad in the first Gulf War.  I guess our clergy just need more 'practice' to get it right."

Todd Wilhelm

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/

Thanks to the internet, more and more people are being exposed to the underbelly of the Neo-Cal / New Calvinism movement, and it is horrifying! As we are discovering, it is membership covenants that are keeping most of the sheep under control.

We are grateful that some brave brothers and sisters in Christ are coming forward and sharing their unbelievable testimonies in these highly controlling churches. Dee and I have been privileged to share their stories, and we hope even more Christians who have been hurt will come forward to warn others.

https://www.amazon.com/Fraudulent-Authority-Pastors-Seek-Others/dp/1520323441/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484700379&sr=8-1&keywords=fraudulent+authorityI am overjoyed that a pastor is finally taking these power-mongering leaders to task. Wade Burleson has recently published Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek to Rule Over Others, and I look forward to reviewing this book next week. Some of the chapters I will be highlighting are:

– The Infatuation with Church Authority

– Nobody "Rules Over" Anyone Else in the Body of Christ

– Five Reasons to Say No to a Church Covenant

– It Takes a Village Covenant to Raise a Bitter Root

and much more…

This is a non-solicited endorsement of Wade's book for which we earn zilch!

Should you want to order a copy it is available in paperpack and through Kindle.  One reader really hit the nail on the head with his five-star review on Amazon. He wrote:

Authoritarian pastors and elders are becoming the norm in our evangelical churches. As we approach the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenburg, the Reformation understanding of the priesthood of the believer is sadly lacking in our churches. It has been replaced by the priesthood of the pastor. Wade Burleson has done an excellent job comparing improper authority with biblical authority. He writes: "There is no 'office' of authority in the church of Jesus Christ. Authority is to be experienced in the assembly because of the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit obvious through people."

This is in stark contrast to the 9Marks model of ministry that centers authority primarily in the office of the pastor-teacher, who is deemed to "stand in the place of God." Burleson gives detailed analysis of the verses that are misused or mistranslated to support authoritarianism. A great quote from the book: "What a tragedy that we have accepted a hierarchy of rulers in the local Church, which ends up limiting the freedom of so many members of the Church. Then, to add insult to injury, the ruled ones have their spirituality measured by their submission to the authority of those rulers instead of measuring the authority of leaders by their submission to the Lord." Burleson denounces the current trend of churches demanding signatures from prospective members agreeing to abide by church covenants that "turn their spiritual formation and maturation over to mere men instead of the Holy Spirit." He list five reasons that one should never sign these covenants.

Todd Wilhelm knows all too well what it was like being in one of these highly-controlling churches that overly emphasizes church discipline, and he is working tirelessly to get the truth out. Keep up the great work, Todd!


Church Discipline – A Difficult Task?

Todd Wilhelm

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/

 

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/

The 9Marx boys are at it once again! In what seems to be an endless discussion on church discipline, our boys inform us above that “practicing church discipline is difficult… but it doesn’t have to be that way.” They go on to say that they hope we will find their discussion “useful” and we will “grow deeper in our understanding of this difficult, yet necessary task.”

That church discipline is a difficult task for our professional clergymen is abundantly clear. Bungled cases and mangled people are strewn along the 9Marx highway in a scene of carnage reminiscent of the highway from Kuwait City to Baghdad in the first Gulf War.  I guess our clergy just need more “practice” to get it right.

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/

The problem seems fairly obvious to this rock-throwing peasant. Too many of our present day evangelical churches are staffed with proud, pompous, narcissistic men who have been indoctrinated at institutions such as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. These wet-behind-the-ears, legalistic young (and sometimes not so young) Pharisees are then turned loose on churches where they immediately attempt to change the church into the 9Marx mold. Lacking is any sign of maturity, wisdom, and most importantly, demonstration of the love of Christ. The end result is good people are damaged.  Examples are numerous, allow me to bring the latest one to your attention.  The Wartburg Watch covered the case of Marie Notcheva, (Link) a woman who had endured years in an abusive relationship.  The pastors at Heritage Bible Church of Princeton, MA were also horribly abusive to Marie. The Wartburg Watch was instrumental in getting the local newspaper to cover the story (Link) and that, along with getting an attorney involved, finally caused the abusive church leaders to back-off!

I guess the highly educated clergy at Heritage Bible Church just needs more “practice” at discipline.  The question is, how much more practice should church members have to endure? My advice to members in such churches is to “practice” church exodus!  It has been demonstrated that “practice does not make perfect” when it comes to abusive clergy.

Ah, but therein lies the problem.  Most often the trigger for abusive clergy to “practice” their discipline is your decision to leave the abusive church.  You see, unless you reassure the abusive clergy of the church you are leaving that you will be joining another church that holds to the same “gospel” of abusive discipline that they hold to, you may be excommunicated!  Absurd? Surely, but these highly educated men have never been accused of having common sense, much less compassion.

As a little refresher course, listen to the audio below of Matt Chandler spreading some love at his church.  Chandler is no novice in the pulpit. He pastors the Village Church in the DFW area – a huge megachurch, heads the national ACTS 29 church-planting organization, and is a celebrity conference speaker and author. He also had a famous case where his church was going to discipline a woman for getting an annulment from her pedophilic husband. (Link)

Go Here to Listen to Matt Chandler Audio Clip

Knowing that most of my readers have busy lives, and therefore have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to the likes of Dever and Leeman pontificate for an hour on their experience of properly excommunicating rock-throwing peasants from their churches, I have undertaken the excruciating task of listening to these men for an hour in order to extract a few pearls for you.

Their obsession with church discipline, more specifically, excommunication, is painfully obvious. They chuckle and chortle throughout the session. Ah yes, screwing with people’s lives is so very amusing, is it not? At one point, towards the end of their knowledge-sharing event, Dever even apologizes for their behavior, attempting to quell any concerns he undoubtedly realizes will be forthcoming from the unwashed masses.

The audio below reminded me of the book “Green Eggs and Ham.” Leeman, in Dr. Suess style, asks his pals, would you, could you excommunicate?”

Unfortunately, their banter is serious. Leeman wants to highlight all the possible circumstances in which the clergy could correctly (in their opinion) excommunicate a member who has left his church.

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/Though I find the whole discussion repulsive, it is telling in the way Leeman formulates his questions.  He asks each pastor if he would excommunicate a member from his church.  In my opinion, it betrays Leeman’s mindset that power and control are vested in the pastor. Mark Dever seems to also pick up on this as he rephrases Leeman’s question to: “you mean would I try to convince the Capitol Hill Baptist church to excommunicate said person?”

I submit that Leeman’s cavalier attitude, evident in his sloppy wording of questions, is not appropriate for such a serious topic. Neither is their levity.

Click here to listen to Jonathan Leeman Audio Clip

But you know what questions I would like to ask the experts?

Mark, do you think it was appropriate to allow C.J. Mahaney to flee to Capitol Hill Baptist Church in order to avoid discipline at Covenant Life Church?

Mark, do you think a pastor should be disciplined for blackmail?

Mark, do you think a pastor should be disciplined for covering up the sexual abuse of children in his church?

Mark, do you think a pastor should be disciplined for not reporting crimes of sexual abuse of children to law enforcement?

Mark, do you think a pastor should be disciplined for establishing a hush-fund to keep a pastor whose son raped another pastor’s son quiet?

Mark and Ligon, do you think pastors who share a conference platform with a man who has done the things mentioned above should be disciplined?

Am I making you boys a bit uncomfortable with my line of questioning? Why are these types of questions never addressed in your attempts to help Christians “grow deeper in their understanding of this difficult, yet necessary task?”  I wonder if, behind closed doors, you laugh at the stooges in your churches who rubber stamp your recommendations for excommunicating people hurt by your unloving leadership, while never having a second thought about your preferential treatment afforded to a man who has donated thousands of dollars of his member’s tithes to your church?  You Pharisees nodded your heads in agreement with Al Mohler when he chastised Joe Paterno for covering up sexual abuse of children by an assistant coach; you again nodded your heads in agreement when he further stated that any pastor faced with similar credible charges should step down from ministry; but when your fellow celebrity preacher C.J. Mahaney turned out to be the evangelical example of Joe Paterno we quickly saw your lack of ethics.  Yet you want to lecture the evangelical world on church discipline? Please! Your actions have proven you to be hypocrites who have forfeited any right to speak as a moral authority to the church.

I recently wrote about another Sovereign Grace pastor named Matthew Wassink. Matthew Wassink has been removed (rightly) from his senior pastor’s position at Providence Community Church in Lenexa, KS,  because of a sexual scandal. The title of the article is “Sovereign Grace Pastor Matthew Wassink Removed; Why Not C.J. Mahaney? (Link)

In the article, I raised the obvious question of why have Sovereign Grace leaders involved in scandals been quickly removed from their churches and any trace of them purged from Sovereign Grace websites, yet C.J. Mahaney, a man who, in my opinion, has committed equally grievous sins, still remains in his position of pastor and de facto leader of the denomination? I suggested the church is showing blatant favoritism to Mahaney because of his vaunted position.  This is precisely what James, in the second chapter of his epistle, warned the church about.

Providence Community Church is also a 9Marx church. It is my understanding that former pastor Wassink has left the church and is now residing in Minnesota. To my knowledge, he has not been excommunicated.  I am left to wonder whether the 9Marx boys may, during their next educational panel discussion, enlighten us uneducated dolts as to whether such a pastor should be excommunicated?

I submit it may be “useful” to let your 9Marx clergymen in on the fact that harassing women who have divorced an abusive husband and left an abusive church is wrong; excommunicating pastors such as C.J. Mahaney and Matthew Wassink is right.

Perhaps church discipline really isn’t such a difficult task after all!

https://thouarttheman.org/2017/01/17/church-discipline-difficult-task/

Comments

Church Discipline – A Difficult Task? Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm — 222 Comments

  1. Buy my new book, “Church is NOT an Adjecive”
    And the sequel, “Discipline is for Children”
    If I write them, which I won’t, but I should.

  2. @ Jackie Newton:
    Should have made my comment longer and let you be first!
    In the Bible, IIRC, the word “church” is never once an adjective as in “church discipline” and “discipline” is ALWAYS from parents to children–whether earthly parents and children or our Heavenly Father toward His children. Never sibling to sibling, as in Matt 18.
    So the very phrase itself is erroneous even if they were to get the process right somehow.

  3. Not only that, but they lean heavily on 1 Corinthians 5 – they excel at casting out the immoral; but they fail at 2 Corinthians 2, forgiveness and restoration.

  4. I appreciate the notice of the new book by Wade Burleson. I hit the link and read enough to know I definitely wanted it in my library. It’s downloaded and will be waiting for me when my time frees up tomorrow.

    I had to smile and nod over his conviction that no one has spiritual authority over another believer. I was in a small Bible study group a few years back when the discussion turned to our pastor’s authority. i dug around to be sure they thought what I thought they did, that the pastor’s decisions, actions, directions, teaching, etc. were to be held in highest esteem because he is our spiritual authority. I astonished and appalled those dozen men and women by saying, “The pastor is NOT my spiritual authority. My husband is NOT my spiritual authority. Jesus Christ is my spiritual authority.” (With explanation that I give their opinions careful consideration, because I respect them for the believers that they are, not because of their earthly “title”.) I’m looking forward to this book helping me further clarify what the Bible teaches on authority! Thank you for writing it!

  5. I had this same conversation with a pastor at my former church which adopted NAR teaching. He is now the Apostle, instead of just the CEO (he actually calls himself this) and Senior Leader. He, and the other pastors, all afraid of his rages and manipulation in the past, have bought in to this ridiculous teaching. The use of Ephesians 5 to keep the congregants in line is disgusting. In order to function properly in the Body of Christ one must be in alignment with the apostles in the church, just like a bone that is out of alignment cannot function properly. My response was, the church already has a head, Jesus, it doesn’t need another. As believers, we must be good consumers of the stuff we feed on. It make look and sound good, but a lot of it is garbage.

  6. These little religious punks need to discipline themselves first. They are not qualified to discipline another single human being in my opinion.

  7. I think there’s one question that sums up the rest is, “Where’s the covenant clause about how to remove a pastor or elder?”

    I won’t join a church that makes me sign a covenant, but if there is a way to remove a leader that is upheld, then at least their view is consistent. I saw a church just this week who had a clause like this. They required 10 members in agreement to remove a pastor or elder. If anyone has seen a pastor removed, getting 10 people behind it is pretty easy.

    The problem is that many of these guys do not really believe this stuff, so they’d never agree to a leader removal clause. They use church discipline to reinforce their own power while abusing members, and 9 Marks’ obsession with church discipline likely results in a lot of abuse because they use church discipline for minor infractions or just people wanting to go somewhere else.

  8. mot wrote:

    These little religious punks need to discipline themselves first. They are not qualified to discipline another single human being in my opinion.

    Well, when God has called you to rule the dumb sheep, then you must be the Elect to do it. Qualifications don’t mean anything.

    This made me wonder how they describe calling. Most classical Calvinists I know are much more honest about being uncertain about being one of the Elect, but not the neo-Calvinists. They are dead certain they are, and anyone outside their churches are not. And those that are pastors are dead certain that it’s their job to discipline everyone else. Is it just a product of narcissism?

  9. @ Tree:

    As it should be. If we, as followers of Christ, study His word, seek him daily and submit ourselves to Him, He will meet us, guide us, and direct us. We should not be looking to an earthly stand in to tell us how to live and what to think. Not that we should ignore those He has raised up to Pastors or teachers, but as Paul admonished ” Be like the Bereans that searched the Scriptures to see if Paul and Silas were teaching them truth.”

  10. ishy wrote:

    and 9 Marks’ obsession with church discipline likely results in a lot of abuse because they use church discipline for minor infractions or just people wanting to go somewhere else.

    A review of the 9Marks Mailbag topics is informative: https://9marks.org/mailbag/archives/. Notice how many questions and answers relate to discipline.

  11. Ken F wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    and 9 Marks’ obsession with church discipline likely results in a lot of abuse because they use church discipline for minor infractions or just people wanting to go somewhere else.
    /
    A review of the 9Marks Mailbag topics is informative: https://9marks.org/mailbag/archives/. Notice how many questions and answers relate to discipline.

    It’s not surprising, as their whole reasoning for the 9 Marks is to make “healthy churches”, and discipline is the 7th mark. Then they leave Christ out, so no love. The only way to then make a functioning church in their minds is to coldly and rigidly rule it.

  12. Jamie Carter wrote:

    they lean heavily on 1 Corinthians 5 – they excel at casting out the immoral;

    Thank you for bringing this chapter into the discussion. Controlling “authorities” in churches violate this passage themselves. Verse 11, “But now I’m writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls themselves “brother” or “sister” who is sexually immoral, greedy, someone who worships false gods, an abusive person, a drunk, or a swindler. Don’t even eat with anyone like this.” These rulers invariably are abusive persons. They themselves are the ones to be avoided.

  13. As Todd points out, these authoritarian pastors are double-minded. This is the first mark in my book of a church and system that will ultimately cause division.

    These pastors have divided their own minds with their lack of integrity. That leads then to:

    1) Dividing themselves from the lowly “sheep” since they “stand in the place of God.”
    2) Dividing the Christian from their assurance via their constantly questioning conversions
    3) Dividing Christian from their freedom via church covenants
    4) Dividing Christians from the Lord’s Supper via their improper “fencing” of the table
    5) Dividing wife from husband via their authoritarian teaching on marital submission
    6) Dividing Christian from Christian by requiring submission to a fallible statement of faith
    7) Dividing Christians from the Holy Spirit by their legalistic spirit
    8) Then, when confronted for their divisiveness or when they feel their authority being threatened, they cut off the offending member through improper excommunications.
    9) And typically, they will not allow you to meet with them with support to question them – they divide and conquer.

    There, I came up with nine, their favorite number.

  14. TODD wrote: “is telling in the way Leeman formulates his questions. He asks each pastor if he would excommunicate a member from his church. In my opinion, it betrays Leeman’s mindset that power and control are vested in the pastor.”

    thanks for this insight, TODD

  15. ishy wrote:

    mot wrote:

    These little religious punks need to discipline themselves first. They are not qualified to discipline another single human being in my opinion.

    Well, when God has called you to rule the dumb sheep, then you must be the Elect to do it. Qualifications don’t mean anything.

    This made me wonder how they describe calling. Most classical Calvinists I know are much more honest about being uncertain about being one of the Elect, but not the neo-Calvinists. They are dead certain they are, and anyone outside their churches are not. And those that are pastors are dead certain that it’s their job to discipline everyone else. Is it just a product of narcissism?

    I am still Southern Baptist but what they call seminaries maybe should be called (cemeteries) get zero of my contribution dollars. These seminaries can not die soon enough.

  16. ishy wrote:

    they’d never agree to a leader removal clause

    What Jesus said about the religious leaders of his time: “Woe” and do as I say, not as I do. Apparently, there is a hierarchy.

    In any case, any group or institution with a hierarchy is a man-made deal. The Church or Body of Christ has only one authority – Jesus – and otherwise would be idolatry.

  17. mot wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    mot wrote:

    I am still Southern Baptist but what they call seminaries maybe should be called (cemeteries) get zero of my contribution dollars. These seminaries can not die soon enough.

    When I was in the seminary in Ft Worth all I could think was…” Where is Jesus?”

  18. Jonathan Lee man wrote the devotional for Table Talk Magazine this weekend. In it, he writes:

    …help one another fight for holiness. You might ask, “So, friends, do you confess your sins to others? Do you invite correction? Are you willing to confront another in sin?”

    There is no more dangerous thing you can do than to confess your sins to others in an authoritarian church that promotes sin-sniffing. Well, there is one thing more dangerous: to confront the sin of the pastor or elder.

    Lerman goes on to write: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”

    WE MUST KEEP OUR CHURCHES PURE!!!!!

  19. Dale wrote:

    There, I came up with nine, their favorite number.

    This is excellent. Maybe you could write a nine chapter book on 9Marks, each with nine points. Chapters could include topics such as overview of the nine marks, analysis of the nine marks, nine testimonies from people who came out of 9Marks, the nine fruits of the Spirit. If you don’t have time to tackle it alone, perhaps you could form a team of nine authors. In any case, I very much like what you posted.

  20. Check out this quote from a Southern Baptist Associational Newsletter: ” Unity Through Purity
    Restoration to doctrinal purity and a renewed sense of unity in the churches of our Association were our goals. Unity must always be one of our highest priorities; but it must never eclipse the priority of doctrinal purity.

    The two sentences above come from the document described as “Article Concerning SBA Messengers’ Decision Regarding Flat Rock Baptist Church which is found on the Surry Baptist Association website here. The authors are Dr. Joel Stephens, pastor of Westfield Baptist Church and Vice-Moderator of the SBA, and Rev. Jim Richland, associate pastor of Westfield Baptist Church and chairman of the Membership Committee of the SBA.”

  21. K.D. wrote:

    When I was in the seminary in Ft Worth all I could think was…” Where is Jesus?”

    This is what makes me most sad. I know what kind of institutions NAMB, and SEBTS, and NOBTS were before all this, and what kind of people came from them. They loved Jesus.

    But now… they’re just cult-making factories.

  22. mot wrote:

    Unity must always be one of our highest priorities; but it must never eclipse the priority of doctrinal purity.

    “In the beginning was Doctrinal Purity, and Doctrinal Purity was with God, and Doctrinal Purity was God. Doctrinal Purity was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Doctrinal Purity, and apart from Doctrinal Purity nothing came into being that has come into being. In Doctrinal Purity was life, and the life was the light of men. Doctrinal Purity shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

  23. “Knowing that most of my readers have busy lives, and therefore have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to the likes of Dever and Leeman pontificate for an hour on their experience of properly excommunicating rock-throwing peasants from their churches, I have undertaken the excruciating task of listening to these men for an hour in order to extract a few pearls for you.”

    You have my indebted gratitude. You deserve the most exquisite bottle of brandy produced. Listening to them makes me want to run screaming into the woods. I have tried. Really. Did you know I can literally hear the pomposity emanating from their voices. The feigned concern for the ‘The church’. The burden they face. The heavy crowns they must wear. The weighty “keys to the kingdom” they must use in service to God.

    They remind me of boy kings trying to assert their power. One of the worst worst things adults can do is give teenage boys whiskey and car keys. That is equivalent to what SBTS has done with their seminary grads and church discipline. They are on a devastating joy ride drunk with power.

    This is Al Mohlers legacy for the SBC.

  24. “… the Reformation understanding of the priesthood of the believer is sadly lacking in our churches. It has been replaced by the priesthood of the pastor.”

    Actually, Calvin’s magisterial reformers tossed priesthood of the believer aside in favor of authoritarian rule. The true reformers were the Anabaptists who gave their lives for a free church of baptized believers who understood the Biblical truth that every believer is a priest. We don’t need a “Reformation understanding” of Biblical priesthood … we need a Biblical understanding that ministering in Jesus’ name is the role of every believer. A pastor is just one of the team, not an overlord.

    The New Calvinists gained a foothold (actually, a stranglehold) in the Southern Baptist Convention by diminishing the doctrines of priesthood of the believer and soul competency in the 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith & Message. Al Mohler was on that revision team.

  25. K.D. wrote:

    When I was in the seminary in Ft Worth all I could think was…” Where is Jesus?”

    The same question on my mind when I listen to New Calvinist sermon podcasts. For folks who call themselves “Christ-followers”, they don’t talk about Him much.

  26. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    @ mot:
    Yep. And I thoroughly enjoyed Deb’s line of questioning. How dare these men of all people pass judgment on others? Calling it “authoritarian” is like calling water “damp”.

    Yes, Deb’s questions are quite pertinent. But we all know the great men are never in a situation where they are accountable to answer such questions from the pew peasants. The questions themselves are reasons to excommunicate. Better not to be a pew peasant! :o)

    Run, folks. Get out. Church is voluntary! Jesus is your King. Not a pastor.

  27. Max wrote:

    For folks who call themselves “Christ-followers”, they don’t talk about Him much.

    In their neo-Cal religion, there isn’t enough room for BOTH their male head-ship AND Jesus Christ as perceived in orthodox Christianity….. so it appears they ‘modified’ the role of Jesus as well as His identity to accommodate their own male lordship

  28. ishy wrote:

    Most classical Calvinists I know are much more honest about being uncertain about being one of the Elect, but not the neo-Calvinists. They are dead certain they are, and anyone outside their churches are not.

    And if you leave their church, they will shoot Scripture to those who stayed behind:

    “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19)

    To which one set free from New Calvinism should shout “You got that right!!”

  29. Christiane wrote:

    they ‘modified’ the role of Jesus as well as His identity to accommodate their own male lordship

    Yes, it’s the only way they can get their structure of church governance to work … at the expense of Jesus!

  30. Jamie Carter wrote:

    Not only that, but they lean heavily on 1 Corinthians 5 – they excel at casting out the immoral; but they fail at 2 Corinthians 2, forgiveness and restoration.

    I moved recently, and was thinking yesterday about the “local” church in my old neighborhood. I could walk from home to church gatherings, and I figured within that radius were at least a dozen Protestant church buildings and one Catholic (plus God knows how many home meetings and rented facilities). Yesterday I imagined a I Cor 5 man getting properly cast out of one neighborhood Baptist church and joining the other one, who’d be clueless about his immorality, being some other branch of Baptist. And this would short circuit progress toward the 2 Cor 2 forgiveness and restoration. And this may well have happened, since I as a nonbaptist was clueless as well. In Corinth they had just ONE local church. Trying to transplant the punishment by the majority THEY did into a large number of modern splinter groups may have limited effectiveness.

  31. ishy wrote:

    I think there’s one question that sums up the rest is, “Where’s the covenant clause about how to remove a pastor or elder?”

    Especially since a severe public rebuke of sinning church leaders is supported by scripture (1 Tim 5:20)…I’ve never seen this done nor addressed. But I have addressed this directly to Jonathan Leeman, as well as Mark Dever, as well as on the Gospel Coalition, by way of comments that never see publication and emails that never see a response. I sent details of my own fumbled church discipline/excommunication and shunning by a 9-Marks/SBTS-trained church, whose leadership acknowledged they hadn’t done this before and would do things differently if they had to do it again, but nevertheless failed to apologize or set the record straight. I specifically told Mr. Leeman I held him partially responsible since he wrote the playbook, but per 9 Marks protocol, if church leaders ignore the charges, they may just go away.

    I will actually keep bringing this up, Mr. Leeman. I guess I have a bitter and unforgiving spirit. But You appear to crave a place of honor with no accountability.

  32. Dale wrote:

    Jonathan Lee man wrote the devotional for Table Talk Magazine this weekend.

    I wrote the following email to Ligonier Ministries:

    “This morning, I read the devotional written by Jonathan Leeman. I am very troubled by it.

    There is a huge problem of authoritarianism in many churches today. This characteristic seems to be the case in many 9Marks churches, which have a tendency toward Puritanicalism. Many Christians, myself included, have been greatly hurt by membership in 9Marks churches.

    Getting to today’s devotional, Leeman recommends that we “help one another fight for holiness.” He recommends that we ask, “So friends, do you confess your sins to others? Do you invite correction? Are you willing to confront another in sin?”

    When a church is authoritarian, I submit that it is very dangerous to submit to “sin-sniffing.” It is even more dangerous to confront a pastor or elder who is “in sin.” Leeman then ratchets up the danger when he writes: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”

    I have been a faithful reader of Tabletalk since 1992. Your ministry has been very beneficial to my spiritual walk. I am very concerned about the recent promotion of the 9Marks style of authoritarianism in the church. We need to return to the concept of the priesthood of the believer and emphasize love and patience, not sin-sniffing and excommunication.

    In Christ,

    Dale Rudiger”

    Perhaps some of you who have been hurt by authoritarianism in the church can send an email to Ligonier and tell your story. Here is the link to their contact page:

    http://www.ligonier.org/contact/form/

  33. Mohler and Dever and their disciples will never be college football coaches, so it is safe to make moral comparisons with Paterno. However, Mahaney is another story. There but for the grace of God go they (or so they may imagine.) And that, IMO, is one of the reasons Mahaney gets a pass and protection and promotion from these guys. Not the only reason, of course (I think there is way more to the story of the Dever-Mahaney unlikely bromance), but these guys identify with Mahaney way more than Paterno.

    I think there is explanatory gold in the back story of Dever and Mahaney and in the Crossway publishing contracts these guys have signed which likely have some non-disparagement language regarding other Crossway “talent.”

  34. Dale wrote:

    Jonathan Lee man wrote the devotional for Table Talk Magazine this weekend. In it, he writes:

    …help one another fight for holiness. You might ask, “So, friends, do you confess your sins to others? Do you invite correction? Are you willing to confront another in sin?”

    There is no more dangerous thing you can do than to confess your sins to others in an authoritarian church that promotes sin-sniffing. Well, there is one thing more dangerous: to confront the sin of the pastor or elder.

    Lerman goes on to write: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”

    WE MUST KEEP OUR CHURCHES PURE!!!!!

    Teaching the Levitical food laws? So, they’re going Ebionite on us now, too?

  35. one of the little people wrote:

    He is now the Apostle, instead of just the CEO (he actually calls himself this) and Senior Leader. He, and the other pastors, all afraid of his rages and manipulation in the past, have bought in

    Again, in my former neighborhood, we had an Apostolic church. I walked past it often. I prayed for the people there, but– maybe they were getting devoured by a large hungry canine posing as an apostle. I would have no way to know, let alone expose it, due to no effectual local church.

  36. One last example from my old neighborhood. In my former 9Marks church there was a genuine needy widow. And the church cared for her. But imagine if she had been convinced by the Holy Spirit that membership covenants are of the devil, and resigned, while continuing to attend. The deacons could have decided they were no longer accountable to care. And for all I know this really happened.

  37. It is getting to the point that whenever I hear these twerps spouting about invoking church discipline I immediately think of preschoolers who love to spout, “I’m the boss of you!” And I have the same reaction.

  38. True story. It was my wife’s aunt that was the first Christian in her family.
    Her aunt’s father was a Buddhist & her mother came from a Muslim/Buddhist background.
    The father died when the aunt was young, in her early twenties. The mother was functionally illiterate.
    As the eldest daughter, it fell on the aunt to keep the family store going & keep her younger siblings fed and in school. All of them became professionals but she wasn’t able to return to school.
    Not sure of the details but she began attending a Christian church. Brought her siblings and mom to the faith as well.
    Auntie is an independent, self made woman who does not put up with crap.
    I’m certain it was kindness & community, not submission & authoritarianism that brought her & kept her a Christian.

  39. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    Jonathan Lee man wrote the devotional for Table Talk Magazine this weekend. In it, he writes:
    …help one another fight for holiness. You might ask, “So, friends, do you confess your sins to others? Do you invite correction? Are you willing to confront another in sin?”
    There is no more dangerous thing you can do than to confess your sins to others in an authoritarian church that promotes sin-sniffing. Well, there is one thing more dangerous: to confront the sin of the pastor or elder.
    Lerman goes on to write: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”
    WE MUST KEEP OUR CHURCHES PURE!!!!!
    Teaching the Levitical food laws? So, they’re going Ebionite on us now, too?

    I read that earlier and thought of being “IN the world not OF it”. I can see how guys like Leeman and Dever can’t understand the distinction. They don’t live or work in the real world. They are so insulated and isolated with their pastoral fans in the tiny world they have created for themselves, they have nothing to teach people who operate daily in the real world. They don’t get it, nor do I think they even have the capacity to get it, anymore. They would be lost out there.

  40. ishy wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    When I was in the seminary in Ft Worth all I could think was…” Where is Jesus?”

    This is what makes me most sad. I know what kind of institutions NAMB, and SEBTS, and NOBTS were before all this, and what kind of people came from them. They loved Jesus.

    But now… they’re just cult-making factories.

    This change occurred after the FUNDAMENTALIST TAKEOVER. These people who took over do not know Jesus IMO and are full of hate for anyone who is not exactly like them.

  41. Ken F wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Unity must always be one of our highest priorities; but it must never eclipse the priority of doctrinal purity.

    “In the beginning was Doctrinal Purity, and Doctrinal Purity was with God, and Doctrinal Purity was God. Doctrinal Purity was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Doctrinal Purity, and apart from Doctrinal Purity nothing came into being that has come into being. In Doctrinal Purity was life, and the life was the light of men. Doctrinal Purity shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

    What is really said is that I am confident some of these people think they are doctrinally pure. What a joke, but it is not funny at all.

  42. Deb wrote:

    Thank you for speaking out about 9Marks.

    Deb, it is extremely troubling to me, as I am sure it is to Wade Burleson, as we both hold to a reformed soteriology. I want people on this blog to know that one can hold to this soteriology while recognizing and confronting the problem of authoritarianism in Calvinistic churches. I do not believe that authoritarianism naturally flows out of the “doctrines of grace.” If anything, it is quite confusing since I think the natural response to man’s inability would be patience and love, not sin-sniffing and authoritarianism. I love dogs, and when dogs act like dogs and occasionally misbehave, you don’t kick them out of your home. (Don’t take this analogy too far, my friends. I am not comparing people to dogs).

  43. Stan, why am I not surprised to see Watermark is a 9Marks church? Lord, protect your dear ones from such foolishness and bondage!

  44. While walking my dog this morning I realized that this whole 9Marks stuff makes sense if a few verses in the Bible are ever so slightly tweaked. Here is what I mean:

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love rebuke one another, even as I have loved rebuked you, that you also love rebuke one another.”

    “But encourage chastise one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin encouragement.”

    “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth excommunications and shunnings.”

  45. Dale wrote:

    I want people on this blog to know that one can hold to this soteriology while recognizing and confronting the problem of authoritarianism in Calvinistic churches. I do not believe that authoritarianism naturally flows out of the “doctrines of grace.” I

    I am grateful

  46. @ Dale:
    I have an embroidered pillow someone gave me that says, “I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am”

    :o)

  47. mot wrote:

    What is really said is that I am confident some of these people think they are doctrinally pure.

    The first sign of being doctrinally impure is believing that one can be doctrinally pure.

  48. @ dee:

    Dee: Well thanks for the sub retweet, but since I’m not on the Twitters, I do not think Watermark lost their lawsuit. It was called freedom of religion and thrown out.

    Here’s the thing: you can go to one of those churches, roll snake eyes, and get several decent and kind people in your group and have a good experience. But at Watermark, if you believe that fellow adults can make their own decisions about their lives and see where it gets them, you’re “cancer”.

  49. “when your fellow celebrity preacher C.J. Mahaney turned out to be the evangelical example of Joe Paterno we quickly saw your lack of ethics. Yet you want to lecture the evangelical world on church discipline? Please! Your actions have proven you to be hypocrites who have forfeited any right to speak as a moral authority to the church.”

    This!

    C.J. Mahaney deserves to be in prison, he is a selfish sicko. From what I see most of these men are selfish and sadistic. That do not hate child sexual abuse. They do not hate rape.

  50. Ah, but therein lies the problem. Most often the trigger for abusive clergy to “practice” their discipline is your decision to leave the abusive church. You see, unless you reassure the abusive clergy of the church you are leaving that you will be joining another church that holds to the same “gospel” of abusive discipline that they hold to, you may be excommunicated!

    “We never had to build a Wall to keep our people in!”
    — President John Kennedy, at the Berlin Wall, 1961(?)

  51. Lydia wrote:

    I have an embroidered pillow someone gave me that says, “I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am”

    He or she (the pillow giver) must be a person after Twain’s own heart>

  52. Unfortunately, their banter is serious. Leeman wants to highlight all the possible circumstances in which the clergy could correctly (in their opinion) excommunicate a member who has left his church.

    “Would you eat them in Japan,
    With Gojira and Rodan?”

  53. Dale wrote:

    WE MUST KEEP OUR CHURCHES PURE!!!!!

    Pure as Democratic Kampuchea?
    Pure as Talibanistan?

  54. ishy wrote:

    mot wrote:

    These little religious punks need to discipline themselves first. They are not qualified to discipline another single human being in my opinion.

    Well, when God has called you to rule the dumb sheep, then you must be the Elect to do it. Qualifications don’t mean anything.

    They’re Highborn.
    Just like Joffrey Baratheon-Lannister who they resemble.

  55. one of the little people wrote:

    I had this same conversation with a pastor at my former church which adopted NAR teaching. He is now the Apostle, instead of just the CEO (he actually calls himself this) and Senior Leader.

    “If the pastor of the church titles himself Apostle or Prophet, RUN!”
    — my writing partner (the burned-out preacher)

    P.S. “Senior Leader” or “Maximum Leader” like Comrade Fidel and Old Pineapple-face of Panama?

  56. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “If the pastor of the church titles himself Apostle or Prophet, RUN!”
    — my writing partner (the burned-out preacher)

    P.S. “Senior Leader” or “Maximum Leader” like Comrade Fidel and Old Pineapple-face of Panama?

    If he is an apostle has he seen Jesus like the other real apostles?

  57. Church Discipline – A Difficult Task? Guest Post by Todd Wilhelm

    It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it…

  58. mot wrote:

    If he is an apostle has he seen Jesus like the other real apostles?

    How many of these guys out in fundagelical-six-flags-magic-mountain-land now claim apostleship? Is Mahaney the only one?

  59. Muff Potter wrote:

    How many of these guys out in fundagelical-six-flags-magic-mountain-land now claim apostleship? Is Mahaney the only one?

    Mahaney certainly knew how to brand himself and re-brand himself, as necessary. You simply cannot dismiss someone who can sell himself as humble and a theologian as well as he did. Just like Disney and Six Flags, they are selling an experience based in fantasy.

  60. Marie O’Toole wrote:

    Thank you for posting this Deebs and thanks for writing it, Todd. Yesterday I reverted back to my maiden name. I wanna see it come up on my profile.

    You Go Girlfriend!! And may your tribe increase!

  61. The shepherding movement began in the early 1970s, promoted by the “Fort Lauderdale Five”. It was very popular in some circles. Yet in the 1980s these five leaders all did an about turn and apologised for what they had taught and the hurt it had caused. Their apologies were a long time in coming, though. Concerns were raised in the mid-1970s that submission to an authority figure was a recipe for abuse, but ignored.

    The discipline-focussed approach of 9 Marks seems very similar. I only hope it fades into oblivion far quicker than the shepherding movement did.

    Invariably, when a church gets fixated on discipline, there are always double standards. It is the little people, especially women, who are on the receiving end, and leaders get a free pass.

  62. What do you do when you have an abuser in your church and you need to ask them to leave for the safety and health of the church? Is that an appropriate time for church discipline? How can that be practiced well, in a healthy way and without authoritarianism?

  63. ishy wrote:

    It’s not surprising, as their whole reasoning for the 9 Marks is to make “healthy churches”, and discipline is the 7th mark.

    North Korea is a very Healthy Nation if you’re name’s Kim Jong-Un.
    (And how the Norks REALLY practice Discipline against their populace!)

  64. Dale wrote:

    As Todd points out, these authoritarian pastors are double-minded. This is the first mark in my book of a church and system that will ultimately cause division.

    These pastors have divided their own minds with their lack of integrity. That leads then to:

    1) Dividing themselves from the lowly “sheep” since they “stand in the place of God.”
    2) Dividing the Christian from their assurance via their constantly questioning conversions
    3) Dividing Christian from their freedom via church covenants
    4) Dividing Christians from the Lord’s Supper via their improper “fencing” of the table
    5) Dividing wife from husband via their authoritarian teaching on marital submission
    6) Dividing Christian from Christian by requiring submission to a fallible statement of faith
    7) Dividing Christians from the Holy Spirit by their legalistic spirit
    8) Then, when confronted for their divisiveness or when they feel their authority being threatened, they cut off the offending member through improper excommunications.
    9) And typically, they will not allow you to meet with them with support to question them – they divide and conquer.

    There, I came up with nine, their favorite number.

    Wow, this is excellent. Would you give permission to share this (with acknowledgement) on FB or elesewhere?

  65. Joe wrote:

    This year, I’m going to try and use the term “narcissistic zero” more often……

    Using Chandler as a guide, one first has to be a narcissist to use the term.

  66. Gram3 wrote:

    It is getting to the point that whenever I hear these twerps spouting about invoking church discipline I immediately think of preschoolers who love to spout, “I’m the boss of you!”

    Perhaps many of these young reformers were bully-wannabes in school … now they get the chance as “pastor”!

  67. @ Max:
    Max wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    It is getting to the point that whenever I hear these twerps spouting about invoking church discipline I immediately think of preschoolers who love to spout, “I’m the boss of you!”

    Perhaps many of these young reformers were bully-wannabes in school … now they get the chance as “pastor”!

    Max: If these pastor wannabes were given some type of psychological exam I think the results would be frightening. I also think if it was possible to check their hearts for the love of Jesus very little or none would be found. The damage these guys are doing is irreparable IMO.

  68. Ron Oommen wrote:

    Would you give permission to share this (with acknowledgement) on FB or elesewhere?

    Of course. Those that cause divisions must be watched/marked and avoided (Rom. 16:17).

  69. About that Matt Chandler audio clip, from the transcript of his “A Beautiful Design” sermon series, page 10:

    http://media.thevillagechurch.net/sermons/transcripts/201409211115FMWC21ASAAA_MattChandler_ABeautifulDesignPt3-MansPurpose.pdf

    Men, let me encourage you. Here is what’s awesome. My failures and owning my failures because
    the gospel has freed me up to do that mirrors what it means to be a man for my wife and my
    children more so than my successes do. When my children get to watch me walk up to Mama after I
    snapped and say, “That was me, baby. I’m tired. You don’t deserve that. That was totally me. Will
    you forgive me? Thank you, sweetheart,” when my son gets to see that, when my daughters get to
    see that…
    When I sin against my children, which is often, and I go climb in their bed and snuggle them tight
    and go, “That wasn’t you. That was me. Dad just has all this going on, and what he did was… Man, I
    have to lean into Jesus. I have to let Jesus forgive me. He is going to do that. Will you forgive me?”
    that’s such a model of the gospel and of grace that even my failures reinforce what I’ve been called
    to do if I’ll own them and seek forgiveness.

    When he snaps at his wife and sins against his children, is that what it sounds like?

  70. Max wrote:

    Perhaps many of these young reformers were bully-wannabes in school … now they get the chance as “pastor”!

    I can only speculate about the ones I have known personally. A couple had some dad baggage and some mom baggage. They are cold as ice, though I must say that one of them recently did something very kind and very unexpected. One was insecure about his intellect and basic competence. Another wants to do great things and wants to be totally obedient. Another is zealous on steroids. Some others show the fruit of the Spirit, and I believe they are led astray by trusting others and believe that this way is the truth. A couple have been insiders and seen through it, thankfully. In short, I think there is a mixture of things going on.

  71. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    You mean the sin of sinful questioning?

    I believe that there are some like Mr. Driscoll and Mr. Leeman and Mr. Chandler who are so invested in their identity with their ideology that to question their ideology is to question their very existence. And that is very threatening. See also the reaction to Todd Pruitt and Carl Trueman and Kevin Giles and anyone else who dared to question Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware. The reaction was way out of proportion to the questions. I think the questions were way overdue, just like the questions about Driscoll, Mahaney, and 9Marks.

  72. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    The questions themselves are reasons to excommunicate.

    You mean the sin of sinful questioning? #sarcasm

    “Doubt leads to Questioning.
    Questioning leads to Thinking.
    Thinking leads to Heresy.
    Heresy must be Dealt With.
    Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
    — Warhammer 40K

  73. mot wrote:

    Max: If these pastor wannabes were given some type of psychological exam I think the results would be frightening. I

    Megalomania, Psychopathy, NPD, Sociopathy, or All Of The Above?

  74. Dale wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    Thank you for speaking out about 9Marks.

    Deb, it is extremely troubling to me, as I am sure it is to Wade Burleson, as we both hold to a reformed soteriology. I want people on this blog to know that one can hold to this soteriology while recognizing and confronting the problem of authoritarianism in Calvinistic churches. I do not believe that authoritarianism naturally flows out of the “doctrines of grace.” If anything, it is quite confusing since I think the natural response to man’s inability would be patience and love, not sin-sniffing and authoritarianism. I love dogs, and when dogs act like dogs and occasionally misbehave, you don’t kick them out of your home. (Don’t take this analogy too far, my friends. I am not comparing people to dogs).

    I would like to thank people like you, Wade Burleson, Aimee Byrd and others whose names I cannot remember who demonstrate to me that it is possible to hold to reformed soteriology and not have all this authoritarian, hyper controlling stuff that is proclaimed as integral to the theology. I struggle greatly with that, especially when debates turn very nasty very quickly because you’re branded by the neocals as “unbiblical” as soon as you reject such aspects of the theology and told you don’t have the gospel because you reject the 9 Marks philosophies, since such structures and behaviour are considered by their proponents as essential to reformed theology.

    So, thank you.

  75. Ron Oommen wrote:

    it is possible to hold to reformed soteriology and not have all this authoritarian, hyper controlling stuff that is proclaimed as integral to the theology.

    For what it is worth, I came from an authoritarian church of the Arminian persuasion. It had not started hyper-controlling when I left, a feature the ruling NPD had not implemented yet.

  76. Bill M wrote:

    Ron Oommen wrote:

    it is possible to hold to reformed soteriology and not have all this authoritarian, hyper controlling stuff that is proclaimed as integral to the theology.

    For what it is worth, I came from an authoritarian church of the Arminian persuasion. It had not started hyper-controlling when I left, a feature the ruling NPD had not implemented yet.

    True that. I should not have implied – certainly did not mean to – that non Reformed churches do not have the same problem. I was in one of those some years ago and left when things became decidedly bizzare. The kind of bizzare that included refusing to allow the singing of hymns because they were “past” and “not fresh” and demoted people from serving in the church if you questioned odd teachings….

  77. Thanks for publishing my story Deebs. Doing so provides a much wider readership than I normally get.

    Including Mahaney’s, Mohler’s and Dever’s attorneys I have a loyal readership of approximately one dozen miscreants!

  78. Max wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    they ‘modified’ the role of Jesus as well as His identity to accommodate their own male lordship

    Yes, it’s the only way they can get their structure of church governance to work … at the expense of Jesus!

    And yet, they would call what they do to people ‘discipline’, when it is punitive, sometimes extremely hurtful? Our Lord has ‘disciples’ and He taught them through His Words and His example and simply how He was with people when He was among them.

    That word ‘disciple’ and the word ‘discipline’ are from the same origin.
    A story: my first week teaching with children from the inner city …. I come home and I am in the family room ‘unloading’ about how they don’t know how to behave, they have no manners, etc. etc. UNTIL
    my five year old raised his hand and says:
    “MOM, TEACH THEM.”

    yeah. I shut up and then I took the advice of my child. And good came when I understood that the boy who cursed in my class didn’t know that the word he used was a curse word …. so I explained to him very gently at the door of the classroom ‘how it was’ and he learned from me. No punishment needed.
    First of many encounters with children who ‘didn’t know because no one had ever taken the time and the patience to help them learn.

    I owe my career to a five year old boy’s wisdom.

    But what about the neo-Cals: having disposed of Our Lord as their model for discipling; they have turned to some very harsh methods of dealing with those they feel are not properly obeying THEM. The result: pain and suffering, and stories of abuse abounding …. a lot of unhappy people.

    Discipline: in the Christian sense of the word, it’s not about punishment, no. It’s about using patience and kindness and long-suffering to teach the ‘better way’ of Our Lord.

    The neo-Cals got the meaning of ‘discipline’ wrong, and it all started when they put Christ aside and followed their own ways using bitter fruit in the process.

  79. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    “Lance quit the church.
    But the church didn’t quit him.”
    Church or Cult?

    My answer: Cult, like the rest of those of the same persuasion (just different smells). Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen. And yet some worshiped the pervert (and probably some still do, God forbid).

  80. mot wrote:

    I finally listened to the audio clip by Chandler. IMO he has some major anger issues!

    did he not suffer from a brain tumor at one time? God forbid he is having symptoms that show up this way with ‘anger issues’ …. I’m not a fan, but no one deserves a recurrence of such trouble, especially when they are fairly young and have a family

  81. Christiane wrote:

    That word ‘disciple’ and the word ‘discipline’ are from the same origin … The neo-Cals got the meaning of ‘discipline’ wrong, and it all started when they put Christ aside and followed their own ways using bitter fruit in the process.

    New Calvinism will leave a legacy of un-Biblical authoritarian treatment of its followers. They will be known for exercising discipline through the law, rather than developing disciples of Christ through love.

  82. Gram3 wrote:

    I think there is a mixture of things going on

    In the absence of preaching Gospel Truth, the mixture can include anything.

  83. One comment not allowed. We will not allow innuendoes to be made regarding a person’s character without stating them directly. If you know something, say it and stop the passive aggressive nonsense.

  84. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Thanks for publishing my story Deebs. Doing so provides a much wider readership than I normally get.

    Including Mahaney’s, Mohler’s and Dever’s attorneys I have a loyal readership of approximately one dozen miscreants!

    And some of them are the monstrous regiment of women, peasants. :o)

  85. Boston Lady wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    “Lance quit the church.
    But the church didn’t quit him.”
    Church or Cult?

    My answer: Cult, like the rest of those of the same persuasion (just different smells). Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen. And yet some worshiped the pervert (and probably some still do, God forbid).

    And none of it works unless people want the approval of the leaders and even peers. That is the chilling aspect of this many of us had to come to grips with.

  86. Boston Lady wrote:

    My answer: Cult, like the rest of those of the same persuasion (just different smells). Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen. And yet some worshiped the pervert (and probably some still do, God forbid).

    Even more of a fraud than Mike Warnke?
    (Who still has followers who all but worship him. Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory helps a lot.)

  87. Here’s where my discipline comes from:
    For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:6

    If you are born again in the Spirit, you are a child of God through adoption. In the Roman Times, if you were adopted, you could never be disowned because your parents specifically chose you. There is no covenant here, just unconditional love sealed by the Holy Spirit that will convict you and set you back on the right track.

    These neo-cal types don’t acknowledge the priesthood of believers and the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual.

  88. Gram3 wrote:

    I believe that there are some like Mr. Driscoll and Mr. Leeman and Mr. Chandler who are so invested in their identity with their ideology that to question their ideology is to question their very existence. And that is very threatening.

    Many years ago, my writing partner (the burned-out preacher) told me of a psych test given to astronauts in MASA’s The Right Stuff period. It was a list of 100 identical fill-in questions: I am ___________________”; the test subject had to fill in as many of them as possible without repeating, describing himself briefly in each.

    * My informant said that most people pooped out around 30 or so.
    * Some (self-describing as gay) pooped out at around a dozen, with all answers having something to do with their sexual orientation. (Not so much gay as defining themselves entirely by their gonads and use thereof; I suspect a lot of Manly Men straights would also show this pattern.)
    * But the scariest are those who can only give a single answer. If anyone given this test runs dry after only one line, RUN!

  89. mot wrote:

    Max: If these pastor wannabes were given some type of psychological exam I think the results would be frightening.

    See above comment.

  90. Lydia wrote:

    I can see how guys like Leeman and Dever can’t understand the distinction. They don’t live or work in the real world. They are so insulated and isolated with their pastoral fans in the tiny world they have created for themselves, they have nothing to teach people who operate daily in the real world. They don’t get it, nor do I think they even have the capacity to get it, anymore. They would be lost out there.

    We keep using the phrase “living protected bubble” for these guys. I think it’s more like a play pen than a bubble. They can’t mature enough to deal with the temptations, falls, bumps, scraped knees and elbows, and hard knocks of life, so they just stay in their play pens.

  91. Ian wrote:

    The discipline-focussed approach of 9 Marks seems very similar. I only hope it fades into oblivion far quicker than the shepherding movement did.

    Seems like some form of shepherding movement pops up with every generation.

  92. Ron Oommen wrote:

    I should not have implied – certainly did not mean to – that non Reformed churches do not have the same problem.

    Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t get that as an implication. I was simply trying to expand your point that reformed does not equal abusive. Thankfully my spectrum of beliefs has moved from Calvin vs Arminius, I find much to agree with from the EO but can’t get past the icons and incense.

  93. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Even more of a fraud than Mike Warnke?

    Warnke was an embarrassment (and not even funny, not even once. And those lies were too good to believe). Driscoll is worse. Somehow.

  94. mot wrote:

    If these pastor wannabes were given some type of psychological exam I think the results would be frightening.

    It is a very good recommendation that all churches give their final pastoral candidates a psychological exam before hiring, bringing in a trained psychologist to administer it and tell them what it means. The prevalence of NPDs and other dangerous psychotic personalities attracted to the church CEO job is daunting.

  95. republican mother wrote:

    the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual.

    I always loved this beautiful passage about the Holy Spirit from the Book of Isaiah which is claimed by Christ for Himself in the Holy Gospel of St. Luke:

    “The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me,
    because the LORD has anointed me
    to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
    he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
    to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
    to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.”

    So, the Spirit of the Lord descends upon His Servant, Christ.
    And we are told why the Spirit has ‘annointed’ Our Lord:
    * to bring good tidings to the afflicted
    * to bind up the broken-hearted
    * to proclaim liberty to the captives
    * and to open the prison to those who are bound

    And Our Lord in His turn sends His servants out as He was sent

    well, I’d like to know who it was who sent the neo-Cal pastors to persecute those who don’t kneel to them, to treat the broken-hearted poorly, to bind people up inside of ‘membership contracts’????

    I don’t think the neo-Cal pastors are on any mission authorized by the annointed Lord Christ, no

    it looks like they have another agenda completely and more’s the pity

  96. Boston Lady wrote:

    Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen.

    Those are some very strong words. What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

  97. Bill M wrote:

    mot wrote:

    If these pastor wannabes were given some type of psychological exam I think the results would be frightening.

    It is a very good recommendation that all churches give their final pastoral candidates a psychological exam before hiring, bringing in a trained psychologist to administer it and tell them what it means. The prevalence of NPDs and other dangerous psychotic personalities attracted to the church CEO job is daunting.

    I think with so many seminaries turning out wild eyed FUNDAMENTALIST it is ever so more critical to give these final pastoral candidates a psychological exam before hiring them.

  98. Bill M wrote:

    Ron Oommen wrote:
    I should not have implied – certainly did not mean to – that non Reformed churches do not have the same problem.
    Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t get that as an implication. I was simply trying to expand your point that reformed does not equal abusive. Thankfully my spectrum of beliefs has moved from Calvin vs Arminius, I find much to agree with from the EO but can’t get past the icons and incense.

    There is, apparently, a Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism, which borrows quite a bit from the EO but (as is typical for Anglicans) allows a lot more flexibility.

  99. Ken G wrote:

    Those are some very strong words. What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    Those are great questions. From what we know from him, he gave her plenty of clues early on, even back to college, he was apt to be abusive.

    Is it a question of young and ignorant, then stuck with no skills, experience and 5 kids or just enabling to keep the lifestyle? Or,is she a true believer who just doesn’t wear a hijab?

  100. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Ron Oommen wrote:
    I should not have implied – certainly did not mean to – that non Reformed churches do not have the same problem.
    Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t get that as an implication. I was simply trying to expand your point that reformed does not equal abusive. Thankfully my spectrum of beliefs has moved from Calvin vs Arminius, I find much to agree with from the EO but can’t get past the icons and incense.

    There is, apparently, a Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism, which borrows quite a bit from the EO but (as is typical for Anglicans) allows a lot more flexibility.

    interesting!

  101. Ken G wrote:

    Boston Lady wrote:

    Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen.

    Those are some very strong words. What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    I’m not sure how his wife got brought into it but I’ll admit I am bewildered by the women who stand behind and support men like Driscoll. I don’t know her and can’t answer any of these questions but I can simply say, I do not find anything worth emulating there.

  102. Nancy2 wrote:

    Seems like some form of shepherding movement pops up with every generation.

    “But this time We WILL Achieve True Communism!”

  103. Nancy2 wrote:

    We keep using the phrase “living protected bubble” for these guys. I think it’s more like a play pen than a bubble. They can’t mature enough to deal with the temptations, falls, bumps, scraped knees and elbows, and hard knocks of life, so they just stay in their play pens.

    Nowadays they’re called “Safe Spaces(TM)”.
    (Like all those who were traumatized by Hillary’s loss.)

  104. Dale wrote:

    Leeman then ratchets up the danger when he writes: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”

    Good job to Leeman on missing the whole point of the new testament.

  105. Janet Varin wrote:

    Especially since a severe public rebuke of sinning church leaders is supported by scripture (1 Tim 5:20)…I’ve never seen this done nor addressed. But I have addressed this directly to Jonathan Leeman, as well as Mark Dever, as well as on the Gospel Coalition, by way of comments that never see publication and emails that never see a response. I sent details of my own fumbled church discipline/excommunication and shunning by a 9-Marks/SBTS-trained church, whose leadership acknowledged they hadn’t done this before and would do things differently if they had to do it again, but nevertheless failed to apologize or set the record straight. I specifically told Mr. Leeman I held him partially responsible since he wrote the playbook, but per 9 Marks protocol, if church leaders ignore the charges, they may just go away.

    Imagine all the times they hear these facts from persons like you and close their ears, and imagine how stiff their necks must be at this point.

  106. Dave A A wrote:

    In Corinth they had just ONE local church. Trying to transplant the punishment by the majority THEY did into a large number of modern splinter groups may have limited effectiveness.

    If there was one local church, who do you suppose would be the most ambitious to be in charge of it?

  107. Ken G wrote:

    What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    I would not know about her. She is not allowed to speak as her husband is. We don’t know her apart from what Driscoll says about her.

  108. Cue the sepia tones, I’m having a moment of homesick nostalgia for the good old days in our SBC circles out in the desert oil field sand hills. Back when preachers were called, not sent off to seminary and trained. Back when they lived and worked the oilpatch like the rest of the men (we were SBC)and then preached whenever they got the chance at some tiny church on a Sunday. Over time if both the preaching and their lives were sound they got licensed, then finally some church would call and ordain them. They didn’t “cast visions” like new agers. Were not “clergy” like the Protestants. Were not “priests” like the Catholics. They simply were Baptist preachers. Christ was Head of the church, vested His authority in the congregation, who then delegated some of it to the preacher.

    Church discipline? Of course! Preacher, deacon, layperson, you could not be abusive, a drunkard, an adulterer, or fornicator, or run out on your debts, etc, and maintain membership. You would be warned privately and given a chance of repentance and amendment. If that failed, the most sorrowful business meeting, no non members allowed, would divest you of membership BUT you would not be shunned, rather would be evangelized. If said buzz off we buzzed off. End of story.

    Little Walton’s theme music here, please.

  109. Ken G wrote:

    Boston Lady wrote:
    Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen.
    //
    Those are some very strong words. What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    I remember reading the stories on the Mars Hill survivor site, and overwhelmingly, people seemed like for some time they were caught up in Driscoll’s charisma, but if they deviated from him in any way at any point, he turned vicious and vengeful. Then they were scared.

    The saddest thing about patriarchy to me is that women in patriarchy are kept down by removing education, “unfeminine” hobbies, or anything that might help them later in life if they wanted to escape. Then they are forced to marry and become pregnant early, and have many kids. Honestly, I think the legal system would favor them, but they would have no way to support their children if they tried to run away.

    It’s how every culture in history has sustained slavery.

  110. ishy wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    Boston Lady wrote:
    Driscoll is the vilest fraud I’ve ever heard or seen.
    //
    Those are some very strong words. What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife? Is she a fraud, too? An enabler? A suffering innocent victim? If she is an innocent victim, should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    I remember reading the stories on the Mars Hill survivor site, and overwhelmingly, people seemed like for some time they were caught up in Driscoll’s charisma, but if they deviated from him in any way at any point, he turned vicious and vengeful. Then they were scared.

    The saddest thing about patriarchy to me is that women in patriarchy are kept down by removing education, “unfeminine” hobbies, or anything that might help them later in life if they wanted to escape. Then they are forced to marry and become pregnant early, and have many kids. Honestly, I think the legal system would favor them, but they would have no way to support their children if they tried to run away.

    It’s how every culture in history has sustained slavery.

    Let’s call it like it is Patriarchy is h e l l for women!!!

  111. Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.

    Mark Dever refuses to let adults be, well, adults. What he has advocated in these church membership covenants is illegal and unconstitutional in the United States. Churches, like my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley’s pastors/elders, have crossed the line into criminal conduct and ordered other people to do same to harass church members who leave.

  112. Ian wrote:

    The discipline-focussed approach of 9 Marks seems very similar

    As Todd Wilhelm has pointed out in other comments, on other threads here, that Mark Dever has basically re-released the 1970’s cultic, abusive heavy-Shepherding Movement verbatim, with a few word changes here and there.

  113. Velour wrote:

    Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.

    Mark Dever refuses to let adults be, well, adults. What he has advocated in these church membership covenants is illegal and unconstitutional in the United States. Churches, like my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley’s pastors/elders, have crossed the line into criminal conduct and ordered other people to do same to harass church members who leave.

    I think we should get Dubai (and the UAE) to rule the same thing: that membership in a religious organization is and ought to be voluntary. Maybe Todd could help with that.

    Hopefully the push for voluntary membership in religious institutions will then spread to neighboring countries. It’s certainly sorely needed over there.

  114. Boston Lady wrote:

    Driscoll is worse. Somehow.

    I agree. And this is why. Driscoll took The Songs and made it into commands about how much and what kinds (every kind) of sex to service her husband with. Warnke, with all his lies and problems, never stooped this low.

  115. siteseer wrote:

    If there was one local church, who do you suppose would be the most ambitious to be in charge of it?

    Diotrephes. He loves being first and putting believers out of the church. But maybe a real Elder could come around, call attention to what he was doing, and commend a Demetrius instead.

  116. Ken G wrote:

    should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.

    As others have mentioned before, I don’t think she can. She will either lose her children or not be able to support them, at all.

    This is how the FLDS keep their women. They can leave, but not with the children.
    Men like Driscoll and the FLDS bunch are not squeamish about using a woman’s children against her. And many women will tolerate all kinds of hell for the sake of their children.

  117. Mara wrote:

    Driscoll took The Songs and made it into commands about how much and what kinds (every kind) of sex to service her husband with

    In other words, some of the tools that Driscoll used to build his empire are not much different than the tools that Hugh Hefner uses. They are just tweaked a bit and confined to marriage.
    So yes, Driscol is waaaaay worse than Warnke. IMHO
    Warnke is only a garden variety lying, cheating scoundrel. Driscoll is all that plus a porn pusher and woman oppressor.

  118. Mara wrote:

    And this is why. Driscoll took The Songs and made it into commands about how much and what kinds (every kind) of sex to service her husband with.

    I’ve come to call that “an involuntary peek into the ManaGAWD’s sexual fantasies/fetishes.”

  119. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Bubbles, communication bubbles, exist on both extreme sides of the political spectrum. Those of us in the middle see that and get anger from both sides. Said bubbles exist other places too, especially within Christian communities and denominations. From my experience a “traditionalist” and a “progressive” Catholic will only accuse each other of various errors and God help someone who stands in the middle between them. Aiding and abetting error or aiding and abetting oppression or being a dupe is what you’re accused of.

  120. I have been thinking about where 9 Marks has gone astray. I am concluding that it is an error that they even focus on the church. I think that the focus needs to be on three things: faith in Christ, hope in Christ, and love of Christ and love of His law. And by “law” I am not talking about the law of Moses or the ten commandments. I am talking about the law of love. Forgiveness, service, fellowship, kindness, sacrifice, thinking the best of others, mutual submission, etc.

    9 Marks focuses on faith in the pastor and his church, not Christ. 9 Marks focuses on hope in this world and not the next. 9 Marks focuses on obedience to church externals and not Christian character.

  121. Christiane’s five year old hit the nail on the head.Focus on teaching the unloved instead of criticizing the unloved.

  122. Dale wrote:

    9 Marks focuses on faith in the pastor and his church, not Christ. 9 Marks focuses on hope in this world and not the next. 9 Marks focuses on obedience to church externals and not Christian character.

    This goes back to neo-Calvinist theology that membership in their churches is where God choses His elect, and Christ is just a means of atonement. I really think control issues drives their theology, and not the other way around, so as I read in “The Promised One” by Nancy Guthrie this weekend, they “made God out to be who they wanted, and not who He is”. Jesus was very clear that ministry was service while relinquishing the need to control, so they dumped Him from most of their theology. I have doubts that they’d reverse course and focus on Christ as a group.

  123. Sorry to keep commenting. The focus of the Lord’s supper should be the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus and not our blood, sweat and tears. 9 Marks has the focus backwards when they focus on the church and its covenant and not it’s Head and His covenant.

  124. @ Christiane:

    Oh, that is cute. And once secular public schools recognize the religious holy days of all the various religions how much time on task does that leave? But, or so they say, a lot more public education is about to be done from home via internet so that would I suppose help solve it. And if not, then perhaps each child could get a minimum set number of excused days for their own particular religion’s holidays with some system for make up of the missed work.

    From what i hear, though, the do it from home aspect of public education is one of the lights at the end of some people’s tunnel.

  125. Words I would love to hear from the pulpit: “I don’t give a damn whether you are a ‘member’ of this church. If you belong to Jesus, you belong here.”

  126. @ okrapod:
    I think the time has come in our country to start having RESPECT for one another in as far as it works for good. This has been lost on many fronts and it has not led to anything wholesome. I’m for any arrangement that can be worked out that shows proper respect for our citizens regardless of their sexual orientation, their sex, their political views, their faith, their economic situation, their special needs (disabilities), and their education levels …. it doesn’t hurt to add ‘age’ in there too, because that is now under attack. We need to do the right thing.

    An Islamic American woman of faith seeking basic respect is not the same as an Islamic terrorist, no. So we need to examine what is right in how we speak of her and what it is she is asking from our consideration, because a lot of us hear the word ‘Muslim’ and we freak. A lot of our little bubbles we live in have trained us to be fearful, so we are isolated from other Americans who want to be treated with respect. A ‘high holy day’ for an Muslim person or a Jewish person or a Catholic or an Orthodox Christian ….. this is not fodder for the alt-right cannon, no. I’m for hearing her out. Yes. Even if I come to disagree, I owe her that much.

  127. @ Dale:
    🙂 Thanks, Dale.
    He’s grown now and serving in the Coast Guard. I’m very proud. He is still a wise person. He didn’t lose it, thank God.

  128. @ Christiane:

    You are missing the issue that I addressed. When I was a kid in school it was the catholics who wanted time off for the feast of whoever, and the schools were trying to work around that. Those of us who came from the tradition that looked at Paul’s words about special days and decided that it was better to not have special days went right on to school regardless of whether we felt ‘persecuted’ or not that the catholic kids got time off. That would be, specifically, time off from secular school for religious reasons.

    Now you put up the Muslim issue, but I said everybody. If it is going to anybody, catholic or muslim or whomever, then it has got to be everybody. That would be everybody. The schools should not favor religion over non-religion; holy days or no. Did the muslim lady try to get a few days off for everybody or just for her group, and did the Romans try to get time off for everybody or just for their group? I think this is unfair and unjust and the secular schools should make it equal for everybody.

    BTW, the teachers get a certain amount of time off without pay for whatever they need it for. That idea would work perfectly well for kids, but it can’t be just for religious kids who happen to be a member of some religious group.

    And, no, you have no grounds for turning that into some muslimaphobia from what I said. You are perfectly welcome to say that I stand for separation of church and state-any church and any religion and any state function. But do not try to twist my meanings, please.

  129. ishy wrote:

    Her take on Songs is very interesting.

    Yes. I don’t necessarily agree with it though I see its merits and why a person might go that route.
    All the same, I think there is plenty of room for different takes on it. It’s poetry, for Pete’s sake. It’s not a book of the law or an intimacy operation manual like what Driscoll tries to make it into to get his wife and all Christian wives to serve their husbands through frequent and girlie-magazine inspired sex.

  130. @ okrapod:
    I posted my link in response to another comment, not yours, and my follow-up was directed as support for my link.

    I have no problem with your comment, OKRAPOD. i’ve taught in Catholic schools and I’ve taught in public schools, and once in a private school for a time, and one year in a drug rehab setting for teens;
    I don’t recall anyone demanding ‘special’ attention. When we were young and went to Catholic schools, my parents PAID and still paid their taxes in support of public schools because it was the right thing to do.

    I don’t see this woman as ‘unreasonable’ in wanting to be heard. I take it that you don’t agree with her. That is okay with me. I just hope instead of people relying on ‘Fox News’ or alt-right radio, that they at least listen to the voices of those who have been marginalized. It’s time.

    Your reply to me didn’t make sense because my comments were regarding a charge of a supporter and organizer of the woman’s marches connected with ‘sharia law’ which is a code phrase among the alt-right for something ‘else’. I thought hearing her speak might help break some of the ‘bubble’ that has been allowed to divide people in our country.

    Sorry you took my commment in the light you did, but I have strong feelings about going to the source of controversy rather than just seeing them labeled with ‘code’ and dismissed unheard. Your thoughts? I do respect your opinions.

  131. @ Christiane:

    Your comment of 8:29 was addressed ‘@ okrapod’. How silly of me to think that meant me in any way.

    And no, I do not agree with government recognizing religious holidays, yours mine hers or anybody’s. In fact, Kirk Cameron for example took it upon himself to address the issue with speech and video trying to get evangelicals to give up the idea that Christmas is basically a pagan holiday. I saw him on youtube address the assembly at Liberty U on this issue, a huge stadium full of impressionable minds, and it reminded me of how many evangelicals/fundamentalists there still are who are still opposed to religious holidays-shades of my nearly forgotten childhood.

    But days off for whatever purpose, equal number for all religious or not, sure thing. And if somebody would object to doing it that way I have to ask why. Why claim special favor for religion in a secular setting? Why not extend equal opportunities to all, religious or not?

  132. okrapod wrote:

    Why not extend equal opportunities to all, religious or not?

    Sorry for confusion. I’m all for ‘equal opportunities’. When we were young, our Jewish neighbors’ children took high holy days off (Yom Kippur, especially) and they were not intimidated or penalized as far as I am aware.

    Equal opportunities works for me. Maybe that’s why the Islamic woman organizer in question wanted to support the marches???

    Am I aware of Fox News and the alt-right radio jocks hawking Islamophobia? Yes. Do I approve of what they have TRIED to do to our country? Nope. Not at all. I can see the damage done and it is intended to shut people out and keep folks from listening to one another’s voices by using fear and labels. You are not a participant in that kind of, in my opinion, no.

  133. Christiane wrote:

    You are not a participant in that kind of, in my opinion, no.

    You are not a participant in that kind of effort, in my opinion, no.

  134. Christiane wrote:

    So we need to examine what is right in how we speak of her and what it is she is asking from our consideration, because a lot of us hear the word ‘Muslim’ and we freak. A lot of our little bubbles we live in have trained us to be fearful, so we are isolated from other Americans who want to be treated with respect.

    When you say “a lot of us” I assume you mean this blog where you are posting the comment. I don’t think your assumption about “a lot of us” on this blog is correct. The assumption might be correct in other venues, the world at large, etc.

  135. Ken G wrote:

    What is your opinion about Driscoll’s wife?

    Not Boston Lady, but from the stuff Driscoll has said about her, I feel very sorry for her.

  136. siteseer wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    Leeman then ratchets up the danger when he writes: “Maybe you’re teaching the Levitical food laws, which taught Israel to be marked off and distinct. Shouldn’t our churches pursue the same through taking care with their membership rolls and church discipline?”

    Good job to Leeman on missing the whole point of the new testament.

    I know. That quote is bizarre.

  137. @ Lea:

    Many of their comments and writings makes me think that the 9 Marks people and their comrades don’t understand Jesus at all.

  138. Bridget wrote:

    When you say “a lot of us” I assume you mean this blog where you are posting the comment. I don’t think your assumption about “a lot of us” on this blog is correct. The assumption might be correct in other venues, the world at large, etc.

    you ASSUME? well, we have just been through a hellish election and there is great division in our country, so I can honestly say I am ‘reacting’ to the sadness of that division ….. most of what I say can be understood better when the lens is pulled out to take in a wider context, yes

    Are there people here who are affected by the divisions in our country? I think we all are in various ways, and it is heart-breaking when it shuts down voices and closes ears to the ones who need to be heard wherever they are and whatever their concerns are …. it’s gone too far and I think we’ve all played a part in it and I hope we can turn it around for the better because I don’t see how things can get any worse unless we really start injuring a lot of our American citizens who are vulnerable now. I hope we can do better. Yes, Bridget, a wider lens would have been the better assumption. Thanks for asking for clarification. 🙂

  139. ishy wrote:

    Her take on Songs is very interesting.

    I agree. I’ve never heard Solomon referred to as a villain. Maybe I need to reread that book!

  140. okrapod wrote:

    And once secular public schools recognize the religious holy days of all the various religions how much time on task does that leave?

    When I was in college, we did not have jewish holidays off, but we had a very high proportion of jewish students and there was sort of an open understanding that they might not be in class and they weren’t penalized for it. Of course, that was college and we tend to treat children like, well, children! But you could easily treat these sorts of holidays like that, provided they weren’t enough to hurt the education of the children. (a few days max?)

  141. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t think your assumption about “a lot of us” on this blog is correct.

    It is wrong to me to assume broadly that people believe a thing because simply because they don’t know as much as you do. People have opinions that differ, and they may actually be basing that on MORE knowledge. Without knowing them, you do not know.

  142. @ Lea:

    What I think is that the government should not be in the business of ‘recognizing’ specific religions-not any. There can be optional days which kids can use however they want, religious or not, but we do not need the schools or government agencies making religious decisions as to what is recognizable and what is not.

  143. “Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.”

    Maybe these churches are trying to take a page out of the Scientology playbook.

  144. okrapod wrote:

    What I think is that the government should not be in the business of ‘recognizing’ specific religions-not any. There can be optional days which kids can use however they want, religious or not, but we do not need the schools or government agencies making religious decisions as to what is recognizable and what is not.

    Nor should they (government) be prohibiting the free exercise thereof (on school grounds) by students of a particular persuasion so long as they don’t compel others to participate by coercion.
    Tolerance of a thing is not the same as endorsement of a thing.

  145. Dale wrote:

    The 9 Marks focuses on belonging to the church instead of belonging to Christ.

    Yes, I think that is exactly right. And I think they do that because they can control the local church and their parachurch organizations, but they cannot control the individual’s relationship to the Risen Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Jesus cut out the middle men two thousand years ago, and they didn’t like it, either.

  146. dee wrote:

    One individual banned from commenting. Came in under two different names.

    Beware of any comments that come in under the name “William Wallace II”. Mark Driscoll has been known to use that alias for potty-mouth defense of New Calvinism. (true story) … and the New Calvinists wonder why we have such a problem with them?!

  147. @ Max:
    how is it possible for one individual to come in under two different names? Do they use different computers with different computer identification?

    Sometimes I have thought this happened, but I was sure after a while it would be caught out ….. someone used to try doing it on Denny Burk’s blog by using of all things ‘pig Latin’ with his name: he would take the first letter of his last name, remove it, and attach it on the back of his name and add ‘a’ and ‘y’

    I think he wanted everyone to know who he really was. 🙂 We could have figured it out just from the venom and negativity and mean-spiritedness which was his style, poor man. Denny was wise to it and put an end to the shenanigans.

  148. Christiane wrote:

    Do they use different computers with different computer identification?

    I use three different computers with different ip addresses, but the same name. You could also change names for fun (like Nick does sometimes) while being rather obvious about it. I’m guessing this was something different.

  149. @ Muff Potter:

    I agree with you, but if you see the link that Christiane posted, and then google what it means in New York Schools, it shows that it means they closed the schools down for a couple Muslim holidays. That is not tolerating something, that is endorsing religion. And when it is done for Christian or Jewish or whatever or some of all or whatever holidays it is endorsing religion. But if they do it for Christians and Jews and Muslims then they need to do it for all the other religions to be fair. I think that is too far in that direction to go. Let the individual kids do what they want, but for me I want schools out of the religion business, any religion, all religion.

  150. okrapod wrote:

    Let the individual kids do what they want, but for me I want schools out of the religion business, any religion, all religion.

    what concerns me far more is how school systems are choosing text books that fail to teach real science and real history in favor of ‘alternate truths’ (not too hard to figure THAT phrase out)

    I’m understanding that people are even being elected to these school boards by campaigning on this issue with an eye for serving fundamentalist constituents.

  151. okrapod wrote:

    Let the individual kids do what they want, but for me I want schools out of the religion business, any religion, all religion.

    That was definitely the position of my parents long ago and I see the wisdom of it. Public schools make accomodations for many things and they can do so for those who need religious holidays off. Here, they stopped taking Good Friday off a while back, thankfully. And now, we have “winter break” which is inconvenient for some so that might need to be dealt with, too. A lot of people have to work over winter break.

  152. Christiane wrote:

    what concerns me far more is how school systems are choosing text books that fail to teach real science and real history in favor of ‘alternate truths’ (not too hard to figure THAT phrase out)

    Oh, yes, I am with you on that one. Let me say a good word for the Lutheran school I have current experience with. They taught the Genesis stories as literal truth in religion class and then taught evolution in science class. When we talked to SBC mega here a couple years back they said they do the same thing. IMO that is about as good a way to handle it as any in a religious school.

    If I understand it catholics may but not must hold to either theory so long as they acknowledge the creation of the soul? That is also a good way to handle it, if I am correct that this is what you all do.

    The public schools here do not teach YEC/genesis. I am really good with that also. I don’t want the schools teaching religion. Oops, I think I made that point already. Sorry.

  153. Christiane wrote:

    ’m understanding that people are even being elected to these school boards by campaigning on this issue with an eye for serving fundamentalist constituents.

    From what I have read about there seems to be some who want both sides taught. That might come off as “fundamentalism” to you. My uncle, the rocket scientist, believed in intelligent design which might have included evolution and other theories. He was no fundy, trust me on that.

    I am more concerned with school boards who think the inmates should run the asylums. the violence in schools in epidemic here. Its a Lord of the Flies scenerio with the kids knowing exactly what sort of power they have. The decent students are ignored due to all a teachers time dealing with violence, disruptions, etc. Its why so many people crawl through glass to send their children to private schools. The violence. Not the text books.

  154. Lydia wrote:

    Here, they stopped taking Good Friday off a while back, thankfully.

    IIRC, when I was in public school, sometimes they purposefully would schedule teacher work days near these types of holidays, so kids were off but not for that particular holiday.

  155. Lydia wrote:

    The decent students are ignored due to all a teachers time dealing with violence, disruptions, etc.

    I think a school has an obligation to EVERY student to educate them, and if a child is acting out and severely disrupting a class, he/she needs to be removed from that class immediately …… there are some schools that expect the teachers to first notify a parent about a behavior, before ‘referral’, so that may be one problem but it can be quickly resolves with a phone call to the parent ….. second time …. referral. Actually the children DO BETTER when they have strict limits set for them, and if teachers and supervisors fail in administering the discipline program effectively, then these professionals are NOT doing their jobs. It’s hard work. Lots of parent communications. Every day, I mailed home ‘parent information’ forms for many of my students to document their behavior and progress. Every day I made phone calls when necessary. And I have spent hours with the school couselors and study teams to help address students who acted out in class and to try to sort out how they could best be served. Not easy, but it’s GOOD work when it’s done right. And when it’s messed up, the child is the loser, and no child deserves that because ALL children need to be considered as if they were the only child the school served.

    One important thing: when a ‘decent’ child comes in and acts out in a new pattern of behavior, this can indicate big trouble in their lives and teachers need to be alert for such changes and inform all the appropriate people.

  156. Dale wrote:

    I have been thinking about where 9 Marks has gone astray. I am concluding that it is an error that they even focus on the church. I think that the focus needs to be on three things: faith in Christ, hope in Christ, and love of Christ and love of His law. And by “law” I am not talking about the law of Moses or the ten commandments. I am talking about the law of love. Forgiveness, service, fellowship, kindness, sacrifice, thinking the best of others, mutual submission, etc.
    9 Marks focuses on faith in the pastor and his church, not Christ. 9 Marks focuses on hope in this world and not the next. 9 Marks focuses on obedience to church externals and not Christian character.

    As others here have pointed out, on other threads, that there is only ONE mark of a “Biblical church” – LOVE, which by the way never made it to Mark Dever’s list of 9 Marks.

  157. Guest wrote:

    “Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.”
    Maybe these churches are trying to take a page out of the Scientology playbook.

    No doubt.

  158. Mara wrote:

    Ken G wrote:
    should she divorce her husband? Thoughts, please.
    As others have mentioned before, I don’t think she can. She will either lose her children or not be able to support them, at all.
    This is how the FLDS keep their women. They can leave, but not with the children.
    Men like Driscoll and the FLDS bunch are not squeamish about using a woman’s children against her. And many women will tolerate all kinds of hell for the sake of their children.

    I think Grace Driscoll is brain washed. Should she ever get the strength to leave Mark Driscoll, she should plan so very, very, very carefully. I think that is one situation that could erupt into violence and she should use the utmost caution. He thinks he owns her.

  159. Velour wrote:

    I think that is one situation that could erupt into violence and she should use the utmost caution. He thinks he owns her.

    He has shamed her publicly which is a terrible form of abuse.

  160. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I think that is one situation that could erupt into violence and she should use the utmost caution. He thinks he owns her.
    He has shamed her publicly which is a terrible form of abuse.

    Mark Driscoll has done it all to Grace Driscoll. She should be very, very, careful if she ever leaves him…and not to ever tell him.

  161. Christiane wrote:

    how is it possible for one individual to come in under two different names? Do they use different computers with different computer identification?

    Driscoll used a blog name that was different from his real name to protect his identity. Blog moderators may know real identities from email address sign-ons, but the rest of us don’t see that information. In case you were wondering, my real name is “Max”. I’ve always been Max and hope to remain stay that way.

  162. okrapod wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:

    I agree with you, but if you see the link that Christiane posted, and then google what it means in New York Schools, it shows that it means they closed the schools down for a couple Muslim holidays. That is not tolerating something, that is endorsing religion. And when it is done for Christian or Jewish or whatever or some of all or whatever holidays it is endorsing religion. But if they do it for Christians and Jews and Muslims then they need to do it for all the other religions to be fair. I think that is too far in that direction to go. Let the individual kids do what they want, but for me I want schools out of the religion business, any religion, all religion.

    Yeah, pretty soon every religion will want their own piece of the pie. The Church of St. Priapus will want its own holiday too.

  163. Velour wrote:

    As others here have pointed out, on other threads, that there is only ONE mark of a “Biblical church” – LOVE, which by the way never made it to Mark Dever’s list of 9 Marks.

    So. Much. THIS.
    Love for God and love for your neighbor should be the first order of business for any church. If those two are not in a church’s statement of faith/doctrinal statement/mission statement/whatever, they’re missing the biggest mark of all.

  164. Christiane wrote:

    there are some schools that expect the teachers to first notify a parent about a behavior, before ‘referral’, so that may be one problem but it can be quickly resolves with a phone call to the parent

    As a former school teacher, I can say good luck finding the parent, in many cases. Some parents will also blame shift to another student, or even a teacher.

  165. Lea wrote:

    I use three different computers with different ip addresses, but the same name. You could also change names for fun (like Nick does sometimes) while being rather obvious about it. I’m guessing this was something different.

    Yeah, you guys might wanna watch out for Muff Potter. I heard a rumour on another blog that he’s been outed as a seekrit muzzlim.

  166. Velour wrote:

    I think Grace Driscoll is brain washed. Should she ever get the strength to leave Mark Driscoll, she should plan so very, very, very carefully. I think that is one situation that could erupt into violence and she should use the utmost caution. He thinks he owns her.

    Grace’s daddy was an evangelical pastor …….. Makes me wonder where the brainwashing started!

  167. Nancy2 wrote:

    Grace’s daddy was an evangelical pastor …….. Makes me wonder where the brainwashing started!

    Wonder if there is any resemblance or correlation between the personalities of Grace’s Daddy and Marky-Mark?

    If so, she may have been raised to believe Marky-Mark’s abuse of her is Normal.

  168. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Yeah, pretty soon every religion will want their own piece of the pie. The Church of St. Priapus will want its own holiday too.

    Every day is already Priapus Day.

  169. MidwesternEasterner wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    Ron Oommen wrote:
    I should not have implied – certainly did not mean to – that non Reformed churches do not have the same problem.
    Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t get that as an implication. I was simply trying to expand your point that reformed does not equal abusive. Thankfully my spectrum of beliefs has moved from Calvin vs Arminius, I find much to agree with from the EO but can’t get past the icons and incense.
    There is, apparently, a Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism, which borrows quite a bit from the EO but (as is typical for Anglicans) allows a lot more flexibility.

    http://www.easternanglicanism.org

    I am considering joining as an individual.

  170. Nancy2 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    there are some schools that expect the teachers to first notify a parent about a behavior, before ‘referral’, so that may be one problem but it can be quickly resolves with a phone call to the parent
    As a former school teacher, I can say good luck finding the parent, in many cases. Some parents will also blame shift to another student, or even a teacher.

    Good luck even talking to the parent. They don’t want to hear about how ” bad” their children are….and as you said, it is always the ” teacher’s ” fault….so glad I am retired from the classroom.

  171. Becky Thatcher wrote:

    Yeah, you guys might wanna watch out for Muff Potter. I heard a rumour on another blog that he’s been outed as a seekrit muzzlim.

    Say hi to Aunt Polly.

  172. Becky Thatcher wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    I use three different computers with different ip addresses, but the same name. You could also change names for fun (like Nick does sometimes) while being rather obvious about it. I’m guessing this was something different.

    Yeah, you guys might wanna watch out for Muff Potter. I heard a rumour on another blog that he’s been outed as a seekrit muzzlim.

    Muff is patriarchal and sees women as less human? No way! :o)

  173. K.D. wrote:

    Good luck even talking to the parent. They don’t want to hear about how ” bad” their children are

    this is difficult, ’cause no parent ever wants to be told their children are ‘bad’

    essentially, the goal of a parent-teacher conference is FOR the sake of the child, and if the child is presenting with disruptive behaviors, the first person who needs to be involved is the parent, whether they can responsibly handle the news or not …… if the parent is irresponsible and in denial or in the role of ‘defending my child’ against ‘the terrible teacher’, then it is important to at least clearly state to the parent what the deal is about ‘what happens next’ if the behavior continues, and that it will be documented and the parent will be informed;
    but it HELPS if at the start of the school year, a teacher can reach out and contact parents for a meeting or a phone conference BEFORE any difficulties may arise. And it also helps if the teacher takes the time to inform the parent about good things that are happening during their child’s days, signs of interest, signs of progress, acts of kindness, cooperation, etc.

    If the first contacts have been ‘positive’, then the parent may be more inclined to trust the teacher if trouble does develop down the road …… and if you are teaching in a ‘transition’ year, there WILL be times when the students need some ‘extra guidance’ 🙂

    Whatever the teacher is doing for discipline program and classroom management, I think being CONSISTENT works best for the sake of the children. They thrive on knowing where they stand and what they can count on.

  174. Velour wrote:

    Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.
    Mark Dever refuses to let adults be, well, adults. What he has advocated in these church membership covenants is illegal and unconstitutional in the United States. Churches, like my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley’s pastors/elders, have crossed the line into criminal conduct and ordered other people to do same to harass church members who leave.

    As did my former pastor, Tim Cochrell at HBC. Which is why that condescending, 1-paragraph letter finally letting me go (albeit sans apology of admission of wrongdoing) was a symbolic victory. I am quite sure they will never pull that stunt with another member (abused ex-wives included) at HBC. 🙂

  175. Lydia wrote:

    Muff is patriarchal and sees women as less human? No way! :o)

    Psst! I also heard that Potter’s not even an American citizen and that his birth certificate’s fraudulent!

  176. Velour wrote:

    Would some brainy constitutional law attorney please sit down with Mark Dever (and co-pilot Jonathan Leeman) and explain that the appellate courts in the United States have held that going to a church is voluntary and that people can leave whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.

    In the SECULAR United States.
    Not in the Christian Republic of Holy Gilead.