Pastoral Authority Trumps Truth and Just Quote Bible Verses When Asked Deep Questions.

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity link

I am still doing some reading on Iain Campbell and his writings. I am also hearing from some folks in that part of the world who are giving me information and insight. I will get to it within a week.

However, I watched the following video and was disturbed by some responses of the speakers. I have embedded the video but here is the link to it as well in case TGC decides to remove it. The video lasts 7:15 minutes. 

A pastor's authority trumps telling the truth.

Here is the subject dealt with by the video. By a teaching setting, they mean a small group gathering. This discussion takes place in the first few minutes of the video.

There appears to be some gospel™ teaching out there that aims to protect a pastor from correction, even when he is a blatantly wrong. A pastor's authority (whatever that means) appears more important than the truth. Even if he teaches heresy, one should not correct him because that means you are usurping his authority.

What is the definition of usurp? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary

…to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully
… to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right
…to take or make use of without right 

Apparently, if one corrects a pastor, one is attempting to seize his authority. Huh? There is no problem with correcting the rest of those in the group who are not pastors so long as it is done carefully and not harshly. But keep your mitts off the pastor. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

Who are the women who are discussing this situation?

They are Trillia Newbell, Blair Linne, and Rosaria Butterfield. Under the video, there is this synopsis. 

Trillia Newbell, Blair Linne, and Rosaria Butterfield discuss what to do when you’re in a small group setting and someone says something inaccurate or unhelpful. Linne (wife, mother, actress, and spoken word artist) encourages us to consider a number of issues before we respond: Who said it? What did they say? Who heard it? Butterfield (author of Openness Unhindered) reminds us of the importance of truth and that we’re called to be salt and light in a world that desperately needs Christians to speak up. Newbell (director of community outreach for the ERLC and author of Enjoy) talks about the need, especially for women, to be bold in confronting false teaching.

No matter your setting, this video (or audio here) will encourage you to speak the truth in love when someone needs to hear it.   

They are proposing a hierarchical system: pastors should not by corrected but apparently everyone else can be. 

Trillia Newbell, who posed the question at the top of this post, answered it by saying that one must assess who is spreading this false teaching, heresy, or teaching that is *unhelpful* (whatever that means.) She specifically says that if that person is a pastor, he should be respected and one should not usurp his authority by correcting him if he is teaching heresy, etc. Blair Linne appears to agree with her. 

A story on correcting a pastor

Years ago, a pastor I knew sent out an email stating that the business leaders of Proctor and Gamble donated money to the Church of Satan. You can read about it here. I immediately corrected him, rather strongly, and told him he would get sued by P&G if they found out that he was propagating this myth. That was happening as you will see here. I even reminded him that, as Christians, we follow the one who is the truth and we must be sure that we are teeing the truth.

This was a good guy. He apologized to me and immediately sent out follow up emails saying he was mistaken and was glad that a church member corrected him. A pastor has no more authority than I do when it comes to the truth and if he is seriously wrong, he must be corrected.

Rosaria Butterfield believes in bold and open confrontation outside of a small group.

She strongly promotes correcting people boldly (not pastors). She believes that we should not be concerned about offending others so long as we use the Scriptures in our response.

She uses the following example. A woman sitting next to her on a plane said to her, "I don't know what to think about the bathroom bill." According to Wikipedia

A bathroom bill is the common name for legislation or a statute that defines access to public facilities – specifically restrooms – by transgender individuals. Bathroom bills affect access to sex-segregated public facilities for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined in some specific way – such as their sex as assigned at birth, their sex as listed on their birth certificate, or the sex that corresponds to their gender identity.[1] A bathroom bill can either be inclusive or exclusive of transgender individuals, depending on the aforementioned definition of their sex.

Rosaria answered her by stating that Genesis stated that there are two genders by referencing Genesis 1:27.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (NIV, Bible Gateway)

In Rosaria's mind, this is the correct and Biblical way to answer he question with boldness. Case closed.

What I think Rosaria forgot in her gospel™ witness on the airplane.

Let's assume I was asked this question. This is a difficult question that can raise the hackles of folks on all sides of the issue. My first thoughts would be very different than Rosaria's.

  1. "I wonder why she is asking me this question?"
  2. "Why is she taking a risk to ask this of a complete stranger, knowing it can cause serious disagreements?"
  3. "Has she had a personal experience with this issue that is weighing on her?"

My guess is that this woman has had difficulties in her own life in regards to this issue.. The fact she is willing to ask it of a complete stranger may indicate that she is really hurting inside and that this issue is most likely personal to her.

  • Perhaps she was molested in a public setting as a child and is beginning to deal with her fears.  
  • She may be dealing with a transgendered relative or friend or has struggled herself.
  • Maybe she had a fight with her teenage daughter who disagreed with her approach on the matter and is beginning to rethink her responses.
  • She may not be a Christian, like my mother, and would shut down if a Bible verse got thrown at her.

I am sure you can think of many other possibilities. After praying for a kind and thoughtful way to respond to her, I would ask her, quite simply, "This is a subject that has caused much dissension and hurt in families and friends. Have you seen this with people you know? 

As Christians, we are called to go beyond the simple and easy responses and look inside the life of this dear person. We need to dig deeper and not take things at face value. Many times, people begin to reach out to others by asking such questions.

A story on going beyond the correct™ Bible verse 

Let me tell you what happened when I dug deeper this weekend. Deb knows the family to whom I am referring but I have changed some details in order to protect their privacy. I have been long time friends with some families whose children I tutored through a church program. I am often asked to celebrations, etc. and I go. They have been to my house as well. So, this weekend was another one of those celebrations.

I have always admired one of these families because they have overcome terrible hardships to get where they are. One of the fathers asked me what sort of missions I was now involved in. I decided to tell him about the blog and when I mentioned that I am particularly concerned about the church covering up child sex abuse, this man, in his 50s, began to cry.  He was sexually abuse for many years as a young boy and has physical problems, to this day, from what happened. He expressed that he still feels shame even thought he knows it wasn't his fault.

We talked for a long time, during which he continued to cry. His wife joined in as I comforted him. I made him smile when I told him to tell the 5 year old boy inside of him that he is a hero. He survived, even though he has struggled. he has kept his family together in the face of difficult circumstances. There is much more but I need to protect him and his family. Needless to say, I was quite shaken but grateful that I had enough background so that I could bring some comfort to his wife and him. 50 years after the abuse, he began to open up to an outsider. Always think about that when someone asks you a question out of the blue. What are they really asking?

Closing thoughts

Whether it is heresy or concealing child sex abuse in the church, I believe that we should not treat pastors any differently than the average church attendee. So, the question I would ask myself is this. Is the pastor wrong? If so, talk to him and correct him in the same sensitive manner you would use for an church member. 

We need to love the people we meet and stop treating them in a superficial manner. This following two quote by CS Lewis are my life quotes on how I should view and treat the people I meet. I read it often to remind myself to never be flippant. Both of the quotes are from The Weight of Glory. Please know that this is how I view all of you-far more than mere mortals! 

(1)“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.” 

(2) It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” 


Comments

Pastoral Authority Trumps Truth and Just Quote Bible Verses When Asked Deep Questions. — 308 Comments

  1. Women in these systems are not going to dare question anything IMO simply because they are women and must not usurp authority of men.

  2. Oh man. I wouldn’t bring up the bathroom bill with anyone on a plane. I never discuss religion or politics with anyone I don’t know – present company excepted, excepting politics. I will (and have called) call someone out if they say something horribly bigoted (like the woman in the theater who “confided” in me that she thought there were just too many Asians around. I politely informed her my wife is “asian”. AWKward!)
    Anyway, I really keep to myself most times when travelling.
    True story: I was reading a book on the history of Islam entitled “A Brief Guide to Islam”. I had more people engage me reading that book than I did reading “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science”. Number one question from strangers? “Am I going to convert?” My answer “How do you know I haven’t already?” AWKward!

  3. Frankly, I appreciate much of what I read on this site, but I don’t buy this one. Rosaria Butterfield didn’t even come close the revealing the entire conversation; you can’t assess her motives without the rest of the context. I have heard her speak with great love and winsomeness on other occasions. And the other woman, though she mentioned pastoral authority, came around to stating that you must “correct, but respectfully.” I don’t think she was really saying you never question the pastor. Or put it this way: From these comments, I don’t thing you can conclude unequivocally that she would blithely trip along and let a pastor speak heresy with no pushback.

  4. “50 years after the abuse, he began to open up to an outsider.”

    Providence is in play when a person who desperately needs to talk is directed to someone who has been called to ‘a listening ministry’

    In cases like this, I don’t believe in ‘coincidence’. This case was too important and the man’s need was great, hence his tears.

  5. Deb wrote:

    @ dee:
    We are going to the Grand Opening of Sprouts!

    Have fun! They’ve got them in my area of California.

  6. No offense to these fine folks on the video, but what alternate reality do they reside in? I mean most people are trying just to get by day by day. Do people actually think like this? I had a great deal of rather sharp snarks I was going to add but I just decided to say this. Ladies/gentlemen on the video/church just follow what Dee wrote concerning the gentleman and do the same. God listens to everyone all the time in every situation, should we do any less?

  7. The senior pastor at my ex-NeoCalvinist/9Marxists/John MacArthur-ite gulag, the guy with the fake Ph.D. that costs $299 from a Missouri diploma mill, was teaching Adult Sunday School one morning and he asked if God could strike a particular group of people dead. Me: “God could strike any of us dead. But God’s not going to do it.” Anyway a roomful of adults was treated to his meltdown about God killing whole groups of people. I was the lone person who corrected him. No one else would, or come to my defense.

    If we ask questions in other settings, the same should be true of church. I am so tired of treating these church leaders like a bunch of prima donnas and having to handle them with kid gloves because of their super-sized egos.

    No wonder so many sane people are calling it quits and leaving the institutional church.

  8. Just Quote Bible Verses When Asked Deep Questions.

    Like Calormenes quoting the Poets in Chronicles of Narnia: A Horse and His Boy.

    Or a Calvary Chapelite duckspeaking Bible Bullet thoughtstoppers.

  9. This post made me cry. It’s very true that those you come in contact with every day are looking to be understood and accepted, not corrected. To be seen as an immortal soul who matters is something I guess I have very rarely experienced.

    I have been in churches where to even question something the pastor says (even if blatantly false) is to sign your own social death warrant. So we play the game of let’s humor the pastor because he’s too brittle to be corrected. So then, what is the difference between pastor and buffoon?

    I have also attended a church where the pastor loved questions and welcomed them. He was fine with disagreements, he didn’t have to be right. He’d say what he believed and why and he’d listen to you, and you could talk freely. He did not disapprove of you even if he disagreed with you. He loved to talk about “the word”, he loved to hear what you were learning, what you were experiencing in your walk with God, not so he could correct you but so he could rejoice with you and encourage you more. He was a rare gem.

    I agree that a person should always use tact and kindness if correcting an error, regardless of whether the person in error is “in authority” or not. I just don’t relate to this whole “authority” business. I’ve been a Christian 40+ years and it’s only recently that the idea of authority and hierarchy have become commonly accepted in evangelical churches. I’m more comfortable outside of churches now. And being outside, I cringe when I realize how the person on the plane would likely take that response about bathrooms. Christians are always so ready to correct the rest of the world, not so ready to face the fact that more people are sexually assaulted in their own churches than in public bathrooms.

  10. In the teaching profession, there is a classic horror story (probably not ‘true’, but made up to get teachers to think what they are doing):

    A young teacher, intent on preparing her students to have excellent grammar, punctuation, and spelling is grading a batch of papers.
    She reads each in turn, and red-lines all the errors, before handing them back. In one of her students’ papers, the child writes of wanting to kill herself. The paper is red-lined for errors and returned to the student, as though the content was not important.

    The author Flannery O’Connor also experienced something similar: her writing was mostly ‘Southern gothic’ and not everything was apparent on the surface of her stories. She was frequently critiqued by professional editors, and her own opinion of what these critics wrote about her stories was:
    ‘they had hold of the wrong horror’.

    In a classroom, a teacher with a ‘perfect lesson plan’, every moment planned out, every detail co-ordinated will sometimes PAUSE and allow for the children to present what is known as a ‘teachable moment’:
    these are rare and beautiful times, when the teacher follows where the student(s) lead and learning happens that has great impact on all who are involved.

    ‘listening’ …. the ministry of listening, so needed just to sometimes ‘shut up’ and listen to a person and let them talk:
    what is salient will eventually come out and to give them the gift of listening can be a Christian act of kindness and mercy, as in Dee’s example of the abused man who wept

  11. PewSitter wrote:

    From these comments, I don’t thing you can conclude unequivocally that she would blithely trip along and let a pastor speak heresy with no pushback.

    It seems like she was saying she would probably just not attend a church where the pastor said things she felt were error. I don’t disagree with that. Sometimes it’s not that cut and dried, though.

  12. PewSitter wrote:

    Frankly, I appreciate much of what I read on this site, but I don’t buy this one. Rosaria Butterfield didn’t even come close the revealing the entire conversation; you can’t assess her motives without the rest of the context. I have heard her speak with great love and winsomeness on other occasions. And the other woman, though she mentioned pastoral authority, came around to stating that you must “correct, but respectfully.” I don’t think she was really saying you never question the pastor. Or put it this way: From these comments, I don’t thing you can conclude unequivocally that she would blithely trip along and let a pastor speak heresy with no pushback.

    You lose me with the word winsomeness. I have not a clue what you mean by this word?

  13. PewSitter wrote:

    Rosaria Butterfield didn’t even come close the revealing the entire conversation; you can’t assess her motives without the rest of the context. I have heard her speak with great love and winsomeness on other occasions.

    I wasn’t going to respond to this, but you used the word “winsomeness.” I just hate all the variations on “winsome.” It’s used to obscure.

    I’d like to talk to Rosaria Butterfield and tell her about my friend who is transgender and transitioning right now. I have known my friend for over two decades (met through Scientology protesting). I’ve watched her come to grips with something I will never, ever have to face and it wasn’t easy. (Still isn’t.) At one point, before she’d made the decision to transition, she tried to shoot herself with a Civil War-era pistol. She missed, but ended up in the hospital. (The bullet is still in her shoulder.) Her then-wife called me to let me know and the first thing out of my mouth was, “I am going to kill him! I told him to call me if he ever felt like that!” So yeah, sometimes I’m not the most sympathetic person around.

    I don’t think Ms. Butterfield really, truly understands transgender persons. I don’t think it is possible to speak to a transgender person with “winsomeness” and “great love” if you don’t accept the person as they are in front of you. One of the things I love about Jesus is that he ate with society’s outcasts. In those days, that would have been the tax collectors, prostitutes and other notorious sinners and He got chewed out by the Pharisees for it.

    And no, I’m not perfect either and I have to ask myself, who are the people I would cast out of my life instead of meeting them over a meal?

  14. From the video: “What you’re talking about here is boldness. It takes boldness.”
    whaaaa? What is bold about qoting a bible verse like a giggly little girl in response to a serious question? Is that how they “tackle” everything? (Assuming that it really happened.) Take note: this little airplane dialog Rosaria brings up is between 2 women …….. What would she have done if the other person had been a man?

    Oh, and if you think the pastor is wrong …… eh, maybe just go to the ladies room and touch up your lipstick, I guess.

    I don’t know anything about the other 2 ladies, but Trilla Newbell also writes for the SBC’s ERLC. So, she is under a patriarchal umbrella.
    It’s all okay as long as the gurlz don’t usurp their manly authorities.

  15. Nancy2 wrote:

    don’t know anything about the other 2 ladies, but Trilla Newbell also writes for the SBC’s ERLC. So, she is under a patriarchal umbrella.
    It’s all okay as long as the gurlz don’t usurp their manly authorities.

    Ms. Newbell certainly does not want to do anything that will stop her paycheck, I will never get it when women like her are ok with being treated as 2nc class citizens?

  16. mot wrote:

    Ms. Newbell certainly does not want to do anything that will stop her paycheck, I will never get it when women like her are ok with being treated as 2nc class citizens?

    On days when I feel weird about working for an “evil too big to fail bank” that has been in the news quite a lot recently, I’m going to remind myself that at least overt patriarchy and second class status is not really part of my job.

  17. The airplane thing ……. Okay ……. RB has a Ph.D in English Lit., and this is the best she can do?
    A bit snarky but, I would have asked her if God created boys restrooms and girls restrooms, too?

  18. I believe that people who cannot accept correction are not only cowards, but they are people who will eventually bring about their own downfall after causing others to stumble. You don’t want to face God with those consequences.

    “Listen to advice and accept correction, and in the end you will be wise.” Proverbs 19:20

  19. “A pastor’s authority trumps telling the truth.”

    The Hebrew response to that line is “Baloney!” If a pastor does not tell the truth, he has no authority to be trumping others and needs to be trumped out of the church at first opportunity. Folks who gave their lives following a cult leader (e.g., Jim Jones) shout from the grave “I wish I had usurped his authority!”

    Pastors are not above correction – they should be confronted for teaching/preaching error. As Dee notes “A pastor has no more authority than I do when it comes to the truth and if he is seriously wrong, he must be corrected.” While confronting a pastor to correct him may be awkward, it is the right thing to do to keep the church free from mis-truths, half-truths, and out-and-out lies.

    I visited a church once to hear a popular leader in the charismatic movement speak. I attended out of curiosity to see why he was held in such high esteem. I wanted to hear his sermon and weigh what I heard. About 15 minutes into his message, it was clear to me that he was going down the wrong path with the passage he was preaching from … his exegesis was simply wrong. At that point, a young man in the back of the church stood up and shouted “That ain’t right!” He was immediately “ushered” out of the church by a couple of strong-arm guys who were most likely church security folks. While I agreed with him, I felt at the time that his technique was not the best to correct the “man of God” – it would have been better for him to have confronted the speaker after the service with his concern. Now, several years later and more savvy on how the devil works in church to lead people astray, I would probably jump to my feet and shout “That ain’t right!”

  20. I remember one time when I tried to correct my pastor. He was General Baptist in Southern California. He had given a sermon that hit me hard because it touched on women and their roles. The statement that caused me to write him a letter was that Bathsheba was to blame for David’s temptation. “She shouldn’t have been bathing on the roof where he could see her.”
    I chose to do it in writing because I knew that I would get run over if I had tried it in person.

    Before I put the letter in his church mail box, I made sure that I had read things correctly, and even read it to a girl friend to make sure it said what I wanted to say.

    The man called me at work, not to arrange a meeting, but to lambaste me for the letter. The call was over 30 minutes and it was only through the grace of God that I wasn’t interrupted. When I finally got off the phone, I felt physically battered. I also felt very fortunate that I was far enough on my way to becoming Catholic, that Fr. Bruce was my true pastor.

  21. Dee, I so appreciate your loving approach and your determination to honor the image of God in whomever you’re addressing. It shows an understanding that love is the greatest commandment. We cannot love if we speak before we’ve listened. A pat answer, even a pat answer with scripture in it, exalts the self of the one giving it and reduces the “neighbor” to something more akin to a question on a multiple choice test. “I have the right answer and you, neighbor, do not.”

  22. Kathi wrote:

    Timothy Hammons recently wrote about how the congregation is responsible for false teachers.

    The devil is responsible for false teachers, not the congregation! False teachers come in different shapes and sizes. I see that Mr. Hammons pulled out Joel Osteen as his sample, picking on the charismatics. False teachers can pop up anywhere – from high church to low church. His Calvinist tribe certainly have their share of wolves in the sheepfold! I understand what Hammons is trying to convey – that false teachers would not have a pulpit if it weren’t for a pew to keep them there. But, to say good people are responsible for these devils getting in the pulpit in the first place is wrong. If congregations have let their guard down to allow them access, they do so by having too much trust in a man called “pastor”. Something we all should be more careful about these days.

  23. Deb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    It was fun! There is just one in North Carolina right now. Glad it’s close by!

    There’s more coming!

  24. From original post:
    “But keep your mitts off the pastor. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.”

    Okay, here’s my guess. It’s because they have been taught and now teach others to worship hierarchy and authority rather than AnyOne in the Trinity. Their God(s) is/are Authority and Authority Structures set up by power hungry men, not the God of the Bible nor the Savior of the Gospels sent into the world to free us.

    It is sad to watch them squirm around in their idolatry. Proclaiming themselves wise, they have become fools and not for Christ’s sake.

  25. @ Anna A:
    I was a longtime Board member. After a particularly joyless sermon on Therese of Liseaux and the duties God demands of us, I sent a gentle email directly to my friend, the pastor, so that no one in the office would know that I was asking questions. The pastor, who championed female clergy and whose wife was a seminary teacher, showed my letter to the “open-minded” and liberal psychologist who was the lead elder who told my friend, the pastor, that I was “usurping [the pastor’s] authority”. I didn’t get yelled at. I was informed that I needed to appear before the full Board of Elders for an examination. These men were my friends (or so I thought): doctors (my husband is a physician), prominent attorneys, fellow professors. After resisting because I couldn’t believe this had blown up so much, I agreed because I thought I would talk to these friends and they would understand. It was frankly awful and the psychiatrist (different than the psychologist) made some unsupportable declarations about what Scripture really meant and why I was wrong to even ask questions. It was nuts. My “friends” vacillated between embarrassment and sympathetic looks but they all went along with the kangaroo court. There was no formal punishment, but as soon as my term finished we left our friends of 20+ years for the PCA church in town that is biblical, orderly, and free of compulsion. It’s peaceable. I see my friend, the pastor, at social events and the grocery and he’s always bubbly and seems happy to see me but he’s never said a thing about the tribunal. I don’t really trust pastors anymore.

    “There appears to be some gospel™ teaching out there that aims to protect a pastor from correction, even when he is a blatantly wrong. A pastor’s authority (whatever that means) appears more important than the truth. Even if he teaches heresy, one should not correct him because that means you are usurping his authority.”

  26. Mara wrote:

    Okay, here’s my guess. It’s because they have been taught and now teach others to worship hierarchy and authority rather than AnyOne in the Trinity. Their God(s) is/are Authority and Authority Structures set up by power hungry men, not the God of the Bible nor the Savior of the Gospels sent into the world to free us.

    What if a husband is teaching heresy in the home? What would they do then?

  27. Mara wrote:

    From original post:
    “But keep your mitts off the pastor. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.”

    Okay, here’s my guess. It’s because they have been taught and now teach others to worship hierarchy and authority rather than AnyOne in the Trinity. Their God(s) is/are Authority and Authority Structures set up by power hungry men, not the God of the Bible nor the Savior of the Gospels sent into the world to free us.

    It is sad to watch them squirm around in their idolatry. Proclaiming themselves wise, they have become fools and not for Christ’s sake.

    They have no Jesus.

  28. Nancy2 wrote:

    Mara wrote:

    Okay, here’s my guess. It’s because they have been taught and now teach others to worship hierarchy and authority rather than AnyOne in the Trinity. Their God(s) is/are Authority and Authority Structures set up by power hungry men, not the God of the Bible nor the Savior of the Gospels sent into the world to free us.

    What if a husband is teaching heresy in the home? What would they do then?

    Them wimmin must remain silent, it is in the Bible.

  29. @ Unepetiteanana:
    This is quite an interesting quote from her CT article about her conversion: “Christians in particular were bad readers, always seizing opportunities to insert a Bible verse into a conversation with the same point as a punctuation mark: to end it rather than deepen it.” That’s pretty much her advice in the video clip.
    https://tinyurl.com/bge73g8

  30. I watched that video all the way through…oy vey. I hope I can put to words some of my reactions. First, what was evident to me throughout the video is these women are so preoccupied with gender roles that they can’t answer the question like a normal human being. In that Patriarchal culture, biblical gender roles are the guiding force in so many situations in their lives. It seems they are frequently examining themselves as to whether or not they are crossing the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior for their gender.

    I have attended many home bible studies in my lifetime and I’ve never been worried about stepping on someone’s toes. Then again, I view myself as a child of God first and foremost – not a female who must subscribe to certain biblical social mores. Sometimes at those bible studies, I, or another person (male or female) would question or disagree with something that the teacher, or someone else at the bible study had said. From that questioning would arise some lively conversations about different people’s beliefs. In the process, we were actually able to get to know each other better, because expressing disagreements enabled others to open up about their struggles with certain beliefs and teachings that exist within Christianity. In these Gospel Coalition women’s lives, it seems that the environment in which Bible study and teaching takes place is very rigid, stilted and ordered to the point where folks are squelched and freedom to express one’s ideas is looked upon with suspicion. The biblical gender roles world, I believe, suppresses people from behaving as they truly are, and instead playing a part that is a facade – not who they really are. It is a fake world that fosters insincerity and artificiality. I want no part of it.

  31. Kathi wrote:

    Timothy Hammons recently wrote about how the congregation is responsible for false teachers.
    https://timothyjhammons.com/2017/02/19/the-responsibility-for-false-teachers-falls-on-the-congregation/#more-12958
    What I so desperately want to ask him is if the congregation deems that he is a false teacher, would he be willing to abide by their correction?

    Ha! That fella is what I would call the alt-Right of Neo-Calvinism. He rebuked me a few times on that National Women’s Day thread. He never actually addressed anything I said. He reminds me of the Fundamentalists who are always shouting: Show me a verse from the Bible!!! Do these folks go around quoting Scripture all day to everyone they meet? I doubt it. But it seems they think the only way Christians should have a discussion with each other is with a Bible Verse. If you can’t find a Bible Verse for everything you do, then maybe you are being deceived by the devil. It is a small world in which they live.

  32. Darlene wrote:

    Ha! That fella is what I would call the alt-Right of Neo-Calvinism. He rebuked me a few times on that National Women’s Day thread. He never actually addressed anything I said. He reminds me of the Fundamentalists who are always shouting: Show me a verse from the Bible!!! Do these folks go around quoting Scripture all day to everyone they meet? I doubt it. But it seems they think the only way Christians should have a discussion with each other is with a Bible Verse. If you can’t find a Bible Verse for everything you do, then maybe you are being deceived by the devil. It is a small world in which they live.

    As Emily Honey (I believe?) said on the Moore thread : communication with women is different in the comp/pat world – caustic, condescending, if there is any communication at all. (Not her exact words, but mine).

    Sheesh. In that world, how can you expect women to behave any differently than the trio in the video?

  33. Darlene wrote:

    First, what was evident to me throughout the video is these women are so preoccupied with gender roles that they can’t answer the question like a normal human being.

    I noticed that too. It’s not just reformed outfits either, you’ll see the same dynamic amongst say Calvary Chapel women out here in the Bible belt West.

  34. Mara wrote:

    It’s because they have been taught and now teach others to worship hierarchy and authority rather than AnyOne in the Trinity. Their God(s) is/are Authority and Authority Structures set up by power hungry men, not the God of the Bible nor the Savior of the Gospels sent into the world to free us.

    It is sad to watch them squirm around in their idolatry. Proclaiming themselves wise, they have become fools and not for Christ’s sake.

    Yes. This is well stated.

  35. As a department leader, I corrected the pastor of my former church cult. Although he was Word of Faith, which has a bucket full of issues all its own, the particular flavor of Christianity really had no bearing. He went vicious and threatened to throw me out, solely because he was a narcissist and how dare I suggest I might know more than he did in my field of expertise – because he was never wrong and even if he were, all the toys belonged to him and he could do with them whatever he pleased, even if he ruined them. Yeah.
    Now, some theologies lend themselves to the narcissistic world view more readily than others, but narcissists will be found in pulpits from all denoms, in my experience. And narcissists will always default to a position of being above questioning or correction. So….to me, if a pastor is claiming that he should never be corrected, he is exposing his true nature.
    Sadly, so many people would rather have a ‘king’ to tell them what to believe and assure them they are goin to go to heaven that they would rather be slaves to a charismatic or powerful man than exercise the responsibility of knowing truth and being free.

  36. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    It is sad to watch them squirm around

    Yes, it is. The affected smiles and body language….it’s all part of that gender roles package. I prefer for people just to be themselves. Something rather difficult to do in Comp. circles.

  37. I recently deleted something my pastor posted from a radio “christian counselor” on the church Facebook page. (I share admin. Responsibilities) It did not reflect our church values and being as he was headed to Africa in the morning I did not ask him.
    When he got back I told him what I did and why. Know what he said?
    “Thanks! I did not read that one carefully and it was terrible. I appreciate you correcting me.”

  38. “A pastor’s authority (whatever that means) appears more important than the truth.”
    This reminds me of Larry Taylor’s “The Ministry of An Assisting Pastor” (Calvary Chapel)

    “34. Make the Pastor Look Good
    Never make him look bad.
    This is a basic principle of employment. Make the boss look good. Give him the credit for your good ideas. Decrease that he might increase.”

    There is a mutant strain running through churchianity that seeks to elevate pastors to the level of Christ himself.

  39. Unepetiteanana wrote:

    Are you aware of RB’s past?

    Yup. And being a lesbian is not equal to being transgender or even to understanding transgender. There is a gay man whose name I will not mention, but he recently lost his book contract and a cush speaking gig because he thought that the age of consent should be lowered to 13. In his university speaking gigs, this man would expose local transgender persons because he found them disgusting. So, no, I don’t expect RB to understand transgender just because she called herself a lesbian at one time.

  40. Darlene wrote:

    The biblical gender roles world, I believe, suppresses people from behaving as they truly are, and instead playing a part that is a facade – not who they really are. It is a fake world that fosters insincerity and artificiality. I want no part of it.

    Yes, Darlene.

    And the fake friends are just as fake as the fake world in which they live. It’s a complete waste of time, in my opinion.

  41. Let’s take a refresher look at the signs of a cult, from http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

    The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
    We see this quite well in practice in the video above. The authority of leader supersedes God or the truth.

    Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
    Check.

    Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
    I think they go for the debilitating work routines in a few churches, but they have found other ways to suppress doubts by using their hierarchy and convincing men they are heroes of the world when they suppress their wives and children. This may be something we see more of in the future. Not a check, yet.

    The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry, or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
    *Points to church covenants and every article about the neo-Cals on TWW* Check.

    The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar�or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
    They consider themselves intellectual elite, which appeals to younger Christian men especially. And we saw in the video how leaders are supposed to be treated with exalted status. Check.

    The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
    This is definitely true. If you’ve ever known a neo-Calvinist, especially a younger male neo-Calvinist, they are elitist and arrogant, not to mention militant and aggressive. I do think the neo-Cals have managed to find a weak spot in the younger male generations and abused it to take control of these men. It’s not the way cults normally handle this, but it suits the neo-Cal philosophy of authority by knowledge. Check.

    The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
    They are accountable to each other, but why is Al Mohler not accountable to the general membership of the SBC, and why has he put in trustees and institutions leaders that only do what he says? Check.

    The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
    We know they have taken over most of the SBC institutions by force and/or stealth, and they’ve done the same with a number of churches. I myself was a member of both a church and and institution where this happened, so I’m a firsthand witness of it. They are definitely all about the ends justify the means, but they’ve really done so on a big scale, and yet, I’m not sure how they are pushing this tactic in private. Would really like to know more about that. But, anyway, check.

    The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
    Or not so subtle ones, like most of the posts on TGC, not to mention inventing an erroneous theology of Christ just to devalue women. Check.

    Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
    I know Velour and others have shared stories about this, and they definitely ask this of women. Check.

    The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
    Their stealth institution and church takeover tactic isn’t necessarily new, but they’ve really invented some new ways to force memberships, such as with vague covenants they turn around and threaten to use as legal contracts. Instead of making members one person at a time, they do so whole churches at a time. I think they’ve taken it to a whole new level. Check.

    The group is preoccupied with making money.
    Check.

    Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
    Let me point to my former church, which probably had the word “commit” over a hundred times on their website which only has a few main pages. Those of you from neo-Cal churches have constantly shared stories about this, and there’s plenty on TWW. Check.

    Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
    I mean, Piper says they can’t even have friends or dogs now. I think they also definitely push ingesting only their media, books, and videos. This wasn’t as strong before Piper started his recent little series, but it’s headed there clearly now. Check.

    The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
    And they post about how there’s no other way to be constantly on reddit.

    There’s definitely reprisals in terms of threats, excommunication, and long-term harassment, plus the loss of their entire social network. Check.
    ________________________________________

    Sorry, neo-Calvinism, but you fail this test big time, and quite a bit more so than you did a year ago. Christians who love God and worship Christ should run far away from them.

  42. Loren Haas wrote:

    I recently deleted something my pastor posted … [for the following honest reason]…
    When he got back I told him what I did and why. Know what he said?
    “Thanks! I did not read that one carefully and it was terrible. I appreciate you correcting me.”

    It does happen, then!

    This sounds promising, Loren. I’m keen to learn more – does this reflect a more general “team dynamic” in the congregation there?

  43. Great post!

    If love is the underlying attitude and motivation for human relationships, we will not be afraid to correct people when they are in error, but we will do it in a spirit of kindness.

    And wisdom is also important. Sometimes we know the situation is not one we can speak to effectively. We are not required to stomp out every fire we see.

  44. @ ishy:

    Ishy, exactly right! But may I add that that group (Neo or pre-Neo) failed the test 500 years ago already (in fact, even earlier). Run, indeed, as far away from them as you possibly can. And don’t look back, as you might just turn into a pillar of dust mites as you “keep house.”

    As a reminder (oh, and puhleeaze, don’t let anyone try to “contextualize” the following bird droppings):

    “The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes. –Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546), Works 12.94

    “No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise.” –Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546)

    “Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children.” –Martin Luther, Reformer (1483-1546), Table Talk

    Source: https://valerietarico.com/2013/07/01/mysogynistquoteschurchfathers/

  45. siteseer wrote:

    This post made me cry. It’s very true that those you come in contact with every day are looking to be understood and accepted, not corrected. To be seen as an immortal soul who matters is something I guess I have very rarely experienced.

    I would totally agree. You can go through life seeing people as theological enemies to be conquered, or precious children of God needing love. You can guess what I chose.

  46. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It does happen, then!

    If I’m reading these comments right then pastors that you can actually disagree with are thin on the ground. Being married to a Christian, I’m really trying to make my peace with it, but when I see the video above, the smug ‘we know it all’ attitude…My animosity starts to creep back.
    Sorry gang but if someone started yammering at me about Bible based gender roles on an airplane, my thought is “Froot Loop”.

  47. Jack wrote:

    Oh man. I wouldn’t bring up the bathroom bill with anyone on a plane.

    Me neither! Can you even imagine?

    People will bring up politics if they think you agree with them. I had a lady who took me referring to ‘national’ airport instead of ‘reagan’ as a symbol that we were simpatico and she could rant about reagan. It was funny.

    I love those CS Lewis quotes! Will have to catch the video later.

  48. I’ve been on every side of this. I have no problem voicing my opinions about things (and opinions should be treated differently than facts). I generally don’t correct facts in class, unless I know the person just misspoke. It’s demoralizing if the person put in a lot of work. Normally it’s not a heretical kind of mistake, just a harmless one. Now, if it’s a discussion based class where the teacher is really a facilitator, I’ll speak up a lot.

    On the other hand, I know exactly how many hours are put into every lesson and sermon my husband does. Not just that week, but over the years of schooling and experience. It’s frustrating when someone comes up and corrects him with the attitude of “you’re just wrong.” He has no problem being corrected, just be respectful and thoughtful. And for goodness sake, don’t tell everybody else except the preacher. Biggest pet peeve.

    On the third hand, we’ve been “under” a preacher who frequently said things that were just plain wrong. The few times we did correct him, or even just offer up a different perspective, he became really passive aggressive and we eventually left. He is not Calvinist (I don’t think he even believes Baptists are saved), he was just lazy and arrogant.

    Mutual respect goes a long ways. The preacher should have respect for the congregation, and the congregation should have respect for the preacher.

  49. They are proposing a hierarchical system: pastors should not by corrected but apparently everyone else can be.

    i.e. ABSOLUTE PASTORAL INFALLIBILITY.
    To a greater degree than the Papal Infallibility Pius IX demanded.

  50. Bill M wrote:

    “A pastor’s authority (whatever that means) appears more important than the truth.”
    This reminds me of Larry Taylor’s “The Ministry of An Assisting Pastor” (Calvary Chapel)

    It reminds me of Reichsmarshall Goering:
    “If the Fuehrer says so, Two Plus To Equals Five.”

  51. I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my areas of scientific and legal knowledge, that I know to be false. I have approached them privately and explained why I disagree with what they said and provided chapter and verse of reference works that backed me up. And said as well, “If I misspoke in your field of knowledge and expertise, would you not want to advise me of my misunderstanding?”

    One example: Pastors often say that the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled that students cannot pray in school. That is a common false understanding. The Supreme Court ruled that public schools, including public school EMPLOYEES, cannot lead or organize prayer by/for students in the school. Students can pray, and can even organize themselves to pray, on the same basis that any other student group can organize and meet together.

  52. Abi Miah wrote:

    A pat answer, even a pat answer with scripture in it, exalts the self of the one giving it and reduces the “neighbor” to something more akin to a question on a multiple choice test. “I have the right answer and you, neighbor, do not.”

    Coup Counted.

    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

  53. @ Jack:

    I’ve seen that “know it all” attitude everywhere. From liberals to conservatives, from atheists to Christians. Even in myself at times. I think one of the problems is discounting other people’s experience and expertise. I have friends who have had totally different life events that completely shape their outlook and attitudes. Even if I disagree with their conclusions, there needs to be respect for the process. As for expertise, I cannot begin to have a dialogue with Richard Dawkins about biology, but since he has never studied theology or religion, I can disagree with him there.

  54. Come and listen to a story ’bout a preacher named Jed.
    Poor rural parson barely kept his family fed.
    Then one day he went to Pastor’s School,
    And when he returned, he was a Fundy tool.
    (Gimmicks, that is. Proof texts. Lotsa rules.)

    Well the next thing you know, the Mega Church looks great,
    Buses everywhere throughout the Tri-State,
    New Basement Bible College and Academy,
    With just one man to rule so there is no anarchy.
    (Dictatorship that is. Pastoral Authority. IFB heroes.)

    Well, now its time to say goodbye to Jed and all his ilk.
    Now that he is doing time his wife’s no more in silk.
    You’re all invited to stop in on Thursday about noon
    To commiserate with the former Fundy church tycoon.
    (The Elm Street Embezzler. That’s what they call him now.
    Property auction in two weeks. Ya’ll come bid now, ya hear!)

    This from Stuff Fundies Like.

  55. Boston Lady wrote:

    Ishy, exactly right! But may I add that that group (Neo or pre-Neo) failed the test 500 years ago already (in fact, even earlier). Run, indeed, as far away from them as you possibly can. And don’t look back, as you might just turn into a pillar of dust mites as you “keep house.”

    Oh, I post the list of cult items occasionally to see where they stand, and after this video, I figured it was time for a checkup. Piper’s recent tirades against women having friends really set me off a bit, especially since he seems to think men should just treat women like housemaids and they shouldn’t speak to even their husbands, either.

    I wish the SBC would wakeup and start calling a spade a spade, though, instead of ranting about politics. A cult’s taken over their denomination, and they barely even noticed.

  56. ishy wrote:

    I wish the SBC would wakeup and start calling a spade a spade, though, instead of ranting about politics. A cult’s taken over their denomination, and they barely even noticed.

    Sadly, I think many of the SBC leaders would point you to how successful they were with the Conservative Resurgence and getting rid of all of the “liberals.”

    IMO they are beyond tone death.

  57. The CS Lewis quotes remind me of one of my favorite lines from Doctor Who: “900 years in time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”

  58. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Abi Miah wrote:
    A pat answer, even a pat answer with scripture in it, exalts the self of the one giving it and reduces the “neighbor” to something more akin to a question on a multiple choice test. “I have the right answer and you, neighbor, do not.”
    Coup Counted.
    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

    My number one frustration with Christianity these days is that everyone believes they are right and can “prove” it by Scripture. Everyone “has a verse”!

  59. An Attorney wrote:

    I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my areas of scientific and legal knowledge, that I know to be false. I have approached them privately and explained why I disagree with what they said and provided chapter and verse of reference works that backed me up. And said as well, “If I misspoke in your field of knowledge and expertise, would you not want to advise me of my misunderstanding?”
    One example: Pastors often say that the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled that students cannot pray in school. That is a common false understanding. The Supreme Court ruled that public schools, including public school EMPLOYEES, cannot lead or organize prayer by/for students in the school. Students can pray, and can even organize themselves to pray, on the same basis that any other student group can organize and meet together.

    I understand that school prayer is legal as long as it is “student led and student initiated”. (I also agree with the bumper sticker that says, “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools!”)

    One saying that seriously annoys me is when I hear people say, God is not allowed in schools. One day, I may say back, “So, are you saying that when a Christian steps foot on campus, the Holy Spirit–which is a manifestation of God–slams into this invisible wall that’s around public school property and leaves the Christian behind until he/she leaves public school property, at which time it re-enters the Christian?”

  60. “A pastor’s authority trumps telling the truth.”

    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You can’t trump Jesus! If a “pastor” doesn’t tell the truth, he doesn’t know Jesus who is Truth.

  61. Anna A wrote:

    I remember one time when I tried to correct my pastor. He was General Baptist in Southern California. He had given a sermon that hit me hard because it touched on women and their roles. The statement that caused me to write him a letter was that Bathsheba was to blame for David’s temptation. “She shouldn’t have been bathing on the roof where he could see her.”
    I chose to do it in writing because I knew that I would get run over if I had tried it in person.
    Before I put the letter in his church mail box, I made sure that I had read things correctly, and even read it to a girl friend to make sure it said what I wanted to say.
    The man called me at work, not to arrange a meeting, but to lambaste me for the letter. The call was over 30 minutes and it was only through the grace of God that I wasn’t interrupted. When I finally got off the phone, I felt physically battered. I also felt very fortunate that I was far enough on my way to becoming Catholic, that Fr. Bruce was my true pastor.

    Sheesh!!! I’m sorry you went through all of that!

    If I remember the Biblical story correctly, wasn’t it David on the roof of his palace who saw Bathsheba bathing? I don’t think she was on her roof; and what some critics of Bathsheba fail to remember was that she was performing a purification rite as required by Jewish law–a ritual cleansing after her menstrual cycle!

    I like what Liz Curtis Higgs says about the David and Bathsheba story in one of her Bad Girls of the Bible books: The Bible says that he saw her but it never says that she saw him!

    And David was the one that got the blame. Not Bathsheba.

  62. ishy wrote:

    I wish the SBC would wakeup and start calling a spade a spade, though, instead of ranting about politics. A cult’s taken over their denomination, and they barely even noticed.

    Better a cult takeover than a bunch of unsubmissive women get the silly notion that we really are equal to men.

  63. Nancy2 wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I wish the SBC would wakeup and start calling a spade a spade, though, instead of ranting about politics. A cult’s taken over their denomination, and they barely even noticed.

    Better a cult takeover than a bunch of unsubmissive women get the silly notion that we really are equal to men.

    Just remember the leaders in these SBC churches that go along with the 2000 BF&M hate and have a deathly fear of women IMO.

  64. Tina wrote:

    Sheesh!!! I’m sorry you went through all of that!
    If I remember the Biblical story correctly, wasn’t it David on the roof of his palace who saw Bathsheba bathing? I don’t think she was on her roof; and what some critics of Bathsheba fail to remember was that she was performing a purification rite as required by Jewish law–a ritual cleansing after her menstrual cycle!
    I like what Liz Curtis Higgs says about the David and Bathsheba story in one of her Bad Girls of the Bible books: The Bible says that he saw her but it never says that she saw him!
    And David was the one that got the blame. Not Bathsheba.

    That can’t be so! Otherwise, why would Nathan have went to Bathsheeba and said, “Bathsheeba, thou art the woman!” ??? ; ^ )

  65. Nancy2 wrote:

    how can you expect women to behave any differently than the trio in the video?

    Rosaria had two conversions: one to the faith, another to the secondary doctrines of the Calvinists.

  66. Nancy2 wrote:

    The airplane thing ……. Okay ……. RB has a Ph.D in English Lit., and this is the best she can do?
    A bit snarky but, I would have asked her if God created boys restrooms and girls restrooms, too?

    That was pretty much the most useless response ever.

  67. Bill M wrote:

    “34. Make the Pastor Look Good
    Never make him look bad.
    This is a basic principle of employment. Make the boss look good. Give him the credit for your good ideas. Decrease that he might increase.”

    That is just plain nuts. However, he is giving you the rules of his game up front. Don’t join or accept employment. Run!

  68. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Sometimes we know the situation is not one we can speak to effectively. We are not required to stomp out every fire we see.

    That is when I leave a church if that something is important and I cannot change it. That is what happened in my previous 2 churches. I have found a place of contentment in my new church. When the pastor(s) are just plain *good guys* overlooking minor issues is quite easy.

  69. Ian wrote:

    You can go through life seeing people as theological enemies to be conquered, or precious children of God needing love.

    Absolutely.

  70. Anna A wrote:

    The statement that caused me to write him a letter was that Bathsheba was to blame for David’s temptation. “She shouldn’t have been bathing on the roof where he could see her.”

    1. David was the one who was not where he was supposed to be.
    2. His reaction to you is a sign that he was not a safe pastor.
    3. Can we talk about how all the ‘secret sin’ people are way too fond of David, and this blaming Bathsheba seems to be coming from that place? Because the bible doesn’t blame her. At all. Just like it doesn’t blame Esther for sleeping with the King of Persia.

  71. mot wrote:

    Just remember the leaders in these SBC churches that go along with the 2000 BF&M hate and have a deathly fear of women IMO.

    Yeah. I can make them act like a bunch of rabid dogs all by myself. They can’t even look me in the eye …….. once I figure them out, I can’t help but have this look in my eye if they speak to me …….. Ya know?
    And if they slip up and open a proverbial door ….. tee hee!
    I love to twist scripture use “do unto others” and the Great Commission on them…….. because it’s so obvious that Jesus could not possibly have meant to include women when he gave those instructions, doncha know!

  72. Jack wrote:

    Sorry gang but if someone started yammering at me about Bible based gender roles on an airplane, my thought is “Froot Loop”.

    I wouldn’t blame you. That person is not interested in you as a person. You are merely someone to get theologically straight. I don’t like folks who jam Scripture down my throat as well. In those circumstances, I feel like I am a project and not a person. That is the opposite of people who discuss Scripture as part of a conversation in getting to know me.

    I offered 2 gift certificates to decent restaurants to a group of medical and dental students if they would take the time to talk to someone they didn’t know and learn something about their lives. As an example,I mentioned the person behind the window in cafeterias where the dirty dishes go on a conveyer belt.

    One guy who won went to Walmart to do an errand. He started talking to the guy whose job it was to round up the carts in the parking lot. They had the best conversation discussing his immigration to the US, his working at all sorts of jobs to earn money, his family, etc. He even took a picture of the two of them.

    I loved the outcome so much I plan to do it again soon.

  73. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I generally don’t correct facts in class, unless I know the person just misspoke. It’s demoralizing if the person put in a lot of work. Normally it’s not a heretical kind of mistake, just a harmless one. Now, if it’s a discussion based class where the teacher is really a facilitator, I’ll speak up a lot.

    When I taught a class, I encouraged people to correct me if they knew I was wrong on anything. I encouraged them to disagree with me so long as it didn’t take up the entire class time. There was one individual who was really, really smart and asked difficult questions. I loved it! I started preparing for my classes (church history) by thinking about what he might say. I knew I was up on the subject when he would ask a question or make an observation and I had anticipated it.

    I looked at the Sunday school class as more than just a lecture. I feel the same way about this blog. I hate being just a talking head. I prefer to interact with the comments and the wonderful people behind the comments. I love dialoging. I think everyone gets more out of that then just a lecture-no matter how good.

  74. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Just remember the leaders in these SBC churches that go along with the 2000 BF&M hate and have a deathly fear of women IMO.

    Yeah. I can make them act like a bunch of rabid dogs all by myself. They can’t even look me in the eye …….. once I figure them out, I can’t help but have this look in my eye if they speak to me …….. Ya know?
    And if they slip up and open a proverbial door ….. tee hee!
    I love to twist scripture use “do unto others” and the Great Commission on them…….. because it’s so obvious that Jesus could not possibly have meant to include women when he gave those instructions, doncha know!

    I would quickly add these SBC leaders and pastors hate any man that will tell them they are wrong about women in the church.

  75. Jack wrote:

    yammering at me about Bible based gender roles

    Has anyone else noticed that the New Calvinists spend more time trying to convince the rest of us about gender roles than they do preaching about Jesus? And when they finally do get around to dropping His name, they subordinate Him too!

  76. Tina wrote:

    900 years in time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”

    I will have to remember that one.

  77. Anna A wrote:

    he statement that caused me to write him a letter was that Bathsheba was to blame for David’s temptation. “She shouldn’t have been bathing on the roof where he could see her.”

    I have heard that time and time again fro ma number of patriarchs. It is the same attitude which says a woman got raped because she dressed immodestly.

    David was the one in power. It was an unequal relationship. David was abusive in his response to the wife of one of his military leaders.

    Here is a good review of the situation.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2014/02/ctbhhm-davids-sin-was-all-bathshebas-fault.html

  78. Kathi wrote:

    f the congregation deems that he is a false teacher, would he be willing to abide by their correction?

    Good question!

  79. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This sounds promising, Loren. I’m keen to learn more – does this reflect a more general “team dynamic” in the congregation there?

    Our pastor teaches that life with God is a spiritual journey, so he is not so invested in keeping people on a specific route. (Although we stay centered on Jesus) Hence there is flexibility and openess to change course and accept input for congregants and pastor. We have a lot of spiritual refugees in our congregation, from 9Marks, Calvary Chapel, PCA, AoG, and Catholic churches that I know of. They feel more comfortable here because there is no dogma you are coerced to accept by the pastor.

  80. Max wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    yammering at me about Bible based gender roles

    Has anyone else noticed that the New Calvinists spend more time trying to convince the rest of us about gender roles than they do preaching about Jesus? And when they finally do get around to dropping His name, they subordinate Him too!

    Max, they do not like the Jesus of the Bible.

  81. ishy wrote:

    Piper’s recent tirades against women having friends really set me off a bit, especially since he seems to think men should just treat women like housemaids and they shouldn’t speak to even their husbands, either.

    Are you referring to something Piper himself said, or that weird article on DG?

    Because I think that one was about fear that good friends would all turn into secret lovers in the nighttime.

  82. PewSitter wrote:

    I have heard her speak with great love and winsomeness on other occasions.

    Winsomeness. That is one of the gospel™ crowds favorite words. I always smile when I see it.

    It was not Rosaria that mentioned the heresy and usurping the role of the pastor. You did not address their thinking on the matter. If Rosaria had said more, she should have mentioned it. Her approach, as stated, left a lot to be desired. So, she didn’t convince me with her testimony of winsomeness on that video.

    I am glad you do not always agree with me. It means you are an independent thinker. I placed the video there so everyone could see it and form their own conclusions. I always link to my primary source.

    What would be helpful to me would be for you to give me examples of Rosaria and her method of talking about hot issues with strangers as opposed to telling me she is winsome. Heck, all the boys in TGC use that would to describe one another and winsome is not how I would describe them.

    Instead of saying they a *winsome losers* I try to find specific examples that I can quote and use as back up for what I say here.

    “It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six.”-John W. Gardner

  83. dee wrote:

    I generally don’t correct facts in class, unless I know the person just misspoke. It’s demoralizing if the person put in a lot of work. Normally it’s not a heretical kind of mistake, just a harmless one. Now, if it’s a discussion based class where the teacher is really a facilitator, I’ll speak up a lot.

    When I taught a class, I encouraged people to correct me if they knew I was wrong on anything.

    I feel like facts should be corrected. Opinions are for discussion, and if you have different opinions fine (unless the opinions themselves are something are not minor and can’t be ignored, in which case maybe it’s time to leave).

  84. The idea that pastors are such special snowflakes that any form of honestly asking questions or even questioning things said by a pastor automatically undermines their authority seems really strange to me.

    Yes, a pastor probably knows more about a theological topic than anyone who didn’t study theology at university/seminary. That’s why it should be easy for them to either

    – explain to me where I am wrong OR
    – understand why my question raises an important point, or even invalidates my claim

    In my experience, any preachers/speakers who are worth listening to will also listen to questions or criticism. Generally, if a criticism is not malicious, it’s a chance for me to learn something, and questions may help clarify the subject at hand.

    Those speakers who do not answer questions or brush you off with a pat answer are usually not worth listening to.

    If you have a suspicion that all questions are malicious and all those who ask them are “out to get you”, then you have a major problem and should seek professional help.

    Oh, and BTW, and on the topic of verses:

    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, […]

  85. dee wrote:

    When I taught a class, I encouraged people to correct me if they knew I was wrong on anything.

    I did the same thing when I taught math. And I can’t lecture in math – I desperately need back and forth communication and involvement.
    I’m human. I make mistakes. If I’m wrong, call me on it. (Please, 2 + 3 isn’t 6, and at some point I just might write something like that on the board.) Even if it turns that I’m right, it’s a great thing to have the dialog and hash things out, and find out what’s going on – might be helpful to many of the class members, not just the one who thought I was wrong.
    The same thing applies to SS, VBS, etc as far as I’m concerned!

  86. dee wrote:

    Here is a good review of the situation.

    Goodness, that quoted pastors even knows that David was not where he was supposed to be!

    I think folks like this should ask themselves why they are so unwilling to blame david for his own sin? Why they are so unwilling to accept that he was the one in the wrong. Completely.

  87. The following statement is not a political statement. Do not misread it as such. I am taking neither side on any political issue. But the lady with the bible quote on the bathroom bills merits a retort, and I feel capable of doing so. I plan to aim my retort at her and not at the bible or the bills.

    In her enthusiasm to quote something from the bible including chapter and verse of course, that lady totally missed the actual issue about the ‘bathroom bills’ since they are not about the bible in the first place. Not about religion at all. Both the media on the one hand and the pseudo religionists on the other hand have totally missed the point. Frankly I did not expect much from either bunch.

    This example in the video illustrates what I want to say. People should thoroughly inform themselves about some issue/ any issue before they quote scripture. There is no excuse for a Christian to misapply scripture and make themselves look foolish or worse make scripture look foolish. And there is no excuse for a Christian in today’s world to be oblivious to what is going on in the world, be it for better or for worse. But an if one is uninformed, then one ought to refrain from comment and for crying out loud refrain my quoting and misapplying scripture. That makes us all look bad.

    Neither flippancy with scripture nor ignorance of issues is listed as a virtue in scripture.

  88. An Attorney wrote:

    I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my areas of scientific and legal knowledge, that I know to be false.

    I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my area of scientific knowledge, that I know to be true; but nowhere near as often as I’d like!

  89. The smiles on those women’s faces in the video ……. is it just me ……….. or do they look sooooooo fake?

  90. Lea wrote:

    I think folks like this should ask themselves why they are so unwilling to blame david for his own sin? Why they are so unwilling to accept that he was the one in the wrong. Completely.

    If a man steals a horse, blame the horse.

  91. Nancy2 wrote:

    dee wrote:

    When I taught a class, I encouraged people to correct me if they knew I was wrong on anything.

    I did the same thing when I taught math. And I can’t lecture in math – I desperately need back and forth communication and involvement.
    I’m human. I make mistakes. If I’m wrong, call me on it. (Please, 2 + 3 isn’t 6, and at some point I just might write something like that on the board.) Even if it turns that I’m right, it’s a great thing to have the dialog and hash things out, and find out what’s going on – might be helpful to many of the class members, not just the one who thought I was wrong.
    The same thing applies to SS, VBS, etc as far as I’m concerned!

    The last few times I attended a Southern Baptist Sunday School class it appeared to me the Sunday School literature has been designed for a lecture approach and not a discussion approach.

  92. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    As for expertise, I cannot begin to have a dialogue with Richard Dawkins about biology…

    <slight tangent>

    Oddly enough, Dawkins’ celebrated book “The Selfish Gene” was one of the books we studied in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge. The book is less a work of biology than of philosophy, because his thesis – that the gene is, when push comes to shove, the fundamental unit of life, and life is all about genes “trying” to reproduce themselves* – isn’t really provable or disprovable.

    Long story short: we all felt there are a number of issues with this idea…

    * This is a metaphor; Dawkins doesn’t actually claim that genes think or feel, obviously.

    </slight tangent>

  93. Lea wrote:

    Are you referring to something Piper himself said, or that weird article on DG?

    He didn’t write it, but he pushed it with his own platform, which to me is the same thing.

  94. mot wrote:

    The last few times I attended a Southern Baptist Sunday School class it appeared to me the Sunday School literature has been designed for a lecture approach and not a discussion approach.

    Have you seen the LifeWay literature for children and youth classes? …… So dumbed down, just smile, listen to the story, and work the puzzles. Hey, who needs a Bible? We’ve got LifeWay!
    The LifeWay stuff for my class (pre-teens) went in the trash, and I told them not to order any more. I knew my kids could do better than that.
    I think that in a lot of cases, we have SS teachers who are not willing to do the prep work to teach a class. They think they can slide by with the handy-dandy pre-prepared literature.
    In both church and math, I learned more as a “teacher” than I ever did as a student.

  95. ishy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Are you referring to something Piper himself said, or that weird article on DG?

    He didn’t write it, but he pushed it with his own platform, which to me is the same thing.

    Ok. Just seeing if I missed something.

    BTW, correct above that ludicrous Bathsheba thing was from Debi Pearl, so it’s not surprising it’s idiotic.

  96. Dee, I watched the whole video. All three said they would respond in some way with the truths of scripture, but do it in a way that recognizes the specifics of the group. I did not hear them advocate saying nothing, just the opposite.

  97. I didn’t find anything supporting Pastoral Authority Trumps Truth in the video. In fact, they gave a couple of ways of questioning the pastor. It just needs to be done with respect; the same respect you would give any other professional.

  98. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    The last few times I attended a Southern Baptist Sunday School class it appeared to me the Sunday School literature has been designed for a lecture approach and not a discussion approach.

    Have you seen the LifeWay literature for children and youth classes? …… So dumbed down, just smile, listen to the story, and work the puzzles. Hey, who needs a Bible? We’ve got LifeWay!
    The LifeWay stuff for my class (pre-teens) went in the trash, and I told them not to order any more. I knew my kids could do better than that.
    I think that in a lot of cases, we have SS teachers who are not willing to do the prep work to teach a class. They think they can slide by with the handy-dandy pre-prepared literature.
    In both church and math, I learned more as a “teacher” than I ever did as a student.

    I have taught Accounting for over 30 years and you are so correct–I have learned more as a teacher than I ever did as a student, also.

  99. An Attorney wrote:

    I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my areas of scientific and legal knowledge, that I know to be false. I have approached them privately and explained why I disagree with what they said and provided chapter and verse of reference works that backed me up. And said as well, “If I misspoke in your field of knowledge and expertise, would you not want to advise me of my misunderstanding?”

    Did the pastor go back in the pulpit and correct the falsehoods?

  100. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    Mutual respect goes a long ways. The preacher should have respect for the congregation, and the congregation should have respect for the preacher.

    Good words of wisdom.

  101. Deb wrote:

    We are going to the Grand Opening of Sprouts!

    Sprouts is one of the local grocery chains around here. Cheaper than Whole Paycheck.

  102. And from yet another aspect…

    The schools keep talking about how they can at least partially replace teachers with computers in the classroom, and the teachers have been officially been given a heads up that it is coming. Already homeschool curricula are available which are largely computer based. Already post-secondary schools offer online instruction. And already preachers preach at multiple locations via video screens. IMO, some sunday school situations would be greatly improved with some good quality online instruction.

    In our case, we are glad that the g’kids are in religious day schools where religion is a class, because what is available at the churches is of lesser quality and quantity and often has very different goals from what people aimed for in the past. But not everybody has the option of a religious day school or the option of homeschooling and with both parents working and trying to survive in our frantic society how can they come home and pour the time into it that a quality religious education requires? So what is to become of these kids who go to church but end up with little to show for it?

    In my own parish, which we all agree is the best that we have found for our family, there is not much emphasis on the kind on instruction that I had in church as a child or that my children had in church as children. It is not that they neglect the kids, far from it, it is rather that their vision as to how to train up a child in the way he should go is different from ours. I/we understand that; it is nobody’s ‘fault’ and lots of folks agree with that. Nevertheless we/our family are turning out kids whose religious beliefs are largely either lutheran (for two kids) or else catholic (for one kid) because we have had to get out and scrabble around for both secular and religious education at the level we want. That is only a partial and temporary solution however. Anyhow when some of them were at SBC mega before we all went to where we are now they were getting basically nothing but social indoctrination and memorize some bible verses. That is not enough.

    Perhaps the fundamentalists are doing better than this, and perhaps that may be one of the attractions of fundamentalism. Training of the children. I don’t know; it is just a thought.

  103. Tina wrote:

    One saying that seriously annoys me is when I hear people say, God is not allowed in schools. One day, I may say back, “So, are you saying that when a Christian steps foot on campus, the Holy Spirit–which is a manifestation of God–slams into this invisible wall that’s around public school property and leaves the Christian behind until he/she leaves public school property, at which time it re-enters the Christian?”

    If possible it may be more true of some churches we discuss rather than some theoretical public school.

  104. okrapod wrote:

    But not everybody has the option of a religious day school or the option of homeschooling and with both parents working and trying to survive in our frantic society how can they come home and pour the time into it that a quality religious education requires?

    I thought about this for a while.
    I guess it doesn’t matter what a person is being ‘taught’ in some class about ‘religion’ if when they look at their parents it is not reinforced by the WAY the parents are living as example to the children.
    I was blessed to have a father who ‘taught’ the faith in how he lived. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  105. Ken G wrote:

    In fact, they gave a couple of ways of questioning the pastor. It just needs to be done with respect; the same respect you would give any other professional.

    I would add the caveat that it should not happen often. When an error was identified I was usually told that I misunderstood and should give the pastor the benefit of doubt. I later ran across the phrase if you continually need to give someone the benefit of doubt, you should doubt their benefit.

  106. Christiane wrote:

    I guess it doesn’t matter what a person is being ‘taught’ in some class about ‘religion’ if when they look at their parents it is not reinforced by the WAY the parents are living as example to the children.
    I was blessed to have a father who ‘taught’ the faith in how he lived. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Two things. Why would you assume that parents who, like Lydia once said, crawl through broken glass to get keep their kids in a religious day school would not be ‘living as example to the children’ at home? That is not a viable assumption with some evidence to back it up.

    But and also, I do think that kids can pick up things at school and at church and wherever that gives them a vision for a quality of life not only different from but better than what they may be seeing at home. The public schools strive for this all the time in their sphere, at least in the departments of special ed like ResidentEducator is in. If that does not help, then we need to cut the budgets for this in the public schools and just shrug our shoulders and use that money for something else. How is it possible that public schools can have a beneficial effect like that but religious schools cannot? I don’t see that idea at all.

  107. @ dee:

    Here’s an example that happened recently. I go to a women’s Bible study each week. Everyone there is old enough to by my Grandma and they are all much more conservative than me. I love them and they are some of the most gracious people at church. They are working through a Bible study book that’s pretty typical of women’s studies. One of the questions was “what’s the difference between belief and faith.” I wasn’t going to answer, but they asked me. So I foolishly launch into an explanation about how the question isn’t very good because in Greek those are the same words, and part of the reason we use two words in English is because there is no verb form of faith (We don’t say “I faith God”), blah, blah, blah. They just sort of looked at me and the book and said, “But the question is what is the difference?”

    It always seems when I try to correct things in the midst of class it derails what would have been a perfectly fine lesson. I don’t want to come across as a know it all and I don’t want people to feel awkward or nervous teaching in front of me. Now, when I teach I don’t mind being corrected and I love questions.

  108. okrapod wrote:

    I do think that kids can pick up things at school and at church and wherever that gives them a vision for a quality of life not only different from but better than what they may be seeing at home.

    yes, this

    I was teaching writing to a sixth grade inner city class: I had bought yellow highlighters for them and had them write on a topic, and then highlight their ‘golden line’ and offered and opportunity to share it with the class:
    response, much
    It was a VERY productive year and they went home with portfolios filled with poems and stories and photo/magazine picture autobiographies, book reports, and fables, and little books they made themselves from equipment I bought in to bind papers together, all decorated with their ‘kid art’. Their portfolios were packed.

    at the end of the year, I overheard a girl say: ‘Mrs. Smith is helping me to see things differently’
    Needless to say, it was one of the highlights of my career to overhear that…..

    As to the IMPORTANT things of faith: ‘words’ versus ‘example’ ? For children?
    I think ‘example’ is more the powerful teacher for the very young, yes.

  109. Christiane wrote:

    As to the IMPORTANT things of faith: ‘words’ versus ‘example’ ? For children?
    I think ‘example’ is more the powerful teacher for the very young, yes.

    We aim for both, from the get go. If a kid can talk, if they have enough vocabulary to make coherent sentences that is the time to start. Father S says run the kids through the liturgy until they have it memorized and it becomes a part of them, and then they will not forget it. For the rest of their lives it will be there at least to some extent. I believe that. I do not think that is enough, but I think that is definitely how to train young minds.

  110. @ okrapod:
    true, this
    I still remember the responses in Latin, the whole Credo in unum Deum, the Pater Noster, etc. all the way to the ‘ite missa est’ 🙂

    long time ago, yet I remember the Latin, and the Greek ‘Kyrie’ also

  111. @ Christiane:
    I wonder what IS taught in the way of how the orthodox Christian teachings are presented to evangelical children ….. I know there is ‘Sunday School’ and ‘Children’s Church’ and youth groups, which are all good;
    but when it comes to what ‘is believed’, is there a catechism, since there is no liturgy or formal prayers? Certainly I would expect Bible readings and discussion, which is majorly important. But if you took the average twelve year old in a Sunday School and asked them some basic questions about ‘Who Christ Is’ and ‘the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity’, and ‘the Characteristics of God’,
    would they be able to verbalize their understanding? I do think some evangelical faith communities do have the Apostle’s Creed, maybe even the Nicene Creed, but if not, what is done for the teaching of the children formally?

  112. @ Christiane:

    I am glad you said that. I remember our public school latin also, -us -i -o -um -o etc and never ending et cetera. Only I thought I remembered it because I have aging brain syndrome where older people forget anything recent but remember in detail from long ago. Maybe not so much then.

  113. @ okrapod:
    yeah …. I can name everyone in my seventh grade graduating class, but I have trouble recalling very recent names and events quickly…. it’s really funny 🙂

  114. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:

    I’ve listened to a few of her lectures, and she’s had several transgender friends. I think she knows and understands them just as much as you do …

    Look, I couldn’t really give a rip about sticking up for RB, I just find your comment arrogant.

  115. Bill M wrote:

    I later ran across the phrase if you continually need to give someone the benefit of doubt, you should doubt their benefit.

    I like that one, Bill!

  116. okrapod wrote:

    Neither flippancy with scripture nor ignorance of issues is listed as a virtue in scripture.

    Thanks for that and the rest of your comment. Most of the issues that are given simplistic answers are very complex, even apart from any Biblical considerations at all. Yet people must pick one “side” or the other “side” or else.

  117. Christiane wrote:

    But if you took the average twelve year old in a Sunday School and asked them some basic questions about ‘Who Christ Is’ and ‘the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity’, and ‘the Characteristics of God’,
    would they be able to verbalize their understanding?

    It depends. One anecdote. In either a ninth or tenth grade class at CertainSchool one girl stood up and challenged the teacher about something (it was a literature class) and she announced that she was a five point calvinist and therefore she believed whatever and whatever and believed that the teacher, and I assume the piece of literature, were wrong based on her calvinism. The teacher that this happened to had to ask RE what a five point calvinist was, never mind that the teacher herself is active in her church as has a child not much younger than young 5 pt cal there.

    So I am thinking that what people know or not varies from church to church. And, like you say, from home to home.

    And back to the topic of the post, I am thinking that perhaps if people were less concerned with whether or not they appeared submissive and teachable and were more concerned with content then this issue might have an entirely different picture.

  118. Lea wrote:

    I think folks like this should ask themselves why they are so unwilling to blame david for his own sin?

    Especially when the text is quite explicit that he should not have been in the palace but out leading his men. You know, being a Leader and King and all that. From the roof of the palace, he could see just about everything in the City of David.

  119. okrapod wrote:

    I am thinking that perhaps if people were less concerned with whether or not they appeared submissive and teachable and were more concerned with content then this issue might have an entirely different picture.

    agreed ….. I think it is in Scripture that we are supposed to be able to give some account for our faith,
    but if someone (a young person, especially) doesn’t KNOW what they believe …. then that can be difficult for them;
    so the Church has an obligation to catechize at appropriate levels the teachings of the faith, in so far as that denomination finds them meaningful, as a matter of responsibility to the children and, in this, I think the Church is also accountable to God for how it presents Jesus to the children …. and I don’t mean a scene like that ‘Jesus Camp’ either …. what a horror of abuse that was!

  120. Gram3 wrote:

    Thanks for that and the rest of your comment. Most of the issues that are given simplistic answers are very complex, even apart from any Biblical considerations at all. Yet people must pick one “side” or the other “side” or else.

    Everybody wants a formula, and not the truth, which is that life is hard even with God.

    Formulas and platitudes are just more ways many Christians lead dishonest lives.

  121. Lea wrote:

    I think folks like this should ask themselves why they are so unwilling to blame david for his own sin?

    They know why they are unwilling to blame him. Because even though he is held responsible for the sin as the head of woman and head of state, he isn’t really guilty. He is only held responsible. They know who is actually guilty. They know who the evil temptress is and it’s not David. Every woman has the potential to be the evil temptress, pretty much from cradle to grave. It is in our nature. That’s why we have to work so hard to make sure we don’t fall into that roll because it’s easier than falling off a log. We don’t even have to try. It just happens. So much training must be poured into us and we must inflict so much supernatural diligence upon ourselves in order to keep us from falling off that log.

    Another question they won’t ask themselves is why they turn a blind eye to Jesus holding men responsible for their own lusts. Again they know. It’s he woman’s fault. She is guilty because she exists. There is nothing more needed to incriminate her.

  122. Bill M wrote:

    I later ran across the phrase if you continually need to give someone the benefit of doubt, you should doubt their benefit.

    One of the best aphorisms I’ve heard in many moons.

  123. okrapod wrote:

    It depends. One anecdote. In either a ninth or tenth grade class at CertainSchool one girl stood up and challenged the teacher about something (it was a literature class) and she announced that she was a five point calvinist and therefore she believed whatever and whatever and believed that the teacher, and I assume the piece of literature, were wrong based on her calvinism.

    Cage Phase.
    i.e. The Total Arrogance of the Predestined Elect.

  124. Christiane wrote:

    would they be able to verbalize their understanding? I do think some evangelical faith communities do have the Apostle’s Creed, maybe even the Nicene Creed, but if not, what is done for the teaching of the children formally?

    What is done is what the head pulpit honcho says will be done. No ifs, no ands, and no buts.

  125. Gus wrote:

    The idea that pastors are such special snowflakes that any form of honestly asking questions or even questioning things said by a pastor automatically undermines their authority seems really strange to me.

    I have to deal with Speshul Snowflakes at my job.
    “HUG SMASH!!!!!”

  126. Lea wrote:

    Are you referring to something Piper himself said, or that weird article on DG?
    Because I think that one was about fear that good friends would all turn into secret lovers in the nighttime.

    That jump/fear could only come from a really dirty mind obsessed with One Thing and One Thing Only.

  127. mot wrote:

    Just remember the leaders in these SBC churches that go along with the 2000 BF&M hate and have a deathly fear of women IMO.

    Muscular(TM) or Not.

  128. Tina wrote:

    My number one frustration with Christianity these days is that everyone believes they are right and can “prove” it by Scripture. Everyone “has a verse”!

    And sometimes the urge to Choke the Stupid out of them can just get overwhelming.

  129. Mara wrote:

    It is in our nature.

    Actually I learned this idea with only slight modification at the university-biology department in fact. The theory runs like this, that civilization is built and/or enabled by the fact that the female of our species does not have an estrus cycle and therefore is available almost any time. Back in the day this was extremely important for survival since the female needed the male to stick around and provide food while she had a young infant. He stuck around, so the story goes, because of wink wink. So in the bargain what she brought to the table was wink wink and what he brought to the table was food.

    Fast forward. Only recently have females been able to support themselves and their children adequately without a man. So women have used what they had to attract and keep a male-part of which was wink wink, thanks to her biological availability. Some were better at it than others, some could get and keep more dominant males, but make no mistake, the basic bargain was sex and food. Now we might say relationship and life style. But yes, the theory goes, women use what they have to get what they need.

    This theory, you note, is amoral and has nothing to do with guilt or shame or religion.

  130. Some people have made a point that Bathsheba was doing ritual bathing x number of days after her menstrual cycle. Aha. That also meant according to their law that she could resume sexual activity after this purification. And incidentally meant that she was probably near or in her most fertile period of her cycle. If this is true, then David responded to that signal (not intentional on her part-written into the law) even when he knew she was forbidden to him, and she did whatever she needed to do to survive under the circumstances.

    Maybe.

  131. Part of the reason I am a ” None/Done” is the fact so many ministers today are scared to death of being wrong…..and then, sadly, I am seen as a threat by most pastors in area. I went to the seminary. I know some of the stuff you’re saying is well, ” Bull” and sadly, so many of these guys can’t pull it off without ” Bull.” And I have/had a bad habit of calling them on it.
    It doesn’t make me a popular person sitting out there in the pews. Especially from the pulpit.

  132. I find the ‘loose’ relationship between some Christians & the truth, i.e.that which corresponds to reality, absolutely demoralising & all out pathetic basically. It’s why Christian superstition, i.e. backtracks or whatever they’re called, God healed my fillings & all that utter tosh spreads so fast, as people aren’t in the habit of critical thinking & are admonished for ‘unfaithfulness’ when they do. Why would anyone be attracted to such insanity?

  133. Tina wrote:

    “I Know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

    My number one frustration with Christianity these days is that everyone believes they are right and can “prove” it by Scripture. Everyone “has a verse”!

    It becomes an obsession with Scripture quoting for every minutiae of life. I’ve observed this on Christian sites over the past decade. Situations which call for common sense are replaced with “I have a verse!”. Listening to one’s conscience is replaced with “I have a verse!”. By the way…Should I go grocery shopping at Weis or Whole Foods? Is there a verse somewhere about that? LoL.

  134. Tina wrote:

    One saying that seriously annoys me is when I hear people say, God is not allowed in schools.

    Agreed… if God can be thrown out of the schools, God is not terribly powerful.

  135. Lea wrote:

    Anna A wrote:

    The statement that caused me to write him a letter was that Bathsheba was to blame for David’s temptation. “She shouldn’t have been bathing on the roof where he could see her.”

    1. David was the one who was not where he was supposed to be.
    2. His reaction to you is a sign that he was not a safe pastor.
    3. Can we talk about how all the ‘secret sin’ people are way too fond of David, and this blaming Bathsheba seems to be coming from that place? Because the bible doesn’t blame her. At all. Just like it doesn’t blame Esther for sleeping with the King of Persia.

    These are the same folks who will blame a woman for being complicit in her rape because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The same folks who will fault a woman if a man lusts because she exposed her knees or a bit of cleavage.

  136. Darlene wrote:

    By the way…Should I go grocery shopping at Weis or Whole Foods? Is there a verse somewhere about that?

    Go to the one that is farthest away.
    Proverbs 31:14

    Isn’t this fun? It could be a TV game.

  137. @ okrapod:
    One thing that I did not mention in my original posting was an interesting idea from the Talmud about this. The story there includes a part where the devil is tempting David. He threw a dart at his tempter, which broke a hole in the screen that was keeping Bathsheba’s bathing private. My source is “The Female Ancestors of Christ” by Ann Ulanov. Fascinating book that I believe I still have.

  138. Max wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    yammering at me about Bible based gender roles

    Has anyone else noticed that the New Calvinists spend more time trying to convince the rest of us about gender roles than they do preaching about Jesus? And when they finally do get around to dropping His name, they subordinate Him too!

    Max, I think it’s because these folks seem themselves to be Culture Warriors. In their world, Feminism is to blame on most of the ills in our society. Their cure is Biblical Gender Roles. If women today just knew their place, we could go back to the Good Old Days when men were in charge. Of course, I happen to think that every every generation has had its problems. Human history is fraught with egregious failings. There is no such thing as the good old days. Only in Christ’s Kingdom in the Ressurection will sin finally be conquered by the King of Kings.

  139. Max wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    yammering at me about Bible based gender roles
    Has anyone else noticed that the New Calvinists spend more time trying to convince the rest of us about gender roles than they do preaching about Jesus? And when they finally do get around to dropping His name, they subordinate Him too!

    Yes, Max, I have noticed. The NeoCalvinists major in minors. They are off on rabbit trails that have NOTHING to do with Jesus and The Gospel.

  140. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    By the way…Should I go grocery shopping at Weis or Whole Foods? Is there a verse somewhere about that?

    Go to the one that is farthest away.
    Proverbs 31:14

    Isn’t this fun? It could be a TV game.

    Whole Foods it is then!

  141. Christiane wrote:

    would they be able to verbalize their understanding? I do think some evangelical faith communities do have the Apostle’s Creed, maybe even the Nicene Creed, but if not, what is done for the teaching of the children formally?

    It’s probably like that coloring book handed out by Elevation Church–remember the page: “UNITY We are united under the visionary.” They’re being taught *something*.

    More seriously, though, if you’re brought up in a religious environment, even if there aren’t set prayers as in the Catholic church, you’re still learning and absorbing a lot. At the church I go to, I can tell the people who used to or still are Mormon, because they fold their arms across their chests during the prayer. That’s just one of many, many things one would pick up in a church environment. A friend of mine is a cultural anthropologist and he out to me that even Pentecostals and charismatics have a liturgy–the set of words and statements used during church, that even though they may be spontaneously uttered, come out of a store of language that has been learned through the years. It’s not as disorganized as it looks on the surface.

  142. Darlene wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    By the way…Should I go grocery shopping at Weis or Whole Foods? Is there a verse somewhere about that?

    Go to the one that is farthest away.
    Proverbs 31:14

    Isn’t this fun? It could be a TV game.

    Whole Foods it is then!

    By the way, what I want to know is this. Is there a Biblical, Gospel-Centered grocery store where Christians can feel safe while shopping? Somewhere that women aren’t wearing yoga pants, and there’s no tabloids at the check-out line. (smiley face)

  143. Nancy2 wrote:

    The smiles on those women’s faces in the video ……. is it just me ……….. or do they look sooooooo fake?

    Nancy2, as I said up thread it’s a system that fasters insincerity and artificiality. The under current in that system is that women must always be cognizant of what their role and place is – in the church, at home and in society at large. I would feel wound up tighter than a drum living that way.

  144. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    Piper’s recent tirades against women having friends really set me off a bit, especially since he seems to think men should just treat women like housemaids and they shouldn’t speak to even their husbands, either.

    Are you referring to something Piper himself said, or that weird article on DG?

    Because I think that one was about fear that good friends would all turn into secret lovers in the nighttime.

    Actually, that article about friendships was written by a woman, not Piper. But I’m sure everything on the DG website must pass the Piper approval.

  145. Darlene wrote:

    Max, I think it’s because these folks seem themselves to be Culture Warriors. In their world, Feminism is to blame on most of the ills in our society. Their cure is Biblical Gender Roles. If women today just knew their place, we could go back to the Good Old Days when men were in charge.

    Thought Experiment: Substitute “The Jews” or “Infidels” or “Yankee Imperialists” for “Feminism” and see where the rabbit hole goes.

  146. Darlene wrote:

    These are the same folks who will blame a woman for being complicit in her rape because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The same folks who will fault a woman if a man lusts because she exposed her knees or a bit of cleavage.

    Just like Shari’a According to Wahabi & Talibani.

  147. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    A friend of mine is a cultural anthropologist and he out to me that even Pentecostals and charismatics have a liturgy–the set of words and statements used during church, that even though they may be spontaneously uttered, come out of a store of language that has been learned through the years. It’s not as disorganized as it looks on the surface.

    maybe their ‘liturgy’ is SUNG: in their hymns 🙂

    just look at all this beauty:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaLnG7vfVOc

  148. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    We are going to the Grand Opening of Sprouts!

    Sprouts is one of the local grocery chains around here. Cheaper than Whole Paycheck.

    Ah…perhaps Sprouts is the Biblical Gospel-Centered grocery store. Alas, there is not one in my area.

  149. Ron wrote:

    Dee, I watched the whole video. All three said they would respond in some way with the truths of scripture, but do it in a way that recognizes the specifics of the group. I did not hear them advocate saying nothing, just the opposite.

    In the video, they pretty much limited their range to a “back porch Bible study”.

  150. Darlene wrote:

    I think it’s because these folks seem themselves to be Culture Warriors.

    In their efforts to be culturally-relevant, the New Calvinists have failed to be spiritually-relevant.

  151. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I have heard pastors say things in the pulpit, in my area of scientific knowledge, that I know to be true; but nowhere near as often as I’d like!

    Me Too, and if it is different (contrary to, more specific, etc.) than the common knowledge, I personally thank the pastor and inquire about his research that led to the statement!.

  152. Ken G wrote:

    Did the pastor go back in the pulpit and correct the falsehoods?

    In one instance, yes. The statement was made in a Sunday evening service, and the next Sunday evening, he clarified the situation and apologized for heeding religious leaders on a matter of law, rather than speaking with an attorney prior to incorporating it in a sermon. He later called to ask me about another statement that was questionable, and I explained both sides of the issue and how the court had actually ruled.

  153. Ken G wrote:

    It just needs to be done with respect; the same respect you would give any other professional

    Professional? How about the same respect for any other human being. Professionals and Pastors alike are not deserving of more respect than anyone else.

  154. Darlene wrote:

    Situations which call for common sense are replaced with “I have a verse!”. Listening to one’s conscience is replaced with “I have a verse!”.

    Some are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good!

  155. Victorious wrote:

    Some are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good!

    If they were really heavenly minded, they would be of earthly good. Lord knows we need more heavenly minded church folks! (but, I know what you mean)

  156. Darlene wrote:

    Situations which call for common sense are replaced with “I have a verse!”. Listening to one’s conscience is replaced with “I have a verse!”.

    In many Evangelical belief systems it’s taught that you cannot trust your common sense and especially your on board conscience. You (generic you) cannot trust them because they are hopelessly sullied by ‘sin’ inherited from Adam. And they have scads of verses to ‘prove it’.

  157. unepetiteanana wrote:

    I’ve listened to a few of her lectures, and she’s had several transgender friends. I think she knows and understands them just as much as you do …

    Look, I couldn’t really give a rip about sticking up for RB, I just find your comment arrogant.

    I’m sorry if you find my comment about RB arrogant. I find RB arrogant in her attitudes towards transgender people. She is saying that their lives aren’t good enough unless they conform to her gender and sexual mores. I just happen to have up close and personal experience with what happens when the attitudes expressed by RB and her ilk get to my transgender friend. Nobody, NOBODY should feel so depressed about her body and life that she tries to kill herself. Nobody.

  158. I need a bit of prayer/advice. It is budget season again and part of that is advocacy. I spend pretty much 20 hours a week during this season with phone calls, reading, writing emails going to meetings and being called names. Usually not me in particular but my profession is brought into disrepute. We are lazy, liars, Satanists, Communists, Nazis, leaches….. Not everyone, not even a majority but a very vocal minority. Anyway, it hit me today after going over some issues. I don’t want to get political per rules and my deep respect for the people who run the board and all of you. My main prayer request. I am open to any changes in how to provide services, any changes that can save money but hold services at least at this level. I just need some folks to talk to about it without the rhetoric. I usually try to do all of this on my own but this year I cant. Thank you.

  159. I love those two quotes from CS Lewis. Those thoughts keep coming back to me, especially when I am tempted to simply dismiss someone. They also make me flinch when I see someone mistreating someone else online without cause.

  160. Muff Potter wrote:

    In many Evangelical belief systems it’s taught that you cannot trust your common sense and especially your on board conscience. You (generic you) cannot trust them because they are hopelessly sullied by ‘sin’ inherited from Adam.

    This explains much.

  161. I’ve never understood this “Don’t correct the pastor” attitude. I think if I heard something wrong in a sermon, the first thing I would do would be to go to the pastor and ask him about it, to check I had understood properly, or to see if he could clarify. If someone is genuinely called as a Bible teacher, one mark of that (in my opinion) is that they love explaining and discussing the Scriptures with people. So if you approach them respectfully, even with a disagreement, they will be happy to go into it with you and talk it over. To say, “oh yes, I see where you’re coming from, but this is why I said such-and-such”. A genuine pastor will love his flock, and will be asking (as someone pointed out above) why this person is asking this question or raising this objection. If the automatic response is defensiveness and anger, then the person has a bigger problem than wrong preaching.

  162. Muff Potter wrote:

    In many Evangelical belief systems it’s taught that you cannot trust your common sense and especially your on board conscience. You (generic you) cannot trust them because they are hopelessly sullied by ‘sin’ inherited from Adam. And they have scads of verses to ‘prove it’.

    That is one part of it. Another part of it is the idea? observation? that some people apparently cannot differentiate the voice of their conscience from whatever other ‘voices’ whisper in their ear, and hence one sees people who do terrible things all the while claiming that their conscience is clear.

    And yet another part of it is that some people merely use the appeal to conscience as a means to do whatever and make people ashamed for disagreeing with them, while they no more are thinking about their conscience than the man in the moon. They are pulling a complete sham.

    This is seen both in forbidden sexual situations and also in shady business deals a lot.

    IMO it is not necessarily the conscience which cannot be trusted but more so it is the person with the alleged conscience who cannot be trusted. When my husband did the things that he did, and we parted ways, he claimed that his conscience was clear. It probably was-people can sink to that level.

  163. Dale wrote:

    I love Jesus. He is my everything.

    Amen Dale! You have just uttered a rare and endangered quote in the American church. We are so busy with religion, that we have not developed a relationship with Christ. When enough church folks start saying “I love Jesus. He is my everything”, we will have revival in the house … we will have Church!!

    Sometimes, after reflecting on the condition of the American church, I ask “What happened to Jesus?” I ask that a lot when I consider the New Calvinist movement – they have diminished His ministry, His message, and His mission for their own. I’ve never heard a New Calvinist (and a know a lot) say “I love Jesus. He is my everything.”

  164. Dale wrote:

    I love Jesus. He is my everything.

    Me too. I trust in his very person and nothing more. I hope to eat grilled fish with him one day.

  165. Muff Potter wrote:

    Dale wrote:

    I love Jesus. He is my everything.

    Me too. I trust in his very person and nothing more. I hope to eat grilled fish with him one day.

    ‘and of a honeycomb’
    (from the Holy Gospel of St. Luke 24:42)

  166. Dale wrote:

    I love Jesus. He is my everything.

    Bears repeating to every Authoritarian who thinks he stands in Jesus’ place.

  167. Muff Potter wrote:

    In many Evangelical belief systems it’s taught that you cannot trust your common sense and especially your on board conscience.

    It may be part of the zero tolerance/zero judgement phase that Western culture seems to be going through. I’ve experienced too much institutional thinking that seeks to replace judgement with a rule book. Hence we have churches where a veteran believer with 40 years of good reputation is trumped by the 30 year old pastor who sees the Bible as a set of rules to live by.

  168. Liz wrote:

    If someone is genuinely called as a Bible teacher, one mark of that (in my opinion) is that they love explaining and discussing the Scriptures with people. So if you approach them respectfully, even with a disagreement, they will be happy to go into it with you and talk it over.

    even in the time of Our Lord on Earth, the ‘wise men’ and elders of the temple were humble enough that they were willing to listen to a child:

    “46 Finally, after three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.”
    (from second chapter of the Holy Gospel of St. Luke)

  169. Friend wrote:

    Tina wrote:

    One saying that seriously annoys me is when I hear people say, God is not allowed in schools.

    Agreed… if God can be thrown out of the schools, God is not terribly powerful.

    These people who complain would complain even more if the public school were to become a place where its Muslim students could openly pray.

    I think people want their ‘own version’ of God and their own teachings about God to be present in the public arena;
    and my goodness, the very same people spew such venom and hatred and contempt on people of other faiths …..

    what they are about has nothing to do with ‘God’, no;
    they are about power and control of the ‘narrative’ and there will be no pleasing them unless THEY have THEIR way. So much for prayer in the schools.

    A morning ‘silent moment’ before class ??? That is different, and it can be meaningful also for every student and every teacher, yes:
    ‘Only in silence the Word’
    (Ursula Le Guin)

  170. Now to comment on the video. It appears to me to be staged filler content. Three ladies who are supposed to be proof that ladies can offer constructive criticism as long as they do it in the right way. Well, I have a newsflash for the content gurus at TgC. Following their formula will get people keyed out of gospelly coalitiony churches.

    If you go to a teacher privately and humbly with concerns about unbibilical teaching and bring your Bibles with you and point out that said teaching is not actually in the Bible, you will not be greeted with kisses of gratitude but instead you are told that you are wrong and the issue is settled and you are divisive. You do this without telling anyone else of your concerns, so…divisive???

    What this advice does is reveal who the potential troublemakers are to leadership. That is all it does.

    Now, the Bathroom Question. Could that be any more awkwardly and transparently obvious? The issue is far more complex than the binary You Hate Transgender People *or* You Hate God’s Design for Humanity. I have done a lot of flying, and I have never had a seatmate ask me about a controversial question. That was a silly video about some important questions which were never actually addressed seriously.

  171. @ Gram3:

    What? You have never convinced an atheist of his need for Christ while cruising at 30,000 feet? That is unbelievable. I suppose also you have never witnessed to the car in the other lane while waiting at a red stoplight? Do you also pass up elevator opportunities? Doctor’s waiting room chances for a quick testimony? You have never converted the chair side assistant in the dental office while waiting for the anesthetic to take effect? I am just so disappointed to hear this.

  172. Dale wrote:

    I love Jesus. He is my everything.

    Sadly, not everyone in the pews, pulpit agree, pictures of Ben Franklin are more important….

  173. okrapod wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    What? You have never convinced an atheist of his need for Christ while cruising at 30,000 feet? That is unbelievable. I suppose also you have never witnessed to the car in the other lane while waiting at a red stoplight? Do you also pass up elevator opportunities? Doctor’s waiting room chances for a quick testimony? You have never converted the chair side assistant in the dental office while waiting for the anesthetic to take effect? I am just so disappointed to hear this.

    There’s a one-panel cartoon of a guy wearing an “ASK ME ABOUT JEESUS!” T-shirt saying to others:
    “I wear this when I have to fly; always gives me a whole seat row to myself.”

  174. Muff Potter wrote:

    Dale wrote:
    I love Jesus. He is my everything.
    Me too. I trust in his very person and nothing more. I hope to eat grilled fish with him one day.

    I’m going to teach him how to dredge the fish in a cornmeal, flour batter and deep fry it with taters and hush puppies. 😉

  175. Bridget wrote:

    Professional? How about the same respect for any other human being. Professionals and Pastors alike are not deserving of more respect than anyone else.

    You are confusing respect for an individual with respect for a professional opinion. I most certainly can respect an individual and have little or no respect for their opinion about a subject matter for which they are unqualified to address. I wouldn’t necessarily respect my dentist’s opinion about plumbing and likewise I wouldn’t respect my plumber’s opinion about tooth cavities, but both are professionals and I could ask them questions in their field of expertise. As humans they both deserve respect.

  176. brian wrote:

    I need a bit of prayer/advice. It is budget season again and part of that is advocacy. I spend pretty much 20 hours a week during this season with phone calls, reading, writing emails going to meetings and being called names. Usually not me in particular but my profession is brought into disrepute. We are lazy, liars, Satanists, Communists, Nazis, leaches….. Not everyone, not even a majority but a very vocal minority. Anyway, it hit me today after going over some issues. I don’t want to get political per rules and my deep respect for the people who run the board and all of you. My main prayer request. I am open to any changes in how to provide services, any changes that can save money but hold services at least at this level. I just need some folks to talk to about it without the rhetoric. I usually try to do all of this on my own but this year I cant. Thank you.

    Praying for you. You have been through a lot in life, and you continue to put yourself at some risk to help vulnerable people. I appreciate your unique voice, your unique experience, your unique viewpoint. You are willing to ask hard questions and seek answers. All of these things make you strong and effective. Have faith in yourself and in the worth of what you do.

  177. K.D. wrote:

    I’m going to teach him how to dredge the fish in a cornmeal, flour batter and deep fry it with taters and hush puppies.

    Isn’t it nice to imagine Jesus enjoying the cooking lesson?

  178. Ken G wrote:

    You are confusing respect for an individual with respect for a professional opinion.

    I want to question the assumption in the video and in the comments about the “professional opinion” or “usurped authority.” I do not find any reference in the actual text to professional Christians or to any kind of universal un-usurpable authority conferred on certain individuals.

  179. @ okrapod:

    You have never converted the chair side assistant in the dental office while waiting for the anesthetic to take effect?

    That might resemble speaking in tongues. Could be a powerful witness!

  180. I did not take the time to watch this video or its larger context. However, as a pastor (that’s my role, not my title), I would strongly disagree with the premise (whether or not it is accurately summarized here) that pastors are above confrontation. What?! I should be the FIRST one confronted if I go astray at all! If I speak heresy I could lead others astray and therefore must be corrected immediately. Just this past Sunday in between our 2 services, one of our elders suggested that something I said could have been misconstrued. I thanked him and changed my message accordingly in the second service. I often have great conversations with folks who see things slightly different than I do. Thank God for them and their correction.

    For the record, my soteriology is reformed and our church reserves the role of elders for men. Some here would despise these beliefs. That’s your right, but I am trying to say that not all Calvinists are like what is often talked about on this blog. From my experience, these excesses are less common. Nevertheless I am glad whenever abuse of any kind–especially in a leader–is uncovered. Truth and love, truth and love. That’s all we have.

  181. Ken G wrote:

    You are confusing respect for an individual with respect for a professional opinion. … I wouldn’t necessarily respect my dentist’s opinion about plumbing and likewise I wouldn’t respect my plumber’s opinion about tooth cavities

    Both plumbers and dentists make mistakes, though. And I’m sure you would question them respectfully too.

    Last time I stayed in a hospital, every room had signs posted to encourage patients to speak up: Ask the staff if they washed their hands. Make sure they confirm your identity before giving medication or doing (egad) a procedure.

    A doctor wanted to give me an injection that was contraindicated for me. I politely explained a narrow point about my medical history. Once in awhile, patients and family members prevent disaster by knowing and asking.

    Annnnd we should be able to ask questions in church too.

  182. K.D. wrote:

    I’m going to teach him how to dredge the fish in a cornmeal, flour batter and deep fry it with taters and hush puppies.

    And Jesus will divide the food and it will multiply into more than enough to feed all of us – like the 5,000!
    Hey, how ’bout some tater salad, white beans with ripe tomato relish, and some sweet iced tea to go with it? Maybe some fried green ‘maters, and oooo, what’s fer dessert?

  183. I don’t think I would confront a preacher about anything, not because I think they are exempt, but because I try to avoid them like the plague. For me, as far as possible away is about the safe distance. Of the very few interactions I have had with preachers the only pleasant ones have been a handshake at the door on the way out after service, with one single exception. I feel sure I am being excessive, but better safe than sorry.

    I feel the same way about IRS agents, but I don’t know any so it is not a problem.

  184. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t think I would confront a preacher about anything, not because I think they are exempt, but because I try to avoid them like the plague.

    This belongs in Ecclesiastes.

  185. Friend wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    I’m going to teach him how to dredge the fish in a cornmeal, flour batter and deep fry it with taters and hush puppies.
    Isn’t it nice to imagine Jesus enjoying the cooking lesson?

    I think He’d love it!

  186. okrapod wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    What? You have never convinced an atheist of his need for Christ while cruising at 30,000 feet? That is unbelievable. I suppose also you have never witnessed to the car in the other lane while waiting at a red stoplight? Do you also pass up elevator opportunities? Doctor’s waiting room chances for a quick testimony? You have never converted the chair side assistant in the dental office while waiting for the anesthetic to take effect? I am just so disappointed to hear this.

    I suspect YOU are being sarcastic . . . 🙂

    However, I’m also reminded of my old church, where we were “encouraged” (read: told) to “make the most of every opportunity”, which translated into “invite everyone you see to church”. I was part of weekly meetings where we WERE asked, “How many people are you inviting each day to church?” and if we weren’t, we WERE rebuked for it!

  187. Muff Potter wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Situations which call for common sense are replaced with “I have a verse!”. Listening to one’s conscience is replaced with “I have a verse!”.
    In many Evangelical belief systems it’s taught that you cannot trust your common sense and especially your on board conscience. You (generic you) cannot trust them because they are hopelessly sullied by ‘sin’ inherited from Adam. And they have scads of verses to ‘prove it’.

    One of them is Jeremiah 17:9–“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

  188. Tina wrote:

    However, I’m also reminded of my old church, where we were “encouraged” (read: told) to “make the most of every opportunity”, which translated into “invite everyone you see to church”. I was part of weekly meetings where we WERE asked, “How many people are you inviting each day to church?” and if we weren’t, we WERE rebuked for it!

    I’ll bet didn’t even invite your obgyn dr to church when you went for your Pap smear!

  189. @ Tina:

    I have never been in a situation where people had to account for how many ‘contacts’ they made or where anybody was rebuked for it one way or the other. I have seriously heard it recommended that people use every available opportunity to ‘witness’. And I have hear some pretty outlandish stories of some witnessing activities of the weird kind.

  190. Anon in the EFCA wrote:

    Some here would despise these beliefs.

    I do not despise those who hold that belief since I once held that belief for the same reasons that most non subordinationists hold them. What I do despise are the beliefs that women are by nature more rebellious than men and desire to overthrow male authority. That exhibits a deep-seated contempt for women that I think many men have not faced squarely. Thankfully there are some conservative Reformed female voices that are speaking up on this issue, and I hope that some wise men will listen to them. FWIW, I do not agree with some of the strident and broad-brush criticism of Calvinism from some here. I am a Baptist, and I would not like to be measured by a few that I can think of off the top of my head…

  191. Anon in the EFCA wrote:

    For the record, my soteriology is reformed and our church reserves the role of elders for men. Some here would despise these beliefs.

    Welcome to TWW Anon in the EFCA,
    Just because I may disagree with your beliefs does not automatically mean that I despise them.
    Toleration and affirmation are different things and not at all synonymous.

  192. Tina wrote:

    One of them is Jeremiah 17:9–“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

    Yup. That one’s theeee hundred-megaton-clobber-verse that gets Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context (Hebrew Bible) every time.

    Here’s another one that has gotten highly weaponized too:

    “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
    — Romans 7:18 —

  193. Ken G wrote:

    You are confusing respect for an individual with respect for a professional opinion. I most certainly can respect an individual and have little or no respect for their opinion about a subject matter for which they are unqualified to address. I wouldn’t necessarily respect my dentist’s opinion about plumbing and likewise I wouldn’t respect my plumber’s opinion about tooth cavities, but both are professionals and I could ask them questions in their field of expertise. As humans they both deserve respect.

    I don’t think I am confusing the two things. The same respect would be given to all people in my little world, if I was at my best. I would not have different respect for a professional because he gave a professional opinion than I would for a non professional in any interaction I was having with them. A pastor is a brother/sister in Christ not, in my opinion, a professional.

  194. Muff Potter wrote:

    Toleration and affirmation are different things and not at all synonymous.

    True. None the less, there are a few ideas from my early years in baptistville that I now recognize to be consistent with calvinism and which have left some scars on me. So, yes, I despise those things. My parents clearly let me believe as a child that perhaps God did not want to have anything to do with me, and I have wrestled with that idea off and on all my life. So, be it known, I despise that and I despise what that idea can do to a human being. I despise it as a teaching, as a threat, as a power move, as human pride, as intellectual and emotional child abuse, and as a lie straight from the pit. Not to be too plain spoken about it of course.

  195. @ okrapod:
    I think it is too bad that Little Okrapod had to internalize that idea and not “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” That was not on the approved list at our most recent former church, to the best of my recollection, sadly.

  196. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t think I am confusing the two things. The same respect would be given to all people in my little world, if I was at my best. I would not have different respect for a professional because he gave a professional opinion than I would for a non professional in any interaction I was having with them. A pastor is a brother/sister in Christ not, in my opinion, a professional.

    Gram3 wrote:

    I want to question the assumption in the video and in the comments about the “professional opinion” or “usurped authority.” I do not find any reference in the actual text to professional Christians or to any kind of universal un-usurpable authority conferred on certain individuals.

    I have used the term “professional opinion” with the dictionary definition of the word “professional.” According to the dictionary, a professional is a person engaged in a specific activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. If your pastor earns his living being a pastor, then he is a professional according to the dictionary. His teachings or conclusions about a Christian topic are his professional opinion. And that opinion was usually developed by formal education in a seminary. You don’t have to agree with him and the video had some suggestions for presenting disagreements. If the word “professional” is a stumbling block, then a possible solution would be to find a church that doesn’t have a paid individual as the pastor.

  197. Ken G wrote:

    If the word “professional” is a stumbling block

    Stumbling block or not, my point is that it is not a position of privilege but one of service, contra the ladies in the video and the Professional Clergy Class of all Brands. If people want to pay for services, that is fine, but saying that an Office Bearer ha an exalted position worthy of deference because the Bible says so is something else.

  198. Ken G wrote:

    If your pastor earns his living being a pastor, then he is a professional according to the dictionary. His teachings or conclusions about a Christian topic are his professional opinion. And that opinion was usually developed by formal education in a seminary.

    Some of the most authoritarian clergy belong to traditions that proudly reject seminaries and pay alike. They train their own, yet they are professional in their authority.

    Education gets in the way of faith, they fear. Critical thinking has never been employed to challenge and strengthen their faith. And they sashay into the sanctuary and demand complete fealty.

    Any faith worth having should be able to withstand education.

  199. Ken G wrote:

    If the word “professional” is a stumbling block, then a possible solution would be to find a church that doesn’t have a paid individual as the pastor.

    well, vows of poverty are a feature among some in Christianity who take them, but I don’t think such people are into the pride thing that demands a recognition of superiority. Likely, such people see themselves as ‘servants of the servants of God’.

    I expect there are many a pastor out there that works at a ‘day job’ to support his family and also serves a congregation. Such men seem to be ‘in it’ far more for the ‘calling’ itself than for the financial rewards being accrued by them what lives in gated communities, keeps their salaries ‘secret’ and beats the sheep who cannot afford to tithe.

  200. Ken G wrote:

    If the word “professional” is a stumbling block, then a possible solution would be to find a church that doesn’t have a paid individual as the pastor.

    That seems like a mighty snarky statement to me.

  201. Ken G wrote:

    I have used the term “professional opinion” with the dictionary definition of the word “professional.” According to the dictionary, a professional is a person engaged in a specific activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. If your pastor earns his living b

    That’s a bit of a tell. Are they pastoring for the money and the rank? Are they the church presidents/CEOs? Are they looking out for themselves more so than anything or anyone else? Are they as committed to the people as much as they are the conferences and book writing and sales?

  202. Ken G wrote:

    If the word “professional” is a stumbling block, then a possible solution would be to find a church that doesn’t have a paid individual as the pastor.

    The best church pastor I’ve ever known did not call themselves “professionals”: they called themselves servants, and behaved accordingly.

  203. Gram3 wrote:

    “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” That was not on the approved list at our most recent former church, to the best of my recollection, sadly.

    It’s more than sad Gram3. How could the beauty and hope (faith is hope) in that child’s song be flung from approval?

  204. @ Nancy2:
    yes …. it seems to me that the difference between a famous bling ‘pastor’ and a real shepherd is in the many details:

    does the man visit the sick and the shut-ins? does this man bring communion to them what cannot come to Church? does this man spend time with troubled people, listening to them and does he continue to watch over them in their distress? does this man preside at baptisms, weddings, and yes, funerals? is this man ‘PRESENT’ to the sheep? does he ‘come along side’ the sheep in time of need? does he give of himself without needing adoration from his flock? is he respectful of all he serves ?

  205. @ dee:
    It’s about approaching people appropriately and without malice.

    In the video, the person using the theoretical airplane story seems to think that referring it to the bible will bring on some sort of “oh wow” enlightenment to the (presumably) non-christian (wrong christian?) listener.

    It’s like we non-christians are just too dumb to know anything better. It’s an insult to a person’s intelligence and a definite turn off if you want to engage in any meaningful way.

    Listening to these folks talk, a meaningful way appears to involve no small amount of passive aggressiveness. Just the way they talk to each other. It’s like any disagreement is distasteful. Makes me think of my mom’s “Well, you’re welcome to your opinion but…”

    I know this attitude is prevalent everywhere, certainly the more aggressive atheist literature takes on this same tone. Dawkins and Hitchens more aggressive than passive.

    Using the bible alone will never convince anyone that your faith is the right faith or that your church is the right church. Actions speak louder than words. I shared a story about my wife’s aunt who was the first Christian in her family coming from a Muslim/Buddhist background. Bible verses alone did not facilitate that conversion. A caring community did, a community that saw her as a person, not a number.

  206. Muff Potter wrote:

    How could the beauty and hope (faith is hope) in that child’s song be flung from approval?

    Well, in that particular case (not saying this about any other church) it is because (in the opinion of the Paid Professional Clergyman) no one can say that about any particular child since no one can know that about any particular child. Right about that time, we knew that at some point we would not be staying, though we did not know how soon that would come to pass!

  207. okrapod wrote:

    @ Tina:
    I have never been in a situation where people had to account for how many ‘contacts’ they made or where anybody was rebuked for it one way or the other. I have seriously heard it recommended that people use every available opportunity to ‘witness’. And I have hear some pretty outlandish stories of some witnessing activities of the weird kind.

    I heard a few stories about “weird” witnessing activities during my days in my old church.

    I heard of someone that decided to fast until he shared his faith (i.e. invited someone to church.) He fasted for EIGHT DAYS.

    I heard about a group of guys that made it their goal to share their faith with everyone they made eye contact with.

    I attended a movie with a group of Christians where one of the people with us started to stand up and preach at the very end, inviting everyone to church. The movie was The Mission (with Robert DeNiro) and the person doing the inviting was one of the ministers (we knew in advance that he was going to do that.)

    A church in London, England that was part of the group of churches I was part of invented the term “tubing”. A group of Christians would get on the tube (the Underground) and then the tube would start, the Christians would start handing out cards inviting people to church. And such behavior was applauded by those in leadership. If you did it, you were “bold” and “evangelistic” and held in high esteem.

  208. Nancy2 wrote:

    Tina wrote:
    However, I’m also reminded of my old church, where we were “encouraged” (read: told) to “make the most of every opportunity”, which translated into “invite everyone you see to church”. I was part of weekly meetings where we WERE asked, “How many people are you inviting each day to church?” and if we weren’t, we WERE rebuked for it!
    I’ll bet didn’t even invite your obgyn dr to church when you went for your Pap smear!

    Nope, afraid not. 🙂

    I did have an accident with a bike I was riding where I hit a curb and got thrown about ten feet. Got scrapes on my face and had to have stitches. I said to the group standing around that “God was looking out for me,” and I *seriously thought* about inviting them all to church at that point!

  209. From CBMW, June 2016:
    Practical Guidelines for Pastors (“teaching the beauty of complementarity” – there is a video on the page)
    http://cbmw.org/uncategorized/practical-guidelines-for-pastors/

    How ought pastors teach on the beauty of complementarity? Ligon Duncan gives 8 ways.

    “You have to teach and preach on these issues. If you fail to address this with an ordinary diet of pastoral ministry in the local congregation, we lose on this issue.”

    Watch the video above for more.

  210. Nancy2 wrote:

    Maybe some fried green ‘maters, and oooo, what’s fer dessert?

    Dessert? I’m thinkin’ rhubarb pie. The rhubarb grown in the rich black loam of Southeastern Wisconsin. It’s a long time favorite where I’m originally from.
    And yeah those fried green tomatoes sound scrum-dilly too!

  211. Gram3 wrote:

    Right about that time, we knew that at some point we would not be staying, though we did not know how soon that would come to pass!

    sounds like you, as so many others who comment here, had a difficult experience with your previous church of choice

    Was there a final ‘last straw’?

  212. @ Gram3:
    well, if that ‘church’ had a problem with that sweet children’s hymn,
    then maybe you are much better off away from that scene, yes

  213. @ Christiane:
    Yes, and I think that other people feel the same way when they have been excommunicated from various ‘churches’ for various reasons other than children’s songs throughout history, too. Fact is, the institutional church often does not honor her Lord because the institutional church has become drawn away by a lust for power and fame and money. Some things just never change, unfortunately. But God is no bound by human failure, thankfully.

  214. Daisy wrote:

    “You have to teach and preach on these issues. If you fail to address this with an ordinary diet of pastoral ministry in the local congregation, we lose on this issue.”

    Does anyone want to take a stab at what this means? What is an ordinary diet of pastoral ministry and how does it keep them from losing on the issue of complementarianism?

    I’m thinking an ordinary diet of pastoral ministry would not be enough to sell a group of preschoolers on the beauty of kale cupcakes when they really want Twinkies. Sounds like a loser to me.

  215. Tina wrote:

    I heard about a group of guys that made it their goal to share their faith with everyone they made eye contact with.

    “Just keep walking… DON’T make eye contact…”

  216. Mara wrote:

    Because even though he is held responsible for the sin as the head of woman and head of state, he isn’t really guilty. He is only held responsible. They know who is actually guilty. They know who the evil temptress is and it’s not David. Every woman has the potential to be the evil temptress, pretty much from cradle to grave. It is in our nature.

    QFT. All of this Mara. So sad. So wrong. So NOT biblical.

    These are the same people who will tell you all that matters is what the text is, if it isn’t in the bible it isn’t there. That’s how you know they are lying.

  217. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    By the way…Should I go grocery shopping at Weis or Whole Foods? Is there a verse somewhere about that?
    Go to the one that is farthest away.
    Proverbs 31:14

    Isn’t this fun? It could be a TV game.

    What color should you wear?

    Purple! Proverbs 31: 19 (ish)

  218. @ Lea:

    One of the things that does occur in the text is when Matthew lists four women, and only four women, in the genealogy of Jesus. That would be Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. All four are recorded in scripture as being women who were involved one way or the other in sexual situations which we today would consider immoral, each under different circumstances, and all four ended up smelling like a rose in scripture. So what was Matthew trying to tell us? I have no idea, but probably something. I think that when we get bogged down in limiting our thinking to today’s standards we are probably missing the point.

  219. @ dee:

    “I prefer to interact with the comments and the wonderful people behind the comments. I love dialoging. I think everyone gets more out of that then just a lecture-no matter how good.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    yes. so very much. i am so surprised the ‘sermon’ model is still being perpetuated as the norm. i think it is an example of perpetuating tradition for its own sake, sort of mindlessly, without considering if it’s even worthwhile or necessary.

    if it is meant for learning, there are better ways. but i don’t think the sermon is altogether about learning/teaching. i believe that behind it are things like:

    *checking off a box on the duties list so as to fulfill expectations (expectations mindlessly held)

    *checking off a box on the biblical list (the bible says words like sermon, preach, preacher — wow, 3 biblical boxes get to be checked each week!)

    *showmanship

    *for the ‘audience’ (that’s what it is, an audience), it is a unique experience in a busy, tiring week where you can sit in warm place with nice people who are friendly to you, and you don’t have to do anything. it meets some social needs without having to do anything. you can zone out, daydream, doze, let your eyes unfocus and just be…. and all the while feel like you’re earning god points.

  220. @ okrapod:

    It just occurred to me what that list of women might be. Here was Miriam of Nazareth who had been pregnant under ‘unusual’ circumstances and Matthew may have been reminding his readers of previous women in their history who had been in some eyebrow raising situations and who had not been condemned for it. Maybe he was protecting Mary’s reputation. They would have been able to count 40 weeks like everybody else.

  221. @ mot:

    “I would quickly add these SBC leaders and pastors hate any man that will tell them they are wrong about women in the church.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    they are the ones who will be marginalized more and more until they occupy this small reinforced bunker. which they will do as a badge of honor, believing they are earning the place of honor of nearness to God’s throne in heaven when they get there.

    meanwhile, those on the outside will be engaging more and more productively and humanely.

    women are storehouses of knowledge, understanding, wisdom. they have a huge variety of skills, are multi-tasking wonders. women easily and quickly see the big picture, what’s needed, what’s not needed, what’s not needed, what’s advantageous and what’s not, what’s stupid and what’s not, what is the shortest distance between 2 points and how to get there well.

    only a fool would say no.

  222. @ Max:

    “Has anyone else noticed that the New Calvinists spend more time trying to convince the rest of us about gender roles than they do preaching about Jesus?”
    ++++++++++++

    just look at the resources devoted to it — in office space, salaries, full-time jobs, hours of time, energy, speaking tours, conference production, transportation costs/fuel usage/accomodations and meals for both the producers/presenters and the attenders.

    the profits must be very good. in revenue, job creation, and personal significance.

  223. @ elastigirl:
    they seem to have energetically and purposefully wandered from their ‘first love’

    a new god they make? a golden male calf?

  224. okrapod wrote:

    Maybe he was protecting Mary’s reputation. They would have been able to count 40 weeks like everybody else.

    The Scripture does say that Joseph was a just man. In Judaism, “justness” cannot be divorced from action as readily as it can be in Christianity. Anyway, I think that Joseph loved Mary in every sense of the word and didn’t give a rat’s @$$ if she was pregnant by someone or something other than him.

  225. @ Lea:

    “I think folks like this should ask themselves why they are so unwilling to blame david for his own sin? Why they are so unwilling to accept that he was the one in the wrong. Completely”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    hmmmm… i don’ think natural-born d|ckheads are good at that.

  226. elastigirl wrote:

    they are the ones who will be marginalized more and more until they occupy this small reinforced bunker. which they will do as a badge of honor, believing they are earning the place of honor of nearness to God’s throne in heaven when they get there.

    I have no desire to go to their “heaven”.

  227. @ Nancy2:

    “The smiles on those women’s faces in the video ……. is it just me ……….. or do they look sooooooo fake?”
    ++++++++++

    i suspect they’re just giddy that they were finally given the mic.

    to be jane austenish about it, delighted with the condescension.

  228. elastigirl wrote:

    meanwhile, those on the outside will be engaging more and more productively and humanely.

    Yes. I believe this too.

    elastigirl wrote:

    women are storehouses of knowledge, understanding, wisdom. they have a huge variety of skills, are multi-tasking wonders. women easily and quickly see the big picture, what’s needed, what’s not needed, what’s not needed, what’s advantageous and what’s not, what’s stupid and what’s not, what is the shortest distance between 2 points and how to get there well.

    The sooner the church universal wakes up to this the better off it will be.

    elastigirl wrote:

    only a fool would say no.

    The Book of Proverbs is full of sayings on fools and their folly. The bunker boyz have a choice, they can hunker down in their caves, or move on to better ways and means.

  229. @ mot:

    “The last few times I attended a Southern Baptist Sunday School class it appeared to me the Sunday School literature has been designed for a lecture approach and not a discussion approach.”
    +++++++++++++

    (i’m catching up by reading down from the top… finding lots to respond to)

    my kid’s teen-age sunday school has become exactly this. they hate it. it is pointless for them. they no longer want to go. they get lectures all during the week — 7 of them a day. every 45 minutes, a new lecture. they’re sick of it. the last thing they need or want is a lecture about God.

    (ha — is it about God? or is it about all the things they can’t do and all the things they have to do, and the highly prescriptive way to do it? too riddled with nonsense for me to even want them to go anymore)

  230. Ken G wrote:

    n fact, they gave a couple of ways of questioning the pastor. It just needs to be done with respect; the same respect you would give any other professional.

    Problem: What if that pastor, whom you want to question, gets to decide what “respectful” means? And what if he’s decided that no questioning can be “respectful”?

  231. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Darlene wrote: “Max, I think it’s because these folks seem themselves to be Culture Warriors. In their world, Feminism is to blame on most of the ills in our society. Their cure is Biblical Gender Roles. If women today just knew their place, we could go back to the Good Old Days when men were in charge.”

    Headless Unicorn Guy said, “Thought Experiment: Substitute “The Jews” or “Infidels” or “Yankee Imperialists” for “Feminism” and see where the rabbit hole goes.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    good comment. you quick-crystallized my slowly congealing thoughts for me. no need to invoke Godwin’s Law.

  232. Can anyone summarize what these ladies actually said? I think they ended up saying something like “It’s all there in the Bible” or something like that. I’m trying to get the point of their video (if there really is one.)

  233. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Problem: What if that pastor, whom you want to question, gets to decide what “respectful” means? And what if he’s decided that no questioning can be “respectful”?

    Solution: Find another church.

  234. Gram3 wrote:

    Can anyone summarize what these ladies actually said? I think they ended up saying something like “It’s all there in the Bible” or something like that. I’m trying to get the point of their video (if there really is one.)

    I think that’s the point of the post. They (the ladies) haven’t really said doodly-darn. And that’s a good thing for them and who they represent, because it’s non-controversial and non-committal. That way, their leadership (behind the scenes) can manufacture pretty much what they want from the Bible as they go along.
    A second benefit is that the ladies won’t ring any alarm bells in the psyches of the on-line-surfing-women who chance upon their vids.

  235. Nancy2 wrote:

    The best church pastor I’ve ever known did not call themselves “professionals”: they called themselves servants, and behaved accordingly.

    That may be true, but if they earn their living from being a pastor they are “professionals” according to the dictionary regardless of what they may call themselves.

  236. Nancy2 wrote:

    That’s a bit of a tell. Are they pastoring for the money and the rank? Are they the church presidents/CEOs? Are they looking out for themselves more so than anything or anyone else? Are they as committed to the people as much as they are the conferences and book writing and sales?

    Good questions. I don’t have the answers.

  237. @ elastigirl:

    I can see why the sermon in a large church is not discussion based. But sunday school? Teaching and discussion work so well in that format!

  238. @ Lea:

    i can, too. but then i ask myself, why is “this” the model? week after week, always the same,….

    speaking only for myself, church-going was not time well-spent. it was a 4-6 hour exercise in being an observer (transportation included). observing the professionals, and being their audience.

    smaller informal groups are so much better (even though they can devolve into little totalitarian mini-nations). smaller groups that meet regularly, and maybe once a quarter they all come together for a big spiritual shindig.

    imagine how inexpensive that could be. and how unwasteful (in time, resources,…)

    a beautiful church in town sits empty for 90% of every week. That’s 90% of the year. Their insurance carrier has told them they can only rent it out to other non-profits or else their non-profit status will be in jeopardy.

    it could be so useful to the community. it could open its doors and be shared with the community for so many productive and helpful and artistic things.

    But except for the Sunday service, the sole purpose of the facility is to sit there on expensive land dark, quiet, and locked up so as not to upset the non-profit status, while requiring its neighbors to subsidize its share of public services.

    when & how did things get so off track?

  239. Lea wrote:

    @ elastigirl:

    I can see why the sermon in a large church is not discussion based. But sunday school? Teaching and discussion work so well in that format!

    I do not think the SBC leaders trust the Sunday School members to discuss the scriptures particularly the women. I just do not get their strategy at all.

  240. Muff Potter wrote:

    They (the ladies) haven’t really said doodly-darn. And that’s a good thing for them and who they represent, because it’s non-controversial and non-committal.

    A bonus is that it proves the premise of Female Subordinationism that females just are not capable of much coherent thought and not designed to be leaders and teachers but followers and listeners. I imagine that these ladies are quite intelligent and it is a pity that they are wasting their abilities in service to false teaching which is actually not found in the text. Ironically.

  241. Ken G wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    The best church pastor I’ve ever known did not call themselves “professionals”: they called themselves servants, and behaved accordingly.

    That may be true, but if they earn their living from being a pastor they are “professionals” according to the dictionary regardless of what they may call themselves.

    Why are you so hung up about the dictionaries definition?

  242. Ken G wrote:

    Solution: Find another church.

    Better solution: worship outside the institutional church as we see it today.

  243. Ken G wrote:

    Solution: Find another church.

    That’s easy enough to say, Ken. But it might not be so simple for those who’ve invested themselves in that church, emotionally and otherwise. And, as Dee and Deb have covered here extensively, pastors like these go out of their way to make church very difficult to just pick up and leave. Some will even chase and harass you after leaving.

    There’s also the fact that this attitude of “touch not mine anointed” seems to be metastasizing in American churches. Which leads to a further difficulty: What if all the churches in your area are led by men with this attitude? What then? Move elsewhere, just so you can attend somewhere safe on Sunday?

  244. @ mot:
    well, he may be focusing on the origin of the word, which when first used meant a profession of religious vows publicly

    it is also a synonym for a ‘calling’

  245. @ Serving Kids In Japan:

    Depending on how bad the behavior of the pastor is, it might be worth your time to try to get him out instead of removing yourself if possible. But I wouldn’t try anything like that for a simple disagreement.

    elastigirl wrote:

    was a 4-6 hour exercise in being an observer (transportation included).

    Goodness! I think I spend two hours at church tops so maybe I see it differently. Half of that in a class with discussion format and half in the service, which includes a fair bit of liturgy and singing.

    As for why? i don’t know. In theory I think you are supposed to be learning something and as I voluntarily listen to lectures on all sorts of topics I can’t knock it entirely. However, when it becomes all about the pastor and his kids or golf game or unbiblical views on gender roles it’s probably time to take a pass on it. Which I did, for a very long time.

  246. Gram3 wrote:

    Can anyone summarize what these ladies actually said? I think they ended up saying something like “It’s all there in the Bible” or something like that. I’m trying to get the point of their video (if there really is one.)

    If you’re correcting someone outside of the church, “be bold”. If an authority figure in the church needs correcting, think hard about it and maybe just change churches.

  247. elastigirl wrote:

    speaking only for myself, church-going was not time well-spent. it was a 4-6 hour exercise in being an observer (transportation included). observing the professionals, and being their audience.

    And listening to the same few basic messages over and over again, really. Week after week, year after year, decade after decade…

  248. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    That’s easy enough to say, Ken. But it might not be so simple for those who’ve invested themselves in that church, emotionally and otherwise. And, as Dee and Deb have covered here extensively, pastors like these go out of their way to make church very difficult to just pick up and leave. Some will even chase and harass you after leaving.

    There’s also the fact that this attitude of “touch not mine anointed” seems to be metastasizing in American churches. Which leads to a further difficulty: What if all the churches in your area are led by men with this attitude? What then? Move elsewhere, just so you can attend somewhere safe on Sunday?

    I know it is not easy. After I left my church, I initially felt there might be something wrong with me. I might have a bad attitude or I’m being to critical, etc. Then by chance I came across Julia Duin’s book, Quitting Church and found myself on many of the pages. My church experiences were not unique, but were shared by many Christians who have left their church and many are in the “done” category. If you can’t find another church, then the “done” category may be the next best course of action.

  249. elastigirl wrote:

    my kid’s teen-age sunday school has become exactly this. they hate it. it is pointless for them. they no longer want to go. they get lectures all during the week — 7 of them a day. every 45 minutes, a new lecture. they’re sick of it. the last thing they need or want is a lecture about God.

    I found that my church and Sunday school was not teaching or educating the congregation. They were all about indoctrination. I got sick of it and was able to enroll in a course on Romans at a near by bible institute. I think I learned more taking that one course than I could ever learn at church.

  250. Gram3 wrote:

    I imagine that these ladies are quite intelligent and it is a pity that they are wasting their abilities in service to false teaching which is actually not found in the text. Ironically.

    In their world, intelligence and gifting have nothing whatsoever to do with it. It’s determined solely by plumbing received at birth.
    Here’s a youtube vid on a segment of the senior pastor’s conference held in Philadelphia. One of the big honchos relates an anecdote of an exchange he had with the founder’s (Papa Chuck) wife who happened to be teaching a women’s Bible study at the time.
    It starts getting really poignant at about the 5:55 mark:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSKU2GA4mrc

  251. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    There’s also the fact that this attitude of “touch not mine anointed” seems to be metastasizing in American churches. Which leads to a further difficulty: What if all the churches in your area are led by men with this attitude? What then? Move elsewhere, just so you can attend somewhere safe on Sunday?

    Swim the Tiber. When it comes to Totalism and Thought Reform, the RCC and the Born-Agains have exchanged places completely in the past 60-100 years.

  252. siteseer wrote:

    And listening to the same few basic messages over and over again, really. Week after week, year after year, decade after decade…

    “Effective Propaganda consists of Simplification and Repetition.”
    — Reichsminister Josef Goebbels

  253. Muff Potter wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    I imagine that these ladies are quite intelligent and it is a pity that they are wasting their abilities in service to false teaching which is actually not found in the text. Ironically.

    In their world, intelligence and gifting have nothing whatsoever to do with it. It’s determined solely by plumbing received at birth.
    Here’s a youtube vid on a segment of the senior pastor’s conference held in Philadelphia. One of the big honchos relates an anecdote of an exchange he had with the founder’s (Papa Chuck) wife who happened to be teaching a women’s Bible study at the time.
    It starts getting really poignant at about the 5:55 mark:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSKU2GA4mrc

    Those guys in that video stink on every level. These men need to quit limiting how God wants to use women.

  254. mot wrote:

    Those guys in that video stink on every level. These men need to quit limiting how God wants to use women.

    What did you expect from Calvary Chapel?

    I’m uploading this comment less than 20 miles/30km from CC’s Vatican in “Costa Lotta”. When I was in-country circa 1980, CC dominated Christianese AM airwaves; to the point non-denom “Fellowships” were nothing more than CCs with the labels painted over. There was literally No Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel/Papa Chuck. And to me, CC distilled down and concentrated all the ways Fundagelicanism could go wrong.

    “I grew up in King’s Landing.”
    — Maester Aemon Targeryn, Game of Thrones

  255. Muff Potter wrote:

    Here’s a youtube vid on a segment of the senior pastor’s conference held in Philadelphia.

    Did you hear the guy screaming at a billboard selling cigarettes that ‘god cares’ who wears the pants? That guy is mental.

    I normally am not one who is like ‘oh no that panel is all men’ but in these cases, where they are deciding what ‘God’ wants women to do? It’s quite obvious. It is all about what is best for them. Not what God wants.

    And can I say, I love this rational that ‘most men’ are so lazy that if women will do something they will just sit back and be lazy and that’s why women have to step back and ‘let’ the men do things. WHAT? Do you people hear yourself talk?

  256. mot wrote:

    Those guys in that video stink on every level. These men need to quit limiting how God wants to use women.

    It’s not just CC. Listen to/read Moore, Piper, Mohler, Patterson, Keller, Duncan, every SBC leader …….. God doesn’t use women. God made women for men to use. It appears to me that there is no direct link between God and women. Everything women do in the churches and in the family has to be either ordered or approved by the men.
    Oh, they won’t say it so directly ….. flowery words, and all that ….. but if you (generic) really listen and use just a small portion of your brain, it’s easy to tell what they mean.

  257. Nancy2 wrote:

    Everything women do in the churches and in the family has to be either ordered or approved by the men.

    By the same men who are apparently all super lazy when left to themselves. According to these guys.

  258. Nancy2 wrote:

    It’s not just CC. Listen to/read Moore, Piper, Mohler, Patterson, Keller, Duncan, every SBC leader ……

    No it’s not just Calvary Chapel. And I think it was Dr. Fundy who originally said that Arminian fundagelicalism and Neo-Cal fundagelicalism are kissin’ cousins, and that any purported ‘differences’ are purely cosmetic.

  259. @ Lea:

    “I normally am not one who is like ‘oh no that panel is all men’ but in these cases, where they are deciding what ‘God’ wants women to do?”
    ++++++++++++++

    it’s 100% ridiculous to have a panel of men in influential positions make pronouncements about women.

    i am tired, so tired, of panels that are all-men. Boards and committees and leadership teams that are all men. i love men just as much as i love any and all human beings. but come now, is homogeneity ever a good thing? (not speaking to you, Lea — speaking to the air here, to the world, to doofusses near and far)

  260. mot wrote:

    Those guys in that video stink on every level. These men need to quit limiting how God wants to use women.

    Those guys are the last of the old guard in the Calvary Chapel brand. They are fast fading into the sunset. Early on in the vid, one of the big honchos is up front about it and says that the Bible teaches no wimminz in the pulpit period, no ifs, no ands, and no buts.
    These guys sincerely believe that Paul’s alleged ‘command’ (1 Timothy 2:12) is directly from the Lord Jesus himself and not to be thought of in any other fashion.

    I’m an optimist and believe that the days of this teaching are numbered in the CC brand and it will not see the 22nd century. If history is any teacher at all, Southern Baptists eventually gave up the idea that it’s perfectly okay to own slaves, and as new and younger blood moves into the upper leadership cadre of CC, cognitive dissonance will do its thing, and they will no longer keep gifted and talented women out of the pulpit.

  261. Lea wrote:

    I normally am not one who is like ‘oh no that panel is all men’ but in these cases, where they are deciding what ‘God’ wants women to do? It’s quite obvious. It is all about what is best for them. Not what God wants.

    well, we KNOW what God wants for women is a position of being able to bring ‘Good News’ to men in person. When Our Lord sent Mary Magdalene to the Apostles with the news of His Resurrection, she became, in the history of the Church, identified as the ‘Apostola Apostolorum’

    Some things even the Church acknowledges openly. This is one of them.

    All of the ‘patriarchal’ male-headship stuff pales behind the fact that God chose a women to announce to men the one fact that the whole Creation was waiting for: the first sign of its renewal in the Person of the Risen Lord.
    “Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ, and for this reason she was also the first to bear witness to Him before the Apostles. This event, in a sense, crowns all that has been said previously about Christ entrusting divine truths to women as well as men” (JPII)

  262. elastigirl wrote:

    i am tired, so tired, of panels that are all-men. Boards and committees and leadership teams that are all men. i love men just as much as i love any and all human beings. but come now, is homogeneity ever a good thing?

    I’m just saying, if they are talking about viruses or something I don’t care who they are, male/female, black white or purple if they know their stuff.

    That’s not what this is, though. Especially when women are being specifically excluded from this ‘role’ (their favorite word!) of preaching/teaching because of gender, by men who have specifically chosen to exclude from this role.

  263. @ Lea:

    Also, just because I didn’t say it before, that one man who was wearing shorts was not properly dressed and the one wearing converse was trying to hard.

  264. @ Muff Potter:

    “Those guys are the last of the old guard in the Calvary Chapel brand. They are fast fading into the sunset.

    …as new and younger blood moves into the upper leadership cadre of CC, cognitive dissonance will do its thing, and they will no longer keep gifted and talented women out of the pulpit.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i see this greater subject as similar to the human beings getting taller with each generation (at least i think they are). better nutrition, better health care, more circumspect understanding of this/that/& the other as it pertains to life and what is life-giving.

    to me it’s so dang obvious — subjugation of human beings, benevolent or not, is not life-giving (except to the subjugator, of course). is not progress. is not for the greater good.

    that christian gender rolesians miss this is just…. don’t know whether laugh or cry.

    ….but this old news.

  265. elastigirl wrote:

    subjugation of human beings, benevolent or not, is not life-giving (except to the subjugator, of course). is not progress. is not for the greater good.

    And it has never, NEVER, not been abused.

    Witness all of human history.

  266. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m an optimist and believe that the days of this teaching are numbered in the CC brand and it will not see the 22nd century. If history is any teacher at all, Southern Baptists eventually gave up the idea that it’s perfectly okay to own slaves, and as new and younger blood moves into the upper leadership cadre of CC, cognitive dissonance will do its thing, and they will no longer keep gifted and talented women out of the pulpit.

    IMO the SBC was willing to codify this concept of subjugation into the 2000 BF&M. Particularly as a Pastor in the SBC you do not publicly go against this or you will lose your pastoral position.
    IMO this subjugation in the SBC is not going away for many years to come.

  267. mot wrote:

    Particularly as a Pastor in the SBC you do not publicly go against this or you will lose your pastoral position.

    Which is why, among other things, Russell Moore is no hero. People who see him as some sort of blend of Nathan and Mr. Smith are viewing him through a very narrow lens. He is a totalist on his issues, and if you disagree with him on patriarchy, you are zero. If you are a woman, you are zero, despite his folksy style.

    Russell Moore and everyone else who claims to be from the free church tradition just needs to keep their political opinions out of the pulpit and out of the media. And I think that the ERLC has gone way beyond the mission of cooperative missions envisioned by Southern Baptists and needs to be de-commisioned.

  268. Gram3 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Particularly as a Pastor in the SBC you do not publicly go against this or you will lose your pastoral position.

    Which is why, among other things, Russell Moore is no hero. People who see him as some sort of blend of Nathan and Mr. Smith are viewing him through a very narrow lens. He is a totalist on his issues, and if you disagree with him on patriarchy, you are zero. If you are a woman, you are zero, despite his folksy style.

    Russell Moore and everyone else who claims to be from the free church tradition just needs to keep their political opinions out of the pulpit and out of the media. And I think that the ERLC has gone way beyond the mission of cooperative missions envisioned by Southern Baptists and needs to be de-commisioned.

    Moore is definitely no hero IMO. He knows he is free to say and do whatever he wishes. You are correct he like to many other SBC leaders is a totalist and to oppose him can bring some serious consequences.

    He also like the other SBC leaders views women as subhumans.

  269. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    It’s not just CC. Listen to/read Moore, Piper, Mohler, Patterson, Keller, Duncan, every SBC leader ……
    No it’s not just Calvary Chapel. And I think it was Dr. Fundy who originally said that Arminian fundagelicalism and Neo-Cal fundagelicalism are kissin’ cousins, and that any purported ‘differences’ are purely cosmetic.

    Make sure to toss the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches (Jack Schaap anyone?) in that mix.

  270. Bill M wrote:

    “A pastor’s authority (whatever that means) appears more important than the truth.”
    This reminds me of Larry Taylor’s “The Ministry of An Assisting Pastor” (Calvary Chapel)
    “34. Make the Pastor Look Good
    Never make him look bad.
    This is a basic principle of employment. Make the boss look good. Give him the credit for your good ideas. Decrease that he might increase.”
    There is a mutant strain running through churchianity that seeks to elevate pastors to the level of Christ himself.

    When people do that it’s a good sign that they hate Christ Himself.

  271. I always thought church leaders were the ones who were supposed to be especially subject to correction, rebuked in the presence of all, prophets subject to the prophets, Paul’s public in you face refutation of Peter, etc. etc.

    The problem with these people is they just don’t care jack squat about the Bible. Either than, or they have utter contempt for it when they cannot twist it round to making them gods and making Jesus nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *