After a Sabbatical™ in Ecuador, Former Pastor and Convicted Molester, Jake Malone, Goes to Prison

“Survivors of abuse show us the strength of their personal spirit every time they smile.” ― Jeanne McElvaney link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=66150&picture=woman
link

On January 31, 2016, Thou Art The Man posted Another Day, Another Protestant Preacher Abusing Children. I am using most of his material from that post with his permission.

From Dee: When you read a bio on a pastor, always ask why he was moving around so much. Did previous churches realize that there as a problem? Have those churches announced that Malone was a predator? Could there be other victims?

Todd Wilhelm

Malone appears to have met his victim and developed a relationship with when she was 12. She was 17 when he allegedly began to molested her.

The Daily Mail published Married pastor, 33, believed to be on the run after he 'sexually assaulted teenage girl and got her pregnant'

The girl told police the sexual assault began just months after she moved with Malone and his family to Exton, Pennsylvania for his new pastor job in 2014. 

Malone had first met the girl years ago when she was 12-years-old and attending a Mesa, Arizona church where he worked as a pastor, authorities said.

He contacted the girl in June 2014, when she was 17-years-old, and invited her to come stay with him and his family in Minnesota.

The following month she made the move with the family to Exton, where Malone began working at the nondenominational church Calvary Fellowship. 

Malone even registered the teenage girl at a local high school.

The victim claimed that at one point he got her intoxicated and molested her. He continued to molest her over an indeterminate period of time. The church allegedly learned about the pregnancy of the young woman in November 2015. Malone resigned the following month, January 2016.

Jake and his wife produced a video in January 2016 which downplayed the circumstances of his resignation.

At the time the. following video was made, Malone was aware that he was in trouble. One might assume his wife was also cognizant of the situation which makes his assertions a bit hard to take. 

Some of statements on the video are laughable considering what he was charged with doing.

  • “Facing personal and family issues.” (Ya think?) 
  • “I resigned my position at Calvary, and really what’s driving tha,t is we just feel that it’s really important for us, right now, to focus 100% of our time and our energy on our family.” (Read: I am in deep doo doo.)
  • “Take a step back” from “public, professional ministry”  and take a “self-imposed sabbatical.” (Self imposed??? Good night!)
  • "We’re really excited about what God is going to do in us and in our lives and in our family as we focus 100% of our time on that call that he’s given us.” (You mean the cal that the church made to the police.)

This following video was recorded by Malone, allegedly during the time he was molesting his victim, while serving in the church. Eric Lewis is involved with Boz Tchividjian's G.R.A.C.E.

Malone headed to Ecuador to begin his sabbatical.™

From Todd Wilhelm's blog:

According to the NY Daily News in Pennsylvania pastor who fled to Ecuador after being wanted on charges he raped teen girl to surrender:

Malone left the country for Ecuador alone and his attorney said he will come back to turn himself in by the end of the week, West Whiteland Township police told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Daily News reviewed some of the history.

He made advances on her in Minnesota but began sexually assaulting her in the fall of 2014 when the family had moved again to Exton in Chester County, according to the authorities. He resigned from Calvary after church leaders confronted him about their fellow church member’s pregnancy and alerted police.

The Downingtown church, which is nondenominational, released a statement Tuesday telling congregants “how deeply we share in your pain over the recent unfolding events” and hoping to “bring a sense of peace to you as we traverse this valley together.” Malone had attended staff advisory sessions about sex crimes, according to the church.

This pastor predator is sentenced.

According to Wilhelm in his post on May 1,20017, Jake Malone’s “Self-Imposed Sabbatical” Extended by PA Court – Sentenced to 3-6 YearsJacob Malone was sentenced Friday, April 28 to three to six years in prison after entering guilty pleas to institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment. He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years. Malone and prosecutors had reached an earlier plea deal that called for a two-year minimum jail term, but Judge Jacqueline Cody rejected that deal a month ago. 

“You are serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves,” Cody told Malone as he stood before her in handcuffs and shackles. “You have taken responsibility for a very, very serious series of crimes that have completely altered someone’s life,” the judge told Malone, who expressed remorse for his actions. “You can’t ever take that back.” Cody called it a failure of the court system that the age of the victim played a role in downgrading the crimes he was guilty of, even though he had “encouraged” and “promoted” the illicit behavior. “The things you have done are inexcusable,” she told Malone.”

According to philly.com, the judge was not pleased with having to give him such a light sentence.

A former Chester County pastor who acted as a surrogate father to a teenager he impregnated was sentenced to three to six years in prison on Friday, a month after a judge rejected a previous plea deal as too lenient.

"This is one of the times when the court system fails," said Judge Jacqueline Cody, adding that the woman was technically of the age of consent but that Malone had been acting as her father when he promoted the sexual contact. "You are serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves."

The sentence is at the top of standard guidelines. Malone will get credit for the more than one year he has served since his arrest in January 2016.

Unbelievably, Malone is not repentant, claiming the sex was consensual.

 Malone, who was her guardian, admitted he gave her alcohol but said the sexual encounters were consensual.

According to the NY Daily News in an article Ex-pastor guilty for sex with teen; detective says victim ‘remarkable woman’

“She is a pretty remarkable young woman,” Detective Scott Pezick said outside the courtroom where Jacob Malone was sentenced to three to six years in state prison for the illicit relationship that resulted in the birth of a baby girl, who is now a year old.

“She doesn’t hold a grudge (against Malone), even though obviously she’s been traumatized,” Pezick said of the woman, whose name is being withheld by the Daily Local News because of the nature of the crime. “She wants to see the defendant make something useful in his life when he gets out (of prison). That’s mainly because of her religious beliefs.”

Both Pezick and the prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher of the D.A.’s Office Child Abuse Unit, said the 20-year-old woman, now back in her home state of Arizona, was satisfied with the resolution of the case against Malone and the amount of time he agreed to spend in prison. 

His previous church is already talking about Malone's restoration!!!

Here is a link to his previous church, Calvary Fellowship in Downington, PA. Bill Bateman is the lead pastor.  The America's Most Wanted Fans site reported:

Bateman said church leaders told the Calvary congregation about the allegations on Sunday.

"Our church's goal in difficult moments like this is to protect the innocents, first of all," Bateman said in an interview Monday. "And, number two, we strive to bring about repentance and restoration of the offender."

Bateman said Malone had passed background checks performed on Calvary employees.

The Christian Post provided a few more details on the response of Calvary Fellowship.

The church said even though they place a high priority on safety, Malone was able to circumvent their strict security check.

"Every staff person (as well as every volunteer who has any contact with children) is thoroughly background checked and, if meeting certain criteria, fingerprinted by the state. The staff participates jointly in ongoing education classes on issues related to sex crimes, mandatory reporting, etc. Jake Malone passed every check and participated in every educational forum. He flew completely under the radar, deceiving even those who were closest to him. We know this is hard to imagine, but we assure you that no one suspected anything until very recently," said the statement.

The pastors said if it had not been for God, they would still be in the dark about Malone's behavior.

"As soon as we had information, we reported to all proper authorities (multiple venues). Getting information was treacherous and difficult, and had it not been for the Lord shining light into darkness, we would probably still be looking in vain for the truth. All authorities were contacted and we immediately complied with everything they asked," the statement added.

According to the church, when they heard that Malone was in Ecuador, they notified the police.

The victim speaks. 

Philly.com wrote Judge rejects plea deal for ex-Chesco pastor accused of raping, impregnating teen.

In March 2016, the young woman gave birth to Malone's daughter, whom she called "a sweet, beautiful, and intelligent little girl," in a statement she read at the Chester County Justice Center on Wednesday. Now 20 and living in Arizona, she addressed "Jake" and said he took advantage of her "mentally, physically, spiritually."

She recounted regular occurrences before school and before Malone left for work at the church,  "as I lay in bed not moving hoping you would get the message that I didn't want it."

She said she wanted more than a two-year sentence for Malone, whom she said she had thought was a "godly man," but "you were something else when no one was watching."

The girl had told police Malone began to sexually assault her in the fall of 2014.

Thoughts that I have

  • Did the church and police contact his previous churches to see if there were any possible victims in those churches that Malone worked in?
  • Why did Malone change church jobs so quickly? This could indicate that there were problems in all of those jobs.
  • Why do some churches Immediately discuss restoration as soon as these predators are discovered and convicted? Malone will be on the sex offender registry and should never work in a church or be around underage teens again.
  • Malone does not appear to be repentant. He blamed the victim as having a consensual relationship with him. This is absolutely ridiculous. He is minimizing his actions by attempting to divide up the guilt. As things stand, I do not believe he is repentant and I believe he has a high likelihood of offending again.
  • This is a clear case of clergy abuse. 
  • Did he abuse his wife? What about his kids?

Finally, it is not the fault of a church when a pedophile or molester shows up. Predators will seek out situations where people will trust them. We must learn from the Catholic priest abuse situation. Pastors, as well as members of the congregation, can be predators. The predator at my former church was a seminary student at SEBTS. Everyone should be on their guard.

The Bible says "Be wise as serpent." If a pastor or youth worker seems a little too friendly with teens or children, be smart and watch the situation. He could be a wonderful person who loves kids or he could be a predator on the prowl.

Special thanks goes out to Todd Wilhelm. He not only left his church, UCC Dubai when they were pushing CJ Mahaney books, he continues to be concerned about predators and cover up in the church all the while living in Dubai. Too bad that the 9 Marx church in Dubai didn't get what a wonderful person he is.


Comments

After a Sabbatical™ in Ecuador, Former Pastor and Convicted Molester, Jake Malone, Goes to Prison — 304 Comments

  1. Thank you for pointing out that some predators are on the move to different locations.
    I have wondered this about the “senior pastor” at my ex-gulag who was in California, Utah, and Texas to name a few places where he lived.

    He has people call him “Coach”, coaches basketball games, and he claimed to have a teaching credential with supervisors with the State of California Teacher Credentialing said was untrue. His Ph.D. turned out to be a fake from a diploma mill. So did his other “advanced” degree, from the same diploma mill.

    Given how abusive, controlling, and domineering he is, including demands that everyone else “obey and submit”, I wonder what other secrets will eventually come out about this guy.

  2. By the way, when TWW did a previous story about this clergy sexual predator, the one where he and his wife did an explanatory video, I thought the video was so cheesy and weird that it surely had to be a “Saturday Night Live” video. But no. It was really this couple.

  3. “Did the church and police contact his previous churches to see if there were any possible victims in those churches that Malone worked in?”

    That’s my question too. I haven’t yet seen any indication that a careful assessment has been done at the Minnesota church he was at. (Apparently the plan is for them to return to Minnesota when his prison sentence is up… my neck of the woods.)

    That “sabbatical” video of him and his wife is so painful to watch. I hope she was not pressured into making it with him (and smiling, etc.), and I wonder how much she knew at the time. Ugh!

  4. Thank you for posting this. The words which were quoted as being his in the recent “The Daily Mail” article…”She admired me…” were very disturbing. He seems to have a puffed up sense of self-importance, almost as if he felt he was needed by her, so he just HAD to comply. Sick. He must stay out of ministry. I wonder how his wife is doing. Her body language in their video update was odd/off. Did he groom her for years, too. And, I have a belief that the MN pastor knew more than he said when the abuser was hired at/sent to PA. I think it was to make him go away for a fresh start. They all need to come clean. I have seen sexual abuse in church circles dealt with “in house” and kept quiet for years. The truth comes out.

  5. “Why did Malone change church jobs so quickly? This could indicate that there were problems in all of those jobs.”

    as I recall, one of the clues as to which priests were predators in the movie ‘Spotlight’ was checking the amount and frequency of assignment changes. Sure enough, it was a factor because the perpetrators were moved around. And all was ‘kept quiet’, enabling these monsters to continue to ruin the lives of innocents.

    I wonder what the Churches that field these predators refer to as ‘rehabilitation’??? Why would ANY responsible adults permit a known molester to be around children or young people again???? Why?

    I believe in redemption. God knows I do. But for a person to re-enter into any atmosphere or situation where he or she can be tempted to sin again ….. that is ALSO a sin. There are no excuses for any Church placing a molester back into temptation. There are no excuses for a Church to KNOWINGLY place children and young people into danger. Can’t the laws be changed to extend legal accountability to those who allow the sick predator access to children, knowing that he IS a predator?????

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the victim lives in my city. And the church where he met the victim is within walking distance of my house. I drive by it all the time. And I’m not saying it’s related, but this is the church that had Mark Driscoll speak at it in the fall of 2015. It’s an SBC church.

  7. It’s like trying to restore a major church fund embezzler to run the church finances again after coming straight out of jail. Dumb and utterly foolish…plus, dangerous.

  8. 2 things:

    1. From the post: …Malone, whom she said she had thought was a “godly man,” but “you were something else when no one was watching.”

    Per the recent discourse regarding wolves, the above is the example of a wolf in sheep’s attire.

    2. The recidivism of this type of predator, clergy or not, as well as appropriate rehab, sex offender management, and re-entry into society (and the church) are well-researched with data for the benefit of wisdom on the part of people of faith.

  9. Divorce Minister wrote:

    It’s like trying to restore a major church fund embezzler to run the church finances again after coming straight out of jail. Dumb and utterly foolish…plus, dangerous.

    I think you are right about the ‘danger’.

    The embezzler can only rip people off again; but the predator can cause lasting life-long harm to an innocent child or young person ….. NOTHING is worth taking a chance on allowing this possibility to happen again.
    What is known about people who have paedophile tendencies is that they do not ‘recover’, but they live with this as a terrible burden if they are trying NOT to harm anyone.

    It’s the ones who seek out new ‘opportunities’ to reek havoc on the innocent that present the worst danger …. and a predator seeking to go back into a Church around the young is someone looking for trouble. That leaders in that Church knowingly admit him puts them in positions of accountability for the destruction that will follow.

  10. I was involved with a Catholic organization led by an older, social media unsophisticated, board which brought on a priest without real vetting. He was clearly up on the website BishopsAccountability but they were so out of touch they didn’t even know it existed. He had changed his name (going by middle name instead of first name) and had recently moved to New York from his previous out of state diocese where he had served and from which he been dismissed. Once someone alerted them to the website he was dismissed from the organization as well. Not before I had gone to bat for him to try to get him a part time teaching job. I had to go in and withdraw my recommendation in person. Very embarrassing. On BishopsAccountability he was reported as having a very large number of positions in a very short period of time. Ultimately it sas being caught in embezzlement that got him dismissed although there were also serious charges of sexual exploitation of a younger (although of age of legal consent) man.

  11. Another point, as a older Catholic, I have a internalized image, of the predator priest or minister. It’s of a older, celibate, man. I realize that they come in all shapes and sizes but this young (to me very young) smiley, upbeat, married man does not fit my internalized stereotype. Of course I’m wrong.

  12. This guy should be on the sex offender registry for life, not 15 years.

    It will be interesting to see what other information may come out of this.

  13. Calvary Fellowship?! This is not the sort of fellowship Jesus had in mind at Calvary! “Pastors” who commit crimes against children have not been to Calvary. The organized church has become too quick to give sexual predators a microphone. Just because someone has a talent to sing, preach or teach doesn’t guarantee that they have been spiritually gifted to do so. Many are using their talents to deceive the church, as evidenced by the continual string of minister and ministry failures reported on TWW and other watchblogs.

  14. Christiane wrote:

    That leaders in that Church knowingly admit him puts them in positions of accountability for the destruction that will follow.

    Another red flag: Omit “knowingly.” Sometimes new people are in the wrong place, and clergy are showering them with attention.

    Two different young men in their twenties became involved in my high school youth group. They sat with us kids, and most of us thought they were really cool. The youth ministers heaped praise on them because they had dramatic stories of hardship and redemption. One of them said his mother didn’t want him to come to our youth group, so the youth minister visited his home to persuade her.

    I had known the other guy for years. He was an accomplished liar and small-time criminal. But I never told the youth minister, who was obsessed with the guy’s newfound love of Jesus. That guy later caused destruction in a church nearby.

    If only our church had reminded the youth ministers that only youth belonged in the youth group…

    If only the church set out to rescue the lost lamb instead of ushering in attractive wolf pups…

    At a minimum, we kids were deprived of the full attention of thinly spread church resources. We were also taught to turn off our critical thinking as an act of Christian selflessness.

  15. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    this is the church that had Mark Driscoll speak at it in the fall of 2015. It’s an SBC church.

    Please don’t tell me it is one of SBC’s New Calvinist church plants. Although, hosting Driscoll there is a clue that it probably leans in that direction.

  16. I did write to River of Life Church pastor Dave Johnson on February 2, 2016 to warn them about Jake Malone, who had worked there prior to moving to PA.

    This is all I ever received back from him:

    “Thank you for contacting me, I will be out of the office from January 30th through February 16th. If you need immediate assistance, please contact Jane Tokar at jane.tokar@rolchurch.net or call the church office at 763-441-7527.”

    I guess he wasn’t concerned with possible Malone victims in his church. I would have thought he would at least write a short “thanks for the info” email back.

    A few ladies from Mesa, AZ had some comments on the blog so I figured their church was aware of Malone.

    Here is the link to Dave Johnson’s church:
    http://riveroflife-mn.org/deleted_new-to-rol__trashed/meet-the-pastor/

  17. bendeni wrote:

    That “sabbatical” video of him and his wife is so painful to watch. I hope she was not pressured into making it with him (and smiling, etc.), and I wonder how much she knew at the time. Ugh!

    I, too wonder what the wife knew? Did the molestation happen in their home?

  18. Concerned wrote:

    ”She admired me…

    Concerned wrote:

    He seems to have a puffed up sense of self-importance, almost as if he felt he was needed by her, so he just HAD to comply. Sick. He must stay out of ministry. I wonder how his wife is doing. Her body language in their video update was odd/off. Did he groom her for years, too. And, I have a belief that the MN pastor knew more than he said when the abuser was hired at/sent to PA.

    I agree with everything you say.

  19. I said this at the other site, but this quote makes me so so angry:

    “I recognize that it was my responsibility to keep our relationship from becoming inappropriate, and I betrayed that.”

    Like he was just some passive participant who should have ‘stopped’ something from happening, when he actively brought this girl into his family, took her away from her home, and then took advantage/raped her! He being a grown man.

  20. Christiane wrote:

    jobs.”
    as I recall, one of the clues as to which priests were predators in the movie ‘Spotlight’ was checking the amount and frequency of assignment changes. Sure enough, it was a factor because the perpetrators were moved around. And all was ‘kept quiet’, enabling these monsters to continue to ruin the lives of innocents

    What a good comment!

  21. bendeni wrote:

    That “sabbatical” video of him and his wife is so painful to watch. I hope she was not pressured into making it with him (and smiling, etc.),

    It was painful. My impression of her in that video is that she was begging people to still talk to her and see her. She had to know something was up. Wonder if she’ll divorce him now that he’s going to jail again (or already has).

  22. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    If I have some time later in the week, I will try to place a call.

    Also, I got a DM in Twitter saying the Malone allegedly has another victim in Arizona who is declining to press charges. This person also told me that the church allegedly paid for his trip to Ecuador to provide healing for the family. However, the media rerouted he went to Ecuador alone.

    Obviously I will have to confirm al of this. If I get further info, I may do an update post. I’ll keep you posted.

  23. Lea wrote:

    My impression of her in that video is that she was begging people to still talk to her and see her. She had to know something was up. Wonder if she’ll divorce him now that he’s going to jail again (or already has)

    You have a compassionate radar! I hope she divorces him. This is a long standing problem which will not resolved by a few years in the clinker.

  24. you make a VERY good point that I hope Pastors and church leaders reading this blog take note of. When you see that anyone applying for a job that has moved around a lot and has left in a hurry needs to be looked at a lot closer and deep, possible hurtful questions from former church leadership need to be asked to protect the flock. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions!
    We had a case in Washington state that the pastor had moved around a lot and quickly. Come to find out he had an incestuous child and infant and animal molesting son amongst his brood of 14 children that they were very aware of and they just moved and he infected the church. I have always been on guard since then.

  25. Lea wrote:

    Like he was just some passive participant who should have ‘stopped’ something from happening, when he actively brought this girl into his family, took her away from her home, and then took advantage/raped her!

    “Mistakes Were Made…”

  26. Max wrote:

    Calvary Fellowship?! This is not the sort of fellowship Jesus had in mind at Calvary!

    Remember TV Tropes’ “People’s Republic of Tyranny”:

    “The more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is.”

  27. A few observations here:
    I appreciate this blog for the courage it takes to confront sin and the organizational cover-ups involved. While I agree that these are issues that are largely overlooked, this particular situation (as presented here) does not seem to rise to this site’s normal criteria (maybe I’m missing something). The church did a background check:

    “Every staff person (as well as every volunteer who has any contact with children) is thoroughly background checked and, if meeting certain criteria, fingerprinted by the state.”
    \
    There is no reason to assume that this background check would not involve contacting former employers (churches).

    In addition, once the abuse was discovered the church contacted authorities and assisted in the investigation as well as the apprehension of Mr. Malone (If I recall, this is one of the things TWW has requested of churches in these situations). Malone has been arrested and prosecuted for his crimes and will serve the sentence proscribed by the state. While his crime is horrible, I believe that if he was an acquaintance of mine I would hope that I would be able to pray for his repentance and restoration (not to his former job of course, but restoration of his soul). This seems also to be the mindset of his direct victim.

    I am trying to understand why this particular case rises to the level of church abuse and cover-up TWW is normally very good at exposing.

    I write this comment only to convey my concerns that this post is not up to the high standards TWW has set for itself and is lending itself to “piling on” and speculation. If I have missed the boat on this, I apologize.

  28. Lea wrote:

    Wonder if she’ll divorce him now that he’s going to jail again (or already has).

    As I understand it, he’s been in jail continuously since he was picked up on returning from Ecuador, back in January 2016.

  29. Christiane wrote:

    I wonder what the Churches that field these predators refer to as ‘rehabilitation’??? Why would ANY responsible adults permit a known molester to be around children or young people again???? Why?

    Remember Boz T. In all his years as a prosecutor specializing in child sexual abuse, he had NEVER seen a church take the side of the victim. Always “RALLY ROUND THE PEDO, BOYZ!” Invoking GAWD as justification every step of the way.

  30. dee wrote:

    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    If I have some time later in the week, I will try to place a call.

    Thank you, thank you! I’m so glad someone with experience in this area will try to make contact. Someone has to warn folks if they haven’t been already.

  31. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    It actually seems like the PA church did a decent job, or at least they acted properly. It is stupid that they feel the need to talk about rehab/reconciliation but it seems like that’s a buzzword thing they are all taught. I don’t know if they think it through. And practically, it sounds like since he’s going to jail and probably never going back to that church if he’s going back to MN (?) they may not have to deal with it at all.

    At least they did the proper thing and reported it.

  32. If a school teacher, or someone in admin at a school system, did what Malone did, they’d never be allowed to teach again. The predator would make nation-wide news. Everyone, including *church* groups would be talking about what a horrible person the predator is. (rightly so)
    But, when a pastor does it …… Never mind the victim(s). Aw, shucks, itta be okay. Let’s just focus on getting him *restored*. Pffffft.

  33. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Here is a Youtube video by Jake Malone and Dave Johnson. Malone is such a fraud, but he sure has that “God talk” down pat. Dave Johnson does a lot of head nodding. It would seem he is completely bamboozled by the predator, gushing over his leadership gift.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGp8cSix1BA

    My impression was that Jake’s a smarmy used car salesman and I wouldn’t trust him or his hair gel. I pay more attention to body language than words, been trained that way, teach fraud. He is under EXTREME emotional distress in that video, both of them are really, Jake probably more so. Watch the lean forward in the seats, often rubbing the thumbs together in that circular motion common to those under great stress (possibly because they’re lying or being disingenuous?), grabbing the legs, rocking motions forward and backward. They both look like a couple boys sitting on a bench at the principal’s office, waiting to be seen. In my opinion, they are not being honest.

  34. Lea wrote:

    And practically, it sounds like since he’s going to jail and probably never going back to that church if he’s going back to MN (?) they may not have to deal with it at all.

    This guy travelled and lived in 3 states to groom/abuse the victim – and there may well be a second victim. Somebody needs to take him to a vet and get him neutered. JMO.

  35. Law Prof wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:
    Here is a Youtube video by Jake Malone and Dave Johnson. Malone is such a fraud, but he sure has that “God talk” down pat. Dave Johnson does a lot of head nodding. It would seem he is completely bamboozled by the predator, gushing over his leadership gift.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGp8cSix1BA
    My impression was that Jake’s a smarmy used car salesman and I wouldn’t trust him or his hair gel. I pay more attention to body language than words, been trained that way, teach fraud. He is under EXTREME emotional distress in that video, both of them are really, Jake probably more so. Watch the lean forward in the seats, often rubbing the thumbs together in that circular motion common to those under great stress (possibly because they’re lying or being disingenuous?), grabbing the legs, rocking motions forward and backward. They both look like a couple boys sitting on a bench at the principal’s office, waiting to be seen. In my opinion, they are not being honest.

    CORRECTION:

    I’m sorry, I actually meant in my opinion Dave Johnson’s a smarmy used car salesman and I wouldn’t trust him or his hair gel…and that Dave is the one under more stress.

    I really mean it, we already know what Jake is and it shows, but based on this video alone, I would be absolutely shocked if Dave Johnson was being honest and straightforward in that video, I think there’s something terribly amiss there, it shows in his body language more than even Jake’s.

  36. @ Law Prof:

    Is Dave Johnson the PA pastor? Or MN?

    Did you read the comments on the YT video? usually I don’t touch those but someone claimed to be in his old MN church and said they got a new pastor he immediately left for Pennsylvania, saying they didn’t get along or something. Interesting.

  37. IN the *sabbatical* video, did anyone notice that Libby Malone’s facial expression didn’t change at all until she started talking. And the look on her face at the end of the video ………. I say that she knew all of the nitty gritty details when they did the video. I
    hope she files for divorce, and the judge allows Jake only supervised visitation with the children!

  38. Law Prof wrote:

    My impression was that Jake’s a smarmy used car salesman and I wouldn’t trust him or his hair gel.

    No kidding. I couldn’t watch that video to the end. Smarmy, Christianese God-bothering. God this and God that, some Jesus thrown in. ‘Everything we’re about to do is the will of God for us’. They all say it, all the time. It’s just so weird.

    IMO, every single one of these incidents serves to ridicule Christianity in the eyes of The World. In terms of damage to the Body of Christ (not, of course, the victims), the followup spinning and quasi semi contrition is worse than the original incident. Non-Christians see this stuff and just laugh at the thought that anyone could be taken in by it. And yet, a certain kind of Christian is, every time.

    Freelance Evangelicalism is coming across as simply a bunch of cults, with cult leaders that can get away with anything by calling themselves ‘pastor’ and invoking God and Jesus to create some sort of glamour, and neither cult HQ nor the congregations seem to care to do anything about it.

    The World sees this, and just heaps more scorn upon all of Christianity. It’s getting really bad. Steven Furtick Fearless Visionary coloring books for the kiddies, for heaven’s sake. I am saddened and sickened.

    I have a very bad feeling about where this is going lead, WRT crack downs on religious freedom.

  39. Nancy2 wrote:

    I say that she knew all of the nitty gritty details when they did the video. I hope she files for divorce, and the judge allows Jake only supervised visitation with the children!

    But that wouldn’t be Sweet and Submissive.

  40. Nancy2 wrote:

    But, when a pastor does it …… Never mind the victim(s). Aw, shucks, itta be okay. Let’s just focus on getting him *restored*.

    “Touch Not Mine Anointed! Do My Prophet No Harm!”
    — Benny Hinn’s favorite Bible bullet

  41. roebuck wrote:

    No kidding. I couldn’t watch that video to the end. Smarmy, Christianese God-bothering. God this and God that, some Jesus thrown in. ‘Everything we’re about to do is the will of God for us’. They all say it, all the time. It’s just so weird.

    May as well be an MP3 player of stock buzzwords and just tap the button over and over.

  42. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    roebuck wrote:

    No kidding. I couldn’t watch that video to the end. Smarmy, Christianese God-bothering. God this and God that, some Jesus thrown in. ‘Everything we’re about to do is the will of God for us’. They all say it, all the time. It’s just so weird.

    May as well be an MP3 player of stock buzzwords and just tap the button over and over.

    Seriously, there must be a script for ‘fake contrition’ or something. I believe it was Woody Allen who said (something like) “To be successful in the world requires great sincerity and honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made”. Fits a certain segment of the Evangelical world to a T…

  43. @ roebuck:

    Let me be un-subtle. I believe that a sizable fraction of ‘Evangelical’ Men-of-GAWD are out and out frauds. Another sizable fraction is preaching something that is NOT recognizable as Christianity, whether they are somehow sincere or not – some demon whispered in their ear and now they know God’s will.

    Presumably some are genuine.

  44. Concerned wrote:

    The words which were quoted as being his in the recent “The Daily Mail” article…”She admired me…” were very disturbing. He seems to have a puffed up sense of self-importance, almost as if he felt he was needed by her, so he just HAD to comply.

    This is normal behavior for sexual abusers.

    My abuser (not a Christian) said when I confronted him in the presence of others, “I thought you wanted it!” He seemed completely startled that I reported him for sexual harassment. He had not just been harassing me, but others, and I filed a report.
    I said, “Me saying “NO” “leave me alone!” “Go away!” and leaving every time you showed up was not enough?”
    His only response, “Oh.”. Then it made no difference in the way he acted. He had thoroughly convinced himself that he was desperately wanted by every woman, and them saying “No” was really saying they wanted him.

    I don’t know if it’s a form of delusion, or mental illness, or just the way they know to get out of it when confronted, but that is what they do when confronted.

  45. ishy wrote:

    I said, “Me saying “NO” “leave me alone!” “Go away!” and leaving every time you showed up was not enough?”
    His only response, “Oh.”. Then it made no difference in the way he acted. He had thoroughly convinced himself that he was desperately wanted by every woman, and them saying “No” was really saying they wanted him.

    “No” is a complete sentence. 🙂

  46. roebuck wrote:

    I believe it was Woody Allen who said (something like) “To be successful in the world requires great sincerity and honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made”.

    Which gives Sociopaths a BIG advantage over the rest of us.

    And a lot of these One True Churches select for Sociopath leadership.

  47. Christiane wrote:

    “No” is a complete sentence.

    The guy above ran away to another country to avoid arrest, still got arrested, the girl he abused testified against him, he’s in jail for years, and he still thinks she wants him.

    That’s how deluded some of these guys are.

  48. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    roebuck wrote:
    I believe it was Woody Allen who said (something like) “To be successful in the world requires great sincerity and honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made”.
    //
    Which gives Sociopaths a BIG advantage over the rest of us.
    And a lot of these One True Churches select for Sociopath leadership.

    They always seem like phonies to me. Maybe I don’t always know why they’re a phony, but I know that somehow they are.

    And abusers are usually glaringly abusive in public. Whether they make passes at women even though they are married, or they are verbally abusive, they still show strong signs of being abusive in public. But with the guy who abused me, people just laughed it off, said “You must have misunderstood” (when I KNOW they knew I was telling the truth), or they looked the other way at clear instances of abuse. I think as much blame lies with the enablers as the abusers.

  49. ishy wrote:

    And abusers are usually glaringly abusive in public.

    I would think the obvious ones are obvious and the others ones you just never know unless someone tells you.

  50. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    And abusers are usually glaringly abusive in public.
    //
    I would think the obvious ones are obvious and the others ones you just never know unless someone tells you.

    I still think most abusers still show public signs of being abusive, but many people just ignore or overlook those signs. Every one of my friends who ended up in abusive marriages–in each one, there were people who knew both that warned them that something was wrong and not to marry that person. Everyone else just acted like it was all sunshine and roses, even pushing them into marriage sooner.

    The sexual abusers I know were all encouraged by others to keep sexually abusing. Most of them acted like they could do no wrong. We talk a lot about narcissists on here, and yet they end up staying in major ministry positions even after there’s plenty of evidence they are abusive.

    If you don’t know someone well, then yes, I would think that it’d be hard to see. But I do think that if you get to know someone on some level, you can see the signs if you look for them. Psychology Today has a bunch of articles on the issue, and there is a lot of information out there about how to tell if someone is lying.

  51. DEW wrote:

    Another point, as a older Catholic, I have a internalized image, of the predator priest or minister. It’s of a older, celibate, man. I realize that they come in all shapes and sizes but this young (to me very young) smiley, upbeat, married man does not fit my internalized stereotype. Of course I’m wrong.

    You were familiar with one kind of predator in your denomination. (Although I do doubt how many of them are ‘celibate’ despite the claims.)

    Many predators are straight and are married. Dr. Anna Salter, Harvard educated and author of Predators, being interviewed on Tier Talk (a program for the corrections/prison
    industry). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRtccELtlJw

  52. ishy wrote:

    I still think most abusers still show public signs of being abusive, but many people just ignore or overlook those signs.

    I think it is much easier to see red flags or signs in hindsight when you know the truth then it is to see them in real time. [But you saw them in real time, you just didn’t interpret them right.]

    So experience with abuse and abusers helps, because then you understand what these things mean.

  53. roebuck wrote:

    I have a very bad feeling about where this is going lead, WRT crack downs on religious freedom.

    I think you’re spot on about the reproach that these types of abuses bring to the name of Christ and to our witness to a watching world.

    I do, however, part company with you about the ‘crack downs on religious freedom”. The First Amendment is alive and well and is still protecting religious freedom, even the
    really cheesy, awful kind.

  54. ishy wrote:

    I still think most abusers still show public signs of being abusive, but many people just ignore or overlook those signs.

    When the abuser is a charming or otherwise “good” parent, other adults often praise that parent to the children. It leaves the children in a prison of silence before relatives, teachers, friends, neighbors, and anyone else they might consider turning to.

    And yeah, sometimes people suspect or know that the person is abusive. This does not stop them from playing their assigned roles. Butting in would be terribly awkward, and besides, maybe the family is better off left alone.

    If you think someone is being abused, please find a way to let them know they can come to you at any time. You don’t have to say why you are offering this. “Here’s my cell phone number. All of my good friends have it. If you ever have an emergency, please promise you will call me. Even at three in the morning. I mean this.”

    A version to say to kids: “You are always welcome at our house. If you ever get locked out or need any help, just stop by and we’ll help you.” (Obviously this needs to be tailored to circumstances and the age of the kid.)

  55. Lea wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Is Dave Johnson the PA pastor? Or MN?
    Did you read the comments on the YT video? usually I don’t touch those but someone claimed to be in his old MN church and said they got a new pastor he immediately left for Pennsylvania, saying they didn’t get along or something. Interesting.

    No clue if he’s MN or PA. No clue if he knows about some terrible thing done and was involved in a coverup. But if that’s not a man under deep distress while pretending to be cool and self-assured, I wear a pink tutu to my next class.

  56. Nancy2 wrote:

    IN the *sabbatical* video, did anyone notice that Libby Malone’s facial expression didn’t change at all until she started talking. And the look on her face at the end of the video ………. I say that she knew all of the nitty gritty details when they did the video. I
    hope she files for divorce, and the judge allows Jake only supervised visitation with the children!

    My take on her facial expressions is that’s she’s smiling through the pain and feels like wringing his skinny neck.

  57. Law Prof wrote:

    My take on her facial expressions is that’s she’s smiling through the pain and feels like wringing his skinny neck.

    My take on him is that he has those dead eyes that predators have.

  58. Velour wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    My take on her facial expressions is that’s she’s smiling through the pain and feels like wringing his skinny neck.
    My take on him is that he has those dead eyes that predators have.

    Totally flatline eyes. Agreed entirely.

  59. Jake Malone didn’t just change locations and churches frequently, he changed denominations, too!
    Trinity in AZ – SBC
    River of Life in MN – EFCA
    Cavalry in PA – non-denom.

    Why?

  60. Nancy2 wrote:

    he changed denominations

    I don’t know how intense they are about degrees and such in any of these denominations, particularly for youth pastor types. Probably he just went where he could get a job. There isn’t that much difference between a lot of non-denoms and SBC churches as far as I can tell.

  61. Friend wrote:

    When the abuser is a charming or otherwise “good” parent, other adults often praise that parent to the children. It leaves the children in a prison of silence before relatives, teachers, friends, neighbors, and anyone else they might consider turning to.

    Abusers in prison, during interviews, have noted that it’s just as important for them to groom a child’s family as it is to groom a child victim.

  62. Bobo wrote:

    I am trying to understand why this particular case rises to the level of church abuse a

    This is where you should have stopped. We don’t expose just cover up by churches. We also expose molesters who have been running around in the church.

    If you read the links carefully, you will see that this guy was moving from church to church. That should be a red flag to hiring churches. As of this morning, I have been contacted by one person who says that there was an alleged victim in his church in Mesa, AZ who will not testify.

    The Deebs both learned in important lesson in business. Case studies of companies and how they react is a really good way to understand how companies operate. In this particular scenario, we think it would be helpful of all churches involved with Malone released public statements to their congregations to alert them to an abuser who was in the midst in the past.

    This is so important. By the time most molester and pedophiles are caught, they have already abused over 100 times.Therefore, it is my assumption that there could be more victims.

    Churches need to do more than just report. They must reach out to other churches to see if they knew anything. Also, if any of hi previous churches got him “to move along” due to some questions, which is highly possible, then those churches have to bear some blame from any future abuse.

    See the Prestonwood Baptist Church/Langworthy situation.

    Please be cautious in thinking this is *one and done.* The is rarely the situation.

  63. @ Divorce Minister:

    “t’s like trying to restore a major church fund embezzler to run the church finances again after coming straight out of jail. Dumb and utterly foolish…plus, dangerous.”
    +++++++++++++++

    who here can envision AnyChurch being extremely cautious about their finances concerning an embezzler?

    who here can envision AnyChurch being public-miracle-minded concerning a sexual predator?

    i think i know where the greater concern lies with AnyChurch.

  64. @ Bobo:
    One other thing, you once commented as Brian and made this comment about Pete Newman.

    “Pete was one of the most passionate, enthusiastic and sincere (seeming) believers I had ever met. To say his affect was hypnotic, would be an understatement. Pete was what a Christian should look like.
    I say all of this, not to excuse those that turned a blind eye, but to provide some shading to what is easily drawn as a black and white picture several years later.”

    It might be helpful for you to study the profiles of pedophiles an molesters. I have recently heard from some folks involved in the Pete Newman situation that the numbers of molested kids maybe in the hundreds. This went on for many, many years.

    These predator/perverts are charismatic. They are actors always wearing a mask so that people will think they are wonderful human beings who just want to help kids/teens.

    Recently, I heard from someone who claimed that a person we discussed was the most authentic person he had ever meant. I doubt it. The person he is discussing plays the role of the most authentic person he has ever met. Real people have their ticks and fleas. When someone appears perfect, something is amiss.

    That is why I wrote the post, Your Pastor Is a Sinner when we first started blogging. This post is to remind people of that fact. Also, this post called out Malone’s church for already discussing restoration. This is naive and dangerous.Malone is predator and will struggle with his feeling for teen for the rest of his life. He is danger.

    Hopefully, this clarifies why we thought this was an important post.

  65. Bobo wrote:

    is lending itself to “piling on” and speculation

    What on earth do you mean by that?

    The only speculation is that there may have been other victims, which considering the nature of predators seems likely. I don’t see any piling on, just noting that this is horrible.

    And yes, the church did a background check. This is a good example of why that does not automatically mean you are covered. Every single one of these instances is an opportunity to learn.

    Also, you say this isn’t church abuse, but it absolutely abuse within the church! This guy picked his underaged victim at church. He was in a position of church authority when he did. That doesn’t mean all the churches did something wrong, but that we should pay more attention and be proactive if anything looks fishy.

  66. Lea wrote:

    Bobo wrote:
    is lending itself to “piling on” and speculation
    What on earth do you mean by that?
    The only speculation is that there may have been other victims, which considering the nature of predators seems likely. I don’t see any piling on, just noting that this is horrible.
    And yes, the church did a background check. This is a good example of why that does not automatically mean you are covered. Every single one of these instances is an opportunity to learn.
    Also, you say this isn’t church abuse, but it absolutely abuse within the church! This guy picked his underaged victim at church. He was in a position of church authority when he did. That doesn’t mean all the churches did something wrong, but that we should pay more attention and be proactive if anything looks fishy.

    I don’t know exactly why Bobo aka Brian thinks he’s the one who decides what this blog is about. Does he think he has some innate right to tell you what your blog is and isn’t about? Perhaps he thinks as a gentleman he might have standing to set ladies straight with his superior spiritual insight–though as a general rule I think it best not to take advice from anyone who either has or uses the name “Bobo”.

  67. Velour wrote:

    Friend wrote:
    When the abuser is a charming or otherwise “good” parent, other adults often praise that parent to the children. It leaves the children in a prison of silence before relatives, teachers, friends, neighbors, and anyone else they might consider turning to.

    Abusers in prison, during interviews, have noted that it’s just as important for them to groom a child’s family as it is to groom a child victim.

    And to groom third-parties in general, especially authority figures who control access to the prey and/or could interfere. It’s important to pre-emptively discredit any possible leaks if the prey “tattles” or some third-party sees too much.

    Remember the interviews with friends and relatives of a serial or spree killer who gets caught or popped? “But He Was Such a NICE Boy…”

  68. Nancy2 wrote:

    Jake Malone didn’t just change locations and churches frequently, he changed denominations, too!
    Trinity in AZ – SBC
    River of Life in MN – EFCA
    Cavalry in PA – non-denom.
    Why?

    Fresh prey.

  69. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    And abusers are usually glaringly abusive in public.

    I would think the obvious ones are obvious and the others ones you just never know unless someone tells you.

    Successful abusers (like successful psychopaths & sociopaths) are masters at camouflaging what they really are. I’ve seen one literally turn his Innocent Angel of Light mask on and off like a light switch.
    Alone with the prey? Click Off!
    Third party witness walks in? Click On!

  70. JYJames wrote:

    2 things:
    1. From the post: …Malone, whom she said she had thought was a “godly man,” but “you were something else when no one was watching.”
    Per the recent discourse regarding wolves, the above is the example of a wolf in sheep’s attire.

    Yet Joe Carter had no interest in calling out these kind of wolves, even when many folks in the comment section of his article addressed them. After all, why bite the hand that feeds you? Joe knows the side his bread is buttered on. Protect the clergy and attack the hurting sheep and he’ll keep his job and get kudos from the Calvinistas.

  71. Nancy2 wrote:

    Jake Malone didn’t just change locations and churches frequently, he changed denominations, too!
    Trinity in AZ – SBC
    River of Life in MN – EFCA
    Cavalry in PA – non-denom.

    Why?

    good observation

  72. @ Dee

    I appreciate your response. I was under the incorrect impression that this blog was more about drawing attention to abusers within churches when the leadership was unwilling to confront the abuse. From the information given in this post, it seemed the church rose to the occasion. Unfortunately, we can check all the boxes and put forth due diligence, but perpetrators will find ways to slip through the cracks. These types are very good at fooling people.

    If there are other victims, I pray that they will receive healing.

    As to movement from church to church, I have volunteered in youth programs for over 15 years. It is not unusual to see lots of turnover in these programs. Youth pastors are typically entry level roles in a church and often move on to larger programs and/or roles with more adult responsibility. We must remember, like it or not, ministry is a career in addition to a calling.

    This is a very unfortunate situation, but I fail to see where this church in Pennsylvania could have done more to prevent it. Malone was background checked, and once the abuse was discovered, he was turned over to authorities as well as being exposed for his trip out of country.

    I do agree with your assessment that case studies are a good way to use past activities to identify strengths and weaknesses and then prepare for future events. I’m not sure I see that happening here. The “Thoughts I have section” would be the obvious place to find the pertinent observations, but that is not what I see. You ask questions, that for all intents and purposes are rhetorical for all but in this blogging community.

    Were prior churches contacted?
    –It has been my experience that the District Attorney would more than likely do this in order to build a stronger case. I know this is what happened with Pete Newman. Churches he was involved with in AL were contacted by the MO prosecutors.

    “Why did Malone change church jobs so quickly? ”
    –This could indicate that there were problems in all of those jobs. I addressed this above. There could be many reasons.

    “Why do some churches Immediately discuss restoration as soon as these predators are discovered and convicted?”
    — I’m not sure restoration here means back to his old job. I think this is more of a spiritual component.

    “Malone will be on the sex offender registry and should never work in a church or be around underage teens again.”
    — I agree completely. I hope any sane person would. Not sure how this statement would lead to less abuse, it is so obvious.

    “Malone does not appear to be repentant. He blamed the victim as having a consensual relationship with him. This is absolutely ridiculous. He is minimizing his actions by attempting to divide up the guilt. As things stand, I do not believe he is repentant and I believe he has a high likelihood of offending again.”
    — Again I agree completely, but still don’t see how this statement adds to any prevention. If a church hires this guy when he gets out of jail, then I’ll join you screaming to anyone that will listen.

    This is a clear case of clergy abuse. –Absolutely, and?

    Did he abuse his wife? What about his kids? –Maybe, maybe not. I think his wife is in a good position to come forward now. It is possible that Malone groomed/charmed his wife and kids (again this is what happened in the Pete Newman situation) and they were completely unaware of any devious behavior. It is also possible that he had them too scared to say anything about what was going on. In either case, speculating will not undo the abuse. His wife will live with the guilt of knowing and not speaking up, or the torment of second guessing everything and blaming herself for not knowing. Unless Malone’s family was “in on it” they are victims here too.

  73. Bobo wrote:

    While his crime is horrible, I believe that if he was an acquaintance of mine I would hope that I would be able to pray for his repentance and restoration (not to his former job of course, but restoration of his soul). This seems also to be the mindset of his direct victim.

    good grief

    “the mindset of his ‘direct’ victim”

    please!
    Do you even know what you are saying????

  74. @ Christiane
    From the article:
    “She doesn’t hold a grudge (against Malone), even though obviously she’s been traumatized,” Pezick said of the woman, whose name is being withheld by the Daily Local News because of the nature of the crime. “She wants to see the defendant make something useful in his life when he gets out (of prison). That’s mainly because of her religious beliefs.”

    The reason I used the term “Direct” was because this girl was not his only victim. There is, I’m sure, much collateral damage. I consider the other students in his “ministry” as victims as well as his family and friends. This man’s actions were selfish and horrible. Their impact was not linear.

  75. Bobo wrote:

    I was under the incorrect impression that this blog was more about drawing attention to abusers within churches when the leadership was unwilling to confront the abuse.

    So we can’t discuss the No. 1 reason that churches are sued every single year, year after year: the sexual abuse of children?

    http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2016/august/top-5-reasons-religious-organizations-went-to-court-in-2015.html

    While you claim that the church did everything properly and couldn’t have known that Malone was a predator,they obviously had gaping holes in their safety plan. Because formal protocols to prevent child sexual abuse forbid church leaders and volunteers from meeting alone with youth and children and are well advertised to all. Doors are locked, closets are locked…anywhere people could be alone. Restrooms are frequently checked. Glass is put in walls and doors in rooms where children/youth meet with adults…so that everyone can be observed at all times.

  76. Bobo wrote:

    “Why do some churches Immediately discuss restoration as soon as these predators are discovered and convicted?”
    — I’m not sure restoration here means back to his old job. I think this is more of a spiritual component.

    Meanwhile, Jesus talked about millstones, not restoration.

  77. Jake what’s his face appears to be telegraphing his sexual preference to the world.I think we can reverse-engineer his fantasy. Listen carefully to what he says in the vid below. I scrolled the comments, but didn’t see anybody picking up the red flags flapping in the hurricane.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Tc1mlaDEeI

    What is on his mind- Pool party.
    What subject does he return to several times- Pool party.
    What is he missing tonight- Pool party.
    What specifically is he thinking will take place at the pool party- splashing / playing /swimming.
    What is he looking forward to in the Summer- making up for missing the pool party by swimming while camping at the youth retreat
    Who is Jake- a balding and no loner young man who wants…it appears he really wants… to swim with teenagers.
    What appears to get Jake excited as shown in the video- God doing crazy things and teenagers swimming. Teenagers swimming appears to be mentioned more in the vid segment.
    What is seemingly a less exciting after thought- teenagers working in the children’s program

  78. Bobo wrote:

    — I’m not sure restoration here means back to his old job. I think this is more of a spiritual component.

    What kind of “spiritual component” is involved when …… well, everything was going just great …… it was all God this and Jesus that …… until he got caught?
    Bobo wrote:

    This is a clear case of clergy abuse. –Absolutely, and?

    ?????? Shaddup about it, move along, nothing to see here? That seems to be what you are insinuating.

  79. Let me apologize for getting off on the wrong foot. My initial post was not to teach or set straight some ladies. I hoped to convey how much respect I have for this blog and what you all do. This is why I both started and ended my post with an acknowledgement that I could have it all wrong. I have been reading this blog for a while now and rarely comment, as most points I may have are usually made by someone else. For this particular article, I have been trying to understand the benefit of some of the questions/”thoughts”. I am not trying to impart my views on anyone, nor am I accusing anyone of any wrongs. I happened to have an initial opinion that this post seemed sensational for sensations sake with very little probative value. If you disagree, fine, ignore me or not. I am not trying to troll, but to add to the discussion. There are many angles to any discussion, and usually I find that hearing other points of view helps me refine mine.

    For clarity: Before, I posted on a Pete Newman article as Brian, that is my name. However, since then, I have noticed another user with that name, and decided to change my “handle” to avoid confusion. I was not trying to be deceitful.

  80. Velour wrote:

    Because formal protocols to prevent child sexual abuse forbid church leaders and volunteers from meeting alone with youth and children and are well advertised to all.

    How could that possibly be enforced when they seem to have basically adopted this girl? Without knowing the circumstances, it’s really hard to say what people thought about that. I think someone might think that was odd, but I can think of circumstances when it wouldn’t seem as odd (such as a terrible home life).

    She wasn’t just a random girl in youth group he invited over, she was living with the family. Those are very odd circumstances and not going to be covered under the regular rules I think.

  81. Bobo wrote:

    I happened to have an initial opinion that this post seemed sensational for sensations sake with very little probative value. If you disagree, fine, ignore me or not. I am not trying to troll, but to add to the discussion. There are many angles to any discussion, and usually I find that hearing other points of view helps me refine mine.

    The sexual abuse is of children IS the No. 1 reason that churches are sued every single year, year after year. Discussing the safety of children in light of this violent epidemic against them DOES have ‘probative value’.

  82. Lea wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Because formal protocols to prevent child sexual abuse forbid church leaders and volunteers from meeting alone with youth and children and are well advertised to all.
    How could that possibly be enforced when they seem to have basically adopted this girl? Without knowing the circumstances, it’s really hard to say what people thought about that. I think someone might think that was odd, but I can think of circumstances when it wouldn’t seem as odd (such as a terrible home life).
    She wasn’t just a random girl in youth group he invited over, she was living with the family. Those are very odd circumstances and not going to be covered under the regular rules I think.

    That’s a interesting point, Lea.

    If the child was already in a vulnerable family…it just made her more vulnerable to be preyed upon by Malone under the guise of doing a really good deed.

    But something was amiss and not enough was done to protect a vulnerable child, whether it was by the courts, social services, law enforcement, and the like.

  83. @ Bobo:
    I don’t think you understand why your words upset me, but for the love of God, you need to begin to realize the TOTAL impact of abuse on young people. Even your description of the victim is used to cast the perpetrator in a better light ….. I cannot understand that at all.

    I hope some day you become as strong an advocate for victims as you seem to be for this perpetrator. May he go to prison far away from children he can prey on, and there may he find time and help to come into repentance for the harm he has done.

    Please know that when a victim of abuse shows concern for her abuser, it does not reflect on her, but is a result of how she was able to cope in the clutches of that abuse where she had to depend on people in spite of what they were doing to her ….. you have some things to learn about this, I think.
    When Elizabeth Smart was rescued, she showed concern for her captors ….. and we know the hell they put her through at the tender age of fourteen. She was traumatized and abused terribly. But they kept her alive and she had come to depend on them for that reason. Her compassion was not because they had been kind to her and she saw some ‘good’ in them, no. Her captors had consistently told her if she did not cooperate, people would kill her family.

    Please become more informed about the extent of the trauma victims go through and some of the characteristics of how that trauma is expressed when they are rescued. I join you in praying for the perpetrator’s soul. But I am more hopeful that he is locked up for a long, long time, as he is and likely always will be a danger to young people.

  84. Bobo wrote:

    It has been my experience that the District Attorney would more than likely do this in order to build a stronger case. I know this is what happened with Pete Newman. Churches he was involved with in AL were contacted by the MO prosecutors.

    I am not sure everyone who was involved with him were contacted. I can tell you why that is true. he travelled all over the US, thing to set up local K Life groups. He had extensive contact with kids in that capacity. They tried to start one here in Raleigh. I was involved in checking the situation out. As far as I can tell, these groups were not notified. Stay tuned to thePete Newman situation.

    I have been contacted by some folks and this is not over by a long shot. I am disgusted that Joe White is making the rounds, telling men how to be real men when the real men, including him at his camp,allgedly overlooked early reports

    .Bobo wrote:

    I agree completely. I hope any sane person would

    You do know that men have been restored to pastoral positions because they were *cured* don’t you. You do know that pedophiles are held up as heroes. See Norm Vigue-Elevation Church.

    Bobo wrote:

    I addressed this above. There could be many reasons.

    Here is where you might be too willing to give the benefit of the doubt. We know this guy is a molester. He’s in jail he seems to think that sex with 17 year old girls is consensual. We don’t know how many times he has done it before. When one sees he moving from place to place, one thinks about this pattern with other abusers. Whether or not you think it is, it is and this is something that abuse groups look at. One only needs to look at the Catholic Church scandal to see that this was the mode operandi in that situation. Wy would we totally believe it is not in this. We should not be naive.

    Bobo wrote:

    I’m not sure restoration here means back to his old job. I think this is more of a spiritual component.

    You have probably not read our posts in which pastors who have done things wrong get right back into the groove again, often after a *sabbatical* to reunite with their family. I guarantee you that he will *find*. Jesus in prison, conduct Bible studies for the inmates and give talks on why he has repented and how god has *cured* or *forgiven*him of his sin. Do you know how many churches will buy that nonsense?

    I do not routinely check the emails of those who comment but your initial comment reminded me of someone from before. It was your Pete Newman comment. Both comments shared some similarities which seem to downplay the horrendous aspect of these crimes. I am sure you do not mean to do so but that is how it comes across to me.

    Do mea favor. Tomorrow I am going post an important video on an older man who finally dealt with the abuse he endured as a child. I think it will bring home the horrific nature of this crime which affects the victim throughout their lives.

  85. Christiane wrote:

    When Elizabeth Smart was rescued, she showed concern for her captors ….. and we know the hell they put her through at the tender age of fourteen. She was traumatized and abused terribly. But they kept her alive and she had come to depend on them for that reason. Her compassion was not because they had been kind to her and she saw some ‘good’ in them, no. Her captors had consistently told her if she did not cooperate, people would kill her family.

    Elizabeth Smart has bravely talked about how ‘purity cultures’ message harmed her. She’d been told in school, by teachers, at church, etc. in classes that if you had sex outside of marriage that you were a ‘used up piece of gum’ and who ‘would want that?” So those messages made her feel worthless when she was being raped and who could possibly want her?

    Elizabeth Smart said that we should teach children that no matter what happens…they have value!

    Go Elizabeth!

  86. I wonder about the circumstances of his being hired at the PA church. How did that come about?

    And his victim…she now has a place to live in AZ, but why didn’t she before? If she had never been allowed by someone to go to MN…but, who would even let her do that?

    I feel it is important to know how abusers work. I do not think knowing these facts is sensationalism as another poster wrote.

    We can learn from patterns.

  87. Bobo wrote:

    I was not trying to be deceitful.

    I didn’t think you were. In fact, I am grateful that you took a different name.

  88. Found this about a “Pastor Dave Johnson” by searching for churches in “Elk River, MN”.

    River of Life Church, Elk River, MN, Meet The Pastor:
    Dave Johnson | Senior Pastor dave.johnson@rolchurch.net
    Pastor Dave came to River of Life in 1993 as our Senior Pastor. He graduated from Denver Theological Seminary…

    Pastor Dave and his wife, Ann, have five children and reside in Elk River.

    The sexual predator (his legal designation) mentions he wants to return to MN when his brief prison time is up – beware MN.

  89. dee wrote:

    He’s in jail he seems to think that sex with 17 year old girls is consensual.

    … after grooming her from age 12 – prepubescent. That is predatory.

  90. Concerned wrote:

    If she had never been allowed by someone to go to MN…but, who would even let her do that?

    This is hard to know without knowing her home situation, but obviously there must have been something odd there. Maybe now she has support she didn’t have before? I don’t know. I know there were several occasions where friends in high school of friends of mine or my sibling staying at our house for a month or two, or my parents took in a young girl when we were little or things like that that are genuinely needed. But none of that involved taking minors across state lines. I think that should probably have been looked into a little more closely.

  91. The girl …… Malone took her across state line with the intent of having sex with her ……. that is a federal crime when a minor is involved. Was she too old to qualify as a minor under those laws when he took her to MN?

  92. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    It would seem he is completely bamboozled by the predator, gushing over his leadership gift.

    Watched the video (and BTW, up thread was a question about “Pastor Dave Johnson”, so up thread, I found him. However, Todd you had already posted him further up; my redundancy unintended.)

    Anyway, moving the sexual predator of children into a faraway new church’s Trainer of Men’s Leadership position is often a maneuver to eliminate the predator’s contact with children and youth after inappropriate advances. His new position was with adults only (when formerly he had specialized with youth work – for 10+ years, both in his education and experience). So the two churches collaborated to rescue their boy and provide cover – a whole new position popped up. How many churches have a “Trainer of Leadership” position.

    He took the position with adults, then under cover the predator continued with serial rape, victimizing at least one teen, and resulting in at least one pregnancy.

    The maneuver didn’t work. A predator will find their prey in any circumstance – which is why predators are incarcerated.

    (Side note: A girl living in the predator’s home and moving around with his family – were her biological parents naive, trusting, negligent, unaware, abusive or not present? [The regretful parents who left their daughters as maidens with cult Shepherd Barnard have said they were brainwashed.])

  93. It’s been a long day. I’m heading to bed. I’m sick and tired of reading about pastors who can’t keep their pants on. The church is a mess. Goodnight Wartburgers.

  94. JYJames wrote:

    The maneuver didn’t work.

    It’s a cheap trick to avoid the reality that, yes, they really do have a sexual predator in the pulpit, or in their church, and lawful, researched, drastic measures are paramount – for God’s sake, for the protection of children.

    What’s Wilson’s cheap trick? Get the predator married with children – so the predator ends up violating his own children?

    3 cheap tricks the church uses with sexual predators (that fail):
    1 – Change of venue for the pastor or priest (result: the predator finds new victims).
    2 – Re-assign them to work professionally with adults only (result: the predator brings the victim into his home. Then: sabbatical, out of the public eye.)
    3 – Marry them off (the predator has his own children – more victims).

  95. @ Nancy2:

    I don’t know how hard it is to prove ‘intent’ Nancy. It seems like that statute is mostly used for luring people in an more immediate type situation than this but maybe one of the lawyers will weigh in.

    I think she was too old by the time sex occurred to nail this guy for some of the more serious statutory crimes.

  96. JYJames wrote:

    Anyway, moving the sexual predator of children into a faraway new church’s Trainer of Men’s Leadership position is often a maneuver to eliminate the predator’s contact with children and youth after inappropriate advances.

    Did this happen in this case or is that a general statement?

    Also, if this is a common thing, is it any wonder mens programs are teaching nonsense? There are other reasons you might not want to have predators teaching, it’s not just a matter of making sure they are not an immediate threat to the people they are teaching!!!

  97. Lea wrote:

    a general statement

    General statement.

    It is a common ploy to rescue someone who has gone too far (for example, with kids – put them with adults only, etc.). Take away their candy. Problem is, it never works. It’s deceitful, for one thing. The predator then practices underground, secondly.

  98. Lea wrote:

    they are teaching!

    Yes.
    And, sin undercover doesn’t go away. It thrives. Sin loves the hidden agenda.

  99. The video has all the hallmarks of a good evangelical advertisement. Music, check, earnestness, check, gee wiliker wholesomeness, check.
    I think they were trying to drum up funds. Fleecing the sheep before going on the “lamb”.
    Why does the wife stay? Per the video, it’s her calling. God has ordained this.
    Oh and God has been good to him, no doubt his memory of his actions will keep him warm in jail.
    If this clown shows any remorse, it’s only that he got caught.
    This was planned, for about 5 years apparently. Probably thought that the victims age would not result in charges but couldn’t stop himself so still wound up with a lesser charge.
    He’ll be out in a year with time already served.
    Restoration? Psychopaths can only be contained, not restored.

  100. @ dee:

    “I guarantee you that he will *find*. Jesus in prison, conduct Bible studies for the inmates and give talks on why he has repented and how god has *cured* or *forgiven*him of his sin. Do you know how many churches will buy that nonsense?”
    +++++++++++++++

    oh gawwwwwd, i can see the conference circuit already.

    enuf already with “conferences”, christian culture.

  101. @ Bobo:

    i appreciate your kind & honest way of communicating.

    from “brian” to “Bobo”…. there’s got to be a story there.

  102. @ Jack:

    “gee wiliker wholesomeness”
    +++++++++++++

    ha! that’s great!

    (& something i’ve always made sure i didn’t have.)

  103. Max wrote:

    Please don’t tell me it is one of SBC’s New Calvinist church plants. Although, hosting Driscoll there is a clue that it probably leans in that direction.

    Not a new plant. It’s been here as long as I’ve been coming to Phoenix (over 20 years). However, it is currently searching for a new pastor and I’ll bet money that they get a Calvinista. I just feel it in my bones.

  104. Let not many of you presume to be teachers ..for teachers will be held up to a higher standard. God. End of story. Folks…this jerk cannot fool the creator of the universe. God will deal with him!!!Hope his wife kicks him to the curb.

  105. Lea wrote:

    a general statement

    It’s a workplace strategy.
    My retired neighbor was a nurse at a hospital and when they figured out she couldn’t get along with others, they removed her from nursing stations and had her do filing, she told me. They didn’t want to deal with her union, nor with her.

    In this case, the predator knows he is in trouble. So he removes himself from working with youth and music (young musicians) and does an abrupt career change into a COMPLETELY different area where he is untrained with NO experience. It is with adult men. Camouflage. And the predator claims that through prayer and God’s leading, this is what God was REALLY preparing him for all along. Ah, yes, the nebulous claims, one on top of another.

    He takes his prey with him in his very home (incredible that he feels he can do this under his wife and family’s noses – he must have complete reign in that household).

    Did the two churches facilitate this? It would not be surprising. Did head pastor Johnson in MN get complaints or see red flags? Johnson is not saying. Dealing head-on with his hire’s, the music/youth pastor’s, inappropriate sexual behavior would be messy, a stain, and work.

    It is telling that the predator feels now that he is a registered sex offender, his MN contacts will LOVE to have him back after incarceration. Maybe he has more groomed young ladies in waiting. Plans. And he feels he can keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the good church people in MN, as with his wife.

  106. Oh and on a completely different subject, it looks like Thomas Chantry is still a guest of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (at least according to its inmate search function).

  107. Jack wrote:

    I think they were trying to drum up funds.

    Exactly. “Keep in touch, contact us,” translates send money. Like the kid going off to college – call or email and send money.

  108. And I just saw the article from the Courier. As I said on the other post, I hope the judge raises the amount of the cash bond, requires Chantry to wear an ankle monitor and doesn’t allow him to leave the state.

  109. @ Nancy2:
    Speaking as someone who works for a school system that has had horrible abuses and we are still paying for it – that’s so true. Churches don’t even come close to that scrutiny and consequences.

  110. Jack wrote:

    I think they were trying to drum up funds. Fleecing the sheep before going on the “lamb”.

    Jack: You win the prize for the Laugh of the Day!

  111. Jack wrote:

    Why does the wife stay? Per the video, it’s her calling. God has ordained this.

    And then we have the story of Karen Hinkley and she got her marriage annulled. And a wonderful East Coast law school offered her a full scholarship and took care of everything, because
    Matt Chandler & Co. [i.e. the thugs at The Village *Church* in Texas] couldn’t do anything right and *disciplined* her for her husband being a predator.

  112. @ Bobo:

    “We must remember, like it or not, ministry is a career in addition to a calling.”
    ++++++++++

    yeah…

    i observe a pure ‘mission’ being compromised by this career thing, and the money & prestige tied into it.

    boiling things down, the brass tack at the bottom is that the professional christian’s career trumps all else. In the final analysis, it trumps (at least in part) what is right, good, fair, honest, wise, just, sometimes the professional christian’s own values & convictions, his/her freedom to speak out against things they believe are wrong and unjust that would displease the source of their paycheck…

    a professional christian has invested too heavily in their career (expensive education, sacrifices they and their family have made for the sake said career, putting all their skill eggs & career path in one basket, the all-important paycheck, etc) to jeopardize it.

    and a “calling”? says who? any schmuck can sign up for this calling. and what’s a calling anyway?

    you’re a nice person, Bobo. i’ve gagged on syrup for too long to not speak frankly.

  113. JYJames wrote:

    It is a common ploy to rescue someone who has gone too far (for example, with kids – put them with adults only, etc.). Take away their candy. Problem is, it never works. It’s deceitful, for one thing. The predator then practices underground, secondly.

    Spot on. It is enabling.

    At my ex-gulag (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) I was excommunicated and shunned for discovering while doing a research project, for a former prosecutor, that a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer was in our midst. The pastors/elders had me in a meeting, screamed and yelled at me, said ‘child pornography wasn’t a big deal’, said that
    he was their friend, that he ‘was coming off Megan’s List because ‘he said so”, and gave him church membership, leadership over a team, invited him to all group activities in which children were present (including the Friday night Bible study that I attended), and told no one.

    The pastors/elders at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley also said it was ok for their friend to touch the church’s children (without their parents knowing about it),
    that the pastors/elders entrusted their own children to him [yes, I think they are certifiably stupid], and they invited him to volunteer for 5-days at the children’s basketball camp the church puts on every summer.

    The California Attorney General’s Office and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s sex offenders’ task force called my pastors/elders’ stories to me about their friend the
    Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer, “all lies” and “total lies”.

    I just wonder how many other predators there are at my ex-church. Birds of a feather flock together. It’s way beyond enabling what they are doing.

  114. Velour wrote:

    I was excommunicated and shunned for discovering while doing a research project, for a former prosecutor, that a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer was in our midst.

    You did them a huge favor, as a responsible Christian and adult.

    Their loss, Velour, their tremendous loss.

    There are so many places in history, in Scripture, where the warning goes out, and those who muff their ears sink in the sand, or are washed away in the flood, etc. Some day, for the unrepentant, (God help us all, only by His grace), their fate.

    Praise God, ever grateful, for His deliverance from all of this, and from those who don’t get it. Deliverance via God’s plan of Salvation is God’s intention. However, some, even in the church, are willfully lost. May God keep knocking at the door of their hearts.

  115. @ JYJames:

    Thanks, JY James, for your kind and supportive words to me.

    The pastors/elders already knew that their friend was a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer. And they lied…to the entire congregation, to the Bible studies, to the team that this man was put in charge of at church, and to the basketball campers’ parents, including unbelievers in the community who entrusted their children to us with their children for 5-days.

    My sister has asked about my ex-senior pastor, and his litany of other lies (claiming a teaching credential he doesn’t have, a Ph.D. that is from a diploma mill for $299 and is a fake, another fake degree): “Is he a sexual predator too? Why does he always want to be close to children? And why is he always lying about other people? Honest people.”

  116. Christiane wrote:

    @ Bobo:
    I don’t think you understand why your words upset me, but for the love of God, you need to begin to realize the TOTAL impact of abuse on young people. Even your description of the victim is used to cast the perpetrator in a better light ….. I cannot understand that at all.
    I hope some day you become as strong an advocate for victims as you seem to be for this perpetrator. May he go to prison far away from children he can prey on, and there may he find time and help to come into repentance for the harm he has done.
    Please know that when a victim of abuse shows concern for her abuser, it does not reflect on her, but is a result of how she was able to cope in the clutches of that abuse where she had to depend on people in spite of what they were doing to her ….. you have some things to learn about this, I think.
    When Elizabeth Smart was rescued, she showed concern for her captors ….. and we know the hell they put her through at the tender age of fourteen. She was traumatized and abused terribly. But they kept her alive and she had come to depend on them…

    a

    Stockholm Syndrome

  117. Velour wrote:

    The pastors/elders already knew

    Velour wrote:

    And why is he always lying

    Well, there you go. You spoke truth to power, and then the real Power showed up and got you out of there. If you think about it, though they control the narrative at their venue, as anyone persists in lies, they are in a weak position. Satan is the father of lies, and in the end, he loses. God wins, and you or we are on the winning team. Glory to Him, alone. So thankful God rescued you from what seems to be a den of deception and pride.

    At TWW, we are benefiting from God’s work through you. You are God’s gift, and I am ever thankful to Him for you, Velour. God bless you, always and forever, in every way.

  118. JYJames wrote:

    You spoke truth to power, and then the real Power showed up and got you out of there. If you think about it, though they control the narrative at their venue, as anyone persists in lies, they are in a weak position. Satan is the father of lies, and in the end, he loses. God wins, and you or we are on the winning team.

    So true, JY James.

    Thank you for the good reminder about how God got me out of that hate-filled, lying gulag.
    It is NOT a “church” of Jesus Christ.

    I had been terribly ill at the time they excommunicated and shunned me. I was in and out of the hospital with a very serious lung condition, I was only getting about 2-hours of sleep a night from breathing problems, I sounded terrible and I felt terrible, and I hadn’t been to church in more than five weeks because I was so acutely ill. The chairman of the elder board demanded that I come to church so that they could discipline me. I refused.

    It’s interesting how many times that I’ve come across stories where people got out of cults/high control groups, because they got sick and were finally sick and tired of playing games. That was ‘it’ for me too.

    So my gifts are being used here.

  119. Velour wrote:

    stories where people got out of cults/high control groups

    God is so amazing. He whisked you out of their clutches, and the same, as you said, with others. One in our family has such a story, and like you, he says now, God put me in that hospital to save me. Whatever it takes, God is there and makes it happen. Love Him. So encouraging, thanks for sharing and for your insight and reflection. Gold. Right to the heart of the matter. Very touching.

  120. roebuck wrote:

    T

    roebuck wrote:

    Seriously, there must be a script for ‘fake contrition’ or something. I believe it was Woody Allen who said (something like) “To be successful in the world requires great sincerity and honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made”.

    I just read this in a memoir by comedian George Burns, and I think he was quoting Groucho. Which goes to show: this has been around a long, long time.

  121. I had never thought of this. What you imply combined with what Law Professor said about Dave Johnson’s body language makes me think it is very probable that these pastors may have known more than they are letting on to.

    JYJames wrote:

    Anyway, moving the sexual predator of children into a faraway new church’s Trainer of Men’s Leadership position is often a maneuver to eliminate the predator’s contact with children and youth after inappropriate advances. His new position was with adults only (when formerly he had specialized with youth work – for 10+ years, both in his education and experience). So the two churches collaborated to rescue their boy and provide cover – a whole new position popped up. How many churches have a “Trainer of Leadership” position.

  122. How fitting that the organ system that gives these men such false pride in their ‘superiority’ in theological matters is also the instrument of their downfall.

  123. Spartacus wrote:

    roebuck wrote:
    T
    roebuck wrote:
    Seriously, there must be a script for ‘fake contrition’ or something. I believe it was Woody Allen who said (something like) “To be successful in the world requires great sincerity and honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made”.
    I just read this in a memoir by comedian George Burns, and I think he was quoting Groucho. Which goes to show: this has been around a long, long time.

    That’s right – it was Groucho. He had a lot of good ones.

    “Outside of a dog, books are a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

  124. Velour wrote:

    My sister has asked about my ex-senior pastor, and his litany of other lies (claiming a teaching credential he doesn’t have, a Ph.D. that is from a diploma mill for $299 and is a fake, another fake degree): “Is he a sexual predator too? Why does he always want to be close to children?

    I’ve long suspected (by way of TWW and South Park) that Pastors with Pet Pedos are closet pedos themselves but unwilling to actually do the deed. (Too Repectable – Must Keep Up Appearances.) So they get off vicariously through their Pet Pedo’s JUICY tell-alls.

  125. JYJames wrote:

    Anyway, moving the sexual predator of children into a faraway new church’s Trainer of Men’s Leadership position is often a maneuver to eliminate the predator’s contact with children and youth after inappropriate advances.

    Really worked with those Romish Pedo Priests, didn’t it?

  126. Jack wrote:

    Why does the wife stay? Per the video, it’s her calling. God has ordained this.

    Stay Sweet, Serena Joy, Stay Sweet.
    When Milord Husband gets out of stir, you can share in his Comeback. PERSECUTED Pastor’s Wife. And as Wife, you still outrank his underage Handmaids.
    Stay Sweet, Serena Joy…

  127. @ Christiane

    I’m truly sorry that I upset you (or anyone else for that matter). That was not my intent.

    I would like to be very clear. I 100% grieve for this young woman and upon reading this post have begun praying for her restoration (psychological and emotional) and believe that Malone should be (even if he obviously isn’t) be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He should never be around children again, 15 years isn’t enough. If she was my daughter (I have 3) I would certainly hope for nothing less than an excruciating death for this man.

    With that being said, I also, as a believer in an eternal existence and a powerful redeeming God, must hold tension with these feelings and value every soul, even those that disgust me. This is why I made the statement that I would HOPE that I could pray for his repentance and restoration (spiritual). This, I believe, is part of my duty as a believer, not to “downplay the horrendous aspect of these crimes” but to acknowledge that Christ died for all of us, even the disgusting ones.

  128. JYJames wrote:

    My retired neighbor was a nurse at a hospital and when they figured out she couldn’t get along with others, they removed her from nursing stations and had her do filing, she told me. They didn’t want to deal with her union, nor with her.

    This is true, but churches aren’t union. They should be able to simply fire people. They would do it in a heartbeat if someone tried to let women preach or something they really hated. But abusive, women hating monsters? Totally cool.

  129. JYJames wrote:

    It is with adult men. Camouflage. And

    What creeps me out about this concept is that it seems like men are being taught to think poorly of women and treat them poorly. I would think that putting men who abuse and think poorly of women in a teaching position over men would facilitate that. Ditto for those who abuse children. Those people cannot possibly be teaching men good things!

    And then to think about these ‘accountability’ groups where they tell the guys they can just confess their sins to the group instead of the ones they sinned against when they’ve cheated or something? What a mess.

  130. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’ve long suspected (by way of TWW and South Park) that Pastors with Pet Pedos are closet pedos themselves but unwilling to actually do the deed.

    I don’t know, but I think anyone who doesn’t absolutely recoil at the thought of this kind of abuse is highly suspect.

  131. Years ago my family and I were attending a church with a pastor in his late 20’s or early 30’s. I didn’t understand why my daughter didn’t like to get side hugged by him. A few years later she told me he got sort of handsy in his side hugs. He was forced to resign from the church for having an affair with a teenager (maybe 18 or so). It might have started when she was younger. He got her pregnant. His wife divorced him. She is happily remarried. To the best of my knowledge he left the ministry and has never returned to it. I was completely blind to all of this. I often worked in the church nursery during services. I knew that his wife couldn’t stand to hear her husband preach and would often stay in the nursery with their new born child. I didn’t want to involve myself in church politics as I had gotten burned before. I preferred to stay on the sidelines and volunteer a lot. Maybe keeping my head in the sand was the wrong thing to do. But I was having a lot of health problems during this time, but that’s still no excuse. This was a Baptist church.

  132. @ Bobo:
    Thank you for your response. I am very much aware that Our Lord cared also for those in prisons. And I believe also in redemption.

    But I hope some day all paedophiles who have ‘acted’ on their inclination are kept away from society, as they are so malevolent towards the innocent.

    I do know of the blessing of prison ministries for those who must be incarcerated for the protection of others. Here is one great example of someone called to serve in a prison ministry:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoyOcNQ4uFI

    Thanks again for communicating. God Bless!

  133. Christiane wrote:

    But I hope some day all paedophiles who have ‘acted’ on their inclination are kept away from society, as they are so malevolent towards the innocent.

    To this, I hope we can all agree.

  134. Harley wrote:

    why my daughter didn’t like to get side hugged by him

    Kids know.

    And, kids react differently.

    At a neighborhood church, the pastor’s son was physically aggressive to youth group girls with entitlement. My neighbor said they left that church, pronto, as her daughter was repulsed. But other girls flocked to this young man – “incredibly, they wanted it,” she said.

    These were all high school kids – no pedophiles – so VERY different from the predatory YOUTH PASTOR. Point is, though, kids react differently – which does NOT justify aggression.

    [When confronted, the pastor got a “new calling” and moved his family completely across the country. Typical maneuver.]

  135. Bobo wrote:

    I could pray for his repentance and restoration (spiritual).

    I’m not convinced there is anything in him to restore spiritually. Maybe he just needs to get saved!

  136. JYJames wrote:

    At a neighborhood church, the pastor’s son was physically aggressive to youth group girls with entitlement.

    Oops, the BOY or SON was entitled, so should read: “… the entitled pastor’s son was physically aggressive to youth group girls.”

  137. Bobo wrote:

    To this, I hope we can all agree.

    Yes, however, as Velour has pointed out on numerous occasions, her former “church” practiced forced friendships while trying to integrate dangerous people into the church.@ Velour:
    Velour, if you could comment on this – appreciated.Lea wrote:

    They should be able to simply fire people. They would do it in a heartbeat if someone tried to let women preach or something they really hated. But abusive, women hating monsters? Totally cool.

    And Lea alludes to this, too.

  138. @ Bobo:

    “…the statement that I would HOPE that I could pray for his repentance and restoration (spiritual)”
    +++++++++++++++++

    what is restoration? restored to what?

  139. Nancy2 wrote:

    Bobo wrote:
    I could pray for his repentance and restoration (spiritual).

    I’m not convinced there is anything in him to restore spiritually. Maybe he just needs to get saved!

    Restoration implies that he was decent to began with. There is no reason to think that is the case.

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Obit for a Levi Malone

    That is just so sad. I can’t even imagine. I hope she has some friends despite being dragged around the country!

  140. elastigirl wrote:

    what is restoration? restored to what?

    Restored to a relationship with Christ.

    Unless I am missing something, this guy does not seem to be in any type of meaningful relationship with Jesus. As much as I despise the arbitrary nature of how “church discipline” is used, this seems to me the intent of Paul in this regard. Malone should be “delivered to Satan” “so that his spirit may be saved.”

  141. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    searching for a new pastor and I’ll bet money that they get a Calvinista. I just feel it in my bones.

    If he’s under 40, there’s a high probability … if he’s under 35, an extreme likelihood … under 30, yep. Within ten years, the Southern Baptist Convention will be completely Calvinized, as older traditional pastors retire to the lake or to heaven and the young reformers take over their churches.

  142. elastigirl wrote:

    what is restoration? restored to what?

    “If” there is evidence of genuine repentance … forgiveness? yes … restoration to ministry? NO!

    But given the nature of the man’s sins, I doubt that he knows Christ … so there should be an effort to reach him with the Gospel by those wanting to restore him. Just because you have the title “Pastor” does not mean you know Him (TWW reports are littered with such folks).

  143. Max wrote:

    “If” there is evidence of genuine repentance … forgiveness? yes … restoration to ministry? NO!

    –Completely agree.

    But given the nature of the man’s sins, I doubt that he knows Christ

    So herein lies the rub. If he is an immoral believer, then we are to judge and disassociate. 1 Cor 5:11

    If he is an immoral person (outsider) then we are to let God judge. 1 Cor 5:12

    In either case however, we pray for his repentance but should never assume that the flesh is completely cured. This is why he should never be restored to ministry, esp w/ children. 1 Cor 10:23.

  144. Bobo wrote:

    he should never be restored to ministry, esp w/ children. 1 Cor 10:23

    And everybody shouted AMEN!! (or should have)

  145. Bobo wrote:

    Malone should be “delivered to Satan” “so that his spirit may be saved.”

    Going to prison as a sex offender is essentially delivering him to Satan. He will probably get a taste of his own medicine.

  146. @ Bobo:
    I agree with your statement. Let me add a *but* observation. It seems like many people in church pray for the offender, visit him, etc. But, they have far less enthusiasm in praying for the victim. I do hope the church is helping the young mother financially.

  147. @ brian:
    I posted on this. Today is the day when we see if he gets bail. Then we should hear about the court date. I hope he cannot meet the bail demands and stays locked up.

  148. Max wrote:

    But given the nature of the man’s sins, I doubt that he knows Christ … so there should be an effort to reach him with the Gospel by those wanting to restore him. Just because you have the title “Pastor” does not mean you know Him (TWW reports are littered with such folks).

    This is what I like about you Max, straight up brass tacks; no ethereal christianese bubble-talk, and no varnish.

  149. dee wrote:

    It seems like many people in church pray for the offender, visit him, etc. But, they have far less enthusiasm in praying for the victim.

    This is very true. Unfortunately, our culture is one that has us avoid the victim. It is as though their victimization makes them weak and we don’t want that to “rub off on us.” Jesus tells us that to these belongs the kingdom of heaven.

  150. @ Bobo:

    “you’re a nice person, Bobo. i’ve gagged on syrup for too long to not speak frankly.”
    +++++++++++++

    bobo, i didn’t say this right. your communication was not syrupy — i’m referring to a lifetime of being around communication that hid truth in syrup.

  151. Muff Potter wrote:

    This is what I like about you Max, straight up brass tacks; no ethereal christianese bubble-talk, and no varnish.

    Max often says exactly what I would want to say, if I were more articulate of my ideas. I sometimes feel a more inchoate anger and disgust, and sometimes I convey it clumsily. Max gets right to the point with great clarity, and I am so glad that he is here. Thanks, and God Bless, Max!

  152. @ Bobo:

    i don’t know if i’m not on my game today… caffeine balance is off, over-analyzing, underanalyzing, dunno —

    i sincerely mean to say that you seem to be a genuinely kind person. And…. it’s nice to be around.

  153. @ elastigirl:

    Thank you for the comment (not about me, but about the ministry and calling vs. career).

    I believe you’re right. As stated above, I work with students and frequently emphasize that we are all ministers, and that that “title” is not reserved for those in vocational roles. I had never, however, really thought about the vocation compromising the mission (this is more true, I’m sure, than I’d like to admit).
    I do find myself straddling the line between the ideal and the pragmatic. Even Paul professes that there are those who should be compensated for preaching the word. This is necessary. I would hope that all vocational ministers would be called, however this is not always the case. There are those that “invent” a calling, but let us not use those as the excuse to assume that there are none that are called.
    The problem, as you’ve stated, is that the calling can, and frequently is, corrupted by the career. This does not mean that the calling was not real.

    BTW, also thanks for calling me a nice person. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I find I’m not as nice as I should be. I do appreciate you for seeing that I’m not trying to cause friction. I’m just trying to add to the discussion.

  154. dee wrote:

    It seems like many people in church pray for the offender, visit him, etc. But, they have far less enthusiasm in praying for the victim.

    Many churches seem to have a problem of mistaken priorities in these cases. Is it because they love the idea of the ‘restored’ sinner or because the perpetrators are usually men and the victims women (or children) who are less valued? I do not know.

  155. @ Max:

    “But given the nature of the man’s sins, I doubt that he knows Christ…

    …Just because you have the title “Pastor” does not mean you know Him (TWW reports are littered with such folks).”
    ++++++++++++++

    well, here’s how i see it. any person can genuinely see, understand, feel, be deeply touched by God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.

    it can be meaningful enough to want to surround oneself with the environment that seemed to nurture that experience (& continued ‘experiencing’)

    it can be meaningful enough to want to be part of delivering that same experience — that reality — to others.

    such a person can still have pathological disorders, a proclivity to being arrogant or violent or hateful or a general @$$, etc. (& of course some church environments seem to elicit and encourage some of those things, unfortunately).

    i think a person can have an ongoing at least semi-connection to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit and still do horrible things. i think people are complex enough to be able to still have some strands of connection to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit and yet be blind to the egregiousness & consequences of their actions.

    i think christian culture has gone a little overboard with the stereotypical “born again” thing. i don’t it churns out what we think it does.

  156. @ Bobo:

    but what’s a calling?

    i’ve heard so many disparate things lauded with “it’s a calling” by the people who are doing them.

    i roll my eyes and think “get over yourself — it’s not a calling, it’s just want you’re doing because you wanted to or because all other options were eliminated.”

  157. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Bobo:
    but what’s a calling?

    i’ve heard so many disparate things lauded with “it’s a calling” by the people who are doing them.

    It’s just empty Christianese Buzzword Bingo.
    There’s a reason I’m allergic to any kind of Christianese.

    And this is Bobo, just another of the Pedo Pastor Truth Squad who shows up out of nowhere to Defend the Faith every time TWW covers a pedo-pastor scandal. Ho hum, another one.

  158. Bobo wrote:

    This is very true. Unfortunately, our culture is one that has us avoid the victim. It is as though their victimization makes them weak and we don’t want that to “rub off on us.”

    Cooties are contagious.

  159. dee wrote:

    Bobo wrote:
    Malone should be “delivered to Satan” “so that his spirit may be saved.”
    Going to prison as a sex offender is essentially delivering him to Satan. He will probably get a taste of his own medicine.

    General Population and alert the Gorilla in Cellblock 4.
    That’ll solve the problem.
    “We got another short-eyes!”

  160. @ elastigirl:
    How cynical.

    A calling, at least to me, is when we are compelled by no logical reason to act in a way that is contrary to our own self interest. See Jeremiah 20:9

    In this day and age of the “Mega” church, with high levels of prestige as well as salary, calls to vocational ministry become more and more suspect. This doesn’t mean that they don’t occur, just that self interest is more in line with the vocation.

    I think this blog is a good example of a calling. Dee and Deb do this from a driving need to expose church abuse (at least that’s my understanding). This results in ridicule and derision in some circles. There is no payday or lauding, and in the grand scheme of things probably not much in the way of results (this is not an insult to the blog, I just don’t see anyone really slapping their head in swift repentance), in this way they are also similar to Jeremiah. Fortunately, our rewards are not here.

  161. Deb, Dee, MBTC —
    could you remove the last paragraph of my comment at 2:20?

    Mistook Bobo for one of the pastor apologists we get on these threads. It’s become such a common response it’s getting to become my default assumption.

  162. Bobo wrote:

    I think this blog is a good example of a calling. Dee and Deb do this from a driving need to expose church abuse (at least that’s my understanding). This results in ridicule and derision in some circles. There is no payday or lauding…

    Just the certainty of Stomp On The Whistleblower Backlash.

  163. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I believe you have me mis-characterized. I can understand from some of my earlier comments how you would arrive at this conclusion, however my intent is not to somehow

    Defend the Faith

    .
    My initial observations were due to a misunderstanding about the nature of this blog. My experience with articles here have been that they are around the abusive nature and failures of the institutions and their leaders, especially the cover ups. I did not see that as being the case here and felt that the PA church acted within the best of their ability. My assumptions about the nature of the blog were incorrect, and I was politely disabused of these assumptions yesterday afternoon. If I have said anything to the effect that abusers or abuse should be defended, that was not my intent.

  164. Bobo wrote:

    A calling, at least to me, is when we are compelled by no logical reason to act in a way that is contrary to our own self interest.

    What?

    No I don’t think that’s what a calling is at all. I think a calling is something a person is genuinely passionate about and good at. I think other people can see it, when a person is doing something that is their calling.

    That does not mean it is contrary to your self interest. You might choose a profession that pays less because you are passionate about it or love it, but even where that is true it is obviously more important to you in non-monetary ways. Maybe you are getting fulfillment from loving the work or loving the adulation.

  165. Bobo wrote:

    and in the grand scheme of things probably not much in the way of results (this is not an insult to the blog, I just don’t see anyone really slapping their head in swift repentance)

    I think you are looking for different results than Dee and Deb are.

    I see this blog as a warning. And healing for those who thought it was just them. The men who are using the church to satisfy their own needs were never going to repent unless they are motivated by more than a website.

  166. Bobo wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Just saw this. You can disregard my response. Thank you for this.

    Yeah. Whenever TWW blows the whistle on one of these MoGs, his supporters all come out of the woodwork in righteous counterattack.

    And we’re all getting a little gun-shy and punchy. In the words of a certain Cult of the Blue Oyster:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGKNaIXtBZQ
    (If you have good headphones, turn the volume down or you’ll lose your eardrums)

  167. Lea wrote:

    I think you are looking for different results than Dee and Deb are.

    You are probably right about this, especially in the context of my post.

    The self interest angle separates a calling from doing whatever you want. On this, though, I’m willing to agree to disagree.

  168. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Whenever TWW blows the whistle on one of these MoG

    I know you don’t mean this, but one of the other comments had me thinking about ‘angels and ministers of grace defend us’.

  169. Muff Potter wrote:

    straight up brass tacks; no ethereal christianese bubble-talk, and no varnish

    Muff, I’ve always been a black and white sort of guy … gray makes me very nervous. I’m too old to compromise now. In my world (or the one I wish it was), light and darkness are incompatible. And believe me, after 60+ years in church, I’ve seen plenty that is on the dark side! Much of the American church is religious, but spiritually destitute.

  170. @ roebuck:
    Roebuck, it’s been good to camp out with all the Wartburgers. It takes all of our comments to paint the picture. None of us are clumsy in our words when it comes to speaking for and defending those who have been abused by the church. Oh, and there’s nothing good about me, but Jesus who lives within me.

  171. dee wrote:

    It seems like many people in church pray for the offender, visit him, etc. But, they have far less enthusiasm in praying for the victim.

    Well, that wouldn’t have been the attitude of the 1st century church. How far we’ve fallen some 20 centuries later.

  172. dee wrote:

    It seems like many people in church pray for the offender, visit him, etc. But, they have far less enthusiasm in praying for the victim.

    And another thing … the early church didn’t pray for demons, they cast them out!

  173. Nancy2 wrote:

    Jake Malone didn’t just change locations and churches frequently, he changed denominations, too!
    Trinity in AZ – SBC
    River of Life in MN – EFCA
    Cavalry in PA – non-denom.

    Why?

    If you want to hide something, you can do it more easily by jumping from state to state and moving away from the church network you were in. Less chance of someone recognizing and squealing on you.

  174. @ Bobo:
    Dee and Deb remind me of Wade Burleson in that they have chosen to take the part of inncoent people against the powerful who mis-use that power and bring harm on innocents.

    The result? Dee and Deb (as Wade did) get targeted.

    But where does that put them?
    It places people like Dee and Deb and Wade in the position of the trusted ones that victims can turn to for help, for ministry, for support and guidance, for a place to come for e-Church when having been hurt by their own Church, they have no place to pray.
    People like Dee and Deb and Wade are the go-to people for help for the abused. And, in the Kingdom of God, there is no better ‘calling’ that the one that offers shelter to those who suffer.
    I think the work of those who give sanctuary to the victims of abuse are reflecting the great mercy of God Himself. For this work there is little earthly recognition or reward, but in the Kingdom of God, there is no higher calling for those in ministry who would serve Him.

  175. @ Bobo:

    you can call it cynical. i call it realistic.

    it is true that whenever i hear about ‘a calling’ it is always used to describe someone who is simply doing their career of activity of choice, but with the christian brand. and being paid handsomely for it (yet adopting the posture of how hard they have it).

    it is also true that whenever i have heard the word used in christian culture it is almost exclusively accompanied with manipulation. trying to get people to feel and do certain things. to feel pity for the called one, to feel in awe of the called one, to part with money for the called one, to feel indebted to the called one, & other things.

    and when i truly look at the called one(s), i see people who are pampered and entitled. who don’t really do all that much. or what they do amounts to parroting what everyone else in their ‘tribe’ is coming up with at the time.

    i’m deeply disappointed with & recovering from this silly religion of mine. (to be clear, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are the bees knees — just not what people have made of it all)

    if a calling is a real thing, i’m sure my missionary grandparents had it. gave up all comforts, conveniences, & financial security for what they believed in.

    you may call this cynical. it is unvarnished, as i see it.

  176. I just watched the video. What a lie. What a bunch of hooey and dragging GOD into the decision is pure MOCKERY of His name. Cant take it. If I were an unbeliever I would have a field day with this video. As a Christian, I am grieved. There is no repentance here. There is no truth in this. No accountability. How is a family man “giving 100% to his family” when he quits his JOB for crying out loud!! Libby…RUN FOR THE HILLS!

  177. elastigirl wrote:

    if a calling is a real thing, i’m sure my missionary grandparents had it.

    My opinion is that it’s one of those things where if you have to tell people this is your calling, it isn’t. I think people can see what is real, and telling everybody that you are called tends to be a manipulation tactic. So it gets a bad wrap.

    The exception I think is that it is also sometimes used as a descriptor in my denomination, because it’s the denomination that ‘calls’ someone. But they don’t call it a calling, so maybe that’s a little different.

  178. Lea wrote:

    My opinion is that it’s one of those things where if you have to tell people this is your calling, it isn’t.

    Yep. The only “calling” that’s going on in New Calvinist ranks is on cell phones and social media.

  179. @ Lea:

    “Many churches seem to have a problem of mistaken priorities in these cases. Is it because they love the idea of the ‘restored’ sinner or because the perpetrators are usually men and the victims women (or children) who are less valued? I do not know.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    not an uncomplicated thing to ponder. Here’s what i can throw into the batter:

    I think America values a pioneering spirit. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and simply doing what needs to be done without complaining, and working until the job is finished.

    Immigrants (whether to New York City, San Francisco, Miami, etc) & emigrants (across the plains & over snowy mountain ranges to California and other places in the West) had to be a tough lot. Immigrants now are a tough lot. My husband is an immigrant. They simply do what needs to be done. They work hard, are frugal, take risks (the decision to leave their homeland and make the journey to start all over again was a risk).

    Victimhood is not part of America’s value system.

    i love these values. i’m all for doing what needs to be done without complaining, and working hard at it.

    but gosh darn, there is a time and place for acknowledging that grievous harm was done to you, that crimes were committed against you. that someone destroyed part of you for selfish gain. and to feel it all.

    and a time and place for people to come alongside and stand with and stand up for such a person.

    and a time and place for people to stand against the perpetrators.

    And a time and place for the perpetrators to feel the collective judgement against them for the wrongness of their deeds.

    but this is old news.

    we hopefully process this all, and move on to more resolved & peaceful things — but as i see it, none of these ‘steps’ should be skipped. (& my list here is not necessarily exhaustive…. just what came to me while on my soapbox)

  180. Nancy2 wrote:

    Jake Malone didn’t just change locations and churches frequently, he changed denominations, too!
    Trinity in AZ – SBC
    River of Life in MN – EFCA
    Cavalry in PA – non-denom.

    Why?

    Oh, and don’t forget his “sabbatical” in Ecuador.

  181. From twitter

    “Denny Burk‏Verified account @DennyBurk 9h9 hours ago
    More
    Denny Burk Retweeted John Piper
    Amen, and grateful beyond words for the ministry of John Piper.Denny Burk added,
    John PiperVerified account @JohnPiper
    “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.“ 1Peter 4:14
    0 replies 1 retweet 8 likes
    Reply Retweet 1
    Like 8”

    I first got that “feeling” U get in the back of your throat like indigestion. I am coming to think Mr. Burk might be the reincarnation of Piper, a Piper 2.0.

  182. Bobo wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    what is restoration? restored to what?
    Restored to a relationship with Christ.
    Unless I am missing something, this guy does not seem to be in any type of meaningful relationship with Jesus. As much as I despise the arbitrary nature of how “church discipline” is used, this seems to me the intent of Paul in this regard. Malone should be “delivered to Satan” “so that his spirit may be saved.”

    I hope no one here would want Malone to die unrepentant without knowing Jesus and go straight to hell. Of course not! But so often in church contexts when they say “restoration”, they mean back in the ministry, back in their leadership system, with everyone hailing the system that restored Brother Jake, all fresh and repentant and clean to us–a great victory for the gospel! They want the big redemption story so much they’re often quick to sacrifice the innocent victims on the altar of it. Happens again and again, and I think that’s exactly what they meant when they were talking restoration.

  183. Bobo wrote:

    @ elastigirl:
    How cynical.

    No, how true. She’s probably just tired of watching well-fed men with big jowls take the stage, stand under the spotlights, all eyes upon them, referencing “my calling”. As if anyone has a calling to climb a stage and have everyone sit down every Sunday and listen to them deliver 52 life-changing messages a year (unless you’re Robert Morris, in which case it’s more like 22, that poor exhausted millionaire). We’re tired of people telling us they’re The Leader, the one whose opinion counts more than others, the one with The Calling. Bull. Position doesn’t exist, died with Moses (who was, unlike these narcissists, the most humble man of his era).

    Everyone who knows Jesus has a calling. No part of the Body of Christ is any less than another. We’re all in ministry, we’re all priests, there are no paid position, head leader positions described in the New Testament.

    The paradigm is wrong, Bobo. It is not of the Lord.

  184. @ Lea:

    ” if you have to tell people this is your calling, it isn’t.”
    ++++++++++++

    yes, that sounds about right.

    i have a business based on my artistic wiring. now & then i’ll make the comment, ‘i was born to do this’. it’s just such a right fit — i’m at my best when wearing that hat, i’m happy, i’m thriving, i’m all a’buzz.

    is it a calling? i dunno. i’d never say so if i thought it was.

  185. @ Law Prof:

    i think Bobo would agree with your comment.

    “I work with students and frequently emphasize that we are all ministers, and that that “title” is not reserved for those in vocational roles.”–Bobo, up yonder

  186. Bobo wrote:

    A calling, at least to me, is when we are compelled by no logical reason to act in a way that is contrary to our own self interest. See Jeremiah 20:9

    Yes, sort of like me and potato chips…

  187. @ Bobo:

    “Even Paul professes that there are those who should be compensated for preaching the word. This is necessary.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    well, as soon as money enters the picture, everything changes. As Cyndi Lauper sang “MONEY…..Money changes everything.”

    professional christians are compensated based on a CEO business model. Value is based on size — numbers of people, grandiose facility, amount of revenue that can be squeezed out of tithing people.

    they are not compensated based on their honest dedication, effort, selfless service.

    all this is the reason church planting happens in affluent areas. Where there are already many churches, all competing for the same church-goers. the best and most exciting production wins. it takes money to achieve this. so that more money will come in.

    no one is planting churches in poor areas. given the career path of a vocational pastor (entry level youth pastor to associate to senior pastor & bimboombam that’s success — more money, more power, more spotlight — ), it’s hard to envision a vocational pastor choosing a poor area.

    this is the result of church+revenue. of church as a profit center, so it can pay salaries (inflated or less inflated), various kinds of insurance, landscaping, carpet, interior decor, exciting high tech equipment & sound system, janitorial, expense accounts, pastors’ gifts, paid mission trips for pastors with stays in the south of France or Tahiti,…
    ————————-

    a word about church insurers:

    they tell churches that only other non-profits can use their facility, no one else or else their non-profit status will be in jeopardy — thus the church sits locked up and unused during the week in the community which pays its share of public services; in the community which could use a facility for all kinds of things that could enrich it — music recitals, plays, tutoring programs, reading programs,… but not allowed —

    the church’s non-profit status is the hill to die on there. so they don’t have to pay taxes.

    money changes everything.

  188. Bobo wrote:

    Even Paul professes that there are those who should be compensated for preaching the word. This is necessary. I would hope that all vocational ministers would be called, however this is not always the case. There are those that “invent” a calling, but let us not use those as the excuse to assume that there are none that are called.

    Paul certainly spoke of people being compensated, such as missionaries. But I know of no examples of anything like our modern spin on “pastor” (a word which hardly appears at all in the NT, only once in the singular, and never to describe an office anything like what we now have created out of whole cloth) in the NT, much less a professional position that by necessity must be compensated. There'[s a real question as to whether any of those Ephesians 4 callings/gifts/roles are offices or just roles that different people perform from time to time that are of use to the church. In fact, there is nothing in the NT like our pastorate. It’s made up, it’s rehashed Levitical priesthood but with a very ugly side. It’s a CEO/vision-caster position, like Steve Jobs. A position for malignant narcissists or the tragically misguided.

    We’re all called and it is not necessary to create professional positions and offices, to create titles, to set up hierarchies (save for the older people, or elders of a church, who’ve made enough mistakes in their lives to understand they’re not all that and who’ve grown out of childish ambition–I am not, of course, talking about older people such as Mahaney or Macarthur, by no means).

  189. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    i think Bobo would agree with your comment.
    “I work with students and frequently emphasize that we are all ministers, and that that “title” is not reserved for those in vocational roles.”–Bobo, up yonder

    I think he would agree to the letter of it, but not so sure about the spirit of it.

  190. elastigirl wrote:

    if a calling is a real thing, i’m sure my missionary grandparents had it. gave up all comforts, conveniences, & financial security for what they believed in.

    what a beautiful inheritance of faith you received from your grandparents, elastigirl

  191. Law Prof wrote:

    Everyone who knows Jesus has a calling. No part of the Body of Christ is any less than another. We’re all in ministry, we’re all priests, there are no paid position, head leader positions described in the New Testament.

    My first husband died in an automobile accident when our daughter was 6.
    11 years later, one of my 7th grade students lost her father in a farming accident. The girl was a wreck when she came back to school. No one could console her…….. until my daughter, Rachel, came to my school to visit her (with parental and admin permission, of course).
    I left the two girls alone in my classroom for a private talk after school dismissed. Before she left, Rachel gave the student her phone #, and said “anytime”. Just knowing that there was another girl who understood completely had a noticeable, profound, positive effect on that young girl – an effect that an appointed church official, teacher, counselor could have never had. Rachel felt “called” to visit with that student and “minister” to her in a way that most young people could never understand.

  192. @ Nancy2:
    very moving story, Nancy Two

    compassion born from one’s own suffering and offered in service to help comfort another ….. and this from a child to another child …. the mystery of faith 🙂

  193. ishy wrote:

    And abusers are usually glaringly abusive in public.

    I think they are if you know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately large swathes of the church seem to be extremely naive and ignorant when it comes to the signs of abuse, especially emotional abuse. Abusers are very good at lying and manipulating, and sometimes they can fool a lot of people for a long time.

    The other issue is that the church sees the problem but they want to fix it themselves. I’ve seen this in several situations – “God should be enough for us so we just have to pray and trust more, and He will sort things out.” They don’t take into account that some of these things are a deep compulsion that requires help to control. And they don’t take into account that often, on some level, abusers just want to do what they’re doing. They like the action itself (whatever it may be), and even more than that they like the power and control it gives them. There might be sorrow over getting caught, but there’s no genuine repentance. The church needs to remember that repentance is necessary before God will act. Yes, He can do anything, but He has also given us free will, and He doesn’t override that. So if an abuser isn’t repentant, then God is not going to do that work that everyone is expecting. That’s not because God has somehow failed, or the victim didn’t have enough faith. It’s because the abuser has hardened their heart and refuses to change.

  194. @ Velour:
    Thank you.

    I believe in forgiveness. I believe in reconciliation, but it has to be voluntary on both parts, and in the vast majority of cases it is not. It is used as yet another tool to guilt trip the victim.

    The Bible speaks multiple times about situations where you just have to let the person go. If they don’t want to repent you can’t make them, so you have to ensure the safety of the flock and put them out. And here’s the thing. Because we believe in a God of restoration, we trust that person to Him. We can say, he has done a horrible thing, and we can’t allow him the chance to hurt any more people here. But we don’t say that there is no hope whatsoever. This is why there are chaplains on death row – not to try and get inmates released, but to urge them to repent and get their lives right before it’s too late. It’s the very belief in God and forgiveness and heaven that should, in my opinion, free us from these kinds of situations. Lock them up and let God deal with them, if you want to put it bluntly.

    It’s my view that if someone is truly repentant, they will come forward themselves. They will ask for help. They will even admit to a crime and turn themselves in to the police. If this guy was truly repentant he would stand in court and say, “I did this and I deserve to go to prison.” Repentance means we are right with God but it also means we face up to the consequences of our actions. I have yet to see that happen in any of these cases.

  195. Velour wrote:

    *disciplined* her for her husband being a predator.

    They way the story was told here on TWW they did not do exactly that. They tried to get her to stay under their authority and let them make her decisions for her. If they blamed her in any way for the fact that her husband was a predator I did not see that in the story. If you know some more about that situation-like they blamed her for his sins-I would like to hear that aspect of the situation. That, in my thinking, would be far worse than what they seem to have tried to do.

  196. okrapod wrote:

    They tried to get her to stay under their authority and let them make her decisions for her.

    I think they blamed her for not letting them make her decisions.

  197. brian wrote:

    Mr. Burk might be the reincarnation of Piper, a Piper 2.0

    The New Calvinist movement is an insidious force on earth. There are Piperites, Driscollites, Mohlerites, etc. behind every bush! This is more than indoctrination or idol worship; it’s a transference of spirits.

  198. Law Prof wrote:

    Everyone who knows Jesus has a calling. No part of the Body of Christ is any less than another. We’re all in ministry, we’re all priests, there are no paid position, head leader positions described in the New Testament.

    Amen and Amen! The Kingdom of God on earth is set up entirely different than man’s version of church. All believers have been CALLED out of darkness and into His marvelous light. The Church within the church knows that, while the great multitude of religious folks seem to never get it.

  199. @ okrapod:

    I agree with you. They blamed her for her reaction to his actions, because she didn’t cede control of her own life to them in this instance.

    Of course, she was smart enough to see that they were idiots and proceed accordingly.

  200. Nancy2 wrote:

    Rachel felt “called” to visit with that student and “minister” to her in a way that most young people could never understand.

    Because she’d been there.

    Around the time of the Second Russian Revolution, several groups of American Vietnam vets made contact with Russian Afghanistan vets who were similar psych casualties. Same thing happened.

  201. elastigirl wrote:

    Value is based on size — numbers of people, grandiose facility, amount of revenue that can be squeezed out of tithing people.

    Butt$ in $eatS, just like in Pro Wrestling.

  202. @ Law Prof:
    I believe you may be correct in how you see my idea of a calling. Your comment seems very right on the surface, but leads to an odd logical conclusion. If a person is “called”, (compelled, or whatever term you want to use) to preach the gospel in a public venue, and that man does so and sees many people won to Christ, I would say that person was probably correct in following that “call”. If this person’s audience grows, at what point should that person stop preaching? It seems there is an automatic disdain for any church that has grown, but where do we draw the line?

    Personally, I think we have to do a few things (not exhaustive).
    1) Realize this person is a sinner. This cuts two ways though. First, this puts us on notice to make sure we “test every spirit” and hold this person’s words and actions against the bible. God will not contradict Himself. Second, and this is the hard part, recognize that, as a sinner, this person will make mistakes in both words and actions. We must show Grace accordingly. This second part is only difficult in that we have to have good discernment in how we show that Grace and then what rises to the rigor of putting controls into place to prevent real harm (ie. Wrong hermeneutics vs. child abuse).
    2) Accept responsibility for our own “roles.” We cannot abdicate our responsibility to an individual just because they are gifted in speaking. We must be active agents of Christ in our own callings.
    3) Recognize that we are all part of a body. We all have a calling, yes, but all of our callings are not the same.
    4) We must function in a way that achieves one common goal, “advancing the Kingdom.” In order to do this, there will be times we should fall under one “vision” or game plan. This does mean that we will have to recognize that one among the body may have a vision we can get behind, otherwise we have something akin to anarchy. But this following should be voluntary, not compulsory, temporary and not permanent. Today’s leader should be tomorrow’s follower and vice-versa.

    I think this lines up pretty well with the early church in Acts. The disciples, esp. Peter, Paul, James were definitely in leadership roles. They preached and taught and raised up new leaders (ex. Timothy) to lead the believers. Paul expected these men to be paid 1 Cor 9 and those elders that preached to receive “double honor.” 1 Tim 5. While I believe that we are all priests, Paul definitely calls for some form of organization within the local church.

    Let me finish by saying that I agree wholeheartedly with your assertion that the CEO/corporate organization of many churches is disturbing. Unfortunately, I lay the blame for this both on the CEO and the people who don’t have the guts or desire to step up and lead on their own. But I do think that some type of structure is warranted and necessary for a church to function toward a common goal.

    This is why I’m so adamant with students that they are ministers regardless of their occupation.

  203. Bobo wrote:

    It seems there is an automatic disdain for any church that has grown, but where do we draw the line?

    My person opinion is that if you are setting up separate buildings and putting yourself on tv there that is too big. If you can no longer preach all the services because there are too many, that is too big. Let it go. Split into a separate church. Whatever.

    There are other things that could make a church too big, but those are sort of the obvious ones.

  204. Lea wrote:

    My person opinion is that if you are setting up separate buildings and putting yourself on tv there that is too big. If you can no longer preach all the services because there are too many, that is too big. Let it go. Split into a separate church. Whatever.

    Definitely. Let someone else answer their “calling”. When churches get that big, the ego may well be bigger than the gospel.

  205. Bobo wrote:

    … the CEO/corporate organization of many churches is disturbing … I lay the blame for this both on the CEO and the people who don’t have the guts or desire to step up and lead on their own.

    CEO pastors would not be strutting about, if it weren’t for a pew that loves it so. God does not call executive officers to lead; He calls servants. There would be no corporate platform, if it weren’t for an audience which desires professional staff to do it all, shirking their own responsibilities before God to be engaged in the Great Commission. Most of the organized church is not the Church at all.

  206. okrapod wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    *disciplined* her for her husband being a predator.
    They way the story was told here on TWW they did not do exactly that. They tried to get her to stay under their authority and let them make her decisions for her. If they blamed her in any way for the fact that her husband was a predator I did not see that in the story. If you know some more about that situation-like they blamed her for his sins-I would like to hear that aspect of the situation. That, in my thinking, would be far worse than what they seem to have tried to do.

    I see where you are coming from. I don’t see that they “blamed” her for his sin but they did seem to want her to live with the life long “consequences” of his particular sin problem.

    In some ways of thinking, blame/consequences are not that far apart. I think we could see by the email documentation they were not going to approve of her annulment or divorce. And her refusing to be “pushed under elder care” resulted in an attempt at church discipline. Thankfully, she did not play their game by their rules.

  207. okrapod wrote:

    If you know some more about that situation-like they blamed her for his sins-I would like to hear that aspect of the situation. That, in my thinking, would be far worse than what they seem to have tried to do.

    reminds me of this kind of media press concerning blaming Anna Duggar for Josh’s infidelity:
    “… Ronnie Floyd, tackled the topic of infidelity during his Sunday sermon at the Cross Church in Arkansas. He mentioned the Ashley Madison hack, and he offered some victim-blaming advice on what spouses can do to ensure that their significant others don’t stray. Because he brought up the Ashley Madison scandal, many might feel like his words were meant to shame Anna Duggar.

    Floyd told husbands and wives that they open themselves up “to the attack of the enemy” if they don’t have enough sexual contact with their spouses.

    “And that enemy is going to take your spouse away from you,” he warned. “Both men and woman have their sexual needs met by someone, somewhere, somehow.””
    http://www.inquisitr.com/2364566/anna-duggar-blamed-for-joshs-infidelity-duggar-family-preacher-warns-against-refusing-sex/

    please know, I do not consider this media source reliable, but there are others also who spoke of the persecution of Anna, and I do think she was not well-advised by the Duggar family following her great disappointment in Josh

  208. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Because she’d been there.
    Around the time of the Second Russian Revolution, several groups of American Vietnam vets made contact with Russian Afghanistan vets who were similar psych casualties. Same thing happened.

    Exactly. As I’m sure was the case for some of the Nam vets, my daughter really didn’t “want” to meet with the student. She didn’t want to relive the pain. She just felt a burning need to do what she could to help the girl. In the end, it helped both girls.

  209. Christiane wrote:

    Floyd told husbands and wives that they open themselves up “to the attack of the enemy” if they don’t have enough sexual contact with their spouses.

    I read that and think “horndog wish fulfillment”.
    (With all the guys in his audience going “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” from their brain below the belt.)

    “I’m gonna have about 50 kids… and my wife can’t do a thing about it because she’s Catholic. She gives me any lip, I take her right out to the boat pond – ‘Pope says You Gotta Do It! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!'”
    — Bill Cosby, circa late 1960s (long before the “Pill Cosby” scandal broke)

  210. Lydia wrote:

    I see where you are coming from. I don’t see that they “blamed” her for his sin but they did seem to want her to live with the life long “consequences” of his particular sin problem.

    Wonder how much of that was the same dynamic as hazing:
    “I didn’t get off easy! Why Should You?”
    Or…
    “My Life’s Miserable! How dare yours not be?”
    Or…
    “Punish! Punish! Punish!”

  211. Max wrote:

    CEO pastors would not be strutting about, if it weren’t for a pew that loves it so. God does not call executive officers to lead; He calls servants.

    Executive officers and corporate platforms have their place, but the Church isn’t it.

  212. Lea wrote:

    My person opinion is that if you are setting up separate buildings and putting yourself on tv there that is too big. If you can no longer preach all the services because there are too many, that is too big. Let it go. Split into a separate church. Whatever.

    Delegate.
    Turn into a denomination of several churches like parishes within a diocese or stakes within a ward — and admit to it.

    The “putting yourself on TV at all the franchise ‘campuses'” always reminded me of Big Brother on all the Telescreens in 1984. (Or its inspiration, the propaganda portraits of Stalin that are somewhere in the background of every scene in Enemy at the Gates.)

  213. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The “putting yourself on TV at all the franchise ‘campuses’” always reminded me of Big Brother on all the Telescreens in 1984.

    Yes! I have been to gateway and I just find it really creepy.

  214. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Because she’d been there.
    Around the time of the Second Russian Revolution, several groups of American Vietnam vets made contact with Russian Afghanistan vets who were similar psych casualties. Same thing happened.

    Does a “calling” have to come from God? Are we not capable of compassion without faith or belief? I think that we are. Nancy2 and her daughter are good people, while people of faith, I think I’m correct in saying their compassion did not come from that faith alone.

    If we automatically assume that God drives us to do good then where is our free will? I suppose we could “ignore” him but it just seems a little off.

    I give to charity, donate my time to our local child care centre, yet I don’t think it’s God that compels me to do so.

    I did a thought experiment – If Jesus came down on a golden chariot and said “Jack, you’re going to heck. Nothing you do from here on out is going to change my mind”

    The first thing I would do would check in for a psych assessment but would it change how I lived? Would I go nuts and live a hedonistic life style, abandon my family, blow the life savings on illicit goods and services?

    Honestly, no. I would do right because it’s the right thing to do.

    According to my wife’s church, I’m “unsaved”, “unchurched”, “damned”.

    Even though I know that heck might await me, I’ll still do good where I can and support good where I can’t. Not because of faith, but because of me.

  215. Jack wrote:

    I would do right because it’s the right thing to do.

    I don’t know what it is you do not believe, though I am convinced that you either do not believe it or else you are convinced that you do not believe it, but you may be on thin ice here. Are you familiar with the moral argument for the existence of God? It is a pretty good argument, but of course nobody has to believe anything that they don’t want to just based on some argument.

  216. Jack
    Honestly, no. I would do right because it’s the right thing to do

    I always enjoy your comments. Frankly, you could be describing my dad. Although we were not in church circles where they would have dared declare him unsaved. People tended to be respectful of privacy more, I suppose.

    The world needs decent men who do the right things simply because it is the right thing to do. I think that pleases God. I think Okrapod brings in an important point. I have been doing a bit of dabbling in ancient views of right and wrong and came across this interesting lecture:

    https://youtu.be/1QqsA6aqRzo

  217. Jack wrote:

    Honestly, no. I would do right because it’s the right thing to do.

    I believe you. And I believe that the way we KNOW ‘it is the right thing to do’ is also key to the discussion.

    There are two important ideas in the Old Testament:
    1. that we are given ‘choice’
    2. that God has incribed His laws on the hearts of all of our human kind (

    One of the realizations that C.S.Lewis shared was this:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. Just how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? … Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 45-46)”

    as to ‘faith’, there is this old saying:

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
    (Thomas Aquinas)

  218. I used to worry about my good friends when I was a child who did not attend MY church. They were so nice, and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t be going to Heaven like me….I was saved and they weren’t. Then there were friends who were saved and who did go to my church….and they were evil.

  219. Concerned wrote:

    I used to worry about my good friends when I was a child who did not attend MY church. They were so nice, and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t be going to Heaven like me….I was saved and they weren’t. Then there were friends who were saved and who did go to my church….and they were evil.

    children KNOW the difference between ‘good’ and ‘evil’

  220. Bobo wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    I believe you may be correct in how you see my idea of a calling. Your comment seems very right on the surface, but leads to an odd logical conclusion. If a person is “called”, (compelled, or whatever term you want to use) to preach the gospel in a public venue, and that man does so and sees many people won to Christ, I would say that person was probably correct in following that “call”. If this person’s audience grows, at what point should that person stop preaching? It seems there is an automatic disdain for any church that has grown, but where do we draw the line?
    Personally, I think we have to do a few things (not exhaustive).
    1) Realize this person is a sinner. This cuts two ways though. First, this puts us on notice to make sure we “test every spirit” and hold this person’s words and actions against the bible. God will not contradict Himself. Second, and this is the hard part, recognize that, as a sinner, this person will make mistakes in both words and actions. We must show Grace accordingly. This second part is only difficult in that we have to have good discernment in how we show that Grace and then what rises to the rigor of putting controls into place to prevent real harm (ie. Wrong hermeneutics vs. child abuse).
    2) Accept responsibility for our own “roles.” We cannot abdicate our responsibility to an individual just because they are gifted in speaking. We must be active agents of Christ in our own callings.
    3) Recognize that we are all part of a body. We all have a calling, yes, but all of our callings are not the same.
    4) We must function in a way that achieves one common goal, “advancing the Kingdom.” In order to do this, there will be times we should fall under one “vision” or game plan. This does mean that we will have to recognize that one among the body may have a vision we can get behind, otherwise we have something akin to anarchy. But this following should be voluntary, not compulsory, temporary and not permanent. Today’s leader should be tomorrow’s follower and vice-versa.
    I think this lines up pretty well with the early church in Acts. The disciples, esp. Peter, Paul, James were definitely in leadership roles. They preached and taught and raised up new leaders (ex. Timothy) to lead the believers. Paul expected these men to be paid 1 Cor 9 and those elders that preached to receive “double honor.” 1 Tim 5. While I believe that we are all priests, Paul definitely calls for some form of organization within the local church.
    Let me finish by saying that I agree wholeheartedly with your assertion that the CEO/corporate organization of many churches is disturbing. Unfortunately, I lay the blame for this both on the CEO and the people who don’t have the guts or desire to step up and lead on their own. But I do think that some type of structure is warranted and necessary for a church to function toward a common goal.
    This is why I’m so adamant with students that they are ministers regardless of their occupation.

    Thanks for saying my comments lead to an “odd logical conclusion”. You might have meant “illogical”, I don’t know, but I’ll take the odd and run with it. Jesus was always coming to odd yet logical conclusions. I want to be more like Him.

    Of course some people are called to tell others about Jesus, some in a pubic setting, like Paul. Have done it myself. But at the point at which they start setting up institutions and programs and collecting big salaries and giving themselves titles and telling people bout “muy callin'”, they have run afoul of the Holy Spirit and gotten off track–assuming they ever knew Him in the first place.

    If you can show me where anyone ever set up anything like these places in the NT, if you can show me anywhere where “pastor” is clearly defined at all in the NT, much less as a CEO/sole teacher, then you might have a point. But you can’t and you don’t. Your conclusions, in my opinion, are illogical.

  221. Max wrote:

    CEO pastors would not be strutting about, if it weren’t for a pew that loves it so.

    On the money.

  222. Bobo wrote:

    Recognize that we are all part of a body. We all have a calling, yes, but all of our callings are not the same.

    Of course I recognize that, where did I claim otherwise? Of course not all callings are the same, I never implied they were. Or do you perhaps mean that not all callings are equal?

    Just wondering.

    Bobo wrote:

    We must function in a way that achieves one common goal, “advancing the Kingdom.”.

    No. That’s a lie told by your neocalvinist leader (you are reformed, aren’t you?).

    Our goal is to glorify Jesus Christ, not “advance the Kingdon”, or “promote the Mission”. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. Satan’s kingdom is of this world.

    Bobo wrote:

    In order to do this, there will be times we should fall under one “vision” or game plan. This does mean that we will have to recognize that one among the body may have a vision we can get behind, otherwise we have something akin to anarchy..

    That’s a lie, you don’t get anarchy when you follow Christ, you get unity. You get one man’s anarchy and rebellion when you follow that Man with the Vision. Brian/Bobo, you’re going to get that One Great Leader with The Vision and The Plan if you live long to see the one they call antichrist. Why in the world are you intent on setting up worldly systems that you call Christian that replicate that model? Is Jesus not good enough for you? Have to have your Saul?

    Bobo wrote:

    I think this lines up pretty well with the early church in Acts.

    Not even remotely. They were missionaries spreading the truth about Jesus to a land that hadn’t heard it. Neither of them ever claimed to be the Man with The Vision. And if they’d ever heard you saying so, they’d have ripped their cloaks and probably thrown you straight out of the fellowship if you didn’t repent of it.

    I’ll put it crisply because I’m not invested in trying to make myself look good: I hope you stop teaching any students, fall on your face in repentance, and spend years seeking Jesus and repenting of your elevation of these men. It’s going to kill you spiritually. You’ve been warned.

  223. Law Prof wrote:

    Neither of them ever claimed to be the Man with The Vision.

    It seems to me that Paul wasn’t really one for vision when dealing with churches – he was talking to them about nitty gritty practical problems that arise when you have people together. And he was telling them about Jesus. He made if very clear that we were not to worship Paul or any other ‘man with a vision’.

    Where did this vision thing come from, anyways? It seems a popular way for someone to try to get their way.

  224. Bobo wrote:

    We must function in a way that achieves one common goal, “advancing the Kingdom.” In order to do this, there will be times we should fall under one “vision” or game plan. This does mean that we will have to recognize that one among the body may have a vision we can get behind, otherwise we have something akin to anarchy.

    This is “the same” rhetoric that was preached in the 80s by the Shepherding big wigs. The “otherwise we have someone akin to anarchy” threat was also used. Why? In your mind there seems to be two options submit; to one man’s vision, or something akin to anarchy. This is simply not true. You have a small god if this is his only option for bringing men to himself.

  225. Lea wrote:

    No. That’s a lie told by your neocalvinist leader (you are reformed, aren’t you?).

    Couple of quick responses: I am not a calvinist, just a sinner saved by Christ. I think you have some predjudicial opinions of me and where I come from. That’s fine. When I refer to Kingdom, I do not mean and earthly kingdom, but His heavenly one. To advance in this context is to Baptize and make disciples, not to set up institutions. The effect of this, though is that we get more believers here on earth. I think you put my cart before my horse.
    Lea wrote:
    <blockquoteThat’s a lie, you don’t get anarchy when you follow Christ, you get unity.).

    I do believe Paul was a leader. He was and is still responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixion. If you don’t like the word Vision, that’s fine. I think it has been hijacked by those who would use it to gather power to themselves, that’s why I used the term gameplan. It isn’t about following a man (that would only lead to destruction) it is about getting behind a plan and then how to execute that plan.
    If you and I were to agree to meet for dinner, we would discuss the best place to go. If you suggested, say, Western Sizzlin, and I agreed, then for that purpose, I would be behind your “Vision” of where to go. This is why I mentioned that following/leading is fluid and dynamic. Each “mission” whether it be feeding the homeless or going to dinner, needs a common plan to work from, else we are working against each other. But in both cases, there was agreement on which plan to follow. Notice, also, that I did not say “one leader.”

    Lea wrote:
    <blockquoteI hope you stop teaching any students, fall on your face in repentance, and spend years seeking Jesus and repenting of your elevation of these men.).

    Again, I think this comment is based on some preconceived notion you have about me from a couple of comments. I do not elevate men. I never have. I can get behind a plan if that plan aligns with what Christ teaches. This does not mean that I elevate men. As a matter of fact, if you read my comments around what I tell students, you will see the opposite. “Think for yourselves”, “Read the Bible”, “Ask Questions”,”Own your own Faith”, “Learn to think critically.” These are words my students tire of hearing from my mouth.

    @ Law Prof: I don’t know you. We’ve never met, so I don’t take anything too personally. I believe, from the few posts I’ve seen, that our differences may be more of nuance than you believe. Maybe I’m wrong. Sanctification doesn’t happen over night and I pray that if I am wrong that the Holy Spirit reveals my error. I pray the same for you.

  226. Lea wrote:

    Where did this vision thing come from, anyways?

    It seems to come straight from the corporate world. It’s the job of the CEO to cast a vision of where the company needs to go this year, this decade, etc. In some places, we are turning the job of pastor into a CEO of a 501c3 non-profit org. This includes vision-casting, being at the top of the hierarchy, hiring, speaking at corporate events, etc.

    I’ve heard people talk about the periods of church history, like the Hellenization of Christianity in the first 3 centuries. The current period is sometimes called the secularization of Christianity, where churches become more like businesses, and sometimes adopt a franchise model. At some locations, it means the sermon is delivered via video. [And at some point, I would have to ask why I need to drive over to this building to watch a video when I could watch it at home in my jammies. The answer would surely mention the word fellowship somewhere.]

    At other locations, sermon outlines and graphics and bumpers are downloaded from HQ, and reheated to be served fresh on Sunday. It’s like McDonalds. You won’t find a McD manager in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes, or trying to develop a better marketing strategy. That all comes from HQ. The upside is consistency. The downsides are many.

    A friend of mine described this new form of church as a rock concert followed by a motivational speech, while the kids play in a miniature Disneyland. It’s the perfect environment for a charismatic rock star speaker CEO. Until it isn’t. Ask Pete Wilson.

  227. Bobo wrote:

    I do believe Paul was a leader. He was and is still responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixion.

    Oh dear! Where does one even start with that premise?

  228. Lydia wrote:

    Oh dear! Where does one even start with that premise?

    I am not too proud to admit when I’ve missed something. Either I am wrong, and I’m willing to be so, or I’m not, or I’m misunderstanding your comment, or my comment was not misunderstood. I don’t believe it was misunderstood, so I would think one of the others. Can you elaborate?

  229. GSD wrote:

    It seems to come straight from the corporate world. It’s the job of the CEO to cast a vision of where the company needs to go this year,

    Yes. Big in leadership training circles starting around late 80’s. Rick Warren and Billy Hybels adapted it and the rest is history. Vision casting for a group.

  230. Bobo wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Oh dear! Where does one even start with that premise?

    I am not too proud to admit when I’ve missed something. Either I am wrong, and I’m willing to be so, or I’m not, or I’m misunderstanding your comment, or my comment was not misunderstood. I don’t believe it was misunderstood, so I would think one of the others. Can you elaborate?

    Maybe it would help to explain what you mean by this:

    “I do believe Paul was a leader. He was and is still responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixion.”

  231. @ GSD:
    Your last 3 paragraphs are spot on. You might be interested to know that a few mega churches actually hired Disney Imagineers to design the children’s church.

  232. Lydia wrote:

    You might be interested to know that a few mega churches actually hired Disney Imagineers to design the children’s church.

    I’m not surprised. I once visited Giglio’s church in Atlanta, and got a quick glimpse of the kid’s area. I could see a couple of fake trees that were probably 20 feet tall, and full Disney quality. Beautiful work. But I would imagine that it could create a Children’s Church Arms Race, with churches competing to have the bestest kids area, to attract the bestest [and richest?] kids. Kind of like D.L. Moody’s pony, but on steroids.

    It’s this church as franchise model that makes it easier for guys like Malone to keep going. And abusing. When “building your team” has all the warmth and connection of a corporate HR department, it’s a lot easier to hire someone that you really don’t know.

  233. @ GSD:
    Oh, and Las Vegas special effects companies for other productions to wow the adults.

    I had to ask myself why we cared about being wowed. What’s the point. Each wow experience has to constantly best itself. Megas often referred to it as seeking the highest quality of everything honors God. I would agree if we were talking about integrity, compassion, justice, mercy, etc, etc. but buildings, decor and entertainment? I keep thinking those places are going to go the way of Fyre Island but there seems to be an endless supply of customers for the entertainment experience.

  234. Lydia wrote:

    Maybe it would help to explain what you mean by this:

    Fair enough. Here’s my best shot.

    I believe, Paul, through the breath, inspiration, guidance, of the Holy Spirit codified (put into writing) what Jesus’s life, burial and resurrection were all about. He traveled from region to region to spread the gospel and in doing so, set an up local churches to care for and encourage the local believers (this is over simplified, I know, but the gist of it). He also set himself up as an example of what Christian life should look like (1 Cor 11).

    It is because the early church adopted Paul’s writings as canon and as the inspired Word of God, that I consider Paul an early leader in the church.

    I could be wrong, but I think the contention in this discussion is around the word leader. I contrast leader to dictator, in that the leader has voluntary followers who are united around ideas and how those ideas are implemented whereas the dictator has followers who are united behind the individual.

    I hope this helps and leads to a productive discussion.

  235. @ GSD:

    “A friend of mine described this new form of church as a rock concert followed by a motivational speech”
    +++++++++++++++

    i obliged a friend and willingly went to a multi-level marketing convention a few years ago. while my toes were curling backwards i realized “church is just like this.”

  236. Lydia wrote:

    What’s the point. Each wow experience has to constantly best itself.

    Also at Giglio’s church, they had one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard. The volume level wasn’t painful at all, the eq was great… I could literally feel the bass in my teeth. Great tech, amazing entertainment, perfect stagecraft, but to what end? They call it a worship experience for a reason.

    Regarding Bobo’s statements, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Gospels, and how they really just reported what they saw. This guy dies brutally, is buried, comes back in a slightly different form, teaches some stuff, and then does a Superman into the clouds. There is very little in the Gospels about what was going on behind the scenes, what the whole deal actually meant, and that was worked out by the church in the following decades. And there was a historic need to define what the essence of Christianity was, and what it wasn’t.

    I would refer to Fraudulent Authority by Burleson as a good definition of what leadership is and isn’t.

  237. @ GSD:
    This part about Paul:

    “He was and is still responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixion.”

    Frankly, I see the Holy Spirit as the best teacher. But if you put a gun to my head and made me choose who I think best explains it in the canon, I would say, John.

    Note I did not say, “responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixtion”. I said, “best explains” it. And that is just my useless opinion. John is not responsible for my understanding of it.

  238. GSD wrote:

    There is very little in the Gospels about what was going on behind the scenes, what the whole deal actually meant, and that was worked out by the church in the following decades. And there was a historic need to define what the essence of Christianity was, and what it wasn’t.

    Don’t forget the “Everybody Knows That” factor of common knowledge of the time that didn’t need to be said. Without that, we’re seeing only the tip of an iceberg.

  239. Random snark:
    I wonder if the Sabbatical in Ecuador had anything to do with:
    1) No Extradition Treaty.
    2) Bangkok would have been too obvious.

  240. Lydia wrote:

    @ GSD:
    Your last 3 paragraphs are spot on. You might be interested to know that a few mega churches actually hired Disney Imagineers to design the children’s church.

    Do these design teams also include any medical specialists in addiction?
    There’s a persistent tale that large-scale smartphone app developers have such specialists on their design staffs to ensure their app is as addictive as possible.

  241. Lea wrote:

    Where did this vision thing come from, anyways? It seems a popular way for someone to try to get their way.

    Citizen Robespierre of the French Revolution?

  242. Bridget wrote:

    Bobo wrote:
    We must function in a way that achieves one common goal, “advancing the Kingdom.” In order to do this, there will be times we should fall under one “vision” or game plan. This does mean that we will have to recognize that one among the body may have a vision we can get behind, otherwise we have something akin to anarchy.

    This is “the same” rhetoric that was preached in the 80s by the Shepherding big wigs.

    “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer”?

  243. GSD wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I’ve been thinking a lot about the Gospels, and how they really just reported what they saw. This guy dies brutally, is buried, comes back in a slightly different form, teaches some stuff, and then does a Superman into the clouds. There is very little in the Gospels about what was going on behind the scenes, what the whole deal actually meant, and that was worked out by the church in the following decades. And there was a historic need to define what the essence of Christianity was, and what it wasn’t.

    Bingo!

    In my view, what was going on “behind the scenes” is very important going back to Abraham as without it, we can go off into very wrong directions concerning law/grace, etc, etc. We don’t communicate or think like Ancients so we tend to superimpose our Western thinking into all of it. We also tend to read Jesus as a totally separate entity back into the OT. If Jesus was Jewish then why wouldn’t I want to better understand God from Hebrew Ancients scholars POV? For starters? . It’s not like it all started at the Reformation!

  244. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Very good point. For example, even though the Apostles were not the cream of the rabbinical crop, they knew their Torah. And everyone involved at the time understood the political situation with occupation of Rome. Many preachers don’t even memtion it and teach as if this was all going on in modern day United States fly over country.

  245. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ GSD:
    Your last 3 paragraphs are spot on. You might be interested to know that a few mega churches actually hired Disney Imagineers to design the children’s church.
    Do these design teams also include any medical specialists in addiction?
    There’s a persistent tale that large-scale smartphone app developers have such specialists on their design staffs to ensure their app is as addictive as possible.

    You think they have found a way to make people, even adults, addicted to constant entertainment experiences? 🙂

  246. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I wonder if the Sabbatical in Ecuador had anything to do with:
    1) No Extradition Treaty.

    I didn’t realize Ecuador was a no extradition treaty place. In Prison break they went to panama.

  247. @ Lea:
    It’s why Julian Assange is living in the Ecuadorian Embassy. :o) I always wondered why Ecuador has that policy?

  248. Lydia wrote:

    If Jesus was Jewish then why wouldn’t I want to better understand God from Hebrew Ancients scholars POV? For starters?

    Because there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, as explained in Romans. Jesus is the way to understand God and not from ancient scholars. The Jews have an advantage due to their heritage and prophecies pointing to Jesus, but they (their ancient scholars) do not have an advantage in understanding God. Romans goes into more detail.

  249. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I wonder if the Sabbatical in Ecuador had anything to do with:
    1) No Extradition Treaty.
    I didn’t realize Ecuador was a no extradition treaty place. In Prison break they went to panama.

    The Galloping Typo strikes again.

    I don’t know whether it is or not. That line should really have had a question mark as in “No Extradition Treaty?”

  250. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Very good point. For example, even though the Apostles were not the cream of the rabbinical crop, they knew their Torah. And everyone involved at the time understood the political situation with occupation of Rome. Many preachers don’t even memtion it and teach as if this was all going on in modern day United States fly over country.

    That’s because the missing “Everybody Knows That” factor is one of the biggest causes of hair loss (by tearing out) in any form of historical research. The foundational knowledge that nobody at the time ever bothered to write down because “Everybody Knows That”.

  251. Lydia wrote:

    It’s not like it all started at the Reformation!

    Or worse, with the founding of Our One True Church (a dozen strong!) by Reverend Head Apostle Church Planter two years ago.

    The problem with breaking the historical trace like this is it turns the previous history (in this case, the NT) into a mythological “holy history” no different from any other mythology “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” with NO connection to the present or reality.

    This first came to mind when I heard of “The Wrecknovation of Mecca” where the Wahabi/Saudis deliberately demolished actual artifact sites (such as Mohammed’s house) “to prevent idolatry”. In the process, they were destroying their own faith’s historical trace and turning their Koran into just another book of myths with no real-world connection.

  252. Lydia wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    @ GSD:
    Your last 3 paragraphs are spot on. You might be interested to know that a few mega churches actually hired Disney Imagineers to design the children’s church.

    Do these design teams also include any medical specialists in addiction?
    There’s a persistent tale that large-scale smartphone app developers have such specialists on their design staffs to ensure their app is as addictive as possible.

    You think they have found a way to make people, even adults, addicted to constant entertainment experiences?

    It would not surprise me.
    If Social Media Apps and Game Apps can do it…

  253. Two people talking.
    One says EVERYONE supports that a newborn with medical special needs should get them regardless of how much his parents make so he can live.
    The other says ‘No, only those who can pay for the medical care should receive it. Other people should not have to pay so someone’s baby can live.’

    So, good people, how do we interpret this moral impasse, in the light of the Holy Gospels of Jesus Christ?

  254. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    That line should really have had a question mark as in “No Extradition Treaty?”

    Ha! That does make a difference.

    I don’t know who has treaties. I started googling it and then thought I might get put on a list 🙂

  255. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    The problem with breaking the historical trace like this is it turns the previous history (in this case, the NT) into a mythological “holy history” no different from any other mythology “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” with NO connection to the present or reality.

    Well gee. I certainly was not thinking of anything like that. I have found some Hebrew scholarship very helpful. Even with the 10 Commandments they seem to view somewhat differently than us.

  256. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I seem to recall my mom thinking this about TV when we were kids. If not for my dad, I wonder if we would have even had one. But we were home so little, we did not have the opportunity to become addicted. 🙂

  257. Ken G wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    If Jesus was Jewish then why wouldn’t I want to better understand God from Hebrew Ancients scholars POV? For starters?
    Because there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, as explained in Romans. Jesus is the way to understand God and not from ancient scholars. The Jews have an advantage due to their heritage and prophecies pointing to Jesus, but they (their ancient scholars) do not have an advantage in understanding God. Romans goes into more detail.

    I have totally miscommunicated my meaning. I think we read Greek philosophy back into the scriptures. The early Christians only had the OT, anyway. Jesus mainly quoted the Septuagint. I certainly do not discount the Holy Spirit as the best Teacher we have.

    I am going to quit while I am so behind in clarifying my meaning. 🙂

  258. @ Lydia:
    so all the ‘christians’ gather and pray for the dying baby?

    and then they all go out together and pig at Little Caesar’s Pizza? 🙂

    the is fun, we could expand on this dialogue all day

  259. Lydia wrote:

    You think they have found a way to make people, even adults, addicted to constant entertainment experiences?

    I think that these sorts of “experiences” are addictive by their very nature. Social media/smartphones as well. Some brains are more susceptible than others, but most people are affected. I don’t think game and app and social media developers have to have addiction specialists on staff. It’s part of the media itself.

    And based on my experience, we will see serious addiction with virtual reality. VR, MR, AR… All have massive addictive potential. VR is the future of social media, and Facebook knows it. They bought Oculus for $2 billion for a reason.

    Sorry, getting seriously off-topic. But social media is already having a big impact on church. Lots of examples… I recently heard one entire sermon that was inspired by a Facebook discussion. You could also say that TWW is social media with a noble purpose.

    Thinking ahead… Wartburg VR?

  260. Christiane, don’t you have a political website somewhere where you can get these thoughts out?

  261. GSD wrote:

    And based on my experience, we will see serious addiction with virtual reality. VR, MR, AR… All have massive addictive potential. VR is the future of social media, and Facebook knows it. They bought Oculus for $2 billion for a reason.

    Just as Harlequin Romances are more likely to shift you into “living in a fantasy world” than straight Fantasy, I figure AR has potential to be more addictive and reality-detaching than straight VR.

    The reason is that Harlequins & AR superimpose the fantasy over a RL background and setting. Remember Twilight? Set in an actual high school in an actual town in WA State. (A town subsequently invaded by hordes of Twitards, to the everlasting hostility of its regular residents.) Where EDWARD (sparkle sparkle) might actually be *sparkling* around the next corner of the HS gym to sweep you away and make you immortal as well as rich.

    I’m currently heavily into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which exists in its own fantasy continuity. Despite all the wish-fulfillment HiE and Crossover fanfics on FIMFic, I KNOW Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, or Derpy are not going to show up on my doorstep one day for real. When RL backgrounds like that other Twilight and AR blur the boundaries, I’m not sure everyone can reliably make that distinction.

  262. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I seem to recall my mom thinking this about TV when we were kids. If not for my dad, I wonder if we would have even had one. But we were home so little, we did not have the opportunity to become addicted.

    CALVIN: What does ‘Opiate of the Masses’ mean?
    TV SET: It means Karl Marx hadn’t seen anything yet.
    — Calvin & Hobbes

  263. @ Lea:
    my goodness, maybe you’re right, maybe it IS a political issue instead of a moral issue!!!!

    Tonight I hear the great wisdom of Raul Labrador, a Republican Representative who has been the U.S. Representative for Idaho’s 1st congressional district since 2011

    “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care”
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/05/06/labrador-health-care-acosta-sot-ac.cnn

    No people LOVE these guys …… they tell the American people the TRUTH at last

    all that money for health care can be freed up now for the tax cuts that are going to those who make over 200K a year ….. problem solved

    I stand corrected. No moral issue here. Time to move on.

  264. Lydia wrote:

    This part about Paul:

    “He was and is still responsible for our understanding of Christ and His Crucifixion.”

    Frankly, I see the Holy Spirit as the best teacher. But if you put a gun to my head and made me choose who I think best explains it in the canon, I would say, John.

    I don’t know, George & Ringo had a lot to say as well…

  265. From someone who is not familiar with this very sad and troubling situation, my reaction to the video of Jake & Libby:

    She looks like she has a mask on. Her expression is fixed and never changes.

    Her fingers are touching his hand but not really holding it — looks stiff and awkward. He constantly is placing his hand over hers, occasionally interlocking fingers with his other hand, so it’s like he is holding his own hand while she is maintaining minimal contact.

  266. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    I wake up every morning wondering who I can vote for who will do in the most babies (evil laugh)

    ‘curiouser and curiouser’
    ‘Alice: Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
    The Mad Hatter: That is an excellent practice.’

  267. @ Lydia:
    no game in finding a moral issue is at the heart of depriving medical care to those who will die without it

    some issues have a moral core to them; this is one of them

    so much for ‘a game’, I guess; dear God, I wish it were, but it isn’t, it never was, it never will be

    have a great Sunday

  268. There’s an online article in The Daily Beast today, as to why adult media that focuses on older men with teen girls is the most popular in the industry:

    “An older man may feel inadequate … and is able to feel superior in situations with someone with less life experience (teenagers are significantly more impressionable than even twenty-somethings). This desire to have authority and control over molding another human being with intimacy is toxic, to say the least.”

  269. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    I did write to River of Life Church pastor Dave Johnson on February 2, 2016 to warn them about Jake Malone

    In light of The Henry Root Letters (by William Donaldson)and their published responses (all for real) from notable celebrities, i.e. the Queen, one wonders if these larger than life types ever READ their mail, as do normal folks.

  270. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    The faraway assignment may also be the mission field, which connects the VOM situation with this Malone-bologna one. (Or, they are assigned to the home office, but continue to collect a salary from unwitting donors. The ministry is, likewise, their cover.)

  271. Lea wrote:

    And then to think about these ‘accountability’ groups where they tell the guys they can just confess their sins to the group instead of the ones they sinned against when they’ve cheated or something? What a mess.

    I have this mental image of a mens’ accountability group of dudebros fist-pumping and going “HE SCORED!!!” like Beavis and Butthead.

  272. JYJames wrote:

    There’s an online article in The Daily Beast today, as to why adult media that focuses on older men with teen girls is the most popular in the industry:

    “An older man may feel inadequate … and is able to feel superior in situations with someone with less life experience (teenagers are significantly more impressionable than even twenty-somethings). This desire to have authority and control over molding another human being with intimacy is toxic, to say the least.”

    Isn’t that about what the Duck Dynasty guy said?

Leave a Reply

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