Rachael Denhollander, the First Victim to Report Larry Nassar, Goes After Mahaney/SGM in an Interview with Christianity Today

“The ultimate reality that I live with is that if my abuser had been Nathaniel Morales instead of Larry Nassar, if my enabler had been [an SGM pastor] instead of [MSU gymnastics coach] Kathie Klages, if the organization I was speaking out against was Sovereign Grace under the leadership of [Mahaney] instead of MSU under the leadership of Lou Anna Simon, I would not only not have evangelical support, I would be actively vilified and lied about by every single evangelical leader out there.”

Rachael Denhollander

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=42302&picture=eyes-of-woman-clipartEyes of a Woman

This is the story of Rachael Denhollander, the courageous young woman who dared to break her silence (after 16 years) by filing a police complaint against Larry Nassar. Rachael was the first one to do so on August 29, 2016.

Larry Nassar, the doctor who for decades worked with the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics teams, perpetrated the biggest sex abuse scandal in sports history. When Rachael was 15, she first encountered Larry Nassar. For nearly a year, he sexually abused her under the guise of ‘medical treatments’. In the video below, Rachael explains why she finally came forward.

Because of Rachael’s bravery, more than 260 women have now come forward to confront Larry Nassar. And, sadly, that number will undoubtedly increase.

Last week Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison, stating: “I just signed your death warrant.” This was on top of the 60 years to which he had already been sentenced in federal prison on child pornography charges to which he’s admitted. It was during last week’s proceedings in Judge Aquilina’s courtroom (Ingham County, Michigan), that Rachael Denhollander addressed Nassar. The testimonies of Nassar’s victims drew international attention.

This week Nassar was again in court for a third and final time (Eaton County, Michigan), and once again Rachael gave her impact statement. Rachael “described her abuse and how the trauma and nightmares from it became intertwined in the joys of her life.” Nassar will be sentenced for the final time on Monday.

For more information on Rachael’s Denhollander’s efforts to seek justice against Nassar, we recommend an article that appeared in The Washington Post.

Then the New York Times featured an opinion piece by Rachael entitled The Price I Paid for Taking on Larry Nassar. In it she explains how her training as a lawyer prepared her for the process and presentation but that “nothing could have prepared her for the pain of being the first to go public” with her accusations against Nassar in The Indianapolis Star (published on September 12, 2016).

In the NYT piece, Rachael wrote the following: (see screen shot below)

Her remarks about losing her church and her closest friends immediately caught our attention. How could this happen to a brave Christian woman whose church family should be rallying behind her?

Rachael Denhollander Goes After Sovereign Grace Ministries and C.J. Mahaney

When we first began following Rachael’s story, we had no idea that she would one day speak out about a ‘family of churches’ with whom we are all too familiar. Morgan Lee of Christianity Today talked with Rachael, and her candid interview was just published on January 31. It is entitled: My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness. In the article, Rachael remarks that three weeks before she filed her police report on Larry Nassar, she “was left alone and isolated”.

In this CT interview…

Denhollander shared more details about her break with her church community, how poor theology causes many churches to poorly care for sex abuse victims, how she found God’s perspective on sexual abuse in Scripture, and about her convictions that forgiveness and justice are both biblical and must go hand in hand.

Rachael discusses her journey and eventual decision to file a police report about Nassar’s criminal behavior. Morgan Lee asks her about the following remark in her impact statement:

“My advocacy for sexual assault victims … cost me my church.”

Then Morgan asks Rachael this question:

Can you share about when you decided to share with your church that you were going to speak up about this and what happened?

Rachael’s answer to this query is so important that we have included it in its entirety below:

The reason I lost my church was not specifically because I spoke up. It was because we were advocating for other victims of sexual assault within the evangelical community, crimes which had been perpetrated by people in the church and whose abuse had been enabled, very clearly, by prominent leaders in the evangelical community. That is not a message that evangelical leaders want to hear, because it would cost to speak out about the community. It would cost to take a stand against these very prominent leaders, despite the fact that the situation we were dealing with is widely recognized as one of the worst, if not the worst, instances of evangelical cover-up of sexual abuse. Because I had taken that position, and because we were not in agreement with our church’s support of this organization and these leaders, it cost us dearly.

When I did come forward as an abuse victim, this part of my past was wielded like a weapon by some of the elders to further discredit my concern, essentially saying that I was imposing my own perspective or that my judgment was too clouded. One of them accused me of sitting around reading angry blog posts all day, which is not the way I do research. That’s never been the way I do research. But my status as a victim was used against my advocacy.

As the interview continues, Morgan asks Rachael whether her (former) church leaders believed she was biased due to her own abuse. Rachael answers in the affirmative and explains that she attempted to present ‘mountains of evidence’ regarding an institutional cover-up and that there was a ‘complete refusal to engage with the evidence”.

Here is the very next question in the interview, along with Rachael’s response.

Was this the Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) scandal?

Yes, it was.

[Editor’s note: Denhollander clarified that she and her husband did not attend a SGM church, but a Louisville, Kentucky, church “directly involved in restoring” former SGM president C. J. Mahaney. She said that she and her husband “left because we were told by individual elders that it wasn’t the place for us.” CT previously reported how Mahaney and SGM were accused of covering up abuse within the church network in a 2012 lawsuit; they denied the allegations and argued that courts shouldn’t second-guess pastoral counseling decisions. A judge dismissed the suit in 2014, though a former SGM youth leader was convicted of abusing three boys in a separate case.]

Rachael then makes the following profound statement:

The ultimate reality that I live with is that if my abuser had been Nathaniel Morales instead of Larry Nassar, if my enabler had been [an SGM pastor] instead of [MSU gymnastics coach] Kathie Klages, if the organization I was speaking out against was Sovereign Grace under the leadership of [Mahaney] instead of MSU under the leadership of Lou Anna Simon, I would not only not have evangelical support, I would be actively vilified and lied about by every single evangelical leader out there. The only reason I am able to have the support of these leaders now is because I am speaking out against an organization not within their community. Had I been so unfortunate so as to have been victimized by someone in their community, someone in the Sovereign Grace network, I would not only not have their support, I would be massively shunned. That’s the reality.

Rachael definitely gets it, and we are exceedingly grateful that she has called attention to the sex abuse cover-up in Sovereign Grace Ministries Churches that leaders have been desperately trying to put behind them. Dee and I have been researching Sovereign Grace Ministries (now Sovereign Grace Churches) for NEARLY A DECADE, and we are perplexed by the Christian leaders who are staunchly defending Mahaney. We want to know WHY???

Regarding the church that Rachael and her husband attended… Dee and I have been asked by Rachael’s husband not to divulge the name of their former church (which we figured out within a few short hours of Rachael’s initial testimony in court). For now we are willing to comply with their request; however, we cannot control what others might say in this forum.

We can share this about the lead pastor at their former church. This yet to be named church leader will be serving in a leadership role at the upcoming Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference

There is so much more to say about all of this, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts next week.

We want to conclude with a status update written by Rachael’s husband last Spring. We concur that Jacob is married to a real, live, superhero!


Jacob Denhollander shared this on Facebook

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/01/24/she-helped-bring-down-larry-nassar-at-his-sentencing-for-sex-crimes-she-spoke-about-her-faith/?utm_term=.4bc9a4bdd560


Comments

Rachael Denhollander, the First Victim to Report Larry Nassar, Goes After Mahaney/SGM in an Interview with Christianity Today — 369 Comments

  1. As a pastor, I was impressed with her articulation of true forgiveness without short-changing justice. Her message applies not only to sexual abuse but also to matters of general abuse including adultery. She is one brave and bright woman of God!

  2. On February 2nd, Mark Prater from Sovereign Grace Churches posted a short statement in response to the Christianity Today article. The first half commends Rachael Denhollander for her part in bringing Larry Nassar to justice. The second half states that she is mistaken about SGM and C.J. Mahaney and that the CT article mischaracterized the situation.

    While they note that Ms. Denhollander had no [direct] involvement in the situation and accusations, I would suggest that is a deflection on the part of Mr. Prater. In terms of systemic abuse, those churches and ministries that are connected with Sovereign Grace Churches and Mr. Mahaney have made her indirectly involved. And that was one of the key points in the CT article. Her attempts to advocate for victims of abuse were negatively affected by those connections in the wider evangelical community.

    Systems that enable abuse by the few create a toxic environment that poisons the many. Hopefully the spotlight that is being focused on this situation in evangelicaldom will make a difference in helping survivors identify, challenge, and dismantle institutional systems that perpetuate spiritual abuse — just as the trial and other investigations into what happened with gymnasts is catalyzing change in that realm.

    http://www.sovereigngrace.com/sovereign-grace-blog/post/sovereign-grace-churches-response-to-christianity-today-article_2

  3. Wow, I sure didn’t expect these two stories of Mahaney and Nassar to be brought together. I wonder if Mahaney, et al will squirm at being directly compared to Nassar. Kudos to Denhollander, she didn’t have a choice when her world was over-turned by Nassar but she did make the choice to over-turn it again by making her public stand. Count me as one who admires her courage.

  4. I keep hoping that these predator organisations masquarading as churches will finally come crashing down. Then I see how widespread this already is and realise that we may still only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. The perpetrators and their enablers will be judged. If not in this world then certainly in the next.

  5. They will condemn abuses in the world but not the church. Churches are of God, dontcha know. Playing by dfferent rules. Now they will seek to destroy her and anyone like her. Shameful. Despicable.

    Thank you for all of the work you both do to support victims everywhere.

  6. The interesting similarity with Mahaney’s coverup and some of the other recent stories is the number of people who must have known and covered for Nassar over the years. If the allegations in lawsuits are to believed there are reports of abuse going back 20 years. This story will likely not stop, should not stop with Nassar, the university officials responsible will be next in line for investigation. Either they ignored allegations or they covered up allegations, but either way they enabled Nassar to abuse 250 young women. I trust they are not sleeping well.

    I can only hope some of this will shed light on the coverup by Mahaney and be a catalyst for his many defenders to shed their blinders. Note I am not expecting this from his fellow “leaders”, similar to politicians they will only turn against him if it is suddenly advantageous for them to do so. I am instead speaking for those who sit in the pews to stop being pawns.

  7. I don’t understand (actually I do but I still shake my head at it) why would anybody think that these problems should be addressed first by the church or organisation within which it took pkace? The organisation failed and therefore should be investigated itself, not leading the investigation.

  8. One thing I noted was that the Christianity Today Editor’s note left out important information about the lawsuit against SGM (like why it was dismissed! – Statute of Limitations, I believe)

  9. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    @ Forrest:

    And just posted today: February 2, 2018, article by Jen Zamzow in Christianity Today — “Should Churches Handle Sexual Abuse Allegations Internally?”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/should-churches-handle-sexual-abuse-investigations-internal.html

    I like the way Jen handled this. The problem with bias is well known, especially in the discipline of project management. However, it is often seen as a problem which affects ‘other people’. We underestimate the extent to which we are biased when we are involved directly.

  10. @ L. Lee:

    “the Christianity Today Editor’s note left out important information about the lawsuit against SGM (like why it was dismissed! – Statute of Limitations, I believe)”
    +++++++++++++++++

    yes, left out indeed. i remember TGC writing an article about it all, saying something to the effect of “the case was dismissed, for chrissakes — so quit with the bleeding heart already, will ya?” — but of course in honey-coated language.

    they made it sound like it was dismissed due to being unfounded.

    amazing, the dishonesty, the deception, shamelessly playing with people’s minds.

    something’s off, though, with the CT article. it was well-done. i have a hard time believing it was an oversight to leave out clarification on why the case was dismissed. i tend to think it was by design — a powerful person from the outside making some demands.

  11. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    @ Forrest:

    And just posted today: February 2, 2018, article by Jen Zamzow in Christianity Today — “Should Churches Handle Sexual Abuse Allegations Internally?”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/should-churches-handle-sexual-abuse-investigations-internal.html

    Churches are legally required to NOT handle these concerns internally. Pastors are mandatory reporters, and must not decide whether or not the alleged abuse happened before reporting the allegations to the authorities.

  12. Todd Wilhelm wrote about a Louisville church leader who seeks to ingratiate himself with CJM. This man is part of the T4G this year.
    https://thouarttheman.org/2016/04/12/ryan-fullerton-immanuel-baptist-church-louisville-supports-cj-mahaney/

    Brent Detwiler has a FB post related to this. The many comments below the post include several with more first hand information about SGM and the cover-up about C.J. Mahaney.
    https://www.facebook.com/brent.detwiler.3/posts/1753257411386144?pnref=story

  13. I watched the video above. All of it. I couldn’t move while Rachael talked. I wanted to cry. First because of her story of abuse. Secondly, that a group of people calling themselves a “church” would abandon her.

    I watched the video in the comment by “Raswhiting.” I made it about 45 seconds. I wanted to vomit.

    I went to C.J. Mahaney’s church website and listed to a sermon. I made it about 15 seconds. I wanted to vomit.

    I stand with Rachael because she stands with Christ.

    Thanks to TWW, Amy, Julie Ann, and others for relentlessly seeking truth, a work long ago abandoned by “pastors.”

  14. Loren Haas wrote:

    Before Denhollander laid into her church for enabling SGM and Mahaney, Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition, praised her for her bravery and “incredible testimony to the grace and justice of Jesus Christ.” TGC is infamous for supporting and defending Mahaney.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/incredible-testimony-former-gymnast-confronts-sexual-abuser-court/

    It’s pretty clear to me that their church was a New Cal/TGC church. Her husband did his PhD at SBTS. There was a link to his dissertation at SBTS, which has suddenly disappeared, about abuse in the church.

  15. One sentence by Rachael that sent shivers down my spine was this: “Gymnastics itself lends itself to a culture of abuse just as there is a huge emphasis on authority — do what we say, or you don’t get on the team.”

    Fullerton, Dever, Mahaney, Chandler and all the usual suspects at T4G base their faulty ministries on the abuse of pastoral authority. These men seek the status of “alter Christus” – another Christ. They are indeed antichrists. Not surprised that Immanuel Baptist in Louisville is a card-carrying 9 Marks church.

  16. Dale wrote:

    One sentence by Rachael that sent shivers down my spine was this: “Gymnastics itself lends itself to a culture of abuse just as there is a huge emphasis on authority — do what we say, or you don’t get on the team.”

    Fullerton, Dever, Mahaney, Chandler and all the usual suspects at T4G base their faulty ministries on the abuse of pastoral authority. These men seek the status of “alter Christus” – another Christ. They are indeed antichrists. Not surprised that Immanuel Baptist in Louisville is a card-carrying 9 Marks church.

    That is an astute observation, Dale.

  17. This isn’t a comment about abuse but about CJ Mahaney. Recently I was talking to someone who still attends Covenant Life Church, and they said they like PJ because he will actually talk to the people in the congregation, but CJ would never talk to people when he was pastor. Interesting commentary.

  18. @ brad/futuristguy:
    I think it was a huge mistake for Boz to work with Bob Jones U and ABWE. It just ended up giving them extended credibility when they should have gone out of business. Better serve vict8ms and future victims by using celebrity to warn people to stay away, IMO.

  19. I have not followed this in detail. I read the CT article, looked up the church and saw her husband attended SBTS. Never heard of the church or the leadership but a new crop is coming up. Looks like a takeover of an older small church? It is always a shock when the people you trusted turn out to be the opposite unless you play their way.

    T4G and TGC is most definitely worried about money flow, it seems. They are on to new things outside Neo Cal like social justice and we aren’t supposed to bring up their sorted past. They could not have chosen a worse man to protect and defend for all these years. Total hypocrites. . CJ seems to be more trouble than he’s worth for them over time yet they defiantly promote him because we are supposed to believe they are the wise people who know best. . As they tend to view things from that position. But they are in too deep now so must save face.

    I respect their decision not to name the church even if I don’t understand exactly why. It’s not hard to decipher.

  20. “The extent that one is willing to speak out against their own community is the bright line test for how much they care and how much they understand.

    It’s devastating enough when money and medals are put against sexual assault victims. But when the gospel of Christ is wielded like a weapon against sexual assault victims, that’s wicked. There’s no other way to say it.

    [Editor’s note: Denhollander clarified that she and her husband did not attend a SGM church, but a Louisville, Kentucky, church “directly involved in restoring” former SGM president C. J. Mahaney.”

    -Christianity Today interview of Rachael Denhollander

    Rachael Denhollander is a true hero of mine. She not only was brave enough to come out against Nassar, she then commenced a breathtaking frontal assault against leaders in her own community. She spoke out boldly against the wickedness of church leaders like C.J. Mahaney.

    I include in this band of wicked men all the celebrity “Christians” who have enabled Mahaney and will once again share the conference stage with him at T4G. Sovereign Grace leader Mark Prater wrote a wimpy statement of defense against what Rachael said. I plan to tear their statement to shreds in a blog post in the next day or two. These men can no longer hide behind the false claim of Mahaney’s innocence.

    Even though Jacob Denhollander has asked the Deebs not to divulge the name of their former church, I must say sorry, but I am tired of playing nice with wicked wolves. To again quote Rachael, “The extent that one is willing to speak out against their own community is the bright line test for how much they care and how much they understand.”

    Raswhiting has linked to a blog of mine in a comment above. The pastor I wrote about is the former pastor of the Denhollanders.

    While I cannot condone the intended actions of the man in the video below, I totally understand them. I am sick to death of abusers and their enablers. Thankfully it appears the general public is too.

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/video-father-of-sexual-abuse-victim-charges-larry-nassar-in-court-during-sentencing

  21. Should churches handle sexual abusers internally?
    Sexual abuse is a CRIME, so would churches handle all crimes internally?

    If the church treasurer runs off to the Bahamas with all of the church funds, would a church handle that crime internally?
    If a church member gets angry at a deacon/elder and runs over him in the parking lot with a Tahoe, would a church handle that crime internally?
    If the darling little Royal Ambassadors decide to steal the pastor’s car and wreck it on a joy ride, would a church handle that crime internally?
    If an angry pew peon walks into church with a weapon and threatens or harms other church members, would a church handle that crime internally?

  22. @ Jen:
    Funny how they promoted and defended Driscoll and Mahaney and were downright cruel to anyone who tried to give another truthful view about the abuses. Voices was adamant that the SGM lawsuit dismissal proved there was nothing there. Now if Mohler or Moore publicly turn against CJ, Voices will, too. That’s how they roll.

    Now, they magically “moved on” without a word about their past positions. Just change the subject. Funny that. Would not trust them. What about all those victims they simply dismissed by protecting the evil celebrities for years? I don’t play pretend well. Now they want to act like none of it happened.

  23. I wasn’t going to go to Louisville to protest at T4G 2018. I wasn’t. I even told Dee last week I wasn’t going, because a friend of mine is scheduled to be recovering from surgery during that week and I really didn’t want to be out of town. But…

    the Rachael Denhollander revelation changed everything.

    Folks, this is going to keep happening as long as CJ Mahaney is given any sort of position or power or prestige. The fact that Rachael Denhollander could lose her church because the pastor is a Mahaney fanboi is *crazy*, absolutely *bonkers*. It shouldn’t have happened. Mahaney should have been forced out of his pastorate and away from the limelight by his so-called powerful friends back when this started coming out in 2011. But no, we have Ligon Duncan saying this:

    “I would then encourage you to ignore the assaults of wounded people on attack websites and blogs, and that you discount the opinings of those who have no real knowledge of these matters or relation to SGM or authority to comment upon them, and that you refrain from assuming that you (or they) are in a position to render judgment on these things.”

    That ended up being nuked from the “Reformation 21” website, but our Deebs captured it back in 2013 and the Internet is forever.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/02/04/ligon-duncans-post-defending-c-j-mahaney-accidentally-deleted/

    Let me be very, very clear: CJ Mahaney should not be given a place of honor at T4G given the child sexual abuse that was covered up during his time at Covenant Life Church. CJ Mahaney shouldn’t even be a pastor. He should be apologizing profusely to the victims of his failure to report child sexual abuse to the police (e.g., Nathan Morales, etc.) but also for his church’s perverse belief that even little children who were sexually abused also sinned. Scientology has a phrase for that: those little kids “pulled it in.” SGM says they contributed to the sin and indeed, it’s reported that little children were made to forgive their attackers. And he should apologize to Rachael Denhollander and her husband, and basically make amends for the attitude that he’s allowed to be perpetrated throughout the Calvinista sphere that child sexual abuse doesn’t really matter, and it’s perfectly OK to harass a family out of a church because the pastor is a Mahaney fanboi.

    So I changed my mind, and I will be at Together For the Gospel 2018, on the sidewalk outside the YUM! Center in Louisville. I have my plane tickets, I have my hotel reservation. I will be arriving the evening of April 10 and leaving the afternoon of April 13. I will be focusing like a laser on CJ Mahaney and his enablers. You know, Albert Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, etc. etc.

    I would strongly hope that T4G would remove Mahaney from his plenary session and seminar, but I don’t expect that to happen. That would mean admitting they were wrong, and one thing T4G and the rest of the gospelly crowd doesn’t do is admit they were wrong to support a guy who covered up child sexual abuse and perverted forgiveness.

    I’ll be out there. Others are welcome to join me. See you in Louisville!

  24. Dale wrote:

    Fullerton, Dever, Mahaney, Chandler and all the usual suspects at T4G base their faulty ministries on the abuse of pastoral authority.

    I am convinced that these men are in it for power and money. I am convinced that Dever and Mahaney started their churches for those reasons, and nothing more.

  25. Forrest wrote:

    Then I see how widespread this already is and realise that we may still only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.

    I think this is far less rare than people think, and that affects their judgement when someone comes and says this happened.

    That response from sgc is an example of what we will likely see, they can’t go after Rachel viciously but they will just continue to say she is ‘mistaken’.

  26. @ Thersites:
    Recently, In my neck of the woods an 80 year old priest was tracked down and charged from years ago. It’s astonishing how many people here thought that cruel. When it comes to this issue, I am reluctant to trust people. .

  27. It is quite baffling that Larry Nassar’s number of accusers/incidents reached such high a number before coming out. It would certainly be beneficial to understand how this could go on for so long without being exposed. Hopefully society can learn from this so that something like this doesn’t happen again.

    I discussed this with someone (sorry to having to be a little graphic) but it appears that Nassar was able to get away with this for so long due to it being the inappropriate touching vs. had he actually forced actual intercourse on these poor victims. This is not to minimize how bad this was or the sad affect it had on his victims but an analysis.

    I am sure a lot of this was people not wanting to hear, believe and then having to deal with the possibility that this respected physician was molesting young women. You had similar thinking with people when Catholic priests were initially being accused of molesting boys in their church. I am sure that this thinking is what you are also up against with those supporting Mahaney. After all in their view Mahaney is such an eloquent captivating speaker that couldn’t possibly be as bad as what has come out about him. They think there must be some explanation.

    I am glad that Denhollander brought up C.J. Mahaney and how she thinks it sadly would have gone had it been a church she had been exposing.

  28. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that Jonathan Leeman (Editorial Director, 9Marks) wrote an article stating that Andy Savage should be forgiven but not restored to leadership? How closely did C.J. follow the 9 Marks guidelines for how to leave a church?

    Also, Tim Challies is now linking articles about Rachael Denhollander to his A La Carte website yet when the Sovereign Grace Lawsuit came out, he didn’t believe that reading it was a wise investment of his time. Tim has also promoted Carolyn Mahaney’s latest book.

    This does not go unnoticed.

    Juulie Downs, Unfortunately, pastors are not mandated reporters, it varies state to state. (Clergy-Penitent Privilege)

    How incredible is it that of all the churches and Ministries in the USA, Mrs. Denhollander calls out Sovereign Grace Ministries and their 30 year coverup of child sex abuse. God bless her (and all the others) for her bravery and courage.

  29. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    “Even though Jacob Denhollander has asked the Deebs not to divulge the name of their former church, I must say sorry, but I am tired of playing nice with wicked wolves. To again quote Rachael, “The extent that one is willing to speak out against their own community is the bright line test for how much they care and how much they understand.”

    Bingo.

    Now I am confused after reading around. I read your old article on Pastor Ryan of Immanual (there are several churches here by that name) but another church was mentioned in the CT article.

    “Today, Denhollander and her husband, Jacob, are members of Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville. (Jacob graduated with an MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and he is currently a PhD student in systematic theology there.)”

    http://rbclouisville.com/about-rbc/covenant-responsibilities/

    So were they involved with Immanuel (4th Street) earlier? Looks like an older church taken over, financed by NAMB and a typical Seminary feeder church.

    Denhollander’s Seminary work seems Awkward for Mohler but Al will just pretend it’s not. Of course, SG folks were given seminary jobs when they fled to Louisville and Mohlers protection.

  30. “The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    Good Night! As a former SGM member, I have no hope of these men ever getting this. It’s very sad and frankly unbelievable that these men still refuse to do the right thing and are standing by this ridiculous fantasy that nothing ever happened.

    Quite frankly, I am appalled and heartbroken for the victims yet again.

  31. The other deb wrote:

    “The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    I am extremely perturbed by Prater’s remarks and will be addressing this in Monday’s post. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    How dare they!

  32. Happymom wrote:

    How incredible is it that of all the churches and Ministries in the USA, Mrs. Denhollander calls out Sovereign Grace Ministries and their 30 year coverup of child sex abuse. God bless her (and all the others) for her bravery and courage.

    I have no doubt that this was God’s sovereignty…

  33. Deb wrote:

    “The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    I wonder how Mark Prater can be so sure that this was “never true?” Was he there at SGM/CLC when all this happened? Just shocking someone could say something totally discounting the possibility of at least some truth to what has been alleged. Also what about the Nathaniel Morales incident? Is Prater trying to say that what C.J. Mahaney’s brother in law Grant Layman stated under oath wasn’t true?

  34. Rachel is really showing us what it means to be a powerful woman. God wants more powerful women with the strength to stand up to evil. The Bible translators covered that up when they ignored what the literal Hebrew says and tried to insert the word “virtuous” into the Bible.

    Nope. What God actually said was:

    “A powerful woman is a crown to her husband.” Prov 12:4

    “Who can find a powerful woman? She is far more valuable than previous jewels.” Prov 31:10

    “All the people of my town know you are a powerful woman.” Ruth 3:11

  35. Deb wrote:

    I have no doubt that this was God’s sovereignty…

    This concept seems to apply only when it appears to be in favor of god’s elect pastors 🙁

  36. Deb wrote:

    Irony is right!

    Irony or hypocrisy, or a forked tongue? Can’t have it both ways.

    As Peter Marshall said, for some, truth is a finger in the air to feel which way the wind is blowing.

  37. Steve240 wrote:

    I wonder how Mark Prater can be so sure that this was “never true?

    Prater and his fellow employees of the Sovereign Grace Churches corporation have a vested interest in keeping their listing ship afloat. They will not remain employed if they admitted they have perpetuated a lie. They have doubled down hoping to once again fool most of the people most of the time.

  38. Deb wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Their current church was named but not their former church.

    As someone who was involved in several abusive 9 Marks churches, I encourage Jacob and Rachael to beware of authoritarianism in their current church. It, too, is associated with 9 Marks.

  39. The other deb wrote:

    “The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    Good Night! As a former SGM member, I have no hope of these men ever getting this. It’s very sad and frankly unbelievable that these men still refuse to do the right thing and are standing by this ridiculous fantasy that nothing ever happened.

    Quite frankly, I am appalled and heartbroken for the victims yet again.

    Dear Mark Prater: It’s not mischaracterizing to say that Rachael Denhollander was asked to leave her church because the pastor is a CJ fanboi and her presence would have made him uncomfortable. It’s not mischaracterizing to point out that CJ Mahaney covered up child abuse while lead pastor at CLC. It’s not mischaracterizing to point out that CJ Mahaney’s teachings found little children apologizing to the people who assaulted them.

    Stop this nonsense, or I might have to come up with a special sign for you. *scowl*

  40. Happymom wrote:

    Also, Tim Challies is now linking articles about Rachael Denhollander to his A La Carte website yet when the Sovereign Grace Lawsuit came out, he didn’t believe that reading it was a wise investment of his time. Tim has also promoted Carolyn Mahaney’s latest book.

    This does not go unnoticed.

    Exactly. I saw this on his website, also.

  41. Steve240 wrote:

    I wonder how Mark Prater can be so sure that this was “never true?”

    His friends told him so. He believes his buddies and never talked to the accusers. “He is such a wise man . . .the type you can go to for wise counsel when you need help.” Right?

  42. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Prater and his fellow employees of the Sovereign Grace Churches corporation have a vested interest in keeping their listing ship afloat. They will not remain employed if they admitted they have perpetuated a lie. They have doubled down hoping to once again fool most of the people most of the time.

    Good points Todd. I did find this article to have a lot of good information in it (someone else previously posted this):

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/should-churches-handle-sexual-abuse-investigations-internal.html

    It expounds on what is called “confirmation bias” where there is a tendency to interpret new information in ways to confirm what you already believe vs. what may be the real truth. This includes the following (with links to studies):

    “The effects of bias can continue beyond our initial evaluations. When another person’s morally questionable behavior benefits us, we trust them more than if it doesn’t, and we are less likely to remember their bad behavior.The effects of bias can continue beyond our initial evaluations. When another person’s morally questionable behavior benefits us, we trust them more than if it doesn’t, and we are less likely to remember their bad behavior.”

    “Research shows that we also extend this favored treatment to members of our in-group and to those close to us. We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. “

  43. I wonder if Mark Prater believes that Gene Emerson (former pastor the Richmond SGM Kingsway Church) was just wanting a massage and was entrapped? As many of you know Gene Emerson was convicted of trying to solicit a prostitute in a police sting. Gene Emerson claimed (according to statements I saw) that he just wanted a massage.

    If Mark Prater is so sure there wasn’t any truth to the allegations in the lawsuit then I am sure he believes Gene Emerson was only after a massage.

  44. Loren Haas wrote:

    Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition … TGC is infamous for supporting and defending Mahaney.

    And why would they do that?!

    “… we are friends with C.J.”

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-we-have-been-silent-about-the-sgm-lawsuit/

    “We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. Given that church leaders are often personally close, this calls into question their ability to be impartial when judging one of their own.”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/should-churches-handle-sexual-abuse-investigations-internal.html

  45. C.J. Mahaney is now a Southern Baptist.

    Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, where Mahaney is pastor, is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, is a staunch supporter of C.J. Mahaney.

    “We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse.”
    (SBC Resolution “On Sexual Abuse Of Children”, Houston, TX – 2013)

    http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/1230/on-sexual-abuse-of-children

  46. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    CJ Mahaney should not be given a place of honor at T4G

    Per the T4G site, he will be speaking on “Criticism: A Pastor’s All-too-Common Companion.” How special.

  47. Jen wrote:

    Just read this article below; the comments under it are interesting, too.

    It makes me hope that some in the SBC are beginning to wake up to what is really going on!

    http://sbcvoices.com/the-church-needs-more-and-fewer-rachael-denhollanders/

    I hope that this does bring attention to the terrible track record of response to abuse in the church. I hope that it will force the TGC guys to distance themselves from Mahaney instead of promoting him and featuring him as a speaker. But that won’t be enough for me. Hearing Al Mohler’s joke and chuckle about CJ at the previous T4G was chilling. It was like seeing behind the curtain and told me all that I need to know about him. It’s all about power.

    I am so impressed by the Denhollanders. They have spoken their truth even when there was a lot to lose by doing so.

  48. Max wrote:

    questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse

    The big problem is they don’t define terms such as abuse or questionable practices. All they have to do is come up with definitions that deny the truth – plausible deniability. For example, the resolution gives them an out if they claim the victim was a willing participant. Without defining terms such as “abuse” or “questionable practices” the resolution is pretty meaningless.

  49. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Per the T4G site, he will be speaking on “Criticism: A Pastor’s All-too-Common Companion.” How special.

    Like he would know. He’s run away from criticism for years. I expect that none of the principals of T4G will come out to talk to me, just as happened with Mark Driscoll. They’re much too exalted to talk to a fat, middle-aged woman with a sign.

  50. Jen wrote:

    Just read this article below; the comments under it are interesting, too.
    It makes me hope that some in the SBC are beginning to wake up to what is really going on!
    http://sbcvoices.com/the-church-needs-more-and-fewer-rachael-denhollanders/

    I finally had time to read the article in full. Do you honestly agree wth this?

    Dave Miller writes:

    “She has chosen grace instead of bitterness.

    It is difficult to counsel a person who has been abused to seek grace rather than vengeance or bitterness. I remember a discussion on this blog in which I was told that abused women were not required to follow the biblical injunctions to forgive those who sinned against them – as if it was an exception clause. As you watch her speak, you see her relentless strength but get no sense of a bitter heart – in spite of was the doctor did to her or how her church mistreated her. She has chosen to live in God’s grace. All of us have been sinned against, though few as egregiously as she has been.

    But she seems to have found the way of God through that. Instead of becoming mired in hate and vindictiveness, she has prospered because she chose to obey God.

    Folks, think about it. In her victim-impact statement, she hoped that the man who sexually molested her as a teenager would repent and find the grace of God. She told the man who put her through hell how to get to heaven! She returned good for evil, grace for sin. She loved her enemy and prayed for the one who persecuted her – all that “Jesus-stuff” we tend to ignore.”

    Because I am “graceless” to serial and perpetual evil, I found that more than problematic. Especially with newer victims. This is what advocates are for, to take the slings, arrows and sick teaching of pompous pastors and protect victims from dealing with all the hate and nonsense.

    The irony of it all is that IF Nasser ever really felt the consequence of of actions due to being Born Again, he most likely could not live with the guilt and horror.

    Sometimes people are just flat out evil and have no conscience yet look like productive citizens. I suspect Rachel’s beliefs of are of all us being born “totally depraved” and unable have a lot to do with her response. And she has every right to her speech and Christian doctrinal beliefs and I will support that right even when I disagree.

    It’s also instructive to see how an SBC Pastor used it. Evidently Dave has praise for victims who are not only politically correct (not SGM’s) but doctrinally correct—like him. He even trotted out the B word —evidently a problem for him when one of his members has been raped or molested.

    God please save victims from going to these pastors, please, and send them wise advocates!

  51. Juulie Downs wrote:

    Churches are legally required to NOT handle these concerns internally. Pastors are mandatory reporters, and must not decide whether or not the alleged abuse happened before reporting the allegations to the authorities.

    I wish this statement were accurate, but it isn’t. There is no federal standard on clery mandatory reporting. The question of clergy as mandatory reporters has been a state-by-state issue. And frankly, the patchwork of different state statutes makes it a mess.

    (1) Some states allow clergy to have “penitent privilege” (keep confidential what a parishioner discloses to them), limited to pastoral communications.

    (2) Some states deny penitent privilege in cases of suspected child abuse/neglect.

    (3) Some states don’t address penitent privilege at all.

    On top of that, there are three different categories of states:

    (A) Where clergy ARE listed among those who are mandatory reporters of abuse/neglect.

    (B) Where clergy ARE NOT listed as “clergy mandatory reporters” but may be included in a category where “any person” suspecting child abuse/neglect is required to report.

    (C) Neither clergy nor “any person” are listed as mandatory reporters.

    Confusing? It is a mess. And sometimes church staff will try to use “penitent privilege” as a legal excuse for not following through with a moral and theological imperative to protect children.

    The following link goes to a PDF booklet from Child Welfare Gateway. It’s a good source for background information on the state-by-state situation PLUS a very helpful chart on page 3 that lays out all these categories and shows which states have what combination. The information is from 2015, but I haven’t found an updated chart as yet.

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/clergymandated.pdf

  52. @ Juulie Downs:

    Child Welfare Gateway gives the option of accessing a page that lists state-by-state laws solely on clergy as mandatory reporters of known/suspected sexual abuse. To get to that page, click:

    * Section #1 – SELECT A STATE – click the All States option.

    * Section #2 – SELECT A TOPIC – click checkbox for Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect.

    * Section #3 – BEING YOUR SEARCH – GO!

    The results will show each state’s legal statues citation, whether or not there is clergy mandatory reporting law, and details on any clergy/congregant confidentiality. (Copy-and-paste the line with the law code numbers and state into your search engine to locate the full text of the law.)

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/state/

  53. Thersites wrote:

    I wonder if Mahaney, et al will squirm at being directly compared to Nassar.

    Likewise, do you reckon Mohler et al. at T4G will squirm over being once again linked to Mahaney:

    “After several families in Mahaney’s former church joined in a 2012 lawsuit alleging collusion to cover up reports of sexual abuse, Mohler and two others vouched for their friend and co-founder of Together for the Gospel — a biennial meeting popular with young Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention — in a statement posted online that later disappeared without explanation.”

    https://baptistnews.com/article/key-witness-michigan-state-abuse-scandal-alleges-double-standard-evangelical-church/#.WnXb4K6nGpo

  54. Max wrote:

    do you reckon Mohler et al. at T4G will squirm over being once again linked to Mahaney

    Nah. Mohler will probably just laugh it off again as he introduces Mahaney at the upcoming T4G conference in April. The “Fab Four” have a rip-roaring time at Together for the Gospel (aka Together for Calvinism). Mohler’s wife calls the T4G founders “Al’s little playgroup” … that creeps me out!

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/04/15/al-mohler-extolls-cj-mahaney-at-t4g-while-joking-at-the-expense-of-sgm-victims-does-money-play-a-role-in-the-relationship/

  55. As I read this, I kept thinking of Christendom College. At Facebook recently a friend posted about Christendom’s horrible mishandling of a sexual assault case — covering up, denying, blaming the victim. Several More-Catholic-than-Thou folks jumped on the victim-blaming bandwagon. “Why did the victim wait so long to go to the police? How do we know she’s telling the truth? What about the boy — do we want his life ruined?” Sound familiar? It got so bad that the guy who had posted the OP deleted his thread.

    I’ve a good mind to post the link to *this* piece at FB, with a reference to the Christendom situation. But I know these same people would come out of the woodwork with guns blazing. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor, which conjures up images of gunslinging cockroaches.)

    Grrrrrrrrr.

  56. Systems that enable abuse by the few create a toxic environment that poisons the many.

    Bingo.

  57. Forrest wrote:

    I don’t understand (actually I do but I still shake my head at it) why would anybody think that these problems should be addressed first by the church or organisation within which it took pkace? The organisation failed and therefore should be investigated itself, not leading the investigation.

    The fox guarding the chicken coop.

  58. Steve240 wrote:

    “Research shows that we also extend this favored treatment to members of our in-group and to those close to us. We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. “

    Exactly. It’s OK to gore the other guy’s ox, but don’t you dare gore mine.

  59. There is such an incredible momentum of wondrous potential behind this brave and wise woman. For the most part, the secular world gets it. I can’t help but see the tremendous emotional cost of pursuing Nassar’s conviction as mere combat training in boot camp. The real battle, should she choose to pursue it, is taking on the institutional church.

    One possible avenue to consider is the one taken by another brave woman, Leah Remini. One by one, episode by episode, bring out the survivors from each and every denomination, let their stories be heard on national TV, as to the pervasive illegalities and corruption these tax-exempt institutions get away with on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Enough is enough.

  60. Reading all of the links; watching the vids. My head hurts. To see the different situations and sources being connected the way they are to a great big ugly church scandal can mean only one thing…. God is active. It’s mind blowing. Bring it on, Lord! Time to clean house.

  61. Patti wrote:

    Al Mohler’s own comments regarding Rachael. This hypocrisy is incredible.

    It’s called CYA, just in case. If the potato (Mahaney) gets too hot to handle, Mohler will drop him to protect his own potato skin. The Mahaney/SGM spud is red-hot, but not enough heat (yet) for Mohler to get out of the kitchen.

    Are other T4G founders tweeting about Rachael:

    (1) Dever … nope
    (2) Duncan … only a retweet of Justin Taylor’s article
    (3) Mahaney … not a peep

  62. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Without defining terms such as “abuse” or “questionable practices” the resolution is pretty meaningless.

    As I understand, that SBC resolution was heavily edited by the resolutions committee, which was stacked with New Calvinists (of course, most SBC entities are heavily stacked with New Calvinists these days). It was common knowledge at the conference that the resolution had SGM/Mahaney and Mohler in mind, but they were not named.

  63. 1st They attack her for being a woman, indeed, in deed: “She came on to me & all men who cross her path, wanted it, organic, ‘we’, consensual, her past”, etc.

    2nd Gaslighting: her mind, personality, thought process, memory: “She’s crazy.”

    3rd Truth, her voice: “Liar. Gossip. Loud. Outspoken. Wants attention.”

    – 1. Confront, then walk away from, manipulators and blame-throwers. We vote with feet.
    – 2. Record, report.
    – 3. Speak up. Silence is not spiritual.

  64. Max wrote:

    Mohler’s wife calls the T4G founders “Al’s little playgroup” … that creeps me out!

    This gives me the creeps, too!

  65. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:

    “Research shows that we also extend this favored treatment to members of our in-group and to those close to us. We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. “

    Exactly. It’s OK to gore the other guy’s ox, but don’t you dare gore mine.

    I was quoting an article that talks about your internal bias towards someone you think highly of etc.

    My point with this is that with the biases explained in this article it is possible that some of these leaders really think they are being unbiased when they really aren’t. What is that one verse about the heart being “sick” many Calvinists like to quote? If nothing else they have convinced themselves in their own mind that they aren’t being biased. It certainly is convenient to not want to go against the group thought covering for Mahaney and others.

    I am not saying it is right but the tendency for everyone to have confirmation bias and similar biases is something everyone and especially leaders need to be aware of and try and not have.

  66. passerby wrote:

    The real battle, should she choose to pursue it, is taking on the institutional church.

    It’s on everyone who goes by “faithful” or “Christian” to be a part of the solution or the problem.

    “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NASB

  67. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    They will not remain employed if they admitted they have perpetuated a lie.

    Maybe there’s more than one (i.e., Andy Savage) who needs to find other employment. Everyone works for a living, but some may be misplaced. Something for employers to consider.

  68. Deb wrote:

    I have no doubt that this was God’s sovereignty…

    I agree. This is way too much of a coincidence to be anything else.

  69. JYJames wrote:

    It’s on everyone who goes by “faithful” or “Christian” to be a part of the solution or the problem.

    Absolutely right. As I said, there is wondrous potential behind this brave woman. She can’t do it alone, as Ms. Remini surely hasn’t. But the potential is there, should we all see it and take it.

  70. Thank you, Rachael for so clearly communicating this about SGM: “The ultimate reality that I live with is that if my abuser had been Nathaniel Morales instead of Larry Nassar, if my enabler had been [an SGM pastor] instead of [MSU gymnastics coach] Kathie Klages, if the organization I was speaking out against was Sovereign Grace under the leadership of [Mahaney] instead of MSU under the leadership of Lou Anna Simon, I would not only not have evangelical support, I would be actively vilified and lied about by every single evangelical leader out there. The only reason I am able to have the support of these leaders now is because I am speaking out against an organization not within their community. Had I been so unfortunate so as to have been victimized by someone in their community, someone in the Sovereign Grace network, I would not only not have their support, I would be massively shunned. That’s the reality.” TRUTH!

  71. Steve240 wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:

    “Research shows that we also extend this favored treatment to members of our in-group and to those close to us. We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. “

    Exactly. It’s OK to gore the other guy’s ox, but don’t you dare gore mine.

    I was quoting an article that talks about your internal bias towards someone you think highly of etc.

    My point with this is that with the biases explained in this article it is possible that some of these leaders really think they are being unbiased when they really aren’t. What is that one verse about the heart being “sick” many Calvinists like to quote? If nothing else they have convinced themselves in their own mind that they aren’t being biased. It certainly is convenient to not want to go against the group thought covering for Mahaney and others.

    I am not saying it is right but the tendency for everyone to have confirmation bias and similar biases is something everyone and especially leaders need to be aware of and try and not have.

    Agree 100%!!! I was agreeing with you! Sorry if I wasn’t clear. (Should have added the SARC tag…sorry!)

  72. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    “Should Churches Handle Sexual Abuse Allegations Internally?”

    It almost beggars the mind that Zamzow’s question (and wordy article) has no reference to or even a tacit acknowledgement of the fact that:

    Sex Abuse Of Minors In All States Is A Felony ! and if you (generic you) don’t report it to Law Enforcement the possibility exists that you can go down for complicity.

    Does her PhD somehow ‘recuse’ her for not mentioning this fact?

  73. @ Jen:

    “Just read this article below; the comments under it are interesting, too.”

    http://sbcvoices.com/the-church-needs-more-and-fewer-rachael-denhollanders/
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    like this comment:

    “This interview woke me up, and I didn’t even realize I was asleep”

    i hope i’m not off in sensing that many other braindead churchgoers are also coming to, as a result of this amazing moment of someone speaking truth like a scalpel and it actually getting through.

    (it is an amazing moment right now. a perfect storm of the truth [on these greater subjects])

  74. Deb wrote:

    This gives me the creeps, too!

    My wife has held a long-time opinion about the “Fab Four” that I can’t share here. All I can say is that she has had a track record of more accurate discernment than me over the years.

  75. As I understand it, Jacob Denhollander is a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Whew! I hope he doesn’t have a tougher row to hoe now to complete his degree.

  76. The writer did NOT compare Mahaney to Nassar. She compared him to the president of MSU.

    This is a crucial distinction.

  77. Lydia wrote:

    Dave Miller writes:
    “She has chosen grace instead of bitterness

    No. Rachael Denhollander chose justice!

  78. Lydia wrote:

    He even trotted out the B word —evidently a problem for him when one of his members has been raped or molested.

    Yes. This is sickening. It’s like saying don’t come to us if you have been abused or raped by someone in the church unless you are passed being hurt, and bitter. Sickening.

    I wonder if the father of three victims who charged the perp would be reprimanded for being bitter? The judge wasn’t going to charge him. Would the church give him a pass for bitterness, but not the victims themselves?

  79. Max wrote:

    Mohler’s wife calls the T4G founders “Al’s little playgroup” … that creeps me out!

    Yuk!

  80. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Dave Miller writes:
    “She has chosen grace instead of bitterness”

    No. Rachael Denhollander chose justice!

    Indeed! While we certainly don’t want “grace” to be lost in the narrative, we need to remember that Jesus is both Savior and Judge. The grace message has itself been abused in some abuse cases, to the point of protecting the abuser while the cries of the abused go unanswered. Rachael provides a balanced Christian perspective on forgiveness and justice in her interview with Christianity Today:

    “I have found it very interesting, to be honest, that every single Christian publication or speaker that has mentioned my statement has only ever focused on the aspect of forgiveness. Very few, if any of them, have recognized what else came with that statement, which was a swift and intentional pursuit of God’s justice. Both of those are biblical concepts. Both of those represent Christ. We do not do well when we focus on only one of them.”

  81. Max wrote:

    My wife has held a long-time opinion about the “Fab Four” that I can’t share here. All I can say is that she has had a track record of more accurate discernment than me over the years.

    My Bible reading this morning took me through Acts 19. I could not escape the parallels. It was hard for me to read it this morning without it coming out something like this:

    About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning church abuse victims. For a ministry named T4G, a racket, who made shrines of the gospel glitterati, was bringing no little business to the Gospel(TM) Glitterati; these they gathered together with the leaders of similar ministries, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. You see and hear that not only in Louisville, but in almost all of North America, these victims and bloggers have persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that doctrines made with human minds are no doctrines at all. Not only is there danger that this ministry of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the books and teachings of the great Gospel (TM) dignitaries be regarded as worthless and that they whom all of North America and the world worship will even be dethroned from their magnificence.

    When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is CJ of the SBC!” The YRRs were filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the T4G conference. The assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. But a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is CJ of the SBC!” After quieting the crowd, Al Mohler said, “Men of the Gospel(TM) Glitterati, what man is there after all who does not know that T4G is guardian of the temple of the great Gospel(TM) Good-Old Boys which fell down from heaven?”

    I don’t know if I am wrong to think this way, but I could not escape the parallels. Now would be the time for the New-Calvinist movement to do a serious gut check.

  82. Lydia wrote:

    That’s why I gave the link I did. Read through “Covenant responsibilities”.

    “We will both submit to the church’s discipline upon ourselves and lovingly assume our responsibility to participate in the discipline of other members, as taught in Scripture.”

    It is bad enough when there is a church covenant, this gem was third from the top.

  83. Max wrote:

    every single Christian publication or speaker that has mentioned my statement has only ever focused on the aspect of forgiveness. Very few, if any of them, have recognized what else came with that statement, which was a swift and intentional pursuit of God’s justice.

    A person is assaulted by a predator (“Christian”? church member? clergy? community leader? licensed professional? family member?)
    Person, now victim witness, tells their pastor. (Titled pastor answers to: colleagues, ordaining organization, constituency, wife, law enforcement, community.)

    It’s a network that the person now victim witness is dealing with.

    Question: how many pastors in leadership today were told and buried it, silenced the witness, ignored, blamed, covered up? If that pastor “does not remember”, the person/victim/witness certainly does. Is 20 years too long to be held accountable? Not in forensics.

  84. @ Max:
    “Indeed! While we certainly don’t want “grace” to be lost in the narrative, we need to remember that Jesus is both Savior and Judge. “

    It has been interesting to hear secular clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson point this out about Christianity and how we live within this positive tension. To err too much on either side invites evil.

  85. From the post:

    “Regarding the church that Rachael and her husband attended… Dee and I have been asked by Rachael’s husband not to divulge the name of their former church (which we figured out within a few short hours of Rachael’s initial testimony in court). For now we are willing to comply with their request; however, we cannot control what others might say in this forum.”

    Far be it from me to name names, but….

    If I am correct, then what we have here is ‘Little David’ successfully showing that she can stand up to the bear and the lion, and now she seems to be talking about Goliath. Sooo, if indeed as one article has said she and her husband want to go into full time Christian work in their current direction of teaching about Christian World View, then this is an amazing and possibly very successful start.

    That little church where they are in Louisville, however, has what looks like a few red flags about it. Some things on their website, if I got the right church, look a bit, well, odd. Perhaps I got the wrong church. This is going to be interesting to follow.

    She is a very impressive person. Very.

  86. Bridget wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    He even trotted out the B word —evidently a problem for him when one of his members has been raped or molested.
    Yes. This is sickening. It’s like saying don’t come to us if you have been abused or raped by someone in the church unless you are passed being hurt, and bitter. Sickening.
    I wonder if the father of three victims who charged the perp would be reprimanded for being bitter? The judge wasn’t going to charge him. Would the church give him a pass for bitterness, but not the victims themselves?

    It went right through me. They don’t understand the phases victims HOPEFULLY must go through. Add in the prolonged systemic brain gaming sicko abuse and the process can take years. It’s easy for victims to get stuck in a particular phase because they are surrounded by people who who don’t understand. Pastors often fall into that category yet have the title that covers over their ignorance. People are trained to automatically trust them. They don’t want strong independent survivors. They aren’t easy to control.

    The term “bitter” does it every time. Gee, if Dave were sodomized and beaten as an innocent in the wrong place would he have a scintilla of bitterness for a time? I actually know of a mega church pastor who often told victims of DV this same thing about bitterness advocating, cheap grace for the abuse, etc. well, out of town on his own, his car broke down and he was robbed, beat up and left to die on the side of the road. The details were kept from pew sitters but the elders voted to keep him off stage for 6 months because he was very “bitter”.

    Victims are often better off reading Victor Frankl’s, “Mans Search for Meaning” and his Logotherapy.

  87. @ okrapod:
    I once ran into cognitive dissonance headfirst. It took a long time to work it out. If she has support, more power to her! She basically started a domino effect of justice for many by her bravery.

  88. Max wrote:

    As I understand it, Jacob Denhollander is a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Whew! I hope he doesn’t have a tougher row to hoe now to complete his degree.

    Not to mention the SG folks Mohler gave jobs to when CJ’s entourage fled to Mohlers protection.

  89. Lydia wrote:

    She basically started a domino effect of justice for many by her bravery.

    Yes, and she is also very capable and very articulate, very conservative and reformed, and apparently with an impeccable personal life. I say this because a lot of folks are brave but fail to accomplish what they hope to do; she perhaps can get it done. Like Justice Ginsburg said about the current backlash against abuse and harassment, it is about time.

  90. Lydia wrote:

    She basically started a domino effect of justice for many by her bravery.

    I just tried to say something but the filter says I already said it. I did not already say it that I know or that I see here, but maybe it is gremlins or something.

  91. @ okrapod:

    Well, while I was typing it popped up-either the first time I said it or the second? time I said it, or something like that.

    Maybe a nap is what I need about now.

  92. Lydia wrote:

    Victims are often better off reading Victor Frankl’s, “Mans Search for Meaning” and his Logotherapy.

    Thanks for the mention, I hadn’t made the connection before when reading it. Frankl’s word to use for his existential analysis to find the meaning of life is the same root word, logos as often used by another person you also referenced on this thread, Peterson. That it is also foundational to Christianity is applicable.

    On this subject as with many others discussed here on TWW the idea of logos, the bringing things out into the open where they can be discussed and reasoned, is crucial. It is one of the reason we bristle when someone drops in and attempts to silence the discussion in their belief that logos is somehow bad.

  93. L. Lee wrote:

    One thing I noted was that the Christianity Today Editor’s note left out important information about the lawsuit against SGM (like why it was dismissed! – Statute of Limitations, I believe)

    I believe that CT has been strongly influenced by the new Calvinists and are trying to protect their interests. CJ Mahaney is an interest of the Calvinistas.

  94. Raswhiting wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote about a Louisville church leader who seeks to ingratiate himself with CJM. This man is part of the T4G this year.
    https://thouarttheman.org/2016/04/12/ryan-fullerton-immanuel-baptist-church-louisville-supports-cj-mahaney/
    Brent Detwiler has a FB post related to this. The many comments below the post include several with more first hand information about SGM and the cover-up about C.J. Mahaney.
    https://www.facebook.com/brent.detwiler.3/posts/1753257411386144?pnref=story

    That was a well written article by my good friend, Todd.

  95. ishy wrote:

    It’s pretty clear to me that their church was a New Cal/TGC church. Her husband did his PhD at SBTS. There was a link to his dissertation at SBTS, which has suddenly disappeared, about abuse in the church.

    Is there any way you can get me info on this disappearing PhD?

  96. Dale wrote:

    Gymnastics itself lends itself to a culture of abuse just as there is a huge emphasis on authority — do what we say, or you don’t get on the team.”
    Fullerton, Dever, Mahaney, Chandler and all the usual suspects at T4G base their faulty ministries on the abuse of pastoral authority.

    Love this.

  97. Lydia wrote:

    I have not followed this in detail. I read the CT article, looked up the church and saw her husband attended SBTS. Never heard of the church or the leadership but a new crop is coming up. Looks like a takeover of an older small church? It is always a shock when the people you trusted turn out to be the opposite unless you play their way.

    Todd Wilhelm has written about this church.

  98. The other deb wrote:

    “The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    Where did you see this posted?

  99. If that’s bad here, it must be worse elsewhere. A lot of the East Euro and Russian models who get into pornography or callgirls seem to have a history working as gymnasts, ballerinas, and the like. These two seemingly different worlds are more intertwined… and I suspect the abuse starts very early.. and in later career choices, done without even questioning their self-worth.

  100. Steve240 wrote:

    I wonder if Mark Prater believes that Gene Emerson (former pastor the Richmond SGM Kingsway Church) was just wanting a massage and was entrapped? As many of you know Gene Emerson was convicted of trying to solicit a prostitute in a police sting. Gene Emerson claimed (according to statements I saw) that he just wanted a massage.

    Yep -poor guy. Just wanted a heap massage…

  101. Max wrote:

    Loren Haas wrote:
    Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition … TGC is infamous for supporting and defending Mahaney.
    And why would they do that?!
    “… we are friends with C.J.”
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-we-have-been-silent-about-the-sgm-lawsuit/
    “We judge our friends more positively than other people judge them, and we are likelier to excuse unfair behavior by an in-group member than we are to excuse the same behavior committed by someone outside the group. Given that church leaders are often personally close, this calls into question their ability to be impartial when judging one of their own.”
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/should-churches-handle-sexual-abuse-investigations-internal.html

    Everyone should read this comment.

  102. dee wrote:

    The author quoted Owen Strachan on domestic abuse. Strachan supports CJ Mahaney and should NEVER be quoted on issues surrounding abuse.

    Agreed.

    If I understand Christianity Today’s system, the “Speaking Out” section gives opinion pieces. I suppose CT doesn’t annotate opinion pieces, but after having done the article on Rachael Denhollander, the presence of this piece by Jen Zamzow is … curious.

  103. Max wrote:

    As I understand it, Jacob Denhollander is a doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Whew! I hope he doesn’t have a tougher row to hoe now to complete his degree.

    Yes, he is a doctoral student at SBTS and is taking this semester off from classes. He said that the president of the seminary called him personally to express support. I’m wondering about his position within such an environment knowing how political the dissertation process can be for those who are involved.

  104. @ Thersites:
    Yes. Why free speech, even what we don’t like, IS a hill to die on. (I would rather know what they are thinking anyway) Peterson mentions the creation narrative of God “speaking” creation into existence to emphasize its importance to our very being.

  105. Loren Haas wrote:

    Before Denhollander laid into her church for enabling SGM and Mahaney, Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition, praised her for her bravery and “incredible testimony to the grace and justice of Jesus Christ.” TGC is infamous for supporting and defending Mahaney.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/incredible-testimony-former-gymnast-confronts-sexual-abuser-court/

    I had the same reaction when I read Taylor’s post. If you look very closely at it, there’s a note under the video that says: “(At the 25:40, she addressed Nassar directly and powerfully spoke the gospel into his life. But the previous 25 minutes are essential background for her conclusion, and they contains lessons for all of us, inside and outside the church, to prevent and report sexual abuse.)”

    Talk about burying the lede! Everything Denhollander said about SGM is in that “previous 25 minutes”. I honestly can’t believe Taylor thinks these “lessons” are very important. If he did, he would not have missed this opportunity to list some of them, and praise Denhollander for this testimony also.

    No, he and the other T4G folks will give lip service to preventing abuse, but they demonstrate by their words and actions that caring for victims is not a high priority for them… certainly not as high as preserving their churches’ and ministries’ reputation, prevailing in lawsuits, spinning PR in Prater-like fashion, glossing over unflattering accurate testimony of how they have behaved, etc.

  106. @ okrapod:
    You might be interested in reading up on what European women are doing. Look up 120db. Or#120db. It’s named for the decibel of the alarms they must now wear when they go out.

  107. Sorry, to clarify: I’m sure Denhollander didn’t mention SGM in court. The point (as she unpacks in the CT interview) is: She not only took a stand against her abuse at Nasser’s hands, but also against the abuse that happened at SGM. And by praising only her gospel testimony, and not what she said about SGM, Taylor is omitting a huge and important part of the story.

  108. Kari wrote:

    He said that the president of the seminary called him personally to express support.

    That would be Dr. Mohler. I wonder if they talked about SGM/Mahaney?

  109. @ dee:
    We see this play out in darn near every church abuse situation where leaders shelter their own until the bitter end. Highpoint being the most recent example.

  110. @ Kari:
    The seminary is a stick place now. They cannot appear to blog off Denhollander. Yet, they have the Mahaney situation… This is one of those circumstances where I sit back, file my nails, and watch it play out. It should be fascinating. I”ll be sure to take this blog on the ride through this story.

  111. bendeni wrote:

    And by praising only her gospel testimony, and not what she said about SGM, Taylor is omitting a huge and important part of the story.

    They are between a rock and a hard place. Now we get to see how much support Mahaney has. Eventually, someone is going to have to be kicked to the curb. Will it be Mahaney or the Denhollanders?

  112. dee wrote:

    Will it be Mahaney or the Denhollanders?

    How much money do the Denhollanders have with which to make judicious contributions?

  113. As for the phone call with the expression of support. Some expressions of support might be along the lines of ‘we are all in this together, son, and we would not want to alienate ourselves from our (powerful and make-or-break you) friends, now would we, because you have a promising future and we would not want the little woman to ruin that for you. But yes sireee we are all against abuse and we think that this can be handled well. We have our eyes on you and think you have some good opportunities ahead of you, all for the glory of God of course.’

    I am not even hinting that anybody who actually had the power to make or break upcoming young people would do anything like that, of course, but…. And I am certainly not saying that young people would misread some situation and stumble into some ideological dead end of trusting the wrong people due to admiration for those with a similar World View or anything, but… And I am surely not thinking that anybody with real power would think that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar so it would be worth a try… Carrot and stick perhaps?

    I think that people need to pray for the Denhollanders.

  114. @ dee:
    Mohler has been known to play both sides as he did with Penn State and SGM. When has he ever been known to speak in a venue that isn’t scripted and carefully controlled? A place where he has to take unvetted questions? He doesn’t have to explain himself to the pew peasants. He doesn’t care what bloggers say. The trustees protect his position. Most are in awe of him.

  115. Bingo. Read Brent Detwiler’s comments on this blog post:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/01/24/a-reflection-on-sovereign-grace-ministries-in-the-midst-of-a-sea-change-regarding-sexual-abuse/

    @ Raswhiting:
    Raswhiting wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote about a Louisville church leader who seeks to ingratiate himself with CJM. This man is part of the T4G this year.
    https://thouarttheman.org/2016/04/12/ryan-fullerton-immanuel-baptist-church-louisville-supports-cj-mahaney/

    Brent Detwiler has a FB post related to this. The many comments below the post include several with more first hand information about SGM and the cover-up about C.J. Mahaney.
    https://www.facebook.com/brent.detwiler.3/posts/1753257411386144?pnref=story

  116. @ okrapod:
    I was having similar thoughts. Ditto on the prayers. It’s a minefield. Their church is also a member of Founders.org.

  117. It takes a lot for some leaders (sic) to do the right thing. Good to see the timing of this basically invite the conference participants to think (and maybe even pray) long and hard about these issues.

  118. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Mohler’s wife calls the T4G founders “Al’s little playgroup” … that creeps me out!

    CJ’s pervasive fawning and school boy giggling, perhaps?

  119. @ dee:
    They will throw CJ under the bus if pressure continues to amass. Them dropping CJ at this point should be relatively meaningless to us as it is a response to being caught, not actual repentance.

  120. Lydia wrote:

    CJ’s pervasive fawning and school boy giggling, perhaps?

    And of course, words of mutual admiration flow ad nauseam among the Fab Four. Who can forget Mahaney’s comment about Mohler’s library: “I’ve seen his stack of books. If you have a stack of books, I’m saying there’s quite a difference, pretty obvious difference, between your stack and his stack of books. So if you are comforting yourself, ‘I have a stack,’ well you might have a stack, but if we consider the nature and content of your stack as opposed to his stack, well, your stack looks pretty sorry and pathetic.”

    Yep, Al’s little playgroup are a fun bunch of guys. I would rather hang out with a sick cat.

  121. Lydia wrote:

    Mohler has been known to play both sides as he did with Penn State and SGM.

    As he did during the Conservative Resurgence. He worked the non-Calvinist conservative majority to his advantage until he could launch his Calvinist Resurgence.

  122. @ dee:

    The seminary is stuck indeed. Should be a crazy ride. The systemic abuse of the USOC, USAG, and MSU has nothing on the church system that is a “brood of vipers”.

  123. Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Mohler has been known to play both sides as he did with Penn State and SGM.
    As he did during the Conservative Resurgence. He worked the non-Calvinist conservative majority to his advantage until he could launch his Calvinist Resurgence.

    He is still doing it on the biggest radio station here every morning drive time with his Mohler minute on social topics. I turn him off anymore because what he says never jives with what he does on a topic if one is paying attention to that world.. That is how insulated and protected he is.

  124. Kari wrote:

    “He (Jacob Denhollander) is a doctoral student at SBTS and is taking this semester off from classes. He said that the president of the seminary called him personally to express support.

    Part of me wants to believe that Dr. Mohler is just doing the right thing … to support one of his seminary students during this god-awful time of tension for the Denhollanders. Yet, another part of me wonders if the good doctor is using kindness in an attempt to short-circuit any future SGM/Mahaney comments from Rachael. All of Louisville knows about Mohler’s affection for Mahaney.

  125. dee wrote:

    Lisa Belliveau wrote:

    PJ because he will actually talk to the people in the congregation,

    PJ has a history that would cause anyone to pause. We have 2written about that here on this blog. Abusers and those who love them can sometimes appear quote charming.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2017/02/06/covenant-life-church-sure-knows-how-to-pickem-guest-post-by-todd-wilhelm/

    Yes, I am aware of that. It just made me remember how prideful CJ is.

    Recently a friend and I got together and were both shaking our heads Together how CLC could do a worldwide search and still come up with someone connected to a sexual abuse scandal.

  126. A poem for Rachel Denhollander

    Rachel
    An armor of exquisite lace over an iron will
    You rose and rise despite the deeply painful acts perpetuated against you
    Compatriotes took the threads of the vestment you offered to pull themselves out of the mire
    To rediscover their own strength and lifted gaze
    To uncloak l’ennemi
    Past sufferings willed to dismantle and build

  127. Max wrote:

    Part of me wants to believe that ….Yet, another part of me wonders if ….

    Well, I will tell you how i think-not what I think but rather how I think-and how your doctor thinks about stuff. What is the probability of option A and what is the probability of option B, then choose the one with the better probability. Forget how it feels or what you hope for–just probabilities.

    And remember, one of the best predictors in an individual circumstance is that if something happened before it might happen again.

    This approach does not make for a happy approach, nor do I have any bible verses to quote, but it does increase the overall probability of being either right or nearly right.

    Max, please pray for my son. He is on active duty in Iraq and has been temporarily sent somewhere where something happened which he can’t talk about, and cell service is ‘poor’. I am worried about my boy child. Thanks.

  128. @ okrapod:
    Okrapod, my wife and I just prayed for your son. We prayed for protection from harm and evil for your son and his unit, and that you would experience hope and peace as you wait to hear from him.

  129. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I am convinced that Dever and Mahaney started their churches for those reasons, and nothing more.

    Dever didn’t start his church, it existed long before he got there. He puzzles me, but I can only conclude that he has bought too much into this to ever back down from it. I agree he is probably enjoying money/fame, but compared to someone like Robert Morris or cj, he is in a completely different position. Educated. Seemingly smart but clearly not wise. He saddens me the most and comes closest to someone I could have respected and been drawn in by.

  130. Lydia wrote:

    @ Thersites:
    Recently, In my neck of the woods an 80 year old priest was tracked down and charged from years ago. It’s astonishing how many people here thought that cruel. When it comes to this issue, I am reluctant to trust people. .

    There seems to be ‘they got away with it for this long…’ sort of pass being given to people. I can understand limited charges for the very elderly, if anyone were given a short sentence/probation that is probably the only place I could understand. But that’s sentencing. The mere acknowledgement that they are a criminal and did so much harm must help the victims find peace in some small way.

  131. The other deb wrote:

    The Christianity Today article publicly mischaracterizes Sovereign Grace and C.J. based on accusations of which Rachael had no involvement and which are not true and have never been true.” Mark Prater statement

    Was Prater claiming to be involved here? Else how else does he know what is true and what is not?

  132. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    CJ Mahaney should not be given a place of honor at T4G

    Per the T4G site, he will be speaking on “Criticism: A Pastor’s All-too-Common Companion.” How special.

    Wow.

  133. Lydia wrote:

    Because I am “graceless” to serial and perpetual evil, I found that more than problematic. Especially with newer victims

    I think the time factor is very important. Rachel has had time to process. She has acted. She did not just say ‘you’re forgiven’ even after all this time and walk off into the sunset, she brought him down and made sure he could not harm others. She noted both forgiveness and justice as important here, and she didn’t except an ‘im sorry’ and just forget the whole thing. People like Dave focus only on one side of the equation, which is a huge error.

    It’s prettt gross to hear someone who is at a different place in their process of healing pointed to solely as a club to use against other victims who people like Dave might not think have handled it ‘correctly’ according to them.

  134. Max wrote:

    Wait a minute … I thought he wrote a book on humility!

    Classic misdirection, the subject of the first sermon from an NPD pastor was humility. Then everyone equated him with humility.

  135. Lea wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:
    CJ Mahaney should not be given a place of honor at T4G
    Per the T4G site, he will be speaking on “Criticism: A Pastor’s All-too-Common Companion.” How special.
    Wow.

    As it challenges power, autocrats treat criticism like the plague. They (or the chorus they enlist for support) have the added bonus of being able to label in a church setting even legit criticism (which may be better deemed oversight or the Biblical concept of rebuke) as disunity, disloyalty, distrust, or any other of a scores of disses. And of course there’s that whole label of being ‘unChristian’ towards ‘leadership’. Just don’t read Galatians 2 too closely, or relative neophyte Paul withstanding a man with a leadership standing like Peter’s might come off as — gasp — criticism.

  136. Thersites wrote:

    Classic misdirection, the subject of the first sermon from an NPD pastor was humility. Then everyone equated him with humility.

    I predict he will write a book on abuse in the church.

  137. Max wrote:

    Yet, another part of me wonders if the good doctor is using kindness in an attempt to short-circuit any future SGM/Mahaney comments from Rachael.

    Kind of like the mob offering fire insurance for a good price? “I would hate to see anything bad happen to your wonderful establishment.”

  138. Max wrote:

    All of Louisville knows about Mohler’s affection for Mahaney.

    It seems that more than just Louisville knows of his affection. He seems to be part of the “flying monkeys”…

  139. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Dave Miller writes:
    “She has chosen grace instead of bitterness

    No. Rachael Denhollander chose justice!

    Like!!

    I hate and despise the way, in praising Rachel, Dave is getting digs in at other victims. Wrong! So wrong.

  140. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Per the T4G site, he will be speaking on “Criticism: A Pastor’s All-too-Common Companion.” How special.

    Yes, they sure are examples of suffering servants, some may even have to fly coach to the T$G conference, though still at their churches expense. If you run across the transcript afterward be sure to post it here so we can better appreciate Mahaney’s suffering.

  141. Kari wrote:

    He seems to be part of the “flying monkeys”

    Well, the T4G gang do seem to have an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.

  142. @ JDV:

    @JDV

    Luckily, Peter listened to Paul because both men were subject to the Holy Spirit. The actual authority. And Peter got further confirmation from his vision described in Acts. Pray that modern Christians subject themselves to the Spirit of God as well, and many issues can resolve just as quickly. This is not only how the first Jerusalem council was resolved, but all subsequent councils and creeds many of us adhere to this day.

  143. JDV wrote:

    As it challenges power, autocrats treat criticism like the plague.

    Smart people would see criticism as a potential for improvement..although I suppose you would need to want to improve. When you’re perfect as is *cough narcissist cough* no need.

  144. JDV wrote:

    They (or the chorus they enlist for support) have the added bonus of being able to label in a church setting even legit criticism (which may be better deemed oversight or the Biblical concept of rebuke) as disunity, disloyalty, distrust, or any other of a scores of disses. And of course there’s that whole label of being ‘unChristian’ towards ‘leadership’

    Exactly. What patriarchal autocrats won’t accept is that they are members of the church, too. While they may be in a leadership role, they are still subject to correction and rebuke by other members of the church. Autocrats prefer elder-rule church governance and not the more Biblical congregational polity in order to control dissent.

  145. Lydia wrote:

    Because I am “graceless” to serial and perpetual evil, I found that more than problematic.

    The thing is that her former church decided that, essentially, she was bitter about the abuse that she suffered which was fueling her advocacy for the victims of SGM. It was a weapon used against her by the church.

  146. JDV wrote:

    Just don’t read Galatians 2 too closely, or relative neophyte Paul withstanding a man with a leadership standing like Peter’s might come off as — gasp — criticism.

    The thing I like about that story is that Peter didn’t say a word when challenged by Paul. He knew he was wrong and accepted Paul’s rebuke without a rebuttal. They both then went on to fulfill their ministries for Christ. If only we had more 21st century church leaders like that.

  147. elastigirl wrote:

    something’s off, though, with the CT article. it was well-done. i have a hard time believing it was an oversight to leave out clarification on why the case was dismissed. i tend to think it was by design — a powerful person from the outside making some demands.

    Kudos to you elastigirl, for getting it. This rot goes all the way from the bottom to the top. You think well-connected Christianity Today does not have ‘friends’ to protect, just like World?

  148. The comments on the importance of recognizing in-group judgements and Rachel’s wise lesson on ditching the expectation of lightening fast Christian forgiveness while neglecting justice reminded me of something I read regarding victimization ingroup, intergroup, and outgroups relational dynamics.

    For me it can be like an out-of-body experience to look at one’s own trauma in a clinical way. But, when able, it can bring some understanding on what is happening around you to maintain healthy boundaries or help gather the tools one needs for hope.

    To demonstrate the (fill in the blank) group concept, let me add, I, too, reject Dave Miller’s litmus test of the proper (comfortable for him) Christian face to portray despite hellish atrocities against body and personhood. What a low view of God. Rachel has nobly found a way to carry herself. But, you know, it’s not only what the Dave Millers’ of the church world say, its what they don’t. Every. Time. And as the wicked Nas-ter was told, the little girls grew up to be teenagers and the teenagers grew up to be women. And they are FURIOUS. Mad as Hades and/or a force to contend with.

    The Social Psychology of Good and Evil by Arthur Miller Second Edition
    Part IV Group Perspectives on Good and Evil
    Remembering Historical Victimization:
    Potential for Intergroup Conflict Escalation and Conflict Reduction
    Branscombe, Wohl, & Warner
    pgs 382, 383 & 384

    https://books.google.com/books?id=H46XCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA383&lpg=PA383&dq=what+is+a+group+similar+victimized&source=bl&ots=kbznzIckJO&sig=3N8XfDS5cG0xx8CxLTrPTY8kCzU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU7tX3wIrZAhWBzIMKHfNvB5QQ6AEIQDAD#v=onepage&q=what%20is%20a%20group%20similar%20victimized&f=false

  149. truthseeker00 wrote:

    You think well-connected Christianity Today does not have ‘friends’ to protect, just like World?

    It is typical for the trade press regardless of the industry, you don’t go after powerful interests that pay your advertising.

  150. The church is neither authorized nor equipped to investigate charges of sexual abuse. They should be involved as support to victims and their families AFTER the assault has been reported to the authorities. Victims and families have enough trauma to deal with without the church adding to it.

  151. And let’s do away with statutes of limitations and make everyone 18+ a mandatory reporter. It is truly disgusting hearing Christian people debating whether or not they are required by law to report a case of child molestation (speaking from experience).

  152. one of the little people wrote:

    The church is neither authorized nor equipped to investigate charges of sexual abuse.

    Or any abuse. The legal system is bad enough with these cases; victims don’t need the church adding to the bad handling and wrapping it in bad theology.

  153. Attention all Wartburg Watch readers! There is a young woman being domestically abused in my area and I have this feeling that something bad is going to happen tonight. Please pray for her.

  154. Kari wrote:

    The thing is that her former church decided that, essentially, she was bitter about the abuse that she suffered which was fueling her advocacy for the victims of SGM. It was a weapon used against her by the church.

    Is this true? You have knowledge that this was her former churches issue, or is this just your speculation. If they did this they are rotten to the core.

  155. So I have been reading Jacob Denhollander’s paper, which appears to be a defense of Reformed patriarchy from charges that it supports and or leads to abuse. Strikes me as more than a little odd, given the circumstances. Sure hope these guys are not on a ‘valiant crusaders against abuse defend Patriarchal New Calvinism’ sort of mission. Just strikes me as unusual.

    https://www.academia.edu/31085946/SBTS_PhD_-_Atonement_and_abuse.docx

  156. TWW and contributors explore the historical roots and modern trends of religious institutions and movements which inform me today. Though the focus of this OP thread is on Rachel’s wider clarion call for abuse victims advocacy, not only in the realm of sports but now the church, these articles add a backdrop to how church institutions function(& ed).

    Journalist Cristina Copland of L.A. KCET does a good overview in these two historical Lost LA articles of hers: https://www.kcet.org/author/christina-copland
    *The Demise of the Crystal Cathedral: Shattered Dreams Behind the Orange Curtain
    *Funding Fundamentalism in Early-1900s Los Angeles

    and journalist Domingo Ramirez Jr. in the Fort Worth Star- Telegram present day reporting on:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article197580779.html
    Sex outside marriage, drinking, swearing? You can’t work at Kenneth Copeland Ministries

  157. @ Sam Yes. Put feet to prayers and call police or if possible encourage the person to call your local woman’s shelter. Or call your local abuse hotline on behalf of the person you are concerned about and ask for their experienced recommendation and advice.

  158. I’m not sure what’s wrong with Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ requirements? I’m not an adherent by any means, but I consider it laudable. I wouldn’t hold people to this as strongly myself, because I know we are all weak. But there’s nothing with what they’re asking. It’s what any of us must do.

  159. one of the little people wrote:

    And let’s do away with statutes of limitations and make everyone 18+ a mandatory reporter. It is truly disgusting hearing Christian people debating whether or not they are required by law to report a case of child molestation (speaking from experience).

    Yes! That would make a difference.

  160. I just added this section to Rachael Denhollander Speaks Out Against C.J. Mahaney in Interview with Christianity Today – Predictably, Sovereign Grace Condemns Her “False Accusations”

    http://abrentdetwiler.squarespace.com/brentdetwilercom/rachael-denhollander-speaks-out-against-cj-mahaney-in-interv.html

    ##

    People MUST also realize that there are many victims in Covenant Life Church who have not come forward or pressed charges. I’ve talked to some of them.

    And people MUST realize there were numerous victims (and predators) in Fairfax Covenant Church (now called Redeeming Grace Church) across the Potomac River in Virginia. Mahaney was directly involved and covered up multiple crimes in conjunction with Steve Shank, John Loftness, Kenneth Maresco and the local pastors (Mark Mullery, Lou Gallo, David Hinders, Vince Hinders, and Frank Ecelbarger – all defendants in the lawsuit). That includes sex crimes committed by one of the pastor’s sons. Four victims from the church were plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are numerous other victims who have remained silent. I’ve interacted with some of them.

    And people MUST realize that Mahaney and his surrogates have covered up crimes in Sovereign Grace Churches at large. The conspiracy to cover up the sexual abuse of children is NOT confined to Covenant Life Church.

    https://rgcfairfax.org/

    Finally, people MUST recognize that many victims in SGM have been afraid to come forward knowing they will be treated like the victims in the lawsuit and now, like Rachael.

    Read this featured article in Washingtonian, The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch – Inside the rise and fall of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The magazine has a readership of 400,000 people.

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/02/14/the-sex-abuse-scandal-that-devastated-a-suburban-megachurch-sovereign-grace-ministries/

  161. Falar wrote:

    and journalist Domingo Ramirez Jr. in the Fort Worth Star- Telegram present day reporting on:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article197580779.html
    Sex outside marriage, drinking, swearing? You can’t work at Kenneth Copeland Ministries

    There has been a lot of criticism to say the least about Ken Copeland and his lavish lifestyle that he has had for a while using income he gets from contributors tax free.

    “Gambling is not be allowed, according to the new guidelines, nor are lying, fraud, deception or misleading statements.”

    There would be some that would say Ken Copeland himself is guilty of “lying, fraud, deception or misleading
    statements.”

  162. Steve240 wrote:

    Falar wrote:

    and journalist Domingo Ramirez Jr. in the Fort Worth Star- Telegram present day reporting on:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article197580779.html
    Sex outside marriage, drinking, swearing? You can’t work at Kenneth Copeland Ministries

    There has been a lot of criticism to say the least about Ken Copeland and his lavish lifestyle that he has had for a while using income he gets from contributors tax free.

    “Gambling is not be allowed, according to the new guidelines, nor are lying, fraud, deception or misleading statements.”

    There would be some that would say Ken Copeland himself is guilty of “lying, fraud, deception or misleading
    statements.”

    It is the hypocrisy that often goes along with such rules that is one of the main issues that keeps cropping up here. The rules then become for the peons and for show. The leaders should be exemplary.

  163. truthseeker00 wrote:

    Jacob Denhollander’s paper, which appears to be a defense of Reformed patriarchy

    As the news broke on the Denhollanders, I must confess I was disappointed to learn that Jacob is going down that road at Southern seminary. So many of our best and brightest young folks have opted for New Calvinist belief and practice.

  164. Brent Detwiler wrote:

    Finally, people MUST recognize that many victims in SGM have been afraid to come forward knowing they will be treated like the victims in the lawsuit and now, like Rachael.

    I have no doubt that this is true.

  165. Brent Detwiler wrote:

    many victims in SGM have been afraid to come forward knowing they will be treated like the victims in the lawsuit and now, like Rachael

    A religious system which defends leaders who have a theology which creates an atmosphere for potential abuse is just wrong. The church of the living God is not a place were abusers are sheltered amidst the cries of victims. When leadership control and manipulation lead to intimidation and fear, it is not of God.

  166. I think people need to realize that if it weren’t for these blogs, TWW, SGM Survivors, Brent’s website,Thou Art The Man, and the SGM Refuge, (no longer up) these stories would have been silenced! These blogs/websites were/are our only way of telling the church what happened.

    I just re-read Noel’s Story and Taylor’s Story out of Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax, (now Redeeming Grace) God have mercy for what these families, and all others have been put through at the hands of these men.

  167. Happymom wrote:

    I think people need to realize that if it weren’t for these blogs, TWW, SGM Survivors, Brent’s website,Thou Art The Man, and the SGM Refuge, (no longer up) these stories would have been silenced! These blogs/websites were/are our only way of telling the church what happened.

    Agreed. Most denominational publications won’t touch these scandals with a 10-foot pole. Some that do often put their spin on things to protect their own. Church folks must depend on reliable para-church sources for unfiltered truth. You’ve named some of them.

  168. Max wrote:

    As the news broke on the Denhollanders, I must confess I was disappointed to learn that Jacob is going down that road at Southern seminary. So many of our best and brightest young folks have opted for New Calvinist belief and practice.

    His words and tone on Twitter has been quite different, so I can’t help but wonder if all this has changed his mind about some things. I think a few of the patriarchists not associated with SBTS have said some really harsh things about his wife, along with the SGM people, and that can cause someone to rethink their positions.

  169. ishy wrote:

    I can’t help but wonder if all this has changed his mind about some things

    I hope so. He and Rachael have a national platform now to speak into the ails of a patriarchal church system which elevates men beyond Biblical bounds and subordinates women (which in itself is a form of abuse). The harsh words coming from SGM is one thing, but they also need to beware of soothing words coming from reformed corners which would try to silence them as well.

  170. Ken wrote:

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ requirements? I’m not an adherent by any means, but I consider it laudable. I wouldn’t hold people to this as strongly myself, because I know we are all weak. But there’s nothing with what they’re asking. It’s what any of us must do.

    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse. The god ordained payday is analogous to the indulgences that lit the fuse of reformation. Indulgences literally, cash & carnal. My will be done. All god ordained. All tax free. Makes me sick.

  171. Bridget wrote:

    Kari wrote:

    The thing is that her former church decided that, essentially, she was bitter about the abuse that she suffered which was fueling her advocacy for the victims of SGM. It was a weapon used against her by the church.

    Is this true? You have knowledge that this was her former churches issue, or is this just your speculation. If they did this they are rotten to the core.

    Nevermind.

    I see Rachael has discussed this herself in an article I just read.

  172. Jack wrote:

    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse. The god ordained payday is analogous to the indulgences that lit the fuse of reformation. Indulgences literally, cash & carnal. My will be done. All god ordained. All tax free. Makes me sick.

    Me as well. Copeland is a hypocrite with the best of them. Not to mention that his requirements are beyond what scripture states.

  173. Regarding Kenneth Copeland:

    ” and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”
    I Tim 6:5 NIV

    This passage sure sounds like Kenneth Copeland and his “prosperity” message.

  174. @ truthseeker00:
    We have recently witnessed a lot of pro feminism men be accused of sexual abuse and harrassment.Many ignored that back in the 90’s and hurt many victims. It’s all so weird concerning what leads to that thinking about women. Was the pro feminism a cover for misogyny? Back to drawing board to rethink assumptions?

  175. Lydia wrote:

    Was the pro feminism a cover for misogyny

    For some men it might have been a cover to do otherwise in private. Some men may have been abusers and changed along the way. Some may have never abused. Everyone who calls themselves femenists certainly aren’t covering for misogyny, similarly all Christians are not misogynistic just because some men use Christianity as a cover to be just that.

  176. @ Bridget:
    You have made a good argument against group identities and for individual due process. 🙂

    And it “seems” like Jacob Denhollander advocates a position he isn’t really practicing.

    I am finding it all very interesting as I have no answers.

  177. Jack wrote:

    Ken wrote:
    I’m not sure what’s wrong with Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ requirements? I’m not an adherent by any means, but I consider it laudable. I wouldn’t hold people to this as strongly myself, because I know we are all weak. But there’s nothing with what they’re asking. It’s what any of us must do.
    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse. The god ordained payday is analogous to the indulgences that lit the fuse of reformation. Indulgences literally, cash & carnal. My will be done. All god ordained. All tax free. Makes me sick.

    Same here. The same Kenneth Copeland, who, along with Kenneth Hagin, back in the day, claimed that after Jesus died, descended to hell where He was tormented by the demons.
    I remember hearing them preaching this and it was creepy, to say the least. Not to mention that there was no truth in it.
    Nothing but a bunch od egotistical snake oil salesmen who con people to send them money. Nothing moral about either of them.

  178. Lydia wrote:

    You have made a good argument against group identities and for individual due process.

    Yep. It is why I don’t claim to be of any one political party either.

    Lydia wrote:

    And it “seems” like Jacob Denhollander advocates a position he isn’t really practicing.

    Yes. I don’t get that one either.

    I also have a hard time with Brent Detwiler, knowing the authoritarian teaching he advocates and knowing many have been harmed by his teachings.

  179. Max wrote:

    truthseeker00 wrote:

    Jacob Denhollander’s paper, which appears to be a defense of Reformed patriarchy

    As the news broke on the Denhollanders, I must confess I was disappointed to learn that Jacob is going down that road at Southern seminary. So many of our best and brightest young folks have opted for New Calvinist belief and practice.

    Sad indeed. The very evil his wife faced,is mixed in with patriarchal teachings. Hoping he catches on to the trap that lies before him.

  180. Mercy wrote:

    Same here. The same Kenneth Copeland, who, along with Kenneth Hagin, back in the day, claimed that after Jesus died, descended to hell where He was tormented by the demons.

    Sounds like the Ultimate in Penal Substitutionary Atonement.
    AKA the Team Hell Uber Alles take on the Romish “Harrowing of Hell” idea.
    (Except in that original, Jesus’ descent into Hell was to break the gates of Sheol and let the captives free.)

  181. Jack wrote:

    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse.

    And once you get outside the Thomas Kincade-decorated walls of American Christendom, Kenneth Copeland is a JOKE. Another archetype of “Crooked Televangelist” (and is there any other kind?)

  182. Jack wrote:

    The god ordained payday is analogous to the indulgences that lit the fuse of reformation. Indulgences literally, cash & carnal. My will be done. All god ordained. All tax free. Makes me sick.

    When coin in Copeland’s coffer rings…

    “But isn’t that selling Indulgences?
    “No it isn’t, pewpeon. Because We Don’t Call Them Indulgences. Do you understand?”
    “Do you?”

  183. Happymom wrote:

    I think people need to realize that if it weren’t for these blogs, TWW, SGM Survivors, Brent’s website,Thou Art The Man, and the SGM Refuge, (no longer up) these stories would have been silenced! These blogs/websites were/are our only way of telling the church what happened.

    Which is why those blogs/websites are Preached Against as “SAY-TANN-IC Gossip!!!!!”

    And Lead Pastors/Head Apostles FORBID Real True Christians from ever going to them on Pain of Eternal Hell.

  184. Lydia wrote:

    Was the pro feminism a cover for misogyny? Back to drawing board to rethink assumptions?

    Personal anecdote from back in the 70s and 80s was many peers, young men that is, easily adopted a pro-feminist doctrine but held a degraded view of women. Their references to the opposite sex were often not as people, just something to be used. I wonder if part of the acceptance of feminism by those guys was that it was generally coupled with tossing out the old rules and made sex easier with no commitment, that the women on campus went along with it always struck me as contrary to their interests. Interesting that some of what now travels for feminism is sounding neo-puritan.

  185. one of the little people wrote:

    And let’s do away with statutes of limitations and make everyone 18+ a mandatory reporter. It is truly disgusting hearing Christian people debating whether or not they are required by law to report a case of child molestation (speaking from experience).

    Debating (with twirling pens) every jot & tittle of semantics while outside their intellectual salon, people are dying.

  186. Falar wrote:

    @ Sam Yes. Put feet to prayers and call police or if possible encourage the person to call your local woman’s shelter. Or call your local abuse hotline on behalf of the person you are concerned about and ask for their experienced recommendation and advice.

    Remember:
    ALL TOO OFTEN “I’LL PRAY ABOUT IT/I’LL PRAY FOR YOU” IS CHRISTIANESE FOR DOING NOTHING AND GETTING RIGHTEOUS DOUBLEPLUSWARMFEELIES FOR IT!

  187. Sam wrote:

    Attention all Wartburg Watch readers! There is a young woman being domestically abused in my area and I have this feeling that something bad is going to happen tonight. Please pray for her.

    “Pray for her” as in “Do Nothing”, eh, Sam?

    Like the woman who called in on Rich Buhler’s Talk from the Heart (AM radio) in the Eighties. About how a woman she knew who just had a kid went into some sort of “Anorexia by Proxy” and was feeding her infant nothing but water because “he was getting too FAT”. Phone-in related that when she aired her concerns to her church contacts, their response was “Pray about it and Trust The LORD.” Rich Buhler told her in no uncertain terms to call the authorities before the kid starved to death.

    Or the atheist proverb:
    “Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for life. GIVE A MAN RELIGION AND HE’LL STARVE TO DEATH WHILE PRAYING FOR A FISH.”

  188. elastigirl wrote:

    something’s off, though, with the CT article. it was well-done. i have a hard time believing it was an oversight to leave out clarification on why the case was dismissed. i tend to think it was by design — a powerful person from the outside making some demands.

    HUMBLY, of course?
    (chuckle chuckle)

  189. Dee and I have been researching Sovereign Grace Ministries (now Sovereign Grace Churches) for NEARLY A DECADE, and we are perplexed by the Christian leaders who are staunchly defending Mahaney. We want to know WHY???

    “ONE HAND WASHES THE OTHER…”

  190. ishy wrote:

    I think a few of the patriarchists not associated with SBTS have said some really harsh things about his wife, along with the SGM people, and that can cause someone to rethink their positions.

    I haven’t seen that yet. I will keep an eye peeled.

    I have long though that with this comp/patriarchal stuff, for families who are more ‘box checking’ they often don’t see the issues until something happens. So they take longer to get out of it. But I’m still amazed when I see people who clearly get it on abuse but still promote a ‘nicer’ version.

  191. Jack wrote:

    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse.

    Copeland huh? Conman and grifter extraordinaire (cut from the same cloth as Creflo Dollar). It’s because of blogs like this one that human beings are getting their matrix plugs pulled out of their necks and waking up to the smell of coffee. May our tribe increase.

  192. Lea wrote:

    Sidenote, I had no idea Copeland was still around. I would have thought he was off selling insurance or something by now.

    No need for Copeland to sell insurance while people still buy or should I say pay into his con. Also, I am sure by now Copeland is set for life at a certain level of luxury.

  193. Lea wrote:

    I haven’t seen that yet. I will keep an eye peeled.

    I saw a couple, though I am not sure I could find them now. There were a lot of responses to some of his tweets.

    However, there is quite clear evidence in the OP article–they were shunned by their church. I am not certain if they were excommunicated, but their church has made it quite clear that speaking out against abuse within the churches that their church supports is not okay. And they’ve made it clear that their church was not an SGM church, so that pretty much means it was a New Cal church.

    I was reading another discussion elsewhere about patriarchy and the type of men that are attracted to it. They were discussing the “translation” of the ESV 2016 Genesis 3:16 and how it’s translated to be a divine command that men have to rule over women, so New Calvinism must attract men who want to rule.

    However, I think this is a quite good example about what happens when you suddenly find yourself on the other side of a New Cal church leadership who are all also men who want to rule and have made you sign a covenant to let them. Men go into these churches thinking they will have ultimate control over their lives and the lives of those around them and the church would never take that from them unless they had done something really bad to deserve it. But they will and they do, and only for disagreeing with them on an issue that you really believe in. And this issue is publicly supported by their bigwigs in words, but not in deeds. Clearly, it’s not privately supported if you are shunned and excommunicated for trying to address it.

  194. Muff Potter wrote:

    Copeland huh? Conman and grifter extraordinaire (cut from the same cloth as Creflo Dollar).

    One friend of mine asked me out of the blue if I’d ever heard of Creflo Dollar.
    He immediately went on to describe CD from what he’d read as “a RL cartoon of a Crooked Televangelist.”

  195. I think Rachael Denhollander has been shown her future career path — taking on the Nassars in the church.

  196. Lydia wrote:

    @ truthseeker00:
    We have recently witnessed a lot of pro feminism men be accused of sexual abuse and harrassment.Many ignored that back in the 90’s and hurt many victims.

    For The Cause, Comrades.

    It’s all so weird concerning what leads to that thinking about women. Was the pro feminism a cover for misogyny? Back to drawing board to rethink assumptions?

    Pro-feminism as PUA pickup line?

  197. ishy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I think Rachael Denhollander has been shown her future career path — taking on the Nassars in the church.

    I hope she does!

    She is well qualified for the job.

  198. Lea wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Sidenote, I had no idea Copeland was still around. I would have thought he was off selling insurance or something by now.

    He’s still bilking his followers. Warren Throckmorton recently wrote about the expensive jet Copeland bought.

  199. Deb wrote:

    Warren Throckmorton recently wrote about the expensive jet Copeland bought.

    Now I know who you are talking about, last month I saw the headline “Jesus bough this” he was bragging about his new $3million dollar jet.
    ‘do you see this? do you see this? I hope so, you bought it. You and Jesus.’
    Gag

  200. Thersites wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Pro-feminism as PUA pickup line?

    Humans, that includes men, are very adaptable.

    I think the problem I see here is that this, supposedly pro feminism men who are actually still pretty awful, is used as a reason why men should be burly anti feminist manly men. That’s not the answer either.

    The actual answer is to respect each other, men and women, as people. Whatever label you want to throw around, respect is the real deal.

  201. Lea wrote:

    The actual answer is to respect each other, men and women, as people. Whatever label you want to throw around, respect is the real deal.

    Yes.

  202. Lea wrote:

    The comments on that are genius. Aren’t dolphins also pretty rapey?

    Thanks for the hint, there are some very good comments mocking Piper’s post but the ones from Piper groupies also rank right up there only because of their dopeyness.

    I especially liked “You’re really going to tweet this nonsense RIGHT after insisting women aren’t smart enough to teach seminary??”

  203. @ Beakerj:
    If John Piper was Aquaman, wouldn’t the League of Justice do some kind of an intervention and take away his access to the internet? Seriously, where are his friends? Why do they let him continue pumping out so much nonsense? Is it to keep the attention off of their shenanigans? Are they using him as a useful idiot?

  204. Rachael Denhollander’s victim statement ought to rank as one of the top 3 speeches in contemporary history, alongside the likes of Martin Luther King (“I have a dream…), and Winston Churchill (… we will never surrender!)

    Maybe she should speak in place of CJ Mahoney at T4G on the subject of a biblical understanding and application of repentance and forgiveness…. oh, of course, she can’t….she’s a woman, mistaken, bitter, and only in it for the money and fame!

  205. @ Gary Boswell:
    Agree. She is also following in the steps of Esther “For such a time as this “. Deborah , leading the troops into battle and much more recently Rosa Parks, who quietly and prayerfully started a movement that resulted in huge change.

  206. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I think Rachael Denhollander has been shown her future career path — taking on the Nassars in the church.

    According to Jacob (tweet 1-19-2018), she wants nothing more than to be mommy.

  207. ! Well this talk I am posting shattered my idea of a Bible Belt epicenter ! TWW doesn’t do politics per se but it covers so much more than the episode info descriptive eludes to. The podcast expands on the articles I posted earlier in this thread regarding exploring Christian trends to inform us today. Christian trends being secondary, as I understand it, to the DEEBS mission on this blog that compelled them to provide a space for people to unshroud abuse and over reaching authoritarianism in religious organizations.

    Christina Copland – History PhD Candidate at the University of Southern California; British observer of all things American from her Twitter account

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/patrick-wyman/history-matters/e/50057114

  208. Wow @Gary Boswell and @Leslie. I really feel your sweet heartfelt support of Rachel in your loving comments and magnanimity to Rachel’s victim impact statement. I second your Amen. I hope the women that followed her and spoke feel the same love and can draw on it when they need to.

  209. Max wrote:

    Kari wrote:

    “He (Jacob Denhollander) is a doctoral student at SBTS and is taking this semester off from classes. He said that the president of the seminary called him personally to express support.

    Part of me wants to believe that Dr. Mohler is just doing the right thing … to support one of his seminary students during this god-awful time of tension for the Denhollanders. Yet, another part of me wonders if the good doctor is using kindness in an attempt to short-circuit any future SGM/Mahaney comments from Rachael. All of Louisville knows about Mohler’s affection for Mahaney.

    Very scary thought! I hate watching people flatter *cough* support others as a way to keep them from seeing you as complicit.

    The whole “I’m such a nice guy and a big deal around here and I’m taking the time to invest in/take notice of your work!”

    Lord, protect the Denhollander’s and help them to persevere in their calling to make a difference in the body of Christ in the area of abuse!

  210. Max wrote:

    Happymom wrote:

    I think people need to realize that if it weren’t for these blogs, TWW, SGM Survivors, Brent’s website,Thou Art The Man, and the SGM Refuge, (no longer up) these stories would have been silenced! These blogs/websites were/are our only way of telling the church what happened.

    Agreed. Most denominational publications won’t touch these scandals with a 10-foot pole. Some that do often put their spin on things to protect their own. Church folks must depend on reliable para-church sources for unfiltered truth. You’ve named some of them.

    To name a few more: Julie Anne Smith’s Spiritual Sounding Board, Amy Smith’s watchkeep.

    Boz Tchividjian of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment
    And Ashley Easter.

    There are many more voices that are making an enormous difference.

    Just reading through the comments on these blogs, God is raising up His church of wise people who as gentle as doves but wise as serpents!

    The bloggers have done the hard work for no pay, but you can tell it is a Spirit driven rather than paycheck driven when victims are being protected and abusers and enablers are being called out.

    When you have the guys with the paychecks / big stakeholders saying on their blogs about the SGM/ C.J. scandal :

    ” I think I do well to learn less rather than more. I need to know only enough to understand that I don’t need to know anything more!”

    ” The way each of us thinks through it will depend on the extent to which we are stakeholders, …The farther we are from being stakeholders, the less the likelihood that we are equipped to helpfully evaluate the facts and that we can do anything helpful with the information we learn….the greater the likelihood that we are drawn more to the scandal of it all than any noble purpose.

    …. However, the majority of us are far on the outside with very little at stake. For this reason many of us simply do not need to have an opinion.

    When thousands of pages of documentation appear on web sites, I do not benefit from reading and studying every word.”

    And now we have Rachaels words à la carte from the same guy… God is not blind!!!

  211. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I think a few of the patriarchists not associated with SBTS have said some really harsh things about his wife, along with the SGM people, and that can cause someone to rethink their positions.

    I haven’t seen that yet. I will keep an eye peeled.

    I have long though that with this comp/patriarchal stuff, for families who are more ‘box checking’ they often don’t see the issues until something happens. So they take longer to get out of it. But I’m still amazed when I see people who clearly get it on abuse but still promote a ‘nicer’ version.

    Sometimes it takes a lot to go from one end to make the leap to the other side! Especially when you were trained to view the other side as “liberal femanazis” and warned about them.

    I was a card carrying comp for too long. You would think being a female in a minor leadership role in a very comp church and facing awful backlash from congregation members would have opened my eyes. But, no. I always had an excuse! “It’s not complementarian thinking, it’s just a few extreme families in our church that take it too far!”

    But then you deal with leadership covering up for abuse of more than one woman you love… leaders you trusted covering their own behinds and it starts to poke wholes and help you see maybe the system is flawed.

    Then you meet a bunch of Christian egalitarian who know their bibles well and love Jesus and are not at all the charactures you were warned about and you actually start analyzing this topic from a side you had never tuned into or heard from before and everything changes.

    Actually in my journey there was so much more in the middle of that.

    God really had to take me one step at a time by the hand for so many steps! It took so may joining of dots to see the big picture.

    Let’s keep on praying for them as a couple.

    That will definitely be sought out by patriarchal abusive leadership or enablers of them to promote their teachings.

  212. ___

    “I’ve Got No Strings?”

    hmmm…

    IMHO There are at least twenty known internal cases of sexual abuse since SGC was established as GOB (Gathering Of Believers, later Covenant Life Church) in 1977. Of these statistics, how many of these were reported to the police? Since 1977 this 501(c)3 has had a policy of handling them internally and therefore not reporting these incidences to the proper authorities. The Maryland court case proved this. This leaves/left the victims with the soul responsibility of reporting, and when they did, they invariably received no help from this continually morphing 501(c)3 establishment. They (their families) , in many cases received a form of shunning and strong harassment. Their silence and compliance was therefore initiated and inflamed by various calculated means and resources.

    “I’m personally grateful that Sovereign Grace churches have taken the protection of children and care for victims seriously for many years. All church leaders today should have a heightened awareness of the steps they can take to create safe environments including the reporting of abuse and cooperating with civil authorities to prosecute any abuser. We continue to evaluate how we can grow in these areas.” -October 9, 2014 by Mark Prater
    http://www.sovereigngrace.com/sovereign-grace-blog/post/an-open-letter-to-members-of-sovereign-grace-churches

    What?

    This is a bold face misrepresentation of the truth. The facts say otherwise.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AMIZGrgWOO4

    Christianity Today and others do well to call SGM/SGC into the light of justice, and accountability.

    Mark Prater is a proverbial puppet.

    (watch for the ‘strings’)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iAykOz1gWi4

    Mr. Prater is blowing smoke outa his tailpipe…

    **

    We are not looking for a ‘quick’ fix, but a standing internal policy for mandatorily reporting of said clergy.

    b sêêing U
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QY9oWfkKt6A

    Q. When does the truth stop becoming the truth?

    Ans. When it is continually pounded out of a SGC pulpit.

    Let’s find another 501(c)3 place that is free, huh?

    ATB

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KCtQwXVipqo

    ;~)

    – –

  213. Lea wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    Sidenote, I had no idea Copeland was still around. I would have thought he was off selling insurance or something by now.

    He must be in this 80’s! Seriously!

  214. @ ishy:
    An interesting aspect is they left a Neo Cal church and went to another one, also with a Covenant. Both are SBC, it seems 9 Marks or Founders which are basically interchangeable. So, it seems they either had permission to leave in good standing or were so famous the church did dare do anything.

  215. @ Bridget:

    I hear you about Detweiler. His meticulous documentation sure gave us an inside look into a sick world of groveling men who have the emotional development of middle school boys but with too much time and money. It’s shocking to see first hand how empty and shallow they really are trying to keep their “authority” and control of people in their contrived pecking order.

  216. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    It was announced by the actress wife of a CAA agent that they are now handling the #metoo movement as a brand. So typical.

    I was afraid of something like this happening. Now it will be trendy and marginalized.

  217. Lydia wrote:

    He [Kenneth Copeland] must be in this 80’s! Seriously!

    81, in fact. He was born on 6th December, 1936, according to Wikipedia – by a humorous coincidence, this was 50 years to the day before I first became a Christian.

  218. Lydia wrote:

    men who have the emotional development of middle school boys but with too much time and money. It’s shocking to see first hand how empty and shallow they really are trying to keep their “authority” and control of people in their contrived pecking order.

    This type of impaired leadership can be found in any profession. There were probably lots of those types at the Superbowl yesterday (but nothing pejorative about the game itself). Anyway, it’s unfortunate that the church doesn’t present a different type of leadership. That would be the real Cultural Contrast needed in today’s world. Fortunately, there are individual Good Guys in Christendom who stand out, including TWW commenters.

  219. Gail wrote:

    I hate watching people flatter *cough* support others as a way to keep them from seeing you as complicit.

    “Such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” (Romans 16:18)

  220. Lydia wrote:

    An interesting aspect is they left a Neo Cal church and went to another one, also with a Covenant. Both are SBC, it seems 9 Marks or Founders which are basically interchangeable.

    Good Lord! The Denhollanders need a break from authoritative overlords! New Calvinism is not a place to find peace and rest for women who have been abused. New Calvinism is not a place for an aspiring young preacher to get his training if he wants the Lord to use him.

    As TWW keeps reminding folks over and over, DO NOT sign a church membership covenant! They are designed to benefit only patriarchal church leaders who control and manipulate church members. As a believer, the only covenant you need is the one signed by the blood of Jesus on Calvary.

  221. What I remember about Ken Copeland is that he never preaches the “women are the root of all marriage problems” that infiltrates most Christian sermons and books. In fact, I’ve never heard him pressure women to be submissive or even mention that at all. Ever.

    That’s more than could be said for most well known preachers out there.

    Sometimes it’s refreshing to listen to something Christian that isn’t bashing women like way too many ministers do.

  222. Gail wrote:

    Sometimes it takes a lot to go from one end to make the leap to the other side! Especially when you were trained to view the other side as “liberal femanazis” and warned about them.

    I think that is true. People need time to process things like this. Years, sometimes. And some people will stay where they are, regardless. Maybe they will try to change things from the inside. Will that work? It depends. Let’s hope so.

  223. @ JYJames:
    I would argue the Body of Christ doesn’t have “leaders” but servants. Not even “servant leaders” 2hich was coined on purpose. As someone immersed in Corp leadership training culture for years, it “finally” dawned on me that our concept of institutional leadership doesn’t map to the Body made up of the Holy Priesthood of believer. We keep trying to force this square peg in a round hole and it simply keeps us from the bigger picture or moving on. We don’t have “offices”, we have functions and none are above the others. Translators added “office”. It isn’t there. It could teach us to NEVER look to Christian “leaders” to fix the problems. Might be a good start.

    A girl can dream, right? 🙂

  224. It’s been awhile. But this woman’s fierceness is inspiring. Before my debacle at Countryside I was a survivor. Just a little girl with ponytails accosted in a dark stairwell by a deacon. A deacon who in later years was accused of abuse by his wife. A deacon who was supported while that wife was discounted and mistreated. My grandmother told me to never speak about it and until I was 35 I didn’t. I saw first hand back then the glasses patriarchy. I applaud this young woman for her bravery.

  225. Avid Reader wrote:

    What I remember about Ken Copeland is that he never preaches the “women are the root of all marriage problems” that infiltrates most Christian sermons and books.

    Picking up from here and running off at a slight tangent, one of my earliest experiences of gratuitous heresy-spotting concerned Copeland. I read some book (I can’t remember who the author was) citing one of Copeland’s books as an example of heresy; except that I happened to have read Copeland’s book as well, and I could see that half the citations proving Copeland a heretic were in fact taken completely out of context.

    And therein lies the rub, or at least a rub. I happen to agree that to teach godliness-is-a-means-of-gain is heresy, and I’m certainly not alone in that. But at the end of reading this laddie’s book, I couldn’t help concluding that he and Copeland were as bad as each other.

    I quite like following the exploits of Elon Musk. As far as I’m aware, he has yet to argue that women are the root of all evil. By around this time tomorrow, the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will either have been a triumph, a disaster, or many things in between. But even if it destroys the launch pad (along with Musk’s Tesla Roadster), I don’t think Musk will be blaming the feminists or the homosexuals for it.

  226. Lydia wrote:

    @ JYJames:
    I would argue the Body of Christ doesn’t have “leaders” but servants. Not even “servant leaders” 2hich was coined on purpose. As someone immersed in Corp leadership training culture for years, it “finally” dawned on me that our concept of institutional leadership doesn’t map to the Body made up of the Holy Priesthood of believer. We keep trying to force this square peg in a round hole and it simply keeps us from the bigger picture or moving on. We don’t have “offices”, we have functions and none are above the others. Translators added “office”. It isn’t there. It could teach us to NEVER look to Christian “leaders” to fix the problems. Might be a good start.

    A girl can dream, right?

    I don’t think it was taught as a dream. Man changes things to suit himself.

  227. Lydia wrote:

    Not even “servant leaders” 2hich was coined on purpose. As someone immersed in Corp leadership training culture for years, it “finally” dawned on me that our concept of institutional leadership doesn’t map to the Body made up of the Holy Priesthood of believer.

    I hate hearing ‘servant leader’ used in a church context!

    I also hate hearing people map military leadership with marriage…It doesn’t fit.

  228. @ Lydia:

    If I may follow up on that line of thinking, and in line with many similar comments which include such ideas as ‘translation’ and ‘traditions of man’ and such, and in line with stuff I have mentioned in the past let me say this. The latest catalog from The Great Courses has one by Ehrman, a textual critic who teaches at UNC Chapel Hill, and who seems to be saying in this course what I heard from conservative protestant sources since childhood. The title of the course is “From Jesus to Augustine, a History of Early Christianity” and in which he lectures on the first 300 years of Christian history “to explain its transition from the religion *of* Jesus to a religion *about* Jesus.

    I am of course biased; this is what my own father talked about. None the less if we look at the current research on the historical Jesus and pick up some of what the new perspective on Paul is saying then we cannot ignore the evidence that whatever Christianity looked like at the time of the apostles it is in some aspects quite different from what is going on in some churches at this time. We got to this situation some how, and it started some time and some way, and there is a progression from start to now.

    I have read some of Ehrman’s writings and I know where he is going with this. It is very interesting and very believable stuff.

  229. Nick,

    Unless Elon is in the habit of publicly preaching the Bible, that analogy doesn’t work.

  230. Lydia wrote:

    An interesting aspect is they left a Neo Cal church and went to another one, also with a Covenant. Both are SBC, it seems 9 Marks or Founders which are basically interchangeable.

    I really hope that this young couple finds a different sort of church. Rachel’s voice is so clear in the courtroom… They need to find a church where her voice can be heard.

    Still, getting asked to leave an SGM church is a badge of honor.

  231. JYJames wrote:

    Here’s another point of view: Stop Asking Powerful Women to Fix Bad Men.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-harding-hillary-clinton-harassment_us_5a7491c3e4b01ce33eb25aec?section=us_opinion

    Who’s asking? Simply following the natural progression of events, concluding with the title of this post, it wasn’t a great leap to hope that Rachael D. strikes while the iron is hot, take advantage of her heroic national identity and make the most of it. But seeing how the comments have developed here, namely revealing the troubling detail of her husband’s patriarchal leanings and their loyalty to their current church, I’ve come to see my suggestion as a mute point. As long as they see something salvageable in this man-made system, such a project would be nothing but a futile albeit sensational reality show.

    As for the HuffPo article, despite the faulty assumptions, I honestly gave it a chance until I got to the part giving Hillary Clinton the honored place of our “national mom”.

  232. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    By around this time tomorrow, the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will either have been a triumph, a disaster, or many things in between.

    I am very excited for this as well. I almost won a job in Orlando, and other than the job itself, I was so excited to be able to watch launches live. Oh well, video will have to suffice

  233. @ okrapod:
    He is on my bucket list to read. The historical trajectory of doctrine, practice and structure is what most interests me. And I do subscribe to “of”Jesus not “about” Jesus as it works for my simple mind —but easier to say than consistently practice!

  234. @ Lea:
    I love how Carolyn Custis James describes marriage: Blessed Alliance. Her books are great, btw. She is a scholar.

  235. An interesting article by Rev David Murray of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary on why churches cover up abuse.

    http://headhearthand.org/blog/2018/02/05/why-do-churches-cover-up-sin/

    Mr Murray was one of the ministers singled out for ill treatment by the Free Church of Scotland when they challenged the church’s handling of the Donald Macleod case in 1999. He was a relatively young minister at the time and he left Scotland for PRTS in 2007. This is a brief summary of the events. (The late Rev Iain D Campbell also features) It’s a small world.

    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/theword/foundations/edit9.html

  236. Lea wrote:

    I hate hearing ‘servant leader’ used in a church context!

    I also hate hearing people map military leadership with marriage…It doesn’t fit.

    Agree completely!

  237. Rebecca Lynn wrote:

    It’s been awhile. But this woman’s fierceness is inspiring. Before my debacle at Countryside I was a survivor. Just a little girl with ponytails accosted in a dark stairwell by a deacon. A deacon who in later years was accused of abuse by his wife. A deacon who was supported while that wife was discounted and mistreated. My grandmother told me to never speak about it and until I was 35 I didn’t. I saw first hand back then the glasses patriarchy. I applaud this young woman for her bravery.

    I’m so sorry, Rebecca

  238. @ Ricco:
    Too young to remember but my uncle worked on the first launch and we went down for it. I do remember subsequent launches we went to. All his science influence is one reason age of the earth was never an issue in my Baptist world. He was Baptist, too. Jesus and Science were considered compatible.

  239. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I would be more impressed if a big part of his money had not come from government.

    Something only the guy at “Wait But Why” (and almost nobody else) gets about Elon Musk:
    THE GUY DOES NOT THINK SMALL.
    He’s a throwback to the attitude of the early Sixties’ Space Program — Moon, Mars, “Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Before we threw away the stars to screw in the mud at Woodstock and everything became the PTA scene in Interstellar (Am I Not Edgy?).

    Which is going to attract Big Thinkers with Bold Dreams — The BFS and Mars or wagging-finger lectures to “CONSERVE! CONSERVE! CONSERVE!”

  240. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    By around this time tomorrow, the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will either have been a triumph, a disaster, or many things in between.

    So it’s finally launching.
    (First Tesla to escape velocity…)

    And then his BFB/BFS, two-stage fully-reusable the size of a Saturn V, with a capacity of 40+ crew and passengers on two-three decks (not counting cargo bay) instead of less than half a dozen crammed into a spam can.

  241. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    He [Kenneth Copeland] must be in this 80’s! Seriously!
    81, in fact. He was born on 6th December, 1936, according to Wikipedia – by a humorous coincidence, this was 50 years to the day before I first became a Christian.

    And five years and one day before the Imperial Japanese Navy armed & launched on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines.

  242. Gail wrote:

    Sometimes it takes a lot to go from one end to make the leap to the other side! Especially when you were trained to view the other side as “liberal femanazis” and warned about them.

    “Feminazi” would have a much better fit if limited to a description of Female-Supremacist Lunatic Fringe types.

    I was a card carrying comp for too long. You would think being a female in a minor leadership role in a very comp church and facing awful backlash from congregation members would have opened my eyes. But, no. I always had an excuse! “It’s not complementarian thinking, it’s just a few extreme families in our church that take it too far!”

    “And once ‘the extremists what take it too far’ are Purges, We WILL Achieve True Communism, Comrades!”

  243. Jack wrote:

    Ken wrote:

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ requirements? I’m not an adherent by any means, but I consider it laudable. I wouldn’t hold people to this as strongly myself, because I know we are all weak. But there’s nothing with what they’re asking. It’s what any of us must do.

    Kenneth Copeland is representative of the excess and entitlement that allows for all manners of abuse. The god ordained payday is analogous to the indulgences that lit the fuse of reformation. Indulgences literally, cash & carnal. My will be done. All god ordained. All tax free. Makes me sick.

    That’s a totally different issue though. I’m just talking about his ethical requirements. I have nothing against them. It is right to want people in his ministry to be more upright. It’s what the Apostles handed down and commanded of all who want to be in the church, repeatedly.

    The Prosperity Gospel schtick I dislike, of course, but it’s not my concern at the moment.

  244. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    But even if it destroys the launch pad (along with Musk’s Tesla Roadster), I don’t think Musk will be blaming the feminists or the homosexuals for it.

    Gotta’ agree with ya’ there Nick. The only thing Musk can really be faulted for is building an over-priced and overly-complex pile of plastic junk (roadster), slapping the name of a real genius (Tesla) on it and…

    The father of the type I air-cooled beetle (Ferdinand Porsche), now that guy was the real deal! He swam in the waters of practical reality, seized the future by the tusks, and played a tune that the common man could dance to.

  245. Ken wrote:

    It’s what the Apostles handed down and commanded of all who want to be in the church, repeatedly.

    This no drinking at all thing is very much a Baptist/fundamentalist interpretation of an instruction not to be a drunk, so I would disagree with you on that.

  246. Lowlandseer wrote:

    http://headhearthand.org/blog/2018/02/05/why-do-churches-cover-up-sin/

    This was interesting, in that he mentioned that there can be multiple reasons and does a decent job going over them.

    I want to address these two though:

    Genuine belief in innocence: I just said that men can be sincerely wrong in their judgments and that we shouldn’t immediately condemn them as corrupt if they find a guilty person not guilty. However, this genuine belief in someone’s innocence can sometimes lead to a refusal to fairly consider evidence or even hear the accusers. That is corrupt and wrong.

    Fear of condemning the innocent: This is a genuine and legitimate concern. It’s a huge responsibility to have to come to a judgment of guilt. Some men fear making a mistake here so much that they forget the equally serious error of failing to protect genuine victims.

    In both of these, the focus is on the accused. If you believe they are innocent, you have labeled their accuser guilty themselves. If you ‘fear condemning the innocent’, you should be cognizant that you have done exactly that, if you tell a person that they are lying when they are not.

  247. Gail wrote:

    Are the comments on Piper’s tweets always that hilarious?

    No. Some of his tweets are sick and wrong. He’s a strange little man; for the life of me, I can’t see how the Pied Piper has been able to cast such a spell over the young reformers.

  248. So, according to some folks on twitter, Conlee gave a sermon this weekend saying “Do we have to keep saying we’re sorry?” and “Do I have to clean up the mess before [God] will talk to me? I thought that’s what the cross did; I thought the cross cleaned up the mess…”

    The cross ‘cleans up the mess’, so you don’t have to clean it up. Or keep saying you’re sorry, as if that’s the most terrible thing ever. (I would maintain that if you do it right, and on time, and your actions back up your words, you only have to say it once if at all) Is this the theology they are learning at HP? Because that explains some things.

    Contrast it with Rachael’s deeper understanding.

  249. Avid Reader wrote:

    What I remember about Ken Copeland is that he never preaches the “women are the root of all marriage problems” that infiltrates most Christian sermons and books. In fact, I’ve never heard him pressure women to be submissive or even mention that at all. Ever.

    It’s been a while since listening to him but from what I remember most of what he talks about is prosperity teaching
    Along with appeals for money.

  250. @ Lea:
    Very much Methodist, too, and became the default interpretation leading up to prohibition. One of my favorite Scholars,Katherine Bushnell, was big in the temperance League and a doctor. Ironically, many of the early suffragettes were in the temperance League. Drinking was the opioid crisis of that time. There were makeshift bars set up outside of just about every Factory or workplace. Not condoning the interpretation or response to the problem, just seeking to understand it.

  251. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    We don’t even know the names of the many scientist who went to Sleepy small Orlando in the late 50’s and early 60’s to explore space. They weren’t there to get their name in the paper. They were on a serious mission.

  252. Lea wrote:

    So, according to some folks on twitter, Conlee gave a sermon this weekend saying “Do we have to keep saying we’re sorry?” and “Do I have to clean up the mess before [God] will talk to me? I thought that’s what the cross did; I thought the cross cleaned up the mess…”

    The cross ‘cleans up the mess’, so you don’t have to clean it up. Or keep saying you’re sorry, as if that’s the most terrible thing ever. (I would maintain that if you do it right, and on time, and your actions back up your words, you only have to say it once if at all) Is this the theology they are learning at HP? Because that explains some things.

    Contrast it with Rachael’s deeper understanding.

    Conlee doesn’t get it because he doesn’t understand truth.

  253. Lea wrote:

    This no drinking at all thing is very much a Baptist/fundamentalist interpretation of an instruction not to be a drunk, so I would disagree with you on that.

    Lea wrote:

    They also told them not to smoke, which is not mentioned in scripture anywhere I think.

    I grew up in a religious culture that taught both those things. They based those ideas on two principles i scripture; not on proof texts.

    About alcohol they noted that for some people alcohol is a weakness, and they said that one should not place temptation in front of someone with a weakness causing them to stumble. This was based on Paul’s discussion about meat offered to idols and how the stronger person who knew that an idol was nothing should yield to the weaker person and abstain from meat offered to idols. Similarly the stronger person should yield to the weaker in the matter of beverage alcohol as a matter of general principle.

    About smoking, the issue was how one ought to respect and not damage the body since the body on the one had was made by God and should be respected and neither damaged nor polluted and also since the body was to be presented as a ‘living sacrifice’, a sacrifice which like the ancient Hebrew sacrifices should be as nearly perfect (without spot or blemish) as possible. Again it was a matter of principle, not a matter of a proof text. In this case there was also the issue that people knew that cigarettes were, as they were called, ‘coffin nails’, and one should not ignore that little inconvenient fact. If one had a spouse and children one had a responsibility to take care of one’s health for their sakes if for not other reason.

    People now seem to think that all fundamentalists ever did was proof text. That is incorrect. There was also much talk about the application of biblical principles.

  254. okrapod wrote:

    I grew up in a religious culture that taught both those things.

    I did too, they just didn’t take. (I don’t smoke, but I don’t think its a religious issue per se). I have heard those arguments, just disagree.

    I was mostly replying to Ken’s idea that these restrictions were “commanded of all who want to be in the church, repeatedly” which does not seem accurate.

  255. Lydia wrote:

    Very much Methodist, too

    I was a baby Methodist, before we switched to Baptist.

    Now I’m a Presbyterian and we have wine at bible study.

  256. Lydia wrote:

    I would be more impressed if a big part of his money had not come from government.

    Well, my money currently comes from government. i have to do stuff for it, obviously, but so has SpaceX.

  257. Kari wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    The cross ‘cleans up the mess’, so you don’t have to clean it up.

    It’s like magic.

    This have anything to do with “Uh… It’s All Under The Blood” justifying anything?

  258. For what it’s worth, Kenneth Copeland is at the top of the televangelist Heap, with a net worth of around $760 million.

  259. Max wrote:

    Who can forget Mahaney’s comment about Mohler’s library: “I’ve seen his stack of books. If you have a stack of books, I’m saying there’s quite a difference, pretty obvious difference, between your stack and his stack of books. So if you are comforting yourself, ‘I have a stack,’ well you might have a stack, but if we consider the nature and content of your stack as opposed to his stack, well, your stack looks pretty sorry and pathetic.”

    Sounds like two jocks bragging about the length of their dicks.

    (And when it comes to books instead of Divine Organs, I could probably out-stack them both. Old School SF Litfans are like that — books overflowing everywhere.)

  260. GSD wrote:

    For what it’s worth, Kenneth Copeland is at the top of the televangelist Heap, with a net worth of around $760 million.

    He’s got the biggest stack.

  261. Lea wrote:

    according to some folks on twitter, Conlee gave a sermon this weekend saying “Do we have to keep saying we’re sorry?” and “Do I have to clean up the mess before [God] will talk to me?

    “Do we have to keep saying we’re sorry?” No, but you do have to repent.
    “Do I have to clean up the mess” Yes
    “before [God] will talk to me?” No, but I do question Conlee’s listening skills.

  262. Lea wrote:

    @ Lea:
    They also told them not to smoke, which is not mentioned in scripture anywhere I think.

    It’s generally not a good idea to get addicted to a substance that ends up destroying your health, but they had to Over-Spiritualize it. Another example of Spiritual-vs-Human Dualism.

  263. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s generally not a good idea to get addicted to a substance that ends up destroying your health, but they had to Over-Spiritualize it.

    Sure. And if you friend is an alcoholic and you don’t drink around them, that’s also a nice thing to do. But it doesn’t mean you have to not drink ever. These are individual choices we make.

  264. Lea wrote:

    Sure. And if you friend is an alcoholic and you don’t drink around them, that’s also a nice thing to do. But it doesn’t mean you have to not drink ever. These are individual choices we make.

    Bingo. I’m an old drunk from way back who finally found the palace of wisdom on the road of excess (William Blake).

    Mrs. Muff loves her Merlot with her steaks and she’s quite fond of her Margaritas when we go out to eat at our favorite Mexican joint. I’m not the least bit ‘stumbled’. I think that some fundagelicals play the ‘stumble’ card as a guilt trip to make you (generic you) toe their line whether you need to or not.

  265. Regarding the latest Piper tweet, isn’t dolphin society structured after a matriarchy due to their promiscuity that makes it impossible to determine a dolphin’s daddy? (This same inability for dolphins to tell who their own father is also leads to incest, but let’s not go there, shall we?)

  266. I suspect the reason so many Protestants can’t understand repentance is that they have been taught that God is a corrupt accountant in the sky who “cooks the books”, putting Jesus works in your own ledger, and putting your sin into His ledger. Is it any wonder why so many Protestants think a quick blanket apology and a demand that you forgive them or else burn in hell fixes everything?

  267. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Is it any wonder why so many Protestants think a quick blanket apology and a demand that you forgive them or else burn in hell fixes everything?

    The modern church prefers forgiveness without repentance.

  268. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Is it any wonder why so many Protestants think a quick blanket apology and a demand that you forgive them or else burn in hell fixes everything?

    Is this really much different from the Roman Catholic practice of seeing a priest weekly to confess sins and participating in a Mass, where they think the affects of Christ’s atonement are re-applied?

  269. Lea wrote:

    So, according to some folks on twitter, Conlee gave a sermon this weekend saying “Do we have to keep saying we’re sorry?” and “Do I have to clean up the mess before [God] will talk to me? I thought that’s what the cross did; I thought the cross cleaned up the mess…”

    Saying you are sorry is not repentance. Christians should never presume that God hands out forgiveness to the unrepentant and that He automatically cleans up our mess – it doesn’t work that way. This is a huge misunderstanding in the grace, grace, grace message being preached in the American church. Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it this way: “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.”

    Does God hear the prayers of the unrepentant? “Certainly, the hand of the Lord is not so short that it cannot save, nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

  270. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Regarding the latest Piper tweet, isn’t dolphin society structured after a matriarchy due to their promiscuity that makes it impossible to determine a dolphin’s daddy? (This same inability for dolphins to tell who their own father is also leads to incest, but let’s not go there, shall we?)

    Is there a Dolpin Maury Povich or Dolphin Jerry Springer Show where all the dolphins go to get DNA tests to prove paternity?
    Then lots of angry dolphins start throwing folding chairs around at each other before the Dolphin Bouncer tough guy escorts out the rabble rousers?

  271. Pam Palmer wrote:

    Rachael’s response to SGM’s blog post by Mark Prater 2/2

    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDenhollander/

    Rachael has summarized the concerns many of us have had with SGM and Mahaney for years. SGM’s response to Rachael leaned too heavily on the expired statute of limitations; there is no SOL in the Kingdom of God – there is always a day of reckoning for justice to prevail. This is a spot and blemish in the American church that must be dealt with; it will not go away … Christians across this land will not let it. Mahaney’s appearance at the T4G conference in April will only raise the cry against him, other SGM leaders, and his supporters in the Christian industrial complex who prop him up.

  272. Ken wrote:

    That’s a totally different issue though. I’m just talking about his ethical requirements.

    Not really. The religious are great at telling everyone else how awful they are while flying around in a private jet bought and paid for by their ‘ministry’. Tax free! Meaning on the backs of the rest of us. His ethics stink. It is exactly this attitude of god given entitlement that has given rise to a culture of abuse. Sure it happens in the secular world but they’re not claiming a divine mandate. God is the ultimate force multiplier and the source of much misery. I am very leery of those who claim to speak for him.

  273. Daisy wrote:

    Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Regarding the latest Piper tweet, isn’t dolphin society structured after a matriarchy due to their promiscuity that makes it impossible to determine a dolphin’s daddy? (This same inability for dolphins to tell who their own father is also leads to incest, but let’s not go there, shall we?)

    Is there a Dolpin Maury Povich or Dolphin Jerry Springer Show where all the dolphins go to get DNA tests to prove paternity?

    Then lots of angry dolphins start throwing folding chairs around at each other before the Dolphin Bouncer tough guy escorts out the rabble rousers?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRcfDmkrhAI
    (Jerry Springer or a Celebrity Megachurch? Is there a difference?)

  274. @ Max:
    I don’t think the statute of limitations was brought up. Just that the case was dismissed. Leaving many to believe there was no “there” there. Read Mark Prater’s statement carefully. There is no mention that the case was dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

  275. Leslie wrote:

    I don’t think the statute of limitations was brought up. Just that the case was dismissed. Leaving many to believe there was no “there” there.

    Yes, that is correct. I misread Rachel’s response to SGM. There is indeed sufficient evidence from the SGM survivors that there was indeed a “there.” Civil technicalities should never supersede doing what is right in the Body of Christ.

  276. ___

    SGC PR PROBLEM: “Till The Cows Come Home, Perhaps …”

    (or da ‘chickens’ fly da coop) (1) (1a)

    hmmm…

    “I am deeply concerned with the intentional failure to report sexual assault perpetrated in multiple churches, by multiple elders, at Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), now know as: “Sovereign Grace Churches” (SGC). “ -Rachael Denhollander

    *

    Faithful to their calling, The Wartburg Watch And Watch Keep blogs are ‘concerned’ as well.

    So are it’s exponentially growing world-wide readership(s) as well.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IIFE9DZM-cQ

    Distinguished discerning minds wish to know!

    *

    SGC, the proverbial cat is outa da bag. The very savvy person will want to learn more before they ‘leap’ to your ‘family friendly’ ™ churches…

    OR NOT!

    *
    *

    Today is your day?

    huh?

    Kind Folks, remember, the heavy authoritarian government model SGC is currently utilizing and their neo-Calvinist doctrines are designed to make you suspicious of your own wants and desires, like somehow they are evil! So answering a simple question like: ‘what do I want?’, becomes for the extendedly exposed to this 501(c)3 ‘happiest place on earth’, a laborious chore indeed. Beware!

    (not a sermon, just a thought)

    ATB

    Sòpy

    (1) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yyr3WB7IREs

    (1a) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oUDCbOVmSdU

    back page:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/02/02/rachael-denhollander-the-first-victim-to-report-larry-nassar-goes-after-mahaney-sgm-in-an-interview-with-christianity-today/comment-page-1/#comment-357239

    ;~)

    – –

  277. @ Jack:
    That is why it’s so great church is voluntary. My dream is that people will stop sending them money. They have a choice not to.

  278. @ Daisy:
    True. No different. Repent is horrible translation of metanoia, Imo. Repent has roots in penance which is a different understanding. Off the rails

  279. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Very much Methodist, too

    I was a baby Methodist, before we switched to Baptist.

    Now I’m a Presbyterian and we have wine at bible study.

    There are many strains of Presbyterianism such as the scary OPC. They drink and oppress. 🙂

  280. Lydia wrote:

    scary OPC

    I was trying to remember that one the other day!

    (I’m in the very mainline, woman friendly pcusa.)

  281. Pam Palmer wrote:

    Rachael’s response to SGM’s blog post by Mark Prater 2/2
    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDenhollander/

    Pam: Thank you SO much for pointing us to this. Rachael is an excellent writer and cuts to the chase. Faced with Mahaney’s denials that he ever “covered up” sexual abuse in SGM churches (or indeed even knew it was going on), and faced with Prater’s disgusting “we’re so sympathetic to the abuse you endured, but you’re wrong about sexual abuse at SGM” press release, she gets right to the heart of the issue: (a) Have an independent organization (GRACE) investigate, and (b) Here are 6 specific things SGM did wrong that are backed by evidence. Well done.

    These men can define “covered up” to suit their need to protest their innocence, but the bottom line is: They kept it in-house and didn’t report, they subjected the victims to a horrible process rather than supporting them, and they have never repented of what they did. They cared more about keeping their organization than they did about the victims.

  282. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    scary OPC

    I was trying to remember that one the other day!

    (I’m in the very mainline, woman friendly pcusa.)

    Years ago PCUSA legal counsel showed up to a neighbor (affair with secretary who worked there, too) of my rental property and shot up the place including resident cars, windows of my property with a gun he used for safari in Africa. He shot her four times then killed himself. The Damage Done to property and people was unbelievable. Could not get the blood off the driveway for over a year.

    I tried to sue his estate and even had my lawyer put a claim in with pcusa who basically said, stand in line. All I got out of it were increased insurance premiums. So not a fan. Learned later their Affair was no secret though he was married.

  283. Lydia wrote:

    sue his estate

    Oh, sorry I missed where he shot himself.

    I am not a blind loyalist, no matter what church we’re talking about, but I will take people and churches one at a time. I like mine, if that changes that changes.

  284. @ Lydia:
    Sorry Lydia, but Metanoia has nothing to do with penance, despite the (deliberate?) mistranslation of the Word by the Latin Fathers. Tertullian,on the other hand, got it right when he said…”in Greek, metanoia is not a confession of sins but a change of mind.”

  285. Daisy wrote:

    Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Is it any wonder why so many Protestants think a quick blanket apology and a demand that you forgive them or else burn in hell fixes everything?

    Is this really much different from the Roman Catholic practice of seeing a priest weekly to confess sins and participating in a Mass, where they think the affects of Christ’s atonement are re-applied?

    Sadly, not that different. But a devout Catholic will at least know that unless they confess and do penance with the intent to not commit the sin again, they won’t be forgiven. Protestants, on the other hand, tend to presume they are forgiven with or without confession, repentance or anything of the sort.

    Sadly, today’s modern Catholic penance is usually reduced to saying 10 Hail Mary’s, and you’re given absolution up front, so you can even skip the 10 Hail Mary’s and do them later in Purgatory. Why do the penance now that you can put off for the afterlife?

    In contrast, the ancient church’s view of penance was to give absolution only when penance was complete, and it was only for grave sins (such as sexual immorality, murder, etc.). You could expect years, perhaps decades, of penance that included fasting, giving alms, and sitting in special seating with a dunce hat to make an example of you. Communion was withheld until every last minute of penance was complete. You could only do this once in your life. If you repeated any grave sin, you would be permanently excommunicated.

    Imagine how radically our churches would change if all of us, Protestant, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox, would start excommunicating and demanding long-term proof of repentance before we pronounced absolution! The church as a whole has a sickly view of repentance and has failed to demand proof of people committing grave sins that they have truly turned over a new leaf.

  286. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m not the least bit ‘stumbled’. I think that some fundagelicals play the ‘stumble’ card as a guilt trip to make you (generic you) toe their line whether you need to or not.

    Professional Weaker Brethren…
    “Just like Tyranny of the Most Easily Offended, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  287. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    I suspect the reason so many Protestants can’t understand repentance is that they have been taught that God is a corrupt accountant in the sky who “cooks the books”, putting Jesus works in your own ledger, and putting your sin into His ledger.

    “Uh… It’s all Under the Blood.”
    — Mike Warnke, when Cornerstone exposed him

  288. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

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