The Gospel Coalition Seems to Believe That It Is Hospitable to Share Your Home and Kids With a Dangerous Criminal

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr. link

 
Facebook page for T4G 2018

Everywhere I turn, I am seeing ads for the T4G 2018 conference. It's she same 4 Calvinista men proclaiming their undying friendship. As always, I wonder how CJ Mahaney manages to be upheld as a paragon of virtue by these men. We know he gave Al Mohler's seminary $200,000+. So the money angle is understandable-big donors always get a pass even if it is a bit shakey from a biblical perspective. He gave Dever's church a few bucks as well. This gushing over Mahaney continues in spite of his epic failure as a church leader as featured by The Washingtonian.

The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban MegachurchInside the rise and fall of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

I just don't get it. To me, and most other people, child sex abuse is one of the most heinous crimes and sins imaginable. Many educated people today are aware of the long term effects of child sex abuse on the lives of those who were abused. Most knowledgeable individuals are cognizant that pedophiles target churches.They know that pedophiles are afflicted with a profound disorder that they will fight (hopefully) for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many will not fight it. Recidivism in molesters is frighteningly frequent. 

Most literate people are aware that pedophiles and those who cover it up, lie about themselves. They are charming and disarming. Poorly educated people fall for their platitudes. Christians, in particular, are prone to believe that they are *cured* simply because they have said they are following Jesus and have spent a few years *up the river.* 

However, it has become apparent to me that some of the most naive people in the world are found in churches and seminaries all over of the world This lack of knowledge can have serious repercussions for our children. 

The scariest example of this naivete about child molestation exhibited itself in a post at The Gospel Coalition. When I read it, I actually thought I must be reading it wrong. So, I put it aside until this week and read it again. No wonder CJ Mahaney is still the darling of The Gospel Coalition and friends. They don't get it. 

In June 2017, Collin Hansen,the editorial director for The Gospel Coalition, did a book review: Home Is Where the Longing Is. He was reviewing Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home by Jen Pollock Michel. This is her bio at Amazon.

Jen Pollock Michel is a writer, speaker, and mother of five. She is a regular contributor for Christianity Today's popular her.meneutics blog and also writes for Today in the Word, a monthly devotional published by The Moody Bible Institute. Her writing has also appeared at Relevant, InTouch magazine, Today's Christian Woman, and Gifted for Leadership. Jen earned her B.A. in French from Wheaton College and her M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family and blogs at jenpollockmichel.com

Collin Hansen is also educated.

He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University.

Here are the stunning opening paragraphs to the book review.

Remember now, these are Hansen's words.

Jen Pollock Michel and her family opened their home to the kind of man the rest of the world shuns. While growing up he had been abused emotionally and sexually. The trauma led to addiction; the addiction led to crime. He couldn’t keep out of prison. He needed help. He needed Jesus.

“We understood the power of Christian hospitality to tangibly express the love of Jesus,” Michel writes in her new book, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home, “and we believed that by God’s renewing, inhabiting Spirit, this man could be granted the power to change. He needed a home, and we had one to share.”

It’s a beautiful story. Right up until the part where the man attempted to prey on one of Michel’s five children. The tragedy unfolded on Christmas Eve; thankfully, he was prevented from acting on his intent. Against all evidence, the man claimed innocence. Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home.

What happened?!!!!

Let's review the so -called *beautiful* part of the story The man that this author decided to bring home to live with her family which includes kids had a rough history.

  • Abused emitionally and sexually as a child 
  • Addiction
  • Crime
  • Prison on more than one occasion

Her reasons (which I assume are part of the *beautiful* story").

  • He needed a home and the author *had one.* Sadly, that home came with children who were going to part of that hospitality experiment.

Now, the not so beautiful part of the story.

  • The man who got the home and most probably plenty of talks about Jesus attempted to *prey* (a euphemism if there ever was one) on one of her kids. Can you imagione that such a man would ever do such a thing?…  Well, yes! Yes, I could. I would imagine that everyone reading this blog could imagine it as well. (Except those who love CJ Mahaney.) Apparently, neither the author nor Hansen had a clue.

I was gobsmacked. This feeling continued since, of course, I assumed an explanation for an intelligent family even considering to put their kids into harm's way was forth-coming.It didn't happen. However, the next sentence began a treatise about how home is not a place of security. Security will only happen in heaven.

(Michel) offers an unexpected apologetic for the Christian faith through our experience with home. From various angles she evokes the reader’s longing for home, a place of welcome, safety, honesty, and shelter, but she won’t allow us to invest any home on earth with hope that can only be secured by Jesus Christ.

Wait-stop the presses! This makes absolutely no sense to me. Shouldn't Hansen wrestle with the thought that bringing a potential pedophile and/or criminal into a home with kids was not a smart idea? Hansen doesn't appear to even consider this question. Instead the rest of the review was a treatise on the plight of lonely women at home. For some reason, this seems rather bizarre to me. 

When couples left cities and farms for suburbia, they lost dense, multigenerational networks of family and work. No wonder the women were so lonely at home as the men worked downtown.

“Women, cloistered in empty homes through long stretches of daylight, suffered from the lack of human contact,” Michel writes, “which they originally had enjoyed when home and work were organized more communally.”

Home is bound to disappoint us so we should go ahead and put our kids at risk, I guess

The review proceeded to discuss the problems of marriages of middle aged couples. Then it segued into the home as a disappointment.

Home is bound to disappoint because we’re prone to wander, prone to leave the God who loves us. Adam and Eve distrusted God’s good provision of home, so he banished them from the Garden of Eden. Nowhere, however comfortable and safe, has ever felt quite like home for humanity since then.

Bring home the dangerous criminal types since you and your kids will be disappointed with their home anyway…

Until then, we toil. And sing. And open our home to strangers, even though we know the risk.

Can I repeat that?

And open our home to strangers, even though we know the risk.

I cannot imagine summing up this book like this. I cannot imagine anyone writing a review like this. Doesn't Hansen see the problem?

Of course, everyone needs Jesus. But not every criminal and dangerous person needs to hear Jesus in a home where there are children who should be protected by their supposedly sane parents.

I am going to say this loud and clear.

If Michel knowingly brought home a criminal who was also an addict and most likely a pedophile and exposed her kids to the possibility of harm; and Collin Hansen thinks this is a fine idea; then no wonder pedophiles and other criminals love the church. We are stupid and dangerous. 

Given this line of thinking at TGC, you can be sure that CJ Mahaney will always have a place at the Neo-Calvinist table. It is the *hospitable* thing to do, after all.

To repeat the quote from the top

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr. link


Comments

The Gospel Coalition Seems to Believe That It Is Hospitable to Share Your Home and Kids With a Dangerous Criminal — 224 Comments

  1. “It’s a beautiful story. Right up until the part where the man attempted to prey on one of Michel’s five children. The tragedy unfolded on Christmas Eve; thankfully, he was prevented from acting on his intent. Against all evidence, the man claimed innocence. Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home.”

    I’m curious – “Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home” – did they report his actions to Law Enforcement or were they satisfied to no longer welcome him into their home, but leave him free to rape other children?

  2. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    id they report his actions to Law Enforcement or were they satisfied to no longer welcome him into their home, but leave him free to rape other children?

    It might not have been the hospitable thing to do.

  3. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    “It’s a beautiful story. Right up until the part where the man attempted to prey on one of Michel’s five children. The tragedy unfolded on Christmas Eve; thankfully, he was prevented from acting on his intent. Against all evidence, the man claimed innocence. Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home.”
    I’m curious – “Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home” – did they report his actions to Law Enforcement or were they satisfied to no longer welcome him into their home, but leave him free to rape other children?

    Excellent observation/question. It reads like they did nothing but maybe give him the boot out of the home.

  4. I knew a family that welcomed a man into their home who then sexually abused their oldest daughter. They didn’t confront the man because they were trying to convert him, and they didn’t want to present judgment. Absolutely appalling. Who thinks Jesus is okay with this?

  5. This is the cult of hospitality. Not the gift of hospitality or the goodness of extending hospitality but the cult of hospitality that has been taught in certain Calvinista churches.

    It is beyond understanding that a mother would allow any stranger into her home. It is beyond understanding that a Godly Manly Head of the Home would allow any stranger into his home that he has supposedly been appointed by God to guard and protect.

    The first duty of a parent is to protect and provide for his or her children, and one simply does not take risks with children like that. There are other ways to minister to people who have needs.

  6. Juulie Downs wrote:

    I knew a family that welcomed a man into their home who then sexually abused their oldest daughter. They didn’t confront the man because they were trying to convert him, and they didn’t want to present judgment. Absolutely appalling. Who thinks Jesus is okay with this?

    How awful. Poor girl scared for life because of naive, irresponsible parents.

  7. I just finished reading a book titled “In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest” by Charles L. Bailey Jr.

    In the Foreword is this quote:
    “Bailey’s courage in publicly describing his experience has unmasked an equally and perhaps even greater evil: the conspiracy perpetrated by the Catholic Church to protect these evildoers.”

    The same can be said of the Evangelical church.

    What say you Mahaney, Dever, Duncan, Mohler, Carson, Ware, Schreiner, Stiles, Grudem, DeYoung, Holland, Hall, Fullerton. MacArthur, Platt and anyone else who has endorsed Mahaney by speaking at his church or sharing the conference stage with him?

    What say you 10,00 men who attended the 2016 T4G conference and laughed at Mohler’s tastless introduction to his guy-pal C.J. Mahaney?

  8. Where does this person get off saying women are lonely at home? I have been single and remained single since my divorce in 2003! My joy is in the gift of my son and through my personal relationship with Christ and boy does He bless us in so many ways. I find the statements made by this person so offensive and presumptuous. I’m a single mother raising my son. Unfortunately a child rapist came into my home in the form of a teenager and not a grown man! I did not bring men into our lives in order to raise and protect my child. Mothers out there don’t read or listen to this garbage, Dee is so right. I’m an example that God blesses singles those who put children and safety first. Thank you for posting about this. In regards to Mahaney there’s something off about people like him. I wouldn’t trust him with Billys Gold Fish!

  9. Is there any word on the topic for T4g 2018? Is it perhaps related to recent events in Nashville?

    That picture is not very becoming to any of them, and I cannot understand who thought that picture was a good idea. Mahaney looks goofy. Mohler looks like he is trying too hard to look like a scholar, Duncan looks like the stereotypical Big Steeple guy, and Dever looks like he would rather be anywhere else and why does he have to put up with this. So why would anyone click through to register to hear yet another set of talks from the ***same*** people who have been talking for the past 12 years at every event? The Fab Four look tired.

  10. How do we know for sure he didn’t act on it? They are so good at lying and covering up child sex abuse. I wouldn’t trust this persons word for one minute, complete idiotMae wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    “It’s a beautiful story. Right up until the part where the man attempted to prey on one of Michel’s five children. The tragedy unfolded on Christmas Eve; thankfully, he was prevented from acting on his intent. Against all evidence, the man claimed innocence. Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home.”
    I’m curious – “Michel’s family no longer welcomes him into their home” – did they report his actions to Law Enforcement or were they satisfied to no longer welcome him into their home, but leave him free to rape other children?

    Excellent observation/question. It reads like they did nothing but maybe give him the boot out of the home.

  11. Mae wrote:

    It reads like they did nothing but maybe give him the boot out of the home.

    Winsomely, of course.

  12. @ Shauna:
    I didn’t like that,”lonely”, comment either.
    Who is he to make comments on suburban living vs inner city? He’s a sociologist too? Who is he to decide multi generational living was superior? I know older adults who lived in double, triple deckers, who weren’t enamored with climbing three flights of stairs, or hearing the neighbors fight.
    As for me,I was never lonely living in suburbia or for that matter, living in the country. I was too busy in both environments to be overly distressed by loneliness.

  13. Given that these empty suits have all the discernment of a lawn mower, why should I trust anything they have to say?

  14. “We know he gave Al Mohler’s seminary $200,000+.”
    Was it back in 2006? To draw from my experience money buys access but not loyalty, there is a lot more going on that holds these guys together.

  15. “Everywhere I turn, I am seeing ads for the T4G 2018 conference. It’s she same 4 Calvinista men proclaiming their undying friendship.” (Dee)

    The “Fab 4” … together for Calvinism … together to the bitter end.

  16. Thersites wrote:

    InstaGram3

    Top Downism usually gets me hung up on the previous thread. Plus few things are instant any more for me. Or even slow. Or even get done. 🙂

  17. In the Good Samaritan story, he showed compassion on a man he didn’t know by putting him up in an inn.

  18. Thersites wrote:

    To draw from my experience money buys access but not loyalty, there is a lot more going on that holds these guys together.

    Crossway is the major sponsor of the event. The Fab 4 are Crossway authors. Non-disparagement clauses. There’s that.

    About 1996-97 Mahaney abruptly converts from non-Reformed Charismatic to Reformed and becomes BFF with Mark Dever who is Al Mohler’s friend. This causes much turmoil within SGM. At about the same time, 9Marks starts branching out from Capitol Hill Baptist Church using the SGM model. I think that there is a lot of explanatory power in how and what and why the events of this period of time happened. How did Mahaney get together with Dever and why?

    There is something that made Mark Dever abandon the entire 9Marks system to protect Mahaney from CLC elders and the normal process of church discipline which 9Marks would normally prescribe for anyone else. Why wouldn’t Dever just tell Mahaney to confess his misjudgment to the CLC elders and *then* move on to CHBC? Why the special indulgence for Mahaney?

  19. Gram3 wrote:

    So why would anyone click through to register to hear yet another set of talks from the ***same*** people who have been talking for the past 12 years at every event? The Fab Four look tired.

    Look at them! Those are the guys who have the keys to the Kingdom (the New Calvinist kingdom). Not only do the leaders look tired, you would think their YRR followers would tire from following them around like groupies! If this is not a perfect example of a cult of personality, I don’t know what is. Sure, I’ve had my heroes of the faith, but I don’t worship them. Do you reckon the young reformers love Jesus as much? They sure don’t talk about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords much. The New Calvinist movement is misplaced passion in motion … if only these young reformers truly were Together for the Gospel (the real one).

  20. @ Juulie Downs:
    This makes me want to vomit.

    Dr Anna Salter recounts a story where a Christian couple adopted an adult pedophile the husband had met in prison (I believe the husband was in a prison ministry). They believed the man’s story of redemption and brought him into their home, where he repeatedly sexually assaulted the couple’s young daughter. Even when he was returned to prison, the couple kept visiting him in prison, believing he could be redeemed. When interviewed the pediphile stated that they deserved his abuse of their family because they were so stupid.

    When I contacted the mother of the new girlfriend of the young man who sexually assaulted my daughter while she was sleeping, who eventually was convicted and sentenced for child molestation, and had to register as a child molestor, I was told by this Christian mom that the young man had been totally transparent with her daughter and that they were committed to purity. When I pointed out that he had continued lying about what he’d done and that he had never repented, I received no response. It didn’t fit with the “beautiful” story (her word to describe the redemptive tale she was swallowing whole). Arrogance does not allow for these people to hear the truth. What do I know? I’m just the bitter, unforgiving mom of his victim.

  21. Gram3 wrote:

    About 1996-97 Mahaney abruptly converts from non-Reformed Charismatic to Reformed and becomes BFF with Mark Dever who is Al Mohler’s friend.

    And just a few years ago, “converted” to Southern Baptist … slipping in under the radar with Al Mohler’s help I’m sure.

  22. Sad.
    In my opinion, CJ is a bozo that had a knack for marketing and differentiation. The whole “reformed charismatic” thing filled a space. It put CJ and SGM on the map. He is certainly not a good teacher and is no more of an expositor than he is a brain surgeon.

    The other guys are tougher to figure out. I am in the minority as far as the commenters and readers here because I do line up with their major doctrinal positions… so this is tougher for me to process. It appears that they place a higher premium on the celebrity status and whatever income it produces than they do on their roles as shepherds. It lacks class to keep T4G going.

    At worst, they are co-conspirators for not taking a stand. At the very least, I think they have “left their first love”. It is like the story of King Saul… a little power corrupts.

  23. Juulie Downs wrote:

    Who thinks Jesus is okay with this?

    I’m honestly not trying to play the troll. While the names change, this story keeps repeating.
    Jesus might not be ok with it but I really wonder, where the blink does this fit into any divine plan?

  24. Gram3 wrote:

    This is the cult of hospitality.

    The Bible clearly does not support this “hospitality” to deceivers. Be careful whom you let into your home.

    Beware of Deceivers: 2 John 1:7-11 Do not let them in your home or you share in their evil:

    “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, refusing to confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, that you may be fully rewarded. Anyone who runs ahead without remaining in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever remains in His teaching has both the Father and the Son.

    “If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home or even greet him. Whoever greets such a person shares in his evil deeds.” Berean Study Bible

  25. George wrote:

    I think they have “left their first love”

    If so, Christ is clear in his judgment: “Unless you repent, I will remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2)

    New Calvinism is their ministry right now, their lampstand, their love. Jesus is a person, not an ism.

  26. @ Josh:
    Very good point. The wheels have left the Temple in their case (referring to the book of Ezekiel when the presence of God left Israel’s Temple, and the Sheperds or religious leaders were false shepherds, also in Ezekiel).

  27. Max wrote:

    If so, Christ is clear in his judgment: “Unless you repent, I will remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2)

    Yes!
    NIV: Jude 1:4
    “For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

  28. I agree with Dee, one strange post….. it is one thing for an adult to be willing to take chances in the name of Christ to help others, it is a whole different thing to put your children, for whom you have a fundamental responsibilty to care for and protect, in potential harms way.
    There are many creative ways to care for those abused and downtodden, why risk your own kids? What Dee describes in the OP hits me of another example of the Neo-Cal bro trying to prove they are part of elect…..See what ends I am willing to go to prove how pious I am!!

  29. I was arguing with someone on Twitter about the Nashville Statement and he started going on about how could you decide if something was wrong if you didn’t have an inerrant guide, meaning I should accept his interpretation of the Bible as inerrant and the ultimate guide to morality. He said: “So what’s your beef with sexual abuse?”** I lost it and said, “Wow, you don’t understand consent, do you. A child cannot consent to being sexually assaulted. This conversation is over.” And I blocked him.

    ** I’ll be honest. I don’t see in the Bible where there is any discussion of why it’s wrong to sexually assault anyone as an issue of consent, rather than of an issue of property damage to the owner. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a virgin is raped, and they’re discovered, the guy can get out of it by paying 50 shekels, marrying her and never divorcing her. I find this appalling. She’s treated like a side of beef, cost 50 shekels. What if she doesn’t want to be married to her rapist? She doesn’t appear to have a choice or the ability to give consent.

  30. Josh wrote:

    Given that these empty suits have all the discernment of a lawn mower, why should I trust anything they have to say?

    I’m going to have to remember this for the future.

    I’m wondering if it would be worth picketing T4G next year? I feel sorry for Louisville, which is apparently a nice city, for having the male Calvinistas inflicted upon it.

  31. Can someone name the two guys on the right in the picture? I know who the two guys on the left are.

  32. If Michel knowingly brought home a criminal who was also an addict and most likely a pedophile and exposed her kids to the possibility of harm; and Collin Hansen thinks this is a fine idea; then no wonder pedophiles and other criminals love the church. We are stupid and dangerous.

    This frame of thinking is not unique to a church or religious setting. Christians, as well as non-Christians, have reflected this thinking here in the USA in policy decisions regarding illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities, opposition to vetting refugees, open borders, etc. They no longer view the USA as their home and a place of safety and security.

  33. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:

    The Old Testament really is a “Wild West” of unsavory characters in many places. I wish I had good answers for some of the tough questions. There are places where it seems “two wrongs make a right”. There are places in the OT where I think God leaves people to their own devices so we see how ridiculous it is to resolve everything with rules and systems. Sexual immorality was rampant.

    The only thing I do know for sure, is Jesus rebuked the religious leaders that relied on these OT laws for their own justification. Jesus made it clear that we are all sinners and comparing ourselves to others is futile. With Jesus, how we love and treat others becomes the central issue ( of course, we must be born again). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the New Testament writers did not return to the Old Testament system.

    I hope that helps a little. The best thing for me has been to just read the Bible thru year after year, and it starts to come together!

  34. Josh wrote:

    Given that these empty suits have all the discernment of a lawn mower, why should I trust anything they have to say?

    They are The Hollow Men T.S. Eliot wrote about…

  35. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Can someone name the two guys on the right in the picture? I know who the two guys on the left are.

    From left to right: C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever … The Fab Four

  36. Mae wrote:

    As for me,I was never lonely living in suburbia or for that matter, living in the country. I was too busy in both environments to be overly distressed by loneliness.

    A person can be completely alone, yet not be lonely. On the flip side, a person can be in a house full of people, and still be lonely. This dude don’t know what he’s talking about.

  37. Max wrote:

    From left to right: C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever … The Fab Four

    They’re all signers of the Nashville Statement, naturally.

  38. Gram3 wrote:

    That picture is not very becoming to any of them,

    Perhaps the photo is unbecoming because the photographer didn’t spend hours doing touch-ups. ; )

  39. Would these people invite any ole criminal into their homes to live with them, or do they just prefer pedophiles? Why not open their doors to arsonists, rapists, embezzlers, and murderers ……. oh, and, GASP, homosexuals – who have not committed any crimes?

  40. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Seeing that that line caught a bit of attention, I feel convicted in my spirit to apologize to lawn mowers. If you’ve seen those new automowers that are like Roombas for your lawn, they use sensors and electronic intelligence to avoid obstacles so they [hopefully] don’t mow over landscaping items or pets. It probably goes without saying that not running over and chewing up the dog shows a level of discernment that is … well … beyond what is seen in some church leaders. So, lawn mowers of the world, I apologize.

  41. My father had a prison ministry. He encouraged people to take Christian ex-cons into their homes as part of a sponsorship program. So we had them too. I was 12 and home alone babysitting my 3 and 4 year old siblings. I can’t remember how Bob got in the house, he did not live with us anymore. But was one of my dad’s ex-cons who had become a friend of the family. I can’t remember how he got into the house, but my parents came home just as he was about to rape me.
    Another Christian ex-con and his wife lived with us for a while. I was around 13. Sometimes they didn’t come home for a day or two. But then they were gone a long time. Flies were coming out of their room so my mom finally went in. She found drug needles and child pornography. Later, that room became my older brother’s and my baby brother’s.
    I have had lifelong damage because of my dad’s hospitality to strangers, ‘just saying.

  42. I forgot to finish the part about my brothers’ room. I know it sounds crazy but one middle of the night, it was like a mythical poltergeist incident. My brothers were terrified huddled in a corner because their beds and other stuff had just gone poof like a tornado came through the room.

  43. I have been reading this blog now for awhile and I haven’t commented before, but really I just can’t understand Christians who don’t seem to care about child molestation.
    I understand that as Christians we are supposed to forgive people, but I have never read in the Bible where we are supposed to become stupid, and if you weren’t molested you have nothing to forgive the molester for, but if you fail to stop the molester it is you who needs to ask for forgiveness. Being careful around sexual abusers and watching them closely is not some sinful crime. In fact a lot of these churches are very big on holding each other accountable for other sins, if you see brother so-and-so drinking a beer, or smoking, or having an affair, you are to confront him and hold him accountable for his sin. So if I’m supposed to watch for drinking etc… why am I not supposed to care about molestation?

    “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14(NIV)

    ” “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” Matthew 18:6-7 (NIV)

    It is clear to me that our emphasis must be on the children not their abusers.

    I realize I haven’t directly commented on this post, it is more of a response to all the previous posts I have read on your wonderful blog. I grew up in a small Southern Baptist church and then a small non-denominational church (basically the same group of people minus the pastor, for various reasons) where I was related to at least 75% of the people and thankfully nothing like the things on this blog ever happened. And, I’m fairly certain that if a molestation had of occurred in either of those churches, the deacons would have handled it in a more Old Testament manner and then asked forgiveness from the church for their behavior, they wouldn’t have been protecting the molester. It sickens me that so many children aren’t safe in the House of the Lord, and that they can never know the outright joy, warmth and safety I experienced, and that they should experience.

    Concerning this post, these parents are failing in bringing up their children, in fact they, according to scripture, could cause their children to stumble, by bringing evil into their home under their misapplication of their beliefs.

  44. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    ** I’ll be honest. I don’t see in the Bible where there is any discussion of why it’s wrong to sexually assault anyone as an issue of consent, rather than of an issue of property damage to the owner.

    Women are pretty clearly property in the OT. None of this one woman/one man stuff is actually there. (hello, polygamy, concubines, prostitutes).

    As for the article, i read it the other day. I’m not getting why you would write these articles about how things went wrong and then act like they were great choices? There was a different one somewhere about how a lady was excommunicated after her child died, that tried to make it sound like that was just her church being faithful to the word or something. Crazy!

    I do think you can take people into your house, even if you have kids, but you have to be smart about who you take in. My parents took in a woman who was pregnant when I was very little, and they took in a friend of mine and a friend of my siblings for a month or two at various times. But none of these people were criminals or dangerous. Have a little sense!

  45. Also this ‘be hospitable because women (with children and husbands?) are bored at home’ idea is very, very strange.

  46. Lea wrote:

    Have a little sense!

    Yes, a good dose of common sense goes a long way in these situations. You can still extend a Christian hand of help and hope to those in need and keep your family safe at the same time. Just exercise more discernment to who and how you help … when in doubt, don’t.

  47. Josh wrote:

    @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Seeing that that line caught a bit of attention, I feel convicted in my spirit to apologize to lawn mowers. If you’ve seen those new automowers that are like Roombas for your lawn, they use sensors and electronic intelligence to avoid obstacles so they [hopefully] don’t mow over landscaping items or pets. It probably goes without saying that not running over and chewing up the dog shows a level of discernment that is … well … beyond what is seen in some church leaders. So, lawn mowers of the world, I apologize.

    This comment section needs a like button. I ROFL your comment!

  48. @ Max:
    This reinforces a thought I had. Someone needs to collect all the major public comments these four have made and make it available on the web in a organized mannor.
    They are clearly trying to rewrite history at the CBMW with respect to the heresy of ESS. In the days prior to the internet, institutions were, in many cases, able rewrite history to cover -up their embarrassing positions. It is up to us to hold these “leaders” to accountability. And, we are “called” to hold our “leaders” to higher standards…

  49. Doubling down on stupid (and dangerous) that’s what that book sounds like to me. Can you imagine being a kid who paid the price for such twisted “Christianity”? Who needs atheists to win people away from Christ with Christians like that?!

  50. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    It is up to us to hold these “leaders” to accountability.

    Al Mohler should have been held accountable by SBC leaders years ago. When he charted a course to change SBC belief and practice, the response from the SBC Kingdom was pretty wimpy. Too late now. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen.

  51. @ Patti:
    Unfortunately, you graphically prove the point if this originaly post…..
    What wad/us your parents reaction to the past, terrible, experinces you had?

  52. “Michel is most vivid when describing her own mixed experience with home. As the child of a working mother, Michel always wanted more of her mother’s energy and attention. But in writing about her own experience as a stay-at-home mom, she says, “Every day struck with tsunami force, and only by running full speed did I think I could outwit the daily violence.” Home, then, is hardly the refuge depicted inside lifestyle magazines.”

    Daily violence? I’m not sure how to interpret this. Before I carefully reread the paragraph, I thought she was talking about growing up in a home with domestic violence. Her metaphor quickly crosses into hyperbole.

  53. “While growing up he had been abused emotionally and sexually. The trauma led to addiction; the addiction led to crime. He couldn’t keep out of prison.”

    Addiction to what? Which crime? She doesn’t say, but I have the bad feeling that he had been convicted of pedophilia, and they knew this.

    “…and we believed that by God’s renewing, inhabiting Spirit, this man could be granted the power to change.”

    Sadly, this mindset is pandemic among modern Christians, if not throughout the past 2,000 years. I hope the efforts of Boz Tchivijian and GRACE bear much fruit in the coming century.

  54. Jarrett wrote:

    Concerning this post, these parents are failing in bringing up their children, in fact they, according to scripture, could cause their children to stumble, by bringing evil into their home under their misapplication of their beliefs.

    Well said. They have missed the point. I wish you would comment more!

  55. So, why exactly were this book and this review written? Is it a cautionary Tale to help us avoid the consequences of naivete? Are they trying to encourage us to do similar foolish things? I’m hoping the parents have the wisdom to feel some sense of guilt over this error in judgement, and perhaps the book is an attempt to deal with that guilt. But it sounds more like an attempt to justify what they did, catching it in bizarre theological terms and rationalizations.

  56. Hospitality should not equal stupidity. This is infuriating, but it goes along with the idea of sinners repent and change and church leaders feel obligated to allow that to happen. And of course church leaders are far more concerned about that one soul (perpetrator), than the victim, who is likely already a Christian. That’s why victims get abandoned.

    The church focuses on souls, repentance, and conversions, but does not realize they are anti-evangelizing when they fail to care for victims or put protective measures in place.

  57. @ dee: Yeah…we can’t let prudence get in the way of hospitality.

    Seriously…there is a fine line between faith and stupidity. It would have been one thing if they didn’t have kids; but dang…why put someone with an established dangerous criminal history in that position?

  58. If you tell these types the truth, though, the absolute cold, hard truth about what they are and what they are doing to themselves and others (that is, if you are Christ-like), not only will they not be hospitable towards you and refuse to welcome you, they will seek to destroy you.

    Hopsiality towards anyone except those who love the truth.

  59. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    I agree with Dee, one strange post….. it is one thing for an adult to be willing to take chances in the name of Christ to help others, it is a whole different thing to put your children, for whom you have a fundamental responsibilty to care for and protect, in potential harms way.
    There are many creative ways to care for those abused and downtodden, why risk your own kids? What Dee describes in the OP hits me of another example of the Neo-Cal bro trying to prove they are part of elect…..See what ends I am willing to go to prove how pious I am!!

    I remember hearing when a group of families were going to volunteer to serve meals at one of the local rescue missions that there was a minimum age of 16, I think it was, for the teens’ safety.

  60. @ Julie Anne:
    Also, I know I have flet “peer” pressure to do “radical” things to prove my piousness….. “be radical for Jesus!”
    While I am not saying this is alsways the motivation, I have seen people do some loopy things through this motivation..

  61. Julie Anne wrote:

    Hospitality should not equal stupidity. This is infuriating, but it goes along with the idea of sinners repent and change and church leaders feel obligated to allow that to happen…The church focuses on souls, repentance, and conversions, but does not realize they are anti-evangelizing when they fail to care for victims or put protective measures in place.

    You’re onto something here, but let me suggest a slight modification. They are into the idea of THEIR church being the focus of repentance, of THEIR leaders being the ones at the center of the Big Redemption Story. I sincerely doubt that many people who would write these books and do these things care about true repentance and true salvation and Jesus.

    They love the idea of the miracle turnaround: the drug addict, wife beater, thief, or, of course, child molester turned saint. Those stories make for great moments where the well-fed pastor in the tailored suit up under the spotlights lowers his voice and gets a little maudlin in the last minute or two of the sermon and goes for the big plate passin’ moment. Great for the church coffers, great for those mass baptism moments (Elevation and Furtick have “elevated” this to performance art).

    They like the idea of these things, the emotional rush the stories provide (easily mistaken for the Holy Spirit), and wealth and notoriety it gives the church and their well-cared-for leaders. But are they into true service to Jesus? True conversion? I don’t buy it.

  62. @ Julie Anne:
    And the arrogance of theology that one ups the Bible and God Himself. “We know better,” than what the Bible teaches about boundaries, safety, evil, and vulnerability.

  63. Lifeway maintains “integrity” by pulling an author such as Jen Hatmaker yet has no problem selling Michel’s garbage. I’m beginning to lose count of how many dangerous women authors are out there. I think the comp men need to start stepping up at get a handle on their women! *sarcasm*

  64. Why kick him out?? Didn’t he say he was sorry??? Isn’t it best to forgive and just trust God to work it out?? Was it God’s sovereign plan to have him there? The stupidity of these naieve christians just stuns me. What a lesson in being WISE and allowing professionals deal with these hard cases. Cannot believe the utter lack of knowledge here or even not a strong warning to NOT do this! Amazing. The world is wiser on these issues….

  65. My husband and myself opened our home to a cousin who was on parole. He was a drug addict. He’d had a Jesus moment in jail.

    Our children were eleven and thirteen. He had his own room and lived by our rules. Smoking outside, no * friend * visitors. We took him to NA, family violence classes, parole officer, etc. He lived with us for three months, and then got his own apartment.

    He returned to his addiction ( heroin ) within a few months. He got arrested again and returned to prison. Finally, at age Fifty Two, he got clean.

    Many offenders have a Jesus moment while in prison. Often knowing Jesus ends as soon as parole begins.

    We knew it was likely he’d return to his addiction. Most offenders of any type do. We are still glad we took him in, we love him dearly. Our children love him too. Love is not enough to make them well.

    Anyway, it’s necessary to realize bringing any offender into your home, most likely will not have a happy ending. Sex offenders almost never escape their predatory ways. I would never bring a sex offender into our home.

    Loving the afflicted is mandatory. How we minister to them takes wisdom, and a big dose of common sense.

  66. Yikes. I have a Catholic friend who has always struck me as just a teeny tad unbalanced. But even she knew not to bring a 19-year-old who had been abused every which way into her home (with five kids). (He had asked her if she woukd.) Our hearts broke for this poor teen who had been in and out of foster care his whole life. He had no criminal record, and he was as sweet and nice as could be. Alas, he had aged out of child protective services. He was an intelligent kid but with no skills, too damaged to hold a job… it was heartbreaking. I used to give him rides when I could. But neither I nor any of the other moms in our circle (’90s Catholic Apparition-Chasers ) would have dared to have him come live with us. We didn’t know what to do, but we knew not to do that. You can’t take chances with your kids!! (Now I am wondering whatever became of him. I lost touch with that whole circle years ago.)

  67. I have nothing to say to this that hasn’t already been said. Who on earth issues an experiment with a pedophile and their OWN children and then writes about it! Why haven’t social services stepped in and gotten involved?

  68. Gram3 wrote:

    There is something that made Mark Dever abandon the entire 9Marks system to protect Mahaney from CLC elders and the normal process of church discipline which 9Marks would normally prescribe for anyone else.

    The HUMBLE One knew where Dever’s bodies were buried?
    (chuckle chuckle)

  69. Max wrote:

    Look at them! Those are the guys who have the keys to the Kingdom (the New Calvinist kingdom).

    Grima Wormtongues, whispering in God’s ear at the Great White Throne as to who’s REALLY Elect and Who’s Not.
    (“SHEEP! GOAT! GOAT! GOAT! GOAT! GOAT! GOAT! GOAT! …”)

  70. Gram3 wrote:

    This is the cult of hospitality. Not the gift of hospitality or the goodness of extending hospitality but the cult of hospitality that has been taught in certain Calvinista churches.

    Don’t know about you, but in every Bread-and-Salt Hospitality tradition I’ve heard of, using Guest-right to attack or harm the other voids Guest Right and triggers Blood Feud.

    Usually stories of voiding Hospitality involve the Host attacking the Guest (a la The Red Wedding and its RL inspirations The Black Supper and Massacre of Glencoe). In this, the Guest voided Guest-right to harm the Host’s family.

  71. Law Prof wrote:

    They love the idea of the miracle turnaround: the drug addict, wife beater, thief, or, of course, child molester turned saint. Those stories make for great moments where the well-fed pastor in the tailored suit up under the spotlights lowers his voice and gets a little maudlin in the last minute or two of the sermon and goes for the big plate passin’ moment.

    And it makes for JUICY Testimonies.

  72. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Would these people invite any ole criminal into their homes to live with them, or do they just prefer pedophiles? Why not open their doors to arsonists, rapists, embezzlers, and murderers ……. oh, and, GASP, homosexuals – who have not committed any crimes?

    Because HOMOSEXUALITY(TM) is THE Unpardonable SIN SIN SIN.

    Speaking of Sin, ever wonder if Fred Phelps’ REAL Sin was being too direct about it?
    None of the proper Biblical code words and circumlocutions?

  73. Ken G wrote:

    If Michel knowingly brought home a criminal who was also an addict and most likely a pedophile and exposed her kids to the possibility of harm; and Collin Hansen thinks this is a fine idea; then no wonder pedophiles and other criminals love the church. We are stupid and dangerous.

    “OPEN SEASON!!!!!”

  74. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    ** I’ll be honest. I don’t see in the Bible where there is any discussion of why it’s wrong to sexually assault anyone as an issue of consent, rather than of an issue of property damage to the owner. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a virgin is raped, and they’re discovered, the guy can get out of it by paying 50 shekels, marrying her and never divorcing her. I find this appalling. She’s treated like a side of beef, cost 50 shekels. What if she doesn’t want to be married to her rapist? She doesn’t appear to have a choice or the ability to give consent.

    Welcome to the world of Bronze Age Semitic tribal culture.

    And just think: ha-Torah may have been an IMPROVEMENT on the previous “Way we’ve always done things”.

  75. on Twitter: Boz Tchividjian‏ @BozT 5 hours ago
    Safe churches are where abusers are reported and held responsible regardless of who they are.

  76. Boz Tchividjian‏ @BozT Aug 25
    Protestants must do better acknowledging and addressing the reality of child abuse within our own faith communities.

  77. From the VICE website: Billy Graham’s Grandson Says Protestants Abuse Kids Just Like Catholics, by Josiah Hesse Aug 24 2017

    “He [Boz Tchividjian] says that churches can be ideal environments for sexual predators who target children. And that traditions of shame, male power structures, and public relations myopia help keep abusers in positions of power and the abused silent.”

    http://bit.ly/2iw8QIo

  78. CJ has a lot of concerning issues related to the Shepherding Movement and how leaders treated the flock in abusive ways all the time.

    It is a shame so many false accusations in the lawsuit muddied the waters as to his issues. His is a story of spiritual abuse of authority against the flock. The two or three true stories at CLC in the lawsuit were a reflection of that. No victims were allowed. You are the worst sinners you know, so you can’t complain about what others due to you. You would have been handing the Roman guards the nails to crucify Jesus if you were there. You can’t complain about being abused because you are better than you deserve. The man exhorted the rich and popular attractive people while having repulsion towards those who were weak. That’s an issue. I’m afraid the more we characterize him as the poster child for sex abuse mishandling, the more we will completely miss the main thing.

    On that note, why are you refusing to address the Charles Schmitt issue here? Has he threatened you? Talk about a poster child for sexual abuse. This man is about to move to a new hunting ground and prey on new people. What are you doing to bring this issue to light?

  79. yentl wrote:

    On that note, why are you refusing to address the Charles Schmitt issue here? Has he threatened you? Talk about a poster child for sexual abuse. This man is about to move to a new hunting ground and prey on new people. What are you doing to bring this issue to light?

    Best guess is they haven’t gotten round to it yet. There are so many issues such as this in the pastorate. An absolute scandal, a tragedy. They could probably cover a different instance of this sort of scandal every day and not keep up with it. I doubt they’d be too afraid of a threat—or even if they were afraid, doubt they’d let it stop them.

  80. @ Gram3:
    You mean like the Apoztle Paul who actually killed Christians? Yes, God forbid that this lady would try to do what she believed the Lord would have her to do. If you want to keep a potential threat out of your home, you better never invite another person in. This sin is horrible, I agree, but I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

  81. Hmm. I think you should all just focus on the beautiful picture of loving Jesus and let God do the judging. I think you’re all looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it, because you’ll spoil it!

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  82. Meanwhile, back in a slightly more real world… I, like others, am struggling to see the link between the questionable and unwise opening of a home – meaning, even without hindsight, the priority should have been the safety of the children in the home – and women being lonely.

  83. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I, like others, am struggling to see the link between the questionable and unwise opening of a home – meaning, even without hindsight, the priority should have been the safety of the children in the home – and women being lonely.

    In a different situation, this could have been dangerous to the woman in the home as well, not just the children. (unless they knew his proclivities which is a point they are vague on and an even deeper problem if so).

    Also, what did the husband think? I guess he was cool with it, or was he pushing it?

    But yes, loneliness is pretty much the absolute last reason I would give for doing anything like this.

  84. Also, is ‘if women are lonely, invite a criminal adult male into your home’ really the line they want to take? Are these not the same billy graham rule/joint Facebook accounts/defriend everybody who isn’t joint friends with your husband/men and women can’t be friends people?

    What?

  85. Lea wrote:

    Also, is ‘if women are lonely, invite a criminal adult male into your home’ really the line they want to take? Are these not the same billy graham rule/joint Facebook accounts/defriend everybody who isn’t joint friends with your husband/men and women can’t be friends people?

    Oh. my. goodness. That is dead on.

  86. @ Jarrett:
    Welcome to commenting & what a great one. Your puzzlement over the weirdness of some christians towards child abuse is shared here. It’s a huge huge puzzle to me too. The hierarchy of what constitutes sin seems to be totally inverted in some people’s hearts.

    As far as bringing people into your home when you have kids? Depending on who that is you could be putting yourself into the category of not showing reasonable care for your own children…sacrificing your kids to your hope of redemption for the worst of the worst is not acceptable. That stuff is for people without kids, or animals come to that. I personally declined to hang out with a convicted paedophile who my ex-husb was friend with as due to my job I wanted no way he could possibly use his association with me as any form of leverage ‘oh but my friend works for X & they’re okay with it’, & I let my bosses know. Caution & transparency everywhere.

  87. @ Jarrett:
    I had to chuckle a bit at your comment about the deacons would have handled it in a more OT manner. It’s not PC but I can relate. One did not mess with women or children. And it would have been handled in a firm collected manner.

    My philosophy is that if your own family (including church) does not have your back, life can be very scary. Your family can squabble all the time but when it came to any potential danger, everyone joined forces. We seem to have lost that to the need to look pious in some circles. But in truth, it helped to keep predators and Cons away. They have an instinct about people many of us don’t have because our focus is different.

    I am at a loss for words for the decision Jen Pollack Michel and her husband made in brining a “repentant” predator into their home. Where has basic common sense gone?

    Before I had children, I used to shelter DV victims quite a bit. I only did it once in very unusual circumstances just a few years ago. The reason, which may sound mean to many here, was that most of these situations involve very violent men. And they often find out where they are. It’s a chance you take. So I have dealt with that a lot. The other reason is that most women go back to their abuser no matter what lengths one has gone to put a plan in action. And that only puts the person who helped in danger. That person is the new enemy. Boots on the ground help- One on one help—is very dangerous. It’s a whole different world from advice and comfort from afar. No way would I subject my own kids to it. My first job is their safety and well being.

    In my mind, it’s strange that people see such decisions to protect your family as lacking piety in any way. Or that putting your children in harms way is pious. I think they have forgotten their first priority.

    i do wonder if the Michels were violating any court agreements concerning his being around children? Did they report his attempt to CPS? Even doing that could have put them in the crosshairs of CPS for having the man living in their home. Not only having a predator living in your home around children not being very wise but writing a blog post about it probably wasn’t wise either. But I am glad they did and I am hoping there are people involved Who will see it for what it is and help get this predator from trying with other children.

    I guess I’m a bit shocked as to how expendable children are in that world.

  88. Law Prof wrote:

    You’re onto something here, but let me suggest a slight modification. They are into the idea of THEIR church being the focus of repentance, of THEIR leaders being the ones at the center of the Big Redemption Story. I sincerely doubt that many people who would write these books and do these things care about true repentance and true salvation and Jesus.

    They love the idea of the miracle turnaround: the drug addict, wife beater, thief, or, of course, child molester turned saint. Those stories make for great moments where the well-fed pastor in the tailored suit up under the spotlights lowers his voice and gets a little maudlin in the last minute or two of the sermon and goes for the big plate passin’ moment. Great for the church coffers, great for those mass baptism moments (Elevation and Furtick have “elevated” this to performance art).

    They like the idea of these things, the emotional rush the stories provide (easily mistaken for the Holy Spirit), and wealth and notoriety it gives the church and their well-cared-for leaders. But are they into true service to Jesus? True conversion? I don’t buy it.

    I could not like your comment more I have been in the churches in my area for over three decades, all of them preached revival, revival, revival. One day, I looked around and realized I’d been hearing the same revival sermons for years, different pastors and congregations, same message. I knew the leadership and some of the things going on in the church, good and bad, and they weren’t healthy. Much resource and time was focused on growing something that was sick. I recognized the ambition of the revival message and walked out, dismayed.

  89. Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it, because you’ll spoil it!

    Jesus is in the business of perfecting the saints, one soul at a time. There is no perfect church – only a perfect Savior.

  90. Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    Hmm. I think you should all just focus on the beautiful picture of loving Jesus and let God do the judging. I think you’re all looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it, because you’ll spoil it!

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

    And the ever popular: “If being hurt by the church causes you to lose faith in God, then your faith was in people, not God.”

  91. Beakerj wrote:

    As far as bringing people into your home when you have kids? Depending on who that is you could be putting yourself into the category of not showing reasonable care for your own children…sacrificing your kids to your hope of redemption for the worst of the worst is not acceptable.

    Showing reasonable care for your own children should not be an issue when inviting strangers into your home. This concern was raised and addressed by Albert Barnes in his well known Notes on the New Testamentregarding Hebrews 13:2 The potential benefits are far greater than any risk to children. He wrote in part,

    The influence of such guests in a family is worth more than it costs to entertain them. If there is danger that we may sometimes receive those of an opposite character. yet it is not wise on account of such possible danger, to lose the opportunity of entertaining those whose presence would be a blessing. Many a parent owes the conversion of a child to the influence of a pious stranger in his family; and the hope that this may occur, or that our own souls may be blessed, should make us ready, at all proper times, to welcome the feet of the stranger to our doors.

  92. one of the little people wrote:

    And the ever popular: “If being hurt by the church causes you to lose faith in God, then your faith was in people, not God.”

    Here’s a quote about the “church” that I can affirm based on my 70 year experience with most of the ones I’ve attended:

    “One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.” (A. W. Tozer)

    Yep, there’s little spiritual life flowing through most churches. They are man-centered and flesh-driven for the most part; the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a bunch. I truly love the “Church”, but don’t have much use for the “church.” There has always been the Church within the church; not everybody that goes to church is the Church. Look for opportunities to be the Church, whether you go to church or not.

  93. Ken G wrote:

    This concern was raised and addressed by Albert Barnes in his well known Notes on the New Testamentregarding Hebrews 13:2 The potential benefits are far greater than any risk to children. He wrote in part,

    Why (who) is Albert Barnes the authority every Christian turns to on advise about who to invite to live in their home?

    Ken G wrote:

    The influence of such guests in a family is worth more than it costs to entertain them.

    The cost of harm to your children from criminals might be a different type of cost than what Barnes was discussing.

    Ken G wrote:

    to lose the opportunity of entertaining those whose presence would be a blessing.

    How is possible abuse to your family or children a blessing?

    Ken G wrote:

    should make us ready, at all proper times,

    Even Barnes inserts a clause “at all proper times” which seems to imply that there are proper times to ‘not invite’ someone to your home.

    Scripture itself warns us against spending time with people of certain tainted characteristics.

  94. Lydia wrote:

    I guess I’m a bit shocked as to how expendable children are in that world.

    Don’t read Ken G’s comment then.

  95. Beakerj wrote:

    Caution & transparency everywhere.

    This is a theme that seems to be missing in many Christian communities, although you will find the concept throughout Proverbs.

  96. @ Ken G:

    TBH, I’ve never heard of Albert Barnes, and I don’t know how important he thought his own Notes on the New Testament to be; but I have a generic observation.

    I’m much less interested in the results of his thought-experiments than in the outcomes of his personal, first-hand experiences of welcoming strangers into his home, having first shut down any and every God-given means of discernment, and an honest appraisal of his success-rate:
     In converting strangers, and
     In reproducing in his own children a view of the Father mirroring that of Jesus

    I can’t comment on whether it’s realistically true to say that “many a parent” has only seen a son or daughter converted thanks to getting lucky with a house-guest, but I’m sceptical. I do know that the converse can also be the case; a friend of ours told us a few years back about a friend of hers who abandoned her parents’ profession of Christian faith at the first opportunity because “there was always a tramp in my bed”. Meaning (to be clear) that the parents persistently invited random strangers into the house, offered them their daughter’s bedroom, displacing their daughter to the spare room or elsewhere.

  97. @ Jim:

    I would hope common decency and trustworthiness are just basic results of the Christian life. There have always been bad apples to fake it. But it now seems the worse you are, the better it is for piety all the way around?

    You have read the whole book of Jeremiah, right?

  98. You know the Bible does say, very unequivocally, that if you don’t provide for your family, particularly your immediate family–your children–that you’ve denied your faith in Jesus. Surely the Bible could not possibly mean only food and a roof, surely implied within that is basic safety and protection from being abused or molested.

    But of course, silly me, assuming these people really care about what the Bible actually says.

  99. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Not to mention hospitality was a whole other practice in the 1st Century where a journey from Hebron to Jerusalem was grueling, dangerous, etc. women and children often slept in different part of house not to mention animals brought in at night to safety., etc.

  100. Lea wrote:

    Also, is ‘if women are lonely, invite a criminal adult male into your home’ really the line they want to take? Are these not the same billy graham rule/joint Facebook accounts/defriend everybody who isn’t joint friends with your husband/men and women can’t be friends people?
    What?

    Yes, what is that thing Jesus said about straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel? Kind of fits, doesn’t it?

  101. @ Bridget:
    It’s perfectly ok to disagree with Albert Barnes. 🙂

    I guess the question I would ask Barnes about his commentary would be: Mr. Barnes, what if you knew the “stranger” was a child predator and would be staying for a while? (Wink)

  102. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Meanwhile, back in a slightly more real world… I, like others, am struggling to see the link between the questionable and unwise opening of a home – meaning, even without hindsight, the priority should have been the safety of the children in the home – and women being lonely.

    Think I may have one. We have an (unfortunately) former friend who was part of our home fellowship. Claims to follow Christ. Went through a messy, painful divorce last year. Sad thing for her and her four year old daughter. Months ago this young lady made a social media connection with a fellow from another state on the west coast, a good-looking, roguish guy who claims to also follow Christ (but simultaneously gets into the New Age movement and just happens to be separated from—but still married to—another woman and was not long ago arrested for beating her. We saw the mug shots.

    So what does this young, allegedly Christian woman with small child do? She says she’s have fallen in love with this hot, still-married, ex con—it’s a Christian bond between them, she assures us—and is, the last time we spoke (she no longer speaks to us because our group told her point blank she was daft), she was making plans for him to move in with her and her little girl.

    So, this is my anecdotal way of telling you there just may be something more than beneficence at work with these lonely, “Christian” women in the suburbs and ex-convicts moving in.

  103. Another side to this is a repentant pedophile would see the danger of living with children just as a recovering alcoholic would see the danger of working in a bar.

  104. From the OP

    “Home is bound to disappoint because we’re prone to wander, prone to leave the God who loves us. Adam and Eve distrusted God’s good provision of home, so he banished them from the Garden of Eden. Nowhere, however comfortable and safe, has ever felt quite like home for humanity since then.”

    I have some Good News to share with Hanson: Jesus Christ.

  105. Ken G wrote:

    Showing reasonable care for your own children should not be an issue when inviting strangers into your home. This concern was raised and addressed by Albert Barnes in his well known Notes on the New Testamentregarding Hebrews 13:2 The potential benefits are far greater than any risk to children.

    Ken, are you serious here? Or are just funning us? Frankly, I don’t care what Albert Barnes had to say about anything; he’s absolutely irrelevant to anything that pertains to anyone; he’s dead and gone and probably said some things that were spot on and some things that were unimaginably stupid.

    Are you seriously telling us that any risk, even that associated with bringing a molester or a spouse beater (see my post above) into your home provides “far greater” “potential benefits…than any risk to children”? Really? Please tell me I’m misunderstanding you, please say you’d like to heavily qualify what you said.

  106. Lydia wrote:

    I am at a loss for words for the decision Jen Pollack Michel and her husband made in bringing a “repentant” predator into their home. Where has basic common sense gone?

    It is all but lost to those who are desperate to live “Biblically” in an absolute and linear fashion.

    Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird had this to say:

    “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another) … There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

  107. Lydia wrote:

    It’s perfectly ok to disagree with Albert Barnes.

    Yes, and I do! I thought I was clear with my response to him above regarding his Barnes quote 😉

  108. Ken G wrote:

    By the time of his death in 1870, over a million volumes of his Notes on the New Testament were published. He was a prominent Presbyterian minister. You can read about him here,

    Again, how does this make him the authority for me, today, in my family, regarding inviting someone into my home, that he cant possibly know the details about? Because he sold books? Because he was Presbyterian?

    It seems to me that without considering all of scripture, and applying discernment, about inviting people into your home/life, you may be making a very unwise decision.

  109. I really do think I’m going to stand outside the T4G conference in Louisville next April with signs calling out the completely male, overwhelmingly white nature of the attendees. I looked in vain for a single woman on the list of 60 speakers. I had to click “Guest Speakers” to find ONE WOMAN–someone named Sonia Jenkins.

    There’s a phrase I’d use to describe this scene, it’s not obscene but it’s inappropriate for TWW. It might not be inappropriate for a sign designed to point out the composition of T4G.

  110. I think Ken G must be messing with us. Clearly Albert Barnes’s word are superseded by those of Jesus in terms of not entertaining evil, not causing little ones to stumble & treating our neighbour (including our children) as we want to be treated. An under appreciated Biblical virtue is wisdom, along with discernment. i wonder how many other stories there are about the results of his policies – just that people didn’t speak of such things back then.

    Plus there are many women & children strangers that can be welcomed by those for whom single males are a terrible idea.

  111. Law Prof wrote:

    So, this is my anecdotal way of telling you there just may be something more than beneficence at work with these lonely, “Christian” women in the suburbs and ex-convicts moving in.

    And everyone in these situations should be invoking Megan’s Law (US) or Sarah’s Law (UK) to check out the records the Police have on offences including DV & child grooming & molestation. Sarah’s Law is underused here but has till caught upwards of 700 paedophiles trying to infiltrate single parent families.

  112. Jim wrote:

    This sin is horrible, I agree, but I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

    I’m gonna say different and that Jeremiah 17:9 is one of the most used and abused clobber verses in all of Scripture. When Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context, its intended use is to shut down any and all dissent from Augustine’s doctrine of Original Sin.

  113. Jim wrote:

    I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

    The perfect words to shut down dialogue. By that rationale, the Apostle Paul should not have publicly confronted the Apostle Peter. What you wrote suggests that no one is allowed to exercise any discernment in the church since everyone is equally wicked. I don’t buy it.

  114. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m gonna say different and that Jeremiah 17:9 is one of the most used and abused clobber verses in all of Scripture. When Hueyed (helicoptered) out of context, its intended use is to shut down any and all dissent from Augustine’s doctrine of Original Sin.

    Ain’t that the truth! Another is Gen 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Which gets Hueyed out from the preceding verses about the Nephilim and the subsequent “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.”

  115. Ken G wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    TBH, I’ve never heard of Albert Barnes, and I don’t know how important he thought his own Notes on the New Testament to be; but I have a generic observation.

    By the time of his death in 1870, over a million volumes of his Notes on the New Testament were published. He was a prominent Presbyterian minister

    Does anyone remember St Thomas Aquinas? Most brilliant mind of the Middle Ages?
    Wrote an entire shelf of theology books which became the basis for Catholic theology to this day?
    And near the end of his life had a vision of God and stopped writing because “all I wrote is a thing of straw” and could not even scratch the surface?

    (Of course this is all just Romish Popery, and thus cannot be listened to by Real True Christians who write, ghost, publish, and devour “over a MILLION Volumes in circulation” of Theology, Theology, and Theology….)

  116. Muff Potter wrote:

    Jim wrote:

    This sin is horrible, I agree, but I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

    I’m gonna say different and that Jeremiah 17:9 is one of the most used and abused clobber verses in all of Scripture.

    Let me tell you a little story about Sin Leveling I heard from “Pi Factorial” last time I was on the East Coast: How China’s Chin Dynasty fell (on its Second Emperor, which set some sort of record).

    The Philosophy of the Chin was called “Legalism”, a system of absolute detailed laws and harsh punishment for anything and everything, NO EXCEPTIONS. And “Sin-levelling” in that all transgressions were equally (and savagely) punished at the same severity. (Think North Korea except the Emperor was just as much a puppet of The System as everyone else.)

    Well, during mobilization of the Army, one army unit (company-sized?) was delayed getting to their mustering point. And the following “discussion” went down:

    “What is the penalty for being late to our mustering point?”
    “Death (by torture, applied to the entire family for three generations).”
    “What is the penalty for overthrowing the Emperor?”
    “Death (by torture, applied to the entire family for three generations).”
    “What have we got to lose?”

    So this army company holed up in their outer province and started a Rebellion that overthrew the Emperor and ended the Chin Dynasty.

  117. Law Prof wrote:

    So what does this young, allegedly Christian woman with small child do? She says she’s have fallen in love with this hot, still-married, ex con—it’s a Christian bond between them, she assures us—and is, the last time we spoke (she no longer speaks to us because our group told her point blank she was daft), she was making plans for him to move in with her and her little girl.

    Harley Quinn has found her Joker.

    “OOOOOOO MY SOULMATE! HE’S SOOOOOO (gasp) EXCITING!”

  118. Beakerj wrote:

    Plus there are many women & children strangers that can be welcomed by those for whom single males are a terrible idea.

    Indeed. Although, sadly, some men in church may not be trusted with those women and children. We have seen cases of this. So *they* need to be on the lookout as well when choosing where to go.

  119. brian wrote:

    A bit off topic
    This is somewhat “fringe” but it has strong sub-currents in the evangelical/reform world I just wanted to ask if others found it as troubling as I do.
    https://theecclesialcalvinist.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/critical-theory-and-the-unity-of-the-church/

    Thanks for the link. I found myself agreeing with much of what they say, but still troubled by it. One thing most folks likely wouldn’t question is — What do they mean by “the unity of the Church”? They may mean just of the tiny church splinter of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Which isn’t much unity. They had dissension in the ranks over these issues last spring which came to a head with a now-deleted April 1 column by Todd Pruitt.

  120. Lydia wrote:

    In my mind, it’s strange that people see such decisions to protect your family as lacking piety in any way. Or that putting your children in harms way is pious.

    Isn’t that like sacrificing your child to curry favor with your god?
    (Paging Baal-Moloch… Paging Baal-Moloch…)

  121. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Ken G wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    TBH, I’ve never heard of Albert Barnes, and I don’t know how important he thought his own Notes on the New Testament to be; but I have a generic observation.

    By the time of his death in 1870, over a million volumes of his Notes on the New Testament were published. He was a prominent Presbyterian minister

    Does anyone remember St Thomas Aquinas? Most brilliant mind of the Middle Ages?
    Wrote an entire shelf of theology books which became the basis for Catholic theology to this day?
    And near the end of his life had a vision of God and stopped writing because “all I wrote is a thing of straw” and could not even scratch the surface?

    (Of course this is all just Romish Popery, and thus cannot be listened to by Real True Christians who write, ghost, publish, and devour “over a MILLION Volumes in circulation” of Theology, Theology, and Theology….)

    I think of the nobody peasants who were killed enmass by both sides because they dared to disagree. I bet if they weren’t “just” peasants their words would have been enlightening. You had to be a somebody of some kind in the caste to even get a hearing of sorts.

  122. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Jim wrote:

    I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

    The perfect words to shut down dialogue. By that rationale, the Apostle Paul should not have publicly confronted the Apostle Peter. What you wrote suggests that no one is allowed to exercise any discernment in the church since everyone is equally wicked. I don’t buy it.

    Which means it’s actually stupid to listen to any pastor preach/teach.

    When this passage was trotted out by the YRR, I never understood how they couldn’t see what they were saying about themselves. It seems they were chosen to be exempted or something.

  123. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    In my mind, it’s strange that people see such decisions to protect your family as lacking piety in any way. Or that putting your children in harms way is pious.

    Isn’t that like sacrificing your child to curry favor with your god?
    (Paging Baal-Moloch… Paging Baal-Moloch…)

    Maybe It’s like ancient pagan god tests. If this doesn’t happen then it means X. If it does, it means Y.

    I honestly do not know how a determinist deals with thinking God commands something of them like opening your home full of children to a convicted pedophile…. but then a horrible thing happens that actually fits a past pattern of behavior……

    What does a determinist learn from something like this if they stick with determinism? That God orchestrated it for their own good and the child’s own good? That is often what we hear from them.

  124. @ Jim:

    I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t want to be judgemental, other than towards some people whom I’m comfortable judging, but clearly everyone here is looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it because you’ll spoil it!

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  125. One of the most generous examples I know of this was my parents, who allowed former addicts to work for my dad (who worked cleaning cars out of our home) and allowed these homeless men to live with us…except they didn't live in our home – they lived in the backyard in tents. Grace does not mean a lack of boundaries.

  126. Lydia wrote:

    It seems they were chosen to be exempted or something.

    “Chosen” – very appropriate word…

  127. @ Arnold Smartarse:

    Bah. Hate agreeing with people, but sometimes even the best of us can’t help it.

    Here’s the plain truth, not that anyone on this blogful of losers can handle it. I obey whichever bits of the Bible I can be bothered to. The rest? Who cares. Everyone else is as sinful as me, so if God wants any more, He can kiss my Smartarse.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  128. Lydia wrote:

    it’s actually stupid to listen to any pastor preach/teach.

    Finally, one of the “Wartburgers” says something I agree with. Even if I had to quote them out of context first.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  129. Jim wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    You mean like the Apoztle Paul who actually killed Christians? Yes, God forbid that this lady would try to do what she believed the Lord would have her to do. If you want to keep a potential threat out of your home, you better never invite another person in. This sin is horrible, I agree, but I think its clear that all of our hearts are wicked and if anyone says different he is a liar.

    Jim, what about the parts in the Bible where it says to provide for your children—or you’re denying faith in Christ? Wouldn’t provide include protecting them from people who could very well do them harm? Obviously, under the circumstances, it would appear that the young woman was NOT following the Lord in this, as it did not work out at all.

    When you say “all of our hearts are wicked”, you’re right—to a point. Some of us have actually been regenerated and have the Holy Spirit living in us and guiding us and we are new creations in Christ. We are no longer subject to that “wicked” nature—and yes indeed, there is a profound difference between us and someone who’s faking Christianity because they had an alleged jailhouse conversion that obviously didn’t take because they go straight back to the way they were. And when you say something so ridiculous as if you want to keep threats out, “you better never invite anyone in again”, you lose us. There are varying degrees of danger, and darned sure it’s more dangerous to bring a recently “converted” convicted felon into your house with your children than a person who’s proven themselves and their integrity over the course of decades.

    At some point you are taking a stupid risk with your children, one that is inexcusable, so that you can evidently feel good and important and satisfy your savior complex—and you are in violation of I Timothy 5:8 and providing evidence that you have simply denied your faith in Jesus—not that that ever stopped the crowd who produce this nonsense and people like you who support them.

  130. Lydia wrote:

    Which means it’s actually stupid to listen to any pastor preach/teach.

    When this passage was trotted out by the YRR, I never understood how they couldn’t see what they were saying about themselves. It seems they were chosen to be exempted or something.

    Right? All of our hearts are wicked. We’re all a mess. What is the point, then?? Do what you want.

  131. @ Roger Bombast:

    Dear Roger,

    I don’t know whether to be flattered or offended. I will choose offended because that’s all the rage now.

    Sincerely,

    Lydia de Vil

  132. On a complete change of subject, I made my 12th ascent of Ben Nevis yesterday (along with Lesley, completing her 5th) and finally did the Carn Mor Dearg arete from the Ben Nevis end; my previous traverses have always been in the other direction. Liked it so much I walked straight back along it to the Ben! Partly because earlier cloud had lifted and the roof of Scotland was now in sunshine.

    Woo.

    (As they say.)

  133. It’s three of TGC’s most favorite tropes bizarrely bundled in one:

    1. What they’re forcing people beneath them to do to as evidence of their super-Christian status,

    2. Ignoring and minimizing legitimate evil while shaming people for essentially being normal. It’s normal to like your home, or pet your dog, or watch Game of Thrones, etc.,

    3. Effusive praise for stay at home mothers.

  134. Jim wrote:

    God forbid that this lady would try to do what she believed the Lord would have her to do

    But the Lord never intended for us to be so open-minded that our brains fall out! John warned “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” … if they ain’t from God, don’t let them near your children!

  135. Stan wrote:

    3. Effusive praise for stay at home mothers.

    But it’s also kind of a knock if they are so lonely they have to invite criminal in to make them less lonely! What a weird place it is, over in TGC land…

  136. I just read this TWW article today. Now a quote from TGC’s Hansen:

    (Michel) offers an unexpected apologetic for the Christian faith through our experience with home. From various angles she evokes the reader’s longing for home, a place of welcome, safety, honesty, and shelter, but she won’t allow us to invest in any home on earth with hope that can only be assured by Jesus Christ.

    My response. Then why did Jesus teach us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? We should be able to feel safest at home more than anywhere else, among those who are (or should be) committed to our welfare. This is especially true of children who are most vulnerable and need protecting.

    I think these TGC folks have a serious disconnect from reality.

  137. Gram3 wrote:

    This is the cult of hospitality. Not the gift of hospitality or the goodness of extending hospitality but the cult of hospitality that has been taught in certain Calvinista churches.

    It is beyond understanding that a mother would allow any stranger into her home. It is beyond understanding that a Godly Manly Head of the Home would allow any stranger into his home that he has supposedly been appointed by God to guard and protect.

    The first duty of a parent is to protect and provide for his or her children, and one simply does not take risks with children like that. There are other ways to minister to people who have needs.

    Gram3, I must keep up all of your comments because I agree with all of them. I know about the cult of hospitality, as you so succinctly put it. I once embraced that mindset, and I picked it up from my former Christian cult, which didn’t even come close to Calvinista.

    We used to let all kinds of people stay in our fellowship houses. Some very dangerous things occurred in the process. One time, a woman who we took in pulled a knife on someone in the middle of the night. The person had to fight her off and thankfully no one was harmed. It turns out she had escaped from a mental institution. This is just one among many “cult of hospitality” stories I could tell.

  138. Darlene wrote:

    cult of hospitality

    The fact that Common Sense has Humility as a pillar is a problem. Common Sense never produces a Cult of anything.

  139. Darlene wrote:

    Then why did Jesus teach us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

    Well: <irony>

    There are two, and only two, possibilities. One is that God instantly answers every prayer any Christian ever prays, unless of course that Christian is in Sin™ or Unbelief™. The other is that God never answers any prayer, or else does answer prayer but, conveniently, “never in the way you expect”™.

    </irony>

    Aye, right.

    The truth is, surely, that there’s a complex dance (for want of a better word) between our praying, God answering, our discovering more of who God is and what he is like, and our ongoing experience of him – and not just our individual experience, but our collective experience as well.

  140. Gram3 wrote:

    So why would anyone click through to register to hear yet another set of talks from the ***same*** people who have been talking for the past 12 years at every event? The Fab Four look tired.

    Gram3, you gave me good laugh today. Thanks for that.

    I think the Fab Four will be speaking to the choir. A choir that possibly gets all tingly inside at the thought of hearing these guys.

    And now I can’t even play a fun game of Solitare online without being reminded that Al Mohler will be speaking in Orlando, March 8-10. Register early and you get a $50.00 discount. Oh, and every so often Kevin DeYoung’s photo pops up for the same conference.

    Can I please just play a few games of Solitare without having to be distracted by photo advertisements of the Calvinista gurus? 🙂

  141. Jim wrote:

    If you want to keep a potential threat out of your home, you better never invite another person in.

    There’s a basic level of risk assessment that any normal person can use that will a) filter out those most likely to hurt their children b) ensure everyone is kept an eye on when interacting with children, & never shuts the door to the idea that someone they trust could theoretically cause harm to children. Works pretty well. There’s no need to get the Christian hysterics, throw up hands & say ‘all or no-one’.

  142. Darlene wrote:

    I think these TGC folks have a serious disconnect from reality.

    Holier than Jesus. I think that should be their new slogan.

  143. Beakerj wrote:

    Jim wrote:
    If you want to keep a potential threat out of your home, you better never invite another person in.
    There’s a basic level of risk assessment that any normal person can use that will a) filter out those most likely to hurt their children b) ensure everyone is kept an eye on when interacting with children, & never shuts the door to the idea that someone they trust could theoretically cause harm to children. Works pretty well. There’s no need to get the Christian hysterics, throw up hands & say ‘all or no-one’.

    Right. Do basic risk assessment and hopefully make a wise choice. But you can be wrong.

    then comes step two. Reassessing your choices and acting appropriately when you realize you are wrong. Which is where a lot churches fall short in their response to abuse by their employees.

  144. From Reality, and someone who has “been there”:

    The right response to evil?

    ‘”Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, Jaeger-Lane reminds audiences. “The criminal needs to be punished, with life in prison if necessary,” she says.’

    http://bit.ly/2gElZ1r

  145. Lea wrote:

    Reassessing your choices and acting appropriately when you realize you are wrong. Which is where a lot churches fall short in their response to abuse by their employees.

    This is a really good point, and seems to be missing from the book review cited in the post. It went from a beautiful picture of love, to it all suddenly going wrong, to an ethereal metaphor for our longing for home and nobody’s perfect, completely jumping over the idea of actually learning from a mistake so that they, or others, could potentially do things better.

  146. Lea wrote:

    Right. Do basic risk assessment and hopefully make a wise choice. But you can be wrong.

    Perfect comment. A search on “Operational Risk Management” (ORM) is instructive. We all tend to do this a bit without thinking about it. But when we are making decisions that involve other people where the consequences can be significant, we had better make a determined effort to follow the principles of ORM. We owe it to our kids to do this.

  147. Lydia wrote:

    What does a determinist learn from something like this if they stick with determinism? That God orchestrated it for their own good and the child’s own good? That is often what we hear from them.

    And at this point of course they’ll say it’s all engineered so that god (small ‘g’ intentional) can bring ‘glory’ to himself. There aren’t enough colorful epithets and sayings in my repertoire that could describe my response… So I’ll stand down…and besides, it would have about as much chance of getting through customs as a Colombian mule getting through LAX with 2 kilos of blow.

  148. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It went from a beautiful picture of love, to it all suddenly going wrong, to an ethereal metaphor for our longing for home and nobody’s perfect, completely jumping over the idea of actually learning from a mistake so that they, or others, could potentially do things better.

    They don’t make mistakes, though, because it’s all part of god’s plan and purpose and god will make all turn out swell. (See how that works for them.)

  149. Lea wrote:

    There’s a basic level of risk assessment that any normal person can use that will a) filter out those most likely to hurt their children b) ensure everyone is kept an eye on when interacting with children, & never shuts the door to the idea that someone they trust could theoretically cause harm to children. Works pretty well. There’s no need to get the Christian hysterics, throw up hands & say ‘all or no-one’.
    Right. Do basic risk assessment and hopefully make a wise choice. But you can be wrong.

    I agree with the idea of doing basic risk assessment. However, I think some things boil down to using Common Sense. If you (generic you) know that a person has a past history of pedophilia, then you don’t EVER take them in as a guest to stay in your home when you have children. Because the potential, however slight it may be, is there that something can go wrong. And the children’s welfare takes precedence over any other consideration – ALWAYS.

    If this person with a past of pedophilia needs a place to stay, why not get a small fund raising campaign together from the local church where everyone can contribute funds for a hotel room or month-to-month rental? Certainly there are other solutions than putting him up in a home where children live. That is just too risky. Just like churches should never approve of a former thief being church secretary. The risk just isn’t worth it.

  150. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    completely jumping over the idea of actually learning from a mistake so that they, or others, could potentially do things better.

    Exactly! Reminded me of a quote: “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

    And then you have fools, who learn nothing at all and keep doing the same stuff over and over and over…sigh.

  151. Darlene wrote:

    I agree with the idea of doing basic risk assessment. However, I think some things boil down to using Common Sense.

    Your risk assessment is going to be garbage if you are too stupid to assess risk properly.

  152. Three years ago, we opened our home to a recovering addict (BB). She stayed with us for about 3 months. We did not have any kids–the two cats don’t count–and we held her to a very rigid structure: she had to go to all of her appointments, take her prescribed medications as directed, and–if we found any evidence that she was “using”, she was out.

    During those months, BB did well. Unfortunately, after she moved out, things went south for her.

    Today, we have an adopted daughter. If BB were in that position of need, we would not be able to justify taking her in, due to the risk she would represent to our daughter.

    I can see a case for taking the risk in question; at the same time, when one has children who could be endangered, that is a different ballgame.

    I think a lot of the problem today is that people don’t read Proverbs enough; they don’t have enough of an appreciation for the emphasis on prudence and seeking wise counsel and making wise decisions.

  153. Darlene wrote:

    I think the Fab Four will be speaking to the choir. A choir that possibly gets all tingly inside at the thought of hearing these guys.

    If not piddling all over the floor like giddy puppies when in the Presence of the Great Ones.

  154. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    If not piddling all over the floor like giddy puppies when in the Presence of the Great Ones.

    I have raised many puppies over the years, and I must say, this was a very apt metaphor 😉

  155. Lydia wrote:

    When this passage was trotted out by the YRR, I never understood how they couldn’t see what they were saying about themselves. It seems they were chosen to be exempted or something.

    Never underestimate the Arrogance of the Predestined Elect, God’s Speshul Pets.

  156. years ago when my children were very young, I had a relative who was in jail for being a Pedo and we got a call from the prison, an anonymous call from one of his jailers that told me to get a couple dogs, a security system a gun or 2 and be prepared because he had every reason to think my brother was coming for my kids. Needless to say I took his advise and went on high alert. I was so aware of the likelihood of him showing up the kids slept in our room and we did not let them out of our sight. I was NOT in fear, I just took the necessary precautions. I was told by our pastor and several well meaning church leader friends that I was not walking in faith and trust. My response was as loving but as firm as I could be… ” If the police called you and told you a ravenous man eating Lion was loose and we know he is headed right for your house what would you do? Live in faith and trust that God would protect your kids while you put them outside to play anyway?” They got the picture. Just 3 days after the Pedo arrived in town he was arrested for child porn and is back in prison for good THANK GOD!!!!! I agree with you the church is too ignorant on such matters.

  157. Amir Larijani wrote:

    I think a lot of the problem today is that people don’t read Proverbs enough; they don’t have enough of an appreciation for the emphasis on prudence and seeking wise counsel and making wise decisions.

    Wisdom.

  158. This old movie quote is supposed to a joke, not an accurate statement:
    So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

    Good grief how dumb do you have to be to not be suspicious for the sake of your kids?!?

  159. srs wrote:

    Good grief how dumb do you have to be to not be suspicious for the sake of your kids?!?

    In the Old Testament, it was the pagan religions that sacrificed children.

    Leviticus 18:21
    You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.

    Ezekiel 16:20
    Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured.

  160. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Patti:
    Unfortunately, you graphically prove the point if this originaly post…..
    What wad/us your parents reaction to the past, terrible, experinces you had?

    I always felt like it was my fault. There was never a sense that my dad thought he did anything wrong by leaving us so vulnerable. My mother would never have on her own. But that man as head of the house thing you know . . .

  161. one of the little people wrote:

    When I contacted the mother of the new girlfriend of the young man who sexually assaulted my daughter while she was sleeping, who eventually was convicted and sentenced for child molestation, and had to register as a child molestor, I was told by this Christian mom that the young man had been totally transparent with her daughter and that they were committed to purity. When I pointed out that he had continued lying about what he’d done and that he had never repented, I received no response. It didn’t fit with the “beautiful” story (her word to describe the redemptive tale she was swallowing whole). Arrogance does not allow for these people to hear the truth. What do I know? I’m just the bitter, unforgiving mom of his victim.

    I think there’s also the whole “boys will be boys” attitude at play here. Culturally speaking, society often defends or dismisses the sins of males. Many women are taught that whatever a man does is justifiable in some way and that it is probably their fault or that they are being crazy. Others believe that men simply have an uncontrollable sex drive that just has to be satisfied. This “theology” is prominent in many Christian circles as well and it’s not helping and it’s excusing sin and wicked intentions.

  162. Let me make a sort of orthodox traditional observation.

    The enemy, the great deceiver, seems to delight in making Jesus’ people look foolish. I wonder why the Jesus People don’t wise up to this.

  163. one of the wee folk wrote:

    When I pointed out that he had continued lying about what he’d done and that he had never repented, I received no response. It didn’t fit with the “beautiful” story (her word to describe the redemptive tale she was swallowing whole).

    People whose god (lower-case G) is not, in reality, capable of doing ***t are like this. They cling to false miracles, long after the false miracles have been exposed, because to do so would be to admit they’re praying to a systematic theology that’s the work of a man’s mind, that might as well be a lump of wood.

  164. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    they’re praying to a systematic theology that’s the work of a man’s mind, that might as well be a lump of wood.

    Good call. Many systematic theologies out there in the market place, with sales in books, conferences, on the internet. Purchasers paying for a lump of wood, it seems.

  165. JYJames wrote:

    Sam wrote:

    it is probably their fault

    “Why did you, girl/lady, make him do that?”

    Isn’t “SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO?” a standard gaslight/blame shift for an Abuser and Manipulator?

  166. The problem with the:

    standard gaslight/blame shift

    is that it is so much less than what Jesus died for. He died and rose so we can stand up, take responsibility, change, and be the best as God created us. Thx, JC.
    Headless Unicorn Guy

    This Labor Day, Tim Fall has posted another Stand up and Be the Best example on his blog: “When I graduated law school my mentor at the firm I worked at was a woman. When I got on the bench and had been a judge for a while, I mentored a woman who joined the court. Gender qualifications were meaningless both times.” (Check out his blog on TWW blog roll.) Gender did not qualify (neither Greek nor Jew, nor man nor woman, etc., Gal. 2:28).

  167. Darlene wrote:

    I agree with the idea of doing basic risk assessment. However, I think some things boil down to using Common Sense. If you (generic you) know that a person has a past history of pedophilia, then you don’t EVER take them in as a guest to stay in your home when you have children.

    I would hope that that would be included in the Common Sense you’d ordinarily use to do a risk assessment.

  168. Beakerj wrote:

    I would hope that that would be included in the Common Sense you’d ordinarily use to do a risk assessment.

    The first step is to identify hazards. In this case, the hazard is sexual abuse.
    The next step is to determine the probability and consequence. The probability here is high and the consequence is catastrophic. This makes it a very high risk.
    Then one must decide how to handle the risk – accept it (which is what happened in this post), avoid it (by not letting the offender have any kind of access), or mitigate it with controls such as two-person rule.
    As a parent, I’m going for avoiding the risk. Churches pretty much need to implement controls because you cannot positively screen every visitor. Accepting such a risk should never be an option. TGC and their ilk are dangerous.

  169. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a virgin is raped, and they’re discovered, the guy can get out of it by paying 50 shekels, marrying her and never divorcing her. I find this appalling. She’s treated like a side of beef, cost 50 shekels. What if she doesn’t want to be married to her rapist? She doesn’t appear to have a choice or the ability to give consent.

    I agree with you that we can understand morality without the Bible and I’m not a fan of the “gospel” coalition. But that interpretation of Deuteronomy is not accurate. The passage is referring to a man making a physical move on, not physically forcing, a young woman(compare Deuteronomy 22: 25. Verse 28 doesn’t say he “forces”her but a different Hebrew word is used. The word here is a very general word to take hold of, even used to taking up an instrument to play it). While verses 23–27 do refer to rape, verses 28–29 are a clarification on the earlier passage from Exodus 22 22:16–17. The Exodus passage refers to a man “enticing” a young woman. Deuteronomy often expands on or clarifies what was previously given in the law. Here Deuteronomy clarifies that if a man does not use words to “entice” but entices by making a physical move on a woman and she goes along with it the same law in Exodus applies. I think the woman loses her choice of spouse here as she has shown herself unreliable in sexual choices, that is going along with a man’s verbal (Exodus) or physical (Deuteronomy) sexual advances. Nowhere in the Torah does it say in general a woman couldn’t choose her husband. In fact, in a case of daughters without a father it’s explicitly stated (Numbers 36:6) that they, not their uncles or grandfathers, were to choose who they were to marry themselves. (I had to do some research on choice in marriage in the Torah as someone in one of my sisters churches was into the patriarchy movement, and I helped my sister get some counter arguments to that movement.) I hope this clarifies things. This is one of the misinterpretations that I’ve heard atheists used to slam God and the Bible and I even have a young relative who rejected Christ in part based on that false interpretation of this passage. When standing up against people who are wrong we have to watch out for being tricked into believing their false interpretations of the Bible; we need to go back to the Bible to see what it really says. Sometimes this can take time, but I have found it always to be worthwhile, even very profitable.

  170. @ Paul:

    Paul, with all due respect, that’s a lot of explaining that doesn’t get to the root of the issue–the virgin was property and the 50 shekels and marriage was property damage paid to the father. It doesn’t matter if she was enticed or not, she was violated and she had no choice in what happened to her afterward. It appears to me that you’re grossly minimizing what is going on here.

  171. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Paul, with all due respect, that’s a lot of explaining that doesn’t get to the root of the issue–the virgin was property and the 50 shekels and marriage was property damage paid to the father

    I have read, and I honestly can’t say where, that this was intended for her care and upkeep in some fashion? Like if she could no longer get married, or did not wish to marry this person, she would still have something to support her.

    I mean, I think most of that stuff is a mess in general and absolutely women are treated as property but this is clearly meant to be some sort of protection, even if it’s a completely imperfect one.

  172. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Thank you for your reply. My responses are below but first I’ll note that this took place in a society that was not sexualized before marriage. Thus a young woman in that environment that chose to have sex outside of marriage would be making a serious, conscious choice, not just going with the flow of the culture.

    First, it’s just an assumption that the virgin was property. Second, again it’s just an assumption that the 50 shekels were property damage paid to the father. Note that the rules in this situation gave an incentive not to, and counteractive to any peer pressure, to engage in premarital sex. The young man would have second thoughts “do I really want to be stuck with her for life?” and could use this as a “honorable” answer to any of his friends pressuring him to have sex with her. Also this would give the young woman second thoughts and she could tell the young man “I don’t want to be stuck with you for life” and could use this with any of her friends who are pressuring her too. The 50 shekels meant the father wasn’t stuck with the option of having her marry an undesirable young man. Sometimes good kids have sex outside of marriage and the best thing is for them to marry; but sometimes getting married is not the best option. The 50 shekels offered another deterrent. Third, it seems in marriage in biblical days that an exchange of property was common; the young man would give money to the father and the father would provide resources for his daughter. This would be a cementing of the family bonds. This is one of the complaints that Rachel and Leah had against their father Laban, that he taken labor from Jacob but “Completely consumed our money”. Fourth, I don’t see that the young woman was violated in the sense she didn’t choose this activity. The word enticed here is the same word used warning young men not to be “enticed” to join a murderous robber band in Proverbs chapter 1. Fifth, yes she had no choice afterwards. She had made her sexual choice by going against the culture of the day in choosing to sleep with a man outside of marriage. Again, losing any choice afterwards would be a strong deterrent against engaging in this activity that leads to things like sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, emotional scars, and the breakdown of society. Giving young people reasons not to have premarital sex can be a way of preventing them to do something they would’ve preferred not to do but chose to do anyways. It’s like the girls before birth control who would reject premarital sex by saying “I don’t want to get pregnant.” I think our current society is way to sexualize before marriage and this leads young people to do things that on reflection they would’ve preferred they haven’t chose to do. Sixth, again note that at least in the case of the daughters whose father had died they were to choose whoever they wanted to marry; not whoever their grandfather or uncles or closest male relatives chose. So there is nothing in the law of Moses saying that it was normative by the Torah for fathers to choose their daughters husbands without them having any say. Again, assuming that the modern patriarchal movement’s reading of the Torah is accurate doesn’t seem to be the best approach; after all we see they’re wrong on so many other things why should we think they’re right here?

  173. Beakerj wrote:

    There’s a basic level of risk assessment that any normal person can use that will a) filter out those most likely to hurt their children b) ensure everyone is kept an eye on when interacting with children, & never shuts the door to the idea that someone they trust could theoretically cause harm to children. Works pretty well. There’s no need to get the Christian hysterics, throw up hands & say ‘all or no-one’.

    Exactly, Jim was proposing a contemptibly ridiculous false dilemma, one that would have the effect, if followed to the letter, of either making antisocial hermits of all in the fellowship, or exposing everyone in the fellowship to extreme harm as they allow anyone into their homes because the benefits will invariably outweigh the costs. It’s this sort of absurdity that makes the church look completely ridiculous to the world–and not for the right reasons. I want to look ridiculous because I believe Jesus is Lord and the only way to the Father; don’t want to look ridiculous because I do stupid things that put my children in danger of being killed or molested. Jim’s language and suggestions represent just the sort of false Christianity platitudes that are repulsive to the world as well as to those who actually follow Christ.

  174. okrapod wrote:

    Let me make a sort of orthodox traditional observation.
    The enemy, the great deceiver, seems to delight in making Jesus’ people look foolish. I wonder why the Jesus People don’t wise up to this.

    In some cases, it’s because they’re just not very wise Christians and don’t listen to the Holy Spirit—maybe they’re too busy chasing the latest quasi-Christian conference speaking and book writing celebs.

    In other cases, it’s because they simply are not Jesus’ people at all, they’re fakes, and as such, are worse than the spittingly hostile live-in-mom’s-basement atheists, because at least the latter crowd isn’t a bunch of liars about what they truly believe.

  175. This seems a good time to highlight the report from CREC, Doug Wilson’s denomination, on those churches’ decisions that allowed sexual predators to live with children. These concern Jamin Wight and Steven Sitler, whose cases have been discussed here in recent years.

    http://www.moscowid.net/communion-of-reformed-evangelical-churches-presiding-ministers-report-on-the-sitler-and-wight-sex-abuse-cases/

    I thought the pastors’ report made fascinating reading, and they did gin up the nerve to criticize some of Doug’s decisions, though they have no power to discipline.

  176. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    I professionally risk assess the safety of children & young people daily at work for the last 23 yrs, including the most vulnerable. I kind of watered down what I said for a home audience.

  177. Law Prof wrote:

    I want to look ridiculous because I believe Jesus is Lord and the only way to the Father; don’t want to look ridiculous because I do stupid things that put my children in danger of being killed or molested.

    A big fat Amen to this. I sometimes wonder if some Christians are wilfully stupid, seeing it as virtuous somehow. Or that their kids are the most ‘valuable’ thing they can sacrifice to their beliefs to prove their piety?

  178. Beakerj wrote:

    A big fat Amen to this. I sometimes wonder if some Christians are wilfully stupid, seeing it as virtuous somehow. Or that their kids are the most ‘valuable’ thing they can sacrifice to their beliefs to prove their piety?

    You have to wonder. We’re currently dealing with a situation in our home fellowship that I discussed previously: a young, recently-divorced lady with a little girl who started looking for Mr. Goodbar through online dating sites, went through a few guys before she found the magical one. A still-married guy on the other side of the country with a few kids himself. He was recently was arrested for beating his wife. Mugshot’s on the net. Anyway, this real prize of a guy told our young friend bye explanation: “My wife’s crazy and beat me and held a gun to my head, but when the cops arrived they got mixed up and arrested me.” Yeah, right, buddy—sounds a lot like what’s been alleged about Tony Jones. Anyway, our son in law, who is with a public accounting firm and has done a bit of fraud detection in his career, looked into this guy’s background and found he was also on a hardcore quick sex site like Ashley Madison. So this young woman wanted to move the fellow in with her and her little girl, and wanted to do so sight unseen, having never met him, never met any of his friends to find out more about his (alarmingly questionable) character, on the strength of nothing but his word.

    So against this backdrop another couple within our fellowship is now saying “We have no hard proof that this man’s up to no good, he might mean well, we need to have grace, why we’re all sinners ourselves, maybe God is bringing this man into her and her little girl’s life to save him…etc., etc, etc.” Has the Christian world gone completely mad?

  179. @ Law Prof:
    I’d tell her to run a background check but it sounds like she already knows the bad stuff!!! Good night. Really bad idea to move him in without every meeting him. Who does that????

  180. Lea wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    I’d tell her to run a background check but it sounds like she already knows the bad stuff!!! Good night. Really bad idea to move him in without every meeting him. Who does that????

    I guess she’s the type of person who does. She already knows about the background, but just believes him without questioning it. Of course, ever sociopathic abuser in the world is going to tell you they’re innocent. And if a person wants something badly enough, such as a well-educated hunky guy, suppose they can rationalize anything. Our friends in the home fellowship want to maintain their relationship with her, and they know if they tell her straight up that she’s making a foolish and dangerous decision for her little girl and herself, that she’ll cut them off, so they’ve decided to rationalize it all away and imagine that “God is in this” somewhere. So kind of like they’re willing to sacrifice a little girl’s safety on the altar of maintaining a friendship with the mother, just like the mother’s willing to do so on the altar of having the hunk. Hope there’s a major change of heart!

  181. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Sheesh. What constitutes proof these days? The sociopath tells you he’s a sociopath?

    I’m beginning to wonder if this guy told our erstwhile young lady friend “I’m a sadistic sociopath and abuse children”, she’d say “Aww, poor guy, I’ll take him in, I mean, hey, nobody’s perfect and surely my heart’s just as wicked as him and hey, being around my little girl will help him build strength to overcome his tendencies—why this is surely the very Hand of God bringing him into my life!”

  182. Law Prof wrote:

    Our friends in the home fellowship want to maintain their relationship with her, and they know if they tell her straight up that she’s making a foolish and dangerous decision for her little girl and herself, that she’ll cut them off, so they’ve decided to rationalize it all away and imagine that “God is in this” somewhere. So kind of like they’re willing to sacrifice a little girl’s safety on the altar of maintaining a friendship with the mother, just like the mother’s willing to do so on the altar of having the hunk.

    It appears that you have not met this woman. If her friends are unwilling, then it may be time for you to step up to the plate and get her phone number, e-mail, etc and tell her your concerns.

  183. Ken G wrote:

    It appears that you have not met this woman. If her friends are unwilling, then it may be time for you to step up to the plate and get her phone number, e-mail, etc and tell her your concerns.

    That’s odd, from earlier comments, I had the impression that Law Proff. had interacted with this woman. I could be wrong though.

  184. Bridget wrote:

    Ken G wrote:
    It appears that you have not met this woman. If her friends are unwilling, then it may be time for you to step up to the plate and get her phone number, e-mail, etc and tell her your concerns.

    That’s odd, from earlier comments, I had the impression that Law Proff. had interacted with this woman. I could be wrong though.

    I think it’s somebody in his homegroup?

    But if he didn’t know her, I doubt a random stranger telling her the same thing people she actually knows is going to change her mind.

  185. Lea wrote:

    I think it’s somebody in his homegroup?

    But if he didn’t know her, I doubt a random stranger telling her the same thing people she actually knows is going to change her mind.

    Law Prof is hoping that her friends, which are in his home fellowship, have a major change of heart and tell her. But if they don’t have a change of heart, it seems that Law Prof could tell her. I agree; it would be best to hear it from her friends.

  186. Ken G wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Our friends in the home fellowship want to maintain their relationship with her, and they know if they tell her straight up that she’s making a foolish and dangerous decision for her little girl and herself, that she’ll cut them off, so they’ve decided to rationalize it all away and imagine that “God is in this” somewhere. So kind of like they’re willing to sacrifice a little girl’s safety on the altar of maintaining a friendship with the mother, just like the mother’s willing to do so on the altar of having the hunk.
    It appears that you have not met this woman. If her friends are unwilling, then it may be time for you to step up to the plate and get her phone number, e-mail, etc and tell her your concerns.

    We’ve known her for nine years, she used to come over regularly for dinner, Bible study or to hang out. Our youngest daughter would play with her little girl—the one we’re now worried about. Our adult daughter and son in law were close friends with her, and they told her what they’d discovered about her online net dating hottie out west. At first, they were cautious, hinting around, asking her if she thought this was a good idea, meeting guys on the net when she has a little girl at home (especially guys who are still, ahem, married!) and she’d blow them off. Finally, when it seemed she just wasn’t getting the hint, they became very direct with her, showed her the mugshot from his arrest for beating his wife, told her the guy’s currently trolling for hookups on an Ashley Madison-type site, told her about the New Age mysticism the guy’s into (in spite of his claims to Christianity), laid it all on the line. She knows absolutely everything and simply rejected their advice and ignored the evidence. She doesn’t care, and when my son-in-law told her he wouldn’t be comfortable being in a home church fellowship with this guy, should he move here to live with her and her little girl, she cut him and the rest of us off.

    She now only keeps contact with one couple from the fellowship, the couple I referenced above. We figured maybe they could speak some sense to her, but they want to give this guy a chance and seem to have no regard whatsoever for her little girl—they won’t even discuss her plight, even though recently I brought it up repeatedly and vigorously.

    So far as I know, they just won’t help. We’ve had no contact with them since the last time we spoke. Our adult daughter and son-in-law, the whistleblowers, are being treated as the bad actors here, they told the truth, presented clear evidence of it, but it wasn’t something that anyone wanted to hear. Young mommy wants the internet date guy, and our other friends want to maintain their relationship with the young mother apparently at all costs. They appear to value their relationship with her over the safety of her child and don’t want to say anything to jeopardize it. That’s why I was hoping for a change of heart, that they’d grow a sense of integrity and perhaps act something remotely like followers of Christ and say something, because young mom won’t listen to us or our daughter and son-in-law anymore, has flat cut us all off.

  187. @ Law Prof:
    Unless you can figure a way to drop a dime on Internet Hunk with the Law, about all you can do is write her off. (And get well clear of the blast radius before everything DOES blow up as predicted and all parties come after YOU as Scapegoat — “WHY DIDN’T YOU WARN US? IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!”)

    Harley Quinn has found her Joker.

  188. Law Prof wrote:

    I’m beginning to wonder if this guy told our erstwhile young lady friend “I’m a sadistic sociopath and abuse children”, she’d say “Aww, poor guy, I’ll take him in, I mean, hey, nobody’s perfect and surely my heart’s just as wicked as him and hey, being around my little girl will help him build strength to overcome his tendencies—why this is surely the very Hand of God bringing him into my life!”

    Sounds like a variant of “OOOOOOO! MY SOULMATE! HE’S SO (gasp) EXCITING! SQUEEEEEEE!”

  189. Law Prof wrote:

    So against this backdrop another couple within our fellowship is now saying “We have no hard proof that this man’s up to no good, he might mean well, we need to have grace, why we’re all sinners ourselves, maybe God is bringing this man into her and her little girl’s life to save him…etc., etc, etc.”

    Translation: “SEE HOW GOSPELLY GODLY *WE* ARE (unlike all of YOU!)”

  190. I know, HUG, it usually is a fool’s task to worry more about someone else’s problems than they worry about them. She obviously doesn’t care what we think, and wants what she wants, the future and her little girl’s welfare be d—ed. She wants a man (otherwise she wouldn’t have been playing the net dating scene), and though she’d never admit it as she slaps a Christian label on her desire to help this fellow, thinks the guy is hot (actually, he is pretty cute, in a crazy-eyed sociopathic way) and a good catch (he has a PhD—though is presently unemployed) and is willing to believe absolutely anything he tells her—e.g., my son-in-law found one extremely incriminating social media message he sent to his now allegedly ex-wife, admitting to beating her and begging forgiveness, and showed it to our young mom friend, and when she told hottie about it, he said his wife held a gun to his head and made him write it…and she bought it 100% and said the letter is more proof of just how crazy this poor guy’s newly ex-wife is!

    So obviously we have someone completely wack who wants her man and Just Does Not Care about the facts. Our (possibly former) friends who we thought we could get to talk sense to her but who want to maintain their relationship with her are willing to believe anything she tells them that he told her—because they don’t want to rock the boat, they apparently want everything to be uncomplicated with a tidy movie ending. Anyone who warns them about anything, factual or not, is the enemy.

    But at the end of the day, seems like a little girl may have a very likely abusive sociopath moving into her household soon in the “name o’ gawd” and I pray to the true God that the guy gets busted or the relationship blows up before he hurts her or her mom. Am probably as mad about this thing as anything I’ve ever seen in my life, so here I am venting.

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