PCA’s Orangewood Church, Maitland, Fl, Hires Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE to Investigate 20 Year Old Abuse Charges Against Head Pastor Jeff Jakes

“The abused are all around us, regardless of religion, race, or gender. If the Christian community doesn’t know how to protect children from experienced abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, measure the scope of the abuse, and effectively respond to past or present abuse disclosures, the abused and those who abuse them will slip through the cracks of our ignorance, despite our best intentions.” Boz Tchividjian link

Jeff Jakes

This past week, I was struck again how deeply abuse cuts into the souls of victims, often lingering unresolved for decades. Our readers have heard the pain that Jules Woodson has experienced.

Sadly, there is another women was was abused 20 years ago as a high school student in a youth ministry.. The Daily Mail posted Florida pastor, 52, takes leave when former intern accuses him of emotionally abusing and harassing her 20 years ago

Facebook is often the first place where victims discuss their pain and find support.

The victim (and I believe she is a victim) first discussed her pain in a Facebook post.

The accusations against Orangewood Church pastor Jeff Jakes first arose earlier this week after the alleged victim stated in a Facebook post that she suffered emotional ‘abuse’ at the hands of the holy man in 1998.

Here is a link to Katherine Snyder’s Facebook post.

This is copied from halfway into the post.

Please continue reading at her Facebook page. She continued her thoughts in another post, addressed to the pastors at Orangewood Church. This is very important. She stresses the fact that this was not addressed 20 years ago and so the pain is unresolved. This pastor, like Andy Savage, has gone onto to become a successful Head Pastor at Orangewood.

What happened 20 years ago?

Orangewood Church is a PCA Church and does not appear to be associated with The Gospel Coalition or 9 Marks.

Orangewood Church is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and we adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith as a basis for our Reformed faith.

According to the Daily Mail:

While serving as his intern during a mission trip in Acapulco, Mexico, Snyder said Jakes, then 32, confessed his romantic feelings for her at the hotel they were staying at.

Snyder said after the conversation at the hotel, Jakes ‘sought opportunities to be alone with me and to talk about his feelings, about how I looked, and innuendos of his daydreams of us’ the entire summer.

According to the Orlando Sentinel in Maitland church leader steps aside after former intern’s harassment claim:

It was a mission trip in 1998, but Katherine Snyder, who was 18, said she still remembers standing frozen as her youth minister — a man she admired like a father — confessed his romantic feelings for her.

“I was so confused because I revered him,” Snyder, now 38 and living in Atlanta, told the Orlando Sentinel. “I saw Jeff as the one who could tell me about God.”

She said the conversation took place on a stone porch in a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico, overlooking the ocean. She was an intern to Jeff Jakes, who was 32 at the time, at the Presbyterian Orangewood Church in Maitland. A recent graduate of Orangewood Christian School, she was heading to college in Kentucky that fall.

…“That entire summer he sought opportunities to be alone with me and to talk about his feelings, about how I looked, and innuendos of his daydreams of us,

There have been reports of other inappropriate behavior issues involving Jakes and students.

According to the Daily Mail:

The Orangewood Church in Maitland said they are also investigating separate claims of abuse made by other students against Jakes, but have refused to identify any of the alleged victims.

According to the Orlando Sentinel:

After her Facebook post, Snyder said she was flooded with private messages from others who said they endured abuse — emotional, spiritual and physical — by staff at Orangewood church and school years ago, though none have yet spoken publicly.

Church elder Gary Wilson told church members last Sunday that the church would contract “independent professionals” to help investigate allegations from other former students, of which he said church elders were not aware until Snyder sounded the alarm.

#MeToo stories helped the victim to come forward.

Please note the similarities to Jules Woodson’s story,. It was the stories coming out due to the #MeToo movement that gave her the courage to come forward. According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Snyder said she had tried to simply forget her experience at Orangewood. But last month, after more and more stories of sexual harassment and assault came out through the #MeToo movement, she changed her mind and decided to post on social media.

The church leaders told her that they did not take Jakes’ past behavior into consideration before he was hired as head pastor because he had *repented.*

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Snyder met with church leaders in Atlanta one day before posting on her Facebook page.

During that meeting, Snyder said she asked one of the pastors if Jakes’ past behavior was taken into consideration at the church when he became head pastor in 2003.

“He said, ‘No, not at all, because he has repented,’” she recalled. “It’s not OK for someone who has done those things to lead a church.”

Sadly, the church has admitted that complaints against Jakes were not new to the church leadership!

I still don’t get this! What is wrong with the PCA and other church groups who, time after time, choose to ignore such reports? How could the church leadership hear about this from Jakes and not try to find out what happened to the student? Did they use the Highpoint Church mantra: It was 20 years ago so it doesn’t matter??The lack of emotional maturity in some of these church leaders is appalling. I believe that all of them need to seek a counselor to find out what is missing in their emotional makeup.

According to the Daily Mail:

 Church elder Gary Wilson acknowledged that Snyder’s claims were not new to some in the church’s leadership.

‘Jeff had previously openly shared this difficult time in his and [Snyder’s] life as a way of encouraging them to guard their ministries, families and protect everyone as well as the peace and purity of the church,’ he said. Its unclear what that ‘difficult time’ specifically entails.

Snyder disagrees with this being characterized by church leaders as an *inappropriate emotional relationship.*

Snyder, who now works with abused children, calls this abuse.

He kissed her cheek, caressed her hair and held her hand when others weren’t looking.

“He even boasted to others that I had grown spiritually because of him, as if that excused it,” she said. The persistent messages and emails, Snyder said, continued months into her first year in college at Asbury University. Riddled with guilt, she eventually told her parents that winter.

Jakes addressed his congregation before his sabbatical.

According to the Daily Mail:

‘I am deeply saddened and grieved at the impact that my sinful actions have upon someone who was trusted to my care and the student ministries,’ Jakes said during his sermon last Sunday.

‘I was grieved 20 years ago and I’m grieved today. I’m brokenhearted for the pain I’ve caused my wife, the mar on Christ’s church. I’m truly sorry for any pain that this story may connect to a story of pain and brokenness in your life.’

Churches: Please keep your expressions of sympathy for the perp out of the public eye since it can cause pain to the true victims.

Highpoint Church will continue to be critiqued for their standing ovation for Andy Savage who admitted to an organic sexual escapade with his student when he was an ordained youth pastor. This was inappropriate. According to the author:

That standing ovation has been heard around the world.

This is confusing on a number of levels. First, no one should ever receive a standing ovation when it comes to alleged abuse—unless it’s directed at a victim with the courage to speak out. When it comes to victimization, the victim should always be the center of our attention.

This church had many who lined up to hug Jakes after his announcement. According to the Sentinel:

Dozens of members lined up to hug Jakes and his wife, who sat in the audience as he read his statement.

Expressions of concern and condolences should be done in private, far from the eyes of a watching world which has heard one too many stories of church sex abuse. It is highly likely, given statistics, that a victim of abuse was present in the church that day. How do you think she felt, seeing church members hugging the admitted abuser?

As of today, Jakes is still listed as the lead pastor of Orangewood.

The good news: Orangewood Church quickly responded two days after the Facebook post by  having Jakes take a leave from the pulpit and contacting Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE to investigate,.

There is an inherent bias built into most investigative organizations which are brought in by churches and parachurch ministries to review their responses to to abuse. It is quite simple to understand why. These groups earn money by providing this service. Some earn a lot of money.

Most of these groups get selected to assist with investigations by the church leadership. So, in order to be selected, church groups will most likely hire groups that are predisposed to *believe the leaders.” We have been writing about this bias for years. Here is a link to a more recent article dealing with our concerns as applied to the Sovereign Grace Ministries Churches debacle.

I am convinced that there are very few groups that *investigate* child sex abuse that do not have inherent loyalties and ties to the church or church denomination that they are investigating. It is human nature. We believe that GRACE is the most nonpartisan group out there. We are inclined to trust the results of their inquiry and deliberations above other groups. We also know that they will attempt to reach out to other potential victims in these churches. #MeToo #ChurchToo #JusticeforKatherine

Here are some statements from their website.

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused as children.
  • Child abuse eats away at faith.
  • Child abuse spreads like cancer in the Body of Christ.
  • There are over 60 million child abuse survivors living in the US, and many of them grew up in professing Christian homes and faith communities.

Good choice: Orangewood.

TWW stands with Katherine Snyder and all other victims of abuse within Orangewood Church. We believe her and express our profound sorrow for her 20 years of suffering. We pray for her, as well as all other possible victims, and offer this blog as a place of support for them.

Here is a video of Boz Tchividjian speaking for GRACE.


Comments

PCA’s Orangewood Church, Maitland, Fl, Hires Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE to Investigate 20 Year Old Abuse Charges Against Head Pastor Jeff Jakes — 206 Comments

  1. @ JYJames:
    “The good news: Orangewood Church quickly responded two days after the Facebook post by having Jakes take a leave from the pulpit and contacting Boz Tchividjian’s GRACE to investigate.”

  2. The church has clearly *learned* from politicians: deny the scandal until you can’t any more, then call it old news.

    This is #metoo at its best (that feels like an awful thing to say about situations like this, but I think you all know what I mean). I have very little faith left in the institutional church, and stories like this leave me wondering if it is a net negative in the world.

    Thank you Katherine for your bravery!!

  3. Let’s hope Orangewood doesn’t fire GRACE at the last minute, the way Bob Jones did, just before a clear report can be released.

  4. I know people have faith in Grace to do a good job. I still have to wonder who pays for the inquiry and if that will effect the outcome of the inquiry?

  5. Ken P. wrote:

    the gang at SBC Voices don’t appear to be too thrilled with Dee for calling out JD Greear for his support of CJ Mahaney

    That’s because the gang at SBC Voices idolize J.D. Greear. He is a New Calvinist icon, who is positioned to become the next SBC President at the Southern Baptist annual meeting in June. Thus, they scream “Touch not my anointed, woman!”

  6. Ken P. wrote:

    the gang at SBC Voices don’t appear to be too thrilled with Dee for calling out JD Greear for his support of CJ Mahaney.

    They are a “gang.” Apt description.

    I, for one, could give one rip that the gang is not thrilled with Dee. I am not thrilled with anyone that supports CJ Mahaney.

  7. “‘Jeff had previously openly shared this difficult time in his and [Snyder’s] life as a way of encouraging them to guard their ministries, families and protect everyone as well as the peace and purity of the church,’ he said”

    I’m sure it was all about those teenage jezebels sent by the devil to ruin your marriage and not a story about what a creepy boss/pastor he was.

  8. Lea wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Also? I am so tired of hearing about threats to someone’s ‘ministry’. Nope.

    Try your paycheck.

    It’s all about money….and power…

  9. Really glad they hired Boz. Hope they follow all the way through with it.

    Lea wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Also? I am so tired of hearing about threats to someone’s ‘ministry’. Nope.

    Try your paycheck.

    Yeah, I never buy those arguments that someone’s paid position in ministry is more valuable than someone who is unpaid and volunteers in a homeless shelter. If you want to stay in ministry after destroying lives, get help, then go volunteer away from whatever audience tempts you.

  10. Lea wrote:

    Also? I am so tired of hearing about threats to someone’s ‘ministry’. Nope.

    Seems that some of the people who worry about threats to their ministry simply need to look in a mirror to see the biggest threats.

    Best job for a predatory wolf : shepherding sheep.

  11. @ Ken P.:
    Oooohhhh, church autonomy doesn’t allow SBC higher to interfere with what happens in local churches. Autonomy……yeah, right.
    Autonomy doesn’t stop them from kicking out churches to elect female pastors!

  12. Max wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:

    the gang at SBC Voices don’t appear to be too thrilled with Dee for calling out JD Greear for his support of CJ Mahaney

    That’s because the gang at SBC Voices idolize J.D. Greear. He is a New Calvinist icon, who is positioned to become the next SBC President at the Southern Baptist annual meeting in June. Thus, they scream “Touch not my anointed, woman!”

    They follow and worship, marvelling “Who is like unto The Greer? Who can stand against Him?”
    — paraphrase of Rev 13:4

  13. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Ken P.:
    Oooohhhh, church autonomy doesn’t allow SBC higher to interfere with what happens in local churches. Autonomy……yeah, right.
    Autonomy doesn’t stop them from kicking out churches to elect female pastors!

    Fully autonomous when it’s to their advantage, a single monolithic juggernaut when that’s to their advantage.
    Just like Calvary Chapel.
    Disperse to defend, concentrate to attack.

  14. Most of these groups get selected to assist with investigations by the church leadership. So, in order to be selected, church groups will most likely hire groups that are predisposed to *believe the leaders.”

    Outside of Christianese, this is commonly called “The Fix is In”.

  15. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Autonomy doesn’t stop them from kicking out churches to elect female pastors!

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Fully autonomous when it’s to their advantage, a single monolithic juggernaut when that’s to their advantage.
    Just like Calvary Chapel.

    If the main Calvary Chapel ‘campus’ at Costa Mesa even suspected that a woman got anywhere near a pulpit in an outlying satellite, they’d converge on it like the Empire to the Hoth system.

  16. I have PCA friends who swear up and down that, although this stuff happens in other churches, it never happens in *theirs.* “And if it does, we immediately report it to the authorities.”

    Yeah, right. Consider me unconvinced. The thing about successful coverups is…they’re covered up. The thing about secrecy is…it’s secret. If you think “it can’t happen here,” it probably already has. So, IMHO, no one should get on his/her high horse. Sin is an equal-opportunity affliction.

  17. I sent a reply to SBC voices concerning “autonomy”-this is a red herring. You can hide behind procedural issues and avoid talking about the evangelical churches rancid responses to the victims of sexual abuse. Will the new SBC president protect victims or will he be a part of the club? Did the Evangelical church learn nothing from the Catholic response to clergy abuse? God is not mocked. We are now in the national spotlight.

  18. “I still don’t get this! What is wrong with the PCA and other church groups who, time after time, choose to ignore such reports?”

    This is the whole thing. These groups register with the state, get tax exemptions from them, but too often won’t let the state deal with matters that fall into Caesar’s realm.

    But of course, it’s image. Building fundraisers and pastor salaries don’t pay for themselves. So you get some weighing the negative publicity and the hit to the bottom line rather than concerning thelseves of those they claim are under their pastoral care. That’s the sick part about it — they’re ceded spiritual authority, but how often do they show honest care for them, or choose to act on behalf of a church member rather than shield a buddy pal who may well be worthy of not only rebuke but charges?

  19. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Ken P.:
    Oooohhhh, church autonomy doesn’t allow SBC higher to interfere with what happens in local churches. Autonomy……yeah, right.
    Autonomy doesn’t stop them from kicking out churches to elect female pastors!

    Or taking funding from their budgets to boost their seminaries, mission boards, etc.

  20. I just read all the impressive bios of GRACE board members, then read the “common questions” section – see excerpt below. Wow, so much helpful info. One thing I think it’s safe for this Lutheran to say: the Roman Catholics have unfairly taken the brunt of blame & shame on sexual abuse for a very long time. Boz says in the video, “The Church needs to *lead* on this issue.” Well that means all of us together, and not pretending that any one of our denominations is without blemish or incident, and not pretending any one of us has sufficiently dealt with the issue, the victims or the perpetrators, to this point.

    [EXCERPT]

    3. What can I do to increase the chance that any victims in my church/institution will disclose abuse?

    First, conduct personal safety classes for children in your Sunday School or any other ministry you may have (school, mission board, etc.) and also encourage parents to speak with their children about personal safety.

    Some professionals are opposed to personal safety classes, because they believe the classes put the burden on the child to protect themselves. However, these children have already been led by their perpetrators to believe there is nothing they can do to stop the abuse. A personal safety program may give them a way out. There is some research to support these programs and a great many anecdotes illustrating that some children do make at least a partial disclosure after the abuse. In one Christian church, for example, a 3-year-old victim, who had received personal safety instructions from her mother, subsequently reported being molested by a 12-year-old boy who promptly confessed to the offense and was prosecuted in juvenile court.

    Second, recognize that a child making a disclosure of abuse may do it piecemeal or in a manner that distances him or herself from the abuse.

    For example, a child may approach a teacher after a personal safety class and ask him/her: “If something like that happened to my friend, who should she tell?” The child may have a friend who has been victimized or she may be seeking more information before deciding if she wants to disclose her own abuse. An appropriate response may be to reiterate the importance of telling and then ask the child directly if anything has happened to them. Many children will not disclose unless directly asked. Any suspicious statements should be reported to the authorities.

    Third, periodically give a sermon condemning the sin of sexual abuse.

    Many survivors say they wished, as a child, they could have heard the pastor boldly state that God condemns the sin of incest. Although our pastors are adept at preaching against various heterosexual and homosexual sins, we seldom preach against incest. In giving such a sermon, though, it’s important to make the distinction between sin and being the victim of sin. In the Christian community, many perpetrators convince children having a biological reaction to the abuse that they enjoyed the contact, are equally to blame, and will be condemned by the church if they ever come forward. A 13-year-old victim once told me she had kept the secret of her abuse for eight years because the only thing she knew about sex outside of marriage is that it is sinful. A 7-year-old victim once asked, “Am I still a virgin in God’s eyes?” Because perpetrators compound their sin by making the victims feel responsible, we must consistently give the message that God will holds perpetrators exclusively responsible for their conduct.
    [END EXCERPT]

    MORE HERE:
    http://www.netgrace.org/common-questions/

  21. I wonder how many churches with authoritarian leadership have these kinds of things running around under the surface? I’m most definitely not saying every pastor is going after the teenage girls, but there are a lot of things that could be going on that are at best inappropriate or at worst criminal.

  22. I know, that jumped off the page at me too! It seems like such an obvious tactic once you’ve read it. Yet I can’t think of a single specific reference in a sermon I’ve heard to incest, paedophilia, or even pornography – in spite of its omnipresence in every sphere including pastors’ computers. – @ JYJames:

  23. __

    “No Standing Ovation(s) Or Inappropriate Hugging Allowed, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    What is really scary is that this (then) ordained youth pastor allegedly continued his un-wanted and inappropriate advances (due in part to his church position of authority) on other females at this 501(c)3 church as well.

    Far from infatuation, this is another glaring example of an ‘exempted’ ™ adult 501(c)3 ordained youth pastor who apparently overstepped the bounds of propriety over time with multiple student(s) under his care and tutelage.

    This ‘overstepped the bounds of propriety’ was known to the church leadership. His pastoral approval met with overwhelming success anyway.

    This appears to be another direct and pertinent example of where church leadership blatantly disregards the scriptural qualifications of an elder.

    Let’s see how they worm the way out of this one…

    Loving God and serving Him faithfully?

    Some how (in this instance) I don’t think so…

    (sadface)

    Hundreds of thousands of victims of 501(c)3 church abuse lōōking for a safe harbor?

    Sending out an S.O.S. …

    Sòpy

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

    ;~)

    – –

  24. SallyVee wrote:

    I know, that jumped off the page at me too! It seems like such an obvious tactic once you’ve read it. Yet I can’t think of a single specific reference in a sermon I’ve heard to incest, paedophilia, or even pornography – in spite of its omnipresence in every sphere including pastors’ computers.

    I’ve heard one or two sermons where a pastor condemned porn, but condemning porn does nothing when you don’t explain why objectifying and exploiting humans is wrong. Nor on why we should start trying to see people as people whom are all loved by God. And I did not hear that in those sermons.

  25. Ken P. wrote:

    Somewhat off-topic, but the gang at SBC Voices don’t appear to be too thrilled with Dee for calling out JD Greear for his support of CJ Mahaney.

    http://sbcvoices.com/interview-with-jd-greear-on-running-for-sbc-president/#comment-356291

    Start with this comment and scroll down for a while.

    They don’t hold leaders in the Body of Christ to higher standards. In fact, I will go a step further and say they use faux spiritual arguments to protect creeps. Mahaney was the leader of a “shepherding cult” who protected molesters and taught his pastors that victims were just as sinful as the perps.

    The guys at Voices most likely avoided reading the insider documentation from Detweiler. They blow off the lawsuit because of SoL. That gave Mahaney an air of innocence to them. The guilt for protecting molesters and abuse was spread to the SBC by Dever and Mohler. As respected gurus, it went downhill from there. So, “Mahaney can’t possibly be bad because Mohler and Dever don’t think so”. So they all circled the wagons.

    That is how it works in the SBC.

    In my view, the Body of Christ should have higher standards than the our legal system. I make a big distinction when it comes to the Body. Some would say, unfairly so. That’s ok. I disagree. I also don’t buy into the constant excuse of, “sinners, sin” mantra which might have something to do with it. I know of many decent men who would rather slash their wrists than ever be a party to any of it.

    And I remind people Church is purely voluntary. They may not deserve your money or support because their standards are so low for those who make a living off Jesus. Not looking for perfection. Just basic decency in the Body.

  26. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Every religious heirarchical (denominational) system is suspect for that reason. It is natural to want to protect, maintain and grow the religious entity which often means hiding the bad things and excusing deceiving behavior, “for the greater good” or because “they repented”. It’s a by product of the very system built to promote Christ. It’s uncanny. And dangerous.

  27. All of this is coming out for one reason and one reason only!!!

    Numbers 32:23
    23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.

    I’m glad victims are coming forward, they need to! We need to continue to support them. It’s funny not so long ago my son Billy was abused, not physically by church leaders. However, to this day his name is still slandered, we are still treated as outcasts and liars by those in our former church(those members are a big part of our community as they are pillars). If it happens to us it happens to others.

    Can someone explain to me why these men get to live their lives while staying in key positions in the church while those they harm continue to be wounded by church members they lead? I’m so sick of churches protect these men but then I wonder who the genius’s are who still decide to employ these preditors?

    I don’t get it! Then you have to ask yourself why do people in these churches continue to support them, I mean you can’t be that ignorant. I don’t just blame or look at the church leadership but we also need to address a lot of the members who once they have factual information on a lot of these abuse cases will still support the abusers(they are without excuse)! We also need to start calling out the church as well and i’m wondering why we don’t a lot more? The standing ovation should be more than enough to recognize that the church has a bigger issue than just it’s leadership!!! I believe the congergations bare responsibility. Why? Because if more of them stood for the truth and called out the leadership things would start changing.

    Please, someone tell me i’m wrong? I mean Billy and I are a prime example here of how church leadership and congergation not only supported my son’s rapist but brought him back into the church to be around their children. Dee wrote about it! In addition to this they stood by Ken Ramey’s lie’s and deceit when he downplayed my son’s abuse. He has publically shamed my child and the congergation accepts it and does the same. Where is the justice in that? Where is the right? And at what point do we call out the congergations as well? I’m not saying everyone in the congergation however the majority who know the truth who have been shown truth will support, cheer, and hide behind the leadership.

    If i’m wrong on this I welcome others to correct me.

  28. Sòpwith wrote:

    Hundreds of thousands of victims of 501(c)3 church abuse

    Larry Nassar, one felon, one perp under the guise of his profession, infiltrated hundreds of lives, while an enabling establishment propped him up professionally.

  29. Lydia wrote:

    So, “Mahaney can’t possibly be bad because Mohler and Dever don’t think so”. So they all circled the wagons. That is how it works in the SBC.

    Admitting that Mohler and Dever are wrong about anything would be to commit New Calvinist harikari! To question the great ones would shed doubt on the reformed movement. If their leaders are wrong about Mahaney, are they also wrong about leading the charge to Calvinize the SBC? If Mohler, Dever et al. are wrong, then the YRR mission to alter the gospel message of a once-great soul-winning denomination would be wrong, too (Calvinism = Gospel to them). No, they’ve gone too far with these icons to admit any failings … they have built their theology and their churches around the reformed tenets proclaimed by these New Calvinist elite. If Mohler, Dever, and Mahaney go, they go, too. And, as Mohler says, “Where else are they going to go?!” So, they circle their wagons and continue shooting at a perceived enemy … who is really a friend trying to help them escape from the snare.

  30. JYJames wrote:

    SallyVee wrote:
    periodically give a sermon condemning the sin of sexual abuse.

    Has this ever happened?

    We had a sermon about rape or a abuse a couple months ago. I don’t recall it focusing on incest though.

  31. Good Lord, why does it take 20 years to catch up with these guys?! The average church member in America is such a gullible soul … the average church elder is a yes-man.

  32. Sòpwith wrote:

    Far from infatuation, this is another glaring example of an ‘exempted’ ™ adult 501(c)3 ordained youth pastor who apparently overstepped the bounds of propriety over time with multiple student(s) under his care and tutelage.

    And, Jeff Jakes was married the whole time!

  33. Lydia wrote:

    They don’t hold leaders in the Body of Christ to higher standards. In fact, I will go a step further and say they use faux spiritual arguments to protect creeps.

    It seems they hold them to lower ones.

  34. @ Lydia:
    Also reading those SBC Voices comments…can you imagine Jesus, or Paul for that matter, refusing to speak on something specific and just blaming ‘polity’?

  35. If it is this hard to get justice for sexual abuse, well, people here already know it is infinitely more difficult to get one’s voice heard regarding emotional, spiritual, or financial abuse. I echo with Shauna, why, oh why, does the pastor and church protect the abuser? Why can the abuser slander my name for years, and nothing is done about it, but one email about the truths of the abuser’s abuse, adultery, etc., and I am out? Why is the congregation so scared of the pastor that they all back his decision whether they agree or not? Does not anyone have a backbone out there? Don’t they read the Old Testament, and New, about how God feels about the one who oppresses, lives blatantly in sin, etc.? My only consolation is that He will someday right all things and justice will be done, but some days the pain in my heart is almost unbearable.

  36. The rotten innards of another closed community are broken open. These predators target the vulnerable and use some sort of stick (a job, an education, a gold medal) to keep them in line. The sad thing is that adults in these young people’s lives stay silent because they are invested in the same closed community.
    Even if this church gets it’s act together – I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. Pastors really need an outside agency to determine right from wrong? Meh. Glad it’s not part of my world.

  37. And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots? The church I used to attend sent teams to Jamaica…in February…missions…yeah right.

  38. Maple Lady wrote:

    Why can the abuser slander my name for years, and nothing is done about it, but one email about the truths of the abuser’s abuse, adultery, etc., and I am out?

    I’m so sorry. I want to say something flippant or maybe not so flippant just sadly true about it simply being a woman bad/man good question but it’s born of sadness.

    church should not be like this. Something is very wrong here. People must open their eyes.

  39. Jack wrote:

    And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots?

    To worship the Great God Entertainment … to participate in religious amusements. The inner life of the average 21st century Christian is in serious condition; we must have an entertainment fix.

  40. Jack wrote:

    These predators target the vulnerable

    This is biggest realization I’ve had in the last few years as I’ve learned more about this topic and I think if we could just get people to *understand* this it might flip everything.

    This is why suggestions for what women/children/etc can do to protect themselves, about ways they are supposedly at fault, are wrong. Because it’s not an innocent man swayed by a teenage jezebel or whatever stupid thing they are thinking. It is *predators* looking for someone they know they can easily blame, discredit, etc. In some churches, all that is required is that you be female. Or a child. In others, it is being single, or a ‘bad’ kid (by their standards) or some other thing that makes you ‘other’ enough to be easily discounted.

    If people could understand your point, and see it from the perspective of these people as predators it would make a huge difference.

  41. Max wrote:

    The average church member in America is such a gullible soul … the average church elder is a yes-man.

    “Management is the practice of manipulating people for personal gain. Leadership is the responsibility of inspiring people for the good of the group.” Simon Sinek

  42. Lea wrote:

    some other thing that makes you ‘other’ enough to be easily discounted

    And then the grooming begins. Sandusky famously used his highly acclaimed non-profit guised as “helping” the vulnerable to find his victims. If that isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing what is…?

  43. Lance wrote:

    I sent a reply to SBC voices concerning “autonomy”-this is a red herring. You can hide behind procedural issues and avoid talking about the evangelical churches rancid responses to the victims of sexual abuse. Will the new SBC president protect victims or will he be a part of the club?

    JD Greear is a supporter of CJ Mahaney. That should answer your question.

  44. JDV wrote:

    Building fundraisers and pastor salaries don’t pay for themselves. So you get some weighing the negative publicity and the hit to the bottom line rather than concerning thelseves of those they claim are under their pastoral care.

    Well said.

  45. @ JYJames:
    Every single Gospel Coalition boy has written how they are against sex abuse while at the same time they play kissy face with Mahaney.

  46. Jack wrote:

    And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots? The church I used to attend sent teams to Jamaica…in February…missions…yeah right.

    A vacation by any other name…

  47. Jack wrote:

    And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots? The church I used to attend sent teams to Jamaica…in February…missions…yeah right.

    Don’t Gert me going on this one. What about the church in a beautiful location that gets repainted several times a year by mission minded churches.

  48. ishy wrote:

    SallyVee wrote:

    I know, that jumped off the page at me too! It seems like such an obvious tactic once you’ve read it. Yet I can’t think of a single specific reference in a sermon I’ve heard to incest, paedophilia, or even pornography – in spite of its omnipresence in every sphere including pastors’ computers.

    I’ve heard one or two sermons where a pastor condemned porn, but condemning porn does nothing when you don’t explain why objectifying and exploiting humans is wrong. Nor on why we should start trying to see people as people whom are all loved by God. And I did not hear that in those sermons.

    I believe we had a couple such sermons, delicately phrased, accompanied with talk of the amazing value of women as wives and mothers andnthe necessity of their obedience to their husbands. And I think the pastor did point out the sin of objectifying (although not in those words, because “objectifying” and “exploiting” are too liberal and worldly words). But besides the obvious (wives and mothers and obeying), when abuse (again, not that word bc not in the Bible!) is only condemned in theory and not in fact, the words are empty. Maybe worse than empty because the effect is to redefine them into meaning nothing. Or only meaning “hitting”

  49. Lea wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    These predators target the vulnerable

    This is biggest realization I’ve had in the last few years as I’ve learned more about this topic and I think if we could just get people to *understand* this it might flip everything.

    This is why suggestions for what women/children/etc can do to protect themselves, about ways they are supposedly at fault, are wrong. Because it’s not an innocent man swayed by a teenage jezebel or whatever stupid thing they are thinking. It is *predators* looking for someone they know they can easily blame, discredit, etc. In some churches, all that is required is that you be female. Or a child. In others, it is being single, or a ‘bad’ kid (by their standards) or some other thing that makes you ‘other’ enough to be easily discounted.

    If people could understand your point, and see it from the perspective of these people as predators it would make a huge difference.

    This is so true!! I think education on protecting oneself and children is helpful, but it’s NOT comprehensive.

    I think the readers of the blog are probably familiar with the work of Lundy Bancroft? While focused on domestic abuse, I think his descriptions of the predatory mindset probably extend to other abuse. Barbara Roberts on A Cry for Justice blog has started a series on Don Henessey’s work, also focused on domestic abuse, but again, his concise analysis of the way the abuser selects, grooms and brings the target under his control are absolutely spot-on, in my experience.

    (It is ok to mention another blog here, right? Edit as appropriate if needed, please.)

  50. @ Maple Lady:
    @shauna

    I’m so sorry to hear of your experiences. It is amazingly damaging and hurtful when the church is complicit in the evil.

  51. dee wrote:

    at the same time they play kissy face with

    NPR 1A Interview with Attorney Kathleen McKenna, Employment Law/Management Attorney in NYC, with Proskauer Rose LLP: She said that if they have a relationship already with the accused, they recuse themselves and tell them to seek representation elsewhere so as not to taint the case investigation or give any inkling of collaboration (unlike those who double down and circle the wagons).

    Listener comment, “If men had as much fear of being held accountable as women have about being assaulted, this would be a much better world.” Take out the gender – if predators had fear to the scale of vulnerables, it would be a better world. Problem: for whatever reason, predators can be fearless in their conquests of vulnerables (who may go through life terrified).

  52. JYJames wrote:

    Listener comment, “If men had as much fear of being held accountable as women have about being assaulted, this would be a much better world.”

    Men seem to have more fear about ‘false accusations’ than women have about actually being assaulted, when the actual numbers are massively flipped.

  53. Lea wrote:

    If people could understand your point, and see it from the perspective of these people as predators it would make a huge difference.

    Try thinking like a predator some time.
    Especially the distilled-down fictional type examples: Jurassic Park velociraptor, Kzinti, you name it.
    Hungry? Kill. Eat. Simple.

    Always on the lookout for prey, and only other predators of equal or greater strength are not prey. (In that case, it’s Establish Dominance instead of Kill and Eat.)
    Always on the lookout for WEAK prey; much easier to Kill and Eat. Less of a risk.
    Maybe even using mimicry to appear as one of the prey (or at least harmless) before striking.
    Want. Take. Simple.

  54. ishy wrote:

    I’ve heard one or two sermons where a pastor condemned porn, but condemning porn does nothing when you don’t explain why objectifying and exploiting humans is wrong.

    To most Christians (especially Professional Christians), “pelvic issues” begin and end with the pelvis.

  55. SallyVee wrote:

    I know, that jumped off the page at me too! It seems like such an obvious tactic once you’ve read it. Yet I can’t think of a single specific reference in a sermon I’ve heard to incest, paedophilia, or even pornography – in spite of its omnipresence in every sphere including pastors’ computers. – @ JYJames:

    That’s the reason, SallyVee.
    You always denounce the OTHER guy’s SIN.
    You’re own “peccadillos”? THAT’S MEDDLIN’!

  56. SallyVee wrote:

    I just read all the impressive bios of GRACE board members, then read the “common questions” section – see excerpt below. Wow, so much helpful info. One thing I think it’s safe for this Lutheran to say: the Roman Catholics have unfairly taken the brunt of blame & shame on sexual abuse for a very long time.

    Pastor Pedo righteously points his finger and intones:
    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PRIESTS OVER THERE…”

  57. A vital aspect from the Church’s POV, and one which could change the game if it were emphasized more: the perps are humans with souls too, and require responsible attention and exposure if there is any chance at repentance & forgiveness. By sweeping sexual deviancy & abuse under the rug, and by not prosecuting it fully under civil law, the perps are actually being abused in a sense, along with victims. Child predators themselves will tell you how sick & evil is the nature of their sin, and how powerful is its hold… and even admit there is no stopping them, only preventing further acts via incarceration or public exposure.

    There was a rather famous case 15-20 yrs ago in a Lutheran congregation. The guy was into child porn (both his church & home computers filled with it). Basically got a slap on the wrist with some work release time & fired from church position. Wife divorced him & got full custody. When questioned by detectives he gave MORE info than asked. He openly admitted he was in thrall of something bigger than he could handle, and essentially that he was afraid of his own impulses. Over next months & couple years, he exposed himself several times to young kids… it was a cry for help and for someone to stop him, a way of getting re-arrested for more benign activity than actual touching or assault. The church, as far as I know, only whispered about these things, never imagining that there was more than one of these deviants in their midst.

  58. Lea wrote:

    Maple Lady wrote:
    Why can the abuser slander my name for years, and nothing is done about it, but one email about the truths of the abuser’s abuse, adultery, etc., and I am out?
    I’m so sorry. I want to say something flippant or maybe not so flippant just sadly true about it simply being a woman bad/man good question but it’s born of sadness.
    church should not be like this. Something is very wrong here. People must open their eyes.

    Yes! We have been victims of church conditioning. Every story i read brings so much sadness. People must open their eyes! And leave these dens of evil.

  59. @ Ricco:
    I fully understand your sentiment about the church, but hopefully, not about THE Church. Whether you go to church or not, the church nor any institution is the culprit. It’s those individuals within the church or institution. If we think the church is made up of saints and not sinners, we truly mislead. This in no way excuses the church anymore than any institution. Church? Guilty. Institution? Guilty? Individuals? Guilty. Christ? Not guilty. My hope is in Christ and Christ alone.

  60. SallyVee wrote:

    A 7-year-old victim once asked, “Am I still a virgin in God’s eyes?”

    According to Catholic Dogma, YES.
    Virginity can only be given up VOLUNTARILY.
    Use of Force or Coercion DOES. NOT. COUNT.

  61. Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    I am curious how pew sitters approach this. Was his “private repentance” enough for them?
    Wouldn’t they think there are deeper maturity, emotional development and Spiritual problems?

  62. JYJames wrote:

    “Management is the practice of manipulating people for personal gain. Leadership is the responsibility of inspiring people for the good of the group.” Simon Sinek

    Then I would say we have more managers, than leaders in the American church “… teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1)

    I parked by a truck at the grocery store yesterday – the bumper sticker got my attention: “Spiritual People Inspire Me … Religious People Frighten Me”

    As I noted earlier, we have a leadership crisis in America: home, business, government, church.

  63. Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    I am curious how pew sitters approach this. Was his “private repentance” enough for them?
    Wouldn’t they think there are deeper maturity, emotional development and Spiritual problems?
    Bridget wrote:

    I know people have faith in Grace to do a good job. I still have to wonder who pays for the inquiry and if that will effect the outcome of the inquiry?

    This is always my question. I have made no secret I am not as impressed with them as others. As far as I’m concerned they provided cover for Bob Jones University to still exist.

  64. Jack wrote:

    And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots?

    My cynical response: Expenses become donations = Tax free travel.

    My more appropriate response: For the most part, our missions pastor is careful to make sure that folks are properly screened for trips to see that their intentions are in the right place.

  65. Lydia wrote:

    Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32 year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    Unfortunately, too many church folks view this as a multiple choice question: (1) Yes, (2) No, (3) Maybe. There really is only one correct answer, of course. The pulpit should be held to a higher standard than that applied to the average old guy messing with a teen in town. Both are wrong of course, but while the guy on the street may get away with it (unless Daddy shows up), a “pastor” should be disqualified from ministry.

  66. Lydia wrote:

    Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    In. New York nanosecond! ……. not just rethink – leave, if he is not disqualified.

  67. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    When the bible says “be perfect,” it means “be in the process of becoming perfect.” Following Christ is about progress and walking with him. Hiding sex abuse for 20 years is the exact opposite of being part of a journey to learn to know Christ.

  68. To cleanse the palate and mock Al Mohler (six in one, really)

    “In 2005, a theologian named Albert Mohler, who apparently had taken care of all the orphans and widows, decided to make some new commands. He announced that Christian couples who choose not to have children are in rebellion against God. This was excellent legalism, because no one except Albert Mohler knew how long you could wait after getting married before the sin kicked in. A month? A week? Did you have to copulate in the church coat room after the ceremony? Only AlMo knew. Furthermore, how many children do you have to have? Can you escape sin with three or four, or do you have to go full Duggar?”

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/02/12/pcas-orangewood-church-maitland-fl-hires-boz-tchividjians-grace-to-investigate-20-year-old-abuse-charges-against-head-pastor-jeff-jakes/comment-page-1/#comment-358103

  69. dee wrote:

    Every single Gospel Coalition boy has written how they are against sex abuse while at the same time they play kissy face with Mahaney.

    If they really cared about sex abuse, they would have a session at Together For The Gospel. But no, CJ gets two sessions (a panel and a plenary) to talk about how hard it is to be a pastor. What a joke.

  70. Lydia wrote:

    Was his “private repentance” enough for them?

    I think the mere fact of ‘private’ repentance is a problem. These issues should be dealt with when they happen, with serious consequences, not a pass.

    Then I would entertain the idea that someone has grown in twenty years, provided those years were away from ministry.

  71. @ Lydia:
    Lydia, did you have some scoop on Moore? I forget. He’s written a piece on teaching boys and men to respect women, which is maybe more right than wrong [he’s still going on about ‘differences’ and comp stuff] but I’m curious if you’ve seen it.

    Of course, in venturing into twitter and reading responses to the article I saw some disgusting examples including this:
    “How about today’s whorish moms repent and teach their trash to be Godly women?”

  72. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    But no, CJ gets two sessions (a panel and a plenary) to talk about how hard it is to be a pastor.

    Isn’t he going to be talking about how its so hard to be criticized? And last year he was talking about how he is persecuted. I see a theme…

  73. Lydia wrote:

    @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Every religious heirarchical (denominational) system is suspect for that reason. It is natural to want to protect, maintain and grow the religious entity which often means hiding the bad things and excusing deceiving behavior, “for the greater good” or because “they repented”. It’s a by product of the very system built to promote Christ. It’s uncanny. And dangerous.

    Non-denominational churches are just as prone to this, if not more so. They have zero oversight​. They can get away with murder.

  74. @ Lea:
    Moore is typical hypocrite expousing pop culture social justice issues but couching it in a soft more comp position. He actually has more in common with Islam while women in Iran are going to prison for taking off hijabs. He is trying hard to rehab his old stance of “comps are wimps, we need more patriarchy” for his new WaPo and HuffPo audience.

    I despise frauds in Christendom. It’s all about followers, optics, position and money.

    My view is if they don’t publicly repudiate what they taught but then try to reposition it to make it accepted later, they don’t deserve credibility. Moore hated comp. Said we must have more Patriarchy. He was the face of Patriarchy for the SBC. Then he got promoted to a National position with media attention. Patriarchy doesn’t get pica space in WaPo.

  75. @ Lydia:
    Lea, the word “Patriarchy” doesn’t have that much impact these days.
    Neither does “Sexist”.

    That’s why I use “MALE SUPREMACY”/”MALE SUPREMACIST”. Brings in all the baggage of “Supremacist”, which in the cases you cited is VERY accurate.

  76. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Was his “private repentance” enough for them?
    I think the mere fact of ‘private’ repentance is a problem. These issues should be dealt with when they happen, with serious consequences, not a pass.

    Didn’t this Rabbi from Nazareth mention that “What you kept secret shall be shouted from the rooftops”?

  77. Lea wrote:

    Of course, in venturing into twitter and reading responses to the article I saw some disgusting examples including this:
    “How about today’s whorish moms repent and teach their trash to be Godly women?”

    Net Drunk, safely out of fist range.

    Sounds like either PUA/Manosphere with a Christian coat of paint or he’s seen one Bratz doll too many.

  78. @ Ricco:
    I don’t pay attention to these guys until their kids are near 30. So, let’s talk Mohler’s grandkids from his two adult children.

  79. Ricco wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    When the bible says “be perfect,” it means “be in the process of becoming perfect.” Following Christ is about progress and walking with him. Hiding sex abuse for 20 years is the exact opposite of being part of a journey to learn to know Christ.

    Unfortunately, Ricco, a LOT of Christians have this idea of Instant Total Sanctification, that you become Utterly Spiritually Perfect the instant you walk the aisle and say the magic words. It’s “New Creature in Christ” taken as far as they can go, even after it snaps.

    JMJ/Christian Monist gives plenty of examples at his old “Christian Monist” blog and his book Butterflies in the Belfry, Serpents in the Cellar. (Check Amazon for it; he needs the sales.)

  80. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I am not really into the name calling with those words. Too many people accused of such without proof or for just existing. Moore literally taught comps are wimps and we need more patriarchy. Literally. For years. And years

  81. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    In. New York nanosecond! ……. not just rethink – leave, if he is not disqualified.

    I have to say, I would not only be creeped out but question everything he taught as if it had an agenda. Talk about emotional immaturity and narcissism! I really feel bad for kids raised by these types.

  82. Lydia wrote:

    Moore literally taught comps are wimps and we need more patriarchy. Literally. For years. And years

    I thought that was right, but I couldn’t remember. So I was side-eyeing this article a bit. I think it was too circular, kind of like Leeman trying to keep his weird narrow/broad comp thing while saying maybe possibly piper went too far, but it’s super important we do remember women and men are different. Because if we ‘forgot’ for two seconds the universe might collapse.

  83. Lea wrote:

    Isn’t he going to be talking about how its so hard to be criticized? And last year he was talking about how he is persecuted. I see a theme…

    Poor Poor Pitiful Me?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpGkn5jbFfA

    dee wrote:

    @ JYJames:
    Every single Gospel Coalition boy has written how they are against sex abuse while at the same time they play kissy face with Mahaney.

    They are in the Presence of their REAL Personal LORD and Savior.

    “O Come Let Us Adore Him,
    O Come Let Us Adore Him,
    O COME LET US ADOOOOORE HIIIIIIIM…”

  84. Ricco wrote:

    This was excellent legalism, because no one except Albert Mohler knew how long you could wait after getting married before the sin kicked in. A month? A week? Did you have to copulate in the church coat room after the ceremony? Only AlMo knew. Furthermore, how many children do you have to have? Can you escape sin with three or four, or do you have to go full Duggar?”

    If not full Turpin:
    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2018/01/17/the-david-and-louise-turpin-family-homeschool-cult/

  85. @ Ricco:
    I researched this because I found it confusing in scripture when also hearing constantly we are perpetual sinners and can’t help it so no big deal. Which I guess is no big deal if one isn’t the victim!

    It’s about maturing and seeking wisdom. And the fact that we can. But then I don’t buy into the typical definition of original sin either. I think we make choices in our Behavior.

  86. JYJames wrote:

    A step in the right direction. Hopefully trending.

    Sadly, organizations that have integrity , such as GRACE , have no legal binding authority to hold an institution or person accountable after finally report is done . GRACE is very thorough in investigations , giving causes for abuse and writing recommendations based on facts and not opinion. Read past investigations and one can see how professional this organuzation leans. However , GRACE’s ethical contractual duty stops as soon as report comes out. Then it becomes the sole discretion of the entity that hired GRACE to do what, where and how to use that report . I’m afraid all who applaud this potential remedy have been and will be discouraged .

  87. @ Lea:
    When it comes to gender differences, I always want to know if we are discussing biology or spiritual gifting. Hee hee. They have made the claim that biology decides spiritual gifting!

  88. @ Lydia:
    Most of the stuff they think they know about the differences between men and women is hogwash. Whenever they start actually stating them it becomes obvious, which is why they’re usually vague. Except about men being ‘visual’. Because I have no opinion on the looks of the men I am dating at all.

    Even stuff that is easily measureable and statistically true, like men being ‘on average’ taller than women, still varies widely from person to person. Men are ‘taller’ but my ex wasn’t. Because people are actually individuals, shockingly.

  89. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    A lot of the comps are “soft quiver-full.” I knew nothing about quiver-full when I was younger, but I was a Calvinist and a comp so once I hear about quiver-full, I knew it was ridiculous, but I couldn’t explain how because I was a complementarian. This really shook me.

    That article is a parody written by one of the snarkiest Christians I have ever read. I love it so much. He really gets at the ridiculous legalism Mohler espouses. Culture warriors like Mohler are heaping guilt on people’s head for not having more babies to fight the culture war. Once I realized that a Christian victory in the culture war would be just as bad if not worse than our current culture, I was out and a lot of my old beliefs came crashing down.

  90. Lydia wrote:

    Moore literally taught comps are wimps and we need more patriarchy. Literally. For years. And years

    I think both Mohler and Moore are more politician than theologian. They just found a really gullible audience.

  91. ishy wrote:

    I think both Mohler and Moore are more politician than theologian. They just found a really gullible audience.

    Couldn’t agree more. The culture war they are fighting is about white, upper-middle class values, not Jesus

  92. Jack wrote:

    And what’s with the “mission trips” to holiday spots? The church I used to attend sent teams to Jamaica…in February…missions…yeah right.

    Before I joined the church I just departed, they apparently did yearly trips to Hawaii.

  93. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Ken P.:
    Oooohhhh, church autonomy doesn’t allow SBC higher to interfere with what happens in local churches. Autonomy……yeah, right.
    Autonomy doesn’t stop them from kicking out churches to elect female pastors!

    Fully autonomous when it’s to their advantage, a single monolithic juggernaut when that’s to their advantage.
    Just like Calvary Chapel.
    Disperse to defend, concentrate to attack.

    Exactly like CC.

  94. The other issue with this is the cult of personality model in vogue, i.e., following the vision of the pastor/leader. How much more does the weighing of cost/benefits factor into dealing with issues like this in an appropriate way when everything’s tied to an empire led by a smiloling face on a website or book cover? In that case, even if it’s the misdeeds of an underling, the risk to the branding could cause book removals, speaking gigs, conferences, Oxford fellowships, building projects, megachurch attendance impact — all sorts of gravy train, I mean spiritual enrichment opportunities.

    Thus, increased unaccountability figures to be a danger of the mega model and the top-down, self-governing, “give till it hurts, just don’t ask too many qs of your leaders about it” model, especially with the “we’re all the worst sinners” almost-instant authority restoration pattern we’ve seen too often. Just look at any banana republic or the monolith model that enabled the Catholic Church abuse to span generations. Where’s the servant spirit in any of this?

  95. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    They don’t hold leaders in the Body of Christ to higher standards. In fact, I will go a step further and say they use faux spiritual arguments to protect creeps.

    It seems they hold them to lower ones.

    If they have any at all.

  96. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    SallyVee wrote:

    I just read all the impressive bios of GRACE board members, then read the “common questions” section – see excerpt below. Wow, so much helpful info. One thing I think it’s safe for this Lutheran to say: the Roman Catholics have unfairly taken the brunt of blame & shame on sexual abuse for a very long time.

    Pastor Pedo righteously points his finger and intones:
    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PRIESTS OVER THERE…”

    All the while praying only to himself.

  97. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Moore literally taught comps are wimps and we need more patriarchy. Literally. For years. And years

    I thought that was right, but I couldn’t remember. So I was side-eyeing this article a bit. I think it was too circular, kind of like Leeman trying to keep his weird narrow/broad comp thing while saying maybe possibly piper went too far, but it’s super important we do remember women and men are different. Because if we ‘forgot’ for two seconds the universe might collapse.

    The difference between words and actions comes to mind.

    Men and women are definitely different. However, that says nothing about their respective spiritual development.

  98. Forrest wrote:

    Men and women are definitely different. However, that says nothing about their respective spiritual development.

    This is how the comps get people. “You believe men and women are different, you are a comp!!” They mean way more than that, however. They will monkey with the trinity or do whatever else to justify their doctrine.

    (I believe the average man and the average woman are different. However, the differences within groups are different than the average differences between groups. Individuals should have the freedom to pursue the desires given to them by God).

  99. JDV wrote:

    cult of personality model in vogue

    This is definitely the church model of choice for the Young, Restless and Reformed. The problem with that approach is that you need a magnetic personality to draw a crowd, with a charismatic stage presence to keep them coming. The dream of every new reformer is to become mega right out of seminary. Very few succeed at that, since they just don’t have the personality it takes to draw cult followers. I’m sure there is a lot of frustration in the New Calvinist ranks when they want to be like Matt Chandler but just can’t pull it off.

  100. ishy wrote:

    I think both Mohler and Moore are more politician than theologian.

    Agreed. I often refer to them as theo-politicians. There’s no doubt that they have successfully maneuvered their political party – New Calvinism – to now rule the SBC.

  101. Ricco wrote:

    Couldn’t agree more. The culture war they are fighting is about white, upper-middle class values, not Jesus

    White, ****male****, upper-middle class values.

  102. Ricco wrote:

    (I believe the average man and the average woman are different. However, the differences within groups are different than the average differences between groups. Individuals should have the freedom to pursue the desires given to them by God).

    Which differences are due to nature, and which are due to nurture? When we get beyond the plumbing, does anyone really know?

  103. Max wrote:

    The average church member in America is such a gullible soul … the average church elder is a yes-man.

    #truth I have a church situation that personally affects me in which the pastor misappropriated funds. There were a series of increasingly alarming takeover moves by the pastor in the financial realm. The church board has even consulted with the state AG about the situation. The church is ending their employment contract with the pastor, and they want to give him a severance package.

    — I can hardly refrain from rolling my eyes and going down there and talking to them about this. Seriously, they want to give him more money????? I’m thinking that their ‘negotiations’ should be something like: you go away and pay back all the funds or we pursue legal avenues. We terminate your employment for cause.

    Of course, the pastor doesn’t like talking to me… I think a lot of our problem in the church is that we think “grace” means “nice” or “covered over” – and repentance means that someone has apologized. This is how we get scandals.

  104. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    That’s a really good question. We don’t really know for sure.

    Studies from Scandinavia show that, when they made society super egalitarian, gender differences increased. I don’t know what it means, but it seems that there may be biological differences.

    In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.
    Galatians 3:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Galatians%203:28&version=MSG

    Whatever the science says about this and all we learn in the next millennia, whe know how Jesus’ Father sees us

  105. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Which differences are due to nature, and which are due to nurture? When we get beyond the plumbing, does anyone really know?

    Is it possible to get beyond the plumbing when it comes to nurture vs nature? From my very limited vantage point, it does appear that plumbing differences impact how we are nurtureed and how we learn to view ourselves, whether for good or for bad.

  106. @ Kari:
    Churches don’t want to admit they made a bad hiring mistake and do stupid things as a result. It’s a big problem. I

  107. Ricco wrote:

    seems that there may be biological differences.

    The problem is it doesn’t really matter for our context. Let people do what they like, what they are suited for. Don’t try to put people in boxes because even if you can find differences. And identify them correctly. They don’t apply to individuals. So who cares?

    Well, dudes who want to control women do of course. So when people start going on and on about differences my first thought is ‘what is your motive’.

  108. Ricco wrote:

    Among us you are all equal.

    We should be. Equal has never meant the same of course.

    But man, if I hear that line about this passage just being about ‘salvation’ so it’s ok to treat people like trash one more time…

  109. Lea wrote:

    But man, if I hear that line about this passage just being about ‘salvation’ so it’s ok to treat people like trash one more time…

    I’m right there with you about this! In Christ we live and move and have our being. I believe this verse and verses like it apply to everyone.

  110. Lea wrote:

    ‘what is your motive’.

    I hear you, and I think I understand where you are coming from. My concern here is there are certain people in higher ed and the corporate world pushing for equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity. I see this quite a bit in higher ed at my university. I want every single individual person to be free to purse their desires. We should not, however, try to force a 50/50 gender split in ever field. Lets try to tear down every single barrier to entry we can find, then let the chips fall where they may.

  111. Lydia wrote:

    Moore is typical hypocrite expousing pop culture social justice issues but couching it in a soft more comp position.

    When there is some new issue that suddenly appears on the stage it is accompanied by many who claim virtue for themselves by being on the correct side. Some of these people are consistent but many just do it only to signal their virtue and thereby gain credibility and influence. That they did nothing to help achieve the outcome but want a share of the credit puts them in the camp that we call “rent seekers” if we were talking economics.

  112. Kari wrote:

    I think a lot of our problem in the church is that we think “grace” means “nice” or “covered over” – and repentance means that someone has apologized

    Amen! The grace-this / grace-that message in much of today’s church is cheap grace not Grace, in which apology is a cheap substitute for repentance.

  113. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Which differences are due to nature, and which are due to nurture? When we get beyond the plumbing, does anyone really know?

    Which is precisely the point.

    Grudem, Burk, Mohler, MacArthur, and a host of other fundagelicals, many of whom are non-reformed*, never do get beyond plumbing received at birth.

    In their enclaves, plumbing is the sole demarcation line period. From there, all roles, rules, and vocations are written in stone as if the Almighty himself thundered them out of Horeb.

    No if’s, no and’s, and no but’s.

    Talents, gifting, human desire, and human nurture have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    * the big honchos in the calvary chapel brand teach this cartload of horse poo-poo too and they make it quite clear they’re not reformed.

  114. Kari wrote:

    We terminate your employment for cause.

    Exactly. If a “pastor” chooses to live like the world and misappropriates church funds, he should suffer the same consequences the world would award him if caught. His last paycheck should simply be “Good Bye”, not a severance package!

  115. Lydia wrote:

    Question. If you found out your pastor basically emotionally groomed a teen as a 32year old pastor and married man, to boot, would it cause you to rethink every thing he taught and did?

    I’ve seen this type question answered in a group and corporate settings and the results are not encouraging. If there is a “leader” directing the response it will be clear what the “right” response is.

    The Asch conformity experiments indicate that if a pastor stands up and signals that the predator is okay and all is forgiven, 75% will go along and agree. Of the other 25% who will think for themselves, typically only about one in six will actually speak up. But not to worry over those pesky lone voices, if said pastor has always been this manipulative, those few free thinkers will have left long ago. The result is 100% expressed agreement that the pastor/predator is virtuous, yet another mockery of “unity” in Christ.

  116. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Ricco wrote:

    (I believe the average man and the average woman are different. However, the differences within groups are different than the average differences between groups. Individuals should have the freedom to pursue the desires given to them by God).

    Which differences are due to nature, and which are due to nurture? When we get beyond the plumbing, does anyone really know?

    Very good questions, Nancy. In the end, all we can do is deal with people as individuals.

  117. @ Lea:

    “Because it’s not an innocent man swayed by a teenage jezebel or whatever stupid thing they are thinking. It is *predators* looking for someone they know they can easily blame, discredit, etc.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    anyone remember the trailer and movie poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Predator”? a terrifying-looking, saliva-dripping many-fanged creature who goes “xxxxxhhhhhaaaaaa” while clawing the air in sadistic pursuit of his victims?

    that’s the wrong image for “predator”. seems to me they are smiley, mild-mannered, charming, and if not a certified “gospel person” they could very well qualify.

    people in church culture have a hard time accepting this ‘predator’ label when it comes to their beloved figureheads.

    they probably all saw the movie.

    (or maybe they weren’t allowed to and all they could do was stare at the movie poster)

  118. elastigirl wrote:

    people in church culture have a hard time accepting this ‘predator’ label when it comes to their beloved figureheads.

    Funny how many a modern Christian thinks the apostles were dim witted in their understanding yet we are all aware of “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

    Who did they think Jesus was talking about? Do they think He said wolves come disguised as ferocious aliens?

  119. Thersites wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    people in church culture have a hard time accepting this ‘predator’ label when it comes to their beloved figureheads.
    Funny how many a modern Christian thinks the apostles were dim witted in their understanding yet we are all aware of “They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
    Who did they think Jesus was talking about? Do they think He said wolves come disguised as ferocious aliens?

    :thumbup

  120. Ricco wrote:

    Culture warriors like Mohler are heaping guilt on people’s head for not having more babies to fight the culture war.

    I call Christianese Quiverfull “spawning Uruk-Hai for the Culture War”.
    With women as the spawning pits beneath Isengard.
    “Breed me an Army worthy of Mordor…”

  121. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Lea:
    “Because it’s not an innocent man swayed by a teenage jezebel or whatever stupid thing they are thinking. It is *predators* looking for someone they know they can easily blame, discredit, etc.”
    ++++++++++++++++
    anyone remember the trailer and movie poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Predator”? a terrifying-looking, saliva-dripping many-fanged creature who goes “xxxxxhhhhhaaaaaa” while clawing the air in sadistic pursuit of his victims?
    that’s the wrong image for “predator”. seems to me they are smiley, mild-mannered, charming, and if not a certified “gospel person” they could very well qualify.
    people in church culture have a hard time accepting this ‘predator’ label when it comes to their beloved figureheads.
    they probably all saw the movie.
    (or maybe they weren’t allowed to and all they could do was stare at the movie poster)

    This leapt to mind: 2 Cor. 11:12-15. “But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.”

  122. Women & men are equal. In every single way. Part what makes churches more vulnerable is the literal bible that waved in everyone’s face. It’s sliced and diced until any other messages one might glean are edited and all your left with is basically the laws & mores of how a group of people lived a very long time ago.
    Women have rarely had it easy. The reason there was polygamy was many women and their children died. Even an average man would be lucky to see 40. Jesus would have been considered venerable at ripe age of 33.
    These attitudes have carried into the 21st century and we see big corrections occurring, like the recent movement to expose abuse. In religious institutions, the challenge is going to be more pronounced when ‘holy scriptures’ are seen as having more weight than any constitution.

  123. elastigirl wrote:

    that’s the wrong image for “predator”. seems to me they are smiley, mild-mannered, charming, and if not a certified “gospel person” they could very well qualify.

    Yes. I’m listening to a podcast on a serial murder case (of children) and they caught someone but some people don’t think that’s the guy. And I don’t know for sure either way, of course, but it’s interesting to hear the people talking about this man. He’s intelligent, he doesn’t seem the type, he has charmed them, he was at the murder sites because he had connections and got tips and showed up first and I’m thinking, man. This sounds like a guy who has charmed people around him, in the exact way Anna Salter said sociopaths do.

  124. Ricco wrote:

    We should not, however, try to force a 50/50 gender split in ever field. Lets try to tear down every single barrier to entry we can find, then let the chips fall where they may.

    Sure.

    Of course, church is not the same as the regular world. Women are being actively discouraged/prevented from pursuing most levels of leadership in the evangelical type churches, and the numbers reflect that. So they prevent women and then say the ‘reason’ is because they can’t be in this position. And most of these men will point to biological differences, despite being unable or unwilling to articulate them, but people like Piper will just say ‘the bible’ and that competence doesn’t matter, which I find fascinating!

    But it is also instructive to the real world, because barriers can be diminished or lifted entirely, but it still takes time for women to catch up. [And now that we are catching up in universities at least, people are freaking out that the numbers are even or that women are doing better.] So it’s not as cut and dried as it may seem. I used to very hard nosed on this, but I think I see things a little differently now. People who have actively been prevented from something need time, and encouragement, to get to where they should have been all along.

  125. @ Lea:
    Of course, its more insidious in church because they try to control not only women’s professional but their personal life, down to the most intimate details.

    Hard. Pass.

  126. @ Ricco:
    Yep. Read a summary of that same study. The point is choice. As a female who climbed the career ladder in a then male dominated industry, I would not trade that experience for anything. But it is a choice. I wasn’t telling other females they had to choose that. When it comes to the Body of Christ, I can’t believe it’s even an issue. There isn’t a pink or blue path to salvation.

  127. Lydia wrote:

    There isn’t a pink or blue path to salvation.

    Nor, pink or blue roles as a believer. In the Body of Christ, we are called to be one – with no distinctions of race, class or gender.

  128. @ Thersites:
    Totally relate to this comment. Lived it over and over. Why I am not a fan of movements, groups, echo Chambers. As humans we tend to crave the approval of the group we are around at the moment and that is where much danger lies. Somehow we have managed to link individualism/self governance with automatic selfishness. Free speech with offensiveness. This is a death of sorts for all sorts of victims in the long run.

  129. @ Lydia:
    Couldn’t agree more. The implications of that passage seems so clear. Let’s view people as individuals created in the image of God.

  130. @ Thersites:
    Yes. My arm chair diagnosis is they saw the future of their Neo Cal movement and it wasn’t profitable. It really had run it’s course and the push back became a real issue. It’s part rehab image by changing the subject and part recruiting a new crop of followers. It’s more opportunistic than ideological. Of course the leaders are not personality effected by their virtue signaling demands for the rest of the peasants. They are 10 percenters living in safe enclaves.

    The irony is the descendents of the Puritans did something similar by becoming mostly Unitarians and Deists. It’s not knew. Calvinist as a strict doctrinal lifestyle is not tenable. But it sure leaves a lot of bodies in it’s wake.

  131. Ricco wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Couldn’t agree more. The implications of that passage seems so clear. Let’s view people as individuals created in the image of God.

    That is my motto! Let’s go back to God’s intention for His glorious creation! Jesus’ resurrection was that very message, imo.

  132. Lydia wrote:

    The point is choice. As a female who climbed the career ladder in a then male dominated industry, I would not trade that experience for anything. But it is a choice. I wasn’t telling other females they had to choose that.

    I also am a female who worked successfully in a then male dominated aspect of the health care industry. I have never and will never tell females that they ought to do that. Some should. Some should not. There will never be any actual ‘equality’ between males and females until the choice to refuse to choose such a sort of career is equally respected as the choice to do so.

    The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. Both are extremes and both are dead wrong.

    But what about the church? I think that arguments have been and can be made either way. At this stage people should do whatever they believe to be correct based on whatever they consider authoritative (bible vs church vs secular culture vs personal conclusions) and the rest of us should respect their decisions just as we want them to respect our decisions. Correction: perhaps it is that we should respect each other whether or not we ‘respect’ their decisions in ‘the woman question’.

  133. ___

    “Message In A Bottle, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Only hope can keep you together
    Jesus can mend your life
    After the 501(c)3 church damages your faith…

    Send Him an S.O.S. today,

    …you’ll be very glad you did!

    (tears)

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

  134. @ Jack:
    The scriptures don’t encourage abuse or women as subhuman. People don’t study on their own. Example: There is not one single prohibition to a female leading or teaching males in the OT. Not one. God did not suddenly make new rules as Jesus for the NT. So, obviously there are problems with translation/interpretations. Big time. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

    My view is people would benefit from personal study more than going to church which always has an agenda of some sort, these days. Tools that used to be only available to the academics are now at our fingertips for free.

    IMO, Polygamy was a response to a very barbaric culture in every way. Was not God’s intention.

  135. Lydia wrote:

    Calvinist as a strict doctrinal lifestyle is not tenable. But it sure leaves a lot of bodies in it’s wake.

    After 500 years, Calvinism still represents less than 10% of Christendom worldwide. The tenets of reformed theology – particularly hyper expressions of it – are not capable of being held, maintained, or defended against opposition from mainline non-Calvinist belief and practice. In many ways, reformed theology is more philosophy than theology – it may appeal to the intellect, but leaves the spirit still searching. Even for the strongest follower, worshiping a determinist God becomes exhausting after awhile.

    New Calvinism is the latest flash in the pan for reformed theology and will only succeed for a season. It relies too much on a cult of personality to attract a crowd and there are only a few leaders with that sort of charisma – the average YRR pastor can’t pull it off. Deceived, disappointed, and disillusioned followers are starting to exit. Unfortunately, after being exposed to the counterfeit, they may be too weary to seek the genuine. As Lydia notes, they are bodies left in the wake of aberrant faith.

  136. Lydia wrote:

    God did not suddenly make new rules as Jesus for the NT. So, obviously there are problems with translation/interpretations. Big time. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

    That is true. It is also true, however, that the early church did make some new rules as it were for the gentiles, as when James on behalf of the church in Jerusalem put forth the opinion about what to require of the gentile believers, and what not to require. From my only partly protestant position at this time it says to me that the church assumed for itself (or understood it to have been divinely granted) the right to ‘make rules’ for the church at the time. I am thinking that if that is true then the argument that certain rights and authorities adhere to the church and not just to the bible may have a precedent in that occurrence.

    From my viewpoint that is also something that once you think you may be seeing that then you can’t un-see it.

  137. okrapod wrote:

    the rest of us should respect their decisions just as we want them to respect our decisions. Correction: perhaps it is that we should respect each other whether or not we ‘respect’ their decisions in ‘the woman question’.

    There are people I can respect and people I cannot. I cannot respect certain beliefs, even if the people who espouse them truly do believe themselves to be biblical. Where you draw those lines, though, is open question.

  138. Lydia wrote:

    My view is people would benefit from personal study more than going to church which always has an agenda of some sort, these days.

    “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted … ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord said , ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” (Luke 10)

  139. @ okrapod:

    My understanding is most of those rules were in response to the Pagan Culture the Gentiles came from:

    ” It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

    Guess my Steak Tartare is a problem. 🙂

  140. It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom. It’s a good thing that there still so many of them around. I dread to think what state the church would be in if we left you to your own devices. :-). 🙂

  141. Lydia wrote:

    My understanding is most of those rules were in response to the Pagan Culture the Gentiles came from:

    You mean agains the prevailing culture? As in, pretty much like today?

    I am trying to make a point here. First we have to decide whether or not the church has a right to do that, and only then can we say which of what the church is saying is good and which is not. If the church has no such authority then we have to reject it all in toto and leave it at each one for himself.

    So, since there is this sort of disagreement within christianity, we must decide how to deal with others who disagree with us and who see it differently. Now here is the thing, if we say that everything is an individual decision as opposed to ‘the bible says’ (too fundamentalist) or ‘the church says’ (too Roman) then on what grounds would we condemn somebody who has a different individual decision than let us say mine?

  142. okrapod wrote:

    You mean agains the prevailing culture? As in, pretty much like today?
    I am trying to make a point here. First we have to decide whether or not the church has a right to do that,

    First thoughts that popped into my head when I read this:
    Does the church have the right to deny equal rights for women, etc?
    And,
    Does the church have the right to ignore mandatory reporting laws to protect abusers, and church public image?

  143. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    First thoughts that popped into my head when I read this:
    Does the church have the right to deny equal rights for women, etc?
    And,
    Does the church have the right to ignore mandatory reporting laws to protect abusers, and church public image?

    Already anticipated you.
    “Word of GAWD or Worldly Laws of Men” and all that.

  144. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom. It’s a good thing that there still so many of them around. I dread to think what state the church would be in if we left you to your own devices. :-).

    Because a LOT of the toxicity these days comes out of Calvin’s fanboys.

    It’s the Superior Intellect types; I remember them from my college days except then it was Communism instead of Calvinism.

  145. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    Yes. Also does the church have the right to preach and practice pacifism including in times of war? Does the church have the right to denounce slavery in the absence of strict denunciation of slavery in scripture? Does the church have the right to have its own rules concerning divorce and remarriage?

    It goes on and on. Some of which I think one way about and some of which I think a different way about, but none of which addresses the issue of whether the church has the right to do any of it in the first place.

  146. Max wrote:

    New Calvinism is the latest flash in the pan for reformed theology and will only succeed for a season. It relies too much on a cult of personality to attract a crowd and there are only a few leaders with that sort of charisma – the average YRR pastor can’t pull it off.

    As well as a large part of “Double Down No Matter What”.

    The intellectual philosophical angle appeals to intellectual snobs, the superiority angle and the power-hungry; predestination gives them cosmic justification for What I Want. GOD WILLS IT!

    Since 1789, revolutions are started by intellectuals in their salons but taken over by the street thugs. These Superior Intellects with their Perfectly-Parsed Theology and stacks of books might be in now, but the Marky-Mark Driscoll street thug types are better at breaking heads to get on top. And sometimes you have a Penetrate Colonize Conquer Plant Wilson with one foot in either. Or a thug who’s a master at hiding his iron first behind a silk glove (Chuckles Mahaney?).

  147. Lydia wrote:

    Calvinism as a strict doctrinal lifestyle is not tenable. But it sure leaves a lot of bodies in its wake.

    So did Communism.

  148. okrapod wrote:

    It goes on and on. Some of which I think one way about and some of which I think a different way about, but none of which addresses the issue of whether the church has the right to do any of it in the first place.

    We (U.S. Of A.) live in a republic, not a theocracy. Even if the U.S. was a theocracy, which “religion” would rule???? I could see religious wars happening!

  149. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    We (U.S. Of A.) live in a republic, not a theocracy. Even if the U.S. was a theocracy, which “religion” would rule???? I could see religious wars happening!

    I think every form of government could be considered a theocracy in the sense that they form around the things they worship. USA forms around ideals, which are often political. The current political polarization is arguably turning into a “religious” war, but focused on political iideology/worship rather than theology, and using a different cache of weapons. And there are also the theological ideologies vying for space at the ideological table.

  150. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    So are you saying that if you had to choose between the church and the state then you would choose the state? I might do that, but I like to pretend to myself that I would not, depending on the issue of course.

  151. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Calvinism as a strict doctrinal lifestyle is not tenable. But it sure leaves a lot of bodies in its wake.

    HUG wrote:
    So did Communism.

    So do the Calvinists also say it just hasn’t been done right yet? How many more dead pile up before we write both off permanently?

  152. Thersites wrote:

    So do the Calvinists also say it just hasn’t been done right yet? How many more dead pile up before we write both off permanently?

    You need to distinguish between these fundamentalist, anti-women ‘calvinists’ and other reformed denoms for starters.

    I haven’t seen Catholics or fundamentalist protestants of other stripes packing up shop either when these problems come to light. Hopefully when there are abuses, whatever your theology is, you can agree that that’s wrong and move forward, but I’ve seen some very disheartening things on this front.

    I say this not to defend Calvinism, but because I think the hyper focus on it misses some of the true causes, and as such is dangerous.

  153. okrapod wrote:

    There will never be any actual ‘equality’ between males and females until the choice to refuse to choose such a sort of career is equally respected as the choice to do so.

    The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. Both are extremes and both are dead wrong.

    Bingo. Go to some of the ‘progressive’ Christian sites on Patheos and dare and disagree with even one point of their ideological shtick.
    They’ll descend on you like pissed-off hornets for even suggesting that not all women should become doctors, scientists, corporate CEOs, and what have you.
    They are just as Orwellian and have their own fundamentalism which will not brook even the slightest critique.

  154. okrapod wrote:

    So are you saying that if you had to choose between the church and the state then you would choose the state? I might do that, but I like to pretend to myself that I would not, depending on the issue of course.

    Depending on the issue, definitely. I would like to believe that I would choose right over wrong, regardless of who has legal/political control. State can’t tell me not to pray. John Piper can’t tell me to endure abuse “for a season”.

  155. Lydia wrote:

    My view is people would benefit from personal study more than going to church which always has an agenda of some sort, these days. Tools that used to be only available to the academics are now at our fingertips for free.

    You’ve expressed this view before (and I concur) in the context of house fellowships that do ‘Bible’ study in a kind of Jewish model which allows for dissenting opinions and the discussion of alternative viewpoints, rather than having an alpha male honcho telling you (generic you) what you hafta’ believe and what you hafta’ sign onto.

  156. Muff Potter wrote:

    You’ve expressed this view before (and I concur) in the context of house fellowships that do ‘Bible’ study in a kind of Jewish model which allows for dissenting opinions and the discussion of alternative viewpoints

    I think this is how many good sunday school classes work. Although they may have a teacher/topic, with discussion as a part of that instead.

  157. elastigirl wrote:

    that’s the wrong image for “predator”. seems to me they are smiley, mild-mannered, charming, and if not a certified “gospel person” they could very well qualify.

    There’s actually a really creepy South Korean fictional drama about a cult that has a very charismatic leader called “Save Me”. It follows a family whose husband becomes a devotee even though he pretty much sacrifices the rest of his family to do so. It’s gruesome and violent. I had to stop watching because it hit a bit too close to home for me, but it’s very well done.

    It ended up winning a bunch of awards, but I can’t help but wonder if the hold Scientology had on Hollywood would prevent something like that from being produced here.

  158. @ okrapod:
    This was the glorious tension from the demise of the state Church and the explosion of denominations in our land of liberty. It’s all voluntary.

    There is no answer outside what actually harms others. Only opinions. When I disagree enough, I can go to the Methodists or whomever. And people who still go, church hop a lot.

    What I find interesting are the “leaders” at the council. Paul ends up giving a speech in Acts 16 on how some “elders” will be wolves while the Jerusalem church with leader James was so persecuted Paul took up collection for them on his travels. Strange how it worked out. The church ended up mostly Gentile.

    There is no way around our individual responsibility in matters of faith and practice that I can see. Culture most definitely is a factor. Speech censoring is all the rage in both left and right churches these days. Sigh.

  159. Lydia wrote:

    My view is people would benefit from personal study more than going to church which always has an agenda of some sort, these days.

    I think we should eat together a lot more, just like Jesus did.

  160. ishy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    My view is people would benefit from personal study more than going to church which always has an agenda of some sort, these days.

    I think we should eat together a lot more, just like Jesus did.

    Yes, Yes, yes! Big missing piece.

  161. ishy wrote:

    I think we should eat together a lot more, just like Jesus did.

    This is why I’m all about the potlucks 😉

  162. Lydia wrote:

    Some female honchos are just as bad.

    Very true.
    I’ve seen it up close when I was a fundagelical all those years ago.
    Being a real piece of work is no respecter of gender.

  163. ___

    “Are You Reeling In Da Years?” (1)

    *

    ”It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom. It’s a good thing that there still so many of them around. I dread to think what state the church would be in if we left you to your own devices…”

    Lowlandseer

    hmmm…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nz0PCgz8r8M

    I dread to think what proverbial ‘state’ the church would be in if it were left it to the shady devices behind Calvin’s Augustinian Gnosticism… (2)

    (sadface)

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

    —> 3”Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ’ -Jude 1:3-4

    Buyer Beware!

    ATB

    Sòpy

    (1) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=07-0rpXvwWg
    (2) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mhLF-llpFX0

    ;~)

    – –

  164. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom.

    You might also be amazed if I told you that I don’t really have a problem with classical Calvinism. I’ve been in church alongside such folk for decades. For the most part, I’ve found them to be civil in their discourse and respectful of other expressions of faith. But, this New Calvinism is a whole different story – these new reformers are arrogant, militant, and aggressive! As HUG notes, it is a toxic aberration of faith that is wreaking havoc in the American church. I’d dare say if it weren’t for wayward New Calvinists, the watchblogs would have little to report about.

  165. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom. It’s a good thing that there still so many of them around. I dread to think what state the church would be in if we left you to your own devices. :-).
    Because a LOT of the toxicity these days comes out of Calvin’s fanboys.
    It’s the Superior Intellect types; I remember them from my college days except then it was Communism instead of Calvinism.

    It could also be the case that the toxicity comes from the reaction to them; a bit like antibiotics drawing out the bad.

    And it’s a bit of a stretch to liken them to Joe Stalin and his pals. If modern evangelicalism in the USA or the SBC don’t like the position they find themselves in, here is what a survivor of Stalin’s reign says – and it is more than applicable to the hand-wringing doomsayers:-
    “Who are we, one might ask, that anybody should call US to account? We were mere chips of wood swept along by the raging torrent of history, fortunate if we were washed into a quiet backwater, or out into the mainstream, away from the whirlpools. Where the current is taking us, the devil only knows, but this is scarcely our fault: we didn’t jump in of our own free will, did we? This is only a half-truth. In some mysterious way even the most ordinary of human wood chips, as he floats willingly in the mainstream, or uncomplainingly allows himself to be tossed in a whirlpool, has the power to affect the direction of the current. Every one of us, to some degree or another, had a share in what happened, and there is no point in trying to disclaim responsibility. We may have felt utterly powerless, but at the same time, uncertain of what we had to defend, we were always only too quick to surrender. The fateful years were the twenties: it was then that people not only became convinced of their helplessness, but even exalted it, learning to ridicule as old-fashioned, as a mark of backwardness, the very idea of intellectual, moral, or spiritual resistance.” (Nadezhda Mandelshtam, Hope Abandoned, Ch 19 ‘Fear’, p164).

    Your comparison slights the memory of those who resisted Stalin, more than it mocks Calvinists.

  166. @ Lowlandseer:
    I don’t even like Calvin as a historical figure much less his Institutes. Most frozen chosen I have known (many moons ago Pres Seminary here was a client of mine) over the years are decent people who were not looking to control others. Differences are fine by me. I like diversity of thought. But when the cooperating Baptist Church is told by mere employees of entities we don’t know the true Gospel because we are not Calvinist and churches are deceptively taken over by indoctrinated man boys, that is a whole other problem. I don’t blame Calvin. I blame them.. 🙂 Then I read Quiet Revolution and saw the playbook put in action back in the 80’s.

  167. @ Lowlandseer:
    I will always resist any Totalitarianism whether it’s practiced Calvinism, Communism, socialism, Fascism, etc. I put Calvinism in that category because of the focus on hierarchy and Calvin basically ran a state church. (Even though Cals deny it, it’s true)

    I am more impressed with guys like Felix Manz and George Blaurock.

    I am a nobody so me not liking Calvin or Calvinism is easily blown off. Plenty of important people like it. 🙂

  168. @ Lydia:
    Lydia, our problem (you and me) are that we see it and can’t un-see it, we know it because it’s in our knower – we can’t un-know it. New Calvinism is not an authentic expression of Christianity, despite how much the new reformers try to convince us that they alone have a corner on the truth. When Jesus is diminished, Scripture reduced to an aberrant expression of it, and the Gospel of Christ replaced by teachings of men, that should be wrong in anybody’s book who call themselves Christian. Strange days in the American church.

    Lydia wrote:

    I am more impressed with guys like Felix Manz and George Blaurock.

    Examples of the true reformers, IMO.

  169. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It never fails to amaze me that, no matter what the subject is here, it’s always Calvin’s fault, even though they represent less than 10% (as Max loves to remind us) of Christendom. It’s a good thing that there still so many of them around. I dread to think what state the church would be in if we left you to your own devices. :-).

    Interesting as such a small percentage they are responsible for so many abuses. My background is not pop- Neo-Calvinists. Mine is amongst super reformed historical Calvinists – the self-styled True Inheritors of the historical faith.

  170. Lea wrote:

    Men seem to have more fear about ‘false accusations’ than women have about actually being assaulted, when the actual numbers are massively flipped.

    Good point.

  171. okrapod wrote:

    but none of which addresses the issue of whether the church has the right to do any of it in the first place.

    Your thoughts in this thread highlight an important but inconvenient reality: we either 1) make up whatever we want to believe or 2) we accept some kind of authoritative tradition passed down to us. If number one is the ultimate reality, then it really doesn’t matter what any of us believes and there is not much point in even having a discussion about it since there is nothing of value that anyone can add to the discussion. Number two is what pretty much all of us do (in all religions and ideologies), but we draw the lines in different places for what we consider authoritative tradition, whether it be something passed down from antiquity or something passed down to us with much more recent roots.

    The thing I can no longer unsee in Christianity is its messy history. Those of us in the Protestant camp often like to have a “Me and Jesus and the Bible” mentality. But what makes it right for us to have this attitude? If we do it because others have done it, then why choose this tradition over older traditions? We can choose a particular denomination to follow, but what makes us right in choosing that one, and what makes that denomination right in choosing what to believe? Most Christians agree that we can trust the Bible, but why? Because of the great care that went into collecting and preserving it? But the same people who gave us the canon (rule) of scripture also gave us many other canons (rules) that are not universally agreed upon by Christians. What makes it right for us to pick and choose which traditions we like? Also, it does make sense than a gathering of people should be able to set standards for beliefs and behaviors of its members even when others disagree.

    I find it very difficult to sort it all out in terms or what Christianity should look like today.

    okrapod wrote:

    and the rest of us should respect their decisions just as we want them to respect our decisions. Correction: perhaps it is that we should respect each other whether or not we ‘respect’ their decisions in ‘the woman question’.

    This sounds very true, and might be the answer for the mess I described above. The one caveat I would add is respect for others does not mean turning a blind eye to abusive behavior. And it should be ok to expose and criticize bad teachings even while showing respect to the people who teach them (after all, they still are made in the image of God even if I don’t like them). I believe that you would not disagree with this, but I did not want any others to assume that my comments would somehow justify condoning abusive behavior.

  172. Ricco wrote:

    Studies from Scandinavia show that, when they made society super egalitarian, gender differences increased. I don’t know what it means, but it seems that there may be biological differences.

    My post here discusses that study, and ones like it:
    Do All Or Most Women Innately Prefer Non-Tech Careers? Re: James Damore Google Memo (part 1)
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/%E2%80%A2-do-all-or-most-women-innately-prefer-non-tech-careers-re-james-damore-google-memo-part-1/

  173. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    1) make up whatever we want to believe or 2) we accept some kind of authoritative tradition passed down to us.

    I believe I understand what you are saying, and that is a conundrum. For me, the way I navigate this is not looking for religion. I go to church, but I don’t equate the institution with the Church. I believe that each person comes complete with a path to God, if we choose to follow it.

    I would have called myself a heretic for saying this only a year ago, but I consider the Bible a collection of literature and history that God uses to draw people to him. That isn’t really saying it right, but it’s the best I can do right now.

    I know the certainty isn’t there, and I’m still recovering from this. To me, the solution seems to be to live into my true self, since God reconciled the world to himself in Christ.

    This is the “answer” I’m walking in. We will see how it goes.

  174. Lydia wrote:

    Yep. Read a summary of that same study. The point is choice. As a female who climbed the career ladder in a then male dominated industry, I would not trade that experience for anything. But it is a choice. I wasn’t telling other females they had to choose that. When it comes to the Body of Christ, I can’t believe it’s even an issue. There isn’t a pink or blue path to salvation.

    And I addresses that study (and some of its assumptions) here:
    Do All Or Most Women Innately Prefer Non-Tech Careers? Re: James Damore Google Memo (part 1)
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/%E2%80%A2-do-all-or-most-women-innately-prefer-non-tech-careers-re-james-damore-google-memo-part-1/

    (There is also a Part 2 of that post)

  175. Muff Potter wrote:

    Bingo. Go to some of the ‘progressive’ Christian sites on Patheos and dare and disagree with even one point of their ideological shtick.
    They’ll descend on you like pissed-off hornets for even suggesting that not all women should become doctors, scientists, corporate CEOs, and what have you.
    They are just as Orwellian and have their own fundamentalism which will not brook even the slightest critique.

    Some progressives are just as bad on these subjects as some conservative are (disclaimer: I identify as conservative), but honestly, I don’t see too many liberals insisting that all women should reject stay- at- home- motherhood or marriage.

    Too often, other conservatives (both in and out of the church) have limited choices for women – not the majority of liberals on this.

    I actually see a lot of liberals in the comment box on other sites mention they are married to men and have children, so they’re obviously not all “anti motherhood” or women choosing marriage and motherhood over college education and career.

    I do remember back in the 1990s seeing the occasional news paper article summarizing what thus and so far left wing feminist here or there said, and it was pretty far out there, but most of the liberals / feminists I’ve seen really do not hate the Nuclear Family or women wanting to be mothers.

    I’m afraid such depictions are often a misrepresentation by other conservatives.

    The liberals usually argue that women should be allowed to choose whatever they wish, whether it’s career, education, and/or motherhood and/or marriage.

  176. Daisy wrote:

    Some progressives are just as bad on these subjects as some conservative are (disclaimer: I identify as conservative), but honestly, I don’t see too many liberals insisting that all women should reject stay- at- home- motherhood or marriage.

    I don’t identify with any one label (even though some of my political leanings are socialist).
    I’m a free-thinker, renegade, and rogue anomaly.
    I adopt ideas and ethos paradigms from all over the map and have a tendency to alienate both progressive and conservative alike.

  177. Max wrote:

    New Calvinism is a whole different story

    “We are seeing the failure of the eternal security doctrine to produce righteousness, with sexual abuse and its cover up occurring at Bob Jones University, Patrick Henry College, Pensacola College, and with Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and many, many other Baptist and Calvinist pastors. ‘For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness…’ (Jude 1:4a) also 2Peter 2:18-22” from: http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/bill-gothard-biggest-conservative-fraud-modern-times/

  178. JYJames wrote:

    the failure of the eternal security doctrine to produce righteousness

    Doctrines of any flavor cannot produce righteousness. We become morally right and justifiable before God when we “do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). So many churchmen miss this core truth, living in the flesh and not by the Spirit, adhering to the law but missing life in Christ, religious but spiritually destitute.

  179. @ okrapod:
    Church is voluntary yet take tax exemptions. The voluntary aspect is one of “many” reasons I hold them to a higher standard than due process when it comes to abuse, etc. Outside church I believe ignoring due process is going to be our eventual undoing.

    The church taking freebies from the state others don’t receive will eventually catch up to them.

  180. @ Lydia:

    I am not following you as to how due process relates to anything that I said. I think we are running trains on parallel tracks, but more or less in the same direction.

  181. Lydia wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    I would say welcome to the club but am not into clubs.

    “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
    — Groucho Marx

  182. @ okrapod:
    You were talking church and “rights”. My view is church is voluntary. I personally hold churches to a higher standard than due process when dealing with abuse issues. That is because people can easily leave and are not legally compelled to pay for the church or salaries. We are to self govern.

    That shoukd mean we report individual criminal behavior to authorities (not elders) but don’t want the state to govern or dictate to the church. (Church tax exemptions are a backdoor for that)

    Churches are notorious for hiding abusers and their enablers. Their own worst enemy of Christ and the state.

  183. These churches should not be hiring Christian organizations to do investigations. The results will inevitably be biased, or at least have the appearance of bias. Those doing the investigating are underqualified, if not outright unqualified. The investigation should be done by a large law firm that has some attorneys that specialize in internal corporate investigations. Those are the people who actually know how to investigate something like this. Not some hack Christian organization that no one other than a church would ever consider hiring.

Leave a Reply

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