More Women Come Forward With Allegations Against Bill Hybels

“If you ignore the red flags, embrace the heartache to come.” ― Amanda Mosher

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Red flag

I am still sitting in my board meeting. However, this new article, Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels just appeared at Christianity Today. More women are coming forward with accusations of inappropriate encounters with Bill Hybels.

Here ar some highlights from the article.

  • On three occasions, Hybels offered to do interviews with CT about the allegations. All three times he backed out.
  • So far, at least seven women have accused Hybels of improper conduct and abuse of power. They include the first woman teaching pastor at Willow Creek, a former worship leader, several former staffers, two church members, and the former head of a prominent evangelical publisher. One other woman accused him of an affair—then recanted that claim.
  • Maureen “Moe” Girkins, former president of Zondervan, a major evangelical publisher, told CT that Hybels made no overt sexual advances towards her, but spoke in sexually inappropriate ways and pressured her to meet him alone outside their professional relationship.
  • (Julia Williams)  loved the church. And she knew something was wrong with the way Hybels interacted with her.“I remember feeling that God was saying, ‘This is not OK,’ ” she said.The worst moment came when she was on a leg extension weight machine at the Y and Hybels surprised her by walking up to her.“He put his two hands on my thighs—started at my knees and rubbed up and down a couple of times,” she told CT. “I remember jumping off and we just started running. It was extremely uncomfortable. And obviously very inappropriate.”
  • (Ed. This story appears to demonstrate a pattern to Hybles behavior that has been discussed before.)
    The woman—who requested anonymity due to her employment situation—said she met Hybels at a conference for youth pastors in the mid-1980s near Mount Shasta in California.Hybels came up to the pool and began talking to her. He was charming and funny, she said. They eventually went on a run together to a nearby dam.After the run, he asked her up to his room to watch a movie. She says that his attention was flattering. Even then, Hybels was a big deal. And she thought he was trustworthy.Before long, she said, they were sitting on his bed, having a long conversation as the movie played. Hybels allegedly talked about all the pressure he was under while building the church and raising a family.She remembers him saying that her boyfriend was not good for her and that she had great leadership potential.“He told me he could get me a job at Willow Creek,” she said.At some point, he started rubbing her feet.There was no sexual activity, she told CT. Once she left, she never heard from him again.
  • Willow Creek told CT that the church was aware that Bill Hybels and his wife Lynne held one-on-one meetings at their home. The church did not have a policy banning or approving of such meetings. They called such meetings “rare.”

    The church also allowed Hybels to book suites while traveling, so that he could hold private meetings with staff. He admitted in a church meeting that he’d often have staff members stay behind to talk.

There is much, much more in the story, including an assessment by Ross Peterson, who is a counselor who works with troubled  pastors.

Folks, do you see a pattern of behavior emerging?


Comments

More Women Come Forward With Allegations Against Bill Hybels — 554 Comments

  1. Rub a woman’s feet on your bed? Using your position to offer employment? Who does that?

    What kind of Pastor asks a woman to get a bottle of wine and dinner to meet privately and keep it a secret?

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  2. Mike wrote:

    Rub a woman’s feet on your bed? Using your position to offer employment? Who does that?

    What kind of Pastor asks a woman to get a bottle of wine and dinner to meet privately and keep it a secret?

    This is beyond disturbing. Never mind his foot fettish.

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  3. “Folks, do you see a pattern of behavior emerging?” (Dee)

    “She remembers him saying that her boyfriend was not good for her and that she had great leadership potential.” (Anonymous)

    Pattern? He used the same line on Vonda Dyer: “he started complimenting her appearance and criticizing her husband, and suggested they lead Willow together”

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  4. This is very disturbing. This man is a predator as far as I can tell. And we’re not even discussing all the perks this guy seems to have at his disposal.

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  5. “So far, at least seven women have accused Hybels of improper conduct and abuse of power. They include the first woman teaching pastor at Willow Creek, a former worship leader, several former staffers, two church members, and the former head of a prominent evangelical publisher.”

    Uhhhh … what else is needed?

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  6. Max wrote:

    Uhhhh … what else is needed?

    For the remaining elders to step down for a pattern of allowing it to happen.

    There’s also been a discussion on Twitter how the more progressive female leaders have gone silent on this issue. They loudly and openly spoke out during Highpoint and on others, but went quiet on Hybels. Some guess it’s because he was supposed to be egalitiarian and supporing female pastors. Clearly you can claim to be egalitarian and still harass and abuse women.

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  7. ishy wrote:

    Clearly you can claim to be egalitarian and still harass and abuse women.

    When flesh is in control, rather than the Spirit, it makes no difference if a pastor is egalitarian or complementarian.

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  8. “Difficult Season”
    “Wise Counsel”
    “a process of deep learning, seeking clarity, and building a path toward reconciliation”
    “we have a renewed commitment to engaging well, listening deeply, and further developing a culture of transparency and accountability.”

    Blah, Blah, Blah. This is not helping the credibility of women elders (or men elders)

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  9. Dear Elder Board,
    Hire a team of outside investigators to investigate EVERYTHING including what you have said and done! This is the only thing that will help Willow Creek! Period!

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  10. Reading the CT article and the further evidence of a longtime pattern of behavior, Proverbs 18:1 comes to mind: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

    It’s mind-boggling how Hybels was apparently permitted to isolate himself–from his marriage, from his Elders, from accountability, from any sense of duty to his position or to his children.

    With all due respect to the women of WCCC, where were the MEN in Bill Hybels’ life? Where was the Jonathan? The Nathan? The Jethro?

    The explanation for why brothers in leadership and Elder positions were turning a blind eye points to self-interest, complicity, and/or sheer ignorance.

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  11. “I am still sitting in my board meeting.”
    A mispelling? Bored? If only that could explain the poor performance of the Willow Creek elder board, they were distracted by their smart phones.

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  12. This is getting creepy. Hitting on women at the vacation home, marital residence, hotel suites, private plane and yacht. If my wife heard I was hitting on any woman like Bill did, I’d be toast!

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  13. ishy wrote:

    Clearly you can claim to be egalitarian and still harass and abuse women.

    Performative contradiction, when your actions provide a more accurate representation of your beliefs than your words.

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  14. The way the Christianity Today article reads, it seems more to me as if they worked in conjunction with WC, especially if it was quickly written before the WC statement was released, as per another comment – which I have not verified. The article was clearly written around the release from WC. Makes you really wonder what has not yet come out. Better to have the ‘friends’ at CT release your the bad news in a controlled manner, rather than allow the Chicago Tribune to give it an even less friendly light? It appears that Christianity Today is going to get the ‘breaking news’ before the other CT.

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  15. The new lead pastor is a lady…with blonde hair. Who was she ‘chosen’ by? I cringe at writing this, however, the Church elders and the new lead pastor have to be transparent and provide a clear statement on ANY inappropriate behavior…

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  16. George wrote:

    Sad…. the way these stories keep breaking, Christianity Today is looking more and more like TMZ.

    The behaviors that are being exposed are TMZ similar content. Respectfully, the 2 publications are polar opposites.

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  17. George wrote:

    Christianity Today is looking more and more like TMZ

    While TMZ breaks the biggest stories in celebrity and entertainment news, CT covers the church front in America. Failures by Christian celebrities are certainly big stories and need to be reported in the religious press. CT is probably not too thrilled about reporting this … such stories cause the church to become a byword and reproach in the world. It gives lost folks another chance to say “See, there’s nothing to it.”

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  18. Max wrote:

    “Breaking News” piece in the on-line edition of the Chicago Tribute earlier this afternoon: http://www.chicagotribune.com/

    From the article:

    “… two Christian book publishers suspended publication of Hybels’ books, including titles “Who You Are When No One’s Looking” and “Everyone Wins When a Leader Gets Better” …”

    Who you are when no one’s looking?!

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  19. @ Divorce Minister:

    THAT was the second thing I noticed after the reference to the personal yacht and jet stuff. DeMoss being brought in is more than just sketchy. Technically still listed as someone supportive of The Trinity Church.

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  20. Clearly he has a problem and it’s getting more difficult for him to hide. Glad for blogs who help expose this stuff and for women like dee and deb.

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  21. How much self deception and/or hubris do you have to have to do this kind of garbage for literally decades, and then write a book with the title “Who You Are When No One’s Looking”?

    If the devil ever came up with a better scheme to put this guy on a massive stage so as to discredit Christianity, Hybels’ life literally could not have been scripted any better.

    His wife Lynn, and daughter Shauna have to be absolutely shattered right now. So tragic for them and also for Christians all over the world who are associated with WC and Hybels.

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  22. My husband just mentioned that Hybels was one of the spiritual advisors to President Clinton. He also said that Presidents get the advisors they deserve.

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  23. WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    @ Divorce Minister:

    THAT was the second thing I noticed after the reference to the personal yacht and jet stuff. DeMoss being brought in is more than just sketchy. Technically still listed as someone supportive of The Trinity Church.

    deMoss is on the WCA board.

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  24. Why does a pastor have a personal yacht and jet? And who talks like that? Nobody – unless they are being advised by a big Eva church protection firm and are trying to sound super Christiany without actually saying anything meaningful.

    What possible reason could the former president of Zondervan have for making these statements? There is only one possible reason – they are true. (I believe the other women too. It’s just that this woman is an outsider, which makes it harder for the church to spin is as some sort of attack on BH or WCC.)

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  25. Sadly, this is why I’ll accept one-on-one meetings with secular professional men but not touch one with a ten-foot pole if it’s a Christian man. I know that it’s bad to generalize, but my experiences have just been that secular professional men know boundaries and accept “h*** NO” just fine – Christian ones don’t seem to. If I knew the Christian man well, then maybe – but he’d still have some (unmentioned) boundaries that I’d not bother to place with a secular man.

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  26. jackie wrote:

    deMoss is on the WCA board.

    I think we’re getting DeMoss and DeVos names mixed up some. Trying to sort this out and found these links:

    *Dick DeVos* was on the Willow Creek Association board (at least in 2017 — see annual report, page 10, for the Board of Directors list of names).

    http://www.willowcreek.com/support/docs/WCA_Annual_Report_2017.pdf

    But the *DeMoss* company has had Willow Creek Association as a client …

    http://demoss.com/clients

    … and *Mark DeMoss* is representing Willow Creek Church in their current troubles, as noted in the last sentence of the Christianity Today article posted today.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/april/bill-hybels-willow-creek-promises-investigation-allegations.html

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  27. I’ve been trying to sort thru DeVos and DeMoss connections with Willow Creek Association and it’s been so busy that I keep getting this message when I tried to do a specific search for those names:

    Sorry

    We are experiencing heavy volume. Please try again after a few minutes.

    People must be interested enough in this situation to be checking out the website.

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  28. GreekEpigraph wrote:

    I know that it’s bad to generalize, but my experiences have just been that secular professional men know boundaries and accept “h*** NO” just fine – Christian ones don’t seem to.

    I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s because they are not generally trained to think of themselves as the ‘heads’ over women, & don’t marinate as young men in that mix of ‘men just can’t help themselves & women are all temptresses’ that means they view sexual behaviours between males & females in every situation as inevitable & the fault of women who are are supposed to submit to them anyway. Instead, these ‘secular’ men have met women who are clearly their equals, not insatiable Madonna/whore figures & will have told them where to get off quite clearly when they’ve pushed it. They don’t have John Piper whispering in their ear about how these women are supposed to be ‘upholding their precious masculinity’ & saying no in ways that ‘continue to affirm their innate male right to lead’. A lot of the interactions I have seen between Christian men & women never seem to get beyond an adolescent stage due to this stuff, which is why so much goes wrong.

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  29. @ jackie:
    here in Seattle he’s known for
    1) praising Romney in 2008
    2) supporting Driscoll’s The Trinity Church and having been hired to handle PR stuff for MH some time in its final year.

    Neither of those things are things that would endear him to many people in Puget Sound. Wasn’t aware of a more formal WCA connection as the Willow Creek stuff isn’t really my neck of the woods here in Seattle.

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  30. GC wrote:

    What possible reason could the former president of Zondervan have for making these statements? There is only one possible reason – they are true. (I believe the other women too. It’s just that this woman is an outsider, which makes it harder for the church to spin is as some sort of attack on BH or WCC.)

    Agreed. A testimony from any of the women should be enough, but Ms. Girkins’ experience certainly brings a new perspective to this sad situation. It’s time for Mr. Hybels to do the right thing … confess and repent.

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  31. Max wrote:

    From the article:

    “… two Christian book publishers suspended publication of Hybels’ books, including titles “Who You Are When No One’s Looking” and “Everyone Wins When a Leader Gets Better” …”

    Who you are when no one’s looking?!

    It appears Hybels had more experience with the subject than he should have, apparently the people that should have been looking weren’t.

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  32. Jenn wrote:

    With all due respect to the women of WCCC, where were the MEN in Bill Hybels’ life? Where was the Jonathan? The Nathan? The Jethro?

    You won’t find those sort of men in the world of Christianity Lite.

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  33. I don’t think Bill Hybels believes he’s done anything really wrong. Except for the affair that was recanted there have been no reports of sexual activity. (I don’t really know how to even write that).

    Hybels was spiritual counsel to Clinton during his presidency. I wonder if Hybels, too, has a different definition and therefore sees himself as innocent. Hybels probably does not see the manipulation and grooming as a problem. He doesn’t live in the real world with the rest of us.

    He seems to get his jollys from the hunt and grooming. I don’t think he is self aware enough (or humble enough) to see the big problem. He was just being a nice guy who is sincerely interested in people. (Blech)

    This is pretty much how mega pastors see themselves. And I can’t tell you how often they use the “I am so tired” deal. They have jetsetter Lifestyles and don’t actually “work” in any capacity the typical person could relate to.

    It’s rather silly to expect the Elder board to have caught on to anything or respond any differently. The megachurch only existed because of Bill Hybels and everyone is aware of their place in the pecking order. They simply feel honored to be a part of something that big and important. That’s simply how it works. He doesn’t have to make any demands or anything. It all just works in his favor. He was the “it” guy for 40 years. My guess is things aren’t nearly as smooth in the meetings as they let on. And one wonders how many they’ve had without hybels there to date. But these are things that will never be made known unless someone breaks with the pack.

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  34. April wrote:

    I can assure you the CT article was supposed to come out earlier this week. I’m not sure though why it was delayed.@ truthseeker00:

    I was aware that this article was coming as well.

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  35. drstevej wrote:

    It is in print and has been since 1994

    Oh, I see. I misread the Chicago Tribune reference to this – I thought cancelling publication meant a new book. I was never lead to read any of Hybels’ books, so not aware of the titles that are out there.

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  36. Savage on purity, Hybels on authentic leadership, Presser pedophile a judge, SG on truth, Doug Wilson on reason, Haggard on homosexuality…Yep, Let’s hope Dobson doesn’t have 2 wives. Time to turn the Page on indiscretions and be allowed to ride of into the sunset. So to speak…Really, the light needs to continue to shine because none of these people are voluntarily repenting. If you won’t repent when caught, then everyone needs to see the truth about you. I am dragging myself to church tomorrow even tho it feels like consorting with the enemy. The pastor wears a dress so I hope that helps keep him humble. Maybe he’s a father or vicar or something and he calls it a robe. Different than what I am used to so that works for me right now.

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  37. Am I reading this right?

    “our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of [Willow] is not done”

    It sounds like their only commitment is to clear their name/reputation.

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  38. A couple thoughts……
    Real complementarians should know that they are the “head” over one woman, their wife. Any thought of being the head over other women is not what a complemantarian is. I am a complemantarian and I enjoy reading the comments here…. but these men featured in these stories do not represent my convictions.

    Professional men realize that their employers have “zero tolerance” policies, so in many ways the standard is higher than SGM, WC, and other mega-type churches.

    Money and power corrupts…. in a way, WC let Hybels down by not providing accountability and stricter controls. Accountability is just common sense… and Biblical. But, he is a grown up so he is to blame for his own actions.

    All their talk about leadership and leadership development….. they failed. Most Fortune 500 companies have better processes in place that what WC did.

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  39. George wrote:

    in a way, WC let Hybels down by not providing accountability and stricter controls

    Most likely the “deep learning” the elders referred to in the letter to the Willow Family.

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  40. George wrote:

    A couple thoughts……
    Real complementarians should know that they are the “head” over one woman, their wife. Any thought of being the head over other women is not what a complemantarian is. I am a complemantarian and I enjoy reading the comments here…. but these men featured in these stories do not represent my convictions.
    Professional men realize that their employers have “zero tolerance” policies, so in many ways the standard is higher than SGM, WC, and other mega-type churches.
    Money and power corrupts…. in a way, WC let Hybels down by not providing accountability and stricter controls. Accountability is just common sense… and Biblical. But, he is a grown up so he is to blame for his own actions.
    All their talk about leadership and leadership development….. they failed. Most Fortune 500 companies have better processes in place that what WC did.

    Good points, all.

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  41. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:

    “Breaking News” piece in the on-line edition of the Chicago Tribute earlier this afternoon: http://www.chicagotribune.com/

    From the article:

    “… two Christian book publishers suspended publication of Hybels’ books, including titles “Who You Are When No One’s Looking” and “Everyone Wins When a Leader Gets Better” …”

    Who you are when no one’s looking?!

    The similarities with Andy Savage are striking. Writing books on subjects in which they are failing while pretending they are experts.

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  42. @ B:
    Because more and more revelations are becoming known. And not just with this situation. In following other stories you find the same thing. It leaves you wondering what else there is.

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  43. “Willow Creek told CT that the church was aware that Bill Hybels and his wife Lynne held one-on-one meetings at their home. The church did not have a policy banning or approving of such meetings. They called such meetings “rare.”

    Why would his wife hold one-on-one meetings?…is she part of this whole mess or was she just having a prayer or bible study with another woman from the church?

    It seems kind of odd that they mention her in an article about Mr. Hybels doing “inappropriate” things one-on-one..

    Or did I miss some details that might explain the inclusion of his wife in this article?

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  44. @ molly245:

    I think including his wife’s name is the elder’s way of downplaying the situation so it seems innocent. I am only convinced of rarity in the one-on-one meetings where Lynne was present.

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  45. Deborah wrote:

    Savage on purity, Hybels on authentic leadership, Presser pedophile a judge, SG on truth, Doug Wilson on reason, Haggard on homosexuality…Yep, Let’s hope Dobson doesn’t have 2 wives.

    We have given all this power and prestige to all of these Evangelical Thought Leaders ™, but why? What have these people actually accomplished? Other than building big churches and making huge salaries funded on the backs of hard working people’s tithes.

    I’ve been a part of the problem. I’ve looked to these people for advice and leadership, but no more. I’d rather look to people who have accomplished something in a difficult field like physics, medicine, teaching, or music rather than these clowns who spend all their time telling people how to live while being funded lavishly by those same people’s money.

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  46. Lydia wrote:

    This is pretty much how mega pastors see themselves. And I can’t tell you how often they use the “I am so tired” deal. They have jetsetter Lifestyles and don’t actually “work” in any capacity the typical person could relate to.

    I think the pastors that work the hardest are the ones at the smallest churches that get paid the least. Those are the ones that should make the most

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  47. Beakerj wrote:

    A lot of the interactions I have seen between Christian men & women never seem to get beyond an adolescent stage due to this stuff, which is why so much goes wrong.

    It has poisoned relationships between men and women. They don’t trust each other anymore. It’s been my experience in evangelical churches that men are incredibly awkward and uncomfortable around women, so conversation ends up sex segregated almost all the time, especially amongst married people. It’s like you are either having tons of affairs, or you are conscientious and afraid, so you never speak to a woman. I wish we could break out of this, but the comp thought leaders have so poisoned the well that I think this can only happen on an individual basis

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  48. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    jackie wrote:

    deMoss is on the WCA board.

    I think we’re getting DeMoss and DeVos names mixed up some. Trying to sort this out and found these links:

    *Dick DeVos* was on the Willow Creek Association board (at least in 2017 — see annual report, page 10, for the Board of Directors list of names).

    http://www.willowcreek.com/support/docs/WCA_Annual_Report_2017.pdf

    But the *DeMoss* company has had Willow Creek Association as a client …

    http://demoss.com/clients

    … and *Mark DeMoss* is representing Willow Creek Church in their current troubles, as noted in the last sentence of the Christianity Today article posted today.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/april/bill-hybels-willow-creek-promises-investigation-allegations.html

    Yes, thank you! You are absolutely correct!

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  49. Ricco wrote:

    the comp thought leaders

    And the comp or misguided egal thoughts would be:
    – a woman completes a man.
    – a woman is a princess.
    – a woman is here to help you, serve you, as your helpmate.
    – a woman is a piece of meat.
    – “You have to take this to your grave.”
    – “You should wear sexier clothes.”
    – “Your best body part is…”
    – “A godly woman adorns her husband.” IOW – love-bomb a woman into a submission-based marriage (entrapment) – which makes marriage a con, it’s all about manipulation.

    etc.

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  50. George wrote:

    All their talk about leadership and leadership development….. they failed. Most Fortune 500 companies have better processes in place that what WC did.

    True, although some industries are learning, too, with #MeToo.
    “Protect by remaining silent [as in Weinstein].” Naomi Frye, The New Yorker, 3.28.3018

    The church protects its predators by remaining silent. How many leaders have testimony such as that of Jules Woodson 20 years ago, and they protect the predatory with silence?

    As Jesus was crucified, one betrayed, one denied, and ten were silent. Church leaders preach their theology thought, and publish their theology books. How many speak up against child abuse and harassment of women?

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  51. We have another former youth pastor who statutorily raped two young women in the later 1970s while at the former First Baptist Church in Modesto. If that sounds familiar, it’s the same church where Brad Tebbutt (currently of IHOPKC) has been credibly accused of sexually assault while a youth pastor in the 1980s.

    http://www.modbee.com/news/article209378504.html#storylink=mainstage

    This guy’s name is Les Hughey and he’s the pastor of Highlands Church – Scottsdale. The local press doesn’t have the story, so I’ll be giving the members the news in a little bit when I wander out there with a sign. Sorry Sovereign Grace Gilbert, I’ll see you next Sunday.

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  52. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    What is he even talking about? Also, most of his citations completely ignore the context. They are all filtered through his exulted view of himself/his job. If you want to interpret scripture creatively, that’s fine. The Apostle Paul frequently did. But Piper wouldn’t admit to this, even though he does it all the time to reinforce his power

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  53. Wartburgers may or may not be familiar with the Profumo Affair, as it became known, which was a major scandal in UK politics in the early 1960’s. It was depicted in the 1989 film Scandal, in which Profumo was played by Sir Iain McKellen (better known as Magneto or Gandalf).

    Long story short: John Profumo, then a senior government minister, had a brief affair with aspiring model Christine Keeler, who was also involved with a Soviet official around the same time. This had implications for national security, on top of the moral implications of a married man having an affair with a much younger woman. Not only this, but Profumo unequivocally denied the affair in parliament, and only stepped down when the truth could no longer be hidden.

    So far, so familiar. It’s the events surrounding Profumo’s perfunctory rehabilitation and return to power that are striking.

    Because the return to power never happened. Instead, Profumo dropped out of politics, accepting an invitation to work with a charity in the (unfashionable) east end of London. He never returned to public life; indeed, he rarely appeared in public at all, and never commented on the affair even after the film was made. He continued to work with the same charity until his death in 2006, when he was 91.

    Profumo’s post-scandal life was not unmitigated shame and disgrace – he was formally honoured for his charity work in 1975 – and he was able to volunteer for a charity because his inherited wealth made him financially independent. I’m not even privy to what God thinks of me, much less am I privy to what God thinks of John Profumo. Nevertheless, he might serve as an example to those who inhabit the privileged and entitled world of celebrity clergy.

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  54. Forrest wrote:

    Writing books on subjects in which they are failing while pretending they are experts.

    Perhaps a cover for personal bad behavior. Church history is cluttered with characters who preached hard against specific sins, while living those sins (e.g., Ted Haggard).

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  55. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    he might serve as an example

    George Müller is another example. He had his Come-to-Jesus moment in jail for theft, then went on to be entrusted with great resources to help: orphans.

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  56. Ricco wrote:

    I think the pastors that work the hardest are the ones at the smallest churches that get paid the least.

    The first shall be last … the last shall be first.

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  57. Ricco wrote:

    What is he even talking about?

    I was hoping you would know so that you could explain it to me. The YRR’s like to think they cannot umderstand him because he is so deep. What they fail to recognize (a least publicly) is that he is incoherent and inconsistent. None of them want to be the first to publicly admit it. I’ve seen a lot of bad explanations by Piper, but this might be one of his worst because of how it elevates pastors and denigrates non-pastors. He will eventually need to be called out for misleading people so badly.

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  58. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Right. Some of the passages he cites were for everyone in the church (ecclesia, assembly). We aren’t even 100% sure what exactly that means, or if Paul was always writing to/about believers or everyone. All these things he is saying are things that anyone can do. Even Paul’s words to Timothy aren’t a great parallel because do you really think Timothy’s work remotely resembled what a Calvinist Baptist minister does in 2018? Piper is welcome to make any argument he wants, but have some humility and remember that we ALL present our bodies as living sacrifices, not just the select few.

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  59. JYJames wrote:

    The church protects its predators by remaining silent.

    I shutter to think of the predators who are still in church leadership positions because of this unwritten code of silence and its protective network of ole boys. But I have a feeling that God has had enough of it … we will see more startling revelations in the days ahead. Perhaps this is the time to tear down before we enter a new season and a time to build up. There is so much going on in the American church that is just not God and needs to come down.

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  60. @ Ricco:
    “I’ve been a part of the problem. I’ve looked to these people for advice and leadership, but no more. I’d rather look to people who have accomplished something in a difficult field like physics, medicine, teaching, or music rather than these clowns who spend all their time telling people how to live while being funded lavishly by those same people’s money.”

    Bingo! Speaking of mega church pastors: In the end, they know very little about any practicalities of life because they don’t live average lives and the basic challenges.. And worse, they know little or nothing of innovations or ideas in in any fields. Most are not even scholars who understand ancient contexts of what they teach. So, what is the point of it when it comes to “leading masses”?

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  61. Max wrote:

    There is so much going on in the American church that is just not God and needs to come down.

    1. Predators
    2. Silent witnesses
    3. Advocates – few, which is why victims face incredible push-back when they tell. Few have the courage or conviction to deal with the predator. (May be the pastor – Savage, Hybels)

    True story: A pastor told us a girl told him that her dad was abusing her. The pastor visited the house to confront the dad. The dad went to get his gun. The kids had hidden his gun so the dad couldn’t find it. The pastor came home in one piece, and followed up with the girl, the law, the dad.

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  62. Beakerj wrote:

    GreekEpigraph wrote:
    I know that it’s bad to generalize, but my experiences have just been that secular professional men know boundaries and accept “h*** NO” just fine – Christian ones don’t seem to.
    I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s because they are not generally trained to think of themselves as the ‘heads’ over women, & don’t marinate as young men in that mix of ‘men just can’t help themselves & women are all temptresses’ that means they view sexual behaviours between males & females in every situation as inevitable & the fault of women who are are supposed to submit to them anyway. Instead, these ‘secular’ men have met women who are clearly their equals, not insatiable Madonna/whore figures & will have told them where to get off quite clearly when they’ve pushed it. They don’t have John Piper whispering in their ear about how these women are supposed to be ‘upholding their precious masculinity’ & saying no in ways that ‘continue to affirm their innate male right to lead’. A lot of the interactions I have seen between Christian men & women never seem to get beyond an adolescent stage due to this stuff, which is why so much goes wrong.

    I think it’s even more basic: many are brought up in a bubble, which is one thing if you are being matured and being equipped by the church in a way that corresponds with reality. But if you’re basically in an authoritarian system with people largely unaccountable for what they’re filling the heads of the youth with, nonsense can flourish under the flaws of bad doctrine and bad leadership.

    If your fundamental world view is a misread of what men/women Christian relationships are, the fails spring out from that. I’ve seen guys wait until after marriage to assert the “women do the household things” card. (One that comes to mind had an Italian mother who apparently did everything for him. He lived on his own for years and somehow managed to do household items himself and also work.) It’s basically bait and switch at its worst, because they couldn’t sell it before assuming authority — kind of like what church leaders often get away with (routing numbers for the Kingdom, people).

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  63. What this seems to confirm is this: of the possible explanations for BH’s behaviour, only the first no longer makes any sense:

    a) BH gets into awkward situations all the time because of his willingness to engage all people and his inability to perceive the awkwardness of his actions. Actually, this never made a lot of sense, but in the light of these new statements by more women, it no longer makes sense even if you are predisposed to gullibility.

    b) BH regularly invites women to his hotel room/private yacht/private plane/home in order to get inappropriately close to these women and see which of them would be willing or could be persuaded to have an affair with him.

    c) BH regularly invites women to his hotel room/private yacht/private plane/home in order to get inappropriately close to these women as a game of titillation. Maybe he also wants to get caught and tries to see how far he can push.

    d) BH regularly invites women to his hotel room/private yacht/private plane/home in order to get inappropriately close to these women because he gets off on watching their reactions and embarrassment, and seeing how they wriggle out of this situation.

    e) A combination of b) to c).

    c) and d) are actually the most pathetic, in my opinion. I don’t think that you should cheat on your spouse, not at all. That being said, if he had an affair with someone from outside his sphere of influence – it would not be OK, but it would at least show he is not a complete coward. But when women can’t get out of the situation easily because they work for you or because you are their client, putting them into these sorts of situations is cowardly.

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  64. JYJames wrote:

    Ricco wrote:
    the comp thought leaders
    And the comp or misguided egal thoughts would be:
    – a woman completes a man.
    – a woman is a princess.
    – a woman is here to help you, serve you, as your helpmate.
    – a woman is a piece of meat.
    – “You have to take this to your grave.”
    – “You should wear sexier clothes.”
    – “Your best body part is…”
    – “A godly woman adorns her husband.” IOW – love-bomb a woman into a submission-based marriage (entrapment) – which makes marriage a con, it’s all about manipulation.
    etc.

    If you have “girls is bad” in your head as part of the impetus, it makes the rationalization of errant behavior go more smoothly, because you’ve been deputized to make them less bad through your manly prerogatives. Giving your life for them as Christ did for the church doesn’t necessarily come up,so much in those scenarios.

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  65. Yes, and what is it with these mega preachers: private plane, private yacht, lake front (second?) home?

    Seems like they are all going Robert Morris on their pew peons, or Kenneth Copeland. Even those who seemed a lot more benign than that …

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  66. Ricco wrote:

    Deborah wrote:
    Savage on purity, Hybels on authentic leadership, Presser pedophile a judge, SG on truth, Doug Wilson on reason, Haggard on homosexuality…Yep, Let’s hope Dobson doesn’t have 2 wives.
    We have given all this power and prestige to all of these Evangelical Thought Leaders ™, but why? What have these people actually accomplished? Other than building big churches and making huge salaries funded on the backs of hard working people’s tithes.

    They get people convicted that they need to repent who are looking for guidance for next steps and the community that a church is supposed to offer. They smile (and often love-bomb), they know more about the Gospel than the repentant do, and thus are in a position of power. Part of that also is that despite misgivings about churches, people persist, knowing that not everything is perfect.

    By the time the most alert of them might be looking around as to where they are and what the church really is about, they will have heard much about faith, submission, unity, esteeming others above them, double honor, and the like. In a healthy environment, this will come part and parcel with accountability, transparency, Kingdom priorities, and common sense — clearly-explained Biblical doctrine as opposed to secret knowledge and extra holiness steps. Financial matters will have a place, but won’t be a driver or based on proof texts with a quid pro quo aura. In an unhealthy environment, you’ll have all or a good portion of the marks (sic) of authoritarian, errant, controlling, destructive structure with the priorities out of whack.

    Sadly, the latter scenario can tend to perpetuate itself, with an emphasis on obedience and paying the bills.

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  67. Bridget wrote:

    This is very disturbing. This man is a predator as far as I can tell. And we’re not even discussing all the perks this guy seems to have at his disposal.

    RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES.
    ESPECIALLY WHEN AWARDED BY DIVINE RIGHT.

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  68. @ Gus:
    So, I am a co-author of a book, and author/co-author of about 10 book chapters in my professional field..
    i never had private meetings, let alone one on a private jet with my “publishers”… wow, I have really missed out I guess…
    Given BH claims to be such a “leader” and has institutes/seminars on leadership, I really need to “get with the program”….

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  69. JYJames wrote:

    True story: A pastor told us a girl told him that her dad was abusing her. The pastor visited the house to confront the dad. The dad went to get his gun. The kids had hidden his gun so the dad couldn’t find it. The pastor came home in one piece, and followed up with the girl, the law, the dad.

    While it’s important to have courage to deal with perpetrators/predators, this account is *not* a great example of the order in which to do things. The pastor should have reported the situation to civil authorities — police/social services — *immediately* and not attempted to confront the accused abuser himself.

    Follow up later as an advocate-pastor-counselor, fine. But this could very easily have ended up with multiple fatalities from other weapons wielded in anger, even if the dad’s gun was hidden. Mandatory reporting of known/suspected child abuse is there for the best interests of all parties.

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  70. JDV wrote:

    If you have “girls is bad” in your head as part of the impetus, it makes the rationalization of errant behavior go more smoothly, because you’ve been deputized to make them less bad through your manly prerogatives.

    Pygmalion/My Fair Lady meets “Bros & Hos”?

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  71. Gus wrote:

    Yes, and what is it with these mega preachers: private plane, private yacht, lake front (second?) home?

    Perks of Rank.
    (And PROOF of YOUR Predestined Election if you’re into Calvin.)

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  72. Mercy wrote:

    Mike wrote:

    Rub a woman’s feet on your bed? Using your position to offer employment? Who does that?

    What kind of Pastor asks a woman to get a bottle of wine and dinner to meet privately and keep it a secret?

    This is beyond disturbing. Never mind his foot fettish.

    Bill Gothard has a foot fetish, too, from the reports I read.

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  73. Derrick wrote:

    How much self deception and/or hubris do you have to have to do this kind of garbage for literally decades, and then write a book with the title “Who You Are When No One’s Looking”?

    If the devil ever came up with a better scheme to put this guy on a massive stage so as to discredit Christianity, Hybels’ life literally could not have been scripted any better.

    His wife Lynn, and daughter Shauna have to be absolutely shattered right now. So tragic for them and also for Christians all over the world who are associated with WC and Hybels.

    Sounds like he and Mahaney (“Humility”) could be besties.

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  74. NJ wrote:

    My husband just mentioned that Hybels was one of the spiritual advisors to President Clinton. He also said that Presidents get the advisors they deserve.

    Now I’m wondering who the spiritual advisors to the current president might be. I avoid politics like the plague, so I’m expressing simple curiosity.

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  75. @ Beakerj:
    Very insightful. Sad, too. It presents a picture of Christians deliberately making themselves less and less relevant and relatable.

    This is not the same as being “in the world but not of it”. More like creating their own little kingdom.

    What was it Paul said about interacting with nonbelievers? (I think it was Paul.) Something about being all things to all men? My phone is being cranky, so I can’t look it up at the moment.

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  76. Max wrote:

    Church history is cluttered with characters who preached hard against specific sins, while living those sins (e.g., Ted Haggard).

    Though I think the mechanism in that is more “self-treatment in secret”.

    Look at someone in Haggard’s position who has Urrges in his Arreas towards young men,
    i.e. violating the STRONGEST sexual taboo in his culture.

    You think he’s going to admit to that in public?
    Especially when he’s a CELEBRITY MEGA PASTOR/HIGH RANKING MAN-O GAWD?
    If it comes out, he loses EVERYTHING — his position, his rank, his CELEBRITY status.

    So, just like Rush Limbaugh, Number-One Fanboy of the War on Drugs while battling a secret Oxycontin addiction, he preaches against it, HARD. As much pep talks to encourage himself as anything else, the More Extreme the Better.

    Now ramp it up by mixing in some Mark Driscoll, whose management style is “punch ’em in the nose and throw ’em under my bus”. Apparently not that rare among CELEBRITY Megas.

    Or the carefully-constructed Brand and Image of God’s Anointed Leader. The Invincible Perfect One who can never ever show any flaw or weakness, just like A.H. or Muammar Gadhafi.

    The first of those would make a lot of enemies (real or imagined) who would be looking for something to torpedo him with (like Violating the Strongest Sexual Taboo); the second would destroy his carefully-crafted Brand and Image. Both would up the ante and pressure still further, pressure which cannot be relieved (except by the act which must be hidden in the first place) and one day everything just blows sky-high.

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  77. Beakerj wrote:

    They don’t have John Piper whispering in their ear about how these women are supposed to be ‘upholding their precious masculinity’

    Is “Precious Masculinity” (an EFFEMINATE choice of adjective) anything like “Protecting Our Precious Bodily Fluids”?

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  78. jackie wrote:

    WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    @ Divorce Minister:

    THAT was the second thing I noticed after the reference to the personal yacht and jet stuff. DeMoss being brought in is more than just sketchy. Technically still listed as someone supportive of The Trinity Church.

    deMoss is on the WCA board.

    i.e. THE FIX IS IN?

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  79. Gus wrote:

    Yes, and what is it with these mega preachers: private plane, private yacht, lake front (second?) home?

    Must keep up with the Furticks, you know.

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  80. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I was hoping you would know so that you could explain it to me. The YRR’s like to think they cannot understand him because he is so deep.

    Don’t the Shirley Mac Laine types say exactly the same thing about their New Age Gurus?

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  81. drstevej wrote:

    “Difficult Season”
    “Wise Counsel”
    “a process of deep learning, seeking clarity, and building a path toward reconciliation”
    “we have a renewed commitment to engaging well, listening deeply, and further developing a culture of transparency and accountability.”

    BUZZWORD BINGO!

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  82. Ricco wrote:

    I think the pastors that work the hardest are the ones at the smallest churches that get paid the least. Those are the ones that should make the most

    Seconded.

    And honestly, I think there’s probably a lot of volunteers at both big and small churches that work harder for the church than many megachurch pastors. For no pay and no accolades.

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  83. Gus wrote:

    Yes, and what is it with these mega preachers: private plane, private yacht, lake front (second?) home?

    Seems like they are all going Robert Morris on their pew peons, or Kenneth Copeland. Even those who seemed a lot more benign than that …

    I’ve said this before, so here goes again:

    If the pew peasantry continues to fund these despots by their own
    volition, callous as it may sound, they deserve each other.

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  84. Muff Potter wrote:

    If the pew peasantry continues to fund these despots by their own
    volition, callous as it may sound, they deserve each other.

    I dunno. I think a lot of stuff gets hidden from the ordinary member. Hybels did make a big deal about it being “a regular boat” even though that wasn’t really the case.

    There are exceptions, of course. Creflo Dollar comes to mind.

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  85. Thersites wrote:

    If Piper implies that God will smite you with leprosy for saying something stupid, then Piper of all people should be grateful to be wrong in his assertion.

    But he’s the most brilliant person on the planet and is one of the few with God’s unmerited favor!

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  86. @ Muff Potter:
    Exactly. And they won’t get their money back.
    .
    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!

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  87. Lydia wrote:

    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!

    How sad! They probably were given little to no choice about this.

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  88. Forrest wrote:

    The similarities with Andy Savage are striking. Writing books on subjects in which they are failing while pretending they are experts.

    Like Iain D. Campbell’s ‘A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Sin’?

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  89. Lydia wrote:

    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!

    They truly are despots.

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  90. Mike wrote:

    What kind of Pastor asks a woman to get a bottle of wine and dinner to meet privately and keep it a secret?

    The double life of a lauded church icon (but miserable failed husband) secretly seeking other women, would subliminally impact ministry.

    A forked-tongued, two-timing leader would somehow have a ripple effect around him:

    – creating a culture of duplicity?
    – guiding miserable marriages to put up a good front but seek a willing side venture?
    – grooming others to consider him too celebrated, important to be held accountable?

    The Dark Side cannot just be the man himself. His ministry, too, must have been affected. His co-workers said he gave attention to ladies as his “flavor of the week”. They saw. Something. And gave it a hand-wave, apparently.

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  91. Jenn wrote:

    George wrote:

    A couple thoughts……
    Real complementarians should know that they are the “head” over one woman, their wife. Any thought of being the head over other women is not what a complemantarian is. I am a complemantarian and I enjoy reading the comments here…. but these men featured in these stories do not represent my convictions.
    Professional men realize that their employers have “zero tolerance” policies, so in many ways the standard is higher than SGM, WC, and other mega-type churches.
    Money and power corrupts…. in a way, WC let Hybels down by not providing accountability and stricter controls. Accountability is just common sense… and Biblical. But, he is a grown up so he is to blame for his own actions.
    All their talk about leadership and leadership development….. they failed. Most Fortune 500 companies have better processes in place that what WC did.

    Good points, all.

    I enjoy reading this blog and I actually can understand some peoples disillusionment with some forms of complementarianism. Paul spoke of how men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Wives in return are to respect their husbands. This is a natural outcome if husbands were willing to sacrifice themselves for the ones they love. It has to do with an ordering or structure that was handed down by Paul. I believe the Scriptures have given us the structure of the church and this has been followed by the Eastern Orthodox Church since the beginning of the Church. The men mentioned in these articles have twisted Scripture and abused power for their own means, whether they be Calvinistic, Egalitarianism or Arminiasts. Granted, the New Calvinists can be an arrogant lot and this has not been helpful for Christendom. Wesleyans seem to be a lot friendlier. I am all for the victims and truly am sorry for all the women and men whose lives have been destroyed by the church. Sometimes the blame is misplaced by referring to Calvinistic or Complementarianism thinking. There are godly and well-educated people who are on each side of these various doctrines. The Catholic Church wanted Luther to recant, but he was unable to do so unless his conscience was convinced by Scripture that what he was preaching was untrue. I for one unite with my complementarian, Calvinistic, Wesleyanism, Arminianism, egalitarian, Catholic brethren in fighting against clergy sexual abuse and seek to offer encouragement to those who have been devastated by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. May God help us.

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  92. Lydia wrote:

    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!

    Furtick Mansions and Book Speaking Tours are expensive.

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  93. Lance wrote:

    I for one unite with my complementarian, Calvinistic, Wesleyanism, Arminianism, egalitarian, Catholic brethren in fighting against clergy sexual abuse and seek to offer encouragement to those who have been devastated by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. May God help us.

    AMEN.

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  94. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!
    Furtick Mansions and Book Speaking Tours are expensive.

    Don’t forget about smoke machine maintenance plans…

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  95. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I recently became aware of several mega churches that are taking the tithe out of their employees paychecks. 15% at one church!
    They truly are despots.

    I knew it was coming but have been out of that sphere since about 2005 so did not know if being implemented. Here is the worst of it. Many churches hire outsourced vetted workers for weekday nursery duty. I know a few who do this. They cover several churches. The Megas are the only ones who require the 15% from their meager wages. They are outsourced! In effect, they simply pay them less. Then through other sources here and in other states, I learned it became a condition of employment. With the way everything is direct deposit now they can simply take it out and in effect pay them less than what was offered at employment. So what happens when they up it? Never work for a church! People are free to leave. They don’t have to work there. But my guess is most see it as “godly” even though top staff make good six figure incomes. Makes one wonder if the celebrity cult of personality leaders pay that same amount on all their many income streams? Speaking fees, royalties, spin off ministry income, housing allowance, etc. hmmm. Too bad pew sitters don’t question.

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  96. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Ricco wrote:
    We have given all this power and prestige to all of these Evangelical Thought Leaders ™, but why? What have these people actually accomplished?
    Maybe this most recent Piper Post will help you get the right attitude: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-impossible-calling-of-the-christian-preacher.
    Or, Piper’s Pals need to revoke hus internet access.

    This is quite an appalling distortion of what the texts say – taken out of context and linked to make pastors even more vain in their assessment of themselves. The solemnity of the charge given to Timothy by Paul in 2 Tim 4:1-2 is a reminder to pastors how serious a responsibility they have to preach the Word -not to make them feel good about themselves. As usual there is no seriousness in Piper’s writing, only hedonistic, self-seeking promotion.
    Contrast what he says with what Calvin wrote about these verses:-
    “ Here, as in a very weighty matter, Paul adds a solemn charge,   exhibiting to Timothy, God as the avenger, and Christ as the judge, if   he shall cease to discharge his office of teaching. And, indeed, in   like manner as God showed by an inestimable pledge, when he spared not   his only-begotten Son, how great is the care which he has for the   Church, so he will not suffer to remain unpunished the negligence of   pastors, through whom souls, which he hath redeemed at so costly a   price, perish or are exposed as a prey.”

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  97. @ Lance:
    Movements tend to take things to extremes to correct what they see as a problem. The comp movement did this going back to the 80’s teaching bizarre things that older women did not recognize. It’s out of hand when women were more free to operate in the church before the comp movement came along. The movement was a fraud because there is no such thing as complementarian. It’s a made up word. (See Danvers Statement) It was supposed be a nicer way to say Patriarchy. But comp merged the biological with the spiritual realm. Leaving women to have to conclude that their biology meant spiritually inferior. Disaster. It has more in common with Islam than Christianity.

    Then other groups started to mess with the biological realm making comp more popular than ever trying to fix that false paradigm. And dismissing the biological promotes despising some men for their biology! . I find it equally appalling.

    All movements tend to over correct.

    What scripture teaches is “mutual”. We are partners. And how we work that out is our business not the church’s. And if the church was not so hierarchical in institutional structure, the strict male/female pecking order would be less necessary.

    Scripture teaches that Women also have full inheritance of salvation —including all gifts. What men like Piper and Russ Moore taught within the comp realm for many years was evil including female submission in eternity! They held female biology against women. Very Mormon.. A lot of what they teach has been scrubbed as they reimaged CBMW but it caused much chaos and shipwreck in Christendom.

    We need one another. Mutual respect and support is the way to go.

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  98. @ Lowlandseer:

    Correct doctrine doesn’t always lead to correct behavior. Especially for someone who went along with cruel punishments for those who dared to publicly disagree with his teaching.

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  99. Lowlandseer wrote:

    This is quite an appalling distortion of what the texts say – taken out of context and linked to make pastors even more vain in their assessment of themselves.

    It’s what Piper does best.

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  100. Lydia wrote:

    Movements tend to take things to extremes to correct what they see as a problem.

    Too true. It’s inevitable; when a movement focuses on some perceived bogeyman, it
     creates a kind of inverse mask of the bogeyman – because we’re the opposite of those terrible liberals / feminists / amillennialists / etc…
     thus, haplessly takes on the shape of the bogeyman
     through something akin to fear-based aggression, it parodies and exaggerates the bogeyman and lumps a whole lot of people in with it..
    … who, as you say, fight back,
     and the movement slides into ever more extreme parody of the bogeyman as it strives ever harder to “correct” the “imbalance”.

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  101. @ Lydia:
    I take it you’re referring to Calvin and not Piper? If so, you seem to be stuck in a rut somewhat. The point of the quote was to highlilight that pastors should have the same care of the church as the Lord Jesus has. If the New Calvinists knew anything of the Word of God (or Calvin’s teaching), there wouldn’t be people like Hybels, Savage or anyone else building a church around their own ego.

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  102. @ Lance:

    Lance,

    We wish that was how Complementarianism works, but the reality is quite different.

    The Bible says “How can two walk together unless they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

    Comp theology says, “How can two walk together unless one gets to have their way whenever they want by pulling the—I get to always have the final say card.”

    Let’s look at how Comp theology creates a double standard. The Bible actually tells men to submit as well. But Comp theology either ignores those verses outright or adds a disclaimer to water it down.

    1Peter 5:5 “ALL of you Hupotasso (submit) to one another and be clothed with humility.”

    Comp theology inserts a disclaimer there that the word “all” doesn’t actually mean “all” because somehow men are never supposed to submit to women. Yet the Bible actually warns us not to add our own opinion to God’s words.

    So in that verse—Comp theology is actually translating the Greek word Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to people.”

    Eph 5:21 “Hupotasso (submit) to one another in the fear of God.”

    Here Comp theology translates the Greek word Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to others.”

    1Cor 16:16 “Submit yourselves unto such and to every one that helps us and labors (in the Gospel)”

    Here Comp theology translates Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to those in ministry.”

    Col 3:18 “Wives Hupotasso yourselves unto your own husbands.”

    Here Comp theology translates the Greek word “Hupotasso” as “She has to do whatever I want whenever I want or she’s in sin because I have the final say in making decisions.”

    See the double standard? They don’t get to have it both ways. If Hupotass means just being nice to others in all the verses that apply to men then it means the exact same thing when it applies to women too.

    Remember double standards are an abomination to God. (Prov 20:10) Comp theology doesn’t get to keep changing the meaning of Hupotasso because they can’t accept the reality that God actually tells everyone (men included) to submit to each other (women included).

    The alternative to Comp theology is much better. The alternative is “preferring one another in love.” Listening to each other. Making decisions together like adults. And most importantly getting to make our own decisions as adults instead of trying to become children who have a parent with the final say in making that decision.

    No matter how they try to slice it, the reality is that Comp theology denies how Jesus actually gave women the power of having the final say in making their own choices. (Matt 5:37) Yet Comp theologians gnash their teeth at the very idea that women can set boundaries by saying “no” like Jesus taught us to do. The root of Comp theology is taking away the word “no” from women.

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  103. ishy wrote:

    There’s also been a discussion on Twitter how the more progressive female leaders have gone silent on this issue. They loudly and openly spoke out during Highpoint and on others, but went quiet on Hybels. Some guess it’s because he was supposed to be egalitiarian and supporing female pastors. Clearly you can claim to be egalitarian and still harass and abuse women.

    I suspect that this has as much to do with publishing and speaking contracts as with any consideration of doctrine. The women that I saw called out on Twitter (Jen Hatmaker, Kristin Howerton, etc) seem to share media “space” with Hybels’ daughter Shauna Niequist. They promote each other’s books, speak at the same conferences, and are sometimes portrayed as BFFs on social media. It may be that they are quiet because he’s egalitarian, but I think it is more likely that they are playing by the rules of the Christian Entertainment Industrial Complex.

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  104. Lowlandseer wrote:

    If the New Calvinists knew anything of the Word of God … there wouldn’t be people like Hybels, Savage or anyone else building a church around their own ego.

    As I think about the New Calvinist who’s-who, I’m hard pressed to come up with a leader who is ‘not’ building their ministries around their egos. There’s so much arrogance in their ranks you can cut it with a knife! For example: Piper, Mohler, Dever, Mahaney, etc. etc.

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  105. Avid Reader wrote:

    Jesus actually gave women the power of having the final say in making their own choices. (Matt 5:37) Yet Comp theologians gnash their teeth at the very idea that women can set boundaries by saying “no” like Jesus taught us to do. The root of Comp theology is taking away the word “no” from women.

    Powerful. Thanks, JC.

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  106. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Movements tend to take things to extremes to correct what they see as a problem.

    Too true. It’s inevitable; when a movement focuses on some perceived bogeyman, it
     creates a kind of inverse mask of the bogeyman – because we’re the opposite of those terrible liberals / feminists / amillennialists / etc…
     thus, haplessly takes on the shape of the bogeyman
     through something akin to fear-based aggression, it parodies and exaggerates the bogeyman and lumps a whole lot of people in with it..
    … who, as you say, fight back,
     and the movement slides into ever more extreme parody of the bogeyman as it strives ever harder to “correct” the “imbalance”.

    COMMUNISM BEGETS OBJECTIVISM.

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  107. Max wrote:

    I’m hard pressed to come up with a leader who is ‘not’ building their ministries around their egos.

    Isn’t that what a local church has, in practise, come to be?

    Then some retire, like Piper, and they have to put out a piece fawning pastors, since there’s no longer a local fanbase – need to build a fanbase. Always a fanbase, IOW, supply for a narcissist.

    Jesus built no dynasty, died and rose without a fanbase, had neither building nor staff, no entourage, neither private jet nor yacht. Wow, how did Jesus do it? Love. The formula and secret sauce is love God, love your neighbor as yourself. Apparently, not good enough for some. Worked for Jesus. Eventually worked for His disciples.

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  108. Avid Reader wrote:

    @ Lance:

    Lance,

    We wish that was how Complementarianism works, but the reality is quite different.

    The Bible says “How can two walk together unless they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

    Comp theology says, “How can two walk together unless one gets to have their way whenever they want by pulling the—I get to always have the final say card.”

    Let’s look at how Comp theology creates a double standard. The Bible actually tells men to submit as well. But Comp theology either ignores those verses outright or adds a disclaimer to water it down.

    1Peter 5:5 “ALL of you Hupotasso (submit) to one another and be clothed with humility.”

    Comp theology inserts a disclaimer there that the word “all” doesn’t actually mean “all” because somehow men are never supposed to submit to women. Yet the Bible actually warns us not to add our own opinion to God’s words.

    So in that verse—Comp theology is actually translating the Greek word Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to people.”

    Eph 5:21 “Hupotasso (submit) to one another in the fear of God.”

    Here Comp theology translates the Greek word Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to others.”

    1Cor 16:16 “Submit yourselves unto such and to every one that helps us and labors (in the Gospel)”

    Here Comp theology translates Hupotasso as “I just have to be nice to those in ministry.”

    Col 3:18 “Wives Hupotasso yourselves unto your own husbands.”

    Here Comp theology translates the Greek word “Hupotasso” as “She has to do whatever I want whenever I want or she’s in sin because I have the final say in making decisions.”

    See the double standard? They don’t get to have it both ways. If Hupotass means just being nice to others in all the verses that apply to men then it means the exact same thing when it applies to women too.

    Remember double standards are an abomination to God. (Prov 20:10) Comp theology doesn’t get to keep changing the meaning of Hupotasso because they can’t accept the reality that God actually tells everyone (men included) to submit to each other (women included).

    The alternative to Comp theology is much better. The alternative is “preferring one another in love.” Listening to each other. Making decisions together like adults. And most importantly getting to make our own decisions as adults instead of trying to become children who have a parent with the final say in making that decision.

    No matter how they try to slice it, the reality is that Comp theology denies how Jesus actually gave women the power of having the final say in making their own choices. (Matt 5:37) Yet Comp theologians gnash their teeth at the very idea that women can set boundaries by saying “no” like Jesus taught us to do. The root of Comp theology is taking away the word “no” from women.

    You go, girl! *High five*

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  109. JYJames wrote:

    Wow, how did Jesus do it? Love. The formula and secret sauce is love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

    “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another” (John 13:35).

    When was the last time a church leader expressed genuine unselfish concern about your life and soul? When was the last time you left a church and thought “Wow, those folks love me?!” When was the last time “Love” immediately popped into your mind when you were searching for a one-word descriptor of a ministry? We are living in a day when the love of many has grown cold. When ministers and ministries are more concerned with power and prestige, numbers and nickles, they are promoting themselves not Christ … what love is this?!

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  110. Max wrote:

    When was the last time a church leader expressed genuine unselfish concern about your life and soul? When was the last time you left a church and thought “Wow, those folks love me?!” When was the last time “Love” immediately popped into your mind when you were searching for a one-word descriptor of a ministry?

    Essential questions. To the heart of the matter. Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

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  111. Max wrote:

    When ministers and ministries are more concerned with power and prestige, numbers and nickles, they are promoting themselves not Christ … what love is this?!

    To answer your question, it is love-bombing, not love.
    – Piper fawns young pastors, to build his fanbase as a retired pastor.
    – Hybels goes after the A-type (his definition) women, intimately.
    – Iain Campbell adored his harem, and needed their affirmation.
    – Wilson seeks Caucasian (slavery was so good) domineering men, bowler hats yet ungentlemanly manners.

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  112. Max wrote:

    When ministers and ministries are more concerned with power and prestige, numbers and nickles,

    “When a good person meets a bad system, the system always wins.” -Frank Voehl

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  113. Steve wrote:

    If you had to say, who is the one individual MOST influential in this movement?

    Within the greater New Calvinist movement, John Piper is the kingpin.

    Within the Southern Baptist Convention, Al Mohler holds that “honor.”

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  114. I’m not caught up with comments yet, but we kind of knew these revelations would come, right? Because it’s a pattern.

    this is the most important thing for idiots like Akin suggesting the Billy Graham rule and other such hot takes to get into their heads:

    Several women who have accused him of misconduct believe Hybels has mischaracterized these incidents, leading some to believe that he was talking about women who were pursuing him.

    “People weren’t coming on to him,” said one to CT. “He was coming on to them.”

    They treat women as generic ‘temptations’ that any man could succumb to at any moment. That is NOT what is happening here. Predators seeking out prey.

    Fins to the left, Fins to the right, and you’re the only bait in town.

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  115. JYJames wrote:

    “When a good person meets a bad system, the system always wins.” -Frank Voehl

    Church history records several sad chapters of good men who had misplaced passion. I have no doubt that folks like John Piper and Al Mohler think they are sincerely right in their pursuits to restore the “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost. They for the most part are good men who have a passion for their cause, a bad system which appears to be winning in their minds (lots of young followers). However, any bubble that tries to put the mind of God into a neat theological box will eventually break.

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  116. Ted wrote:

    Umm… the foot thing should be an OK thing, guys. But the foot should have been Lynne’s foot.

    Ha! I agree. Foot rubs are pretty great coming from a boyfriend or (presumably) husband. Doesn’t necessarily mean a fetish.

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  117. Steve wrote:

    who is the one individual MOST influential in this movement?

    I heard a young, restless and reformed pastor refer to certain New Calvinist leaders as his “influencers” to join the movement. For me and my house, we were “influenced” by the Holy Spirit to join the Body of Christ years ago.

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  118. Beakerj wrote:

    I think it’s because they are not generally trained to think of themselves as the ‘heads’ over women, & don’t marinate as young men in that mix of ‘men just can’t help themselves & women are all temptresses’

    That second part is clearly very damaging to relationships between men and women in the church! I think it needs combating. So many seemingly well meaning men spout it whenever something happens…the solution to predatory men is not demeaning women!!! How hard is that to understand???

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  119. Beakerj wrote:

    They don’t have John Piper whispering in their ear about how these women are supposed to be ‘upholding their precious masculinity’ & saying no in ways that ‘continue to affirm their innate male right to lead’.

    There was a wonderful twitter thread recently that basically talks about what a crazy narcissist Piper is for saying these sorts of things…that all ways women go about living their lives are supposed to affirm/support men and never, for heavens sakes, should a man be ‘offended’ by a woman because she is a full grown adult person capable of stuff and doesn’t pretend otherwise.

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  120. Lydia wrote:

    The megachurch only existed because of Bill Hybels and everyone is aware of their place in the pecking order

    This is a huge problem with non-denominational churches and churches that have only ever had ONE ‘lead’ pastor I think. There is no sense of the church without Bill. I think a church needs a history and a future. One man shows just don’t have that.

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  121. Mercy wrote:

    @ B:
    Because more and more revelations are becoming known. And not just with this situation. In following other stories you find the same thing. It leaves you wondering what else there is.

    Most of the people coming forward so far have been those who rebuffed his advances. The one woman who ‘recanted’ never wanted it public in the first place because she didn’t, I suppose. I’m thinking the ones who actually went along with him are keeping quiet for now.

    Even still, the women are being blamed on the cesspool that is twitter for being ‘foolish’ and meeting with him and so on and so forth. Because we can’t just say ‘this guy was a predator, full stop’. We have to appropriate blame to the women involved, even while they were turning him down. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to find there are others who are keeping quiet.

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  122. molly245 wrote:

    Why would his wife hold one-on-one meetings?…is she part of this whole mess or was she just having a prayer or bible study with another woman from the church?

    It seems kind of odd that they mention her in an article about Mr. Hybels doing “inappropriate” things one-on-one..

    Betcha dollars to donuts these ‘meetings’ were as you described and likely with other women. Bringing her into it is just cover for Bill. Dirty pool.

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  123. Lance wrote:

    Paul spoke of how men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Wives in return are to respect their husbands. This is a natural outcome if husbands were willing to sacrifice themselves for the ones they love. It has to do with an ordering or structure that was handed down by Paul. I believe the Scriptures have given us the structure of the church and this has been followed by the Eastern Orthodox Church since the beginning of the Church.

    You mean like the Russian Orthodox Church faithfully following this structure, when they recently pushed for abolishing laws against domestic violence because it’s a “family matter”? In 2017, Russia decriminalized domestic violence altogether, and the Russian Orthodox Church buckled down in its stance of keeping the state out of family business, and utterly failed to acknowledge that women need protection from violent husbands. The husband is the head and has the right to beat his wife to chastise her for any disobedience, after all. (Yes, it was all in the news last year. Google it if you don’t believe me.)

    If you want to see old-fashioned Eastern Orthodoxy family values, look no further than the Russian Orthodox Church. The push-back against them over this matter from decent Eastern Orthodox who care about women is more due to the fact that they have been westernized–something the Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t want to happen to them.

    I hate to say it, but it hasn’t been the Church (in general, worldwide) that has been the champion of women’s rights and humanity. It has been largely Christian *feminists*, and even secular feminists (as much as I don’t like their abortion stance), who have championed for women to be treated as human and made in God’s image.

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  124. ION: Cooking

    So, had a wee pop at making a chocolate crème patissière just now. And it’s rather nice, though I say it myself.

    Also the Australian Shiraz that was on offer in the Co-Op this afternoon is perilously more-ish.

    IHTIH

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  125. @ Avid Reader:
    I sat under “Comp” teachers for many years. I get that they abuse the text in many instances. I guess I am still holding onto some form of what they call “roles”. I will be the first to admit that in the instruction from Paul that “I don’t allow a woman to teach …..a man”, if it has validity as not being a bit of hyperbole or a statement of absurdity, it would be the male ego that is the problem. I don’t see how anyone could seriously say that women are somehow inferior in intellect to men. That is just absurd.
    When it came to relational, parenting, family accounting and much, much more my wife was the superior intellect. I needed to learn from her and I did. By the grace of God! It still amazes me how she grasps biblical concepts that I struggled with for years and sees the sense of the text in many instances before I can figure out the right interpretation. My male ego got in my way all too often. On the other hand can I say that as Ephesians 5 states, she did need love and understanding and from her husband? Is it sexist that I notice a difference? Many of her gifts are just different from mine. She excels me in many ways. I needed to be told to love her because I was so clueless as a young man (and probably much more than I see as an older man), that I needed to love her and to find out what she thought that love was. Not the simple male way I looked at as love. If I love her the way she needs, our relationships is much more fulfilling for both of us. “Comps” abuse and twist it. But Ephesians 5 is really there. It is God’s word and I am not going to abandon it. Yes men need to submit in many, many relationships outside marriage and in. It isn’t easy for this male. Probably a male quality that God intends for good but gets mucked up by my sinful natural self. Is Paul instructing women to submit to men because of our male ego? Maybe.
    I must agree, that in some perverted way the comps degrade women from being able to make their own decisions. What a trump card. Plus it keeps him from having to spend too much time really pondering the specific instruction to him about what his wife really needs from him. “husbands love your wives” and if that isn’t hard enough “as Christ loved the church”. Wow, how do I really live up to this? Makes me want to throw my hands up in frustration. I fail in many ways. But I can’t give up.
    I don’t think that egalitarians give an interpretation of the text that solves the tension. Perhaps it is me and my male ego that can’t see it because I am flawed but I can’t make sense out of the egalitarian interpretation either. Paul gives a specific instruction to “husbands”. And it appears to me he is giving a specific instruction to “wives”. I don’t see, as the comps say, that this is all women to all men. I don’t see that in the text. Could it be that there is a specific instruction for wives that is needed and will enhance the marriage relationship to be what God intends that is not what the complementarians say is the proper interpretation? I am asking. I have come a long way in seeing things differently from what I was taught from the strict complementarians. But I don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bath water”.
    I am on a journey from “comp” to something else. I don’t have the answers. But maybe there are those who have thought in more depth about it.

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  126. Lea wrote:

    That second part is clearly very damaging to relationships between men and women in the church!

    Collaboration = power, as in Adam & Eve, the original created-to-be collaborators.

    How to destroy a collaboration? Suck the life right out if it? Elevate one above the other, as in the story of Tversky and Kahneman (The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis).

    The curse of the ego unhinged.

    Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

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  127. JDV wrote:

    Giving your life for them as Christ did for the church doesn’t necessarily come up,so much in those scenarios.

    If I can’t trust a man to give up some part of the decision making, his time, his thoughts etc. for me or to make me happy, how am I supposed to believe that he would give up his life? He wouldn’t.

    If he is selfish in little things, he will be selfish in big things, I think.

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  128. Avid Reader wrote:

    Comp theology says, “How can two walk together unless one gets to have their way whenever they want by pulling the—I get to always have the final say card.”

    The root of Comp theology is taking away the word “no” from women.

    Avid Reader, what a succinct summation of how this theology plays out. I can’t tell you how many decisions were made by the abuser this way – notably the naming of a child. We went back and forth until he “gently” reminded me as the man, God had given him the decision-making power and presto, done.

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  129. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    The husband is the head and has the right to beat his wife to chastise her for any disobedience, after all. (Yes, it was all in the news last year. Google it if you don’t believe me.)

    Not on these shores, not ever. Husbands have no such right even if a cabal of clergy (Russian Orthodox or others) claim that they do, domestic abuse IS NOT/b> covered under the provisions of the First Amendment.

    The same goes for Islamic African immigrants who want to practice FGM (female genital mutilation) under the guise of ‘freedom of religion’.
    Not on these shores, not ever.

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  130. Lea wrote:

    what a crazy narcissist Piper

    It’s like hedonism—- only CHRISTIAN!!!!
    No one ever accused ol’ Pastor John of a long-term pattern of sexual harassment like Pastor Bill and Professor Donald. Guess the chicks just don’t find my voice sexy. Crazy narcissism, OTOH—–
    ): ): ):

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  131. @ Lea:
    I don’t think it really matters many longtime institutions have very closed hierarchies. We just don’t hear about it. I have friends who work at the pcusa headquarters and I hear horror stories all the time. I lived one personally many years ago with their legal counsel on staff. The only reason why people knew about that is because it made the national news.

    Otherwise long-time closed hierarchies can do a lot of damage and not even know about it for decades. Like the RCC.

    I think the key is developing independent-minded strong individuals who are encouraged to question what they are taught in a civilized manner.

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  132. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    The husband is the head and has the right to beat his wife to chastise her for any disobedience, after all. (Yes, it was all in the news last year. Google it if you don’t believe me.)

    Was it Russia or Greece where wife-beating is a standard yuk-yuk in TV sitcoms?

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  133. Lydia wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    A Michigan judge recently let some fgm parents off. The doctor was given basically a slap on the wrist.

    Was the Judge a member of their (or related) church?

    Nothing like Friends in High Places…

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  134. Avid Reader wrote:

    @ Lance:

    …The root of Comp theology is taking away the word “no” from women.

    Great comment, and you nailed it on that last sentence, especially! So many layers and trails to follow from that sentence, alone.

    It effectually prohibits whole intellectual, emotional, physical spiritual, etc. agency and soul compentency for women and girls.

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  135. JYJames wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I think a church needs a history and a future.
    The book of Acts, the book of Revelation, (and everything in between).

    No, Christians need (and deserve) a future other than the Book of Revelation.

    (Veteran/survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay here.)

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  136. Lydia wrote:

    I don’t think it really matters many longtime institutions have very closed hierarchies.

    I don’t think there are any systems that are immune to problems/abuse.

    I do see a different/extra set of problems in these churches set up by one person, though. They become all about one specific person. I don’t think that’s healthy.

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  137. @ Lea:
    They also spend an awful lot of time trying to give the opposite impression. I have yet to be in a megachurch that didn’t constantly say “oh it’s all God” from the stage to the pew. If that were the case they wouldn’t need the Willow Creek Association or the PR firm or the legal counsel on staff.

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  138. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    I hate to say it, but it hasn’t been the Church (in general, worldwide) that has been the champion of women’s rights and humanity. It has been largely Christian *feminists*, and even secular feminists (as much as I don’t like their abortion stance), who have championed for women to be treated as human and made in God’s image.

    I’m reminded that the first child abuse case brought in a US state in the late 1800s was brought under an animal abuse statute. Before that, you could do things to your own flesh and blood that would get you charged with a crime if you did them to a horse.

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  139. from A.W. Tozer’s book, “Of God and Men” pg. 76 –

    “It is time we Christians stop trying to excuse our un-Christlike dispositions and frankly admit our failure to live as we should. Wesley said that we will not injure the cause of Christ by admitting our sins, but that we are sure to do so by denying them.”

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  140. If I could, which I can’t, I’d direct the focus of media attention on the words of the Willow Creek elders and lead pastors just in the last several weeks. They claim that during the last several weeks they’ve been in the process of pursuing reconciliation. So, have they apologized to any of the people they joined with Hybels in accusing of “collusion” just a month ago? Have they responded to Betty Schmidt about the 5 specific ways she claims they misrepresented and misquoted her? Has Pastor Larson listened to the “story” of any one woman she claims mentored her, but whose “story” is not their “story”? Have they issued one single affirmation or denial of any specific allegation? Instead, they say they’ve been learning about elements of their “past work”. Not present– as I’d say the last 2 months would be. And I’ve seen one apology– “We are sorry that at times our process appeared…” IE they are sorry for their failure to communicate clearly, causing others to misunderstand their compassion.

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  141. Vonda Dyer has made another statement on her Facebook page concerning the truthfulness of the elder board. “Friends,
    Let me clarify just one false narrative coming, yet again, from the Willow Creek Leadership. The VERY first time that an elder or senior leader at Willow Creek initiated any official attempt to speak with me was last Friday through a mutual friend, A COUPLE OF HOURS before the letter to the congregation went out and less than 24 hours before the Christianity Today article released on Saturday.

    The church’s official statement that “many of us have persistently requested meetings with people mentioned or quoted in media accounts” is categorically UNTRUE, at least in my case.

    The three new stories in the Christianity Today article of brave women who came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Bill Hybels highlight many of the same destructive patterns that caused me to share my story with the Chicago Tribune, believing that women were still at risk!

    We are up to 9 women and counting, ya’ll. Is this starting to register with anyone else as a pattern that someone should fully investigate?
    Many of these stories happened before the eras of ambien and wine invitations began. Keep your checklists and look for the patterns. They are glaring.

    That said, I WOULD ONLY FEEL SAFE TO ENGAGE with Willow Creek leadership through a truly independent third party investigation, with full disclosure of the findings, out on the table.

    Can you understand a sister on this?

    Four years later is not the time for the Willow Creek Community Church elders to start a conversation or listen (per the article and their new declaration to the staff and members). Now is the time for an actual reckoning; A reckoning of Bill’s abuse of power and misconduct and the Willow Creek leadership’s complicit and formulated action in covering it up.

    This needs to be unearthed and rooted out of the church. It is not the way of Jesus and it is not the gospel we proclaim.

    For the women. For my daughters and your daughters. For the church worldwide.

    I stand behind my story. (vondadyer.com)

    Read the article to the end and hear the accounts of three new women.

    #metoo #churchtoo #silenceisnotspiritual”

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  142. Vonda Dyer has made another statement on her Facebook page concerning the truthfulness of the elder board. “Friends,
    Let me clarify just one false narrative coming, yet again, from the Willow Creek Leadership. The VERY first time that an elder or senior leader at Willow Creek initiated any official attempt to speak with me was last Friday through a mutual friend, A COUPLE OF HOURS before the letter to the congregation went out and less than 24 hours before the Christianity Today article released on Saturday.

    The church’s official statement that “many of us have persistently requested meetings with people mentioned or quoted in media accounts” is categorically UNTRUE, at least in my case.

    The three new stories in the Christianity Today article of brave women who came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Bill Hybels highlight many of the same destructive patterns that caused me to share my story with the Chicago Tribune, believing that women were still at risk!

    We are up to 9 women and counting, ya’ll. Is this starting to register with anyone else as a pattern that someone should fully investigate?
    Many of these stories happened before the eras of ambien and wine invitations began. Keep your checklists and look for the patterns. They are glaring.

    That said, I WOULD ONLY FEEL SAFE TO ENGAGE with Willow Creek leadership through a truly independent third party investigation, with full disclosure of the findings, out on the table.

    Can you understand a sister on this?

    Four years later is not the time for the Willow Creek Community Church elders to start a conversation or listen (per the article and their new declaration to the staff and members). Now is the time for an actual reckoning; A reckoning of Bill’s abuse of power and misconduct and the Willow Creek leadership’s complicit and formulated action in covering it up.

    This needs to be unearthed and rooted out of the church. It is not the way of Jesus and it is not the gospel we proclaim.

    For the women. For my daughters and your daughters. For the church worldwide.

    I stand behind my story. (vondadyer.com)

    Read the article to the end and hear the accounts of three new women.

    #metoo #churchtoo #silenceisnotspiritual”

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  143. Well, this is weird.

    I just saw that Lynne Hybels has signed the “#silenceisnotspiritual” official statement whereby the “Global Church” is standing together to decry violence of any form against women.

    From the statement:

    Recognizing each woman’s inherent dignity, we call on churches to create protected spaces where survivors of violence can offer their stories, as they choose, and where the body can receive these stories with empathy, love and care.

    Check it out for yourself:
    Silenceisnotspiritual.org

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  144. @ Lowlandseer:
    The pastor is not Jesus. The pastor is one of the priesthood of believer. Everyone in the Body should have care for one a other and be developing their spiritual gift. We are a long way from the first century with plenty of freedom, resources, etc. I believe the body of Christ took a horrible detour through a state Church mentality.

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  145. @ Dave A A:
    “Has Pastor Larson listened to the “story” of any one woman she claims mentored her, but whose “story” is not their “story”? ”

    One would think that would be part of their listening tour. But I believe that it has gone into the legal Realm. I think Willow Creek right now is in the business of protecting themselves and lawyers are deciding the process. So I doubt very seriously if there will be any one-on-one meetings with the victim and the pastor. Based on my experience with megas, I would not meet with the pastor without a witness of my choice, if I were a victim

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  146. Has anyone wondered if Lynne Hybels may also be a victim? According to those who are speaking, Hybels complained frequently about his marriage. What was going on at home?

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  147. Friends,
    Let me clarify just one false narrative coming, yet again, from the Willow Creek Leadership. The VERY first time that an elder or senior leader at Willow Creek initiated any official attempt to speak with me was last Friday through a mutual friend, A COUPLE OF HOURS before the letter to the congregation went out and less than 24 hours before the Christianity Today article released on Saturday.

    The church’s official statement that “many of us have persistently requested meetings with people mentioned or quoted in media accounts” is categorically UNTRUE, at least in my case.

    The three new stories in the Christianity Today article of brave women who came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Bill Hybels highlight many of the same destructive patterns that caused me to share my story with the Chicago Tribune, believing that women were still at risk!

    We are up to 9 women and counting, ya’ll. Is this starting to register with anyone else as a pattern that someone should fully investigate?
    Many of these stories happened before the eras of ambien and wine invitations began. Keep your checklists and look for the patterns. They are glaring.

    That said, I WOULD ONLY FEEL SAFE TO ENGAGE with Willow Creek leadership through a truly independent third party investigation, with full disclosure of the findings, out on the table.

    Can you understand a sister on this?

    Four years later is not the time for the Willow Creek Community Church elders to start a conversation or listen (per the article and their new declaration to the staff and members). Now is the time for an actual reckoning; A reckoning of Bill’s abuse of power and misconduct and the Willow Creek leadership’s complicit and formulated action in covering it up.

    This needs to be unearthed and rooted out of the church. It is not the way of Jesus and it is not the gospel we proclaim.

    For the women. For my daughters and your daughters. For the church worldwide.

    I stand behind my story. (vondadyer.com)

    Read the article to the end and hear the accounts of three new women.

    #metoo #churchtoo #silenceisnotspiritual

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  148. Virgil wrote:

    “It is time we Christians stop trying to excuse our un-Christlike dispositions and frankly admit our failure to live as we should. Wesley said that we will not injure the cause of Christ by admitting our sins, but that we are sure to do so by denying them.” (A.W. Tozer)

    Amen! Church folks would do well to read more of Tozer and less of Hybels, Piper, etc.

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  149. JYJames wrote:

    “Women relegated to a secondary position in the eyes of God,” in the church.

    The New Calvinist movement would come to a screeching halt if enough female believers would rise up en masse, declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”, and then start dragging their sorry husbands/boyfriends out of the mess.

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  150. Steve wrote:

    Do you Max or anyone else see the Masters Seminary as playing a significant role in this?

    You know Steve, John MacArthur and his MacArthurites seem such an odd fit in the New Calvinist movement. They are classical Calvinists who are more civil in their discourse and generally respectful of other faiths than the rebellious new reformers. The Masters Seminary is not as infamous or influential as SBC’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism). This may change as time goes on – with the Masters Seminary playing a bigger role in the reformed revolution – unless God intervenes and puts the brakes on the aberrations of New Calvinism. In the meantime, I’m sure MacArthur is enjoying his new popularity among the YRR – it’s good for book sales.

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  151. dee wrote:

    Has anyone wondered if Lynne Hybels may also be a victim? According to those who are speaking, Hybels complained frequently about his marriage. What was going on at home?

    She was a victim of his lying and cheating. Probably gaslighting too. That’s rough.

    There was an unconfirmed account that she stopped attending church for an extended period of time…I bet she caught him once.

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  152. @ Max:

    Thanks Max. Seems like MacArthur has changed (or maybe I’ve changed). Very disappointed that he speaks at events alongside some questionable characters. There’s also a new church in our area whose pastor came from Masters. I’m not impressed at all. Very heavy handed.

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  153. Lea wrote:

    She was a victim of his lying and cheating. Probably gaslighting too. That’s rough.
    There was an unconfirmed account that she stopped attending church for an extended period of time…I bet she caught him once.

    I thought that not attending church for a year was something that Lynne has written/spoken about in the past. She wrote a book of some kind that talked about her spiritual journey. All I can find right now is excerpts with commentary here:

    https://m.facebook.com/FormerNewAger/posts/10153672283557237

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  154. In this blog tribute to Bill and their then 40-year marriage,, Lynne alludes to being going from church for a time:

    https://www.lynnehybels.com/blogs/happy-40th-bill-hybels-and-thank-you

    [Excerpted] “Thank you, Bill, for embracing the messiness of my spiritual journey, even when it was so different from yours. We are opposites in so many ways; it figures our spiritual pathways would diverge a bit. But seriously? There we were, entering the decade of our forties, living very public ministry lives—and I basically lost my faith! (Not an exaggeration.) It was obvious the Christianity of my childhood was inadequate for my adult life, but the journey beyond my childish faith was not easy. It led me through much uncertainty and many doubts and questions. It was frightening. And did I mention, messy?

    I made that journey quietly, but you knew what was going on. Yet you never said, “Get over this, Lynne. Move on. I can’t afford to have a spiritually messy wife.” On the contrary, you said, “I’ve seen the Holy Spirit at work in you since we were seventeen. I think we can trust the Holy Sprit with this. Don’t shortcut this journey. Don’t move back to what seems spiritually safe. Move forward into an authentic pursuit of God.”

    You even told the elder board I might not be around Willow for a while, but that it was okay. “She’s working with a wise spiritual mentor,” you explained, “and she just needs a little space.” This freedom allowed me to move authentically toward the words and way of Jesus—and to discover a Christianity I could truly believe in. I tell this story often to pastors and their wives, and they are always shocked. Your response to my spiritual messiness was so brave and so loving. I will be forever grateful.

    This–and the whole article–is nothing short of heartbreaking to read in light of recent events. I’m praying for Lynne Hybels. All marriages are more complex than they appear. God bless you, sister.

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  155. Ken A wrote:

    I don’t think that egalitarians give an interpretation of the text that solves the tension. Perhaps it is me and my male ego that can’t see it because I am flawed but I can’t make sense out of the egalitarian interpretation either. Paul gives a specific instruction to “husbands”. And it appears to me he is giving a specific instruction to “wives”. I don’t see, as the comps say, that this is all women to all men. I don’t see that in the text. Could it be that there is a specific instruction for wives that is needed and will enhance the marriage relationship to be what God intends that is not what the complementarians say is the proper interpretation? I am asking. I have come a long way in seeing things differently from what I was taught from the strict complementarians. But I don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bath water”.
    I am on a journey from “comp” to something else. I don’t have the answers. But maybe there are those who have thought in more depth about it.

    Ephesians 5:21 enjoins submission to one another. Perhaps this list of 59 “one anothers” will help to clarify the relationship of husband and wife as one of mutuality. http://www.smallgroupchurches.com/the-59-one-anothers-of-the-bible/

    Also, Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian has challenged men to find even one scripture….even one…that commands a husband to lead or have authority over his wife.

    The only place in the NT that mentions authority at all within the context of a husband/wife relationship is 1 Cor. 7:4 in which Paul expressly says that the husband has authority over his wife’s body and the wife has authority over the husband’s body.

    Hope this helps some….

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  156. Steve wrote:

    @ Max:

    Thanks Max. Seems like MacArthur has changed (or maybe I’ve changed). Very disappointed that he speaks at events alongside some questionable characters. There’s also a new church in our area whose pastor came from Masters. I’m not impressed at all. Very heavy handed.

    I’ve heard many complaints about pastors coming from Masters being heavy handed. There was an article on WW about a mishandled abuse situation at Masters. John MacArthur seems heavy handed himself in my opinion.

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  157. Victorious wrote:

    Ephesians 5:21 enjoins submission to one another. Perhaps this list of 59 “one anothers” will help to clarify the relationship of husband and wife as one of mutuality. http://www.smallgroupchurches.com/the-59-one-anothers-of-the-bible/

    Concerning Complementarianism, I can’t help but always think of something Jesus said: do unto others as you would have them do unto you ……… Treat others as you wish to be treated.
    How many “complementarian ” men wish for their wives (or women, in general) to treat the men the same way men treat women???

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  158. Bridget wrote:

    I’ve heard many complaints about pastors coming from Masters being heavy handed. There was an article on WW about a mishandled abuse situation at Masters. John MacArthur seems heavy handed himself in my opinion.

    Wasn’t Shauna and Billy’s pastor a MacArthurite?

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  159. Max wrote:

    The New Calvinist movement would come to a screeching halt if enough female believers would rise up en masse, declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”, and then start dragging their sorry husbands/boyfriends out of the mess.

    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-womens-balcony-2017
    “The Women’s Balcony” – excellent film from Israel about Synagogue men trying to force Synagogue women to wear head scarves, etc., when a young new rabbi shows up as the enforcer.

    “Women are front and center in most discussions of theology, in any faith: What should we do with the women? How do we keep them in their place? How do we control their sexuality?”

    So the women deal with it, at home, each with their own husbands. Poignant and humorous and very apt for today, this film.

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  160. April Kasper wrote:

    That said, I WOULD ONLY FEEL SAFE TO ENGAGE with Willow Creek leadership through a truly independent third party investigation, with full disclosure of the findings, out on the table.

    I would do nothing LESS than recoil at the thought of trusting these leaders to act prudently and with a spiritual-mindedness. Run. Quickly. Run away from an offers to share anything apart from a third party investigator! Why should anyone trust them now? If they were trustworthy men and women, they would have been trustworthy all along – not just when it begins to implode!

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  161. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Treat others as you wish to be treated.
    How many “complementarian ” men wish for their wives (or women, in general) to treat the men the same way men treat women???

    Good and simple point. He even prefaced “do unto others” with “In everything”. It is hard to justify treating men and women differently when no exceptions are given.

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  162. @ dee:
    Enabling? I try. But well heeled professional women who look the other way over such long time are a pet peeve of mine. Especially those set up to be “role models”. I feel horrible for her now, of course. But she has choices that many women don’t because of financial considerations.

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  163. @ Victorious:
    Thanks. I think I am well past thinking men have trump cards against women. I agree that male “authority” over women seems to be absent from the scripture. At least it isn’t what the comps teach. Again thanks.

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  164. Thersites wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Treat others as you wish to be treated.
    How many “complementarian ” men wish for their wives (or women, in general) to treat the men the same way men treat women???

    Good and simple point. He even prefaced “do unto others” with “In everything”. It is hard to justify treating men and women differently when no exceptions are given.

    What do these men think love IS?? They are specifically told to love and not be harsh. They are told what love is. It’s very clearly not telling your wife what to do and making decisions that benefit you. You have ignore the rest of the New Testament to get as thick as someone like piper.

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  165. Lea wrote:

    You have ignore the rest of the New Testament to get as thick as someone like piper.

    My best guess is it happens over time, frog in pot. It typically starts with a damaged person, perhaps one who didn’t receive enough love, one with daddy issues, what-have-you. And they seek satisfaction and pursue their lusts for whatever it is that they crave, be it sex, power, wealth—or, perhaps in Piper’s case, the adulation of others—through leadership in the church. What better place? Community standing, adoring weekly crowds almost always willing to extend you the benefit of the doubt, a large building where when you enter on work days, everyone looks at you like you’re The Man, and even the possibility of affluence (in Piper’s case, while he never pursued the filthy wealth angle, like Furtick, Morris, and, perhaps, Hybels, he has certainly lived a very comfortable, six-figure existence). Having attended Piper’s church in the 90s, watched the man speak right there in Bethlehem Baptist (dry, rambling, no presence, no talent, I have never understood the attraction, as a professional speaker myself, it’s an absolute mystery, he’s not even mediocre, he’d be third place at the local Toastmaster’s Club…but I digress) and then attended one of the marches for Jesus he and a couple other pastors sponsored and then t the following rally watched them put Jesus aside while they took turns shamelessly heaping praise on one another while the crowds clapped like mindless lemmings (and been thoroughly disgusted and essentially crossed that man off my list of reasonable, decent human beings at that moment), it’s easy to see that Piper’s thing is praise and adulation.

    You get enough of that praise and glory for yourself over time, because that’s what you lust after, you eventually become very thick, very stubborn, very selfish, very cold—and very, very strange.

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  166. dee wrote:

    Has anyone wondered if Lynne Hybels may also be a victim? According to those who are speaking, Hybels complained frequently about his marriage. What was going on at home

    \\

    Oh heck no she is not a victim, if you mean a victim of Bill. From the links provided by Jenn and in hearing Lynn’s own words I am thinking that she is a large part of Bill’s problem. I have developed a certain amount of pity for him after reading what she says about herself. Not that his actions can be excused, but rather that his wife in her own words added to his problems and then pats him on the head with a ‘good boy’ for letting her get away with it and getting the church to let her get away with some stuff.

    Actions have consequences-always-for better or worse or some combination of better and worse. It is sad what this situation has come to-for the players involved and also for the congregation which apparently also now have to go through some upheaval by all this.

    But let me ask this, if Bill’s propensity to raise eyebrows over his behavior with women, and if this was known and commented on, did not the women on staff hear about it? How come nobody was willing to deal with it until they were the ones ‘approached’ by bill? Was it a lot of not my problem until it’s my problem? Or was it that the women on staff, and not just his wife, were getting to live out their own ambitions and dreams and if Bill went under who cared as long as he did not drag me personally into it?

    So who were the ‘victims’? Everybody and almost nobody depending on how you define the word victim, and that includes B Predator H himself.

    When extremely young and inexperienced and ‘passionate’ and poorly taught and headstrong people go out and start a church without denominational oversight of some sort being answerable to nobody but themselves and whatever sells to the designated market, what would one expect. ‘She’ discovers her own definition of God for crying out loud and ‘he’ discovers the joys of gender those being both personal and professional. And there apparently was nobody who would or perhaps could rescue these people from themselves. Mistakes were made. No kidding. By a lot of people. Looks that way. People got hurt. No kidding. Thanks be to God that He retains ultimate judgment to Himself; we don’t have enough information nor enough wisdom nor enough courage to manage that job ourselves.

    It is all sad beyond words-sad that this played out under the name of church. We would not be raising an eyebrow if is were some non-religious organization.

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  167. okrapod wrote:

    How come nobody was willing to deal with it until they were the ones ‘approached’ by bill?

    Several tried to call him out, it seems. But you’re right, it was the women (although at least one approached on behalf of other women), and they approached him directly, as all the super spiritual claim is required. It just didn’t work. And by the time they brought it the board all they got is stall, stall, stall…

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame Lynn on this personally. We don’t know what she’s been dealing with at home or for how long. chicken/egg maybe. I don’t think all his ‘my wife is so terrible’ comments can be taken at face value, as men like this lie routinely.

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  168. Lea wrote:

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame Lynn on this personally.

    By her own words she was causing problems at the church, spending too much money, traveling too much and absenting herself from church, all of which put him in a difficult position-according to her praise of him for somehow dealing with this at church. I am not blaming her for his sexual escapades but I do think that she has said in her own words also that she had been accused of his having to answer to her within the family? church? words to that effect up there in one of the things quoted in a prior comment. She is answerable for her own consequences, not for what he did. But I do think that having personal problems which spill over into the workplace puts one at much greater stress and much greater vulnerability to one’s own weaknesses.

    If he were drinking somebody would be sure to call it ‘self medication’ but if he is feeling around on women might it not also be affected by personal problems not all of them necessarily of his own making?

    It is true that oceans of men find themselves suddenly married to a woman who ‘has gone crazy’ right when the man is looking for an excuse to change a forty for two twenties. They do that lots. But I am using only her own words to form the ideas which I have stated.

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  169. okrapod wrote:

    By her own words she was causing problems at the church, spending too much money, traveling too much and absenting herself from church, all of which put him in a difficult position-according to her praise of him for somehow dealing with this at church.

    I don’t know the timeline of the spending ‘too much’ money, though. Did she say it was too much? He seems to have plenty of money and it sounded like all charity work. The absenting herself from church…as I said, chicken or the egg? Did she absent herself because she was picking up on something? Is this the nice and public version of what was really going on?

    I don’t think we can read as much in as you would. Or maybe I would just be reading it differently.
    okrapod wrote:

    If he were drinking somebody would be sure to call it ‘self medication’ but if he is feeling around on women might it not also be affected by personal problems not all of them necessarily of his own making?

    I don’t see this as self medicating in any case. If he had had one affair (which it sounds like he did) maybe that was that. But he was hitting on everybody at work, setting up scenarios, etc. I don’t buy that as self medicating in any case.

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  170. @ okrapod:
    Also, her way of speaking sounds so much like a woman taking all blame on herself for these things, whether she should or not. Maybe she’s learned to be that way from him? Goodness knows he wasn’t taking blame when talking to his church or other women in private. He put it all on others, including her.

    That would be another way to interpret…that she has internalized his criticism or her own self-criticism.

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  171. ” And there apparently was nobody who would or perhaps could rescue these people from themselves. ”

    Well this perfectly sums up the whole megachurch mentality disaster. How does one save a drug addict from themselves after rehab over and over?

    In a mega church everyone is getting what they want. And you are the one with the problem who cannot see the greatness of Willow Creek. (That sounds like a throwaway one liner but if people stop and think about it long enough they will see it.)

    Until they aren’t getting what they want, then they just leave. It would be like taking on City Hall all by yourself.

    And if you notice even some of the victims are talking about how wonderful Willow Creek was for them and it changed their life. They have not been able to connect the dots between Willow Creek as founded on Billy Hybels personality. They just simply turn around the typical Mega response: if it’s good then the pastor gets credit if it’s bad it has nothing to do with him. The victims say Billy hybels is the problem not the church. But it’s really both.

    Not even the victims are questioning the foundational premise of the cult of personality church.

    Based on the information we have so far, Bill and Lynne hybels relationship creeps me out. It just screams codependency. He gets his jollies by grooming women with plausible deniability. When deals with it by traveling all the time. It’s not hard to carry on in this manner when you have the sort of jet-setter Lifestyle they have with several homes, travel, etc. Who wants to give that up for a scandal of divorce?. They can just live separate private lives but have a veneer of a public Christian life. I know a few other megachurch couples like this. But divorce would have been much more honest.

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  172. “I don’t think it’s fair to blame Lynn on this personally. We don’t know what she’s been dealing with at home or for how long. chicken/egg maybe. I don’t think all his ‘my wife is so terrible’ comments can be taken at face value, as men like this lie routinely.”

    I agree. The human heart is complex and deceitful. Our 20-year marriage is thriving today, thank the Lord, but there was a brief period when we dealt with infidelity (on my husband’s part). It’s possible to hide things, even from a spouse, for a very, very long time. Julia’s account is from 1986, and I’m sure that wasn’t the first time Bill had wandered. We don’t know to what extend her struggles were attributable to his emotional and physical absence. A spouse who is unfaithful has sinned against God and God alone, regardless.

    Because of my experiences, I read Lynn’s words with great compassion. Yes, she’s responsible for choices and there’s clearly a separateness between them that’s been there for a very long time. We don’t know–and she might not either– how many of her challenges were caused (in part) or exacerbated by a husband didn’t follow the Biblical command to love his wife.

    And, ultimately, he’s the one who should be under an accountability system (via Elders) that ensures he is above reproach. Where were the MEN in his life? Which of the Elders came alongside Bill and Lynne when she was struggling spiritually? There were signs that he wasn’t “managing his own household.” Who was there to question when he said that his wife was going to step away for awhile? NO, she doesn’t have to be perfect, but if my memory serves me correctly, the wise counsel she was receiving during that time may not have been all that wise.

    My husband’s own choices were during a time when he had separated himself from Christian men. He’s placed himself in edifying accountability relationships since that time. How much more should a pastor subject himself other Elders in that way? Not to open a can of worms, but the situation raises a LOT of questions about why Bill Hybels has championed women Elders in his church.

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  173. Lea wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Also, her way of speaking sounds so much like a woman taking all blame on herself for these things, whether she should or not. Maybe she’s learned to be that way from him? Goodness knows he wasn’t taking blame when talking to his church or other women in private. He put it all on others, including her.
    That would be another way to interpret…that she has internalized his criticism or her own self-criticism.

    I agree 100% with what you’ve said here and above.

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  174. Lydia wrote:

    Based on the information we have so far, Bill and Lynne hybels relationship creeps me out. It just screams codependency. He gets his jollies by grooming women with plausible deniability. When deals with it by traveling all the time. It’s not hard to carry on in this manner when you have the sort of jet-setter Lifestyle they have with several homes, travel, etc. Who wants to give that up for a scandal of divorce?. They can just live separate private lives but have a veneer of a public Christian life. I know a few other megachurch couples like this. But divorce would have been much more honest.

    The truly honest thing would be to admit that the church and this lifestyle–or the way you’ve “built”those things–is destroying your marriage and that no “brand” is worth losing your marriage for. Divorce wouldn’t have solved the heart problems in this situation, as far as I can tell.

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  175. @ Lea:
    Note, Bill either turned it back around on them or set them up like Vonda. (That one was very familiar to me. The whole vague ‘many people have a problem with you’)

    But note when he was called out he either used gaslighting or petty revenge that could not be traced to him. This is classic narcissistic sociopathic Behavior. It’s a manipulation game to these types of people.

    My guess is early on the victims question themselves more than they questioned bill. Questioning his behavior comes with time.

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  176. Lydia wrote:

    But note when he was called out he either used gaslighting or petty revenge that could not be traced to him. This is classic narcissistic sociopathic Behavior.

    Right. I think that’s why I’m seeing Lynn’s words in this way. Also, my own experience with cheaters leads me to give them no leeway.

    I did see your point about leading ‘separate private lives’ and can see that being part of it. Lynn seems to have separated herself for some time, and so did Bill. This is one way to deal with a partnership that isn’t working, I guess. Maybe it’s even practical. But hardly the ideal.

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  177. @ Lea:

    Some people do that, but I don’t see that as fitting in with her self evaluation as one who has now become ‘bold’ (her words) in that she has been traveling internationally so much in pursuit of some agenda which was apparently mostly hers but which she tried to or did sell to him? and/or the church.

    I do not see anything self effacing in what she has said. The question that Dee put, as I understand it, was is Lynn a victim. That narrows the issue. I think that she is a victim in the sense that his sin impacts her life, but she is not a ‘helpless’ victim whose actions did not contribute to the situation. She knew she was criticized for her lifestyle. Her lifestyle/absences continued to create the opportunities for his sins. We do not know if she knew that or not, but if so many people at church did know what are the chances one way or the other? Only God knows whether He/God required of her that lifestyle regardless of the consequences which He/God surely saw happening.

    It really glares at me how she praised him for solving it at church about how much money she was spending on international travel. Talk about red flags all around; more like explosions all around.

    None the less, the whole thing is terribly sad for lots of people.

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  178. @ Lea:
    It’s screams codependency to me. Or, saving his reputation as a megachurch pastor whose wife is gone all the time. She chose to take the hit. She chose to put up with him. She’s educated, professional and has had plenty of money for 30 years.

    He is a rogue, and exhibits likely a narcissistic sociopathic tendancies normalized over 40 years. She is an enabler. She is more sympathetic, I agree. But it still wears me out when women have the means but still put up with it. And it wouldn’t be any of my business except for the public figure part.

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  179. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Note, Bill either turned it back around on them or set them up like Vonda. (That one was very familiar to me. The whole vague ‘many people have a problem with you’)

    But note when he was called out he either used gaslighting or petty revenge that could not be traced to him. This is classic narcissistic sociopathic Behavior. It’s a manipulation game to these types of people.

    My guess is early on the victims question themselves more than they questioned bill. Questioning his behavior comes with time.

    It’s common to question yourself. Normal, healthy behavior. It’s common to think the best of people. We don’t want someone who preaches from the pulpit and quotes the Bible and smiles at us and pats us on the back to be covertly evil and manipulative. Of course, abusers know this and take advantage of us in our “weakness”.

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  180. @ Law Prof:
    Totally agree. And what is even sadder is that these days, in Christendom, it’s like walking around with a Target on your back. We must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That is part of what I view tww as doing. Getting the word out to not be a an easy Target.

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  181. If you read the book they co-wrote about the early days at Willow, Bill was absent from their marriage from the get-go. It’s heartbreaking to read. After 15 years she plunged into a deep depression. Yet writes that she felt guilty for not being able to give Bill the wife he needed and deserved. She is totally the victim here.

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  182. okrapod wrote:

    The question that Dee put, as I understand it, was is Lynn a victim. That narrows the issue. I think that she is a victim in the sense that his sin impacts her life, but she is not a ‘helpless’ victim whose actions did not contribute to the situation.

    I believe I said she is a victim in the sense that he likely lied to her, cheated on her, and probably gaslighting of some sort…Beyond that we don’t know their private life.

    What would make her ‘helpless’. Are most victims of someone else’s behavior ‘helpless’? Some have more options than others, and she probably does, but he was doing these things 30 years ago. I don’t know what their life looked like at the time, but it seems she had small children and fewer options then.

    One thing I have tried to get away from is the idea that someone must be perfect to be truly considered a victim, and I do credit sites like this for swaying my thinking on that. My natural inclinations are more to ask why she stayed, and to judge her for not leaving. I would never judge her for her husband’s cheating actions, though.

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  183. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Totally agree. And what is even sadder is that these days, in Christendom, it’s like walking around with a Target on your back. We must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That is part of what I view tww as doing. Getting the word out to not be a an easy Target.

    Evidently, I was a sucker and had a huge target that sociopaths and NPDs in the pastorate could see. They liked to pick me to be an elder, let me inside their world, then when I saw things that didn’t match with the public face, sometimes stuff that was just plain evil, (sometimes shockingly so, the sort of stuff you didn’t think you could ever tell anyone because you could hardly believe you’d seen and heard it yourself and you knew no one would ever believe you because it just seemed too crazy, too sick) then they’d jettison me and tell outright lies about me—which of course, all the young benighted followers would swallow up as if they were gospel. Lots of fun!

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  184. @ Lydia:

    I am more inclined to think that she and also some or all of the female staff perhaps ‘put up with’ his behavior because he enabled them to accomplish what they themselves wanted-leadership for some, status, money?, admiration?, the brain happy juice of holding forth to a listening audience, perhaps for some an idealistic concept of everything from the gospel to women’s rights-who knows what all. Complaining is not solving. Resigning and working elsewhere is a personal solution sometimes. Acting like a governing board and governing is a solution sometimes.

    It looks to me like for some at least this may have been just the cost of getting what you wanted, a cost of doing business. You want a mega church, you tolerate a celebrity in the pulpit. You want lots of butts in the pew, you preach what they want to hear. You want to keep your job, you don’t defy the rain maker in the pulpit. To get things done you have to give a little to get a little. May I say ‘the art of the deal’?

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  185. okrapod wrote:

    Resigning and working elsewhere is a personal solution sometimes.

    This is where I tend to go, but it’s not a perfect solution. I know someone who had to leave TWO jobs because somebody wanted to sleep with her. That stuff is wrong.

    I suspect there was just enough plausible deniability, because people like Bill are good at that, and gaslighting for them to stay and yes, put up with some of it. Because they liked their job maybe, or found it fulfilling in some way.

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  186. @ Lea:

    A child is helpless. Someone who has no reason to be suspicious is helpless. Someone who chooses the lesser evil and has no other option but to do so is basically helpless.

    A woman who, like I think I hear Lydia saying, has other options would not be helpless.

    Mere femaleness does not automatically make the individual helpless.

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  187. okrapod wrote:

    Mere femaleness does not automatically make the individual helpless.

    And I certainly never said that. Yes, a child is helpless.

    We are speculating but we still don’t know if she actually knew anything or had reason to be suspicious. Some people just don’t know, until they know. Then it all makes sense.

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  188. Jenn wrote:

    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.

    Some people are most definitely beyond redemption, but for our purposes, given our lack of knowledge, we must behave as if no one is, act like “no one is beyond redemption”, as you say. One of the problems with a sociopath, psychopath, NPD is they have no conscience, no empathy. They are, to put it crisply, evil. They could not possibly care less whether you live or die, except inasmuch as your life or death serves their selfish interests. Those people are almost certainly beyond redemption, lacking the mechanism by which they can seek God and be redeemed. Aside from God just miraculously giving them a conscience, I can imagine no hope for them—but of course, He can give them consciences if He wishes, who would I be to question?

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  189. okrapod wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    I am more inclined to think that she and also some or all of the female staff perhaps ‘put up with’ his behavior because he enabled them to accomplish what they themselves wanted-leadership for some, status, money?, admiration?

    I worked in B2B sales a couple decades ago and there was a woman, a very successful sales exec, who put up with an astonishing amount of sexual harassment, really vile stuff. But she was making six figures a year (back when that meant something) and was the #1 rep at the branch, won Chairman’s Club every year, wall full of awards. She also seemed to love selling. So I suppose she just put up with it. Funny thing was, she probably had the power given her status to tell the guy who was constantly making crude comments to go straight to hades and to have him fired if she really put her foot down. But a quarter of a century ago, things were different and even an aggressive, successful woman was expected to stay in her place.

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  190. Law Prof wrote:

    But a quarter of a century ago, things were different and even an aggressive, successful woman was expected to stay in her place.

    Going to HR or management is an exceedingly risky proposition in most workplaces if you want to succeed in your job. You can get a reputation as a complainer or difficult. Then and now.

    It’s kind of ‘break glass in case of emergency’ option and that I wouldn’t use unless there were no others.

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  191. Max wrote:

    Steve wrote:

    Do you Max or anyone else see the Masters Seminary as playing a significant role in this?

    You know Steve, John MacArthur and his MacArthurites seem such an odd fit in the New Calvinist movement. They are classical Calvinists who are more civil in their discourse and generally respectful of other faiths than the rebellious new reformers. The Masters Seminary is not as infamous or influential as SBC’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism)….. In the meantime, I’m sure MacArthur is enjoying his new popularity among the YRR – it’s good for book sales.

    I for one have more respect for MacArthur. I see that he signed the Nashville Statement. But I don’t see that he signed the Danvers Statement. Did anyone sign that statement? I don’t see him as endorsing all of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I did a search on CBMW site and don’t come up with articles from MacArthur. If anyone could read MacArthur’s commentary on Ephesians 5 and think he is anti-woman, I would like to hear how.
    Unfortunately I too have heard the horror stories of his underlings trained at Masters Seminary abusing their power. It is sad and may show some flaws in the man and the seminary I am not aware of. Too often the young men leave seminary with a distorted view of what they think they were taught. Though I am not an authority on the Masters Seminary, I have seen a few who came from there that I would commend highly.
    John MacArthur was the one high profile preacher who called out R.C. Sproul Sr. about the shenanigans with Ligonier Ministries and R.C. son-in-law Tim Dick. He had the courage to say something to R.C. and things changed. I am distressed that he would not distance himself from the likes of C.J. Mahaney and it is causing me to reconsider my support for Grace to You. I have no respect for Phil Johnson of gty.
    There was a series of post on the gty blog a few years ago that took exception to the YRR movement and sought to instruct them. So in some sense I took that John MacArthur was distancing himself from the YRR movement in some ways.
    Some of the professors at SBTS let it be known that they have little respect John MacArthur. I have seen it personally.

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  192. @ Law Prof:

    Once upon a time I put up with some stuff, none of it sexual, from a guy with ‘power’ who offered to mentor me if I would work for/with him and the offer was a faculty position in a university I wanted to work for. I was thrilled beyond reason. But he was a gruff and plain spoken individual and rather excitable. That about him made the guys mad and some did not want to work with him-it was a guy on guy thing. He treated me better than that but still I was dealing with male aggression which would flare up on the job. I am comfortable with male aggression of that sort-was married to it by choice-and it neither threatened me nor bothered me. So I grabbed the job-until it became clear that we had to move out of that city because of civil unrest which got dangerous.

    It would be silliness to assume that I was somehow a poor emotionally bedraggled sort who let herself be abused because of being female. Male/female aggression is more complicated than that, and it can be very useful for a female to have an aggressive male mentor on the job. The aggressive male can/will go deal with administration, for example. Under good circumstance this can be a trade off.

    Now are there some women who would say like the guys that by golly they too had marked some territory and everybody just better stand back? Sure there are. Is that the only option or even the best option? Not for me, but maybe for some people. I tend to think ‘you get paid for being the chief, so go do it, but right now get out of my office while I plow through this stack of films and get this show on the road.’ It is a personality thing, not a persecution thing.

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  193. @ Lea:

    “I don’t think it’s fair to blame Lynn on this personally. We don’t know what she’s been dealing with at home or for how long. chicken/egg maybe. I don’t think all his ‘my wife is so terrible’ comments can be taken at face value, as men like this lie routinely.”

    Agreed. Her behaviour is in keeping with that of some victims.

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  194. Law Prof wrote:

    But a quarter of a century ago, things were different and even an aggressive, successful woman was expected to stay in her place.

    Remember “Old Testament” Star Trek (circa 1960s)?
    Even in the Enlightened Future of the 23rd-Century Federation, Starfleet women’s uniforms sported micro-miniskirts and cleavage-showing necklines and it was still acceptable to slap a female butt and/or make catcalls.

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  195. Law Prof wrote:

    Evidently, I was a sucker and had a huge target that sociopaths and NPDs in the pastorate could see.

    Successful Predators have a talent for smelling out Prey.

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  196. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    It’s screams codependency to me. Or, saving his reputation as a megachurch pastor whose wife is gone all the time. She chose to take the hit. She chose to put up with him. She’s educated, professional and has had plenty of money for 30 years.
    He is a rogue, and exhibits likely a narcissistic sociopathic tendancies normalized over 40 years. She is an enabler. She is more sympathetic, I agree. But it still wears me out when women have the means but still put up with it. And it wouldn’t be any of my business except for the public figure part.

    Yes. This is similar to my story. And lest anyone make judgments that are unfair, try walking in those shoes. We can never understand what prompts victims, and when. In my case, almost thirty years passed. I thought we had a miracle marriage after adultery. But one day I snapped. No one expected it. I had been so predictable, so forgiving. I kept the skeleton well hidden. Everything looked so perfect. And then one day I was done. I suffer the triggers. I stand by Lynne. She is a victim.

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  197. Lydia wrote:

    But note when he was called out he either used gaslighting or petty revenge that could not be traced to him. This is classic narcissistic sociopathic Behavior. It’s a manipulation game to these types of people.

    Same with Debaters, Trial Attorneys, and PUAs — it’s all just a Game, and the only thing that matters is to Win the Game.

    “Four-One-Nine just a game —
    You be the Mugu,
    I be the Masta!”
    — Nigerian pop song about a con man (“mugu” is Nigerian slang for “fool” in the sense of “easy mark”)

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  198. Mercy wrote:

    I stand by Lynne. She is a victim.

    But where does Victim shade into Codependent Enabler/Co-Conspirator?
    There is no clear dividing line.

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  199. Lydia wrote:

    Based on the information we have so far, Bill and Lynne hybels relationship creeps me out. It just screams codependency. He gets his jollies by grooming women with plausible deniability. When [Lynne?] deals with it by traveling all the time. It’s not hard to carry on in this manner when you have the sort of jet-setter Lifestyle they have with several homes, travel, etc. Who wants to give that up for a scandal of divorce?. They can just live separate private lives but have a veneer of a public Christian life. I know a few other megachurch couples like this.

    Remove the adjectives “Christian” and “megachurch” and that dynamic reminds me of that other Celebrity couple in the news: Bill & Camille Cosby, where there’s been rumblings about Camille putting up with Bill’s womanizing (and more than just consensual, aka “Pill Cosby”) for the wealth and prestige of being Mrs Bill Cosby.

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  200. Lea wrote:

    If he had had one affair (which it sounds like he did) maybe that was that. But he was hitting on everybody at work, setting up scenarios, etc. I don’t buy that as self medicating in any case.

    No, self-medicating would be fiery preaching against his own Deep Dark Secret, like Ted Haggard with homosexuality or Rush Limbaugh against drug addiction in a self-directed public pep talk.

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  201. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mercy wrote:
    I stand by Lynne. She is a victim.
    But where does Victim shade into Codependent Enabler/Co-Conspirator?
    There is no clear dividing line.

    Well, unless you have worn those shoes you cannot understand it. It has taken me decades. Up to you. Up to each one of us. And God judges the heart.

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  202. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But where does Victim shade into Codependent Enabler/Co-Conspirator?
    There is no clear dividing line.

    There is not a clear dividing line as far as I can see. I would add Victim by Choice as another category. I think my own mother was a Victim by Choice. She was clearly a victim when she found out some things about my father which she did not know previously and which to me would have made me run not walk out the door. One sister of hers tried to get her to agree to get out of the situation-with genuine employment help no less-to no avail. We none of us ever knew why she stayed, up to the point where my sister and I saw the whole thing totally differently. Poor mama said I. Misunderstood daddy said she. Now I think that we were both wrong. It ended badly. People got hurt.

    Back to my mantra: It is more complicated than that.

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  203. In her blog, Julia said she told Betty Schmidt the horrible things that were happening to her 32 years ago!! Didn’t Betty then go on to be a loving and respected WC Elder for 30 years? Betty didn’t mention she heard about BH problems until 2 years ago? She could have stopped it or at least brought it forward 32 years ago! Isn’t she part of the problem or all of it?? @ Thersites:

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  204. Jenn wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Jenn:
    You can never have a marriage with a narcissistic sociopathic partner.

    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.

    I have the impression that NPD and being a sociopath is incurable, in the same way that (using diabetes for a medical example) a type 1 diabetic will never be cured because their pancreas cannot make insulin. I don’t have the facts or statistics in front of me, though.

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  205. Law Prof wrote:

    Jenn wrote:
    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.
    Some people are most definitely beyond redemption, but for our purposes, given our lack of knowledge, we must behave as if no one is, act like “no one is beyond redemption”, as you say. One of the problems with a sociopath, psychopath, NPD is they have no conscience, no empathy. They are, to put it crisply, evil. They could not possibly care less whether you live or die, except inasmuch as your life or death serves their selfish interests. Those people are almost certainly beyond redemption, lacking the mechanism by which they can seek God and be redeemed. Aside from God just miraculously giving them a conscience, I can imagine no hope for them—but of course, He can give them consciences if He wishes, who would I be to question?

    Agreed that God gives some people up to their depraved minds (Romans 1). We can judge actions and give consequences (even to the death penalty for some offenses), but I’m not sure we’re in the position to actually say or determine whose soul or heart is beyond redemption.

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  206. Truthseeker wrote:

    Isn’t she part of the problem or all of it??

    I couldn’t read the most recent post, but iirc, Betty was ‘sworn to secrecy’ or something and that’s why she didn’t say anything. She said she regrets now, and she resigned over this. We could ask whether you should keep other people’s secrets, but isn’t it taking away their agency if you don’t? Excepting children, I think those requests should be respected. The woman who supposedly had an affair asked people to keep it secret, they didn’t, and she’s being listed as having ‘recanted’ and used to excuse Bill. Is that helpful?

    How much do we want to blame other people here? Especially people who are trying to fix things, or caught in the crossfire. Obviously systems can and should change, but people in the past appeared to think this is a one time deal that has maybe resolved itself. Or they tell Bill they’ll expose him and think that’s good. That’s why secrecy is such a problem.

    It’s good to look at how systems work to keep secrets, which only ever protects predators, but I really have to question when someone comes out with the truth, puts their name to it, and takes action, like resigning in protest, why we would go after THEM of all people on the list as responsible. Talk about your perverse incentives.

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  207. Jenn wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Jenn wrote:
    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.
    Some people are most definitely beyond redemption, but for our purposes, given our lack of knowledge, we must behave as if no one is, act like “no one is beyond redemption”, as you say. One of the problems with a sociopath, psychopath, NPD is they have no conscience, no empathy. They are, to put it crisply, evil. They could not possibly care less whether you live or die, except inasmuch as your life or death serves their selfish interests. Those people are almost certainly beyond redemption, lacking the mechanism by which they can seek God and be redeemed. Aside from God just miraculously giving them a conscience, I can imagine no hope for them—but of course, He can give them consciences if He wishes, who would I be to question?

    Agreed that God gives some people up to their depraved minds (Romans 1). We can judge actions and give consequences (even to the death penalty for some offenses), but I’m not sure we’re in the position to actually say or determine whose soul or heart is beyond redemption.

    That’s exctly correct IMHO.

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  208. Kylie wrote:

    If you read the book they co-wrote about the early days at Willow, Bill was absent from their marriage from the get-go. It’s heartbreaking to read. After 15 years she plunged into a deep depression. Yet writes that she felt guilty for not being able to give Bill the wife he needed and deserved. She is totally the victim here.

    That woman doesn’t exist.

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  209. Jenn wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    @ Jenn:
    You can never have a marriage with a narcissistic sociopathic partner.

    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.

    Oh dear. I guess my only question would be if they are a narcissistic sociopath how would you ever really know?

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  210. @ okrapod:
    Oh it’s not that. Its much more deceptive than that. They are humble (celebrities) with a boat not a yacht. They are on “mission” trips at the Dubai Hilton- types. They sincerely love and care for people –that’s why they were paying them all that attention. They never give you the impression they are going after what they want.

    That’s why it’s so confusing to people. And since they are insulated it takes a long time to figure out the “sincere caring” words don’t match the long-time patterns of behavior. I lived in that world and it was nothing but smoke and mirrors.

    You can hear it in the words of the elders and pastors at the family meetings. “We have not listened well enough”. But they never give you any facts or actions. It’s all vague flowerly meaningless platitudes.

    Give me the blowhard direct bellicose jerk any day.

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  211. Lydia wrote:

    Oh dear. I guess my only question would be if they are a narcissistic sociopath how would you ever really know?

    The RCC in its opposition to the death penalty uses one argument about giving people the opportunity to repent eventually. They do make a very strict idea of exception where the death penalty might be necessary. Otherwise you and they sound similar. How do you ever really know category.

    IMO, how does any psych diagnosis prove unchangeably correct except those confirmed by let us say brain biopsy or neuroimaging or secondary to some otherwise diagnosed condition like massive traumatic brain injury and even then results can be surprising with time. Witness the amazing recovery of function eventually after a stroke-sometimes. To my knowledge there are no lab tests or path results to be sought for personality disorders.

    Happily I know the answer and am glad to share it with one and all. (Ahem; yes well, and all that.) Answer: we don’t know, and the RCC is IMO more apt to be correct. Do not totally discount the possibility of repentance.

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  212. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    That woman doesn’t exist.

    Can you clarify what you mean by this a little bit, Lydia?

    I was referring to this quote from the commenter:

    “Yet writes that she felt guilty for not being able to give Bill the wife he needed and deserved.”

    Lynnes behavior has nothing to do with Billy Hybels grooming all these women. He would be doing this no matter who he is married to.

    People are very naive about mega church leader books/ image photo ops, etc. They are professionals with access to the best in image management.

    I do give the women who were groomed more of a pass because it is a world of cognitive dissonance. A world of vague flowery platitudes where totalitarian niceness is more important than truth. If you don’t come from that world it is very hard to navigate. You spend most of your time questioning yourself for having “bad thoughts”.

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  213. Lydia wrote:

    I was referring to this quote from the commenter:
    “Yet writes that she felt guilty for not being able to give Bill the wife he needed and deserved.”

    Ah, thank you that makes sense.

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  214. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    But a quarter of a century ago, things were different and even an aggressive, successful woman was expected to stay in her place.

    Remember “Old Testament” Star Trek (circa 1960s)?
    Even in the Enlightened Future of the 23rd-Century Federation, Starfleet women’s uniforms sported micro-miniskirts and cleavage-showing necklines and it was still acceptable to slap a female butt and/or make catcalls.

    And Kirk would occasionally hit on alien women.

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  215. @ okrapod:
    In the meantime, back at the normal ranch, I will let others deal with their repentance. 🙂

    I don’t do toxic chaos anymore unless it’s part of a contract and I’m paid a lot.

    If they repent, which would require going to people that they have lied to and deceived, that’s awesome. it means so many people won’t be hurt anymore on their deceptive roller coaster.

    Those of us who’ve had to deal with them up close and personal are just exhausted from the thought of being asked to believe it. Too many devastated bodies in their wake.

    And I refuse to feel guilty for thinking this. Especially when they are professing Christians. I did my time. Yes, I am mean. 🙂

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  216. Lydia wrote:

    If they repent, which would require going to people that they have lied to and deceived, that’s awesome. it means so many people won’t be hurt anymore on their deceptive roller coaster.

    I certainly hope people repent, but as far as interpersonal relationships go you can repent just as well from across town as you can from my house.

    Choosing if you wish to trust a person again is entirely up to the person who has been lied to, imo. (except where it hurts someone else in which case that should be considered but I’m sure we could get into many scenarios here)

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  217. @ Lea:

    And I am wrong for automatically assuming that people dont understand forgiveness. It doesn’t always mean reconciliation or Fellowship.

    It just gets old using the Redemption Club. We are talking about a pastor! A lifelong Christian who needs to be redeemed?

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  218. Lea wrote:

    I certainly hope people repent, but as far as interpersonal relationships go you can repent just as well from across town as you can from my house.

    That is a fact. People can repent in jail, in Hospice or on the other side of the world. People can pretend to repent, think they have repented, claim to be repenting, and can write books about repentance. And who would ever know what was real or not. That does not mean that they get automatically restored to their former position, their former marriage, their former level of trust.

    But since we don’t know I think we don’t decide about anybody’s eternal destiny nor do we assume that all is well and get ourselves right back into the same potential situation that was problematic in the first place.

    Christianity is not a degenerative brain disease.

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  219. Lydia wrote:

    Lynnes behavior has nothing to do with Billy Hybels grooming all these women. He would be doing this no matter who he is married to.

    Let us assume that this sentence is absolutely correct. Followed to its conclusion, then, there is no such thing as an enabler spouse, because it would have all happened anyhow.

    The problem with that conclusion is that there is a world of difference in being unable to prevent something on the one hand and in continuing to engage in behaviors which permit or augment or make possible or easier the spouse’s behavior on the other hand.

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  220. I don’t see Lynn ‘enabling’ from what little we’ve seen. I see her running the other direction as much as possible. I see her being lied to and gaslighted.

    Simply not stopping someone from doing things shouldn’t count as enabling. There should be more…activity to it?

    Was she bringing him women to abuse? Was she setting up encounters? Was she actively preventing these women from addressing their concerns with him? I don’t, from our limited knowledge, see her doing any of that.

    Missing things, ignoring things, choosing to stay with someone who has cheated, or believing him when he tells you he won’t don’t it again, that alone should not be considered enabling.

    At any rate, I dislike this focus. He made his choices, and if she had left him he likely would have married someone else and done the same thing. If she were harder on him, maybe he would have hid it better. We don’t know the what if’s.

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  221. @ Lea:
    She was helping to prop up a fraud in the pulpit. She is not the most guilty party here. He is.

    Celebrity pastors get by with things because the people that surround them protect them from the consequences.

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  222. @ Lea:

    As a general principle for a time it was popular to say that if you (generic) are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. This would require some if stuff of course, as in if you could have done something and did not. But that sounds biblical actually. Where were you (generic) when I was hungry and naked and homeless and such? Did you pass by on the other side of the road? Did you ignore Lazarus at your gate? Did you fail to warn the sinner of his ways-said to the prophets? I think.

    Modern issues: Where were you doc when you knew that your partner at the office was using drugs and making mistakes and you said nothing to the Medial Board? Where were you Mom when you knew your teen girl was driving and drinking and you did nothing but mildly render disapproval? Where were you pew sitter when you knew there was a pedophile in your midst and you kept silent?

    I don’t know how far to take that in a church setting, but where were you Mom when you thought your husband was molesting one of the kids? Where were you preacher’s wife when you knew he was chasing women, lying about the money and drinking himself under the table while you said he was out on a call?

    I don’t know enough about the Hybels to talk about this relative to them, but as a principle but I do think that doing nothing is not any automatic excuse.

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  223. When sin transforms the life of just one leader, that leader can deform a church. When one church is deformed you can destabilize a whole community.

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  224. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    She was helping to prop up a fraud in the pulpit. She is not the most guilty party here. He is.

    He’s the main perp, she’s the Accessory.

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  225. Lydia wrote:

    People are very naive about mega church leader books/ image photo ops, etc. They are professionals with access to the best in image management.

    The best Image Management money can buy.
    Other People’s Money. (“TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!”)

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  226. Truthseeker wrote:

    Isn’t she part of the problem or all of it??

    Looking from the outside your prognosis seems the normal conclusion by almost everyone, but when it happens inside almost everyone seems to go along, a small percentage leaves, and only a very small number of people will speak up at the time. Everyone seems to thing they would be courageous and do the right thing but very few do. If you speak up and are the first one to take on the system, you will be out there own your own and likely be though the screwball and treated as such.

    There is a reason I chose my moniker, speak up and you get silenced by a thug (Odysseus), even if you are saying what everyone in the room is thinking. And when the story is later told such that you are vindicated, it will still be told in a manner that you will be described as the ugly one.

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  227. Lydia wrote:

    Jenn wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    @ Jenn:
    You can never have a marriage with a narcissistic sociopathic partner.
    Not someone who stays that way, no. But no one is beyond redemption.
    Oh dear. I guess my only question would be if they are a narcissistic sociopath how would you ever really know?

    You usually don’t know until it’s too late.

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  228. @ Ken A:
    “It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur

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  229. Ken A wrote:

    Did you read the sermon?

    Yes, I have read several of his sermons relating to women/women’s roles. He clearly believes that women are subordinate to men.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  230. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Ken A:
    “It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur

    Yes. His view of women disgusts me.

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  231. mot wrote:

    Why do women in the church tolerate this non biblical subordination? I do not get it.

    Fear. When you are told that this is what you (generic you) must believe, and that if you don’t, it’s the same as going against God, fear takes over and makes the course correction.

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  232. @ Ken A:

    Have you read his works? I am trying to think of a title and it eludes me. It was a series on the Christian family. He was quite clear the wife was to obey. I’ll try to find it

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  233. Lydia wrote:

    I do give the women who were groomed more of a pass because it is a world of cognitive dissonance.

    I don’t know Lynn Hybels and would not claim to speak for her, but why is she is a part of the discussion? Why are people speculating on just what responsibility she might or might not bear for BILL’S choices?! She may well have been just as groomed as the public victims. Once married to an abuser, getting out can be very, very difficult.

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  234. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    I do give the women who were groomed more of a pass because it is a world of cognitive dissonance.
    I don’t know Lynn Hybels and would not claim to speak for her, but why is she is a part of the discussion? Why are people speculating on just what responsibility she might or might not bear for BILL’S choices?! She may well have been just as groomed as the public victims. Once married to an abuser, getting out can be very, very difficult.

    This!

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  235. @ Thersites:

    ‘Everyone seems to thing they would be courageous and do the right thing but very few do.’
    ==================================

    i think they’re confused on what to exercise courage over.

    my conclusion, from years of experience, is that in church culture (perhaps any religious culture), faith is better defined as cognitive dissonance than the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    unless one is very carefully aware, in order to function in church culture one learns to be ok with the tension between common sense and the party line. in fact, it’s often seen as being faithful and having faith. it is something to be championed in oneself and in others.

    the act of ignoring common sense is seen as the courageous one.

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  236. @ Sòpwith:

    “When sin transforms the life of just one leader, that leader can deform a church. When one church is deformed you can destabilize a whole community.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    stupidity does the same thing.

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  237. @ Bridget:
    If you get that he is telling men they have a trump card and to make all their wives decisions for them, I don’t see that. From the sermon it was clear that what he was talking about as submission was not presenting herself as available if she was a married women. There was nothing in that sermon that I saw that made women second class citizens. What he did was give what the scripture says from Paul and the historical background for why he said it. I have read and heard many such sermons. I don’t think it is anti- women.
    I am a Christian. I want to understand and apply what scripture teaches. I don’t think I can throw out the parts that I don’t like. Can you give me a better meaning of the text than he gave?

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  238. @ at least I’m sort of out:
    This is from MacArthur’s commentary on Ephesians 5
    “The wife is not commanded to obey ( he gives the Greek word) her husband, as children are to obey their parents and slaves their masters. A husband is not to treat his wife as a servant or a child, but as an equal for whom God has given him care and responsibility for provision and protection, to be exercised in love. She is not his to order about,responding to his every wish and command. The husband’s primary responsibility as head of the household is to love,provide, protect, and serve his wife and family- not to lord it over them according to his personal whims and desires.”
    Wow I have a great responsibility to live up to this!

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  239. @ Ken A:
    It might be a good idea to study deeply “kephale” as it was used and understood in the first century. It’s also a wake-up call in how we view the relationship of Jesus Christ to the body of Christ.

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  240. @ Lydia:

    You all are driving me nuts over this ‘kephale’ issue. Do you think that ‘kephale’ relieves the husband of responsibility to provide and protect like Ken A quoted? If so, would that mean that God in Christ is not in a position of provision and protection for the church, given the biblical analogy? It really sounds like that may be what you all are saying, but I would like to hear it spelled out-provision and protection specifically-before I just stroke out some morning over coffee.

    And since all things are personal at some level, I have been a post-divorce single mother whose own responsibility at that point included everything for which a parent has responsibilities, and ‘it ain’t no fun’. It is a herculean task which ought not have to all be dumped on the woman, once ‘kephale’ lets the guys off the hook so to speak. So, yes, I have my bias; earned it the hard way.

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  241. @ okrapod:
    Nope. I don’t feel that way at all. My father died a long agonizing death when I was a teen and my life changed drastically. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I love men and I think they are being broadbrushed horribly and marginalized in our society.

    (Taking one long quote from MacArthur does not communicate his entire teaching on this subject over 40 years.)

    On another note, I think that we have gotten the head /body metaphor terribly wrong which I think stifles the relationship of Jesus Christ with the body of Christ. I think it’s much bigger than just bad men who do bad things thinking they are the “authority”.

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  242. Bridget wrote:

    Yes. His view of women disgusts me.

    I’ve been disgusted by MacArthur for 30 years. For example, the logic and rhetoric he uses to dismiss things that do not fit within his paradigm; he has always impressed me as thoroughly, determinedly unchristian. Just one person’s opinion here, a person who’s never met the man personally, but what he writes, what he does, my personal experience with what his seminary produces for the pastorate—I think the guy is the sort of person who I want nothing whatsoever to do with under any circumstances, the sort of person I tell my children to call out, refute, and kick the dust off their feet as they leave him behind.

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  243. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Ken A:
    “It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur

    Yep.

    I think we can pass on that guy, without even getting into all the lunatics coming out of his seminary.

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  244. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    but why is she is a part of the discussion? Why are people speculating on just what responsibility she might or might not bear for BILL’S choices?!

    That is the question I ask.

    If we are looking for enablers, we need look no further than the elder board.

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  245. okrapod wrote:

    Do you think that ‘kephale’ relieves the husband of responsibility to provide and protect like Ken A quoted? If so, would that mean that God in Christ is not in a position of provision and protection for the church, given the biblical analogy?

    1. I think we all have a responsibility to protect where we are stronger. This extends from men to women, women to men, adults to children, bigger children to smaller children, young to old, etc…

    2. I think people make WAY too much of that analogy. Men are love their wives, like Christ loved the church. But women are also included in all general exhortations to love others. So what of it? We should love each other, sacrifice for each other, take care of each other. That is the path.

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  246. @ Lea:

    Dee raised the issue for discussion in a comment. She asked about victim status. I figure that Dee is one of the owners of the blog and can direct the conversation any way she wants.

    At the same time, both Hybels have talked about personal problems in the marriage and even put it into print, and he has apparently used it as an excuse while they both have mentioned the issue of travels.

    I can see how the subject would be appropriate in those contexts.

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  247. Lea wrote:

    So what of it? We should love each other, sacrifice for each other, take care of each other. That is the path.

    Ah, but when people get down to thinking about what love and sacrifice and taking care of look like when put into action the conversation starts to fall apart. Vague ideas are all well and good, but god help the poor soul anymore who tries to develop an action plan.

    I am not talking specifically to you, but rather addressing this issue which keeps reappearing from time to time–a lot.

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  248. @ Law Prof:

    How much influence do you think MacArthur has had on how the church views pastoral authority, church membership, and the role of women in church today?
    1. Little influence
    2. Some influence
    3. Very much influence
    4. Chief INFLUENCER

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  249. Law Prof wrote:

    I’ve been disgusted by MacArthur for 30 years. For example, the logic and rhetoric he uses to dismiss things that do not fit within his paradigm; he has always impressed me as thoroughly, determinedly unchristian.

    As a cessationist, MacArthur has been a vocal and aggressive opponent of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in today’s church. As a result, there’s no spiritual component to his teaching/preaching … he delivers law not life to his listeners. This, of course, fits well with the New Calvinist movement which has largely relegated the Holy Spirit to the back pew, along with subordinating Christ. If it doesn’t fit into MacArthur’s theological box and personal experience, it must be error. While I wouldn’t necessarily call him a “New” Calvinist, he certainly appeals to the YRR. Within the reformed movement, there is a mistrust of Christian personal experience – they prefer a set of rigid doctrinal propositions about grace rather than a direct experience of Grace, an encounter with the living Christ.

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  250. One comment not allowed. I am now fed up with people defending Hybels by saying it was the fault of the women for engaging him He was their boss or a respected leader and they were stunned by the situation. Not knowing what to do, being stunned, etc. is common in abuse.

    Hybels is creepy. he has concealed it well. Every time I get a comment like this, I realize that there are some in the church who still attempt the *Jezebel defense.” Poor Bill Hybels-them women with the exposed toned arms made him do it…Sheesh!

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  251. dee wrote:

    I realize that there are some in the church who still attempt the *Jezebel defense.”

    Oh my gosh dee, this reminds me. A local politician was reported calling a woman running for governor a ‘jezebel’! Saying on facebook she ‘has beguiled many of you like jezebel did when attacking elijah’. And then he calls her a ‘spirit’ that has entered the room.

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  252. What I dislike the most about the current Jezebel craze is that there is much to be learned from the royal mistakes during that administration, but the Jezebel folks have so distorted the issues that they have basically sidelined the whole topic into a circus. I too think sheesh but from a slightly different angle.

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  253. @ Lea:
    It is “the one sense or another” that is what matters. If you want to be done with him, that is fine with me.
    If I were him, I wouldn’t mind people taking me to task for what I did teach. But I wouldn’t like being taken to task for what I didn’t teach.
    I don’t mind people blasting me for what I believe. It is blasting me for what I don’t believe that is harder to take.

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  254. Ken A wrote:

    If you want to be done with him, that is fine with me.

    Good? Because I’m done with all of this nonsense, personally, no matter what anybody else thinks.
    Ken A wrote:

    I don’t mind people blasting me for what I believe. It is blasting me for what I don’t believe that is harder to take.

    Like this?

    “A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

    Come on.

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  255. @ Lea:

    Can you point me to the reference for this quote?

    “A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

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  256. mot wrote:

    Steve wrote:
    she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

    What in the world does he mean by that sentence?

    He means this: “God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.”

    Is it any wonder his seminary and teaching are a breading ground for noxious men?

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  257. mot wrote:

    Steve wrote:
    she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

    What in the world does he mean by that sentence?

    She must always be ready with kneepads and mouthwash for any and all men?
    “WOMAN, SUBMIT!”

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  258. mot wrote:

    What in the world does he mean by that sentence?

    You should listen to the audio if you can stand it. His tone is very smug and condescending.

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  259. Lea wrote:

    He means this: “God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.”

    i.e. “Men Hold the Whip! Women Feel the Whip! GOD HATH SAID!”

    I wonder if these MenaGAWD have secret stashes of Gor novels (or harder-core)?

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  260. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    mot wrote:
    What in the world does he mean by that sentence?

    You should listen to the audio if you can stand it. His tone is very smug and condescending.

    i.e. His tone is very CHRISTIAN(TM).

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  261. Lea wrote:

    A local politician was reported calling a woman running for governor a ‘jezebel’! Saying on facebook she ‘has beguiled many of you like jezebel did when attacking elijah’. And then he calls her a ‘spirit’ that has entered the room.

    I wonder what religion said politician’s base is?

    And with Christianese that thick, you’re either IN the Bible Belt or he’s an expat from there.

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  262. dee wrote:

    One comment not allowed. I am now fed up with people defending Hybels by saying it was the fault of the women for engaging him He was their boss or a respected leader and they were stunned by the situation. Not knowing what to do, being stunned, etc. is common in abuse.

    Always keep the Mark off-balance…

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  263. Lea wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Steve wrote:
    she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

    What in the world does he mean by that sentence?

    He means this: “God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.”

    Is it any wonder his seminary and teaching are a breading ground for noxious men?

    He is so wrong IMO. Dear Lord please spare people from hearing this nonsense. Women should run from this type of “preaching.”

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  264. Lydia wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Nope. I don’t feel that way at all. My father died a long agonizing death when I was a teen and my life changed drastically. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I love men and I think they are being broadbrushed horribly and marginalized in our society.

    Which makes them fertile ground for Male-Supremacist teachings and attitudes, from PUA/MRA/Manosphere to God Saith Complementarianism to Pornography.

    And if the pressure keeps ramping up, there’s also Self-Defense Male Supremacy, i.e. “It’s Us Or Them!”
    i.e. Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip, nothing in-between, nothing else can exist.

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  265. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I wonder what religion said politician’s base is?

    Both of them are in the same party, I think. And this is not an endorsement of her either, but she is calling this out as well she should.

    But yes, bible belt. Just shows you this nonsense sometimes goes mainstream.

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  266. mot wrote:

    He is so wrong IMO. Dear Lord please spare people from hearing this nonsense. Women should run from this type of “preaching.”

    And be Uppity Jezebels?

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  267. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    You should listen to the audio if you can stand it. His tone is very smug and condescending.

    Yep.

    ‘Don’t blame me, I’m just quoting the WordaGod and if you disagree with me you are an apostate /shrugshouldersemoji/’

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  268. @ Law Prof:
    I first read him around the mid-nineties when somebody gave me one of his books about marriage roles and asked what I thought of it. I was appalled. I sort of loosely paid attention to him after that. Then Pyro hit the blogosphere and more people had a front-row seat to MacArthur trained pastors. Cheryl Schatz took him onin her videos in detail.

    What people do not understand about MacArthur is based on his teaching over a long period of time, he would teach that the speech Rachael Denhollander gave at Harvard was biblically verboten. Because she was teaching men about the gospel.

    That is why one cannot take one soft quote of his and sum up his position.

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  269. @ Lydia:

    well, it’s just that christian church sees itself and bills itself as the bastion of truth.

    As the only place you can trust for true truth, politely (sometimes) and with deft subtlety (sometimes) denigrating all other institutions and groups as inherently incapable.

    is there a word for sad insulting comical astonishing breathtaking all at once?

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  270. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And with Christianese that thick, you’re either IN the Bible Belt or he’s an expat from there.

    And then there’s our State HUG, in which secular politicians go hog-wild in the opposite direction, wanting everything from expurgating Twain’s works in school libraries (because of the ‘n’ word) to genderless bathrooms, all under the coercion of law.
    Will the lunacy of extremes ever stop?

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  271. Lea wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    You should listen to the audio if you can stand it. His tone is very smug and condescending.

    Yep.
    ‘Don’t blame me, I’m just quoting the WordaGod and if you disagree with me you are an apostate /shrugshouldersemoji/’

    My writing partner once told me the absolute SCARIEST Christian Website he ever came across was a Reconstructionist/Theonomist one whose name was “GOD HATH SAID”.

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  272. Muff Potter wrote:

    And then there’s our State HUG, in which secular politicians go hog-wild in the opposite direction, wanting everything from expurgating Twain’s works in school libraries (because of the ‘n’ word) to genderless bathrooms, all under the coercion of law.

    With wagging-finger lectures to all us Lowborn and PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH! as the only motivation.

    “New England Puritans, seven-times distilled down to eliminate any hint of God-talk retaining only the Righteousness and Moral Fury.”

    Who just cannot understand why any of the Lowborn would ever possibly vote for Trump…

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  273. Lea wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    Do you think that ‘kephale’ relieves the husband of responsibility to provide and protect like Ken A quoted? If so, would that mean that God in Christ is not in a position of provision and protection for the church, given the biblical analogy?

    1. I think we all have a responsibility to protect where we are stronger. This extends from men to women, women to men, adults to children, bigger children to smaller children, young to old, etc…

    2. I think people make WAY too much of that analogy. Men are love their wives, like Christ loved the church. But women are also included in all general exhortations to love others. So what of it? We should love each other, sacrifice for each other, take care of each other. That is the path.

    Yes. it’s totally taken out of its historical context and without understanding what the word communicated in the first century.

    Everything is reduced to either/ or positioning today. Frankly, it is none of the church’s business how people structure their marriages. My parents would have been appalled at that sort of invasion of privacy.

    The irony is in the first century a big issue was women’s “freedom” in the body of Christ. The book of 1st Corinthians touches on it several times.

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  274. Ken A wrote:

    If I were him, I wouldn’t mind people taking me to task for what I did teach. But I wouldn’t like being taken to task for what I didn’t teach.

    Look at all the quotes here from him on the subject, though. It would be easy to weasel your way out by pointing to what you said “over here” as opposed to “over there.” More reason to not trust the man in my book.

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  275. @ Lea:
    More context from the sermon:

    “I think Satan is feverishly involved in upsetting the divine order any way he possibly can. It’s clear, as you study the Bible, that God has a divine order in society related to man and woman. Of course, that is manifest in marriage. It’s manifest in the church. It’s manifest in every dimension of human life. God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.

    It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.

    Now we don’t want to carry that too far. You’ll get yourself in a lot of trouble, but the idea is that the spirit of a woman is the recognition is that she is in the position of subjection to men, whom God has given authority in the world.”

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  276. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission”

    This is what Islam teaches. Christianity was to be mutual. Not Just Between the genders but also your non-Christian Neighbors. We were to be the people who went to take care of the plague victims no matter their beliefs, their race, or their gender. Sometimes I reread the letter to Diognetus just to remind me.

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  277. Steve wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”

    Where and when would this apply?

    Not anywhere and never as far as I’m concerned.

    Think of how insane it would be to implement this in practice!

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  278. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission”

    This is what Islam teaches. Christianity was to be mutual. Not Just Between the genders but also your non-Christian Neighbors. We were to be the people who went to take care of the plague victims no matter their beliefs, their race, or their gender. Sometimes I reread the letter to Diognetus just to remind me. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    I do give the women who were groomed more of a pass because it is a world of cognitive dissonance.

    I don’t know Lynn Hybels and would not claim to speak for her, but why is she is a part of the discussion? Why are people speculating on just what responsibility she might or might not bear for BILL’S choices?! She may well have been just as groomed as the public victims. Once married to an abuser, getting out can be very, very difficult.

    It really wasn’t speculation when you consider that she has written about it as another commenter mentioned here. And not only that but we know from victims he was constantly complaining about his marriage as part of his grooming shitck.

    The topic was opened up for discussion. I have advocated for a lot of women victims of DV so I have what are probably jaded opinions. I think a lot of women start out as true victims. But when they are professionally educated, wealthy women there comes a time when they made a compromised decision, imo. If the hybels were not public figures who talked about their marriage publicly, it would be no one’s business.

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  279. Lea wrote:

    Steve wrote:
    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    Where and when would this apply?
    Not anywhere and never as far as I’m concerned.
    Think of how insane it would be to implement this in practice!

    “Think of how insane it would be to implement this in practice!”

    That would certainly explain why Muslim women rarely go out in public, and then only fully covered and with a male escort!

    How many men did Deborah submit to?

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  280. Steve wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    Where and when would this apply?

    Jael submitted to Sisera when he sought refuge and rest. Tee hee!

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  281. More from this sermon:

    “Women may have the gift of prophesy. I’ll tell you who did. Philip had four daughters with the gift of prophesy. Did you know that? It’s in Acts 21:8-9. He had four daughters with the gift of prophecy. You say, “Where did they prophesy?” I don’t know where, but I’ll tell you one place they didn’t prophesy. Where? The churches.”

    ??????

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  282. @ Lydia:

    didn’t mean to imply that only christian churches billed themselves as purveyors of the truest of true truth. certainly other religions do the same.

    i’m just pointing out that ultimate “truth”, in eternal proportion, is a church’s business, which makes adherence to party line over & above common sense so striking (to me, at least). contrasted with other institutions.

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  283. Steve wrote:

    You say, “Where did they prophesy?” I don’t know where, but I’ll tell you one place they didn’t prophesy. Where? The churches.”

    BWAH!

    Comp Pastors: Let me tell you some stuff I just made up that I’m gonna pretend is in the bible.

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  284. Ken A wrote:

    But I don’t see that he signed the Danvers Statement.

    If you search internet on “john macarthur danvers” you will get links to pdf versions of the statement where he is listed under Board of Reference. Interestingly, the CBMW site does not seem to have a version with names attached.

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  285. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    MacArthur is also part of T4G and TGC.

    MacArthur seems like the odd man out among the New Calvinist who’s who. Perhaps he’s trying to muscle into the T4G “Fab Four” when Mahaney becomes a potato too hot to handle. Since Calvin is dead, I suppose the young reformers like hanging out with old living reformed icons like Piper and MacArthur – the YRR line up at conferences to get selfies with them and autographed books. Piper and MacArthur are laughing all the way to the bank.

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  286. Max wrote:

    MacArthur seems like the odd man out among the New Calvinist who’s who.

    Because you look at these things seeing the points of commonality as ‘calvinist’.

    If you look at authoritarians and patriarchy lovers…he clearly fits right in.

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  287. Lea wrote:

    A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    -John MacArthur”

    Come on.

    I really did not mean to pick a fight with anyone or make anyone mad.
    My original comment was to understand what the scripture is talking about when it says these things. As I originally said I have been blessed by trying to understand the command “husbands love your wives”. I don’t think the egalitarian interpretation of “wives submit to your husbands” makes sense with the text. There is a specific command for husbands and a specific command for wives. But I am willing to listen.
    I don’t agree with everything John MacArthur teaches. But, he is trying to make sense out of the text of scripture. I wish he wasn’t associated with CJ Mahaney.
    I am grateful for Dee and Deb. I think they are making an extremely valuable contribution to root out abuse in the churches and speak up for the downtrodden and abused. Whether I agree or disagree with all views expressed here.
    As I pointed out earlier, I don’t think the meaning John MacArthur gives in the sermon that others quoted from was what some of you were saying it was. Sorry, but I don’t think you were being fair in what he was saying it was.
    Honestly I don’t think it is what the scripture teaches to say that a women should consider herself as submissive to all men. I don’t think that is wise either. I thought he taught differently than the CBMW. Maybe not. It looked like a difference to me.

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  288. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Steve wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    “in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.”
    Where and when would this apply?

    Jael submitted to Sisera when he sought refuge and rest. Tee hee!

    They become extremely uncomfortable when Jael is mentioned. 🙂

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  289. Ken A wrote:

    As I pointed out earlier, I don’t think the meaning John MacArthur gives in the sermon that others quoted from was what some of you were saying it was. Sorry, but I don’t think you were being fair in what he was saying it was.

    We were literally quoting him.

    If you like this guy, why don’t YOU be honest about what he’s saying.

    This is not about ‘making people mad’. That’s stupid. This is not an emotional issue for me because I don’t care, quite frankly, what you think about this. I have zero interest in hearing men tell me how they think scripture makes me inferior. I think THAT interpretation is wrong, and incredibly selfish. It comes from male attempts to make themselves superior, not the text. Not the WHOLE text! There is no love for others that will lead you to command that *they* obey *you*.

    You want to be a good husband and love your wife. Fine. Great. Do that. Period. Done.

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  290. Lea wrote:

    We were literally quoting him.

    To really grasp it one has to listen to the way he speaks – the things you quoted drip with contempt in the audio. The written text leaves more room for gracious interpretation. The audio is brutal.

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  291. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    I did a search on CBMW site and don’t come up with articles from MacArthur.

    Try this link: https://cbmw.org/tag/john-macarthur/. The Macarthur sermons/articles are near the bottom of the page. Note this is page one of two.

    Yes, he doesn’t write for the site, but they do use some of his resources. Is there a difference. I would say yes. I wonder why they don’t ask him to write articles? Could be that he doesn’t have time. I don’t know.

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  292. @ Lea:
    Quoting one sentence from a vast sermon that explains what he meant.
    Yes, I don’t think that is fair. I sure hope people don’t take one thing I say of the vast things I say to form an opinion about who I am and what I believe in total.

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  293. @ Ken A:
    Don’t worry. What works in your marriage is no one else’s business. Its a noble thing to want the best provision for your family.

    When we focus on how the Bible is interpreted and taught,that’s another story. I immersed myself in study of this topic and it’s not a sound bite conversation. That is why I mentioned earlier that kephale is much bigger than a comp club to beat women with.

    Studying it made me see Christ in a whole new important light.

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  294. Ken A wrote:

    Yes, he doesn’t write for the site, but they do use some of his resources. Is there a difference. I would say yes. I wonder why they don’t ask him to write articles? Could be that he doesn’t have time. I don’t know.

    There is no difference. “Used by permission” means exactly what it says. If he did not want to be associated with CBMW he would not have granted permission. And did you read what they posted? There is no denying that MacArthur is a full on complementarian as extreme, if not more extreme, as CBMW.

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  295. Ken A wrote:

    Quoting one sentence from a vast sermon that explains what he meant.
    Yes, I don’t think that is fair.

    The ‘one thing he said’ (actually several sentences have been quoted) is what he means. Nothing he says in that sermon refutes or changes the rest of what he said. And you have done nothing but pretend he didn’t really mean what he said, because it’s pretty awful and you don’t like to think you’ve been taken in. That’s your problem, not us being ‘unfair’.

    He chose the job of ‘explaining things’ for a living. He doesn’t get a pass when he says something heinous.

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  296. With six female board members comprising majority, and a newly appointed female pastor, you would think that WC would soon work up the exact current climate problem(s)/dilemma(s) and provide ideal solution(s)to it/them.

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  297. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Now we don’t want to carry that too far. You’ll get yourself in a lot of trouble, but the idea is that the spirit of a woman is the recognition is that she is in the position of subjection to men, whom God has given authority in the world.”

    Gah! It keeps getting worse!

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  298. Lydia wrote:

    They become extremely uncomfortable when Jael is mentioned.

    Jael, Ellen Ripley, Clarice Starling, to name a few, they’re all cut from the same cloth.
    Love em’!

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  299. ___

    “What’s Wrong With The WC Picture: Is There A Solution In Sight?”

    hmmm…

    The stated mission of Willow Creek Community Church (WCCC) in South Barrington Chicago is: “to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”

    Bill Hybels founded the church on the marketing ideas of Peter Drucker who successfully applied them to business management before directing his attention towards the mega-church.

    Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and Bob Buford were all mentored by Peter Drucker and all three of them seem to have been almost mesmerized by him. Drucker plainly denied being a “born again” Christian and was heavily influenced by the mysticism of Kierkegaard (http://apprising.org).

    The desire of Willow Creek is to attract “customers” to the church with the market-driven seeker -sensitive model, and numerically this has been extremely successful.

    After surveying the community, Hybels designed his Sunday morning services to meet the “felt needs” of non-believers with programmes and entertainment, his focus being on “personal fulfillment”.

    There are problems biblically with this method because the perceived needs of people are often not what God defines as their real need i.e. salvation.

    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

    The seeker-sensitive method avoids offending people with the core message of the gospel – the seriousness of sin, repentance and eternal punishment.

    Instead it is based upon self-esteem rather than self-denial and personal fulfillment rather than on repentance of sins, in other words it is all about the individual rather than Jesus Christ.

    The seeker sensitive approach is a method that promotes men-pleasing as against God-pleasing. (1 Thessalonians 2/4)

    The much over-looked danger that presents itself is that WC seeker-sensitive method, as a 501c3 marketing product, will still continue to produce well after Hybels departure false converts because attendees of this seeker-sensitive church are NOT encouraged to repented of their sins and believed the gospel message in its entirety as presented in scripture. (Colossians 1:25)

    Therein lies the rub.

    Let us apply reason and liberty to holy scripture that having a firm place to stand upon (Jesus Christ) , we might raise the church… (1)

    “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself…” – Jesus

    ATB

    Sòpy

    (1) “ΠΑ ΒΩ ΚΑΙ ΧΑΡΙΣΤΙΩΝΙ ΤΑΝ ΓΑΝ ΚΙΝΗΣΩ ΠΑΣΑΝ.” tr. : “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” -Archimedes

    ;~)

    Reference source:
    https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/ELEPHANT-IN-THE-ROOM-WHAT-IS-WRONG-WITH-WILLOW-CREEK-CHURCHBILL-HYBELS

    -=-

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  300. Lydia wrote:

    They become extremely uncomfortable when Jael is mentioned.

    Well, when all I’ve got is a hammer ……

    They get antsy if you mention Deborah, too. MacArthur is among those who say that Deborah was a judge only because no men would take the job.

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  301. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    A lot of that Danvers stuff seems to have been deleted. It’s been a while since I checked CBMW so not sure if they put it back up. It was all pre internet. And so were some great responses that I can’t find available for free. I mean some of the early Scholarly responses drove Mack trucks through the statement. A few were hilarious. One mused whether women could tape themselves and the church play it so the men do not have to be offended by a woman speaking in person to the mixed church. 🙂

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  302. Muff Potter wrote:

    I can just see you submitting to MacArthur.
    HA! that’ll be the day!

    My retired army/preacher husband went through a time when he thought I should submit …… in all things, as if he were the Lord, yada yada. I decided to play along and submit “in all things” for a little while, just to see what would happen. I couldn’t have asked for better! ……. Dead of winter, icy roads …… We had places to go and people to see. My husband will admit to anyone that I am a better driver than he is on snow and ice, so I drove.

    I am very familiar with the town we had to go to, while hubby is not. As we approached an intersection, I started to signal to turn. Hubby said, “No, no, no. Don’t turn here.” So I didn’t turn. I continued to follow his instructions until he was flat lost, and he knew that I wasn’t.

    I pulled over and said, “Now what?” He banged his head on the dashboard and said, “Bahhh! Don’t listen to me anymore!”

    True story.

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  303. @ Lea:
    I don’t think everything he teaches is right. No one could be right on everything. In my Christian experience to find someone who taught ever verse was pretty rare. So many just pretend that some verses aren’t there. Just never talk about or teach them. I have been blessed by his teaching over the years. If that make me a “fanboy” so be it. With the help in large part due to this blog and some other things I have seen some terrible things happening among the reformed camp and especially through their celebrities. I am trying to rethink some things and have a better understanding. I did see a difference with MacArthur. Maybe not. I guess I will just keep searching for the right interpretation.

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  304. Lea wrote:

    Max wrote:

    MacArthur seems like the odd man out among the New Calvinist who’s who.

    Because you look at these things seeing the points of commonality as ‘calvinist’.

    If you look at authoritarians and patriarchy lovers…he clearly fits right in.

    Agreed. MacArthur definitely fits the authoritarian/patriarchy mold. His views on the “beauty of complementarity” aren’t so beautiful to female believers. My point about him being the “odd man out” was I don’t seem him as hip and cool as some New Calvinist leaders (he still wears a suit!). But now that I’ve said that, Piper ain’t so cool either, nor Mohler, nor Dever, nor Duncan … but, Mahaney is fairly groovy.

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  305. There is a strain of fundamentalism that runs through modern day evangelicalism. Authoritarianism is one of the results. It is interesting to note that some of these same men use the concept of in errancy, their interpretation of in errancy I mean, to serve as a litmus test of who is in and who is out.

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  306. Lance wrote:

    There is a strain of fundamentalism that runs through modern day evangelicalism. Authoritarianism is one of the results. It is interesting to note that some of these same men use the concept of in errancy, their interpretation of in errancy I mean, to serve as a litmus test of who is in and who is out.

    Yes, innerancy will put you in or out of their camps.

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  307. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Lea:
    More context from the sermon:
    “I think Satan is feverishly involved in upsetting the divine order any way he possibly can. It’s clear, as you study the Bible, that God has a divine order in society related to man and woman. Of course, that is manifest in marriage. It’s manifest in the church. It’s manifest in every dimension of human life. God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society–authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.
    It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she is married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have a spirit of submission to all men.
    Now we don’t want to carry that too far. You’ll get yourself in a lot of trouble, but the idea is that the spirit of a woman is the recognition is that she is in the position of subjection to men, whom God has given authority in the world.”

    Perhaps the focus of the sermon appeared to be on married women not presenting themselves to society as single, as Ken A. reported, but… that would mean this authority-submission stuff (putting a woman under submission to *all* men–incredibly worse than the extremely mild comp position of a wife submitting to her husband until death parted them because there is no marriage in heaven) is buried in a sermon that presents itself as being about something completely different.

    That smacks of stealth and deception to me. Hiding the poison in a “reasonable” discussion of cultural context.

    It is so deceptive. Just like esteeming women for their god-given “role” so much that you take away almost all their options and define them in terms of their relationship to a man or men. (That’s patriarchy. Which is comp, taken to its logical conclusion. At least, that’s the church we came out of. If you can call it a church.)

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  308. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    Reminds me of what an NCO told me once about an unpopular military officer who liked to throw his weight around. Eventually, the NCOs and enlisted people working for that officer started doing *exactly* what the unpopular officer ordered them to do. No more. No less.

    And because they followed his orders to the letter, it ended up with things so messed up that eventually the officer got fired or transferred.

    Whew.

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  309. Ken A wrote:

    I have been blessed by his teaching over the years.

    I was blessed by his teachings some years ago, too. Of course, that was when I was in the middle of living a very legalistic, pharisaical, patriarchal mindset.

    So consider the source.

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  310. @ Lance:
    Which really became interesting during the Neo Cal resurgence. How can it be inerrant when people from the same tribe interpret God as the polar opposite from the same scripture? They don’t talk about inerrancy much anymore. 🙂

    And besides, the Chicago Statement is online and article 10 is more than problematic. (The peasants have access now)

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  311. Lydia wrote:

    Frankly, it is none of the church’s business how people structure their marriages. My parents would have been appalled at that sort of invasion of privacy.

    Your parents apparently didn’t understand the Bible correctly and probably aren’t true believers. For that matter, neither did mine, as I was constantly told. For these people, including MacArthur and every Calvinist church I’ve been in, how members’ marriages are structured is seminal to the church’s business. The family – the marriage in particular – is a reflection of the created order and the relationship between Christ and the church. Quoting a sermon given in the last church I sort of escaped, (same context in which MacArthur quotes this passage on one of his sermons), a disobedient woman who isn’t submitting properly blasphemes herself and teaches the world to blaspheme God.

    (The part I reference is almost all the way at the end.
    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1945/gods-pattern-for-wives-part-2)

    So, along with a host of other sins, Reformed/Calvinists certainly do see the role of the church to discipline those who live in sin and will not repent. Including, and frankly especially, if my experience and the cases I know of are representative, unsubmissive women.

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  312. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    MacArthur is among those who say that Deborah was a judge only because no men would take the job.

    Deborah was also a prophet and a wife. The Lord used her mightily to defeat the enemies of Israel and bring peace to the nation for 40 years. I would that God would raise up more Deborahs to clear the church of the enemies within.

    I bet MacArthur would really get furious if I told him that Anne Graham Lotz can out-preach him any day of the week!

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  313. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Sounds like we have a MacArthur fanboy on the thread.

    Hmmm … I wonder if it is MacArthur in disguise? Mark Driscoll used to comment on blogs as “William Wallace II” to defend himself … he was caught and repented of that.

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  314. Max wrote:

    I bet MacArthur would really get furious if I told him that Anne Graham Lotz can out-preach him any day of the week!

    And six-ways to Sunday.
    I believe you Max.

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  315. Lydia wrote:

    One mused whether women could tape themselves and the church play it so the men do not have to be offended by a woman speaking in person to the mixed church.

    I suppose they make sure to set their GPS to a male voice so as not to take direction from a female voice. Can one change Siri’s and Alexa’s voices to male?

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  316. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    He banged his head on the dashboard and said, “Bahhh! Don’t listen to me anymore!”

    A precious moment to be remembered, but then your earlier mention of Jael reminded me of “Jael’s Precious Moment”. I think mention of Jael will always bring that picture to mind.

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  317. mot wrote:

    Yes, innerancy will put you in or out of their camps.

    I don’t think the doctrine of inerrancy is the issue, though now it has been tied to the sin of corrupt leadership.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the devil has his slimy hand in that connection.

    Believing that the Bible is an inherently flawed document is a slippery slope that strips the Word (and its Author) of righteous Divine authority.

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  318. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    One mused whether women could tape themselves and the church play it so the men do not have to be offended by a woman speaking in person to the mixed church.

    I suppose they make sure to set their GPS to a male voice so as not to take direction from a female voice. Can one change Siri’s and Alexa’s voices to male?

    You can change Siri to different accents and different voices. I know someone who has an Australian voice, and another whose phone replies in UK English.

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  319. Beth74 wrote:

    Believing that the Bible is an inherently flawed document is a slippery slope that strips the Word (and its Author) of righteous Divine authority.

    So glad you brought that up. For the past two or three years I have been reading along the lines of early church this and early writings that and oral tradition the other, stuff that was to put it mildly not a part of my Baptist upbringing or Baptist educational exposure even as a young adult. This has not been my first venture in that direction, but since I have been mostly sick and at home the time has been more available to pursue these things.

    The Bible is not what some people claim that it is. The problem is not with the canon itself but rather the problem is with the competing ideas and extraneous claims that some individuals and some religious traditions have attached to the Bible.

    I don’t know how much you have read of what historians and linguists have been and are saying, or how familiar you are with the multifaceted approaches to scripture over the centuries, but I find it to be a wealth of information which I did not know. Like all areas of interest, of course, one has to be cautious because there are kooks and cons in every area including academics (that is an understatement!) and including religion (!!!!) but IMO the research has to be looked.

    I probably believe that the Bible is ‘less than’ what I thought it was as a child, while at the same time I see the Spirit at work in the midst of the chaos to bring forth on the earth the purposes of God ‘more than’ what I used to see. I see less Bible and more God, in other words. And I am profoundly blessed to have come to the point where I think that it is obvious that God is doing what He is doing and He has no necessity to explain it to me in detail in the process.

    Let me repeat: the problems are not with scripture but rather with what we have done with scripture. The written word is not divine in the way that the Incarnate Word is divine. Why? Because by its own testimony the written word is incomplete while the Incarnate Word is fully God. That is the difference. That is the huge difference.

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  320. @ Beth74:
    I can’t figure out why anyone would use the term inerrant. No originals, thousands of translations, Etc

    See article 10 of the Chicago statement for part of the problem and how this is approached by christian Scholars, no less.

    I think they would have done more of a service to Christendom to admit the obvious and present it as an incredible accomplishment to have been preserved to the extent that it is. It’s ridiculous to turn it into a magic book. It is not the holy spirit yet the Holy Spirit can use its words to guide us. Our response to its words are what cause it be inspired.

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  321. okrapod wrote:

    I see less Bible and more God, in other words.

    This is an excellent way to see it.

    I think inerrancy as a concept has been used mostly to hammer down certain interpretations, so I no longer see it as anything but that.

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  322. Beth74 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Yes, innerancy will put you in or out of their camps.

    I don’t think the doctrine of inerrancy is the issue, though now it has been tied to the sin of corrupt leadership.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the devil has his slimy hand in that connection.

    Believing that the Bible is an inherently flawed document is a slippery slope that strips the Word (and its Author) of righteous Divine authority.

    Inerrancy was a really big issue in the SBC and I do think there were that many in the SBC that view the Bible as an inherently flawed document. I surely do not.

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  323. Max wrote:

    Hmmm … I wonder if it is MacArthur in disguise? Mark Driscoll used to comment on blogs as “William Wallace II” to defend himself …

    In complete ignorance of the fact that Braveheart was HEAVILY fictionalized.

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  324. I am a graduate student in ministry right now, and I am very aware of the current scholarly assertions and “research” that suggest that the Bible and its content is altered and largely unreliable. In fact, this is the fashionable theology of the day, and is very much promoted at the graduate level and in seminaries (including mine.)

    Please be aware that this is also what they argue in the atheist, satanist, and alien-worshiping camps.

    Christians should beware their bedfellows.

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  325. Beth74 wrote:

    alien-worshiping

    Are we talking about people who watch ancient aliens here? #WantToKnowMore

    I think the bible points us to God, but the people who try to overly parse every word into a theology based on an English translation 2000 years later are going to miss some pretty giant trees in the process.

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  326. Beth74 wrote:

    I am a graduate student in ministry right now, and I am very aware of the current scholarly assertions and “research” that suggest that the Bible and its content is altered and largely unreliable. In fact, this is the fashionable theology of the day, and is very much promoted at the graduate level and in seminaries (including mine.)
    Please be aware that this is also what they argue in the atheist, satanist, and alien-worshiping camps.
    Christians should beware their bedfellows.

    Note use of the Christianese Scare Buzzwords “atheist” and “Satanist”.

    (Though “alien-worshipping” is fairly recent… reference to Contactee/Saucer Cults (which are One Long Strange Trip), or just the current conspiracy paranoia that evolved from UFOlogy and its resulting folk mythos?)

    Even if you’re legit, how can we tell with all the surrounding noise in the channel?

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  327. Beth74 wrote:

    I am a graduate student in ministry right now, and I am very aware of the current scholarly assertions and “research” that suggest that the Bible and its content is altered and largely unreliable. In fact, this is the fashionable theology of the day, and is very much promoted at the graduate level and in seminaries (including mine.)

    Maybe that is a problem. Maybe if you went back a couple thousand years and followed development of the canon, and attitudes toward scripture from the earlier times of the availability of the texts, and kept on following the thinking through the centuries you might get a broader view of the issues. And perhaps you would not have, apparently, completely missed the angle from which I am coming.

    There is more in this world than your philosophy admits of… more information, that is, for the purposes of this conversation.

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  328. @ Beth74:

    Quite. There is indeed an in-house vocabulary which differs from one christian group to the next and which sometimes has limited meanings to what is understood within the group. To call it christianese, it seems to me, is informal like you say, and certainly sometimes pejorative. But to say that it means false double speak, I don’t think that most of us use it that way-at least this is the first time I have heard it characterized as that. I use it the same way as medicalese and legalese, and that does not imply falsehood or double speak, only in-house lingo. I think that is the way most people use it, as far as I can tell, at least here on TWW.

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  329. @ okrapod:
    Yes, perhaps, okrapod.
    When I think of “Christianese,” I think of it as something often used to make outsiders feel estranged and to impress those within the “club.” So I see an element of falseness with it, and often the people who use it don’t even have a good grasp on what they are saying, they are simply out to conform and impress.

    I have no such intentions. I do not hate atheists, nor satanists, nor people who give heed to the doctrines of “aliens.”

    However, I do think it is pertinent to be aware of the fact that those who doubt the authority of the Bible may find themselves inadvertently aligned with those who dismiss its authority entirely.

    That is what is meant by “slippery slope.”

    It’s not that there are no Biblical passages that stump me; I simply trust that God is 100% Good, and there is an explanation and understanding that befits His goodness, righteousness and justice if we only take the time to study and be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    I don’t believe that Scripture is incorrect; it is the interpretation by those who would exploit it for their own gain (like predators, whose father is the devil) that is incorrect and terribly damaging to the cause of Christ.

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