[Updated 10/24/17] Phil Johnson and Fred Butler of Grace to You (John MacArthur) Attack Brannon Howse

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen link

Phil Johnson and James White

Update 10/24/17 Phil Johnson has posted rebuttal to the claims of Howse. He claims I should have called him but ever since the little dust up with Turk’s *necrophilia* accusations, I have been a little gun shy…

Phil removed his Twitter account but is now back on,climing he did nothing wrong. While throwing my hands up in the air because I cannot figure these guys out, I present Phil Johnson’s defense.

A Word about My Twitter Account
(in 1200 words or so)
Phil Johnson17 October 2017

deleted my Twitter account last week to fulfill a rash promise.*
I had hoped keeping that promise would end (or at least curtail) the ridiculous, relentless campaign of slanderous accusations and ill-tempered vitriol Brannon Howse and some of his broadcast partners have been publishing against Grace to You and various members of our staff (including John MacArthur) since early June.

Instead, my Twitter silence evidently emboldened Howse and his newest broadcast partner (a character who calls himself Jeff the Gatekeeper) to step up the invective. They took the occasion to imply that my exodus from Twitter was tantamount to admitting I lied. In their world (despite the exaggeration and inexactitude that permeates nearly all their accusations) adversaries are not permitted to be merely mistaken or forgetful. Every inaccuracy must be treated as a deliberate falsehood, proof of the person’s fundamental dishonesty. Every disagreement is an excuse to hurl anathemas. So that’s what they did in my case. They pretended that when I deleted my Twitter account, it vindicated all their bizarre allegations against me.

As soon as I was off Twitter, “Jeff the Gatekeeper” boasted to his Twitter audience he had thus proved Brannon was telling the truth when he accused me of making a sustained and savage Twitter attack on the entire Howse family.  link to continue reading


Yesterday, I saw a couple of posts and tweets involving a dust up between Brannon Howse and Phil Johnson of Grace to You. As I read about the circumstances surrounding this disagreement, I felt I was experiencing deja

vu. So, I reached out to Brannon Howse.

Before I go further, I want to explain what this post is not about. This is not about the beliefs or politics of Brannon Howse and it is not about the theology of Phil Johnson and Grace to You. It is about the disturbing tendency of some people to defend their point of view by attempting to destroy another person.

I have this strange belief that we should be able to disagree with one another without feeling like we have to humiliate and annihilate those who disagree with us.

Approximately one year ago, I wrote a blog post about Tom Chantry’s arrest for accusations of molestation. What I did not know at the time was that Tom Chantry was one of the untouchables for someone who had once written for Pyromaniacs, namely Frank Turk, who wrote along with Phil Johnson. They, as well as Fred Butler, have long been known on the Internet as individuals who *take no prisoners* when they decide that one of their own is being discussed in a negative fashion.

I suddenly found myself being attacked on Twitter by Frank Turk who accused me of slander for my belief in the testimony of victims in the Tom Chantry situation. Sadly, Turk escalated his attacks on me (as I resolutely stated I believed the victims) and demonstrated what true slander is all about. He accused me, along with Nate Sparks, of necrophilia, knowing full well that he was deliberately lying. I have heard that the statute of limitation for defamation is one year in North Carolina…

I then asked Turk if John MacArthur was aware of his despicable tweets. Shortly thereafter, Frank Turk shut down his Twitter account and left social media. Frank Turk Retires His Blog and Demonstrates That He Hardly Knew Us.

A couple of months later, I began receiving vile comments at our blog which eventually culminated in a letter sent to my church (including the custodian!), my husband’s place of employment and a community board on which we sit. This tactic failed miserably and if the identity of the person who sent it is ever revealed (we are pretty sure we know who he is) said person will find out that he is in violation of federal postal laws. Thankfully, I belong to a church and denomination that are not amused by such actions. How a Letter Meant to Hurt Dee in Her Church and Community Gave Her a Precious Gift Instead.

The eerily similarity of Brannon Howse’s encounter with Phil Johnson and Fred Butler to my encounter with Frank Turk.

Once again, let me remind you, this is not a commentary on whether or not I agree with Brannon Howse regarding his perspective on any given situation.

Howse criticized Pastor James White’s interfaith dialogue with an Imam. Here is one link. Howse, like Dee, did not know he had critiqued one of the untouchables. What ensued from there was deeply concerning to me. I spoke with Howse who said he has not trouble being strongly critiqued. Being threatened is another matter altogether.

Here are some excerpts from Howse response to the threatening behavior that was occurring. Refuting the Recent Lies & Slander of the Grace to You Internet Bullies.  

The lies of Phil Johnson and Grace To You employees are too many to name, but include the following:

• Brannon does not attend church
• Brannon never teaches the Bible at all
• Brannon’s wife uses her maiden name as a board member to hide her identity
• Brannon’s ministry is a “sham”

Brannon and his family do attend a particular church regularly, but do not broadcast the name of the church for many reasons. For example, on April 9, 2017, a Muslim man with multiple guns entered the Sioux Falls Worldview Weekend with his Quran, and then sat in his car and made videos on Facebook Live, in which he brandished 5 guns and 1,200 rounds of ammunition while telling Brannon Howse and Shahram Hadian that they should be “terrified” and “afraid.” This man has now been charged by both state and federal authorities and is awaiting sentencing.

Brannon’s family was urged by nationally recognized security experts, who are friends of his family and are concerned for their safety, that they should not keep a set routine or visit the same places over and over on a set schedule. Brannon also was not going to release the name and address of the church he attended just because he was being bullied online for days by Fred Butler and Phil Johnson, who both work for Grace To You. Why is it any business where Brannon and his family go to church? What would they want to do with that information?

Eventually, Fred Butler tweeted where the Howse family attends church. Knowing the threats to Brannon and his family from April 9th, 2017 [not to mention the other threats that have not been released to the public], why would an employee of a Bible ministry do this to a ministry leader and his family who have, in fact, promoted Grace To You for many years?

Within a short period of time Phil and other GTY employees were in a Twitter thread that included a link to Brannon’s home address.

I guess that could be one way to permanently shut Howse up from reporting on the religious industrial complex and their Good Ole’ Boy Club activities. (Following Phil’s attacks on Brannon’s family online, Brannon did respond as most men would, but later apologized on social media and on his radio program.)

Continuing in the pattern of slanderous actions by Phil Johnson, the Director of Internet Ministries, Gabriel Powell, sent an email to a supporter of Worldview Weekend. His exact words are: “…the problem with Brannon’s ministry,.. he doesn’t teach the Bible at all.”

Then there was a parody account that was created using Brannon’s name, logo, and picture. We have reason to believe that this account might have been set up by one or more employees at Grace To You. This social media page was used to send out tweets that we believe included sexual, as well as racist tweets, as though they were coming from Brannon Howse. Many people were fooled. One tweet claimed Brannon’s favorite password was “SUCKITj@mesWhite. Are you as offended as we were by this? Another tweet contained racist words being sung about Ben Carson. Here are the words of a “song” that this parody account tweeted out in Brannon’s name and picture: “In the words of my dear friend Dr. Ben Carson, boop, bop flippity jiggity don shaggitty.” Would not most people deem this to be a racist joke? Of course, they would.

There were jokes that Brannon’s church has his dog as a deacon, even jokes about Brannon actually being the father of Trump’s children. This, again, is not only an attack on Brannon and his character, but also Brannon’s wife.

The public has a right to know if one or more individuals who work for Grace To You were involved in this, or knew who was or took part in any manner whatsoever. One tweet claimed that the person’s Internet Technology department was going over a voicemail to see if it was the voice of Brannon Howse who was using the words G-D and the F word. They later pulled that tweet and stated they could not verify that it was Brannon Howse. Well, of course they could not, because it was not Brannon. Was the Grace To You IT department spending the donors’ money on this type of foolishness?

Many of the adjectives used on this fake account were also used by either Phil Johnson or GTY employee, Fred Butler on their real social media pages. Some of the graphics used on this fake account were also used on Phil Johnson’s social media pages. In addition, many of these vile and disgusting tweets were tweeted at Phil and Fred’s personal twitter accounts. There is reason to believe, if they were not involved in some way with this fake account, they might know who was involved. Whoever set up this account used a purchased phone number to hide behind and send harassing texts to Brannon from a California area code. The individual mocked Brannon and said he was buddies with Phil.

During this back and forth, Brannon apologized for trading insults on Twitter.

Phil Johnson said he would leave Twitter if it could be proven that he attacked Howse’s family.

A friend of Howse, @JeffGK, found one of Phil Johnson’s tweets and posted it. This tweet is wrong according to Howse and Johnson must have known it.

And guess what? Shortly after the evidence was posted, Johnson closed down his Twitter account

The similarities to my own story were so uncanny that I decided to tell Howse what happened to me in case the boyz over at Grace to You decided to use the “let’s sent a derogatory letter to everyone Howse knows” approach.

In both instances, there is a question of whether John MacArthur had/has any understanding of how his ministry is being represented by those associated with GTY. When that question was raised by me, Frank Turk took down his social media accounts. It looks like Phil Johnson is following in his footsteps.

Frankly, Johnson, Turk and Butler could have done much, much better. They could have used their intellect and their knowledge to thoughtfully debate the issues. Instead, they turned to the ho hum tactic of those with little imagination by attempting to personally destroy those who disagree with their BFFs. Somehow I expected more of those who claim to preach the most correct doctrine.


The following are some tweets to back up the narrative above.

Brannon is a member of a church. Like me, he doesn’t broadcast it to prevent creepy letters like my church received.

Yes, Phil Johnson, with creepster men like Frank Turk around it is totally credible not to mention the name of one’s church.

Sadly, even the Sola Sisters got into the act with Fred Butler. I wonder if they knew what was actually going on.

Sounds like Phil is getting ready to write a letter to Howse’s church elders just like someone (I wonder if Phil knows who it is) did with me. It is totally none of Phil’s business. In fact, it is creepy and strange that Johnson would think he ha any right to know the answer to this question. Is GTY in charge of the entire church world?

Well, if Phil can’t find it, it must not exist…

This is where it really gets weird. Note that a fake Brannon *House* account is set up, perhaps by Fred Butler, and an attempt is made to smear Howse.

In this next fake account tweet, there is an attempt to make Howse sound like he is a racist.

Friend of Howse began to pick up on the fake account that was started allegedly by Fred Butler.

Here is where it gets even a bit more weird. I tried to call the number but all I get is “Please leave a message.”

Apparently, Fred Butler is concerned* that Howse’s church wasn’t responding to their inquiries.

Shame on these men! Time for them to grow up and at least pretend that they know what it looks like to be a sacrificial and humble Christian.

20171014 GBTC: Corrected a spelling error and some punctuation.

Comments

[Updated 10/24/17] Phil Johnson and Fred Butler of Grace to You (John MacArthur) Attack Brannon Howse — 173 Comments

  1. Ah yes, the testimony of,… not Christ and the Father and God’s Spirit, but the other three: sin, satan, the world.

    The fruit of the Spirit being Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

  2. I sort of like Jeff, to be honest, and some quotes from Pastor Camp have been right on the button.

  3. What the heck did I just read?!?! Phil Johnson and his cronies are sooooooooooooo weird. They are clearly deranged.

  4. Dee, the Henri Nouwen quote is a great one. The fact that MacArthur teaches that Christians like Nouwen are not true believers speaks volumes about how he and his followers view the Christian mission. Christ calls us to humble ourselves and love others sacrificially, even our enemies. MacArthur & Co. believe their mission is to be right ALL THE TIME, and they use any means to achieve that end. Seen it up close.

  5. This is why I always try to talk people out of going to that church. And I’ve been doing it for 30 years. Phil and Fred aren’t the genesis of this character assassination, they are a reflection of John MacArthur’s clever hands-off management style and grace-less attitude at the top.

    In my opinion, John MacArthur’s church and his Master’s Seminary (now The Master’s University) breed vicious mean leaders, men who are disrespectful and want only one thing: POWER.

    I should say this: The professors at the seminary I’ve met don’t appear to be aggressive bullies themselves, but their employment tacitly supports the JMac authoritarian world.

    Not all graduates are horrible people. Many show the love of Jesus, but when a Master’s grad goes bad, he goes really bad.

  6. I dont know if any of you were ever on Usenet, Bible bbs in the early to mid-80’s. Actually as far back as 76 for me but not too much with BBS’s until maybe 80 or 81. Usenet was brutal especially the “Christian”/theological sections and political sections. What is far more scary about the new social media is how public it is and how disruptive it can b. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, etc can be extremely disruptive. The chat rooms like back in the day Yahoo chat were really funny at times, but could get very intense even dangerous with constant threats of physical violence. Firetalk and Paltalk are a bit like that now though there are more safeguards than when all this first started. I know I use to get “nuked” of irc on a regular basis.

    I don’t twitter much and I have two twitter accounts one is a pseudonym and one is my real name. It actually has been very helpful, to be honest, I have met some very nice people on twitter but I do understand why they use pseudonyms. I love meme’s about some of my particular topics. I watched this from afar and listen to all the dialog between White and the Imam and listened to Brannon Howse. Both sides had a point but there was way to much heat and very little light in my opinion. The use of fake accounts and sending a text to someone who U do not know personally or has not given U permission, in my opinion, is a big no-no and crosses way over the line. Going after a person’s family is also a big no-no.

    I sort of miss the old days but this tec takes on a life of its own and it can have huge implications for people in the real world in both employment and in personal life.

    One last thing and this is a bit off topic but I am now just beginning to understand what women in this society have had to put up with with the recent revelations I have been reading alot on how women have had to endure so much hidden and overt abuse. From innuendos to actual assaults and coverups. For what its worth, I am sorry I really am.

  7. OP:

    Within a short period of time Phil and other GTY employees were in a Twitter thread that included a link to Brannon’s home address.

    Twitter recently claimed to have temporarily suspended actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account for having Tweeted the phone number of someone… but Twitter has not done so with Phil and these other dirt bags (yes, I said dirt bags, I am owning my ad hominem) who are harassing this Brannon person?

  8. From the OP:

    Then there was a parody account that was created using Brannon’s name, logo, and picture.

    We have reason to believe that this account might have been set up by one or more employees at Grace To You.

    This social media page was used to send out tweets that we believe included sexual, as well as racist tweets, as though they were coming from Brannon Howse.

    Many people were fooled. One tweet claimed Brannon’s favorite password was “S-CKITj@mesWhite. Are you as offended as we were by this?

    Another tweet contained racist words being sung about Ben Carson.

    Here are the words of a “song” that this parody account tweeted out in Brannon’s name and picture:
    “In the words of my dear friend Dr. Ben Carson, boop, bop flippity jiggity don shaggitty.”
    Would not most people deem this to be a racist joke? Of course, they would.

    Content such as that says more about the guys doing it than whomever they’re targeting.

    It also reminds me of what Perry Noble’s church did to – I’m sorry, I forget his name, the guy who has the ‘Pajama’ blog (did I even get that right, the blog title)?

    These guys harassing Howse sound like they are followers of men, not Jesus of Nazareth.

    For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
    (1 Corinthians 3:4)

    That could read:

    For when one says, “I follow James White,” and another, “I follow John MacArthur,” are you not mere human beings?

    And do these yea-hoos pulling these stunts not realize or care that it is this sort of very behavior that plays a part in why some of us have quit church, and/or are thinking if the Christian faith is a bunch of bunk that should be rejected?

    When you become that insantely devoted or beholden to one personality, group, or one set of theology/doctrinal positions as these Grace To You Guys apparently are, it makes you absolutely blinded to your biases against others, and can make you do some cruel things to people (I’d say this is true in regards to political matters, as well).

  9. The OP:

    Brannon is a member of a church. Like me, he doesn’t broadcast it to prevent creepy letters like my church received.

    This is one reason I stay anonymous on the internet.

    I get a lot of criticism on some sites for not using my real name, in spite of the fact there are crazies out there (and I was targeted by a few back when I did use my real name and sometimes real photo as my personal profile pic on sites).

    There’s a good reason some of us don’t post our photos, home addresses, or under or real names.
    If others want to do so, that’s fine by me, but I wish those of us who want to fly under the radar would stop getting static for it.

    Does Phil J. and other GTY affiliates think harassing people and stalking them will keep them in Christianity? Or make their targets better Christians?
    Or magically make them agree with GTY on whatever point of dispute?

    I’m at a loss here to understand the motive or what Phil J and Pals hope to achieve.

    Looks like their only motives are acting like jilted ex-boyfriends – and they look like big a-holes in the process.

    OP:

    Sounds like Phil is getting ready to write a letter to Howse’s church elders just like someone (I wonder if Phil knows who it is) did with me.
    It is totally none of Phil’s business. In fact, it is creepy and strange that Johnson would think he ha any right to know the answer to this question. Is GTY in charge of the entire church world?

    I haven’t been to church in years, so Phil cannot send a nagging letter to any church of mine, or any church custodian.

  10. Joe wrote:

    What the heck did I just read?!?! Phil Johnson and his cronies are sooooooooooooo weird. They are clearly deranged.

    Not only that, but they are tenacious. They like to argue, argue, argue, argue, no matter how diplomatic you are with them. Once they get on a topic, they won’t get off it. I’ve had run ins with some of them on social media. Then I had to block them.

    I started out being nice, politely excusing myself from further conversation, but they would keep sending me messages, wanting to argue until the cows come home. They are obsessed with whatever person or topic is under consideration.

  11. Regarding Phil’s commentary about Howse supposedly being a “potty mouth.”

    I’m not quite so given to using cuss language, but in the last few years, it doesn’t bother me as much.

    I wouldn’t blame anyone for dropping F-bombs on Phil J. It would be understandable, in light of his obnoxiousness and his stalking behavior.

  12. “In both instances, there is a question of whether John MacArthur had/has any understanding of how his ministry is being represented by those associated with GTY. ”

    Need I remind you that MacArthur has no problem sharing the conference stage with C.J. Mahaney?

  13. Jenny wrote:

    MacArthur & Co. believe their mission is to be right ALL THE TIME, and they use any means to achieve that end.

    They may be unfamiliar with this, from the Bible:

    “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
    2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
    3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
    (1 Corinthians 13)

    The Bible seems to say that you can Be Right and have Correct Doctrine all day long, but if you’re being a Jerk Wad in the process, Jesus would rather you not claim to be one of his followers, and you’re doing the faith wrong. That’s how I read such passages anyway.

  14. The use of Star Wars’ Admiral Ackbar by one Phil associate (Fred) for his Twitter photo is rather apt:

    Talking to any of these jokers online is apparently a huge trap. 🙂

    (Also feel free to toss in references such as, “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”)

  15. These kind of Twitter exchanges sound like little boys on the playground yelling, “You did too.” “I did not.” “Nah, nah, nah.” How immature they are. Of course when adults are doing this sort of thing it is far worse than children because they should know better. It makes them look like clowns that can’t be taken seriously as Christians.

  16. Daisy wrote:

    The use of Star Wars’ Admiral Ackbar by one Phil associate (Fred) for his Twitter photo is rather apt:
    Talking to any of these jokers online is apparently a huge trap.
    (Also feel free to toss in references such as, “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”)

    It’s puerile antics from grown men no less. And they think we should regard them as respected bible teachers and elders?

  17. Why would we expect any different from Phil Johnson and co? Vile abusers and slanderers, savage beasts they showed themselves to be long ago. The mark of the Christian is love for one’s enemies, including those who you disagree with. These men show nothing at all of that attribute that Jesus demands of his followers. Clanging cymbals are they. All the theology and knowledge they espouse is of no value at all – there is no fruit of the Spirit. One may reasonably question, therefore, whether they really are followers of Christ at all. Yes, that is questioning their salvation.

  18. That reads like I just wandered into the middle school cafeteria in the midst of the bully boys and the mean girls:
    “Uh, tell me again why we hate Brannon?”
    “It doesn’t matter; he’s not one of us. Why are you taking up for him? You’re not his friend, are you?! Now get back to throwing shade or you’re next!”

    Lucky thing they work for a Christian organization because in the real world, you might get fired for that kind of verbal attack. (I don’t think he really works for Acme. He never shows up to Acme, so he doesn’t work for them. If he really worked for Acme, they would say so. His wife uses her maiden name, so you know they’re up to no good. Here are some racially charged comments. And here’s some other bad stuff. Never you mind if he really said them. And here’s his home address.)

    That could possibly could make you unemployable. Internet trails last a long time.

  19. Fae the post:

    Somehow I expected more of those who claim to preach the most correct doctrine.

    Well, no, you don’t really expect that. There’s a very strong inverse correlation between the extent of a person’s claim to preach correct Christian doctrine, and the Christ-likeness of their behaviour.

    As Molly Worthen wrote in the New York Times magazine a while back:

    [Driskle’s] New Calvinism underscores a curious fact: the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.

  20. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    There’s a very strong inverse correlation between the extent of a person’s claim to preach correct Christian doctrine, and the Christ-likeness of their behaviour.

    “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.…” Matt. 23.2-4

  21. TBH, the whole thing is just plain weird. Right down to the fotie at the top of the post with a poster for “biblical science” (with some irrelevancies about taking thoughts captive).

    If the ancients had practiced “biblical civil engineering”, we’d all still be living in caves.

    If only these people would lead the way with biblical healing, there could be no post-antibiotic catastrophe!

  22. As a complete outsider, who never heard of any of these people before except John MacArthur (who I get confused with John Piper), my impression is that if Turk and co. wanted to make Howse look like an unhinged extremist, they needn’t have bothered–his own website does that. The other side seems equally messed-up. (mod.ed.)

  23. Two points in addition to this being totally adolescent and unacceptable behaviour at any age:
    • If Phil Johnson and all the other dangerous clowns hold positions of authority in John MacArthur’s church, he has a responsibility for their actions, since – according to his own doctrine – they are accountable to him/his church.
    • If they work for his church or anywhere else in his organisation, he has additional responsibility as an employer for selecting them and allowing their pranks to proceed. If he doesn’t know what they are doing, this is not an excuse: executives are responsible for their reports’ actions.

    From Wikipedia:

    In Reformed theology, the practical syllogism (Latin: syllogismus practicus) is a concept relating assurance of salvation to evidence in a person’s life of such, such as good works and sanctification.

    Since they all subscribe to reformed theology, the practical conclusion from these men’s actions is that it is not the holy spirit and the fruits of that spirit that are driving their actions, but rather another spirit – one of divisiveness, and malice.

    • So, according to their own theology, there is all evidence that they are definitely not among the elect.

    • In the end, maybe one day they’ll hear “Johnny, I never knew ya!” or something to that effect. “Correct doctrine” doesn’t prove anything and mean anything if in your own dealings with others you act like a j**k most of the time. IIRC, there are some passages in the very scriptures these men quote so often to that effect.

    OK, 4 points. Or 5:

    • It has long been my observation that those who are only in a movement for the money, or the power, or other means of personal gain, are often the most fervently partisan exponents of that movement, because they have something to prove, if only to themselves. Examples from recent past include pastors virulently denouncing other people’s sexuality which they secretly share, ardently “pro-life” and “pro-family” politicians who have no problem telling their mistress to get an abortion, powerful men who give money to women’s causes while preying on them, etc. – it works like that on both sides of the political spectrum.

  24. @ Gus:
    These men work for the church and/or GTY, not John MacArthur who is most likely also an employee of the non-profit corporation. The church is run by the board of elders, and where these two are on it, they’re untouchable. GTY probably has a CEO who is over the organization but under the board of directors. This is who needs to deal with these two in that capacity, but they would have no control over what they do in their capacity as elders of GCC. John MacArthur is the ‘face’ of these organizations, but unless he’s on the board, he has very little control over what happens. And if it’s a large board, he could be out voted on an issue leaving him with no say.

  25. Gus wrote:

    • It has long been my observation that those who are only in a movement for the money, or the power, or other means of personal gain, are often the most fervently partisan exponents of that movement, because they have something to prove, if only to themselves. Examples from recent past include pastors virulently denouncing other people’s sexuality which they secretly share, ardently “pro-life” and “pro-family” politicians who have no problem telling their mistress to get an abortion, powerful men who give money to women’s causes while preying on them, etc. – it works like that on both sides of the political spectrum.

    On a similar note: I have become very suspicious of people whose background contains a supposedly “radical” conversion story (e.g., I was a Satanist before I became a Christian) or people who are “on fire” or “sold out for the Lord”. In my experience, it seems that those are the people who end up “crashing and burning” and/or leaving Christianity altogether. A woman who was my prayer partner in the church I attended in college was very much like this–she led a Bible study, invited a lot of people to church, and was involved in individual Bible studies with people. She was also very harsh with me because she thought I wasn’t performing “up to snuff.”

    She ended up leaving Christianity and is now Jewish.

    My cynicism, I admit, is rather insulting to people who really have been transformed by Christ. My own church has a ministry to those in addiction recovery, and several people who have been in that ministry have become Christians. It is possible to have a “radical” conversion story that is absolutely authentic. It’s my experiences that make me cynical.

  26. Zla’od wrote:

    As a complete outsider, who never heard of any of these people before except John MacArthur (who I get confused with John Piper), my impression is that if Turk and co. wanted to make Howse look like an unhinged extremist, they needn’t have bothered–his own website does that. The other side seems equally messed-up. (mod.ed.)

    I did the same. I don’t feel sympathy for either side. Paydays all around as far as I can see. However keeping with Dee’s missive on what this post is about, the on line behavior is an embarrassment.
    Glad these clowns aren’t part of my world.

  27. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Need I remind you that MacArthur has no problem sharing the conference stage with C.J. Mahaney?

    Keep reminding me and everyone else over and over again until one day they get it.

  28. Tina wrote:

    It is possible to have a “radical” conversion story that is absolutely authentic.

    Well, perhaps. It is certainly possible to have a conversion which is authentic but as to how radical that might be is often questionable. If one looks at some of the conversion stories, even if authentic, they do not always look that radical. Paul for example. Paul was radically committed to the god of Israel both before and after his encounter with Jesus, he simply changed his mind about Jesus. Augustine of Hippo was a religious intellectual both before and after his conversion. He merely changed his mind about Jesus and christianity. More recently Bart Ehrman went from being a fundamentalist Christian to being a fundamentalist-like agnostic atheist, while still sounding very fundamentalist to me in his approach to what he currently believes. That is not a radical step; just a difference of opinion on some issues.

    I am not sure that people make a 180 of their very persons when they are converted but rather tend to redirect their thinking and modify their behavior in one way or another. That does not make it any less a conversion, I think, but it does make me question whether our understanding of what conversion is perhaps needs some re-thinking.

    There is a line of thinking which says that we are being, and need to be being, more and more converted day by day. That looks more like what I think I see, dramatic stories or not. So is somebody converted if they go back to their old ways? Maybe ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ need more discussion.

  29. @ Zla’od:
    Please understand that the purpose of this post is to document that policy of personal destruction that is practiced by Phil Johnson and crowd. My issue is that I saw the exact same game being played with Howse that was played with me. I am in the business of documenting this stuff.

    I dont a care how much anyone despises another person. They should not attack family members, publish addresses, make up vile anonymous accounts.

    I plan to keep documenting this stuff until they stop.

  30. Jack wrote:

    However keeping with Dee’s missive on what this post is about, the on line behavior is an embarrassment.
    Glad these clowns aren’t part of my world.

    Thank you.

    I thought the Grace to You boyz were not part of my world either. Then, the necrophilia comments started. Eventually, and I suspect they know who did it, the despicable letter was sent to people in my life with an attempt to cause me pain.

    My goal is to document their tactics for everyone to see. Thankfully, the people in my life thought the person (s) who sent that letter were creepy fruitcakes. Other people might not be so fortunate to have such understanding folks in their lives.

  31. Tina wrote:

    I have become very suspicious of people whose background contains a supposedly “radical” conversion story

    Tina wrote:

    It is possible to have a “radical” conversion story that is absolutely authentic.

    I’ve seen this, too, the radical with narcissism, “Look at me,” hyperbolic extremely bad to hyperbolic extremely righteous. The narcissism and histrionics, loud and screaming, exude insincerity.

    On the other hand, some have really come out of drugs, prostitution, etc. They don’t wear their background as a badge of honor, and force their righteousness on others. At the right moment, quietly, they tell their painful story. Private, authentic, real.

    A policeman detective who works with youth pointed this out in regard to sexual abuse. The loud and obnoxious ones may be false acusers that eat up the time of the local PD as a vendetta against someone they are out to get. In contrast, the real victims struggle and truly need help and advocacy.

  32. dee wrote:

    @ Loren Haas:
    That is the best summary of all of my dealings with these men.

    Ooo. Quoting Jane Austen! I like!

  33. Daisy wrote:

    Twitter recently claimed to have temporarily suspended actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account for having Tweeted the phone number of someone… but Twitter has not done so with Phil and these other dirt bags (yes, I said dirt bags, I am owning my ad hominem) who are harassing this Brannon person?

    So glad you mentioned this–I was going to bring up the same thing. I personally think Twitter has been derelict in suspending/banning threatening accounts and @jack said last night they were going to be better about it. We’ll see. Now, that aside…

    I’m not fans of any of these people, but I’ve had my share of harassment. Of course, I brought it on myself when I started picketing Scientology, but you’ve not lived until you’ve had your neighborhood plastered with flyers that have your name, your picture and the words RELIGIOUS BIGOT on them. Or the time Scientology picketed my home in Salt Lake just after I got back from picketing in Florida. So I have kind of a window into how upsetting this kind of harassment can be.

    What I don’t understand is the “Why?” Why does GTY, Phil Johnson and the rest, feel like they have to attack Brannon Howse? Is he cutting into their cash flow with truthful statements? Just on the surface, it looks like unwarranted harassment. Surely people can have an exchange of views, even if there are serious disagreements, without resorting to what the kids call “doxxing.”

    I’d also note from comparing the 990 forms for GTY and WVW for 2014/2015, that GTY is taking in over 90 times the money of WVW. (Circa $18 million for GTY, versus less than $200,000 for WVW). In fact, in the 2014 tax year, Phil Johnson took home $195,667 in compensation plus separate compensation of $43,260. By comparison, WVW took in a total of $193,838 in *donations.* Brannon Howse and his wife reported receiving no compensation from WVW.

    Again, I don’t agree with these guys on much, but it sure does look like a really large organization is jumping all over a small organization for the views the small organization holds.

  34. JYJames wrote:

    Tina wrote:
    I have become very suspicious of people whose background contains a supposedly “radical” conversion story
    Tina wrote:
    It is possible to have a “radical” conversion story that is absolutely authentic.
    I’ve seen this, too, the radical with narcissism, “Look at me,” hyperbolic extremely bad to hyperbolic extremely righteous. The narcissism and histrionics, loud and screaming, exude insincerity.
    On the other hand, some have really come out of drugs, prostitution, etc. They don’t wear their background as a badge of honor, and force their righteousness on others. At the right moment, quietly, they tell their painful story. Private, authentic, real.
    A policeman detective who works with youth pointed this out in regard to sexual abuse. The loud and obnoxious ones may be false acusers that eat up the time of the local PD as a vendetta against someone they are out to get. In contrast, the real victims struggle and truly need help and advocacy.

    I like your description of false accusers vs. real victims.

    In my own church, we’ve occasionally had people who have come out of drugs, etc. tell their story to the church. The vast majority of the people in our recovery ministry are *not* obnoxiously righteous. Rather, they’re grateful and they understand that recovery is one day at a time with the help of God.

  35. If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior. Absolutely fired! But because they live off what other Christians send them they may act anyway they feel is “godly”. What a sad, sad day when one Christian is saying to the other Christian… I am such a better Christian than you are.
    When did we forget that Christ died to forgive us of our sins? Past…present…and future sins…FORGIVEN! I love Jesus, my Savior, but I absolutely hate religion. It is a waste of time.
    I never invite anyone to church anymore …I am truly embarrassed that I still go.

  36. Watchman on the Wall wrote:

    If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior. Absolutely fired! But because they live off what other Christians send them they may act anyway they feel is “godly”. What a sad, sad day when one Christian is saying to the other Christian… I am such a better Christian than you are.
    When did we forget that Christ died to forgive us of our sins? Past…present…and future sins…FORGIVEN! I love Jesus, my Savior, but I absolutely hate religion. It is a waste of time.
    I never invite anyone to church anymore …I am truly embarrassed that I still go.

    They would absolutely be fired. Thank you for pointing this out. I retired last year from a large corporation. During my 17 years there, if I had ever behaved like this online, my tush would have been out the door faster than you can say “pink slip.”

  37. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Well, no, you don’t really expect that. There’s a very strong inverse correlation between the extent of a person’s claim to preach correct Christian doctrine, and the Christ-likeness of their behaviour.

    Totally agree. That seems to be the case most of the time.

  38. Gus wrote:

    In the end, maybe one day they’ll hear “Johnny, I never knew ya!” or something to that effect. “Correct doctrine” doesn’t prove anything and mean anything if in your own dealings with others you act like a j**k most of the time.

    Yes siree bob. That’s a point I made last evening on this page, higher up the page.

  39. Tina wrote:

    On a similar note: I have become very suspicious of people whose background contains a supposedly “radical” conversion story (e.g., I was a Satanist before I became a Christian) or people who are “on fire” or “sold out for the Lord”. In my experience, it seems that those are the people who end up “crashing and burning” and/or leaving Christianity altogether.

    That rings true.

    HUG and I have discussed before on this site how many churches and Christians cater to the ‘sexy’ or extraordinary conversion stories, that usually involve someone who said that prior to accepting Christ as savior, they were-

    In a hard core gang that was into crime, or lived in crack houses all day smoking crack, or worked in the dirty movie biz, or they were bank robbers.

    I cannot relate to any of that. I grew up as a goody two shoes in the suburbs.

    I didn’t go through anything really exotic, like selling drugs and getting busted by the cops.

    I don’t think most people who watch Christian TV do that sort of stuff either, yet 95% of the conversion stories I see on Christian TV features consist of it.

  40. Zla’od wrote:

    they needn’t have bothered–his own website does that. The other side seems equally messed-up. (mod.ed.)

    I skimmed the Brannon link provided in the OP, glanced over the headings.

    I didn’t stop to read or listen to any of it, but based on the post headings I saw, they look right wing, which is fine with me, since I am right wing too.
    (Not that I always agree with other conservatives on every topic.)

  41. @Dee

    This was posted on October 11, 2017. On the same website you published a screenshot from. It is by Phil Johnson.

    “AN APOLOGY:
    On 10 October 2017, Mr. Howse published an article that included this:

    Phil Johnson attacked Brannon’s wife by publicly claiming numerous times that she uses her maiden name as a board member of WVW to hide that she is Brannon’s wife.

    Apparently* I did make that claim—once (not “numerous times”).

    Nevertheless, that Tweet involved unwarranted speculation about the Howses’ motives and was an unrighteous judgment on my part. For that I beg forgiveness. I can certainly understand how Mr. Howse might think that remark was meant to be disparaging toward his wife. That was never my intent.

    *I believe Tweet was deleted soon after posting, because I cannot find it in my Twitter feed. Someone sent me the above screen cap. If the original Tweet still exists and someone can point it out to me, I will make sure it’s permanently deleted.”

    http://www.romans45.org/misc/howse.htm

  42. This post demonstrates the power of the internet/social media. I grew up in IFB environment, and while not with every one of them, many of the leaders/organizations I was involved with behaved like this at times….. they really loved to rail against, (corporately and personally) other flavors of christainity from the pulpit/small groups. it was how they were able to “justify” their flavor of christianity…. by tearing down the others and showing how more pious “we are”…. But, since most of the more offensive remarks were never written down, recorded, they could always deny it. Reading these post helps to remind of how offensive what I grew up with was, and even though I left it all, it still did deep down damage… i need to personally check my thoughts on postions and not make them personal…. so deep did the “train” me..
    So, now with blogs like WW, and the electronic world we live in, we are able to put “out there” what these types were able to hide, and then shame anyone that questioned them! This is incredibly important….. leaders need to know that they are accountable for their behavior…… I just cringe when “leaders” like John Mac are cited in the press as leading Christains, yet their organization behave like this…. another example… Ken Ham was barred from a home school conference for his attacking other groups at the same home school conference for not holding AIG position on creation issues…. the list goes on and on…

  43. Tina wrote:

    Rather, they’re grateful and they understand that recovery is one day at a time with the help of God.

    Authentic.

  44. Watchman on the Wall wrote:

    If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior. Absolutely fired!

    Like the hazing incidents in Christian schools.
    Like the leaders protecting predators under their watch.

  45. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    This post demonstrates the power of the internet/social media

    The real danger is from those inspired by the words of their heroes.
    These are the ones that try to destroy reputations, send letters, etc.
    In the worst incarnation they will commit acts of violence. Just look at the anti abortion groups.
    This is common to all extremist ideologies – political, religious and others.

  46. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    What I don’t understand is the “Why?” Why does GTY, Phil Johnson and the rest, feel like they have to attack Brannon Howse? Is he cutting into their cash flow with truthful statements?

    I was asking something similar above.

    I for the life of me cannot figure out their motive or anything constructive they can possibly be gaining by harassing this guy online.

    As for Twitter, I saw this today:
    Women’s Boycott Of Twitter Inspires Company To Take On New Rules
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-boycott-twitter-rules_us_59e17c23e4b0a52aca182c00?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

  47. Watchman on the Wall wrote:

    If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior. Absolutely fired!

    You would think so, but it drpends on the company and the work place environment.

    I was bullied and harassed daily to weekly by one of several bosses I had on one full time job. The same boss was hated by 99% of the folks there and she harassed other people too.

    This awful boss had many complaints filed against her by different people with H.R., but all H.R. did (I heard thru the grape vine) was make her attend two days of sensitivity training.

    What they should have done was given her ONE warning on her behavior, and if she got so much as one more complaint, canned her. But no, they kept her on.

    About that time, I read a ton of books about work place abuse and bullying to try to understand what was happening to me, and if it could be fixed.

    What I learned is that most workplaces are loathe and highly reluctant to fire bullies and problem people.

    Employers will almost always side with the bully bosses and bully workers but pressure their victims to quit.

    Yes, you read that right – victims will be punished for being vics, while the bullies walk away scot free.

  48. Daisy wrote:

    but it drpends

    Correction:
    “depends”

    Don’t know how I managed to mangle the typing of that word so much in my previous post.

  49. Tina wrote:

    A woman who was my prayer partner in the church I attended in college was very much like this–she led a Bible study, invited a lot of people to church, and was involved in individual Bible studies with people. She was also very harsh with me because she thought I wasn’t performing “up to snuff.”

    Being a Mensch (Yiddish for ‘good person’) and not doing the kinds of things to others you wouldn’t want done to yourself, is never good enough for those types.

  50. Daisy wrote:

    You would think so, but it drpends on the company and the work place environment.
    I was bullied and harassed daily to weekly by one of several bosses I had on one full time job.

    A post script to that point.

    Look at movie producer Harvey Weinstein – that sexist creep got away with sexually harassing women for 30 years because of the work culture of his company and the overall milieu of Hollywood.

    Weinstein should have been fired, but no, he got away with it, with most everyone in Hollywood knowing about his behavior and even joking about it years ago on various awards shows.

    TMZ reported that Weinstein’s contract with his company ALLOWED him to sexually harass women, so long as he paid out of pocked for any related legal expenses.

  51. Daisy wrote:

    Watchman on the Wall wrote:
    If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior. Absolutely fired!
    You would think so, but it drpends on the company and the work place environment.
    I was bullied and harassed daily to weekly by one of several bosses I had on one full time job. The same boss was hated by 99% of the folks there and she harassed other people too.
    This awful boss had many complaints filed against her by different people with H.R., but all H.R. did (I heard thru the grape vine) was make her attend two days of sensitivity training.
    What they should have done was given her ONE warning on her behavior, and if she got so much as one more complaint, canned her. But no, they kept her on.
    About that time, I read a ton of books about work place abuse and bullying to try to understand what was happening to me, and if it could be fixed.
    What I learned is that most workplaces are loathe and highly reluctant to fire bullies and problem people.
    Employers will almost always side with the bully bosses and bully workers but pressure their victims to quit.
    Yes, you read that right – victims will be punished for being vics, while the bullies walk away scot free.

    Yikes, now that you mention it…you are 100% correct. Oh the stories I could tell! Your experience so closely mirrors mine. I don’t have the time or energy (or courage) to go to Glassdoor and tell the whole story. But maybe someday I will write a “roman a clef” — a murder mystery, entitled *Death by X-Acto Knife.* 😀

    But seriously…I think *Online* Bad Behavior *does* get punished by big corporations, because it reflects badly on their Brand. Workplace bullying is another story…they can always assert plausible deniability if there is no written or video/audiotaped record.

    A former honcho is currently suing my former employer for harassment. In her suit, she alleges that, when she went to HR about her Bad Boss’s behavior, she was told “Bosses are allowed to be jerks.” The company admits that this was actually said. (There must have been witnesses, I guess.) But they’re not admitting anything else. The suit has been dragging on for some time now. Perhaps it has been quietly settled out of court; I dunno. But “bosses are allowed to be jerks” pretty much sums up the corporate culture, especially in my former department. Since I retired, I’ve heard that it has gotten even worse.

  52. You can’t separate what a man believes and what he does.
    ..for our of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks…

    A man’s mind is the same as any computer, just carbon, not silicone based. His thoughts, and doctrine, is his software.

    Why should they not speak this way?

  53. The more I read stories like this, I think that if they ever remake the film “Mean Girls” it should focus on middle aged Evangelical men. I have worked, before, in the world of political social media and I never ran into such pettiness and mean-spiritedness as what is going on in the spiritual world.

  54. @Daisy, BTW, I did exactly what you did — I read everything I could get my hands on related to workplace bullying, bad bossology, control-freaky managers, micromanaging bosses, narcissistic bosses, “gatekeepers,” “snakes in suits,” gaslighters, etc. etc. I found it healing and reinforcing to find out that these were recognized pathologies. But my workplace situation did not improve; it just kept getting worse. In my experience, a lot of online “How to Cope” articles are useless. Too often they recommend stuff like: “Overwhelm your micromanaging boss with status updates, and she won’t have time to micromanage.” WRONG. Tried that repeatedly, and it always backfired. Every time I gave Micromanaging Bully Boss a status update, she would tell me to follow up, verify, do additional documentation or legwork, etc. etc. etc. I was already *completely* overloaded with work; I wanted her to *stop* piling on useless, unnecessary, extraneous tasks. But my status updates would just spur her to pile on even more. Where she got the time to micromanage at that granular level I’ll never know. She certainly didn’t apply such stringent standards to *herself.* Whenever we peons submitted projects to her, they would sit on her cluttered desk for *days* before she finally got around to vetting them — and then, of course, it would be the last freaking minute, and we would have to scramble to make all her picky changes in time for final handoff.

    Oy, didn’t mean to get off on that, LOL. I guess I’ve been “triggered”…it’s PTSD. 😀 But my main point is: A lot of online advice re dealing with bully bosses is worthless, in my experience. The best way to “cope” is to get the h*!! out of there. I regret that it took me 17 years (and retirement at age 65) to figure that out.

  55. @Daisy, I don’t mean to hijack this thread. It’s not about the secular world; it’s about Christians Behaving Badly. But I’ve just gotta ask “one little thing,” as Columbo would say: When you think about what went on at your workplace — and when you tell even a small part of it — does your stomach start tightening up and churning? Does your chest feel tight? Do you *physically* re-live the stress all over again? If so, I hear ya…same here.

    I was recently told that Micromanaging Bully Boss has mellowed a lot over the past year. Apparently she was marginalized by Narcissistic Big Boss, and she finally found out what that feels like. She has retired and is (by all reports) a whole new person. I thank God for that, and I forgive her, but I still have nightmares about her. Loving and forgiving those who have hurt us does not necessarily mean trusting them.

  56. Oh BTW, Bully Boss was (and is) a “born again” evangelical Christian. FWIW.

  57. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    The best way to “cope” is to get the h*!! out of there. I regret that it took me 17 years (and retirement at age 65) to figure that out.

    Yes. I/we have looked and looked for ways to get one of our family members out of a bad work situation, but years on job and pension/ health insurance issues and age seem insurmountable right now. But not anything but get out of there is going to work. I am glad you found a way out.

  58. Phil Johnson
    Fred Butler
    Frank Turk
    Gabriel Powell

    Incredulously, they all choose 12-year old mean girls for their role models. And just like the pack of girls who roam the school halls, everyone knows who all the friends of the few loudmouths are. if you are their friend, you are also identified as a 12-year old mean girl.

    even if you are grown man with a christian image.

  59. @ Jarrett Edwards:

    “The more I read stories like this, I think that if they ever remake the film “Mean Girls” it should focus on middle aged Evangelical men.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    this is a job for Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Eugene Levy, and Bob Balaban. (who i sincerely hope are all in good health)

  60. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    BTW, I did exactly what you did — I read everything I could get my hands on related to workplace bullying, bad bossology, …

    … Every time I gave Micromanaging Bully Boss a status update, she would tell me to follow up, verify, do additional documentation or legwork, etc. etc. etc.
    …But my status updates would just spur her to pile on even more.

    I very much related to your post.

    Not only was my Bad Boss catty and mean, but she was also a micro-managing, control freak who was way, way too focused on details (and I used to be detail oriented person myself, so that is saying something).

    I seriously wonder if your Bad Boss was sibling to my Bad Boss? They should related. Or maybe there’s a factory that churns them out somewhere.

    My Bad Boss began making us all write weekly status reports. I was very thorough in mine, and it would take me about two hours per week to write each one. I detested doing them.

    So, I started being more concise so they wouldn’t take so long to write.

    Bad Boss was still getting the same information from me, but only in a more concise form. But she started e-mailing me, wanting me to go back to being more detailed.

    I also found out she was being more controlling and nit picky with me on stuff than she was with the co-workers.
    I went around the office and asked these workers individually, “Does Boss X get angry at you when you do Q, S, and Y?,” and they’d say, “Nope, and I do that stuff all the time.”

    So, I found out Bad Boss had one set of standards for my co-workers and another, much more stringent, unfair, tough ones for me.

    I too didn’t find the online “how to cope with rotten bosses” articles and books too helpful. Yes, they explained the situation which was comforting to a point, but that was it.

    Most of those books and blog posts said there is no “cure” for bad bosses or toxic work cultures, the only solution, really, is to quit your bad job and find a new one.
    But how can you do that if the economy is in the pits and there aren’t many job openings?

    I would think a church, or Christian work environment, would hold higher standards than secular jobs but that isn’t the case, as we can see with this Phil Johnson, GTY business, and with guys like Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill.

  61. FBI’s Joe Navarro profiles 4 dangerous personalities we deal with everyday life:
    – Narcissist
    – Emotionally unstable
    – Paranoid
    – Predator

    Beginning at narcissists, the ego-centrics move to Emotionally Unstable with the above documented Twitter back-and-forth.

    Sending out the letter against Dee to various municipalities seems predatory. (Shutting down feedback, comments appears paranoid.)

  62. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Every time I gave Micromanaging Bully Boss a status update, she would tell me to follow up, verify, do additional documentation or legwork, etc. etc. etc. I was already *completely* overloaded with work; I wanted her to *stop* piling on useless, unnecessary, extraneous tasks.

    Heh heh, P.S. I finally figured out one solution with my Bad Boss.

    Instead of disagreeing or arguing or asking her about stuff I disagreed with, or if she sent me a complaint via e-mail out of the blue, I simply ignored it.

    I just went about my business as usual and acted as though I never heard her complaint or got the snotty e-mails.

    I just went back to writing my shortened status reports, for example, and if she complained again about it, I didn’t reply, just ignored it. And she would usually just drop it or forget about it.
    I had some success with the Ignore It strategy.

    What’s the saying about ‘it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission’? It was sort of that strategy. 🙂

  63. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    Yes, I still experience some stress over it. Mostly anger. Then I have to forgive that awful boss all over again.

    That bad job experience has negatively impacted my ability to get new jobs, too. I’m often afraid to even apply for new jobs for fear I’ll get another Bad Boss like her.

    If my parents had raised me to have more self confidence as I was growing up (rather than as they did – being an ever loving, sweet doormat) I would’ve been able to stand up to the Bad Boss and/or have had the self esteem to job hunt while there to get a job elsewhere.

    Bad Boss really lost it one day. I came in super early one morning. She and I were the only ones there. She came into my cubicle area and screamed her head off at me. She normally kept her harassment quiet, but not that day.

    She was peeved that I did not like her on a personal level, which was why she was literally yelling. I told her me liking her on a personal level was not part of my job description there.

    Really, I find this secular job talk pertinent to the Christian world, and I’ve pointed this out before.

    Very similar dynamics go on in abusive (secular) work places as they do in these abusive churches we read about here.

    Same mindsets, same psychological damage to the targets, etc.

    That’s why I seriously asked Deb and Dee over a year ago here to consider reading books about secular toxic work environments, not just spiritual abuse books. The overlap between the two issues is amazing.

  64. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Oh BTW, Bully Boss was (and is) a “born again” evangelical Christian. FWIW.

    Oh wow. In some ways, that makes her abuse even more horrid and inexcusable.

    I’m not sure if my Bully Boss was a Christian or not, or what her beliefs were.

    I never asked her any religious-related questions, and I don’t off-hand recall seeing anything religious on display in her office, such as a cross or what not. So I don’t know what my boss’s religious views were.

  65. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    I don’t mean to hijack this thread. It’s not about the secular world; it’s about Christians Behaving Badly.

    Right, however, trying to live and recognize Christian values with people and in places and media is the question.

    Simon Sinek says to find the people that believe as you do, commit to them, and you have a team. (“Start with the Why”) Not so simple, however, when belief, word, and deed don’t match up. (Which is also the problem with Barth in another post.)

    There’s crossover: a senator espousing the spiritually sound Value Life to his constituency and then advocating his Side Chick to end a life, and then lied, (the bigger the lie the better, a WWII leader once said).

  66. okrapod wrote:

    Yes. I/we have looked and looked for ways to get one of our family members out of a bad work situation, but years on job and pension/ health insurance issues and age seem insurmountable right now.

    But not anything but get out of there is going to work. I am glad you found a way out.

    One tip I did get in a book by a work abuse expert (if this can help anyone here):
    The first time a bully crosses your boundaries (if they say or do something rude, for example), you immediately correct them and call them out on it, and tell them such behavior/ commentary is not welcome.

    That takes care of 99% of bullies.

    Most job bullies do not want to tangle with a co-worker or subordinate who shows they will not roll over play dead, and be a doormat.

    Too often, work place victims are too nice, they lack boundaries, and do not speak up and correct a bully on the spot when outrageous behavior happens, according to the books I read – and that was sure true of me back in the day.

    That tip may also be of use in church or Christian employment capacities(?)

  67. Daisy wrote:

    tip may also be of use in church

    Yes. 99% are cowards looking for easy targets. Don’t be easy. Better to be stalwart than “liked”.

    Twice in a Christian singles group I inadvertantly shut down the conversation at a Sunday afternoon table at a restaurant with about 30 singles having lunch together after church:

    1 – when I said, “Don’t touch me, as I don’t do intimacy outside of actual licensed formal marriage.”
    and on a different Sunday –
    (2 – when I said that I had voted for the other candidate – you can guess who that was.)

    Both times the entire long table went silent and stared at me, mouths gaping, jaws dropped to the floor. In other words, I was not going to be an easy target for the shenanigans that apparently this large very conservative single group was all doing. I was not going to jump into the “self-proclaimed conservative family values” soup or any other hypocrisy soup.

    We stand our ground with everything that matters. Most will gape and then walk away. A few go on a smear campaign and take it to the next level(s), like the disturbed ones mentioned in this post. Again, standing own’s ground armed with the Spirit and appropriate legal, etc., measures is the answer. Jesus did and paid the ultimate price. Thanks, JC.

  68. Jack wrote:

    Glad these clowns aren’t part of my world.

    I’m glad to be able to say, as after I left CLC, “not my circus, not my monkeys.”

  69. Jack wrote:

    these clowns

    The 007’s of churchianity: suave, hustling, and beyond the law, with a license to condemn, others.

  70. One last thing and this is a bit off topic but I am now just beginning to understand what women in this society have had to put up with with the recent revelations I have been reading alot on how women have had to endure so much hidden and overt abuse. From innuendos to actual assaults and coverups. For what its worth, I am sorry I really am.

    Thank you for your kindness…. even Christian women who don’t work in Hollywood have had to put up with a great deal. Especially in the church!

  71. What is Pyromaniacs? Are these people friends with Doug Wilson?

    This group of men is always obnoxious, childish, immature, and very bratty. Are they Calvinist?

  72. Guest wrote:

    This group of men is always obnoxious, childish, immature, and very bratty.

    According to Navarro, again:

    Step 1 – Narcissists, all about them
    Step 2 – Emotionally unstable, uncontrolled & immature in how they treat others.

  73. DMZ wrote:

    One last thing and this is a bit off topic but I am now just beginning to understand what women in this society have had to put up with with the recent revelations I have been reading alot on how women have had to endure so much hidden and overt abuse. From innuendos to actual assaults and coverups. For what its worth, I am sorry I really am.
    Thank you for your kindness…. even Christian women who don’t work in Hollywood have had to put up with a great deal. Especially in the church!

    It really is bad to much worse than many men think.

    I saw several exchanges over the past few days of men who lashed out about the recent controversies and said that most of these allegations were false and then launch into a perverse and sexist string of obscenities at any female who disagreed, no matter how politely or logically. And they want people to believe men aren’t abusive toward women on a daily basis? Nope.

  74. Frankly, this is just the sort of beta-male whining I expect on this blog. It’s quite obvious none of you have actually looked at the photograph of Fill the John, Son at the top of the thread; if you had, you’d have been bowled over by his beard’s humility and realised that he’s better than any of you. As witness the fact that he closed his twitter account like the humble man of God he is as soon as he was caught.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  75. Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.

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

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  76. Guest wrote:

    What is Pyromaniacs? Are these people friends with Doug Wilson?
    This group of men is always obnoxious, childish, immature, and very bratty. Are they Calvinist?

    It’s a rather inflammatory blog they all used to be involved with. Most of them have quit it now. I don’t think they are friends with Wilson, but a lot of the Grace people I know are isolated to other Grace people theology-wise. Grace predates most of the New Calvinist movement, and while they are Calvinist, they are a bit of their own hybrid and tend theology-wise toward a more classical Calvinism. They do espouse elder authoritarianism, though.

  77. Mae wrote:

    This is crazy stuff! My word, it’s like being taken back to seventh grade.

    No, it’s worse than 7th grade. Some may remember that Fred Butler spread gossip about my daughter on his blog, saying that she was in rebellion and having sex, and that’s why she left our home. That was the furthest thing from the truth (she got her first boyfriend months AFTER moving out of the home). But even if it was true, it’s entirely inappropriate to air that kind of information publicly, PERIOD. He didn’t know her. He had my phone number and e-mail address and could have contacted me to ask if this was true.

    A bunch of people were very upset that Fred Butler did this, and even contacted Grace to You (his employer) and Grace Community (where he goes to church). He eventually posted a brief apology in the comments. My husband said it wasn’t good enough, saying that if he said it publicly, he needed to apologize publicly.

    So Fred posted a seemingly appropriate apology as a new blog post on his blog. We forgave him. He removed it 2 weeks later.

    Fast forward a few years. Guess what he recently said on Twitter? Yep, he tweeted the same song and dance about my daughter. Some apology, huh? Unbelievable. Yes, I have the screenshots.

    These men are evil. E.V.I.L. Young people commit suicide over comments like that put on the internet. Thankfully, my daughter has a good had on her shoulder and realizes the a&^*# that he really is. She’s quite comfortable in her atheism now. Go figure. I can’t say that I blame her after all she has been through from church leaders. This is one of the reason I keep blogging. I see the end result of spiritual abuse and it’s not pretty.

  78. One thing I’ve been thinking is that maybe, just maybe, leaving Twitter and big discussion social media sites could be a good thing for these men. They’ve learned through their blog and through Twitter that being bullies gets them a lot of attention and that’s probably the last thing that is good for them as people. This is true with a lot of bullies.

    They feel powerful and smart and popular but nobody really respects them, even those who claim to be followers. Maybe it will take backing away from the kind of attention being a bully and internet troll garners them to realize that.

  79. @ Julie Anne:
    Julie Ann,
    i am sorry your family you went through all of that, and the behavoir of these “men” needs to be continuing exposed and retold…. having a title of “leader “ requires responsibilty…. the behavoir of these “men” needs to be continually exposed…

  80. @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    “Take the victim away and the conman [con-person] is nothing; he’s got to eat, like a shark. And that’s what he is. He is a shark. And he looks for his prey. They select these people. They don’t just run into people randomly. They know exactly about their victim. She [the victim] finally realized once she saw all the bad stuff, ‘Hey look, let’s get away from this guy.'” – Orange County Attorney Michael R. O’Neill

    from the Podcast “Dirty John”, by Christopher Goffard, LA Times.

  81. Julie Anne wrote:

    No, it’s worse than 7th grade. …
    These men are evil. E.V.I.L.

    True. God bless you and your family for your work, Julie Anne.

  82. This is John MacArthur’s world, right down the line. I have a relative deeply in that camp and the #1 premise of the whole system is that they are never wrong, and just about everyone else is. This breeds meanness. Disagree with them and they’ll hound you like nobody’s business. They look down on fellow believers all the time, and I won’t even get started on the kinds of things they say about those they perceive as unbelievers. The mockery and contempt I’ve seen for other human beings made in the image of God would make you sick.

    Best thing you can do with these kind of people is stay far away from them. They’re poisonous.

  83. okrapod wrote:

    More recently Bart Ehrman went from being a fundamentalist Christian to being a fundamentalist-like agnostic atheist, while still sounding very fundamentalist to me in his approach to what he currently believes.

    Are you sure you got the right person here? Ehrman doesn’t even claim the name of atheist and his claims seem very mainstream scholarship for his field. Fundamentalist like would be the Jesus mythicists such as Richard Carrier or even further out there David Fitzgerald who are frankly embarrassing for many atheists like myself. Or am I missing something?

  84. okrapod wrote:

    Maybe ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ need more discussion.

    I agree. What exactly does ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ mean? Or maybe that’s just it, there really is no ‘exactly’ that all can agree upon, and mileage will vary from person to person.

  85. Julie Anne wrote:

    She’s quite comfortable in her atheism now. Go figure. I can’t say that I blame her after all she has been through from church leaders. This is one of the reason I keep blogging. I see the end result of spiritual abuse and it’s not pretty.

    Julie Anne, our family has also seen the results of spiritual abuse (by a Master’s Seminary graduate) and it isn’t pretty here either. What a sad thing to have in common. We are cheering you on in your blogging, as well as TWW.

  86. ishy wrote:

    I saw several exchanges over the past few days of men who lashed out about the recent controversies and said that most of these allegations were false and then launch into a perverse and sexist string of obscenities at any female who disagreed, no matter how politely or logically. And they want people to believe men aren’t abusive toward women on a daily basis? Nope.

    Some men are blind and refuse to see. I wrote a blog post about it with links to other material
    (perhaps most interesting to me are the accounts by people born biologically women who transition to a male appearance – they talk about how they are treated with much more respect after appearing male):

    On Men Not Believing Women and Being Blind to the Sexism and Harassment Women Often Endure
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/%E2%80%A2-on-men-not-believing-women-and-being-blind-to-the-sexism-and-harassment-women-often-endure/

  87. ishy wrote:

    I saw several exchanges over the past few days of men who lashed out about the recent controversies and said that most of these allegations were false and then launch into a perverse and sexist string of obscenities at any female who disagreed..

    Sorry, I forgot to add this in my last post.

    I have been on sites reporting the Weinstein atrocities, and I’ve seen a handful of men in the comments under such articles insult any woman who worked as a model, or who had appeared in Playboy magazine, who is now complaining that Weinstein or whomever in Hollywood assaulted them.

    I sure don’t support dirty magazines and the like, but I totally disagree with any man who thinks a woman “asks for” or “deserves” to be groped, raped, or receive lewd comments, by an actor or movie producer, just because she appeared nude once in a naughty men’s magazine at some point in her life.

    But I actually saw a few men reason as such on other blogs and sites – I had to check my calendar – this is 2017 and not 1946, right?

    And I’m sad to say (as a conservative) that these were guys on conservative sites, so I assume they were right wingers as well.

    OTOH, those men were shouted down ten to one by other right wingers (both women AND men) telling them how wrong they were.

  88. @ Jenny: you need to study up on Henri Nouwen, he was anything but a biblical Christian. Many of his beliefs are in direct contradiction to the word of God. I may not agree with James White and Phil Johnson but John MacArthur is right about Henri. Love is telling the truth as Gods word tells it. It is not loving to allow Christians to believe this man was anything but a rank heretic.

  89. Julie Anne wrote:

    She’s quite comfortable in her atheism now.

    This is one of the things I sometimes wonder about in all this Christianity stuff.

    I don’t know all your daughter’s reasons for becoming an atheist – maybe she has many more, other reasons – but how Christians behave (not just to me personally but seeing how they act towards each other online) is one reason of several I’m sort of partially agnostic, you might say.

    And I wonder if the Phil Johnsons, J D Halls, Doug Wilsons and all these other guys who claim to be Christ followers yet who act like blow-hards care they are causing people to be turned off to Christianity and have doubts or become agnostic or atheist.

    Also disturbing to me are the still “on-board” Christians who then turn around and criticize someone like me for being turned off to the faith because of how some other Christians act.

  90. John wrote:

    Disagree with them and they’ll hound you like nobody’s business.

    I was saying that above, yeah. I’ve seen it on different social media accounts I have.

    I am willing to tip my hat to them and part ways all friendly like while still disagreeing, but that is not good enough for J D Hall fans, Pulpiteer Fans, or the James White fans, or these Pyro guys. They LOVE to argue and fight. They LIVE for it.

    They cannot just agree to disagree and be friendly about it and say good-bye, they will tweet and DM and private message you for all eternity to say how wrong you are, to keep asking you for evidence of your points, etc.

    It’s very tiresome, a turn-off, and I don’t think anyone was won into the Kingdom of God via argumentation.

  91. Daisy wrote:

    You would think so, but it drpends on the company and the work place environment.
    I was bullied and harassed daily to weekly by one of several bosses I had on one full time job. The same boss was hated by 99% of the folks there and she harassed other people too.
    This awful boss had many complaints filed against her by different people with H.R., but all H.R. did (I heard thru the grape vine) was make her attend two days of sensitivity training.
    What they should have done was given her ONE warning on her behavior, and if she got so much as one more complaint, canned her. But no, they kept her on.

    I’m glad you shared your experience because I had to put up with something very similar on my job. In my situation the supervisor, among many other things, went on a rant about individuals of certain ethnic backgrounds being unteachable, dumb, stubborn, etc. Complains were filed with H.R. We were told to let the supervisor rant and don’t engage. H.R. did absolutely nothing.

    The situation did not improve and eventually the supervisor was sent on a week long training seminar. The supervisor returned and explained to the office what was taught and learned. Did that training help improve the situation? Nope, not at all. The supervisor knew what was expected, but deliberately continued to do just the opposite.

    I guess rank does have its privileges.

  92. Ken G wrote:

    I guess rank does have its privileges.

    Which is why when this all plays out in the Christian community, one wonders, “What the —- is going on?”

    Surely not the Spirit of Jesus, who lived the exact opposite of the flesh-satan-world paradigm.

    So many of these TWW post scenarios are exactly the situation 2K years ago that played out with Jesus and the religious leaders of His time. Some leaders preach today without honest reflection, like in Jesus’ time, and He called them out back then.

    Fortunately today we can gather around the Wartburg Well or the Wartburg Watercooler and regroup, to be more Christlike than what we sometimes see on stage and in the media.

  93. Daisy wrote:

    And I wonder if the Phil Johnsons, J D Halls, Doug Wilsons and all these other guys who claim to be Christ followers yet who act like blow-hards care they are causing people to be turned off to Christianity and have doubts or become agnostic or atheist.

    This is where perhaps people need to begin questioning whether or not that is exactly the goal. Ever heard of false teachers? What is the goal of false teachers – to hurt and destroy. Bingo.

  94. Watchman on the Wall wrote:

    If these men were in the real work place…they would be fired for their behavior.

    Non-religious corporations are a lot more just that many Christian ones. I work in a corporate environment where you would be disciplined or even sacked if you abuse another human being – especially if it was related to race, skin colour, sex, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation or disability). But it seems that you can get away with that in some Christian organisations.

  95. Typo in my previous comment: Non-religious corporations are a lot more just THAN many Christian ones.

  96. Erp wrote:

    Are you sure you got the right person here? Ehrman doesn’t even claim the name of atheist and his claims seem very mainstream scholarship for his field.

    I am sure.

    https://ehrmanblog.org/am-i-an-agnostic-or-an-atheist-a-blast-from-the-past/

    In which above he says he is an atheist. At one point in his journey he began with the concept of agnosticism, and I listened to him on one you-tube video in which he called himself an agnostic atheist in that he at the time could not actually prove that there is no god. He is quite good natured about all this and willing to discuss this openly.

    I have no issue with his scholarship, and he is one of my favorites, though I have to say that he repeats himself in his books, so it not necessary for me (aka the average person) to read everything he writes if one merely wants to get a general idea of what he is saying. Craig has criticized Ehrman for allegedly letting people think that he is an historian (he is actually a textual critic with a good background in languages) but i think Craig is over the line with that criticism. Where does textual criticism lead one if not into historical information? But then since when would academics be characterized by their kindness and generosity toward each other??

    Ehrman exhibits a fundamentalist mind set, as I see it, in that his journey to atheism hinges on the ever present problem of suffering, for which there are poor or even absent answers. The need for answers is a fundamentalist approach which does not solve the issue of suffering adequately if that is one’s only approach to the problem. But Ehrman started out as an avowed believer with a fundamentalist background apparently since his teen years. I do not see that the man himself seems to have ‘converted’ to disbelief so much as merely changed what he believes about some conclusion, as contrasted with his mechanisms of believing which do not seem to be altered; that was the point I was trying to make.

    Craig has made a remarkable career in philosophy and apologetics by pursuing arguments leading to conclusions, but he says that bottom line he believes because of his personal experience with and relationship with Jesus/God. Ehrman is stuck in the world of needing answers. These are two different approaches to how one arrives at life-impacting conclusions. Ehrman’s approach is the fundamentalist approach; answers über alles.

    I listen to and highly value what they each say-in their own fields. I believe the way Craig believes, however, because/ been there and done that, not because of answers or lack of answers.

  97. okrapod wrote:

    … his journey to atheism hinges on the ever present problem of suffering, for which there are poor or even absent answers. The need for answers is a fundamentalist approach which does not solve the issue of suffering adequately if that is one’s only approach to the problem.

    This is an interesting observation and comment, Okrapod.

    Theological theorizing about suffering often comes up short. (Theologians writing from plush towers? Perhaps Barth, instead of facing whatever was the issue of his marriage, accessorized with a Side Chick?)

    Tillich (Systematic Theology, I, II, III) goes in-depth on suffering, although in the end, he writes that only the individual in the suffering is the human authority on their suffering. Agency.

    Here at the Wartburg Watercooler, we also validate agency, with every post.

    (A blog post about Tillich’s marriage and affairs, by the way: http://szezeng.blogspot.com/2010/10/paul-tillich-hannah-tillich-their.html. Power, sex and affluence go hand-in-hand? However, marriage matters.)

  98. truthseeker00 wrote:

    This is where perhaps people need to begin questioning whether or not that is exactly the goal. Ever heard of false teachers? What is the goal of false teachers – to hurt and destroy. Bingo.

    That way lies Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. A specific type of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory that gave us the Satanic Panic of the Eighties.

    These “false teachers” are Egotistical A-holes justified by Divine Right (a pattern we’ve seen in history) who are causing a LOT of collateral damage. That’s enough of an explanation — Egotism, Narcissism, Spiritual Snobbery, and Corruption.

  99. Muff Potter wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Maybe ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ need more discussion.

    I agree. What exactly does ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ mean? Or maybe that’s just it, there really is no ‘exactly’ that all can agree upon, and mileage will vary from person to person.

    Simple:
    Whatever I am that YOU’RE NOT!
    (I am so sick of Christianese One-Upmanship…)

  100. John wrote:

    This is John MacArthur’s world, right down the line. I have a relative deeply in that camp and the #1 premise of the whole system is that they are never wrong, and just about everyone else is. This breeds meanness.

    “For in the Devil’s theology, the most important thing is to Be Absolutely Right and to prove everyone else to be Absolutely Wrong. This does not lead to peace and harmony among men.”
    — Thomas Merton, “Moral Theology of the Devil”

    Disagree with them and they’ll hound you like nobody’s business.

    The Arrogance of the Righteous.

  101. Mae wrote:

    This is crazy stuff! My word, it’s like being taken back to seventh grade.

    Seventh grade as filtered through Narcissist Sociopaths.

  102. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Whatever I am that YOU’RE NOT!
    (I am so sick of Christianese One-Upmanship…)

    What you articulate well is so true, the One-Upmanship has no place.

    The evidence for each individual Christian is their own personal day-to-day transformation, which is unique because everyone is coming from a different place into relationship with God.

    Bottom line, that personal transformation that God miraculously orchestrates with each one of us, eclipses or upstages or one-ups theological arguments. Argue ’til the cows come home, God’s love is evidenced in how He changes lives, every day. That we can know and though we may not convince others (up to them), we can be sure beyond any doubt.

    (When life gets tough, it tests that convincing, however. We are constantly being invaded by challenge.)

  103. JYJames wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    these clowns

    The 007’s of churchianity: suave, hustling, and beyond the law, with a license to condemn, others.

    007 was CONSIDERABLY toned down and sanitized for the movies.
    Check out Ian Fleming’s original written version sometime.

  104. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Oh BTW, Bully Boss was (and is) a “born again” evangelical Christian. FWIW.

    So what else is new?
    All too often, Born-Again(TM) = arrogant license to abuse by Divine Right.

  105. Darlene wrote:

    It’s puerile antics from grown men no less. And they think we should regard them as respected bible teachers and elders?

    They Hold the Whip.
    (Even if only in their own mind and in the flattery of their brown-nosers.)

  106. okrapod wrote:

    Craig has made a remarkable career in philosophy and apologetics by pursuing arguments leading to conclusions, but he says that bottom line he believes because of his personal experience with and relationship with Jesus/God

    When “God” (or deity of your choice) becomes the only answer to everything, then every other line of inquiry becomes superfluous.
    And we would still be stuck in the iron age.
    Based on what I’ve read of Ehrman, he came by his conclusions honestly.
    If he sounds fundamentalist, then that’s the programming of his upbringing coming through.
    Leaving a faith doesn’t happen all at once (at least for those of us who didn’t have any traumatic church experience). It happens over stages.
    I still celebrate Christmas & Easter. Still sometimes pray.
    I no longer identify as Christian primarily because I don’t consider the bible inerrant nor do I believe in the likelihood of its fantastic claims.
    Much of my Christian cultural programming remains intact.

  107. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    This is crazy stuff! My word, it’s like being taken back to seventh grade.
    Seventh grade as filtered through Narcissist Sociopaths.

    For sure! How else could grown men behave like piranhas?

  108. @ Julie Anne:
    I am so sorry this was done to your family. I had not read about that.
    It does appear these men are beyond the pale. I was not familiar with these men’s treachery until this post.

  109. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t think anyone was won into the Kingdom of God via argumentation.

    On her dad’s side, my wife’s background is Muslim/Buddhist. It was her aunt that brought the family to Christ. I think she was in her late teens, early twenties. Her father had died, her mom was functionally illiterate and she was running the family business in a patriarchal society, putting her younger siblings through school. Not a person easily won over with arguements nor the type to sit silent and serve the men.
    She never did marry and remains active in the church to this day.

  110. okrapod wrote:

    Maybe ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ need more discussion.

    Indeed, and very widely, especially within the proselytising christian community (in all its many forms, good, bad and indifferent), for whom the notion of getting people from “unsaved / unconverted” to “saved / converted” is important.

    Jesus stated that unless [generic] you are converted and become like children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. In fact one one (famous or, perhaps, infamous) occasion, he put it as strongly as saying you must be born.

    The phrase “born again” has become utterly trivialised, AWWBA. But if we consider its implications, it’s worth bearing in mind that when a baby is born, in the everyday sense, that baby – whilst fully human – is entering a world that is vast beyond anything it has yet experienced and of which its newly-formed senses have no experience. In short, the baby has to learn very nearly everything from scratch (apart from breathing, sucking and crying). This doesn’t happen in an instant. Actually it happens over a lifetime!

    These metaphors suggest that growing as a christian involves far more than just adopting a few doctrinal statements and reforming one’s behavioural habits. Rather, it involves learning a completely different way of existing, that needs spiritual senses that one has never properly used before rather like a baby has never really used its eyes or ears in utero. But if “born again” is reduced to nothing more than some sales statistics and a learning program with some elaborate checkboxes, it’s not surprising that “born again believers” act, for better or worse, just like they’ve always done.

  111. Muff Potter wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Maybe ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ need more discussion.
    I agree. What exactly does ‘converted’ and ‘saved’ mean? Or maybe that’s just it, there really is no ‘exactly’ that all can agree upon, and mileage will vary from person to person.

    I would suggest that these folks of which the post is speaking, and many in their camp comfort themselves with the prospect of justification by faith alone and alien righteousness. Hence, they are able to operate in such a way that what they do and the way they act is of little consequence to them. Heaven is a done deal for them, didn’t ya know? Ain’t nothing that they do or say is going to jeopardize their salvation. Do they even understand that their actions and the faith that they claim to have cannot be compartmentalized? Do they not understand that their actions reveal the kind of people that they are, and bring scandal upon the Lord Jesus whom they claim to follow?

  112. Daisy wrote:

    Bad Boss really lost it one day. I came in super early one morning. She and I were the only ones there. She came into my cubicle area and screamed her head off at me. She normally kept her harassment quiet, but not that day.

    Sounds like a Kodak moment. As in whipping out your cellphone and saying, “This will look great on YouTube.”

  113. Darlene wrote:

    Do they even understand that their actions and the faith that they claim to have cannot be compartmentalized? Do they not understand that their actions reveal the kind of people that they are, and bring scandal upon the Lord Jesus whom they claim to follow?

    No they don’t. In their religion, Christ is little more than a transactional figure sent here to pay the fines for all sins, past, present, and future, with God the Father acting as Grand Cosmic magistrate.
    When viewed that way, what impetus is there to live as Christ lived?

  114. Julie Anne wrote:

    So Fred posted a seemingly appropriate apology as a new blog post on his blog. We forgave him. He removed it 2 weeks later.

    Fast forward a few years. Guess what he recently said on Twitter? Yep, he tweeted the same song and dance about my daughter. Some apology, huh? Unbelievable. Yes, I have the screenshots.

    Get thee to a lawyer pronto. You can put the fear of God into this guy.

  115. ION: The remnant of hurricane Ophelia is heading hither the noo. Although the north Atlantic is too cold to sustain a true hurricane, and the threat is much less than has been seen in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico this autumn, conditions are already difficult in south-west Ireland (Fastnet Rock has seen a gust of 92 mph).

    We’re sheltered from the worst of the storm by the Southern Uplands, though I’m going out for a run the noo while the winds are still relatively light.

  116. Mark Baker wrote:

    Jenny: you need to study up on Henri Nouwen, he was anything but a biblical Christian. Many of his beliefs are in direct contradiction to the word of God. I may not agree with James White and Phil Johnson but John MacArthur is right about Henri. Love is telling the truth as Gods word tells it. It is not loving to allow Christians to believe this man was anything but a rank heretic.

    Well ouch, quite frankly. Who are you to judge his salvation? He may not subscribe to quite your interpretation of a ‘Biblical’ Christian, but to call him a rank heretic is, in my opinion, going a bit far. And love is not just telling the truth as God’s word tells it, it is telling it in an appropriately kind & gentle way too. That often seems to be forgotten.

  117. Dee,

    Thank-you for posting this article and for personally contacting Brannon to hear his side of the story. All too often the witch gathers the flying monkeys together within the ranks of ‘the church’ for the profit of destroying their victims with whom they desire to silence. Flying monkey smear campaigns are interesting within Christendom because the bottom line is, they are too lazy to seek out the truth and they are cowards. Let me repeat “COWARDS.”

    I will never forget the badgering via the internet, by an individual that claims to be ‘a man.’ His name is J.D. Hall and he claims to be a pastor. His badgering of Ergun Caner’s son made me sick to my stomach and the words “you brood of vipers” could be easily applied to these pseudo Christian stalkers. Shame on you men (?)!

    This is precisely why I believe the doctrine of complementarianism is complete heresy and all of these practitioners will have to answer to the One Who is NOT a complementarian, Jesus, the Christ.

    We’ll just sit back and watch the pseudo Christian vipers poison and devour one another.
    Keep going at it boys! The true nature of your hearts is being exposed by the Light of Christ.

  118. Guest wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Christ is little more than a transactional figure

    I think they look at Jesus as a mascot that makes them not look so bad.

    And who gives them blanket Divine Right to do whatever they want.

  119. Unbelievable and maddeningly infuriating (yes, 2X the outrage on this one).

    Who the heck do Johnson and Butler think they are? I am of the opinion that they think they are intellectuals because MacArthur has them in positions of prominence but what they don’t realize is that MacArthur only hires people who are intellectually inferior to himself and who do not question him on anything.

    A line from Metallica’s King Nothing came to mind while reading this post:

    All the wants you waste
    All the things you’ve chased
    Then it all crashes down
    And you break your crown
    And you point your finger
    But there’s no one around
    Just want one thing
    Just to play the king
    But the castle’s crumbled
    And you’re left with just a name

    Where’s your crown,
    King Nothing?

  120. Why would anyone be surprised or appalled at Phil Johnson, or even John MasCarthur, for that matter, in my opinion. Perhaps many readers did not read Pyromaniacs before they picked up their internet tents a couple years ago and moved on. But diatribes, caustic remarks and ‘plainspeakin’ was something they took pride in. Johnny Mac and his band of sycophants and acolytes represent from my perspective, an authoritarian Christian ‘regime. And James White, just another ‘fighting fundie’ who thinks he is the ‘smartest guy in the room’ (any room!). You can’t listen to Mac for very long, or read his books (or the words of his ghostwriter and editor, Phil) without realizing there is little Grace in Grace To You. I am thankful that I no longer travel in the circles where Mac is idolized. And yes he is idolized by many Reformed and semi-Reformed people.

  121. Daisy wrote:

    Also disturbing to me are the still “on-board” Christians who then turn around and criticize someone like me for being turned off to the faith because of how some other Christians act.

    That’s because it’s all about appearances. Their faith is in presenting a solid front, in making christianity *appear* to be the answer to every problem.

    They might very well be taking their theology from an old pop song, “Don’t rock the boat, baby.”

  122. truthseeker00 wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    And I wonder if the Phil Johnsons, J D Halls, Doug Wilsons and all these other guys who claim to be Christ followers yet who act like blow-hards care they are causing people to be turned off to Christianity and have doubts or become agnostic or atheist.
    This is where perhaps people need to begin questioning whether or not that is exactly the goal. Ever heard of false teachers? What is the goal of false teachers – to hurt and destroy. Bingo.

    I can also see them rationalizing that they’re doing god’s work, by making sure the “non-elect” get separated out early. Why wait until the Great White Throne Judgment?

  123. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    JYJames wrote:
    Jack wrote:
    these clowns
    The 007’s of churchianity: suave, hustling, and beyond the law, with a license to condemn, others.
    007 was CONSIDERABLY toned down and sanitized for the movies.
    Check out Ian Fleming’s original written version sometime.

    Oh, yeah. My parents would have considered the books X-rated, had they bothered to read them. They didn’t (but thought they knew all about Bond because they had watched the films).

    Not safe books to have in a home with voracious pre-teen readers.

  124. Pingback: Tinfoil Hat Twitter | hipandthigh UNITED STATES

  125. @ Julie Anne:

    JA – I just read your comment and hate what you and your family have gone through, especially as I have come to know that rather than being the exception, this type of treatment is the norm by these ‘leaders’ who feel threatened.

    I referenced a Metallica song above and your comment triggered another song, though this time by Sara Bareilles, “King of Anything”. It’s almost as if she had Butler in mind when she wrote

    You’ve got opinions, man
    We’re all entitled to ’em, but I never asked
    So let me thank you for your time,
    And try not to waste anymore of mine
    And get out of here fast
    I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
    There’s no one here to save
    Who cares if you disagree?
    You are not me
    Who made you king of anything?
    So you dare tell me who to be?
    Who died and made you king of anything?

  126. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And who gives them blanket Divine Right to do whatever they want.

    They blame everything on Jesus or the bible were they don’t have to take blame.

    It isn’t my fault, you hate Jesus.
    It isn’t my fault, you hate the bible.

    Maybe it is them. Maybe they are just sick bad people and it is not Jesus fault or the bible’s fault.

    I wish people would get the nerv to start making these thugs take the blame themselves.

  127. Karen wrote:

    I will never forget the badgering via the internet, by an individual that claims to be ‘a man.’ His name is J.D. Hall and he claims to be a pastor. His badgering of Ergun Caner’s son made me sick to my stomach and the words “you brood of vipers” could be easily applied to these pseudo Christian stalkers. Shame on you men (?)!

    J.D. Hall is the bottom of the barrel of scum bags.

    These men go on about their manhoods. It is “NOT” manly the way they cyberstalked and cyberbullied that young teen boy. This group of men acts as if they are getting paid to be obnoxious, abusive, and extremely juvenile. No wonder they are so anti-divorce, no woman in her right mind would want to live in the same house or be married to these heinous cretins.

  128. Mark Baker wrote:

    you need to study up on Henri Nouwen, he was anything but a biblical Christian. Many of his beliefs are in direct contradiction to the word of God. I may not agree with James White and Phil Johnson but John MacArthur is right about Henri. Love is telling the truth as Gods word tells it. It is not loving to allow Christians to believe this man was anything but a rank heretic.

    I am currently reading a commentary written by a conservative theologian who teaches at DTS that includes an extensive quote from Nouwen on pastoral care. I was first introduced to Nouwen’s books by a professor at SWBTS. I have always approached those works with the understanding that Nouwen comes from a different theological background than I do and that there will be points on which I disagree with him. My point is that there are many people in conservative circles that find valid applications of Nouwen’s work to their Christian lives.

  129. @ FW Rez:

    I completely agree. I arrived at Nouwen through Frederick Buechner and I have learned from both men in the areas of pastoral care and compassion. I would love it if one of the TGC leaders took Nouwen’s example of giving up everything to minister in a place like L’Arche. Can you imagine Dever, MacArthur, De Young, etc., giving up everything to work with members of the disabled community, or the victims of trafficking, or anything else that would take them out of the Big Eva limelight?

    You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

  130. Mark Baker wrote:

    @ Jenny: you need to study up on Henri Nouwen, he was anything but a biblical Christian. Many of his beliefs are in direct contradiction to the word of God. I may not agree with James White and Phil Johnson but John MacArthur is right about Henri. Love is telling the truth as Gods word tells it. It is not loving to allow Christians to believe this man was anything but a rank heretic.

    Thanks, Mark, for assuming I know nothing of Nouwen. Extra special thanks for proving my point for me.

    May the honesty, generosity, compassion, and self-sacrifice of such “rank heretics” increase for the good of the forgotten ones and the furthering of the Kingdom.

    God’s grace and peace to you.

  131. @ Burwell:

    I’ve been playing the closing bars of the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s 5th, culminating in possibly the finest dominant 7th in the history of western music, and I now have that as an earworm.

    Could be worse.

  132. Plus, of course, the 4th movement contains the archetypal passage of film music written generations before films were invented.

  133. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    @ Burwell:
    I’ve been playing the closing bars of the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s 5th, culminating in possibly the finest dominant 7th in the history of western music, and I now have that as an earworm.
    Could be worse.

    Yes, yes it could be.
    My earworm today, for example, is Hey, Jack Kerouac by 10,000 Maniacs. Nice song, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Beethoven’s 5th. 🙂

  134. Fred Butler is now going after me, saying that all of this is a bunch of baloney. Except, he forgets to mention his BFF, Phil Johnson, suddenly disappeared from Twitter after years of being present. Just a coincidence? Nothing to see here folks.

    Oh, and if Fred is reading, do you remember attacking Julie Anne Smith’s daughter, Hannah? Wow- such bravery…

  135. Fred Butler…you are messing with the wrong women. I have had lunch with these wise women and they have their stuff together. Sweetie, be careful before you throw your hat into this arena. Better put on your big boy panties cause these gals don’t play! Bless his heart.

  136. dee wrote:

    Fred Butler

    I think Fred Butler has much in common with J.D. Hall. They are both immature, disgusting, abusive, and 100% childish.

  137. @ Guest:

    “I think they look at Jesus as a mascot that makes them not look so bad.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    yes, that’s it — Jesus as a mascot. I’ve thought for some years now, just never found the right word for it.

    Makes Jesus kind of cute and action-figure-ish so he doesn’t steal their limelight. He’s less of a threat to their need for attention, power and control.

  138. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Guest:
    “I think they look at Jesus as a mascot that makes them not look so bad.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    yes, that’s it — Jesus as a mascot. I’ve thought for some years now, just never found the right word for it.
    Makes Jesus kind of cute and action-figure-ish so he doesn’t steal their limelight. He’s less of a threat to their need for attention, power and control.

    A tame lion, perhaps.

  139. @ elastigirl:

    As distinct from “the day” (today) and “the morrer” (tomorrow). In conversation, I also use the phrases “the then” and “the soon” but these aren’t real.

  140. These people act like children. And rotten, ill mannered children at that. Why would anyone listen to them?

  141. Lea wrote:

    These people act like children. And rotten, ill mannered children at that. Why would anyone listen to them?

    Pain of Eternal Hell.
    (op cit Jack Chick Great White Throne scene…)

  142. refugee wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    yes, that’s it — Jesus as a mascot. I’ve thought for some years now, just never found the right word for it.

    Makes Jesus kind of cute and action-figure-ish so he doesn’t steal their limelight. He’s less of a threat to their need for attention, power and control.

    A tame lion, perhaps.

    Aslan as housecat, declawed, castrated, and Safe for the Whole Family.

    Which is really gonna help when (not if) Tash kicks in your door.

  143. So we see here that some self-proclaimed Christian leaders would make up lies to slender another person, just because that other person raised some legitimate complains against their BFF.

    False prophets identified. No love of Christ in them. Move along.

  144. I have still not had anybody ever give me a solid reason for becoming a “church member” other than purely logistical issues for man’s convenience (attendance records, member addresses for mailings and/or normal pastoral visitations, etc.)

    I have repented of my sins and believe Jesus, trusting Him with my eternity, and striving to obey His commands and follow his teachings. I have made a public profession of faith in Jesus and have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I display evidence of the fruit of the Spirit and I am maturing in my faith. I faithfully attended the same local church for more than ten years, only missing a rare Sunday here and there. I served at that church on a regular basis (sometimes multiple times a week: VBS, nursery, children’s Sunday school, youth, college ministry, drama, greeting, ushering, Bible study leader, etc.). I served on mission teams (both as a go-er and a sender) multiple times. I faithfully gave more than 10% of my gross income every month (I’m paid monthly), even when I only made $19,000 a year.

    I now worship with a different congregation (in the same denomination, ironically), and have for the past 3 years. Although my service isn’t as vigorous (exhausting? legalistic?), I have still served on mission teams–even supporting my previous church’s missions Sunday at their request, I still give regularly, and I still help out once and a while with various projects around church (mainly Hanging of the Greens and general prep work for various projects). I pray for the sick, visit the elderly, care for the orphan.

    According to what I assume is these men’s definition, there is zero evidence that I am a member of a church anywhere, because, in fact, I have never in my life been a church member in the modern sense: I’m not on any church roll or membership list. I have yet to understand why being a “church member” is so necessary (and why not being one is so damning) when I am obviously an active member of the catholic (global) body of Christ.

  145. “Frankly, the closer I got to the fundamentalist movement in the 1970s, the
    more it seemed to me that the movement had significant tendencies that owed
    more to the cults and the pharisees than to historic Christianity. So I carefully
    kept my distance from the movement, while affirming the principles of historic
    fundamentalism.” ( Phil Johnson)

    http://gracelifepulpit.media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/deadright_.pdf

    Dramatic Irony.

  146. From the OP:

    Update 10/24/17 Phil Johnson has posted rebuttal to the claims of Howse.

    Well, well, well…that was a brief Twitter departure.

  147. Holy marathon twitter smack down…this embarrassing update of Phil’s fails in so many ways. It’s on a level equal to a Chuck O’Neal diatribe.

    Someone needs to tell Phil that 1) less is more, and 2) the more he defends himself, the guiltier he looks.

    “I was hoping to recover an hour or so daily by not needing to read or post on Twitter, and I haven’t given up that goal. So I don’t intend to be active on Twitter in the immediate future.”

    Funniest thing I’ve read from a professing Christian wannabe celeb in a long time.