The Billy Graham Rule Doesn’t Work for Most Who Participate in Today’s Society

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing. -Baltasar Gracian link

What is the Billy Graham rule?

Let me start off by saying something. The first time I ever heard that I was loved by God was during a crusade by Graham televised on my local station. I grew up in a non religious home in Salem, Massachusetts. My dad was Russian Orthodox but I think most of his devotional life revolved around pierogis and the polka.

For some reason, my parents liked Billy Graham. He was the only religious leaders to whom they would listen. No matter what you may feel about his theology, crusades, etc., please understand I will always be grateful to him for his messages that touched the heart of a lonely and confused teenage girl. 

I learned of the Billy Graham rule many years ago when I read his autobiography, Just As I Am. Like many people of my generation, I thought it sounded like a good idea. However, I think it has limited practical application in today's world. I will explain why shortly.

TGC posted WHERE DID THE “BILLY GRAHAM RULE” COME FROM?  The author quotes from Grahams autobiography.

One afternoon during the Modesto meetings, I called the team together to discuss the problem. Then I asked them to go to their rooms for an hour and list all the problems they could think of that evangelists and evangelism encountered.

When they returned, the lists were remarkably similar, and in a short amount of time, we made a series of resolutions or commitment among ourselves that would guide us in our future evangelistic work. In reality, it was more of an informal understanding among ourselves—a shared commitment to do all we could do to uphold the Bible’s standard of absolute integrity and purity for evangelists.

[2. Sexual Immorality]

The second item on the list was the danger of sexual immorality. We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion. From that day on, I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife. We determined that the Apostle Paul’s mandate to the young pastor Timothy would be ours as well: “Flee . . . youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 1:22, KJV).

Why did it come up now?

According to Inside Edition

"In 2002, Mike Pence told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either," The Washington Post reported.

Why did this generate so much attention?

According to The Washington Post

The reaction was swift and extremely polarized.

Many on the right quickly interpreted the tweet as the media somehow being shocked — shocked! — that a conservative Christian couple would establish such boundaries. Yet again, it seemed, here was the East Coast liberal media just not understanding the values of middle America.

On the left, meanwhile, the Pences' arrangement was one that reeked of sexism and a bygone era — an impractical code in the modern age of men and women working alongside one another. And how could the vice president of the United States not be trusted to dine alone or attend parties with women without it venturing into unholy territory? Some even wondered (perhaps seriously?) whether this would prevent him from meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May or German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

I believe that it is a rule that has limited application in the world of today.

A century ago, few women worked outside of the home. They were not allowed to vote. In England, estates would go to the closest living male relative. Secretaries in many companies were men.

My mother is 88 years old. When I told her I had put together something that came in the mail, she was surprised. She said that men were supposed to do that sort of thing and I asked her why. She calmly responded by saying "Men are born tto do those things better than women."She is a product of her generation.

Today, women serve in all capacities in every profession one can imagine, including the Armed Services. As such, they must interact with men in all professions.

The problem is that many of today's Christian leaders do not encourage friendship between men and women.

Earlier this week, we discussed this problem in a post looking at Desiring God's take on friendships. It is my opinion that some pastors who work in the rarefied atmosphere of the church don't get the realities and the changing views on relationships in the wider culture. Take, for example, this post on In Defense of the Billy Graham Rule.

In writing of his pastor father, the author said:

My father practiced, to my knowledge, the “Billy Graham rule” his entire ministry. It was not out of a desire to mute the women in the church or showcase his own godliness. It was instead a personal principle that safeguarded Dad and the people he ministered to. If a woman needed counsel, Mom would come along. Oftentimes it would be my mother who was able to speak most powerfully into another woman’s life. Those situations reinforced Dad’s belief that his marriage was indeed part of his ministry, not merely an accessory to it. And it was helpful: Again, to my knowledge, my father was never once accused, falsely or truthfully, of an inappropriate sexual relationship.

(Side observation: But these types of churches believe that only male pastors can preach into a woman's life.)

He claims that Tullian Tchividjian should have followed the Billy Graham rule.

Olasky, pivoting off the recent confession of marital infidelity and consequent resignation from ministry of Graham’s grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, wonders whether the recent upshot of ministerial sin (particularly sexual sin) could have been thwarted if more ministers had emulated Graham’s famous personal dictum to never meet with or travel alone with a woman other than his wife. 

Here are some problems with his assumptions.

When I worked for a pharmaceutical company, I both traveled with men and took men out to lunch/ dinner as part of my job responsibilities. I could not have said "Gee, can I take my husband along" or "Can you send another woman with me?" One can get away with that in the church but not in outside of it.

I was never attacked by a man who was inflamed with desire while sharing dinner. If I had been, I would have been surrounded by other diners wielding steak knives. Believe it or not, that sort of thing is frowned on by professionals because it can lead to lawsuits, etc. so it doesn't usually happen with people who want to keep their jobs. Also, most men, like most women, are anxious to get the work done and get home or get back to the hotel and relax.

 I have met with several pastors alone in their offices. These were pastors who knew me and knew my character. I also knew them. In today's church culture, with talking heads instead of pastors, many pastors don't even know the people in their congregation. So they don't trust women nor will they be friends with them. The church is poorer for it.

Ah, Tullian Tchividjian… if only he never met alone with women. The problem is that Tullian had an agenda and he wanted to meet alone with women. He wouldn't have followed the rule because he didn't want to follow it. Men and women who want to have affairs will have them, regardless of rules.

Thoughts for debate

I am going to state a number of observations and thoughts and look forward to you chiming in, pro and con.

  • Mike Pence is part of an older generation and feels more comfortable with his rules. That is fine for him. However, it is not proscriptive for the rest of us. I am part of the older generation and think his rules would have been quite stifling for me as a nurse in the past and as a blogger now. It would have ruined some friendships with pastors along the way as well.
  • Christians who are having affairs are trying to cover them up, not advertise them to the world.  Why would they broadcast their relationships at the local Olive Garden? People tend to meet in hotel rooms in private.
  • Why do we assume that only opposite sex dinners are a problem? Couldn't there be a problem with same sex dinners?
  • Last night, my husband stayed late at work reading tests. The charge nurse also stayed late to work on the schedule. Should he have called me on the phone and told me to get down to the office, stat?
  • There are few, if any, corporations today that would allow a man to turn down an assignment in which he had to travel with a female coworker, take a female client to dinner, or meet alone with a female client in an office with the door shut, etc.
  • It is strange to think that at any moment all men might fall into sin because they are eating lunch with a client. Are men that weak? Are women? Do pastors think that men and women are having sex all the time in the world that doesn't follow the rules?
  • Today, many offices, restaurants, elevators, hallways in public buildings, etc. have video cameras. 
  • I was a visiting nurse and I visited many men in their homes by myself. Should I have refused?

Let me be frank. I sometimes meet with people from this blog and that means men. My husband encourages me to do so. His knows that I trust him to be alone in the office with women and he trusts me to be alone with men at dinner, lunch, etc. In fact, I do not think it has occurred to either one of us to question these sorts of things.

Meeting over a meal is a relaxing way to get to know one another. Many women and men have told me stories over food and I am grateful for the trust that they put in me.

Times have changed and I think it is for the better. Women are now accepted in all levels of professions. If the Billy Graham rule was proscriptive, it would be impossible for women to advance in society. Today, women can reach for all positions in our culture. Unfortunately, women are often sidelined in the church due to antiquated rules that say women should not be trusted by pastors.

Women cannot be pastors in the Calvinista world. In some churches women are not allowed to even read Scriptures out loud in the service. It is sad to think that pastors are afraid of meeting with women because they women might cause him to stumble. That's right. 60% of the church is under suspicion of being a stumbling block to the pastor. Can we say Jezebels?

Are pastors that weak? How would they survive in corporate America? Are women just waiting for an opportunity to bring a pastor down? It sounds to me that men and women are being trained to distrust one another and, in so doing, miss out on some fabulous relationships. 

How can cross gender relationships enrich the church?

In a post at Christianity Today We've Been Duped By Freud on Cross-Gender Friendship: A Response, Dan Brenna makes some excellent points.

Freud's theories, absorbed by pop culture, have put sex at the center of everything in the West—infiltrating evangelical views of relationships between men and women. 

…Alienation is the term I use to describe the brokenness that prevents oneness between men and women both within and beyond marriage. Alienation between men and women has existed since Genesis 3 and manifests in many ways: sexism, suspicion, and sexual objectification.

…Alienation shames us into believing we can't deeply love our spouses while also deeply and chastely loving friends of the opposite sex.

…The greatest way to guard one's marriage is to intentionally nurture trust, transparency, commitment, and intimacy as a couple. But through that marital oneness, freedom can be navigated between the spouses to nurture relational oneness with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of these relationships may develop into deep friendships, in turn bearing witness of the unseen triune God to a fragmented, alienated, Freudian world (John 17).

Anna Broadway, writing for Christianity Today, looks at Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships.

At a recent Southern Baptist conference on sexuality, pastor Kie Bowman suggested men not "get in a car (alone) with woman who is not your wife unless she's your mother's age."

…What do we mean when we talk about male-female or cross-sex friendships? In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says that friendship has to be about something — that it's a posture of two or more people standing side by side, discussing a truth they see in common. Lovers, by contrast, stand face to face and focus more on each other.

…But a side-by-side friendship easily expands from two to several people. In fact, small groups of friends often share richer conversations than only two could.

Each person plays a key role in the larger whole, Lewis says. "In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity… Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald's reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him 'to myself' now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald."

…Fincher says both male-female friendship (of the mainly one-on-one sort, it seems) and marriage entail risks. Since the riskiness of marriage doesn't stop us getting married, she argues risk shouldn't stop us from forming somewhat intimate male-female friendships either.

…And in the church God gives us not just sibling-type male-female relationships, but spiritual uncles, nephews, grandfathers and sons, too — in fact, the whole universe of male-female relationships. What could be better than that?

I have been deeply blessed by friendships with members of the opposite sex. My husband also enjoys hearing what I like about them, what they teach me, etc. These friendships bless both of us. I cannot imagine my world without male friends. Billy Graham's rule worked for him but it would not work for me for many reasons. 

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say about this controversial topic.


Comments

The Billy Graham Rule Doesn’t Work for Most Who Participate in Today’s Society — 1,289 Comments

  1. okrapod wrote:

    I think that it is his choice even if somebody does find it rude or insulting or creepy.

    As Christians called to treat one another with love and compassion, we should be very concerned if our actions come across as rude, insulting, or creepy. Love is not rude.

    I was a fear-filled legalist who had good reason (as a repentant sinner and as a sexual trauma survivor) to avoid contact with men. But the Christian life should not be motivated by fear — whether fear of sin, fear of abuse, or fear of gossip. That doesn’t mean we live foolishly reckless lives. It does mean we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, and we obey Scripture.

    Love is not only a greater rule than fear, it is the antidote to fear.

    I was being selfish and weird back when I applied all those legalistic rules to myself. I was not concerned about my husband’s friend who had to wait outside, or the men at church who found me rude and abrupt.

    Yes, it was my choice to act that way. But it was a selfish, unloving, and unbecoming choice that I soon grew to regret. It certainly was not Christlike.

  2. Darrell wrote:

    My father was a pastor and he held to the Graham rule his whole life. He would never have cheated on my mother, but he just felt it wasn’t worth the danger of a false accusation that could have ruined his reputation. Cut these men some slack. They are smart to protect their marriages and reputations regardless of how you feel as a woman. Ask any pastor out there that has been in ministry for any length of time and you will hear stories of wackos who wanted to get close to them.

    I believe that you are discussing an exceedingly small number of men in the church. For the vast majority of us, that is not the issues. Within corporate America, health care, politics, etc. we deal with the fact that men and women can meet privately to discuss business. There are wackos in the church and wackos outside the church.

    Interestingly, the stories that chart about have to do with pastors abusing women by having affairs with them. Perhaps you can share with us an actual story of a woman getting a pastor alone in order to have an affair with him.

    Lets go back to the original paradigm. How in the world does a pastor believe he is at risk by eating lunch in public with his female coworker?

    Darrell wrote:

    By the way, Graham wouldn’t go into a hotel room until his assistant went in and made sure there was no woman hiding in there.

    That sounds like my kids when they were little-thinking there was a monster hiding under the bed. I wonder why Graham was so concerned that a woman would pop out and attempt to rape him or take pictures of him in his undies? If there was someone in his room, he could calmly walk out,call management and have the woman arrested. Then the hotel would have been on the line for giving someone access to his room. That would have been in all the papers and I can assure you that people would be afraid to stay at that hotel. That would have taken care of that.

    Look, I have no problem with Graham doing what he thought was best. That is fine for him so long as it does not reflect an underlying fear of women as the aggressors. The more I hear about him fearing that women would be hiding in his hotel room, the more I wonder about his perspectives on women.

    which reminds me of a story which prove that “just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean that people are not out to get you.”

    I have told this story before. My brother, besides being an internist is also involved in substance abuse hospitalizations. One women was admitted, she was a polysubstance abuser. He gave her the typical meds for detox which involves a substantial dose of meds to help them sleep it off and not have serious delirium tremors.

    He got a call from the nurse because the patient was not sleeping and was claiming that a nude man was in her room. These sorts of things are par for the course in DTs. So, he added more meds. Shortly thereafter, he got another call that the woman was screaming there was a nude man in her room.

    He decided to go see the patient, concerned that there was something he was missing. He walked into her room (a private room) ands was awake. She started crying, saying that a nude man was in the room. So my brother, attempting to soothe her looked under the bed and said their was no man. He looked in her bathroom and said there was no man. Then, he opens the closet, there in all his glory was a nude man!!!! He was another patient that was also confused. he had slipped out of his bed and wandered into her room.

    I still laugh about this.

    Make sure you always check for nude men in your hospital room!

    .

  3. dee wrote:

    Perhaps you can share with us an actual story of a woman getting a pastor alone in order to have an affair with him.

    My opinion is, if you find any such stories, at least 50-80% of them are the men involved making excuses and being believed because all women are shameless hussy’s trying to bring down these faithful men of gawd.

    If there is any evidence that proves otherwise, I would be happy to hear it.

  4. dee wrote:

    Lets go back to the original paradigm. How in the world does a pastor believe he is at risk by eating lunch in public with his female coworker?

    This is the ‘one of these thing is not like the other’ sticking point for me.

    You can tell me all sorts of reasons why you shouldn’t be ‘alone’. A public place is not alone. All of those reasons are now invalid.

  5. dee wrote:

    He was another patient that was also confused. he had slipped out of his bed and wandered into her room.

    That is a great story!!!

  6. Another situation where the BG rule wouldn’t work:

    My husband and I happen to own a small church building. I spend time praying there. Long story short, but I don’t usually lock the doors; in fact, I put an “open for prayer” sign out front. My naive husband is convinced that no one would ever attack a woman in a church so he is unconcerned about my safety. (He also believes in “honor among thieves” and insisted that a woman with a baby was safe shopping for groceries late at night even in the worst neighborhoods.) I, on the other hand, know things. It was not an easy matter to put that sign out front.

    Sometimes a solitary man will come in when I am all alone. I have never asked a man to leave or to bring his wife. I have conversed — alone — with every man who came in, and prayed with every man who wanted prayer.

    To the best of my ability, I am obeying God in this matter. I trust in Him to protect me.

    I would never make my actions a “rule” (older couples must buy little church buildings and wives must open them for prayer) nor would I advise churches to follow my practice of opening up their sanctuaries with lone, vulnerable women praying there.

    The rule I would encourage: let love be your motivation, not fear. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Obey Scripture. Act like Jesus. Love like Jesus.

    Rules are easy. Love is hard. At least for me.

  7. @ Rebecca Prewett:

    The prophets were rude. John the Baptist wrote the book on rude. Jesus said some really offensive stuff to people. Paul was rude to Peter. Rude is not the worst sin. And ‘love’ often has to be rudely plain spoken, both from the pulpit and sometimes in person. Just like Jesus did.

    ‘You are a miserable and lost sinner’ from the pulpit is rude. ‘That is the first and last time you pull that stunt with me, now hand over the car keys’ is a rude thing for a parent to say to a teenager. ‘You will not pass this course unless you bring up your grades’ are rude words from a teacher. ‘This is your last warning and if this does not stop we will have to let you go’ is rude from an employer. ‘You keep your hands to yourself or I am telling the teacher (or your wife as the case may be)’ is really rude.

    The definition of ‘rude’ is a social construct which does not supersede truth or necessity or freedom when it is necessary in the pursuit of more important values than mere social constructs.

  8. Another story:

    Years ago, I met an on/gyn who chose not to carry malpractice insurance. At that time, obstetricians were the specialty most likely to be sued for malpractice.

    “Wasn’t he afraid?” I asked, especially since he took on high-risk patients.

    “No,” he said, “because I genuinely care for my patients and I do everything in my power to let them know it.”

    Love conquers fear…or we can allow fear to conquer love.

    I’ve lived too much of my life based on fear. That fear even kept me from believing that God’s love was fully available to me, his wayward, prone to wander, very much imperfect daughter.

    Then, much later in my Christian life than I should have, I finally began to believe and receive the extravagant love of God the Father — and that has and is changing EVERYTHING.

    We can live the cautious, fear-filled life. What if someone falsely accuses me? (Oh, no, I may have to share in the sufferings of my falsely accused Savior!) What if someone attacks me? What if the ministry I’m trying to build is brought to ruin? Or we can live the Spirit-filled life, pouring out our lives like drink offerings to our precious Lord.

    I’ve lived the one. I’m finally beginning, with cautious baby steps, to embrace the glorious, joyous adventure of running towards my Savior with abandon, and letting love be my greatest rule.

    Perfect love casts out all fear. I didn’t make that up. But I’m discovering how gloriously true that verse is.

  9. okrapod wrote:

    The prophets were rude.

    I heard a quote that being a gentlemen (or class or some such thing) means never offending unless you mean to.

    I don’t think that’s a terrible standard for life.

  10. @ Rebecca Prewett:

    I am loving all of your comments and stories, Rebecca, and I am learning so much from you!

    You have really contributed quite a lot to this discussion over the past few days.

    Have a wonderful day!

  11. @ okrapod:

    Yes, there are good and necessary things that seem rude. However, that is not an excuse for rudeness. I could have justified my own rudeness but — thankfully! — the Holy Spirit managed to convict me that I was not looking out for the best interests of my brothers in Christ. I was not treating them with love. I was not respecting them.

    Not that long ago, I felt the need to bring up an ongoing sin issue in someone’s life, and how it was effecting other people. At first, that person accused me of being rude and disrespectful. I apologized for my lack of graciousness, but not for the necessity of bringing up this serious matter. In fact, I stopped for prayer right then. My obvious desire to “speak the truth in love” made the other person less offended and defensive.

    I’m not bragging. I wish I could say that I lived my life demonstrating grace and love to others, but I have someone in my life who continuously reminds me that I am by nature a rude person. I am attempting to allow the Holy Spirit to change that about me.

    Love is not rude. I didn’t make that up. I need to change, if I am to be more like Christ.

  12. Dee, I follow the same practice in my profession as you and your husband. For crying out loud, if I can’t trust my colleagues – men and women – to behave themselves I might as well quit. Happily, they have never given me a reason to question this, and neither have I for them.

  13. Darrell wrote:

    Most of you are missing the main point of the Graham Rule. It isn’t that Rev. Graham or Vice President Pence are afraid they could fall morally. When you are in leadership and famous you are a target for blackmail. A woman can make a charge of inappropriate behavior on the part of a man and suddenly he is fighting for his reputation. A pay-off may or may not solve the problem but if it is found out it raises red flags as well.

    What you wrote is so very true. It happened to a man who owns many new car dealerships. He is very recognizable in the community. He went to a bar / restaurant by himself and one of the waitresses claimed some type of inappropriate behavior. She could see the $$$ signs on his forehead.

  14. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Years ago, I met an on/gyn who chose not to carry malpractice insurance. At that time, obstetricians were the specialty most likely to be sued for malpractice.
    “Wasn’t he afraid?” I asked, especially since he took on high-risk patients.
    “No,” he said, “because I genuinely care for my patients and I do everything in my power to let them know it.”
    Love conquers fear…or we can allow fear to conquer love.

    That was not love, that was a scam. Here is how it works.

    When he messed up, and he was bound to do so in some way at some time, then the injured patient was just out of luck to recover adequate damages from him. What frequently happens at that point is that something is negotiated out of court for a very low cost since there would be no possible recovery in court which would be large enough to cover lawyers fees and court costs. In other words, he just sxxxxxd the patient. That is if and only if the problem was limited to whatever happened in the office.

    But if problem occurred in hospital then the plaintiff would name both the doctor and the hospital and whoever else they could dream up in the suit and whatever is recovered would set the hospital back a pretty penny. All the while the ‘naked’ doctor would be testifying in court against the hospital and it’s employees. Literally In that case he would have just sxxxxxd both the patient and the hospital Some hospitals require malpractice coverage before hospital privileges are extended, or so they once did, as one way to handle this scam.

    And how do I know this? Because both I and the hospital got named in such a suit for something which happened while I was home in bed in fact, but which was done by a ‘naked’ ER doc. And of course they offered him to be dropped from the suit if he would testify against the hospital, which he did. That was when that hospital learned a difficult lesson. My insurer paid a token sum to drop me from the case. SCAM.

    This is not what ‘love’ looks like.

  15. okrapod wrote:

    @ Rebecca Prewett:
    The prophets were rude. John the Baptist wrote the book on rude. Jesus said some really offensive stuff to people.

    Nobody’s mentioning Ezekiel?
    As in Ezekiel 23:20?
    Now that guy had the dirtiest mouth of any of the Prophets!

  16. @ okrapod:

    In his case (and please remember that this was years ago) it was not a scam. He knew that one lawsuit would ruin him financially (malpractice insurance, at least in the old days, was set up to protect doctors from that, so he was taking on all risk personally) and would end his career. In his many decades of practicing, no one ever sued him, or his practice, or his birth center, or anyone else (including the hospital where he practiced) in connection with anything he did. As far as I know, he practiced through the 1990’s and possible later, although the conversation I had with him and his associates was back in the early 1980’s.

    I met a number of his patients. They attested to the fact that he treated them with the utmost respect and care. He was somewhat of a legend in certain circles back in my day.

  17. Lea wrote:

    Etc. Take one thing, expand it into literally everything, add a dash of ‘avoiding the appearance of evil’ and then think every normal thing is potentially evil…then you have banned all normal relationships

    Leaving ABNORMAL relationships as the only possibilities.

  18. @ okrapod:

    One more thing: his reason for not carrying malpractice insurance is that — and again, this was back in the day — it put constraints on his practice which he did not believe were in the best interests of his patients. Other doctors at the time that I knew who practiced a similarly mother-baby-centered approach sometimes handled this dilemma by requiring patients to sign arbitration agreements if the patient chose not to follow malpractice insurance guidelines (e.g., opting out of routine ultrasounds and prenatal testing)

  19. @ Rebecca Prewett:

    I understand that you approve of what he was doing. I do not. Since when does a prenatal ultrasound harm a patient? Since when is any physician or patient better off with less information than with more information? Since when do malpractice insurers place procedures in place which harm patients, especially since they could themselves be sued for that? There is just so much about what you say about this man that blows whistles and hangs out red flags and make my skin crawl. He needed constraints put on his practice. Good grief, so much of that attitude was prevalent back in the day, and so much of it has been struck down since then. Mostly, I think, by malpractice plaintiff’s attorneys which, in spite of excesses, have served a good purpose in my opinion.

    But since 1952 which was my first exposure to hospitals and now the whole scene had massively and dramatically changed, for the better in my opinion. There are now more guidelines and less leaving stuff to the individual practitioner, and more review of records, and more ‘consequences’ when violations occur. And most of it has been based on studies of one kind or another-not just preferences. The health care industry has a long way to go, but so far a lot of progress has been made in some right directions.

  20. Ken G wrote:

    Darrell wrote:

    Most of you are missing the main point of the Graham Rule. It isn’t that Rev. Graham or Vice President Pence are afraid they could fall morally. When you are in leadership and famous you are a target for blackmail. A woman can make a charge of inappropriate behavior on the part of a man and suddenly he is fighting for his reputation. A pay-off may or may not solve the problem but if it is found out it raises red flags as well.

    What you wrote is so very true. It happened to a man who owns many new car dealerships. He is very recognizable in the community. He went to a bar / restaurant by himself and one of the waitresses claimed some type of inappropriate behavior. She could see the $$$ signs on his forehead.

    I work in law. There had to be more than that or the judge would have shut down the case if his attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.

  21. okrapod wrote:

    t is here to be dealt with. Being too sensitive about it is not helpful.

    Back in the days when some church wives approached me because I’d offended their husbands with my implementation of a pastor-suggested “no conversations with non-relative men for more than two minutes”, my initial thought was that these men were being ridiculously over-sensitive and childish. After all, I’d not told anyone of my “rule”, or told a man to “shut up”, or simply turned on my heel and walked away while they were in mid-sentence. And they’d gone crying to their wives, “waaaaah! Rebecca won’t talk to us!”?????

    Maybe they were whiny crybabies. Maybe they were too sensitive. But I doubt it. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit used this to convict me. Since then, I’ve come to realize a few things:

    1. These men were discerning, with the Holy Spirit’s help, and they were responding to a genuinely offensive attitude on my part. (I could try to justify it from now until the day I die, and make a heap of convincing arguments, but it is never godly to act in fear rather than love.)

    2. I was viewing men as “potential danger!!!!” rather than as my brothers in Christ, fellow image-bearers, beloved by my Father. Again, I had a bunch of legitimate reasons to do so (I was suffering, truly suffering, from undiagnosed PTSD) but I should have been seeking healing rather than making unhelpful , hurtful rules.

    3. I saw men as “the problem”, rather than my own brokenness.

    4. Extra-Biblical rules hinder us from relying on the Holy Spirit in our daily walk, because they interfere with that reliance and render the Spirit-led life “unnecessary”. Instead of, “Lord, how would you have me respond to this man in love?” all I needed to think was, “Man! Two minute rule!”

    5. These sorts of rules all too easily encourage and feed an attitude of, “I need to protect myself!! I need to protect my ministry, my reputation, my, my, my, me, me, me!”

    6. As a result of #5, we put our trust in rules, rather than in God.

  22. @ okrapod:

    I think we’re headed off on a tangent beyond the purposes of this discussion, and we probably have some significant differences of opinion regarding maternal health care and obstetrics.

    My point about this doctor was not whether or not he carried malpractice insurance. It was why he did not fear being sued — it was because of the way he related to his patients.

    I recall another obstetrician telling me once that patients won’t sue you if they know you really care for them, because they will then know that you would never be negligent nor do anything to cause them harm. That was the point I was trying to make.

  23. Velour wrote:

    I work in law. There had to be more than that or the judge would have shut down the case if his attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.

    It is about reputations. It is not just about court proceedings. But then I come from a smaller town background, and gossip can destroy a person even quicker than a law suit, particularly because to prevail in court takes a lot more than just to run your (generic) mouth all over town. Like you said, you got to show the court something (my terminology) but you don’t have to show anybody anything if it is just gossip.

  24. @ Rebecca Prewett:

    Believe me when I say that I understand what you are saying, I simply do not see things that way. I am not saying that you cannot see things that way, only that I do not. And I think this is a good example of exactly the point of the post-that something may work in one situation and not in another.

  25. Another thing I’ve learned about people I used to think were “too sensitive:

    The problem is usually my lack of sensitivity. Truly sensitive, loving people will be concerned about their own possible lack of sensitivity, rather than labeling others as “too sensitive”. And if they believe someone is perhaps overly sensitive, they will treat that person with more love and kindness, rather than grumble about having to cater to previous snowflakes.

    For example, when my PTSD was at its worst, I felt like a raw nerve walking around. At times, it was the closest to hell that I ever want to be. It was no help at all when people would inform me that I was being overly sensitive, blah blah blah.

    Then God brought into my life some amazing people who treated me with unconditional love and compassion. They didn’t fear or resent “catering” to me; they simply loved me. They were like safe havens in my storm. They helped convince me that God’s love was even more full of grace and mercy, and that He truly was worthy of my trust.

    “Tough love” didn’t heal me; it only added to my sense of failure and despair.

    God’s tender mercies…they really are tender. The people I call my tribe showed me that, and they helped love me to healing and a degree of wholeness that I never dreamed possible.

  26. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Back to the topic at hand: I have to say I can see where Darryl is coming from. False accusations and blackmail are legitimate concerns for people in sensitive public positions. Why shouldn’t they protect themselves? Doesn’t the Bible say to avoid even the appearance of evil?

    I think this sort of thing was addressed in an article link I posted here the other night, which probably now resides on page 1 of this thread.

    Instead of judging each person and case on its own merits, the Billy Graham Rule is a Quick Fix used by lazy people who don’t want to be adults and weigh their options and their choices.

    Furthermore, the BGR penalizes all women (i.e., they are not afforded the same professional opportunities via networking as men receive), and treats all women as suspicious and as objects of lust, rather than as other human beings worthy of respect.

    I’m a virgin over the age of 40, hardly a temptress who nabs married men.

    Yet, I (and women like me, who have great morals), get treated like a sleazy, potential blackmailing bimbo simply because of my/their biological sex. There is no fairness in that.

    This editorial explains more-

    Graham Rule not always proper
    http://www.journalgazette.net/20170402/graham-rule-not-always-proper

    One of the most common citations for following the Billy Graham Rule is to avoid “rumors” that can fell a church leader. However, if we look not to Graham for an example of how to treat women, but to Jesus, we will find a different path to follow.

    [Jesus routinely met with women who were divorced or considered “unclean” but did not let what others may think stop him from doing so.
    As a Christian either you believe Jesus is a role model for all Christians, or you do not.

    None of this exemption business: “But Jesus is perfect! Mortal men are not.” Part of Jesus’ mission was to demonstrate for us what God the Father is like and how to live life as a mere mortal.]

  27. okrapod wrote:

    It is about reputations. It is not just about court proceedings. But then I come from a smaller town background, and gossip can destroy a person even quicker than a law suit, particularly because to prevail in court takes a lot more than just to run your (generic) mouth all over town. Like you said, you got to show the court something (my terminology) but you don’t have to show anybody anything if it is just gossip.

    As I said the other day back on Page 1 of this thread, I was raised mainly in the South by a Southern mother, where I was fed a steady diet of “But you can’t do X. What will the neighbors think if you do X.”
    That is one hallmark of codependency – caring way too much about “what others think” and feeling you must “guard your reputation.”

    I’m a billion times happier now that I live my life for me and don’t get so caught up in what choice to make all because someone may get the wrong idea or think poorly of me.

    Considering so many Christians are so sadly buying into and defending the BGF, and all its baggage (which assumes even a life long celibate such as me must be sleeping around), might as well start sleeping around.

    I see no point in maintaining celibacy since I am assumed to be guilty of being a Jezebel, due to my age and biological sex.

    Christians keep chipping away at my reasons, incentives, and convictions for remaining celibate as a single lady.

  28. Ken G wrote:

    He went to a bar / restaurant by himself and one of the waitresses claimed some type of inappropriate behavior. She could see the $$$ signs on his forehead.

    The BG Rule and the Mike Pence practice would not have prevented this from happening. The rich guy would have been safer with a female acquaintance to serve as a witness.

  29. The BGR (Billy Graham Rule) is based in gender complementarianism thinking.

    I’m disappointed and quite surprised to see that some on this blog, who are usually so astute in countering gender complementarianism and see how wrong gender complementarianism is, are never- the- less defending the BGR, which has its basis in the same sort of attitudes about gender that gender complementarianism does.

    I don’t see how one can defend B.G.R., yet, at the same time, recognize how unbiblical, sexist, and unfair gender comp is.

    BGR rule and gender complementarianism are peas in the same pod.

  30. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    patients won’t sue you if they know you really care for them, because they will then know that you would never be negligent nor do anything to cause them harm.

    Caring and competence are two different things. A significant medical error was made on me by a very nice doctor, so I have experienced the dichotomy.

  31. Friend wrote:

    Up above, I typed in “BGF,” but I meant “BGR”.

    The BG Rule and the Mike Pence practice would not have prevented this from happening. The rich guy would have been safer with a female acquaintance to serve as a witness.

    You know what else? A guy could pretend to live by the BGR – not dine with another woman in public – but as one article pointed out, this very same guy could go to marriage adultery cheating site, such as Ashley Madison, and start affairs there…
    which several Christian preachers did in fact do.

    Mike Pence and whomever can in fact avoid dining out with other women publicly, but then run to some dating site, set up an account under a fake name, and meet women for trysts at hotels.

    All the while, they can have the “appearance” of godliness while committing adultery, all because they don’t eat with female colleagues (who actually usually don’t pose a danger to them) by using the internet to set up liaisons.

    Aside from being distasteful, sexist, and insulting, the BGR is old fashioned, out of date, and does not work these days. There are so many ways around it.

    Tullian used his meetings with lady trainers at gyms, his cell phone, and Twitter to strike up affairs with other women, not luncheon dates that were business-related.

  32. @ Rebecca Prewett:

    I am glad to hear that you are doing well. I would not for the world try to tell you that you personally should do things that were detrimental to your situation. If I have said anything that sounded like that then that was not my meaning. But maybe DC politics needs to play by a different set of rules. Perhaps DC politics needs to be free to be rough and tumble in order to function optimally. To say that the VP for example should have to behave in the same manner as a counselor or a therapist would be pretty unreasonable. Nobody has said that, it is just a ‘what if’ example.

    I worked in health care, and the kind of work in health care that I did also required quite a bit of guts and grits so to speak. And yes, they did expect us as really young women in nursing school to ‘toughen up buttercup’ and they did teach us how to manage patients who got out of line by always being ‘professional’ which is what it sounds to me like what the VP is doing. I never served in the military, for example, because I am neither that gutsy nor that gritty. But I would never think that the military should practice the same behaviors that worked well in civilian health care.

    So I am back to my same position, which again I think is what the post is about, that some things work in some situations and for some people but not all people and not all situations.

  33. @ Daisy:

    I don’t know what you do for a living or where you live, but in my thinking there is a huge difference between some situation where one’s reputation is an important aspect of his/her job and a situation where that it is not. A doctor in a small town who got known for frequenting a certain bar a couple of nights a week is inviting patients to go somewhere else as well as inviting them to sue him if they think he did of aunt susie wrong They don’t trust him to be sober in the OR for example.

    I think it goes on a case by case basis. And I certainly do not think that the small town doc in that illustration is being co-dependent when he maintains a good reputation in that town. He is being smart.

  34. Daisy wrote:

    A guy could pretend to live by the BGR

    Yes, a guy could. And likewise, if people are genuinely out to get him, they can set up fake accounts or just spread rumors.

    One time I checked into a hotel late at night, unlocked the door to the room, and scared the heck out of some poor sleeping man. Somehow I don’t think he was as worried about his reputation. As far as he was concerned, I was breaking in! (Somebody at the desk had made a mistake with my reservation.)

  35. Friend wrote:

    they can set up fake accounts or just spread rumors.

    What I mean by this is that simplistic rules don’t protect against everything.

  36. okrapod wrote:

    A doctor in a small town who got known for frequenting a certain bar a couple of nights a week is inviting patients to go somewhere else

    Great example. That doc is damaging his own reputation through his own public behavior. Nobody is out to sabotage his medical practice.

  37. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    I recall another obstetrician telling me once that patients won’t sue you if they know you really care for them, because they will then know that you would never be negligent nor do anything to cause them harm.

    I’m not going to get into that because there are people who do things on purpose to file, like throwing themselves in front of cars and so on and so forth. I had an old coworker who would apply for jobs so she could file when they didn’t hire her. That stuff does happen.

    However, I do think it’s true that most decent people’s first response is not to sue. They try to resolve an issue. There are many cases of people who tried to resolve things and just got finally pushed into suing or angry enough to sue because of the way they were treated. In those cases, treating someone well can save you a lot of money and trouble.

  38. Friend wrote:

    The BG Rule and the Mike Pence practice would not have prevented this from happening. The rich guy would have been safer with a female acquaintance to serve as a witness.

    I like the way you think, Friend 😉

    I believe, in life, in general, about setting reasonable precautions. But you cannot live your entire life in so much fear that you avoid life itself and everyone who could potentially harm you. Because everyone could hurt you. People you love, people you hate, strangers, family. If you base your life avoiding every possible danger you will be a hermit and it still wont’ save you from a tornado.

  39. okrapod wrote:

    So I am back to my same position, which again I think is what the post is about, that some things work in some situations and for some people but not all people and not all situations.

    Definitely. And I am arguing against the BG rule as a general rule for all Christian men or all Christian leaders, and the adoption of any rules based on fear rather than on trusting God to lead us.

  40. okrapod wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I work in law. There had to be more than that or the judge would have shut down the case if his attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.
    It is about reputations. It is not just about court proceedings. But then I come from a smaller town background, and gossip can destroy a person even quicker than a law suit, particularly because to prevail in court takes a lot more than just to run your (generic) mouth all over town. Like you said, you got to show the court something (my terminology) but you don’t have to show anybody anything if it is just gossip.

    That’s possibly one theory.

    Another is, and a common one, is that some people can really act badly to waitstaff
    when no one else is looking. Since workplaces, including restaurants, are to not supposed to have sexual harassment, and he was a powerful man (seemingly from the description),
    I’m thinking that he probably acted up and did so quite badly.

    If he’s as innocent as he claims, why didn’t the case solve in mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution before trial?

    Why was an attorney willing to bet his or her reputation, and money, on taking a case like this if it wasn’t going to pan out. After all that person has a reputation in a county too.

    Why didn’t the case get tossed out of court by the judge?

    I am not buying this story as described above.

    If the person wants to post the case name, county, and court file number, I will research this case. Otherwise, I think it’s fiction.

  41. @ Velour:

    I don’t see where the original comment telling this story said anything about lawyers or going to court, just about somebody making an allegation.

  42. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I don’t see where the original comment telling this story said anything about lawyers or going to court, just about somebody making an allegation.

    Claimed inappropriate conduct + saw $$$ signs = some form of litigation in scenarios

    That’s why I’d like to know more about this story. And research it.

    Thanks.

  43. okrapod wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Could be. I was thinking a little sweetness in the coffee, aka blackmail. But you could be right.

    If it happened in the workplace than it involved the employer, and potentially litigation.

    If said waitress committed ‘blackmail’ (this sounds like a weird movie getting weirder by the minute), than if she faced criminal charges…there would be a paper trail on that too.

    I’m just saying that I would like the names of the parties, the county/state where this occurred, and I research the court records. I’m not buying this story as it was presented to us, in defense no less of the Billy Graham Rule.

    Wait staff work incredibly hard, are very busy, and most in my experience have hearts of gold. I’m not saying there aren’t bad ones.

  44. @ Velour:

    You have done a lot of really good research for TWW. Just letting you know how valuable that is. Let us know what you find.

    I do think, as is obvious that I do, that there is a lot of ‘making it worth my while to keep my mouth shut/ roll in the hay with you/ get your kids school record mysteriously changed/ tell what I know about this or that/ pretend I don’t know who put what on the company credit card/ etc etc’. And making it worth my while can mean I want to work day shift in pediatrics and not med/surge and no I have no idea who did what in that situation; which is to say that I can be trusted to keep my mouth shut. One hand washes the other. Maybe that is not actually blackmail, to just have something on somebody which they don’t want told, but it sure seems common enough.

    Perhaps I am too jaded. Some of this actually though (not the medical part) I heard from my father who saw some clients at home after work and most of which was petty mess about somebody done somebody wrong and is there anything to be done about that? Like got them admitted to Central State Hospital (psych) on observation by some guy who wanted to go ahead and ‘inherit’ the farm because Dad was hanging around too long when the pearly gates surely have already swung open. Which was always more interesting than wills and taxes (for those who were illiterate). I did not listen in on any of this; Dad was scrupulous about client confidentiality, but he did let me type the property descriptions. Like: beginning at a point x degrees this direction from the center of the highway marker and proceeding in y direction z feet to an old oak tree, then..I am not making this up. I kept wondering what happens if they cut down the old oak tree. Literally.

    It was Dad who told me don’t trust anybody, and that the one most likely to do you wrong was probably somebody in your own family. Or the preachers who gave out legal advice and did not know what they were doing. Dad did not discuss people’s details or names either one, but it was a small farming community just becoming a bedroom community for the city and people (not Dad and certainly not I) gossip and word gets around.

    But that was then. Maybe the world is better now. And that was a select population; people who actually sought legal advice for some situation. I really am not in a position to know how things are now. Well, I do know a heap of mess about hospitals and how they work, but not about restaurants. In fact, the finance committee of a hospital where I was the chief radiologist called me in and informed me that they wanted me to do something unethical and said if I did not they would find somebody who would. So no, I am not too jaded, I have just seen too much.

    Okay, we have heard the woes of preacher’s kids. Now you have all hear the woes of one lawyer’s kid. It is probably a syndrome of some sort.

  45. @ okrapod:

    Oh that is a great story, Okrapod. Thanks for sharing it.

    And typing property descriptions….what a nightmare those things are. Yes, some have trees and rocks as dividing lines. I at least have had the benefit of a computer when I have typed them. Someone at the law office always edits our work, which we read aloud in an office (from the original property description).

    Condos are the worst for property descriptions. They go on and on and on and on.

  46. Velour wrote:

    And typing property descriptions….what a nightmare those things are. Yes, some have trees and rocks as dividing lines. I at least have had the benefit of a computer when I have typed them. Someone at the law office always edits our work, which we read aloud in an office (from the original property description).

    Try running property lines out here in the boonies. My husband and I bought 70 acres back in 2001 that joined the 8 1/2 acres we already had ……… Corners: “a downed Poplar tree”…., then “following said road to a rock…..”, then a rock “in the center of the Spring Branch”, then another rock…., then a rock “on the east side of the “the branch originating from the Ferrin place”, then ” a straight line back to the downed Poplar tree where the line begins”. ……..
    The last time the deed had been updated was 1941. Fun, fun, fun! The surveyors had use some other deeds to find a starting point down in the bottoms on the other side of the highway. When they located our corners, we drove in iron survey markers!

  47. Interesting quote on Twitter:

    by Cheryl Bridges Johns‏ @cb_johns
    There are reasons one does not hear of a “Ruth Graham Rule” or a “Karen Pence Rule.” Men are the subjects. Women are the objects.

  48. An Open Letter to Men Who Broke the Billy Graham Rule by Tish Harrison Warren
    http://thewell.intervarsity.org/blog/open-letter-men-who-broke-billy-graham-rule

    Snippets:

    You did not see me as a sexual threat to be avoided, but as a human being, even a sister. And you were safe. You never hit on me.

    You never made me feel weird or uneasy. If you ever struggled with sexual temptation, you’ve dealt with that by talking with your wife, male friends, or a counselor so that you could be a friend, brother, and pastor to women around you. Because of that, I have the gift of having men in my life who are trustworthy and who are true, dear friends.

    And thanks also to your wives. They do not see me (and all the other women on the planet) as a danger. They do not regard your friendship with or ministry among women as perilous, but as essential.

    They pushed you out of the house to go love people in the name of Jesus, with full confidence in you and in the boundaries you no doubt set together.

  49. @ Daisy:

    Thanks for posting that!

    Years ago, I was eating breakfast by myself in a hotel restaurant when an older man asked if he could join me. I’d noticed him sitting by himself earlier, reading his Bible. We were in public, in a safe place — what could happen? I decided to say yes.

    I’m so glad I did.

    Long story short, it was one of those memorable, pivotal conversations, during which he said some things that I needed to hear, things that have impacted my life ever since. God used him powerfully that day.

    He was a traveling evangelist, but I can’t remember his name or anything else about him. I’m so glad he wasn’t afraid to have breakfast with a young woman he didn’t know. I’m so glad that he was a man of prayer, who listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to come and talk to me.

  50. Hi Folks,

    Just a note to thank the donor who just donated $100 to the GoFundMe campaign that Dee set up for Shauna and Billy in Texas. (Dee wrote about their story here on TWW.)

    With this latest donation it will cover the 8% that GoFundme charges for a fundraiser.
    We have raised the $700 to pay for Shauna and Billy’s monthly rent.

    They have been in a tight financial situation. Shauna’s part-time job at a grocery store was reduced to 13 hours a week.

    I think that about $200 would help them in the interim with food, some household items, and gasoline for their car.

    Thank you!

    Please keep them in prayer. They have been discouraged of late.

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Regards,

    Velour in California

  51. Velour wrote:

    I work in law. There had to be more than that or the judge would have shut down the case if his attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.

    Isn’t a Summary Judgment is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgement as a matter of law? In the example I gave there was a dispute of the facts. After the supervisor of the waitstaff, a woman, prepared an affidavit explaining the training of the waitstaff and procedures they need to follow it became clear that the allegation had no merit. This incident just sullied the reputation of the owner of the car dealerships.

  52. Off-topic. Prayer request.

    Shauna (Billy’s mom in Texas) is meeting with human resources today about problems at her job. Please pray for her.

    Thank you!

  53. Ken G wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I work in law. There had to be more than that or the judge would have shut down the case if his attorney filed a motion for summary judgment.
    Isn’t a Summary Judgment is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgement as a matter of law? In the example I gave there was a dispute of the facts. After the supervisor of the waitstaff, a woman, prepared an affidavit explaining the training of the waitstaff and procedures they need to follow it became clear that the allegation had no merit. This incident just sullied the reputation of the owner of the car dealerships.

    There are a variety of legal strategies, including a MFSJ, that defense attorneys use.

    Since so little information was given about this allegation, I could only guess.

    According to your most recent comment, the woman supervisor wrote an affidavit to assist the defense side. Correct?

    If the case had no merit, and it was widely known including by the work supervisor, how did the owner of the car dealerships have a reputation that got “sullied”.

    Again, this story makes no sense.

  54. @ Ken G:

    Could you please post the name of the case, the county/state, and the year over on the open Discussion thread.

    I would like to read it myself and I will research it. It’s just not adding up.

  55. Lea wrote:

    I fear a cage wrote:

    Lots of good patriarchal IFB churches adore their KJV

    girl, I adore my kjv. I don’t care if it’s a ‘bad’ translation, it is by far the most beautiful one. I like it when the bible sounds like Shakespeare.

    I love mine too. Both my husband & I were raised on it and still love it. 🙂

  56. Velour wrote:

    According to your most recent comment, the woman supervisor wrote an affidavit to assist the defense side. Correct?

    Nope, that is incorrect. The woman supervisor did not assist the defense, but she provided such information at the request of the lawyers who represented the restaurant.

    If the case had no merit, and it was widely known including by the work supervisor, how did the owner of the car dealerships have a reputation that got “sullied”.

    Because in situations like this it is generally assumed that the man is guilty until he proves himself innocent and people tend to remember the allegation.

  57. Ken G wrote:

    in situations like this it is generally assumed that the man is guilty until he proves himself innocent and people tend to remember the allegation.

    Aw, c’mon. You wrote this:

    Ken G wrote:

    one of the waitresses claimed some type of inappropriate behavior. She could see the $$$ signs on his forehead.

    Don’t you think the gold-digger waitress stereotype is just as pernicious as the predatory rich guy stereotype?

  58. As a church worker, and in the secular world, I was often counciled about being alone with a woman. It was to prevent a malicious accusation and all the trouble it would take to deal with it.
    I also know some women who prefer their husbands would follow the Billy Graham rule. Why? I am not sure.

  59. Ken G wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    According to your most recent comment, the woman supervisor wrote an affidavit to assist the defense side. Correct?
    Nope, that is incorrect. The woman supervisor did not assist the defense, but she provided such information at the request of the lawyers who represented the restaurant.
    If the case had no merit, and it was widely known including by the work supervisor, how did the owner of the car dealerships have a reputation that got “sullied”.
    Because in situations like this it is generally assumed that the man is guilty until he proves himself innocent and people tend to remember the allegation.

    Thanks.

    Please post the case name, county & state, and year this took place over on the Open Discussion thread. I will research it.

  60. Loyd Jenkins wrote:

    As a church worker, and in the secular world, I was often counciled about being alone with a woman. It was to prevent a malicious accusation and all the trouble it would take to deal with it.
    I also know some women who prefer their husbands would follow the Billy Graham rule. Why? I am not sure.

    Well it’s very outdated.

    As Tim Fall, a blogger who is a Christian (and a judge), wrote recently here and on his blog that his men and women colleagues are absolutely trustworthy and so is he. They’ve never had any problems getting along.

    It’s pretty weird that your group would give this ‘advice’ and were so unprofessional. Do any of them have ‘real’ jobs?

    I am so glad not to be in the evangelical/NeoCalvinist world with their constant, bizarre, fear-mongering. In the real world, in real life, it just isn’t that way. They need to grow up!

  61. @ Friend:

    Ken G., despite multiple requests that I’ve made, has yet to post the case name,
    county & state where it occurred, and year on the Open Discussion thread so that I can research it.

    I do work in law and I would be happy to research this case, since Ken’s story is not adding up for me.

    I wonder why he won’t post the information?

  62. Why Christians Can Do Better Than The “Billy Graham Rule”
    By Tina Osterhouse
    https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/why-christians-can-do-better-billy-graham-rule

    Snippets from the above link/page(by Tina Osterhouse):

    I believe that Graham’s rule is well-intended, but it does not address the heart-level issue of sexual sin. It merely shifts the blame, reducing women to temptresses or objects. Women become the problem and men are safer without them. Consequently, men are excused from wrestling with and overcoming their own sin.

    …Passages in Scripture do exhort us to flee from temptation, and there are certainly women who have had inappropriate relationships with married men. …

    But the Bible exhorts us to live in the freedom of Christ.

    I don’t believe that treating women as if they are affairs-waiting-to-happen is living in freedom, nor is it faithful to our shared identity as co-heirs before God. God gives us self-control so that we may exercise it for his glory, not as an excuse to cut ourselves off from half the body.

    Additionally, most women are not looking to seduce every man they encounter, and most men are not interested in having sex with every woman they encounter.

    …From an egalitarian perspective, the “Billy Graham Rule” has two primary problems.

    First, God created men and women to work together—to be friends, partners, and comrades. Rules like the “Billy Graham Rule” are rooted in gender stereotypes and they make us suspicious of each other. Not all relationships are sexual in nature…

    Billy Graham’s rule protects men from scandals, but it does only that. It does not promote the heart accountability that actually overcomes sexual sin. It protects men’s reputations, but it restricts women in the process. Women already face prejudice, stereotypes, and adversity in the workplace and in the church. Billy Graham’s rule does not empower them or promote healthy partnerships between men and women.

    Second, there is no evidence that the rule is biblical. Jesus clearly didn’t subscribe to the “Billy Graham Rule.”….

  63. Rebecca Prewett wrote:

    Thanks for posting that!
    Years ago, I was eating breakfast by myself in a hotel restaurant when an older man asked if he could join me.

    I’d noticed him sitting by himself earlier, reading his Bible. We were in public, in a safe place — what could happen? I decided to say yes.

    … He was a traveling evangelist, but I can’t remember his name or anything else about him. I’m so glad he wasn’t afraid to have breakfast with a young woman he didn’t know. I’m so glad that he was a man of prayer, who listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to come and talk to me.

    You’re welcome for the link.

    Thank you for sharing your story, too.

    It goes to illustrate that not all dealings between the genders are of a sexual nature.

    Something about your post reminds me of something else.

    I’ve noticed a lot of men mistake platonic, polite, or friendly banter from a woman as being romantic or sexual in nature, which I find incredibly annoying.

    When I was in college, for example, I missed several classes because I had been sick for a week or two.

    My professor had put advanced level and beginners into the same course together. This one guy and myself were the only two advanced level students in the class.

    The prof gave us advanced students different projects from the beginners.

    Well, after I got back to school once my flu or whatever had passed, I approached this other advanced student (who happened to be male) to ask him if he could please up-date me on our newest projects, as I had been out sick and needed to catch up on our assignements.

    There was nobody else to ask (every one else in class was a beginner level person), and our prof was not in the class at that point.

    This other student, the male advanced guy, immediately assumed I was “hitting” on him, flirting with him.

    He said something like, “I am a married man.” That was the first comment out of his mouth to me.

    I stood there puzzled for a moment. I had no idea what his marital status had to do with our previous week’s class and homework assignments.

    It took me a moment to figure out he was mistaking my quest for help (“what assignments did I miss last week when I was out with the flu”) for FLIRTING.

    I was not even attracted to this guy!

    And this is not the first time something like that has happened to me over my life time. Even into my 20s, 30s, and older, I’ve had men mistake platonic conversation or questions for help with flirtation.

    What ego or paranoia that some men have to do this.
    Just because a woman asks you a question does not mean she is flirting with you or even finds you attractive.

    (I had zero romantic interest in the guy in my class who I had asked for help. I was just wanting to know what our assignments were, nothing more to it than that.)

    Back in the 1990s, I read a page in an issue of The Reader’s Digest, or some where, that discussed a research project that said most men mis-interpret signs, meaning a lot of them will read stuff as being sexual that is NOT sexual.

    For example, the article said the research said, men who saw women rub or scratch their arms found that action sexy, or they felt the woman was trying to seduce them.

    When these women were asked by the researchers why they were rubbing their arm, they said because it itched!
    Romance or flirting had nothing to do with why they were rubbing their arms. They weren’t doing it to get male attention.

    Men are forever misreading signals women put out.

    I think that may be part of the reason for the Billy Graham Rule-

    So many men have over-sexualized women in every capacity, I guess a lot of them are unwilling to retrain themselves to see women as people, rather than as sex objects there to tempt them.

  64. Loyd Jenkins wrote:

    As a church worker, and in the secular world, I was often counciled about being alone with a woman. It was to prevent a malicious accusation and all the trouble it would take to deal with it.
    I also know some women who prefer their husbands would follow the Billy Graham rule. Why? I am not sure.

    And I’ll say what I did on page 1 of this thread.

    I am a virgin past the age of 40. Clearly, I am not a threat. I am not a woman out to entrap a married dude.

    So, because some tiny percentage of women out there might have an affair with married men, all other women out there, including a middle aged virgin like me, have to pay the price.

    I am treated as though I am guilty of something I have not even done, nor do I have any intention of doing.

    I’m also mystified why so many who defend BGR place a premium on a “man’s reputation” when the process used (the BGR) limits all women unfairly, and when it ruins MY reputation by suggesting I am a harlot (even though I am celibate).
    So I do not get the propensity by some to defend BGR.

  65. Ken G wrote:

    Because in situations like this it is generally assumed that the man is guilty until he proves himself innocent and people tend to remember the allegation.

    It’s assumed that women are guilty.

    As I said, although I am a 40 year old woman virgin, the BGR and corporate policies you’re discussing, presume I am a man-hungry, man-stealing strumpet merely because of my biological sex, so, the thought goes, no man should be alone with a woman.

    I’m considered guilty in these scenarios, not because of anything I’ve done.

    I’ve never actually had an affair with a married guy, nor do I have any interest in doing so, but I’m presumed or thought of as guilty, or treated as such, or treated as a problem waiting to happen, before I’ve even done anything (and again, I have no plans on bedding married guys).

  66. Ken G wrote:

    Because in situations like this it is generally assumed that the man is guilty until he proves himself innocent and people tend to remember the allegation.

    I also have to disagree with this assertion on the basis of all the rape news reports I’ve seen since I was a kid.

    It’s actually the opposite most of the time: men accused of rape or inappropriate behavior are assumed innocent, but the woman stepping forward to report the incidents are assumed to be lying.

    In the vast majority of cases, sad to say, even in the year 2017, if a woman steps forward to say a man raped her, most folks (his family, the public, the cops, etc.) will NOT believe the woman.

    It took 50+ women victims, plus a male stand up comic, to get the public to finally accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, actor Bill Cosby really was drugging and fondling women!

    In many other cases, judges and so on let the rapist off, even when legally, it’s determined or proven the guy did in fact rape the woman.

    I just saw a headline the other day where a court let a rapist off (he raped a woman, that was not under dispute with the court) because he said he did “not enjoy raping the woman.”

    (Google it, it’s out there. That was just from this last week or two.)

    Then, we still have this mindset that if we believe the woman was raped, she will get questions or comments such as:

    “You must have WANTED it,” or, “You are to blame for being raped, because you were drinking alcohol at the time and passed up,” and from a few years ago…

    There was a news report where the judge and/or jury on the case blamed the woman victim because she had been wearing skinny jeans at the time of her assault.

    You’re not guilty of rape: Those skinny jeans were too tight to remove …
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1270113/Youre-guilty-rape-Those-skinny-jeans-tight-remove-jury-rules.html

    Snippet from article (April 2010):
    “A man was acquitted of rape today after a jury agreed his victim could not have been sexually assaulted while wearing skinny jeans.”

    Women rape victims, even if they ARE believed, face a lot of victim-blaming.

    Then, I’ve read I don’t know how many stories where even if the woman IS believed in cases of rape or sexual harassment accusations, her friends, the community, her employer (whomever) will say to her,
    “Oh please, please, don’t report the guy, as he’s a married man with kids at home, and such an accusation will damage his reputation!! He may lose his job. Please don’t report him.”

    As women rape or sexual harassment victims are most often thrown under the bus in these situations (far more often than men may be falsely accused and get their reps ruined), I don’t have much concern for men being falsely accused. Or for their reputations.

    Women are taken advantage of by men, and hosed over, by our courts far, far more often in these situations than men are destroyed or inconvenienced by an itty- bitty percentage of rumors or false accusations.

  67. @ dee:
    Actually I come from a family of pastors. My father, and five uncles. My grandfather as well. My father-in-law and two brothers-in-law. I have many friends who are pastors. I could certainly tell you a number of stories they have shared with me.
    So what’s your point? Snarky doesn’t mean you are right. What story do you want? Perhaps the woman who came to one of my uncle’s office for counseling and midway through she pulled her skirt up and spread her legs to show off her vagina to him. Do you think that could have been a dangerous situation for him? What did she expect to happen? What would she say happened? Fortunately, she never accused him of anything. Is that enough of a story to satisfy you? I could tell you dozens of other stories that scared the pastors to the point that they made huge adjustments which pretty much aligned with “The Graham” rules. I’m not comparing the average businessman meeting with clients or professionals discussing situations. But pastors are targets.
    You said “My opinion is, if you find any such stories, at least 50-80% of them are the men involved making excuses and being believed because all women are shameless hussy’s trying to bring down these faithful men of gawd.”
    You have totally changed the subject here. I’m not talking about pastors who have done what you accuse them of. I know of a handful of pastors who had affairs and not one of them blamed the woman. They took full responsibility for their actions. But by your own observation, 50% to 80% are pastors trying to blame the women, that still leaves 20% to 50% that are truly women who are seeking a romantic relationship with their pastor. That’s
    a huge percent by your own observation.
    I don’t have near the pessimistic attitudes towards pastors that you do. There are scumbags out there for sure, but all the pastors I know are ethical, gracious, concerned, self-sacrificing and extremely dedicated to leading their congregations in honorable ways.
    I also don’t believe there are all kinds of women out there looking for affairs with their pastors. Most likely less than 1%. But enough that every pastor should be on guard. Not that they will be complicit in an affair, but only because the damage that would be inflicted on them and their reputations from a false accusation.
    Caution and understanding the risks is smart no matter what situations you find yourself in.

  68. Daisy wrote:

    Back in the 1990s, I read a page in an issue of The Reader’s Digest, or some where, that discussed a research project that said most men mis-interpret signs, meaning a lot of them will read stuff as being sexual that is NOT sexual.

    I read a guy online who also says that women miss signs of men flirting because we think its all just harmless chatter.

  69. Daisy wrote:

    So, because some tiny percentage of women out there might have an affair with married men, all other women out there, including a middle aged virgin like me, have to pay the price.

    But Daisy, you are still placing the blame on the woman when you talk like that. Men married ones included are perfectly capable of resisting even women who are throwing themselves at them, which probably doesn’t happen to terribly often. Often they are the pursuer. So all of this is bunk.

  70. Daisy, I also want to say I was so fascinated when the Ashley Madison thing broke because it seem to be such a scam – there were hardly any women on it.

    ISTM that maybe there were a whole lot more men interested in having affairs and actively seeking them out than women signing up to have them.

  71. Darrell wrote:

    You said “My opinion is, if you find any such stories, at least 50-80% of them are the men involved making excuses and being believed because all women are shameless hussy’s trying to bring down these faithful men of gawd.”

    I did not say this. You quoted it so could you please direct that to the person who said it.

  72. Darrell wrote:

    Actually I come from a family of pastors. My father, and five uncles. My grandfather as well. My father-in-law and two brothers-in-law. I have many friends who are pastors. I could certainly tell you a number of stories they have shared with me.
    So what’s your point? Snarky doesn’t mean you are right.

    I didn’t ask you about pastors in your family so please quote exactly where I was *snarky* with you.

    @ dee:

    This is a direct link to the comment to which you referred. Please note that I was trying to be thoughtful and even tried to inject some humor. I think you have confused me with another.

  73. dee wrote:

    I did not say this.

    i think that was me. Sorry you got dragged into it.

    In case the 30 point spread didn’t make it obvious, that 50-80% was my own opinion.

  74. @ Lea:

    And it was meant to make a point that some men listen to each other and believe every word, while discounting anything they hear from women. That will give you an incredibly skewed perspective on who is a real danger. It’s not actually data, it’s an argument.

  75. @ Lea:
    Don’t worry about it. You are making a point and Darrell needs to learn how to deal with people a bit better on social media.

  76. Darrell wrote:

    Perhaps the woman who came to one of my uncle’s office for counseling and midway through she pulled her skirt up and spread her legs to show off her vagina to him. Do you think that could have been a dangerous situation for him? What did she expect to happen? What would she say happened? Fortunately, she never accused him of anything. Is that enough of a story to satisfy you?

    So why were you told about this if counseling is in confidence? Does your whole family know? How were you told? When? If true, the woman was obviously troubled and should have had a psychiatric evaluation at the local hospital. She also may have been sexually abused as a child and was acting out, seeing her only worth to men — as being sexual.

    But to simply tell these kinds of ‘counseling’ stories — and albeit the most aberrant ones to ‘prove your point’ — proves nothing.

  77. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    True, but Jesus didn’t have to worry about what a sexual harassment suit would do to him. Or worry about his livelihood if someone started a whisper campaign.

    Being alone with the opposite sex isn’t a big deal to me, but my husband (who worked for a civil defense firm in between preaching jobs) is much more cautious. When he counsels women its either with the door open, somewhere where there are cameras or with me. It’s not that he’s afraid of being tempted, or even that the woman would ever falsely accuse him, but so that some other third party with a bone to pick won’t have any unnecessary ammunition. It’s the same with children or teens. It’s more of a CYA policy than a “Billy Graham Rule.”

    The pastors’ office doors at my church have glass in the doors. My former pastor asked for it, in order to prevent gossip. The Sunday School rooms weer being glazed, & he said he would like his door the same,so that he didn’t worry about someone accusing him of not behaving properly.
    He never once made any comment about it being in regard to any person or group of persons. It was because he felt that church offices ahould be treated the same as the ones with classes in them.
    That’s far cry from refusing to speak with someone of either sex because you’re afraid of being near them.
    Please note: Pence is a politician. He’s crazy if he thinks he can act like women are chasing him down the highway. I mean, pull-eeze

  78. Friend wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    If he started dining out alone with female staffers, don’t you think the media would have a field day with it?

    I’m not so sure of that. Pence has hired women staffers for several prominent positions, according to a list on Wikipedia. If he gives them a voice at press conferences, and is seen to mentor them in public settings, he might be portrayed more favorably.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Pence_Vice_Presidential_staff

    So, he thinks that eating at the same table as a woman is going to—-What??? Drive her to uncontrollable lust? Or him?
    I mean, really, to me, he sounds like he’s losing brain cells at a great rate if he thinks that he’s that irresistable.

  79. Lea wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Back in the 1990s, I read a page in an issue of The Reader’s Digest, or some where, that discussed a research project that said most men mis-interpret signs, meaning a lot of them will read stuff as being sexual that is NOT sexual.

    I read a guy online who also says that women miss signs of men flirting because we think its all just harmless chatter.

    More like “Everybody’s Clueless”?

  80. Friend wrote:

    Don’t you think the gold-digger waitress stereotype is just as pernicious as the predatory rich guy stereotype?

    Pernicious or not, the gold-digger archetype IS widespread.

    I’m a man of some means, but not enough to afford a major hit like getting cleaned out by a gold digger; at my age (61) I’m too old to start over from scratch.

    For some reason,I ended up with a bad case of Virgin/Whore Dichotomy. After my mother died and my father remarried, I got a lot of gold-digger stories from my stepmother. Stories such as “When she gets pregnant, you know who she’ll say the father is? The one with the most money.” and stories about “divorce for fun and profit”. (Regarding the latter, there used to be an old Usenet alt-group called “my.ex.husband.is.my.slave” which was a how-to for gold diggers; most of the alt-group was complaining about how men refused to commit to them.) It only cemented in my high school-generated distrust of women.

  81. Ken G wrote:

    He went to a bar / restaurant by himself and one of the waitresses claimed some type of inappropriate behavior. She could see the $$$ signs on his forehead.

    This is why I deliberately live below my means.

    Flash a wad and you’re asking to get rolled.

  82. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It only cemented in my high school-generated distrust of women.

    I don’t get it, H.U.G.

    There’s good therapy to resolve our pasts. We don’t have to be bound to them.

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