Why we must trust 22 year old professionals and why we must protect our high school students

As Boz Tchividjian says, we need to be careful to avoid the “dangers of mob forgiveness that finds redemption stories where they don’t exist, while at the same time affirming perpetrators and re-traumatizing victims.” link 


Teen friends

Ben Ferguson kerfuffle

Today I was going to repost Amy Smith’s post which points out the difference between the original live Ben Fergiuson show and the one posted broadcast several days later: Andy Savage on the Ben Ferguson Show

Ben Ferguson claimed yesterday that he was being slandered so I decided to give him an opportunity to respond to the documented issues. I sent an email to his show requesting some sort of response since it seemed like the discrepancies were well documented by Watch Keep.

Just as I was getting ready to post, this tweet came out from The Ben Ferguson Show. You guys decide what is going on.


Do not denigrate the reputations of 22 year old adult professionals by calling them *college students who just made a mistake.*

I have always had a problem with broad brush statements like “we are all sinners and all of us could make the mistake that Andy Savage made.” I have heard this used in regards to pedophiles and child porn addicts. This line of reasoning is wrong. I often make the case that I have no desire to molest children and neither do the vast majority of adults in this world. To say that we are all just one step away from doing one of these heinous sins which are also crimes is to misread Scripture.

Scripture is clear. We have all sinned but we have not all sinned in the same way. Our society bases its legal system on increasing punishments for more heinous crimes.

So are all 22 year old professionals just one step away from an organic sexual experience with a 17 year old teen?

My daughter was an emergency room nurse at the age of 22. Her skill set was such that she could take care of the sickest of the sick. Never once has she violated that trust by hitting on a dependent patient. In fact, she routinely turned down offers of dates from former patients, knowing that people can mistake gratitude with emotional feelings for the individual who got them through a scary situation. So are these people who Savage made the routine mistake of a college boy claiming that 22 year old nurses should be given a pass for hitting on a vulnerable patient?

We have another family member who was a firefighter at the age of 22. Take a look at this article which states the requirements to be a firefighter who can start working at the age of 18. Take a look at what is investigated or required about a candidate. This includes a demonstration of a clean social media account, fiscal responsibility and a strong psychological profile. Maybe young firefighters should be given a pass for hitting on a vulnerable person that they rescued?

What about the men and women of the military? Should we expect them to have an organic sexual experience with some poor village teens in Afghanistan because, after all, they are merely college age and college students make mistakes? Such a soldier would be dishonorably discharged.

How about our wonderful, sacrificial school teachers who can begin to teach at 21 years old. If a 22 year old teacher was caught having a *sexual incident* with a 17 year old high school student, what do you thing would happen? Well, not only would they be fired but they would go to prison if convicted. How do you think the Savage defense, that he had an organic sexual experience with a consenting adult, would play in court. More on this in a minute.

All of the people who are stating that Savage engaged in a consensual act, because he was just a stupid 22 year old college kid, are condemning the vast majority of 22 year old professionals who do their job with dignity and integrity. One woman claimed that maybe youth pastors should be older. Does she want all of the 22 year old professionals, including youth pastors, to quit their professional jobs because they are ALL college aged and can’t conduct their business without having organic sexual experiences?

Unfortunately, Andy Savage is one such professional who was 22 years old and did not live up to the dignity of his profession unlike the vast majority of 22 year old professionals. He is the one who had a problem, not the other 22 year olds out there saving lives, caring for students, and living out their occupations well. Do not denigrate their professionalism because Savage couldn’t contain himself.

Why we must protect our high school students as they mature.

I have heard from a number of folks that Jules probably liked Andy Savage. Of course she did! I bet that many of the teens did. That is is what happens to teens and that is why we must protect them as we help them mature into adulthood.

I know this because I was once a teen girl. When I was the age of Jules, I had a series of crushes. Let me confess to some of those: Paul McCartney, Andy Williams (go figure), all of the Monkees (don’t hate me), a nurse’s aid that I worked with one summer, the young guy collecting parking fees in back of Almy’s Department Store in Salem, MA,  at least 6 male high school students, a teacher, a security guard, and and every. male. lead. in the local musical theater ( I knew they were singing to me!) Each of these crushes were fleeting and unrequited except for Andy Williams which was unrequited  but lasted for 2 years.

Had Andy Williams driven up and asked me to go for a ride, I probably would have. I might have kissed him but I would not have expected to see his manhood displayed. That is not what I had in mind, whatsoever. I was thinking of a teen girl romantic moment, maybe sharing a sundae and holding hands in the moonlight.

I had a friend whom I shall call Susie. Susie was an early maturer. She began her 6 year sequential crushes on male teachers in 7th grade. She was painfully obvious about her affections as well. I remember in high school, when she would round up her friends (me included) when she overheard one of her current teacher crushes stating that he would be at Friendly’s after school with some other teachers. We would all haul over there, sitting  across the restaurant from them, giggling. Susie would get up and stroll pass the table, while smiling at the teacher. I was the quiet one, watching the events from behind my sundae. As she passed by, the teachers would all roll their eyes behind her back and continue on with their conversations.

Every single one of Susie’s teacher crushes treated her with kindness ands respect and never took advantage of their position.They also NEVER made fun of her and gently helped her into adulthood.

Let’s take a look at one teacher who did not do the same thing. She was 23 and had sex with a 17 year old student here in North Carolina. She was charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student, lost her job and will stand trial. She most likely will receive prison time.

Now, in North Carolina, the age of consent is 16. So, since the male student was 17 and she was barely 23, why all the fuss? Shouldn’t we blow if off as consensual since the teacher is just a silly college age girl and they all do it? The very few people who are defending Savage would have to say “Yes. Let those poor teachers of the hook. They are just kids themselves and we are sure the 17 year old boy *wanted it.* I bet he pursued her. How could she resist?”

My husband always says “The church often seems to have lower standards than the secular culture. They are willing to blow off predatory behavior as a mistake or we’re all sinners or he was young or she liked him, etc. If we give ourselves a break, shouldn’t we be out there protesting in favor of the teacher who took advantage of her position? Did you know she will never teach again? My guess is that some of these critics of 17 year old girls would cluck their tongues in disapproval of that teacher.

Where is our wish to protect our students in our churches? Where are the women who remember what it is like to be a teenager, learning to deal with overwhelming emotions and crushes? Sadly, many people are more than content to dump their awkward teens on a student ministry and never fully understand what is going on in there. Sometimes, I think there are some pastors of churches who are just grateful for anyone to take the high school students off their hands. If the teen girls think the youth pastor is a *hunk,* so be it.

There have been threats by some people who claim to have known Jules as a teen to *reveal what she was really like.* Anyone who is/was a member of that church, who would do such a thing, should be ashamed. She should have been protected then and she should be protected now.

Here is a prediction. Just like I said that the obligatory standing ovation would not be a good idea before Highpoint did so, it will be even worse if people try to slut shame a teen age girl. If they do this, their church will be disgraced by a watching world which sometimes gets it better than people who proclaim Jesus as their Lord.

Don’t. go. there. If you do, I will remind you of this when the blow back occurs. It will and it won’t be just from me. Remember the ill- fated standing ovation and think twice.

Instead, protect our high school students and don’t shame them as they figure out their complex emotions.

Yes, the public has a right to comment on what they see at your church.

A smart woman who attends Highpoint commented on our blog. I call her smart because she went to Rhodes College, a great school. She said the world should just butt out and mind their own business. I told her that the Bible does not see it that way at all.

How many of you have ever quoted Matthew 5:14 NIV when speaking about your church? How many of you believe it? I do.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

  • How many of you have invited people to come to church to hear your preachers?
  • Have you invited friends for Women’s Days, bible studies, mens’ events, kids’ celebrations?
  • Have you ever given someone a book by your pastor?
  • Have you ever told your friends how much your church gets it?
  • Does you church advertise their events, music, books, etc.?

I know this is hard to hear but you don’t get to pick and choose what they see and hear. You don’t get to tell them what they should get out of a sermon. If you want the public to hear you, you must listen to everything that they hear and see and deal with it.

I assume most of the people at Highpoint get the Gospel. If so, part of getting the Gospel is to understand that everyone sins and there are consequences. Some people sin so badly that they have not only broken God’s laws but the laws of society. Christians should be the first to come forward and confess their failures to those who are peering in. Christians should be first to go to the police when they have committed a crime. Christians should be the first to understand that God is present in the darkness and will eventually bring redemption to the situation when there is remorse and repentance on the part of the sinner.

Even more, Christians understand that God can take the worst crimes and sins and change the life of the person who committed them. Why is it that pastors who hurt 17 years old girls need to go back to the pulpit? Has anyone ever considered that God had, and has, something more meaningful for that person to do? Could it be that keeping this event on the down low for so long has prevented that person from seeing what God had in mind? Where is the trust in God to bring beauty out of ashes? The first step, sadly, is that the ashes must be collected and offered to God, in the face of the watching world.

As Boz Tchividjian says, we need to be careful to avoid the “dangers of mob forgiveness that finds redemption stories where they don’t exist, while at the same time affirming perpetrators and re-traumatizing victims.” link 

In celebration of surviving a two year crush as a teen.

Comments

Why we must trust 22 year old professionals and why we must protect our high school students — 324 Comments

  1. Dee writes: “Ben Ferguson claimed yesterday that he was being slandered.”

    That is an understatement. He fired 9 missiles at Amy on twitter, shouting in ALL CAPS that he would not stand for her lies. Now that the truth is out that the uploaded interview was indeed redacted, where is the apology?

  2. Thank you for this. I’m a long time reader, but this is my first post. Thank you for your faithfulness and kindness. I continue to pray for your health, and for Jules.

  3. No shame over The Monkees. I just put on the Head soundtrack on as I read this, I love that thing — Carole King writing music for the Monkees? Yes, please!

    More seriously two things:

    1) I worked in Christian radio for over a decade, albeit in production and occasionally recommending interviews (got to get Amy Hollingsworth on to talk about Mr. Rogers before I left!). I’ve had to edit interviews for re-airs to fit time standards. Since he re-aired the interview I wouldn’t be that surprised if this happened and that’s what they uploaded. Having said that, it’s still sketchy to not note this. I’d put up the whole interviews to our website in situations like this, and in a potentially explosive interview like this you make an effort to get the whole thing up there unedited, even if in chunks. Poor form. Still, I’m kicking myself for not recording this when it happened…remembering next time.

    2) It’s inane to me that people are making excuses for him being 22/23 at the time. Like I said, I was that age when I worked with primarily female teens and somehow it wasn’t an issue for me. I confess I most certainly was NOT a hunk, but still parents, pastors, and the woman who was my boss needed not only to trust me but know that I respected those kids. You don’t mess around in those situations: hands off, teasing is rare and guarded, focus can be on fun but you’re still the adult in the room, etc. It’s not rocket science. You’re an adult, act like one.

  4. “Why is it that pastors who hurt 17 years old girls need to go back to the pulpit?”
    Well said Dee. There should not be a debate on such a simple matter. Unfortunately theirs is not an honest debate.

  5. A lot of people held positions of responsibility at a young age. Lifeguard at 15. Psychiatric nursing assistant at 18. Air Force engine mechanic at 21. Medical lab technologist at 24. And I’m not alone. Look at the guy who founded Facebook. This is why those of us in the real world are apalled.

  6. A smart woman who attends Highpoint commented on our blog. I call her smart because she went to Rhodes College, a great school. She said the world should just butt out and mind their own business.

    Then why on earth have a You Tube channel with all your sermons put out for the world to see? Sorry. This is just nuts.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/highpointmemphis/videos

  7. So I was a high school band director when I was 22. I was in charge of 250 high school band students. For those of you familiar with band culture, it is kind of like a youth group. The kids are all really close and often see the teacher as a mentor. I knew of several students who had a crush on me. I was EXTREMELY careful to not do anything that could be construed as leading them on. Even an accusation could have ended my career and damaged an innocent young woman going through her difficult high school years. Once I got married after my first year and my students met my wife, things got a bit easier. The implication that all 22 year old guys responsible for the safety of young women take advantage of them is insulting. I am proud of the way I treated my students, and I educate the pre-service teachers I teach to treat students the same way.

  8. I’ve been reading this blog for awhile but I don’t comment much. However, as a teacher, I feel that the defense of Andy Savage is ridiculous. As the OP mentions, many high school teachers start teaching at age 21 or 22. I was 23, due to taking 5 years for college. After having a drug test, a background check, a TB test, and being fingerprinted, I well remember my first day in my own classroom—it was the first time I felt like an adult. I understood that I was standing “in loco parentis” for these kids, and that responsibility weighed heavily on me. Student crushes on teachers are extremely common in both middle and high school. At age 23, I knew how to handle them. Be kind, but keep boundaries in place. If you are alone in a classroom or office with a student, leave the door open. Limit touching to a pat on the shoulder or arm. If the student’s flirting gets out of hand, alert an administrator or counselor. This whole, “Well, she was flirting with me, and I was flirting with her, and it just kind of happened” nonsense makes me sick. YOU DON’T FLIRT with the kids in your classroom, youth group, after-school club, camp, whatever!

  9. On the topic of ‘sin-levelling’ and sin minimisation, here is a post I wrote three years ago:

    https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2015/01/21/are-all-sins-equally-bad-are-all-transgressions-of-the-law-equally-heinous/

    Thanks Dee for this post.
    I appreciate the anecdotes you gave about teenage crushes. And the examples you gave of 22 year old professionals who are carrying out their professional duties faithfully and not using taking advantage of their position to hit on any of their clients or any of the people they encounter in the course of the duties.

  10. Dee, you’re sounding more and more like a voice crying in the wilderness. You, and Amy, and a few select others.

  11. ___

    “New Calvinism 101: “Standard Operating Procedure ℗ , Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    The ‘prosecution of sin’ © in a New Calvinist 501(c)3 church is apparently used as a weapon against the unsuspecting registered ® members of the congregation by prominent pastoral leadership.

    They are apparently trained to prosecute this line of behavior in their formative years in the ‘New’ Calvinist seminary(s).

    The prosecution of sin does not ‘necessarily’ apply to 501(c)3 church leadership.

    What?

    They apparently are trained to give themselves a ‘accountability pass’ ™ due to something currently rendered ‘calling precedence’ ℗ .

    Answering to a ‘some’ higher power, perhaps?

    huh?

    This maleficent phenomena would go far in explaining the knowledge suppression of scripturally unacceptable behavior ℗ within the current ruling 501(c)3 New Calvinist church leadership, and the growing and expanding pattern of un-accountability by New Calvinist church leadership towards secular authorities.

    Beware!

    (Please see your bible for details)

    ATB

    ♪♩♪♩ hum, hum, hum …Ooh, ”Don’t think sorry’s easily said
    Don’t try, turnin’ tables instead
    You’ve taken lots of chances before
    But I ain’t gonna give anymore
    Don’t ask me
    That’s how it goes
    ‘Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’
    Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
    Don’t let the fire rush to your head
    I’ve heard the accusation before
    And I ain’t gonna take any more
    Believe me
    The sun in your eyes
    Made some of the lies worth believing…” – © Alan Parsons

    SKreeeeeeeetch!

    (sadface)

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

  12. “I have always had a problem with broad brush statements like “we are all sinners and all of us could make the mistake that Andy Savage made.” …

    Scripture is clear. We have all sinned but we have not all sinned in the same way. …

    So are all 22 year old professionals just one step away from an organic sexual experience with a 17 year old teen?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    i think the christian mindset is like that little square wordless booklet with a black page, then a red page, then a white page, then a gold page (at least i think that’s what it was… a vague memory deep in the mind archives).

    everyone is 100% horrible, evil, wicked, vicious, corrupt, immoral. as wholly evil and wicked as the whole page being inky black all the way to the edges.

    then because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice, the inky evil disappears 100%. all gone. as wholly spotless and gleaming as the whole page being brilliant white all the way to the edges.

    as if the evil wickedness never was. as if the evil deeds had never happened.

    a few obvious problems:

    working backwards, one’s actions did happen, and the consequences can destroy the lives of others. one’s redemption doesn’t touch the lives of those you messed up by your actions.

    the other problem: no one is wholly bad. in fact, everyone has quite a deposit of goodness in them. (albeit, a relative few devolve into committing world class crimes against humanity)

    i think a lore has developed in christian culture that outside of church all the unsaved are these goblin-like beings — lying, cheating, merciless, self-centered, hateful, to the point that there’s no way they could do anything good, nor have a successful relationship, nor do anything well. (hyperbole here, to some extent)

    (hence all these christian how-to-do-life books and seminars and conferences. because only christians know anything at all. no one else can be trusted.)

    this is very incorrect. people outside the church bubble, with faith in any of the various deities or no faith at all, are honest, kind, compassionate, selfless, wise, have good marriages, are good parents, good friends, good citizens.

    in short, i feel christian culture needs a correction:

    –raise the level of expectations for behavior of fellow christians.

    –acknowledge the high level of expectations for behavior which people in ‘the world’ already have for themselves and each other.

  13. From the OP:

    How many of you have ever quoted Matthew 5:14 NIV when speaking about your church? How many of you believe it? I do.

    “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

    There’s also this little gem, which many supporters of insular “christian” groups seem to overlook:

    “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”

    — Matthew 12:41,42

    Apparently, Jesus has no problem with unbelievers sitting in judgement on the religious, at least in some situations.

  14. Apparently, Highpoint is really, really bad at teaching people to apologize correctly! Who could have guessed?

    When Ben Ferguson had to admit the interview tapes were, in fact, edited, he blamed his producer (a 17 yr old girl, perhaps?) and said (incorrectly—read:falsely) that the edits were just bumpers against commercials (like “just kissing?”). Furthermore, he used the first few minutes of his radio show today to make excuses with this half-hearted apology while attempting to defend his honor (“it was the girl’s fault, too”—-reminiscent of the Original Sin saga as well as Savage’s own unfathomable defenses?). He stated there would be no apology on Twitter (but wouldn’t that be one of the most appropriate places, since that is where is sinned by falsely calling Amy Smith a liar?)

    Nope. I’d be curious if he called Amy, personally, to apologize; I sincerely doubt it.

    Apologizing and taking responsibility is not that hard! Be a man, repent fully, own up to your mistakes, accept the consequences without blame-shifting, make things right (as much as you can) with the one(s) you hurt, and (despite your grievous “mistake”) be able to look yourself in the mirror again. The truth shall set you free!

    Savage’s true nature is shown, as he even deeply entangles his friends in his sin. Woe unto him and those who follow him into folly.

  15. As someone who has served on the Grand Jury in South Montgomery County, I can say with certainty that if the “incident” had been reported to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office by WPBC (aka Stonebridge) as it should have been, the deputies would NOT have said taken her statement and said, “Oops, age of consent and consent issues. No need to investigate.”

    Do people who want to use those elements as proof that nothing would have happened have ANY CLUE how the judicial system works??? Seriously???? Do they not know what a Grand Jury is????

    The investigation would have included statements from both parties and any discrepancies would have meant more digging. And there is no way the investigators wouldn’t have been asking church leaders and other involved person’s questions, AND THOSE STATEMENTS would also have been put into permanent evidence. Wow, just wow. If ANYBODY thinks Savage’s job title wouldn’t have made it into the DA’s packet of evidence to present to the Grand Jury simply has no idea how things work. Even if the “clergy” aspect of the law didn’t exist at the time, his status as a Youth Pastor would have been part of the case against him. The prosecution would have kept hammer that point. Good grief!!! Law or no law, it would have influenced the Grand Jury. Ditto for discovering that he was not supposed to be alone with youth one-on-one. Probably the tickling event, too. And, hello, if anyone, and I mean ANYONE, thinks the lawyers for the DA wouldn’t have given the Grand Jury information about the location of the “incident,” and that alone wouldn’t have caused the Grand Jury to True Bill this case, all I can say is people need to cease trying to say nothing would have happened because of consent and/or age of consent.

    People wanting to stop the discussion with age of consent and consent comment to defend Mr. savage obviously don’t know sh#t about how things actually work.

    And, just to be clear, I DID hear sexual assault “incidents” that did involve a victim above the age of consent and possible conflicts about giving consent based on other circumstances, AND MY GRAND JURY TRUE BILLED THOSE CASES.

  16. “Let’s take a look at one teacher who did not do the same thing. She was 23 and had sex with a 17 year old student here in North Carolina. She was charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student, lost her job and will stand trial. She most likely will receive prison time.”

    The newspaper reported on Nov. 16, 2017 that she was arrested after allegedly having indecent liberties with the student. It also mentioned that she is married and is a graduate of Liberty University.

    Here we have a 23 year old MARRIED woman AND a graduate of a Christian college. So single guys (Christian or not) don’t have a monopoly on this sort of behavior.

  17. @ elastigirl:

    (hence all these christian how-to-do-life books and seminars and conferences. because only christians know anything at all. no one else can be trusted.)
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    i think they are popular also because churches are so dependent on cashflow that they focus on innocuous things that don’t make people uncomfortable.

    also, pastors are so dependent on the preservation of their careers that they focus on things that keep people from scrutinizing and questioning how and why the church makes its decisions. they focus on neutral how-to-do life topics. instead of empowering with how to study the bible, history, etc.

  18. @ Boyd:

    In the third of the current six audio files of the now-posted interview (beginning about 11:20 mark), Ferguson asks Savage whether he committed a crime. Savage responds “NO, it was consensual. Only problem is the 1995 Texas law that provides no consent in the case of clergy.

  19. @ anon:
    Looks like another local church and leadership off the rails. Instead of just #metoo or #churchtoo, it should be #mychurchtoo.

  20. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Only problem is the 1995 Texas law that provides no consent in the case of clergy

    The prosecution would have brought up the job title every time he/she asked a question during a trial, so even if the official title was something other than “clergy”,” the jury would have had the job description. And from that job description, it should have been clear to both the Grand Jury & a trial jury that Savage and his youth students were not equals.

  21. I realize that i have absorbed this terrible week into my soul. I ache for Jules and others like her who have been molested, abused, slandered, vilified…. because of church people. Church people claim the name of Jesus. These people, starting right at the top, pray prayers that sound good, but they are clanging gongs. Who is their god? It isn’t Jesus Christ. Oh the ache…. The unbelieving world watches. They see the hypocrisy, the evil. But then i am reminded that we have been warned the world would be like this. Evil will be called good. Good will be called evil.
    One day all will be made right. One day He will tell them to depart from Him for He never knew them. In the meantime we pray, we support, we love the hurting, as He loves them. We are His hands, His heart.

    I am thankful for Dee, Deb, Amy and the many others who are standing in the line of fire, covering those who are weak and hurting. “For whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me.”

  22. Great article Dee! Teenage crushes are as old as the universe, & dealing with them appropriately about 1 second older.

  23. I heard an interesting descriptor about Christianity from a secular clinical psychology professor lecturing on belief systems. He said, in Christianity the “judge” and “redeemer” is the same source. The “mob” forgiveness mentioned in this article made me think about that descriptor. It also made me think of an “unjust judge” which is what I think a lot of Christendom appeals to when it comes to pastors, priests, gurus, leaders, whose “post” redemption behaviors are appalling. . They take it upon themselves to define judgement and forgiveness using their position and influence.

  24. Jack wrote:

    This is why those of us in the real world are apalled.

    Yes. 22 is the age where even college students typically get a ‘real’ i.e. Full time job. Where you
    expected to be professional like all the other adults.

    And am particularly appalled as someone who was once a teenage girl that a ‘crush’ of any kind excuses a grown man from using her solely for sex.

    Sidenote, cracked up at the mention of friendlys! Have a friend from mass who was obsessed with that place…

  25. elastigirl wrote:

    i think a lore has developed in christian culture that outside of church all the unsaved are these goblin-like beings

    That does seem to be true in some quarters…not all the church but pockets. The truth is there are good and bad people in and out of church.

    What I don’t get is this idea that Christians who do Terrible things should get some sort of pass. I don’t see that in scripture.

  26. @ Lydia:
    Interesting.

    There does seem to be something circular here. That one person who kept saying only highpoint can judge, which practically will be the case. But we can certainly judge highpoint! I think sometimes we get into a loop of ‘don’t judge’ and how we are supposed to not even eat with some kinds of people. Contrary to current popular belief, you actually do have to interpret the Bible and use logic and discernment in applying it.

  27. Compare our reaction to current events:

    How many of us in church inwardly recoil at and condemn the doctor who sexually abused young USA gymnasts and feel it right that there is an ongoing investigation into his horrific acts?

    How many of us in church (Highpoint) give standing ovation for and support to a church “professional” while condemning his young victim?

  28. That comment about God having something different for a person really struck me. I’d like to know what others think of this idea: in the church we have equated “serving God” with being in an up front leadership position. There is an implicit understanding that in order to truly be serving God, a person must be “in ministry” of some kind, official paid church work, I mean. And so when someone then has a moral failing, or screws up in some way, there’s this huge pressure to restore them to the pulpit because otherwise they’re not serving God any more.

    There seems to be hardly any concept in this type of church that regular people in regular jobs are also serving God. Sure, they talk about witnessing to friends and colleagues, but the image which is lifted up is that of a guy sacrificing a high-paying secular job for “the ministry”. Or a wife “serving alongside” her husband by running the creche while he preaches, even if she didn’t want to give up her career, or she’s gifted in some other area. And the really successful guys are seen as the ones who go off to Bible college. All of that puts this immense pressure on someone like Andy Savage, I think – that feeling of “if I can’t be in the pulpit then I’ve failed God and my life and work are over”.

  29. @ Liz:
    In addition to that, there is a prevailing sense of “touch not mine anointed. “ Men have replaced God. I personally think Andy Savage is on the throne for many at Highpoint.

  30. @ Liz:
    Yup…. I grew up in that world, and my Christain HS elevates “alums” that do “full time” Christian work…

  31. Lea wrote:

    Sidenote, cracked up at the mention of friendlys! Have a friend from mass who was obsessed with that place…

    Ah, memories of my childhood! After Saturday morning bowling, I would go for a Friendly Frank and Fribble. Yum!

  32. I cannot believe how many gullible people blindly believe whatever their predatory leaders and their cronies tell them. Ferguson cries “slander” without offering ANY evidence or even statement of what, specifically, was untrue. So, Ben, of the things that have been said, what specifically is untrue? Or, do you expect us to believe it’s ‘slanderous’ just because you say so?

    It’s just plain despicable that phony ‘Christian’ leaders claim they are entitled to forgiveness for their criminal behavior because of their dishonest ‘confessions’. Funny how these ‘confessions’ only come out AFTER their crimes have been exposed. To make matters worse, they throw the victims under the bus with NO effort to help them and then shame the victim for not forgiving the ‘repentant’ criminal.

    All these wolves care only about money and power, everyone else is prey.

  33. Lea wrote:

    Yes. 22 is the age where even college students typically get a ‘real’ i.e. Full time job. Where you
    expected to be professional like all the other adults.

    In my personal experience there can be a downside to that. At that age, and fresh out of nursing school, I was hired by a small private college to be the school nurse. They had a small clinic, a large cabinet full of various meds and one nurse (me). I was way too inexperienced for that job. I looked good on paper-great grades in school, great recommendations, spotless personal resume, impressive on interview and waaaaay too little experience for the job. IMO neither the school nor I knew what we were getting into.

    As far as I know no damage was done, but at the end of the contract year I left that job and got myself safely back into hospital work for which I was certainly qualified for that time and era, young or not. A few years later I had a somewhat similar job, public health nurse carrying a black bag around the slums of Louisville, and by that time I was more experienced professionally, knew a lot more, and did the job comfortably and I think well.

    What I am saying is that age is one thing, but years of experience need to be considered also-no matter how good somebody looks on paper or comes across on interview. For a newbie to work under seasoned supervision which actually does their job is one thing, but putting an unsupervised newbie in charge of something can turn out to be a bad idea.

  34. When I was 18 I was dating ( more like being together for some activities ) an older seminary student. One night we starting kissing, (in a car setting )but he almost immediately stopped it. Not because he didn’t like me (he did ) but because it wasn’t what he believed a seminary student should be doing. We continued to date and became good friends, as we are to this day. He got his PH.d and is a seminary professor today.
    I respect the integrity he showed a younger women who did have a big crush on him.

  35. Well put Dee. You have a way of thinking about things very practically and causing all to think in very real ways. Jules having a crush on Savage is in no way an excuse for him. In fact in my opinion, it kind of gives him away as a predator. He used it to his advantage. This should have screamed for the pastor to make sure he didn’t not get immediately into any kind of pastoral ministry. Not to turn it into blame and shame on Jules.

  36. My father’s cousin was 18 years old, stationed on a heavy cruiser in Pearl Harbor on December 7th.. When you watch the movie reels, and see the little boats running around Pearl Harbor rescuing men, he was skippering one of them.

    Almost one year later, on his 19th birthday, he was killed when a Japanese torpedo blew the blow off his ship in a famous night battle of Guadalcanal. Tell the vets that survived the war they were not men at 18 years old… now, did they all behave well, of course not, but they were expected to…

  37. “Just as I was getting ready to post, this tweet came out from The Ben Ferguson Show. You guys decide what is going on.” (Dee)

    I haven’t reviewed the edited interview. By re-posting the whole “show” including commercials, is Ferguson implying in his tweet that the only difference in the interview is his removal of the commercial time? Thus, the reason for the shorter redacted version?

  38. okrapod wrote:

    What I am saying is that age is one thing, but years of experience need to be considered also

    Oh sure! That would be scary to be practicing so independently at your first job out of graduation!

    Of course, in this particular situation with Andy, it sounds like he had several years experience at this particular by the time this incident happened, correct me if I’m wrong. If he started as a freshman.

    Many people, however, are professionals at 18 or as minors. Some of this is an oversight problem, I think. The rest is just bad form on andy’s part. He would have been a jerk for this act even if it had been an actual date.

  39. A youth minister job opening at an SBC church in Florida includes the following requirements:

    • Be Clean (above approach)
    – Stay sexually pure; i.e., no sexual activity outside of marriage, no pornographic material
    – No consumption of Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, or abuse of legal drugs
    – No tobacco use
    – No Foul Language or Course Joking
    • No Dating Students
    • Dress appropriately
    • Model personal devotion to Jesus and missional/evangelistic living before the students
    • Make your personal walk with God your number one priority
    • Be open to accountability

    http://www.sbc.net/jobs/18694/youth-pastormusic-minister

    Regardless of age, makes sense to me!

  40. @ Mae:
    I have a response to okrapod waiting but I wanted to add to it here because I have a huge issue with the idea that young men, even teenagers, are somehow incapable of behaving better than this. Only in churches does this seem to be widely proclaimed, but it is the opposite of my experience in the ‘real world’.

    Men chose what they wish to do. They choose if they are going to treat women or young girls with respect. Andy chose wrongly.

  41. Lea wrote:

    Men choose what they wish to do. They choose if they are going to treat women or young girls with respect. Andy chose wrongly.

    Wrong choices have consequences.

  42. Lea wrote:

    Andy chose wrongly.

    Others who defend failed pastors with “boys will be boys” are also making a wrong choice. Church leaders who allow a “resignation”, rather than firing them outright – allowing them to freely walk to another church – also make a wrong choice. Church leaders who take on a pastor knowing he has failed morally also make a wrong choice. Churches who support those who have abused and turn a deaf ear to their victim also make a wrong choice. God ain’t in it and God won’t bless it!

  43. If this was an “organic” sexual experience for him, I don’t even know what an “inorganic” one would be like.

    As I said on the other thread: if AS had told Jules “I love you and would like you to go on a date with me”, it would still have been highly inappropriate, but not criminal. This would have been exactly the kind of situation where his superiors should have said, “OK, let’s be careful and send him home before this gets out of hand!” Sending him off with talk of an indiscretion and a sendoff party would have been OK.

    AS knew exactly that the true nature of his “indiscretion” became known, this would have been the end of his hopes for a “career” as a pastor. If it catches up with him now, 20 years later, and if it is indeed the end of his career – which I highly doubt, as the pastoral protection squad will see to that -, he will not lose a career over something insignificant that happened 20 years ago. On the contrary, he will have had 20 years of this career, with commensurate income from a pastor’s salary, parsonage allowance, book and speaking deals despite something that should have prevented him becoming a pastor 20 years ago. So he is not losing anything that he should have, he has had something that he shouldn’t have had.

    Oh, and BTW: evangelicals always accuse the “world” of immorality, want to impose their standards on an unwilling public. But even in “the world” this would definitely not be considered a normal “romantic date” to drive girl to a dark deserted place on a dirt road and tell her to give you a BJ before she had even so much as kissed you. “Organic sexual experience”? My foot!

  44. I’m glad you mentioned how Jules could have a crush, but still be completely innocent. One of the many things that bugged me about all the shame and insults hurled at Jules online is the idea that as a 17 year old she should have known what was happening and how to handle it – especially coming from other women! I was so naive at 17 and definitely would not have handled thing as well as Jules did. I’m impressed she had the initial courage to tell church leadership and her small group all by herself.

  45. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    I was so naive at 17 a

    Me too. A crush does not mean you wanted this. A date with ice cream and a kiss sure. (Which would still have been a boundary violation).

  46. @ Preacher’s Wife:
    I’ve said this before but even now as an adult where people move a lot more quickly than they did at 17, I would be offended at this on a first date. And probably creeped out.

  47. Lea wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Interesting.
    There does seem to be something circular here. That one person who kept saying only highpoint can judge, which practically will be the case. But we can certainly judge highpoint! I think sometimes we get into a loop of ‘don’t judge’ and how we are supposed to not even eat with some kinds of people. Contrary to current popular belief, you actually do have to interpret the Bible and use logic and discernment in applying it.

    I admit I am still processing it. We know the statement is true. And it’s what you said about how we interpret it. Perhaps many have transferred the “judge” part to pastors and priests instead of the Lord?

  48. @ Liz:
    I don’t think any of it counts for much. I am so old fashioned as to think Micah 6:8 still applies with Jesus Christ as Truth.

  49. @ JeffT:
    My guess is Ben is riffing off his biblical definition of the slander a “brother”. It’s all the rage in authoritarian/celeb pastor circles.

  50. Lea wrote:

    @ Mae:
    I have a response to okrapod waiting but I wanted to add to it here because I have a huge issue with the idea that young men, even teenagers, are somehow incapable of behaving better than this. Only in churches does this seem to be widely proclaimed, but it is the opposite of my experience in the ‘real world’.
    Men chose what they wish to do. They choose if they are going to treat women or young girls with respect. Andy chose wrongly.

    Totally agree. He made a choice, a very bad choice to assault a teenage girl.

  51. @ Lydia:
    Ben came off like a giant lying drama queen in his Twitter quotes to Amy Smith! He also said people wanted Andy dead, which really mischaracterized the responses I saw . How old is that guy?

  52. Ken A wrote:

    Well put Dee. You have a way of thinking about things very practically and causing all to think in very real ways. Jules having a crush on Savage is in no way an excuse for him. In fact in my opinion, it kind of gives him away as a predator. He used it to his advantage. This should have screamed for the pastor to make sure he didn’t not get immediately into any kind of pastoral ministry. Not to turn it into blame and shame on Jules.

    ……
    He knew she had a crush. He had tickled her before. She was probably infatuated, flattered, he paid her attention. He took her literally down a dark road because he knew what he wanted to happen.

  53. Lea wrote:

    @ Mae:
    I have a response to okrapod waiting but I wanted to add to it here because I have a huge issue with the idea that young men, even teenagers, are somehow incapable of behaving better than this. Only in churches does this seem to be widely proclaimed, but it is the opposite of my experience in the ‘real world’.
    Men chose what they wish to do. They choose if they are going to treat women or young girls with respect. Andy chose wrongly.

    Being Capable of better behavior doesn’t transfer to automatically trusting they will. There were red flags with Andy the other so called adults chose to ignore. OTOH, I think guys like Andy give decent guys a harder road. It’s not either/or for me. It’s just that when their argument is that this is normal behavior in that situation, I think that paints a lot of decent guys badly.

  54. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Now that the truth is out that the uploaded interview was indeed redacted, where is the apology?

    Those Who Can Do No Wrong have no need of apology.

  55. Lea wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Ben came off like a giant lying drama queen in his Twitter quotes to Amy Smith! He also said people wanted Andy dead, which really mischaracterized the responses I saw . How old is that guy?

    They don’t do real well outside of their thought reform cult bubble that consists of adoring fans and followers. They have not learned from the masters of deception and deflection like Al Mohler and co.

  56. Thersites wrote:

    “Why is it that pastors who hurt 17 years old girls need to go back to the pulpit?”

    Because Rank Hath Its Privileges.
    Especially when conferred by Divine Right.

    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”
    — Benny Hinn’s go-to verse when under scrutiny

  57. Lea wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Ben came off like a giant lying drama queen in his Twitter quotes to Amy Smith! He also said people wanted Andy dead, which really mischaracterized the responses I saw . How old is that guy?

    Another point you highlight. Chronological age has little meaning in those bubbles. From my experience in the mega insider bubble, the emotional development of maturity age was pretty much stuck around 13-16 for these insulated wonders. At 16, their churches resemble the effect of giving teenage boys plenty of whiskey and the car keys.

  58. Ricco wrote:

    The implication that all 22 year old guys responsible for the safety of young women take advantage of them is insulting.

    It’s called the “Everybody’s Doing It!” justification.

    Like alcoholic R.C. “Precious” Sproul Jr holding keggers for underage drinking — “EVEYBODY’S DOING IT! SEE? SEE?”

    Like that sexual predator in furry fandom trying to get into my pants 20 years ago — “EVERYBODY’S BI, YOU’RE JUST IN DENIAL…” i.e. “EVERYBODY’S DOING IT!”

    Like that one ehebephile caught on To Catch a Predator who told Chris Hansen to his face that “Everybody’s doing it — teachers and students, coaches and athletes, parents and children…”

  59. elastigirl wrote:

    i think a lore has developed in christian culture that outside of church all the unsaved are these goblin-like beings — lying, cheating, merciless, self-centered, hateful, to the point that there’s no way they could do anything good, nor have a successful relationship, nor do anything well. (hyperbole here, to some extent)

    Take a look how Jack Chick always drew the Heathens(TM) — literally “Orcs dipped in dogsh*t”.

  60. elastigirl wrote:

    everyone is 100% horrible, evil, wicked, vicious, corrupt, immoral. as wholly evil and wicked as the whole page being inky black all the way to the edges.

    then because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice, the inky evil disappears 100%. all gone. as wholly spotless and gleaming as the whole page being brilliant white all the way to the edges.

    as if the evil wickedness never was. as if the evil deeds had never happened.

    Again, look at the Heathens(TM) and Born-Again Christians(TM) in a Chick tract.

    And this also makes Christianese fiction in general impossible to write. All Non-Christians are EEEEEVIL as Sauron crossed with House Harkonnen crossed with Saddam and his sons, Utterly Depraved… Yet you can never show them actually DOING anything Evil or acting Depraved because that would Offend the Church Ladies who hold power of Life & Death over your career. (And read with a Sin-Sniffing magnifying glass, looking for something Un-Christian to Get Offended By.

  61. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Liz:
    Yup…. I grew up in that world, and my Christain HS elevates “alums” that do “full time” Christian work…

    Isn’t that the Heresy of Clericalism — that only Full-Time Professional Christians (like Priests, Monks, and Nuns) are Really Christian and the rest of us Laity can all go to Hell?

  62. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    Almost one year later, on his 19th birthday, he was killed when a Japanese torpedo blew the blow off his ship in a famous night battle of Guadalcanal.

    USS San Francisco?

  63. Lea wrote:

    Of course, in this particular situation with Andy, it sounds like he had several years experience at this particular by the time this incident happened, correct me if I’m wrong. If he started as a freshman.

    I also wonder if he had “several years experience” at doing to young women what he did to Jules…

  64. Was that a “normal” practice for the youth pastor to drive a 17 year old girl home? Where was the accountability from leadership to the youth pastor to never do this? So naive on so many levels.

  65. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    That is the problem with the mind of these clowns….. how could this “Ben guy” not think that we would be closely looking at this?? Either arrogant, or not very bright..

  66. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Thersites wrote:
    “Why is it that pastors who hurt 17 years old girls need to go back to the pulpit?”
    Because Rank Hath Its Privileges.
    Especially when conferred by Divine Right.
    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”
    — Benny Hinn’s go-to verse when under scrutiny

    Sickening, isn’t it?

  67. David wrote:

    No shame over The Monkees. I just put on the Head soundtrack on as I read this, I love that thing — Carole King writing music for the Monkees? Yes, please!

    Speaking of Carole King, did you see her 2016 Hyde Park Tapestry concert on PBS? She owned the crowd and had them swaying in time and singing along. It was really and truly magical.

  68. Mae wrote:

    He took her literally down a dark road because he knew what he wanted to happen.

    Yes. So clear and obvious, and yet people still don’t get it?
    Lydia wrote:

    It’s just that when their argument is that this is normal behavior in that situation, I think that paints a lot of decent guys badly.

    It’s a lie, to excuse their own bad behavior. Decent guys are decent guys, and don’t act this way. When you try to conflate normal dating and sexual activity with abuse of power, manipulation of a minor, etc, it doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe young people buy it, because they don’t know any better?

  69. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I also wonder if he had “several years experience” at doing to young women what he did to Jules…

    I suspect he pushed boundaries for a bit, before he pushed way way over the line. He was caught ‘tickling’. That should have shut it down and he should have been closely monitored and taught at that point. We see how well that went. He clearly didn’t take it seriously, because he wanted something.

    Like bad buffy. Want, Take, Have.

  70. elastigirl wrote:

    i think a lore has developed in christian culture that outside of church all the unsaved are these goblin-like beings — lying, cheating, merciless, self-centered, hateful, to the point that there’s no way they could do anything good, nor have a successful relationship, nor do anything well. (hyperbole here, to some extent)

    There’s a reason why hyperbole is disavowed in The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (article 13).

    It ensures that the plain reading of all the alleged proof texts (clobber verses) which show that you (generic you) have no inherent goodness, and therefore nothing to commend yourself to God with, stay in place as is.
    No discussion, no nuance, no exceptions, it is what it is.

  71. Lydia wrote:

    @ JeffT:
    My guess is Ben is riffing off his biblical definition of the slander a “brother”. It’s all the rage in authoritarian/celeb pastor circles.

    Yep. Pastor Bryan Loritts did this to folks (including Watchkeep’s Amy Smith) who rightfully pointed out that he did not, in fact, file police reports and contact the state child protection agency when his brother-in-law, Rick Trotter (Fellowship Memphis’ worship pastor) was caught videotaping unknowing women and children in the church bathroom and his home. Loritts lied and claimed on Twitter and elsewhere that the authorities were lawfully and fully notified; he cried “slander” when it was pointed out that he had lied and had not actually filed police reports (he was breaking the law by not reporting, as he was pastor of Fellowship Memphis, at the time). His lack of filing a report was easily verified by the Memphis police and the TN Children’s Services Department.

    He still cried “Slander!” (as if shouting it loud enough would convince his minions he was blameless, and with a complete lack of knowledge of the difference between “slander” and “libel”). Same tactic is being used by Ben Ferguson.

    If Ferguson keeps this nonsense up, he’ll never be able to claim defamation for anything, because his reputation will be worthless.

  72. @ Liz:
    Liz. You are correct in noticing a distinction of roles and nature within the Church. To understand it you must grasp certain concepts.

    1.That separation is historical and built into the structure of the Church.
    2. It started with the entrance of Phareses and Sadducees into the Church. (Early chapters of Acts)
    3. The struggle between Apostles and Circumcision Group. (Epistles)
    4. Teachings of Church Fathers resulting in a clergy / laity decision.
    5. Marriage of Church and State power. (Constantine)
    6. Reformation resulting in the Protestant / Reform concept of Law and Gospel.

    Here you go Liz….
    Where there is Law…there must be a Law Giver…and one who sits in adjudication of the Law.

  73. Lea wrote:

    There does seem to be something circular here. That one person who kept saying only highpoint can judge, which practically will be the case. But we can certainly judge highpoint! I think sometimes we get into a loop of ‘don’t judge’ and how we are supposed to not even eat with some kinds of people.

    History seems to indicate the followers will not discipline their “leaders”. I don’t think it is their inability to act, lack of power, as our collective inability to think independently from our group.

    Going back twenty years to the time of this “organic sexual experience” it coincided with the infamous actions of a former executive. I can likely guess there are a number of defenders then that have seeming switched on their principles and are now able to condemn the actions of Savage. Similarly there quite likely those who condemned the actions of a former president both then and now but now defend Savage.

    Oh for some real leadership where someone of influence stands up to their group think and confronts ugly truths. Such prophets appear to have no place in the church and are chased off as they were in old Israel. To many church leaders do not lead, they simply follow the crowd with the appearance of leadership because they run to get in front.

  74. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”
    — Benny Hinn’s go-to verse when under scrutiny

    Interesting that you mention Benny Hinn…

    I really believe that today’s pastors (particularly the “mega”-pastors) are what televangelists were in the 1980s and 90s. Lots of money, flash, fame, some TV exposure, K-Love cruises to profit from, books to peddle from the pulpit, and enough useful idiots following them to keep the money flowing, no matter what they do.

    The checks get cashed, while the prayer requests are thrown in the dumpster. They use just enough Jesus to keep the faithful a little reluctant to fully call them out on their wickedness.

  75. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Close …. USS New Orleans, he was in turret 2, died during Battle of Tassafaranga ….. he, and his ship were also at Battle of Coral Sea, and Midway..

    First Guadalcanal, Savo, Tassafronga…

    When the USN found out the hard way about the Japanese Navy’s Long Lance torpedo. Twice the range and warhead of any other torpedo in the world. And how the Japanese Navy drilled and trained for night torpedo engagements.

    USS New Orleans, ONE Long Lance hit:
    http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/032/0403229.jpg

    You still cannot use a magnetic compass in Iron Bottom Sound between Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

  76. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    and enough useful idiots following them to keep the money flowing, no matter what they do.

    “I kill my own mother, and still they cheer me!”
    — Caesar Nero, in Paul Maier’s historical novel Flames of Rome

  77. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    That is the problem with the mind of these clowns….. how could this “Ben guy” not think that we would be closely looking at this?? Either arrogant, or not very bright..

    He is definitely not the sharpest pencil in the drawer. Claim to fame was having a radio talk show when he was 13 (roughly when his brain stopped maturing, apparently).

  78. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    complete lack of knowledge of the difference between “slander” and “libel”).

    “Effective propaganda consists of Simplification and Repetition.”
    “A lie, repeated often enough, becomes Truth.”
    — Reichsminister Josef Goebbels

  79. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    You still cannot use a magnetic compass in Iron Bottom Sound between Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

    And one can apparently not use a moral compass in the types of churches highlighted in posts like this one. Best to avoid navigating those waters.

  80. @ AbuseCrusher:

    Not the first (or last) time the Deebs and Amy have been underestimated.

    I mean really. They’re merely bloggers, and women to boot. Can’t get more insignificant than that, eh?

  81. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Yup…. could go about this, but I am known for going off on tangents..
    My point is that average age of soldiers in WWII was about the age of Andy Savage during the “organic moment” ( I am still snickering about how stupid “organic moment” sounds), including the bomber pilots/ crews that had some of highest causality rates for any US service…. what an insult to their memory to say men at that age are just “boys”…..

  82. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    what an insult to their memory to say men at that age are just “boys”…..

    This is true. But also? Even ‘boys’ know better.

    I am very afraid some of them have not been taught well, though. Teaching that girls are just temptations, rather than people, and that any sexual activity is ultimately their fault, cannot end well.

  83. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    what an insult to their memory to say men at that age are just “boys”…..

    At age 22, we are what we choose to be. Andy Savage chose be be a horny boy on the hunt.

  84. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    My point is that average age of soldiers in WWII was about the age of Andy Savage during the “organic moment”

    The fact that he and his BFFs don’t recognize this as a problem means there is no reason that he won’t find himself in more organic moments in the future. He and his ilk have demonstrated their conviction that men cannot resist sexual opportunities. What a bunch of BS. Maybe they need to spend some quality time in the real world.

  85. @ Lea:
    In my fundy HS, sponsored by the General Association of Regular Baptist churches (GARBC) we had many chapels, and “revivals”, where the preacher taught: holding hands leads to murder! You see, once you hold her hand, you will not be able to stop until she aborts the baby! Quite clear and simple, don’t you think? We were in BIG dew-dew if we were caught touching the opposite sex…. ( I have always wondered about touching the same sex)
    There is a facebook page for us alumni; I was quite pleased to see some of my classmates remembering this crazyness, and much, much more… glad I am not the only one that remembers, and think it is nuts…

    If Andy Savage ‘s church was a fundy like mine, it is possible that the leadership equated kissing with “organic moments”…… while we may think it is crazy, the mind, and reasoning of fundies are not like the rest of us, unfortunately, I know this first hand…

  86. Dee, you really out did yourself on this one. BRAVO!!!!! The truth mingled with Humility is applaud able! Thank you from someone who has walked with a child victim and her family at our church years ago. If only we had this type of info back then, I do think it would have made all the difference because our leaders were kind men wanting truth but had no one to turn to to help them threw something so devastating as the Pastors son preying on his sisters and a 11 year old in the church. Totally blindsided them then Greg Harris came in to circle the wagons and then there was no hope of healing.

  87. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    In my fundy HS, sponsored by the General Association of Regular Baptist churches (GARBC) we had many chapels, and “revivals”, where the preacher taught: holding hands leads to murder! You see, once you hold her hand, you will not be able to stop until she aborts the baby!

    SO CRAZY!

    I am so, so glad that my parents never bought into this nonsense, and that I was in public school where they definitely didn’t, and that I think I just missed that true love waits/I kissed dating goodbye trend.. Although my mom did buy me some goofy book called ‘lady in waiting’ (once she realized I was still single) that I didn’t read and threw away.

  88. I started teaching high school at age 21…..yes, 21.( It allowed me to “get out” of education and retire early.) Not a smart, just got started early in university. My kids were 2-3 years younger than me. I knew better than to flirt, be in a room alone with a female. Even then. ( Never told the kids how old I was. And I’ve always looked “older.”)

    Using the excuse ( I’m a college student ) cut me some “slack” is baloney. He knew better.

  89. JeffT wrote:

    I cannot believe how many gullible people blindly believe whatever their predatory leaders and their cronies tell them.

    That is an insightful comment and sadly I think some here posting on TWW fall into that category, too. Predatory or not, when the Memphis pastor posted his thoughts about the Andy and Jules situation he was lauded because he “got it.” Yet he wrote a very vague section about his indiscretions both as a youth and adult pastor claiming that his situation was different from Andy’s situation. There was no explanation of why or how his situation was different. I think asking for an explanation is a fair question so we can learn. Yet, my comment was met with push back and the word ‘inquisition’ was used.

  90. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”
    — Benny Hinn’s go-to verse when under scrutiny

    Interesting that you mention Benny Hinn…

    I really believe that today’s pastors (particularly the “mega”-pastors) are what televangelists were in the 1980s and 90s. Lots of money, flash, fame, some TV exposure, K-Love cruises to profit from, books to peddle from the pulpit, and enough useful idiots following them to keep the money flowing, no matter what they do.

    The checks get cashed, while the prayer requests are thrown in the dumpster. They use just enough Jesus to keep the faithful a little reluctant to fully call them out on their wickedness.

    Reminds me of a novel by John D. MacDonald, One More Sunday. Published in 1984 but still very relevant.

  91. Ken G wrote:

    JeffT wrote:

    I cannot believe how many gullible people blindly believe whatever their predatory leaders and their cronies tell them.

    That is an insightful comment and sadly I think some here posting on TWW fall into that category, too. Predatory or not, when the Memphis pastor posted his thoughts about the Andy and Jules situation he was lauded because he “got it.” Yet he wrote a very vague section about his indiscretions both as a youth and adult pastor claiming that his situation was different from Andy’s situation. There was no explanation of why or how his situation was different. I think asking for an explanation is a fair question so we can learn. Yet, my comment was met with push back and the word ‘inquisition’ was used.

    It is quite common to get it when it relates to somebody else. It is less common to accurately identify our own failures.

  92. elastigirl wrote:

    this is very incorrect. people outside the church bubble, with faith in any of the various deities or no faith at all, are honest, kind, compassionate, selfless, wise, have good marriages, are good parents, good friends, good citizens

    Great point. If we wonder why the culture at large seems hostile to church culture at times, we should look at all the bad things we have said about them. The question gets asked at my church “can unregenerate people actually love.” I just want to scream YES at them. Abuse and mistreatment can be worse when it has this thin veneer of religiousity covering it. There are good and bad people inside the church and outside of it.

  93. Lea wrote:

    Teaching that girls are just temptations, rather than people, and that any sexual activity is ultimately their fault, cannot end well.

    I think that is right. Even when that line of thinking doesn’t lead to abuse, it poisons the relationships between young men and young women. That seems to be an effect of books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It is harder for young men and young women to relate to each other now. Seems like it might have been a bad idea to elevate the writings of someone like Harris with no real world experience. Hmmm…

  94. Lea wrote:

    Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    what an insult to their memory to say men at that age are just “boys”…..

    This is true. But also? Even ‘boys’ know better.

    I am very afraid some of them have not been taught well, though. Teaching that girls are just temptations, rather than people, and that any sexual activity is ultimately their fault, cannot end well.

    And the strange thing is that in the fundamentalist’s world it’s women who need to be shamed into covering up, and controlled and subdued.

    If men are such uncontrollable horndogs, maybe the restrictions should be on men?

  95. @ Gus:
    One of the many hypocrisy’s of patriarchy.

    BTW, Boz’s interview here (http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/january/memphis-pastor-in-sex-abuse-scandal-takes-leave-of-absence-as-criticism-mounts) was very good. This quote jumped out at me:

    They surround that perpetrator in love and comfort and encouragement,” said Tchividjian. “And to be honest they get a little bit irritated with the victim.”

    It’s more than a little irritated, and that beams through at the victims, and is the exact reason why these churches are not SAFE. Until that changes, nothing will change.

  96. @ Ricco:

    “If we wonder why the culture at large seems hostile to church culture at times, we should look at all the bad things we have said about them. ”
    +++++++++++++++++

    smug (even with a sweet smile) does no favors for one’s reputation.

  97. Donna wrote:

    Dee, you really out did yourself on this one. BRAVO!!!!! The truth mingled with Humility is applaud able! Thank you from someone who has walked with a child victim and her family at our church years ago. If only we had this type of info back then, I do think it would have made all the difference because our leaders were kind men wanting truth but had no one to turn to to help them threw something so devastating as the Pastors son preying on his sisters and a 11 year old in the church. Totally blindsided them then Greg Harris came in to circle the wagons and then there was no hope of healing.

    Gregg Harris of Households of Faith?

    Saddened but not completely surprised. “Households” became associated with SGM, if I’m not mistaken, and Harris’s son Josh was a protege of CJ Mahaney, from what I remember.

  98. @ AbuseCrusher:
    This article quotes Andy as saying this:
    “I want to see redemption come through this. I want to offer a meeting if that would be helpful. I am absolutely available,” he said.”

    Is he, Andy, attempting to offer ‘redemption’ for JULES? *&(&*)

  99. These “touch not mine anointed” people who stand by their pastor say we should listen to their pastor and do what he says. What do they think those of us who have been sexually abused were doing?!? And we followed our pastor straight to hell.

  100. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    The Christian Post has written a story about Savage and a deleted portion of his interview with Ben Ferguson.

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/memphis-pastor-andy-savage-says-he-offered-to-resign-over-sexual-assault-but-church-stood-by-him-213987/

    Interesting that Ferguson would have us believe the deletions were incidental and inconsequential, but other new outlets find them worthy of headlines and entire artivles.

    I have to add that reading the article was very triggering.

    Jules may have been lucky to survive the “incident.” I keep getting reminded of a murder case that was in the news a decade or two ago. A teen boy lured a teen girl into the woods and murdered her. From the news reports, he was acting out a fantasy which started with tickling and was supposed to end in “organic” sex (mutual lust?). When the girl did not fall in line with his fantasy, but resisted when he tried to progress things to the “organic” part, he strangled her.

    I’m not saying AS would have murdered her for not going along, but that news story haunts me.

  101. Lea wrote:

    @ AbuseCrusher:
    This article quotes Andy as saying this:
    “I want to see redemption come through this. I want to offer a meeting if that would be helpful. I am absolutely available,” he said.”

    Is he, Andy, attempting to offer ‘redemption’ for JULES? *&(&*)

    Yikes! But that reminds me of my “pastor.” He played holy man and tried to disciple me later.

  102. K.D. wrote:

    Using the excuse ( I’m a college student ) cut me some “slack” is baloney.

    Whenever this comes up, it’s important to keep circling back to “Yeah, but you were also a pastor!” Not just an average run-of-the-mill 22 year old college male running on hormones, but someone who had claimed dedication to the Lord and entrusted by the church to set a godly example to youth.

  103. Lea wrote:

    It’s more than a little irritated, and that beams through at the victims

    This whole situation ‘triggered’ me big time. And what ‘triggered’ me the most was the dumb a$$ way their church and some others in the Christian community responded. If it’s not enough we were taken advantage of by one we should have been able to trust, we were also revictimized by the ones who felt they needed to stand by their pastor, what he did wasn’t so bad, we were the problem for bringing it up again and being so unforgiving, etc.

  104. Beth Duncan wrote:

    “touch not mine anointed”

    That Scripture is usually pulled out of the file by those who aren’t anointed to defend their ministry. Anointing is becoming a rare and endangered characteristic of the American pulpit. Seminary training does not necessarily equal calling and anointing; nor does laying on of hands by church elders to ordain a young man to fill a position. Anointing is a touch of God on a person’s life to preach the Gospel and live righteously before the people of God; those who carry that mantle don’t usually make blog headlines for moral failure. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, not the flesh.

  105. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    At age 22, we are what we choose to be. Andy Savage chose be be a horny boy on the hunt.

    He shoulda’ just gone to Rahab’s cat-house and left it at that.

  106. @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I was sent to a Regular Baptist school. I was transferred at sixth grade.

    I was not from a RG church. It was a happy time, but I was too young to know much. I’m curious what your experience was.

  107. @ Nathan Priddis:
    Some people that know me are rolling their eyes.. oh no, here he goes..
    A simple answer to you is: mixed.. my HS (and 7th and 8th grade) taught me a not superficial, but not deep understanding of the Bible, and a world view that humans are fallen.. they did not do a good job teaching grace, they are VERY legalistic.. i.e. holding hands leads to abortion…
    biggest issue is the conflict of young earth creationism and real science, and the false binary conflict: bible vs “secular humanism”.. I am a practicing scientist/engineer, focused on biotechnology/medicine.. so, this is a non-trivial issue..
    Finally, one of my 7th grade teachers was grooming me (but thank G&D he did not touch me), and is now a convicted pedo (spent 15 years in CA prison, on Megan’s list).. his pedo behavior was covered up at my school, allowed to go to other schools/jobs and subsequently molested, and got convicted…
    and the kicker is this.. while in CA prison, he wrote a YEC article which was published in a YEC journal!

  108. So, apparently, Conlee, Savage and their merry band of church looters were in Dallas last week (on the day of the Ferguson interview) to meet with their newly hired attorneys. Anybody asking who’s paying for this? Flying out of Memphis without advance tickets is expensive, I’m sure they charged a jolly old time in Dallas to the church coffers, and those are no doubt very expensive attorneys. Nothing but the best for the criminals on the pulpit, I guess! (anybody else have employers that will foot your legal bills for sexual abuse and cover-up? how about hiring a PR firm to make sure your personal reputation is not sullied by your criminal acts?)

    The bills for this are going to mount deep into 6 figures (especially when one assumes that Savage will be on paid leave/vacation). Maybe they should re-brand Highpoint as Pirate Church; they’ve already mastered the raping and plundering. Too bad their congregants don’t wise up and have them walk the plank!

  109. @ Max:
    I take it that people know that this quotation from Psalm 115 (and 1 Chronicles 16) refers to God’s preservation of Israel and not about the exalted, protected status of leaders?

  110. Lest anyone think we are overstating what disqualified dunderheads these pastors are at Highpoint, I suggest you refresh your memories with these gems…

    2016 – Highpoint Memphis Has a Convicted Statutory Rapist Leading Worship
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/11/22/highpoint-church-memphis-has-a-convicted-statutory-rapist-leading-worship/

    2016- Testimonies of Sexual Abuse By a Youth Worker in a Memphis Church (merged w/Highpoint)
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/11/09/testimonies-of-sexual-abuse-by-a-youth-worker-in-a-memphis-church/

  111. @ AbuseCrusher:
    Oh they are behind the curve. Most of these type churches have legal council on staff and the powerful law firms in town on a retainer so others can’t hire them when they sue the mega.

    But your point is still valid. Just thought I would throw that in. So why Dallas? Connections?

  112. Max wrote:

    Anointing…laying on of hands

    It seems these are getting much more “organic” meanings now.

    All this exposure is painful for the body of Christ, but probably very necessary to turn things around. The first step is admitting the problem.

  113. @ Beth Duncan:
    I have heard this sort of “betrayal” —by those who you trusted and should be the very people you should be able to trust in the name of the Holy One—-described in Dante’s 9th circle of hell. Betrayal.

  114. Lydia wrote:

    So why Dallas? Connections?

    Depends on how concerned they are about the legal trouble related to the ‘incident’ since it took place in Texas better to have a Texas lawyer maybe? But I don’t think that explains it all.

  115. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    (anybody else have employers that will foot your legal bills for sexual abuse and cover-up? how about hiring a PR firm to make sure your personal reputation is not sullied by your criminal acts?)

    I don’t believe that pew peons are the employers in a lot of thes churches. Methinks the churches are fiefdoms. (Guess who the conniving, smiley faced feudal overlords are!)

  116. So, apparently, Conlee, Savage and their merry band of church looters were in Dallas last week (on the day of the Ferguson interview) to meet with their newly hired attorneys.

    I am not sure I have understood correctly what happened last Thursday. Ben Ferguson interviewed Andy Savage live on his radio show in the studio in Memphis… but Andy Savage was actually in Dallas. Was the interview really live, or pre-recorded?

  117. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    The Monkees are awesome!

  118. @ dee:
    So, Andy Williams has had some “bad girls” associated with him! His longest marriage, and mother of several of kids, separated from him early 1970’s and took up with a famous skier in Aspen…. the story I heard/reported was “when the flower was off the Rose” the skier, Spider Savage (SP) was straying, so she shot and killed him! She was convicted of lesser than 1st degree.
    So, Andy Williams attracts “string/feisty” women!!

  119. @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I remember it as being one of two happy times in life. But, again, that is likely do to it being grades 1-5.

    I do remember boys using racist slurs. I think they heard them from their fathers. We lived in a white bubble.

    I Renner feeling lived. But when I was sent to 6th grade, it was a Gothard believing school. I felt very hated. In 7th it was worse. Even that young I could tell somerging was changing. I learned many years later, that the school was all in for Gothard.

    I also remember the high level of sexuality. I now think it was Gothard’s influence that contributed to this.

    It was bible’s distance apart, but boys carried porn sometimes on the playground. But then there would be intense spiritual enphasis weeks, or chapels.

    So did you remain a believer after HS?

  120. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    “Last Train to Clarksville” is a good song…..

  121. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    Razz you about about Moon River? It’s a great song! Only the two Johns (Piper and MacArthur) could possibly have anything negative to say about it. Same with the old movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uirBWk-qd9A

  122. Lowlandseer wrote:

    God’s preservation of Israel

    And specifically the mother and grandmother of Israel. God told Abimelech and Abimelech Jr not to “touch” them i.e. take them out on a dark camel for an organic incident.

  123. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Max:
    I take it that people know that this quotation from Psalm 115 (and 1 Chronicles 16) refers to God’s preservation of Israel and not about the exalted, protected status of leaders?

    I’m sure some know this, but many misuse this scripture to benefit authoritarianism.

  124. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    The Monkees are awesome!

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    When “I’m a Beleiver” comes on the radio, I still go a little apish.

    My fave is Pleasant Valley Sunday (written by Carole King) it was an anthem of sorts for those of us who spent our late teen years in Southern Cal. back then.

  125. The whole he was “only 22” thing is as horrible as the “boys will be boys” excuse. Stop smearing other’s to excuse your bad behavior.
    When I was 22 the following happened.

    I was a senior but I lived in an apartment with three sophomores. One night, my roommates were having a party, but I was in my room studying. Late in the evening, one of their guests a sophomore female, whom I developed a strong attraction to, knocked on my door. She was dressed quite provocatively and came into my room. We talked for a bit and then she made it known that she wanted to do more than talk. However, she was also very drunk and I was stone cold sober. I let her know, that as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t because it wouldn’t be right. She got upset, and went out and told my roommates and their guests that I was gay. My roommates however all agreed that I did what was right, even if it resulted in my embarrassment.

    Here is the thing, I might have been a 22 year old guy, but that didn’t mean that I had to listen to my hormones that were telling me to go for it. Instead, I chose to listen to my conscience, that was telling me, that I was better than that. I wasn’t even a ministry professional, just a normal 22 year old college student. If I could resist my hormonal urges at 22, I cannot expect less of those in the ministry who claim to be called by God. Remember, the ministry is not a career but a calling.

  126. Gary Boswell wrote:

    So, apparently, Conlee, Savage and their merry band of church looters were in Dallas last week (on the day of the Ferguson interview) to meet with their newly hired attorneys.

    I am not sure I have understood correctly what happened last Thursday. Ben Ferguson interviewed Andy Savage live on his radio show in the studio in Memphis… but Andy Savage was actually in Dallas. Was the interview really live, or pre-recorded?

    One doesn’t have to be present for an interview to take place. Could be done by phone, or (judging by the sound quality on this one) in a remote studio. Allows Savage to have his attorney present while the interview is going on. The attorney can shake his/her head and make gestures to cut Savage off before he too deeply indicts himself.

    Given that before the 1st commercial break in the interview, Savage referred to the person Savage assaulted as a “young girl” and after that first commercial break, he only referred to her as a “young adult” makes me believe that Ferguson was taking advice from the attorney during the break in order to assist Savage. Of course, Ferguson would deny this, but his credibility is a bit shot due to his fake protest and lies about the editing.

    BTW…Brooks Hansen (who was formerly abused by this group of evil dolts and their compatriots and has been bravely outspoken about it) posted the info about the Dallas trip in a Periscope video and providing exact detail (i.e. “Their return flight from DFW to MEM was American Airlines flight 2752 that got back to Memphis shortly after 11pm.”), so I feel pretty confident in the reporting. Twitter: @brookshansen247

  127. Max wrote:

    dee wrote:
    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees.
    I may never frequent TWW again.

    Noooooo! I can tell really good jokes! Will that work? I am also a good cook. I am willing to share my pierogi recipe.

  128. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    So, Andy Williams attracts “string/feisty” women!!

    You know Andy’s struggles. I know you were that sort. Spider Savage-haven’t though about him for years.

  129. @ Gary Boswell:
    It was live so he claims. We will sum up this incident on Friday. This whole response to the Savage thing on the part of Highpoint Church and assorted friends/bots has been one misstep after another. I tried to warn them about the obligatory standing ovation…this WILL come back to haunt them.

  130. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    I would never tease anyone about their taste in music (or lack thereof).

    But Andy Williams? I did not think you were older than me.

  131. dee wrote:

    I am willing to share my pierogi recipe.

    Well, in that case, I’ll see if I have any wit and wisdom left to share.

  132. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Gary Boswell wrote:

    So, apparently, Conlee, Savage and their merry band of church looters were in Dallas last week (on the day of the Ferguson interview) to meet with their newly hired attorneys.

    I am not sure I have understood correctly what happened last Thursday. Ben Ferguson interviewed Andy Savage live on his radio show in the studio in Memphis… but Andy Savage was actually in Dallas. Was the interview really live, or pre-recorded?

    +++++++++++++++++
    Also, entirely possible that Ferguson was in Dallas and did it at a studio there. Maybe he took the flight with the boys. Ben Ferguson’s Twitter profile gives special attention to both Dallas and Memphis (despite being a native Memphian)

    “Talk Radio Host/ @CNN Political Commentator/Author, Saved by His grace! Love #MERICA Tennis Golf,Guns,fball, Hunting, Hockey & @OleMissRebels! #Dallas/#Memphis”

    I strongly encourage anyone disgusted by this lack of journalistic integrity to contact his bosses at 600WREC, iHeartMedia, and CNN. Extensive contact info for these groups was left last night in the previous Wartburg post.

    Ben is enough of a simpleton that I might have thought him an unknowing stooge in this Highpoint game, but his lack of overt apology to Amy Smith at Watchkeep after he had incorrectly impugned her integrity (and after he was clearly proven wrong) makes me believe he is aware and complicit.

  133. Lea wrote:

    What I am saying is that age is one thing, but years of experience need to be considered also

    Oh sure! That would be scary to be practicing so independently at your first job out of graduation!

    Of course, in this particular situation with Andy, it sounds like he had several years experience at this particular by the time this incident happened, correct me if I’m wrong. If he started as a freshman.

    Many people, however, are professionals at 18 or as minors. Some of this is an oversight problem, I think. The rest is just bad form on andy’s part. He would have been a jerk for this act even if it had been an actual date.

    the actual thing that bothers me almost as much as what Andy Savage did to Jules Woodson is that Andy did have oversight- the older church member that rebuked him for tickling Jules in his bedroom, Larry Cotton the assistant pastor, Steve Bradley the lead pastor. His wasnt an issue of no oversight but one of corrupt oversight in my opinion. If the root is corrupt the branches will also be corrupt.

  134. Re: “He was just a 22-year-old” excuse. This is completely ridiculous! My husband was 22 and I had just turned 23 when we got married. We moved out of state for hubby’s school, had to find an apartment by ourselves, pay bills, get jobs, in short, be adults! This was in 1996.
    Andy’s sad excuses are pathetic.

  135. I feel either very old or very out-of-touch but: without setting off a string of inappropriate responses–what do you mean by an “organic” sexual experience?

    I am a child of the Free Love 60’s and was at one time rather “With It”…but….you’ve lost me on this one.

    Thanks. This isn’t being a troll…really!

  136. dee wrote:

    We must talk!!

    I go to Clarksville ocassionally, but the last train left in ’49 or ’50 ………. It’s prolly not the same Clarksville ……

  137. Max wrote:

    dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees.

    I may never frequent TWW again.

    We know that God can forgive anything.

  138. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee writes: “Ben Ferguson claimed yesterday that he was being slandered.”

    That is an understatement. He fired 9 missiles at Amy on twitter, shouting in ALL CAPS that he would not stand for her lies. Now that the truth is out that the uploaded interview was indeed redacted, where is the apology?

    My thoughts exactly!! And I told him so on Twitter. He was very unfair to Amy.

  139. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Dee writes: “Ben Ferguson claimed yesterday that he was being slandered.”

    That is an understatement. He fired 9 missiles at Amy on twitter, shouting in ALL CAPS that he would not stand for her lies. Now that the truth is out that the uploaded interview was indeed redacted, where is the apology?

    My thoughts exactly!! And I told him so on Twitter. He was very unfair to Amy… and that’s an understatement.

  140. molly245 wrote:

    I feel either very old or very out-of-touch but: without setting off a string of inappropriate responses–what do you mean by an “organic” sexual experience?

    I am a child of the Free Love 60’s and was at one time rather “With It”…but….you’ve lost me on this one.

    Thanks. This isn’t being a troll…really!

    They are quoting Savage’s own words from the radio interview with Ben Ferguson. He really pushed that it was consensual, even though the clergy sex abuse law was in effect, making what he did illegal.

    He actually giggled when it said it, though, like a pervert. I can’t even use it in jest, because I find it so reprehensible.

  141. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    “Dee and Andy sittin’ in a tree; B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G…”

  142. ishy wrote:

    He actually giggled when it said it, though, like a pervert.

    Just like Piper’s giggle when answering what a woman should do if she is in an abusive marriage?

  143. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Nothing but the best for the criminals on the pulpit, I guess! (anybody else have employers that will foot your legal bills for sexual abuse and cover-up? how about hiring a PR firm to make sure your personal reputation is not sullied by your criminal acts?)

    I remember hearing training a long time ago by the company I was working at the time. They talked about various forms of harassment and indicated that if you were sued etc. the company could choose not support you in your legal defense. If nothing else that was a warning to people that they could be up for quite a bill if they did some type of harassment.

  144. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    Could be because others have their dark secrets like the Monkees and Glen Campbell.

  145. dee wrote:

    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.

    I had two older sisters who were very into The Monkees. It rubbed off on me. I don’t know how you could not like those pop songs of theirs that hit the charts.
    But it wasn’t until later in life that I got a taste for Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, etc. You were ahead of your time with Andy Williams. Oh, I only liked his songs. I did not and never have had a crush on Andy Williams.

  146. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Also, entirely possible that Ferguson was in Dallas and did it at a studio there. Maybe he took the flight with the boys. Ben Ferguson’s Twitter profile gives special attention to both Dallas and Memphis (despite being a native Memphian)

    According to his bio on Wikipedia, Ben Ferguson lives and works in Dallas.

    “On April 1, 2012, Ferguson became the regular fill-in for Mark Davis on WBAP in Texas, as Davis was involved in contract disputes with the new owners of WBAP, Cumulus Media. When a new contract could not be reached between Mark Davis and Cumulus, Ferguson became the permanent host of the 9 – 11 AM CT time slot. Ben currently lives in Dallas, Texas.[5]”

  147. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    avage assaulted as a “young girl” and after that first commercial break, he only referred to her as a “young adult” makes me believe that Ferguson was taking advice from the attorney during the break in order to assist Savage

    Savage also used a ton of “uhm”s and “uh”s in the interview. That isn’t the norm for a popular public speaker who has been “pastoring” for 20 years.

  148. @ Nathan Priddis:
    W/r to my “religious” upbringing and it effect:
    It might be consider a tad odd, but what I experienced helps me in life….. while some call me cynical, I like to think of myself as pragmatic….. I have seen/experience so much hypocrisy/inconsistancy that not much surprises me… except the depth of corruption in the Roman Catholic church, especially with pedo priests did surprise me..( I also am a amateur historian, so as Ecclesiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun…)
    And all of this hypocrisy/ inconsistancy is consistent with the “grand narrative” of the Bible…
    Having said all of this, I struggle daily with “unprograming” the way fundamentalism and evangelicalism taught me to think and relate to people…. there is a real nasty arrogance/intollerance that many, but not all, of leaders in these camps attempt to infuse followers with. So many of the issues disscused on TWW result form this..

  149. January 17 should be a national holiday, y’all!
    NBC picked up “The Monkees” sitcom on Jan. 17, 1966.

  150. Steve240 wrote:

    I remember hearing training a long time ago by the company I was working at the time. They talked about various forms of harassment and indicated that if you were sued etc. the company could choose not support you in your legal defense. If nothing else that was a warning to people that they could be up for quite a bill if they did some type of harassment.

    Interpretation: Executives in management positions would be supported. Worker bee types take your chances.

  151. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    I arrived at age 26 for Ferguson based on his bio at the 630 WREC blog which states that at age 13 in 2004 he hosted a nationwide talk show.

    From Wiki: “Benjamin Grant Ferguson (born August 28, 1981) is an American radio host, CNN conservative political commentator, and author. His nationally syndicated radio show, The Ben Ferguson Show, formerly aired throughout the United States on Radio America and is now syndicated by ICON Radio Network, of which Ben is the founder and owner, on Sundays from 6 – 9 PM CT.[1] He is also a regular political commentator on CNN.”

    That makes him 36 ……. and a half.

  152. Forrest wrote:

    We know that God can forgive anything.

    OK, OK … but please don’t put any videos of the Monkees on TWW posts. Reports of monkeys wrecking havoc in the church are enough!

  153. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    used a ton of “uhm”s and “uh”s in the interview

    Communication professionals will tell you that pauses like “uhm”, “uh”, “ah”, “like”, “you know” can kill your credibility. Your message gets muddled as you search for words. Of course, I guess we all do this to some degree when put on the spot. And Mr. Savage is certainly on the spot!

  154. sandy c wrote:

    His wasnt an issue of no oversight but one of corrupt oversight in my opinion. If the root is corrupt the branches will also be corrupt.

    True.

    It doesn’t matter how many policies you have if you don’t follow them. IT doesn’t matter how many ‘wise counselors’ you have if they have bad ideas. I think this story is so interesting because it touches on a number of ongoing issues with church…they don’t protect or believe girls and women, treat them as sex objects, treat purity as the only important thing, authoritarian nonsense, etc.

  155. molly245 wrote:

    I feel either very old or very out-of-touch but: without setting off a string of inappropriate responses–what do you mean by an “organic” sexual experience?

    I think what he *meant* to say is that it happened ‘naturally’.

  156. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    there is a real nasty arrogance/intollerance that many, but not all, of leaders in these camps attempt to infuse followers with. So many of the issues disscused on TWW result form this..

    This is very true. The arrogant attitude makes so many of these issues worse than they would otherwise have been.

  157. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    AbuseCrusher wrote:

    avage assaulted as a “young girl” and after that first commercial break, he only referred to her as a “young adult” makes me believe that Ferguson was taking advice from the attorney during the break in order to assist Savage

    Savage also used a ton of “uhm”s and “uh”s in the interview. That isn’t the norm for a popular public speaker who has been “pastoring” for 20 years.

    Yes. His uhs and ums were disconcerting.

  158. Great post and comments have have been edifying with a lot of perspective and insight. Regretfully, however, I may have to refrain from reading any more comments on this post until the “Hey, hey we’re the ….” earworm has abated.

  159. Lea wrote:

    sandy c wrote:

    His wasnt an issue of no oversight but one of corrupt oversight in my opinion. If the root is corrupt the branches will also be corrupt.

    True.

    It doesn’t matter how many policies you have if you don’t follow them. IT doesn’t matter how many ‘wise counselors’ you have if they have bad ideas. I think this story is so interesting because it touches on a number of ongoing issues with church…they don’t protect or believe girls and women, treat them as sex objects, treat purity as the only important thing, authoritarian nonsense, etc.

    +++++++++
    Yep. There were already actual state LAWS on the books requiring reporting of Savage’s abuse. If they don’t follow laws (the disregard of which is penalized by jail time), what makes any thinking person believe that they will follow the “suggested guidelines” to be established by their “3rd party?”

    This is kabuki theater from the pastorate, and they are sending the pew-sitters an astronomical bill for the performance. They are trying to hoodwink the public and congregation again!

  160. Lea wrote:

    arrogant attitude

    There’s been an outbreak of that in the American pulpit in recent years. It’s part of the defensive mode that rises up when challenged … “I’ve been to seminary! Who are you to question my theology?!” … “I’m the pastor! How dare you doubt my decision!”

  161. Jarrett Edwards wrote:

    The whole he was “only 22” thing is as horrible as the “boys will be boys” excuse. Stop smearing other’s to excuse your bad behavior.
    When I was 22 the following happened.
    I was a senior but I lived in an apartment with three sophomores. One night, my roommates were having a party, but I was in my room studying. Late in the evening, one of their guests a sophomore female, whom I developed a strong attraction to, knocked on my door. She was dressed quite provocatively and came into my room. We talked for a bit and then she made it known that she wanted to do more than talk. However, she was also very drunk and I was stone cold sober. I let her know, that as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t because it wouldn’t be right. She got upset, and went out and told my roommates and their guests that I was gay. My roommates however all agreed that I did what was right, even if it resulted in my embarrassment.
    Here is the thing, I might have been a 22 year old guy, but that didn’t mean that I had to listen to my hormones that were telling me to go for it. Instead, I chose to listen to my conscience, that was telling me, that I was better than that. I wasn’t even a ministry professional, just a normal 22 year old college student. If I could resist my hormonal urges at 22, I cannot expect less of those in the ministry who claim to be called by God. Remember, the ministry is not a career but a calling.

    Thank-you for sharing a truthful experience from your past. You did the right thing for respected the dignity of another human being in addition to yourself. It speaks volumes of your character, Jarret.

    In my former Baptist church, the son of the church board president, raped a young lady (an classmate from his public school) at a booze party. The incident was kept secret from the rest of us/congregation for over a year, all the while church “business” went on as usual. This meant that daughters of all of the families involved, were in attendance with him at the Wednesday evening youth group ministry on several occasions with only one youth group presiding over the teenagers. It also meant that the leadership, who incidentally, sided with the perpetrator and his family, allowed this rapist to act as if nothing ever happened. Meanwhile, the victim never showed up for another function within this ecclesiastical system, and many of us noticed, but never asked the important question, “Why don’t we see so and so any longer? What happened to her?” The parents of the victim were leaders within this Baptist church, the husband was voted to the church board, and the wife was voted into the position of deaconess, so they continued to act as leaders.

    Then, a strang thing happened, the rapist decided to resume his leadership responsibility within the music ministry, and all hell broke loose then. We finally learned the truth regarding the hidden secrets of our church leadership’s families and personally, I was sickened to my stomach, for I knew something was terribly wrong, but wasn’t “in the know (as most “lower laity sheep are).” I will say that many of us were manipulated and controlled into believing the victim “had it coming,” for she was labeled “a slut” by a few “spiritual deaconesses” that I had the unprivileged of knowing. Also, many within “church leadership” showed had spoken unfavorably about this family the whole time I attended this church, another words, from their hearts, their mouths spoke out lies and other forms of hatred toward this particular family….all in the name of a jesus, of course.

    During the course of all of this, I was hired to do some work for this family, and found them to be wonderful, encouraging people who actually did want to serve the LORD according to His precepts. So like a fool, I believed the lies of several leadership sources, literally brainwashed into the hatefulness of the revilers and vipers. My bad, and shame on me!

    To this day, I trust very few who regard themselves as ecclesiastical “leaders” within conservative, Baptist churches. I do however, trust in the Jesus of our Holy Scriptures, as my LORD and Savior, and no leadership “individual” can take that away from me. Amen!

  162. @ AbuseCrusher:
    Unfortunately, it is quite common these days for these “mega churches” to be run as a business with no real finacial or other accountability. The money coming in is for the leaders to play with…
    All Calvary Chapels are like this… the pew sitters are not “members” with any say how their money is spent… To be honest, I can not even comprehend giving a single dollar to a church that does not present, and let the congregation vote on a budget.
    As other posts on TWW have shown, the Calavista crowd is doing this by secretively taking over a church, and slowly erode the congregation oversight by taking over the elder board, removing congrgational vote for elders, and rewrite the church rules…. That was the actions of Mark Driscoll as well…. as the saying goes… follow the Benjamins,
    We have a relatively new Mega in my town, following typical script…. I emailed them, and their oversight is not elders, but other “wise” leaders…… and the budget on the web is very broad, with quite a bit going to personel….

    Since my personal employment is broadly considered a “State job” if you know how, you can find the pay of all but some of top dogs…. and we have accountants sniffing over everthing…. funny, here again, “secular humanists” create much more accountabilty than the “annoited ones”…. surprise, surprise

  163. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    I can not even comprehend giving a single dollar to a church that does not present, and let the congregation vote on a budget

    That’s a major reason why megas favor elder-rule polity, rather than congregational governance … to keep the pew out of the books. Mega-leaders will adopt a theology which enable them to sell the pew on this deviation from the Biblical model for doing church … like New Calvinism, for example. With a little twisting of Scripture here and there, you can convince the average church member of about anything … the gullibility factor is at an all-time high in the organized church.

  164. @ FW Rez:
    Try this: “I thought love was only true in fairy tales
    Meant for someone else but not for me
    Love was out to get me
    That’s the way it seemed
    Disappointment haunted all of my dreams
    Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind
    I’m in love”

  165. Max wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    arrogant attitude

    There’s been an outbreak of that in the American pulpit in recent years. It’s part of the defensive mode that rises up when challenged … “I’ve been to seminary! Who are you to question my theology?!” … “I’m the pastor! How dare you doubt my decision!”

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

  166. Max wrote:

    That’s a major reason why megas favor elder-rule polity

    It’s so weird to me the way they go. It’s almost Presbyterian, except they leave out ALL safeguards that we have. We vote for elders, deacons, etc. We vote on salaries for clergy. Other things seem far more open.

  167. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    Since my personal employment is broadly considered a “State job” if you know how, you can find the pay of all but some of top dogs…. and we have accountants sniffing over everthing…. funny, here again, “secular humanists” create much more accountabilty than the “annoited ones”…. surprise, surprise

    ++++++++++++
    True. Plus, tracking the real income for these pastor perverts requires not only forensic accounting, but the ability to track the other incomes & perks they receive, as they peddle their wares from the pulpit. Book revenues, tit-for-tat paid speaking gigs at other churches, cash payments (unreported) for weddings and funerals, K-love cruises for the family, and even re-sale of sermon tapes recorded by the church and with church equipment/personnel, etc., get funneled directly into the pastors’ pockets. Hiding their true income is easy.

    Shoot, the haughty morons at Fellowship Memphis were dumb/insulting enough to ask me for advice about how to hide payments to discovered video voyeur worship pastor, Rick Trotter, so that it would “look” like they weren’t paying Rick, but could direct money and sundry benefits to Rick and his wife (the SISTER of fmr lead pastor Bryan Loritts)! (BTW…my advice was to come clean, be honest, and take the consequences–of course, that was dismissed out of hand) Furthermore, they’d been notified that there was to be a garnishment on Rick’s wages for his long-time default on his college loans, and they wanted to skirt the mandatory wage garnishment (which is, of course, illegal).

    The only thing keeping these folks out of jail is the professionally-managed perception that they are “God’s anointed” and the resulting political/financial connections.

  168. Lea wrote:

    It’s so weird to me the way they go.

    This is a big problem in SBC right now. SBC church plants (Highpoint was a church plant) have pastors and elders in place before the congregation shows up. There were some 1,000 churches planted by SBC last year … by all accounts, most of them staffed by young pastors in their 20s-30s, with an “elder” team of same age. While you won’t be able to find theological leaning in the SBC records regarding these young church planters, all of the plants in my area have New Calvinist staff – many fresh out of seminary with little-to-no pastoral experience. Elder polity is the rule; the congregation has no say in church governance.

  169. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    As other posts on TWW have shown, the Calavista crowd is doing this by secretively taking over a church, and slowly erode the congregation oversight by taking over the elder board, removing congrgational vote for elders, and rewrite the church rules….

    Slow boiling frog Salami Tactics.
    Just like Comrade Stalin did to Eastern European countries after WW2.

  170. Lea wrote:

    This is very true. The arrogant attitude makes so many of these issues worse than they would otherwise have been.

    The Invincible Arrogance of the Righteous.

  171. Jarrett Edwards wrote:

    I was a senior but I lived in an apartment with three sophomores. One night, my roommates were having a party, but I was in my room studying. Late in the evening, one of their guests a sophomore female, whom I developed a strong attraction to, knocked on my door.

    Jarrett: Thanks for sharing your story. We need to tell more stories like this, especially to our sons.

    You are right; 22 years old or not, Savage has no excuse for his reprehensible behavior. Men of character can, and often do, behave better.

  172. Lea wrote:

    This article quotes Andy as saying this:
    “I want to see redemption come through this. I want to offer a meeting if that would be helpful. I am absolutely available,” he said.”

    Is he, Andy, attempting to offer ‘redemption’ for JULES? *&(&*)

    Of Course.
    Redemption can ONLY be dispensed (as all other existence) by the Anointed Clergy.
    (Redemtion, NOT Absolution; Anointed, NOT Ordained — that would be Romish. NO POPERY!)

  173. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Max wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    arrogant attitude

    There’s been an outbreak of that in the American pulpit in recent years. It’s part of the defensive mode that rises up when challenged … “I’ve been to seminary! Who are you to question my theology?!” … “I’m the pastor! How dare you doubt my decision!”

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

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A number of these problems do stem from the seminaries. They have no interest in righteousness. A number of years ago, I spoke with the man, Dr. John Hannah, considered to be the most upstanding and morally courageous of his peers at Dallas Theological Seminary; I detailed to him specific instances of ongoing sexual & other immorality of specific students at that time enrolled at DTS—Dr. Hannah told me that the administration would take no action, as they “only cared about the tuition money.” He then punctuated his statement by stating “If you tell anyone I said that, I’ll deny it.” (?!?!?–yeah, that’s biblical!)

    Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis has taken a similar tact. It refuses to call out it’s grads who are willfully, immorally, and (often) illegally protecting sexual predators (e.g. Chris Conlee).

    Telling me you have a seminary degree carries less currency with me than a Venezuelan bank note.

  174. FW Rez wrote:

    Great post and comments have have been edifying with a lot of perspective and insight. Regretfully, however, I may have to refrain from reading any more comments on this post until the “Hey, hey we’re the ….” earworm has abated.

    I suffered from the ‘Last train…” earworm for hours…

  175. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ FW Rez:
    Try this: “I thought love was only true in fairy tales
    Meant for someone else but not for me
    Love was out to get me
    That’s the way it seemed
    Disappointment haunted all of my dreams
    Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
    Not a trace of doubt in my mind
    I’m in love”

    I was a huge Monkees fan! (And Barry Manilow, and John Denver, both of whom I got teased for liking.)

    Add “Daydream Believer” to the list of their songs that I can still sing all the way through.

    But one of their songs I never liked still sounds creepy to me today. “I wanna be free”…

  176. Forrest wrote:

    I suffered from the ‘Last train…” earworm for hours…

    I’m about 45 minutes from Clarksville………. Tennessee. It feels a bit strange to hear that song when I’m driving to or through Clarksville. I like it, though!

  177. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Telling me you have a seminary degree carries less currency with me than a Venezuelan bank note.

    I think the word is finally getting out in SBC’s “traditional” ranks to avoid seminary graduates for prospective staff positions who recently graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary or Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The former is ground-zero for New Calvinism; the latter runs a close second. However, these seminarians can find employment in SBC’s NAMB church planting program (NAMB’s President is a New Calvinist, former pastor of Al Mohler!).

  178. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    Since my personal employment is broadly considered a “State job” if you know how, you can find the pay of all but some of top dogs…. and we have accountants sniffing over everthing…. funny, here again, “secular humanists” create much more accountabilty than the “annoited ones”…. surprise, surprise

    ++++++++++++
    True. Plus, tracking the real income for these pastor perverts requires not only forensic accounting, but the ability to track the other incomes & perks they receive, as they peddle their wares from the pulpit. Book revenues, tit-for-tat paid speaking gigs at other churches, cash payments (unreported) for weddings and funerals, K-love cruises for the family, and even re-sale of sermon tapes recorded by the church and with church equipment/personnel, etc., get funneled directly into the pastors’ pockets. Hiding their true income is easy.

    Shoot, the haughty morons at Fellowship Memphis were dumb/insulting enough to ask me for advice about how to hide payments to discovered video voyeur worship pastor, Rick Trotter, so that it would “look” like they weren’t paying Rick, but could direct money and sundry benefits to Rick and his wife (the SISTER of fmr lead pastor Bryan Loritts)! (BTW…my advice was to come clean, be honest, and take the consequences–of course, that was dismissed out of hand) Furthermore, they’d been notified that there was to be a garnishment on Rick’s wages for his long-time default on his college loans, and they wanted to skirt the mandatory wage garnishment (which is, of course, illegal).

    The only thing keeping these folks out of jail is the professionally-managed perception that they are “God’s anointed” and the resulting political/financial connections.

    I’m convinced that the problem is much more widespread than we might think.

  179. Lydia wrote:

    Could be because others have their dark secrets like the Monkees and Glen Campbell.

    Wichita Lineman is still one of my fave songs through the years.

  180. ishy wrote:

    They are quoting Savage’s own words from the radio interview with Ben Ferguson. He really pushed that it was consensual, even though the clergy sex abuse law was in effect, making what he did illegal.

    He actually giggled when it said it, though, like a pervert. I can’t even use it in jest, because I find it so reprehensible.

    Thank you.

  181. Max wrote:

    With a little twisting of Scripture here and there, you can convince the average church member of about anything … the gullibility factor is at an all-time high in the organized church.

    How do I say this? And there really is no nice way to say it. If they won’t stand on their own hind legs, be Bereans, and say no to these bullies, they deserve each other.

    But I also have hope and optimism that through the efforts of TWW and others, the future of American Protestantism can be changed.

  182. refugee wrote:

    Reminds me of a novel by John D. MacDonald, One More Sunday. Published in 1984 but still very relevant.

    I wondered if anyone else remembered that book! It seemed so out of place for MacDonald, who mostly wrote crime novels.

  183. AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Telling me you have a seminary degree carries less currency with me than a Venezuelan bank note.

    Just so people know: Venezuelan inflation is nearly 2600 percent. The official exchange rate is 1 USD to 10 bolivares. However, the unofficial exchange rate is 1 USD to 194000 bolivares. Tomorrow it will be around 218,000 bolivares to the dollar. That’s what AbuseCrusher is comparing a seminary degree to.

  184. yes, that Greg Harris, who we all found to be very arrogant and a real woman hatter. I was in that meeting at Household of faith that Dee wrote about. He Is a pig!

  185. Muff Potter wrote:

    I also have hope and optimism that through the efforts of TWW and others, the future of American Protestantism can be changed

    For this ole guy, there is absolutely no other reason for me to spend time in the blogosphere … I hope and pray that things will change for the better; so I reluctantly enter cyberspace, when I could be fly-fishing at a local stream.

    Muff, we need a genuine revival in the church that would expose the counterfeit pulpit, along with their aberrant belief and practice. But I don’t see much movement in that direction, because I don’t see much movement by the people of God to humble themselves, pray, repent, and seek God’s face. Maybe this year.

  186. Donna wrote:

    a real woman hatter

    I don’t usually pick on typos/autocorrect, but this one cracked me up. Mad hatter, too!

    I am interested in hearing more about this household of faith thing…

  187. Lydia wrote:

    dee wrote:
    No one has teased me about Andy William or the Monkees. You guys were too soft on me.
    Could be because others have their dark secrets like the Monkees and Glen Campbell.

    Ooo….Glen Campbell….I admit I have his albums and listen to them.

  188. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    AbuseCrusher wrote:

    Telling me you have a seminary degree carries less currency with me than a Venezuelan bank note.

    Just so people know: Venezuelan inflation is nearly 2600 percent. The official exchange rate is 1 USD to 10 bolivares. However, the unofficial exchange rate is 1 USD to 194000 bolivares. Tomorrow it will be around 218,000 bolivares to the dollar. That’s what AbuseCrusher is comparing a seminary degree to.

    Wow.
    Venezuela’s getting right up there with Zimbabwe.
    Only difference from Weimar Germany is Venezuela & Zimbabwe already have dictators.

  189. Lydia wrote:

    Could be because others have their dark secrets like the Monkees and Glen Campbell.

    “It’s knowin’ that your door is always open
    And your furniture is GONE!…”
    — contemporary filk of “Gentle on My Mind” (Mac Davis?)

  190. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    @ AbuseCrusher:

    I arrived at age 26 for Ferguson based on his bio at the 630 WREC blog which states that at age 13 in 2004 he hosted a nationwide talk show.

    With today’s arrested development cases, 26 is still young enough to be a giggling horndog frat boy.
    (“HEY BEAVIS! HE SCOOOOOORED! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH!”)

  191. molly245 wrote:

    I feel either very old or very out-of-touch but: without setting off a string of inappropriate responses–what do you mean by an “organic” sexual experience?

    Sure “organic” wasn’t a misspelling of “orgasmic”?

  192. sandy c wrote:

    His wasnt an issue of no oversight but one of corrupt oversight in my opinion. If the root is corrupt the branches will also be corrupt.

    And the more Righteous Virtue Signalling, the greater the Corruption.

  193. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Ferguson asks Savage whether he committed a crime. Savage responds “NO, it was consensual. Only problem is the 1995 Texas law that provides no consent in the case of clergy.

    Wonder if Andy has any clue, now or back then, why there is no consent in the case of the clergy?

  194. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    The TGC crowd still remains mostly quiet about this (the only articles I’ve seen specifically addressing it were from Jonathan Leeman and Tim Challies). I wonder if this article by Denny Burk will be the approach: http://www.dennyburk.com/should-christians-take-one-another-to-court-short-answer-no/. Are there any other ongoing issues that would stimulate him to write article this now?

    Folks like Denny Burk never seem to recognise the huge difference between civil cases and criminal cases. They also never seem to accept that church ‘leaders’ often fail. They are a big part of the problem.

  195. Beth Duncan wrote:

    Anybody listen to it to know if he says anything about if someone does something illegal to someone else, or if a pastor takes advantage sexually of someone in his flock?

    You couldn’t pay me enough to listen to that man. I’m sure, practically, everything that can go wrong in life is because of uppity women (or ‘passive’/non-controlling men) so I can only guess at the answer!

    Here is a bit from the article: “our ability to resolve disputes and conflicts among ourselves takes on existential importance for the mission of the church.”

    From my perspective, if your church member is stealing from your or something the Christian thing for them to do is make amends for that, return what they have stolen, and apologize. In abuse cases, there is no returning what was stolen. I don’t think Paul is talking about serious cases like abuse here.

  196. Forrest wrote:

    Folks like Denny Burk never seem to recognise the huge difference between civil cases and criminal cases.

    Exactly. But I don’t think this is limited to Burk. It appeared like all the Andy Savage supporters were doing the same thing – denying the criminality of his organic incident.
    Step 1: deny the legal aspect.
    Step 2: state you will take care of it internally.
    Step 3: don’t do much of anything.
    Step 4: blame the victim if steps 1-3 don’t make the problem go away.

  197. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    talking points…

    I don’t know if they are officially sent out to all members, or unofficially whispered around the campfire, but it doesn’t take long to clearly see what the company line is.

  198. Forrest wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    The TGC crowd still remains mostly quiet about this (the only articles I’ve seen specifically addressing it were from Jonathan Leeman and Tim Challies). I wonder if this article by Denny Burk will be the approach: http://www.dennyburk.com/should-christians-take-one-another-to-court-short-answer-no/. Are there any other ongoing issues that would stimulate him to write article this now?
    Folks like Denny Burk never seem to recognise the huge difference between civil cases and criminal cases. They also never seem to accept that church ‘leaders’ often fail. They are a big part of the problem.

    Oh, they get it. The key to their “beliefs” at the moment on any issue is how it affects their position and efforts. What they aren’t really interested is in higher standards for the ministry “elite” unless they are on an opposing team.

  199. Beth Duncan wrote:

    Anybody listen to it to know if he says anything about if someone does something illegal to someone else, or if a pastor takes advantage sexually of someone in his flock?

    I just finished listening to it. He did make a distinction between civil and criminal cases and he stressed that church leaders are required to report criminal behavior to the police. But we know that in practice the criminal cases get reframed as mere civil or internal church matters. This certainly happened with AS. He also emphasized that the church is competent to judge. But we have plenty of recent evidence to the contrary. He made it sounds like he believes all secular judges are unrighteous – setting up an us-vs-them mentality. Overall, the unspoken pressure is to not drag the courts into internal church matters because of how it makes the church look bad. This was a lost opportunity to highlight how bad the church looks when it covers up abuse.

  200. Your right about the typo, both fit him, Greg Harris that is. and if you want to know more on the subject just look up our story…help. I do not know how to connect the links, sorry. But its the first blog that pops up. Even though its been years, there are still ongoing ramifications for all involved and many people are still very wounded and I think most have lost their ability to trust any church again.

  201. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    This was a lost opportunity to highlight how bad the church looks when it covers up abuse.

    THIS. The church looks MUCH worse to the watching world if they cover up abuse than if they are forthright and honest when it happens. If they are forthright and honest when a pervert is exposed in the pastorate, the story goes no further than the local paper, if that. If they cover it, it becomes national, if not international, news.

  202. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    The TGC crowd still remains mostly quiet about this (the only articles I’ve seen specifically addressing it were from Jonathan Leeman and Tim Challies). I wonder if this article by Denny Burk will be the approach: http://www.dennyburk.com/should-christians-take-one-another-to-court-short-answer-no/. Are there any other ongoing issues that would stimulate him to write article this now?

    Perhaps the sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the chief strategist of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC, Judge Paul Pressler?

  203. In a 2007 post now wiped from his website, Denny Burk explained just who Judge Pressler is to him and his pals:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20071228193212/http://www.dennyburk.com:80/?p=1022

    “Judge Paul Pressler stands as a giant in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Beginning in 1979 and lasting all the way through the early 1990’s, he and Dr. Paige Patterson led a grassroots movement to return SBC institutions to conservative evangelical faith. He is indeed one of the heroes of the SBC conservative resurgence. You would be hard-pressed to find a grassroots conservative Southern Baptist who doesn’t have a deep admiration and love for Judge Pressler.”

  204. Max wrote:

    AbuseCrusher wrote:
    Telling me you have a seminary degree carries less currency with me than a Venezuelan bank note.
    I think the word is finally getting out in SBC’s “traditional” ranks to avoid seminary graduates for prospective staff positions who recently graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary or Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The former is ground-zero for New Calvinism; the latter runs a close second. However, these seminarians can find employment in SBC’s NAMB church planting program (NAMB’s President is a New Calvinist, former pastor of Al Mohler!).

    SWBTS, my school is running very close…..even with Paige at the helm, YRR’s are coming out in droves. Heck, Criswell’s School is turning out Calvinstas in droves…

  205. Highpoint Church has made several specific missteps in handling the revelation that a beloved pastor was guilty of gross misconduct in a prior ministry position. In doing so, it has displayed several undesirable attributes that are common within today’s Mega-Church movement:

    Cult of Celebrity: Hero worhip of pastors/leaders.

    Authoritarianism: Lack of accountability of leadership to the congregation and/or denomination. The Lead Pastor acts as CEO.

    Deliberate obfuscation on who they are or how they operate: Apparently it is not common knowledge within Highpoint Church that they are SBC.

    Lack of a clear concept that there is a point when one is unfit for church leadership.

    Protecting the brand at all costs.

  206. FW Rez wrote:

    Apparently it is not common knowledge within Highpoint Church that they are SBC.

    This is very common in New Calvinist works. They don’t like being called Southern Baptist, but don’t mind taking church planting funds from the denomination. That’s why they give themselves cool names like Highpoint, rather than Highpoint Southern Baptist Church. Members usually don’t know that they go to a church affiliated with the SBC; they think they are non-denominational.

  207. K.D. wrote:

    YRR’s are coming out in droves

    As Al Mohler says:

    ‘Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this new Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.”

    In other words, most of Christendom (which does not accept Calvinist theology) does not preach and teach truth … there just are not options out there? Arrogance to the uttermost!!

  208. @ FW Rez:
    If you scroll down, his picture is there with the heading that he is on leave of absence. I can’t believe how many people are on staff! Back-woods me is a little out of touch with all of this, and plan to stay that way.

  209. Jerome wrote:

    In a 2007 post now wiped from his website…

    When Judge Pressler went from doubleplusgood hero of The Party to doubleplusungood doubleplusunperson?

  210. Beth Duncan wrote:

    THIS. The church looks MUCH worse to the watching world if they cover up abuse than if they are forthright and honest when it happens.

    Just look at the Catholic Pedo-priest Scandal.
    (Very convenient misdirection for non-Catholic sexual predator clergy — “WE THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT WE ARE NOTING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PEDO-PRIESTS OVER THERE…”)

    Some humor from local morning and afternoon drive-time radio:
    “Archbishop-PEDOPHILE…”
    “Father-PEDOPHILE…”
    “Monsignor-PEDOPHILE…”
    “You know why Catholics are against birth control? So they can breed more altarboys for the Priests to molest…”
    “John Paul II — Patron Saint of Pedophiles…”
    Over and over and over.

  211. Karen wrote:

    Meanwhile, the victim never showed up for another function within this ecclesiastical system, and many of us noticed, but never asked the important question, “Why don’t we see so and so any longer? What happened to her?”

    Like Cowslip’s Warren, you NEVER ask “what happened?” or “where?”

  212. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I don’t believe that pew peons are the employers in a lot of thes churches. Methinks the churches are fiefdoms. (Guess who the conniving, smiley faced feudal overlords are!)

    And the Lowborns’ only reason for existence (at the Pleasure of Their Betters) is the enrichment and convenience of the Highborn.

    Watch the Lowborn die like flies in the Game of Thrones.

  213. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    At age 22, we are what we choose to be. Andy Savage chose be be a horny boy on the hunt.

    He shoulda’ just gone to Rahab’s cat-house and left it at that.

    But that would be Immorality with a Prostitute!

  214. Lea wrote:

    Apparently Highpoint did a ‘Purity is Sexy’ sermon series. Ew. #stuffilearnedontwitter

    PURITY(TM) is necessary so the Patriarch can ensure all his Heirs and Spares are TRULY his Seed.

    (Seed, not DNA; according to Aristotle, the female is only an incubator for the man’s Seed — IF she doesn’t contaminate that Seed into defective females instead of perfect males. IT’S ALL IN ARISTOTLE! The 67th Book of the Bible throughout Medieval times!)

  215. Muff Potter wrote:

    He shoulda’ just gone to Rahab’s cat-house and left it at that.

    I would posit that it is exactly the power dynamic of controlling a human that is what appeals to guys like Savage. And New Cal leaders.

    If you pay someone, you really have no control over them–it’s only for the time they allow and really on their terms.

    Ordering a young teen girl to service you makes them feel like gods.

    Manipulating a large group of people into a standing ovation for a crime you committed is the same thing.

  216. Max wrote:

    FW Rez wrote:
    Apparently it is not common knowledge within Highpoint Church that they are SBC.
    This is very common in New Calvinist works. They don’t like being called Southern Baptist, but don’t mind taking church planting funds from the denomination. That’s why they give themselves cool names like Highpoint, rather than Highpoint Southern Baptist Church. Members usually don’t know that they go to a church affiliated with the SBC; they think they are non-denominational.

    This is true. But the church leader who leads growth classes actually said they were not Southern Baptist when asked. Just another little lie.

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  218. Anonymous wrote:

    But the church leader who leads growth classes actually said they were not Southern Baptist when asked.

    You would think a “church leader” should know that Highpoint is an SBC church. They are listed in both the SBC and Tennessee Baptist Convention church directories. Surely, “Southern Baptist” comes up occasionally in church leadership meetings.

  219. ishy wrote:

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s a way we can redeem the modern church from celebrity culture….

    Only if we have a new breed of church leaders emerge who are focused more on Christ, than celebrity or culture … more passionate about Him, than themselves.

  220. Max wrote:

    You would think a “church leader” should know that Highpoint is an SBC church. They are listed in both the SBC and Tennessee Baptist Convention church directories. Surely, “Southern Baptist” comes up occasionally in church leadership meetings.

    If they are an honest church leader. Nothing I’ve seen from anyone on leadership at Highpoint has been honest.

    And to push that a little further, they seem like they are in the deceptive New Calvinist transition phase, so that might be another reason they are purposely hiding their affiliation. They seem to have cultivated a more charismatic belief system in the church, so I wonder if they were planning to pull a covenant bait and switch soon.

  221. Max wrote:

    Only if we have a new breed of church leaders emerge who are focused more on Christ, than celebrity or culture … more passionate about Him, than themselves.

    We get what we pay for. As long as there is a demand for this there will be a willing supply. The pewpeons are the enablers.

  222. @ dee:
    Great tweet here, Dee:
    “I would like to know the name of your church. Since you (and I assume fellow church BFFs) do not seem to have problems with organic experiences between 22 y o professionals pastors and 17 y o students, I think prospective attendees should be forewarned.”

    Makes sense, Birds of a Feather, and all that. Who would want their family around those OK with this stuff. “Not safe for children” warning on the institution; fair enough. “Yuck” sticker time.

  223. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But that would be Immorality with a Prostitute!

    I was just gonna’ say, that’s even WORSE in those circles. His hash would have been settled, his goose cooked, and the likelihood is large that he would have been run out of the church on a rail so to speak.

    Molest the little ones, do the hanky-panky with teens, or even preach from the pulpit drunk on your a$$, it’s all water over the dam, and they’ll bend over backwards to ‘restore’ you.

    It truly is a bizarre and strange religion.

  224. Jerome wrote:

    “Highpoint Church is Non-Denominational.”

    Where I am, “Non-Denominational” means “Calvary Chapel Clone with the labels painted over”.

  225. Muff Potter wrote:

    Molest the little ones, do the hanky-panky with teens…

    Privileges of Pastoral Rank.
    “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”

  226. Karen wrote:

    I knew something was terribly wrong, but wasn’t “in the know

    I’m torn between thinking everyone should get into the ‘in the know’ category somehow (you or someone close to you) for your own protection or whether it is better not to know. I think I’ve almost always been pretty in the know at various churches and it colors the way you see it.

    What a sad story though.

  227. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Only if we have a new breed of church leaders emerge who are focused more on Christ, than celebrity or culture … more passionate about Him, than themselves.
    We get what we pay for. As long as there is a demand for this there will be a willing supply. The pewpeons are the enablers.

    That is the bottom line.

  228. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jerome wrote:

    “Highpoint Church is Non-Denominational.”

    Where I am, “Non-Denominational” means “Calvary Chapel Clone with the labels painted over”.

    Calvary Chapel, the non-donominational denomination.

  229. Jerome wrote:

    Highpoint Church is Non-Denominational.”

    But they are really sbc? Wow.

    Btw, also from the FAQ about what to wear:

    What should I wear?
    The majority of our congregation dresses pretty casual. Our only request regarding dress is that it would be modest – as not to distract from our worship time.

    “The dress code for our worship team is – wear anything you want as long as you can raise your hands all the way to the sky in surrender to God, or get down on your knees – bowing low before our King!” – Josh Maze | Worship Pastor

  230. @ Forrest:
    Eh websites are cheap.

    I can’t recall anybody that’s not a crazy gothard type place listing ‘modesty’ as a thing for visitors to know about how they should be dressed. Way to be inviting!

    Come to highpoint where we will judge your purity as a visitor based on whether your outfit distracts from ‘worship’. Sidenote/one of the pastors is a predator but it’s cool because we don’t judge that.

  231. Forrest wrote:

    @ Lea:
    It seems somewhat self-promoting.

    Who do you expect these pastors to promote on their websites?!? Jesus?

    You apparently don’t understand modern ministry! 🙂 🙁

  232. Maple Lady wrote:

    his picture is there with the heading that he is on leave of absence.

    Thanks. I missed that. I wonder what the over/under is, in terms of weeks, before his picture is back at the top of the page.

  233. Forrest wrote:

    I find it strange that these folks all seem to have their own websites..

    “I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself, and of his importance and ability, than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3).

    If you are to be an active participant in a cult of personality, you have to get your personality out there in cyberspace.

  234. Lydia wrote:

    Lol. (I know a lot of people who secretly liked ABBA . Shhh)

    Secretly? I thought they were great! They knew showmanship and what it takes to capture the crowds and keep them moving in time.

  235. FW Rez wrote:

    Thanks. I missed that. I wonder what the over/under is, in terms of weeks, before his picture is back at the top of the page.

    Soon as the heat blows over.

  236. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    Reminds me of a novel by John D. MacDonald, One More Sunday. Published in 1984 but still very relevant.

    I wondered if anyone else remembered that book! It seemed so out of place for MacDonald, who mostly wrote crime novels.

    That and Condominium and The House Guests (autobiographical account of his life with cats) have remained among my favorites of his, even though I read every Travis McGee mystery that he wrote himself.

  237. Donna wrote:

    Your right about the typo, both fit him, Greg Harris that is. and if you want to know more on the subject just look up our story…help. I do not know how to connect the links, sorry. But its the first blog that pops up. Even though its been years, there are still ongoing ramifications for all involved and many people are still very wounded and I think most have lost their ability to trust any church again.

    Interesting that there is nothing about HOFCC on Gregg Harris’s Wikipedia page.

  238. Ken P. wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    YRR’s are coming out in droves.

    SBC Today has an article out on the Calvinist view of God. Pictured is a recent SBTS grad.

    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/born-haters-of-god/

    In my opinion, this article is very disingenuous. Starting with the first point. Stating that Calvinist believe that God hates all unbelievers is a straw man argument. It is only telling part of the truth. Most Calvinist do not believe that God “hates” unbelievers. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life”. In any debate it is only good morals to try and describe your opponents opinion accurately. When you don’t and describe you opponents opinion in ways not totally true you are being disingenuous. This starting point is not the whole truth about what the neo-cals, most of them, believe. The author should be ashamed.

  239. Ken A wrote:

    In my opinion, this article is very disingenuous. Starting with the first point. Stating that Calvinist believe that God hates all unbelievers is a straw man argument. It is only telling part of the truth. Most Calvinist do not believe that God “hates” unbelievers.

    But when you get 6 & 7-point “More Calvinist Than Thou”, all bets are off.

    And at least this shows some SBC pushback to the Calvinist takeover.
    Day late and dollar short, as usual, but still some.

  240. Ken A wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    YRR’s are coming out in droves.

    SBC Today has an article out on the Calvinist view of God. Pictured is a recent SBTS grad.

    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/born-haters-of-god/

    In my opinion, this article is very disingenuous. Starting with the first point. Stating that Calvinist believe that God hates all unbelievers is a straw man argument. It is only telling part of the truth. Most Calvinist do not believe that God “hates” unbelievers. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life”. In any debate it is only good morals to try and describe your opponents opinion accurately. When you don’t and describe you opponents opinion in ways not totally true you are being disingenuous. This starting point is not the whole truth about what the neo-cals, most of them, believe. The author should be ashamed.

    I am puzzled by your reply here, Ken. The first point was:

    “The Non-Elect Unbelievers (“reprobate”) who die in rebellion:
    ? Were born hated and rejected by God (speaking salvifically)”

    This is an accurate representation of standard calvinist teaching concerning the non-elect.

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  242. Just found this:

    Naked Pastor’s take on the Andy Savage scandal (and standing ovation):

    How’s My Cry Heard?
    — by Naked Pastor

    your church preached i’m victor
    not your victim with scars
    i thought i’d be safe
    on that road in your car

    you made me suck you
    while you sucked out my life
    then threw me aside
    as you rose to the heights

    i just have my voice
    that will help me to stand
    but how’s my cry heard
    over the praise of your fans?

  243. Dee…thank you so much for writing this post. Something that has stuck with me is protecting the 17-year-old. Reminded of this again after listening to Rachael Denhollanders entire statement against Nassar where she said herself: “at age 15, I trusted the adults around me to protect me…” I don’t have children but I was once a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl, yet 15 years later, somehow I forgot I needed protection at that age or maybe I myself would have never admitted it at that age… 17-year-olds can also look “older” and act “mature” especially from a distance when they’re just a youth group member at your church… but it’s important to remember the age and not to go by the way someone looks or pretends to act like at 17. Again, thank you so much for this post.

  244. Ps. Not saying all 17-year-olds are immature or that they can’t do amazing things! Some 17 year-olds are more mature than some 30 year-olds. Still, we need to protect them!