“Today, I spoke with Dr. Page and learned that his retirement announcement was precipitated by a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.”
Stephen Rummage, CEO of the SBC’s Executive Committee
Frank Page, one of the most powerful leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, has suddenly resigned as president and CEO of the SBC’s Executive Committee. The day after he announced his resignation, he provided a fuller explanation, which was included in an article published by Christianity Today. (see screen shot below)
The CT article included the following biographical information regarding Frank Page:
As EC president, the 65-year-old Page has held a key role in coordinating the work of the SBC’s national ministries—encompassing two mission boards, six seminaries, and other entities—and overseeing a Cooperative Program budget of nearly $200 million yearly. Page’s work also included building relationships with 42 state and regional Baptist conventions and 47,000-plus Southern Baptist churches in all 50 states.
Page was the 2006–2008 president of the SBC, elected to the post as pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina. Before being elected as EC president in 2010, Page served as vice president of evangelization for the North American Mission Board from 2009 to 2010.
Among the hallmarks of Page’s eight years as EC president have been strong calls for personal evangelism; support for the Cooperative Program channel of Southern Baptist missions and ministry support; and inclusion of numerous ethnic groups, women, young leaders, and small-church pastors in the life of the convention.
A Religion News Service article highlighted some of the work Page has done in the SBC. (see excerpt below)
Page was known for bridging the denomination’s various divides. In 2013, Page helped bring together Calvinists and non-Calvinists during a squabble within the denomination about the theology of salvation. And last year, when some churches threatened to cut off support for the SBC after chief ethicist Russell Moore criticized Donald Trump, Page met with Moore and the two issued a statement of unity.
Nearly eleven years ago, when Page was serving as SBC president, a motion was made at the denomination’s annual meeting to develop a central database “listing Southern Baptist ministers who have been credibly accused of, confessed to or been convicted of sexual abuse or harassment.” (link)
An Ethics Daily article provided further background information on this serious matter (see below).
Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., said he plans to ask the SBC Executive Committee to study a possible database accessible to Southern Baptist churches to help prevent future sexual abuse or harassment by clergy.
“The issue of preventing child abuse must be dealt with by all Christians, including the Southern Baptist Convention,” Burleson said in his Friday blog. “I don’t have all the answers, but I know that we must do all we can to stop the victimization of our children, and we cannot turn a blind eye toward those who commit such crimes.”
When this motion was presented, Dee and I had never even heard of Wade Burleson, nor had we researched any of the topics we discuss here at TWW; however, both of us were Southern Baptists at the time. As our readers know, Dee has since changed denominations, while I (Deb) continue my Southern Baptist affiliation.
According to the Ethics Daily article, in September 2006 Christa Brown (who runs a website called Stop Baptist Predators) “hand-delivered a letter to SBC headquarters addressed to SBC President Frank Page, Executive Committee President/CEO Morris Chapman and Ethics & Religious Liberty head Richard Land, asking for a nationwide strategy to address loopholes in a free-wheeling denominational structure she says indirectly shields perpetrators.”
Seven months later… “Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said critics of the convention’s policy on sexual abuse by clergy are not really advocating on behalf of children but rather are opportunists motivated by personal gain,” according to a follow-up article in Ethics Daily. Page’s remarks were in a Florida Baptist Witness article as well as a Baptist Press article, as pointed out by this piece in Ethics Daily; however, these two articles are no longer accessible.
According to the Ethics Daily article, Page went on to write the following:
“Let me also share one other word of clarification,” he wrote. “Please realize that there are groups who claim to be one thing when in reality they are another. It would be great if the many groups who are claiming to be groups of advocacy and encouragement in ministry were that which they claim. Please be aware that there are groups that are nothing more than opportunistic persons who are seeking to raise opportunities for personal gain.”
Bob Allen emailed Page prior to publishing his article for clarification regarding the group(s) to which he (Page) was referring; however, there was no response. The only group that had been advocating for the SBC to begin identifying clergy committing sexual abuse was SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).
Christa Brown of SNAP-Baptist called Page’s remarks “a slap in the face for the many, many people who have been victimized by the horrific crimes of Southern Baptist clergy and by the blind-eyed, do-nothing attitude of so many of this denomination’s leaders.”
Then in April 2007, “20/20” did a story on predatory preachers. Frank Page was interviewed and a few of his remarks were included in the program. We strongly encourage you to watch the short 20/20 segment that features Frank Page HERE. (Page appears at the 3:46 mark).
After seeing the “20/20” segment, Page called it “yellow journalism”, as you will see in the following excerpt from an Ethics Daily article.
Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page called last week’s “20/20” story on predatory preachers “yellow journalism” and a “slice-and-dice” piece to make it appear Southern Baptists aren’t doing enough to combat sexual abuse by clergy.
Page appeared on Friday’s program, saying he agreed to an interview to provide balance to a story he expected to be “overwhelmingly negative.”
After seeing the program, Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., complained Monday in Baptist Press that ABC News used just a few seconds of his two-hour interview, leaving out his comments about what the nation’s largest Protestant faith group is doing to address the problem.
“Much is being done right now and much is being done on the local level,” Page said. “They did not want to include that because it would have tainted their piece.”
“I felt that it was an intentional slice-and-dice effort to portray the SBC and its president as uncaring and uninformed,” he said. “It was more than a two-hour interview reduced to less than 60 seconds of choppy response. It was a prime example of yellow journalism, in which a broad brush was used and the whole truth was denied a fair hearing.”
August Boto, general counsel and vice president for convention policy with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, issued a statement criticizing what he said were inaccuracies in the report.
“Unfortunately, the ’20/20′ report last Friday had the effect of misleading at least some of its viewers to believe that the Southern Baptist Convention somehow condones, hides or denies sexual offenses committed by ministers in SBC-affiliated churches,” Boto said. “The convention does none of those things. Quite the contrary.”
Christa Brown shared her thoughts about Frank Page and the 20/20 segment in a post entitled: Blind to ministers’ child molestation convictions: How long does it take?
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that pedophile database has never become a reality in the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is how the news was reported in TIME (Nov. 2008) – see screen shot below.
Six years later David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, and Amy Smith, SNAP Leader in Texas, contacted Frank Page once again, and this was his response (see screen shot below).
In the wake of the shocking revelation that Frank Page was involved in a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past”, we have many more questions about why the pedophile database was never considered by the SBC leadership.
Now that Page is ‘retired’, we believe the SBC should once again consider creating a central database with the names of Southern Baptist pastors who have been “credibly accused of, confessed to or been convicted of sexual abuse or harassment.”
NO MORE EXCUSES! It’s time to protect the children!!!
From the post with a link to the source article: “According to the Ethics Daily article, Page went on to write the following:
“‘… Please be aware that there are groups that are nothing more than opportunistic persons who are seeking to raise opportunities for personal gain.’”
What? Who is personally gaining from reporting abuse? Rachel Denhollander? Jules Woodson? Dee and Deb? Who is Page kidding? All of the above who have raised concerns have done so with great personal liability. The SNAP folks would probably concur.
Page and his group = collaborative self-interest, one and all.
Denhollander, Woodson, Dee, Deb = other interest, in other words, love. “Love one another as I have loved you. You shall be known by your love for one another,” – NT references to doing right, no matter the cost.
“a personal moral failing” “personal indiscretion” — Frank Page
“an inappropriate relationship” — Stephen Rummage, Chairman of the Executive Committee
unless they clarify some, i can only wonder at exactly how inappropriate was this relationship. inappropriate because of the age of the other person? abuse of power on Frank’s part?
He must be talking about pastors who utilise their ecclesiastical prominence to sell books.
@ Roger Bombast:
Bah – dang my inability to keep tabs on Safari’s auto-complete feature…
This shows, once again, the perils of living a double life.
i’m wondering how much money will be spent on Frank Page’s personal failing and inappropriate relationship.
Stephen Rummage said, “My heart is broken for Dr. Page, his family and everyone affected.”
“I believe I speak for the entire Executive Committee in saying that we are committed to provide them the spiritual and emotional support they need in the coming days.”
How much of the tithe $ of faithful and hard-working SBC people will go towards this support?
Will the other person in this inappropriate relationship also be the beneficiary of any monetary support? or is it just Frank and his family?
i can’t help but be astonished that a moral failing triggers a movement of support for the one who made the decision to do wrong, which is sure to involve resources of some kind. Not to mention the outpouring of accolades, praise, affirmations, calls to prayer for the one who chose to betray. (and only for him, not for the other person)
what is it with christian culture that the perpetrator becomes the hero?
I’m sure church discipline has commenced rigorously….
yes, wouldn’t it be interesting to do a study comparing how church members are treated to discipline versus how the male pastor celebrities who decide to do something immoral are treated?
I hope I am wrong, but the victim in this case–not Frank Page, will be thrown under the bus and the SBC will just go back to business as usual.
That’s a very good question. I almost want to bite my tongue (but I won’t). It’s not simply Christian culture. It’s Protestant culture. Where salvation is seen as something already in the past. Not the future. Therefore the bar is lowered and one is encouraged to simply celebrate one’s own Worm-based Sinner existence, and God’s redemptive act.
That isn’t to say everyone else is always right. They could use some more attention on the Redemptive act themselves. Think of the typical medieval picture of a monk flogging themselves, hoping for his salvation only to be realized in the future.
Bah! In any case, I feel that this is none of my business anyways. I feel sad for this man tbh.
We don’t know if Page’s “moral failing’ person is a victim or not at this point. It might have been consensual and not a workplace situation. Not enough info at this point. I just say this because it hurts real victims when all are lumped into the category. We don’t know enough and it has the opportunity to infantalize complicit women.
However, his calling the SNAP advocates, “opportunists”, was about as low and evil as one can get on this issue of child molestation by “Christian” leaders. I remember when it happened. Page was able to dine out in the SBC on his nice guy (all sides like him) persona for a long time. So, not so nice guy “peacemaker”, it seems. But, I suppose if a powerful Christian leader is going to have a “moral failure”, retirement age is the time to do it. Sigh.
I am not a fan of an SBC in-house database. I can just see Pope Al Mohler deciding who is in charge of it.
Yes, he sure seemed to pick a very opportune time to “Retire.”
Lydia, are you saying there may not be a victim in Pages’ situation?
“In the wake of the shocking revelation that Frank Page was involved in a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past”, we have many more questions about why the pedophile database was never considered by the SBC leadership.”
I’m not seeing the connection between the two. What questions?
The database was considered but rejected, as I recall. The SBC Executive Committee does link existing databases.
Depends on how one defines “victim”. If women are ALWAYS victims in consensual adultery, that only infantalizes them. No thanks. We don’t know enough about the situation, do we? Was it an intern in his office? A linear SBC employee? An non work friend?
I am not playing down the wrong doing. I just am concerned about real victims getting shortchanged because we lump consensual equal adultery into the victim category.
Excellent comment all around. I totally agree with everything you said, to the extent of course that I understand it.
I understand that to be what she means, and I totally think that there is no reason to automatically brand every female who takes her pants off when she ought not as some sort of ‘victim’. Of course, the Deebs have not taken that position, but there is the idea out there that female = vulnerable and male = predatory criminal. Phooey.
As one who took her pants off and had to repent, I don’t buy that for one minute. And I deeply resent the implication that females are mentally and physiologically I suppose just weak and helpless ninnies just waiting to be abused by any and every male in the vicinity.
There is such a thing as abuse and there are victims who were abused, but to assume that the abuse/victim paradigm applies to any and all forbidden sexual activity is incorrect. There is also such a thing as sin, just plain old uncomplicated sin, and we females are not immune to sin.
Show some respect for females.
To me, that’s the real “conservative” and/or biblical position. The one where we are all individuals, held accountable to God, for better or worse. And held accountable in life as well.
This is also very empowering for women.. When “Individuality” is also applied to more productive things. I don’t understand the (neo?) Calvinist obsession with weak women. It’s neither conservative or attractive (most conservatives value the notion of personal responsibility.. just not this lot).
You my friend have made me very angry this morning with your comment!I am going to try and be nice to you on Easter weekend. Get over yourself, you have not a clue what I am implying–his inappropriate relationship may have been with a child or even a man. I am confident we will never know.
No problem. I am quite comfortable with anger and/or offendedness, be it yours or mine. But look what you have said. You have brought up that perhaps this man is either a homosexual, a pervert or a criminal. Is there evidence for that? Is that then fair to say about someone?
We are just going to have a mutually offended relationship on this. And frankly, if the Deebs are trying to suggest that we should automatically suspect the very worst, and without evidence, then I disagree with that also; except I do not see that they have done that.
If SBC churches would report pedophiles and other sexual abuse to governmental authorities (Rom 13) they would not need a separate database. Maintaining a separate database I would think opens them to legal issues.
Now keeping a SBC list of folks known to be dancers, tobacco chewers, card players and movie goers is useful for preserving legalism in the denomination. However, no need to report folks to the government.
Wow, the SBC adults in my childhood would have been in trouble all the time. My mom and aunts (all on church staffs) were card sharks, we danced in our black lighted youth pit in the church basement and You could usually find the deacons outside having a last cig before the service began.
TBH, Mot, I haven’t a clue what you’re implying either.
More generally, certainly there may not be a victim. “May not be” means exactly what it says. It means there may be. Or there may not be. I agree entirely with Okrapod and Lydia on this; to paraphrase what they’ve already said, a woman is – other things being equal – as capable as a man of being a consenting adult. Whether Mr Page’s inappropriate relationship is with a woman, a man, a child, Siri, Lara Croft, an organisation, an alien civilisation, or a victim, I’ve no idea. The reason I’ve no idea is that I’ve no access to anyone else’s testimony on the matter, though that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll never know.
Would a relationship with Siri actually be a sin? 😛
A question for the next generation, I suppose.
The thing that has always troubled me about Dr. Page was his failure to stand against the proliferation of New Calvinism in SBC ranks. For a man who formerly expressed concerns over Calvinism and its rise in the Southern Baptist Convention – even writing a book “Trouble With The Tulip” dealing with this – he grew strangely silent as Al Mohler worked his magic to Calvinize the denomination. Southern Baptists put Page in his executive position to promote mainline SBC non-Calvinist belief and practice, not support challenges to it. Obviously, a lot goes on behind closed doors in the SBC ivory tower.
“Siri, should I let Pastor Andy drive me home?”
At age 65 – time to collect his SBC retirement annuity. I suppose failed SBC pastors/leaders can still reap those benefits, with a greater good erasing their misbehaving.
Unless I missed it, we know zero about the other party in this sad situation … we don’t even know the gender.
The timing is quite interesting…
Yeah, that always bothered me, too! I suppose a lot of Baptist kids started smoking due to the fine example set by the deacon body. The lawn care guy tried to pick up all the cigarette butts before Sunday, but there was always a new stack for him to deal with when the worshipers left. A Baptist deacon in our community, a contractor, is well known for his colorful language and questionable business dealings … but, boy, can he sure utter an eloquent prayer on Sunday mornings!
Lydia, do you ever wonder why we heard few sermons on holiness growing up as Southern Baptists? It was because the pulpit was not holy, even then – they can’t preach what they don’t know. To them, “holiness” is something that gets on Pentecostals and they don’t want anything to do with it.
One thing I find common in all churches…even the ones I gravitate towards.. is things get kept hidden.. not necessarily out of malice, but misguided “protection”.
“To not provide a stumbling block for those weak in faith”.
I think some of the people who make those calls may mean well, but they’re probably creating an eventual bigger stumbling block.
And it may also be time for a Mohler-man to get that high SBC office. He’s already stacked most SBC entities with hand-picked New Calvinist leaders.
Well, an inappropriate one would be, clearly… 😉
Since my dad smoked a pipe, my mom could not pass up a game of spades And we danced with permission in the youth pit, I am not a good one to ask. They just did not see those things as holiness issues.
Strange, isn’t it … giving honor to whom honor is not due.
In June, the Southern Baptist Convention will hold its annual conference in Dallas. Thousands of SBC church “messengers” will flock to the meeting to hear SBC dignitaries speak and pass resolutions to do this or that. They will sing Kumbaya and return home with a new zeal, but get over it within a few weeks. Frank Page would have been the moderator of all that activity. It will be interesting to see if/how he is mentioned by others. Will he be honored for his legacy of achievements as they send him into retirement, despite failing to “finish the race well” (2 Timothy 4). Will be be given a standing ovation?
There’s so much that goes on in church which is not the Church at all.
I think that merely suggesting that question is exploding some heads about now. I am not comfortable conjecturing. If there is an actual “victim” I hope they come forward. If funds were used or a complaint filed, the SBC should make that public redacting the victims name. Money used to cover up or for quid pro quo is where this stuff usually comes out….eventually
Deception is always so evil and affects so many innocent people in the long run.
Lydia, as I understand things, holiness is total devotion to God. I suppose He winks at the occasional puff, gamble, and dance by His children, as long as they attempt to keep Him first for most of the time 🙂 However, the shenanigans by church leaders today have taken on a whole new dimension of unfaithfulness.
Yes today it is more evil to smoke a cigarette outside than it is to have an abortion or molest a kid. Bizarro world. Upside down.
I just googled a bunch of pics and quotes of Charle’s Spurgeon and cigars.
I’m not sure why I was compelled to.. and why I somehow knew he was a fan.
Evidently, I do. As a joke, my teens changed my Siri to a man with a British accent who calls me, “honey bunny”.
A trend worthy of dissection…
Which is quaintly amusing, as “honey bunny” isn’t really a thing over here.
A lot of things are, of course:
… awreet, hen…
… eh up, me duck…
And others, but I’m about to get chucked off the Mac.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
I won’t tell the kids. They think it’s hysterical. And the accent is kind of sexy.
I suspect Page’s wife didn’t know and Page presumably made certain vows to her and didn’t ask her consent before engaging in “a morally inappropriate relationship” with someone else. Admittedly we are assuming the relationship was sexually immoral rather than a case of financially immoral relationship.
Uh..no. I don’t know about the states but you will go to jail here if you molest a child. You can’t compare that to the “punishment” of not being allowed to smoke in your favourite restaurant.
As for the abortion lobby, in the eighties and nineties we had incidents of firebombing and at least one assassination attempt on a doctor. No surprise that Canadians didn’t really support them. I’m against abortion (not because of ideology) but we need to look at the whole picture.
If Frank Page used his power to abuse he should be prosecuted, if he entered into an affair then it’s up to SBC and its members to censure him.
BTW when I worked as an aircraft mechanic in Canadian Air Force reserve we were glad for the smoking ban. Smokers did more damage to aircraft than anyone else and the smoke was havoc on the air handling systems.
I agree with you on abortion.. but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone against it because of “ideology”. That’d be weird.
When the whole story isn’t told, people are left wondering, wanting that blank to be filled in. It reminds me of people posting some cryptic message on Facebook like, “An awful thing just happened!” and not saying anymore. Then there’s all the “What awful thing?” “What happened?” replies.
If someone is going to “confess”, why don’t they tell us just what happened? Are they not really that sorry?
Come out with it or don’t bother saying anything to people.
In my former church, we were told a certain missionary was pulled in from the field and was made to be no longer associated with our missions. Was it because of adultery? Was he operating a black market? What? We never were told, just left to always wonder the worst.
Good grief! What an extraordinary, broad-brush assertion. Sigh.
Well no, some of them there Protestants read that book in the pew rack that didn’t so much lower the bar once the grace of God appeared but instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we arrive wait the blessed hope in glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (cf. Titus 2:11-13).
A paragraph or two later, we read about Christ saved us (esosen, a telling tense of the verb), not by the roaches deeds we had done, but according to his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (cf. Titus 3:5.). (That’s the same Holy Spirit with whom believers were sealed — telling tense again — and who is the pledge/guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, cf. Eph 1:13-14). Back to Titus, those who believed are to consider and emphasize these things so that the believers will take care to devote themselves to good deeds (cf. Titus 3:8).
Thus, the tying of recognition of one’s salvation status (ongoing sanctification being another discussion point) to a bar lowering and encouragement to “simply celebrate one’s own worm-based sinner existence, and God’s redemptive act” falls short of capturing a genuine ‘Protestant’ faith view. Had it been said that some do not understand what is taught in Scripture about salvation and allow their misconceptions to act as you describe, that would be one thing. Instead, you again wield a broad brush, talking aim and missing the mark, which again reflects on you. Maybe next time, act on your first instinct to bite your tongue before inartfully tossing hatchets at those you view as un-orthodox (sic) Christians.
My husband wants to know “Where’s the money?” 🙂
@ Nick Bulbeck:
You always make me smile!
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I’ve previously stated that he’s had an inappropriate relationship with offering plates. And as Elastigirl said this inappropriate relationship will likely continue. From the moment whatever else it was began, he might as well have been going around to churches, sticking in his hands, pulling out wads of cash, and stuffing it in his socks. Along that line, one brave SBC pastor is calling for Page to RETURN his ill-gotten gains. https://www.nathanjamesnorman.com
I bet Page got a nice buyout and there will all sorts of little celebrations for him. Maybe a stained glass window in the SWBTS chapel next to Pressler’s perhaps?
Do you understand the controversy surrounding this rejection? Do you remember Page calling those of us who wanted to see such a data base “opportunistic?” The SBC has a bad record when if comes to child sex abuse in their churches. The churches which mishandle it, cover it up, etc are still members in good standing with the SBC. Nope-won”t buy that Page was just a guy in the white hat in this one. My guess is that he didn’t want it for many reasons and a couple of those reason might not have been *righteous.*
So they say…However, I suspect that if they listed ALL the churches which had sex abuse issues in one place, it would send a shock wave throughout the convention. I think that is the main reason that they don’t want it up there.
Contrast Pastor Norman’s open letter with that of seminary president Paige Patterson. https://swbts.edu/news/releases/open-letter-southern-baptists/
After a scoundrel stole about a million 1928 bucks from the SBC, souls trooped into hell as a result. “WE” (not those he sinned against) need to forgive Page. No call for this scoundrel to pay money back to save future souls from ECT. It’s all the fault of Baptists forgetting to pray hard enough for their leaders.
Trust me jack, I see the whole picture. Do you really think that I support a few fringe wackos who bomb abortion clinics? And I said smoke “OUTSIDE”. I do not condone inconsideration to others. I don’t condone smoking for crying out loud. I was making a comparison to how our culture reacts and majors on the minors.. And btw, few pedophiles are actually convicted. And the ones that are have usually had anywhere from 75 to 150 grooming victims. It’s very hard to prove.
That’ll be Patrick Stewart, then.
I think (my opinion) it’s because they have a warped view of ‘sin’, ‘sinners’, and the dynamics surrounding the two concepts.
Please read this regarding *consensual* relationships.
So far, we have not said that there is definitely a *victim* in this situation. However, I do find it odd that the statement regarding Page did not imply a CONSENSUAL relationship.
Let me tell you how consensual relationships, albeit sin, should be handled. Jesse Watters is an anchor at Fox News. That %#*&@%&* sleaze bag, who is married and has young twins, decided to take up with a 20 something employee working on his show. He marched his sorry bottom down to Human Resources to state that he and the babe had a consensual relationship. Both parties signed documents to that effect, they moved the babe to work on another show (with her consent) and Watters is now protected against accusations of sexual harassment.
I follow the show Designated Survivor. In the last segment, a similar situation occurred in which a dating couple reported their relationship to the While House counsel and were required to sign forms.
The relationship between David and Bathsheba was in no way a mutual relationship. David sent two guards to bring her to him. She was stuck because David was the King. In fact, I believe that the story quickly moves away from Bathsheba and focuses on David’s sin is because she was coerced by her king and David had all the power. I think God gets it.
Most businesses understand the potential coercive relationship that can occur between a person higher on the food chain and one lower on the food chain. I believe women and men can be subject to enormous pressure to engage in an unwanted relationship when it is tied to employment, etc.
So, back to Page. The statement did not declare this was a consensual relationship. The statement could have said something like “I was involved in a consensual inappropriate relationship.” So, either something is up or the people in charge of the SBC still don’t get the whole #metoo thing.
It must be understood that anyone not part of the religious elite who ever admonished Frank Page to do anything would be by definition an opportunist and likely considered a servant of hell. That terse and unhelpful little letter Page wrote that’s quoted above, he probably thought himself enormously magnanimous to write it at all, why that person who dared demand anything of him would’ve been burned alive in another day and age for questioning the Mighty Man of God. The idea of moving one millimeter to accommodate one not part of his clique of Majestic Leaders would likely never occur to him, he’d probably consider it grave sin and even blasphemy to listen to anyone other than a fellow anointed.
One must understand the paradigm from which abuse church leaders operate: They are right because they are chosen by God—you are wrong because you are not. There is nothing right or wrong outside of that, no ethics or morals exist that supersede that fact. And if one child or a million are abused and their faith destroyed, what of it? These men are the chosen of God. You will never understand these men and their behavior until you understand it from that paradigm. As a former elder, I’ve seen it up close, people like this generally cannot be reached by reason or appeals to justice or even Jesus Himself—because they believe they’ve already heard from Him and you have not, otherwise you wouldn’t be questioning their judgment.
Strange isn’t it? In the 21st century church, a church leader can sin, confess and repent … be forgiven by the congregation … honored as a “hero” for having confessed and repented … and some even restored to “ministry”! And there might be a standing ovation to boot! While their victims often suffer in obscurity. Just doesn’t sound like the Church of the Living God to me.
“inappropriate relationship” = intentionally vague weasel term.
That *could* be something as simple as kissing another woman, or something as heinous as molesting a child.
I must confess, I’m really NOT of mind to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.
@ dee: Yeah, I’m pretty up on it…didn’t raise any white hat stuff. I expect the database to be raised again.
Watching a documentary on Warren Jeffs at present.
Dave A A wrote:
Scripture says we are to forgive those who trespass against ‘us’ (Matthew 6). Page’s sin may have affected ‘us’ in one way or another, but it was not a sin against ‘us’. Page’s wife and daughters have been directly affected by this – his sin was against them – they, not us, need to work through forgiving him. “If” the person he committed this sin with was a “victim”, then they need to process forgiveness as well, if they are able.
From what he says, I can only assume he assumes the public will assume a relationship with one consenting adult female. But he states none of this. By saying “a failing” and “indiscretion” singular he wants us to think it only happened one time. OTOH he also refers to his family “and those” plural he has hurt. We don’t know who these are but there are more than one.
Notice that just like Savage’s resignation, he uses no language similar to David’s in Psalm 51. No sin, iniquity, transgressions, or evil. Instead, we have the sort of language used by predators in our current culture. This doesn’t prove he is one, of course.
That is an interesting way to look at things, but it is not my way apparently. Had Page used the word ‘consensual’ in his statement I would have thought that he was somehow trying to justify his behavior and trying to say that everything should be overlooked because ‘consensual’, much like Savage keeps saying 20 years ago. I don’t think that ‘consensual’ is some excuse. So I would have thought much less of his confession had he offered that up as an excuse. His letter just seemed to say as little as possible. Back in the day it was assumed that any ‘gentleman’ would do that in order to protect his ‘lady love’ or whatever. That is perhaps a generational assumption on my part.
Now, consensual does have its place before somebody is designated either a predator or a victim certainly.
And in the midst of this national me too event this will need to come out for the overall health of the convention, based on his status in the convention at least. Let us hope that ‘the facts’ as needed are told to the people who need to know, and that is a big mass of people sad to say.
I will take a guess at one of the issues. If Lydia is correct and everybody liked this man, then I am thinking he was a smooth politician and he probably plays the game in ways that would be least offensive in order to maintain his position, and part of his curt abruptness about the central registry stuff might be to protect other people about whom he knows a lot and whom he needed to keep happy lest he lose his favored position in the convention. As to his personal life I know not, but I would place money on the politics angle as one factor.
Dave A A wrote:
Dr. Patterson has stretched things a bit regarding the church’s obligation to cover “men of God.” Further evidence that Paige Patterson is done, but just hasn’t quit yet.
We are a long way from my mom marrying her widowed boss in the1940’s. . But if the other person doesn’t come forward as a victim what can be done? (Withholding donations for these creeps to operate in might be a start). This is Christianity not the secular workplace. One would hope there are higher standards but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Not sure I buy into not using “consensual” in the announcement automatically means it wasn’t. We don’t even know if it was work related. All we know is Page, Christian leader, had moral failure. And now he’s gone. How convenient. Welcome to Christendom where sinners sin.
Mine, too! 😉
Rewards in heaven?
This church web is becoming so entangled, it’s getting tough to follow the money let alone find it.
Dave A A wrote:
Patterson protects predators, at the very least!
We should all demand such accounting…. I, for one, is really sick of the double standards that these “preacher bro” get to live…… as pointed out above, how many have run away like scared little kids when the heat was turned up?
So just to stir the waters on a mentioned issue not the major topic..
About a central registry for people who are designate as needing to be on a central registry. I don’t think it is a good idea for SBC and related organizations which have no central governing authority and have no way to enforce accurate and fair use of the registry.
Why do I say that? Well, if one goes to a sporting goods store and wants to buy certain equipment one has to stand there while one’s name is run through a national central registry of people who have been declared forbidden to purchase said equipment. But here is the thing, and this information is somewhat old but certainly not ancient, the central registry is deficient. Why? Because not all the states send that information to the central registry. Is there some way to force them to do that? No. This information was furnished me by someone in a position to know, but whether it is specifically accurate as of this date I know not. I do note that the current congress has attempted to correct problem(s) with the registry system.
So if even the federal government cannot enforce accurate and prompt and thorough registration of an important issue, what chance would the SBC have to enforce anything on autonomous churches who opposed the idea in the first place? I was not privy to the original discussions, but I fail to see how that would work well. If, then, the information was not to be trusted, any dependance on the information could lead to a false sense of security on the part of churches.
I would like to see all this solved, including the federal issue of you-know-what, but I just don’t think that a central SBC registry would solve the problem.
It seems that those who are commenting on this post assume that Frank Page is an adulterer. I assume the same thing. But this highlights the inherent problem with the standard euphemisms that are trotted out every time something like this happens. “Personal failing” and “personal indiscretion” have become confessional boilerplate. They tell us something–but not very much. Did he proposition a woman (or a man?) who turned him down and then reported him? Did he solicit sex from a prostitute? Is he addicted to pornography? If it is adultery, was there one woman or five women? Was it “consensual” (by a legal standard, not a Biblical one) or was it coerced in some way?
And on and on. I think that these generic “personal failing” confessions–followed by retirement!–are effectively cover-ups. How many husbands are wondering what Page was up to when he traveled on business with or counseled their wives (or fathers and daughters). I realize that this is a messy business and can draw out a more lurid form of curiosity, but there has to be more to these confessions than a few euphemisms and out. The level of suspicion, distrust, and church humiliation is too high to leave these things to some committee’s executive discretion.
@ Geoff Smith:
Drives me nuts. And what’s worse is these large “Christian” institutions are the easiest place to sweep it all away. I would love to read the insurance policy covering Exec Com executives.
If you believe in something else, you might not be a Protestant. 🙂
I’m not saying anything about Orthodox. Catholics and Orthodox still emphasize both faith and works. In practice, many Protestantists do, but they can’t bring themselves to say it on some doctrinal level. They couch it under “Sanctification” (like you just did). And then proceed to say they’re helpless again, and nothing can be done except by grace. It’s a kind of schizophrenia that seems to view their own walk with Christ in the third person. I’m not sure if they hate talking about works or just hate giving themselves some credit and believing in free will.
Geoff Smith wrote:
Stephen Rummage, Chairman SBC Executive Committee, says it was a “morally inappropriate relationship.” Page said he needs to “rebuild the fabric of trust with my wife and daughters.” That tells us enough.
You have to be careful with this sort of thinking though, because the habit (when a man is involved in any sort of sexual wrong-doing, whether consensual or not), and especially in Christian (but sometimes secular) contexts, is that Excuses and Justifications are made for the Man, but all the blame is heaped on the Woman.
The woman will be blamed for being a temptress, the length of her skirt, being out at the “wrong” time of night, being alone with the guy, or what have you.
Even in situations where, in private, the woman’s claims are believed (that the man in question is a predator), she will often be discouraged because God forbid the offending man’s reputation or career or family or marriage be damaged by her going public with the charges.
A man’s reputation is always deemed more important than a woman’s right to justice or her safety.
We have some guys who have dropped by here and Julie Anne’s blog in the past to dispute there is such a thing as Clergy Sexual Abuse because they view any and all vulnerable women who are taken advantage of by a predatory pastor as being nothing more than garden variety adulteresses.
Okay, then let’s call it a product of an “Evangelical” faith view and culture.
Ignoring the connection between “Once Saved, Always Saved” theology and rampant ongoing sin that gets perpetually overlooked and justified is just living in an idealistic bubble.
Though they tout it, very few Evangelistic denominations value holiness in actuality. And logically, if there is no significant consequence (other than “you may lose some of your crowns” in heavenly eternity,) why should they?
P.S. — By holiness, I mean as in keeping the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule. Not the nitpicky stuff.
You omit the biblical teaching that the Father chastens his disobedient children.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
You’re a lesson to us all.
I forgot the word I see a lot from Calvinists – Semi-Pelagian. Anyone attempting to simply follow Jesus’ commands gets thrown under that bus. Could be a Catholic or Orthodox, could be a Methodist.
Geoff Smith wrote:
I was going to say much the same thing, but you beat me to it!
All the euphemisms used by Christians (especially the famous ones or the head phoo-bahs), when they’re caught in sexual sins, drives me nuts.
I don’t think the authoritarian pastors allow this level of vagueness from their parishioners, though. If it’s a regular, every day Pew Potato under the microscope, the authoritarians want detailed reports and apologies.
I have always believed in O.S.A.S. but have always lived a squeaky clean life.
Even people who reject OSAS but who believe in things such as Conditional Security may sin all the time, but think they’re in the Okay with God so long as they continually repent of their sins. Catholic guys can run to their priest every week and confess their sins and whatever their priest prescribes to be forgiven.
A lot of denominations and theological frame work allow for consistent sin, not just OSAS. So I’m not sure OSAS is at fault so much as the individual character and the individual’s level of devotion.
And perhaps the OSAS camp omits this:
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
It’d be terrible if God wasn’t patient. This is what our lifetime will be like.
But at the same time, it’s a much different story when your sins also injure others. That can’t be easily forgotten or forgiven (especially by a confession to just a priest).
To add to that: Even though we don’t follow Mosaic law, it’s still a template.. and look at the concern God has for victims and the various ways people were required to pay them back. Sin isn’t just a private thing.
Geoff Smith wrote:
He does specifically say that he has to “rebuild trust with his wife and daughters”, telling me those are who he thinks he hurt the most.
But I think his language is purposely vague because it must be pretty bad. He was only a few months from the end of his term anyway. And if it was another woman, she is probably the one being blamed in the inner circle, as it always is with men like him. If it was another man or a prostitute, I’m sure he wants that out even less, because there would be much less sympathy for him, and the SBC-aligned media are really pouring it out right now.
He’s probably still getting a massive severance package…
Daisy, I would agree with your contention that it is very much up to individual character. However, if you think that widely-taught poor doctrine that essentially gives individuals license to sin does not have an influence on the character of Church-at-large, you are mistaken.
God visited us in the flesh for this very reason — the religious leaders of Jesus’ time had God’s people believing they could simply sacrifice an animal once a year and be absolved of all their sins (until the next year.) They were not teaching people to obey God’s Commandments.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
There’s no money, and no applause in honest reporting. #metoo, case in point. With disclaimers, Hollywood may step in to make a buck, truth being stranger than fiction – if there’s an audience.
“And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”
A humbling thought.. even if Christians may have a stronger anchor.
OSAS has problems. I never though it was a license to sin but I do think it can be an excuse for failure to adequately repent. So what’s with ‘adequately’? Well, David’s repentance was adequate, but for someone to basically make excuses for themselves and then manage somehow to think that well perhaps in a certain aspect they might possibly have actually sinned somewhat-that is not adequate. To think that OSAS one might have an emotional way out such that they would not deal with the painful and difficult issues of self examination and refusing to accept excuses for oneself-how could it not soften the unpleasant impact of true repentance.
In my experience it is necessary to repent not just of what one did or did not do, but also to repent of the sort of person one is at the core such that one would in fact do/not do the thing in the first place. It is not just forgive me, it is also create in me a clean heart and take not thy spirit from me. David’s repentance is not theologically consistent with the presumptive limitations of OSAS. Ours should not be either.
On the contrary, this tells us next to nothing. In fact, its the church’s version of the standard politician boilerplate, “I’ve brought pain to my family.” To be clear, I’m not after lurid details. It’s a matter of trust. Over and over again, a “moral failure” occurs and is immediately buried (Andy Savage anyone?). The members simply assume that the leadership handles these situations wisely, but they often don’t. And they too often seem to protect their male friends at the expense of the victim(s) (SGM anyone?). So was this “moral failure” a one off blunder or was it a pattern of predatory behavior? Was a church expense account involved? Did it (or these things) happen on the road or in the home church? If it is adultery, was it a single female in the workplace or a wife being counseled for marriage problems? And on and on and on.
If Evangelical churches behave like their Roman Catholic cousins, then their cover-ups or their passing immoral ministers on to other churches will come back on them with dreadful consequences. And the church members will be left disillusioned and angrier than they might have otherwise been.
From the post: “Then in April 2007, ’20/20′ did a story on predatory preachers. Frank Page was interviewed…”
20/20 tells Frank Page, that on the SBC list of pastors are convicted predators. And there are SBC seminarians who are registered sex offenders. Page says churches must handle that at the local level. 20/20 points out that theology is handled top down, however.
As a US citizen, Page can pleasure with consensual adults at will. Go for it. Who cares.
1) the duplicity of lying about his double life as a pastor
2) the apathy of child sexual abuse
indicate the dark side. Not the sex, but the double life, and predation under his mantle.
Good point. What about this could not have waited and just faded away out of sight when he finished his term? Somebody found out and used it against him. Maybe there is some blackmail, or his wife or kids found out, or some political opponent in SBC, or he tried to call it off with some lover and s/he threatened him with exposure?
Or, there maybe something afoot at SBC which he want to avoid worse than he wants to keep his reputation intact? Or somebody at SBC who not only wants him gone but also discredited? Whatever it is, he sounds to me like a desperate man in some desperate situation.
Geoff Smith wrote:
Catholics [leadership] only got away with it so long because they were vital and intrinsic to many of the areas and political structure they lived in. It’s hard to say if others have the same protection? I wouldn’t know. But yeah, even that came crashing down.
My pastor got his credentials from the SBC many decades ago. He left the denomination over 20 years ago because he was tired of the SBC promoting itself as a brand over the truth and Jesus Christ, among other problems. He is not surprised by the continuous scandals and found the organization to be far too politicized and more interested in protecting the false reputations of its high leaders than in doing what is best for its congregants. None of this surprises me, as the Spirit behind the Pharisees is still with us and does all that it can in every last denomination there is to put narcissistic hypocrites in places of power.
God deliver us please from self-serving religious hypocrites who lust after positions of power so that they can lord their authority over others. There is simply too much Mammon in the church systems in the US today. It is hard to find leaders who will prove that they despise it. We need men like that because they are the only true servants of Jesus Christ. Luke 16:13
Mr. Jesperson wrote:
That last bit is kind of a double edged sword. How I wish some churches had better buildings and people were more comfortable. Lots of wealth spread around denominations, and it could be used for good. It’s too bad we can’t all pool those resources together. Or even a fraction of it.
Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
Could be good on a protest sign! I noticed the very first line of the article had another leader, Mr Vines, forgiving the predator. Did the perp assault Mr Vines? Again they purport to forgive on others’ behalf.
Oh, yeah. I interpret his “cover” to mean “pay”. He’s afraid scandal at the top will inspire churches to cut back on their financial “cooperation”. Missionaries won’t be sent, the lost won’t hear the gospel, and boatloads will go to hell all because you stopped paying er praying.
Mr. Jesperson wrote:
True, always true. We vote with our feet, holding them in power or moving on.
Your pastor figured it out, God bless him. We each have to do this to walk in the light, or be blind led by the blind – which is the Dark Side, in the end.
This Frank Page, for example: would those who walk in the light want to have anything to do with this guy or his ilk?
How can you even know if they keep things so private?
You are correct. He made a happy little announcement about his FUTURE retirement and spending more time with his family AFTER he helped with a decent and orderly transition. Thanks and accolades began pouring in. Then somebody told Rummage, who called him and forced him to admit there’d been some mysterious moral failure. All in the space of a few hours.
I find the language of the reasoning for the resignation by a former SBC president interesting. It was described in the CT article as “a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Where is the category of sin?
If it was an adulterous affair (the wording is vague enough that we don’t know if it was), then embarrassing one’s wife is the wrong term. It was a HUMILIATION as she was put on display through that treacherous behavior against her will. Such would be more than a “personal failing.” The language seems to minimize whatever he did that pushed him to take such a drastic step as resigning, IMO.
Unrelated to that part, I was angered when I read how he responded to Amy and David. It was classic “Christian” word games. Compassion…yeah, sure!
And not in a good way.
Yikes. For the record, when I say I learn from the East, I don’t mean I’m this old fashioned. Look at the sex laws of the first Christian society under Leo III.
1. A married man who commits adultery shall by way of correction be flogged with twelve lashes; and whether rich or poor he shall pay a fine.
2. An unmarried man who commits fornication shall be flogged with six lashes.
3. A person who has carnal knowledge of a nun shall, upon the footing that he is debauching the Church of God, have his nose slit, because he committed wicked adultery with her who belonged to the Church; and she on her side must take heed lest similar punishment be reserved to her.
4. Anyone who, intending to take in marriage a woman who is his goddaughter in Salvation-bringing baptism, has carnal knowledge of her without marrying her, and being found guilty’ of’ the offence shall, after being exiled, be condemned to the same punishment meted out for other adultery, that is to say, both the man and the woman shall have their noses slit.
5. The husband who is cognizant of, and condones, his wife’s adultery shall be flogged and exiled, and the adulterer and the adulteress shall have their noses slit.
6. Persons committing incest, parents and children, children and parents, brothers and sisters, shall be punished capitally with the sword. Those in other relationships who corrupt one another carnally, that is father and daughter-in-law, son and stepmother, father-in-law and daughter-in-law, brother and his brother’s wife, uncle and niece, nephew and aunt, shall have their noses slit. And likewise he who has carnal knowledge with two sisters and even cousins.
7. If a woman is carnally known and, becoming pregnant, tries to produce a miscarriage [abortion], she shall be whipped and exiled.
8. Those who are guilty whether actively or passively of committing unnatural offences shall be capitally punished with the sword. If he who commits the offence passively, is found to be under twelve years old, he shall be pardoned on the ground of youthful ignorance of the offence committed.
9. Those guilty of “abominable crime” [homosexuality?] shall be emasculated.
Now I see where “Byzantine” got it’s name from.
At the same, I wonder if any of it helped (don’t shoot! Just wondering). Number 8 actually included Pederasty, I think (hence why the perpetrator would get executed, but the child wouldn’t, if under 12 and presumably forced into it).
I have not read Frank Page’s book about his daughter Melissa’s suicide in 2009 but that has to put lasting stress on a marriage and family. I think there are too few puzzle pieces turned up to try to figure out the story behind his resignation.
@ Geoff Smith:
What I meant to say was that “personal failing” and “personal indiscretion” can mean pretty much anything (e.g., financial mismanagement), but “morally inappropriate relationship” points to a sin of the flesh with another person.
Didn’t get the comparison. I agree what pedophiles actually are charged with is but the tip of the iceberg but the wider society has condemned their actions and passed laws. That message needs to penetrate closed communities, religious & otherwise.
As we’ve seen, abusers are still getting standing ovations & a free pass and it’s not the wider society’s fault in all cases.
As for Page, he may be an adulterer but he may not have committed an indictable offense.
In that case it’s up to his church and his family to deal with him.
Divorce Minister wrote:
Why just euphemisms? Connect the dots:
The author of the Christianity Today article?…Art Toalston of Baptist Press.
Who operates Baptist Press (& employs Toalston, per his LinkedIn page)?…the SBC Executive Committee.
“The Executive Committee…responsibilities: 1) for Cooperative Program promotion, 2) managing the Southern Baptist Foundation, which manages proceeds from wills, bequests and other investments, 3) operating Baptist Press, the SBC news service, and 4) providing a convention relations office, which articulates Southern Baptist positions to constituents and to the public through the media…”
It doesn’t even seem like pedophiles get punished enough (certainly not in proportion to that crime). I agree though that closed and religious communities seriously dropped the ball on this.. at least these days.
But again, I think even secular society is still craving for more. It’s why they create and fantasize about characters like Travis Bickle or the Punisher.
It depends on your reason. If you believe it’s God’s will to oppose then it’s an ideology.
When you believe your mandate is divine then all actions are justified.
That’s the problem with a lot of church leaders.
Your problem is even thinking on conceptual/ideological terms. I don’t mean to personally offend, but that’s a very eggheadish/intellectual way of looking at religion. As revolving around ideas and philosophies. Most people you’d stop on the street couldn’t care a bit about that. To a believer, God is Creator and Father. And a believer is compelled to want to celebrate life, rather than death. Rather than being “ideologically compelling”, it’s simply heartbreaking.
It’s ironic that I say this on the Easter season at that… which is a celebration of life too.
Well, maybe you’ve noted a red flag. High levels of secrecy, rather than respectable social boundaries.
You always connect dots with research. Thank you!
Subtle Acceptance is making headway in Western cultures with child brides. Just one example:
He said: “The biggest failing is that the word ‘prison’ isn’t present, but rather it gives a bit of advice and tips on how to respond if you have a relationship our marriage laws forbid.”
I think the legal age to marry there is 15.
The problem with the Page situation is he works for a parachurch organization that ultimately represents thousands of churches. A vague confession and instant retirement just doesn’t quite send the 0 tolerance message. I wonder if they sign any sort of contact? Seems to me some consequences need to be included for inappropriate behaviors in Christian organizations since they can’t seem to control themselves. My first inclination is to stop giving them money (if I did).
Help me out here. This story has been reported in all variety of secular media. i’ve linked 2 open letters from SBC leaders — a very good one from an unknown pastor, and an abysmal one from a seminary president. But I’m having a little trouble finding other commentary from SBC leaders. (imitating Ben Stein) Mohler?!……. Mohler?!……………………………………
CAA has taken over the management and brand of #metoo for Hollywood. It was only a matter of time. Sigh.
Dave A A wrote:
This sort of thing infuriates me.
Sounds close to Calvin’s Geneva, too.
Is it really? I knew about Severus (and then later, Puritan societies), but man..
Simply abiding by the laws (state, federal, whatever) would be a huge step in the right direction. Report people that they know have broken the law, instead of protecting them.
That would definitely put pedophiles on a registry…….. maybe not an SBC registry , but so what.
Geoff Smith wrote:
Yeah, I had a little personal indiscretion today – I forgot to brush my teeth this morning!
Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
Wait til Albert Molar finds out you’ll be extracted out of your church and billed for it.
Actually, you unsurprisingly characterize inaccurately what I “just did” — which was respond with Scripture to yet another broad brush generalization about a group. Within a week, you’ve done so here regarding atheists, Baptists (and couldn’t be consistent about the broad brush charges from post to post, as was shown), complete with opinion presented as fact about what was actually said. I’d say you’re consistent, but then we have that matter of the charge that Baptists “already drag everything into the gutter” along with the equally fatuous claims about them and John the Baptist and the Book of Hebrews, then turning on a dime with an assessment of “baptist” MLK Jr.
Dave A A wrote:
…… And Paige and Dorothy won’t have their nice little retirement home built on the SWBTS campus paid for by pew peons!
Before we go further, what do you want? Some kind of new understanding of Calvinism from me? You might as well begin by explaining it then. Apparently you believe in something different than what I assumed. But complaining about it isn’t going to help either one of us. Tell me what it is that I missed.
And I’m not Orthodox. You just assumed that. I’ve only opened my mind up to it. I’m trying to expand my horizons and the larger history of the church, in addition to everything else I’ve learned.. but apparently I’m the small minded one.
And why put MLK Jr.’s standing as a Baptist in “quotes”. Too social gospel based for you? What makes me the “fatuous” one now?
Frank Page’s SWBTS chapel stained glass window:
Artist’s gallery here, scroll two thirds of the way down, the Frank Page window is featured right after the Pattersons’:
My husband wants to know “Where’s the money?”
Maybe Page et al should explain how they make money.
And some wonder why I encourage restoring an appreciation for saints.. You don’t have to be Catholic or Orthodox to champion our rich history of inspiring people.
Because that’s the end result if you don’t. Pick your poison. 😀
@ Shannon H.:
“When the whole story isn’t told, people are left wondering, wanting that blank to be filled in.”
it’s like someone putting an unexpected, out-of-place object on a table, without explanation. like a chainsaw, or a scuba mask & snorkel. and then expecting human beings not to automatically start processing who/what/why/how.
Absent any additional information, i think people naturally go to the extreme end of the spectrum in their wondering.
chainsaw = massacre
mask/snorkel = a surprise trip to bali
@ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
My question about an SBC database is if it would only include those convicted? How else could they do it? Would Andy Savage be on a such a database? CJ wouldn’t and he is now SBC. Both are basically disqualified to pastor. Neither one will be convicted. What about civil suits after SoL run out? Would that be included? Another problem I see is that it is very hard to get pedophile convictions.
Wish I could unsee that.
Those chapel windows are idolatrous.
I was answering a definitive declaration that “it’s Protestant culture” that is at issue, when there are plenty of issues at play in each denomination. As we’ve seen here, it’s power (especially absolute power), oversight, wresting Scriptures, abuse of spiritual authority, and so forth that yield such failures. It crosses denominational lines, which is not a view from an idealistic bubble. Getting tired of the simplistic road brush finger pointing at whoever a group of “them” is versus a group of “us”.
Everyone has problems.. terrible ones even. Corruption being rampant is a no brainer and I agree with you. But we’re not talking about blanket corruption. Or so I thought. But specific kinds..
I pointed an ongoing corruption problem among the Orthodox in another thread recently, but it’s much different. It’s based “Elderism”, and cult-like groups forming around “guru” personalities and saint worship.
“So, either something is up or the people in charge of the SBC still don’t get the whole #metoo thing.”
seems to me those in a patriarchal subculture have a severe handicap in being able to understand the whole #metoo thing.
Intersting article on “Elders”. Just so people I know that I’m aware that everyone has “poo that stinks” 😛
Wartburg might have a field day with them, but it’s kind of out your purview.
Certainly distracts from the worship of Christ. In a historical museum, fine. In a place of worship (a chapel) way out of place.
Frank Page, also the treasurer of the Southern Baptist Convention for all these years:
The Executive Committee’s president is also the treasurer of the Convention by virtue of his office.”
It’s OK if it was Christ though, right? Or are Baptists generally against that too?
I don’t see them as holiness issues either. Didn’t the Jewish believers dance? Seems here was much dancing in the culture.
I totally agree with this.
“He’s probably still getting a massive severance package…”
gawd, i’ll never understand this.
this is what sacrificial giving to God buys.
Baptist is a very broad term historically. On this issue there is no uniform practice.
Jews still dance in their synagogues..
Not quite dancing, but I bet Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey was even more fun to see than David dancing. The kids were probably dancing at least. 😀
Poof! The following was removed from the Executive Committee website as I was typing the last post!
“Frank S. Page…serves as treasurer of the SBC, overseeing receipt and disbursement of all gifts received by the Executive Committee in accordance with Convention action.”
The just scrubbed text can be still be viewed by going to the Google cache of the page:
I never did that.
Little harder to remove stained glass from SWBTS
Baptist News brings out a few more details, including quoting Julie Ann Smith:
Sounds more like an adulterous affair that he was forced to admit, but still rather vague.
“Frank Page’s SWBTS chapel stained glass window”
….in light of his morally inappropriate relationship he tried to keep a secret.
guess Dorothy Patterson didn’t see this coming.
That just seems like a bad idea all the way around. Have the not heard that separation of such duties is wise?
No one ever seems to hold the powers to be accountable in the SBC.
He is risen! The grave is empty! We have hope. Blessed be the name of the Lord our a God!
That is why we should not enshrine people at least until they are long dead. If we must.
Wow. Great timing. They scrubbers are busy Easter Eve.
I’m of the opinion that people inevitably enshrine something. May as well make it count. If it’s not Christ and the saints, then it’s a pastor or nationalism. Perhaps the bible itself, strangely. You say you grew up sort of anabaptist. One of the first churches I ever visited (due to a neighbor) was the “Church of Christ”. If there’s anything more bible based than them, I don’t know what it is. It’s almost a cult.. but the strangest of cults, where they are actually pretty sound. It’s just the way they go about it. You literally can’t do anything in their church, unless it has some biblical basis. They don’t even allow a kitchen or Sunday School, because it wasn’t biblical. lol
Al Mohler and his New Calvinist takeover of the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America is a perfect example of that! It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen … millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists cannot (won’t?) hold him accountable for his rebellion against mainline belief and practice – they surely know they are even financing it?!
Just like Stalin removing people from photos with him when they fell “out of favor”… and typically had left this life… unwilling…
Yeah, they may have to take down a few of those windows, lest it become a hall of shame rather than a hall of fame. Paul Pressler also has one. I suspect that Al Mohler will replace all of them when he takes over Southwestern Seminary, with images of Moore, Dever, Mahaney, etc. After all, there wasn’t really a Conservative Resurgence within SBC, but a Calvinist Resurgence … so put the reformed icons up.
So SBC wasn’t really that conservative to begin with? And now Calvinists took it over? I saw that someone else said they were mainline.
For real? This guy Pressler is in a stained glass window in a church?:
“Shea had strong words for the 87-year-old Pressler, calling his alleged molestations the ‘worst kept secret in Houston.’
“’He’s been very blatant and very careless over the years running after young boys and picking them up from these various church youth Bible study groups,’ Shea said.”
From a comment on the article:
“Pressler wrote them some kind of letter saying the nude massages and such were just a misunderstanding, and they dropped the matter. I also told a Baptist leader about this incident, and got a response that the cause of biblical inerrancy was so important that he wouldn’t jeopardize the conservative resurgence”
I describe them more as a hyper-Calvinist Judaic sect, as they barely talk about Jesus at all. Jesus is merely an atonement for sins and His life and ministry as told in the gospels is almost never preached by them. Their brand of semi-Arianism is called “Eternal Subordination of the Son”. There theology seems primarily motivated by patriarchy and subjection of others. They are now usually called New Calvinists.
The non-Calvinist conservatives set up a big takeover which was completed 2001, seemingly due to some deal with the hyper-Calvinist Founders Ministries, most of whom are big names with lots of money. They did have some more traditional Calvinist views, but most have been replaced now by New Calvinists. The more liberal churches split off and became the Cooperative Baptist Convention.
Almost immediately after the takeover, the New Calvinists were in charge and quickly putting their own people in almost every committee and major position, even though their actual followers comprise a small percentage of the SBC. The non-Calvinists who set up the takeover, including Pressler, Paige Patterson, and others, were given important positions but stripped of much of their power in the convention. The primary leader of the New Calvinists is Albert Mohler, though he pretends to be more moderate than he is. The things taught at his seminary (SBTS) are much more extreme, so I think he is mostly a politician of the movement.
The rise of The Gospel Coalition and the New Calvinists focus on social media has brought a large number of very young and militant male followers, most of whom cannot think for themselves and answer every question with a quote from one of the leaders. If you read back on TWW, you will find that this group likes to deceptively take over non-Calvinist churches and force members to sign covenants that they treat as legal contracts. They are known for extreme church discipline against anyone who doesn’t toe the line or even who just asks too many questions.
They move fast!
Heck yeah. My gosh.
@ Dave A A:
If only it had involved the head of another major denomination, Mohler would be lecturing us on the decline in moral standards.
Undoubtedly, sin and corruption crosses denominational lines. And there isn’t any “us” and “them” here, I’ve served in lay ministry in Presbyterian, Baptist, Nazarene and Assembly of God churches over the last 30 years.
But you disputed a good point that Seraph made that happened to be directed at a doctrine taught at Protestant/Evangelical churches. Were it a good point made about Catholic or Orthodox churches, I would have seconded it as well.
And the Calvinists have their *alien* righteousness, which is alien to me. And I want nothing to do with it. Somehow in their view, Jesus obeys for them. Oh, and when they sin, God doesn’t see them, but rather He sees Jesus. Jesus always covers for them. How convenient.
It seems every belief system has its weak points, doesn’t it? One thing we should never do, regardless of which Christian camp we may reside in, is play the grace card inappropriately. This is done so often with Christian celebrity pastors that it is nauseating. He commit adultery. Ah, but God’s grace will cover it. He stole money from the treasury. Ah, but God’s grace will cover it. He abused his wife. Ah, but God’s grace will cover it. There’s hardly a concern for repentance, making restitution for one’s sins, and being restored to a right relationship with God. This kind of grace talk is what I would call taking grace for granted. It is an assumption that God is a Sky Daddy who just dishes out grace without no concern whatsoever for what a person has done. There’s no accountability.
Roger Bombast wrote:
Yup, that’s where the money is, since it sure isn’t found in reporting.
The specific doctrine as it were was essentially shrunken in your take on it as OSAS (which incidentally was attributed to Protestants in general in his broad brush initial post). Thus, my pointing to Scripture that does not separate true believers to fruitful actions spoke to the defective implication that it is “Prostetant culture” that lies at the heart of where Page and others whose trends are dissected here have gone astray.
Had they been walking according to the Scriptures cited (which pointed those saved to walking in and being zealous for good works, and a godly lifestyle) — which many “Protestant cultures” affirm, all,would have been fine. Instead, as this website shows, the trends in professed Christian circles in which failings have happened have specific markings of power abuse and lack of accountability. No bubbles of ignorance here, despite the insinuation, just more attributions of thoughts, motives, and such that don’t appear quite as respondents characterize them.
A line from The Walrus and the Carpenter keeps popping up in my head every time a new scandal comes to light.
“And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more…”
The problem isn’t mine & most people on the street are smarter than you give them credit.
Any way that isn’t your way appears problematic to you.
That’s not what you claimed during your indignant rant against western Christianity two posts ago. I don’t mean to personally offend. Just sayin’
This hits the nail on the head. If there will be any reform, it has to be Baptists leading the charge. So far they don’t seem inclined. As an outsider one can only assume the majority agree with their leadership.
Ha! Any tweets from Russ Moore about Page?
Dave A A wrote:
He’s taking the day off…
Meanwhile, I’m sure you’ve come across the fan theory that Ferris is not real – he’s a complex figment of Cameron’s imagination, created as a kind of wish-fulfilment-come-fantasy version of everything he wishes he himself were. Maybe Mohler’s the same – he’s actually a social media creation of some beta male with exceptional hacking skills who wants to be Pope but doesn’t fancy the doctrinal limitations of being the actual Pope. When required to appear in public, he’s played by an actor (or perhaps a series of similar-looking actors with subtle prosthetic makeup), rather like Bradley Whitford playing a Red John stand-in in The Mentalist.
This morning’s update comes courtesy of reading the report on the Beeb, as it’s always difficult to follow, from Scotland, a Test played in New Zealand. The antipodal point of Enbruh is actually in the southern ocean, but Christchurch is less than a kilomile from it *.
Anyway, a decent performance from the New Zealand tail saw them restrict England’s first-innings lead to 29, with a first-innings total of 278. Whilst not stellar, this score represents a dramatic recovery from 36-5; the rot was stopped by a superb 6th-wicket stand of 142 between Watling and de Grandhomme, with Southee also reach his half-century batting at 8. Stuart Broad got his 16th Test five-fer, finishing with 6-54. England closed Day Three on 202-3; it’s turning into quite a good batting track, so it may fizzle out into a draw.
* In fact the UK’s entire antipodal footprint is in the Southern Ocean; the mainland UK town that comes closest to having an antipodal town is Penzance, whose antipodal point is some 340 miles from the NZ town of Papatowai.
On 24 March Seraph wrote “I don’t have a spouse. I’m not a “fundegelical” either. I’m Orthodox.”
In my opinion, there is no linear SBC employee of the president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. He stands alone in that capacity, which creates a power differential in regard to anyone else in SBC life. That characterizes an inappropriate relationship rather than a consensual one regardless of whether the other person was “willing”.
Orthodox in beliefs. I’ve not been chrismated. I’ve also said I live in a isolated area and the closest Orthodox church is far away. I’m practically a hermit… except I talk to people on the net, and I take care of my mom. 🙂
It’s too much trouble. You can’t join an Orthodox church without a catechumen process.. takes up to a year. People generally get baptized after that during this time of year (Easter).
I too have noticed this. It fits with Seraph’s previous admission that he is trying to get a rise out of us here. He has shown himself to be an expert at causing division.
I’m hardly indignant. None of this effects me. I just ridicule it. If there weren’t so many victims involved, I’d laugh too.
Whatever. Read my post above.
That doesn’t make sense at all. I don’t even know what you all stand for.. so how can I divide you?
I know that you care for victims.. and that’s good enough for me.
When I suggest to Protestants to look towards Orthodox or Catholic history (and at saints), it’s not divisive. It’s to have ready-made defenses. Instead of arguing back and forth with complicated theology, history allows one to point to all of the saints that were women. When you throw it all out, you lose an important witness.
It isn’t about smarts. Everyone is smart about a subject or two. They just don’t care. Big difference.
Theology and Ideology is not what being a Christian is about for most people. It’s holiness, relationships, sacrament.. and maybe for those charismatics, emotionalism over theology.
And it’s just flat out STUPID, in this case, to say people don’t want babies to die “because of ideology”. Do you even listen to yourself?
The reason why I didn’t mention Orthodox is they don’t even believe in original sin. There is no “total depravity” that enables the behavior I was criticizing in the first place.
If you want to make this about all corruption in general though, sure, everyone’s guilty.
I wonder sometimes if when groups allow this vagueness it perpetuates having this kind of sin. After all the leader will always be allowed to hider their sin. Shouldn’t this leader be rebuked in front of all especially if he hid this sin for a period of time?
But this “church discipline” is only applied to regular members and not leaders and especially not higher up leaders.
Like I said earlier, the excuse is usually the same. Leaders or big public mistakes get a slide or get ignored, “so as not to be a stumbling block to those weak in faith”. It’s a lousy excuse. But maybe others get the treatment because there is less at stake.
And yes, I’ve found Catholic and Orthodox to be just as guilty. The obvious is the sexual scandals of recent years. But I’ve seen it in smaller things. For example, say a monastery has some relic or whatnot and they tell tourists elaborate stories about it.. only to find out it was a fake. Instead of admitting the error, the whole charade just slinks into the background, and they hope people forget.. never to be mentioned again. They know it was wrong, but won’t come out and publicly say anything or show that they’re just human and prone to error.. “so as not be a stumbling block”. It’s wrong.
One of the more obnoxious members/distant cousins by marriage of the royal family made comments along a similar line about Harry and Meghan. She did not get very far with it.
IMO adultery is adultery regardless. I am not defending adultery. However, I see nothing in scripture to require that non-adulterous relationships must be confined to one’s social equal, much less one’s financial equal, on the job or off the job. And I see nothing in scripture to indicate that christians should let the ever changing cultural values of their time be the guidelines by which christians live.
So let me ask: who seems to have the ‘power’ in the Charles/ Camilla relationship? And then there was Edward VIII and Wallis. But hey, Charles and Diana were if not equally equal at least ‘appropriate’.
The royal family, at least certainly the queen, seem to have backed off the equality issue when it comes to relationships.
Maybe I am just touchy because doctors marry nurses just a whole lot. I certainly did.
I don’t see that these are the same in comparison. The power differential is certainly relevant in employer/employee relationships and pastor-staff/church member relationships.
That British royal family is a sham anyways. They’re all equals!
Meet King Michael 😛
The New Calvinists tend to use a different justification, though it’s quite contradictory in nature. If any of their leaders sin, they immediately start ranting about how everyone is a sinner and no one is perfect and no sin is too great to be removed from leadership. But they do expect their followers to act obediently to perfection and would never use that same excuse for most of them. There have been some exceptions, mostly for men who give lots of money.
The thing to understand about New Calvinists is that they might claim to be all about theology, but their theology is almost purely derived to promote their leadership and keep them in control of others. They lie and deceive. They change their tune. They will say they believe one thing to the public and be teaching something very extreme to their church or seminary.
So, while I think arguments about the theology of the New Cals, as well as discussing the way they treat their members, are useful to keep others aware of their practices, it’s not going to make sense in light of most Christian theology and history.
Funny how people see the historical trajectory of the takeover differently. Years back, I remember seeing a website years ago with different experiences from people involved. I wasn’t in an SBC church then but most of my extended family was and many went to SBTS and growing up we were much involved there. .
SBTS was the last to fall. Mohler took over in 1993 at age 33. It was a brutal time especially after guy like Honeycutt. He was accessible and beloved. Al Mohler has a “driver” and doesn’t mix with the peasants. He was known for his scathing tantrums. It became so bad it got out when the internet exploded and he had to apologize at a faculty meeting. But things didn’t change for long.
Not long after taking over, he fired the gentlemanly historical library archivist Paul Debusman at age 64 because he professionally and privately corrected a chapel speaker using facts from the archives. Debussman lost full retirement. He was used as an example to others to fall in line.
Mohler really was that viscous at a young age. (Gives insight to young Neo Cals who deceived to take over churches) SBTS used to be very robust academically. Most of my parents friends who were older profs who saw the handwriting on the wall and got out.
I never figured out how the SBC Founders org fit in. I do know their 1970’s tactical strategies written in their book , Quiet Revolution, was used as the playbook to takeover thousands of churches and the entities. It was pure deception for Jesus. But it seems like Mohler left Ascol in the dust. Mohler made sure he was all over media. From Time mag to Larry King to radio before the internet. He was untouchable.
I do not think that the power differential is significant unless it is abused. What about doctors and nurses do you not understand? I had that s***t thrown in my face repeatedly as to how I could marry a nurse, seeing the status and money difference. And we basically said-like Roger Bombast, ‘ deleted deleted’.
And that is significant to this conversation because of the assumptions of a link not only between sex and power but also between gender and power. I reject that thinking, all of it in whatever form it appears; and I have the scars to prove it. Power does not have to be abusive, money does not have to be the only thing that motivates people, and the whole gender thing as to who has power and money is up for grabs.
Thanks ishy.. so would I be wrong of not even thinking much of Calvinism when encountering a “New Calvinist?
On a sidenote:
Sorry for my multiple posts above earlier. I quoted things as I saw them.. didn’t realize there were that many posts. I fully accept the responsibility of defending any non-Protestant points or what I believe, but I’m wary of being a “representative” of a whole ecclesiastical structure. As much as I’d like to in places, it’s not exactly fair to them.
It’s not strictly true that the Orthodox don’t believe in Original Sin. It’s a bit more nuanced than that, as this article explains.
Yes, Judge Pressler has been immortalized in the new chapel at SBC’s Southwestern seminary. He is portrayed standing in a bed of red tulips with his wife. Once viewed by Southern Baptists as a hero of the faith during the Conservative Resurgence, his huge image (perhaps the largest there) now glares hauntingly at worshipers. There is so much wrong with SBC life right now.
Most of that is where I’m coming from. It’s called Ancestral Sin.. but there is no concept of “atonement” or “Once Saved Always Saved”. Salvation is past, present, and future.
That said, Malankara Orthodox are Indians who were converted by Syrian Monophysites. Like the Ethiopians, Coptics, etc..
Correction, they would call themselves “Miaphysite”. But basically, they’re not typical Orthodox. I’m not sure just how much though. EO don’t look at it as great a schism as Rome, for example.
Ken, as you say you do not know us but you frequently assume that you do. We come from many backgrounds and have many different theological belief systems but we share the same concerns about the victims of abuse, particularly in a church setting. You rarely mention this, preferring instead to attack (and ridicule – your words) the belief systems of contributors here, often being particularly rude while doing so. You make unsubstantiated blanket statements. You claim you are one thing then deny it shortly afterwards. Clearly, we cannot trust anything you say. So, yes, you are divisive and should look at yourself in the mirror instead of attacking everybody else.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
And now I must be reminded yet again what this means. IHTIH….????
We don’t know if it was a work related sexual relationship. I do feel a little bit sleazy giving another POV on this subject. Frank page is a creep and a fraud. Let’s make sure that is front and center. And I think he should have had some serious consequence —perhaps a financial one. Due process in a religious organization is not required.
What concerns me is the infantalizing of women. In organizations there are laws and policies in place for the power differentials when people decide to ignore their vows and commit adultery. In most Gov agencies they can even sign a paper and share hotel rooms when traveling. No one cares if they are married. They only care about charges.
I was involved in developing sexual harassment training for companies in the late 1980’s based on law. I subsequently watched over the years as the insurance companies and lawyers made it into a cottage industry. What was meant to protect lowly nobodies became big business for well heeled, educated professionals. Mostly women. No due process required because of contract clauses. Just payout.
So, I have a different view of all of it. The lowly nobodies still cannot get a the big name lawyers. Nobody is scared of the lowly nobodies. They can file a complaint with the EEOC and wait 5 years like the peasants they are.
Hmmm….and now from What’s My Line? – ‘Will the *real* Seraph please stand up?’
I’m not assuming that to be the case at all in your situation. My experience has been with married clergy having “affairs” with church members.
I’m going with Lydia on this one. The jury is still out as to who/whom this mystery person is. And, this mystery person could very well not have been any part of the SBC culture. So, how about we hold off calling people ‘victims’ until we know for sure. *If* it was a prostitute, which is possible (Jimmy Swaggart anyone?) then this wasn’t a victim. *If* it was a woman (or man) he met on the sly outside of the SBC and outside of Christendom generally, it very well could have been a consensual relationship.
So many possibilities. I think they want to keep people guessing and in the dark.
I Hope This Is Helpful.
(The point being that it generally follows a piece of entirely useless information.)
(Or news about cricket.)
IHT,t,IH is one I haven’t used before and means (as you might guess) “I hope this, too, is helpful”.
I’ve always suspected that a young Mohler was secretly escorted into a Founders’ smoke-filled room to strategize a Calvinist takeover of the once-great SBC.
The “real” one? That means I’d have to type a Life Story. 😀 I am Orthodox in my beliefs. Feel free to hold me to those. But when people start talking about actual churches and all of these little details I’m supposedly guilty of “vicariously”, I am not. I live in the middle of nowhere. Do you guys want to scrutinize me to the Nth degree? I’m also a 40 year old celibate and practically a hermit with little social life.. just trying to get by in the world. I’ve told people this too, but not every post. I’ve also indicated first finding Christ through Catholicism, growing up without the church, but ended up in Catholic schools as a teen.
Anyways, is this boring you yet? 😀
My mom married her widowed boss, my dad. I once asked how they dealt with the two years leading to marriage at work. She looked at me like I had two heads and said, we did our jobs. She probably added, ‘silly goose’, knowing her. Hee hee.
It just wasn’t in their make up to draw attention to themselves or create drama at work. Grown ups. Adultery is a whole other topic and in our quest to get there, I fear we are regulating personal lives to the point of no return and infantalizing women in the process. Many couples meet at work. Some are the female boss.
Amen and Amen! Page very likely was in the power position with the other person.
No smoke unless it was from southern smoked BBQ. But I think there was a real connection because Mohler followed the Quiet Revolution playbook to a T. Pure deception. Even down to, “they don’t know that they don’t know the true Gospel” to rationalize it all away. He was “helping” us, albeit deceptively, become “real” Christians with the right doctrine.
You said earlier you were taking care of your mom. Thank you. That is rare these days.
I am a Texan.. we look down upon those other “southern BBQs” 😉 i.e. Beef vs Pork
Come to think of it, I now recall once going to a Hayride with a neighbor at a Baptist New Year’s thing. I still an ignorant/rebellious kid back then. But I remember I tried going out of the barn for a cigarette break, and this old preacher grabbed me by the arm and tried to prevent me. I didn’t even know these people. It’s kind of weird.. almost forgot about this.
I guess now you do mean to judge & offend.
That’s great because I don’t feel like being nice to you anymore, your attitude is the worst of Christian hypocrisy writ large.
If people didn’t care then books on religion wouldn’t be best sellers (whether it’s Joel Osteen’s grinning face or Richard Dawkins grumpy one)
The average man or woman on the street is not a believer like you (Orthodox but not card carrying Orthodox). There are many of us who are done because we got sick of listening to people like you.
And belief whether abortion is right or wrong is based on an ideology. It comes down to when you BELIEVE at what point life begins. The fact that you BELIEVE that babies are dying means that you subscribe to your Orthodox (but not card carrying Orthodox) IDEOLOGY!
I do listen to myself, but interacting with you is about as much fun as a fall down a flight of stairs.
Let’s just stay on opposite sides of the room, you go hug your saints and espouse to your heart’s content and I’ll enjoy everyone else’s comments.
I bet you don’t put beans in your chili, either! 🙂
Wishing you a glorious Easter Sunday, as we reflect on the empty tomb!
Thanks.. it wasn’t always like this. But my dad just passed away, so she needs my help now. And I’m starting to wake up to the meaning of that Commandment about parents more than before.
I’ve noticed a few people have lost their parents recently btw..
I don’t view all grown women as helpless. I think this eventually plays right into the hands of patriarchy. There are always exceptions for powerful people to take advantage of others —and many will. I would prefer to encourage women to become strong and independent and not devalue themselves. Maybe conceal carry. 🙂
If there was a quid pro quo or hostile work environment at the SBC Exec Council, the Brummage guy who took the call about Page, better start talking. It won’t go away with Page.
I call it mercy living. It’s an honor as much as a duty.
Even setting aside a right relationship with God, what about all the real live people hurt in situations like you mentioned. When my dad was cheating on my mom, it doesn’t seem like the only important thing was him being restored to an right relationship with God. He never did the work to be restored to a right relationship with us.
I saw a sermon by a woman talking about psalm 51. She “argued” with David that he had not only sinned against God, but against Bathsheba, Uriah, his children, their children, his wives, and the community. I think she was right. We don’t *only* sin against God when we sin. We need to ground our actions in the reality of how they affect real people, not allow them to float disembodied and abstractly in a word where they only matter to God. That way of thinking turns the whole world into two-dimensional cardboard cutouts that don’t think and feel and cry and bleed.
Yeah, OK. “Worst of Christian hypocrisy”. Apparently you couldn’t find someone worse than me… the guy you merely argued with on a message board. lol.
What crimes have you actually seen me do? We practically even stand for the same things – you said you didn’t believe in abortion. Same here! Yet you wanted to ascribe purer motives to yourself and I will call you out on it as STUPID. I have no shame in telling you so. It’s stupid. It’s not hypocritical, because it’s not my “standard” to not call people stupid. I fully proclaim to call out stupidity for what it is. I’d only be a “hypocrite” if I said I didn’t.
It’s stupid to think people want to defend children because of “ideology”. Believers are humans like you, and reacting to unfairness, violence, and death is more instinctual than it is ideological. It happens even without thinking. You’re “stupid” for saying you have these pure motives, but everyone is else tainted for only getting it from “ideology”. Only you can defend the right to life with the best of motives, right? Give me a break.
Not boring, but it does explain a few things.
I still marvel at your profound sarcasm toward good people who may not agree with you. I find it borders on bullying.
“That’s great because I don’t feel like being nice to you anymore, your attitude is the worst of Christian hypocrisy writ large.”
Nicely put! Accurate and to the point.
No one is saying all grown women are helpless. Why do you keep saying that?
Adultery is an issue all by itself.
Here is what I object to. Take the imaginary case of an unmarried female preacher and an unmarried male university professor in the congregation. They take up together. Is she abusing him by doing so because of the clergy differential? Try again. The same single woman preacher takes up with an unmarried male guy who owns the local bank. Is he abusing her because of the money differential? Or, an unmarried male preacher who takes up with an unmarried female parishioner who just happens to be the daughter of a man who has power in the denomination and who can ‘help the young preacher boy? Abuse? Again. An unmarried male preacher takes up with a young widow in the church who has three kids and a low paying job and desperately needs ‘help’ with her situation. Is she being abused or is he an answer to prayer for her?
I just think that situations are individual and that the current trend to lump and dump is not okay.
I wish I could find a situation like that. Unfortunately, tat is not what I hear about.
I haven’t attacked anyone here except Jack. And he deserves it. He attacked first with his “ideology” comment, and I saw exactly how denigrating it was on believers. He gives himself purer motives than pro-life Christians in his ethics. It’s one thing if you want to disbelieve – that’s his call – but when you start thinking you’re in touch with a better form of morality or something, I’m not going to sink my head and shut up about it.
As for Calvinists, I never attacked any individuals. I’ve said time and again that I think good people exist everywhere.. But I pointed out what I think are the consequence of “total depravity”/atonement based theology. It’s especially funny though for people to get in a huff about my comments, when this whole site capitalizes on pointing out the problems. I merely think there’s a solution. I could be wrong too.. but problems are meant to be solved. You can’t just point them out. There should be another step. I hope people find it..whatever it is.
BBQ started among the poor on the east coast. When it moved west it took up with cows because beef was cheap and pork was pricey. Don’t get too uppity about it; bbq is a gift from the poor man to humanity. Noteworthy is that over here we BBQ chicken also. Delicious.
I hear you. The church is in a sorry state. Well, some folks are at least.
Whoops hit the *post* button too fast. Given the situation that you present: “unmarried male preacher takes up with a young widow in the church who has three kids and a low paying job and desperately needs ‘help’ with her situation. “, here is what should happen/ The pastor should go to the leadership in his church and tell them that he is interested in seriously dating the widow (It should be serious given her situation.) They then should discuss this with the widow and draw up some papers that this is a consensual relationship and have them sign it,notarize it, whatever-make it official.
Then, everyone is protected and intentions are made clear.
“ the guy you merely argued with on a message board. lol.”. It’s not a message board, even though you treat it as such. It is a blog with a comments section, for comments related to the subject. So yet again you derail a thread to your own personal agenda.
Yeah, take your advice from an Atheist, who thinks his form of Ethics is better than Christians. Good job.
I also hope someone tells me what I’m “hypocritical” about. If you don’t like me, that’s one thing. But that’s entirely different than hypocrisy. And lastly, if I’m the worst you can find, you have an even more pathetic social life than I do.. when I don’t even have a social life. 😀 “There be dragons..” out there. You guys even talk about them in this very thread. There’s an article RIGHT ABOVE about pedophiles.
But no, the “bully” on the internet.. he’s the source of all woes. :eyeroll:
Let’s take a step back. Disagreement is good for all of us. Let’s keep it thoughtful, even in our disagreements.
@ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
Waiting…….filing my nails……..nope!
Can you take a step back? Deep breath time? Let’s make it about ideas, not personalities. For many, these issues cut to the heart and it is helpful to understand that
If Jack attacked you in the same manner as your attack you might find some agreement here. But sadly, you are seen as the perfect specimen of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Forty years old, living with your mother, celibate, know it all about everything, etc. Need I go on? Jack has shown remarkable restraint. Can you hear the cheering from the stands? Jack has admitted to being an atheist and yet his personal manner is probably more christian than what i have witnessed among professed believers in ages. Go figure!
As i asked before, why are you still here?
My guess is that this is NOT a one and done situation. I would not be surprised to learn of a culture of coverup in the SBC executive crowd, just like in the churches. These things rarely happen in a vacuum.
@ Seraph</b@ Seraph:
Be cautious. Comments are rarely personal since we don’t know one another. I believe in open and free dialogue as much as possible. We all learn from it.
Years ago, before I started blogging, I spent some time on the EXChristians website. I learned lots of things from them including how not to take attacks personally. I also learned to comment in way that brought understanding, not anger. It wasn’t easy but I am grateful for the experience.
I kept on topic at first. It’s only gets derailed and ends up with me at the center, because I ended up having to respond to all kinds of comments at once.
And at this point, it’s so picayune that you now correct me on the difference between a comment section and a thread. Which now just tells me how desperate you are to get some control and submission. And you guys wonder why I’m sarcastic.
And a grand (if nonsensical) attack it was!
I am thoroughly chastened!
Your dogma has run a sword through my logic.
Please, Seraph, grand defender of Constantinople, Pontificate (or in your case – patriarch-ificate) some more!
Ah my Kharma will run over your dogma any day.
Wishing you and all the saints (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, George, Ringo, John, Paul and all the rest) the happiest of Easters.
Adieu! The floor is now completely yours.
I do not think the church should have that much control over the personal decisions of individuals. However, to keep down the gossip and disapproval it would be a good idea for her to find another church if there is going to be trouble with it.
An old friend of my former husband was a widower and an assistant pastor at a Baptist Church in Durham. He took up with a divorced female in the congregation. He went to the Board of Deacons and asked for permission to marry her-and keep his job-based on her prior divorce. They granted permission. I think that since remarriage after divorce is addressed in scripture then that was a good idea solely because of his job situation. Beyond that, I think that ‘who may I marry’ is an individual decision, and if the church does not like it then there are other jobs down the road. But to turn over one’s autonomy to ‘the church’ in something which is not mentioned in scripture-I personally would not do it.
However, if other people want to do that, it is not for me to make their decisions for them.
Dee Parsons wrote:
Thanks for the advice. But this is too much trouble and I’ll be out of y’all’s hair. God bless. I still think your site has a good purpose.. Keep it up.
Please. please. please do not make this personal Let’s try to move the discussion back to the reason for the post.
Here is something to consider. Why hasn’t anyone said that this was a consensual relationship. It would be quite easy to do so. Given the current climate, in the aftermath of the Savage situation, it wold be prudent and savvy to do so. I don’t buy the *protecting the little woman* approach.
If the SBC is buying into church discipline, it would seem that this situation would warrant a bit *let’s do discipline.* Is that happening? My guess is that if it were, we would hear about it. I bet they don’t do that with the big boys.
Another question: if this woman is a church attendee, is she being disciplined or is she a victim so they will not discipline her?
Until I hear something that alludes to the nature of the relationship, I am suspicious that this would not be regarded as a consensual relationship. The SBC must become more sensitive in areas like this.
Don’t forget. You are welcome here. Just understand that these comments are our thoughts and not personal.
Sure thing. I can take a step back. Mostly, I enjoy the interaction here but it is getting too heated even for my liking. I withdraw from the field on this one. Keep up the great work.
Feel free to remove my previous comment and any others that are unhelpful.
But the pastor is not an autonomous individual. He is, for better or worse, an employee of an entity known as *the church.* He is salaried and receives benefits, unlike a member of the congregation. He must be treated as an employee and be subject to prudent rules for relationships in order to protect the entity, X Church, from litigation.
Whatever he does within the confines of X Church is a matter for X Church, including dating a church member. However, if he chose to date a widow in the community who was a member of another church, I might agree with you.
I hope you will stay around. I like reading your comments. I learn from them.
I have a question for you. Do you personally feel that it is OK for a married boss to hit on a woman because she is not an infant and can say “cut it out?” What if that woman was the sole breadwinner for her family and found this well paying job that allowed her to support her family and get the time off she needed to manage her household. It was the perfect job until the boss starting hitting on her.
Hmmmm. I’m thinking that in the scenario Dee addressed, single Pastor wanting to date congregant, it would be a good idea to have consentual documents written up. In this case, it would protect all involved and would also curb the gossip mill. I do agree with you, generally, regarding freedom of dating who you wish without interference. I just don’t see a single Pastor wanting to date a congregant as a general situation.
Dee Parsons wrote:
Yeah, there is that. It is a whole conversation waiting to happen. I do so see why Paul kept emphasizing that he was self-supporting. IMO, if you sell your soul as it were for financial wealth or even for financial security, and that certainly is what happens in our culture for I suppose everybody but the self employed, then there is a price to pay and no use whining about it.
A segment of our culture which is into survival and self sufficiency and such has those among them for which this is an issue. The Primitive Baptists have this as an issue. When I went from a contract relationship with the hospital to separate billing it was an issue, mostly but not exclusively financial. I get that.
Maybe the economics of this is one reason why we get such poor sermons and poor decisions in some cases-got to keep the troops happy lest somebody sue somebody. That is just so prevalent-somebody suing somebody. I had not thought of it that way actually.
Here is an easter thought. I just got a text from young son-ovrseas on active duty-with attached picture.
It says ‘happy easter’. The picture is early sunrise over a bleak and ‘god-forsaken’ landscape. There is a sermon there, or at least some devotional thought, for those who see it.
I believe consentual documents would be in order here as well.
It’s a huge issue. And the issue of people with organizational dependence and lawsuits is at heart of it. It’s so normalized, many don’t see it. We want more laws but we either don’t enforce the ones we have or have two tiered justice. Or are regulated out of business for the little guy. I saw this with the sexual harassment “industry”. But it’s everywhere now. I am one of those people who doesn’t like being micromanaged and want equal justice so it is particularly bothersome with me.
Do you mean that she should put it in writing that she is consenting to this? That would certainly protect him and I suppose protect her job, but…is that what you are saying?
I think it happens. I would advise her to document everything, keep documentation at home, stay away from HR and file a federal complaint. If she has contacts for a decent lawyer who is willing to take it on payout, do that. She is in a horrible situation. He deserves to be ruined. But it won’t be easy. He is probably pretty clever. I deL in pragmatics.
Asking me if I think it’s “OK” feels a bit below the belt. I have no control over evil people. But they ARE out there. My view is we educate people on being wise in dealing with them. No guarantees of winning, either.
He is Risen. Even in a bleak land.
I agree more completely.
Spurs have just drawn level against Chelsea. We could do with Chelsea getting a winner, and certainly not conceding a winner, because if they do and Spurs win their game in hand they’ll move above us.
I agree. Each of the cases you’ve delineated has its own parameters and mitigating factors.
The Church (universal) for the most part has gotten past its medievalism with regard to science, medicine, and general human flourishing.
Maybe it’s time to rethink its attitudes toward human sexuality with an eye for responsible pragmatism rather than immovable dogma.
For me right now two things are happening at the same time. Easter is difficult for me not only because Mom died under ‘circumstances’ during this period, but also because the more I read about the early church the more I see the development over the early years and beyond of the establishment of christian thought and practice to be heavily impacted by greek and roman thought and politics (justifiable or not) and the more I think I see much in christianity which simply does not look like Jesus’ teaching or thinking. So does the ‘date’ of commemoration of the resurrection really matter? Probably not, but the thinking behind it may be part of a destructive thinking pattern which needs revisited based on other issues-or at least seen in a different perspective.
Okay, I am old and tired and sick and discouraged right now. And I have not ‘liked’ just a whole lot about cultural christianity for basically all my life, and easter is a focal point I can’t get beyond. Why would we keep saying He is risen while we ignore his person and teachings and commandments and purposes and promises and requirements? Well, because politics and culture and context and language and where is the money to be had and who gets all that serious about stuff anyhow?
DIL sent me a picture of their kids at the church easter egg hunt-gorgeous kids reeking of ‘privilege’ while we stayed home because our 15 year old can’t stand any more ‘snotty rich kids’ and the 12 year old gets picked on everywhere she goes and I have not been able to teach her how to effectively deal with that, and RE had surgery on her knee Tuesday and I have a chronic pain syndrome for which I refuse ‘prescription’ pain meds and christianity is going to perdition in a hand basket.
So now we are having this discussion about the business of churchiness in our culture, and I about have come to the conclusion, admittedly impacted because every year at easter I grieve for mom, that our best bet may be to plow the whole mess under and start over. And I am tempted to think that if we do not take steps in that direction at least then God may well plow it under for us (He has a history in the OT of doing that sort of thing) and/or just leaving it to crumble around us while we have no excuse for what has happened.
But, sunrise on the shambles of an old broken down military camp in the desert-young son’s photography there. Sunrise over the desert. I plan to hang on to that. Sunrise in the desert.
Suppose for the sake of argument, you could find a case like that.
Would you still consider it abuse or just a symbiotic relationship in which both parties benefit?
Yes. That is what I am saying. I’m not against workplace dating or pastor congregant dating for that matter. We shouldn’t, however, ignore the fact that both scenarios are ripe for abuse from all directions. Congregant suing pastor/church, pastor abusing congregant, employee suing, boss abusing, etc.
@ Dee Parsons:
“Let’s try to move the discussion back to the reason for the post.”
Good to get back to the matter in hand.
Hopefully, more will come to light about the circumstances. It usually does in time.
I can relate to your comment. What I like about the concept of “Easter” is that it is about the only time people mention the resurrection. The cross is always the focus. And I think they always go together.
In a life that is already complicated, church just adds to the complications, in my opinion. That’s why I am not there anymore. Even though I talk a big doctrinal game because I find it all so interesting, I long for the simplicity sans all the micromanaging. I totally agree with this:
“Why would we keep saying He is risen while we ignore his person and teachings and commandments and purposes and promises and requirements? Well, because politics and culture and context and language and where is the money to be had and who gets all that serious about stuff anyhow?”
I keep in mind that in the end, it’s just me and Him. And that relatationship is not growing in the institutions.
Sorry dee, just read your new reply. This is an example of what I meant by a responsible pragmatism rather than immovable dogma.
“And that relatationship is not growing in the institutions.”
It seems that some of these institutions are deliberately trying to stop its members from deveoping their own relationship with Jesus. Instead, they put themselves in His place.
Let me reword that since I did not mean for it to be viewed as a negative jab. Of course you do not think it is OK. I don’t either. What I meant is “Is it OK for a company to ignore a married upper level boss hitting on a subordinate since that subordinate is perfectly capable of standing up for themselves?
Back on target. Without specific(s) on the nature of said ‘personal failing’ I wonder the same.
Dave A A wrote:
Well, that was a florid bit of dreck, wasn’t it?
These jumped out at me:
“First, we do not hide our own sins but rather openly acknowledge what everyone already knows—that we are a flawed and sinful people…”
You “acknowledge”? Well, yeah, eventually, I guess. (Many kudos to Julie Anne for pointing out just how bland Page’s initial resignation letter was written.)
“As we approach the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, may we lay aside discussion of problems we cannot resolve…”
What does Patterson mean by “problems we cannot resolve”. I wonder whether he has something specific in mind, unrelated to this mess with Page. Or perhaps, this is just a generic call to “unity”, against all the satanic attacks of critics and bloggers, yadda yadda yadda.
P.S. Happy Easter from Japan!
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Càisg shona fae Scotland an’ a’!
Serving Kids In Japan wrote (quoting wee Paige Patterson who, for some reason, has a girl’s name in defiance of the biblical norm):
Actually, by spraying out the vapour-cloud of “acknowledgement” that we’re not perfect, we conveniently sidestep owning any of our sins.
Perfect. It’s kind of like the new gnosticism, in a way – we’re “imperfect”, so it doesn’t matter how the phque we behave.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Another example of sin-levelling?
Precisely so. Since everyone is exactly as sinful then, for all practical purposes, no-one is meaningfully sinful.
Apart from egalitarians, obviously. As the Pied Piper noted recently (before going off to pick a peck of pickled pepper, hopefully – that would’ve been useful to someone), we’re responsible for sexual violence and abuse. If we could all pretend it wasn’t abusive, then there wouldn’t be any abuse.
Bad news – Spurs scored twice late on to take all three points. Liverpool are effectively down to fourth, and losing that 6-pointer to Scumbagchester United is looking more and more like a season-killer.
Does that make S. some kind of troll?
Thanks so much for clarifying. What I see from my workforce development perch is we have laws upon laws. We have policies and regulations so numerous and detailed we can’t even fully plow through them. Yet, bad people STILL ignore and/or break them. Decent people do their best to follow them. Half the time these laws/policies/regulations aren’t even enforced fairly. When they are, clever lawyers, activist judges and technicalities often win, instead. And that’s just the secular workplace and wider society.
As Christians, we expect employees of churches and parachurches to at least be decent, upright people. But there, we do something similar in that we make excuses and blame sin. We say, ‘sinners sin. It’s to be expected’. Look how bad they feel now that they were caught.. they said sorry’ And most move to forgiveness mode.. But that’s not justice, either. And it’s been normalized. The good thing about church and para church orgs is they need donors. It’s all voluntary. They can’t exist without the donors.
So, since we are stuck with indecent people who don’t obey laws and ignore mountains of policies— because they can— we are going to have to be wiser. I take a very pragmatic approach. Victims need advocates because it’s hard to think like that when you are right in the middle of it. I think this blog plays a part in that.
Could you please explain the discrepancies between you alleged bios in different comments? Are you related to a famous former troll?
Excellent comment. Thanks.
“As online reactions shifted from praise and congratulations after the first announcement after the second to surprise, some said it is unimportant.
“I do not know the details, perhaps never will, and it doesn’t matter,” Iowa pastor Dave Miller said on the group blog SBC Voices.
“I cannot imagine what Dr. Page is going through right now — the pain, the humiliation, the sorrow, the regret,” Miller said. “Would you join me right now in praying for him? For his wife and family? For our convention and the effects this may have on us?”
“As awful and inexcusable as this sin is,” Miller said, “I am glad to see that he is dealing with it the right way.”
I am very confident Mr. Miller would use the scorch earth method if this had been a ‘Liberal” leaders; but instead Miller basically says oh well, let’s move on.
No worries. An open and honest comments section is one of the reasons I keep reading. I too learn. I just needed a gentle reminder to keep it civil.
As it’s midnight in Scotland, I’m going to bed the noo; currently, England and New Zealand are half an hour into Day 3 of the Second Test. England are 228-3 with Root on 43 and Malan on 31, and the lead is 257. But I’m not going to stay up and see whether Root gets his half-ton. I’ll report back tomorrow.
Someone posted this comment on Spiritual Sounding board on their discussion about this:
Isn’t that the truth. The same group that is oh so quick to use “church discipline” on regular members get quite reluctant to impose this same discipline when one of their leaders is found to be in sin. This just shows you IMO what the real purpose is of church discipline which is to allow leaders to control and prevent any dissension.
Is there a way to contact people individually on here?
I feel it’s unfortunate that Seraph felt he had to disappear… I guess I didn’t read his posts in the way that many of you did. Hmm.
Apparently, Seraph was giving different personal details in comments on this post and on others. I asked for some clarification.
“Nothing can be right if the manner of life is inconsistent with the word ministered.”
I would like to comment that Jack’s participation was helpful to me today. When there are comments made that are offensive to the majority of us, I felt someone needed to respond and Jack did that. It took the onus off of me to personally respond to unjustified attacks of the protestant faith in general. This site is so important. It is done so much good for victims of spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse. This site services and amazing purpose. Each post is thoughtfully prepared and important for discussion. I felt Jack helped us all identify someone who would rather entangle and divide us in useless and insincere debate. Thank you, Jack.
In a Hallmark movie?
I missed all the excitement and thought a little humor would be good for all.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
If you are a public leader, especially in a church, like Page is, I would say using weasel words and demanding privacy, IS concealing your sin. If you are an average joe pew sitter, you can have privacy. But, when you are a “leader” who has regularly made public pronouncements on moral issues, you need to publicly confess your sin and seek forgiveness.
Jarrett Edwards wrote:
… and on the dole, no less. The constituency would like to know where their money went.
At Slate, a commenter wrote that professional ladies were paid to sit in the car while he pleasured himself. Really? Folks unknowingly footed the bill. Rumor? Then clarify for the funders.
Grimma Wormtongue, pretty much sums it up.
It was also armature trolling. The name Seraph was not well thought out. It immediately brings up 2 Corinthians 11 : 14-15.
I guess if they wanted to spend hours posting deceptive comments, don’t pick a name synonymous with deception, amount numerous other things.
Miller takes his marching orders from Mohler and Moore
I believe it was Darlene who wondered aloud (insofar as a blog comment can be “aloud”) whether the “real” Seraph would stand up. There was certainly an odd discontinuity between his different styles of engaging – sneering and contemptuous in some comments and/or to (or about) some individuals, while then suddenly being as nice as pie to others.
A couple of years ago, we had a strange drive-by troll here by the name of “Paula Rice”, who did much the same thing – carefully cultivate a close and friendly discussion with some, whilst being gratuitously spiteful and derogatory towards others. After pushing his/her favourite philosophy (that Jesus and the Bible are one and the same) and realising (s)he wasn’t getting anywhere with it, (s)he flounced out with great ceremony – rather more ceremony, it has to be said, than Seraph – declaring us all heretics and joking about it. But after making a big show of leaving, (s)he continued to comment for a while using the name “ibelieve” as a sock-puppet. (Incidentally, I think it marginally more likely than not that “Paula Rice” was/is actually male.)
So it wouldn’t be the first time that someone had come in and tried to cause trouble in the Wartburg community, and in particular, to weaken the on-line relationships that have grown here over time.
I believe this also.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Great description! By “problems we cannot resolve” I suppose he means Calvinism. Meanwhile the second largest religious group in America has numerous other leaders maintaining radio silence.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
I am of the same view.
Dave A A wrote:
I’m not so sure I buy into the second largest religious group in America. I was seriously amused the first time JD Greear ran for SBC president because he had to break it to his megachurch audience they were SBC.
This phenomenon is going on All Over America. SBC churches that don’t know they are SBC. Hee hee.
Having been a Southern Baptist for over 40 years, I can tell you there will be no further update on why Frank Page was made to rewrite his resignation letter. The only exception will be if there is the real possibility of someone leaking the whole story. The Good ol Boys leadership will cover, hide, deflect, and intimidate. However, save yourself the frustration, they are not going to be honest. The men in the SBC leadership are above accountability. They are under no church’s authority and there is no one that can hold them accountable or make them be honest. They will feel absolutely no obligation to the millions of Southern Baptist who finance their positions and lifestyle. The Conservatives of the Convention have pilfered the coffers and taken turns playing king (Convention President). Frank Page is just one of the stories you got to hear about. We should pray for Dr.Page and his wife and family. I hope he get the spiritual help he needs. Please pray for the Convention. Though it’s greater days seem to have passed, perhaps a purge/repentance of the hirelings and a moving of God’s Spirit could begin a revival.
SBC’s North American Mission Board is aggressively planting 1,000 new churches per year with a $60 million annual budget. These funds are necessary to provide first jobs for young pastors fresh out of seminary (mostly reformed) to get them on the road. I guarantee you that most members of the plants in my area do not know they are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The young reformers look at an SBC label as a hindrance to attracting Generation X, Y and Z … but enjoy the money SBC sends them!
From the article:
“Page publicly supported a Baptist Faith and Message amendment limiting the role of senior pastor to men, but in his 1980 doctoral dissertation argued that women should be eligible for any role in the church. He described the paper as the work of an “immature theologian” and compared his change of opinion to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler, who as a student advocated for Baptist Women in Ministry but as president refused to hire faculty supportive of women’s ordination.”
Compromise, pure and simple, as the New Calvinist movement and its campaign to subordinate women (and even Jesus!) sweeps through SBC ranks. He left SBC in disgrace, remaining an “immature theologian.”
The revision of this statement of faith for Southern Baptists in 2000 essentially opened the door for Calvinization of the denomination. Page, once opposed to the New Calvinist proliferation in SBC life, obviously surrendered to back-room compromise with Al Mohler. Many traditional SBC churches opted not to incorporate BFM2000 into their belief and practice, preferring to keep the BFM1963 in place. There has been tension within SBC ever since, but the New Calvinists have the upper hand at this point.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
I ingnored him/her after a bit. I couldn’t determine if he was honest or not so I didn’t bother. I also didn’t trust his desire to aggravate certain commenters. For all his/her bibleness, he/she didn’t have a grasp on how to interact with people.
Thank you. We’re talking not an insignificant amount of Kingdom-dedicated funds that would continue to flow his way, and quietly golden-parachuting out the back door after being such a prominent leader yet having a ‘personal failing’ cause the departure appears to be an accountability dodge.
This is especially the case when many leaders (sic) would not allow church disassociation from non-compensated membership had the member been invited loved in a ‘personal failing’ but would’ve ratcheted up the discipline machine — complete with confession-pursuing, sin-naming (often publicly), and sheep-shunning. Funny how the leaders are supposed to be above reproach, yet the system many construct allow them to escape many consequences of failing to meet that threshold.
He congratulated Page on his retirement when it was to be closer to family, and nothing since last I saw. How about Mr Furtick? I wonder how many Elevators know they’re SBC.
I’ve seen reports that say that many prostitutes are victims of human trafficking. They aren’t prostitutes because they want to be prostitutes.
There are some Non-Christians (including atheists) who behave in a more “Christ-like” fashion than some self-professing Christians.
If you say you’re a Christian but don’t consistently behave with how Jesus says one should and can expect a follower of his to behave, your faith really amounts to nothing. You’re wearing a label but not walking out what you claim to believe.
Also consider women such as myself, who were brought up by Christian parents to be absolute doormats, who were taught from girl-hood that it was wrong to say ‘No’ to anyone for any reason, because it would not be feminine or godly for a woman to be assertive, turn down requests, to say No, etc.
I carried all that wrong thinking long into adulthood because I did not know any better for a long, long time, not even into my 30s.
It’s really hard to have the courage to stand up to a bully or bad person, or to even know if, when, or can you can stand up to bullies and other bad people, when your parents indoctrinate you to be highly conflict avoidant and to believe other people have worth but you do not.
I had an abusive (woman) boss on one job, and I was like a deer in headlights with her. I had no idea if I could stand up to her or not, because I was so thoroughly conditioned to just immediately acquiesce to anyone on any issue.
To reiterate, even if a woman technically CAN stand up for herself, it does not mean she WILL.
In my case, I suppose during all my teen years and into my 30s, when confronted by bullies and abusive bosses, I could have stood up for myself, but…
I was taught by my Christian parents it would be wrong to do so. Women simply are not being loving, feminine, and godly if they have boundaries and assert them. It does you no good to be able to stand up to a bully if you were taught not to do so.
I kept waiting for someone to give me permission to act assertively but was never given it, not by my parents, and sure not by the Southern Baptist churches I was brought up in, which taught women are supposed to behave like little dainty, meek, soft spoken doormats.
And the way I was brought up, it did not even occur to me that I did not need someone else’s permission to be assertive.
So, you can have the -ability- to be assertive but not realize you can act assertively.
Nathan Priddis wrote:
Wormtongue is a bit over the top. A guy (Seraph) passionate and zealous for his religion and its ancient traditions yes, but hardly deserving of St. Paul’s invective in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.
I thought Dee’s example was pretty loaded: *married* boss hitting on a woman who badly needed the job.
My first thought was just, Eew.
Can you even have legal documents drawn up to say it’s a consensual relationship? I mean, is adultery legal now? I know it used to be grounds for divorce outside the church, but I have no idea what the legal landscape looks like now.
(Much less going into all the implications about the judgement and capacity of the woman involved to consent to a relationship with a married man she works for…)
@ Muff Potter:
It depends on which version of Seraph you believe – “I am Orthodox” or “I’m not Orthodox”.
The really sad thing about this article is that reports of church leader personal failings are old news after a week … they are happening so frequently!
I think the consensual legal documents would to be to cover single bosses/employees and single pastors/congregants who wanted to date, not adulterous relationships.
I don’t know about other people reading here but over the span of my career I’ve known several women who “wanted” to have an affair with a married colleague or boss.
I know Dr. Page personally. I am shocked and brokenhearted over this news. I am praying for him, his family, and any others involved.
I can honestly say the same for versions of ‘Muff Potter’. If and when it suits my fancy, I can be Injun Joe, Aunt Polly, Becky Thatcher, or even Queequeg in a pinch.
GASP! Really? You mean there’s such a thing as real, non-gender-specific life in the human parade?
@ Leslie Puryear:
I always wonder what exactly people are praying for in these situations AFTER the grand deception. For Dr. Page to experience New Life?
It’s weird to me that not even pastors can bring themselves to condemn this behavior from someone who made a living off of Jesus. I find that somewhat bizarre.
Leslie Puryear wrote:
As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I too am shocked and brokenhearted. SBC leaders (Page, Pressler, others?) have been living lives much differently than any of us thought possible. My prayers are perhaps focused differently than yours – I am praying that God will continue to expose and remove all leaders who have been unfaithful to their calling. I pray and grieve for all those impacted by their sins.
@ Muff Potter:
Whenever/wherever God moves, it is always accompanied by a purging of the counterfeit from the genuine.
Dave A A wrote:
Greear tweeted this on March 31: “Just in the past week, a number of high-profile Christian leaders have been accused of sexual misconduct. This should be a rare & bizarre occurrence. Sadly, it’s not.”
Can’t do it. I can not pray for Frank Page.
I won’t even pray for his wife and daughters right now. If I did, most likely, I’d ask God to give them the courage to break the chains of “complementarian” bondage and hold Frank Page personally accountable ……. maybe while they’re wearin’ steel toed boots and holding metal fence posts in their hands!
So, maybe I’d just best be quiet.
@ Muff Potter:
When you choose a screen name of Angel of Light, some people are immediately going torecall what the scriptures say about that name.
It would be no different if I choose the name, Smoke a Bowl. Presumably, many people would visualize me commenting between bong hits.
As far as Grimma goes…
Hmmm..yes, there was a palatable contempt for the House of God.
There is one faith, one Lord, one baptism, Seraph, NeoCalvinist or whoever else aside. This is what God is doing. In all is ugliness, history of violence, racism, and too many other ills to bother mentioning here. It is the work of God, and they have spoken against it. Let the Lord remember their hard words. And if was odious to the Lord, so be it.
Leslie Puryear wrote:
He is a very powerful man in the SBC and he should be subject to discipline. How long did he continue to preach after this inappropriate action? My guess he will not be disciplined–it is the old do as I say-not as I do. It is one of the reasons the SBC is in decline and I do not just mean numbers of members.
“If this undertaking is of men, it will fail” (Acts 5)
Well, he can’t be referring to Frank Page. Page wasn’t accused of anything at all. He did admit to some sort of misconduct after mulling over some things he might have forgotten to mention. Whether it was (or is) sexual or not is anyone’s guess. And guessing they are. And some guess there’s a man or men involved. And neither Page nor any SBC leaders have said otherwise.
And he is running for SBC prez after having to admit to his church that they are SBC and didn’t know it —and will able to pick the next executive to replace Page.
Anyone else remember his promotion of Mark Driscoll, Mahaney?
What a big phony mess.
Nathan Priddis wrote:
If I recall correctly there were two regulars here at TWW, and astute ones at that, who didn’t see ‘Seraph’ as a lock-stock-and-barrel reference to Paul’s invective.
They also cited facts about etymology and the derivation of names to back it up with.
You (generic you) can find Satan under every rock and behind every fig leaf there is if you so choose, most of us don’t however.
Leslie Puryear wrote:
Can you ask him what it is he did? He used weasel words to describe it. No names or places needed — but who are the others? Men, women or children? Just one? Just once? Some secular opinions think this must be homosexual, because Christian leaders who sin with a woman or women have been quickly forgiven once it comes out. Does he want the public to assume this? Do other SBC leaders want them to assume it?
Ya know, I would have more respect for a pastor who just simply said, ‘ he deceived us’ and left it at that. All the over spiritualized puffery gets old. It’s meaningless.
If I was a betting man and I am not, Leslie Puryear will not come back here and try to defend Frank Page. He though can tell his SBC buddies he defended him here.
The election of J.D. Greear as SBC President in June will herald the end of a once-great evangelistic denomination, while signaling “We were successful!” to a generation of young, restless and reformed pastors within SBC – many of whom took churches away from SBC non-Calvinists by stealth and deception. No matter how you spin it, this is not a “God Thing.”
@ Muff Potter:
It’s a free country. Those commenters you mentioned, can come to any conclusion they choose. And that is a wonderful blessing of this era of Church history.
Regarding Satan hiding under rocks.
He never does that. Nor is he atempting to take over the World, dispite the constant handringing. Did not care when prohibition was repealed. And does watch Stormy Daniels videos.
He is in Heaven, standing before the Throne making accusations against the Brethren night and day. This is why he is discribed as Satan, or Devil.
He is very beautiful, and yes, is also an Angel of Light.
Max: I will always believe the calling home of over 1,000 missionaries has to do with Calvinism.
At the same time, SBC’s International Mission Board was claiming a funding shortfall to pay for those 1,000 (predominantly non-Calvinist) foreign missionaries, SBC’s North American Mission Board was spending $60 million per year to plant 1,000 churches (predominantly New Calvinist). Priorities under the new ruling party in SBC? Take the Gospel to the world or New Calvinism to America?
“At the same time, SBC’s International Mission Board was claiming a funding shortfall to pay for those 1,000 (predominantly non-Calvinist) foreign missionaries, SBC’s North American Mission Board was spending $60 million per year to plant 1,000 churches (predominantly New Calvinist). Priorities under the new ruling party in SBC? Take the Gospel to the world or New Calvinism to America?”
i can’t help but feel money was at the bottom of it. Successful churches bring in revenue. missionaries do not.
How much money is needed to pay for the so-called white-collared SBC professionals? their salaries, their perks & benefits, their retirements, their offices, buildings, etc.
Nathan Priddis wrote:
I don’t understand why you focus so much on that particular name as surely being satanic. What do you make of the seraphim (plural of seraph) in Isaiah 6? Are you saying those are satanic? I would not personally use that word as a moniker, but I think you are overplaying your hand in this case.
… their settlements, malpractice insurance, golden parachute when let go, security guards a la Andy Savage when they goof, etc. Bro buck$.
While more money via more churches to do more stuff is certainly a consideration, I believe SBC’s emphasis on church planting by New Calvinist leadership is more about planting theology than planting churches.
I had a co-worker relate to me the story of two of her friends going to Alaska right out of high school to be prostitutes for the money (this would have been in the late 70’s that they did this). My co-worker half-mused that she should have gone with them. Not everything fits into the narratives we tell ourselves and to say I was shocked at the time would be an understatement.
i’m sure this is going to require remedial explanations here, but…
what is the draw (to Calvinism)?
They haven’t ALL honestly changed their convictions — so if they still hold to non-calvinist convictions (even in part), what is it about Calvinism that they find compelling enough to change a whole denomination?
i understand that there are bound to be some who are going along for the sake of their jobs. But for those who are too powerful to lose their jobs and did not previously espouse calvinism, why have they all changed directions?
i have a feeling some are giving lip service to it all, while still maintaining non-calvinist convictions.
is it similar to the inerrancy chopping block? how sacrifices were made (people & principle) because inerrancy was just too important not to insist on in others, in oneself? and so if inerrancy meant female subjugation, ‘let’s find a way to sugar-coat it’. if inerrancy meant, firing people with cruelty to make a point, then so be it.
what is it about calvinism that is this important?
(i’m sure i’ve repeated myself here a few times — tired…)
“i have a feeling some are giving lip service to it all, while still maintaining non-calvinist convictions.”
Or perhaps their convictions were never particularly strong in the first place.
@ Ken F (aka Tweed):
As a born again, washed in the blood follower of Christ, I find it disturbing this has morphed into yet another divisive discussion of Calvinism. Satan is having a good ole’ time. God help us.
“what is the draw (to Calvinism)”
Young people were targeted in youth group and on college campi. It’s serious and pseudo intellectual. It has a system which appealed to the chaos around them.
Most pew sitters had no idea. Neo Cals infiltrated as youth pastors, staffers, volunteers, pastors etc used familiar words but with different definitions. Most churches are incredibly tolerant to new pastors and never dreamed the seminary they help to pay for would send them someone deceptive and manipulative who was taking over the church.
Seminaries used the political tactic of a common enemy to train the young. They taught that Churches are not preaching the true gospel. “We are.”. The ignorant don’t even know it. “We must go in and covertly lead them to truth” And don’t disagree with us leaders or you are like them.
None of it woukd have happened so covertly and manipulatively if they had been totally upfront about intentions.
Biggest religious scam of the century. That’s how I think of Mohler, Moore, Dever, etc.— scammers. Why they have any credibility now blows my mind.
So it’s more Christian to never discuss theology?
It’s more “Christian” to discuss the Gospel. Theology gets in the way of what our focus should be, on the loving Grace of our Lord Jesus Jesus. It’s theology that turns people away from the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Well, Lydia took the words right out of my mouth in her response to your inquiry. She has summed up things well. I would note, however, that many of the comments on this blog and elsewhere deal primarily with “New” Calvinism rather than classical Calvinism. While the tenets of their faith are pretty much the same, New Calvinist method and message are designed to primarily attract Generations X, Y, and Z. The New Calvinist movement is militant, aggressive, and arrogant in nature as opposed to more civil and respectful classical Calvinists. Leaders of the new reformation focus on shaping the church of tomorrow and have found a demographic which appears to prefer tribalism and egotism (we alone have the truth) as expressions of faith.
What is the draw to “New” Calvinism? The omnipotent-omniscient-omnipresent Al Mohler sells his movement this way:
“Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.”
Where else are they going to go?! Wow! Why wouldn’t a young person want to go to the only source of “truth”?! After all, 90% of the rest of Christendom (non-Calvinist) have been wrong all these centuries!
As I understand it, Calvinism, Neo and otherwise, provides what are perceived as solid answers to many of the things that we don’t understand when reconciling christianity with what’s observed in the world.
By believing that everything is predestined for God’s glory then it removes the need to contemplate and analyze or even act against the suffering of this world.
Their own failings fall into this category. They actually believe that the affair, the addiction, the abuse was pre-ordained for God’s glory and therefore it was meant to happen so they have no culpability – and since they’re of the elect, the whole matter is out of their hands – why care about a victim of abuse in the church? I think at it’s worst manifestation we see what happened at SGC/SGM, the Village Church abuse of Ms. Hinckley, and other cases. The abuser is welcomed because he is one of the elect – he abused not out choice or compulsion but because God himself ordained the abuse to happen – and the victim should just get over it, accept this and move on – if they were elect they would not dare to question God’s ordained actions.
Someone said the SBC had recalled a boatload of missionaries. This makes sense to a Neo-Cal crowd as they would believe the elect to be irresistibly drawn to the church – waste of resources to go hunting for them.
Lydia and Max have more experience on this front but that’s what I’m picking up based on what I’m reading.
“It has a system which appealed to the chaos around them.”
so, in the interest of why….
is it that Mohler & Co. observed that the younger generation were actually gaining traction with “evangelicalism” when it was according to the calvinist slant;
this, in stark contrast to all the reports of declining church membership and attendance;
therefore, a sort of business move?
(like when Lucky grocery store was bought out by Albertsons grocery store,
and all the Lucky neon signs on their stores were changed to Albertsons neon signs,
profits declined over a period of time,
then all of a sudden over night all the Lucky signs were back,
that seemed to do the trick) ??
Nathan Priddis wrote:
I’m confident that Seraph and I are not in league with Satan. It was a strong difference of opinion, nothing more. While Seraph and I will not be exchanging Christmas cards, he is not evil, and neither am I
Per Dee, we’re both welcome here. There’s plenty of pixel space and in the future I’ll be more inclined to shoot an email to the blog owners than get on my horse and do battle when faced with someone who I believe is crossing lines. An open and honest comments section is a privilege that I want to keep enjoying.
For the record I don’t care about when Prohibition was repealed nor do I have any Stormy Daniels DVD’s on my shelf. Can’t speak for Seraph on the Prohibition question but he didn’t strike as a Stormy Daniels fan.
The devil gets too much credit. We make the choices.
“…if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing,…”
sounds just like Mark Cuban. so, a business decision, then.
Al Mohler would do well as a Shark on Shark Tank.
Since ‘Mr. Wonderful‘ is already taken. What would his nickname be?
Jack, I would add to this that Calvinism takes humans out of the spiritual equation. Personal accountability and responsibility becomes selective. The leaders are more like the Greek Philosopher Kings who manage the selectivity.
It was the cognitive dissonance of their belief in the lack of human volition I could not get past. If true, why would I listen to them? Their doctrine demands I don’t. Unless I buy into the philosopher king bit.
I missed his road to Damascus conversion. There was a time Mohler was a big fundraiser for the “liberal bad doctrine” president of SBTS.
“The devil gets too much credit. We make the choices”
I actually heard a New Calvinist pastor at an SBC church plant near me relate the following “evangelism” experience he had on a “mission” trip to West Africa.
A young man came up to the pastor while visiting his village. He carried a New Testament given to him by a prior missionary. He had been reading it and asked the pastor essentially “What must I do to be saved?” The young reformer’s response was “You don’t have to do anything. God’s grace has been extended to you.”
What?! You don’t have to ‘do’ anything?! Repentance? Believe? Accept Christ?
World evangelism and missions take on totally different meanings in New Calvinism. It’s all about harvesting the elect, rather than reaching the lost.
He ‘is’ doing very well as a Shark … New Calvinism is a Shark Tank!
Stormy Daniels for President in 20′ !
@ elastigirl & Max:
I think that the impetuousness of youth accounts for much of the success enjoyed by Mohler and company.
When I got reeled into the Calvary Chapel cult as a young fella, I was impetuous too. The cause was everything, something to believe in and act upon with total abandon.
Hi Jack. Couldn’t follow parts of your comment. I looked back and saw a typo, “Does not watch Stormy Daniels”……did not get typed out quite right.
Apparently, I’ve inadvertently suggested our favorite Heavenly being is a big Stormy fan. That does change the comment a bit. To ever is human.
I’m sure if Lucifer was on the blog, he would definitely hold the position, that dating any girl named Stormy, is not advisable.
Hope that clarifies the video confusion. And glad to know you decided against joining the League of Satan. A fine choice really, and very encouraging to hear.
Thanks, Greg – although I should point out that there are already two parodists here at TWW and I’m not sure there’s room for too many more. 😉
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Bah. The only parodists here are the losers who make it hard for good honest shysters to cover up their pulpits for the gospel.
You’re all rubbish.
Muff Potter wrote:
“Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.” (Romans 16)
If women are kept weak, barefoot, and pregnant, then a whiny wimp like MEEEEEEE will be a Big Manly May in comparison!
Remember a LOT of these “Woman, SUBMIT!” Manly Men are shorter, skinnier, and weaker than the average woman. It doesn’t take a Muscular Woman(TM) to fold up these Manly Men and stuff them in a dumpster, Which Cannot Be Allowed To Happen.
As In “I HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS! WORD FOR WORD! CHAPTER:VERSE! CHAPTER!VERSE! CHAPTER:VERSE!”
Islam’s been going down that road for the past several centuries.
Look where it got them.
Now just imagine how many thinkers, movers, and shakers several centuries ago concnetrated on Theology and ONLY Theology when they could have brought mustice, human rights, and technology/understanding to make the world (this one, NOT the Next) a better place.
“RULERS OF TOMORROW!!! GOD’S PREDESTINED MASTER RACE!!!”
Rank Hath Its Priviliges.
Highborn Birth and Breeding, you understand.
Saying that the database idea was “considered” is generous given that there was never even any budget allocated for a legitimate study of having a denominational database. The link below is where the Nashville Scene got SBC official Sing Oldham on the record acknowledging that there was in fact no budget set aside for the study … despite the fact that SBC messengers had voted for such a study. So the so-called study always looked a bit like a sham. And as for other databases … given that the vast majority of active child molesters have never been criminally convicted of anything — a fact that virtually all experts confirm — most child molesters will not appear on sex offender registries. This is why many other major faith groups DO keep records on credible accusations against their clergy so that likely predators can at least be removed from positions of high trust and kids can thereby be better protected. https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/article/13015745/what-would-jesus-say
“Now that Page is ‘retired’, we believe the SBC should once again consider creating a central database with the names of Southern Baptist pastors who have been ‘credibly accused of, confessed to or been convicted of sexual abuse or harassment.’
NO MORE EXCUSES! It’s time to protect the children!!!”
Amen. Amen. Amen.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Well, I am not going to feel shame for discussing theology here if it is allowed. I assumed the Good News was included in theology as some include PSA as part of the “Good News”, too. Yikes. I think it’s healthy to discuss what we believe and why. Never questioning anything is very unhealthy. In fact, since the Neo Cal resurgence many people are very confused about it being Good News. And the word “Gospel” has been used to describe everything the YRR want it be in the moment.
@ Christa Brown:
Do you really trust something like that with Al Mohler or Paige Patterson?
For the record, I wanted to clear up my original point about the discussion of Calvinism. Jesus Christ, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, reached down and saved my sorry soul. I did nothing to deserve His grace. He saved me. I did not save myself. Calvinism is yet another man made divisive issue. The lost don’t care about it. Most church goers don’t care. I attend a SB church in the Upstate of S.C. I was on the search committee that listened to the Spirit of God tell us who He wanted as His pastor. To this day, our pastor simply preaches the Word of God. He preaches Jesus every Sunday. We don’t have a clue if he is a Calvinist, or not. WE DO NOT CARE. We just want to hear the Gospel preached. We want to learn more about Jesus. We want to take that Word out to the lost. Theologians can discuss Calvinism all they want. Just keep it out of God’s Church.
Well, 500 years since J.C. walked the earth (John Calvin, i.e.), Christendom has successfully kept Calvinist belief and practice out of most of the Church. Calvinists represent less than 10% of Christians worldwide. Debating theology is not preaching the Gospel.
Gospel-centered lives, gospel-centered marriages, gospel-centered churches, gospel-centered coffee, etc. To a young reformer, Calvinism = Gospel … thus, Calvinist-centered lives, Calvinist-centered marriages, Calvinist-centered churches, Calvinist-centered coffee, etc.
It is not that simple IMO.
I still can’t quite tell whether Greg is serious or not, so this is a general comment rather than a reply to him specifically.
Nobody “simply preaches the word of God”, unless they literally stand up, read as much of the bible as they have time to, then sit down, and each week, pick up from where they left off last week. What actually happens is that a chap gives a talk in which (usually) he reads a small portion of scripture, perhaps with one or two others, and then offers his opinions on what that portion of scripture means. These opinions are likely to be influenced by his background as much as by the Holy Spirit even at the best of times.
Those opinions will nearly always go much further than the pulpit, and will strongly influence how that preacher behaves and – most importantly – treats his fellow-believers for the 99% of the time he is not in the pulpit. And sometimes even when he is. They influence who he welcomes into the church, brings around him, seeks to promote. By the same token, depending on what he is, they may determine whom he bullies, denounces, opposes and persecutes.
Search committees who believe everything boils down to a simple “he preaches Jesus” are disastrous for the church. A would-be preacher will never “just preach Jesus”, and in any case, it is how his life and actions represent Jesus that matters. Every wolf in sheep’s clothing comes in sheep’s clothing, which will usually be in the form of a nod towards preaching some kind of Jesus. Search committees such as Greg describes will open the door for a wolf, close it behind him, and then vigorously protect the wolf from scrutiny, because, as Greg says, they don’t care.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I am serious.
No matter how much the debaters twirl their pens.
It is encouraging to hear about your pastor. I hope what you have shared about his preaching remains true for years to come. I would encourage you to listen very carefully to any nuance toward Reformed theology. We have seen all too often how these Neo-Cal pastors sneak into unsuspecting congregations and ever so S-L-O-W-L-Y start to change things.
Absolutely! It was definitely a strategic move to put Neo-Cal missionaries and church planters in place.
There is no “Christ”; there is only CALVIN.
(CALVIN who has God All Figured Out)
Theology planters, not church planters.
Shocked and disappointed that what might have been a substantive discussion about Page’s failing (“moral failure”) has been transformed into doctrinal arguing.
Christa Brown wrote:
Very late on this topic I realize, but you are right. What might work is some sense of license board/ordination board that actually kicks people out for misconduct and makes note of it so future employers can enquire. Doctors have public records of things like malpractice suits, and dings on their licensure, iirc. Something akin to that might work. I don’t think a ‘list of Baptist predators’ is practical.
When all you have is a Theological Debate Hammer…
(twirl those pens!)