Updated: Les Hughey of Highlands Church in Scottsdale Confesses to Sexual Sin as Those He Hurt Come Forward

“I sinned and harmed the most important relationships in my life,” Les Hughey said in a statement issued after being contacted by The Modesto Bee. “Unfortunately, it’s impossible to undo what happened, so I instead accept and live with the consequences.”

Les Hughey to The Modesto Bee


https://www.facebook.com/highlandschurch/photos/a.494703050111.391849.249831525111/10156928817390112/?type=3&theater
Les Hughey

Exactly one month ago Highlands Church in Scottsdale, Arizona celebrated its 20th anniversary. According to a recent video

In 1997 Les Hughey was wrestling with what he should do next. God had used him in so many ways in worship across the country, youth ministry for years in Scottsdale and several other churches, but now having just moved his family to the city of Monterey, California and feeling like it was the wrong place, what was God calling him to? One day the answer came with clarity – start a church – Start a church in a place where you have a heart to reach people with the Gospel and teach them the Word of God. That place was North Scottsdale…

Over the last two decades Highlands Church has grown to mega status under the leadership of its founder Les Hughey.

No doubt an adoring Highlands congregation was absolutely SHOCKED when allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against its founding pastor. Here’s how The Modesto Bee broke the story (see excerpt below):

The founder of a popular megachurch in Arizona admits having sex with girls in his charge when he was a married youth pastor at a prominent Modesto church four decades ago.

“I sinned and harmed the most important relationships in my life,” Les Hughey said in a statement issued after being contacted by The Modesto Bee. “Unfortunately, it’s impossible to undo what happened, so I instead accept and live with the consequences.”

Here is a screen shot of Hughey’s statement.

http://media.modbee.com/static/blc2000/Hugheystatement.pdf

Check out this video highlighting the sexual abuse allegations against Hughey.

To view the sexually graphic video that accompanied The Modesto Bee article, click here.

The Highlands Church in Scottsdale recently released two statements, and they are included in screen shots below.

http://highlandschurch.org/update/http://highlandschurch.org/update/http://highlandschurch.org/update/

http://highlandschurch.org/update/

Two days ago The Modesto Bee published another article stating that three more women have come forward with sexual allegations against Les Hughey. Notice that they are from a different state.

A youth pastor fondled three more young women in Arizona after a prominent Modesto church quietly let him go for having sex with other girls, all three told The Modesto Bee on Monday in new allegations.

It appears these three women were from Scottsdale Bible Church (see below).

Updates from SBC

Since the Highlands 20th anniversary video revealed that Les Hughey felt like Monterey wasn’t the right place for him and his family, we have to wonder why…

On a related note, a young lady named Jennifer Roach has been interested in clergy sex abuse and its effects for over two decades. She has a website that addresses this topic, which you can access here. Be sure to check out her credentials. No doubt the following information she recently shared is what led her to address clergy sex abuse. Here is her story.

I grew up in this really great church in California (Crosspoint Church, Modesto CA – also known as First Baptist, Modesto). It was bursting at the seams with young people. There was so much excitement and amazing things were happening. Pastors came from all over the country to observe what was happening. The California sun shined down on us and we felt like the luckiest people in the world.

Well, the sun shined on some of us. And some of us – 13 of us – were under a much darker cloud. For a while, I thought I was the only one being sexually abused at our church. Then, slowly, I learned about others. Today I am aware of thirteen who were also being sexually abused – and I suspect there are more hiding in the shadows, not ready to tell their stories.

In January of this year, I decided to tell my story. Over the course of two months I worked with a reporter from http://www.ModBee.com , the major paper in Modesto. That reporter, Garth Stapley, published my story on February 25, 2018. I had no idea what to expect. Mostly I thought it would be an interesting local story for 1 day, and then everyone would be on to other things. And I was okay with that.

But then something entirely happened. I knew there were other victims from the same church, but I believed that all of the abuse happened roughly around the same time – the 1980’s. And then 4 victims from the 1970’s came forward. I was shocked and hurt, devastated really. When my abuse came to light, the church’s leaders had played naïve. They didn’t know how to navigate these waters, they insisted, and were just doing the best they could. But that was a lie. For at least a decade before they had been quietly dealing with victims of sexual abuse in that church. And they were very good at getting us to be quiet. The 4 victims from the 1970’s worked with the same reporter to tell their story. It was beautifully done and I was as excited for them to get to speak as I was for myself – maybe even more so. I had daily conversations with 2 of them women in the story, and we frequently wondered aloud: would any more victims come forward? They did.

The pastor who abused these 4 girls, Les Hughey (a different pastor than abused me) had left that church in Modesto and moved to several other locations around the country. And never changed his ways. Within hours of the story of the 4 new victims posting at The Modesto Bee, a newspaper in Phoenix, where Les had pastored in 2 megachurches. One victim posted a comment on the story saying that she too had been abused by Les. I was frantic to make contact with her. Amazingly, she was in traveling in India, but had seen the story and was willing to talk. She said that many of her friends were discussing the issue and some of them had experienced Les’ abuse too. His grooming techniques hadn’t changed much and they were all telling a familiar story. I helped her get connected to the reporter from the Bee and she shared information with him.

Since then, multiple women have come forward – and more are still coming. I could never have anticipated the impact that telling my story has had. Women who I’ve never met, and live over 1,000 miles away, are telling their stories today. Most of them had no idea that there were others. And now they have each other for comfort, support and action. And I am just as proud and satisfied that the churches involved are having conversations about how to deal with this – and most of them seem to be doing a pretty good job navigating the waters. They’ve sent out letters of support and information to their congregations offering contact people, phone numbers to call, meetings to attend.

There are 4 churches involved right now and all of them are making a good effort. Except one. Crosspoint Modesto appears to be stuck. They may have new leadership, but they are playing out an old pattern: We don’t know how to navigate this. So they’ve said nothing.

As you can see, Jennifer Roach demonstrated tremendous courage in getting the truth out about Les Hughey. She is a fantastic role model for those who have been hurt by clergy.

One of the blessings of this blog is that we have developed friendships across the country and throughout the world. One such friend is Deanna Holmes, who providentially lives in Arizona. You may remember that she protested at Mark Driscoll’s new church as well as Together for the Gospel 2016 and 2018. Go Deanna!

Last Sunday Deanna felt compelled to protest at Les Hughey’s church. The signs she made are pictured below.

The day after her protest, Deanna shared the following with us:

 

I woke up Sunday morning before 6:30 am and decided to check Facebook. I saw my friend Benjamin Wheeler had posted an article about yet another youth pastor from the Modesto Bee. Ben now lives in Australia but he used to be in Seattle and when he came to Arizona in 2016, he picketed Mark Driscoll’s church with me.

My first thought as I opened the article was, “aw, not another one,” but if anything, this was worse. A married 23 rear old youth pastor and two young women. But otherwise, it was tiresomely familiar. The women were told to shut up and the guy was given a lovely sendoff.  Then I saw where he had gone after Modesto and realized, “Les Hughey pastors a big church in North Scottsdale.”

I was already committed to picketing the Sovereign Grace in Gilbert, so I checked the Arizona Republic to see if it had the story. It did not. However, it was clear from the Modesto Bee article that the elders at Highland Church Scottsdale knew about the problem because they wouldn’t let the Modesto Bee reporter talk to Hughey.

At that point, my mind was made up. I checked Google Maps to make sure there was a public sidewalk by the church. I made a sign and threw a couple of blank signs along with my usual picket gear in the car. Then I drove 30 miles to North Scottsdale. I also tweeted to the Sovereign Grace church that I wasn’t coming.

My initial signs said: “Les Hughey is credibly accused of statutory rape. modbee.com” and “Good morning Highlands! Les Hughey is credibly accused of statutory rape. modbee.com.”

I parked in a nearby lot and walked over, GoPro strapped to my hand, hat on head and gosh, they were not excited at all. I was told not to come on the property (OK by me). And I just basically stood at the main entrance with my sign, catching attendees as they turned in. I saw more gaping mouths than I could count. (I wonder how many hits the Modesto Bee got from that location yesterday?) I argued with a couple of old guys for a minute about the difference between “credible” and “alleged”. Oh yeah, there was an off-duty Scottsdale PD officer with cruiser on site. He didn’t even come to talk to me.

After the 9 am church service started, I went over to a coffee shop and got a white mocha and croissant. I had posted to Facebook and Twitter that I was going out and Jennifer Roach was hard at work getting reporters out there. To say I was stunned would have been an understatement, but I told everyone I would walk back at 10:15.

In the meantime, I made a second sign that said, “What you weren’t told about Les Hughey in church today www.modbee.com” and went back out to the church. There was a cameraman from Fox 10 Phoenix out there and I did an interview with him. During the interview, a woman driving out of the lot yelled something like I was gross or garbage. He got that on camera. Once we were done, I went back to protesting.

I got heckled by some more people (older guy yelled out his car window to Just Stop) and I had a sharp exchange with one of the parking lot attendants (another older guy). I was told that Hughey was going on a leave of absence. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes as I said, “That’s unacceptable. At the very best he committed adultery and at worse, statutory rape.” The guy told me that they believed in grace and Hughey had repented. I did’nt let that go, I said, “He hasn’t apologized to the victims.” He got unhappy with me and strongly suggested I would be held accountable by God for coming out to picket their fine church with the great pastor and I needed to repent. At that point, I dropped to my knees and said something like, “oh Jesus help me!” and much to my surprise I was able to get right up off the sidewalk (adrenaline for the win) without scrabbling around. However, my knees do hurt a little bit.

Right after that I drove home. During the early afternoon I talked to a reporter from the Arizona Republic and, later, the reporter from the Modesto Bee. They were both amazed I did it. The only thing that amazes me was that I was able to get off my duff and get out the door so quickly on a non-work day!

Highlands Church, like Highpoint before it, has decided on a leave of absence rather than firing Les Hughey outright. I know where I will be spending my Sunday mornings until he decides to get out of pestering permanently. He and his elders fail to see the seriousness of this matter, don’t seem to care about the victims and hope this goes away. It’s not going away until he goes away. A guy who would have sex with teen girls in his youth group when he is a married pastor and NEVER APOLOGIZE should not be pestering a church. Period.  Justice for Tracy Epler, Jane Berryhill and other women victimized by this lecherous creep.

No doubt there will be more developments in the days and weeks to come, and we will do our very best to keep you informed.

As more victims of clergy sex abuse come forward, we hope that pastors are paying very close attention.


UPDATE: (4/26, 1:00 a.m.)

The Modesto Bee has just reported that Les Hughey has resigned as senior pastor of Highlands Church in Scottsdale – the church he founded twenty years ago.

Sex scandal forces resignation of former Modesto youth pastor

The article begins as follows:

The founding senior pastor of an Arizona megachurch, caught up in a sex scandal with roots in Modesto, has resigned, congregants were told Wednesday evening at a special meeting of Highlands Church in Scottsdale.

Les Hughey, 64, was not at the meeting, attendees said.

The following remark in The Modesto Bee piece is most concerning to us:

Top pastors in Modesto sent Hughey packing but covered it up, several victims said, enabling him to reoffend at another church in Arizona, three more women said Monday.

The article further states:

Hundreds crowded into Highlands’ worship center on Wednesday, said Tim Keenan, a former longtime member who attended the meeting. Reactions to news of Hughey’s resignation ranged from satisfaction and relief to sadness, Keenan said.

“Obviously, he was the founder of the church; he was a big part of everyone’s lives,” said Keenan, whose teenage daughter continues attending Highlands’ high school program. “But when you cross that line — that’s a line you just can’t cross,” he said.

Highlands’ elders have not yet made a decision about severance for Hughey, congregants said. He no longer is on the church’s payroll, leaders announced.

Stepping in as interim senior pastor is Bob Wade, who had been serving as Highlands’ “pastor of the 40s and 50s,” and who reportedly worked alongside Hughey at other churches before Highlands was created in 1998. Hughey led a 20-year celebration only four weeks ago.

Elders said Hughey and his wife, who married at First Baptist in Modesto 44 years ago, left town after news of his infidelities broke in The Bee, following a public confession to his congregation Sunday in which Hughey cited “consensual relations.” Numerous broadcast media and newspapers since have picked up the story as well.

Earlier Wednesday, Highlands had erased Hughey from its website except for notices regarding the scandal. Removed were photographs of him and his wife, and a page of history from the “Our Story” section of Highlands’ website written from Hughey’s perspective and signed by him. “We envisioned a church that would truly be a lighthouse to the community,” the section used to read. “As we stay true to our purpose and priorities, firmly rooted in God’s Word, we’re excited to see how God will continue to grow us.”

Earlier this week, three of Hughey’s churches since he left Modesto — Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Ark., Scottsdale Bible Church (where Hughey, in his 30s and 40s, groped at least three young women, they told The Bee), and Highlands — posted letters inviting congregants to share information of abuse at his hands, and to receive counseling. Scottsdale Bible Church also began an investigation.

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/news/article209859869.html#storylink=cpy

 

Comments

Updated: Les Hughey of Highlands Church in Scottsdale Confesses to Sexual Sin as Those He Hurt Come Forward — 273 Comments

  1. He’s resigned.

    Update: Sex scandal forces resignation of former Modesto youth pastor

    The founding senior pastor of an Arizona megachurch, caught up in a sex scandal with roots in Modesto, has resigned, congregants were told Wednesday evening at a special meeting of Highlands Church in Scottsdale.

    Les Hughey, 64, was not at the meeting, attendees said.

    http://www.modbee.com/news/article209859869.html

  2. Repentance does not equal”moving on”. Repentance seeks the welfare of the victims. May these women get the justice they deserve after all these years.

  3. I appreciate all the coverage about all the sexual abuse scandals going on in various churches, but I hope that coverage resumes here about how U.S.
    Christianity mishandles therapy and biblical counseling – and telling anyone with depression (or other mental health maladies) that they should just pray it away.

  4. From the OP:

    The founder of a popular megachurch in Arizona admits having sex with girls in his charge when he was a married youth pastor at a prominent Modesto church four decades ago.

    Yes, he was married. Marriage doesn’t keep anyone from sexual sin.

    Often times I see see prominent or famous Christians denigrating singleness in their pod casts or blog posts (Al Mohler especially loves to do this), because they incorrectly assume that singles are committing a lot of sexual sin, and if only the single would get married, they’d be getting all their sexual needs met, and hence, no more sexual sin.

    (A lot of those same Christians also teach that marriage is a necessary ingredient to make someone into a mature and moral person, and that anyone who is still single over the age of 30 is juvenile, immature, or lacking in some other way.)

    So I also find it interesting when these articles about diddling, fornicating, or sexually abusive preachers mention that they are MARRIED.

  5. Different *pastor, different *elders*, different *church*, same story. It is sick and needs to end! The long, Lord?

  6. So many conflucting emotions…

    Dee, you are amazing and I thank God he has equipped you for these monumental tasks!

    Part of me wants to cheer, but then deep grief takes over. No one is safe from these men. Pandora’s Box has flung open. Every day we hear of more revelations. Heart wrenching stories of real souls who have been used by despicably evil men.

    It seems to me that Highlands knew of Hughey’s background, yet their statement denies that. Truth. It will take time to unravel this one. Very much like the Andy Savage story. Out of the same manual.

  7. At least the victims will be spared some of the kabuki-like theater engaged in by rabid defenders that too often accompanies these situations. It’s good for the lion’s share of the scrutiny to be on the perpetrator rather than the victims or the advocates (sic) here and elsewhere.

  8. “He got unhappy with me and strongly suggested I would be held accountable by God for coming out to picket their fine church with the great pastor and I needed to repent.”

    This after the same guy reportedly made comments about grace and repentance. Wonder what the guy thinks about Scripture concerning pastors being above reproach, or the instruction for God’s people to be watchmen (which isn’t limited to the ‘sheep’…

  9. Fellowship Bible Church in Arkansas was led by Robert Lewis for many years. He authored Men’s Fraternity and Authentic Manhood materials and programs distributed nationwide. He may have retired as he is not listed on staff of FBC now. I wonder if Hughey was a promoter of these materials or even a leader or teacher in these programs at FBC.
    From a missions page of FBC: “In addition to church planting, we offer Authentic Manhood resources, which are designed to set men up to live lives of truth, passion and purpose by offering clear and practical biblical insights on God’s design for manhood. Resources, including the original Men’s Fraternity curriculum created by Dr. Robert Lewis, have influenced millions of men around the world. Our newest tool, 33 The Series, is a multi-volume, gospel-centered video series that presents the timeless truths of Authentic Manhood in a powerful and engaging way. It is based on the life Jesus modeled in His 33 years on earth.”

  10. Dee Holmes – Another scandal in the town I grew up in. There are too many scandals around and too few like you. The wealth of the area attracts scoundrels unfortunately. God speed to you wherever you picket on Sunday: Driscoll, SGM or this exceedingly wealthy church. Christians just would not know what to do with a real Old Testament prophet if one came to picket their church this Sunday..

  11. An interesting post from the Hghlands Church FB page, posted April 6th:
    “How do we live as Christians in a world when evolving sexual ethics run counter to biblical sexual morality? How do we balance showing love for all without endorsing all decisions or sexual ethics? Join us for this 2-week Highlands Bible Institute preview class as Joe Infranco helps us explore answers rooted in God’s Word, and equips us to take every opportunity to point people toward Jesus with love and compassion.”

  12. Off-topic, though still within the spirit of the rules, I hope – is your visit to Edinburgh still on, Dee? At the moment, I’ve blocked out June to make sure I don’t miss you… 🙂

  13. In most of these cases, we see the “It was consensual and they were old enough” argument right off the bat and it almost always turns out to be false. This lie never fails to astound me because of its audacity.

  14. @ Daisy:

    That is a problem, and I am sorry that singles get treated that way. There is also the angle which I don’t hear the churches talking about but which I read in one opinion piece some time ago. The churches make money off the marrieds because (a) the marrieds are more apt to have financial stability, especially if there are children involved and (b) the marrieds utilize the church’s child and youth activities for those children and throw money in the plate to help pay for those very programs.

    It is very religious to talk about fleeing sexual sin, so they do it. It is not too popular to talk about how the church wants the butts in the pew and the money in the plate.

    So in my opinion it is all of the above, and probably more than that also.

  15. okrapod wrote:

    It is very religious to talk about fleeing sexual sin, so they do it. It is not too popular to talk about how the church wants the butts in the pew and the money in the plate.

    So in my opinion it is all of the above, and probably more than that also.

    I think the New Cals also work from the hierarchy angle, to keep everybody in line. They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    I agree a lot of the non New Cal churches do it for money reasons and because they view singles as too transient. A lot of married friends with kids I know go to churches purely because that’s where their kids want to go, even if they are very unhappy with that church themselves.

  16. Sigh… another predator that was protected/ enabled by church leaders… these enablers need to held accountable… they are just, or even more so, guilty..

  17. Les Hughey says: “I thank God for his forgiveness and grace”. When are one of these men going to thank God for his wrath toward sin and his justice? How about thanking God that he reveals the truth even when they try to cover it up? If they were truly sorry for their sins, they would be thanking God for giving them one last chance to come clean and allow God to extend his healing grace to the victims.

  18. Over 40 years ago, as a church intern in California, I sinned and harmed
    the most important relationships in my life. I was unfaithful to my God, my
    wife, and the ministry, and was rightly removed from that church. I engaged
    in consensual relations with fellow college-aged staff.

    This is sure something. Here we hear about some type of send off party that this church did for Hughey when he left the church where he had “consensual relations” with fellow college aged staff. One of the victims reported that Hughey was praised etc. It sure doesn’t sound like Hughey was “rightly removed.”

    This sure is something for Hughey to claim that these relationships were “consensual” and were “fellow-aged college staff.” If you watch the video of the woman he had “consensual” sex with and where she talks about how Hughey “groomed” her it sure doesn’t sound consensual. Also one victim who had intercourse with Hughey has indicated it started when she was 17.

    For Hughey to claim that these actions were “consensual” sadly shows that even now Hughey doesn’t get how wrong his actions were. Claiming they were women on “staff” when some were under 18 and how it is reported he had been grooming them for some time can hardly be considered “consensual.” Also with Hughey being in a position of power even if these women were actually on staff makes it hard to believe they were consensual.

    It sounds like another case of narcissism where someone like Hughey thinks it was “consensual” with his victims. In articles I have read about people like Weinstein is that they have such egos etc. that many of them start to really think their sexual harassment was consensual and what the victims wanted. This sure sounds like Hughey.

    It is something how this has been hidden for this long. Also something how Hughey was able to be in ministry this long with this unrepented sin.

  19. “I know where I will be spending my Sunday mornings until he decides to get out of pestering permanently.”

    “A guy who would have sex with teen girls in his youth group when he is a married pastor and NEVER APOLOGIZE should not be pestering a church.”

    You’re right Deanna, he shouldn’t be pestering a church. Or pastoring.

  20. ishy wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    It is very religious to talk about fleeing sexual sin, so they do it. It is not too popular to talk about how the church wants the butts in the pew and the money in the plate.

    So in my opinion it is all of the above, and probably more than that also.

    I think the New Cals also work from the hierarchy angle, to keep everybody in line. They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    Interesting. When I was looking for the sermon I referenced in the discussion on John MacArthur in another thread, I found this gem:

    “So my opening word is, if you’re not married, get married. This is the grace of life. This is God’s best gift. If you haven’t found someone willing to marry you, ramp up the intensity of your effort. Get married. And if you are married, have children. This is God’s wonderful gift.

    Stop waiting for the Messiah, ladies. He came and went. Settle for somebody less. And, men, stop looking for the Proverbs 31 woman. That is an ideal to which women aspire. And the truth of the matter is, find another Holy Spirit-led, loving Christian and get married.

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.” But I’m not a matchmaker.”

    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-382/the-willful-submission-of-a-christian-wife

  21. Lydia wrote:

    @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Right at retirement age.

    I noticed that also. At least financially this isn’t any bid loss for Hughey. I am sure for Hughey especially if he is the narcissist that he appears the loss of status and now not “finishing well” is quote a loss for him.

  22. One cannot possibly have ‘repented’ without having confessed and asked forgiveness from his victims. God offers forgiveness and grace to those who genuinely ‘repent’ – but he knows the difference, as we do not, between those who are sorry for their sin and those who are sorry they got caught. If a person has never gone to their victims and apologized, to their former churches and confessed and apologized, to their congregations and confessed and apologized, they have most certainly not repented. Even if and when they do, forgiveness does not demand that they retain their position, privileges and reputation. A confessing abuser must still pay for his crimes. And should certainly never hold a leadership position in a church again. A truly repentant sexual offender would also inform any future church leadership of his past, even as a mere member. It is the innocent that the church is called to protect, not the guilty.

  23. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    “So my opening word is, if you’re not married, get married. This is the grace of life. This is God’s best gift. If you haven’t found someone willing to marry you, ramp up the intensity of your effort. Get married. And if you are married, have children. This is God’s wonderful gift.

    Stop waiting for the Messiah, ladies. He came and went. Settle for somebody less. And, men, stop looking for the Proverbs 31 woman. That is an ideal to which women aspire. And the truth of the matter is, find another Holy Spirit-led, loving Christian and get married.

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.” But I’m not a matchmaker.”

    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-382/the-willful-submission-of-a-christian-wife

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

  24. Questions that remain…

    1) Why is Highlands still using language like this, “[Les] engaged in inappropriate and sinful sexual activity with women while he was married.” This isn’t a relationship issue, its a criminal issue 2) Why did Highlands hire MinistrySafe…”The role Ministry Safe is to churches what the role of human resources is to a for-profit company: Their primary role is to protect the company from legal exposure and keep the CEO/Pastor out jail. Caring for employees/parishioners is secondary.” and “MinistrySafe, outright states on their webpage that they do civil litigation defense, for churches and ministries, but will not represent civil litigants bringing suits against these organisations. So basically, they’re the bad guys.” 3) Why did Les actually leave SBC? Who knew what? 4) Why did Les go to Monterey for just 9 months only to leave? Why was he released? Why move your family to another state only to leave a year later?

  25. truthseeker00 wrote:

    One cannot possibly have ‘repented’ without having confessed and asked forgiveness from his victims.

    True, and finally, “Bring forth the fruit worthy of repentance,” Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8.

    For Zacchaeus, 4 x what he had taken was returned to his victims.

  26. “I sinned and harmed the most important relationships in my life,” Les Hughey said.

    Opening quote as well as other quotes by the predator, Les Hughey, reflect that it is still all about him – his life, his important relationships, etc.

    What happened to the victims?

    No, he has not repented.

  27. JYJames wrote:

    “I sinned and harmed the most important relationships in my life,” Les Hughey said.

    Opening quote as well as other quotes by the predator, Les Hughey, reflect that it is still all about him – his life, his important relationships, etc.

    What happened to the victims?

    No, he has not repented.

    In his mind (or the story he has promoted) it was all consensual . . . so the victims were all sinners as well – sick!

  28. everydayBRAVE5 wrote:

    Repentance does not equal”moving on”. Repentance seeks the welfare of the victims. May these women get the justice they deserve after all these years.

    But then how can Pastor get away scot-free?

  29. truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
    With the added feature of breeding more Tithing Units and Uruk-Hai for the Culture War.

  30. Steve240 wrote:

    This is sure something. Here we hear about some type of send off party that this church did for Hughey when he left the church where he had “consensual relations” with fellow college aged staff. One of the victims reported that Hughey was praised etc. It sure doesn’t sound like Hughey was “rightly removed.”

    Did they give him a Standing Ovation?

  31. Appears that MinistrySafe snagged HighlandsScotts. Ambulance chasers.

    Apparently, as #ChurchToo unfolds, there’s a lot of business to be had. Unfortunately, MinistrySafe is in the wrong business – protecting predators and their ministry church playgrounds. Should be rebranded as “Predators Safe”.

  32. ishy wrote:

    I think the New Cals also work from the hierarchy angle, to keep everybody in line. They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    The Great Chain of Being.
    i.e. Boots on Faces all the way down.

  33. OK, I’ll say this again. In my 60+ years in church, I have yet to meet a “youth pastor” who has the spiritual maturity to pastor anyone. We don’t need to continue releasing these flesh-baby preacher boys on our youth. Young believers, like old believers, need mature saints of God to disciple them. The American church needs to seriously consider changing the youth ministry model.

    These reports are becoming all too common. How the heck did Mr. Hughey continue to move through church ranks for 40 years?!

    “This matter was dealt with as church leadership thought best back then.” (Les Hughey)

    Well, church leadership back then should have done the same thing that church leadership should do now: disqualify the man from ministry permanently. Forgive if he repents? Certainly! Restore him to ministry? NO! And don’t go dragging the example of David into this mess; the story doesn’t fit. There are no New Testament examples of pastors who have committed sexual sins with those under their care being restored to ministry. Mr. Hughey forfeited the privilege to pastor a church 40 years ago.

  34. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
    With the added feature of breeding more Tithing Units and Uruk-Hai for the Culture War.

    I am convinced that is true. From a specific case I know well, there are churches and individuals in churches who will ‘sympathize’ with the person who just got their third divorce and just married their fourth spouse, literally, while all the time not ‘understanding’ the person who never married or who divorced and did not remarry. And that in protestantism which says bible, bible and bible.

  35. “Hughey cited ‘consensual relations.'”

    “With as many as seven women telling The Bee about back rubs and massages that sometimes turned into groping and intercourse, … Tracy Epler, whose story of being sexually coerced in Modesto by Hughey – [the Youth Pastor] – from age 17 to 19 …” http://www.modbee.com/news/article209859869.html

    Hughey, obviously, doesn’t get it. He told them about Jesus so he could have his way with them, pants down. Sick: church used as a predatory playground by predatory church leaders.

    Training ground for the predatory leaders: begin as a Youth Pastor and prey on the high school girl groupies that think you are Jesus’ Rock Star. Move on to build a mega, lining your pockets, with the side chick deal going on, a la Bill Hybels.

    Is there a training manual for this somewhere? Is it in the seminary curriculum? These predators seem to all know what they are doing.

  36. JYJames wrote:

    Is there a training manual for this somewhere? Is it in the seminary curriculum? These predators seem to all know what they are doing.

    Ah, well, there is the example of the culture we live in and what we as a culture tolerate-even applaud.

  37. Max wrote:

    In my 60+ years in church, I have yet to meet a “youth pastor” who has the spiritual maturity to pastor anyone.

    “Youth Pastor” is an oxymoron. (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, etc., describing mature leaders and specifically NOT YOUNG and NOT a new convert.)

  38. “one of our former pastors has been accused of sexually abusing minors who were part of his youth group”

    That’s a lot different from ‘consensual relationships with fellow college aged staff’.

  39. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    okrapod wrote:
    It is very religious to talk about fleeing sexual sin, so they do it. It is not too popular to talk about how the church wants the butts in the pew and the money in the plate.
    So in my opinion it is all of the above, and probably more than that also.
    I think the New Cals also work from the hierarchy angle, to keep everybody in line. They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.
    Interesting. When I was looking for the sermon I referenced in the discussion on John MacArthur in another thread, I found this gem:
    “So my opening word is, if you’re not married, get married. This is the grace of life. This is God’s best gift. If you haven’t found someone willing to marry you, ramp up the intensity of your effort. Get married. And if you are married, have children. This is God’s wonderful gift.

    Stop waiting for the Messiah, ladies. He came and went. Settle for somebody less. And, men, stop looking for the Proverbs 31 woman. That is an ideal to which women aspire. And the truth of the matter is, find another Holy Spirit-led, loving Christian and get married.

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.” But I’m not a matchmaker.”
    https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-382/the-willful-submission-of-a-christian-wife

    And yet, Paul’s expressed preference throughout 1 Corinthians 7 diverges greatly from what McArthur is strongly encouraging.

  40. JYJames wrote:

    Training ground for the predatory leaders: begin as a Youth Pastor and prey on the high school girl groupies that think you are Jesus’ Rock Star. Move on to build a mega, lining your pockets, with the side chick deal going on, a la Bill Hybels.

    Sadly, we have many examples of that in the American church. The lack of discernment in Christendom is startling … an “elder” shouldn’t be called an elder unless he’s got enough spiritual sense to spot these actors and deal decisively with them.

  41. It’s never too late to pay for your crimes. The GSK just got caught and he is in his 70s! We don’t just give you a pass because you got away with it, that makes any penalty you do pay less than it would have been. You should probably get a harsher penalty, actually.

  42. ishy wrote:

    They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    A lot of this stuff doesn’t work on singles, particularly single women, so there is also natural attrition.

  43. Ellen wrote:

    Les Hughey says: “I thank God for his forgiveness and grace”.

    I would say quotes like this show that Hughey is still entirely focused on *himself* and has not displayed any repentance.

    So God will not forgive, because he’s not sorry.

    QED.

  44. Lea wrote:

    That’s a lot different from ‘consensual relationships with fellow college aged staff’.

    Yes it is. But since when is a ‘consensual relationship with fellow college aged staff’ acceptable behavior from a ‘youth pastor’?

  45. Max wrote:

    an “elder” shouldn’t be called an elder unless he’s got enough spiritual sense to spot these actors and deal decisively with them.

    Very true. Stop the predators, or do not call yourself a leader.

    http://www.modbee.com/news/article209378504.html The Mod Bee here did an outstanding job, and they were the ones, along with the victims’ testimonies who brought this travesty down:

    “Epler [victim] said, ‘I’m amazed Les [Pastor Hughey] is in ministry after all these years … still proclaiming to be a man of God. It’s very nauseating.'”

    Fake “Men of God”: Hughey, Savage, Hybels, Conlee, Pressler, Campbell, Smyth, etc.

    A Great Awakening? A Reformation? That the church is not a predator’s playground, a rock star is not a youth pastor, and real leaders don’t applaud them a send-off party, burying their predator pal’s secrets to do it again. And then immortalize them with a stained glass window in a chapel.

  46. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.”

    Good night, John MacArthur!!!

    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote. And then you get to submit for the rest of your life to this total stranger who maybe thought you were attractive or something. And you can never divorce.

    That sounds awesome. Why on earth would anyone stay single? *headdesk*

  47. Lea wrote:

    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote.

    (or maybe they do, but if you’re just in a line it’s still a shallow choice.)

    To sum up, MacArthur is cray.

  48. okrapod wrote:

    there are churches and individuals in churches who will ‘sympathize’ with the person who just got their third divorce and just married their fourth spouse, literally, while all the time not ‘understanding’ the person who never married or who divorced and did not remarry.

    This is true. It is also in the culture, by a certain age you are expected to have married. If you haven’t, people find it odd. Someone who has divorced once or twice is not considered odd.

  49. okrapod wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    That’s a lot different from ‘consensual relationships with fellow college aged staff’.

    Yes it is. But since when is a ‘consensual relationship with fellow college aged staff’ acceptable behavior from a ‘youth pastor’?

    At this point, if that were true it would be a relief, except for the married part.

    Instead, it seems to be the high school girls getting preyed upon.

  50. Lea wrote:

    This is true. It is also in the culture, by a certain age you are expected to have married. If you haven’t, people find it odd. Someone who has divorced once or twice is not considered odd.

    “If you’re not doing somebody, You’re a Nobody.”

    “HE SCOOOORED! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH!”
    — Beavis & Butthead

  51. JYJames wrote:

    A Great Awakening? A Reformation? That the church is not a predator’s playground, a rock star is not a youth pastor, and real leaders don’t applaud them a send-off party, burying their predator pal’s secrets to do it again. And then immortalize them with a stained glass window in a chapel.

    JY, I can tell you are getting more stirred up (like me) with this continuing string of reports on bad-boy preachers! There’s a world of difference between a preacher boy and a man of God … just as there is a world of difference between the disciples they produce. When the Church (the real one) rises up and declares “Enough is enough!”, we might just see that Great Awakening you hope for. In the flame of a genuine revival of God’s people, the counterfeit will flee.

  52. Max wrote:

    with this continuing string of reports on bad-boy preachers

    This is an insult to your typical ‘bad boy’ who doesn’t have to groom children to get laid.

  53. Jerome wrote:

    Highlands is a TGC church, of course

    It’s amazing how many of these guys distort the grace, grace, grace message.

  54. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
    With the added feature of breeding more Tithing Units and Uruk-Hai for the Culture War.

    Well if you want to be really cynical, it’s more about removing temptations for the pastor

  55. Lea wrote:

    A lot of this stuff doesn’t work on singles, particularly single women, so there is also natural attrition.

    One of my best friends goes to one of those very large churches and I have gotten the strong impression that they appeal to the desperate nature of singles to appeal to single women. And from what I’ve seen, unlike most churches, New Cal churches tend to have way more single men than women. So if you are a single woman who wants to get married, you get the pick of the litter, not the other way around.

    I’m in my 40s and still single. Never once have I regretted turning down guys who I’ve turned down, most of whom seemed to think that I was just going to fall and kiss their feet for being single and male, then turn into their personal maidservant with benefits. No, thank you.

  56. Max wrote:

    There’s a world of difference between a preacher boy and a man of God … just as there is a world of difference between the disciples they produce.

    There’s a seemingly unending stream of predators that are running churches. Which, as you aptly note, questions what was/is going on in their churches?

    How can a sexual predator build a mega church? Hughey was a “Rock Star”. Really? Hybels was a… a what? What was the draw? Now that they’re gone, what is left?

    A local church was run by an ego-maniac. When the church grew and they hired a 2nd pastor, #1 refused to collaborate, so yes, he was all about him. Some members actually read their Bibles, so they took their Bibles and left that mess. God’s Word spoke while the “donkeys” were running the institution.

    Are there real Christians in the Fake Preacher Boys’ churches? What’s Act 2 now that the Fake Leader is gone? Was there anything of God there in the first place?

  57. srs wrote:

    Well if you want to be really cynical, it’s more about removing temptations for the pastor

    If that’s the reason, it doesn’t work.
    Anointed Pastors have done married women as well; didn’t Jack Hyles pastorally counsel his mistress to divorce her husband to free herself up for the Urrges in HIS Arreas?

  58. Bridget wrote:

    In his mind (or the story he has promoted) it was all consensual . . .

    I suppose it depends on how one defines it. I think they define it as: con (= with) + sensual (= of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure). Makes perfect sense, but I probably should not be giving them ideas.

  59. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    didn’t Jack Hyles pastorally counsel his mistress to divorce her husband to free herself up for the Urrges in HIS Arreas?

    That was Bill Hybels, or maybe both. They’re emerging in spades now. The “emergent church”.

  60. JYJames wrote:

    How can a sexual predator build a mega church? Hughey was a “Rock Star”. Really?

    And Rock Stars have lotsa Groupies with Benefits.

    Hybels was a… a what? What was the draw? Now that they’re gone, what is left?

    With rare exceptions, Personality Cults don’t long survive their founders.
    Brigham Youngs (who can turn that Personality Cult into a self-sustaining system) are pretty rare.
    (Though Bob Jones U and the Kims of North Korea have kept theirs going for three generations…)

  61. ishy wrote:

    One of my best friends goes to one of those very large churches and I have gotten the strong impression that they appeal to the desperate nature of singles to appeal to single women. And from what I’ve seen, unlike most churches, New Cal churches tend to have way more single men than women. So if you are a single woman who wants to get married, you get the pick of the litter, not the other way around.

    Interesting.

    But then, what do you really get even with the pick of the litter? Still a dog 😉

  62. Max wrote:

    Jerome wrote:
    Highlands is a TGC church, of course

    It’s amazing how many of these guys distort the grace, grace, grace message.

    First question of mine:
    IS IT TO THEIR PERSONAL ADVANTAGE/BENEFIT/CONVENIENCE TO DO SO?

  63. Bridget wrote:

    In his mind (or the story he has promoted) it was all consensual . . . so the victims were all sinners as well – sick!

    Translation: “Hey, the girls were ready, willing, and able. They are at least as much to blame as I am.”

  64. okrapod wrote:

    But since when is a ‘consensual relationship with fellow college aged staff’ acceptable behavior from a ‘youth pastor’?

    That choice of words in his statement is more than a little disingenuous. It makes it sound like he was also a college-aged volunteer rather than a 23-24 year old MARRIED youth pastor on paid staff.

  65. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    In his mind (or the story he has promoted) it was all consensual . . .

    I suppose it depends on how one defines it. I think they define it as: con (= with) + sensual (= of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure). Makes perfect sense, but I probably should not be giving them ideas.

    A guy at JulieAnne’s said basically that to Christians, everything inside marriage is ‘consensual’ and everything outside isn’t. Is it any wonder they struggle with concepts of consent?

    When in doubt, they just call it all ‘sin’. They seem unwilling to group these behaviors properly.

  66. Mercy wrote:

    It seems to me that Highlands knew of Hughey’s background, yet their statement denies that.

    Based on what?
    The church in Modesto said nothing.

    Highland has very quickly acted in a way one hopes every church would when presented with this info (they found out the same way everyone else did..the article in the Modesto Bee). Let’s not cast unfounded accusations.

  67. Lydia wrote:

    @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    Right at retirement age.

    Actually, it’s not uncommon for a pastor to continue working past what we consider “retirement age.” My church is currently searching for a new senior pastor; the current one will likely celebrate his 72nd birthday before stepping down if the current succession timetable holds.

    The same is true for plenty of folks outside the church. I expect to continue working well into my 70’s if my health holds out. One of my co-workers is 80.

  68. That having been said, I’m not sure what kind of severance package Les Hughey will receive. For all I know he may need to spend a few years working in another field before he can finally retire. He’d better not work in the pastorate again, that’s for sure.

  69. Lea wrote:

    But then, what do you really get even with the pick of the litter? Still a dog

    I think she got the pick of the litter, but I don’t agree with her that likely happens for most women there. Her husband grew up in that church and was there before it was “taken over” and seems to be an exception.

  70. Let me see if I understand current sexual ethics.

    Promiscuity is fine unless you are married, and even then allowances can be made.
    Promiscuity is fine unless it violates age of consent as variously established by your state.
    Promiscuity is fine unless you are gay and then it is not fine.
    Promiscuity is fine as long as ‘consent’ unless you are a religious professional and then ‘consent’ is not possible based on your vocation.
    Perversion is not okay unless within marriage and then it is fine; consent not necessarily required.
    Celibacy is not okay; no excuses allowed.

    And don’t worry. Abortion, antibiotics, psychotherapy, meds and lawyers, all of which are better than sexual repression.

    The ‘christian’ answer to this is put forth to be early marriage without option of divorce and with strict gender roles and lots of kids which is said to control promiscuity, perversion and criminal behavior. Too bad they can’t develop a vaccine for that; lots cheaper than marriage and kids.

  71. I’ve been thinking. I have to over-generalize and perhaps be a bit strident because I just want to get my thought across without writing four paragraphs nuancing it.

    I grew up solidly evangelical until my Mars Hill experience where I slowly and painfully migrated to a theology and worldview that is decidedly different. Lately, I have really started to view evangelical churches as Jesus/Bible fan clubs. Composed primarily of folks who want to role play real followers of Christ (probably not a large group of people), and are continually trying to put a finer point on things than God probably would. Just basically eccentric and borderline bizarre groups of also-rans in the passage of God’s sovereign plan, who want to hang out in a club with other fans of real Christians and continually be refining how to emulate God’s people in their daily lives.

    This view, that I really can’t shake, is being driven by the utter and complete ridiculousness of the state of the evangelical church from an objective standpoint in the face of what true followers of Christ say and do immediately and perpetually when they get together in any number. It is fundamentally and severely different from what happens in the clubs.

    The other thing about this view/opinion that I seem to be adopting, is that while it doesn’t help with the cognitive dissonance (just moves it somewhere else), it does make the kinds of abuses we’re talking about here MUCH MUCH easier to understand how they happen, and you know instinctively what the appropriate responses and systemic remedies would be (hint: it is not the overwrought hand writing and mendacious juvenile PR chicanery (I work in marketing) that we see from the fantasy faithball league.

  72. Lea wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.”

    Good night, John MacArthur!!!

    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote. And then you get to submit for the rest of your life to this total stranger who maybe thought you were attractive or something. And you can never divorce.

    That sounds awesome. Why on earth would anyone stay single? *headdesk*

    Reminds me of the mass weddings reported under Sun Myung Moon.

  73. @ Steve240:
    Legacy is everything to these guys because their “accomplishments” are image-based. However Financial comfort makes it easier to deal with the loss of legacy.

  74. srs wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
    With the added feature of breeding more Tithing Units and Uruk-Hai for the Culture War.

    Well if you want to be really cynical, it’s more about removing temptations for the pastor

    Although, in Hybels’ case, it didn’t make any difference if a woman had a husband. In fact, husband-bashing sounds like a recurring theme of his.

    He reminds me of a fictional character from the 1800s who only seduced married women because the unmarried ones might inconveniently insist on marriage, and he wanted to remain free to pursue his interests.

  75. @ singleman:
    I should have been more clear. There is a big difference when these things come out when you are 45 than when you are 64- from a career and financial perspective.

  76. Want a good education in what kind of so-called church you should stay away from? You now have another good example. Go visit the church’s website and view their recent 20 year anniversary video. If you cant learn from this, pray that God will open your eyes. I did not watch it all, yet but was struck by it. One thing I noticed was how the narrator starts to emphasize how they were from the beginning of being a church, that they were going to do everything EXCELLENT. Used to hear that at covenant life church. Brought back some more memories. Might want to look at it before it’s taken off their site. GET EDUCATED!!!
    HIGHLANDS Church sermon in March.
    Link: http://highlandschurch.org/sermon/20th-anniversary/
    http://highlandschurch.org/sermon/20th-anniversary/

  77. NJ wrote:

    You’re right Deanna, he shouldn’t be pestering a church. Or pastoring.

    I wrote all that on my phone. I’m blaming it all on autocorrect.

  78. @ okrapod:
    Both equally Out-of-Balance, just in opposite (and mutually-hostile) directions.

    Like the Wasters and Hoarders in Dante’s Inferno.

  79. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    In his mind (or the story he has promoted) it was all consensual . . . so the victims were all sinners as well – sick!

    Translation: “Hey, the girls were ready, willing, and able. They are at least as much to blame as I am.”

    Or that Internet Meme I saw once with a smug slimeball face (implied rapist):
    “I WAS HORNY, SO THEY WERE WILLING.”

  80. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    NJ wrote:

    You’re right Deanna, he shouldn’t be pestering a church. Or pastoring.

    I wrote all that on my phone. I’m blaming it all on autocorrect.

    Actually, I love it–it’s quite a good fit! These wicked men ARE pestering the church.
    I Peter 4:17, anyone? The Holy Spirit is cleaning house and to that I say, “AMEN!”

  81. Muzjik wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    It seems to me that Highlands knew of Hughey’s background, yet their statement denies that.

    Based on what?
    The church in Modesto said nothing.

    Highland has very quickly acted in a way one hopes every church would when presented with this info (they found out the same way everyone else did..the article in the Modesto Bee). Let’s not cast unfounded accusations.

    I agree! Highlands has responded to this matter in a way all others should model. They have been transparent and acted immediatly. Les Hughey may have founded Highlands but he is not the Church. Great job Highlands! You are showing the world how handling these matters is supposed to be done.

  82. ishy wrote:

    I think she got the pick of the litter, but I don’t agree with her that likely happens for most women there. Her husband grew up in that church and was there before it was “taken over” and seems to be an exception.

    I’m sure he’s lovely, you know I was just joking.

    My mom is worrying at me because I told her my boyfriend doesn’t go to church. But he treats me much better than the last one that did.

  83. okrapod wrote:

    Let me see if I understand current sexual ethics.

    Promiscuity is fine…

    I think the first problem here is defining ‘promiscuity’. It appears you mean simply ‘having sex outside of marriage’ which is probably not the common definition outside of certain pockets.

  84. @ Lea:

    No, I mean promiscuity. Are these guys limiting it to one person or are they being promiscuous?
    I mean in the words of my former husband getting more —than a …. ….!. Which seems to be about their level of functioning.

  85. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    A lot of this stuff doesn’t work on singles, particularly single women, so there is also natural attrition.

    Well, they are still under the authority of their fathers. And in most situations I know of (from those circles), they (males also) live with the parents until they’re married.

  86. Highlands has responded to this matter in a way all others should model. They have been transparent and acted immediately. Les Hughey may have founded Highlands but he is not the Church. Great job Highlands! You are showing the world how handling these matters is suppose to be done.

  87. okrapod wrote:

    Are these guys limiting it to one person or are they being promiscuous?

    Which guys? The ‘Christian’ guys, or ‘current sexual ethics’ in society?

  88. I am a retired pastor following 35 years in ministry including 10 years as a singles pastor. I am aware of only one situation where the church I was serving on staff had a predator (a seminary student doing a youth internship with us). He is now serving 40 years in a Texas prison.

    A pastor is to guard the flock and that includes dealing with wolves of any sort or pedigree. The internet era has been a blessing in that it has shined a light on situations that were unknown, covered-up or ignored.

    I appreciate the role this site has played in addressing this issue and reaching out to victims.

  89. a PS to the above. As a singles pastor I did get a warning call from the singles pastor of a sister church warning me about a guy in their church that they were dealing with asking me to look out for him should he come to our group. I shared this with our leadership team and asked them to make sure to meet new people and let me know if they ran into this guy. He never visited.

  90. Lea wrote:

    Which guys? The ‘Christian’ guys, or ‘current sexual ethics’ in society?

    There’s a difference?

  91. Raswhiting wrote:

    Fellowship Bible Church in Arkansas was led by Robert Lewis for many years. He authored Men’s Fraternity and Authentic Manhood materials and programs distributed nationwide. He may have retired as he is not listed on staff of FBC now. I wonder if Hughey…

    Rash…

    I’m not flaming you here but.

    In these serious issues and information I would not associate people/places/churches on just a ” I wonder if ” thought process. Though I was a member there for a brief time and certainly don’t like the place now, I find that statement inappropriate. I understand one may not like the whole “manhood” issue, that can be discussed on a different level. To think that somehow that it’s related to this persons pathetic actions is not correct either do to the fact I’m not sure the “manhood” mantra was discussed back then. Let alone you are inferring that folks that believe that way are like this guy. That is simply not the case AND I think you would agree.

    We should all strive for the truth (which Dee and the gang do well), to me we can hurt too many people and only defame the cause if we don’t.

  92. okrapod wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Which guys? The ‘Christian’ guys, or ‘current sexual ethics’ in society?

    There’s a difference?

    Well, it appears my definition would be different from yours, at any rate. Have no idea where I fall in societal ethics…

  93. Off topic but perhaps of interest to readers:

    Bill Cosby [American entertainer, actor] guilty verdict handed down on all counts today – live updates
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bill-cosby-verdict-comedian-sexual-assault-trial/

    Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.

    Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually assaulted Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.

  94. @ okrapod:
    I have read that one reason churches fixate so much on married couples is they think that marrieds bring in more money.
    In this day and age, I’m not so sure. I keep seeing a lot of articles about how most families today cannot get by on just a husband’s salary alone, so a wife has to get a job.

    As of several years ago (I’d have to research the date, am too lazy), single Americans now outnumber “married with kids at home” couples, with married w/ kids couples being the demographic that churches keep chasing.

    These days, more people are not marrying at all (either due to choice or circumstance), or are marrying later, and the ones that do marry are putting off having kids, or choosing not to have kids.

    There are many more single adults living alone these days. If you’re a church into marketing and getting behinds in the pews, it would make more sense to chase after the childless, single adults. And some of them have jobs. A lot of them do.

  95. ishy wrote:

    They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    One of my pet peeves about complementarians: the ones, who like Driscoll, who has been known publicly to get angry at a woman, then go to the woman’s husband (if she is married), confront the husband and say, “Keep your wife in line.”

    So much wrong with that. A woman is not a child or pet dog who is to obey a husband.

    That attitude of “man, keep your woman in line” strips a woman of her humanity, makes her into an object to be controlled. I feel sorry for Dricoll’s children, especially the daughters, and for the family of any man who thinks in that manner.

  96. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    So, what is church nowadays? ……. A self-service station for sexual predators?

    In all seriousness, as we’ve discussed on this blog the last few years, some abusers (of children and of adult women) really do look at churches as “hunting grounds” for new victims, because predators know how naive Christians are, and that they will easily get away with stalking prey in the average church.

  97. Daisy wrote:

    predators know how naive Christians are

    This is a problem which is going to have to be addressed. There is no sense merely chasing off the foxes who are lured to the hen house, something must be done to secure the chicken coop. I think that church people have to educate themselves and give up their childish dreams that some how everything will be okay if only people think pleasant thoughts. It will not. Willful ignorance has consequences.

  98. It’s like a tsunami, it just keeps on coming. I feel exhausted just trying to untangle all the self-righteous bullshit these guys spew.

  99. @ okrapod:

    Most definitely. However when discussing this with one pastor, he still believed he should be the filter before authorities were involved. Made me sick.

  100. As a Christian, I find the blanket statement that Christians are naive to be very offensive. Yes, you will find naive people in church but you will also find lawyers, scholars, doctors, cops, etc. Trust me when I say the word naive would not be a word people would use to describe me. My background allows me to speak professonally on the subject of preditors. I can say without hesitation that preditors exist everywhere. The church does not have the monopoly on this matter. It is easy to play “Monday Morning” quarterback on what should have happen after an event but much harder to stop it whan the preditor is already on the inside. Churches that truley want to protect thier youth seek professional help on proper procedures. Good churches are transpearent about everything including issues such as preditors. I have been a member of a church who liked to cover things up and put on a happy face so I moved on. I now go to a Church that I know will aloways do the right thing no matter how difficult. If a church tries to cover for a preditor I am the first one to stand up and say “enough”. I am also the first one to say “well done” when a Church does the right thing such as how Highlands handled Les Hughey .

  101. FBC Modesto was held up as a model of youth/college ministry when I was in college a few cities up north. It amazes me that all this predatory behavior was occurring (although it shouldn’t).

    The church I attended seemed to have better safeguards. One of the youth leaders got into some sort of sexual escapades, and he was dismissed abruptly-no big going away party. We were told he had been sexually promiscuous, and that was all, but we were told.

  102. Jennifer Roach has done an outstanding job in sharing her own story and advocating for others. Her courage, fierceness and boldness are attributes I applaud. Well done, Jen! I’ve not yet read the comments, so this may have been addressed, but Hughey is wrong in characterizing these as “consensual” relationships. There was a huge imbalance of power.

  103. @ DLee:
    If you stick around for a while DLee, you’ll discover many of us are working on ensuring that no predators are able to function in our churches, as well as learning from situations in which this has happened. It’s not one or the other.

    You’ll also see that there are a fair few professionals on this page who can speak with confidence in this area. I can also confidently say that many Christians are naive in this area, & that rather than being insulted we should all be careful not to be too impressed with ourselves. I deal professionally with child protection & remind myself I am fallible, to ward off complacency.

    Do you by any chance, go to Highlands?

  104. Daisy wrote:

    I have read that one reason churches fixate so much on married couples is they think that marrieds bring in more money.
    In this day and age, I’m not so sure. I keep seeing a lot of articles about how most families today cannot get by on just a husband’s salary alone, so a wife has to get a job.

    I don’t think it’s true that married couples bring in more money, but I think a lot of Christians still believe that they do. And I don’t think they think past their perceptions.

    I do think a lot of singles tend to be more transient, but I don’t think it’s necessarily because they are not dependable (though a pastor of a very large church has told me that singles are not dependable). If the church isn’t going to care about singles, then singles aren’t going to want to go there.

    In that particular church, they half-heartedly started several ministries to singles, and always found the worst possible leader. One guy got up the first day and announced he was only going to stay a month because he was going back to work with the youth group after that, “..because that’s where I’m really called”. And of course, then there was the guy who stalked all the women who came and the church refused to oust him even after I went in there and demanded that they did. And they repeatedly blamed the singles for “not being interested” directly to me in conversation.

    I’m not actually one who feels like I need a singles ministry, but when no married person will talk to you, then a singles ministry is at least something. But most churches fail miserably when trying to reach singles and barely even make an effort to do so, and then they blame it on singles.

  105. I always want to be optimistic, but I’m not sure we’ll ever see a predator free environment, but we will see an environment where people are quicker to report unusual behavior (the “handsy” pastor, for example) and where churches don’t try to do their own investigations of abuse, but do thorough background checks on staff and volunteers and cooperate with authorities. I worked in a school district where stuff got swept under the wrong (staff always found out years after it occurred) until a teacher did something so heinous that the principal knew about, that the entire district blew up. They now have some of the best student/teacher practices in the area. The principal lost her job and credentialing; the teacher won’t leave prison until he’s in a coffin. and staff know that they will be immediately placed on a leave if they are aware of a situation and don’t report it. My personal goal would always be predator-free, but the realistic side of me hopes for much fewer incidents, better reporting, and staving off a crisis because someone reported odd behavior.

  106. @ Beakerj:
    I do attend Highlands. I followed the story after it was posted and watched carefully how Highlands handled it. I was very impressed at the speed in which the board reacted and how willing they were to be transparent. If they tried in anyway to protect Les, I would have been out there myself with a sign this week.
    I realize most of these abuse crimes are against girls. My passion on this matter comes from being a 14 yr old boy who went to a Catholic boarding school run by Brothers of the Sacred Heart. I know first hand the pain and how it will effect your life. There is a special place in hell for people who prey on children.
    I support Highlands becasue they did it right….just like I would have helped destroy them if they didn’t.

  107. Whenever one of these guys is FOUND OUT it means they got CAUGHT! Not that they repented!!!!

  108. Beakerj wrote:

    I deal professionally with child protection & remind myself I am fallible, to ward off complacency.

    This is so important…to realize we are fallible! How many people have been out in danger by sheer hubris, people who think they can look into someone eyes to find if they are lying.

  109. ishy wrote:

    I’m not actually one who feels like I need a singles ministry, but when no married person will talk to you, then a singles ministry is at least something.

    I think when people are looking to church for community, that is a need they have and if a church isn’t meeting it they may find one that does. Some singles have family, friends, activities in town…and some really need that. Community at church should not be only for marrieds. I agree that is a place many are failing. It depends on the church though. If you don’t have many singles, maybe stop grouping social Events into married/single. It’s fine for people to mix, even healthy.

  110. DLee wrote:

    As a Christian, I find the blanket statement that Christians are naive to be very offensive. Yes, you will find naive people in church but you will also find lawyers, scholars, doctors, cops, etc.

    Holding a professional position outside of church does not equate to having spiritual discernment about what goes on in church. Education is not the same as revelation knowledge. Intellect has little to do with wisdom. Thousands of highly educated folks at Willow Creek were blind-sided by the Bill Hybels scandal. I suspect lots of very smart folks at Highlands are amazed at the allegations against Les Hughey. How is the church missing deceivers in the pulpit time and time again? There is little discernment in the pew – the problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived.

  111. A.Stacy wrote:

    We should all strive for the truth (which Dee and the gang do well), to me we can hurt too many people and only defame the cause if we don’t.

    I am not defaming the cause or Fellowship Bible Church or speculating about the relationship – the original post’s update, in the last paragraph states that Hughey served at FBC. My “I wonder” is tongue in cheek; of course when he was at FBC he was involved with Men’s Fraternity, which has been around for decades in various versions and was at the core of FBC’s teaching by their former pastor.

  112. @ Max:
    @ Max:
    Being deceived is not the same as being naive. My comment only addressed the blanket statement that Christians are naive…and therefore apparently bad things happen to them becasue of it.

  113. DLee wrote:

    My comment only addressed the blanket statement that Christians are naive…and therefore apparently bad things happen to them becasue of it.

    Agreed. Not “all” Christians lack experience, wisdom, or judgment. If they did, the American church would be in a bigger mess than it is already. It’s just sad to read these reports over and over of “pastors” who can’t keep their pants on. While Mr. Hughey’s sins of the flesh appeared to have been 40 years ago, church leaders then should have disqualified him from ministry and the good folks in Scottsdale wouldn’t be dealing this.

  114. It’s being reported that there is a group planning a ‘news’/talk show with Charlie Rose as host. The show will feature interviews with men brought down by the #metoo movement. (Rose is one.) Many suspect it’s part of a backlash attempt to twist the stories, painting the male perpetrators as poor pitiful victims of uncontrolled women.

    I wonder when some group will attempt something similar for Savage, etc.

  115. TomkeinOK wrote:

    It’s being reported that there is a group planning a ‘news’/talk show with Charlie Rose as host. The show will feature interviews with men brought down by the #metoo movement. (Rose is one.)

    He’ll have to interview Cosby in prison most likely. And some of the morally-bankrupt preachers reported on TWW should be there. What a sad chapter we are living in church history.

  116. @ DLee:
    You should read up on SGM. It was full of educated professionals. So is Capitol Hill which requires membership covenants to obey leaders, . It probably has more to do with people being more transient and looking for a family in a church. We tend to trust first. That is typical. Most of us have been there. Being extremely educated has little to do with the bigger problem, ironically.

  117. Lydia wrote:

    That is typical. Most of us have been there. Being extremely educated has little to do with the bigger problem, ironically.

    Amen. A simple youth with discretion is wiser than a guy with advanced degrees who has no moral compass and who does not fear God.

  118. Lydia wrote:

    @ TomkeinOK:
    And Hollywood is doing a movie about the reporters. Sigh.

    Is that about the reporters at major outlets who sat on stories for years until McGowan etc. did their jobs for them, so they finally ran stories and got Pulitzers?

  119. Lea wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    They can’t bait everybody to stay and obey, but they can bait some men with the “You get to be the authority of your household” line. Then they expect husbands do the work of keeping wives in line for them.

    (Lea replied)
    A lot of this stuff doesn’t work on singles, particularly single women, so there is also natural attrition.

    Some complementarians, who notice the falling marriage rates, can’t figure out that they’re making marriage look less appealing to women, by teaching this one-way, unilateral submission of wife to husband.
    I’d rather remain single than marry a guy who thinks he has final say so, and I am his permanent subordinate.

  120. Abigail wrote:

    Whenever one of these guys is FOUND OUT it means they got CAUGHT! Not that they repented!!!!

    YES!!!

    Yes a million times! Is there any one of these guys who (apparently) was truly convicted of sin and confessed – without being caught – and demonstrated credible genuine repentance?

  121. Lea wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:
    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.”

    (Lea replied)
    Good night, John MacArthur!!!
    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote.

    And then you get to submit for the rest of your life to this total stranger who maybe thought you were attractive or something. And you can never divorce.
    That sounds awesome. Why on earth would anyone stay single? *headdesk*

    It’s so odd how so many conservative / evangelical Christians think marriage is so super duper important and that secular culture disparages it (check out that KAS guy for an example on SSB blog), but…

    They are sure cavaller about a major life decision, acting as if it does not matter who a person marries. Just pick some guy at random, so long as he’s a Christian, and marry already.

    Christian marriage “expert” Mark Gungor (who used to have TV shows on various Christian networks where he dispenses marital advice) once said on one show that the only thing a Christian man and woman need in common is Jesus.

    LOL, no. Christian singles are not interchangeable widgets, we have to be compatible with whomever we’re with.

    I have more (sensibly) stringent requirements for choosing platonic friends, than some Christians have in telling Christians who to pick for a life partner.

    P.S. Some Christians go the opposite, equally destructive route and tell single adults to have such incredibly tough criteria in whom they marry(*), that the singles, should they follow that advice, will never be able to marry.

    *(Such as: they will instruct Christian women that the ONLY suitable man to marry is…

    A Christian with a seminary degree, who is s strong spiritual leader, who has blue eyes, who works as a lawyer, whose middle name is Quebert, whose favorite animal is a pink elephant with green spots, who liked to play ping pong while standing on one leg, etc.

    The standards with this sort of Christian is so incredibly, ridiculously high that no man could meet them, so the single ladies who listen to this and take it seriously remain single indefinitely.)

  122. Daisy wrote:

    once said on one show that the only thing a Christian man and woman need in common is Jesus.

    P.S. I meant –
    Gungor said that in the context of ‘when a Christian is deciding to marry, or who to marry’ – he was saying it does not matter who you, a Christian, marry, so long as the other person is a Christian. All you need to get marry is “Jesus in common.”

    I was like, is he serious? I would need a lot more in common with a guy I was thinking about marrying other than Jesus.

  123. Lea wrote:

    This is true. It is also in the culture, by a certain age you are expected to have married. If you haven’t, people find it odd. Someone who has divorced once or twice is not considered odd.

    That may be changing in secular culture, since more an more people are choosing to stay single on purpose or are delaying marriage.

  124. Lea wrote:

    A guy at JulieAnne’s said basically that to Christians, everything inside marriage is ‘consensual’ and everything outside isn’t. Is it any wonder they struggle with concepts of consent?
    When in doubt, they just call it all ‘sin’. They seem unwilling to group these behaviors properly.

    Yep, that would be KAS. His comment on that was so odd, I’m not totally sure I understand what he means:

    Their worldview is that consent may be assumed. At the very least there is nothing wrong with fornication – or adultery. They are attempting the impossible – to keep a sexual free for all for themselves and stop men from sexually abusing women.

    He seems to be excusing or defending marital rape.

    I’m not sure who he means when he says “their” in that first line – does he refer to secularists, to feminists?

  125. Daisy wrote:

    He seems to be excusing or defending marital rape.

    Sorry, I didn’t provide the entire quote in that last post. Here is some more of what KAS said at Julie Anne’s SSB blog:

    The christian worldview entails a standing assumption that consent has not been given, it is only publically given in a marriage service. It’s hands off until then.

    So, once a woman married a dude, she is always obligated to give him sex even if she does not want to? That is marital rape. One wonders if KAS, and other Christians grasp this at all.

  126. I attended First Baptist Church as a high school student in the 70’s. Les was the Junior High School youth pastor and several youth leaders for the various junior high schools in the Modesto area reported to him.

    He may choose to call himself an intern now, we all called him the Jr. High Pastor. He was cool, charismatic, funny, good looking, he was a rock star. He had a Christian Rock Band called “Les Hughey and the sons of thunder” (supposedly Jesus called his disciples The Sons of Thunder, so Les appointed himself “Jesus” and his band were the disciples) Les and his band played Christian Rock music at church but Les also played secular rock and roll music at public school and community events in the Modesto area. He was a rock and roll star. He also recorded a record album “Alive in the Sky”.

    He had the position of authority-pastor- . He had the status-rock star-. He had the charm-sociopath- . He was the perfect storm. I am saddened that Tracy, Janie and others that I’m sure also know have suffered keeping this shameful man’s actions hidden for so long.

  127. Lea wrote:

    My mom is worrying at me because I told her my boyfriend doesn’t go to church. But he treats me much better than the last one that did.

    Oh goodness, you can’t say stuff like that within ear shot of some Christians, or heaven forbid, the guy is a Non-Christian.

    You will be brow beat over the Equally Yoked Rule, which says, either you should die single, or only marry a bad person who says he’s a Christian, but never, ever marry a nice, upstanding guy with whom you are compatible, all because he may not be “saved.”

  128. Lea wrote:

    I think the first problem here is defining ‘promiscuity’.

    I’ve always understood that word to mean lots and lots and lots and lots of sex, especially outside of marriage – but the amount is the big factor there.

  129. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve always understood that word to mean lots and lots and lots and lots of sex, especially outside of marriage – but the amount is the big factor there.

    Well, that, and also if the person in question is having lots and lots and lots of sex with lots and lots of different people, not just one.

  130. DLee wrote:

    As a Christian, I find the blanket statement that Christians are naive to be very offensive.

    I stand by my quote.
    Also, read Salter’s quotes, where she interviewed perverts who chose their victims at churches: they said that churches are their favorite hunting grounds because Christians are naive and too trusting. And those pervs are totally correct.

    I’d say that most Christians are far more naive and too trusting more so than other groups. More so than doctors, plumbers, and whomever else you mentioned.

    Many Christians like to live in a G-rated, Christian, squeaky clean bubble. They don’t want to leave it, or be exposed to atheists and the like, for fear of hearing or see the “F” word used.

  131. DLee wrote:

    As a Christian, I find the blanket statement that Christians are naive to be very offensive.

    Here is one resource with Salter’s quotes (Salter is an expert who studies perverts):

    6 Reasons Why Sexual Predators Target Churches
    https://www.theaquilareport.com/6-reasons-why-sexual-predators-target-churches/

    Snippets from that page:

    It is terrible but true—sexual predators target churches. In the mind of a predator, a church offers a compelling target and, too often, an easy target. I recently worked my way through On Guard by Deepak Reju and learned that there are at least 6 reasons why sexual predators specifically target churches.

    Christians Are Naïve
    Some sexual offenders state it outright—they go after churches because Christians tend to be naïve. Anna Salter says, “If children can be silenced and the average person is easy to fool, many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people.” Reju says, “Christian are, generally speaking, trusting folks. Child abusers recognize this fact and want to take full advantage of it.” He quotes a former prosecutor who lays it out: “For a variety of reasons, we naively tend to automatically lower our guard when we are amongst professing Christians. This same naïveté is why offenders flock to the faith community; no other environment provides them such quick and easy access to children without fear of raising concerns.”

    Christians Are Ignorant of the Problem
    Christians are not only naïve, but also ignorant—ignorant of the problem of abuse and the extent of the problem within faith communities.

  132. @ Daisy:

    Re: DLee

    Well, oops that page I cited seems to be quoting some other expert in the field, but Anna Salter did say in some interview that perverts target churches, because, they told her, Christians are generally quite naive, making their task of grooming and fondling kids ten times easier.

    I’m sure you could Google for it and find Salter’s quotes.

  133. ishy wrote:

    I’m not actually one who feels like I need a singles ministry, but when no married person will talk to you, then a singles ministry is at least something. But most churches fail miserably when trying to reach singles and barely even make an effort to do so, and then they blame it on singles.

    Yes. Don’t get me started. Even more annoying: marrieds who tell singles to “why don’t YOU start a singles ministry instead of expecting the chruch to do it.”

    Well, I am one single who is not interested in leading, teaching, or starting a ministry of any kind (not for singles, not for anyone else).

    I never ever see this standard put out there for marrieds. It is a double standard. Churches automatically program their ministries to meet the needs of married people, so married people don’t have to think about this at all.

    I’ve yet to see a church lacking in that area and then a married saying to a pastor,
    “Say, when are you going to reach out to marrieds,” and the pastor saying, “Why don’t YOU, married person, start a marrieds program, rather than asking or expecting the church to do it.”

    Not only are churches horrible at reaching out to and aiding singles, but they expect singles to do all the work for singles… when they don’t put this onus on married coupled to start ministries related to married people.

  134. Max wrote:

    There is little discernment in the pew – the problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived.

    That is a very Yogi Berra-ish thing to say. 🙂

  135. @ Daisy:
    While churches can, of course, have special events for some of the groups (single, married, old, young, middle-aged), shouldn’t the default mode for most programs and sermons be to offer something for everyone?

  136. Gus wrote:

    shouldn’t the default mode for most programs and sermons be to offer something for everyone?

    Not if one is trying to divide and conquer. It’s easier to maintain control over isolated groups because it hinders the ability of people to compare notes and talk about concerns.

  137. GMFS

    ION: Fitba’

    Liverpool are in a strong position after the 5-2 our GiveUsYerMoney Cup semi-final against Roma; although since Roma beat Barcelona 3-0 in their quarter-final home leg to go through on away goals, the two late wickets we conceded bothers me. We need some early goals in the away leg next week. In the other semi-final, Real Madrid (not to be confused with either Athletico Madrid or Fake Madrid) are all but through to the final following their 2-1 win at Bayern.

    In the SecondClassEuropeanCup, Arsenal are effectively out following their 1-1 home draw against Athletico Madrid (see above). Although, to be fair, the Gunners have a decent away record in Europe.

    In Further Other News:
    This train is extraordinarily crowded due to the cancellation of an earlier service. We’re also doing the Yellow Signal Death Crawl several miles from Enbruh Park, where we were due to arrive 3 minutes ago. Despite this, the live train times website is still pretending we’ll be on time at Waverley.

    IHTIH

  138. refugee wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.”

    Good night, John MacArthur!!!

    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote. And then you get to submit for the rest of your life to this total stranger who maybe thought you were attractive or something. And you can never divorce.

    That sounds awesome. Why on earth would anyone stay single? *headdesk*

    Reminds me of the mass weddings reported under Sun Myung Moon.

    Have any of you ever heard of hyperbole? I have heard this sermon and there was laughter. He references the laughter at one point.
    As if he was seriously going to start marrying them right there. All of you have posted in this thread, a very serious post by TWW. The post isn’t funny.
    You folks need to loosen up a little. Wow.
    Oh, and I found this in the sermon too. How can we put up with this ogre? If anyone would seek to do what he teaches here we will all be in trouble won’t we? (I mean the previous 2 questions as sarcasm)
    “It is this submissive attitude that makes a marriage work. I don’t have any question about the fact that I’m supposed to be the head of Patricia, my wife. She doesn’t have any restraints placed upon her by that, that in and of itself are abusive or harsh, because I understand that while I have authority over her given to me from God, I am also commanded to be submissive to her in every area of her needs. Sometimes when people say to me, “What’s the key to a good marriage? What’s the key to a marriage full of joy and blessing?” And I’ll tell you what it is in a very simple sentence. And this is my objective in dealing with the wife that I adore; it is simply this, “Whatever will bring her joy and be to her benefit, I will submit to do, happily, because all I want is her joy and spiritual benefit.” It’s that simple. It’s not complicated. It’s not brain surgery. Do I always achieve that end? Ask her, she will tell you no. But do I always desire to achieve that end? Of course. I submit to her joy, to her fulfillment, to what blesses her and encourages her and exercise my leadership in that way.”
    Funny how this section wasn’t what you saw. Huh. Maybe he doesn’t mean what you say he means.

  139. @ Ken A:
    I know it’s hard to see but you don’t see the cognitive dissonance in that statement? As I said to you earlier how you and your wife decide to structure your marriage is a private matter until you start teaching it to others and claiming it is biblical. Then it becomes a public discussion and debate. If there are no restraints placed on someone then there is no authority over them unless you view it as an authority card that can be played at anytime you decide. Many of us do not believe wives are children who need an authority figure except Jesus Christ.

  140. Ken A wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I suppose if I had my way I would just line up all the single girls on one side and all the single guys on the other said and say, “Pick one and let’s have a wedding.”

    Good night, John MacArthur!!!

    Of course, the ‘girls’ don’t get a vote. And then you get to submit for the rest of your life to this total stranger who maybe thought you were attractive or something. And you can never divorce.

    That sounds awesome. Why on earth would anyone stay single? *headdesk*

    Reminds me of the mass weddings reported under Sun Myung Moon.

    Have any of you ever heard of hyperbole? I have heard this sermon and there was laughter. He references the laughter at one point.
    As if he was seriously going to start marrying them right there. All of you have posted in this thread, a very serious post by TWW. The post isn’t funny.
    You folks need to loosen up a little. Wow.
    Oh, and I found this in the sermon too. How can we put up with this ogre? If anyone would seek to do what he teaches here we will all be in trouble won’t we? (I mean the previous 2 questions as sarcasm)
    “It is this submissive attitude that makes a marriage work. I don’t have any question about the fact that I’m supposed to be the head of Patricia, my wife. She doesn’t have any restraints placed upon her by that, that in and of itself are abusive or harsh, because I understand that while I have authority over her given to me from God, I am also commanded to be submissive to her in every area of her needs. Sometimes when people say to me, “What’s the key to a good marriage? What’s the key to a marriage full of joy and blessing?” And I’ll tell you what it is in a very simple sentence. And this is my objective in dealing with the wife that I adore; it is simply this, “Whatever will bring her joy and be to her benefit, I will submit to do, happily, because all I want is her joy and spiritual benefit.” It’s that simple. It’s not complicated. It’s not brain surgery. Do I always achieve that end? Ask her, she will tell you no. But do I always desire to achieve that end? Of course. I submit to her joy, to her fulfillment, to what blesses her and encourages her and exercise my leadership in that way.”
    Funny how this section wasn’t what you saw. Huh. Maybe he doesn’t mean what you say he means.

    Nahh, not hyperbole. Who cares if there was laughing? He thought he was being funny—mega leaders often do (primarily because they get the cheapest and easiest laughs in the business, if stand up comics got laughs at D grade material as easily as these thoroughly unfunny megachurch leaders do when they take their amateurish-cringe-worthy stabs at humor, every professional comedian would kill every night, every performance)—but he meant what he said and said what he meant. There was a point to it, and you know it. And he’s wrong. 100% dead wrong. And you’re wrong also, Ken A. Just another enabler and defender. Nonsense, see right through you.

  141. Muzjik wrote:

    Mercy wrote:
    It seems to me that Highlands knew of Hughey’s background, yet their statement denies that.
    Based on what?
    The church in Modesto said nothing.
    Highland has very quickly acted in a way one hopes every church would when presented with this info (they found out the same way everyone else did..the article in the Modesto Bee). Let’s not cast unfounded accusations.

    Ah yes. I needed to go back and read it. My mistake. This is what happens when I read too many things at once. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

  142. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Gus wrote:
    shouldn’t the default mode for most programs and sermons be to offer something for everyone?
    //
    Not if one is trying to divide and conquer. It’s easier to maintain control over isolated groups because it hinders the ability of people to compare notes and talk about concerns.

    There’s also a lot of church marketing propaganda that promotes keeping everybody separated and “targeting demographics”.

    Thing is, most bigger churches who have bought into the ideology of filling as many seats as possible totally fail at actually ministering to people over the long-term. I think most of the churches I have been to that do try to separate everyone have not been successfully providing a nurturing place even for the people they are targeting. It’s easier for them to blame people for being unhappy than to give up the money that comes with the idea of attracting big crowds.

  143. Ken A wrote:

    Funny how this section wasn’t what you saw. Huh. Maybe he doesn’t mean what you say he means.

    Being married might also protect you from such “hyperbole”, but there are a lot of Christians that believe stuff like that and will tell you if you are single and “getting too old to be single”.

    I can’t even count the number of times people have told me “Just marry someone, it’s better than being single. You can’t afford to be picky.” Even if they were clearly miserable in their marriages or in abusive situations.

  144. ishy wrote:

    I can’t even count the number of times people have told me “Just marry someone, it’s better than being single. You can’t afford to be picky.” Even if they were clearly miserable in their marriages or in abusive situations.

    “Misery Loves Company”?

  145. Daisy wrote:

    Not only are churches horrible at reaching out to and aiding singles, but they expect singles to do all the work for singles…

    Because Marrieds are too busy Focusing on their Families.

  146. Daisy wrote:

    So, once a woman married a dude, she is always obligated to give him sex even if she does not want to?

    “BINGO!”

    The expectation (from the male POV) is she’s Virgin Unto Death until she says “I Do”, then she’s your Personal Porn Star satisfying ALL those pent-up Urrrges in your Arrreas — any way, any time, any fantasy. That’s because one of the ways to get boys to save themselves for marriage is promises of Barn-Burning Swinging-from-the-Chandeliers Married S*E*X 24/7/365. Given the guy is accumulating sexual fantasies and paraphiliae all that time…

    At least, that’s the Fantasy.
    Read that Pearl guy’s account of his honeymoon for the Reality.

  147. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Marrieds

    Speaking of married, Hughey’s wife was in the next room while Hughey asssaulted a high school girl in his home, on the floor, the girl getting scabs while uncomfortably on her back (not moving, not understanding – “Why don’t you move?” he belittled her as she was innocent and didn’t know how to do it. “Don’t you know you have to move?” She doesn’t know, she was a virgin until he assaulted her). Hughey, when finished with his assault(s), went in the next room and went to bed with his wife. http://www.modbee.com/news/article209378504.html

    The wife is complicit. Same house, their residence, in the next room, while it’s all coming down. Why is a youth group girl alone in a room with her Youth Pastor in the Youth Pastor’s house in the first place? The wife is OK with that?

  148. Daisy wrote:

    That is a very Yogi Berra-ish thing to say.

    American Christians have come to a fork in the road … they need to take it!

  149. Max wrote:

    American Christians have come to a fork in the road

    Apparently leading to two different destinations:

    “He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left…
    “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:31-46

  150. singleman wrote:

    Actually, it’s not uncommon for a pastor to continue working past what we consider “retirement age.” My church is currently searching for a new senior pastor; the current one will likely celebrate his 72nd birthday before stepping down if the current succession timetable holds.

    The same is true for plenty of folks outside the church. I expect to continue working well into my 70’s if my health holds out. One of my co-workers is 80.

    I imagine there is quite a difference between when a regular pastor (typically not that well paid) can retire vs. when celebrity mega church pastor can retire. These celebrity mega church pastors are typically paid quite well. Thus a celebrity pastor like Hughey can afford to retire at his age typically.

    One other thought on this is that if Hughey was truly repentant after his first situation then he would have at least taken time off from the ministry (worked a regular job if necessary) before continuing in the ministry. Hughey both took advantage of his position and sexually harassed teenage women and committed adultery. Having some type of break would have shown that Huey did get how bad his actions were.

  151. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION: Fitba’

    ION Foot-Ball
    The number one pick was also in the news a year ago — for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing the scene, and resisting arrest… No problem! He can throw a pass.
    Three years ago number one had a little “sexual incident” in his past. Or was it a mutually organic consensual? No problem! He’s been on his best behavior ever since, aside from a little groping of an Uber driver…
    Spiritual leaders, OTOH, should perhaps be held to a higher standard.

  152. @ ishy:
    I’m 60 and a bit, still single, never married, and EXTREMELY HAPPY AND SATISFIED. I wasn’t opposed to being married; it just never happened. I accepted that as God’s gift to me (see 1 Corinthians 7) and ran with it. I do the things I love (teaching and service in my local church), had time to step-in and help with a relative’s children when she was sick, and am a cheer-leader to many kids/young people (who often come back and ask for advice). I don’t know what life will be like as I get older, but I’m not worried. God knows what I need and I trust that He will show the way. Marriage just to be married is not the way at all.

  153. Steve240 wrote:

    Thus a celebrity pastor like Hughey can afford to retire at his age typically.

    I’m reminded of Tullian Tchananigans — he was a bit younger when he came home from an important ministry trip, found this no-good cheatin’ wife god gave him, and took comfort in the arms of a friend. But he had to have been filthy rich already — not to mention his family being even wealthier, and likely able to help him out in a pinch. But after getting defrocked, he gave another church a poor me, how am I ever gonna feed my starving kids, sob story and they hired him within the month.

  154. ishy wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    Funny how this section wasn’t what you saw. Huh. Maybe he doesn’t mean what you say he means.

    Being married might also protect you from such “hyperbole”, but there are a lot of Christians that believe stuff like that and will tell you if you are single and “getting too old to be single”.

    I can’t even count the number of times people have told me “Just marry someone, it’s better than being single. You can’t afford to be picky.” Even if they were clearly miserable in their marriages or in abusive situations.

    Ishy I have seen you as a very thoughtful in your comments here on this blog. I haven’t read all of you comments, but I take you very seriously. I too grieve at some of the comments of well intention Christians to singles. It is terrible. I have a single child that gets some of these comments. I feel terrible for that child.
    Here is a quote that was in the article that didn’t get quoted here.
    “Now there are some people who have a gift for singleness that means a spiritual–unique spiritual capacity to remain single for the purpose of serving the Lord. Unless you have that gift and it’s clearly defined for you, by no desire at all for marriage, then you need to be married.”
    I don’t think people should get married just to be married either. There is the gift of singleness. To be married to the wrong person would not be good for anyone. However there are young men in our churches because of our culture that are putting this off out of fear. What I take MacArthur as doing in this sermon is encouraging young men not to be so afraid. I gave a young man in his mid 20’s the counsel to get married to the young lady he was in a dating relationship with. He came to ask my opinion. He was definitely afraid of not being able to see the future. In some way I can see the point of this fear. There are a lot of marriages that end in divorce. None of us can see the future. But, as an older man talking to a young man I encouraged him that it was worth it. There are lots of benefits to being married. Is it hard at times? It sure is. But it is well worth it. As and older man speaking to younger men with so much fear, I can’t say all will be rosy, but I can say after 37 years it was all worth it. We had a lot of trouble along the way. But it was well worth the effort. I don’t see anything more going on in this section of this sermon than an older married man saying to young men and maybe women, stop fearing. It is worth it.

  155. JYJames wrote:

    The wife is complicit. Same house, their residence, in the next room, while it’s all coming down. Why is a youth group girl alone in a room with her Youth Pastor in the Youth Pastor’s house in the first place? The wife is OK with that?

    Wife is Properly Winsome and Submissive.

  156. @ Law Prof:
    Speaking of humor. I can’t stop laughing this morning when I think of you response. That you can see no hyperbole in that section of the sermon is so funny. You actually think he was going to divide up the single men and women on opposite sides of the room and marry them?
    You obviously don’t know what it takes to get married in a reformer minded church these days.
    https://www.gracechurch.org/weddings
    The internet age of audio sermons is very wonderful. But you have got to apply a little context. This is a “family” conversation we are eavesdropping on. These people know each other and there are some assumptions that they know about each other.

    I don’t know you so I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.
    But there are some people in this world that let there hatred so cloud there opinion that they can’t be fair to other people.
    I hope that isn’t true about you.

  157. Ken A wrote:

    Have any of you ever heard of hyperbole? I

    If course we have. You are coming across a bit insulting. As a matter of fact, there is a bit of hyperbole in scripture, isn’t there. Unfortunately, I have heard preachers use hyperbole in scripture as factual to promote fear.

  158. Daisy wrote:

    Well, oops that page I cited seems to be quoting some other expert in the field, but Anna Salter did say in some interview that perverts target churches, because, they told her, Christians are generally quite naive, making their task of grooming and fondling kids ten times easier.

    Easier still if the Predator is in a position of Authority by Divine Right (i.e. Pastor or Elder, Apostle or Prophet); then he Holds the Keys(TM). “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!”

    “Missionary Man, he got GAWD on his side…”
    — The Eurythmics

  159. Ken A wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    Funny how this section wasn’t what you saw. Huh. Maybe he doesn’t mean what you say he means.

    Being married might also protect you from such “hyperbole”, but there are a lot of Christians that believe stuff like that and will tell you if you are single and “getting too old to be single”.

    I can’t even count the number of times people have told me “Just marry someone, it’s better than being single. You can’t afford to be picky.” Even if they were clearly miserable in their marriages or in abusive situations.

    Ishy I have seen you as a very thoughtful in your comments here on this blog. I haven’t read all of you comments, but I take you very seriously. I too grieve at some of the comments of well intention Christians to singles. It is terrible. I have a single child that gets some of these comments. I feel terrible for that child.
    Here is a quote that was in the article that didn’t get quoted here.
    “Now there are some people who have a gift for singleness that means a spiritual–unique spiritual capacity to remain single for the purpose of serving the Lord. Unless you have that gift and it’s clearly defined for you, by no desire at all for marriage, then you need to be married.”
    I don’t think people should get married just to be married either. There is the gift of singleness. To be married to the wrong person would not be good for anyone. However there are young men in our churches because of our culture that are putting this off out of fear. What I take MacArthur as doing in this sermon is encouraging young men not to be so afraid. I gave a young man in his mid 20’s the counsel to get married to the young lady he was in a dating relationship with. He came to ask my opinion. He was definitely afraid of not being able to see the future. In some way I can see the point of this fear. There are a lot of marriages that end in divorce. None of us can see the future. But, as an older man talking to a young man I encouraged him that it was worth it. There are lots of benefits to being married. Is it hard at times? It sure is. But it is well worth it. As and older man speaking to younger men with so much fear, I can’t say all will be rosy, but I can say after 37 years it was all worth it. We had a lot of trouble along the way. But it was well worth the effort. I don’t see anything more going on in this section of this sermon than an older married man saying to young men and maybe women, stop fearing. It is worth it.

    Frankly I am wondering why this is any pastor’s business to preach on? Why all the invasive legalism into people’s personal lives who may not have come to him for personal advice?

    I just don’t get it. And I do not understand, for the life of me, why people sit there, listen to it and put up with it as if the pastor is some sort of Guru sage for their individual lives.

  160. Ken A wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Speaking of humor. I can’t stop laughing this morning when I think of you response. That you can see no hyperbole in that section of the sermon is so funny. You actually think he was going to divide up the single men and women on opposite sides of the room and marry them?
    You obviously don’t know what it takes to get married in a reformer minded church these days.
    https://www.gracechurch.org/weddings
    The internet age of audio sermons is very wonderful. But you have got to apply a little context. This is a “family” conversation we are eavesdropping on. These people know each other and there are some assumptions that they know about each other.

    I don’t know you so I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.
    But there are some people in this world that let there hatred so cloud there opinion that they can’t be fair to other people.
    I hope that isn’t true about you.

    Of course I don’t think he was actually going to do that, line them up like that—that was his lame attempt at humor, as I was saying above. But he meant what he said about the marriage thing, he meant that, it was the highest calling, whatever—that’s garbage, an unbiblical lie. Pure, unadulterat5ed garbage. Like most of the stuff that comes from John Mac’s mouth when he goes the least bit off script—he might be tolerable if he simply read aloud from the Bible, there’d be some benefit in that.

    Makes no difference whether he was having a “family” thing or whatever spin you might want to put on it, the highest calling is to be single. I know that because Jesus inspired Paul to say that. John Mac has a problem with Jesus.

    And by the way, you didn’t actually laugh at what I said, you know you didn’t. You just said that to backhandedly mock. I don’t want your benefit of the doubt, Ken A, I have Jesus, who gives me all the benefit of the doubt I need.

  161. @ Ken A:
    I have listened to and read a lot of MacArthur since the mid-90s. He is a great example of an authoritarian, legalistic pastor. And quite the millionaire.

    And I am familiar with his sarcastic cutting humor. I remember one sermon from years ago with his cutting humor about men wearing Easter bonnets when he was teaching out of 1st Corinthians. The man gets a lot wrong. A lot. He is the master at selling the authoritarian/ submission cognitive dissonance shitck. And I admit to making a lot of fun of him over the years when analyzing his teaching. He has an appeal to men who need to feel important. That was easy to pick up on especially over at Pyro where it was self-evident daily.

  162. Lydia wrote:

    I just don’t get it. And I do not understand, for the life of me, why people sit there, listen to it and put up with it as if the pastor is some sort of Guru sage for their individual lives.

    Some people just want their king and they’re willing to sell their souls to have him—we have a biblical example of this with the Hebrews and Saul, no matter how much the Lord warned them, no matter how much Samuel told them about their fate should they prop up a king, they wanted to be like everyone else—had to have their guru. Some people want you to tell them what to do, want you to be invasive, to rustle around in their lives, to come between them and Jesus; they want, for some strange, inexplicable reason, to be abused.

    Some people will not believe you unless you lie to them, and that explains for me the phenomenon of John Mac and Ken A.

  163. Daisy wrote:

    Gungor said that in the context of ‘when a Christian is deciding to marry, or who to marry’ – he was saying it does not matter who you, a Christian, marry, so long as the other person is a Christian. All you need to get marry is “Jesus in common.”
    I was like, is he serious? I would need a lot more in common with a guy I was thinking about marrying other than Jesus.

    “Oh ye of little FAITH (Tsk. Tsk.)”

    I’ve got an anecdote along those lines. Many years ago, I was on a short cruise with a Christian singles group. The Christian part of it was a small in-group service on Sunday which either included or was connected to a lecture on Christian Dating.

    The speaker said that appearance, personality, shared interests all mean NOTHING. The only thing that matters is “Common SCRIPTURAL Values, Common SCRIPTURAL Values, Common SCRIPTURAL Values.”

    My reaction (silent; “When it is dangerous to speak, the wise say Nothing” — Aesop) was:

    Appearance/Personality/Shared Interests — the Initial Attractants that first get you interested and start bonding you to them in the first place. “Common SCRIPTURAL Values”? What does he expect us to do? 50-page Questionnaire at first meeting to make sure she’s SCRIPTURAL enough? 30-40 years of “Christianese Foreplay”, i.e. recite Bible verses to each other like Saudi muttawa reciting their Koran? What kind of marriage is that?

    The rocket would NEVER clear the launcher in the first place — All Sustainer, NO Booster.
    And recently in a phone back-and-forth with Eagle, another, more sinister reason came up:

    Distrust. The gnawing distrust at the back of your head that Jesus is her REAL husband and you’re just the convenient ATM. Wondering if you’ve married a Thought Police Informer, always parsing everything you say or do for the smell of UNSCRIPTURAL Thoughtcrime.

  164. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Sounds like great fun. Cherry picked verse bombing each other for 40 years. I think of those “contentious wife” verses in Proverbs which are perfect for verse bombing by the authoritarian-submissive (leader/servant?) husband. 🙂

  165. truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    One thing that has occurred with groups that promote the “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” philosophies is that the focus of interaction between single men and women is for the purposes of determining if one should marry. Thus there is pressure put on single who are “courting” to either get married or cut off the courtship. Sadly what can sometime happen is that couples that are courting under this pressure get married before they really get to know one another and then find themselves married to partners they aren’t as compatible as maybe thought.

    Sadly you never hear this mentioned. I will be curious if Josh Harris mentions this in his documentary about surviving IKDG.

  166. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Social engineering is everywhere. But it’s voluntary at church. Which makes it even scarier.

    Drove me away from those things people call “church”. Drove me into actual meeting together with other Christians, reading the Bible, praying, eating with them, having a good time. All at home, no cost involved, no thousands of dollars in tithes thrown to the wind each year, no building plans to fund, no pompous preening narcissist taking the stage and expositing his wisdom for all of to digest, no leaders maneuvering for power, no church polity changes to consolidate power in the hands of one man under the cover of faux goodness that are then presented to the congregation as a fait accompli, no shunning, no fake, fraudulent “doin life together”, no sweet-talking, phony friends who would quite possibly destroy your life with a single word from the leader, no exhaustion and then relief at getting through another weekly message from a teacher who doesn’t practice what he preaches and in fact is a cover narcissist, no more of that narcissist coming bbetween Jesus and me, standing there like a large wall between us, angfrily calling me an unsubmissive “destroyer of the church” if I tell him to step aside so I can see Jesus.

    I am free.

  167. Got to cut this short.
    I just received an email from one of my writing partners that has the vibe of a suicide note.

  168. @ Max:

    Max, you are bold. And I agree with every word you wrote.

    Scratching my head here… what could possibly be the connection between YOUTH pastors and the sexual abuse of YOUTH…

  169. Steve240 wrote:

    truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    One thing that has occurred with groups that promote the “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” philosophies is that the focus of interaction between single men and women is for the purposes of determining if one should marry. Thus there is pressure put on single who are “courting” to either get married or cut off the courtship. Sadly what can sometime happen is that couples that are courting under this pressure get married before they really get to know one another and then find themselves married to partners they aren’t as compatible as maybe thought.

    Sadly you never hear this mentioned. I will be curious if Josh Harris mentions this in his documentary about surviving IKDG.

    Look, it’s about making idols. Idols of your purity, of marriage, of the family. It encourages young people to see another human being as just a tool to get them what they want rather than a human being made in the image of God, of great value. It’s about using people, means to an end. But what would we expect? Young Josh Harris was neck deep in a world where leaders viewed their congregations as things to be manipulated for personal wealth, exaltation of themselves, narcissistic supply, tools to enable them to spread their own power and influence and glory.

    No one can tell me that that world was about anything other than leaders exploiting people for personal gain—so why would we expect those leaders to treat God’s gift of marriage as anything else?

  170. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Got to cut this short.
    I just received an email from one of my writing partners that has the vibe of a suicide note.

    Lord protect that friend, lead him to you, heal him, and give HUG wisdom here. In Jesus’ name!

  171. Linn wrote:

    (see 1 Corinthians 7)

    Paul wanted the Corinthians to be free from concern. I’m married with children, and for 40 years I’ve been concerned with worldly things and pretty much focused on my family. But I know a focus on the family is unbiblical. A number of New Testament disciples were married, yet I can think of only 3 couples where both are named. Ananias and Sapphira, Priscilla and Aquila, and Joanna and Chuza (she travelled around without him while he held down a job). Any kids? I presume most had them– yet the NT says nothing at all about any except 4 — the daughters of Phillip who prophesied — and were unmarried. Marriage and children were virtually irrelevant in the New Testament scheme of things — one of the most drastic departures from the Old Testament, where children (well, sons, mostly) meant everything.

  172. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    JYJames wrote:

    The wife is complicit. Same house, their residence, in the next room, while it’s all coming down. Why is a youth group girl alone in a room with her Youth Pastor in the Youth Pastor’s house in the first place? The wife is OK with that?

    Wife is Properly Winsome and Submissive.

    Please consider this is a real woman who has discovered all she believed her life to be is a lie and is hurting.
    There is no reason (lacking proof she knew) to mock her.

  173. Daisy wrote:

    You will be brow beat over the Equally Yoked Rule, which says, either you should die single, or only marry a bad person who says he’s a Christian, but never, ever marry a nice, upstanding guy with whom you are compatible, all because he may not be “saved.”

    You’re right on the money Daisy.
    Stuff like that from fundagelical bubble-land makes about as much sense as a wooden stove.

  174. @ Muzjik:

    I agree. There also isn’t reason to believe she was complicit. If he assaulted a girl while his wife was in the house, perhaps she didn’t know she was there? Perhaps he was in a “counseling” session? I have no idea. Just saying we don’t know.

  175. truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    I have also heard words very similar to this from one of the pastors at the cult-like church I recently left. And it’s specifically directed at kids in their 20s! And yes, I say “kids” because so many of them are just blindly following and getting involved in the terrifying New Cal undertones of this church. This pastor has said on more than one occasion that he’s all for young marriages, short engagements, only date if you’re ready to be married, etc. It’s scary.

  176. Lydia wrote:

    Frankly I am wondering why this is any pastor’s business to preach on? Why all the invasive legalism into people’s personal lives who may not have come to him for personal advice?

    I think it is his business to preach on marriage because Jesus himself discussed marriage vs not marriage, and then Paul sort of took the opportunity and ran with it. That is not to say that any preacher has individual authority to take anything and just run with it, including marriage vs not marriage, but I do think that anything as specifically addressed in scripture and especially if Jesus had anything to say about it this ought to be addressed in church.

    Not that I agree with what any person particularly says about it; I am only saying that this topic should come up in church.

  177. @ okrapod:
    You mean their interpretation of what Jesus taught about marriage/divorce in Matthew after the religious leaders tried to trap him? 🙂

  178. Law Prof wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Got to cut this short.
    I just received an email from one of my writing partners that has the vibe of a suicide note.

    Lord protect that friend, lead him to you, heal him, and give HUG wisdom here. In Jesus’ name!

    Situation under control.
    I made contact with my other writing partner (who’s more-or-less local) and he was able to defuse the situation.
    Cannot go into details in public.

  179. On the matter of young marriage there are pros and cons. I think the matter is mostly individual. But there is also the issue of waiting too long until all the good ones are gone. I know that sounds terrible, but of course I am talking about a specific case, a woman one of my kids works with. She is a PK, and her baptist preacher father urged her to quit being so picky and get married for crying out loud. So she did. She married a divorced Catholic with kids from a prior marriage. One can imagine what went through PreacherDaddy’s mind at that point. But she has two kids of her own now and is probably as happy as she would be one way or the other, happiness being somewhat related to personality as well as circumstances.

  180. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Sounds like great fun. Cherry picked verse bombing each other for 40 years.

    Yeah. Another reason to stay single, if THAT’s the only alternative.

  181. Dave A A wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    Thus a celebrity pastor like Hughey can afford to retire at his age typically.
    I’m reminded of Tullian Tchananigans — he was a bit younger when he came home from an important ministry trip, found this no-good cheatin’ wife god gave him, and took comfort in the arms of a friend.

    “Arms” or “Orifices”?

  182. Max wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    That is a very Yogi Berra-ish thing to say.

    American Christians have come to a fork in the road … they need to take it!

    More like “Stick a fork in ’em — they’re Done!”?

  183. Daisy wrote:

    Christian marriage “expert” Mark Gungor (who used to have TV shows on various Christian networks where he dispenses marital advice) once said on one show that the only thing a Christian man and woman need in common is Jesus.

    LOL, no. Christian singles are not interchangeable widgets, we have to be compatible with whomever we’re with.

    Not if the overarching goal is to be MARRIED(TM) and finally sit at the Grown-Ups’ Table with all the other Marrieds; in that case, the other is just the necessary piece of equipment.

    “Married” is Christianese for “Getting Laid”, with a LOT of identical baggage.

  184. Daisy wrote:

    Some complementarians, who notice the falling marriage rates, can’t figure out that they’re making marriage look less appealing to women, by teaching this one-way, unilateral submission of wife to husband.

    They also make marriage look less appealing to single men, when just saying “Hi!” to a single woman means you have already committed to marry her. Sight unseen.

  185. Steve240 wrote:

    One thing that has occurred with groups that promote the “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” philosophies is that the focus of interaction between single men and women is for the purposes of determining if one should marry.

    I couldn’t agree with this more!! I see the relationship between men and women being poisoned by this things. Single men and single women have to be incredibly guarded around each other because if you aren’t, the other will immediately think you want to get married. Married men and married women are alienated from each other because a bunch of these pastors who can’t control their urges are telling everyone else that they can’t either to make themselves feel better.

    Everyone loves to talk about how great the “Mike Pence Rule” or the “Billy Graham Rule” is, but I don’t need that. I love my wife deeply and I am not tempted by other women, even though, as a musician and an academic, I am frequently working with married and single women. Maybe those people have a problem and are taking steps to address it. That is the best possible interpretation. But even if that is true, it is what they need, not something that is prescriptive for everyone.

  186. Muzjik wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    JYJames wrote:

    The wife is complicit. Same house, their residence, in the next room, while it’s all coming down. Why is a youth group girl alone in a room with her Youth Pastor in the Youth Pastor’s house in the first place? The wife is OK with that?

    Wife is Properly Winsome and Submissive.

    Please consider this is a real woman who has discovered all she believed her life to be is a lie and is hurting.
    There is no reason (lacking proof she knew) to mock her.

    I agree with you.

  187. @ Lydia:

    Matthew 19: 4-6. They asked him about divorce but he preached on creation, sex/gender. and marriage at the same time.

    Then after the disciples say if…then it is better not to marry, in vv 11-12 he agrees but only in specific circumstances.

    So, yes, he affirmed marriage (apparently for most), linked it to God/creation itself, but made allowance for non-marriage for some.

  188. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    50-page Questionnaire at first meeting to make sure she’s SCRIPTURAL enough? 30-40 years of “Christianese Foreplay”

    HUG, you don’t realize how brilliant you are. Here is a link to a real (I promise) “pre-courtship questionnaire” that a kissed dating goodbye type girl gave to someone she was interested in courting. There are no words to describe how ridiculous this is.

    http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2013/06/the-pre-courtship-questionnaire/

  189. Daisy wrote:

    P.S. Some Christians go the opposite, equally destructive route and tell single adults to have such incredibly tough criteria in whom they marry(*), that the singles, should they follow that advice, will never be able to marry.

    *(Such as: they will instruct Christian women that the ONLY suitable man to marry is…

    A Christian with a seminary degree, who is s strong spiritual leader, who has blue eyes, who works as a lawyer, whose middle name is Quebert, whose favorite animal is a pink elephant with green spots, who liked to play ping pong while standing on one leg, etc.
    The standards with this sort of Christian is so incredibly, ridiculously high that no man could meet them, so the single ladies who listen to this and take it seriously remain single indefinitely.)

    You’ve flushed $$$$$ down the drain of the same Christian Dating Services I did!

    The above isn’t much of an exaggeration of the “What I’m Looking For” portion of the female dating profiles. They always wanted a Spiritual Giant whose only interests are SCRIPTURE, Prayer, Bible Study, and Witnessing. So Uber-Christian even Christ Himself would have fallen short.

    This was always accompanied by a self-description interested only in SCRIPTURE, Prayer, Bible Study, Witnessing, and “Following the LORD”. Sounded a lot like she wanted to become a cloistered nun or Anchorite without going Romish; after seeing one dysfunctional marriage where the wife spent 24/7/365 in Prayer and Devotions while the husband did all the “Worldly” work and support…. Sounded too much like a setup for a Mooch-and-Sucker show.

  190. @ okrapod:
    “The proud religious law-keepers came to Jesus. They tried to trap Him by saying, “Does the Law say a man can divorce his wife for any reason?”

    This gets into the whole Pharisetical teaching of the time of “any cause” divorce.

    It’s also strange that Jesus does not mention every part of the Mosaic law which allowed divorce for neglect.

    Too many pastors teach it that if your husband is having sex outside of marriage you can divorce but not if he is beating you up.

  191. @ Lydia:

    That is as it is, but what Jesus said was not limited to divorce, and what I am talking about is marriage-not divorce. To marry or not to marry. What Jesus said is clearly an indication that heterosexual pair bonding (marriage) was part of God’s original plan at creation. I am thinking that He ought to know.

  192. Lydia wrote:

    Frankly I am wondering why this is any pastor’s business to preach on

    I think there is a world of difference in giving specific advice on marriage to a person you know. Versus this generic ‘unless you have the ‘gift of singleness’ (whatever that is) just find a random and get married. That’s not good advice. Especially from people who will tell you you are trapped in that marriage for life if your choice is bad.

  193. Max wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    That is a very Yogi Berra-ish thing to say.

    American Christians have come to a fork in the road … they need to take it!

    I thought you meant pitchfork. Did you? Maybe I am getting to literal these days..,

  194. Daisy wrote:

    P.S. Some Christians go the opposite, equally destructive route and tell single adults to have such incredibly tough criteria in whom they marry(*), that the singles, should they follow that advice, will never be able to marry.

    Or, churches that tell young men they have to talk to their leaders before they start dating someone for them to approve of the woman. You have a case there where young women get blackballed by church leadership and never have a relationship whether that is what they want or not.

  195. After getting out of a 30+ year marriage to an abuser, I can tell you singleness feels like an awesome gift! Maybe that isn’t what people mean when they talk about the gift of singleness but I am grateful to have lost the “awesome blessing” of that marriage. We Christians do so love to label and prescribe every part of life. I am enjoying being a person and shunning tidy labels-except Mom and Grammy.

  196. Let me say one more thing about marriage from one particular angle. CertainCountry which has had a high rate of female feticide and post-birth abandonment of female newborns with a history of a very high death rate of those abandoned during the first year of life has been reported to have a problem with a bachelor society of men who cannot find wives and a subsequent high rate of kidnapping of marriage age females to supply that gap has been happening. Apparently a bachelor society is not the greatest thing that has happened in CertainCountry.

  197. @ Deborah:

    I am glad you are in a better situation than you were. I too divorced after a significant number of years, but abuse was not in play. I intentionally did not remarry. I much prefer marriage to being single, problems and all. But I repeat, there was no abuse, so that is a different situation.

  198. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Got to cut this short.
    I just received an email from one of my writing partners that has the vibe of a suicide note.

    Lord protect that friend, lead him to you, heal him, and give HUG wisdom here. In Jesus’ name!

    Situation under control.
    I made contact with my other writing partner (who’s more-or-less local) and he was able to defuse the situation.
    Cannot go into details in public.

    Thank God

  199. @ okrapod:
    I’m trying to figure out why you think I’m on the side of “no marriage”? Is it because I disagreed with MacArthur’s approach earlier?

    I don’t have extreme views on marriage, divorce or singleness. I do think a lot of churches/pastors have extreme views based on faulty interpretations.

    I think it’s a big mistake when pastors teach on certain passages without giving the historical context of the time. That’s just my view.

  200. @ okrapod:
    I have read about how that policy worked out 20-30 years later. But in that Society there were literally not enough females. We have plenty so the Dynamics are a bit different.

  201. Lydia wrote:

    I think it’s a big mistake when pastors teach on certain passages without giving the historical context of the time. That’s just my view.

    I agree.

  202. Lydia wrote:

    I’m trying to figure out why you think I’m on the side of “no marriage”? Is it because I disagreed with MacArthur’s approach earlier?

    I don’t think you are on the side of no marriage. I think that you more than disagreed with what JM said and disagreed with the idea that preachers would even address the issue. That is what I am talking about. I think that preachers should address just a whole lot of biblical issues but that they should not go beyond what the bible says when they do so. I am talking about what is or is not legit, or perhaps even necessary, for a subject at church.

  203. okrapod wrote:

    Let me say one more thing about marriage from one particular angle. CertainCountry which has had a high rate of female feticide and post-birth abandonment of female newborns with a history of a very high death rate of those abandoned during the first year of life has been reported to have a problem with a bachelor society of men who cannot find wives and a subsequent high rate of kidnapping of marriage age females to supply that gap has been happening. Apparently a bachelor society is not the greatest thing that has happened in CertainCountry.

    Don’t say “CertainCountry” when you mean India or China (two best fits to your scenario).

    “CertainCountry” et al has always smelled of Weasel Wording to me.

  204. @ okrapod:

    Let me explain why. Well, I think that is the role of the preacher. But specifically I think that people do have a tendency to find somebody to follow, listen to, and whose beliefs they tend to accept. Marriage is a current issue in our nation. I think that the church has a responsibility to clearly teach what the bible or Church says instead of just leaving people clueless that there are any opposing ideas to whatever is the popular cultural idea at the moment. assuming that there are differences. And this is an area in which there are differences.

  205. Ricco wrote:

    HUG, you don’t realize how brilliant you are. Here is a link to a real (I promise) “pre-courtship questionnaire” that a kissed dating goodbye type girl gave to someone she was interested in courting.

    THAT (or at least memories of when it was getting blogged) was my inspiration.

  206. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Don’t say “CertainCountry” when you mean India or China (two best fits to your scenario).
    “CertainCountry” et al has always smelled of Weasel Wording to me.

    I am trying to avoid venturing specifically into the area of politics since that is forbidden on TWW. So, yes, I am trying to weasel past that prohibition. There has been the idea that one way to say what ought not be said is that ‘you can’t tell names and tales both’. I should probably just not mention something which would be that difficult to deal with.

  207. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Sounds like great fun. Cherry picked verse bombing each other for 40 years. I think of those “contentious wife” verses in Proverbs which are perfect for verse bombing by the authoritarian-submissive (leader/servant?) husband.

    Sounds like an attempt at “High Literature” Ionce encountered in a college Creative Writing class:

    Short about a married couple who were only together because if they divorced they wouldn’t have anyone handy to hate and abuse. And were always upping the ante on the abuse until at the end the wife poisons the husband (after “kill his dog, feed it to him for dinner, then tell him” levels of abuse). (Hubby was just as much a piece of work; wife was badly burn-scarred and hubby made show of lighting his pipe with matches, making sure to strike the match and get the flame as close to her skin as possible.) What a marriage.

    Instructor was a serious lit-snob who held this up as Example of Important Message High LITERATURE.
    Next time I took a Creative Writing class, it was with an instructor who was a working fiction writer.
    Much better.

    It’s not fun being a Weirdness Magnet.

  208. @ Max:

    The insanity will only stop when clergy are no longer paid. Take out the money and the true church will appear.

  209. @ okrapod:
    I think most pastors today, especially mega church pastors, have no clue who is sitting in the pews listening to what they teach. That was a huge problem for the authoritarian / submission teaching in comp marriage. From my experience many people were very caught up in their “roles” and whether or not they were biblical. Such as if the wife made more money or if the wife handled the checkbook, etc. I cannot overemphasize enough how comp teaching took people’s eyes off of Jesus and onto each others shortcomings and whether the other person was being biblical.

    I think scripture teaches that marriage is good and singleness is good. I think the charge to be fruitful and multiply morphed in the New Covenant with more of a Focus to go and make disciples. I don’t think that means people should not have children. I think people should have as many children as they can afford and want.

    I would rather see pastors focus on seeking individual wisdom and maturity in all things than wrongly parsing scripture. Wise and mature aduls make better Marriage Partners. But teaching that would take the pastor out of the role of the Holy Spirit for all.

    The most interesting aspect to the “Marry young” teaching that was very popular for quite a few years ended up not being practiced by many of these pastors own children later.

  210. @ okrapod:
    I get your point here but I also think the church has been one of the worst historical instigators of teaching unbiblical marriage legalism for a millennia or more.

    Back when I used to be interested in the stats, it blew my mind that atheists tend to stay married more than Christians. What is up with that?

  211. Lydia wrote:

    Back when I used to be interested in the stats

    Of the couples I have done premarital counseling for and then done the wedding, here are the statistics (compiled 6/4/2016).

    Length of Marriage in years:

    1-10 3 4.6%
    11-20 6 9.2%
    21-30 32 49.2%
    31-40 24 36.9%

    Total 65

    STATUS
    3 Widowed 4%
    10 Divorced 13.3%
    62 Married 82.6%

    75 Total

    Note: Of those still married:

    44 25 years+ 67.6%

    ====
    I am a firm believer in premarital counseling. And I will refuse to do a wedding if I am not satisfied that the couple is making a wise decision. In these cases they can find someone else.

  212. Lydia wrote:

    Too many pastors teach it that if your husband is having sex outside of marriage you can divorce but not if he is beating you up.

    Man-O-Manischewitz, this is bingo big time, the cognitive dissonance that rational people (believers or no) experience when they hear this horse poo-poo from the pulpit has gotta’ be deafening.

  213. Lydia wrote:

    Back when I used to be interested in the stats, it blew my mind that atheists tend to stay married more than Christians. What is up with that

    Always figured that had more to do with demographics/income/education levels but haven’t investigated.

  214. Lydia wrote:

    Too many pastors teach it that if your husband is having sex outside of marriage you can divorce but not if he is beating you up.

    Maybe the Pastor’s also a wife-beater and he doesn’t want to set a precedent that might cause his own punching bag to leave?

  215. drstevej wrote:

    Of the couples I have done premarital counseling for and then done the wedding, here are the statistics (compiled 6/4/2016).
    Length of Marriage in years:
    1-10 3 4.6%
    11-20 6 9.2%
    21-30 32 49.2%
    31-40 24 36.9%
    Total 65
    STATUS
    3 Widowed 4%
    10 Divorced 13.3%
    62 Married 82.6%
    75 Total
    Note: Of those still married:
    44 25 years+ 67.6%

    Sounds like a GREAT track record.

  216. okrapod wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    That is as it is, but what Jesus said was not limited to divorce, and what I am talking about is marriage-not divorce. To marry or not to marry. What Jesus said is clearly an indication that heterosexual pair bonding (marriage) was part of God’s original plan at creation. I am thinking that He ought to know.

    Somehow I am reminded of the “man made for the Sabbath/Sabbath made for man” remark.

    What if mankind was not made for marriage, but marriage was established for the sake of mankind? (Which does not make marrying a commandment by any means.)

    Just a moment of whimsy. I am in need of a cup of tea.

  217. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Too many pastors teach it that if your husband is having sex outside of marriage you can divorce but not if he is beating you up.
    Maybe the Pastor’s also a wife-beater and he doesn’t want to set a precedent that might cause his own punching bag to leave?

    So was John P. trying to tell his wife that she needed to endure abuse “for a season”?
    (Well, he did make her walk up three flights of stairs with tea, when he rang the bell. At the very least, I would not call that thoughtful and loving of him.)

  218. Tea seems to be a recurring thought in my latest comments. TTFN. (Did Winnie the Pooh really say that, or is that from people who were quoting him?)

  219. refugee wrote:

    Somehow I am reminded of the “man made for the Sabbath/Sabbath made for man” remark.

    What if mankind was not made for marriage, but marriage was established for the sake of mankind? (Which does not make marrying a commandment by any means.)

    Just a moment of whimsy. I am in need of a cup of tea.

    This is 100% correct.

  220. Ricco wrote:

    I couldn’t agree with this more!! I see the relationship between men and women being poisoned by this things. Single men and single women have to be incredibly guarded around each other because if you aren’t, the other will immediately think you want to get married. Married men and married women are alienated from each other because a bunch of these pastors who can’t control their urges are telling everyone else that they can’t either to make themselves feel better.

    My experience and have written more about this on my blog is that in groups where “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” are promoted instead of learning HOW to relate to those of the opposite sex singles AVOID relating to those of the opposite sex. It is sad when you see singles in their 20’s and 30’s acting like teenagers with those of the opposite sex.

    A good book that came out not too long ago is Courtship in Crisis.

    http://www.thomasumstattd.com/books/courtship-in-crisis/

    Ironically the author was a proponent of courtship but his eyes opened when he saw the bad results it produced.

  221. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    Man-O-Manischewitz, this is bingo big time, the cognitive dissonance that rational people (believers or no) experience when they hear this horse poo-poo from the pulpit has gotta’ be deafening.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

    I found this in the Wiki link:

    In the novel, for someone to even recognize—let alone mention—any contradiction within the context of the Party line was akin to blasphemy, and could subject that person to disciplinary action and to the instant social disapproval of fellow Party Members.

    That almost sounds like what would occur with Sovereign Grace. Questioning was certainly looked down up as was pointing out issues or contradictions.

  222. refugee wrote:

    (Well, he did make her walk up three flights of stairs with tea, when he rang the bell. At the very least, I would not call that thoughtful and loving of him.)

    Boorish.

    At the very least, childish. Boychild husband, momservant wife.

  223. Lydia wrote:

    I think most pastors today, especially mega church pastors, have no clue who is sitting in the pews listening to what they teach.

    They know their tithe.

  224. Steve wrote:

    The insanity will only stop when clergy are no longer paid. Take out the money and the true church will appear.

    Gifts of the Spirit. Gifts.

  225. I know there are thousands of pastors out there and we are dealing with only a handful of bad-boy preachers at any given time in the blogosphere. But it’s what we don’t know about the thousands that bothers me; we’re always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

  226. Ricco wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    50-page Questionnaire at first meeting to make sure she’s SCRIPTURAL enough? 30-40 years of “Christianese Foreplay”

    HUG, you don’t realize how brilliant you are. Here is a link to a real (I promise) “pre-courtship questionnaire” that a kissed dating goodbye type girl gave to someone she was interested in courting. There are no words to describe how ridiculous this is.

    http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2013/06/the-pre-courtship-questionnaire/

    423 questions? Are you sure this is real? If so, I wonder if the gal ever got married.

    If a lady in whom I was interested gave me such a questionnaire to fill out, I’d move on. Then again, I’m pushing 60 and am not interested in dating 20-somethings. I would hope women closer to my age wouldn’t consider Harris-style courtship.

  227. Max wrote:

    But it’s what we don’t know about the thousands that bothers me; we’re always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

    It’s interesting how God sees it all, through and through.

    Can’t imagine God’s thoughts about the goings-on of guys like Hybels over 30+ years. Ouch. It seems if one wants to go see a show on Sunday morning, there’s a showman who will put on a performance. Personally, I could never figure it out. Now we see it for what is it. Showmanship.

  228. Steve240 wrote:

    truthseeker00 wrote:

    This sounds so much like my former Calvinist pastor. He was always harping on the kids, while they were still teens, to get married as soon as possible, not have long engagements, etc. Makes one wonder . . .

    One thing that has occurred with groups that promote the “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” philosophies is that the focus of interaction between single men and women is for the purposes of determining if one should marry. Thus there is pressure put on single who are “courting” to either get married or cut off the courtship. Sadly what can sometime happen is that couples that are courting under this pressure get married before they really get to know one another and then find themselves married to partners they aren’t as compatible as maybe thought.

    Sadly you never hear this mentioned. I will be curious if Josh Harris mentions this in his documentary about surviving IKDG.

    And the peer pressure to marry or cut off can be intense.

  229. ishy wrote:

    There’s also a lot of church marketing propaganda that promotes keeping everybody separated and “targeting demographics”.
    Thing is, most bigger churches who have bought into the ideology of filling as many seats as possible totally fail at actually ministering to people over the long-term. I think most of the churches I have been to that do try to separate everyone have not been successfully providing a nurturing place even for the people they are targeting. It’s easier for them to blame people for being unhappy than to give up the money that comes with the idea of attracting big crowds.

    Yep, there appears to be a whole lot of church-as-business insuinuating itself and becoming the priority amongst churches that used to be fruitful and Kingdom-focused.

    In one church situation where a significant issue has caused many to leave, many with families are not extricating themselves as quickly. I have to think one reason is that they and their kids are often more enmeshed in relationships than those without kids involved are.

  230. <a href="#comment-367562" title=

    singleman wrote:
    Actually, it’s not uncommon for a pastor to continue working past what we consider “retirement age.” My church is currently searching for a new senior pastor; the current one will likely celebrate his 72nd birthday before stepping down if the current succession timetable holds.
    The same is true for plenty of folks outside the church. I expect to continue working well into my 70’s if my health holds out. One of my co-workers is 80.

    And they or those who they empower can put a church in dangerous situations if they are out of their depth. I’ve seen one instance where truly massive cost overruns made by someone a decade or so last retirement age who had no business running a building project were essentially soft-pedaled by playing off the fact that the guy had taught many church members in Sunday school. In this case, the wounded lion act was accompanied by the grandfather act — except when the mask would slip and the anger and defense mechanisms would show.

  231. singleman wrote:

    Ricco wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    50-page Questionnaire at first meeting to make sure she’s SCRIPTURAL enough? 30-40 years of “Christianese Foreplay”
    HUG, you don’t realize how brilliant you are. Here is a link to a real (I promise) “pre-courtship questionnaire” that a kissed dating goodbye type girl gave to someone she was interested in courting. There are no words to describe how ridiculous this is.
    http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2013/06/the-pre-courtship-questionnaire/
    423 questions? Are you sure this is real? If so, I wonder if the gal ever got married.
    If a lady in whom I was interested gave me such a questionnaire to fill out, I’d move on. Then again, I’m pushing 60 and am not interested in dating 20-somethings. I would hope women closer to my age wouldn’t consider Harris-style courtship.

    And here is another one that was popular in our former circles (hyper-calvinist reformed folks). It has been taken off the blog but can still be found in the wayback machine.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20171028005144/yoursacredcalling.com/blog/courtship-questions-for-potential-suitors/

  232. JYJames wrote:

    It’s interesting how God sees it all, through and through.

    Yep. It makes you wonder why God doesn’t vaporize some of these folks! But, He’s the one dispensing grace and mercy – not me.

    The problem with most churchgoers is that they might “see” some things, but those who have been on a journey with Him glean from their experience to “see through.” Once you see it, you can’t un-see it … you know it because it’s in your knower. Whew! And boy, do I see and know too much about the condition of the American church! Come Lord Jesus!

  233. JDV wrote:

    In one church situation where a significant issue has caused many to leave, many with families are not extricating themselves as quickly. I have to think one reason is that they and their kids are often more enmeshed in relationships than those without kids involved are.

    And a lot of churches that get famous on this blog for the wrong reasons are very much into Marrieds with Young Children.
    FEATURE, NOT BUG.

  234. JYJames wrote:

    At the very least, childish. Boychild husband, momservant wife.

    No, same boychild/momservant relationship as CARTMAN FROM SOUTH PARK!

  235. Steve240 wrote:

    My experience and have written more about this on my blog is that in groups where “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” are promoted instead of learning HOW to relate to those of the opposite sex singles AVOID relating to those of the opposite sex. It is sad when you see singles in their 20’s and 30’s acting like teenagers with those of the opposite sex.

    Speaking from a male POV, when Christian Courtship(TM) means just saying “Hi!” or even acknowleging some female’s existence = Commitment to Marry Her, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT BUT AVOIDANCE?

  236. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Speaking from a male POV, when Christian Courtship(TM) means just saying “Hi!” or even acknowleging some female’s existence = Commitment to Marry Her, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT BUT AVOIDANCE?

    I would say this from a female perspective too. It sounds nuts.

  237. Lea wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Also, I would never go on a date, if I thought a date was a commitment to *anything*.

    BINGO!

  238. Max: Once you see it, you can’t un-see it … you know it because it’s in your knower.

    “..and find out hoe deep the rabbit hole goes.”
    — Morpheus, The Matrix

    Come Lord Jesus!

    Do not say that around a survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and Christians For Nuclear War.