A Response to Phil Johnson by Dr Rich Poupard, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

“We are all a little damaged, Bee. Some of us more than others.”― T.M. Frazier  link

The is the first of two posts today. I believe they will provide much discussion over the weekend. 

Phil Johnson's tweet that resulted in a twitter storm.

Phil Johnson is the executive director of Grace To You and is known as John MacArthur's right hand man. He got out of blogging awhile about continues to tweet. He is standing resolutely by his tweet.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

A story about how I was reported to Twitter by a dudebro

A few years back, I decided to get into the Twitter game and I am so glad that I did. I have seen so many stories that are relevant to this blog and have connected with some amazing people.

I do not have a screen shot but I discussed this on the blog when it happened. Jared Wilson, a TGC blogger, made a quip about a fat lady (his words) singing the National Anthem at a televised game. I asked him why he needed to call attention to the woman's body. He responded that he was just joking. I said something along the lines that I thought it was not a good way to model the gospel. I believe I responded in 2-3 tweets.

Not only did he block me but he reported me to Twitter! I then got a message for Twitter that I was being investigated. Needless to say, I told Twitter that they need to investigate anyone who would report someone for two non-abusive tweets. They said they would look into it and nothing ever happened. Needless to say, I was permanently blocked by The Gospel™ Coalition for simply questioning why a gospel dudebro would embarrass a woman in such a way.

I say this so that you might understand how some of these folks have thin skin. A simple questioning of a public tweet is not an *attack.* Phil Johnson is not being attacked. His tweet is getting well deserved push back. He needs to man up.

A true story with the names changed

Traci was born into a home in which there were 5 kids, all with different fathers. Her mother was a drug addict and often brought men home. They would be introduced as Traci's new father. Not only did these men physically abuse her, but as she approached middle school, they also molested her. Her mother spent more and more time in a drug induced haze. One day, she accused Traci of trying to steal her latest boyfriend from her and told her to leave the apartment at the ripe old age of 13.

Traci, looking for a place to live, met Billy who said she could crash at his place. Unbeknownst to Traci, Billy was a pimp and was involved in sex trafficking and drugs. Billy fed her and then got her to join in using recreational drugs. He eventually got her hooked on cocaine. He had sex with her and then made her have sex with his friends if she wanted more cocaine. Eventually he told her that she would have to sell herself for sex in order to pay for her drug habit. By the time, Traci was 14, she was a full time prostitute who turned over her money to Billy in exchange for drugs, food and a place to live. Billy would also physically abuse her if she didn't turn enough ticks at night or if she refused to give his friends *freebies.*

I learned about this story and others through our local Salvation Army's Project Fight. FIGHT stands for Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking and they get abuse.

Dr Rich Poupard responds

This is why I love Twitter. I have found another person out there who gets it and I now plan to put him into my "I wonder what *Thoughtful People Are Saying*" daily checklist. 

As you can imagine the abuse bloggers shot back at Phil Johnson's obviously lame tweet. Dr Poupard specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He gave me permission to share his thoughtful response with you.


Begin Response (editor added a link to suggested book and highlights)

Rich Poupard feeling sad. 

Phil Johnson is the executive director of Grace to You – John MacArthur's media ministry. He tweeted this out a few days ago with the picture at the bottom:

"This poor girl. How could she have possibly known that her boyfriend was such a creep?"

I get it. Kind of funny that a "nice girl" would end up with a guy with that tattoo. After the initial chuckle at her expense I believe it is important to look a little deeper into this thing called domestic violence and more importantly the church's response to it.

First, we can take a look at her poor choice of men but nothing was said about what she endured. He chased this girl with a butcher's knife, punched her repeatedly in the face, and slammed her head into a metal object over 5 times. In my experience, her face would probably be unrecognizable. Just something to remember when we poke a little fun.

Second, most abusers don't have face tattoo's. I very recently spoke to a woman recently who described her husband as a "good Christian man" who "loves God" and "reads his Bible every day". He is a leader in their church.

She then began to cry and detailed how he smacked her in the side of her head a month ago so hard she lost consciousness. She then immediately explained that it was her fault – because she lost the remote to the TV. She was so sorry, and she should have known he would react this way because he had done so many times before. 

In my almost twenty years of practice, I can't tell you how many women I have treated with fractured jaws, knocked out teeth, and broken facial bones who tell me that they accidentally fell. Patients with actual marks that were almost certainly from a fist deny what really happened. Men who harmed their wives being the first one at their bedside when they woke up from surgery, "tenderly" holding the hand of the one they abused. 

Domestic abuse is complex, and the reasons why some women stay even more so. The church needs to educate itself in order to serve these women, and ensure that we all are treated as intrinsically valuable. A good start is a book called Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. 

In the meantime maybe ministers of the Gospel should refrain from having fun mimicking the choices of others, implying that those suffering from domestic abuse are somehow responsible for the suffering they endure. Instead, why not take the time to learn more and understand this difficult situation, and teach our church members to treat others correctly.

End Response


Phil Johnson espouses a confusing theology

First question:

The Calvinista crowd seems to stress that the only way to obey God is by being one of the elect who God chose before time. (For new readers, I am not a Calvinist). I would assume that they believe that obedience and enlightenment comes from the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer.

How does a person, who is not elect, obey God without the light of the Holy Spirit? Why would you criticize them for something they can do nothing about? (This is purely a theological question.)

Second question:

I had some minimal training in child abuse so that I could visit, as a Visiting Nurse, families who had been accused of abusing their children. I wish others could see the difficult circumstances in which they grow up. They have minimal training in right and wrong.The parents, many of whom were abused as children, were limited in comprehension and years of neglect. Some of these kids didn't even get consistent nutrition.

To be frank, at times I felt I had little to offer but I sure tried. I prayed a lot. One time, a family with 4 little kids, was sleeping on the floor. I was able to get members of my  Bible study at the time to build some bunk beds for the kids but I had to keep it a secret because it was against the *rules.* But I just couldn't take seeing these little kids sleeping night after night on a dirty floor.

How can Phil Johnson critique this pregnant woman without knowing her background?

Third question:

Here is a picture of Tom Chantry. Amy Smith got me going on this one. Here is a well known pastor in the Calvinista circles who is about to stand trial for child abuse. He would wear suits, preach the Bible, etc. He has no tattoos.

Do we judge people by what they look like on the outside?

Fourth question

Where is the love for the lost, the let down and the looking?

I bet there is much more to say but I will leave it up to all of you. Special thanks to Dr Poupard for allowing us to print his thoughtful comment. I am grateful that there is a person like him who is there to fix the damage to the faces of those who have been harmed by their abusers. What a ministry!


Phil Johnson has responded, believing that he has been attacked by the *survivor* blogs. Here is a link to his response. You then can read further pushback under his tweet.

 


Comments

A Response to Phil Johnson by Dr Rich Poupard, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon — 116 Comments

  1. You said it well: “Where is the love?”. Most of us know the texts on loving others, and that “Behold how they love one another” will be a hallmark of those who belong to Jesus…

    I think it’s a kind of litmus test we can use when visiting churches, reading books etc.

    Where is the love? If you can’t see it, maybe keep looking.

  2. “I was permanently blocked by The Gospel™ Coalition for simply questioning why a gospel dudebro would embarrass a woman in such a way” (Dee)

    Congratulations, Dee! Do you reckon that being female also had something to do with you being blocked? If the TGC folks have no problems with shunning and excommunicating folks, they certainly don’t feel bad about blocking someone on social media of the gender they so easily subordinate.

    “Where is the love for the lost, the let down and the looking?” (Dee)

    Followers of the Calvinist God don’t love folks as they ought. It is a cold-hearted religion led by an arrogant elite who are snooty and distant. When you believe you are the “elect” and others are not, you can toss souls aside. What love is this?

  3. People like these guys think they know it all and are unwilling to be called on their behavior.

    I still can’t get over the lack of compassion for the girl but also the baby! The baby had no choices and could have been killed or permanently harmed. At least maybe stop snickering for long enough to think of that.

    it’s clear that Phil just wanted to make a comment about the face tattoos. He choose the meanest way to do it he could think of. Not that they care. Mean seems to be their mo. If you want mean guy on Twitter to be your thing go for it, it’s hardly novel, Just don’t pretend it’s christian.

  4. Thank you Dr. Poupard! It’s such a relief when someone who hasn’t suffered from an abusive upbringing, cares enough to dive in and understand how complex these issues are for the victims! Bless you sir.

    Question: Why does Dr. Poupard get it but Phil Johnson doesn’t? Does Phil not realize that he actually abuses the wounded sheep by his snark, his ridicule and his put-downs? Is that what he intends? Can he not see it?

  5. Phil Johnson’s responses to others in the whole exchange were clearly abusive. I fail to see how Johnson is a better person than the man in the photo.

  6. Wow …. so many phrases stopped me cold, beginning with this one:

    “I very recently spoke to a woman recently who described her husband as a “good Christian man” who “loves God” and “reads his Bible every day”. He is a leader in their church.

    She then began to cry ….”

    what follows is the usual story of a hell on Earth where this satanic man brutalizes his wife and she thinks SHE is the problem.

    This post is why I love TWW: no punches are pulled in the honest search for truth and YES: TWW focuses on ALL who claim to witness to Christ and in the next breath abuse the innocent, try to hide it, or excuse others when they do it

    The ‘thin-skinned’ ‘gospel dudebro’:
    no way this person has empathy for anyone but himself apparently, and he’s vindictive too

    They must have in their seminaries some kind of class that desensitizes these men to normal human feelings at witnessing or hearing about the abuse of the innocent. Or maybe they have some kind of ‘initiation’ process where they have to demonstrate their support of a dudebro who has been accused of abusing an innocent? And the joking? Like a well-known SBC personage talking about wives …’everybody should own one’?

    I have a REAL gospel question for such people:
    ‘How then should we live?’

  7. Christina wrote:

    Question: Why does Dr. Poupard get it but Phil Johnson doesn’t? Does Phil not realize that he actually abuses the wounded sheep by his snark, his ridicule and his put-downs? Is that what he intends? Can he not see it?

    Dr. Poupard has treated the suffering victims of abuse. Phil Johnson uses the victims as material for his jokes.
    The difference?
    The ability or inability to recognize the Presence of the Suffering Christ in the wounded, and the ability to feel compassion and empathy for their suffering: ‘When did we see You Lord?’ the question echoes down through the centuries from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew

  8. In his world of theology, Phil should be glorying in God’s decree having been carried out, rather than making fun. – If it happened, it’s because God ordained it in eternity past.

    Phil shouldn’t be asking the question, “How could she have possibly known…” but rather, “how could she not have been with him?” What was the girl to do? It was up against her will not to be with the tattooed man according to the Calvinist’s view.

    Why then make fun of her?

    Proverbs 17:5 in the LXX states, “He who laughs at the poor provokes his maker, and he who rejoices at one being destroyed will not go unpunished. But he who has compassion will find mercy.”

    Phil would do better to express that this girl is made in the image of the Creator; to be an imager of the One whose “compassions faileth not.”

  9. I would label that as the “clanging cymbal” tweet. No matter how eloquent a conference speaker this guy may be, or people may think he is, according to God, he is still just clanging cymbal. And no, 1 Corinthians 13 is not just referring to loving those who are patting your back. What credit it that to you or anyone else? Even sinners love those who love them!

  10. In a recent episode of Bible Thumping Wingnut, recorded at John MacArthur’s ShepCon 2017, Phil Johnson defended JD Hall’s message and “tone”. See JD and Fred Butler standing in the background. All these men display arrogance and distain for the lesser sheep. I guess birds of a feather flock together. https://youtu.be/u_LfjxMioIQ?t=1h17m22s Starts at the 1:17:20 mark.

  11. Molly245 wrote:

    You said it well: “Where is the love?”. Most of us know the texts on loving others, and that “Behold how they love one another” will be a hallmark of those who belong to Jesus…

    I think it’s a kind of litmus test we can use when visiting churches, reading books etc.

    Where is the love? If you can’t see it, maybe keep looking.

    ‘love’ is the only signpost on the roadless Way 🙂

  12. Virgil wrote:

    Proverbs 17:5 in the LXX states, “He who laughs at the poor provokes his maker, and he who rejoices at one being destroyed will not go unpunished. But he who has compassion will find mercy.”

    I agree.

    The only thing I learned from Phil’s tweet is that he is all too happy to walk by the woman laying beat up on the side of the road while he passes as far as he can to the other side exclaiming as he goes that, “You should have known better, woman.”

    Phil Johnson, you are no pastor . . .

  13. I read about this on SSB. Phil Johnson (and many more “men of God”) are haughty, pompous fools, IMO. If a woman is abused, they seem to always blame the woman. This man’s tattooed face was nothing more than a perfect opportunity for Johnson to say, “SEE? SEE? It’s the woman’s fault! It’s always the woman’s fault!”
    If the abuse had caused this woman to miscarry, they probably would have called it an abortion.
    In this case it was, “She should have seen it coming!” If the man’s physically appearance was more socially acceptable, it would have been, “She isn’t submissive enough!”

  14. Christiane wrote:

    Dr. Poupard has treated the suffering victims of abuse. Phil Johnson uses the victims as material for his jokes.

    I also blame pastor John MacArthur at Grace Community Church for this bad attitude. He heads The Master’s Seminary and The Master’s College in Southern California.

    When I had a terrible experience with incompetent, dangerous, untrained pastors/elders at my NeoCalvinist/John MacArthur-ite/9Marxist church (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) who weren’t trained in ANY serious issues — alcoholism, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness and on and on — I looked up the mandatory training and electives. None of the ‘big issues’ that face Christians were even offered as classes.

    In my opinion, this should be mandatory training for anyone obtaining a seminary degree.

  15. The reason you make fun of abused people such as Mr. Johnson did is because you are: a). Unimaginably stupid, an ignorant fool, b). Callused, hardened, hateful, or c). a son of hell such as what Jesus described, seeking to make disciples who are even greater sons of hell than yourself.

    I have ceased even trying to fit evil, mocking behavior within a Christian paradigm, no longer will I try to see the good in evil. Jesus didn’t, you know. I am so DONE with people who tick off a few of the proper theological boxes who absolutely understand the meaning of none of the theology, because if it doesn’t manifest in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc, then it’s mockery, a lie from hell. What Phil Johnson did was evil, and if he’s too much of a fool to just admit it, pare down on the arrogance and just say “Dang, folks, my bad, sorry”, then I feel fully justified in calling him one who not only doesn’t understand the meaning of grace, but indeed hates grace and probably the One Who freely gives it.

  16. Anyone familiar with the Pyromaniac’s blog which Phil Johnson started, will recognize that such flippant, demeaning, insulting language is par for the course in their Neo-Calvinist world. Slut shaming and blaming is part of showing that you belong in that world, and will readily be rewarded by high-fives from one’s peers. Their rigid belief system has no room for those who offend their sanctimonious, religious sensibilities. In that Fundamentalist, Neo-Calvinist environment, they disdain what they see as the depraved culture/society around them to the point that it exceeds any compassion they might demonstrate toward that culture/society. They are Culture Warriors first and foremost in which showing compassion and kindness toward victims of domestic violence reveals weakness. It is rank self-righteousness with a Jesus label slapped on to it.

    Phil Johnson, and those who support his attitude, are a far cry from behaving like Christ followers when they engage in such obnoxious, offensive behavior. It is said of our Lord Jesus that when He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Phil Johnson, and those like him, need to learn some lessons from Jesus about extending grace, kindness and compassion toward those outside their Predestined Elect camp. If past behavior is any indication of future behavior, I’m not counting on Johnson or his buddies learning anything about Christian love and basic human decency from this incident. But miracles can and do happen so….

  17. Not really surprised here. Phil has always been a shallow thinker mired in his own legalism and judgmentalism. Not even remotely surprised that he would blame the victim. Notice also the lack of charity – even if we accept that the perpetrator shouldn’t have tattooed his face, what’s to say he hasn’t turned over a new leaf? Yeah, just not surprised. The man isn’t remotely Christian, so I don’t expect a Christian reaction?

  18. Nancy2 wrote:

    haughty, pompous fools

    Long before New Calvinism came along, there was a multitude of haughty, pompous fools looking for a religion to hang their hat on. The reformed movement provided them a home where they could become a member of the self-declared elect with other haughty, pompous fools just like themselves. There is nothing about them that is Christlike, but they don’t really care about that because, well … they are haughty, pompous fools.

  19. Virgil wrote:

    Phil shouldn’t be asking the question, “How could she have possibly known…” but rather, “how could she not have been with him?” What was the girl to do? It was up against her will not to be with the tattooed man according to the Calvinist’s view.
    Why then make fun of her?

    Well said!

  20. Max wrote:

    Long before New Calvinism came along, there was a multitude of haughty, pompous fools looking for a religion to hang their hat on. The reformed movement provided them a home where they could become a member of the self-declared elect with other haughty, pompous fools just like themselves. There is nothing about them that is Christlike, but they don’t really care about that because, well … they are haughty, pompous fools.

    – and they have re-defined Christianity as such.

  21. “He who is at ease holds those who are in calamity in contempt, as if it is their own fault.” Job 12:5

  22. @ Max:
    Max, again, this is an excellent explanation.

    I think it works the same with various expressions.

    Back in the day, there was a “Christian” cult group around that drew in the free-spirited folk and allowed for rampant drug use and sex in the name of the “love” of “Christ” and relationship or connection. Yup, it drew in and thrived with the “free love” and drugged crowd.

    Then there is the rules-loving crowd that flocks to “Christian” legalism.

    And those that long to take orders run to hierarchy.

    Etc.

    We live in a freedom of religion society. Lots of expression here, and the freedom to try it all, and twist Christianity or any religion, for that matter, in any direction.

    When religion is outlawed or persecuted, not so much.

  23. First of all, thank you Dr. Poupard for your compassionate response to victims of domestic violence. Pastors can learn a lot from professionals who care for victims on how to provide support and encouragement.

    Second: Reading Phil’s response to the bloggers he mentions Chantry. Since he hasn’t personally talked to Chantry he’s choosing not to make judgement until after Chantry’s trial. Yet, he’s quite comfortable placing judgement on a woman who endured horrible trauma based upon her abuser’s looks.

    Phil Johnson is a hypocrite and will strain a gnat to swallow a camel.

  24. JYJames wrote:

    We live in a freedom of religion society. Lots of expression here, and the freedom to try it all, and twist Christianity or any religion, for that matter, in any direction. When religion is outlawed or persecuted, not so much.

    If/when organized religion is persecuted in America, you will see the true Church emerge. Christianity Lite will run for cover.

  25. Bridget wrote:

    Christina wrote:
    Well, I don’t expect this to end well, any time soon. https://twitter.com/Phil_Johnson_/status/847975451410677760
    Who in the world is he addressing that comment to? Does he not recognize that there are real victims in this world?

    That’s a great question. Phil, JD Hall, Fred Butler et. al. tend to lump us all under the moniker “Professional victim”. That includes you, me, and anyone else who has never written a blog or spoken out publicly against violence and abuse. But we all get lumped under that umbrella. It’s so frustrating because most victims, myself included, just don’t have the gumption to speak out as Dee and Julie-Anne do. It’s a scary thing for a victim to go up against a powerful preacher that doesn’t invite honest dialogue. So the majority of us stay silent while the brave few speak out on behalf of most of us. I don’t understand why Phil doesn’t understand there are many wounded lambs hiding under this umbrella wishing someone like him would just take notice and offer a word of encouragement.

  26. @ Max:
    Absolutely.
    You nailed it again, Max – Christianity Lite or the Church Lite Crowd. NOT the Elect.

    The Faith Lite Folks are probably pretty much found in the first couple chapters of the Revelation to John – the Seven Churches.

  27. Christiane wrote:

    Dr. Poupard has treated the suffering victims of abuse. Phil Johnson uses the victims as material for his jokes.
    The difference?
    The ability or inability to recognize the Presence of the Suffering Christ in the wounded, and the ability to feel compassion and empathy for their suffering: ‘When did we see You Lord?’ the question echoes down through the centuries from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew

    I read here regularly but have never commented. I wanted Christiane to know that she is one of my favorite commenters. I read this blog post aloud to my husband and this comment. I was nearly unable to finish for the lump in my throat.

    As another commenter said, PJ is blaming the victim and doesn’t seem willing or able to acknowledge it. Someone else mentioned Pyromaniacs bloggers seem to be just like PJ and it’s true. As a new Christian I came across that blog and read there for a little while. I couldn’t reconcile what I understood to be Christianity with their snark and meanness, so I stopped going there.

  28. dee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    The survivors’ blogs.

    So he deems everyone “professional victims” of they comment on survivors’ blogs. The man is a coward.

    And this days it all –

    “I’d be ashamed NOT to have the scorn of gossip-mongering professional victims.”

    He’s advertising the interaction like a badge of honor. He’s just sick.

    And who is gossip mongering? The woman was actually beaten . . .

    The man is incapable of meaningful dialogue with anyone who does not agree with him.

  29. Does this man ever read from the New Testament? I mean, I wonder just what he thinks if he should read the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican….I actually fear for his soul. I am serious.

  30. I have come to the conclusion that the type of Christianity claimed by Phil and his compatriots-is not Christianity at all. No fruit of the Spirit. No love. No peace. No charity. No humility. Just puerile so called wittiness and cutting sarcasm. Are their consciences seared or something? Do they never have a twinge of conscience when something hurtful passes their lips? What a poor picture of God they must have to behave so. And maybe that right there is an explanation. Do they see the Father as a cosmic bullyboy? How incredibly sad.

  31. Phil Johnson:Executive Director of Grace to You, Enemy of the Wounded. He’ll wear that like a badge of honor.

  32. Bunny wrote:

    Do they see the Father as a cosmic bullyboy?

    I think that is exactly like the Neo-Calvinist God. They might deny it, but their words and actions say otherwise.

  33. Bunny wrote:

    I have come to the conclusion that the type of Christianity claimed by Phil and his compatriots-is not Christianity at all. No fruit of the Spirit. No love. No peace. No charity. No humility. Just puerile so called wittiness and cutting sarcasm. Are their consciences seared or something? Do they never have a twinge of conscience when something hurtful passes their lips? What a poor picture of God they must have to behave so. And maybe that right there is an explanation. Do they see the Father as a cosmic bullyboy? How incredibly sad.

    Exactly, Bunny.

    Anyone looking at one of these Calvinists devoid of Spiritual fruit, thinking they represent God, would certainly be forgiven for thinking HE is a cosmic bully, and that’s tragic.

  34. There’s a saying that has recently come through my Facebook feed, ““If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful [handsome]?”

    Phil Johnson, that one was written for you.

  35. @ Max:
    You are doing the same thing you say others are. Name calling and being full of pride that you are not them.

  36. Nancy2 wrote:

    If the man’s physically appearance was more socially acceptable, it would have been, “She isn’t submissive enough!”

    OR ‘you married him, now you’re stuck with him’. Or ‘you picked him’, etc.

    It certainly does seem like all roads lead to Rome here…

  37. dee wrote:

    @ Christina:
    Well, he is sure open to dialog, isn’t he?

    Ha. Gossip mongering for calling him out on his own words, written for the world to see?

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Notice also the lack of charity – even if we accept that the perpetrator shouldn’t have tattooed his face, what’s to say he hasn’t turned over a new leaf?

    I thought about that too. There are men that have and tattoos are not easy to remove. I mean, obviously this guy didn’t, but he certainly could have.

  38. JYJames wrote:

    “He who is at ease holds those who are in calamity in contempt, as if it is their own fault.” Job 12:5

    Oooh. Thats a good one.

  39. Bridget wrote:

    So he deems everyone “professional victims” of they comment on survivors’ blogs.

    I’m not a victim, but I feel that I have learned a ton from reading here and at other such blogs about what to watch out for in churches and about how abuse works. If he would stop talking about being so arrogant maybe he would learn something too.

  40. Isn’t that the Phil Johnson from from the “Team Pyro”/”Pyromaniacs” website? The one that also “starred” a certain Frank Turk? Don’t they have a certain affection for the über-*##* JD Hall?

    These men – judging from their photographs, are no longer 16, or even 26, or 36. Isn’t it about time for them to grow up? To develop an adult sense responsibility and propriety? To get it, that you don’t mock someone who is CLEARLY an abuse victim (even if they may have made an unwise decision earlier in their lives) just for a cheap shot and some snark? To get it that not everybody who doesn’t agree with you is your enemy who needs to be destroyed, or at least “destroyed”, humiliated? To get it that there is too much loss of common ground in today’s societies, and that the situation does NOT need any more piling it on?

    Is it demanding too much that grown men don’t behave like juveniles on their worst behaviour? That men who call themselves Christians and “pastors” (whatever much such titles may be worth these days) should have grown out of that kind of behaviour long ago? Not to mention such things like “fruits of the spirit”, “loving your enemy”, and the like?

    I got out of “evangelicalism” after watching it become increasingly politicised and fundamentalist, and when it seemed that the proliferation of con men, scam artists, would never stop.

    Word from the prophet WB Yeats in (“The Second Coming”):

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    And the worst are not the atheists, the LGBQT “perverts”, the “ungodly”.

    Some of the worst are those that protest their christian faith all the time and use it as a blunt instrument to bludgeon anyone who dares disagree with them over the head with.

    Someone’s religion is not what it says on the membership contract, err, covenant or on the plaque outside of your church or on the door of your pastor’s office. Your religion is what’s in your heart. And if your religion allows you or tells you to treat people like sh*t, then your religion is sh*t!

  41. “If there were no priests, people would be more religious.”
    – Voltaire (1694-1778)
    (Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain., Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805))

  42. Michael Walsh wrote:

    You are doing the same thing you say others are. Name calling and being full of pride that you are not them.

    Michael, the American church is a mess in many corners because its members do not challenge the “new and improved.” With each passing year, we slip further from a holy standard of doing church – the symptoms of that rebellion are evident. Scripture exhorts believers to correct and rebuke where necessary … to call out those who are stretching boundaries of belief and practice. Paul reminded the Church “it is your business to judge those who are inside the church — God alone can judge those who are outside.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 Phillips).

    There should be no doubt by now that New Calvinism is populated by leaders who are arrogant, authoritarian, controlling, intimidating, and manipulating others with a “we have it right” theology and pompous attitude that all other manifestations of Christian faith have it wrong. Al Mohler typifies this arrogance in New Calvinism when he says:

    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there.”

    No options out there?!

    I was young and now am old – I truly have a burden for the Church and pray that God’s glory will return to it. I grieve for those who are led astray by the teachings of men and who become abused by ministers and ministries working contrary to the will of God. I pray daily for genuine revival in the Church and spiritual awakening in our nation.

    If I am judging, instead of discerning … if self-righteousness and pride have developed in my soul … may God forgive me. But may He also forgive me if I remain silent when convicted to speak into error.

  43. Doc wrote:

    “If there were no priests, people would be more religious.”
    – Voltaire (1694-1778)

    I love that quote!

  44. Gus wrote:

    Some of the worst are those that protest their christian faith all the time and use it as a blunt instrument to bludgeon anyone who dares disagree with them over the head with.
    Someone’s religion is not what it says on the membership contract, err, covenant or on the plaque outside of your church or on the door of your pastor’s office. Your religion is what’s in your heart. And if your religion allows you or tells you to treat people like sh*t, then your religion is sh*t!

    Wow. Great comment that hit home for me today.

  45. When Neo-Calvinists are pressed to consider the effects of their caustic, cruel behavior, they seem more convinced to dig their heels in deeper. Now, I am trying to remember if there was ever a time when the Pyromaniac fellas publicly apologized for their unkindness to anyone on their blog, because there were quite a few people they insulted for merely disagreeing with them. I can’t remember if they ever humbled themselves, but maybe someone else can. Those Pyro Boyz brought obnoxious behavior to a greater level of offensiveness and took pride in their status among the New Calvinist ranks. They set the tone for their Movement and many have followed in their footsteps. Those in their Movement brag at how many people they can offend. Each offense is another notch in their belts. We will be holding our breath for a very long time to wait for Phil Johnson to acknowledge his unkind, insulting remark towards a victim of domestic violence. Humility is not a characteristic of New Calvinism.

  46. Max wrote:

    If/when organized religion is persecuted in America, you will see the true Church emerge. Christianity Lite will run for cover.

    Or trample each other stampeding to Caesar’s altar to be first to burn the pinch of incense and take The Mark.

  47. Bridget wrote:

    So he deems everyone “professional victims” of they comment on survivors’ blogs.

    Johnson probably assumes that, if we comment here, we must all have been (or in his mind, we all “claim” to have been) abused in a church somewhere. And, since we’re still discussing it, we must be bitt*r, and can’t just let it go, forgive, and shut up about it.

    The notion that some are capable of empathy for the suffering of others, even without having suffered the same things, doesn’t seem to occur to him.

    Bridget wrote:

    And who is gossip mongering? The woman was actually beaten . . .

    I think that’s a jab at the Deebs because of their advocacy for victims of SGM and Tom Chantry. (Oops, *alleged* victims, that is.) Because, apparently, talking about the experiences of abused kids and about public court records is “gossip”. Or, you know, something like that…

  48. Gus wrote:

    Some of the worst are those that protest their christian faith all the time and use it as a blunt instrument to bludgeon anyone who dares disagree with them over the head with.

    Remember who that Rabbi from Nazareth unloaded both barrels into.
    Not the losers & freaks he hung with, but the Righteous God Squad types.

  49. Lea wrote:

    I thought about that too. There are men that have and tattoos are not easy to remove. I mean, obviously this guy didn’t, but he certainly could have.

    I have never understood tat culture.
    Especially the Extreme Ink version where they have more tats than a Yakuza, and in highly-visible places.

  50. Gus wrote:

    And if your religion allows you or tells you to treat people like sh*t, then your religion is sh*t!

    Even if your sh*t’s in a silk stocking.

  51. Bunny wrote:

    Do they never have a twinge of conscience when something hurtful passes their lips?

    NO.
    Only the Righteousness of the Predestined Elect, God’s Speshul Pets.

  52. Gus wrote:

    Isn’t it about time for them to grow up? To develop an adult sense responsibility and propriety? To get it, that you don’t mock someone who is CLEARLY an abuse victim (even if they may have made an unwise decision earlier in their lives) just for a cheap shot and some snark?

    Apparently not. After all, these are the same men who still gladly put Mahaney in the spotlight, and who still refuse to acknowledge how hurtful it is to victims from SGM that he’s there. They also had no obvious problem with Mohler’s disgusting joke at the victims’ expense, when he introduced Mahaney at T4G last year.

    Based on all this, I think that, yes, it is too much to expect maturity and compassion from Johnson and his dudebros.

  53. Kathi wrote:

    Second: Reading Phil’s response to the bloggers he mentions Chantry. Since he hasn’t personally talked to Chantry he’s choosing not to make judgement until after Chantry’s trial

    Chantry is a Dudebro with a penis, and that makes all the difference.

  54. Christina wrote:

    Dee and Julie-Anne: Thank you for what you do. I don’t have the strength to take on a powerful man like Phil Johnson. I’m so grateful that you lend your voices to do what so many of us can not. Praying for a wise and beneficial interaction.

    Dee and Julie Anne don’t take sh*t from anybody.

  55. Bridget wrote:

    Who in the world is he addressing that comment to? Does he not recognize that there are real victims in this world?

    The only “real victims” to him are the Persecuted MenaGAWD like himself. PERSECUTION!

  56. Darlene wrote:

    Anyone familiar with the Pyromaniac’s blog which Phil Johnson started, will recognize that such flippant, demeaning, insulting language is par for the course in their Neo-Calvinist world.

    Didn’t somebody on this blog once do a “Pyromaniacs!” filksong to the tune of “Animaniacs”?
    Maybe it’s time for a reprint.

  57. Lea wrote:

    JYJames wrote:

    “He who is at ease holds those who are in calamity in contempt, as if it is their own fault.” Job 12:5

    Very appropriate quote.
    Oooh. Thats a good one.

  58. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Because, apparently, talking about the experiences of abused kids and about public court records is “gossip”.

    Gossip, redefined: repeating facts that “I” don’t like!

  59. Christina wrote:

    Well, I don’t expect this to end well, any time soon. https://twitter.com/Phil_Johnson_/status/847975451410677760

    Seems to me that Phil is taking the Victim position on the Triangle in that tweet, ironically. In fact, the Usual Suspects always take the Victim role when they are Attacked (never challenged or questioned) by Jezebels, Minions of Satin, and Rebellious Women, and assorted Other Evildoers (never Bereans.)

  60. @ XianJaneway:
    I responded to one of your tweets. His whole back story thing gets down the toilet since he has not looked at the history of this women who, guaranteed, has been abused and maybe even trafficked. It is a tough world out there. Its time to recognize it and show kindness.

  61. Gwen wrote:

    I read here regularly but have never commented. I wanted Christiane to know that she is one of my favorite commenters. I read this blog post aloud to my husband and this comment. I was nearly unable to finish for the lump in my throat.

    How kind of you!

  62. Johnson’s tweet shows exactly how Graceless to You types view anyone outside the chosen (by them) tribe.
    I have a family member who has joined their crowd big time over the past decade. Long story, but suffice to say my family member and their behavior have changed considerably, and not for the better. Spiritual pride can take one down a dark and ugly path, and in my experience the GTY crowd is steeped in it. I stay as far away from that stuff as I can.

  63. John wrote:

    Johnson’s tweet shows exactly how Graceless to You types view anyone outside the chosen (by them) tribe.
    I have a family member who has joined their crowd big time over the past decade. Long story, but suffice to say my family member and their behavior have changed considerably, and not for the better. Spiritual pride can take one down a dark and ugly path, and in my experience the GTY crowd is steeped in it. I stay as far away from that stuff as I can.

    Spot on, John. Me too.

  64. One more response to Phil Johnson, from William Law in his Humble, Earnest, and Affectinate Address to the Clergy:
    ‘For no Blessedness, either of Truth or Life, can be found either in Men or Angels, but where the Spirit and Life of God is essentially born within them. And all Men or Churches, not placing all in the Life, Light, and Guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ, but pretending to act in the Name, and for the Glory of God, from Opinions which their Logic and Learning have collected from Scripture Words, or from what a Calvin, an Arminius, a Socinus, or some smaller Name, has told them to be right or wrong, all such, are but where the Apostles were, when “by the Way there was a Strife among them who should be the greatest.” And how much soever they may say, and boast of their great Zeal for Truth, and only the Glory of God, yet their own open notorious Behavior towards one another, is proof enough, that the great Strife amongst them is, which shall be the greatest Sect, or have the largest number of Followers. A Strife, from the same Root, and just as useful to Christianity, as that of the Carnal Apostles, who should be the greatest.’

  65. Kathi wrote:

    Reading Phil’s response to the bloggers he mentions Chantry. Since he hasn’t personally talked to Chantry he’s choosing not to make judgement until after Chantry’s trial. Yet, he’s quite comfortable placing judgement on a woman who endured horrible trauma based upon her abuser’s looks.
    Phil Johnson is a hypocrite and will strain a gnat to swallow a camel.

    “Sadly, in our churches and institutions, we often protect the system by protecting the accused.”
    -Diane Langberg, PhD
    Psychologist for trauma survivors & clergy. International speaker. Consultant. Author.

  66. Why is it that people like Phil Johnson who are so quick to ridicule people who claim to be victims are so quick to suddenly turn on their heels and make themselves out to be victims upon even a hint of criticism?

    Does Phil Johnson have any notion of what a fool he’s made of himself? I suppose at least he had the day right.

  67. I also just wanted to drop by quickly tonight to say that Phil Johnson is still lurking around this blog’s previous thread that mentions him.

    Based on Twitter conversations I’ve seen him have with others, he is quite unhappy and annoyed that he’s receiving criticism from the commentators on this blog and on Julie Anne’s SSB blog.

    Yes, he focused on y’all here in the comments, not just Deb, Dee, and Julie Anne. He is upset with all of you guys here in the comments.

    He asked either Dee and/or Julie Anne to muffle all the dissent about him on their blogs, he referred to it all as “slander,” I believe.

    Which roughly translates to, or comes across as:

    “Wah, wah, I am receiving legitimate criticism by netizens over a disgusting Tweet I wrote blaming and making fun of a domestic violence abuse victim for being a domestic violence victim.
    “Make all the people on your blogs stop criticizing my obnoxious comments about that lady. I cannot figure out why so many people are being so touchy and mean to me about making terrible jokes about a domestic abuse victim.”

  68. @ Daisy:

    Sorry, correction, I was referring to THIS very thread, don’t know why I typed in “in a previous thread…”

  69. Phil protests:

    “For the record, I’ve never met Tom. We know each other only through online correspondence.”

    Yet when he “retired” from social media several years ago, Phil listed Tom Chantry as option #1 as he turned over Team Pyro to Turk and Dan Phillips:

    http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2012/06/phil-johnson-unplugged.html

    “I’m handing over the PyroManiacs’ master keys to Frank and Dan (who are both better bloggers than I am anyway). They can do with the blog whatever they like: conscript Chantry to be the third man, have a contest to recruit other new team members, or simply close up shop.”

  70. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Didn’t somebody on this blog once do a “Pyromaniacs!” filksong to the tune of “Animaniacs”?

    Oh that’s genius.

    Now I’m going to go watch the Magellan song!

  71. I had a thought. Has Phil just once condemned the abuse of a pregnant woman? Or any woman? Does he ever call any men to repentance? Does he mock any men?

    Serious question.

  72. Bunny wrote:

    Does he mock any men?

    I suspect he does cheerfully if they disagree with him. At least on the stuff he considers important, not silly stuff like abuse of women and children.

  73. And since Phil is apparently reading enough comments here to be offended, I think what he said the other day regarding that girl is commonly referred to as ‘kicking someone when they’re down’.

  74. Law Prof wrote:

    Why is it that people like Phil Johnson who are so quick to ridicule people who claim to be victims are so quick to suddenly turn on their heels and make themselves out to be victims upon even a hint of criticism?
    Does Phil Johnson have any notion of what a fool he’s made of himself? I suppose at least he had the day right.

    PJ’s behavior is confusing and exasperating to Christians outside of the Grace Community Church/The Master’s Seminary (GCC/TMS) bubble, but to those of us who have lived in that bubble it’s all too familiar.

    The men in authority in that bubble really, truly, deeply believe that they are never wrong. When confronted with irrefutable evidence that they are wrong, the response is either 1)”you don’t understand the full context of my decision”, or 2)”my authority comes from God, so my decisions are above reproach.” They are pros at self-justification, blame shifting and ‘gaslighting’, all the while projecting a demeanor of (false) humility and winsomeness. They are trained to do this. I know some of the guys who do the training. They are very proud of their ability to argue to the point of exasperating their opponents. They enjoy pointing and laughing.

    It’s good to call them out publicly when they publicly display their callous arrogance, primarily for the benefit of others reading the posts. Just understand that your position will be mocked and laughed at by those inside the bubble. You will not change their minds until the Holy Spirit changes their hearts.

  75. @ Jenny:
    Anyone who truly believes they are never wrong is foolish to the extreme, and no one I would take seriously on any subject. (God excepted , of course.)

  76. Jenny wrote:

    The men in authority in that bubble really, truly, deeply believe that they are never wrong. When confronted with irrefutable evidence that they are wrong, the response is either 1)”you don’t understand the full context of my decision”, or 2)”my authority comes from God, so my decisions are above reproach.”

    “If you question what I say or do
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

    They are pros at self-justification, blame shifting and ‘gaslighting’, all the while projecting a demeanor of (false) humility and winsomeness.

    So are (successful) Sociopaths.
    We only hear about the dumb ones who got caught.

    They are trained to do this. I know some of the guys who do the training. They are very proud of their ability to argue to the point of exasperating their opponents. They enjoy pointing and laughing.

    Just like a Berkeley Debating Team type, re-routing everything into Semantics to get and keep their Home Field Advantage.

    Because in there is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only Winning The Debate.

  77. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Just like a Berkeley Debating Team type, re-routing everything into Semantics to get and keep their Home Field Advantage.

    In high school we debated a couple snotty little 14 year olds who had apparently been to debate camp. At this camp, they taught them to be snotty, I guess, but also to twirl pens! Isn’t that funny?

    But back to the point, people debate in annoying circles until people get annoyed and stop talking to them are not actually ‘winning’. They are just proving that they are useless to talk to, because they aren’t actually engaging on an honest level. They are playing games and most of us have better things to do than engage.

  78. Jenny wrote:

    PJ’s behavior is confusing and exasperating to Christians outside of the Grace Community Church/The Master’s Seminary (GCC/TMS) bubble, but to those of us who have lived in that bubble it’s all too familiar.

    It’s somewhat familiar to me as well, I was an elder under a pastor who’d received his M.Div from TMS and had served on the pastoral staff of GCC–an insider’s insider along the lines of Phil Johnson. He was, at the time I served under him, one of the most warped, abusive individuals I’ve known, he destroyed a church, reduced it to rubble. He has since repented, thank God, the Holy Spirit changed his heart and his life.

  79. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Just like a Berkeley Debating Team type, re-routing everything into Semantics to get and keep their Home Field Advantage.
    In high school we debated a couple snotty little 14 year olds who had apparently been to debate camp. At this camp, they taught them to be snotty, I guess, but also to twirl pens! Isn’t that funny?
    But back to the point, people debate in annoying circles until people get annoyed and stop talking to them are not actually ‘winning’. They are just proving that they are useless to talk to, because they aren’t actually engaging on an honest level. They are playing games and most of us have better things to do than engage.

    And people who do that know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to understand good rhetoric, because proper debate should clarify positions, not obfuscate and certainly not talk in circles. They might have known some rhetorical tricks, but they didn’t know debate.

  80. Law Prof wrote:

    And people who do that know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to understand good rhetoric

    Dangerous because people who are not confident in their own intelligence and position tend to get brow beaten into silence by this as well. They can’t win, so they think maybe they are the ones who are wrong. Which come to think of it, reminds me very much of some ladies descriptions of arguments with abusive husbands.

    But the rest of us simply see that they can’t be reasoned with and aren’t clarifying, they are just trying to ‘win’ by shutting other people up.

  81. Lea wrote:

    And since Phil is apparently reading enough comments here to be offended, I think what he said the other day regarding that girl is commonly referred to as ‘kicking someone when they’re down’.

    Very much like Westboro Baptist Church, really just a slightly dressed up version. But at heart the same mockery and ridicule, the same targeting of what they perceive to be the weaker members of the herd.

  82. Law Prof wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    And since Phil is apparently reading enough comments here to be offended, I think what he said the other day regarding that girl is commonly referred to as ‘kicking someone when they’re down’.

    Very much like Westboro Baptist Church, really just a slightly dressed up version. But at heart the same mockery and ridicule, the same targeting of what they perceive to be the weaker members of the herd.

    Absolutely right. What a waste of one’s time – and time is such a precious thing. We never know how much we might have left.

    “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” – Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)

  83. Law Prof wrote:

    Very much like Westboro Baptist Church, really just a slightly dressed up version. But at heart the same mockery and ridicule, the same targeting of what they perceive to be the weaker members of the herd.

    Their vitriol and mockery is reserved for those they consider ‘lower’ than themselves, either spiritually or intellectually or both. They turn their winsomeness up to eleven when they’re dealing with a perceived equal or someone whose good opinion is to their advantage. Their inauthenticity is disturbing.

  84. Jenny wrote:

    Their vitriol and mockery is reserved for those they consider ‘lower’ than themselves, either spiritually or intellectually or both.

    Yes, but who needs “Christian” internet trolls?

    I’ll say it here so that they can read it: Phil Johnson (or ṗḧïŀ jöḧńṩöń ◕‿◕, if you want) as well as his friends Turk and Hall and many of their ilk are almost the worst kind of internet trolls – they do not threaten people with rape and violence as some others do, but they poison the atmosphere for everyone, an atmosphere that emboldens those that do threaten others with violence and rape. They are definitely not “winsome” (stupid word).

    Phil Johnson is Executive Director of Grace to You. He is the founder and former curator of The Spurgeon Archive.

    CH Spurgeon would be appalled by someone of Johnson’s behaviour.

    And as for GTY: it sheds a very dubious light on GTY that none of their leadership is willing or able to pull Johnson aside to tell him that his trolling is not in keeping with what the NT tells us about the way Christians should behave.

    These guys play at one-upmanship, at zero-sum games. I wonder what would have happened if Jesus had believed in zero-sum games where he must win at any cost, and for that to happen, everyone else would have to lose?

    But then again, theirs is not a religious concern, it’s a business venture: you must expand market share, make the “competition” (all competitors – other Christian traditions and theologies as well as other religions or philosophies) look bad, “destroy” them, until there is no other alternative, as Mohler says. Then you have the customer over a barrel – intimidate them, abuse them, fleece them: where else can they go?

    Disgusting. Evangelicalism as a movement is dead. What remains are many faithful believers, good and decent people, for many of whom I have the utmost respect. But for the leaders? If you were to make a bar chart of the level of integrity of various groups, evangelical “leaders” versus the much maligned “secular” media and “secular” population, the bar for those leaders’ integrity would not even dirty the paper.

  85. Daisy wrote:

    “Make all the people on your blogs stop criticizing my obnoxious comments about that lady. I cannot figure out why so many people are being so touchy and mean to me about making terrible jokes about a domestic abuse victim.”

    PJ’s not man enough to take it, huh? Bwahahahahahah!

  86. Jenny wrote:

    The men in authority in that bubble r

    I think the oxygen supply in that bubble was spent a long time ago.

  87. Jenny wrote:

    Their vitriol and mockery is reserved for those they consider ‘lower’ than themselves, either spiritually or intellectually or both. They turn their winsomeness up to eleven when they’re dealing with a perceived equal or someone whose good opinion is to their advantage. Their inauthenticity is disturbing.

    Kiss Up, Kick Down.
    Bowing and scraping and being soooo submissive to all those of higher rank, going for the throats of all those of lower rank. Kind of like in Screwtape Letters.

  88. Gus wrote:

    they do not threaten people with rape and violence as some others do, but they poison the atmosphere for everyone, an atmosphere that emboldens those that do threaten others with violence and rape.

    This is called “Let Bubba Do It”.

  89. Daisy wrote:

    He asked either Dee and/or Julie Anne to muffle all the dissent about him on their blogs, he referred to it all as “slander,” I believe.

    If he is calling it “slander”, then he has about as firm a grasp on the law as he has on kindness. Could teach him about the tort of defamation, libel, slander and such, been teaching it for 14 years, but as they say in the Deep South, “Some dogs won’t hunt”, meaning in this case, some are teachable and some just can’t be taught.

  90. What I don’t understand is, if Phil is on here reading the comments and complaining about those on Twitter, why hasn’t he addressed the Dr.’s excellent article points at the top of this thread? Why hasn’t he read my post over on Julie-Anne’s blog where I try hard to explain the mind-set of a victim, and commented on that? He seems overly focused on the comments below the articles, I guess it’s easier to take offense to those than to address the real heart of the matter which is, victims of violence allow it to continue for reasons that are beyond complex, and they need compassion and pastoral help, not snark and criticism, if they are to ever move on.

  91. Law Prof wrote:

    If he is calling it “slander”, then he has about as firm a grasp on the law as he has on kindness.

    They call everything ‘slander’ because it’s ‘biblical’.

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    I think the oxygen supply in that bubble was spent a long time ago.

    Love that. Would also explain a lot of things!

  93. Christina wrote:

    What I don’t understand is, if Phil is on here reading the comments and complaining about those on Twitter, why hasn’t he addressed the Dr.’s excellent article points at the top of this thread? Why hasn’t he read my post over on Julie-Anne’s blog where I try hard to explain the mind-set of a victim, and commented on that? He seems overly focused on the comments below the articles, I guess it’s easier to take offense to those than to address the real heart of the matter which is, victims of violence allow it to continue for reasons that are beyond complex, and they need compassion and pastoral help, not snark and criticism, if they are to ever move on.

    A theory: It could be he’s just a very confused person, perhaps was abused himself growing up, emotionally stunted now, wholly unsuited to religious leadership of any kind, is in way over his head, on some level knows it and feels like a fraud deeply insecure, and is defensive and brittle as a result. This could explain why he’s gravitated to such religious thugs, they at least stick together, have each others’ backs so to speak, giving him a sense of belonging that was never met before which overrides in his mind the emotional brutality and apparent hatefulness of that crowd–maybe that’s all he ever knew growing up. In such case, he should be pitied, his actions seen in much the same light as the abused woman: wounded, irrational, self-defeating.

    That description sure does apply to some other religious leaders with whom I’ve had extensive personal experience. They may look OK on the outside, but inside they’re broken glass. Of course, none of this justifies their behavior or compels us to refrain from exposing it for what it is.

  94. Daisy wrote:

    He asked either Dee and/or Julie Anne to muffle all the dissent about him on their blogs, he referred to it all as “slander,” I believe.
    Which roughly translates to, or comes across as:
    “Wah, wah, I am receiving legitimate criticism by netizens over a disgusting Tweet I wrote blaming and making fun of a domestic violence abuse victim for being a domestic violence victim.

    Poor wee laddie! All the nasty-wasty gurley-wurley picking on the little baby Phillie [self censored for language]

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